☠ Chapter Sixteen ☠
➳ ARIELLE'S POV
I awkwardly fiddle with the pencil in my hands. This class has been dragging on forever and the only thing I want to do right now is duck down in my seat until I spontaneously disappear. I begin nervously tapping the eraser end of my pencil on the desk, seeming to annoy the boy who sat beside me. I drop the pencil all together and it falls with a light tap on the tabletop.
When I look up Chef Wilson is staring in my direction. For an intense moment we stare at each other, his gaze completely fixated on me. I feel like everyone notices the incredibly awkward moment we share but when I look around the classroom, everyone else is focused on their tests. I look back down at my paper but I can feel his eyes still on me, almost predatory. Has he always been like this and I've just never noticed? Or did it suddenly get much worse ever since last week when the confrontation in the restaurant with Zayn happened?
When Monday's class came I was nervous as hell, knowing that Chef Wilson wanted my answer to his one-on-one lesson, however when I peeked through the window in our classroom door he wasn't there. A note was stuck to the door, stating that class had been cancelled last minute due to his illness.
Come Tuesday's class I peeked through the small rectangular window before entering and a slender woman stood at the front of the classroom. Chef Leanne was with us for both Tuesday's class and Wednesday's class. Out of curiosity during Tuesday's class I asked where Chef Wilson was - she said she didn't know much, except that he sounded quite ill.
Before Thursday's class even began I looked through the window, which had become routine now ever since the awkward encounter between Chef Wilson and Zayn. When I looked through the window I see Chef Wilson scratching at his tattered beard as he eyes some papers on his desk. My heart began racing in my chest and before I knew what was going on, my feet were already carrying me towards the library where I spent the hour.
And then came Friday morning - this morning. When I stepped up to the door I saw him immediately distributing papers on everyone's desks. I was tempted to run the other way as fast as possible but I couldn't. Today was test day and I had no legitimate excuse to miss it. And so I waited uncomfortably outside of the classroom until I knew that I only had one minute before class began. I quickly headed straight for my desk and sat down, not daring to make a glance in his direction. In fact, I hadn't looked up until two minutes ago, only to find out that he'd been watching me much too carefully.
My eyes look behind him, to the clock. There's only three minutes left until class ends. I look over my test quickly and then begin to walk towards his desk to hand it in. When I'm standing directly in front of his desk he looks up. But he doesn't just look up directly at my face. His eyes start where my hand is hovering over his desk and they make their way up my body to finally land on my face.
I lightly toss the paper down on his desk and turn to leave. "Arielle," he says softly, trying not to disturb the others who are still working on their tests - even though there's only maybe 60 seconds until Chef must kick us out.
I take a deep breath before turning around, "yes, Chef?"
He clicks his pen and places it carefully on the hard wooden top. "Would you stay after class please? We have to discuss something."
I can't help but wonder if he wants to discuss my choice in men, or ask me about his rather inappropriate suggestion of working one-on-one. I'm tempted to just walk out of the room. I don't even have time to respond. He stands up from his desk - his chair making a rather loud noise, "well that's all the time I can give you. Please, everyone bring your tests to the front and place them on my desk. Don't forget to check that your name and student number are written somewhere on the test." He announces to the class.
Everyone shuffles to the front of the room and within a minute all of the tests have been handed in and all students have left the room. I stand uncomfortably near his desk until he walks towards me after making sure the door has been properly closed. Chef stands mere inches from me, "we missed you in class yesterday," he comments.
I clear my throat, "yes, I was - uh - I was sick Chef."
"As was I this week," he replies before taking another step towards me. He half sits on the desk, placing his palms on the edge. The position he's in makes me ten times more uncomfortable and I fidget with the strap of my bag.
"I noticed," I say.
"Mm," he murmurs. Chef runs his fingers along his beard again. "Have you thought about my proposition, Arielle?"
The way he says 'proposition' makes me squirm, almost as if he's offering a sexual proposition and not just extra credit. "Yes Chef and I will have to politely decline. I just don't have the time for evening lessons."
