A/N: Again, thanks for all the reviews!

Chapter Four

This was it. And he meant it this time. For the past two weeks sine 'coming out' to the boys, he had come every Friday to wizard day with the intent of asking out Vasili. And the past two Fridays he had chickened out. But not this time, nope! It was going to happen. It had to happen… he really hoped it would happen.

A buzzing in his pocket pulled him from his affirmations. Pulling out his cell he opened the text waiting on the screen and rolled his eyes. Hemi had recently discovered text messaging and had forwarded him a picture of a shivering chicken - a small addition to the collection of pictures he had received these past few weeks during his procrastination. So far he had a shaking cat, a nervous ninja and a crybaby to think on and now this. He typed back 'asshole' and shoved the phone back in his pocket. Unless he fell dead on the floor in the next five minutes he was going to do it!

Five minutes later the show was over and, unfortunately for him, Jake had not expired. He did take his time though, waiting patiently as the other children and parents left and until Ree had gotten her weekly glomp before making his way over to the wizard who was in the process of packing up. "Uh…" he said stupidly, not sure how to start.

Vasili glanced up and the noise and gave the man a smile while finishing removing his costume. His outfit was very similar to the one he had worm a few weeks ago. "Hi, Jake."

"Nice, um, show today," he started, hating the way he lapsed when he was nervous.

"Thanks! I try and the kids seem to enjoy it." He bent down then to pick up the box and was forced to immediately put it down when a sharp pain shot through his wrist. He had been having a lot of pain there, probably from typing so much.

Jake saw an opening and smiled. "I'll get it for you." at the man's grateful smile, he walked over to the kids and told them to stay put before returning and hefting the chest easily. "Lead on."

The brunette grabbed his pointy shoes from the top of the chest and led the larger man out of the library to the small parking lot. Locating his car, he led him over to the sparkling blue Honda . Popping the trunk, he quickly moved out of the way to watch Jake set the heavy trunk inside. He noted that the man didn't seem strained at all like he was when he carried it. "You must be used to heavy lifting!" he commented.

Jake shrugged, "I'm in landscaping. We do everything ourselves."

"I see,. Well, thanks for the help! I'll bring you a cupcake or something next week in thanks!" Closing his trunk, he moved around the car.

The larger man chuckled at that, but blocked Vasili's way when he went to open the driver's side door. "Look, I…" he trailed off as he looked down at that pretty face. And then suddenly it occurred to him- he didn't even know if the guy was gay! Here he had been stressing these past few weeks about asking him out and not once had he considered the fact that Vasili might be an extremely good looking straight guy. It was that thought that had him blurting out, "Are you gay?"

Vasili seemed taken aback at the question. After a moment, he finally asked, "Would it matter if I were?"

"Uh… Yeah?"

He frowned, "Well, Mr. Summers, I guess I understand if you don't continue to bring the children-"

"What? What's this have to do with the kids?" Jake was confused.

Vasili was too. "Isn't that why you asked?"

"No!" he said a bit too loudly, face flaming.

"Then why did you?"

"I-ah… That is, I," he cleared his throat and hoped like hell he didn't muck this up anymore than he already had. "Do you date?"

It took a moment but gradually Vasili seemed to understand and a soft smile form upon his face. "Why, Mr. Summers, are you asking me out?" At the curt nod he received in answer, he laughed. "Way to scare me to death!"

Jake's face fell a bit. What the hell kind of an answer was that? Frowning he asked, "That's an answer?"

The brunette blushed, having apparently realized what he had said. "I'm sorry, I tend to say things quite often without thinking first."

"Well, what do you think about tomorrow night?" Jake was stunned at himself at that one.

"I'd love to. Do you have a cell? Can I see it?" Accepting Jake's phone, he typed in his name and number. "Here you go. Do you want to pick me up or just meet me there or-"

"What's your address?"

Vasili gave it to him and smiled after him as he walked away. He may have thought a lot of things when dressing up as a wizard, but never had he thought to be asked out by a dad. But dad or not, Jake Summers was freaking hot! Sliding into the driver's seat, he had to sit a long moment feeling a bit stunned before finally getting himself together and pulling off.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-

"Well, I'll be damned," Hemi said, his tone of voice expressing his surprise. "I'll be damned if I thought you'd do it!"

Jake glared at the man and finished buttoning his shirt which was a short sleeved button-up that he wore over a tighter long sleeved shirt with snug blue jeans. "Nice to know you got such a high opinion of me."

"The highest. But you're too used to people coming up to you. Heh!" He snickered, "Where you takin' him?"

"First dinner, then I thought we'd stroll down the river walk." He waited for Hemi's opinion. After all, he had thought a lot about the night and had decided to go with simplicity.

"Where's dinner?"

"Francesca's, downtown."

"'Spose, it's too much to ask that you bring me back some grub," he grumbled good naturedly.

"It's a first date, Hemi. I'm trying to be charming, not show the man that I've got yet another kid at home."

"More like stingy - kiddin'! Damn, boy! Stop getting so riled." He chuckled as Jake growled. "You're gonna do just fine."

"I hope so. You sure you're okay with the kids?"

"Yep, Tanner had introduced me to the Wii."

Jake shook his head and laughed at the older man. He really was just a big kid. Turning around, he walked further into the house and found all of his in their playroom. "All right, brats, I'll be back later. Be good for Uncle Hemi, huh?"

"Okay!" Ree said, giving him a hug before settling back down on the carpet as she waited her turn to play the game. Sukie and Tanner merely gave a mumble of agreement as they were too intent on the game to be bothered with their dad. But all three were quick to offer up their cheeks to their dad.

