Casi picked up the handset of the cordless phone and promptly replaced it. On her second try, she managed to dial three digits before hanging up. She thought, ‘Get a hold of yourself, girl. It’s just Brad. You call him all the time.’ She forced herself to go through with the call.
She tried to sound nonchalant. “Hey Brad, what’s up?”
“Not much, just reading.”
“Really?” she said. “What are you reading?”
“Rereading, actually. Asimov’s Foundation trilogy.”
“What’s that about?” she asked.
“Well, it’s fascinating really. It’s about the future history of mankind. A man figures out a way to predict the future using mathematics and…” The voice stopped. “You don’t usually care too much about my reading material. What’s up?”
‘Quit stalling,’ she thought. Out loud she said, “I have a secret.”
She hesitated. “It’s very personal. You have to promise that you won’t tell anyone.”
“Cas, do I usually go around blabbing your secrets? I've known you since kindergarten. In the more than a decade since we’ve been friends, and have I ever, ever, given you reason not to trust me?”
Brad was her rock. He was the person that she could talk to when she couldn’t talk to anyone else. She talked to him about fights with her parents and about troubles at school. She had never, however, talked to him about boy/girl stuff. She decided to just blurt it out. “I think that I like Aaron.”
No voice came from the other end of the phone.
“I’m here. You just caught me a little off guard. Sorry.”
She had never seen him speechless. “Is this too weird for you? I’ll hang up. I’m sorry.”
“No! Please don’t. It’s okay. You can talk to me about anything, you know that. It’s just that you and Aaron are my best friends. I got caught up considering the ramifications.”
She smiled, glad to have someone to go talk through this with her. “So, has he ever mentioned anything to you about liking me?”
The voice paused a second before replying. “Aaron has never said anything to me about having a romantic interest in you.”
He seemed to be choosing his words very carefully. She began to chew her lip. “So, has he ever said that he doesn’t like me?”
“He has not said one way or another.”
He obviously didn’t want to tell her something. “What’s the matter?”
His voice paused again. “I’m guess I’m just not comfortable discussing private conversations that I may or may not have had with Aaron. Just like I wouldn’t talk to Aaron about anything confidential between us, I can’t tell you anything about him, either.”
That made sense. She let the subject drop. “So, what should I do?”
“Your best bet is to just tell him how you feel.”
She nearly dropped the phone. “Eek! I can’t do that! What if he doesn’t feel the same? What if it ruins our friendship? No way.”
“True. I understand that. How about an intermediary instead?”
She frowned. “What do you mean?”
“I can go to Aaron and tell him that you’re interested and scope out the situation for you.”
She shrieked again. “NO! You can’t tell him. It’s a secret, and you promised.”
“Look, I understand. You like him, but you’re not willing to take the risk of finding out if he likes you back. That makes it a bit difficult.”
“Yeah,” she replied. “So, what do I do?”
“Well, the only other option is to make him like you.”
Her ears perked up. “How do I do that?”
He paused for a long while. She was almost of the verge of breaking the silence when he continued. “I’m a bit reticent to explain.”
Puzzled, she asked, “Reticent?”
“Reluctant, unwilling. Reticent.”
She said, as she had at least a thousand times before, “Why do you use such big words all the time?”
He replied, as always, “Why do you refuse to take command of the English language?”
“So, how do I make him like me?” Casi asked.
“When two people of opposite gender are friends for a long time, one or both of them ceases to see the other as a potential object of physical attraction.” Brad’s voice took on his lecturing tone.
Casi muttered, "Uh oh. I’m in for a speech now."
Brad continued, “Therefore, the trick is to make the other person see you as an object of physical attraction rather than as just a friend. A male in the same situation as you find yourself would be in much worse shape. Girls tend to compartmentalize relationships a lot more. Once you get to be friends, you’re locked in the ‘friend’ box, and there’s no getting out. With guys, it’s different. All you have to do is get him to see you as a girl rather than as a friend.”
“How do you know so much about this?” she asked.
“I read. A lot.”
“You learn this kind of stuff reading science fiction?”
“I read more than just sci-fi.”
She twirled her hair with her fingers for a moment before continuing. “How do I get him to see me as a girl instead of a friend?”
“Well,” he stammered, “guys are, uh, visually oriented.”
She didn’t understand. “What does that mean?”
“You’ve, uh, developed quite a bit over the last year or so. You need to get him to notice that.”
