Home > Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)(3)

Professor Feelgood (Masters of Love #2)(3)
Author: Leisa Rayven

As I slide onto my chair, I click my mouse on Professor Feelgood’s feed once more and fan myself with my notepad. “Nope. Nothing and no one. I’m all good. Just … busy.” And about to solve the word’s energy crisis if I can figure out how to fit a thermal generator into my underpants.

Eden pauses. I know she’s not totally buying my casual attitude, but she doesn’t push it, either. Knowing my sister, that won’t last long.

“Okay, then,” she says, “See you tonight. Love you.”

“Love you, too.”

When I hang up, I let out a deep sigh. I know she’s sensing my growing unease with my boyfriend, but that’s not the only thing on my mind.

Recently, I’ve been feeling … off, and I don’t know why. Is there such a thing as a mid-twenties crisis? I’m turning twenty-four in a few weeks, so that could be part of it, I guess. But I’ve been plagued by a niggling wrongness, as if I’m walking the incorrect path wearing someone else’s shoes. And even though they’re half a size too small, as long as I don’t think too hard, I’m able to ignore the discomfort and carry on.

The Professor’s posts make me want to have a good hard look at the wrongness. He gives me the sudden urge to be brave and find the right path, along with a comfortable pair of shoes.

If only I had the first clue how to do that.

TWO

____________________

A Challenging Challenge

BY 8.30AM, THE OFFICE has gone from barren and silent to a hive of chatter and activity.

With the Professor’s browser tab safely closed, I get on with my to-do list for the day. It’s crazy long, and I have no doubt that after everyone else goes home this evening, I’ll still be here, slaving away.

Around nine, I look up from my computer and stifle a groan.

It’s day 523 of working at Whiplash, and here comes Devin Shields to hit on me for the five-hundred-and-twenty-third time. As usual, his white-blond hair is slick and perfect, and he’s wearing a bright, patterned shirt underneath his slim navy suit. I’m not sure if he’s going for a Draco Malfoy vibe on purpose, but it’s there, nonetheless. If only I could Expecto Patronum his ass.

“Tate.”

“Shields.”

I keep my eyes on my computer screen, but in my peripheral vision, I see him lean against the top of my cubicle. I continue to work, hoping he’ll get the hint that I’d rather finish this sales report than deal with him. Also, I know that if I look at him right now, I’ll catch him taking a luxurious assessment of my cleavage, and I’m not in the mood to hold myself back from stapling a Post-it reading MY EYES ARE UP HERE, ASSHOLE to the middle of his forehead.

Devin truly believes he’s the stud of the editorial assistants in our plucky little publishing house, and because the rest of us are women, he’s right by default. A lot of the girls fan his ego by vying for his attention, and I suppose he has some visual appeal, in a metrosexual, slicker-than-Vaseline type of way. But he looks too much like the cheating asshole I dated in high school for me to ever consider him hot. The sad truth is, even after all these years and dozens of failed relationships, blond men still give me hives.

“You dress like this to torture me, don’t you?” Devin says. “The pencil skirt, the tight little shirt. It’s all designed to drive me crazy.”

I give a solemn nod, still not making eye contact. “Yes, Devin. My first thought whenever I get dressed each morning is how it will affect you. It has nothing to do with what’s clean and fits me. You’ve found me out. Darn.”

“I knew it. And to make matters worse, you’re looking extra fine today. Are those new glasses?”

“Nope. Same pair I’ve worn every day for the past two years, but good job on those burgeoning observational skills.” They probably look new to him, because he’s more used to staring at my chest than my face. I sometimes think I should wear a jaunty pair of plastic boobs on a headband to help men bring their gaze north. I could sell the idea on Shark Tank and make millions from women who are sick of their nipples getting more attention than their eyeballs.

“Well, I like the specs,” Devin says as he sits in the chair beside me without an invitation. “Very … sultry.”

I ignore him and keep typing. I don’t actually need glasses, but I’ve always felt more comfortable wearing them in a literary environment. Being female and curvy in any industry will automatically lead to people making assumptions about one’s intelligence, as if bust size is inversely proportionate to IQ. So, I started wearing horn-rimmed glasses in college to give myself some sort of reverse street cred. Librarian cred, if you will. I feel like people take me more seriously when I wear them.

Clearly, Devin is the exception to the rule. I could wear a full-length turtleneck Snuggie, and he’d still find some part of me to objectify. “Wow, Tate, those ankle knobs are hot. Looking good, girl.”

“So, tell me, Asha,” Devin says, blithely ignoring my complete lack of interest. “Is this the week you cave in to our intense mutual attraction and go out with me?”

I finally turn to look at him and give him a patient smile, which is more than he deserves. “Devin, I’ve told you before, you’re not my type. But even if you were, you know I’m seeing someone.”

“Yeah, but he’s in France, right? Those long-distance things never work out.”

“Maybe not, but we’re giving it a red-hot go.”

My boyfriend’s not actually in France right now, but that’s the story I’m telling everyone. I naively thought Devin knowing I was off the market might give me some respite from his daily visits, but nope. Just one more kink in the irritable bowel of my current life plan.

“Well,” Devin says, while leaning closer and lowering his voice to what he probably considers a ‘sexy whisper’. “If things don’t work out with your Frenchman, let me know. I may not speak the language, but I’m an expert in their style of kissing.”

He finishes with a wink.

Gross.

I grit my teeth in a vague approximation of a smile. I’m not as good as my sister at shutting down a guy with a withering gaze or well-worded ego burn, but it’s on my list of things to work on, along with my carb-addiction and obsession with secondhand designer fashion.

“I’ll try to remember that.”

Devin looks around to make sure no one can overhear us then says, “Did Serena tell you that the company is looking to promote someone to editor?”

Serena is the supervising editor and my direct boss, so I’ll wager I knew about it before he did. “Of course.”

“And you’ve thrown your hat into the ring?”

As if he didn’t already know the answer to that. “What do you think?”

I’ve made no secret about my desire to be the youngest editor ever at Whiplash Publishing. In fact, I think my brazen ambition in my interview is what got me my job as an editorial assistant when I was straight out of college and greener than Kermit. For the past two years, I’ve been doing everything in my power to prove I have what it takes, from helping Serena with major edits, to ghost writing whole chapters on manuscripts that just weren’t working. After all the long hours and extra miles I’ve traveled to make myself indispensable, this promotion has my name written all over it. Or, at least, it should have.

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