Authors: Scheri Cunningham
Underneath It All
by Scheri Cunningham
Text Copyright 2015 Scheri Cunningham
All Rights Reserved
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
"Good morning, Ms. Ellerby." Paige looked up to see Joseph standing in the door. He was leaning against the door frame, holding two cups of coffee. He had an intense look in his eyes and Paige had the impression he'd been standing there for awhile.
"Hey," she said and put down her grading pen. She'd already been at school for over an hour trying to finish up the tests she gave yesterday. Hardly any of her students had passed and she was in a bad mood. Seeing Joseph made her feel better. And the coffee was the icing on the cake.
He strode over to her desk like he owned the place. She loved how cocky he was because she knew that inside he was a ball of mush. He cried at movies and books. He loved puppies. He was thoughtful and generous; take this cup of coffee, for instance. But, on the outside he was all alpha male: muscled, short cropped hair, chiseled jaw, and very commanding. The students loved him, too. Paige had seen the way they looked at him.
Joseph set her cup of coffee down on the desk and sat himself on the edge.
"Thanks so much." Paige took a sip and it burned her tongue. "I really needed it this morning."
"You look it," Joseph said. He touched his face just under his eye and opened his eyes wide. He mouthed the word "huge", teasing her about the non-existent bags under her eyes.
"Oh, stop!" Paige said and swatted him on the knee. They both laughed and sipped at their coffees. She noticed him run his fingertips over the spot on his knee where she'd touched him.
They fell silent. This had been happening a lot lately. They never used to have trouble coming up with things to say. They'd been friends for years and chatted constantly. They spent time together at school, went to movies together, and watched football every Sunday. Things had been different lately; things had become a little awkward between them. Joseph had broken up with his girlfriend a couple weeks ago and things had gotten increasingly strange between them ever since. There was a lot of tension in the air.
Paige looked up at Joseph and caught him looking down at her cleavage. He suddenly looked flustered and tried to pretend he had been looking at the tests on her desk. Paige blushed and went right along with his attempt to cover it up. Inside though, her stomach leapt to her chest. She didn't mind his having a look.
"OK, then," Joseph said and stood up. "I have to get going." Paige was relieved he had decided to leave. The heat between them had become intolerable and the students would be arriving any minute.
"Listen, come find me in my room during prep. I want to show you something," he said as he walked to the door.
Paige looked at him funny and Joseph laughed. "It's not as strange as you think. Just come find me, OK?"
Paige smiled and laughed along with him. "Sure," she said, "see you then."
He walked out and Paige watched him leave. She had always had a crush on him but she kept it in check since he was already dating someone else when they met. It was getting harder and harder to keep her crush under wraps lately. She took a good long look at his ass while he walked away from her. She licked her lips imagining what he'd look like in his boxers.
Paige tried to get the image out of her head and went back to grading papers. She had to laugh at herself. What was she going to do about it during school, anyway? It's not like she could just walk over to his room, straddle him in his desk chair, and kiss his face off. The thought of it made her throb between her legs. She couldn't go too far into that fantasy; it might be hard to come back from it.
"Mr. Lowry is hot, you should date him!" Paige looked up to see Aliyah waltzing into the room. She was always early for homeroom. Paige's breath caught in her throat. She suddenly felt as though she'd been caught doing something naughty. It felt like a student had just walked in on her bent over her desk with Joseph behind her. But, no, that was just in her imagination. Aliyah knew nothing of her dirty fantasies about Joseph Lowry.
"Aliyah, that's not your business," Paige stated. "Besides, we're just friends," she added a little too quickly and fervently. Aliyah raised her brows and sat in her seat. Paige went back to grading papers, attempting to hide her face. She knew her cheeks were flushed and Aliyah didn't need any more ammunition in this conversation.
The morning went by as usual. She taught three classes and had lunch. Paige got along well with her students and she liked being a teacher. Most days were a little exhausting but she enjoyed her job. Today, though, she felt like she couldn't quite concentrate on what she was doing. Nothing felt quite right; she stumbled over her words and couldn't get into a groove. The honest truth was that she couldn't stop thinking of the quick flashes of sex that had run through her mind this morning. And, she couldn’t stop thinking about this odd surprise Joseph had told her about.
Paige finally made it to prep hour. She sat in her chair, a little tired, and needing a short time to herself before she went to Joseph's room. Her head was spinning from teaching and trying to stuff her sexual fantasies down deep inside.
She felt nervous and also excited to go see Joseph. It felt a lot different from all the other times she'd gone to hang out with him during prep. Though she'd never bothered before, she popped a mint in her mouth and checked her hair and makeup before she left her room.
She walked down the hall to Joseph's room and saw him standing in the door, leaning on the door frame, looking her way. He'd been waiting for her. When he saw her, his face lit up and he stood up straight. It made her heart flutter and her stomach flip.
"Hey," he said.
"Hey," she responded, trying to act calm and cool. She stepped into the room and her eyes immediately fell on his desk. She flashed back to the fantasies from the morning and her cheeks flushed a little. She turned around to see Joseph locking the door.
Paige inhaled sharply and she felt the familiar throb between her legs. She could feel her wetness dampening her panties. This must be the moment she's been waiting for. He must be about to tell her that he wants to be more than friends.
