Authors: Kat Watson
“The best,” I repeated.
My mouth wanted to keep going and betray me with confessions of love. I snapped my lips closed, my cheeks flaming with heat at the
words that had almost slipped out. I needed to guard and nurture the feelings I had for them, make sure they were real and true, before I spoke the words out loud. It had only been a few weeks, after all. Maybe this was just infatuation.
“Okay, boys,” I said, lifting myself out of their embrace. “I gotta run. This day is going to be over before I know it, and I still need to get everything ready for the week, especially if I want to get out of work on time on Wednesday so I can spend it with you lovelies.”
They grumbled and groaned, objecting without words, but sat up and walked me to the front door.
“Hope you had a nice weekend,” Jay said, eyes aimed at his bare feet. It was completely adorable to see his nervousness, but then I realized that maybe in my attempts to hold back, he was uncertain about how I felt. Uncertain about how much I really had enjoyed myself and how thankful I was.
“Hey,” I said, tilting his chin up so he could see my face. “I had the best weekend.” I kissed his lips softly but did my best to make it confident and full of emotion. “The best,” I repeated, kissing him again, longer this time. “Thank you.”
I turned to Noah. “And thank you, good sir,” I said, laughing. “Take care of this one, will ya?” I leaned my head toward Jonathan then moved in to kiss Noah. Unlike Jay, he pulled me to him. It wasn’t rough, but it was surer than anything I’d felt in my entire life and full of passion.
He was the embodiment of the phrase “Go big or go home,” I was starting to realize.
“My pleasure.” He winked as he released me.
I laughed. “No, I’m pretty sure the pleasure was all mine.”
“Well,” Jay interrupted, “not
Smiling, I pulled the door open and walked to my car as they watched. I knew I couldn’t turn back and look at them. I wasn’t that strong. Instead, I loaded my bag into the trunk, got in the driver’s seat, and drove away as quickly as I could. It was like ripping off a Band-Aid, this leaving their house thing. I always had to do it as quickly as possible, or I’d second-guess my decision to leave in the first place.
At my apartment, I unpacked then ran a hot bath and lit some candles. I’d brought some paperwork home from the office, and I read over the documents as I soaked in the tub. I was working on a nasty divorce, and everything about it terrified me. Of course, being a divorce attorney didn’t give one the best view of marriage. People never seemed to split up amicably—at least, not that I heard. It was always nasty, always messy, and people were always going to the greatest lengths to hurt each other and exact as much punishment as possible. I didn’t ever want to go through that.
Setting the papers on the bathroom floor, I tried to imagine what everyday life with Jonathan and Noah could be like. Would they really want me to move in with them at some point, like Jay had suggested? Did they want kids? What would their parents think? Would we even tell them?
I had a pang of guilt at the relief that my parents were both dead. I missed them terribly, but I couldn’t help wondering what they would have to say about all of this. I’d been so close to my mom, unable to ever hide anything from her or lie about my life. It was as if when we spoke over the phone, even though she couldn’t see me, she could hear in my voice everything I left unsaid.
My dad was always confused about my love life, unclear why I hadn’t settled down with a nice boy years ago. If only he knew that what I needed apparently wasn’t one nice boy, but two.
Would they be ashamed of me? Would they accept Noah and Jay? The fact that I knew they would have always been there for me, no matter who—or how many people—I loved, made me realize that while my situation wasn’t conventional, their love would be there to support and guide me. They would have understood that sometimes, relationships were unconventional. I remembered when I’d told my mom about Cindy, the woman I’d fallen for in college, and she’d said that love knew no gender. I was so surprised; she was from such a different time and place, but there she was, always supporting me.
I let out a deep breath, immediately feeling better. It was as if having this mental conversation with them eased so many of my fears. I knew what I was doing was okay, so who cared what others might think, or the judgment some people would place on us? It could happen no matter who or what we were. If I’d been in a relationship with a woman, or even someone with a slightly different skin tone than I had, people would judge. It was seemingly the nature of the beast.
