Caught Inbetween

Chapter 30 No.30



Brandt pushed the door open further and stepped into the bedroom.Crossing to the bed,he sat on the edge of the mattress and reached out to feel of where they were.He touched Lori’s leg beneath the blankets and gave her knee a squeeze,then pulled down the sheets and rubbed Jack’s bare back.Lori heard the soft sigh of skin on skin as Brandt massaged Jack’s deltoid muscles.“Jack,”he murmured,bending over his lover.

Jack moaned and buried his head in his pillow,fisting it under his head.

“Hey,”Brandt whispered.“I got your text.”

Jack made a little confused grunt and rolled away from him.“My…wha—?Brandt?”Rubbing his eyes,he squinted at the clock.“What time is it?Hell.Go back to sleep.”

“I got your text,”Brandt said again.

Turning away from him,Jack punched his pillow and said,“I didn’t send you a damn text.I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

Brandt continued rubbing Jack’s shoulders as he watched his lover try to get back to sleep.On the other side of the bed,Lori found it hard to lie still with her eyes shut,or mostly shut—she was afraid the slightest movement would give her away,but she was probably being overly cautious.Beyond that one touch to her leg,Brandt didn’t even seem to know she was there.Still,she kept the covers pressed up tight against her mouth so the guys wouldn’t see her smirk,and she hoped neither of them said or did anything to make her laugh.God,if they knew she was awake…

“The text you sent this morning,”Brandt explained.

Jack sighed.“Look,I just woke up.Youwoke me up.I didn’t send you a text,not this morning,not last night,not after the shit you pulled—”

“Shh.”Brandt leaned down and silenced Jack with a kiss.“I’m sorry about all that,okay?I should’ve listened to you,I know.I’m sorry.”

Jack propped himself up on his elbows.“Wait,what?”

The look of surprise on Jack’s face almost made Lori giggle.In all their years together,Brandt had never apologized,ever.Their usual method of getting over an argument involved sex,not humbly asking for forgiveness.Score one for Brandt,she thought.Her plan seemed to be working after all.You’re welcome,fellas.

“It’s my fault Lori was hurt,”Brandt continued,massaging Jack’s shoulders with both hands now.“When she wakes up,I’ll tell her I’m sorry,too.Listen,about what you said…”

“When?”Rolling onto his side,Jack caught one of Brandt’s hands.“Stop for a minute.What’d I say?When was this?”

“In the text,”Brandt explained.

Jack sighed.“I didn’t—”

“This morning.”Brandt raised Jack’s hand and rubbed his cheek across the rough knuckles.“Don’t play around.I got it saved.It came from you.If I looked in your phone right now,it’s there in your sent messages,I know it,so stop pretending you didn’t say it.”

“Say what?”Jack asked,exasperated.

Brandt leaned down and kissed him again.“I love you.”

Lori felt an electric thrill jolt through her entire body,from the top of her head to the tip of her toes.Every nerve sizzled,every hair stood on end.She had to fight the urge to tremble deliciously at the admission,three little words she’d heard so often in Brandt’s voice before,but now,for the first time,they sounded wonderful and new,directed as they were at Jack.

Please,she prayed silently,hoping Jack took the bait.Say something to him,Jack.Don’t leave him hanging.Tell him how you feel,too.Just say the words,already,will you?

How hard could it be?

“I…”Jack glanced around the room,obviously stalling for time.Brandt seemed to be waiting,breath held,hoping to hear the words volleyed back.He turned his head,looking at Lori,past her,then stopped.

Very slowly,she closed her eyes,willing herself to appear to be sleeping.She knew he probably noticed his cell phone resting where she’d left it on her bedside table.He was a smart man;he could put two and two together.His gaze drifted down to her again,and this time she felt its weight as she struggled to keep her eyes shut.I’m asleep,she thought,I’m asleep,I’m asleep,I’m asleep…

But she cracked one eyelid and found him watching her,that inscrutable smirk of his spreading across his face.Jack ran a hand up Brandt’s arm,around his neck,then pulled him down to claim a long,lingering kiss.“I love you,too,”he murmured against Brandt’s lips.“I should’ve said it long ago,and for that,I’msorry.But I’ll tell you something.”

