First Chapter of Lessons for Teacher

The music pounded in Jamie Winston’s blood as she walked up the steps to the frat house, feeling as out of place among the milling bodies as she felt in front of the journalism class where she was the teaching assistant.

Like a fraud.

She’d never been to a frat party in her life, just something else she’d missed out on her first time in college. Her marriage and job had taken all her time, though she’d longed for the complete college experience. She wouldn’t have the courage now, her second chance at college, if her best friend Susan hadn’t encouraged her to act on this ridiculous impulse.

That, and her inappropriate crush, Brady Lane, was rumored to be here. Susan grinned approvingly, giving Jamie a once-over and an exaggerated wink. Great. She’d let her younger friend choose her wardrobe—a knit spaghetti strapped top with a swirling design on the front, snug jeans and wedges—a far cry from the loose blouses and conservative skirts she wore for class, but appropriate for a warm October evening in Texas. Susan also had a hand in fixing her hair, an almost sultry style, dark blonde hair tumbling out of a carefully placed hair clip. Sort of librarian-gone-wild. And her make-up, well, she almost didn’t recognize herself.

She hoped Brady would recognize her. Or maybe not.

She wasn’t in the habit of crushing on her journalism students, but Brady was different. He was older than the others, close to her age of twenty- five, having served in Iraq in order to qualify for the GI Bill. He was handsome, yes, tall and broad shouldered with biceps as big as her waist, but more, he was intense, focused, and interested in what she was teaching. He wanted to be a war correspondent, and his bravery excited her as much as anything else.

She got the feeling that he, like her, wanted the complete college experience, no matter that he was five years older than the other students here.

She spotted him as soon as they entered the main room of the frat house. He leaned against the wall by the bar, a bottle in his big hand. Younger men surrounded him, a mixture of hero-worship and acceptance. The air of command about him made her nipples hard. Did she have the courage to approach him?

Susan leaned close and growled playfully in approval. Great, he was here, now what? How was she supposed to get his attention? And what would she do if she got it? She had the feeling if she gave him the right signals, he would take charge. While she knew this was shaky ground, considering she was a T.A., she couldn’t help herself. Something about Brady compelled her to step out of the comfort zone she’d allowed herself since her divorce.

As if he sensed her thoughts, he glanced up and met her gaze. Her face heated, but she didn’t look away, instead gave him what had to be a goofy smile. He returned it, brows drawn together a bit quizzically, then turned back to the guys with him.

So not a good sign. Disappointment burned hot in her belly.

“Go talk to him. I’ll get us something to drink,” Susan urged, nudging Jamie with her shoulder.

Okay, this was why she’d come, but the last of her nerve had gotten her up the steps and through the door. She caught him looking at her again, this time more speculative. She pulled in a deep breath and moved across the room toward him.

“Hi, Brady,” she murmured.


A shiver went through her when he said her

name. She didn’t teach as Miss Winston, though she knew other T.A.s did. That he thought of her by that name gave her hope. That meant he thought about her.

Wow, she was suddenly feeling way younger than anyone else here.

“I didn’t expect to see you here.” His gaze traveled up and down her body. She quivered with the need to hunch her shoulders or otherwise hide.

“Dayum,” one of the boys surrounding him added, his gaze following the same path as Brady’s had. “You put the ‘t’ and ‘a’ in T.A.”

“Dude. Not cool,” Brady chided. “And terrible line.”

The boy shrugged and turned back to his friends, but Brady kept his eyes steady on hers. She dipped her head, her courage deserting her, afraid he’d see too much.

“You want a drink?” he offered.

“My friend’s getting one.” She gestured toward Susan, who approached.

“Your date?”

“My-no! No, I’m not—” God, did he think she was a lesbian? Boy, talk about seduction fail.

“Okay.” He took a swallow of beer, still watching her as she accepted her own bottle from Susan. “Do you come to a lot of frat parties?”

“This is my first. You?”

Three girls burst out of the crowd, pushing past Jamie to grasp Brady’s hands and arms. “We’re playing Truth or Dare. Come play with us.”

He hung back, even as one girl’s slim hand glided intimately over his waist. His grin was affable as he shook his head. “Nah, I don’t think so.”

“Oh, come on.” One curled her hand around his arm and pressed her breast to his bicep. “It’s going to be dirty.”

He snuffled a laugh and sipped his beer. “Not really my thing.”

“Honey, it could be.” The three girls tugged at him, working together, but he remained firmly against the wall.

“Another time,” he said smoothly.

“You always say that,” one of the girls pouted. “No matter what we ask.” But she turned away with her friends, who contented themselves with his friend.

“I want to play,” Susan piped up, following. “Hot boys.”

Jamie opened her mouth to protest being left alone, but Susan was swallowed by the crowd. Jamie eased back against the wall by Brady’s side, pulse pounding, mentally cursing Susan for abandoning her.

“So what made you decide to come?” Brady asked, lifting his beer to his lips.

“A few of my students invited me. I always wondered what it might be like.”

“I thought you might be undercover, doing a story or something.” He brushed a fingertip over her bare shoulder, sending heat pulsing through to all her favorite parts. “This is a different look for you. Don’t get me wrong.” He held out a hand, palm out to stem her protest. “I like it. A lot.”

She huffed out a nervous laugh, her nipples tightening at just that simple contact. God, the man had an uncommon power. “No, not undercover. And thanks.”

“Is it what you expected?”

“Um.” She looked from the circle of Truth or Dare players just as one of the girls flashed her breasts, to a couple pressed against the bar, the boy’s hand up the girl’s skirt, his rhythmic movements leaving no doubt about what he was doing. Another boy puked in the corner. “Not quite. A little more Animal House than I expected. What are you doing here?”

The corner of his mouth hitched up. “Doing a story.”

“For your journalism portfolio.”

“Yeah. I’m applying for an internship in the spring.”

She ignored the tightness in her chest from his words, from the knowledge he’d be moving on soon. Which meant if she was going to do this, she was running out of time. “I know. I already sent in my recommendation.”

“Yeah? Thanks.”

“You’re a talented writer. I don’t think you’ll have any problem.”

He turned to face her, his shoulder against the wall, a grin creasing his handsome face. “I don’t think you came here to talk shop.”

“No. I didn’t.” She smiled. She’d taken the first step toward what she’d come here to do, attracting his attention.

“So. Truth or dare?”

Wariness winged through her at the playful glint in his eyes, and she glanced toward the circle where Susan was playing tonsil hockey with Brady’s friend.


“Why are you really here?”

She gave a toss of her hair, hoping to convince

him of the lie. “Susan wanted to come and she didn’t want to come alone.”

He looked over at the circle. “Yeah, I don’t buy it. You know the penalty in lying in truth or dare? You have to do a dare.”

She drew in a sharp breath at the winking dimple. What kind of challenge would he give her? Something sexy? Could she pull it off? Her confidence was shaky. “What would you dare me to do?”

He lifted his gaze as if he was considering. “Let me think about it. I’m pretty sure it has something to do with that outfit, though.”

A sizzle of desire ran through her, settling between her legs. For the first time she considered tonight might actually end as she fantasized, in his arms. She sipped from her bottle. “Okay. Truth or dare.”

Lessons for Teacher is available on Amazon.