Properties of Solutions - Elements of Chemistry (Part 1) ATTRACTION (2015)

Elements of Chemistry (Part 1) ATTRACTION (2015)


Chapter 10. Properties of Solutions

ONCE AGAIN, SAM and I took dinner in my room.

It took me a while to recover from…


That’s how I thought about it in my brain.


It was all capital letters, followed by a ridiculous number of exclamation points. In the past I’d tried to bring myself to satisfaction any number of times and always failed, which was why I’d done so much research about the sex act. I thought if I could read enough about the subject I would eventually find the key to…wait for it…


I didn’t expect it to render me speechless, but it did, and for several hours. Luckily and bewilderingly, Martin also seemed to require recovery time. Neither of us spoke afterward, not in the cove, not on the walk back to the golf cart, not on the ride back to the estate.

Although, some barrier between us had been shattered, because he seemed to feel at liberty to kiss me and touch me whenever and however he wanted, and I let him because I quite simply needed the post-orgasm reassurance and touching. It felt necessary and natural and I craved it.

Before wordlessly retying my halter, he lavished my breasts and shoulders with hot, wet kisses—fondling my body like it was his with which to play and explore as he liked. As we left the cove, he pulled me into his arms and kissed me until I was climbing him breathlessly. During the duration of the drive in the golf cart, he placed one possessive hand on my thigh, then caressed my bottom greedily as we walked to the house.

Once inside, he caught my hand and spun me around until we were pressed against each other from knees to chests, and he kissed me again, his hands smoothing down my neck, then shoulders, arms, waist, and hips.

When we finally separated, he wore a deeply satisfied smile and his eyes glowed like they had in the cove.

Then he spoke. “Go clean up. Take this.”

I glanced down at the basket he was holding. It was the picnic we hadn’t eaten. I took it then returned my gaze to his.

“You should eat something,” he said.

I nodded obediently.

His smile grew. “Are you ever going to speak again?”

I blinked at him then shrugged my I don’t know.

Speak? Speak? What was that?

He laughed, pulled me in for another hug, and kissed the top of my head. His eyes were happy as he sent me on my way with a low, “See you at dinner.”

But I didn’t see him at dinner. I ate in my room with Sam because my mind caught up with what had happened while I took my shower. I felt the soreness between my legs and reality crashed over me like a tempestuous waterfall. The world came into sharp focus. I reached for the wall of the shower to steady myself.

His fingers hadn’t been gentle, hence the soreness. And as I reflected on the events in the cove, I recognized that everything about him—his touch, his words, his kisses—had been dictatorial, forceful, and domineering. He may have given me my very first orgasm, but he’d taken something as well.

And he knew it. He’d known it while it was happening.

Adding to my confused state, I saw in the bathroom mirror that he’d left bite marks and hickies on my skin - two on my neck, and one on the underside of my right breast. They looked like evidence. Like they’d been placed there purposefully.

I needed time to marinate in the events, to accept it had happened, to decide what it meant, to figure out why I’d let it happen, and to determine whether it was a good thing or a bad thing.

I didn’t panic. But I did remember that the blood of a thousand virgins had been sacrificed at the altar of his sexual prowess.

A cold lump gathered in my stomach, comprised of confusion and uneasiness, and I dressed in sweatpants and a large T-shirt.

Sam stopped by about an hour later—found me curled on my giant bed staring out the window to the sea. Though I knew she noticed the purple marks on my neck, she seemed to sense I didn’t want to talk, and I was grateful when she suggested we eat dinner then study in my room. I’d brought my class-specific notebooks, to which I had an unhealthy attachment, therefore I was all for getting down to study town.

My notebooks were soothing to me. Just seeing my hand-written notes was like going back in time to the day of the lecture. They gave me confidence. They made me feel like I might actually be capable of acing tests. They were the brain-spinach to my Popeye the sailor man.

As well, I didn’t really want to face Martin’s teammates with hickies, obvious evidence of what we’d done. I wasn’t regretful or embarrassed, but it felt private, sacred to me. I didn’t want to share what had transpired with a room full of near strangers, especially with Ben the leering douche-bucket.

Therefore, Sam and I sat on the balcony and munched on salmon cakes, garden salad, and asparagus, between chapters and class notes of vector calculus and European history. At sunset we went for a walk on the beach. She told me about her day, wherein she swam with Eric then convinced him to play tennis with her.

Of course she kicked his ass.

I didn’t ask her whether she liked him and she didn’t ask me what was going on with Martin. In a lot of ways Sam and I were similar. When real, weighty feelings were involved, we both found vocalizing unformed thoughts difficult. I think we both needed time to figure out our own stuff before talking it through with each other.

