One of the things that I’ve been able to really think about as I go through these 100 ways to say ‘I love you’ is how many of them require no money at all. Just the ability to spend time or pay attention to details.
A lot of relationships are financially imbalanced; one partner makes more money. But it does not and should not necessarily follow that means the demonstrations of love only go one way. If you’re in a relationship where only one partner is constantly showering the other with gifts or money-based demonstrations of affection, it may not be as healthy as you deserve.
In We Three, it is a fact that Jess is financially less well off than Elena and Eric. So she doesn’t have money to give them things. But sharing items can have its own meaning. As shown in today’s excerpt. Enjoy!
Elena sat down on the bed naked, quite a lot of her body still damp from her shower. She tugged the white fluffy towel around her and tucked a corner of it so it would stay in place. Midnight dark and damp hair curled around her face and throat as the A/C fitfully cycled in the background.
Wearing just her jeans for the moment, Jess went to the chair where she’d overlaid Elena’s dress the night before and picked it up with a frown. The velour had deep wrinkles. “Maybe I should’ve taken the time to hang it up.”
“Don’t blame yourself. I was just as eager as you,” Elena said. The furrow between her brows deepened. “Too bad we already showered. The wrinkles might come out if we hung it in there.” Elena started to take the dress.
“Let me fix it.” Jess held it tightly.
“It won’t matter. I’m just going home from here.” Elena took it from her hands.
“You can’t walk through the club wearing a wrinkled dress. Everyone will know you were here all night.”
“They should already know. We were dancing until two.” Elena pressed herself against Jess and pressed her lips to the blonde’s jawline.
Holding Elena in the circle of her arms, Jess knew Elena was right. Gus had smiled at them from time to time as he handled the bartending solo. She’d gotten the night off when Elena asked Jess to be her date to the club’s Latin Night, not just meet up afterward as they had done many times. “I wanna dance with you,” the brunette had asked.
“But they don’t know you came back here with me,” Jess protested. “What abou–” she started.
“This is a swingers club,” Elena said, pressing her finger to Jess’s lips.
“Where everyone knows you and Eric.”
“So now they know me and you.”
“But — You — We –” Jess stuttered until Elena put her hand over her lips.
“Yes, absolutely. And I’m not ashamed. You, Beautiful, were my date last night.”
“But the whole reason we started meeting at your place was because I work here and you’re a member guest.”
Elena’s expression turned sour. “I remember, but we — I — was never annoyed by you. Other people’s assumptions made me angry.” She gripped Jess’s arm. “I’ve never been ashamed to be seen with you. Are you ashamed to be seen with me?”
“No! God, you’re — anyone would be incredibly lucky to have you on their arm.”
“Okay. So we’re agreed. We are good together. So what the hell are we talking about?”
“I –” Jess faltered. “I just…” She looked helplessly at Elena and her shoulders slumped. “What do we do about the dress?”
“I won’t wear it if it bothers you that much.”
Elena walked over to the chest of drawers that, in many hotel rooms, was practically for show and never used. In this space, however, the top and second drawers contained Jess’s few t-shirts, jeans, shorts, socks and underwear. After looking through the options, Elena pulled out a blue cotton circle-neck tee shirt with an outdated Marino/13 Miami Dolphins picture. She tossed Jess a second Dolphins tee. Next she grabbed a pair of cotton gray drawstring shorts. The cut-off style shirt showed a slice of Elena’s midriff but her ass was just barely covered by the panels of the shorts.
“You make my clothes look good,” Jess said, pulling her tee down over her head and pulling her longer blonde hair free of the circle collar..
Elena chuckled. “It makes me feel sexier than the dress last night.”
“Not possible,” Jess scoffed. “You were super hot in that dress.”
“Maybe, but this –” she pointed out their coordinated look — “clearly shows everyone we’re together.” She grasped Jess’s hand, twining their fingers together. “Walk me out to my car?”
Jess looked again at their shirts. It really did make her feel like a pair. ”Yeah?”
“Yes.” They parted for a few minutes, Elena and Jess both walking around and collecting Elena’s other discarded items from around the room. Everything went into a plastic bag Jess grabbed from under the sink. The last thing Jess picked up was her room key off the TV stand. She tucked it in her front jean pocket.
Finally she turned around and held out her elbow to Elena. The brunette settled her palm against the sinewy curve of her forearm, sending a skitter of warmth up into Jess’s chest.
What do you think?