All her life Leighton Mitchell has always had a special place in her heart for helping people. Ever since she was a little girl she was always willing to help strangers before herself. Her parents were very active in the community of Albuquerque, New Mexico. When Leighton was the age of just 10 she took her first mission trip to Honduras. Of course she had a blast and that trip was the first of many. For an 8 year time span, Leighton had visited all around the world with her family. She has been to help down in Mexico, Kenya, Haiti, Japan after a tsunami and even Israel.
The medical field has always been a huge part of the Mitchell's life as Leighton's dad, Roger is a 10 year surgeon. Her father is a Neurosurgeon at Heart Hospital of New Mexico and her mother is an Occupational Therapist at the Dogwood Therapy Services in Albuquerque. When she was a junior in high school she pledged right in her guidance's counselor's office, Mr. Shively, she was going to be a nurse.
Leighton is in her final year of her nursing school at the University of Iowa. She's really eager to finish school as she is more than ready to move back to New Mexico and begin her career. With starting her Master's for nursing in the summer, she has been working really hard to save money to pay for it. Her and her parents come to an agreement that they would pay for half and Leighton pays the other. But, in order to raise that much money Leighton has taken on three jobs.
One, being a CNA or in another words a Certified Nursing Assistant. She normally works 12 hour shifts that consist of working from 6 pm to 6 am, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Even though it can be tiring and some what boring at times, she does like the job and the atmosphere in the nursing home. She always looks forward to seeing her favorite resident, Gerald. Little old Gerald is always flirting with her and always asking her on dates in his old age. Her favorite is the stories he tells about his late wife Martha, who passed away a few years ago of Lung Caner.
Leighton's second job is waitressing at the local Texas Roadhouse about 25 minutes from her apartment. She has worked at the steakhouse the longest as her best friend Eva helped her with the job when she first moved to Iowa, since her uncle is the manager. Waitressing has been her source of income since moving to the city, CNA job for two years.
Leighton's final job is a bartender at the local bar a few minutes from the Iowa Hawkeyes campus. She tries to pick up as many nights as she can, but she feels sometimes that makes her the most money. Even though sometimes the constant getting hit on by old geezers gets a little annoying, she still banks every night.
Starting her fall semester of her senior year at the University of Iowa, there has been talk since last semester about a new teacher. Leighton and Eva are walking through campus to where their class is being held. Walking into the small room the girls sit down together towards the front of the room. Since the class doesn't start for another ten minutes the girls take it upon themselves and chat.
"I'm really excited for this class. Not so sure about the new teacher though," Leighton exclaims.
"Yeah same here, nobody knows his teaching style," says Eva.
A few minutes later they see a man enter the lecture hall and make his way to the computer stand as he pulls out his laptop, flash drive, lesson plan, notebook and his glasses, sliding them on. The room gets quiet as he turns on his laptop and the class computer before hooking up his Powerpoint as it then shines on the projector screen.
After writing his name on the whiteboard he turns and faces the class. "Good morning class and welcome to Lifecyles and Sports Nutrition. I am Sam Dawson and I'll be your professor for the semester."
"He's hot," Leighton hears Eva whisper into her ear, as Sam starts going over what to expect in class and a few class rules.
"Yeah definitely," Leighton says back to Eva, taking notes as the professor goes right into lecture.
After class, Leighton hurries and packs her stuff since she has to go home and get ready for her long shift at Texas Roadhouse. It's just another night at work, getting hit on by men she finds repulsive, a few likeable families and a few birthdays.
Finally clocking out at around 11:35pm she pulls her phone out of her pocket.
"Drinks at 2 Dogs Pub?" Eva texts her.
Reluctantly, she agrees making her way to the bar. She pulls up a few minutes later and walks in through the front door. Finding her friends at the bar as she smiles when they say her name in unison. She slides up on a barstool greeting them, still in her work uniform, jeans, black tshirt with the logo on it and a Nike zip up hoodie.
"Hey," Leighton smiles as she slides up on a barstool.
"Hey how was work?" Eva asks sipping her beer.
"Same old same old," Leighton answers ordering a new beer herself, definitely needing one.
While the girls are talking, the conversation interrupted by a man's voice. "Here you go ladies," says the bartender, wearing jeans, denim long sleeve shirt and a belt.
"Professor Dawson?" Leighton asks after taking a long pull of her beer.
"Oh right you were in my class today weren't you? What was your name again?" he asks, leaning against the bar.
Looking from Eva and back to Sam, "um it's Leighton. Leighton Mitchell," she answers putting her hand out in front of her.
Shaking both Eva and Leighton's hand, "it's nice to meet you both, but Sam is fine."
"You sure?" Leighton asks, setting her half empty glass down.
"Of course, how's the beer?" Sam asks, pushing off the bar.
"It's good, I might need another one in like .2 seconds," Leighton smiles taking another long pull.
"I didn't think class was that bad today," Sam laughs a little, watching her down the rest of the beer.
"It's just been one of those days," Leighton smiles watching Sam make a drink for another patron.
