Exclusive Excerpt from Always Ours
by J.P. James
“Walk me home?” I ask the twins shyly.
I have to fight past my nerves if I want them to take me seriously. Hell, I need to do this if I’m going to take myself seriously.
Logan and Mason share glances and then nod. I know these guys are big and strong, but I can’t help going mushy whenever they look at each other. I might not ever be able to understand their twin language, but it’s a privilege to witness.
I don’t want to be alone, so I’m grateful when they agree to take me home. I live in a tiny apartment on the top floor of a five-story building. Of course, there are plenty of stairs and the three of us smile as we ascend.
“Police Academy training has nothing on this walk-up,” Logan chuckles as we hit the fourth floor.
“I’m used to it,” I explain with a spring in my step.
“I can tell,” Mason husks.
I feel the firm, sure touch of his hand at my ass as we ascend the stairs. I laugh but don’t bother batting his hand away. I love that he appreciates my body. I don’t exercise much, but I have to scale one hundred and thirty-two steps at least once a day. My lower body is made of steel, and if these guys want to admire it, I’m not going to stop them. If anything, it gives me a confidence boost.
Without thinking, I let out a low purr. It’s quiet in the staircase, and I know I can’t it play off like an actual cat escaped a neighbor’s apartment.
I turn around to face them, and find their hungry eyes feasting on my body. I watch the rise and fall of their chests as they try to calm their breathing, but my little outburst unleashed more of their animalistic grit. I consider it a privilege that I can do this to them.
Everything about these guys feels like a privilege, if I’m being honest, and I don’t want to deny myself the pleasure either. My body screams for Logan and Mason, as if I belong to them already. Doctor Marty says I should focus on the things I have control over, and I’ve been thinking about that a lot. I’m tired of feeling overwhelmed and helpless. I want to chase the things that inspire and empower me, and never look back.
Right now, what empowers me is having my buff saviors by my side. Logan and Mason treat me right. When I feel anxious, I remember their sure, comforting touches and their gentle, kind words. It warms me, and calms the ache in my heart.
It’s what I need to feel and hear tonight.
I think this does more healing for me than any therapy. I know Doctor Marty is a professional, but these guys mend my body and soul more than they know.
“My apartment is at the end of the hall,” I explain as I push the door open to the fifth floor. “Would you like to come in for a bit?”
They nod and pick up the pace behind me. I notice their eyes shift around as we cross towards my front door. In fact, I think they’ve been watching for lurkers and creeps the entire walk home. Maybe it’s their training that makes them act this way, but I like to think there’s something special about this level of security. Something reserved only for me. Dare to dream, I guess.
“This is nice,” Mason says, stepping into my apartment with Logan on his heels. I shut the door behind them, feeling my heart start to quicken.
“It’s tiny,” I tell them, but Logan shakes off my remark.
“It might be tiny but it’s clean. If you weren’t pursuing interior design, now would be the time we tried to convince you to,” he says with an affirming smile. “Your décor is amazing.”
Yum. Every word out of their mouths gives me strength.
I gesture for them to sit at the leather couch in the living room.
“My Aunt Darcy bought this sofa and also my bed. They’re the only nice things I own because everything else is Ikea, until I get a real job at least,” I joke.
“It’s beautiful,” says Mason as he grips the leather cushion beneath him.
“And there’s nothing wrong with Ikea,” Logan adds. “It has its uses.”
I pull a cushion from the closet and set it on the ground in front of them.
“Hey, don’t sit there,” Mason starts, but my hand flies up to stop him.
“Believe me, I like sitting on the ground. Plus, this way I can admire both of you at the same time,” I tell them. I can feel the blush on my cheeks but I fight through it.
“Thank you,” Logan chuckles. “You’re really sweet.” Mason smiles too.
“I wanted to tell you something,” I say as I look between their beautiful blue eyes. I take my seat on the cushion, and push my knees up to my chest as I cradle myself for comfort.
“Yes?” the twins ask. I take a deep breath.
“Well, I started going to therapy because you know the city pays for it after an attack like the one I had. I had my first session the other day, and I have another appointment next week. Until I can get my anxiety under control.”
Their eyes are a complex mix of affection and sadness, the blue going from light to dark, and then back again. They’re happy that I’m seeking treatment, but it’s another reminder of how we know one another, and how we got to this place. The good with the bad, I suppose.
“We’re proud of you,” Mason promises, looking directly into my eyes. “It’s important to take your mental health seriously.”
Logan nods all the same. “Exactly. You’re brave, but we already knew that. This is to help you recover even more.”
The blush hasn’t left my face. If anything, I feel warmer and definitely want to take my shirt off, anything to get some cold air on my skin.
“There’s something we want to ask you too,” Logan says in the next moment.
I look between them, but their expressions are unreadable. “Sure, ask away.”
“The trial for your attacker is in a few days. I was thinking about testifying, if that’s alright with you,” Logan confesses.
My chest tightens, but the twins have their hands on me before I freak out.
“We don’t want to stress you out,” Mason adds. “But the DA has asked us to get up on the stand.”
I steady my breathing, trying to focus on their touch.
“That’s alright. It’s fine. I’m going to be fine,” I say.
Mason nods, and I can feel my face burning up. It’s not like they have any choice when it comes to testifying. But still, their concern shakes me to my core. It’s all so much, how these guys take care of me and ask about getting up on the stand, as if my opinion makes a difference. In such a short time, they’ve become important people in my life. I can feel it everywhere, in my heart, in my head, and in my groin right now.
“You seem flushed,” Logan notes as his eyes rake over my face. They dip lower, taking in the rest of me as I unfurl my knees from my chest.
“Yeah,” I breathe. “I can’t help it.”
I let my gaze wander over their bodies. They must like it too, both of them spreading their arms and legs wider on the couch, giving my eyes as much of them as possible.
“What do you want, sweetheart?” Mason asks. He tries to sound innocent but my ears find nothing of the sort behind his hoarse voice.
I focus again on them, succumbing to the fire building in my chest. “I want you. Both of you. Is that okay?”