One of my favorite books this year has been the Elements of Chemistry series by the fabulously funny Penny Reid. I just had a blast reading it. I felt good… happy. It was the kind of experience that made me laugh and giggle, smile and swoon. It had it all! If you haven’t read it, you need to stop right now and one-click this right here, because as of today, you can get all three installments in one bundled set! And this morning, I’m super honored to host an extra scene in Martin’s POV!!! I loved it! So deliciously dirty-minded Martin! Read on, friends!
What’s the worst that could happen?
Kaitlyn Parker has no problem being the invisible girl, which is why she finds herself hiding in various cabinets and closets all over her college campus. Despite her best efforts, she can’t escape the notice of Martin Sandeke—bad boy, jerkface bully, and the universe’s hottest, wealthiest, and most unobtainable bachelor—who also happens to be Kaitlyn’s chemistry lab partner.
Kaitlyn might be the only girl who isn’t interested in exploiting his stunning rower’s build, chiseled features, and family’s billionaire fortune. Kaitlyn wants Martin for his brain, specifically to tabulate findings of trace elements in surface water.
When Kaitlyn saves Martin from a nefarious plot, Martin uses the opportunity to push Kaitlyn out of her comfort zone: spring break, one week, house parties, bathing suits, and suntan lotion. Can she overcome her aversion to being noticed? Will he be able grow beyond his self-centered nature? Or, despite their obvious chemistry, will Martin be the one to drive Kaitlyn into the science cabinet of obscurity for good?
Something Extra… Early Reactions
Right now she’s reaching into the equipment cabinet and I’m watching her bend over. I crane my neck, tilting my head to the side as she leans further forward. I’m checking out her ass. This might be my only chance.
For the first time since meeting Kaitlyn Parker three weeks ago, she is wearing something that actually allows me to see she has an ass and tits and a waist and legs. I’m certain she has no idea she possesses an ass and tits and a waist and legs. Because if she did know, she’d use them. Especially her tits. Christ almighty, her tits are perfect.
From what I know about this girl, I’m pretty sure she is more intimate with her TI-89 graphing calculator than she is with her body. And that’s a fucking travesty.
I’m also positive she has no clue every move she’s making is making me crazy. If she did, then she’d use that too. I readjust myself on the stool; my jeans are suddenly too tight.
It’s her red pants. Or it’s the white tank top. I’m not sure which. Maybe it’s the broken air conditioner in the building. The window is open but it’s not enough. Whatever the reason, this chick is getting me hot, and all she’s doing is looking through a goddamn science cabinet.
“I can’t find the graduated cylinders.” Kaitlyn straightens, places her hands on her narrow waist, and turns toward the shelves on the far wall. “Do you see the cylinders?”
“You mean the test tubes?” I’m being purposefully stupid. I’m hoping it’ll make her look at me, because she never looks at me.
I’m awarded for my pretend ignorance. Her blue-gray eyes cut to mine and I see she’s irritated. “Never mind. Forget I asked.”
Kaitlyn looks back to the shelves. She’s studying them, frowning.
I know where the graduated cylinders are. They’re on the bottom shelf, all the way to the right, hidden by two large beakers. Usually I’d tell her where they are. Not today.
Today she’s wearing tight red pants and a white tank top. The longer she stands there searching the shelves, the longer I get to watch her twist at the waist and grumble with frustration. I’ve never seen her look so much like a girl, and I have to be honest, it’s like an early Christmas present. Really early, Christmas in September early.
My attention briefly flickers to the safety shower in the corner and I picture her beneath it. I’m not saying I have plans to injure or endanger this girl, but maybe I could switch out the HCl with vinegar and manufacture an emergency rinse off. A medically necessary wet T-shirt contest with one contestant.
I chew on my pen, examining her body as she searches for the cylinders, and I try to picture what she’d look like in just her bra and underwear. I’m guessing they’re plain white cotton, or beige, or maybe they have little purple and pink flowers.
I wonder what she’d do if I asked her to take off her clothes and show me. Or maybe take off the bra, too. Better yet, take everything off.
She’d probably punch me in the face. This thought makes me smile because a punch in the face might be worth her outraged expression. Then again, she might not be as much of an anomaly as I’m thinking. Maybe her intelligence and indifference is an act, and she’s just like all the others. Maybe, if I asked her to strip she’d do it, want me to buy her something expensive, and then ask how far to bend over.
This thought makes me both frown and grow harder.
I need to know. I need to know if she’s the same as everyone else. I lick my bottom lip, the question is on the tip of my tongue, when she speaks.
“This is ridiculous,” then adds under her breath, “Absurd, inexplicable, odd, strange, bizarre…”
I stay quiet because she’s now lifting her long, brown hair away from her neck and twisting it on the top of her head. She reaches into her pants pocket and takes out a pen. I watch with rapt fascination as she miraculously secures her hair in place with a writing utensil.