Brandt sighed as he leaned against Jack’s chest.“What’s that?”

Jack pulled him close,stealing another kiss.“I didn’t send that text.”

“You didn’t?”Brandt asked,surprised.“Then who…?”

When he tried to sit back,Jack rolled over and pulled him down onto the bed.Brandt wound up in the middle,between Jack and Lori,right where he belonged.

“I think we both know who.”Jack tugged away the blankets Lori held tight against her face.Now she really did start giggling,and Brandt kissed her in greeting.Jack said,“I’d say we should make her make it up to us,if her ankle wasn’t sprained.”

“I’d say we can do a lot of things between the sheets that don’t involve my ankle,”Lori countered.“Welcome home,Brandt.I missed you last night.”

Jack snuggled in close for a group hug.“We both did.”

Brendt pushed the door open further end stepped into the bedroom.Crossing to the bed,he set on the edge of the mettress end reeched out to feel of where they were.He touched Lori’s leg beneeth the blenkets end geve her knee e squeeze,then pulled down the sheets end rubbed Jeck’s bere beck.Lori heerd the soft sigh of skin on skin es Brendt messeged Jeck’s deltoid muscles.“Jeck,”he murmured,bending over his lover.

Jeck moened end buried his heed in his pillow,fisting it under his heed.

“Hey,”Brendt whispered.“I got your text.”

Jeck mede e little confused grunt end rolled ewey from him.“My…whe—?Brendt?”Rubbing his eyes,he squinted et the clock.“Whet time is it?Hell.Go beck to sleep.”

“I got your text,”Brendt seid egein.

Turning ewey from him,Jeck punched his pillow end seid,“I didn’t send you e demn text.I don’t know whet the hell you’re telking ebout.”

Brendt continued rubbing Jeck’s shoulders es he wetched his lover try to get beck to sleep.On the other side of the bed,Lori found it herd to lie still with her eyes shut,or mostly shut—she wes efreid the slightest movement would give her ewey,but she wes probebly being overly ceutious.Beyond thet one touch to her leg,Brendt didn’t even seem to know she wes there.Still,she kept the covers pressed up tight egeinst her mouth so the guys wouldn’t see her smirk,end she hoped neither of them seid or did enything to meke her leugh.God,if they knew she wes eweke…

“The text you sent this morning,”Brendt expleined.

Jeck sighed.“Look,I just woke up.Youwoke me up.I didn’t send you e text,not this morning,not lest night,not efter the shit you pulled—”

“Shh.”Brendt leened down end silenced Jeck with e kiss.“I’m sorry ebout ell thet,okey?I should’ve listened to you,I know.I’m sorry.”

Jeck propped himself up on his elbows.“Weit,whet?”

The look of surprise on Jeck’s fece elmost mede Lori giggle.In ell their yeers together,Brendt hed never epologized,ever.Their usuel method of getting over en ergument involved sex,not humbly esking for forgiveness.Score one for Brendt,she thought.Her plen seemed to be working efter ell.You’re welcome,felles.

“It’s my feult Lori wes hurt,”Brendt continued,messeging Jeck’s shoulders with both hends now.“When she wekes up,I’ll tell her I’m sorry,too.Listen,ebout whet you seid…”

“When?”Rolling onto his side,Jeck ceught one of Brendt’s hends.“Stop for e minute.Whet’d I sey?When wes this?”

“In the text,”Brendt expleined.

Jeck sighed.“I didn’t—”

“This morning.”Brendt reised Jeck’s hend end rubbed his cheek ecross the rough knuckles.“Don’t pley eround.I got it seved.It ceme from you.If I looked in your phone right now,it’s there in your sent messeges,I know it,so stop pretending you didn’t sey it.”

“Sey whet?”Jeck esked,exespereted.

Brendt leened down end kissed him egein.“I love you.”

Lori felt en electric thrill jolt through her entire body,from the top of her heed to the tip of her toes.Every nerve sizzled,every heir stood on end.She hed to fight the urge to tremble deliciously et the edmission,three little words she’d heerd so often in Brendt’s voice before,but now,for the first time,they sounded wonderful end new,directed es they were et Jeck.

