The Dare(2)

By: Rachel van Dyken

I just needed to find the right one.

One that wouldn't break my heart into a million pieces.

One who wasn't too good-looking.

Scratch that. One who wasn't better looking than me.

And someone I could trust.

So basically, I couldn't date a lawyer, doctor, model, celebrity, or firefighter. And abatove all cost — I could never marry a politician.

I mean, who would ever be that desperate?

Chapter One

"You've been charged with the kidnapping of a United States senator. How do you plead?"

Grandma Nadine smirked. Amateurs. She winked at the FBI agent and answered saucily, "Why, guilty, of course."


My legs ached something fierce, my face was smashed against a soft pillow that smelled a heck of a lot like a rich politician, and I distinctly remembered eating at least three cookies, or maybe it was four?

With a groan, I tried to move, but everything in my body, not to mention my brain, told me it would be a painfully terrible idea. I moved anyway.

And screamed.

Again, not my fault.

"What the hell?" A deep voice rumbled from somewhere underneath me.

I closed my eyes.

"You can't close your eyes. I already know you're awake."

"This is all a dream," I muttered, my voice sounding scratchy and unfamiliar. "I'm a figment of your imagination. Swear. In two seconds you're going to feel—"

"Shame," the voice said. "Isn't that what you were going to say? Absolute mind-shattering shame?"

I opened my eyes. "What?" I should have left them closed.

Really. It's the small things in life that get you. Close your mouth. Close your eyes. Pretend you don't see that. Crap. Some things just can't be forgotten.

And that face?

Those lips?

Bright blue eyes?

Blond hair that fell just below his ears?

Officially stored into my permanent memory until I died alone with all my cats.

"I was kidding." Mr. Sexy chuckled. "I just thought I'd throw that in there to make you feel more comfortable."

Right, because lying across a complete stranger in nothing but a smile screamed Hey, let's joke around. I'm game. I quickly grabbed at the sheet and pulled away, kneeing the poor bastard in the process.

After a few expletives, his muscled body moved away from my catastrophe to the other side of the bed. "You can't tell anyone you know."

Right. Like I was really tempted to go to the media about my current state of undress.

"About?" I tried to make my voice all high-pitched and screechy like the stupid girls on TV. Basically, I was playing dumb.

"Really?" He turned; a dimple peeked out from the right side of his cheek as he eyed me with humor.

I giggled.

Hey, I didn't say I was good at playing dumb; I was a chemist, for crying out loud! My version of playing dumb was allowing the opposite sex the opportunity of pushing the elevator button, in hopes that he'd get laid by being so chivalrous. I believe it included twirling my hair and blinking more than once.

Yeah, that was my game.

"Well…" I shrugged. "I should, uh, be going." Why the heck couldn't I remember anything from the night before? I never did this. I was so NOT that girl. I quickly grabbed my bra from the floor, my bridesmaid dress from the chair — crap, and my heels from the bathroom, though they looked like someone puked on them. Great, was that my puke? Did I get drunk?

"Do you do that a lot?"

Sexy man-candy grabbed my arms, and that's when it happened. No, not what you're thinking. Gosh, I wish it was that easy: he grabs my arms, I swoon, fall into hopeless love, and get married in Vegas the next day to Chris Hemsworth's doppelganger.

Nope. Not my reality.

Again, let's revisit.

I don't do things like this.

I don't sleep with guys.

Correction. I've never slept with a guy. Ever. Never. Ever. Ever. Was that too many evers? Holy Batman and Robin, was I starting to sweat? How unattractive could I make myself to sex-god? And why the ever-loving hell was he entering into my personal space.

I closed my eyes to summon the memories of the previous night.

Bridesmaids' dress, good-looking groomsmen, Grandma giving me a drink. Cake, dancing, Grandma giving me another drink, and then Jace and me dancing, and laughing, and getting into a car and… aw hell. Cookies.

Damn it, politician Jace!

He'd grown up since I'd last seen him. Correction, he'd grown into the type of man-candy that makes people weep. I'd never told anyone about that night — the night he'd basically saved my soul from getting crushed by the quarterback of our football team. Was this how I thanked him? I'd met him once in my life. Once! Of all the dirty politicians to fall into bed with, why did it have to be Jace?

The same Jace that Grandma Nadine had convinced needed soothing after my sister broke his heart all over the place.