Can Jaxson, Chase, and Emma’s complicated love survive all that life is throwing at them, or will the pull of outside influences cause it to fall apart forever?
Emma’s quiet “I’m sorry” was ridiculously inadequate for the hell she’d put the men through. As mad as he was at himself for letting things get so out of control, at that moment, all he could think about was her role in the day’s shitshow.
Jaxson spun around so fast Emma flinched, burying her face against Chase’s shoulder.
“You need to cool down,” Chase cautioned, hugging their girl protectively.
“Whose side are you on? Ten minutes ago you were just as frantic as I was!”
“Since when do we take sides?” Chase snapped.
Fuck. He was right.
Jaxson ran his hand through his hair nervously. “That’s not what I meant and you know it.”
“The only thing I know is she’s shaking like a leaf. We need to go in, sit down, and talk.” Chase hugged Emma harder, speaking softly against her ear. “We were just worried, baby. Let’s go snuggle and you can tell us what’s going on.”
When Emma didn’t start moving towards the living room, Chase bent down and scooped her into his arms. Jaxson watched as Emma wrapped her arms around his neck, burying her face against Chase’s shoulder intimately, clearly feeling safe with the switch of their trio.
Watching his lovers comfort each other, for the first time in their almost three-year relationship a hint of jealousy threatened to poison Jaxson’s already precarious thoughts. He pushed it down, knowing intellectually it was ridiculous, but recognizing it as just another sign of how out of whack things had gotten in their complicated relationship.
Still, as he followed behind them irrational anger bubbled through his veins, infecting him as surely as a virus. Months of crushing stress mingled with the day’s events resulting in an almost out-of-body crescendo of emotion he had no idea how to contain — let alone shut down. A quiet voice in his head begged him to storm out and not come back until he was back in control, but the louder fury won the day.
“As much fun as it is to watch you two snuggling, we have a few more important things we need to be doing right now.”
Neither Chase nor Emma answered him. Both staring at him with a healthy dose of fear in their eyes, making him feel like a line had been magically drawn between them. Him on one side, them — together — on the other.
He fucking hated it.
Fine. He was the Dom. It was his job to be the bad guy when the occasion called for it. “Emma, come here.”
Her teary eyes widened. She glanced at Chase, deferring to him for advice. He hesitated, but finally nodded. “Go ahead, baby,” he whispered as he helped her to her feet.
Emma approached him slowly, stopping just out of his reach. She was taking shallow breaths, unable to look at her Dom.
“Eyes,” he ordered. It was an order he’d given her hundreds of times before in the throes of passion or in a D/s scene, yet today it felt different. It was different. Their unshakeable bond had a crack in it, and by God, he was going to figure out why and glue it back together.