Trevor paused mid-bite. “And?”
“And I’ll be good to go day after tomorrow,” Edgard said, fiddling with his napkin.
Trevor almost demanded, “Already?” but he cautioned himself to stay cool. “They say how much the repairs’ll run ya?”
“That ain’t bad.”
They talked specifics on the repairs, delving into the minute details neither of them gave a shit about, just to keep the conversation going. Just to avoid discussing what Edgard’s leaving really meant.
After five or so minutes of senseless car chatter, Chassie slapped her hands on the table, startling both men. “Enough. There’s been enough goddamn secrets, lies, and skirting the goddamn truth. No more. We’re gonna talk this through, startin’ right now.”
“Chass, I don’t think—”
“Do you want Edgard to go?” she demanded.
Trevor’s gut clenched at the thought of Ed leaving again. But how could he admit that? Out loud? To his wife? He studied the checkered tablecloth.
“Fine. If you can’t be honest, maybe he can.” Chassie focused on Edgard. “Do you want to leave here? And I’m not talkin’ about Wyoming. I’m talkin’ about our home.”
Edgard’s gaze zipped from Chassie to Trevor and back to Chassie before he shook his head.
The tightness in Trevor’s body faded.
“I’m pretty sure Trevor doesn’t want you to go. But this conversation is over if he doesn’t have the balls to admit it to you or to me.”
Their gazes burned through him, incinerating his damn pride. He looked up, right into Edgard’s eyes. “I don’t want you to go.”
If Trevor thought his admission would loosen the tension in the room, he was sorely mistaken. The sticky silence went on.
The furnace kicked on, breaking the still, heated air.
“Bizarre as it might sound, it was what I wanted to hear.” Chassie finished her beer in one greedy gulp and reached for another. “Let’s get to it.”
“Get to what?”
“You know . It.”
“Baby, you’ve been hittin’ the Bud a little hard—”
“So? I needed the liquid courage.”
Trevor frowned. “Liquid courage for what?”
A determined glint shone in Chassie’s eyes. “To tell you that I want to see you and Edgard together.”
“See us together…how?”
“See you together sexually.”
His eyes threatened to pop out of his fool head. “Jesus, Chassie, you can’t just—”
“Yes, I can and you’ll damn well let me finish. I wanna watch you two touchin’ each other. Bein’ together like you used to be. As lovers.”
“Why?” burst from Trevor’s mouth before he curbed it.
“Channing told me how beautiful it was watchin’ you guys. I need to see it for myself. Maybe then I’ll understand.”
Trevor swallowed his disbelief as he reached for Chassie’s hand. He didn’t speak for a bit.
A disgruntled, “What?” tumbled from her pursed lips.
“You were ready to kick me out yesterday after just seein’ Ed kissin’ me.”
“Ah yeah. I know.”
“It made you jealous. So you think you can handle seein’ what we are when we’re really together? Sexually? As lovers?”
Chassie looked straight at him. “I want to try.”
He considered her.
“What? You don’t believe me, do you?”
Trevor shrugged. “Hell, if you remember, you offered me to Ed at one point yesterday, sayin’ you were done with me.”
Edgard snorted softly.
A feeble smile appeared on Chassie’s face.
“Then you asked me not to be with Ed while you were gone. Which I respected.” His eyes cut to Edgard. “Which we both respected.”
“I know that too, Trev.”
“So how am I supposed to believe you want me to be with him now? How can I believe you ain’t gonna change your mind?”
“I said things out of anger because I was hurt. Because it was such a shock that I didn’t know anything about him or how you felt then or now.” She tried to dislodge his hand but he held tight. “It didn’t have to be a shock. You could’ve told me.”
“You’re wrong, Chassie. Telling you would’ve served no purpose,” Edgard said.
After Edgard spoke, her gaze zoomed to him. “Why?”
“If Trevor couldn’t admit how he felt about me to me, or even to himself, what chance did he have of explaining it to you so you understood? Especially when he knew how much that declaration would hurt you?”
“It would’ve hurt no matter what. With all the confusing thoughts runnin’ through my mind, one thing stuck out, one thing haunted me.”
“Which was what, baby?” Trevor asked.
“Longing. I saw it on your face. I saw it on Ed’s face. I didn’t understand it. But I had seen it before. Off and on since the first time we met.” She squeezed her eyes shut.
“Made me think of my brother because I’d seen it on his face too goddamn many times to mention. I never knew what it meant when he’d get that far off look. Now I think I do. If Dag would’ve trusted me, if he would’ve trusted one person in his life, one person that he didn’t have to lie to, one person who would try to understand, one person who loved him no matter what he did, or who he loved, would it have made a difference?”
“I don’t know, but you can’t beat yourself up about that, Chass.”
“Too late, even when I can’t go back and change the past. Not Dag’s past, not the past you two shared, but I can go forward. We all can go forward. Start fresh.”
Chassie opened her eyes. “Neither of you used my absence last night as an excuse to be together like you both longed to.” Her laugh was soft and sob-like. “It sounds crazy, but I know neither of you want to hurt me, you’d rather hurt yourselves again and I can’t live with that either. So seeing you two together is what I’ve come up with to start. If either of you has a better idea, I’m all ears.”
Edgard snatched her free hand. “So if Trevor and I are together tonight, what does that mean for tomorrow night? And the nights after that?”
“I don’t know. I wish I could guarantee I won’t have a screaming, hissy jealous fit at seein’ your hands on him, Ed. But the only thing I can promise is that for tonight, it’s not about me. It’s about you two. What you bring to each other. I won’t stand in your way, I won’t pass judgment. I won’t participate, I’ll try like hell not to interrupt. I’ll just be there watching.”