"Will you please tell me what the hell is going on?"
I shied away from Cindy's tone like she'd just slapped me. The spinelessness of my reaction alone was enough to disquiet me. Two weeks spent under Burns' thumb had been enough to make me cower before my little sister, as if I was the schoolgirl and she the teacher.
This was an unusual position for me. Cindy could be as bossy as me with her peers, and her calculating opportunism was straight out of my playbook, I knew. But she'd always looked up to me as the big sister she could, at best, emulate.
Or, at worst, envy. I could see it in her eyes when I went out to do some modelling gig while she stayed back after our parents had grounded her for some stupid reason.
Now, these old family dynamics were shifting. When it was just Burns lording it over me, that was one thing, but now Cindy saw me grovel before the classroom - before my very students - on a daily basis.
"Cathy, come on," Cindy insisted, stepping closer to me once again. "I don't get it. Why are you letting Burns treat you like this?"
She kept her hands on her hips, her head cocked, frown burrowed. Her look of disapproval froze me in place.
"What do you mean, Miss Cooper?" I asked, in a feeble voice. I didn't need to call her Miss Cooper. By so deftly outmaneuvering her into not having a vote, Irene had ensured my sister wouldn't play a part in my humiliating grading system.
Well. Cindy was an opportunist. She might genuinely be worried about me in her own way, but she also reacted to weakness almost by instinct, and at that moment, I quite clearly wasn't "the big sister" in our interactions.
There was more to it, too. Irene was openly challenging Cindy in class on a daily basis by now. Cindy had frustrations to let out, and with Burns' relentless training undermining my self-confidence, I was an easy target.
Besides, I addressed Irene as Miss Cain in class on a daily basis. If I just called my sister Cindy, wasn't that implicitly siding with Irene against her? That would just piss Cindy off. What if she went to Burns? Found out what kinds of review I had to pass to keep him on side?
That would directly threaten my job. The thought alone was enough to remind me of the stone, and to make my heart race with fear. I couldn't risk it.
And so, I found myself yielding more and more ground to my younger sister.
"My job depends on it..." I said at last, in half a whisper, hoping that the technical truth would sate her need to know. Naturally, it didn't.
"That's bullshit," Cindy said. "What other teachers do you see subjecting themselves to these humiliations to keep their jobs?"
Those other teachers didn't make fools of themselves because of a stone on their first day at work, I thought, but couldn't say out loud. "It's not that simple," I said, feebly.
"Have you done something stupid?" Cindy asked, stepping even closer into my personal space. "Has Burns got some dirt on you? Is it blackmail? Look, Cathy, I can help you, but you need to come clean with me."
"No, nothing like that," I said, and then, hoping she'll let me go, "I do need to go and report to him though. If I wait any longer, I'll run late."
That wasn't even a lie. Burns expected extreme punctuality out of me. If the clock struck eight AM and I wasn't in...
This wasn't the right thing to tell Cindy, though. Her eyes widened in outrage, and she pumped her hand into a fist. "Ugh, fine! But since you've decided to be such a wimp, I'm taking the car tonight."
That made me turn around and face her off. Plummeting self-confidence or not, that car was a gift from Richard, and there was no way I'd let anyone else use it.
"No way! Look, Cin-"
"That's Miss Cooper to you," Cindy said, tapping her boot plaintively against the tiled floor. "Or have you forgotten, Cathy?"
I lowered my gaze, feeling like a mouse all over again. What the hell was happening to me?
I couldn't piss her off. I couldn't let her go to Burns.
"Of course, Miss Cooper," I said, defeated. And, forcing myself to utter the words, "the car's yours... if you want it."
I didn't give her the time to come up with a reply. I spun on my heels, and raced towards Burns' office.
My little outburst had cost me, twice. Not only had Cindy firmly put me back in my place, but I was now late for Burns' inspection.
As I stepped into the office, I knew I was in trouble.
Burns sat back in his chair, a fat cigar between his cracked lips. He was staring thoughtfully at the ceiling, puffing smoke slowly. He didn't acknowledge my presence, or invite me to sit. I stood, fidgeting, like a schoolgirl waiting for her evaluation.
"The reports are starting to come in," Burns said, his words coming out stilted as he spoke around his cigar. "Not many students are satisfied with your work so far, I'm afraid."
My heart sank. What more did the little brats expect of me? For the past week I'd treated them like they were royalty! My lips trembled as tears swelled in my eyes.
