"You want to get to know me better? It's pretty simple. Come cook in my kitchen. You'll get to know me better than you ever wanted to."
"I would love to cook in your kitchen, but Dix is right, I'm not much of a cook." He leaned back against the pillows again. "I don't want to know you just as a chef, anyway."
Harry folded his arms behind his head and smiled at the ceiling. "So what do you want to know me as?"
"You're going to make me say it, aren't you?"
"Hell, yes. I'm enjoying this. You realize how long it's been since someone has tried to seduce me? 'Cause that's what you're doing, Nicky."
Nicholas rolled on top of him and Harry held his shoulders, startled. "I want to hear your stories. I want to taste your cooking. I want you to help me impress Dix. I want to know who you are, Harry Whelan."
"You know who I am." He ran his fingers over Nicholas' shoulders, strong under his striped T-shirt.
"Then I want to know more."
Nicholas smiled and moved off Harry's body, and looked at Harry with those big eyes under dark chestnut brows as he plucked at a fold in Harry's jeans. Harry said, "I'm not Dixon. I'm not rich or famous, I don't have famous friends -- except Dix," he added with a slight smile, and Nicholas laughed.
"So now I know what you're not. You're also not a homebody. You're restless. You like new things and new places and new people." He held out his hands. "I'm new. Sort of. You don't know who I am, either."
"I know you better than you think," Harry said. "I remember seeing you doing homework in the kitchen at Luberon, for instance. And I remember you at Corinne and Dutch's wedding, all elbows and knees in that suit that didn't fit you. Your wrists stuck out of your sleeves."
"I'd had a growth spurt since we bought that suit." They looked at each other, neither of them moving, and Nicholas said, "Can I show you something? You'll probably laugh."
"You can show me anything," Harry said. Nicholas smiled and reached behind him to open a drawer on the white night table beside his bed. He handed Nicholas a jar of herbs de Provence. Harry said slowly, "I don't get it."
"I sniff it like incense when I get homesick," Nicholas said, gaze skittering off for a moment. "Ridiculous, isn't it? I've lived in the city since I was tiny but I still think of Saignon as home."
"So why not move there? There may not be much work for someone with an MBA in a small town like that, but if you love it --"
"I do love it," Nicholas said. "But ... you know when you have a favorite dish and then you eat it every day?"
Harry nodded. "It stops being your favorite dish."
"Exactly. I'll live in Saignon someday, but not yet." He looked at the little bottle and put it back on the nightstand.