Kimberley could feel the warmth of the late afternoon sunshine seep through the windows and flow through the soft cotton of her pale yellow summer dress. Warm weather like this wasn’t unusual for late May, but it had come unexpectedly and she had had to dig deep in her closet to find something light enough to be comfortable. She looked south into the courtyard of the elementary school, her school, and her home away from home. The sunflowers that her kindergartners had planted several weeks ago were sprouting up nicely, but her thoughts were far from the flowers and her students.
All she could think of was the man she would be meeting in a few minutes, the father of one of her students, the man whose dark eyes and gentle hands kept her trembling with anticipation. But it was a sad anticipation since he was older with growing children and a house, and a full time job, and would never have time for her. She brushed her long auburn hair back from her face and wished she had taken the time to put it up since it was so hot this day. Her hand drifted down her soft warm cheek and neck to her chest, pausing on her breast that felt warm and full and heavy. Her nipple grew taut and pressed against her palm through the thin lace of her bra and the soft cotton of her dress. Her fingertips flirted with the open neckline, teasing the soft pale flesh beneath. Although she had undone the top button earlier because of the heat, the cut of the dress was modest enough for her to appear prim and proper on the outside when on the inside she was aflame with desire.
Her fingertips lingered in the warm valley between her breasts as she thought of this man. From the first time she had seen him in the fall through months that followed she had grown attached to him, hardly able to wait until she could see him the next time. It had been so long since she had felt this way about anyone, and of course with her luck it would have to be a nearly impossible situation. But he would soon be here in her neat tidy room with the brightly decorated bulletin boards, and the miniature tables and chairs, and the freshly cleaned chalkboard. She was determined to make the most of this last chance, not like the other times when he had been close enough to her that she could feel his breath and sense his heartbeat and her mind had grown dumb and her lips had fallen mute. She closed her bright green eyes for a moment and was quickly lost in a mystical reverie.
It was back in the early fall, just after the start of the school year. Kimberley had gotten her students in and seated at their tables and was just easing into the reading lesson when there was a knock at the door. She wasn’t sure whom to expect since it was too early for attendance sheets. When she opened the door, standing outside was a tall man dressed in an expensive golf shirt and crisp khaki slacks. His head was bowed, almost like one of her students who had been caught doing something bad. But when he raised his head, his dark hair and dark eyes startled her. He had the most interesting face, nice-looking but not in a pretty boy fashion, more Harrison Ford than Tom Cruise.
“I’m sorry we’re so late,” he said, his deep voice dripping with apology. “But we had a little trouble over breakfast this morning.”
Standing beside him was little Martin Rousseau, one of her students, whom she hadn’t even noticed was missing.
“Why that’s okay,” she replied, waving her hand to invite Martin inside. “You must be Martin’s father.”
“Guilty as charged,” he replied with a most disarming smile that sent a warm shiver down her spine. “And you must be Miss Maguire.” He held out his hand, perhaps out of habit. As she placed her hand in his, he squeezed it ever so gently. “I’m Paul Rousseau. Nice to meet you.”
“Nice to meet you too,” she said unable to let go of his hand or to let her eyes drift away from the warm look in his. “Very nice to meet you.”
Martin scampered in to hang up his backpack and join his friends as Kimberley lingered at the doorway shaking hands with the most striking man she had met in ages.
“Well, I, uh,” he said, with the most incredible smile as he tried to retrieve his hand. “I had better be going.”
“Oh, yes,” she replied, finally letting her hand slip away. “Well, have a very nice day!”
She couldn’t take her eyes from him as he nodded, turned and started down the hall. Tall and broad shouldered with a narrow waist and hips and the cutest buns she had ever seen wiggle by in a pair of khakis. She took a deep breath and felt her heart hammering away. Jesus Christ! Have a nice day? God, is that all you can say Kimberley Ann, she said to herself. Have a nice fucking day? A loud crash from the classroom brought her back to reality just as he disappeared through the double doors. Although she threw herself back into the classroom to get things back on track, she found herself pausing several times during the day, remembering the dark hair with the errant lock that curled çubuk escort over his forehead, the deep dark eyes that kept shining her way, the soft warm handshake, the very thought of which sent another round of shivers through her body.
