Read Chapter One: Part 2
Read Chapter One: Part 3
OMG! He’s talking directly to me. Her face heated up and she swallowed a few times before she could speak.
“Well...um...it is short notice for me, sir.” Her voice sounded squeaky. She swallowed again.
“In that case, you are exempted from next week’s test, Lara.”
Another murmur went through the class and she could hear the disappointment in her classmates’ voices. She crossed her arms and shook her head. She didn’t want to be singled out for favour and end up being hated by the rest of the class.
“Excuse me, sir.” She raised her right hand.
“Yes, Lara,” the teacher replied.
“Sir, I want to take part in next week’s test.”
“Good.” He smiled at her again, making warmth spread through her chest. “Now turn to chapter four of the Physical Geography textbook.”
The class settled down as the lesson went along. His mastery of the subject and the engaging way he discussed with the class only added to her admiration of him. For a young person who was probably only a few years older than she was, his confidence and ability to keep the entire class active and participating made her want to learn so much from him. Could she stand in front of a class of teenagers and get them to listen?
Before long, the bell rang to signify the end of the class and break time. Mr. Thomas dismissed everyone and the students dispersed.
Lara sighed, disappointed that the class had ended so quickly, although a glance at her wristwatch indicated two hours had gone by since Mr. Thomas had arrived in class.
“Are you going to the canteen for lunch?” Ada asked as she got off the chair.
“Yeah. Okay,” she replied and packed up her items.
“Lara, I want to talk to you,” Mr. Thomas said.
“I’ll wait for you outside.” Ada headed for the door.
Lara remained standing on the spot.
Mr. Thomas came around to lean back on the desk, facing her. He was less than a metre away from her. Her heart thudded in her chest, her pulse skyrocketing. If she stretched out her hand and leaned forward, her finger tips would graze the front of his shirt. Would his skin feel warm to the touch? Did he have hard muscles beneath the fabric?
“I’m impressed that you agreed to take the test next week with the rest of the class,” he said, his gaze both assessing and amazed, his hand resting on his chest with his fingers splayed.
Cheeks burning, she lowered her gaze and muttered shyly, “Thank you, sir.”
“But as you can tell from the protests, my tests are not easy. As this subject is an elective, I’m determined that every student who signs up for it achieves the best result. With that in mind, I’m also aware that you’re currently at a disadvantage since you haven’t been in school from the start of the school year. I want to level out the playing field for you.”
She lifted her head, meeting his gaze. “How’s that, sir?”
“I strongly suggest you sign up for the extra weekly tutorials. But for next week, I’m offering you a daily tuition for half an hour during your lunch break.”
“All week, sir?” Her brows shot up as her pulse accelerated. She was going to be in a room alone with him for the next few days?
“Yes. Is that a problem?” His brows drew together in a frown as he leaned back on his hands.
“No, sir.” She bit her lower lip and twisted her watch around, fretting that he would withdraw the offer. “I’m just worried that you’ll be using your personal time to coach me.”
“Your concern is duly noted, Lara. But as I said earlier, I’m determined to achieve one hundred percent pass rate for my subject. You have one week to learn topics your classmates have been studying for six weeks. The work isn’t optional unless you want to drop the subject altogether.”
“No, sir,” she said quickly. The thought of not being in his class made her heart sick.
“In that case, go and grab a quick lunch and get back here in twenty minutes so we can get started.
“Thank you.” Hands shaking, she pulled her bag off the floor and hurried out of the room.
Ada stood in the hallway, fingers pressing buttons on her phone. “There you are. What did he want?”
“He’s going to give me extra lessons to catch up.”
As she spoke, Mr. Thomas came out of the classroom. He stared at both of them sternly as if he knew they were talking about him.
She bit her lip and avoided his gaze as she blushed.
“I expect you back in class at the correct time, Lara.” He turned and walked away.
“Yes, sir,” she muttered and grabbed Ada’s hand. “I don’t want to get into trouble on my first day. Please show me to the canteen.”
By the time they got to the building housing the restaurant, it was already teeming with students and teachers. Lara searched the room for Lola but couldn’t find her so she sent her a message. She couldn’t stay and eat in there. She bought a meat pie and bottle of Fanta to go instead with the cash Judy had given her this morning. She then bid farewell to Ada who went to queue with another group of girls, and returned to the class.
She sat in her chair and ate her food, checking her phone for messages from Lola. None came.
Right on time, Mr. Thomas strode in. Her respect for this man ratcheted up another notch. It had to be genuine passion for his students and subject that would make him sacrifice his own personal time for her. She’d had good teachers in the past but couldn’t think of any who had done something like this before.
She pushed her chair back to stand up.
He waved a hand.
“Don’t stand up.” He stopped beside the desk.
Pulse racing, she sat forward, her attention focused on him. Would he come closer?
Copyright Kiru Taye 2016
Want more? Come back tomorrow for Chapter One: Part 5
Bound to Fate is out January 28, 2016
In the meantime,
Pre-order your copy from All Romance eBooks
Add it to your Goodreads TBR
Leave me a comment telling me why you'd like a copy.
I'm giving away 5 copies of Bound to Fate, this week, to 5 lucky persons who leaves me a comment. Good luck.