The Professor Who Loves Me (Sebastian Brothers)
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I'm always determined to follow my dreams. My life is going better than expected and I'm even on the verge of success. Until it's not. Professor Sebastian radiates an irresistible heat of refined sophistication. With just one look into his ocean-blue eyes, everything I believe in comes crashing down. I try to keep my distance because we can't be more, but whenever I'm with him, gravity pulls me in deeper. I know it's a wrong and dangerous ride, but it feels so right that I want him so badly. Just one kiss, one touch, that's all it will take to cross the line.
“This is nonsense, and nonsense doesn’t belong on my desk, Ms. Scott.” Professor Jennifer Clarke almost spat her coffee on my lyric sheet before shoving it off her table. My songwriting professor has rejected my song for the third time.
I need her to accept my lyrics and give me a passing grade before the holidays because my benefactor, Mr. John Pitch, wants an email report.
“Did you think you were Taylor Swift, little girl? Did you think writing too much like her would make me happy? She is already in the business. We don’t need another one.”
I lower my head, clenching my fist because I want to shout back so badly. Professor Clarke is a sophisticated woman in her mid-thirties, but she has mood swings like a woman going through menopause. I don’t argue with my professors, but she’s the only one who upsets me to the core.
“I understand, professor.”
I’m also not the only student going back and forth at her office in the past few weeks, but I’m the last one she hasn’t passed.
“You’ve been in this program for over two years! What in the hell is going on with you? But I get it. I get it, okay?” She waves with her manicured fingers. “You can compose. It’s one of the program’s most important majors, but you have two. You signed up for this, so you won’t be able to make it here just by being good enough.”
“I understand, professor,” I say again.
“I don’t know how or why they would think your composition is music when your songwriting skills deserve an F. It doesn’t have a story or shape. I don’t know where you’re getting at. It sounds like you copied songs from the internet and put them together. But with Maria...”
I sigh. I stop listening when she talks about Maria Callahan. I know what’s going on now. Last month, I beat her favorite pet in the composition contest. It’s not like I begged the judges to pick me.
“Anya Scott! Are you even paying attention?” she demands.
I shake in panic. “Yes, ma’am.”
“Then why aren’t you picking up your trash?”
My heart sinks. This is when she’s going to tell me to rewrite my song. “I’ll go over everything again and—”
“There’s no need. We don’t have time for that, so let’s get this over with. Put that back on my desk.”
“Oh, do you want me to get it for you?”
“I’m sorry.” I prevent myself from showing emotions. I bend down and pick up my lyrics sheets. I take it to her desk carefully.
She makes a face. “This paper should get an F. But I’m considerate, so I’m giving you a C, but don’t disappoint me again.” She scribbles my grade on the top of the paper and hands it to me. “I mean, I hope you won’t disappoint your new professor. I’m sure you heard the news.”
Professor Clarke is moving to the contemporary performance department, and next semester, a new professor will take over the composition and songwriting courses.
Professor Julian Sebastian.
He was a well-known composer and record producer in Hollywood before he became a professor. His family owned the Sebastian Entertainment Group, a multi-billion-dollar American film studio and a music publisher based in Manhattan. His personal life: he proposed to Stella Pierce, an award-winning singer-songwriter, but they split two years ago. And after that news about him and Stella came out, he left the mainstream and finished his Ph.D. at Yale.
I met him once in senior high school. The principal invited him to evaluate those who applied for the John Pitch Scholarship to study music in college. I played Chopin’s Fantaisie-Impromptu as my final piece in the competition, and I was one of his chosen five out of the seventy students who participated.
The man is sexy as hell. He is the kind of guy who’ll invade your dreams for a week. I even used his face as an inspiration when I touched myself.
“I’ll do my best, professor.”
“Don’t try. Just do it.” She rolls her eyes. “Now leave.”
I slide my lyric sheet inside my portfolio and scurry out of her office before hearing more insults.
