Book extract: #Forfeit

Today I’m featuring an excerpt from the fabulous #Forfeit by Caroline Batten

‘What’s Forfeit?’ Finn asked, half laughing.

Daisy daren’t look up. He’d think her a childish brat for handing over five hundred pounds to do a stupid dare.

‘It’s the ultimate game of dares,’ India explained, her gentle, husky voice, sounding like a purr. ‘My parents’ used to play it when I was a kid. They’d have these totes cool parties–’

‘Mum and Dad used to play?’ James asked, his head already shaking, disbelieving her, but India nodded, her glossy curls bouncing.

‘And Bella.’ India sat back, grinning.

My mum played?’ Marcus leaned on the table, frowning.

‘When I was about five,’ India said, ‘she rode a motorbike around the house. I watched through the banister at the top of the stairs. I thought mum would go insane, but she just shrieked with laughter.’ Fleeting sadness washed over her face, but she soon replaced it with a fabulous smile.

‘Bella rode a motorbike, in the house?’ James shook his head. ‘As if.’

‘So can Finn and I play too?’ India asked.

James glanced to Xander who gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head. ‘No. Original players only. If you start it, you have to finish it. It’s in the small print.’

India sulked. ‘You’re such a pedant.’

‘Money, table,’ James said to the others, his interest infinitely more piqued than earlier.

Under India’s envious pout, Daisy merrily tossed five hundred pounds of Clara’s money into the metaphorical pot. Five hundred pounds. One third of what her car was worth. Okay, Clara said she didn’t want it back again if Daisy lost, but no way could Daisy live with herself if she didn’t pay her back. And no way could she afford to pay her back. The only option was to win.

Daisy threw the Teetotum ball. It landed on nineteen, not a number she loved.

‘Shit.’ James said, scowling at his card. ‘Well, that’s hardly fun. Or difficult.’

‘What?’ Xander asked, throwing the ball

James screwed up his face. ‘It says I can’t let anyone know what I’m doing, or why.’

Oh, like the Kiss Dare had to be done in secret. Tentatively, Daisy opened her card.

Temperance.

No drink or drugs for 30 days.

‘Oh, bollocks.’ Despairing, she showed Xander the card.

‘It’ll do you good.’

‘What is it?’ Finn’s eyes glinted as he sipped his wine.

Marcus whipped the card out of Daisy’s hands. ‘No drinking? Good luck with that.’

‘She can do it,’ Xander said, flipping a beer mat at his friend.

‘I’d bet five hundred quid she can’t,’ James said, his lip curling in a mean smile.

‘Bugger you,’ Daisy snapped. ‘Five hundred quid says I can.’

‘You’re on.’ James leant across the table and held out his hand.

Oh, now this was fortuitous. If she did the dare, she was guaranteed to get Clara’s five hundred pounds back and if she won the whole thing… well, hello, two and a half grand.

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