During our walk we decided to share my giant bed again, so she went off in search of her PJs, while I grabbed the tray with our dirty dishes and wandered around the house in search of the kitchen. I needed tea, not to mention cookies.

In the kitchen I encountered the chef—a red-cheeked, red-haired, red-nosed woman in her sixties named Irma, and her aide—a similarly red-cheeked, red-haired, red-nosed forty-something woman, Tamra—who I suspected was Irma’s daughter. They gently admonished me for clearing my own dishes then promised to bring me up tea, milk, and cookies. I asked for directions back to my room, and Tamra offered to show me the way.

Upon my request, she was showing me the most direct path, rather than the scenic route, as I suspected I would make several stealthy trips to the kitchen during my stay. I probed her for answers about the house as we walked, and learned it had been acquired by Mr. Sandeke senior—Martin’s father—ten or so years ago. The staff came with the house. I also learned Tamra was divorced and childless, and had moved down to work with her mother some four years prior.

They lived at the house in staff quarters year round and fed the rest of the staff daily—most of whom were also employed year round. However, Mr. Thompson and Mrs. Greenstone were also responsible for several other extensive family properties in England, Italy, Switzerland, Thailand, Japan, New Zealand, and the United States. They traveled with the family and always opened the houses for Martin and his parents wherever they went.

We turned into the long hallway that led to my suite when Tamra stopped—walking and talking—suddenly, then took a step back.

“Oh! Mr. Sandeke.” Tamra turned toward me, gave me a tight smile, then walked off without another word.

I watched her go, a bit perplexed by how suddenly she fled her employer.

When I turned back to my door I understood why. Martin’s eyes were deep blue pools of unhappiness and his jaw was set in a firm, grim line.

“Where have you been?”

My eyebrows ticked upward—because his demanding question made me want to junk punch him—then lowered—because I remembered he now had carnal knowledge of me and I’d not joined him for dinner like we’d agreed.

Also, despite his grumpy tone and face, my body apparently wanted him to give me the rough treatment again, because it melted and hummed under his scowl of dissatisfaction.

I straightened my spine, giving my body a mental slap aimed at sobriety, and lifted my chin.

I was careful to keep my voice nice and steady. “I’ve been cavorting with the servants.”

“Cavorting,” he repeated, his tone flat. But I was pleased to see the granite-like edge to his jaw soften and his eyes lose their harsh glint.

“Yes. Cavorting for cookies. I wandered the halls for a while, got lost, then eventually found the kitchen.” I said this while walking toward him as casually as I was able, then entered my room, leaving the door open behind me in a silent invitation.

He took the invite and closed the door as he followed. I heard him sigh before he demanded, “Why weren’t you at dinner?”

“Sam and I decided to get some studying done. And I was tired.” I crossed to the sitting area by the big window and plopped down in a chair, then gave him a small, friendly smile. “How are the boys? Quite recovered from the perils of traveling via private plane, limo and yacht, and practice this morning?”

Some of the sharpness re-entered his gaze and he crossed his arms over his chest. “You would prefer to fly commercial?”

“Of course not. I’d prefer not to fly at all. I insist you teleport me the next time we take a vacation to paradise.”

He finally cracked a smile and crossed to where I sat. He examined me for a moment in silence, then took the chair next to mine. He eased into it, all fluid grace, long limbs, and coiled power.

“The next time?” he asked, and I was pleased to hear his voice held a hint of teasing.

“Of course. I’ve decided that you and I are going to be best friends, just as long as you keep me in a steady supply of salmon cakes.”

“And cookies.”

“Yes. And cookies.” I bent my elbow on the high, cushioned arm of the chair and rested my cheek against my hand, let my eyes move over his handsome features and found him watching me, his eyes intent.

His mouth curved into a smirk that was mirrored in his stare. “And dancing lessons?”

I grew very still, my eyes locked on his, because by dancing lessons, I knew he meant orgasms. Probably mutual orgasms. And lots of them.

I swallowed thickly, and heat traveled up my chest to my neck. The cold lump in my stomach seemed to balloon and press against my lungs. I thought about the marks on my skin and the soreness between my legs, reminders of how physical intimacy with Martin had been exciting and satisfying, but also extremely intense and a little scary. Maybe too intense.

He reached for my hand where it rested against my cheek and I stiffened, straightened, and yanked it away, opting instead to twist my fingers together on my lap. I also tore my gaze from his and stared at the floor.

