Lloyd's Angel Ch. 04byVirtualScott©
Lloyd's Angel: Baby Steps
"Maybe Lloyd guessed somehow," hypothesized Susan. The comment came out of left field, interrupting Alexandra's stilted description of her wedding planning progress. The only other news we had to share was that Dr. Reynolds had talked to Dr. Fredrekksen, with the result that Susan was officially part of our research team now.
I gazed appreciatively at the brunette. The thought was ridiculous, but she'd changed her hair over the break. Susan was no Alexandra, but she was attractive -- especially once she'd come out of her shell -- and I'd thought more than once letting her hair down would look better -- a good guess on my part. I was sure Alexandra spent hours each morning perfecting that professional look before she set foot outside.
"Guessed how they'd answer the survey? Don't be ridiculous, Susan!" exclaimed the blonde, echoing my thought. "We took people in the order they came in, randomly. And even if that weren't true, how could he possibly know what they'd think?" She smiled, which was like a laugh for Alexandra. "That perm didn't get to your brain, did it?"
Susan huffed. "Well, we didn't think of anything better last year! Besides, it would be easy enough to test, right?"
"No," Alexandra and I replied in unison. It was scary, sometimes, how similar we could be; if she would just take the chip off her shoulder and thaw out a little bit... "I don't have any way to guess what people are thinking," I objected after Alexandra gave me a wave.
"Oh, poo!" Susan dismissed our concerns. "Where's your sense of adventure? Would you rather be building up calluses with your slide rules? Just try it!" She laughed. "I volunteer to be your test subject."
"Oh, no you don't!" cautioned Alexandra, but it looked like she was trying not to laugh. "We've all been over this data so many times that I bet all of us could recite answers in our sleep." Standing, she added, "if you want to do this, I'm going to find a subject -- this is my research, after all."
"Okay," Susan assented, "but I'll do the survey, and you'll watch both me and Lloyd to make sure we aren't cheating or influencing anything."
Susan and I spent a few minutes clearing the table and pulling out one of the survey photo decks before Alexandra returned with a student in tow. "Do any of you know each other?" she asked.
All of us, and the student, shook our heads. He sat at the table across from Susan, and I took a seat at Alexandra's desk where I could see his face and the pictures, but not what he was writing. Alexandra hovered like a parochial school nun, ready to dispense corporal punishment to unruly students.
"Okay," Susan smiled, and launched into the standard introduction. "This is just an opinion survey -- there are no right or wrong answers; what we are interested in is what you, personally, think. I'm going to show you a series of pictures, in pairs. All you need to do is look at each pair, and note which image you prefer."
I studied the student, Robert, while Susan ran through the introductory demographic questions, and tried to get a feel for him. He just looked like some random undergrad who'd been in the wrong place at the wrong time and couldn't say "no" to a beautiful girl. Susan's suggestion was ridiculous, but I wasn't going to open myself up for any grief from Alexandra by giving it less than my best effort.
As Alexandra had alluded, I already had the photo decks memorized, so I was free to devote all of my attention to Robert, concentrating on his face, and looking down to note a choice just after he made his. President Kennedy or Reverend King? Ocean waves or a hillside meadow? A kitten or a puppy? A blonde or a brunette? A swath of tartan, or one with polka dots? Alexandra knelt beside me at one point, apparently to make sure I couldn't see which column he was marking, but remained silent the entire time.
"Darn!" Susan interjected unexpectedly when she reached the end. "Somebody left the deck out of order; number 1 got rotated to the end by mistake. What do we do now?"
"Well, we're not doing this again," I voted. Maybe my eyes needed checking, because after 30 minutes of this I had a splitting headache.
"Just make a note on the forms, Susan," Alexandra decided, "and we can correct the data when we analyze it. Thank you very much for your time, Robert." After he left, she gave Susan and me a new set of blanks and we quickly copied the two spoiled sheets, moving each answer down one space and pulling the last up to the top so they would correspond to our existing data.
The three of us gathered around the table and stared at the results. I admit I was thinking mostly about where I could get some aspirin.
"Sugar," a disappointed Susan said, "it's not even worth running the numbers. I don't think even half of them matched -- are you sure weren't trying to lose, Lloyd?"
