You awoke with a gasp, your body propelling itself forward in the bed, your breath coming in harsh pants and your heart pounding in your ears. Your head swam as reality caught up with you. A dream. It had all been a bad dream.
The broad body next to you stirred, a rough grumble escaping from the mound of duvet. Severus sat up, an arm wrapping around your shoulders as he brought you back into his chest, your face finding the crook of his neck easily.
He didn’t speak. In moments like this, when your past plagued you, no words were needed. You just needed this: Severus’ heart beating reassuringly in your ear, his strong arms wrapped around you and the sound of his steady breathing acting as a lullaby with which you would soon find your own rest.
Summary: Hunt’s jealousy reveals the truth about their kiss at the Masquerade
Hunt heard the rushing of water around his ears. His heart beat faster… Where was she? He felt the stinging of water in his eyes, but moments later, he spotted her, drifting through the water limply, unconscious, sinking to the riverbed. He began to swim toward her with urgency, battling his way through the resistance. Suddenly, a figure cut between them, blocking his view. He saw vaguely, a manly figure with a mop of brown hair. She vanished from his sight, being lifted higher and higher in the arms of the dark figure, out of the murky water, into the light burst refracting through the water. Hunt cursed, and began to push himself to the surface of the lake.
His head broke through the water, eyes stinging, searching for her. Who had lifted her out of the water? As his eyes adjusted, he recognized Chris Winters, climbing out of the water, dripping wet, onto the bank, bearing her in his arms. Hunt began to swim his way to the bank, relieved as he saw her eyelashes begin to flutter. He was almost to the bank when she opened her eyes, lifting her head, her gaze resting on Chris. Hunt cursed as he swam faster.
Chris laid a hand on her cheek. She gasped for air, throwing her arms around Chris. He watched as Chris embraced her, planting a kiss on her forehead, her cheek… She leaned back to look at him.
“No!” Hunt growled. He watched as Chris lowered his face to hers, and she eagerly parted her lips to meet his.
Hunt woke up in a cold sweat, eyes still stinging, his heart beating rapidly. He gasped, realizing he was having a nightmare. Cursing, he rose from the bed, throwing his black lounge pants on. Throwing back the curtains from his sliding glass doors, he looked outside. It was still slightly dark, the dew still settled on the grass outside his house. Morning light crept up through the sky in a mauve toned gradient. He sighed, folding his arms and reaching a hand up to run his fingers through his jet black hair.
Where was she now? he thought. Sometimes, he had to allow himself to think of her, in unguarded moments, in the safety of his home where she was less of a reality, less of a threat. If he didn’t, his mental faculties would be completely exhausted. Was she dreaming of him too?
For some reason, he thought of his affair with Yvonne. How young he was then, how naive. Much like his student was now; young, vibrant, hopeful. At the place he was in his life now, did they even have a chance? He was thirty-three; she was twenty-two. More than a decade lay between them. Despite his level of fame, the awards won, the GQ spreads… He felt bitterly lonely. He was almost ashamed of the lifestyle of a bachelor that he led. Now, looking back at it, he wonders if he and Yvonne would have even worked together. If she hadn’t married, and came back for him now, would they even have chemistry? The thought had come to him on many occasions, that he had idealized her all these years. She was beautiful, much like his student. In fact, the similarities were uncanny, but he couldn’t help thinking that his student possessed even more striking features…
He allowed himself a small smile. Then he shook his head. His love with Yvonne had been such a short spell, barely even a whisper, before she had left. Most courtships seem like heaven in the first passionate months. Maybe if their relationship had exceeded that short period of time, he would have begun to notice her flaws… Or she might have begun to notice his…
Then he thought of Marianne. Of Priya. Both relationships related to his love of film, of the work. But neither of them possessed the spark that he had with his student. Neither of them could get under his skin, could pierce his heart, could see the man beneath the fame, the talent, the skill, the critique… No one else could see the motivations behind who we was on the outside.
But she did. She saw through him in depth. She wiggled her way in to his thoughts, his dreams. He hated to admit it, but she had awakened passion in him again. He glanced at the desk against the wall, the printed papers that lay there. He had just begun to draft the screenplay. It was a work in progress, something he had never attempted before. But a depth, a side of him that he had never put down on paper, was blossoming forth onto the pages. He was staying up late into the night, piecing it together. He sat on the floor of his living room late into the night with a pen and a glass of scotch. He even smoked a cigarette or two, for old times sake.
