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The Fog | Book One | Chapter Three

Exhausted, everyone collapsed onto Alex and Elijah’s sofas. Beers were opened, popcorn was popped, and the New Kids on The Block played in the background.

Every few minutes, someone’s phone would buzz with an emergency alert, but those were quickly silenced.

At another time, Benjamin might have cared more about the alerts, but he was feeling vaguely heady from the beer he’d drank. Suddenly, very little seemed to matter anymore. If they were all going to die in a zombie apocalypse, why wouldn’t they go out in a blaze of booze and salty snacks?

“Should we play Truth or Dare?” Alex asked, wagging his eyebrows.

“What? Are we in grade school?” Elijah asked, rolling his eyes.

“That might be fun,” Sara said.

“I think it’s a great idea!” Benjamin replied, seeing his opportunity to one-up Elijah in something.

Did Benjamin stand a chance against tall, dark, and handsome? Probably not. But he wasn’t going down without a fight. That was for sure.

“I dare you to kiss… Ben.” Alex told Sara.

“Why, thank you,” Sara said, sauntering over to Benjamin.

Sara leaned down and put her lips to Benjamin’s. Startled, he gasped against her soft lips. She smelled of vanilla and lavender, and her lips tasted like a pumpkin spice latte. Benjamin loathed the taste of lattes, but it might learn to love them if Sara was going to keep kissing him like she was.

When Sara pulled away, Benjamin gasped for air. He was certain that he was gawking at her with the most atrocious look on his face.

Obviously, Benjamin couldn’t see his own face, but he just knew it was the most terrible, obviously a loser in high school look ever. Some things never changed.

Amber and Daisy clapped and whistled.

Girl, you have a boyfriend, remember?” Amber asked.

“He wouldn’t mind,” Sara replied, winking. “He can take a joke.”

A joke. Benjamin laughed nervously. A joke.

A boyfriend.  Sara wasn’t even on the market.

Even though they’d just met, Benjamin swore that he felt his heart shatter into a million pieces.

“Sorry,” Sara said. “You’re cute, but you’re just not my type.”

“Yeah, she prefers the tall, muscled types,” Amber replied. “Always has.”

“Hey, it’s been my type since long before I moved here,” Sara said. “In Montana, seeing all these rugged mountain men, and you just get a type.”

“In college, she had posters of Sam Winchester all over her room,” Amber added. “You know. The guy from Supernatural?”

Oh, Benjamin knew.

There had been one very memorable instance when someone brought him a laptop, and it had been filled with incredibly vivid Supernatural porn. Although Benjamin wasn’t exactly a connoisseur of the sexual arts, he was almost one-hundred percent sure that no man was capable of all the things that Sam Winchester had done.

“Well, babe,” Elijah said, “If you like muscles, look no further than yours truly.”

To prove his point, Elijah flexed, and he did—in fact—have impressive biceps.

“Those are nice,” Sara conceded, “But I really am happy with Josh. He’s a great guy. As dense as a fruitcake sometimes but a great guy, nevertheless.”

“Even if he smells like a grandfather,” Amber added. “Ugh. Who even wears Old Spice?”

Elijah fist-bumped the air. “Axe body spray,” he whispered, winking at Benjamin. “It brings all the ladies around.”

That didn’t sound right to Benjamin, but he might’ve been a bit sore because he did—in fact—wear Old Spice.

“Truth and Dare?” Alex persisted.

“What about we play Twister?” Daisy asked. “That would be fun.”

Benjamin raised an eyebrow and wondered how Daisy could possibly hope to play Twister in those tight, vinyl pants. That looked like an idea that would end in disaster, but man, there was something very admirable about her confidence.

“Well, we do have the mat,” Sara replied. “I saw it on top of one of the boxes.”

And the thought of Sara, in her tight bustier and jeans playing Twister, was a very appealing image.

“I love playing Twister,” Amber said, with a sigh.

Benjamin immediately imagined the three girls, all dressed like a triumvirate of beautiful femme fatales, all bending over one another and trying to play Twister. When Benjamin looked at Alex and Elijah, the looks on their faces seemed to indicate that they were both thinking the exact same thing.

“That sounds like a great idea,” Benjamin said.

“Definitely!” Alex exclaimed.

“I think so,” Elijah replied.

“Oh, I have a great idea, too,” Sara said. “Why don’t we play for money, too? Just to make it interesting.”

“But Sara, you know I’m terrible at Twister!” Daisy exclaimed. “The last time we played, we ended up losing a ton of money!”

“Come on!” Sara insisted, waving dismissively. “That was a long time ago! I’m sure you’re better now!”

“I’m fine with playing for money,” Elijah said, pulling out his wallet and setting a ten-dollar bill on the table. “How do you want to do this? Guys versus girls? Winning team splits the pool?”

Sara leaned over the side of the sofa and grabbed her purse. “I think we should up the stakes,” she said, adding a twenty to the pile.

Elijah added another ten. Alex hastily added fifty, took it back, and put down a twenty. Benjamin reached into his wallet and pulled out a twenty also. He rarely carried cash and was suddenly very grateful that he’d just happened to have a few bills when he really needed them.

Daisy and Amber added their bills. Then, Sara skipped over to her apartment and returned with the Twister mat and spinner.

The three men grinned at one another. This was going to be an absolute blast. What better way to spend the apocalypse than with three attractive women twisting themselves all over you?

It didn’t take more than a few rounds of Twister for Benjamin to realize that they’d been hustled.

Sara and her friends weren’t just good at Twister.

No, Sara and her friends played Twister like they were some sort of unholy coven of nymphomaniac gymnasts. Benjamin hadn’t known that a woman’s body could bend like that. Even Amber in her vinyl pants had managed to outlast Alex and Elijah.

Only Benjamin remained. Sara, smirking, leaned over him. Hair blonde her fell past her shoulders and tickled Benjamin’s collarbone. “Ready to give up?” she asked.

“No,” Benjamin replied, even though he felt like he might be about to pull a muscle in his leg.

“Are you sure?” Sara purred.

“Positive.”

“Come on. There’s three of us,” Amber said, “And one of you.”

Amber was half-draped over Benjamin and half over Daisy, who had kicked off her astronomically high heels and was bent underneath Benjamin. Daisy had pulled off her jacket, too, revealing some very impressive tattoos along her arms.

Honestly, Benjamin was having a hard time minding the present situation, even though he was about to lose twenty dollars.

“Come on!” Elijah exclaimed. “You can do it, Benjamin!”

“Yeah!” Alex shouted, waving a beer as if in a strange salute.

Benjamin gulped; his arms shook as he tried to keep himself up.

“It wouldn’t be so bad if you lost,” Sara continued softly.

Sara flicked out a finger and spun. “Left foot to red,” she said.

Benjamin moved his foot to the spot. His whole body trembled with the movement. He could feel his limbs beginning to give out beneath him, and from the way she smiled, he had a feeling Sara knew it, too.

The women shifted. They seemed remarkably untired.

“Had enough?” Sara asked.

“No,” Benjamin replied. “No, because I’m going to win.”

“Are you? I disagree. You see; I never lose,” Sara said, her eyes lighting up.

Slam! The door smashed open and struck the wall.

Benjamin fell with a yelp. Sara jumped to her feet and whooped in victory.

“Ugh!” a loud moan split the air.

Slowly, everyone turned to the door. There stood a man. He was a short, round man with dark brown hair and gray-green skin. His eyes were wide, bloodshot, and rimmed with yellow. When he opened his jaw, he struggled to lift it again. “Argh!” he screamed.

“Everyone,” Elijah said, his voice tight. “That’s Ted.”

***

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