"Unbelievable," Alexandra breathed in a very different tone of voice. She found a column of data and laid it beside Robert's survey; even at a cursory glance it was clear they were very similar to each other. "What are the odds?"
I looked more closely and saw the new data was the aggregate data from "my" demographic group. The alignment was as inexplicable as my predictive performance was expected; Alexandra had pulled this guy out of the hallway, but she might just as well have pulled the data from the folder on her desk! "I need a drink," I moaned, wishing hard for the day to be over.
"I agree," Alexandra chimed in unexpectedly, and an excited Susan squealed assent and grabbed for her coat before either of us could change our minds.
We ended up in a booth at Nino's, nursing beers while we waited for our burgers and fries. Apparently, having an unofficial chaperone in Susan was sufficient to get past Alexandra's defenses. I caught one or two envious glances from guys who saw me with the two girls; if only they'd heard the conversation!
Alexandra started out worrying over the practical impossibility we'd just encountered, then loosened up enough to start worrying about whether she'd be able to keep ahead of the wedding preparations and live up to her family's and fiancee's expectations for it.
The guy sounded like a pompous prick, frankly, which might make him a good match for Alexandra Sullivan the Ice Queen but not somebody I'd want to marry. Luckily, all I needed to do was maintain a noncommittal expression while Susan made sympathetic noises and Alexandra spilled more personal information in an hour than she had in weeks.
We didn't resolve anything, but I stumped back to my room feeling better than I had -- at least I didn't have Alexandra's problems! I told Mrs. Hudson I'd already had dinner and went up to flip through the professor's notes for my class the next day before going to sleep.
I tromped through an inch of fresh snow the next morning, determined to take another look at Robert's survey with a clear head before heading off to my first class. I remembered that Alexandra had a lecture that hour, but it appeared that Susan had decided to come in early, too.
"Ha!" she exclaimed when I appeared in the office doorway. "I knew it!"
"Knew what?" I asked, hanging up my coat and hat. The radiator wouldn't catch up enough for me to remove the sweater until much later in the day.
"I knew you were sandbagging," Susan laughed, "look!" She gestured at the paperwork spread out on the table.
I sat down heavily. Susan had matched up my original response sheet with Robert's and our aggregate data. "Matched up" was the right term -- my results were exactly on the baseline, and Robert was in the 99th percentile.
"Why didn't we see this before?" she crowed. "When we consider the pictures you thought you were looking at, you're an exact match! I mean, exact!"
"I never actually took the survey myself, before yesterday," I said weakly, and looked up again. "How is this even possible?" I couldn't dispute the facts, even if I couldn't explain them.
"Maybe it's mind control!" giggled Susan, and she made vaguely threatening gestures with her arms.
"Oh, come on!" My headache felt like it was coming back again. "I really wish you wouldn't mention that to anybody," I told her, dreading the thought of Alexandra hearing that hypothesis.
"Let's find out! Let's do the survey again!" Susan was like some kid who'd had too much sugar to eat.
I shook my head. "That won't work. Alexandra's right; we both know the survey data too well." I could help laughing faintly as I poked my response sheet, which proved the point.
"Well, make me do something," Susan suggested.
"Bark like a dog," I offered.
"I'm serious!" she snapped at me.
I sighed and considered her. She really did look much better with her hair down, although the bulky sweater she was wearing didn't do her figure any favors. It was a pretty nice figure, when I thought about it. What I did next I chalked up solely to being a man who'd gone too long without getting any satisfaction.
"Show me your tits," I commanded, trying on my best vampire-like hypnotic gaze.
I think we both blushed as I stammered an apology. "I'm really sorry, Susan; I shouldn't have said that." At least she wasn't running out of the room or screaming. "I guess I just let my hormones get the better of me." Just for good luck, I added, "I wanted to try something you wouldn't do normally, just for a test."
Susan looked only slightly mollified, but she nodded.
I was thankful that Susan didn't say anything about the incident to Alexandra, but it was curious that she didn't bring up her research breakthrough either. More curiously, I didn't mention it, although my original survey was buried in my briefcase now. I told myself I just wanted to think things over before getting Alexandra all excited, but I wasn't really sure that was it. There was no way Susan's wild suggestion could be true, right?
