Randy’s Donuts is a familiar landmark near LAX.
Inglewood, Los Angeles, Compton, and La Puente, California
There aren’t many big doughnuts still standing — in fact, maybe just these ones in California, unsurprisingly revered by googie-eyed shutterbugs and pop culture pundits. What’s nice about the attractions is that they continue to operate exclusively as doughnut bakeries, where you can still grab a bag of honey-glazed, jelly-filled happiness.
The big doughnut at Randy’s Donuts, Inglewood, CA, is a few miles north of LAX Airport off the 405. Trees and brush obscure the freeway view more than they must have in 1953, when the Big Donut Drive-in chain opened. Once up the exit ramp and on the cross-street, the 22-foot diameter snack appears poised to roll off an otherwise uninspired drive-thru store.
Randy’s is a destination with Hollywood star status. It appears over and over as movie backdrop, in obliquely angled atmospheric LA montages or as CGI damage in the latest disaster or alien cataclysm. The big doughnut needs a regular smog and soot scrub — a black grime is caked across the top and settled around the texture nubbins. The neighborhood itself is a little grimy.
But…. the doughnuts baked at Randy’s are fresh and tasty — honey-glazed, chocolate drenched, and fat bearclaws acquired at the drive-thru window from friendly staff. Randy’s sells souvenir hats, and a T-shirt featuring an illustration of the building.
Dale’s Donuts in Compton is a lot like Randy’s, but apparently less convenient for movie stardom.
About ten miles southeast of Randy’s, west of the 110, stands Donut King II, which sports an identical though lesser known structure. It’s been painted bright yellow with rough red lettering that reads “Donut King II.”
Another vestige of the Big Donut chain is called Kindle’s Donuts, on South Normandie Avenue and West Century Boulevard in LA.
Head east to La Puente to admire our final California doughnut landmark.
The Donut Hole
The Donut Hole in La Puente is more immersive for the car-bound than Randy’s, since you can actually drive through its brown double-dunker portal. Its also a darling of film location scouts, since it sits conveniently within the “Zone.”
The Donut Hole was built in 1968, the two hollow ends fashioned from fiberglass and spanning 26 feet. One of a chain of five doughnut shops, this is the one that has survived. Plunked down in a typical store-jammed suburbia, the Hole’s digestive system is taxed as a stop-and-go stream of cars are gulped down and unceremoniously pooted out. The fresh-baked choices are arrayed within, trayed along interior windows. We recommend buying an assortment bag of orange topped, plain and glazed.
You can drive through The Donut Hole in La Puente.
You can bolt them down on your way to a Muffler Man within easy striking distance in El Monte.
Randy’s Donuts in Los Angeles
Randy’s Donuts is an LA landmark that has been serving donuts for over 50 years. This shop has long been featured in movies and has become a go-to place for anyone visiting the area, not to mention locals that have grown accustomed to their well-crafted donuts. At one minute off the freeway and close to LAX, it is a well-trafficked location, and for good reason, as Randy’s Donuts are great. Here is all the information.
- $1-$3 for donuts
- Open 24 hours a day
- Not a great part of town at night
Rams 2019 Superbowl Appearance
In early 2019, Randy’s was painted for the LA Rams Super Bowl appearance, and I went down there to make a video about the fun event which you can check out below.
A little history on Randy’s and the movies it has been in are as follows:
Randy’s was built-in 1953 as the second location of the now-defunct Big Donut Drive-In chain by Russell C. Wendell, a donut machine salesman. The building was featured in the films Earth Girls Are Easy, Mars Attacks!, The Golden Child, Into the Night, Coming to America, Stripped to Kill, Problem Child 2, Breathless, Californication, California Girls, 2012, Iron Man 2, Volcano, “Crocodile Dundee in L.A., and Love Letters.
The Donut Shop
If all of this doesn’t get you excited for a visit to Randy’s Donuts, then know that their donuts are still some of the cheapest around (most cost less than 2 dollars) and that they are open 24 hours a day with two drive-thru windows and a walk-up window. I have been coming here for the better part of a decade, and I do have to say that I love their donuts, mainly the devil’s food one.
As a huge fan of donuts in general, I fancy myself to be somewhat of a connoisseur, and Randy’s did not let me down. I had an apple fritter, and a chocolate old-fashioned, and both were amazing. The chocolate old-fashioned was my favorite, though, as it was chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. It was truly mouth-watering. Also, note planes are flying over every five or so minutes on their way to LAX, so it is fun to sit and eat a donut while watching them fly in.
I would highly recommend Randy’s Donuts for both the LA experience and the great donuts. Let me know what you think and check out the photos below. I cannot wait for my next time at Randy’s.
Randy’s Donuts Is About To Get A Hole Lot Bigger
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In October 2014, Mark Kelegian got lucky. Really lucky.
