The Royal We
I can not deny that getting called to the principal’s office because of this stupid rumor freaked me out a little bit. It did. It had all of the potential to ruin my entire future, my entire life. And all because of a stupid hug that was caused by my idiot ex boyfriend.
“Mr. Baker, Miss Williamson, please come in and take a seat.” Mr. Ferraro said, opening the door to his office and then walking back behind his desk to his leather chair.
“Mr. Ferraro, there’s only one seat, and two of us.” James objected, almost immediately after I told him to let me do the talking. Comments like that were just what might cost us both of our reputations.
“According to what I have been hearing around the school this morning, the two of you wouldn’t mind that. But, also for gossip’s sake, Miss Williamson, please take a seat. You need your rest.” Mr. Ferraro said, a slight smirk on his face.
That was so not legal. I’d have to have Penny take a look at how to deal with that kind of thing.
“Thank you, but for my own sake, I think I’ll let have James have the chair. Now, why did you call us down to your office, Ferraro? You are cutting in to valuable learning time that we need to get some where in the world, sir.” I said, keeping my voice reasonable, but making sure my words were still wise ass.
“Miss Williamson, Mister Baker, you both know our school’s policy on, ahem, negative influences, correct?”
“Yes, sir, we do. What does that have to do with us, though?” I replied, keeping cool and not giving any thing away.
“Have neither of you heard what is being said about you this morning? That’s… almost appalling.” Mr. Ferraro said with minor distaste, but otherwise complete indifference.
“No, we have not. Care to tell us, Mr. Ferraro?” I said, still playing dumb.
I glared at James when he started to open his mouth – I knew he was going to say that both of us knew exactly what he was talking about, but I knew admitting that would not work in our favor.
“I’ll cut straight to the chase, then. One of our school’s journalism students runs a blog called Cane You Believe It? as part of her credit for News Paper class. This morning, a picture of the two of you was posted with a caption alluding to your being pregnant, Miss Williamson. And from what I have heard in the hallways today, most of the student body seems to think it’s true.”
“Oh, yes, that lovely Kris Snyder.” I said in the sweetest, most innocent tone I could manage. I could normally get my voice to drip sweet and low like honey, but today it was more straight up cane sugar. “Yes, we are familiar with Cane You Believe It?. But both James and I were unaware that there had been a post about the two of us on there recently. I haven’t had the chance to check recently, and I’m sure James hasn’t, either.”
“Yes, Kris… I’m not going to ask how you knew that, Miss Williamson. But yes, there was that post this morning. Again, I’m going to be blunt here, Delilah. The school policy is to not allow any negative influences attend school in this district. And, I’m sorry, but you being pregnant will cause a negative influence on the other students.”
I held back a scoff and tried to make my voice not shake. “Yet you still allow the druggies and the sex and rock and rollers attend school. Do you only kick the pregnant girls and gay boys out, Mr. Ferraro? Because I do believe that is illegal, and if that is what you are suggesting, there is no way you will be able to scare me out of taking legal action. I am related by blood to one of the top attorneys in the state. Don’t even begin to think that I won’t use my power, there.”
“Delilah, I’m giving you the option to confirm or deny these rumors. If you do not deny that you are pregnant right now, you will be expelled!” Ferraro practically roared at me, but kept his voice down at the same time.
I felt my eyes go steely with a determination much stronger than his. “Read my lips. I. Am. Not. Pregnant. Do you want me to sign a document? Get a damned test and show it to you? Or will my word be enough?”
James was frozen in his chair. I was staring at Ferraro over the top of his curly mess of hair, trying to channel my inner FBI interrogator. My hands were on James’ shoulders, subconsciously trying to calm him and myself at the same time. My thumb rubbed the back of his neck where Ferraro couldn’t see.
But James was not the only one who was frozen where he was. Ferraro had a similar stance to me behind his desk; back leant forward and arched, arms outstretched and open, staring at me through the top of his eyes through his silver-gold eyelashes. It was different, though. He looked unsure, like he was having an internal battle.
“If you expel me or James or punish us in any way, I will take legal action. Don’t doubt me. So, Mr. Ferraro. What is it going to be? Let us out of here, or get a law suit against the school and possibly lose your job?” I whispered calmly, trying to make sure no one out side of his office could hear me making threats if they walked by his door.
Mr. Ferraro stared at me for a minute longer and then averted his eyes and cleared his throat. His gaze moved to the corner of his desk, where they glared unblinkingly at the fake wood. “Miss Williamson, Mister Baker, you are free to go. I will let you off with just a warning, this time. But if I hear of any thing like this about either of you ever again, you better be sure you will be back in this office and you will be given the consequences that you deserve.”
“Yes, sir.” I drawled out, making the two words in to an insult. I raised an eyebrow when he didn’t even look up or make a comment about needing to “respect my elders.”
“Just go. NOW.”
“Thank you, Mr. Ferraro.” James quickly said and rushed out of the room.
I took my time and ambled out of the office, making Ferraro as uncomfortable as I could. I couldn’t help but to roll my eyes at James’ rushed and eager exit. Very suave. If that would have been at the beginning of that lovely chat, it would have cost us every thing.
I didn’t expect him to be waiting just out of sight of Mr. Ferraro’s office door for me, though. He stood there with his hands in his pockets, one foot on the brick wall and an easy smile on his face. I couldn’t not give him a little smirk back.
“Delilah…. Thanks. If I had talked at all in there, we probably both would have been expelled. I don’t know how you did it, but you managed to save both of our asses.” He pushed off of the wall and offered another hug.
I reluctantly allowed him to hug me, and wrapped my arms around him as well. Half of my brain was saying “awwww! This is good. This is a really good sign!” while the other half was going “he already got you in trouble. Why are you setting yourself up for a fall again?”
“No problem, James.” I struggled to keep my voice clear and lacking most emotion. Why was that harder to do now than it was in the self proclaimed Duke of Discipline’s office? “Just so you know, you owe me big time now.”
“I’ll make sure to come up with some thing good, Delilah. Do you have a pen or marker or some thing?” He asked randomly.
“Yeah.” I said, taking my lucky pen out of the pocket of my jeans and offering it to him. “Why?”
“Because. Just in case you can come up with a favor that will make me owe you a little less, you will probably need my cell phone number.” He said, smoothly taking the pen and holding the palm of my hand spread in front of him to write out his number.
“To each their own.” I said vaguely.
“Really, LiLi. Thanks. I have to get to class.” He took off running down the hall way, my pen still in his hand.
“Where the hell did LiLi come from?!” I yelled after him, not caring if a teacher or secretary was going to come out and reprimand me.
He threw me a smile over his shoulder and, unless my eagle eyes were wrong, winked.