Lessons in SECRET

By: Crystal Perkins

Book #4 of Corrigan & Co.



Prologue


Mason

When I told my friend Luke Griffin what I thought was going on at the private school I teach at, I never expected to be sitting in a conference room at the Corrigan & Co. Foundation. Luke swore me to secrecy and told me about a Society that’s part of the foundation. He said it helps women and children, like the foundation does publicly. Just in a different way. Since a high school prostitution ring covers both women and children, he convinced me to come here for help. He said they’d contact the police if they found anything concrete.

“Thank you for coming in Mason. Luke said you think there’s a prostitution ring at your school,” the woman he introduced as Reina says to me.

“Yes. And I’m pretty sure it’s student run.”

“What clued you in?”

“I teach history and wanted to do something to engage the students a little more. I gave them a chance to write anonymously about something that’s happened in history, what they’d like to have legalized in the future, or what they wouldn’t. I got fifteen papers about why prostitution should be legalized. And four that said it shouldn’t. Those four talked about girls being intimidated and threatened if they didn’t turn tricks.”

“I can see why you might be alarmed.”

“I started paying more attention to what was going on, and I think I know who the leader of all this is. His name it Kurt, and his dad’s one of the wealthiest men in the city. I’m sure he has no problem finding clients.”

“Since you’re coming to us, I’m going to trust that you’re not involved and confirm that Kurt is indeed the person in charge.”

“How do you know that?”

“We’ve actually had someone undercover for over a month.”

“What? Who?”

“Me, Mr. Wells,” my favorite student says as she walks into the room.

Favorite because I can’t stop fantasizing about her while she sits in my class twirling her pencil as I teach. I’ve been beating myself up for lusting after a student. But apparently she’s not a student.

“Isabelle,” I say, sounding way too relieved for even my own ears.

“You sound relieved to see me.”

“I am. I mean, I…” This is so not going well.

“Oh my God. You want to be the Ezra to her Aria, don’t you?” Luke asks, looking at me with a smirk on his face.

“Shut up, Luke. And how do you even know about them? You don’t teach high school.”

“Olivia loves that show.”

“Can someone please clue me in,” Luke’s mom says. When he told me she was part of all this, I told him I already thought his mom was cool, but now I had even more respect for her.

“Ezra and Aria are characters on a TV show, Pretty Little Liars. He was her teacher, but they’re in a relationship,” Isabelle tells her.

“So basically, Mase wants Isa,” Luke tells her.

I want to die right now. Like seriously die. After I kill Luke, of course.

“I didn’t come here for this. I’m glad you know and are taking care of it. I’ll just be going now.”

I get up and walk out of the room, stopping to lean back against the wall. Imagine my shock when Isabelle walks into the hall after me. “Is it true? Do you want me?”

* * *

Isa

I can’t believe I followed Mr. Wells—Mason—out into the hallway. But I needed to know. Because I want him. I never understood the term “hot for teacher” until I walked into that classroom and saw him. Honestly, I’ve never been “hot” for anyone before, so I’ve been so freaked out every time I walk into History class that it’s a wonder I could answer anything when asked. Thank God for my super brain.

“Do you want me to want you?”

“What kind of question is that?”

“The kind that won’t get me into trouble.”

“I’m 23 and not in high school.”

“The school doesn’t know that.”

“So we won’t do anything there. Or anywhere else where someone could see us. If you do want me, that is.” Who is this bold girl, and where the hell did she come from?

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