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When Luca thought of someone deliberately trying to kill his wife, he did not secretly want to roar in fury.
As if she read his mind, Zoey said, “I am no longer your wife.”
“I am aware.” Tell that to my heart.
“How is it possible that my mother ask you to come and care for me… Care for me? What does that even mean? If she couldn’t be here, why…?” She put her hand on her chest and, if he wasn’t mistaken, hyperventilated.
It was a little early for that.
He pulled into a parking lot and parked. Twisting around in his seat, he found a paper bag with the remains of his McDonald’s breakfast. He dumped it out and handed the empty bag to her. “Cup that over your nose and mouth and breathe. It’ll smell like a bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. That’ll cure what ails you.”
She took a few quick breaths, then withered in her seat. “Better,” she said.
“Sure?” He took the bag away. “Let me see you.”
She got an expression on her face. Like she didn’t want him to look.
Why, he didn’t know. Last time she’d set eyes on him she’d made her indifference clear. But never mind that he had six sisters, he didn’t pretend to understand women. It was a whole different gender.
His fingertips hovered over her face; over the healing scabs where the glass had cut, the taped and bruised nose, the skin around her eyes that was no longer black, but a rainbow of purple and yellow and orange.
She sat very straight, shoulders down, chin up, and when he indicated she should turn her head, she did…but cautiously.
He knew what that meant. “How’s the whiplash?”
“Lousy. It’s all lousy.” Her eyes filled with tears.
“I know, honey.” He reached in the backseat, dug around in his bag, and handed her a tissue. “Your mother said you were t-boned by a big vehicle and shoved into the ditch and left.”
“I don’t remember much. The panic. The pain. The noise. The smoke.”
“There was a fire?”
“I don’t know.” She took a long breath. “And the poor tree.”
He couldn’t help it. He grinned. “Of course you remember the poor tree.” From the cooler in the back, he produced a wet cloth and applied it to her forehead as if she was a Victorian maid in a faint. “Your mother called. In her own charming manner, she accused me of trying to kill you.” —FORGET WHAT YOU KNOW…but the past remembers…
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