|Your cart is currently empty|
Teresa Goldman may cook, wash countless dishes, and serve the townspeople meals in her pa's restaurant, but that is only until she can throw off her apron and stand on the steps of Cascade's first school and ring the bell. She's dreamed of being a teacher her entire life. In her opinion, school should be fun, and she's spent endless hours sitting on the floor of the unfinished building creating lesson plans.
Roger Morrison knew from the first moment he bumped into the beautiful brunette outside the mercantile that he wanted to make her his wife. Having traveled the Oregon Trail, he knows the importance of working hard, perseverance, and teamwork. Along with his partners, his goal is to make the Rose Ranch the most prosperous in the Willamette Valley, and his dream is to do so with Teresa at his side.
When the love of his life continues to jump into danger without a moment's thought, he realizes that love isn't enough – he needs to teach Teresa that there are more important lessons to learn than reading, writing and arithmetic. On the day she accepts his marriage proposal, he delivers her first lesson, with the errant little educator draped over his knee.
When the townspeople gather to hear the announcement of who will be guiding and teaching their children, no one is more stunned than Teresa to hear the name announced isn't hers. Will she learn that, even with one dream shattered, there is another just waiting to be embraced? Can she make a home on the ranch with crazy roosters, smelly cattle, and wild animals surrounding her instead of the students she dreamed of?
Will Anna, Charity, and Agatha, all wives with their own stern and loving husbands, be able to convince her that life can be fulfilling with a different dream? More importantly, can Teresa allow the man who doesn't hesitate to take her in hand to become her teacher?
Publisher's Note: His Errant Educator is the third in Maggie Ryan's bestselling Willamette Wives series but can be read as a stand-alone. It includes explicit sexual themes, the spanking of adult women, and anal play. If such material is likely to offend you, please do not purchase.
"Which one?" Teresa asked, holding up a calico dress printed with white flowers on a navy background against her body. "The blue or…" she paused, tossed the dress on her bed and held up a red one with tiny white stripes, "the red?"
"Hmmm, go with the red," Barbara said from where she was sitting on the bed.
"I don't know. Maybe the green?"
Barbara rolled her eyes as her sister rejected the red and reached for another dress. "Tessie, it's not like it matters. It's just a visit from your beau and that's only if he actually manages to get here."
"Don't say that!" Teresa scolded, her eyes going to the window. Sighing, she sank down on the bed beside her sister, oblivious to the fact that she was sitting on the pile of discarded dresses she'd been considering. "I'm so sick of snow. When is it ever going to stop?"
"In the spring, I suppose," Barbara said.
"Spring seems to be taking its own sweet time arriving."
Barbara laughed and reached out to give her older sister a hug. "Don't fret about that. I have no doubt that it would take more than a little snow to keep Mr. Morrison away. Just think about how he is going to like sitting before the fire with you. You'll look so pretty in whatever dress you wear, and I'll do your hair."
"But what if he doesn't make it?" Teresa asked, looking at the frosted glass panes again.
"Then we'll play a game and drink lots and lots of hot chocolate. Catherine baked this afternoon so there are cookies, too!"
Teresa shook her head but did stand and began unbuttoning the dress she was wearing. "It must be nice to be so young," she said.
"What do you mean? You're only a few months older than I am!"
"Yes, but, dear little sister, older enough to know that you've yet to discover there are far more pleasant things to do other than drinking hot chocolate and eating cookies, no matter how delicious they are."
Pulling on the red dress, Teresa waited to answer until her head popped through the neck opening. "Button me up?" she requested, turning her back. Once Barbara began to do so, she said, "Since you are still a child, I probably shouldn't answer…"
"Tessie! Don't tease me!"
"All right, all right. Like having a wonderful man hold your hand, his fingers wrapped around yours. Knowing that he is interested in hearing you talk about your dreams, and wanting to spend hours and hours listening to him talk about his own. Taking long walks where you don't even have to talk because you know your heart is doing the speaking. Looking into his eyes and feeling your cheeks flush when he gives you that special smile. Like stealing kisses…"
"Don't let Pa catch you doing any such thing," Barbara warned. "He won't cotton to Mr. Morrison smooching with his baby girl."
"I'm not a baby, I'm a grown woman."
"You just turned eighteen a few months ago," Barbara countered. "There, all done. Sit down and I'll fix your hair."
Once Teresa took a seat before her vanity and removed the pins, allowing the mass of her hair to fall free, Barbara picked up the brush and began to stroke it through the wavy chestnut colored curls. "You really like him, don't you?"
