All In The Details

an excerpt

Chapter One

Beau pushed the button on his Bluetooth when his cell's ringtone sounded again. Angie this time. Now what? He was on the way to the venue and there'd better not be another problem. If people would just listen to him and pay attention to the details, these last minute things wouldn't keep cropping up.

"What now, Angie? I'll be there in fifteen. You'd better not tell me we've got problems."

He put his left hand back on the wheel and his right moved across his stomach to grasp his left side, sliding up and down, pinching here and there, then he sighed. He listened to the latest crisis.

"White balloons. You need me to stop somewhere and get white balloons? How do we not have enough balloons for this girl's party? For God's sake, Angie! Who screwed up? I know. You don't even have to tell me. Shane. You do know that I'm driving through the countryside, right? Not a lot of party stores out here. How many times have I told you all that it's--" He didn't get to finish because she finished the sentence for him.

"--all in the details. I know. We know. But you're the only one who can handle the minutiae that is required to get all the details done. Shane just got the wrong kind. We can't put long ones in with all the round ones. We can't all be OCD, Beau." He would only take that from Angie and she knew it.

"Fine. I've seen a little grocery/general store type thing on this road. I hope they have f'ing white balloons. How many? Oh, right, I'm sure they'll have a hundred. Jeez! I'm out." Beau pushed the button again to end the call before he said something really ugly. His hand moved across his stomach again, then he caught himself and put it back on the steering wheel.

It was a good thing he had both hands on the wheel. Just as he was flipping on the blinker to slow for his turn into the parking lot of the store, a car came barreling out, spitting gravel and dust, cutting across in front of him, nearly clipping his front fender. He slammed on the brakes and made note of the make and model. In the rearview mirror, he got the license plate number as it sped by. The driver had the nerve to flip him off as he passed. Idiot.

Beau walked into the store, wondering fleetingly what the man's problem was. He didn't have time for that, though. He had to find white balloons. He asked the lady behind the counter, whose nametag read "Mabel", and she said they had some, but she doubted if they had a hundred. She pointed to an aisle on the back side of the store. As he walked to the spot, he looked around. This small store could have come right off the set of The Andy Griffith Show from the sixties. He used to watch it with his grandmother who couldn't stand the newer shows. He'd seen a lot of the old shows with her and her maid/friend, Alberta. The store was quaint, with old fashioned mason jars full of pickles and preserves on shelves right along with the Pop-Tarts and Red Bull. Now that was a pairing. He guessed with the minimal space, they had to cram things together.

He found the aisle and was looking at some of the toys they had for kids. He'd just found the bags of balloons and was reaching for the three bags of white ones when he heard children's voices from the next aisle over.

He didn't think anything about it until one of the little boys said, "Pick it up."

Another child said, "You pick it up. I'm not gonna pick it up. You think it's real?"

The first one replied, "It looks real. Wonder what it's doing under there? I'm gonna pick it up."

"No. What if it goes off and shoots you in the foot? Or what if you drop it and it hits both of us? I'm tellin' Mom." The second one was getting a little louder.

"Don't you dare, chicken. I'm gonna get it." The first one grunted like he was bending down to the floor.

Beau was stunned for a second and then the whole thing made sense and he hurried around the end of the aisle. He saw two little boys, maybe four and five. The bigger one was bending and reaching for a gun that was just under the bottom shelf on the floor.

"Hey. Leave that alone." He couldn't let the boy pick up the gun and take the chance that it was indeed real.

They gasped and froze, looking at him. Beau moved closer and bent to pick the gun up before the young boy could reach any farther under the shelf for it. He picked it up and was surprised at how heavy it felt to him. He had no doubt this was a real gun.

All hell broke loose. Both boys screamed at the top of their impressive lungs. Beau nearly dropped the gun himself at the cacophony. Both boys were now standing right there, looking at him like he was going to shoot them when a woman came around the corner, sliding to a stop when she saw the tableau in front of her. Her screams added to theirs and Beau was now as frozen as the boys. Of course, the only thing that would add to the idiocy of the moment was the lady behind the counter.

She held a shotgun in her hands and yelled over the others, "Y'all shut up! Now, Marie, bring those boys over here to me and put them behind the counter. You join them and all of you sit on the floor. Now, stop screaming, you hear? My gun's bigger than his."

Beau spoke for the first time. "Ma'am, this is not my gun. I heard the boys talking and they were going to pick it up and I was afraid one of them might get hurt."