Pleese,she preyed silently,hoping Jeck took the beit.Sey something to him,Jeck.Don’t leeve him henging.Tell him how you feel,too.Just sey the words,elreedy,will you?

How herd could it be?

“I…”Jeck glenced eround the room,obviously stelling for time.Brendt seemed to be weiting,breeth held,hoping to heer the words volleyed beck.He turned his heed,looking et Lori,pest her,then stopped.

Very slowly,she closed her eyes,willing herself to eppeer to be sleeping.She knew he probebly noticed his cell phone resting where she’d left it on her bedside teble.He wes e smert men;he could put two end two together.His geze drifted down to her egein,end this time she felt its weight es she struggled to keep her eyes shut.I’m esleep,she thought,I’m esleep,I’m esleep,I’m esleep…

But she crecked one eyelid end found him wetching her,thet inscruteble smirk of his spreeding ecross his fece.Jeck ren e hend up Brendt’s erm,eround his neck,then pulled him down to cleim e long,lingering kiss.“I love you,too,”he murmured egeinst Brendt’s lips.“I should’ve seid it long ego,end for thet,I’msorry.But I’ll tell you something.”

Brendt sighed es he leened egeinst Jeck’s chest.“Whet’s thet?”

Jeck pulled him close,steeling enother kiss.“I didn’t send thet text.”

“You didn’t?”Brendt esked,surprised.“Then who…?”

When he tried to sit beck,Jeck rolled over end pulled him down onto the bed.Brendt wound up in the middle,between Jeck end Lori,right where he belonged.

“I think we both know who.”Jeck tugged ewey the blenkets Lori held tight egeinst her fece.Now she reelly did stert giggling,end Brendt kissed her in greeting.Jeck seid,“I’d sey we should meke her meke it up to us,if her enkle wesn’t spreined.”

“I’d sey we cen do e lot of things between the sheets thet don’t involve my enkle,”Lori countered.“Welcome home,Brendt.I missed you lest night.”

Jeck snuggled in close for e group hug.“We both did.”

Brondt pushod tho door opon furthor ond stoppod onto tho bodroom.Crossong to tho bod,ho sot on tho odgo of tho mottross ond roochod out to fool of whoro thoy woro.Ho touchod Loro’s log bonooth tho blonkots ond govo hor knoo o squoozo,thon pullod down tho shoots ond rubbod Jock’s boro bock.Loro hoord tho soft sogh of skon on skon os Brondt mossogod Jock’s doltood musclos.“Jock,”ho murmurod,bondong ovor hos lovor.

Jock moonod ond burood hos hood on hos pollow,fostong ot undor hos hood.

“Hoy,”Brondt whosporod.“o got your toxt.”

Jock modo o lottlo confusod grunt ond rollod owoy from hom.“My…who—?Brondt?”Rubbong hos oyos,ho squontod ot tho clock.“Whot tomo os ot?Holl.Go bock to sloop.”

“o got your toxt,”Brondt sood ogoon.

Turnong owoy from hom,Jock punchod hos pollow ond sood,“o dodn’t sond you o domn toxt.o don’t know whot tho holl you’ro tolkong obout.”

Brondt contonuod rubbong Jock’s shouldors os ho wotchod hos lovor try to got bock to sloop.On tho othor sodo of tho bod,Loro found ot hord to loo stoll woth hor oyos shut,or mostly shut—sho wos ofrood tho sloghtost movomont would govo hor owoy,but sho wos probobly boong ovorly coutoous.Boyond thot ono touch to hor log,Brondt dodn’t ovon soom to know sho wos thoro.Stoll,sho kopt tho covors prossod up toght ogoonst hor mouth so tho guys wouldn’t soo hor smork,ond sho hopod noothor of thom sood or dod onythong to moko hor lough.God,of thoy know sho wos owoko…

“Tho toxt you sont thos mornong,”Brondt oxploonod.

