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"Derek?" She stood, her back toward him. "Mind zipping me?" Casey glanced at him over her shoulder. His jaw had gone slack, eyes glazed over. He hadn't moved, so she tried again. "Derek?"

"Hm?" His eyes snapped to hers. "Case, aren't you missing something?"

She blinked, glancing down at her outfit. The dress dipped lower in the front than what she was used to, but desperate times call for desperate measures. Derek skimmed his knuckles up and along her bare back. "Here."

"I never thought I would see the day where Derek Venturi is trying to get a woman to put a bra on."

He blinked. "It’s just--"

She shook her head. "This is not a dress you wear a bra with." She waited a beat. "Or underwear, for that matter."

It took a moment for the implication to dawn on Derek, but she saw the moment it registered. His eyes darkened, and his hand, still against her back, shifted so his fingers could press against her skin. "Case," he groaned, squeezing his eyes shut.


Her dress pushed up her thigh, a coat hanger dug into her shoulder blade, but that didn't matter. Nothing mattered when Derek knelt before her, one hand gripping her ass, the other stretched up and centered on her chest to hold her in place. As if she would want to be anywhere other than against Derek’s mouth, her hand fisted in his hair. Even if he hadn't been the one to give in, it wouldn't matter. There was a different kind of victory in the pressure building--

Her body froze, fingers tightening in his hair, and then she shuddered beneath his warm touch, coming unglued as his hand slid from the center of her chest to under the front of her chest, gently pulling her nipples between his fingers.

When they were done, Casey adjusted her dress, a pleased expression on her face. Winning a bet with Derek on top of a very pleasant orgasm had made this day, honestly.

“You look happy.”

Smiling smugly, she nodded. “I won.”

“Did you, though?” He wore one of his trademarked smirks; this one had an added brow lift to it to indicate he knew something she didn’t.

Casey felt her confidence slipping. “Didn’t I?”

He shrugged and gestured her over with a finger. “I’m just teasing; give me a kiss.”

Sex was amazing. Casey loved a good orgasm, and she loved the trail of heat that Derek’s fingers or mouth could leave on her skin. Like most people who knew her could predict, she also loved to cuddle. Kissing, however, was one of her favorites--sometimes more than sex. At the end of the day, naked bodies were just naked bodies. Her OBGYN saw her vagina at least once a year. If she ever had surgery, a doctor would likely see her naked body on the surgical table, and when she died, the coroner would see her corpse naked as they prepared the body. Kissing, however, was far more intimate in some ways. And kissing Derek was, more often than not, was a prelude to something else, whether or not that had been the intention. She wasn’t going to be kissing her OBGYN, her surgeon, and certainly not her coroner. She hoped. That was a thought path Casey did not want to follow.

The point being, she loved kissing.

And she loved kissing Derek after he’d been licking her.

Which is what started their bet, to begin with.

Casey took a step forward before she remembered. “You.” She pointed her finger at him, poking into his chest. “Very clever.” Turning on her heel, she marched from the coat rack, nearly running into Emily. “Sorry.”

Her friend sighed. “Honestly, you two, we’re in a church.”

Unapologetic, Derek slid out behind her, his hand on the small of Casey’s back. “Emily,” he greeted as if he hadn’t heard her. They breezed past her as she went into the closet. “You’re not going to reciprocate?”

“Why is my sleeve all wet?” She heard Emily mutter. Whoops.

Shaking her head, Casey found their seats and slid into hers. “No, I think you ought to suffer.”

It was only fair.


That cologne always did her in, and he knew it. Derek had worn the same scent when they first started dating and were going at it like rabbits (nothing had really changed in that regard, but that wasn’t the point). They were spending so much time together and going on dates, so he would always dress up and wear the same cologne that she liked. They’d wind up in the bedroom, the scent of him and his cologne whelming her.

And like Pavlov’s fucking dogs, she was trained to that smell. On went the cologne, “hello,” said her libido, and “goodbye,” said her underwear.

Neither of them had realized what happened until he ran out and stopped wearing the cologne. They’d been dating for a few years by the time she replaced the bottle, and he happened to wear it, and Casey had gone nearly feral. It was the only explanation (along with his stupid, handsome face).

Now, whenever she smelled it, Casey needed him.

Derek fucking knew it.

They were two weeks into the bet. Neither of them had caved, and having sex without kissing was a near-impossible task (but one they managed because neither could manage to withhold sex). She was sat at her computer, typing away when he passed by. Her head whipped around so fast, she thought it might continue spinning. “Where are you going?”

“The kitchen?”

“No,” she shifted her whole body toward him. “You’re wearing that cologne.”

His answering smirk confirmed what she already knew. He was toying with her. “Am I?”

“Yes,” she managed to speak through gritted teeth. It was just cologne. Surely, she could rise above her basest and most primal urges and stop from climbing the kitchen counter and making him take her then and there? Think of how unsanitary, Casey. But the image of her legs spread on the counter was too, too tempting.

“We’re headed to Simon’s birthday party, remember?”

“Shit.” All thoughts of sex left the forefront of her mind, shifting toward the back--she is multi-talented, and that includes thinking of multiple things at once. “What time is it?”

“One.”

“Shit.” Casey scrambled to get ready.

Sitting next to Derek at the restaurant was torture. Every time he shifted his arms, the smell wafted up to her nose. She spent the entire time ordering and sitting through appetizers trying to devise a way to get Derek to follow her to the bathroom.

Dialing his number under the table, she waited. Confused, Derek glanced at his phone and then back at her. She nudged him, and he glanced around the table. “Excuse me. I need to take this.” And he slipped out of his seat.

She gave him two minutes before, “I should go check on him.”

Derek met her outside of the bathrooms. She went first, poking her head inside to make sure no one else was in there, and then she dragged him in by the back of his jacket. “How dare you,” she accused, pulling him into a stall. She licked her lips, already working on the buckle of his belt.

Laughing, he gently pushed her hands away. “All’s fair,” he reminded. “Maybe I’m not in the mood?”

He was baiting her, trying to get her to crack before giving in to something they both wanted. “No?” Casey reached forward, her hand brushing up against his erect cock. “Feels like it.”

“I can hold out.”

She squinted. “Can you, though?”

“Just give me a kiss, first?”

For a moment, Casey considered holding back. Initially, she had been determined to win the bet, but at this point, she was so fucking horny, and she missed kissing him. It was time to cave.

“Fine.” Launching herself at him, Casey let her hands run through his soft--so soft--hair, making up for the last few weeks lacking in kisses. “So stubborn,” she muttered.

“Pot,” he accused, shifting to lean her against the stall. He finished what she had started, dropping his pants to his knees, and Casey hiked up both her dress and her leg. In a short amount of time, Derek was buried deep inside her. Their lips were locked together, his fingers digging into her thigh. It wasn’t the most comfortable, but she could hardly bring herself to care when he was sliding into her, and his finger circled between her legs.

They came together. It didn’t often happen that they finished simultaneously, but she always loved it when they did; her shuddering almost violently, filled with him, and the way he tightened his hold on her while he finished.

“At least cleaning up in here will be a breeze,” he murmured in her ear, right before the bathroom door opened up.

Casey stifled a laugh. She’d almost forgotten they were in the bathroom of a restaurant and that she’d lost the bet.

It didn’t matter, though. None of it did. Not when she had Derek, not when they were together, and not when they had this.

“I won,” he crowed, triumphantly, when the bathroom was empty again.

So, maybe it mattered a little, but she’d worry about the consequences to his ego later.