Miscalculated Risks (Law School Heretic, Book 1)
Then suddenly a soft voice cut through all the chatter.
I whipped my head up, looking over my open laptop.
It was Tarek.
Jesus. I hadn’t even heard him approach.
I decided to take in the entire sight of him. Since he had addressed me directly, I finally had an excuse to take a good look at him. I decided afterward that it was kind of a mistake.
He was wearing a black T-shirt with dark jeans. His T-shirt hugged his chest, which, like his entire body, was lean and muscular. His short beard and goatee were neatly trimmed. He was certainly dark enough to be what Lara and Eric called “my type,” although I usually went for Latin men. I guessed his age to be about 28, but his eyes held an experience that made him seem more mature.
He wasn’t super-tall. I guessed that he was between 5 feet, 9 inches and 5 feet 10 inches. I was 5’6” so I more or less did a quick comparison. His curly black hair hung in carefully groomed, tight tiny ringlets around his face and almost down to his shoulders. He was incredibly sexy. He probably had to spend a lot of time on his hair, moussing it up, and that if he let it go it would probably be frizzy. His curls reminded me of Lara and her unruly hair, although her ringlets were more tousled and larger, and always framed her beautiful face perfectly. She was forever straightening it, but I kept telling her it looked gorgeous in ringlets, like Tarek’s curls did now. I felt myself softening a little at the thought of my sister, but I steeled my reserve and plastered a semi-scowl on my face. My scowl and general surly attitude were my defense mechanisms. After enough unpleasantness, people generally left me alone. I liked it that way. Eric, Josh and Dinesh were somehow building up a tolerance for it. It was starting to piss me off. Lately, everything was pissing me off.
I had to admit, however, that I was intrigued as well as annoyed. Few people had the nerve to come and talk to me like this, with no warning.
I decided not to say anything at first. I just stared and raised my eyebrows.
He waited a good three to four seconds before he spoke. The left corner of my mouth started to go up into a smirk. Invariably, there were only two reasons a guy like this, a semi-stranger no less, would deign to talk to me. If he was going to miss class and wanted to get my notes, he was shit outta luck. And if he wanted a booty call, well, I wasn’t quite sure yet how I would handle that. Little did I know, he wasn’t going to ask me either of those things.
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Acceptable Misconduct (Law School Heretic, Book 2)
In front of Tarek’s door, I took a deep breath and exhaled slowly. Before I could think about it, I reached out my fist and knocked.
Maybe I should leave, I thought.
All of a sudden, the door opened in one movement, and Tarek was staring into my eyes.
“Isabel.” His tone was surprised. Oh my God, he looked happy to see me.
“Hey,” I said. “I, uh — I came to see you.” I paused, putting my hands in my jacket pockets nervously. “But if it’s not a good time —”
“No, no,” he said, touching my elbow and leading me inside. “Come in.”
I stood there right inside his door like an idiot, with him waiting for me to say something.
“Tarek, I’m here because —” I looked down, then gathered my courage and raised my eyes to his. “I wanted to apologize.”
I was still looking at him. My God, did he really not know? Did he really think that I had nothing to apologize for? Maybe he was merely humoring me. But his eyes were questioning.
I still had my hands in my pockets. “I was such a jackass to you on the phone and — you were — you were so nice to me. You were so nice.” I shook my head, incredulous. “You’re always so nice to me. Even when I don’t deserve it. And I don’t — I don’t deserve it.”
“That’s not true,” he insisted.
I sucked in my breath sharply. “But I’m getting away from what I really wanted to tell you.”
“Tell me,” he said without hesitation.
I realized I was holding my breath. I exhaled as I painfully said, “I can’t stop thinking about you.”
Tarek’s eyes widened. I guessed he had not been expecting this.
There was no going back now. “I’m crazy about you,” I breathed. “And if you don’t feel the same way, we should stop spending time together, because I can’t do it anymore. It would feel awful to spend time with you, if you don’t —” I choked on the words.
My pulse was racing, my entire body on fire.
But apparently Tarek was more impatient than I was, if that were even possible, because the next few moments shocked the crap out of me.
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Author Bio: Maria Riegger is based in the Washington, DC area. She is a banking/corporate attorney by day (but please don’t hold that against her), and a fiction author by night.
Maria is a Gemini whose head has always been in the clouds. From a young age, her mother scolded her for not paying attention; when she was bored, she would make up stories in her head. She has been writing since she was about thirteen years old.
She has been caught air-guitaring in public. She loves to laugh, and is the “go-to” person if a friend needs someone to laugh at his lame jokes. In true Gemini fashion, she indulges both her logical personality as an attorney as well as her creative fiction-writing personality. She loved law school and even misses it, which led her friends to conclude that she is certifiable.
A native of the Washington, DC area, she is a political junkie who has respect for all views and who admires the political involvement of Americans. She loves nothing more than a solid political discussion where all views are represented.
An irreverent Gen X’er, she writes gritty contemporary romance with plenty of sarcasm.
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