"So someone had a line on Emilio because...because they figured we'd go to him?"
Jack planted his elbows on either side of the laptop and balanced his chin on clasped hands. "I don't know, Lola. Do these people realize I have no memory of the events that occurred in Afghanistan? That I have no memory at all? If that's the case, why bother with me?"
"I can answer that." Lola toyed with the stale crust of her bread. "They don't want you to remember, Jack. And they don't want anyone to jog your memory. They knew Emilio was on his way to tell you everything, or at least as much as he knew."
Jack laughed, a low rumbling sound, but the humor didn't reach his eyes. "That's just great, isn't it? I can't remember a damned thing and someone's going to kill me before I do."
A dagger of fear stabbed her heart, and she pressed a palm against her chest. "That's not going to happen. We're going to solve the mystery of Jack Coburn first." She flicked the back of the laptop. "Any luck?"
He stretched his arms and folded his hands behind his neck. "Sure, I can probably recite Prospero's soliloquy from the epilogue by heart. Other than that, I haven't run across anything that remotely looks like a hostage negotiating service or even private investigations. I don't have a clue what Diaz meant by whispering Prospero with what I hope won't end up being his dying breath."
"What about some government agency--an embassy, the State Department or even the CIA? Have you tried contacting one of those?"
Jack's back stiffened and the line of his jaw hardened. "Instinct."
He stared at her through half-closed eyes. "Instinct kept me away from those government agencies. I never felt... I can't explain it. I had a gut feeling I wouldn't find any help there, or, even worse, they'd be none too happy to see my face...whichever one I chose to show them."
Something close to pity stirred in Lola's breast as she studied Jack's tired eyes and the black stubble sprinkled across his jaw. Could you pity a panther, a lethal, feral creature ready to strike? Yes, you could if that creature was wounded. And Jack was wounded.
"You okay?" He scratched his chin and his dark eyes narrowed even more.
"Yeah, why do you ask?"
"I don't know. You're eyeballing me like a patient who needs a shot or those jumper cable things."
Lola laughed. "I don't think you need heart paddles, but it looks like you could use some rest. You have your stuff from the motel now. Why don't you take a nap, shower, shave."
He rubbed his sexy stubble. "That bad, huh?"
Very, very bad.
Swallowing, Lola pushed away from the table. "I saw your motel, Jack. I don't see how you could've gotten one good night's sleep at that dump. Take advantage of the calm and security of Chez Famosa. I have some emails to check and a few phone calls to make."
He unfolded his tall frame from the chair and took a step closer to her so that she could feel his warm breath on her cheek. He tucked a lock of hair behind her ear, his fingers lightly trailing along her jaw. "You don't have to do that, you know."
"Do what?" Get weak in the knees every time he touched her?
"Nurse me, or I should say doctor me. You don't have to take care of me, Lola."
She held on to the edge of the table, digging her fingernails into the wood. "Sending you upstairs for a nap when you're dead on your feet is the bare minimum I can do. I can't have you dragging around if I want to find out what the hell happened to Gabe."
"Fair enough." He stifled a yawn with his fist. "Maybe you'll have better luck searching for Prospero, or maybe it'll come to me in a dream."
"To sleep, perchance to dream?"
"Wrong play. That's Hamlet."
"Are you sure you're not a college professor?"
"Not that I remember." One side of his mouth tilted up in a wry smile.
Lola sucked in her lower lip. The mind was a curious contraption. "It's strange how you remember certain things, like Shakespeare's plays, and yet you can't remember anything about your own life."
He called over his shoulder as he sauntered toward his suitcase by the front door. "General knowledge, I suppose."
"Handling weapons. Slipping through airports. Tracking people." She wedged her hands on her hips. "I'd hardly call that general knowledge."