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Joe straightened his tie, examining himself in the mirror. Not to shabby if he did say so himself. Hopefully he'd pass muster with his date. How in God's name had he let himself be talked into a blind date he wasn't sure, but Gina had begged and pleaded.

"You'll love him Joe, come on please?"

"I don't do blind dates Gina," Joe told her.

"But he's adorable. I just know you two would hit if off. Pleeeease," Gina pleaded.

"Oh come on Joe, you haven't been on a date in month's man," AJ cajoled.

"Fine, one date, but so help me Gina if..."


Joe was certain Gina had stopped listening then. Knocking his head against the wall he wondered once again how he'd let himself be set up and grabbed his keys. He was supposed to meet Gina at the store at eight, with her cousin and go onto the restaurant from there.

*~*~*~*~*

"Gina, let me be," Lucas grumbled. God how much did he not want to be here, but he could never turn down Gina, she had this way of making everything seem like a really good idea, even when it wasn't. So here he was about to go on a blind date with Gina's boss, dressed in a suit that just made him feel lame and Gina wouldn't leave his tie alone.

"If you don't stop messing with it I'm taking it off," Lucas warned.

"Okay, okay..." Gina backed of a few paces. "Trust me Lucas, you'll love Joe, he's totally hot and he use to be in a band. He's a really good drummer."

"I already said yes Gina you can stop telling me how he's God's gift to men," Lucas rolled his eyes and made himself busy looking everywhere but at the stores entrance.

*~*~*~*~*

Joe stopped dead for a moment when he saw the young man with Gina. He couldn't have been more than twenty-one, he was going to kill Gina.

"Joe! Hey, right on time, looking sharp boss-man," AJ grinned at him and Joe barely refrained from growling.

"Hey Joe, this is Lucas. Lucas this is Joe," Gina dragged the younger man over to him.

Joe was caught of guard as soon as he looked into the young man's eyes. Deep, dark eyes that said he had seen a lot more than his young age would suggest. Joe was momentarily breathless.

*~*~*~*~*

Lucas barely stopped himself drooling. Gina wasn't lying when she said Joe was gorgeous. He was a walking wet dream, exactly Lucas' type. Maybe he'd forgive her for this after all.

"Hi," Lucas offered.

"H... Hey," Joe said, coughing slightly.

"You kids go have fun now!" Gina grinned and pushed them towards the door.

"So erm... dinner?" Joe asked as they stood nervously on the sidewalk moments later.

"Sounds good," Lucas agreed, getting into Joe's car watching the city as they drove through it.

The Chinese restaurant Joe had picked was high end and Lucas was glad Gina had forced him to wear a suit, even if he felt a little restricted.

*~*~*~*~*

The starter was filled with small talk, stilted and uncomfortable, but before the main course was served, Joe felt like he'd known Lucas for years.

They talked about music, movies, books, Joe was surprised to learn Lucas was studying English Lit and History at the local university and laughed over Gina's antics, both getting ample blackmail material.

Joe talked about the store, his 'strays', his ex-wife and his band. Lucas told him about growing up in foster care.

*~*~*~*~*

Sorrowfully, Lucas let Joe drive him home, wanting to invite him up to his apartment, but nervous about the very idea. He hadn't had as much fun in months and he didn't want to spoil it.

"I think this could really be something Joe, I've never felt so at ease with anyone, so I'm not going to invite you up, even though I really want to, but..."

"I'd like to see you again," Joe told him before he could say it.

Lucas smiled brightly. "Me too."

"Is tomorrow too soon?" Joe asked.

"Not for me," Lucas said, bouncing happily in the passenger seat.

"Good, great... I..." Joe stuttered over what to say, but Lucas prevented him speaking at all when he leaned over and kissed him softly.

"I'll pick you up for lunch," Lucas said when he pulled back.

Joe nodded in agreement. "Lunch sounds good."

Lucas leaned forward and Joe met him halfway for another chaste kiss. Lucas smiled softly as he pulled back and got out of the car, waving quickly to Joe before he disappeared inside.

*~*~*~*~*

Joe drove home smiling, thinking he'd have to get Gina some flowers or something.


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