Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(33) by Susan Mallery
“No. There were a few women, but nothing that mattered.”
“A few? How many?”
Reid grinned. “Why do you care?”
“I don’t. I’m curious.” More than curious. What women? Who had Cal dated?
“Sorry,” Reid said. “I don’t tell on my brothers. Not even for you.” He looked toward the front door. “Hey. What’s up?”
Penny turned and saw Dani walk into the bar.
She claimed the seat next to Penny. “Hi. How’s it going?” She peered at Penny’s float. “What is that?”
“A root beer float with hazelnuts.”
Dani winced. “Does that fall under the craving category?”
“Nope,” Reid told her. “It’s just plain gross.”
“Men don’t appreciate these sorts of things,” Penny said.
“I’m not sure I appreciate them either,” Dani told her. “How are you feeling?”
“Good. Getting a tummy.” She tugged at her sweater to show off her bump.
Dani eyed her stomach, then looked at Reid. “Can I get a Diet Coke?”
“Sure. Want anything to eat?”
“No, thanks. I just need the caffeine.”
“Busy day?” he asked as he handed her the glass of soda.
“Oh, yeah. Lunch was standing room only.”
She didn’t sound very happy about the fact, but Penny couldn’t blame her. Dani had only ever wanted to be successful in the family business and Gloria had stood in her way at every turn.
She remembered what Cal had told her, about Gloria threatening to tell Dani the truth about her father if he didn’t toe the line. Penny knew it wasn’t for her to decide, but a part of her thought it would be better if Dani knew the real reason Gloria wasn’t on her side.
She looked at her former sister-in-law. Dani was short, with light-brown hair and hazel eyes. Her features were more delicate than her brothers’ and completely feminine. She looked enough like them that no one would ever guess the truth, yet there was much that was different.
Her lighter coloring, her petite build. Dani wore her hair in a short, stylish bob. Her tailored slacks and cropped jacket suited her slender body. Looking at her, Penny felt like a cumbersome giant.
Dani sipped on her drink, then smiled at Reid. “I’m going to change the subject to something very girly that will probably make you uncomfortable.”
He instantly took a step back. “Thanks for the heads-up. You two have fun.” He quickly moved to the other end of the bar.
“Men are so predictable,” Dani said. “I really like that about them.”
“It does help. What’s up?”
“I wanted to talk to you about the in vitro fertilization you went through. Not now,” she added. “But would you be comfortable talking to me about it at some point?”
“Sure. You can ask me anything you’d like. Are you thinking of doing that yourself?” she asked, not sure if she was treading in dangerous territory.
Dani nodded. “Because of his injury, there are some things Hugh can’t do and that’s one of them.” She wrinkled her nose. “We do other stuff you probably don’t want to hear about.”
Penny grinned. “I’d like to be drunk first and I can’t drink right now.”
Dani laughed. “Fair enough. Anyway, that’s in our future, so I thought if you wouldn’t mind telling me about it, that would be great.”
“Sure. I’ll give you the name of my doctor, too. She’s fabulous. Very easy to deal with and completely understanding of the panic that goes with the whole process.”
“It’s expensive, right?”
“Oh, yeah. The cost seriously cut into my ‘open my own restaurant’ fund, but I knew I wanted a baby before my eggs turned to raisins.”
Penny fished out another hazelnut. “You have a few years before you have to worry about the eggs to raisins thing.”
“Not that many.” Dani rubbed her fingers against her glass. “Why didn’t you…” She glanced over her shoulder as if checking to make sure Reid was still at the other end of the bar. She lowered her voice. “Why IVF? You could have picked some guy to sleep with you. It would have been cheaper.”
“The very question my mother asked me,” Penny admitted, remembering her parents’ distress when she’d first told them what she wanted to do. “But with IVF I could get more information about the father’s family, see how the various traits looked, that sort of thing.” She thought for a second.
“I didn’t want the hassle,” she admitted. “I didn’t want to risk the father coming back to lay claim on his child.”
“You could have had him sign papers,” Dani said.
“Sure, but he could change his mind. What if in ten years he came back and said he wanted some visitation? I didn’t know how the courts would rule and I didn’t want to deal with it.”
“What about Reid?” Dani asked. “He wouldn’t have come back for visitation rights.”
Penny stiffened. “Sleep with my ex-husband’s brother? No, thanks. Talk about a giant ick.”
“Is that how you think of him? As Cal’s brother?”
“Only when someone talks about us having sex. And I believe he’d agree with me on that.”
Dani laughed. “Okay. Fair enough. Hugh and I talked about waiting a couple of years to get our lives in order before we started a family. He’s doing well at the university and I’m…” She sighed. “Anyway, I think this might be a good time. Maybe having a baby would distract me from other things.”
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