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Strawberry Kisses

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Eliot slips out of the bed, taking care not to wake the other two occupants. He wants to surprise them with breakfast. The kitchen is quiet, the sun just starting to show it’s hand through the window. He wipes down the already clean counters, while he brainstorms what to make for them.

He’s drizzling the chocolate glaze on the mostly cooled triple chocolate scones when Parker strides in looking tousled and delicious. “I smell chocolate.”

Eliot smiles. He made the scones with her in mind. “They’re almost ready, take a seat.”

Parker takes a seat at the counter and Eliot grabs an oven mitt and takes the maple bacon biscuits out of the oven. They’re gonna have to cool a bit before he can serve them. He flips the switch on the coffee maker and gets three mugs out of the cabinet. Hardison stands in the doorway stretching and Eliot gets flashbacks from the night before. First time he’s ever gotten the good kind of flashbacks. He suppresses a smile and gives the other man a nod.

“Eliot’s making us breakfast”, Parker says.

Hardison smiles and takes a seat next to her. “Smells good.” Eliot turns to the fridge gets the strawberries ready. Hardison surveys the spread of food Eliot has so carefully prepared.“When did you get up, man?”

Eliot shrugs. “A while ago.” It had been hours. He hands Hardison the stack of plates. “Why don’t you two go set the table and I’ll bring the food on over?” He watches the two of them quietly arguing over silverware placement while he plates up the scones and biscuits. He had been worried that morning that things might be awkward, but it feels comfortable. The three of them, it just feels right. He has questions, but he’s not sure he’s ready to ask them yet.

They sit down and dig in. Parker declares the scones to be her favorite while Hardison sings his praises over the biscuits while licking his fingers clean. Eliot likes cooking for these two. He wants to be useful, to give them plenty of reasons to keep him around. He laughs to himself then covers it up with a scowl when Hardison looks at him, eyebrow raised. Eliot shakes his head. He’s not ready to have that conversation.

Parker says,“We should talk about rules.” Eliot gets up to refill his coffee.

“Parker’s right, we need to talk about last night,” Hardison says in-between bites of bacon.
“Are you eating the bacon off all the biscuits Hardison?” His voice comes out angrier than he means it to. Hardison either doesn’t notice or doesn’t care.

“Not all of it, don’t go trying to change the subject Eliot,” Hardison says.

“Who wants more coffee?” Eliot asks. He’s trying to buy time and he’s not even sure why. No one else wants a refill so he sits back down and takes a sip of his newly refilled brew. Hardison is looking at him and Parker is stuffing her face with strawberries dipped in chocolate. He smiles at her and Hardison clears his throat, loudly. “What?” Eliot says, sounding more annoyed than he feels.

“Rules”, Hardison says.

“Oh yeah, rules. I said that right?” says Parker.

“Yes, you did. Now we all need to make sure we’re on the same page.”

Eliot sighs and puts his mug down on the table. “You’re right.”

“Did he just say what I think he said?” Hardison says to Parker.

She smiles and gives Hardison a little nod. “He said you were right.”

Eliot leans back in his chair and waits for the two of them to stop making jokes at his expense and get to the point. He isn’t sure what this all means. The two of them are a couple and he’s not sure where that leaves him, other than with the memory of an amazing night. The three of them together, it was better than he could have imagined, blew all his fantasies out the window, and he’d been fantasizing for a while. But that’s all they were, he never thought he could have them for real. But now? Now, he had hope and as always with hope, fear came close on its’ heals.

“No cheating,” Parker says, her eyes locked on Eliot. “I don’t want to sound selfish, but I kinda have trust issues, so if you’re with us, then you’re with only us, okay?” Parker sounds worried. Like he’s gonna find something she said in all that disagreeable.

Eliot reaches out and touches her arm. “Does that mean you want me to be a part of all this, for more than just for one night?”

“All the nights,” Parker says. Hardison echoes her agreement with a smile and a “Yeah we do.”

“So is that the only rule?” Eliot asks. He’s got no problem being loyal to these two.

“Nah, that’s just the first rule. They’ll be other rules later” Hardison says.

“We can figure them out together, that’s another rule, we’re in this together so we have to make sure to talk to each other,” Parker says, sounding surer of herself now.

Eliot is more than fine with this. He may not love talking about his feelings, but these two were worth it.

“Communication is key,” Hardison says, reaching out his hand across the table.

Eliot grabs hold of the offered hand loving the way it feels. “I agree, though you two might need to remind me from time to time.”

“Me too, I don’t always remember, but Hardison usually reminds me.” Parker stands up and pops a strawberry in Eliot’s mouth before planting a kiss on him.

“Now you taste like strawberries.” Parker giggles. He finishes his strawberry and kisses her again. She tastes like chocolate. “Hey, hey, save some for me,” Hardison says. The three of them finish breakfast and then head back to the bedroom. The dishes can wait. They have more negotiations to work through and Eliot was going to enjoy every minute of it.