Rachel Simons just wants to graduate college and move on to an exciting biology career doing something very geeky. The only thing standing between her and her future is a required course: physics.
Weird happenings are going on in the physics department. Rachel’s physics professor Peter Parker, aptly nicknamed Spider-Man, has a strange document up on his computer when Rachel visits during his office hours.
Is Peter Parker really a superhero, and is there an arch enemy who’s trying to kill him - and maybe Rachel as well? Justin Borgstrom, Peter Parker’s assistant, has unwittingly dragged Rachel into the center of the conflict, and Rachel’s not sure she’ll live through the end of the semester, fend off Justin’s romantic advances, or ever pass physics.
"Look. I'm not very good at solving mysteries," I tell him with a steel edge to my voice, talking with my hands as well. My hands are just kind of waving all over the place more than they're talking. They're just as confused and frustrated as I am. "It just so happens that I follow comic books. Now chances are I'm not the only one who does so. Never underestimate the power of a determined comic book nerd. And seriously! Have you ever heard of subtlety? I mean, there're only so many times you can slander Parker before someone catches wind you're a kiss-ass and always in his office!"
Justin mumbles something.
"What?" I shout. I've become so thoroughly exasperated.
"You're intense when you're pissed." He eyes me warily.
"It happens when a person is short. It gives me extra height," I seethe. I come back to myself, realizing how lucky I am things have gone this way instead of another.
He sighs. "You're right about people figuring it out."
"Of course I'm right!" I can't stop myself now I've riled myself up. "Can I go back to my waffle fries or do you want to try to intimidate me some more?"
"Rachel, you can't tell anyone!" he insists.
"I'm not!" I insist. "And don't you dare tell Brent you convinced me to hook up with you."
"He thinks we're dating," Justin says with much reluctance.
"What? Why the eff would he think that?" I screech. "We're never around each other, and I don't like you at all -- especially romantically or even sexually. I think you're an ass, and you know nothing about me."
"I, uh, I told him my bruises came from... yeah." Justin doesn't look me in the eye; he looks to a spot on my left shoulder. "And that's where I am all the time. And he saw us looking at each other and assumed you were it."
"Oh, for-- I didn't– Are all boys as stupid as you and he are?" I've now reached the point where I am close to losing coherency.
He doesn't respond.
"So that hickey on your neck is supposed to be from me?" I realize.
He looks at me before slowly saying, "Yeah."
"Who is it really from?" I can't keep myself from asking. "And why couldn't you just tell him that?"
"You know why. Don't you dare trick me into saying it in public."