Stone Cold Surrender(9)

By: Brenda Jackson

Aw hell!

Durango noticed that Stone’s gaze was fixed on something behind him and turned around. He smiled when he looked into the face of the woman Stone had been checking out

earlier. He grinned. No wonder his cousin was taken with the woman, she was definitely a looker. Too bad Stone had met her first, because she was definitely someone who

would have interested him.

He started to speak and introduce himself, since it seemed Stone had suddenly lost his voice. But something made

him pause. Durango had dealt with enough women to know when they weren’t happy about something and it was

obvious this woman was angry, royally pissed off. And her words stopped him dead in his tracks.

“I believe the woman the two of you are discussing is my mother.”

It wasn’t hard to tell the two men were related, Madison

thought, glancing up at them. Both were tall, extremely

handsome and well built. Then there were the similarities in their facial features that also proved a family connection.

They possessed the same close-cropped curly black hair, chestnut coloring, dark intense eyes and generous, well-

defined mouths.

And both of them could wear a pair of jeans and a chambray shirt like nobody’s business.

Madison inwardly admitted that, had she met the other man before Stone, she probably would have felt the same

attraction to him, the same pull. However, she thought there was a gentleness and tenderness in Stone’s eyes that she didn’t easily see in the other man’s.

She could tell her statement took the other man by surprise but when she glanced over at Stone, it was obvious that

what she’d said hadn’t surprised him, which meant he had known or at least suspected the identity of her mother’s

abductor all along.

She lifted a brow and leveled a pointed gaze at Stone. She had trusted him enough to discuss her mother with him

openly, because she had needed someone to talk to, and talking to him had calmed her fears of flying and had also

helped her to think through her mother’s situation. If Stone had suspected the people she had been talking about were his uncle and her mother, why hadn’t he said something?

Stone read the questions in Madison’s eyes. “I didn’t know, Madison, or at least I wasn’t a hundred percent certain,” he said in a low and calm voice. “And although I thought there was a possibility the man was my uncle Corey, I didn’t want to upset you any more than you already were by adding my speculations.”

Madison released a deep sigh. His reason for not telling

her did make sense. “All right,” she said softly. “So, what do we do now?”

Durango lifted a confused brow and looked at Stone and then back at Madison. “Why should we do anything? When they’re ready they’ll come back down the mountain.”

Stone stifled a grin at the angry look Madison gave

Durango. His cousin, the player, didn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning this particular woman over. He

doubted Madison got upset about anything or with anyone too often, but he could tell Durango was making her break

her record. Durango had a rather rough way of dealing with women. He wasn’t used to the soft and gentle approach.

Yet the way women were still drawn to him defied logic.

“This is my cousin, Durango Westmoreland, Madison,” Stone decided to say when silence, annoyance and

irritation settled between Durango and Madison.

“And when Durango gives himself time to think logically, I’m sure he’ll understand your concern for your mother’s well-

being. And although Durango and I both know that our uncle Corey would never do anything to harm your mother, we

can certainly understand your desire to see for yourself that she’s fine.”

Stone watched a slow smile touched Durango’s lips. From childhood they had always been able to read between the lines of each other’s words. Stone was letting Durango

know, in a subtle way, that he wanted him on his best

behavior and to clean up his act.

“I apologize if what I said upset you, Madison,” Durango said, offering her his hand in a firm handshake. “I wasn’t aware that you thought your mother was in harm’s way. If that’s the case, we’ll certainly do whatever needs to be done to arrest your fears. And let me be the first to

welcome you to Montana.”

Stone rolled his eyes. No one, he thought, could go from

being a pain in the ass to irresistibly charming in a blink of an eye like Durango. Stone watched the warmth return to Madison’s eyes and she smiled. Although that smile wasn’t directed at him, a riot of emotions clamored through him