Stone Cold Surrender(7)

By: Brenda Jackson

messed with her ability to think straight and, for the

moment, finding her mother needed her full concentration.

“Do you have transportation to the Silver Arrow ranch?”

Again she met his gaze. “Yes. I was told they would be sending someone for me.”

Stone nodded. “Too bad. I was going to offer you a ride. I’m sure Durango wouldn’t mind dropping you off since it’s on the way.”

Madison lifted a brow. “Durango?”

Stone smiled. “Yes, my cousin Durango. He’s a park ranger at Yellowstone National Park.”

Stone watched her eyes grow wide. “A park ranger? Then there’s a chance he might know the man my mother took off with,” she said excitedly.

Durango might know him better than you think, Stone

wanted to say but didn’t. Although the man she had

described sounded a lot like Corey, it was still hard for

Stone to believe that his uncle had actually taken a woman to his mountain. Stone never knew the full story why Corey had written off any kind of permanent relationship with a

woman, he only knew that he had. “Yes, there is that

possibility,” Stone finally said.

“Then, if you don’t mind, I’d like to ask him about it.”

“No, I don’t mind.” Stone only hoped that he would get the chance to speak to Durango first.

“The way is clear to go now.”

Madison’s words recaptured his attention. He watched as she stood and eased out into the aisle. Opening the

overhead compartment, she pulled out an overnight bag, a brand he recognized immediately as being Louis Vuitton. He smiled, remembering that he had given his sister

Delaney a Louis Vuitton purse as a graduation present

when she had earned her medical degree. He had been amazed at how much the item had cost, but when he had seen how happy the gift had made Delaney, the amount

he’d spent had been well worth it.

Delaney had once explained that you could tell just how

polished and classy a woman was by the purse she

carried. If that was the case, Madison Winters was one hell of a polished and classy woman because she was sporting a Louis Vuitton purse, as well. He stood up and followed

her into the aisle.

Madison looked ahead and thought the aisle of the plane seemed a hundred miles long. When they had to stop

abruptly for the line of people moving slowly ahead of them,

Stone automatically placed his hands at her waist to keep her from losing her balance.

She turned and gazed over her shoulder at him. “Thanks, Stone.”

“My pleasure.”

She smiled thinking it wasn’t his pleasure alone. She felt

his hard, solid chest pressed against her back and, when he placed his hands on her waist, she was acutely aware of the strength in his touch. He was a tall man. She wasn’t

conscious of just how tall until he stood up. He towered over her and when she tilted her head back to thank him, he met her gaze. The look in his eyes nearly took her breath away.

Although he wasn’t wearing a wedding ring, there was no way a man who looked this good could be unattached, she thought. A probing query entered her mind. He’d said his

cousin Durango would be picking him up. Would there be a special lady waiting for him, as well? In her opinion, Stone Westmoreland had a magnetic, compelling charm that

made him an irresistible force to reckon with.

When they left the plane, the two of them walked side by

side through the ramp corridor toward the arrival area. “So, how long do you plan to stay in Montana?” Stone asked.

Madison could tell he had shortened his stride to stay level with her. She glanced over at him, met his gaze and tried to

ignore the way her breasts tingled against the fabric of her blouse. “I’ll stay until I find my mother and talk to her. I’m

hoping it won’t take long. According to Mr. Jamison, who

owns the Silver Arrow, the cabin where my mother is

staying is not far, but since it’s located in the mountains

getting there will be difficult. He’s arranging for someone to take me by car as far as possible, then the rest will be done on horseback.”

Stone lifted a brow and scrutinized her with an odd stare. “You ride?”

Madison’s lips curved into a smile. “Yes. Growing up I took riding lessons. I’m sure climbing up a mountain will be far more challenging than just prancing a mare around a riding track, but I think I’ll be able to manage.”

Stone wasn’t so sure. She seemed too refined and delicate to sit on a horse for a trip into the rugged mountains.

“That’s something I don’t understand.”

Her words interrupted his thoughts. “What?”

“How my mother got up the mountain. I don’t think she’s