Author: Honor A. De'Mandoren
see part 1 for warnings, notes, disclaimer

Matchmaker + Part Two
Hot Dates

Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.
Mae West

+

A minor miracle happened. Trowa called the next day during my lunch hour and asked me out to dinner. After stammering out a yes (smooth I was not) and doing logistics, we must have talked for at least a half an hour about everything and absolutely nothing. When he finally was pulled away from the phone by a patient, I quietly made sure no one was in ear shot and did a happy dance around my desk.

When I got home I informed Amee that I was going out for dinner in two hours and that she had to pick her poison: baby-sitter or grandma.

She sensibly chose baby-sitter.

I made the arrangements, took a quick shower, and climbed into boxers and a bathrobe before wandering out to my room. The precaution turned out to be a necessary one. Amee was in the middle of my bed, waiting for me expectantly.

"This isn't a meeting kind of dinner is it?"

Thank god Amee was a girl and not a boy. Little girls understood the concept of hot dates -- little boys didn't. That made things so much easier on me. "No. It's a date."

She gave me this thoughtful scrutiny, and looked terrifyingly adult for a moment. "Are you going with Trowa?"

"Er... yes."

"Good." She was all little girl again, beaming at me in supposed innocence. "He likes you, I can tell."

I was not above using my sister to gain information. "Really? How?"

"Cause he asked me what kind of food you like, and which one was your favorite restaurant."

"Ah." Well, at least he cared enough about this date to do a bit of work on it. It was a promising sign. Although I did wonder when he got this information... on second thought, it might be wise to just leave it there.

"And," she added with a romantic sigh, "he said you were stunning."

I am? When?! "When did he say that?"

"When you were in the changing room in the mall. He said he noticed when you were in the blue shirt."

Clothes are very important to Amee. She has a better fashion sense than Vogue. I usually let her pick out my clothes for that reason. When had I worn a blue shirt... "That was Monday, wasn't it?"

"Mm-hm. He looked like the prince on Cinderella when he was dancing with Cinderella, very happy and everything."

This is really getting interesting. I have to get her to spy for me more often.

"Do you think Trowa is stunning?"

I am not at all fooled at this attempt of artlessness. I know her better than that after seven years of raising her. However, it is not to my disadvantage to answer the question, because I have a fairly good idea that whatever I say will make it back to Trowa, and that can't be a bad thing. "I think he's drop dead gorgeous, and it doesn't matter what he's wearing."

"You're not wearing that, are you?"

I looked down at the casual black slacks and the blue shirt in my hands. "Um, yeah?"

"That's the wrong kind of blue for indoors," I was informed with authority. "You need a deeper blue. Actually, a red is good. Where's that red satin shirt you have?"

I pointed toward the closet, and let her have free reign. She knows where my clothes are better than I do.

When Amee finally deemed me 'perfect' it was five till six, and I expected Trowa at my doorway at any moment. I was all set to walk out and wait for him in the living room when Amee caught my arm. "Quatre! You can't go down now!"

I gave myself a quick once over in the standing mirror. No, fly was zipped, nothing stuck in my teeth, hair combed... "Why not?"

"You have to make an entrance!" she exclaimed in frustration.

Uh... what is she talking about? "Huh?"

"You are not supposed to be on time for a date," I was informed with a stern frown. "When he gets here, count slowly to a hundred, then come down."

I recognized at least part of that sentence from an old Elizabeth Taylor movie. "Sweetheart, only women do that sort of thing. Men are supposed to be on time. If I'm not on time, he's going to think I'm some sort of dandy."

She paused, head cocked in that international woman's gesture that meant she was thinking it through. "Really?"

"Yup." Seeing she was still uncertain, I took the opportunity to escape while I still could. I barely made it down the stairs when the front door bell rang. And that would be my hot date, right on time. Grinning a little in anticipation (and fighting the butterflies in my stomach back into their cages) I opened the door. I meant to say hi and invite him in, but after I got a look at him my mouth mutinied and said "Hot damn."

