This is another snippet of a Dear Sir, I’m Yours prequel. I’ll be writing out several scenes over the next few weeks, alternating with more letters, and when the whole thing is done, I’ll package it all together as a pdf on the Free Reads page. For now, I’m calling this prequel “Letters” since I haven’t come up with another title. I’ll accumulate the links here in reverse chronological order if you need to catch up!
Aside: the poetry quote opening this section has an interesting little story. If you read Dear Sir, you’ll learn that “Ozymandias” has special meaning in the story. As I sat down last night to write this scene, I knew I wanted to open with Conn quoting some poetry, but I didn’t know what it was. He was unhappy, even angry, and the poem had to speak of some kind of despair. Not wanting to sit for hours browsing Shelley and Byron — as enjoyable as that would be — I went through a mental check list of all the poems from which he’d already quoted. I thought, hey, what the heck, let’s start with Ozymandias and see if there’s anything I can use.
Voila. The piece is absolutely perfect, and in a subtle way, ties back full circle with the main story itself. I swear, I broke out in goosebumps. I love it when things I picked seemingly at random months ago suddenly end up having a deeper meaning that I hadn’t anticipated!
“’Round the decay/ Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,/ The lone and level sands stretch far away.’”
The masculine voice froze her in place. Other students bumped into Rae, knocking her aside, impatient in their rush to purchase their books or line up for a coveted class before it filled, but she couldn’t move.
She turned and saw two men standing outside the dean’s office, obviously professors by their air of respectability, experience, and age. The man quoting poetry in that incredibly sexy voice couldn’t be more than ten years older than her, but it wouldn’t have mattered if he was a doddering old man with a cane. His voice would have affected her the same way.
He quoted those lovely, haunting words of poetry in a rough, deep rumble that seemed to vibrate on the air with power. Her body thrummed in response, rippling with the subtle resonation.
If that incredible voice wasn’t enough to send her body into overdrive, his dark good looks and rugged face only increased her attraction. He wore faded, soft denim that hugged his thighs and ass, work boots that had definitely seen the outdoors, and a plain baby blue Oxford shirt. He’d rolled the sleeves up to his elbows, and the sight of his corded forearms made her breath hitch in her throat. His hands were large, his forearms lined with muscle and sinew as though he was used to hard physical labor.
What on earth had the professor been doing to earn the forearms of a warrior? She couldn’t help but wonder if his hands would be rough and calloused to match, as powerful and commanding as his voice.
He laughed, but the lines remained on his face, deeply grooving his mouth and between his eyes. He looked grim and fierce, his eyes as blue as his shirt but steely, as though a thunderstorm roiled inside him. Staring at him, she ached to earn the right to smooth those grim lines from his face with her lips and tongue.
Heat seared her face and she jerked her gaze away. She didn’t know this man. If he was a professor, then he was certainly off limits.
Her stupid body didn’t care. Her mouth felt dry, her eyes hot, her muscles tense and eager. Her instincts demanded that she either flee or rush over and fling herself at his feet, warring back and forth between fierce attraction and downright terror. If a man could turn her on with his voice alone, what would it be like to kiss him? To feel those big hands sliding over her skin? Or better yet, to lie helpless beneath that power, bound for his every whim?
Get a grip, Rae.
She’d never had pervy thoughts about a professor before, but once her mind wandered into that territory, she couldn’t seem to clear away the idea of the wicked professor tutoring his teacher’s pet. Or punishing her.
“Enough, Mason,” he retorted in a low voice that made her shudder. “You have no idea what I need.”
Her heart stuttered in her chest and she couldn’t catch her breath. Oh, God, but she could all too easily imagine what he might need. What was wrong with her? Why would she suddenly have visions of walking up to this man and begging him to allow her to strip off her clothes for him? She didn’t know anything about him except that voice, and the torturous images he inspired. She didn’t even know–
“Dr. Connagher, the dean will see you now.”
He disappeared into the dean’s office. The door shut and Rae felt as though a rubber band inside her had snapped. She stumbled over to rest her shoulder against the cold concrete wall, closing her eyes and concentrating on breathing.
His friend might not know what he needed, but the darkness in his eyes and the elegant roughness in his voice spoke volumes to her. As soon as she could walk without wavering like she’d just left a frat party, she headed for the Registrar’s Office. She could only hope that Dr. Connagher taught something other than Calculus or Physics, because come Monday morning, she was going to be sitting in the front row of his class.