The man was only a little shorter than Peter himself. He had beautiful dark brown hair and eyes that turned up just a little. Like an Elf’s eyes, Peter thought.
His sleeves were rolled to the elbows, and he had obvious muscles in his forearms. Oh, but that was hot. The only thing that marred Peter’s initial take on the doc was the way his smile didn’t quite reach his eyes.
They shook. The doctor’s hand was dry, his grip strong. Peter swore his heart skipped a beat when he saw the pink triangle in the Dr’s ear.
Then he was distracted because Dr. Yoshida was distracted… by Tracks rubbing up against his legs. The veterinarian’s smile touched his eyes briefly as he crouched to pet the bold and unexpectedly friendly tom.
When he moved to pick up Tracks, Peter put his hand out first. When the doctor was looking at him, Peter shook his head and signed, “Allow me.”
“All right,” Yoshida signed back. He straightened and pointed to a little square box that Peter knew was a cat scale.
Peter placed Tracks in, and the doctor checked the reading. Then, glancing at Peter, he signed, “May I pick him up?”
Well, he’d have to eventually. Peter realized his earlier reticence had been foolish. He nodded. And to his amazement, when Dr. Yoshida picked up Tracks, the cat half closed his eyes in obvious pleasure.
Peter reached out and stroked his pet, feeling the purr.
After a brief but thorough examination, Dr. Yoshida set Tracks down to let him wander. Then he smiled at Peter and signed, “I’m Abe Yoshida. You have a very healthy cat there. Very friendly.”
“He is to you,” Peter signed back. “He’s usually uncomfortable with strangers, especially in new places.”
The vet nodded. “Is this just a meet-and-greet then?”
“Candace, the vet tech who showed you in here, said you used to go to Dr. Jamison over in Colton.”
Peter nodded. “Since he’s closed, I thought I’d look closer to home for another vet. And I honestly wanted to be able to talk via more than gestures and text messages. One of my students gave me your name. I teach at the school for the deaf attached to Colton University.”
Abe Yoshida smiled a little and asked with his hands, “Which student would that be? I’ve never treated an animal accompanied by a deaf child.”
Abe’s eyes widened and he grinned for real this time. “You teach my niece.”
Peter smiled back because that grin was contagious and made the doctor even more handsome, if that was possible. “I can see the family resemblance,” he signed.
“Her parents are stationed in another state but they wanted her to have the best, so they sent her here. Close enough for me to check on her if necessary but also give her some independence. Is she behaving herself?”
“She’s very bright,” Peter prevaricated.
Abe raised one eyebrow. “That’s not an answer,” he pointed out silently.
Peter smirked. “She’s very spirited, but I like her.”