“But is it only flirting that you’re interested in?” I half-smile, wondering if he can see me through the latticework. It’s so dark in here I can’t see anything of him beyond the outline of his hand, a darker shadow where his head tilts toward the sound of my voice.
“I must confess: impure thoughts do come to mind. Quite a lot of them, actually. But should we really desecrate this sacred space?” His voice drips in sarcasm, and he drums his fingers on the wall, a beat that reverberates through my palms.
My smile widens. “Father, is this space not meant for unburdening our darkest selves? Do we not enter here to confess the desires of our weak bodies?”
“What is it your body desires now?” he whispers, the joking, priestly affectation gone, only his deep, radio-perfect voice remaining.
My finger flips the latch, and the balsa wood screen between us unhinges. We both press our other hands to it reflexively and catch it between us, one hand on either side. Then he takes hold of the screen and lets it drop to his side of the cubicle.
We stare at one another through the newly opened space. I still can’t see much. A strand of hair that hangs in his eyes. An angled jaw, a slice of cheekbone, a hollow where his eyes are. I don’t need to be able to see them to know he’s staring straight at me.
I can feel it.
A tiny part of my brain yells at me to hold up. Think this through. Remember last time? it shouts, and I can still picture he-who-must-not-be-named. The reason I applied to study abroad this semester in the first place, so I could get a break from his stupid, knowing smirk.
But this is what I came here for. A fresh start. To get my mind off the past, off every bad decision I’ve made since setting foot on the Penn campus.
What better way to start over than a harmless fling with an innocent guy I’ll never see again (or never see at all, for that matter)?
Instead of answering him, I lean through the newly created opening and run my hands through his silk-smooth hair. He pauses an inch from my face, his nose brushing mine.
“Walk on air against your better judgment,” he breathes, hot against my lips. It doesn’t seem like he’s talking to me. More to himself.
Deep in the recesses of my mind, the tiny part that’s still functioning buzzes with recognition—I know that line. From where?
Then I forget all about it, because his lips crush against mine. His hands tangle in my hair tightly. I let my fingers run through his hair down the back of his neck to curl around his white-hot skin. He breaks away, grabs a fistful of my hair to tilt my head to one side. His lips graze my jawline, followed fast by his teeth, sinking into the soft spot just beneath my ear, hard enough to leave a mark. “You taste just as good as you sound,” he murmurs.
I groan. Something about the fact that he hasn’t bothered to ask my name—hasn’t even waited to see my face before taking me—is so fucking hot.
“I could say the same about you, Father,” I whisper.
His rough stubble scratches my cheek as I catch his ear between my teeth and bite down hard in response. That earns me a soft, guttural growl.
There’s a splintering sound. He cracks through the remainder of the flimsy wall between us with one knee. For a second I freeze, afraid someone must have heard that. They’ll open the door, find us in here.
But outside, someone screams a terrible karaoke rendition of the newest Adele song. Background music blasts, cups clank, and the party rages on, no one the wiser about what’s happening behind the closed doors in this tiny, abandoned corner of the room.
“Don’t worry.” I can practically hear the grin in his voice. “They won’t hear us. Not until I make you really scream.”