Blind-Date Bride

Blind-Date Bride by Jillian Hart Read Free Book Online

Book: Blind-Date Bride by Jillian Hart Read Free Book Online
Authors: Jillian Hart
Tags: Romance
harness a tug. It felt suddenly tight against his chest. Why did his heart stop beating? Why was he struggling for air? The last time he’d gotten theidentical feeling, it had been watching Brianna McKaslin walk away from him.
    Better planning, Bree told herself as she stopped for the red light. That’s all it would have taken, but oh no, she had been sure she could make the twenty-minute bike ride from the library on campus to the bookstore. She should have foreseen disaster. Planned for delays. For getting caught behind the bus. And snow, she added when a white flake caught on her eyelash.
    Only six more blocks. She hated the shadows that seemed to hide all kinds of danger. She wished her nerve endings would stop popping and her pulse would stop thudding in her ears with the decibel level of a marching band. Cars swished by in the opposing lanes, headlights glaring as they swung to make left-hand turns. She shivered, vulnerable on her bike.
    You’re fine, Bree. Everything’s fine. The road is well lit. You’re going to be okay. Doom is not right around the corner. She glanced to her left and right, wanting to be aware of her environment. A pair of students, with backpacks slung over their shoulders, walked along the sidewalk on the other side of the street. Light spilled from the streetlight above, and the parking lot paralleling the road was busy with people. Students piled out of cars or carried pizza in boxes back to their vehicles, and shoppers walked along the specialty shops browsing.
    No reason to panic. She shook snow off her bike helmet, wiped her eyes with her sleeve and focused on the light overhead. Okay, it could turn any time now. Once she was moving, she would feel less vulnerable.
    A big white truck pulled up in the lane beside her.No big deal. Except for the fact that the passenger window began to roll down. Great. It was going to be all right, even if she didn’t recognize the truck.
    Wait. Or did she? There was something at the back of her mind, a memory just out of reach. Recognition bolted through her like lightning. Max. It looked like his truck. And, the man shadowed in the interior of the truck looked remarkably like him, too.
    “What are you doing out here in this?” Max Decker hung out the window, clearly undaunted by the cold and the pummeling snow.
    It wasn’t relief that zipped through her like a funnel cloud. No, it was something much more troubling. “Hey, detective. I didn’t think I would ever see you again.”
    “Haven’t been on a blind date lately.” His lopsided grin could have been a movie star’s. “What are you doing out in this weather?” he repeated.
    “My stolen car hasn’t turned up yet.” She couldn’t help feeling like a doofus. Hel-lo? Max had a lot going for him—and she so didn’t, the proof being she was on her old ten-speed. “I didn’t go for the rental-car part of the policy, so here I am, biking it.”
    “Can we give you a lift? This is Marcus, my little brother. Half brother, really, but I’m stuck with him the same as if he was the real thing.” He winked, obviously joking. The teenager behind the wheel gave a “Hey!” in good-natured protest.
    So, a new piece of the puzzle that was Max Decker. Interesting. Brianna swiped another snowflake from her eye and noticed the light had changed. Green glowed in the falling snow as she waved off his offer. No cars hadpulled in behind them so she had time to answer. “Thanks, but I only have six blocks to go.”
    “Six blocks, huh?” He glanced down the street, thoughtful and unruffled. “Six block up, there’s another shopping mall. You can’t live there.”
    “No, but my sister works there. My half sister, since we’re being specific.” She couldn’t help the smile tugging at the corners of her mouth. Was she flirting with him?
    Most of all, was he flirting with her?
    No, he couldn’t be. No way. She gripped both handlebars securely, both ready to kick off and unable to

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