Joseph woke with a start, staring wildly at his cell phone display. No. Not again. Now he'd be late again for work. There were unnerving rumors about what happened to those who arrived late repeatedly. Something about the principal - the principal who oddly enough was rarely seen. Joseph could only recall having glimpsed the principal from a distance in a corridor, mostly from behind. From what he'd been led to believe, the principal was a relatively young man, but other than that, very little was said about him.

Joseph hurried out of bed and into the bathroom. Today he wouldn't have time for even a glass of orange juice on the run. He knew he shouldn't stay up for so long, sitting in front of the computer in the evenings. Until late at night, if he was completely honest. It was just that his game was so habit forming. But it was fun to see his name in the Hall of Fame. Actually, everything about the game was fun - winning, but also cooperating with the others in his alliance.

But he really didn't have time to stand around dreaming. He found one of his nicer shirts and in a drawer his blue sweater was neatly folded up. He should probably wear a pair of fancier trousers but he preferred the jeans so he'd take them anyway.

He snatched up his jacket in the hallway and slammed the door shut behind him. If he made a run for it, he might just catch the bus. If not, he'd definitely be late.

When he slowed down by the bus stop, breathless, heart beating loudly, he saw the bus disappear a bit further down the road. He would be late again. This wasn't good.

Half an hour later, he slipped through the entrance to the high school where he was working. He was hoping his students wouldn't be too difficult today.

He caught a glimpse of Jenny's dark hair as she closed the door behind the last student. Was she smiling at him? Either way, he couldn't help smiling at her. She was really nice and - no point in denying that - really hot too. He liked her type, even though he didn't really have just one type, more like several different ones. Ever since he'd started his job in the fall, he'd felt attracted to Jenny.

He rushed through the corridor towards his classroom. There it was. No student was in sight, but the door wasn't completely closed. How had they managed to get inside?

Cautiously he opened the door. His students were sitting down and seemed quite calm. Many of them were looking at their cell phone displays. Others were browsing through their text books. But who was the man standing behind his desk, staring at him so intensely?

"Joseph North?"

"Yes?"

"You're late. Your students were milling about in the hallway, when I found them. A few more minutes and they would have been gone. If they had, how would you have caught up with them again? This doesn't look good at all."

Joseph felt his throat constrict. Was this a joke? He wasn't all that late. It was only twentyfive past nine now and when he'd arrived it had been almost exactly half past. Surely it wasn't that bad?

"I'm Principal Warner."

Joseph walked up to the desk, feeling more nervous than he had when he'd been in high school himself.

The principal turned to address the class.

"Start reading your text books. Your teacher will be back soon. I just need to have a few words with him."

This just couldn't be true. Was it some kind of hazing? Joseph had heard of that happening in certain schools, particularly in the cities. Surely principal Warner wasn't serious about bringing him to his office to 'have a few words' with him'? What did that mean? His palms were beginning to feel slightly moist from the nervous tension.

He followed the principal into his office. Unlike when Joseph had gone to school, there was no longer a secretary guarding the entrance. The room was empty, apart from the principal and of course Joseph himself.

Now he was getting a clearer impression of the principal. Suddenly, Joseph felt his cheeks heating up. The somewhat older man really was handsome. What was the matter with him? He never used to pay any attention to other guy's looks.

The principal closed the door behind them. He didn't ask Joseph to sit down on the visitor's chair. Instead, the man remained standing so close to Joseph it was beginning to feel weird. It was hard to read the principal's expression. Joseph thought that it might be stern, but something in those eyes told him that maybe the other guy was having a discreet laugh at Joseph's expense. Was the whole thing a joke? Or some kind of hazing? But he'd been working here for almost four months now.

"Listen to me carefully, Joseph. You have a decision to make. Either you leave right now. We don't have any use for teachers who aren't prepared to do their job properly. Or you can try to convince me that you deserve a second chance."