Later in the fall came their first real face-to-face meeting when he was scheduled for a parent teacher conference. She remembered being so excited when the handwritten note arrived via Martin requesting a late appointment. The strong definitive handwriting would have to be his. She made sure to give him his preference even if it meant asking three other parents to shift their times.
“Hello,” came the voice and a little knock on the door.
Relax, Kimberley Ann, she repeated to herself again and again. Be cool, be smooth, and remember that you’re the one in charge. She looked up toward the door and saw him leaning in, a sweet little boy smile on his face. He shook the rain off the collar of his overcoat and stepped inside. He was wearing a dark suit with a finely tailored blue shirt and a bright tastefully patterned tie.
“Mr. Rousseau, you’re here!” she said.
“Yeah, I’m not late am I?”
“No, not really. Come in and have a seat.”
He looked awkward sitting in the chair beside her desk since it was smaller than the typical office chair.
“Well, first of all, let me say what a pleasure it is to have you in my class everyday,” she began.
“Beg your pardon?” he said with a confused look on his face.
“Oh, Martin. To have Martin in my classroom every day. I’m sorry. You two bear a strong resemblance.”
“Chip off the old block they say,” he replied with that disarming smile that Kimberley was finding a definite distraction.
“Anyway, I’ve prepared a chart for you that shows Martin’s progress and how he has been doing lately.”
She watched as he took the chart and looked it over intently, his dark eyes drinking up every detail.
“He does really well with numbers and science topics. He does need some extra work in English and handwriting. He seems to be lagging behind some of the others in those subjects.”
“Is there anything I can do?” Paul asked, his eyes gazing into hers for the answer.
“Oh, yes there is so much that you can do,” Kimberley answered slowly, distracted by the look in his eyes. “For Martin. Yes, for Martin. He’s a very charming boy and a joy to have in class. He loves to laugh and play and is very popular with his classmates.”
She sat looking at the father who looked back to the progress chart. She began to have strange thoughts about this man, strange, wonderful thoughts. She felt the need to say something, but paused before she told him what she was actually thinking, about how she wanted to throw herself across the desk and into his arms. Instead she tried to concentrate on young Martin.
“I would suggest that you spend some extra time reading to him, perhaps practicing his writing. Maybe try to get him to write complete words instead of just the same letter over and over. Simple words, words that he knows and uses frequently so that he begins to link the letters with how they form words.”
He broke into another great smile.
“Finding extra time is hard to do, Miss Maguire,” he said. “You’re probably not aware of our situation. As a single parent it’s hard to keep everything together. With his older sister and a business to run there isn’t a lot of spare time to spend.”
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to … ,” she said feeling dumb, but he raised a hand up and interrupted.
“But I’m committed to doing whatever needs to be done. You don’t need to apologize, Miss Maguire. I’ve kind of thought that Marty needed some extra attention in his studies. His sister tries to help, but I’ve suspected that there’s more I could do. I couldn’t manage preschool for him so this has been a big step for him. I’ll work closer with him.”
Kimberley didn’t know what to say in return. There was something about him that was driving her crazy. Her body was quivering with every syllable from his deep voice. And when he smiled, she thought her heart would melt. Relax, Kimberley, she thought. This is your turf. You’re the one in charge.
“I have a nice little booklet that I can send home with you if you’d like,” she said. When he nodded, she got up and stepped over to her filing cabinet. She was quite aware of his eyes following her movements. As she bent over slightly to pull the middle drawer open, she remembered that her dress had a little slit up the back and figured that she was probably giving him a nice glimpse of her legs. So she took a few extra moments looking for the booklet that was right in front of her. But then with my luck he’ll be a boob man, she thought, and when she pulled out the booklet and turned around, she realized that he wasn’t even looking in her direction.
“Here you go,” she said handing him the parent’s guide. “I think you’ll find some nice suggestions for things that you can demetevler escort try at home.”
“Thank you,” he said taking the book and flipping thorough the pages. “This will help a lot. Thanks.”