We were silent for a stretch as I tried to figure out what to say, how to respond. This was problematic as I didn’t know what to say or how to respond.

“Look at me.”

I tried to swallow again but experienced a swallow misfire, and released a shaky breath. “Martin…” I covered my face with my hands. My cheeks were hot and I shook my head.

“Kaitlyn, if you tell me you regret what happened...” His voice was low, sounded tight and barely controlled.

“I don’t regret it,” I blurted, because it was true. I didn’t regret it. I liked it, a lot. And I wanted to do it again.

I peered at him from between my fingers, found him watching me, his jaw set and his eyes fierce. When I spoke it was muffled by my palms pressed to my mouth. “I don’t regret it. But I don’t know how to feel about it because it was a little scary.”

His gaze grew introspective, like he was searching his memory, and I noted his forehead was marred with wrinkles of concern. “Scary? How so?”

I tried to distance myself from the conversation and approach it with pragmatic analysis. “Well, I think the first true ‘sexual experience’ for any girl is going to be frightening, so there is that. But also…well…I’m sore. And you left bruises on my hip and bites on my neck. You were quite intense and I liked that a lot, but you weren’t very…gentle.”

He blinked rapidly and a flicker of something like dismay clouded his features. He studied me with pensive unhappiness. Then his head fell backward to the cushion of the chair and his chest expanded with a large breath. “Goddammit.”

He looked angry.

“Are you…mad?” I asked, my hands dropping to my lap as I studied his face for a clue. I couldn’t believe he was angry. For heaven’s sake, I was new at this, at all of this.

He closed his eyes for a full five seconds, then said, “I didn’t mean to hurt you, not at all. I don’t want to hurt you.”

I examined him, how upset he was, and realized that irritation was pointed inward. “Can you be—I mean—is it possible for you to be less rough?”

He lifted his head, his eyes opening and I saw his determination before he spoke. “Yes. You have my word. That won’t happen again.”

I got the sense he was disappointed in himself…very curious.

“I didn’t say that exactly. I mean,” I cleared my throat, trying to quash my nervousness, because it was weird doing a post-orgasm analysis with Martin Sandeke, “so, just to be clear, it was good. It was all very good. I liked what happened…earlier. My pants liked it too. But, as much as my pants want to get this party started, I’m very new to all of this.” I emphasized all of this by waving my hands over my pelvis then waving them in the direction of his entire body.

Some of his dismay gave way to amusement. “I know.”

“I’m not saying the rough was bad, and I’m not ruling it out for future interludes—if there are future interludes—as long as I get to be rough sometimes too.”

His gaze abruptly heated and his eyes narrowed, sharpened. I ignored this because the idea of getting rough with Martin was…epically arousing. I rushed to continue, “I’m just suggesting that, if this happens again—”

“When it happens again.”

“—you go a little easier on me until I know how to do this thing.”

He nodded and I was pleased to see him relax a bit more.

We stared at each other for a beat, and the air felt ripe and heavy. He was watching me as though he were imagining these future interludes, planning and preparing for them.

“I just wish—”

“What do you wish?”

A sudden idea occurred to me and I embraced it before I could think too much about the ramifications; I assumed he’d reject the idea outright, which is why I blurted it. “Heck, let’s go all in. If we’re going to give it a try, we might as well really give it a try. I think we should throw caution to the wind and label each other as girlfriend and boyfriend. Ala, Have you met Martin? He’s my boyfriend. I’m Parker, his girlfriend. We’re together in the biblical sense of the word, sans the sacrament.

He stared at me for five full seconds, obviously caught off guard by my suggestion, but then he surprised me by reaching forward, and with a sure and smooth movement, pulled me onto his lap. I stumbled and basically fell into him. Meanwhile his hands cradled my face, his thumbs caressed the line of my jaw, and his eyes moved almost reverently from the progress of his fingers to my lips.

“Parker,” his voice was a rumbly, growly whisper, laced with warning, “don’t say it unless you mean it.”

Well, crap. Bluff called.

I licked my lips—a nervous habit—which had the byproduct of turning his aqua eyes darker. He looked…greedy.

“Martin, this is nuts. You don’t need or want a girlfriend.”

“I want you.”

Gah! Right in the feels!

He felt comfortable touching me, that much was clear. But I hesitated to touch him. I didn’t want to touch him when he wasn’t really mine; because when this was over, I wouldn’t be allowed to touch him anymore. Then I would have lost something.

Therefore, I crossed my arms over my chest and shook my head.

“Let’s talk about our differences,” I said, hoping a well-reasoned argument would make some kind of dent in his crazy fixation.

