Tina watched Hank paste on a smile and move to accommodate two ladies toward the table on his left.
He was so handsome, those broad shoulders wrapped in a tuxedo. Country boy or city boy, he was comfortable in either location. Hank was Hank, regardless of where he lived.
His shoulders tensed when Samantha, holding to Greg’s arm, walked into the room. He recovered soon enough. “Tina. Come on over. Meet my friends.”
Samantha would be married in a few hours. Would she be content? In this town. With Greg? Though she’d never met the bride and groom to be, Hank had known them for years. One look at Samantha, Tina had her answer. Yes. Yes, Samantha would be an ecstatic bride.
Tina had doubt from time to time. Was marriage to Hank what she really wanted? Could she be happy with Hank and take on the child of a prisoner? That was a bad thing to say. Evan couldn’t help who his parents were. Everyone believed Tom, Evan’s father, was innocent of the accused crime. Nevertheless, Hank had taken on Evan to care for until his father could return to society.
The one thing Tina had discussed with Hank repeatedly, and it bothered her a lot. When and if Tom was released, and Evan chose to live with his father, their hearts would go with him. However, Hank had given his word to Tom, and he’d keep his promise. No matter what.
Evan had won her heart too. Life hadn’t been fair to the little guy. First, his father had been railroaded into prison, and then his mother had finally passed from cancer. Evan was one tough young boy. Hank had seen to it that he’d kept Evan busy with school in Atlanta, learning how to work around the cabin in the Smoky Mountains, most of all he’d taught him to care for horses. Boys needed an animal to befriend. Hatchet and Sam supplied that comfort.
She’d won her mother and sister over, rather Hank had done the winning over. They couldn’t resist his Southern charm, his intoxicating personality. Tina grinned thinking of when they’d first met. He sure wasn’t full of charm then.
She hadn’t liked him at all. He’d been a tough one to get to know. He’d not cared for her much either. She grinned. It was no wonder. He’d taught her to chop wood, and the mess she’d made when she baked a cake. Oh, Lord! Not to mention when she’d burned part of his manuscript. She wouldn’t think of that anymore.
Tina knew Hank and Samantha had had a past when she caught the look between them. Their past was too noticeable to mistake. A lump formed in her throat when she saw that Hank had seen that she’d recognized the discomfort he tried to hide. She knew then the doubts she’d experienced, were undeniable.
A Smoky Mountain Wedding – Book Two, coming November, 2013
My books are available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Kobo, Sony, Diesel, Apple and Smashwords.
You can find links on my website, here. http://caroldevaney.weebly.com/my-books