It was the second week of classes at Silas High School, and Laura Hollis found herself sitting in the teacher’s lounge across from her friends and colleagues Lola Perry and LaFontaine—school guidance counselor and A.P. Biology teacher respectively—the period had just begun and they were happy to start their lunch break.
Laura knew she was very lucky to have scored a free period just before lunch, she reveled in the opportunity to enjoy her food without the chaotic bustle of teachers all around her.
To eat lunch devoid of Ms. Cochrane’s loud cell phone conversations with her husband, or the ancient wood shop teacher, Mr. Meyer’s disturbing open-mouthed chewing—dentures, Laura shuddered at the memory—was a blessing.
Needless to say she had learned the hard way to avoid the lounge at lunch time.
Plus, Laura enjoyed spending that time grading assignments and writing lesson plans from her classroom. The sounds of students talking and laughing from the quad was a pleasant white noise that kept her mind focused.
She was grateful that Perry and LaFontaine were free during the same time. Although she appreciated having the room to herself, accompanied only by the soft hum of the refrigerator and soda machine in the corner, the other teachers were pleasant company and Laura enjoyed spending time with them.
The three had formed a bond during their pre-semester staff trainings and orientations, and when they had discovered their shared open period they made a pact to take advantage of the empty lounge whenever possible.
This particular afternoon found Laura, Perry and LaFontaine seated around a circular table unpacking their lunches. The sudden noise of heels clacking against linoleum drew their attention away from their lunches to a very attractive well dressed young woman striding through the door heading to the coffee machine.
"Is that the new music instructor?” Perry asked quietly.
“Yeah, I heard they had found a replacement. That must be her.” LaFontaine replied in a low voice.
The previous music instructor, Mrs. Adelaide Horowitz, had moved last minute across the country to care for her aging mother—who was wheelchair bound after an unfortunate meeting with a patch of ice—leaving the administration very little time to find a replacement.
Still watching the newcomer, LaFontaine unwrapped their sandwich, which was in the shape of an anatomically correct heart. The biology teacher grinned their thanks at the woman next to them, Perry sent them a pleased smile in return.
Silence fell over their table, the curiosity of the mystery woman now making coffee across the room was no longer enough to compete with their growling stomachs.
A loud screech caused Perry and LaFontaine to jump slightly in their seats. Laura had pushed her chair away from the table and was crossing the room in confident strides towards the new teacher.
"What is she-?"
“So…” Laura said, sidling up next to the brunette at the counter. “You must be the new music teacher, Ms…”
“Karnstein” the stranger supplied. She turned to mirror Laura’s position, leaning her hip against the counter and barely holding in a smirk. The coffee machine gurgled and hissed quietly behind her.
“Hmm,” Laura hummed, “I didn’t realize you’d be so…”
She dragged her gaze along the length of the woman in front of her, admiring the soft dark hair that fell in waves around her neck and shoulders. Hair that framed a beautiful face with delicately sculpted features and dark, smoldering eyes. A dark fitted blazer covered a simple white blouse, the neckline plunged daringly, though not inappropriately—unfortunate, Laura thought—her eyes moved farther down to the woman's tight, tight black pants. She tilted her head, pausing a moment extra to admire the brunette’s shapely behind.
“Young” she finished with a raised eyebrow, biting her lip.
Across the room, LaFontaine glanced with wide eyes to Perry—whose grilled chicken pesto wrap was still held frozen halfway to her slightly open mouth—a look that the curly haired woman understood to mean: Are you seeing this??
“Oh? Did you spend much time imagining me?" She leaned closer to the smaller girl. “I'm flattered, sweetheart.” Her voice was low.
Carmilla was close enough to count the freckles on the other girl’s nose, to notice the slight flush of her cheeks and the way her eyes dropped to her lips. She could see the effect she was having and her smirk deepened.
Laura breathed out a chuckle and dipped her head, lip still held between her teeth.
"Well, if you ever need anything, a friend, a," Laura leaned in closer "private tour of the campus. You just let me know."
"I'll keep that in mind, cutie." Carmilla nearly whispered. The air around them was heavy.
“I guess I’ll be seeing you around then, Ms. Karnstein.” She said looking up at the other woman through her lashes. In her heels the brunette was nearly a head taller than Laura.
“I guess you will,” Carmilla said, she lifted her hand, running a finger teasingly over Laura’s school-issued name badge, “Ms. Hollis.”
Laura leaned further into the brunette’s personal space, inhaled the scent of citrus perfume and glanced again at the lips in front of her. Their hands, each resting on the countertop, were almost touching.
“Count on it,” she breathed before she turned on her heel and—no, LaFontaine wasn't imagining things—swaggered back to the lunch table, a satisfied smirk on her face.
Perry and LaFontaine shared one last dumbfounded look as Laura reclined smugly in her plastic chair before the latter finally found their voice.
“Uh, Laur? Not to get all judgy or anything but, I thought you told us you were married?” Their eyes flitted to the wedding band adorning the girl's left ring finger.
“Oh, yeah I did.” Her nonchalance made both redheads furrow their eyebrows.
Before they could question her further, Laura directed her attention over her shoulder to address the brunette who was now mixing cream into her freshly brewed beverage.
“Oh and Ms. Karnstein?”
“Yes, Ms. Hollis?” Carmilla replied with a teasing lilt to her voice, placing a lid on her coffee and turning to leave.
“Don’t forget to pick up toilet paper on your way home, we're almost out.”
The brunette, rolling her eyes, bent down to place a kiss her wife's cheek. “Of course, cupcake. Have a nice day.”
And with that, heels clicking once more, Carmilla made her exit, sipping on her still hot coffee and leaving behind her a proudly grinning Laura with two very unimpressed redheads seated across from her.
“Oh my god!” came the science teacher’s thoroughly exasperated groan from the room behind her.
Carmilla chuckled into her coffee as she rounded the corner away from the break room, Laura’s uncontrollable giggles fading behind her. I'm so getting laid tonight.