"Thanks. You can drop it on the blanket."

"Huh?" Lola blinked her eyes as if fighting her way out of some erotic dream.


"The pillow." He pointed to the couch with a surprisingly steady finger. "You can put it on top of the blanket."

With decidedly less steadiness, Lola tossed the pillow onto the couch. Whoa. Seemed she'd been indulging in that little fantasy all by herself. She drew in a deep breath and flashed a bright smile. "Good night, Jack."

Lola strode to her bedroom, putting as much space between him and her heated imaginings as possible. Before she scurried into her room and slammed the door, a last wisp of the dream floated down the hallway as she heard her name in a whisper full of longing and desire.

JACK STRUGGLED OUT OF HIS dream to escape the gunfire and danger, which permeated every dream he had. He wanted to hold on to the flickering images that populated his dreams, convinced they represented scenes from his past life. But the sense of menace that overshadowed these nighttime visions always sent him scrambling to the surface of his consciousness.

He kicked at the blanket twisted around his calves. He must've been thrashing his legs in an attempt to flee his enemies...or was he running toward them? He never could figure out that part.

Clear of the blanket, he collapsed against his makeshift bed and buried his face in the pillow. Bad idea. He'd had a tough time falling asleep last night inhaling Lola's scent from her pillowcase. The exotic, musky perfume she wore had invaded his senses, teasing him, titillating him...making him hard.

If her perfume could do that to him, he'd better hit the road...today. Now.

"Good morning. You're awake?" The object of his olfactory fantasy floated into the living room, a silky floral robe shimmering around her shapely legs.

Her tousled hair and sleepy eyes did nothing to dampen his desire. He cleared his throat to make sure he didn't growl at her. "I'm awake. Did you sleep okay? Not nervous?"

Her gaze slid to the gun on the coffee table. "I slept fine. You?"

The shadows beneath her eyes told a different story, but he intended to play the same game. "Yeah, I did."

Tightening the sash on her robe, Lola edged into the kitchen. "Are you a coffee drinker?"

"Uh-huh." He needed something to sharpen his focus and turn his thoughts away from imagining how Lola's lips would taste. A cold shower would do.

"Would you like some breakfast? Eggs? Toast?"

"Coffee and toast is good." Jack bunched the blanket around his waist and pushed up from the sofa. "Is it okay if I take a shower? I'm anxious to see Emilio, if he'll meet with me this morning."

Her lashes swept down and she turned toward the coffeemaker. "Of course. There are clean towels in the hall closet to the right of the bathroom door."

Five minutes later, Jack ducked his head beneath the water...warm water. He scuffed his foot against the footprint, a stark reminder of Lola's precarious position. His gut twisted at the thought of bringing danger to her doorstep. But maybe her brother had already done that.

He dressed in yesterday's clothes, not that he had a huge wardrobe selection at his cheap motel, and returned to the kitchen, where Lola had set out a cup filled to the brim with steaming coffee.

She scraped butter across a piece of toast. "I forgot to ask how you take your coffee."

"Black." He blew on the dark brew and slurped in a sip. "No cafe Cubano?"

"I'm actually not much of a coffee drinker." She poured some milk into her cup and stirred. "But my parents made a ritual out of their morning coffee."

That had been enough to send her scurrying in the other direction. Lola seemed to want to distance herself from her parents, but she obviously didn't feel the same way about her brother, Gabe.

She shoved the plate with buttered toast in his direction, and he finished it in about one minute. He had to get out of here. He'd imposed on her long enough.

He brushed the crumbs from his fingers onto the plate. "Do you think Emilio Diaz will be in his office this morning? I'm going to show up without calling first to take him by surprise."

"I'm coming with you."

"You don't need to do that." He'd liked having a partner these past twelve hours, but it was time to go solo again. He didn't want Lola mixed up in his business. Hell, he didn't even know what his business was.

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