"I'm sorry, Sir," I said, demurely. He'd made it very clear to me that he expected me to lead with an apology whenever he was dissatisfied - only then could I ask questions. "May I ask what their g-g-grievances are?"
I hated stuttering. It made me sound dumb, but I was legitimately terrified. If I lost this job, I... I didn't know what I would do! I wanted to resist Burns' hold on me, truly, I just... had to find some stable ground on which to stand, first. I couldn't think clearly while everything was in danger of collapsing around me.
"It appears that you're an insufferable bitch," Burns said without the slightest inflection, producing a perfect ring of smoke. "Not that that's a surprise."
At last, he leaned forward, and his eyes met mine. Whenever he had this look on him - this penetrating, piercing gaze - I knew he was thinking much more than he let on.
Burns was a pig, but a dangerous pig to underestimate. His mind was always working, always scheming, always concocting ways to exploit every advantage.
I could testify to that.
"I don't tolerate tardiness, Cathy," he said, in a low voice. "You were one minute late. You know what that means."
I gulped, looking dejectedly at my feet - encased in heels selected for his approval. "I'm sorry Sir," I said, remembering my training. "That will be a spank for... for every ten seconds of tardiness, Sir."
"And how many is that?" He asked, plainly. "Do you at least know how to count, slut?"
My cheeks reddened with anger, humiliation, and fear. Things weren't this bad when he first exposed my inadequacy. They were getting worse, all the time. What was I doing wrong? Was I too stupid to get it?
"That'll be six spanks, Sir," I said, biting my lips to keep my defiant backtalk to myself. Without waiting for Burns to prompt me, I made my way to his side of the desk - I knew he expected me to be proactive in my "employee disciplining", as he liked to call it.
Feeling absolutely mortified, I laid prone over his desk, with my legs hanging out from the edge, my bum presented to him for his punishment.
All my authority, my credibility, was gone. Every time he did this to me, he managed to make me feel smaller. If anybody found out, no one would ever take me seriously again.
The worst part was that, for all my revulsion, his hand lifting the hem of my skirt and cupping my cheeks wasn't entirely unpleasant. He had large hands, strong and wiry, a legacy from before his body started sagging with age.
Hands that were perfect to manhandle silly girls like me, who stepped above their station, I thought, rather absurdly. I groaned under my breath at the way my own reactions were betraying me.
"Don't forget to count," Burns said. I closed my eyes in anticipation and dread, as the hiss of his hand scything through the air reached my ears.
No amount of bracing could really prepare me for it, though.
His hand slammed on my ass with just the right amount of force. I knew he was an expert - knew just how much force to apply to drive the lesson home without living any bruises on me. I dully wondered if he'd done this before.
"One," I counted. "I'm a worthless slut."
I hated saying that. It wasn't true. I could maybe accept that I wasn't as good a teacher as I had once hoped for, but I'd only just started! He was simply abusing his professional and personal power over me to extort sexual favours.
I knew all of this. But I repeated it to myself anyway.
Because if I didn't... maybe I would start believing the words he had me repeat.
And I didn't want to stand on the edge of that precipice.
Again, he spanked me. I marvelled at the consistency of the force he applied. If I dissociated for a moment, forgot that he was doing this to me, I could appreciate that he knew what he was doing. He was training me without really hurting me.
"Two! I'm a worthless slut!"
The warmth on my ass cheeks - on the point of impact - was strange, at once unpleasant and comforting. Intellectually I knew that the body was releasing endorphins to fight the altogether manageable pain. But that just made me feel even more like a dumb girl out of her depth.
"Three! I'm a worthless slut!"
My breath was becoming ragged. My matted hair clung to my forehead. The intoxicatingly stuffy air of the office, the adrenaline, and the... physical exertion... were getting to me.
"Four! I'm a worthless slut!"
"You're learning," Burns said, but somehow I felt his satisfaction wasn't really aimed at me. He was complimenting himself... the way a good craftsman does while moulding or creating something.
That's what I was to him, after all - a thing. Or, to be more precise...
"Five! I'm a worthless slut!"
"We'll make a real employee out of you yet," he said, letting his hand linger on my bum far too long for my own comfort. In spite of myself, the reassurance about my professional future quelled my anxiety.
By the time the final CRACK resonated against my behind, I felt it send ripples all over my body like I was a taut violin string.
"Six! Six!" I shouted. "I'm a worthless slut!"
Burns swivelled back with his chair, signalling the end to my punishment. My hands immediately flew to the hem of my skirt, lowering it back down - a worthless modesty, considering the routine blowjobs and spankings that took place in this office by now.
