© Clare London
“What do you mean, you’ve never been on a date?” Karel stared in surprise at the two men he shared his life, love, and bed with. They sat at their favourite table in With A Kick, nestled between the wall and the shopfront window, where they could have a little privacy but also people-watch on the busy Soho street outside.
Not that Griff and Leroy had much time for privacy. Leroy overshared everything, and Griff had very few emotional filters. Karel loved them both, fiercely and without doubt, but some days his personal life required the very highest maintenance.
Leroy shrugged. “I never really had a boyfriend until Griff—”
“I’m not a boyfriend,” Griff snorted over his second portion of the Top and Tails ice.
“Hush. Let Leroy explain.” Karel frowned. “What about when you first met? Didn’t you spend some time getting to know each other?”
Griff glanced at Leroy, who reached across the table and clasped Griff’s hand. Griff’s eyes glittered mischievously. “We met. We each thought the other was hot. We fucked.”
“End of story.” Leroy chuckled. “Or beginning, as it turned out.”
Karel watched the sly, familiar smile between them. He wasn’t jealous of the relationship Leroy and Griff had built before he met them. He would only ever experience that time through their tales. But it had made them the men they were today: the men Karel had fallen in love with. In many ways, he liked coming in third, benefitting from that love already established. Other people didn’t always understand it—that the relationship didn’t have to carry an equal number of months, of experiences, for each of them. What was important was an equal share of the current love.
“This can be our date here, then,” he said quietly.
“Here? Now?” Leroy looked around, taking in the brightly-coloured menus, the tourists clustered around the counter, the local radio station playing in the background.
Karel smiled to include both men. “We’ve all finished work for the day, we’ve met up by arrangement here at With A Kick. We’re sharing each other’s news, opinions and feelings. Sounds like a date to me.”
Leroy smiled so brightly at him, Karel felt his stomach somersault with happiness.
Griff looked between Leroy and Karel, puzzled. “We’ll have the fucking as well, though, won’t we? Because you’re still both as hot as hell, same as the day any of us met. And the way this three-scoop ice cream has the pistachio squashed between the other two… it’s got me imagining another kinda sandwich tonight.” His expression twisted briefly with confusion. “I don’t understand the rules. If I have to wait until a date’s finished…”
“Stupid arse,” Leroy said fondly, his face suddenly flushed. “There are no date rules except our own.”
Karel nodded at them both, his face also warm, his heart quickening with anticipation of the night ahead. “Well said.”
And he reached for his wallet to pay the bill as quickly as he could.