Summary: Jacob meets the new neighbors - 3 odd, but beautiful men, who share an unconventional connection. And he feels it.
DISCLAIMER: This fic deals with a poly-amorous relationship (Quad) between four men. If you feel the urge to dispel crap about monogamy and heterosexuality and how it's the only right way, I'm not trying to hear that. If this doesn't suit your reading needs, kindly escort yourself out. Though this story focuses less on sex and more about the relationship between the men, there IS sexual relations, and it can get heavy.
Author's Notes: Okay, okay. I'm terrible. I am working on my other unfinished works, but this story has been calling to me for over a year and I never got around to actually finishing it. This story will be in four parts. I'm already done with the second and working on the third.
I knew our neighbors were different, but I was never sure why. They were new to the neighborhood, waving kind hellos and goodbyes to me whenever I passed by on a morning jog or checked the mail.
They were beautiful men - I couldn't help but notice. It had been a while since my last relationship, a demanding, temperamental boyfriend who didn't know how to keep his hands to himself, so I felt safe to watch them from afar.
Three men. One, a tall and elegant looking red-head. The most beautiful red-head I had ever seen. For one, his hair alone was a striking difference from the average ginger tinge. It was darker, yet more vibrant, wildly placed. He had startling green eyes that were hard to get out of my head even after I was back in the house, preparing a quick breakfast for work.
The other, a dirty blonde that resembled a rugged cowboy from a High School textbook. He sported an even, sexy tan, often tending to the front yard, mowing the lawn in loose jeans, hanging off his hips, a white t-shirt in his back pocket. Sweat never looked so delicious on a man. He was the first of the three to greet me when they moved in. I had noticed the twang in his speech.
It only made him more sexy.
He was toned and well taken care of and by the way he handled himself - strong back, motions trained and concise - I could tell there had been a point in his life that he may have either had a militiant father or history in the service.
The last of the three, I rarely ever seen.
He took my breath away.
Each time I had noticed him, it was through his booming laughter. Often getting out of his truck, a phone tucked in his ear as he conversed loudly, digging in his fitted jeans for the keys. He was just an inch or two shorter than my 6'5" and more massive in size. I always preferred my men stronger than me.
His smile - was a dimpled piece of heaven, gracing a boyish face that held ocean blue eyes and dark,short curls that were arranged on his head perfectly. He never missed me, waving my way with a genuine grin before stepping into the house. My knees would buckle each time.
What was odd about these men?
Other than the lack of girlfriends, I noticed the first few weeks...?
I could have sworn they were all in a relationship - together.
Coming home from work, I often caught the blonde leaving, dressed in casual clothes, sometimes trailed by the bronze haired beauty. They'd share a few words and a kiss before disappearing into different cars, driving off.
If I got up an hour earlier for an early jog, I'd just catch the blonde sending the Dimpled God off with a soft, chaste kiss in the doorway, before being roughly pulled in for something more passionate. It was so hard keeping my attention to my own front yard. On the rare accounts I caught this, the Dimpled One, as if sensing me staring, would turn my way and with a bright smile and with a rumbling voice of sex say Good Morning.
I could never vocalise a response.
But I was given a chance to say something that winter morning. I had awoken with a need to taste the crisp, dry air, feeling the heavy weight of my sweater bouncing on my shoulders as I jogged through the near-by park. I didn't expect to see The Dimpled God standing in front of his truck with a furrowed brow. The weight of the car wasn't even. I followed his gaze, catching a flat tire. The frown on his face had me feeling uneasy. I didn't like it. I was so used to those dimples, that easy smile. I had the sudden compulsion to fix it.
"I have a tire pump inside. Do you need to borrow it?" My voice seemed to snap him out of his thoughts. He turned away from the car, catching my gaze before offering me a smile. It was nowhere as radiant as his usual greeting. I sighed, feeling as if I failed.
"That wouldn't be necessary." He responded with a hint of sadness, "It appears someone has slashed the tire." I frowned at the statement.
