Chemical attraction, p.1
Chemical Attraction, page 1
The Social Experiment 3
Hollis Thatcher Press, LTD.
Edited by Paige Maroney Smith
Cover Design: Gaffey Media
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Copyright © 2018 by Addison Moore
This novel is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to peoples either living or deceased is purely coincidental. Names, places, and characters are figments of the author’s imagination. The author holds all rights to this work. It is illegal to reproduce this novel without written expressed consent from the author herself.
All Rights Reserved.
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Copyright © 2018 by Addison Moore
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3:AM Kisses (3:AM Kisses 1)
Winter Kisses (3:AM Kisses 2)
Sugar Kisses (3:AM Kisses 3)
Whiskey Kisses (3:AM Kisses 4)
Rock Candy Kisses (3:AM Kisses 5)
Velvet Kisses (3:AM Kisses 6)
Wild Kisses (3:AM Kisses 7)
Country Kisses (3:AM Kisses 8)
Forbidden Kisses (3:AM Kisses 9)
Dirty Kisses (3:AM Kisses 10)
Stolen Kisses (3:AM Kisses 11)
Lucky Kisses (3:AM Kisses 12)
Tender Kisses (3:AM Kisses 13)
Revenge Kisses (3:AM Kisses 14)
Red Hot Kisses (3:AM Kisses 15)
Reckless Kisses (3:AM Kisses 16)
Hot Honey Kisses (3:AM Kisses 17)
Shameless Kisses (3:AM Kisses 18)
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Value 3:AM Kisses Boxed Sets
3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 1-3
3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 4-6
3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 7-9
3:AM Kisses Boxed Set 10-12
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Low Down & Dirty (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook 1)
Dirty Disaster (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook 2)
Dirty Deeds (3:AM Kisses, Hollow Brook 3)
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The Social Experiment (The Social Experiment 1)
Bitter Exes (The Social Experiment 2)
Chemical Attraction (The Social Experiment 3)
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Burning Through Gravity (Burning Through Gravity 1)
A Thousand Starry Nights (Burning Through Gravity 2)
Fire in an Amber Sky (Burning Through Gravity 3)
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Beautiful Oblivion (Beautiful Oblivion 1)
Beautiful Illusions (Beautiful Oblivion 2)
Beautiful Elixir (Beautiful Oblivion 3)
The Solitude of Passion
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Someone to Love (Someone to Love 1)
Someone Like You (Someone to Love 2)
Someone For Me (Someone to Love 3)
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Young Adult Romance
Melt With You (A Totally ’80s Romance 1)
Tainted Love (A Totally ’80s Romance 2)
Hold Me Now (A Totally ’80s Romance 3)
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(Celestra Book World in Order)
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Ethereal (Celestra Series Book 1)
Tremble (Celestra Series Book 2)
Burn (Celestra Series Book 3)
Wicked (Celestra Series Book 4)
Vex (Celestra Series Book 5)
Expel (Celestra Series Book 6)
Toxic Part One (Celestra Series Book 7)
Toxic Part Two (Celestra Series Book 8)
Elysian (Celestra Series Book 9)
Perfect Love (A Celestra Novella)
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Ethereal Knights (Celestra Knights)
Season of the Witch (A Celestra Companion)
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Ephemeral (The Countenance Trilogy 1)
Evanescent (The Countenance Trilogy 2)
Entropy (The Countenance Trilogy 3)
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The Countenance Trilogy Books 1-3
Celestra Forever After (Celestra Forever After 1)
The Dragon and the Rose (Celestra Forever After 2)
The Serpentine Butterfly (Celestra Forever After 3)
Crown of Ashes (Celestra Forever After 4)
Throne of Fire (Celestra Forever After 5) Soon!
Where are you? Do you realize what tomorrow is? Vi and I want to take you to dinner. It’s time to rustle up some grub and hone those rusty dusty dating techniques you claim to have shelved like some high school burn book. I say the TSE cameras are itching for a decent villain this go-around, and you, my slice ’em and dice ’em dagger-hearted friend, are a prime candidate. Those poor, defenseless, testosterone tube steaks aren’t going to tar and feather themselves, you know. Meet us at the Underground at 5?
I stare at Sophie’s text a moment, both amused and strangely proud to be thought of in such a maniacal manner, before securing my helmet and texting her back.
At the Wild Rose Trail. Taking my bike for a spin. This dagger-hearted girl can’t do dinner. I have an interview at Coffeeology later for that nanny position, so all of my scalding banter will be significantly suppressed and ready to blow tomorrow. Trust me, I’m coming in hot and heavy with cynicism and contempt for men the world over. There won’t be a tube steak in the Western Hemisphere that won’t recoil at the sight of my tar and feather happy tongue. BTW, wish me luck with the interview. I need the work to sponsor my caffeine addiction.