He nods his head, "does this have anything to do with that brute? What was his name… Zayn?"
"Excuse me?" I ask.
"Your, uh, boyfriend?"
I sigh, exasperated. "This has nothing to do with Zayn, Chef. With all due respect, you have absolutely no business bringing up my personal life."
"I do if I believe he may be a harm to you, or to your academic career."
I scoff loudly, "are you saying that because my boyfriend has tattoos, and piercings, and wears leather, he hits me in his spare time, Chef? Are you stereotyping him because of your own petty jealousy?"
His chest rises and falls quickly at that comment, "if you are stupid enough to be with a boy such as Zayn and not a man Arielle, there's nothing I can do about that. I'm just looking out for you because you are one of my best students - I don't want that to change."
I'm tempted to slap him right across his face, "oh, trust me Chef… he's one hell of a man." I make the sexual innuendo and Chef catches it. He shuts up and glares at me for a moment. "Now, if you're done with whatever this is, I'll be leaving."
He doesn't say anything and so I begin walking out of the classroom with my head held high. "You're making a mistake," Chef says vaguely.
"If you don't stop pestering me I will claim sexual harassment on you Chef. Few more weeks and we won't be seeing each other, I really don't want it to turn into that." I try my best to stay calm, but it's difficult.
"You cannot claim sexual harassment on me, Arielle. Nothing has been done. I simply offered you extra credit and you declined," he replies, totally calm.
"I believe sexual harassment is any unwelcome behavior of a sexual nature that interferes with my ability to learn or study properly. I think that includes anything from mild annoyances to rape, Chef. And I believe that any unwanted behavior that makes me feel uncomfortable would fall under that, including this whole quid pro quo thing you're attempting." On the outside I appear confident, but inside I'm screaming and thrashing and punching him in the face, repeatedly.
Chef Wilson stays silent as he takes careful steps towards me. "Careful, Arielle," he warns.
I turn around and exit the classroom, hoping that whatever has come over him will go away, and fast.
"You look beautiful, Ari," Zoe says as she finishes pulling the zipper up on the back of my dress.
"Elegant? Because that's what I'm going for here. This is a wedding," I reply. I turn around and reach for the zipper on the back of Zoe's dress. I begin pulling it up delicately.
"Yes," she assures me. "How about me? I really need to look good y'know, this is Louis' family we're talking about here… his mother. I desperately need to make a good impression." Zoe's rambling out of nervousness.
"You know that you look stunning. Stop worrying about it. If Louis' mother is anything like Louis then I know that she'll adore you," I try my best at calming her nerves, although I'm not sure if anything will calm her at the moment.
"Thank you. I needed that."
I finish pulling up the zipper on her dress. She turns around and looks in the mirror with satisfaction. "Are you ready to go?" I ask. I take a few steps forward and grab my cell phone. "Looks like they might be here."
Zoe walks up to our window and looks out it and down to the street below, "they're definitely here." When I walk up beside her and look down at the street I find two very familiar cars, one being the infamous red Nissan. Zoe and I both take one last look in the mirror, grab our purses and head out the door.
When we walk out the front doors of the campus it's almost as if I've been lit on fire, or jolted with electricity because I take one single look across the grass and see Zayn in a black and white tuxedo, leaning up against his car. We make eye contact from the distance and I can feel my heart begin beating a million miles an hour in my chest.
As we step closer, Zoe walks off to greet Louis and I'm left in a trace-like state as I continue my pace towards Zayn. His face is clean. He has shaven off the stubble I've grown to love, and it makes his face seem baby-like - almost as if he's years younger. I'm enraptured by everything standing in front of me right now. His tuxedo is covering so much of him that I find myself missing the sight of the ink. He doesn't even look like bad boy Zayn - the only hints of that are the lip ring, the small amount of ink showing on his hands, and the car.
Finally I'm standing before him and he stands up straight, "hey handsome." I say, placing my hand on his cheek to feel his soft, stubble-free skin.
