“I think you know.”
“You’ve lived such an exciting life. You’ll soon tire of someone as dull as me, so I tried to make a game of it. Sex lessons. I thought I could be like an actress playing a part. I promised you I wouldn’t let myself care.”
“To hell with our stupid promises!”
“Remy, I swear, the last thing I wanted to do was fall in love with you!”
“Oh, Amy, Amy. You’re the best thing that has ever happened to me.” He bent his head and kissed her with a wild hunger, and as she kissed him back, her heart seemed to explode with all the turbulent emotions she felt—passion, fear, desire and all sorts of insecurities. She felt more than saw the crowd at their table watching.
“Let’s get the hell out of here,” Remy said hoarsely. “I have to be alone with you.”
“That’s all I’ve wanted all night.”
Cameras held high, two men who’d just entered the club raced toward them.
“It’s him!” they yelled. “Remy de Fournier!”
When she turned, flashes burst in her face.
“Leave her alone, you bastards!” Furious, Remy lunged through the tables toward the two cameramen, but before he could reach them, several waiters seized the pair and hustled them back to the entrance.
“Chérie, we’ve got to get the hell out of here! The last thing I want is your name dragged into the mud because of me!”
Taking hold of her hand, he led her toward the front door, but when they stepped outside, rain was coming down in sheets. The engines of the dozen or so motorcycles that were lined up beside the building began revving. Paparazzi. Several men jumped off their bikes and swarmed Remy, shouting his name and hurling obscenities at Amy in the hope he’d look their way or try to punch them and they could then snap a valuable picture.
“Ignore them,” Remy muttered, pulling her close and shielding her from the rain and cameras.
When the Alfa Romeo was being brought over, Remy’s dark eyes blazed, maybe with the memory of that wet afternoon at the Circuit de Nevers at Magny-Cours. Almost defiantly, he grabbed the car keys from the bellhop.
When she and Remy were in the car, he expertly maneuvered onto the wet street. His windshield wipers slashing violently, he called the villa and warned the guard at the gate that they might be followed.
Snapping his phone shut, he concentrated on the heavy traffic and the motorcycles buzzing on all sides of them. From time to time a bike got too close and sloshed water all over their windows.
Despite his pale, tense face, she liked watching him drive. He exuded power and willful determination. His car was nimble, even on the slick, dark road, and he maneuvered it skillfully, changing lanes constantly to get ahead of his pursuers. Before long they were climbing toward the villa. When they reached a part of the road that was under construction, the rain started to come down even harder than before. Then the road narrowed to a single, bumpy lane walled in by concrete. Despite the narrow lane and the sheets of falling water, the motorcycles maintained their aggressive speeds. Several were ahead, two behind, and two on either side of them.
“Suicidal nuts,” Remy said in clipped tones, easing off the gas pedal when brake lights flashed up ahead.
Suddenly one of the motorcyclists on the right gunned his engine and skidded just as the lane narrowed even more. To avoid being hit, Remy swerved to the left, which sent the Spider into a controlled skid straight at the concrete barricade and one of the other motorcycles.
“Damn!” Remy jerked the wheel to the right. Then slamming on the brakes because the bike on his right was too close, he veered back to the left. The Spider hit deep water and skidded wildly, whirling on two wheels before it rammed into the barricade on Remy’s side. Amelia screamed as she flew forward. Then her seat belt grabbed, and everything went black.
When she regained consciousness, the windshield wipers were still on and the wind-driven rain was beating down even harder than before. She heard water hissing as if from a broken hose, and the stench of hot oil burned her nostrils.
Icy fingers pressed against her throat.
In cold horror she realized Remy was searching for her pulse. At the same time members of the paparazzi were shouting his name and jockeying to get better pictures of the famous crash victims.
A flash went off, and she blinked.
“Damn.” Remy’s face was inches from hers. His mouth was thin and set. Every time another flash went off, terror flicked across his white, strained face.
“Amelia!” His voice was barely more than a thread now.
“What happened?” she whispered shakily. “Did we have an accident?”