I have those two friends visiting me: Steve and Bob (not real names obviously).
I enjoy the company of both of them, but I feel closer to Steve. I see him really rarely (once every year or two) because of distance. Bob lives significantly closer, but not locally. I am able to see him 2-3 times a year.
When Bob learned Steve is visiting the region he announced it would be a great excuse for all three of us to see each other, and so he that he should come as well. In the most part this is true. However, I really would like to also spend some time alone with Steve. We share some interests which Bob does not. Also, as closer friends I was really looking forward to proper and deeper catching up - something not really possible with the dynamic of us as a trio. On one hand I acknowledge that Bob would also really like to see Steve (they've met and became friends independently of me). On the other hand I feel slightly cheated off a time with a close friend.
Bob is undecided on how long to make his stay. He is flexible and currently plans to leave only one day before Steve does. I would like to get more time than that with Steve, especially that the last day is bound to be frantic with him leaving quite early next morning.
What would be a good way to communicate my needs to Bob without disrespecting his relation with Steve and (preferably) not making him feel like he is not being appreciated in the trio (because he is appreciated)?
This is happening in the UK, famous for its indirectness. The people involved are exceptionally bad at sending and reading hints...