Jake laughed, obliged them with kisses and was on his way.

Twenty minutes later he pulled up to the apartment complex and, after parking, walked up to the door and pressed the proper buzzer. At least he hoped it was the proper button. "Vasili?" he asked in response to the greeting.

"Be right down!"

Jake waited patiently at the door, grateful for the clear weather. A moment later the door opened and Vasili slipped out. Jake took him in with a grin, the man was dressed in a fitted pair of slacks and a stylish white button-up of obvious quality. It made Jake briefly wonder about his income as the clothes looked so expensive, but it was no more than a passing thought. The man looked good and Jake was hardly an expert on fashion, just what he had seen in magazines. Still, he had a feeling that the man would look good in anything no matter the quality or even better - nothing at all!

Vasili blushed as the taller man looked him over, obviously liking what he saw if that predatory gleam was any indication. "Hi, Jake."

"Hello, beautiful," he murmured out, having no sooner said it than immediately feeling embarrassed. But he refused to take it back as he meant it and felt so very right with the guy beside him. "Um, hungry?"

The drive was short and little was said until they reached the restaurant and were seated. Their orders out of the way, Jake felt an opening. "So did you always want to be a wizard, Vasili?" he joked.

The brunette laughed, "Call me Vasya, it's sort of a nickname and not quite the mouth full. Besides, Vasili has always felt so formal to me. Oh, and in a way, sure! I'm a good wizard, after all."

"Vasya," Jake tested it out, laughter in his voice at the man's penchant for rambling. "Sounds Russian."

"I am Russian," this was actually said in the language, then in English he added, "My parents are both from St. Petersburg. They moved to the U.S. just before I was born."

"Interesting. How old are you?" he reached across the table and took the man's man. He had to admit that he didn't feel anywhere near as awkward doing so as he expected to. In fact, he felt comfortable with the man, like he had an idea what he was doing. Or at the very least what he wanted to be doing.

Vasya blushed a bit but didn't pull his hand away. "I am nearly 27, so I guess 26 right now… It's funny, Ree asked me that very same question a few weeks ago and she told me your were 28. She is a very smart five-year-old."

Jake smiled at the mention of his daughter. "Yeah, all three are smart and entertaining."

"If you don't mind my asking," he paused to look Jake in the eye, "Where is their mother?"

"I don't mind," he murmured. He had long ago gotten over that bitch and the fact that people were always going to ask about her. "She left about four and a half years ago."

"Wow. You've been raising three kids all by yourself?"

"They're mine. I wouldn't push them off on someone else," he answered. "Well, other than my pal Hemi who baby sits for me here and their. So, what do you do when you're not a wizard?"

Vasya laughed, wiggling his 'magic fingers' a moment, "I write. I spend half my time on children's books, the other on novels."

"Are you popular?"

"Well, my two aliases are popular. I prefer to keep my own name to myself. But it's fun and I get a lot of free time."

Their food arrived then and they quieted long enough to eat. Dinner was soon over and, after paying, Jake led Vasili outside. Grabbing his hand when he went for the car, Jake tugged him back to his side. "I thought we'd take a walk," he gestured with his chin to the nearby river walk, which was why he chose the restaurant. This way they could spend more of their time together instead of stuck in the car.

Vasili nodded, smiling when Jake didn't release his hand and instead tugged him closer until he had one muscular arm resting on his shoulders. Snuggling into the warmth, he sighed, "You smell great."

"I warn you, I am very susceptible to flattery." Hearing the brunette laugh, he grinned. This night was going great.

A good hour and a half later, Jake walked Vasya up to his building, feeling a bit of nervousness creep up on him as the smaller man turned to him expectantly. Swallowing, he said, "I, um, well, I really had a great time tonight. I hope you did too."

"A great time," he assured him. He couldn't help but laugh softly at the man's tell tale sign of nervousness. He thought it was adorable.

Encouraged, Jake took his hand and tugged the smaller man closer. "I would love to take you out again soon." He moved a little closer.

"I can't wait," Vasya leaned in.

Jake could feel his breath on his lips and slowly bent his head down, kissing that full mouth, his hands sliding up on either side of the man's face. The kiss was soft, sweet and a little hesitant as if he were testing the waters. And when Vasili - surprisingly - pushed for a deeper kiss, Jake held back intent on keeping the moment soft and romantic.

Breathless, Vasili stared up at the man with stars in his eyes when Jake finally pulled back. Accepting a\one last soft, chaste kiss for the night, he watched Jake walk back to his car feeling just a little bit… dreamy.

-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-

"Well then," Hemi sat up from the couch as Jake walked in. "You Don't look any worse for the wear."

Jake grinned at his friend, a pleased expression on his face. He didn't know what he had been expecting, but the fact that the night had gone so well was actually a surprise. But a pleasant one to be sure. Just a few weeks ago he probably would have laughed at dating a guy. But now, now he had experienced it and had felt more in that once soft kiss than he had ever shared. And he felt more anticipation - frustration? - than he ever had for anyone.

Hell, he was so deep in his thoughts of Vasya that he didn't even realize he'd sighed until Hemi commented on it.

"Wow. That sure does sound promising," he joked. "One date and your hooked. It must have been one hell of one!"

"Not really, it was just," he paused, "Nice."

"Riiiight. Well, You mind if I crash on the couch tonight?"

"You're fine. Need a blanket?" at the negative shake of the man's head, he said, "Thanks for watching the kids."

Laying n bed that night, he felt like a school girl with her first crush. One word continuously running though his mind: Vasya…