Chapter 5

       "Sitting here waiting for you, would be like waiting for winter. It's gonna be cold. There may even be snow," Symphony sang quietly, as she sat at a lone table, watching the flames flicker inside of the fireplace. It was an unseasonably chilly day for the middle of September, but alas, fall was in the air.

       Seemingly to appear out of nowhere, Michael teased. "Wow! Do you really think I'd keep you waiting that long?"

      Staring upwards at him, she smiled and said, "It's a song, 'Stronger than pride' by the singer Sade. It's one of my favorites."

       Rolling his eyes, he cocked his head to the side and laughed. "I know both the singer and the song, but thanks for the information. How are you?"

       "I'm doing fine, sir, and you?"

       "I'm doing fine as well. Thanks for asking," he answered politely, as he took a seat at the table with her.

       When a light breeze wafted through an open door, Symphony began to shiver. "I can't believe how chilly it's been this week; I hope you don't mind sitting next to the fireplace."

       "No-no, I don't. This is perfect, actually. I'm always cold," he chuckled.

         After getting settled, Michael passed her a menu. "Please let me know what you would like to order. My treat."


       "Oh, I can't let you do that, but thanks so much for the offer."


        "Please, Ms. Wilson. It's not a problem. Just count it as a reward for winning today's trivia game."


       "Hmm, well, since you put it that way. I'll have an herbal green tea with honey. It's kind of too late in the day to drink coffee. I'll save the major caffeine for when I have to pull an all-nighter... Thank you, sir! I owe you one."


       "No, really. It's completely fine. And by the way, great choice. The herbal teas here are fantastic! The green tea is one of my favorites."

       After being served their drinks, Michael lightly touched Symphony's hand and warned. "Blow on it first. it's usually scalding hot."

       "Thanks for the head's up," she said, as she then pursed her lips together and blew on the hot liquid.

       As his eyes became fixated on her mouth, his mind began to wander. She had some of the most beautiful lips that he had ever seen. Since swearing off kissing on the lips several years ago, he now found himself wondering what hers felt like.

       Trying to refocus his thoughts, he blinked his eyes and asked, "so, umm... Ms. Wilson. Why are you taking Music Theory 101? You seem to be well versed in its many subjects."


       "Yes. I know that my knowledge of music is vast, but its a part of my life-plan. I've always said that I would quit the band if we weren't signed to a major label by the time I turned thirty years old... And since I'm not getting any younger, I need a solid career to fall back on. There are so many avenues that I could explore by having a degree in music. 

 

       "Hmm... Sounds like a solid plan. But you know, being signed to a label isn't everything. Record companies can be horrible!"


       "Yes, I know. But I'd like for my band's music to be heard on a large scale. And without us being signed, it'll be hard to achieve that."


       "Oh, I understand completely. I used to feel the same way. And even though I don't like talking about my past, I hope my music still inspires people."


        "It does Dr. Black, it does. But if you don't mind me asking. What made you become a music professor?"


       "A nervous breakdown. I had lost someone very special to me, and I simply got tired of the media. And please, don't get me wrong, Ms. Wilson. I'm very proud of what I accomplished as 'Michael Jackson the entertainer,' but I, as 'Michael Jackson, the human,' could no longer take the pressures of Hollywood. I needed a change."

       Without thinking, Symphony reached across the table and stroked Michael's shoulder. She could hear the sadness in his voice and suddenly felt bad. "Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Dr. Black. And please forgive me, I didn't mean to pry--"

      Placing his hand over hers, he smiled and said, "No need to feel sorry. I offered that information freely."

       As he absent-mindedly stroked her hand, the two became silent, staring into each other's eyes.

        "Hey, Symphony!" Nicolae called out, causing her to become startled.

       As she pulled her hand away from Michael's, she clapped her hand to her forehead, feeling agitated by his sudden presence.

       "Hi Nicolae, I'm a bit busy, can I--" she grumbled before he cut her off.

         "Oh shit! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to interrupt. I just came by to pick up an order and saw you sitting here. I didn't know you had company with you," he spoke apologetically, as he ran his hands through his dark blond hair.