"Very much. He's different than the other boys. In fact, he's not a boy at all—he's a man."
"And there's a difference?"
"Oh yes. He makes me feel special."
"So, I'm guessing that you aren't opposed to Mr. Morrison's kisses?"
"I adore his kisses," Teresa confessed. "He is so… I don't know exactly, but do know that when he gets this look in his eyes, right before he bends down to kiss me, my tummy does the strangest things and I feel like I'm going to die if he doesn't hurry up. My body starts trembling and I can't catch my breath. It scares me sometimes and I worry that something might be wrong with me. Do you think there is?"
"How would I know?" Barbara asked, the brush pausing as the two girls' eyes met in the mirror. "I've never even held hands with a boy, much less kissed one. What happens after the kiss?"
"I want him to kiss me again," Teresa said and then sighed deeply. "I sure wish Ma were here. I can't ask Pa anything about… well, female things."
"You could ask Catherine, she's a woman," Barbara suggested, resuming drawing the brush through her sister's locks.
"No, I don't think so," Tessie said. "What if she tells Pa I'm asking such questions? I'd be embarrassed and he might forbid me from seeing Roger."
"Then the only thing to do is keep kissing," Barbara said, giggling when her sister turned her head to give her a shocked look. Shrugging her shoulders, she added. "You are the one going to be a teacher. Even if Pa catches you, you can tell him you were doing research, or pretend to swoon."
Teresa shook her head, her lips curving into a smile. "Aren't you the sneaky little one?"
"Nope, I'm just the baby sister who hopes that one day I'll be needing some answers of my own. You need to be prepared to tell me if my tummy is churning because I'm coming down with something or if I'm falling in love."
"Hmmm, maybe some more research won't hurt," Teresa said.
"That's the spirit," Barbara said, deftly twisting strands of hair into a braid and then pinning it in a bun at the base of Teresa's neck. Tugging a few tendrils free to frame Tessie's face, Barbara smiled. "What do you think?"
"I think you are the best sister ever," Teresa said. "Thank you!"
"You're welcome, but if you really want to thank me, you'll do all the dishes tomorrow…"
"I need to add that you are also the worst little sister ever," she said, causing Barbara to squeal as she slapped her arm and rolled her eyes. "No way am I doing all those pots and pans by myself!"
"It was worth a try," Barbara said, bending to give her sister's shoulders a squeeze. "I was kidding, and I promise I won't even tell your beau that you hit me and rolled your eyes. I might be younger, but I've heard him talk about how he doesn't like that sort of thing."
"I know. He does tend to lecture a lot, doesn't he? That's the one thing I don't particularly care for. I hear enough lecturing from Pa."
"Does that change how you feel—about adoring those kisses?" Barbara teased, puckering her lips and making smacking sounds.
Teresa huffed and made a dramatic show of rolling her eyes again, causing her sister to laugh. "You are incorrigible. But, best or worst, I know I wouldn't want anyone else for my little sister. I love you, Barb."
"I love you too, but that doesn't answer my question." As she spoke, she looked out the window and grinned. "See, I told you he'd come."
Teresa pushed her sister aside to look down into the street. "Oh, he's here!" She gave Barbara a quick hug as she ran towards the door, pausing to say, "To answer your question, no, nothing will ever change my mind. I may hate listening to lectures, but at least Roger's end with a few kisses."
"Tessie!" Barbara exclaimed and then giggled, shaking her head. "Go show off that red dress, and don't forget to take notes!" Teresa nodded and ran out the door and down the stairs.
"Teresa, ladies do not run…"
She ignored her father's words, going to the door and pulling it open.
While he couldn't wait to see his sweetheart, Roger took the time to pause on the porch to stomp the snow from his boots and remove his hat, swiping his hands through his hair. He could just picture Matthew shaking his head but didn't care. He was in love with the prettiest gal in town and didn't care who knew it.
About to pull open the door, he was surprised when it opened before he had a chance. "I'm so glad to see you," Teresa said.
"I'm very glad to see you, as well," he said, bending down to give her cheek a quick kiss.
"I thought we'd take a walk. I've been cooped up inside for ages!"
"Are you sure your pa won't mind?" Roger asked.
"Oh, he won't care," she said, tugging on his hand.
"Honey, it's cold. You need your cloak and I need to say hello—"
Before he could finish, she'd ducked back inside, returning a moment later.
