Underneath It All, page 1
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 ther
"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.
"Don't look," Paige said. Joseph made a big deal out of covering his eyes and then immediately dropped his hands. She secretly hoped he would take a long hard look at her thighs.
Paige held both her hands out toward Joseph and leaned over the gap as far as she could. He held his hands out to her so they could grasp one another's fingertips. Paige jumped as hard as she could and smashed directly into Joseph. Her body hit his hard, she could feel every muscle in his chest.
He stepped back a little and let go of her hands, wrapping his arms around her waist to steady her from falling. Paige wrapped her arms around his neck and looked up into his eyes. She reached her fingers up to stroke his hair but stopped herself. He held the look and the embrace longer than necessary. He is a tease, Paige thought to herself.
Paige reluctantly dropped her arms and they separated. Joseph looked into her eyes for just a moment and then reached down to get his phone. He held out his hand and she took it in hers, ready to keep walking. They walked in silence again. Paige could still feel the sensation of her breasts colliding with Joseph's chest. Her damn imagination was causing problems, again!
Joseph stopped and Paige couldn't tell why. "We're almost there, we just have to duck under this part."
The ceiling had suddenly become very low. It wasn't even gradual; it looked as though they had come upon a wall with a small opening at the bottom. It was about the height of a doggie door but much wider. They would have to crawl on all fours to get through. Joseph went first and Paige stood back to watch his ass. She wondered how kinky Joseph was. Would he let her slide a finger in if she ever got him in bed? Stop it, she thought to herself. Fantasizing about him like that wasn't going to help her defeat the crush she had on him.
He disappeared through the opening and turned the flashlight around so Paige could see where she was going. She got on all fours and slowly crawled through the opening. Joseph's flashlight was shining right at her cleavage. Her breasts hung down, swaying slightly with every step she crawled. She looked up in time to see the hungry look in his eyes.
Paige finally made it through and stood up. She dusted off her knees. She could feel the weight of Joseph's stare. They were completely silent and Paige was starting to feel uncomfortable.
"I broke up with Hannah because I'm interested in someone else," he suddenly blurted out.
"Oh," was all Paige could think of to say. She urged herself to think of something to say but instead she just stood there smiling at him.
"Well, let's keep walking," Joseph said and turned on his heel. He seemed on edge. She should have asked him who the mystery girl was. She should have tried to flirt or something!
They walked for a short time more, neither of them coming up with anything to say before they reached their destination. Paige gasped when she saw it. The ceiling soared sharply up and the tunnel widened considerably. There was a white blanket laid out in the middle of the floor with candles en
Paige trembled, knowing now that all her suspicions over the past few weeks were real. Joseph reached for both her hands and drew her down to the blanket.
"Paige," he spoke to her with a quiet voice. He cleared his throat and started again, "Paige, we've been friends for a long time. But, I've always wanted more."
Paige smiled and her heart beat so loudly she was afraid he could hear it.
"I didn't say anything because I was afraid you didn't feel the same. I didn't want to risk losing you."
"Joseph," Paige started to speak but he stopped her.
"Let me finish, I've been thinking about this for a long time." Paige sat back and let Joseph finish what he wanted to say.
"I didn't want to lose you, so I said nothing. But then I realized by not saying anything, I had already lost you. I don’t want another day without you. I'm in love with you."
Paige reached her hand up to his face and caressed his cheek. She heard his sharp intake of air.
"Joseph, I've loved you for a long time." Paige leaned forward and brushed her lips on his.
The kiss was gentle, almost timid, and brief. Her heart was in her neck, his eyes looked down hungrily at her lips.
"I was worried you wouldn't feel the same," Joseph said. "I was a little afraid to tell you. I didn't want things to be uncomfortable between us." She kissed him again, gently.
"Things will only be uncomfortable if that's how you like it" Paige responded. Joseph's eyes lit up.
"You'd be surprised what I like," he whispered into her ear. He planted kisses on her cheek all the way from her earlobe to her mouth. He tilted her chin up and kissed her with his mouth wide open. He flicked his tongue against her lips, inviting her tongue into his mouth.
That was all the invitation Paige needed. She shifted up on her knees, hiked her skirt up around her waist, and straddled him where he sat.
"Oh god," he said. She pressed her lips into his and kissed him deeply and passionately. His tongue welcomed hers. She could feel him getting hard, his cock pressing against his pants and into her thigh. Her panties were soaked already.