He sighed, feeling angry with himself. Guilt rose up in him; she had too much promise to end up with someone like him. He had a resounding fear that he would destroy her. He, the man who became burnt out with the industry, who slowly felt bitterness take over and reduce his love for creating to ash. He was a wealth of knowledge, a bank of wisdom and talent; but when it came to his work, for the last two years, it left a bad taste in his mouth. So he had begun teaching.
She was working wonders for him, but for her? Was she just infatuated with him for the usual reasons; handsome, famous, older than her… He was tortured with the thought that she was merely fascinated with him as an authority figure, amazed at his intuitive skill, his knowledge of the industry… But he knew it wasn’t the truth. What kept him wrapped up in thoughts about her, was the fact that she saw through every exterior, every wall that he put up. She seemed to always say something that cut right through his defenses, something that disarmed him, always seeing something he didn’t expect her to see…
God, this was getting out of hand. The extent of his fascination with his student was alarming him. He thought of the dream he had, of her laying limp in Chris Winters’ arms. He swallowed hard. There was something loathsome about that boy. He knew that she was spending a lot of time with him; he had seen upstarts like him come and go for years. He had also seen their categorical love lives fluctuate like the stock market. He rested his head in his hands as his coffee brewed. He couldn’t do what he wanted to do; steal her away from him scornfully, publicly. He grew tired of seeing her face in the tabloids. “Mystery lover?” “Winters moves on with racy new girl!” Her face cropped up on Perez Hilton, showing them having coffee, lying on the beach, attending a concert, sneaking out the back of a club. Her exposure was growing, but for all the wrong reasons.
He sighed. He couldn’t worry about this now. What she did in her spare time and who it was with, was her choice. He was her teacher, and she was his student. He had to stay aware of that fact. He had no hold on her, could exercise no control over her. His involvement in her life had to stay purely professional. He toyed with the idea of warning her that her relationship with Chris would only bring her negative exposure, but even that seemed like overstepping. Primarily because he knew the only motivation behind it was his jealousy.
He grabbed his coffee in irritation and went to get dressed.
For the next two weeks, Hunt was extra distant. She spent many nights with Chris, working on projects for Hunt. It gave her some level of comfort, doing the projects with Chris. Typically, working on a project or assignment alone was torture; knowing the assignment was for him, she was constantly thinking of what his feedback would be, what his thoughts would be. And dwelling on what he would think… Well it just made her sad.
Chris called in a lot of favors to help her with her screen projects, commercials, design collections… She never asked him to, but he always insisted, acting like it was no big deal. She was excelling in Hunt’s class, but he rarely ever acknowledged anything she did. It put her in the most morose mood, and her friends were noticing.
“You’ve been hanging out with Winters a lot,” Addison began. “But your mood is the pits! What is up?! And where were you last night?”
She sighed. “I was up late, working on Hunt’s paper at Chris’ house.”
“…mansion, you mean,” Addison interjected disapprovingly.
“I fell asleep,” she said sharply. “On the couch.”
“The couch?” Addison asked in disbelief.
“Yes. When I woke up, I may have been in his bed.” She saw her friend’s disapproving gaze. “But when I went downstairs, he was on the couch. He must have moved me. End of story.”
“Sure…” Addison baited. “Well, you look like crap. Better clean up before class.”
She shot Addison a nasty look before she hopped in the shower.
As she and Addison made their way to class, she spotted her professor walking briskly across the campus, his notes in one hand, coffee in another. She admired the way his crisp white shirt accentuated the lean muscular frame beneath. He looked so purposeful, so sure of himself…
She caught herself reaching out a hand, as if to touch his chest, to grab the skinny black tie he wore and pull him closer…
“Good Lord, would you keep up?” Addison shot.
She started, and realize that they were nearly late for class.
Hunt entered the room, looking extra perturbed. Great, she thought.
He cleared his throat. “Everyone, bring me your papers.”
She dug around in her bag for a moment, and, after a moment, realized her paper was nowhere to be found.
“Damn,” she breathed, resting her head on her desk.
“What?” asked Addison.
“I must have left my paper at Chris’ house,” she whispered in horror.
Addison gasped. “No way…”
She heard Hunt call out her name, and she cringed. She looked up to find him staring at her, arms crossed.