     If it hadn't been for a large tree blocking his view, he would have seen that she wasn't alone.

        "It's alright," Symphony sighed,

"But umm, I can't talk right now... Dr. Black and I were in the middle of an important discussion."

       "Yes... Very important. Now beat it!" Michael shouted silently in his head but then quickly reprimanded himself. He knew that his emotions were going a little haywire, but he wanted to get to know Symphony without interruption. With the first being Raven's intrusion, and now this Nicolae character, he couldn't catch a break.

        As Nicolae looked between both Symphony and Michael, his heart dropped a little. He had an inkling that the two were discussing a bit more than just schoolwork. Without bothering to acknowledge Michael, he spoke to Symphony only. 

      "Ok, let's touch base soon. We need to go over the setlist for Sunday's show," he spoke gruff and fast.

       "Alright, I'll give you a call tomorrow," she sighed in an exasperated voice.

          When Nicolae left the cafe, Symphony excused herself to the restroom. Far too much had happened in ten minutes, and she needed a moment to collect herself.

         After making sure she was alone, she started fussing at her reflection in the mirror. "Girl! What are you doing? He's your professor! And poor Nicolae, you didn't even bother to introduce him to Dr. Black. Get a grip!"

        Letting out a deep breath, Symphony tried to calm herself down. She knew that Michael was attracted to her, just as she was to him. She couldn't think clearly. All she could think about was how sexy he looked with his 5 o'clock shadow.   

          And sure, while she loved his personality and thought he was a nice guy. That didn't stop the raging fire he was causing within her. As her rational mind screamed, "stop it! He's your professor," her body screamed much louder, "Fuck me, Dr. Black!"

       When Symphony returned from the restroom, she and Michael picked up where they left off, minus the hand touching.

       "Is everything alright?" he asked, feeling as though something was amiss. 

       "Yes, all is well. Thanks for asking, how's your tea?" she spoke shakily, her body still reeling from the many emotions occurring within her. 

        "It's delicious. Sweet and warm... Just the way I like it," he drawled with a wolfish grin.

        Knowing that he wasn't just referring to the tea, she blushed inwardly and said, "I'm glad to hear that... Now, where were we?"

       For the remainder of the afternoon, they discussed many different topics, finding that they had a lot more in common than just their love for music.

        When the cafe started to blink their lights off and on, they both laughed simultaneously.

        "I think they want us out of here," Michael chuckled, looking at his watch. "Oh, wow! We've been talking for the past four hours."

        "Really? It doesn't seem that long. But you know what they say, 'funny how time flies when you're having fun,' she spoke softly, as a tender smile curved her lips.

        "Haha, I think my sister sang a song about that once. Well, I think we should get going, Ms. Wilson. The cafe is closing in five minutes, and it's a school night. I wouldn't want to interrupt your bedtime," he frowned.

        "No worries, Dr. Black. Feel free to interrupt it at any time. Tonight has been most delightful."

        "Same here, Ms. Wilson. Would it be ok if I walk you to your car? I know it's not that late, but I'm a--"

        "A gentleman. Yes, I know. Thank you, sir, but the walk won't be too far. I'm parked directly in front of the cafe."

        Standing up from the table, Michael reached for her hand and said, "it doesn't matter. A man should be a gentleman regardless of the situation."

       When Michael returned home later that night, he couldn't take his mind off of Symphony. He had thoroughly enjoyed his time with her, and his thoughts were racing at a mile per minute. He knew that becoming involved with a student might not be the wisest decision, but she was different. She was intelligent, beautiful, talented, and sexy. They had a lot in common. She piqued his interest on an intellectual level, but yet a sexual one as well.

        After showering, he laid in bed, thinking about his next move. He didn't know if he should wait until she finished taking his course, or make his interest known to her now. And then there was Raven. How would he tell her? Should he tell her? It's not like they were serious or anything.

         Once again, he had a lot to think about. While he was very attracted to Symphony, he wasn't ready to take the plunge and ask her out on a real date just yet, for fraternizing with a student went against his very own personal rules.

      But then he also thought, "some rules are meant to be broken."

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