Mad love hearts are wild.., p.1

Mad Love (Hearts Are Wild): Hearts Are Wild, page 1

 

Mad Love (Hearts Are Wild): Hearts Are Wild
 


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Mad Love (Hearts Are Wild): Hearts Are Wild


  Mad Love

  Hearts Are Wild

  Rhian Cahill

  History teacher Madison Keibler is aloof, uptight, prim and proper—and Toby Moreland’s unlikely obsession. He doesn’t understand why the newest staff member at their private high school intrigues him, he only knows he has a burning need to loosen her severe bun, strip her of those dowdy schoolmarm clothes and dirty her up a bit. As the shy, naïve Mad becomes his own personal bad girl, she quickly goes from the woman he can’t stop touching, to the woman he can’t live without.

  A sheltered only child raised by cold, scholarly parents, Madison’s been a student most of her life. Now Toby’s giving her the education she never knew she was missing. And not just sex, though his expertise in that area could fill volumes. He’s given her dozens of new experiences, from the joys of a simple walk on the beach at sunset, to the excitement of live sports, to what it’s like to be part of a big, boisterous, loving family. For the first time in her life, she’s living in the moment and loving every second.

  But the ultimate experience for both may be sacrifice, after a single careless second threatens to destroy their new, crazy, unexpected mad love.

  eBooks are not transferable.

  They cannot be sold, shared or given away as it is an infringement on the copyright of this work.

  This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination and are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or establishments is solely coincidental.

  Mad Love

  Hearts Are Wild Book 3

  Copyright © 2016 Rhian Cahill

  eBook ISBN: 978-1-925375-00-8

  Edited by Kelli Collins

  Cover by Valerie Tibbs of Tibbs Design

  Published 2016 at Smashwords

  All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, or distributed in any printed or electronic form without permission. Please do not participate in or encourage piracy of copyrighted materials in violation of the author’s rights.

  For more information visit:

  www.rhiancahill.com

  Dedication

  For Mari and Erin. Because no matter what, you’ve got my back.

  And for Kristin. Where would we be without our lunch and dinner dates?

  Mr.C, what can I say. I’m here because you believe.

  Table of Contents

  Dedication

  Chapter 1

  Chapter 2

  Chapter 3

  Chapter 4

  Chapter 5

  Chapter 6

  Chapter 7

  Chapter 8

  Chapter 9

  Chapter 10

  Chapter 11

  Chapter 12

  Chapter 13

  Chapter 14

  Chapter 15

  Chapter 16

  Chapter 17

  Chapter 18

  Chapter 19

  Chapter 20

  Chapter 21

  Chapter 22

  Epilogue

  Excerpt from Crazy Love

  About the Author

  More from Rhian Cahill

  Chapter One

  Toby Moreland leaned against the wall outside the principal’s office and smiled.

  How many times over the years had he found himself here?

  If he asked his mother, she’d answer with a resounding ‘too many’. Of course, these days she didn’t get a phone call and he wasn’t in trouble.

  A tight female voice drifted into the hall. “You cannot believe Mr. Moreland is a suitable option?”

  Toby’s muscles tensed. Okay, maybe he was in trouble.

  “Ms. Keibler. Madison—”

  “Don’t attempt to gain my agreement by using the familiarity of first names, Mr. Richardson.”

  “Look, I understand where you’re coming from.” The principal’s voice held a hint of frustration, a touch of irritation—even a little defeat.

  “I don’t think you do. This is a serious educational endeavor and the students need to know they can rely on those in charge to deliver the necessary time and knowledge.”

  “Mr. Moreland is qualified—”

  “His skills on the sports field do not translate to the classroom.”

  Toby pushed off the wall. Time to make an entrance. Plastering on a smile, he rapped his knuckles on the doorframe and plunged into what would no doubt be a charged encounter.

  “Hey, Ted.” He nodded at his friend and boss as he took a seat in front of Ted’s desk. Settled, Toby acknowledged the irritated woman standing behind the chair to his right. “Ms. Keibler.”

  She responded with a brisk nod, but with a stubborn lift of her chin, refused to make eye contact or utter a word.

  To hide his grin, Toby faced their boss and asked, “What’s this special project you need help with?”

  Beside him, Madison huffed. “I can’t agree to this, Mr. Richardson.”

  Ted frowned at her. “You’ve got no choice. Toby is the only one who might be available and holds the necessary license to drive the bus, but if you feel you can’t handle it, we could postpone or cancel.”

  From the corner of his eye, Toby saw Madison’s spine jerk ramrod straight as though someone had shoved a hot poker up her ass. He ducked his head and smiled at Ted’s tactic. She was bound to agree now, because Madison Keibler didn’t strike him as the type to resist a challenge. And their boss had not only challenged her ability to do whatever this project was, he’d challenged her professionalism and held the threat of cancellation over her too.

  Triple whammy.

  Madison wouldn’t allow her ‘serious educational endeavor’ to be cancelled. He’d never seen a more dedicated teacher. At times he thought she was too devoted to her job.