I tuck my phone into my fanny pack, hop on my bike, and take off down the narrow dirt trail that winds around Paradise Falls. The mountain trails in Moon Ridge are famous for their God-breathed appeal. The soil is stained bright red, so beautiful, I’m half-tempted to beat my palms into it and dab it on my cheeks as rouge. Patches of clovers dust the edge of the trails, expanding into a sea of emerald to my left before a smattering of mustard greens dot the vicinity with a spray of yellow flowers. Wild lavender stretches out just beyond that, hugging the cliff side of the rocky crags that make up this portion of the switchback trail.
It’s early March, not quite spring, and if you look north, you’ll find plenty of snow still hovering around the shadowed paths of the mountain. But as it stands, it’s sixty-seven degrees out, and after a frozen winter of subzero temperatures, it feels downright balmy. I soak in the feel of the warm air hugging my body, perfumed sweet with honeysuckle and the sharp bite of earth coming at me like an aftertaste. I’ve hit this trail alone at least twice, and each time I have a fantasy of bumping into a morbidly cute frat boy—muscles bulging and vulgarly defined as if he were straight out of a Marvel flick, face of a god, mind of a demon. It’s yet to happen, but the hormonal whore who lives deep within me can dream.
I’ve donned a T-shirt—first time in five frozen months—my yoga pants, and put my whippet of dirty blonde hair into a ponytail before heading out today. Cycling my way through nature wasn’t exactly what I had plann
Sophie, Violet, and I all attend Leland University. We’re knee-deep in our sophomore year, all three of us holed up in Canterbury Hall Dormitories with the two of them sharing a room, while I’m stuck with the campus stripper-in-training who thinks our dorm doubles as a brothel. I swear she pays off the RA with a fistful of ones straight from her sequin panties to look the other way. There’s no other explanation as to how all those double Y-chromosomes find their way into what should be my testosterone free zone. Taylor really isn’t that bad. She’s just a little too friendly with the opposite sex for my liking. Thus the fact I’ve made fast friends with Sophie and Vi who live down at the chaste end of the hall. We’ve sort of become an inseparable threesome, which is nice because I’ve never had close friends before—none that I liked anyway.
A pair of flop-eared cottontails scurry across the path before me, and I belt out a laugh at the adorable sight, picking up speed as the blue sky above presses heavy over Moon Ridge. The entire state of Colorado has long been known for its psychotic weather patterns. One day you’ll have cornflower skies, the next a snow flurry hits so hard you need to dig your way out of your driveway.
Back in Pine Ridge, where I grew up, a stone’s throw from Moon Ridge but a galaxy apart as far as residential tax returns go—it’s less scenic country and more downtown congestion. Not the glamorous downtown imagery that Manhattan might inspire. Think downtrodden ghost town so dank and glum you can both smell and see the desperation in the air. Mom is still there holding down the fort, as she’s quick to remind me. Jolie Sparks, divorcee with three dirty brats as she likes to formally address herself. Only in Pine Ridge does the aforementioned depressing life circumstance qualify as a job description. Anyway, she owns a ceramics shop along with her hippy dippy boyfriend Dade. I’ve never asked, but I’m pretty sure she and Dade are hitting the mattress in his yurt, and just the thought of it sends bile up the back of my throat. Dade is not a bad guy, but I refuse to think of my mother as a sexual being, thus the mystery surrounding the nature of their relationship.
My sister and brother both shot out of Pine Ridge as soon as they turned eighteen. My sister, Summer Sparks, moved to Denver and quickly became Summer Horowitz. She and Joe have two little girls. My sister is a happy stay-at-home mom who—as my own mother puts it—is quietly knitting away her existence. Her husband, Joe, is a successful accountant—something my mother finds numerically sacrilegious.
My brother, Arlo, is a firefighter who’s currently stationed in Moon Ridge. He was the one who turned me on to Leland and even helped me score a full scholarship. My good grades may have had a thing or two to do with it, but I did take a couple of inadvertent gap years before landing at the prestigious institute of learning. After all, someone needed to help my mother pay the bills. But as soon as my brother caught wind of the fact, he promised he’d take over. I couldn’t help it, though. Being the youngest, I’ve always been my mother’s favorite, the baby of the family.
I was the one there for her, wiping away the tears when my father stomped out of our lives after a long alcohol-fueled summer. Come to think of it, every season was alcohol-fueled with him. But the main reason he took off was a woman by the name of Nicki, who happened to have very big tits. A point both my mother and Arlo frequently expounded, as if the size of her breasts were some kind of an achievement, and again in Pine Ridge it most definitely qualified.
