I grab the painting in one hand and the easel in the other. I begin walking in the other direction to put my things away and say over my shoulder, “I think, Professor Hampton, that’s considered favoritism.”
“Technically, class is over. So I don’t think that counts,” he counters, amusement in his tone. I turn around and see a wicked grin spread across his face.
“I think it definitely counts.” I grab the last of my things and toss my bag over my shoulder, standing in front of him. “Thank you for earlier.”
“You already said that.”
“I know.” I blush. “But maybe we can pretend it never happened?”
He takes a step closer, adjusting the strap that fell off my shoulder. My breath hitches as his knuckles press against my bare arm. His eyes remain locked on mine as he responds, “What didn’t happen?”
I smile in return, my eyes dropping to the floor before looking back up at him. “Thanks.”
I step around him and walk toward the door, but his voice stops me in my tracks. “Are you working at the studio this weekend?”
I quickly spin around, his question taking me off guard. “Yeah. Sunday.”
“Then I’ll see you there.” His eyes soften as he looks at me.
“Ms. Jones know that?” I tease, raising my brows.
“She’s the one that recruited me.” He shrugs. “Can’t say no to that woman.” He shakes his head, smirking.
I laugh. “Tell me about it.”
“Have a great rest of your week, Aspen.”
“You too.” I try to control my breathing as I walk out the door.
I don’t know what it is, but being around Professor Hampton brings out emotions in me I haven’t ever felt before. One minute my heart is beating so hard, I think it’ll beat right out of my chest, and the next I’m practically passing out in front of him. It’s as if he intentionally gets close to me, making it nearly impossible to think straight. But when it’s just the two of us alone, it almost feels natural. A teacher and student who both enjoy art and discussing it. A teacher and student that can’t seem to stay away from each other in or outside of the classroom. A teacher and student that hardly know anything about each other, but the attraction is so intense, keeps pulling them together.
A teacher and student that cannot become more than a teacher and student.