The Experiment


By Helen Kay Dimon

Foreword by James Patterson

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Ruin me.

Annie Sullivan has spent her life running from her past, until she meets her soul mate, Jasper Monroe. But she isn’t willing to settle down with him yet, because there’s just one thing missing — one last erotic experience — that may define her relationship… or destroy it.

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Dear Reader,

Some people might wonder why I’ve included this book in my BookShots Flames romance collection. It’s different from the stories I usually publish because it presents a new kind of relationship. But I see that as a good thing, because my hope is that this story will push your boundaries.

Underneath the heated scenes in this story, some of its trademarks are the same as those in any of the books I’ve written. The first is that the plot keeps catapulting you forward. What is Annie Sullivan going to do when she finds herself attracted to a man who is not her serious long-term boyfriend? How should she react when their three lives crash together?

The second element that drew me to this story is Annie. HelenKay Dimon created a three-dimensional, honest character who felt familiar to me. Though Annie’s in a shocking situation—an impossible situation—I felt like I understood her emotional reactions.

In The Experiment, Annie is at a huge crossroads in her life. It’s big, trust me—or turn the page to find out for yourself.


—James Patterson

Chapter 1

The doorbell chimed at exactly three o’clock. At the sound, a memory flashed through her: the husky voice on the other end of the line, requesting a private showing of an exclusive condo before it hit the market.

Now he was here. Right on time. The man she’d been weaving wild dreams about as she created an elaborate life story to fit that deep, penetrating voice that still vibrated through her.

She smoothed a hand over her thin pencil skirt, thought about the lacy pink bra under her silk blouse. Her lucky underwear. The ridiculously expensive matching set she bought after her first big commission. After a lifetime of being practical, she’d splurged. It was a silky reminder of how far she’d come.

A long exhalation settled her nerves as she headed for the small entryway. Her heels clicked against the marble floor with each sure step, making her smile. So did the fact that the extra three inches made her clock in at nearly six feet.

She opened the door to find him standing there. White T-shirt with tattoos running up each arm. A pattern of lines and arrows that followed the outlines and curves of his sleek muscles before disappearing under the thin bands cutting across his biceps.

She took it all in. Let her gaze wander over his broad chest and the sexy way the bottom of his tee skimmed the top of his faded jeans. The visual tour ended with his face, which proved to be as impressive as the rest of him. A roughness lingered there, but the bright-green eyes softened him. Not much, but a little. Enough for her to pick up on the intensity of his stare.

As his gaze roamed over her, brushing over every inch, a sly smile crossed his lips and heat seared through her. She fought the urge to skim her fingers over the buttons running down her shirt to make sure they hadn’t spontaneously burned off.

Before she could fidget under the scrutiny, she heard a throat clearing. Not his. No, this came from behind him. Frederick, the security guard who usually stood watch at the front door. He was an institution in the high-end building sitting just blocks from the National Zoo. In Washington, DC, a city filled with powerful people, Frederick had the ultimate power of deciding who got in and who didn’t.

Frederick hovered and frowned. “Miss Sullivan? Do you want me to—”

“She’s expecting me.” That sexy voice broke through the tension swirling around them.

The smoky timbre of his voice licked against her as she struggled to swallow. Say something. When the visitor’s eyebrow rose, she punched out a few words. “It’s okay, Frederick. This man is here for me.”

“Yes, I am.” His voice dipped even lower.

She managed to shift to the side and let him come inside. All six foot three of him. Pure, walking sex. She spied the simple black watch on his wrist…and those hands with their long fingers. And when he walked toward the floor-to-ceiling windows she got a full-on shot of that ass.

Her common sense melted and a new need thumped in its place.

“Miss Sullivan?”

“We’re fine.” She almost slammed the door in poor Frederick’s face but managed to throw him a quick smile first.

When the lock clicked into place she glanced at her appointment to find him staring at her. He looked somewhat out of place in the crisp, refurbished space. He’d fit in a cool converted garage apartment or maybe an artist’s loft. Somewhere that matched his accept-me-as-I-am attitude. Here, he’d have to follow the strict rules of a fussy condo board.

“Are you ready for me?” His question echoed and bounced off the hardwood floor and soaring ceiling.

Her heartbeat kicked up until it thundered in her ears. “For what?”

“Anything.” He continued to study her. “Everything.”

This. Is. Work. She let that reminder run through her brain as she picked up the real estate flier and handed it to him. “You said you were looking for a one bedroom.”

He glanced down at the paper but didn’t take it. “I like tight spaces.”

She wasn’t sure how to respond to that. She headed around him to the other side of the room. “The kitchen has been upgraded with—”

“Show me the bedroom.”

She loved that he used so few words. Each one zipped through her and knocked her off balance. He never blinked. Never looked away. His heated stare suggested he wanted to strip off her clothes, and every part of her wanted to let him.

But they had business to discuss. “You don’t care about the kitchen?”

“I don’t cook.” His gaze skimmed over her, taking a lazy turn over her breasts, then down her legs and back up again. “But I’ll get a lot of use out of the bedroom.”

“Of course.” Her voice sounded scratchy and she fought to bring it back under control.

There was something about him. From the pull of his shirt across his chest to the thud of his boots against the hardwood, he telegraphed confidence. The scruff around his chin complimented his short brown hair, and it all worked together to highlight his brooding hotness.

He looked like a man who knew his way around a woman, who would have her squirming with dirty talk until he trailed his tongue all over her. Her steps almost faltered at the thought, but she caught herself in time. A tiny tremor ran through her as she walked across the open space and stood in the bedroom doorway.

Her gaze shot to the windows, then to the huge bed and pile of pillows stacked against the headboard. “Here it is.”

