3 - 1. Party Favors

When Sophie arrived at Ben's apartment, about half of the party guests were already present. She deposited the bottle of wine she'd brought with the others, and filled a glass from one that was already open.

Beside Ben, she knew no one except for Stephen and Jasmine, whom she'd met briefly. Stephen was a classmate of Ben's. He was dark-skinned, with shaven head and merry, dark eyes. Jasmine was his girlfriend, and was shorter and darker than her partner, though her eyes sparkled much like his.

Rose had golden hair, freckles, and pretty green eyes. She was perhaps the most casually dressed, in green crop tee and cutoffs so short they were more like denim panties, while her friend Heather was the least casual, in a green body-hugging dress with gold-framed glasses and a gold cross around her neck. She had auburn hair, and the dress's U neck showed a couple of inches of gracefully-lifted curves.

Ben was preparing the first game when the final arrivals rang the doorbell. Yui and Amanda were Ben's next-door neighbors, and they came armed with vegetarian snacks, since they were certain he would have nothing that was meat free.

Yui was a petite Asian woman in glasses, with short dark hair. Amanda was only slightly taller than her, with an olive complexion and ready smile. "He only invited us so that we wouldn't complain about the noise," she told the room.

That was unlikely, Sophie knew. These apartments were expensive and large, and there was very little chance of sound being a problem. That also meant that the women were probably not college students. Ben's accommodation was atypical for a student, as was Sophie's.


When they all had drinks and some had sampled the vegetarian snacks, everyone sat around the large dining table.

"I hope y'all realize," Ben began, affecting a Western drawl, "that the games ain't gonna be G-rated. If you get to the point that you're uncomfortable, there ain't no shame in opting out. You can watch, or leave, if it's too much, and that's fine. It won't go beyond strippin' an' kissin', but if that's too much for you, you can say no at any time. Okay?"

Everyone nodded. He must have warned them when he invited them. He hadn't warned Sophie, probably because, well, she wouldn't expect anything less. The other guests' levels of enthusiasm varied, though. Where Rose and Jasmine were grinning, Rose's friend Heather looked nervous.

Stephen was beaming, but as he was one of only two men playing naughty games with six women, Sophie figured that was understandable.

"First game is embarrassing in a different way," Ben said, having dropped the drawl. "Who all here hasn't played Cards Against Humanity?"

Yui and Amanda had not. Heather said, "I have, once, but it isn't my favorite game."

Ben quickly explained the rules, which were simple enough, and the game got off to a quick start. Heather, in spite of claiming not to like the game, did remarkably well at finding funny combinations, beginning with "My plan for world domination begins with slowly easing down onto a cucumber," and she took the winning round with "During sex I like to think about Finding Waldo."

"Does winning mean I'm a horrible person?" she asked Ben. She was clearly happy to have won the game.

"Sure does," he replied. "So why do you hate it so much?"

"I got so embarrassed the last time I played," she said. "I played a card that had everyone rolling on the floor." Her cheeks had colored. "Listen, I really, really did not know what bukkake meant."

Most of the table burst out laughing.

"You do now?" Stephen asked.

"Never, ever, ever google a Cards Against Humanity card," she replied.

Sophie had been considering Heather a little aloof, and likely something of a killjoy, with her dislike of the card game, but this confession took some courage, and she was clearly willing to laugh at herself. Sophie's estimation of the girl climbed, though the dress and the cross both still gave her pause.


After putting the cards away, Ben moved everyone into the living room. Rose and Heather took the large couch, and Sophie joined them, leaving the love seat for Yui and Amanda, Ben taking one chair and Stephen and Jasmine sharing the other. Then he passed around a delivery menu for chicken wings. Yui and Amanda looked at each other and nodded. Everyone else checked off choices of dip. After he'd called in the order, he announced the next game.

"Until the food arrives, we'll play hunt the thimble," he said.

Stephen jeered at that, and Jasmine said, "What the fuck?"

