tagFirst TimeChemistry of Love

Chemistry of Love


"Who can explain the Avogadro Constant to me?" asked Professor Schilling, as she set down her notes and scanned the class for volunteers.

Jay bit his lip and raised his hand, and braced for the inevitable wisecrack.

Sure enough, it came. "Jay!" exclaimed the professor. "It's a miracle!"

"Never mind, then," Jay said, putting his hand down and doing his best to ignore the titters from elsewhere in the room. Worst of all, he feared he might have heard Kathy's laugh among them. But he didn't dare look back to the corner where his lab partner always sat with her pal Jen to see if they were joining in the gaiety at his expense.

"Oh, I'm sorry, Jay," Professor Schilling said. When the laughing didn't stop with her apology, she added, "That's enough!" in a firmer voice. "I'm glad you're trying harder to participate, Jay. You're right, I shouldn't pick on you for that. Now, can you explain the Avogadro Constant?"

Jay forced a smile through his irritation; he did appreciate the apology, after all. "The amount of...sorry, I did study this last night, but I had to read it about five times to make any sense of it...the amount of molecules per mole?"

"Close," the professor said. "Not necessarily molecules, and it's in the amount of substance in one mole, but you've got the right idea. Those of you who were laughing just now, did you know that?"

Silence. Jay's annoyance turned to bittersweet satisfaction.

"That's what I thought," she continued. "We're going to be working with it on Wednesday and most of your next problem set will involve it, so I suggest you all follow Jay's lead and try to make some sense of it between now and then, understood?" With that she gave the entire class her patented don't-you-dare-disappoint-me look. She then dismissed the class, but added, "Jay, can I have a moment before you go?"

"Of course," Jay said. He turned to his friend Bill and shrugged.

"I'll wait for you out in the hall, guy," Bill said.

Jay nodded and finally dared a look in Kathy's direction, and was thrilled to see she was already looking at him. She grinned and gave him a triumphant thumbs-up as she and Jen filed out of the room with the others. Bill followed, gazing longingly after Jen as always.

"Jay, I just wanted to apologize again," Professor Schilling said as soon as they were alone. "I know class participation doesn't come naturally to you. Good for you for trying."

"Thanks," Jay said. "I have to admit you had me feeling damned if I do, damned if I don't for a minute there."

"Damned if you don't? Have I ever given you a hard time about not participating, Jay?"

"Yes," Jay said with a look that was bolder than he felt. "Well, it wasn't you, it was Professor Blake, that time last semester when he came by during class and got in my face...'Jay, shhhh, quiet down!' But you did agree with him. You said, 'Yep, we can never shut him up!'"

"I'm sorry, Jay, I don't remember that, but I believe you," Professor Schilling said. "But I am sorry if you felt picked on."

"Honestly, I'm used to it," Jay said. "All through high school, just about all my teachers gave me a hard time about not talking more. You're the first one ever to apologize, though, so thanks for that."

"You're a good student," she replied. "Lots of improvement since last fall. Don't let an arrogant jerk like me convince you otherwise just because you're shy, okay?" She offered a conciliatory smile, which he couldn't help returning.

"Aw...thanks, Ms. Schilling." He thought of adding that Kathy deserved credit for most of the improvement, but opted not to. She probably knew that already anyway.

Out in the hall, Bill had positioned himself at a safe distance from Jen when he saw her waiting outside the women's restroom. Pretending to read the bulletin board, he was innocuous enough to go unnoticed but close enough to overhear the conversation that resumed when Kathy came out of the bathroom. "So did you teach Jay about the what's-his-name constant?" Jen asked her.

"No!" Kathy's pride in her lab partner was evident. "I mean, I know what the Avogadro Constant is, but I didn't tell him. I haven't even talked to him since last week's lab! He's really improved a lot. Every week it feels more like we're a team instead of me supporting him, you know?"

"No doubt he just couldn't stand getting his ass kicked by a girl," Jen said, as they both headed for the exit. Bill, despite his offer to wait for Jay, followed at an inconspicuous distance and tuned in to every word about his old friend.

"He's not like that, Jen," Kathy said. "Honestly, I was expecting that at first, last fall when he didn't know anything about chem. But he never gave me a hard time about it no matter how on the ball I was and how clueless he was. I do think he started studying harder because of that, but I don't think he was jealous."

