It wasn't that Harry going on a date was unusual.
Well, okay, yes, it was, Thomas amended. But the fact he was going on a date with a man was even more unusual. Not that it had entirely been Thomas's fault. He had been cutting Mrs. Sheffield's hair, half-listening and adding vague exclamations as she mentioned she had a cousin who knew a friend who had a nephew who was gay and she was sure Thomas and him would hit it off just perfectly, and by the time Thomas realized he was being set up on a date, cleverly wedged between anecdotes about an obese Pomeranian and the latest gossip, Mrs. Sheffield was gazing at him expectantly.
"Uh," he said intelligently, casting about for a suitable excuse. "Mais non, I could not! I am enjoying my seengle life too much."
He mentally congratulated himself with a smile that promptly crumbled when he saw the crushed expression on Mrs. Sheffield's face.
"Oh," she said disappointedly. "Well, I suppose it's all for the best…"
In a fit of part inspiration and part desperation, Thomas blurted, "What about 'Arry?"
She looked shocked. "Your ex?"
The other customers, all outrageously wealthy women of the trophy wife to the behind the scenes businesswoman age, muttered discontent and veiled threats against the man who Thomas insisted he had dumped. They knew better, the poor dear.
Thomas raised his voice above the noise. "But he is still my friend. He 'as done nothing but pout since he lost me. It would be good for him, no?"
The discontent turned into coos of admiration for Thomas's generosity and Mrs. Sheffield replied with a smile so bright it made his sacrifice totally worth it.