Sweet Tooth

“Why do you persist in dumping extra sugar in my tea?” Rae demaded, slamming his teacup down.

Benedict smothered a grin, knowing it would be a tactical error. A few months ago he would have said he did it just to see Rae suffer as he drank his too-sweet tea. Now, however, he had a better answer — and it would annoy Rae a great deal more. “Because I’ve found you out.”

Rae narrowed his eyes. “Found me out?”

“Yes, quite. Between the sugar in your tea that you have never protested until now, the chocolate you drink every evening when you wind up working late, and the cake I see you try to sneak an extra slice of — you have a sweet tooth.”

“I do not have a sweet tooth,” Rae said, but Benedict could tell from the way he tensed that he’d gotten it right.

“Liar,” he retorted. “Do you want me bring up the lemon candies you keep in your night stand? The honey drops I found behind the sealing wax in the middle left drawer of the desk?”

“Why were you in the desk?” Rae asked. “Never tell me you were doing work.”

“Perish the thought, most beloved,” Benedict said sweetly. “I was writing a letter to the perfumer in Westmore. Nor will you distract me from the matter of your sweet tooth.”

Rae glared. “You are absurd.”

“Why are you so set against it?” Benedict asked, leaning back in his chair in the lazy manner he knew Rae hated. “I think you should inuldge it. Sweeten that temper of yours.”

Slowly Rae stood up and moved to his side of the table, bracing his foot on Benedict’s chair and shoving it back, well away from the table. Then he bent over, bracing his hands on the armrests, and loomed over Benedict. “Bored this morning? Why are we mocking me?”

“Never mocking, dear heart,” Benedict said, smothering a laugh as Rae glowered over the absurd petname. “I’m just confused as to why you try to hide it.”

“There is nothing to hide,” Rae said stiffly. “I do not have a sweet tooth.”

Benedict tried not to stare, suddenly taken by the heat that flushed Rae’s cheeks. Rae never blushed. Hell, he never turned red when he was furious and throwing things. It was…something he’d have to bring out more often. “So I should just throw away the bonbons Lady C gave me?”

Rae’s eyes widened briefly before he could recover himself.

“They’re in my room,” Benedict continued. “You know, if you want them. Though if you want to know where in my room, you’ll have to tell me why you try to keep that sweet tooth a secret.” He waited a moment, then went in for the kill. “Lady C said they’re all filled with either strawberry cream, almond paste, or sweet cherries.”

“I hate you,” Rae said through his teeth. “Hate you, hate you, hate you.”

Benedict smirked, triumph rushing through him. Getting the best of his lover was always heady, always thrilling. “Tell me.”

“Because everyone made fun of me for it in school. A true gentleman does not eat fancy sweets,” Rae said, and his gaze skittered away, cheeks flushing darker.

Well, that wouldn’t do. No one upset Rae except him. Benedict leaned forward and kissed him, slow and lazy, loving the way Rae sank a hand into his hair, took control, turned the kiss hard and hot in the span of a moment. “I do like the way you hate me,” he said, breathing heavily.

“Arrogant,” Rae muttered.

“Look who’s talking. Why don’t we go explore our mutual hatred and then I’ll give you the bonbons.”

“Your wings need to be clipped,” Rae said, but didn’t protest when Benedict stood up and dragged him from the office.