Today we have a sneak peek from the contemporary fiction book by author Gaelen VanDenbergh: Running Against Traffic.
Paige Scott is done in. Done for. Done with it. Having spent her childhood shuffled between relatives who ignored her, and her adult life hiding within the walls of her relationships with men, she is prepared to live out her empty days in her crumbling marriage to David Davenport. David has other plans, however, and flings her into a remote, impoverished world, in stark contrast to the wealthy cosmopolitan one that was all she knew. Here she is forced to face the betrayals of her past and learn, for the first time, how to care for herself, and for others.
Here is an excerpt from Running Against Traffic…
David drove around another bend and crunched up a rutted dirt and pebble driveway leading to a dilapidated house with a sagging front porch and peeling lime-green shutters. The siding looked like it might have been white at one time, but was now the color of dingy mop-water.
“Gee, David, couldn’t you have had it renovated before we came out here?” Paige asked. She leaned her head back wearily. “What were you thinking? This place is clearly unsalvageable. Did you even have it inspected?”
David sprang out of the SUV and slammed his door. Paige sighed and stepped carefully out her side, wary of where she set her shoes down. She shaded her eyes with one hand, taking a longer look at the house. God, it was terrible. She would have to convince David to sell it. She certainly was not coming back for any more weekend getaways here. But who would buy this mess? Finally she turned toward him, and nearly tripped over her bag which was on the ground beside her. David was standing by the front of the car, arms folded across his chest.
“What’s the matter with you? Where’s your suitcase?” Paige snapped with fresh annoyance. “We might as well go in. It’s too hot to stand around out here all day.”
“I’m not staying,” he said. “What? What do you mean?” Paige asked, feeling her heart begin to jump against her rib cage.
“You’re staying. I’m going home. This,” he tossed a set of keys onto her suitcase, “is your home now. There is a bank card in your purse. Your account is with the local branch on Cherry Street. I had the utilities turned on, and I arranged for some supplies to be stocked in. That should get you started. Good luck, and goodbye.”
Paige felt light headed and there was a faint ringing in her ears. She reached for the passenger-side car door handle and grasped it to steady herself. David was already climbing back in on his side. He snapped on his seatbelt and powered down the passenger window. In that instant, she saw a man she barely knew. He seemed to be wearing a mask of himself. “I’ll send you the rest of your clothes and things,” he said. “We’re through. Feel free to see other men.”
“You feel free to see other men, too,” Paige squeaked. But she was drowned out by the revved engine as the Lexus lurched backward, forcing her to yank back her hand. The car bumped down the driveway, jerked into forward and sped around the bend and out of sight.
Driveway dust hung around her in a cloud, suspended in the stagnant summer air as if time had slowed to a near standstill. A couple of bees circled lazily nearby and she could hear the faint buzzing. The sun burned into the top of her head. She blinked up at it like a bewildered bird pushed from its nest. Then she dropped to the hard, dry ground and sat watching the dust shimmering above the road where her husband’s truck had disappeared. The Lexus was gone, but she stared at that empty road for a long time.