Stone Cold Surrender(2)

By: Brenda Jackson

makeup, it was not very much. She was a natural beauty.

He glanced down at her hand, the one gripping his thigh.

She was not wearing an engagement or wedding ring,

which was good; and she had boarded the plane in Atlanta, which meant she either lived in the area or had come

through the city to catch this connecting flight. Since they

were on the same plane, unless she had another

connecting flight, she was also bound for Montana.

His body tensed when he felt her grip tighten on his thigh. He inhaled deeply. If her hand moved even less than an

inch, she would be clutching the most intimate part of him and he doubted she wanted to do that. Chances were she assumed her hand was gripping the armrest, so he

decided he’d better let her know what was going on before he embarrassed them both.

He noticed that the sun, shining through the airplane

window, hit her features at such an angle that they glowed. Even her hair appeared thick and luxurious and fanned her face in a way that made her look even more attractive.

Leaning over quietly, so as not to startle her, he breathed in her scent before getting a single word out of his mouth. It

was a fragrance that turned him on even more than he

already was. The aroma seemed entrenched into her skin and he was tempted to take his tongue and lick a portion of her bare neck to see if perhaps he could sample a taste of it.

Stone shook his head. Since when had he developed a fetish for a woman’s skin? He enjoyed the art of kissing, like most men, but wanting to taste, nibble and devour a woman all over had never been something that interested him.

Until now.

He pushed the thought to the back of his mind, deciding it was too dangerous to even go there; he leaned closer and whispered softly in her ear, “The plane has leveled off so you can let go of me now.”

She snapped open her eyes and quickly turned her head to

meet his gaze. A part of him suddenly wished she hadn’t done that. He found himself staring into the most beautiful set of brown eyes he had ever seen. They were perfect for the rest of her features and something in their dark depths made his body almost jerk in the seat.

She was simply gorgeous, although in truth there wasn’t

anything simple about it. She literally took his breath away. And, speaking of breath, he watched as she drew in a long, shaky one before glancing down at her left hand. She

immediately snatched it off his thigh.

Awareness flashed in her eyes and total embarrassment

appeared on her face. “Oh, oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to touch you. I thought my hand was on the armrest. I—I didn’t mean to act so improperly.”

When Stone saw the degree of distress on her face he

decided to assure her that he would survive. The last thing he wanted was for her to come unglued and get all flustered on him. And he really liked her accent. It was totally different from his Southern drawl and had the unmistakable inflection of a northeasterner. She was definitely someone from one of those New England States.

“Hey, no harm’s done,” he tried to say casually. “My name is Stone Westmoreland,” he said, introducing himself and

presenting his hand to her.

She still looked embarrassed when she took it and said, “And I’m Madison Winters.”

He smiled. “Nice meeting you, Madison. Is this your first flight?”

She shook her head when he released her hand. “Nice

meeting you, too, and no, this isn’t my first flight, but I have a definite fear of flying. I try using other means of

transportation whenever I can, but in this particular situation time is of the essence.”

He nodded. “And where are you from?” he couldn’t help but ask, her accent affecting him just as much as her touch had. Just listening to how she pronounced her words was a total turn-on.

“I’m from Boston. I was born and raised there.”

He nodded again. “I’m from the Atlanta area,’’ he decided to say when moments passed and she hadn’t taken the

liberty to ask. Whether it was from shyness or disinterest, he wasn’t sure. But as far as he was concerned it didn’t matter if she wasn’t interested in him. He was definitely

interested in her.

“I love visiting Atlanta,” she said moments later. “I took my class on a field trip there once.”

He raised a brow. “Your class?”

She smiled and his stomach flipped. “Yes, I’m a teacher. I teach music to sixth graders.”

Stone smiled, surprised. He would never have figured her to be the artsy type. He remembered taking band when he was about eleven and learning to play the clarinet. His band teacher had looked nothing like her. “Must be interesting.”