WRITTEN BY LYDIA JONES
Between lively Josh and gorgeous Adam, summer at the castle is more complicated this year…
“Miss, I can see your knickers from here.”
Josh is prone at my ankles.
“Really, Josh? What super x-ray vision you must have to see through denim.”
“I have. I’m like Superman, me.” He charges off.
I call him Jellybean Josh. He can’t keep still and of all the children in my care this summer, he is the most troublesome.
“Don’t go near the dig,” I shout. “You might fall in a ditch.”
With admonishments to the others to stay put, I give chase.
I find him: legs dangling into an archaeologist’s trench, deep in conversation with Mr Ponytailed Perfection.
My stomach does a stupid sizzling thing
Professor Linley and the rest have been here excavating the castle since my first day, but this tanned, toned specimen only appeared recently. When I see him my stomach does a stupid sizzling thing.
“Josh! I’m sorry, he’s bothering you.”
“No bother.” He smiles: white teeth against tanned skin. Cue stomach doing total disappearing act.
“See you tomorrow, Adam.” Josh scrambles up.
Mr Perfection-now-called-Adam high-fives my chaotic charge; grins at me. Gulp!
“Can we do some digging, Miss?” Josh skips alongside.
“No, Josh. We need to leave it to the professionals.”
I’m exhausted handing children back to work-stressed parents
Somehow we get through our day and as usual I’m exhausted handing children back to work-stressed parents.
“You’ve – err – got a new recruit?” I say when Professor Linley comes to sign back keys.
His face flickers startled rabbit. “Yes.”
He signs the key-book as if his life depends on it.
My colleague suggests I do some digging…
“You won’t glean anything from that female-freaked fossil,” my colleague, Miranda says, as Professor Linley leaves. “If you’ve got your eye on his handsome young assistant, you’d better do the digging yourself.”
“Miranda, you might be my work mentor but that doesn’t entitle you to badger me about my love-life.”
“Get in there, girl. I would have done at your age.”
Easy for her to say.
Josh is missing…
Total panic until I spot him talking to Adam. He scurries back and all goes well until the boys bring me their “present”.
“Honestly,” I agonise to Miranda later “- the biggest cockroach you’ve ever seen. I’m surprised you didn’t hear me screaming back in the visitor centre. Adam heard. I saw him staring: probably thought I was demented.”
“No progress with Adonis?”
“No, and there won’t be now he thinks I’m some shrieking lunatic.”
The next day…
I manage a weak smile in Adam’s direction the following day. Mistake: the mini police are on to me immediately.
“He your boyfriend, Miss?”
“Don’t be silly.”
“You got a boyfriend, Miss?”
“Mind your own business.”
“I bet you do. What’s he like?”
“Enough with the personal questions.”
“Is he a good kisser, Miss?”
“OK. I do not have a boyfriend – satisfied? Now can we get on?”
Josh smirks. I could strangle him.
How is anyone allowed to be that gorgeous?
At day’s end, instead of Professor Linley, it’s Adam with the keys. Miranda winks, makes herself scarce.
“Actually-” He runs a hand through collar-length curls. Arm muscles ripple. I try not to stare.
“I wanted a word. Do you think the children would like to do some digging? I could sort a site we’re finished with.”
“I – I’m sure they’d love it.”
“Cool. Can I walk you down the drive?”
I nod. How is anyone allowed to be that gorgeous?
“I was thinking – we could go for a drink – err – discuss what to do with the kids,” he says as I pick up my bike.
“Great. The Bell, about eight?”
I’m just thinking he didn’t ask my name when he flashes me the stomach-sizzler smile.
“You know – how?”
“Josh lives next door to my parents.”
Remembering all the boyfriend questions, I giggle. I think we might just have been set up by a seven-year-old.
It just shows you never know what treasure you might find digging about in old ruins.