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There’s only one thing more dangerous than these streets… and that’s the classroom.
Corliss Legare is a bright and vibrant second-year teacher at Lakeside High. She’s known rough and all she’s ever wanted was to reach just one kid like she’d been and make a difference.
Hex is the V.P. of New Orleans’ most notorious MCs – according to its citizens that is. That doesn’t mean anything if you’re smarter than the pigs and always stay ahead of them. By day, he’s a mild-mannered custodian at Lakeside; and man, does he have it bad for Miss Legare.
When the violent and unstable nature of the city finds its way into Lakeside’s halls, Corliss finds herself at its mercy; and Hex? Hex won’t stand for that…
Corliss Legare was a beauty. One that dressed a little too plain for my tastes; but then again, she was a high school language arts teacher, and had to follow the dress code just like the rest of us. Still, she was beautiful without the benefit of makeup or revealing clothes. She tended to stick to the same tried-and-true outfits day in and day out, and that was alright with me. Her long brown hair was typically up in a ponytail, and today she had some escaping tendrils she reached up to tuck behind her ear.
Her captivating blue eyes met mine and she gave me a wink. I felt my lips tug in an answering smile.
“Hey! Slow down, there.” I stepped in front of the two rowdy boys and they laughingly and begrudgingly slowed their asses down, walking past me, paying me no never mind.
Not a big deal. The desired effect had been achieved. Corliss’s smile grew even wider and she tipped her chin in a nod in my direction. I gave a nod back.
One of the things I liked about her was she treated me with respect. There wasn’t a lot of that to be found for the school custodians, but Corliss Legare didn’t care. She treated everyone with kindness and respect, and I liked that about her. Everyone did. She was a light in the halls and the hearts of faculty and students alike at Lakeside High.
I went back to pushing my mop, giving my head a bit of a shake at the kids making their way through the halls, parting around the adults like water, flowing over the linoleum I mopped a spill of soda off of in a babble and a rush of excited chatter.
I risked a glance at Cor’s shapely ass as she strode back into her classroom. Her jeans hugged it oh so perfectly. I shot a look around me to make sure no one had caught me looking and thought to myself just how much I wished I could watch it stride through the doors of my club. The things I would do to that woman if she’d let me.
What could I say?
I was definitely hot for this particular teacher.
“Hey, you. Hi…” the voice was rich and melodic, familiar with a southern accent but not Texas, and not Louisiana. I opened my eyes and I felt tears spring to them as Hex looked down at me with warmth in his rich brown eyes, a tremulous smile painting his lips even as worry creased his brow and bracketed those lips with deep lines of concern.
“Hi,” I murmured back, and he pressed his lips to my forehead and retook his seat, gathering my hand gently between his, careful not to bump all of the IV apparatus stuck to the back of it.
“How did you get in here?” I murmured softly.
“Lied and told ‘em I was your brother,” he said.
I stifled a laugh but it was too late. Enough of it got through, sending pain, racking through my chest and body.
“Don’t make me laugh,” I scolded and his smile grew.
“Think of it this way,” he said. “The pain lets you know you’re alive.”
It was a bit of a sobering thought.
“I don’t even know what happened,” I told him. “I don’t remember anything after fourth period. I’m so confused. One minute, the bell is ringing and the next thing I know, I’m waking up in the hospital.”
“Police come by yet?” he asked.
“Yes,” I told him. “They said…” I swallowed hard. “They said I was attacked by a student. That… that I was…” I didn’t want to say it out loud.
“Shh, it’s okay. You ain’t gotta tell me. I was the one who found you.”
I tore my gaze from my blanket-covered lap to his face. His look was half-shuttered, like he was trying to hide all the bad things from me. I didn’t know how I felt about that to be honest. I wasn’t a child but at the same time…
“I want to know, but I don’t think I’m ready to know right now,” I told him.
He nodded slowly. “And that’s just fine,” he said. “I’m not going anywhere.”
He gave my hand a light squeeze and I tightened my grip on him. I didn’t want him to take it away yet.
Text Copyright © 2022 A.J. Downey
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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