tagRomanceStudy Break Ch. 03

Study Break Ch. 03

byDCarmine©

At Vicky's insistence, I delayed my deadline by two days, giving us the whole weekend to make up for lost time in our relationship.

Being honest, I did in fact need that break. When I returned to my thesis, I felt refreshed, energetic, focused... and at peace. I got the revisions done at a record pace. Milton himself seemed to notice my good mood when I finally turned it in. Fortunately, he didn't mind that it was a couple days late.

In the interim few days while waiting for Milton to go over my paper, I caught up on grading my own students' papers. Ironically, Vicky had her own finals to study for, demanding most of her time. Despite that, she went out of her way to spend every night at my apartment, ensuring we didn't have a repeat of "The Drought of 2015" (as she would later refer to it... there would be more in the future, but I'll get to that).

When I got my thesis back from Milton, I was pleasantly surprised he gave it near 100% approval, meaning I no longer had to revise it. My hard work and sacrifice was about to pay off. He passed it along to the committee, and a week later I was called to defend it.

#

I walked out of the conference room, a nervous sweat dripping from my brow. I took a seat in my cubicle and let out a long exasperated sigh.

Then a smile cracked open across my face and I suddenly laughed out loud. The other grad students in the office didn't even give me a second glance because they knew the reason for my outburst. A few of them had done the same a few days ago.

I had passed. The committee approved my thesis, and I was going to graduate. Three years of hard work and I was finally getting my Master's degree. Better yet, they had invited me to stay at the university and teach as an associate professor. My career was basically set, at least for the foreseeable future.

"Congratulations," someone said.

I looked up and saw Milton leaning on the wall of my cubicle. There was a smile on his face, one I didn't often see. It was a look of pride.

"Thanks," I said. "I couldn't have done it without you."

"No, you couldn't have," Milton said with sarcastic smugness, but the fact remained true. He was the reason the committee approved my thesis, the reason why I was prepared to defend it. He was the reason I was graduating.

Milton held out his hand for me to shake. "I look forward to working with you, Professor Berner."

For the first time in my life, I felt like I deserved that title. Professor.

I stood up, took his hand, and gave it a firm shake. "Same, Dr. Milton."

Milton departed with a curt nod, leaving me to bask in his pride.

As I started packing up the things in my cubicle (I would be getting my own private office when I returned in the fall), my phone buzzed in my pocket.

It was a text from Vicky. "How did it go?"

"Great,"
I replied. "I'm graduating!"

"Congrats babe! We should celebrate!"

"You think so?"

"Yes! I already have a great idea how."


#

A day later, I was sitting at Casa della Rosa, a semi-formal Italian bistro located in one of the city's hotels.

As I took a sip of my red wine, the waiter came by the table. "Are you ready to order, sir?"

"No, not yet," I said after savoring the wine for a moment. "I'm waiting for someone."

The waiter didn't say anything, he just gave me a polite nod of acknowledgment and walked away.

I was waiting for Vicky to arrive because I couldn't have picked her up at her dorm. Despite my imminent graduation, the situation hadn't changed much. I was still a professor at the university (albeit now with a pay raise), and Vicky was still a student because she still had another year before her own graduation.

Even though we were in different departments and Vicky would likely never take another English class—taught by me, or anyone—ever again, it would still be suspicious if we made our relationship public now. It was too soon after semester grades had been submitted.

It was very risky having a date in a public place this, but Vicky insisted it was a special occasion. Besides, in the off-chance we did get caught, a few technicalities might work in our favor.

Just as I was beginning to worry I would be stood up, Vicky finally arrived.

At first I wasn't sure it was her—instead of neon purple, her hair was now azure, the kind of light pale blue that reminded me of the sky on a sunny day.

As she walked to my table, everyone's eyes seem to gravitate towards her. I entertained the thought that it was because she was utterly breath-taking in the black cocktail dress and lace heels she was wearing... but in reality it was probably because of her vibrant hair, tattoos, and piercings in spite of the dress.

Either way, it couldn't be argued that she was the most beautiful woman in the restaurant.

I stood up and pulled out her seat.

The waiter seemed a bit flustered that I had beaten him to it. He poured Vicky some wine and said, "I'll return in a moment for your order."

Vicky thanked him with a demure nod, then turned to face me. I immediately noticed that she had traded her snake bites for a floral septum ring. It was a subtle ornament, one that didn't draw too much attention, but at the same time accentuated to the shape of her straight nose and luscious lips.

Her transformation was breathtaking. "Wow... You look great..." was all I could stammer out.

"Thanks," Vicky said, twirling a lock of her newly blue hair. "I thought it was time for a change. I feel like we're about to begin a new chapter in our lives."

"Really? What makes you think that?" I asked.

"Well, the obvious, babe. You're a proper professor now," Vicky said, taking a sip of her wine. "Your career's been launched."

"Yeah, but you said 'we.' What's going to change for you? You've still got another year of school. Not to mention we'll have to be discreet about us..." I looked around the restaurant, suddenly nervous that Vicky was drawing so many looks. Why had she insisted on meeting here? The consequences may have no longer been as bad, but they hadn't entirely disappeared.

"That's not necessarily true... we've got the whole summer to ourselves. We can make up for lost time." Vicky took a breadstick and nibbled on it for a moment. "We could go on a trip. To a place where we won't have to hide."

I perked up at that. I couldn't believe I hadn't thought of that. "Yeah, we could take a road trip out of town. Maybe go to LA. I know you'd love it there."

"I was actually thinking of someplace else... Although I'm not sure what you'll think..." Vicky said nervously. She averted her eyes nervously.

"Hey," I said, reaching across the table and taking her hand. "We'll go wherever you want go. I'd follow you to the edge of the Earth. Walk there on foot if you told me to. I love you."

Vicky smiled in the way that seemed reserved only for me. A grin with her lips just as much with her eyes. "I love you, too, Jonas..." She squeezed my hand. "And that's why I want you to come back home with me."

"Home? You mean to the UK?"

"Yeah, just for the summer," Vicky said, a nervous blush forming on her cheeks. "I want you to meet my parents."

Whoa. That would take our relationship to a whole new level... not only did she want us to go away on a trip together, for months, but she also wanted to introduce me to her family.

"I know it's a huge step," Vicky said, reading my mind. "But I don't want to hide anymore... I understand that we can't come out fully here, but who's going to tell in Britain? I want to be able to go out in public with you without looking over my shoulder. I want my mum and dad to know I found a good man that loves me and makes me happy."

I was rendered speechless. I was stunned that she felt this way... but only because I felt exactly the same, if not more—I had a diamond ring on lay-away as proof, but Vicky didn't know that.

Vicky squirmed. "Jonas, say something."

A smile finally cracked my lips. "I would love to meet your parents."

"Really?" Vicky's smiled returned, dazzling.

"Yeah, and I can't wait to spend the whole summer with you."

"Great!" Vicky said. "I really think you're going to like my dad. He's Jewish like you. Likes books too."

I smirked. I choose to ignore the implications of daddy issues and focus on the bright side. It'd be easier to get his permission to propose to her.

THE END

#

Author's Note: If you took the time read the story all the way to the end, I'd appreciate it if you'd leave your thoughts in the comments or a private message. As you can see, I've lefted the ending open-ended. Depending on reception and feedback, I may choose to continue Jonas and Vicky's story. Either way, this won't be the last story I submit to Literotica so please add me to your favorites and keep up with my future work. Thanks!

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