Feast of Love
by Ceri Grenelle
Croft Holiday Series
Publication Date: December 12, 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Erotic, Menage, MMF, Romance
Synopsis: Armie Croft just lost the last of his vision due to a degenerative disease, something that proves problematic as he bangs his head against the side of the JCA pool during a late night swim. Leighanne Misra, the nighttime lifeguard, jumps in to rescue him, followed by Mitch Karmi…who is wearing a suit and has no training when it comes to performing CPR. Soon after laughing at Mitch’s soaking wet clothes, and double checking to make sure Armie is alive and well, a steamy connection is forged between the three acquaintances.Mitch wants to hide their ménage from the public, much to Armie and Leighanne’s dismay, but he negotiates and asks they at least have the week leading up to the first night of Hanukkah to themselves. The three lovers are stronger together but sometimes you never truly appreciate what you have until you’ve lost it.
Armie woke with the acute awareness that he was somewhere he’d never been before. The sounds were all wrong to be his apartment or sisters’ houses or even Dearborne’s back room where drunks sometimes slept the night off. No, this place sounded almost cavernous, the ambient noise bouncing off hard surfaces with nothing to absorb them. He stretched his hand to his right and came up against a soft surface. He was lying on a couch. That wasn’t ominous; that wasn’t a reason to start panicking. There was a blanket covering him; thick, felt like wool. Serial killers wouldn’t cover him with a woolen blanket, nor keep him unbound. A self-deprecating thought shamefully struck his mind, bringing on another familiar wave of helplessness.
“They would once they realized you were pretty much feeble,” he muttered.
“Oh, you’re awake!”
Armie went for the voice swinging, but in his panic he forgot he was lying on a couch and rolled onto the floor. He landed on his back, knocking the wind out of him.
“Armie, Armie, it’s good. It’s Leighanne. You’re at Mitchell’s apartment.” She grabbed his hands, stilling his frantic and probably ridiculous-looking arm waving.
Leighanne, shit. He was okay. This was fine. Disgustingly embarrassing, but fine.
She rubbed his hands between hers, soothing and calming, bringing him back down to reality, explaining what had happened the night before. “You were drunk, and we were worried about you getting home on your own, so we brought you here.”
Right. He’d made a fool of himself at Dearborne’s as well. There was no way the old man wouldn’t call Ophi and Nettie about his antics now. The town was too nosy for its own damn good.
“I went to the bar to have a few beers¼”
“By a few, I think you mean nearly ten shots and five beers according to a text we got from Dearborne after bringing you here.” She stroked his cheek with her knuckles, the bones tripping over his stubble. “You’re a crafty drunk, ordering from different bartenders so they can’t tell how much you’re drinking till it’s too late.”
“Yeah, call me the master,” he mumbled. He felt for the couch’s edge and hauled himself up from the floor to sit. The cushion dipped next to him, and Leighanne’s spicy scent suffused his senses. He could only be grateful Mitch hadn’t seen his swan dive.
Armie rubbed his eyes. They were gritty. Even though he couldn’t use them, they still collected moisture overnight that crusted in the morning. Annoying, really. “Shit.” He didn’t say anything else, thoroughly self-conscious, even more so than he had been at the JCA. “I should go.” He looked up, hoping to be facing in her direction.
Armie remembered what it was like to speak to a blind person, back when he could still see. They didn’t look directly at him, slightly off centered sometimes. It had been odd, but worse, it had made Armie feel pity for the person. He never wanted Leighanne to feel that way about him. “Thank you for rescuing me. Again. Where’s Mitchell?”
A voice from across the room echoed, coming closer as he spoke. “You both need to start calling me Mitch. I never considered myself a Mitchell.”
“I like Mitchell.” Leighanne’s lilting tones. Her voice was so musical. “It sounds classic.”
Mitchell hummed at the compliment, and Armie heard skin sliding against skin. Was he touching her? Had they done something together? Of course they had. Judging by how they had felt at the JCA, they were both extremely witty and smart and accomplished. Of course they’d be together. Armie couldn’t hold back his sigh at another missed opportunity. He should have gotten over himself back in that locker room, should have given in to what he’d wanted. But the fear and the shame had been too strong, to the point where it was almost all he felt nowadays.
Armie cleared his throat. “Thanks, Mitch, for taking care of me.” The words felt like shrapnel in his mouth. “Is my phone here? I should call a cab.”
“Uh¼”Leighanne hesitated a second. “Yes, your phone is here. But we want you to stay for breakfast.”
“I don’t want to intrude.”
A big hand, Mitch’s hand, squeezed Armie’s shoulder. “You wouldn’t be intruding. In fact”—he slid the hand up the side of Armie’s neck and into his curls, playing with the strands and rubbing them against the shell of his ear—“we’ve been waiting to get you alone again since the locker room.”
Armie didn’t have to guess at Mitch’s meaning. The heat had been off the charts. Maybe they’d waited for him. Maybe they still wanted him. That would be too much to hope for. “Can I get a toothbrush and a shower?”
“Only if you stay for breakfast,” Leighanne said, the hopeful tone in her voice so endearing.
“Yes, I’ll stay.”
ABOUT CERI GRENELLE
I’ve always had an active imagination. An imagination that usually took form in the way of zoning out in the middle of conversations. I eventually decided it was time to share my daydreaming with the world and began to put my musings on paper. It started with Harry Potter fanfiction and grew from there.
I am currently living it up in Northern California after a big move from New York City. And by living it up I mean staying home with my cats, obsessively watching episodes of my favorite TV shows, all of which are extremely geeky, and simultaneously reading the next book on my reading list. I do all this while trying not to pig out on unhealthy snacks. As you can tell, I lead a busy life.