The morgue? Jack let that one pass. "The reason I have amnesia is because someone pushed me off the side of a mountain and then left me there to die. When I made it back to the town, the Afghan boy, Yasir, found me. He told me I was some kind of spy. I'm thinking maybe I can go directly to the U.S. Embassy or somehow contact the CIA, but I suspect neither of those august institutions would be thrilled to find me alive."
Lola gasped. "You think the United States government is after you?"
"I'm on some airport security watch list." He grabbed her fingers, fiddling with the cup holder in the console. "What does it mean? What was I doing in Afghanistan?"
"It's true, isn't it?" She shifted in her seat and studied his face with her wide eyes. "You don't know."
Tilting his chin toward the letter abandoned in her lap, he said, "I know you were willing to pay me a million dollars to bring your husband home safely."
Those long lashes swept her cheeks and her bottom lip trembled. Her voice choked. "And you obviously didn't bring Gabriel with you."
Before he could stop himself, he traced the soft curve of her cheek with his fingertip. "I'm sorry. I don't even know who or where Gabriel is, if I ever did."
A visible shudder coursed through her frame, and then she straightened her shoulders. "Oh, you knew, Mr. Coburn. I paid you a million dollars up front to retrieve Gabe from Afghanistan, to negotiate his release."
He branded this new bit of knowledge into his brain. One more tiny piece of the puzzle falling into place. "His release from whom?"
"Terrorists." She lifted her doe eyes to his face, and the look in their depths made him want to take her in his arms and shield her from the world and every bad thing in it.
A car two spaces down roared to life, and Lola stiffened and grabbed the steering wheel. She looked like she could use a drink. First he'd scared the hell out of her and then had to admit he hadn't a clue to her husband's whereabouts.
"Do you want to talk somewhere else? Maybe if you can fill me in on some details, I can start to remember." A muscle jumped in his jaw. And if she didn't want to fill him in?
He'd come home without her husband. She didn't owe him anything, and there was no way he was going to force information out of her. He'd done enough damage to her nerves for one night by pulling this stunt in her car.
"Sure. There's a little bar not too far from the hospital." She ran both hands across her face as if wiping away tears, when not a single one had spilled onto her cheek.
"Can I sit up front?" He balanced a knee on the console between the two front seats. "I left the gun on the floor. It wasn't loaded."
"Somehow that doesn't make me feel any better." She dragged her purse by its handle from the passenger seat, and Jack squeezed his large frame into the front.
"Lo siento. If I could've done it any other way, I would have."
Cranking on the engine, she raised one dark brow in his direction. "You speak Spanish?"
"Apparently I speak a lot of languages." He snapped his seat belt and adjusted the seat, shooting a glance her way. He had to trust she wasn't going to drive straight to a police station or, worse, call in the suits who'd been staking out the Miami airport.
She dragged her bottom lip between her teeth and furrowed her brow. "Must be strange to lose your memory."
He didn't think Lola Famosa, Dr. Lola Famosa, was going to rat him out just yet. She probably wanted information about her husband as badly as Jack wanted information about himself. He could trust her to keep this little meeting to herself...for now.
His shoulders slumped and he closed his eyes. "Strange doesn't begin to describe it."
THE TIRES SQUEALED AS LOLA wheeled her Mercedes into a slotted parking space in front of the Cubana Cubano Bar. At this hour on a Monday night, Mario's place would be quiet enough to talk but just crowded enough for safety. Just in case the man filling her passenger seat wasn't really Jack Coburn.
She cut the engine and turned her head to study him. He had to be Coburn. He'd fallen asleep before she'd even pulled out of the hospital parking lot. What crazed murderer-slash-kidnapper-slash-rapist would conk out just when he had his prey secluded in her car?