Our pup had some questions to answer before the night was over. But for now, I was simply going to focus on the soft smile on Ian’s face and the warmth of his hand in mine.
And the wicked excitement radiating from our pup.
Yes, Bishop was definitely Ian’s Daddy, but he was our pup.
Our naughty pup.
But Ian’s tender Daddy.
Bishop was a fascinating mix of Dom and sub, but it seemed like his Dom side was completely focused on caring for Ian. He was a Daddy through and through, but I couldn’t help wonder what Ian would think about Bishop submitting to me.
“One thing your Daddy mentioned was that you have a sweet tooth as well.” The teasing comment got a sweet blush and a quiet groan from Ian. “He said you liked the cookies we made you.”
The seemingly shy sub shot me a frustrated glare that was so cute I had to remind myself that kissing him wasn’t acceptable…not yet, anyway.
I wasn’t even sure if this was a date.
Was it a date if we were having dinner, flirting, and talking around giving a sub an orgasm for being good?
Giving a soft huff that made Bishop grin even wider, Ian took a breath and stood straighter. “They were very good. Thank you.”
Hmm, it seemed like the shy sub had a bite to him.
“I’m glad.” Squeezing his hand, I decided to make sure we addressed a few things before we got to the door of the restaurant. “I wanted to make sure you knew I supported the two of you in figuring out how your relationship would look. You’ve made Bishop very happy.”
And now they were both blushing.
Ian’s gaze dropped to the ground, but he showed his gumption as he peeked back and forth at us. Bishop’s expression made Ian giggle. As he looked back at me, I wasn’t sure what he saw in my face, but Ian looked more confident as his giggle faded and he straightened.
“I appreciated that.” Taking a breath, he seemed to be deliberately avoiding both our gazes as he looked straight at the restaurant. “Seeing that you weren’t…well, that you were okay with what we were doing made it easier.”
Easier to submit?
Easier to trust?
Easier to come on this weird maybe date?
There were too many options to guess, so I nodded and tried to project a confidence I wasn’t sure I felt at the moment. “I’m glad. I want both of you to be happy.”
I meant it in the most innocent way possible, but something about my statement had Ian tripping over nothing and blushing again.
He wasn’t thinking only innocent thoughts.
It seemed like Bishop’s sweet boy had a wicked side, too.
Bishop’s deep, sexy chuckle didn’t help Ian’s ability to get his telltale blush under control, but it seemed like my pup liked how his boy was so easy to read.
I wasn’t sure what that said about my obliviousness in the past, but a small voice in the back of my head hinted that everything had happened at the right time. Agreeing was frustrating, but I wouldn’t have been the right Dom for Ian.
I wasn’t a Daddy…but maybe I could be an honorary uncle?
Was there a title for your Daddy’s Dom?
Nothing that I’d seen about that part of the lifestyle put me off, but it simply wasn’t how I saw myself. I wasn’t a Daddy…but then again…I hadn’t seen myself as a handler either.
Clearly, my ability to self-assess needed some work.
“Should I ask what you’re thinking?” Bishop’s teasing pulled me from my wandering thoughts and had Ian groaning.
Thankfully, he wasn’t talking to me.
“No…that would be…” Shaking his head, Ian gave Bishop a wide-eyed look that was very contrived and looked like something Eli would’ve taught him. “Please, no?”
As I tried not to laugh, Bishop snickered and shook his head. “I think we need to make a rule about aiming that expression at me just to get what you want.”
Ian’s startled expression had me laughing and shaking my head. “Don’t agree with it. It’s a trap.”
Bishop shot me a glare that was half laughter and half frustration. “You’re just making trouble.”
Nodding eagerly, I didn’t even try to hide my grin. “Absolutely.”
Ian’s quiet giggles were infectious, and Bishop was barely hanging on to his fake outrage as I explained how I saw my role. “Think of me as an honorary uncle to your boy. I’m the fun one who gets to jump in and make trouble and encourage ridiculous things. Then you’re left to enforce the rules when I’m gone.”
That was definitely my role.
Rules and structure?
I had that with Bishop.
But fun, trouble, and teasing?
Oh yes, I could find my mischievous side if it let me have a way to fit into their life.
Bishop huffed, folding his arms across his chest. “That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard.”
Ian’s entire body was shaking as he barely suppressed his laughter. When he could breathe without giggling, he stepped closer to his pouting Daddy and kissed his cheek. “But you get cuddles…”
He paused, blushing again and dropping his voice low. “And fun stuff like bath time.”
