Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(15) by Susan Mallery
She stood and walked out of the break room. Both Mindy and Ashley were waiting for her in the short hallway.
“What?” she asked, knowing they were about to start grilling her.
“It was a man,” Mindy said with a grin. “A guy called you. And don’t try to pretend it was your dentist or something. He didn’t sound like a dentist.”
“It was Walker, my neighbor. He had a question.”
Ashley and Mindy exchanged glances.
“Uh-huh,” Ashley said. “A question that couldn’t wait until tonight? I can’t believe you’re involved and you didn’t tell us.”
“I’m not,” Elissa said firmly. “I swear. Walker is my new neighbor. We’ve talked a few times, but that’s it. There’s nothing going on.”
Neither of her friends looked convinced. She almost told them he would be stopping by later, but then decided to keep that tidbit to herself. One way or the other, they were going to jump to conclusions. She might as well enjoy their reactions to Walker first, as a small payment for what they would put her through.
WALKER ARRIVED right on time. Elissa didn’t see him walk in, but Mindy breathed a quiet, “Oh my,” which made Elissa look up.
She had to admit the man was a show all by himself. Even in worn jeans and a polo shirt, he looked both powerful and incredibly sexy.
Mindy glanced at her. “If that’s your lunch date, I’m going to be very, very bitter.”
Elissa grinned, passed over a package of sugar and went to seat him.
“Hi,” she said as she approached. “Are you going to be having lunch with us?”
“Sure. Can you seat me in your section and send Ashley over?”
She gave him a booth by the window. Most of their lunch customers had left. There were only a half-dozen tables still in use.
“The burgers are great,” she said. “So are the salads, but you don’t strike me as a salad guy. All the omelets are amazing and you can either get hash browns or fries with them. Oh, and don’t tip me. You can apply the money to the tire.”
“I’ll take a bacon burger, fries and a Coke, and I will tip you. You can pay me back with it or not.”
“You’re a stubborn man.”
He grinned as he passed over the menu. “You’re not so bad yourself.”
“I work at it. Okay, I’ll put in your order and send over Ashley.”
She walked to the computer terminal and typed in his lunch, then told her friend that the hunk at table fifteen would very much like a word with her.
Ashley’s eyes widened. “Elissa, no. He’s yours.”
“He’s not and this isn’t about asking you out.”
Ashley pouted. “Then why do I want to bother talking to him?”
Mindy watched the exchange. “That’s interesting. Want to tell me what it’s all about?”
Elissa quickly filled her in. Mindy sighed.
“So he’s really not here for you. Bummer.”
“I’m okay with it,” Elissa said.
“You shouldn’t be,” her friend told her. “Dammit, Elissa, he’s good-looking, nice and someone doing the right thing. Why aren’t you interested?”
“I have my plan.”
Mindy rolled her eyes. “Going another thirteen years without sex isn’t a plan, it’s a death sentence. I know you love your daughter and we all admire that, but you’re taking yourself a little too seriously.”
Elissa appreciated the concern. “You don’t understand. I have really, really lousy taste in men. If I’m attracted to Walker—and I’m not saying I am—but if I were, there would be something hugely wrong with him.”
“Not for me.”
Elissa watched as Walker held out a picture. Ashley took it, then shook her head.
Elissa poured his drink and carried it to his table.
“She’s not the one,” he said.
“How many Ashleys have you talked to?”
“Fifteen so far. I found the easy ones first. I had to travel to Oregon and Montana for two of them.”
“You’re not going to give up, are you?”
“Ben was a good kid. He had a lot of heart. Someone out there has to have cared about him, missed him. I’m going to find her.”
“I know you will.” Walker wasn’t the kind to give up. He had a lot of heart, too, although she would guess he wouldn’t want to admit it.
“Your friends are watching us.”
She didn’t have to turn around to know who he meant. “They’re intrigued by you.”
“Sorry to bring this into your work.”
“It’s okay. We haven’t had that many things to talk about in the past few days. Now we have you.”
“I’m not that interesting.”
“You’d be surprised.”
THE SPORTS BAR CROWD groaned as the Mariners left two men on base. Walker ignored the game and walked toward the bar. His brother Reid leaned against the polished wood of the bar and smiled at the herd of women surrounding him.
When Reid spotted Walker, he slipped away from his adoring fans and promised he would be back later.
“You haven’t been in for a while,” Reid said as the two brothers claimed an empty corner table. “Getting lucky?”
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