Read Time Enough for Love Online
Authors: Suzanne Brockmann
What would you do if you could travel back in time?
In Chuck Della Croce’s case, as the man who developed the theories and created the means for time travel, the answer was clear—go back just a few years in time and convince his earlier self
to develop time travel!
After a rogue organization uses his discovery as a weapon to change the past and control the government, and after Maggie Stanton, a former girlfriend of Chuck’s, is killed in the cover-up, Chuck attempts to do just that.
But he slightly overshoots his target date, and ends up knocking on Maggie’s door
they originally first met. He knows this woman extremely well, but to Maggie, he’s a complete stranger.
Time Enough for Love
was a fun story to write. It allowed me (a card-carrying trekkie!) to blend romance with science fiction, and show how love can transcend the boundaries of space and time.
It was also tremendously fun to write a book with a love triangle between Maggie and two different versions of Chuck—one from the present day and one from the future!
I’m delighted that Bantam has reissued
Time Enough for Love
, one of my favorites of all of my earlier books.
BY SUZANNE BROCKMANN
THE TROUBLESHOOTERS SERIES
The Unsung Hero
The Defiant Hero
Over the Edge
Out of Control
Into the Night
Gone Too Far
Into the Storm
Force of Nature
All Through the Night
Into the Fire
Dark of Night
SUNRISE KEY SERIES
Kiss and Tell
The Kissing Game
AND DON’T MISS …
Time Enough for Love
For my Gram & Gramps,
Fred and Tilly Brockmann,
on their 68th wedding anniversary,
with all my love
HERE WAS A
naked man pounding on Maggie Winthrop’s back door.
She did a double take as she looked out her kitchen window and realized that he was covered with dirt, as if he’d been crawling around in her garden. Dirt and … could that possibly be blood? Streaks of something that looked like blood were on his shoulder and arm. He was wild-eyed, with dark, shaggy hair that exploded around his face, looking as if he’d just been ejected from a wind tunnel.
And yes, he was definitely, undeniably naked.
Somehow he knew her name. “Maggie!” he shouted, hammering on the door. “Mags, let me in!”
It was locked, thank God, and Maggie ran to be sure the front door was locked as well.
She had her cordless phone in her hand, ready to call the police when he called out again.
“Maggie! God, please be home!” There was such anguish in the man’s voice. Anguish and something that stopped her from dialing the phone. Something oddly familiar.
Maggie took the stairs to the second floor of her house two at a time. She set the phone down on the vanity of the sink as she used both hands to open the bathroom window and push up the screen.
The man heard the noise, and he stopped pounding on the door. He looked up at her expectantly as she peered down at him.
“Maggie.” There was such relief in the way he said her name. But despite the strange flash of familiarity that she felt once again, she didn’t recognize him. The naked man was a total stranger.
Maggie definitely would have remembered meeting a man like this one before—even
his clothes on.
He was tall and almost sinfully well built, all hard muscles and not an extra ounce of fat on him anywhere. And in his current state of undress, she had an extremely accurate view of all of his anywheres. He had extremely broad shoulders and powerful-looking arms. He had one of those sexy washboard
stomachs leading down into narrow hips, a perfect butt, and lean, long legs.
He had thick dark brown hair that he now ran his fingers through, taming it somewhat as he pushed it back from his face. He had dark hair on his chest and other places as well.
Maggie hurriedly brought her gaze back up to his face. His nose was gracefully shaped with almost elegant nostrils. His cheekbones were prominent, too, as was the firm set of his jaw and chin. He had a scar on his cheekbone, underneath his left eye, making him look faintly dangerous. But it was his dark brown eyes that held her attention. They seemed to burn her with their intensity and fire.
Without question, he was the most gorgeous naked madman she’d ever come face-to-face with. Not that she’d come face-to-face with many madmen, clothed or otherwise, in her life.
“It’s me,” he told her, holding out his arms as if that would make her recognize him. “Chuck.”
“I’m sorry,” she said. “But … I don’t know you.”
He stared at her, confusion in his eyes. “You don’t?”
“Maybe you have the wrong house,” she suggested hopefully.
