Mina Noel paced nervously around her bedroom. In half an hour, she would be in the living room of her new babysitting employer, the Wrights. Mrs. Wright had called a few days ago to tell Mina she had gotten the job. Mina had squealed in delight. The Wrights seemed to be the ideal employers—well, from what she had gathered from their ad, anyway. She was to babysit five-year-old Steven Wright on afternoons from Monday to Friday. The schedule had fit Mina’s to a tee because she didn’t have many late-afternoon classes on weekdays. She was ecstatic because aside from making the most of her time, she was also bringing in extra bucks.
Mina checked her watch. Twenty-five minutes before her scheduled interview. Another thing that was in her favor was that the Wrights didn’t live too far away from the college. She could make it to the house in less than ten minutes, actually. However, since Mina has yet to meet her employers for the first time, she was determined to make an excellent impression.
Not that she had a problem in the physical department on making a good, lasting impression. Mina was one of the most attractive women on campus. Her height made her hard to miss. At almost six feet tall, she easily stood out from the crowd. Her light blond hair also made it easy for anyone to spot her in a crowd. Mina wore her hair long, way past her shoulders, and her hair tended to billow out all over her, making her look like an angel who had lost her way and found herself in earth instead. To match her blond hair, Mina had light-green eyes and smooth, creamy complexion that could rival that of any model’s. Her lips were neither too thin nor too full. They were just right, with a slightly rosy tinge that added appeal to her sweet image, the ideal girl next door.
As if her looks weren’t good enough, Mina also happened to be blessed with the perfect hourglass figure. She didn’t work out very hard; her body just happened to develop that way. She figured she had her mom to thank for that. Her mother was a curvy brunette, and although Mina got her height from her dad (a towering hunky fellow himself), the fact she got her curves from her mother can’t be denied.
Mina knew she looked good. She grew up with people, both friends and strangers, telling her so. Yet for some reason, the reality of her good looks didn’t go over her head. This time, Mina had her friends to thank for that. They kept her sane, kept her grounded, although that didn’t completely stop the members of the opposite sex from liking her still.
Now, glancing at her watch again, Mina decided it was time to get going to the Wrights. She had less than twenty minutes to go, and she didn’t want to have to rush on her way there. She checked herself in the mirror. She was wearing her loose-fitting knit sweater, favorite jeans, and gray loafers. The look said professional yet casual, which was exactly how she wanted it to be. She pulled her sweater down and smoothed her hair with her palms.
“I’m ready,” she told herself in the mirror. “Let’s get it on!”
When Mina got to the Wrights ten minutes later, she no longer felt tense and nervous. She took another deep breath to compose herself and forced a smile on her lips.
“You can do it, Mina,” she told herself softly as she made her way to the front door. “You can do it, girl. You’ve babysat before. This job won’t be all different from your previous babysitting stints.” She reached the front door and, with a slightly shaking hand, rang the bell. After two presses, the door swung open to reveal a tall slim blond woman. She was wearing a loose-fitting tee and denim cutoffs. She also had a fashionable pair of eyeglasses on.
“Hi!” the woman said warmly as she opened the door wider. “You must be Mina! I’m Mrs. Wright, but you can call me Samantha.” She held out her hand.
Mina grinned. So far, things were going her way. Mrs. Wright looked like a kind woman. “Hi, Mrs. Wright, I mean, Samantha! I’m Mina Noel,” she gushed in return, and shook Mrs. Wright’s extended hand.
“You’re so beautiful! And you’re tall too!” Mrs. Wright exclaimed. “I won’t be surprised if Steven decides to fall in love with you. He has a thing for beautiful women.” She winked, and ushered Mina inside the house.
Mina stepped in. She was greeted by a large spacious living room that had minimal furniture. The pieces that were in it, though, were elegant and classy, somehow filling in the room’s sparse spaces. Mrs. Wright motioned for Mina to sit on the large leather couch, and the women sat across each other.
“Thanks, Samantha,” Mina said politely. “Speaking of, where’s Steven?” She looked around. “I can’t wait to meet him.”
Mrs. Wright smiled. “You’ll love Steven. He’s a smart, creative kid. He talks nonstop, but you’ll like him. He isn’t around, though. He’s with my parents. They get together on weekends. It’s like their weekly dating session.”
Mina laughed. “Too bad I won’t get to meet him,” she said. “He sounds like a nice guy.”
“Oh, he is,” Mrs. Wright agreed. “There isn’t really much to tell you about your job. I mean, since you’ve tried babysitting before and all that.” She waved her hand around. “I just wanted to meet you, see what you’re like, get a good gut feel of you. You know that, right?” She stared fixedly at Mina. “We’ve had a couple of babysitters who didn’t . . . well, let’s just say they did things differently.”
“I understand, Mrs. Wright,” Mina assured her. “I’d do the same if I were in your shoes.”
Mrs. Wright smiled. “That’s good to hear. And I told you to call me Samantha, but you seem to be one of those polite kids who can never seem to call older people by their first names.” She chuckled.
Just then someone bounded down the stairs, which was behind Mrs. Wright’s couch. Both women looked as a male figure stepped down the last stair and walked toward them.
Mina eyed the man. This must be Mr. Wright, she thought. He was tall and had broad shoulders, like those of a football player’s. He had thick dark hair, dark blue eyes, and a defined jaw. He was wearing a shirt and board shorts. Apparently the Wrights were one of those casual couples. This suited Mina just fine. Casual couples weren’t as hard to please as those stiff, professional ones.
“Hi, honey!” Mrs. Wright chirped. “Glad you decided to come down when you did.” She stood up and gave her husband a peck on the cheek. “Steven’s babysitter is here. Her name’s Mina. Mina Noel.”
Mina stood up from the couch and walked over to the couple to shake Mr. Wright’s hand. “Hi, Mr. Wright,” she said. “I’m Mina.” She held out her hand. Mr. Wright took Mina’s hand with both of his hands and shook it firmly. He never took his dark-blue eyes off Mina. “Hello, Mina,” he said. His voice was deep and smooth, and sent shivers up and down Mina’s spine. There was something very seductive about the man’s voice.
Stop it, she told herself. Quit fooling around.
“I’m Hank Wright,” the man continued. His hands were still on Mina’s, so Mina very carefully took her hand away from Mr. Wright’s grip. She could’ve sworn Mr. Wright was flirting with her, although she didn’t want to believe it. He couldn’t be flirting with her, not with his wife a mere few steps away.
But it seemed Mrs. Wright was oblivious to what was going on between her husband and babysitter. She went on smiling, seeming not to care that her husband almost didn’t want to let go of Mina’s hand. “Well, now you’ve met,” she said cheerfully. She glanced at the watch on her wrist. “Steven won’t be home in an hour or two.” She glanced back up at Mina. “If you still want to meet him, you can hang around until my folks bring him home.”