Eliot opened his eyes and blinked at the brightness of the room. He glanced up at the open shades in surprise. Normally he would have pulled the blackout blinds. He stretched and winced. His body was pleasantly sore. For once, it wasn't the soreness from winning a fight, it was the soreness of having a great time in bed.
Memory flooded back. He sat up suddenly and looked around the room. Sophie and Nate were no where to be seen, but Nate’s trench coat was still tossed over the chair and Sophie’s bra was draped over the nightstand. He got out of bed and pulled on a pair of sweatpants. He took a side trip to the bathroom and after relieving himself he went in search of Sophie and Nate.
He could hear voices coming from the kitchen. Nate was seated at the small table in the breakfast nook and Sophie was in the kitchen looking through his cabinets. Nate was dressed in his pants and Sophie was wearing the same button down shirt that she’d greeted Nate in earlier.
“What’s going on?” Eliot asked.
Sophie and Nate both turned in surprise. “What are you doing up?” Sophie asked.
“I woke up.”
She frowned at him and put her hands on her hips. “You are supposed to still be in bed. You’re ruining my plans.”
Eliot glanced over at Nate, but Nate wasn’t giving anything away. “What plans?”
“I was going to make you breakfast in bed.”
Eliot looked around his kitchen in panic. He was still finding ingredients in strange places in the kitchenette at the office from the last time Sophie tried to make lunch for them all.
“Oh don’t worry. I hadn’t started. I can’t find your waffle iron.”
“Thank god for small favors,” Eliot muttered, loud enough for Nate to hear. Nate snickered and Sophie glared at them both.
“Well, that’s a nice how do you do. I’m trying to do something nice!”
“Sophie, if you really want to do something nice, you’ll leave the cooking me,” Eliot soothed.
She gave a loud sigh and strode over to the table and sat down in the chair next to Nate. “Fine. You can feed us then.”
Eliot moved into the kitchen and pulled the waffle iron down from the high cabinet he had it stored in. He quickly gathered the ingredients and started measuring. A though occurred to him. He set down the equipment and turned around. “Wait, how did we come around to me cooking breakfast for the two of you?”
“I was going to cook you breakfast in bed but you came in and insulted me and took over,” Sophie said with a huff.
“Yeah, but why are you both still here?”
“You said we could stay as long as we wanted,” Nate said, taking a sip of coffee.
Eliot opened his mouth to refute that, but he vaguely remembered making that statement. He closed his mouth and turned back to making the waffles.
“How are you feeling this morning, Eliot?” Nate asked.
“I feel fine. Good.”
“That’s good. Any regrets?”
“No. Should I have some?” Eliot challenged, looking over at Nate.
“Nope. Just wanted to be sure,” Nate grinned.
“So what was last night all about?”
Sophie pouted. “You are bound and determined to not stick to the script aren’t you?”
Eliot frowned at her. “Since no one gave me the script how can I follow it? Look, just tell me what last night was all about. That’s all I want.”
Nathan and Sophie looked at each other and Eliot could almost see the conversation flying between them. After a few moments they turned back to Eliot.
“We’ll tell you after breakfast, okay? We promise,” Nate soothed.
“Fine.” Eliot went back to making the batter for the waffles. At this point he wasn’t sure he wanted to know what was going on. If this had just been a one time thing, a fun, harmless little con, there wouldn’t be all the secrecy and deep meaningful looks between Nate and Sophie. He’d known he was the odd man out on the team. Nate and Sophie had the thing between them and Hardison and Parker were getting closer. It didn’t bother him, but on occasion he did wonder where it would leave him if everyone else paired up.
He had no doubt that Nate and Sophie had worked together on this, but the questioned remained, why? This appeared out of no where. He wasn’t one to accept gift horses without checking out their mouths, but last night he had been a little too wiped to worry about it. It was a different matter in the daylight after a whole night’s sleep.
