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The Teacher’s Heart

by on April 7, 2015

Everything comes to an end. Bittersweet as it is The Growing Strong Series is coming to an end this month with Mandy finding love… or fighting it.


There’s no way Amanda Butler would ever let herself get attached to anyone. Sure, sex is fun, but love is for suckers. Her parents taught her that. She has her friends, a job she loves, and lots of fun flings. Everything she thinks she wants.

Ashton Gilmore is at a crossroads when he meets Amanda. She’s every thing he’s ever wanted in a real relationship, but she might have too much baggage for even this hot political fixer handle.

Ashton has to find a way to teach Mandy that love exists, before she gives up on the concept all together.

Excerpt-Warning Adult language

The last thing Ashton Gilmore expected to see at his door last night was Mandy. Sure they’d been sleeping together for the past few months, but she had made it more than clear it was more out of boredom than actual attraction. He thought he knew better. She was a mystery to him.

If he thought last night was a surprise, this morning was downright monumental. Curled into his arms, with her head resting on his chest, lay the dark haired beauty. Deep mahogany hair verging on black cascaded across a pillow, and he missed her hazel eyes with their brown speckles. Learning the origin of the eyes made the secrets and lies he’d been living with seem like child’s play.

Tapping the volume button on the remote, he tried to focus on the commentator. He had been reading the subtitles, but the sun crept across his room and highlighted Mandy’s hips, and then chest. By the time the rays reflected off the smooth skin of her neck, he’d been entranced. Sadly, a flash on the screen of Karen made him refocus and reengage.

Mandy stirred, but stayed asleep. Even in her slumber her fingertips were so gentle and delicate it took everything in him to not squirm from the sensation…and he had lift off. Not a bad thing considering what had taken place the night before. Hell, the only bad thing about last night was that it had been so good, he worried he may have peaked. Maybe it was all downhill from here. Mandy’s leg wrapped around his hip and she woke suddenly.

“Oh shit,” she said as she quickly uncurled, leaving him cold and searching. “Fuck. Fuck. Triple fuck…what time is it?”

“Seven…” he craned his neck to see the digital display on his clock. “Sixteen.”

“Mother trucker.” Her quick switch into appropriate swear words always made him smile.

“What’s the matter?”

“I have work,” she balked. “I’m a teacher. Getting there before the kids is advised.”

“Jesus, I just realized I fucked a kindergarten teacher. Totally forgot to scratch that off my list.”

“Funny, jack hole.” She scrambled into the kitchen, and he swung his legs around to follow her. The closest thing to the bed were a pair of sweatpants, which he threw on and then followed her. “You’re a damn genius. Plus, I’m not a kindergarten teacher.”

Stomping her shoe on, she bent back to pull out the back of it. Her fingers tangled through her hair and she rushed to his bathroom.

“Magilla, how do you not have a brush?” she spat. “Seriously I don’t buy that windblown shit.”

Ashton used his index finger to open the top drawer. Mandy glared at him as she retrieved the brush and violently pulled it through her hair.

“Time?” she snapped. He leaned back to look in his bedroom.

“Seven nineteen.”

“Shit. Shit. Triple shit.”

“How late are you?” he asked as he scratched his belly.

“Are you kidding me?” she pointed the brush at his crotch. “You seriously think I have time to fuck you?”

He hadn’t thought about that, having dropped to half mast after the scramble and blur that was Mandy’s usual morning routine. He just wanted to know why she was in a panic. Everyone was late once in a while, and wasn’t she part owner of the school anyway? A fancy private one no less.

“I had an itch.”

“And I’m the only one who can scratch it…yeah, yeah. I’ve heard it all before.”

“That’s a horrible line. I have much better ones.”

Mandy scoffed. “I forgot you’re a master.”

“I’m not a twelve-year-old boy.”

“I tend to stay away from felonies.” She pushed past him and toward the counter to grab her keys. “I assume you don’t.”

“Boys aren’t really my style.”

“I meant twelve-year-olds.”

Ashton sighed and leaned on his counter. He knew he’d be going through this routine again someday, even though Mandy had sworn this would be the last time. Just like last time and the time before that.

“Do I get a kiss goodbye?” he yawned.

“Don’t let me keep you awake. Don’t you have a job to do?”


“Then why are you sitting here?”

“I’m getting ready. I’ve been working for the past three hours.”

Mandy stood in the doorway shifting from one side to the other before taking off and leaving Ashton confused as usual. Returning to his room, he pulled out a suit and continued watching the talking heads. Conservatives didn’t know what to do. Karen Schroeder was their best bet to win the congressional seat in the fifth district, but coming out had thrown the religious right into a tailspin.



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