Mostly though, I’m staring at the skin of her shoulders, back, and neck. Her pen-hair trick has left an expanse of perfect creamy skin exposed. I devour the unblemished region with my eyes, for some fucking reason, my mouth starts watering. I’m finding it hard to look away from the elegance of her collarbone.
“Without the cylinders we can’t do the experiment,” she says, a hint of resignation in her voice. “I’ll email Ryan and tell him there are no cylinders.”
Kaitlyn turns from the shelf, her face scrunched in a frown, and I see she’s intent on her bag. She’s planning on leaving. The ruse is up.
Mourning the end of my ogling, I point with my pen. “Aren’t those the cylinders?”
She follows my line of sight and squints at the oversized beakers. I see the moment she spots the containers because her eyebrows jump on her forehead and she smiles.
She smiles at lab equipment like it makes her happy. She also strokes it sometimes. Last week she kept fingering the test tubes so I took them away, moved them out of her reach. She didn’t object, just gave me a dirty look while she punched the buttons of her graphing calculator with more force than necessary.
Kaitlyn keeps the table between us as she sets the three cylinders on the black top. I have a suspicion she keeps her distance purposefully because last week every time I walked around to her side, she found a reason to move to the spot I just left.
“In this experiment, you will standardize a solution of base using the analytical technique known as titration. Using this standardized solution, you will determine the acid neutralizing power of a commercially available antacid tablet,” she reads aloud from the chem lab handout.
She’s assuming correctly that I haven’t read the experiment outline, which is irritating. She thinks I’m stupid, I can tell. A big dumb jock. Usually I don’t care, and I don’t precisely care now…
Actually, inexplicably, I do care.
So I grunt, “I can read, Parker.”
“Oh, good. That should come in handy.” She’s still looking at the handout as she says this.
Her tone, like she’s congratulating me on my ability to read, almost makes me laugh. Almost.
“You don’t need to read the experiment to me.”
“I’m not reading it to you, I’m reading it to me.”
“Yes. I’m an auditory learner.” I watch her attention dart over the chemical formulas on the handout. But then she surprises me by abruptly lifting her eyes to mine and asking, “What kind of learner are you?”
I have her gaze for the first time in three weeks and my mind blanks, so I repeat, “What kind of learner?”
“Yes,” her smile is tentative but friendly, again catching me off guard, “how do you learn best?”
I hold her stare—which can only be described as genuinely curious—for a full five seconds and I’m at a loss; I don’t know what to do. I get the distinct impression she doesn’t want anything from me except to know how I learn best. I don’t know why, but this question feels too personal.
Therefore, instinct kicks in and I allow a slow, meaningful smile to spread over my face before responding, “I’m more the touchy-feely type.”
Her eyes dim and her mouth flattens, like my response is wrong or she’s disappointed, and I see I’ve lost her again even though she says, “That’s kinesthetic learning.”
“You do much kinesthetic learning?” I’m flirting, or I’m trying to. But all I can think is: This is stupid.
Especially when she responds to my question with, “Not since pre-school.”
… ahhh fuck.
She’s turned her attention back to the handout. A foreign sensation makes my chest uncomfortable, like I’ve lost something important. I stare at her pretty profile and wonder why I care whether or not this girl thinks I’m an idiot.
However, I’m glad I didn’t ask her to strip, because now I’m convinced she wouldn’t have punched me in the face. I think she would have just shut down, ignored me, and then asked me to pass her the hydrochloric acid.
“In order to determine when a solution has been exactly neutralized, an acid base indicator is used that changes color in a certain pH range…” her words are softer this time and it’s clear she’s reading to herself, like I’m not even there.
And so the hour passes. Kaitlyn Parker goes through the motions of the experiment and I try to keep my boner hidden, all the while imagining her reaching into my pants and rubbing me off.
While topless… Fuck it, while naked.
These fantasies are sometimes interrupted by her being just too goddamn brilliant for her bra size. Today she quickly works through a difficult equation and solves for an unexpected outcome. The problem is, each time she demonstrates how clever she is, and how ambivalent she is to my presence, the fantasy grows dirtier.
By the end of lab we’ve already fucked three times, she’s had six enthusiastic orgasms, and I’ve come in her smart mouth twice. Of course, she swallows like it’s candy.
In reality, however, I’m sporting an angry hard-on, unable to lift my eyes past her tits, and she’s still ambivalent to my presence. I’ve basically become the idiot she assumes I am.
Welcome to my Friday.
I think back, trying to remember a time when I was half this preoccupied with a girl. I can’t. Even after I leave I’ll still be thinking about her mouth and what it would look like sucking me off. I close my eyes briefly, indulging, and imaginary Kaitlyn says something about copper chloride solution just before she takes the flat of her tongue and licks me from shaft to head.
