Putting It to the Test

By: Lori Borrill

1




I TEND TO BE conservative when it comes to sex.

Carly Abrams studied the survey option, wondering if she should answer based on her actual sex life or the one she really wanted. So far in her twenty-six years she hadn’t exactly pushed any sexual boundaries. But that wasn’t her fault. She simply hadn’t connected with any adventurous men. Give her the right partner with the right moves at the right time, and a very kinky side of Carly Abrams could make a flashing debut. The fact that it hadn’t happened yet shouldn’t be held against her, should it?

“No, it shouldn’t,” she muttered, then clicked the box titled Disagree. She briefly paused over Strongly Disagree, thinking if she was making a sexual admission, she might as well go all the way, but decided to leave it be. It was pointless to overanalyze the questions. Though this was a matchmaking survey, she wouldn’t be finding any soul mates on the design team at Hall Technologies. This was only an exercise to select the two Web designers who would be assigned to the company’s latest client, Singles Inc., an online matchmaking and dating service in need of a fresh new Web site.

A number of firms had vied for the account, Singles Inc. attracting some of the biggest names in advertising and Web design. But though Hall Technologies was no leader in the industry, Brayton Hall had landed the account with his unconventional style and his concepts about becoming one with the client, which in this case included using the client’s compatibility survey to select the project’s design team.

Everyone who wanted a shot at the job had to fill it out, though employees had the option of skipping any questions they felt uncomfortable answering.

Like this next one.

When it comes to sex, nothing’s too far out for me. Bring on the toys, tie me up and invite a friend to join us. “The wilder, the better” is my motto.

Well, if she were looking to connect with adventurous men, this would certainly be the way to do it.

Fidgeting with the hem of her canary-yellow tunic, she stared at the screen and smiled. Wouldn’t Mr. Hall keel over if she strongly agreed to that statement? Not that she expected him to read the answers. They’d made a big deal out of mentioning that Singles Inc. would tally the results and that no one at Hall Technologies would be privy to detailed information.

Still, if he did, it would be a riot. Ms. Sally Sunshine, as she was often regarded, coming out of her tidy closet to reveal a fetish for bondage, dildos and threesomes. Just the image of Mr. Hall’s reaction had her clicking Strongly Agree for fun and tempting herself to leave it that way. Of course, it wouldn’t be true. Though toys and bondage might have raided her fantasies, she couldn’t quite make the jump into threesomes—and she could hardly cop to the label of “wild” if she’d never even broached “moderate.”

Yet she couldn’t help staring at her answer as if she were trying the idea on for size.

“When it comes to sex, nothing’s too—”

The low, sultry voice over her shoulder caused her to jump and slap a hand to the screen.

Please don’t let that be who she thought it was.

“—far out for me.”

Oh, heck. It was. Matt Jacobs, the bane of her existence, the thorn in her professional side. The star of your sexual fantasies.

Oh, no. Scratch that last errant thought. Matt Jacobs was most definitely not her sexual fantasy. In fact, the only fantasy she had of Matt involved him making a fool out of himself in front of as many people as possible, getting fired, packing up his belongings and tripping over the threshold on his way out the door.

Yeah, now there’s a fantasy to get hot about.

Frowning, she tossed over her shoulder, “Do you mind?” But instead of backing off, he moved in closer and chuckled lightheartedly, filling her space with the sound of his voice and sending a tingle through her veins that exposed that last thought as a lie.

Okay, so maybe she was still harboring a few remnants of the crush she’d developed two years ago, back when he’d first swaggered into Hall Technologies from their rival design firm, Web Tactics. He’d been a noted acquisition for Hall, and Carly, as the lead Web programmer, had been sold on his arrival. The two were supposed to have formed a team, working together to tackle the biggest projects that came through the door. But that was before he waltzed in and told management he could do it alone, knocking her off their first project and snagging every other good account that had come in since.

That she’d actually held a torch for the man embarrassed her, that the torch still hadn’t gone out dismayed her. And that he’d picked this precise moment to pay her a visit took the cake entirely. This could go down as a banner moment in Carly Abrams’s life if he’d actually seen her answer to the survey question. It was bad enough he’d rejected her; now only the ninth-grade belching incident could top the humiliation of Matt Jacobs thinking she was into extreme kinky sex.

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