She stood, taking slow steps until she reached his desk.
“Professor…” she began, heat creeping into her cheeks as she felt the weight of his gaze, which seemed so much more hostile than usual.
Hearing her address him caused him immense irritation, stirring up a pang of longing that he forced himself to quench.
“I… I need to go get my paper.”
“The paper is due now. Why did you come to class unprepared?” He knew that it was unlike her.
“It was an accident,” she said defiantly. “What, are you perfect or something? I left it at home.” He secretly admired her bravado, but blanched at her constant contempt for his authority.
He pursed his lips. “You have ten minutes. Run to your dorm and grab it.”
She squirmed. “Actually, I left it at a friend’s house. I… I need more than ten minutes.”
He kept his eyes on the papers he was grading, but they narrowed slightly. “Who has your paper?”
She shifted her weight. “A friend,” she said stubbornly.
His eyes narrowed murderously. “You have 10 minutes. If you can’t produce that paper, I can’t accept it.” He looked away coldly.
She stared at him in anger. After a moment, realizing it was no use, she marched back to her seat, slumping down, defeated.
Suddenly, there was a knock on the classroom door. Hunt looked over, brows furrowed. “Come in!” he barked.
A handsome face peeked in, with ocean blue eyes and chestnut hair. Gasps could be heard throughout the room.”
“Professor,” said Chris, “I have something to give one of your students, if you don’t mind.”
Hunt just glared at him, not moving or speaking, like a statue.
Chris crossed the room, wearing a simple white tee and leather jacket. As he approached, she blushed crimson in embarrassment. He gave her a roguish smile, leaning over and laid the paper on her desk.
“I think you forgot this when you left this morning,” he said quietly, but not quietly enough. Murmurs went through the classroom.
“Chris Winters,” came Hunt’s sharp voice. Chris turned to Hunt. “No amount of star status gives you permission to interrupt my class. Please leave.”
Chris sauntered to the door, slid his shades on and laughed, as if mocking him, “No problem, Professor.” Giggles could be heard throughout the room, and Hunt’s dark eyes flashed with anger, commanding their silence. He really couldn’t stand Winters now.
He turned the projector on without another word, and began his lecture. After the anger she saw in his eyes, she didn’t dare ask him about the paper.
As class was dismissed and students began to leave, she heard Hunt call her name. She looked up to see him staring at her with an unrecognizable expression.
“I need to see you for a moment.”
As the classroom emptied, he leaned on the edge of his desk, waiting for her. As she nervously approached, he crossed his arms, glaring her. “Are you having your boyfriend write your papers for you now?”
“What?” she asked in disbelief. “No!”
Hunt raised his eyebrows.
“I write my papers, thank you.” At his questioning glance, she said hesitantly, “I just happened to be finishing it up at his house.”
“All night?” he asked calmly.
“Well, if you had given us more time to do it, I wouldn’t have been up so late working on it, and I may not have fallen asleep…”
He cut her off, turning away coldly. “It’s none of my business where you sleep.”
She stopped, her nervousness turning to anger. “Why are you so mean to me?”
He sighed. “I’m your professor, not your friend.”
“I’m not asking for friendship. I’m not asking for anything from you.” He looked at her cautiously. “I’m only asking for a tad of respect.”
“Respect,” he replied sharply, “is earned.”
She paused for a moment, gazing at him. Had she not earned even the most basic level of respect from him? It hurt. “I exceed at every assignment you throw my way…”
He turned to her in anger, “And you think I don’t know that your boyfriend has been helping you? Calling in special favors for you? It gives you an unfair advantage.”
“He’s not my boyfriend,” she said quietly.
He felt a bit of relief, but didn’t show it. “I don’t care what he is. I don’t want him showing up in my classroom again.”
She felt anger welling up inside of her, along with all the repressed emotions she had been holding in for the previous month. “You know,” she began caustically, “Chris has actually been way more helpful to me than you have lately, Professor. There’s something about a little kindness that is more conducive to learning than stripping people of their last bit of confidence.”
So she was comparing them now? Suddenly, he felt a pang of jealousy. It drew him closer to her. His brows furrowed as he searched her face, now inches from his own.
‘He’s a pretty boy. Guys like him are a dime a dozen. When he’s done with you, he will be on to the next fresh face. Trust me.”
