Title: Spin the bottle
Disclaimer: If I owned them, I would have more than just the Joseph clone! I would have the stud himself… leather, shades and all.
Notes: answer to the first kiss challenge.
Thanks as always go to my most incredible, wonderful, sweet, talented, kick-ass beta – Jaya!! *bugs hon*
Clarisse eyed the empty champagne bottle warily.
“Come on, Gramma… you promised.”
Clarisse looked up at her granddaughter and wondered once again how she had gotten roped into playing this… this game.
It was Mia’s eighteenth birthday.
And in celebration, instead of a large party, Mia had asked
her grandmother for a small intimate party with just her closest friends,
Joseph, Charlotte and of course, Clarisse.
She’d also wanted it in
Clarisse had agreed immediately, knowing that in three years
Mia would get her large party in the form of a birthday ball. So, with
Their dinner, much to Clarisse’s chagrin, had consisted of pizza, tacos and fried chicken… all washed down with ice cold Cokes.
After dinner Mia had insisted on playing a strange combination of ‘Spin the bottle’ and ‘Truth or Dare’. As an added twist, before they’d started playing, everyone had drawn names from Mia’s hat but were instructed not to read it.
“Truth or dare, Gramma? Come on… you promised.” Mia repeated.
Clarisse’s eyes dropped once again to the bottle, more specifically the open end pointing at her.
She had promised Mia that she would willingly play along with whatever games chosen.
From beside her, Joseph’s voice whispered softly. “You did promise, Your Majesty.”
Clarisse sighed again then looked up at her granddaughter. “Very well. Dare,” she said then gave Mia a look that told the young woman she’d better think very carefully about what she dared her grandmother to do.
A broad smile filled Mia’s face and she clapped. “Okay… dare… hmm…” she rubbed her hands together and looked over at Lilly. “You did say dare, right, Gramma?”
“Okay… so your dare… is to spend fifteen minutes in the closet with whoever’s name is on your paper.”
“I beg your pardon?”
“You heard me, Gramma. You have to spend fifteen minutes in the closet with the person whose name is on your paper,” Mia answered then she grinned. “Whatever you chose to do in those fifteen minutes is up to you.”
Clarisse’s eyes widened. ‘Surely Mia didn’t mean to suggest…’ Clarisse shook her head slightly. ‘No. She wouldn’t.’ Clarisse looked at her granddaughter, taking in the too innocent smile on her face. ‘Yes… she would.’
“So, who’s the lucky fella, Gramma?” Mia asked.
Clarisse picked up the folded slip of paper off of the floor in front of her. She knew that the name on the paper was one of the five males in the room. They’d been told when drawing the names that the women were drawing the guys’ names and vice versa.
“Come on, Gramma… who’s sharing closet space with you?”
Clarisse slowly unfolded the paper, knowing deep in her heart whose name she wanted to be on it and then realizing she did not have her glasses on, held the paper out to Joseph to read for her.
“It would appear,” Joseph said. “That I am the lucky fellow.”
Mia’s smile grew and she half-giggled, half-squealed as she jumped to her feet. “All right then, come you two… on your feet!”
Joseph and Clarisse exchanged glances then climbed to their feet; Clarisse with a hand up from Joseph.
“Thank you, Joseph.” Clarisse murmured for his ears alone.
“Not at all,” Joseph replied.
“This way please,” Mia smiled and gestured for the two of them to follow her. She led them out of the small ballroom where they’d been playing, and down the hall. “Here we go,” Mia said and stopped in front of a door. She opened the door, reached inside to flick on the light and gestured for them to enter.
Clarisse glanced inside the small linen closet then shook her head. “I am not going in there.”
“But, Gramma, you have to.” Mia said. “It’s part of the game. You picked dare, and now you must complete the dare or…”
Clarisse took in the look on her granddaughter’s face as Mia let the threat hang, recognizing it for one she herself had given over the years. With a shake of her head, she stepped into the closet.
“You too, Joe.” Mia told him with a sweet smile on her face.
Joseph merely bowed his head then slipped in so that he was standing beside his queen.
They looked at Mia expectantly.
“You have to stay in here for fifteen minutes,” Mia explained. “What you do… or don’t do in those fifteen minutes is entirely up to you,” she said as she began to shut the door, “although, the idea is to make out like bunnies!”