"Come over here," Joseph said. He beckoned her to the back of the room and opened the storage room door. Everything in the room had been moved to the sides so there was a wide open space in the middle. Clearly, Joseph was not about to pledge his undying love to her. And her fantasy with the desk wasn't about to come true, either.
The room was tight and Joseph reached behind Paige to lock this door, too. His body brushed up against hers as he locked the door. Her breathing became very shallow as she felt his lips near her ear. It would be so easy to show him what she wanted but she wasn't sure he would want it, too. The ache between her legs grew stronger and she longed to release it.
"Ta-da!" Joseph pointed to the floor. Was this a joke? Maybe Paige was just a fool. He hadn't brought her here to make love to her. He had brought her here to show her an organized storage closet. Was she all wrong about the tension she'd been feeling since he broke up with his girlfriend? It had seemed so real, maybe it was all on her side. She must have been imagining it. She smiled, not wanting to betray her disappointment.
"Looks good," Paige said. "You must have spent a lot of time in here to get it this clean."
Joseph laughed and put his arm around her shoulders. He squeezed and then released them. He left prickles on her skin where his arm had been.
"You're not here to see the closet!" He sounded exasperated with her. "Didn't you notice there's a trap door in here?" Joseph leaned down and grabbed an oddly shaped metal tool from the shelf. He opened the large trap door and he and Paige peered down inside.
"I've been down here a few times." Joseph looked at Paige and could see the reluctance in her eyes. "It's totally OK. It's just a tunnel."
It looked dark and dirty at the bottom of the tunnel opening. There was a chair at the bottom so they could climb down without dropping three feet from the floor of the storage room. Joseph went down first. She could see his shirt straining against the muscles in his back as he lowered himself down through the trap door. She looked down at his face, lifted up to look at her.
"Come on, Paige. I'll help you." He held up his arms to show he would help her descend to the chair. She tried a number of positions before she stepped back and put her hands on her hips. She must look ridiculous, hopping from one foot to the other and reaching her hands out to nothing.
"This is not easy in heels and a miniskirt," Paige said. She couldn't quite figure out how to angle her body. She ended up facing backward next to the opening, her ass high in the air. Joseph watched her and he had to adjust his pants. She extended her legs one at a time through the opening and toward the chair. He caught a glimpse of her panties as she extended her legs. He needed to adjust himself again before she got both legs through the trap door.
Joseph reached up to guide her legs toward the chair. He carefully kept his hands on the fabric of her skirt, avoiding her skin, but one finger slipped and edged itself under the hem of her skirt. When he touched the skin of her thighs, she felt a surge of electricity jolt through her and then her heart immediately dropped to her stomach. It was clear to her now that he wanted to stay friends, nothing more. She had to stop thinking his touches meant anything beyond that.
Paige turned around on the chair to face him. His arms were wrapped around her thighs to steady her, his eyes looking up and searching her face. She smiled, "Thanks".
"You're welcome," he said breathlessly. He released her thighs and held his hand out to help steady her as she stepped down off the chair.
Joseph held Paige's hand tightly and lit the flashlight on his phone. Her heart skipped again at the touch of his hand. Instead of pulling his hand away after helping her down, he was going to lead her through the tunnel. She was thankful he was holding her hand so tightly. It would be pitch black if it weren't for the flashlight and Paige was more than a little creeped out.
"So, this tunnel runs under the entire school," Joseph said proudly.
"Seriously? Have you gone all the way around?" Paige asked.
"I've tried but there are spots I can't get through unless I lay flat on my stomach. I didn't want to do it in my work clothes."
Paige laughed a little and said, "Imagine what the students would say. Aliyah would start spreading rumors within minutes." Joseph laughed a little at the thought. High school students noticed everything and they'd have a lot of questions if he showed up to class filthy and disheveled.
"We're going this way," Joseph pointed straight ahead of them. "The other way only goes about fifteen feet and then you can't get through."
They had walked about thirty feet when they came upon a fairly large area of the tunnel; it felt like an underground room. There were cigarette butts, soda and beer cans, and energy bar wrappers strewn across the floor.
"Have you been smoking down here?" Joseph laughed at Paige's question. She knew he didn't smoke and it was a lame attempt at a joke. She was relieved he laughed with her. The electricity running from her hand made it hard to act normal. They stopped walking and Joseph shone his light around the floor. He let go of Paige's hand, perhaps realizing for the first time that he'd been holding it as they walked.
"I don't know how long this stuff has been down here," Joseph said. "There are a few trap doors around the school. My storage closet is just one of the access points."
He starting walking again and Paige followed closely behind him. She could barely see.
"I can't really see. Could you…" but she didn't need to finish her question. Joseph immediately took her hand in his and they kept walking.
"We're going to the auditorium. The ceiling slants way up and it's really cool."
"Sounds...good," she replied. She was starting to get irritated. This was the big surprise, huh? It really was cool that there were secret tunnels under the school but it was quite a letdown from what she had hoped they'd be doing.
The tunnel took a sharp turn and they suddenly stopped walking. "We're under the art room. It's going to get tricky for a bit," Joseph shone the light over a large gap in the cement floor. "You'll have to jump it." He looked at her dubiously, given her outfit. The heels were not going to make this easy.
"I'll need a little help," Paige responded.
Joseph jumped over the gap and leaned his phone against the wall. It lit the area just enough for Paige to see what was going on and it freed Joseph's hands to help her. She was going to have to hike up her skirt and she felt a little uncomfortable doing it.