But, like all victims of abuse, I was craving what little margin of control I had left, so that I could feel somewhat like a person, for at least some of the time.
I wasn't blind. I knew what this was. A remote part of me knew I could go to the police right away. The option was definitely open to me.
I simply chose not to pursue it. Because...
Because I couldn't countenance even the slightest risk of not working here. I would suffer Burns if that meant keeping my job.
Whatever the cost.
I stood on wobbly feet, grimacing at the discomfort and the smarting in my bum. Unfortunately, if previous mornings were any indication, my plight was far from over.
Midway into the week, Burns had decided that oral exams would now form part of my daily reports to him. Day after day, I'd been sucking him off as he degraded and demeaned my blowjob skills.
As if on cue, Burns stole a glance at his watch.
"Still forty-five minutes to go before you have class," he said, in a matter-of-fact tone. "Tell you what. Make me cum in ten, and you can skip tomorrow's report."
I hated the implication behind the challenge. He thought I sucked at... well, sucking. Only a month ago, such a transparently childish negging technique would have made me chuckle - some men really thought us women were all born stupid and clueless.
The problem I had now, though, was that my teaching position did depend on my blowjob techniques. I couldn't simply dismiss his comments as negging or gaslighting. What if he was perfectly serious, and decided to fire me?
So, hating every second of it, I descended to my knees - a familiar position for me by now - and readied to service him.
I was uncomfortably aware of the nylons stretching around my folded legs, accentuating my curves, making me look like even more of a cum receptacle for men. Burns always loved to ogle my legs in nylons. He even copped a feel against my thighs before fishing out his cock.
Dutifully, I set aside my misgivings, and got to work.
I sucked with all my might. I had to focus on the prize. Having a morning all to myself could prove to be just the sort of space I needed. I could clear my head, plan for a counteroffensive, clear the air with Cindy.
Not for the first time, however, I cursed Burns' resilience. This was no boy, to start spurting the moment he got touched. He knew how to pace himself, how to draw things out.
I let out a muffled scream of anger and despair around his cock as the ten minute alarm went off. As if celebrating, Burns' hands immediately descended on my head, gripping me tight.
I knew I was about to lose control of this blowjob. I stared up at him, pleadingly, but I was met with an evil smirk.
"See? You really are a worthless slut. Guess I'm going to have to train you."
And train me he did.
He started pistoning into my mouth, inching the tip of his dick further down my throat. He'd pull back as soon as I started gagging, but made sure to immediately plunge forward again, letting me get used to his girth, to having his dick shoved down my throat.
He went at it like a battering ram, and as I knelt there, I could feel my defenses collapse under the onslaught. The office span around me as I gasped for air around his cock. I felt like he was prying me open, conquering me, asserting his superiority over me.
His right to use my mouth like a cocksleeve.
I went limp under Burns' crushing grip, letting him have his way with me. He must have noticed my surrender, because he clutched me tightly by the neck, and impaled my throat on his dick.
I gave up. And he claimed me.
In spite of myself, I felt my self-image begin to crumble. I'd thrown it all away. All the work I put into being an adult was for nought.
Sure, I'd made quite a bit of money with modelling, but what really came to the fore right now was something else.
All those countless hours spent studying, preparing, striving to be a professional. All my intelligence and determination. What did it amount to, in the end? Here I was, on my knees, little more than a warm wet mouth and a warm wet throat for my boss's cock.
I felt reduced. Stripped of intelligence, autonomy, and agency. Yet another little girl in a man's world, hanging to my job for dear life thanks to her cock-sucking skills.
And what skills were those? I couldn't even get him to cum. Now I wasn't exactly sucking him off, not really.
No. He was fucking my face. Humping it like a source of relief, while I took it passively and submissively, an empty shell rather than the defiant, slay-queen woman I once figured herself to be.
I knew Burns at that moment didn't see me like a colleague, a subordinate, or even a person. I was just a combination of curves shaped for his arousal, and warm lips for him to abuse.
I'd let him manipulate meinto this corner. So on some level, perhaps I deserved this.
Could he be right?
Was I little more than a worthless slut?
Burns' hands clutched at my hair. With a manly groan that shouted ownership, he thrust even deeper into my squelching throat, which was now like a surrogate pussy for him to abuse.
Then, his grip tightened so much it hurt, and if possible, his pace quickened even more. I knew what was coming. I closed my eyes, bracing myself for the humiliation.
