She moaned, tried to push the airbag out of her face with her left hand and rolled her head in his direction. Her eyes fluttered closed and opened again.
In the fading sunlight, Brandon could see bits of glass in her hair and blood on her cheek where she had been cut. “Can you unlock the doors?” For a moment he thought she had passed out, then he heard the click of the lock. He opened the door and, being careful of all the glass on the seat, leaned in. “Help is on the way. What’s your name?”
“Faith,” she whispered.
“Faith, I’m Brandon. Are you hurt anywhere else besides your shoulder?”
“I… I don’t know. Every…thing…hurts.” Her eyes closed again.
“Faith, I need you to stay with me.” He backed out and started to go around to the driver’s side.
She moaned again. “Please…please don’t leave.”
“I’m just coming around to your side.” He waited for a break in the traffic and hurried around to the driver’s side. Once there, he carefully opened the door and managed to give her some breathing room from the airbag. Brandon reached for her hand, his concern mounting. “Are you still with me?” She muttered something that sounded like yes. Brandon was momentarily distracted when another person approached.
“Is she okay, man? I called 911.”
“Thanks. She’s hanging in there.” It seemed like an eternity passed before he heard the sirens. Finally.
When the paramedics and police arrived, Brandon stepped back. A police officer called him over to give a statement and his gaze kept straying to where the medical team was getting her out of the car and onto a gurney. Faith cried out and it took everything in him not to rush over. He finished his account and stood by watching with the other two people who had eventually stopped.
“Is one of you named Brandon?” a paramedic called out.
Brandon strode over. “Yeah. Me.”
“She’s asking for you.”
He smiled down at her strapped down on the gurney. In the fading sunlight, he could see her face starting to swell where the airbag had hit her. “You’re in good hands now.”
“Thank you,” Faith said, her voice barely audible. “My stuff…my…”
He took it to mean she wanted her things from the car. “I’ll get them.” To the paramedic he asked, “What hospital are you taking her to?” After getting the information, he walked back and retrieved her purse, keys and a small bag from the backseat. Why was he thinking about going to the hospital? He’d done his civic duty. It would be easy to hand off her belongings to one of the officers and be on his way. But for some reason, he needed to make sure—for himself—that she was okay. Brandon slid behind the wheel of his car and, instead of going home, merged back onto the freeway and headed to the hospital.
Faith slowly came awake in a semidark room and it took her a moment for her to register where she was. She’d had the most awesome dream about a handsome guardian angel. Too bad it was just a dream. Never would she be so lucky as to run across a man like him. She lifted her hand and pain shot through her right shoulder and flared out to every part of her body. She sucked in a sharp breath and eased her hand down. She went still at the sight of a man asleep in a chair. She frowned. Who in the world…? As if sensing her scrutiny, he opened his eyes and pushed up from the chair. Faith blinked. He was even taller than she originally thought, well-built and easily the most handsome man she’d seen in a long time.
“Hey,” he said softly.
“I thought I dreamt you.”
His deep chuckle filled the room. “No. I’m very real.”
Faith tried to clear the cobwebs from her mind. “You helped me when I crashed.” She thought for a moment. “Brandon?”
He nodded. “How are you feeling?”
“Everything hurts. Even breathing hurts.” She closed her eyes briefly. “Um…what time is it?” she murmured.
Brandon checked his watch. “A little after eleven.”
“You’ve been here all this time?”
“For the most part. I brought your stuff and I didn’t want to leave it with anyone without your permission.” He placed them on the tray.