He was late, of course. They always were. Undergraduates these days had no sense of responsibility. They didn't seem to understand that she had a schedule to keep. Her time was scarce and constantly overcommitted. Fortunately, he was her last subject of the day, but she had a long night of work ahead of her nevertheless.
And the way they dressed. He's probably arrive in a stretched-out tee shirt, jeans bagging around his ankles and a baseball cap turned backward. Never mind that she was a member of the faculty. Respect? She snorted to herself. That went out with the twentieth century, or maybe the nineteenth.
Of course the girls were just as bad, with their universally blonde hair and bare midriffs, pierced navels and painted-on jeans. Just like the one that Allen had screwed, blatant sexuality and no substance.
Dr. Knowles grimaced as the familiar pain lanced through her. Damn him! It shouldn't hurt so much, two years later, but she couldn't help it. Despite everything, she had loved him, loved him still, never mind that he was a totally different creature from her. Gregarious, easygoing, imperturbable, with that quick, crooked smile and those ever-so-blue eyes. Relaxed and comfortable in his lithe, lanky body, while the tension sang through her frame. His students loved him, and no wonder; the way he clowned and postured in his classes, he was more an actor than a teacher. He always appeared to be enjoying himself. Sometimes she envied him, even though she knew that she was more intelligent and a better scientist.
His bitter laughter echoed in her memory, from that awful night when she had finally confronted him with his infidelity. "What do you expect, Jessie, when you're so frigid? I swear, your work turns you on more than I do!"
It wasn't true. She ached at the sight of him, his taut muscles and fluid movements. She adored the heat of him, breathing against her neck, coaxing her legs apart with his own. There was just something in her that couldn't quite let go, perhaps some remnant of the iron control she had needed to exercise in order to get where she was in her career. Whatever it was, he sensed it. At the deepest level, he never touched her.
Perhaps, after all, she had never really trusted him. Of course, in the final analysis, he had hardly proved himself trustworthy.
Maybe she was lucky to be rid of him. Since the divorce, she had no conflicting demands on her time, but could focus entirely on her research. She should be grateful. It was just a question of adjusting her perceptions.
A soft knock on the door of the lab interrupted her musings. Finally! "Come in," she called, steeling herself for the ordeal of the next half hour. Sometimes she wished that she had specialized in animal behavior instead of human cognition.
"Good afternoon, Dr. Knowles. Sorry that I'm late."
He was not what she had expected. He appeared more mature than the typical student subject, in his midtwenties at least, with angular features and frizzy ginger hair pulled into a ponytail. He wore well-fitting jeans that were faded but clean, an elaborately embroidered shirt, a leather vest and cowboy boots. Nobody dressed like that these days. His flamboyance reminded her of someone she might have known back when she was a student. She gave him a half-smile.
"Good afternoon, Mr. --" She consulted the signup sheet -- "Murphy. Thank you for volunteering for to participate in my study. If you will please read and sign this release, we can get started."
Her subject fixed her with startling eyes the color of jade. "Whatever you say, Dr. Knowles. But please, call me Ian."
His stare made her feel extremely odd. The room wavered for a moment, like air shimmering above hot pavement. She was relieved when he sat down in the chair to her left and bent over the clipboard to read the legalese of the document. She turned to her computer and typed in the passcode to begin the experiment.
The lab control program generated a number for him, and then randomly assigned him to one of the three experimental treatments. Group S. Her stomach knotted. If only he had been in Group A, for athletics, or even Group V. He seemed very relaxed, not at all the violent type; she wondered if the aggression materials would have affected him at all. But the S group... Dr. Knowles swallowed hard, opened her desk drawer, and pulled out a copy of a girly magazine.
"Now, Mr. Murphy -- Ian. The purpose of this study is to investigate how emotion influences perception. For the next ten minutes, I'd like you to read this publication. Then we'll perform some tests using the tachistoscope."
"The what?" Ian grinned at her, jeweled eyes flashing. She felt a flush climbing into her cheeks. Something told her that he was teasing her. "'Tackystascope'? Is that for measuring how tacky something is?"
"Of course not. A tachistoscope is a device that exposes visual stimuli for very brief periods of time. Fractions of a second." Embarrassment made her tone frosty. But why should she be embarrassed? "It allows us to evaluate perception without the influence of conscious thought."
"Really?" Now she was sure that he was mocking her. "Fascinating!"
"Please read the magazine, Mr. Murphy. I'll let you know when it's time to move on to the next phase of the experiment."
Ian just smiled, and began leafing through the images of smooth, abundant flesh. Dr. Knowles set the timer and tried to ignore him, reviewing some notes from a previous study. But her eyes were repeatedly drawn to the pictures that he was so eagerly perusing.
