Dyanne Davis
The Wedding Gown
Chapter One

Wedding gown for sale.  Cheap.  Brand new, never worn.  Reason: Potential groom turned out to be a
two-timing jackass!!!

Ashleigh pushed the thumbtack firmly into the sign and stepped back from the laundry room bulletin
board.  There, she thought, that should do it.  She could of course have called Damien a lot worse
things than a two-timing jackass.  In her opinion she’d been rather nice.  She was thinking about all the
other less nice but true things she could have called him when the notice fluttered in a sudden breeze
as a door opened and closed somewhere.  Ashleigh frowned.  Damien was trouble even when he was
just mentioned on a sign.  Obviously she needed more than one thumbtack or it would rip loose.  

As she glanced around for more thumbtacks, her eyes fell on an open toolbox sitting on the counter.  
Probably the janitors, she thought.  And right there, poking out of it and just begging to be used, was a
staple gun.  With only a moment’s hesitation, she grabbed it and zapped three quick staples into her
notice before it balked at spitting out a fourth.  Opening it, Ashleigh saw that it was completely empty.  
She peeped into the toolbox for more staples to refill it but saw only other tools.  Darn it!  She thought
about just forgetting it.  After all, it had only been a couple of staples.  Big deal!  The janitor would
have run out the first time he tried to use it.  Yet it bothered her.  She was the one who’d emptied it.  
She’d not only appropriated someone else’s property, but she’d rendered it momentarily useless to
that person.  How many times had she herself gotten angry when someone borrowed something of
hers and returned it needing something before it could be used?  

With a sigh, she examined the staple gun again and saw that it used staples the same size as those in
her desk upstairs.  The solution was annoyingly simple: She could go get her staples and refill the
staple gun-maybe even before the janitor returned from wherever he was.  Then get to it, her
conscience ordered.  So, without further ado, Ashleigh headed for the elevator.  She’d satisfy her
conscience and do a good deed at the same time.

Keefe read the notice posted in the laundry room, amusement creasing his handsome face.  He
wondered for a moment if this was a joke.  He glanced casually once again at the notice and saw what
he’d missed initially, an e-mail address.  He knew instantly that the woman was serious.
Cheap, he thought, wondering how cheap it would be.  Some people thought five thousand dollars for
a gown was cheap.  He wasn’t one of them.  Of course his sister would think his even considering
buying her a second-hand gown would be cheap, meaning him not the gown.  

And she would consider it used, worn or not.  He could just hear her scolding voice now.  “But Keefe,
you promised.  Why do I have to buy a gown someone else chose?  It’s bad luck, Keefe.  Did you ever
think of that?”

Just to be sure, Keefe read the notice once more.  The potential bridegroom was a “two-timing
jackass.”  Well, that couldn’t be because of the gown, he assured himself as he pulled a pencil from
behind his ear and scribbled down the e-mail address.  It was at least worth looking into.