“Have you had macarons before?”
“No.” The Fox tilted his head as he was faced with a plate of what looked like fluffy pink cookies. While never loathe to try whatever Aria set before him, there was a mildly pleading look in his gold eyes as he looked up at the mesmer.
With a lady’s unrelenting smile, the redhead nudged the plate a little closer. “Try one! I’ve been experimenting with adding a little rose flavor to them.”
“You were all worried about flour prices and dry goods,” the man in black leather muttered, poking at one of the cookies with a bare finger. “Now you’re experimenting?”
“Just a little.” Aria’s sky blue eyes darkened a shade as she pouted. “I didn’t make an entire batch of them.”
It was at once the Fox’s curse and blessing: when the woman he viewed as a goddess pouted, he would do anything to make her smile. Even eat the girlish pastry. Sigh. Snatching one of the pink cookies, he bit into it and stopped dead.
Aria’s exultant smile faltered as she regarded his expression, those eyes blurring hues from peacock to chalcedony to violet in as many blinks. “…Fox? What’s wrong?” Her gaze dropped to the remaining cookies. “Aren’t they any good?”
The lunatic immediately plastered on a broad smile, the cookie still protruding from his mouth, and gave Aria two thumbs up. Her shoulders eased in relief, eyes paling back to sky blue, and they both turned as the little black-haired girl walked into the room.
“Daddy, where’s my Wade?” Amelia went directly to the Fox’s side and yanked on his coat. The abrupt pull made his throat work and he swallowed. Before Aria could see his face, the Fox yanked his hood up and put the remaining half of the cookie down.
“Just going to find him now, doll.” Hastily, the Fox kissed Amelia’s head, smoothing her glossy curls before he caught Aria’s waist in one arm. It was, for him, restraint to merely arch the mesmer back over his arm and kiss her for long, breathless moments. When the Fox let Aria regain her feet, she was blushing, eyes electric blue and wide.
“Loveyoubothbebackinawhile!” The Fox was out the door and around the corner before Aria could blink, and she frowned a little, tilting her head.
“Mother, Daddy didn’t finish his cookie. Can I have it?” Amelia tiptoed, eyeing the cream-filled pink pastry eagerly.
“Hmm? Oh, of course, darling. Just Daddy’s cookie though. You’ll spoil your su- Amelia, what’s wrong?!”
Her daughter’s face had screwed up in complete disgust at the first bite, and she hastily spat the bite of pink macaron onto the floor. “Nasty! Nasty! Ugh, Mother, that’s nasty! Can I have water?!”
As Amelia scrubbed her tongue with her pocket handkerchief, leaving the remains of the pastry on the table, Aria’s gaze shifted from the half-eaten cookie to the still-open back door. One blink and she abruptly facepalmed, laughing even as she went to pour her daughter a glass of water.
Fox could have told her the cookie was terrible, but being her stalwart knight in scuffed, black leather, he’d tried sparing her feelings instead. Still laughing, Aria knelt beside her daughter, giving Amelia sips of water.
“Mother, why’s it funny? That cookie tastes awful!”
“You and your daddy are funny, my angel,” Aria giggled, hugging her daughter with one arm. “You and your daddy both.”