Pillow Talk

A Sanitaria Springs Story

By Dabeagle


My thanks to Cole for editing.

With a change of clothes laid out for tomorrow, I felt relief with the taping of the last box. It was kind of amazing how much we'd accumulated during the semester we'd spent in Albany – thankfully we were able to fit it all in our cars. Alec walked through the door to our dorm room and collapsed, face down, on his bed.

“Oh, come on,” I teased. “Going up and down the elevator isn't that bad.”

He rolled on his side and opened one eye. “Says the guy who stayed in the room.”

“You offered,” I pointed out.

“Yeah. I had an ulterior motive.”

“Too bad you packed the massage table.”

“I what?” he said, sitting up. “Sash, that's cheating.”

“How is that cheating?” I asked, all innocence.

“You knew I was angling for a massage with a happy ending. It's just not right for you to double cross me when I'm trying to...”

“Uh huh, you were saying?” I teased.

“Ugh. You're too smart for me,” he said and flopped back, arms wide. I just smiled at him.

“I'm going to shower – I just carried down the last thing, right?” he asked.

“Close enough,” I replied. “We can take the rest down with us in the morning.”

“Okay. Oh, crap,” he said, slapping the mattress. “All my clothes are packed!”

“Oh no, you mean you'll have to drive naked?”

“Maybe it'll get me out of speeding tickets?” he grimaced.

I picked up the clothes I'd kept out for him and he smiled wryly. He took his bathroom bag and headed down the hall. The dorms were nothing fancy and they were emptying out quickly with the semester ending – our floor was nearly deserted. I set a box next to our final items and sat down on my bed, glancing out the window. Our view wasn't spectacular, facing the highway and train tracks and beyond that the old First Prize factory. I think it had been for processing turkeys or something. Now it was a decrepit wreck, someplace more home to rats and pigeons than workers.

Even though the semester had been successful, I was looking forward to going home. I missed my dads and Bobby, of course – that went without saying. But I was a little surprised at how much I'd missed our friends. I'd been turning that over in my head, knowing it was perfectly logical to miss them, and yet I thought what I was feeling was out of proportion.

Kale and Chase were a year behind us in school, but that had never mattered. Chase had initially invited us to join them for bowling with their church group and I'd accepted before Alec could step in it with a smart remark. Chase and I had chemistry right away – both our boyfriends had fatal flaws for other people and we'd commiserate about the trials of living with our much-loved other halves.

I'd missed that more than I'd realized. We'd talked, of course, but between our classes and their trying to finish strong for their own college aspirations – it just wasn't enough. When we'd left there was plenty of talk about making the best of it and utilizing Facebook and text messages and whatnot. But the experience was lacking. The four of us lazing around and carrying on, then breaking that off as Chase and I huddled to chat and Alec got Kale involved in some unlikely scheme...it had a magic all its own that electronics just couldn't touch.

We'd have some time this summer, if they hadn't grown apart from us too much – but then what? I suspected that they'd go to schools outside the state system – after all, they both came from money. I could have gone to Brown, though it wouldn't have been easy, but I couldn't bear to leave Alec and so we'd gone here together.

I didn't regret it, it was a good school and we were getting a solid education even if it didn't come with the gravitas of an Ivy League school. I was spending a lot of time worried that, after this summer, we'd lose Chase and Kale for good. People came and went in your life, but it was making me miserable contemplating them being in that category. It would mean drifting farther and farther apart until we'd lost them completely.

Of course, that didn't tell the entire story, either. There were also our little love birds, Robin and Lucien. Some things Alec was great at, but other things Lucien came to me for. I felt inexplicably, stupidly giddy about those times and looked on the two of them with such fondness that it was hard to credit they weren't blood relations.

Alec returned and I suggested we go to a restaurant for dinner, somewhere quiet for our last night in town. Something better than the dining hall.

With our cars packed to the gills, we took the campus shuttle downtown. Alighting on Lark Street Alec took my hand and we walked into the balmy evening. There was a lot of foot traffic, couples of all stripes, and we were just one more in the montage. We went to a favorite of ours; whenever we felt the desire to splurge, Whitman's was our place.

It was a narrow building - booths and tables with scarlet table cloths, black and white squares of tile, one inch by one inch, covering the floor. It had a tin ceiling and high, dark wood wainscoting. We were shown to our requested table – they were not busy – a booth in the back corner. Drapes were hung outside each booth and padded cloth dividers rose high between each booth. A small ruby-colored glass pot with a small flame sat at each table.

Once we were seated, our waiter appeared, a pleasant man with strands of salt in his dark brown hair. Our orders placed, Alec reached across the table for my hands and drew them to the center where he could hold them comfortably.

“Are you excited to go home?” he asked.

“Yes, definitely,” I replied. His face drooped just a tad and I lifted an eyebrow in question. He pretended not to see it and I decided to let it lie – for now. Instead I said, “I'll bet Lucien can't wait to see you.”

“Yeah, I miss him – a lot.” Alec's face lit up. “I'm actually kind of surprised how much I miss him.”

“I'm not. He loves his big brother something fierce; that's got to feel good to be around.”

“Yeah,” Alec smiled, “he does. It's so weird, you know, I never really thought about kids much until I met him. He totally changed my life.”

“He changed us all,” I agreed. “I'm sure you've seen how happy he is with Robin.”

“All the pictures!” Alec laughed. “It's almost like being there.”

“Next best thing,” I agreed. “I'm impressed with how stable he and Robin have become.”

“Yeah,” he nodded in agreement. “I was afraid they'd burn themselves out, over-doing it.”

“A lot of couples do that. They seem to have a good balance, though. It's almost like two old souls got together – unless they are doing something dumb.”

“Well, they aren't as wise as we are,” he said with a grin. Our food arrived and we ate slowly, continuing our talk of home and eventually it came back around to our semester and – I think – what had caused Alec's face to droop earlier.

“I never thought college would be for me,” Alec admitted. “I know I'm not an idiot, but I never really felt like I was a school kind of guy. Add to that I wasn't all that thrilled with spending all day in a classroom in high school and I really wondered about doing four more years of it.”

“You did phenomenally well, though. I'm really proud of you.”


“What's bothering you?” I asked, setting my fork down.

He pursed his lips and set his fork down as well. Took a sip of water, set the glass down and slowly moved it in a circle.

“Was it worth it for you?”

“Was what worth it, love?”

“Giving up Brown. Coming here with me, living with me.”

“Of course it was. You're asking if I regret spending every day with you and not having to sneak around anytime we wanted to be intimate? Or are you asking if I liked getting a preview of married life with you?”


“Alec, I don't understand what's bothering you. You have to just...tell me!”

