"You don't look fine. You're still shaky. You're pale. You don't need to be alone tonight."
The fluttering in her belly made her feel shaky again, but it had nothing to do with the break-in. Usually when a man tossed around orders, her hackles stood at attention. But her father had given orders to protect himself, never to protect her.
How this man could worry about her when facing his own fractured life spoke volumes about his character. Even if he couldn't remember his life as a hostage negotiator, those same protective instincts had charged to the forefront of his brain.
"I'll bunk on that bed of flowers." He leveled a finger at the sofa. "Looks a lot more comfortable than the lumpy mattress at the hotel."
"Okay, thanks. I'll get you a blanket and a pillow." She wrinkled her nose. "Might be a little short for you."
"I'll manage. Then I'll be up and out of here early before you go to work."
"I'm off for two weeks. Several months ago, I planned a trip to the Bahamas with a couple of girlfriends, but with everything going on I canceled. Couldn't cancel my time off, though."
The planes of Jack's face shifted, hardened. She'd found it difficult through the night to gauge his feelings from his expressions. Perhaps his guardedness came from his memory loss, or maybe his profession had taken over even if he couldn't remember anything about it.
"Then you can relax and get some sleep. Any chance you have an extra toothbrush?"
"Of course." She backpedaled toward the hallway, reluctant to tear her gaze away from her savior. Crouching before the hall closet, she grabbed a new toothbrush courtesy of her dentist. Then she reached for the top shelf to retrieve a blanket.
She returned to the living room and interrupted Jack sliding his weapon onto the coffee table.
"I don't think your intruder will return, but I'll have a surprise waiting for him if he does."
Lola dropped the toothbrush next to the gun and placed the folded blanket on the middle cushion of the couch. "I--I'm glad you're staying."
"It's the least I can do since I probably led this guy to your doorstep." Jack scooped up the toothbrush and shut the bathroom door behind him.
She doubted that, since Jack denied being anywhere near the hospital morgue tonight. She'd drawn someone's attention all by herself, or at least with the help of her globe-trotting brother.
Lola sauntered to her bedroom, pulling the elastic band from her ponytail. She had no desire to step into the shower now. She dropped the ponytail holder onto the dresser and ran her hands through her hair.
Studying her face in the mirror, she flattened out the crease between her eyebrows with the pad of her thumb. Did Jack Coburn expect her to help him recover his memories? Or would he be off following another path once he spoke to Emilio?
The gaping emptiness she felt at that last thought made her sink to the foot of her bed. How had the man insinuated himself into her mind so quickly and so easily? She'd always been a sucker for a lost cause. And the vulnerability of Jack's situation, combined with his tough-as-nails exterior, was a potent mix for her addled brain.
She peeled off her clothes for the second time that night and slipped a nightgown over her head. She crawled between the covers and hugged a pillow to her chest.
Groaning, she rolled to her side and punched the pillow. She'd given Jack a blanket but no pillow. The poor guy already faced a night of discomfort on that short couch. She scrambled out of bed and flicked on the hall light. A low light glowed from the living room, and Lola peeked around the corner.
Jack, a pair of boxers hanging low on his hips, stood at the window gazing into the street below. As Lola tiptoed forward, a floorboard creaked, and Jack jerked his head up, a lock of black hair falling over one eye.
"Thought you might need this." She held up the pillow, willing her gaze to stay pinned to Jack's face instead of wandering down the length of his hard, lean body.
If Jack felt embarrassed about being caught in nothing but his underwear, his dark eyes burning into her very soul didn't show it. He held her captive with that gaze, and she froze in the middle of the room, the pillow clutched in her hand.
A current ran between them, strong and vibrant. If she went to him now, fell against his bare chest, it would be more natural than taking her next breath. Everything about him called out to her, demanded a response. Quick. Hot. Sure.