It’s been four months since we became a triad, as Karen calls it, or a triforce, as I like to call it, even if Jesse doesn’t get the reference. It’s been—good. Really good. I’m trying to let myself enjoy this for once in my life instead of questioning everything. Especially because there’s so much other shit going on now.
First major change is that we ditched Roxie and Kent. Motherfuckers still wanna work with the cops even after everything they’ve done. They’re so busy pleasing White people that they don’t realize they’re stepping on everyone else’s backs to kiss their asses. It’s absurd that New Angeles still has a police department at all, even if it is on its last legs.
Whatever. I’ve had dozens of conversations with Roxie and Kent, but they keep playing into model minority bullshit. I mean, I’d hate to be them. Poor suckers still think the world is fair. They find all kinds of ways to explain away the gaps and faults in the system. Two sides to every story; Devil’s advocate. I guess accepting that cops are useless would break their brains. We all have to have some kind of hope to cling to right now, and that one’s theirs—that the cops represent any kind of justice or fairness in the world.
Because Roxie and Kent still believe the cops can help them find their parents.
Well, best of luck to them. The last good cop, if such a thing exists, quit the NAPD a couple weeks ago. Ramiro Morales Medina. He’s working with some community organizations, which was how we got to know him and his girlfriend Constance. They’re sweet. Seem more wholesome than the three of us, at least. I’d almost think they were vanilla if not for the collar around Constance’s neck. It’s subtle, but it’s gotta have a lock of some kind. Ain’t a regular necklace.
So we’ve been keeping busy running errands and doing other odd jobs for them. Constance told us early on that she’s a werewolf, which I never would’ve expected, but I guess you can’t tell when it’s not the full moon. Shows how much I know about werewolves. Been learning a lot just watching Constance work to get lycan communities, especially immigrant ones, connected to resources and support. I figured immigrants would be having a tough time now, but I never thought about how being a werewolf would make everything that much harder.
There’s another thing I didn’t anticipate, that I couldn’t have known just by sight, like how I didn’t know Constance is a werewolf until she told me. It turns out Karen is nonbinary. Which doesn’t change much of the day-to-day stuff. She still uses the same name and pronouns. She just said that sometimes, she likes to be in a more masculine headspace, and that she often doesn’t feel like she fits what it means to be a woman. But I could say that of myself, too. The fuck does being masculine mean, anyway? Macho, is what I was taught, but I’ve never been that.
Still, I guess I don’t have to get it. I just said “okay” and asked some more questions, and she seemed happy with that. She also told me during that conversation that she’s Blasian. She passes more for Asian, but aside from talking about her family’s background, Karen doesn’t care for talking about race. (Constance, meanwhile, won’t shut up about it.) Me, I’m somewhere between the two of them. Aware of race, but in a background way, like a nightlight.
We’ve been settling into a rhythm, the three of us. Something easy and fluid. I never thought that love could feel like this: waking up next to the same people, fitting our lives around each other, opening up to one another. I thought I knew everything about Jesse, but turns out there’s some shit you might tell your girl that you won’t tell your homie. Though I guess I’m not just a friend anymore. Boyfriend? Doesn’t feel right, like how it’s starting to feel right to call Karen my girl. “Partner” isn’t it. Somehow “chavo” feels the most comfortable. It still means “boyfriend,” but… differently. More comfortably. Less likely for people to already have ideas about, maybe. I don’t know.
Words have never been my strong point. I didn’t know what to say when Jesse told me he has bipolar, either. He looked so nervous, though—something I rarely see him show. I wanted to say something before he mistook my silence for negativity. I shrugged, hoping that my words would come out reassuring instead of dismissive.
“Hey man, everyone’s battling something,” I said. “I’m depressed more often than not. I don’t think any different of you.”
A second passed. Then, I reached out and put a hand on his thigh, just to show him I was there. And when he ducked his head, a tell for him trying to hide his tears, I knew that that was enough.
Someone Constance works with has a cabin up in Big Bear and gave her an open invitation to use it. I swear, that girl has connects everywhere, but I guess that’s what happens when your job is talking to people. In any case, Constance and Ramiro wanted to stay in New Angeles to get some last-minute tasks done for their next rally. I offered to help, but Constance practically forced us to take a vacation—forced me, really. I will admit that I haven’t been sleeping much lately. I kept telling Constance she didn’t need to hook us up like this, but she insisted. It’s been a while since any of us got a proper vacation, so Karen and Jesse bullied me into taking her up on it.
