The WAG and The Scoundrel (Gray Fisher #1)

    "Glad you could make it," Gray said dryly.
    "Yeah. Sorry. Trains." Will looked like he was waiting for Gray to say something else. But what? He could demand more of an explanation, he supposed, but wasn't it self-explanatory? Will shrugged. "You know how it is this time of year. Leaves on the track. Go figure!"
    "Hm." Gray eyed him doubtfully. "I haven't ordered yet, by the way."
    The waiter returned with the promised glass of water and menu. Will acknowledged him with a nod and a smile and took the menu from him.
    "The set menu looks reasonable," Gray suggested.
    "Sure." Will handed the menu back.
    "Don't you want to check what's on it?"
    "I trust you."
    The waiter confirmed their choice and left them alone again.
    Will sipped his water and looked around the restaurant. "Nice here, isn't it?"
    "Yes," Gray agreed, taking the opportunity to observe him while he was otherwise engaged. There was no indication he was making excuses for why he was late, although he'd travelled in from home, so a delayed train was plausible.
    Will finished his inspection and met Gray's gaze with a frown. "What's up?"
    "Nothing, particularly. Although if I lived out of London, I'd allow a little extra time for my journey, especially at this time of year."
    "Yeah. Sorry. It didn't occur to me."
    "Or failing that, maybe a phone call to say I was running late?"
    "Ah. Well. Funny story." Will stopped talking and adjusted his position. "Actually, not that funny, but I lost my phone this morning. I thought I'd dropped it while I was out with the dogs, and I've spent half the day retracing my steps, trying to find the thing. And then, would you believe, Fido found it? Monster got spooked by something, and Fido went rooting around - he's good like that. Intuitive, you know? They're like a proper little pack, looking out for each other. Anyway, my phone had fallen out of my pocket, into one of my wellies, and the vibrations were what had upset Monster. Bless. She's definitely getting better, though."
    "Monster," Gray repeated, fighting a smirk of amusement. He thought it was a ridiculous name for a dog. He couldn't recall much about the mutts from their previous brief interchanges, but it was polite to show an interest, so he hazarded, "Is that the little one?"
    "That's what we call her, though she's not the littlest. That's Dotty Doris. Monster's the collie cross."
    Gray wasn't a great lover of pets. He didn't really know one breed of dog from another, other than German shepherds, which he only recognised from working with the police dog teams and customs officers, and, remarkably, both his sister and brother had one.
    More remarkable still was the fact that Becky - his sister - and George - his brother - had never met; nor were they biologically related. George and Gray had the same father, Becky and Gray the same mother, yet their dogs were both the long-haired, mostly black variety of German shepherd, and both had great temperaments.
    If Gray were ever to consider getting a dog, which was unlikely, he'd probably get one of those, and only one, as opposed to the five assorted hounds Will shared his home with, along with chickens, a parakeet and who knew what else.
    "Sirs," the waiter said. Gray and Will leaned back for steaming bowls to be set down in front of them, thanked the waiter, and picked up their spoons, quickly discovering the chicken and sweetcorn soup was too hot.
    "Doesn't it bother you?" Gray asked in between blowing the soup and trying to slurp it without burning himself. At Will's puzzled expression, he clarified, "Didn't you say you keep chickens?"
    "Oh! I see what you mean. I don't usually eat meat."
    "You're vegetarian?"
    "I didn't know."
    "Not a problem."
    "You could've said, instead of going along with the set meal. It's got beef in black bean sauce, Schezuan chicken, prawn satay..."
    "Like I say, not a problem."
    That irritated Gray, and the fact that it did irritated him all the more. After all, what difference did it make to him whether Will discarded his dietary preferences? The man didn't seem to care about anything, like, for instance, how he was going to pay his bills, or look after his precious menagerie, now he'd given up his job. But those were practical considerations. Eating meat because it was 'not a problem' was far more offensive, like Will was casting aside his morals rather than causing disharmony, in which case, what point was there to having morals at all? Assuming that was the reason he was vegetarian, of course, or, indeed, that he had any morals to begin with.

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