Ben shouldn’t have left her. Not even for a moment...
Not even with her father for protection. Why wasn’t Paul Prentiss answering his phone? Nobody ever obeyed that rule of shutting off a cell in the hospital, especially not Prentiss who was usually in constant contact with his wife and young kids.
Why the hell wasn’t he picking up now?
Ben cursed as his call went to his client’s voice mail. He’d already left him a message: don’t leave Ellie alone. I think she’s still in danger...
Ben shouldn’t have left her. But if he hadn’t talked to the carjacker himself, he might have agreed with the police that they’d caught the suspect. Now he knew that Ellie was still in danger.
Since seeing that expensive motorcycle in the parking lot, his suspicions were mounting. He couldn’t trust anybody, and neither could Ellie. He needed to get back to the damn hospital to make sure that she was really all right, so he pressed harder on the accelerator as guilt pressed harder on his heart. He shouldn’t have left her.
The police didn’t think she was in danger any longer. They hadn’t believed the carjacker’s denial of hurting her, but Ben had. Before becoming a bodyguard, he’d been a cop long enough to recognize when someone was lying. He didn’t have the notorious sixth sense his boss’s mother, Penny Payne-Lynch, was rumored to have. He didn’t just know things. Instead he watched the suspect’s face to determine if he was speaking the truth or lying to cover his ass.
The carjacker hadn’t been lying. He’d had no interest in a car like Ellie’s, no reason to steal something that wouldn’t make him any money. The car he’d been stealing when he’d been arrested had been a luxury SUV worth ten times more than Ellie’s old station wagon.
“It’s all about money,” he’d said.
That was when Ben had remembered that expensive motorcycle. It was all about money. Some people would do anything for it. Even murder.
If whoever had attacked Ellie wanted to make sure she couldn’t identify him...
He might have hired someone in the hospital to make sure she never woke up. Ben had been with her in her room pretty much around the clock the past four weeks, so he hadn’t given anybody a chance to get to her. Until now...
He cursed and pressed harder on the gas pedal, careening around the corner. The hospital rose a few stories above the other buildings between him and it. He was close.
His panic eased a bit.
Maybe he was just overreacting. After all he’d thought the attack had been random, too, just as the police had. Until he’d seen the pictures of her vehicle...spattered with her blood...
The police had splayed them across the table in the interrogation room, confronting their suspect and Ben with the evidence. Nobody would have attacked her to steal that car, and if they had, they wouldn’t have abandoned it a short distance away. What had they really been after?
Money hadn’t been the motive for the initial attack since her cash and credit cards hadn’t been taken—just her keys. And very nearly her life...
Hopefully the assailant had found whatever he’d really wanted, and Ben was worried for nothing. But that suspicion continued to niggle at him...that someone might have paid that nurse to watch her or make sure she didn’t wake up. If he was right, then Ellie was in danger.
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