Matt Justice heads home from Thanksgiving festivities only to find a Southern beauty whose car is stuck in a snow bank.
Vanessa Ellsworth is on the run for her life and headed for the Canadian border and safety, when her plan goes awry when she finds herself stranded in a blizzard, unexpecetdly in labor and about to give birth.
With her life and her daughter’s literally in the hands of a stranger, will Vanessa find more than a safe haven with Matt?
Together, can they make it ‘A Season for Justice?’
The piercing scream from inside the car sent fine hairs prickling along the nape of Matt’s neck. That was no scream of shock or surprise, but one of pain.
He yanked on the door handle, then cursed. With his gloved hand he wiped away the layer of snow. He could see the woman’s slender body through the window, bowed over the steering wheel, her long curly blonde hair stretching down her back. The occupant in the car was no ninety-one year old woman.
He tapped the window with his flashlight, and yelled, over the howling wind. “Ma’am. Ma’am. Can you hear me?” He stepped away and gave the car a quick once over. He couldn’t see any damage, but then he could only see half the car.
“Ma’am?” He tapped the window again. This time she lifted her head. Damp blonde curls framed a bewitching face beaded with sweat and strained with pain. While he couldn’t see any blood, she clearly was hurting.
“Ma’am. It’s okay. I’m here to help. Could you please unlock the door?”
His hand was already on the handle when he heard the snick of the electronic lock. He snatched the door open and leaned inside.
The still warm air from the inside of the car hit him first. He exhaled in relief; she hadn’t been here long. “Easy there. Where are you hurt?”
Matt felt the blood drain from his face when the woman leaned back and his gaze landed on the stretchy material maxed out over her very pregnant middle.
“I’m. Not. Hurt.” Even through her clenched teeth the sweetened syllables of the deep-south rang in her voice. “I’m. . .” Her voice trailed off as she doubled over again and a deep groan escaped.
“It’s okay.” He pulled off his insulated gloves. “Just breathe, nice and slow,” he encouraged, laying his hand against the small of her back.
“Don’t. Touch. Me,” she ground out tightly. Matt quickly removed his hand. He knew enough about women and labor to know she didn’t have much time.
While she breathed and panted through the contraction, he took stock of the situation. He guessed her to be about twenty-six, slight of build and from the looks of it, all baby. A huge wet spot was between her legs. Her shirt was damp from sweat, but through it he’d felt the warmth of her skin. In this weather it wouldn’t take long for her to get chilled. Matt shifted, doing his best to block as much of the blowing snow from reaching her as possible. As the contraction eased, he asked, “How far apart?”
“Less than two minutes.” Surprise hit him once more when she spoke without the stress in her voice. Her delightful accent flowed like warm honey and curled through him with a lick of unexpected arousal. He wiped a hand over his face. This was so not what he’d expected when he’d headed for home. “First baby?”
She nodded. He looked around the interior of her car at the trash on the floorboard and pillows in the seat. “Did anyone leave the car to go for help?”
“No. I’m alone.” Large luminous eyes the color of the summer sky filled with tears.
“Hey. Everything’s going to be all right. I just need to get you out of here. Okay?”
She nodded. “How far is Hastings?”
His eyes gave her another once over. “You’re not going to make it there.” He felt like a dog as her sweet little mouth trembled and tears pooled in her eyes.
“Come on. None of that now.” Matt couldn’t help himself as he reached out and wiped a tear from the corner of her eye. “Today just happens to be your lucky day. Emergency medicine is my specialty. What’s your name?” Her expression filled with panic. He shrugged casually even as his instincts went off. “I guess I’ll just call you—” his gaze roamed her sweat-sheened face—“Goldilocks.”
Disapproval pulled the arch of her golden brows down. “It’s Vanessa.”
Proper, regal, and elegant. Matt smiled.