13. Surprise encounter
It was the first time Marcy had been to a bar by herself, at night. She was super nervous. Revel wasn’t singing until ten o’clock so Marcy had decided to get there just a few minutes early.
As promised, the doorman checked her name on a list and let her straight through without asking for ID. Marcy didn’t plan to drink anyway, just in case.
She couldn’t see Revel there, she was probably getting ready out the back or something. The bar was very crowded. It was popular with college students in the town, particularly with groups of guys. Addy had described it as a "pick up joint" and had always wanted to go there.
Marcy was wearing skinny jeans and a top that wasn’t too low cut, but was just suggestive enough to be sexy enough for going out. She could feel a lot of eyes on her as she tried to make her way to the bar, and was paranoid that they were people thinking she was underage for drinking.
She ordered a Coke. While she waited there were a couple of really lame chat up lines from really lame looking guys, but she politely declined. "I’m with someone."
It wasn’t exactly a lie, she was kind of with Revel. She was Revel’s guest, anyway.
Pushing her way through the crowds she tried to find a position near enough to get a reasonable view of where Revel would be singing. As luck would have it there was a table with a spare barstool. A girl initially had her purse on it but saw Marcy standing and moved it for her.
"No problem. I was keeping it for a friend, but she just bailed." The girl indicated her phone. "You here for the band?"
Marcy wasn’t sure. Was Revel singing with a band? "My friend’s singing in a few moments."
"Ah yeah, the singer. She’s good. I’m not really into jazz but my roommate’s boyfriend plays sax so we get dragged down here. I’m Didi," the girl told her. She had black hair, cut straight across at the front.
"Marcy. Thanks again for the seat." She really hoped she didn’t look like a high school student. Didi herself looked almost too old for college.
"That’s him, the guy with the hat." For some reason the saxophonist was wearing an odd looking hat.
Marcy sipped her Coke and then saw Revel step up to the microphone. She was wearing tight black pants - Marcy couldn’t remember ever seeing her in a skirt, even in summer - with a long top made of some shiny silvery fabric that fell off one shoulder. She looked amazing, Marcy thought. She couldn’t believe she never noticed how stunning Revel was, in a kind of dramatic way.
The band struck up and Revel started singing. Marcy had expected "jazz" to be old songs by Ella Fitzgerald or whatever. She was surprised to find that it was all much more upbeat, like a mix of jazz and hip hop. Revel had a beautiful voice, very smoky, but powerful too. She also rapped. Marcy could easily imagine her performing musical theatre.
Occasionally there was something she recognised, but mixed up with newer songs. She wondered who wrote them. Currently Revel was singing "Fly me to the moon" much faster than the song was usually performed, rapping in between.
Marcy didn’t know what instinct made her look around, back towards the bar, but when she did her stomach nearly fell through the floor. Gray - Mr Grayson - was there, looking directly at her. She froze. Maybe he would ignore her.
But no, he made his way over to her.
"You shouldn’t be here." He did not look pleased.
She could smell alcohol on him and his hair was ruffled at the front. It was sexy, it reminded her of the other night with him.
"I’m only watching my friend sing. It’s Coke, look," she said, holding out her glass towards him after his eyes went to it accusingly.
"You need to be twenty-one to get in here."
"I’m on the guest list," Marcy told him.
He was still glaring at her. "It’s still illegal."
"Well, I was invited so it’s not an issue." She didn’t actually know whether it would be an issue or not if there was a police bust, but it was hardly a rowdy bar.
"That’s your friend?" Gray asked, looking at Revel. "How old is she?"
"She’s a senior at Springdale as well."
Gray swore. "I can’t even drown my sorrows in peace without being surrounded by students."
Marcy realised he had had quite a bit to drink. "Drown your sorrows?"
He obviously hadn’t meant to say it. "Forget it."
They were in front of one another, closer than he probably intended because of the crush of people. She was nearer his eye level due to being on the stool.
She could smell his cologne, his skin. Practically feel the warmth from his body, he was so near her.
She looked at his lips, firmly set in anger yet still soft. She knew how they would feel on hers.
He swayed even closer towards her. For a moment she thought he was going to kiss her, and every fibre in her body longed for him to do so.
But then he straightened up and got a hold of himself. "When the band is over, you need to go home, Marcy."
Her disappointment was almost like a lead weight, dragging her down, as he walked away. He moved out of sight and she thought he had probably decided to leave altogether.
Wound up about it all, Marcy tried to concentrate on the rest of Revel’s singing. She eventually finished her set with a modernised version of "When I fall in love" which Marcy found almost physically painful to hear. Music occasionally got to her, but never this strongly. It was as though every lyric somehow spoke about how she had been starting to feel for Gray, or would have done if the whole teacher-student thing hadn’t strangled it.
Afterwards Revel came over to their table, and Marcy wasn’t able to leave as Revel had asked someone to get them more drinks. Someone else had left, so Revel slid up onto the seat next to Marcy.
Marcy knew by now that Revel wasn’t the kind of person to directly ask what someone else thought about her, or care. But Marcy had enjoyed her singing, so she said so.
Revel smiled. "It’s fun. I’ll do it until I get bust."
"They don’t know you’re eighteen?"
"Hell no." She swigged her drink. "Well, probably they do, but not officially."
"How did you meet the band?" Marcy asked.
"They were auditioning singers, I tried out."
There were guys flocking round Revel: no wonder given how she looked. A couple of them started chatting to her and Marcy, the usual kind of thing, how they liked the music, did Revel sing there often, did they work or were they at college.
The one talking more to Marcy was quite nice looking but way too old for her, he looked about twenty-eight. He would probably be even more horrified than Gray to find out she was a decade younger than him.
They talked for a while, Marcy losing track of the time. She was on her third coke when she felt someone grab her arm. She was pulled off her stool and against someone.
Before she could react, there were lips on her, fierce, crushing hers. She registered almost instantly it was Gray. He forced her mouth to open for him and was kissing her in a really possessive way.
Marcy was turned on beyond belief. She felt her insides melting just at being touched by him. Her thoughts were whirling. What was he doing? He was the one that had vowed it was all over, professional student-teacher relations only. Now he was practically devouring her.
God, how she wanted him. She just wanted to roll the clock back to last weekend, sleep with him again, then transfer to a different high school by Monday so he would have never found out.
His tongue was probing her, tasting her. His hands gripped her hips hard. She yielded to him, feeling his pelvis pressed against hers, his heat warm against her.
Abruptly he broke off. He had clearly had even more alcohol since he had spoken to her earlier. "I can’t stand seeing you with those guys."
Then he turned and left. She wanted to go after him but some instinct stopped her. Over the throng she saw him swing the door open and leave along, into the night.
Back at the table Revel was laughing. "Who the hell was that?"
She didn’t recognise him? Marcy remembered that Revel didn’t do French. "Just someone I had a thing with." She hoped it didn’t make her sound really slutty.
"More than a thing, I’d guess," one of the guys said.
"Yeah, it didn’t end well," Marcy told them. Fortunately they sensed her discomfort and changed the subject, but Marcy could see a glint in Revel’s eyes. She was amused. Whatever she had expected of Marcy, it probably wasn’t this. She probably thought that Marcy was miserable due to lovesickness over Josh since their dating and breakup was public knowledge.
She must not find out, Marcy thought. Even though she thought that Revel was someone who could probably be trusted, it was far too dangerous for anyone else to know. She would have to keep her own secret, with Addy her only outlet to spill her woe.