The accident happens as we’re on the road to Big Bear. Weather’s just starting to cool down; snow dots the shrubs lining the road as Jesse’s Camaro zooms up the mountainside. Maybe he’s being reckless like he is sometimes and is going too fast. Maybe there’s a patch of ice we don’t see. Either way, we’re ramming into the guard rail, spinning; we nearly hit oncoming traffic. The Camaro swings into the mountain wall and creaks up onto its two driver-side wheels, right there on the cusp of flipping, before it crashes back down onto its tires, bouncing hard enough to make me feel like my head’s gonna be snapped off.
It’s a miracle no one’s hurt. Karen’s shaking and I feel faint, but nothing’s broken or bruised. Jesse can go into calm mode so fast it’s scary—I wonder now if that’s some kind of skill he’s developed to deal with the surges of emotion that he told me about. No one else was involved, so we don’t bother calling highway patrol. Cops wouldn’t be able to do jack shit for us anyway. But we’re close enough to Big Bear that we’ve got enough reception for Jesse to call a body shop in town able to repair a Chevy. Car’s busted up too bad for us to drive it any further, but we hitched a ride with the tow truck. Jesse makes some light conversation with the driver. He’s handling everything well, like he’s got a mask on.
But as soon as we get into the cabin, toe off our shoes, and set down our stuff, Jesse’s mask breaks.
“Fuck,” he says, collapsing into the couch and holding his head in his hands. “Fuck.”
“Hey,” Karen says, going immediately to his side. “We’re okay. You’re okay. Accidents happen.”
“No,” Jesse says, voice shaking. “I shouldn’t have been going that fast. I could’ve killed all of us.”
“Just don’t do it again,” Karen says, putting a hand on his shoulder. “You know I’ve told you to drive with more care. Take that to heart.”
Jesse scrubs a hand over his face. Runs it through his hair, agitated, only getting more so as Karen keeps trying to soothe him. Karen’s being sweet, but I know Jesse doesn’t respond to that kind of tenderness in moments like these. I stand in front of him, interrupting Karen as I meet his gaze and cross my arms over my chest.
“That’s right fuckwad, you almost killed us. For what—so you could feel badass for a couple seconds?” I sneer. “Nah, man. We’re too young to die.”
Jesse looks like he’s about to talk back, but he knows he’s got no defense. And I’m more aching and exhausted than angry. But this is what he expects of me, and how I know to respond to him; this is what will get him out of a self-hating spiral: me giving him a valve to vent his emotions. Sometimes it takes a fistfight to get his feelings out. Other times, all I have to do is look him in the eye long enough to break him down.
Today’s closer to the latter. The silence hangs between us for uncomfortably long. Karen looks like she’s about to say something, but I shoot her a look, and she shuts her mouth. Finally, Jesse lets out a long breath, his head hanging, tension still lining his neck and arms.
“Yeah,” he says, voice dipping to a murmur. “I know. I’m sorry.”
That’s the most I’m going to be able to get out of him, but it’s sincere, and it’s what Karen and I need to hear. So I uncross my arms and sit on his other side.
“How long until the repairs are done?” I ask.
“Three days,” Jesse replies.
“So,” Karen says, a familiar smile unfurling over lips, “Just us, stuck in a cabin for a few days?”
“Yeah,” Jesse says, chuckling. “Could be worse.”
“Could it?” I say. Jesse elbows me in the side, hard, which is how I know he’s okay.
The cabin has that kind of generic rustic decor that I love. Walls visibly made of wood; landscape paintings here and there, an actual working fireplace with iron grates, a longhorn skull mounted over the hearth, area rugs woven with ragged stripes of color, modest armchairs with cushions in various patterns, everything in earth tones. It’s so generic that I’d think it’s an HGTV model home to show prospective White customers, but the magazines on the coffee table are in Chinese, which is unsurprising, knowing Constance. I’m pretty sure she has only one White friend. Maybe.
