"You saved my life at the hospital. What better confirmation could a girl ask for?"

Her cell phone rang and she reached for her purse hanging over the back of the chair. She plucked the phone from the side pocket of her purse, glanced at the display and said to Jack, "Hospital.


"Dr. Famosa, this is Geri Holbrook. I'm a nurse in ICU."

"Yes?" Lola hit the button to put her cell on speaker.

"I wanted to let you know that Emilio Diaz regained consciousness last night, and he's been asking for you."

"Can I see him this afternoon?"

"Yes. I can get you in."

"Thanks, Geri. I'll be there within an hour."

Lola ended the call and tapped the phone against her chin. "Looks like we may be a little closer to finding out if Jack Coburn has been bad or good--just in time for Christmas."

AFTER THEY DROPPED OFF Gabe's computer to have the files on his hard drive copied to another computer's hard drive, Jack slid into the leather passenger seat in Lola's Mercedes. He snapped on his seat belt and drummed the dashboard as Lola started the car.

He hated being a passenger. He hated being an observer. And now he had to sit back and listen to another man give him back a piece of his life.

"Will Lesley be at the hospital today? I want to see her again and build on what Diaz tells me."

"She should be." Lola hit the steering wheel with the heel of her hand when her cell phone went off again.

"Do you want the call?" Jack reached for her phone, which was tucked into her purse on the floor at his feet.

"I'm a doctor. I always have to take my calls, even when I'm on vacation."

"Some vacation." Jack grimaced as he picked up the call and put the phone on speaker.


"May I please speak to Dr. Lola Famosa?"

The authoritative male voice filled the car, and Jack's fingers tightened around the phone as he held it up for Lola.

Lola glanced at Jack beneath a furrowed brow. "This is Dr. Famosa."

"Dr. Famosa, this is Detective Ray Sorrento of the Miami-Dade Police Department. Do you know a Mr. Cain Barnett?"

Lola removed a hand from the steering wheel and wiped her palm on the thigh of her jeans before answering. "Yes. Mr. Barnett is my brother's research partner."

Jack held his breath. They'd both known this call was coming. Could Lola pull it off?

"I'm sorry to inform you, Dr. Famosa, that Mr. Barnett was murdered a few days ago."

Lola gasped and the noisy breath sounded real, as if she'd forgotten their grisly discovery a few hours ago.


"Yes. I'm sorry. Did you know him well?"

"No, no I didn't. My brother is currently out of the country."

"We know that. We dropped by your place to tell you, but..."

"I'm actually staying at my brother's house while he's away."

"We'd like to sit down with you, Dr. Famosa. We have a few questions for you regarding Mr. Barnett."

Lola's jaw dropped open, and then she mouthed the words, Now what?

Jack nodded his head. Lola had nothing to hide, other than the fact that she'd discovered the body and absconded with her brother's computer. Small potatoes.

"Sure, Detective Sorrento. I'm on my way to the hospital right now, though."

"Which hospital?"

"Miami Hope." She rolled her eyes at Jack.

"That's not far from the station. Can you come in when you're done at the hospital?"

"Of course."

The detective gave Lola the address and his direct number, which he wanted her to call before arriving at the station.

When Jack pressed the button to end the call, Lola slumped in her seat. "He was persistent."

"They found your fingerprints."

Bolting upright in the driver's seat, she cursed like a sailor...a Spanish sailor. "But I can explain my presence there. I'd been to the lab before with Gabe."

"Stick to that. You'll be fine."

She wheeled into the hospital's parking garage and shoved her parking card into the slot. The red-and-white-striped arm rose. "One crisis at a time. Let's see what Emilio has to say."

Jack followed Lola's white-coat-clad figure down the hallway, past oblong windows framing bedridden patients hooked up to a variety of machines. He hoped Diaz was in better shape than those people.

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