Addicted to Love
“So what’s Hannah like?” Tess sank into the chair next to him. Dan refrained from telling her to go to bed. For once she wanted to talk—he’d spend all night with her if necessary.
“She’s nice. Funny and smart, too.”
Tess winced. “Sounds great.” Her tone implied anything but.
Dan nudged her. “Trust me, she is. I didn’t think you’d want to hear other kinds of stuff.”
“Eww, no. Where’d you guys go?”
“I took her to the planetarium, and afterward, to Isabella’s.”
Tess sat up straight. “You took her there? I thought you were joking!”
“What? She liked it.” “Really? Or was she just pretending?” He paused and considered Hannah’s reaction. It hadn’t seemed fake. He’d been careful not to overload her with too much geek data, which might fascinate him but bore others. No, he was sure she’d liked it.
“Her eyes didn’t glaze over, and she pulled me along to show me things she thought were interesting. So I’d have to say really.”
“Weird. Are you going to see her again?”
This was worse than he expected, as he tried to keep from squirming in his seat under Tess’ direct gaze. “I hope so.”
“When do I get to meet her?” “You’ve met her, Tess. At the JCC concert.”
“I know, Dad, but when do I get to really meet her? If you like her enough to go out with her so often, I should at least get to know her better. Invite her over for dinner.”
He glanced at his watch. “Shouldn’t you be…in bed or something?” He regretted his eagerness to talk to her. Well, that was his feeling lots of times as the father of a teenager, but this time she was talking about Hannah. And for some reason, she made him feel like his mother was interrogating him, rather than his daughter. He needed to regain the upper hand. Somehow. “Dinner’s a good idea, Tess. Just not right now.”
“Why not? You’re a good cook. Everyone has to eat. You can invite her here, impress her with your culinary skills, and she and I can get to know each other better. What’s the problem?”
The idea had so many problems her compliment didn’t hit him until after.
“Thanks,” he said.
“For telling me I’m a good cook.”
“You’re welcome. But changing the subject won’t work.”
Damn. He ran a hand through his hair and remembered he needed a haircut. Turning in his seat, he grabbed his phone and added it to tomorrow’s to-do list. “Tess, I think it’s too soon in our relationship for this to happen.”
“Too soon? What’s too soon about it? You’ve been dating a couple of weeks, right?”
“Ten days.” Was it only ten days? “You have a daughter.”
“So, it’ll look weird if you keep me hidden away, like Mr. Rochester’s wife.”
“Oh, a literary reference,” he said. “Nice touch.”
She grinned. “I thought you’d appreciate it. As my reward, I think you should listen to me. I could always come with you somewhere if you don’t want her at the apartment.”
Letting out a sigh, he faced her. “Like a chaperone? Oh, sounds fun. Come here.”
She stood and he pulled her into a hug. “I’ll think about it. I’m glad you’re okay with the idea of me dating.”
Tess shrugged. “I don’t know. I mean, Hannah seems nice, but do you have time to date? You always tell me how busy you are.”
He pulled her into another hug. “No matter what I do, I’ll always have time for you. I promise.”