An Offer He Couldn’t Refuse
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I walked into the library for the staff meeting, and saw that all the rumors were true. Her unsmiling, but kind face was rapt on the speaking superintendent. Perhaps listening so intently so she could throw back what he said in his face at some point in the future. Yes, my Vanessa was like that. She still looked so young, considering that I know she’s about 25.
Her eyes fluttered to follow as the superintendent stepped sideways to let me by, and she briefly accosted me before doing a double take and staring at me momentarily. The moment broken, she went back to what she had been paying attention to before.
I began to reminisce, it had been so long since I had last seen her face. She had been in a few of my classes her senior year, although she had went to Maguire High for her entire secondary education. Vanessa had been one of my more unique students. She was amazingly bright ( probably within the top three most intelligent students I had been privileged to teach), but also perilously unmotivated, funny and sarcastic as all hell (a purebred trouble maker), and gorgeous in a rather voluptuous way. And for a 18 year old girl, she had an ability of self control beyond her years.
The boys had come chasing her that year, and while she sometimes coquettishly led them on, it was only to inevitable heart break. Sometime in the middle of the year she all but abandoned flirting (unless necessary to get her way), and would wear a rather concealing, but tasteful black trench coat. Her hair was dark, but had natural golden and red highlights veining through. Her skin was ivory white, and she had almost black eyes that glittered when she laughed, or yelled.
Her body was small, but muscled, almost heavily, because at the time she was almost fulltime at the local store pushing carts. I had went up there to see her a few times, although she never saw me, and it was amazing to see her push in 40-50 carts by herself, just like any of the boys. Vanessa was never on any of the sports teams, but she had natural physical prowess. Her legs were like a track stars, and most of the boys knew enough not to make her mad, they feared her on principle. In fact, due to her commanding, self-assured attitude, most people would comply to her whim without much struggle.
I’ve been married for 15 years now, have two sons. I love my wife dearly. And while I knew that I couldn’t fall for her in that last year of school; that I was slowly forming a crush on her. A schoolboy’s crush. On a student 20 years my junior. I allowed it only because I felt that once she graduated, that was it. I would never see her again. Well, guess what Jamie-boy? She’s part of the staff now.
Imagine that. A horrible, but painfully intelligent student becoming a teacher. How hypocritical. I leaned forward so that I could look at her down the row, still so intent- “James?”
My head jerked up toward the speaker, “Yes?”
“I’ve been trying to speak to you for about five minutes. Are you a bit preoccupied about how late you showed up to this meeting, or is something else wrong?”
My face almost flushed from the commentary, but I retorted swiftly, “I guess you’re just too quick and thorough for me to keep up with. What did you want to talk to me about?”
He waved me off and wrapped up the meeting. I saw Vanessa deftly shuffle her papers and stand up. Walking out the door, I grabbed her arm. “How have you been Miss Haze?”
She smiled that impish smile at me and was about to start talking when she realized that there was a flood of other teachers and counselors walking in that direction. “We’ll catch up later, Brighton!”
That nasty habit of hers had never left; calling people solely by their last name. I had found that out. After a week or two of formalization, it was customary for many of the students to drop the Mr. and entitle me and other teachers by only our last names. There had been a few times though that she made sure to not only call me Mr. Brighton, but would toss in a complimentary sir, or professor to get her way. Flattering woman-child she was.
How often during those times would she lean carefully over my desk to offer up as much cleavage as was possible through her low-cut shirt and trench coat. She did it so knowingly for how innocent she was. In fact, in all my years teaching, there had never been a female student who was so beautiful that ran around without a male attendant for her entire tenure in my classes. Yes, she often had boys around her, but it was obvious they were only friends in her mind, or she was using them and twisting them around her finger. She was always lone, always powerful in her own right, without having to date at such a tender age.
I sat there idly at my desk, all my work having already been done that day. It was apparent, since it was 3 o’clock and most of the teachers were about to leave, or already gone, that Vanessa didn’t plan on coming to see me. Standing, I made my way up the stairs to the English department. Walking in Ankara escort to Mrs. Connelly’s old room, I saw her sitting there facing the desk, which was up against the wall of windows. She had headphones on, and was singing along to it while apparently working on something. Looking over her shoulder, I ascertained that something as being a crossword puzzle. Headbanging to whatever music she was listening to, she took out the ear pieces, and then gasped as she saw my shadow on her desk from the lights.
