“It’ll blow over. Ross is keeping it quiet for now. Maybe he can get Elliot to admit the truth.”
“I doubt it. My reputation is already ruined. Everyone thinks I’m a man-hunter.”
“You are,” Grace teased her friend, trying to lighten her mood.
“I don’t like being alone, unlike you. I could see myself with a sexy man, all buff and shit. I think the tattoos are hot, too.”
“You think waiting for him to get out of jail in four years is hot?”
“That might be a problem.”
“Do they get conjugal visits?” CeCe asked hopefully.
“I have no idea.”
“It might be something to look into.”
Grace stared at CeCe sitting across the table from her. “You’re a slut.”
“Maybe so. What’s the name of the prisoner you were talking about?”
Grace hesitated. “Ice.”
CeCe shivered. “Damn. He’s perfect for you.”
Grace sat up straight, insulted. “What do you mean by that?”
“The students all say you’re smoking hot. Fire and Ice, baby.”
Grace shook her head at CeCe’s humor. “The only ice that’s melting is in my glass.” She waved to the waitress to bring their check.
“You should have some fun.”
“You’re right; I should. I’ll call Jones and take him up on his invitation.”
“I meant with Ice,” CeCe clarified.
“If I’m going to get involved with a man, he’s at least going to be able to take me out to dinner.”
“You have a point,” CeCe admitted. “But I still think Ice would have been an experience.”
Grace rolled her eyes. “One which is better left alone.”
Grace flipped through her class notes, trying to ignore the concentrated stare from in front of her. She had managed for the past hour, but it was wearing on her nerves. Thankfully, it was Friday, and she wouldn’t have to look at him for two whole days.
A hand from the back of the room had her rising to her feet. A big smile greeted her as she approached. She couldn’t help liking the friendly man. Max was always giving her smiles and small winks. There was no doubt in her mind he was a ladies’ man.
“You need some help?”
Grace looked down at his computer screen. “Yes, you are.” Her fingers typed in several commands before she was able to fix his mistakes.
Giving him a brief smile, she rose and went back to the front where a note was sitting on her desk. Unobtrusively, she glanced down and read it.
Quit smiling at him.
Shocked, she glanced up to see Ice frowning at her. She picked the note up, crumbling it into her hand before tossing it into the trashcan beside her desk.
“Something wrong?” Jackson, the guard standing in the front of the room, asked.
“No.” Grace gritted her teeth angrily. The man was going to get in trouble if he didn’t stop.
His hand rose in the air, and Grace debated ignoring it until Jackson gave her a curious look. Left with no choice, she went to his desk.
“No smile for me?” Grace could practically hear the sarcasm in his written sentence.
“No. Quit writing me notes and staring. I’m sick of it,” she typed in.
“No, you’re not. You’re getting hot.” At that point, she deleted his sentence and went back to her desk.
He had gone too far, and she wasn’t going to tolerate it. She wasn’t going to get involved in a situation, which could not only affect her professional career, but get herself hurt both mentally and physically by the criminal.
She stuffed her papers in her briefcase. “I need to leave early. Please complete your assignments and send them to my email. Enjoy your weekend.”
Grace left the classroom abruptly without another word, well aware she was running away. She didn’t care; she only had to make it through one day next week then the classes would take a break until after Thanksgiving. After that, she would be in the home stretch of finishing this disaster of a semester.
* * *
“Did you do something?” Max asked.
Ice studied Max’s angry expression. “Why?”
“She ran out of that class like her ass was on fire.”
“Maybe she had someplace to be. What do you care?”
Max pulled out a chair next to him at the table. “Because that was thirty minutes I could have been out of here.”
“Is that it?”
Max gave him a grin. “Hell, no. I’d rather look at her than two hundred of these assholes. You got a problem with that?”
Ice’s impassive face stared back at the brother.
“Why is it okay for you to stare and get friendly with her, but if I do, everyone is worried about me being distracted?”
“That’s because you’re the boss. I’m just the muscle.” Max grinned.
“And because you go through women like toilet paper.”
“That, too,” Max admitted. “Can I help it if I’m irresistible?”
“Kiss my ass.”
“Don’t tempt me. If I stay in here much longer, I don’t know whose ass will start to look good. ‘Desperate times call for desperate measures,’” Max quoted.