Casi blushed at Brad’s comments. Had he been checking her out? Should she call him out for noticing her figure? 'No. He’s just trying to help. Even though I don’t wear revealing clothes, it would have been hard for him not to see that my chest has gotten bigger. This has to be horribly embarrassing for him, too'. “So, should I dress slutty around him or something?”
“A more fool-proof way would be to let him see you naked.”
“Brad!” she yelled.
“Hey, you’re the one who asked my opinion. If you let Aaron see you naked, he’ll definitely stop thinking of you as just a friend who happens to be a girl. I’m just saying.”
She thought about it for a second. She hated to admit it, but he might have a point. “I’m not saying that I agree with you, but, if I did, how would I do it? I can’t just walk up to him and throw off my clothes. Should I let him catch me walking out of the shower or something? Though, I have no idea how I would do that.”
“No, him catching a glimpse of you in a way that would embarrass both of you wouldn’t be good. He’d probably start avoiding you, or it would get really weird. It has to be done one of two ways – he has to see you naked without your knowledge or with your consent.”
She tilted her head to the side and bit her lip. “Wouldn’t it be embarrassing for both of us no matter how he sees me? What do you mean by without my knowledge or with my consent?”
“Well, yes, it’s going to be embarrassing no matter what, but accidentally glimpsing you when he shouldn’t and you knowing about it isn’t necessarily the most erotic way. He needs to be able to see you either without you knowing he is looking or with your permission to look.”
“Would he really spy on me if he didn’t think that I knew he was looking?” she asked.
“Probably not. I was really speaking theoretically. Aaron’s much too principled to be a peeping Tom. I guess that leaves with your permission.”
‘Am I really considering this?’ she thought. “So, how would I give him permission to see me naked without seeming like a total slut?”
“Well, a lot of people our age play games like strip poker. There is a natural curiosity about bodies and all. It’s harmless fun, really. I think that would do the trick.”
Her cheeks turned red, and she raised her voice. “You think that I should go up to him and suggest that we play strip poker? Are you nuts? I’d be better off just telling him how I feel.”
“I agree; you would be better off, but that’s not what I was suggesting. You can’t bring up the subject and maintain your propriety, and it’s doubtful that he would propose such a thing out of the blue. The best bet is to have a third party bring it up. I'll do it. Come over tomorrow morning, say 11 o’clock? My parents will be at work, and I’ll invite Aaron as well. I’ll take care of putting forward the idea of the game. We’ll play five card draw. Just remember that you want to lose. Make sure to discard any pairs or high cards that you get in the first round of each hand.”
He said his goodbyes and hung up before she had much of a chance to respond.
All night, she couldn’t get the idea out of her head. She oscillated between flat out refusing to go along with it and visualizing what it would be like to strip for her two best friends, both boys her age. She had never touched herself “down there,” but, strangely, her thoughts about the situation really made her want to.
* * *
She rang Brad's doorbell just after 10:30 the next morning.
“Casi, you’re early.”
She burst into his house. “Look, I’m not going to do this. I can’t believe that you suggested that I strip for you! Call Aaron now and tell him not to come over.”
“What made you change your mind?”
“I never agreed to do it in the first place,” she said.
“No, not specifically, but you were pretty much on board with the idea of letting Aaron see you naked. Did you decide that it would be better to just tell him your feelings?”
“Do you disagree that letting him see you naked is the best course of action at the moment?”
“What’s the problem then?”
She blushed but didn’t answer.
“Look, Cas, you’re really a good looking girl. You have nothing to be embarrassed about. He’ll really enjoy seeing you, and it will make him consider you in a whole new light.”
Her cheeks colored as she finally responded. “I decided that I will find a way to let him see me but not here, not today.”
He backed away from her. “Gotcha. Basically, what you’re saying is that it’s okay for him to see you but not for me. I understand. I’ll give him a call. Talk to you later.” The dejected look on his face flashed for just an instant, but it broke her out of her self consumed thoughts. She had never seen him look so sad.
“Nothing. Nothing at all. I’ve got stuff to do around the house. You should just go.”
Now she knew that something was truly wrong. In all the time that they had been friends, he had never asked her to leave. Even when they had had the occasional big fight, she stayed to work it out before leaving. "Tell me.”
“Look, I get it. You’re into him in a way that’s different than how you feel about me. If things work out between the two of you, you’ll be sharing a lot of stuff without me. On the other hand, with this thing, I’m already feeling left out, like you trust him but not me.
“I’m your friend, but I’m a guy, too. It would have been kind of neat if the first girl that I ever saw naked was someone that I really cared about. I guess that I was really looking forward to it. But, I understand. I really do. I have no right to ask you to share something so personal with me. I’ll call Aaron and tell him that I’m not feeling well. You and he can still get together. Maybe a good opportunity will present itself.”
