Home > Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(44)

Easy (Contours of the Heart #1)(44)
Author: Tammara Webber

Without question or explanation, he stopped at the line I’d drawn last week. Talking was limited to there and God and oh. And then nothing but hums and moans and unintelligible sounds that could only be interpreted as yes, yes, yes.

“I should get you back.” His voice was gruff. We hadn’t spoken in at least an hour. The clock on his desk showed that the time had crept close to midnight.

He handed me the discarded bra and pulled his shirt back over his head. When I stood, he held my shirt as I slid my arms into the sleeves, and then he turned me, buttoning the buttons and leaning down to kiss me when he was done, his hands framing my face.

Standing by his bike, I was pulling on my gloves when the back door of the house across the yard opened and a man emerged, holding a full kitchen trash bag. He opened the wheeled garbage bin and tossed it in. As he turned to go inside, I noticed Lucas was stock-still, frozen, watching him. As though he felt our eyes on him, the man turned under the back door floodlight. He was Dr. Heller.

“Landon?” he said, and neither of us moved or responded. “Jacqueline?” he added, confused. All at once, he appeared to register what time it was, and the fact that the two of us had just exited his tenant’s apartment. There could be no tutoring excuse—not that it was appropriate for us to meet in the apartment for tutoring, no matter the time of day.

No one spoke for one long moment, and then Dr. Heller’s shoulders sagged. He sighed before pinning Lucas with a resolute expression. “I’ll need you to meet me in the kitchen when you return. No more than thirty minutes, please.”

Lucas’s hands were tight around the helmet. He gave Dr. Heller one sharp nod before putting it on. When he turned to make sure I’d strapped mine correctly, our eyes met once but he didn’t speak and neither did I. During the ten-minute ride back, no clarity rushed in. No magic words, no exoneration for his lies. I couldn’t think of anything to say or do other than wait for him to tell me why.

We arrived and I climbed down from behind him, awkwardly removing the helmet and the hair tie with my gloved fingers. Still straddling the bike, he removed his helmet, too, and stored them both away as though he had no plans to put his back on. When I faced him, he was staring at his hands, tight on the wide handlebars. “You already knew, didn’t you?” His voice was low, but I couldn’t tell his frame of mind.


He looked up at me, frowning and searching my eyes. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Why didn’t you?” I returned. I didn’t want to answer questions. I wanted my questions answered, and I was ticked off that he was going to make me ask them. “So your name is Landon? But Ralph calls you Lucas. And that girl—other people call you Lucas. So which is it?”

His gaze returned to his hands for a moment, and my anger expanded like a balloon inflating beneath my ribs. He seemed to be deciding what to tell me and what to withhold. The Harley rumbled softly, ready to rocket away at a second’s notice.

“It’s both. Landon is my first name, Lucas the middle. I go by Lucas… now. But Charles—Dr. Heller—has known me a long time. He still calls me Landon.” His eyes swung up to mine. “You know, I think, how difficult it is to get some people to stop calling you what they’ve always called you.”

Very logical. All of it. Except the part where he pretended to be two different guys with me. “You could have told me. You didn’t. You lied to me.”

He turned the bike off and swung his leg over, standing in front of me and gripping my shoulders. “I never lied to you. You made assumptions—based on what Ch—Dr. Heller called me. Look through our emails. I never called myself Landon.”

I shrugged from his grasp. “But you let me call you Landon.”

His hands dropped but he stared down at me, keeping me from moving. “You’re right, this was my fault. And I’m sorry. I wanted you, and this couldn’t happen as Landon. Anything between us is against the rules, and I broke them.”

I swallowed thickly, combating choking up. I heard what he hadn’t said, yet. He was telling me it was over, just like that. The awful reality of desertion that Kennedy had begun weeks before came rushing back as though a dam had broken, and with no notice I was drowning in it. My parents had deserted me, Kennedy had deserted me, my friends, except for Erin and Maggie, had deserted me. And now Lucas—and Landon. Two different relationships, both of which had become significant.

“So it’s just over.”

He stared, and I couldn’t have felt it more if his fingers roamed over my face. “Your grade could be at stake otherwise. I’ll take responsibility for this, tonight, when I get back; Dr. Heller won’t hold you accountable.”

“So it’s just over,” I repeated.

“Yes,” he said.

I turned and walked into the building, and didn’t hear the engine of the Harley rumble to life until my foot was on the bottom stair.

Chapter 16

“Ms. Wallace, please see me for just a moment after class.”

I glanced up to meet Dr. Heller’s gaze at the end of the lecture Monday, and nodded my assent.

“Ooohhh,” Benji said. “You little troublemaker.” His smile fell when he saw my face. “What’s the matter? You aren’t actually in trouble are you?” He glanced to the back of the classroom, zeroing in on the only reason I could be in hot water with the professor. “Did he find out about—you know.” He inclined his head in Lucas’s direction.

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