“Amelia!” Clarisse exclaimed as the door was quickly slammed shut.
They heard a scraping sound then heard a knocking on the door. Clarisse turned to look at Joseph.
“The princess has just pushed a chair up beneath the doorknob,” he answered her unvoiced question.
“The chair is so you two don’t try to sneak out early,” Mia told them through the door. “Your fifteen minutes starts now… so get busy!”
Clarisse and Joseph heard Mia’s giggles grow softer as she disappeared back down the hall.
“So… what do we do now?” Clarisse asked her Head of Security, suddenly aware of just how close they were to each other and of how little space there actually was in the closet.
“Discuss security issues?” Joseph replied as he turned and leaned back against the wall. He glanced down at his watch on which he’d set the timer to alert him when the fifteen minutes were up. “We still have thirteen minutes and twelve seconds to go.”
“You find this amusing, don’t you?” It was more of a statement than a question.
“Honestly? Yes, I do.” Joseph answered then smiled at her. “Three years ago, Mia would not have had the courage to do something like this… especially to you…”
“Are you saying this is my fault?” Clarisse crossed her arms as she turned fully to face him.
“Well… she is your granddaughter,” Joseph replied. “And you’re damn proud of her too.”
Clarisse couldn’t help it, a large smile filled her face. “Yes, I am.”
Joseph smiled. “Besides, it’s not that bad being stuck in here with me, is it?”
“No…” Clarisse admitted quietly. “It isn’t. Although… I do get the distinct impression that we were set up.”
“I have the same feeling.”
Clarisse laughed softly. “Wouldn’t you know… my first time playing spin the bottle and…”
“You’ve never played spin the bottle?”
“No. Nor truth or dare.”
“Never? Not even as a young child?”
“No. Not even as a young child,” Clarisse told him then gave him a small smile as she answered the question in his eyes. “I was betrothed to Rupert when I was eight years old, and then as I grew older… no one wanted to play those types of games with me. The boys were all too afraid to kiss me… and so that certainly meant no three minutes in the closet.”
Joseph shook his head. “Well then, I guess we’re just going to have to correct that oversight, aren’t we?”
“Wha…?” Before Clarisse could utter another word, Joseph grasped her shoulders gently and leaned forward to brush his lips over hers. She gasped at the barely there caress.
Joseph pulled back and met her gaze. “There,” he said in a quiet voice. “Now you can say you’ve been kissed in a closet.” When she did not respond, Joseph dropped his hands to his sides and stepped back. “I’m sorry, Clarisse. I did not mean to overstep my bounds.”
Clarisse shook her head. “No… you didn’t. I…”
Clarisse stepped closer and placed her hands on his chest. “If I’m not mistaken,” she began to slowly slide her hands up his torso, “When one is locked in a closet with a ‘boy’, one is supposed to be necking with said ‘boy’.”
A slow grin came to Joseph’s face. He cleared his throat then nodded. “Yes, I do believe that is the rule.”
Clarisse smiled as her hands stopped on his shoulders. She brushed his neck with her thumbs. “Do you wish to neck with me, Joseph?”
“Among other things,” Joseph replied.
Clarisse felt her body suffuse with heat at his honest answer. “I don’t think we’ll have time for all those now…” she said with a twinkle in her eye. “But I would very much like to neck with you right at this moment… if you’re game.”
Joseph’s arms wound about her waist and he pulled her body flush against his. “I am very game,” he murmured and lowered his mouth to hers. He teased her with several airy, feather-light caresses of his lips against hers.
“…Joseph…” Clarisse murmured. “…don’t tease…”
“Yes, my queen…” Joseph replied and covered her mouth with his. He traced her lips with his tongue, learning the shape and feel of them as he sought entrance. At the gentle pressure, Clarisse parted her lips to Joseph’s seeking tongue.
Soft moans filled the small room as they tasted each other for the first time. Their tongues met and wrapped around each other in an erotic dance in the hot cavern of Clarisse’s mouth then parted, only to meet and tangle again in Joseph’s.
Clarisse’s arms wrapped around Joseph’s neck, her hands clasping his head as the kiss deepened. A dizzying rush of desire passed over her and Clarisse pressed her body closer to Joseph’s.