Brad was ALWAYS doing stuff for her. Whenever he could team up with her on a school project, he did, even though he knew that he would end up doing the vast majority of the work. Whenever they went to the movies, he let her pick. Even though her refusal so disappointed him, he was still willing to try to help her. He did so many thoughtful things for her, would it really be that bad to do this one thing for him?
She was willing to let Aaron see her, so why not Brad? She blushed again. “Okay. I’ll do it.”
“The game. It’s probably the best plan, anyway. We’ll do it the way that you said.”
* * *
Aaron arrived just a little after eleven. The three of them often hung out together, so Brad’s invitation was nothing unusual. However, he was quite surprised when, after a little small talk, Brad started explaining his plans for the day.
“I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the rituals involved with growing up. Soon we’ll embark upon such milestones as driving and dating. Looking back, though, there’s one coming of age rite that we seemed to have missed: strip poker.”
Aaron’s jaw literally dropped. He looked at Casi. She seemed maybe a little nervous, but not shocked, at Brad’s statement.
Brad continued, “It’s really a natural part of growing up, strip poker. The desire to see one’s friends of an opposite gender without their clothes, the curiosity about their bodies. I think that we should play. What do y’all think?”
Aaron expected Casi to give him a good earful, but, instead, she just gave a small nod of assent. He didn’t know what to say, but it’s hard for a teenage boy to say no to the chance of seeing a teenage girl naked. He nodded as well.
“Okay, great. Let’s get started. I have a deck of cards on the dining room table.”
Still speechless, his two friends followed him and sat down. Brad apparently saw Casi anxiously glancing outside through the large windows.
“It’s okay. Those windows face only the back yard which is enclosed by a privacy fence. No one can see in." He asked, “Casi, how many articles of clothing are you wearing.”
Casi spoke very softly.
“Shirt, shorts, two, uh, undergarments, and shoes make six.”
“Well, I’m wearing a shirt, shorts, boxers, shoes, and socks. I’m assuming that Aaron is wearing much the same?”
Aaron once again just nodded confirmation to the question. Brad continued, “If we count a pair of shoes or socks as one, we all have five, right?”
Both Aaron and Casi agreed.
“Okay, then. The game is five card draw. The dealer gives out five cards. Each player can choose any amount up to the entire five to discard. The dealer then replaces the discards. Worst poker hand out of the three loses a piece of clothing. In the case of a tie for worst, all players who tied lose a piece. The game stops when one person is naked. We’ll rotate the deal. Anyone mind if I start?”
‘Leave it to Brad to think of all the details,’ Aaron thought. He finally found his voice. “Fine with me.”
Casi agreed as well, and Brad dealt five cards to each of them.
‘We’re really going to do this,’ Aaron thought, amazed.
His hand held the ace of clubs, and nothing else suited, connected, or higher than a ten. He quickly decided to discard four and looked around the table. Brad had already discarded three, and Casi was staring intently at her hand, evidently trying to make a decision. She got such a weird look on her face as she discarded three cards. She almost looked determined. Determined to win? Poker is mostly luck of the draw without betting.
Brad passed out the replacement cards, and Aaron didn’t improve upon his ace high. He’d be taking off his shoes if both Brad and Casi kept pairs. They laid down their cards, and he was surprised to see that Cas only had a jack high. Had she kept a jack and ten suited in the hopes of a straight or flush? Not a very smart move.
Aaron studied her face, but she kept it pretty much blank. She quickly and quietly slipped off her shoes.
“Give those here, please,” Brad said.
Casi looked surprised, but she complied.
“Since it was just shoes, it’s no big deal that you stayed seated. Stand for any other pieces, though.”
‘Wow, that’s strange,’ Aaron thought. ‘Those were almost commands. Brad never tells Casi what to do.’
Casi dealt the next hand. Aaron was happy to see a pair of tens and promptly got rid of the three other cards. The other two made rapid decisions as well with Brad once again asking for three and Casi getting five new cards.
This time, he and Brad both had pairs while she had a king high.
The tension increased a bit as she reached up the back of her shirt before Brad interrupted her.
“No taking off underwear before outerwear, and you need to stand up.”
Aaron couldn’t believe that she didn’t yell at him for making up rules as they went along. Instead, she meekly stood up and unbuttoned her shorts! She slowly unzipped them and pushed them down her thighs. Her shirt came down to almost exactly where her shorts had started, so he could now fully see her panties, pale pink with lace at the edges. That’s the least he had seen her wearing since she was five. She even wore shorts and a swim shirt when they went swimming.