Ben laid his phone on a glass end table, and took a small object from his pocket, which Sophie saw to be the Monopoly hat playing piece when he set it beside the phone. "One of us is going to be the hunter," he said. "Another of us is going to hide the thimble somewhere on their body, and the hunter has to find it. You're not allowed to say hot or cold unless the hunter is actively searching someone. The person they're searching isn't allowed to give instructions or to inhibit the search in any way."

At that the naysayers started to grin. It wasn't hunt the thimble, it was sexy hunt the thimble.

Ben brought up an app on his phone. He pushed a button and it made swishing sounds, which slowed. Then he showed everyone the screen. On it, a bottle pointed to an avatar labelled "Rose." There were seven other avatars, each with the name of a guest, plus Ben's own. "You, Rose, are the hunter. Would you go back into the dining room?"

"Who's the victim?" she asked.

"You get to figure that out." He made a shooing motion and she stepped through the door and closed it behind her.

Ben pressed the phone and it made its swishing sounds again. When it had stopped, he picked up the Monopoly hat and handed it to Sophie.

"Oh, great," she said. After a moment's thought, she slipped the hat into the back pocket of her shorts.

Jasmine let Rose back into the room, tied a scarf around her eyes, then turned her around a few times to disorient her. She felt around until she'd found Amanda, then at the cries of "cold," moved on to Yui, then to Stephen. After that she seemed to be more able to orientate herself, finding the couch and feeling her way along to Heather.

Since she was getting "warmer," she felt around Heather some before moving on. Heather turned pink as Rose felt along her legs and around her shoulders, but her embarrassment didn't last long as Rose decided she wasn't "warm" enough and sought a new target.

Sophie had expected some groping. What she hadn't expected was Ben's calling out "warmer" and "hot" and "scalding" whenever Rose's hands got close to her chest. Stephen joined in, and then Amanda, leading Rose to squeeze the front of Sophie's tee, then get her fingers inside its neckline and down into her bra. Jasmine had slid off Stephen's lap and was laughing uproariously on the floor. Yui grinned at Sophie's discomfiture.

Heather was watching in horrified fascination, her cheeks flaming. Trying to hold her eyes, Sophie grunted, "Someone please give her better directions?"

Heather darted a glance at her eyes, but shook her head slightly. It was Amanda who finally switched from deception to correction, and it took Rose a few moments to reorient herself, until she ran her hands over Sophie's torso until she found the center of "hot" by squeezing her ass.

That located the "thimble," and a moment later Rose had gotten it out of Sophie's pocket and was holding it in the air.

Everyone cheered at that, including Heather. Sophie called out, "I feel like you should have bought me dinner and flowers first!"

Rose said, "Give me your number and I will next time."

Heather was frowning at Rose. Was she jealous? Sophie wondered if she and Rose were a couple. She hadn't had that impression.

Ben was wondering aloud whether to start another game when the wings delivery arrived.


Sophie ate a couple of wings, but then found she preferred the stuffed jalapenos that Yui had brought. She was eating her second when Heather approached.

"I hope you'll forgive me for not rescuing you," the girl said. She had a small plate with a couple of wings, and she made the comment casually.

Sophie grinned. "Of course. Were you enjoying the show?"

"Well..." Now she did look a little embarrassed. "Everyone was, I think. I didn't want to spoil it. I think... you were enjoying it, too."

"I'd enjoy it more behind a closed door," Sophie said.

Heather looked alarmed at the comment.

"I'm sorry, maybe I shouldn't have said that," Sophie said, quickly. "Are you and Rose close?"

The girl's expression gradually returned to neutral interest. She shrugged. "We're friends."

Strange. She didn't seem like she would be jealous of Rose, or hurt by Sophie's implying they might get together in private. "I hope I'm not offending you, but you seem... you seem like you feel out of place."

"I do," Heather agreed. "I've been trying to meet more people. To fit in better. Rose knows that, which is why she asked me to come."

"Did you expect all the salacious games?"

"Oh yes." Heather nodded sharply. "Rose warned me very clearly. I'm nervous about what might happen, but I know I'll survive, and enjoy myself. Even if it's in hindsight. I..." She hesitated a moment before continuing. "I wish I could be like you, able to take things as they come."

