Part TwoRead Part One here. Final part next week.
Hudson poked his tongue out, licking his bottom lip. It took everything Seb had not to show Hudson what ravished would really look like on him. The man was just stunning, and he had no idea.
“You look incredible. How about we go inside, and you tell me what happened.”
Hudson nodded, his smile wide. Reluctantly, Seb pulled away. He opened the door for Hudson, and followed him inside. The restaurant was cozy with a rustic, casual décor consisting of exposed bricks walls, kitchen-style wooden tables, and mismatched chairs. It was atmospheric with live music playing as guests chatted over their scrumptious looking dinners.
Seb thanked the waitress when she handed him a menu. He ordered a beer, and Hudson ordered them a fresh lemon Soju which he insisted Seb had to help him drink.
“I’m not very good at holding my liquor I’m afraid. My friends used to tease me mercilessly in school.” Hudson shrugged and smiled. “Guess that makes me a cheap date.”
Seb couldn’t help leaning in, his voice low and husky. “Baby, there is nothing cheap about you.” He winked at Hudson and sat back, loving the way Hudson’s very fair skin flushed pink from the tips of his ears down to his neck. Apparently, Hudson blushed easily.
“Um, thank you.” Hudson cleared his throat.
Seb wasn’t sure what had gotten into him. He wasn’t normally so forward. Truth be told, he was kind of hopeless when it came to flirting. Ash was always teasing him. Guys would come up to Seb, and Seb would smile and chat, then walk away because he really had no clue he was being flirted with. He just assumed people were being friendly. Something about Hudson made him feel bold. Maybe he should pull back. Hudson was prim and proper, and rather shy. The last thing Seb wanted was to scare him off. “I gotta admit, I’ve not had much Korean food.”
“Well, what kind of dishes do you enjoy eating? There’s meat, seafood, veggie dishes. You said you didn’t have any food allergies, so it just depends on what you like.”
“Thank you for asking by the way, that was very considerate of you.”
Hudson smiled. “Well, I like to check first, and never assume. I’m allergic to mushrooms, so I’m always cautious.”
“How bad is your allergy?”
“Not enough to warrant an EpiPen or hospitalization, but I’ll break out into hives and have a rough time for several hours. I take a hay fever tablet before eating out as a precaution.”
“Hay fever tablet? Is that like an allergy pill?”
“Oh, yes. So sorry. It’s only been a year since I moved to the States. Some things are still getting lost in translation I’m afraid.”
“I’m sure you hear this all the time, but listening to you talk is such a pleasure.”
More blushing from Hudson which enchanted Seb. They decided to order a few dishes and share them. They all looked amazing to Seb, and he was a fan of spicy, so the Kimchi dishes sounded great. When the food came, Seb was pleasantly surprised by how much Hudson ate. The man had a healthy appetite and he wasn’t afraid to show it. Seb was roughly a foot taller, and had about a hundred and thirty pounds on Hudson, and despite his lean frame, Hudson ate like a tiger Therian.
“Do I have something on my face?” Hudson asked around a mouthful of food. He finished chewing and swallowed before chuckling. “Wolf Therians love food. Very much. And I am no exception.”
Seb leaned in to brush aside the hair that fell over Hudson’s brow. “Has anyone told you how adorable you are?”
Hudson cleared his throat, and sat back, his gaze meeting Seb’s. “May I be honest with you?”
“I’m sorry.” Shit, he should have reined it in. “I didn’t mean to come on so strong, it’s just….” Seb felt his face grow hot. “I don’t think I’ve ever been this nervous in my life. You’re this amazing, sophisticated guy, and I’m—”
“Wonderful,” Hudson cut in, his beautiful smile reaching his sparkling blue eyes. “You’re wonderful, Sebastian.”
Seb blinked. “I am?”
Hudson nodded. “What I was going to say was that I would very much like to do this again, very soon.”
“Yes.” Hudson smiled warmly. “I know it’s rather silly, considering this is our first date, but I feel as if we’ve known each other so much longer.” He took a sip of his drink as if to fortify himself. Seb could tell Hudson was trying his best not to fidget. He remained quiet while Hudson continued.
“I love arriving at work every morning and meeting you in the canteen for tea and coffee. It’s such a wonderful start to my day, seeing you and talking with you. I love how you drop by my office simply to say hello, or the way you always seem to know when I’m having a difficult day, and make me laugh.” He dropped his gaze to the table. “And while I’m being honest, I’m very much enjoying being the center of your attention. I’m afraid I could get used to it quite quickly. I’ve never met anyone like you, Sebastian.” He looked up at Seb then, his blue eyes clouding with heat. This time it was Seb who was squirming in his seat. Maybe Hudson wasn’t as timid as Seb thought.
Ignoring the butterflies in his stomach, and the pounding of his heart, Seb leaned in to brush his fingers down Hudson’s smooth jaw, his heart skipping a beat when Hudson leaned into the touch. “I’ve never met anyone like you either. And I feel the same way you do about knowing each other. Seems like I’ve known you forever. When we come back from working a rough case, when everything seems so dark and vile, I see your smile and suddenly everything makes sense again. I would love to do this again. How could I not give you my full attention? You’re incredible.”
Hudson let out a dreamy sigh, and Seb knew at that very moment that he was a goner.
Final part next week! Read Part One here. Copyright © 2017 Charlie Cochet. THIRDS published by Dreamspinner Press.