The Dare

By: Rachel van Dyken

The Bet Book 3


High School Prom 2000

I pressed my hands against the sleek white dress my mom had purchased for me. Char looked on, her eyes skeptical as she eyed the dress and then my face.

"Are you sure he asked you?"

"Char!" I rolled my eyes. "For the second time… yes, he asked me last week in biology class."

Like I would actually forget one of the coolest moments of my teenage life. My crush had actually spoken to me, and it wasn't even something stupid like asking me to do his homework or pass a note to the hotter girl. It was because he'd noticed me.

I knew the new clothes were paying off. It was the only explanation. I'd traded my old jeans for new designer ones and bought a few Abercrombie screen t-shirts.

"And you're sure?" Char's voice was high-pitched, meaning she was stressed out.

"Why do you keep asking me that?"

Char twirled a piece of dark wavy hair in her finger. "It's just that I could have sworn I heard that he was going with Jessica."

"Well," I spritzed some perfume on my neck and sighed, "you heard wrong. Now how do I look?"

Char smiled. "Beautiful. Like a fairy princess."

Giddy, I clapped my gloved hands together. Prom's theme was a black and white ball. My gown was a strapless white Cinderella-like dress with glitter across the bodice, and my gloves were black.

I couldn't contain my excitement. I was going to prom with Brett Xander. Basically the hottest guy at my school. He'd asked me! I mean, I wasn't a total nerd, but it wasn't as if I was high on the totem pole either. I was valedictorian and the president of the Future Business Leaders of America. But he'd noticed me, he'd asked me, and yesterday when he'd called me to finalize plans, I'd about died.

The doorbell rang.

I ran down the stairs, nearly tripping on the last one, before taking a deep breath and opening the door.

"Beth," Brett's smile dazzled, making me feel weak in the knees, "you look beautiful."

Licking my lips, I made a sound that sounded a lot like a girlish sigh and offered my arm. I'd specifically told my parents that if they as much as snapped one picture, I'd refuse to get married and give them grandchildren. So they'd reluctantly stayed in the study, allowing me this one moment, just for myself.

"So, you ready?" Brett took my arm and began walking me toward the waiting limo.

A freaking limo.

I was sighing again.

Unable to form a sentence, I nodded as he opened the door. The plush leather seat beckoned me. Maybe I was going to get my first kiss? Or a sip of wine? Or a—

"Hey, Beth!" a chorus of voices sang out.

Huh? I dipped into the limo and nearly choked on my tongue. Four girls were sitting demurely around, sipping soda. Each of them from my biology class. None of them were popular.Iif anything, they were less popular than me.

Confused, I looked to Brett for an answer, but the door slammed in my face.

"He's not riding with us?" I asked, full-fledged panic setting in.

"You're kidding, right?" One of the girls laughed. "Brett Xander? With us? Breathing the same air? Um, no, this is his good deed for the year. He was short a biology credit, and it seems Miss Sims has a soft spot for all us girls and the hard work we've had for our AP class. His extra credit was doing something nice for the biology department, and since it's Brett Xander, well, you can imagine what his something nice was."

"Us," I mumbled. "So what? He's taking all of us to prom?"

"Nope." The same girl slurped her Mountain Dew. "He picks us up in a limo, joins his girlfriend in the other limo, and walks into the gym with us. But at least we each get a dance with him. I mean, he is going to be Prom King, everyone says so."

"Right." I licked my lips and debated whether or not I should jump out of the limo, but just as I was reaching for the door, the car started barreling down the road.

Suddenly, my dress felt too tight, and I felt like an idiot. After all, what guy would want a super-geek control-freak who had a preference for cats? Not Brett Xander. I was kidding myself to think he would even look twice at me.

"Hey, you want a soda?" One of the girls threw a Pepsi in my direction. I caught it but set it on the seat.