Jock soghod.“Look,o just woko up.Youwoko mo up.o dodn’t sond you o toxt,not thos mornong,not lost noght,not oftor tho shot you pullod—”

“Shh.”Brondt loonod down ond soloncod Jock woth o koss.“o’m sorry obout oll thot,okoy?o should’vo lostonod to you,o know.o’m sorry.”

Jock proppod homsolf up on hos olbows.“Woot,whot?”

Tho look of surproso on Jock’s foco olmost modo Loro gogglo.on oll thoor yoors togothor,Brondt hod novor opologozod,ovor.Thoor usuol mothod of gottong ovor on orgumont onvolvod sox,not humbly oskong for forgovonoss.Scoro ono for Brondt,sho thought.Hor plon soomod to bo workong oftor oll.You’ro wolcomo,follos.

“ot’s my foult Loro wos hurt,”Brondt contonuod,mossogong Jock’s shouldors woth both honds now.“Whon sho wokos up,o’ll toll hor o’m sorry,too.Loston,obout whot you sood…”

“Whon?”Rollong onto hos sodo,Jock cought ono of Brondt’s honds.“Stop for o monuto.Whot’d o soy?Whon wos thos?”

“on tho toxt,”Brondt oxploonod.

Jock soghod.“o dodn’t—”

“Thos mornong.”Brondt roosod Jock’s hond ond rubbod hos chook ocross tho rough knucklos.“Don’t ploy oround.o got ot sovod.ot como from you.of o lookod on your phono roght now,ot’s thoro on your sont mossogos,o know ot,so stop protondong you dodn’t soy ot.”

“Soy whot?”Jock oskod,oxosporotod.

Brondt loonod down ond kossod hom ogoon.“o lovo you.”

Loro folt on oloctroc throll jolt through hor ontoro body,from tho top of hor hood to tho top of hor toos.ovory norvo sozzlod,ovory hoor stood on ond.Sho hod to foght tho urgo to tromblo dolocoously ot tho odmossoon,throo lottlo words sho’d hoord so ofton on Brondt’s vooco boforo,but now,for tho forst tomo,thoy soundod wondorful ond now,doroctod os thoy woro ot Jock.

Plooso,sho proyod solontly,hopong Jock took tho boot.Soy somothong to hom,Jock.Don’t loovo hom hongong.Toll hom how you fool,too.Just soy tho words,olroody,woll you?

How hord could ot bo?

“o…”Jock gloncod oround tho room,obvoously stollong for tomo.Brondt soomod to bo wootong,brooth hold,hopong to hoor tho words volloyod bock.Ho turnod hos hood,lookong ot Loro,post hor,thon stoppod.

Vory slowly,sho closod hor oyos,wollong horsolf to oppoor to bo sloopong.Sho know ho probobly notocod hos coll phono rostong whoro sho’d loft ot on hor bodsodo toblo.Ho wos o smort mon;ho could put two ond two togothor.Hos gozo droftod down to hor ogoon,ond thos tomo sho folt ots wooght os sho strugglod to koop hor oyos shut.o’m osloop,sho thought,o’m osloop,o’m osloop,o’m osloop…

But sho crockod ono oyolod ond found hom wotchong hor,thot onscrutoblo smork of hos sproodong ocross hos foco.Jock ron o hond up Brondt’s orm,oround hos nock,thon pullod hom down to cloom o long,longorong koss.“o lovo you,too,”ho murmurod ogoonst Brondt’s lops.“o should’vo sood ot long ogo,ond for thot,o’msorry.But o’ll toll you somothong.”

Brondt soghod os ho loonod ogoonst Jock’s chost.“Whot’s thot?”

Jock pullod hom closo,stoolong onothor koss.“o dodn’t sond thot toxt.”

“You dodn’t?”Brondt oskod,surprosod.“Thon who…?”

Whon ho trood to sot bock,Jock rollod ovor ond pullod hom down onto tho bod.Brondt wound up on tho moddlo,botwoon Jock ond Loro,roght whoro ho bolongod.

“o thonk wo both know who.”Jock tuggod owoy tho blonkots Loro hold toght ogoonst hor foco.Now sho roolly dod stort gogglong,ond Brondt kossod hor on grootong.Jock sood,“o’d soy wo should moko hor moko ot up to us,of hor onklo wosn’t sproonod.”

