Pete Conti was an up-and-coming chef. His culinary skills were matched only by his charismatic personality. Through his reputation for picking and choosing which jobs he took, word of mouth quickly spread, making him the most sought after young chef in Southern California.
A joint venture brings Declan and Pete together. As virtual strangers the two men find an instant attraction. As days and weeks go by they find themselves becoming consumed with one another. With both of their careers flourishing and obstacles in their way, they are forced with a choice. Do they walk away? Or do they give in to what they want most...each other.
Available at Bookstrand and Amazon
Declan took the glass from him and swallowed a more generous amount than Pete might have expected. Obviously the man wasn’t just drop-dead sexy. He could also handle his liquor. Which posed Pete with a very nagging question. What else could he handle?
“So, you say you have a proposition for me, huh? That sounds rather ominous. Care to elaborate?” Pete asked.
“Before we go any further, I have to ask that what we talk about remains between us. It will eventually go public, but I’d like to keep the lid on things until we go live.”
To say Pete’s curiosity was piqued would be an understatement. “Okay, now you’ve really got my attention. But, you have yourself a deal. I won’t say a word to anyone. Although I’m not sure who I would tell anyway.”
Declan reached in his pocket, got out a business card, and slid it across the Formica table. Pete glanced at the elegant black card. With silver writing it read, Declan Designs. He turned it over and read the back which said, designing your dream, planning your party, excelling in extravagance.
“Umm… you’re a party planner?” Pete asked, more confused now than ever.
“I was a party planner. I got burned out really fast. Now, I’d like to think of myself as a dream maker.”
Pete smirked and took a swig of his beer. “Riiiiiiiight. Isn’t that something the spider says to the fly right before he eats him?”
“Okay, I’m being too vague. Here’s the deal. I’ve done lots of big parties, with big names in Hollywood. I’m coordinating with a local television station to do a dream giveaway for ten lucky winners. Not just lucky, but less fortunate, the kind of people who deserve nice things in life, but can’t afford it. I plan their party and pick up the tab. They pay nothing. That’s where you come in.”
“Look, I don’t know what you heard, but I’m not rich by any stretch of the imagination. Your idea sounds admirable and I do okay for myself, but I can hardly help you foot the bill for a bunch of people’s parties.”
Declan laughed. “You think I want you to pay for it? Right, because that’s what I do, search out random strangers and ask them to put money into a project. Give me a little credit, would you? I’m here because I hear you’re an up-and-coming chef. I want you to cook for me.”
Pete stopped in mid drink and set his beer bottle down. “Seriously?”
“Yeah, seriously. Your reputation says you’re a good chef, and from what I hear you’re one of those good-guy types, always doing a little something extra to help people out. Judging from what I saw here tonight, I’d say that assessment is right on.”
Pete looked at the man who waltzed into his parent’s pool hall not too long ago and nearly knocked him on his ass with his good looks. He had charisma, from what he could tell, a good personality, and now he wanted to bring Pete on board for a project that threw parties for people who were less fortunate?
He still worked full time as a private chef to several clients who bought well packages through local health clubs, but there was no reason he couldn’t do a little something on the side. Not to mention he wouldn’t mind spending some extra time, a little bit of one-on-one time with the hottie who went by Declan.
“Giving back to others, huh? I don’t know. It sounds like it could be fun. I’m assuming there’s no pay involved and my services would be pro-bono?”
Declan nodded. “Will that be a problem?”
Pete thought about it for a minute, not because he needed to, but because Declan’s eyes were such an exquisite color of green he couldn’t help but stare into them. They were mesmerizing. After looking into them for probably a few seconds longer than he should have, he realized that there probably wasn’t anything Declan asked for that he didn’t get.
The man was utterly gorgeous. Whether it was cooking for the less fortunate, or taking down a pool hustler together, Pete was fairly certain that he would have a hard time saying no to this man. Not that he even wanted to, but still he felt like he should play at least a little hard to get. Shouldn’t he?
“So, what do you say?” Declan asked.
“Let’s do it. Sounds like it could be fun. Besides, my mom loves it when her baby boy does something good. This should earn me brownie points.”
“Fantastic! Let’s have a toast then.” Declan raised his glass and continued, “Here’s to the beginning of a wonderful new venture.”
A new venture, a new adventure, and who knew what else. One thing was for sure. Pete was going to have quite a lot of fun working with the dream designer, Declan.
Pete raised his Heineken and clanked his glass together with Declan’s. “Cheers.”