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"So, how come you're here?" she asked again, her green eyes as hot as the uncooled beam of a laser scalpel. "He's still out of the country."
"Jeremy and I weren't on the same tour this time. I think he's in southeast Asia. I went to a village in the Amazon basin."
"How'd you get the key, then?"
"He keeps a spare in his locker at the hospital. I have a key to it and he has a key to mine," he added to forestall another question.
She was silent for a minute, apparently digesting his explanation.
"You must be Taylor. He's talked about you a lot." He hoped knowing her name would ease any concerns she might have.
She stared at him for a long moment before her expression softened. "I can imagine what he's told you."
"He didn't tell me how beautiful you are." The words were out before he could stop them.
Her gaze narrowed.
"I'm sorry. That was totally inappropriate." He grinned. "It's true, though."
His apology seemed to have worked. A faint smile creased her full lips.
"Well, it's great to meet you--Zack. I expect I'll see you around."
Zack frowned. "What's that supposed to mean?"
"Now that you see I'm here, I assume you'll leave."
"We can't both stay here."
"I don't know you. And I need some recuperation time. Alone."
"Me, too." Zack looked around again, eyeing the great room and loft. "I assume there are at least a couple of bedrooms. This place is big enough for both of us." Even though he'd prefer they share a bedroom--and a bed. He definitely wanted to rumple the sheets with her. And couldn't believe he'd just thought that. Her brother was his best buddy, for crap's sake. Heresolved that she was as off limits as the women in the village he'd just left.
"I don't think so."
Zack decided to go for the sympathy factor. "I don't have any other place to stay. Plenty of room here. What more do we need?"
She shifted her feet and planted one hand on her hip.
He figured she was going to say no, so he decided to up the pressure. "It's getting dark, and I don't know the area."
She looked out the window as if to confirm what he said. "Just for tonight." She was relenting. "Then you're on your own."
Man, she was tough. He wondered what had made her so hardheaded. He didn't remember Jeremy describing her that way. "Thanks. I appreciate it." He'd figure out some way to change her mind tomorrow.