Spinning around, he grabbed her waist as a thrill of excitement zapped his nerves. "That just came to me. You mentioned the Incredible Hulk, and Buzz's name flowed from my brain to my lips in a seamless progression."

"And no headache to go with the memory?" She brushed her knuckles against his temples.


Lola's green eyes darkened, and Jack dropped his gaze from their murky depths to her slightly parted lips. Just one celebratory kiss. He touched her full bottom lip with the tip of his finger and felt the throb of her pulse.

He pressed his mouth against hers with the intent of a friendly kiss, a thank-you, a reassurance. The soft warmth of her lips as they puckered in response sent a jolt of need through his core. His tongue slipped into her mouth in an overly friendly gesture, and the sweet taste of her transformed him from friend to a man drowning in desire.

Her tongue tangled with his, and she dragged her fingers through his hair. Shaping his hands on her hips, he pulled her closer and deepened the kiss. She sighed into his mouth. It didn't sound remotely like no.

Her soft breasts crushed against his chest while he slid his hands to her rounded derriere. She dropped her hands to his shoulders and tilted her pelvis to fit against him, to tease his erection. He wanted to be inside her. Lola felt natural in his arms, as if she were the only woman he'd ever known intimately.

Jack froze. In his current state Lola would be the only one, but his present life was a lie, or rather a half-truth. There might be another woman out there, a woman waiting for him, worrying about him, anxious for his return.

Lola murmured something against his lips and nestled closer to his body. He broke contact with her delicious mouth and cupped her face with both hands.

"I'm sorry." He skimmed the pad of his thumb across her moist lips, now red and swollen from his kiss. "This...it's not a good idea."

Her dark lashes fluttered as she stumbled backward out of his embrace. "You're right. I'm sorry. You know, it's...th-the...everything. Too much danger, too much emotion. It's unreal. You know..."

Jack put a finger to her lips to stop her nervous babbling. She had nothing to be sorry about. Her warm breath caressed his finger, and he dropped his hand. "It's okay. We both got carried away. Are you ready to get going? That is, if you're not too embarrassed to be seen with someone in borrowed clothing."

Her chest rose and fell rapidly as her gaze meandered from his head to his toes. He gave thanks to the loose trousers that hid his potent response as her slow inventory seemed to strip away more than his clothing. He felt more exposed than he had in the shower.

She blinked and drew in a shuddering breath. "You look fine."

The spell broken, Jack pulled open the closet door and grinned at her over his shoulder as he snatched a stack of bills from his bag. "I hope you don't mind that I'm essentially taking you out to dinner on your dime."

"Don't be ridiculous. I already told you. I paid you that money as a retainer and for your expenses. You just don't get the second million I promised until you bring Gabe home." Tears brightened her eyes and she rubbed her nose.

"I wish I could do that for you, Lola."

She smoothed the skirt of her dress over her shapely thighs. "Well, you remembered Buzz tonight. Maybe the rest of it will come back to you."

"I remembered while we were sharing a joke, so I think we need to go out and enjoy ourselves. You deserve it."

"No, you deserve it."

"I'll wrestle you for it." The laugh died in his throat as a pink stain washed over Lola's cheeks, and he knew their thoughts had jumped to the same page.

How the hell was he going to get through the night without ravishing this woman?

LOLA PLUCKED AT JACK'S SLEEVE as the loud music vibrated in her chest. "It's quieter upstairs in the restaurant. I didn't realize it would be so crowded on a weeknight. We can go somewhere else if you like."

Jack shrugged, Gabe's dress shirt tightening across his shoulders. "As long as the music doesn't follow us upstairs, it's okay with me."

Lola suppressed a shiver as Jack rested his hand on the curve of her back. His slightest touch did strange things to her insides. And his kiss? It had melted her bones.

Maybe that kiss had triggered a memory for him--a memory of another woman. Was that why he had pulled away, leaving her hot and bothered...and frustrated? Very frustrated.

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