When the cum flooded my mouth, I followed Burns' instructions to the letter. I kept my lips glued to his cock, milking it for all it was worth, my own hands balling into fists as I tried to gulp down one mouthful of cum after another.
This done, I looked up at him with eyes filled with fear, and swallowed it all.
"Thank you, Sir," I said, my lips sticky with cum and sweat, my throat fully coated in his spunk as I gulped to push it down.
Now for the next part of my instructions.
Lowering my gaze, I leaned forward again, and began to demurely lick him clean.
It was all so... crushingly humiliating. So crushing that I feared I might never recover.
But the worst of all?
The worst of all was Burns' hand, running affectionately through my hair, as he whispered to me like I was some kind of trained dog.
"Good girl," he said. "That's a good girl. Getting better every time."
No, I thought, as I slavishly lapped at his softening cock. Everything is going terribly.
I was sure of it now. There was no way this situation could ever, possibly, get any worse.
And then, Burns recovered his wind, and spoke again.
"If only I were younger, I'd have you go again," he said with a smile. "I know being a stuck-up feminist cunt, you don't like giving blowjobs. That's definitely something we're going to correct with practice."
His hands ran through my hair, and I bristled at his insult.
"But it'd be nice to get a good fuck out of a hole of yours that doesn't need training," he said, and the carelessness with which he threw such misogynistic filth around shocked me to my core. "Deepthroating requires practice, but a pussy is a pussy."
"Actually, all male penetration is equally demeaning," I told him in a stern, lecturing tone. It was the first time in a long time that I felt like myself. Of course, being on my knees with the taste of his cum on my tongue somewhat undercut my presentation, but... small victories.
"It's not just blowjobs," I said. "Women have a hard time coming from penetrative sex, Sir. On the other hand, men clearly don't need penetrative sex to cum - touch is often all it takes. So," I said, pushing my hair away from my face. "It's only fair to do things that both partners find pleasurable."
That's how I did it with Richard. I jerked him off while sitting on his face. That way, we both got our rocks off. Of course, he thought I was saving up for marriage, because he simply refused to understand that my position stood on ideological grounds. But that was definitely his problem.
Burns swivelled back to face me, rocking pensively in his chair. His eyes were narrowed.
"Wait," he said. "Your boyfriend's never fucked you? You mean... no one's ever fucked your pussy?"
I was about to tell him no, of course, but something stopped me in my tracks.
I could see the wheels turning in his head. Burns was following along some logical path he wasn't sharing with me, and...
There was a bulge in his pants.
"Cathy," Burns said, in a perfectly deadpan voice, as I cursed myself and my stupid, big mouth for landing me into this predicament. "I'm afraid you're going to be late for class."
I just couldn't wait for my English Lit class.
Had I said this out loud, few people would have believed me. Me, Nick fucking Foster, eager for any sort of class? Haha, no way. I was too cool for that, and I had my own, more serious things going on.
I played. Best defender in the school league this year, and wimps at school knew better than to disagree with me about it. Had my little crew of friends to make some noise with, and there was always this or that girl to chase.
Besides, it's not like I really needed this place. My da' had everything sorted for me already. I just needed the piece of paper at the end, a formality. The rest...
People with good family connections don't need school. That's for losers with deadbeat parents who never pulled themselves from their bootstraps.
I'd been in the Club a couple times, as my da' liked to call it. Mahogany furniture, comfy chairs, that type of thing. Lots of cigar smoke. Even Burns was there - by far not the only perv present, although he was the most indiscreet of all by far.
It was odd to see a school principal in the company of stock brokers, but apparently he delved into... side projects during his free time. Hey, I respected that. Every man's gotta have a little something something on the side.
Anyway. I liked the Club. I knew that's the sort of place where I'd want to spend the rest of my days. Certainly not in class, much less in English Lit.
But... things had changed recently.
Cathy Cooper. Such a delectable, hot piece of ass. Just begging for a man to slap it, to put her through her paces. She acted so high and mighty, as if we didn't all know she used to pose for money before she became a teacher.
The idea of pulling her down off the perch and at a man's feet was delicious. The sorta delicious that normally remained nothing more than a fantasy. But something was up with Cathy.
The review system... it sounded like a Burns move, alright, but more brazen than anything I'd ever heard of. Did he have it out for this particular girl? Had she pissed him off, somehow?
I didn't know. Truth be told, I didn't much care.
All I knew was, every time she looked down in shame and switched to that low unassuming voice to say Yes Mister Foster, my dick fucking twitched in my pants. That kinda cockteasing couldn't go unpunished.
