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The following week I was back at school for the first meeting of the ‘Concert Squad’ as it had been labelled. Apparently it was all about squads these days or so Violet had told me. So there I was, right on time but hovering outside the door, really not wanting to go in, really not wanting to see West again. I’d tried to change to a different group but the PC President Marcy Smythe had assured we it was ‘simply impossible’ but if I ‘didn’t want to help at all everyone would understand.’ After all I was only a part time parent. So I had smiled and said it was fine of course, damn my stubborn pride.

I could hear voices on the other side of the door, low laughter, higher pitched giggles so I wasn’t technically late yet but I needed to get in there. Taking a deep breath I opened the door and took a step inside. Nic’s voice rang out before the door even closed behind me.

“Sascha! That’s all of us so let’s get started,” she said enthusiastically. “Grab a seat everyone,” she raised her voice and walked over to a large table with stacks of paper on it.

I followed and slid in next to Nic as the other four people in the room did as well. There were two women and two men, no West, and relief flooded through me at the reprieve. I knew it wouldn’t last, he was the teacher in charge of the concert so he would have to be involved, but the more time that passed, the easier it would get, surely?

“Okay, we have a lot to get through,” Nic announced, clearly in charge here. “We have a new member this year,” she added with a smile at me and I realised everyone was looking at me. “Everyone meet Sascha.” There were smiles and nods as Nic kept talking. “We’ll want to know what your secret talent is shortly first I’ll let the others introduce themselves.

There was Max and Kate who were the costume department then Don and Paula who built the sets. “I fill in wherever needed and work with West on the technical things including recording the night for prosperity,” Nic ended and they all looked to me.

Glad I’d had a couple of minutes to think since I’d just expected to be told to paint a background or sew something I was happy that I might actually have something to contribute. “Well I can sling paint and sew a straight line if needed but I was actually wondering about the catering.”

“Huh?” Nic frowned then shrugged. “We usually just get in a popcorn machine and the like, just the basics.”

“I know,” I said with a nod. “But why not offer more?”

I got curious looks and Nic gave me a go ahead gesture. “I’m thinking cupcakes, macaroons, mini quiches and savoury tarts. If you tell me your budget I can come up with an outline.”

Don who was also the PC treasurer shook his head. “I don’t see how it’s feasible. What we do now is cheap and easy and gives us a reasonable turnover. We might have the facilities to produce the sort of things you’re talking about onsite but I don’t think the school would allow it because of the insurance implications.”

“I get that,” I said with a nod. “I also get that it’s not a time sensitive issue like the other things we need to do are, I just wanted to float the idea.” No one seemed enthused so I gave it up. “If you’re interested let me know,” I finished with a half hearted smile.

“Okay well, let’s see what we’ve go to work with so far,” Nic took control again and I sat back and listened to what was planned and what needed to be done. By the end of the meeting I felt superfluous and something must have shown on my face as Nic patted my shoulder and said, “Don’t worry. I know there’s not much to do now but things will get busy soon. I have to meet with West  to hash out the design and then we’ll really get busy.”

“If you say so,” I said as I pushed to my feet.

“Do you want to- hey, speak of the devil.” Nic looked behind me but I didn’t have to look to know who had just walked into the room.

My heart started to pound and my mouth went dry but I managed a smile for Nic and in a low voice said, “See you in a couple of weeks.”

I turned to find West with his back to me as he spoke with Max and Kate  and a strange combination of relief and disappointment washed through me. I didn’t let that slow my escape though and even managed to not picture the way he filled out his clothing on the walk home. I didn’t think at all about the way his jeans looked or the breadth of his shoulders and I sure as hell didn’t think about how he looked without his shirt. Or his pants. Half way home my cell beeped with an incoming message interrupting me not thinking and even though I was alone, embarrassed heat flooded my face.

Nic – You disappeared! Come for a drink?

“Oh no,” I muttered as I tapped out a reply. That’s how this whole disaster had begun, me going for a drink. Though I couldn’t blame the drink itself for my bad decision. That was all on me. Firstly, a teacher at my daughter’s school? What was I thinking? Secondly a married man? Why hadn’t I thought to ask that question? But then that had been the point really. No strings, anonymous sex was what we had agreed upon.

Me – No thanks. I have an early start tomorrow. Next time?

Nic – Of course,  but you’re missing the fun!

She sent through a photo of her and the other squad members grinning happily and I thought I probably should be there getting to know them all better. But I did have an early start the next day and I was sure there would be other bonding experiences.

I closed my front door as my cell beeped again and I wondered if Nic was a chronic over-sharer. I walked into my bedroom and sat down to take off my shoes as I tapped the screen. But the message wasn’t from Nic, it was from an unfamiliar number.

Sascha, didn’t think you were the type to run away or you avoiding me? Got your number from the squad contacts, are you busy now? West

It was lucky I was sitting down as my cell slipped from my fingers and landed on the carpet with a soft thud. Was I busy? For the love of chocolate, why was he messaging me? I’m pretty sure that wasn’t within the ‘one night stand’ protocols. What did he want? More reassurance his secret was safe?

Me – I thought I made it clear we were okay, no strings etc. I have a busy day tomorrow.

West – What if I want strings? Can I come see you, talk in person? Please?

Me – There’s nothing to talk about. Believe me, no one will hear about us from me.

West – Ahh, so you admit there is an us? Progress! When can I see you again?

Me – No, there’s no us. You’ll see me at the next committee meeting probably Mr Austen. Goodnight.

West – Oh okay. I look forward to catching up with you there. Maybe we can talk about all the dirty words you said when I went down on you Ms Quinn.

Me – Not funny. Hope your wife found you at the Art Show last week.

West – We need to talk.

Me – We really don’t.

West – Pick a time and place or it will be at the next committee meeting.

Me – Buy me a beer tomorrow. 6pm?

West – Do you really want to have this conversation in public? My place, 6pm.

Me – See you then.

continues here Hot Teacher 8

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