When she's first awakened in the hospital, frightened and in pain, only the gentle, masculine voice of a stranger had the power to soothe Casey Farrow. Dan Murdock had dragged her from the wreckage of her car and saved her life. He'd held her hand and lent her his strength. But now, as she contemplated a future forever altered by the scars that marred her body and ended her career, Casey wondered why Dan was still there. . . .
Until he showed her that it had just begun
She didn't want his pity. She didn't need his help. And when he told her that he loved her, Casey thought he'd lost his mind. One look in the mirror was enough to convince her that no man as attractive as Dan Murdock could possibly want her . . . until the night he showed her how wrong she could be. But wanting and loving are two very different things, and now Casey wonders if theirs is truly a love that can last for all time. . . .
|Publisher:||Random House Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.50(d)|
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Someone was crying.
The sounds were so soft that at first Casey wasn’t sure what she was hearing. They were coming at quick intervals, with intermittent panicky little gasps.
Is someone there?” Was that her voice? It was muffled and strange.
The crying grew louder. Casey’s mind groped its way into full awareness. Curiosity gave way to fright when she realized the sobs were coming from her own throat. She lifted a hand to her face. It didn’t hurt; it only felt … heavy. And her mouth was dry, her tongue clinging to the roof. She tried to turn her head, but movement was impossible. If she was awake, why couldn’t she see? Nothing seemed to make sense.
Are my eyes open?” she asked aloud, forcing her tongue to make the necessary movements.
I can’t see!” The words were anguished. Panic, then terror seized her.
“Shhh … Lie still.” The voice was deep, masculine and muffled. “Don’t be frightened. You can’t see because there’s a bandage over your eyes.”
The calm words drew her back from the brink of hysteria.
“You’re in the hospital, but you’ll be all right.”
“But … I can’t see!”
“The doctor said the bandage can come off soon,” the calm voice persisted. “You’ve a concussion and must keep your head still.” Hands held her forearms gently. “Keep your arms still, too. You’re taking fluids intravenously.” He moved her arms gently to her sides and kept his hands there.
“Why … what …?” She tried to sniff and something large and soft was dabbed to her nose.
“You were in an accident. The doctor will be here soon. He can tell you about your injuries. Don’t be frightened. I …” The voice seemed to move away.
“Don’t leave me!” She tried to lift her arms, but they were gently forced down.
“I won’t leave you. I’ll keep my hand on your arm so you’ll know I’m here.”
“Oh, I remember! I was on the highway. The fog-”
“Don’t think about it now.”
But she did. It all came rushing back. She remembered her own voice screaming in her ears and then the endless shattering of glass and the … crunching, metal grinding … breaking, tearing and cracking. Then everything stopped and the world turned black.
“Oh, dear God! Was … anyone killed!” The words came with fresh sobs.
“No one was killed.” The voice was smooth and quiet. The handkerchief came to her nose again. “You mustn’t cry.” Then with an attempt at humor, “until you can wipe your own nose.”
“I’ll see about getting you a drink. Will you be frightened if I leave you?” The hand on her arm tightened just a fraction.
“I won’t be gone any longer than it takes you to count to twenty. I promise.”
The hand left her arm and she strained her ears to hear him open the door, but it must have been ajar. One, two, three, four, five … Then a voice, low, controlled and icy. She forgot about counting.
“What the hell do you mean leaving her alone? Dammit! She woke up scared to death!”
“I was only gone for a few minutes.” This voice was trembly and feminine.
“You were hired to stay with her.” The calm voice was no longer calm. It was angry and censorious.
“Being sorry isn’t enough. Get the doctor in here. She needs some answers. And,” he added with a touch of menace to his tone, “she’s thirsty.”
“She can have water sparingly.”
“I’ll do that while you get the doctor.”
There was a small silence and then Casey felt the hand on her arm again.
“Casey. Everyone calls me Casey.”
“All right, Casey. You can have some water. I’ll give it to you while the nurse goes for the doctor. I’m going to put the end of the tube in the corner of your mouth. Take only a small amount at a time until you see how it goes down.” The man’s voice was low pitched and even tenored as if nothing could move him to anger, but something had—that nurse abandoning her post.
