XXVIII - Montmartre

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[RECAP: Juliet and her friend Margot have escaped their hotel to view the sights of Paris, but their teacher Carl Spencer has just caught them]


Margot brazened it out. "Bonjour, Sir. Monsieur," she corrected.

"I'm not sure you're supposed to be here," Mr Spencer said. He didn't look angry, more concerned. He didn't want them to get into trouble but he was in a difficult position, Juliet thought.

She tried to explain. "We just didn't want to waste a moment. I know this afternoon was for resting but there was no need as we slept on the plane."

Juliet then remembered where she had been sleeping, caught his eye and reddened slightly. She could sense Margot was suppressing a grin.

"I do understand, but you need to follow Miss Mead's instructions," he told them. "She's responsible for all of you, and very few of you speak fluent French. If you got lost it could be difficult."

"Do you speak French?" Margot asked him, trying to change the subject.

"Some." Mr Spencer wasn't going to be distracted. "I'll accompany you back and you can slip away to your rooms. We're visiting Sacre Coeur one night so I'll see if we can take a longer look around here beforehand. I don't think Miss Mead will mind people getting their portraits painted, if there's time."

The white-domed Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur was the main landmark of the area. Built at the highest point of Paris it could be seen from all the surrounding area. As they headed to the funicular railway its pale stones turned rose gold in the sunset. Juliet almost ached at the sight.

Carl watched her, seeing the dying sun reflected in her eyes. He hoped he had dealt with the situation adequately. He didn't want Anne Mead to think he was giving the girls a free pass but he also didn't want to ruin their Paris trip. After all, having a Coke outside a café, given they were both legal adults and not actually at school, hardly seemed the gravest of offences.

He decided to avoid mentioning it to his colleague. The choir teacher already had enough to deal with having arranged the entire tour and having to constantly check and recheck that everything was running to plan. She had some French but wasn't fluent which was one of the reasons Carl had ended up taking the French teacher's place.

"Have you been to Paris much before?" Margot asked him.

"A few times."

"What's the nightlife like? Any good bars or clubs?"

Carl knew that Margot was trying to wind him up but saw that it was making Juliet uncomfortable. When he had first started teaching at St Gillian's Juliet would probably have joined in, but he realised that there was now an understanding between them.

There shouldn't be, but there was.

"I didn't visit for the nightlife, but like any major city, it has plenty of attractions," he told her.

Margot gave him a wicked smile. "So you'll be visiting the Moulin Rouge this time? It's just down the road." Margot had been doing her homework. The red light district containing the famous cabaret was in the neighbouring suburb to their hotel, according to her guidebook.

"Tonight will be straight to bed, ahead of our very early start tomorrow," he reminded them.

Margot pouted in mock disappointment. "If you change your mind, we'd be happy to accompany you," she said.

"If Miss Mead grants permission for a cultural tour there, I'd be happy to to escort you."

Since this was about as likely as Miss Mead hitching up her skirt and joining the can-can dancers, it seemed that they were all headed for an early night.

* * *

Juliet was relieved and grateful that Mr Spencer didn't report them to Miss Mead for wandering off. That evening they were all dining at a nearby bistro and Miss Mead might have made them stay behind as a punishment.

Margot was getting itchy feet. "This is Europe. We can go out legally here. I can't see that it's any of her business what we do. It's not like I'd go clubbing wearing the choir sweater."

She had pulled on a clinging, low-cut top, arranging a scarf around her neck for Miss Mead's benefit that she would remove when the choir mistress wasn't watching. Paris was so cold that they ended up wearing jeans again. Margot had brought a sexy dress to go clubbing in but there was no way she could wear it in front of their teachers.

"We'll have to come back here after dinner anyway, so we can just change then," Margot said.

They made their way downstairs. Everyone was gathering in the hotel lobby and they were among the last to arrive.

Juliet came down the stairs trying not to look for Mr Spencer but unable to resist. He was by the door with Miss Mead. He nodded and smiled at her and she felt her insides melt. After spending the whole flight with him she longed to be with him again.

Unfortunately he ended up seated at a table with Miss Mead and Juliet and Margot had to share with Stephanie and a couple of other girls.

The bistro had a set menu so everyone ended up with steak frites and green salad, except for a couple of girls who were vegetarian and had omelettes. Juliet was both relieved and disappointed that they weren't presented with snails and frogs legs as she was curious what they looked like.

Stephanie insisted on saying grace which Juliet felt immensely self-conscious about. She wouldn't have minded if Stephanie had just murmured a few words under her breath, but chanting "For what we are about to receive..." in the middle of a restaurant was embarrassing.

"This steak is really undercooked," one girl complained.

"It's medium rare," Margot told her.

"I wonder if Miss Mead and Mr Spencer will have a Parisian romance," someone said.

"Hardly. She's practically old enough to be his mother," another replied.

This wasn't true: in fact Miss Mead was probably only about five or so years older than Mr Spencer, she just dressed in a dowdy way that made her look older. Juliet realised that the choir teacher was much closer to his age than she was which made her feel miserable. Mr Spencer had told Juliet before that she was too young for him.

Juliet glanced over at him and saw him deep in conversation with Miss Mead. She guessed it was only to be expected as they were dinner companions but it still made her feel flat.

She wasn't sure how she was going to drum up the energy and enthusiasm to sneak out with Margot that night as the only guy she was interested in would be back in the hotel. If Margot wanted to hook up with some French guy Juliet would doubtless end up having to talk with his friend but her heart was not in it.

Her heart was with a man who was totally off limits. Even though he confessed to wanting her as much as she wanted him, he could never be hers.

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While you're waiting for the next update, why not check out another super hot student-teacher romance by Georgette Gray (GeorgetteG) set at a ballet school? You can click the External Link button to get there!

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