"Did you ask your pa?" When she sighed, he opened the door.
"Mr. Goldman, is it all right if I take Teresa for a walk? I won't keep her out long."
"That's fine, she's been worried all day that you might not be able to come due to the snow."
"It would take more than a few flakes to keep me away," Roger said, "thank you. We'll be back soon." Stepping outside again, he helped her into her cloak, pulling the hood up over her hair.
"I told you he wouldn't mind."
"Still, you should have asked first." Pleased to see her cheeks color a bit and her small nod, he said, "Are you sure you are going to be warm enough?"
"I'm sure," she said, giving him a dazzling smile. "Let's walk over towards the schoolhouse. I can't wait for you to see it."
Roger tucked her hand into the crook of his elbow and led her down the steps. The town had originally thought to use the same building for church services and a school. However, with the town's rapid growth, it had been decided that there was need of an additional building that could easily hold many desks and eliminate the chore of constantly moving them around in order to provide seating for church services—so the school was going up. Though it wasn't yet quite completed due to inclement weather, he knew it would be ready to open its doors by the time supplies had been ordered and a teacher hired.
"Have you heard about the job yet, sweetheart?" he asked as they walked towards the end of town.
"Not yet. I don't know what's taking the committee so long. This waiting is just awful! I've been dreaming of teaching for as long as I can remember, and even have my certificate. Who else would they hire?"
"If it were up to me, you'd get the job, but—"
"But what?" she asked, pausing in their walk. "You don't think I'd make a good teacher?"
"I didn't say that, it's just… I just don't want you to be too disappointed if they choose someone else. You know, someone with some experience."
"Oh, don't be silly. How can one get experience if never given a chance to work? Besides, everyone knows me. I'm sure they don't want some stranger teaching the little ones. Oh, there it is. Isn't it precious?"
He looked up to see the building. While he wouldn't exactly describe it as precious, he had to love her enthusiasm. She tugged her hand free, running towards the school.
"Tessa, wait for me…"
"No, stay there!" she shouted over her shoulder. "I'll ring the bell!" He didn't see a bell but he did see a sheen on the stairs.
"Stop!" He began to run after her but she was a quick little thing. Her laughter was cut off by a shriek when she lost her footing on the ice-covered landing. Flailing her arms, she began to topple backwards, her cry piercing the evening air until she gave a loud grunt when Roger caught her before she tumbled down the steps, his own boots slipping a bit with the impact.
"Are you all right?" he asked, his heart pounding in his chest. She nodded, her eyes wide.
"I'm all right. There was ice…"
"I told you to stop…"
"I just wanted to show you my school," she said. "Besides, you caught me." She lifted herself up and pecked his cheek, then pulled away.
"I'll be careful," she said, slowly walking up the steps again, avoiding the patch of ice that had formed in front of the door. "Now, pretend you are one of my pupils…"
"I think I'd prefer pretending I'm the superintendent in charge of keeping his teacher in line," Roger said.
"What?" When he flexed his hand open and closed, her eyes widened but she ignored the subtle warning. "No, you are my student. I'm going to be standing here and pulling the rope to ring the bell every day. All the children will sit at their cute little desks and listen to me teach. What could be more exciting than that? Come on, let's go inside."
"Wait, I'm not sure we should. It might not be safe…"
"Don't be ridiculous. Of course it's safe. There won't be any ice inside. Come on!"
He was actually surprised when the door he was positive would be locked, swung open as she lifted the latch. She turned to stand in the open doorway. "Ding, ding," she said, pretending to pull a bell cord. "School is starting. Don't be late, young man." Slipping inside, he could hear her giggles as he climbed the steps, taking the time to break the icy crust with the heel of his boot, scraping it from the step before following her into the building.
"I'll have my big desk up here," she said, running towards the front of the room. "The big slate board has already arrived. I saw it at the mercantile. I'll write on it every day, and the children can take turns erasing it for me." He watched as she hurried to one corner and waved her arms. "There is going to be a stove here. Too bad it's not installed yet, we could light it…"
"I don't think the committee would appreciate that. In fact, I don't think they'd approve of our being here…"
"I come in here all the time," Teresa said, again ignoring his concern. "I sit on the floor and make up lessons plans. I want to be ready when I get the job, and it takes a lot of planning." Running back to him, she pointed to the left. "You'll hang your coat on a hook on that wall and then go to your desk." Grabbing his hand, she tugged him towards the front. "This will be the first row of desks and they'll go all the way back. Oh, Roger, I can't wait to stand here and see all the children's faces." Leaning against him, she sighed. "It's going to be so perfect."
