Three to Tango
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by Chloe Cole, L. C. Chase
Category: Erotica/Menage Erotica/Mainstream
Description: Genre: Contemporary Menage
Best friends and roommates, Jace and Melody have been inseparable since middle school. Although Mel knows Jace is gay, she has yet to find a man who can compare. When they decide to add a third roommate to their nest, they both find themselves falling for him. It's not the first time they've wanted the same man, but this time, they're both determined to get him. Agreeing Alec should be the one to choose, they begin a heated competition for a place in Alec's bed and his heart. Winner take all, no hard feelings...
Alec has lived with his two gorgeous roomies for six months. So far, he's managed to relegate his desire for each of them to his daydreams. When he discovers that they both want him and have decided to compete for his attention, he sets out to prove that it can be win-win situation for all of them, and he shouldn't have to choose.
Sometimes it takes three to tango.
Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Anal play/intercourse, male/male sexual practices, menage (m/m/f, m/f/m).
eBook Publisher: Loose Id, LLC, 2011
eBookwise Release Date: April 2011
21 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [139 KB]
Reading time: 86-120 min.
"That's it, big boy. Take it off," murmured Jace, his voice low and seductive.
"You're so bad--" Melody stopped short, captivated by Alec pulling his black T-shirt over his head. Powerful muscles rippled as he threw it onto a nearby bench and jogged back onto the basketball court. His tanned body gleamed a warm gold in the Southern California sunshine.
"Oh, man, you're so right. That should be illegal," she gasped when she could finally speak again.
Simultaneously, they reached for the frosty beers between them on the table and drank deeply.
Melody kept her eyes on the court one story below them as she pressed the icy bottle to her suddenly overheated cheeks. "We're such a couple of pervs."
"Tell me about it. But I can't seem to stop myself," Jace replied with mock regret.
Alec chose that moment to look up from his game of one-on-one to give them a wave and one of his signature cold-shower-not-included smiles. He cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, "Save one for me!"
"Oh, I'm saving something for you, all right," Jace said in a low voice, and he and Melody broke into a fit of giggles.
This had been their ritual for the past few months. Every Friday after work, Melody and her best friend, Jace, watched their roommate, Alec, play basketball from their rooftop patio on Manhattan Beach's popular Strand. Later, when the game was over, the three of them would lounge on the patio well into the night, analyzing Alec's play over a few drinks. Melody wondered ruefully if he had any clue that Jace detested sports almost as much as off-the-rack clothes and subpar produce. Jace never let on, but nobody could read him as well as she could. If he cared about someone, he supported them 100 percent. No matter what. It was one of the many things she'd always loved about him.
When the two of them had decided it would make financial sense to fill the third bedroom with another body, it had been a big decision. Things had always been so easy between them, and they hadn't wanted to sacrifice that comfort. But with Jace wanting to renovate his small ballroom dance studio and Melody needing a new car because hers was running on faith, it had seemed like a no-brainer.
Then along came Alec.
And while they were both initially bowled over by his stunning good looks, it had been immediately apparent that he was more than a pretty face. He really seemed to get them and their quirky relationship and genuinely loved being goofy with them. He was cool but not too cool, the kind of guy who made watching Star Trek hip. Once they confirmed he had a strong work ethic and good credit, he was in. The transition had been seamless. Almost like the last piece of the puzzle had slipped into place, and for the past six months, things had been going swimmingly.
But despite the success of their arrangement, Melody couldn't help wonder what might have been if Alec hadn't been her roommate, if she'd met him somewhere other than their ROOM FOR RENT ad.
"He's ridiculously sexy and such an awesome guy on top of it. If it wouldn't screw things up with our living situation, I would totally tap that," she said bluntly.
Jace snorted. "Not if I got there first."
"Back up, twinkle toes. He doesn't even play for your team."
"That's what they all say, honey. But you'd be surprised at how convincing I can be."
No, Melody thought, I wouldn't.
It had taken ten years of being friends with Jace and a considerable amount of effort to finally claim some sort of immunity from his charms. And he didn't even like girls. She could only imagine how it would be if he unleashed the full strength of his lethal charisma on her. With his fit dancer's body, angelic face, piercing blue eyes, and the sensual, graceful way he moved, he was a force to be reckoned with--for anyone. One word, one touch, and she'd...
She shivered lightly. Never gonna happen, so let it go.
Melody let out a derisive snort, not willing to concede his point out loud.
"No? Okay, smarty-pants. Why don't you put your money where your mouth is?" Jace arched one brow in a clear challenge.
"What's that supposed to mean? You want me to pay to tap that? Trust me, I would have broken open my piggy bank months ago if that was the case."
"Oh no, Hellz," he said, reverting to one of the many derivatives of his longtime nickname for her. Hellody Melody. She'd earned it when they were still in middle school, shortly after he'd transferred. The school bully had harassed Jace for dancing, calling him a sissy, among other things, and a fierce protective streak had risen within her. Without thinking, she had stepped right into the fray and laid the bully out flat with one right hook. From then on, Hellody had stuck.
"No, we're going to do something far more practical. You want Alec. I want Alec. Over the next four weeks, we both go for it. The winner gets him, and the loser--that would be you," he said with a cocky wink, "gets a full month of dish and laundry duty."
"I would, but I can't help feeling a little guilty. You're at a disadvantage with all that extra tackle, don't you think?" she asked with feigned innocence, gesturing toward his crotch.
