Sneak Peak Saturday. An excerpt from the book!
“Thanks . . . hey, Will, I appreciate you taking me around today. You’ve been real swell about stuff,” Ellis said, feeling awkwardly regretful. She pulled her hand through her short hair, trying to get used to it.
“I’m still trying to get over your new haircut! Blimey, what a difference!” Will smiled. “Actually, Ellis, taking you around today wasn’t quite as painful as I thought it’d be.”
It’s about to get painful! Ellis thought anxiously. Might as well deal with this! They entered the small house and set their packages down in the front hall.
“Welcome home,” called Uncle Allan, walking out of the den. “Did you two buy most of New . . . fwheeer!” he whistled when he saw Ellis standing in the foyer.
“What in the world?” questioned Dr. Ring. “What’s all the whistle . . . fwheer!” he whistled.
“Well . . . what’d ya think?” Ellis asked nervously.
“I think Couns is gonna have a fit!” Uncle Allan whispered fiercely. “I think you’re in big, big trouble!”
“Oh my goodness gracious!” Miss Frost uttered, turning a paler shade of alabaster.
Ellis heard a deep intake of breath followed by the voice she’d been dreading. “ELLIS HIGBIE RING!” Aunt Couns shrieked. Her face was the color of eggplant. “WHAT ON EARTH HAVE YOU DONE?”
Jeepers, she used my full name. This isn’t going to be good, Ellis thought apprehensively. Aunt Couns’s anger burst forth like a raging river.
“HEAVENS! I CAN’T BELIEVE! NEVER IN MY LIFE! WHAT WERE YOU THINKING? PURPOSEFULLY KNOWING I DISAPPROVE! DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH YOU!”
Aunt Couns turned her temper loose on a shell-shocked Will, “AND YOU! YOU WERE SUPPOSED TO BE TAKING CARE OF HER! WHAT KIND OF BODYGUARD ARE YOU ANYWAY!”
“It’s not Will’s fault, Aunt Couns!” Ellis defended, standing in between Will and Aunt Couns. “He didn’t know anything about my hair! It’s all my doing! I just wanted it so much! I’m sorry I went against your wishes . . . you just don’t know how awful it’s been to walk around with long hair! Every one of my friends has a bob! I’m just tired of feeling like a dork,” Ellis finished lamely.
Aunt Couns stood quietly. Ellis could see the vein in her neck pumping hard as she drew a deep breath.
“Please forgive me, Will. I’m truly sorry that I blamed you. I realize, of course, that you couldn’t have known how I felt about Ellis’s hair. It’s just such a shock. I’m sure you’re going to be a fine bodyguard.” Aunt Couns patted his shoulder encouragingly.
“And you!” She charged, shaking a single finger at Ellis’s nose. “You and I have a lot to discuss later! Our dinner will be ruined if I don’t get back to it!” She sniffed, shaking her head as she stomped back to the kitchen followed by a soothing Miss Frost.
Ellis felt a moment of sheer relief. She released the breath she’d been holding. The moment didn’t last.
“I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU BLOODY DID THAT TO ME! YOU TRICKED ME, ELLIS!” roared Will.
Will’s face was within inches of hers. Ellis took retreating steps back, but Will matched her step for step. There was real anger in his blue eyes!
“You lied to me, Ellis. You little—you little—”
“Watch your words, son,” Uncle Allan warned.
“You’re nothing more than a little—a little SCAMP!” he thundered.
Will turned to stomp away but was blindsided by two huge paws that took him barreling to the floor.
A giant growling German Shepherd barring fierce teeth pressed on his chest.
“STORMY! GET OFF HIM!” Ellis cried, pulling the great dog off a stunned Will.
“What’s that beast?” squawked Will as Uncle Allan helped him to his feet.
“This is Stormy,” Ellis said, holding the giant dog by his collar.
“He doesn’t like yelling,” Stormy rumbled in agreement.
“Oh, doesn’t he now?” snapped Will sarcastically. “Dr. Ring, sir, I’m not sure I’m right for this job. I’ve been here less than forty-eight hours, and all I’ve gotten for it is a bad black eye, a cracking good scolding, and being ambushed by a monstrous hound! Not to mention being duped by a little scamp! No, sir, I don’t know if this is right for me at all!” hollered Will, spinning around and flinging the front door wide.
The three watched him stalk down the front path. Two heads turned to stare at Ellis. She felt sick. Jeepers, what a mess!
“Well, I guess you earned that one,” said Dr. Ring angrily. “That boy is a good boy. He’s a whiz kid of knowledge and history, and I don’t want to lose him!”
Ellis studied her feet. A terrible sinking feeling rolled in her stomach as she felt their intense stares.
“Well? What are you waiting for?” Dr. Ring questioned irritably. “You caused this—you fix it! Go catch him and bring him back here!”
Ellis considered her father and Uncle Allan for a split second. She surveyed the open front door. With quick steps, she bounded from the house down the front walk shadowed by Stormy.
“And be convincing!” Uncle Allan roared from inside. scan0002[473]

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