The Billionaire's Obsession(6)

By: J.S. Scott

He helped her swallow some nourishment.

Then he paced.

He did it again.

Then he paced.

He kept trying his cell phone, but he was in a dead zone, and he didn’t want to leave Ellie to try to attempt to find an area that could pick up a signal. More than likely, nothing would be close. He was pretty sure this whole desolate mountain area was off the grid.

As it started getting dark, he fired up an ancient generator that would give them some light, and then fed the hungry stove more wood, noticing that the tiny dwelling was already getting warmer.

As he sat back down on the bed to heft Ellie up to drink some more, he was elated to see that she was swallowing more readily.

“Come on, Ellie. Just a little more,” he crooned, trying to cajole her into a few more swallows.

She complied, and he set the cup on a small, rustic bedside table.

“Zane?” The weak voice was barely a whisper.

But he heard it.

His head jerked toward Ellie, his heart racing as he saw her eyelids flicker before she opened them completely.

A look of horror crossed her face for just a moment until she focused in on him. “Zane?” she asked again uncertainly, her whisper panicked and scared.

“Yeah. It’s me, Ellie. It’s Zane.” He stroked a gentle hand over her hair. “You’re safe. Don’t be afraid.” Jesus! He hated seeing that terrified look on her face.

“James,” she rasped.

He put his fingers over her lips. “Don’t try to talk. James is dead. He can never hurt you again. You have to rest, Ellie. I’ve been trying to rehydrate you. You’re pretty weak, and I need to get you to the hospital. The weather is shit. Just rest until I can get you out of here, okay?”

She nodded feebly, as though she understood him, and her eyes fluttered closed.

Zane went to rise from the bed, but Ellie said softly, “Don’t go, Zane. Please. I think I’m hallucinating, but I want it to last.”

Kicking off his boots, he pivoted and stretched his body out next to hers. “You’re not dreaming, and me being here is no illusion. James is dead and he’s never coming back. I can’t take you down the mountain right now. We’re in a blizzard. But I’ll get you to safety as fast as I can.”

He gently wrapped his arms around her and placed her head on his chest, smoothing his hand rhythmically over her now-dry hair.

“I think I’m already safe,” she said hesitantly, snuggling into his body.

“Damn right you are. I won’t let anything happen to you, Ellie. I promise.”

She sighed lightly, and then her breathing became even and deep. Zane knew that she was sleeping, no longer in an unconscious state.

Relief flowed over him as his body relaxed. He put both arms protectively around Ellie, rocking her body gently in an effort to comfort her, but maybe just a little bit for himself, too, because he was so damn grateful that she was alive.

Finally, with Ellie cuddled safe and warm against him, Zane slept.

Ellie opened her eyes, confused.

Where am I? What happened?


Panic seized her as she looked around, terrified that it was James’s return to the cabin that had woken her. Fear and dread seized her by the throat, but she noticed her mouth was no longer as dry as the desert.

Pulse racing, her breathing erratic, Ellie’s reaction was pure terror. Frantically, she started to look around the cabin, hoping there was nobody here.

Except…she wasn’t in the cabin anymore. Her rational mind started to function and she slowly tried to take in her surroundings.

It didn’t take her long to realize she was in the hospital, medical personnel scurrying around and passing the open door to the hallway at a pace that made her dizzy.

The white sheets and blankets that were covering her helped verify her location, as did the IV in her arm and all of the wires attached to her body.

She started to feel terror welling up inside her, not understanding why she was here or how she got to a hospital, when she heard his voice.

“Thank fuck! You’re awake.”

Her head jerked up to see an exhausted-looking Zane Colter at her bedside, his clothing rumbled and his hair mussed, as though he’d been running his hand through it over and over again.

Her suspicion was confirmed when he raked his hand through his hair again, either in relief or frustration. Sometimes with Zane, it was hard to tell what he was thinking. But stoic or not, she was glad he was here, and she felt her body relax for the first time in a very long time.

“What happened?” Her voice was as weak as her body. “How did I get here?”

“You don’t remember anything?” Zane asked with a frown.

Ellie probed her brain, vaguely remembering hearing Zane’s voice telling her everything would be okay. “I thought you were a dream.”

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