***Part Six***
Word Count: 2,420

They saw each other when they could. He helped her study sometimes. She realized quickly that he was very smart. Not just book smart either. He knew things she'd never heard about before in any history or English book she'd ever read.

Sneaking around sucked most of the time. More than once she wanted to quit, but he'd always talked – or kissed – the idea out of her mind. It was a new experience for her, being able to talk to him about everything. Well, almost anything. She still hadn't decided whether she could – or should – tell him everything about herself.

"Hi," she said as she pushed open his office door.

"Hi yourself."

Since he was a new professor he didn't warrant an office with windows. That worked to their advantage a few times when they'd wanted to make out for a minute or two.

He stood from his chair and walked to her, kissing her.

"What brings you here?"

"I thought you might want something to eat," she said, sliding her backpack off her shoulder. She opened it and handed him a paper sack from the union. "It's just a sandwich, chips, and an apple."

"An apple a day."

"Right."

"Well, thank you. You're sweet to think of me."

"Yeah, yeah. I just know you won't think to stop to eat before dinner."

"So, I heard that Lowell fellow ask you out."

"You did?"

"Mm. Indeed. I was curious what he wanted because he's a fairly good student so I didn't think it was class related."

"Did you hear me say no, too?"

"I did," he said, regarding her. "About that."

"Yes?"

"I wonder if you should say yes."

"Wow. Thanks for lunch, Claire. Oh, and by the way, I think it's time for you to see other people."

"Keep your voice down, and that is not how I mean it."

"How else could I possibly take that suggestion?"

"Women your age date. I've been watching and it's common. I see it. Men and women your age change dates more quickly than they wash laundry I'd wager."

"My age. I'm not that much younger than you. And so what if other women do that?"

"You not dating makes you stand out. Or it may."

"So, you want me to say yes to Lowell? Is that what you're saying? You want him to what? Be my beard?"

"I'm not sure what that means."

"Do I get to kiss him, too? Or just what is it you think I should be doing?"

"No, I don't want you to do any of that. At all."

"Then what, Adam?"

"I don't know. I'm new to this."

"Obviously."

"Hey," he said. "It just seems someone as attractive as you should have a boyfriend."

"What is it you want from me, Adam?" She ignored how good his compliment felt because that wasn't the point right now.

"Want from you?"

He slid his hand to her cheek and drew her to him. He kissed her then. Really kissed her, deepening it as she slid her arms around his neck. He pressed her against his door, running his hands along her body.

She gasped as his hands slid along her hips.

"You had to wear a skirt today?"

"I wear them all of the time. Why is today bad?"

"Because the idea of you even pretending to be interested in another man drives me crazy."

"You brought it up! Crazy?"

"And that's bad."

"Why?" she asked. This was the most aggressive he'd been since New York. She liked it. A lot. She was always hesitant with him, her lack of experience getting in the way more often than not. His signals were very difficult to read.

"Because it makes me want you."

"That's good, Adam."

He chuckled, kissing her neck. "Really want you."

"You can have me." She knew that he was in part afraid she'd feel guilty if they had sex and they had to keep hiding from everyone, but she didn't think that would be an issue.

His hand slid under her skirt and she bit her lip as he brushed her nub with his thumb. She reached for the front of his pants, undoing them.

"Claire," he hissed.

"Oh God, Adam. No, not again."

"You deserve so much better."

"Then what? Feeling good?"

She touched him then, running her hand along his length to draw him out of his pants. He drew away a little and she gave a soft whimper in protest.

"Do you trust me?"

"Yes," she said. Didn't he know that by now?

"Come over tonight."

"Adam," she said, feeling severely disappointed.

"I will not have our first time be against a door, rushed because I don't know when someone is going to come by."

"You can be quick, can't you?"

He chuckled. "Ah, my dear, no, I cannot be quick. Not with you."

"Okay."

"Use the opener I gave you and park in my garage."

"Right."

"Thank you for lunch."

"You're welcome."

"And I don't want you to go out with someone else, but people may find it odd you aren't seeing people."

"I came up with an idea."

"Oh?"

"Brent mentioned he saw a picture of me online at one of the parties I was at over break."

"A picture?"

"Yes."

"That's not good, Claire."

"You weren't in it, I'm sure. We were never together other than a dance or two at those parties."

He frowned and she sighed.

"I'll just tell people that I met someone while I was there. I mean, it's not a lie."

"All right."

"Okay then."

"You have no idea how tempting it is."

"I'm still not saying no. You can make it up to me later tonight. As slow as you want."

"Don't tempt me."

"God, Adam, I want to tempt you. I've been trying for weeks."

He pushed her skirt up and gripped her hips to prompt her to put them around his waist. She didn't need much prompting, wrapping herself around him as completely as she could. He captured her mouth as he slid into her.

"Tell me when I can move," he whispered, nipping her lower lip.

"You can move."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes," she said softly.

He took hold of one of her hands, sliding their hands between their bodies.

"No, you do it," he said when she started to draw her hand away. "I want to watch you please yourself."

"Adam," she said.

"No time to be coy, Claire. We're in my office. I don't know how you tick as well as I should and I'm not going to last long."

She closed her eyes, slid her head to the door and started touching herself as he began thrusting into her. He moved them to the wall right next to the door. A little less flimsy, she guessed. Her breath caught as she brought herself over the edge.

"Look at me," he said. She did, expecting to see revulsion or something in his eyes. That wasn't there at all. She watched him slide into her as she touched herself lazily. She lifted her fingers away from where their bodies were joined, bringing them to his mouth.

He groaned, licking each of her fingers in turn as he finished, growing still once he had.

"I knew this was a bad idea."

"I'm sorry? What?" That wasn't the response she was expecting.