  Over the six years he’d worked at the prestigious private high school, Huntington College, Toby had seen Ted use this method to gain a teacher’s cooperation many times. Nine times out of ten it worked. That tenth time usually involved Toby, and he never let himself be manipulated by anyone. Although, he more often than not agreed to Ted’s requests.

  Best to know all the details before he jumped in to help; he still had no clue what it was they were discussing. “So what’s up?” he asked.

  “The scholarship class is scheduled for an overnight excursion and needs two teachers to supervise. It’s Ms. Keibler’s class, and she had Grant lined up, but he’s come down with a stomach flu and can no longer go.” Ted glanced at her quickly before returning his gaze to Toby’s. “I realize it’s short notice but they need a second teacher to accompany them on the trip.”

  “How short?” Toby asked.

  “Tomorrow,” Ted answered. “But it’s only the one night.”

  “Sure. Count me in.” He had the time. Besides, he had every intention of being Madison’s partner for this excursion even if he had to rearrange a few things. He’d wanted closer contact with the woman since she’d joined the faculty at the beginning of the year and this was the perfect opportunity to get it. “What do I need to do?”

  “Madison has organized everything.” Ted pushed a folder across his desk. Tapped the top. “Details are in here.”

  Toby picked up the thick binder and flicked through it, quickly skimming the pages to determine the input needed from him. He was stunned at the depth of her organization. She’d laid out the activities and objectives for every hour of the excursion. Including the bus ride there and back. Dedicated didn’t begin to describe Madison’s work ethic.

  The urge to needle her—to get under her skin and break through that icy façade—inched up his spine and proved too hard to resist.
You know, Ted, if Ms. Keibler isn’t up to it, I can handle this on my own.”

  “I’m perfectly capable of doing my job,” she snapped.

  Repressing a smirk, he glanced up to find Madison glaring at him and Ted shaking his head.

  “No can do. School policy requires two teachers on off-campus excursions, and besides, it’s overnight and a mixed group. Ten boys. Ten girls. We need male and female supervision,” Ted explained.

  Toby nodded at Ted then looked Madison over. She stood, fingers curled around the back of the chair next to him, her slender digits pressing into the padding under her tight grip. Her body was rigid, and deep lines marred her brow and bracketed her mouth. Her displeasure with the situation was obvious. Even a blind man would feel the tension radiating off her.

  He wasn’t going to let her annoyance make him back off though. His fascination with getting a reaction from this woman grew with every second he spent with her. “Great. We’ll have dinner tonight and go over the details,” he said with the smile he knew won over most people—particularly those with two X chromosomes.

  She looked down her nose at him and ice dripped from her voice. “That won’t be necessary. You don’t need to do anything more than show up.”

  He wanted to laugh at her attempt to exclude him while including him but he held himself in check. She wouldn’t appreciate the humor in their current positions.

  He’d approached Madison at the start of the year—he and every other single male on the school’s payroll—and while she’d been polite, she left no doubt she wanted nothing to do with her male colleagues outside of school. None of the females either, according to Melanie in the English department. Madison kept to herself, only interacting with the rest of the staff when necessary.

  Huntington’s faculty was a tightknit group that often socialized after school hours. As a whole, they’d worked together for a few years. Well, except for Madison Keibler. She was a new addition. Last year, when Gordon Rodgers tripped midway through the final term and broke his hip, he’d required a hip replacement and decided to take early retirement.

  Enter prim, proper, schoolmarm-ish Madison Keibler.

  She reminded Toby of someone out of the eighteen hundreds. Back when teachers were required to be spinsters. At least that’s what she made him think of, with her long, dark skirts and starched white blouses buttoned up to her chin. The hair pulled ruthlessly into a bun low on the back of her head didn’t help the look either. She couldn’t be any older than late twenties but she behaved as though she were in her fifties.

  Straitlaced and standoffish. Cool. Like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Actually, that shit would probably freeze solid.

  It made Toby want to ruffle her. Peel away those don’t-touch outer layers and see what was hidden beneath. He had a feeling she’d surprise him.

  He liked surprises.

  Liked them very much.

  ***

  Madison refused to look at the man beside her. She was sure he’d overheard her objections to him accompanying her and waited on tenterhooks for him to call her on it.

  Ted was right. All that was required were male and female teachers to supervise, so Tobias Moreland could do the job. She just didn’t want him to partner her on this trip.

  Something about him set her nerves twitching. She had no idea what it was. He just annoyed her. His whole Mr. Cheery persona rubbed her the wrong way. No one could be that carefree and get their job done—do it well—and Madison believed education was a serious business that required dedicated individuals to perform the job properly.

  Her parents had taught her the importance of learning at an early age, and while she might have been a little envious of her peers and the time they spent away from books and libraries, she believed the sacrifices were worth it.

  Not that she was as strict as her parents when it came to studying, but she did believe learning didn’t finish at three in the afternoon when the school bell rang, signaling the end of formal lessons for the day. Good marks required commitment to study in and out of the classroom.