Karen turns on the TV and goes straight for Netflix. Typical. She settles on Venom, and I know we’re only watching the movie so we all have something to take our mind off of things. Jesse’s still feeling tense, his fists clenched, his leg jiggling and restless. Karen’s noticed too. She tries to snuggle the anxiety out of him. I know I’m welcome to lean against Jesse’s shoulder now, take in his aftershave mingled with sweat and a trace of laundry detergent; I know I’m free to touch him with more intimacy and affection. Still, I hesitate before I place my hand over his and will his hand to relax. Soon, his palm is pressed against mine, our fingers intertwined. Maybe I’m imagining it, but his pulse seems to slow, as if I’m calming him down—a thought that makes my own heart race.
There’s always been something horny about Venom. If I were to be immature about it, I’d say it’s the tongue, but even that doesn’t explain it all. As Eddie and Venom tear up the streets of San Francisco and I keep Jesse’s hand in mine, I wonder if it’s the fact that Venom can be so fully inside someone, something that sex can only begin to approximate. How does it feel to be so comfortable with someone that you can share a skin, a mind? Fuck if I’m comfortable even sharing one feeling with Jesse and Karen without them yanking it out of me like an ingrown hair. I wonder, too, as Venom and Eddie reunite, whether what I have with Jesse and Karen is anywhere near that intense. I mean, we’ve been outrunning the apocalypse together, but most of the time, life is nowhere near the chaos of an action movie. Most days we spend rebuilding. Most days, the only demons we fight are our own.
The final battle scene between Venom and Riot begins. I’ve always loved this part. CGI that doesn’t even try to be realistic, which makes it work that much better. At some point, Jesse’s hand slips from mine; I absently rest my hand on his thigh instead, my eyes still glued on the screen. I only notice as a sequence of more and more exaggerated explosions happen that Jesse and Karen are making out.
I’ve already seen Venom six times.
This is far more interesting.
Karen has a hand up Jesse’s shirt as she kisses him, her slender fingers gliding over the hair on his stomach. My breath catches in my throat as Jesse’s tongue slides over her lips, leaves them gleaming and wet. She laughs, just once, breathy and light, as she opens her eyes, and looks over Jesse’s shoulder, right at me.
“What?” she says, grinning.
I roll my eyes.
“Can’t blame me for enjoying the show.”
I let my eyes show their hunger, that constant gnawing in my gut, desire low and coiled. Karen’s top is cut low enough to show the swell of her pillow-soft breasts. She must’ve taken off her bra at some point, because her nipples are visible under the clingy fabric, two peaks that I want to take between my teeth, bite down on as if they’re gold. But when Jesse turns back to meet my gaze, it’s the look in his eyes that sets off that coil in me, turns it into a cobra ready to strike. His eyes are half-lidded, his lips parted. In that moment, he’s not acting tough, not trying to protect me or Karen, not trying to be anything but just another human thrumming with want.
“Suavecito,” I say, invoking a pleased smile. I don’t get a chance to take in the sight. I’ve already leaned in to kiss Jesse. My stubble scratches against his as I bite his lower lip raw. I break the kiss, giving myself a second to see how fat and flushed I’ve made Jesse’s lips, before I press in for a deeper kiss, one that leaves Jesse gasping, murmuring my name into my mouth.
“Fuck,” I whisper. “Goddamn.”
I’m hard, but I don’t want to push Jesse or Karen. Can’t think with my dick. Gotta remember that we’re all still shaken up. Maybe they’re not in the mood.
So Jesse’s next words are unexpected, bowling me over like a strike.
“Are you up for domming?” he says to Karen.
“Sure,” she says, then glances over at me. “What about Ronnie?”
“Fuck, I don’t know if I can handle two doms,” Jesse says, but it sounds more like a challenge than a complaint. Any surprise I have vanishes as a million of my fantasies play out in my head at once. Goosebumps break out over my skin. When I meet Jesse’s eyes, I know I’m holding myself differently, that I’m already going into a different headspace.
“Then we should talk about limits, shouldn’t we?” I say smoothly.
Karen nods in agreement.
“Ronnie doesn’t know your safewords,” she adds.
It’s true; we’ve fucked dozens of times since we became a triforce, but it’s all been vanilla stuff. We haven’t had the energy for more involved play.
