The Billionaire Professor (2015)
“By the way,” the chair said, “thanks for volunteering to add to the pot. I didn’t think the patron’s donation alone could match what other bidders could put toward buying the painting.”
“My pleasure, Dr. Newton, I’m always up for a good bidding war.” I chose my words carefully. Hopefully Jazmin enjoyed the irony of the phrasing. I was relieved when he left. I closed the door after him and again locked it.
I hustled over to the desk to discover Jazmin looking up at me questioning. I laughed, I had never seen any woman look more innocent sitting under a desk before. Come to think of it, I don’t think I ever saw a half nude woman sitting under a desk before. Especially my desk.
Max pulled me out and pressed his body close to me. My body melted. Then he asked me, “Are you a serious student of art?”
I moaned something I hoped indicated a yes.
“Have you ever been to Christies for an art auction before?” I shook my head no.
“Would you like to go tomorrow afternoon?”
I took a step back and stared at him. “Are you kidding?” I said, “It would be a dream come true.”
He then explained that a patron of the department had just donated a large sum of money so the university could acquire this very rare Vincent Van Gough painting. Unfortunately, Max continued, as generous as the offer was, in his professional opinion it wouldn’t stand up to the vigorous bidding that was expected to occur. Max said he offered his own money to cover any costs above that donation in order to ensure the University bought the masterpiece.
“And you want me to accompany you?” I asked incredulously. “Why, of course,” he said.
There’s only one down side to all of this, though,” he said, “you can’t please me at Christies like you just did. As much as I liked it – and it was such an imaginative and thoughtful gesture – we can’t be playing at the auction house.” Then he let out a hearty and infectious laugh and kissed me lightly on the forehead.
“Now, I’ve got some work to do reviewing the provenance of this piece of art in order to bid smartly. I hadn’t expected to cut our play time short, but we can continue tomorrow – sometime.”
He told me what time to meet him in his office and I scooted off to buy books, computer supplies and other supplies for the semester.