"Try not to stress out over it," Sophie said. "You'll be fine."


When sufficient wings and vegetarian delicacies had been consumed, and everyone had drink refills, Ben led them back to the dining room, and sat at the head of the table. Heather had stayed with Sophie, and asked if she could take the chair beside her.

"Of course you can," Sophie replied, with a quick smile.

Ben took out a pack of cards. "I think this game will take a long time," he said, "so I don't have anything planned after this. We play until someone loses."

"How do you define "loses?"" asked Yui.

"You lose when you're naked," Ben replied, with a grin.

"Ah," Yui replied, with a grin. "Very good."

Sophie leaned over towards Heather, and whispered, "Maybe I'll get to see you without that dress."

The girl turned scarlet at that. Then she turned towards Sophie and whispered, "That's what I'm nervous about."

The game that Ben described was a trick-taking game, so he verified that everyone knew the rules of hearts or spades or similar. The "sexy" gimmick was that whenever you won a trick, you were given the topmost card from a stack of dares. The dare cards were face up, so that you would know which dare you would have to perform if you were to win the hand. You might seek to win only mild dares, or discard your high cards, but of course everyone else would be doing the same.

And if you didn't win a single hand, you ran the risk of a worse fate. One player would be selected to take a card from the stack of major dares. These were face down, so you wouldn't know what you would be letting yourself in for. Since there were only fourteen tricks to be had between eight players, there was a very good chance of a player having to commit a major dare each round.

"Can you play hearts?" Sophie whispered to Heather. She'd already nodded when Ben had asked, but Sophie felt oddly concerned about her.

"I play contract bridge at church," the girl whispered back.

"Oh, damn," said Sophie.

"What's wrong?" Heather asked.

"If you're that good at trick games, you probably won't be taking your dress off."

Heather gave her an uneasy smile.

Ben passed the normal dare stack around for everyone to get an idea of what they'd be required to do. About a third of the cards were a mix of "remove an item of clothing," or "remove another player's clothing," with rules and restrictions that varied by dare.


During the first round, Sophie was forced to take a trick that cost her her shoes. She led back a low card, and the trick was taken by Rose, whose dare was to sit on another player's lap and french kiss them for thirty seconds.

Ben's app whirred, and the bottle pointed to Sophie. So she slid her chair out, and Rose sat on her thighs, then wrapped her arms and legs around her and they kissed enthusiastically. Thirty seconds came and went, and a second thirty was almost done when they mutually ended the kiss. Rose stood, both of them breathing heavily.

"This after getting your hand inside my bra," Sophie said. "If you don't call me, I'm gonna have to hunt you down."

Everyone laughed at that, except for Heather, who seemed both amused and confused.

Rose stepped back, then turned back toward her chair. Sophie idly watched her backside, and something about her purposeful steps seemed familiar. Well, not just the walk. She realized that her face and features had a vague but nagging familiarity. It was the walk that brought it out though, and Sophie could hardly ask why she recognized Rose's butt.

On the other hand... "Hey, Rose?"


"Why do I recognize your butt?"

Everyone burst out laughing. "It was on the cover of Vogue?" Rose suggested as she sat, with a grin at Sophie.

That was when she began to suspect a setup. The thimble game, and now kissing, both with Rose? What were the odds?

She stared hard at Ben, and his entirely innocent expression told her she was right. He'd been manipulating the choices. That damned app he was using...

It certainly wouldn't be the first time either of them had run a con on the other. It only annoyed her that it had taken her several hours to realize that it was happening. Now she needed to figure out the details.

Was she being targeted alone? If making out with Rose was the goal, it was a pretty weak one. Rose had to know something of what was going on. Hell, if she wanted to get Sophie into bed, she only had to call. It wouldn't need an elaborate Ben scam. So, most likely, it was Sophie and... someone else? Who?

She glanced to her left, to see Heather watching her anxiously, her face flushed.

Rose's friend. Whom Rose persuaded to come to the party. Oh, God, really?

