Jack's eyes met Lola's and he nodded once. They exited Diaz's office and took the elevator to the lobby this time. As Jack held the glass door to the street open for Lola, he asked, "Do you think he's meeting us outside his office because of me? Does he fear me for some reason?"
"I think he just missed his coffee." Lola pointed across the street at Havana Grounds, a blue-and-white-striped awning shading a few tables outside.
Lola stepped into the crosswalk and waited for an oncoming car to slow to a stop before proceeding across the street. Her boots clipped on the asphalt, and Jack admired the view from behind as he followed her. The skinny jeans stuffed into high-heeled black boots hugged her hips and slim legs. Her dark hair, loose this morning, cascaded down her back, a contrast to the bright red sweater she wore.
No wonder his insides churned at the thought of returning to his real life, if that life included a wife and a family. How could he have such a powerful attraction to someone else if he were already married?
Lola scraped a chair back from the small wrought-iron table. "Is this good? This way we can watch out for him."
"What do you want?" Jack jerked his thumb over his shoulder. "I'll go inside and order."
"I've had enough coffee this morning. Could you please get me an herbal tea, something without caffeine? And if you're up for it, I suggest the Cuban coffee."
Jack ducked into the coffeehouse and returned outside gripping a tray with a pot of hot water, a teacup and saucer, and the small demitasse cup for his Cuban coffee. He could use something strong and bracing about now. He didn't know what to expect from Diaz. The man acted as if he didn't trust Jack.
He inhaled the vibrant aroma of his coffee and took a sip, the sweet, dark liquid pooling on his tongue. "Is your tea okay?"
Lola swirled the tea bag in the hot water a few times while squinting at the label. "It'll do. So what happens when Emilio tells you all about Jack Coburn? Do you go home, wherever that is?"
Would she care? "Of course, I'd go home, get treatment, maybe figure out whom I could trust."
"A-and then you'll contact me and tell me everything you remember about Gabe?"
Her concern lay with getting her brother back home. Jack took another quick sip of coffee. This time the syrupy concoction scalded his throat, bringing tears to his eyes. "I'll let you know what I remember about your brother."
"Look, there's Emilio." Lola sat up and brushed her hair from her face.
Jack glanced over the rim of his cup to the sidewalk across the street. Emilio, short and dark, with a cell phone pressed to his ear, charged to the curb with a quick step. As he strode into the crosswalk, he glanced up at the coffeehouse and raised a hand.
Out of the corner of his eye, Jack noted a fast-moving vehicle barreling down the street. He cranked his head to watch the black SUV move like a shot toward the crosswalk.
The car didn't even slow down before it plowed into Diaz and sent his body flying into the air.
Lola's scream melded with the squeal of tires from the SUV.
Jack dropped his cup, and it cracked against the saucer, spewing brown liquid all over the table. He pushed back, his chair banging to the sidewalk.
He twisted his head around to follow the SUV, but it had already turned a corner, disappearing from view. A crowd of people was forming around the inert figure crumpled in the gutter.
Lola had jumped to her feet, both hands clapped over her mouth, as if to hold in her scream. She tripped over the chair on her way to the street, and Jack grabbed her arm to steady her.
She clutched Jack's hand, her eyes dark and wide in her pale face. "Oh, my God. We have to go to him."
Jack shouldered his way through the people encircling Diaz's body, blood oozing from the back of his head. "Let her through. She's a doctor."
Lola fell to her knees beside Diaz, and Jack crouched beside her. She felt Diaz's pulse. "He's still alive."
Diaz's eyelids fluttered, and he moaned. With surprising strength, he gripped Jack's arm. Jack leaned forward, putting his ear next to the man's moving lips.
"Sparrow, sparrow, sparrow."
"Sparrow?" Jack squeezed the man's hand. "Like the bird?"
Diaz screwed his eyes shut and pursed his lips together. With great effort, he pushed out one word. "Prospero."