But I wasn't stupid. I wasn't gonna jeopardize my future over some ho who thought too much of herself. So for once in my life, I tried to think with my brain and not my dick.
Hey, I was capable of self-criticism. I knew I got a little hotheaded at times.
I knew Cathy was with Burns at right around this time - in fact, I knew she did so every day. I liked to get up early, run some laps before class started, so I was in before most students, and I'd seen her head down that hallway every day for the past two weeks.
Every day, her meetings with Burns lasted a little longer.
Every day, she came back looking a little more off balance.
Now, maybe I was simply seeing things that weren't there, but... that was the sort of thing to make a guy suspicious.
So, that morning, I did what any conscientious young student would. I hung back, waiting for Cathy to have spent enough time in Burns' office.
I could have gone in from the start, but I knew that wouldn't be smart. If anything untoward was happening in that office, it was at the end that it'd be the hardest to hide.
Besides, shortly before 9AM, there would be just enough chaos - with students coming and going to their first classes - that I could slip into a crowd, if needed. The cleaning staff and security guards would also be less likely to pay attention to me, loitering around Burns' office, than they would if I was the only student around.
Like I said. No risks.
By the time I was approaching the door to Burns' office, it was almost 8:45.
I didn't know what I was expecting. Well, okay, on some level I did know. But reality immediately exceeded my expectations. There was noise coming from beyond the door.
Wet, squelching, rhythmic, thumping noise.
Looking behind to make sure I wasn't being watched, I made my way quietly towards the door, and pressed my ear against the hardwood. I had to stifle a fit of laughter at what I was hearing from the other side.
"I thought women didn't get any pleasure out of penetration," a gruff voice said, panting. Holy shit, that was undoubtedly Burns! "You look slick enough to me. Admit it."
There was a loud CRACK, and then I heard a soft voice, breathing and panting, the answer barely audible above the obvious sounds of fucking coming from behind the door.
"Yes Sir," the voice said. Cathy fucking Cooper. "I'm wet, because I'm a worthless slut."
So. Review system, huh?
I understood what was going on here. Good on ya, Burns! He may have been a slimy, corrupt son of a bitch all his life, but I felt a bit of gaudy, manly camaraderie with him at that moment. He'd bagged himself a true beauty!
Still. A plan began forming in my mind. There was an opportunity here that I didn't want to pass up. So I grabbed my mobile phone, and started recording, while pressing it to the door.
They were loud enough that the recording would hold great fidelity.
I smiled to myself, and crouched lower, trying to peep through the keyhole while my phone did the job.
Holy shit. The sight before me defied description.
Cathy Cooper knelt on the desk, ass up, face held down by one of Burns' strong, meaty hands. She was looking right at the door - right at me, though she didn't know I was there.
Burns towered behind her, his other hand resting luxuriatingly on her ass, as he piled into her from behind, grunting and occasionally spanking her.
For all her proclamations of pleasure, I could see it in her eyes that she was putting on a show. She wasn't liking this. It wasn't that she was simply repulsed. Her eyes cycled through so many emotions.
Shame. Defeat. Defiance had gone out of them like a snuffed-out candle.
Occasionally, maybe when Burns ploughed deeper into her cunt, her eyes would roll upwards, and her teeth would press against her lower lip. In spite of herself, she was responding.
That made my own cock twitch in my pants. I sure hoped the recording was good.
Burns' hands tugged at Cathy's hair, pulling her head backwards.
"This is how a real man breaks in his filly," Burns said. "Your boyfriend should have taught you this lesson long ago. No wonder you're such a shitty employee."
"Sorry Sir," Cathy said, breathless, pained, her head being pulled back savagely like she was a dog on a leash.
I raised an eyebrow. What was this whole thing about employees? Oh well, the rest of the dirty talk was hot, at least - as was the scene playing out before me.
"Let me clarify once and for all how your employment here is going to go," Burns said, pistoning into her cunt with impressive stamina. "You want to keep teaching? Then you better follow every instruction I give you, to the letter. If that means fetching coffee, you do it. If that means sucking me off on demand, you do it. If that means letting an entire classroom treat you like dirt under their shoes, you let them. You're just my gopher. Got that, bitch?"
"What?" Cathy said, horrified - to which Burns pushed her head back on the table.
"I'm not finished," he said. I was stunned. This sort of dirty talk wasn't on Pornhub!
"Feminism isn't welcomed in my school. You wanna work here? Fine and dandy. You need to accept your place. You may be a teacher in name, but this," he said, thrusting to mark each word, "is - what - you - really - are."
