Trevor didn’t—couldn’t speak.

“Hell, you ain’t mad, are you?” Edgard twisted the toe of his boot into a pile of snow.

“Not mad. Just wonderin’ why you did it.” Wondering why Ed hasn’t said anything when they’d talked last night.

“Time was running out. You were both preoccupied with family shit and I couldn’t stand it if we lost out on something important to all of us because of pride or fear or mixed signals. I waited until Chassie got home to discuss it because it’s her future too.”

Trevor’s heart damn near danced out of his chest. Everything he’d ever wanted was within reach; he just had to grab it with both hands. He circled one arm around Chassie’s shoulder and the other around Ed’s. “Come on inside. Too damn cold out here.”

In the kitchen, Chassie said, “Trev, what happened with your dad?”

Trevor poured milk in Chassie’s favorite cup and put it in the microwave. “Pa’s fine.” He relayed the trip, detailing events even when he’d rather avoid discussing them.

“Hope you didn’t have your heart set on cozyin’ up to my family.”

“You’re my family. You deserve better than the way they’ve treated you and I’m damn glad you didn’t knuckle under.”

“Amen.” Edgard gently swept a piece of Chassie’s hair away from the bandage on her forehead. She smiled, showing her acceptance of Ed’s easy affection. It also showed Trevor how badly Edgard needed to share that side of himself with someone who not only welcomed it, but appreciated it and reciprocated.

It brought a lump to Trevor’s throat and a balm to his soul to think Chassie was the bridge that allowed him to connect to Edgard. Without her, he’d be lost on so many levels. She’d taught him he was worthy of love. She’d showed him how to love without conditions. She’d proven understanding and acceptance were not parts of love that could be parceled out, but real, honest love needed all those components to be successful, fulfilling and long lasting.

Without Chassie, Trevor never would’ve reached the point that he could accept how he felt about Edgard, say nothing of flying in the face of conventionality and proposing what he was about to propose.

“As long as we’re spilling family secrets, Ed, did you tell Trevor everything that happened the last year you lived in Brazil?”

He nodded. “I shoulda told you both right away, but I didn’t want you to feel sorry for me and realize I didn’t have anywhere else to go.”

“Which brings us back to what we’ve been talkin’ about.” Trevor focused on his wife. “How would you feel about all three of us livin’ together like we’ve been? On a permanent basis?”

Chassie’s fingers relaxed around her cup and her gaze zipped between his and Edgard’s faces. “I thought that was a given.”

“You did?”

“Didn’t you? Both of you? I mean, come on. After all we’ve done, not just sexually, but emotionally? We’ve already begun to form a weird sort of three amigos thing. I hated it when Trevor was gone and I imagine you two missed me. And I can’t fathom Trevor and me standin’ on the porch waving at Ed as he drives away for good.”

The mental image of Edgard leaving brought back the acute ache Trevor never recovered from that day in Cheyenne—until now.

Chassie set down her cup and covered his hand with hers. “Trevor, as much as I loved our life before, havin’ Edgard here makes it better because you’re happier.”

“With this many people involved, the three amigos—as you’ve called us—decisions can’t be based on just one person’s happiness when that decision affects all of us. Does Edgard bein’ here make you happier, darlin’?”


Not a bit of hesitation in her answer, which boggled Trevor’s mind. “Why? I mean you’ll be sharin’ me on a permanent basis.”

“I don’t mind sharing you, especially since he’s brought to life the part of you that’s always been missing, a part I never had in the first place. Edgard’s given me a gift by letting me see all of you, not just the part you wanted me to see because you were ashamed of the rest.” She winked at Edgard. “Plus, Ed can cook.”

“I love you so damn much.” Trevor lifted her hand and kissed her knuckles. “I’m so goddamn lucky to have you.”

“Amen,” Edgard said and kissed her other hand.

“I never want either of you to be ashamed of what you feel for each other, or feel like you have to hold back in front of me or in our home,” Chassie said. “What you had was private, but now it belongs to all three of us. Can you guys handle that?”

“I can,” Trevor said.

“I’m good with it.”

“So, I’m thinkin’ this three-way relationship will work as long as we talk to each other, just like this. No secrets. No half-truths. Tackle issues head on. Take it one step at a time to ensure we get it right for everyone.” Chassie bit her lip and looked at Edgard. “I know we ended up together because of how we feel about Trev, but Lord, it’s crazy scary what I’m startin’ to feel for you.”

