Monday, August 23, 2010

Angel On Fire by Megan Hussey

Chapter One

“I tell you, Blythe. You’ve got to get it together.” Richard Billings regarded his fiancée, Blythe Browning, with a cool, condemning stare.

And Blythe, heaven help her, stared right back.

“Yeah, well, I’ll work on getting it together while you sink to the fiery depths of a metaphorical abyss.” She arched her eyebrows. “Deal?”

Richard rolled his eyes.

“Our wedding is in three weeks, and you haven’t fulfilled any of your promises to me.” He sighed in frustration. “For one thing, you can’t get along with my mother.”

“It’s rather difficult to get along with a woman who counts shuffleboard and poorly veiled verbal abuse as her two favorite sports.” Blythe sighed in return. “I’m sorry, shuffleboard is NOT a sport, and telling your future daughter-in-law she likens a bloated panda in her wedding dress is just not very nice, no matter how you process it through your proverbial mental filter.”

“Well, Mom was right.” Richard shrugged. “You vowed to lose 30 pounds before our wedding.” He cringed in disgust. “Instead you gained 10.”

“Okay, that’s it.” Blythe jumped to her feet, then crossed the length of her fiance’s apartment in three quick strides.

Richard maintained a home that was as neat, sterile and unforgivably linear as he was. And she simply couldn’t bear one more moment, either of him or his stifling living quarters.

She turned to face him at his front door, regarding his pudgy but sharply dressed form with cool eyes.

“Maybe I need to lose two hundred pounds of insensitive fiancé.” She planted her hands on her hips.

Richard shook his head.

“Why am I even bothering to marry you?” He lifted the first of his two chins to haughty effect.

Blythe shrugged.

“I’m not altogether sure, Richard. Maybe you should reconsider.” She opened his front door and stepped outside. “In the meantime, I have preparations to make for the wedding.”

“Preparations to make for the wedding,” Richard sniffed. “Is that code for, ‘I’m going to go home and cry over a box of bon bons?’”

Blythe considered this statement a moment, then shook her head.

“No, that’s not a precise translation.” She sneered. “It’s code for, ‘I’m going to go drink away my cares and perhaps even get a lap dance from a sinfully gorgeous man.’”

She quite enjoyed the shocked look that crossed his ruddy features as she bid him good day.