She turned back to give Ben her best "what the fuck?" stare, which he returned with the same perfect innocence as earlier. Then she studied her cards and thought.

Stephen lost his shoes to the next hand. While he was taking them off, Sophie's phone binged. She turned it over to glance at its screen without taking it out of her purse. It was possible that it was important.

"Took u long enuf," it said. She glared at Ben briefly. She hadn't even seen him send a text. She must have assumed he was playing with the app. A moment later there was another text. "Trust."

So Ben wasn't just playing her. He was expecting her to participate willingly. Whatever he'd set up, it would be to her benefit not to disrupt his game. Hence, "trust."

Another moment's thought. Rose was working with Ben in some fashion. The purposeful walk and the golden hair finally gelled. She'd seen the owner of that butt moving with a tray holding glasses of beer, and seen the freckled face handing a drunk Ben a glass - except it turned out he wasn't drunk, and the beer was non-alcoholic. She was the waitress from the golf club that he'd co-opted to handle Ethan.

As she turned to look at Rose, the blonde caught her eye and winked. She mouthed something and made a phone dialing gesture. "Still want your number," maybe?

"Later," Sophie mouthed silently, with a tiny nod. Yeah, she was down with that. And maybe she needed to punish Rose for her part in this...

The final hand showed another copy of the "sit on someone's lap and kiss" card. Sophie saw Heather bite her lip, then wince as Stephen led a low diamond. She tossed out the king. "Any other suit," she mumbled. "Please, someone have a trump..."

No one had a trump. Heather took the trick, and Sophie shot her a commiserating smile.

Ben's app selected Stephen as the target, so Heather moved over to sit on his lap. Though she didn't make a big production of the kiss, as Rose and Sophie had done, she kissed him with enthusiasm, whether real or feigned. When they separated at the thirty second mark, her cheeks were red, and Stephen looked a little shocked.

"You go, girl," called Jasmine, as she returned to her place. When she sat she picked up her wine glass and took a large swallow.


"No one failed to take a trick," Ben said. "I'm impressed and disappointed! Let's take a break before the next round. Get drinks. I'm going to open a few windows. It's too hot in here. I'm sure someone's going to learn about major dares next time."

Sophie turned to smile at Heather, who returned the smile tentatively.

"Are you going to date her?" The girl's question was casual, but she seemed somehow tense.

"Probably not," Sophie answered. "I haven't really dated anyone for a long time."

"You seemed... excited. You both did. Are you really going to ignore that if she calls?"

"Oh, well, I'm sure we'd be good for a romantic evening or two," Sophie replied.

"Romantic?" Heather's eyes were wide behind her large glasses. "If you're both women, is that even the right word?"

The question seemed genuine, rather than rhetorical. But Christ, Ben, what are you trying to do to me? Or to her?

"You don't think women can be romantically attracted to each other?"

"I guess I just can't think of it as romance if it's not... not a man and a woman."

Sophie considered her words for a moment. "Forgive me," she said. "I don't want to give offense, but I don't think you really believe that. I think it's your religion talking, not you."

"It's the same thing," Heather stated, but her tone lacked conviction.

"I don't think it is," Sophie argued. "I don't think your religion would really approve of most of what's happened this evening, but you seem okay with it. Or at least, you're trying not to disapprove, and I respect that. A lot, to be honest."

"I just don't want to feel left out," said Heather.

"I'm sure you don't," said Sophie, "but I also am sure that you can see that it's harmless, and we're enjoying ourselves, and I think you're enjoying it some, too. And you really don't think it's wrong to do so."

"I have been enjoying myself," Heather admitted. "Mostly. I'm not really sure about the rest."

"We each know what we're getting into," Sophie insisted, "and we're each responsible for our choices. We're not hurting anyone else. And if it tests our comfort zone, that can be good, too, because it can help us see the difference between what does make us uncomfortable and what should make us uncomfortable. And it can help us see when we need to work on acceptance and tolerance. It's the same with Rose and me. If we were to get together, who would we be hurting if we give each other a little romance? Or even if we just fuck?"

