Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(40) by Susan Mallery
“I’m not, but thank you for saying so.”
Even though she wasn’t getting any work done, she liked having him around. He was easy to talk to, and easy to look at. A nice combination. While intellectually she knew it was best that he wasn’t interested in starting anything with her, the stubborn, emotional side of her brain regretted that they would never get more involved. He would have been a great guy to get to know.
Yeah, right until she found out his pesky, awful flaw. Because if she liked him, he had one. She should be—
Walker stood up and walked toward the living room.
“Am I boring you?” she asked.
“What? No. I thought I saw someone outside.”
“I don’t know. He looked suspicious.”
Her first thought was that Neil had made good on his threat and found her. Then she dismissed the idea. Neil wouldn’t lurk. He would simply pound on the door and demand money.
Walker turned back to her. “I want to ask you something. My sister-in-law is pregnant and there’s going to be—”
He turned suddenly and raced out of the apartment. Elissa went after him and was stunned to see him following a guy she’d never seen before.
Her first thought was relief that the man wasn’t Neil. He was too short and his hair was too dark. Her second was to wonder who was hanging out in her front yard, looking through her windows.
She caught up with them as Walker tackled the guy and they fell onto a neighbor’s lawn. Before she knew it, Walker had the guy’s right arm bent behind his back.
“Mr. J, I presume,” Walker said.
“Who?” she asked.
“This guy works for my grandmother. I don’t know his real name. He’s in her calendar as Mr. J.” Walker shook the man. “I called your company yesterday and fired your ass.”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about. I don’t work for your grandmother.”
“Right.” Walker tightened his grip on the man’s arm. “Then who hired you?”
“I can’t—” The man gave a little scream as Walker pushed his wrist higher toward his shoulder.
Elissa winced but didn’t stop him. She didn’t like the idea of strange guys hovering around her apartment. She asked the next obvious question.
“Was it Neil?”
Both Walker and the man looked at her.
“No. His name is Bobby,” the stranger told her. “He says he’s your brother.”
ELISSA STUDIED THE MAN in the baseball cap. He was so ordinary looking. “I wouldn’t have guessed you were a private detective,” she said, as the man, who’d introduced himself as Derek, drank a glass of iced tea.
“We’re supposed to blend in,” Derek told her. He held the glass in his left hand and rotated his right shoulder. “You’ve got some grip, buddy,” he said to Walker.
Walker leaned against the counter, legs braced, arms folded. He looked ready to attack and kill, if necessary. Elissa was glad he was on her side.
She was still having trouble getting her mind around Derek’s confession of his client. “Bobby’s still a kid,” she said, not sure she believed her brother was trying to get in touch with her.
“He turned eighteen on his last birthday. He starts at UW next week.”
Her brother going to the University of Washington? The last time she’d seen him, he’d just gotten braces. Of course that had been eight years ago.
Thinking about her brother made her want to ask about her parents, but she knew better. They’d made their position clear.
“He wants to talk to you,” Derek said as he reached in his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper. “Here’s his cell number. He’d really like you to give him a call.”
She supposed it meant something that her brother had spent his money to find her. She took the paper and stuffed it in her own pocket.
“I guess it wouldn’t hurt,” she said, not sure how she felt about contact with him after all these years. “Tell him I’ll give him a call in the next few days.”
“And nothing else,” Walker added.
Derek looked at him. “What do you mean?”
“You will not give out any personal information on Elissa. Not her address, or phone number, not the name or location of her place of employment. I don’t care what your contract with the kid says. If you put her in any danger, you will answer to me.”
It was like watching a rabbit try to face down a tiger. Derek folded instantly. “I won’t tell him anything.”
“If I find out you have, I will hunt you down. Are we clear?”
Derek put down the iced tea and nodded vigorously. “I, ah, should probably go.”
“Excellent idea,” Walker said. “I’ll see you out.”
Elissa stayed in the kitchen and sank into one of the chairs. When Walker returned, he sat next to her.
“You okay?” he asked.
“I don’t think so. This is so weird. I haven’t talked to Bobby since I found out I was pregnant.” She drew in a breath. “I ran away when I was seventeen and I never called my parents to say I was okay. I felt bad about that later. It was selfish and stupid, but that pretty much defined my existence. Then I let myself forget about them. I was busy holding down an exciting job. When I got pregnant and Zoe’s father turned out to be an ass**le, I left him. I also called home.”
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