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Silhouette Continuities Plus
Montana Mavericks
July 2003
ISBN: 0-373-21859-1

A woman from the past. A death-defying accident. A moment in time that changes one man’s life forever…

First Love by Crystal Green
His father had forbidden their match years ago. But now the Kingsley heir and his long-lost love were reunited….

Second Chance by Judy Duarte
The last thing they thought they wanted was each other…until a midnight confession changed everything!

Nothing is as it seems beneath the big skies of Montana.

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The night Russell Kingsley crashed his vintage 1949 Mercury into the guardrail on a lone Montana highway, he’d been thinking of only one thing.


Suzy McCord.

Even as glass from the windshield shattered and fell like tears from the impact of his head bulleting against it, even as his knees hit the dashboard with such force that the denim of his faded jeans split over his kneecaps like bruised frowns, his thoughts were mired in a single groove.

Suzy’s back. Back in Rumor.

Something sticky, wet and red filtered over Russell’s vision as he opened his eyes. Steam hissed in his ears, sounding more like accusations than the last wheezes of a decimated engine.

After what you did to Suzy, how can you face her again?

“Dear Lord,” said a panicked voice he didn’t recognize.

Russell barely had the strength to glance at a face peeking through the jagged glass of his driver’s side window. The man was just a shape, a stranger framed by a night-blue, late-November sky.

“I’m so sorry,” he said, his breath coming out in a cloud, his voice riding the edge of hysteria. He continued apologizing, saying something about needing sleep but not being able to get it if he wanted to deliver the frozen goods packed into his eighteen-wheeler on time to MonMart.

Russell tuned out, darkness rising behind his gaze. He was dizzy, so damned dizzy. So damned sorry, too.

Something scratched against his right hand, and he grasped at the solid sensation--the snapshot. The one he’d been staring at just as he’d rounded a corner and swerved to avoid hitting the semi truck which had drifted into his lane.

The image burned into the backs of his eyelids. Prom night, May, 1986. Suzy in her lacy, pink dress, her blue eyes sparkling as a tuxedoed Russell held her gloved hand, her chin-length red hair shining under the photographer’s lights.

Seventeen years ago. It’d been that long since he and his family had ostracized her from their circle, causing her to leave Rumor.

The flash of red-and-blue lights jarred him out of his stupor.

“Sir?” said a different voice.

Strange. How much time had passed?

“We’re gonna get you right outta here. Just sit still and don’t worry about a thing. Got it?”

As the sound of steel yawned and creaked around Russell, he held onto his picture, held onto Suzy, seeing her laughing as head cheerleader for the Rumor High School Rangers. Seeing the emotion pooling in her gaze as she said yes to his prom-night marriage proposal. Seeing an altogether different sheen of tears as he told her good-bye.

When he opened his eyes again, he faintly realized that more time must have escaped him. The white streak of fluorescent hospital lights bolted over him while he lay on a gurney, wheeled down a sterile hallway.

“The OR better be ready--STAT!” yelled the woman hovering above him. She wore blue scrubs and a worried gaze. “This one’s in bad shape, so don’t mess around!”

Bad shape, huh? Were they talking about him? The guy who was way too busy creating a multi-million dollar empire to worry about anything?

He felt the photo, crinkled in his hand. Good. Still there.

He didn’t want to lose Suzy again.

As his gurney flew around a corner and came to a stop in front of a bank of elevators, Russell allowed his head to flop onto its side.

Through a space in the bodies surrounding him, he saw a girl. A red-headed, pony-tailed teenager dressed in a pink-and-white candy striper uniform and clutching a vase of flowers. Though her eyes were as wide and full as summer moons, she tried to smile at him. But her gesture failed, crumbled, falling into a tremulous frown.

Damn, he must be a bloody mess. But how bad off could he be if he was still conscious, still thinking of…

A blinding pain rushed his body. The pain of emptiness. Darkness took over from there, welling up, swallowing him whole, blacking out the candy striper, the white-flare hospital walls and the rising tide of panicked shouting.

Then there was nothing at all.


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From the book: Double Destiny
By: Crystal Green
Imprint and Series: Silhouette Continuities Plus
Publication Date: 07/03
ISBN: 0-373-21859-1
Copyright: 2003
By: Chris Marie Green
R and TM are trademarks of the publisher.
The edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.
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