Before she had left to go home that evening, Christine and Phillip had made plans to meet when she was on her lunch break—but this time, it would be at the courthouse, not at Granny’s, and they would not exactly be having lunch. She would be leaving her classroom as Miss Beaumont, and returning to it (at least legally) as Mrs. Signh. A wife, in the eyes of the law.

Six months before she had expected to.

She woke up before her alarm, so strong were her nerves, and took an age getting her make-up right; she had to redo the eyeliner twice because her hands shook so badly. A wife, Phillip’s wife! Of course, she would not quite feel properly married until December, when she walked down the aisle to meet him as his bride, but now at last she could finally have him…and he had made it perfectly clear the day before that he wanted her.

After she finished putting hairspray on the last of her bouncy curls and adjusting her lacy white blouse one more time, she was out the door, practically bouncing on her way to her car.


As usual, the alarm went off well before she was ready to wake. Mumbling something, Christine rolled over and tried to smack the top of it, not bothering to open her eyes and see the snooze button. It was no use. The infuriating beeping continued until she flung herself from the bed and into the shower. The hot water made her feel a little better, even as she bemoaned her dark, tangled hair. Only as she stepped onto the bathmat did she remember that she was meeting her fiancé for lunch.

Fiancé! As she toweled herself dry in the tiny bathroom, she glanced eagerly down at her hand. The diamond still sparkled as brightly as ever. Of course, it had been six months ago that he had asked her, but she still got a thrill every time she thought about it. Six months…and seven months more till the wedding. They had agreed to wait until June, until the school year had wrapped up.

A fiancé—a wedding! She was going to be someone’s wife!

She was in a much better mood by the time she got dressed in a sapphire sweater and a black pencil skirt, having applied make-up and pinned up her hair as carefully as if she were about to go on a first date, rather than another day in her sunny French classroom and a casual lunch in town.

Lunch, it turned out, could not come soon enough. Cheerful as Christine was, everyone had their limits, especially around hormonal teenaged high school students. As soon as the eleven-thirty bell rang, her phone was in one hand and her purse in the other. She dialed his number and put the phone to her ear, balancing it precariously against her shoulder as she locked the classroom up. She wanted to be there as soon as possible, to spend every moment with him she could…