That night, I jerked off before going to sleep, trying my best to keep the squeaking of the old bedsprings to a minimum. The mental picture of a tranced Susan slowly unfastening her nightgown had me cumming like a fire hose.
Wednesday started off bright and early with a status conference with Dr. Reynolds, which maybe boosted his spirits but nobody else's. After that, we went our own ways for the rest of the morning. Following lunch, I finally gathered my courage and pulled out my survey sheet.
"Hey," I told Alexandra, "you should see what Susan found." I figured it wouldn't hurt to skip over the delay in sharing the information, and I was giving credit where it was due.
"My gosh, Susan," gasped the blonde, but she wasn't looking at the paper. "Are you going out somewhere?"
The brunette had just removed her sweater, revealing a very tight top that showcased all of her curves and was cut low enough that it really should have been left for summer. I wouldn't have complained in any circumstances, but just then my mind was racing. Did I have anything to do with this? That it was just coincidence seemed extremely unlikely, but the alternative was totally unbelievable.
"No, why?" Susan asked. "But, Alexandra, look!" she continued, bending over the table to point. Alexandra's eyes followed the finger; mine followed the breasts that swayed to reveal even more cleavage between them. If she hadn't been wearing a bra, I don't know what would have happened.
"I don't believe it!" Alexandra gasped, as quick on the uptake as I had been. She turned accusing eyes on me. "How did you do this, Lloyd?"
"I don't know," I muttered, thinking I was starting to sound like a broken record. "Honestly! You were right beside me the entire time." I could see the wheels turning in her mind.
"You know," Alexandra mused, "if you accept this is happening at all, it's a lot more likely they're somehow being influenced than it is that all these people just coincidentally have nearly identical opinions."
"That's just what I think!" burst out Susan, as if hearing the words had released something inside her.
For my part, I wanted to pound my head against the wall. Even if any of this was true, the last thing I wanted was to be poked and studied and commented on like some exotic bug in a jar. "Look," I said heavily, "I don't know what's going on, either. But can we please not go talking to people about this; at least until we understand what's really happening?" I put on my best pleading, hangdog expression and strained to convey my sincerity and desire. "Ow!"
"What's wrong?" Susan asked, while Alexandra eyed me warily.
"A headache," I explained. "Do either of you have any aspirin? I think this entire line of conversation is hurting my brain." I'd always seemed to be prone to stress headaches, and this qualified as a stressful situation in my book. Susan turned and started rummaging in her desk.
Alexandra sighed. "Believe me; it's hurting my brain, too. We'll stay quiet, for now." Susan nodded her agreement and handed me a few pills, which I gulped dry. "This is still my research project, and I have no greater desire to become a laughingstock than do you. The question is, what do we do now?"
We all stared at each other silently. "Can you put on your sweater, Susan?" Alexandra asked after watching my eyes slide sideways for the second or third time.
Susan shrugged, delightfully, and pulled on the cardigan. She didn't say anything, but I had the impression she knew I was watching and liked it. I wasn't a dork or anything, but it had been awhile since a girl had flirted with me. "What now, indeed?"
"Don't look at me!" Alexandra held her head in her hands. "I'm supposed to be writing a psychology dissertation, not..."
"Science Fiction?" I suggested, wryly.
"Um. Human physiology or neurology might be better, but we're all equally unqualified for any of them, anyway. This is really stupid, you know -- what are we going to do, test on each other?"
In retrospect, of course, it was amazing we were even having the conversation. We were all suspicious I was somehow influencing people, and Alexandra at least had to be wondering why Susan had decided to wear that top. If I were some coed, the last thing I'd do was invite some boy to experiment on me, no matter how well-behaved he'd been up to that point.
I could only hypothesize that I'd always tried to be a trustworthy person, and that without knowing I was even doing anything, I'd influenced people to trust me rather than simply demonstrating I was trustworthy, as I'd thought. It hurt to think about, but I wasn't thinking about it then. My cock was thinking about all the things I could do, and my conscience was thinking about all the things I shouldn't even be thinking about.
"Well, if we're keeping it private, we don't have too many options," opined Susan, heedless of my private musings. "If you're the principal investigator, Alexandra, and obviously Lloyd can't be the subject, then I guess that leaves me." She turned her attention to me. "We just need to be methodical and only try things we all agree to."