"Do you have a spare under the truck?"
"Ah," And with that, I got a smile, a bitter one, "Was used on the last slashed tire." This happened before?
My job would have been handy in this situation if I had the required equipment. Looking over his truck, it suddenly occurred to me that I might. Shit on my luck. He had the exact model truck as my ex. I didn't know whether this was a good or bad omen, but it was an opportunity.
"I think I can help." I offered. He looked over his shoulder again, a bit surprised at the statement.
His boyish face softened and he genuinely seemed flattered, "You're quite a neighbor." He said sweetly, "But you really don't have to."
"I work on cars, so it's only natural that I offer, right?" I tried, shrugging off his polite decline, "My ex had a truck just like yours. He was a bit of a control freak, so he always had spares for everything." Even me. But that was neither here nor there, "The tires are in my garage. I could go grab one."
Something about what I said suddenly seemed to spark interest in him. The polite neighbor was suddenly the same Dimpled Beauty I rarely had the luck of catching before work. He gave me a breathtaking smile, "How about I help you with that? It's the least I can do." Not that I needed much help, but I nodded, allowing him to walk to my side of the lawn before following me to my garage at the end of the long drive-way.
It wasn't difficult finding the tire in the mess of my garage, though I felt a bit embarrassed at the lack of up-keep even with my car in the wide space. The Dimpled God didn't seem to mind. He chuckled, mentioning that Edward –whomever that was -happened to be a bit of a chaotic mess himself, so it wasn't something he wasn't used to seeing.
"Edward?" I questioned, just as I rolled the tire on its side, "That's-"
"The green-eyed bronze angel you stare at with your mouth open." He chuckled. I cleared my throat, feeling like a complete tool. I knew I stared, but I never thought any of them noticed.
He shrugged, "It's alright. Now he'll know it's because you find him attractive, not that you'd have anything against him."
"Why would I-?" But really, did I need to answer? If I noticed their shared affections with each other, I'm damn sure the neighbors did as well. A tire doesn't get slashed on its own, "I'm sorry if I-"
"You shouldn't be." He shrugged and politely maneuvered himself next to me to grab the wheel, "I've got this." I shuddered, feeling his breath on my neck.
And that dimpled smile was back, "Very neighborly, but it's the least I can do." And with that, he lifted the tire with ease. I couldn't help myself. I stayed behind him, ogling his ass. Fuck, this guy was taken. Twice. I shouldn't have been checking him out, but I was. He was just so-
Our conversation over the next ten minutes didn't touch on the possibility of homophobic neighbors or his lovers. We talked about work mostly and interests as I assisted him in changing the busted tire. It appeared the Dimpled Beauty was a nutritionist owner of a small chain of gyms.
"McCarty Physique!" He belted proudly with a wide grin.
I could only take one guess at who McCarty was, "A bit of a bold name, McCarty." I teased, "You expect everyone's dream to be looking as fit and attractive as you?"
"I can only hope." He winked, "not that you'd need to work on anything." It was a compliment, I was aware, but it was the way he said it. How his eyes trailed my body as I moved the jack from under his truck.
I bit my lip, "Thanks." I wasn't sure what to say. Was this something he was allowed to do, flirt with a stranger? Did they have an open relationship?
"I really appreciate this…?"
That damn grin was contagious, "Emmett." He said with a sense of pride, "Emmett McCarty."
"So there's a first name to the Physique?" It was a joke. A lame one, but he chuckled nonetheless.
"You didn't seem to mind it." I nearly choked on my tongue at his retort, "Jasper's cooking tonight. He's a king with Mexican cuisine. You're more than welcome to come over."
"Is it alright for you to invite me?" I asked, but felt I had to reiterate before he took the question as something else, "I mean, what if there isn't enough?"
"Oh, there'll be enough." The twinkle in his eyes caught me off guard, "We usually start eating at 7. Would that be good for you?" He was definitely intent on the invite and I didn't want to turn him down. I was too curious to know just what it was like inside that house. I wanted to see who those three men were.
