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I sat in the judge's office while he looked over my papers. He would occasionally look up at me then clear his throat then continue to read. I sat there patiently waiting for him to make his decision. Finally, he set the papers back down on his desk and looked up at me.

"I believe you will do well on your own, Ms. Roberts," he said, "but do you have a place to live?"

"Well, not at the moment but I'm sure Mr. Martin will let me stay with him until I find a place," I said.

"A job?" he asked.

"Yes, I start work at the nursery Wednesday," I said, "it offers insurance. So, I'm good on that note."

"Good, but unfortunately I can't sign this paper until you have a solid place to live," he said.

"Okay I'll just come back when I have a place," I said.

"You do that," he said. "I'll see you soon."

I waved to him and left out of the office. I got down to the street and headed towards Mr. Martin's house. I got there and his wife, Margaret, was unloading the car that was full of groceries.

"Let me help you with that," I said grabbing the bag out of her arms.

"Oh, you're so sweet," she said grabbing the eggs from the backseat. I followed her up the walk to the front door where she quickly unlocked the door. It swung open before Mrs. Martin had the time to do it. "Ricky, please take some of the bags from Kat."

I couldn't see over the mountain of bags in my arms, but I had a feeling that this Ricky guy was good looking. I was right because as soon as my eyes landed on him, I was locked in a trance. The only downside was that I already knew this guy from school. He was probably the biggest player in the continental U.S.

His dark brown hair was fixed up and his brown eyes were peering down from at me. My five-four was short compared to his five-ten. He was muscular and I was in awe over him. My red hair laid flat against my face and my brown eyes couldn't seem to look away.

"Staring problem?" he asked snapping me out of the trance. I shook my head and then the question sunk in. He was rude!

"No, I don't," I said. "So, you're the ass known as Ricky."

I'm so glad that Mrs. Martin had left to go put down her bags. She would have slapped me for saying such a word in her presence.

"Well, I might be an ass at least I don't have a staring problem," he said.

"I don't have a staring problem," I said.

"So why were you staring at me like I was a piece of meat?" he asked.

"I wasn't staring at you," I said.

"So what do you call this?" he asked. His eyes were fixed on mine and his mouth was wide open.

"I didn't look like that," I said.

"Kids, come put the bags on the counter," Mrs. Martin said from the kitchen. I pushed passed Ricky and walked into the kitchen setting the bags onto the counter.

"You need help putting things away?" I said.

"No, that's okay dear," she said, "Paul's in his office upstairs."

"Okay," I said walking passed Ricky again not even bothering to acknowledge him. I ran upstairs and walked into Mr. Martin's study. I sat down in the chair across from him.

"How can I help you today?" he asked setting his pen down.

"The judge won't sign the emancipation papers until I have a place to stay," I said.

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