Mate Me, Book Three
Copyright © 2017 by Victoria Vallo
Beau wiped down the table and then changed James’s shirt. He took the sticky garment to the sink to let it soak. A knock came at the door, and Beau glanced up. The sun had just set, so it had to be Jalal or Finn. He walked over and peeked out the window, his breath catching in his throat when he saw it was Tore.
Guess I didn’t make a fool of myself after all. He took a deep breath and smiled as he opened the door. “Hi.”
“Hi.” Tore licked his lower lip. “I hope I’m not interrupting anything.”
“Not at all. Just cleaning up after dinner.” He opened the door wider. “Come in. You’re just in time for dessert, if you’d like some.”
“Sure, thank you.” Tore moved stiffly as he entered the house.
Is he nervous? While the idea excited Beau, he didn’t want Tore to feel that way. “Look who came to see us, James,” Beau said as he walked past James’s highchair and quickly dropped a kiss on his forehead.
James made a gurgling noise as he chewed on his fist and then fixed his attention on Tore. He made a little squealing sound but continued to gnaw on his hand.
Tore walked over to the table and sat down beside James. “Hey, little man. Looks like you enjoyed your dinner.”
Beau glanced back and realized he hadn’t wiped the highchair down yet. “Oh, sorry. I was just rinsing his shirt, which has the same smears all over it.” He grabbed a cloth and moved to the table.
Tore took the cloth from him. “I can do it. And no need to apologize.”
Beau let Tore take over, and he glanced over his shoulder as he moved back to the sink. The open floorplan of the cottage’s kitchen and living area had always been nice because it made keeping an eye on James much easier. But now, it had other benefits. Watching Tore interacting with James, not to mention cleaning without complaint, inspired more than a little hope in Beau’s heart. Tore seemed like a very gentle man, the exact opposite of every other male who had ever shown interest in Beau. Especially Quinn. The aggression had been arousing during sex, but Beau had come to realize he didn’t want to be dominated in every aspect of his life.
Beau put some mashed up peaches in a bowl of yogurt for James before cutting two slices of pie for him and Tore. “You like qurnas?”
“Never had them, but I hear we may be exporting some to other worlds soon.”
“They’re very sweet. So sweet you don’t even have to add sugar when you make a pie.” He took both plates over to the table, then returned for forks and James’s yogurt. “The texture is more like a melon, but they soften up nicely in pies and cobblers.”
“Thanks,” Tore said as Beau handed him his fork. “Sounds wonderful.” He turned the plate and looked at it a moment before glancing up. “Though we’re doing this backwards.”
Beau looked down at the plate, then back up as he tried to figure out what Tore meant. “Backwards?” James banged on the little tray of his wooden highchair, so Beau stirred his yogurt and offered him a spoonful.
“Yeah. I came here to accept your dinner invitation, but we seem to have skipped to dessert.”
Beau smiled. “I was hoping that was why you were here.”
Tore took a bite of the pie. “Mmmm, this is good. But yeah, very sweet. I can see why Finn thinks they’ll sell well.”
“Your company does lots of importing and exporting?”
“Yes. We started out as just a third-party delivery company, but over time we developed our own interests and connections. Now we ship for others, but we also do direct buying and selling.”
“So you’re here to see Finn’s work and make more connections as well.”
“Yes.” Tore paused. “I may be around a lot.”
“I’d like that,” Beau said. “I’m not sure I can seduce you before you leave in a couple of weeks.” Beau focused on James, but he could feel Tore watching him.
“That kiss yesterday was a fine start,” Tore said before cutting into his pie again and lifting a hefty spoonful to his mouth.