The last of the wine trickled into Judy's glass, the final drops spattering the coffee table as she passed the empty bottle to Christine, who placed it carefully on the floor. Judy leaned forward to rub the spatter with her finger, before sitting back on the sofa when she realized that the resulting smear looked even worse.
"Oh dear!" Christine said facetiously. "A nasty stain of vintage Merlot. I guess you'd better buy Rhona a new table, Judy."
"I agree," said Rhona solemnly, though she smiled as she spoke. She leaned back on the sofa, where she sat nestling between her two friends.
Christine reached over to gently tug Judy's long blonde hair "You're drunk," she observed. "Red wine always affects you too quickly. Why didn't you let me drink the last of the bottle?"
"Because she's greedy," said Rhona. "If there's free food or free drink, then Judy will gladly gobble it up before anyone else gets a chance."
"Not true!" Judy protested, pretending to look hurt and angry, though her mouth curled in a cheeky grin. "Who dares to spread such evil rumors about me?"
"My brother," Rhona answered, her keen blue eyes twinkling as she turned to wink at Christine. "And he definitely knows the truth about you. Isn't that right, Chrissie?"
Christine nodded, her mane of brown curls bobbing around her shoulders. "Oh yes, that's right enough. Paul told me about that incident in the Chinese restaurant, when Judy stuffed her face with prawns and threw up all over the bus."
"Jeezus!" said Judy, shaking her head in mock disbelief. "I was only eighteen at the time. What did your brother expect?"
"He expected nothing else, I guess," said Christine. "Except an hour of hot passion at the end of the evening."
"Yes, I remember!" Judy agreed, draining her glass in one gulp. "Even after I puked he still wanted a fuck on the beach."
Rhona laughed, glancing quickly at each of her friends while giving them a knowing smile. "Hey, ladies!" she chuckled. "You make my big brother sound like a teenage sex maniac. But he's a respectable lawyer now, with a wife and two kids, so leave the poor guy alone."
"I'm married with kids, too," said Judy. "And so is Christine. But that doesn't mean we don't remember what happened fifteen years ago, when she and I were innocent young college girls. Your brother was a sexual predator, Rhona, with the biggest ego on the campus."
"And the biggest cock!" Christine quipped.
"Definitely!" said Judy, giggling at the memory. "Twice as long as my husband's, I reckon."
Rhona gave a deep groan and put her hands over her ears. "Oh God! Please don't talk about my brother's penis, or indeed anyone's penis. It's so damn boring!"
Christine playfully ruffled Rhona's short black hair, running her fingers through the dark feathery spikes. "Okay, Rhona," she said, putting her lips close to her friend's ear. "No more comments about cocks, I promise. Sometimes I forget you're a lesbian."
"Why do you forget?" Rhona queried, closing her eyes when Christine lightly kissed her cheek. "You knew I was gay while we were still at college, and that was a long time ago, when we were just a bunch of kids."
Christine shrugged, flicking her brown tresses behind her shoulders. "I suppose it was kind of hard to accept that my best friend was homosexual. In those days I was just an immature teenage brat."
"I still feel like a teenager," said Judy, yawning sleepily. "Even now, at thirty-two, I feel as if I never quite grew up. Maybe none of us really matured properly, with the exception of Rhona's brother."
Rhona nodded, straightening the creases in her jeans as she stretched her legs. "I know what you mean. Paul seemed to get terribly serious and grown-up when he became a lawyer. To me, though, he will always be my crazy big brother who did lots of wacko things. Did you know about his secret chart, the one with all his girlfriends' names on it, and scores next to the names?"
Christine and Judy exchanged a smile and a nod, both women rolling their eyes and sighing. "Yeah, we know about it," said Judy. "He called it the Best Kisser List, and my name was always at the top."
"No way!" Christine protested, her eyes blazing with a vehemence that surprised Rhona. "Paul told me he put my name first, because my kiss was the best he ever had in his whole life. I guess the wine is clouding your memory."
"You're lying, girl!" Judy replied, sitting upright and tossing her blonde hair. "I was always Paul's best kisser, even after we split. Ten years later, he and I shared a very passionate embrace on the night before his wedding, and he told me afterwards that my name will be at the top of his list for eternity."
"What a pile of crap!" Christine hissed, leaning back on the sofa with folded arms and flared nostrils. "I'm the Best Kisser, no doubt about that. If Paul was here now, I'd ask him to kiss both of us, just to prove my point. I would bet a hundred dollars that his judgment would run in my favor."
"A hundred?" Judy replied, raising her eyebrows. "Make it two hundred, and I bet my name would still go straight to the top of the list. Every guy in college reckoned my lips were the best they ever tasted. Even now, I reckon, I can still kiss better than you."