"Fuck?" Heather looked startled. "How can you even call it that? You don't have the right..." She glanced down towards Sophie's waist, then looked back up. "You don't have the right parts to f... to fuck."

"Ask me another time and I'll explain why that's not true," Sophie said. "But whatever we do, it will be just us. We won't be hurting anyone else, so how would that be wrong?"

Heather just shrugged uncomfortably.

Sophie frowned slightly. "With the way you feel, what will you do if you're dared to kiss one of the women? There are five of us and two guys, so it isn't unlikely."

For a brief instant, she got a flash of something which made her believe she finally understood Ben's thinking. As soon as she'd said the word "women," Heather's pupils widened instantly. Then her expression closed down and settled into mild discomfort.

"I'll do it," Heather said. "Of course I will. It's only kissing. I kissed Stephen earlier."

"Yeah, you did," agreed Sophie.


During the next round, Sophie had to suffer two minutes of Yui attempting to make her squirm without using her fingers. The young woman was very good with her lips, tongue and teeth. She failed to make Sophie shiver by kissing her neck, but it was a close call. Then she switched to her navel, Sophie lying down for the purpose, but fared no better. The rules had only permitted neck/shoulder and belly.

So Sophie got the pleasure of taking Yui's top off, for which the woman gave her a friendly grin.

Sitting in other players' laps was a recurring theme. Heather had to sit in Ben's lap until she won another trick, which she did only two hands later. Her dare for that was to sit in Jasmine's lap and suck her earlobe for a minute. Jasmine held the shy girl's hips and bounced her against herself, embarrassing her even further.

After Heather had won yet another hand and removed her hose, Stephen's dare was to sit in Sophie's lap and kiss her neck for two minutes. Yui cried foul when she shivered. "Why wouldn't you do that for me?"

"It's only because you got me a-tingle that I couldn't resist him," Sophie said, with a laugh.

Then Jasmine had to remove an item of Heather's clothing with her teeth. Only the dress was accessible, so she tried to pull the straps over her head. In spite of Heather's efforts to be accommodating, it didn't go well. Jasmine switched to lifting the dress by the hem, but had only gotten it up to her navel when the time expired. The failure meant that Heather had to take Jasmine's top off, which seemed to embarrass her more than the potential loss of the dress had.

After Heather had returned to her seat, Sophie leaned close to her and whispered, "Pink panties."

The girl flushed and tried to hide her face.

"Hot pink panties," Sophie added. "The color of your cheeks."

"Oh, hush!" Heather whispered.

"Oh, shit," Sophie said, still to Heather. "We're down to two cards and I still haven't taken a trick. I think you got them all."

"Yeah, that's four dares," the girl replied. "Only one clothing item, though."

Sophie breathed a sigh of relief as Jasmine led a club. Her king was the highest club outstanding. She threw it down and sat back.

Heather leaned over to see what the current dare was, then trumped the hand.

"No! Why would you even do that," yelped Sophie.

"Because you deserved it," whispered Heather.

"You're going to have to take the dare now," Sophie stated.

"It will be worth it. I don't lose my dress," Heather replied, smugly.

Since no one overtrumped, Heather got to tickle Amanda for a minute, or until she laughed. The woman held out for a few seconds, but didn't make it for a half minute before she squirmed and begged for mercy.

At the end of the round, neither Sophie nor Amanda had taken a trick. Ben consulted his app and declared that Sophie would be taking a major dare.

"Fuck you and your app, Benjamin!" she said, glaring at him. "Gimme the card."

"I have to give the selected player a sensual lap dance to Beyoncé's S&M," she announced. Then she grimaced. "Topless."

There were cheers.

"Okay, who's my lucky client?" she asked, looking at Ben.

There was a swishing sound, then he turned to Heather and grinned.

"Ooh, poetic irony," Sophie said, with a smirk, as the girl hid her face in her hands. "I'm sure you wish you hadn't stolen that trick from me! Turn your chair around, now..."

