The last thing Eric Harmon wants is to be saddled with yet another spoiled, needy woman. He’s furious about this wrench in his plans, he accuses Danna of stealing. He wants to send her home in a cab as soon as they get to the nearest town, but Danna refuses. Much to Eric’s frustration, one thing after another seems to keep them tied together.
Soon the generosity of a local shopkeeper and several people in town have them mistaken for newlyweds. Danna and Eric find themselves stepping into the role as husband and wife leading them to realize they just may be each other’s ‘match’. But will Danna be able to stand up to her rigid, old fashioned father and choose her own husband?
Panting from the short dash from the church to the curb, Danna looked around wild-eyed, spotting a limo at the curb. The fact that it wasn't her bridal party's limousine didn't matter. She ran around to the driver's side and flung open the door.
The sound of her wedding gown tearing broke the silence in the big empty car. Frustrated, she shoved away the seat belt and fumbled with the ignition key. Fighting the ostentatious bulk of her gown, she wiggled her bottom into the seat. She looked up to see a whirling funnel of pink rushing toward the limousine. In the eye of the storm, a snow-white gown accentuated one very red-faced bride.
A buzzing sound filled her ears. She looked down and saw a small black box, which she recognized as an intercom, between the seats. "Step on it!" a deep male voice boomed from the back seat.
With no time to berate herself for picking an occupied getaway car, she stepped on the gas and sped away from the curb, barely glancing at the side mirror. Drive now, think later. Slapping back the ringlets threatening to spill over her eyes, she checked her mirrors. She was fast approaching the only traffic light in Shady Bridge.
She tried to push the mess she had made from her mind. Goose bumps covered her bare arms despite the unusual October heat. Seeing the light turn yellow, she stepped down hard on the gas pedal and flew through the intersection, her head jerking back and forth. She felt like a balloon as the air sailed from her lips.
Apparently her momentarily crazy driving had no effect on her male passenger.
The handful of stores were behind her now, their faded old brick fronts growing smaller in her rearview mirror. Now out of the heart of town, her shoulders began to relax. She took a deep breath as she had seen her mother do countless times during her morning meditation. Even as she relaxed her tense body, she couldn't help but think about what she had done. It was as if she had been someone else — not Danna Rashba, the sensible, practical daughter.
The mix of farmhouses and Victorian homes on the outskirts of town were fading now too. Chewing her lip, she veered onto the ramp that led to Highway Three. Her mind racing, she tried to calculate how many hours she would have to drive to get far enough away from Shady Bridge. Or at least far away enough from Nagpal Singh, her husband-to-be who by now would have found out his bride had run away.
Wriggling in her seat, fighting to flatten the outrageous bustle her sister had talked her into, she cursed herself in silence. Why hadn't she grabbed her t-shirt and jeans? Sighing, she shook her head. What was done was done. At least she had thought to grab the beaded satin clutch she had picked out for the "big day." The petite bag was about the only thing she had picked out on her own. All of the other details of her wedding had been planned for her, including her husband.
Danna kept an even weight on the accelerator as she tried to decide where to go. Of course she would have been able to focus better if not for the images of her very displeased father that flashed in her mind.
Boom! Boom! She had completely forgotten about the body attached to the male voice that had spoken earlier. A low whirring noise filled the quiet car as the privacy screen opened, disrupting her plotting and planning.
A large, tanned hand tapped the driver's seat as he cleared his throat. "I think I've escaped from that mess. Take me home to pick up my vehicle. I'll settle up with you then."
Danna watched him in the rearview mirror, his eyes never looked up from the gadget in his hand. Wriggling to the right, hoping to see the face that went with the gravelly voice, she took in a dark, handsome man pounding buttons on a cell phone.
"It's dead! I don't even have the charger." He seemed oblivious to her as he tossed the phone to the floor. Obviously he had no idea who was driving him.
Luckily for her, writing proved to be successful and a lot less walking than going door to door. "A Husband for Danna" is Christina's first novel. She is busy working on her next. When she isn't writing or reading, she can be found walking her dog, talking to her herd of cats and spending time with her family.
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