Here was a woman bent over so that the globes of her derriere filled most of the page. She was looking back over her shoulder, an inviting half-smile pouting on her lips. Despite herself, Dr. Knowles felt a stirring between her thighs. The woman in the picture seemed so -- accessible. Dr. Knowles forced her attention back to the computer screen, but the whisper of a page turning pulled her eyes back to the tabloid.
Now the image was of a slender black beauty, her skin shining as though oiled. She cupped her breasts in her palms, offering them to the photographer. Her thumbs strummed over her nipples, which were the size and color of roasted almonds. Against the slick chocolate of her face, the woman's teeth were shockingly white.
Dr. Knowles' own nipples tightened in sympathy, pressing uncomfortably against the starched cotton of her blouse. Her panty hose were suddenly hot and constraining, and outrageously damp in the crotch. What was going on here? She had looked at these images a hundred times without any kind of reaction. She had chosen these stimuli. Why were they suddenly having this effect?
Ian glanced up and she hastily turned back to her monitor, but she knew that he had caught her surreptitiously examining the photos. Her cheeks flamed, and the ache grew in her sex. She was careful not to look up again until the timer rang, marking the end of the conditioning phase.
"Now then, Mr. Murphy, we'll move on to the next stage of the experiment. Sit here, please." She indicated the high, backless stool in front of the tachistoscope eyepiece, which stood on a table against the right wall. "I want you to look through here. Everything will be dark. Then I'll show you some pictures, very briefly, and I want you to describe what you see. Don't be concerned if you cannot grasp the entire scene; these pictures are deliberately designed to be complex. I just want you to tell me what first catches your attention."
"I'd rather continue looking at the Playboy," her subject said with another of those disturbing grins. "But I suppose that I need to follow your instructions. For the sake of science."
"If you please." She stepped aside so that he could reach the equipment, feeling the familiar frustration that the university had given her such a cramped laboratory space. She deserved better.
Despite the close quarters, there should have been plenty of room for Ian Murphy to pass her. Nevertheless, as he did, he deliberately brushed against her, hip to hip. Startled, she pulled away, and slammed her backside into the computer desk. "Damn!" she hissed under her breath. It hurt. She'd have a bruise tomorrow. Meanwhile, she still felt the ghost of his touch, a kind of warm pressure that didn't abate even though he was now sitting tamely in front of the apparatus.
Murphy was looking at her, clearly amused. Her cheeks burned.
"Sorry," she apologized lamely. "This room is a bit tight."
"No problem. So, I just look through these goggles?"
"It's all black."
"The pictures will start in a moment." She turned and clicked the button on the screen that initiated the experimental sequence. After a second, the light in the tachistoscope flashed, briefly.
"What did you see?"
"It's a street scene, someplace picturesque. Paris, maybe. There's a couple, a man and a woman."
"It was hard to see, but I think they were in an alley off to the side. Her back was against the wall. I think that her skirt was raised."
A thrill of satisfaction coursed through Dr. Knowle's upright frame. The apparatus flashed again.
"What did you see this time?"
"A naked woman."
"She's on a balcony. One foot is on the railing, and she has one hand between her legs. She's jacking off."
Jessica Knowles blushed deeply. There was a woman in the picture, along with cars, buses, a hot air balloon, a crowd gathered around a unicyclist, an armed holdup taking place off in a corner, two dogs sparring in the foreground. But the woman was clothed, and definitely was not touching herself.
"Are you sure?" She shouldn't be questioning his perceptions; it might ruin the experiment. But she couldn't help herself. She'd never had a subject respond so strongly to the pre-exposure sensitization.
"Well, it went by pretty fast, but I could swear that her mouth was open and she was coming. I could almost hear her."
She gave him a sharp glance, but he was still peering into the scope, waiting for the next image. His right hand was in his lap, though, and she was horrified to realize that he was languidly stroking a substantial erection through the worn denim of his trousers.
Jessica was sweating now. This man played havoc with her objectivity. Perhaps she should terminate the experiment right now. The computer sent another image to the 'scope. Murphy sucked in his breath.
"Whew! That's hot!"
"It's a threesome. Two guys and a woman, mounted between them. She's, like, suspended from their cocks. One in her pussy and one in her ass. Her feet aren't even touching the ground!"
"Mr. Murphy!" Jessica felt panic, but her voice was ice. "Don't play games with me! Tell me what you really see."
"I swear, Dr. Knowles, that is what I see. Come and look for yourself."
Flustered and annoyed, Jessica clicked to pause the sequence, then again to loop the last stimulus. Murphy relinquished the stool; she had to hike up her skirt to get onto the high seat. She felt his eyes on her legs as she got settled.