Trowa gave me a startled look and started chuckling. "I guess that means I pass muster."

He looked divine. Black slacks that fit him like they were tailored for him, deep blue shirt that just accented eyes and skin, top two buttons undone. I wanted to drag him inside and thoroughly investigate just what those marvelous clothes were hiding.

Trowa was giving me his own interested appraisal. "You look rather sexy yourself."

I flushed, remembered that I was wearing a red shirt and that flushing would make me look like a lobster with blond hair, and quickly turned to hug Amee good night. "My cell is on if you need me. Wake up Abdul if you get hungry."

Amee waved this advice away. "I know the drill. Go have fun."

"Right." Pressing a last kiss against her forehead, I snatched up wallet and keys from the side table and strolled out the door. "So where are we going?"

"It's a toss up," he told me as we climbed into the car. "Which would you rather do, action movie and dinner or dinner and an action movie?"

"Hm. Decisions, decisions," I drawled. "I do like the idea of an action movie and dinner, but the idea of dinner and an action movie is just so appealing."

I got a quiet chuckle for that as he eased into traffic.

"So what's the movie?"

"Terminator 6: The Broken Record." He must have caught the strange _expression on my face because he added, "It's supposed to be a spoof."

"With that title, it better be a spoof. What do the critics say?"

"They hate it."

"Hm. It's probably a pretty funny movie, then. Let's see it."

+

The movie was horrible, but it was funny being horrible. Half the time I was torn between laughing and shaking my head in disbelief. We sat in the dark theater, half way between door and big screen. Trowa was a perfect gentleman the entire time. It was actually me that pushed things a little. I like physical contact, it gives me a better feel for people. About twenty minutes into the movie, I cautiously slid my hand into his. He glanced at me sharply, then slowly his lips tilted up in a smile and his hand tangled in my fingers.

Those twined fingers shifted during the course of the movie, but they stayed in contact the entire way through, even while we were laughing. It just warmed me up and made things just a tad more magical.

They stayed connected as we walked out of the movie, drawing a few looks from other people. I didn't care. And I liked it that Trowa didn't seem to care either.

Eventually we had to separate to get into the car. I missed the contact, but didn't whine. It had been a long time since I'd been able to touch someone like that, but I'd survive without it. "Okay, I admit it, that was worth seeing."

"Worth seeing twice?" Trowa grinned at me as he twisted in the seat to back out.

"I think that's probably pushing it. Maybe ten years from now when you've forgotten most of it, you could risk seeing it again."

"Can't argue with you there. Now, where shall we go for dinner? Tommy's or Chinese Garden?"

"Chinese Garden," I said promptly. I love Chinese food!

"I'm so glad you said that, I've been craving lemon chicken for three hours now."

I laughed at his dramatic sigh. This is what I loved about Trowa -- he had a quick and dry wit that just made things funny and easy. Being in his company was a delight instead of a chore.

We walked into the Chinese Garden and one of the waiters looked up. "Mr. Winner! Good evening, sir."

I flushed slightly, but fought it viciously. "Good evening, Shan. Table for two, please."

"Certainly sir."

Trowa leaned in close to my ear and drawled, "You're sure well known 'round here."

I cleared my throat, and felt myself losing against the blush. Darnit. "I have something of a confession to make."

"Oh?"

Ah well. The only way to deal with a blush was to smile through it. I grinned at him saucily. "I am obsessed with Chinese food."

There was a twinkle in those dark green eyes. At this range, I could see that he had a ring of pure gold circling the iris. "I guessed that, yes."

Shan returned with menus and we settled into a table out of the way of people. Trowa ordered his lemon chicken, I went with a personal favorite of moo goo gai pan, and then we were left alone.

Let's clarify something. The last time I was on a date, I was sixteen and a nervous wreck most of the time.

Now I'm twenty-four... and I'm still not very good at this whole 'date' thing.

