*Author’s note- This is the fifth and final installment of the Goddess series. This chapter will make more sense and be much more meaningful if you read the previous Goddess stories—Goddess, Leaving Heaven Behind, Gladiators, and Coalescence—first.
Just like our night in Vegas, I woke first, and like that night in Vegas, both Jeff and Mark each had an arm slung over me. Unlike Vegas, however, Jeff’s precariously narrow bed had me pinned between them with no hope of moving without waking both of them. While I had no desire to run away and disappear again, I would have liked to have been able to slip out and use the bathroom without shocking them out of their deep slumber. Particularly Mark, who’s gorgeously muscled cheeks must have been close to hanging off of the bed as it was; startle him too badly, and he’d end up on the floor. I felt an evil grin spread across my face.
“What dastardly schemes are you stirring up in that pretty head of yours?”
I opened my eyes to see Jeff smiling at me. I couldn’t help myself, I kissed him, deeply, morning breath and all. He didn’t seem to mind. He pulled his face from mine and ran a finger along my jaw.
“How are you feeling this morning, gorgeous?”
My face flushed and I felt feverish.
Jeff called me gorgeous!
Except…it wasn’t anything new, not really. ‘Gorgeous’ was a throwaway term of endearment both he and Mark had used on occasion for as long as I’d known them. I blinked hard.
“Wait…when you guys called me gorgeous before…you mean, you really thought I was gorgeous?”
From behind me, Mark snorted into my hair and curled his arm under mine as he stretched. If it had been physically possible, he would have pulled me closer.
“For someone so smart, you can be really fucking stupid, Sara!”
He certainly wasn’t wrong.
“Hey! Okay, one- that’s totally true, but two- how in the world could I have been expected to believe that my insanely hot and—I thought—thoroughly platonic friends found me…gorgeous?”
Mark snorted again; his breath warm against my neck.
“Yeah, how were you supposed to know that we thought you were gorgeous, when we routinely called you gorgeous? I can see how nonsensical we sounded. Truly we are riddles wrapped in mysteries, wrapped in enigmas.”
I could feel his smirk against my hair. I reached back and gave that gorgeous ass of his a smack.
Jeff stroked my shoulder.
“Aww, that’s okay, Sare. You’re pretty enough that no one’s going to mind how dumb you are.”
I smacked his ass, too, and he laughed, kissing me again. I pulled away, which wasn’t easy in the cramped space.
“I need to get up.”
Mark’s arm tightened.
“Nope. Nothing you can say or do is going to make us let you go this time.”
“Let me up or I’ll pee on you.”
They moved faster than I’d ever seen anyone move before, and I almost wet myself laughing. I hunted down articles of clothing that had been strewn haphazardly around the room the night before, putting them on as Mark and Jeff watched recumbently from the bed, showcasing their long, naked, sinewy bodies. Even at half mast, their erections were impressive and made my body ache with the craving to be filled with them. They certainly knew what to do to make it hard for me to leave.
I shot them an exasperated look as I wiggled into my jeans.
“I can’t exactly traipse naked through the halls!”
Jeff shook his head as he sat up.
“As far as we’re concerned, you can do everything naked. Forever.”
Mark sat up next to him, his dark eyes twinkling as he grinned and nodded his support. I pulled my shirt over my head and walked over to the bed, one leg straddling each of theirs.
“I need to go shower and brush my teeth, then I’ll be right back.”
Jeff pulled me in for a kiss, and then Mark, then Jeff, then Mark, and I had to push myself off of their naked chests to catch my breath.
“Guys! Seriously! I’ll be right back!”
I danced out of their reach before they could pull me back, because I knew I wouldn’t have the strength to pull away again and I really did need to see a man about a horse.
I quickly showered and got ready for the day, but instead of heading back upstairs to Jeff and Mark right away, I sat and wrote a quick email to the Residence Hall Coordinator about Michelle and the havoc she’d wrought in my room the night before under the guise of her RA authority. I tried to keep it factual and unemotional, but included a picture of the shards of the mask she’d destroyed. I’m not above admitting I was very happy to do so, and the smile on my face as I hit SEND wasn’t (just) from the residual orgasms I’d had the night before.
