Three Months Ago Isola di Girasoli,
Mediterranean SeaOn top of the cliff, overlooking the blue sea, I grabbed my boyfriend’s hand, pulled him to my side and asked, “Ready, bello?” Rocco’s short nails grazed my skin. He’d been biting them all week. He always did when he was nervous. “Jemma is going to say yes…” he whispered in my ear. “Sì, of course she is.” A few days before, we’d selected the spot. He’d suggested, “This is where we’ll ask her to marry us,” I’d agreed. The view, the place… so magical and perfetto. Inhaling deeply, I smelled the briny air filled with the faint sticky aroma of sunflowers. The ground was covered in them, and Isola di Girasoli had even been named after them. Growing on vivid green stalks, their bright yellow faces open, reaching up to the white sky for warmth and light. They were gleefully rooted about, almost as if cheering us on. In a way, Rocco and I were similar to those flowers reaching for something—nourishment and love. We got down on our knees, and the warm soil pressed under my legs. Glancing up at the woman we loved, we each took her hand. Jemma Fereti. Tall. Striking. Ours. We called her dolce because she always tasted like tiramisu when we kissed. As I studied her finger, the one I’d put the ring on, I thought about us… For me, taking Jemma as my bride, and Rocco as my groom, meant forever. My life spent searching for intention would soon be complete. Together they made up my everything. For Rocco, our union symbolized something he’d yearned for: a family. Hopefully for Jemma it would mean peace after her year-long battle with breast cancer. “Amore, go on. Ask her.” Patience wasn’t Rocco’s virtue. “Give me a minute—” In private, we’d talked about the day for the past few months. We’d picked out the perfect engagement ring: a Tittoni Gems of Distinction twelve-carat pink diamond, a custom-made work of art from Manhattan for Jemma. And two simple gold bands for Rocco and myself. We’d planned the vacation: a week alone on the island, getting time away. Only the three of us. This was one of Jemma’s favorite Mediterranean locals. She’d grown up there with her royal friend, Prince Massimo Tittoni, who ruled over the small country. Having Jemma’s hand in marriage was all Rocco and I ever desired. Over the past few years, we’d loved each other as a thruple. Our special togetherness had been all her doing. Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined an open poly relationship with one woman and another man working out. Certain jealousy and games would poison the affair, but it hadn’t tarnished our lovemaking in the least. That is till now. Rocco yearned for more, and frankly, so did I. Especially when Prince Massimo granted the Poly Marriage Act, legalizing the rights for those who loved openly to wed. “Dolce…we’d like to ask you something…” I got the words out. I wasn’t one to talk much. Regardless, Rocco had insisted it come from me. After all, I’d been with Jemma for almost a year before we’d met him. My boyfriend was the well-spoken one. The one in touch with his feelings. The man who’d glued the three of us together in ways which went beyond the boundaries of sex. He was the first and only man I’d ever had sex with, and I liked it. Oh, God, I fucking loved it! I loved him. “My amore—” Uncertainty quivered in Jemma’s voice. My left hand reached deep inside my pocket. I pulled out the diamond and held it up to her, sparkling in the sunshine, and asked, “Will you marry us?” With a smile, Rocco’s face beamed. Her mouth dropped open, asking, “Huh?”
New York Times bestselling author Avery Aster pens The Manhattanites, a contemporary erotic romance series of full-length, stand-alone novels, and the naughty new adult prequel companion series The Undergrad Years.
As a resident of New York City and a graduate from New York University, Avery gives readers an inside look at the city’s glitzy nightlife, socialite sexcapades and tall tales of the über-rich and ultra-famous.a Rafflecopter giveaway