Fortunately, Trowa was.

"Alright, I'm dying of curiosity. Just how do you have custody of Amee?"

Safe ground for a conversation. Yes! "Hm... I have to back up a little to answer that. When I was seventeen, my mother became pregnant with Amee. It was a miracle... the only other time she was pregnant was with me. We were all surprised but rather happy about it. Unfortunately, her body just couldn't handle it. My mother was never strong physically to begin with, and it just... was too much strain for her. She died giving birth to Amee. Eight months later, my father died as well from grief."

His eyes shadowed into a darker green. "I'm sorry."

I gave a one-shouldered shrug, focusing on my hands. It still hurt to not have my mother. I wasn't ever as close with my father. It was hard to miss him sometimes. "It's something that I've gotten over, mostly. Still, it was interesting how things worked out. I was eighteen by that point, and had just started college. I think everyone automatically assumed that my grandmother would take Amee, but I just couldn't let her. Amee was the last thing that I had of my family, and I wasn't about to let her get away from me. Besides, my grandmother is insane."

He blinked. "Literally?"

"Well, no one has managed to get her committed yet, but that's because she drives them crazy before they can get the paperwork processed. She's bi-polar, you see, and refuses to take her medicine on a regular basis. She up and travels to different places at the drop of a hat. It meant a very strange life style, and I wasn't sure that I wanted Amee to be raised by her. So... I argued long and hard, and in the end, they gave her to me."

Trowa sat back, eyes on me. I felt like I was his focus, that he wasn't interested in anything but me. It was a heady feeling. "Still, that had to be difficult for you."

"Raising a baby while going to college... a lot of people do it. It was certainly a learning experience." Flashes of memories from those times darted through my mind, and I shook my head a little. "I won't claim it was easy. But it was worth it. And you? What's your history?"

"Hm... nothing terribly exciting. My one claim to uniqueness is that I was born in a circus."

"You're kidding!"

"Nope. I was a clown, and a lion-tamer, and if they needed one, an acrobat."

Strangely enough, I could see him in all three roles. "I now understand how you can be such a good pediatrician. You had prior training."

He chuckled a little, eyes crinkling up at the corners. It's really sexy. "That's more accurate than you know. Anyway, I left the circus when I was seventeen and went to college. When I graduated, I just chose a town at random and started looking for a job. It wasn't hard, people are always looking for doctors."

"Why didn't you stay?" I asked, truly curious. Running away to the circus used to be a dream of mine, when I was about four.

"I just got tired of going from place to place, living in a trailer, seeing new faces every week. I wanted to put down roots and just stay."

"Do you have any family?"

"My older sister, Cathy. She's rather like your grandmother -- she drives me nuts. Only she doesn't have a medical excuse, she's just crazy."

Dinner arrived and we dug in, the rest of the conversation more light and not delving into any painful topics.

Awkwardness didn't return until we reached my doorstep. I wanted to invite him in. I wanted to lead him straight upstairs, strip off all bothersome clothing, and spend some quality time with him between the sheets. Two things stopped me. One, I wasn't sure if I was really ready for that, and two, Amee was undoubtedly still up (even though it was nearly midnight) and ready for a play-by-play of my hot date.

Trowa must have sensed my hesitancy, because he just smiled and brushed a light kiss over my mouth. "'Night. And I hope that you want to do this again."

I caught his head, lifted up, and kissed him full on the mouth. Huskily I whispered, "I really want to do this again."

Something predatory flashed across his face, and he pressed back into me. Arms like steel bands went around my waist even as I caught his shoulders. My back was against brick, hard and cold while a hot mouth devoured mine. We kissed with hunger, and heat, and sound. I was about ready to just give up on oxygen as a lost cause when he lifted his head a little, breaking off contact.

"You just made it a million times harder for me to get back in my car and go home."