I was a mess after work. I nearly sped home, hopped in the shower and jumped out, not even taking the time to dry off. I stared at my closet, a naked, dripping fool. How the hell do I dress for dinner at the McCarty house? Do I keep it casual? There was no way that Emmett was hitting on me, right? Not with a house already filled with hot men. This couldn't be the case. I decided to go for just jeans and a fitted shirt.
A half hour later, I was standing on their front porch, gazing at my house. It was truly odd being on neighbor's property, staring at your own. As if I was on the wrong side of a mirror. With a shaky sigh, I gathered the courage I could and pressed my finger against the doorbell. There was a shrill ring inside, before a rather enthusiastic voice boomed, "Come on in!" I recognized that as Emmett's. I couldn't help the smile that graced my face as I held the pretty gold doorknob and pressed on the latch to unclick the door as I pushed it in. I was greeted with a wide space, tan tile floor and an area where surprisingly a pool table was situated, pool sticks situated over the surface as if a game had just been put on hold. On the corner walls surrounding the pool table were random plaques, a framed football jersey and a few framed awards. I didn't know the other two well, but something told me this was definitely Emmett's corner of the house.
"We're back here, Jake!" Emmett called from the back of the house. I gulped, taking cautious steps, following the smell of cooked meat and herbs, taking in the clatter of plates and soft laughter. I walked pass a flight of stairs and a short hallway to the arch at the back of the house. There, it lead to a decent sized kitchen on the left, complete with an island bar with stools where Emmett was so casually planted, drinking a beer. On the right was the lay-out of a living room with a black leather couch, recliner and a side coffee table with a mounted television. Along the back was a wall of glass overlooking a clean, fresh yard with a nice pool. The back-porch light was bright, revealing a patio table coupled with nice chairs.
The place looked like a space to call home.
"Jacob!" Emmett's smile seemed to still occupy his face, "Just in time." There was movement to my left before I took in the sight of the tanned Cowboy. He looked from the stove giving me a polite nod, before putting down a spatula and staring to his right. I followed his gaze to the red-head who was assorting utensils and plates. They gave each other knowing looks, but didn't say anything. I wondered briefly what that was about.
"Babe," Emmett addressed the red-head Edward. I noticed that he didn't catch the look. Edward's response was automatic. He walked the distance to Emmett, stepping at his side before affectionately placing his arm around his shoulder, cradling Emmett's head to his chest as Emmett's arm hugged him protectively. It was such a tender, stolen moment; I had to look away, "This is Jacob."
Edward gave Emmett a smile, "The one you've been goofily talking about the last hour?" It was quite adorable to see the look that crossed Emmett's face. It was as if he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
Edward rolled his eyes and laughed, before stepping out of Emmett's embrace to walk to me, "Welcome, Jacob." He had a melodic ring in his voice. It was easily the most hypnotic sound I've ever heard, "It's great to officially meet you." He looked over his shoulder to the blonde at the stove, "Love."
"I said hi." The blonde's voice was nearly as deep as Emmett's, but the twang made it more distinctive. Not to mention he was whining a bit, as if being scolded for not using his manners. I had a feeling Edward was the mother of the house.
"Babe, let the man cook. He'll give Jacob a proper Whitlock greeting." Emmett winked.
"If you're implying a blowjob, Emmett, that'd be more of a McCarty greeting." The blonde answered without missing a beat. It didn't slip my notice that Edward turned away, a blush on his cheek. I really didn't have to guess whom Emmett blew as a greeting.
Both guys chuckled, even when Edward wrapped his arms around the blonde, hiding his face in the crook of his neck, "Jasper, Emmett! We have a guest." His voice was muffled as he didn't try to show the pink glowing on his cheeks. It was a cute sight, but even more to the point, it was a breath of fresh air. They functioned like any normal, happy couple, only there were three of them.
