Jack steered her toward the hostess, svelte in a black dress and flirting with the bartender. Jack interrupted their chatter. "Can we get a table for two in the restaurant upstairs?"
The hostess didn't miss a beat as she shifted her attention from the bartender to Jack, sizing him up with one quick sweep of her lashes. "Oh, I think we can find something for you. Are you sure you wouldn't prefer to eat at the bar where all the action is?"
Jack's lips turned up in a crooked smile, and he pulled Lola flush with the side of his body. "We prefer the restaurant."
The hostess's eyes lost their sparkle once she figured out she couldn't flirt with Jack. She spoke into a small microphone clipped to her dress, "Two for dinner. You can go right up."
Jack held Lola's hand as they climbed the stairs, and she exhaled a long breath. She appreciated a man who didn't flirt with predatory females when he was out with his woman.
Not that she was Jack's woman. Not at all.
As the padded door of the restaurant swung shut on the music and the noisy bar patrons, only a muffled bass sound hinted at the party atmosphere downstairs. Jack ran a hand across his brow, and Lola realized he'd been uncomfortable in the press of people.
She didn't know if his feeling sprang from concerns about his amnesia or the fear that they might have been followed. As she'd driven to the restaurant, Jack had been obsessively checking the mirrors and telling her to make random turns along the way. How could they have been followed? Of course, how had that man known she was going to be at the hospital today?
Fun. They were supposed to be having fun.
Another attractive hostess met them at the door and led them to a table in the back of the room next to a large window looking over the street scene and the harbor.
Jack held out her chair and took the one across from her. "Nice view. You come here a lot?"
"I haven't been here in a while." She flicked the white linen into her lap. "Like I said, I don't remember it being such a hip and happening place during the week."
"Aren't you hip and happening?"
"Do you date much? Boyfriends?"
She made a grab for her water glass and almost knocked it over. "Too busy."
The last guy she'd seriously dated had been more into her father than her. He was hoping for a place in the family business, even though no family business existed. Didn't stop the guy from trying.
"Touchy subject?" Jack skimmed a knuckle across the back of her hand.
"You don't want to hear about my checkered dating past." But she sure wanted to hear about his. Was he a free man? Did she really want to know? Was it considered cheating when the guy couldn't remember whether or not he was married?
They ordered their food and a bottle of wine. After the waiter had poured two glasses of wine for them, Lola tapped Jack's glass. "Maybe you don't need truth serum. Have a few glasses of this and see where it takes you."
"Or a few shots of tequila?"
She laughed and took a quick sip of the cabernet, the mellow flavor warming her throat. "You're never going to let me live that down, are you? That night called for something heavy duty."
"Yeah, because I pulled a gun on you in your car." His jaw tightened and his fingers curled around the stem of his wineglass.
"And you're never going to let yourself live that down. I understand why you did it, and I've moved on." His protective instincts burned so strongly in his chest, he couldn't quite forgive himself for pulling a gun on her.
Her fingers danced across the tablecloth and tapped his, still clutching the glass. "Come on, Jack. I'm made of stronger stuff than that."
His grip on the glass loosened and he entwined his fingers with hers. "I know you are. That's why I...admire you."
That word poked a hole in her bubble. Admiration was well and good, but she wanted so much more from this man. The so-much-more started with that kiss, but then he'd put on the brakes.
They chatted about Miami and sports and medicine, and Lola put this one down as the best first date ever. Just her luck to find a terrific guy who was sexy as hell but had no memory. It sounded like the plot of a romantic comedy, only she didn't feel much like laughing.
The waiter poured out the last of the wine. "Would you like to look at the dessert menu?"