I practically floated up the stairs, but stopped short of Mark and Jeff’s room. I stood in the middle casino şirketleri of the hall, staring at the door, my mind racing through the many days and nights the three of us had spent together inside. Last night was the first time anything sexual had happened there, but it was also the first time I’d ever been angry at or fought with either of them. With the exception of the “confession confusion” when my angst of leaving the gladiators behind in Las Vegas had been construed as regret over having fucked them, literally every other minute in that room had been a happy one. Every single one. It defied the odds.
Mark and Jeff were wonderful. Wonderful! I loved them, and I knew that long before last night, when I realized that I was, indeed, in love with them. I loved them both, and I was in love with them both, and I wanted them both, which was why I obviously had to choose them both last night—and, oh my god, how amazing had that been?
A big something that I loved about each of them was how much they loved each other. Not in a romantic sense (though their comfort with each other’s genitalia in the two nights we’d spent together made me wonder a little), but they had each other’s backs in a way I’d never seen between anyone before—they were more than friends. They were brothers.
Reality had a vise-grip on my chest.
There was no way we—I—could make this work.
At some point, I wouldn’t be—couldn’t possibly be—enough, and someone would get hurt. One of them would get jealous, or (more likely) bored, or sick of the bizzare relationship and all of the struggles it entailed, and then, someone would get hurt.
If it was just my heart on the line, I would have charged through the door without hesitation; even singularly, either Mark or Jeff was more than worth the risk. But how could I possibly justify breaking apart their friendship? And isn’t that exactly what would have to happen eventually?
I thought of the pain on Jeff’s face when he thought he wasn’t my choice. I couldn’t bear to see that from him or Mark again, and it felt like a three-way relationship would make that inevitable. Every guy I’d ever dated had been ridiculously jealous, even when there wasn’t a reason to be. Mark and Jeff were so, so different from those guys, of course, but they were still male. They were still human. Hell, I couldn’t bear the thought of either of them with another woman. Despite the fact that they genuinely seemed to enjoy watching me fuck the other, how could Jeff or Mark possibly be okay watching me love the other if they truly loved me as much as they claimed?
I still held the belief that nothing between the three of us could go back to what it was before that amazing night in Vegas, the night my best friends disguised themselves to seduce me and gifted me with sensual pleasures that ruined me for any other lover. The night that guaranteed my heart and flesh was theirs forever.
I knew walking away would mean not only losing my lovers, but my friends. Even knowing how hard it was to leave my gladiators behind, and how hard it had been to lose Jeff and Mark when we had our misunderstanding about what had happened, I would rather feel that anguish, I would rather be completely alone forever, than to know I’d been responsible for the destruction of their friendship. That would be a pain I absolutely could not live with. Not ever.
The vise on my heart was so tight that I couldn’t move, couldn’t breathe. It would be both cliché and inaccurate to say that everything I’d ever wanted was on the opposite side of the cheap, plywood door before me. It was more than I’d ever wanted, more than I had ever dreamed was possible. But I had to walk away. I had to.
I ran back down the stairs and out of the building before I allowed myself to start crying.
I drove off of campus and quickly realized it probably wasn’t safe to drive in my emotional state. I parked a few blocks away from campus and walked around for hours, despondent and avoiding calls and texts from both Jeff and Mark. I knew they were probably pissed, and I didn’t blame them, but I couldn’t talk to them until I knew I could do it without tears. God knows when that would happen.
I knew when she left that we shouldn’t have let her go. As perfect as last night had ended, I knew her doubts would resurface, and that she would allow herself to go to the darkest, most hopeless place with them. I’d say it wasn’t her most attractive quality, but that way of thinking also allowed her to be more empathetic than any other human being I’d ever known, and that was beautiful as hell.
It probably seems ridiculous, but Mark and I were so concerned about her state of mind that we only left to shower and run errands in shifts, leaving one of us in the dorm room at all times to make sure we were there when she came back.
Except she didn’t come back.
I vacillated between wanting to wring her neck and wanting to bury casino firmaları my face in Mark’s sheets so I could smell her. I settled for cagily pacing around the room. I knew I was driving Mark crazy, but he was doing the same thing, so he didn’t say anything.
