Here’s a preview of the first non-Ken/Allison story I’ve worked on in a while. It’s… different. I’d love to know what you think!
“Let’s play a game,” Felicity said, as Aaron mixed their third round of Margaritas on her kitchen counter. Though it was late spring, it looked like anything but. The rain was coming down in sheets outside. Sheets.
Ben snorted. “What kind of game? Poker? You hate it. Go Fish?”
Felicity pulled one of her curls out so that she could see it, searching for the grey that would appear one of these years. “I had something different in mind,” she said.
“What?” Aaron said wryly as he splashed tequila liberally into the pitcher,“Spin the Bottle? Truth or Dare?”
“Something a little more like that, I suppose,” said Felicity as demurely as she could manage, reaching down and pulling a tiny clear vial from her purse, which was resting on the floor beneath the table.
“What the hell’s that, Lici?” Ben asked. Aaron placed the lime-green pitcher in the center of table and peered at the little bottle, clearly intrigued.
“Truth serum,” said Felicity and held up the label. “Amobarbital.”
They stared at her. “Felicity,” Aaron said, “Isn’t that stuff supposed to be strictly controlled…?”
“I do have prescription privileges, you know. Besides, one of the perks of working in a research hospital,” said Felicity. “I get to… circumvent some of the control laws from time to time.”
“Fuck,” Ben muttered. “I always said we were a bad influence on this girl.”
She gave them what she hoped was a suitably evil smile.
“So,” Aaron said, pouring the drinks out even as his eyes remained fixed on the bottle in Felicity’s fingers, “what sort of game was it that you had in mind?”
“Well, first we drink up,” Felicity said, carefully titrating three drops into each of the three glasses. Aaron was chewing his lip. Ben looked white as a sheet. “Don’t you trust me?” she asked, and downed half of her sour-sweet tumbler.
“Course we do…” Ben muttered and looked to Aaron, who merely shrugged. “Fuck. Cheers.”
“Cheers,” Aaron said, and they drank, deeply.
As the Margarita hit bottom, Ben gave a shiver, then looked up. “So…”
Both men looked at her expectantly.
“What I have in mind is quite simple. Each of us gets to ask the other two a question — any question, and it has to be the same question for both people. And obviously,” she said, raising her drink, “we have to answer honestly.”
“Does the person who asks have to answer too?” Ben asked, his fingers drumming on the glass.
“Absolutely,” Felicity said, and waited.
Aaron had his serious face on, and Ben’s forehead was glistening with a thin sheen of sweat.
“Right,” Aaron said, “I’ll ask first.”
Ben turned to look at his friend as though waiting to be attacked at any moment.
“Okay. Here it is: What’s the wildest sexual experience you’ve ever had?”
Ben let out a bark of either agony or relief.
Felicity found herself talking. “Remember Lisa’s bachlorette party? Maybe you don’t, you were both out getting poor Connor shit-faced, if I remember. Anyway —”
“Don’t tell me you slept with a male stripper!” Ben said, looking thoroughly disapproving.
“No, silly boy, it was your sister. Lisa was really drunk, and after everyone left, I was trying to help her get into my bed, just in the other room there —” Felicity pointed over her shoulder. “— so she could actually make it to her own wedding, when she reaches up and kisses me.” In spite of everything, Felicity could feel the heat coming to her cheeks. “It was really weird. I mean, here’s my best friend, other than you two, and she was doing things with her tongue that were just —”
“I DON’T WANT TO KNOW!” Ben shouted.
“And when I started to stick my fingers —”
Ben and Aaron stared down at the drinks. “That stuff is amazing,” Aaron muttered.
Ben grunted, looking even paler.
“I think I’m going to go into your bedroom and jack off right there on the bed,” Aaron said. “That’s the sexiest fucking thing I’ve ever heard.”
“I think I’m going to be sick,” Ben said.
“Really?” Felicity asked Aaron, ignoring Ben.
Aaron nodded. “Should I?”
“No,” Felicity said, “I want to hear Ben’s answer. Ben?”
Ben looked up at her, his face still white. “It was when we went to Anguilla after you finished med school, Lici. A Japanese girl, couldn’t understand a thing she said, but it didn’t matter. There was this hammock set up right on the beach, and we spent the entire night fucking without once touching the ground. Okay?” he whined.
“Uh, yeah,” Aaron said. “Amazing. Let’s see. Mine —”
“I don’t want to hear it if it was Lisa, okay?” said Ben.
“But she took me up into the attic at your folks’ house, Ben —”
Aaron leaned over to Felicity and whispered, “She really could do the most amazing things with her mouth, couldn’t she?”
