Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(19) by Susan Mallery
“Family meeting?” he asked as he approached.
Reid pulled out a chair for him. “Just a friendly gathering. I told you attendance wasn’t mandatory.”
“Hey, kid,” he said and kissed Dani on the cheek. He did the same with Penny, then took his seat. “Who’s minding the store?” he asked Reid.
His brother grinned. “I had many volunteers.”
Penny threw a napkin at Reid. “Your life is shallow.”
“It’s time to settle down,” Penny told him.
“Not interested. Besides, Walker’s home now. Go find him a wife.”
Walker reached for an empty glass and the open bottle of wine on the table. “I’m good, thanks.”
“Reid, I’m serious,” Penny said. “You’ve been playing the field long enough. It’s time to pick one nice girl and make a life with her.”
“I don’t like nice girls.”
Everyone chuckled. Walker listened as the banter continued. Reid and Penny had been friends for years, even after Penny and Cal split up. He’d once confessed to Walker that he’d suspected they would get back together and he’d been right.
“How’s the restaurant business?” Walker asked his sister.
Dani jumped, as if she hadn’t been paying attention. “What? Oh. Good. I’m keeping busy. Nothing new.”
Penny smiled. “There is something new. Or someone.”
“A guy?” Walker asked.
“There’s no new guy,” Dani told him. “Just stuff.”
“Rebound guy,” Reid said. “Good for you. Hugh was an ass**le. You need to be distracted.”
Dani shook her head. “You’re the last person I would take dating advice from. Your idea of a committed relationship is sticking around long enough for dessert.”
“You looking to get involved?” Cal asked, a hint of worry in his voice.
“Of course not,” Dani told him. “My divorce isn’t even final. It’s not a rebound thing, it’s just…nice.”
“Leave her alone,” Penny said.
“Why are you protecting her?” Reid asked. “You’re the one who mentioned the other guy.”
“I’ve remembered that we girls are supposed to stick together.”
“I’ll change the subject,” Reid said. “Walker’s buying a boat.”
Everyone turned to him. Cal grinned. “Really? How big? When can we go fishing?”
Walker glared at Reid. “I’m not buying a boat.”
His brother chuckled. “I know, but I distracted everyone.”
“A boat would be nice,” Dani said. “We could take day trips.”
“There’s no boat,” Walker told her firmly.
Just then a guy in a tie walked up to the table. “Sorry to interrupt,” he said. “Penny, here are the numbers on the menu changes. Everything looks good. Also, I have a couple of suggestions for the tasting dinner.”
Penny looked at him, her eyebrows raised. “I’m sorry, Ryan. Did I hear you correctly? You want to change my tasting dinner?”
“You’re trying to scare me and it’s not working.”
“Have you heard about the time I threw a meat cleaver at my husband’s head?” she asked sweetly. “Do you really want to mess with me?”
He put another piece of paper in her hands. “I found the perfect wine for the corn cakes.”
“We had the perfect wine.”
“We had one that was close. This is better.”
Penny studied the sheet. “I’ll be in tomorrow and make the corn cakes, then we’ll talk. If you’re wrong, you’re in big trouble.”
“I can handle it.”
Dani shifted in her chair. “Walker, this is Ryan Jennings, the new general manager. Ryan, this is my brother Walker.”
Ryan walked around the table and shook hands. “Pleased to meet you.”
Walker nodded. “How are you settling in?”
“Great. This is a terrific restaurant. I have a great staff, which makes all the difference. Dani is being very patient with me.”
Dani dismissed his comment with a flick of her hand. “There’s nothing to be patient about.”
Ryan excused himself.
Walker waited until he was gone before turning to his sister. “So that’s the new guy.”
She blinked several times and did her best to look innocent. “I have no idea what you’re talking about.”
Cal and Reid both looked at him.
“Ryan?” Cal asked.
“That’s my guess,” Walker said.
Dani glared at him. “How did you know? We barely looked at each other.”
“Impressive,” Reid said.
Cal turned to his sister. “Dani, workplace romances can be difficult. Have you thought about what happens if things don’t work out?”
“There’s no thing,” she told him. “We’re flirting. That’s it. Besides, you and Penny got back together at work. In fact, it was in this restaurant. So maybe you should get off of me.”
“I’m just saying—”
“Cal, let it go,” Penny said. “Dani’s a grown-up. She knows what she’s doing.”
“State the rules up-front,” Reid said. “That’s what I do. If one of the servers wants to go out with me, I say fine, but you have to be able to handle it when it’s over.”
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online