Home > Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(6)

Before Jamaica Lane (On Dublin Street #3)(6)
Author: Samantha Young

Ellie’s stepdad, a professor of classical history at the University of Edinburgh, had given me a reference at the main campus library that helped me get an interview. Unfortunately, there were only so many librarian jobs to go around; I did get a job, but as a library assistant. I didn’t feel too bad about that. I was just happy to have a job in my profession.

Normally I spent either the morning or the afternoon at the help desk in the forum of the library or in the reserve section, and the other half of the day in the office doing administrative work. I preferred being front of house and interacting with the students. I’d been there only eight months, but already I was familiar with a number of students, and had a great rapport with them and my colleagues.

‘How can I help?’ I asked loudly over the chatter of noise in the forum.

Beyond the security gates at the main entrance of the library was an area around the staircase that students had taken to using as a hangout. At the far end of the hall was the help desk, where they could manually check out their books, and beyond us was the reserve section, where they could check out material for either three hours or one week, depending on the proviso put down by the course head. The fines we made them pay if the reserve material was overdue were heavy, to say the least. We’re talking two pence a minute, which is roughly three cents a minute. Doesn’t sound like much, but if a student didn’t return the material for a week, or two, or a month … Yeah … you see where I’m going with this. My least favorite part of the job was telling students what their fines amounted to in the reserve section.

The girl leaned in close, her cheeks flushed. ‘I’m partnered with a student who has an accessible room. Unfortunately, we can’t get into that room right now because of … students and certain activities going on in there.’

When she blushed harder, I instantly understood and glanced over my shoulder at Angus, who was taking a folder out of a filing cabinet. Angus, a bald, good-looking forty-something with kind eyes and a sharp sense of humor, overheard her comment, and his lips twitched with laughter as he said, ‘Your turn.’

I grimaced but smoothed my face into perfect serenity when I turned back to the student. ‘Of course.’ Rounding the main desk, I caught up to the girl, whose whole body was rigid with embarrassment. God, I hoped I was walking into a little mild making out and not full-on sex. Horny little bastards. ‘I take it your friend forgot to lock her room last time she used it?’

The accessible rooms were small private rooms on the first floor, with lockable doors. They were reserved for any of our students with a disability. Those students were permanently assigned a room for the semester; however, more times than I’d like to count, I’d been tasked with kicking students out of the rooms not only for using them when they shouldn’t have been but for utilizing them as hotel rooms.

Having caught two students going at it in the less-than-hygienic men’s toilet, though, I was no longer surprised by anything.

As we rounded the staircase, I had to forcibly ignore the smell of coffee floating toward me from the student café. I would so much rather have been sitting down drinking a latte than playing whatever you called the opposite of a brothel’s madam.

‘She must have forgot.’ The girl pressed her lips together. ‘But that’s not really the point.’

I supposed I had to give her that.

When we reached the first floor, I flicked my long hair over my shoulders, threw them back, and marched into the main room, striding past study booths, study pods, and a bunch of giggling students who sat across from the accessible rooms. Attempting to look like I meant business, I looked back at the girl. ‘Which one?’

She pointed to room three.

Drawing in a breath I marched forward, gripped the handle, and thrust the door open, only just refraining from squeezing my eyes closed.

A girl squealed as a guy growled, ‘What the …’

I watched with my arms crossed over my chest as he quickly pulled up his zipper and she righted her dress. She slid off the desk, clinging to the guy, her eyes bright with laughter.

‘This is not a hotel room,’ I told them calmly. ‘And the library is not a rendezvous point. Capice?’

‘What are you, Al Capone?’ The boy laughed, gently pushing the girl toward me and the door.

I sighed heavily. ‘Just have a little consideration for the general public, okay?’ My eyes quickly looked him over as I raised an unimpressed eyebrow. ‘No one wants to see that.’

The girl giggled while the guy laughed me off, brushing past me.

That would make it the fifth time since I’d started working at the university that I’d thrown someone out of one of those rooms for inappropriate behavior.

And they say a library is a boring place to work.

I’d returned from my tour of duty at the help desk to work in the reserve section. Tidying up and keeping an eye on the help desk, I was thinking about what to cook tonight for me and Nate, since he was coming over to work at my flat, when Benjamin Livingston showed up.

Trying to act cool, I slipped past the bookshelves and hurried behind the desk in case he required some assistance. A huge part of me hoped that he did, while the other part was terrified that he would.

The guy was beautiful – and not like Nate’s obvious man beauty, but in this rugged, outdoorsy, I-can-chop-wood-with-my-bare-hands kind of beautiful.

I’d helped Benjamin out a few times. Of course, I hadn’t managed to speak more than a few words to him, and they had been muttered under my breath in case they came out in the wrong order, which my words tended to do around a guy I was attracted to. From what I could tell by the resources Benjamin borrowed, he was a postgrad student in history. I usually saw him a few times a week, and lately I’d begun to really look forward to seeing him.

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