XXXII - Flying home

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[RECAP: Juliet is in limbo after being kissed by her teacher Mr Spencer, he's still deciding what to do about the situation]

"Oh. My. God." Margot fished in her purse and brought out a one hundred dollar bill. "Here you are."

"What's this for?"

"The bet. I never thought you'd wear him down."

Juliet pushed the money back at her. "I haven't. It was just a kiss. So you've won."

Just a kiss... it was so much more than that. More than if she had slept with him, in fact.

"We'll call it a draw then," Margot said. "If we'd known he was such a devout Baptist we probably wouldn't have made that bet."

Juliet wouldn't have wanted the money even if she had won. It was so much more than a game to her now.

Margot was adjusting her makeup in front of the mirror, trying to appear rested but still a little weak. She had spent the afternoon going crazy on the Champs Elysées and stashing all her purchases in her suitcase out of sight if Miss Mead visited their room. "Do I look like a recovered invalid?" she asked Juliet.

"Not wearing that jacket that you obviously just bought here," Juliet said.

Looking annoyed but knowing Juliet was right, Margot removed it. "So what's next for you?"

"As I mentioned, he wants to think about it."

Margot groaned. "The pace this guy moves at he's going to be retired and moving to Florida before he ever gets laid."

Juliet sincerely hoped not. "The thing is I really like him."

"What do you mean you like him?"

"I mean, I like him more than I thought I would," Juliet said.

Margot, who had been applying make up, paused and looked at her. "Don't tell me you've actually fallen for him. Seriously? This was just supposed to be fun."

"I know."

"He's so religious," Margot continued. "Imagine having to go to his church every night. Because if you were dating him, that's what you'd have to do."

The word "dating" gave Juliet a secret thrill. "They seemed like nice enough people."

Margot raised her eyebrows. "I can just imagine how nice they'd be if they found out you were his student and it was all completely illegal."

Time was running out for them to join the others downstairs so Juliet hurriedly fixed her own hair and she and Margot left their room. Miss Mead was relieved to see Margot looking well again and didn't show any suspicion about her supposed illness that day.

"I'm sorry you missed the Pompidou, it was quite an experience. I'm sure the others can show you their photos."

"That would be great," Margot replied. She couldn't imagine anything more dull.

True to his word Mr Spencer had arranged for them all to have dinner at Montmartre after their visit to Sacré-Cœur. This would allow them to spend some time looking at the artists and buying souvenirs.

Nuns were singing in the basilica as they entered, like a choir of angels. Juliet was entranced.

"I wish we sounded like that," she said to Margot.

Even Margot was momentarily silenced by the beauty of the voices raised in song. "Is that French or Latin?" she whispered.

Juliet wasn't sure.

Mr Spencer was standing away from her, deliberately she thought. He had greeted her but was studiously ensuring that he was always with a group of people. At least he wasn't avoiding her. But it wasn't safe to catch his eye, let alone to hope he might hold her hand.

Juliet would just have to be patient. It wasn't the virtue that came easiest to her.

* * *

On the flight back, having managed to avoid further conflict with Cynthia, Juliet and Margot were able to sit together.

"I know you'd rather be sitting by holy boy but you're stuck with me," Margot told her. "Take care not to drool over me like you did over him."

Juliet laughed. "I did not drool, I just fell asleep."

"I meant it figuratively."

They were both sad to leave Paris and determined to return one day. Margot was fantasising about studying at the Sorbonne and spending her university days hanging out at cafés with handsome French philosophy students.

Juliet joined her in imagining it, but knew that such a future would be completely impossible for her. Whatever she did after graduating high school was going to be limited by lack of money. There was no way that either she or her aunt could afford an expensive college, let alone living in Europe as a foreign student.

"Do you think your parents would let you do that?" she asked Margot. "Study in Paris"

"Probably, if I got the grades, and so long as I ended up doing international law or something my mom would consider worthwhile." Margot's mother was a corporate lawyer.

It would be good to just travel and live overseas for a year, Juliet thought. Take a round the world trip and work in bars or whatever to support herself. And figure out what she wanted to do longer term.

Margot had let Juliet take the window seat as flying was such a new experience for her, so when Mr Spencer came past them during the flight he leant on Margot's seat to talk with them.

"Having a good flight?"

"It's not so bad," Margot said. "Except for the food."

"It will be dawn US time when we land, so you should enjoy some good views," he told Juliet. For a fraction of a second there was a connection between them but then he moved on, abruptly.

After he had gone Juliet felt subdued. "You know that he's closer in age to Miss Mead than me?" she said to Margot.

"I don't think you have anything to worry about. He doesn't look like the type to go for an older woman. And he looks even less like the type to go for Miss Mead," Margot said.

This wasn't quite what Juliet meant but she said nothing further. Was the age gap between her and Mr Spencer really absurd? It was nearly ten years. If only they were both Romans, no one would blink an eye.



Celebrating this special date - traditionally the only day every four years when women can propose to men (anyone bought their guy a ring?!) - my latest novel Forbidden Study has been released. It follows the forbidden, passionate relationship of boarding school student Juliet and her teacher Mr Rydell, and is the sequel to Forbidden Lessons.

If you'd like to check it out, you can click External Link to get to the Amazon Kindle page.

Or if you'd like a *FREE REVIEW COPY*, just drop me a pm with your email ;)

Or if you'd like a *FREE REVIEW COPY*, just drop me a pm with your email ;)

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