“‘Mercy’ for slow down, and ‘basta’ for stop,” Jesse says. It’s awe-inspiring to see the way Jesse’s whole demeanor changes, how he becomes more willing to comply.
“You want the flogger?” Karen says, getting up off the couch and striding over to her duffel bag by the door.
“Yes,” Jesse replies. Karen unzips the duffel and pulls out a leather flogger, solidly made, hefty. She tests its weight, tossing it from one hand to the next, before turning to smile at Jesse again.
“And my cock?” she says.
Jesse hesitates, eyes flitting over to me for a moment before he nods.
There’s a jingling of metal against metal as Karen pulls a few more things out of the duffel bag. She strips off her shorts and panties and fits the strap-on harness around her, the leather snug against her hips and thighs, leaving her ass and pussy bare. When she turns around, she’s got a purple dick jutting out from her crotch. She still has her clingy T-shirt on and her hair’s beginning to come out of its bun, making for that kind of effortless sex kitten look that she works beautifully. As she crosses the room back to us, the cock bobs with her steps. I can’t help but stare, wondering what it would feel like to be fucked by Karen. I’ve always been the one doing the topping, but I’d gladly bottom for her.
But Jesse’s my focus today. I know him. Even if Karen and I have forgiven him, his mind is loud with a dozen other voices telling him again and again that he fucked up, that he’s worthless. And I can tell I’m walking into something he’s already got with Karen. She gives him a valve, too, but a different one than what he has with me. Her knack is for naming feelings and picking apart the knots of emotion that choke all three of us. And she can transform those feelings into something else—contemplation, action, catharsis. I’m walking into the sacredness of this space, where Jesse feels safe enough showing the vulnerability and weaknesses that he’d never shown me, out of sheer masculine pride.
Karen gestures for Jesse to get off the couch. He obliges, kneels on the area rug as Karen slides into his still-warm seat. She spreads her legs, lets her cock jut out, smirks as she leans in to hold Jesse’s chin with a finger and thumb.
“Papi’s gonna take care of you today,” she says, eliciting a tremble of desire from Jesse. “Got it, mijo?”
“Yeah,” he says, eyes widened as he drinks in Karen’s attention.
“And Ronnie’s going to help me do that,” she says. She meets my eyes and pats the cushion beside her. “Come here, baby. Take my seat.”
Damn, the domme energy Karen radiates is intense. I’d gotten a taste of it before, but in fast and loose play, nothing as structured as what’s going down now. I’m familiar with BDSM, but I’ll admit I don’t have much experience with it. I’m happy to let Karen take the lead. I take her seat as she stands. I’m still fully clothed, and I like it that way, especially as Karen commands Jesse to strip.
“Now,” she adds with a snap.
Jesse’s always been methodical about his appearance. You think he wouldn’t be, since he dresses so casual, but take a closer look and you can tell that his beard is always soft, conditioned with beard oil, and his eyebrows are plucked just enough to define their shape. He’s just as meticulous now as he unbuttons his plaid shirt, his fingertips square and masculine. He tugs the shirt off and shakes it out so it doesn’t wrinkle, tosses it onto the coffee table where it won’t be stepped on. His white undershirt follows, then his shorts, his briefs, his socks. All his tattoos are on display, including the stick-and-poke he got on a dare when we were thirteen. I sweep my eyes over him appreciatively. A drop of pre-cum wells on the tip of his hard cock like nectar.
“On your knees,” Karen says, now standing behind Jesse. “Put your hands on the sofa, right there between Ronnie’s legs. I want him to see how pretty you look when you’re being a good little painslut.”
He does as she says. Amazing. I’ve never seen him follow orders without question. But, then again, I too would follow any command that falls out of Karen’s mouth.
She twirls the flogger a few times, her eyes scanning over Jesse as if to calculate which spots would be most effective for her blows. She starts with a soft one against his ass, the tails of the flogger kissing his skin as they cling to his cheeks, then fall away, revealing a faint, rosy print. Jesse’s looking at the ground, bracing himself. Karen’s words echo in my mind as I tug Jesse up by his hair.
“Look up at me and count the blows, cabrón,” I hiss. He looks for a second like he might spit a curse back at me, but then he blinks, and the defiance in his eyes melts away to submission, sweet and dark, heady and addictive, like a fine cigar.
