Anger coursed through Ellie. Not over what the doctor was saying...
That he wanted to keep her in the hospital, in that damn bed where she’d already spent too much time. She was frustrated about that, but she was angry over what she heard Ben saying to her father.
The doctor, probably aware she wasn’t listening to him, left the room, stopping to talk to Ben and her dad. Ben, like her, didn’t have much interest in what the man was saying. Leaving him with her father, he stepped into her room and closed the door.
“You’re wrong,” she told him.
“I thought you’d be happy it,” he said.
“That you think my father is responsible for someone trying to kill me?” she asked, incredulous. “How could you question him like that?”
“I was talking about your being happy that I want to take you out of the hospital,” he explained.
She hadn’t heard that, but she was too angry about what she had heard to address that. “You had no right to talk to my father that way.”
“I didn’t accuse him,” Ben said.
“You’re still looking to blame him even though he hired you to protect me,” she said. “Why would he have done that if he’d had anything to do with my being in danger?”
“I haven’t been a bodyguard long,” Ben admitted. “But long enough to assume that might be the biggest reason someone would hire a bodyguard for someone else—because he’s the one who put you in danger.”
She shook her head in denial. “My father is just overprotective...after losing my mother...he doesn’t want to lose me, too.” A twinge of guilt struck her heart that she’d caused him so much fear and pain.
Ben’s dark eyes narrowed. “Is that when he got his money?” he asked. “Was there life insurance on your mother?”
She gasped with shock. “Now you’re trying to blame him for my mother’s car accident?”
Ben sighed. “No. It’s just so many times that the people closest to us are responsible for hurting us.”
She narrowed her eyes and studied his face. “You’re speaking from experience.”
He sighed again, more heavily. “That’s gone both ways for me.”
He was more than his handsome facade. But then she already knew that from his saving her life. “What do you mean?” she asked.
He shook his head. “We’re not talking about me. We need to talk about you and about those close to you...”
He had been close to her—these past four weeks—closer than anyone while she’d been in the coma. Her father had confided that to her, before they’d both been drugged.
“Whoever’s after you could be someone you know,” Ben continued.
Anger coursed through her again. “It’s not my father. He’s a sweet man.”
“I believe he wouldn’t hurt you intentionally,” Ben said, albeit it sounded a bit begrudging.
“He’s a sweet man,” she repeated, “so nobody would want to hurt me to threaten him.”
“What about your stepmother?” he asked. “Does she resent how much time and attention he spends on you?”
She laughed. “No, she doesn’t. And I’m sure you must know that...”
He tilted his head as if searching his memory. “She did spend a lot of time here in the beginning, but then her parents weren’t able to watch your younger brothers any longer and she had to leave. That doesn’t mean—”
She pressed her fingers over his lips, stemming the flow of his suspicions. She didn’t want him to talk about the people she loved like this, not like they were capable of anything criminal. “Stop,” she told him.
“I can’t,” he said, his lips moving against her skin.
Tingling raced from her fingertips to her madly pounding heart. She jerked her hand from his mouth.
“I need to find out who’s to blame for your being in danger,” he persisted.
“I know who’s to blame,” she said, feeling like such a fool.
His dark eyes widened with surprise. “You remembered who attacked you?”
“No. But I know who’s to blame.”
She swallowed hard, choking down a lump of dread and guilt. “Me.”
Log in or create an account to read the next chapter of "Security for Sleeping Beauty"
Every month we select a new title from one of our authors so that you can discover new stories, locations and genres for free.