Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(72) by Susan Mallery
“She’s at a birthday party.”
“Too bad. I would have liked to meet her.” He shook his head. “I don’t know why you insist on keeping us apart. She’s as much my child as yours.”
“She’s not your child. She’s not your anything. You don’t care about her. She’s just leverage.”
“You’re right. You should have had me sign off on the kid,” he told her. “Funny you didn’t, because you were always so good at the details. Could it be you secretly wanted to keep me in your life? Am I the one who got away?”
He asked the question sincerely, as if he truly believed it was possible she missed him. As if she didn’t regret every second spent with him.
She wanted to scream that he was nothing but a druggie loser. That if she had her way, he would be sent to an island and never rescued. That the only reason she hadn’t gotten him to sign a release for Zoe was because she’d left with almost nothing and she couldn’t have afforded a lawyer.
“Go away,” she said. “Just go away.”
“I will, Elissa. But first you have to give me what I want.”
Money. It always came down to money.
Thank God she’d taken home her earnings from the day before. Still, she hated handing over her cash box, knowing how much was inside.
She reached for the small metal box and opened it. Before she could figure out a way to conceal the amount from him, he grabbed it and fingered the thick stack of bills.
“Sweet,” he said as he pulled out all the tens and twenties, along with more than half the fives. “I’ll leave you some change.” He pocketed the money, then handed her the box. “In case you get any ideas about calling the cops on me and claiming I stole the money, remember this. I know where you live, Elissa. That means I know where the kid is. I could come in the night and steal her away. Just like that.” He snapped his fingers. “Then you’d never see her again. You know I’d do it. So think of this as cheap insurance.”
He gave her a grin, then sauntered away.
Elissa stood staring after him. Now that she was alone, fear crashed into her, with panic not far behind. He knew where she worked and he claimed to know where she lived. How was she ever going to keep Zoe safe?
If Neil thought he was onto a good thing, he might not go away this time. He might keep coming back until there wasn’t any more money, then make good on his threat. She had to stop him. She had to find a way.
Elissa desperately wanted to leave. She wanted to be home with her child, with the doors locked and the blinds closed. She wanted to hide out until all this was over.
But she couldn’t do that. She could only figure out a way to get enough money to hire a really good attorney who would make Neil go away forever.
DANI ROLLED OVER and smiled at Ryan. “I have to go,” she said, wishing that weren’t such a true statement. In a perfect world, she could stay in bed with him forever.
He glanced at the clock on the nightstand and sighed. “I’m not due in until four. Can you wait until then?”
It was just after two on Sunday, which meant brunch was winding down. “Everyone’s pretty crabby after brunch,” she said. “I need to go smooth feathers.”
“Agreed.” He fingered the ends of her hair. “Our customers love brunch and the staff hates it. Okay. I’ll let you go…this one time.”
“How brave of you.” She leaned over and kissed him. He moved against her and she felt his leg slip between hers.
The fact that he could move independently still startled her. She’d enjoyed their lovemaking, but in truth some section of her emotional self had stood apart, openmouthed and hyperaware of how different it all was.
“What are you thinking?” he asked.
“You don’t have a nothing face. What is it?”
She hesitated, then sighed. “I’m thinking about Hugh.”
“Wow.” He sat up and leaned against the padded headboard. “Okay, should I worry that you’re thinking about your ex-husband while you’re in bed with me?”
“No. I don’t miss him or any of that. It’s just…” She sat up, careful to cover herself with the sheet. “I told you that he was in a wheelchair.”
Ryan nodded, his blue eyes focused totally on her face.
“We’d been lovers before that happened. Hugh was only the second guy I’d been with. After the accident, it was never the same. I mean we did stuff, but traditional sex was out of the question.”
She bit her lower lip, not sure how much to share or even how much she needed to share. “I was fine with that. I read some books and talked to his doctor and physical therapist. We would have needed help for me to get pregnant, but that seemed a long way off. I don’t mean to sound disloyal or like a horrible person, but being intimate was always work. Physical work for me. There were things I had to worry about. But with you, it’s easy. Your legs move. You can feel what I’m doing. Is that awful?”
He gathered her into his arms and kissed her. “Dani, the man left you and then you found out he was cheating on you. You owe him nothing. I think he was damn lucky to have you and an idiot to leave you. I’m glad you enjoyed being with me. I’m glad it was easy. You’ve earned that.”
The combination of his strong arms and supportive words made her heart flutter. How had she gotten so lucky so soon after her divorce and how did she make sure this never, ever ended?
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online