Learning Curve Excerpts

Learning Curve - Excerpt 1 - Copyright Andi Jaxon unedited, subject to change.

“Hello Mother,” kissing her cheek and handing her the flowers, same as I do every week.
“Oh Alister,” she holds the flowers with both hands and buries her face in the colorful blooms. “They’re beautiful, thank you dear.” 
Putting the beer in the fridge, I step up the stove and stir the sauce as my mother goes about putting the flowers in water. There have always been fresh flowers in our house, always.
“How are classes going, Ali?” Mother asks over her shoulder.
“So far, so good.”
“Meet anyone that catches your interest?” Instantly, Benjamin and his brooding dark looks come to mind. His magnetic energy that I can’t seem to break away from.
“Hmmm….” She hums knowingly. 
“It’s nothing Mom, just an interesting student is all.” I try, and fail, to make it out to be no big deal. Unfortunately, she sees right through me. She always could.
“What’s his name?” she’s turned to look at me, hands folded in front of her. I know this look well, it means I’m not going anywhere until I tell her everything she wants to know. Luckily, I know how to get around her therapist tricks.
“Oh no! Sorry, Mom, I think the sauce is sticking!” I fake panic.
Huffing at me, she swats me away from the stove to go watch football with Alex and Dad. Alister – 1, Mom – 0.
Somewhere between standing and sitting, my adoring brother pipes up, “Got yourself a boyfriend?”
“No, I don’t. One of my students this term is interesting, nothing more.” The smirk on his face says he’s not done ribbing me yet, I guarantee he’s going to get Mom going again too. Dad raises an eyebrow but doesn’t comment. 
“Any hot chicks desperate to pass your class yet?” Alexander the man whore, everyone.
“Stay away from my students. Having sex with you will guarantee them a failing grade.” I smirk back at him. Dad coughs to cover his chuckle. I don’t know why he does it, we have known for most of our lives that he’s laughing at us. 
“Perhaps they need the comforting after you undoubtingly crushed their dreams of passing this much needed class?” He wags his eyebrows at me, laughing.
“Been that long since you got laid that you have to go sniffing around after 18-year-old children?” folding my arms over my chest.
“Hey, 18 means they’re legal, brother.” Pointing a finger at me. Dad’s coughing fit seems to have gotten worse, his face is now bright red and he’s shaking from the force of his cough but he’s smiling.
“Hey, I’m just trying to spend quality time with our old man, watching the Seahawks kill…-uh, whoever that is.” I say, turning way from Alex and focusing on the tv.

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Learning Curve Excerpt 2.
Copyright Andi Jaxon, subject to change, blah, blah, blah...

“Good morning, Mr. Bennet,” a young student worker says, a blush on her 
cheeks, her voice barely more than a whisper. I give the girl a smile and a wink when I 
see Darla heading my way with a stack of papers. 
She rolls her eyes and shakes her head behind the girl. “If you’re winking at 
anyone, it had better be me. Don’t tell me you’re straying away from me already?” she 
teases, with a laugh sparkling in her eyes.
“I would be the luckiest man in the world to come home to you every night.” She 
hands me the papers and I kiss her cheek. “Until next time.” With a smile on my face 
and a bounce in my step, I head to my office to get situated. As I walk down the hallway,
my shoes clacking against the polished hardwood floors, I notice someone sits outside 
my office door. Someone in dark jeans, ripped at the knees, well-worn converse, and a 
black hoodie pulled over their head, hiding their face. Upon hearing my approach, they 
turn and pierce me with deep pools of onyx. My breathing halts as if the oxygen was 
sucked from the room. 
He’s out of place here among the halls of this university. He’s darker than most of 
the students here, not his skin color or clothes, but him. His eyes tell a story of pain, a 
story I want to know so that I can soothe his broken and bleeding soul. I’ve never seen 
anyone with eyes like this and I can’t look away. I don’t know what this young man has 
been through, but I suddenly want to be his safe harbor during the storm.

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