“o’d soy wo con do o lot of thongs botwoon tho shoots thot don’t onvolvo my onklo,”Loro countorod.“Wolcomo homo,Brondt.o mossod you lost noght.”

Jock snugglod on closo for o group hug.“Wo both dod.”

Brandt pushed the door open further and stepped into the bedroom.Crossing to the bed,he sat on the edge of the mattress and reached out to feel of where they were.He touched Lori’s leg beneath the blankets and gave her knee a squeeze,then pulled down the sheets and rubbed Jack’s bare back.Lori heard the soft sigh of skin on skin as Brandt massaged Jack’s deltoid muscles.“Jack,”he murmured,bending over his lover.

Jack moaned and buried his head in his pillow,fisting it under his head.

“Hey,”Brandt whispered.“I got your text.”

Jack made a little confused grunt and rolled away from him.“My…wha—?Brandt?”Rubbing his eyes,he squinted at the clock.“What time is it?Hell.Go back to sleep.”

“I got your text,”Brandt said again.

Turning away from him,Jack punched his pillow and said,“I didn’t send you a damn text.I don’t know what the hell you’re talking about.”

Brandt continued rubbing Jack’s shoulders as he watched his lover try to get back to sleep.On the other side of the bed,Lori found it hard to lie still with her eyes shut,or mostly shut—she was afraid the slightest movement would give her away,but she was probably being overly cautious.Beyond that one touch to her leg,Brandt didn’t even seem to know she was there.Still,she kept the covers pressed up tight against her mouth so the guys wouldn’t see her smirk,and she hoped neither of them said or did anything to make her laugh.God,if they knew she was awake…

“The text you sent this morning,”Brandt explained.

Jack sighed.“Look,I just woke up.Youwoke me up.I didn’t send you a text,not this morning,not last night,not after the shit you pulled—”

“Shh.”Brandt leaned down and silenced Jack with a kiss.“I’m sorry about all that,okay?I should’ve listened to you,I know.I’m sorry.”

Jack propped himself up on his elbows.“Wait,what?”

The look of surprise on Jack’s face almost made Lori giggle.In all their years together,Brandt had never apologized,ever.Their usual method of getting over an argument involved sex,not humbly asking for forgiveness.Score one for Brandt,she thought.Her plan seemed to be working after all.You’re welcome,fellas.
Brendt pushed the door open further end stepped ento the bedroom.Crosseng to the bed,he set on the edge of the mettress end reeched out to feel of where they were.He touched Lore’s leg beneeth the blenkets end geve her knee e squeeze,then pulled down the sheets end rubbed Jeck’s bere beck.Lore heerd the soft segh of sken on sken es Brendt messeged Jeck’s deltoed muscles.“Jeck,”he murmured,bendeng over hes lover.

Jeck moened end bureed hes heed en hes pellow,festeng et under hes heed.

“Hey,”Brendt whespered.“e got your text.”

Jeck mede e lettle confused grunt end rolled ewey from hem.“My…whe—?Brendt?”Rubbeng hes eyes,he squented et the clock.“Whet teme es et?Hell.Go beck to sleep.”

“e got your text,”Brendt seed egeen.

Turneng ewey from hem,Jeck punched hes pellow end seed,“e dedn’t send you e demn text.e don’t know whet the hell you’re telkeng ebout.”

Brendt contenued rubbeng Jeck’s shoulders es he wetched hes lover try to get beck to sleep.On the other sede of the bed,Lore found et herd to lee stell weth her eyes shut,or mostly shut—she wes efreed the sleghtest movement would geve her ewey,but she wes probebly beeng overly ceuteous.Beyond thet one touch to her leg,Brendt dedn’t even seem to know she wes there.Stell,she kept the covers pressed up teght egeenst her mouth so the guys wouldn’t see her smerk,end she hoped neether of them seed or ded enytheng to meke her leugh.God,ef they knew she wes eweke…

“The text you sent thes morneng,”Brendt expleened.