I wasn’t sure if he meant to say it privately to Bishop or not, but the words carried in the quiet parking lot. Bishop was back to smiling at his boy like he was the cutest thing he’d ever seen, and I couldn’t help smiling at the pair.
They were right for each other, but I didn’t feel like an outsider watching from a distance. I wasn’t removed and alone. I was taking in two sweet men who were somehow mine. We were simply going to have to work on labels and the relationship dynamics over dinner.
I needed structure, and to get there, we had to figure out where to start and what questions needed to be answered first.
“Alright, you two lovebirds. Time to straighten up and stop making love with your eyes.” I pretended to look stern and glare as we approached the door. Turtles would’ve moved faster than we had, but eventually even they would’ve made it to the door too.
“Unless you want attention?” Raising one eyebrow, I loved the way Ian blushed and Bishop grinned. “But this isn’t that kind of establishment.”
And that had Ian going fire engine red, but Bishop waggled his eyebrows like an evil villain. “Hmm, that’s a conversation we should have soon, too.”
I rolled my eyes as Ian gaped. “There are a few other conversations we should have before we get to that one.”
Ian’s head nodded so fast he looked like a bobblehead doll. “Like if we’re on a date?”
The words had barely cleared his lips before his face seemed to morph into an anime character. His eyes went wide, and he slapped his hand over his mouth like he couldn’t believe what he’d said. He was horrified, but he couldn’t have looked any cuter.
Oh yes, I was definitely starting to see what my pup saw in his boy.
Bishop’s grin almost split his face as he leaned down and kissed his shocked boy’s cheek. “I’m voting yes on that answer, but I think Uncle Cohen here needs a vote, too.”
“Uncle Cohen says that it’s only a date if he gets a kiss at the end of the night.” I shrugged, doing my best to look nonchalant. “So I think that’s going to be up to Ian.”
And we were back to his shocked anime face.
Bishop was nodding like the overeager pup he was, but he didn’t verbally push Ian to give the answer he clearly wanted. However, he did give him a nudge, kissing his cheek and whispering softly. “Deep breath, cutie. There are no right or wrong answers here.”
Nodding, I rubbed my fingers over Ian’s hand and tried to project a relaxed and reassuring manner instead of the slightly predatory one that kept trying to sneak out. “Bishop is right, and it’s not something we have to answer right now, either.”
Ian managed to bring his hand down and gather his wits about him as the door opened and a cheerful couple nearly bounced out, clearly eager to get somewhere. I thought he’d take it as an easy way to change the subject, but as he let out a steadying breath, he nodded slowly. “Yes. I want it to be a date.”
Studying me as he paused, he seemed to be thinking again, so we both waited for the cutie to work through whatever he was processing. Finally, he gave another decisive nod that was so cute I had to fight back a smile. “I don’t want to wait.”
He stretched and leaned in, kissing me softly and grinning as it was my turn to give him a shocked anime face. “There, now we don’t have to worry.”
Sometimes there were moments where everything seemed to stop and life literally changed course right in front of your eyes. Seeing Bishop across the room the first time we’d met had been one of them, and I knew that Ian’s sweet honesty was another.
I just wasn’t sure what the end of this new path would look like or how windy it would be getting there.
“What do you mean you’ve never had key lime pie?” I was so shocked Ian giggled as he shrugged, delighted with my reaction.
“Well, it’s kind of green and I like ice cream?” He looked excitedly down at the dessert menu. “And cheesecake. Oh, I like chocolate cake too. Why don’t more restaurants do cookies for dessert?”
The way Bishop’s gaze quietly softened said little Ian might be closer to the surface than I’d expected to see on our first date. For a moment I expected him to step in and help his excited boy narrow down which dessert he wanted, but Bishop just turned his tender look to me and raised one eyebrow.
Clearly, he was not going to rescue me…it was definitely a spankable offense.
“How about if I order it for my dessert and you can try it? That way you can see what it tastes like and still have your favorite dessert.” The win-win scenario had Ian’s eyes widening, and I got another peek at the mischievous innocence that Bishop had talked about.
“What if I like it too?” Laughing would’ve been the wrong response, so I shrugged and did my best to keep a neutral smile.
“Then you get two desserts?” Any other date would’ve thought I was being ridiculous, but Ian nodded slowly, like it made perfect sense.
“Da—Bishop said you don’t like dessert as much as we do.” Ian’s slip had him peeking over at Bishop, who just smiled and reached under the table to squeeze his boy’s thigh.