I was rather grateful at the moment that my door is so shadowed. Normally I'm cursing it because it's hard to see where the keyhole is and which key I need. Right now though, it's really convenient. Nobody can see the make-out session. I pressed my hips up into his, shivering a little at the friction and the sharp hiss that he gave. "Hmm... sorry. You're just too irresistible."

"You don't sound sorry." The hands on my butt squeezed a little, which felt really nice.

"That's cause I'm not."

He kissed me again, just as hungrily as the first time, but more brief. "What are you doing Sunday?" he asked desperately.

"Hiding from my grandmother," I answered promptly.

"You can come hide at my apartment," he offered with a slightly hopeful look.

I hesitated. I wanted to... god, I wanted to. But I couldn't leave Amee all day with just a baby-sitter, and I had promised to spend some time with her.

He deflated a little. "It's okay."

"I want to," I assured him earnestly. "But I can't leave Amee all day with a baby-sitter, especially with my grandmother on the warpath."

He perked right back up. "Quatre, when I said 'you' I meant Amee too."

My eyes bugged out so badly I could swear that they were going to fall out of my head. "... what?"

"I'm a pediatrician, I like kids, remember?"

Um. It took a few seconds for that to really penetrate. "Sorry, it's just reflex I guess. Most guys won't consider the little sister when planning get-togethers. I'll... I'll run it by Amee. She'll probably jump at the chance, she really likes you. Call you tomorrow?"

"Yeah. Call me at work."

"You work on Saturday?" It was the business man mentality, I rarely had to work a weekend.

"Well, this weekend. I have to work Saturday every other week. Call me there, okay?"

"Yeah." It took another five minutes of copping feels, kissing, and reluctant 'good nights' but Trowa finally tore himself away and went to the car, and I made myself let him go.

I could not believe my luck. Something that hot, and that sweet, and that intelligent, was still single? What was wrong with the world? Were people blind?

What am I saying?! It's great they're blind, it leaves him for me!

Smiling like an absolute dork, I unlocked the door and went inside. I was not at all surprised to see Abdul out like a light on the couch. He was the father of five children, the oldest being five. I offered him baby-sitting opportunities just so he could catch up on his sleep. Amee really doesn't need a baby-sitter, she's got more common sense than most forty-year olds.

Amee was in front of the TV in satin blue pajamas, propped up on a mound of pillows. She bounced up as I walked in. "So?"

"It was great." That was such a lame thing to say. "Actually it was fantastic. He's fantastic. I can't believe he's still single."

That was only part of the information that she wanted. Grabbing my hand she started bouncing around impatiently. "And? Did he kiss you good night?"

"Oh yes."

"AND?!"

"Not only does he look like prince charming, but he kisses like prince charming."

She got this goofy, sappy grin on her face. "Awww... that's so romantic."

"Romantic enough to change our plans and hang out at his place Sunday?" With this timing, I might get her to agree without thinking.

She perked up, sappiness gone. "Really?"

"Yup."

"You didn't twist his arm?"

"I didn't have to," I admitted honestly. "He wants to spend time with both of us."

Amee did a female version of a war whoop, hugging me tightly around the waist. "Call him now, call him now!"

"He won't be home yet."

That didn't faze her in the slightest. She ran for the phone since I didn't and dialed in his number. I have to wonder why she has it memorized... no, on second thought, it would be better for me if I didn't know. She stamped her foot (ah ha, answering machine! I told her so!) then started speaking rapidly. "Trowa, its Amee. We'd love to come! I'm going to bring games that we can play, or some movies if you want. What time should we come over? Call me back!"

I plucked the phone out of her hands before she could hang up. "Call back tomorrow when we're both awake. And tell us if we should bring munchies. I know we don't look it, but we're both bottomless pits."

Amee latched onto my arm, then used my knee as a step ladder so she could put her mouth near the phone. "Night!"

Has it ever occurred to children that adults are not an organic jungle gym? "Good night, Trowa."

