The Billionaire Professor 2 (2015)
I couldn’t sleep that night. I tossed and turned. Whenever I did fall asleep I had nightmares. Nightmares of me being in prison merely because I knew Max. Nightmares of Max being in prison for murder and grand theft.
When I finally climbed out of bed the following morning, I noticed red blotches on my arms. I thought little of it. I figured I had hives. I had been in less stressful situations in my life and had come down with them. If anything, I wondered why they took so long to show up.
Within several more moments, however, the full effects of these so-called hives hit me. They seemed to be all over my body. If I didn’t know better I thought I saw them actually forming into red blotches. At the very least, I found them in places that only moments before were clear.
I yelled for Carly and high-tailed it into the living room. By the time we met there, I could even feel my eyes swelling shut.
“Carly, I need to go to the hospital. I don’t know what’s happening to me.” Instead of being the alarmed, concerned friend, she stood in front of me and laughed.
Personally, I didn’t see anything to laugh about.
“They’re not hives,” Carly said, between bursts of laughter.
“Oh? Can Dr. Carly also tell me what I have then?” Before she could answer, her cell phone rang.
“Hi, Paul . . .”
While I was pleased that she and Paul were hitting it off so well, I thought it a bit inappropriate she should interrupt my health crisis for her potential sex life. Talk about annoying.
“The car’s outside now,” Carly said rather obtrusively. If these hives weren’t causing my eyes to swell, I would have raised my eyebrows.
“Okay,” she said, once more talking into the phone, “we’re coming down.”
“Let’s go,” she urged me, “they’re waiting for us.”
“Who’s waiting?” I demanded. My patience was reaching its limit. The itching was, quite frankly, driving me insanely wild.
“The St. James brothers,” Carly said, without missing a beat, “Max woke up with a serious case of ‘hives’ just like you.”
“How can that be?” I asked. “Hives aren’t contagious.”
Recognizing that I was beginning to have a very difficult time seeing, Carly took my hand and became my “seeing eye roommate.” She laughed as she led me to the door and as we walked out into the hall.
“You haven’t figured it out yet?” Carly questioned.
Her game of twenty questions was becoming quite irritating. By this time it felt as if I didn’t have a spot on my body that was “hive-free.” There were parts of my body I never knew I even had that were now itching. I knew not to scratch any of it, but the sensation was getting overwhelming.
“Oh my God, Jazmin!” Carly said as she carefully led me down the stairs. “Are you really that dense?”
As she guided me to the car, she whispered in my ear, “It’s not hives, it’s more like poison ivy. And Max has it every bit as badly as you do.”
Once in the emergency room Carly and Paul got Max and me registered and then pretty much dumped us in the section of the waiting room while they sat several seats away. Just far enough away that we couldn’t easily talk to them.
I sat next to Max, but I refused to talk to that man.
I eventually broke the silence. “I couldn’t bear to lose you, Jazmin,” I said. “Not a lot in life scares me anymore, but the thought of losing you does.”
By this time, though, the poison ivy was even swelling my lips shut so it was difficult to talk and I’m sure even more difficult to understand me. All I know was that it was difficult for me to talk to her not only from an emotional aspect, but from a physical one as well.
“I thought a sweet and lovely girl like you would run like hell from me if you even got a whiff of my incorrigible past life. I knew that every moment longer I delayed the odds were increasing that you would walk away from me just on general principle. But every time I looked into your eyes –“
Suddenly Jazmin laughed. “What’s so funny?” I said, more than a bit defensively.
“Right now, the poison ivy is so bad that you couldn’t possibly see my eyes,” she said.
I found the irony in it and even in my pathetic state, thanked the universe for helping me keep my sense of humor. “Even if they were open,” I said, “I wouldn’t see them for my eyes being swelled shut.”
“Ironic,” I said, “but it appears to be an absolutely fitting example of karma.”
His voice sounded pathetic. I was glad, in a way, I couldn’t see his eyes.
“Oh, Max, I was so mad at you last night, I didn’t sleep. I was extremely upset with myself as well. To be truthful, I was appalled when you told me – and I really did think I could never see you again.
“I could ramble on and on and tell you how I couldn’t live without you. And a whole lot of other mushy stuff. Instead, I’ll keep it simple.”
I paused a beat and laughed. “I have to keep it simple because my lips are swelling more and more by the moment. I vowed that when I found the right man, I would love him unconditionally. I can’t judge you on your past behavior. I only know I love you in the here and now and I’ll love you forever. I don’t care about your past. I care about our future.”
I wasn’t sure how Max would react to my saying I loved him. I’m not sure when I said this if I were really looking him in the eyes – heck about this time I could barely see him even though I knew he was sitting right next to me. I sat there for a moment waiting for his answer.
I thought I’d never hear those words from any woman. She loves me unconditionally.
“I love you too, Jazmin,” I told her, “from the moment I met you. I knew there would never be another woman in my life. Even if you left me. No one else could live up to you – your beauty, your compassion . . .”
She wouldn’t allow me to finish. I didn’t see very well at this point but I felt her touch as she pulled me closer to her. Even with my entire body seething with poison ivy her touch still excited me and ignited a passion within me. My sleeping beauty was finally awakening to her own inner sexuality and especially her own inner beauty.
She kissed me. Not quite on the lips at first because, well . . neither of us could see that well. We both were flying blind, so to speak.
When our lips did finally connect, it was magic, pure unadulterated magic. Until, that is, our magic became a bit too passionate and too painful. The poison ivy brought us back to reality.
Not before we were “caught in the act.”
“Something tells me that kiss wasn’t as much fun as last night’s frolic in the park.” The unfamiliar woman’s voice startled me.
“You two look pretty miserable sitting here.” The voice belonged to one of the nurses on duty.
“I’m calling right now to see if I can expedite you two,” she said flatly.
“I’ve got an ‘069’ in the ER waiting room. Can you . . . okay I’ll bring them over right away.”
Carly came over with Paul trailing behind. “Thank you,” she told the nurse, “just out of curiosity, what is an ‘069’?”
The nurse answered without even breaking into a smile, “Lovers screwing in the poison ivy at Hubbard Park.”
Talk about adding insult to injury. Carly and Paul laughed uncontrollably.
The nurse added, “Yeah, we get this all the time. So if you two believe you did something unique last night, it definitely wasn’t in your choice of location.”
“I must admit, though,” she said, “this is the first time a couple has come in together.”