"Yeah I gotcha," setting her down a shot glass in front of her, smiling.
"You better not be charging me for this," Leighton smiles, pointing at the full shot glass. "What's in there?"
"Just take it," Sam laughs.
After giving him a look, she smiles picking up the shot glass. After examining it she throws it back and slapping it back on the bar.
"Shit," she mutters a little.
"There was some tequila in there, a few other things," Sam laughs.
"That was rough," Leighton says sliding the glass back over to Sam, taking a sip of her beer.
"Shots usually are," Sam laughs.
It's around 1 am as Sam gets home, "hey I'm home," he says the dog running to greet him.
"I'm in here babe," Sam hears his wife from the kitchen.
Setting his stuff down, checking out his wife before kissing her, "how are you doing?"
"I'm good. How was work?" she asks wrapping her arms around his torso.
Nodding his head, "Work was good, busy as usual."
"Yeah I bet. I know it's like 1:30 in the morning but are you hungry?" she laughs.
"No not really, I ate a bit while I was at work. Why are you?"
"I wasn't talking about food," she says biting her bottom lip and unbuttoning his shirt.
"Oh really?" Sam smiles.
"Yeah come on," pulling Sam upstairs.
Procrastinating the night before and finally finishing Mr. Dawson's paper, Leighton is ready to turn the finished project in. Eva and Leighton walk in, placing their papers on the corner of his desk—Sam already at the desk on his computer, looking through his Powerpoint. The class starts a few minutes later as Leighton gets out her notebook, beginning her note taking. Throughout the lecture, Leighton catches Sam staring at her, looking away as they make eye contact.
At the end of class, Eva is one of the last ones to leave class, having to be at work in the next 20 minutes, therefore leaving Leighton alone.
"How are you today Leighton?" says Sam, picking up his bag and walking over to Leighton.
"I'm good, you?" smiling back at him.
"I'm doing well also. Would you like to get something to eat?"
"Um is that allowed?" Leighton asks, as they walk out of the classroom.
"To eat?" Sam laughs. "I would hope so."
"Okay, yeah sure," as they walk to a little cafe on campus.
"So what is your major?" Sam asks after they order food.
"Nursing," Deagan answers taking a sip of her water.
"What made you want to be a nurse?"
"Well my dad is a Neurosurgeon and my mom is an Occupational Therapist, so I mean the medical field is in my family. But I don't know, I really like helping people," says Leighton proudly.
"That's awesome, certainly nothing wrong with that."
"What made you want to become a professor?"
"I just finished my Masters last year and they offered me the chance and I figured I'd give it a shot. I've always enjoyed teaching."
"Well you're really good at it. Like seriously you don't bore me, sometimes your assignments are a little irritating but other than that," Leighton laughs a little.
"Irritating huh? How so?"
"They just are. I'm not telling you."
"And why not?" taking a sip of her water.
"Because you'll make it harder. I wasn't born yesterday."
"Or maybe I would make them easier," as their food arrives.
"Right," Leighton laughs, placing her napkin on her lap.
"So I'm guessing from that accent that you aren't from around here?"
"No, I'm actually from New Mexico," she smiles.
Taking a bite of his food, "quite a ways from home."
"So which do you like better here or home?" Sam asks.
"Here, but I do miss the New Mexico heat," eating thinking he's really handsome, looking down at his hand noticing he isn't wearing a wedding ring.
"I prefer the cold so I'm not so sure I'd say the same."
"I don't mean to be rude, but how old are you?" Leighton asks smiling.
"Why don't you go ahead and guess," Sam laughs a little.
"Hmm..31?" Leighton respectfully guesses.
"You were close but I am 34," Sam smiles. "How old is your boyfriend?"
"Zero, considering I don't have one. I mean I am dating Channing Tatum he just doesn't know it yet," Leighton winks.
"Ah well then too bad he doesn't know, otherwise he'd be one very lucky guy," Sam winks.
"Well thank you. What about you? How old is your significant other?"
"I don't know how old are you?" Sam smirks.
"I'm 24," Leighton answers.
"Well then 24 it is."
"So nobody special in your life?" Leighton asks taking a long drink of her water.
"Nope, just you."
Leighton can't help but laugh a little and look down at her food, kinda surprised he even said what he did. Pushing her food around her plate, also surprised that he is not married or even taken. As the pair sit at the table, Sam's phone dings indicating a text message. Leighton watches as he looks down at his phone and then slides it back in his pocket and looks back at Leighton.
"Well thank you for lunch I should probably get home. I have an English paper to write before heading to work," Leighton says wiping her mouth.
"Alright well if you really have to then I understand."
"I do," Leighton smiles. "I'm a CNA at a nursing home and I work tonight so I need to get that done before my morning class tomorrow."
"Alrigh then," Sam says.
"Parents are coming over for dinner, what should I make?" Sam sees the text from his wife.
"Whatever you want, I can just pick something up if you want," texting her back. Sam picks up some Thai food and heads back to his place.