Donald had been called a lot of things. Hot-headed, rude, blunt, and an asshole just to name a few. But usually the person calling him on his actions wasn't also the one handing him an ice pack for his black eye.
"You were out of line."
Donald looked at the good Samaritan with his one good eye. "Excuse me?"
"Mrs. Coleman just lost her husband, the father of her children. And you informed her that he'd been cheating on her, had probably been cheating on her for years in the middle of his funeral."
Okay, so his timing could have been better, but sometimes you had to shake the truth loose. "I find it's best to question suspects when they least expect it."
Good Samaritan pursed his lips. Donald was pretty sure he wasn't supposed to find that hot. This guy was so not his type in any way, shape or Brooks Brothers suit. "Oh, so it's a business practice and not just some cruel game you play."
Donald narrowed his eyes and winced in pain. "Who are you exactly?"
"Timothy Callahan. I worked in Senator Coleman's office."
"Well Mr. Callahan, I'm Donald..."
"You're Donald Strachey, the private eye hired by the Senator's mother to find out who killed her son."
Donald remembered the name from his witness list. He took the ice pack off his eye. "So were you aware of his affairs?"
Callahan reached over and moved Donald's hand (and the ice pack) back to his eye. "Keep that on there and it might not swell shut. And to answer your question, not per se no, but I will say I'm not surprised."
Donald chose to chalk the spark that ran through his body to the cold of the ice and not Callahan's hand covering his own. "Should you be saying that about your boss?"
Callahan shrugged. "In case it escaped your notice, he's dead. Someone threw him off a building, so I figure being truthful is the best practice."
Cocking his head, Donald smiled, a real one. "You couldn't tell a lie if you had to, could you?"
Callahan turned beet red.
Pulling out a business card, Donald patted Callahan on the shoulder. "Don't worry your secret's safe with me. I find it rather refreshing." He handed the card to the other man. "If you think of anything that might help with the investigation, give me a call."
Callahan took the card. "I will."
"Oh and Mr. Callahan. Thanks for the ice pack."
"You're welcome. And for the record, you were still out of line."
Donald laughed. "I'll take that under advisement."
The next time Donald saw Timothy Callahan was in the middle of an important fundraiser for the Hudson River Way. He was there investigating a possible tax fraud scheme. He hadn't expected to find himself smack dab in the middle of a knife fight. Or more to the point, wrestling a guy with a knife to the ground before he could stab his estranged wife.
It was all over quickly and Donald was pretty sure he'd won even though his nose was clearly broken. The Albany police carted away the suspect while Donald settled himself into a chair, pinching his nose to staunch the bleeding.
"We have to stop meeting like this."
Donald looked over to his right and saw Callahan holding out a handkerchief to him. He took it and wiped the blood off his face. Why did elbows have to be so damn sharp? Once the bleeding was under control he looked up at Callahan and smiled. "Thanks. You're not going to tell me I was out of line again, are you?"
"No, somehow I think everyone's very happy that you wrestled the knife out of his hand before he could he could hurt anyone. Although, I have to question your methods."
"My methods?" Donald asked as Callahan exchanged the handkerchief for an ice pack.
"Yes. There have to be better ways to catch a criminal than with your face. It's far too handsome to take this kind of abuse on such a regular basis."
It was Donald's turn to blush. And hell if he could remember the last time that had happened. "Are you flirting with me Mr. Callahan?"
"Call me Timmy. And yes, I think I just might be."
"Well Timmy, please call me Donald and I have a question for you."
Timmy sat down in the chair next to Donald. "What's that?"
"Were you a Boy Scout?"
Donald could tell that wasn't the question that Timmy had been expecting from the surprise and disappointment on his face.
"Yes, I was. How could you tell?"
Donald lifted the ice pack off his nose and winked at Timmy. "Only a Boy Scout would seem to have endless ice packs stashed somewhere in his suit."
Timmy blushed. "The motto is always be prepared. But as you said I'm a horrible liar so I will admit that when I saw your name on the guest list, I had the bartender stock one behind the bar. Your reputation proceeds you Donald."
Donald laughed and he didn't even mind that it made his whole face ache. Timothy Callahan might not be his usual type, but there was something there. He wanted the chance to get to know the other man better. Only one way to find out. "So does that mean, you won't go out with me, Timmy?"
"No, not at all. I'd like that very much Donald. One condition though."
Bringing his hand up to cup Donald's jaw, Timmy smiled. "You promise to try and make it through the evening without someone marring this face of yours."
Donald rubbed his jaw against Timmy's hand. "I'll do my best."
The third time Donald met Timothy Callahan, it was on the steps of the capitol building. Timmy had agreed to meet him for lunch the next afternoon. And while it was totally insane and went against every protective instinct that Donald had, he was pretty sure he'd be seeing Timmy every day for the rest of his life. And from the smile that beamed across Timmy face, he was pretty sure the other man wouldn't find that idea out of line in any way.