“I...feel selfish.” He sipped the water again, letting his eyes flick up to meet mine and then back to the table, to the flame.

“About what?”

“You know, when I proposed,” he said suddenly, “I told everyone you were my better half in every way. It's true – you and I both know that. You're kind and smart everyone wants to be friends with you and talk to you, and me? I'm just a smart ass. The one you have to worry about driving potential friends away. The one that you gave up a premier education for.” He stopped turning the glass and fixed his eyes to mine.


“I think I'm selfish because of all that and because...I kept you to myself.”

“I...what are you talking about?” I said in complete confusion.

“I'm the only guy you've ever been with,” he said, leaning in and dropping his voice. “You're the only one I've ever been with. Don't you feel like I...kept something from you?”

I smiled and picked up my fork, took a bite and continued to smile as he waited. “You know, Alec, you go through some real contortions to express yourself.”

“Sash...” he whined.

“Love, I didn't 'give up' Brown. I just picked you. I know, I know,” I said, holding up a hand to forestall him. “You see it as me losing something. I don't. You like to tell people that I'm your better half, but we're two very complementary halves, Alec. For instance, Lucien always comes running to you when he's in trouble or he's hurting. You're his protector and his nurse all wrapped up in one. Two weeks before we left, when he got that nasty cold? Who made him chicken soup? Who made him push fluids and brought him stuff to watch in his room? That's right, you did.

“On the other hand, if he wants to get relationship advice or have a talk about something serious that won't end up with him getting a pie to the face, he calls me.” I covered his free hand, “It's not that you're not the best big brother you can be, Alec. It's just that you have strengths and weaknesses like everyone else.”

“So...but what about only having been with me? Don't you ever wonder...?”

“Of course I do, Alec!” I laughed. “We're engaged, not dead.” I shook my head and pointed at his food. “Eat, we won't be back here for four months.”

He picked up his utensils, and even though he started to eat, I could see the wheels were still working. I suspected that I'd only gotten part of the story – Alec was a lot deeper than he gave himself credit for and he was always as careful as he knew how to be when approaching something he felt was delicate – at least if I was involved.

“I'm really looking forward to seeing Kale and Chase as well,” I told him.

“Definitely. We have to do something special with them this summer,” Alec enthused.

“I'm kind of worried about that,” I confessed. “Actually, it's been on my mind a lot since we left. We did everything with them and I'm really worried that we're going to lose them. Have either one of them mentioned where they'd like to go to college?”

“Kale has named a few places, but I didn't recognize them. I'm guessing they'll both go to schools where Kale's Audi is the norm in the parking lot.”

“Yeah, I'm afraid of that, too. Alec, the thought of losing them just breaks my heart.”

Alec was quiet for a moment and then said, “That's why you're looking forward to going home. You want to see our friends.”

“Of course I do. Why? What were you thinking?”

“I...was worried you couldn't wait to get some time away from me.”

“Do I have to slap you?” I teased. He flashed an abashed smile, but clearly there was still more. I decided to let him spool it out as he felt ready. No doubt he was wrestling with how to express himself. On occasion it was frustrating waiting for him to say what he needed to, but I tried to remind myself – again – that he chose his words carefully when it counted. I think it was a side of him very few ever saw, this contemplative, insecure man across from me.

When we'd decided on a school we'd really given ourselves a challenge taking fulltime courses while living together as well. We'd found a balance, but I also discovered a hidden joy. I loved living with Alec, taking care of him. My giving massages here and there gave us some extra spending money, and we hadn't had to ask the folks for anything extra. In fact, it saw to our basic needs, considering we had our meal cards. We had plenty for our toiletries, the occasional meal out or movie. Nothing extravagant, but it was a small taste of domestic life.

We went to the laundromat together and helped each other study. We cleaned our little room and I folded his clothes because he just couldn't. It wasn't the full on experience, but living with him – waking up to him – I was surprised how much I loved that.

I had decided to major in Psychology and minor in Photography. Alec was going full bore on social work, inspired by Lucien and Hamster. His core was nothing but a desire to help, to make things better than how he found them.

“So...you said Lucien comes to you with certain things. Like what?” He took a sip of water.

“His sex life,” I deadpanned. The water came out his nose. I was giggling and covering my face with the cloth napkin while Alec coughed and spluttered. I was shaking while he gained control and then, smiling at me he wagged a finger.

“That was not fair. You know I picture – ugh!”

It was an old joke, but Alec still made it funny.

“Are you serious, though? I left him that book – it was plenty detailed.”

“What did you expect him to do? Lift Robin's legs and ask him to hold that position while he consulted the book for the next step?” I giggled.

“Well, come on! It's not like he's on the phone with you, asking what to do next!” he laughed.

I schooled my face to neutrality and stabbed food with my fork, lifting it deliberately and chewing without meeting his eyes.

“Okay, ha, ha.”

“Well,” I said as I continued to avoid his eyes. “Adolescent sexual behavior is something I could write a paper on, you know.”

“How much sex could they be...Sash, you can't write a paper about my baby brother having sex!” he fairly squealed. I broke down in giggles, unable to restrain myself any longer.

“Seriously though, what things does he come to you for?”

“Like I said, relationship advice. Sometimes he just likes to wax poetic about Robin, although I draw the line when he starts in about his body,” I said and then chuckled. “I learned my lesson when he extolled the virtues of Robin's ankles, for Christ's sake! It's really very sweet how those two fit together, though.”

“Fit together...how?”

“Not just in bed, Alec. Jesus, you're buying into all the nose twisting you did to Kale about them screwing each other silly.”

“Well, no,” he said, taking a bite of his meal. “I mean, they really did pull a fast one the night of his adoption.”

“They did, but it wasn't planned that way.”

“Well...what happened?”

“They confessed their sins to each other, there was a lot of forgiveness. They went out and made snow angels in the front yard and then snuggled for warmth. The rest was a mix of hormones, love and leftover emotion from all the talking they did.”

“I have to admit, I'm with Leafy about the lack of condoms, though.” Alec said.

“Yeah,” I replied neutrally.

“What do...wait, what else do you know?” Alec narrowed his eyes in suspicion.

“Nothing, dear. How's your dinner?”

“Glorious. What are you holding back?”

“Alec, they should have some secrets, shouldn't they?”

“Not when it comes to his safety. Why don't they use condoms?”

I set my fork down and fixed him with a look, a look he knew meant business. “If I tell you, you can never repeat it to him. It would break his trust in me and I won't forgive you for that. Do you understand?”

“Yeah. Okay,” Alec replied slowly.

“It's not that big a deal, I just won't have you embarrass him with this – it's not a joke, love.”