She let the garment fall to the floor and stepped out of it. She bent, retrieved it, and handed it to Brad, who placed it with her shoes on the kitchen counter behind him. She appeared unsure whether it was okay for her to sit down again or not and looked at Brad questioningly. He made a circular motion with his hand.
Aaron couldn’t believe it. She just nodded at Brad, blushing even more, and did a slow turnaround with her hands by her side. He watched in wonder as her panty-clad rear end came into view. He could feel his erection straining against his pants as she finally sat down.
Casi handed him the cards. His hands trembled so much that it took him three tries to shuffle them once. He made himself calm down enough to shuffle two more times and deal out the cards.
Aaron smiled as he looked at the cards.
‘No use keeping a poker face since we’re not betting,’ he thought. ‘There’s no way I’ll be low with trip fives.’
He discarded two and looked up to see Brad requesting five and Casi four. He wondered if she would catch a break this hand. Since she was keeping a card, it was probably a high one which should give her an edge. He rooted for a good hand for Brad as he dealt the replacement cards all around.
As he expected, his three fives were the best hand. Brad turned over a king high. Aaron thought that Casi surely had kept at least a king and was surprised when she turned over just a queen high.
‘Man, she’s must be getting some truly awful hands.’
Casi stood up once again. Her hands grasped the bottom of her shirt briefly and then let go. She drew in a deep breath and let it out again before grabbing the material again. She took another deep breath and slowly pulled the shirt up exposing a small strip of stomach. Even though it was summer, the skin under the shirt was pale in contrast to her arms and legs.
She continued to pull the shirt up. Aaron saw her bellybutton and thought that it was just about the cutest one that he had ever seen. Up still more it went. He could now see the bottom of her bra cups, pink to match the panties. Her gaze fixed on a spot on the table not anywhere near the two boys as the rest of her foundation garment came into view.
It was incredible and showed considerable cleavage. See-through lace covered the top portion of her breasts, and he could see her nipples straining against the material. Aaron had to shift his legs because his erection was getting so uncomfortable.
After her the shirt cleared her bra, she seemed to want to just get the process over with, and she whipped it the rest of the way off, handing it to Brad. She stood there before the two drooling teenage boys in only her skimpy underwear while they drank in her exposed skin.
Aaron didn’t know quite where to look. He started at her bare feet and let his eyes roam unhurried over her body. Her legs were tan and very slender, like those of a colt. Though they made her look a little gangly at the moment, he could tell that those long legs would be one of her best features when they finished filling out. Her panties were quite brief, and he wondered about the wet spot on the front. Her hips and butt flared just a bit from her narrow waist, and he could just make out the outline of her ribs above her flat tummy.
At the moment, her breasts were probably her best feature. He didn’t know anything about sizes, but, judging from the other females in his class, Casi clearly developed faster and larger than most girls her age. Then, he looked at her face. Visibly reddened and with an expression that looked like she would rather be anywhere than here at the moment, he changed his mind about her bust being her best attribute. She was easily the prettiest girl he had ever seen with a perfect face and light brown hair flowing just past her shoulders. Strange that he had never noticed.
She let them have a good, long look at her before doing a complete turn and sitting back down.
Aaron thought for sure that the game was now over. If Casi lost one more time, she’d be showing for real. Instead, Brad picked up the deck of cards and began calmly shuffling them. Casi made no objections as Brad dealt the cards.
‘I don’t know why she’s doing this, but I’m glad she is,’ Aaron thought. ‘Does she figure there’s anyway that she’s going to win at this point, or even see us take our shirts off? The odds are way against her. Maybe she just figures that a deal is a deal, and she has to go through with it. Should I say something?’
Before anyone picked up their hand, he decided that he just had to speak. He directed his comment at Casi.
“Uh, this is fun and all, and you’re really, really, uh, nice looking, but are you sure you want to continue? I mean, I’m all for continuing, but it doesn’t look like you have much of a chance of winning.”
She looked really embarrassed as she searched for words.
Brad stepped in and said, “I, for one, think that it would be unfair to quit before the game is over. Would you have chickened out, Aaron, if it had been you that was losing really badly? I think that Cas has more character than that.”
“True,” Aaron replied, “I just wanted to make sure that she wasn’t feeling forced to do something that she really didn’t want to do.”
Casi gave him a beaming smile.