Part of her knew that he was right, but her anger subsided as she took in the rage in his face. He towered over her, his dark brown eyes searching her, piercing into her, hungrily devouring her features. Her eyes lowered to his mouth, the mouth that had given her such pleasure as it hungrily covered hers, what now seemed like ages ago.
He stood over her, angry, intense, as if some trigger had yanked forth his repressed feelings. Some electric charge was between them, buzzing in the inches separating them. She looked into his eyes. They demanded a reply.
Breathless, she whispered, “But… why do you care?”
Realization dawned on him of their proximity, of where they were, and reality hit him. He backed slowly away, his expression fading. He shook his head, “I don’t.” He was being too open with his feelings.
It was quiet for several moments. He turned away from her, running his hand over his eyes and pinching his nose as if he had a headache.
“Did you know?” The strength in her voice surprised him, causing him to turn to her.
She was planted, staring at him in defiance. “Did you know it was me?”
Heat suddenly flooded his face, and an alarming numbness spread through his hands. He swallowed hard. “Did I know what was you?”
“You did,” she gasped. She already knew it. She looked at him with new vision, tainted with hurt and confusion. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
Suddenly, he was very tired. He breathed deeply, realizing that this was a losing battle, and he was never really winning. In fact, he wasn’t actually sure how to win in this situation. Theirs were toxic circumstances, and each outcome seemed to end in loss.
“Yes,” he sighed, “I knew.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” she demanded, her voice rising.
“Because,” he growled. “This can’t happen. I am your teacher. It was a mistake. A lapse in judgement.” He suddenly felt so vulnerable.
“How? How was it a mistake?”
He brimmed with fury. “How could it not be a mistake? I am your superior, your teacher. I shouldn’t have done it. That’s it. There is no more to the story. There are no other options.”
“That’s not true,” she breathed, still exhilarated from his revelation, the fresh reality that he had known that it was her.
“No,” he said firmly. “It is true. There is no going forward with this.” Why couldn’t she understand?
“Did you know the whole time? Before we danced?”
His face hardened, his eyes on the floor. “Yes,” he breathed. “Before I asked you to dance.” He knew that excitement was sweeping through her, warmth creeping into her cheeks at the thought that he had knowingly pursued an encounter with her. He felt sick; he felt guilty.
She paused. Several heartbeats passed before she spoke. “What if I wasn’t your student?”
Hunt glanced at the door, assuring himself that it was closed, that no one was overhearing. “But you are my student.”
“You kissed me, Thomas.” She said his name as barely a whisper, but it gave him pleasure to hear her pronounce it, somehow closing the space between them intimately.
He ran his fingers through his hair, in an act of desperation, “I know I did.”
“Do you regret it?”
He didn’t know how to answer that. She was slipping her way beneath his guarded exterior. It felt wrong to him, it felt alarming. As if she were slipping beneath the sheets of his bed. Wrong. It was frustrating. He was never able to keep a healthy balance of power between them. He had to be a figure of authority to her - she wanted him as her lover as well.
He ignored the question. An acidic look came over his face. “Are you and Chris together?”
“I already said that we aren’t.”
“Have you kissed?” he asked. Then he shook his head. “Nevermind. I shouldn’t have asked that.”
She gazed at him softly. “Not since the Masquerade.”
He looked at her. This was how he always thought of her, soft, vulnerable, defiance mixed with concern… Waiting hungrily for his reaction…
With a sharp exhale, he lifted his hand to her arm, barely touching her, running his fingers along her skin.
“Don’t call me that,” he groaned.
She quieted, allowing him to touch her softly, enjoying the sensation, the electricity rising between them.
He breathed deeply. “No matter how much I wish it were different, we have to exercise self-control. I am a professional, I’m held to a high standard of self-conduct.”
“Will you be alright with that? You and I, just student and teacher, seeing one another in class every day… Nothing more?”
Hunt dropped his hand with a pained sigh, closing his eyes and turning away from her.
I’m taking a Shakespeare course this term, and we’re reading Venus and Adonis. Today, we went over how the story about the horses getting it on in this poem is used by Venus to persuade Adonis to
have sex with her. Our professor said this should creep us out. The first thought that automatically pops into my mind is, NOT AFTER ALL THE FANFICTION I’VE READ, IT DOESN’T.