When we called, it predictably went straight to voicemail. We texted, and we could see that she saw them, but she didn’t reply. Hours passed, and we were starting to panic.
I sat on the bed, my head hanging into my hands.
“Are we nuts?”
Mark was standing by the door, no doubt willing it to open by Sara’s hand.
I looked up at him.
“I said, ‘are we nuts?’ Is it crazy to think we can make this work?”
He didn’t hesitate.
“No, dude, we’re not nuts, and I can tell you why.”
He sat across from me on his own bed, and I didn’t know how he didn’t press his face into those well-used sheets.
“Last night, when Sara came back and started to walk to you, for those few seconds, I thought I was going to die.”
I knew he wasn’t lying or exaggerating—I had felt the exact same way when she asked him to kiss her. It felt like my life was over.
“But then she came to me, and it was exciting, and I was ecstatic, but it wasn’t what I wanted…I knew you had to have been feeling what I had just been feeling. Like, how could I be happy knowing that? How could I be with her knowing that it was killing you?”
He sat back on his elbows, and I was overcome with warm feelings for the guy. I couldn’t believe that I had such a great friend, and that we were so close to being with the woman of our dreams.
“When she grabbed you, every negative feeling was wiped away. It made everything perfect, it made it complete. I know this is a weird situation, and maybe it’s fundamentally fucked up, but it’s right, Jeff. You know it is.”
All I could do was grin.
“I love you, man.”
When I felt like I had control of my emotions, I sat and looked at my phone. Message after message from both of them, increasingly panicked as they progressed. Text after text, again from both Mark and Jeff, again increasingly more pressing, more concerned.
They probably think I got hit by a car.
I almost wish I had.
I had to talk to them, I had to end this. The interim was torture.
Not with a text, or even over the phone; they deserved more than that. But I couldn’t go back to the dorms. I couldn’t go anywhere that they could seduce me out of my resolve. It would be so easy, I wanted it so fucking bad! I wanted them in every sense. Letting go was going to be the hardest thing I’d ever done.
I settled on the most public place I could think of that would also allow us to have a private conversation, and sent them both a text.
-Forgive me. We need to talk. Meet me at the park where we see the summer concerts at 11.-
When they showed up at the park, a fire between my legs screamed that I was making a huge mistake. Even fully dressed in jeans and hoodies, they were absolutely delectable; broad shoulders tapering to narrow waists and powerful legs. I wanted to drag them behind the bushes and drain them completely.
I tried to pull myself together and look at them the way I’d seen them before the previous night—what we had to talk about was more important than my libido—but it was easier said than done. I pressed down all of the lust threatening to overwhelm me and waved them over to the blanket I’d spread out.
“Well? We’re here.”
Jeff’s voice betrayed a sense of irritation as they sat down, and I couldn’t blame him.
“And I’m glad.”
I reached out and touched their hands briefly.
They didn’t relax, and neither did I. I cleared my throat and addressed the elephant in the park.
I paused, not sure how to say what needed to be said. I reached for their hands again, and I could feel their tension and apprehension all the way to their fingertips. I took a deep breath and forced myself to look into their eyes. Sapphire and onyx stared at me expectantly.
“I love you.”
I hadn’t said those words since high school, and this was the first time I’d actually meant it. It was terrifying.
“I love both of you. And before I say anything else, know that I mean I love you and I’m in love with you, and even though I didn’t realize it until last night, I’ve never wanted anything more than to be with you.”
Jeff’s face lost some of the tension it held, but Mark’s ebony eyes fell a shade darker. I felt a fresh gush of nectar between my legs even as I prepared myself to do the hardest thing I’d ever done.
Mark looked at me expectantly as he asked the question, his eyes were…sad.
He knew me, he knew what I was going to do. I wish I could say it made it easier. I stalled.
“Exactly. You love us, but…what, Sara?”
I güvenilir casino stared at him and Jeff, not wanting to answer the question. No matter how certain I was that it had to be done, I didn’t want to do it. Mark shook his head and looked at the distant traffic before meeting my eyes again.