Felicity began to giggle, until she saw Ben’s miserable face. “Sorry,” she said.
“No, you’re not,” Ben pouted.
“No, you’re right, I’m not. You should see your face, Ben. You look absolutely mortified.”
“Well, I am. It was bad enough knowing that Aaron used to sleep with my sister. But both of you?” He shook himself like a dog getting out of water, and Aaron and Felicity laughed. “I’ll never use that bed in the attic ever again. And I’ll never be able to look my sister in the face again.”
Felicity began, “It was just the one —”
“STOP,” Ben said, very firmly, and Felicity sat, her lips pursed, hands folded on the table before her.
“So,” she said, once the urge to giggle had subsided again, “what’s your question for us, Ben? I could tell you some things about Seamus… and Scott…” Ben and Lisa’s younger brothers, who were also twins.
“Holy fucking hell, woman, is there a member of my family you haven’t slept with?”
“Well,” she said with a snort, her stomach warming in spite of the cold drinks, “at least it wasn’t both of them at the same time. And of course, I’ve never slept with you.” Both their faces contorted, Ben’s in deep abashment and Aaron’s in a sort of distracted thoughtfulness. “So,” she repeated, “what do you want to ask us, Ben?”
“No sexual exploits, thanks a lot. I’ll be digesting all of that for years.” Some of the old fire flared back into Ben’s eyes, making Felicity very warm inside indeed. “Okay, how about this: what’s your happiest memory of school?”
They’d met in college, living on the same freshman dorm hallway.
“Wow,” Aaron said, tapping the half-empty glass vial against the table, “I’ll tell you the truth—choosing one is hard. There’s the day we graduated. Couldn’t believe we’d survived. Together. Then… Making the traveling squad for the track team. The first few months with Lisa — sorry, Ben,” he said. Aaron’s on-again-off-again romance with Ben’s twin, which had ended finally when Lisa got engaged to their friend Connor, was the longest-standing relationship any of the three of them had had, in college or since. Felicity was happy that the Aaron and Lisa were friends again.
Aaron looked up at the ceiling. “There was a spring day during our senior year, right after I’d won my last race, when I remember just sitting down by the lake with you two, and Lisa and Seamus and Connor.”
Ben nodded. Felicity could still smell the cool mossiness of the lake, the spicy scent of the eucalyptus floating across from the other side, the musk of Aaron’s sweat. Ben playing his guitar.
“But really,” Aaron said, “if I had to pick one, it would be junior year, after Lisa and I broke up the first time. I mean,” he smirked, “me and Lisa fighting wasn’t fun, but that isn’t what I remember. It was after I got spiked at the UCLA meet, and you finally talking to me, Ben. And then you starting to cry, Felicity. And hugging us both. I thought you’d both gone absolutely nuts.” He looked at them, his blue eyes flashing. “But I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in my life.”
Ben looked up, smiled, and punched Aaron in the shoulder, “Thanks, dude.”
“Wow,” Felicity murmured. “I was so happy then too. Even if I was crying and you didn’t know what to do with me. And Alexei kissing me on the quad, though that doesn’t seem like such a happy memory these days. Graduation, yes.” Passing bottles of Cold Duck and Dom Perignon back and forth. “Meeting the two of you.”
“Meeting us?” Ben crowed. “You came in and asked us what the hell we were doing in your room!”
Felicity blushed. She had miscounted the doors and was astonished to find that her roommates were apparently two boys: tall, fair Ben and wiry, dark Aaron.
Smirking, Aaron pushed her foot with his. “You all but told us we were useless idiots.”
Blushing on, she laughed. “Well, you are useless idiots. But you were also the most beautiful boys I’d ever seen. Wish I’d stayed in your room. Connor wouldn’t have minded rooming with Lisa and Jenn.”
“God, Felicity,” Aaron said, wrinkling his nose, “were you even seventeen yet? You’d never even had a boyfriend or anything, had you?”
She’d always been the youngest of them, though it’d never felt that way. “Well, no. But it’s the truth,” she replied, lifting her glass. Part of why she’d been so hard on them was that her first reaction to seeing two boys unpacking in what she was certain was her room had been very physical, very positive, and absolutely humiliating. “But the happiest memory? I mean, the happiest memory? It was later freshman year, Halloween. I’d wanted so much for you to like me, both of you, and you’d said all those horrible things about me, Ben — and yes, they were mostly true — but then Rick got me drunk, and the two of you…” Tears began to well up in her eyes. “Sorry. You backed him off, and stayed with me all night while I was throwing up, even though I knew you didn’t like me very much…”
“We did like you,” Aaron said, “sort of. We just hadn’t realized it. And we didn’t know what to do with you.”
