Cole and Tara are a happy couple, but both are drawn to the potential of a triad relationship. Dalton, their new roommate, is coming to the realization that he is attracted to both Tara and Cole. With twists and turns, they begin to work their way through their complex new love with its youthful mistakes, Unresolved issues, family baggage, and life after graduation converge to create a struggle that the three must face in order for their relationship to survive and flourish.
Dalton closed his chopsticks on the last piece of spicy tuna roll, only to have Cole try to steal it. The two wrangled back and forth until Cole grabbed the piece with his fingers and tossed the final bit into his mouth. He sighed as he chewed and winked at Dalton. He was coming to enjoy Cole’s joking personality, and Tara was having a good time, too. Actually she seemed to enjoy having someone else around so all of Cole’s juvenile behavior wasn’t directed at her.
With the last piece of sushi gone, Dalton leaned back and sighed with contentment. “That was fantastic. Great suggestion, Cole. I’d come back with you anytime.”
Cole squirmed in his seat. “Yeah, well. I couldn’t afford to come here too often. The grounds crew doesn’t pay that well.”
Tara chuckled. “Well. I can pay for my noodle bowl with what I make, you two raw fish freaks can split the rest.”
“No, this was my treat. I got it covered,” Dalton said.
Cole’s face flushed. “I feel like I tricked you into comin’ here. I wasn’t trying to be a shit head. Let me help pay.”
Tara grinned at Cole and gently poked him with the handle of her fork. “Of course you should. You ate more than Dalton and I combined.”
Cole’s face flushed red with embarrassment. “You’re right. I’ll pay my part.”
Dalton grabbed Cole’s wrist as he reached for the tab and held him. His gaze flipped to Dalton and their eyes locked. A wave of heat ran from where he touched Cole, straight to his crotch. Caught by surprise, he struggled to finish what he’d started. “No. I said I’d pay for it. You don’t want me pissed off.”
Surprise grew on Cole’s face. Dalton gave him a few seconds to consider, then wiggled his eyebrows. Cole grinned and relaxed. “Really, let me help. I feel bad that I rooked you.”
“Honest, Cole. I got it. I had a DJ gig last weekend. So I’m good.”
Cole scowled at him for a minute, then nodded. “Ok, but if I catch you eatin’ nothing but Ramen for the rest of the month I’m gonna be pissed.”
Dalton grinned at the friendly threat. “Got it. No Ramen. But I’m also not asking if you want dessert.”
Tara and Cole both chuckled, and this time it was Tara laid a hand on Dalton’s shoulder. Again a chord played through his body. Very different from the way Cole made him feel, but just as desirable.
What the hell’s going on with me?
Dalton and Cole relaxed against opposite ends of the couch. Cole managed to talk them into a stop for ice cream on the way back, but both Tara and Dalton had been too full for more food. Cole ate the final spoon of his ice cream, stretched and pushed his foot against Dalton.
“It’s hot in here.”
“Feels fine to me,” Tara said.
Cole grabbed the bottom of the jersey he was wearing, yanked it over his head, and tossed it to the side. He stretched and Dalton gaped at the thick dark hair lining each pit. Dalton’s breathing quickened and he tore his gaze away.
“That’s better,” Cole said.
“And don’t think you’re going to leave that laying wherever. Just because it’s my turn to do laundry, doesn’t mean I’m going to pick up after you like I’m your mother,” Tara said with arched eyebrows.
“Well, if you were my mother I wouldn’t be—”
Tara popped Cole on the back of his head and cocked an eyebrow. “Now would be a good time to behave.”
In return, she received a completely unrepentant smile, and a change of subject. “You should show Dalton your sketches. He’s in architecture.”
“Well, hopefully. I apply next year,” Dalton said
“I’m in fashion design. Probably nothing for you to see.”
“Really? How cool. I’d love to see your sketches. I had to take a figure drawing class, and it was tough.”
Tara lifted an eyebrow and looked first at Cole and then at Dalton as if to dare them to be leading her on. After a few moments, she nodded and without a word walked to the back of the house. She came back with a leather portfolio that she handled as if it were spun glass. Sitting between them, she unzipped the case, opened it to the first design, and began.
“This was to use atypical materials. So I have some materials I got from a class in the Art department…”
The descriptions went on at length, but Dalton was fascinated. The principles and ideas were not that different from what he used in his own creations. He leaned in for a closer look and found himself wrapped in the delicate perfume coming from Tara. A whiff of her curled into his senses and before he knew what was happening, he was hard again. He struggled to halt his arousal, but Tara’s scent entangled him further until he had no desire to escape. His lust triggered the typical male response, and by the time she finished, he was sure there had to be a growing wet spot on his shorts.