Squeaky sneakers headed toward her, and Lola lifted her heavy head. Jack's long, lean form came into focus and she sobbed.
He joined her on the floor, dragging her into his lap, wrapping his arms around her. She coughed and choked against his chest, and he stroked her hair, murmuring soothing words.
"Wh-where is he?" She squeezed out the words through her raw throat.
"I'm sorry. He got away, Lola. He had a car waiting outside that exit." His arms tightened around her. "What was he trying to do?"
She peeled her wet cheek from his shirt and glanced at the floor. He'd taken the ether-soaked cloth with him. "He was trying to sedate me with ether."
The enormity of the attack hit her anew and a violent sob wracked her body. Jack smoothed his hands down her back, sweeping away a little of the fear.
"He was going to abduct me."
"How do you feel? Do you need treatment?"
"I feel kind of sick and woozy. I smelled the ether before he came at me and I held my breath. That helped."
"Can you stand up?"
"Sure." Her rubbery legs didn't seem to want to obey her commands, but she could do it with Jack's help. She leaned against his body as he put a steadying arm around her shoulders.
"A nurse told me you'd been called down here. Who sent you the message?"
"Dr. Trapp. He's a pathologist and conducts autopsies. He said he had some info on Eddie's mom. Eddie's the boy I was visiting."
"Yeah, I know Eddie."
Her head dropped to Jack's shoulder. She was too tired to try to figure out how he knew Eddie.
"You actually talked to Dr. Trapp?"
"No. A nurse relayed the message to me. I just assumed..."
"You assumed it was legit." Half carrying, half dragging her, Jack made his way back to the elevator. "We're calling the cops. I suppose you didn't get a look at the guy beneath his ski mask."
"No. Dark eyes. That's all I saw." Dark, intelligent eyes. If he'd wanted to kill her, he could've done so easily in this deserted hallway and made his getaway through the alley exit. So why didn't he?
"Do you have an office here?" Jack punched the elevator button.
"No. We can call the police from the nurse's station on the third floor." Lola ran her tongue around the inside of her parched mouth. "What are we going to tell them this time?"
"The truth." Jack swept her up in his arms and carried her into the elevator.
Twenty minutes later they faced the police again. Jack's version of the truth was not exactly the whole, nothing-but kind.
The Cuban cop who had come into the hospital with an accident victim folded his arms across his pumped-up chest. "So Dr. Trapp did not send you a message to meet him at the morgue?"
Lola rubbed her neck, still feeling sore. "Dr. Trapp isn't even on duty today. The nurse who took the call said the caller's voice was muffled but she didn't have any reason to suspect it wasn't Dr. Trapp."
"Yeah, I know. I already talked to her. So the guy didn't hurt you but was trying to abduct you?"
"Well, considering he could've strangled me right there in the hallway, that's what I'm assuming."
One of the nurses gasped and placed her hand against her throat. "I'm never going down to the basement again."
The cop's gaze flicked to the nurse and then strayed to Jack. "You gave chase and the guy had a car waiting? But you didn't catch a license plate?"
"Like I told you, Officer. The car didn't have a license plate."
Jack had been able to give the color, make and model of the car. His amnesia obviously hadn't affected his perception or short-term memory. He still possessed all the tools and instincts of his trade.
And she still hadn't gotten the chance to ask him how his session had gone with Lesley.
"Any reason why someone would want to kidnap you, Dr. Famosa?"
"No." That was the truth. She knew nothing of Gabe's work.
"I know a reason." Dr. Jeffers scurried up to the nurse's station, clutching a clipboard to his chest. "I heard what happened, Dr. Famosa, and I blame myself."
Lola shifted a quick glance to Jack. "Why? What are you talking about?"
"Elena Hidalgo's boyfriend, the one who murdered her? They let him out of jail yesterday."