"Kathy, no offense, but you're awfully naïve about men," Jen said. "They hate it when we're smarter than they are! Why do you think you never get a date?"

"Because I'm too busy and I don't want to go out and get drunk on the weekend anyway?" Kathy asked. "And Jay doesn't hate me. He was thrilled when I aced the final last term. He only got a B on it, but he was happy with that. And I was happy for him -- he worked awfully hard for it."

"God, listen to you, girl!" Jen said. "You sound just like the princesses in those Laura Stanford novels you love so much!"

"That's Laura Stewart, and she doesn't write about princesses, Jen!"

"Whatever," Jen said. "I don't get you sometimes, Kathy. I love you, but I don't get you. You're a genius in this science stuff the rest of us barely understand, kicking everyone's ass in chem, but you love these silly romance novels that are probably aimed at housewives who can barely read!"

"We all have our guilty pleasures," Kathy said. "Laura Stewart is mine. She gets me where it matters most." Right between my legs, she added silently. Jen would never understand. No one who got dates as easily as she did would understand. Once again Kathy was tempted to spill the beans to Jen about what she so often got up to with her Laura Stewart novels when she had their room to herself, but once again cooler heads prevailed.

"Right," Jen acknowledged, "In any case, I know men, Kathy. Just wait, sooner or later he's either going to blow you off or try to get in your pants. Or maybe both."

Bill had heard enough for now. The very idea that Jay would ever make a pass at anyone made him want to laugh out loud, and then Jen would know he'd been eavesdropping on her. So as the two women stepped out into the early spring afternoon, he lingered just inside the doors and looked back to see if Jay had made his escape. He had, and was catching up on Bill now.

Bill supposed he ought to apologize for not waiting. But he didn't. Instead he said, "So, called on the carpet, Jay?"

"Only for an apology for making fun of me," Jay said proudly. "Anytime you want to do that, I'm all ears." Bill had been Jay's best friend since the eighth grade, but he had also been a steady source of obnoxious comments about Jay's shyness.

"Apology for what, making fun of you for crawling out of your shell for once?" Bill said. "You've got a long way to go before that's gonna stop, guy. At least with as long as I've known you, Mister Blushing Flower!"

"Fuck you very much, and thanks for waiting."

"I had a good excuse for not waiting," Bill said. He pointed ahead at Jen and Kathy, who were now well out of earshot on their way back to their dorm. "Got a date with Jen!"

"Really?" Jay looked so happy for his friend that Bill almost felt guilty. Jay could be just as gullible as he was shy. "Congratulations, man."

"Thank you. That does mean you'll have to find something else to do next Saturday than hang on me all night, though."

"Maybe I'll ask Kathy out," Jay said. "We could even double date."

"Jen won't want the two of you hanging on with us, guy!" Bill protested. "Besides, no way it could ever happen between the two of you. She's shyer than you and that's awful damn shy, my friend! I don't see how you could ever even have a conversation, you'd probably both just sit there cowering in opposite corners."

"Still waters run deep," Jay protested. "And it'd sure be nice to be with someone who knows what it's like to put up with stupid comments like that. You think I can just choose not to be shy?"

"Ain't gonna happen, Jay. Besides, you think a girl like that would put out?"

"Oh, grow up," Jay grumbled, his goodwill from his little victory in class now dissipating. "We're not high school kids anymore, and I'm not the kind of guy who's only after one thing."

"You're not the kind of guy who'd ever say so, I'll give you that."

"Whatever. Anyway, if you asked Jen out and she said yes, how come you're not up there chatting her up now?"

"I would be, but some other guys overheard us talking and started in with 'Billy's got a girlfriend.' Like you said, this isn't high school."

"What do you care about that?" Jay asked. "Don't you want everyone to think she is your girlfriend?"

"I didn't like what they were implying. Anyway, I'm gonna hit the gym, all right?" He flexed a muscle. "I told you I'm going out for football next semester, right?"

"Hope you're going there to practice throwing the ball, then, Bill. You're way too small to be anything but a quarterback."

"Who asked you? Listen, don't be a fool and ask Kathy out, huh? You and her, you're way too much alike. And frankly, I don't want you hanging around while Jen and I are trying to be a couple of adults getting to know one another better."

