Remember Me(5)By: Ashlee Mallory
Allie glanced at the clock. She had about ten minutes. She rose reluctantly and sighed. “Thanks. I’d better go drop off my stuff and get out of these boots first.”
“When you meet him, scope out his finger for a ring,” Janine called to Allie’s back. “If Tim doesn’t get his crap together and propose soon, I might have to start broadening the field. Or at the least, get Tim to think I’m broadening it.”
Allie passed the table where Señoras Pena and Sanchez, the school’s Spanish teachers, were perched. She offered them a quick smile. The two women gave significant glances to each other before returning mild, sedate smiles. Allie was left with the distinct impression they’d been talking about her. Hailed as the queens of gossip at St. Andrew’s, the two still managed to keep private anything related to their own lives. Probably due to the fact they conversed in rapid Spanish, so not many could follow.
A few minutes later, her bags deposited in her room on the second floor and her boots exchanged for comfortable clogs, Allie headed down to the principal’s office. This was going to be fantastic. A new teacher to help pick up some of the classes that had been foisted on her last quarter.
Maria, Jeremy’s secretary, was nowhere in sight when Allie arrived, but she could hear voices coming from his office. The door was partially open. After hesitating for a moment, she went over. The least she could do was let them know she was here.
She raised her hand, ready to knock, when she heard her name mentioned inside. “Allie should be here anytime. She was a student here close to the time you were, if I’m not mistaken. Allison McBride?”
“The name rings a bell.” That voice was vaguely familiar…
“Hey, Allie,” Marie practically yelled from behind her. Allie squelched down a scream of surprise. Somehow Marie had returned without her hearing—which said a lot, considering the height of those heels. “I don’t know if Jeremy’s back or not, have you tried the door?”
She had no doubt that Marie’s boisterous greeting had reached the men inside the office. Warmth suffused her face. “I was about to try,” she managed, hoping not to sound guilty. She took a deep breath and knocked.
She pushed open the door, and Jeremy rose from behind the desk.
“Hey, Allie. Sam, let me introduce you to Allison McBride, one of your fellow English teachers here at St. Andrew’s.”
She felt a terrible foreboding as he stood and turned to face her.
Time seemed to stand still for a long, horrifying moment as she stared at Sam Fratto’s all-too-familiar mug. The same guy who’d been so rude to her at the airport last night. The same guy she’d spent too many delicious, angst-ridden nights in high school dreaming about. The same guy who’d split town the day after he graduated, never to return.
This was the new teacher? Sam?
It was her.
The blonde whose face had haunted Sam long after he strode from the airport last night.
Her hair was worn loose around her shoulders today. Her white shirt and khaki skirt were crisp, neat, and far more form-fitting than the previous getup.
His gaze dropped for a moment to appreciate the slender waist and curving hips the oversized parka had covered. Even last night, he couldn’t deny she was pretty in a wholesome, girl-next-door sort of way, with bright baby blues and honey-blond hair. His instant attraction to a woman with a half a dozen out-of-control kids had irked him to no end.
Now calling on his years of practice at keeping his facial expressions unreadable, Sam smiled evenly and nodded in greeting.
“We’ve met,” Allie said curtly, not expanding further. She didn’t need to. He’d been a prick last night, and his rudeness—which he blamed on a flight from hell—was now coming to bite him on the ass.