He poured batter into the iron and closed the lid. He moved over to the stove to heat up the fruit compote he’d made earlier in the week. It would make a nice topping for the waffles. He expertly flipped the bacon sizzling on another of the six burners. He might not be sure what was going to happen next, but he was going to make damn sure that they were well fed.
He contemplated putting out some yogurt. Greek yogurt with a little bit of raw lavender honey mixed in and berries and sliced apples for dipping would be a good accompaniment. He decided against it. Neither Nathan nor Sophie were big breakfast eaters no matter how much he tried to change that. Coffee seemed to be their idea of a perfectly good breakfast. Occasionally they added a bagel or muffin, or for Nate, a beer.
The light on the waffle iron turned green and Eliot removed the waffle and poured another one. He placed the cooked waffle on a plate and slid it into the warming oven.
While he finished cooking breakfast Sophie found the plates and silverware and set the table. It didn’t take long for the rest of the waffles and for the bacon to finish cooking. He carried the plates of waffles and bacon to the table and then returned to the stove to spoon the compote into a serving dish.
He brought the compote and a bottle of maple syrup to the table and sat down. He snagged two of the waffles and five slices of bacon. One of the waffles he covered with the compote and the other with maple syrup. He looked over at the others’ plates and saw that they had taken a waffle each. Sophie had taken two slices of bacon and Nate had matched Eliot with five. Sophie chose the fruit compote and Nate the maple syrup. Eliot was pretty sure that if he had studied psychology he could find some meaning in those choice.
“Eliot, this waffle is fantastic and the fruit is delightful. Where did you get it?” Sophie asked after taking a bite.
“I made it.”
“You made the fruit compote? Really?” Sophie smiled at Eliot in delighted surprise.
Eliot shifted in his seat. “Yeah. It’s not like it was hard. Fruit compote is really easy.”
“Still, most people don’t take the time. It’s nice to see.”
Eliot noticed that Nate was watching them as they talked. He watched as the other man reached out and snagged a bite from Sophie’s plate. Nate chewed the bite with a thoughtful look.
“Blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and something else. I can’t quite place it,” Nate said after swallowing.
Nate raised his eyebrows. “Elderberries? I wouldn’t have expected that. Interesting choice. I like it.”
“Thanks.” Eliot took a bite of his waffle, hoping that the discussion of his cooking was over. He didn’t like to talk about it much. It was just something he did. Luckily the rest of breakfast was finished in silence. It felt like it finished too soon however. He wasn’t ready to talk to the two of them about what had happened, but clean up wouldn’t take that long.
True to form it didn’t take long for them to clean off the table and put the kitchen to rights. It almost made him wish that he was a messier cook. Anything to delay the terrible awkwardness that he knew was coming.
Sophie picked up her cup of coffee and motioned to the living room. “Why don’t we get comfortable? We have a lot to talk about.”
Eliot sighed and picked up his tea. He didn’t see a way to avoid this. The only plus was that Nate looked as excited by this discussion as he was.
He followed the other two into the living room and he took a seat in one of the wingback chairs. Sophie and Nate took the couch. Sophie tucked her feet under her and leaned into Nate.
“Okay, so what was last night all about?” Eliot repeated his question from earlier.
“If you have to ask, we clearly didn’t do it right,” Sophie said with a smile.
Eliot rolled his eyes. “Very funny. You two obviously planned this out. Why?”
“Have you looked in the mirror lately, Eliot? You aren’t exactly hard on the eye,” Nate replied. “Yes, we did plan this out. We’ve had it planned out for a while, we were just waiting for the right moment. This was the right moment.”
“We also figured that you were finally ready for this. You still didn’t trust us totally before,” Sophie interjected.
“I still don’t,” Eliot said. Nate just smiled at him. Eliot hated that smile. It was the one he gave to people when he knew they were lying to him and he found it amusing.
“Look, we like you. A lot. You’re sexy and smart and fun,” Sophie broke in.
“So this was a one time thing then?”
Eliot looked over at Nate in surprise. “No?” he asked the older man.
