Delicious: TART by LAUREN DANE
Copyright 2012, Lauren Dane
All Rights Reserved, The Berkley Publishing Group
Releasing in digital formats and trade paper, November 6!
“What’s going on?” Gillian walked in to Tart four days later with a look on her face that made Jules suck in a breath and steel herself.
“Um. A clue perhaps? What do you mean?”
Gillian put a hand on her hip and glared. “You won’t return my calls. Your texts are boring and lack even a basic amount of snark. Cal is moping around. Mary says you’re not here when she arrives in the afternoon and Gideon called my house looking for you. What in God’s name is going on?”
Jules sat in a nearby chair and told Gillian everything.
“Well, I can see why you needed the space to think. But why you wouldn’t come to me to let me help, I can’t imagine.”
“You have enough going on in your life. This is just . . . it’s . . . I don’t even know.”
“Don’t be daft. Enough going on. Sure, a wedding and a bossy fiancé and a teenaged son who is at turns sweet as pudding and then surly. But you’re my best friend, it’s my job to listen to you. Also, really to deny me the story of how two ridiculously gorgeous men offered to share you? Mean.” She fanned herself. “Well, are you interested? You know in both?”
“The thing is—and I’ve been thinking on this nonstop since that damned kiss—I’m with Gideon. I chose him when I went to his place to tell him about the kiss. But then he was all, hey, take us both and now I’m torn.”
“Torn because you’d rather have just one than both? And if that’s true, that’s okay too, you know. I’m not sure I could manage two men at once. Adrian gives me more than enough to do.”
Jules wiped a counter down to keep moving. “Do I want them? Individually? Sure. Look at them! It’s more than their looks, of course. I’m falling in love with Gideon in a big way and I’d be a liar, liar, pants on fire if I denied how long I’ve loved Cal. But together? At the same time? I don’t know.”
“Is it the overabundance of penis? Or worry that they’re not interested in your parts best?”
Jules laughed and then hugged Gillian tight. “Thank God for you.”
“I say this about you all the time.”
Jules was so glad Gillian had come in. She needed this so badly. Needed the support and honesty she got from her best friend.
“Gideon loves you. I admit that I’ve got a natural bias toward Cal. I’ve known him longest. He’s like family. But since I’ve met Gideon he’s been nothing but good to you. And you do deserve to be happy. If you can’t imagine being with them both, then don’t do it. Cal will get over it. He’ll have to.”
“What kind of flesh-and-blood woman with a pulse wouldn’t imagine being with them both? I’m only human, Gillian. I’ve imagined it all right.” So much her wrists hurt from masturbating so often.
Gillian grinned and cocked her head. “Have you thought about talking to Erin? I know she can be sort of bold and wild, but she’s a wonderful listener. She puts a lot of work into her relationship with Todd and Ben. It can work if you do it right and you have the right combo of people.”
“Honestly if you were telling me this story, I’d yell at you to get out of here and jump both men. You’re very patient.”
“You love them both. I know this about you. You’re thinking this over because it would change everything. No matter what decision you make, everything will be different. There’s no way around it, I’m sorry to say. Once Cal kissed you, things were thrown onto a wholly different path.”
“I know.” She paused and then blurted it out because she needed to say it. “It was a really, really good kiss. If he’d kissed me like that six months ago, we’d be happily together right now. He’s quite a dumbass for a man who looks as good as he does.” Jules chewed her lip a moment and then just said it. “I’m afraid Gideon will think the same thing about his kisses and they’ll get sick of me. It’s stupid and petty and I can’t stop thinking about it.”
Gillian made one of her polite little growls of annoyance. “He’s a fool for waiting so long. As for the kiss? I’m glad. I mean, I figured it was. You two, well, there’s years and years of built-up stuff between you. But back to the threesome thing. I don’t think this is about them both secretly being totally gay and then they’ll find out and dump you. I can understand why you’d worry. But they both want you. I’m telling you the total truth when I say I’ve watched Cal watch you for years. He’s in love with you, Jules. Not with anyone else. Same with Gideon.”