"Uh-huh. But you're holding it and the police are on their way, so just you stand there, nice and easy until they get here." Mabel was calm and steady. Beau was shaking like a leaf.

"Really? Do I look like someone who would own a gun?" he asked.

From behind the counter a small voice jumped in with, "You look like a fag."

Beau was so shocked he nearly dropped the gun. His hand was shaking. He heard the mother, Marie, say, "John David, you hush right now. I'm sorry, mister, he's only five. Please don't, uh, do anything you might regret."

Beau was simply stupefied. "The only thing I regret is that I'm going to be late to Shana Wainwright's sixteenth birthday party. They're not going to have the white balloons we need. Damn, try to do a good deed and oh, yes, I hear the sirens. What fresh hell is waiting for me now?"

"Could you not cuss so much in front of the boys, please?" Marie was full of requests from the floor behind the counter.


A Tanner Police Department cruiser pulled up out front, lights and sirens stopping abruptly. Beau sighed in relief, though it was short-lived. Two officers came bursting through the door, guns drawn, and the younger one yelled, "Put the gun down, lie down on the floor, hands clasped behind your head."

From behind the counter, Beau swore he heard one of the boys say, "Cool."

The older officer went to Mabel and slowly took the shotgun from her. She stepped back and sat on a stool that was behind the old-fashioned register.

"Hey, Glenn."

"Hey, Mabel. You okay?" the man asked her, turning to give Beau a hard stare as Beau bent to place the gun gently back onto the floor. Giving a grimace at the thought of lying on the floor in his new suit, Beau did so anyway. He clasped his hands behind his head as requested and waited, watching the shiny shoes of the younger policeman as he came near.

Beau watched as the man picked up the gun with a pen from his pocket through the space where the trigger was. He didn't know what it was called. Hell, he knew nothing, absolutely nothing about guns. Well, except they could hurt inquisitive little boys.

"Uh, now that you have the gun, can I get up? I have a party to get to. I'm going to be late. This is ruining my suit and I can explain all of this." Beau was using his calm, steady voice, sure that when they heard his story, he'd be allowed to leave.

"Get up, slowly. Glenn, cuff him while I get his story," the first officer said. When Beau was standing, he looked the younger man over. He was probably close to thirty, a year or two either side, quite tall, and had very bright blue eyes and honey-colored hair. He was good-looking in a solid, homey way. The tag on his uniform informed Beau that his name was Tyler.

The older guy, shorter, slightly overweight with gray hair cropped close to his head came over and roughly pulled Beau's arms tight behind him.

"Ouch. Easy, please." Beau didn't want to antagonize the guy, but that hurt!

"Aw, sorry about that. Hey, Tyler, I should be more gentle with our gun-waving friend here."

"Hey, I've already said that is not my gun. I don't have a gun. I've never had a gun. I mean, do I look like the type of man who would have a gun?" Beau tried that line again.

The man that Mabel had called Glenn, and Beau saw on his uniform that his last name was Hollis, leaned in and said, snidely, "You look like one of them faggots."

Beau lost it. "I swear the next person who says that is going to get bitch-slapped." Hell, could he sound more gay?

Hollis let out a snort of laughter. "We'll just add threatening an officer to the list of charges." Hollis raised an eyebrow at that, like Beau had made his point for him. Whatever.

"Glenn, you shouldn't say things like that. Captain already told you we can't make disparaging remarks about people," Officer Tyler said. Beau noticed that he was blushing a little as he said this.

Beau felt like he was in the Twilight Zone. Like really.

Hollis grunted and said, "You and your words. Disparaging remarks. Call it like I see it is all."

"Well, we could get in trouble for it, so be careful." Tyler looked at Beau and said, "You want to tell us what happened?"

"Aw, come on, let's just take him in, Nash. We saw him with the gun." Officer Hollis sounded like he was ready to get done here and find a coffee shop. Beau refrained from making the disparaging remark, though.

"I want to hear it now. What's your name?" Officer Tyler crossed his arms over his chest and waited. Officer Hollis released Beau's hands and he rubbed his wrists, but stood still, not wanting the man to grab him again.

"Beau Garner. I was on my way to the Wainwright's. My company is working there. I'm an event planner. Their daughter is having a sweet sixteen party and one of my assistants forgot to order enough round white balloons. I stopped here hoping to find some. You can ask Mabel." Beau glanced at her and so did both men. She nodded her head.

"That's what he said he needed when he came in here."

"Go on," Tyler said.

