After Katy’s party, Trinity didn’t have much time to give to her thoughts. Sunday was busy with running household errands with Pam and Payton and preparing for the week ahead. The valuable family time helped Trinity to push away any errant thoughts about their relationship with Pam.
That Monday, Trinity sat on a bench outside their studio and enjoyed the fresh air. They just finished editing an extensive photo series they had shot with a neighborhood garden association. They usually only photographed people but made an exception for this project since it was being funded by a wealthy donor who had taken an interest in what the association was doing to transform the surrounding neighborhoods. It was not only good money, it was a great cause too.
Their phone buzzed and it was Gabby, confirming their date that night. They didn’t really have plans, as they usually did when they hung out, but Gabby had invited Trinity over to her place and they would order in. Gabby was an artist too – a painter. They met while on the set of a documentary that was featuring female-identified and non-binary artists in Brooklyn. They had hit it off right away and while one of Trinity and Pam’s rules was that neither of them could date anyone from work, after discussing it, they made an exception.
Trinity had been seeing Gabby for about four months and things were great. They had amazing conversations and even more amazing sex. Best of all, Gabby was perfectly comfortable with their arrangement. She didn’t necessarily claim the poly title but the nature of her work and her personality were such that casual dating was ideal for her. But that didn’t mean they didn’t care about each other, it just meant that they had comfortable boundaries. It worked.
That night, Trinity arrived at Gabby’s loft carrying the take-out Thai food she had requested. Gabby opened the door with a big smile, “Hey!” They embraced and made their way to Gabby’s living room area.
They hadn’t seen each other in a few weeks since Gabby had been traveling. Trinity had been busy too since Gabby wasn’t the only other person they were seeing, although she was the most consistent. They caught each other up on their lives over Pad Thai and Drunken Noodles. Gabby shared pictures from her trips and Trinity teased her that she needed to let them give her some one-on-one photography lessons.
Gabby laughed, “Shut up! You know I’m working on my skills. Whatever, I’m still an artist, paint is just my go-to medium, not a camera. I bet I could teach you a few things so you could be a more versatile artist too.”
“Alright, I’ll hold you to that, Gab. Come here,” Trinity said, putting their arms around Gabby’s waist.
Gabby came closer. “Did you miss me?”
“Of course,” Trinity kissed Gabby and she melted into their arms. They made out for a few minutes, enjoying the feel of lips they hadn’t kissed in a while and letting the stress of their days slip away. Gabby preferred having sex in her bed since there was more space and things got pretty wild when the two of them were together. So, she stood up and lead Trinity over to her satin sheet-laden bed.
Trinity wasted no time taking off Gabby’s clothes to reveal her pierced nipples, abundant cocoa brown thighs, and the curly hairs between her legs. Gabby sat on the bed and pulled Trinity down with her. They rolled over and Gabby straddled Trinity, kissing their lips eagerly. “You have no idea how much I missed you.”
“Show me,” Trinity challenged.
Gabby frantically pulled off Trinity’s clothes and crawled across the bed to her nightstand where all her goodies were. She grabbed her favorite handcuffs and proceeded to cuff Trinity to her headboard.
“Oh, we’re going there tonight, huh?” Trinity chuckled.
Gabby nodded with a mischievous gleam in her eyes and began running her tongue around Trinity’s bare nipples. Trinity moaned their satisfaction then collected themselves. “OK, that’s cute and all but what else you got?”
Gabby laughed, “You are such a smart ass.” She climbed back on top of Trinity and hovered her pussy over their face. She played with herself slowly until she began to drip her wetness. “Tell me how much you want it.”
“I want it so bad, baby. Let me taste you.”
Gabby ran her wet fingers across Trinity’s lips, leaving a trail of herself for them to taste. “Nope. Say ‘please’ first.”
“Get your ass over here and let me taste you.”
“Make me. Oh, you can’t. You’re all tied up. That’s too bad,” Gabby said wickedly. She continued to play with her pussy and then brought herself right to the edge of climaxing. Then she plunged herself onto Trinity’s mouth and rode it until she came all over them.
Trinity wanted to grab Gabby’s ass and pull her into their mouth again but the cuffs restricted her. Instead, they just licked their lips and waited to see what else she had in store.
“You’re being good tonight. Not even fighting it at all.” Gabby reached over and grabbed a dildo from her toy collection and turned around to face Trinity’s pussy. Gabby turned on the vibrate function of the toy and rubbed the tip on Trinity’s juicy pussy. Trinity started moving their hips up and down with the rhythm of the pulsations.
