Hey everyone. Please forgive some of the horrendous spelling and grammatical errors I've made in the original. Actually I'd never intended on putting up this story on fictionpress. It was solely because I'd just finished it, was about to embark on a trek to the Vic Falls, and my friend wanted to read it. I hadn't done any editing or even re-reading of the story whatsoever. Furthermore, the character Bryn Ewens was not actually fictional. He's real, some guy in my grade but I just had to use his main character for this story. And now I've changed him, from Ewens, in to Evans, as it is clear to see I, in fact, do not own Bryn Ewens, though I know many who would like to he he. But a thousand thanks to my reviewers. You've convinced me out of pulling the story out of the place as a whole. I am much flattered.

With thanks.

Feel free to follow me on my new twitter account .com/dinimuana :)

.:The Bride Hunt:.





The luminescent flashes practically blinded him and his young lady as they were herded towards the limo by the guards; two of whom were mechanically knocking some photographers out of the way.

Two seconds later, a beautiful redhead hopped into the plush limo seats, quickly followed by the most sought-after bachelor in New York, Devlin Madison.

"Sorry 'bout that", he said in a deep baritone, facing the redhead as a guard slammed the door shut after him.

"No prob", she replied, her green eyes twinkling with amusement. She'd enjoyed every minute of being in the spotlight.

Evangelina Stiles was your typical babe--hot and loaded--with stunning titian hair, emerald green eyes, and a knockout figure - as well as having, well, plain sex appeal. The young heiress to the famous Stiles cigar establishment oozed class...

And hell, did she know it.

The only problem was, she needed just one more thing to completely conquer the high-classed society she dwelled in...

A high-class society man.

"Shaken, or stirred?" Devlin asked, as he reached towards the mini-fridge to get out a bottle of sherry and two wine glasses.

Evangelina smiled seductively. "Why, shaken, of course", she said, flashing him a flirtatious smile.

Devlin Madison...

A very wealthy young man. His father was a direct descendent of the famous Madison coffee plantation establishment, circa 1779. Devlin, turning 21 in June the next year, would someday inherit the family estate and thus be even more of a filthy rich young man.

Devlin just also happened to be...oh...so...fine. Not only was he tall with a great body, (how on earth he got such from lounging in his yacht, no one knew), but he was also endowed with jet-set black hair, (softer than normal male hair, as many a girlfriend of his would testify), and the most gorgeous set of pewter grey eyes.

Oh yes, Evangelina thought, smiling as she took the glass he offered her, He would do just fine.

Meanwhile, young master Madison was pretty much oblivious to his date's plans, and instead was casually donning the persona he always donned when around women: the perfect gentleman.

But something was amiss tonight. Despite the face of allowing himself to seduce and be seduced, an unusual nerve of slight unease was eating the back of his mind this night. He was uncharacteristically having an internal bout of doubts concerning the almost routine schedule he'd built up for himself since he'd hit puberty. Oh no, he loved the girls...there was no getting around that. But somehow, he was simply...pensive...about (dare he say it?)...

The future.

Now that he'd just finished Oxford (with majors and degrees in Advanced Literature and Humanities, no less), Devlin understood that he had to make decisions...and he had to make them rather fast. Devlin, being an honor-roll student, had applied to several universities; the only problem was, he wasn't too sure as yet about what courses he planned on taking. Thoughts fluttered across his egotistical mind nowadays, inducing actual concern also for his future role of head of Madison Heights; the luxurious and extensive estate, known far and wide in New York as the epitome of dignified richness.

"You ok?" Ms. Stiles asked, gleefully hoping he was drunk as a doorknob... She was totally ready to find out what exactly many other bachelorettes around the state had found out about the gorgeous hulk of hunk.

"Yeah, sure", Devlin replied, getting back to reality...and into stupidity. "I'm more than okay", he said lightly, unable to suppress his trademark smirk that was already appearing on his face.

"I should hope so", said Evangelina, inching closer towards him. "I mean...I'd be more than a little surprised if you settled for just...okay".

"No kidding", Devlin murmured, before catching her mouth in his and starting an age-long make-out session which, when they reached his luxury-suite apartment, soon turned out to be much..more..interesting.

Guess the future will have to wait, Devlin thought absent-mindedly as he was gently pulled into the master bedroom by the sexy Ms. Evangelina Stiles.