"I was over there where there are three bags of round white balloons beside a toy cell phone and two Spiderman figures. I heard these two little boys talking about picking up a gun they saw on the floor. I got worried about it so I came around the corner and there was one, right there, under the shelf. I grabbed it before the bigger boy could get hold of it. I was afraid of what would happen if he didn't know how to hold it or something. That's all. They screamed, their mother screamed, Mabel grabbed the shotgun and evidently called you. End of story. Now can I get my damn balloons--sorry ma'am--and get to the Wainwright's? Shana's party starts in"--he looked at the clock behind the counter and frowned--"oh, crap. It starts in two hours and we've got a lot to do yet."

Beau looked at Officer Tyler and waited.

Hollis spoke up and said, "If it's not your gun, whose is it?"

Beau glanced at him and didn't try to hide the look on his face. "How would I know? I told you I just didn't want the boys to pick it up. Someone must have left it there before I got here. Oh, hell!" He snapped his fingers. "I bet I know who it was, too."

"Really? Enlighten us. Who left it there for you to pick up?" Hollis was not hiding his sneer or his amusement at Beau's words.

Beau refused to look at the older man. He directed his words to the more reasonable Nash Tyler.

"When I drove up, a car nearly hit my front fender it was pulling out of here so fast. It was a champagne-colored Taurus, older, maybe six years or so, with a black swirly stripe down the side. The license plate read AJT six ten. The driver was a man between thirty and thirty-five with dark brown hair and dark eyes. He had on a black T-shirt and there was a rip in the shoulder seam." Tyler was writing as fast as Beau talked.

When Beau finished, Officer Hollis was looking at him with wide, disbelieving eyes. "That's a lot of information. How'd you get all that? Most people don't even remember the color of a car that passes them."

"It didn't just pass me, it almost hit me. Oh, and he flipped me off as he went by. I notice things--details, you know. I'm kind of known for it. My company is called Details. We're hired for the perfection of the events we plan because I'm a stickler for the details in all things. I've always been super observant. Officer Hollis had eggs for breakfast. There's a small bit of the yolk on his shirt, right above the left pocket. You've had a haircut in the last couple of days, huh? There's a patch that's not as tan around your neck," he pointed. Beau suddenly felt like he was performing a magic act, trying to get them to believe his words.

Tyler put his hand up to his neck as if he could feel the spot where the skin was a lighter color. Hollis brushed at his shirt, ineffectually.

"It's easy enough, guys. Just ask the boys if they saw the gun under the shelf before I came around the corner. And Mabel there knows I went straight to the toy aisle looking for the balloons." Beau was ready to get this over with and get to the venue. Who knew what his assistants were doing? It was a wonder that Angie hadn't already called.

As if on cue, his cell rang with the tune of "Witchy Woman" by the Eagles. He said, "Can I get that? She's just going to keep calling if I don't."

Officer Tyler nodded and Beau reached up and touched his ear bud. Beau listened for a moment and interrupted Angie to say, "I ran into some trouble. I'll be there as soon as I can. I found forty-five white balloons. I know, but you'll have to make it work. I have to go, Angie." When the call ended, he turned to the officers, waiting to see if they'd do as he'd suggested before Angie called. Looking at Tyler, he tilted his head toward the counter where the boys were still hidden and nodded, urging him to get on with it.

Officer Tyler stepped closer to the counter and said, "Ma'am, could you and the boys come out here? It's safe, I promise."

The mother and the two boys stood and came around the end of the counter. Both boys' eyes were huge and they never took them off the two officers. Marie had a hand on both of their shoulders as if ready to jerk them back to safety if needed.

Beau watched as Tyler went down to one knee and looked at the boys seriously. They stood as if made of stone. Beau wasn't sure they even blinked.

"Is Mr. Garner telling the truth, boys? Did you see the gun and talk about picking it up before he came over to you? Tell the truth now. You're not in trouble, but if you--" The officer got no further.

"John David did it. He was gonna pick it up and I told him I was gonna tell Mom and he called me a chicken and I'm not a chicken but I didn't want him to shoot his toe off or drop it and then the man came over and told us to leave it alone." With that, the smaller one turned and hid his face in his mother's skirt. John David ducked his head. He was busted.

Beau sighed in relief. Finally!

"Okay, seriously, can I get the damn balloons--sorry ma'am--and get over there before the party starts without me? I have a reputation to uphold here, one for excellence."