The road starts in on a series of twists and turns as the embankment to my right steadily becomes steeper and steeper. There’s enough room for two people to walk side by side, but as the road hugs the hip of the mountain even that is a stretch. I should probably slow down, probably pedal as if a semi might be coming around the next blind corner, but deep down I’ve always been a bit of an adrenaline junkie so my feet grind harder, demanding I pick up speed as a wild laugh bubbles from my throat. The wind kisses my face, entering my mouth like a lover with a lashing tongue, soft yet abrasive all at the same time, and I can’t help but feel a spark of arousal as the heat of the sun and the whipping wind run their fingers over every inch of me all at once. It’s intoxicating, erotic, dangerous, and that last point is exactly what presses me to push past the burn in my thighs and pedal as if my life depended on it.
The adrenaline junkie in me is the precise reason I haven’t backed out of that social disaster both Sophie and Violet wanted to spend the evening prepping me for. As if I cared enough to prepare for the mass sexual hallucination taking over campus. It’s Dexter Houston’s great dating social debacle that’s shined the spotlight over our sleepy school. It’s basically a reality docudrama that follows the lives of select couples that the TSE as they’re often referred to, The Social Experiment staff, have mismatched together. Although, I will admit, it did work out for both Sophie and Vi. Soph ended up with her childhood crush, star quarterback Rowen Garrett. And Violet was a part of the bitter exes reunification process—aka the TSE’s foray into the bad breakup league. But as fate and the TSE would have it, she and Lane are once again a hot and heavy item. I’d stick my finger down my throat if I didn’t think it’d land me at the bottom of that fifty foot drop to my right. My group, Group C, has been classified as Chemical Attraction. So far, the TSE has a one hundred percent success rate, but I can guarantee the circus monkeys running that unscientific experiment that I’m about to shatter that record for them. For one—I don’t believe in love. I’m pretty sure that’s a non-starter as far as landing myself on what amounts to some cheesy dating game show. I’ve already put each member of the Sparks clan on tactical alert, and both my siblings and my mother are eager to watch me light the small screen on fire. That is, if the TSE selects me to grace their million plus viewers with. Word behind the salacious scenes says they’ll vet the prospects with a test market to see who has the power to make the masses drool for more. Apparently, ratings equal cold hard cash, and Dexter Houston is hard up for both. And since they don’t follow everyone attached to the debauchery, I’m betting that once they see how soured I am to Cupid and his stupid arrow they’ll quietly give me the heave-ho.
The road elongates a bit and I spot another bike barreling my way, helmet down as his decidedly masculine legs jag up and down, building up the speed he’ll need to get around the last few curves behind me. He’s muscular, not sinewy like most cyclists I encounter. Beefy biceps, well-defined lats spanning like wings over his body, those legs of his look carved of basalt. It’s clear one of us will have to give as the road narrows in the next thirty yards, splitting the distance between us.
“Come on,” I pant under my breath as I greedily pick up speed, unrelenting in my pursuit to dominate. I can’t seem to take my eyes off those muscular thighs, those biceps bulging as he presses down hard over his handlebars. His head pops up now and again like a swimmer coming up for air and his sunglasses fixate in my direction. He looks both stubborn and brimming with ego. Innately I know this about him, and it only makes me want to hold my ground that much more.
“Come on. Be a freaking gentleman,” I hiss as the caustic air bites between my teeth. I give a quick glance to my right with its sheer drop, no sight of the bottom, just a few mustard flowers poking up from the cliff side, taunting me with their bright yellow faces.
Before I know it, he’s hauling ass, coming in hot head-on. The wheels of his bike press as far as they can into the side of the mountain, and it’s only then I realize there’s no chance we’ll pass one another safely. This is a deadly game of c
My handlebars hook onto his like a ram’s horn and my bike jackknifes, ejecting me over the handlebars as I rise through the sky like a trapeze artist before plummeting over the precipice.
“Shit!” The last thing I see is the heavy blue sky before I squeeze my eyes shut tight as my back bangs against the side of the mountain, my skin burning and tearing as the rocky crags have their way with me.
A wild scrub oak quickly breaks my fall, scratching up my face as my body plunges through its skeletal arms. My helmet snaps off and I watch as it plunges below, bouncing off the side of the mountain like a basketball. Swear to God, if I survive this nightmare, I’m suing the manufacturer of that useless hunk of plastic. My body slips another few inches. I let out a howling scream as my mouth fills with a bite of sweet earth and, somehow, I manage to wrap my arm around a leafy green tendril of ivy that’s attached itself to the roots of this dying tree and dangle there like an idiot who couldn’t figure out how to share the road.
“Oh God, oh God!” I shrill into the sky as my body starts in on a slow spin. “Somebody help me!” My chest bucks as the simple motion snaps the roots from the scrub oak and sends me plummeting another good foot. A horrible cry works its way up my throat, and the thought occurs to me it might be the last sound I ever make.
by Addison Moore / Mystery / Romance have rating 4 out of 5 / Based on32 votes