Crap, she thought. What was it about meeting someone you liked that messed you up so much? She was the original granite countertop, so hard and resilient, you could dice an onion on her and ruin the blade of the knife before she gave an inch. Yet here she was, pulling a chick move by hyper-concentrating on some guy.
Her mother bit into her lip and blinked back tears. I cant believe youd talk to me like this, Beth. Everything I do for you is rooted in love.I know that, Mom, but Im not a teenager. Im an adult, and right or wrong, I need to make my own decisions and live my own life. You can plead and insist all you want, but Im not changing my mind. I signed a teaching contract. I fully intend to keep my job and, God willing, accept another for next year if its offered.
Her words were met with stunned silence.It took Beth a few minutes to realize why. Sam stood in the doorway to her room, his gaze focused intently on her. Knowing her mother was due to arrive, hed cleaned up, and wore fresh jeans and a button-down shirt. He looked great and Beth welcomed him with a warm smile, grateful hed arrived when he did. The conversation with her mother was about to get heated.Mom, Id like you to meet my friend Sam Carney.
Sam came into the room and extended his hand. Im pleased to meet you, Mrs. Prudhomme.Her mother continued to stare at Sam, which seemed to be the only response she was capable of making. It took her an awkward moment to realize he held out his hand, but thankfully, manners insisted that she respond.
Ellie looked at her daughter. Sam is your … friend?
Hes much more than that, she said, not breaking eye contact with Sam.When her lips close and the final note is still ringing in the air, quiet little Sarah Von Titebottum brings down the house.
And the night doesnt end there—not even close. When we get back to the castle, Vanessa has a surprise. I thought we needed to up the fun quotient around here, so . . . were having a party.She leads us to the great room, where, holy hell—Bartholomew Gallagar, Hannibal Lancaster, Sam Berkinshire, and about half a dozen more of my best lads and old schoolmates are waiting.
Surprise! Have fun, Henry.Emily, the host, does an intro to our new guests for the cameras—which are still rolling, rolling, rolling. And then Im greeting the boys, smacking backs and pouring drinks.