“You’re not being stupid. I’ve given you every reason to think this way, and I’m sorry. I can’t change the past. But I can promise that I’ll talk to you, explain everything I’m feeling, why I behave like I do.”
“You mean freak out?”
I let out a small sad laugh. “Yeah, freak out.”
Moving back, I lay my head on his pillow, so I can look at him.
“There’s something I need to tell you—about me.”
“Okay.” He gives me a wary look.
“It’s nothing bad about us.” Now that I’m about to say it, it feels like I’m making a big deal out of it. “It’s not crucial to anything. It’s just something that I haven’t told you, and you should know. I mean, I haven’t told anyone here—well, apart from Petra. She knows and Uncle John knows, but he’s always knew because—”
His hand touches my arm. “Andressa, it’s okay. You can tell me.”
Deep breath. One. Two. Three.
“My dad is William Wolfe.”
I expect him to look surprised, but he doesn’t.
Staring steadily back at me, he nods his head once. “Yeah, I know.”
“You know?” Air whooshes into my lungs as my brows pull together in consternation. “How do you know?”
His cheeks redden a bit, and he bites his lip. If I wasn’t so perturbed right now, I’d bite his lip, too, because he looks so goddamn sexy.
He blows out a breath before speaking, “When I saw you there at that car show, looking at his car, and you were crying, I just knew right then that there was something, and it was bugging the fuck out of me afterward. I knew the car was important to you. I just didn’t know why—and that’s why I bought it.”
My chest tightens with so many emotions. Taking his hand, I kiss it. His face warms with his feelings for me. Cupping my cheek, he presses a kiss to my lips.
Keeping his hand on my face, he strokes my skin with his thumb. “I had to get that car, no matter what, so I called up the owner, and I got him to sell it to me. After the deal was done, I got off the phone with him, and I started researching the car, finding more about it, like what I was going to need to get it up and running again. There was no way that car was going to sit pretty in my garage—not after what you said to me. And honestly, it was a good reason to have you with me, to be able to spend time with you again.
“While I was researching the car, I stumbled on this picture of your dad with the car. He was standing in front of it with his wife…and that was when I knew. I remembered your mum from the photo you showed me in Kuala Lumpur. Sure, she looked younger, but it was like looking at you. I looked up your dad’s Wiki page, and it was all there. Spouse, Katia Amaro-Wolfe. Child, Andressa Wolfe. It didn’t take a genius to work out that you’re his daughter, babe. I should have realized before because of John. I knew he’d worked for William and that they were good friends. I just…” Carrick rubs his face with his hand. “I don’t understand why you didn’t tell me. Why keep it a secret?”
I let out a sigh. “Because I didn’t want people thinking that Uncle John gave me the job because of who my dad was, because Uncle John was my dad’s best friend.”
“No one would’ve thought that.”
I give him a look. “They would have so thought that. I’m a moderately attractive young female mechanic—”
“Moderately attractive?” He raises a brow. “I’m more inclined to say you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen in my life. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw you that first time, bent over my car with your long legs and sexy arse stuck up in the air.” He squeezes my bum with his hand. “Jesus, I almost came in my pants. Hottest fucking thing ever, babe.”
Laughing, I lightly slap my hand to his chest. “If everyone knew who my dad was, they’d have thought that was the only reason I was there. I just wanted to prove myself before people knew I was his daughter.”
“You’ve proven yourself more than enough times. You’re brilliant at your job.” He slides his hand down over my bum and along my thigh. “You do realize, now that I have you, I’m never letting you go, right? From my garage or my bed. You have to stay forever.”
I ignore the little ripple of fear in my chest. “Works for me.” I smile. Running my fingers down to his abs, I start to trace them, loving the feel of him shuddering beneath my touch.
“It’s because of your dad, what happened to him…that’s why you didn’t want to be with me?”
That jolts me back. Emotions flood me, stilling my hand.
“I didn’t…I still don’t want to go through losing someone that I care about again.”
“You won’t lose me, Andressa.” He tips my chin up with his fingers, so I’m looking him in the eyes. “I’m not going anywhere.”
“You can’t promise that.” There’s a broken edge to my voice.
“No, I guess no one can. But things are different now, safer than they used to be when you lost your dad.”
Carrick drives at speeds close to three hundred and seventy-five kilometers an hour. There’s nothing safe about that.
“I just…the way I feel about you, Carrick…it terrifies me. That’s why I tried to stay away for as long as I did. When I think about losing you…the panic consumes me, and I know it doesn’t make sense, but it’s the fear of losing you that makes me run.”