"I see no grounds for the comments made about you Professor Moore." Dr. Pollock smiled at Mal and closed the small binder in front of him. "You may continue to teach Miss Rose and have her assistance."
"Thank you Dr. Pollock. But would it not be better to give Miss Rose another Professor to help? Just for her benefit I mean. You know what rumours are like."
"There are no other lecturers that need help in this subject. But if she feels the need to stop helping because of the rumour mill she may."
"I'll mention that to her. Thank you."
"Have a good day Professor."
"You too Dr. Pollock."
"Miss Rose? A moment?" Mal said, without looking up from her papers as the class packed up. Aurora stopped in her tracks and her friends gestured that they would wait outside.
"What's up?" Aurora asked, as other students passed her as they left.
"You're free to return to working as my assistant, if you would like. I warned Dr. Pollock that the rumour mill can be-"
"I'd like that."
Mal had to bite her lip to stop herself from saying no. There were still other students in the room. Aurora's eyes flicked to Mal's lips and she smirked.
"Are you sure that it would be good for you? I know how students can be."
"It'll be fine. Thank you. I'll see you later."
"Very well." Mal answered, looking back at her paper work. She heard the last of the students leaving, with Aurora amongst them and let out a sigh.
"I swear some people don't even use spell check." Aurora complained, underlining a word on the page she was reading.
"Mmm." Mal answered, focusing on the essay in front of her.
"You're talkative today."
"I am working, something that you should also be doing."
"I can do two things at once. I'm very flexible." Mal shot Aurora a stern glare, despite the smirk attempting to tweak the corners of her mouth. Aurora chuckled. "Oh please, lighten up Mal."
"Yes Professor." Aurora teased.
Mal ignored her and went back to the essay. A few minutes of silence followed until Aurora stood up.
"Finished?" Mal asked, refusing to look up.
"Yep." Aurora replied, placing the essays on the desk and then resting both hands on the wood. "Anything else I can do for you Professor?"
Mal glanced up. Aurora was smirking, gazing at Mal with a determined look on her face.
"How's the bruise?" Mal asked, half out of concern, and half in a desperate plea to get Aurora to stop flirting because there was no way she could withstand her for long.
"It's fine." Aurora stood up straight and shrugged.
"Then you're free to go." Mal replied, going back to her essay.
"I know we can't do anything Mal. I get it. But can't we get back the banter that we had?"
"This isn't banter, it's flirting. And it's inappropriate." Mal answered.
"But it's better than the alternatives isn't it?"
"And what might they be?" Mal gave up on the essay and looked up, tossing down her pen.
"We ignore each other, or we give in and you spend all your time worried about someone finding out."
"You really think we can flirt without it becoming too much, and giving in?" Mal asked. "Because I don't. So I am going to continue doing exactly what I'm doing, and you are going to stop being such a tease." She glanced quickly at Aurora's outfit; different from her usual dresses and cute outfits, she was wearing the jeans Mal had seen her in at work and a tight black t-shirt.
Aurora smirked and looked at her outfit too.
"I'm going to work and I don't have much time to change after this."
"You had better get a move on then."
Aurora chuckled again and grabbed her bag.
Mal waited until Aurora had left the room beyond her office before she went to the window and thrust it open.