All the Way

All the Way

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by Beverly Bird

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All the Way by Beverly Bird released on Jan 17, 2011 is available now for purchase.


All the Way by Beverly Bird released on Jan 17, 2011 is available now for purchase.

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Silhouette Intimate Moments Series , #1173
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All The Way

By Beverly Bird

Harlequin Enterprises Limited

Copyright © 2002 Harlequin Enterprises Limited
All right reserved.

ISBN: 037327243X

Chapter One

Saturday, September 3 Millsboro, Delaware

The murmur of the diners' voices was muted and pleasant, the air redolent with hints of garlic and bread baking in the open-hearth kitchen. Olivia Slade Guenther was content, enjoying herself and the time with her daughter, then he walked into the restaurant.

His gaze rolled idly over them, then it jerked back to pin them into their flamingo-pink, not-quite-leather booth. Liv felt shock fly through her - icy and hot all at once, searing her nerve endings, then numbing them. Panic gripped her and she thought of running.

It was out of the question. For one thing, Vicky was still digging into her buttermilk-fried chicken, and she was chattering in judgmental tones about the pink rococo ceiling over their heads. And he was between them and the door.

Besides, Liv was damned if she'd let him see her sweat. She gathered air into her lungs and fell back on one of the many lessons she had learned at her Navajo grandmother's knee. You are what you think you are.

"I'm tough as nails," she muttered aloud.

"What?" Her daughter looked up at her, still chewing.

"Eat your dinner."

Vicky swallowed, frowned. "I was."

"Then concentrate on it."

"Mom, it's just chicken - and it's not evenas good as Aunt Kiki's. How much can I think about it?"

There was that, Liv thought. Vicky was often too smart for her own good - not to mention her mother's.

Hunter Hawk-Cole was three feet away now, approaching them.

"Don't say a word," Liv hissed under her breath.

"How come?"

"Because I said so." Liv groaned aloud. They were the very words she had promised herself she would never say to a child of hers should she be blessed enough to have one. Then she opened her mouth and they fell out, shattering like fine china on the restaurant table. Less than a minute after he had walked back into her life, Hunter was once again challenging everything she knew about herself.

He stopped beside their table. One glance at Vicky and his midnight-blue eyes narrowed with speculation. No matter that Vicky was small for her age, that she could easily have passed for seven or even six. No matter that Hunter had every reason to believe she was Johnny Guenther's daughter. Liv knew he'd figured it out that quickly - Vicky was his own.

Her heart started pistoning. Tough as nails indeed. "Of all the gin joints in all the world ..." Hunter's voice trailed off. "Well, Liv. What were the odds of us running into each other again on the East Coast?"

His voice had always reminded her of smoke. It had a way of sliding over her skin, of heating it to the point where she'd no longer needed promises. Liv grabbed her wineglass and downed half of its contents. "I was hoping for slim to none."

"Then you've turned into a gambler after all." His words went through her like a knife that had been passed through flame. Liv was saved from answering by a group of Hunter's fans.

As soon as they recognized him, diners popped up from the surrounding tables like hyacinths in a May garden. They crowded him, holding out menus, napkins, a few prepurchased race-day programs. He signed each of them without a smile, accessible enough but keeping that look about him that she'd noticed on television. It said there was something inside him that no one would ever touch again.

She knew what had changed him - or at least what he'd probably like her to think it was. Not you, Liv. You're the only person who ever knew when I was gone. There had been anger and betrayal in his eyes when he had spoken those words to her, eight and a half years ago over a scarred oaken bar. But in the end, he'd gone.

When Hunter handed a menu back to a diner who was surely going to have to pay for it, silence proved to be too much for Vicky. She swallowed the last bite of her chicken. "What are you, famous or something?"

"Or something." Hunter finally grinned for Vicky's benefit. The curve of his mouth melted everything inside Liv as though the past eight and a half years hadn't happened.

"Are you a movie star?" Vicky asked. Hunter rested his palms on the polished surface of the table to lean closer to her. Liv felt something shrivel inside her as the man and child went nose to identical nose - then there were those same blue eyes, the same onyx hair, that stubborn thrust of both their jaws.

Vicky did not look like Liv. And she didn't look like Johnny Guenther at all. At least, Liv didn't think so. She had never forgotten a plane or an angle of Hunter's face, but she had a hard time recalling Johnny's features.

"Nope," he told Vicky. "I drive cars."

"That's not special."

"It is when you do it very, very fast."

She thought about it. "My mom never does that."

His eyes angled off her, to Liv. "Still methodical about getting where you're going, Liv?"

"I'm exactly where I want to be, thanks." Her nerves were beginning to feel like cut crystal, painfully fragile under her skin.

"Divorced?" His dark-blue eyes fixed on her ringless left hand.

Liv let go of her wineglass as though a snake had suddenly appeared inside it. She dropped her hand to her lap, under the table.

"And touchy about it," he concluded.

"Now that all the social niceties have been exchanged," she replied, "you can feel free to go." Her throat felt too tight for the words.

He shot a brow up as though considering it, then he shook his head. "I don't see that happening this time around."

It was a promise and a threat. Liv had never known him to hesitate to make good on either one.