He was browsing BizBuySell.com, a public business sales website, when he stumbled across a listing for an unnamed restaurant. There were no details except that it was well-known and originally built in the 1960s.
Kelegian, a retired lawyer, assumed it was one of L. A.’s old school Jewish deli’s, maybe Canter’s or Langer’s. He dialed the number on the listing and a young broker picked up. She said the mystery restaurant was Randy’s, the 24-hour drive-through donut shop that also happens to be one of the most recognizable landmarks in Los Angeles.
He bought it on the spot. At $2 million, it was a steal.
For the next three months, Kelegian says his office received over 100 phone calls from angry investors.
“Everyone in L.A. wanted to buy Randy’s first,” he says. “Most of the calls went something like, ‘Son of a bitch!'”
Kelegian says that for years, various people had been telling Larry and Ron Weintraub, the two brothers who owned the shop, come to us first if you ever want to sell. Had the Weintraubs held a bidding war, they would have found plenty of eager buyers with deep pockets. (Maybe Irving Azoff would have wanted to add to his portfolio of classic L.A. restaurants?) They almost certainly would’ve made more than $2 million, much more. But for whatever reason, they decided to bury their donut goldmine as a nearly anonymous listing on the internet.
Kelegian just happened to be the prospector who found it.
Randy’s owners claim the drive-through is “the most recognized and iconic donut shop in the world,” and they’re probably right.
Reportedly designed by Henry J. Goodwin, the giant donut is 32.5 feet tall and is often the first thing passengers recognize as their planes descend into LAX.
The oversized pastry has made cameos in Mars Attacks, Coming to America and Breathless. Tony Stark sits in its hole in a memorable scene from Iron Man 2, a dude in a yellow apron gets down with it in Justin Timberlake’s music video “Can’t Stop The Feeling” and in a Simpsons episode called “Attack of the 50 Foot Eyesores,” Homer steals a concrete donut from a Springfield fast food joint that seems like a combo of Randy’s and Bob’s Big Boy.
Photograph caption dated May 25, 1986 reads: “Randy’s Donuts, located on Manchester Blvd. gets an approving mention in ‘Roadside America.’ In fact, almost all of L.A. gets an approving mention.” (Herald Examiner Collection/Los Angeles Public Library Collection)
When the shop opened in 1953 as the second location of Big Donut Drive-In, it became one of L.A.’s weirdest and most literally shaped buildings — and that’s saying a lot in a city with a rich history of programmatic architecture. The Big Donut Drive-In chain, owned by donut salesman Russell C. Wendell, expanded to 10 locations. They all featured outrageously large donut statues.
Today, five Big Donut locations still stand, although their names have changed. They including Kindle’s Donuts in South L.A. (the first location in the chain), Donut King II in Gardena, Dale’s Donuts in Compton, Bellflower Bagels in Bellflower and, of course, Randy’s.
In 1976, when Wendell was selling off the individual stores, Robert Eskow bought two of them, including the La Cienega/Manchester location. Eskow renamed them “Randy’s Donuts and Sandwiches” after his son and, in 1978, he sold the shop near LAX to his cousins, Ron and Larry Weintraub.
The Weintraubs kept the name and it stood as the only Randy’s location until 2017, when Kelegian began opening new outposts. Randy’s currently has three shops — in Hollywood, El Segundo and the Westfield Century City mall — in addition to its flagship.
Now in the first wave of franchising the business, Kelegian has half a dozen new locations in the pipeline. Inland Empire, Orange County, downtown L.A., Pasadena, Santa Monica — basically, every zip code in Southern California is about to become part of the Randy’s donut empire. Kelegian also plans to franchise out of state but he has a bigger goal: world domination, or in business parlance, “international expansion.”
Plans are in the works to open Randy’s in South Korea and the Philippines. The South Korean location will be run by a family that operates more than a thousand chicken restaurants, Kelegian says. In Manilla, they’re planning to build an almost-to-scale replica of the original, complete with the giant donut.
Why these two countries? “Donuts are very popular in the Asian market,” Kelegian says. He’s also eyeing opportunities in the Middle East.
Keligian, who lives in Newport Beach, was an attorney for 30 years before retiring. He’s also in the casino business. Along with his brother and father, he owns the Oceans 11 Casino in Oceanside, Crystal Casino in Compton, and Commerce Casino in (you guessed it) Commerce, among others.
He bought Randy’s with money from his personal bank account and is self-funding the expansion in the hopes that his two daughters will take over. His eldest, Nicolette, is currently Randy’s vice president, while his other daughter works at Shake Shack’s corporate office in New York, although she has a job waiting for her at home, should she choose to return to California.
A mean eats a donut in his car at Randy’s Donuts, circa February 2017. (pandabearphotography/Flickr Creative Commons)
The family has no plans to change the classic ingredients — Kelegian claims it’s the flour that makes the donuts so good — or the prices.
