Earthsinger Excerpt

Chapter 1

Was it possible to be so irritated with someone, it made you blind? Physically blind?
Matt looked over at the woman sitting next to him in the cab of the truck, and he knew it was true. He was blind.
His logical mind told him that this woman was beautiful. Her hair was silky and midnight-black. Her cheekbones were high, her nose was straight (unlike his), her lips were full, and she had a body that would make a Victoria’s Secret model weep with envy.
When he pulled up at her place and she came to the door, he couldn’t believe his luck. Usually his trucking runs were boring at best, and when he found out the cargo he was supposed to be transporting was her…well, he wanted to throw his arms in the air and fist pump a few times. He made a mental note that he owed Kai Vand big time for setting him up with this.
Oh yeah. He owed him, all right. One knuckle sandwich, right in the kisser.
“We need to pull over.” Her voice was calm, and somehow, that grated on his nerves even more. He hadn’t spent twelve hours with the woman, but it felt like a month.
“Again? Lady, we’ve barely gone two hours since the last time!”
“I told you there would be frequent stops.”
Matt rubbed his hand across the back of his neck, fighting valiantly to keep his temper in check.
“There’s frequent, and then there’s frequent,” he said. “We are never gonna get back to Atlanta at this pace.”
Manni gave him a condescending smile. “Did Kai give you a date that I had to be in Atlanta? An exact date?”
He gave her a tight smile. “No.”
“Then what’s the problem? I just need – ”
“Yeah, yeah,” he interrupted. “You just need to feel the dirt under your feet. We’ve established that.”
“If you pull off up there,” she said, pointing off to the right, just before a bend in the road, “there’s a field of bluebonnets.”
“Bluebonnets.” His voice was resigned.
“We need more flowers in here,” she said, with a simple shrug. “Cars and trucks always smell like fuel and metal. You have to admit it’s been much easier to breathe since I added some green in here.”
Matt looked over his shoulder at Wash, his border collie, who was currently snoring on the cab bunk between two potted ferns and a large basket of drying, picked flowers and greenery.
“Are you sayin’ my truck stinks?” He demanded.
“It smells like a truck,” Manni said smoothly. “I can’t even smell you over the smell of it. Now pull over.”
“Smell me?” He barked with laughter as he brought the truck to a stop. Manni reached for the handle on the door, bringing Wash to immediate wakefulness.
“You got a thing for sweaty men?” Matt asked, still laughing.
Manni opened the door, then stood to the side to allow the dog to follow her out. She looked up at Matt.
“Depends on why they’re sweaty,” she said, looking him straight in the eye. Then she turned to follow Wash as he ran through the knee-high grass on the side of the road, toward the field of bluebonnets. Matt watched the sway of her hips and the shift of her shapely behind beneath that short sundress, and decided his vision was definitely improving.