It was cold, they were trapped...and Rory Buchanan had made love to a perfect stranger--and enjoyed it way more than she should have. But how was a regular girl from Whitehorse supposed to know the royal protocol for dealing with a fantasy one-night stand?It soon became clear that Devlin Barrow would slay any dragon for local girl Rory--a court full of nobles had even descended on the small Montana community. But this relationship was no fairy tale. Because someone was willing to kill to keep Devlin's secret past from toppling the royal hierarchy. And with Rory pregnant with his surprise heir, her life was at stake as well.
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September 08, 2008
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Excerpt from Montana Royalty by B.J. Daniels
The narrow slit of light between the partially closed bedroom curtains drew him through the shadowed pines.
He moved stealthily, the moonless darkness heavy as a cloak. The moment he'd seen the light, realized it came from her bedroom window, the curtains not quite closed, he'd been helpless to stop himself.
He'd always liked watching people when they didn't know he was there. He saw things they didn't want seen. He knew their dirty secrets.
Their secrets became his dirty little secrets.
But this was different.
The woman behind the curtains was Rory Buchanan.
He began to sweat as he neared the window even though the fall night was cold here in the mountains. The narrow shaft of light from between the curtains spilled out onto the ground. Teasing glimpses of her lured him on.
As he grew closer, he stuck the wire cutters he carried into his jacket pocket. His heart beat so hard he could barely steal a breath as he slowly stepped toward the forbidden.
The window was the perfect height. He closed his left eye, his right eye focusing on the room, on the woman.
Inside the bedroom, Rory folded a pair of jeans into one of the dresser drawers and closed the drawer, turning back toward the bed and the T-shirt she'd left lying on it.
He didn't move, didn't breathe--didn't blink as she began to disrobe.
He couldn't have moved even at gunpoint as he watched her pull the band from her ponytail, letting her chestnut hair fall to her shoulders.
She sighed, rubbing her neck with both hands, eyes closed. Wide green eyes fringed in dark lashes. He watched breathlessly as she dropped her hands to unbutton her jeans and let them drop to the floor.
Next, the Western shirt. Like her other shirts and the jackets she wore, it was too large for her, hid her body.
Anticipation had him breathing too hard. He tried to rein it in, afraid she would hear him and look toward the window. It scared him what he might do if she suddenly closed the curtains then. Or worse, saw him.
One shirt button, then another and another and the shirt fell back, dropping over her shoulders to the floor at her feet. She reached down to retrieve both items of clothing and hang them on the hook by the door before turning back in his direction.
He sucked in a breath and held it to keep from crying out. Her breasts were full and practically spilling out of the pretty pink lacy bra. The way she dressed, no one could have known.
She slid one bra strap from her shoulder, then the other. He could hear her humming now, but didn't recognize the tune. She was totally distracted. He felt himself grow hard as stone as she unhooked the bra and her breasts were suddenly freed.
A moan escaped his throat. A low keening sound filled with lust and longing. He wanted her, had wanted her for years, would do anything to have her...
Instinctively, he took a step toward the back of the ranch house. Rory was alone. Her house miles from any others. Her door wouldn't be locked. No one locked their doors in this part of Montana.
The sound of a vehicle engine froze him to the spot. He dropped to the ground behind the shrubs at the corner of the house as headlights bobbed through the pines. The vehicle came into view, slowed and turned around in the yard. Someone lost?
He couldn't be caught here. He hesitated only a moment before he broke for the pines behind the house and ran through the woods to where he'd hidden his car.
As he slid behind the wheel, his adrenaline waned. He'd never done more than looked. Never even contemplated more than that.
But the others hadn't been Rory Buchanan.
If that pickup hadn't come down the road when it did...
The sick odor of fear and excitement filled the car. He rolled down his window, feeling weak and powerless and angry. Tonight, he could have had her--and on his terms. But at what cost, he thought as he reached for the key he'd left in the ignition of the patrol car, anxious to get back to Whitehorse.
He froze. The wire cutters. He didn't feel their weight in his jacket pocket. His hand flew to the opening only to find the pocket empty.
Rory Buchanan hunkered down in the dark beside the stables as six royal guards trooped past, all toting semiautomatic rifles.
To say she was in deep doo was an understatement. Not only was it now completely dark, but a storm had blown in. She felt the chill on the wind only moments before the first stinging drops of rain began to fall.
Shivering, she checked her watch. Earlier, she'd left her ranch with only a lightweight jacket, planning to return long before dark. The sky had been clear and blue, not a cloud in sight. But this was Montana, where it could snow--and did-- in any month of the year.
According to her calculations the next set of guards wouldn't come past for another three minutes. Fortunately, most of the grooms and trainers had left the stables, but she could still hear someone inside with the horses.
Rory waited until the guards disappeared into the dark before she made a run for the woods.