She took a deep breath and lowered her eyes to the viewing port. For a moment that seemed to stretch for hours, she stared into the blackness, her heart pounding in her ears. A faint trace of a scent reached her nostrils -- sweat and man-musk. It reminded her vividly, painfully, of Allen. Then the fluorescent bulbs flashed, illuminating the scene for an instant.
She wasn't prepared, wasn't paying attention. The scene was a jumble of lines and curves; she couldn't make any sense of it at all. Releasing the breath she was holding, Dr. Knowles tried to relax and concentrate.
"What did you see?" Ian asked, alarmingly close. "Did you see them?"
"No..." There was a disturbing quaver in her own voice. "No, I didn't see anything. I wasn't ready."
"Pay attention, Jessie," he whispered. Then two events occurred simultaneously. The tachistoscope flashed again, repeating the image in question. At the same moment, Ian reached his arms around her and cupped her breasts in both palms.
"Oh!" She cried out in surprise and dismay. Because she caught a glimpse, just a hint, a tangle of naked bodies, left of center in the scene. Her field of vision went dark, but the afterimage burned in her brain. She didn't know which she found more shocking, the unexpectedly lurid perception, or the fact that her subject was now unbuttoning her blouse and sliding his fingers across her bare bosom. She had always thought that it was ridiculous for her to wear a bra, considering how flat-chested she was, but in his grasp, her breasts felt fleshy, full, and exquisitely sensitive.
"You must pay attention, now. Don't ruin the experiment." His voice in her ear was honey, warm, sticky, dangerously sweet. The tachistoscope lit up again, and now the image was clear, the rutting threesome drawn in obscene detail. The woman's back was arched, her head thrown back, her mouth wide with a scream of ecstasy. The view went dark just as her subject grasped both her nipples and twisted them hard.
"Oh, please..." she moaned. She had no idea what she was pleading for. Her sex was damp and heavy. The throbbing that his fingers induced in her nipples echoed between her legs. She continued to gaze into the eyepiece, not daring to look at the man who was teasing, was tormenting her.
The instrument lit up again. It should have been the same image, but now Jessie could swear that the man whose penis had been buried in the woman's pussy now had removed it, and was forcing its rampant length down her throat. Then again, darkness.
"No, no, it can't be..." The fingers on her body began to wander downward, across her belly, but were foiled by the waistband of her skirt.
"Put your feet on the rungs and lift yourself off the seat, Jessie. You can put your hands on the table for support. But don't stop looking into the machine."
Why was she obeying him? Her confusion was complete. He loomed behind her; heat radiated from his body, so close, too close. She squirmed nervously as she felt him raising her skirt from behind, hitching down her hose and panties, baring her buttocks. She should scream, should resist somehow. Instead, she stared into the tachistoscope, surrendering to the lascivious scene that was playing itself out before her eyes.
"Arch your back so that I can reach your butt," he murmured. "Yes, that's right, that's perfect."
His hands were cool on her rear cheeks, and gentle at first. Then he pulled the globes apart, roughly. Fear shot through her, as another picture filled her field of vision, the woman's bum held open and exposed by one of her companions, her recently reamed anus gaping. She tried to speak, to protest, but somehow the words died in her throat. Her breath left her completely when he bent over and fastened his mouth on her sex.
He was brusque and forceful, stabbing into her folds with his hot tongue. She felt him nip painfully at her clit, then the pain dissolved into radiating waves of pleasure. She didn't realize that she pushing backward, grinding herself into his face, riding his tongue like a jockey riding a mount. Her attention was momentarily distracted by the picture that flashed before her, the woman now dangling by her wrists from above, her legs held open by the two men while someone she could not quite make out plunged an enormous dildo into the woman's vagina.
"Ah..." The vision burned into her retina and the rasp of his tongue against her swollen clit set up a reverberating circuit. With each wet stroke, her mind elaborated the picture, noticing the juices streaming from the woman's crotch, the veins on the artificial cock as it was pulled stickily out of her, the woman's taut muscles as she strained toward her climax. With each new lascivious detail that Jessie noticed or imagined, her own cunt gushed and grew more sensitive.
The 'scope flashed again and now Jessie could see that the person wielding the dildo was a second woman, raven-haired with pendulous breasts and meaty thighs. The scientist melted into an animal as simultaneously the 'scope went dark and Ian thrust three fingers into her lubricious depths. Grinding herself against his hand, she felt the first shimmers of an orgasm, flickering in the distance. It had been so long, too long...
She shut her eyes, unable to bear the intensity. The lights flashed again, and even through closed lids, she could swear she saw the dark woman burying her fist in the other's cunt. Her moan sounded obscenely loud in the small room.
"Tell me, Jessie," Ian said softly, the hint of mockery still there even as his fingers danced inside her. "Tell me what you want."
"No... don't call me that. He used to call me that."
