Consciousness was not all it was cracked up to be. Dare came to with an angry Bowen straddling his chest, slapping Dare’s cheek.
“Wake up, you bastard, you aren’t sleeping through this!” Bowen had a piece of familiar paper in his other hand.
Even stunned as he was, Dare knew what that paper was. Unfortunately for him, he remembered everything that had just happened.
Bowen stopped slapping his cheek and instead gripped Dare by the chin and shook his head. “You’ve been spying on us? What kind of filthy pervert are you? You need to be in prison, isn’t that your family tradition?”
“Please,” Dare croaked, too scared to worry about anything except landing his ass in the very place he wanted to avoid.
“You were watching us!” Bowen shouted. Then he blinked and looked at the sketch. He was silent a moment before he grunted. “Huh. It’s a damned good drawing. Not that that excuses what you did.”
“What’d he do?”
Dare knew that voice. He whimpered and closed his eyes as he sensed Chiz approaching.
“It couldn’t have been as bad as what you did,” Chiz said. “Did you kill him?” he shrieked a second later.
Dare’s eyes snapped open before he could think about it. Then his mouth went dry and he could hardly breath, because Chiz was naked and gorgeous and perfect, just like Dare remembered him. Just like Dare had drawn him.
“I didn’t mean to—“ Bowen huffed. “Chiz, I told you, I promise I didn’t mean to.”
What had Bowen done to Chiz? Dare felt less sorry for himself as anger began percolating in his brain. With Bowen distracted, Dare didn’t have much trouble bucking him off.
Bowen went toppling to the right and Dare rolled to the left. He scrambled to get to his feet.
“Are you okay?” he asked as he looked at Chiz. “What did he— Umph!”
God, Bowen must have been part bull or something, the way he slammed into Dare and knocked him down again.
Dare barely had time to break his fall, sort of, if one could call slapping a hand to the ground to keep from introducing his face to the dirt any such thing. The rest of Dare hit the ground hard.
“What is the fucking problem?” Chiz yelled. “Cut it out!”
“You were fine with knocking him around at your place,” Bowen said between panted breaths. “He showed up here uninvited just like he did there.”
Chiz cocked one brow at Bowen. “You really want to go there?”
Bowen turned as white as a piece of sketch paper. “I told you, I’m sorry. I can’t undo it, or I would. I didn’t know it would happen. It never has with anyone else.”
Dare sat up and held his hands in front of himself, out and in what he hoped was a please don’t tackle me again gesture. He wondered if the condom had broken or something equally as terrifying, because whatever had happened between Chiz and Bowen sure hadn’t been good. Or consensual. Dare’s stomach roiled and he had to force back bile.
“Whatever,” Chiz snapped. He frowned at Dare. “You look like you’re gonna puke. Did he break something when he hit you?”
Dare shook his head. “No, but… “ He darted a quick glance Bowen’s way. “Did he—“
Chiz slashed a hand through the air as Bowen cursed up a blue streak. “No,” Chiz said clearly, “I can guarantee you that whatever you’ve got going on in your head, it’s not what Bowen did.” Then Chiz sighed and seemed to slump all over. He ran a hand through is hair. “It’s just a mess, and—“ He looked at Dare. “Why are you here?”
“Because he’s been spying on us!” Bowen declared, waving the now-crumbled sketch at Chiz. “He saw us when we were—“
“I didn’t see anything,” Dare protested. “Except in my imagination! I’m not a pervert!” Wait. Did fantasizing about watching Bowen and Chiz fuck make him a pervert? Maybe not. But mailing Bowen the sketch? Dare had to accept that maybe he was a pervert. “Um.”
Chiz held out his hand, then gasped when he looked at the sketch Bowen handed him. “This is…this is us, and you—you,” Chiz snarled at Bowen, “Promised that no one was around to see us!”
“I wasn’t here!” Dare said louder, because if he repeated it enough, maybe they’d believe him.
“Then how the fuck did you know we did this?” Bowen asked. “And what’s in the back of the truck bed with us?”
Dare couldn’t possibly die of embarrassment, could he? Because, as hot as he was, and as hard as his heart was pounding, he thought he might just keel over. Maybe he had a previously undiagnosed heart issue. He was going to die right there on Bowen’s ranch and when people died, their bodies did gross things. Well, at least Dare wouldn’t be there for that mortifying part of it all.
“You know, it kinda looks like a shape, like… like maybe a person, but the lines aren’t clear enough,” Bowen was saying. “He got your expression perfect. Every line of your body—“
“Yours too,” Chiz interrupted. “Even your ass has just the right amount of fuzz.” He turned his attention to Dare. “Hey, don’t pass out on us. Breathe, man. In, count to three, out, count to three. Come on, do it.”
Dare’s vision was getting spotting and it wasn’t until he gasped that he realized he hadn’t been breathing.
“That’s it,” Chiz encouraged, taking a step toward him. “Just keep doing that. Except, add some exhalations after you inhale, bud.”
“Why are you being nice to him?” Bowen asked. “You weren’t before.”
“Because he looks like he’s going to keel over,” Chiz replied, coming closer still. “Plus I’m a sucker for people with talent. Look at that sketch, Bowen. Dare here has got talent in spades, don’t you think?”
“You think I have talent?” Dare squeaked out while Bowen took the sketch and perused it again.
“This is pretty damned amazing,” Bowen agreed. “But he was watching us—“
Dare flung his hands up and groaned. “No. I. Wasn’t! I just sorta saw y’all in me head, and I wanted to be there, too, so I added—“ He snapped his mouth shut, teeth clacking audibly.
Chiz stopped walking and smirked. “You wanted to fuck with us, literally, not the shit way, so you drew yourself in the pic?”
Dare closed his eyes. Please, God, just let me die right now. Please. I don’t’ care if I go to hell.
“Chiz, the more important thing is that he was watching us!” Bowen argued.
Dare groaned and just flopped back on the ground. “I did not! I can’t make you believe me, but I saw it, like a fantasy, you know? Because I saw you both before, and y’all were so fucking hot.” He gulped but decided to forge his way onward. “So I used you both for, you know, spank bank material, then I saw you both, and I wanted to… “ He opened one eye and found himself drawn to look at Bowen this time. “I mean, why wouldn’t I want to be with you? Either of you?” He gulped. “Or both of you?”
“That doesn’t mean you should spy on us,” Bowen began, and Dare let out a garbled shout of frustration.
“I didn’t see you fucking for real! And I’m sorry I ever mailed you the fucking sketch!”
“Bowen,” Chiz snapped. “How can you not even consider the possibility that Dare might be telling the truth, considering all that, you know. All that happened?”
Dare might not know much, but one thing he was sure of—something weird as all get-out had happened between Bowen and Chiz.