“You can still get a classic glazed donut for $1.15,” Kelegian says. “That’s what separates us from the artisanal donuts around the city.”
The new Randy’s locations will have an updated coffee menu, with iced drinks and espresso, as well as Randy’s swag, like a limited edition store-themed shoe, made by Toms.
And, of course, most locations will feature the signature rooftop donut.
“All the locations where we can’t put a giant donut on the roof, we’re gonna put a giant donut somewhere,” Kelegian says.
At the forthcoming La Habra location, due to city restrictions about gargantuan food-shaped statues being placed on rooftops, the trademark treat will live on the ground, with a bench that will allow visitors to pose inside the hole.
Kelegian says the donut on top of the Downey location, which is expected to open in June, will look the same as the one on the original shop but it won’t be quite as big, coming in at 26 feet instead of 32.
“Out of respect for Inglewood,” he says, “I’ll never build a larger donut that the original. “
Randy’s Donuts, circa 2009. (Omar Bárcena/Flickr Creative Commons)
Correction: A previous version of this story listed the price of a glazed donut as $1.50. It’s actually $1.15. LAist regrets the error.
Randy’s Donuts plans 7 Las Vegas locations
Iconic Los Angeles brand Randy’s Donuts is coming to Las Vegas — with not one but seven stores.
The company has purchased a vacant drive-thru restaurant at 2170 S. Rainbow Blvd., between Oakey Boulevard and Sahara Avenue, and vacant land at Blue Diamond Road and Cameron Street. The Rainbow location is expected to open in late summer and Blue Diamond in fall or winter. The other five valley Randy’s will be a mix of casino and stand-alone locations. Owner Mark Kelegian said he’s already working with one of the larger casino companies.
Randy’s is known to many people for the giant doughnut on the roof of the original Inglewood location, which is near Los Angeles International Airport.
Kelegian said Las Vegas was a logical choice because of the number of visitors it attracts and its 24-hour nature.
“People think we do most of our sales in the morning,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday. “We do about 50 percent of our sales from 5 a.m. to noon, and we’re still selling all day long and into the night. It’s a brand that really goes all day long, and so does Las Vegas.”
He said UFC president Dana White has been a fan since filming a spot in Los Angeles and encouraged the expansion to Las Vegas.
“He came and we let him make his raspberry jelly doughnuts and we just had a great time,” Kelegian said.
Kelegian and his family bought the company, which dates to 1962, from the family of the original owner in 2015. They have since opened four more locations in Greater Los Angeles, and there are three in South Korea, with more on the way, in Southern and Central California as well as Las Vegas.
“We’re franchising around the world, and we’re going to be in seven to eight countries by the end of the year,” he said.
The original Randy’s in Inglewood draws about 200 people a day to snap pictures, Kelegian said, and the icon is incorporated in some fashion at each location. The Blue Diamond shop, he said, will have a 20-foot doughnut “on the ground instead of the rooftop, because the neighbors wouldn’t allow it.”
But he said while people may come for the sign, they come back for the doughnuts. Kelegian said Randy’s uses the original recipe and has had the same baker, who learned from the original baker, for 20 years.
“Our standards are so much higher than other doughnut shops that we had to make our own flour,” he said. “We make everything by hand. A lot of the larger doughnut operations don’t do it that way. Our doughnuts are fluffier and lighter than anything you’ll see out there.
“The one thing about the doughnut business is people can get creative and put whatever they want on top — and we do that, too — but at the end of the day the doughnut itself has to have the quality. ”
Since taking over the business, he said, they have added trendier flavors such as maple with churros, matcha tea and coconut-caramel-chocolate (and they also serve several varieties of the “Crondy,” a sort of doughnut-croissant hybrid — but that 85 percent to 90 percent of the doughnuts they sell are the original varieties.
His own favorite? The cinnamon roll.
“I’m a sucker,” he said. “When you buy a doughnut store, you’ve got to stop eating them.”
Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at [email protected] Follow @HKRinella on Twitter.
The 13 Best Donut Shops in LA
Loved by cops, Homer Simpson and pretty much everyone else, donuts are entering a renaissance here in Los Angeles. New donut shops are regularly popping up and offering high-end artisan versions of the traditional fried ring-shaped cakes. At the same time, long established shops have been expanding their menus and offering renditions of the latest donut crazes such as maple bacon or the croissant-donut hybrid known as a “cronut. ” Excited by these dynamic donut developments, I set out against the advice of my wife and doctor on a mission to find the best donut shops in LA. Here are the winners:
Fresh Peach Stuffed Donut from The Donut Man
1. The Donut Man (915 E Rte 66, Glendora). It’s not only the best donut shop in LA, but probably in the top five for the whole country. Located in Glendora on Historic Route 66, it’s well worth the long car trip, which I like to refer to as a “Pilgrimage to the Hole-y Land,” especially from February until Mid-September when they sell their famous fresh strawberry and/or fresh peach stuffed donuts.
