I give you a small game of Truth or Dare with Lysander and Cai from Spectacularly Broken, just in time for the new year. The rules are as follows: Players are asked “truth or dare” and must freely choose one. There must be a stated punishment if the players break this rule or refuse to tell truth or take the dare after choosing.
TRUTH OR DARE by Sage Holloway
an interlude from Spectacularly Broken
Truth: I shouldn’t have been drinking. I was doing it anyway.
Cai had an arm around me as he led me through the back door and into the hotel. I pressed myself close to him, starved for his warmth. He was probably just as sick of me as I was of myself and the rest of the world, but he hadn’t abandoned me yet. I wondered when it was coming.
Today had been majorly fucked up. And while I managed to maintain some semblance of stability in my day to day life these days, I still didn’t handle it well when things went pear-shaped. Hence the gloom and doom mindset, and the fingers of my free hand being curled around a bottle of something bubbly and expensive. Cai had called me overdramatic not five minutes ago, but damn it, my friends were halfway across the country instead of by my side, and my dad had yet again broken a promise to me, and what had been supposed to be a fun new year’s celebration had turned into… this.
We rounded a corner and came to a rest in front of a row of shiny elevators. Cai leaned me gently against the wall, kissed my forehead, and went to press the call button.
“Do you hate me?” I asked morosely.
“No, you dumbass, I don’t.”
That wasn’t exactly reassuring, but I’d take it.
A couple of giggling young women in short, tight dresses turned the corner and gave us funny looks. I tried to imagine the way they saw us – this pathetic bundle of misery that was me next to the dark-haired, black-clad, pierced sex on legs that was my boyfriend. Cai was looking particularly delicious tonight. It was kind of a waste, actually, that I was in no shape to be taking advantage of that fact.
“Shame you’re not into girls,” I said casually. “These two would probably be much better company than me.”
Truth: Making light of my insecurities was a technique I’d employed since I’d been ten.
“Lysander, darling, shut up,” said Cai.
One of the elevators arrived, and Cai walked me towards it as soon as the doors slid open. He pushed a button and leaned against the mirrored wall, positioning me in front of him and sliding his arms around my waist. I gave the two women a triumphant smile, which they didn’t seem to know how to interpret. Just to make my point, I turned my head until my lips brushed Cai’s earlobe.
“Dare you to kiss me,” I whispered.
He gave me a look that made it very clear his patience was wearing thin. “You’re drunk.”
“Why do you want to kiss in an elevator?”
“So they know you’re mine, obviously.”
“Yes, obviously,” he said drily. “Why didn’t I think of that?”
“So are you going to kiss me or not?”
I may have gotten a little loud. The women were watching us now, amusement clear on their faces. I narrowed my eyes at them.
Cai sighed and indulgently leaned forward, pressing his lips to my neck in a gesture that was probably supposed to be sweet, but that turned me on like nothing else. I loved having my neck nibbled, licked, whatever. Why he thought this was a good idea to do in public, I didn’t know. I shivered and pressed myself against him as tightly as I could.
“Lys,” he growled.
“What? You started it.”
“Lys, I swear to God-”
The elevator dinged and the doors slid open. The next moment, I was being dragged out into a hallway and had to listen to the badly subdued laughter of the two women still in the elevator. Cai held my hand tightly as we walked. He looked like he was irritated, and that just wouldn’t do at all.
“Truth or dare?” I asked.
“We’re playing truth or dare now?”
“Yes. Obviously. We’ve been playing for like ten minutes. Pay attention.” I waved a finger in his face.
“What happens if I don’t tell the truth or do the dare?”
“Then…” I paused dramatically. “You die!”
I could tell Cai was close to cracking up. “Oh, is that right?”
“Yes. Now then. Truth or dare?”
“Truth,” Cai said promptly. I knew he was indulging me because he loved me.
“Okay.” I bit my lip, because there was a question that had been going around my head for some time. “If I started doing drugs again, would you leave me?”
Cai gave me a startled look. “Where is that coming from?”
“Doesn’t matter. You have to answer.”
“Alright,” he sighed. We came to a stop and Cai reached into his pocket for the key card to our room. “It’s not a simple yes or no answer,” he said as he slid the card through the reader.
“Would you tell me already?” I snapped, following him into the room. It was too simple for my tastes, but Cai had insisted we go for something normal instead of the suite I would have reserved. I dropped onto the small couch and looked up at my boyfriend expectantly.
“Depends,” Cai said. “Mostly on why you started again, and whether you’d be willing to try and quit. You know how I feel about the drugs, you know I’d have a hard time staying away from them if you did them right in front of me. We’d both be destroying ourselves within weeks. So I might just have to put my own well-being before you, if that happened. But that doesn’t mean I would just give up on you, baby. You know I wouldn’t.”
I liked his answer. It was blunt and honest and exactly what I needed to hear. Drinking was borderline bad behavior for me already, and I knew Cai wasn’t happy with me being so intoxicated. I really needed to get it together.
“My turn,” I said, looking at him expectantly.
“Truth or dare?”
“Dare,” I decided.
“I dare you to drink a glass of water.”
“You’re lucky I love you so much,” I grumbled. Cai went to the bathroom and came back with a glass of tap water – eww – which he put in front of me. I took a sip and made a face, then elbowed him.
“Truth or dare?” I asked him.
“I dare you to kiss my neck again. Properly this time.”
He laughed as he sat down by my side. Next thing I knew, his hand was in my hair, tugging, forcing me to expose the side of my neck. I felt his tongue and then his teeth gently scraping across my skin, sending tingly shivers down my spine. He sucked hard, and I let him mark me because I loved being his.
“Oh,” I breathed when he finally let me go, and slumped. “Mmm.”
Cai kissed my temple. “Truth or dare, baby?”
“Truth,” I decided, and held my breath.
“Truth. Alright. Why are you really so upset? Just because the others are in Chicago?”
“Well, obviously. They’re stuck in a snowstorm at New Year’s Eve, I mean, that sucks.”
“But they’re safe and they’re together and Jarett promised he’d try to get Skype working so we can talk to them later. So why’s that worth getting drunk?”
I sighed. “It’s not just that. It’s that my dad hasn’t called yet.”
“He promised he’d do it just after midnight! And that’s long over with, remember? We kissed. The stupid ball dropped.
“Baby,” Cai interrupted me. “Baby, we’re in New York.”
I stared at him. “I know that. And so?”
“And he’s in Los Angeles.”
“What’s your point?”
“I…” I stared at Cai as the truth dawned on me. “Oh.”
“Yes, oh. I’m guessing he’ll call around three. So is the drama part of the evening over with now?”
I elbowed him again. Just because he was right didn’t mean he got to call me dramatic. Even if I was, maybe, a little bit.
“Do that again, I dare you,” Cai said. “I brought the handcuffs.”
Well. It was a dare, wasn’t it?
* * *
Spectacularly Broken is available from Loose Id, Amazon, ARe and everywhere fine e-books are sold. Sage’s new book, Playing for the Other Team, will be out on 1/12, and available for pre-order before 1/5.