Some women might think Leah's existence heavenly. She shares her home with two sexy men who both adore her. Ten years married to lusty, artistic Daniel, she still enjoys the discipline and release offered by Greg. But her lovers' jealousy and possessiveness have made Leah's life a hell. Unable to bear the continuous conflict, she flees to an idyllic seaside resort to ponder her future. Gradually she realises that she cannot live without either of her lovers. If the two men can't settle their differences, though, then how can she bear to live with them?
The three of them sat out on the deck, finishing off the second bottle of wine and enjoying the residual warmth of early September. The air still smelled of summer, ripe raspberries and sun-browned grass. In the woods that edged of the yard, night birds called. A crescent moon rose over the tree tops. The strains of Bach's "Musical Offering" filtered through the screen from inside, mingling with the bird song.
At least Daniel and Greg shared the same taste in music, thought Leah dreamily. She leaned back in her chair, finally relaxed. She glanced over at her husband. His eyes were closed. He was lost in the glorious melody. As though he felt her scrutiny, he turned to her, his handsome face luminous with joy.
Greg was watching her, a gentle half smile on his full lips, with no hint of his usual mockery. Leah smiled back, grateful that he was acting like such a gentleman.
I'm incredibly lucky, she thought. Most women search all their lives for one true lover. I have two. Perhaps I should feel guilty, knowing that they have agreed to our ménage in order to please me. But all I feel is gratitude.
Hope and relief washed through her. Maybe this would work after all. They just had to adapt, to get used to living together. To give up some of their individual selfishness for the sake of group harmony. She'd been selfish herself, expecting them to suppress their natural jealousies and insecurities just to please her. She needed to be more understanding. It had to be difficult for them, sharing her. Both men were so dear to her - she needed to work harder to show them.
Greg stirred in his chair. "It's late, and I've got to work tomorrow. Finish your wine, Leah, and come to bed."
Daniel looked up abruptly. "Wait a minute. Tonight's my night."
"No, it's not. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays she's with me. In case you've forgotten, this is Friday."
"That's not fair. She was away last night at her seminar. So she and I should be together tonight as compensation."
"Sorry, old man." (Daniel was three years older than Greg, who liked to rub that in.) "You know that's not how the system works."
"Well, perhaps we need to consider changing the system. Somehow it always seems to work out that Leah is away from the house on my nights."
"Please..." Leah stood, trying to intervene, but it was as though she wasn't there.
"I'm sorry, but that's not my problem. Anyway, you shouldn't be such a bad sport. After all, you had her to yourself for years."
Daniel snorted in exaggerated disgust. "To myself? Hardly! I couldn't make love to her without wondering if she was fantasising about you. I couldn't look at her without seeing the marks that you had left."
"Marks she asked for, don't forget."
"That's what you claim, at least." Daniel was sexually adventurous, but he had no interest in BDSM. Leah knew that he was truly perplexed by the power dynamics between her and Greg.
"Believe me, I can make her beg to be beaten," Greg said smugly. "Isn't that true, little one?"
Leah blushed fiercely, as embarrassed as she was angry. Of course, Daniel knew this about her, but still she didn't want to admit it out loud.
Both of them stared at her in mute accusation.
"Answer me, Leah." Greg put a hint of steel in his voice. Shivers of anticipation raced through her in response. Her deepest instinct was to obey him, but she resisted, silent and rebellious.
"Why do you put up with him?" Daniel donned his wounded boy expression, pouting under his moustache. "All he does is hurt you. He has no respect for you. I can give you all the love and tenderness that you need."
"You have no idea what she really needs," said Greg softly. His aim was true, as always. Daniel slumped in momentary defeat, then roused himself.
"If that's so, then why did she marry me?" he asked, playing his own trump card.
Leah had heard it all before, and suddenly, she couldn't take anymore. She turned her back on them and headed for her room, ignoring their voices calling after her.
Her overnight bag was still packed from her business trip. She pulled out the dirty things and threw in some clean underwear, jeans and jerseys. She was debating whether to bring a dress when her door opened. Stubbornly, she continued her packing.
Greg towered behind her. He put his hands on her shoulders and turned her around to face him. "Where are you going, little one?"
"Away. Away from the two of you and your constant bickering."
"He started it, after all, with his claims about things being unfair." He bent to kiss her. She turned her head away, unwilling to be mastered, but he grasped her chin and pulled her mouth to his.
Leah didn't want to surrender, but she couldn't help it. She was dizzy with instantly kindled lust. He nipped at her lips, probed her with his tongue. He drank her in, consumed her. Between her thighs everything melted. The room began to smell funky, as though he already had her naked and open before him.
Without taking his mouth from her, he grabbed her nipple and twisted it, hard. Her body arched against his, the familiar pain quickly transformed to shimmering pleasure. He broke the kiss and looks down at her, shaking and helpless with desire.
"You're mine," he whispered. "You'll always be mine. You just keep him around because you're afraid to give yourself completely to me. Afraid of going too far. You don't trust your own desires."
Leah had a vision of Daniel, his wine glass filled to the brim with vodka, filling page after page with angry, aching prose. There was a wrenching pain in her chest. They've grabbed my heart and they are rending it into bloody pieces, she thought.
This pain that had no sweet after-echoes. She tore herself from Greg's grasp.
"You're wrong." Her throat tightened into a sob. "I love him. It's different from the way we are, but it's just as real."
"If we were together, by ourselves, you'd forget him."
"NO!" His arrogance, sometimes so exciting, was nothing but frustrating to her now. "You don't understand. He's a part of me, just as you are."
He reached for her again. "I'd make you forget him, Leah. I'd beat him out of you." His voice was gentle, contrasting with the violence of his words. Underneath his bravado, she feel his need.
Only a few days left in the Bash! The more you comment, the more chance you have to win!