Peanut Butter, Banana and Chocolate Chip Donut from Stan’s Donuts
2. Stan’s Donuts (10948 Weyburn Ave, Los Angeles in Westwood). Since I’m a UCLA graduate, this Westwood mainstay is a sentimental favorite, but it’s hard to imagine anyone not falling in love with these donuts. I’m obsessed with the glazed ones generously stuffed with peanut butter and either fresh bananas or jelly.
Maple Bacon Donut from Primo’s Donuts
3. Primo’s Donuts (2918 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles in West LA). This little old-school shop on the Westside has sold consistently awesome donuts since 1956. Everything here is super fresh (it helps that Primo’s is only open in the morning and afternoon) and are made from super high-quality ingredients. The glazed Buttermilk Bars, which are slightly crunchy on the outside and moist on the inside, are not to be missed.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Filled Glazed Donut from Donut Friend
4. Donut Friend (5107 York Blvd, Los Angeles in Highland Park). Located on newly gentrified, hipster-laden York Boulevard, Donut Friend is a place to unleash your inner pastry chef. You can design your own custom donut creation by selecting a base donut and picking fillings or toppings such as Nutella, maple or chocolate glaze, fresh fruit, chopped nuts, crushed Oreo cookies, bacon and even Sriacha!
Chocolate Glazed Raised Donut from Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
5. Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts (6333 W 3rd St #450, Los Angeles in the Original Farmers Market). Bob’s is an LA instituion, and for good reason. They sell some of the yummiest donuts in town. I especially recommend their warm and uber-fresh Apple Fritters and, if you’re a chocolate lover, you can’t go wrong with one of their Chocolate Glazed Raised Donuts.
Mambo Italiano Donut from Glazed Donut Bistro
6. Glazed Donut Bistro (8807 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood). This brand spanking new eatery is dedicated to creative gourmet donut concoctions for grownups, such as the “S’more Please” with chocolate ganache, crumbled graham cracker streusel and house-made marshmallows, and the “Mambo Italiano” with pistachio glaze, homemade ricotta cheese, chocolate curls and a maraschino cherry. They also offer savory donut treats. UPDATE: Glazed Donut Bistro is closed. Selling donuts in fitness-conscious Boys-town was maybe not such a great idea.
Original Glazed Doughnut from Krispy Kreme Doughnuts
7. Krispy Kreme Doughnuts (4034 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles in South Los Angeles). Yes, it’s a chain, but it’s better than 90% of all donut places in town. The Original Glazed can’t be beat. The freshest ones come from the South Los Angeles location where they are made right on the premises while you watch.
Original Croissant Style from Kettle Glazed
8. Kettle Glazed (6211 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles in Hollywood). Another new kid on the block, Kettle Glazed is a purveyor of small batch artisan donuts. Daily offerings may include Lemon-Blueberry, Vanilla Bean Glazed and different types of Cronuts. They also have gluten-free options.
Glazed Ube Donut from DK’s Donuts & Bakery
9. DK’s Donuts & Bakery (1614 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica). This family run shop might have the biggest variety of donuts in the city. Pretty much all donut trends can be found here including several types of Cronut knockoffs. But they also create new varieties as well, including three types of donuts made with ube, a purple yam which is extremely popular in the Philippines.
Red Velvet Donut from S K’s Donuts & Croissants
10. S K’s Donuts & Croissants (5850 W 3rd St, Los Angeles in Mid-City). This 24-hour joint produces a bevy of tasty treats. Most of the donuts are traditional but some are modern such as “Skronuts” (their version of Cronuts) and a not-to-be-missed Red Velvet Donut.
Maple Bacon Cronut from California Donuts
11. California Donuts (3540 W 3rd St, Los Angeles in Koreatown). This popular K-town stand is open all night and offers a pretty nice variety. It’s perfect for capping off a nice meal of Korean BBQ or a bowl of Spicy Crab Soup with a sweet treat.
Chocolate Rainbow Sprinkles Donut from Randy’s Donuts
12. Randy’s Donuts (805 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood). Located near LAX, Randy’s is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. The 45-foot giant donut-shaped sign on its roof has appeared in countless movies and beckons all who pass by to stop and purchase some very tasty donuts. The assortment here is all traditional, including cake, raised, jelly and old fashioned varieties, as well as apple fritters and bear claws.
Strawberry Cruller from Doughnut Hut
13. Doughnut Hut (2025 W Magnolia Blvd, Burbank). Surprisingly, there are not many exceptional donut places in the Valley. But I do like Doughnut Hut in Burbank, not only for their traditional donuts (which I recommend purchasing and consuming early in the day) but for their cool retro-looking red and yellow hut. My favorite donuts here are the crumb cake and orange glazed ones.