+

Sunday couldn't arrive too early for either of us. As per instructions, Amee and I were on Trowa's doorstep at ten sharp. He lived in a really nice apartment complex, the sort that was perhaps two years old with a pool and rec room attached. When he opened the door to let us in, that impression was reinforced.

Damn, did he look fine in those old faded jeans and black t-shirt. Our eyes met and there was a flash of heat between us before he looked down at Amee. "Hi. You look very pretty."

"Thanks!" She gave him her special grin, the one that she knew dazzled every male thing within fifty miles. To be fair, she did look very pretty. She was in a light blue sundress and her hair was falling in soft curls around her shoulders. The innocent look she was going for was somewhat spoiled when she frowned up at me. "He never tells me that I look pretty unless I ask."

"Amee," I responded patiently, "you would look pretty in a toe sack."

As expected, she beamed at me for the compliment.

Trowa looked up at me. "She pays you to say things like that, doesn't she?"

Seeing the indignant _expression on my sister's face, I played along. "Yup, five bucks a week."

For those comments, we were snubbed with a dainty little nose stuck up in the air.

Trowa caught the bag in my hand and waved us inside. "Take your shoes off, get comfortable. What is in here anyway?"

"Games. I'll warn you right now, it is not safe to play Monopoly with either of us. We just thought we'd bring it along. Some people don't believe that assertion until we bankrupt them in the first ten rounds. Yahtzee is a better choice."

Trowa set the games aside with a smile. "I think I'll believe you. That might be something we should do later, though. Shall we go swimming?"

Amee completely forgot that she was miffed at us and bounced in excitement. "Yes! I need to change."

"Bathroom is the first door on your left," Trowa informed her.

As soon as the door shut behind her I wrapped both arms around his neck and spent a few very pleasurable minutes re-introducing our tongues. Trowa slipped both hands down to my ass and pulled me in hard against him, a rough rumble vibrating in his chest. "Hi," I murmured breathlessly.

"Hi yourself. I'm assuming that it's okay to be a little physically demonstrative?"

"Are you kidding? Amee thinks that it's marvelous and is taking all the credit for you asking me out."

"She did have a hand in it," he admitted easily. His hands were roving, lightly squeezing as he talked. Just because I couldn't stay still while he was doing all of this marvelous touching, I started tracing the contours of hard muscle through the thin shirt.

"Hm. I guess she did. How do you stay so built?"

"Swimming, and some gymnastics."

I eyed the shirt, thinking rapidly. How to get him out of that shirt without sounding either insane or dangerously horny... Aha! "We should probably change into trunks, too."

Trowa gave me this little grin. "If you want the shirt off, just say so."

Am I really that transparent?

Don't answer that.

The bathroom door opened. It gave me enough warning to unwrap myself a little from Trowa. Physically demonstrative is one thing, being all tangled up with him in a wanna-be-make-out session is another. Amee came into view, wearing her favorite yellow swimsuit and the yellow wrap that went with it. She eyed us suspiciously and demanded, "Were you two kissing?"

How is it that females always want the dirty details? "Yes."

She stamped her foot, looking peeved. "Quatre! I want to see."

Trowa looked like he was biting his lip to keep from laughing. "Why?"

Apparently she decided that appealing to Trowa might get her somewhere, because she gave him her patented no-one-loves-me pout. "Quatre said you're really good at kissing and I wanted to see what he was talking about."

Trowa was outright grinning at me. "Is that so?"

Damn the man for finding this amusing. I gave him a dirty look before going the safer route and facing Amee. "Amee, you can't tell much from just looking. Why don't you just take my word for it?"

The pout went up a level.

"He does have a point, Amee," Trowa acknowledged. There was a very distinct twinkle in those green eyes that spoke of mischief. "Tell you what, I'll show you." In two strides he reached over and picked her up by the waist, giving her a light kiss on her mouth.

Amee went bright red... then melted. "You do kiss like Prince Charming," she sighed.

Trowa burst out laughing, nearly bent in half, shaking all over. I rescued Amee from his grip before he could drop her. While Trowa was recovering I told my sister, "That is your only kiss, understand?"

