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His hands tightened on the steering wheel, not from the icy road conditions but from the emotions inside him. Had he known coming out of his shell would be this painful, he would have braved the storm days ago and dropped her off at the police station for Mercer or one of the other guys to deal with. Just his dumb luck he’d finally found a woman to pull him out of himself and she was pregnant, possibly married, with no memory and a killer on her tail.
He merged onto the interstate and picked up speed. Out here, the salt trucks had done their work, and the blizzard hadn’t been as bad as in the higher elevations. Returning to civilization was always a tricky process for him. He far preferred the quiet of his mountain retreat to the noise and fast pace of the real world.
“What day is it?” Hope asked, running her hand down her braid and staring out the front windshield.
“Wednesday what? I don’t even know the date.”
She shifted and he pulled his gaze from the road long enough to glance at her surprised expression.
“That means I crashed on Christmas day.”
He grunted his response, something he knew she hated, but did anyway. Doing things with the intent to irritate another person wasn’t really like him, but with Hope, he enjoyed it.
“I crashed at your house on Christmas day.”
“I know that.” He was well aware what day she’d entered his life.
“Why didn’t you tell me?”
He blew out a breath. Not this again. She seemed to think he was purposely keeping information from her. “I guess I figured you knew that.”
“I couldn’t even remember my name, why would I know it was Christmas?”
He shrugged, still not getting why this was important. She seemed to fixate on the weirdest things.
“No wonder you were mad,” she said after too short a silence.
“I wasn’t mad.”
“Sure you were. You didn’t want me there.”
True enough, but not for the reasons she thought.
“Geez, John. I ruined your Christmas.”
“No, you didn’t.” That he could say with absolute certainty. She’d saved his Christmas. And possibly him.