Draining the tub, I stood up and wrapped myself in my towel, then made my way to my bedroom. It seemed so large for such a small place, my bed startlingly lonely. I’d always been the kind of person who needed my space and alone time, but somehow, I just felt empty there in recent days. Picking up my phone, I saw they’d each texted me, and that made me smile. I asked what they were up to then reached for the book I’d been reading. I’d done everything I needed to get ready for the week ahead, and I yawned as I stared at the words on the page.
My phone beeped and I picked it up to see Noah’s reply that they were folding laundry. I had to laugh at the normalcy. I’d half expected him to say they were having wild monkey sex again, but I was comforted by the fact that they were just as boring as I was. Well, not quite as boring. When the next reply came, I closed my eyes after reading it.
Is it weird that we don’t want to change the sheets because they smell like you?
I tapped out my reply after taking a minute to gather my thoughts.
No, but now I’m jealous. You need to come rub all over my sheets so I can smell you guys all night.
A minute later, I realized that I hadn’t ever invited them over, and sent another text asking if they wanted to do Wednesday dinner at my apartment. My phone pinged with a reply from Jonathan less than a minute later.
Not this week, sweets. Someday soon, we’ll come over and defile your place, though. <3 -N
Halfway through reading the text, I chuckled, imagining Noah plucking the keyboard from Jay’s hand. Noah’s tone was so clear. I didn’t even need to see his initial to know it was from him. Once I’d replied, I switched my phone to vibrate mode, double-checked my alarm clock, and turned off the light. I lay in the dark for longer than I’d expected, thinking about them. They were almost polar opposites. Jonathan was preppy and somehow pretty while being masculine, and while Noah was gorgeous in his own way, he could pull off things like facial scruff in ways Jay couldn’t. Noah never hesitated to say how he felt or what he thought, whereas Jay was always a bit more diplomatic. He never exactly disagreed with you—outside the courtroom—but he carefully explained his point of view. Jay seemed more cautious and careful in his decision-making, while Noah was clearly a risk-taker.
I wondered where I fit into the equation that was us. I was somewhere between each of them—not afraid to speak my mind, but almost never taking bold risks. I’d left my comfortable job for a new one, but the new job was with a stable, established firm. I’d certainly never even thought about branching out on my own, like Noah had. The confidence that would have taken was simply beyond me. I knew I was competent at what I did, but I was terrible at self-promotion and bookkeeping. It just wouldn’t have worked out, and the risk was too great.
As I thought about the long-term potential of the three of us, I yawned again and rolled over. I realized we still had so much ground to cover. Things seemed
comfortable for so early in a relationship, and maybe because they were established before I came along, we’d skipped over so many of the normal early-dating steps. I’d ask them on Wednesday, I decided, what they thought of the future. It wasn’t like I was asking them to marry me, but I needed to make sure we were on the same page before I went too far ahead. What if they never wanted some of the things I did from life? I knew they liked to travel as much as I did, having survived being short-staffed during many of Jonathan’s vacations at work, but what if they felt differently about having kids, or something else?
I rolled over one last time, exhaling deeply and trying to let my mind and body rest. There would be plenty of time to worry about everything later.
In the morning, I was surprised to wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day, given all the tossing and turning I’d done through the night. After I grabbed a coffee, I got to work, plowing through everything I had ahead of me for the day. Around lunchtime, my administrative assistant, Sherry, came into my office with a vase of flowers. I blushed and shook my head.
“Looks like someone has an admirer,” she teased.
Oh, shit. I had no way to explain who they were from. I read the card, and it was from both of them, so it wasn’t even like I could tell a twist of the truth and explain they were from one or the other. Finally, I decided it wasn’t any of her business.
“I guess so,” I said, smiling. “Thanks for bringing these in.”
