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This story is presented in draft (unedited) form, with a new installment posted weekly. Installments will be available for one week only, so be sure to keep up! If you do miss an installment, email me and we’ll get you caught up. Enjoy!
Emily woke slowly the next morning, stretching her pleasantly sore muscles in the warm sun as it came through the sheers on her window and fell across her bed. The night before had been…unbelievable, though the details were foggy.
Two men. Had that really just happened? To think about it was one thing, and fantasizing another, but to actually go through with it…
Her cheeks heated and she sat up, not sure how she’d gotten home, but thankful she was alone. That still left the problem of facing the men she’d slept with last night, and she’d have to do it at work, no less.
Maybe she’d call in sick. She glanced at the clock by her bed, and then really looked, her eyes growing wide with panic. Could it really be nine already? What had happened to her alarm? How had she slept so late, missing the alarm?
Rushing off to the shower, she scrubbed down far quicker than she’d have liked, toweled dry and got ready for work as fast as she could manage, all the while trying to figure out what to say when she got there. Mark and Jasper probably assumed she was hiding.
Wanting coffee so bad she could smell it, she ran to the kitchen and stopped short by the scene on the other side of the doorway.
“I told you we should have left a note or something.” Mark turned from Jasper, and went to Emily, holding out one hand. “We already called work and told them none of us are coming in today, and we made breakfast. Come join us.” He leaned in and pressed a quick, simple kiss to her lips and tugged her toward the table. Still trying to process it all, she complied, sliding into a chair as Jasper slid a steaming mug in front of her and placed a kiss on her cheek.
“Sleep well?” He winked, and she gave him a quick nod before taking a big gulp of coffee that was miraculously at the perfect temperature for drinking. “We thought it might be easier to do the morning after thing for breakfast instead of at the office,” he continued. “Although if you hadn’t insisted we bring you home and leave you here last night, the day could have started on a slightly different note.”
He was grinning, and she rolled her eyes as Mark put a loaded plate in front of her, and then went back to the counter for two more, handing one to Jasper and keeping the other for himself. Emily raised her eyebrows at the contents – instead of the normal eggs, bacon, and toast type fare, he’d made a skillet scramble with eggs, red and green peppers, onions, potatoes, mushrooms and cheese. She hadn’t even known he could cook.
“Impressive,” she commented, picking up her fork. “I had no idea you could cook. Thank you.” The words sounded cooler than she intended, and she almost apologized, but the situation just felt so…surreal. She was confused about why she didn’t remember getting home, too, and after savoring the first bite, she decided to just get that awkwardness out of the way.
“This is going to sound really bad, but I don’t remember much about the details last night. Or even getting home. Was I drinking? Did we take…something?”
Mark shook his head and shot a pointed look at Jasper. “I told you she was acting strange. You need to toss that stuff.” He turned to Emily after Jasper nodded.
“Jasper had some old moonshine we decided to toast with…ah, early this morning. It wasn’t much, but it was nasty, and shortly after you were acting pretty drunk and demanded we bring you home. We did, of course, but we didn’t want to leave you alone, so we borrowed your couch and guest bed.”
Jasper’s long fingers stroked one of her wrists. “I’m sorry,” he said. “I really didn’t think moonshine could go bad.”
Emily gave him a reassuring smile. “I wouldn’t think so either – don’t worry about it. Thanks for making sure I got home. And thanks to you both for keeping an eye on me. I appreciate it.”
The ensuing silence felt even more awkward, and she had no idea what to do. Should they discuss the weather? How Mark had learned to cook? Who in Jasper’s family made moonshine? It all seemed so…inane, considering what they’d shared last night. She could feel the both men’s eyes watching her, which just made her even more self-conscious, and suddenly being at work where there were things to do and distractions and buffers seemed like a much better idea after all.
But maybe inane chatter was exactly what they needed to break the ice, she thought, finishing the last of her breakfast.
“So,” she looked at Jasper and raised her eyebrows. “Who made the moonshine? Any relation? I have some clients it might be fun to share that with.” She winked, and the men both laughed. Like magic, the tension evaporated. Emily breathed a sigh of relief as Jasper told a story about his cousin’s kid’s uncle.
They spent the day swapping stories, and that evening, as Emily sat between them on the couch with candles flickering, a glass of wine in her hand and an old movie playing, she was…comfortable. No matter what happened from here on out, it was going to be one heck of a ride.
She wouldn’t miss it for the world.
This story has been a difficult one for me to write, for a variety of reasons. I’ll be giving Trinity a break from writing for awhile. Thanks to all those who have stuck with her, and to everyone who has bought and read her books.