The Dare(8)

By: Rachel van Dyken

"Right." My lower lip trembled. "Anything else?"

He squinted. "Wow, you're taking this really good."

"Yup." Lies. All lies.

"It wouldn't hurt to get a better rack. Then again, you probably haven't grown into your body yet. It happens."

The song ended. Brett leaned over and kissed my cheek. "Hey you're pretty cool for a nerd. Thanks for the dance."

I stood motionless in the middle of the dance floor, unable to cry, unable to feel, really unable to do anything except look down at the white dress and wish for once I was the princess instead of the ugly duckling.

"Beth!" Jace knocked on the door. "If you're done freaking out, we need to go."

"Right." I wiped my wet cheeks and clenched the dress in my hands. It wasn't magic. If anything, it was just a reminder that I was exactly where I'd been when I'd graduated in 2000. A loser. A loser with a small rack who preferred math and science to Facebook.

"Beth, I'm serious. It's not looking good."

"Keep your pants on!" I yelled, irritated that he was making me hurry. With a curse, I pulled on the dress, put my wet hair in a quick pony tail, and opened the bathroom door. "What's the big hurry?"

Jace held up his phone. It said Grandma Nadine.

"Hello!" a loud voice yelled. "Jace! Beth! Hurry! Grandma has this all figured out."

"Famous last words." Jace nodded. "But we have no choice."

"No choice?" I repeated. "What? Is the mafia after us or something?"


"I highly doubt that."

"Look." He pointed to the TV. Reporters were in front of a hotel, looking excited as hell.

"The news?" I asked. "Why is that worse than—"

"Special reports say the senator took a prostitute back to his room at midnight last night and has yet to check out! Which raises the question, has the senator truly put his murky past behind him? Sources close to the senator's ex-fiancée say the cheating scandal from two years ago nearly destroyed him. One more scandal won't bode well for the youngest senator in state history. After all, how can we trust a man who can't even keep a fiancée?"

"That's enough." I grabbed the remote from Jace's frozen hand and threw it onto the bed. Great. So not only did I lose my virginity to a politician, but now I was a prostitute. I reached for his cell phone and growled into it. "We'll have words later."

Grandma snorted.

"But get us out of here first."

"Say the magic words."

"Uh, please?" I nudged Jace out of his paralyzed state.

"Not those words."

I closed my eyes and allowed visions of my calm and sterile office to bring back the peace into my body. That didn't work., I needed to think about Vampire Diaries.

Damon Salvatore. Damon Salvatore. Damon Salvatore. And happy place found!

"I can't read minds. What words do you want me to say?"

Grandma chuckled. "Why, thank you, of course!"


"How was he?" She giggled like a school girl. "Men with power seem to have a special type of—"

"Thank you!" I all but shouted. "Now get us out of here."


The phone went dead.

I looked to Jace for help, but he seemed to be fighting a losing battle with his tie as he tried to pull it from his neck.

"Stop." I swatted his hands away. "You're going to hang yourself if you keep doing that."

He shrugged.

"What?" I loosened the tie. "No snappy retort?"

"Not feeling snappy," he said dryly.

I slapped him. I never said I was good with emotions.

"What the hell was that for?"

"Singing Katy Perry." I grinned, "Now snap to it, Mr. Senator. We've gotta make it out of this hotel without that skinny bitch reporting it on the evening news."


"The reporter."

"You understand my confusion," he added, just as someone knocked on the door. "Stay here."

"It feels like a bad movie," I whispered to myself as I chewed the nail polish off my thumb.

"Shit." Jace looked through the peephole and then said shit about five more times before slowly opening the door.

Why was he so upset? Why the hell would…

"Aw, shit." I repeated. Because there really wasn't any other word that existed in the English language that would fit as well.

So I repeated it again.

As did Jace.

Grandma shrugged and pulled off her sunglasses. "Let the fun begin!"

Chapter Four

"Yes. I'm secure in my masculinity, and for the last time, dogs cannot speak."

"That's what Jake said."