Brad took a second to look at Casi, really look at her. He relented.
“Casi, if you want to quit now, we would both understand. We’d be disappointed obviously,” he said, smiling, “but we would definitely understand. We can stop right now, and you can get dressed.”
When asked about it years later, she said that she honestly didn’t know why she continued. She knew that both boys would understand and let the matter drop if she quit. She also knew that she had accomplished her goal and that Aaron was definitely looking at her as more than just a friend. Perhaps it was because both boys had been such great friends, that they were willing to let her stop without giving her a hard time. Perhaps she wanted to reward them for being friends and for being so trustworthy. In a more candid moment, she finally admitted to her husband in the future that she had been extremely turned on and that part of the reason that she continued was that she really wanted to see what it felt like to remove the rest of her clothes in front of them.
“No,” she said resolutely, “I started this, and I’m going to finish it.”
The three friends picked up the cards lying before each of them. Aaron barely glanced at his cards before discarding all but the king of hearts. At this point, he really didn’t care about the cards, he just wanted to see Cas finish undressing. He looked at her oddly when she discarded only one card.
The four cards he got from the dealer contained two threes, high enough to beat both Brad’s ace high and Casi’s ten high busted straight.
‘Ouch, that was a horrible strategy for this format, drawing to an inside straight. She’d have been better off drawing five new cards.’
As Casi stood up once again, Aaron was distracted by movement from Brad. He couldn’t tell exactly what was happening, but, while not taking his eyes off the scantily clad girl, Brad moved his hand underneath the table into his lap. Seconds later, he seemed to be startled to find his hand there and jerked it back out into the open.
Casi didn’t seem to have noticed Brad’s actions, as she seemed intent on the task of unlatching her bra. She had reached behind her back and was making movements with her fingers. When she lowered her arm, the straps over her shoulders sagged noticeably. With her other hand, she grabbed the bra at the spot between her breasts while shrugging her shoulders. The straps fell down her arms, and she pulled the garment completely off. Instead of leaning forward and handing it to Brad as she had with the other pieces of clothing, she tossed it to him. It landed on the table before him as he appeared too mesmerized by her bare bosom to bother with catching it.
The two boys studied her breasts like they were going to be tested on the material. They memorized every detail, every swell, every curve. They stared intently at the size and shape of her areola and her hard nipples. They continued to be engrossed with every detail as she turned and offered profile views.
She sat back down with her arms on the table, her breasts uncovered. She seemed to come to a decision as Brad handed her the cards.
“I won’t back out, but is it okay if I concede? It’s seems silly to continue at this point; you’re both fully dressed, and I’ve only got my panties left. I don’t think that there is any way that I can win.”
The boys looked at each other. Brad shrugged his shoulders. He wondered if this meant that she was just going to finish getting naked while they watched? He nodded at her.
She stood up and hooked her thumb into the waistband of her only remaining item of clothing. As she lowered the panties, the boys feasted on the sight of her light brown pubic hair that only barely concealed her engorged nether lips. Aaron felt as if he was inside of one of his wettest dreams as she slipped them off and handed them to Brad. She was now one hundred percent naked.
She closed her eyes and stood there with her hands behind her back. She let them just look at her for more than a minute before turning around. Instead of continuing to rotate as she had each previous time, she stopped with her butt facing her friends. She let them look at her nude backside for another full minute before completing her turn.
“So, what now?” she asked.
‘That’s a dangerous question to ask two horny teenage boys while standing completely naked,’ Aaron thought. ‘She must really trust us.’
Aaron looked at Brad, deferring to his judgment. He knew that Brad wouldn’t suggest that she do anything sexual, but he hoped that he didn’t just say that she could get dressed either.
“Well,” Brad said, “strip poker traditionally involves the loser doing a forfeit for the winner. Since both Aaron and I tied with all our clothes left, I would suggest that Casi has to do a forfeit for each of us.”
Her eyes widened at the announcement, but she didn’t voice an objection.
“Aaron, you choose first,” Brad said.
Several thoughts ran through his mind. All of them seemed either way to lame or too sexual. He was really enjoying just looking at her, and he didn’t want to make her any more uncomfortable than she probably already was. “I’m at a loss, man. I have no idea.”
Not unexpectedly, Brad had an idea. “Well, it’s near lunch time. She could fix us sandwiches, serve us, and then eat with us as her forfeit.”
“Yeah. That sounds cool. I want her to do that.”
