#42 Change of plans
Valentine’s Day is harder than I thought it would be. Exactly one year ago, I was lying on the couch in Kian’s house in pink boxer shorts, a rose between my teeth. Looking back, his reaction to his colleague seeing me should have been a red flag, but I didn’t see it that way. Back then I was still being myself completely, instead of toning down what makes me… well, me. Did Kian ever truly like that side of me? Did he love me at all, or was I just a way to pass the time? Was I a placeholder until someone better came along?
Those doubts plague me the whole damn day. I try to distract myself by focusing on Valentine’s Day at the bakery, interviewing customers who are buying the heart-shaped cookies and pretty pink cupcakes, asking them who their Valentine is. I post on social media the whole time, and I’m already trying to come up with new campaigns for the upcoming months. Liv is working in the back, Sandra is behind the counter, there are two culinary students running around, and Andre, me, and his employee are working together to run the coffee shop. It’s madness, but I still manage to find time to get all up in my mind and psych myself out. Andre notices, yet he doesn’t say anything until it’s time to close up shop. We both sit down at a table, and the others pretend to be too busy to even notice us, but I bet they’re all listening in on our conversation.
“I know we had plans to hang out tonight, but I think I need to go home. Or well, to Thom’s place.” I feel terrible blowing him off on Valentine’s Day. We were supposed to go out for dinner, then go see a movie and munch on popcorn afterwards.
Andre doesn’t look disappointed. Instead, he reaches out to take my hand, squeezing it. “I completely understand. Raincheck?”
“I’m so sorry.”
“You have nothing to apologize for.” He nods to the coffee counter. “One drink together before you go home?” When I nod, he gets up and starts making something that apparently takes a lot of concentration. He looks so cute frowning down at the coffee cup while he’s making foam art.
Sandra comes over with the box of cookies I bought for Andre. “Still need these?” she whispers, proving she was indeed listening in.
“Yeah,” I decide, “why not?”
Liv pops her head in and calls for the others to help her clean up in the kitchen, giving me and Andre some privacy. God, I love that woman. So kind and attentive. James is a lucky man for sure.
When Andre puts the latte down in front of me, I can’t help but smile despite everything. There’s a heart on top, with my name written in beautiful lettering. That’s what he was focusing on just now. He brought me a cupcake as well, one of Liv’s best-selling Valentine’s cupcakes. He’s such a sweetheart. Without saying anything, I shove the box in his direction.
“Oh,” he breathes when he opens it. “That’s so sweet. Of course I’ll be your Valentine, you little cheeseball.”
I laugh at the nickname, feeling lighter than I have all day. “I’m sorry I’ve been so off today. It’s just…”
“It’s Valentine’s Day, you’ve only been single for a heartbeat, you have to see Kian tomorrow, and you’re worried I will be offended that you’re not in the mood to be all cutesy with me tonight.” He waves off my immediate apology. “It’s fine, Dylan. I knew this would happen eventually. This is why we’re taking things slow, right?”
“Yeah, I guess.” I still feel a little weird. “You’re not mad?”
“Oh, now that you mention it, I am indeed so livid I will start breathing fire soon.” He laughs at my massive eye roll. “No, I’m not angry, Dylan. You’re allowed to have a bad day. Doesn’t say anything about us. It would be weird if you were over Kian in little over a week. Go home, have a quiet night in, whatever you need.”
“Thanks.” I sip my latte, moaning in pleasure. “Damn, this is good.”
Arousal flashes in his eyes. “I love listening to you drinking coffee.”
I moan again, smirking at his reaction. “Maybe you could make sounds like that for me soon.”
He takes a cookie with the V for Valentine out of the box. “Lactose free?”
“You know it.”
He bites into it, letting out a low growl. Nothing close to the way I moan, but fuck me it sounds hot. I lick my lips in response, and that earns me another trembling grunt.
“Okay, now I want that dinner and the movie again.” I take another sip of my latte. “And to make out at the movies.”
He winks at me. “Me too, but let’s do that in a week or so, if you’re still up for that. Finish your latte and go home, Dylan.”
Home. It sounds strange, but Thomas and Tracy’s place feels way more like home than Kian’s house ever did. I hug Andre goodbye, call out to the others in the kitchen, and then I’m off. Ready to spend Valentine’s Day with the Riley clan.
That’s not what ends up happening, though. The Rileys aren’t home, but I do find a note from Thomas saying they’re having an early dinner with his dad and Peter, and will be home later tonight. I look around, wondering what the hell I will do with myself now. This is turning into the saddest day ever.
Right when I’m about to order a pizza, the doorbell rings. I make my way to the front door, surprised to see Mila standing on the porch with bags of Chinese food.
