"So Mimi claims she saw something that absolutely can’t be true. But Mimi wouldn’t lie, would she?" Minette "Mimi" McCarroll was another of Brittanny’s horrible crowd.
Small and dark haired and sneaky. Marcy had never liked her, though she’d always tried to be pleasant.
Marcy ignored Brittany, but Brittany wasn’t going to let it drop.
"The saddest, ugliest girl in school - which is you, by the way," Brittany said, with a fake-sweet smile, "leaving a bar and getting into a car with Mr Grayson."
Marcy’s blood ran cold. "Really?"
Brittanny narrowed her eyes. She looked both triumphant and irate. "You don’t deny it then?"
Mimi worked at the pizza place opposite the bar, Marcy remembered that now. She kicked herself inwardly. Stupid, stupid, stupid not to have remembered something like that.
But she tried to keep her cool. "I don’t see what your point is."
"My point?" Brittanny gave an ever faker laugh. "You don’t think it’s just a bit like completely utterly inappropriate to be leaving a bar with a teacher? Like, major, massive, big trouble inappropriate?"
Was she hoping to blackmail Marcy? Or just to gloat and then go and sneak anyway?
Marcy drew out the final folder she needed, closed her locker and turned to face Brittanny.
"You do know we’re both in the same theatre group?"
Brittanny scowled, since she didn’t know. "Theatre?"
"My mom’s neighbour got me into this theatre group she runs. Mr Grayson happens to be a member as well. Friday night he was just giving me a lift home."
It was clear Brittanny wasn’t quite sure what to believe. "A theatre group in a bar?"
"Some of us just went there afterwards for a drink." She wasn’t going to get into explaining the whole Revel thing.
Brittanny was silent. Her lips were pursed in an angry way. Marcy sensed that Brittany was also wrestling with herself. She had her own huge crush on Mr Grayson and would have given her right arm to be in a theatre group with him. Which was a key reason why Marcy and Revel had kept the whole thing under wraps.
It must be pretty awful for Brittanny to realise she could have had all this extra time with Mr Grayson, but she’d missed out. She was now burning with curiosity but couldn’t bring herself to admit it by asking Marcy about the group.
So Marcy took pity on her. "We’re putting on Guys and Dolls. I can get you tickets."
Stung by Marcy having access to something she didn’t, and feeling excluded by the fact that she - Brittanny - would only be just another onlooker, Brittanny got spiteful again.
"My parents take me to Broadway to see theatre. I don’t think I could sit through your amateur production, thanks anyway."
"Your loss," Marcy said. "Mr Grayson’s pretty great. He has the lead role."
Brittanny was silent again. She obviously wanted to see him in it, but did not want to lower herself by accepting a favour from Marcy. "I suppose you’re Sarah? Now that would be something to watch - something awful."
Marcy laughed. "Hardly. I’m helping out backstage. The lead roles are all taken by really proficient actors and singers. It will be better than you think."
Brittanny had nothing left to say so she turned and left, her mood furious and her day ruined. From attempting to get one over on Marcy, she was the effective loser.
Still, Marcy was shaken. Being seen leaving a bar with Mr Grayson was a big concern. Regardless of Revel putting her on the guest list she wasn’t legally old enough to go in there, and her parents had little idea where she was hanging out.
They would have to play things a lot more carefully in future.
For the first time it had also brought it home how much risk it was for Mr Grayson, more than for her. He stood to risk his job and maybe his reputation as a teacher. At most, Marcy would be reprimanded and grounded. Even if she got kicked out of school she’d still manage to graduate somewhere.
The euphoria she had been feeling about being back with him was fading. She sensed storm clouds ahead.
After French, Marcy hung behind to speak with Mr Grayson. She didn’t want to draw attention to their relationship but she had to tell him about Minette spying on them. Well, not really spying, it wasn’t her fault she had seen them. She was such a sneaky little thing to have gone blabbing to Brittanny though. Marcy could just imagine how that conversation had gone.
Though I would have done the same with Addy, if I saw Brittanny out on the town with a teacher, Marcy thought.
"I’ll be quick, I just needed to tell you something," Marcy said.
He smiled at her. "I have a free period next, there’s no rush."
"Someone saw us leaving the bar on Friday night. Minette McCarroll, she works opposite in Joe’s Pizza."
Mr Grayson frowned. "Has she been spreading it around?"
"Yes, but I think it’s okay. I got the third degree from Brittanny so I’ve told her it was after a theatre meeting. So she knows about the show, but I guess she would have found out anyway." They should get flyers up soon, Marcy thought, to corroborate her story.
He was silent for a few moments. "We really are playing with fire, aren’t we?"
Which was partly what made it so exciting. But also stressful.
"I think it’s riskier for you than it is for me," Marcy said.
They both stood there for a while, looking at one another. Images of Friday night were going through Marcy’s head. Mr Grayson was so sexy. Just thinking about what he could do to her body made her want him to take her then and there.
Mr Grayson had heat in his gaze as well. "Right now I have the strongest urge to throw you over a desk and make love to you until you beg for mercy."
Marcy felt herself grow hot at the thought. He had never used the phrase "making love" before and it was doing weird giddy things to her stomach. She knew it was just a phrase, but still. It was a phrase that she would replay in her thoughts a million times.
Trying to keep her cool, which was hard, she smiled. "That would give them all something to talk about."
Now he laughed, the physical tension between them easy.
"It would. We need to be more careful, I guess."
At the end of the day Marcy got a text message from Mr Grayson.
Can you meet me this evening? My place. We need to talk.
Uh oh. That sounded kind of ominous. But after today, Marcy was sort of expecting something. She just hoped it wasn’t to call it off yet again. She didn’t think she could bear to lose him.
She waited for a reply, which came straight away.
Sounds good. See you then.
Marcy supposed she should really delete his messages to be even more safe, but they were so precious to her. He deliberately didn’t text her too much in case someone saw. So all the ones she had were pretty safe and not incriminating. But if you read them all together, it would look incriminating.
At least if you knew that "G" was Mr Grayson, her French teacher and not just some high school guy.
What did he want to say to her?