Delicious(Buchanans, Book 1)(67) by Susan Mallery
He sat straight in his chair, his gold-blond hair a little too long, his blue eyes looking both innocent and soulful. There was something about his mouth, something that made a woman want to kiss him.
He had big hands and, at least for him, the old wives’ tale was true. Even with the loss of sensation for Hugh, that part of him could still work, and she’d had plenty of fun riding him to paradise.
As had others, apparently.
“I’m sorry you had to see that,” he said. “I didn’t mean for you to find out.”
She walked into the bedroom and began pulling clothes off hangers. “Interesting. You’re not sorry you were cheating on me, you’re just sorry you were caught.” She heard him move into the room. “With a student, Hugh. That’s tacky, even for you.”
“It’s not what you’re thinking.”
“You have no idea what I’m thinking.” She tossed the clothes into an open box, then glared at him. “You don’t know anything about me. I’m furious. You want a divorce. Fine. We’ll get one. You’ve moved on. I can accept that. But what I can’t accept is that you’re messing around with your students. God knows how many.”
“Don’t be insulting.”
“Oh, right. Because only sleeping with one of them is so noble. What a great man you are. How proud we all are.” She moved close and stared down at him. “I was there for you, you bastard. Every day from the second you were hurt. I gave up my life to help you. I encouraged you, I begged you to keep living. I loved you with every fiber of my being. What I expected in return was for you to love me just as much. And if you couldn’t do that, I expected you to respect me. But you didn’t.”
“Sure. Make me the bad guy.”
She wanted to scream. “How am I at fault in any of this?”
“I just wanted a divorce. Why is that a crime?”
“It’s not, you bastard. You lied and cheated. You betrayed me. That student isn’t the first. I’m stunned to find out you’re a lousy human being.”
He glared at her. “Because I’m in a wheelchair, you expect me to be a saint? I’m not supposed to have flaws like other men, because I’m not really a man?”
She’d never wanted to hit another person before in her life, but the urge to pick up a lamp and crash it over Hugh’s head was incredibly powerful.
“I expect you to be a decent person because we’re married,” she yelled. “I expected you to honor your wedding vows because I thought you had a sense of morality and because I thought you cared about me and our relationship. Not everything is about you being in a wheelchair. You being an ass**le has absolutely nothing to do with you being in a wheel chair. You’d be one even if you could run a marathon. Now get out of here so I can finish getting my things.”
“THE MUSHROOMS SMELL FUNNY,” Penny said as she held a clean cloth to her left ring finger.
“They’re mushrooms,” Naomi told her. “They’re supposed to smell funny. Do you need stitches?”
Penny rolled her eyes. “Is my finger still attached to my hand?”
“Yes. Fine. Be that way.”
Cal walked into the kitchen. He was moving a little slow, but otherwise was doing fine since his procedure. “How much is she bleeding?” he asked Naomi.
“I’m fine,” Penny said.
“It was a gusher,” Naomi said. “But I don’t think she went down to the bone.”
“Good to know,” Cal said. “I could forcibly take her to the urgent care center.”
“No, you couldn’t.” Penny moved between them. “I’m right here in the room. Stop ignoring me. I’m fine. Cuts and burns come with the territory. I’m fine. It’s barely even bleeding.”
Not that she was willing to let up on the pressure just yet, but in a few minutes, she would. Naomi would put on a butterfly bandage and all would be well. If she rushed around screaming for medical care every time someone got cut in the kitchen, no one would ever get fed.
“Hey, it’s here,” Dani yelled as she walked into the kitchen. “The write-up on new restaurants, and yes, you’re mentioned.”
She set the newspaper on the stainless-steel counter and flipped through the pages. The two cooks already chopping vegetables there moved in close, as did Edouard. Penny wiggled in front of both Naomi and Cal. If she stayed behind them, she wouldn’t see a thing.
Suddenly the sting from her cut faded as an entire squad of butterflies took up residence in her stomach.
“They had to say something good, right?” she whispered, more to herself than anyone else. “Why say something bad?”
“Because it’s the newspaper,” Naomi grumbled. “What do they know about good food?”
“They are the sort of people who eat fast food,” Edouard muttered.
Penny bit her lower lip as Dani continued to flip pages. She stopped on a huge spread featuring new restaurants in the Seattle area.
A friend of a friend had warned her about the write-up and had mentioned there was a bit on The Waterfront. Now Penny scanned the page until she saw a small box.
“There!” she said, as she pointed.
They all leaned forward to read it.
“I’ll do it,” Dani said, snatching up the paper. “Okay. While we here at the paper were only interested in new restaurants for this feature, The Waterfront has risen like a phoenix from the ashes. A few short months ago one was guaranteed old fish and a tired, uninspiring menu; these days The Waterfront is the place for fabulous dining. It’s not just that chef Penny Jackson has redefined delicious with her innovative menus and clever pairings, it’s that the dining room, with its wonderful views and good service, provides the perfect backdrop for an exciting and addictive culinary experience.”
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