“It’s a great movie. You’re just miffed nothing blew up,” I said and pulled my unruly hair into a high messy bun.
“It’s not a great movie if nothing blows up, Amiah.” Mason rolled his eyes at me.
He, Levi, and I were sitting on the couch in their living room, completing our Saturday ritual of dinner, a movie, and bitching. Lots of bitching. And me occasionally passing out on their couch from too much wine.
“I thought it was pretty good,” said Levi, looking at me. “Definitely better than that zombie droll he picked last week.”
I laughed, taking my wine glass from the table. “Told you so!” I directed this at Mason, who was sitting next to Levi, his arm around the curly-haired brunette’s shoulders.
I met Levi and Mason six years ago, and we three have been nearly inseparable since. But for the last five years, they’ve been a couple. It didn’t change our dynamic, though, and I was grateful for that.
They were so cute together, but they were shameless. Shameless in showing their affection for each other and shameless in their flirting with me. If I didn’t know better, I’d say they were attracted to me. But I did know better.
“Oh, whatever.” Mason huffed, rolling his eyes at us. “We’ll see what you”—he poked Levi in the chest—“pick next weekend.”
Oh shit. “Um…about that,” I started, then stood from the couch and stretched my arms above my head, trying to calm myself. ~This is no big deal, just tell them. They’ll understand.~ I gave myself a pep talk. “I’m not going to make it next weekend.”
Levi raised an eyebrow, but Mason looked slightly annoyed.
“You never miss movie night,” said Levi. “It better be for a hot date, otherwise we may get offended.”
Mason cracked a smile, but it didn’t extend to his eyes.
It had been agessince I’d gone on a date, so I knew they’d be happy for me. Still, telling them felt awkward. “Right…actually…yeah, it is a date,” I managed to spit out.
Mason narrowed his eyes. “With who?”
Ah, that’s right. That was why it felt awkward. While the two had flirted with me over the years, Mason’s flirting always felt more real. Serious and intentional. Where Levi’s felt playful. A part of me knew Mason would react jealously.
But a girl had to get some too, right? I couldn’t just be their celibate third wheel my whole life. I deserved to get mine, and I wouldn’t let them make me feel bad about it.
They wouldn’t be happy about my date, so I waved off the question. “It doesn’t matter.” I finished my glass and walked to the open kitchen. “It’s no big deal. I’m sure it won’t go anywhere.” I poured another glass of prosecco.
I walked back to the living room and sat on the arm of the recliner beside the sofa. The air was thick with the displeasure that was all over Mason’s face. He looked more like a jealous husband than a curious friend.
Levi put a hand on Mason’s thigh and squeezed it, then said, “It would make us more comfortable if you tell us who this person is.” Then he perked up and smiled. “After all, we need to know who we’d have to hunt down if you end up missing.”
I couldn’t help the smile from tugging at the corners of my lips. Levi always made things less tense. I loved that about him. I sighed and looked down at my glass. “It’s Theo. From college.”
Mason scoffed and I looked up. His eyes were narrowed again while Levi’s were wide.
“The guy you had a massive crush on?” Mason spat out his words.
I nodded and my cheeks burned under his intense gray gaze. But I reminded myself that I deserved a romantic life, so I sat up straight and willed my embarrassment away.
“He came to the office on Friday,” I said. “One thing led to another, and now I have a date.” I smiled and raised my glass, then took a drink.
“But how? I mean, you haven’t seen or spoken to him for years. How did he know where you worked? Maybe he’s stalk—”
“Enough.” Levi elbowed him.
The two looked at each other and had a silent standoff before Mason released a deep breath, looked away from him, and crossed his arms over his chest.
Levi turned back to me and smiled. “Where’s the lucky bloke taking you?”
The tension in the air eased, and I moved from the arm into the recliner. I just wanted to go back to talking like friends, so I tried to keep my tone light. “Firefly. A bit much for a first date, right?”
“We would take you somewhere nicer,” scoffed Mason, arms still crossed.
Why’s he being such a baby about his? Surely he can’t really be jealous? I ignored him. “On the law firm’s pay, I shouldn’t even be stepping a ~toe ~in that place,” I said to Levi, then laughed.
