A Measure of Trust

Annabeth Lorton opened her red puffy eyes. Her wedding dress hung on the door of her closet, seemingly mocking her. The bouquet that looked so fresh last evening was limp and draping over the dressing table, headed for the floor. It was the perfect depiction of how she felt. Cast aside and thrown to the ground. The life drained from her.

The events of last evening's near wedding played over in her head. How could this have happened? How could she have been so wrong? Jonathan Taylor had been a long-time friend; and when they began courting, it all seemed like a fairy tale. It quickly became a nightmare when a young woman in the crowd couldn't hold her peace and begged Jonathan not to go through with the wedding.

What a fool Annabeth was. Well, she wasn't going to stay and be the laughing stock of Charleston's high society. She didn't belong there anyway. She belonged far away from the city. She belonged in the West. South Dakota would be the perfect place to start over and start her own business. In the vast open spaces, she could start anew and leave the past behind. Or could she?

Settled in her new surroundings, Annabeth thrives, with her very own bakery and a new suitor. Soon her past meets up with her present when Jonathan follows her West to make amends. Both men pursue her love and trust, but could the drifter working in her bakery become her future?

--Sarah Hale

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