  She knew Moreland’s type. They coasted through with minimum grades to pass and spent too much time on frivolous things such as sport and parties…women. Very few individuals succeeded at professional sport and by all accounts, he’d failed, like hundreds of others searching for fame and fortune. Besides, as far as she was concerned, there was nothing special about using a natural talent to make your way through life.

  No. True success should be earned, not given.

  “We’re set then? You’ll be ready to leave tomorrow morning at eight?” Ted asked.

  Madison eyed the principal and wondered if she’d managed to get on the wrong side of him. She might have a strong opinion about the skill level of the Personal Development, Health and Physical Education teacher but she hadn’t been offensive. She’d only put forward the facts as she saw them. Teaching boys to play Rugby League or Union or whatever other brutish sport the PDHPE department deemed acceptable, didn’t qualify as education as far as she was concerned.

  “I’ll be ready.” She would bite the bullet—and her tongue—and spend the necessary time with Tobias Moreland but no more. “I’d like to pack the bus with our equipment at seven before the students arrive.”

  Tobias shook his head. “No can do. Got training.”

  Of course he did. “Then how do you expect to be ready to leave at eight?”

  Long seconds passed without him saying a word. He just studied her through slumberous laughing eyes.

  “Well? When do you suggest we organize the equipment?” Exasperation was beginning to take hold, her voice rising slightly with her inability to control her growing frustration.

  He smiled up from his slouched position in the chair. “I’ve got training right after school today but we can do it after that. Around six. Unless you’ve got a hot date.”

  Madison narrowed her eyes. Was he fishing for personal information? Why? “Not this evening.” And why did she answer him?

  “Good.” He surged to his feet, all six feet two of solid muscle towering over her—crowding her. She had to fight the urge to retreat from his overwhelming presence. “Let’s say six thirty to be sure training’s finished. We’ll grab dinner afterwards.”

  “What?”

  “Dinner. Tonight. After we load the bus. You can go over the information. Give me the key points of the excursion—the aims, what you hope the students will accomplish.” He lifted the folder in his hand and gave it a shake. “Meet you in the car park at six thirty. Catch you later, Ted.”

  Before Madison could open her mouth to argue, Tobias had left the room taking the folder with him, and, she was fairly certain, all the oxygen. She turned to face Ted. Her jaw worked, her tongue moved, but nothing came out until she utter two words she was one hundred percent certain she’d never spoken before. “I’m confused.”

  And she was. Did she agree to have dinner with Tobias Moreland?

  Ted was busy tapping away at his keyboard and didn’t answer right away. When he did, Madison still wasn’t sure what was going on.

  Absently glancing up while shuffling papers around his desk, Ted said, “Thanks. I hated the idea of cancelling the trip and disappointing the class.”

  Right. Her students.

  This excursion was a fun hands-on way to supplement their education about one of the country’s famous landmarks and it would be a travesty if it were canceled. They’d worked extremely hard over the previous months on the history behind the Quarantine Station and it would definitely be a disappointment to them.

  And her.

  She forced a smile. “Of course.”

  The end of lunch bell rang.

  “That’s my cue to head to class,” she murmured.

  “Thanks again, Madison.” Ted returned to pecking at his keyboard with two fingers.

  “Right. Okay. I’ll…go then.” Madison left Ted’s office confused and a little flummoxed. She understood the gist of what had happened
in the last few minutes, she just wasn’t sure how it had happened. Her reasons for Tobias’s unsuitability had been solid and yet they’d gotten her nowhere. She’d be spending the next two days with a man she could barely tolerate.

  She might not be looking forward to working alongside Tobias but she couldn’t deny her excitement over exploring and spending the night in one of Sydney’s most haunted group of buildings. And nothing thrilled her more than watching young minds discover new things.

  The group of teenagers had embraced this section of the history syllabus with such enthusiasm and curiosity she couldn’t wait to see them walk the buildings and compound—see through their own eyes the places they’d read about. For their benefit, she’d tolerate her unwanted colleague.

  Although it was a shame her anticipation marched hand in hand with the unfamiliar agitation she experienced whenever she saw—or thought about—Tobias Moreland.

  Chapter Two

  Toby swung the door of the storage shed closed, leaned his shoulder into it and gave a good shove. Metal scraped across concrete and he put his full weight against the door to force it those final few inches. They needed to do something about the equipment shed. A new one would be preferable but he’d be grateful for a working door. One that didn’t threaten bodily harm whenever someone tried to close it.

  As if by some karmic cue, the solid steel panel sprang back and slammed into him, almost knocking him off his feet. “Shit.”

  “Whoa. We got it.”

  Two bodies—one either side of him—combined their weight and strength with his to wrestle the door into submission. A few grunts, some scrabbling feet and a heavy clank later, the lock engaged and the door stayed in place.

  Taking a breath, Toby stepped back. “Thanks guys.” He chose to ignore the fact he swore in front of two of his students. Best to not bring it up. Besides, he’d heard far worse coming from their mouths on the footy field.

 
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