Irresistible(Buchanans, Book 2)(82) by Susan Mallery
“I don’t get emotional,” she told him, even as she considered his offer. In her heart she knew that continuing to pay off Neil would only lead to trouble. If she could find someone who would really help, then she could keep Zoe safe.
“You do,” he said. “Okay. Have at it. I’m braced for the fight.”
She smiled. “There isn’t going be a fight. Thank you for the offer and yes, please, find someone to help me.”
He opened his mouth, then closed it. His expression of shock made her giggle.
“I had all my arguments lined up,” he said with a frown. “They were pretty good.”
“You can still use them if you want. I’ll just sit here and listen, and then I can applaud.”
He reached across the sofa and touched her cheek. “Better,” he said. “I like the attitude. It’s been missing lately.”
She covered his fingers with her own. “You’ve been so good to me and I’ve…” Oh, God. She had to apologize, but just thinking about what she’d done made her want to crawl under a rock. “I wanted to tell you I was sorry. About what happened. About what I did. It was wrong and I feel awful. I panicked and reacted but that’s no excuse.”
“No, it’s not. I hate that I went there. It makes me feel as if I haven’t grown at all. I just kept thinking I had to distract you.”
“You did a hell of a job.” He leaned in and kissed her. “Here’s an idea. You quit beating yourself up, I’ll accept your apology and we’ll call it a day.”
He was making it easy on her. “Thank you,” she said. “Was it too awful?”
He kissed her again. “Emotionally it sucked but physically, let’s see. I had a beautiful woman desperate to have her way with me. Every guy should be so abused. And just as a heads-up, you’re never allowed to tell anyone I care about emotions during sex. I have a reputation to think about.”
The last of her guilt and shame faded away as she studied his face.
“Your secret is safe with me,” she promised.
“Good. Now…” He took the wine from her and set both their glasses on the coffee table. “The way I see it, you owe me and I think it’s time to collect.”
Her first instinct was to protest. Not because she didn’t want to make love with him, but because she felt foolish and awkward.
“I’m nervous,” she admitted.
“Nervous as in no?”
She stared into his dark eyes. He would stop if she told him to. He would walk away and never blame her.
“Nervous as in ‘Oh, God, what does he really think of me’?”
He leaned in and kissed her. “That kind of nervous I can handle.”
WALKER DRESSED while Elissa stepped into the shower. It was still dark outside and not much past four in the morning. They’d stayed up way too late making love and he knew she was going to spend her day exhausted. But based on the way she’d moaned and writhed beneath him, he was willing to bet she’d think the night had been a fair trade for sleep. Besides, it was Friday and the end of her workweek.
He considered going upstairs and sleeping for another hour, but then decided to get an early start on his day. He could—
His cell phone rang. He grabbed it, then studied the caller ID. Cal. Which meant…
“Hello?” he said. “Cal?”
“Penny’s in labor,” his brother said, sounding both excited and terrified. “We’re at the hospital. It’s going to be a few hours yet, but I wanted you to know we’re here.”
“Want me to come in now or wait?”
“You can wait. I’m staying pretty close to Penny, so you’d just be hanging out by yourself. But check back with me.”
“Will do. Tell her good luck and that I’ll be thinking about her.”
“Sure. I’m gonna call Reid. See you soon.”
Cal hung up. Elissa walked out of the bathroom, her hair pulled back and a large chicken staring at him from the front of her apron.
“Everything okay?” she asked. “Is it your grandmother?”
He hadn’t given Gloria a single thought. “No, Penny’s in labor.”
Elissa grinned. “At last. I know she was ready to have the baby out. Are you going to the hospital?”
“They just got there. Cal said I should wait. I thought I’d go by this afternoon.”
“First babies can be slow. I was lucky. Zoe only took about six hours, but I’ve heard horror stories of long deliveries. Can I call you later and find out how she’s doing?”
“Of course. Do you want to come by the hospital after work?”
“I’d like to but I don’t want to get in the way.”
“You won’t. Phone me and I’ll let you know if we have a kid yet or not. How’s that?”
“Perfect.” She raised up on her tiptoes and kissed him. “Want coffee?”
“I’d rather have you, but I’ll take what I can get.”
WALKER ARRIVED at the hospital shortly after one in the afternoon. Cal had called to say Penny was ready to deliver, so by the time Walker arrived, Reid was standing in front with good news.
“A girl,” Reid said with a grin as he pounded Walker on the back. “She’s kinda red and squashed, but Penny and Cal think she’s beautiful so don’t say anything.”
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