Bad Grades: A Blasian BBW Romance Novel

Bad Grades: Chapter Two


There he was, again, unable to keep his eyes off of her. And, although part of him knew that it made her uncomfortable, he couldn’t bring himself to stop. Dark brown eyes met his briefly before she turned her gaze on the rest of the room, trying her best to ignore him and failing horribly. But, she’d looked at him. He’d held her attention for more than a second, and the thought of it alone made him feel like he was floating.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit,” Professor Lanh said, quoting Aristotle as she leaned against her heavy, oak wood desk. She was in the middle of yet another lecture that, despite his rapidly decreasing grade point average, he couldn’t bring himself to pay attention to. Was it his fault that he was much more interested in the woman herself? In the thick, wild curls she wore barely contained in a bun at the base of her neck? In the rise of her full bosom and the curve of her hips? The fact that she’d called his flirting pitiful still stung, but he could understand why she’d lash out at him in the way she did. He’d been nothing but a butthead since the term started. He deserved her ire but, dammit, he couldn’t get her off of his mind. It wasn’t often that he felt attracted to someone physically and mentally. Sure, there were plenty of women his age on campus who would gladly return his advances, but there was something about Professor Claire Lanh that made his chest tighten and his lungs seize. And he was desperate to find out exactly what.
Thickly rimmed, black-framed glasses sat on the end of her button nose, a dark contrast against the dusky red that colored her golden, freckled cheeks. Obviously of mixed heritage, she was a rare beauty that hid her natural charm behind a brick wall of disinterest and feigned bitterness. Daniel sat forward in his seat to get a better look at her, his brain unable to register the words she spoke, but picking up every subtle move of her fingertips, every bat of her long, dark lashes. Dressed in a baggy, beige sweater, knee-length skirt, and oxfords, she looked every bit as boring and pretentious as she pretended to be. He found it odd that such an obviously sensual woman did everything she could to hide her body from his gaze. And gaze he did. As often as possible.
“Which means, what?” someone asked from behind him, pulling him out of his thoughts. He reached for the textbook he hadn’t opened the entire length of class, absently thumbing through it to hide the fact that he really wasn’t paying attention. He’d almost forgotten they weren’t alone, that forty other students surrounded them in distraction and interference. The Professor shifted with unease, adjusting her glasses more out of habit than necessity.
“Which means that absolutely none of you should be failing my class. Philosophy is the study of the nature of knowledge, reality, and existence. It isn’t a math course, there is no one set way to do things; philosophy is discussion and thought. It’s the reasoning behind everything we say or do. So long as you just keep talking about it, studying it should be a habit and you should all excel,” she explained. The class groaned and he smirked behind his book. He’d never met someone so passionate about teaching, especially something as boring as philosophy, but every word she spoke on the topic was as if it would be her last. He wished for what felt like the hundredth time that he could delve into her mind, pick up her thoughts and devour all the thoughts and intricacies that made her unique. But he couldn’t. And that was what made her so infinitely fascinating.
“Or, it just means this class is fucking stu–!”
“–pendous,” Daniel cut him off, turning in his seat to stare up at him. If he remembered correctly, his name was Jarred something-or-other. They shared a criminal law class. “Just like our Professor here. That’s what you were going to say, right?”
“Whatever, Daniel, you do this shit every day and get a kick out of it,” he snorted. Daniel returned his playful look with a smile, watching his eyes flicker like dead pixels before fizzling out. The color drained from the man’s face when they locked gazes, his mouth going slack as gibberish bubbled forth.
“You were saying?” he asked. Jarred shook his head to clear it. He didn’t speak again, just gathered up his things and bolted for the door. Daniel turned in his seat to smirk at the Professor who looked just as confused as the rest of her class.
“Well,” she cleared her throat, “I guess I should let the rest of you go, too. It is getting rather late.”
“About freaking time,” someone grumbled from the back of the room. His classmates gathered their things and bolted from the room like rats freed from a cage. Daniel stayed behind, once again, watching her gather a stack of papers and head through a side door into her office. He grabbed his bag and followed.
“I enjoyed your lecture today, Professor,” he said once they were alone.
“Is that so?” she asked, stuffing her papers into an oversized canvas bag before turning to face him. “Forgive me if I don’t believe you. Now, I have some things to finish up so perhaps–”