Roger chuckled as memories of his own schooling played in his head. "Honey, nothing is perfect. You'll have children who want to learn, and those who would prefer being out in the fields than sitting behind any desk. How do you plan on keeping control of rowdy students?"
"What do you mean? Children are supposed to be good in school."
"Surely you saw a few misbehave when you attended school?"
"Of course but I'm not going to worry about that. I'll just remind them to behave."
Roger knew an opportunity when he saw one. "Let me play teacher for a moment, all right?" Before she could answer, he walked to the front and drew her down as he sat on the floor, pulling her onto his lap as he leaned against the wall. He looked down into her upturned face and smiled. "Are you ready for your lesson, little girl?"
"Is it a fun lesson?" she asked with a smile. "I want to make school fun. We'll go on explorations outside to learn about plants, and we'll have plays where the children can dress up. Don't you think that would make learning history so much more exciting?"
"I do," Roger conceded. "But in order to be able to make all those plans work, you are going to need to have your students' respect—"
"I'm the teacher, of course I'll have their respect," she interrupted.
"That's a nice sentiment, sweetheart, but not necessarily true. Respect isn't something that is just given. It is something that is earned. I'm afraid you'll have to demonstrate that you are quite serious about good behavior a few times before some of the children take you seriously."
"I'm sure you are wrong. After all, while your cows might be stubborn, these are children. I'm sure their parents have taught them to be good."
"Like your parents taught you?"
"Exactly. Barbara and I both knew that if we misbehaved in school, we'd be in trouble when we got home. I swear, Pa knew we'd gotten into mischief before we could get through the door!"
"And what would he do when you were naughty?" Roger asked.
"Ma would lecture and Pa would span…" she stopped mid-sentence, her cheeks pinkening. "Roger, are you talking about school or…"
"I'm Mr. Morrison, your teacher," he reminded her.
"I don't think this is a fun lesson," she said, giving a dramatic sigh.
"It might not be fun but it is important. I love your excitement, but you need to understand that it will be necessary for you to be a good role model. If you ignore safety or shrug off rules, then I'm afraid you'll have nothing but chaos." When she opened her mouth, he quickly continued. "Imagine that you've taken your class out into the woods. You are teaching about, oh, I don't know, some plant that has berries—"
"That's a great idea," she interrupted again. "We can take some pails and pick them."
Sighing, he shook his head. "Please just let me finish?" At her nod, he did so. "These aren't good berries… you tell your students that they are poisonous but since your students have seen you ignore the warnings of others, some kids pick them anyway, and eat them."
"But I just told them they are poisonous!"
"Tessa, that's what I'm trying to teach you. I asked you to wait and then yelled for you to stop, but you ignored me. You could have really hurt yourself if you'd fallen down those stairs and—"
"But I didn't…"
He moved a hand to press against her hip, giving her a small swat. "Teresa Goldman, I am not finished and have already asked you to stop interrupting. Do I need to turn you over my knee?"
"I assure you, I would. We've discussed this before—"
"I'll stop interrupting," she said. "Go on." He wondered if she even realized she'd just interrupted him yet again. Deciding that he needed to finish his lesson, he continued.
"All I'm saying is that if you want your students, their parents, and the committee to be glad you are the teacher, you will need to make sure that you have earned their respect. You have a big heart and no one can doubt your enthusiasm, but if you can't control your class, they won't learn anything and you won't be happy, either. Your pupils will emulate your behavior and if they see you treat others with respect, if they see you consider your actions before just running blindly into something, if they understand that when you won't allow them to do something it isn't because you don't want them to be happy or to have fun, but because you want them to be safe, then they will learn those lessons as well. Do you understand?"
"I guess so. You're saying there are more lessons to learn than just reading, writing and arithmetic."
"Exactly, and when a pupil continues to ignore his teacher or to treat my girl with disrespect, then you can teach him the folly of his ways with a tall stool in that corner." He pointed to the corner opposite where she'd said the stove would be.
"Oh, Roger, I'm sure that won't be necessary."
He chuckled and hugged her tighter. "If you have boys who are anything like I used to be, I promise you'll find it quite necessary."
She giggled. "I can't imagine you sitting on a stool. You are always so… I don't know, so perfect."
