Christina glanced at the chairs where Noriko sat. Half a year earlier she just thought Noriko’s infatuation with Ulf was cute, but now there was a determination in the short girl’s eyes that was anything but small.
With a sigh Christina returned to the problem she was solving. School work had become substantially easier as her grasp of the Japanese language improved. She could only guess at what Ulf was able to do now.
That was the thing. She could only guess. After she broke up with him he understandably opened up even less to her than before, and therein lay her jealousy. She suspected Noriko held the key she herself lacked. If the girl put her mind to it she was bound to break through Ulf’s layers of defences.
Not that Christina had any right to protest. She had broken up with the man she loved, and she had made herself a new boyfriend to boot.
She threw another glance in Noriko’s direction, or rather over the head of he girl. Outside that door her bodyguards stood preventing anyone not a member of the club to get inside. There had been numerous attempts.
The door opened and James waved at her to come.
Christina left the whiteboard and passed just behind Noriko. She suppressed an urge to what the girl over her head and left though the narrow door.
“Yes?” she asked James.
He just pointed at the entrance, and flanked by her bodyguards Christina went outdoors.
A teacher, the fiancée of her English teacher, or maybe husband now, Christina wasn’t certain, stood there. Unfortunately he wasn’t merely a teacher. He was also one of Kareyoshi’s goons.
“What do you want here?” Christina deliberately made her voice as cold as possible.
“I’m here to tell all students to go home. They’re not allowed to stay here after schools hours.
She met his eyes. During her first day at school he’d undressed her with his eyes. A creep.
“This is still club hours.”
“You’re not an official club.”
“Official enough for the PTA to support us. Get lost!” Supervise us is more correct. Christina decided to let her own lie slide.
“I don’t have time with this,” the teacher began and started to push through. He might not have tried too much to avoid brushing against her breasts when he pushed her aside, but saying that he deliberately tried to touch her up was rather dishonest. Christina didn’t care.
Her guards had him lying on the streets in seconds, and after that he was shoved inside the police car that always stood across the street.
While the two policemen weren’t too keen on handling a rather dubious case of sexual assault Christina made a very big deal about teachers stalking teenage idols who were also their students. She conveniently left out that he didn’t actually teach any of her classes, but he was a teacher at her school, and that was enough.
You’re out of a job idiot. I’ll make this a public scandal.
Just like Ulf she was utterly ruthless when push came to shove. Destroying a professional career for an antagonist didn’t bother her the least.
Am I really honest?
She looked at the police car as it drove away.
No, he’s not as ruthless. He’d never do that just because it was an easy way to get rid of an arsehole.
The thought disturbed her a little, but she shrugged it away.
Then she was surrounded by photographers, and her bodyguards had to shield her while she made her way indoors again.
Christina listened to the jingle of the doorbell as she entered, and then she met the eyes of the students packing the café. Inwardly she sighed with relief. She might be an upcoming superstar, but she was one they saw almost every day.
With a nod she affirmed James’ silent question if she wanted another coffee and after that she steeled herself before joining her club members in the inner room.
Ulf would be there, calm and hyper active at the same time. Eyes glittering with joy as he explained some concept, and that joy spreading into a grin that both expressed mischief and confidence. He’d be close to her, the man she once fantasised about, and in this life made her own for a little more than half a year. The man she eventually lost, but one she never ceased loving.
You’ll stay with me for the rest of my life, won’t you? In my mind you’ll never go away.
She took a deep breath and opened the door.
Inside organised chaos ruled as students from both schools milled around between white boards and tables. There were tablets everywhere, and now, a few weeks after students from Irishima High joined the madness, even they had started to get used to Ulf’s peculiar way of teaching.
Or rather his way of creating a learning environment. Those were his words. He disliked the word teaching. It implied that knowledge and competence could be force fed to someone.
Christina sat down beside Noriko. Partially because it was a way to stay closer to Ulf, partially because Noriko’s ability to explain math was superb, and partially because Christina genuinely liked the short girl.
Jealous, yes. Insanely angry with Noriko’s blatant attempt to reel Ulf in, yes. But dislike? No. Throughout the disastrous ending of her relationship with Ulf Noriko had stood by her side. In the long run disliking a friend like that was impossible.
She felt Noriko’s fingers tapping her hand.
“Idiot bro will get angry if you keep staring at Urufu like that.”
Christina followed Noriko’s glance and met Ryu’s look. He did indeed look more than just a little uncomfortable. “Angry, why?”
“Cause he’s falling in love with you again,” came the simple answer. “You should know.”
With a frown Christina looked at her boyfriend again. Oh dear. Well, I did ask him to be my boyfriend for real. She smirked, but she also decided to give him an honest chance. She disliked arseholes and didn’t intend to become one.