I was…jealous. Not so much that this beautiful Dimpled Beauty had two men that appeared to be as perfect as he was, but that they found this niche in a fucked up world so well.
It made me think of Paul. It made me relive moments like this where I'd make the dinner and he'd complain about how it was too hot, not good enough, too mushy. There was always an imperfection with him. And there was always a reason to be angry. We couldn't tease each other or flirt and he never smiled. Never.
I couldn't help but notice how often a smile was on Emmett's face. It must have been because of these two.
I hadn't noticed I lost track of their conversation or the moment for that matter. When I was finally out of my mind, the boys were gathering bowls, moving them to the round dining table in front of the patio doors, overlooking the yard. I looked over the island where Emmett sat. His beer was nearly done and he was relaxed, elbow on the counter, but his eyes were watching me with a trace of a frown.
"It smells good." I complimented Jasper's cooking, hoping to derail any curiosity he may have had. I'm sure he caught the brief change in mood I had.
A smile was back on his face, though I noticed, like earlier when I spotted him with the flat tire, that it didn't reach his eyes, "Jasper uses his chef talents once a week. It's always good. You're in for a treat." He stood and motioned for me to follow. As he turned, my mind was whirring again. But I was able to rein it in and not be suspicious. There were other things to think about. Like how did they sleep together? Was sex always a three-way thing? Were two of them more in love with each other? Either way, I guessed it didn't matter. They all looked too damn happy just setting the food on table.
Emmett was kind enough not to forget me, pulling out a chair he reserved for me. Jasper passed us, a hand pressed against Emmett's back before he put down a few sauce bottles. The gesture was small, but something about it was so intimate and normal.
The dinner started with clatter of forks on plates as we passed around the dishes. I complimented every new part of the meal I tasted and Jasper gave me his polite nod each time. He was mostly silent through dinner, only commenting when he felt the moment suited it. Emmett on the other hand seemed to talk the most, giving weird stories about work, or sharing the embarrassing history of Edward, who could only roll his eyes and get comforting caresses from Jasper.
Edward, fitting the role as house hen, continuously asked me questions. Most were about how I moved to the neighborhood and what I did, but when he got to the question of how I got the house, I froze.
Catching my pause, Edward quickly spoke up, "Honey, you don't have to explain. I'm just curious. It's a decent sized house, I just assumed a parent left it…" His rambling trailed off as he bit his lip.
"No, it's okay." I shrugged, "I bought it with my ex a year ago. He wanted a house in this neighborhood. It was his dream to live here." We were pretty much done with our meal, so there was no way Emmett and Jasper could distract themselves from the conversation. In fact, it didn't seem they wanted to. They both watched with furrowed brows. It was like the entire table could sense the atmosphere thicken.
"That was really generous of him to leave you the house." Edward complimented.
And I couldn't help it. I snorted at the irony, "Who would have known his generosity could extend past his fists." It really was the wrong thing to say. The room got deathly silent. I totally killed the mood, "I'm sorry. I really shouldn't have said that." I apologized, feeling as stupid as I'm sure I sounded.
"No," Edward sounded breathless for a moment. Jasper was clutching his hand tightly as if warding off a reaction from him, "you don't have to apologize. I shouldn't have pushed the subject-"
"You're only curious." I shrugged as if it wasn't a big deal. But it really fucking was. Not even my family knew about Paul's violent outbursts.
"He hurt you." I hadn't watched for Emmett's reaction. I noticed the still, statue like reaction from Edward and the immediate comfort of Jasper, but I hadn't chanced a glance at Emmett who was to my right. My eyes widened at what I saw. He looked furious. Fuck, I completely fucked myself over with my neighbor.
"I-" should I just lie and hope that the topic would be dropped or just let it be known I was a man's punching bag for a year? "Yes, he did."
"Did you ever end up-" in the hospital? Broken, bruised? All of the above.
