Flash Fiction Monday – The Bet
“I won!” Reuben crowed as he pulled on his underwear. “HA! In your face, Cliff, I won!”
Cliff doubled over, laughing. “I can’t believe you streaked through the neighborhood naked. You’re an idiot.”
“Fuck you, man.” Reuben smacked his best friend’s chest while their buddies Nick and Kevin laughed.
Nick rolled his eyes. “This is the dumbest bet ever. You guys are like twelve-year-olds. C’mon, Kevin, let’s go. We have dates, unlike you losers.”
Shivering, Reuben shot him the finger. Maybe streaking in thirty-five-degree weather was dumb, but there wasn’t any snow on the ground. And he had his reasons. He shrugged into the remainder of his clothes as his two friends left, off to chase whatever tail was available in their hometown the weekend after Thanksgiving. Which was to say not much, but they were eternal optimists. He glanced at Cliff out of the corner of his eye as he tied his shoes. Reuben liked to think he was an optimist too, but he was probably pathetic.
“Are you freezing?” Cliff asked.
Reuben nodded, sheepish. “Pretty much.”
Cliff snorted and turned his back to Reuben. “Come on. Hop on, we’ll get this ridiculous bet over and head to the diner for hot chocolate and pie.”
“Awesome,” Reuben said, but he didn’t step forward. All he had to do was hop on Cliff’s back to complete what was admittedly a ridiculous bet they’d made, but he hesitated. He hadn’t been caught streaking, so Cliff owed him a piggyback ride across the entire park. It was what he’d wanted, a chance to be close to Cliff without seeming like he was perving over his best friend. Cliff was fine with Reuben being gay, but he wasn’t sure how he’d feel if he knew Reuben had been crushing on him for five fucking years.
“Come on, Rube,” Cliff coaxed. “Hop on.”
Cliff crouched and with an agile hop, Reuben landed on his friend’s back, wrapping his legs around Cliff’s waist. Cliff shifted, gripping his legs, and took off at a jog.
“Onward noble steed,” Reuben joked, unable to suppress the wide grin on his face.
“I’m not your fucking horse.” Cliff groused.
Reuben winced at the jarring ride crushing his balls, but it was worth it to have his arms around his best friend. Sure they hugged, but they were manly-back pounding hugs and the occasional tight squeeze. They never lingered.
Cliff staggered to a stop as he reached the gazebo lit with red Christmas lights. “Dude, I’m gonna have a fucking heart attack. Gotta stop for a minute.” Unceremoniously, he dumped Reuben on his feet and turned. Reuben staggered and Cliff caught him by the elbow. For a moment, they were face to face, lips inches apart, and then Cliff let out this weird, strangled sounding noise and leaned in, pressing his lips to Reuben’s. Cliff was going to have some explaining to do, but for now, Reuben was going to enjoy this.
Best. Bet. Ever, Reuben thought, kissing him back.
Allison provided the pic prompt this week. I struggled to come up with a story at first, but I enjoyed the challenge and I’m quite pleased with the way it turned out. Check out Helena’s blog for her story.
Be sure to come back next Monday for the next round of flash fics. I can’t wait to see you there!