Lola giggled. "Oh, that's okay. I'd already had him pegged as a perennial bachelor."
"There you are. I was looking for you in the bar." A petite woman with fluffy reddish hair grabbed Lars's spatulalike hand and leaned her head against his upper arm. "Friends of yours?"
"This is my wife, Nadine. Nadine, this is Jack Coburn and Lola...I'm sorry, I forgot your last name. Jack was in the Seventh Special Forces Group in Afghanistan at the same time I was there with my SFG. I think I mentioned him before."
Jack breathed a little easier as he shook hands with Nadine. She didn't look like a lethal threat.
"You probably did, Lars." She leaned toward Lola as if including her in a confidential conversation. "Lars talks a lot about the good old days as a Green Beret. Jack, too?"
"Talks about it all the time." Lola waved her hands in the air as Jack nudged her foot with the toe of his shoe.
Lola carried on a bright conversation about Miami and even got Nadine to whip out the kids' pictures. Jack murmured the appropriate responses to Lars's musings about Afghanistan, but his brain was hatching strategy.
He'd been a Green Beret. He'd graduated from Stanford. Maybe he could get his records and find out about his family--a family who didn't seem to care if he was dead or alive.
Finally the Olafsons left, and Jack stared at Lola across the table.
She clapped her hands once and then interlaced her fingers. "That was a bit of luck. Why didn't you just tell him about your amnesia and then grill him about your identity?"
"I didn't want to be at his mercy. Plus, he'd think it was weird of me to be pumping him for information. Wouldn't he figure I'd go to the authorities? Then what? Tell him I'm a wanted man?"
She sucked in her lower lip and toyed with a fork, drawing patterns on the tablecloth. "I see your point. I'm not sure he knew anything about you, anyway. You guys were in different groups, but you must've had a reputation."
"A Green Beret quoting Shakespeare?" He dragged a hand through his hair. "Yeah, a reputation as a nut job or annoyingly pretentious."
"Yeah, I got the connection."
"You did name the group, Jack."
"That I remember. I was hoping old Lars could give me the name of the colonel who put the group together."
"That would've been a plus, but we know you were a Green Beret and at Stanford. We can start there."
"I'm in this until the bitter end." She waved at the waiter. "I want to find my brother."
Jack eyed her as she ordered a slice of key lime pie. That's right. Lola wanted to find her brother. What else did she want? She wanted to save him, to make him all better. He didn't want pity from Dr. Lola Famosa, but he could think of a few things he did want from this fiery woman with the luscious body.
Her gaze locked with his and her nostrils flared. "What?"
"You're getting dessert?"
"We deserve it." She folded her hands on the table. "Should we start with the Army first? Those records might contain your contacts."
Jack folded his arms and stretched his legs, almost tripping the waiter balancing a plate on his outstretched palm. He waited until the waiter placed the pie on the table along with two fresh forks.
"I'm not sure we'll get anything from the Army records."
"Why is that?" She dipped the tines of her fork into the whipped cream slathering the pie.
"Think about it. I'm in the Green Berets, Special Forces, and then I get plucked out and dropped into a covert ops group, so secret other Green Berets like our friend Lars don't know a thing about it. Do you really think my records are going to be available online or even by request from the U.S. Army?"
She slid the fork out of her mouth and waved it at him. "You have a point there. Stanford it is."
Jack picked up his own fork and dug into a corner of the pie. The sweet-tart flavor invading his tongue made his mouth water. "I wonder what I studied there. Seems unlikely for an English major to wind up in the Army Special Forces. I can't believe I ran around Afghanistan quoting Shakespeare. What a jerk."
Lola tilted her head, licking her sticky lips in a manner that made his mouth water even more. "I don't know. I think quoting Shakespeare is kind of sexy."