"Yes." I answered straightly. The clattering of Emmett's fork hitting the table made me jump. Was he going to kick me out? Was I doing something wrong?
"Em-" Jasper warned. I was in trouble.
"No!" Emmett barked and for the first time in months, I felt that sense of danger. I looked over at Edward, seeing the same fear in his eyes that I must have had on my face. And I knew.
I wasn't the only one.
"It's shit like this. Scum that fucking beat up and ruin a person's sense of trust and-"
"I know." Jasper soothed. And all of a sudden, I was stepping into their history. Whatever had happened to Edward, it was rolling back like a bad dream with that stupid comment I made.
A billow of steam seemed to finally leave Emmett's chest as he cooled down. His jaw was clenched and his blue eyes were hard with a wrath I'd never seen in Paul's. In this house, he must have been the security, the protector. No matter how fearful of the damage I did to the dinner, I couldn't help the affectionate swell I felt in my chest.
"Come on, Em," Jasper stood on his feet, "I think we need to get the 6 packs downstairs." He waited until Emmett was on his feet and both men disappeared behind a door in the kitchen. Edward silently stood on his feet. He appeared rattled, but was altogether calm. He began stacking the plates in a diligent haste.
"Here." I offered my hand, taking the stack from him, "Let me."
"You're a guest." He said warmly, "Sit down and relax."
"No," I shook my head, "It's the least I could do for starting that back there." Edward didn't say anything at first as I helped him move the dishes to the kitchen. It was when the sink was running and I began pondering what was taking the two so long to get beer, he finally spoke.
"I met Emmett when I was dating my ex a few years ago." He started, "We became close pretty quickly, so it wasn't long before Emmett started to notice marks on my body and how little I was actually eating. He wasn't stupid, he knew what was going on, but he gave me the choice to leave him." He was silent again, scrubbing away the last of our dinner into the sink.
"The night he caught James hitting me, it changed my life. Emmett had perfect timing. He didn't need to be at the house for another hour. It was enough time to put on concealer and hide the bruises and wash off the blood. But he heard my cries and kicked the door down, rushed in and…" He was still for a second, "for the first time in my life, I was scared for James.
"It's taken years for Emmett to get pass that day, almost as long as it took for me." He was scrubbing at the gunk on the plate again, almost in a furious haste. Without thinking, my hand covered his, stopping the potential damage he could be doing to the glass. Our eyes met and there was an odd moment shared between us. I knew very little about his situation. I didn't know if he fought back like I did or had to endure the cheating or constant talk-downs, but it didn't matter. Edward was no longer the stranger next-door.
"He really cares about you." I knew he knew this, but it didn't harm to bring it up. That look in his eyes when I brought up Paul. It must have sparked the memory. It was shitty of me be the one to bring up such a bad part of my history to them anyway.
Edward shook his head and to my surprise sported a soft grin, "That anger wasn't about that night with James." I didn't know what to say to that, because I had no idea what he meant. Was it for another time when Edward was abused? Was I missing something? I didn't ask, just helped him put the dirty dishes in the sink and the leftovers in the fridge. It was then that Jasper and Emmett reappeared with a six pack in their hands.
"Let's wind down for the night, eh?" Jasper spoke with a gentle smile. It was like clockwork watching him step next to Edward, placing a chaste kiss on his temple. I looked away, feeling like an intruder and mistakenly met Emmett's gaze. I instantly felt my cheeks heat up. There wasn't the look of anger in his eyes anymore, but a curious expression.
"Want to help me pick a movie to watch?" In the 12 hours I had spoken to him, this was the first time his voice wasn't loud or teasing. It was a simple question with a hint of regret.
"Sure." I nodded, happy to give Edward a moment to forget his past. We walked over to the DVD shelf in the corner and stood in front of it, neither of us searching, but in each other's company. Now was better than any time to apologize for being a bad guest.
