Home > Headmaster (Lessons From the Rack #2)

Headmaster (Lessons From the Rack #2)
Author: Tara Sue Me



If you know me, you know I’m not much of a plotter. That fact has never bothered me before, but halfway through writing this book, I started doubting if Lennox and Marie would have a Happily Ever After. Doubt can be a scary thing, but only if you let it get to you.

   Thankfully, I’m surrounded by people who not only support me but remind me that books don’t get completed by worrying about them. You can only finish a book by sitting your butt in a chair and writing.

   So thank you to both my cheerleaders and taskmasters. You know who you are.

   Thank you to Mr. Sue Me, who understands my need to sometimes have my head in the clouds, and therefore keeps us both grounded.

   And many thanks to my readers. Without you I’d be unemployed, and even on those days when doubt creeps in, I never forget that I have the Best. Job. Ever.





   I saw him as soon as he walked into the room. How could I not? He was by far the hottest man at the party. The way he strolled in, with that swagger only the most confident men have. I’m sure if I had been able to look anywhere else except at him, I would have seen other women similarly obsessed. His dark hair, dark eyes, and that mouth? Hell, that wasn’t even taking into account his hot-as-hell, fuck-me-all-night body.

   But when I had a chance to look at something else, it wasn’t to the other women, it was over to Marie, and then I knew I was in trouble. We’d never wanted the same thing before.






The one thing Mariela could count on to never let her down was dance. Dance was the one thing she could turn to and lean on when things were hard. The one thing guaranteed to make a day better or to take away all her stress. Through thick and thin, life’s ups and downs, it had always been her rock. Until today, when the rock crumbled.

   She took a deep breath, moved into position, and jumped and turned in a coupé jeté en tournant. Finding her technique lacking, she repeated it again and again until, exhausted, she leaned against the barre and let a string of curses fly.

   “Bad day?” someone asked from the hallway.

   Mariela lifted her head and forced a smile at Andie Lincoln, RACK Academy’s newest chef. “You could say that.”

   “In that case, I came just in time. Come with me, I need someone to try my icing and tell me if it sucks.”

   Mariela pushed back from the barre and wiped the sweat from her forehead with a nearby towel. “Isn’t that what we have men for?”

   “Yes. Well, that and sex. But Fulton always likes everything I make, and Lennox just kind of looks at me like I’ve grown a second head and says he doesn’t understand why I feel the need to improve upon perfection.” She tilted her head. “So now that I think about it, nah, that’s not what we have men for. We only have them here for sex.”

   Mariela laughed, glad that Andie had shown up to drag her away from a disappointing ballet session. “Okay, let me clean up and I’ll be right there.”

   “Just come like that. No one’s here yet.”

   Mariela looked down at her leotard and tights. Not really dining room apparel, but then again the students for the fall session wouldn’t arrive for another week. She threw her towel back over the barre. “You’re right. What kind of icing are we talking about?”

   Andie started chatting about buttercream versus cream cheese and, to be honest, Mariela zoned out a bit. Cooking and baking were not her things. That’s what chefs were for.

   Andie pushed open the two wide wooden doors that led into the dining area. “Okay, go have a seat and I’ll bring the samples out to you.”

   Mariela looked around the area and breathed a sigh of relief at finding there was no one else in the dining area. And by no one else, she meant the headmaster, Lennox MacLure. Other than Andie and Fulton, he was the one other person on the island that housed the academy. The other staff members would be arriving tomorrow.

   Unfortunately, she hadn’t sat down for more than two minutes before Lennox walked through the door. She dropped her head and pretended to be horribly curious about the pulled thread on her tights.

   She expected him to ignore her. After all, that’s what he did best. But even with her head down, she could sense him approach her.

   “Marie,” he said, calling her by the nickname only he ever used.

   She looked up and, like always, he took her breath away. Dark and dashing, as her best friend Winnie had described him. She had been right, with his black-as-sin hair and gray eyes, he looked like he belonged between the pages of a historical romance, starring as an evil pirate or maybe an unrepentant rake.

   “Lennox,” she said, cringing because she knew her raspy voice gave her away.

   “You are aware the dining hall has a dress code?”

   She waited for him to smile and tell her it was a joke, that of course he wasn’t going to enforce the dress code when there were only four people on the island. But the smile didn’t come and neither did the hahaha, I’m just joking follow-up.

   “What?” she finally asked.

   “The dress code,” he snapped. “You’re in violation of it.”

   “Oh my god. You’re serious.”

   “We have rules and regulations for a reason.”

   “Right, but since there are only four of us here . . .” She trailed off, assuming her intent would be clear.

   “You thought you didn’t have to follow the rules?”

   She couldn’t believe he was being such a dick over something so stupid. “Yes,” she said, just to goad him. “That’s it exactly. I figured since there were only four of us, you wouldn’t care if I wore a leotard and tights into the dining room. I mean, seriously, who do you think it will bother? Not Fulton or Andie. And you typically don’t give me the time of day. I could probably sit on your desk, buck naked, and you wouldn’t lift an eyebrow.”

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