It really was amazing what they could get out of playing like this. By the end of two hours, they had managed to share a startling number of utterly trivial details about themselves, from the first real kiss to the greatest fears to the most embarrassing birthday; even a dare that involved putting an ice cube down her top and his pants on a draw. There was plenty of alcohol involved, too, which was how Meg ended up tipsy and a lot bolder than she had thought she was.
Studying the latest hand closely, she raised her eyes to AJ, a mischievous smirk on her face and said, "I bet ... my bra."
AJ had had his own fair shares of shots, both sweet and strong and was feeling a little fuzzy, but not nearly as tipsy as she was. They'd shared a few secrets, but nothing too earth-shattering. He didn't care much if she knew where he'd had his first kiss, that his favorite color was blue, or that he was secretly terrified of heights. His latest hand, too, wasn't much better than those that had preceded it, but it was all in good fun. He arched a brow over his cards at her latest bet, knowing it had to be the booze talking. "I thought clothes were off-limits and we're keeping this PG-13," he reminded her. The ice cubes had been pushing things a bit far, but it had been worth it to see her wriggle.
"It's underneath my clothes," she pointed out with an inebriated smile, her words ever so slightly slurred by now, every gesture that little bit too exaggerated. "And I can get it off without taking my t-shirt off. So there. Your bet." Her smile grew to a self-satisfied grin as she leaned back, needing to take another look at her hand just to make sure it hadn't changed while she wasn't looking.
"Well, I'm not wearing a bra, smart ass, so what am I supposed to do if I lose?" he pointed out, trying hard not to raise her bet to add panties. "I mean, if you want to take off your bra that badly, by all means, go ahead. You don't need to lose at Poker to do that."
"Take mine off, of course," she told him cheerfully. "From underneath." Drunk Meg was definitely more inclined toward silliness mixed with a healthy dose of lust, it seemed, but at least he didn't need to worry about her only wanting him for his body. She had laid down the rules while sober, after all; what happened while she was drunk was out of her control.
He rolled his eyes. "Honey, I could take your bra off without even going beneath your clothes, if I really wanted to." It was all about the technique, and she hadn't said anything about only using his hands. "Might I remind you that whether I win or lose this hand, those stakes have me winning either way?"
She giggled, nodding. "Uh-huh. You should raise me. Or you could fold, and then all you can do is watch. Maybe I could make you wear it instead."
"You're drunk." It wasn't an accusation, but a statement of fact. He'd lost count how many she'd had hours ago, but it was obviously enough to make her giggle and slur her words. Lucky for her, he wasn't the kind to take advantage. "Your bra is not a bet. How's this then? If you lose, you take off your bra. What do you want if you win?" He was giving her an opportunity here, if she chose to take advantage of it.
"I'm only a little bit drunk," she protested, though it was pretty obvious she was more than a little bit drunk. "So ... I have to think of something else?" she asked, scowling in concentration. "A kiss? Is that a bet?"
He rolled his eyes at her lack of imagination, but decided she was in no state of mind to push too far. "Fine. I lose, I give you a kiss. You lose, you take off your bra." It was silly, really. He'd already seen her without a bra, and she'd already had a kiss from him, but there was no point in arguing the fact with a drunk female. "I'm calling it right here. No raising. No trading cards. What have you got?"
"Lots!" she declared, laying down her hand. And it was true, she did have a lot of cards. Not one of them matched the others. It was, in actual fact, a truly terrible hand, and she really had no reason to be so proud of it.
He looked over her hand, realizing she'd lost, even with the ridiculously crappy hand he was holding. He laid down his cards - a pair of Aces, along with some other mismatched crap that amounted to nothing. "I win."
Letting out that delightfully drunken giggle once again, Meg pushed herself up onto her knees, more than happy to pay up. It did involve drawing rather more attention to her chest than she usually allowed, with all the thrusting and wriggling, but eventually her bra came out through one of the sleeves, and was immediately tossed over his face. "Ta-da!"
