Highway to Happiness<br/>

Author: Jan Abney
Publisher: Janet Abney
Published: 2010-09-01
ISBN(s) 978-1466394483
Category: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Genre(s): Romance, Contemporary, Romance & Friendship Read Excerpt >

THE CURTAINS were opened at seven the next morning. A cheerful nurse turned to her with a smile. It's time to get up, Caroline. Standing beside the bed, she fluffed the pillow as she raised the whole bed near waist-high. Breakfast will be in soon. You should get a shower first, then let's see how we are feeling this morning.

I can tell you right now. I'm tired. My head hurts, and I don't want to get up. She tried to sound grumpy. Too many people coming in and out all night. I thought a hospital was a place for sick people
to get well.

With a bigger smile, the nurse backed from the bed. I think you're just fine. After a shower and breakfast, just maybe the doctor will release you to go home.

Home? Caroline asked with hope in her eyes as well as her tone. You think he's changed his mind about my driving?

No, that order won't change. I apologize. I forgot you don't live here. Most everyone that comes in does. She looked at her watch. Not much time to get that shower, if you're going to have a hot breakfast. Up now.

Sitting on the side of the bed, she dangled her bare feet above the tiled floor. She felt no dizziness sitting, but was leery about being on her feet. As she sat contemplating standing, the door opened a little, a light tapping sounded at the same time. Without waiting for an invitation, a tall man walked in,
carrying what Caroline knew was her small suitcase.

Miss Stroud? His voice was rich with a timbre that could melt any cold heart within hearing distance. I hope I'm not interrupting...

You are. The nurse found an annoyance, her tone disclosed. Caroline was just going to take her shower, if you don't mind.

He proceeded into the room, paying no attention to the rudeness of the day nurse. Well, hello Martha. I haven't seen you in quite some time. How have you been? The man asked the haughty woman.

Just fine, thanks. If I had my way, I'd see that we didn't bump into each other quite so often. She stood beside the bed again, ready to lend a hand to help Caroline get to her feet. I'm glad you moved so far away, and only come home once or twice a year. Usually I can avoid you at those times.

Must have gotten up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, Martha. Not a bit intimidated by her nastiness, he came further into the room, setting the case on the one chair in the room. Dad asked me to bring this by on my way out. I hope you don't mind my coming so early.

Okay, you've done your daddy's bidding, now you may leave. The nurse had moved when the tall, broad shouldered man came closer.

I was also asked to find out how Miss Stroud was feeling this morning. His grin brought out a dimple in his right cheek.

I'm fine, thank you. Caroline spoke in a squeak, feeling a charisma emanating from him she didn't know anyone could possess.

If you'll excuse yourself, I have a job to do. Caroline needs to get busy. The woman was pushy
and persistent.

Thank you, but I can get there myself. Caroline didn't want to cause hard feelings with this woman, but she didn't like how she was speaking to this man. True, she didn't know their past, and obviously there had been something, but there was no reason for a professional to be so sharp with anyone, especially in front of a patient.

Without another word the uniformed woman left, leaving the door open.

Mr. Kingston, I presume. She held her hand out.

Dan. May I call you Caroline? Dan Kingston sat on the edge of the bed beside her, taking her hand in both his. I like it. Sounds old fashioned. Your great-grandmother's name?

She chose to ignore the niceties. Are you always such a thorn upon entering a room? She was speaking of the way Martha reacted to him, and knew he would understand. Feeling the air against her bare back, she became self conscious about the hospital gown.

I find that I affect people in different ways, Caroline. Now, Martha... he let the word roll off his tongue in a dreamy sort of way, ...well, she's a long story, and I don't have much time. In fact, I'm going to be late if I don't take off now. He made no move to do so, nor did he free her hand.

I appreciate you bringing my things in, and I'm glad you're early. I wasn't looking forward to another of these gowns. My personal clothes are less... airy. She leaned back as she moved her free arm behind her, closing the open ends when Dan dared to look.

With a boyish grin and a wink, he stood. Personally, I don't think they do much for looks. Something more frilly would be easier to picture you in. At the door, he turned back to her. I'm glad to have met you, Caroline. Is there anything else you need?

No, thanks. What's the weather like? She stood, holding the back closed as if he were behind her.

Awful slick. Not fit for man nor beast. And from the looks of things, it's going to get worse. His eyes seemed to cover all of her at once.

Her shoulders fell as she sat back on the bed in a slump. This wasn't what she needed to hear. She knew for certain she'd be left alone for Christmas. A sigh escaped her parted lips.

He gave the door a push to close it, walking back to where Caroline sat. He didn't think about how she had kept her gown closed to him as he sat beside her again, putting his brawny arm around her shoulders. What's wrong? There was sincerity in his voice.

A tear rolled down her cheek. Shaking her head, she tried to move back from him. It's nothing. She wiped at her wet cheek, silently damning her weakness as she put more conviction in her voice. I thought you were late already.

They can wait. I couldn't leave you feeling like this. What can I do to make things better? Dan pulled her closer, comforting her as a big brother would. With another sigh, she looked up at him.

Nothing will help, unless you want to brave the weather and take me to Crawfordsville. Her tone wasn't serious, but she was earnest about nothing else helping how she felt.

That could be arranged when they let you out of here. His tone couldn't have been more serious.

I didn't mean it, Mr. Kingston. Caroline relaxed, putting her head on his shoulder, though it wasn't something she would normally do with a stranger.

Standing again, he turned to look at her. I am late, but I'll be back to talk about this later. I'm sure there's something we can do for you.

You and your father have done more than you should have already. Now she felt guilty for mentioning him taking her anywhere, though she couldn't help wondering if he was as serious as he sounded. It isn't the end of the world if I don't spend a day at home. I'm a big girl. She blushed when he winked at her with a knowing grin.

Later, Carolyn. His two words stayed with her, echoing in her mind long after he was gone.

Highway to Happiness   by   Jan Abney   |   See Bio >

Carolyn is engaged to her boss, a nice looking insurance agent, who she isn't sure she can be
happy with. Derek wants to take her on a ski trip for a week get-away, to get to know each other.
No, he doesn't ski, but he'd love watching her. This isn't appealing to Carolyn.

If you're that set against going to Colorado, take a week and go see your parents; take time to
think about us. The suggestion came as a surprise. But it is one of the better suggestions she's
heard from him

The weather doesn't look good for her trip. She hopes she can get to her parents home before the
ice storm hits.

She has an accident, and is stuck in Carbon. The older man who helps her, takes her home like a
stray kitten, where she meets the man's son for the second time.

BWB never takes commissions - Authors! Sign Up Now! Only $9.99
Retail: $4.99FAIR TRADE Price: $1.99

More books by

Bringing Indie Authors and Readers Together...
© Bookstore Without Borders | T 403.336.1313 | E info@bookstorewithoutborders.com | Powered by itsyndicate.ca