"Prove it," said Christine, sitting forward suddenly. Her eyes glittered, but she smiled at Judy and felt relief when the smile was returned. Rhona watched their expressions soften, her shoulders relaxing after the initial tension of the argument, though she wondered why her friends seemed so intense about the issue.
"I cannot prove it," Judy replied, placing her empty glass carefully on the table. To her dismay she saw that a drop of wine had stained her denim mini-skirt, the garment having been recently purchased by her husband as an anniversary gift. "I guess we can't discover the truth unless we ask Paul, or some other guy, to receive our kisses and pass judgment."
"It doesn't need to be a guy," Christine said softly, resting her hand on Rhona's knee. "I'm sure our lesbian buddy can act the part of judge."
"Who? Me?" said Rhona, her blue eyes widening in astonishment. "Surely you're joking, Chrissie?"
"No joke," Christine replied, idly brushing a stray brown curl off her forehead. "You've got the necessary experience to qualify as an umpire in our contest, having slept with numerous women. Don't give me that coy look! You're incredibly beautiful, Rhona, and I'm sure you've kissed hundreds of girls since you announced your sexuality in our final year at high school."
"Hundreds?" Rhona mused softly. "I wish it were so many!"
"The number of women is immaterial," Christine continued. "What matters is that you're qualified to decide which of us is the Best Kisser in this room. Are you happy to be the umpire?"
Rhona gave a nonchalant shrug and said: "Yeah, sure. But you need to ask Judy first."
"I'm not totally happy with the idea," Judy murmured softly, answering the question before anyone asked it. "I've never kissed a woman before, not properly anyway."
"Me neither," said Christine. "But we've known Rhona a long time, and she's very discreet. She won't tell our husbands about it, nor anyone else. Not even her brother, though it might be kind of amusing if he heard about two ex-girlfriends arguing over his stupid little list!"
Judy gave a heavy sigh and frowned, nibbling her lower lip anxiously. "I mean it, Chrissie. I'm not really cool with the idea of kissing a woman, even if she's a close friend. No offense, Rhona! You're totally gorgeous, so it's not like a kiss with you would be repulsive or anything.""
"No offense taken," said Rhona, gazing leisurely up at the ceiling. She regarded the suggestion of a kissing competition as a crazy plan that would never materialize, though she actually found the idea quite appealing. It had always been a strict personal rule that she never tried to seduce her heterosexual friends, despite the annoying fact that she found some of them extremely attractive. Now, however, she allowed her mind to imagine herself kissing Christine and Judy, both of whom were vivacious and pretty. The images brought a pleasant tingling to several parts of her body, though she pretended to show little interest in the outcome of the debate.
"Come on, Judy!" Christine persisted. "We've got two hundred dollars riding on the result. If you're too cowardly to prove your point, then you automatically lose the bet. Or maybe you know in your heart that I'm a better kisser than you'll ever be?"
The jibe seemed to sting Judy's pride, and she took a deep breath, her bosom swelling beneath her white blouse as she straightened her spine. "I'm no coward," she announced. "Let's get on with it."
"Me first!" said Christine, licking her lips as she grinned at Rhona. "Shall we begin?"
Rhona nodded, resting back on the sofa while waiting to receive her friend's kiss. Closing her eyes she felt the soft touch of Christine's lips as they brushed lightly against her own. Then, as she savored the mingling of warm breath, her mouth was suddenly filled with the slippery flesh of Christine's darting tongue. The sudden invasion startled Rhona, making her give a surprised squeak that brought a giggle from Judy.
"Wow!" said the blonde, sitting up to watch her friends kissing. "I never figured Chrissie would be so eager for this!"
Neither Rhona nor Christine gave any response, their mouths now locking together in the kind of passion that they usually reserved for their respective lovers. Rhona found that she was making the same purring noise that she made with Kate, her partner, the love of her life, a woman whom she was soon to wed in a special marriage ceremony. Christine, too, found that her throat was humming with the muffled groans that only her husband's kiss tended to induce. To her amazement she felt intensely aroused by Rhona's kiss. In truth, she had expected to find the experience quite pleasant, especially as she regarded her lesbian friend as a soulmate, but the sensations that now scurried through her body were the unmistakable tingles of sexual excitement. Opening her eyes briefly she saw the delicate flutter of Rhona's dark eyelashes and felt an overwhelming surge of raw lust. Her arms curled around Rhona's athletic body in a passionate embrace, the lesbian's firm breasts heaving beneath a tight black T-shirt.