Joseph groaned at the feel of her full breasts pillowed against his chest, her nipples hard and begging for his touch. He slid one hand up into her hair, fanning his fingers in the short strands as he deepened the kiss. His other hand slipped down to cup her rear and pulled her even tighter against the hard plains of his body.
Clarisse gasped into the kiss at the feel of Joseph’s more than obvious arousal and instinctively circled her hips against him.
“If you keep that up,” Joseph broke off the kiss, only to nibble his way along her jaw, “we will most certainly be going into the other things territory.”
A low, throaty laugh filled the closet as Clarisse pulled back to meet his eyes. “I want to go into that territory with you, Joseph. I have for so long.”
“And I with you, my love.” Joseph gave her a tender smile then leaned back in to give her a soft kiss. His hand slipped out of her hair to cup her cheek then he spoke in a low voice filled with emotion. “I love you.”
Clarisse’s eyes widened and filled with tears. “I love you too…”
Their mouths came together again in a loving but passionate kiss, celebrating the revealing of their feelings for one another.
Just as the kiss threatened to become something more, Joseph’s watch began to beep.
They broke apart, and Joseph reached down to stop his watch. “Looks like our time is up,” he told her.
“Only our time in here,” Clarisse told him as she brought her hands up to cup his face, her thumbs smoothing over his lips. “I… I’m not willing to give you up. Not now! Not knowing for certain that you love me. But I can’t make any promises, Joseph. Not yet.”
“I know,” Joseph nodded. “I would never ask you to do anything to jeopardize your reputation or the crown… but I’m not willing to give you up either.”
“Oh, Joseph…” Clarisse whispered and moved deeper into his embrace, burying her face in his shoulder. “What do we do?”
“We love each other,” Joseph replied in a soft voice against her ear. “We’ll just have to do so without anyone knowing.”
Clarisse lifted her head. “Are you… are you certain you can do that for the next three years?”
“Yes. My darling, I have loved you from afar for forty years,” Joseph told her. “Three years of being able to truly love you… to kiss you… touch you…” he ran his hands down her back to cup her rear and pull her closer, “to make love to you, even in secret… oh yes! Yes, I am certain I can do that.”
A brilliant smile filled Clarisse’s face and she lifted her hand to cup his cheek. “Will you come to me tonight?”
Joseph nodded. “Wild horses could not keep me from you this evening.”
“Good,” Clarisse’s smile turned into a loving one. She brushed a quick kiss across his lips then stepped out of his arms and leaned back against the opposite wall just as they heard the sound of the chair being pulled away from the door.
Seconds later the door swung open to reveal Mia standing there. A look of disappointment flashed across her face when she saw her grandmother and Joe on opposite sides of the closet. Mia crossed her arms over her chest.
“Is something the matter?” Clarisse asked her granddaughter.
Mia looked between the two, eyeing them both. “So did you use your time in here constructively?”
Joseph and Clarisse exchanged glances. “As a matter of fact we did,” Clarisse answered. “Joseph has been wanting to discuss some particular security matters for some time now… but we’ve not had the chance… so your locking us in here was immensely helpful.”
“You’re not serious?!” Mia asked.
“Of course I am,” Clarisse replied.
“You could have been…” Mia made some sudden gesture with her hands, “but instead you… you talked about security?”
“Yes,” Joseph answered. “There was no better opportunity.”
“Unbelievable,” Mia shook her head then turned and began to walk away.
Joseph and Clarisse shared amused smiles as they stepped out of the closet.
“No! Nothing happened,” they heard Mia tell the others in a dejected voice as they watched her enter the ballroom. “Security issues… they discussed security issues! Can you believe that? We lock them in a closet... alone… perfect chance to… and they talk.”
Clarisse chuckled. “I knew it was a set up,” she told Joseph as she shut the closet door.
“Yes, you did.” Joseph nodded as he moved the chair back to its place next to the small phone stand. He returned to her side to find her looking wistfully at the closet door, her hand laying on the cool surface. “One day,” he whispered in her ear from behind, “I will steal you away into a closet in the palace… and make love to you there.”
“Do you promise?” Clarisse glanced back at him with a twinkle in her eyes.
“Good,” Clarisse turned to face him. “Shall we… before they start to wonder?”
Joseph nodded and offered her his arm. “My queen.”
Clarisse slipped her arm through his and together they returned to the ballroom, both eagerly looking forward to the end of the evening and the start of the first night of the rest of their lives.