The painful secret (1)

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Chapter twenty-eight

"It is wonderful news!" Jenna boasted, hugging a still flushed Allison tightly. "When Mary called us, we rescheduled all of our appointments! We have to celebrate!"

The red-haired girl smiled and hugged back, but didn't dare look at them. Not after what she and Brian had just done. But she did enjoy Jenna's warm embrace. It reminded her so much of how her mother would hug her. "Thanks," she said, stepping away. "It was all thanks to you two though."

"Oh, come now," David said, scratching the back of his head. "All of the credit can't go to us. You have to take quite a bit of it as well."

"But" Jenna started, her enthusiasm faded. "I've been wondering安here you are going to stay. You can't possibly live by yourself."

Allison had been thinking about that as well. Her father's estate would be sold because he wouldn't be able to work and pay for it. So that would leave her homeless. She would love to move in with the Lake's, but she didn't want to constantly be with Brian yet, afraid that they may grow annoyed with each other. And, she already imposed on them enough. Just as she was going to speak, the phone rang, pulling Jenna away.

From the living room, the three could hear her greet the person on the other end. "Oh. Hello, Jeffrey. Yes, you received the news? Isn't it wonderful?" she chirped. "Uh-huh. One second." There was a brief pause. "Allison, dear? Mr. Jeffrey would like to say hi."

Allison slid away from the two male Lake's and entered the kitchen where Jenna handed over the phone. The woman left, giving her privacy. "Hello?"

"Hey there, Allison. Mary called and told me the verdict."

A smile crossed her lips every time she thought about her father rotting away in jail. "It's all thanks to you, Mr. Jeffrey. You were the deciding factor in the case." Strangely, as she talked to him, Allison didn't feel awkward at all, as if she and Jeffrey were old friends. "And匈 want to thank you for coming forward on my behalf and for looking out for me. You noticed that my behavior was odd before anyone else had."

A soft chuckle echoed through the phone. "You flatter me," he joked. "Anyway, I wanted to just see how you were doing."

"Good. The Lake's are taking very good care of me, but"

"What is it?" he asked, genuinely curious.

Allison made sure they weren't listening before continuing. "Well, I appreciate everything they've done for me, but I don't think I would be able to move in with them. Especially since me and Brian are dating."

"Hmmm? Most girls are eager to move in with their boyfriends."

"Oh. Don't get me wrong. I would love to do that one day, but I still want him to have to pick me up for dates, like a normal couple. Plus, the nights I do sleepover would" She didn't finish, her face heating up. How could she say so much to her teacher? Now, she felt awkward.

But Jeffrey just laughed, easing the mood. "I understand" Then he quieted for a moment. "I don't know if this is overstepping my boundaries, but if you need somewhere to stay, my place is always available匈t's a bit smaller than what I'm sure you're used to, but there is a spare room that really isn't being used."

Allison gasped. This was such a shock. She wondered if she was hearing him right圬id he just offer that to her? She shook her head as if her ears were waterlogged. "Mr. Jeffrey匈"

H cut in. "You don't have to accept, Allison," he said, sensing her obvious reluctance and confusion. "I just want you to know that you will always have a place to stay匈 promised your mother"

Allison gasped. She felt her breath thin and her heart pound so hard beneath her chest that she swore it would burst out at any moment. She tried to speak, but couldn't. Jeffrey's word completely stole her voice away.

"I am存orry匈 spoke too much."

Just as Jeffrey was about to hang up, her voice returned. "I accept." She blurted out her response quickly, but quietly, knowing that she would have a lot of explaining to do to Brian. But all she could think about was what her teacher had said. What was his connection to her mother and why would her mother ask him to look after her? She thought her problems were over now that her father was in jail, but she would soon find out that they were just beginning.

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