Chiz bit his tongue to keep from saying anything more. Instead, he ignored Bowen and Dare, and studied the drawing. It was really good; almost realistic-good. Chiz held the paper up a little further away and examined it from that angle. “Damn, Dare. You drew this?” Not only was it a true work of art, but it was erotic as hell.
“I’m sorry,” Dare muttered. “I just—I shouldn’t have—it was stupid—“
“Jesus,” Bowen grumbled, but he didn’t say anything else.
Chiz lowered his arm, still staring at the images Dare had captured. “So is that you watching us?”
“Oh God,” Dare whimpered. “I’m so—“
“We get it,” Bowen cut in. “You’re sorry for spying on us—“
“I didn’t spy on you!” Dare shouted, coming to his feet then stumbling.
Chiz would have reached for him, but Bowen actually did the decent thing and grabbed Dare’s shoulder to steady him.
“I didn’t see you doing that,” Dare protested strenuously. “I mean, I saw it in my head, and… and yeah, okay. I wanted to be there, too, so I… I did the lines but I didn’t put me in there, not really, because I mean you two were doing it and I wasn’t invited, it was just a fantasy.” Dare’s eyes went wide and he slapped a hand over his mouth so hard that Chiz was afraid he’d busted his lips.
“A fantasy?” Bowen asked, his voice gruff. He watched Dare steadily.
Chiz went hot all over, and his dick, horny thing that it was, began to harden. “You want to watch us fuck?”
Dare gulped but didn’t move otherwise.
“Or you want to join us?” Bowen asked.
Chiz’s erection died a quick death as he glared at Bowen and hissed. He knew what had happened when he’d fucked around with Bowen!
Bowen blushed and had the decency to look sorry. “I’m just asking,” he said a moment later. “For clarification.”
Dare pulled away from Bowen. “Can I just have it back? I won’t bother either of you anymore. Won’t be stupid about shit like this again.”
Chiz felt bad for Dare—which surprised him. He’d been pissed as fuck with the man for barging in, but… Dare looked so distressed, and battered, and hopeless, and ashamed. Ugh! He looks like a kicked puppy, damn it!
“Get an ice pack made,” Chiz said to Bowen. “And some ibuprofen.”
Bowen opened his mouth and sure looked like he was going to argue, but Chiz bared his teeth at Bowen and that was the end of any potential argument.
From Bowen, anyway.
“Look, I’m an asshole. Just… If you won’t give me the sketch back, burn it,” Dare pleaded. “Tear it up. Something, anything. Mama says I don’t have a lick of sense or talent—“
“Your mom is awful,” Chiz groused, silently commending himself for not calling her something much worse, and more fitting. “She’s wrong on both counts, okay? Look at me. Dare. Look at me,” Chiz ordered when Dare kept his eyes on the ground. “Dare!”
Dare snapped his gaze up to Chiz’s. “What?”
“This is amazing.” Chiz turned the sketch toward Dare. “How can you think it isn’t? You must have realized how fabulous it was, or else you wouldn’t have sent it to Bowen. You could have sent it to me.” That he hadn’t kind of hurt Chiz, which was stupid. He and Dare didn’t even know each other.
Of course, neither did Dare and Bowen.
Chiz rolled his eyes.
“Sorry,” Dare said.
“That was aimed at me,” Chiz informed him. “Rolling my eyes at my own ridiculous thoughts. This drawing, it’s incredible. You captured the perfect shape of my ass. “Chiz winked and Dare blushed darkly. He was a cute guy, all big and with an air of innocence that came and went. “Bowen’s dick is that big and thick, too. You really didn’t see us?”
Dare shook his head. “Only up here.” He tapped one temple. “It…y’all were pretty vivid in there.”
“Bowen fucked the consciousness right out of me,” Dare admitted. “Then he did it again. Not right away, but…” Chiz sighed. What the hell was going on between him, Bowen, and Dare? The drawing in his hand was proof that some kind of… connection… was already in place between them.
“Just come inside, okay?” Chiz said after a moment. “We’ll discuss the sketch.”
“I should just go,” Dare protested.
Chiz grabbed one of his hands. It was warm and rough, and a jolt of lust shot through Chiz. He stared at Dare, looked him over from head to toes, then back again.
Dare trembled and started to take a step back. “I…I—“
Chiz didn’t know what happened, why it happened. One second, he was standing there, holding Dare’s hand.
And the next, he was kissing the man, pressing up, his lips against Dare’s.
It was hard to say who was the most shocked. The jerked apart, Chiz letting go of Dare and gasping, struggling to catch his breath as Dare did the same.
A thousand thoughts raced through Chiz’s mind, but the biggest, scariest one was this—Did he want to risk doing to Dare what Bowen had, inadvertently, done to him?
And secondly, what would Bowen think of Chiz kissing Dare? Did it matter? Bowen and Chiz hadn’t made any commitments or promises, had they? Did we? Did I just cheat? Shit! Maybe? I don’t know!
He realized that Dare was slowly sneaking off. “Get back here!”
Dare took off running.
Chiz, still holding the sketch, growled and bolted after the man. He heard Bowen shout his name and figured Bowen would be in on the chase too.
They didn’t have far to run. Dare tripped over a root and went flying. He hit the ground hard, and his head connecting with a tree trunk made a sickening sound.
“Oh fuck!” Chiz yelped, skidding on his knees to Dare’s side.
“God, don’t be dead, man,” Bowen panted, his hand shaking as he reached out to touch Dare’s neck. “Don’t be dead.”
Chiz’s heart was going to break right out of his chest. Had they killed the poor guy?
Bowen’s exhalation was shakier than his hand. “He’s alive.”
Chiz looked at Bowen. “I kissed him.”
Bowen nodded, still focused on Dare. “Saw that. Was hot.”
Guilt seeped out of Chiz. “Thought you hated him.”
Bowen shrugged. “Thought I did, too, but…” He finally looked at Chiz. “Doesn’t matter, does it? If I don’t hate him. After what I did to you, I mean.”
God, what a mess they were in! Chiz was an emotional mess. He was angry, confused, and scared shitless.
He didn’t know what he was going to do, what he could do, about being turned into a creature he’d not asked to be. He needed time to think about that, and about Bowen.
But Dare moaned and his thick lashes fluttered, and Bowen murmured softly as he pushed aside a few strands of hair that were stuck to Dare’s sweaty brow.
“It’s gonna be okay, man,” Bowen whispered, and even though Bowen meant it for Dare, Chiz hoped that was going to be true for all of them.