“I get it,” Alec nodded. “You know I don't try to hurt.”

“I do, but sometimes you hit tender areas with him. He doesn't have a tough shell to deflect your comments – he's too close to you, loves you too much. He never sees it coming. Let's talk about it back in our room.” I scraped up the last of my food and wiped my mouth as I watched Alec do the same. The waiter returned and we ordered a dessert to share. It was on the table in moments, a slice of pie and a scoop of ice cream. We ate in silence and then I paid the bill and we walked out into the warm evening enjoying each others company.

“Thank you,” Alec said, gripping my hand a tad tighter. “For picking me. I was really freaking out about being separated from you.”

“You?” I said with a smile. “You think I'm going to let you out of my sight? All these eligible men, looking at my fiance? No way!”

“Sash! You? Jealous?” he smiled.

“Hey, I know what I have,” I replied.

We walked down to Washington Park and strolled around a bit, enjoying the weather and the feeling of it just being us. Darkness was still an hour or more away, but the sun had started its slow fade. We lay back on the grass, side by side with our hands together.

“Were you really afraid to leave me alone up here?”

“Of course I was,” I giggled. “Where else was I going to find a guy like you?”

He turned onto his side, “Sash, I'm being serious. Do you feel like you can't trust me?”

I turned my head to look at his, creased with concern. “It's not that. I just couldn't stand the thought of you being so far away for so long,” I smiled and touched his face. “I have to admit, though, that the idea occurred to me that someone besides me might want your body.”

“You think?”

“Hey, don't sound so excited,” I poked him.

“It's flattering to think of, though. Although, I guess it could be scary if you think of it from a different perspective. Like, I don't know how I'd react to some random guy trying to hook up with you. I don't think I'd react really well, though.”

“No, I don't think I would either. We sound awfully possessive, don't we?” I laughed.

“Maybe,” he acceded. “I also think it's not something you share with just anyone. It's my opinion, but I think you should care about the other person.”

“What about the guys in porn you'd like to bang?” I teased.

“That's just lust. When they're on the screen they aren't real, just fantasy.” Alec waved his hand to emphasize the silliness of my question.

“Well, what about...remember when Lucien told you about seeing Robin at the park?”

“The candy g-string? Kind of hard to forget.”

“Are you picturing Robin in that thing?” I asked, narrowing my eyes and trying to stop my mouth from curling in amusement.

“Sash!” he smacked his forehead, “you're cruel!”

“Oh, come on. I bet you'd look if it were Kale or Chase.”

“I sense a trap,” Alec said and leaned over to kiss me. I giggled and twisted out from under him, but he pursued me and we were quickly rolling in the grass, laughing and carrying on. Eventually we lay on the grass, side by side, looking at one another.

“So, love, why are you such a wise guy?” I asked as I propped my head up on my hand. “I mean, you're handsome, intelligent and so...together. I mean, not to be over doing it, you don't have anything to be insecure about – lots of times people who joke too much or act kind of outrageous are hiding something. Are you hiding something from me, love?”

“Nope, I'm no good at hiding stuff from you,” he said. “I used to wonder why, too. I mean, after you and I got together I got better about it. Dating you does wonders for a guy's self worth, you know?”

“Flattery will get you everywhere, but let's stay on track,” I smiled.

He looked around for a moment before letting his eyes settle on the grass between us, idly moving the green blades. “So it goes back to Mrs. Burks, my fifth grade teacher. See, when I was a kid I had these really bad allergies. I had to have my own box of Kleenex - used to keep it at my desk. So, for fifth and sixth grade, my parent sent me to St. Joseph's because they thought it was supposed to be a better education. And I'm the new kid, right? I'm blowing my nose all the time and the teacher is kind of making fun of me for it.”

“The teacher?”

“I know. She'd like, dismiss me and say, 'Go blow your nose' or something.”

“Wow. I never had a teacher that bad.”

“Well,” he said, rolling on his back and folding his hands on his chest, “Looking back I think she was a new teacher. She was really fat and she had a silver Corvette with Illinois plates and had to go through some interesting positions to get into it. Somehow I think that being buddies with the class made her feel good. Maybe she didn't have a lot of friends growing up being fat and a religious freak all in one.”

“Well, maybe,” I said doubtfully. I rolled forward so I could rest my head on his chest and he moved his hands to oblige me.

“So, she kind of fucked me up. I started getting wise with her and she'd get mad, and when that happened the class would laugh. I liked the attention. It felt good to make people laugh. But she'd be real nasty and get even. Did I ever tell you why I don't like to read?”

“No, and since I enjoy it I admit I never understood that about you, given how smart you are.”

“Well – jeez, I'm losing all my mysteries to you,” he grinned. “So, when I went into fifth grade I loved to read. In fact the school had this program called Great Books where you read this book and then everyone discussed it. Like you really dissected it – as much as a fifth grader can, anyway.”

“That sounds like a fantastic program!”

“It was and I loved it. But the school had this policy that you had to maintain a 'B' average to be in it. So here's Porky Burks up front and she's going through her grade book, right? And she's hitting all the people that just went below a 'B' and she'd ask them – in front of the whole class – 'Are you in Great Books?' So if the kid, like me, says yes that bitch goes, 'Not anymore!'”

“That's horrible!”

“I ended up hating books after getting them taken away – even when my grades went back up I wouldn't go back because she'd just take it away again was how I felt. That's when I went full smartass, man. I never looked back I hated her so much.”

“I think you should start reading again. It's not fair what she took from you then, and she can't hurt you now.”

“Maybe,” he said. “But she's why I started being a smartass. I'm serious though, I really tried to be better when we started dating. I wanted so bad to make sure I didn't smart ass my way right out of dating you.”

“Oh, you're frustrating sometimes but you do make me laugh.” I gave him a squeeze.

“I hate thinking about her,” he said despondently. “I feel like I'm in fifth grade all over again and she's making me feel like shit for blowing my nose.”

We walked back to the shuttle pick-up and sat on the bench, the only people waiting to go back to campus.

“So...” Alec said. “What was it you were going to tell me at the restaurant?”

“Hm. That you had sauce on your chin?” I said, finger to my chin.

“Sash,” he said, bumping me with his shoulder. “You said it wasn't a joke.”

“I tell you what,” I replied, looking at him from the corner of my eye. “I'll tell you, but then you tell me what you'd do if you caught...Kale with the candy g-string.”

“Sash!” he exclaimed, pretending to be scandalized. I crossed my arms.

“Nope,” I grinned, “and what I said before about telling him? That still goes. I'd never forgive you.”

“But,” he whined, “that's not fair!”

“Why not? You want to know your brother's secret thoughts and I want to know one of yours!” I laughed.

