Powered by sizzling adrenaline alone, Maxie studied that lean, strong face. ‘I hate you for following me down here—’
‘You were waiting for me to show up...’
Her facial muscles froze. The minute Angelos said it, she knew it was true. She had known he would track her down and find her.
‘I’m walking home. I’m not getting into your car,’ she informed him while she absently noted that, yet again, he was getting wet for her. Black hair curling, bronzed cheekbones shimmering damply in the street lights.
‘I have not got all night to waste, waiting for you to walk home,’ Angelos asserted wrathfully.
‘So you know where I’m living,’ Maxie gathered in growing rage, and then she thought, What am I doing here standing talking to him? ‘Well, don’t you dare come there because I won’t open the door!’
‘You could be attacked walking down a dark country road,’ Angelos ground out, shooting her a flaming look of antipathy. ‘Is it worth the risk?’
Angling her umbrella to a martial angle, Maxie spun on her heel and proceeded to walk. She hadn’t gone ten yards before her flowing hair and long easy stride attracted the attention of a bunch of hard-faced youths lounging in a shop doorway. Their shouted obscenities made her stiffen and quicken her pace.
From behind her, she heard Angelos grate something savage.
A hand came down without warning on Maxie’s tense shoulder and she uttered a startled yelp. As she attempted to yank herself free, everything happened very fast. Angelos waded in and slung a punch at the offender. With a menacing roar, the boy’s mates rushed to the rescue. Angelos disappeared into the fray and Maxie screamed and screamed at the top of her voice in absolute panic.
‘Get off him!’ she shrieked, laying about the squirming clutch of heaving bodies with vicious jabs of her umbrella and her feet as well.
Simultaneously a noisy crowd came out of the pub across the street and just as suddenly the scrum broke and scattered. Maxie knelt down on the wet pavement beside Angelos’s prone body and pushed his curling wet black hair off his brow, noting the pallor of his dark skin. ‘You stupid fool...you stupid, stupid fool,’ she moaned shakily.
Angelos lifted his head and shook it in a rather jerky movement. Slowly he began to pick himself up. Blood was running down his temples. ‘There were five of them,’ he grated, with clenched and bruised fists.
‘Get in your car and shut up in case they come back,’ Maxie muttered, tugging suggestively at his arm. ‘Other people don’t want to get involved these days. You could’ve been hammered to a pulp—’
‘Them and who else?’ Angelos flared explosively, all male ego and fireworks.
‘The police station is just down the street—’
‘I’m not going to the police over the head of those little punks!’ Angelos snarled, staggering slightly and spreading his long powerful legs to steady himself. ‘I got in a punch or two of my own—’
‘Not as many as they did.’ Maxie hauled at his sleeve and by dint of sustained pressure nudged him round to the passenger side of his opulent sports car.
‘What are you doing?’
‘You’re not fit to drive—’
‘Since when?’ he interrupted in disbelief.
Maxie yanked open the door. ‘Please, Angelos...you’re bleeding, you’re probably concussed. Just for once in your wretched life, do as someone else asks.’
He stood there and thought about that stunning concept for a whole twenty seconds. There was a definite struggle taking place and then, with a muffled curse, he gradually and stiffly lowered himself down into the passenger seat.
‘Can you drive a Ferrari?’ he enquired.
‘Of course,’ Maxie responded between clenched teeth of determination, no better than him at backing down.
The Ferrari lurched and jerked up the road.
‘Lights,’ Angelos muttered weakly. ‘I think you should have the lights on...or maybe I should just close my eyes—’
‘Shut up...I’m trying to concentrate!’
Having mastered the lights and located the right gear, Maxie continued, ‘It was typical of you to go leaping in, fists flying. Where are your security guards, for goodness’ sake?’
‘How dare you?’ Angelos splintered, leaning forward with an outrage somewhat tempered by the groan he emitted as the seat belt forced him to rest back again. ‘I can look after myself—’
‘Against five of them?’ Maxie’s strained mouth compressed, her stomach still curdling at what she had witnessed. Damn him, damn him. She felt so horribly guilty and shaken. ‘I’m taking you to Casualty—’