She paused standing beside him, her pulse racing. She wanted to say something to him. She wanted to confess how she had picked out this dress especially because her friends had all told her how terrific she looked in it and because she knew that he would be coming to see her today. She wanted to tell him how she felt when he looked her way. There were other things that she wanted to say to him, things that she had never told anyone before. But she didn’t. She could only stand beside him and smile and wait for a sign from him. Hell, she would have let him take her right there, right then if he had tried, the thought of which produced a dampness between her legs.
“Well then,” he said. “Is there anything else?”
“No, nothing special. Nothing else really.”
He stood up beside her, very close to her, and took her hand in his. Her hand felt so small inside his.
“Thank you for coming, Mr. Rousseau. If you ever need to contact me, my phone number and email are in the school directory we sent home last week.”
“I’ll be sure to do that,” he replied.
With a nod and another of his stunning smiles, he turned and walked away. She followed in his wake to the door and could smell the scent of his cologne. Pierre Cardin, maybe? Kimberley Ann, what are you doing, she asked herself. All right, he is nice-looking, but you’ve met good-looking men before and they never had this effect. She could feel her nipples stiffen up and rub against the cups of her bra and the dampness between her legs could not be denied. She brought a hand up to the side of her face and rubbed her temple. He’s got to be ten or fifteen years older with children and a mortgage and a business and he couldn’t possibly be interested in her. She took a deep breath and went back to her desk, slipped her folder of notes and some papers into her briefcase, and snapped it shut. Forget him Kimberley Ann, she thought. You’ll never have a man like that.
Then came a couple of brief brushes with Mr. Rousseau in the weeks following. Once he had to pick up Martin early for a doctor’s appointment and she decided to walk him down to the office while her teaching assistant finished the lesson. Paul had stepped out of the office to meet them in the hall when he saw them coming.
“Ready to go champ?” he asked Martin, rubbing his boy on the head.
While Martin nodded, Kimberley helped slip on his backpack.
“All set and ready to go,” she said proudly.
“Thanks,” Paul replied.
The curly lock of hair had fallen onto his forehead and she wanted to reach up and brush it away for him, but he reached up to do it himself and she bit her lip. What was it about this man that makes my brain turn to mush, she asked herself. Damn! She could only send them off with a weak little wave. I am so stupid, she thought to herself, getting all worked up over this attractive man who hardly knows I exist. She quickly walked back to her class trying to put it all out of her mind.
A week or so later she had gotten to school a bit later than usual. The kids were lining up at the outside door waiting for the bell to ring. Small groups of parents were gathered about chatting. Standing by the door talking animatedly with Allison Chambers’ mother was Mr. Rousseau. Out of the corner of her eye as she breezed past, she could see him look her way and smile with a polite little nod.
“Good morning,” he called out to her.
“Morning,” she replied.
Since she was so late, she wanted to get inside quickly, but she paused for a moment. He kept smiling at her and nodded again in her direction. What to say, she asked herself. Nice day isn’t it? Have a nice day? As her mind drew a blank, his smile disappeared, but the look remained. She finally turned away and hustled inside. Maybe he does know who I am, she thought to herself. The rest of the day she felt so distracted each time she remembered the look in his dark eyes and the tingle that swept through her body.
On the last Friday night before the Christmas holiday break, the PTA sponsored a carnival in the gymnasium. Parents and teachers alike signed up to run the various games and booths for the entertainment of the children and to help raise money for some special projects later in the year. Her friend Linda who taught second grade had talked her into volunteering.
“What else are you going to do that night?” Linda had said.
Yeah, right. What else, she had thought. A big bowl of popcorn and the latest DVD release was losing its charm she had to admit. So the two of them had signed up for the miniature tabletop bowling game. After the school day was over, she changed into a pair of jeans and a favorite sweater and helped with setting up and decorating the gym. Afterwards, she spent a few extra ankara escort minutes in the bathroom putting up her hair to keep it out of her face and touching up her makeup.