“Do you want it?”
“Shit, yes,” Trinity moaned.
“Good,” Gabby said then pushed the dildo between Trinity’s folds until they gasped with pleasure. Gabby fucked Trinity with the dildo and arched her back to display her ass and pussy, giving Trinity a sinfully enticing view.
She felt Trinity’s legs begin to shake and right when she knew they were going to cum, Gabby fed herself to Trinity again. Trinity gladly licked Gabby’s pussy while they grinded their own on the vibrating dildo. They both came in unison and Trinity was thankful that they didn’t have to muffle their screams in this kid-free space.
After she caught her breath, Gabby unlocked Trinity from the bed. “That was fun. Don’t ever let me go this long again without getting my playtime with you, OK?”
Trinity sat up to kiss Gabby. “Never,” they promised.
Later that night, after several lively rounds with Gabby, as Trinity was driving home, they felt an unfamiliar hollowness in their chest. Normally, after a date, Trinity felt energized and liberated. The ability to enjoy someone else’s company and then come home to the love of their partner who accepted their need for the company of others was exhilarating. That feeling of freedom normally lasted even after the actual moment of ecstasy. It fueled their creativity and gave them a zest for life. But tonight, after it was over, they felt nothing.
They thought back to this weekend, being with the loves of their life, Pam and Payton, and it was only then that they felt a spark. They thought about their family and how happy they were with their partners. Trinity’s parents and sister didn’t need outside stimulation to make them happy. They knew what they had in their partners and that was enough.
Now that Trinity thought of it, they felt the same about Pam. Anything they had with the other people they dated was irrelevant. Pam gave them all the joy they needed. And she had been doing so for a long time. She was Trinity’s everything and more. Trinity realized that after a while of being with Pam, they had only continued dating other people because it was their routine – but there was no longer enthusiasm behind it. They now knew that they didn’t really need to or even desire that lifestyle anymore.
Trinity had been poly since around the same time they came out. They didn’t really know any other life. But they didn’t ever really know anyone like Pam before either. Pam fulfilled them in ways they never thought they could be fulfilled by one person. And wasn’t that the whole point of being with someone? They wanted to tell Pam their realization right away but they decided to sleep on it instead.
Pam and Trinity lay cuddled on the couch together on Tuesday night after putting Payton to bed. Trinity kissed Pam’s forehead tenderly and took her hand.
Pam looked up at Trinity, “What’s up, sweetie?” All evening, she had sensed something was wrong with them but wanted to give them a chance to be ready to talk to her about whatever it was.
“Nothing’s up… Well, there is. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say it though.”
“You’re scaring me, Trin. Just tell me.”
“It’s not anything to be scared about.” Trinity hesitated and took a deep breath. “Have you ever thought about how it would be if we were monogamous?”
“Wait – what? Where is this coming from?”
“I don’t know. I’ve just been thinking a lot.”
“Did something happen with Gabby last night? When you came home I was asleep. I figured you’d wake me if you needed me.”
“No. Nothing happened with Gabby. Pam, I just realized that I love you so much and I have no reason to be with anyone else. You give me everything I need in this relationship and you are the perfect mom to Payton. We are so lucky to have you. I don’t feel that energy when I am with anyone else anymore. I feel most alive when I’m with you.”
“Babe… you know I love you and Payton so much too. You both mean the world to me. But this is kind of sudden. You were fine with how we were living our lives together last week. You were just on a date last night. What changed?”
“I know. I mean… I think I realized I have just been going through the motions.”
“This is a big decision to base on something you just ‘think’. Does this have anything to do with what your mom said on Saturday?”
“No, not really. I am still not down with the whole marriage thing but I want to be with you forever – I just don’t want to be open forever. I understand if you need time to process all of this but I wanted you to know that I am going to stop seeing Gabby and everyone else too. All I want is you.”
“Trin… This is a lot. You know how important it is to me to express my autonomy this way. This is normally my deal-breaker. I just… I don’t know. I love you both but… Yeah, I do need to think about this. I’m sorry.”
Pam pulled away from Trinity. She had a solemn look on her face, like she legitimately didn’t know what the right decision was.
Trinity felt dejected. Yes, they understood that Pam needed time, but the fact that she was actually going to take that time terrified them. What if Pam decided that her freedom was more important? Trinity couldn’t handle that. Maybe it was a mistake to tell her. Maybe they should take it back. No, it was too late. Now that they had said it aloud, it made it real. Trinity truly wanted to have a traditional life with Pam and Payton. That’s all they wanted now. But it didn’t seem like Pam wanted the same.
