Full Circle (Broken Pieces Book 2)(3)By: Riley Hart
“Tell me about it,” he found himself saying, as he sat at the table, a glass of wine in front of him. He wanted to know everything about them, when he’d never cared enough to need to know much of anything about anyone before. As horrible as it made him feel, even Ben. His friend had always been there for Tristan, though he had never returned the favor the way he should.
“About what?” Josiah asked over his shoulder, before turning back to peek into the oven.
Mateo walked with the same stiff yet practiced movements to him that he always had. It was as though he was always prepared to defend himself, yet smooth and quiet, like he knew how to keep to the shadows at the same time. Due to his life in the gang, no doubt. Tristan held his glass out to Mateo when he joined Tristan at the table. Mateo shook his head, denying the drink the way Tristan knew he would. He’d get him to come around one day.
“Tris?” Josiah asked again, and he remembered he’d asked them a question.
“About the thing with your hair.” When Tristan and Josiah first started sleeping together, he would flinch if Tristan touched his hair. He didn’t anymore, but it wasn’t as though Tristan did it much anyway. It was their thing, and they deserved that. They all had bits and pieces that belonged to different combinations of two of them, and then those pieces that were a part of their whole—the three of them.
“It drove me fuckin’ nuts when we first met. Always in his face.” Mateo turned toward Josiah, history and memories being shared between them.
One would think jealousy would take root in him, but it didn’t. Their bond...their connection is what started all of this. It’s what made Tristan feel, even if he couldn’t always show it the way he should, because as much as he loved them, as much as he knew they loved him, the thought of needing someone the way he did them still made his finger seek the pulse in his wrist. As weak as it made him feel, needing still scared him to death. One night couldn’t change that.
“It was a way for me to hide, I think.” Josiah pulled a dish from the oven. “I’m not sure I planned it that way, but it was. Here,” Josiah set the pan on the middle of their set table, then grabbed the rice and moved it over as well before joining Mateo and Tristan.
“One of the first times we really spoke, it started because of my hair. Mateo hadn’t been with us long.” Josiah dished food onto a plate and handed it to Tristan. “We were sitting in our room, twin beds separated by a desk. I was doing my homework and hoping he would talk to me, scared he would at the same time. What would a guy like him have to say to someone like me? Teo was like, strength in human form to me. I was in awe of him.”
Tristan watched Josiah hand Mateo his plate next.
“I wasn’t shit,” Mateo said, and Josiah rolled his eyes.
“And then?” Tristan prompted, needing to hear more of their story. Needing to know more of where they came from.
Josiah chuckled. “And then he looked at me like there was absolutely no hope for me and said, ‘Doesn’t that bother you? The way your hair’s always gettin’ in your eyes?’ And all I could think was that he’d noticed me... This guy who people were afraid of, yet who had protected me, noticed me...I was shocked he would even pay attention to something like that.”
Tristan’s eyes found Mateo. He was bent toward the table, as though leaning over to take a bite of his chicken but then got caught in Josiah instead. His stare was dark—dark eyes, and a dark, hungry look.
“I always noticed you. Even when I didn’t want to. I couldn’t believe someone like you’d give a shit.”
Jesus, they were beautiful. They inspired Tristan to want more for himself. To want them.
“What did you tell him?” Tristan asked Josiah.
There was another chuckle. “Shit...I think I asked him about girls.”
Tristan found himself laughing, not having expected that one. Josiah had told him before that he’d never so much as kissed a girl. He’d always known he was gay, and the only person he’d been interested in was Mateo.
“Then he fuckin’ tells me he’s not into girls. I’m a seventeen-year-old gangbanger, and he just spits that shit out like it wasn’t a big deal. Dios, I coulda' killed him. In my world, shit like that coulda' gotten him hurt.”
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