Clenching my jaw, I force myself to clear the image from my mind because I need to walk to my next class in less than a half hour. This girl is clearly smart, beautiful, and I’m halfway convinced she either doesn’t know who I am or doesn’t care, honestly and truly doesn’t give two fucks. And I’m close to suffocating in my need to touch her.
“I’ll put away the equipment,” she says unnecessarily. She always puts away the equipment.
I should offer to help but my throbbing dick protests the idea of walking, or any movement not involving satisfaction and relief. I watch her bend and reach into the science cabinet again; strangely, all I can think about is how I won’t see her again for another week.
This thought leads me to say without thinking, “You should give me your number.”
Yes, these words are unpremeditated, but I’m not sorry for them. If anything I’m feeling like an idiot for not asking prior to now.
Kaitlyn frowns, like maybe I just asked her for an organ donation, and doesn’t look at me. She says nothing, as though if she pretends I didn’t speak then she won’t have to answer. The only sound in the chem lab is her packing up. This lasts for a full minute.
I know she heard me and I know she has an excellent grasp of the English language. By now it’s clear she has no intention of responding.
So I decide to push. “Parker, give me your cell number.”
She stiffens, stands straighter, and stares at her bag like it has the answers to our midterm.
But then she waves her hand through the air and says, “Nah.”
I feel my eyebrows inch higher on my forehead. “Nah?”
Nah. What the fuck does that mean?
“Does that mean ‘no’?”
“Nah means no,” she says offhandedly while she moves to grab one of the graduated cylinders and takes it back to the shelf.
I’m not surprised.
This has never happened to me before. Never. When I was seventeen I asked the twenty-eight-year-old wife of a diplomat for her phone number. She wrote it on my hand with her lipstick. Usually I don’t have to ask at all.
Therefore I can’t help but press further. “Why not?”
Kaitlyn loiters in front of the equipment shelf like she’s cataloging its contents; still not looking at me, she answers, “I don’t give it out.”
“You don’t give out your cell phone number?” Like a dumbass, I can only repeat her words.
“It’s one of my life rules.”
“So, no one has your phone number?”
“I didn’t say that. I didn’t see you record the findings today. Do you need to borrow my notes?”
Her tight tone tells me my pushing is making her uncomfortable. And this makes me grit my teeth. I don’t want to make her uncomfortable, I just want her to give me the time of day. Also maybe spend a week with her on a deserted island. Naked. Fucking.
And talking… I blink at this last unbidden thought.
I haven’t recovered from the notion that my interest in Kaitlyn Parker might be something more than carnal when she shoves several papers at me.
“Here, these are my notes from today. Just leave them in the lab cabinet when you’re done, under the Bunsen burner tray.”
“Under the tray?” I repeat… like a dumbass.
“Yes.” She hitches her backpack higher and moves around me toward the door, tossing over her shoulder, “If you need to tell me something just use on-campus email or leave a note in the science cabinet.”
I turn to watch her go. “Nobody checks their on-campus email.”
I see her shoulders shrug but she doesn’t answer. Then, like she can’t get away from me fast enough, she’s gone.
I stare after her, at the empty doorway, for an embarrassingly long time. I’m hoping she forgot something and she’ll come back. When she doesn’t and I realize what I’m doing, I shake my head, disgusted with myself, and glance at the notes she’s given me.
Her handwriting is neat, small, all capital letters, and it looks like she’s used a ruler for her graphs. Not knowing why, I flip through all five pages, admiring the faultless logic seemingly intrinsic to her thoughts. But then my attention catches on a faint, errant doodle on the third page, what looks like notes to a song run along the top of the paper.
She didn’t use a ruler for the lines and the notes aren’t neat. They’re messy. And she’s tried to erase them.
Fantasies of my hands cupping her perfect tits fade, and I imagine her playing music. I deliberate what instrument she uses. Now I’m imagining asking her about the song. I wonder what she’d do if I asked her to play music for me.
Admitting the frustrating truth to myself, I know she’d ignore me, ignore the question. This thought pisses me off and I don’t like that I’m thinking about Kaitlyn Parker in terms other than her perfect tits.
The uneasiness is back, an uncomfortable sense that I’ve lost something. I fold the notes, stuff them in my backpack, and decide to skip my next class to go on a run instead. A really long run. Followed by ten thousand meters on the erg.
I also decide I’m going to stop torturing myself. I’ll just stop fantasizing about this girl—the gap between her front teeth, her eyes that aren’t quite blue or grey, how she strums her fingers on the lab table and recites synonyms when she’s flustered, her flawless reasoning and impressive intellect, and relentless willingness to be helpful—because this girl isn’t interested in me. Why waste my time?
Yeah, I’ll stop fantasizing about Kaitlyn Parker.
… just as soon as this semester ends.
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