That voice - it sounded so sexy. Once again, Joseph's cheeks began to heat up. What if the other guy were to notice his reaction? Joseph hastily turned his thoughts to Jenny instead. They had talked a bit, but everyone was so busy and they rarely had time to get better acquainted. Despite that, he felt that Jenny might appreciate him as much as he appreciated her. And now this. Remembering Jenny, he reacted just the same way as before, but despite that, he felt the same way about the principal. What was his problem?

The principal was still standing close enough for Joseph to feel the other guy's breath on his face and could see the pulse pounding in the principal's neck. He also felt a whiff of something he thought was a mix of aftershave and something else. Joseph tried to take a step back, embarrassed by his own reaction. The principal's hand shot out and grabbed Joseph's upper arm. It wasn't that hard a grip, but for some reason he couldn't tear himself free. All he could do was remain there standing, helplessly, looking into the other guy's eyes. His mouth felt dry.

"I see that I shall have to teach you a lesson. This kind of behavior is completely out of the question."

Joseph couldn't quite interpret that tone. It sounded strict, yet - surely that couldn't be true? there was also a note of humor. Either way, Joseph felt paralysed. The situation was unreal. Suddenly he felt the principal's hand on his crotch. He knew he ought to tear himself away and run, but like in a dream, he just stood there rooted to the spot, feeling the hand skillfully touching him. Though he had never experienced a similar situation, he noticed, as if from a distance, that his own breathing was picking up and his heart was pounding more quickly.

Embarrassingly enough it was over far too soon. One second he was more excited than ever before, the next he was standing there, red-cheeked, staring into the principal's eyes. A smile spread across the latter's face.

"Perhaps now you'll remember to arrive on time in the morning. However, if you're late again, it will have consequences - partly different consequences."

This time it wasn't just his imagination, the principal had a wide grin on his face, clearly enjoying his employee's embarrassment. At the same time the principal's hand was moving across the desktop then coming to a stop touching something that looked like - was it really a pointer? The thought of being beaten by that made Joseph hastily smother a giggle, while at the same time feeling his body beginning to react again. He'd never been turned on by that sort of sex before. Despite that, a vision of himself lying across the desk flew through his mind, before he could check himself. In the scene the pointer danced across his bare buttocks. He felt his cheeks heat up even more.

Mute and ashamed of himself, he hurried outside. All the time, the incident he'd just experienced was being replayed again and again in his mind's eye, as he was running back to his classroom. Outside the door he remained standing, trying to regain his breath. He couldn't let the students see him like this. What if they were to guess what he'd just been through?

When the class was over he forgot to give his students homework for next time. He let them run off without a second thought.

On his way to the staff room, he met Jenny, blushing all over his face, like a school boy who had been caught in the act of smoking in the classroom.

"Hello."

Despite what had just happened, he felt his body react to her greeting that really wasn't that personal. But the look in her eyes almost seemed to be undressing him and a smile spread across her lips.

"Want to come along to the storage room?"

She gestured to a basket of books that she was carrying.

He coughed to clear his throat.

"Sure, I'd love to."

He held his hand out for the basket and she let him take it. She walked ahead of him towards a short passage that he'd never been to so far.

It was quite dark in there. Was that really where the storage room was? Then he felt Jenny grabbing him and pushing him up against the wall, kissing him. This time he had no wish to fight the touch or tear himself free. And just like just a moment ago, his heart began to beat so loudly he thought she'd surely feel it through the fabric of his shirt.

After a while, Jenny pulled back, smiling contentedly.

"There. Now let's go to the storage room. It's over here. And maybe we could meet again in here during our lunch break? If you want to."

The expression in her eyes made him blush even more. She smiled, tossing her name of hair over her shoulder in a gesture that made it hard for him to breathe, from excitement.

Then she was back in the hallway outside and Joseph remained standing immobile, baffled but also expectant. Apparently this was a different kind of school, but despite the unexpected in the incident involving the principal, he really didn't have anything to complain about.

FIN

© Milli Linnea

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