Pecan, Caramel and Chocolate Donut from Donut Snob
Honorable Mention: Donut Snob (www.thedonutsnob.com). It’s not a brick and mortar shop, so it doesn’t qualify for my list. However, this company that delivers pricy but scrumptious gourmet donuts (which are similar to those at Glazed Donut Bistro) to your home or work, is worth an honorable mention. You can also buy them at Go Get Em Tiger, a popular coffee bar on Larchmont.
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90,000 12 GLAZED DONUTS – Chapter 1.8 – Page 2
– Sophie? – he looked at me, then at the joint with great incomprehension.
– Come on, Mason, you yourself went through this, – Ty throws, as if it means nothing.
I already feel how Katherine is boiling just because we are talking with Tyler or maybe because Mason is trying to protect me? I look back in her direction, I was not mistaken.I look at Mason again. Tyler seems to somehow influence him ..
– Relax, Murphy. Sit better.
The door slams shut. Mason sits down next to Kat. There is anger in his eyes, and interest in Ty’s eyes.
“Kuri,” he throws.
I bring it to my lips, inhale as little as possible. I can feel the cough coming up. I control myself and overcome this feeling.Eyes are slightly watery due to smoke.
– How do you like it? Ty bites his lip as everyone is watching.
– I don’t know ..
– Then try again and breathe more – he seems to be playing with me, and in this game I am a puppet.
I try again, drawing in twice as much smoke. I understand that there is no turning back. Trying to hold back my cough, I can’t. I cough a little, covering my mouth with my hand, smoke comes out of my nose too.Katherine laughs, everyone else reacted normally, which is to be expected. I hand the joint back to Tyler. He looks at me, waves his hand and answers:
– Keep it to yourself.
What should I do with it? Smoking of course, what are the stupid questions in my head. I have never tried cigarettes .. but I have tried a joint for the first time! Horror.
Relaxation begins to flow from head to fingertips.Is it such an effect or what is happening to me?
She was heard, apparently before me they were sitting here for a very long time. And if I understood correctly, the guys smoked all this time. When we leave the room, we immediately understand that they are “not themselves”.
I feel very relaxed. Feels like I drank, but I didn’t.The mind is not clouded, but I want to say something stupid. The jamb is still smoldering in my hand. The ash has already accumulated, even though I don’t smoke it. So I drop it behind me. I go further after the guys and from what I did, it makes me laugh. I walked behind, and noticed how many guests disperse when they see this company. What a circus? Walking in the crowd it was scary to get lost, because there are so many white people, it looks very strange: as if I had died and some angels were chasing me.
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The use of crystals dates back to ancient Egyptian times. While they often used gems for jewelry and cosmetics, they also used them for protection and health, such as using topaz to cleanse evil spirits.
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90,000 Scandal in the life of a celebrity read online by Lee Michaels (Page 5)
He leaned over to her again, took her by the chin and turned her to face him.
– You’re scaring me. Make the deal.
– Chase, you know, he’s safe with me. But what if someone else had taken it? He didn’t even resist! Of course, he felt bad, but in order to easily go into the arms of a stranger and let him be taken from the nanny … Yes, he would have to scream as if he were being cut!
– He didn’t like Sally very much.
– And I understand him, but …
– We got it just a few weeks ago.
– Now at least it’s clear why you didn’t kick her out sooner.
– When the agency sent her, she seemed so cute to me. Then I thought I wanted too much from her. I hoped that over time … Of course, I saw that Nicky the last few days is not like himself. You might find it hard to believe, but he is usually such a cheerful kid!
– When is he not contradicted? She smiled to soften the slight reproach.
– Yes, they probably indulge him more than necessary.But I believed that his whims were from a change of scenery. He rubbed his neck as if his muscles were numb. – And now I have to start all over again.
Amanda felt sorry for him.
– You don’t have to do anything today. Listen, Chase, can you get some sleep? Nicky is not that seriously ill, but if you want to be with him, settle down on the ottoman. I’ll wake you up if he wakes up.
She almost gave up on her promise. Nicky woke up at four in the morning, and Chase slept so sweetly that she just didn’t have the spirit to wake him up.He stretched out on the couch, his hand under his head instead of a pillow. She stood for a moment, looking at him in a beam of dim light that entered the study from the living room, and thinking that Chase seemed like a sleeping angel, just like Nicky.
Another delusion. The irresistible magnetism that emanated from this man (Amanda could have stood here looking at him until morning) had nothing to do with either the halo or the wings of an angel.
Still, a promise is a promise. Amanda bent down and patted his shoulder lightly.
He jumped instantly, but his gaze was hazy, as if he didn’t quite understand where he was and why. Then he fixed his eyes on Amanda and, raising his hand, touched the tips of his fingers to her face.
Her skin caught fire as if from a burn. No, he is definitely not an angel.
“Nicky is calling you,” she said quietly.
– Is he delusional? His voice sounded hoarse.
– No. He just wants affection.