The carnival started at six o’clock and it seemed like every one showed up at the same time. It was a wild and fun-filled madhouse as the kids and parents bought tickets and lined up to play the games. She and Linda were among the busiest, taking turns collecting tickets, setting pins, and handing out tokens to the winners. Kevin the gym teacher was next to them running a shooting gallery game and was hardly able to keep up.
“What’s the matter, Kev? Getting old?” Linda chided.
“My helper hasn’t shown up yet,” Kevin replied “I hope he gets here soon.”
After another flurry of contestants, she looked over to see Paul hustle up and join Kevin next door.
“Sorry, man,” he told Kevin apologetically.
Kevin wasted no time putting him to work. At first, Kimberley was able to concentrate on running her game, but soon found herself sneaking little glances at her neighbor. He had the most wonderful laugh and was great at helping the kids get a better score. At one point little Martin and his big sister, a tall slim dark-haired girl, came up and asked their Dad for some more money for a soda and hot dog. She loved the way he acted around them, so devoted and protective.
“Cute kids,” she shouted over to him.
“Thanks,” he answered.
During another rush, she was busy resetting the bowling game and felt her hair slip out of the pins holding it up. She brushed it away from her cheek, but it fell back. After getting the game ready, she turned to the side, pulled the bobby pin from her hair and tossed her head back. She raised both arms up and using one hand to hold the offending lock in place, she pinned her hair back securely. She then realized that she was facing Paul directly, her arms up pulling her breasts up and out against her sweater. Just the look in his eyes was enough to tickle her nipples to taut attention. He smiled awkwardly and looked back to his own game, but there was no mistaking his admiring glances.
Later, there was an awkward moment when she bent over to reach under the table for some more tokens. She felt something brush up against the left cheek of her butt and realized that it was his leg. She looked over and up to catch him stealing a peak at her behind. Thank God she was wearing her favorite old pair of Guess jeans that fit her better than any others she had ever owned.
“Nice butt,” he commented as he glanced down with a shy smile before looking away.
She felt that warm shiver pass through her again, which made it harder to concentrate on setting the pins or collecting tickets. A couple kids complained when she miscounted their tickets. Jesus, Kimberley Ann, can’t you count to two, she asked herself.
Around seven thirty, the crowd began to thin out and the customers for their games dwindled down to an occasional visitor using up the last of their tickets. She caught Paul sneaking a look at her.
“What a crazy time!” she called out to him.
“Yeah. This is a lot of fun,” he replied.
“I didn’t know you were signed up for this,” she remarked. “I don’t remember seeing you at the meeting.”
“I was a last minute replacement, I guess.”
There was more idle chitchat as she struggled to find something to say that would interest him yet sound innocent to Linda and Kevin. She complimented him on the progress that Martin was making with his reading and writing. He turned it around into a compliment on her teaching abilities. She asked about their plans for the Christmas break he didn’t really give an answer and seemed more interested in what she would be doing. He smiled when she told him she would visit her parents home.
“What? No ski trip to Gstaad?” he cracked.
“Not this year, although I would like to visit sometime.”
“It’s beautiful this time of year.”
A handsome man, a devoted father, and a world traveler to boot! What wasn’t there to love about this man, she asked herself. But then the L-word caught her. Oh, Sweet Jesus, Kimberley Ann, she thought.
“You’ll get there sometime,” he remarked.
Kimberley smiled and noticed that his kids were edging closer with their booty of cheap little toys in hand. The voice of the principal announced over the PA the winners of the door prizes and thanked everyone for their attendance and support. The teachers and parents set about packing up the games for another year. As she noticed Martin and his sister waiting impatiently for their dad, she gave Paul a little wave.
“I guess you’d better get going.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” he said with a sad look on his face. “Are you hanging around?”
“Some of the gang are going over to Poole’s Tavern for a beer,” she replied.
“Sounds nice, but,” he said with a small sweep of his hand toward his kids.
“Well I wasn’t planning on going anyway. I’m not one for smoky, noisy bars. I think I’ll just head home.”
“Same here,” Paul said as he started to move toward the door
Kimberley began pulling together her purse and briefcase and backpack stuffed with her change of clothes.
“Well, can I walk you out then?” he asked, pausing for a moment.