“Oh, I’m not going anywhere,” he said, smirking to himself when she glared up at him.      “I spoke to Professor Cole again. She explained just how deep you are in the hole and urged me to help you with whatever I can. I know I’m not the best at philosophy but, I’m sure we can work something out in exchange for a passing grade. I’d even take a C minus if it means I’ll pass,” he told her. The Professor continued to glare up at him but it was obvious by the look in her eyes that she was weighing her options. On one hand, Professor Cole was very vague about what she needed help with but, through deductive reasoning, he could tell it must have been important. She was a new teacher at St. Lucia and he was well aware of how tough the school was on new faculty. From daily performance reports to monthly evaluations–it was hell. But, to be perfectly honest, regardless of his grade, he would have helped her anyway if it meant he got to spend even a minute of extra time with her.
“You tried this yesterday, didn’t you? What I told you then still applies. I don’t need your help,” she said pointedly. Daniel heaved a martyred sigh.
“Professor, if I have to chain myself to your desk in protest, leaving you to deal with me tired, hungry and smelling like God knows what every single day until I graduate, I’m not going to leave you alone until you accept my help. Seriously, save yourself the headache,” he said. Claire glared up at him. He was serious. He was freaking serious and she could see it in his eyes. He was just the type of jerk to deliver on his promise and if she didn’t give in she’d never be rid of him. But it was such a difficult situation! The logical part of her brain demanded she turn him down, that she insist he find someone else to bother. But, after having been yelled at by Dean Hughes yet again that morning, she couldn’t help but see the brat as her knight in shining armor. She needed his help but she knew it would kill her to take him up on his offer. What the heck could she do?
“And there’s nothing I can say to change your mind?”
“Short of a restraining order? No, not really. You see, Professor, here’s the thing, you need the help, I need the grade. Why not work together?”
“I don’t know? Why not do your classwork?” she retorted, folding her arms over her chest. Daniel shrugged a shoulder.
“Done,” he said and she gawked.
“What?”
“I’m serious. I’ll do my classwork. I’ll stop interrupting your lectures and teasing you during class. But you have to let me help out with whatever you need. Deal?” he asked, a tad bit more enthusiastically than he’d hoped. He didn’t want it to be obvious that he wanted this more than anything. He wanted the chance to get to know her, to explore her brain the regular way, without use of his…abilities. He just had to get inside that head of hers, no matter what it took.
“Well…” She took a deep breath and hesitated a full twenty-seconds before agreeing. She didn’t look too happy but, even she couldn’t really deny she was in over her head, even if she wanted to. Her office was a total wreck, filled with messy stacks of paper, books, class brochures and a months worth of Starbucks cups. She could pretend she didn’t need him, but the proof was in the proverbial pudding. “Fine. So long as you stop acting like an idiot in my class. When would you have time to help out?”
“I’m usually free after class, but for you–”
“No,” she cut him off. Daniel raised a brow down at her. “If this is going to work out you have to stop this stupid flirtation game. Do you know what would happen to me if Dean Hughes even suspected I was attempting to come on to you? Do you even know what the policy is here? I would lose my job. And with my already less than stellar reputation, I’d probably never work in academics again,” she said then gave him a pointed look. There was fear in her eyes. A fear he really didn’t understand. She would lose her job, so what? It was just a job, right? “So, stop it. No more pretending to flirt.” If only she would acknowledge the fact that he wasn’t pretending. Daniel regarded her for several long seconds. He was attracted to her, that was a fact he couldn’t deny and, even though he had ulterior motives for taking the position, would he really be able to simply pretend those feelings didn’t exist? He may not have fallen head over heels the moment he laid eyes on her, but surely she felt even an ounce of what he did?
“Deal. I’ll stop…messing with you. Is that good enough?” he asked. Claire frowned, not understanding the ire in his voice.
“Fine. So long as you adhere to those rules we can work together after day classes have ended.”
“Great. What do you have for me?” he asked.
“Why don’t you head home for today?
“But you just said I can help–!”
“Look around you, Mr. Kang, there’s literally nothing you can do until I get this mess at least partially sorted out,” she cut him off, her arms rising and falling against her sides in frustration. “We’d just get lost in here and need a rescue team. You can help me out tomorrow, alright?” Daniel gave her an indecisive look, heaving another sigh before finally caving in.
“Fine.”
“Fine,” she replied, watching the corners of his mouth turn upwards into a devious grin.
“See you tomorrow, then, Professor,” he said, his grin growing brighter as he tugged his bag higher on his shoulders and turned to leave. Claire sighed, the sound of the classroom door closing marking his departure, leaving her in silence.
“What the hell did I just get myself into?”

