Reader Prompt: How about if Chase thought about opening an Event and Catering business? – Pamela
I feel like you read my mind when I wrote that Christmas scene and with Tys That Bind on the schedule for March 31st release, I thought it was the perfect time to tease you with a little more Ty and Chase. No build up for these two needed, so let’s just dive right in!
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“No.” Maddie spoke in a tone he would only accept from Ty. “Even if I were to go agree, there’s no way Ty would let you cater your own wedding.”
That was absolutely true, though Ty’s directive would come with one of those forceful stares that always made his dick hard. And normally, he would obey without question. But how was he supposed to trust anyone else to handle something so important?
“I can be persuasive.” Even as he said it, Chase knew that was wrong. He never challenged Ty’s authority just to prove he could and only ever once felt strongly enough to do something he knew would get him in trouble. The result had been Ava and Luc, but the journey still haunted them both and that was all the reminder he needed to back down.
With a disbelieving look, Madeline handed over Aiden who, at six weeks, had stolen all their hearts. The second Flynn baby was the spitting image of his father right down to his dark eyes. Connor green ran strong through the family and even Kieran was surprised when his son bucked the trend—at least for now. They all knew the color could change and Chase was certain there were bets on if and when that might happen.
“Is it me or is he heavier?” Chase asked as he propped the baby up on his shoulder to burp him while Madeline righted her clothing.
“Wouldn’t surprise me. He’s hungry all the time and I don’t think the boob’s gonna hold him for long.” There was a wistful note in her voice for just a moment before she fixed him with a stern look. “I’m as eager to start this catering business as you are, but we agreed to wait until after your honeymoon. By then, Aiden will be almost three months old and on a schedule—hopefully—and you’ll be all relaxed from vacationing with your husband.”
“Fine.” When she just looked at him, he glared. “You’re right, okay? Happy?”
“Thrilled,” she agreed as she dug around in her diaper bag and came up with a notebook. “I took the liberty of calling Arnaud’s brother Michel and he’s willing to put together a tasting for you.”
“Isn’t his restaurant up in Palm Beach? Does he really want to cater a wedding in Miami?”
“In general, probably not. But for you? Of course, he will. He’s practically Colin’s brother-in-law.” Madeline tilted her head thoughtfully. “You’re looking at me like you don’t know what that means. Chase, haven’t you figured out that once someone’s in the circle my brother created, they become family? And this family is always…always…there for one another.”
Chase did know and he loved being part of it, but he wondered if Michel knew he was being pulled into the vortex via his brother’s relationship. Probably. Knowing the guys, they were already frequenting his restaurant even though it was a hike and a half, and inviting him to all the parties. One day, he’d probably wonder when Sunday dinner at Saul’s became a regular thing. Those same friends/family would keep their fledgling catering business afloat with all their various reasons to celebrate, but would that be enough in the long run? Would anyone else hire them beyond their extensive circle?
“You really think we can do this? That anyone other than our friends will hire us? I know everyone is always complimenting my cooking and you’re super organized, but are we really qualified to be professional caters? I don’t have any business experience and I never went to culinary school, so why would anyone pay to eat my food?”
While Madeline was an awesome cook in her own right, the decision had been made along the way that she would be in charge of the event planning and he would be in charge of the cooking. It was both exhilarating and overwhelming, but everyone was positive he could do it. Ty not only gave his permission, he gave him full support and encouragement. Even the kids wanted to help. In theory, he had no reason to doubt..except he did.
Strong hands settled on his shoulders and he sank into the warmth of his Master. The strength at his back promised to always hold him up, always support him, and he never doubted that. But Ty wouldn’t be doing this with him and that was terrifying.
“Correct me if I’m wrong,” Ty started, his tone daring anyone to correct him. “But aren’t you already booked through May with events?”
“Yes, but those are friends of friends or business affiliates of Alaric…all referrals from someone we know.” As extensive as their circle was, at some point that well would dry up and then what?
“And so? How did I get my first custom build? How did Bull get his first car to repair? How did Colin and Owen get their first renovation? Someone referred them. Then they went in and rocked the shit out of it and those people referred them.” Ty turned him around, one hand still on his shoulder and the other carefully cradling Aiden’s head. His gaze was momentarily soft as he looked at the baby, then it snapped to his and narrowed. “Is there any reason to think you won’t cook your ass off for those events?”
“Well, no, of course not….”
“Or that those people won’t fall on your food like rabid animals?” Those words were fierce as Ty gently eased an almost sleeping Aiden from his arms and cradled him closed. It was a sight that stole his breath. They didn’t want more kids, but they certainly loved all the ones that were part of their lives.
“I wouldn’t call them rabid…”
“And if one of those rabid animals wants to hire you for their own event, will you turn them down because they were referred?”
Ty raised an expectant eyebrow at him, but Chase wasn’t sure he understood where his Master was going with this. “No, that’d be crazy…
“As crazy as you wondering why anyone would pay to eat your food even though people are in fact paying to eat your food?” With a satisfied smile, Ty turned and handed Aiden back to his mother before pulling Chase in close. “What’s the worst that can happen?”
That was easy to answer. “People hate the food.”
“And you think that could happen because…?” Ty asked without waiting for the answer. “Our friends don’t just compliment you, they text you orders. They bring you groceries and beg you to make their favorite dish of yours. Just this year alone, how many special deliveries have you made?”
“I don’t…” Ty cocked his head, a clear warning that he better not give an offhand answer. “I guess at least once a week.”
“More, but that’s more than enough. I know you love it and there’s no reason to stop, but there’s also no reason you shouldn’t also get paid for all that hard work.” Ty wasn’t wrong, but he would never feel right charging their friends for the little care packages. “We both know you won’t ever take more than groceries for those requests, but your time and efforts are worth paying for. You are worth paying for, but you’re all mine, so they’ll have to settle for your awesome food. Repeat it.”
“I’m worth paying for.” He grinned when Ty narrowed his eyes again. “I mean, I’m all yours so they’ll have to settle for my awesome food.”
“Brat.” Which earned him a kiss and a swat on the ass, which was exactly what he needed. “You got this?”
“Totally.” And he did. It would always be scary, but he knew where to get a shot of confidence when he needed it.
Ty gave him a thorough once over, gauging that answer before leaning in for another kiss. “I’ll see you tonight.”
With a quick goodbye for Madeline and Aiden, Ty was out the door and Chase knew Madeline was watching him watch Ty’s departure. He didn’t care, he would never hide how Ty made him feel.
“Honestly, every time I see him, I think his domineering attitude should piss me off,” Madeline mused. “But it doesn’t. Why is that?”
“He’s Ty. What you see as a domineering attitude is just fierce determination to do right by those he loves. It’s not an emotion he gives lightly and it’s definitely not for the faint of heart, but for those who accept him as he is, he gives everything.” Chase leaned over and stroked the baby’s head. “We’re family, isn’t that what you said? Ty has a protective streak so wide it’s impossible to see the sides and he loves harder than any man I’ve ever known.”
“And if he says you got this?”
“Then I do. I know you’re more independent than that…”
“No. Maybe it seems that way, but Kieran is and always has been my rock. Every day, he bolsters me to be the strong woman I want the world to see.” Madeline looked away as if she shared more than intended. “I’m scared of failing too, but with our skills and their support system, I don’t see how it’s possible.”
Chase considered that and nodded. No Ty wouldn’t be in the kitchen with him, but his strength and confidence would always be there. Madeline wouldn’t be in the kitchen either, but her hard work behind the scenes would propel them both to success. She wouldn’t accept less and he refused to either.
She must have seen that decisions in his face because she laughed and offered her hand. “We got this?”