"Hey babygirl," he reacts quickly and hungrily presses his lips against mine. His lips ghost along my flesh until they reach my ear, "fuck you look sexy." I feel heat rising up my neck. I try to distract myself from the arousal I'm feeling but he places both of his hands on my rear and begins peppering rough kisses all over my neck. "Can we make a little pit-stop so I can fuck you senseless in the backseat?" He asks, hotly.
I want to tell him to stop with the foul mouth, but I like it too much. I grab his face between both of my hands and kiss him desperately. The sexual frustration has been building between us ever since the first moment we laid eyes on each other and I'm heavily anticipating the moment the pent up frustration is finally released. I don't know how much longer either of us can put it off.
I stand on my tippy toes and place my lips against the shell of his ear, "I'd love to test drive this new face." Zayn visibly reacts at my words. He stiffens in front of me.
"Fuck babygirl," he murmurs.
He's about to place a rough kiss to my lips when we hear Louis' voice, "keep in in your pants Zayn. We're running late."
Zayn hangs his head, "damn," he whispers. He runs around the car and opens my door for me. I quickly get in and he gets behind the steering wheel. Louis and Zayn race all the way to the ceremony space and we're there within five minutes.
Much to my surprise Zayn grabs my hand and we walk into the ceremony space hand-in-hand. We take a seat near the front and watch the ceremony. I didn't think the ceremony was very boring but I could sense the impatience in Zayn. Though he was sitting like a gentleman, he was fidgety and I felt maybe he needed a cigarette. He continually squeezed my hand and adjusted his position in his seat. I tried rubbing circles on his hand. I tried tracing the intricate tattoo on the back of his hand. I tried sitting closer to him, but none of it seemed to work.
Eventually the ceremony ended and we headed to the reception space. After a few speeches and a delicious meal everyone was dancing, drinking and having a great time. Zayn swirls the dark brown liquor around in his glass. "Have you had a good time Angel?" He asks me.
I nod my head, "it's been fun. It's been nice to have some time between us that's drama free."
He chuckles dryly, "guess that doesn't seem to happen much between us right now." He places his glass down on the table. "Let's dance." Zayn gets up and walks over to me, putting his hand out in front of him. I gently place my hand in his and he leads me out towards the dance floor. Just as we take our place on the floor I hear Ed Sheeran's distinctive voice begin a slow melody. Zayn grabs my hands and leads us into a slow, romantic swaying motion. I place my head on his chest and inhale his scent - one of liquor and cigarettes.
"How have things been with your teacher?" He asks.
I close my eyes and take a deep breath. Do I tell him what happened today? Or do I just tell a little fib and keep him from beating Chef Wilson up? I mean Chef deserves to be knocked around a little, but how badly? "Arielle," Zayn says. Damn. He knows something's up.
I lean my head back a little and look up into his big eyes, "I told him I wouldn't do that stupid one-on-one bullshit." I say.
"And?" Zayn asks. We're still swaying slowly to the song. Couples are all around us dancing intimately and I have a feeling our intimate moment is about to be severely destroyed.
"He told me I was making a mistake," I respond truthfully. Zayn tilts his head to the side and gives me a look. He knows I'm leaving things out. I sigh, "he called you a brute and said you weren't a man. He kind of indirectly made the comment that he thinks you're controlling everything in my life, and possibly hurting me."
Zayn stiffens underneath my touch. I watch him close his eyes and take in a big breath of air. He's trying to stay calm, but I know it's not long now until the fuse is no longer lit and he explodes. "What else did he say to you?" He asks, trying desperately to keep his composure.
"I threatened to claim sexual harassment on him if he didn't stop pestering me. That seemed to shut him up. For now." I say.
Zayn's hands begin trembling under my touch. "Jesus fucking Christ. I swear to god if I get my hands on him he will not teach another day in his life." Zayn spits.
"Zayn, calm down. I handled it. He's not going to do anything if he knows his job is on the line. If I file a sexual harassment claim, he'll never teach again. You don't have to worry about it." I try to calm him and hold his hands but they're shaking violently.
