Being a high school teacher and the guardian of a teenager at the same school did have its awkward moments for Rich, especially when he arrived from from a long day at school to find his baby sister greeting her boyfriend with a gigantic smooth on the sidewalk. Of course, it probably would have still been awkward to see his baby sister kiss anyone, even if he wasn't the boy's teacher.
"Hey, Violet. Why don't you come outside? Geneva and I have been in the pool and the water's not too cold yet. If you do get too chilly we can hop in the hot tub. All of us, that is. Geneva's getting in now."
Violet grinned the hot tub sounded like fun. "Just let me get my suit."
"Sorry about my brother being in the way. I really wanted to watch that new movie with you. I think you'd really like it."
"I'll go tell Violet and Bryan," Geneva announced and quickly jumped up and went out the back door.
As Tosha looked up from feeding her fish and happened to glance through the window, she could see why, Geneva was so eager to be the one to tell them to go in.
"Yeah. It's great," Violet beamed.
"Are the two of you getting pretty serious?"
"I don't know. Nothing is official, but I'd really like it if he was my official, steady boyfriend."
"I know it's fun to have a boyfriend and it's a great feeling to be in love or to have a crush, but you don't want to get too carried away. You don't want anything to stand in the way of getting into college, right?"
"No and I know. I'm not going to let anything happen, I promise."
"Do you really like me, Bryan?" Violet asked.
"Isn't that obvious? I more than like you. You're my girl."
"Absolutely," Bryan agreed.
Violet was thrilled, she felt like she was floating on air. In her joy she didn't think anything about the way Bryan suddenly turned and stepped away.
"So, you and Violet, huh?" Geneva asked. "You know we all saw you kissing out here in the hot tub."
"You all did?"
"Maybe not Mr. Cormier, but I think Mrs. Cormier did."
"How should I know how long we'll be together? Do you think I'm a wizard with a crystal ball?"
"I'm glad to hear it," Geneva said. She realized maybe she was being overprotective of her friend, but after seeing how Charlotte had treated her brother with so little consideration, she wanted to make sure Violet wasn't being played as well. "Because she's one of my best friends too."
"Alright, I'm sorry. I'll drop it. I just wanted to make sure you're going to treat my friend right."
That alone wouldn't have been so bad, but they were beginning to question the authenticity of all of the grades he had given recently, especially where his sister, Violet, was concerned. Her grades had improved drastically over the last semester. Was that really a true reflection of her own work and knowledge, or was he giving her a little too much extra help? They decided the only thing to do was to let him go, at least until they could fully investigate the situation.
Tosha took the news with surprising calm. "I'll just have to go back to work right after the baby comes." She didn't really want to leave her career anyway. She missed her deep sea diving.
"Why don't you take a nap upstairs, Tosha?"
"It's only 1 p.m. I'm not really napping, just resting my eyes. Besides it's hard to climb the stairs with swollen ankles and the couch is more comfortable for my belly. I'm the pregnant one. You should want me to be comfortable."
"I just lost my job. You should want to let me find a way to take my mind off things."
"You could find something else to do. Something quieter."