Nicky giggled loudly at the sight of his dad with a sweater mark on his cheek.Amanda herself had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. Chase’s characters have always been distinguished by impeccable elegance, even in the midst of total chaos, and it was hard to believe that Chase Worthington was not so perfect in life. Unless in this form, he was even more attractive.
– Tell the truth, Amanda. This heartless little tyrant needs no affection at all. He just thinks that since he woke up, then everyone around him needs to be woken up. – But at the same time Chase’s voice was full of tenderness, and he hugged Nicky so that there was no shadow of doubt in his feelings.
Deciding that it was better for father and son to be alone, Amanda returned to her temporary bed in the living room. How long Chase stayed with her son, she did not know, because, confident that for some time she could not listen to Nicky’s cry, she immediately fell into a deep sleep.
When she woke up, the apartment was quiet and the sun was pouring into the living room. Amanda was warm and comfortable and even thought she had a good rest, until she stretched and realized that the couch was a useless replacement for the bed.
Still, she was so warm … And no wonder, because the blanket brought from the bedroom was neatly tucked around her on all sides. She herself did not take out the blanket: she was afraid that she would oversleep and would not hear Nicky if she settled down more comfortably.
But how sweet of Chase to think of her. He not only covered her, but apparently left on tiptoe at dawn so as not to disturb her sleep – and Nicky, of course.
The baby’s temperature dropped, Nicky himself said that he was feeling better.
“That’s good,” Amanda replied. – Now we will pour you a bath, you will soak up while I make breakfast.
Nicky made a face:
– Swimming again?
– It’s not so itchy.
After some thought, the boy agreed. He was splashing merrily in the bathroom when a bellhop knocked on the door, bringing an oversized suitcase on a trolley.
– Mr. Worthington said you need this.
– What, Nicky’s clothes? Well, you don’t need that much for a couple of days.
– In my opinion, there are mostly toys.
– You don’t need so many toys either, and I don’t even have a place for them. – Amanda looked into the suitcase just in case. Such a collection could be the envy of a small shop. Shaking her head in shock, she selected a few games and small toys – and slammed the lid shut. – Take the rest back. What I really need, John, is a single bed in the study. Can you handle it?
– Mandy? – called Nicky from the bathroom.
– One minute, honey.
– Mandy, I’m hungry!
Stacking the suitcase on the trolley, the bellhop looked at her sympathetically.
– Of course I will. I don’t envy you, Miss Bailey. I would not agree to stay with this little robber for any thousand.
– Do not promise. Maybe everyone else will take turns to sit with him until he recovers.
She closed the door and turned to see Nicky. He dragged a towel after him, and water poured from him in jets.
– I said that I want …
– I hear, Nicky. You have such a wonderful loud voice! She wrapped him in a towel. – But first you need to dry yourself properly so that you don’t catch a cold.
– I don’t want to dry myself! – in a voice he whined. – I want a donut with chocolate! Now!
Amanda, squatting across from him, clapped her hands.
Nicky’s screech was cut short at midnight, and he stared at her.
“You did great,” Amanda said.- I really liked it. But I have a lot to do right now, so I’m afraid you will have to postpone your cry until evening. Once you’re completely dry, I’ll make oatmeal with fruit, or peanut butter toast, or a boiled egg …
– I want a chocolate donut. He pouted his lips, but did not cry.
– If you don’t want anything else, then you are not so hungry. Amanda reached for a hairdryer.
By the time the blisters were all smeared with the medicine and Amanda had dressed him in another T-shirt, Nicky decided the peanut butter toast would do.He perched on a bar stool, his chin barely reaching the edge of the bar, and nibbled off a piece of toast.
Amanda was putting dirty glasses in the dishwasher and looking out of the corner of her eye at him.
– Did the nanny really let you have chocolate donuts for breakfast?
He nodded in the affirmative.
– And more cocoa. I love cocoa, ”he added hopefully.
Well then, wonder, she thought, if the child was at times unbearable.After such doses of chocolate, sugar, and even caffeine … he was overexcited!
– Do you know that my mom died? He asked judiciously.
– Yes, Nicky.
– And so now I have to have nannies. Are you my new nanny?
– No, my dear.
– Oh! How bad. I like you.
Her heart sank strangely.
– I like you too, Nicky.
She didn’t have time to get emotional because Nicky blurted out the following question:
– Why do you have a bird at home?
– Because it’s a poultry.
– Why in a cage?
– What if Floyd flies away and gets lost? Do you want us to give him some toast?
Nicky seemed to have doubts.
– He won’t bite?
– Not unless you stand still and scare him.
Of course, he could not resist quietly; before Floyd got close to him, Nicky yelped and dropped his piece of toast. The parrot tilted its head to one side and remarked:
– First blow.
Nika’s eyes widened.
– He’s talking to me!
Amanda, herself still amazed at Floyd’s apt remarks, snapped another piece of toast.
