Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(64) by Susan Mallery
“Maybe everyone has a piece of the truth,” he said. “You can remember the parts you want to remember and let the rest go.”
“I wish I could.”
He put down his fork. “I want to go public with Madeline’s illness. I want to get the story out there so people think about donating. You said she was a rare blood type. I’ve been doing the research and the odds of finding a donor for her aren’t great. I think we can change that.”
Lori didn’t understand. “Go public as in…”
“Talk to the press. Hold interviews. Talk about the importance of donating. Do you know that here, in the States, you have to opt in to a donation program. That the assumption is you’re not interested in donating unless you say otherwise. But in Europe, it’s the opposite. The assumption is people want to donate. If you aren’t interested, you have to opt out. That makes a whole lot more sense to me. I’ve been talking to some donation centers. They’re willing to help coordinate the process with me. With us.” He paused and glanced at her. “Did I get too ahead of myself? Are you pissed?”
Pissed? She leaned over and kissed him. Her eyes burned and she figured the tears weren’t all that far behind.
“You’d do that for my sister? You did the research and now you’re willing to go out there and face the world?”
She wanted to say he couldn’t. That he would be slaughtered in the press. But Madeline’s life was too important. Still, she had to make sure he understood what he was getting into.
“There’s still that article,” she said. “You know any interviewer is going to bring it up.”
Reid shrugged. “The people who matter know the truth about me.”
“Meaning me and four hundred other women,” she teased.
He didn’t smile back. “Meaning you. I’d want to talk to my family. This is going to mean they could be in the spotlight, too.”
He touched her face. “It’s going to be embarrassing and uncomfortable the first couple of times, but then we’ll talk about Madeline and how organ donations save lives. The message will get out. What do I care if a few people make cracks at my expense?”
He was making sense in the best way possible. “I can’t believe you’ve already done research.”
“I’m an impressive kind of guy.”
“Yes, you are.” She leaned in and kissed him again. “More than impressive. You’re spectacular. If you ever need a letter of recommendation, let me know.”
He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her onto his lap. “I just might take you up on that,” he said, before he kissed her back.
REID PARKED in his usual spot, then walked in through the front of the Downtown Sports Bar. A couple of the guys called out to him, he heard a few cracks and kept on moving. Cal, Walker and Dani were already there, in their usual table in the corner. He greeted them.
“I know I’m not late,” he said as he made a fist and banged knuckles with both Cal and Walker, then hugged his baby sister.
“We got here early so we could talk about you,” Dani said with a grin.
“Great. What did you decide?”
“That you might just turn out okay.” She sat back down and pushed his beer toward him. “Actually, we all beat you by about two minutes.”
He tugged on a lock of his sister’s short hair. “I haven’t seen you in a while. What’s going on?”
“Still working for Penny while I look for something else. She’s hoping I’ll change my mind about leaving, but I can’t. I need to get going on something of my own.”
“Where have you been looking?”
“All over the city. There are some interesting places out there.”
“Like where?” Cal asked.
“Valerie’s Garden. Fabulous restaurant, great staff, incredibly strange vegan food. Not for me.”
Reid had never much been into tofu, either.
“You doing okay otherwise?” he asked.
She nodded. “I’m doing fine. Moving on with my life.” She touched his arm. “Don’t worry.”
“We all worry,” Walker said. “It’s part of the job description.”
“Well, I do need help with one thing,” Dani said, looking at Reid. “I want to find out about my father. I have nothing to go on, which means I need to talk to Gloria. What are the odds that her transformation is genuine and that she’ll help me?”
Reid looked at Cal and Walker. They both shrugged.
“She’s changed,” Reid said. “She’s trying.”
“For you guys,” Dani grumbled. “You’re family.”
“She was great to Penny and the baby,” Cal offered. “It’s not like she loved the idea of Penny being pregnant with another guy’s kid but she was friendly. Almost charming. Honestly? It kind of freaked me out.”
“She was good to Elissa and even asked her to bring Zoe on her next visit,” Walker said.
“I’m tempted to talk to her,” Dani said. “But not quite tempted enough.”
“Want me to say something?” Reid asked.
Dani shook her head. “No. This is my dragon. I have to make peace with it or slay it myself. Metaphorically, of course. I’m not advocating killing Gloria…yet.”
“No one thinks you are,” Cal told her. “We’re here for you. You know that, right?”
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