"Oh my God!" Christine gasped, breaking from the kiss to sit upright. Breathless and trembling, she wiped saliva from her chin and glanced quickly at Judy. "I didn't expect to enjoy it so much. I almost went too far."
"The whole thing looked so sensual," Judy commented, staring at Rhona, who sat panting and wide-eyed, as though exhausted by the experience. "But it was kind of sweet at the same time. And also kind of natural, even normal. To me it didn't look gay or bisexual, or anything kinky like that."
"Kinky?" Rhona whispered, raising an eyebrow as she struggled to regain her breath. Sweat beaded on her upper lip but she licked it away with a swirl of her tongue.
"I didn't mean it as an insult," Judy explained. "It was the wrong word to use and I apologize for saying it. I guess I really am a dumb blonde sometimes."
"Don't say that!" Christine hissed, pointing at Judy before turning to gaze at Rhona. "Well, umpire? Tell me if my kiss scores a high mark on your chart."
"Nine out of ten," Rhona replied, hauling herself up into a more comfortable position. "Your kiss is wonderful, Chrissie. It was a real pleasure for me, if that counts for anything."
Christine shrugged. "Sure, it counts for a lot. You're the expert."
"My turn now!" said Judy, reaching out to stroke Rhona's cheek. "I just hope I don't regret it tomorrow."
Rhona gently pushed the blonde away and said: "Please don't do it, if you're going to regret it. Maybe you've had too much wine tonight?"
"I'm not drunk," Judy retorted, knocking Rhona's hand aside and shuffling closer. "The wine merely eases my inhibitions. But I want to prove my point to Chrissie, and also to win those two hundred dollars."
"What the hell.... ?" Rhona gasped, her spine arching in surprise when Judy's hand curled around her slender waist. The unexpected touch tickled the exposed bare skin between her T-shirt and the belt of her jeans.
"I need to hold onto something," Judy answered, giggling as she spoke. "Is that okay with you?"
Rhona nodded, smiling when her neck received a tender caress from Judy's free hand. The blonde woman's eyes showed a mischievous gleam, though her face still displayed a frown of uncertainty.
"Make it quick," Judy whispered. "The kiss you had with Christine seemed to go on for ever. I won't feel totally comfortable with anything that lasts longer than thirty seconds."
"Okay, Captain, message understood!" Rhona replied, feigning a military salute.
Judy nodded, her mouth opening to form a pink oval as she bent her head towards Rhona. Their lips met in a kiss that was tentative at first, until Judy's uncertainty gave way to a rush of unexpected passion. Her tongue and Rhona's entwined in a swirling, slippery dance that slithered around teeth and gums. Small moaning noises whimpered in Judy's throat as her hand moved from the bare exposed skin above Rhona's jeans to crawl beneath the black T-shirt. Rhona gasped through the kiss when warm fingertips caressed her ribs, and she gasped again when a lone finger touched the underside of her bra.
"Oh my God!" Christine exclaimed, staring in amazement at the outlined shape of Judy's hand moving under the T-shirt. The hand reached Rhona's right breast and paused briefly, perhaps in hesitation, before enveloping the perky orb in a tender clasp.
"Don't stop!" Judy hissed desperately, when her friend broke suddenly from the kiss. "Please don't stop!"
"You'll regret it, if we continue," Rhona protested, reluctantly removing Judy's hand from her bosom. "This little game might spoil everything, if it goes too far."
Judy drew back, sitting upright on the sofa but looking rather dejected and forlorn. "What's wrong? You seemed like you were enjoying it?"
"That's the whole point," Rhona replied, ruffling her short black hair with her left hand. "That's why it had to stop. Anyway, you got what you needed for your competition."
"True," said Christine, sitting up to stare across at Judy. "We now know which of us is the best kisser."
Judy nodded, giving a soft sigh as she whispered: "It's you, Rhona."
"Me?" came the bewildered response. "But I'm only the umpire, not a competitor."
"Judy's right," said Christine. "Your kiss is definitely the best on the planet."
Rhona grinned at her friends and said: "I feel flattered. These nice compliments almost make me want to demand a replay of the game. Luckily for you, my friends, I am not quite drunk enough to make such a bold request."
"Maybe so," Judy murmured. "But I have supped twice as much wine as you, which means I'm drunk enough to ask for anything."
"Be careful what you say," Rhona replied, with a smile and a wink. "Don't forget you're a happily married woman. What will your husband say if he.....?" Her words were suddenly muffled by Judy's lips as the blonde leaned over to resume the kiss. At first, Rhona's startled eyes stared in surprise, before closing slowly with a flutter of dark lashes. Again, she felt a hand groping beneath her T-shirt, but this time she offered no resistance.
"Looks like we got our replay!" said Christine.