“Now go over there and say something nice to her.” David gave his husband a little shove, biting his cheek to hold back the grin that threatened to split his face when Patrick turned to pout back at him.
“Why do I have to—“
“Just go!” David said, waving his arms exasperatedly.
Patrick’s face scrunched up in an adorable frown and he all but stamped his little foot. Still, he dutifully turned, heading toward the booth where Ronnie was sitting with her girlfriend.
He watched as Patrick stood at the end of the booth, arms crossed defensively over his chest and said something to Ronnie. She mirrored Patrick’s pose, and her brows furrowed alarmingly at something Patrick said. David sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose.
“I don’t think it’s going to happen,” a soft voice said beside him. David looked to his left to see Ronnie’s girlfriend—a soft spoken woman with kind eyes and a tinkling laugh—smiling back at him.
“He’s so stubborn. He wants her on his team so badly—“
“And she wants the contract to remodel your new store. I know,” the girlfriend finished for him. He wished he could remember her name, Daphne? Dolly? Something with a D. She had done beautiful work on the flowers for their wedding. He’d have to ask Patrick. “And they agreed that if they could each say one nice thing about the other, they would each get their way?”
“Mmm,” David hummed distractedly, watching as Patrick slipped into the booth recently vacated by...Delphine? No, that wasn’t it. “This whole feud started the last time she remodeled something for us. Patrick got a little...bossy.”
“Ooh,” Daisy replied, sucking in a breath through a grimace. “That would not have gone over well with Ronnie.”
“No. No it didn’t,” David agreed. “And then Ronnie proved him wrong, which...well, he’s a little competitive. Doesn’t like to be proven wrong.”
Daffodil grinned. “Neither does she,” she said. “She told me about you and the baseball. She was very impressed. But you didn’t hear that from me.”
“My lips are sealed,” David replied, secretly pleased. “Oh, he’s coming back.” David stood up straighter and schooled his features into a more neutral expression. He could see Dahlia doing the same beside him. “Well?”
Patrick shoved his hands deep into his pockets, eyes focused on the scuffed linoleum floor of the cafe. “It’s done,” he said. He looked up at David, and offered Denise a smile. “Hey, Dulce,” he said softly, nodding over his shoulder at the booth. “She’s all yours.”
Dulce (Dulce!) smiled and patted Patrick’s arm. “Nice to see you again, Patrick.” She winked at David and returned to the booth with Ronnie.
“Well?!” David asked again. He hated asking things twice.
Patrick took David’s hand in his, bringing it to his lips and kissing the backs of his fingers. “We’ll get her to do the new store. And she’s going to be on my team next season.”
David smiled knowingly at his husband. “Was that so hard? I told you, you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar,” he said sagely.
Patrick gazed fondly at him. “Whatever you say, David.”
They walked hand in hand across the street, back to their store. “So, what did you say to her?” David asked.
Patrick shrugged. “Just the truth. That she’s the best contractor around, and we’d be stupid to go with anyone else.”
David’s eyebrows rose. “And what nice thing did she say to you?”
Patrick grinned at him. “That I have good taste in husbands.”
Well. David could hardly argue with that.