Jay shook his head and said nothing else as they parted ways. Bill may have been a smartass, but he had known Jay a long time -- the only one on their campus who had gone to high school with him -- and Jay had long since accepted that kind of loyalty was worth its salt.

On the other side of campus, Jen had at least stopped berating Kathy as they got back to their room. "No hard feelings about me coming home drunk Saturday night, I hope?"

"I told you, I didn't even notice," Kathy said. "I was already asleep, remember?"

"Course you were. I just felt guilty about it because I know that's not your scene, Kathy. It's just that Brett kept me out a little too late Thursday night -- I kept telling him I still had to do my bio lab report for Friday afternoon and write a five-page paper for poli-sci but he wouldn't take no for an answer, you know how men are -- and then Friday was such a day from hell. I spent the whole day in my pajamas and no bra, typing up a storm and then running around to get it all printed out and submitted. No time to even call Brett, but that was all he deserved after keeping me out Thursday night anyway." As they stepped into their room, Kathy shut the door behind them and Jen tossed her backpack triumphantly onto her bed. She gathered up some other books off her desk. "Sorry to ditch you here, dear, but I'm going to head off to the library before Brett turns up. I don't want another Friday like that!"

"No problem," Kathy said. "I've got plenty of studying to do anyway."

"I so envy you, being able to study right here with everything going on," Jen said. She took one last admiring look at her brilliant roommate, dressed fetchingly by her standards in tight jeans and a ruffly floral top, her frizzy brown hair looking almost out of control yet endearing in its own way, and those silly thick glasses barely balancing on her nose. Must do something about that, really, for her own good. "Want to go for makeovers in town on Thursday?" she asked.

"I'm busy all day Thursday," Kathy said. "But don't let me stop you."

"Friday, then?"

"Friday is your hell day, isn't it?"

"Not if Brett leaves me alone Thursday night."

"He won't, Jen, you know that!"

Jen laughed. "Eh, you're right. But we ought to do it one of these days, okay?"

"We'll see, Jen. I've got to get to work, okay?"

"Yeah, me too. If Brett comes by, could you tell him I'll call him tonight?"

"Of course." Kathy sat down on her bed and opened her chemistry book to a random page, hoping her friend would take the hint.

At long last, she did. "See you for dinner?" Jen said as she opened the door.

"Of course," Kathy said without looking up.

Once she heard the door click, Kathy heaved a sigh of relief and got up to lock it (which Jen never did). After a look out the peephole confirmed that Jen wasn't coming back for the time being, Kathy pulled down the window shades and unbuttoned her jeans.

Bill was probably right about Kathy, Jay admitted to himself as he climbed the stairs back at his dorm. Kathy was brilliant and patient, a great lab partner, and she'd inspired Jay to improve his chem grade from barely passing to a solid B last fall -- he intended to pull an A this time around, one way or another -- but he was just her lab partner. And just what would she think of him if he asked her out after all she'd done to help him -- that he was only using her or worse? No, all that would come of it was destroying the nice memories they'd already made studying together. Jay wasn't going to let that happen!

And yet, they did get along so well! Always so fetching in her colorful skirts and tops, always ready with a smile and an encouraging word when he finally wrapped his mind around something or other in chem lab, never giving him a hard time about his lack of the gift of gab, and so very down to earth in a way hardly anyone else he'd met on campus was. Though he'd never even hugged her in real life, he hadn't been able to resist imagining them in bed time and again lately, and he had no doubt it would be pure and beautiful.

It was never to be, like Bill had said. And so when Jay arrived at his room and found his roommate gone, he told himself he shouldn't give in. Even as he locked the door and unbuckled his pants and set his hard cock free, he told himself to think of some other woman to imagine. But it was no use. There was Kathy yet again, in a frilly dress and watching with an intense smile as he lifted it up and caressed her breasts, belly, sides and...he couldn't bring himself to use the word. But he imagined how it felt all the same, warm and wet and welcoming and ever so responsive as he caressed her into a whirlwind of pleasure. Once again she lay back on her bed and beckoned to him, and enveloped him in a heavenly feminine embrace, and exhaled one appreciative "ooohhhhh" after another as they made love in slow motion. Once again he could envision her beautiful face lost in the throes of wonderful sensation as she came.

And once again Jay came for real at that moment.

As he opened his eyes and folded up the tissue he'd come in, he already felt his resolve slipping. What did Bill know?!