"Look, I'm sorry for bringing up Paul-"
"Don't be." He sounded curt. I winced on accord. He was still pissed at me, "I don't mean to sound so angry. Jacob, you're a generous and beautiful person. And to learn that a man once threatened to destroy that-" I held my breath just as the pad of his thumb ran against my cheek, "I hope you understand why I was angry."
"Edward told me-" I gasped out.
"That was brave of him. He didn't have to." I wanted to whine when he pulled his hand away. It was as if bringing Edward up made him realize that he wasn't supposed to touch me. So this relationship did have a level of monogamy. But why did it feel like Emmett had been flirting with me earlier that morning and why did it feel like he was telling me something then? A few hours of knowing him and I was already confused as hell.
We picked a mid-90s action movie and let it load to the main menu. Jasper and Edward entered moments later after turning out the lights and bringing the bottles of beer with them. I watched in wonder as they got comfortable. Edward lay with his head on Jasper's lap and legs curled on Emmett's. Jasper was leaned back, arms casually thrown over the shoulder of the couch, the tips of his fingers playing with the hair at the nape of Emmett's neck. It was a beautiful sight but I suddenly felt as if I shouldn't be there. There was enough room for me to sit next to Emmett, but I took the recliner next to the couch. It was quite comfortable and soft, but it was nothing like what I'm sure it was over there with them.
I felt that jealousy again and it was unreasonable. There was affection radiating off of the three of them. I felt and saw a weird exchange of loving looks and touches the whole night, but it was this moment, after bringing up Paul and seeing both Emmett's and Jasper's reactions to Edward's history that it became suddenly clear; I didn't have this. I suddenly wanted to take back my curiosity about them, but it was too late. I was witnessing a woven tapestry of lovers.
And Emmett. He sat there happily placed between the two beautiful men. I didn't know who I was jealous of more.
He was lucky to have them. They were lucky to have him.
And the jealousy ate at me like a damn maggot. I suddenly had to get out of there. I brought attention to myself when I stood on my feet, "It's getting late. I open shop tomorrow." I stammered.
"The movie's almost over." Emmett spoke up, "It's getting to the good part."
"I'm tired." I lied, "No, don't get up." I motioned, just as Emmett made to move Edward's leg off his lap, "I'll show myself out. Thanks so much for dinner you guys." And I'm sorry for being such a wet rag.
I damn near booked it out of the house. Once I was safely outside, I took big, gulping breaths. No matter how I looked at it, the night felt like a disaster. Not because of my slip-up of Paul or Emmett's outbursts, not because Edward had to relive a bit of bad history. It was because I had the reminder right there how much I really missed the affection. How long I had been without it. I stood there in the night and remembered that Paul wasn't always angry. There had been moments when he held me, when I only had bruises from the rough and tumble of sex, not our fights.
I stood there on their patio longer than I realized, staring up at the sky. It wasn't even 9 yet and I didn't have work until 10 the next morning.
"Hey," I jumped at the voice, turning to see Emmett standing in the doorway of his house, "are you okay, Jacob?" He asked and I nodded. Another boldface lie, "Did we scare you off?"
"No." Which wasn't exactly true, but he was too observant. He saw right through me.
"It's okay if we do. We're a bit unconventional…" Great, now I felt bad.
"No." I disagreed, "You three are pretty fucking beautiful together." I laughed morbidly at my honesty. It just hurt watching.
"Thank you." His smile was genuine, "You sure you don't need me to walk you home or anything?"
"That's very neighborly, but I think I can risk the 2 yard journey home." I joked, "You should get back in that sandwich on the couch. The boys are probably missing you." Oh hell, how much I'd miss him if he stepped away from me for a second.
The smile on his face shrunk and if my eyes weren't playing tricks on me, I'd say there was sadness there on his face, "You would think." He whispered softly, "Good night, Jacob."
"Night." Was all I could say. The door closed and I was left standing there in a complete stupor.
If you like it or want it to continue, let me know. If I know there are readers waiting, I will throw the chapters out way quicker. If not, I'll take my sweet time. ;)