Operation Prince Charming(6)By: Phyllis Bourne
“Sounds like we have our work cut out for us, don’t we?” a feminine voice said from behind him.
Aww, hell, Hunter groaned inwardly. He turned around slowly still holding the book in his hand. Alison Spencer stood behind him with her arms crossed over her chest. Her pink-tinted lips were turned down in a frown.
If he hadn’t been so embarrassed, he would have laughed aloud. It was hard to take the disapproval of a woman who reminded him of sugary sweet cotton candy seriously.
She stood at least a foot shorter than his six foot three inches and wore a dress so pink it looked as if she’d been splashed with a bottle of Pepto-Bismol. Her hair was tied off her perfect oval face with a ribbon the same obnoxious shade of pink, which made the fresh-faced Alison Spencer look more like one of her pint-sized students than a teacher.
His gaze followed her to her desk. It was then he noticed the bright yellow pelicans dotted all over her dress and the killer curves she hid beneath it.
Despite her petite stature, this was no girl.
Alison Spencer was all woman.
“I didn’t hear you come in,” he said finally.
He returned the book to the shelf, nearly brushing her as she retrieved a folder from her desk. He caught the scent of her perfume, a light citrusy mix that brought to mind sliced limes and oranges.
“Thanks for waiting,” she said, then paused. “And thank you for coming to Samantha’s rescue back there.”
“No problem,” he replied, glad the attention had veered away from his blunder. “Besides, seems like that one would be happier playing T-ball than tea party.”
She sighed. “You’re probably right.” She seated herself behind her desk and gestured for him to take the chair in front of it. “Unfortunately for her, she’s the daughter her parents kept trying for after five sons.”
Hunter nodded his understanding.
“Her mom’s hoping my class, and interacting with other girls her age, will generate some interest in…” She hesitated as if searching for the right word.
“Sugar, spice, and everything nice,” Hunter finished.
“Yes, that’s it,” she said, “but Samantha would rather tag behind her big brothers. Poor thing, I know just how she feels.”
“You have brothers?” he asked.
She pulled a notepad from the top drawer of her desk. “No. As a child, I dogged my father’s footsteps. I wanted to go everywhere he went and do everything he did.”
She stopped talking and rose from her chair. “How does an etiquette teacher forget to properly introduce herself?” She extended her hand. “I’m Ali Spencer.”
“Hunter.” He stood and briefly shook her outstretched hand, before they both took their seats.
“I understand this class was a gift, but it would help if you told me a little about yourself, and why you’re here?” She held a slim, pink pen poised in her hand for his reply.
Hunter took a deep breath and slowly released it. “I need you to turn me into Prince Charming, for real.”
It figured. The first man to flip the switch on her long-forgotten libido was living in a fairy tale.
Ali dropped the pen and stared up at him. “Pardon me?”
He scrubbed a hand down his face and made a noise that came out as a half sigh, half groan. “My girlfriend says I’m rude.”
“I see,” Ali said, averting her gaze from his chiseled jaw, full lips, and intense brown eyes. Ordinary features, but on him they came together in a way that made her feel warm all over.
Ali had caught a glimpse of the woman who’d paid a bundle for his course when she’d come to the school a few days ago. Tall and reed thin, the supermodel look-alike had insisted on talking to the person in charge, so Aunt Rachel had dealt with her.
Now that Ali had seen Hunter Coleman, she couldn’t help thinking what a striking couple he and the beautiful woman must make, turning heads in their wake.
Biting back a twinge of disappointment, she picked up the pen and jotted the word girlfriend on a blank page in her notebook.
His being taken was a good thing, she reminded herself. She didn’t have time to obsess over him or any other man. She had things to do, namely get her aunt’s school and then her own career back on track.