Janet wasn’t about to let the bitter man at the bar get away with ranting about lying women. Not when her duplicitous boyfriend had so recently dumped her. She came right back at him, “And you guys are so up front?” Points and counterpoints were exchanged, and it turned out that he, too, had an ex who’d cheated on him. Maybe that’s why, when he proposed a crazy idea to her, she accepted. To her surprise, it was liberating to exchange truths with him. Until, that is, the confessions grew darker, and Janet found herself falling for her anti-date… (F/M)
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He slipped onto the empty stool next to her. He was one of those square sort of guys, broad in shoulder and chest, average in height. Dark hair fell over a high forehead, and an arrogant nose separated wary eyes. He didn’t look temperamental, not like he’d sounded a moment ago.
“So you got dumped, too?” he ventured.
“End of last month,” Janet said cautiously.
“Beginning of this month for me,” Roy said.
“My condolences,” she muttered, then, warily, “I hope to hell you’re not going to suggest we pair up. Last thing I want to do is go out on a pity date.”
The bitterness in her tone was raw enough to scare Roy. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea? Hmm… and it was a good idea to spend the night getting sick on Tequila?
He licked his lips. “Better than that. I think we ought to go on a Full Disclosure.”
She took a sip of her drink. “Come again?”
“What do you do on a date?”
“Get to know the other person.” She shrugged. “Spend time together.”
“Try to impress each other,” he pointed out. “But here’s my proposal: we do the exact opposite. Instead of presenting our best attributes, we lay out our worst. No trying to fool each other. Complete honesty.”
She had dark, arching butterfly brows. They rose, intrigued. “Okay. And after we know why we don’t want to be with each other, what then?”
“No, no. You don’t get it. We were dumped. And I don’t know about you, but there were all these things that my ex never liked about me. Stuff she was always complaining about and trying to change.”
He heard the ire in his voice and checked it. He didn’t want to scare her away. “I think you and I should build our whole evening around those things. Our flaws and bad habits. Bring it all out into the open. That’s full disclosure. I mean, now that our exes have left us, why bother trying to hide or avoid doing all that shit? It’s not like they’re around to make us feel wrong about it, right?”
“That… that sounds—” she tilted her head, and he held his breath ready for the word “ridiculous” “—remarkably therapeutic,” she finished to his surprise, “A big ‘Fuck you!’ to them and their demands.”
“Does that mean you want to do it?”
“Do I want to do it?” she echoed. She had a thoughtful way about her as if she were trying to keep things balanced, but he noticed that a smile was twitching at her lips, and her dark eyes were gleaming. “Why the hell not? I haven’t any other plans.” She drained her margarita. “Where do we start?”
“Where most dates end,” he said, hopping off his barstool. “Come on. We’re going to the bathroom.”