Find chapter one here!

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Book Review: The Bounty by Author Ashlee Jay!


Author:
Ashlee Jay

Genre: Erotica, Romance, Interracial, Multicultural

Publisher: Lillium Publishing House LLC

Summary:

The Bounty is the first story published by Author Ashlee Jay under Lillium Publishing. It’s an erotic short that details the explicit sexal encounter between Lara, a young woman just getting home from work who inadvertedly stumbles on the murder of her beloved neighbor, and Lorenzo, a demonic bounty hunter who’s doing the murdering. After deporting her neighbor–who also happens to be a demon–back to hell, he sets his sights on the only witness; Lara herself. After she stops him in his tracks with a well placed command that feels more like a spell to the seasoned hunter, and she freaking STABS him, they head back to her apartment and the tables turn. Fear and lust are only separated by a thin line. And it snaps.

My Review:

I genuinely enjoyed this story. I collect short stories to read in my downtime or between work and this one didn’t disappoint. Ms. Jay’s writing style is crisp, clean, and easy to understand, and the erotic scenes leave you feeling both satisfied and craving more. My only complaint was the pacing and what seems to be a missing story arc. While this is only a short story and obviously isn’t going to have lots of details, I felt a little jipped that more of the story wasn’t included. I want to know more about Lorenzo, his history and his powers. Speaking of powers, whatever Lara is has to be tied into the story somehow. I really hope she does a sequal to this as The Bounty is shaping up to be a great start to a long writing career.

Excerpt:

“Lara Ferreira took one step out of the elevator and into the depths of hell. The pained cries of her neighbor, high pitched and guttural, sounded like a car dragging a box of helpless kittens. Her ears rang, but her feet refused to move. What on earth was going on in there? Glass shattered. Thump after painful thump vibrated the floor beneath her. Her body coiled as she backed away, only to be hit by the fast closing elevator doors. She sighed. How much crap would she have to deal with before she finally made it home? The sound of metal striking flesh came to a brutal halt around her. Someone was slammed into the metal apartment door, sending the six-inch slab of steel into the hallway and her neighbor tumbling after it.

Jackson, her neighbor, rolled off the door and promptly regurgitated his dinner on the hall carpet. His clothes were torn, his eye beaten shut and his once flawless jaw structure swollen beyond recognition. He was a complete and utter mess. Lara ignored her natural response to move forward and help him, choosing instead to stick as close to the elevator as possible. If he knew she was there, he didn’t show any signs of acknowledging her presence, and that was fine with her. His body shook violently as he raised a bent and broken arm over his face. The other, he used to try and push himself away from his attacker who stepped over the debris. Lara’s knees quaked as a silhouette appeared in the doorway. Large hands brushed at the fibers of his a dark blue suit. Her eyes were immediately drawn to blood dripping off of his knuckles to pool on the carpet below his feet.

She watched him step through the doorway, finally getting her first real glimpse of the attacker. Sweat beaded on her forehead, her treacherous heart betraying her stoic expression as it thud loudly against her ribcage. His head was close to the ceiling he was so tall, his body large and intimidating. She watched his equally large hands lift the door and toss it to the side like it was nothing more than paper. He tugged at the lapels of his suit, straightening, the Italian fabric and attempting to wipe the blood from his hands. His footsteps thumped loudly as he neared her hiding place and her breath caught in her throat but, luckily, he was fixated on his target and didn’t appear to notice her.”

Excerpt From: Ashlee Jay. “The Bounty.” iBooks.

My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Grab The Bounty by Author Ashlee Jay here!

Revenant: A list of Terms

In no particular order:

Living Vampire: Vampires with a pulse. They eat, sleep, and breathe just like every other living creature. They’re conceived by two living vampires and are, usually, carried to full term by the pregnant female, though there are known complications a pregnant female can face especially during birth. They grow rapidly, making problems of vampiric over-population a problem that is usually solved by strife within families and coven wide power struggles such as the uprising of 1876 when Elijah Cavaletti overthrew the judges, murdered his entire family with the exception of his sister Natalia who fled and sought refuge under the house of Leviticus.

The diet of a living vampire consists of many things, mostly human food, but they can develop an appetite for human blood. In fact, most living vampires still consume blood because for them it is tradition, a right of passage, something that is passed down from mother to daughter and father to son. Taste varies from vampire to vampire but the blood of young women seems to be a constant favorite.

Living vampires have all the perks of vampirism with none of the ill effects. So naturally, being exceptionally strong and resilient, there are only a few known ways to kill a living vampire. Beheading them reduces the body to ash, but removing the heart from the body turns them into one of the undead. Gold, blessed by a priest also does the trick if they’re infused with enough of it.