“What do you want?”
I laughed. “I thought you were supposed to come see me.”
“I said we’d catch up later. Not particularly saying that I would see you, and not even definitely today.”
“Well, I’m here, let’s play catch up.”
Vanessa swiveled in her seat enthusiastically, spinning around a few times. Finally, I grabbed the arm rests and stopped her, facing me. Even being a few feet away from her, I could smell that enigmatic scent she always carried that was some sort of fruit blend. Looking her up and down, I began to remember those old feelings surfacing from when she was a student of mine.
Except, now she seemed to have thinned a little in adulthood, and tended to dress a bit more provocatively. Not saying she was dressed like a whore, by no means; but considering she used to wear a large Puritan coat, this was certainly a change. A form fitting, light blouse which showed a bit of her goods, and a dusty gray skirt with pleats that fell halfway down her delicious, crossed legs. Her black shoes had long been discarded by the door of her new classroom, and she sat in her girlish ecstasy before me. Her dark hair with red-golden veins teased me as she began to question me, “Are you just going to stare, Brighton?”
“What’s happened in your life?”
“Absolutely nothing. Yours?”
She half laughed and scoffed at the same time. “So us playing catch up was you basically coercing me into tell you everything in my life with nothing from you. I don’t like those odds. Why should I give you information for free?”
“What could I pay you for your information?”
Her, “Hmm…” was a rippling purr, “Well, there are many ways I could ask you to pay, Professor Brighton. It just happens that, as a man of moral, I doubt you’d be willing to … cooperate.”
The Cheshire cat grin itself was planted on her lips, the coral lips I wanted to kiss so dearly. “Vanessa, as a peer, you may now call me James.”
* * *
For three weeks she had been torturing me. Some days she would come down to the science backroom/break room just to chat, and then she would abstain, making it mandatory for me to go in search of her for conversation. She seemed to come in early, and leave late everyday, coming in usually at 5:30 when school didn’t start until 7:30, and leaving around 4 or 5 when school ended at 2:30. I always came in early, mostly to take advantage of the weight room before school.
I was an assistant football coach, I took care of defense. Therefore, I made sure to continue a lifelong obsession of mine with weight training. Although I’ve been told often I wasn’t a bad looking man, most women were pretty offset by my solitary nature. Not Vanessa. She just tortured me more, and made me crave her when she wasn’t torturing me. Whatever sadistic spell she had over me was powerful indeed.
Early one morning, I drove in and parked, not noticing for a moment that she sat in the car next to me half naked. Looking over, I saw her in a rather compromising situation with her shirt half up. Sensing eyes, she ceased and desisted, getting out of the car, picking up a few bags. “James…”
“What in the hell.” I said it as a statement more than a question. Because in reality, I wasn’t completely sure I wanted to know.
“I…” she stopped and began walking in. “It’s cold out here, I’ll tell you inside.”
I jogged up next to her, and in the science room she began to unload on me, looking as disheveled as I had ever seen her. “I work midnights over at Savers.”
“You never quit? You mean to tell me that you’ve been working there for 8, 9 years?”
“I’m a midnight manager. 400 a week, after taxes, for 40 hours. I never found a reason to quit.”
“I say having to change in the middle of the parking lot for your other job is reason enough.”
“I can’t change there, no proper bathrooms, and my office’s lock is broken. I can’t change inside here because I did one day and one of the janitor’s ‘accidentally’ came in on me. In the women’s bathroom,” her voice dripped with distaste, “No one’s ever here outside this early for me to worry about people seeing me dress out here. Of course, except you,” an evil, little smirk settled on her features, “I had already changed my pants before you got here, thank god.”
My eyes gently settled on her pants, finding it a convenient reason to stare at her ass. Nodding, I looked up into her dark eyes. “You need to quit your other job. You’ve looked kind of worn out Ankara escort bayan the last few days, and today… you really look like you need a good night’s sleep.”
