Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(49) by Susan Mallery
“Worse,” she continued, “It turned out to be total crap. He’d been having an affair with one of his students. Or maybe more. I’m not sure. I caught him cheating.”
“I’m sorry,” Gary said and reached out to take her hand in his.
She let him and then studied their joined fingers. His touch felt nice. Safe. There wasn’t even one tingle, but after all she’d been through, she’d decided that sexual attraction was highly overrated.
“So you’ll get over him,” he told her. “You’ll recover.”
“I’m over Hugh,” she said wryly. “If only my sad story ended there.”
“Oh, please. Why make a fool of myself once when I can easily do it again?”
He winced. “What happened?”
“Rebound guy. Ryan. He was perfect. Charming, handsome, caring and everything I needed to help me get over Hugh. He knew exactly what to say, how to say it.”
“So what was the problem?” Gary asked.
“He was married. Yup, a lying, cheating weasel dog. I thought about having him shot. One of my brothers used to be a Marine. But in the end I let him live.”
“Probably for the best. You wouldn’t like prison.”
“At least I wouldn’t have to deal with my very tragic love life.”
“It is a unique story,” he said.
She smiled. “I agree. I doubt you can top it.”
“I can’t. So now what?”
“Now I find a new job and look for my father. Which is mostly your fault. You keep talking about the importance of family and now I have to go for it. I just don’t know how to start.”
“Have you tried a private detective?”
She shook her head. “I never thought of it before. Maybe one could help. I don’t have very much to go on.” In truth she had nothing, but miracles happened.
“I can give you a couple of names. Both really good at what they do.”
She pulled her hand free. “Excuse me? How does a guy who teaches theology and math know about private detectives?”
“I’m a man of many talents.”
“Apparently. Okay, sure. Names would be great.”
He pulled a pen out of his jacket pocket and then passed over a napkin. “Why don’t you give me your number and I’ll call you with the information.”
Fifteen minutes ago she wouldn’t have hesitated to give him the information. Gay Gary was safe. But if he wasn’t, and why would he lie about that, things were different. What if he called her for other reasons? Like to ask her out?
Dani wasn’t sure how she felt about that. Getting involved should be illegal in her case. Yet this was Gary. She liked him and nothing about him even hinted that he could ever be a threat. Of course the neighbors of serial killers always went on about how nice they were.
Still she wrote down her cell number and passed it back to him. Sometimes you just had to take a chance on people.
LORI ARRIVED FOR WORK a few minutes early. She locked her car, then stared up at the imposing house. For the first time since being hired to help Gloria, she didn’t want to go inside.
She could come up with a thousand reasons why, but they all covered up a single truth. She was scared. Truly, down to her bones, terrified.
Yesterday and last night had been incredible. Being with Reid had made her feel in the best way possible. They’d made love one more time before she’d finally gone home. It had been well after midnight and Madeline had waited up.
The teasing had been worth it, Lori thought as she walked toward the front door and let herself in with her key. She’d endured the teasing happily because she was still glowing from all that Reid had done to her body.
And it wasn’t even all about the sex. It had been great—but not really the best part. The best part had been being with him. Spending time with the man and finding out she liked him even more than she’d thought possible.
Which made the morning after even more awkward. What had their time together meant to him? What was he thinking? Was he sorry? Did he want to pretend it had never happened? What were his expectations? She supposed she should be asking the same of herself and assuming she got a say in how things went, but that was a level of maturity she wasn’t going to reach in this lifetime. She would have to settle for being terrified he had regrets.
Because she didn’t. She wanted more of last night. She wanted to talk and laugh and touch. She wanted to be with him in every way possible.
She was realistic enough to accept that a good part of his interest in her was due to the fact that he was basically trapped in the house. There weren’t the regular hordes of admirers all around. When that changed, so would his opinion of her. But until then…
She knew that as a strong, self-sufficient woman she should demand answers. Instead she decided that not acting scared out of her mind would be enough of a win for today.
She hung up her coat in the hall closet and set her purse on the shelf, then walked into the kitchen.
Reid was already there. He stood with his back to her, which meant she could look all she wanted, so she did.
Her gaze dropped to his butt, which deserved its own billboard campaign. A hot, needy quivering began low in her belly. She must have made a sound because he turned.
For a second he just looked at her. She couldn’t seem to bring herself to move. Fear tightened her chest until her heart hurt. Then he smiled.
It was a slow, sweet, sexy smile. The kind designed to reduce a sensible woman to a puddle. It about did her in. Then he walked over, put his arm around her waist, pulled her to him and kissed her so thoroughly she practically floated.
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