The man shook his head. “No. Maybe I have the
wrong—” He interrupted himself. “What’s the date?”
“Thursday, November twentieth.”
“No, the year. What’s the
She told him.
He swore sharply, clearly upset, and Maggie reached behind her for the telephone, ready to dial 911 at the least little eruption of violence.
“The damned prototype overshot my mark by three years,” he muttered, talking more to himself than to her as he paced back and forth on her patio. His words didn’t make sense, but he was insane. His words weren’t
to make sense. “Okay. Okay. So here I am. Better early than late.”
As Maggie watched he took a deep breath and seemed to pull himself together then looked up at her again.
“I’m Chuck Della Croce,” he introduced himself. “And you don’t know me, and … I’m naked.” There was a flash of chagrin in his eyes, as well as something that might have been amusement. “God, talk about making a good first impression.”
“Is there someone you want me to call to come and get you?” Maggie asked, trying to remember what she knew about insanity. Was she supposed to back slowly away, speak softly, and keep from looking directly into his eyes? Or was that what she was
supposed to do if she encountered a wild animal? Something about this man was wild, that much was for sure.
The man shook his head, again trying to tame his hair, combing it back with his fingers. “No, I’m right where I want to be.” He snorted. “Give or take three years.” He took another deep breath. “I could sure use a pair of pants, though.” He seemed to notice the gash on his shoulder for the first time, along with the dirt that covered him, and he swore again, softly this time. “And maybe the use of your garden hose to wash up?”
“Please?” he added, gazing up at her.
it about him …?
“I don’t think I have any pants that will fit you,” she told him. “But I’ll look. And yes. Use the hose. It’s in the—”
“I know where the hose is, Mags.” Sure enough, he seemed to know that the hose and the spigot it was attached to was inside the little garden shed built onto the side of her house.
Maggie felt a chill run up her spine. How did he know that the hose was there instead of outside, the way it was for most houses? And how did he know her name?
Mail. He could have checked her mail. Or looked
in the phone book. There were a zillion ways he could have learned her name. And she’d used the hose to water her fig tree just the night before, after the searing southwestern sun had set. He could have been watching. He might well have been watching for days.
The thought was a creepy one, and she shivered again as she shut and locked the window. Why was she doing this? She should just call the police and have this man removed from her yard. There was surely some Phoenix city ordinance that prohibited people from walking around naked in other people’s yards.
She carried the phone with her as she went into the guest bedroom and opened the closet door. The small space was jammed with boxes of Christmas ornaments and Halloween decorations and a rack of clothing that she couldn’t bring herself to throw out. But there was nothing inside that would fit a tall, solidly built man.
Maggie had a muscle or two herself from taking long bike rides around the city, but at five feet two, she was seriously height-challenged. She bought her clothes from the petite rack at the store. No, nothing she owned would even begin to cover the handsome, naked, extremely tall madman in her backyard.
Her bathrobe. That might at least cover him. Of
course, it was pink with little flowers on the lapels. A friend had bought it for her, as a kind of a joke. Maggie was not and never had been the pink-with-little-flowers type. She would be embarrassed even to show it to him.
Still, it was the only thing she had that would fit him.
And hey. He was crazy. Maybe he’d like it.
Maggie quickly pulled one of the boxes down from the shelf. It was the wrong box, but there were only two others marked
, so she knew she didn’t have far to search.
She found what she was looking for in the second box she took from the closet.
A Santa Claus suit. Huge red pants with a drawstring waist and a red jacket with fluffy white trim and a black plastic belt sewn directly onto it.
It was big enough, that was for sure.
She carried it back to the bathroom window. Out in the yard, Chuck What’s-his-name had somehow hooked the hose to the old clothesline. He’d also managed to make the water come out in a spray. He stood underneath it, as if it were a shower, water streaming onto his head and down his face. The water made his muscles glisten and shine.
Maggie felt like some kind of voyeur, watching
him like that. She was grateful her yard was enclosed by solid wooden fencing and that none of her immediate neighbors in this little Phoenix development had more than a single-story house. No one could see the naked man taking a shower in her backyard.
Except for her.
He opened his eyes and looked directly up at her—catching her staring at him.