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The Strength to Find

By Abby Mallard All Rights Reserved ©

Romance / Drama

Blurb

I wasn't myself. At least that's what I would say if I knew what 'myself' meant. But I didn't. Hadn't, in fact, for much of my life. I could no longer remember what it felt like to be happy without the help of someone or something. I no longer remember trying to find happiness in something that wasn't destructive. I had lost my way a long time ago, and that was something that scared me when I was sober enough to think about it. And maybe that was the reason I never was. But to leave behind my life, my family, my status - that wasn't something I thought I could do. But now, now more than ever, I realized that if I didn't, there wouldn't be a 'myself' to find.

Chapter 1

Consciousness started to seep through my groggy, hungover brain. Not wanting to get out of bed just yet, I pointed my toes and stretched before snuggling into the body in front of me, which made the body behind me snuggle into me more, tightening his arms around my waist, as if he didn’t want me to get up either, even though his soft snores gave away that he was still asleep.

I inhaled deeply, the stench of the night before, of booze and sex and pot, permanently stitched into the very fibers of the sheets, mixed with the sweet, musky smells of the men on either side of me.
Eventually I realized the guys weren’t getting up anytime soon, and my hangover was pounding in my head, demanding coffee. So I slipped out of the double embrace with a stealth I had refined over time, and made my way stumbling into the kitchen.

Reaching into the polished cabinets, I took out my mug and loaded the coffee machine with the coffee grounds, and pressed brew. I knew Charlie and Ian would want some too, as they were probably equally hungover as me.

A few minutes passed by in silence as I listened to the drip of the coffee into the pot. When it was done, I lifted it out and poured my mug full before reaching for the sugar sitting by the coffee maker and spooning two piles into the mug, stirring it lazily.

It was a Saturday morning, I think, and there was no schedule. There never was any schedule.

Padded footsteps came up behind me and a pair of arms wrapped around me, a mouth kissed my neck and a rough voice whispered in my ear, “Good morning sexy. How are you?”

His hands were splayed out across my stomach, but slowly made their way to my breasts, cupping them.

I arched into his hands, moaning softly, forgetting about the coffee in my hands.

“I’m great, thanks for asking,” I whispered back breathlessly, “I would ask how you’re doing, but I think I already know.” None of us ever bothered with clothes unless we went out, as they always came off with the insatiable desires that always seemed to be coursing through the house, which made his well-being very evident on my backside.

His only reply was a low chuckle that reverberated into the skin on my neck that his mouth was lavishing attention on.

The cup of coffee had gone lukewarm when it spilled across the countertop due to Mr. Desire lifting me onto the spot it had been in. His lips never left my skin, and he trailed a path from my neck to my lips.

I wrapped my naked legs around his torso, pulling him closer to me, and ran my fingers through the soft locks of brown hair that fell from his head. Our lips grazed each other’s tenderly at first, but I soon pulled his lips to mine again, harder, more passionately. He responded and put his hands on my thighs as his tongue gracefully explored the long memorized paths of my mouth.

I didn’t notice the coffee dripping off the counter and onto the tiles, nor did I notice the other man enter the kitchen.

“Fuck, Charlie,” I threw my head back as he lowered his mouth to my chest and his hands made their way in towards my body.

Charlie went to work on me, pleasuring me to heights I would never get tired of, and a second mouth planted itself on my neck, now covered with a thin sheen of sweat, its tongue sweeping up and down the column, savoring the taste of my skin.

Charlie stopped suddenly, and my growing peak started to dwindle away immediately.

“Charlie," I panted, "I hate it when you do that.” He grinned, his whole face lighting up as he cleaned his fingers off.

“I know.”

“You know, I’d really appreciate it if you guys would wake me up when you do this. Do you know how left out I feel when I walk into the kitchen to find my two best friends heavy petting on the countertop at 11 in the morning? I want some action too,” Ian pouted.