Undead (Strigoi): The Strigoi are the vicious monsters of legend that strike fear in the hearts of men all over the world. The blood drinkers, the flesh eaters who kill mercilessly. The undead are created by infecting humans with the vampire toxin, a viscid substance secreted from the fangs of the undead. Once bitten the host body tries to fight off the disease which results in the death of the human and rebirth of the undead.

The diet of a Strigoi is a simple one: flesh, blood, and sometimes even the bones of anything living will be consumed by these monsters.

Killing them is a lot simpler than killing a living vampire. Blessed gold, decapitation and disemboweling are all successful methods of killing the undead, and unlike living vampires this is the final death, there is no coming back a second time.

SPPO (Supernatural Police Protection Order): The SPPO is a government funded but privately run organization that handles supernatural crimes. They are the Anti-terrorist, Special Weapons and Tactics and even bomb squad of the supernatural world. Separated into different devisions their most prominent faction is Team Zeitgeist, an Anti-terrorist group of four who specialize in extraction, espionage and assassination. They are led by senior officers Adelaide Reagan and Elliot Cole.

Venom: Crotalus Tigris Aconitum, known better by it’s street name Venom is a super drug administered to werewolves to mimic ‘steroids’ or the ‘Human Growth Hormone’. It is highly hazardous to the health of the wolf taking it, especially in large doses. The drug contains Radium, an isotope that is highly radioactive and harmful to all living things. And like lead, the drug mimics calcium, working its way into the bones and teeth of the host body eventually causing bone cancer. The radium in Venom causes the serum to glow in the dark, and once injected into the bloodstream in large quantities or over an extended period of use, it can cause the host to glow as well. Over time, Venom users begin breaking down, their bodies failing them completely before they finally die very painful deaths.

Infected: The infected are usually humans who’ve been bitten or have injected themselves with the vampire toxin. Once infected they have less than an hour to reverse the turning process with an anti-toxin before their immune system loses the battle against the toxin and they succumb to death.

Triginta: A term used to identify the sanctioned three rulers of the house of Leviticus. 

Wolfsbane: A poisonous flower that completely shuts down the central nervous system if any werewolf that comes into contact with it. It is not known to be lethal so long as the antidote is administered in a timely fashion after the injection. Bullet wounds plugged with this ammo are known to ooze a purple substance reminiscent of the flower Monkshood, a type of wolfsbane.

Silver: A precious metal that is poisonous to werewolves. It toxifies and eventually solidifies the blood making it very deadly. There is NO cure for silver poisoning.

Gold Pyrite (Fools Gold): Not particularly poisonous but a very uncomfortable experience for vampires. It slows the blood flow from the heart to the brain in living vampires, temporarily rendering them unconscious. You can tell if a vampire has been shot with fools gold because of the black entrance point and dark veins that spread over the body. Ineffective against the undead or the infected. 

Gold (Holy Metal): Lethal when used against a vampire, living, undead or infected. Also particularly useful against demons.

Anti Magic Ammunition: Specifically designed to short circuit a witch’s powers making it temporarily impossible for them to cast spells.

Centum: A term used to identify the sanctioned five rulers of the house of Judges. 

Order of the Triad:

  • JUDGES (Centum) – The lawmakers of the vampire world. They decide the who, what, when, where and why, and have the authority to pass judgement on all those who fall under their jurisdiction. The judges are run by five living vampires who govern the houses that are made up of the wise, creative and the scholarly. Those who reside under the house of judges are exceptionally intelligent and particularly gifted in all things artistic and intellectual. 
  • LEVITICUS (Triginta) – The Leviticus are the enforcers, the police and military force of the vampire world. They carry out the orders of the judges without question and with stunning effectiveness. They are run by three living vampires who govern the houses. They are best known for their astounding mathematical and business skills. The Leviticus house the lawyers, accountants, stock brokers and CEO’s of the vampire world. 
  • EXODUS (Decem) – Those under the exodus household are the executioners. They are chaotic and have no set ruler answering only to the judges themselves and have a hard time getting along with the Leviticus who they believe shouldn’t even exist. They are made up of the evil undead and the infected, those who prey on humanity and are only skilled in bloodshed.

Cavaletti Enterprises: A well known company that manufactures police grade armor and weaponry such as the Cavaletti A5600, the auto ammo switching handgun used by the SPPO. It started as a manufacturer of tempered glass but switched to firearms after Giovanni inherited the company from his late brother Micah Cavaletti. Since his takeover at seventeen the company has been infinitely more profitable.

Revenant: The dead who return to life.