“I only work…” she tried tallying the hours up in her head, but after the fifth time of trying to add them up, I stopped her, “You work well over 80 hours a week, I can deduce that much. Do you need the money? Why are you working both jobs?”
She bit her lip. “Could you turn around?”
“Go to the door and hold it closed, but I really do need to change my shirt. Please, James.”
Sighing, I went to the door and faced it, holding the doorknob. I heard her moving behind me, but didn’t know exactly what was going on. After a minute she said I could turn around. “No, I do not need both jobs. I just like being occupied.”
“Worked to death?”
I raised my voice now, “Vanessa, you’re at this school from 5:30 to 4 or 5 every day, that’s 12 hours, and you’re working 40 hours as a manager at Savers, meaning there are nights when you get less than 5 hours of sleep.”
She shook her head. “I work Wednesday through Sunday there. So I get normal sleep Monday and Tuesday. It’s only about… ninetyish hours per week.”
When she thought about the number of hours she said, she stopped. “Wow. 90 hours.”
I laughed. “Yes, you’re working yourself to death for about 900 dollars a week. And what is that money going toward?”
She didn’t answer. Finally looking up at me, she said something, “I’m putting it in my savings account.”
“For what? To buy a house?”
“I already own a house.”
“Then what? You’re not supporting a boyfriend, I hope. How can your boyfriend let you work this many hours in the first place? Is he working? I better not have to come down to where you live and shake this bastard half to death.”
My menacing frame hovered over her. Sheepishly, she answered me again, “I work to keep my mind off the fact that I’m single. And I’m single because I refuse to make time for people because I like to use work as an excuse.”
My eyes widened slightly at the revelation. “Vanessa, when was the last time you were on date?”
Not answering at all, I cocked my head to the side. I reached up to touch her pretty face. “Have you went on a date before?”
She slowly shook her head from side to side, “Well, once…”, looking like she might cry if I didn’t know she had the self-restraint of a goddess. I breathed slowly. “You’re very beautiful, you should have a social life.”
Her face twisted in a way, in confusion. “I don’t care about other people. I don’t like being lonely, but… I just don’t like most people.”
“If you aren’t social you don’t get to know the people you like.”
“I don’t like going out with people I like either. I can do it, it’s just not… fun, most of the time…”
“So, you’re telling me that you’ve never dated, and you have no plans in the future to begin to?”
This time her nod was up and down. Her eyes were downcast, as if upset that she had disappointed me. “It’s your life, Vanessa. And even if you decide to be a recluse for the rest of your time, at least know your limitations. Ask for less hours, take a demotion… you can’t keep working this schedule and changing in the parking lot.”
The rest of the day I was decidedly confused. I had known she was rather inclined towards solitude in high school, but she had been so adept at handling people, most didn’t notice. She was fine with talking to people, public speaking, getting to know people- in school, but it was fact that when she went home, she did not go anywhere else. Still, to imagine that these traits had been unwavering for so many years for such a beautiful woman… It was disquieting.
Going home early because football practice had been cancelled, I pulled into the driveway behind a white Suburban. I got my keys out and headed toward the house. The door was closed, strangely. Usually when we had company at home, the door was left open. Walking in, I immediately realized what was happening.
My wife was moaning, and the bed squeaking. Another man was heard saying something just barely out of my range of hearing. She laughed, gasped, then screamed, “God, yes! Amen!”
I went back to stand in the doorway of my bedroom, leaning on the frame heavily, watching our pastor fuck her hard, her legs splayed contentedly over his shoulders. “How was your day, Seline? Pastor Rick.”
Opening the closet door, I put my coat on a hanger as they slowed and stopped their activity. Their eyes read deer in the headlights, but I didn’t mind much. I had known she was fucking someone, I just didn’t have the proof, or the knowledge of who. In the kitchen now, I began a pot of coffee. Even though I was laughing, a pressure was forming on top of my head which threatened to become a migraine.
Seline stood there, her shoulder length blonde hair ruffled. “I’m sorry, James. I don’t love you any more.”