He sulked for a moment before grinning wryly. “I'd do what I told Lu I'd do. I'd watch. Save him for my spank bank.”

“Your what?” I laughed.

“Spank bank. You know, things you think about when you spank,” he leered at me. “Don't worry, you have a prominent place there.”

“Oh really?” I laughed. “Dare I ask how you picture me when you spank?”

He leaned over and whispered in my ear, “No, you don't.” We both burst out in giggles.

“So really? You'd stand there and stare at Kale if you caught him changing?”

“Don't sound so scandalized; he'd do the same thing!”

“Serious Kale?” I said doubtfully. “Are we talking about the same guy?”

“Hey, you see how he is with me. Kale has another side to him,” Alec replied.

“Well, yes. I've seen your corrupting influence,” I laughed.

“Hey! Kale's a lot of fun once he loosens up some.”

“Oh, someone is defensive!” I laughed again. “Are you protecting your boy toy?”

“Okay, I told you. Your turn,” he said, crossing his arms and ignoring my jibe. The shuttle turned the corner and approached our stop.

“He says,” I turned to look at his face. “That Robin had a hard time...completing anything sexual after Charlie. So when they were together the first time – they hadn't planned it – and so they didn't use them. I guess when Robin...you know...Lucien said he could feel it. I guess they both like that.”

“He could...feel it?” Alec repeated. The shuttle pulled to a stop with a squeal of the air brake and the doors opened with a mechanical bang. I pulled Alec to his feet as he mumbled about 'feeling it' and we took our seats for the ride back.

Alec leaned over and said in my ear, “He could feel it?”

“That's what he said,” I replied.

“Just so we're clear...he could feel Robin...”

“Cum. Yes. In Lucien's...”

“Don't! No! Dammit!” he pounded his forehead and I smiled again. I couldn't help it, he was too cute.

“Look, I don't know why this is a shock to you. You knew that they slept together the night of his adoption,” I said reasonably.

“Yeah,” he looked up at me, “I wasn't kidding, they were walking a little weird.”

“Well, you do it as many times as they did in one night, you'll walk funny too.”

“How...I don't want to know,” Alec said, facing forward. I laughed and bumped him.

“I'm teasing.”

“When did you get this...evil streak?” Alec asked, lips quivering as he tried not to laugh.

“You know, that's a good question. Maybe I got it listening to you spin up poor Kale about his brother?”

“Kale needs that in his life,” Alec said seriously. “We all know he is too tightly wound. I'm providing a vital service – in fact, when we see them, he'll probably be about ready to burst because I haven't let him blow off some steam.”

“Kale exploding? Are we talking about your spank bank again?” I did my best to look serious but his look of shock was enough to make me completely lose any hope of that. The shuttle dropped us in front of the line of dorms and we pushed and shoved until we got into the elevator. When the doors closed Alec moved like a cat, pinning me against the wall and kissing me like he'd never done before. I was shocked – pleasantly so – as he pressed against me and made the most of each floor.

He broke the kiss as the doors opened on our floor. He looked at me, chest heaving and his lips swollen and he turned, heading down the hall. I was so stunned I nearly forgot to leave the elevator. I followed him down to our room, all the while wondering what the heck set that off. I closed the door behind me and looked at Alec, hands on his head and seated on his bed.

“Alec?” I asked, “What's going on?”

“You never answered me, before,” he said. “When I asked if you thought I was being selfish and keeping you to myself; that I was the only guy you'd ever been with.”

“I didn't?” I asked, taking a seat on my bed opposite him.

“No.” He looked up and his insecure side was staring me in the face. “Now you ask about Chase and Kale, what I'd do if I saw them naked...but you already have. Haven't you?”

“No. I mean, nearly so when they get a massage, but not nude.”

“They wear underwear when you give them a massage?”

“No, they don't. But I have never lifted the sheets to look or anything sordid. Alec, what's going on?”

He looked down, folded his hands and stared at them. “Straight people get to date and break up, they get to find out what they like and don't like in people. It's something you and I never got to do. Do you regret that?”

“Not at all,” I said honestly. “Who needs the drama of finding out your trust was misplaced or that you gave away your virginity to someone that didn't matter to you? No, I can say with no reservations I don't feel like I missed anything.”

“Then how come...what's with talking about Chase and Kale?”

“Alec, I'm not blind! They are both sweet, good looking guys.” I chuckled and leaned back.

“Do you wish they were...more than that?”

“Do you mean like...some kind of group sex thing?”

His face came up in an instant, his eyes wide. “You want to try group sex?”

“Uh, that's not what I said,” I replied slowly. “Why, do you?”

“Uh. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean,” he closed his eyes and covered his face with his hands. I crossed the narrow space and sat with him, putting my arm around his shoulder.

“I can wait. Organize your thoughts.”

“I feel like whatever I say is going to diminish our relationship,” Alec said. At least I think that's what he said, through his fingers.

“Love, whatever is bothering you, just let it hang out there. You know we'll figure it out.” I was curious what was under his skin, but wasn't worried at all. Ever since we first spent the night together I'd come to realize that Alec wasn't entirely what he presented to the world. With me he could examine himself, allow his insecurities to show and know I'd still love him. It was odd; he thought those things were detriments but, in truth, they were endearing. It was the smartass part that could leave you tired after a while. But he did make me laugh, and I did love that.

“Are you...attracted to Chase or Kale?” he asked at last.

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

Again with the quick head movement, looking into my face. “How can you just...say that?”

“Because it's true?” I said with a chuckle. “Alec, it's okay to find other people attractive.”

“Porn people, fantasy people, sure. But our friends? Friends you've...Sash...are you...”

“Alec, stop!” I said with a smile. “They are attractive people. I think it would be more unbelievable if I didn't find them attractive.”

“Are you...going to...”

“Sleep with one of them? Hardly. In the first place, I'm engaged to you, love.”


“I can find them attractive without having it affect my feelings for you, sweetheart.”

He seemed to turn that over in his head. I stretched and then stood, kicking off my sneakers and tossing my tee shirt atop the remaining box so I could find it in the morning. I then tossed my jeans with it, peeled my socks and lay on Alec's mattress as he just watched. I smiled up at him and he took my hand.

“Come on, I think this is going to be a long talk. Let's be comfortable.”

“Sash, you're nearly naked in my bed. That doesn't makes me comfortable, it makes me horny.”

“Will you still be horny if we talk about Chase and Kale?” I teased.

He looked down, “Maybe.”

“That makes you feel guilty. I get it now,” I said, rolling onto my back and pulling his hand. He shot me an apologetic look and I smiled back at him. “Come on, Alec, peel off some clothes. You know how much I like it when you do that.”

