Another sneak peek into Affirmation. I apologize for the editor's notes in last week's selection.( Slaps forehead) I honestly thought I removed them. Let me set up today's scene up for you. Stella is at her work study job at the computer lab with Lauren and Mitch. Some students have arrived for a computer based test, but some mean girls are cauing trouble. Lauren is intimidated by them, which means dealing them is Stella's job. Let's see what happens.
The hotter, but not prepared, males sometimes tried to solicit more time or even actual answers. Somehow, they believed they had the right to such perks that their plainer counterparts who actually studied for the test didn’t have. In another testing center on another campus, maybe they would have received the benefit but not here. The outright flirting rattled Lauren so much that often Stella had to intercede.
At times, a relaxed male would be lounging in the chair, sometimes with his hands propped behind his head, expecting Lauren to trot back with the needed answers. Instead, Stella would tap on the glass to get his attention, while mouthing the word, “No,” or most often, “Try studying.”
Mitch usually enjoyed the encounters. Even getting up to be able to see the shocked expression on the guy’s face. Occasionally, she had to go into the actual room because there were other students studying and knocking on the window would disturb them. The male in question maintained his smug expression until she whispered the same words she’d have mouthed. It made her wonder if Cam ever pulled the same stunt. If so, what were his results?
Her fingers hit the keys a little harder than necessary. Wasn’t his inquiry about her changing his grade the same scenario? Only difference was she was sleeping with him, and he figured it was a done deal. Most men would assume as much.
“Angry typing, much?” Mitch called out to her with wiggling his eyebrows disrupting her tension.
The way she was going she’d end up breaking the keyboard. “Oh, yeah. Never mind. Thanks for pointing it out.”
Her fingers slowed, softening the impact of each finger on the key. The students trickled in to take the test. The murmur of voices alerted her that obviously a few were not following protocol. A large sign listing the rules had no talking as the first rule. Lauren was too timid to say anything. Normally, it wasn’t an issue since the students didn’t come in huge groups.
The talking continued loud enough to carry through the Plexiglas. Getting up she weaved through the long tables crowded with monitors and CPUs only to find Lauren staring at the offenders with the same look of horror most people used for approaching death.
Since the voices were feminine, she knew it wasn’t Lauren’s usual kryptonite, the hot guy. Two female students with perfect hair and enough eye makeup to keep the cosmetic industry in business chattered loudly ignoring the other students around them who were casting reproachful looks their way. Ah yes, she knew the type. The world revolved around them and they didn’t give damn about anyone else. Probably even argued with the prof about tests being out of style and an unfair measure of their ability.
No way Lauren could deal with them. They’d look through her and pretended they didn’t even see her. Thankfully, she had her own experience with mean girls from high school. Both she and Leah medaled in mean girl avoidance and sly innuendoes that flew past the vicious females.
Patting the panicked Lauren on the shoulder, she said, “I’ll deal with it.” This earned her a weak smile.
Opening the connecting door a little louder than she should, she stood in the doorway. Everyone looked up, even the chattering girls. Leah’s Nana once informed her how to handle difficult people. Make an entrance, assume an attitude, show no fear, make a statement, then leave.
Shoulders back, she flicked her long blonde hair over her shoulders. She nodded to the other students and strode over to the problem children with a confident stride.
“It has come to my attention that you failed to heed testing protocol.”
The two of them looked up at her as if she spoke Latin. Pointing to the sign, she enunciated the words slowly and loud enough for the other students to hear. “No talking in the lab.”
The girls looked at each other in surprise. One angled her head in Stella’s direction, the calculation on her face obvious. “You can’t tell us what to do.”
Oh, she wanted to play it that way. Stella expected as much. A slight motion of her hand signaled Lauren to cut the power to their units. Their screens went blank. The girls were too intent on Stella’s reaction to notice their monitors, but the other students saw it.
One student voiced his observation. “Hey look, their computers were shut down.”
Another student snickered. Bossy girl’s face reddened as her mouth dropped open. Her head swiveled back to her friend’s as if asking for help.
Stella placed her hands on her hips remembering from psychology that made her look more intimidating. “You’re done here. Come back when you can follow the rules. Better yet, maybe a blue book exam would suit you better.”
One of girls immediately stood up teetering a little in her sky-high heels. Shouldering her expensive purse, she remarked over her shoulder. “We’ll be back when the cute guys are working.”
Her friend got up more slowly, returning Stella’s glare with a malice-filled one of her own. “Don’t think it’s over, bitch. You may be head witch, here, but not for long.”
Instead of answering, she merely watched the girls leave. Silence at the right time could be powerful too. Too many people made the mistake of thinking they had to respond to everything. Miss I’m All That thought she’d wounded her by calling her a witch. Hah, she had no clue how right she was. As for being a bitch, well it took one to know one.