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“Okay, I finished the serum. Do you want to be my test subject?”

“No way! Next thing I end up an ice cube like Wolf. I’ll pass!”

1837

“Come on, it’s not the SimRay device. It’s an emotion serum. It wouldn’t hurt you in any way. All it does is make you experience whatever emotion it’s supposed to. Please try it. I need to know if it works before I can tell Dr Bjergsen about it.”

“Fine, what kind of emotion will I feel?”

“I can’t tell you that because then your mind will either try to fight it or amplify it because of the knowledge that you’re supposed to feel a certain way. If you know what you’re supposed to feel then the results would be inconclusive.”

“You sure it won’t make me angry or something? What if I end up punching holes in the walls or have a heart attack?”

“Trust me. I won’t put you in any danger. I promise.”

He sighed before taking the flask and drinking the serum. We both waited for a few seconds to see if he was feeling any changes.

1838

“I don’t feel any diff…” he began before stopping short of finishing his sentence. “Whoa…you look soooo good, baby! I think blue is your colour! You should wear that coat when we’re alone more often.” The smirk on his face, the deepness in his tone and the sultriness in his eyes was confirmation that the rose serum worked. He was flirty! Very flirty!

“Let’s get out of here baby. Maybe we can find a closet or something where we can be alone.”

1839

His assertiveness was very new. I guess it was a result of his heightened sense of romance. It’s a good thing I chose him to try the serum because if it was anyone else coming onto me like that I would have been so embarrassed but with Cyrus…it was more than welcomed since he’d never been this amorous with me. Still, it wouldn’t be right for me to take advantage of him in this state…even though I really wanted to!

“I don’t think so. You need to take the antidote before you do something you regret.”

1840

“Oh baby! I can never regret anything to do with you. Come here girl!” He pulled me into a hot passionate kiss, one that made me want to lose my mind! I wanted him to ravish me right then and there but then I remembered where we were. That serum was not only working well on him but it seemed like it was somehow working on me too, making me feel the effects just as strongly. As reluctant as I was to do so I had to fight it. We were at work for goodness’ sake!

“You two wanna get a room?” Wolf snickered as he sat down by the computer desk behind us. “I hear the chem lab is free right now.”

1841

That was enough to pull me out of Cyrus’ grasp. Ugh! Wolf saw us…making out! The other bad part was that there were other people nearby who certainly saw us as well. I knew I should feel embarrassed after getting caught in such a compromising position on the job but I was still coming off of cloud nine.

1842

I quickly gave Cyrus the antidote and then began reporting on my findings. Luckily he didn’t experience any side effects but the serum still needed further testing on a diverse set of test subjects. I had sent my report to Dr Bjergsen expecting him to be happy that I successfully created the serum on my first try but instead he came to talk to me and he didn’t seem to be in a good mood.

“Sloane, you should not have tested the serum on Escamilla the other day. It was against protocol. You know that when it comes to serums, a live test subject needs to have proper blood tests done before you can administer the serum. What if something bad happened? You and the lab would have been liable!”

He was right. There were rules against ingesting serums without following the proper set of protocol and I totally forgot about that. I made a huge blunder by giving it to Cyrus.

“You are right, sir. I made a mistake…”

“Look, what the two of you do in your personal lives is none of my business but what you do in this lab is. I’ve been getting reports that incidents like that are happening regularly. I can’t have unprofessional behaviour like that happening in my lab, Sloane.”

1843

“Wait a minute…incidents? What happened the other day was a result of the serum’s effects. Cyrus and I are very professional. We don’t do stuff like that here.”

“That’s not what I’m hearing.”

I couldn’t believe it! Someone was lying on us and making it seem like we just spend lab hours fooling around just because we’re dating?!

“Sloane, I like you. I think you have the potential to do great things but you need to get your priorities in order. You can’t get distracted while you’re here otherwise it’ll bad on your record and I don’t want that. You and Escamilla can see each other after work but while you are here you need to be on your A-game, understand?”

“Yes, Dr Bjergsen. I understand.” I understood alright. Someone was feeding Dr Bjergsen the wrong information. Someone was trying to sabotage me by making me look bad. And I had a pretty good idea who that someone was.

“What is your problem, Sofia?”

1844

“It’s Dr Bjergsen to you, Sloane. Don’t forget I’m your superior in spite of the fact that you think you’re the greatest thing in science since Nikolai Landgraab.”

“That’s why you are lying to your father about me and Cyrus?”

“I only told him what I saw with my own two eyes. It is my job to report to him any unprofessional or risky behaviour between my employees.”

1845

“You clearly exaggerated. Just because you are jealous of me and my success does not give you the right…”

“Excuse me, jealous? Listen little girl…”

“You are only a couple of years older so don’t use that condescending tone with me. You’ve been nothing but rude to me since I got here and frankly I don’t care what your problem is with me. Just stay out of my way and stay out of my business.”

1846

I walked off on her before she could respond. Jo would be so proud of me for standing up to Sofia. She always nags me for not speaking up and for being a push-over. Standing up for myself felt really good and the look on Sofia’s face, it was like she was shocked that I said those things to her even though she rightly deserved it!

But afterwards I was concerned about how this would affect Cyrus, after all, Sofia was his superior. She might end up victimising him because of my big mouth.

A few days after the incident, he met me in the break room. “Hey, I need to talk to you.”

1847

He had a serious look on his face so I knew immediately that something was wrong. “Talk to me.”

“Well, there is no easy way to say this….” He sighed and I ended up assuming the worst.

“Did you get fired? Oh Cy, I’m so sorry. My advice backfired, huh? But that witch was saddling you with a bunch of nonsense research that had nothing to do with the experiments the lab is currently funding. She was just being wicked.”

1848

“I know she was. That’s why I quit.”

“What?”

“Yeah. I gave notice this morning. Dr Bjorn tried to convince me to stay but I have my mind made up.”

“I hope you told him that his spoiled daughter was the reason for it.”

1849

“Actually, she wasn’t. I quit because I started thinking about my future and I realised that I don’t really want to be a scientist. I want to pursue music. You were right all this time when you said I should take my passion for music more seriously.”

“What made you realise this all of a sudden?”

“Sofia dropped another load of files from the archive on my desk and said she wanted it sorted in alphabetical order. I knew she was just riding me because she’s got an axe to grind against you and I had enough. I’m not gonna put up with crap like that for a job I barely even like. Mum will be disappointed but…I have to do what’s best for me.”

“I’m really proud of you.”

1850

“Thanks, I even talked to a buddy of mine and he pulled some strings to get me an audition next week to be a part-time DJ at that new nightclub in Newcrest. That’ll give me a week to work on my set but I think I can do it.”

“That’s wonderful. I’m really gonna miss seeing you here every day.”

“Don’t worry, Ivy. Nothing will change. You and I will still be just as strong as always. Besides, I don’t want you to get fed up of me. Gotta let you miss me a little so you want me even more.” He laughed with a wink.

1851

I didn’t think it was funny. I liked seeing him every day and knowing he was in the same building as me. Now that he would no longer work in the lab that meant I wouldn’t be able to see him as much. I wouldn’t be able to just go to his corner and chat with him whenever I wanted. This was going to be difficult for me to deal with. I knew that much already.

What is wrong with me? Cyrus is happy. This is what he wants so I should be supportive instead of wallowing in my insecurities. I’m strong! I don’t need to have my boyfriend around all the time to know that our relationship is in good shape. This might end up being a good thing for the both of us. I’ll have less distractions and I can continue to focus on my projects while he gets to pursue his passion.

Yes. This is a good thing.

1852

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