Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(32) by Susan Mallery
Cal stood and nodded. “That’s us. How is she?”
“The good news is your grandmother is very likely to have a full recovery. Your brother, the one who rode in with her…”
“That was me,” Walker said.
“Yes, of course. You were right. It was a heart attack. Not life threatening as such, but there was some damage. Still, with time, rest and medication, she should be able to resume something close to her normal life. However, there is a complication.”
The doctor paused and checked the chart she held. “Your grandmother isn’t a young woman. Unfortunately, when she fell, she broke her hip.”
Walker glanced at Reid, who shifted uncomfortably.
“That can’t be good,” Penny said.
“It’s not. The break is fairly bad. We’re going to have to operate to put things back in place. After that, she has a long road of physical therapy ahead of her. She will be here at least ten days. After that, a skilled nursing facility specializing in that sort of thing. Under normal circumstances, she could be there for months. However, if you wanted to provide home nursing care, she could be released in about four weeks.”
She tucked the chart under her arm. “I know this is a lot to take in. What’s important is that she survived the heart attack and there’s every reason for optimism. Let’s make an appointment for all of you to come see me in a couple of days and we can sort this all out.”
“Thanks, Doctor,” Cal said, offering his hand.
When she’d left, no one spoke. What was there to say?
“As the most neutral nonblood relative, I’ll go first,” Penny said. “There are two problems. Gloria and the company.”
“The company can run itself for a while,” Cal told her.
“The president just quit,” Walker said. “She told me before she passed out. So someone has to be in charge.”
Cal swore under his breath.
“There’s also the home health care issue,” Penny reminded them. “I don’t think Gloria is going to last very long in any kind of skilled nursing facility. You know how she is. They’re going to throw her out and then what?”
“As she pointed out to me so clearly just a few weeks ago,” Dani said, “she’s not my grandmother. So I’m not getting involved in her recovery or the company. I’m sorry to be difficult, but there it is.”
“No one blames you,” Walker told her. Gloria had gone out of her way to make sure Dani understood she would never be a part of the company or Gloria’s world. A difficult situation had been handled cruelly.
“I’ll take care of the home health care,” Reid said.
Everyone looked at him. He shrugged. “I hate her the least. It’s a few phone calls, some interviews. No big deal.”
“You’ll need more than one nurse,” Penny said. “She’ll need round-the-clock care at first.” She smiled. “Please actually look at their résumés rather than hiring them based on their bust size.”
Reid grinned. “Trust me.”
“Which leaves the company,” Dani said. She turned to Walker. “I love you to pieces, but you’re the only one without a job.”
He took a step back. “No way. I told her there was nothing she could say or do to get me to work for her.”
“Apparently you were wrong,” Cal said, sounding far too cheerful. “The good news is you won’t be working for her. Not technically.” His humor faded. “Seriously, it’s just for a few weeks. No one expects you to stay there permanently.”
Walker would rather go on an unarmed patrol through downtown Baghdad. “I don’t know the business world,” he said, trying not to sound desperate.
“Management is universal,” Cal told him.
Walker knew he was trapped. Who else was there?
“Just for a few weeks,” he said. “Don’t get any ideas about me taking over.”
“Agreed,” Cal said.
ELISSA SMILED at the bright young woman sitting across the desk. “Zoe is very excited to be starting kindergarten.”
“We’re happy to have her,” Julie Beamer said. “It sounds as if she already has a head start on a lot of what we’re going to cover this year. You said she knows her letters.”
“She recognizes all of them and can write most of them. We’re having a little trouble with G. She’s also reading very simple words.”
“Excellent.” Julie made a few notes on a pad. “I believe you mentioned Zoe’s father is dead?”
“That’s right,” Elissa said easily. As far as the world was concerned, Neil didn’t even exist. Despite his threats, she knew he wanted nothing to do with his child. For him, Zoe was little more than a means of extortion.
“We’re very much looking forward to having her in class. If you would tell her I can’t wait to meet her.”
“I will,” Elissa promised.
Elissa left the meeting and headed to her car. Her baby was starting school. She was both excited that Zoe was ready to take the next step in her young life and a little choked up to have her daughter growing up so quickly.
Had it been like this with her mother, she wondered, then wished she hadn’t. Thinking about her family only made her sad.
Her parents had never forgiven her for running away. While she tried to understand their anger, she couldn’t help wishing they’d loved her enough to let her be a part of their lives. She’d moved back to Seattle partly with the foolish hope they would run into each other. They hadn’t.
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