"You're safe now."His voice was a seductive whisper as he pulled her from the blazing restaurant. But on the run and pregnant, Bethany Burdett knew she had to forget the brave firefighter who'd risked his life to save hers. Until Darr Fortune tracked her down...Ever since he spirited the unconscious stranger to safety, the youngest Fortune brother was haunted by a powerful desire to see her again. And when a blizzard stranded them together, Darr knew he'd risk it all again for the enigmatic mother-to-be who aroused much more than his protective instincts....
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January 31, 2009
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Excerpt from Valentine's Fortune by Allison Leigh
"You know you're nuts, right? Might even say you're obsessed. Face it. The woman's gone. Like a lot of folks, she was probably just passing through Red Rock, anyway."Darr Fortune eyed his brother, Nick, over the lunch counter at SusieMae's. "Thanks for the support."Nick grinned. "That's why you wanted me to move back here, isn't it? Give my baby bro some ego boosting?""Yeah. That was it," Darr agreed drily. He was the youngest of five, it was true, with an entire decade between him and JR, the oldest. But one thing he'd never particularly lacked was ego. A trait shared by his four brothers. "Didn't have a thing to do with the Foundation.""You just wanted me to put in my time there soyourconscience would be clear to play around with matches and rescue damsels in distress." Nick flicked the pink message slip that sat on the counter between their empty lunch plates. Around them, SusieMae's buzzed with customers. Most likely because SusieMae's pretty waitresses wore short, sassy little checkered dresses that looked as though they'd been designed by Daisy Mae, herself. "Like the blond babe you've been hunting for since Red went up in smoke.""I haven't been hunting for her." The denial was weak, and he knew it. So did his brother, considering the way Nick snorted. "I'm only trying to follow up. Make sure she's all right. Ididpull her out of a burnin' building." He kept his voice light. Not even Nick would know how hard that was."Two weeks ago, Darr. And nobody says you're not a hero. Though why you want to go into something that's on fire when everyone else with a lick of sense is trying to get out still escapes me." He pushed a pair of glasses onto his nose and picked up the message slip. "Whoever wrote this ought to be sent back to school. I can't tell the sevens from ones, and is that last number an eight or what?""Devaney took the message." Darr slid the message out of his brother's fingers and peered at it himself. He'd been puzzling over the writing ever since he'd found the message tacked to the board outside his quarters at the firehouse. "Except for the streetI think it's WindroseI can't read the rest of the address he wrote down, either. And Devaney can't remember." The other man was a hell of an engineer, but he was miserable when it came to remembering the details of anything that didn't pertain to a burn. "He couldn't even tell me who called with the address."It probably hadn't been the hospital, relenting on its confidentiality stance. More likely, it was one of the cabbies Darr had bribed. Hitting it lucky by finding the one who'd actually driven Barbara Burton away from the hospital when she had checked herself out almost as quickly as the ambulance had gotten her there."I'm telling you. Obsessed. You ought to put that attention into taking the next promotion exam for captain."Darr let that pass and Nick picked up his coffee mug, which had gone empty for too long, and gestured toward the waitress behind the counter. "Hey there, sugar. Have some hot stuff any time soon?"Sugar,more commonly known as Lorena, strolled over and leaned against the lunch counter, giving them both a healthy view of her award-winning cleavage above pink and white checks while she refilled Nick's cup. "This soon enough for you, cutie pie?""It is now," Nick toasted her with his cup."You want a top-off, Darr?" Lorena barely looked his way. Why would she? Darr was a regular in SusieMae's. Had been since he'd moved to Red Rock from California alone himself, a few years back. She'd learned quickly enough that he wasn't the kind of man she wantednamely, someone other than a firefighter.Nick, however, was fresh pickings."I'm good, Lorena. Thanks.""Heard you're working at the Fortune Foundation," Lorena said to Nick. "A financial analyst. Guess little ol' Red Rock must seem pretty tame after Los Angeles.""Darr got used to it well enough." Nick eyed he