He laughed as he watched her wriggle out of her bra. Well, at least she'd accomplished it without toppling over backwards. That had to count for something. He laughed, catching her bra in one hand before it hit his face. He was obviously not nearly as tipsy as she was. "You're going to regret this tomorrow," he told her with a grin.
"You think so?" Settling onto her heels, she considered him for a long moment, rubbing her hand against her neck. "I guess I should make sure I really earn that regret then, don't you think?" A grin that might have been predatory if she hadn't been so tipsy made itself known on her face as she crawled up onto the coffee table, advancing on him.
Oh, boy. He realized that drunken Meg was a lot like her Sophie alias. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing, except that she'd been the one who'd said she wanted to go slow, and here she was practically throwing herself at him. "Meg, I'm not so sure this is a good idea," he told her, reaching for her to make sure she didn't lose her balance and fall off the table.
Heedless of the scatter of the cards, she slithered off the table to straddle his lap, nose to nose. This might be a lot like the Sophie alias, but it was all Meg, with no real filters attached. She nuzzled him tenderly, almost purring at how close they were. "I always have good ideas," she murmured, her lips brushing his. "My timing isn't always great, though."
His arms went around her as she climbed into his lap, nose to nose with her. Her lips tasted of a mixture of Tuaca and whiskey, but that hardly bothered him. It was the fact that she might regret this in the morning if he let it go too far. "Sweetheart, I want this as much as you do ..." he started. Probably more, if the way his body was reacting to her was anything to go by. "But is this really how you want this to happen?" There he was, trying to be a gentleman again. What the hell was wrong with him, anyway?
She pouted, but she wasn't so far gone that she couldn't follow the very real care in his gentle reminder of her own rules. "Maybe we should call it a night," she sighed softly, drawing her fingertips through his hair. "Kiss me? Please?"
He looked as full of regret as she was, but these were her rules - the rules she'd stated before they'd had too much to drink - and they still had to work in the morning. "I'll go you one better, and tuck you in," he promised, touching a soft kiss to her lips, before moving to his feet, with her in his arms. He supported her with his hands, winding her legs around his hips so that he could carry her toward the bed, just on the other side of the couch.
She nestled in close to him, laying her head on his shoulder as he lifted her up and bore her toward the bed, not really wanted to let go of him. "You smell so good," she murmured, more proof that a drunk Meg had no control over her own tongue. "You could sleep with me."
"I smell like booze and Chinese food," he pointed out. Never mind what kind of cologne he wore, if he wore any at all. She hadn't asked, and he hadn't volunteered the information. "I could," he replied as he laid her carefully down on the bed and pulled the blankets up over her. "But I'd rather you remember it when I do," he told her, touching a kiss to her cheek. "Get some sleep, Meg."
Her fingers stroked against his cheek as he laid her down, the alcohol already sending her off into happy sleepiness as she cuddled under the blankets. She was almost there when a worried thought made her half sit up. "I will see you tomorrow, won't I?"
"I'll come by in the morning to pick you up," he promised, though he thought it might be a good idea to take the car this time. "Night, Meg. Thanks for tonight," he told her, kissing her lips once final time before creeping away to turn down the lights and clean up the mess before he let himself out.
She smiled as he kissed her, relaxing back against the pillow with a happy sigh. "Good night, Andrew." Tomorrow's hangover might be hideous, but right now, in her drunk state, watching him move about her apartment as she succumbed to sleep, it was worth it. No regrets this time.
In the morning, he'd make sure she had coffee and aspirin to help with that hangover, but tomorrow, as they say, was another day. He only hoped that when morning came, she wouldn't regret what had happened tonight - and that was the main reason he wasn't staying the night. As for himself, he had no regrets - not a single one. Not even what had happened in Paris or Greece. If not for Paris and Greece, she might not be here right now, and for that he was thankful. As cliched as it sounded, maybe this really was the beginning of a beautiful friendship.