Sizzling(Buchanans, Book 3)(74) by Susan Mallery
The twins looked at each other, then at Lori. “But we like this.”
Lori tossed them their clothes. “Do you? Really? Are you proud of yourselves? Can you tell your grandmother how you spend your day? When you were little, didn’t you want more than this?”
The twin on the left blinked. “I always liked working with animals. I thought I’d work in a vet’s office, you know?”
“Fine. Do that. Do anything. In about ten years your looks are going to go. Then what? You need to think about your future. Open an IRA, start learning about current events. Grow up. In the meantime, get dressed and get out of here. I’m with Reid and he doesn’t cheat on me.”
The twins looked at each other again, then shrugged. “Okay,” the one on the right said.
They got up and dressed.
“We’re sorry about barging in,” the spokestwin said. “We didn’t know Reid was serious about anyone.”
Reid had kept quiet through the conversation, sensing things would go better if Lori was in charge. Now he walked over to her and put his arm around her.
“I’m serious,” he said clearly. “Totally serious. Involved. We’re together.”
The twins smiled. “That’s good. Okay. Well, good luck with everything.”
They collected their purses and left.
He waited until their footsteps had faded, then looked at Lori.
“You saved me.”
“Apparently. I can’t believe you dated those two. They give airheads a bad name.”
He stared into her hazel eyes. “I didn’t date them, Lori. I had sex with them. That’s who I was. A lowlife bastard who accepted every interesting invitation sent my way. I didn’t require anything of them and I sure as hell didn’t require anything of myself.”
It was as honest as he’d ever been in his life.
“I’m not proud of that past. I won’t apologize for it, but I’m done with it. I’m not that guy anymore.”
He braced himself for a crack or worse, her withdrawal. Instead she leaned in and kissed him.
“I know,” she whispered. “You’ve turned into someone quite amazing.”
He liked the sound of that. He put his hands on her waist and pulled her close. “I’ve always been amazing.”
“Okay, maybe. But now it doesn’t have anything to do with getting naked.”
He cupped her rear and squeezed. “It could.”
She laughed softly. “I have to get downstairs to your grandmother, but we’re on for later, right?”
She smiled and he smiled and then it was like someone hit him in the chest with a baseball bat. He felt the impact and the air rushed out of him and he couldn’t breathe.
He loved her. Honest to God, he loved her. Everything about her. The way she talked, how her brain worked, the scent of her skin, her sense of humor, her combination of toughness and caring.
She was the best part of his world and she’d made him into a better man. He wanted her and he needed her.
He wanted to be with her always. He wanted to marry her.
“Reid? Are you all right?”
He wanted to tell her right that second, then he hesitated. Telling Lori he loved her was a big deal and he wanted to say it right. He wanted the moment to be special and powerful. He didn’t want her thinking he was just grateful for how she’d handled the twins.
Tonight, he thought. When they were alone. He would confess his feelings and propose. Was there time to go buy a ring?
Her cell phone rang. She pulled it out of her pocket and glanced at the screen.
“It’s Madeline,” she said, paling slightly. “She would only bother me at work if there was an emergency.” She pushed the talk button. “Hello?”
Reid waited while she listened. As he watched, the worry faded and elation took its place.
“Are you sure?” she asked. “For real? When? Oh, my God! I’ll be right there. I know. It’s amazing. I love you.”
She hung up and grinned at him. “She got the call. There’s a donor.”
LORI SAT on Madeline’s bed and counted socks. “We don’t have to worry about you bringing everything,” she said. “I can go get anything you need.”
“I know.” Madeline’s lips turned up in a smile, but her eyes looked worried. “I’ll feel better when I have my suitcase packed.”
Lori suspected her sister’s issues weren’t about the suitcase. “Are you okay?”
“Sure. I’m scared but excited. Did I mention scared?”
“Scared?” Reid asked as he carried in an empty suitcase and put it on Madeline’s bed. “Who’s scared?”
“No one,” Madeline said with a smile. “Just maybe a little chicken.”
“Which beats being a big chicken,” Reid said. “Or a duck.”
Lori stood and pulled her sister close. “This is a great thing. You know that, right? It’s your chance.”
“I know. I’m so grateful to find a match. I wasn’t sure we ever would. I’m such a difficult blood type. But we did and now I have a chance again. That’s all good. Reid, I don’t want you to think I’m not grateful. You put yourself out there for me.”
“I delivered an important message,” he said. “Nothing more.” He patted her arm. “I’ll leave you two to your packing.”
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