Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(68) by Susan Mallery
He flipped through a couple of papers. “What else? No real staff problems right now, but they come up. The older servers can resent new staff, but they work it out. The restaurant runs fairly smoothly, but there are always hassles.”
He paused and Dani sensed he was waiting for her to elaborate on what the hassles could be.
“Late deliveries, missing linens, a batch of bad wine, an off dish that everyone starts sending back,” she said. “The party of twenty that booked the private room changes their mind about the menu a half hour before they show up. That sort of thing?”
Bernie nodded. “Right. Good. Okay, then let’s talk about your experience.”
Over the next hour, she was grilled on everything from her college education to handling the temporary head chef while Penny had been on maternity leave.
When she’d finished, Bernie leaned back in his chair. “We want someone to start right away,” he said. “Are you available?”
Dani nodded. “I’ve given my notice at The Waterfront. I can leave anytime.”
“You’re clear on the fact that my mother is a big part of the restaurant? She’s going to get involved and tell you what to do. She’ll swear she won’t, but don’t believe her for a second.”
“I like your mother,” Dani admitted with a grin. “We’ll work well together.”
“Then the job is yours, if you want it.” He named an impressive salary. “You’ll get a cut of the profits. I’d like you to start out during the day. It’s not so crazy then and you can feel your way. Once you’re up to speed, we’ll split shifts, so neither of us is always working nights.”
Dani stared at him. “You’re offering me the job? Just like that?”
“Just like that. I go with my gut. You’ll do well here, Dani. So what do you think?”
LORI TRIED TO FOCUS on the fact that Reid had asked her out to dinner—like a date. Because worrying about a date was far less scary than thinking about meeting the board that would direct Reid’s new foundation.
Nothing was official. The lawyers were still drawing up papers, but everyone was getting together to discuss direction, purpose, a mission statement.
Lori had gone online the previous evening to figure out what a mission statement was. She’d looked at other charities to find out what they were trying to do with their money. In a way it was good she was so scared about the board meeting because it distracted her from what her sister had said a couple of days ago, when they’d watched Reid taping his interview. That he’d put himself in the public eye and had endured humiliation for her. She couldn’t seem to get her mind around that.
While it didn’t rank as high as Kyle Reese’s “I crossed time for you, Sarah Connor” in the first Terminator movie, it was damn close. A guy like Reid having to defend his sexual performance on national television was way worse than any punishment she could come up with—and yet he’d done it willingly. It had even been his idea.
Had he really done it for her? Because he cared about her? The possibility made her chest tighten and her eyes burn. She was afraid to believe, because if she believed, she would have to admit she’d fallen in love with him.
They parked in the lot of the Doubletree Hotel in Bellevue and walked into the foyer. Reid took her hand in his and led the way to the conference room he’d rented for the meeting.
“I’m nervous,” she admitted.
“Then we can be nervous together.”
She looked at him. “Why are you worried? You’re doing an incredible thing.”
“I’m some dumb jock who’s been front page gossip. I picked a hell of a board. Why will important people with expertise in what I want to do take me seriously?”
“Because you have the checkbook.”
“I want to be more than just the name on the building,” he told her. “I’d rather not use my name at all, but I know I’ll be a good front man.” He shrugged.
She put her hand on his chest. “You’re doing the right thing. I swear you are. I’m impressed. Seriously.”
His gaze locked with hers. “That means a lot to me.”
“I’m glad, because it’s true.”
They smiled at each other, then Reid squared his shoulders. “Ready?”
She nodded even though she wasn’t and they walked into the conference room.
Eight people already sat there. Five men and three women. They were all over forty, well-dressed and chatting as if they knew each other.
Lori instantly felt out of place. It wasn’t her clothes—she’d had Madeline help her pick out a conservative but attractive skirt and jacket, and her shoes were new and more expensive than she wanted to admit. It was that these people were some of the richest and most successful in the country and she was a girl who had grown up in a double-wide.
Reid introduced everyone. There were two CEOs, a founding executive from Microsoft, a woman whose family owned banks and other people who professionally gave away millions.
When they were seated, Reid began.
“I appreciate each of you agreeing to serve on my board. I don’t know most of you—my business manager gave me a list of names and I started asking around. You’re the best at what you do and I’m going to need that. I have no experience with philanthropy, but that’s about to change. I want to improve the world, one kid at a time, through sports. That’s my mission statement. It may be as simple as new cleats for football season or as complex as designing and building a stadium after a hurricane. Let the other charities take on diseases, I want us to figure out ways to improve kids’ lives through sports of all kinds.”
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