Looking her up and Escort Ankara down, I shrugged. “You act like I care. Do you want the house for now until we can sell it? That way the boys have somewhere for awhile until we can find our own houses. We probably shouldn’t get into custody issues right now, but I am guaranteeing that we’re splitting this down the middle, no alimony since you have a job, and while you’ll get the boys more of the time, I have the right to come and see them whenever I damn well please.”
Her eyes began to water, and she nodded resignedly. “I’m sorry.”
“Don’t be sorry about not loving me, dear,” I walked up to her and cupped her chin, “Be sorry about not telling me about our problems sooner. Either we could have fixed this, or got it over with sooner. But I guess we can make due with what we have now.”
I dropped her chin and went over a friend’s for the night.
The next morning I came to work to find Vanessa sitting in my seat in the science backroom looking very well-rested. She smiled up to me warmly. “How are you this morning, James?”
“My wife and I are getting a divorce because I finally caught her fucking another man in our bed, and I now need a place to stay until we can get everything finalized and the house sold.”
Her eyes were wide. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry-“
“Don’t bother with that,” I bit into a banana I had brought for breakfast, “It’ll be ok. To be honest I’ve known about it for a long time. I just never had the evidence.”
Fidgeting for a few minutes, she looked up at me from deep thought as I asked her a question. “What about you, how was your day?”
“I was going to cut back my hours, but instead I just put in my two week’s notice. They gave me a bonus for my last two weeks, and said to take the night off to get some rest, because they’ve been noticing me coming in as a zombie as well. And… if you want…” she looked as if this was painful for her to think of the possibility, “If you want I have two spare bedrooms in the back of my house if you need somewhere to stay until you get back on your feet.”
She met my eyes, and then shook her head, “But…” she stopped herself, and just died off. I considered it. Looking at her, she was blushing. “Well, how do you really feel about this?”
“I don’t want to offer it to you, but at the same time I do because it’s the right thing to do.”
“Why don’t you?”
She kind of smiled, and blushed all the way back to her ears, “Well, it would be a conflict of interests. I had a pretty big crush on you in high school.”
“Do you still have that crush?”
“Not really, but if you’re around too much, then I might. I know you don’t want some little girl ogling you.”
* * *
She had given me an extra key the next day after I agreed. Laughing, she gave me the ground rules; strict ground rules. “The upstairs is where I stay, there’s a door before you can go upstairs, it’s locked at all times that I’m not home… and sometimes that I am. I have two cats, a few other animals- you aren’t bringing any, are you? Good, because I don’t want to have to kick a dog’s ass for getting too fresh with my babies. If you leave at night, which is fine, and I come home, the doors will be locked. I will not get up to let you in if you don’t have your key.
“If you leave, lock the doors, or else you won’t be here to have to remember to lock the doors. If I end up kicking you out for something, which I doubt, but I’m covering my bases here, I’m changing all the locks. Don’t throw parties. Having a friend or two over are fine. If they are dirty, and fuck my house up, I’ll kick their asses and throw them out. You will be buying groceries… but everything else I will pay for unless you take advantage of any of the utilities more than normal.”
That was it, she then gave me the key and the address, saying that if I got there and she was sleeping that was fine, be quiet. She did still have a week of working at Savers. I got there after trying to find somewhere else to stay. My brother lived half a state away, and I couldn’t drive that to and from work everyday. All my friends had families, and no extra space, so I couldn’t impede on them… and I had to save money for this upcoming divorce. My wife wasn’t being bad now, but who knows what a woman will do when she gets her PMS that month.
Vanessa’s house was immaculate, mostly, I assumed, because she didn’t really live there. She just slept there sometimes in between work. Whole c.d. and movie collections in her house looked as if they’d either never been watched, or maybe played once on whim. And she wasn’t lying about being asleep when I showed up, but after an hour of unpacking in the only room lit up in the house, I heard something drop to the floor upstairs. It was so heavy, I hoped it wasn’t her. Then loud music and shower water were heard. It sounded like metal, she had always been an old rock and metal girl.
When the shower ended, I heard a door open across the house where the stairs came down. She had run down the stairs in her robe, brushing her hair, music blaring from upstairs. Seeing me sitting down the hall, she screamed and tripped over her feet, falling backwards onto her rear. “Christ in a fucking cracker barrel.”
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