IX - Getting closer

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[RECAP: Juliet has started attending her teacher Mr Carl Spencer's church, and he's starting to struggle with his growing attraction towards her.]


Fhemie outright refused to accompany Juliet to Mr Spencer's Baptist church the next week.

"No way. I would rather do extra homework than extra church. You go but leave me out of it. If you want to stalk him at a bar, then I'm your girl."

Juliet didn't have the impression that Mr Spencer would frequent bars. She tried to get Margot to go with her but Margot was resolute.

"I've already got a date," she told Juliet.

"Who with?"

"Terrance, the guy from the other night."

Juliet couldn't blame her. "I guess I'm going it alone then."

"I guess you are."

After school Juliet went home to once again choose a "church outfit". She wondered what would happen if she showed up in a super short skirt. Or a low cut top. Mr Spencer had only ever seen her in school uniform and the modest clothing she had worn last time. She wanted an opportunity to really make him notice her.

Now though, was not the time. She brushed her hair and put on subtle lipgloss and eyeliner. After all, God didn't forbid make-up, did He? Unlike Miss Villiers. She'd probably try and run heaven like a military camp if she ever made it there.

Juliet hadn't got a car so she had to walk to the church. It was only a couple of miles and she liked walking. Even in urban areas there were always curious little things to see, bits of nature. You took in more of the environment at a slower pace.

Once again she was greeted warmly and given a hymn book. "Is your friend not with you tonight, my dear?" the same old lady as last time asked her.

"No. Her aunt was visiting," Juliet lied as she didn't think ditching church for a date would go down very well here. Ironic that the only reason she was coming to church was to get a date.

She was one of the later people to arrive and could see that Mr Spencer was already there, seated a few rows in front. Juliet shifted so that a woman with a large hat blocked her from his view. She couldn't see his fiancée: perhaps she was late or seated elsewhere.

There was a lot about "witnessing" that evening. Various members of the congregation were called up to talk about how they had "borne witness to the Lord Jesus Christ" or something similar. It wasn't really Juliet's cup of tea. She was relieved that Mr Spencer wasn't one of the people up there, practically sobbing about their religious experience. It all seemed a bit ostentatious.

After the service she stayed for the meet-and-greet, hoping that he would notice her without her having to notice him first.

Which, fortunately, he did.

"Juliet. You came back. And Margot?"

She was suddenly nervous. He looked so attractive tonight, with his broad shoulders looking even more angular and masculine in a well tailored jacket, and his clear eyes set above chiselled cheekbones. Juliet looked around, wondering where his fiancée was.

"Margot had another engagement. I'm here by myself."

Was it her imagination or was there a flicker in his eyes at this. "I'm glad you came."

"How about you?" Juliet asked.

"Me?" Mr Spencer looked confused.

"I mean did you... are you with...?" Here by yourself, she wanted to ask, but couldn't quite say it. She also couldn't bring herself to say his fiancée's name.

"Oh, I'm also here alone tonight. Rebecca has a class. She's studying for some financial exams."

Great. Her rival was some super qualified career woman type, and Juliet hadn't even graduated high school. Yet, anyway.

There was an awkward pause. "It's good to see you," he said, repeating himself. "How do you find our style of worship?"

"Very different from school and mass," Juliet said. "But once you get used to it, it's kind of fun. More alive."

Mr Spencer smiled. "I've always felt that. But I think all forms of worship have their place. They're just different paths leading us to the same Lord."

There was silence between them again. Both gazing at one another, not knowing what to say. Juliet wanted to stand closer to him, to breathe in his aroma. She wanted to see what it would feel like to run her hands through his hair. To have his lips on hers.

He seemed so kind of shining when he talked about religion. On one hand it made Juliet feel almost reverential towards him.

On the other, it made her want to seduce him and turn him on until he was begging for her, demanding her flesh. She wondered what he would do if she went up to him and kissed him.

For a split second Juliet felt like Mr Spencer was leaning in closer to her and she couldn't breathe for a moment, then the tension was suddenly broken when Pastor Brown came up.

"Good evening and welcome." He screwed up his forehead. "It's Juliet, isn't it?"

She was surprised he remembered. "Yes."

"And one of Carl's students, if I also remember correctly?"

"That's right." Mr Spencer was looking strangely uncomfortable and Juliet wondered why. Surely he couldn't have guessed what was going through her mind? If he had the first notion of what she felt when she was around him it would be super embarrassing.

The last thing she wanted was for him to realise she had a crush on him. He would just think she was some foolish high school student. She wanted to impress him, surprise him.

But she had no idea how she was going to manage that. Somehow, she needed to get him alone.

Even as the pastor left that opportunity was denied her. The friendly old lady who had greeted Juliet before the service came up. "Carl. Is Rebecca not with you? Many happy returns anyway." She handed him a card.

"Is it your birthday?" Juliet asked.

"Tomorrow," he told her.

"Oh, well happy birthday then."

"Thank you." He smiled, looking directly into her eyes. The he turned to the old lady. "Thank you so much, Agnes."

"You have a lovely day, young man." She left, and Juliet giggled.

Mr Spencer looked confused. "Something amusing?"

"Just you being called young man," she explained.

He looked mock-hurt. "I'm not that old."

"I guess not." Juliet looked at him suggestively as she said this. "Not too old at all."

Once again the tension was like a knife edge between them. Mr Spencer took a breath, and Juliet decided she had done all she could for that evening. She had unsettled him at least. Part of her felt triumph in starting to achieve her aim. But the other part felt a kind of guilt, because she couldn't help really liking him. He was such a nice guy, as well as being devastatingly attractive.

"I'd better get going, I have schoolwork for tomorrow," she told him.

"I'll see you in class then." They shared a last look, that lingered a little longer than it should have done between student and teacher, and Juliet left.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hope everyone's enjoying the story! I changed the title because as I'm writing it, it seems like the theme has shifted slightly. 

Hope everyone likes Carl Spencer, I'd love your feedback on him!

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