“Sorry about that,” Nick greeted Zerrin at the restaurant, “I had to stay in class.”
“Not a problem.” Zerrin closed her book. “I kept myself busy.”
Nick glanced at Zerrin’s book. It was How to Make Love Like a Porn Star by Jenna Jameson. “Interesting choice of book,” he mentioned.
“I was curious,” Zerrin offered. “It’s not a bad read but it’s nothing to write home about.”
Nick’s new assistant didn’t seem like the type to read an autobiography by a former porn star. His mind quickly wondered what else there was to Zerrin. “Oh? Do tell.”
“She talks mostly about her life experiences and maybe some bedroom tips, but it’s not a how-to manual,” she smiled, “but like I said, it’s an interesting read.”
A server came by to take their orders and bring their drinks. “So, let’s break the ice. You can ask me whatever you want. I’m pretty open with most things,” Nick offered.
“I don’t know where to start, Professor…” Zerrin placed a straw inside her soda and carefully sipped on it.
Nick intently watched how Zerrin’s lips wrapped around the straw. He didn’t realize he could be jealous of an inanimate object. “Please, call me Nick,” he grinned.
Nick’s smile was warm and inviting. “Okay, Nick,” Zerrin corrected.
“So, what can I answer for you? I’m sure you have questions about me, working with me, working for the department?”
Zerrin thought about the earlier conversation she had with Kionna. It was bothering her more than it should that Nick had chosen her and not one of the others to be his teaching assistant. “Why did you choose me?”
“Because I liked you more than the others.” He explained. “I usually don’t choose female assistants.”
The revelation surprised Zerrin. “You don’t?”
“Nothing against females. I just prefer to work with a male.”
So you can compare notes? “I see.”
“Anything else you want to ask?”
Zerrin hesitated on the next question. She was running the risk of starting off her new position on a very wrong foot, and she knew Nick carried a lot of clout in the department. “I do have one question, and I hope I’m not stepping on any toes with it…”
“Ooh, this sounds like a good question, and not full of that getting-to-know-you bullshit.” Nick’s eyes danced. “Do ask.”
“I heard about your reputation with some of the females around here,” Zerrin treaded carefully. “Is it true?”
“What have you heard?” he asked.
“That you sleep with all of them,” Zerrin blurted before covering her mouth.
Nick politely smiled. “I sleep with some of them, yes. I’m not breaking any laws if I pursue a sexual relationship with some of them.”
“It’s unethical in some people’s eyes, Nick.”
“Is it unethical because I do it or because the students are willing participants?”
“As a professor, you’re held to a higher standard,” Zerrin pointed out. “People can misconstrue what you’re doing and say you’re taking advantage of the students. Aren’t you afraid you’re going to be fired and your reputation will be ruined?”
“Not really,” he countered.
Nick was either smug or overly confident about himself, Zerrin couldn’t decide which it was. She also didn’t like how his arrogance was attracting her to him. “Are you serious?”
“Any sexual activity that occurs was because the woman approached me, not the other way around.”
“You don’t approach them?”
“I never do. If a student wants to give me a blow job to bump up her grade a little, I’ll let her.” Nick sipped his cappuccino. “If she got a C on her paper, it doesn’t mean she’s going to get an A by sleeping with me. It just means she won’t get a C.”
“You grade that harshly in bed as well?”
“I’m very fair in many aspects of my life, Zerrin. I most certainly don’t grade my male students any worse than my female ones. I offer extra credit to everyone, and it’s up to them if they decide to pursue it. I’m not particularly harsh because I don’t like a certain student or if she’s a bad lay.” Nick leaned in closer to Zerrin, “Can you honestly say every person you slept with deserved an A?”