"I'm getting married!" Lisa cried as she burst into the teacher's lounge.
Briana nearly choked on the apple she was chewing. Grace calmly looked up from the assignment she was reading. "I'm sorry. What did you say?"
"I'm getting married!" Lisa repeated as she sat down next to them. Grace had never seen Lisa like this before. Her eyes were shining and a broad grin spread across her face.
"To whom?" Grace asked.
"Dave of course! He asked me last night. He got down on his knee and everything. He bought a ring. Look!" and she thrust her hand out, a modest sparkler adorning her ring finger.
"Oh my God," cried Briana. "I didn't even know you were that serious."
"Of course we are! I'm crazy about him."
Briana leaned over and tentatively touched Lisa's arm. "Who are you? What have you done with Lisa?"
"But seriously Lisa, you've only been seeing him for three months," Briana said.
Grace's cell phone rang and seeing who it was she made her excuses and went out into the corridor.
"What are you wearing today?" Sam's deep voice asked her.
She looked down at her polka dot blouse, pencil skirt and high heeled pumps. "As it happens, one of your favourite outfits," she told him.
There was a silence on the phone, then he asked, "that blouse with the spots on?"
"Yes, and stupidly high heels. My feet are killing me."
"Are you wearing that tight skirt?" His voice was getting lower and lower.
"Yes," she laughed.
"What underwear do you have on?"
She blushed, amd checking no one was in ear shot said, "red. Lacey. Currently quite damp,"
She could hear his breathing become quite labored, even over the phone.
"Come to the surf shop later," he managed to rasp.
"Why?" she asked innocently.
"Why do you think?" he said huskily, her whole body responding to the promise in his voice. "So I can rip your clothes off you, of course."
"When are you going to start dating again, Grace?" Lisa asked her when she went back into the room on slightly wobbly legs.
The cell phone burned in her hand as she tried to change the topic, "So when's the wedding?"
"Maybe in Spring," Lisa answered but she wasn't going to be sidetracked that easily. "I saw Greg the other day. He's still really into you, you know."
Grace started arranging the assignments in front of her with fake concentration.
"Dave said he hasn't dated anyone since you split up. Maybe you should give him another go."
"Look Lisa, just because you're all loved up doesn't mean everyone has to be. What about Briana? Why don't you find someone for her?"
"I'm too busy looking after my Mom and her damned cats," said Briana emphatically, "Leave me be!"
Grace had been keeping Sam a secret for a month now. They'd gotten so good at sneaking around that even JD was in the dark. JD had been their initial motivation to keep their affair to themselves, but now it seemed they were just addicted to the thrill of it; all the dirty phone calls, and building anticipation. Grace could hardly believe she was the same person who had convinced herself Sam was all wrong. He was still all wrong in so many ways, but boy, wrong felt really good.
At half past seven that evening, Sam's dark eyes stared down at her, a sheen of sweat glazing his chest, his breath coming in ragged bursts. "Fuck, I thought I was going to pass out."
Wrapping her legs around him, Grace laughed and stroked his straining biceps. "I think I have carpet burns."
"Shit, I'm sorry!" he cried leaping off her and nearly hitting his head on the store's counter.
Grace sat up and tried to look at her back. "I'm fine," she said. "Come here," and she reached out for him. They wrapped their legs round each other and he kissed her tenderly.
"Where's JD tonight?"
"Swim meet," Sam said then looked at his watch. "Damn, he'll be back in twenty minutes. Get dressed!" and she hit the floor with a bump as he pulled away from her and grabbed for his jeans.
"You really know how to make a girl feel appreciated," she muttered as she looked around for her panties.
"I'm sorry Grace," he said buttoning up his flies, rock hard abs still glistening from his exertions. "It was you who didn't want JD to find out."
"I know," she sighed.
Sam knelt in front of her and brushed her hair away from her face. "He'll be away at the weekend. You can have me for two whole nights."
"Great," she said, attempting to sound enthusiastic.
"Now get that cute butt clothed and out of here," he said with a grin.
They all celebrated Lisa and Dave's engagement that Friday with big pitchers of Margaritas and lots of toasts. Lisa seemed to have morphed into an adoring girlfriend overnight. She was practically hanging round Dave's neck, only stopping drinking to noisily kiss him. Their kisses were getting increasingly intimate and Grace cringed, as she saw Dave's tongue slip into Lisa's mouth and his hands grip her ass.
Her night had already been spoiled by two things. Firstly, Greg was present and fixing her with sulky looks over the rim of his glass. Secondly, across the bar she had an excellent view of Sam Anderson deep in conversation with two blondes, both of whom were laughing ostentatiously at everything he said. His arms were stretched across the back of the bench and he looked like he was really enjoying himself. She watched as one of the blondes leaned towards him and giggled, then saw Sam fix her with one of his steamy gazes. She wanted to hurl her glass across the bar so it hit him square in his stupid perfect forehead.
"Hi Grace," Greg said, sidling up to her. "How are you doing?"
Shit, that was all she needed. "Sorry Greg, I have to go to the restroom," she said, hurrying away.
But before she had even opened the restroom door, a strong hand grabbed her wrist and pulled her through the fire door at the back. Sam pushed her against the wall and grinned down at her, dimple appearing. She didn't smile back.
"This feels familiar," he smirked, eyes fixed on her lips.
"Get off me, Sam. I'm not in the mood."
"You've been staring at me all night," he said, pushing his hardening groin against her.
"Don't flatter yourself," she muttered, trying to push him away. "And how would you know anyway, you've been so busy staring at the Barbie twins' tits."
He actually had the gall to laugh, and his fingers closed round her wrists, pinning her to the rough brick. She forced herself not to squirm and stared straight into his amused brown eyes.
"Are you jealous, Ms Gilbert?" he asked, his face moving closer to hers, giving her a close up view of his long eyelashes which swooped onto his tanned skin seductively. She could feel an involuntary quickening in her loins, as he pulled her wrists higher, stretching her arms. His feet planted themselves on either side of hers and his cock, now in an advanced stage of arousal, pressed against her.
"Pervert," she said half heartedly.
He laughed again. "I don't think it's just me who's turned on," he whispered before planting his lips onto hers, but she managed to wriggle one hand free and pushed his face away.
"I told you," she said. "I'm not in the mood."
He stepped away from her, suddenly wrenched from his erotic trance. "Don't be like that, Grace," he said in a tired voice, and she had a sudden flashback of him shouting that at another blonde on another night not long ago. She was just another notch in his bedpost, someone to have sex with and then eventually get tired of.
"You know Sam, I don't think this is working," she said, turning back to the fire door.
And for a second time she left him slumped in a bar's backyard, aroused and confused.