I got a text from Dev as I hit the lobby from the stairwell. “No problem. Not there yet either.”
Neither of us were really late, but it felt good when we both showed up outside Bonnie’s at the same time. I reached for the door handle and a hand touched the smallof my back and I froze a little before there was a soft breath against my neck and the faint smell of citrus touched my nose and Dev spoke softly, “Fancy meeting you here.”
“I thought we had a date, it’s not fancy at all.” I grinned at him.
I opened the door and the door tinkled. Dev walked in before me and I let the door close behind me. Bonnie looked up from her customer she was waiting on with a smile. The booth in the back corner was empty and I took Dev’s hand and lead him to it. Bonnie stared at our hands and she frowned.
It wasn’t long before Bonnie came to our table. Bonnie’s frown was deep and it made her look much older than she was. “What happened to Sage?”
Dev laughed. “Sage and I are seeing each other too, Ms. Bonnie. It’s all very open, no hiding.”
Her blush was bright. “I…”
“Bonnie, I’ll have my usual.”
Dev grinned up at her, “Tactfully put. I’ll have what he’s having. Ms. Bonnie.”
Bonnie nodded. “I’ll have your drinks in a few moments. Coffee?” she asked Dev.
“That’s fine. Cream and a sugar please.”
She was gone and we were alone again. Dev sat across from me unlike Sage who chose to sit next to me. It was not fair to compare but I enjoyed looking at Dev and was glad he sat there. His smirk was wide and bright and I shook my head. “We could have a whole conversation in my head couldn’t we?”
Dev laughed. “I’d have to touch you, but yeah. You don’t shield too well.” I was about to say I can to just that Dev didn’t like it but he interrupted me before I said anything at all, “I like you this way. Most people who know what I can do think I’m a freak or they try to play guessing games, or some various other stupid trick when all they do is think I’m faking it, or it’s some other kind of trick. You understand. And you’re thoughts aren’t being faked, you aren’t hiding.”
“If I over populate your thoughts let me know. I can tighten my shields.” I really didn’t want to have him hearing everything but I wasn’t opposed to him listening.
“I try not to listen in.” Dev reached across the table and put his fingers under my chin so I would look at him. His baby blue eyes sparkling in the sun light. “I can’t help listening to you.” He was trying to comfort me and I hadn’t even realized I’d gone into reflection mode. Maybe having a telepath around was a good thing all around. Dev gave me a wide smile but didn’t say anything. It was hard getting used to him hearing my thoughts. “I think I might have a solution to your problem if you want to take a chance.”
“What kinda chance?” I asked.
Bonnie brought over our coffee and I was sure she wanted to listen in but Dev remained quiet while she poured coffee and placed the cream and sugar on the table for Dev. I got to watch his hands as he stirred his cup of coffee and pour the sugar in. He wasn’t delicate. Sage wasn’t either, but Dev was not the same type of man as Sage either. Dev whispered, “You can’t keep comparing us.”
I looked up at his eyes and smiled. “I’m not comparing you to find who’s better. I’m just seeing the differences. I like the differences. Means I’m not gettin carbon copies.”
Dev grinned at me. “To answer your question. Let me and Dee spend the night tonight. I can help you and we can see if we are sleep compatiable. The boys are home so Dee will be disappointed but one thing we’ve learned is that if you can’t spend the night with the other person then chances of it making through more than a few months is going to be low.”
I grinned, “At least one of us has enough relationships to guide us.”
“You and Sage struggling?”
I shook my head. “No. He’s my first romantic relationship. I’ve had girls who I’ve slept with more than once but it was just sex. I don’t do relationships as a standard, or I didn’t until I met Sage and that all changed.”
“So you never wanted to settle down?” Dev asked just before Bonnei brought out our steak and vegetables. Dev looked up at Bonnie, “This is his usual? It’s not even on the menu.”
Bonnie smiled. “There was a boy, once long ago who loved my daddy’s steaks. My husband said whe he took the place over said, it’s too expensive. We need to do something different. We still sell steak off the menu. if you know to ask for it. All because even my husband hated watching that little boy have a panic attack.”
“What’s a little boy doing eating steak in a diner? Why didn’t his parents just make him some if he had to have it. Sounds like a spoiled little kid.” Dev said.
Bonnie looked at me and I smiled, “I’ll handle that conversation. Thanks Bonnie.”
“I was that little boy.” I said to Dev as I cut into my steak. “I didn’t have parents. It was what Dorian ordered me the first time I came here. It was comforting and that’s why it became the norm.”
“Nox. I’m sorry. I didn’t know.” Dev said reaching across the table.
“It’s alright. I probably was a spoiled child. I have nothing. I had even less then. I usually got what I wanted, but I didn’t want much. Still don’t.”
We ate in relative silence. It wasn’t the date either of us had wanted. So much for first impressions.
When we were almost finish Dev tapped his fork on the plate making an annoying ting ting ting. I looked up at him from across the table and he was deep in thought. I sighed. “I’m sorry.”
Dev laughed, “For what. I’m not one who spouted insults without knowing the story.”
“I’m sorry lunch didn’t turn out liked we’d hoped.”
“But it did,” Dev shrugged. “We got to know each other a little better.”
“We’ve hardly spoken.”
“True. But I learned you didn’t have any parents. I know Dorian brought you here as a kid. You find steak comforting.”
I sighed. “Okay, any of that I could have told you any other time too. You know me better than I know you.”
“So what do you want to know?” Dev asked with a bright smile on his face. His eyes sparkled with delight. I couldn’t help but smile back.
“I don’t know.” I said looking back down at my plate. I wasn’t good at this. I didn’t want to know people before. I didn’t know what to say or what to do. I finished my plate in silence.
Dev dropped some cash on the table and took my hand and dragged me across the bench. “Come on. You brood too much.” He glanced at the time on the wall and then pulled me out into the street. “Show me your place.”