– Try again.
– Make him say “Nicky”!
– I can’t.
– Because he needs to think over every word and practice. For example, can you say “anti-conceptual” right off the bat?
– No, really. It’s too long.
– I agree – if all at once, then, of course, not. Can not. But I bet if you break this word into parts and practice properly, you can repeat it. Floyd can learn your name too if you speak it out loud often. You just need to be patient and say your name every time you approach the cage. It won’t work in a day or two.
It took three more tries for Nicky to finally treat Floyd to a piece of toast, and ten minutes to persuade him to learn to stroke the soft blue feathers on the parrot’s breast with his fingertips.
– He’s so soft! – Nicky whispered in awe.
By the evening, the parrot and the baby became close friends. When Chase, at nine o’clock, appeared on the doorstep, Nicky stood on a stool near the cage, fed Floyd with lettuce leaves and repeated every few seconds:
– Say “Nicky”!
Chase raised an eyebrow at Amanda.
– Poor Floyd looks a little haggard.
– He’s had a tough day. But Nicky forgot about everything, even stopped scratching.She took out a cage blanket. – Perhaps that’s enough for today. Prayer for the night, Floyd.
Floyd seemed to have thought it over properly, but obeyed, then tucked his head under his wing before Amanda covered the cage with a blanket.
“And Nicky’s going to bed too,” Amanda added tenderly. – We were just waiting – what if you come early.
Nicky stuck out his lower lip and stared at her, obviously wondering if the crying performance would be more successful in the presence of his dad.Before he could come to a decision, Chase grabbed him in his arms, and the baby hugged his father’s neck.
– You look a little haggard too, Amanda, Chase said to her. – Do you want me to take the care off your shoulders for the night?
She shook her head.
– I’m a professional in this business. All my friends have children, and sometimes I even take them for a week.
– Well, if you’re sure that …
– But I still moved him to the office. My health will not allow me to spend the second night on the couch.
Chase, bursting out laughing, walked towards the office to put Nicky to bed. He appeared from there almost an hour later, when Amanda was already dozing, lulled by the quiet melody of a string quartet, coming from the stereo player.
“Sorry it took so long,” Chase said. – That is to drink some water, then kiss again, then finish the “most last” fairy tale – and so the time runs. Do you have any idea how many fairy tales with pictures you have?
– He does not need fairy tales, but you yourself. She covered her mouth with her hand, suppressing a yawn.
“I guess I should go,” Chase said. “You should rest too.
Amanda heard regret in his words, and for a second she allowed herself to dream – why he so did not want to leave. Silly, of course. Naturally, he could not help but guess about his influence on women, but that did not mean that he was attracted to them with the same force.
– Maybe you can stay a little longer? She asked. – What if Nicky doesn’t fall asleep right away?
“Yes, of course,” he said flatly.The sounds of the string quartet faded into silence, and Chase walked over to the turntable and glanced over the row of CDs. – Will you allow?
– Choose what you like. Did you have dinner yet?
– Had a snack during the break. – He chose a piano concerto.
– Maybe it’s wine then?
– Sounds good, but you sit. Just tell me what to get.
– Wine in the refrigerator. Glasses in the cabinet above the sink.
For a couple of minutes he strummed something in her kitchen, then came back and handed her a glass with a long stem.She did not have so many crystal dishes, and she loved these glasses very much. He sat down side by side.
– You mentioned nightmares last night. Do they often happen?
– From time to time. Less often now.
– I prefer to know about such things in advance.
– I can’t believe my luck that you were there at the very moment when Nicky needed help, and that you agreed to take on such care. He raised his glass in silent toast.
– I love children and enjoy communicating with them.
“I have no doubt about it, and yet …” He put down his glass and lifted her chin with his index finger to meet her gaze. – Thank you, Amanda.
His eyes look like gold, Amanda noted with surprise. It must be because of the glow of the lampshade …
His kiss was nothing more than a gentle, warm, fleeting touch of lips. It ended before Amanda could collect her thoughts, let alone react.
True, she didn’t want to stop him. This kiss was just gratitude, a friendly “thank you” – and nothing more. There is nothing to be offended, nothing to be enthralled about, even if it is the kiss of the sex symbol of American television. She should just smile at him. Reply with a casual, calm smile.
She tried. But something must have happened to her lower lip, she trembled – just a little bit. Amanda ran the very tip of her tongue over it.
Chase’s eyes narrowed.With a slow gesture, he took the glass from Amanda’s hand, set it down on the chest, and put his arm around her with one arm, drawing her towards him.
The second kiss was just as gentle, but that was where the similarities ended. If the first seemed like a friendly greeting, this one filled her mouth with the taste of hot red pepper. He deprived Amanda of breath, made it impossible to speak.
She knew that just like with red pepper, as soon as the first burning impression subsides, the desire to try again will instantly come.
– Daddy, – said a plaintive voice from the door, – what are you doing?