She settled into Heather's lap, hooking her legs behind the back of the chair as she pulled off her tee, then called to Ben, "Music, Maestro!"

"Bra, too!" he objected.

"It says sensual," Sophie stated. "I think it will be more sensual if she takes it off me."

"Oh, no," whimpered the red-faced Heather as Ben started the music.

Sophie held the back of the chair and gyrated in the girl's lap as Heather reached behind her and began to unfasten her bra. Her face was almost buried in Sophie's chest as she fumbled the catches for several seconds. She leaned back as the straps fell away.

But Sophie didn't cut her a break, holding her arms out so that she had to draw the bra off one side at a time, Sophie's breasts bouncing before her as she writhed in her lap.

Her hands squeezed Heather's shoulders as she rocked against her. Then she put them behind her head and leaned far back, her groin pressed into the girl's, whose cheeks were flaming.

She slid backward off Heather's lap, then turned around and settled back down with her back to her, sitting up so that she could feel the girl's dress rubbing her back as she moved. She continued to grind against her until the song ended.

Then she stood, grabbed her clothes from the floor and slipped into her tee shirt. Waving the bra at Ben, she said, "I'll just count this for the next clothing penalty, okay?'

Ben nodded in an agreement, then announced a drink break. "I think we all need to cool down after that," he said.


"Why are you being so mean to me?" Heather asked Sophie.

"Admit it, you enjoyed that," Sophie replied.

"I did not!" the auburn girl said. Sophie noticed, though, that her eyes occasionally flicked down to Sophie's shirt, as though trying to recall the sight of her breasts.

Yeah, for all his conniving, Ben had understood Heather. She was sure of it. Or Rose had. That was more likely, but Ben had trusted her insight.

"How do you know Rose?" she asked.

"She's a waitress at a place I visit sometimes," Heather replied.

"At the golf club?"

"Right! How did you know that? Oh, right," she added, and there was a sharp edge to her tone. "You recognized Rose's ass."

"I recognized her walk, actually." Sophie countered, then added, "Though I guess I was staring at her ass at the time."

There was a moments pause. Then Heather laughed, and it sounded like genuine amusement. She said, "Rose has always been friendly to me. She got me out of a situation. That's how I met her. She saw a guy putting something in my drink."

"Oh, no!" Sophie exclaimed.

"It's alright, it came to nothing," Heather said. "And I think Rose put the word out on the guy. But I guess that's what made me realize I needed..." She glanced around the room. Everyone was gathering at the table, drinks in hand. "Needed to get out of myself. Challenge my boundaries."

"Boy, did we just do that," Sophie said, looking directly at Heather and winking. The girl's eyes grew large.

"I guess we did, didn't we?"


At the beginning of the next round, Amanda, Yui and Jasmine were down to bra and panties. Stephen had no shirt, but was wearing jeans, so his count of clothing was the same. Heather had dress, bra and panties. Sophie was ahead, with tee shirt, shorts and panties, but one item buffered, since she was counting her bra for the next. Rose had no shoes on, but was otherwise fully clothed. Ben had taken off his shirt, but he still had socks, so probably three items.

Sophie knew that Ben was cheating to affect the outcome, but she was fairly sure he wouldn't cheat over gameplay. That wasn't his style.

"Listen, everyone," Sophie called out as Ben dealt the cards. "We have to make a determined effort to give Rose some wins. She's wearing way too much." After some chuckles, she added, "I need for her to lose her panties, so I can know for sure if I recognize her ass."

There were a few whistles at that.

Rose smirked. "Well, there are parts of you I know I'll never forget. Nor will Heather."

"Oh god," Heather muttered, but loud enough for everyone to hear. "Don't remind me."


At the end of the next round, the Rose situation hadn't changed much. She still had shirt, bra, shorts and underwear.

Sophie had "officially" lost her bra, which meant that her clothing was unchanged, except for no longer having a buffer. The minimum item count was still two, though Ben had joined that group after losing his socks.

And three people had taken no tricks: Ben, Stephen and Amanda. Ben's app identified Stephen as the recipient of the next major dare card. His dare was to ride another player in cowgirl / cowboy position, fully clothed, for four minutes.

