The rest of the day dragged on as Sebastian made his way through his class schedule. There were sideways glances, stares, and muttered comments since his arrival at school, but he ignored them the best he could and went about his business. When the last bell chimed at 2:45, signaling the end of the school day, Sebastian navigated his way to the study hall. He was there to meet the genius tutor his mother had arranged for him. He wasn’t in the mood to study and all he really wanted was a cigarette, but he was mindful of Nanny’s instruction to blend in and buckle down, so he dutifully awaited the arrival of his savior.
Tess Hamilton promptly entered the study hall at 2:50 and walked up to him, laying her textbooks on his table.
“You?” Sebastian blurted out, slightly startled, but with a broad grin on his face.
“They didn’t tell you I was your tutor?”
“Well, at least you look pleased—that’s half the battle. Why didn’t you ask who your tutor was in the dean’s office? Weren’t you curious?”
“I don’t care who is doing the tutoring. My job is to listen and learn. I’m not interested in your body, just your mind.”
Tess did have a nice body, he observed, finally able to get a full view of her standing next to him. She was petite, about five-feet two inches, with an hourglass figure.
“Gee, way to make a girl feel wanted,” she teased.
“If you’re looking for sex, I’d be happy to oblige. This table looks sturdy, and I like a girl who doesn’t have an aversion to public displays of attraction.”
“Public displays of affection,” Tess corrected, not missing a beat.
“I hardly think carnal desire has anything to do with affection,” Sebastian countered.
“Then it’s a good thing you’re not interested in my body.” She placed her hands on her hips and shook her head.
“What did I get myself into?”
Sebastian didn’t reply, but stood up and pulled out a chair for Tess to sit.
“You’re charming,” she commented.
“Yes,” he merely agreed, with no sense of false modesty.
“I prefer aloof,” he corrected her.
“Well, with a vocabulary like that, you should have no problem with the English portion of your SATs.”
He smiled to himself. He liked her straightforward attitude. Tess was not one of those polite socialite types he was so used to, who smiled demurely then quickly gossiped behind your back. She was a breath of fresh air.
“She’s everything I’m not and everything I want to be.”
Sebastian Iron’s life is spiraling out of control. Over the course of one week, Sebastian witnesses death, runs away with his best friend’s girl, gets kicked out of his English prep school, and is banished to America by his domineering mother to repeat his senior year of high school.
In America, Sebastian struggles to find self-discipline and a purpose to turn his life around. He meets Tess Hamilton, the only person to show him any kindness in his new school. Little does he know, she is the savior tutor hired by his mother to help him improve his grades. The two slowly begin to build a friendship.
As their friendship blossoms, Sebastian begins to have romantic feelings for Tess. She claims to only want a platonic relationship, but Sebastian feels the undeniable spark that sizzles between them every time they are together.
Forces beyond their control will either bring Sebastian and Tess closer together or tear them apart.
Will Sebastian return to his old habits or find the strength to be the person worthy of Tess’ love?