Aaron again expected Casi to put up a fight about the whole idea of forfeits. Instead, she asked Brad where to find the lunch meat and other supplies and took their orders. He could tell that she was trying to appear unselfconscious about the fact that her body was on complete display, but she was failing utterly. Whereas she usually moved with a fair amount of grace, her every movement now seemed forced, like she was making herself continue on.
The dining room and the kitchen occupied one big open space, and the boys could easily see the entire area from their vantage point. The refrigerator sat in the middle of the wall directly opposite them, while the dry goods were stored in a closet off to the side.
She went first into the pantry and came out again with the bread in hand. Aaron watched her breasts jiggle slightly as she walked over to the cabinet to get service pieces. He stared in wonder as their movement as she removed each of the plates. His eyes followed her behind as she walked to the kitchen. They widened as she bent over to reach far in the back of the fridge to grab the sliced turkey and ham. For a second, he could see pretty much all of her. Then, for the first time appearing to lose her composure, she seemed to realize that she shouldn’t be bending over like that with an audience behind her. She stood up too quickly and hit her head lightly on the top of the compartment.
With the meat firmly in hand, she grabbed the mustard and mayonnaise and proceeded to fix and serve the sandwiches. She took their soft drink orders and went back to the refrigerator. He could see her looking way into the back for those as well. The thought suddenly occurred to him, ‘Has Brad put that stuff out of her reach on purpose? Nah, couldn’t be.’
This time, she bent at the knees instead of the waist and did a much better job of preserving what modesty she still possessed. She brought the drinks back and sat down with them at the table.
Aaron had a hard time concentrating on eating with Casi’s body so openly exhibited but, as a growing boy, still managed to wolf down two sandwiches and chips.
After they had finished eating, Casi surprised him again by turning to Brad and saying, “Alright, I’d say my first forfeit is complete. Your turn.”
Without even pausing a beat, he answered. “Go out the back door and circle the entire house before coming back in.”
Casi’s face turned white. This time, she didn’t stay meek and quiet. “You want me to walk around the entire house, butt naked, in the middle of the afternoon? You can’t be serious.”
Aaron knew that Brad would give into her instantly and relent. He always did. Brad surprised him completely when he stared her directly in the eyes and told her that was the forfeit that he wanted.
Brad’s fortitude shocked him and, truthfully, made him a bit proud. It’s about time that he stopped rolling over for her so completely. Still, it wasn’t fair to make her do such a dangerous stunt, especially since she had never committed to do forfeits in the first place. He started to object, but Casi cut him off.
“No, it’s okay. I’ll do it.”
As usual, Brad had worked out all the details. He instructed Aaron to walk around with Casi while he stood lookout on the street. He retrieved a set of walkie-talkies from the living room and handed one to Aaron. Aaron had to desperately think about the least erotic images that he could form in his mind before getting up.
After Brad exited from the front door, he and Casi walked to the back.
She looked at him with wide, doleful eyes and said, “I’m scared. I’ve never been naked outside before.”
“You’re doing well so far. Before today, you’d never been naked in front of the two of us, either, and you seem to be handling it. Besides, do you really think that Brad would ever put you in any real danger?”
She thought about it for a second. “No, he wouldn’t, would he? Thanks.”
She slipped her arm around him and gave him a quick hug. The feel of her bare skin on his body was electric. He could actually feel her firm but pliable breasts on his torso even through his shirt. He was surprised to find that nipples were a lot harder than he thought that they would be and had to once again concentrate on conjuring up any images that he could to keep his arousal from becoming embarrassingly apparent.
Apparently buoyed by their talk and the hug, she marched out the back door with him in tow. Aaron radioed Brad to let him know that they were outside.
The backyard was as he remembered it, relatively small with a seven foot wood fence all around it and gates on each side of the house. None of the ranch style homes on the block were two stories, so there was no chance of anyone seeing over the fence. Aaron could see that Casi’s confidence was increasing as she apparently realized this fact as well. She strode over to one of the gates.
Aaron reported in to Brad. “We’re at the gate nearest the carport.”
“Great, hold on just a minute.”
They actually waited for what seemed like several minutes. Casi was fidgeting, probably getting impatient standing butt naked in the back yard. She seemed about ready to walk out even without Brad’s okay when they heard a vehicle pass. Her confidence seemed to flee immediately.
She looked like she needed some more encouragement. “Brad was obviously making you wait until the car passed. He’s watching out for you.”
Just then, Brad’s voice came in over the walkie-talkie.
“Okay, the coast is clear. There’s not a car in sight, and no one’s home at any of the houses near mine. Still, your best bet is to get it over with quickly.”
