Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(13) by Susan Mallery
“Did you go to the grocery store?” she asked.
“I went online and they delivered. There wasn’t anything in this kitchen.”
At least the Internet was good for something, she thought. “Gloria’s meals are delivered fully cooked. I bring in my own stuff.”
He shrugged and dug around for a large frying pan. “Now we have real food.”
“What are you doing?”
“Making you a quesadilla.”
She wasn’t sure which shocked her more—that he knew how, or that he was making one for her. “You can cook?”
“I have a few specialties. I’m very multitalented.”
“I brought my lunch.”
He glanced at her. “No, that’s not it. Let me think. Oh, yeah. How about ‘Reid, thanks so much for making me food and saving me from death.’”
She smiled reluctantly. “You have a well-developed sense of the dramatic.”
“I’m used to being adored.”
She was sure of that. Although some of his fans had turned against him.
She wondered what it would be like to be so much in the public eye, then decided it couldn’t be a good thing. Complicating an already difficult situation was the fact that Reid had a real habit of making lousy choices when it came to women.
As he heated the pan and assembled the quesadilla, he asked, “How’s it going with Gloria?”
“Great. She’s making progress.”
“She’s a challenge,” he told her. “You can say it.”
“Not even under threat of torture.”
He raised his eyebrows. “So I was right. Admit it.”
“I won’t. I still believe her family helped make her the way she is. She’s alone and lonely.”
“She’s crabby, difficult and mean.”
“She’s not mean. Not to me.”
“You don’t know her well enough,” Reid said as he slid the folded tortilla onto the hot pan.
Lori set down her empty glass and tried to find something to look at other than the man at the stove. If she didn’t distract herself, she was afraid she’d start drooling.
It didn’t seem to matter that his character was suspect. Her body wasn’t interested in the three thousand other women he’d had sex with. It just wanted to be number three thousand and one. How sad was that?
She picked up the top sheet of paper from the stack Reid had been going through.
“What’s this?” she asked as she scanned a letter from a boy wanting an autograph.
“A bunch of crap sent over by my manager,” Reid grumbled. “I let his office handle all my fan mail, which might have been a mistake.”
Lori remembered the slams about Reid ignoring kids in need in the newspaper article.
He flipped the tortilla. “I didn’t want to bother,” he said grimly. “That’s my big crime. So I trusted others to take care of things and apparently they did a piss-poor job. Seth’s response to everything was to send a check.”
“Seth’s the business manager?”
He nodded. “I was invited to a hospital opening and didn’t know. They put me on the program and everything. That’s not good.”
“But if you didn’t know, it’s not your fault.” Wait! Was she defending him? She resisted the need to slap herself. Didn’t she consider him useless? Hello, naked pictures. That had to mean something.
“Tell that to the people waiting for me to show up.” He grabbed a plate from the cupboard and slid the quesadilla onto it. “It gets worse. Some kid who was dying wanted to meet me as his last wish. But I didn’t show up. Instead he got an autographed picture and a signed baseball.”
Reid handed her the food, then slumped down across from her. “It all just sucks.”
She was torn, both feeling sorry for him and wanting to shake him. “You’re some famous baseball player, right?” she asked before taking a bite. The quesadilla was perfect—hot, with melted cheese, grilled chicken and just a hint of spice.
“Used to be.”
“Then you’re in a position to make a difference on a much bigger scale than most people. Things went bad. You can’t change that, but you can fix things. The paper mentioned some kids who got stranded with no return ticket. Pay them back. Call the kid and go see him now. Manage your fan mail, yell at your manager or fire him. Get involved.”
Reid stared out the window over the sink. “It’s not that easy.”
Okay, now shaking him had a definite priority over pity. “It can be. I know you were too busy with your exciting life before, but you don’t have that excuse anymore. You have a responsibility. Be the person everyone expects you to be. Grow up. You might surprise yourself.”
“You don’t think much of me, do you?”
He gave her a slow, sexy smile. One that gave a whole new meaning to the phrase blown away. If he’d shown her the slightest bit of interest, she would have ripped off her clothes and done it with him right there on the kitchen table.
Of course, according to Cassie’s article, Reid wasn’t all that great in bed. Except she had a feeling Cassie was lying. She had to be. Everything about Reid, the way he moved, he teased, he spoke, declared that the man loved women. All women.
Well, all women except her.
Reality splashed over her like cold water. Time to end the fantasy fest. She wasn’t his type. She would never be someone he could see as appealing. If he knew how he got to her, he would only pity her.
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