The young make-up artist didn't often lose bets. Most of the time, luck was on Maggie's side when her brilliant mind couldn't deduct an outcome quicker than everyone else. Today was a rare occasion though, as the young man she just met surprised her. Baited her might be more accurate, as she watched his terrible skill at darts that night, laughing along with a few other patrons. He picked her beautiful face out of the crowd as she enjoyed her beer.
"That was funny to you?" Wilson asked amused as he took the stool next to her.
"Almost embarrassingly funny," she nodded without even looking in his direction.
"It's nice to see a pretty lady laugh, but I wish the circumstances would be a little different."
"I'll bet you do," she chuckled.
"How about a wager?"
Unbeknownst to Wilson, challenges were like her kryptonite, the one thing Maggie couldn't resist succumbing to, or rising to if presented to her. She looked at him for the first time, with an even stare and lips almost curving into a smirk.
"What did you have in mind?"
Wilson pulled a napkin from behind the bar, and began scribbling on it with his pen. Maggie half-expected him to try to whisper the terms into her ear like some men foolishly tried to, but he instead slipped the napkin over to her hand, and watched her read his terms.
"Three bullseyes, for a kiss?"
"That's it," Wilson said.
"What do I win?"
"I thought we'd both want a kiss." His smoldering, yet somehow measured charm made Maggie carefully sip her beer, just so internal laughter wouldn't make the liquor go down the wrong pipe.
"Ok, ok," he pretended to concede. "I'll buy you another beer if you win. Deal?" He extended his right hand.
"Deal," she exclaimed, firmly shaking his hand.
He stepped back up to the range for throwing darts. Before he could throw his first dart, Maggie told him "left-handed."
"That wasn't the deal."
"I never said which hand you could use."
He was going to argue as with her as a few patrons expressed their joy at the raised stakes, but instead shook his head, threw the dart in the air and caught it with his left hand perfectly. Wilson looked back at her before throwing the first dart in the center with ease, followed by the next two with little effort. A crowd cheered for his accomplishment, but he ignored them and walked up to Maggie, happily looking to collect.
"Well," he began. Wilson watched as she chuckled at the glaring hustle, downed the rest of her beer, paid for it, and stepped out the back exit. It didn't look to him as if she was skipping out, what with the extra movement she threw into her hips. Outside, behind the bar, he found her putting her lipstick back in her purse.
"I see you're ready for me."
She turned around to indeed reveal a fresh coat applied to her lips, but she also brought her hand up to show what else she'd done with it.
Her deep-red smirk was no longer held back as Maggie proudly showed him her painted, smooch-shaped palm.
"I won the bet you know, and the bet was a kiss."
"Still is," she crooned, taking a step forward. Maggie's hand moved away from hers and closer to Wilson's. He watched her fingers lightly wave teasingly, almost tantalizingly at him. The waving occasionally became broader, the same way vampires or sorceresses would bid their victims to come closer, but she was the one advancing.
Wilson watched and wondered how things devolved into what she now proposed.
"You really like to change the rules, don't you?"
"'I am altering the deal. Pray I alter it...a little further,'" she paraphrased her favorite sith lord, still playfully waving her fingers. He noticed how her fingernails were a lightsaber kind of red in the light, in fact her whole motif that night was red, from her hair and her tank top and auburn jeans, to her smile, the imprint on her palm, and the soporific suggestion written above it. That puzzled a little more than the rest, but he still tried directing his attention for what he wanted before Maggie spoke up again.
"I personally think it's bad manners to welsh on a bet, and not collect if you're the winner. It's like you have something negative to say about me for not wanting that kiss. But I don't believe that's the case. You really do want it. I can tell you're so looking forward to it. It's hard to see what the problem is now."
"I meant your lips."
"You never specified lips."
"People assume all the time; doesn't mean someone isn't an ass when they do. Could've made it like 'kiss my ass' as you watched my beautiful ass walk away, but I didn't. Could've been 'kiss my boot heel' to make you grovel on your knees, but I don't like men to be that whipped...so early." Wilson barely noticed the wink Maggie gave in his peripheral sight, but felt the implication passed his distracted self. "This shouldn't be so hard Wilson. What you want is right here, offered freely to you, cause I admit I want this as much as you do. And let's face it, a hustler like you should know, you're as bound to the terms of bet as I am. A kiss for three bullseyes. Here's your new bullseye."
She closed her hand, and opened it again, as if re-introducing it would give it more flare than before. It was strange to Wilson how flexing her hand made the imprint almost look like the faux lips were puckered.
"What's with the 'sleep' thing?" he asked, slow to notice the painted text above his newly-offered target.
"Think of it as a 'play your cards right,' kind of thing." She told him from behind her hand that edged closer to his face. Maggie's suggestion rose Wilson's spirits considerably, and he gave more attention to the show her fingers put on, and the puckering of her palm. Occasionally he would look above to see her eyes between her fingers staring at him, intensely staring into his soul. He couldn't tell what color they were, but their depths were an open invitation to look deeper. Maggie was saying things, barely above a whisper whatever it was, but everything put in-front of him took his mind away from concentrating on that.
"Did you say something?" he asked listlessly.
"Just reminding you that you're bound to the bet, just like I am. Eagerly agreeing to the kiss, and you still want that kiss, don't you?"
The deep smile hidden behind her palm came in loud-and-clear to his ears, but it only added to the effect of everything else she was doing to him. He lost track of when his world shrank to her eyes and hand, and then just her hand. Everything around her palm shimmered and was vague. The implications of 'sleep' made him hard, and sleepy for some reason. Wilson couldn't discern the lipstick imprint from real lips anymore. His mouth watered and parted, helplessly anticipating his prize. They were both aware that he played Maggie for a kiss, and the hope of more than that. Only Maggie realized that she was more than ready to be played and give as good as she got.
He couldn't tell who closed the distance, but it wasn't long before his lips were locked with her imprint, lost in a dreamy haze of kissing slowly, and then building intensity like he was used to, teasing his partner with his tongue little-by-little. It didn't feel quite the same as other times he'd captured a pair of chaste lips in his own, but a galvanizing voice told him how much better it would be than any other kiss before this, and it energized his need to continue. Maggie's hand tingled at feeling Wilson kiss and lick her palm. The passion behind his kiss nearly aroused her as much as what she did next to him.
The red-clad "loser" of the bet pulled her hand back, breaking the "kiss." Wilson's glassy eyes opened, only able to catch a quick glimpse of her eyes again, and settling on the red word magnified in his field of vision.
"Sleep," she said sharply, and his face fell into her embrace. Lips lazily pressed against the smeared imprint, Maggie's finger clasping his face. She wished "talk to the hand" was still a fashionable quip, but it's not like he'd be talking much for what she wanted. His steady breathing became even steadier as she moved his head in a circle, around and around. Staring clockwise, and then abruptly switching to counterclockwise. All he could do was feel her manipulating fingers hold him, and her manipulative words eclipse any thoughts and plans he had for the rest of the week.
She pulled her cellphone out of her purse and called a taxi for them both. They'd be going to her place, and he'd find many other things he could kiss for Maggie. She thought gleefully about how she might apply lipstick to his lips, make him kiss any part of her Maggie's own lips couldn't reach, and reinstate the terms of the bet over again. She wondered if she could slap a man to sleep while it was conveniently still written on her palm. The possibilities made for an exciting future as she pulled her new sub around the bar to the front of it, waiting for the taxi.
The young make up artist didn't often lose bets, but when she did, Maggie made sure all parties involved were bound to them.