Limiting Reactants - Elements of Chemistry (Part 1) ATTRACTION (2015)

Elements of Chemistry (Part 1) ATTRACTION (2015)


Chapter 12. Limiting Reactants

SOMETIMES I HATE it when I’m right. Sometimes I love it when I’m wrong.

Let me explain what happened. I’ll try to keep it as emotion free as possible for the sake of all the people who can’t deal with the ups and the downs, and the drama and the angst. This is because I’m one of those people. I can’t deal with the drama. Admittedly, this is likely because I was raised in a drama-free household.

I once tried being dramatic when I was fourteen. My mother told me to add it to the calendar.

We arrived at the house, Sam and I arm-in-arm, the boys behind us. We walked in the door. Martin gave me a curt nod then left. That’s right, he walked away. He disappeared into the crowd.

I stood there stunned for about twenty seconds before Sam pulled me closer and yelled over the music, “Maybe he has to use the bathroom or something.”

“Or something,” I said, feeling gargantuan levels of annoyed and hurt and confused. Boys were so epically strange and obviously placed on the earth to torture girls. Martin’s behavior made no sense. I considered trying to sort it out, but ultimately decided the actions of men were beyond my comprehension.

I noted Herc was glued to Ben as they passed and were absorbed into the throng. I’d wondered if Ben would try to drug someone at this party, but now I suspected Herc has been assigned to keep an eye on him.

Sam, Eric—who, let the record show, stayed with Sam—and I took a brief tour of the party. We walked from room to room, surveying the surroundings, getting a lay of the land as it were. To me it looked like a party in a big house and nothing more exciting than that. So…not at all exciting.

The rooms were gargantuan and lavishly decorated and were getting trashed by partygoers. A DJ played loud house music. People were dancing and getting drunk, and talking loudly to hear each other over the music. The majority of the girls were dressed in string bikinis. The majority of the guys were dressed in shorts and T-shirts, or board short swim suits. The pool was huge and wrapped around one side of the house. It had a waterfall and three slides as well as four hot tubs.

Sam said she wanted to go swimming. I hadn’t brought a swim suit. She lifted up a bag on her shoulder and informed me that not only had she brought me a swim suit, it was a string bikini. I thought I might die of happiness.

That last part isn’t true. I was being sarcastic. Sorry.

Sam and I left Eric on the deck with a promise to return once we were appropriately attired. I numbly got dressed, refusing to look at myself in the mirror, because…why? Why would I do that to myself? Afterward, we walked downstairs. We walked on to the deck.

And I saw Martin kissing a girl.

That’s literally how it happened. I took two steps out the door, scanned the space for Eric, and instead saw a leggy blonde with her arms around Martin’s neck and her body plastered to his, and her mouth suctioned on his like she wanted to taste his dinner.

I immediately averted my gaze.

Even though you don’t feel calm doesn’t mean you can’t be calm.

“I’m going to kill him.” Sam’s voice was low with menace.

I gripped her arm to keep her in place and I shook my head, letting her see I considered the whole situation ridiculously futile. I doubted my gaze of acceptance had been very effective because I could feel tears sting my eyes. I turned back to the door and walked away from…all of that hot mess.

I heard her growl at Eric when he started to explain and felt her close behind me as I wove through the crowd. She stopped me when we reached the far end of a huge kitchen.

“God, what an asshole!” I could feel her eyeballing me. “What do you want to do?”

I shrugged and rolled my eyes so I wouldn’t cry.

I wouldn’t cry.

Nor could I deal with the funnel cloud of feelings that tore through me, because…I just couldn’t. I didn’t know what to say or do or where to look so I glanced over her shoulder. Several guys were doing keg stands near the largest refrigerator I’d ever seen.

“Kaitlyn, what do you want to do? Do you want to leave?” Sam poked me.

“No,” I said. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to find a closet and go chill with myself, calm the rising tide of emotion. “But I do have to go to the bathroom.”

“I’ll come with.”

“No.” I shook my head as I spotted Eric hovering behind her, about five feet away. He gave me a grim, apologetic smile. “No. I’m actually fine, I just need a minute. I’ll come find you later.”


“Really, I’m fine,” I yelled over the cheering keg standers and lifted my chin toward Erin, encouraging him to rescue me from Sam.

I did need a minute alone. Actually I needed several. Ironically, I was more likely to find alone time here, in this crowd, than I would if Sam and I left the party. She would want to rage against Martin, maybe pack up and leave the island tonight. I didn’t want to do that. I wanted to gather my thoughts, leave the party in a few hours, and fulfill my end of the bargain.

Then in the morning, after a very calm, rational discussion with Martin Sandeke, wherein I spelled out all the very factual reasons he and I would never work—for example, how I now hated him with the fire of all the furnaces in hell, and that he was a lying liar who lied when he said he would never hurt me—I would leave the island.

I wouldn’t cry.

I wouldn’t accuse.

I hadn’t really expected any better from Martin, so why should I be surprised now? Just because he gave me an orgasm near a waterfall. So what? It’s not like he’d given me a unicorn. It was just an orgasm.

I would not cry. I would simply leave.

As soon as I arrived home, I would email my chemistry professor and request a new lab partner. And if I was very careful—and very lucky—I would never have to set eyes on jerk-face Martin Sandeke ever again.