Unedited and subject to change.
Josiah stood in the middle of the building that would soon be his coffee house. In the two weeks since they’d gotten Rhonda back, and Tristan had come home to Josiah and Teo, things hadn’t stopped moving. They hadn’t had much time for anything between Tristan being busy at work, getting Rhonda settled back into her apartment, and now this. This being his dream—the one thing Tristan and Teo had both insisted they made time to get done, sooner rather than later.
In so many ways, Josiah owed Teo his life. Teo had physically saved him more than once and now he owed Tristan his dream—the only thing beside the two men standing next to him that he felt could complete him, in a way. Because they did complete Josiah.
Josiah turned to Tristan in his perfect suit, and studied the sharp cut of his jaw. Leaning over, Josiah kissed him there. “I can’t believe you did this for me.” Though he really could believe it. Tristan was like Teo in that he didn’t realize how big his heart was—at least when it came to Josiah.
“It’s nothing.” Tristan shook his head, uncomfortable with praise, as always. That was something they needed to work on. Both his guys did.
“Think of it as a business investment. I don’t waste money on things that I don’t feel are important—on things where I don’t see a profit.”
Josiah rolled his eyes. Tristan could play this off however he wanted. Josiah knew the truth. As did Mateo and Tristan himself. He’d done this because he loved Josiah. Josiah didn’t doubt that, even if Tristan hadn’t said it again since the one time the words left his lips two weeks before.
There had never been a second he believed everything would get magically fixed in that one night but they were on the right path. They’d get there, and things were better.
“We shoulda’ brought beer. Aren’t you supposed to drink somethin’ to celebrate shit like this?” Mateo stepped around them, fingering one of the earrings in his ear.
Josiah watched him, wondering how this happened. How he not only fell in love with an ex-gang member and a state prosecutor, but how they were all three lucky enough to fall in love with each other.
“Wine. You drink wine on occasions like this. Or champagne, actually. I promise, I’ll convert you one day.” Tristan stopped beside Teo, a half-smile on his lips.
“Nope. Never gonna happen. That shit’s too stuffy for me. It’s for rich, white guys.”
Tristan stepped closer to Mateo and Josiah just watched. He loved watching his men interact with each other—thrived on the light moments they had where they could laugh and tease because they were too few and far between.
Tristan held Teo’s chin between his thumb and first finger. “And yet I’m sure you never saw yourself enjoying a rich, white man. That changed, as will the rest.”
Teo jerked out of Tristan’s grasp but there was a small grin on his lips. “White boys are my downfall. Come ‘ere, Jay.”
Little jolts of electricity fired beneath Josiah’s skin, at the deep, husky sound of Teo’s voice. Both of these men could do that to him, turn him on, turn him inside out with just a word. With just a look.
Josiah moved forward, stopping in front of Teo, who leaned against the counter. Tristan stood next to them both, facing them. This time, it was Teo who grabbed Josiah’s chin, except he only tilted it up as he leaned forward. His mouth covered Josiah’s gently…always so tender when he touched Josiah. It was different than the way he handled Tristan, than the way Tristan handled either of them, with wild hunger.
How could he love something that was basically the opposite in both of them? Loved the way Teo was always so careful with him, treasuring Josiah as though he had to protect him, even in something like a kiss; while at the same time, loving that Tristan knew he didn’t have to be. Or maybe he didn’t know how to be. He felt the passion in them both—one gentle and the other fierce but each equally strong. Funny, that it was the man who’d seen death, who had delivered death that had the need for the softness.
Teo’s tongue dipped into Josiah’s mouth, owning it the same way Tristan did when he kissed Josiah. Teo was the first man he’d had his mouth on, and he knew it as well as he knew his own. Knew the feel of Teo’s tender press of lips, knew the difference between his facial hair rubbing against Josiah’s compared to the texture of Tristan’s.
Josiah stepped between his legs, their bodies touching.
Too soon, Teo pulled back, before turning his head Tristan’s direction. His other lover gave a short, almost curt looking nod. When he did, Teo leaned Tristan’s way this time.
Josiah still stood between Mateo’s legs as he took in the sight of his lovers kissing, and eased Tristan’s fingers away from his pulse as Tristan let Mateo lead the kiss. Tristan’s hand tightened around Josiah, as though Josiah was giving him something in this moment too.
Maybe others wouldn’t understand it. Josiah had no doubt they wouldn’t but he knew he gave Tristan as much as Mateo did as they kissed. Knew the three men all gave each other something they needed.
When Mateo pulled away from Tristan, Tristan spoke. “I seem to remember the two of you planning to get dirty for me in here.”
“We will,” Mateo promised him.
“You have to get dirty with us, though.” Josiah still held Tristan’s hand. He placed his other on Teo’s abdomen.
Another nod from Tristan. “I will.” And then he let go of Josiah’s hand and cupped his face. “You deserve this place. It…” He closed his eyes, let out a breath, and then opened them again. “It’s important for me to be able to do this for you. I need to do this for you.”
Josiah’s heart started going wild the way only these two men could do to him. He knew Tristan felt like he let people down in his life, that he tried to make up for it the only way he could. Helping Josiah get his coffee house was another way for him to do that, and Josiah loved him for it. Turning slightly, he kissed Tristan’s hand. “No, you don’t. Having you is enough, but thank you. This means the world to me.”
Tristan stepped back and glanced at the door as though someone walked in, as though someone could see them through the closed blinds. “Mateo is right. We should celebrate.”
The three of them had never had much to celebrate in their lives. They were three broken men, three broken pieces, that only worked when they were together.
“Yeah, Jay and I will be bustin’ our asses on this place soon. We should celebrate while we can,” Teo said.
“We can grab some dinner on the way home—”
“No.” Josiah interrupted Tristan’s reply. “I’ll cook.” He loved making meals for his men.
“How did I know you’d say that?” Tristan smirked.
“Because you’re a smart guy. Be smarter and don’t argue with him. I like his cookin’.” Teo winked, and then the three men walked out of what would be Josiah’s coffee house, and headed home. Together.
Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic. A lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together. If she’s not writing, you’ll probably find her reading. Riley lives in California with her awesome family, who she is thankful for everyday.