"That's selfish," she accused.

"Yup." I didn't want her to get addicted to Trowa's kisses. I knew first hand just how addictive they were, I knew what I was talking about. "Be good while we change."

I got an eye roll for that statement, which I chose to ignore. It took a few minutes to change into trunks, then all three of us went down to the pool. It was an indoor heated affair. Amee stuck her hair up in a swimming cap, and went into the shallow end. Trowa and I tried to out-do each other with fancy dives for a bit, then we slowly snuck up on Amee in the shallow end and spent a pleasurable few minutes tossing her back and forth while she screamed and giggled.

Of course, we had to stop eventually just so she'd breathe, and we let her go back to the shallow end. I was about to suggest a game of Marco Polo when I saw that Trowa was staring hard at someone near the door. We weren't the only people in the pool area by any means, but there were only a handful of people so it was easy to figure out who he was staring at.

There was a large man, going slowly to fat standing near the door. He was hairy and darkly colored. I sidled closer to Trowa and asked softly, "What is it?"

"Amee," Trowa called quietly. He caught her by the waist as she drew near and pulled her in close. "Do you see that big man near the door?"

She turned and looked. "The one that looks like a bear?"

"Yes. I don't want you to go anywhere near him. In fact, just stick close to us."

I've given Amee those kinds of warnings before, and she knew what Trowa really meant. She twisted to look up at him. "Is he a bad man?"

"I can't prove it," Trowa admitted. "But I have my suspicions."

"Perhaps we should just go back up and watch a movie," I suggested. The man's appearance had put a damper on the buoyant mood we had been enjoying. It was perhaps better to just cut things short rather than to try and play with a pall in the air.

"Yeah," Amee agreed with a nervous glance at the door.

So we got out and went back upstairs to Trowa's apartment. Once we were back in normal clothes, Trowa put in Ice Age. Amee was immediately hooked. That was her favorite movie, second to none. She curled up on some huge monstrosity of a bean bag Trowa dragged out of a corner and sat right in front of the TV. Her absorption in the TV gave us adults some semi-privacy for a little cuddling in the huge recliner behind her. I snuggled into Trowa's lap and let my head lay against his shoulder. What is it about being wrapped up in someone's arms, lying against their body, that makes you feel so warm and safe?

I admit, I didn't pay a lot of attention to the movie. I took full advantage of my position and twisted so I could press gentle kisses against a warm mouth, and trace high cheekbones and soft skin with my fingertips. Trowa's eyes just glowed in soft delight at the attention, and he nuzzled back.

We were lost in our own world of intimacy and touch. I know that for a fact because the next thing that I became aware of besides Trowa was Amee giggling and watching us from the bean bag.

Brat.

"It's so romantic," she sighed with an impish little grin on her face. "Can I take a picture?"

"No," I told her firmly.

"Meanie."

"How about something to snack on?" Trowa suggested.

He's good at derailing arguments. "And maybe a game?"

I lost miserably in Yahtzee, I usually do, but this time I blame it entirely on Trowa. His sex appeal is just too distracting for me to focus well. We moved onto other games, and another movie that meant more snuggle time. At seven thirty, though, it was time for us to go home.

While Amee put our things in the car I snatched a too-brief kiss from Trowa. "What are you doing Wednesday?" I whispered.

"My mind is a blank. Whatever it is, I'll cancel it."

"Dinner at my place?"

He kissed me softly. "I can make it there at 6:30 if you ignore the doctor clothes."

"You look sexy in doctor clothes," I told him in all seriousness. "I'll see you at 6:30. And don't expect anything fancy, I'm not a gourmet cook."

"Right."

"Quatre, I'm going home without you!" Amee called.

"You can't!" I called back. "I have the keys!"

"I can always flag down a taxi!"

"And who's going to pay for it?"

"You, naturally! I have your wallet."

Are seven year olds supposed to win every argument?

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