As teenagers, Raine Beaumont and Joseph Colorado tasted the joys of first love, until her father's lies destroyed their fragile bond. Now, twelve years later, Raine receives news that will take her back to her hometown of Oracle, Arizona, where she will face her lost love again.
Haunted by the memory of the boy she once adored, Raine was not prepared for the mysterious, seductive man before her. For deep in Joseph's eyes lies a power that binds him to his Apache heritage, a power that promises to heal all wounds and restore long lost dreams...and love.
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October 01, 1998
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Excerpt from Legend by Sharon Sala
Joseph Colorado was a man of many faces. He was the son of his father, Michael Colorado. He was a lover of horses and a caretaker of the land. He was a brother to Benny and a good neighbor to his friends. He could take an engine apart and put it back together without missing a lick. And he could pilot a helicopter as if it were a part of his body and not a machine. He was a man with deep roots to the past and a far-seeing eye to the future. He was an open and honest man, and he was a man with many secrets.
But today, he was a man with a mission. He glanced down at his watch, and then up at the sun's position in the sky before looking back over his shoulder to the woman on the stretcher behind him.
Unable to move, she met his gaze with a blinding intensity. For the last three years Wynema Littlefish had been battling full-blown AIDS, and had it not been for her father's intervention, she would have lost the war. But Duncan Littlefish was a man who lived his life in the old ways and he'd known a man -- who'd known a man -- who'd heard a story.
Duncan Littlefish's interference with the business of his daughter's dying had brought her to this place and to this man who was at the helicopter controls. Duncan had asked for her to be healed. And even now, unless Joseph hurried, it could still be too late.
As Joseph gauged the strain on Wynema's face, her dark eyes held a question he understood all too well.
Would they get there in time?
He gave her a nod of encouragement and then turned, giving the area over which they were flying his full attention.
Moments later he glanced to the west and saw it: the twin peaks of a long length of mountain range with the deep curved space in between. From the ground, the mountain peaks looked like two arms reaching up to the sky, and the valley between, breasts upon which a dying sun might pause. To the casual observer, they were a natural and beautiful frame for Arizona's majestic sunsets. To the Apache, they were the mountains that embrace the sun.
They'd made it, but with no time to spare. Like a warrior going into battle, he shoved the control stick forward, sending the helicopter hurtling toward the heat-laden earth like a dragonfly darting toward the shimmering surface of a pond.
The air was still thick with the dust of their landing as Joseph lifted Wynema Littlefish from the stretcher and began carrying her toward the face of the mountain. She moaned from the pain of being moved. Joseph murmured an anxious apology, but there was no time to waste. Her life depended on his haste.
Then suddenly he stopped, and the absence of motion was such a relief that Wynema roused. But when she looked up, her eyes widened in disbelief. There was nothing before them but a rock wall that seemed to go on forever. Her voice was weak, her anxiety evident as she gazed up at the sheer face of the mountain.
"Colorado ... what is this?"
He laid her down on the ground and then took a deep breath. "Wynema ... forgive me, but I must undress you before I take you any further."
There was a flutter of anxiety in her eyes, but the expression faded as she nodded and looked away.
He removed her clothing as if undressing a child, anxious not to cause her any more pain. Though he had prepared himself to witness the devastation of her disease, it was impossible to hide his dismay.
She was little more than skin and bones. Her teeth were so loose she could no longer chew, and she had sores on her body that would not heal. Her once thick, black hair was wispy and brittle. In a tender gesture meant to reassure, he brushed back her hair and was unable to hide his shock when several strands came away in his hand.