His warm fingers closed around hers, and he pulled her into his arms. The bare skin of his chest beneath her fingertips felt smooth and hard, like velvet encasing steel. He buried his face in her hair, his hot breath tickling her ear.

She couldn't believe how right it felt to be pinned against his body. Winding her arms around his waist, she laid her cheek against the thud of his heart and closed her eyes.

She felt his arousal through the towel and froze. A hot coil burned in her belly and she wanted to press against him, stoke this heat that sizzled between them.

He dragged his lips across her hair and whispered. "Sorry."

He shifted away from her, adjusting the towel more tightly around his waist.

The cool air slapped her in the face. Was he sorry for stumbling into her life? For taking her in his arms? For his male response to her?


"You don't have anything to apologize for."

Squeezing his eyes shut, he pinched the bridge of his nose. "I'm sorry I got on your case for believing your friend, for calling him in the first place. You have every right to be suspicious. What else did he say?"

Back to business. Lola tugged at the ends of her damp blouse. "He said you were dead."

"Dead?" Jack's nostrils flared. "Your friend is out of the loop. The Agency doesn't think I'm dead. They beamed my name and face to every computer screen across Europe."

"Because they think you betrayed your country."

"Obviously. That's why I can't contact any government agency."

"Maybe if you explained..." Lola bit her lip. What could he explain? He didn't remember anything.

"Ah, you see my problem." He clasped his hair at his neck. "But if I could find Prospero. If I could get in touch with those men--Riley, Buzz and the other one--they could back me up."

"You're taking the first step tomorrow. Do you still feel up to meeting with my friend, the psychiatrist, after what just happened in the shower?"

"Now more than ever. If he can help me tap into those memories that keep surfacing, I can figure out how to reach those guys in Prospero."

"She."

"What?"

"The psychiatrist is a she--Dr. Lesley Jerome."

Rosa poked her head into the room. "Still talking...and still dressed?"

Lola pursed her lips. Did Rosa expect them to be rolling around on the bed naked? They'd had a moment by the window, and then...what? Jack had pushed her away despite his obvious attraction to her. At least someone had a grip on reality.

"Well, one of us is dressed, anyway." Lola jerked her thumb at Jack's towel-clad form.

"I put some chicken and rice on the stove for dinner, have some black beans simmering and even fried some plantains. I'm going to take a couple of plates back to the little house for me and Roberto. You and Mr. Jack are welcome to the rest."

Lola sniffed the air. "I thought I smelled some cumin. You're an angel, Rosa."

"That would be a first." Rosa chuckled and backed out of the doorway.

"I'm sorry. You've been standing around in a towel for almost an hour. I'll meet you downstairs."

"And you've been standing around in wet clothes. Thanks for helping me out."

Feeling the warmth creep back into her cheeks, Lola dipped her head and flicked her hair over her shoulder. "I'm just glad it wasn't more serious."

She slipped out of the room before Jack's muscular, half-naked body had her making a fool of herself. He wanted to keep things on a casual business level, and that worked for her. But after seeing him in all his glory, she'd have a hard time sticking to business.

In her own bathroom, she peeled off her damp clothing, toweled off and slipped into a pair of jeans and a T-shirt. Casual. She didn't want Jack to think she had anything else in mind, even though that would be a total lie. That man made everything come to mind.

Lola jogged downstairs in time to open the door for Rosa, who was balancing two plates of food and a bottle of wine.

On the porch, she paused and winked at Lola. "Don't worry. I left a bottle for you, too."

Rosa had set the table for two, including candles and two glasses of wine. The spicy aroma from the kitchen made Lola's taste buds tingle, and she reached into the cupboard for a serving plate.

"Can I help?"

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