The touch, and I thought my lack of surprise in general, gave Ian a boost of confidence, and the flash of worry that had gone through him faded quickly. “So…so you wouldn’t mind? I mean, just in case?”
Oh, there were a whole host of things I wouldn’t mind happening with the cute sub, but for now, I stuck to the topic at hand.
“I wouldn’t mind at all.” Shrugging, I subtly pointed to another couple who had a piece of cake that looked like it would feed three people. “They have huge desserts here. I can share.”
Ian gave the cake a longing look and took a deep breath, like he was trying to shove his little side back into the bottle it’d escaped from. “They are very big.”
He looked over at Bishop, swallowing and sitting straighter. “Right?”
I could almost hear the unsaid honorific as he turned to his Daddy. Bishop was just Bishop and took it all in stride, knowing what his boy needed. “I think that sounds like a great idea.”
“It…it wouldn’t be greedy?” I wasn’t sure if big Ian or little Ian was worried about asking for too much, but something about the way he phrased the question and the fact that he’d asked, in general, said little Ian was peeking out again.
“No.” Bishop ran a hand over Ian’s head, smiling at his boy. “It wouldn’t be greedy since Uncle Cohen offered. He wants to share something he likes with you.”
He was right.
“Okay…yes…” Ian stumbled over the sentence, not wanting to say Daddy, but his brain clearly wasn’t on board with that decision.
“Ian?” I wasn’t sure it was my place to address it, but I was going to anyway.
He swallowed and watched me nervously. “Yes?”
“First of all, I’m glad you checked with your Daddy when you had a question about something I said.” The shy cutie looked like an overthinker, so I wanted to make sure that question wouldn’t pop up later when he was obsessively going over our first date.
His cheeks pinked faintly, but he managed to nod. “Thank you.”
It didn’t give me much to go on, but since I hadn’t seemed to have upset him, I pushed my luck again. “And second, I like sharing, so when I give you something or ask if you want something, you don’t have to worry about paying me back or taking too much.”
When his flush deepened, I knew he understood I was talking about more than just the desserts on the menu.
Before I could continue, Bishop chuckled. “Uncle Cohen likes lists.”
Snorting, I ignored our cheeky peanut gallery. “I know you might not want to call him Daddy out in public.” Sometimes people just didn’t understand that. “But you don’t have to censor yourself around me. Alright? What you call him is up to you, but don’t worry about me.”
He went very still before faintly bobbing his head. “Yes…Yes, Sir?”
I couldn’t hide how much I liked that, even though I knew I couldn’t have explained why…not yet, anyway.
But was it really up to me?
Ian’s expression was volleying between nervous and looking like he wanted to giggle, but I had to turn to Bishop. Raising one eyebrow, I leaned back. “What does the cutie’s Daddy have to say about that?”
He gave an artful shrug, barely holding back the way he wanted to crow and strut. “I think it’s perfectly reasonable.”
Bishop leaned closer to Ian and squeezed his leg again, giving him an approving, pride-filled smile. “I have a very good, brave boy.”
And the brave boy had a confident Daddy.
That confidence seemed to be contagious because as we ordered dessert and kept up the comfortable conversation, Ian’s little side kept peeking out before it’d hide again. It wasn’t something I was used to noticing, but it was starting to feel like a game.
And I liked winning, so paying attention to the clues was my goal for the evening.
“What do you think? How is your cake?” Picking dessert had ended up being a Daddy decision because Ian hadn’t been able to narrow down the choices. However, Bishop had taken it in stride and stepped in without seeming to realize how easily he helped Ian.
It was sweet and one of the thousand small things I’d seen that made me realize they were right for each other. Hearing about it was one thing, but seeing it with my own eyes cemented something for me. I wasn’t sure how this relationship would end up looking, but I knew I would do anything in my power to make it work.
There just weren’t any other options.
Cohen knew something had changed the moment he saw the smiling, laughing man across the crowded bar. After a string of bad dates and terrible relationships, his expectations had hit rock bottom…until a smiling pup stepped into his arms and into his life.
However, nothing is simple as Cohen dives into the curious relationship between his pup, his pup’s boy, and the three of them together. With Cohen learning what it means to be in a relationship with two men and Bishop learning what it means to be a Daddy, there’s no way to hide how they’re coming to feel about their boy.
When a Dom, an unexpected switch, and a little finally open up, anything can happen.
Author’s Note: This is book two in the Our Love series and should be read in order.