“Sí, mi querido,” he says. I’m embarrassed by how my body lights up at hearing the term, how a smile breaks out on my face, how warmth rushes through me. My heart’s about ready to burst out of my ribcage, but I will myself to keep the dom veneer on and contain how pleased I am.
“Qué lindo,” I say, cupping his face in one hand. He nuzzles into my palm, the gesture delicate and intimate, a breath of gentleness before Karen lands the next blow, harder than the first.
“One,” Jesse says with a wince.
“No, no,” she says. “It’s quiz time. You still remember the numbers in Chinese?”
Jesse shoots her a look over his shoulder.
She holds up a finger, cutting him off.
“Daddy, papi, or sir.”
Jesse corrects himself.
“Good,” Karen says. “Now, how many was that?”
“Good!” Karen says, rewarding him with another smack, one that makes his ass jiggle.
“Èr,” Jesse says, his voice riding the edge between a whine and a moan. Fucking gorgeous, the way his expression softens, becomes something more real, like I’ve been looking at a painting my whole life, and tonight’s the first time I’m seeing the model in the flesh. I wonder why he ever hid this part of himself from me, but I’m so damn glad I can witness it now. No doubt he has his reasons. I’m sure he and Karen have had heart-to-hearts about his needs and hers. I see whispers of it in the way Karen considers him, as if to make sure he’s okay before she lands another blow, this one a loud crack, one that makes Jesse’s whole body flinch and shy away from the leather.
“Sān,” he gasps.
The impact play only intensifies from there. As Jesse counts sì, wǔ, liù, I become more and more deeply entranced with how much he can take. I’ve always known he’s tough and has a high pain tolerance, but it never occurred to me that he might get off to it. It’s not violent, not like the punches we’ve thrown at each other, more like a ritual of some kind. I’m a coward when it comes to pain, but even if I don’t get what it does for Jesse, I know that it’s doing something—his cheeks are flushed; sweat beads on his brow like dew. He looks up and meets my eyes as if he’s trying to find in me some kind of refuge. The rawness of that gaze makes my heart want to burst. The trust in it, the validation that we do have something that runs deep, that he can find safety in… I lean in and kiss him, infusing the gesture with all these thoughts I’d never be able to articulate. He cries the next numbers—qī, bā, jiǔ, shí—into my mouth, and I swallow the baritone of his voice down, like he’s the water I desperately need.
Karen sets aside the flogger and runs her hands over Jesse’s bare ass, making him quake as she grazes his skin with her nails.
“Guāi,” she says. “I’ll be nice. I won’t make you count to a hundred.”
She opens a bottle of lube and squeezes a generous amount into her hand.
“Get up. I want you against the wall.”
Jesse presses his hands to the wall, turns his face to rest on the smooth wood, watches as Karen works the lube all over her cock. Then, she runs her slick palm from his taint to his tailbone, takes a moment to press two fingertips against his hole. I can’t help but feel like a voyeur, except this time, they both know how much I love to watch them fuck. Jesse fucking Karen or Karen fucking Jesse, I’ll take it all. I unbuckle my belt, unzip my jeans just enough to tug out my cock. Damn, Karen already has an incredible ass, but the leather straps accentuate it even more. As she leans forward to murmur something into Jesse’s ear, I catch a glimpse of her pussy: glistening wet.
Karen slides one finger, then two into Jesse. My palm slides over my head; I stroke my frenulum just as Karen curls her fingers inside Jesse, coaxing a moan out of him. The bigass eagle backpiece Jesse has is on full display, its claws just shy of his ass. I catch a glimpse of the black lines on Karen’s back, too, but not enough.
“Karen,” I say, keeping my hand still, except for my thumb circling around the head of my cock. “Take off your shirt.”
She lifts the top up and over her head and tosses it aside like it’s a nuisance. She doesn’t turn to look at me. She keeps her attention on Jesse, giving me the chance to admire the ink on her back, wrought by an exorcism: a sigil of protection. Some deeper feeling I’m not sure how to name streaks through me like a comet through a new moon night. The cabin doesn’t have overhead lighting, though it does have dim lamps scattered throughout. The warm light from the only two we have on softens the shadows, turns the muscles and sinew of Jesse’s back into suggestions of form, captures only the broad strokes of their silhouettes. The blue light from the TV to their left—the credits have long since finished, and the screen is now alternating between various ads—outlines their shapes, like neon edging their figures.
