It had been a reasonable request. When a student who missed school – through no fault of her own, at that; sickness happened whether it was convenient timing or not – wanted some extra coaching to catch up, that was initiative that Matthew Zweigart wanted to reward and encourage. So it took some extra time after school; for a worthwhile cause like that, he’d make time. And the student in question was a decent student; he’d never regretted juggling those hours around to make those sessions happen.

The way the dog lit up under his direct attention didn’t hurt, and while it might not have been just the look of an eager student getting the instruction she needed, there was enough of that to disregard the possibly-lurking less-proper things.

So, once again, that brought them to his classroom for the hour after school. Jessie-Belle had put in good work between sessions, and he had no problem telling her so. Especially not with the way it made her smile.