Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(46) by Susan Mallery
“You’re famous, Mommy!” Zoe said with delight. “Everyone knows your pretty work.”
“I guess so.”
The phone rang.
“Elissa Towers, please,” said an unfamiliar female voice.
“This is Elissa.”
“Oh, hi. I’m Marcia Bentley and I’m in charge of booking people into the Labor Day Crafts Fair we have every year. Are you familiar with it?”
Was Marcia kidding? It was the biggest craft show in the state. Elissa had gone several times, mostly to get ideas, and she’d been overwhelmed by the variety and quality.
“Of course,” she said quickly. “It’s wonderful.”
“I’m glad you think so. One of my regulars has a family emergency and won’t be able to make it. I’ve heard so much about your work that I wanted to offer you her spot. It’s on one of the main aisles, very close to several food and drink vendors. Are you interested?”
Elissa sank onto a kitchen chair. Talk about a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. “Of course,” she said, barely able to speak from the shock of it all. “I’d love to be a part of the fair.”
“Good. If you’ll give me your address, I’ll get the contracts to you right away. You can sign them and send me back a check.”
Marcia filled in a few more details, then hung up with a promise to get the paperwork out that day.
When Elissa hung up, Zoe danced impatiently. “Who was that, Mommy?”
“A lady about the big Labor Day Craft Fair. She said I can have a booth.”
Zoe grinned. “That’s good, right?”
“It’s the best.”
Her daughter yelled with excitement, then ran through the open door in the kitchen to share the news with Mrs. Ford.
Elissa stayed in her seat and waited for her brain to stop spinning. This was incredible. Okay, yeah, the cost of the booth would set her back some, but she would more than make it up the first morning. Her biggest problem was inventory.
She got up and crossed to her workbench. Her finished jewelry was in boxes on an upper shelf. She would need several hundred pieces for that show—which meant hours and hours of work and using her emergency credit card to buy supplies, but it would be worth it. She could easily clear a couple thousand dollars and have enough money to pay off the bill when it arrived.
Talk about a lucky break. Or was it luck? Did Penny or Dani have anything to do with the invitation? Or Walker? She wouldn’t be surprised if it was him. This was exactly the sort of thing he would do.
She found herself wanting to share her good news with him, only he wasn’t home. These days he put in long hours at Buchanan Enterprises. She hadn’t seen him in nearly a week. She missed him. Funny, six weeks ago she’d barely known who he was. Now everything seemed to remind her of him.
Ever since she’d run away with Mitch and had ended up in Los Angeles, she’d accepted that her taste in men sucked. But now, with Walker in her life, she wondered if that had changed. Had she at last found a good one? A man she could trust to always be there for her?
Because that’s what she wanted—someone she could depend on to stick with her no matter what.
“YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO THIS,” Elissa said stubbornly as she locked her front door. “You’re busy. Go run your company.”
“I’m coming,” Walker told her. “You don’t know what’s going to happen.”
She resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Bobby’s a kid.”
“He’s a guy and he’s eighteen. Anything could happen. You haven’t seen him in a long time. You don’t know anything about him.”
Walker had a point, if only a small one. “Fine. Waste your time pretending to be my bodyguard.”
“It’s my time to waste.”
He led the way to his SUV and held open the passenger door. Zoe and Mrs. Ford had gone to the local senior center for an afternoon of scrapbooking. It was Bring Your Grandchild day.
Elissa was silent until they reached the 405 freeway and headed south. She was meeting Bobby in a coffee shop by Southcenter Mall.
“It’s been a long time,” she said as she looked out the window. “I have no idea what he’ll look like. I was seventeen when I left. He was just a kid. He’ll be practically grown-up by now.”
“You can’t change the past,” Walker told her. “Regrets are a meaningless waste of time.”
“So you never have them?”
“I try not to.”
She was pretty sure everyone had regrets, whether about things done or left undone. If she’d known then what she knew now…
“I’m glad you came along,” she told him. “I don’t think Bobby is dangerous, but it’s nice to have company.”
He gave her a smile that made her insides quiver. What was it about this man that made her want to rip off her clothes and have at it right here in the front seat?
Sure he was good-looking, but that had never moved her before. So why Walker? Was it his strength, both physical and emotional? The way he always seemed to know when she needed a good rescuing? And speaking of that, when, exactly, had she lost the ability to get by on her own?
He mentioned something about one of the restaurants and they talked about work until he pulled up in the parking lot. Suddenly her stomach hurt and she wasn’t sure she could catch her breath.
“I’ve done my best not to think about my family for over five years,” she whispered. “Now that’s not possible. Do you think he’ll recognize me?”
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