Lola sucked in a breath and covered her mouth with one hand. "Hector Villagrande beat Eddie to a pulp and murdered Elena. Why is he on the streets?"

"His attorney got him out--something about police misconduct." Dr. Jeffers shot a hasty glance at the patrol cop and then peered at Lola over the top of his glasses. "I thought about warning you because the boy is your patient and you exchanged words with Villagrande that night the boy and his mother were rushed to the hospital."


"You think it could've been this Villagrande who attacked you?" The cop hunched over the desk, flexing his triceps for the nurses.

"I--I don't know. He might want to hurt me, but kidnap me? I can't imagine why he'd do that."

The officer asked a few more questions. When he turned to leave, he touched Lola's elbow. "Can I have a word with you in private, Dr. Famosa?"

Jack rested his hand on the curve of her back in a protective manner. And she didn't mind one bit. "Anything you say to me, you can say in front of my...friend."

The cop shrugged and the three of them walked toward the elevator together.

Looking both ways down the hall, the officer scratched his chin. "The attack might be connected to Villagrande and we'll definitely check him out, but I had another thought."

"Yes?"

He lowered his voice. "Could this have anything to do with your father, Eduardo Famosa?"

Lola straightened her spine, her brows snapping over her nose. "For Pete's sake. Is that all you cops ever think about? My father's been dead for three years. Why don't you go put Hector Villagrande back behind bars where he belongs?"

She spun around and almost lost her balance, but Jack materialized by her side and tucked his arm around her waist. He growled at the cop, "She gave you her number. Call when you have something useful."

Lola mumbled under her breath as she stalked back to the nurses' station. "Sheesh, someone bumps my car in the parking lot and these guys are going to blame my father."

Jack's hand slid to her hip and he gave her a pat. "You're half-dazed with ether and you still know how to handle yourself, Lola."

She plopped down in a plastic chair in the hallway, not feeling at all as if she knew how to handle herself. "I know it's not my father, but I don't think it's Villagrande, either. That cabron might want to punch me in the face, but he wouldn't be interested in kidnapping me."

"I think you're right. But now the bigger question is why would anyone connected to Gabe want to kidnap you. Someone tried to break into your car. Someone broke into your house. They're looking for something, Lola."

Slumping in the chair, she kicked her feet out and crossed one booted ankle over the other. "Problem is I have nothing to give them."

Jack crouched next to her chair, rubbing his chin. "Maybe they want me."

"Then why don't they try kidnapping you?" She waved her hand over his lean, coiled form, with taut muscles, and sensed the absurdity of her words. This man screamed danger. Anyone who attempted to take down Jack would do so at his own risk.

"I don't know. Maybe they don't know I'm with you. Maybe they're trying to get to you to get to me."

"You're clutching at straws, Jack." Bowing her head, Lola rubbed her eyes. He was trying to make her feel better, but she knew she had a bull's-eye on her back.

He brushed her arm with his fingertips, leaving a path of tingling flesh. "Do you feel any better? I want to get you home."

"Since Dr. Jacobs already checked me out and gave me the all-clear, let's get out of here." She half rose out of the chair and then fell back, clapping a hand over her mouth.

Jack grabbed her hand, concern etching deep lines between his eyebrows. "What is it? Feeling faint?"

"No, feeling like an idiot. I didn't even ask you how things went with Lesley."

Relief flooded Jack's face and his dark eyes glowed with amusement. "You had other things to worry about."

"Well, how did it go?"

"It didn't. Because of my training, I'm not susceptible to hypnosis. She couldn't put me under."

That figured. Despite his incapacity, Jack was forged from steel. He was mentally tough and physically strong and just the sort of man a woman could trust with her life.

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