A Promise To KeepBy: Christina Tetreault
Love On The North Shore Book 5
Welcome to North Salem, Massachusetts, the setting for this series. Some of you may have visited before, but if not please let me tell you a little about it.
Located forty minutes outside of Boston, it is in a part of the state referred to as the North Shore. North Salem is a close-knit New England town that few people leave. While such camaraderie can be wonderful, especially in times of need, it also means everyone knows each other’s business, and squabbles that pop up in high school sometimes continue for years.
Despite the occasional gossip and minor squabbles, North Salem is a wonderful place. I hope you come to love the town and its citizens as much as I do.
Drew switched lanes and waited for an opportunity to ask some questions. Since leaving Sean and Mia’s wedding reception, Kelsey hadn’t given him a chance to say much.
“Did Mrs. Mitchell talk your ear off?” Kelsey asked.
After their dance, he’d gone back to visit with Mrs. Mitchell as promised. The old widow had kept him at her table a long time. Although not possible, the woman seemed to know everyone’s business. “You know her. She loves to talk. She filled me in on a year’s worth of town news.”
“Only a year’s worth? She must have been tired.”
Drew ignored Kelsey’s comment, and before she could say anything else, he asked a question of his own. “Marissa… is she Jack’s wife?”
“William’s their son?” He was still trying to make sense of the conversation she’d had with Marissa.
“Technically, William is Marissa’s son from a previous marriage, but Jack adopted him after they married. They have a daughter, too. Rachel is in the first or second grade.” Kelsey paused for a moment. “No, she’s definitely in first. William told me she has Mrs. Cunningham this year. Did you have her in school? I didn’t, but Ella and Cat did. I had Mrs. Bush for first grade.”
He ignored her question. Her time for asking questions had ended. “And William has you for science.”
“Yep. He’s in sixth grade.”
“And you teach while you work on your doctorate part-time?” He didn’t see how she could teach, waitress, and attend school full-time.
They approached the highway exit for North Salem. He couldn’t linger at her house. He had at least a forty-minute drive home ahead of him. At the same time, he needed answers. What he’d learned so far only raised more questions.
“And that’s it?” He took the off-ramp and passed through the center of town. He waited for her to say more as he turned onto Lincoln Street, but she remained silent.
“You’re not going to explain?” He parked in Kelsey’s driveway and looked at her.
“Explain what? I teach science at the middle school. Big deal. Lots of people do.” Kelsey retrieved her purse from the floor and dug out her keys. “Thank you for the ride home tonight.”
She opened the door. The floodlight on the garage illuminated the inside of the car, allowing him to see her expression. She didn’t like him asking questions.
That just too bad.
“Be careful driving home. And good luck tomorrow. I’ll probably catch part of the game on TV.” She pushed the door open and swung both feet out.
Yeah, she wasn’t getting off so easy. He let her exit, but got out too and planted himself in front of the car. She’d have to get past him to get inside the house.
“Why are you still teaching? You told me you went back to Brandeis.” Had she lied about that like she’d lied about having a boyfriend?
“No. You assumed I went back, and I never bothered to correct you.”
Was that true? He couldn’t honestly say.
“I’m chilly and tired. I’m going inside.”
She moved around him, and he followed. Kelsey was keeping something from him. Drew wanted to know what, and he wanted to know tonight.
“I knew you took the teaching job to help out your parents when Ian was sick. He told me. He’s been gone for three years. Why haven’t you left and gone back to school?” He wished she’d invite him inside, because he could see the goose bumps on her skin. Inside she’d be warmer.