Three Little WordsPairing(s):
G-13. love [lover100
Three months after they get back together, Sparrow tells Galen she loves him.Warning(s):
It had been three months now. They had been back together for a grand total of three months, and that was just the length of time they'd been together before things had fallen apart the first time. So Sparrow was getting anxious. The three-month marker seemed to loom over her like an unspoken threat, a potential curse that she just didn't know what to do about. Letting it go unspoken seemed like just as much a jinx as putting her worries into words, and she suspected that noting the occasion at all would just be downright rude, a reminder of things the three of them probably didn't want to think about in the first place.
After all, Sparrow still wasn't sure that Galen actually thought he'd done the right thing in coming back to them, and she didn't want to give him any reason to run. Not again. Not now.
Even after three months, Galen was still clearly uncomfortable with them. Or, if not with them
, then with Frost specifically; he seemed to go out of his way to avoid the other man whenever he could and yet had also developed the strangest inclination to put himself between them, as if he thought he stood a chance of protecting her from her husband--and as if he thought there was some need to try. It was endearing, surely, but unnecessary to say the least, and Sparrow had no doubt that Frost was as aware of it as she was. To her surprise, though, Frost had so far opted not to push; he was letting Galen take his time in coming fully back to them, and if Sparrow wasn't mistaken, he was, in fact, coming around.
He was at least letting Frost touch him these days, though he certainly wasn't the submissive sweetheart he'd been the first time around. Frost was going to have his work cut out for him if he wanted to win the younger man back.
Tonight, though, everything had seemed to go wonderfully. She had fucked them both in succession, and she was now lying sated between their still-nude bodies. As so often recently, Frost had gone out of his way to please, had gotten them both off with his mouth, one after the other, and kept teasing them while they had fucked; it was only after Galen was sated that Frost had let Sparrow turn her attention to him, and he'd at least feigned
reluctance to even that.
So there she was, nestled between them, both of their bodies turned toward hers. Frost had his arm around her waist and his hips pressed against her naked ass, but her own hands were on Galen, her fingers spread across his chest as she felt its gentle rise and fall and the quiet sound of his breath.
His eyes were closed, but she could tell he wasn't yet asleep; the surest sign was the tiny shudder of his muscles every time her fingertips passed over his one of his nipples, and she found herself smiling faintly when he did it. He wasn't Simon, that was sure; wasn't anything like him, in fact. The only thing the two men had in common was that they had both slept in this bed with herself and her husband, but even that was markedly different; she still wasn't sure how freely Simon had done that, but Galen had come to them of his own free will. And he'd returned to them, too, after his leaving had proven to her once and for all that he was truly a man worthy of her time. One of the only good people in the Circle, and perhaps the only one she could ever claim actually deserved her feelings for him.
And there was no pretending she didn't have those feelings for him, not anymore. With Simon, she'd put it off for far too long, and telling him she loved him back when it had first started might have saved his life. But she didn't, and she lost him, and now that she had Galen instead, she wasn't about to make the same mistake again.
"Galen?" she whispered, and she watched his eyes blink open in the dim room. Behind her, she could feel the faintest hint of tension in Frost's muscles as he, too, waited for her words.
"Are... are you happy?" she asked softly. "With us?"
Even in the darkness, she could see his brow furrow. "Are you?"
She laughed faintly, her thumb stroking over the muscles of his chest more affectionately than she thought she would ever touch anyone. "Yes. But I asked you first. Are you happy with us?"
He hesitated, and though it was hard to tell with certainty, it looked like he was eying Frost over her shoulder. "I'm happy with you," he said finally.
Sparrow paused. It wasn't a surprise, but it wasn't what she wanted to hear, either, and she knew there was a danger in what she was trying to do. Letting Frost hear her affection for this other man was dangerous, especially if he was to ever have ever a chance of leaving them again. Knowing her husband, the minute she confessed any real feelings for Galen, Frost was going to do his damnedest to keep him here no matter what.
"But not us
Galen withdrew slightly, and that was the last thing Sparrow had wanted to do. "Did I do something wrong?"
"No," she said quickly. "Not at all. I just… I just want to make sure you're actually… That this is what you want."
"I want you," he whispered, leaning back into her, "every bit as much as he does. And I'm not going anywhere."
Her arms snaked upward and around his shoulders, pulling their bodies closer. "I--" Fuck, if she didn't say it now, she feared she never would. "I love you."
The words came out so quietly that for a moment, no one seemed sure of what they'd heard. And then Galen laughed
, breaking out into a wide grin as he leaned down to kiss her hard. He was out of breath quickly, half from the kissing and half from his own laughter, and Sparrow was relieved to hear that it was pure, unadulterated joy, not mocking in the least. He was clearly surprised, yes, but nothing worse than that.
Frost, though, was another story, and Sparrow knew that was half the reason for Galen's glee. He was stiff at her back, and she couldn't tell how he was reacting, not really; she doubted he was pleased, but so far he didn't seem too
upset, either. And, truth be told, she hoped he wasn't; if this had been Simon, if this had been a year or two ago, and she'd planned to spend the rest of her life with Simon and Nadia at her side, she would have perhaps taken a certain satisfaction in Frost's disappointment and distress. But whatever she felt for him now… just because she couldn't use those words didn't mean she didn't feel something. She thought he knew that, but she couldn't be sure.
"You mean it?"
"You know I wouldn't say it if it wasn't true," she told him quietly. "It's hard enough to say it even when it is."
His head ducked back down, kissing her again, and when the kiss finally broke, he nuzzled affectionately against her. "I'm not going anywhere," he repeated quietly. "I never stopped loving you."
The words he hadn't said, though, hung between the three of them, unmistakable. He might not have stopped loving her after he'd learned what Frost had done, but his feelings for Frost... that seemed to be a different story entirely, even after three months back together. Behind her, the man in question still hadn't reacted to what was happening in front of him, and she would have been stunned if there was anything resembling a positive feeling in his suppressed, unspoken reaction.
Uncomfortable with her own nagging guilt, Sparrow nestled backward into Frost's embrace, pulling Galen along with her. "I want," she began carefully, "the three of us to be together. You, and me, and him. Is that... alright?"
"I'm not trying to take you away," Galen whispered to her, though there was the faintest glint in his eye that made her half-suspect he still wished he could. "If you wanted me to, I would in a heartbeat; and if you want me to stay here with the both of you, then I will."
"But would you rather...?"
She watched him hesitate, glancing back again at Frost. "I don't know. Maybe. Ask me again in a year; I'm sure I'll know by then."
Her heart soared, just hearing that he actually planned to still be with her a year from now. She tilted her head slightly, and glanced backward. "Frost?"
"What about you?"
She couldn't believe she was almost scared of the answer. She truly had her heart set on him now, even more than on Galen. She didn't want to think of the decision she might have to make if he suddenly decided to manifest that jealous streak he'd been missing all these years.
"I love you," came his comfortingly familiar reassurance, and she felt her tension flow away. "I always told you I would make sure you have what you want. If you want him, you'll have him."
They both knew there was an implicit threat there, even if Frost didn't mean it that way. It was dangerous, this confession they were offering, because the other man in their bed would always have the power to turn it into something terrible. He could bind Galen to him just as he'd done to her, and the only punishment he could ever be sure to face for it would be her own muddled wrath.
They were trusting him with something precious--something he didn't deserve--and it was a terrifying prospect. But she trusted him all the same.
(And that was another quite terrifying notion.)
© 2017 A.F. Tanith