Stone Cold Surrender(6)

By: Brenda Jackson

A very tempting thought.

She pushed the thought aside, thinking that one Winters woman acting impulsive and irrational was enough.

What if the man Madison Winters had described was really

Uncle Corey?

With his eyes closed, that question continued to plague

Stone’s mind. At the moment he was pretending to be

asleep, not wanting Madison to see his inner turmoil. Since the plane was at an altitude where he could use a mobile

phone, he considered calling Durango to find out if Corey had abducted the woman. Durango, who was also a park ranger, had moved to Montana to attend college and joined the profession that their uncle had loved so much.

Durango had lived with Corey until he had saved up enough to purchase his own land. But calling Durango was not an option, not with Madison sitting next to him. Although she

would try not to eavesdrop, there was no way she would not overhear his every word. He had no choice but to wait until the plane landed to question Durango. He hoped like hell

that he was wrong and there was another retired park

ranger who lived high in the mountains and whose name

began with the letter C.

Stone breathed in slowly. Madison’s scent was getting to

him again. If he were completely honest he would admit that his blood had begun stirring the moment she had sat next to him on the flight. He had tried ignoring her by

concentrating on the activities outside the plane window as the airline crew prepared for takeoff, and had pretty much dismissed her from his mind until she had touched him.

Aroused him was a much better word.

He sighed deeply. This would definitely be one flight he

would not forget in a long time. He couldn’t help but open his eyes and glance over at her. Her eyes were closed, her lips were parted and she was breathing at an even pace. Unlike before, she was now resting peacefully and had

somehow taken her mind off her fear of flying, and a part of him felt good about that. He didn’t want to dwell on the

protective instincts he was developing for her. Perhaps he felt this way because she reminded him of his baby sister, Delaney.

A lazy smile touched his lips. As the only girl constantly

surrounded by five older brothers and six older male

cousins, Delaney had been overprotected most of her life. But after graduating from medical school she had pulled a fast one on everyone and had sneaked away to a secluded cabin in the North Carolina mountains for rest and

relaxation, only to discover the mountain retreat was

already occupied. A visiting desert sheikh, who’d had the same idea about rest and relaxation, had been ensconced in the cabin when she’d arrived. During the course of their “vacation,” the two fell in love and now his baby sister was a princess living in the Middle East.

Delaney was presently in the States with her family to finish her residency at a hospital in Kentucky. He enjoyed seeing his one-year-old nephew Ari and had to admit that his

sister’s husband, Sheikh Jamal Ari Yasir, had grown on him and his brothers, and now he was as welcome a sight as

Delaney. Stone knew Jamal loved his sister immensely.

He looked around the plane, wishing there was some way he could walk around and stretch his stiff muscles, but knew that would mean waking Madison to reach the aisle, and he didn’t want to do that for fear she would start talking again about the man who could be his uncle. Until he got some

answers from Durango, the last thing he wanted to do was come across as if he were deceiving her.

He glanced over at her once more and admired her beauty. To his way of thinking, Madison Winters was a woman no man in his right mind would want to deceive.


T he landing was smooth and as the plane taxied up to the terminal, Madison breathed a sigh of relief to be back on the ground. She unbuckled her seat belt and watched as

the other passengers wasted little time getting out of their seats and gathering their belongings from the overhead

compartments. Some people were moving quickly to catch connecting flights, while others appeared eager to be

reunited with the loved ones waiting for them.

“Do you need help getting anything?”

She turned and met Stone’s gaze. His voice was low, deep and seductive, and reminded her of the husky baritone of the singer Barry White. The rhythm of her heart increased.

“No, I can manage, but thanks for asking. If you don’t mind, I’ll wait until the plane empties before getting off. If you need to get by I can move out of your way.”

“No, I’m in no hurry, either. I doubt my cousin is here to pick me up since he’s never on time.” He smiled. “But then he just might surprise me this time.”

His smile did funny things to her insides, Madison thought, glancing around to see how many people were left to get off the plane. The best thing to do would be to get as far away from Stone Westmoreland as soon as she could. The man