Seducing Professor Coyle(5)

By: Darien Cox

“Hey, what’s this?” Dominick pulled out a folded paper that had been wedged between the pages of the text book. Opening it up, he raised his eyebrows. “Well, it’s a test. Don’t know if it’s the test.”

Ben scrambled across the floor and snatched the paper from Dom’s hand. Heart racing, his eyes scanned the page. “Ha! Dominick, you beautiful son of a bitch. This is it. This is it!” Laughing, he dove on Dominick, hugging him roughly. “Fuck, have I told you lately that I love you? I owe you one, big time.”

Chuckling, Dominick pushed Benjamin off him. “Okay, okay. You’re welcome. But Ben?”

“Yeah?” Ben beamed as he examined the test he held, hardly believing his luck.

“Why isn’t it graded?”

Ben looked up. “What?”

Dom pointed to the paper. “The test. It’s got no grade on it.”

Panic rising, Ben examined the test. Dom was right. There was no grade written at the top, no comments from Dr. Coyle, nothing but Ben’s neatly printed answers. He turned it over, examining the back, then flipped it and studied the front again, hoping he’d missed something. “Oh my God,” he groaned, slapping a palm to his forehead. “No, no I couldn’t have.”

Dominick sighed, looking sympathetic. “You walked out of class without turning it in, didn’t you?”

Ben shook his head, the pressure of impending tears stinging his eyes. “I couldn’t have. I wouldn’t have. How could I have spaced like that? I must have just shoved it in my book and walked out when class ended. Idiot! How could I have been such an idiot?”

Dominick crawled across the floor and sat beside him, looking down at the test with Ben. “You’re not an idiot. You’re just stressed out. You spend every night building computer programs for your other classes. With all the shit you’re juggling, you’re gonna get distracted once in a while.”

Biting his lip, Ben shook his head. “I don’t get distracted.”

“Yeah, you do,” Dominick said. He tapped a finger on the test. “And you did.”

Ben lowered the paper, staring blankly ahead. “I’m screwed. I cannot believe this.”

“You could write a grade in yourself,” Dom suggested. “Your teacher’s got no record of it, you could put anything. Give yourself an A, man.”

“I can’t! What if he goes through it? If it’s C work and I give myself an A, he’ll know.”

Dom shrugged. “So give yourself a C.”

“I can’t do that either!” Ben’s voice was rising to hysteria. “What if it’s A work and I give it a C? He’ll still know. And anyway, I doubt I can copy his handwriting.”

“It’s one letter, Ben, you can imitate one letter.”

Sighing, Ben fell back and lay on the rug, staring at the ceiling. “No. I’ll tell him the truth. That I spaced and walked out with it instead of turning it in. Hopefully he’ll understand that mere mortals make mistakes, and still be willing to count it into my grade.”

“I’m sure he will,” Dom said. “But guess what? It’s Friday night, and we have plans. Big plans. Sure to make even you forget your problems for a while.”

Lifting his head, Ben narrowed his eyes when he saw Dom’s grin. “Oh, no. Not one of those parties. I already told you, I’m not into it.”

“How do you know if you haven’t been to one? Come on, don’t make me go by myself. My chances will be a lot better if I walk in with you.”

“Oh, please.” Ben sat up. “You’re just trying to manipulate me into going. I am seriously not in a party mood, Dom, for real.”

For weeks Dominick had been going on about this party he’d been taken to by a guy he met at the bar one night. A huge house owned by some rich gay man called ‘Thorn’, which turned Ben off right away. There was no way it was a real name, and anyone who chose to call themselves ‘Thorn’ had to have issues. But to hear Dominick tell it, the party was like an evening at Caligula’s palace, complete with heated swimming pool and hot tubs, liquor shots poured from ice luges, and an unending plethora of gorgeous men with loose morals.

Apparently this Thorn character threw such parties often, and when Dom’s previous ticket in had declined to see him again, he’d started badgering Ben to go with him.

“Come on,” Dominick said. “You’re hot, way better looking than me. You’ll up my cred!”

Ben laughed. “In the mood I’m in, I won’t be upping anyone’s cred tonight, trust me.”