"Of course," Alexandra agreed, ignorant of the subtext of Susan's warning. "But first, Lloyd, I'd like to know everything that was going through your head on Monday."
The remainder of the afternoon was rather dull, as the girls peppered me with questions I couldn't answer about things I'd never even thought about before. I had to admire the way Alexandra's mind worked; several of her questions were extremely insightful and bore thinking on, even when I couldn't answer them satisfactorily.
I did some of that thinking later that evening, between stroke sessions. Apparently, my track record as an upstanding young man was due to lack of opportunity rather than moral character. I would tell myself I shouldn't be doing this, feel guilty for a minute, and then resume working the angles while my cock got hard again. It got even harder when I remembered that I'd be alone with Susan the next morning.
Feeling remarkably chipper, and glad my coat concealed my erection as well as keeping me warm, I took the stairs two at a time the next morning, speeding past slower or less awake students. The office door was closed, but I could see the light was on inside, suggesting Susan was there before me.
"Hi, Lloyd," Susan greeted me. "Does it seem like the radiator is working better today?" She'd already taken off her sweater and turned around as I closed the door behind me. The radiator definitely wasn't any warmer than usual, but Susan was looking pretty hot. Her top was as tight as the previous day, but she'd obviously gone without a bra and her nipples were threatening to poke holes in the knit fabric.
I swallowed twice before answering. "I don't think it's that warm, Susan; you should put your sweater on before you catch cold." Or somebody else saw her, I thought to myself.
One thing we'd all agreed on was that whatever I did, it didn't have anything to do with verbalization; I'd never said a single word beyond "hello" and "goodbye" to Robert. So, while I fumbled with my coat and Susan reluctantly pulled on her cardigan, I thought furiously about how great her breasts looked, how much I wanted to see them, and how much my aching penis needed relief.
"I think I'm having trouble with this button," Susan announced with a crooked smile. The cardigan was fastened up to the bottom of her bust, but gaped at the top -- emphasizing rather than obscuring her breasts. "Can you look at it for me?"
I nodded breathlessly. Fantasizing about it was one thing, but I guess subconsciously I still didn't believe any of this was real, and I hadn't thought ahead to what would happen if my suggestions worked. It looked like I'd have to approach it like any other normal guy, and just make things up as I went along.
Susan walked over to me, although it wasn't exactly a normal walk, until her chest was nearly touching mine. "See?"
I certainly did. My hands were trembling slightly as I reached out and pulled the top of the sweater tight against the swell of her breasts. The button looked okay, but surprisingly the sweater looked too small to reach. I could feel Susan's body moving slightly as she breathed. My cock was pressing hard against my slacks, but we were so close together there was no way she could see it, even if she hadn't been looking at my hands.
Holding my breath, I made another attempt to tug the cardigan into place. Not only did I fail again, the change in tension apparently popped the second button on her top -- when it came loose, the buttons on either side did too, suddenly revealing a scandalous amount of pale skin.
"Oh!" Susan shrieked. Her hands flew up to cover herself, but bounced off mine and failed to catch the edges of the top. She ended up pressing her tits together, revealing dark nipples peeking out between spread fingers.
"Jesus, Susan!" It had all happened so quickly I was still frozen in position, hands grasping at thin air. I might have had a heart attack, except I could see the safely closed office door over her shoulder.
She giggled softly. "They're kind of a handful, aren't they?" Susan leaned forward into me, dropping her hands, until I could feel her nubs pressing against my chest. "So are you," she sighed, her voice husky, and I jumped as she suddenly squeezed my rigid organ through my trousers.
I reached for her wrist, but Susan intercepted my hand and routed it to her tit. It was warm and silky smooth beneath my fingers, and she moaned entrancingly when I caressed it. I kissed her, both to muffle the moan and because I could. Unlike my fantasies, we groped each other for only a minute or two before her firm grip coaxed me into firing a big load in my underwear.
We grinned at each other. I hadn't made it to home base today, but I was pretty confident I'd be getting there sooner rather than later, and enjoying the trip. What Susan was thinking I didn't know, but it was clear she'd enjoyed the experience, too.