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The scuffling in the classroom was a more accurate indicator that the bell was about to ring than the clock over the top of the whiteboard. Will stood up, stretching and cracking his neck. "Okay, people. Time's up. Make sure your name's on your work--if I can't read your name, it doesn't count."
He wrote, 'Chapter 12, for Wednesday,' on the whiteboard, and said, "Read it, expect to be asked to pass opinions on it."
The chimes that marked the end of the class came over the PA system, triggering a stampede for his desk, to drop off the classwork, and then the door.
There were always a couple of stragglers, it was one of the givens of life, kids who wanted to ask about assignments, and these were the kids he was most likely to worry about. Anyone who didn't rush out of school at the end of the day probably didn't have much of a home to go to.
It took another couple of minutes to wipe the board and pack the grading away into his backpack, then he made his way through the bedlam in the halls. "Bye, Mr. L," some of the kids chorused. It took him a few more minutes to get to the staff room, what with pausing to stop an incipient fight, and it was a relief to push the door open and walk into a different kind of bedlam.
There were empty egg cartons in his cubbyhole, presumably from someone that he kept supplied with eggs, and he added them to his bulging backpack.
Doug, who was young and single and a father, too, leaned against the cubbyholes and smiled at him. "Hey, Will. Do you want a lift home tonight?"
Will smiled back at Doug and hefted his pack experimentally. "Think it's less than 25 pounds tonight; I'll be fine to ride, but thanks for asking. Do youwant some more eggs? The girls are in double lay at the moment."
Doug shook his head. "I'm still using the last dozen I had from you, so I'm fine. I think Gavin wants some, he was muttering about it this afternoon."
Will nodded. "Yeah, he found me at recess, so I know about it."
Doug was still smiling at Will, looking remarkably attractive for someone who had spent the day wrangling 13-year-olds, as he shuffled the files he was holding a little self-consciously. "Would you like to come over for dinner one night?"
Doug had gorgeous skin, dark and lustrous, like the best black coffee. Will could smell him, too, warm and sharp underneath the all-encompassing pall of under-washed adolescents that they all had at the end of the day.
"That would be great, Doug," Will said.
Doug straightened his shoulders a little, solid muscles flexing against his utilitarian shirt, and Will revised his idea as to what might actually be on the menu. Well, now. He'd always assumed Doug was straight.
"Tonight?" Doug asked.