It’s easy for a Monitor to slip away. The other girls are so busy trying not to be noticed they don’t notice much of anything around them either. I figured it out on my first week as a Monitor and have been taking advantage of it ever since. All I have to do is make sure no teachers are watching and have an excuse already in mind just in case someone does notice. So far, I only needed the excuse once and it worked perfectly. Monitors get the benefit of the doubt.
With everyone hustling off toward the cafeteria for dinner, I snuck away for a quick stop in the Tanzanite Shop. Sean wasn’t at the counter like usual. I moved farther into the store. It sounded quiet, deserted even, but the door would have been locked if no one was inside. Then I spotted him toward the back of the store near the fitting area. He was probably stocking a late shipment. I waved.
He smiled and winked. “Shouldn’t you be on your way to the cafeteria?”
I glanced toward the door. No one around. Still, better safe than sorry. “Study period gave me a headache. I was hoping I could get something for it, Mr. Mason.”
A brunette I had never seen before stepped out from behind the jumper racks. She was struggling with the split front trying to wear it like a pair of suspenders. Her attention was focused on Sean. “Are you sure this is my size, Sir? It doesn’t seem to fit right.”
Sean chuckled, shaking his head at her. “I don’t think size is the problem.”
I walked closer, inserting myself into her view. If I wasn’t going to get some private time with Sean at least I could still make the trip worthwhile. I smiled at her. “You must be the new girl. I’m Abigail Hastings, Tanzanite House Monitor. The rules prefer you call me Miss Abigail.”
She returned my smile and nodded. “Margaret Lange.”
I ran my fingers along the split panels of her jumper, attempting to straighten them into position. Somehow she’d managed to get the whole top part of the jumper inside out. It was impossible to fix with her wearing it. “I’m afraid you’re going to have to take it off so we can straighten it out. It’s twisted in the back making the whole top inside out.”
Her cheeks flushed pink. “I’ve never worn something like this before.”
“It’s alright, I’ll get you fixed up and escort you over to dinner so nobody harasses you for being late.” I glanced toward Sean, still standing there staring and grinning. “Don’t you have something else to do? I’m sure you’ve seen more than enough of Margaret.”
Margaret seemed unconcerned about Sean’s presence. She unfastened the jumper and slipped out of it without a second’s hesitation. The garment fell to the ground and she stepped out of it, bending down to pick it up. It only took her a moment to see the twist and correct it.
Sean said, “Aren’t you forgetting something Abigail?”
I stared at him, he was clearly enjoying the view of Margaret. Of course, I knew he saw other girls undressed, it went with the territory, but ogling one in front of me was totally unacceptable. “Have some decency,” I said, “she’s half naked.”
The grin disappeared. He said, “Apparently you need to be reminded of your place, Abigail. You may be a Monitor, but I am a member of the staff and you’re way out of line suggesting my presence here is inappropriate.” His gaze shifted briefly toward Margaret. “Pay attention Margaret, you’re about to find out what happens to girls who treat members of the staff with disrespect.”