Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(62) by Susan Mallery
“Dani.” Hugh sounded surprised and wary. “I didn’t know you were going to come by.”
“Obviously.” She looked between Hugh and the woman. “So, you want a divorce because you’ve grown as a person? If this is your idea of personal growth, I’m not interested. I would think of it more as being small, petty and a cheater. But hey, I’m just in the restaurant business. I probably wouldn’t understand something this complex. I wonder what your department chair is going to say when she finds out you’ve been getting so close to your students?” She held out the papers. “Consider yourself served.”
The student shifted uncomfortably. Her face was bright red, and she kept touching her hair. “I, ah—”
“Did you know he was married?” Dani asked, then shook her head. “Never mind. I have a piece of advice for you. I doubt you’ll take it, but here it is. If he’ll cheat with you, he’ll cheat on you.” She turned back to Hugh. “I can’t tell you how sorry I am I wasted so much of my life on you. You weren’t worth it.”
She walked out of the office. “Let’s go,” she told Cal.
“I want to hit him.”
“I appreciate that, but I think I’ll clobber him financially, instead. I was going to be fair and kind during the divorce. Not anymore.”
He reached for her hand and felt her trembling. “I’m sorry.”
Hugh rolled into the hallway. “Dani, I’m sorry. I didn’t want you to find out this way.”
She stopped and looked back at him. “How did you want me to find out, Hugh? What’s the best way to tell your wife that you want a divorce so you can screw someone else? You should have told me the truth. I would have been angry but I wouldn’t have thought you were such an ass**le.”
She walked away.
“Dani! Come back.”
She shook her head and kept walking.
“Just one punch,” Cal said.
“Thanks, but no. It’s fine.” They reached the stairs and she hurried down them. “This is good. I’d actually been wondering what I could have done to make things better between us. I won’t be doing that anymore.”
They reached the outside. Dani stopped walking and covered her face with her hands. “My whole life totally sucks. I don’t have a career or a marriage. I hate this.”
He pulled her close and let her cry against him. “Things will get better.”
“When? I want a date. Tell me when.”
He stroked her hair. “I’m sorry, Dani. I don’t know. But soon.”
“POOR KID,” Penny said. “I can’t believe Hugh was cheating. I always thought he was a decent guy.”
“We all thought that,” Cal told her. “Guess we were wrong.”
“It’s good you didn’t hit him. I don’t care how strong he is, he’s in a wheelchair and you’re a big, burly guy. No way you would have won that in court.”
Cal shrugged and she could see he didn’t much care about the ramifications of his actions. Someone he cared about was hurt and he wanted to lash out.
Funny how she’d never noticed that about him when they’d been married. She’d never seen his protective streak for what it was. Instead of appreciating what he was trying to do and looking for compromise, she’d rebelled against what she’d thought was unreasonable behavior.
She sank lower into the chair and closed her eyes as he continued to push his thumbs into the ball of her right foot.
“You’re really good at this,” she said, enjoying the massage. “I spend my life standing. Most of the time I don’t mind it but lately I’ve been in some serious pain.”
She opened one eye and smiled. “I’d heard that rumor. Where did you learn to do foot massage? One of the many women you dated after our divorce? Or did you know it while we were married and keep the information from me?”
“I took a class on the Internet,” he joked. “Just relax and enjoy.”
“I might have to make moany noises.”
“Have at it.”
She gave herself up to the slow, steady massage. There was something erotic about having Cal rub her bare foot. Or maybe it was the fact that when he concentrated on her toes, her heel seemed to end up pressing against his—
Don’t go there, she told herself. Not tonight. Maybe not ever. There hadn’t been a repeat performance—no surprise, given the emotional roller coaster they’d been on for the past few weeks.
In some ways they were getting along better than ever. In other ways, he was more of a stranger than she could imagine. Neither of which kept her from lying awake in bed at night and wishing he were with her.
“When is Dani moving out?” she asked, as much to distract herself as to get the information.
“As soon as she can find a place. Hugh gets the apartment. It’s handicapped accessible.”
“She can live here while she’s looking.”
Cal’s hands stopped moving. She opened her eyes again.
“What?” she asked.
“You’d offer that?”
“Sure. I have a second bedroom.” She waved at her cozy duplex. “She needs some time to regroup and I don’t need the other bedroom until the baby gets here.” She smiled. “Plus, she’ll probably be so grateful, she’ll help me paint when she leaves.”
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