“Well maybe if you hadn’t done that last shot last night you would’ve woken up earlier,” Charlie said with a shrug of his shoulders, “The early bird gets the worm, or rather, the early riser gets the Cass.” He smiled seductively at me, and I could see in his eyes and also other male anatomy that he really wanted to finish what he had started. Ian obviously wasn’t going to object, either, and I was certainly worked up enough.

“Well I had to outdo Cass, my man-code doesn’t allow her to beat me in shots.” I laughed.

“Ian, you had already passed me by about three shots when you had that last one. Don’t pin your hangover on me.” He raised his eyebrow at me before stalking over to me and gently pressing my hands above my head, pinning me to the refrigerator.

His teeth grazed my neck, “I hope you’re planning on making up for the time I lost this morning with your rendezvous with Charlie. And as I recall,” his voice dropping to low octaves that made me crazy, “you happen to love it when I pin things on you. Or perhaps that’s just when I pin you down.”

He was right. I was almost panting by this time, already worked up from Charlie, and I did love a little bit of light bondage every now and then.

“Hey, kids, let’s go finish this in the bedroom, huh? I’m suffering over here.”

Ian let go of me with his hands, but not his eyes.

Never his eyes.

They were always locked onto mine, always locking me to him.

He took my hand and led me, following Charlie, back into the bedroom we had only recently woken up in.

And then the door closed.

...

All three of our eyes were glazed over, both from the sex and the joint that was making its way between the three of us.

“So, what are we doing today then, other than, you know, sex and smoking.” Charlie puffed out a cloud of marijuana, watching it dissipate into the already-smoky room.

“I dunno. I’m kinda hungry. Maybe we can go out to eat. We could call Lucas, he probably has gotten enough sleep since his shift to come with us.” I looked at the time on the clock, 1:20 pm, and nodded. Ian kind of tensed up then, so I looked over to see a grin the size of Texas on his face.

“Why don’t we take the Camaro?” Charlie let out a sound of approval.

Wild things always happened in the Camaro. It always ended in a wild joy ride, and an adrenaline rush that left us hungry for more.

"And afterward we can go to the Grove and spend some time there."

The suggestion made tingles run through my body. The Grove was where the Camaro always wound up after a joy ride. A secluded, no-trespassing wooded area with a meadow right smack in the middle of it, away from the San Francisco life that my Daddy had bought me, it was the perfect place for the four of us to mess around and do whatever we wanted. Not that we didn't anyways.

I picked up my phone and punched my recent contacts in, finding Lucas's name and putting him on speaker phone.

"Cassie, hey." Lucas's voice sounded scratchy, like he had just woken up.

"Hey Lucas. We didn't wake you, did we?" My voice, on the other hand, sounded lazy and relaxed, most likely due to the drugs.

"Nope. I woke up about ten minutes ago. You need something?"

"I need for you to get your cute butt ready and waiting for us to pick you up. We're going to Franzies for lunch in the Camaro."

"Ok, sounds good. Are we going the usual?"

Charlie and Ian had been finishing the joint off, and found Lucas's question hilarious.

Hearing their laughter in the background, Lucas said, "I'll take that as a yes then. And tell them to not be too high when they get me."

"No promises," I giggled, taking another drag from the almost stubbed joint before hanging up.

We sat there for a few more minutes soaking in the peacefulness of the moment before we got up and got dressed.

People told me I was pretty. But I could never tell if they were telling me that I was pretty or that my clothes were pretty. It was petty of me, but they were the reason I bought the expensive brands, those comments. I relished in the feeling of being wanted and desired because I could. And maybe people judged me when I dressed to impress, or when I dressed the boys to impress, but I had spent my life trying to impress. It was all I knew how to do.

I met Ian in high school, and had grown up with Charlie, but our relationship didn't transpire until college. I had graduated with a degree in business, because of my father. But when I wasn't high, drunk, or tangled up in the sheets with the boys, I was out in the city, jotting down things that inspired me, not studying up on business strategies or keeping up with the stock market.

