What Did She Find Out?
“She knows about us, Robert!
"Miss Bagnold knows everything that we did last night in that day-room, and in the dormitory, and probably, almost certainly, about what we are doing even now! She knew I would come here to tell you.”
“That’s exactly what I said.”
“How did she find out? I saw her briefly this morning, but I said nothing about last night,”
“She learned enough for herself, so I had to tell her the rest of it.”
“You, told her?”
“Yes. I had to. We had a lengthy conversation this morning after I took Marjorie to see her. I left her only half an hour ago, and told her that I would let you know what she told me. She even offered to give me a key to this room so that you and I could discuss this in private. And to continue what we'd begun, though she didn't actually say that, but it was implied. I guess that also means that we don’t have to worry about her coming in on us. I told her that you had also given me a key just a few hours ago.”
There was much more to tell.
Robert could see that Angela was not upset over anything, so he decided he had better hear her out. So she had not been expelled, but he might not be that safe after that admission about what they had done.
“Miss Bagnold found out where we were last night.” She repeated it from earlier and let it sink in.
“After she retired, she saw a light moving around in the empty common room outside of the dormitory—your flashlight, while we were on that settee—and decided to investigate.
She approached through the dormitory, seeing that all of the older girls were in their beds, except for me, and she knew where I was, so she came through that door, saw your cat sitting there, and heard our voices as we got Marjorie undressed. She knew almost immediately what was going on and what would happen between us after that, and the way we were talking and relaxing together. Rather than interrupt us, and disturb the entire school, she left us alone, and returned the way she had come. Fortunately, she came upon us in the early stages of looking after Marjorie, or god knows what she would have interrupted between us.”
“Amen to that. What about me?”
She heard what we were talking about, and knew where it would go; where it was likely to go between us, once we returned to the dormitory. That was when she made up her mind about us both. She wasn't going to give either of us a choice.”
“Do I still have a job?”
“Yes. But she made us both an ultimatum. I told you what she wanted from me. To become the matron to the younger girls over summer, for those that cannot go home, and that Marjorie will stay with me in my room until I am sure she is recovered, but I did not tell you all of it.”
He waited to see how everything applied to him.
“Miss Bagnold knew that once we started down this road of intimacy--she must have overheard more than I realized-- that it would not be stopped. She wants me to move into that apartment at the opposite end of that corridor upstairs from the girls' dorm. It is a set of rooms reserved for married teachers, but it has been empty now for almost a year. She has another motive in what she is doing; getting me to move into that.”
"What other motive?” He hoped it involved him in an intimate way.
“I told you that I am to take over a teaching role next year, and also become a matron to the younger girls from this moment forward. But that is not all.”
He waited to find out more, knowing that somewhere in all of this, it would somehow directly affect him.
“Here is the difficult bit, Robert. Though I hope it is not too difficult. It depends on you.” She looked concerned.
She dropped her bombshell before he might ask her, how it depended on him.
“The position of Matron requires a married woman. She wants us to get married, Robert!”
She waited with a pounding pulse to see how he would respond to that. “She knows what we did. That, marriage, is the price for us both being allowed to stay in the school. She wants everything to be above board, and respectable, and doesn’t want to lose either of us. She was very adamant about that.”
He smiled, letting out a deep breath of relief, setting her mind at ease almost immediately. “I like that ultimatum. I agree. When are we to get married?”
Good, he didn’t sound scared by that. She let out an audible, sigh of relief herself.
“As soon as it can be arranged.” He didn’t cough or choke on that, either.
“I can give up my rented house in the village anytime and move in here. I practically live here anyway.”
“That’s what Miss Bagnold said.”
“What man wouldn’t want to come home to such a passionate, understanding and receptive wife as you, every night. Every day. Even throughout the day.” He kissed her. There had been a mischievous twinkle in his eyes. He was getting horny again too.
“There, that wasn’t so very difficult was it? I gave in without a fight. So what’s difficult about it?”
“Miss Bagnold thought of several. You, for one.”
“She knows how I feel, about you because I told her, but she said that one never knew how a man would respond to this kind of sudden coercion.”
He rolled above her and she felt him pushing again, gently investigating the newly discovered territory, and coming even more to life as he did so, having had his life and his happiness handed back to him on a platter.
“I don’t feel coerced, my love. I already told you I give in. I gave in last night at the very moment when I saw you standing in that doorway after you had opened the door, and then again, when we were lying on that settee together and we discovered each other; and especially after you began removing my briefs.” He kissed her again.
“How about we get married tomorrow, or the next day or whenever we can. I’d rather not leave it for too long, or you might change your mind about me.” He was having some fun now.
She smiled. No chance of that. She had won.
She came back at him, matter of factly, and drily. “Miss Bagnold has a more bold view of the timing on this.
"How about today?
"In front of a Justice of the Peace.”
She knew he wouldn't object, not after what they were doing again.
And never mind what the other girls in her dorm would say about such a surprising and obviously hastily-put-together development, confirming their suspicions, after hearing that bed moving so rhythmically in Angela's room last night, and the cat being free to roam the dormitory. They would soon put two and two, together; those two.
She and Miss Bagnold had moved quickly behind the scenes while he had been working, and not knowing anything of what they had determined for him; for them.
He did not hesitate. “Done.”
"Good, then you shall tell her that you agree to all terms and conditions. We are to meet with her and the JP in her office, at two pm today, to tie the knot.
"She made some phone calls even as I was there in her office. She has friends in some strange places. She will provide witnesses. We are not supposed to let anyone else know, until after term ends, so we must be discreet about what we do of an evening together and during the day; and will have to wait until Marjorie is asleep, of course.”
Marjorie was likely to never sleep with such things going on around her, and would not be shy to ask either.
“Of course. Two o’clock, you say. So a few more hours to relax together. We can miss lunch and just lock ourselves in here and continue to celebrate our nuptials.”
“No. We cant'. It's too busy of a day. I have a doctor’s appointment at noon, to see about precautions--after the fact, and during the fact-- and you have to find a suit from somewhere.
"I shall wear my school uniform. I need to see the doctor about a few things, but mostly, as I said, to make sure that none of what you did to me last night and just now, and are about to do again, takes root. And Miss Bagnold is expecting to see you in half an hour to be entirely sure that we are all singing from the same song sheet.”
He smiled foolishly. “Of course. If I had known it was so easy to get married to you, I would have done all of this much sooner. Even the moment you walked into the school. I would have tumbled down my ladder and tumbled you even then.”
So would she, if she had know what to do, but she would not have known how to approach him, to stand out from all of the other girls, except she already had stood out in his eyes, and she hadn't known it until last night.
He thought of something else.
“What about your parents? Do they know? And with you being only nineteen, do we not need their signatures?”
“I got their permission months ago when I first came into the school and knew what I wanted. When I saw you.” She was blushing. "I knew even then."
He was stunned. She had plotted something like this for him that long ago?
She smiled at the look on his face.
"You could at least have told me something, Angela, and we could have been doing this forever."
“We'll make up for lost time. We have time to do it again, if you would like, Robert, before you go to see Miss Bagnold, but only after you manage to get that satisfied smile off your face.”
“I can’t get rid of it, not now. And I’m already doing it again, as you well know and can feel, Angela, Mrs. Illingsworth to-be. However, your word is my command. May I come aboard again, my love?”
“You already are aboard me, Robert, my love, and have gone well beyond that point of no return, from what I can feel of you. No, I meant can we do it one more time, after this one!”
He was not able to respond at that particular moment. His head had just exploded again. Both of them.
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