“I know.” Edgard touched her face. “I feel the same, querida.”

The confession didn’t bother Trevor, but it seemed too easy. “Right now we’re all pumped up and cocky with ‘screw what the rest of the world thinks of us’, but can you live with the don’t ask, don’t tell reality for the long term?” Trevor watched the play of emotions on Edgard’s face. “We’ve talked about this on and off, Ed, so now’s the time to speak up if it’s gonna be a problem for you.”

“I lost you once due to that line of black and white thinking, so I’m past it. I could give a rat’s ass about anyone who ain’t in this room right now.”

A sneaky smile curled Chassie’s lips. “Well said. Just as it won’t bother me for the local busybodies to believe I’m so crazy for cock I’ve gotta have two of ’em to keep me satisfied.”

Edgard choked, “Jesus, Chassie.”

“Oh please. My whole life I’ve listened to the outrageous sexual exploits and preferences of my male McKay cousins. It’ll be a hoot to set tongues a-waggin’ in Crook County that the Wests can be just as wild. As long as you’re not double-teaming me on the bar top at the Rusty Spur, I don’t think anyone will muster the guts to ask how good our hired man is with his hands or who he prefers to put them on.”

Trevor said, “My God, woman, you’re actually enjoyin’ this, ain’t ya?”

“Yep.” She batted her lashes at Edgard. “And to sweeten the pot of revenge, I’ll make it clear to Brandy or any other woman the Brazilian meat market is not open for monkey business and you both belong to me because our relationship goes beyond business. That oughta keep all the single women in town from angling for a piece of you.”

Edgard smiled. “Which brings me to my other point. In the eyes of the law you two are married, but I ain’t gonna be considered just a hired hand. I’m not looking to prove anything to the community beyond we’re in a committed partnership. Let them make of it what they will. I just want to prove to both of you I’m as financially invested in the life we’re building as I am physically and emotionally.”

“Buddy, if that’ll make you happy and convince you we ain’t kickin’ you to the curb, then that’s what we’ll do. We’ll draw up the bank paperwork as a three-way partnership.”

“Sounds good.” He squeezed Trevor’s hand. “I’m beyond happy, meu amore.”

“Me too. Jesus. I never thought…”

“Oh, stop makin’ goo goo eyes at each other at least until we’ve discussed this thoroughly,” Chassie gently scolded. “I’ve already come up with a way we can demonstrate the permanence of this relationship to ourselves.”


“By gettin’ matching tattoos.”

Trevor’s mouth dropped open. “Hell, woman, how much time have you spent with India and Colt?”

“Enough. For design, I’m leanin’ toward searin’ our cattle brand on our butts.”

Edgard mock-whispered, “Is she serious? Or has she been drinkin’?”

Chassie slapped his arm. “As far as us havin’ babies? I want them. Bad. We’ve all survived shitty family stuff, and there is potential for problems with any child we raise in an unorthodox household. Can you imagine how much that’ll change the dynamic between the three of us? How hard it’ll be if I have one blond-haired one and one dark-haired one, and what last name we’ll give ’em—”

“We’ll cross the baby bridge when we come to it.”

“Oh yeah? Ed brought up finances and you brushed him aside—”

“You weren’t just a woofin’ about her talkin’ something to death, were you, Trev?”

“Nope. Maybe we oughta gag her. There’s a bandana in the dining room.”

“Rope too,” Edgard said. “Let’s tie her hands so they’re not flailing around makin’ random tattoo designs.”

She huffed out a breath. “I’m serious. This is serious stuff, guys.”

“It is serious stuff. Life altering stuff.” Trevor’s strong fingers circled her wrist. “But there comes a point where you are beatin’ a dead horse, and, darlin’, you’ve reached it.”

Chassie looked to Edgard for support.

He shrugged. “I’m of the ‘less talk, more action’ school of thought.”

Nice sidestep, Ed. “How about we take the action upstairs to the bedroom and hammer out the rest of the details there?”

“Damn fine idea, Trev. I think you nailed it.”

They grinned at each other and Trevor thought it felt damn right and damn fine and was about damned time.