Avoid him, avoid him, avoid him... Damn you Rachel, you looked!
"Good morning Mr Lawson."
Totally not awkward.
It was a rowdy Monday morning for the staff and pupils at Waterloo Road. Over in the headmistress' office, Rachel Mason and her deputy find themselves absorbed into an uncomfortable silence. Even now so early on in the day, both could tell that the day was going to drag.
"So, nice weekend?" asked Rachel, desperate to brake the gloomy spell that seemed to have been cast over them.
Eddie scowled, she should've known full well what his weekend was like after what happen on Friday night.
Ignoring Eddie's melodramatics, Rachel proceeded on with her journey towards her desk. Settling her bags down on the floor to the right of her chair, Rachel perched herself down on the edge of the reclinable, leather seat and looked up at her miserable deputy. He was such a child at times, he needed to learn to grow up!
"Are you just gonna stand there all day or have you actually got classes to teach?" she shot at him, smirking at the reaction she was given.
"You are impossible Rachel Mason!" he fumed, turning on his heel to leave the room before dropping one last comment that wiped that smirk right off Rachel's face. "Friday night did happen you know... we can't just pretend it didn't!"
As his figure descended through the door, Rachel caught her breath in the back of her throat as her chest tightened with worry. Obviously forgetting about what happened on Friday was going to be a lot harder than she first thought. Discussing it properly like the two, sensible adults they were was going to be hard with a man like Eddie Lawson. He was the impossible one. Not her! He was simply unapproachable.
Rachel was stressed. What possessed her to get that drunk in the first place was what puzzled her the most. She couldn't even remember having that much but, then again, she could barely remember anything from that night. It was just one big blur. Drink was never something Rachel could take with ease. She was always such a lightweight in her younger days which is surprising if you think back to when she was a... - Rachel stopped. She'd much rather forget about that period of her life. She hated it and knew that if anyone was to find out about it, they would hate it and her too.
Did Eddie make her feel like she did back then?
Was he as pushy as the clients she had; not stopping until his needs we're fulfilled?
Did he make her feel like pure filth?
Scum of the earth?
Just an object to be used as and when he wanted it?
These questions whizzed around Rachel's brain and she closed her eyes to take in the full extent of the silence. It was relaxing but did nothing to help the niggling migraine she could feel creeping up on her. Slowly, Rachel thought back and let the memories of that night wash over her like a shower of regret...
"I think we should get you home Miss Mason..."
"Oooh, Mr Lawson! What are you implying? Am I too drunk to walk alone?"
They were flirting - badly. The drink had blocked out their senses. Slurred speech was all that could be heard. Neither really knew what they were doing.
Leaving the pub arm-in-arm, Rachel still had her sensible head screwed on even though she was drunk. The extra support from Eddie's arm was much needed for her to steady herself from falling. She could barely walk with those heels on as it was without the disadvantage of a high alcohol consumption.
The cool breeze hit the couple as they somehow went off on a tangent towards Eddie's house, neither bothering to remind the other that they were supposed to be taking Rachel home to hers. That small, insignificant detail simply washed over them as they remained silent, the close proximity between them was enough for them to deal with as it was.
"Here we are," announced Eddie as they arrived at his front step. They were far too drunk to even register that this wasn't Rachel's house, they'd found themselves caught up in the moment.
A lazy, yet slightly drunken smile was passed between the pair as the mood changed dramatically. Beams of light reflected off the moon and onto Rachel's face, highlighting her beauty. Eddie came to the conclusion that he had been an idiot. Over the past three months he had spent working with this remarkable women, he had done nothing but question her existence and worry of her presence.
She knew how to press his buttons, so, being the true gentlemen he was, Eddie happily obliged in doing the same to her. This, inevitably sparked off arguments but now, sparks were flying everywhere.
Slowly their heads gravitated towards one another's clumsily, catching each others lips as they went. It was surreal. Tongues swept over lips in a passionate frenzy. Neither had ever felt so much want in the whole of their life's. They frantically backed into Eddie's front door, clutching onto one another for support as Eddie fumbled with his keys in the lock. The lust had taken over, and the drunken caresses had only just begun...
Rachel's eyes shot open. She gasped. It was only now that she remembered it properly. It was vivid but it was very much real. He had cared enough for her to walk her home. If anything, she was the one how took advantage of him. She teased him, flirted with him, invited herself into his home just to see how far his good will would stretch. Let's just say it stretched a hell of a lot more than she thought it would and by the time she had registered what was going on, she couldn't stop it. She didn't even want to. He made her feel special, like every inch of her body was on fire. For once in her life, she felt needed. Important. Desired. Eddie showed her the level of respect she had always craved for from a man. He made sure her needs were put first over his own.
When she woke up on that fateful day, she certainly wasn't expecting to fall into bed with Eddie; her deputy. They were practically sworn enemies and now, thanks to her ignorance, they had happily fell back into their normal routine of loving to hate each other. They were probably never going to get past that. It must've been written in the stone that this was the way their relationship had to be. Simply platonic.
Maybe that night, it wasn't just the booze talking. Rachel was unsure as to how deep her feelings ran for her deputy. Confusion was an understatement. Her head was pounding at the thought of anything more happening between the pair of them now. She had made it quite clear the morning after how she felt about the whole situation. She was appalled. It would not be happening again, that's for sure. She couldn't risk her professionalism, it was wronger than wrong to do that with your deputy. What kind of impression does that give off to the kids? A very bad one, indeed.
Rachel left that morning without so much as a word goodbye. She didn't want to hear what Eddie had to say, his excuses, his reasons. Now Rachel was kicking herself at how rude she had been back then and this time, she didn't know how to put things right.
Maybe what happened between them was a mistake but that didn't mean she had to regret it. Even if it was with a man as untidy, as unprofessional, as infuriating as Eddie Lawson is... who's to say she didn't enjoy it?