They had a yard.
Summer had grown up with a yard, of course, the rolling acres of the RoundTree estate, and Melinda had grown up in the ‘burbs – but Bishop had spent his whole life in apartments and high-rises.
Now, with the giant house they were renting (they’d gotten lucky, but, as Melinda pointed out, they usually got lucky when they really needed to. Summer was their good luck charm, and she was totally fine with that), they had space, they had a kitchen, and they had a back yard.
“You’re sure the landlord’s okay with a fire pit?” Bishop moved the cement pavers around one more time. “Right here look good to you?”
“I think it ought to all be one inch to the left,” Melinda teased. “Bishie, it’s fine.”
“It’s more than fine. It’s beautiful.” Summer grabbed one side of the metal pit while Melinda grabbed the other. “Just like you, Bishie.”
“I’m not entirely certain I approve of that nickname.”
“Too bad.” Melinda’s smile was the sort of brilliant warmth that always distracted Summer; whilst carrying a large metal bucket, however, was not the time to be distracted. She focused on the firepit. “And Mrs. Scrooge said it was fine. Pretty much, anything that doesn’t hurt the property is fine – including thought-out improvements – as long as our rent arrives on the first of every month before noon.”
“That specific?” Bishop belatedly hurried over, only to realize that there really wasn’t an easy way for three people to carry a round object. “Are you – do you-”
“We’re not delicate flowers, Bish.” The lilies in Melinda’s hair didn’t so much belie her assertion as highlight it. “Just spot us so we get this centered in your lovely stone circle?”
Summer could no more help the grin growing on her face than she could help the rainfall or the sun shining – less, since she knew charms for both of those. There was something about Melinda, something – fiery. “I love you.”
Sometimes, she still felt a moment of panic when she said things like that. You weren’t supposed to love the girl. You weren’t supposed to say it. She’d gotten burned before.
But Mellie just grinned back. “I know.” She made kissy faces across the firepit. “Let’s put this thing down so I can remind you exactly how much.”
“Ma’am, yes, ma’am.” It was an easy carry – it was an empty large metal bucket, it wasn’t all that heavy – and a slightly more complicated getting-it-centered dance, Bishop trying to steer and mostly failing.
And then they had all wiped their hands on their jeans – or each other’s jeans or the grass, or all three – Summer found herself being grabbed into a kiss.
She drew a luck charm in the air behind Mellie’s back, just a little boost, not that they needed it, and gave in to the kiss, a long thing, with tongue and just the right amount of nose-rubbing. Mellie had a bubble butt, as fun to squeeze as it was to watch from behind.
Bishop draped an arm around each of their shoulders, and Summer opened her eyes, realizing only then that she’d closed them. “We have a yard.” The sun was setting red and fiery behind her lovers, and they had a yard. “All is right with the world.”
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