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Excerpt

Jamie sat in the second row all the way against the wall in her anthropology class. Students wandered in, the majority of them being freshmen so they all had the same wide-eyed, terrified look of bewilderment. Even she felt it from time to time. She just hid it better, or at least she hoped she did. She lifted her left foot, pushing up against the seat of the chair next to her. Her hand was in a fist and pushing against her chin. Jeans and a band tee shirt, her hair in a bun, was the normal dress for her. 

Jamie let her mind wander while she waited for the class to fill up and begin. Not thinking a thing, drifting off and letting herself relax if only for a moment. So when there was a tap on her shoulder she nearly jumped out of her seat.

"I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you jump." 

She shook her head and took her foot off the chair. "Stop sneaking up on me, Scott." She smiled, rolling her eyes as she spoke.

"Maybe, I should sit somewhere else."

"No. Here. Sit." 

The classroom buzzed with chatter. Everyone was getting to know each other. The door opened and everyone fell silent. A man in maybe his early thirties, easily over six feet tall, holding a binder walked down the aisle of chairs to the front of the room. Obviously, he was the professor, but he didn't dress the part. He wore a white dress shirt, black vest, black pants and a multicolored scarf. His light blond curly hair was almost out of control with how long it was, though it looked like he tried to keep it back with gel or something. Didn't matter. His face was all angles, and even from the back of the room Jamie could see he had really blue eyes, the kind that sort of pop out and made themselves obvious. 

"Good morning. I'm Doctor Bond, James Bond." He paused holding the bottom of his vest. He had a slight accent, British, probably English, but it was subtle like maybe he'd only spent a little time there, or hadn't been in England in a long time. "Andrew Bond, actually; but I always like to tell that joke on the first day of classes." He smiled and let out a laugh. 

"I think I could like him," Jamie whispered to Scott. 

Anyone who made a James Bond joke at his own expense was good in her book. The professor clapped his hands and rubbed them together. 

"Alright, I'm going to go ahead and pass out the syllabus and let you know what we are going to do throughout the term. Yes?" He opened his binder and pulled out a stack of papers. Instead of handing some to the first student in each row, he started down the first row, handing the syllabus directly to each student with a smile and sometimes a "hello." 

"I think I could, too. You can tell he really wants to be here," Scott said, leaning sideways closer to her so he could whisper and only she would hear him.

"So that means he is going to be a good teacher?" Jamie asked, turning enough to look at Scott.

He nodded and raised an eyebrow. "Ever have a miserable teacher you knew hated his job?"

"Sure."

"How much did you learn?"

Jamie nodded. "Point taken."

The professor reached them and handed them the paper. If he heard them he didn't show it other than his grin. He had that kind of smile you couldn't ignore. You had to smile back. "Good morning," he said to Jamie as she took hers. 

"Good morning..."

The only sound in the classroom as he finished his circuit was the flip of paper as each of them looked over the requirements. 

"So, let's get to know each other. I'll call your name, ask a question, and you answer. Simple as that. I will mark down that you are here and then we can move on to the wonders of anthropology." He emphasized the words with a flourish of his hand as if he were announcing an award.

"Okay, so he might be a little too much into it," Scott mumbled with a chuckle.

"What's your name?"

Jami's eyes snapped forward in a sudden panic, but she released her breath. Doctor Bond was looking at Scott, not her. Jamie pressed her back against the wall. She swore she could feel the look Doctor Bond pinned on Scott. 

"Scott Scotch," he answered. 

Doctor Bond nodded. "Scott Scotch. Hmmm. And, where are you from, Mr. Scotch?" 

"The city." Another simple answer. 

"New York City?" Scott nodded. Doctor Bond nodded as well and placed his hands behind his back. 
"Am I right to assume to that you were whispering about me to this young lady here?" Jamie cringed. She was going to be called out next. Scott nodded slowly. The class was silent. Jamie was begging someone to cough or speak or something, but no there was just silence. "And, what is your name?"

"Jamie Boyer."

"And where are you from, Ms. Boyer?"

"Florida."

"What part?" 

So many questions. 

"Winter Parks. It's near Orlando." She let out a breath that she didn't know that she was holding. 

He pushed his hands into his pockets and rocked on his heels, his gaze shifting from Jamie to Scott, and back. There was a glint in his eyes, and not the angry kind. "Do you mind telling me what you were talking about?"

Jamie paused and glanced at Scott, but he was no help. He stared at her, kind of wide-eyed, but his expression gave away nothing. She decided making up something would probably be worse than the truth; after all, it wasn't like they were saying anything bad about him. 

"We were making an observation. You're enthusiastic, like you want to be here. Like you're excited to teach. I said I think I'm going to enjoy the class."

"Is that true, Mr. Scotch?" Doctor Bond asked with an arched eyebrow.
Scott nodded. 

Doctor Bond nodded and pressing his lips together. "I'll take it."