Even though he didn't play sports, when it came to video games, Casey had a real competitive streak. Zeke had challenged him to play Spyro, and Casey had easily beaten him six games in a row.
Not that Zeke had been much competition. During each game, whenever Casey glanced in Zeke's direction, his friend seemed to be watching him instead of the screen. Then again, Casey knew it took a lot to motivate Zeke.
Crowing in triumph as he racked up game number seven, Casey held out his hand and demanded, "Pay up, Zeke."
"Looks like you cleaned me out," Zeke said, extracting a ten-collar bill from his wallet and handing it to Casey. "When did you become such a capitalist, Connor?"
"There's a new zoom lens I want," Casey explained, "and my dad won't buy it for me. He says I'll appreciate it more if I have to pay for it myself. Actually, I think he believes my having to work for it will make me more responsible. You know, a real man. It's going to take me forever to save up enough money."
"Then let's play again," Zeke offered. "Double or nothing."
Casey frowned. "You don't have anything left to play with. You said I already won all your money."
"I'm good for it, Case."
Casey nodded. "I know you are. So what's the bet?"
"Hmm...how about this?" Zeke suggested. "If I lose, I'll double what you already won."
Casey liked the sound of that. Double the money he'd already won would get him that much closer to getting his new lens. But knowing how devious Zeke could be, Casey needed to know the flip side before agreeing. "And if you win?" he asked cautiously.
"If I win, I get all my money back." Zeke paused, seeming to consider his options. "Plus...you have to kiss me."
"Kiss you?" Casey snorted. "Yeah, right."
"I'm serious," Zeke told him, then added, his voice taunting, "but hey, if you don't think you can beat me one more time..."
"Fuck you, Tyler!" Casey spat out, and picked up the game controls again. "You are on."
"Great," Zeke said with a smug, satisfied smile. "Let's do it."
Casey began to formulate his strategy, knowing he couldn't afford to make any mistakes if he wanted to ensure the desired outcome for this game. He'd already proven he was the better player, which left him with a big problem. How was he going to manage to lose this game without Zeke figuring out that he'd done it on purpose?