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Only to Sink Beneath the Surface

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"You hate fun, don't you?" Ashlee asked, leaning her head against her arms at the side of the pool. "That's really what this is. You are a hater of fun, in all forms."

Patrick peered at her over the top of his magazine. "I think we just have different definitions of fun," he said. "Mine doesn’t necessarily include sunburn and getting chlorine in my eyes."

"Pete, where did you find this guy?" she asked, pouting a little.

"Borders," Pete told her. "Blame Joe. He got a defective copy." He flicked a stream of water towards Patrick's chair and got a lazily flipped middle finger in return.

"I like these hands shaped the way they are," Patrick said, wiggling his fingers in their direction. "And so do you. Wrinkly wet fingers suck for playing the guitar. And typing. And doing pretty much anything useful."

Ashlee narrowed her eyes at him. "So what you're saying is that, along with being someone who hates fun, you also wouldn't know what a vacation was if it bit you in the ass."

"No, I'm the one who bites him in the ass," Pete corrected, his voice low beside her ear, just loud enough for Patrick to hear. Patrick ignored him, but his cheeks turned a slightly deeper shade of pink as he stared intently at his magazine.

"Oh, right," Ashlee replied, and tipped her head back to kiss Pete, listening to the way Patrick's chair squeaked as he shifted. When she pulled back and looked at him again, he wasn't even pretending to read anymore, his eyes following Pete's hands as they curled possessively around Ashlee's waist.

Ashlee boosted herself up against the edge of the pool, Pete still holding her, and took the hat off Patrick's head. Patrick made a tiny startled noise and a grab for it, but she splashed back down beside Pete, putting it on herself instead. Patrick frowned at her. "Your hair's all wet," he said.

"All of her's all wet," Pete reminded him, and leaned in to lick drops of water off her neck. Patrick swallowed, finally setting the magazine aside and sitting up. "If you want it, you have to come get it," Pete added. Ashlee wasn't sure if he was talking about the hat or her, or both, but it didn't matter, because Patrick was rolling up the ends of his pants and sliding off his chair to sit at the edge of the pool, feet dangling into the water.

He reached out and touched the brim of the hat, but didn't take it back, just tilted it a little on her head. "It looks better on you," he said.

She ran her hands up his legs, resting them against the warm fabric over his thighs. "I think you're wrong," she told him, and he shook his head, fingers slipping up her throat where Pete had just kissed.

"I'm not," he told her, and leaned down to kiss her under the brim of the hat.

He was warm all over, heated by the sun, and she let her arms slip around to his back, tucking them up under his shirt to touch the skin there as he kissed her, Pete still pressed up against her from behind. His hands came around to rest where hers had been on Patrick's thighs, and she felt Patrick shiver a little, give a tiny stuttering exhale into her mouth before kissing her harder. Pete's mouth touched her shoulder, open and hot, and she knew without looking how he looked like this, his eyes dark and turned on as he watched them kissing, pressing his mouth and his hands to them to remind himself that he was a part of this, that this was his.

"You should get in here," he finally told Patrick when Ashlee broke the kiss and leaned back against him.

Patrick leaned forward and retrieved his hat, then lounged back on his arms, looking down at both of them. "I think you should come out here, actually," he said. "I have a bed, somewhere in that direction." He waved his hand vaguely into the distance. Pete and Ashlee exchanged a look. "It's a big bed," he added.

"He makes a compelling point," Pete said.

"He does," Ashlee said, nodding solemnly.

"But you know, we still have something on our side that he's maybe not considering."

"That's true," Ashlee agreed.

Patrick peered down at them suspiciously from under his hat. "Do I even want to ask?" he wondered.

Pete looked at Ashlee, and they each grabbed one of Patrick's hips, dragging him into the pool. He waited for Patrick to surface and then beamed at him. "Gravity," he said.