My business degree hadn't been one of my finest moments, mostly because that's when it all started. My father was one of the biggest business tycoons in the world. He had worked his way up the corporate ladder and schemed until he got his position as CEO of Launders Corp., and then ran with it. He had brought the company up to compete as the most profitable one in the business, and soon became one of the richest men in the world because of it.

I, on the other hand, had not worked a day in my life. From the time my father started making a salary in the six-digits, I was getting allowances of triple digits. When I got to college six years ago, my father had made me a deal. He would pay for my college, and would give me $5,000 a month after graduation if I agreed to major in business, so that if I ever decided I wanted to get a job, I could start my path to success that he had paved in gold for me. He didn't care if I actually used my degree, or hell, what I did with the money. So, of course, I used my position of his only child to renegotiate and got out of it a fully paid major in Business, the beloved Camaro, a house, and $7,000 a month. I had no student loans, no parental supervision, and a constant supply of cash delivered to my bank account monthly.

My father owned most of the businesses in San Francisco, and the ones he didn't he was a large donor to. This included the police department, per my request. I may be lazy, conceited, and damned to hell when I died, but I was smart. My father was an annual donor to the police department and I made sure I was the one who personally delivered the check to them. I had made friends with many of the officers, and it probably helped that I slept with the chief in order to be able to do whatever I wanted. I had friends in all the right places.

It was almost two when we pulled out of the driveway, the red Camaro gleaming in the sunshine that hurt our alcohol-affected eyes.

Ian was driving, and I had my sunglasses on with the front seat window down, enjoying the wind blowing through my hair. The speedometer quickly reached illegal heights, and we swerved through the lunch traffic, cutting people off and driving through bike lanes because we honestly didn't give a damn.

We pulled into an open spot and honked the horn at a set of high-end apartments. The doors opened and Lucas stepped out in sunglasses looking like a god.

Long and lanky, Lucas was a sight for sore-eyes. His blond hair had a natural sexy-tousle look to it, he had gone to college full-ride for soccer, and had kept in shape ever since. His clothes weren't high end like ours, but you couldn't tell because he could pull off the polo and jeans pretty damn well.

He came around to the passengers side with a smile that melted my heart.

I had such physical relationships with Ian and Charlie, and I loved them both so much. Especially Ian. Every time I saw Ian I could feel myself getting excited and my favorite thing to do in the mornings was to hold him to me and run my fingers through his hair. I had always since high school had more than a crush on him, but would never tell him that.

Charlie was my protector. We had grown up together, and he was my rock. He was the one who supported me to go through with college at all and he was the one who would mess a guy up if he broke my heart in the days when I still got close enough to the guys I dated.

Lucas was different. He was my best friend. He was down to earth and the most normal of us all. If Ian and Charlie came home with girls after a night in the clubs, he would take me to his apartment and we'd watch a chick flick together and follow it up with a joint and talk about life and love and just spill out our hearts to each other as we listened to the city traffic outside.

Charlie and Ian and I - we fucked. It was a mutual relationship and I loved both of them in different ways but also the same, and they were always there. But Lucas and I, we made love. I mean, I'm not saying he wasn't exciting in bed, because by god, he was, but there was emotion. If I wasn't as screwed up as I was, and I lead a normal life, Lucas was the guy I would've married. As much as I was attracted physically to Ian, I was attracted as much emotionally to Lucas. I connected with Lucas in ways I just couldn't with the other two.

So when he opened the passenger side door, I got out, stretching my willowy body, and pecked him on the lips.

"Hey Luke." His eyes were flecked with gold, I swear.

"Hello Cassie." There was a faint 'come on' from the car, so I stopped staring at him and he got in the car. Instead of using the back seat, I planted myself on Lucas's lap, wrapping one arm around his neck and the other attaching itself to the hanging handle.

We were in for a wild ride.

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