Goodbye Scrooge by Jaime Samms
holiday M/M erotic romance
short novella (15000 words)
Cover Art By Winterheart Design
When beautiful, perfect basket ball hero Eric hits on grad student Marcus, it's more than just another flirtation. Marcus realizes it's time to take a good look at the difficult relationship he's had with his unpredictable and bitter professor Julian for the past four years. He has to make a decision. Sure he's ready to move on, he plans to give Julian one last Christmas gift; an unforgettable night, before he leaves.
He never expected to be the person who can't get the passion they find on that last go round out of his head. His decision isn't going to be as simple as he'd hoped. Maybe perfect isn't everything after all.
A long shaft of sunlight angled across the professor's office, illuminating the dust inherent to old buildings. On its way to falling across the empty office chair, it glimmered through the thick atmosphere, sheened of the gleaming top of the desk, making the place look homey and lonely all at once. Now I entered as Professor Treadwell held the door open for me and I set both of the cardboard coffee cups I was carrying on the desk. "So," I rested my ass on the desk's edge. "What's with the hellish early call? Because I am not marking papers today. I have shit to do."
The professor let the door close behind us as he entered, tossed his briefcase, then himself onto the couch in front of the tall, narrow window. Young and handsome, he shouldn't have fit into that lonely space so well. But he did.
"Watch your mouth Marcus, please."
He heaved a sigh and dropped his head onto the couch back. "What ever happened to respect for your elders?"
I snorted. "You're kidding, right?"
He didn't even bother to look up.
The tiny office, overcrowded by the big desk, turned stuffy with disapproval. My already pissy mood shifted toward really bad, and I reached for my coffee. The window in the corner, floor to ceiling and about eight inches wide, did little to illuminate the dim interior. Treadwell flicked on the lamp beside the couch. Its yellow light washed out the weak morning sun and accentuated the room's empty feeling that went way beyond uncluttered. The man never let a single paperclip escape his orderly compulsions. Some days I had an overwhelming urge to push in every other book on his shelf just to see him turn that special shade of pink that meant he was feeling something.
I adjusted my position until what little sunlight there was didn't fall across my face and I could see him, rather than just a man-shaped blob.
"This is about the car wash, isn't it?" I asked when he remained silent. "You've been micro-managing it since the basketball team decided to help."
"Just doing my job, Marcus."
"Right. Since when have you cared? The students have run this every year and you never saw the need to oversee any of it before." I didn't know why I cared that he wanted to participate in the annual fundraiser this year. At least, I pretended I didn't know.
"You never had that gang of basketball playing oafs participating before, either."
"Ahhh." I took the lid off my coffee and grinned at him through the steam. "So that's it. It's not about supervision. It's about ogling the young hunks. Someone is going to call you on that one day, you know."
Although Professor Julian Treadwell was tenured and somewhat influential in the Anthropology department, he was young, only in his mid-thirties, which put him less than a decade older than me and younger than a few of his other, more mature students. He'd never made a secret of his preference for men. I would have been surprised at his quick rise to the kind of secure position he had if not for the private nature of the college and the fact people, students and professors alike, only got in if those in charge wanted them in. I was fairly certain his teaching skills, which were impressive, and his CV, also nothing to be sneered at, were not the only skills that had landed him his job. Rumors in a school this size had everyone in bed with everyone else, at some time or another, which actually made it easier to do it, if that was your inclination. No one would ever know for certain what was true and what wasn't. If nothing else, it had made for an entertaining college career.
Treadwell lifted an eyebrow at me now and the expression made me want to snicker as it climbed up under his blond bangs. Then the morning sun caught a sliver of amber from his eyes, making them flash and the snicker died before it was born.
He held out a hand.
I passed him the coffee I'd been about to sip.
He took his time blowing delicately over the top. "You have a good rapport with your own Benevolent Association members, Marcus, but I doubt you know what you're getting into with the basketball team. I would hate to see you gaff up your last year here by losing control of this." He glanced up, eyes flashing viciously through his lashes. "Heaven forbid you should have to take your Masters here because something so simple as a school fundraiser got out of hand while you were in charge. Bigger universities don't necessarily feel the need to go out of their way for screw ups. As your faculty adviser, I have to be there. For your own good." He sipped his coffee, the picture of serenity while I fumed.