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When You're Around

Chapter 1

"Alright guys, the bell's going to ring soon; pass up your spelling tests and start packing up. Don't forget tomorrow's career day!" Chloe Ryan, also known as Miss Ryan to her students, said to her class. She collected the spelling tests at the front of each row and set them on her desk. She walked to the door where the 3rd graders were congregating, waiting for the bell to ring. When it finally rang, she opened the door and said bye to her students as they made their way outside to their waiting parents. She watched with a smile, waving to some of the patents before going back into her class, leaving the door open to let in some fresh air. She sat down at her desk and began grading the spelling tests and other work before entering the grades into her computer. After a while, it began to get cold so she got up to close the door. She looked around the courtyard as she kicked up the door stopper but kicked it back down when she saw one of her students sitting against the building's wall.

Chloe walked over to her and crouched down. "Hey Lindsey, what are you still doing here? Where are your parents?" Chloe asked gently.

"I'm waiting for my dad. My mom's away for work so my dad has to pick me up." Lindsey said.

She smiled sadly, "Why don't you come in the class while you wait, it's getting cold out here." She suggested, grabbing the girls backpack and resting a hand on her shoulder, leading her into the class. She set the girl's bag on the desk closest to her own then sat down in her chair. She glanced at the clock and grabbed her remote, turning on her projector which got basic cable. She walked over to her white board and pulled down the screen as an image was slowly projected on it. "I hope you don't mind; I can't miss a game." Chloe said to Lindsey, referring to the march madness game that was slowly coming into focus on the screen.

Lindsey laughed as she got out her books to start some homework. "No, I actually was just thinking this is probably why my dad's late- watching the game." Chloe smiled and went back to work, half listening to the game, half paying attention to her work. They were both so involved in their work, they didn't hear the door open.

"Hey baby," He said causing both the girls to look up. Lindsey squealed and jumped out of her seat, running and jumping into her dad's arms. Chloe smiled, it looked like they hadn't seen each other in a while. She took this time to take in Lindsey's dad; he definitely wasn't what she was expecting. She had to admit she was attracted to his muscular, lean, fit form. She couldn't help but notice the way his biceps bulged under his short sleeve shirt, or the way his jeans hugged his thighs, or the way his lips stretched across his teeth as he smiled. Her eyes finally connected with his and she blushed when she realized he caught her staring; how unprofessional, she thought, being caught staring at one of your students fathers.

He saw her staring the moment he picked up his daughter in his arms. He couldn't say he didn't mind, she sure was a gorgeous woman. He watched her eyes rake over his body and smiled smugly when her eyes connected with his, caught. Her blush made him chuckle and when she stood up, it was his turn to look her over. She had long toned legs accented by black pumps and a black pencil skirt. He took in her slim waist and rather large chest encased in a violet button down shirt. As she got closer he was mesmerized by her bright blue eyes and could only tear his eyes away when Lindsey put her hand on his cheek and pushed his face to look at hers.

"Daddy, this is my teacher, Miss Ryan." She said pointing to the goddess standing in front of him. This was his daughter's teacher? He definitely had to come pick her up more often.

He smiled his infamous smile and extended a hand. "Nice to meet you Miss Ryan."

"You too Mr. Orton," She said placing her hand in his.

"Sorry I'm late. Lindsey's mom is away on business and I'm usually on the road for work so I'm not used to picking her up. I know it's not an excuse but to be honest, I didn't even know what time school ended." Randy said feeling like an awful father.

Chloe smiled at him sympathetically. "School gets out at 3,"

"So noted," He said smiling. He set Lindsey down and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Why don't you pack your things and we can go home?" He watched as she scurried off then he straightened back up, turning to Miss Ryan. "Again I'm sorry, but thank you for keeping an eye on her."

"It's not a problem," She said then paused. "I hope you're on time tomorrow though; Lindsey seemed to think you forgot about her because you were watching basketball games. I'd hate for her to think that if it's not true."

Randy cringed. "I know I'm going to sound like an ass when I say this but I was watching the game." He put his hands up when he saw her about to say something. "I know it's terrible and I'm not proud of it but like I said, my job requires me to be on the road so I usually only see Linds at night or on the weekends, when I'm home, I'm not usually there to pick her up from school. I'll be on time tomorrow, I promise. I'll even be early."

"I hope so," Chloe said, crossing her arms as Lindsey approached them, carrying her backpack. "So am I going to be seeing you tomorrow for career day?" She asked, changing the subject.

Randy raised an eyebrow, "Career day?" He asked looking down at his daughter. He picked her up, resting her butt on his forearm with his hand firmly squeezing her hip and his other hand holding her backpack.

Lindsey's head fell forward. "Yeah, I was going to ask you if you wanted to come, but I thought you might me too busy."

Randy sighed, using one of his fingers to push her chin up. "I'm never too busy for you baby," He said placing a kiss on her cheek. "Got it?" She nodded and wrapped her small arms around his neck. He turned to Chloe and smiled. "I'll be here. What time?"

Chloe smiled at his devotion and proudly said, "All the parents are coming after the first recess. We have a little bit of class work to do but the rest of the day is devoted to the presentations."

Randy nodded, "See you tomorrow Miss Ryan,"

"Bye!" Lindsey said with a wave.

"Bye," Chloe echoed as she watched the father daughter leave her class room. She sighed and turned off the projector. She quickly gathered her belongings and made her way to her car.

After work Chloe headed over to her parents house to have dinner with them as she usually did once a week. They had been about half way through dinner when her mom started her usual nagging about marriage and having kids.

"Mom, you act like if I don't get married tomorrow, I'll never find a husband." Chloe said before shoveling a forkful of spaghetti in her mouth.

"Dear, I'm not saying that at all." Her mom said. "All I'm saying is that if you wait much longer, all the good ones are going to be taken."

She rolled her eyes. "Well, I'll take my chances. I'm only 26, I'm in no hurry to get married."

"I'm going to have to agree with Chloe on this one dear," Her dad said, putting in his two cents. "You're young, don't worry about marriage." Chloe smiled at her dad and nodded a thank you.

Her mom let out a sigh. "Well, I'm just looking out for you is all." She smiled at her mom as they finished eating their dinner. After, Chloe had to leave because it was getting late and she did have work tomorrow.

When she walked into her apartment, she was surprised to see the lights were all off and it was silent. Usually her roommate, Jessica, was walking around here watching TV, listening to music, something. She must be out with her boyfriend, Chloe thought. She walked over to the blinking answering machine and clicked the playback button while she walked into her room to change into her pajamas. The first message was from Jessica's mom, wanting to know how she was doing. The second message was from a telemarketer and the last message was from Chloe's friend Rachel which made her smile. "Chloe, it's your best friend! Alright, I'm going to get right to the point. You are coming out to the clubs with the girls one day soon. You haven't come in so long and you're way past overdue. I'll call you tomorrow to let you know details, but there's no question, you're going. Well, that's it, I'll talk to you tomorrow! See ya," There was a pause and then, "Oh yeah, hey Jess!" Chloe laughed and shook her head. It looked like she was going to the clubs. She crawled into bed and the moment her head hit the pillow, she was out.

A/N: My new story! I hope you guys like it, feedback is always welcome!