Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(65) by Susan Mallery
“How about right now? We can go get a key made while Cal’s still under anesthesia and you can move your stuff this afternoon. I’m going to be staying with him for a couple of days so you’d have the house to yourself while you settle.”
“Are you sure?”
“Absolutely. It’ll be fun.”
“Okay, then I say yes. I appreciate this so much.”
Penny stood. “Reid, call me if anything happens. I have my cell on.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Moving back in together. That’s interesting.”
“Oh, please. The man is having bone marrow sucked out of his hip. He’s going to have bruises the size of Utah and feel like he was hit by a truck. I don’t think you have to worry about anything happening.”
CAL TRIED to get comfortable on the chair, but it wasn’t happening.
“If you’d take the Tylenol, like the doctor said, you wouldn’t be suffering,” Penny called from down the hall.
He shook his head. How the hell had she known he was in pain? Women were a mystery.
“I’m fine,” he yelled back.
He heard footsteps on the hardwood floor of the hallway, then she stuck her head in the living room. “I’m getting you the pills right now and I’m going to loom over you until you take them. Is that clear?”
She grinned. “Respect. I like that. Be right back.”
When she returned, she was true to her word, standing over him until he’d dutifully swallowed the two pills.
“I wrote down the time so we’ll know when you can take more,” she said.
“I’m perfectly fine.”
She put her hands on her hips, which tightened her shirt around her growing belly. “Oh, please. You have massive bruises on your hips, along with what looked like six hundred puncture marks.”
“It’s not that many. Compared with what Lindsey has to go through, this is nothing.”
Penny sank down onto the sofa across from his chair. “I know. I spoke with her mom for a few minutes while you were still recovering. Lindsey’s pretty wrecked from the chemo.”
Cal didn’t doubt it. The kid was in for a brutal process. First chemotherapy destroyed Lindsey’s bone marrow, then she received an IV with his. Over the next few weeks, while her immune system was compromised, she would be kept isolated from the world. She would also battle what would feel like the worst flu of her life for that same period of time.
“I’ve popped onto the Internet and read about the procedure,” Penny said. “There’s a really good chance your bone marrow will cure her leukemia.”
“I hope so.”
“I wish there was more I could do,” she said.
“You’re here. I appreciate that.”
“You should. I’ll have you know I don’t normally make cooking house calls, but I’m making an exception for you. We’ll be dining on all your favorites.”
His stomach rumbled. “Meat loaf?” He hadn’t had Penny’s meat loaf since before the divorce.
“Tonight. Then tomorrow, my very twisted Thai lasagna.”
“Won’t you be at the restaurant? We can’t both be gone that long.”
“I’ll be going back and forth,” she said. “Naomi’s there, not to worry. Want to watch sports on TV?”
“Hmm, do you have a fever?”
He smiled. “Reid’s the sports guy. Did you unpack?”
“Yes. The guest room is lovely. I’m going out on a limb and saying you didn’t decorate it yourself.”
“Dani helped. She picked out the colors and the linens and the furniture. I did the labor.”
She glanced around the living room. “The house is great.”
“Paid for by the coffee drinkers of the Pacific Northwest.”
“We do love our coffee.”
She looked out the living room windows at the view of downtown. “You did good, Cal. You started with nothing and you created an empire. You should be proud of yourself.”
She turned back to him. “I get it now—the need to go out and make something happen on your own, but when you first left the restaurant business, I thought you were leaving me.”
“What are you talking about?” How could she have thought that?
“It’s hard to explain. We had a whole life that revolved around being awake when most of the world was asleep. We talked about the same kind of problems with customers and staffs and bosses. Then, suddenly, you wanted out. You became one of them, working nine to five.” She shrugged. “I guess that sounds really strange. But at the time, I felt abandoned.”
“I’m sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I wanted to get away from Gloria and her constant monitoring of my life. I was tired of the threats, the ugliness.”
“I know,” Penny said. Funny how with the passage of time a lot of things became more clear. “I wish I’d been more supportive.”
Cal shook his head. “Don’t. You were great.”
“You don’t know how angry I was with you.”
He looked surprised. “You’re right. You hid it from me.”
“Not my finest moment. I thought you’d change your mind and come back.”
“You thought I’d fail.”
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