"You were fine. It was a bad idea because now I want to – what is the term – play hokey?"

"I'd love to play hokey with you."

"I can't, Claire."

"I know."

"I can, however, say that I'd like to come home to you waiting in bed for me."

"Yeah?"

"Yes, though, wearing much, much less than this."

"I can do that, I think."

He helped her fix her skirt, kissing her before picking up the bag of lunch she'd brought for him.

"Thank you again for lunch."

"You're welcome."

"Next time."

"Yes?"

"I have this image of you sitting on my lap at my desk here."

"Well, we'll see what we can work out. I'm sure that's doable. If not here at your desk at home."

He set the bag on his desk and picked her backpack off the floor.

"Go before I rethink the hokey thing."

"All right."

"I don't want you to go."

"I know."

"This is why I tried to stop."

"It's fine, Adam. I'm not mad or anything." She kissed him, drawing away. "I'll see you later."

"I look forward to it."

"Me, too."

He didn't lock the door from his garage to the house so she had no problem getting in. She called her house and told her mom that she was studying and wouldn't be home for dinner. Then she went to his bedroom. He hadn't said what time he'd be home.

Home.

It always struck her as an odd place for him. It was a typical Southern California bungalow-type house. So, the house wasn't the problem.

It was him. The things he had. She was not an expert, but some of his things looked very old. And very expensive. They didn't fit this life he had here. Small college professor.

She found a shirt of his in his closet and put it on once she'd gotten undressed.

"Now this is the best thing I've come home to in I can't tell you how long."

"Well, that's good."

"Getting your homework done?"

"Yep."

"In my bed."

"Yes."

"In my shirt."

"Yes," she replied, watching as he undressed before joining her.

"Done?"

"Mostly. I was just reading ahead a bit for English class."

"Why are you such a good student? Even last semester I knew I could count on the fact you'd done your reading."

"I told you already," she said as he started working the buttons on the shirt she wore. "I want to get into a better school."

"Oh right. I forgot, sorry."

"It's okay," she whispered.

It was the last coherent thing she said for well over an hour.

"I apologize if I hurt you."

"You didn't."

"I should have realized it would be that way, but I guess I hadn't thought that deeply on the intricacies."

"Of?"

"You. Us."

"You're fine."

She climbed onto his lap, kissing him deeply. She touched him, fingers trailing along his chest and abdomen. She loved how he felt. And tasted. The sex was great, but this stuff, the touching was almost better. Getting to know him.

"Better than fine even."

"Well, good. I'll be more mindful from now on."

"It's okay, Adam. I'm not glass."

He kissed her jaw. "You have no idea how many times I've pictured this."

"Really?"

"One day maybe you'll understand, but yes. Really."

"That's good to know."

"Yeah?"

"Yes, I love that you thought of me."

"The idea of you before finding you. I'd lost hope."

"I'm sorry. You sound so sad when you talk like that."

"Not sad, Claire. I was just so very tired. It's hard to explain right now, but one day I will."

"All right," she said, hoping one day would come sooner rather than later.

"How long are you able to stay?"

"I should be home by midnight or my parents will be worried."

"Oh yes. I forget about those things."

"Parents?"

"Mm hmm," he said, nibbling at her neck.

"You don't have parents?"

"No," he murmured, finding a breast.

"I'm sorry."

He chuckled softly. "It's all right, but thank you."

"I can't even imagine. I've been mad at my dad a few times lately that I thought I'd be better off with my birth father."

"Nathan?"

"How do you know that?"

"I know lots of things, but it didn't take much intellect to put it together."

"How do you know them anyway?"

"The Petrelli's?"

"Yes, and don't change the subject on me like you did in New York."

"You noticed that?"

"Yes. Every time!"

"Peter and I enjoyed The Company's hospitality together. I was there a little longer than he was. We escaped together."

"And Nathan? Because he clearly knows you, too, and seems to like you."

"Yes, well, one seems to like the person who saves their life."

"You saved his life?"

"Yes."

"How?"

"The same way that you could have."

"Me? What are you talking about, Adam?"

"You mean, you don't know?"

"Know what?"

"Your ability. What it entails. Your father, neither of them, have done you any favors not telling you."

"How did you?"

"Peter told me about you. I think he knew I was at the end of my rope. Years I've been alone, no one. The Company promised me a cure, but there is no such thing. Believe me, I hoped there was. I had a plan when I escaped. It wasn't to come to California and get a girlfriend."

"A plan?"

"It's not important anymore. Peter – you – gave me hope. Something else to focus on. A desire to live at least a little longer."

"So, have you really written those books in your office?"

"Yes," he said with a laugh.

"Why are you laughing at me?"

"I'm not. It's just that I've told you I'm like you and you ask me about my books."

"How did you heal Nathan?"

"My blood heals, as does yours."

"I didn't know."

"I suppose you wouldn't. I learned quite by accident. I was in battle; fell on top of one of my wounded comrades. My blood mixed with his and healed him. It took me attempting it for real, with the desire to actually heal someone I mean to know for certain. Someone should tell you. Since my escape, The Company would love to get their hands on someone else with the same ability."

"I can do that, too? I could have healed Nathan?"

"You didn't know, Claire. He knows that."

"I know. I just. My God, that's terrible. Months he was laid up in the hospital bed. In pain."

"He was unconscious."

"Still!"

"You didn't know."

"Why didn't you tell me this?"

"Truthfully, I wanted to get to know you. The you others see. And I wanted you to get to know me, too."

"You were going to tell me?"

"Yes, eventually. It wasn't my intention to lie or deceive you. I just had to be near you."

"And now?"

He spun them so he was on top of her. She gave a bit of a shriek in surprise.

"I will always want to be near you, Claire."

"This near me?"

"I think it's not near enough."

"Me, too."

~The End~