Pam didn’t know what to do. Her soul ached whenever she thought about a life without Trinity and Payton. They were her family and she planned for it to be that way for the indefinite future. But she had never thought that that future wouldn’t include their open relationship. Pam tried to imagine what their life together would be like if they were monogamous, as Trin had suggested.
On the surface, Pam knew it would still be wonderful. But deep down, she worried that eventually, she would feel unfulfilled. Yes, Trin filled her in ways she had never experienced before and Payton was an incredible kid. Yet, the longing she always felt when she tried monogamy would surely ruin anything she had with this family she had been blessed with. Why take the chance? She could not risk breaking their hearts – or her own.
And then Pam couldn’t help but wonder if Trinity’s epiphany was born out of a fear that what they had was superficial – something based upon an exciting arrangement that they created to make each other happy and not something either of them had inside of themselves. What would their love be without the vitality and life-giving nature of their independence? Was their existence in this world with each other dependent on their polyamory? If so, their love wouldn’t be able to withstand losing it. She had never thought about her relationship this way.
Trinity had gone to bed shortly after their conversation and Pam decided to stay up a bit longer to think over everything. She remembered that the following night she had a previously planned date with a married couple she had been seeing for a few months. They were really fun and spontaneous but Pam didn’t have a deep connection with either the husband or the wife.
There had been people she dated while with Trinity that she got super close to but they usually ended up unable to deal with the fact that Trinity was Pam’s main partner and she had no interest in having anyone share that space in her life. It was never any sweat off of her back to let any of her ancillary partners go. But the idea of losing Trinity and Payton was too much for her consciousness to even make sense of.
At the same time, Pam had always resented when ex-partners before Trin would try to guilt her into monogamy, which is why it was her deal-breaker. Polyamory was who Pam was, it was part of her identity, her very essence. She wasn’t sure if she would ever be OK with changing who she was simply because someone else decided they were no longer OK with it. That kind of concession went against everything she believed in.
Trinity spent all of the next day feeling awful that they even brought up monogamy to Pam, knowing how she felt about being put in that position. They could not lose her over this. What’s more, they didn’t want Payton to have to go through a break-up either. Trinity began to second guess themselves and more than once had to resist the impulse to call Pam to tell her it had been a mistake and they were just confused and feeling insecure last night.
That morning, Pam and Trinity hadn’t spoken much to each other but it wasn’t like when they were fighting. Instead of tension in the air, there was muted anxiety and a touch of sadness. They feigned normalcy for the sake of Payton as they got her ready for school but Trinity knew that Pam was still processing what they had said. They wanted to give her space to figure things out.
Trinity knew they couldn’t take back what they said because Pam would know they were just appeasing her and she wouldn’t allow that. She was a strong believer that both parties in a relationship should get what they want, if at all possible, and if not, they should part ways instead of making each other miserable. Trinity hoped with her whole being that that was not their fate.
Pam was supposed to have a date with Whitney and Terrence later, although she didn’t tell Trinity whether it was still on or not. Trinity’s heart sank lower and lower as the day went on and Pam had not texted or called.
The afternoon came and Trinity went to pick up Payton from school, as they did on Wednesdays, Pam’s usual date night. When Trinity and Payton returned home, Trinity fed Payton and helped her with her homework. Trinity appreciated Pam’s help with their little girl but these one-on-one evenings with Payton were special to them too. After Payton had her bath and was snugly tucked in bed, Trinity was left alone with their thoughts about the status of their relationship with Pam.
They decided to burn some candles and take a long hot bubble bath. Trinity turned on their favorite jazz station, laid back, and got lost in the music. Still not having heard from Pam all day, they desperately tried to reconcile with the thought that whatever Pam decided, Trinity would be OK. They had to be, especially for Payton.
About 30 minutes into their bath, there was a soft knock at the bathroom door. Before Trinity could answer, Pam walked in and Trinity could see tears in her eyes. They sat up and asked, “Babe, what’s wrong?”
Pam said nothing but began to take off her clothes. When she was fully bare, she stepped into the tub with Trinity and submerged herself in the now room-temperature water. Pam pulled them into her arms as a few tears ran down her face. She leaned into Trinity’s unwavering frame. “I’m home, Trin. I’m home.”