Chase turned around.
– Kisses to Amanda. – Looks like he’s having trouble breathing.
Amanda stirred slightly in protest and tried to push him away. Chase’s embrace only grew tighter.
“Oh,” Nicky said. – What for?
– I like her, so I decided to kiss her. What are you doing, Nicky?
The kid shifted from foot to foot.
– I need some water.
“You need to be spanked,” Chase sighed under his breath. He unhurriedly freed Amanda and went to put his son to bed again.
She was just changing the CD without waiting for the end of the concert, when Chase silently walked up to her and put his hands on her shoulders.
– Amanda …
– I didn’t hear how you came back.
– Sorry. He removed his hands. “I didn’t mean to scare you. Would you like another glass of wine?
– Just a little.
By the time he returned to the living room with the wine, Amanda was curled up in a chair. He seemed to raise his eyebrows slightly, but said nothing.
– You didn’t punish him, did you? She asked.
– Of course not. Why on earth … Oh yeah, I said it myself, right?
– He said.
– Well, he’s not on purpose. Babies have a kind of sixth sense. At the most inopportune moment, they are always right there.
Amanda smiled involuntarily.
– At least he seems satisfied with your explanation.
“This explanation has another advantage: it’s true,” he said completely calmly.
Biting her lip, Amanda looked down at her glass. Chase only said that he liked her. Without a doubt, he liked a lot of women, and he probably kissed many of them. Nicky, in any case, was not shocked by such a sight – a woman in the arms of his dad.
Don’t let your imagination run wild, Amanda , she warned herself. The fact that she herself almost melted in a wisp of smoke in Chase’s arms does not mean that he experienced something similar.
He sat down on the end of the ottoman farthest from her chair, turning so that he could see her. Then he tried to stretch his legs, but fidgeted awkwardly as he bumped into the chest.
“Put your feet right on the chest,” Amanda suggested.
– This is an antique thing.
– I would not say that. Moreover, it is very durable, otherwise it simply would not be here.
Chase nodded in understanding.
– Well, yes, of course, you have children here all the time. – Legs crossed on the lid of the chest, leaning back on the ottoman, he looked so peaceful and relaxed, as if relaxing in a hammock on the lawn at home.- Do you always think about children when choosing furniture?
– No, not always. There was once a wicker rocking chair in this room. One of my little friends rocked it too often, and I scolded her. She looked at me with resentment and said: “But, Mandy, if you can’t sit on this chair, why did you put it here?” And you know, she was right.
– And what, did you get rid of him?
– No, no. I removed it to the bedroom, where the kids are less likely to look. You just sat on it yesterday.
He portrayed a terrible fear:
– Hope I didn’t swing too much on it!
Amanda burst out laughing and feigned terror disappeared from his face.
“You delight me,” he said softly. – But why, with such a love for children, do you not have your own?
– I guess life just turned out differently.
– Listen to you, so your life is coming to an end. By the way, how old are you – twenty-five?
A smile touched her lips.
– Very close. Are you guessing the weight too? And can you predict fate?
– You are still a child yourself, and you have a lot of time ahead of you to start a family. God, I wish I could become so young again, so that my whole life lay before you at a glance.
– You’re not an ancient old man either, Chase, at thirty-four!
– You know my data from the newspapers. You read them!
Amanda felt a wave of blush fill her cheeks.
– No, really? Have you read it? He repeated delightedly.
– There was nothing to read in the local press, you know, except for articles about the upcoming filming. A stupid answer, and Chase clearly understood that because he just grinned and said nothing. She lifted her chin slightly. “Living in Springhill, no one would have been able to remain in the dark about Chase Worthington. For many years, people have only been talking about you here.
“That’s not fair,” Chase drawled thoughtfully. “I can’t go to the local library and read everything about your life.So tell me about yourself, Amanda. Well, except that you love children and kiss like an angel.
– Chase …
He gave her an innocent look over the rim of his glass.
– Does that mean you’re asking me to change the subject? And I won’t think about it.
Amanda had to surrender.
– There is nothing exciting in my life. I was born here, I grew up here …
– Tell us about your family.
She hesitated and shrugged.
– There is not much to tell.I was a late – and only – child with my parents. My father was an electrical repairman, and my mother was engaged in housekeeping and charity work.
– Are all verbs in the past tense?
– Mom died when I was in college and my father a couple of years ago. That’s why I came back here. He was ill for a long time, and I got a job at a hotel to be closer to him.
– How cute.
None of this was cute, but Amanda had no intention of telling Chase that he was wrong.She had sworn many times that she would never return to Springhill, so that her father’s illness at one time seemed to her the intervention of a vicious, vengeful fate, which against her own will pulled her back. But it didn’t turn out so badly. In the end, even a certain peace was established between her and her father …
– A year later, he died, and at this time the owners of the hotel conceived a reconstruction.