He rolled his eyes, but I could see from the movement of his legs that his shoes were being kicked off. He backed up a touch and crossed his arms to lift his shirt up from the bottom and I felt my temperature rise. As the shirt landed on top of my clothes he reached for the button of his jeans.

“Wait,” I said, holding a hand up. He paused, head down towards the waistband of his pants but his eyes looking at me. “This? You, no shirt, no shoes in jeans? That is in my spank bank.”

He lifted an eyebrow and smiled, a touch of color in his cheeks. He undid the button, the smile settling into his eyes as he watched me – my eyes drifting from his face to his body. His tapered fingers pinched the tab on the zipper and began to pull it down. Each time the teeth released I saw more and more, until the front of his jeans hung wide and began to slip down his legs. He stepped out of them, and joined me on his bed.

“Hi,” he said, looking into my eyes.

“Hello, love.”

He lay on his back and I snuggled up against him, stroking his chest.

“So...I'm trying to make sense of this conversation we've been sort of having tonight,” he said.

“Yes, we seem to be dancing around something, aren't we?” I said, blowing across his chest and watching the fine hair stir.

“I'm feeling a little conflicted, Sash.” His hand drifted into my hair, running through it carelessly and letting it fall strand by strand before renewing his effort.

“Okay. Is it because you want to sleep with Chase or Kale?” I asked, teasing the skin by his clavicle.


“Hm. I thought that was it,” I replied. I moved my finger to the closest nipple.

“Well, it's not...exactly...it.”

“Well, you'll have to explain it to me then. I've been trying to tease it out of you all night,” I replied. I touched my tongue to my fingers and returned them to his nipple for further titillation.

“Well, I'm attracted to both of them,” he admitted.

“Well, we're in agreement then,” I replied. I blew across the now wet nipple, watching it try to harden even more.

“It's just...just that...Sash, that's so, so distracting.”

“I'm sorry,” I flattened my hand and made less sensual movements on his skin. “Sometimes I'm tempted, I can't help myself.”

“I...it seems wrong to stop you when we're talking about the attractiveness of another couple,” he said. I propped myself up on my elbow.

“Well, I think it might lead to something interesting. Plus, it's bothering you,” I smiled and said, “I'll do my best to resist you so we can discuss the merits of Chase and Kale. I think they both fall into the 'do-able' category.”


“Oh, come on!” I said with a laugh. “If we were single guys, and if they were, we'd be trying to get in their pants, right?”

“Well...if we were all single, that'd be a different story.”

“Is it the not being single part that bothers you?”

“In a way...yeah, that's it really,” he nodded. “I'm worried about what you'd think.”

“Alec, it's okay to fantasize about whomever! Love, your imagination and your fantasy is always your own and you shouldn't feel guilty about that.” I tapped his chest with my finger, “Now, some relationships aren't like ours is - or has - been. Some people bring in a third or trade spouses, as you've joked before.

“Hey, were you serious about that?” I asked.

“Sash, I know I couldn't take some stranger touching you,” Alec said seriously. I thought on that for a moment.

“I know it's only been said as a joke, but what if you were there? Watching? What if it were Chase or Kale? What if you had some kind of...control?”

“I...don't know. I mean...”

“Alec, it's okay. What are you thinking?”

“I'm having mixed feelings. I'm picturing Chase and you and...in a way it's like watching porn, you know? I think I'd feel better because it's someone we trust. But...what if you liked sex with him more than you do with me?”

“Hm,” I said, setting my chin on his chest and looking up at his face. “I'd imagine sex with either of them would be pretty good – I mean, I'm told even bad sex is good because, well, it's sex.”


“I know, I understand where you're coming from. I think it's a valid question – I'm sure people have to be either very secure in their relationships to allow something like that or not care. Although,” I said with a thought, “I suppose one could be talked into it just because they feel worthless enough. There are all kinds of reasons for threesomes and things like that.”

“So how can I feel okay with that?”

“Well, it's not like it's happening, Alec,” I smiled.

“Sash. When we go home...if they still like us, still want to hang around,” he licked his lips. “What if we go camping again? What if...”

“What if we see them stripped down to their form fitting underwear again?” I asked wryly.

“Well...” he turned his face to mine, a tad of his old mischievous fire back . “They were pretty damn hot. Having them there, right next to us.”

“I know. Why do you think I grabbed you?” I laughed. “Let me ask you, did hearing them make out next to us turn you on?”

“I thought I'd tear a hole in my underwear!” Alec laughed.

“I know you made a mess of them” I grinned.

“I wasn't the only one,” he grinned back.

“You were, however, the only one to go – what was the word? Oh, yes, 'tip deep'.”

“That was totally by accident!” Alec said defensively then started to laugh and I joined him.

I propped myself up to look down at him, “So you expect me to believe that, after you telling me all night you'd like to sleep with our friends, that poking Kale was an accident?”

“It was!” he protested with a giggle.

“Come on,” I said giving him a sly grin, “tell me the truth.”

“I am!” he laughed. “Look, here's what happened. I wake up because Kale has wiggled in his sleep – Chase too! I could have screwed Kale and jacked Chase, they were so close. You pinned me in from behind.”

“Really?” I said, raising an eyebrow.

“Yep. But, instead, I decided I'd freak Kale a little and cuddle him.” He held up a hand, “I swear, I thought he'd wake right up!”

“So you wrap your arms around Kale, a man you'd like to screw and then what?” I asked, knowing I was making him squirm and loving it.

“Well..I never mentioned this,” he said with a blush, “but when I reached around Kale? To pull him to me? Right after I did that, Chase shifted again. His morning wood was pinning my hand to Kale's stomach.”

“No way! Are you serious?” I asked, sitting up.

“Totally,” he said, “and so I couldn't move my hand, right? I'd wake one of them, right?”

“Oh, so you decided to just be a good guy and leave Chase's wood rubbing against your hand, is that about it?” I burst out laughing at his stricken look.

“I'm serious!” he whined. “It was kind of weird, I didn't expect that!”

“Okay, okay,” I said, snorting with laughter, “so there you are, with my morning wood pressing into your backside and Chase's morning wood pinning your hand to Kale's stomach and then what?”

“What usually happens when your morning wood is pressing into me?”

“Oh my god,” I laughed and he started giggling. “That's how you got wedged between his cheeks?”

He nodded and I laughed so hard tears were coming down my face. He was giggling uncontrollably and I flopped down on the bed, laughing next to him.

“Oh, Alec, that was hysterical.” I sighed, pushing out a few last giggles as he settled in next to me.

“So,” I traced a finger on his chest. “You were describing me with Chase a few minutes ago, weren't you?”

