Out of Her League

Out of Her League by Lori Handeland Page A

Book: Out of Her League by Lori Handeland Read Free Book Online
Authors: Lori Handeland
ment. “ If I recall, the decision about this job was contingent upon your team ’ s going to the state championship. ”
    “ Which isn ’ t until August. I haven ’ t had a chance to prove myself. ”
    Mrs. Larson was shaking her head before Evie finished her sentence. She had to do something. Any thing . If Mrs. Larson uttered the final word, there would be no going back.
    Panic made Evie desperate. “ You want the best person for the job, don ’ t you? ”
    Mrs. Larson frowned. She couldn ’ t admit, in front of the school board and assembled parents, that all she wanted was a celebrity coach. Everyone might know that, but she couldn ’ t say it; it would mean publication in the school board minutes on page four of the Oak Grove Sentinel next Tuesday or Thursday morning, and invite a scandal .
    “ Of course we want the best man , Evelyn. ”
    Evie ignored the sarcasm and the “ Evelyn. ” “ And you just said you were going to give me the job if I took my team to the championship. ”
    “ Correct. ”
    “ Bob Cummings broke his leg yesterday. I need a coach for his team. ”
    “ That is not my problem, dear. ”
    “ No, it isn ’ t. But I have a solution to both our problems. ” Evie paused.
    Mrs. Larson glanced at the crowd. What she saw there made her eyes narrow, but she returned her gaze to Evie and bowed her head with a regal little nod of acquiescence.
    Evie drew a deep breath and hurried on. “I pro pose that Mr. Scalotta take Bob ’ s place. If his team finishes higher in the standings at the end of the season, the job is his. However, if my team finishes higher, the job is mine. Deal? ”
    Mrs. Larson shook her head again; Don scowled and did the same. Evie ’ s heart did a free fall toward her toes. The old lady opened her mouth, but it was Joe ’ s voice they all heard.
    “ Deal, ” he said.
    The room went wild.
     
    * * *
     

 
Chapter Eight
     
     
    “ ... Most exciting school board meeting I ’ ve been to in a dog ’ s age. ”
    “ ...This is going to be one rip-roarin ’ summer. ”
    “ ...Can ’ t wait to see what those two come up with for round two. ”
    The comments, jokes and good-natured laughter swirled around Joe. Since he had agreed to Evie ’ s proposition, the two of them had been surrounded by people, and they had been unable to talk to each other. From the set of Evie ’ s mouth, she wasn ’ t pleased with him, even though he had agreed to her crazy notion.
    Why had he? Because she ’ d stung his pride, yanked his machismo, thrown down the proverbial gauntlet. Since childhood Joe had been competitive. In fact, his mother said he ’ d come out of the womb expecting to win.
    Joe himself though t that having three older broth ers who always told their “ little ” brother he couldn ’ t play mi ght have made him more suscepti ble to challenge than most guys. Naturally, he had to prove that he could. It was a character flaw, but at least Joe knew it.
    To have someone announce in a room full of peers that Joe Scalotta wasn ’ t up to a job... Well, childish though it was, he just couldn ’ t let that go by. Even if he ’ d never wanted Evie ’ s job in the first place.
    Why did she w ant the job so badly anyway, es pecially when it wo uld take her away from her chil dren even more? W as it any of his business? Prob ably not. But now that the twins were under Joe ’ s feet half the time and Adam looked to be a new boarder at his house, what went on in the land of Vaughn had suddenly become far too interesting to Joe Scalotta.
    He was brought back to the room by an avid slap on his shoulder. Joe looked down into the face of a shriveled old man, too frail to have slammed him that hard. But even as he thought it, the old guy grabbed his hand and pumped up and down with a grip that would rival that of a world heavyweight champion.
    “ Name ’ s Norville Hoyt. Good going, son. I haven ’ t had this much fun since they stopped letting me watch that Jeffrey

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