"This is fucking bullshit," he raises his voice. I can tell his anger is getting to him and he's about to start making a scene right in the middle of this wedding reception. I grab his hand and pull him towards the hallway. When I'm out in the hall I look for a bathroom and pull him into it. I check for feet in the bathroom and when I'm sure no one's in there I stand before him.
"Stop doing this," I tell him.
"Doing what, Arielle?! This man is harassing you, and there's nothing I can do about it because you won't let me! He needs to be taught not to fuck with you. He's going to fucking pull some quid pro quo shit with you and force you to give him head to fucking pass the course! I can't allow this!" He's yelling at me.
I'm thankful that the walls around us are vibrating from the bass of the music - meaning no one can hear our fight. "You drive me crazy, you know that?" I say. "Fucking crazy. I can handle this Zayn! I can handle some goddamned middle-aged professor!" I’m yelling right back at him.
"What if you can't? Huh? What if he traps you? Have you ever thought of that? Jesus Christ, you fucking refuse to see the bad in people until it's too late. And that's exactly what'll happen here!" His fists are balled at his sides. I wait for him to punch the wall, the door, the paper towel dispenser… something.
I push him, "I can fucking handle it!" I yell at him. I shove him again. I push him until he's up against the wall. I go to shove him again but he just grabs my wrists and lets them go. I quickly fist my fingers up in his hair and kiss him with total desperation. Our bodies come crashing together. All of the pent up frustration is finally unravelling.
He quickly takes dominance and turns me around until my back is against the wall. "I can't take this anymore babygirl. Make sure the door is locked," he's taking off his tuxedo coat as he speaks, yanking off his bowtie in one swift motion. I shuffle quickly towards the door, kicking off my shoes at the same time. I turn the lock and listen to the slight metallic clink as it locks.
Zayn comes up behind me, grabbing both of my hands in one of his and imprisoning them above my head. He begins places rough kisses to my neck, sucking, and nipping his way across my skin. His long skilled fingers make their way between my legs, where he begins stroking me through my panties. It's not long before I'm moaning and squirming.
Suddenly Zayn picks me up, hauling me towards the counter and placing me on it. The sensation of my warm skin on the cold stone wakes my senses. Zayn roughly kisses my lips. He pulls away and looks down towards the hem of my dress. He quickly shimmies it up and I watch his eyes go wide as he takes in the sight of my panties. He doesn’t even bother pulling them down, he just pulls them aside and unzips the fly on his dress pants. "I've waited for this for so long now babygirl," he comments.
He uses his strong hands to pull me towards the edge of the counter, emitting a squeal from me. Zayn sinks into me in a slow pace at first, grabbing my face and kissing me hard. My entire body is on fire from his contact, the only relief of the heat coming from the cold stone countertop and Zayn's lip ring whenever he kisses my skin. He sinks in and out of me slowly a few times and I run my fingers through his midnight hair. "Fuck, Arielle," he curses.
He really starts moving then, beginning a punishing, relentless rhythm. I throw my head back and moan and when I look back at him his eyes are filled with lust. He's watching the way my pulse is racing, the way my face reacts as he thrusts himself into me. When I tug on the roots of his hair he bites his lip and throws his head back, an erotic moan slipping past his lips. "Come for me, babygirl."
His words are my undoing and I unravel before him. He thrusts into me a few more times, before he himself becomes sloppy and unravels. When he looks up at me his forehead is covered in small droplets of sweat. I grab his face between my hands and place a soft kiss to his lips. He reacts by placing his hands around my waist, deepening the kiss.
There's a knock at the bathroom door, "is there anyone in there? I have to use the washroom!"
I start giggling wildly and Zayn pulls away from me, zipping himself back into his dress pants. Neither of us say anything to the woman on the other side of the door. I fix my panties, and my dress and check my appearance in the mirror. It's obvious I'm flustered, but then again it's obvious Zayn is too. He looks at me and begins laughing lightly.
"What?" I ask.
"Nothing. I just reckoned we'd actually make it to the car on the way home, not have to fuck like animals here in the bathroom," he smirks.
"Oh really? And how were you so sure you'd be getting laid?" I respond.
He laughs, "oh babygirl, please," is all he says, cockily.