Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(23) by Susan Mallery
“Do you have a cell phone?” Mrs. Walker asked.
“Sure.” He pushed the activation number on his steering wheel. “Who do you want me to call?”
He expected her to say a relative, or her doctor. Instead she said, “My reading group. They’ll be expecting me. Oh, dear. It was my turn to bring wine.”
He held in a groan, then asked for the number. “I’ll put you on speakerphone,” he said.
The sound of a phone ringing filled the vehicle.
“Very impressive,” Mrs. Ford said.
A woman answered. “Hello?”
“Betty? Is that you? Your voice sounds strange.”
“I’m calling from a car. You’re on speakerphone. Isn’t this exciting? So high-tech.” Mrs. Ford giggled. “I’m afraid I won’t make it to book club today. I’ve cut my hand.”
“Betty, no. Are you all right?”
“Walker said I need stitches, so we’re off to the hospital.”
“I’ll be fine,” Mrs. Ford assured her.
“I hope so. Is that Walker person there with you?”
“He’s driving the car.”
“I’m here, ma’am,” Walker said, holding in a sigh.
“Are you taking good care of…Betty, did you say Walker?”
Mrs. Ford smiled. “Yes. My new upstairs neighbor.”
“The one as good-looking as Angel?”
“Just kill me now,” Walker muttered under his breath.
THREE HOURS, several stitches and some fairly strong pain medication later, Mrs. Ford was released from the emergency room. Walker drove home slowly, trying not to jar the old woman’s swollen hand. Then he wondered if he should bother. In her current condition, he doubted she would notice.
“The doctor was very nice,” she said with a sigh. “And a woman. Pretty. Did you notice?”
“Is that because of Elissa? I think it’s very sweet. She’s a good girl. So caring and hardworking. She needs a man, you know. Not just to take care of her, but in her bed. A woman can only go without for so long. It’s fine at my age. I don’t expect to get lucky. But Elissa is so young.”
He couldn’t believe they were having this conversation. He’d thought the comment about him looking like some damn TV character was the real low point of the day, but he’d been wrong.
“We’re here,” he said, perhaps with more relief than necessary as he pulled into the driveway of the apartment building.
Elissa rushed out and opened the passenger door. “Are you all right?” she asked Mrs. Ford, then looked at him. “Is she all right?”
He’d phoned her from the hospital to let her know what was going on. Ironic how he’d moved to this apartment in this neighborhood where he didn’t know anyone so he could live quietly and anonymously. So far that wasn’t happening.
“She’s good,” he said. “Loopy from the pain medication, but otherwise fine.”
“I have stitches,” the old woman announced. “And the doctor was very pretty, but Walker didn’t even look at her. He only has eyes for you.”
“How thrilling,” Elissa said. “Let me help you inside.”
“I’ll carry her,” Walker said. “Take her purse and open the door.”
She did as he asked. He picked up Mrs. Ford and started toward the apartment.
“At least you don’t have to lug me upstairs,” she cackled.
“That wouldn’t be a problem,” he said. He doubted she weighed eighty pounds.
Elissa hovered by the door. “I’ve already turned back her bed. She’ll need to rest. Just put her there. We can get her changed later.”
He was going to assume the “we” on the table was her and Zoe, because he had lines he wasn’t willing to cross.
Once Mrs. Ford was in bed, Elissa sat on the edge of the mattress and smoothed back her white hair. “You scared me.”
“I’m fine, dear. It was all my fault. I wasn’t paying attention.” She yawned. “Oh, goodness. It must be that pain medication. I so rarely nap.”
But her eyes were already closing.
“Want me to put on the television?” Elissa asked.
“That would be nice. Maybe QVC. There’s a jewelry showcase this week.”
Elissa found the channel, then eased out of the room.
“What happened?” she asked Walker when they were back in her kitchen. He could hear the sound of a video in the background and guessed it was on to entertain Zoe.
“She said she was watching TV and cut herself. The cut was deep so I took her in for stitches.” He pulled out the prescription bottle from his shirt pocket. “These are painkillers. She’ll need to eat when she takes them so she doesn’t get sick to her stomach. And she’ll need to make an appointment with her regular doctor to get the stitches out in about ten days. The good news is the cut is on her left hand and she’s right-handed. She’ll still be able to do things.”
Elissa leaned against the counter. “I’m grateful you were here. If you hadn’t been…”
“She would have called 911.”
“I’d like to think so, but she’s so independent.” Elissa touched his arm. “I don’t know how to thank you.”
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