Jack blew out a breath and closed his eyes as if the stream of words had exhausted him. "I think I must've been on my way to your brother when I was attacked."

"You're remembering more every day." She cupped his lean jaw in her hand. "Now we have Gabe's letter and a clear path to his research. Once we secure that formula, the people holding Gabe will have no reason to keep him, unless..."


The catch in her voice turned into a sob. Had they already killed Gabe?

Jack's arms encircled her in a protective embrace that attempted to block out every bad thought assailing her. As she entwined her arms around his neck, pressing her damp cheek against his, she could almost believe that Jack's presence acted like a magic shield.

He pulled her into his lap, skimming his lips across her jaw. She dug her nails into his back, urging him on, needing his strength. Crushing her against his chest, he rose from the couch. She crossed her ankles and tucked her head into the hollow of his shoulder.

With a long stride, he crossed the room and took the stairs two at a time, carrying her as if she weighed less than a grain of sand. He kicked open her bedroom door and set her down on the edge of the bed like a precious doll in a little girl's prized collection.

He kneeled before her, clasping her hands. "You can say no, Lola. You can say no if you believe there's another woman in my life."

Gathering his shirt in her fists, she drew him near and touched her forehead to his. She knew with every cell in her body he had no other woman in his life. Not now. Not in this moment. They belonged to each other's present.

"Yes." She planted a kiss on his mouth, all at once greedy and possessive. Right now she needed him more than he needed her. Once again, this damaged man had emerged from his pain with the power and strength to console her.

He slid his hands up her thighs and peeled her black panties from her hips. The rough pads of his fingers trailed down her legs, leaving a shivery kind of delight in their wake. He tossed her carefully selected underwear to the side.

Hooking his arms beneath her knees, he draped her legs over his shoulders. A warm ache throbbed in her belly as his moist breath caressed her inner thighs. He shoved her dress to her waist, and the dark intensity in his eyes sent her falling back onto the bed.

The warm caress of his lips had her clutching the bedspread. His tongue traced her pulsing flesh, and her breath hissed between her teeth. He used his lips, his tongue and even his teeth in ways she'd never before experienced. If every man who'd lost his memory came fully equipped with these particular talents, then line up the amnesiacs.

She giggled, but the giggle morphed to a moan as Jack increased the intensity of his attentions. Heat pooled between her legs, and the warmth raced through her body. Her toes began to curl. She dug her heels into his back.

Pinpricks of pleasure scattered across her skin as the climax claimed her in every way. She arched off the mattress and crashed back down. The release seeped into her flesh and her bones turned to liquid.

Jack stood up between her legs, and she dug her elbows into the bed to prop herself up to watch the show.

He unbuttoned his borrowed shirt and pulled off his T-shirt. Yellowed bruises and scabbed-over abrasions marred his perfect form. The battle scars enhanced the power emanating from his solid frame. He appeared invincible.

"Do I scare you?" He splayed his hands across the ridges of his abs. "Are you afraid of what you'll find underneath?"

The only thing that frightened her was the idea that she'd never get her fill of this man. She scrambled forward on the bed and yanked at the fly of his slacks. "I'll have to see what's underneath first."

She pulled his slacks down around his thighs and smoothed her hands over his erection. His hot, smooth flesh pulsed against her palms and she took him into her mouth.

His fingers crept into her hair, digging into her scalp. She invited him deeper, and he gasped and rocked forward. She caressed the hard muscles of his buttocks, wanting to lose herself in the sensations of his body.

He pulled away from her. "Not like this."

He kicked off his pants, and then unzipped her dress and pulled it over her head. Stretching out beside her, he unfastened her bra and rubbed his chest against her bare breasts. "I want to feel every part of your body against mine."

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