“You’re doing so good, baby,” Karen says as she works another finger into Jesse. His breath hitches as he draws his shoulderblades tight. The eagle’s wings come together as well. Karen plants a kiss between them, murmuring encouraging words as his moans become more wrecked. God. Watching Jesse bottom stirs up a wild tempest of uncanniness and gratification in my gut. I recall the way he hesitated, looked at me for a second, as if to ask himself whether I was truly safe—whether I’d think that him liking anal from his girl makes him less of a man.
As if. I can’t think of another time when I’ve seen Jesse so fully embody masculinity. A softer masculinity, one outside of the machismo we grew up with, one that doesn’t rely on toxicity and abuse. Soft not because he’s bottoming, but because he’s being real; soft because he’s confident enough to give Karen power, to let himself show how much pleasure and sensation he’s experiencing as his face contorts into expressions of bliss. He is feeling, fully and wholly, everything that I’ve ever felt, but kept in my heart.
“Dámelo,” he breathes, just loud enough for me to hear. Fuck. He sounds so lusty, voice husky and rough as he touches his forehead to the wall, takes a deep breath, chest wide as he tilts his head and looks past Karen to catch my eye. Desire pulses through me like a bomb, sends shockwaves through my limbs, has me clutching harder at my cock, turns everything ruby-dark and carnal. God, I wish it were me behind him right now, but Karen’s the one running the scene. Jesse holds my gaze, a spark of defiance in his eyes, like he’s daring me to watch and take in every detail, like he wants to know just how wild he’s driving me as he bites off a groan and takes Karen’s cock.
Wild enough that I have to take my hand off my cock for a second and let it pulse as I ride out waves of want.
Karen enters Jesse slowly, reminds him to breathe as she drizzles lube straight onto his ass, lets it run down between his cheeks to pool on her cock. She slicks him deeper with every thrust. His brow furrows with pleasure as he closes his eyes and focuses on the sensation, his fingers splaying out against the timber as his chest heaves.
“Fuck, papi,” he groans. A bolt of lightning goes straight to my dick and sets the rest of my body on fire. He means it for Karen, but just hearing him say that, knowing that every fantasy I’ve had isn’t just a possibility, but can become a reality; isn’t just the desperate hoping of a guy who’s so lonely he’d fuck his best friend, but a validation of the fact that what I feel can be reciprocated… fuck. I learned pretty quick that Jesse’s also bi when he shoved his dick down my throat, and now I’m mystified by why it took either of us this long to say anything about our common attraction to men out loud. Figures that it took getting a girl involved for us to both admit we’re not straight.
Karen takes her time, lets her cock drag against Jesse, has him murmuring dámelo like it’s the only thing he remembers how to say. I keep my own hand slow, imagining if that were me, my hand squeezing his ass, my cock driving deep in him. A thrill runs through me, seeking every nerve ending as I then realize the question isn’t if Jesse’d ever bottom for me, but when.
“Ronnie,” Karen says, piercing through the veil of filthy images billowing through my mind. “Come here.”
It’s not the first time I’ve wondered if she can read my mind. She pauses, leaves her cock in Jesse and lets him squirm against it as she turns her head to address me.
“You were looking kind of lonely,” she says, reaching out with her left hand to grab me by the collar of my shirt and tug me in for a kiss. I plant one hand on the wall and keep the other on Karen’s ass as I draw her close. I vibe off her domme energy and test her limits. I’m rougher than I’ve been with her before. I let my fingers leave bright marks on her ass as I squeeze her, like I’m the eagle with her in my talons. I kiss her as if I’m fighting her for air. I let go of her ass to squeeze her tits and roll her nipples between my fingertips. I pinch them with just enough nail to make her go ahh! as she throws her head back. I capture her lips again, take the cold of her hisses as I tug her nipples to find her edge.
“I don’t mind watching,” I say, nonchalantly. “But I won’t turn down an invitation to join in.”
