by Rosemarie

Elizabeth´s gaze wandered over the bowed heads of her students as they sat at their work. She felt a strange calmness settle about her, something she hadn´t experienced in quite a while before coming to this place. She rose from her chair and walked from desk to desk, scanning the
children´s writing for errors and correcting them gently by simply indicating the misspelled word with her index finger.

Without looking up she suddenly knew he was there. Although Josiah didn´t make the slightest noise, Elizabeth sensed his eyes on her as she bent over little Matthew´s page. For a second she hesitated to acknowledge Josiah´s presence, simply savoring his silent company. At last she
straightened very slowly and turned, once again taken aback by the startling blue of those intense eyes as they met hers.

He smiled and she walked toward him, inclining her head questioningly as to why he was interrupting the lesson. His hand came up and she noticed a key dangling from his fingers.  Looking another question at him, she followed as he retreated from the classroom and stepped outside.

"Your new home is finished," he said, and she thought that the pride he took in it was very endearing.

"Thank you," she replied as she held out her hand to receive the key. Slowly, almost hesitantly, he released it into her palm, but didn´t withdraw his fingers immediately. There was a brief contact of skin on skin and his hand jerked away. Their eyes met for a moment and the startledwonderment in his gaze made her heart constrict with joy.

"Please let me know if you need help moving your things from the hotel," he offered quietly.

"I think I´ll be fine, but thank you," she replied.

He glanced past her into the classroom. She wondered what he was thinking as he looked at the children as they sat there writing.

"They seem quite well-behaved," he remarked.

"They are. I think they like what they do."

He smiled, or was it a grin? Making a mental note to ask him about it as soon as the opportunity presented itself, she allowed herself to look after him as he left the room. His kindness touched her, and she caught herself sighing before she returned to the task at hand.