Today's very special guest is Katy Alexander. And Going the Extra Mile marks Katy's debut as an author. So please give her a great big welcome! Congrats, Katy!
Small town. Big hearts. But can one little secret tear it all apart?
Abby is a vivacious student teacher in the charming little town of Sapphire Falls, renting a room in the quaint B&B and flirting with Mike, the hunky coach who makes her heart flutter. When a tipsy post-game kiss leads to more, Abby quickly finds herself falling for the small-town charmer.
But however sweet his kisses and however badly she wants to stay, Abby knows the secret she’s keeping will change the way he sees her forever. Unless she can trust the townspeople enough to open up her heart, Abby will have to leave Sapphire Falls behind and never look back.
Abby glanced up at the clock in the hallway. She had about twenty minutes before most of the faculty would start arriving. She’d learned several weeks ago what time to get to Sapphire Falls High School for uninterrupted copy machine use. Even so, she walked a little faster than necessary. The average person would probably find it comical what a hot commodity a copy machine was in a school. And private, uninterrupted, “no one tapping their foot as they wait” time was almost unheard of. If you were lucky enough to find that magical time, you took advantage of it and kept it a secret, like a fisherman’s sweet spot.
She’d hinted to the students that there would be a pop quiz on the first three chapters of Lord of the Flies today, and if she didn’t follow through, she’d lose all credibility with them. Being a student teacher was tough enough, but she’d learned quickly from veteran teachers that not following through would only make it worse. Abby had stayed up late typing the quiz and arrived extra early to print it out, then headed as quickly as she could without flat-out running to the copy room.
Abby felt a tap on her right shoulder. Someone had certainly snuck up on her, because she hadn’t heard a thing. When she turned to look, no one was there. She didn’t have time to contemplate that weirdness. Thinking it must have been her imagination, Abby had turned to continue her fast walk to the copy room when Mike jogged by her on the left, letting out a “Woot!” as he passed.
“Damn it, Mike!” Abby said, loudly enough for Mike to hear but not loudly enough that anyone nearby would.
Mike turned around and jogged backward down the hall. “You snooze, you lose,” he said with a smirk.
Abby was glad she’d worn flats, because heels totally would have sucked when she took off running after him.
Mike stuck his arms out to block her way with a grin on his face. Abby faked left and ran to the right, swiping at the papers in his hand, and she giggled as she passed.
Abby slowed back to her fast walk and called, “I hope you have a good defensive coordinator helping you with that football team, Coach!”
“Ah, Miss Sanders, it’s nice to see you can do smartass so early in the morning,” Mike called with a chuckle.
Abby glanced back to see him snatching his papers off the floor and rising into a run like a sprinter out of the starting blocks. Unable to contain her squeal and laughter, Abby took off running. They were almost to the copy room and she wasn’t taking any chances he’d beat her.
They arrived at the door at the same time and crashed into each other as they both tried to fit through.
“Ladies first,” Abby sing-songed as she slipped under the arm he’d used to stop himself in the doorway.
“Aw, come on, Abby. I’ve got these health tests I need to get run off for today, and you English teachers take forever,” Mike said as he accepted defeat and walked toward the teacher mailboxes.
“You shouldn’t have waited if you needed them today,” Abby said with a smirk, and pushed the buttons on the machine. She was truly thankful for secretaries who arrived early and turned the machine on so there was no wait for it to warm up.
“What about you?” Mike asked as he checked his mailbox.
“Mine is a pop quiz, so it was a last-minute thing,” Abby said smugly. “Plus I’m new. I’m just learning.” She batted her eyes and punched the start button.
Mike held up several catalogs for dancewear, prom decorations, fundraisers, and office equipment. “I want to again thank you for signing me up on catalog.com for all these wonderful catalogs I’ve been receiving daily.”
Abby laughed. “You started it when you covered my Jeep in Post-it notes.”
“The look on your face… Man, I wish I’d had a camera.” Mike smiled as he scanned the mailboxes with the catalogs in hand.
Abby knew what he was up to. He was going to put them in the mailbox of some unsuspecting teacher, who would be thoroughly confused.
“Don’t stick your junk in my box,” Abby said with an eyebrow raised and pursed lips.
Mike flashed a grin her way and started to put the magazines in her mailbox.
“You don’t want me to fill your box with my junk?” Mike asked with eyebrows raised of his own.
“Oh Coach, you know you don’t have an adequate amount of junk to fill my box,” Abby said, feigning a pout and shaking her head.
Mike chuckled and put the magazines in the box above Abby’s. It was the business teacher’s mailbox. Abby was impressed. Not only was she the senior sponsor for the prom, but she was often found pulling catalogs out of the trash for economics lessons. Mike paid attention to his coworkers. That was nice. He’d turned what could just have been a silly prank into a genuinely thoughtful gesture.
Abby gathered her stack of quizzes and headed for the door. “It’s all yours.”
“Is it, now?” Mike looked her up and down from head to toe and winked.
“Don’t you wish?” Abby laughed and turned for the door.
“Hey, Abby, I did want to ask you if there was any improvement in Brody’s English grade,” Mike said.
Abby stopped and leaned on the door jamb. “A little. He seems to be making more of an effort, so hopefully he’ll bring it up by the end of the semester. How about for you?” Abby asked.
“Same for me. I’m going to stay on him. There’s no excuse, he’s a smart kid.”
“Agreed. I gotta run and finish my coffee before the kids get here. Will I see you later?” Abby asked.
“I don’t know. It depends.” Mike gestured toward the copier. “You know what sucks about giving a health test?” he asked as he pushed start.
“I hear ya.”
Abby headed out the door.
More about Katy!