If he belonged to her, she'd make sure he never forgot her. She'd burn herself into his brain so thoroughly that memories of her would stick with him through any torment...get him through any torment.

He closed his legs around her in a vise. Then he tipped back on the couch, taking her with him. She fell against his chest with a soft gasp. The stubble on his chin scratched her cheek and her legs stretched out behind her at an uncomfortable angle, but the thud of his heart beneath her body erased any discomfort she felt.


She walked her fingers beneath his shirt, his skin as smooth as warm butter. The hard muscles shifting beneath his flesh, reminded her of his training and his background as a Green Beret. But she didn't want to think about that right now.

Splaying her hands across his chest, she closed her eyes and pretended she had a doctor on her couch or maybe an accountant. Someone safe.

He kissed her eyelids and murmured something unintelligible. If he thought he could hold her off again, put her aside in some misplaced chivalry, he'd better think again.

Curling up her legs, she rolled to the side and ran out of couch. She began to slip to the floor and her arm flailed out, banging the coffee table.

"Whoa!" Jack made a grab for her as her fingers dug for purchase on the smooth surface of the table.

She slid to the rug, sweeping the neatly stacked mail to the floor with her. Her laughter died in her throat when her gaze locked onto the black scrawl across an envelope that had landed in her lap.

A letter from Gabe.

Chapter Ten

Lola grabbed the grubby envelope in her hand and brought her knees to her chest as she pressed her back against the couch. "It's a letter from Gabe."

"Recent?" Jack's warm breath stirred her hair as he leaned over her shoulder.

Lola squinted at the postmark and drew in a sharp breath. "It's postmarked about the time he disappeared. It must've been here all this time."

With shaking fingers, she ripped open the envelope and yanked out a single piece of paper. She unfolded it and gripped the sides.

"Damn, can you read that?"

Lola peered at Gabe's slanted writing across the page and read the missive aloud.

This is insurance, Lola. I don't want to involve you any more than I have to. I have a formula on my computer at the lab. It's a vaccine for a dangerous virus that some very bad people want to compromise. The password for my computer is 23fRv8. Give the password to Cain so he can access my files. He'll know what to do with the formula. Not sure I'll make it out of here alive. Too long and complicated to explain. Thought research science was about as far as I could get from the dangerous family business. Sorry to bring chaos into your life again, Lola. Know that this is a just cause and that I love you.

She dropped the piece of paper and it floated to the floor. She wrapped her arms around her legs and rested her forehead on her knees, weak and drained.

Jack put one hand on her back and reached for the letter with the other. "He was working on a formula. That's why they grabbed him. They want to suppress the vaccine for this virus."

The warmth of Jack's hand soaked into her skin and she lifted her head. "How'd he get that letter out? Had they already grabbed him? Was he already a captive?"

Jack shrugged. "Don't know. The important thing is he got it out. Who's Cain?"

"Cain is Gabe's research partner. We'll turn over Gabe's password to Cain. He'll know what to do."

Jack slid his hand to her shoulder and caressed her tight muscle. "They know about the letter, Lola. Somehow they know he got some information out to you."

A chill snaked up her spine, despite the steady pressure of Jack's hand. "This is what they're looking for. This is why they want me."

"They may not know what they're looking for." Leaning forward, he draped his arm around her shoulders. "But somehow they know Gabe communicated with you."

"What does it mean? Why would a terrorist group be interested in a vaccine for a virus?"

"Think about it." He pressed two fingers against his temple. "They don't want Gabe to develop a vaccination against the virus because--"

She cut him off, realization piercing through the fog of her brain like a shaft of white, hot light. "They want to use the virus as a weapon. They don't want a cure for this virus or for the symptoms to be diminished in any way."

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