I stared at them, my heart racing as their words started to sound less like teasing and more like truth.
“Of course we can’t propose now.”
“Why the hell not?” I asked.
“Do you really want your engagement tied up in the aftermath of Jake’s? He got engaged, then you did too?”
“Plus, your dad had a point. It’s not really legal to marry two men. So as much as we would have liked to surprise you with one hell of an engagement story- we figured the safest way was to talk it over with you first. See if marrying was even something you wanted to do. The last thing we’d want to do is embarrass you with a big proposal if that wasn’t what you wanted. If you said no, we’d understand. But if you had to say no in a huge, public way- well, we wanted to save you from that.”
“You’ve always said you’re not a jump-in-with-both-feet kind of girl. We get that we are the exception to that, and we didn’t want to put you on the spot.”
“So, we figured we’d talk about it. If marriage isn’t what you want, we carry on as we are. We’re fine with that.”
“But if you do want to marry,” my eyes volleyed back and forth between the two men as they spoke in turns, finishing each other’s sentences in a rush.
“Then we’ll know. And we can make our proposal perfect when it does come. Later. Not the day after Jake’s.”
I’d never seen them so nervous before. I liked it.
They’d kept me on my toes and off balance since the day I met them, so it was nice to see that the possibility of me turning them down kept them on their toes and off balance for once.
“But you already asked my dad. What if I don’t want to get married? He’d know something went wrong if nothing ever comes of it,” I teased them.
I think Scott caught on first, cause he pushed back.
“If he saw you on YouTube, which you know will get to him eventually, he’ll just think you didn’t want to buy these huge, ornery bulls. I mean why would you? You’re already getting our milk for free.”
“You just had to mention the video, didn’t you? See if I marry your ass now.”
“You should be proud of that video, in all seriousness, Grace. Really. You didn’t take any of their shit, you gave it right back as good as you got. Better, actually. If you do choose to marry us, my guess is that won’t be the last time you catch hell.”
“If I choose to marry you, and that’s a big if, catty, jealous females will be the easy part. Putting up with you two- now that’s where it gets tough. Two strong, sexy men, tied to me forever. I’m not sure I can handle all that. Seeing you two over coffee every single morning? Sleeping between you every single night? That would be rough, I don’t know…”
“It sounds like she’s planning on turning us down, Adam.”
“I wouldn’t blame her. I’ve seen you in the mornings. Plus you hog the bed.”
I watched them tease, and my heart nearly burst with love for both of them. I’d be honored to call them mine permanently, and any hell I caught would be worth it. But what about them?
They wouldn’t mind sharing a wife? How would that even work? Would their ranch suffer once word got out? And what about school? I still wanted to finish and be a vet. Oh, would dad’s clinic suffer? Would people still use the vet whose daughter was a bigamist? Did the term even really apply? Bigamy usually involved fraud, being married to two people who didn’t know the other existed.
I interrupted their teasing and just asked. I’d learned early on that was the best way to address any issues between the three of us, and so far it had worked well for us.
“Nothing would really change, in the day to day. At least til you finished school. We’d carry on as we have been, with you driving back and forth, since it is the best vet school in the state. Only your name would change,” Adam said, looking to Scott for confirmation.
Scott added, “The ranch hasn’t suffered yet, and you’ve been ours for a year now. And if it does, fuck ’em. Who looks into the marital status of the rancher before they buy cattle anyway?”
“At some point though, you guys may become known as ‘those polygamist ranchers,’ or something.”
“Hey, you know what they say- ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity,’ or something. Honestly Grace, if it hasn’t hurt us yet I doubt it would. And if it does, you heard what Scott said. Fuck ’em. We’ve got enough money. If business dries up, we’ll just fuck all day, every day.”
Scott added, “Does this mean that if we asked, you’d say yes?”
“Oh no, part of the asking is the uncertainty. You’ll just have to put yourselves out there and risk my answer. But, hypothetically, if I did say yes, how would we get around the legalities of it?”
“I guess the same way the LGBTQ community did, before that was legal. A civil ceremony,” Scott answered.
