I picked these for you

Yesterday I shared a scene from my WIP between Elena and Jess, the two women who get together in We Three. There’s a third person in that book (who gets equal POV time) Elena’s husband, Eric. In We Three, he’s actually the first to meet Jess and he definitely finds her attractive for more than just her looks.

In the beginning knowing his wife Elena is bisexual, he is thinking like a swinger who wants to find someone she is also comfortable with, maybe even could be attracted to. He didn’t have long to wait before he knows Elena is attracted to Jess. But he is not attracted to Jess solely “for Elena’s benefit.” He cares about Jess and his deepening love for her comes through in a number of moments.

Here, for today’s 100 ways to say ‘I love you’ prompt is one of them: “I picked these for you.” Enjoy!

“Thanks,” Eric said when the young man manning the valet parking held the lobby door open for him. He examined the bouquet held in his left hand as he stepped through, considering again his impulse to pick it up. He thought about Elena’s jibe that he was “romancing” Jess, and his reply that maybe the young woman was in need of that. He liked to think that he read people reasonably well. But how would she react?

“Eric?”

A plump, beautiful Mexican woman was walking out from the front desk when Eric turned at the call of his name. “Hi, Maya.” He greeted Hector’s wife warmly.

“I didn’t know you and Elena had stayed last night,” she said. “We could have had some fun.”

He shook his head. “I just finished flying for the day and thought I’d connect with… a friend.”

“Staying here?”

“She works here. The new girl bartender?”

“Oh. Does Elena know you’re seeing her?” Maya asked, sounding both surprised and curious.

“Yes, of course.” Eric felt his usual after-work fatigue pulling at him and realized he needed to get a move on. “Point me to the staff rooms? I gotta go.”

“The staff rooms are down the hall, behind the bar.”

“Thank you,” Eric said.

“Eric?” Maya’s voice made him pause and turn back. “Next time you wanna come, let me know,” she said.

Eric nodded. “Sure.” He smiled and turned away.

He found his way to the staff rooms and frowned when he realized he didn’t know Jess’s room number.

He met an older man—gray scruffy beard and thin gray hair—stepping out of a room on the left side of the corridor. “Excuse me,” he said.

“Yeah? This part of the hotel is staff only.”

“I know. I’m looking for someone—Jess Davies?”

He narrowed his eyes at Eric, seeming to size him up. “She know you’re looking for her?”

“It’s a sort of surprise.”

The man walked to the door directly opposite his and knocked on it.

When it opened, Jess stepped into the doorway. “Gus? You need something?”

“Someone’s here to see you,” he said.

“Thank you,” Eric said to man apparently named Gus. He turned to Jess and took note of the number on the wall by the door. “Hi, Jess.”

“Eric, hi,” Jess said, greeting Eric with a warm smile that included her eyes. She looked at Gus. “Thanks, Gus.”

“Okay. Well, have a good day,” he said to her. Eric didn’t miss the side-eye from Gus, which strongly suggested that Eric should see that Jess did have a good day or Gus would have something to say about it.

When Gus was gone down the hall, for whatever had brought him out of his room in the first place, Eric smiled at Jess and held out the flowers. “For you,” he said.

She took them. “Me? Why?”

“Consider it an invitation to join me and Elena at our home again? Today. If you’re interested?”

She looked from the flowers to him. “I… well, um, you wanna come in for a minute?” She gestured at herself. “I’m not really ready to go anywhere.”

Eric thought she looked quite good. Jess wore a pair of girl boxers, and a loose and long T-shirt that was partly caught in one side of the boxer’s waistband. The way the T-shirt laid across her body let him know she was braless. “But you are interested in doing something?” he tried to clarify.

Jess looked at the flowers again and then stepped forward and kissed his lips, smiling into the kiss. “Elena tell you what we did while you were gone?” she asked, her breath brushing his lips.

“Yes,” he replied.

“I really like the flowers,” Jess offered as a response. “Come on in and help me find someplace to put them.”

“Okay.” Eric crossed the threshold, and Jess pushed the door shut behind him.

“I think I’ve got an empty soda bottle here somewhere,” she said. “Have a seat while I look.”

“If I sit down I might fall asleep,” he admitted. “It’s been a long flight pattern.”

“From where?”

“Today was a two-stop hop from Logan, that’s in Boston, to BWI in Baltimore. We also had to make a hub stop in Atlanta for folks transferring to westbound flights. I finally got back here about thirty minutes ago.”

“It’s only noon.” Jess had found an empty ginger ale can, and Eric watched as she expertly wielded a pocket knife, cutting the first few inches off the top. She was unwrapping the flowers on the vanity counter when she asked him, “When did you start?”

“We left Logan at 1800 hours.” When she blinked, he clarified, “6 p.m. last night.” He leaned against the wall.

“Damn.” She returned to his side. “Why’d you stop here?”

“I’d like to play some more with you,” he said honestly, and met her green eyes searching his, laying his cards on the table.

“I’d like that too,” Jess said.

“So come home with me?” Eric asked again. “You don’t need to change on my account,” he added.

She nodded, but added jean shorts over her girl boxers and grabbed her wallet. “I don’t need much if we’re just going to play.”

He put his hand lightly on her back and followed her out of her room, before leading the way to his car parked out front.

So there you go, an excerpt from the already published We Three. If you want to read more, you can buy print or ebook.

~ Lara

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