I’m doing a prompt bingo, and one of the squares is “bets/dares” so here is a little tidbit that fulfills the requirements! For the enjoyment of my FB group.


“Admit it,” Mark drawls, practically sneering at me behind his glasses. “You, sir, are a prude.” He takes a huge gulp of his drink, snorting with laughter. “Or a virgin. Oh, my god, Casey. Are you a virgin?”

Okay, so I know how Mark can get when he’s drunk. No filter, that guy. I know he’s going to feel like shit about this tomorrow when he’s sober, too. I still kind of want to snatch the glasses off his stupid smirking face and crush them under my feet. But seeing as they’re those plastic hipster ones and knowing my luck, they probably wouldn’t even break.

“Am not.” Not really. I’ve given a blowjobs and handjobs before. Doesn’t matter if it’s never evolved into more. That still counts as sex, right? “Just because I don’t want to proposition a stranger at a Christmas party doesn’t mean I’m a…”

Christ, I can’t even say it.

“It’s not propositioning, Case. Just a kiss. Under the mistletoe. I’ve had a handful tonight already. You can snag one, okay? I guarantee you, no one’s gonna punch you in the face for it or anything. Not when you tell them it’s a dare.” He’s right, of course. The party has been in full swing for a couple of hours, and during that time the sound of cheers and applause has rung out each time someone’s grabbed a kiss under one of the many mistletoe branches that have been strategically placed throughout the house. No one’s gonna bat an eyelash at another mistletoe kiss. It won’t mean anything.

I still don’t want to do it. The thought of going up to a perfect stranger–because this is Mark’s crowd, not mine–makes my pulse race fast in a way that isn’t altogether pleasant. But it’s a dare. Because I’m the antisocial idiot who plays Truth or Dare with my drunk friend instead of talking to people at a party. And damn if I don’t know the exact question he’s gonna ask me if I try to change my answer to Truth.

Shit shit shit.

“Fine. But I’m gonna pick the guy.”

“Nope, that wasn’t the deal. You don’t get to make stipulations on a dare, dude.” Mark’s grinning now, glancing around the crowded room until his eyes narrow, and he points. “That guy. The one with the eyebrow piercing.”

Trust fucking Mark to pick the most intimidating guy of all. “Why are we even friends? How could I not have realized I hate you before now?”

Mark snickers. “You do not hate me. You love me.”

Yeah, I kind of do. But not like that, because I don’t do straight guys. And doing anything with Mark would feel like doing my brother. “Fine. That guy. Shit.”

Trust Mark to pick someone hot, though. The guy has dark that’s styled up into a messy faux-hawk and he’s wearing tight jeans and a black Nirvana T-shirt that hugs his body enough to accentuate the muscles on his arms and shoulders. The confident way he holds himself makes it clear he knows how hot he is. I’m supposed to kiss that guy?

“If I crash and burn, you’re not allowed to pick another guy. Deal?”

Mark slaps me on the back once and gives me a grin of unholy glee. “Deal. Go get ‘em.”

I approach the guy, who’s got his back turned away from me and is staring at a group of people on the couch with a small smile on his lips. “Um. Hey,” I say, fighting a cringe hard when it comes out too soft to be audible over the music. I try again. Faux-hawk guy turns around, pierced eyebrow raised.

“Hey yourself.” His voice is deep and scratchy and just as sexy as I thought it’d be. It also sounds a little perplexed, like he’s thinking Do I know this dude?The answer is no. No, you do not know this dude.

This is going so well. I clear my throat and gesture wildly behind me at the hallway leading into the kitchen, which is mostly empty since the food’s run out now. “Could you come here for a sec?”

“Sure.” I can tell he’s wary, but he follows me to the kitchen.

Right near the entrance, just before the little turn that takes you to the gigantic cooler full of beers and wine coolers, I stop dead in my tracks and point up.

“Oh look, it’s a mistletoe,” I babble, high-pitched and hurried. “Fancy that. Guess we’ve gotta…” I don’t even bother finishing the sentence. I just grab him by his clinging Nirvana T-Shirt and drag him the few inches down to my mouth. Our lips crash together; his are warm and dry, and I can smell a hint of beer and mint and some kind of musky aftershave.

I step back instantly, braced for his reaction. He doesn’t give me any, just blinks down at me, lips slightly parted. He runs his tongue across the bottom lip, and fuck, I want a taste.

“What was that?” he asks, still in that rough voice.

“A d-dare,” I stutter. I can’t stop staring at his mouth, and that won’t do, so I rip my gaze away. His eyes are a remarkable light brown that borders on gold, and now I can’t stop staring at them. “Sorry. My friend Mark dared me to surprise kiss a guy under the mistletoe and I really, really didn’t want to switch to Truth because I’m pretty sure he’s gonna ask me whether I’ve gone all the way with a guy, and I didn’t want to answer that. Shit, shit, did I just tell you all that?”

A surprised laugh. The gold eyes crinkle at the edges and makes him suddenly a lot less don’t-fuck-with-me. More approachable. Not that it matters, because I’ve approached. I’ve approached the hell out of him already.

“Hey, buddy. It’s fine. Breathe.”

I try, taking a slow inhale and then exhaling noisily. Ugh. So attractive. “I don’t usually make out with random dudes. Or divulge my sexual history to them.”

The corners of his lips twitch. He takes a step closer. “You didn’t. I’ll admit I’m curious about that ‘all the way’ part.” Another step, and I back up as he draws near, until my back hits the wall. Music pounds against my skin from the next room. Someone’s so gonna call the cops on this party. “And we didn’t make out either.”

“No?” I ask. I have to clear my throat again. “Pretty sure our lips got acquainted just now.” And if they didn’t, I’m damn well gonna tell Mark they did.

He shakes his head. “Nope. And did you say your friend Mark? As in, Mark Nealy?”

“You know Mark?” Well, it is a party of his friend’s. Of course this guy would know Mark. Mark probably knows everybody here. And then I realize with a start that I might be the only asshole who accosted a complete stranger tonight. “Oh, fuck.”

The guy’s smile widens. “Oh, not quite so fast. I think we should try a real kiss first to see if Markie’s attempts at matchmaking are destined to pay off. Don’t you?”

Before I can process that whole ‘Markie’ business, he steps even closer, pressing his body against me. His hands plant themselves on either side of my head on the wall at my back, and he leans down, down, down until there’s no more space between our lips. We kiss open-mouthed. It’s wet and hot and hungry, and I close my eyes and let myself sink into the thrill of it.

Fucking Mark.

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