Leonard watched the flight attendant close the door to the jet way. Tommy had boarded the plane more than ten minutes ago, but Leonard couldn’t make himself leave. The finality of the snap of the metal door closing finally motivated him to walk away. He’d been allowed to escort Tommy to the gate since he was a minor, but the extra few minutes didn’t ease the ache of being on the other side of the world while his son was growing up. The three-week visit had been great, but now he faced nine months before he’d see Tommy again.
He bumped into someone while walking through the security gate. Without looking up, he mumbled his apologies as he sank his hands deep in his pockets. Then he heard, “Excuse me, sir, are you all right?” in a smooth voice with a British accent.
Leonard looked up into the bluest eyes he’d ever seen. He’d always been fascinated with blue eyes—so few people actually had eyes so vivid. He shook his head, realizing he was staring. “I’m sorry. I guess I’m not. I just put my son on a plane headed back to the United States. I’m stuck here through to summer, and I’m not looking forward to not seeing him over the holidays.” He smiled weakly. “Thanks for asking.”
Wrinkles creased around the bright eyes as the man smiled reassuringly. “I understand. My girls live with their mother, and I only see them a few times a year.” He held out a hand. “I’m Camden Bally.”
“Leonard Marten. How many daughters do you have?” Leonard shook Camden’s hand, studying him curiously.
“Three,” Camden said with a smile, indicating for Leonard to start walking ahead of him. “All teenagers now, God help me. So Dad’s not exactly top of their list of favorite people.” He nodded to the gate attendant as he passed.
Leonard was puzzled as Camden fell into step beside him. His head had been down, but he was sure the man had been heading in the opposite direction when they collided. “I guess teenage boys are different than girls. Tommy’s my only kid, so I don’t know a thing about raising girls.” He paused before tacking on, “I’m not making you late for a flight, am I?”
Camden’s mouth quirked, and he shook his head. “No, I was just checking the departure went on time,” he said. “So your son is on his flight now?”
“Yeah, 1658 to New York. So you work here?”
Camden slid a hand into his trouser pocket and hummed an affirmative. He wore a crisp dress shirt and tie; a thin leather belt clasped his trim waist, and quality dress shoes. All in all sharply dressed, and his blond hair brushed his collar, fashionably long. “And you said you’re stuck here. What do you do?” he asked as they turned out of the terminal into the main concourse.
“I’m a professor. Literature and poetry. Technically I’m on sabbatical, but I’m scheduled to begin teaching in two weeks at Roskilde University.” Leonard ran his fingers through his dark hair, pushing the muddy blond length of it back from his face. He remembered he hadn’t shaved for most of Tommy’s visit and probably looked the part of bohemian professor even more than he usually did. He wasn’t sure why he felt slightly embarrassed about it.
“You’re American,” Camden said as they paused under the arrivals board. “How does an American end up in Denmark teaching?”
“Curious, I guess. My father was born and raised just outside of the city here.” Leonard looked around, trying to find some reason that Camden would still be talking to him—not that he minded the attractive man’s attention. “So is your job comforting random upset travelers? If it is, it might be time to move on to her.” Leonard pointed to a young woman crying as a young man walked through security, leaving her behind.
Camden followed Leonard’s eyes to the woman and then turned his chin. He must have made eye contact with an attendant, because another young woman in an airport uniform materialized to lend support. He refocused on Leonard. “I’ll let you be on your way,” he said apologetically.
Leonard’s breath caught in a surprising panic when he considered the idea of walking out of the airport and back to his hotel room… alone. He knew that Tommy left him a note on his bed; he always did. The idea of walking away from Camden was only slightly less appealing. “I’m not really in a hurry. I don’t suppose you’d be allowed to get a drink while you’re working?”
Blue eyes turned back to him, filled with understanding. “I think I can get away with it. And I know just the place.” He led Leonard through to the other end of the concourse as they chatted easily about nothing, up a level, and then into a gold-level lounge. A waiting greeter didn’t even blink when Camden arrived; she just opened the door with a smile.
Settling into a sumptuous leather chair, Leonard grinned at Camden. “Something tells me this is not the first time you’ve stopped in for a drink here?”
“No, it’s not,” Camden said with a chuckle. A waiter approached, smiled, and spoke up.
“Welcome back, Mr. Bally. Your usual?”
