Paper Moon

Free Paper Moon by Linda Windsor

Book: Paper Moon by Linda Windsor Read Free Book Online
Authors: Linda Windsor
Tags: Ebook, book
more of a relationship with Jesus instead of the altar ladies . . .
    The elevator door opened.
    â€œPeso for your thoughts.” Blaine’s voice drew Caroline back to the present.
    She suddenly realized that they were the only two remaining in the elevator.
    â€œAt this hour, they’re not worth a peso.”
    Annie had bolted ahead of the others. By the time Caroline and Karen caught up with her, the room door was open and Annie was exactly where her mother expected—in the bathroom.
    Leaving Caroline standing in the hall, Karen tapped at the door with an equal urgency. “Don’t take all night!”
    Beside Caroline, Blaine shook his head, bemused. “Females!”
    And the urgency didn’t get any better with age. Caroline waited with him until all the students were in their respective rooms and the click of the deadbolts resounded in the empty hall.
    â€œWell, Seen-der-eh-ya . . .” He mimicked Hector’s pronunciation to perfection. “I think all our little mice are accounted for.” Blaine took her hand in his and lifted it to his lips.
    â€œWho?” Caroline asked, as his sweep-’em-off-the feet smile took out her knees like a smart bomb.
    The corner of his mouth quirked. “Cinderella? Mice?” He paused and then added, “Squash?”
    â€œOh,” she laughed, holding up her souvenir flower. “I thought you just wanted to smell my rose.” Squirming partly from nerves and partly from the same urgency the girls suffered, she let the flower slip from her fingers.
    In a rush to avoid making a further fool of herself, she leaned over to pick it up, only to bang heads with Blaine as he did the same. Before she knew it, she fell back against the doorjamb and slid to the floor with an unceremonious plop.
    With one hand on his head where their noggins had collided, and the rose in his other, Blaine knelt down in front of her. “Are you hurt?”
    â€œOnly my pride.”
    â€œDad, what are you doing?” Karen exclaimed. Behind her, Annie stared at Caroline in dumb wonder.
    â€œTrying to help a klutz,” Caroline rallied, before the confusion claiming Blaine’s face cleared his response. A picture of what they surely looked like to the girls, she sprawled against the doorjamb, he kneeling between her knees brandishing a rose, gave rise to a slaphappy giggle at the back of Caroline’s throat. And one begat another, which begat another until, no matter how Blaine tried to help her up, his efforts were useless.
    â€œMom?” Annie asked, her expression hovering between amusement and concern.
    Karen was no less torn. “Dad?”
    At that, Blaine laughed as well as he hooked his arms under Caroline’s and lifted her to her feet. “Good thing we have hard heads, eh?” he teased.
    â€œAnd a well-cushioned tush.” Caroline felt her eyes grow wide in shock at her retort. “Me, not you!” Another wave of scarlet rose from her neck and slapped her cheeks. Lord, I’ve been around the girls so long I don’t even know how to act with a man.
    When Blaine propped her up against the open door and backed away, Caroline could have sworn a part of her went with him. Her breath, at least.
    â€œWe’d better call it a night before someone calls security.”
    Caroline nodded. She could hear it now. There’s some guy trying to pick up a laughing hyena in the hall. What was worse, as tired as she was, she still had a buildup of schoolgirl giggles just dying to be released if she so much as opened her mouth. What on earth was wrong with her?
    â€œDon’t worry, Dad,” Karen said, taking Caroline by the arm.
    â€œWe’ll take care of Miz C.”
    â€œYeah, when Mom gets overtired, she gets kind of doofus.”
    Stepping inside, Caroline gripped the brass handle of the door latch. “Thank you for being so gallant.”
    Blaine tipped an imaginary hat. “My pleasure. Good

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