He only grasped her hand a little tighter as he opened the door and led her through a darkened passage way.
She stayed close to him, but not because being this close made her feel safe – and she hadn’t felt safe in a very long time with someone – but because she really could hardly see where they were going.
Derrick knew his way through this with his eyes closed and he took into her to a dimly lit corner with candles lighting the area. There was a blanket laid out in the middle of the floor and on the blanket two crates had items on it. One was a large piece of watermelon designed to look like square shaped cake with pieces of grapes and strawberries to decorate. The top of the cake read, HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL in a fruity thick cream with one candle in the middle that hadn’t been lit.
On the other crate was a smaller box. He knelt behind the crates and looked up to see the shock on her face.
“W-Who did this?” she asked becoming very emotional.
“I did. I know your birth isn’t until tomorrow. I thought I would plan a day in advance. Arwin’s goes to that cooking tech school and did the cake for me and I knew exactly by yesterday what to give you as a gift.”
Rachel turned away suddenly holding her hands over her eyes.
Worried that he had done something wrong, Derrick went in front of her and placed his hands on her shoulders. “What is it?” he asked.
Shaking her head, Rachel said, “It’s nothing… I don’t think I should have come here with you.”
“Yes, you should have,” he refuted. “You of all people deserve something special, Rachel.”
Looking up at him, she scolded, “Don’t call me that, Derrick. It’s not your duty to do special things like this for me. A card would have sufficed. I will always be your teacher. Nothing can change that.”
“What if I’m no longer your student?” he asked.
She stepped away from him to give them some distance and so she could actually think straight.
“Like I said, I should have come. Take me back to my room,” she ordered.
“Aren’t you even going to see what I’ve given you?” he asked.
Rachel gave him a very stern look as if angry at him for going through the trouble, but after a moment, she stepped forward and knelt down at the crates. He moved on the other side to watch her delicate fingers unwrap the box.
Gasping, as her eyes beheld what was inside, she took the chain out with the pendant at the end.
“H-How did you get this, Derrick?”
“My father keeps a credit card for me handy to use when I choose to. I chose to use it now on this occasion.”
“This must have cost you a fortune.”
He took the necklace from her and moved around behind her. She stayed still as he put the necklace around her and clasped it firmly. Turning around to look at him, she smiled that brilliant smile again.
“You shouldn’t have,” she said, standing up and feeling guilty, but happy at the same time.
Rachel heart sung as she felt the metal rest against her collarbone. This was the most magnificent token anyone had ever given her. Despite the fact that this was her student, Rachel was enthralled that he had bestowed something wonderful to her.
“I did,” he said proudly moving closer to her until he could feel her breath touching his lips.
Derrick wanted more than that to touch his lips and from the look in her eyes, she was wondering what he would taste like.
He leaned in just a little closer and titled his head to the side to give her what she desired, but her hand to his chest stopped him coming any closer.
“I should be getting home, Derrick,” Rachel said.
As much as he wanted it, he didn’t’ press the subject. There would be another time another place. “I’ll wrap your cake up,” he said.
When he moved away, she took a deep breath of relief as if she had passed some great test. He watched her gather herself and fondly touched the pendant, smiling to herself. When he was done putting the cake back into the box it had come in, he blew out all the candles and took her hand again. She held it tightly and stayed close to him as he led her through the darkened passageway. He went slower to feel her touch and proximity a bit longer.
“Are we lost?” she asked, nothing their slowed pace.
He shook her head and continued on until they were back in the hallway again. She took charge of the pace and quickly walked to her room. They quietly gathered their items and left. He carried her bag and her box down to her car with her.
They didn’t say anything to each other, but there was this silent truce as if to speak would mean they would admit something they weren’t suppose to.
To break the growing tension, she asked, “Will your ride come for you soon or do you want me to wait with you?”
He nodded assuredly and repeated her \words back to her. “You should be getting home.”
Before driving off, she looked up at him. “Thank you, Derrick. Thank you for… everything.”
Derrick watched her drive away and pondered just how much he had wanted things to end differently than what they had. Getting Mrs. Rachel to pay attention to him was going to take more than just subtle hints. She needed a wake up call and he fully intended to seduce his teacher.