But Jay didn't want Kathy thinking he was only after sex or after an A in chemistry. As he zipped his jeans back up, Jay made a resolution. Somehow -- he didn't yet know how -- he would shore up his own grade enough to impress Kathy. Then it would be safe to ask her out!

Sooner or later, Jen would probably find out what Kathy did nearly every time she had the room to herself. Kathy knew that all too well. She wouldn't mind that, she was quite sure, but she could do without the inevitable barrage of comments about how she ought to just find a boyfriend if she was that horny, and who knew she was in touch with herself at all when she didn't even like guys seeing her in her bathrobe?

Kathy had nothing against guys seeing her in her bathrobe in reality. Like a lot of things her roommate thought about her, she wasn't sure where Jen had gotten that idea. But she had, and she never shut up about it.

Now, though, wasn't the time to worry about Jen. With some precious time to herself, Kathy was free to slip her panties off and let her imagination run wild. Having known for years that she wasn't a classical beauty and would never be the life of the party, she had long since learned to handle her own smoldering desires. If no man worth his salt was ever going to be interested in a nerd like her in real life, there were opportunities aplenty in her imagination.

Jay had set her heart aflutter in class with his almost-correct answer and standing up to the professor's nonsense -- Kathy was so proud of him for coming so far so fast! But she couldn't lust after him -- she just couldn't. The way he always treated her in lab, polite and funny and a perfect gentleman but always at arm's length, he obviously thought she was just a nerd. So as she lay back on her bed with the latest Laura Stewart book in one hand and the other teasing her pussy, Kathy cast her imagination into greener pastures.

Thanks to a floormate's offhand mention at lunchtime of going for a swim later on, the opportunity that had been tickling Kathy's fancy all afternoon was with Greg, the lifeguard at the town pool back home. His sandy blond hair and rippling chest wrapped tightly in a pool-issue tank top had always been appealing, but it was those wonderfully tight swim trunks that had melted her every time, leaving nothing whatsoever to the imagination. Many a summer's afternoon back home had seen Kathy rubbing herself into a tizzy as she imagined helping Greg out of those trunks, cradling his hard cock ever so gently in her hands, rubbing it against her pussy lips...sometimes even taking him inside her. More often as she'd grown older, she had included that.

Today was no exception. No matter how bookish and nerdy she was in real life, Kathy had no difficulty in imagining herself as a sensuous treasure who could work handsome Greg into a tizzy with her passionate lovemaking, and once again she did. Having relieved him of his bikini briefs, she now felt her own clothing dissolve and his strong but gentle hands all over her body and she gave in to the passionate groans she so longed to offer up to someone in real life. Gazing into his eyes with nothing but confidence in her body and her technique, she ground him into an orgasm that had him wailing in the loveliest way.

That was all Kathy needed for the real thing to happen to her. Though she was well-versed in keeping it quiet, this time she did let out a satisfied grunt. That brought her rubbing to a stop, and for a moment she lay silent with two fingers buried in her vagina, terrified that she'd been overheard. Once she was satisfied that her secret was safe, Kathy felt a wave of resentment -- just what was the harm if anyone did know she masturbated?

Absolutely nothing, of course. But it would bring about more judgmental ribbing from Jen and her other friends. Kathy didn't need that, thank you very much. Somewhere on this campus, there was bound to be a guy who'd be delighted with her just as she was, glasses and lack of the gift of gab and all, but she didn't need anyone pushing her to find him.

I don't need anyone judging me for this, either, she thought, giving her pussy a final caress before getting back to studying. That moan had felt good -- why feel guilty about it? From now on, she vowed, no more trying to hide her pleasure on these studybreaks!

By the time dinner rolled around, Jay had forgiven Bill for his nonsense but had not lost his newfound resolve to ask Kathy out sometime. As he walked to the dining hall, he was almost looking forward to Bill's latest puffed-up baloney about becoming a football hero. But he was more concerned with how he was going to impress Kathy.

Jay didn't see Bill in the dining hall anywhere. But he did see Dennis, the weird senior from the other end of his floor, sitting alone as usual. The only student Jay had met thus far who made him feel like a regular chatterbox, Dennis never spoke unless spoken to. But he'd always been nice enough when Jay had talked to him or (more often) seen anyone else do so. A chem major, if Jay remembered correctly, and all at once he had a plan.

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