Adam countered, “You’d marry one of us officially. That gives you one legal husband, for the tax forms, insurance, and your name change. As far as the state is concerned, you’d be a married woman whose husband’s twin brother just happens to live in the house with you. Then yeah, we’d have a civil ceremony between the three of us to seal the union as a threesome. We could do it with just the three of us, privately. Or we could find someone to officiate, to make it feel real.”
“Hey, didn’t we hear that one of the Dickerson brothers became a preacher off the internet or something? For shits and giggles at that hush-hush club they run on weekends on their back forty?”
“Oh yeah! He said he got the idea from hearing that ship’s captains had the power to marry passengers to each other, with varying degrees of actual legality. He thought it would be funny to become one of those mail order officiants for some famous guest of his at the ranch. I forget why, what the full story was, or even who the guest was. Still, the legalities vary, so he makes sure anyone he ‘marries’ at that place knows that some states recognize it, and some don’t. He makes no promises that it’s binding, and insists that it’s just for fun.”
“Who are you talking about?”
Scott turned to me, saying, “Remember when I told you about The Swingin’ D Dude Ranch? They buy livestock from us sometimes? Some of our retired rodeo stock for their dude ranch?”
“Oh yes, I remember. That name cracks me up.”
“Well it’s run by the Dickerson brothers, and one of them is a bit of a ham. Becoming an internet minister sounds just like something he’d do.”
“What kind of hush-hush club do they run on their back forty?”
“A swinger’s club, of all things. People come from far and wide to party there, from what I’ve heard. It’s very high-end and private. What did he say? A thousand dollars a head entry fee? Five thousand? I forget. It’s near Dallas. I hear he gets some pretty famous clientele.”
“Have you guys ever been?”
“No, we’ve just heard rumors. Appearances aside, swinging really isn’t our thing.”
“You’re not even curious?”
“No. I mean, it’s fun to imagine, I guess. We’ve heard some wild stories. Why? Would that be something you’d be interested in?”
“I don’t know. I don’t think so, but before I met you two I wouldn’t have thought I’d be interested in twin brothers either. I don’t think I’d want to swing though. As weird as it may sound, considering I’m dating both of you, I have no interest in any third guy getting near me, or another girl either. And I sure as hell wouldn’t want to see you two with another woman between you. Or women. Or however that would even work. So no. As… interesting… as that place would be to see, I wouldn’t want to get involved in all that.”
“I get that. Sharing you between us is one thing, sharing you with other men? Nope. Watching you with another woman would be hot, but not if it’s not something you’re curious about. And I’m not interested in any other women. Adam, thoughts?”
“Grace is all I’ll ever need.”
I smiled at them thinking how odd it was to be me. Here I was having coffee with two sexy twin brothers after a night spent between them, one of whom was still shirtless in pj pants I’d given him as a gift, talking about marrying them both, in a ceremony officiated by the owner of a swinger’s club on the back of a dude ranch called The Swingin’ D.
Could life get any more surreal?
“Ok, here’s the thing. I don’t want any big production of a proposal. That’s not my style. I don’t want a big wedding, either. If I wanted a big wedding, full of guests from all over, I’d have to decide which one of you to marry all showy like that. The other one of you would be what? Best man or some shit? Holding the ring? I can’t choose between you guys.”
“So what do you want?”
“There was a girl at school who got engaged. They were already living together when they decided to make it official and get married, so you would have thought it wouldn’t be a big deal, but their parents had other ideas. Both sides were different religions and both side wanted the wedding to take place their ‘right’ way as each parent saw fit. It got really ugly. They talked about eloping but they couldn’t really go anywhere cause school was in full swing. They didn’t have the money for any big wedding, since they were paying for college and they didn’t want to take any money from either set of parents by then, so they did some research.
They found out that in Texas all you have to do is be over eighteen, agree to be married to each other, and present yourselves to others as man and wife. To get the paperwork to officially change her name though, they had to make it official, so they filed a Declaration of Marriage with the state, which is basically what it says. You officially declare that you are married. There’s a small filing fee, but that’s it. They didn’t even need a witness.
They walked out into the middle of the quad one day, held hands, announced that they considered themselves to be married to each other and then they went to dinner. The next day they filed their paperwork. Their parent were pissed, both sides tried to prove that the marriage wasn’t valid, but the state said it was.”