“Yeah. You and Chase are closer than I am with him. I mean, Chase's a great guy but Kale and I get on really well, now. After we talked I think Kale understood me a lot better and I understood him a lot better, too.”

“Okay but, get back to the part about you fantasizing about me with Chase,” I grinned.

“Um. Okay,” he said, lips curling at the edges. “If I talk does it... make you horny?”

“Alec, I'm lying next to you and we both are barely dressed. I'm already horny. Now, get on with it.”

“Okay,” he said, getting into the spirit of things. “Well, I've thought about it before, actually.”

“Go on.”

“You'd be in a chair – one of those old wooden ones with no arms. Chase would be in the underwear he had on in the tent. He'd be going down on you and I can see your...enjoyment?”

“I can see yours, too,” I said, pointedly looking at his tent.

“Well...you're hot.”

“And Chase?”

“He's pretty,” he allowed. “But I think you're prettier.”

“Oh, well, thank you,” I said and kissed his nose.

“I mean it. You're pretty – the cheekbones, the skin the long hair. Sometimes I just stop and watch you, this beauty I live with.” He pulled my face to his and kissed me. I smiled down on him.

“So if you picture me with Chase, then you must like Kale more for yourself,” I teased.

“Yeah, I guess I do. Mind you, I wouldn't kick either one of them out of bed, except,” I joined him in finishing one of his favorite phrases, “there's more room on the floor.”

“So tell me, then, what do you think of when you fantasize about your leafy friend?” I teased.

“Sash,” he groaned.

“You know what I find interesting about the Kirkwood boys is that you can tell they are related, what with the dark hair, blue eyes and pale skin – yet they are all so different. I don't just mean personality.

“Now, Jamie is still developing, but he looks like he's going to end up being taller and wider than all of them. Robin,” I chuckled, “according to Lucien, and I paraphrase, 'Robin is delicate in appearance, sweet in nature, agile on the playing field - whatever it may be – and gentle in bed'.”

“I didn't need that last bit!” Alec grumped and I laughed at him.

“Now Kale,” I said, touching the tip of his nose with my finger. “He has wider shoulders than Robin, and his stance is one of control. Dependability. I can see him being a slow burn kind of guy, one that would be more passive early in a relationship but be more aggressive as he became more sure of himself. What do you think?”

“I haven't thought about it as much as you!” Alec said, laughing at my bewildered look.

“This is all off the top of my head. Well, except I think Chase is more my speed. Everything on his body looks long.”

“Sasha!” Alec was giving me the fake scandalized look again. I wasn't about to forget, however, that it was his fantasies that brought this subject up in the first place.

“Hey, so back to this blow job I was getting. Is Chase any good at it?”

Alec gives me a sly look and then says, slowly, “Yeah. Your face is telling me you're totally loving it. But when he lifts your legs and starts the rim job, that's when you're face really lights up.”

“A rim job? Alec, we haven't tried....hey, are you saying...?”

“Yeah, of course, I am. But don't you want to hear more about this session you get with Chase?”

I narrowed my eyes, “Are you making this up right now? Or do you really have some fantasy about watching Chase and I go at it?”

“I've thought about it,” he said. “I mean – I felt weird about it before we started talking about it, here. I still kind of worry that, if it happened, you'd want one of them instead of me – but that's the little fifth grader in me worrying about losing again.”

“So, now you feel more secure?”

He nodded, “Yeah, I do. I know its kind of silly, but I worry that one of us will want to see what it's like with someone else and that it will break us up, that curiosity. Or a fight plus that.”

“Well,” I lay my leg across his and put my arm on his chest, “I think the key to avoiding that is what we're doing. You know, anyone who knows you probably thinks 'Oh, Alec, he's never worried about anything. Nothing makes him insecure.' But the fact is, no matter what people think they see, everyone has insecurities.”

“Do you worry we'll break up?”

“Not in any immediate way, no. I worry we'll stop talking and that we'll break up from that. Alec,” I said, “we need to be able to tell each other anything. That isn't limited to talking about other people but we have to be able to say we have fantasies or attractions without fear – and we also have the right to keep them to ourselves. Not only that, we have the right to define what our relationship is and what it isn't. The important thing is that we discuss whatever is on our minds.”

“Yeah, you're right.”

“So, how do you see Kale then?”

“What do you mean?”

“Stop stalling,” I lightly slapped his chest. “You didn't agree with my assessment, so how do you see him?”

“In my fantasy? Bent over!” he roared with laughter and I chuckled at him.

“Really? You fantasize about bending him over?”


“Alec, come on,” I said. “This obviously bothers you; let's just get it dealt with.”

“Sash...it still feels a little like cheating, especially to say it out loud.”

“It's not. It's fantasy, and that's healthy. Don't forget we, not society, set up the rules for our relationship. We decide what's okay and if, one day, something happens – as long as we agree on it – then it's okay. Now, come on, out with it.” I tapped his chest with my finger tip, “I want to hear more about a bent-over Kale.”

He laughed. “Okay, so when we have sex – you and I - I like that you take charge. It doesn't matter what we do, you lead the way. When I think about doing Kale, I think about...being in your role.”

“Do you want to switch things up?” I leaned in and whispered in his ear, “You want to ravish me?”

“I always do. I don't care who's doing what with us, but I always want you. But things like that? How you whisper in my ear? You take the lead. You tell me how to undress, you lift my legs or tell me to put a condom on. I love you taking charge, but I also wonder what it's like.”

“I see,” I replied. “So maybe you feel worried about changing how we do things? Or is it that, maybe, you worry if you can even do that so you fantasize about that with Kale.”

“Well, yeah.”

I leaned down, whispering in his ear again. “Does he like it? Is it hot?”

“Yeah,” he shuddered into my ear.

“You want to do him, don't you?” I whispered again.

He turned and looks at me, then says softly, “Yeah. Is that...wrong?”

“No, Love. It's not. Alec, are you sorry you haven't slept with anyone besides me?” I asked, thinking that maybe his questions from earlier were more about himself than me.



“It's not a but, really. I'm just curious.”

“Do you want my permission? Or can I watch?”

“What?” Alec's mouth dropped open.

“You heard me, I'm serious.”

“But...we both said we didn't think we could handle random people touching either of us! I was talking fantasy.”

“I know,” I said, sitting up; he followed suit. “But let's talk about it because these aren't random people – we're talking about Chase and Kale. If I said it was okay for you to sleep with Kale as long as I was there, would you?”

Alec's eyes went wide.

“I'm just saying. If we wanted to agree to something, like I said before, it's our business. If Chase and Kale were willing – what would you think? No tricks, no guilt – just, what would you think?”