Officer Tyler was already nodding. Clearly it had happened the way Beau had said so they really had no reason to hold him there any longer. Tyler nodded and Hollis sighed as if sorry they couldn't take him in for something. Beau turned and went back to the aisle and grabbed the three bags of fifteen white balloons and took them to the counter, taking out a credit card. He saw Mabel shake her head and reached for his wallet again for cash.

"Officers." He nodded to them as he passed on his way to the door.

"Excuse me, Mr. Garner," Officer Tyler said, "could you take this card and call me if you think of anything else about the car you saw?" He blushed as he handed Beau the card with his name and number on it. Beau wondered why he would blush and then a light went off over his head, he was sure of it. Was Nash Tyler, duly sworn officer of the Tanner Police Department, coming on to him? Beau looked him in the eyes and nodded, taking the card, making sure he "accidently" touched Tyler's hand when he did. Tyler's blush deepened and Beau had to fight a self-satisfied grin. Well, the day was looking up. But he had to go. Now.

His right hand reached across his stomach, gliding down his side, pinching a little as he opened the door with his left. He took a deep breath and promptly tried to put that scene out of his mind and think about the things that needed to be done before thirty-eight teenagers arrived for Shana Wainwright's party. He settled into his seat and turned the key, looking up in time to see Officer Tyler standing in the open door of the store, watching him.

Damn, that was one good-looking man, long and tall and sexy as hell. Beau nodded to him again and pulled out of the parking lot. He made himself think of what was ahead of him today. At Details, they never took jobs that overlapped. One event per day was all he could handle with the help he presently had. This one was a big deal. The Wainwrights were big money in Tanner. Well, a lot of Tanner was big money and that was why Beau had bought the house and started his business in the small town just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.

Tanner was chock full of musicians, celebrities, and people who were big in the equine world. There was money to be made in Tanner. His reputation for excellence was growing, as he'd told the officers, and he didn't want a single black mark on the spreadsheet. He had to get to Miss Shana's party and make it spectacular, just as she'd requested.

When he pulled onto the estate, he marveled again at the beauty of the surroundings. Large fields were intricately enclosed with a myriad of black fencing, marking it off into a grid that only the horse owner and his staff understood, but it made a beautiful landscape. There were huge trees in the center of some of the fields providing shade for the most beautiful horses Beau thought he'd ever seen. He admitted to not knowing a lot about them, but he recognized quality when he saw it. He followed the long drive as it wound around and ended up at the back of the house with other vehicles. He saw his Details van and sighed in relief. He didn't know why. It's not like he hadn't known it was there, but he tended to obsess over the little things. He grabbed the bag containing the packages of balloons and headed for the pool area where he knew that they were to be filled and placed into the pool with the dark purple and lavender ones.

Beau smiled when he saw how far his staff had gotten along without him. He came up behind them just as Shane, working on filling the dark purple balloons with air, said, "I can't believe he's not here. This is a big job, he said, and he threatened my life if I was late."

"Problems, Shane, other than not ordering round white balloons?" Beau asked, reaching them and dropping the bag as Angie threw her arms around him.

"Beau, what happened? It was bad, I know it was. Your voice was so tense, and you're never, ever, even a little late. God, Beau, your pants have dirt on them! Tell me. Are you okay?" Angie was a little hyper, but he loved her like a sister.

Peeling her off him, he laughed and said, "Other than nearly being arrested for brandishing a gun at two toddlers, I'm fine. What's needed here?" He knew he wouldn't get off that easily, but it was worth a try. It was his fault, too, for saying it like that.

"An explanation is needed right now, mister. You don't even know how to brandish a gun. How do you brandish a gun, anyway? You don't own a gun. Look at you. Do you look like the kind of person who would have a gun?"

"See? That's what I kept telling them. And do you know what they kept saying? I'm not telling you, but it bordered on rude. Nope. It was rude." His hand reached across his stomach and Angie grabbed it and pulled it away.

"Tell us quickly, so we can get this done. Time is running out and we still have to get these placed and check on catering. The tables look great, don't they? Good thing there's no wind today or there'd be sequins and purple petals everywhere. Come on, spill it." Angie didn't let go of his hand, though he tried to pull it away. "You look gorgeous, of course, despite the dirt on your pants, so stop checking. You got that cute little body, your face is prettier than mine, and your eyes and your hair are like Tennessee whiskey, kind of a cross between brown and amber. I mean, who can say that? You know you're hot."

"God, you're full of it. Fine, then." He finally got his hand back and recounted the events that happened at the little store. He had them gaping, laughing, and exclaiming at the remarks that were made and, of course, Angie caught on quickly that his mention of the young policeman held more than a little interest.

