High Letter Grade
a Short Short by Kellis
“Professor, instead of beating around the bush, why don’t you go straight for it?”
“Which bush is that, Marie?”
Lewis leaned back in his chair and regarded the scrubbed young face across his desk. Light from the window behind him reflected brightly on cheekbones and nose. The eyebrows were plucked thin and even, lips a delicately natural pink. He was certain that her nipples would match. The complexion was flawless, fuzzy on the upper lip exactly as a newly-ripened peach. The brunette hair was shoulder length, drawn back in a pony tail. He had noticed in class that she eschewed the slovenly style of most students, appearing in well-pressed jeans and a snugly clean angora sweater. Today she wore a beige one with a turtle neck whose soft edges enhanced moderate breasts. Sapphire studs glowed blue in her earlobes, matching her eyes.
He said dryly, “Miss Hayes, we are discussing what you might do to obtain a high letter grade in my class —”
He stared at her watchful expression for a moment, then smiled slightly. “All right, Marie. Let’s go straight for your bush, as you put it. Say what you mean.”
The girl’s back straightened almost imperceptibly. She said solemnly, “I am offering myself, in any manner you wish, in exchange for an A.”
He took a quick breath. His eyes narrowed thoughtfully. “You’re obviously intelligent. What problems do you expect? Don’t rush to judgment; the class has only met once. It requires neither lab nor math beyond a little set theory. Most people do well on two or three hours of study per week.”
“And if I don’t want to study?”
He smiled derisively. “A student who doesn’t want to study?”
“You find that strange, do you?” Her voice was cool, almost distant. “I have always been a very busy person with many interests. And I’m carrying a 15 credit-hour load this semester. I need to cut myself some slack. It’s not that I wish to escape all study. But I need to be sure of a high grade even if I cut class or miss a quiz.”
“No, Professor Lewis. I’m perfectly serious.”
For a long moment he didn’t move. When he spoke his voice was pitched low, hardly more than a whisper. “I think at this point I should throw you out of my office. The last time I heard anything like this was during a stroll through Times Square.”
Her chin rose a fraction of an inch but her cool voice never wavered. “I’ve checked on you, Professor. You’re forty and divorced, and your wife named a 20 year old correspondent, who fortunately for you was never a student here. I’m 20 and a student, but now you have no —”
He held up a hand. “Just a moment.”
Reaching into a drawer, he pulled out a tiny battery-powered tape recorder, pressed one of its buttons and laid the device between them on the desk top. A turning cog was visible inside it.
“Now, Miss Hayes, if that is your name, please continue with your proposition. In fact, would you please restate it? Let’s leave no room for misunderstanding. What exactly are you offering to do, in exchange for what?”
She smiled confidently, put out her hand and positioned the recorder directly before her. She leaned forward, directing her mouth toward it. “What I offer exactly is to fuck you whichever way you wish to do it, once for every class I miss, in exchange for a guaranteed A.” She looked up, eyes twinkling. “Does that cover it?”
“Not quite. Who is your employer — the dean’s office? University security? The city vice squad?”
Her eyes glittered. “I didn’t file a Form 1040 last year. My occupation is student. I’m not affiliated in any manner with any legal or moral investigation. I’m not trying to entrap you, Professor. I’m trying to get an A without studying or attending class, that’s all.” She smiled crookedly. “Isn’t that a worthy ambition?”
He reached across the desk, pressed a different button on the recorder and picked it up. Back into the drawer it went. He said, “Take off your sweater.”
She immediately crossed her arms, gathered the waist in both hands and drew the garment over her head. She wore nothing beneath it. Her skin was unblemished, underlain by an intricate tracery of veins seen faintly through its near-porcelain clarity.
He took a deep breath. “The advantage of a pony tail.”
“They do match your lips!”
She grinned. “I can see which ‘they’ you mean.”
“You like showing them is what I see! God, if a cock got hard that quick it would rip out of its shorts.”
“Is one threatening your shorts, Professor?
“You know it is… Whichever way I wish it, eh?”
“Within reason. I’m not into pain, given or received.” She turned up her wristwatch. “I remind you, Professor Lewis, that you have an appointment with Ted Gillis in six minutes.”
“You know him?”
“No. His name is next on the list outside your door. Do we have a deal?”
“Not yet.” He frowned thoughtfully. “I can ignore your test grades but not the classes you cut. If you turn up with an A after attending no classes, the other students will certainly notice.”
“It’s an eight o’clock class, Professor.”
“Believe me, I hate that as much as you do! All the more reason to be careful.”
“What do you propose?”
His eyes narrowed. “An A if you attend a third of the classes, about one a week, and ask a question now and then — even better if you argue with me about the material. We want them to notice your interest in it.”
“How about a B if I don’t make a third?”
He nodded slowly. “All right. Providing you don’t cut me!”
She declared solemnly, “I always keep my word.” She cocked an eyebrow. “You’ll see more of me the more classes I cut!”
He grunted. “It’s smarter not to notice that. Speaking of smarts, Miss Hayes, have you considered whom this arrangement actually cheats?”
She smiled indifferently. “If your class were an elective, Professor, I’d save the money. When should I meet you?”
He tilted his head toward the computer monitor. “I see you have nothing at three on the same days. I happen also to be free then. You can make your computer lab at four easily.”
“From your special study hall: right here on that couch.”
Her expression was thoughtful. “The gym’s just across the street.”
“The gym? I have no private access —”
“For me to take a quick shower. We have a deal, then?”
He got to his feet and stood at the corner of the desk. “Seal it with a kiss.”
A smile curled her lips. She rounded the desk and came readily into his arms. Her arms slipped around his neck. Lips and tongues connected. He withdrew a hand to cup her breast. A moment later one of hers dropped to fondle his genitals. Even through the layers of cloth she found and somehow retracted his foreskin.
When their lips parted, he asked huskily, “How can a 20 year old know what you know?”
Her eyes glittered. “Didn’t you notice? I’m Cleopatra reincarnated. What’s the matter, Professor? Don’t you think I’m 20?”
He looked down at the flawless pink lump in his palm. “I believe this is 20!”
“Wait till you taste the rest.”
She twisted deftly out of his arms and took up the sweater off his desktop. It floated down over her torso in a beige cloud just as a knock sounded on the office door.
“Better sit down,” she smirked, turning away.
He had to ask. “Tomorrow at three?”
Hand on the knob, she leered over her shoulder. “Unless I make it to class.” Opening the door, she added loudly, “Thank you, Professor Lewis. You are so nice!”
Both professor and young man waiting with upraised fist looked after her wistfully as she swept down the hall.