At least...till tomorrow morning.

The afternoon smog of New York City hung thick in the air. Thicker than usual, it seemed. Well, to Drew McNamara anyway.

As the nineteen year old started the fifty-meter trek home from uptown New York to the less developed area of Holdings, she tightened her seedy but trusty parka around her torso, making sure to stay away from the main road and stick to the cemented pavement.

As the sun's rays only just started setting, she walked with confidence, occasionally looking at the shops she passed by everyday. But despite the seemingly busy exterior, Drew had a lot to think about.

Drew always had a lot to think about.

She just got fifty dollars for waiting tables at the five-star restaurant on the seventh floor of Thinestraw Plaza Hotel, the most elite hotel in this part of the state. She got fifty dollars from 9 to 5, five days a week. This had been her routine ever since she was forced to drop out of school and give up any chance of a decent future.

Born to an alcoholic dad and a drug-addicted mother, she'd lived her childhood in total fear of her parents' mood swings. Her older sister, Becca, was no help; her idea of raising her own money had been turning to the prostitute-filled streets at night. If it wasn't for Mr. McNamara's father also living there, instilling obedience and morals, Drew believed she'd have been the same. But then, when she was fifteen, her own father finally passed away, losing an already lost battle with a case of cirrhosis he had never been sober enough to notice. A year after that, his wife had followed suit with a drug overdose.

As if the deaths of their irresponsible parents weren't tough enough, Drew had to then suffer more trials when Becca got pregnant with a boyfriend's baby, left the child with the remaining McNamaras, and took the first train to Dallas with said lowlife boyfriend.

Since the tender age of seventeen, Drew McNamara's life consisted of mounting schoolwork punctuated with diaper changing, bottle-feeding, and trying to figure their finances out. When Grandpa Rob, who up to this time had always brought in the meager but sufficient money they'd needed, got sick, times took a turn yet again in Drew's life, and from this point on achieved a sense of independence that few people her age had.

Despite acknowledgeable brilliance at academics, and an ambitious mind to boost, Drew found it impossible to be in a position where she had to play a mother, a grand-daughter, an aunt, a house-keeper and a student all at once at the age of seventeen.

So she gave up the one thing she could afford to lose from that list: her education. No longer a leading candidate for a scholarship in the Arts, Drew had to get a job, and get it quick. Fortunately, her taste for perfection and overall ambitiously strong character helped her land a waitressing job at the most exclusive hotel in New York City.

With her life finally in check, Drew found it easier to breathe and move on ahead without the reckless family she once had and yet loved, and instead only started to appreciate being able to help her aging grandfather and lovely niece, who was pretty much her own baby.

Cara, Drew thought now, smiling to herself at the thought of her little angel at home, despite the chilly street weather.

Stepping up a pace, Drew finally reached the white-washed picket-fenced gate of Number 13, Ainsley Avenue. Ignoring the ruckus that the neighborhood boys were making, (most of them were just loudly checking her out, as usual), Drew trudged up the cobbled pathway and into her home.

A second later, she was ambushed by a little dark-haired girl. Despite the weariness her young body was subjected to, Drew still couldn't help but pick up the toddler and kiss her endlessly. Everyday, their neighbor's 13-year old daughter would come by to take care of Cara and Grandpa Rob while Drew worked. This was a totally effective arrangement; and though the young girl had offered to do it for free, Drew insisted on paying by the hour.

She hated charity for herself.

Together, Drew and Cara now went in search of Grandpa Rob.

It didn't take long.

The seventy-seven-year old man was where he could only be: in bed. Though his body had practically given way to the years, his eyes were timeless, still twinkling every time he saw the two apples of his eyes together.

After a quick dinner, goodnights were said, (well, a gurgle from Cara), and Drew set out for her own room. As she brushed her teeth before getting into bed, Drew made it a point to survey herself in the age-old mirror hung up against the bathroom wall.

The confident, independent dark-haired girl had gone.

A young woman stared back unblinkingly. Her oval-shaped face was bordered lightly with shoulder-length straight black hair. Her weary eyes reflected a soft, jade green. These tired eyes, set against unmade-up hair, along with an empty smile, made it evident:

Drew McNamara was living a nightmare.