“That’s okay,” Ridgely said. “We’ll work around your schedule. There are seven days in a week. We’ll work our dates into the nights you’re free.”
The lack of enthusiasm in Preston’s voice had a chill running through Ridgely. Although they hadn’t known each other long, they talked frequently, and the man enchanted Ridgely. Until that moment, Ridgely had believed they were on the same page, but perhaps he’d misjudged the situation. It was difficult to discuss it without being able to see the emotions cross Preston’s face, and Ridgely wished he were with him. However, there was no way Ridgely could wait until their date the following night to get the answers he needed.
“Tell me what’s on your mind,” Ridgely prompted and internally winced at the sharpness in his voice.
“I have challenges.”
“I know,” Ridgely responded softly. “That’s not a problem for me.”
“Okay. I didn’t want to bombard you with them at the start though.”
“Don’t worry so much. Talk to me.”
“I tire easily sometimes, and I also have insomnia. I’m concerned that if I’m out most nights, I’ll get exhausted because I still have work and do my therapies. I don’t want my schedule to overwhelm me, and it makes me sad because I want to be with you. Maybe I should wait to do the school stuff.”
“Absolutely not, Dimples. There’s no reason we can’t approach things casually. If we hung out and relaxed instead of dressing up for fancy restaurants, would that make things easier for you? Because honestly, that sounds like more fun anyway.”
“Maybe you could come to my house and have dinner with my family.”
“And meet some cuddly kittens?”
“Yes. You could watch a movie with me in my room or take a nap with me if you wanted. You wouldn’t even have to wear your clothes.”
Ridgely’s laughter was full-throated. “I’m going to need you to repeat that when I can see your face.”
“I’m probably blushing, but I’ve already spent plenty of time wondering what you look like naked.”
“I’ve used my imagination a lot lately too. Invite me to your house for dinner.”
“Tomorrow, instead of you picking a restaurant?”
“All I need is an address.”
Snagging a pen from his desk drawer, Ridgely jotted down the information he needed, then promised to call Preston later. After hanging up, nervousness crept in. Although Ridgely loved the idea of a more relaxed avenue to get to know Preston better, meeting a couple of Council leaders was intimidating.
“Okay, so I was curious before, but now I’m dying to meet Preston,” Warner said.
Ridgely nearly jumped at the sound of Warner’s voice. So swept up in talking to Preston, Ridgely had forgotten he wasn’t alone, which was nuts since he’d shared an office with Warner for nearly two decades.
“Your voice and body language completely changed when you spoke with your mate. I’ve never seen that side of you. You were practically gushing.”
“Clearly, I was not, but I won’t pretend I don’t like him either.”
“I feel so good about this now. I was nervous you’d over-analyze every aspect of your relationship and drive your man crazy.”
“Glad to hear it because, clearly, your opinion of the situation is what matters most,” Ridgely deadpanned.
“Seriously, I must meet this beautiful dimpled man.”
“Find some patience, Warner. Or better yet, find your other half.”
“I wish,” Warner replied, and Ridgely did too.
Ridgely wanted everyone to have Fate pair them with someone as wonderful as Preston was turning out to be. And the fact that Preston was pursuing a dream pleased Ridgely. It wasn’t enough for Preston to have only pieces of what he wanted; Ridgely intended to ensure that his mate had everything.