Suddenly Sexy

By: Kendra Little

"He looks ready," Beaker said.

Maddie watched Fred's little legs pumping away in a blur of movement. "I think he's ready for something, but I'm not sure about love."

"No man is ever ready for love. It hits him like a speeding bus."

She winced. "Painful. And kind of messy."

Beaker sighed. "Sure is."

Maddie didn't pry. She didn't want to know about Beaker's love life. She preferred to keep work separate from her private life. Except for that one time she and Miles had dated over three years ago, she never mixed the two. Considering she spent so much time at work, that probably explained why her love life was out of sync with her life schedule.

She retrieved a vial containing the latest version of Pheramour. Last week they'd added a small amount of ylang ylang to the solution and today they were ready to trial it on Fred and Wilma.

Maddie dipped a dropper into the clear substance and watched it get sucked up the tube. She grinned at Beaker who grinned back, and held her breath as she squeezed four drops onto Fred's furry body. The little white mouse stopped running, looked up at them, twitched his nose a few times in indignation then returned to his running.

Beaker opened the mouse cage beside Fred's. "Ready Wilma?"

She didn't look ready. She looked like she wanted to scamper away, but Beaker clutched her lovingly to his lab coat while Maddie dispensed four drops onto her back. When he placed her into the cage with Fred, the two mice sniffed at each other then Fred continued his running. Wilma retreated to a corner and rested her beady gaze on him. Probably she thought all that running was a sign her new roommate was crazy.

Maddie didn't blame her. She ran every second day on a treadmill and sometimes she thought it would drive her to insanity. It was boring and the scenery was the same but at least she had a nice butt to show for it. One day, someone would finally get to see her nice butt and all the hard work would be worth it.

"I don't think it's working," said Beaker, tapping the cage.

"Give them time." But Maddie wasn't holding out much hope. She knew lust when she saw it, and Wilma wasn't showing the signs. "Maybe they just need to get used to each other first."

Beaker chuckled. "Maybe we should get some candles and play soft music."

She rolled her eyes but couldn't help smiling. "We could give them a piece of cheese. That way when they share it, they'll get nice and cozy." She studied the mice. "Or they might just scratch each others eyes out."

"You're so unromantic."

"If you'd dated the guys I have, you'd understand that romance is a figment of a masochist's imagination." She straightened with a loud sigh. "Looks like it's back to the drawing board.

She hated this part. They'd been so sure this time. The preliminary trials had been positive and all the chemical reactions had worked according to cutting edge pheromone theory. They'd carefully tested chemical with chemical, essential oil with essential oil, noting down the reactions, re-testing, changing ingredients until every permutation had been analyzed. After several months, Maddie was certain they'd reached the right balance to create a synthetic pheromone that made the wearers more attractive to the opposite sex. They'd left nothing to chance.

"Maybe we wrote down the wrong figures somewhere," said Beaker, running a hand through hair that didn't need any more encouragement to stand up.

"We did not write down the wrong figures. I'd never make a mistake like that." But as she said it, she opened her notebook and scanned the calculations. "I don't understand. It couldn't possibly have failed."

"Hey, Maddie!" Beaker's voice was high and squeaky with excitement. "Check this out."

Her gaze followed his pointing finger. Inside the mouse cage, Fred had stopped running long enough to sniff Wilma's rump.

"Must be love," he said.

She grinned. "Typical man. Straight to the end where all the action is."


Maddie delivered her report to Miles at five-thirty.

"How'd it go?" asked her boss.

Miles was only in his mid-thirties but he'd leapt to the position of Director of Development quickly. His skills as a chemist had been average, but his ability to kiss the right behinds had singled him out for a management role early in his career. He'd been Maddie's boss for two years and in all that time she'd never known him to smile. He'd cracked a lame joke once. No one had laughed and he'd never attempted it again. Before he was her boss, he'd been okay, although their one date had been disastrous from the moment he said "Let's go bowling."

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