“We still don’t,” muttered Ben.
Felicity laughed. “It made me realize just who you two were. Not just that you were beautiful. That you were so wonderful, both of you. And so sweet. And funny.”
“Funny looking, you mean,” chuckled Ben, uncomfortable with sentiment as always.
Felicity shot him a look. “You came and took care of me because it was the right thing to do. That totally changed me.”
“Did, didn’t it?” Ben mused. He looked up. “You know, sometimes, I miss the old smartypants —” This time it was Felicity’s turn to punch, and she landed a solid blow to his bicep. “Ow! I’m going to need that arm!”
Felicity smirked. “Good thing there’s a doctor in the house then.”
“Your turn, Ben. What’s your happiest memory?” Aaron said quietly, swirling his glass.
“Till a few years ago,” Ben said, rubbing his arm, “I would have said it was getting together with Maya. But the pleasure’s faded right out of that.” He’d pined after Maya for years. Sweet idiot. Ben shook his head and looked at Aaron. “Same as yours, dude. It’d been so hard being angry with you, hanging out with Seamus and Lisa. And being so angry that you’d gone and broken my sister’s heart — and yeah, I know she was the one who called it off that time, that she hurt you, but it didn’t feel it then. Mad that Her Majesty here wouldn’t just take my side. Then watching you bleeding there on the track, and Lici and me climbing into each other’s skins, we were so worried. And then it all just didn’t matter any more, because you were all right, and you were talking to me again. And,” he thrust a thumb towards Felicity, “she went fucking crazy and started weeping all over the two of us.” He screwed up his face. “Funny thing to be happy about, you know?”
Aaron nodded, a smile barely painting his mouth. Then he turned back to Felicity. “So, Felicity, your turn. What’s your question?”
She felt her stomach flutter. “Well.” She looked from one to another, brown eyes and blue eyes focused on her. “The thing is…” But the fluttering bubbled right up into her throat and she couldn’t speak. Damn. She was always better at theory than practice.
“Come on, Lici-lick-it,” Ben said. “cough it up.”
“You must have had a question you wanted to ask, or you wouldn’t have dreamed this whole thing up,” Aaron said, his gaze like the ocean off the Santa Monica pier that really calm day when Dad had bought her cherry soda, with sugar and everything. “Felicity. What’s your question?”
“Ifyoucouldmarryanyonewhowoulditbe?” The words got out between the flutters, leaving her deflated.
Without a pause, without looking at each other, without blinking, both men answered, “You.”
“That’s what I love about Felicity,” Ben said. “She’s so fucking articulate.”
Twin tidal waves seemed to be sloshing up to her throat and down towards the pit of her stomach. Rebounding. Crossing. Rebounding again.
Aaron turned to Ben. “That’s why I never could ask her out, you know? Because you…”
Ben nodded, then looked across the table. “C’mon, Felicity.” Ben searched her face, very seriously. “Time for you to answer.”
“Cards-on-the-table time.” Aaron started to reach across to take her hand, but stopped himself. She stared at a point immediately between the two of them. “Felicity, if you could marry anyone in the world, who would it be?”
“You,” she sighed to that point on the table. “Both of you. I’ve loved you both for as long as I’ve known you. I’ve wanted you both for… Well, for a very long time.” She looked up. “I’d sort of hoped that one or both of you would admit that you have someone else you wanted to spend the rest of your life with. That I’d be spared the impossible task of choosing….”
Felicity stood, teetering — realizing just how drunk and nervous she was. “When I… dreamed this up, I knew you both might answer, you know, the way you did. It seemed so unlikely… But, in my, you know, in my fantasy, at this point…” She took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and looked at the two of them looking up at her. “I’m going right in there, into my bedroom. And I’m going to take off my clothes. And I am going to get into bed.” She took another deep breath. “You are both welcome to join me. But only if it’s both of you. If one or both of you finds this too… uncomfortable, I will certainly understand. Please lock the door on your way out, and we can pretend this never happened.”
With as much dignity as she could muster, she stutter-stepped into her room and closed the door.
When she had fantasized this scene, she had been perfectly in control of her feelings, had treated them to a sultry retreat and a wink. Now however she was so terrified by what she had just said to them that she couldn’t open the buttons to her blouse. She stood, fumbling with her own clothes, and cursing.
A low roll of thunder made the hair on Felicity’s arms stand on end.
To be continued!
What do you think? Want to know how this turns out? I’d love your feedback?