I want you to be happy

One way to show you love someone is supporting them in what they want to do. I previously wrote about how Jess believes Elena can make a go of her business.

In polyamory, there is a concept called compersion, which basically is feeling happy when a partner is happy with another partner. It’s really the opposite of jealousy. I wrote before that Eric is a reflection of my own compersion. I was thinking about today’s excerpt in particular when I wrote that. It’s from We Three. And it fits today’s 100 ways to say ‘I love you’: “I want you to be happy.”

This is a complicated undercurrent, so the highlighted comment is Eric’s way to agree to whatever actions will make Elena feel happy.

Striding off the plane to use the airport lounge facilities during a brief layover, Eric turned on his cell phone. As he entered the lounge, his phone dinged several times with text messages. He glanced at the phone’s screen to catch the last text message just as it was retreating. Without bothering to read the messages, he snapped out, “Hey, Siri, call Elena.”

His only thought? Elena seldom messaged or called unless she knew he was on the ground.

Sitting on a couch, he put the phone to his ear, waiting for the connection to open.

“Eric? Hi.”

“Yeah, I’m laid over in Rochester. Saw your text. What’s up?”

“You didn’t read them, then,” Elena said. She sounded upbeat. He was mystified.

“No, I… you don’t usually message me for anything,” he finished. “So, did something happen?”

“I texted.” She paused then started again. “I fell while running this morning,” she said. “But I’m okay. Jess caught me.”

“So you did find something you could do together.” He smiled. “That doesn’t sound too bad. You’re all right?”

“Jess drove us back to her room, cleaned and bandaged me up. Currently she’s at the bar, and I’m in her bed with my leg elevated.”

“You need that?”

Elena gave a wry laugh. “Well, she has sure hands and a calm touch.” Eric snorted with amusement. Elena continued, and he heard the reluctance in her tone. “I’ll make myself leave soon. I want to slip into the bar and say a quick goodbye.”

“You want to check up on her,” Eric corrected.

He could almost envision the shrug of her shoulders to make less of her feelings. Elena’s words were quiet. “She insists she can take care of herself.”

“It is all right to want to take care of her too, El,” Eric said. He waited in the silence, certain he knew the thoughts Elena wrestled with.

She finally spoke. “It is?” She was silent for several seconds, and, only because he sensed she was still forming her thoughts, he waited. Finally, Elena spoke again.

“Her hotel room here is a hole.”

He’d seen it. Definitely simple, but he had seen worse. “It’s not that bad.”

“Paying for it drains away every dollar she earns. That’s no way to get ahead.”

“El, how Jess lives is her business.”

“Still… couldn’t we offer to put her up for a while?”

“We could.” Eric suspected, though, that Elena would do most of the talking.

“Don’t you want to be able to see her more often?” Elena asked.

“Her moving in with us isn’t necessary for that.”

“I’ll wait until you get home,” Elena conceded.

“Just don’t be too hopeful. Jess likes her independence.”

“Eric,” Elena said, and if it sounded a little like she was filled with urgency, Eric tried to understand. “I love you.”

“I love you, too, Elena. Give my love to Jess when you see her.”

If you enjoyed that, you can find the entire contextualize story in We Three, a 2020 finalist in the Erotic Fiction category by the Bi+ Book Awards.

~ Lara

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