“No. We don’t want a one time thing. A one time thing would only cause problems with the team. We’d all be thinking about it and it would mess things up. No, we want a full-time thing.”
Eliot was sure he looked like a fish gasping for air. He had no idea what to say to that. They were waiting for his response, but he couldn’t think of one.
“Eliot, why don’t we leave you here to think about what we’ve said? We’ll go out and enjoy that lovely backyard you have. When you’ve come to a decision, let us know.” Sophie stood up and hauled Nate off of the couch.
“You might want to get some pants on,” Nate said to Sophie as they passed Eliot.
“Oh, you’re right. I’ll be right back.”
Eliot felt Nate lean on the back of his chair. “Think about it hard, Eliot and fair warning, if you say no, we will work to change your mind. We want you. In our bed and in our lives.” Nate lightly kissed the top of his head, then wandered out into the backyard.
Sophie wandered back into the living room. “Did he go out back?” she asked. Eliot nodded. He still hadn't found his voice. “Oh good. Eliot?”
He looked up at her. She leaned over and gave him a quick kiss. “Pick the right choice, okay? We really don’t want to have to pull a long-term con on you.” She gave him a quick smile before heading towards the backyard.
He got up and headed for the kitchen. If he were going to be thinking about this, he wanted tea. Lots of strong, black tea. *****
Nate settled back into the patio chair. It was probably the most comfortable patio chair he’d ever been in. Of course given Eliot, he wasn’t terribly surprised. The younger man liked his comforts. He couldn't blame him, after spending a day hitting people and being hit by those people, he'd like his comforts too. He took a sip of coffee and for a moment wished that it had a nip of whiskey in it. Sophie settled into the chair next to him. “So, what do you think?” she asked.
“I think he’s confused. He has no idea what to think.”
She looked over at him. “What do you think he’s going to decide?”
He took another sip of coffee to delay his response. He wasn’t entirely sure what Eliot would do. His gut instinct but that wasn’t always accurate when it came to intimate matters. “I think he’ll choose us, but it might take a couple of days. We might have to con him into it. I think he wants it, but it’s not what he’s used to.”
“Before I came out, I warned him that we wouldn’t let him go. That we would fight him if he picked the wrong choice.”
He grinned and looked over at her. “So did I.”
Her laughter pealed through the backyard. They both settled into their chairs and looked out at the yard.
“It really is a lovely place. Exactly what I would have expected for him.”
Nate looked over at her and raised his eyebrow. He some how doubted that she was thinking Eliot would have picked a place like this.
She gave him a small smile. “Okay, when I first met him, I wouldn’t have thought of this. I would have expected more of a condo or something like that, but after getting to know him and meeting Aimee I changed my mind. I’m allowed.”
Nate sat back with a grin. “It’s what I pictured for him. But then I’ve been chasing him for a while.” He pointed to Eliot’s little garden. “I even figured that he would have his own vegetable and herb garden. He’s the type that likes to control his surroundings. He would have hated being in a condo. He couldn’t control the building.”
“You’ve put a lot of thought into this.”
Nate really couldn’t argue with that. He had. Most of the time it had been because he’d been chasing Eliot down for the job. After the job had ended and they’d become teammates it was for a totally different reason.
“I don’t blame you, you know. The moment I saw the two of you together, I knew. Did you chase him as hard as you chased me?”
“Not really. But then our paths didn’t cross much. Not like yours and mine.”
“But when they did cross?”
“I did my job.”
Sophie gave him a sly smile. “Mmm hmm.”
They both seemed to agree that it was a good place to end the discussion and they sat back and enjoyed the sun and the quiet. Nate wasn't sure how much time had passed, but by the position of the sun it was clear it had been a couple of hours when they were brought out of their drowsing by the back door opening. They looked up and saw Eliot standing in the doorway. They shared a quick glance and then looked back at the younger man.
He looked at them for a moment before speaking. "I've made my decision."
The End. For now.
Back to Leverage Bedroom