“Then fuck me already,” Karen says, pulling away from me. She spreads her ass to show her flushed pussy. I don’t need to be told twice. I’m behind her before my brain can catch up. I run the head of my cock along her slit, get everything juicy-wet, get her right up to the point where she’d snap at me and tell me to get on with it, but I plunge into her before she can say anything. As she groans, Jesse gasps. My brain has finally caught up to my dick, and I realize that every time I pound Karen’s pussy, Jesse’s gonna feel it, too. Especially now that she’s going limp, hanging like a cape off Jesse’s back, her breasts pressed flat against him, leaving me to do all the fucking.
The concept of being in both of them at the same time is making my brain melt out of my ears. Pretty sure my dick is now so hard it’s off the Mohs scale. Karen tilts her hips up, giving me the space to fuck her deeper. The sound of her lubed-up dick jostling in Jesse is obscene, vulgar, which only makes me pick up my pace and pound her harder. My hips slap into her thighs like applause.
Fuck, I think, if I keep going at this pace, I’m going to come.
I pull out for a second. Karen’s so wet that a string of her cum clings to my cock, like a thread binding us. It breaks before I can say anything about it, though. The wetness clings to Karen’s thigh, trickles down to the backs of her knees. Something about the way she smells today has me obsessed. I don’t stay out of her for long. She’s hot around me and has started tightening up again already, but in a couple moments I’m back in my rhythm and fucking her open.
“You feel incredible,” I say, my words coming out slurred, like I’m drunk on her pussy. Feels like it, sometimes. She hums in agreement over Jesse’s quiet sighs. He’s grinding his hips against her cock, his eyes shut. I can’t reach over to kiss his neck, but Karen’s is just as bare and tempting. I suck hickies against her throbbing jugular as I push my pace to unrelenting, bottoming out in her, relishing the way her moans get throatier. She’s pushing back against me, all thoughts of fucking Jesse gone as she chases her own orgasm.
“Oh, fuck,” I say as the avalanche of climax approaches. “I’m gonna come.”
The wave of pleasure is sudden and intense, tearing a surprised moan from my throat. My hips buck as I pulse into Karen. As she backs her ass up to milk me of the rest of my cum, her cock slips out of Jesse. He whines, actually whines, and I’d have my dick in him this second if I weren’t softening in Karen already.
I withdraw from Karen and stagger around her to flop into the armchair. There’s still a couple drops of cum beading on my dick. I wipe them away with my thumb and lick it off absently. I only notice afterward that Jesse saw me doing that.
“Do you know how hot you are, Ronnie?” he says, laughing at what must be my deer-in-the-headlights expression.
“Am I?” I reply, feeling embarrassed despite his praise.
“Yeah,” he says, then gestures at his still-hard cock. “Very.”
“Shush,” Karen says, sliding off of Jesse’s back. “I ain’t doing all the work around here.”
She unbuckles her harness and sets it aside. Then, she strides across the room and kneels on the couch, facing the back, her elbows resting on the top. She settles into a more comfortable position, knees sinking into the cushions as she sticks out her pussy, messy with my cum. I can’t help feeling proud, in some kind of primal way. It’s an admirably big load.
“Fuck me,” Karen commands. Power move. Usually not my thing, but when Jesse steps over and dips the head of his fat cock into her hole and I see my cum mixing with hers and slicking Jesse’s cock from tip to base… yeah, no way I can just watch this time. I move over to the couch, prop myself up so I can kiss and grope either one of them. I reach down to play with Karen’s clit, savoring how big it is, neglected while it was hidden behind the strap. I get my fingers sticky with our cum and slick her clit with it, press my fingers to either side of her hole, just shy of touching Jesse’s cock as he plunges into her. She moans with her whole chest now, the sound reverberating through my fingers, my palm, my wrist as I go past her to stroke Jesse’s balls. I delight in his choked moan, his curses of both surprise and pleasure.
