Indecent Experiment(5)

By: Megan Hart

“Ten bucks says they go home together,” the woman beside him said, watching her friend rub her crotch against Damian’s. “And that’s a sucker bet.”

He grinned at her, but she was already shaking her head and putting some money on the bar. She gave him a slight smile as she passed by him, but that was it. He watched her say something to her friend, who pretty much ignored her, and then she left the bar.

Matt finished his beer and left, too. He didn’t want to be out too late. He didn’t want to be tired for his first session.

For the experiment.

Melissa had gone over the list again and again, folding and refolding the paper so many times it was now creased and faded in spots from the heat and sweat of her palms. Not a great thing, sweaty hands, particularly since the first instructions on the list were “hand holding.”

How bad could this be? she thought as she checked herself in the bathroom mirror one more time before she headed out into the lab for the first meeting with her…well, whatever he was going to be. Partner. Future lover? She shuddered, not entirely in revulsion, at the thought.

There weren’t going to be any introductions from Randy or Ada. Once Melissa and the unknown guy were in the room together, the experiment was considered officially begun. There wasn’t supposed to be any additional information given to either one of them, and they weren’t supposed to meet up outside of the lab, either. If they did bump into each other, they weren’t supposed to acknowledge each other. She couldn’t imagine anything more awkward than pretending not to know somebody she’d potentially been playing tonsil hockey with the night before.

On second thought, maybe it would be more awkward to try to make small talk.

Melissa was the first one in the room, and glad of it. She had time to check it out and make herself comfortable, scope out the space and sort of claim her territory. In one corner was a large bed with a nice comforter and a few comfy-looking pillows. Nothing fancy, but certainly adequate…she shivered a little, though not with chill. Heat tickled her cheeks. Silly, really. It was just a bed.

The soft-looking overstuffed sofa was the only other furniture in the room, along with a thick, plush rug and two small end tables with lamps on them. She didn’t get the purpose of the lamps at first, what with the heavy-duty fluorescent lights providing more than ample light from overhead, but then she got it.

Mood lighting.

All at once this was scarier than she’d thought it would be. She smoothed her hair, then the hem of her blouse, the front of her skirt. She’d dressed nicely, but not too nice. Nothing too low cut or short, nothing too clingy.

Shit. This was—

The door opened and a man ducked in. She caught a glimpse of broad shoulders before he looked up at her with eyes she couldn’t have said were green or brown from this distance, only that they were not brilliant blue, the color she’d noted as her favorite. Nor did he have thick dark hair falling rakishly over his forehead. Instead, he wore his sandy hair in a short cut that emphasized his face—not an unpleasant face, but certainly nothing she’d have bookmarked on her computer to use as her desktop wallpaper. Not cover-model material.

Also, not entirely unfamiliar. It took her a few seconds to figure out where she’d seen him. Ah, the bar just last night when Gina was wriggling around with his friend. They hadn’t said more than a few words to each other, and only those for social nicety. And this was the guy they’d picked out for her?


He looked just as surprised to see her, and the blatant way he looked her up and down made Melissa’s cheeks heat. She lifted her chin and crossed her arms. Okay, so maybe she wasn’t cover-model material, either.

“Hi, I’m Matt.” He held out his hand and she took it to shake way too firmly.

“Melissa,” she said.

They stared at each other in silence for a second. So much for her request for “a great conversationalist,” she thought. He was taller than she was, but not by the five or six inches she’d listed as an attribute that melted her butter. Matt stood maybe five foot ten or so, just an inch or two over her. So far, nothing about him seemed at all what she’d said she liked best.

“We met last night,” she offered.

Matt snapped his fingers. “Right, right. Wow. Did your friend make it home okay?”

“I don’t know,” Melissa said with a laugh. “Did yours?”

“Good point. I don’t know. So…” Matt said, and let the word hang.

“So,” Melissa repeated, then figured she ought to take charge, or else this wasn’t going to go anywhere. “You got the instructions, right?”

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