Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(73) by Susan Mallery
“Thank you,” she whispered.
“You’re welcome.” He kissed her. “Okay, you either have to get out of bed right this second or brace yourself to be taken again.”
She laughed. “As much as I want to be ravished, I have to get to the restaurant.” She touched his cheek. “See you at four?”
“I’ll be there.”
She dressed quickly, then retouched her makeup. Twenty minutes later she entered the restaurant to find them clearing away brunch.
Edouard met her with a growl. “It is ridiculous,” he told her by way of greeting. “Do you know who I am? I am a famous, incredibly talented chef. I am gifted. You had me spend the morning supervising cooks making omelets and Belgian waffles. I am insulted.”
“Sounds like trouble in your personal life to me,” Dani said, unfazed by his complaints.
“My personal life is fine. It is excellent. It is much better than yours.”
She wanted to tell him he was wrong. That Ryan did things to her body that might not be legal in some states and that until doing the wild things with him, she hadn’t known she was a screamer. But sharing that kind of personal information would make her vulnerable and right now she needed to keep control of the kitchen.
“If you’re so happy, then handling brunch should be easy,” she said. “It’s only one Sunday a month. You know we rotate the assignment.”
“It is torture and I hate you for making me do it.”
She smiled. “Good to know.”
He narrowed his gaze, then walked away. She wanted to call him back and give him a big hug. Or break into song. The sun was shining, the sky an amazing shade of blue and her life was perfect in nearly every way.
She walked to the front of the restaurant and saw there were only a few customers lingering over coffee. The buffet stations had been broken down and stored until they would be needed next week. She was about to return to her office, when she saw a young woman carrying a little boy walk into the restaurant.
The hostess was long gone and most of the servers were in the back. Dani didn’t see anyone else who could help her, so she walked to her and smiled.
“Hi, we’ve stopped serving brunch. Sorry.”
“That’s okay. I’m not here to eat. Is Ryan around?”
Ryan? Dani looked from the woman to the toddler, then back. “Ah, no. He’s not due in until four.”
“Huh. I just called his apartment and he didn’t answer. Still, it’s a beautiful day so I’m sure he’s out somewhere. I wonder if I should try to find the apartment or wait here.”
Dani didn’t know what to think. She almost said that Ryan had probably been in the shower and the woman should try again, but she didn’t. Her body felt as stiff as wood and she wondered if she would be able to speak.
Fortunately it wasn’t an issue. The other woman kept chattering away. “I know I’m just dropping in. It’s a surprise. I told him I’d be staying with my mother another week, but she was making us both crazy. It’s the grandma thing. Nothing I did was right, which is always the case, but I’m not usually living with her. I would have come up sooner, but I had to finish my orals.” She smiled shyly. “I’m getting my Ph.D. in nutrition with an emphasis on eating disorders.”
She stopped and shook her head. “My God, listen to me talking and talking. It’s just for the past three days it’s been me and Alex here. I’m so excited to see another adult.”
The toddler stuck his fingers in his mouth.
The woman was tall and thin. Pretty in a sensible sort of way. Dani’s gaze dropped to her left hand and the diamond band on her ring finger.
The cold inside started to hurt. She told herself it wasn’t possible, but she couldn’t make herself believe it.
“I’m Dani Buchanan,” she said. “I work here with Ryan. He didn’t mention any visitors.”
“Like I said, I’m a surprise. Alex and I weren’t due here for a few more days.” She held out her free hand. “I’m Jen, Ryan’s wife.”
WALKER PARKED in front of Cal’s house, then hurried inside. Reid’s car wasn’t there, meaning Cal hadn’t been able to get a hold of him. Which was fine—Walker was ready to take care of this himself.
Anger burned hot and bright inside of him. With Hugh, beating the crap out of the guy hadn’t been possible, but shit-bastard Ryan wasn’t in a wheelchair…yet.
He walked in without knocking and saw Dani on the sofa, curled up and leaning against Penny’s shoulder. His sister looked up when he entered.
Her face was wet and flushed, her eyes swollen. “He’s m-married,” she said on a sob. “He’s married and he never told me, never hinted. He never said anything. I can’t believe it. Even when we talked about how Hugh had cheated, he never said a-anything.”
As he moved toward her, she rose and stepped into his embrace. He held her tight, rocking her.
There weren’t any words. Nothing he could say would make this right. He hated that Ryan had done this to her right after Hugh’s rejection and betrayal.
He glanced at Cal, who looked as if he wanted to put his fist through something. Penny had obviously been crying.
“This just sucks,” Penny murmured. “I hate him.”
“Me, too,” Dani murmured against Walker’s chest. He felt her tears dampening his shirt. “He has a kid. A little boy. How could he have slept with me while he has a kid? That’s so wrong.” She raised her head and stared into his eyes.
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