Innocent on Her Wedding Night [Secure]
Click on image to enlarge.
by Sara Craven
Description: Laine waited for her handsome new husband, Daniel Flynn, to come to her on their wedding night--knowing that their marriage was a sham. Daniel didn't love her--he was just fulfilling a promise he'd made to take care of her... So Laine fled--a married woman, but still an innocent! Two years later, broke and vulnerable, Laine has to face Daniel again. And this time Daniel will take the wedding night that should have been his...
eBook Publisher: Harlequin/Presents,
eBookwise Release Date: October 2007
16 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats [Secure - What's this?]: OEBFF Format (IMP) [329 KB]
GEOGRAPHIC RESTRICTIONS: Available to customers in: US, NZ, SG, TW, ER, GQ, LS, MG, MW, SD, SN, HM, MN, GD, JM, LT, SI, BY, FO, TR, PS, BM, AS, IO, SB, FK, SR, AF, FJ, CA, ES, PR, PH, BF, EG, KE, NG, RE, BV, TF, GE, KP, MV, PK, TL, BQ, HT, KN, CZ, CH, GI, IS, RS, SJ, BH, MH, NU, BO, AD, AL, AE, GF, MX, FR, IT, BE, CF, DZ, EH, GN, MA, MZ, SO, TD, TG, BT, KG, NP, VN, IM, AW, BB, CW, EE, LU, VA, IQ, QA, KI, PF, TK, AR, PE, AM, NI, KR, VI, UM, KM, MR, NA, NE, TN, TZ, KH, TJ, GG, LC, CY, FI, GR, HR, MD, JO, KW, OM, SY, YE, CC, FM, GT, MY, CD, CG, GA, ZA, ZM, ZW, MM, DM, GP, TT, VG, DK, HU, IE, LV, PT, SE, MC, ME, NO, IL, LB, GL, CK, GU, NR, PG, CL, GY, BL, BZ, DE, CN, BJ, CM, CV, GM, SH, UG, HK, UZ, GS, PN, SX, AT, AX, BG, MT, RO, BA, LI, MK, RU, PM, CX, PW, VU, CO, SV, UY, AU, BR, JP, BI, BW, CI, SL, BD, BN, ID, IN, LA, MO, TH, TM, MS, BS, CU, DO, MQ, TC, VC, PL, SM, UA, SA, TO, WF, HN, PY, NL, DJ, ET, GH, GW, LY, ML, MU, RW, ST, SZ, AZ, KZ, KY, MF, SK, JE, IR, MP, NC, NF, TV, WS, CR, EC, PA, VE, LK, AG, AI What's this
AS THE lift began its journey to the fourth floor, Laine Sinclair put down her bulky travel bag, flexing cramped fingers, and sagged back against the metal wall.
Adrenalin had got her this far, fuelled largely by anger and disappointment, but now, with sanctuary almost within reach, the savage energy was draining out of her, reminding her that she was jet-lagged and that her damaged ankle, in spite of its rudimentary bandaging, hurt like hell.
Home, she thought longingly, raking a hand through her light sun-streaked hair. Home, bath—and bed. Especially bed. Maybe she'd wait long enough to make herself a hot drink. Probably she wouldn't.
There'd be no one around at the flat. Jamie would be at work, and it wasn't one of the cleaner's days. So there'd be no cosseting, however much she might need it.
But there would be absolute peace and quiet, and the opportunity to sleep off some of her stresses and strains before the inquisition started.
She could hear it now. What are you doing back here? What happened to the boat charter business? And where's Andy?
At some point she would have to come up with the answers to all that, and more, but she'd worry about that when she had to. And that, she thought, was not yet.
And at least Jamie, with his own chequered career, was unlikely to say I told you so.
The lift stopped, and as the doors slid open she hefted her bag on to her shoulder, and stepped into the corridor, wincing as her ankle protested.
She fumbled in her travel belt for her latch key. She hadn't intended to take it with her. It was to have been left behind, like a symbol of her old life.
Not needed on voyage, she thought, her mouth twisting. And how ironic was that?
She let herself in, put down her bag, and stood, looking appraisingly around her at the big living room which, with the galley kitchen opposite her, formed the flat's neutral territory. Two en-suite bedrooms faced each other across the shared space, ruled by their own strict privacy laws. A system that worked, and generally worked well.
She noted, brows raised, that the flat seemed unusually tidy for once, with none of the empty wine bottles, crumpled newspapers and takeaway cartons that marked her brother's normal passage through life when she wasn't there to prevent it.
Maybe all that persistent nagging had paid off at last. And at least she wouldn't have to clear a path to get to her own immaculate bedroom.
But on that thought dawned two others. First—that the door to her room was standing open, when it should be closed. Secondly—that she could hear someone moving around inside.
Well, what do I know? she thought wearily. I haven't been here for over a month. Maybe Mrs Archer's changed her hours, and that's why the place is almost hygienic for once.
Her lips parted to call out—to establish her presence and reassure—but the words were never uttered. Instead, her bedroom door was flung wide, and a stark naked man walked out into the living room.
Laine shrieked. Closing her eyes, she took a too-hasty step backwards and stumbled against her abandoned bag, ricking her ankle again, and sending a shaft of pain up her leg which made her teeth ache in sympathy.
The interloper said something that combined blasphemy and obscenity in one gracefully drawled phrase, then vanished back into the room he'd just left.
Leaving Laine standing there as if she'd been turned to stone, a small frightened voice in her head whispering a beseeching No—oh, no…over and over again.
Because she knew that voice. Knew it as well as she knew her own, even though she'd never expected to hear it again.
The body she hadn't recognised from that brief glimpse, but then she'd never seen it less than partially clothed before.
However, she was in no doubt at all over the intruder's identity. In which case, she thought shakily, grabbing at her bag, she was on her way out of here.
She was halfway to the door when she heard his voice again, reaching her across the room.
'Elaine.' The hated full version of her name, pronounced with a kind of weary disdain. 'Of all the people in the world. What the hell are you doing here?'
'Daniel?' Somehow she made herself say it. Utter it aloud. 'Daniel—Flynn?'
She turned back slowly and carefully, dry-mouthed, noting with relief that at least he had a towel draped round his hips this time, as he stood in her bedroom doorway, one bare shoulder propped almost negligently against its frame.
He hadn't changed much in the past two years, she thought numbly. Not on the surface, anyway. The unruly dark hair, shining with damp, was still longer than convention demanded. The lean, incisive face with its high cheekbones and sculpted mouth, was as heart-stopping as ever. The tall body was even more powerful than she remembered, with the long endless legs, and the deep shadow of chest hair that arrowed down towards his flat stomach.
So, although the rudimentary decencies had been observed, there was still clearly nothing to be relieved about, she told herself as she began to shake inside. In fact, quite the contrary…
'I don't believe it.' She invested her tone with considered venom. 'My God, I hoped I'd seen the last of you.'
'And instead you saw a damned sight more than you bargained for.' He looked her up and down, the hazel eyes frankly insolent under their heavy fringe of lashes as he took in the grubby white denims, and crumpled dark blue top. 'That's life?'
Copyright © 2007 by Sara Craven.