Something told me that I would probably see Grace again, but I thought it would probably have something to do with Bryan and Emma. I never expected her to waltz in here and be related to the woman I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about. I’d also admit that Lauren’s reaction to what Grace said, surprised me a little. I still wanted to know her story, but asking right now would have been rude. Maybe one day in the future when I could get a little closer to Michaela, although, truth be told, I wanted to be a lot closer to her, and so did other parts of my body.
Mentally shaking that train of thought from my head, I answered, “Lauren is doing well. She seems to pick up everything quickly and is learning a lot. She and Mattie are thick as thieves, which could possibly mean trouble for others later on.” I chuckled. “As for me, just teaching and doing my thing. Bryan and Emma are doing well too. They are talking about maybe having a baby, but are looking into all options before they make a decision because of her health. How has everything been going with you? Have you whittled down your bucket list yet?”
“Oh lord, no!” Grace snickered. “It’s still growing and I’m still marking things off. I think the day I stop is the day I die. Besides, I’m having too much fun with it. I just got back from a trip to Mexico. I even climbed the pyramid there.”
I snuck a peek at Michaela. She was smiling down at her grandmother. I liked this expression more than the look of horror she had earlier. “Where are you off to next?” I asked Grace.
“I’ll be here for a while, but I think I want to go to Egypt to see those pyramids.”
“You won’t be able to climb those.”
“No, but seeing them will be enough. Maybe I’ll even ride a camel.”
Throwing back my head, I laughed. There was something about Grace that always put others at ease. You couldn’t help but love the old woman. Knowing she was related to Michaela, well this could be a boon for me. Grace might help me figure out the woman who I couldn’t stop thinking about and who intrigued me to the point of distraction. Michaela kept me at arm’s length, loved her niece fiercely, would only call me sabum, but I know she talked about me to Grace because Grace’s comment about not being told my name told me as much.
“Do that and take a picture for me,” I finally told Grace. My eyes drifted to Michaela once again and I said, “I guess I should go and help the girls.”
I left them standing there, but I overheard Grace say, “He likes you. Man couldn’t keep his eyes off of you and what a man he is.” My cheeks turned pink with embarrassment.
As usual, I tried to block out Michaela as I taught. A distraction would only get me or one of my students hurt, and she was a level one hundred distraction for me. I wanted to hold her, grip her curves, and kiss her luscious lips. Today, when she had licked her lips, I prayed to God no one could see how my dick responded to the small peek of her pink tongue running over her lips, wetting them.
“That’s it for tonight. Bow. For those who are participating in the belt tests next week, make sure you get your forms filled out and bring them with you. Put up the equipment and have a good night.” I dismissed them and as soon as I no longer had a class of students in front of me, my thoughts immediately turned to Michaela. I don’t even know what it was about her. I’d been with women more beautiful, skinnier, model-like, and yet, she was the only one who held my interest more than a passing fancy. I wanted to get to know her, to talk to her, and to learn about her and Lauren.
And that was the other thing. Lauren. In the past, knowing someone had a kid turned me off. Not this time. I knew they were a package deal and I was all right with that. More than all right. Lauren was a good kid, but I got the impression that she’d had a hard life before Michaela. I also got the feeling that Lauren thought eventually her aunt would send her away. I could be wrong, but I rarely was when it came to judging people, which had served me well in the Army. Michaela wanted Lauren. Period.
“Evan, what are you doing right now?” Grace sidled up to me.
“I have another class,” I said. I had a feeling I knew where she was going with this. “Why?”
“What time do you finish tonight?”
I grinned widely. “Tonight is my late night, so I won’t get out of here until close to ten.”
She narrowed her eyes, opened her mouth, and was interrupted before she could get any words out.
“Grandma, stop bugging him,” Michaela chastised.
“Well, if you don’t want to date him, dear, I figured I could,” Grace spoke with a voice filled with sweet innocence. Her tone didn’t match her words and we all knew she was full of shit.
“Grandma!” Michaela snapped, her whole face red with embarrassment.
“Yes, dear?” Grace blinked.
I laughed. “I’m free tomorrow night. I’ll be closing up at seven and would love to take all of you ladies out to dinner,” I offered. This would give me some time with Michaela without pressuring her and would subdue Grace…maybe.
“I can’t believe you did that,” I snapped at my grandmother when we got back into my car. I was so embarrassed.
“What, dear?” She acted so innocent, but she was the devil in disguise. “It’s only dinner.”
“Only dinner? Only dinner, she says.”
She snickered next to me and Lauren laughed. Twisting my upper body to look into the backseat, I told my niece, “Don’t get suckered into her craziness.”
“You said you loved her as is.” Lauren looked smug with her smile and her dancing eyes.
“I do, but right now I’m questioning her sanity.”
Lauren giggled, a rare sound and one I hoped to hear more of the more she got used to being around me. My eyes drifted to my grandmother, and she had her own smile on her face listening to the melodic giggling of the little girl in the back.
I supposed that even if my grandmother was plotting, I could go along with it if it meant I would hear more of that laughter. Besides, it was only one dinner. I could survive one dinner with a man I found a little sexy, who intrigued me slightly. One dinner…I didn’t know if I could do this.