“Well,” he looked down and seemed to contemplate the question seriously. “I don't know. If it were okay with everyone...with you...I'd like to try it.”

“Do you think it'd be like you fantasized?”

He ran his fingers through his hair. “I don't know. I mean, probably not.”

“I see Kale being more submissive if he were with me, actually,” I said putting a hand under my chin. “He's not as familiar with me, so I think he'd be more willing to be led. Now, with you? I think it'd be pretty athletic sex.”


“Yeah, look at how you guys act now? You always push and shove – I swear it's like you guys have a crush on each other already.”

Alec fell silent again before nodding his head, “Yeah, I guess I do. You know, I need to be honest with you.”

“Please do,” I said, ruffling his hair. “That's what we're doing here.”

“I want you to know that, even though I've kind of wandered around on my topics tonight - and that I'll probably ramble some more – but I guess you led me to where I am right now. See, Mrs. Burks did a lot more than make me uncomfortable for a year. She really destroyed my confidence. Looking back now, I can clearly see choices I made because I was scared of losing, feeling unworthy.”

I stayed quiet and listened to him as he wound himself up to finally unburden himself. I had a suspicion this was years in the making.

“See, ever since Mrs. Burks, I've always had a problem with thinking I deserved something. It's influenced so much in my life, I couldn't even tell you everything.” He looked up at my eyes and said, “But I want to. I feel like I've been a little deceptive not telling you what makes me afraid. But I really, really want you to know.”

“I'm ready when you are, love,” I said softly.

“When we went shopping for my car, my first one? My parents offered to help so I could have something nicer. But I didn't feel like I deserved it. I kept that car until it was a literal death trap because I felt like I didn't rate anything better.”

“But, Alec...”

“Then, when I met you...in a very real way I felt like I deserved to get what happened to me because I was reaching so high – reaching for you. When you said you'd go out with me...it was worth every second.”

“No one should have to...”

“That's not all, though. I know it took months for us to say we loved each other, but I never felt like it was enough. You've made me insanely happy and my every thought is how to keep you in love with me, like, somehow, I could fool you into it.”

“I'm not fooled,” I said firmly and not letting him talk over me this time. “I know who you are.”

“I kind of accept that, now. My greatest fear is that you'll leave me because I can't communicate without deflecting and making everything into a wisecrack. The only way I know how to really express myself is with my body, but I need to be able to tell you things, too. I have no problem standing up to someone that will kick my ass, and I have no problem taking orders from you in the bedroom.

“Even when we talked about Lucien and Robin – I want them to be safe, I do. But at the same time, I want to know that I'm doing the right thing by them by seeing what you think, what Kale thinks. If a truck was going to run them down, I'd know what to do. When that guy went after Kale in the parking lot of that bowling alley the first time we went out? I knew what to do.”

“Alec, love, you show me everyday how much you love me – I don't have any doubts.”

“I know you don't,” he said firmly. “That's why I can be direct, now, and not be so all over the place. Right now, I feel like you understand. Later, when I have time to think on my own, I'll worry again.”

I leaned down and laid my head on his chest, wishing it were as easy as telling him not to worry. His fingers touched my hair, tentatively, and then he was stroking my hair.

“So, how does your feeling insecure apply to Kale and our discussion about sex with others and all that?” I asked.

“Well, at first it was more about how you might find me...lacking. I mean, you had no one to compare to me but I wondered if I was cheating you out of something, just because I was so afraid of losing you.” He sighed and paused in stroking my hair. “But that led to thinking about if I could do a better job in bed if I had more experience, too. That led me, pretty logically, to Kale and Chase.”

I turned my head and looked into his eyes. “Tell me about this chain of thought.”

“Well, there are only a few ways to get more experience. My thought was that they probably did things differently than we did, even if the end result was the same. So that part made me think about, you know, having sex with them.”

“You mean you didn't think about them before?” I grinned, “ I did.”


“Sure, just because they were cute. At first it was in a porn way, you know – fantasy. But after we got to know them, I started thinking about it a little differently. Even though I don't love Chase the same way I love you I could still imagine pretty good sex.”

“Well, I thought like that too, but I felt like it was a little more complicated.”

“Tell me?”

He nodded. “So, when you first told me that not everyone got my humor, it was kind of devastating.”

“Really? Why?” I asked, sitting up.

“Because smartass was what I had!” he said, throwing his hands up. “It was my weapon and my shield and I figured people would like me if I made them laugh. It didn't really occur to me that other kids would just think I was an asshole.”

“I don't think I said...”

“You didn't,” he waved off my comment. “It was just how I felt when I started thinking that my trying to be funny might turn people off. But you were so happy when we started to hang out – and even then you and Chase were clearly two of a kind – so, with me aggravating Kale I figured he hated me and I was going to get the blame for people not wanting to hang out. I can't tell you how miserable that made me – but I couldn't stop!”

He shook his head at the memory and I wondered if I could have handled things better. I decided that, knowing what I did now, maybe I could have – but lacking that, I'd done okay. I also had to remember he was dealing in fears, not realities. I'd never felt unsure about our relationship after that first New Year's Eve together. I'd started the night a nervous virgin, wondering what my wonderful boyfriend could ever see in me. I'd woken the next day sure of Alec and how we fit. It was true, still, but I had lacked so many pieces.

I didn't know how little I knew.

“So, when we were at the bowling alley I was just...I couldn't shut my mouth,” he shook his head. “All my picking on Kale – I kept thinking if I could get him laughing, I could fix this. Then I went outside to get him and that guy made it easy for me. All I had to do was offer to get my head pounded in and Kale would see me as something different.”

“You did that for me, too,” I said.

“Yeah. But I did it for me, too. It was like, I understood what to do – how to fix it. But something weird happened when I talked to Kale out there. I discovered he was like me - just he was kind of thorny and defensive instead of a wise guy. He told me things that made me totally...it gave me a different perspective. I think what Kale said to me that night made a big difference with giving me the confidence to follow through with Lucien; it was that night that I thought 'why should Lucien only come over one night? Why can't he have a home with us? I think I kind of started to love him a little, too, if I'm honest.”

“I knew you guys talked, but you never really told me what happened and I sure didn't realize what a profound effect he had on you,” I said, raising an eyebrow at him. “How lucky for Lucien that you had Kale. Did he say something more that affected you so much?”

“He told me he was in awe of me,” Alec said, looking down at his hands. “He said he saw me after those guys had done...what they did. He told me about his fear, but also his...admiration of me. I realized that this guy looked up to me and that's when I started to think of us as survivors. I talked to him about his scar.”

