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Oh God, she was suffocating!

Ripping, grabbing, pulling, she tried to shove the airbag away from her mouth and nose, but she couldn’t escape. Sharp pains ran through her, top to bottom. And yet, she didn’t pass out, couldn’t seem to find that numb place where everything would be all right.

Finally, after what seemed like hours, someone found her: a firefighter-paramedic, with jet-black hair and beautiful blue eyes.

“Everything’s going to be all right,” he said. “I’m going to take care of you.”

Looking up at him, his features and coloring were close enough to Sam MacKenzie’s that his words twisted up in her head, in her heart, and she was thrown back to another car crash, one that had taken everything from her.

She’d been desperately craving Chinese food, so she’d driven into town for takeout. But after throwing up all morning, she’d been so starved that she couldn’t make it out of the parking lot without dipping into the mu-shu pork.

She’d mixed the plum sauce into the cabbage and meat with her fingers and pretty much inhaled it, barely having any time to appreciate the sweet-salty combination before heartburn got her, right under her ribs.

Her obstetrician said it was normal, that the morning sickness would ease as soon as next week, when she hit her second trimester, but that the heartburn would probably get worse, along with possible constipation from the iron pills and being kept awake all night by a kicking baby.

The doctor had grinned and said, “Quite a lot to look forward to, isn’t there?” and Dianna hadn’t wanted to admit that she was still trying to get her head around being pregnant.

And the amazing fact that she was going to be Mrs. Sam MacKenzie in a week.

The Chinese restaurant was in a trailer right off Highway 50, and knowing the road was busy year-round with tourists, Dianna carefully backed out into traffic, putting her turn signal on to make a U-turn from the center lane. When the coast looked clear, she hit the gas pedal.

From out of nowhere, a large white limo careened toward her. She could see it coming, could see the driver’s horrified expression, but no matter how hard she pressed on the gas, she couldn’t get out of the way in time.

She was thrown into the steering wheel, and as her skull hit the glass all she could think about was her baby… and the sudden realization of how desperately she wanted it.

Going in and out of consciousness as fire engines and ambulances came on the scene, she felt someone move her onto a stretcher. She tried to speak, but she couldn’t get her lips to move.

Her stomach cramped down on itself just as she heard somebody say, “There’s blood. Between her legs.”

She felt a hand on her shoulder. “Ma’am, can you hear me? Can you tell me if you are pregnant?”

But she couldn’t nod, couldn’t move or talk or do anything to tell him he had to save her baby.

And then a new voice came, its deep, rich tones so near and dear to her.

“Yes, she’s pregnant.”

Sam. He’d found her. He’d make everything all right, just like he always did.

Somehow she managed to open her eyes, but when she looked up she saw Connor MacKenzie, Sam’s younger brother, kneeling over her, speaking into his radio.

“Tell Sam he needs to get off the mountain now! Dianna was in a car accident on Highway 50.”

More cramps hit her one after the other and she felt thick, warm liquid seep out between her legs.

She screamed, “Sam!”

But it was too late for him to help her. Their baby was gone.

———

“Can you hear me, ma’am?”

She opened her eyes and saw that the firefighter’s eyebrows were furrowed with concern.

“Can you tell me if you’re pregnant?”

Dianna blinked at him, belatedly realizing that she’d instinctively moved her hands to her abdomen.

Reality returned as she realized that the hero who had come to her rescue wasn’t Sam. Her failed pregnancy was nothing but a distant memory she usually kept locked away, deep in the recesses of her heart.

Feeling the wet sting of tears in her eyes, she whispered, “No, I’m not pregnant,” and then everything faded to black.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said softly. “Your brother didn’t make it.”

Dark eyes blinked in disbelief. This wasn’t happening. His twin couldn’t be dead. Not when they were together just that afternoon. Sharing a couple of beers in companionable silence until Jacob brought the meth lab up again, saying that they had enough money already, that they should shut the business down before they got caught and ended up in jail. Only hours ago, he’d told Jacob to go to hell, said he was the brains of the business and knew what was best for the both of them.

According to the paramedics, Jacob had been driving down Highway 70 when his tires slipped on some black ice. He’d crashed head-on into another vehicle and the paramedics had rushed Jacob to Vail General Hospital.

For two hours, Jacob had been fighting for his life.

He wasn’t fighting anymore.

The man’s body rejected the news, head to toe, inside and out. Bile rose in his throat and he made it across the blue and green linoleum tiles in time to hurl into a garbage can.

More than just fraternal twins, he and Jacob had been extensions of each other. Losing his brother was like being cleaved in two straight down the middle, through his bones and guts and organs.

He needed air, needed to get out of the ICU waiting room, away from all of the other people who still had hope that their loved ones would recover from heart attacks and blood clots. He pushed open the door to the patio, just in time to see a loud group of reporters harassing anyone wearing scrubs.

“Do you have an update on Dianna Kelley?” one of the reporters asked a passing nurse in a breathless voice.

Another rushed up to a doctor, lights flashing, camera ready. “We’ve been told that Dianna Kelley was in a head-on collision on Highway 70. Could you confirm that for us, Doctor?”

Dianna Kelley?

Was she the other driver? Was she the person whose worthless driving had ended Jacob’s life?

He’d only seen her cable TV show a handful of times over the years, but her face was on the cover of enough newspapers and magazines for him to know what she looked like.

Blond. Pampered. Rich. Without a care in the world.

“Please,” another reporter begged the doctor, “if you could just tell us how she is, if she’s been badly hurt, or if she’s going to be all right?”

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