The Bet

By: Rachel Van Dyken

Chapter Five





The woman was obviously insane and asking for trouble. Who holds something like that over someone’s head? Of course, he didn’t know what to do with his tongue! He was twelve! Any guy would have been flustered, especially with Kacey as the kissing partner!

It was her braids. Lord, but she had the longest braids of any little girl he’d ever seen. Naturally, he tugged on them whenever the opportunity presented itself and then in a fit of desperation threw rocks at her when she wouldn’t chase him anymore.

Obviously in need of attention, he went in for a kiss and was pleasantly surprised when her mouth opened in a scream for him to stop, and his tongue slipped in.

He’d like to think it was purely instinctual, but Kacey ruined that thought the minute she started making fun of him.

As if she could point fingers, the girl was literally cutting off all the circulation to his left arm.

“Kacey, do you think you can make it?” he asked, trying to pry her death grip away from his arm. He still held her other hand and knew it would be stupid to let it go.

Mainly, because holding her hand felt good.

And he wasn’t lying about her having nice hands.

He’d be a fool to let her go.

Again.

Damn, he needed to get laid. At the rate he was going they would be married by the end of the weekend. The sappy sentimental Jake needed to be punched in the face.

“Forty-five minutes,” Kacey chanted. “Just forty-five minutes!” Maniacal laughter came from her lips. “I mean, I can do anything for forty-five minutes, right? Right?”

Apparently it wasn’t a rhetorical question. “Er, right. I’m sure you can handle it, Kace.”

“If he orders a drink I’ll calm down.” She nodded her head as the plane began to take off.

Saying goodbye to not only his sanity but all the blood that Kacey was currently draining from his arm, Jake winced and tried to gather what nonsense she was spouting off this time.

“If who orders a drink?”

“The guy talking into his jacket. If he orders a drink he’s not a terrorist, and if he doesn’t, you have to save the plane if it goes down.”

“There are so very many things wrong with that sentence. First off, how does him drinking alcohol prove anything? Second, why would I have to save the plane?”

Kacey rolled her eyes, finally relinquishing her grip on his arm. Thank God. “The way I see it, he’s going to want a clear head if he has to wave a gun around.” Oh great, not only had Kacey just said terrorist on a plane, but the word gun. Crap. If there were air marshals on the plane, he was throwing her under the bus. No hesitation.

“And what about me saving everyone?” Jake prayed for the flight attendant to hurry with the beverage service. At the rate he was going, he’d be totally wasted by the time they landed.

Kacey gave him a look of pure stupidity. “You’re a guy. It’s what guys do.”

“Save complete strangers?” He waved at the flight attendant. Seriously, what the hell was taking her so long?

“Yes, well, no. I mean…” Kacey let go of his arm completely. “…It’s what you do. You fix things.”

“Not all things.” The phrase hung in the air making Jake feel tenser, if that were even possible.

After a few minutes of silence, in which Jake contemplated taking over the plane himself if it would make Kacey talk again, the flight attendant brought the cart down the aisle.

“What would you two like?” She handed Jake napkins and gave them each a packet of pretzels.

Kacey opened her mouth to speak, but Jake clapped a hand over it before she got a word in. “We’d like two mini bottles of vodka.” Kacey bit his hand. “Make that four, thanks.”

Kacey rolled her eyes after he set the cup of ice in front of her and poured her the two bottles. “Drink this.”

“I don’t need alcohol. I’m fine!”

“Says the girl who just accused a clergyman of being a terrorist.” Jake pointed to the man she had just been accusing. Jacket now removed, a very visible clerical collar peeked through, showing his profession.

Kacey cursed.

“Hey, now!” Jake elbowed her. “We’re in the presence of God. Now drink up.”

“You do realize you used God and drink in the same sentence, right?” Kacey grumbled, throwing back the clear liquid. “Holy crap! That tastes like sh—”

“Sugar!” Jake interrupted with a laugh and cough. The clergyman turned around and gave them a peculiar look before glancing back at his magazine.

“I don’t think I believe you anymore.” Jake drank his vodka as fast as humanly possible.

“What do you mean?” Kacey croaked.

“You can’t do anything for forty-five minutes. It’s been ten and I’m ready to parachute out of this thing.”

“Just be thankful you’re not really engaged to me.” Kacey winked and laid her head back against the seat.

“Oh believe me, I am.” Jake‘s tone was slightly nasty, but it was the only way to keep ideas out of her head. He needed to stay as far away from Kacey as possible, and the only way he could do it was to be a complete ass. At least then his heart wouldn’t be in danger of getting lost for the second time, and he could hopefully keep hers intact.

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