“So you want to hold hands and announce it to the cows outside?”
“No, not exactly. But, hypothetically, if you guys were to propose, and if I were to accept, then I’m just trying to say that as far as the wedding itself goes, we don’t even need an officiant, internet blessed or not. I wouldn’t need to choose one of you to marry officially in front of a crowd, or even a Justice of the Peace, only to include the other one later. We could do it ourselves, or we could get your guy to do it, if we wanted to make it feel official. I’m assuming if he marries people in a swinger’s club he wouldn’t have a problem officiating a triad. We could give dad the option of being there to witness it, or not. I’d rather not do it at a swinger’s club though, but maybe your guy would come here? We could have a beautiful ceremony right here on the ranch.
That part, the wedding itself, has options, we can figure that out later. Then after, we just fill out two of those declaration forms, one with each of your names on it. We fold them up, stick them in an envelope with the filing fee, and we shuffle them around. We mail one, we rip up the other. When our copy comes back from the courthouse, stamped and recorded, we don’t look. I’ll have to take a copy to get my driver’s license changed and what have you, but I won’t look. I’ll hand it over folded. That way we never know who is official.”
“It sounds like if we proposed you might say yes?”
“I might. Do you guys want to hear what my hypothetical, perfect proposal would look like?”
“Hypothetically,” Scott said with a nod.
“My perfect proposal would involve a shirtless man in moose pj bottoms and his more fully dressed twin, both down on one knee, in the kitchen of the home I have come to love. They’d go on and on about how they can’t imagine spending another minute of their lives without me sharing their last name, and then, if I accept, they’d spend the rest of the morning showing me what the honeymoon would be like.”
“But what about a hypothetical ring?”
“Or a proposal less than twenty-four hours after Jake’s?”
“I don’t care about Jake’s anything. Obviously if you’ve already spoken to my father then it’s not like you got the idea from Jake last night. And I could care less about a ring. For now. Oh, could I pick my own?”
“Grace, my love, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want,” Adam said as he rose from his chair.
Scott stood as well, and as I sat at their kitchen table both men got to their knees in front of me and they took turns speaking, finishing each other’s sentences as always.
“Grace, the day I met you, I watched you help birth a foal, then I watched you help yourself to my brother…”
“That is not how…!”
“The day I met you, you fell out of my bathroom all wet and warm, and threw yourself into my arms…”
“You two are so full of shit!”
“From those first moments, you captured my heart…”
“You were feisty…”
“And sexy as all hell.”
“You’ve got a mouth like a sailor…”
“An ass made for squeezing…”
“And a heart of gold.”
I wasn’t sure if I was going to punch them or cry.
“It would make us the happiest men on earth…”
“Or at least in six counties…”
“If you would entwine your life with ours, from this moment on.”
“Our hearts are yours, Grace, and they have been since the moment we both saw you…”
Yep, I was definitely going to cry.
“Our cocks are yours as well…”
Ok, punching was still in the running.
“Would you marry us Grace, and share your life, your future, with us, as our wife.”
The tears started to fall as I nodded yes. I slid down off of my chair to join them there, all three of us on our knees as I wrapped an arm around each of their necks and kissed them one after the other through my tears.
“Of course I’ll marry you. I can’t imagine my life without either of you in it forever and ever.”
My phone started ringing near us, on top of the kitchen table. I ignored it at first, but it was dad’s ring-tone. Adam pulled back, saying, “He’s probably seen the video online. I’m guessing he’s worried about you. Let him know you’re ok so we can practice this honeymoon thing you mentioned without him calling every five minutes.”
I nodded ok and stood up, as the guys stood as well.
“Grace, sweetie, have you heard? You’re a YouTube sensation!”
Dad’s voice was warm and teasing in my ear and I was so glad that he didn’t sound embarrassed either for me or because of me. He really had come far in the past year with me dating twins.
The last thing I wanted to do was dwell on something that was meant to hurt me though, so I waved the video off with a quick, dismissive motion of my hand that dad couldn’t see, but I countered his ‘have you heard’ with my own.
“Yeah, yeah, I saw it. But dad, have you heard? I’m engaged!”
* * *
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