He leaned over her, one hand braced against the back of her seat, the other resting just above her heart. Within his stare she saw a tangle of emotions. Worry, relief, victory, suspicion. The mix was too complex for her to unravel.
“Welcome back,” he said in that deep voice she’d already come to know.
He eased away and settled in his seat beside her, and immediately she missed his warmth. She wanted to follow him so she could huddle in it and let his heat sink into her bones. Disconcerted by the power of the yearning, she looked away and took stock of her surroundings. She sat in an unfamiliar SUV parked on the fringe of a half-empty lot, location unknown. The clock on the dash said 11:20. She had no idea how she’d gotten there.
“Where am I?” she asked.
He nodded at the building squatting near the edge of the blacktop. “That’s my hotel.”
She narrowed her eyes, trying to make sense of that answer. His hotel? Why was he staying in a hotel? And more important, why had he brought her here? She struggled to work it out, but a deep murk had veiled her thoughts, making it hard to distinguish one from the other. She’d been at work and he’d come in and then . . .
An avalanche of memory rumbled down on top of her. The bugs. The stench. The seeping stain and the . . . No. No, no, no. That hadn’t been real. Couldn’t be real.