“Liv texted,” she explains when she comes in. “I dumped Scar on Jianyu, got some comfort food, and got in my car. You can be my Valentine this year.”
She may not have been the best friend ever while I was struggling in my relationship with Kian, but she’s surely stepping up now. That’s how we end up pigging out the couch the rest of the night. Thom and Tracy left the kids with Thom’s dad, so when they get home, it’s just the four of us. We have a beer together and talk about our day. They let me rant about how fucking nervous I am about seeing Kian again, and how bad I feel that I blew Andre off. All three of them reassure me that everything will be okay, and wonder of all wonders, Mila is so supportive it’s almost comical.
“Hon, where’s the tough love?” I joke, poking her soft belly.
“Hey, making amends here!” She rolls her eyes. “Want me to try to set you up with Fleur again?”
Thomas cracks up. “I don’t think that’s happening anymore, Mila.”
“Why not?” I ask, feeling suspicious right away. Tracy and Thom have that look about them. A look I’ve come to know well. “Oh my God, you guys fucked her, didn’t you?”
“Not yet.” Tracy smirks. “We invited her over tonight. Why do you think the kids are with Thom’s dad? She’s sort of my Valentine’s present to Thom.”
He looks mighty happy about that. “I fucking love the second trimester. Horny Tracy is back.”
“Oh my God!” Mila smacks Thom on his arm. “Why didn’t you tell me? Oh, and why didn’t I think of that? It’s perfect! You guys are the sweetest, and Fleur will feel so much more comfortable sleeping with a man with a woman present.”
“Exactly,” Tract agrees, her smile sweet now. “I talked to Fleur a couple times after we met her, because I sort of connected to her in a weird way. We haven’t been through the same things, but I know what it’s like to pretend not to be vulnerable when in reality, you feel like you might fall apart at any moment. I don’t want her to turn into an ice queen like me.”
“You haven’t been like that in ages.” Thomas kisses her softly. “You’re the perfect woman in every single way. An amazing mother, a loving wife, damn good at your job, the most beautiful person alive, and a freak in the sheets. What more could I possibly want?”
God, those two are sweet. That’s what I want. A love like that. Someone who completes you and brings out the best in you. I don’t need the threesomes – although I wouldn’t say no to them either, I guess. I’m open to pretty much anything. Monogamy, an open relationship, whatever floats someone’s boat. As long as you’re on the same page and communicate in a healthy way, I’m all for it. What I do really need is a partner, though. Someone who accepts me for who I am and who will be good to me. Who grounds me and lets me fly my freak flag at the same time.
Someone like Andre.
Or, more specifically, Andre himself.
“A threesome,” Mila sighs. “God, it’s been a while.”
“Do you think you and Scarlett will ever…?” Thomas asks curiously while he sips his beer.
She shrugs. “Yeah, we might. We’ve talked about it. We’ve both had them, and we liked them, so why not? We’re not looking for anything, but should we stumble upon someone who feels right to both of us, I don’t see why not.”
“So unfair,” I groan, sinking deeper into the rug I’m sitting on, petting a cat. “You guys all have a partner, and you’re sitting around contemplating hot rumps with a third person. I don’t even have a partner.”
“Sorry, we’re being insensitive.” Tracy pats my head. “Just give it time. You and Andre will be all loved up in no-time. Take it slow. The destination will be worth the journey.”
We chat for another half hour, but then Thomas subtly announces he and Tracy need to start getting ready for the remainder of their night. Translation: Fleur will be here soon, ready to fuck. I go home with Mila, where I spend the night in her bed. Scar is crashing with Jianyu, so I officially ruined their plans for hot Valentine’s Day sex by being a pathetic mess. Oh well, they’ve got all the other days of the year to have sex and be all cutesy.
I don’t sleep much that night, worried about what my meeting with Kian will be like tomorrow. Even trying to imagine Thom and Tracy having a threesome with Fleur doesn’t cheer me up, which definitely shows how depressed I am tonight.
Tomorrow, it’ll all be over. At 10 am, Kian and I will meet at a coffee shop I hate, because I refuse to meet him anyplace I love hanging out. The last thing I want is for him to ruin a great business for me.
As long as I keep my cool, it should be fine.
It has to be.
Next chapter = Dylan & Kian meeting up! How do you think that will go?
Also… I bet some of you are curious about Tracy and Thomas having a threesome with Fleur. Good news! I wrote a bonus scene about it! It’s 5 parts long, and a whopping 11.000 words. I posted it in a separate book on Inkitt. It’s called “Double Trouble”. Go on, read it! I know you want to!