Today's Reading

"Who cares what the principal appreciates? I would have appreciated it immensely."

"I think you need a hot guy to come make out with you across your desk."

"Don't I ever." Jillian waggled her brows. "He's out there for you somewhere."

Jillian waved her hand. "Not looking for him. I'm busy."

Josie sighed. "Aren't we both. Which doesn't mean I'd turn down some hot guy throwing me across anything and making out with me."

Jillian pointed a finger at her. "See? You wouldn't have turned down Zach throwing you across your desk."

Josie laughed. "That wasn't the topic of conversation at the time."

"But you like him."

"Yes, I like him. Most days, anyway. Just not this afternoon." They fortunately got off the topic of Zach and onto other things, mainly Loretta and Deacon's deck party this weekend and what they were going to take, food-wise. Then Josie left so Jillian could get back to work.

But she still stewed about Zach on the way home. He could be so sweet to her when they were all out with their friends. Today, though, he'd been hot.

Angry hot, not sexy hot.

Then again, angry hot could be sexy. Just not when the mad was directed at her.

Of course, at school, they had to be all business. Teenagers had the uncanny ability to zero in on any type of flirting or attraction.

Working with someone you were attracted to had its disadvantages. And she didn't know how she was going to handle it. Because she and Zach had been dancing around each other for months now.

So far, nothing had happened between them other than friendly hanging out in groups with their mutual friends.

Maybe that was all it would ever be. But as she thought back, there'd been glances. And touches that felt like a lot more than just casual friendliness.

So maybe it wouldn't be just friendship between them.

It wasn't like she was looking for a relationship. The last one she'd been in had ended badly—really badly—and she wasn't looking forward to wading in those waters again.

But still...Zach was impossibly tall and had great biceps. She really had a thing for biceps. Plus, he was incredibly good-looking, with dark hair and those steely gray eyes that could catch and hold her attention like nothing Josie had ever experienced. That man could make her melt faster than a stick of frozen butter in the hot August sun.

So maybe she'd just dip a toe in and test the waters. She just wouldn't go for a swim.


It had been a tough Thursday. Zach had given a test in his American history class, and every kid had groaned about it as if they hadn't known for a week the test was coming. In his other classes his students hadn't been paying attention. Some days it seemed like all he was doing was talking to himself.

Anyone who thought teaching was easy should try it for just a day. It was always a challenge, but then you had that one good day when everything clicked and the kids really got it, and it made all the shit days worthwhile.

After he wrapped up practice for the day, he sat in his classroom with Paul and Chase, who were the only ones who hadn't been grumbling at him this week. Not after he'd laid down the law with them on Monday. He'd pretty much told him they were going to get caught up on their assignments, they were going to do the reading and all the work, and he was going to check their work first. If it wasn't good enough, they'd have to do it again.

He'd had conversations with their parents earlier in the week.

Chase's parents were horrified and told Zach he could do whatever needed to be done, and that Chase would spend the entire week and weekend at home getting caught up on all his schoolwork, and that "just passing" wasn't good enough for them. Paul's parents were a little less enthusiastic about academics other than wanting to make sure Paul stayed on the football team.

Since their assignments were due in to Josie by tomorrow, he stayed and read everything. Zach wouldn't have considered anything they had written to be the best prose ever, but he hoped it was enough to get them up to a C grade.

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