“I’m waiting for you to let us down easy.”
I squeezed their hands and scooted closer so I could intertwine my fingers with theirs.
“I was heartbroken after I left my gladiators in Vegas, and I was fucking devastated when I thought you’d never speak to me again. I love you, and I want you, and I need you. I’ve been without you, and it was miserable, and I don’t ever want to feel that again…but…we can’t do this. I can’t.”
Jeff’s fingers tightened around mine, his eyes pleading.
“Sara, if you really feel that way, then why can’t you? Give us one reason.”
I sighed, unable to look at either of them.
“There are a million, Jeff, you both know that as well as I do.”
He started to object, but I squeezed his hand hard.
“But there’s only one that matters.”
My gaze shifted between the ocean and ink of their distressed eyes. It pained me to say the words, knowing I was hurting them, too.
“You can’t possibly be okay with sharing me—not long-term—and I can’t come between the two of you. It would kill me to know that I ruined your friendship; I couldn’t live with that on my conscience.”
Their reaction wasn’t at all what I expected.
They were laughing!
“Jesus Christ, Sara! You had us worried!”
I was speechless. How was that not a concern? I pulled my hands away and balled them at my side, indignant.
“Don’t dismiss this, Jeff!”
I looked at Mark’s smile, his eyes twinkling, sadness erased completely.
I tried my hardest to stop laughing, but it wasn’t easy; I was so relieved it made me giddy. I reached for her hand—her fist—and gently relaxed her fingers back through mine as I recounted what I’d told Jeff earlier.
“No matter how much I love you, Sara—and I love you so goddamn much I can’t even express it right—I could never be happy with you knowing how Jeff felt.”
Her defenses were falling, I could see it; she allowed Jeff to take her other hand again. I wanted to hold her, to kiss her and assure her everything was going to be alright, but if I did, Jeff would (as he should), and it was probably something we shouldn’t do in public. Not here.
“Sara, we love you,”
Jeff gave her a wicked grin, his voice lowering, his eyebrows waggling.
“And we love it when you come between us.”
She blushed, the flush spreading down her neck to her chest, leading my eyes to her luscious breasts, which filled out her shirt despite its ill-fitting oversize, her large nipples protruding against the fabric. I tried to keep my mind on the situation at hand and not on how very much I did want her to come between us again.
“I’m not saying this,”
I gestured a triangle between the three of us.
“Isn’t going to have problems, but a fissure in our friendship isn’t one of them.”
I looked at Jeff, then back to Sara’s lovely face. Her hazel eyes were hopeful, making my heart burn.
“Loving you has already brought us closer together, and I’m speaking for both of us when I tell you that we’re both 100% on board with being with you. Together. You’re our Sara, Sara. You’ve always been our Sara. It wouldn’t be right any other way.”
My mind was reeling. I’d spent the entire day preparing myself to excise the best part of my life, preparing to mourn, and here they were actually convincing me a future was possible. Could I really have this? Being with Jeff and Mark? The three of us, together?
“So, you can tell me that you’re really okay with this? With…sharing me? Can you honestly say there’s no jealousy or hard feelings?”
Jeff ran his thumb over my knuckles gently.
“Yeah, Sara, we can. Honestly. The only time we’ve had any negative feelings about this situation at all was when we thought you’d chosen one of us over the other,”
He looked at Mark.
“At least for me.”
“When you got to her first on the dance floor in Vegas, I wanted to knock your ass out!”
I couldn’t believe he could say that with a smile on his face, but he had a huge grin that mirrored Jeff’s, and Jeff laughed as Mark turned his attention back to me.
“But as soon as you pulled me into you,”
My nipples tingled and there was heat between my legs as I remembered being pressed between their two muscular, all-but-naked bodies for the first time. Feeling that first, sweltering kiss from an unbelievably sexy stranger…a stranger that turned out to be my best friend. I swallowed hard, feeling dampness in my panties.
“The feeling was gone. And even that night on the dancefloor, when we were waiting for you to choose, I was bummed that you had to choose, that one of us was going to be left on the outside. When you chose us both, it was a relief because it felt right.”
His smile grew wider as he adjusted himself.