We exchanged a smile and she left, but I kept the card on my desk, propped against the vase. I reread the card—
Thank you for an amazing weekend. J&N
—at least a hundred times over the course of the day, my eyes tracing over the words and remembering the slope and shape of each of their bodies.
By the time my work was done, it was dark outside, and my stomach was growling loudly. I called Jonathan and Noah’s house phone on the drive, thanking them for the gorgeous flowers and talking to them about their days. My only regret was when I pulled into my parking space instead of their driveway. After we said goodbye, I nuked dinner and poured a glass of wine as I settled in to watch TV before bed. Ridiculously early for a grown woman, I dragged my tired ass to bed and collapsed, thankfully sleeping better than the night before.
Tuesday felt like a replica of Monday, aside from the flowers. I was anxious and excited the whole day to just get it over and hurry up to Wednesday. My assistant brought me lunch, and we talked for a few minutes. It was cute how she tried to dig for details about my flower-sender, but I remained tight-lipped. I hadn’t been at the firm long enough, or gotten to know her well enough, to predict how she’d react. All I needed was to be fired for no good reason. Nope, I needed to keep the details private for much longer.
When Wednesday finally dawned, it was like Christmas morning. I was in a great mood the entire day, even if I ended up staying at the office longer than expected to finish my work. I didn’t care; I wasn’t going home to an empty house. There were warm bodies and warm food and smiles and kisses waiting for me. Wednesday had become my favorite day of the week.
Well, second to Friday through Sunday.
When I pulled up to their house and knocked on the door, I was greeted with the expected hugs and a quick kiss and greeting from each of them.
“Oh God,” I moaned. “Smells so good!” I walked past them, straight into the kitchen. “What are you making in here?”
“Nice to see you too, darling,” Noah joked.
“Steaks for my carnivore.”
“You are too good to me, Jay,” I said, walking over to kiss him again.
“Wait until you see what Noah made for dessert.” His lips turned up against mine.
As he wrapped his arms around me beneath my suit jacket, I turned to look at Noah over my shoulder, eyebrows raised.
“It’s a surprise. Nothing fancy, though. Don’t get too excited.”
“What can I help with?” I asked.
“Well, you gotta let me go so I can get back out to the barbecue and grab the meat,” Jay said, making caveman grunting noises. “Why don’t you help Noah set the table?”
“I’ll grab your meat…” I half-whispered then giggled.
“Come on, naughty girl,” Noah said, taking my hand.
He led me to the cabinet then handed me plates and silverware, bringing the wine glasses himself. As we put everything in its place, I wondered if Noah and Jay ever fought, and if so, what about? I’d never heard them arguing about anything important, and Jonathan had never really told me about major disagreements during the time we’d worked together. I decided to ask at some point, but then got distracted as Noah handed me a beautiful goblet of red liquid. Come to Mama, I thought as I inhaled the delicious bouquet and took my first sip.
I took my jacket off, setting it on the back of my chair, and as we waited for Jonathan to come back inside, I surveyed the table. Looked like they’d made twice-baked potatoes and a salad, too. I smiled, salivating over the food and company. Jay brought the steaks in, and soon enough, the table was a flurry of moans of happiness over our food. Everything was so delicious, and like the week before, exactly what I’d needed in the middle of a hectic and stressful week.
“How’s the trial?” Jay asked, following up on a conversation we’d had via email earlier.
Shrugging, I sipped my wine and thought about how it was really going. “Okay, I guess. I may need to work late Friday, which completely sucks.”
They nodded and grimaced in empathy. I knew they both understood.
“Do you guys ever fight?” I asked, remembering my feeling from before.
They looked at me and laughed. “All the time,” Jay said.
“Toilet paper, vacation spots, Jay’s mom,” Noah said. “All the normal shit.”
I really wanted to know more about Jay’s mom but decided it wasn’t the right time to ask. “Sure, but do you ever have knock-down, drag-out fights?”
A look was shared between them as they clasped hands. “Yeah. One or two.”