“Fuck,” Jesse says, the syllable a quick burst of a sound, like he’s spitting the word out. I part from him and get off the couch, standing so I can touch my sex-stained fingers to his lips. His mouth falls open, and he sweeps his tongue to lick away our cum. He looks up at the end, his eyes a challenge as he’s bottomed out in Karen, who turns back to look, too, her hips grinding against his. I kiss him, chase the taste of both of us, all three of us, sweet and human, my tongue like a tender beast as it grazes over Jesse’s. Our teeth clack together. Normally that would be a turnoff, but here, I feel like a wolf biting his mate, like I’m telling Jesse he’s mine. The echo of him resonates in my skull, especially when his voice joins in and he lets a litany of curses cascade from his lips.
Karen’s moans peak at the same time that Jesse cries out. His legs go weak; I keep him steady. Karen, meanwhile, goes completely limp, like she always does after having a massive orgasm, with her face in the couch cushions and her ass high in the air. As soon as Jesse pulls out, a trickle of milky white follows, but I can tell her pussy’s still brimming with cum.
“Oh my God,” Jesse says, flopping down next to her. “We’d better get cleaned up. Don’t want to leave any stains.”
“Nope,” she says. “I’m just gonna pull on my panties. Keep both of y’all’s cum in me.”
I kiss Karen’s forehead as Jesse laughs.
Karen misses her next period.
I think I’m the one who’s most freaked out. Jesse’s always wanted to be a dad. Karen wants to have kids, too, even if she wasn’t expecting to have one while the apocalypse is still raging on and New Angeles is still trying to become something no longer describable as a clusterfuck. But, as I fidget in the living room and glance over for the thousandth time at the closed bathroom door, I wonder if I’m worrying for nothing. Periods can be irregular, that much I know. Maybe it’s just stress.
The bathroom door opens. The sound summons Jesse from the kitchen. Karen manages to keep a straight face for all of two seconds before she holds out the test.
Jesse takes the test from her.
“I peed on that,” she says.
“I don’t care,” Jesse replies, examining the pregnancy test as if he has to witness the evidence himself. Satisfied, a grin breaks out over his face. “Damn. A dad! What about Jesse Jr.? That’s gender-neutral, right?”
I can’t name the feeling that’s wrapped around my heart now like a python. When I try to smile, I can feel the way it doesn’t reach my eyes. Jesse’s oblivious, but Karen seems to sense something in my quietness.
“What’s up?” she asks. I’m drowning in some kind of heartbreak; that’s all I can piece together. But I don’t know why I’m not feeling the same joy. It’s not that I hate kids. They’ve always been a possibility. Just that…
“Then it would be—the two of you, as parents,” I say. I intended for it to come out as a question, but it ends up sounding like resentment. Shame immediately washes over me. What kind of asshole would make a happy moment about his own feelings? To my horror, my mouth keeps on running even as my brain tries to reel it in. “I’m the extra one. I—”
“Are you kidding me?” Karen says, stopping me before I can spiral. “Two people raising a kid is still hell. A third parent would only help.”
“Takes a village,” Jesse says, nodding in agreement.
“I don’t think they meant it like this,” I reply, but Karen shrugs.
“Why not?” she says. “I’ve done the math. I conceived that night at Big Bear.”
“As far as I’m concerned,” Karen says, cutting me off again, as if she’s got a strategy for dealing with my bullshit now (I’m sure she does), “you’re both the father. Family is family because of a shared spirit, not blood.”
I don’t have anything to say to that. I think instead about how I haven’t seen my blood family in months, maybe a year or two; I think about how they don’t even know that I’m bi. I think about how it’s Jesse and Karen that I want to spend the rest of my life with, and how it wasn’t genetics that brought us together, but something more chaotic. Maybe even fate.
“I’m glad no one got hurt in that accident,” I murmur. Before I can blink them away, tears well up and spill over, twin rivers down my cheeks. “Fuck. I don’t know how I’d live without either of you.”
Karen’s expression softens. Jesse sets the pregnancy test down and comes over to my side. He rubs my shoulder, affectionate and soothing, the corners of his eyes crinkling, even as his eyes are also shining with emotion.
“I’m glad we’re alive, too.”
We go out for dinner to celebrate. It feels so normal in the wake of all the changes around us, the turbulence that is New Angeles and our lives, that I almost don’t believe that I can find joy in something so simple, yet so profoundly mysterious.
But I let myself enjoy the moment. I bask in the happiness that we’re building, the three of us, a home I have no matter where I am.
We are all too young to die.
But we’re not too young to live.