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Authors: Vanessa Grant

If You Loved Me

BOOK: If You Loved Me
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If You Loved Me

 

by

 

Vanessa Grant

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Please Note

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

 

The reverse engineering, uploading, and/or distributing of this eBook via the internet or via any other means without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author's rights is appreciated.

 

Copyright 1999, 2012 by Muse Creations Inc. All rights reserved under International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions.

 

Cover by Angie-O Creations

 

eBook design by eBook Prep
www.ebookprep.com

 

Thank You.

 

 

 

 

Thanks to Ann, Lynn, and Dr. Bill

for answering all those medical questions

 

 

 

 

Prologue

 

He left her alone in the car, ten miles outside town with darkness all around. She was seventeen years old and it was the first time in her life she'd ever been alone, no walls around her and not a building in sight.

"There's a light up there," he said. "A house. I'll phone for help."

After he'd gone, Emma sat in the car and shivered. She wished she had insisted on going with him, but he'd been so impatient.

"You think your dad will kill you for being late?" he'd asked. "Mine's going to flip when he learns I've blown up the damned car."

After he left, she realized how lonely it was out here. She fought off fantasies of all the things that could happen to a girl alone in a car.

She wished she could turn on the lights, but Paul had warned her not to, muttering that he didn't need a dead battery on top of everything else. So she sat in the dark, feeling the way she had when she'd been lying alone in a hospital bed the night before surgery. When she heard a sound from outside, she rummaged in her purse for her glasses, and then put them on so she could see the shadows better.

She was reciting a long soliloquy from Shakespeare when she saw car lights up ahead—maybe someone going to the dance she and Paul had left half an hour ago. Or maybe Paul, returning with help. Or—

The headlights swung away into the trees as the car crossed to her side of the road, spreading a halo of light. Wheels crunched on the gravel road, then the driver's door opened.

A man got out. A big man.

Someone else got out the passenger side of the car and Emma rolled down the window a couple of inches.

"Paul? Is that you?"

"Stay in the car, Emma."

It
was
Paul. She let out a sigh of relief.

"In the trunk," said the stranger, his voice was deep and gravelly. "I'll get them."

Emma pushed open the door and stumbled out onto the gravel shoulder. She couldn't see the man with Paul, just his shape standing in front of the headlights, all glare and shadows and broad shoulders.

"Why don't you get into my car and stay warm?" the stranger said. "My heater's on."

"I have to get home." She hugged herself as a breeze penetrated her thin dress. "I'm already late."

"For Pete's sake, Emma!" Paul's long shadow swam out of the darkness. "What the hell do you expect me to do? The car's trashed. You'll get home when you get there."

"I'll get tools," the stranger said.

She followed his shadow with her eyes until it disappeared behind the other car. A trunk opened, then closed. Shadows shifted around the two cars. Emma hugged herself tighter and wondered why she hadn't had the sense to bring a jacket.

The stranger lifted Paul's hood. From their conversation, she decided he knew about engines.

"So that's that," Paul said in a truculent voice.

She cleared her throat. "If I'm late, my dad's likely to call the police."

"Emma, give it a rest!"

"I could give you a ride," said the stranger.

As she pushed her long hair behind one ear, the light from his headlights in her eyes.

The stranger said, "I'll leave the tools and the work light with you, Paul, then drop your girlfriend off and come back. I'll pick up some oil while I'm gone."

Emma was swallowed by sensation, as if she were already alone in a car with the stranger. Being alone with Paul had never felt intimate. Exciting, yes, because it was new having a boyfriend when she was seventeen and had only recently been permitted to date. But this, the thought of a car surrounding two people and shutting out the world, looking across the length of the front seat and finding him staring back at her...

BOOK: If You Loved Me
11.57Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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