“I know you said something, I just assumed it was the right thing. That's pretty impressive, by the way, because I have to say – I wasn't sure what the right thing to say was.” I tilted my head and smiled at him. “Now, tell me about to these complicated feelings you have for Kale and how you think they relate to this discussion about sleeping with them?”

“Yeah,” he said and took a deep breath. “So after that talk, things with Kale started to change. It was kind of subtle at first - I didn't notice right off. But one day it hit me that he was, maybe, flirting a little.”

“Oh?” I said, smiling and raising an eyebrow.

“Nothing like, obvious or even intentional. I think it was like, we'd gotten over this hurdle and he felt like he was allowed to like me now, or something. We started to pal around some, when you or Chase were busy. He'd ask me for advice about...well, I told him we had sex, so he was curious...”

“Wow,” I said with a smile. “I know guys like to talk about sex, but you guys were talking about it pretty fast!”

“Are you telling me you and Chase never talked about sex?”

“You were saying,” I laughed.

“Yeah, so. We talked about sex and as time has gone by he's become this indispensable part of my life. He's more than a friend. He's not a boyfriend, but he's nothing slimy like a friend with benefits. I really, really love the guy – but I can't tell him.”

“Why the hell not, love? I'm sure he'd love to hear it from you.”

“No, no he wouldn't,” Alec said firmly. “He's emotionally constipated too. I think his face would break if he ever told me that.”

“Alec!” I said with a laugh.

“I'm serious,” he said, his face solemn. “I'm sure Kale can only talk like that to Chase, just like I can only tell you.”

“You're both sad idiots, then,” I said with a chuckle.

“See? You understand. I can prove it. Did you see his face when I gave him that pendant for Christmas?”

“I did...”

“I know it's totally high school to call someone your best friend – and he's in high school, so there's that. But they don't have a name for what he means to me, you know? So I picked the closest one. Did you see that he couldn't even say anything? Emotionally constipated.”

“Alec, isn't there the faintest possibility that he was just a little surprised? A tad overwhelmed? Do you really think that he's gone all this time thinking you guys are just casual acquaintances because of your boyfriends?”

“Well,” his brows drew together. “We wouldn't be friends if it wasn't for you and Chase.”

“You don't know that!” I said with a laugh and throwing my hands up. “You might have met some other way. You could have stepped in because of some other bully and you guys would still be friends.”

He appeared to digest that for a moment. “No, it wouldn't be the same. We can talk about things like sex because there's no danger we'd sleep together on our own. We each know how important the other's relationship is. In a way, taking the possibility of sex out of what we have makes us a lot closer.”

“Okay,” I said with a shake of my head. “How does this all tie together, then?”

“As far as Kale goes? Well...I know what he likes and I know what he wants to try.”

“You mean...”

“Yeah, in bed. I know what he wants to try but won't ask for. That's kind of...hot to begin with. But when you add in that the only way I really can tell him how much he means to me is...”

“You think that sleeping with Kale would bring you closer together.”

“Yeah, but...not like boyfriends. Like that BFF, but better. Better Best Friends Forever? Is that a thing?”

“With you guys, anything is possible,” I laughed. “Do you think he'd understand what you were trying to tell him? I mean, should the situation arise?”

“I don't know. I'd probably have to tell him more than once, he's kind of stubborn.” Alec said with a happy grin.

“You know, I think you're right about that,” I laughed. “So where do I fit into all this?”

“Sash...you're my world. Where don't you fit?”

“Not that, you big romantic,” I said. “Where do I fit into this little romantic idea you have of Kale?”

“That's all it is, babe. It's just an idea, talk. I felt really unhappy and a little disloyal that I was thinking all these things and I wasn't able to tell you what's going on in my head. I don't want to keep secrets – unless it's a surprise; I know how you like those.”

“Is there more? Somehow I think there is more.”

“Yeah,” Alec nodded. “So he and I talk, like I said. Outside of you, he's my go to guy-to hang out with. I know it sounds weird when I say we talked about something as intimate as sex, but I can't seem to tell him how much he means to me. Plus he's so stubborn and...moody. Although, there's something about his brooding that's sexy.”

“Yeah, for a rich boy he puts out a decent bad boy vibe,” I laughed.

“But, you know, having sex isn't the same as love, not the same love you and I have” Alec said and shimmied back on the bed until his back was against the wall. I moved to the other end and overlapped our legs, rubbing his thigh with my foot.

“I know. We were very in love before we ever went to bed together.” I smiled at him, “But we love Chase and Kale, too.”

“Yeah, but I don't want to marry them. I just want to sleep with them,” Alec laughed. “Hey, is that why you miss them so much? You want to sleep with them, too?”

“No. I mean, well, yeah, I would sleep with them, but no it's not why I miss them.” I put my hand on his foot and began stroking the top up to the ankle and back. “Chase understands when I tell him the latest thing you did and I understand when he tells me how Kale is frowning a hole in the floor. I guess Chase is for me what Kale is for you.”

“Yeah, you guys are like best friends. But, doesn't that make it weird when you give them a massage? Thinking they're hot? And knowing they are naked under the sheet?”

“Alec, I got a professional degree. I'm a licensed massage therapist. You, my love, are the only one getting a happy ending.”

“That's not what I asked,” he said with a devilish grin. “You're touching guys that are naked, and we've been talking – all night – about how we'd like to have sex with them.”

“Okay, you got me!” I laughed. “To control myself I have to play opera and think about my fourth grade art teacher, Mrs. Liskowitz.”

“I knew it!” Alec laughed.

“Alec, you believed me?” I shook my head as his face clouded, realizing he'd missed the joke. I decided to let him off the hook. “Okay, look, I'll be honest. I do keep a pretty tight reign on my thoughts because, yes, they are both attractive and I care for them both. But I don't let myself fantasize and get hard or something. That would be awkward for all of us.”

“Yeah. I guess that's why people assume you're going to get busy with them if they hire you for a massage - it's a sexy image.”

“Yeah.” I rolled my eyes.

“So...has the sheet ever...slipped a little?”

“No!” I laughed, “and if it did, I wouldn't tell you!”

“Maybe not, but I bet you've seen some peen, even if it is by mistake – hey, I just thought of something! Have either one of them gotten hard from your massage?”

I smiled and didn't answer.

“Holy shit!” Alec giggled. He looked at me, still smiling and said, “I've been sitting here pre-cumming since we got in bed. So have you, Sash. Come here.”

I raised an eyebrow but came to him willingly. Afterward, as he slept, I thought about his being the more assertive one of us tonight. I wondered if that was how he fantasized about Kale and thought to myself, Kale would like it – and that was because I knew I had. That and Lucien was right; you could feel it. Goodness help Chase and Kale this summer!