"Your husband? He was a fool to let you go, Jessie. So what should I call you then? Jessica seems too formal, don't you agree?" He flicked his thumb across her engorged clit, making her squirm. "Jess? Jezebel? How about that, my scarlet woman? You seem quite inclined toward fornication this evening."
"Oh..." Jessie could not speak. The orgasm crept closer, teasing her.
"Tell me what you want, Jezebel, and I'll give it to you." He suddenly slipped a finger into her anus, and she screamed at the deliciously rude invasion.
She couldn't see him, behind her, but she could imagine his grin. She was mortified and at the same time eager, eager to have him use her, to open her body to him. The tachistoscope flashed another image, but now she was fully occupied by the sensations he was generating in her sex, and the tantalizing, distant vision of her climax on her body's horizon.
"What do you want?" he whispered in her ear, wriggling a slick digit deep into her bottom. "Say it."
She could barely choke out the words. "Please... please, make love to me."
"Make love?" he laughed. "No, that's not quite right, is it? Say it. You can say it, Jezebel. You won't shock me."
"Fuck me," she whimpered, finally, undone by his mouth and hands. "I want you to fuck me."
"All you had to do was ask," he said softly. He turned her around to face him. His cock protruded from his jeans, jutting proudly toward the ceiling. She blushed, then moaned as he lifted her from the stool and settled her on that thick stalk of flesh. The sensation of him sliding into her was both strange and wonderfully familiar. With thighs and cunt muscles, she gripped him hard as he carried her over to the narrow bench on the opposite side of the room.
Holding her up by her naked buttocks, he hooked the bench with his foot and pulled it away from the wall. Then he set her with her back against the polished wood, momentarily pulling out of her. She could not help grimacing at the obscene slurping sound her cunt made, reluctantly releasing his penis. Ian grinned, straddled her, and drove his cock back into her, pinning her to the bench.
For a moment, the force took her breath away. Then the pleasure welled up inside her, wave after wave, synchronized with his fierce thrusts. She tilted her pelvis, twisted against him, trying to force him deeper. His penis grazed her womb, and the twinge of pain only brought the pleasure into higher relief. Teasing her still, he nearly withdrew, lightly rubbing the bulb of his cock against her engorged and aching clit. Electricity shot through her. She closed her eyes, overwhelmed.
"Pay attention, Jessie," he reminded her. "Look at me." She fixed her gaze on his eyes, which were bottomless green pools. She felt transparent, light, suddenly free of her past, her present, her self. As he sank back into her depths, she clutched his shoulders and relaxed her cunt, opening to his probing. He went deeper than anyone ever had before. Her climax hovered nearby, just out of reach.
"You don't recognize me, do you?" he gasped between thrusts. She arched toward him in silent answer. "Two years ago. I was in your Psych 202 class. Sat in the very front." He slammed his cock into her, suddenly angry. "You never noticed me, though, did you? You weren't paying attention..."
He eased his attack, became more gentle. "God, I loved to watch you. You seemed so cool and competent, a creature of intellect, not passion. But I knew. I could feel your frustration. I always knew that I could give you what you wanted, what you needed... When I heard your husband had left you, I thought, good riddance."
"When I saw you on campus, though, you always seemed to be deep in thought; I didn't want to interrupt. I sensed that you weren't ready. Not yet..."
His thrusts accelerated suddenly. He pistoned in and out of her, faster than she could have imagined, fractions of a second, instantaneous, driving himself, driving her to the peak. Then all at once she was there, at the top and tumbling over the edge into blissful oblivion, laughing and crying at once as she felt him pumping his own release into her.
It was dark when she regained control of her thoughts. She lay there still, in disarray upon the hard bench, her back and buttocks deliciously bruised.
Her cunt was empty, but still vibrating with recollections of pleasure. Semen had dribbled out all over her skirt, which was bunched beneath her.
The room was empty, she could feel it. He was gone.
Her mind whirled. She would have to throw out his data. Maybe the whole experiment had been rendered invalid... What had happened, anyway? Had he somehow tampered with the lab control software? But that wasn't possible, the lab was secure, she was sure of it... Did she have his phone number, his email address? She'd have to get back in touch, to apologize, to make amends for her totally unprofessional behavior...
Without her realizing it, her hand drifted to her pussy and casually grazed her still-sensitive clit. A bolt of excitement shot through her, leaving delicious echoes in its wake. The tachistoscope, still cycling in its loop, flashed in the dark room. She remembered the images of concupiscence it had revealed and smiled to herself, stroking one finger slowly between her slippery labia.
Never mind working tonight. She needed a long, hot bath. She'd think about the experimental implications tomorrow. And she was nearly certain, yes, quite sure, that she had included a field for email address on the volunteer sign-up sheet. It wouldn't have been like her to omit an important detail like that.
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