Ellie should have been used to feeling alone. She lived alone. For the most part, doing audits, she worked alone. But once the door closed behind the doctor, she felt truly alone. For some reason, though, the sensation felt new, as if she hadn’t had it for a while.
She hadn’t been alone during her coma. Ben had been with her. She knew his voice because she’d heard it so often. Despite being unconscious, she’d always been aware of him. Now she was aware he was gone.
The door creaked open again, and a soft sigh of relief slipped out that he was back. But when she turned toward the doorway, it wasn’t Ben standing there. Fortunately she recognized the man who was. “Dad...” she murmured and held up her arms.
“Ben called me,” he said, leaning down to hug her. “I got here as fast as I could. I just can’t believe it. I was so worried you might never wake up.”
“I’m awake,” she promised him as she patted his back. “I’m fine.” The doctor, who she had not recognized, wanted to run a few more tests before he would confirm it. But she certainly felt fine—just confused.
Her father shuddered and pulled back. “Are you really?” he asked as he closed his hand around hers.
That felt familiar, like he had done it often.
He arched a dark brow in skepticism.
And she smiled. Ben or the doctor had divulged her secrets. “I woke up a little confused.”
“You didn’t know who you were?”
She flinched as she relived the panic she’d felt awakening like a blank slate. “It’s coming back.”
“What about that night? Do you know what happened?” he asked. “Who hit you?”
She shook her head. The doctor had warned that might never come back to her—since the blow had caused her head trauma. “I wish I knew...”
“We might know,” he said. “Ben’s with the police right now. They’ve arrested a carjacker—”
She laughed. “Who would want to steal my car?”
Her father had bought her the station wagon when she’d gotten her license because of how safe and reliable it was—so safe and reliable she hadn’t had a reason to replace it. After losing her mother in a car accident, her father had become overly protective, which was obviously why he’d hired a bodyguard she didn’t need.
Then she remembered Ben’s voice—from her unconscious dreams—and his handsome face. She might not need him, but she wanted him.
Now that she’d awakened, he was gone, so he definitely wasn’t her prince either.
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