"So, did you hit on him?"

Beau looked sternly at her, but couldn't hold it for long. "No! But I think he hit on me."

"You think? You don't know?" She sounded incredulous.

"Well, he gave me his card and asked me to call if I thought of anything else about the car that was leaving. Come on, they've got the license plate. What else would he need to know? I practically gave them the guy's name. And he blushed."

"Ooh, he blushed. He's a shy guy." Angie reached up and kissed his cheek then turned to get back to work, blessedly letting the subject go. He looked over at Shane, who had continued working on the balloons the whole time. Beau grabbed the bag he'd brought and took it to Shane.

"See what I mean by not paying attention to the details? If you'd ordered the right-shaped white ones, I wouldn't have had to go through that," he said, in his best boss voice.

"And wouldn't have met the oh-so-interesting-but-shy officer," Shane quipped.

Little snot. He was right. Beau wouldn't mind seeing Nash Tyler without the ‘officer' in front of it. But that was for another time. Work was nonstop from then until the time for the party to start. The event seemed like it lasted forever, but finally it was time to clean up afterward. Beau had to admit it was a beautiful party and Shana, though one of the very rich, was a sweet girl who thanked them over and over. He didn't have anything against the rich, God knows, but a lot of them treated Beau and his staff like their servants, talking to them and treating them like they just weren't good enough.

Beau hoped to get future jobs from the people who were here. Shana's mother had brought two different ladies over to meet him who'd asked for his card. That's how it was done.

It was a very tired trio who left by the back door of the Details shop later that night. It had taken them a while to get everything put back into its place, but they knew Beau would do it himself, staying until deep into the night if they didn't help. Everything had to be in its proper place so they didn't have to look for anything for the next event. He was kind of anal about it.

He pulled into his drive and silently thanked Alberta for leaving the porch light on in the back. When he was heading up the walk to the door, he realized that the kitchen light was on, too, and he could see her walking back and forth from the range to the table. He checked his watch. It was past ten o'clock.

Coming in, he said, "Alberta, what are you doing up so late?" He had his answer when he smelled the air and saw the dinner plate on the table in the corner. His stomach growled and he sighed. "Honey, you shouldn't have stayed up for me, but God, that smells good."

"Now you hush, boy, and put that stuff down. Work is over for the day and I know you didn't eat, did you?" Alberta, a tall, large, beautiful black-skinned woman with gray hair that was cut short and covered by a pretty scarf that Beau had given her, pointed to the table. She knew the answer, but he tried.

"There wasn't time. I had to stop and then got there late and we worked right through and…"

"And they didn't have anything there to eat for all them people?" she asked, bringing a glass of tea to the table for him.

He sat, letting the troubles of the day slide away as he reached for the biscuit first. He always reached for Alberta's biscuits first.

"The food there wasn't for the help. It was all party food, kid party food, anyway. But honey, you need to be in bed, getting your rest, not staying up cooking for me this late." He had to say it but he was so damned grateful. The chop was cooked to perfection, the beans flavored so well, and the sweet apples were delicious.

"Now why should I be sleeping my life away? I'm fine. I rested earlier and now I get to feed my favorite boy." She sat down across from him and smiled sweetly at him. "How did it go? Was that little girl happy with her party? Did anything crazy happen?"

Beau often told Alberta about silly things that went on. There was always some kind of crisis or disaster to report and she enjoyed hearing about them. She was going to love this.

"I almost got arrested today."

As expected, her hands flew to her face and she glared at him, silently demanding details.

He told her the whole story and, knowing him like she did, she was quick to ask.

"Did you like the young officer?"

"Now why would you ask me that?" He tried to stop that line of questioning.

"Your voice changed just a little when you talked about him. And I know Glenn Hollis. He's an old, bigoted idiot. So, is this Nash guy as good looking as you are?" She looked at Beau with such love and devotion, and unqualified acceptance.

"He's better looking in a down home kind of way. He looks like he came right off the farm, but he was very professional. He was ready to believe me while Hollis was ready to lock me up and throw away the key without even hearing my side of it." His voice, he knew, sounded just a little bitter.

"I bet he said something about you being gay, didn't he?" she asked knowingly.

"How'd you know?" he asked.

"I know him. Everyone who is not what he considers his equal knows how he treats people. He's an ass." She probably had stories she could tell about Hollis but Beau didn't want to hear them.

