“She didn’t really seem happy about being naughty, in fact she looked resigned. But as soon as I told her I was going to call you, she seemed to perk up. And when I told her she was going to be staying after school for her punishment, you would have thought I had given her an award. She practically beamed.”
“Seriously? That doesn’t make sense.”
“That’s what I thought, too.”
Ellen moved even closer to him and whispered, “Don’t look, but she’s peeking out the door, watching us. Smiling like it’s Christmas.”
Suddenly the light came on and Hank knew what was happening. He groaned. “I think I know what’s going on with her.”
“What is it?”
Hank rubbed his hand on the back of his neck and he felt his cheeks heat. He cleared his throat. “Well it’s kind of embarrassing.”
“I think she’s matchmaking.”
“Matchmaking?” Ellen repeated stupidly.
Hank cleared his throat again. “Yes, after we went to dinner the other night she suggested that, well, um, that we go out together.”
“Out together? You and me? Like on a date?”
“Um, yes, exactly. I told her no. That wasn’t happening. Ever.”
Ellen jerked as if he’d slapped her.
“Uh. Not that you are not attractive. In fact, you’re way too attractive. But I told her it was inappropriate for me to date her teacher.”
“Oh, yes. Of course. I can’t date a student’s father. I could get fired over that and it’s just not worth it.”
This time Hank flinched. Ouch. Not worth it. After all the lusting I’ve done for the woman, and she doesn’t think I’m worth it.
She must have noticed his reaction because she rushed on, “Not that I wouldn’t be tempted, but, well, I haven’t been in my job long and I need to work and I don’t want to have to find a new job and move again and…” She looked so cute he wanted to kiss her.
Hank chuckled. “So we’re both tempted, but we both know it can’t go anywhere.”
Ellen sighed. “No, it can’t.” “Let’s go talk to Alyssa about it.”
“Yes.” They both turned toward the door and saw Alyssa run away. When they got to the room, she had a broom in her hand.
Hank hid a smile and said sternly, “Alyssa, please put down the broom. We need to talk to you. Come over here.”
“Okay, Daddy.” Ellen and Hank sat in chairs and Alyssa stood before them.
“Alyssa, I know you’re being naughty to get your teacher and I together.”
“How did you… I mean, no I’m not.”
“Oh? Then why are you being naughty?”
“Um, well, I’m not trying to be—”
“Alyssa, don’t add lying to your acts.”
Alyssa’s shoulders slumped. “Okay, Daddy. Yes, I’m being naughty to get you and Miss Truehart together. I think she would make you a great wife and be a very good mommy to me and the boys.”
Miss Truehart gasped and turned a delightful shade of pink. Apparently she hadn’t realized Alyssa was campaigning for a new mother.
Penick,Shirley. The Rancher’s Lady: A Lake Chelan Novella (Kindle Locations 556-596). UNKNOWN. Kindle Edition.