“Yes, Bryan, and a drink for my friend as well,” Camden replied, sitting down in a armchair next to Leonard’s and crossing his feet at the ankles, looking casually elegant.
Leonard dragged his eyes from Camden’s unconscious sophistication. It was a look he had wanted to emulate since seeing his first James Bond movie but could never quite pull off. “Scotch, neat,” he told the waiter, kicking off his shoes and tucking one of his legs beneath him. His ratty jeans and underdog T-shirt didn’t fit the genteel gentleman’s club, but thankfully the room was empty.
“Do you live in Roskilde at the university or here in Copenhagen?” Camden asked, giving the other man his full attention.
“I live in Roskilde. I came in to bring Tommy, but I have a hotel room for the week. I was planning to wander around, take some pictures, maybe do some writing.” Leonard gratefully accepted the heavy crystal tumbler from the returned waiter and took a fortifying sip of scotch. It had been hard to watch Tommy leave, and he was sure that he was reading more into Camden’s attentiveness than was actually there.
“How long have you been here? Do you know Copenhagen? There’s a long list of beautiful places to see,” Camden said, smiling at the bartender who delivered his drink and nodding his thanks.
“We just came in last night. Part of the reason for my sabbatical was to explore. I’m not much into tourist locations, though. I’d rather just walk the streets and watch the people. I do love good food. Do you have any suggestions?”
“Several, I’m sure, depending on what you like to eat,” Camden said, and he cocked his head to one side to meet Leonard’s eyes.
Leonard couldn’t help the flush of heat that spread through his body at the impossible-to-ignore double entendre. Camden was an incredibly attractive man, and the look in his eyes could melt glass. Leonard really had nothing to lose; he had been alone and miserable half an hour ago. If Camden was offended by an advance, Leonard would be back at his hotel, alone and miserable, an hour from now. If the blond didn’t rebuff him, his visit to Copenhagen might have just become a lot more interesting.
Swinging his feet to the floor, Leonard shifted forward in his chair, his hand resting discreetly on Camden’s thigh, the fingers testing the strength of the muscles beneath the finely woven fabric. “Right this minute I’m craving a taste I’m unlikely to find in any restaurant.”
Camden’s lips pulled into a slow smile. “Adventurous, are you?”
“Incredibly. I dare you to suggest something I wouldn’t enjoy. What’s life without a little risk?”
“Well then, that’s a challenge I think I’ll enjoy meeting. Do you have plans this evening or would the weekend better suit you?” Camden drawled, not having shifted from his casual pose.
“My plans included sitting on my bed with a good glass of scotch and a map. If you can beat that, I’m all yours,” Leonard said.
“Lovely,” Camden drew out before taking another sip of his drink. He wore a watch on that wrist, as well as a platinum bracelet. He glanced down when a device on his belt started beeping. “Excuse me,” he murmured, sliding the Blackberry off his belt to glance at the screen before tapping on it a few times and sitting back. “I should be done here around five, barring any drama,” he said with a small roll of his eyes. “Do you want to meet me? I could call and give you the details.”
“You mean more drama than tearful American professors with separation issues?” Leonard chuckled and took a pen out of his pocket. “I’ll give you my cell number. Call me when you’re ready to get off.” This time it was his turn to emphasize his words with a look as he handing a marked napkin to Camden.
The other man’s eyes sparked, and he nodded. “I will,” he assured him. “But for now, I apologize. Duty calls. Please feel free to enjoy the amenities of the lounge. The lobster artichoke dip is especially delicious,” he said as he stood.
Leonard stood as well, extending his hand. “Thanks for the distraction. It was greatly appreciated. I think I’ll head out; the hotel has a jaccuzi tub that is calling my name.”
Camden groaned and mock-sagged in place as he shook Leonard’s hand. “Lord. Don’t tease me. I’ve been here since before five this morning.” He chuckled. “Very nice to meet you, Leonard. I’ll talk to you soon,” he said as he slid the napkin into his pocket. With that, he headed for the door in an easy stride, offering a smile to the attendant who opened the door for him.
The waiter appeared at Leonard’s elbow. “Can I get you another drink or some refreshments? We have an extensive appetizer menu, or I could get something delivered from one of the restaurants downstairs,” he offered.
Leonard smiled at the waiter. “Thanks, but I’m good.” In a softer voice, he added, “What I want just walked out the door.”