He did tell her that the little boy had said the same thing and she laughed with him for a minute and then said, "It's funny, but it's also sad, Beau, honey. A child that age already making slurs like that. That's what's wrong with the world today. Is it too much TV or just bad parenting?"

"She seemed like a good, caring mom and she called him down for it. I think it shocked her a bit, too. Who knows? It's all over now and this was so good. Is there any--?"

Before he could finish, she was up and when she returned she handed him a small plate with a very small piece of his favorite German chocolate cake. She wanted to treat him with desserts and they'd agreed that he'd let her if she always made his portion very small. He reached across his stomach and she, like Angie, batted his hand away.

"You are not fat. You are gorgeously thin and the way that new suit fits you proves it. Relax and enjoy. You want some coffee?" she asked, heading for the counter.

"Mmm, no. Maybe a little glass of milk. This is so rich and I need to sleep. We've got to start getting ready for the anniversary party for the Millikins tomorrow. We only have a day and a half and it's going to be big, like over two hundred people. These people are both attorneys for some of the richest and most famous people in Nashville. More contacts will come from this, so it has to be perfect."

"It will be. Okay, baby, you put your stuff in the sink and I'll take care of it tomorrow morning. Don't think about skipping breakfast. I'll have you an egg white omelet and turkey bacon, some toast with that sugarless jam you like, and lots of coffee. Good night, sweet boy."

Alberta kissed him on the top of his head and left the kitchen for the back hall where she had a suite of rooms that she always told him were too fancy and too much for her. He knew she loved them. Alberta had been with his grandmother for as long as he could remember, and when Ms. Addy had died, she made Beau promise that he would take care of Alberta.

He'd kept that promise, though it had taken some time. As soon as the inheritance had come through, Addy leaving her small fortune to him, he had contacted Alberta. She'd gone to live with her daughter--and her deadbeat husband--and Alberta had been so happy to come live and work for Beau. After buying the big, beautiful house in Tanner, he'd felt he had a home and would need her help.

The house he bought was one of the oldest in the small town and now that he'd restored it, he was always being asked to allow it to be on the Parade of Homes and the Tanner Garden Club's Annual Garden Tour, since he spent a lot of time making the former gardens splendid again. Once he'd even been asked to be interviewed for one of the Nashville stations to talk about how he'd renovated it and how gorgeous it now was.

As he walked through, after doing the dishes despite Alberta telling him to leave them, he looked at the old staircase, the ornate picture frames, the huge old mottled mirror in the front hall and a feeling of peace and comfort hit him.

He'd loved living with his grandmother and taking care of her, squiring her to her appointments and meetings, and just spending time with her. His parents had been killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver when he was eleven and he'd moved in with her. She'd needed him and he'd had no other plans at the time. She'd been so accepting of his being gay and they'd had good times, but now that she was gone, this was home and he loved it. Every wall he'd helped paint, every beam he'd polished, every picture he'd chosen and carefully hung. It all made him happy. It was large, too large for a single man, but someday he hoped it wouldn't be just him and Alberta.

Beau had dropped quite a lot of his inheritance into the house, but he didn't care how much money it had eaten up. He planned on working from now on and he loved what he'd built at Details, too. He'd seen the need for a business like his. He'd jumped at the chance to be the one, the best, at planning all the events for this, and other small surrounding towns, as well as some for nearby Nashville clients.

Stepping into his bedroom on the second floor, he sighed. He let the cares of the day go and moved about the room between the big four-poster bed that he'd covered with a set of rich chocolate linens. Beau wasn't one for all the decorative pillows that he would have to remove every night. He liked the smooth bed with just the big pillows at the top. He walked over and pulled the covers back, making the bed look inviting. There was a bedside table on each side and he reached to turn on the Tiffany lamp beside him. The soft glow added to the atmosphere of calm and welcome.

Beau stretched and yawned as he moved across to his walk-in closet where he removed his clothes, folding the suit neatly and putting it in the basket marked "Cleaners", then headed for the attached bathroom. This room, he'd definitely planned with the hopes that he'd be able to share it with someone special. He hadn't gone crazy, but he had spent the money and the time to make it romantic and big enough for two men to be comfortable in both the new shower and the big old tub. There were sconces on the wall that held big candles that he'd never lit. Right now, he stepped into the shower, made it quick and hot, and came out, taking a soft towel from the bar beside the shower door. He made quick work of drying off, brushing his teeth, and heading to bed. Beau slept naked, liking the way the soft sheets felt against his skin. He was just so tired tonight.