Gritting his teeth, Phillip clambered through the busted windshield and down the outside of the wreck. Smoke burned his eyes and nose, blinding his senses as hands reached for him. Not the hands of woman who’d risked her life to rescue him. He could tell that much by the grip on his arm. He let the person lead him up the embankment. The touch of a fresh breeze against his face was welcome. He coughed out smoke and inhaled cautiously before opening his eyes. His escort was female, but not his female.
Pressing a hand against his injured side, Phillip struggled not to laugh. He must have hit his head harder than he thought. Never in all his thirty years had a female looked at his pimply face twice much less given him even the remotest impression she was his. Women didn’t date someone like him.
He blinked his watering eyes, watching the emergency vehicles roll up. Police cars, two ambulances, and further back, a fire truck. The shriek of multiple sirens felt like knives stabbing into his head. Wincing, he covered both ears with his hands and looked around. No one else seemed bothered by the cacophony. The woman leading him up the hill gave him a worried look.
“Do you want to sit down?” she asked.
Even with his ears covered he heard her question despite the racket of shouts, sirens, and racing engines from the nearby interstate traffic. He shook his head, confused. He shouldn’t be able to hear her so clearly. For that matter, the sirens shouldn’t be hurting his ears. He’d never been sensitive to noise before.
Thankfully, the blaring wails stopped when the vehicles did. EMTs converged on him and he didn’t have a choice about sitting down. One look at his bleeding forehead and they all but pushed him onto a padded gurney. Two of them started checking his injuries and taking his vitals while the other began asking questions. He answered automatically, his attention scattered among the snippets of conversation going on around him.
“Man, that SUV came out of nowhere…”
“…sports car didn’t have a chance…”
“I need to call my wife…”
“…surprised he’s not dead…”
“It’s a good thing you acted so quickly. That guy owes you his life.”
Phillip’s attention focused. He twisted his head back to look up the hill where a man and woman stood outlined in the glare of headlights.
The woman shook her head. “A lot of people stopped immediately. I’m sure someone else would have jumped in if I hadn’t.”
It was her. He’d know that sultry voice now anywhere.
“Maybe,” the man said, tipping back his distinctive trooper hat.
Phillip swallowed a swear word and narrowed his eyes. He shouldn’t be able to see well enough to tell if the man was wearing a hat, much less identify its shape. Without his glasses he should only be seeing blurry outlines and fuzzy shadows.
“We’ll be in touch if we need any more information,” the officer said.
The woman turned and walked toward a parked car.
The EMTs pushed Phillip’s gurney in the opposite direction.“Wait.” He tried to sit up, but found he’d been strapped down to the gurney at some point. “Wait!” he said again, louder this time. Neither the EMTs nor the woman paid him any attention. She disappeared into a car while he was shoved into the back of an ambulance.