674 - Emma
Leaving the questions for the end of the class seemed like the best choice to make, but the whispering hardly stopped and made me doubt that decision.
The only thing dragging me through all of that, the only person, is Lucien. He does a great job pretending to listen to every word I say, somewhere in the middle of the lecture hall, smiling at me whenever my eye lands on him.
"Alright," I close my laptop suddenly, surprising some of the disciplined students with the sound echoing through my microphone. "Let's get them out of the way, then, shall we? Do you want to ask the questions, or should I simply tell you what it is you want to hear?"
Several people raise their hand, and I chuckle, twisting and turning the cardboard coffee cup with my free hand.
"Is it true you're dating a student?" The first girl I point at asks, leaned forward with her elbows on the fold out table in front of her.
"It is," I smile, immediately continuing my sentence as soon as more hands fly into the air. "Though it's not that simple. You see - I have been dating this student for quite some time now, way before he enrolled, before I even started working here. We're not just dating, we live together and he's adopted my cat as his own. I haven't just picked up a student in one of my many classes, nor will I ever do that."
More questions, some faces filled with curiosity, others almost seem angry.
"How will we know you're not going to give this guy some kind of special treatment because he's your boyfriend?"
"Valid question," I glance over at Lucien, who is once again smiling at me. Some people have figured out it's him, their eyes differentiating between looking at me and looking at him, others are just staring at me. "That has been taken care of by the faculty. I wasn't the one who requested him to be in my classes, nor did he request to be in mine - it just happened. I don't grade any of his stuff, because I share grading with a colleague of mine. All of his essays and tests go through her, he's only in my classes to learn from me, that's it. If you need confirmation, you can e-mail the committee of exams. They've assured me they're open to all of your questions or worries, but that it's all been taken care of."
There's mumbling throughout the entire room, people talking to their neighbours. I can't tell what they're saying, though I can't imagine it all being good.
"Okay, one more and then I'll let you guys go so you can debate on what you think of this news," I chuckle. "Yes, go ahead," I point at one of the girls in the back, eagerly raising her hand and wiggling her fingers around to catch my attention.
"So if I'm getting this right, the student you're dating and have been for 'a while' as you called it... is Lucien du Castellon?" Some students look surprised, others almost roll their eyes as if this is the dumbest question they've ever heard in their life.
"Correct," I nod. "And for both of our sakes, we had decided to keep that under wraps for a while, but it's out now. And that's all I'll say about that, using my right to remain silent. That's it for today, I'll see you either in family law or in our next civil procedure lecture. Have a good one."
The crowd thins out slowly but surely, some people lingering around a little longer as if they're trying to catch a glimpse of me and Lucien.
He waits the longest, though, slowly packing his bag and finally, when there's only a handful of students left, making his way over to me, Piper only a bit behind him.
"I'm glad that's over," I smile at him, still feeling weird about talking to him openly in a place like this. "How was it for you, so far?"
"Okay," he shrugs. "I'm used to the stares, but some people are quite forward. You did great."
It almost feels illegal when he kisses my cheek softly, which makes me stiffen up just a little, only to relax a second after when I realise our secret is out and as long as we're not full on making out, this should be fine.
"Now that I'm able to openly talk to you without it being weird," he then smiles, gesturing at Piper. "I'd like you to officially meet Piper."
She's smiling wide as we shake hands. "It's nice to meet you, though it's also very weird not knowing whether or not I should call you Professor Middleton or Emmeline."
"Oh, neither," I let her know. "Just Emma is fine as long as we're not actually in class. It's nice to meet you, too, Piper. I've been meaning to thank you for saving the day with your case in that horrible lecture."
"No problem, Emma," she smiles. "That kid was a dick, and I realised it must've hit you where it hurt.. At first I was waiting for Remí... Lucien, to save the day because he seemed quite smitten with you, but when he didn't say anything..."
"I would have, I was just pissed just as much as Emma was," he defends himself, earning him a pat on the shoulder from me and a chuckle from Piper.
"Besides, you didn't actually submit a case," I remind him. "I'm sure the file would have been empty if I had actually opened it."
"It wasn't!" he chuckles, shaking his head. "Though I'm glad you didn't, not in front of everyone."
There's a twinkle in his eye that makes me wonder what could've been in that document, but I shake it off and turn to Piper again.
"Well, like I said, it was lovely meeting you, Piper. I have to run, I have another lecture on the other side of campus. Good luck with Professor Brown, I've heard he's not in the best mood today. Luce," I press a quick kiss to his cheek, just barely missing his lips. "I'll meet you at the car at six, yeah?"
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