Casi smiled at Aaron and opened the gate. She didn’t exactly run around the house, but she walked it at a very fast pace. Aaron’s eyes were glued to her behind as he followed her, and he couldn’t see her front. Brad told him later that her breasts had literally bounced as she went along.
At the far edge of the house, Aaron heard her say “Crap, isn’t this gate usually locked?”
He replied back quickly, “Do you really think that Brad would have left it locked for this?”
She didn’t reply, and the gate opened without a problem when she reached it. She didn’t slow at all and left him to close the gate. Since her forfeits were done, he half expected her to be dressed again by the time that he made it inside. Instead, he caught the end of a conversation between her and Brad in which she asked permission to get dressed again. After Brad granted it, she disappeared into the bathroom with her clothes.
Once Casi, now dressed, came out of the bathroom, Brad practically pushed the two of them out of the house. Strangely, Brad asked him to walk her home. He was halfway to her house, traveling in a less than comfortable silence, before he even thought to question why she would need to be escorted two blocks during the middle of the day.
Before he could pursue that line of thought too far, Casi spoke. “It won’t be weird between us now, will it?”
He answered instantly. “No, of course not. We’re friends, and we’ll always be friends.”
She seemed disappointed with his response, and she really surprised him with her next question.
“So, what did you think?”
For the second time today, Aaron’s jaw literally dropped. He tried to stammer out a reply. “You were incredible. I have no words for it. You are so beautiful, so perfect. I’ll always remember today.”
She smiled at his words and grabbed his hand. She had never done that before. It felt nice to hold her hand and walk down the street. Then, he started to feel guilty.
By the time they reached her front door, physical attraction and guilt battled it out for control of his actions. They stood there, facing each other on her doorstep. She seemed to be expecting something. As she looked up at him with wide eyes, need laid conscience out with a mighty blow, and he bent to kiss her. What started out to be a true kiss, his first ever, ended as just a peck as conscience came roaring back to triumph. He broke off suddenly and just about took off running, barely saying goodbye.
* * *
Casi called Brad again, her voice quivering.
Alarmed, he asked “Have you been crying?”
“Yes,” she muttered.
“What happened? Please tell me.”
The tale came out in a rush.
“It all was going exactly like you said. I could tell that he was looking at me different, treating me different. He didn’t say anything though, so I had to speak up and ask if he felt weird. He said that we’d always be friends.”
Brad could hear her sob. She composed herself before continuing.
“I didn’t let it rest at that. I brazenly asked his opinion of my body. He told me that I was beautiful and perfect, and I grabbed his hand. I could tell that he liked it, and we walked like that all the way to my house. Then, we stood there on the door step, staring at each other’s eyes. He finally took the hint and bent to kiss me. Just as I thought it was going to be a real, deep kiss, he broke off and practically sprinted away from me. What did I do wrong?”
Brad knew instantly what had happened. “You didn’t do anything wrong. I did. Don’t worry, I’ll fix it. I’ll call him right now and fix everything.”
“Wait. Don’t hang up. What did you do wrong? How are you going to fix it?”
Brad refused to answer her question directly. “Look, he can’t help but love you. I’m sure that he does. He just needs to know that it’s okay for him to do so. I’ll call him. Don’t worry.”
Before she could ask again, he said goodbye and didn’t even wait for a response before hanging up.
He dialed Aaron immediately and explained the entire situation, for once not even worrying about breaking confidences. This was too important. He hung up confident that Aaron would call Casi and set things right.
* * *
At 8:15 the next morning his doorbell rang. His parents had barely left for work. Brad wondered who would be over this early.
He opened the door and saw Casi standing there with a weird expression on her face.
“Casi, what’s up?”
“Can I come in?”
Brad stepped out of the way and gestured for her to enter. “Of course. I’m surprised to see you. Did Aaron call you last night? Did he straighten things out?”
She stepped inside and shut the door. “He did call, and things are straightened out.”
Brad still could not figure out what she wanted. He was used to being at least two steps ahead in any situation. With this one, he couldn’t seem to even catch up. ‘Did Aaron tell her that I told him her secrets? Is she mad? Should I apologize?’
He decided that his best bet was to wait her out to try to determine what was going on. “That’s great. I’m happy for you.”
She smiled at him. “I knew that you would be.”
Brad was still confused. This had to be the oddest conversation that he'd ever had with her. “So, what are you doing up so early?”
“I had trouble sleeping last night. I had a lot of thinking to do, and I decided that I wanted to play another game. Take part in another, as you would probably say, adolescent ritual.”
