Tarnished Saints Series – Book 8
Philip Taylor is neat and organized, and has a few quirks that his 11 brothers like to rib him about. He’s standing in as principal to Sweet Water’s High School, until Taylor Phillips steals that job from him.
Taylor is as messy and as unorganized as they come. And when she shares an office with Philip, they both realize how much of opposites they really are.
But the one thing they have in common – their attraction for each other. They are the proof that opposites really do attract.
Excerpt from Teaching Philip:
Philip had tossed and turned all night long after he’d dropped Taylor off at her new apartment. The place came with furniture, so she hadn’t needed to bring any with her. She seemed a little looped either from all the beer his brothers had been giving her, or maybe just because she was tired and cold.
Either way, this whole thing just wasn’t right. He’d tried calling every member on the school board to ask what was going on, but none of them answered their phones. Levi had, but played dumb of course. As mayor of Sweet Water, he had a vote on the school board as well. He just said he voted with the rest of the board rather than to have them turn against him.
“How dare he do that,” he spoke aloud and finished shaving and dressing for work. “I’d think my own brother would watch out for me.” Hell, for all he knew he didn’t even have a job any more.
There was a knock on his door, and he splashed on some aftershave, dried his hands and neatly hung the towel back up before heading to the door. He tied his necktie as he walked. He always wore a shirt and tie to school, even though he was considered overdressed compared to the rest of the teachers. Sweet Water was a pretty laid-back town.
“Philip, open up,” came a muffled voice from the hallway, and then more continuous banging. He opened the door, and ended up with his new neighbor in his arms. Taylor Philips had her hands filled with boxes, and loose, wrinkled clothes and bags. She couldn’t even see over the top of the stack. He caught a small travel bag with toiletries that tumbled from the top of the stack before it ended up on his clean floor.
“What’s all this?” he asked.
“Grab this, quick before I drop it.”
“Grab what?” He put out his hands and in a second she had them loaded down with what smelled like dirty laundry. “Egads, Taylor, are these dirty clothes?”
“It was my hamper that spilled all over the front seat of my car when I went off the road yesterday.”
“Why do you have dirty clothes to begin with?”
“I moved in a hurry and didn’t have time to wash them. Is there a washer and dryer in the house?”
“No. But there is a Laundromat in town.”
“Can you show me where after work?”
“Would you mind helping me throw these things into my apartment really quick? I emptied out the front seat of the car so I can give you a ride to work.”
“I usually walk,” he told her, remembering what her car looked like, and not wanting to step foot inside it.
“It’s nasty out there today. Very cold and windy.” She looked up to him with determination in her eyes and Philip knew she wasn’t going to let up until he agreed to go with her. “I thought you could show me around the school and introduce me to everyone if you wouldn’t mind.”
Philip had no intention of showing her the ropes and introducing her to everyone just so she could take his job from him. Still, he was too much a gentleman to say no to a woman in need.
“Fine, but we’d better hurry. I’m never late. Matter of fact, I insist all the teachers are always on time as well.”
She led the way across the hall to her apartment, and used her foot to kick open the door. Philip saw the footmark on the door and wondered how dirty his door was from her foot-knocking. He’d have to take a look later.
“Just throw it anywhere,” she said, dropping the things in the center of the room and heading for the bedroom. “I’ll be ready in a flash.”
Philip just stood there, frozen to the spot and stared. He couldn’t believe his eyes. Although the apartment was furnished, you couldn’t see any of the furniture. The couch and table and counters were covered with junk that she’d obviously brought with her. Purses, shoes, clothes, and kitchen utensils littered up the room. Blankets were thrown haphazardly on the couch along with several large pillows. Wanting to stop holding her dirty laundry, he quickly deposited it on the nearest easy chair.
When he did, he heard a screech and jumped backwards as her cat ran out from under the blanket and headed out the open door.
“Taylor, hurry up, will you?” He glanced anxiously at his wristwatch.
“I’m going as fast as I can. By the way, make sure to close the door so Allie doesn’t run out.”
Philip walked over and closed the door, not caring that the cat was out in the hallway somewhere.
“We’ve got fifteen minutes to get to school, and it’ll take five to drive there, five more to park and walk into the building, and another two to greet people along the way,” he announced. “So that means we have to leave right now.”
“That leaves three minutes left, so what’s your hurry?” She walked out of the bedroom dressed in jeans and a pullover sweater. She wore short boots on her feet and was digging through an oversized purse chock full of who-knew-what looking for something else.
“What are you doing? We need to go.”
“I know. I’m just looking for my glasses since I didn’t have time to put in my contacts. Oh, here they are. Don’t want to drive without them, you know. She pulled a pair of eyeglasses from her purse, wiped them her sweater, blew on the lenses and wiped them again before putting them on her face. Philip felt a shiver run up his spine. He wore glasses for reading, but kept them in a hard case along with a clean, micro-fiber cloth and small bottle of lens cleaner which he used every time before he even put them on.
“You know, they sell eyeglass cleaning fluid and soft cleaning pads for that.”
“Don’t need it. This is fine.” She smiled, and for the first time Philip noticed her deep dimples on both cheeks. She had a nice smile and a wide mouth with full lips. Her teeth were straight and there were lots of them. Her eyes were wide and almond shaped and deep brown on her cute little round face. She wore no makeup, or perhaps just a little, he wasn’t sure. Whichever it was, it was nothing like the amount of makeup Cat, Zeb’s wife, wore at all. Her auburn hair was loose and long, just past her shoulders. It looked a little disheveled and Philip wondered how long it would take her to get ready.
“You’d better hurry up and change and brush your hair.” He glanced at his wristwatch again. “Will it take more than three minutes?”
“What are you talking about?” she laughed. “I am already dressed and my hair is fine. Let’s go.”