“The water was cold and good, but it was too much of an effort to draw it into her mouth. The tube was removed and she licked her lips with the tip of her tongue.
“There’s a small ice cube here. Do you want to hold it in your mouth?”
“Yes, please,” she whispered, tired now.
“Be careful and don’t let it slip down your throat.”
She parted her lips and a sliver of ice was placed between them. It was so small it disappeared almost at once, but left a coolness in her mouth.
“Are you a doctor?”
“No. My name’s Dan.”
“Casey felt a flash of disappointment, and then another voice reached her ears.
“Good evening.” The warm hand left her arm. “Miss Farrow, I’m Dr. Masters.”
“Please take the bandage off my eyes!” she blurted out desperately.
“Not until tomorrow. There’s a cut across your forehead and your eyelids are swollen.” The voice was calm and impersonal, not at all as warm as the other man’s. “You must lie very still for another twenty-four hours. I’ll give you something to make you sleep.”
“No! What’s wrong with me? My hands are bandaged, too. And I feel numb all over. I can’t feel my legs! Oh, God! Are my legs on?” Panic made her voice shrill.
“They sure are, and you’ve enough stitches in them for a patchwork quilt,” he said lightly.
“I don’t believe you! Where’s that man? Please … man! Where are you?”
“I’m here, Casey.” The now familiar voice came from the other side of the bed and his hand encircled her forearm. “The doctor’s telling the truth.
The cuts had to be stitched, but other than that your legs are all right.”
“Is there any pain?” the doctor asked.
“No, everything is numb.” A fresh sob came from her throat. “I’ve got to know … about my face!”
“Tell her!” Dan’s voice grated and his fingers tightened on her arm. “She’s got a right to know.”
Another sob broke from the bandages.
“Miss Farrow! Miss Farrow!” The doctor said again in a louder, sterner voice. “Calm down or I’ll give you a sedative. I won’t lie to you about your injuries. You have a deep cut down the side of your face. You covered your face with your hands and protected it, all but the right side. In time we can fix it so scarcely a scar remains. You also have several broken ribs and a concussion.”
“But … why am I all bandaged?” She tried to lift her hand toward the man called Dan.
“Your car crashed into the back of a truck carrying a load of windows. The tail of the truck smashed right through your windshield. Only a few inches more and the rear of the truck would have crushed you. As it was, you were showered with flying glass.” His hand was firm on her arm and his voice quietly confident. “The cuts have been stitched and you have been given something to kill the pain, that’s the reason your body feels numb.”
“The best thing for you is sleep,” the doctor said. He moved aside and made room for the nurse with the hypodermic syringe. She lifted Casey’s arm, shook her head, and lowered it when she couldn’t find a place to give the injection amid the network of puckered cuts held together with surgical stitches. She looked inquiringly at the doctor and he carefully lifted the sheet to expose a section of thigh. The nurse bent and quickly injected the needle.
“I’m hoping to take the bandage off your eyes tomorrow.” The doctor talked calmly while he looked at the hundreds of cuts on her thighs and legs. It had taken him almost six hours to pick the glass out of her flesh and close the wounds on her beautiful body. What would her reaction be when she looked at it for the first time? He shook his gray head. She would have to live with the results of the accident for a long time, but at that, she was lucky to be alive.
“M … an, are you still here?” Casey’s voice was slurred as she fought to stay awake.
“Dan.” The comforting voice was close to her. “You’ll not be left alone, Casey. Go to sleep.”
“How … long have I been here?”
“Almost twenty-four hours. I notified your father and he’ll be coming to see you in a few days.”
“How … did …?”
“I got his name and address from your employer and called him.” He gently stroked the one place on her forearm that was free of cuts and scratches. “You’re not to worry. Everything has been taken care of.”
“But … who are you?”
Casey struggled to stay awake to hear the answer to her question, but the drug she had been given took effect and she slid into a deep, engulfing abyss.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Good story but I would rather buy an actual book next time if I am going to pay full price like that again. Learned my lesson, ty nook people. Also, I hope the author comes up with something more for her leading lady to call her love. Darling this and that. One or two books i can get by but it is every one of her female characters that does this. Drives me crazy and has actually started to turn me off of buying more.