"I am by no means perfect," he said. "Believe me, I warmed many a stool, and then my pa warmed my backside when I got home." Her eyes widened and she giggled again. "It's true and, young lady, just remember that there are corners for naughty teachers as well." She gasped, her eyes sliding to the empty corner. Deciding that he'd lectured enough for one day, he helped her off his lap. Standing, her drew her up and into his arms, and bending his head, he kissed her lightly, then a bit harder when her arms twined around his neck. It took a great deal of will power to end the kiss and set her back a bit. "You are one beautiful teacher, Miss Goldman. Now, we'd better get back before your pa sends a posse after me."
She giggled and took his arm.
Once back at her home, they rejoined her family. After visiting for a while, Roger stood. "I'd better be heading out."
"Oh, do you really have to go?" Teresa said, rising from the settee.
"It's getting late." Seeing the disappointment on her face, he said, "How do you feel about ice…"
"Roger!" she hissed, her eyes cutting to where her father had risen from his chair.
Chuckling, he shook his head. "Ice skating," he clarified.
"Oh, I love skating, why?"
"Because I'd love to take you. Though I'm not very good, it's been fun the few times we've gone."
"Yes, hold on, let me ask your pa."
"Pa, Roger wants to ask you something," Teresa said.
Benjamin's expectant look had Roger fighting back a grin. No, it was not yet time to ask that particular question. Instead, he said, "I'd like to take Teresa out to the ranch next Saturday. We've all been feeling a bit of cabin fever and are planning a snow day. Nothing fancy, just some skating, sledding, and supper. It will give Teresa a chance to see the ranch and spend some time with everyone who lives there."
"That sounds lovely," Catherine said. "I'm sure it would be a lot of fun. Agatha loved skating when she was a little girl."
"Are you sure you can get along without her help?" Benjamin asked. "It seems that you are doing more and more of the work…"
"That's what you pay me for," Catherine said. "I don't mind, and it will give Teresa a chance to get out."
"Barbara, what about you? Do you mind if your sister plays hooky for a day?" Roger asked.
"Hmmm, I don't know. A whole day where I have to do all the dishes and serve more people?"
"Please, Barb, I'll make it up to you."
"I'm just teasing. Of course I don't mind."
"Then that's settled," Benjamin said. "You may go, but make sure you listen to whatever Roger says. A ranch can be a dangerous place."
"Pa, I'm going to be skating, not boxing with the cows."
Roger chuckled. "It's called punching cattle but you are right. You won't be near the herd."
"Oh, um, that's good," she said, her cheeks pinkening. "Oh, I'm so excited. I can't wait to go."
She walked him downstairs, her eyes twinkling with excitement. Knowing her pa was at the top of the stairs, Roger only gave her a quick kiss. "Just so you know, I plan on stealing a lot more of those on Saturday."
"I'll look forward to that."
"Be my good girl and I'll see you on Saturday… early."
"Do I need to bring anything? You said the other women…"
"No, you'll be the guest of honor. Just bring your skates and that smile."
"I will. Be careful going home."
He promised he would, bent to give her a final kiss, and then stopped her when she attempted to step outside with him after he'd pulled on his coat.
"No, stay inside," he said, placing his hat on his head.
"But I want to watch until you are out of sight."
"Tessa, it's dark and it's cold." When her mouth opened, he laid a fingertip over her lips. "Remember our talk about respect?" At her reluctant nod, he removed his finger. "If you catch cold you won't be able to come Saturday. And that, my love, would disappoint me greatly."
"Of course it would. I love you, and love spending time with you."
"You love me?"
Surprised at the question, he cupped her face in his palms and looked into her blue eyes. "More than life itself. You are my heart, Tessa Goldman."
"Oh, Roger, I love you too!"
"Then you have made me the happiest man on earth," he said, bending close. "But, if you aren't my good girl, you'll discover that I have ways of warming you up so that you might wish to actually sit on a slab of ice instead of skating over it."
"Roger! You—you wouldn't. You weren't really serious about all that… that stuff?"
"I assure you I can, and I am. Now, close the door behind me. I'll see you on Saturday."
"I'll see you before then," she said, giving him a smile. "In my dreams." The words pulled on his heart and he couldn't resist pulling her close and kissing her yet again. This time it took the sound of her pa clearing his throat rather loudly for him to release her.
"You're going to get us both into trouble," he whispered, giving her a little swat. She jumped but giggled as he slipped out the door. Mounting his horse, he had to adjust his cock in his pants. No doubt about it, he would be having a private conversation with Benjamin Goldman in the very near future.