Double Dare

By: Tawny Weber

1



MAYBE SHE should have seen it coming, but a girl just didn’t expect to get knifed in the back by her best friends.

“Wanna repeat that?” Audra Walker requested in a smooth, calm voice. She was rather proud of that tone. It didn’t show the anger or the gut-wrenching hurt she was feeling. She was sure her face, carefully made up for this evening of revelry and celebration, was equally calm. After all, hiding her true feelings was old hat to her.She spared a glance at her surroundings. The Wild Thing was typical of most of the clubs Audra’s friends frequented. The beat of the music and voices reverberated in time with teal lights flashing overhead. Places like this were always bright and loud and hadn’t ever bothered Audra before. Then again, her friends hadn’t been idiots before, either.

“You’re just not into it anymore, Audra. Face it, you no longer qualify as a Wicked Chick,” Suzi Willits said, her breathy voice as serious as it ever got. The buxom blonde shrugged one toned shoulder, making her ample breasts bounce under her leopard print tank top. “We might not mean much to you these days, but we do have standards to uphold, you know.”

“The Standard of the Double D. Of course I know,” she said with a roll of her eyes. Maybe this was a joke? They’d rib her for a while, then spring a congratulations-on-your-promotion present on her or something. To stifle the simmering panic in her belly, Audra shifted in her seat and breathed deeply. The scent of her friends’ perfume was as familiar to her as her own.

“I’m the one who came up with it. Dudes and drinks, the Wicked Chick’s tools of the trade.”

“Right, so you know better than anyone how important it is to keep those tools sharp and fresh, don’t you?” Suzi challenged. It wasn’t her tone that forced Audra to accept they were serious. It was the fact that Suzi waved away the hot guy who’d just signaled her to come dance with him.

Audra’s gaze flicked from Suzi to Bea Tanner. Rather than meeting her eyes, the redhead kept her gaze averted, making a show of swirling a piece of mango through the froth of her margarita.

Audra thought about laughing in their faces. It’d be easy enough to toss back her drink, slide from the barstool and tell them both to kiss her ass before sashaying out of the nightclub. The only thing stopping her was the fact that Suzi and Bea were two of her closest friends. And while they might not be the poster children for loving support, the three of them had been hanging together since they were Wicked Chicks in Training at fourteen, doing junior high detention together.

Ten years later, and still a hard-ass with a bad attitude, Audra didn’t have many friends other than Bea, Suzi and Isabel. Most people, both back then and now, looked at her and saw imminent failure. She’d never cared, since those three were always there for her. With her dismal upbringing, she’d always considered these women her family, albeit a little dysfunctional at times. Without them, she was just a hard-ass with killer curves. They’d been the ones to show her how to use those curves.

She glanced over as the last member of their little party rejoined them at the table. Slightly winded from her dance, the dark-haired woman gulped down her soda. Isabel Santos had been hanging out with Audra since they had both worn ruffled panties. Although not a member of the Wicked Chicks, Isabel had spent time with the other women off and on over the years. After school, though, Isabel had focused on her own career, while the Wicked Chicks had focused on enjoying life. At least, until Audra had the temerity to pursue an actual career.

“You’re always hanging out with that Natasha chick now,” Bea accused. She poked her silicone-filled bottom lip out in a practiced pout. Her newly colored titian hair framed a face that had graced a magazine cover, as Bea was always quick to point out. But the look on that face, half-sneer and half-dejection, assured Audra they were dead serious. They were kicking her out of the Wicked Chicks.

“That Natasha chick is a) my sister-in-law and b) my boss. And now she’s about to launch a new lingerie line that is exclusively my designs.” Which is what Audra had thought she was at the club to celebrate. Her promotion to head designer for Simply Sensual Lingerie. The achievement of her dreams.

“See, it’s that kind of crap that’s the problem,” Suzi pointed out. “That’s all we’ve heard this last year. You have to work. You have to study. You can’t party with us because you have early classes. I thought it’d end when you graduated a few months ago, but now you’re all about work instead.”

“Oh, please,” Audra scoffed, “like the two of you don’t have jobs and responsibilities?”

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