He straightened from their table, and she watched him stroll to one that had apparently been reserved for his party at the back of the restaurant. Those incredible blue eyes raked her one more time before he was seated. Liv took Vicky's hand quickly.

"Come on, honey. Let's go."

"But I want dessert! That bread pudding -" Vicky broke off when Liv practically lifted her from the booth.

"We'll stop at an ice cream stand on the way back to the motel," Liv promised.

Vicky wrinkled her nose. "Oh, yuck, Mom. Please."

"For once - just for once - couldn't you be a normal child?" But it wouldn't happen, Liv thought helplessly, it could never happen, because her daughter had been born into a lie and, to Liv's great despair, nothing in her life had ever been very normal at all.


Excerpted from All The Way by Beverly Bird Copyright © 2002 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Meet the Author

Beverly confesses to having been the prototype of the rebellious teenager. By the age of five-- when she tried to rewrite the ending to The Wizard of Oz because it scared her-- she knew she would be a writer.

Therefore, the high school regimen was obviously not for her, and childhood was just something to get through before she could make her mark on the world. On one memorable occasion, she stood up in chemistry class to inform her teacher that she did not need to understand the subject because in a few years she would be writing for a living anyway. She failed the class, of course. Then, some 20 years later, she had to face the teacher at a reunion and admit that when she had to research DNA for a recent book she still had no clue what it was about!

Since words are meant to be read and not eaten, Beverly turned seriously to writing when she was 22. The stars aligned for a time  -- she was single and her rent was astronomically low because she looked after the elderly lady who owned the building. She'd just gotten laid off from an advertising job with a newspaper due to budget cuts and therefore had an unemployment check coming in weekly. She decided that it was now or never-- and Emeralds in the Dark was born, published by Silhouette to launch the Intimate Moments line in 1983.

Since then, Beverly has published 20 books with Silhouette as well as several romantic suspense and historical novels. She prefers strong heroines with hidden soft spots and a penchant for getting themselves into trouble, figuring that she has had some experience herself in that area.

Though she has lived in several places in the United States, Beverly returned to her roots to live on a barrier island off the coast of New Jersey with her son and a Chihuahua named Taco, where periodically she risks running into that chemistry teacher. But these days, she is much less rebellious and tends to tuck tail and run when she encounters someone she probably ticked off 25 years ago!

Beverly loves to hear from readers but admits that she is seriously negligent about actually traveling to the post office and snail-mailing her replies. She asks that anyone who would like to contact her please do so.

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All the Way 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Those are the words i wanna hear. Im sorry. Ive grown dependant on my rping friends stead of You. I want to hear i love you from Alex and hug him and be best friends. Im sorry. Ive been ignoring You pretty much Jesus. But when im diving back into these waves youre...i cant describe it. You support me and this time Youre helping me to stay away from this darkness. Like a Sheild or an Anchor to keep me safe and close to You. Thank You for still supporting me and protecting me from the darkness. Our bond is cracked but still strong. Thank You Jesus.
sds dsa More than 1 year ago
Ridley Raven (5:30) Hey i didnt get to retest because she wasnt there and i waited for like 10 min and decided to leave, it was so retarted lol, but yeah i'll try and call you in a little bit. Im about to play bioshock and hopefully it'll be good, Do you really like Mass effect 3? lol i never played the action mode so it might be a little more fast paced b/c i know you said before you dont care too much for cut scenes and thats like 55 no probably 60% well maybe 50% of the game but it all flows though i always sorta thought it was pretty cool. but yeah i never played the action version so hopefully you enjoy it, if not then we can always try other games :) and yeah after this im gonna try and slow down with the working so much thing i know i always say that but i mean it im gonna really try and you gotta help me, keep me honest :) WOAH German Chocolate cake my mom makes that alot its soooooo goood , i wonder what yours tatste like mmmm if only i wasnt on this stupid diet.. well definietly after mr. parkview, if i deide to go man i really gotta stop working so much so i can train, okay well run home and get warm i know youve got to be freezing honey, I love you so much your the best girlfriend in the whole universe :) ttyl
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
6:30 aww..youre sweet :) hope you had fun buying that elusive "stuff" your mom wanted..and hopefully youre back by the time we get there..i really missed you this weekend :/ and i have no priblem reminding you not to work so only stresses you out and keeps you tired..and you saying you might not do mr.parkview isnt good. You really wanna do that so keep pushing towards that goal..dont let anything get in your way. Maybe sometime this week my mom and yours will let us hang out and play video games and you can just relax. I wish you could come with me to chattanooga this weekend..that would be awesome but well take lots of trips when were older. But im staying in a hotel so ill be able to get on nook every day :D maybe ill bother the front desk for bandaids and towels so the security guy will come up and tell his girlfriend about it later :p i just wanna spend every waking and asleep moment with you and ill be so happy once i can!! I realized yesterday that its really close birthdays not that far away and then not long after ill be 18 and the time between now and then will feel like nothing. I almost wish i had a little more time before i hafta be out on my own but its exciting that its so close now. Idk but i do know that its almost here and im ready for whatever the future holds!! Im looking forward to seeing you for like 5 seconds when we drop off this cake..itll be a fantastic end to a boring monotonous weekend. I love you and ill see you soon!! Goodnight and sweet dreams :D