She could hear something, but it wasn’t Ben’s voice. The low hum sounded like a vibrating cell phone. Someone was calling...either her or her father. She pried open an eyelid to find him slumped over in the chair next to her bed. It made sense for him to be sleepy. He had dark circles beneath his eyes as if he’d gotten very little rest recently.
Because of her...
Because he’d been worried about her.
But why was she tired? She’d slept for weeks. She should have been rested enough to be able to keep her eyes open. She wasn’t just tired, though. She was hot, sweat beading on her brow and upper lip. Why was it so hot?
“Dad...” she murmured his name, but that took all her strength. “Your phone...” As she stared at him, willing him to wake up, a shadow fell across her bed. She turned her head toward it, but she could see nothing but a pillow coming toward her face.
Then the sound of the phone vibrating muted to nothingness. She couldn’t hear. She couldn’t see. She couldn’t breathe. The pillow pressed on her face, pressing her into the mattress.
She had just awakened from a weekslong coma. If a blow to her brain hadn’t killed her, she wasn’t going out like this—not without a fight. Summoning what little energy she had, she thrashed against the bed and reached out, clutching at the arms that were locked to hold that pillow against her. She clawed at those arms, raking her nails over the hair-covered skin.
The arms unlocked for a moment, and the pillow lifted enough that she sucked in a deep breath. But then it pressed harder, as her assailant put all his weight and anger behind it, even more determined to kill her. Where was her bodyguard?
She’d admitted to wanting Ben; now she needed him. Or she was not going to survive...
Maybe if she stopped fighting, maybe if she played dead...the person would think...
But then she wasn’t playing as she slipped into unconsciousness...again...
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