Cathy was convulsing underneath him - but even her obvious dismay didn't break her discipline.
"Yes Sir," she said. "I understand."
"And no matter who else you end up fucking in your life... you will remember me as the one who broke you first."
"Yes Sir," Cathy said, her head now hanging limply from the desk, truly defeated, as Burns fucked her. "I'll... always remember..."
I was completely enraptured, but then a sound broke out across the hallway, distracting me.
The bell was ringing. It was 9AM.
It was literally time for class... not that mine would be starting any time soon, judging from what my teacher was doing! And normally, I'd have no compulsion showing up late - I'm not a loser.
But I didn't want to risk Burns finding out, not before I had the chance to back up my recordings. Then, him and I could have the most interesting chat in the world.
As I made my way back to class, I saw Cindy standing outside, her arms crossed, her boots tapping impatiently against the floor. I let out a chuckle. Cindy! Oh, the poor sucker was in a tizzy about her big sis now, wait until she found out what Burns had truly done to her!
"What's so funny, asshole?" She snapped at me. Ah, charming as ever.
"Your joke of a sister," I said. "I'm so looking forward to today's class," I added with a smirk.
"So you can boss her around some more? Is that how you get your kicks, you sick pig?"
Not exactly, not this time. But I wasn't about to tell her that. Before I could come up with another stinger, Cindy's expression changed, becoming more serious. "Have you seen her? I wanted to have a chat with her before class."
A sudden impulse seized me.
I knew it could, potentially, jeopardize my plan. But then again, I had the recordings... even if Burns went down in flames, I could still use my own leverage on Cathy. And honestly, the prospect of doing what I was about to do was irresistible.
"I think she's still in Burns' office," I said nonchalantly, trying to ignore the shocked expression of outrage that was on Cindy's face. "You might as well go up there and see what's cooking -"
I hadn't even finished my sentence. Cindy was marching towards Burns' office with the confidence of a stormtrooper. I waited for her to turn the corner, and bent down, laughing hysterically.
Forget I said anything.
I loved school.
"What have you done to her, you asshole?"
Cindy Cooper was as outspoken and uncivilised as Cathy used to be, John considered. Feigning nonchalance, he crumpled a tissue in his hand - she didn't know it, but it was dripping with his own cum - and threw it in the bin as she watched.
He loved getting away with stunts like this. It made him feel like the smartest man in the room.
Now, however, he was quite irritated.
The danger was real. Had Cindy decided to barge in only a few minutes earlier, she would have caught them in the act. As it was, she'd ran into her sister in the hallway outside.
Cathy had been dishevelled. Burns had made sure of that.
Unfortunately that was enough to rouse young Cindy's suspicions.
"I don't know what you're referring to," Burns said in a calm, measured voice. "And I would suggest you return to your classroom, and use proper tone with your superiors, or I'll have to suspend you."
"Suspend me?" Cindy threw her head back and laughed. "Are you nuts? I could have you thrown in jail. I can put two and two together. I don't know what kind of dirt you have over Cathy, but hand it over now, or I go to the cops. Right this instant."
Burns sighed, shaking his head. Intellectually, he'd known there was a chance something like this would happen. But this early, and it being Cathy's own sister? So, so inconvenient. She had even less incentive than most to simply let the matter be.
Burns had to make a decision quickly, that much was clear.
He had always espoused the saying that, if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So he felt going against the grain of his own advice, as a plan took shape in his mind.
But the truth was, the stone was unique in its properties. The thrill he was getting now was something he couldn't get anywhere else. Consent would take the edge off the thrill. Hookers would simply be acting.
So, in a way, a hammer really was all he had.
And as for nailing, well, he had just nailed one of the sisters on this very desk, he thought with a smirk.
"What are you laughing about?" Cindy asked, bewildered. "Why does everyone in this cursed school behave like they're in on a joke I'm the only one not privy to?"
"Oh, I'll let you in on the joke," Burns said, enjoying the look of exasperation on Cindy's face.
Slowly, deliberately, his hands fished into his pocket.
"The set-up to the joke," he said, "is gender equality in the workplace, and sexual harassment laws."
He studied Cindy's expression, the way her brow furrowed as she tried to understand if he was confessing to harassing Cathy. That would certainly lull her into a false sense of security, make her believe he was misstepping.
It would blind her to the danger.
Burns kept his gaze leveled on Cindy's eyes, as he held the stone between thumb and forefinger.
"The punchline," he said. "Very funny. The punchline... is you."
The stone went spinning into the air.