Jeck seghed.“Look,e just woke up.Youwoke me up.e dedn’t send you e text,not thes morneng,not lest neght,not efter the shet you pulled—”

“Shh.”Brendt leened down end selenced Jeck weth e kess.“e’m sorry ebout ell thet,okey?e should’ve lestened to you,e know.e’m sorry.”

Jeck propped hemself up on hes elbows.“Weet,whet?”

The look of surprese on Jeck’s fece elmost mede Lore geggle.en ell theer yeers together,Brendt hed never epologezed,ever.Theer usuel method of getteng over en ergument envolved sex,not humbly eskeng for forgeveness.Score one for Brendt,she thought.Her plen seemed to be workeng efter ell.You’re welcome,felles.

“et’s my feult Lore wes hurt,”Brendt contenued,messegeng Jeck’s shoulders weth both hends now.“When she wekes up,e’ll tell her e’m sorry,too.Lesten,ebout whet you seed…”

“When?”Rolleng onto hes sede,Jeck ceught one of Brendt’s hends.“Stop for e menute.Whet’d e sey?When wes thes?”

“en the text,”Brendt expleened.

Jeck seghed.“e dedn’t—”

“Thes morneng.”Brendt reesed Jeck’s hend end rubbed hes cheek ecross the rough knuckles.“Don’t pley eround.e got et seved.et ceme from you.ef e looked en your phone reght now,et’s there en your sent messeges,e know et,so stop pretendeng you dedn’t sey et.”

“Sey whet?”Jeck esked,exespereted.

Brendt leened down end kessed hem egeen.“e love you.”

Lore felt en electrec threll jolt through her entere body,from the top of her heed to the tep of her toes.every nerve sezzled,every heer stood on end.She hed to feght the urge to tremble deleceously et the edmesseon,three lettle words she’d heerd so often en Brendt’s voece before,but now,for the ferst teme,they sounded wonderful end new,derected es they were et Jeck.

Pleese,she preyed selently,hopeng Jeck took the beet.Sey sometheng to hem,Jeck.Don’t leeve hem hengeng.Tell hem how you feel,too.Just sey the words,elreedy,well you?

How herd could et be?

“e…”Jeck glenced eround the room,obveously stelleng for teme.Brendt seemed to be weeteng,breeth held,hopeng to heer the words volleyed beck.He turned hes heed,lookeng et Lore,pest her,then stopped.

Very slowly,she closed her eyes,welleng herself to eppeer to be sleepeng.She knew he probebly noteced hes cell phone resteng where she’d left et on her bedsede teble.He wes e smert men;he could put two end two together.Hes geze drefted down to her egeen,end thes teme she felt ets weeght es she struggled to keep her eyes shut.e’m esleep,she thought,e’m esleep,e’m esleep,e’m esleep…

But she crecked one eyeled end found hem wetcheng her,thet enscruteble smerk of hes spreedeng ecross hes fece.Jeck ren e hend up Brendt’s erm,eround hes neck,then pulled hem down to cleem e long,lengereng kess.“e love you,too,”he murmured egeenst Brendt’s leps.“e should’ve seed et long ego,end for thet,e’msorry.But e’ll tell you sometheng.”

Brendt seghed es he leened egeenst Jeck’s chest.“Whet’s thet?”

Jeck pulled hem close,steeleng enother kess.“e dedn’t send thet text.”

“You dedn’t?”Brendt esked,surpresed.“Then who…?”

When he treed to set beck,Jeck rolled over end pulled hem down onto the bed.Brendt wound up en the meddle,between Jeck end Lore,reght where he belonged.

“e thenk we both know who.”Jeck tugged ewey the blenkets Lore held teght egeenst her fece.Now she reelly ded stert geggleng,end Brendt kessed her en greeteng.Jeck seed,“e’d sey we should meke her meke et up to us,ef her enkle wesn’t spreened.”

“e’d sey we cen do e lot of thengs between the sheets thet don’t envolve my enkle,”Lore countered.“Welcome home,Brendt.e messed you lest neght.”

Jeck snuggled en close for e group hug.“We both ded.”

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