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Author: Cassandra Robbins







The High - Bryce savage

We Go Down Together - Dove Cameron & Khaild

Ocean Eyes - Billie Eilish

S&M – Rihanna

Candy - Doja Cat

Not Afraid - Eminem

Die For You - The Weekend

Bad Habit - Steve Lacy

Perfect - Ed Sheeran

Shivers - Ed Sheeran

Anti-Hero - Taylor Swift

Umbrella – Rihanna, JAY Z

Thousand Miles - The Kid Laroi

Flowers - Miley Cryus

My Heart Will Go On - Céline Dion

So What – Miles Davis

Either Way - Eva Grace

Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinéad O’Connor

Slave To Love - Bryan Ferry

Greatest Love – Ciara

For Your Entertainment – Adam Lambert

Without Me – Eminem

Those Eyes - New West

Me & U – Cassie

T.I. – Whatever You Like

Crazy In Love – Beyoncé, JAY-Z

Poker Face – Lady Gaga






“I can’t make it up, Richard.” I lean forward for my glass of scotch while he throws back his head and laughs.

“I mean, when I saw my mom and the priest walking toward the bathroom… Christ.” Shaking my head, I lean back in the leather chair.

My mentor stands and walks to his desk, retrieving a box of Cuban cigars. “Well, I’m happy for Jett.” He hands me one and steps over to open his French doors, which leads to his manicured backyard. Sunlight reflects off the pool, and the giant inflatable pink flamingo in it slowly glides to the edge.

“Diane is threatening to divorce me if I don’t open these doors when I enjoy the last of my vices.” He chuckles, walking back to his chair as the air conditioner clicks on.

“We can go outside.” I grin.

“Hell no, it’s too hot out.” He crosses his thin legs and reaches for the cigar cutter to swiftly slice off the end of his cigar, then hands it to me.

“Brett.” He sighs, absently looking out the doors as the warm air from the afternoon fills his office. “It’s no secret I’ve been tossing around the idea of retiring…” He glances at me as I hesitate, knowing where this is going but needing to hear it.

“I’m seventy-six years old.” He flicks on his black torch lighter and slowly spins the end on the flame until it glows nice and orange before he brings it to his lips and takes a small puff.

I lean back, stretching out my legs, waiting, letting him have this moment. Richard used to be a heavy smoker. After having a mild heart attack a couple of years ago, he’s switched his habit to expensive cigars. Smoke swirls out of his mouth, and he takes another puff, then tosses me the torch lighter.

“I’ve made my mark on the university. Gave up numerous things in my life to achieve where I am, and now…” His brown eyes turn to me as he points the cigar my way. “It’s your turn.”

I sit up and lean over to light the tip of my cigar. “I’m not going to lie and say I don’t want it.” With a smile, I place the fragrant tip in my mouth and take an easy puff, the earthy, citrusy taste swirling around as I let it escape, and look at him.

“You do understand that what I’m about to do will make you the youngest head dean in the school’s history?” He recrosses his legs.

“Yes.” My voice remains steady. This is what I have been working for, and being the youngest dean in the university’s history, yeah, that makes my cock hard.

“Jenners is going to cause a stink. He believes it should be his. Convince me that he’s wrong.”

My eyes narrow, and the edges of my lips curve up. “I don’t have to convince you, Richard. It’s pretty simple. I’m a genius. He’s not.”

Richard snorts. “You’re also arrogant and single.”

“Exactly. I have zero distractions because I’m married to my work. Might as well give me the title.” I grin, bringing the cigar back to my mouth.

“Brett, you need to know that we have started the vetting process. Is there anything I need to know? Being a chair and vice dean of the environmental engineering department and becoming the head dean of the school are completely different beasts. I can’t have this backfire on me. Dean Jenners is in his fifties. He’s married, his kids are grown. The trustee likes these things. But you getting the Nobel nomination has made you the frontrunner.” Richard watches me.

I shrug. “I’m an open book, Richard. And my work speaks for itself,” I say, looking him in the eye. This is not me being arrogant; this is fact. I’m way better equipped all around for the job, and Richard knows it, even without the Nobel nod. My age is the only thing holding him back. Thirty-eight is not unheard of, but very few have been appointed to a coveted position like this at my age.

Being a rising star professor at any Ivy League or prestigious private research university is huge, but being the dean of one of the top schools in the nation… well, let’s just say, my parents will have bragging rights.

“What about Professor Carter?” he says casually, not even looking at me while he focuses on the ash forming on the end of his cigar.

“She’s a colleague and a friend whom I’ve had a casual sexual relationship with,” I state slowly because I don’t lie. I might try to charm, but I don’t lie. Glancing over at their housekeeper, I notice she’s staring at me as she walks by with a load of laundry.

“Brett. This is where Jenners can make his case—”

“It’s not against the rules to date a colleague.” I interrupt because I refuse for someone as inconsequential as Skylar to be the reason I have to fight for this.

“It’s frowned upon, but no, it’s not against the rules, not like a student would be.” He spits out the student part like that would be the end of the world.

I shake my head. All of this is simply laughable and a non-issue. “You have nothing to worry about.” My teeth instinctively clamp down on the end of the cigar as I think about Skylar. I haven’t returned her calls and texts since I’ve been back. I thought I’d made it clear that we were not exclusive, and what we had has run its course, for fuck’s sake.

“Well, you might want to reiterate that to her. Apparently, she’s still holding on to hope, if her interview is any indication,” Richard says dryly.

I nod, setting down my cigar as I think how best to choose my words. This needs to be shut down, but I can’t let him know I’m aggravated. That implies guilt, and I have none. I lean forward, resting my elbows on my knees as my eyes drift around his office. It’s large with dark-wood paneling covering the side wall. His giant wood desk and dark, cherry-stained leather chairs give it that old-money feel. Not my taste, but I don’t have to live here.

“Professor Carter is in another department, but she’s up for tenure herself this year, so…” His meaning is clear.

“I will make sure there’s no confusion,” I grumble. I’m the foremost expert in my field, so having to deal with Skylar, a woman I had sex with maybe a handful of times, is a waste of my time. But I also don’t need her causing problems.

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