Out of Her League(9)

By: Samantha Wayland

Worse come to worst, she supposed, she could always bust out the pink suit, kitten heels, and Fang on his rhinestone leash in a week when she cracked.

Chapter Three

Lachlan looked out over his Philosophy 101 class and sighed. He hated these general education classes, crowded with freshmen who’d had grand ideas when they’d signed up for this class from the comfort of their mother’s kitchens over the summer. They’d soon realize that they didn’t really give a shit about philosophy, let alone at nine o’clock in the morning.

He clapped his hands together once, loudly, giving all appearances of being enthusiastic about handing out the syllabus and detailing what the homework would be.

Lachlan was excited about philosophy. It was his passion. His calling, even. It was just hard to believe he’d also been called to bore eighteen year olds out of their skulls.

At least half the class was nodding off, and that one poor kid in the front row was actually drooling down his own chin, the dark spot growing on his wrinkled, probably slept-in, t-shirt. Lachlan walked past and caught the familiar scents of smoke and stale booze. This kid was clearly settling into campus life quickly. Lachlan contemplated tapping his shoulder, but he was secretly impressed the kid had managed to remain perfectly upright, not even flinching at the sound of Lachlan’s clap.

He wished there was a subtle way to reach for his phone and snap a picture. His brothers and Savannah would crack up.

Mentally scolding himself to stay on task, he scanned the room. Every year, Lachlan hoped that there would be that one spark. One bright light who he’d see nodding along instead of nodding off, who would email him questions about the reading and write interesting papers that showed real thought and promise.

It was early days yet, but he wasn’t holding out a lot of hope. He knew one thing, though—it definitely was not going to be the drooler.

His teaching assistant, Anna, caught his eye and smirked. Lachlan turned his back to the class long enough to control his answering smile and hide his eye roll. The one bright spot in this year’s schedule was that Anna was able to be his TA. Five years ago, she’d been that one spark. Now she was on her way to her PhD, and understood as well as he did why these classes were torture for all involved.

Lachlan had once wondered, foolishly aloud, if it were possible to interview incoming students to determine if they were suited to the subject. This was, of course, met with a great deal of scorn from his colleagues, many of whom still hoped that their presentation of self and subject would be so charismatic they could convert anyone to their passion.

Lachlan had no such illusions about himself. Or philosophy, for that matter.

On that depressing note, he dismissed the class and told himself not to take it personally that everyone, including the drooler, fled the building like it was on fire.

He and Anna followed at a more sedate pace, chatting about their plans for the new semester.


Lachlan froze on the wide granite front steps of the Emerson Building as every single person on the green turned to stare. Not at him, but at the woman jogging their way and waving.

Anna’s eyes widened. “Is that Michaela Price?”

“Fuck. I hope not.”

Anna giggle-snorted at his side.

“Hi!” Michaela said with a wide smile when she reached them. “I’m so glad I found you.”

“Uh,” Lachlan stuttered, “what?” Why?

Michaela’s smile didn’t falter, though her eyes did narrow a little. Lachlan’s palms and forehead went damp. He locked his knees but that only made him sway dangerously on the rock-hard stairs. Shit shit shit. He did not want to do this in front of Anna. He was her advisor. He was pretty sure that meant he was supposed to look intelligent in front of her. Or at least coherent.

Unfortunately, these thoughts were not helping the cause.

Anna looked at Lachlan, her eyebrows drawn together, then back at Michaela with a hesitant smile. “Hello, I’m Anna. Dr. Morrison’s TA this year.”

Michaela shook her hand. “Michaela Price,” she offered, in case Anna lived under an even bigger rock than Lachlan, “I’m a friend of the Morrison family.”

Anna’s mouth opened and closed a few times before she muttered, “Callum Morrison.”

Michaela immediately looked contrite, glancing at Lachlan as if to ascertain just how badly she’d fucked up.

“It’s not a secret,” he blurted. And wow, he’d managed a whole sentence relevant to the discussion. Woo.

Michaela’s shoulders dropped several inches. “Okay. Phew.” She turned back to Anna. “Callum suggested I look up Lachlan once I arrived and I’m just getting a chance to now.” She glanced around at their gathering audience. “Though I guess I should have called ahead. I just figured I’d catch you after class.”