Lifting my drink in the air, I chose, “Dare.”
I don’t know if it was the booze or the dare he was about to hand me, but his eyes glistened, big and bright, sparkling under the stars. For a second, I saw nothing but mischief run through his stare.
“Leo! Leo Hawkins!” Ashton signaled toward him, making me realize he was standing behind me. “My best and dearest friend!”
“Hey!” I declared. “It’s my turn. Why are you talking to Leo?”
“Because my lovely, lovely Lala…” Ashton never called me by Leo’s nickname, and my heart started to hammer against my chest. Something was up, it was as if I knew what he was about to request.
“I dare you…”
Although, I was still almost knocked on my ass when Ashton challenged, “To make out with Leo.”
I laughed, I couldn’t help it. “What are we twelve? I was expecting you to dare me to streak or flash you my tits, not to kiss my best friend.”
“I think I speak for everyone here who wants to finally see you guys do something. I mean Jesus… give the people what they have been waiting for! Your friendship makes no sense. You claim to be just best friends, then prove it! Kiss him.”
Leo chimed in, “Fuck off! We’re just best friends. It’d be like kissing my sister, and nobody wants to see that.”
His sister? Really?
“Mila, what do you say to that?”
Despite Ashton talking to me, my gaze never left Leo’s. “I say he’s right. It’d be like kissing my brother and nobody wants to see that.”
“Fine, then I’m double-dog dare you to kiss someone who isn’t like your brother.”
I arched an eyebrow, curious of where he was going with this.
“Cain Roberts,” Ashton called out. “Batter up, buddy!”
My eyes went wide.
“Mila, I now double-dog dare you to make out with Cain.”
I nervously chuckled, “Oh my God, we’re suddenly back in middle school.”
Cain and I locked eyes. “It’s just a kiss, I don't see the big deal.”
“You’re actually gonna take this dare? You’re gonna kiss Cain?”
My eyes shot to Leo’s, question in his inquisitive stare went from me, to Cain, back to me again before Cain started walking toward me.
So this was going to happen?
Right here, right now, Cain and I were going to kiss.
Did I want to kiss Cain? Yes. No. Maybe?
With each step that brought him closer to my mouth, the more I felt Leo tense from behind me.
I guess this was it. This was the moment I’d make out with one of Leo’s best friends. It was bound to happen, I just never thought it’d be quite like this.
Why did I feel like I was suddenly committing a crime?
It was just a stupid game.
Stop analyzing everything, Mila.
I blinked, and it was three, two, one…
Cain was hovering above my body.
I licked my lips, anxious, confused, willing?
Cain grinned. “Getting them ready for me?”
I nervously chuckled again.
I felt like I was going to throw up.
Why did I feel sick? Why did this feel so wrong? What the hell was going on?
He squatted down to the grass, sitting on the balls of his feet in front of me. We were paralleled now, face to face, and in one quick movement, Cain gripped onto the back of my neck and tugged me toward him.
I closed my eyes. I had to.
The scent of him assaulted my senses, his breath blew against my lips and the second I almost felt his mouth on mine, I heard a voice I didn’t recognize scream, “Oh fuck!”
My eyes snapped open at the exact moment that Leo tumbled into Cain, accidentally knocking him into the fire pit.
“Oh my God!” I yelled, watching in horror as Cain’s arm lit up with flames.
The guys dashed into action as Cain threw off his leather jacket, hurling it onto the ground to stomp out the flames.
“Fuck, man! I’m so sorry!” the stranger apologized. “I slipped and fell into Leo. Shit! Are you okay?”
With wide eyes, Cain nodded. “Yeah, I’m fine.”
“Let me see.” Sawyer grabbed his arm, thankfully the leather jacket had saved his skin from instantly catching on fire. His arm was red but unharmed.
“Bro, I’m so sorry,” Leo apologized too. “I didn’t see him until it was too late.”
Cain stepped back, nodding again. “Yeah, man, I know. I’m all right.”
No one said anything until Ashton broke the awkward silence. Placing his arm around Cain’s neck, he yanked him to the side of his body. “Dude, you’re like Iron Man. Ladies! Who wants to tend to my boy’s wounds? I nominate you, and you, and you.” He pointed to three different chicks who didn’t hesitate, grabbing ahold of Cain and taking him back inside like a wounded soldier.
“Make sure to play with his balls!” Ashton shouted behind them. “Girls always forget about the balls! They’re just as important!”
Leo’s gaze connected with mine as I lifted my red solo cup in the air between us. “I guess I’ll just make out with this margarita.”