Normally, he would have congratulated her on her language use, but he was still having a hard time figuring out what she was up to.
“This time, though, we play by my rules, not yours,” she said.
“I see. And what game did you want to play?”
His heart just about skipped a beat when she replied, “Truth or dare.”
Before he could speak, she continued. “Obviously, you took advantage of the situation yesterday. You chose the rules, and you chose the forfeits. I think that it’s only fair that I get to do all the choosing today.”
Brad started to catch on. She wanted pay back. He supposed that it was only equitable. She was more than a great sport yesterday. Besides, could he really ever refuse her anything anyway? “What are the rules?”
“My rules are going to be a lot fairer than yours were. I’m going to do a dare and tell you a truth. In return, you only have to do one. The only catch is that I choose everything. I choose my dare, my truth, AND your truth or dare. Fair?”
His heart pounded furiously. She was going to want to see him naked; he knew it. That would be the dare that she chose for him. He was embarrassed at the thought, but, after what she did yesterday, how could he refuse? “I can live with those rules,” he croaked out.
“Okay. My dare first. I dare myself to get naked for you.”
Brad watched in astonishment as she disrobed completely. She didn’t do a slow strip like yesterday. Today, she seemed almost frantic to get her clothes off as quickly as possible. She pulled her shorts and panties down simultaneously and slipped them off of her with her shoes. She tore off her shirt and threw it on the floor. She reached behind her back, undid her bra, and threw that on the floor as well.
Instead of doing a turn like yesterday, she stood there looking at him, not even trying to cover herself. She continued, “Now for the truth. I’m going to tell you what I did last night.”
She paused. While she had not hesitated at getting naked, it seemed hard for her to get started talking. “As I lay in bed last night, I couldn’t help but relive the events of the day. I thought about stripping for you and Aaron, about the both of you watching me naked. My mind started to dwell on you ordering me around, making me do whatever you wanted. I thought about you commanding me to turn around and display myself to you, making me run around the house outside.”
She paused again. “I had never masturbated before. I had occasionally gotten aroused and was tempted, but I had never actually did it. Last night, though, thinking about you controlling my nude body, I couldn’t help it. My hands went down there against my will. I don’t know what an orgasm is supposed to feel like, but, if it’s always like that, I’ve been missing out.”
Brad was once again behind in the conversation. This made no sense. Why would she strip for him and tell him something THAT personal. He couldn’t figure out where she was leading him.
She spoke again. “I’ve now done a dare and told you a truth. Would you agree that it was a major dare and a major truth.”
“Yes,” he replied simply.
“Now it’s your turn.”
He looked her in the eyes. “I understand. Do you want truth or dare?”
He was already preparing himself to start unbuttoning his shirt when she said, “Truth.”
Before he could say anything, Casi continued. “You owe me. You owe me big time. You have to answer my question completely and honestly. No holding back. Do I have your word?”
“I can refuse you nothing. You have my word.”
“Tell me the one thing about yourself that you most don’t want me to know.”
He would have rather stripped naked and run through the gymnasium during a pep rally than to tell this to her, but he had given promise. He couldn’t lie to her.
“I love you,” he said. “I’ve loved you since the second grade. I know that, in as much as I know what love is, I love you.”
He expected rejection. He expected her to tell him that she and Aaron were together now. He just hoped that his confession hadn’t ruined their friendship. Instead, she said, “I know.”
“Aaron told me last night when he called. He told me how you felt and how he felt. He told me that, while he certainly found me attractive and could probably grow to love me, you already were in love with me and always had been.
“At first, I honestly didn’t know what to do. For a while now, I’ve been thinking about Aaron a lot. I thought that I might love him. He’s always so cool and confident with me. I was really attracted to that confidence.
“On the other hand, you’re completely different, and I never really thought about you in that way. You practically ask how high when I say jump. You obviously will do anything for me, anything but stand up to me. It’s sweet and all, and I loved you as a friend always, but does a girl really want a boyfriend that won’t stand up to her? You’re a competent, confident person, but not with me.
“Yesterday, though, I saw you in a completely different light. When I was naked, you not only stood up to me, you commanded me. I liked the new you. Don’t get me wrong; I certainly don’t want you trying to order me around all the time, but, yesterday, I liked it.”
Brad responded in the only way that seemed logical. He walked the few steps that stood between them, wrapped his arm around her waist, and pulled her naked body up against his.
“Kiss me,” he said.
It was the first true kiss for each of them, the first of many firsts that they would share together.