Love has a funny way of knocking the wheels right out from under you!
Sexy Indy car racer Warwicke Honeybun isn’t looking for love. But when he stumbles upon a beautiful woman being abused by a fellow driver one night, he wastes no time delivering a painful message to the man abusing her. Unfortunately, the man turns up dead the next day and the woman shows up on Warwicke’s doorstep covered in blood. Warwicke’s life gets eminently more complicated as he fights to protect her while working to clear her name; knowing all the while that she’s one of his fiercest competitors on the track.
Her brown eyes were slightly dazed and there were tracks through the blood on her cheeks as if she’d been crying. “Help me. Please?”
Setting the gun aside, Warwicke grabbed her and pulled her into his apartment. Her knees sagged and he reached down, putting an arm under her legs and lifting her off the ground. He hurried to the bathroom and walked into the shower with her.
Standing her off to the side he adjusted the temperature of the water before moving her under it. It took a good ten minutes before the water in the bottom of the shower ran clear again. As the hot water sluiced over her, he checked her carefully for wounds. She had a bump on her head and a cut, and the bruise from Lautaro’s punch the night before. But nothing that would have caused all the blood.
She stood limply in front of him, allowing him to shampoo her long, mahogany brown hair and rinse it clean.
Warwicke didn’t let go of her as he turned the water off and reached for a nearby towel. He was afraid she’d go down if he did.
Despite the prolonged exposure to hot water, she still shivered violently.
He wrapped the towel around her and helped her out of the shower, rubbing the thick, oversized towel over her arms and shoulders in an effort to warm her. “You really need to get out of these wet clothes.”
She just looked at him, her brown eyes not seeming to comprehend.
Warwicke was torn. He needed to get her warm and the wet clothes would definitely hamper that effort. From the looks of her, he was pretty sure she wouldn’t be able to undress herself.
That meant he had to do it.
“I’m going to help you get undressed, Fabiana. Is that okay?”
She just looked at him.
Warwicke swore softly under his breath. He dropped the towel and started peeling wet clothing off of her body. The skin he uncovered was exquisitely soft, flawless, and cold as ice.
Her shivering increased as her clothing came off.
Warwicke forced himself not to look at her as he peeled the last layers of clothing off her body and wrapped her in a clean, dry towel. Then he lifted her into his arms again and headed for his bedroom. “I’ll get you into some dry clothes and then we need to get you to the hospital.”
She jerked and a cold hand clamped onto his arm. “No!” Her eyes were huge with fear. “No hospitals. Please!”
He set her on the edge of his bed and stepped away. She wobbled a bit and he reached for her, but she steadied. “I’m okay.”
“Are you sure?”
She bit her lip and nodded.
“You really should go to the hospital. I think you’re in shock.”
She shook her head vehemently. “I’ll just go now.”
She jumped at the sound of his raised voice. He frowned. “Sorry. I just don’t want you to leave in this state. You’re shocky and traumatized. Will you stay?”
She was staring at a spot on the floor. “No hospitals. Promise me.”
Warwicke frowned but finally nodded. He realized he could get her some medical help and still keep that pledge. “I promise.”
Her eyes drooped closed. “I’m just so tired.”
Warwicke caught her as she pitched forward. Her eyes flew open again when he picked her up. She gasped and her ice cold hands found his arm again. “It’s okay, Fabiana. I’m just putting you under the covers so you can get warm.”
Her terrified gaze stayed locked on his face but her grip on his arm softened.
Warwicke tucked her into bed, pulled the covers up to her chin, and turned the heating blanket on high. He grabbed his cell phone from the nightstand and started to turn away. Fabiana’s hand shot out from under the covers before he could take a step.
“Stay with me, please?”
Warwicke nodded, covering her hand with his, and sat down on the edge of the bed.
He held her cold hand until her breathing deepened and evened out in sleep. Then he tucked the icy hand under the heated covers and left, leaving the door ajar so he could hear her if she called out.
He punched a number into his phone. “I need your help.”
“Now? It’s three o’clock in the freakin’ morning,” a gruff, sleepy voice informed him.
“Now! Hurry. I’m home.”
Godric straightened away from the bed and looked at his brother. “She’s coming out of the shock. Her temperature’s normalized and her pupils look good. I’m concerned about that knot on her head though…and the bruise on her cheek.”
“I know how she got the bruise, bro, but the knot on her head must have something to do with the fact that she was covered in blood.”
Godric frowned. His handsome face was peppered with reddish-blond stubble and his deep-set gray eyes were filled with concern. “You really need to call the police, Wicke. She might have been involved in a crime. They need to know.”
Warwicke shook his head. “Not yet, Godric. I need to talk to her first, find out what happened. Then I’ll make a decision about the police.”
Godric shook his head, pushing a hand through his longish red hair and making the curls at the sides and back stick out comically. “I wish you hadn’t showered off all the blood. If it turns out she was involved in something bad the cops will need samples of the blood.”
Warwicke jerked his head toward his bathroom. “Her clothes are in my shower, take them with you. If we end up needing DNA evidence I’m sure they’ll be able to get some from them. She was nearly saturated with it. I couldn’t possibly have gotten it all.”
Godric nodded and clapped his brother on the shoulder before going to gather up the clothes. He came out a moment later with her sneakers. “These have blood caught in the seams.”
Warwicke nodded and followed his brother to the door so he could lock up.
After Godric left, Warwicke stood looking down at the sleeping woman. The soft, caramel tone had returned to her skin and she appeared to be breathing better. Only the occasional ripple moved through her body, looking more like shudders than shivers.
What the hell could she have gotten into after he left her at the track? Did it have something to do with Casio Lautaro or had she managed to find some other trouble on her way home?
Warwicke sighed. As badly as he wanted them, he wasn’t going to get any answers from her until morning. He looked down at himself.
He was a mess. The silk boxers he’d been wearing in bed were stained and damp, and his chest was streaked with blood. He took a hot shower and donned clean boxers before climbing into bed beside Fabiana.
She moaned softly when he slid under the covers beside her.
Warwicke gasped as she rolled over and wrapped herself around him, thinking she’d woken up and was interested in something other than talking about racing.
Hope soared briefly as his body took notice of the soft skin and gentle curves of the very feminine body pressed against his.
But Fabiana just sighed contentedly and settled back into sleep.
Warwicke groaned and buried his face in her sweet smelling hair, trying to ignore the urges of his body.
It was gonna be a long, damn night.