Levi didn’t laugh with me. “You know, Mi,” he said, his brown eyes wandering down my body, “I must say we’re a bit hurt.”
I shivered from his gaze and took a sip from my glass. Why is he looking at me like this? Is he attracted to women? To me? Are they both? I realized I’d never asked them about their sexuality; I just assumed they were both homosexual. Had I been wrong the whole time?
Levi continued. “We’ve asked to take you out on the weekends too.” He grabbed Mason’s arm to uncross it, then held his hand. “Why does Theo get a yes when we only ever get noes?”
The looks on their faces told me this was a serious question, but I wasn’t prepared for this conversation. I didn’t think I’d ever have to have this conversation with these two. This new information made my head spin, but then a thought came to mind.
Maybe I should test them.
I cleared my throat and stood. I smiled and, keeping my tone playful, said, “I know, I know. But sometimes stimulating conversation just isn’t enough.” I finished my glass. “A date with Theo might actually get me laid. And I need to get laid.”
I studied their reactions. Levi tilted his head slightly toward Mason, squeezed his hand, and smirked. Mason raked my body with his eyes, then a smile began to tug at the corners of his mouth.
“I’m sure we could offer you a far better night in that department than Theo could.” Mason tilted his head toward Levi and squeezed his hand.
That was enough for the night. I needed to go home and process all of this, so I chuckled and said, “I’m sure you could too. But I should get home. I got work tomorrow.”
I went to the kitchen and slipped into my sandals, grabbing my cardigan and purse from the coatrack by the front door. “Let me know what artsy shit Levi picks for next time,” I said over my shoulder.
“Will do. You’ll be missing out, though,” called Mason as I pulled open their front door.
“I’m sure I will.” I blew them a kiss and waved goodbye.
On my way home, I questioned our entire relationship, all our interactions. Had they had feelings for me the whole time? Had I missed it from the beginning? Were they going to ask me to join them? Would I want to join them?
The evening had started out like any other with them, but now it was all different. It was changing. But changing to what?
“Goddammit, Levi.” I dropped my head back with a groan and covered my eyes with the palms of my hands. “We should have told her. That was our moment. Now she’s going on a fucking date with that Theo.”
“It’ll be okay.” He ran a hand through his unruly, curly mess of hair. “We just need to tell her before then.”
I snapped my head toward him. “Tell her? We’ve basically been telling her for the better part of six years that we—”
“That we want to fuck her.” He held up a finger. “Not that we want to ~be ~with her.”
Bloody hell,I hated when he was right. If she picked up on any of our signals, she would think we were only interested in sex. Which we were, but we also wanted more.
I sighed and replaced my palms over my eyes. “And if we don’t find the time before next Saturday, do you think she’ll hit it off with him?”
Levi snorted and squeezed my thigh. “Please, we both know she finds us attractive—she’s said as much hundreds of times.”
She had, but her face also told us as much because she had no poker face. Her cheeks flushed crimson every time I caught her watching Levi and me kiss. And I caught her doing that a lot.
Still, it didn’t make me feel any better. I huffed and uncovered my eyes, placing my hands over Levi’s on my thigh. “That’s supposed to be us taking her out.” I couldn’t help the whine in my voice.
“Babe, it’ll be all right. We hinted pretty strongly tonight. I’m sure she finally picked up on it. And knowing that, there’s no way she’s going for Theo.” He squeezed my thigh again and gave me a soft smile. He always knew what to say to calm me down.
I smiled back at him, but a nagging question demanded to be let out. “Aren’t you at all worried that we’re going to completely fuck up this friendship?”
“No,” he answered easily. “She just needs to be open to the idea. Tonight was a good start, but we need to be completely honest with her.”
“So what do you suggest we do?”
“Best not to wait,” he said. “Let’s tell her tomorrow. Breakfast in bed. We’ll surprise her.”
I turned to him as my eyes widened. “You sure that’s a good idea?”
Levi nodded, full of confidence. “She’ll have had the night to think about everything.” He brought his hand up to my face. “You were right before. This is our moment.”
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