"I do have more than my fair share--thanks for noticing--but it won't be a problem. Do I look worried?"
She studied him. Nope, he didn't look worried at all.
"Love is love, honey. There is no black and white, only gray. Alec is going to fall madly in love with me--watch and see." He leaned forward, staring at her intently. "So, in the words of the stunningly fierce Heidi Klum, 'either you in or you out.'"
As she gazed back at him, Melody couldn't help but wonder why, suddenly, this felt like more than just a game. They'd been attracted to and jokingly fought over the same men before, but it would be different with Alec. They'd bonded with him, cared about him. A sizzle of unrest snaked up her spine. But just as quickly as it had come, it was gone. It would all work out fine, she reassured herself. They were levelheaded adults. And who knew? Either she or her bestie could end up with a great new boyfriend from the madcap scheme, so it couldn't be all bad.
"I'm in. Shake on it."
She spat into her palm and held her hand out to him, grinning as Jace groaned. He acquiesced and grudgingly did the same. They shook on it, sealing the deal the way they had since they were thirteen years old with skinned knees and rosy cheeks.
"Seriously, that's so gross, Mel." Jace picked up a napkin off the table to wipe his hand clean.
"Yeah, but you love me anyway," she said, laughing as she stood to grab their empty bottles and move to the doorway. "Another beer, or you want to move to something more civilized?"
"Hey, I'm not a snob. I just prefer quality libations. And that is some quality microbrew, so I'll take another."
Jace was still smiling as he watched Mel head into the house to get them another round. The thought crossed his mind, and not for the first time, if part of the reason he'd never been interested in any kind of long-term relationship was because he had yet to find a man whose company he enjoyed quite as much as hers.
Since he had moved out to California back in eighth grade, Mel had been there for him: his first, best, and truest friend. She had been his backup through all things juvenile and his rock when he had finally decided to come out to his religious, Midwestern parents. She was his date when he needed one, and a shoulder to cry on when his wide-open heart was inevitably battered. She was an integral part of every cherished memory he had. He couldn't imagine a life without her in it.
Jace promised himself right then that, no matter how much he liked Alec--and man, did he like Alec, a lot--he would never let it come between him and Mel. If that meant taking it gracefully if Alec chose her, so be it. His heart gave an odd little squeeze at the thought. But he would far rather bury his own desires and needs if it meant seeing her truly happy. And if she and Alec were together, they'd continue to live here. He wouldn't lose the only person he'd ever been completely comfortable being himself with.
He shifted his gaze once again to the man in question, and his stomach did a little flip. From all appearances, Mel was right: Alec was straight. A straight, gorgeous, tanned, sweaty, masculine bowl of man stew. But Jace sensed something...intangible lurking just below the surface. He'd been on the receiving end of a few lingering glances from Alec, the occasional sexy smile with a dark edge to it. He couldn't put his finger on what it was exactly, but something niggled at him--a tiny blip on his gaydar screen. And he wasn't going to give up without finding out whether or not it was just wishful thinking or if maybe Alec had felt the pull between them as well.
"Look what mama found!" Melody interrupted his thoughts as she stepped out onto the patio with a bowl of onion dip, a bag of potato chips, and their beers balanced precariously in her arms.
Jace chuckled. He watched her bend low to lay the bounty on the table, and he couldn't help but to admire her physique. Alec would have to be blind not to have noticed how sexy she is. With her long, dark blonde hair and her leggy, lithe body, she looked every bit the professional beach volleyball player she was. How she managed to maintain that sleek athletic form while eating like a truck driver, he couldn't fathom.
"You know, if you keep putting that crap into your body, eventually, it's going to rebel. How are you going to play volleyball lugging a big, fat ass the size of a Mack truck behind you?"
"I'd rather have a big, fat ass than live on sprouts and tofurkey," she shot back, popping a dip-slathered chip into her mouth with a defiant crunch.
She rolled her eyes in exaggerated pleasure, and he laughed. "A well-timed piece of tofurkey never hurt anyone."
"Except the poor tofurkey."
"Don't eat too much. I'm going to cook later." He shook his head as she dug her hand back into the bag.
"Don't judge me. I have some seducing to do. A girl needs to keep up her strength, you know."
"True. And why am I telling you anything? I should just shut up and let you try to seduce Alec with your onion breath and rapidly expanding ass. Shit, I should be encouraging you to eat that garba--"
"Aha," Mel cut in, motioning toward the court. "Looks like they're finishing up."
She stood and fished around in the pockets of her cutoff jean shorts, letting out a shout of glee as she came up with a half stick of gum.
"Ug, Mel, that has lint stuck to it."
She shrugged, unwrapped it, and popped it into her mouth. "Luckily, you can't smell lint."
"You're such a boy, Hellz."
She stuck her tongue out at him, then leaned over, grabbed an unopened beer from the table, and moved to the flight of stairs leading to the sidewalk. "Time to watch and learn, grasshoppah," she said, tossing a wicked grin over her shoulder. "It's game on."
"Wow. Aggressive. I like it." He let out an admiring whistle. She was halfway down the steps when he shouted after her, "Oh, and by the way, I like my shirts pressed with medium starch. Not light. Not heavy. Medium. You might want to write that down."
She flipped him the bird without turning around, and Jace laughed. He watched her as she headed toward the court--and Alec--noting the little extra swing in her hips.
He had to admit it. She was good.
This was going to be a very interesting four weeks.