“We should be in a modern car with airbags, not this antique. Are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” she said even though she’d never felt more helpless or inadequate.
“The damn fool on my right swerved straight into us. I had to cut to the left.”
Funny how he remembered every detail, and she couldn’t remember a thing. Still she murmured, “It wasn’t your fault.”
Her legs hurt. The front part of his car seemed to be crumpled in on top of them.
“Can you get me out?”
He leaned out of the car and yelled to the paparazzi to help him. When they just stood there, staring and yelling at each other, he pleaded with them, saying gasoline was everywhere and that they had to get her out just in case. Only then did they look ashamed and spring forward to assist him.
Just as Remy and two of the men lifted her from the car, she heard the first of the sirens.
The police had arrived. Remy knelt on the wet tarmac cradling her against his sodden body and shielding her blood-streaked face with his hands from the rain and the paparazzi who’d begun shooting again. Someone brought a tarp and covered them with it, but the flashes never stopped.
“Don’t those damn bastards ever get enough pictures?” he muttered.
As it turned out they had way more than enough to destroy him.
G one was the lover who’d kissed her so passionately on the dance floor. Remy’s face was as white as a death mask behind the wheel of the nondescript car he’d rented for their return to the vineyard the day following the accident. He’d barely spoken since the police chief had released him. He was free to leave Cannes, but would have to return immediately for more interviews. The police planned a thorough investigation into the accident.
“Surely they don’t think you were to blame,” she’d said.Remy had cut her short. “He’s just doing his job.”
Despite a fierce headache and crowded, bumpy roads, Amy had devoured the morning’s horrible headlines and stories about the accident. Maybe it wasn’t surprising that the pounding in her head was worse than ever.
Former Grand Prix Driver Nearly Kills Mistress on Rain-Slick Road!
Police Investigation Pending!
There were pictures of Remy kissing her at Jimmy’z, and the grainy picture of Amelia that had been taken in London now had her name. Lengthy articles speculated about the exact nature of their relationship that first night in London. A waiter at the Savoy claimed they hadn’t been able to keep their hands off each other. Every time Amelia reread the man’s awful words, she cringed.
Worst of all the journalists compared the recent accident to the one a year ago and wondered if Remy, who’d behaved high-handedly and negligently last year, should even be allowed to have a driver’s license. “Witnesses told investigators that the Alfa Romeo had been weaving in and out of traffic on the seaside promenade of Cannes earlier,” she read.
Amy looked up from the newspaper to the lavender fields flying by. Was he driving too fast now? Or was she just so jittery from the accident and the terrible stories that it seemed so?
“Scared?” he muttered, easing up on the gas pedal. “Of me?”
“No. Of course not. You know the roads. You’re an expert driver.”
“Am I? Or am I a crazed, arrogant devil with no regard for anyone’s life but my own?”
“You’re just anxious to get home. And so am I.”
“To be rid of me?”
“I didn’t say that.”
“I wouldn’t blame you. I come with too much baggage—enough to sink an ocean liner.”
The doctor Remy had summoned to the villa last night had ordered her to rest, but her headache and nerves had prevented her from doing more than shut her eyes.
She was shaking now, maybe partly because Remy was so upset. How she dreaded Remy’s reading all the accusatory stories and seeing the awful pictures. The shots of them kissing at Jimmy’z were particularly invasive, and she hated the especially unflattering picture of Remy being held by two men as he shook his fist at a photographer last night when the man had refused to help get her out of the car.
Not that the articles about André’s death weren’t equally terrible. They included recent quotes from Maurice Lafitte saying Remy had always been jealous of André and had been gunning for him deliberately that day. Maurice even went so far as to accuse Remy and his mistress of trying to run him over in the village.
There were stories about Aunt Tate and the comte and the Matisse he’d given her. Anonymous village sources recounted in lurid detail Aunt Tate’s love affair and marriage with the late comte. They said that the young comte’s affair with Tate’s niece didn’t surprise them, that the niece was an American gold-digger just like her aunt, that the niece was refusing to sell the world-famous Matisse back to the French family to whom it had rightfully belonged for a century, that she planned to leave the country with it.