Patrick Brown knows he’s a little odd for a vampire, enjoying cooking and dancing. It works for him, though, since he’s his vampire coven’s chef, and he loves spending hours doing both as he shimmies around his kitchen. On a routine food run he stops a robbery at his local grocer’s. To Patrick’s surprise, the blood of one of the officers calls to him like nothing ever has. He realizes the human policeman is his beloved, his soul mate. While Patrick easily scents the human’s arousal, betraying his interest, Officer Allen Robinson barely gives him the time of day. Undeterred, Patrick begins a quest to learn everything about the human, and with the help of friends, he sees him again…and again. Can Patrick figure out a way to woo his closeted cop, or will fears and prejudice destroy their chance at a future?
“Please, join me.” As Patrick urged his beloved to move closer, he headed toward the chair at the head of the table. “I prepared lobster bisque soup to start us.” Patrick pulled out the chair, then headed back to the kitchen. “There’s plenty for seconds if you like it, but keep in mind the main course is a creamy shrimp linguini dish.”
When Patrick saw Allen finally move toward the head of the table, a surge of relief flooded him. He inhaled deeply, attempting to calm himself, and headed to the stove. Picking up the lid on a pot, he set it aside, then grabbed a ladle. Patrick scooped healthy portions of the bisque into bowls which he’d had waiting next to the stove.
“Someone told you I like seafood.”
Allen’s soft comment reached Patrick’s ears, and he nodded. “I did some checking into you, yes.” He wasn’t about to lie to his beloved. Turning with the bowls in hand, he saw that Allen now sat in the chair he’d pulled out for him. “I wanted the opportunity to talk to you in a relaxed setting.”
Patrick wanted to do oh-so-much more than talk, but he knew to be patient. He’d been warned. If Allen had any inclination toward enjoying his same sex, he kept it well hidden.
Through Owen, Patrick had learned that Allen worked in the same precinct as Detective Catlin Hill. Catlin was in a relationship with the horse shifter Gallo Ricci. The man’s partner on the force, Detective Brock Ridgeon, had chatted with Allen a few times, but Allen seemed to actively avoid Catlin.
Anything that put him in the orbit of homosexuals or questions, Allen avoided.
Patrick thought it was extremely telling.
Placing the bowl on the plate that was before Allen, Patrick offered him a smile. “Eclairs for dessert.” Then he settled his bowl on the place setting to the left of Allen and took his seat there. It kept him close to his beloved, but not so close as to put off the skittish human.
Patrick leaned forward and lifted a cover off a small plate, revealing a half-dozen buttered slices of French bread. He then pulled the bottle of white wine out of the bucket. Patrick opened the slow-pour spout he’d inserted into the neck only ten minutes before when he’d removed it from the refrigerator and placed it in the ice bucket.
When Patrick tipped it toward Allen’s glass, intending to pour it, Allen held up his hand. “I’m not so sure that’s a good idea. Um, me being here in an official capacity, after all.”
Deciding to pour anyway, Patrick carefully filled the stemware halfway. “This is a Montrachet.” Out of the corner of his eyes, he saw how Allen’s brows furrowed, so he explained, “It’s a rich Chardonnay that’s supposed to be a good pairing for lobster bisque. It’ll probably be a little heavy for the shrimp linguini, so if you want, we can switch to a Pinot Grigio that I have in the fridge.”
While filling his own glass, Patrick met Allen’s gaze and stated, “And Detective Ridgeon did me a solid, convincing Rogan to send you here.” Patrick set the wine back in the bucket before returning his focus to Allen again. “You’re not actually here on business.”
Patrick picked up his spoon and dipped it into his bisque. After filling his utensil, he brought it to his lips. He blew lightly as he eyed Allen. As he slid the spoon into his mouth, worry made his gut clench.
Will my beloved get up and walk away?