Again, he ground his teeth; his hands slipped away from my face and his arms wrapped around me, as though to keep me from leaving.

“Yesterday, back in the limo,” I said, firming my resolve, “and then on the boat, and then when we left the marina, you did this thing where you gave the other guys dirty looks for talking to me.”

Martin stared at me, betraying nothing of his thoughts.

“I feel pretty confident in stating that you’re…well, you’re interested in me and it’s not platonic. Therefore, your behavior felt as though you were marking your territory. I’ve never had a guy do that before, but maybe I’m misreading the situation…?”

He cleared his throat again. “You’re not.”

“I didn’t like it.”

“You didn’t like it?”

“No. I didn’t. It made me feel like, I don’t know, like I was Chinese leftovers and you didn’t want anyone to sample me.”

“I don’t want anyone to sample you.”

“But I’m not food. I get to say who samples and who doesn’t.”

“I thought most girls liked it when guys were possessive.”

“Really?” I asked this because I really didn’t think so; then I shook my head. “No. At least…well, at least I don’t think so, not like that. It’s like, why would I want to be with someone who doesn’t trust me to be loyal? I’m not a buffet. Guys can’t sample the lo mien just because I’m standing there. I get a vote in who eats my noodles.”

“I trust you,” he said quickly, his gaze darting to mine then away. “After Friday night, what you did, I think I trust you more than anyone.”

Oh, gah! He sounded so…sincere. I ached for him, because I believed him and it made me sad. How was it possible I was the most trustworthy person in his life? How heartbreaking was that?

Unable to help myself and spurred by a sudden desire to touch him, I placed my hands on his shoulders. “Martin, it’s just, I don’t have much experience with dating or having a boyfriend. I’ve had one, but he wasn’t…well, he didn’t count. I’m not really sure how it works—”

“I have even less experience than you.”

I glared at him. “That’s a lie.”

“No. It’s not. I’ve never…,” he cleared his throat, “…you’re the first girl I’ve wanted…like this.” He sounded enormously frustrated and his fingers dug into my hip and ribs where he held me. When he spoke next it was through gritted teeth. “I just wish you’d be less stubborn.”

“You can’t always have your way.”

“I know that. If I had my way we’d be naked right now in the ocean or…shit, doing anything other than discussing more reasons why you don’t think this is going to work.”

My instinct was to pacify him, reach forward and soothe his bad temper, promise I would stop being difficult and just give in to the fantasy of this being my reality. But I couldn’t ignore reason and logic, even if I was strangely flattered by his caveman displays, possessive impatience, and apparent fixation.

And also…skinny-dipping with Martin = pre-bedtime imagery for the win.

Heat raced up my neck and over my cheeks and I squeezed my eyes shut, gathering a deep breath. I hoped to also re-gather my wits, because right that minute they were skinny-dipping with Martin some hundred yards away in the Caribbean.

“And now you’re blushing.” He didn’t sound pleased about this. He sounded frustrated and resentful.

“What do you expect?” I asked, then opened my eyes. “I’m not used to this. It’s going to take me some time to get used to the idea that you’re interested in me. For cripe’s sake, it’s been forty-eight hours and we’re not even dating—”

“We are dating. Remember, we’re having tacos and soon we’re going to have lots of dance lessons.” His eyes drifted to the love marks on my neck and he smirked. It was a satisfied, pleased smirk.

A jerk smirk.

“Well, future tacos notwithstanding,” strategically and stubbornly, I ignored his reference to dance lessons, “I know I’m not your girlfriend, and even if I were I wouldn’t want to be peed on.”

Martin choked on air then gave me a squirrely look. “Peed on?”

“You know, figuratively and—for the record—literally. If we got to a place where we became ‘involved’,” I used air quotes to emphasize involved, because it seemed like an odd word, but the most appropriate for the situation, “I don’t think I’d be happy with you marking your territory, unless some guy were being inappropriate with me and I sent out the boyfriend bat symbol.”

He glared at me, his gaze searching. Then he nodded. “Fine. If I go all day tomorrow without…peeing on you,” his lips twitched, but he quickly schooled his expression, “if I do that, then you’ll come to the party with me tomorrow night.”

What should have been a request or a question was once again a declaration. I stared at him. I really hated parties.

But he looked…oddly hopeful.

Oddly hopeful on Martin Sandeke made my heart melt. His expression, plus the feel of him all around me, meant I really didn’t have much of a choice.

“Fine.” I sighed, trying not to sound like a petulant teenager and mostly succeeding. “I’ll go.”