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Lydia's Twin Temptation(Divine Creek Ranch 8)(24)

By:Heather Rainier

“Was it good news?”

“I don’t know that I would call it good news. I need to go visit with the owners, Phil and Marge Howard. They are both at the café right now.”

The thought occurred to Chance that if her employers wanted her to work, there might be a delay getting her back to the ranch. He knew it was likely she would insist on giving and working her two-week notice to them. The thought created a knot in his stomach because he really didn’t want to leave without her.

“Do they need for you to work this morning?”

“They didn’t say anything about that. They offered me the management position that opened up when they fired Mr. Cortez. They said they never received a copy of my resume and job application when I first applied, otherwise they might have dismissed him sooner, given the way he managed the café. They say they are auditing everything in his office and found my money in a labeled envelope in the safe. They want to give me his job.”

Chance tried to hide his worry at that news and asked, “What will you do?”

Lydia smirked. “And turn down the chance to cook whatever I want for two handsome men and be the queen of all I survey? You’re kidding, right?”

His heart did flip-flops in relief, and he let out the huge breath he’d been holding. “You’ve got that right, baby. But you’ll be cooking for more than two men once they get a load of how good we’re eating.”

“Don’t worry about that. I plan to serve a big meal for them and show them firsthand. But I have one little problem I have to deal with first. Two actually.”

“What’s the first one?”

“Gunther isn’t running, and I can’t leave him behind.”

“Piece of cake, baby. What’s the second problem?”

“I have to give my two-week notice. I can’t leave Fort Stockton yet.”

Chance nodded, knowing the possibility had been there. It felt good when she slid her little hand into his as they walked back to the truck. She smiled up at him, and he could see the hint of mischief in her eyes as she said, “Did you really think I would take the management offer?”

Chuckling, he said, “I hoped not, but you had me going for a few seconds. I really want you with us.”

She hugged him beside the truck door and said, “I want that, too. More and more now that the decision is made.”

“Was it a tough decision to make?”

“On the surface, no,” she replied as he helped her into the truck. “But in a way, yes. I like doing things for myself. You know my brothers, and I explained about them always looking out for me, but I want to take care of myself. In a way this idea seemed like me trading one pair of guardians for another. I was doing okay and didn’t need rescuing.”

Chance leaned against her seat as she buckled up and said, “Lydia, if I wanted to ‘play savior,’ I would have left you a thousand dollar tip under my plate and already been back in Divine by now. I wanted you with me. Maybe this is you saving me. Did you ever think of that?”

“No, because you don’t look in need of saving. I, on the other hand, was practically destitute, or at least I was until we found my belongings and my money. I guess all we can do now is go see what happens next.”

Chance climbed in on his side and looked out the windshield one more time. “This is a pretty place. I’m glad you showed it to me,” he said as he started the truck.

“I like it here. This is one of the few places I could come where I didn’t feel so lonely with the world pressing down on me.”

“I’m glad you had it, baby. Ready?” he asked as she smiled up at him. He’d do just about anything to have her smile at him like that all the time. Her eyes almost glowed with happiness, and she really did look gorgeous with the turquoise on. He owed the ladies of Discretion for helping him to woo Lydia home.

The parking lot of the café was overflowing when they pulled in a few minutes later. Lydia groaned when they saw the crowd waiting in the lobby through the front window. “Chance?”

“You want to go help them, don’t you?”

“They let me off this morning when they really couldn’t afford to, with all these people in town for that reunion  .”

“Why don’t I drop you off and go see about Gunther. Call me when you know what time you’ll get off.”

“Okay. I’ll know something then about whether they need me to stay two full weeks or not.”

He opened the door on her side of the truck and asked, “You need me to run and get your uniform for you?”

“There are extras here if they want me to change. I’ll be in touch,” she said as she unlatched her seat belt and put her arms around his neck. He hugged her and swung her down until she landed safely on her feet, and then he kissed her soft, full lips.