The spinning bottle selected Amanda as his mount. "Oh, my," she said, and moved from her chair to lie on her back on the rug.

Stephen lowered himself into position, set his hands on Amanda's hips and began to ride, with a few "Yee-haws" and whoops. Then he raised his right hand as though riding a bull.

Meanwhile, Amanda wasn't taking her part passively. She bucked her hips in response, and after about thirty seconds began to moan. Obviously acting, but doing a great job of it in true porn video style. "Oh, yeah, baby, give it to me, big guy, cowgirl me!"

After the second minute she gradually began to arch her back and gasp, so by minute three she was panting. "Oh yeah! OH yeah! Oh yeah! Right there! Just a little more! Just a little more!" Then with perfect timing, just before the four minute mark, she slammed her hands to the ground and arched her back hard, almost throwing Stephen off, and yelling "OH YES! OH YES!" before sinking back to the floor.

Stephen buckled over with laughter as he stood. When he passed Jasmine's chair, her hand shot out and grabbed the front of his jeans.

"Thought so," she said. "Mister, you and me, we're gonna have a loong talk when we get home."

Stephen was still chuckling as he sat. "I'm just glad I still have my jeans on," he said. Then to Amanda, "Girl, you're an awesome ride."

She grinned at him and sat.

As Ben gathered the cards for the next round, Sophie felt a tug on her sleeve. She turned to find Heather's face close to her ear.

"Did she really just..." Heather asked, her face heated.

Sophie grinned and shook her head. "Good acting," she said. "Maybe a bit over the top."

"I see," the girl replied, then let out a breath.


Ben dealt the cards, and she picked up her hand to find it was quite a good one. Her phone pinged. She turned the phone over in her purse to see "h - misere".

She glanced up at Ben and gave a tiny nod of her head to show she'd understood. They needed to be sure Heather took no tricks.

Sophie and Ben were good at reading each other's play, and if Sophie guessed correctly, he'd switched to a configured deck. She didn't know how he could have prepared such a thing, but he was the one who'd studied card illusions, not her.

Ben led to one of Sophie's guaranteed winners, so she took the trick, losing her shorts in the process. Now she'd joined the ranks of the two item players; just tee shirt and underwear.

Between them, Ben and Sophie took several tricks, giving the lead away only when they were sure they could recover. Then, with four cards left, Jasmine trumped a win, and upset their momentum. For that she had to give Ben a minute's upper thigh massage.

Jasmine led back a heart, and that almost cost Sophie and Ben their planning, because Sophie had deduced that Heather must have the queen. Jasmine's had been the last trump, and the ace and king had gone, so Heather could avoid a major dare right here.

But she stared at the dare card and at her hand, and bit her lip. Sophie could almost hear the thought process. She was down to dress, bra and panties. The dare was a two minute strip tease, taking off at least two items. If she did it, she'd have to be topless for the dance, and even though she could put her clothes back on afterward, she didn't want to volunteer to dance topless.

On the other hand, she was still risking a major dare, and the topless dance would prevent falling into that category.

But there were still three cards to play, and probably more than one candidate. She must have been thinking that the odds of getting the major dare were low, and weighing that against the certainty of the topless dance. In the end, she discarded her lowest heart. Rose took the trick, and Sophie cheered with the rest as she removed her shirt and shorts while dancing, temporarily dropping to panties and bra.

Rose led back to Ben's strength, and Heather, Amanda, Yui and Stephen all became contenders for the major dare.

Of course, Ben's in no way random app chose Heather. The girl had a panicked look as he slid her the card.

""Select a partner,"" Heather read. ""Wearing n-nothing but panties-slash-undershorts, make out with your partner in b... in bed for ten minutes. Ladies may choose in addition to wear a tee shirt." Ten minutes?" she continued. "The others weren't ten minutes!"

"The others were a topless erotic lap dance in public and simulated sex," Rose said. "I guess this is longer because the stakes are lower."