I lost my parents in a car accident when I was sixteen, and no one would help me except me. I lied about my age to work part-time jobs to support myself because I was enrolled in a music-focused private high school. I aspired to be a top composer. It was my and my parents’ dream for me. So when I got into college, I worked hard to maintain my scholarship by getting outstanding grades in everything, but this subject gave me a hard time.
Why can’t I do it right?
A whistle suddenly blows in my face.
“Hey!” I step away, but relief floods over me when I see my boyfriend’s handsome face. “Kristoff. You scared me!”
He smiles as he runs his fingers through his quiff hair, revealing his deep dimples. My frustration instantly fades with just one look at his face and sterling gray eyes.
He looks stunning in his black cashmere sweater and tattered gray jeans today. We’ve been dating for a year, yet seeing his face each day feels like I’m meeting him for the first time.
“I’m sorry.” He kisses my forehead and tucks a lock of my brown shoulder-length hair behind my ear. “But what’s the matter, mm?”
My shoulders droop. “Professor Clarke.”
His brow furrows as he looks up at our professor’s office door. “I can see that. What happened?”
I sighed. “She graded me a C.”
“Well, welcome to one of the finest music schools in the United States...” says a high-pitched voice from behind us. Looking over my shoulder, I see Maria Callahan’s fake smile and red hair. Her arms are folded across her big boobs.
I grumble. “Seriously?”
“Yes, seriously. That happens if you are overconfident. My sister suspected you of cheating in the competition.” She refers to Miranda Callahan, a composer, and WSM alumna. She wrote a song for a famous British band as her debut.
“Maria. Don’t,” Kristoff growls.
“I’m sorry, Kristoff, but you don’t know your girlfriend too well. We don’t even know where she came from or how she ended up in Whitlock.”
“What are you trying to suggest that I cheated the admissions, too?” I respond with a sneer. I absolutely can’t believe her.
Her tongue clicks. “We know nothing about your family and have no musical experience. That is unusual in Whitlock. We spent tons of hours in exhausting workshops and training just to get in. What about you? What exactly did you do? Tell us because I’m interested.”
I give her a smirk. “Maybe it’s because I’m smarter than you?”
“Bullshit. Even Kristoff and your friend Lora have notable achievements. You? Nothing.”
God. She’s too immature. Maybe that’s why she lost to me.
But, damn. From age fifteen, Maria’s known achievements were her music soundtracks for fantasy films. Everyone at WSM acknowledged her, including most professors. How can I compete with that?
Kristoff is about to say something, but I move at Maria’s eye level. “Look. If you have any complaints about me, just ask the admissions.” I dare her, but I don’t want her to go there.
If she does, she’ll discover that I was accepted because of a scholarship, not because of any noteworthy achievements or special training. It will not be good for me. They tormented Prisha Khan because she was like me. Last year, she dropped out and returned to India.
Maria laughs. “Okay. Maybe I asked the wrong question. What did you offer them? After all, most of the school’s directors are... men. See you around, loser.” She stares at me from head to toe with disgust before walking away.
“I’d smack that proud face if she were a man,” Kristoff says.
“It’s not worth it. Come on.” I grab Kristoff’s hand. My best friend, Lora, is waiting for us at the coffee shop.
“She gave me a B plus, but I thought this was the lowest possible grade.” Lora’s bewildered blue-green eyes stare at me.
“Yes, and you know I need straight As to keep my scholarship,” I say, sipping my Frappuccino.
“I’m sure that your benefactor would understand. It’s not a bad grade,” says Kristoff.
“What did she give you?” I ask him.
He pauses a moment before answering. “A-plus. Sorry, babe.”
“See?” I groan and clench my teeth. “She doesn’t like me.”
“Maybe she’s frustrated that Saint Maria still ranks below you in other academics.” Lora munches her muffin.
“Saint Maria. That’s hilarious.” I snort a laugh. “But still, number one is the best.” I bump my boyfriend’s shoulder with my fist. “What does it feel like to be always on top?”
He grins. “It’s been the same since the first year.”
“Cocky.” I slowly exhale the tension building up in my chest, remembering my benefactor. “Okay, but I can’t ke
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