"I guess," agreed Heather, dubiously. "Do I get to choose the partner?"

In reply, Ben held up his phone and pushed the button. The swishing seemed to go on for a long time. Then he glanced at it and passed down the table, everyone taking a look at it before it was finally in Heather's hands. She blinked at the screen, then looked up at Sophie.

"Ten minutes is a long stretch when we've got so many girls so close to naked," griped Stephen. His girlfriend glared at him.

"Could be time for a drink break," offered Rose.

"Could delay it until after the game, I guess," said Ben. "Nothing says it has to be right now this minute."

Heather was still staring at Sophie, like a deer frozen in headlights.

Sophie knew that this had been Ben's goal from the beginning, and she knew how she wanted to handle it, but calming Heather down was priority one. "Just a minute, all of you," she said, then grabbed Heather's hand. "Conference."

The shy girl meekly followed Sophie out into the hallway. "I think you should just tell him fuck the dare," said Sophie.

"I don't... I really don't want to do that," Heather replied. "I don't want to. No one else has backed out. It wouldn't be fair. I want to participate, and there's..." She had trouble saying the words. "There's nothing wrong with the dare. It's not like... like sex, or like you and Rose. You were right, there's nothing wrong with the games we've been playing." She was starting to babble. "But I don't think I can do it. I just don't think I can do it with everyone around."

"Shh," said Sophie, softly. "Shh. It's okay," She paused for a moment, waiting for Heather to catch her breath. "Ben already said it could be delayed until the game's over. Why don't we tell him we're going to delay it until tomorrow, at my place?"

Heather gave her a look of gratitude. "S... sure. I think. I can do that."

Sophie took her hand again and squeezed it for several seconds before leading her back into the room. "We'll do it," she said, "but not here. Heather will come to my place."

"I guess that would work," Ben said. "But I think there should be an extra penalty. Double it to twenty minutes."

"Wait, no, that isn't on the card," objected Sophie.

"It's alright," Heather interrupted, in a surprisingly strong voice. "It's alright. It doesn't say it can be delayed at all, and I think it's a fair price for disrupting the game."

Sophie shrugged. "Oh, okay, then. Deal."

Ben grinned, and began to deal, as Sophie led Heather back to the table, still holding her hand. She released it as the girl picked up her cards.

Sophie was pretty sure that this would be the last round. Too many people were down to two items of clothing - herself included, she realized, with a grimace. Even so, she wasn't expecting the speed with which the game ended.

Stephen led a spade, which Jasmine took with the king. Everyone appreciated the outcome when she had to slip off her bra, draping it over the back of her chair. Except maybe Heather. And Jasmine, of course.

She managed to lose the lead, and Heather took the trick, wincing. The next card was also for clothing, and her dress finally came off. She sat back down, her face scarlet.

Sophie took her hand again, squeezing it firmly, then leaned close and whispered, "Hot pink."

"Hush, you," Heather replied, but didn't draw her hand back.

In addition to the pink panties, she was wearing an attractive tan lacy push-up bra. Sophie was in two minds about seeing her take another clothing dare. She'd like to see her lose the bra, but at the same time, the girl was so close to panic now that it might be the proverbial straw.

Sophie and Heather won the next two dares, neither of which involved clothing. They each were playing one-handed, since Sophie still held Heather's hand to offer comfort. Then Heather led another spade.

Jasmine cursed and tossed the ace onto the pile at her turn. "Those were my only two spades," she grumbled, and stood to remove her panties.

She was a cheerful loser, asking Ben for music and dancing for everyone as he collected the cards. Even Heather seemed happy to watch. Sophie released her hand as she began to relax. With the game over, there were no new nasty surprises on the horizon.


"I really am okay to skip, if you want," said Sophie as Heather took her leave. "We can lie about having done it."

The girl gave a shake of her head, her auburn waves swaying with the motion. "I won't lie," she said. "I'll follow through."

Sophie grinned. "Maybe you'll even learn to enjoy it."

The other sighed. "No offence, Sophie. I mean, I like you just fine, but don't be disappointed when I don't."