“Are you going to let me in, Miss Sullivan? Show me what I want to see?” He stood right behind her.

A small puff of air brushed against her ear as his words spun through her. Heat radiated off him and smacked into her. He hadn’t touched her but stood close enough for her to feel his height, his strength. He practically surrounded her. A desperate need to see how their bodies fit together slammed into her.

She braced her hand against the doorjamb but didn’t move farther into the room. “Will your wife want to schedule an appointment?”

“No wife.” His fingertips skimmed the back of her neck, tickled her skin.

“Okay,” she said on a rough exhale.

“I prefer to be free to go after what I want.” The collar of her shirt slipped back. His lips followed his hand. His mouth trailed down and over her bare shoulder. That scruff scratched against her, stealing her breath. “Who I want.”

“I think…”

“Don’t.” His fingers slipped into her hair and the casual knot holding it up gave way. Strands fell on her shoulders, brushing against his hand.

She should have stopped. This was a terrible idea. It was so unprofessional…but she was twenty-eight years old and experienced. She could take what she wanted, when she wanted it. And she wanted him. Like, couldn’t-remember-how-to-breathe wanted him.

His hands trailed down her back and kept going, sweeping over her, learning every inch of her. There was no hesitation as his palms cupped her ass in a possessive grab.

“From the first time I heard your sexy voice I’ve wanted inside you.” His voice vibrated against the side of her neck.

“We can’t.” But God, she didn’t mean that at all. “We don’t know each other.”

A finger slipped over her, edged along the cleft between her cheeks. The shiver shooting through her had her defenses dropping.

“That will make the sex even better.” One of his hands moved. It slid up the outside of her thigh and under the edge of her slim skirt. Higher and higher, until his fingers snuck under the elastic band of her tiny scrap of underwear. “I’m going to have you, Miss Sullivan.”

Her head fell forward as his finger moved back and forth, sliding and enticing until it slipped inside her. Pumped in and out. She tried to think but her brain misfired. Every cell screamed for her to give in.

“Yes.” She barely whispered it, but he must have heard. He moved her through the doorway, just inside the bedroom. Turned her, until her palms slapped against the wall and her cheek pressed on the cool plaster. “God, yes.”

“I want to come in you. On you.” His thumb pressed against that spot.

He drew tiny circles against her clit while her insides jumped and her shoulders jerked. Unable to hold her body still or lock her knees, she balanced her forehead against the wall. “Do it.”

His body covered hers. His erection pressed hard against her as his finger opened her. “Damn, Annie bee, you’re soaking wet.”

The gasp escaped her before she could choke it back. “Jasper! You promised.”

Chapter 2

Jasper knew he’d messed up the second Annie froze beneath him. They’d been playing their game, and it had been going so well. Stranger sex, because role-playing  was their thing. The fact that the person renting her old condo had moved out and the place was temporarily empty until she got it rented again provided the perfect playground.

Until he blew it.

She turned around and stared at him with those big brown eyes. “Jasper Monroe.”

Both names. He’d clearly committed a role-playing sin. He rushed to cover up his wrong turn with a bit of truth. “Temporary mindfuck. Sorry.”

She looked close to smiling. “I’m not sure mindfuck is an actual thing.”

The woman clearly did not grow up in his house. “You can’t be serious.”

“Well, you are a very naughty boy.” The rest of her frustration seemed to fade and she treated him to a sexy wink.

He dipped his voice lower in response. “Yes, I am.”

“But you set the rules. No names.”

He did say that, because he would do anything for her. “My control goes to shit the minute I put my fingers in you. That’s no secret.”

She pressed her palm against his cheek. “You’re lucky you’re so adorable.”

That made him sound more like a puppy than a man. Not exactly how he wanted his woman to see him. “I’m desperate to get inside you. That part was not a game. Trust me.”

Her fingers traveled over his chin, then down to his chest before dropping away. A second later she pushed her skirt back down. Shimmied until it fell into place.

He caught her arm before she could pivot around him. “Hold up.”

“You had your chance, stud.” She leaned in and pressed a quick kiss on his nose. “I should get back to work.”

Not after that build-up, after coming so close to…coming. The guys would laugh him right out of the construction trailer if they knew, which they wouldn’t. Being the project architect, he had a reputation to protect. Besides, his body was locked and loaded.

He watched her, letting his gaze wander over those amazing breasts, stopping to linger on her stiff nipples. “No.”


“I said no.”

“Oh, really?” She froze. A haze moved over her eyes as tension thumped through the room. Interest and excitement pressed in on them.

Damn right.

He was fully back in control. “You heard me, Miss Sullivan.”

“I guess I did.” Her tone stayed steady right up until the end when her voice wobbled.

Yeah, this game would work. He knew she liked when he took charge. When he made demands and dominated her body. It worked for her, and it sure as hell worked for him.

He stepped back, forced his hand to drop from her waist and his voice to go flat, then nodded toward her skirt. “Take your panties off.”

The word didn’t do much for him, but she liked it. One mention of “panties” and heat flashed in her eyes. Just like this time.

Her gaze searched his face. “You think you’re in charge?”

Oh, he definitely was.

“Your body belongs to me.” Slowly and deliberately, he dropped to his knees in front of her. “Open your shirt and slip your bra to the side. I want to see what’s mine while you beg for me.”

She didn’t immediately move, and he needed clear consent. He put his hands on the outside of her knees and stilled. “Do we have a problem?”

She swallowed but didn’t say anything. The slow shake of her head provided the answer. She knew their safe word and understood she could call a halt to the game at any time. But she didn’t use either out.

The slight trembling in her muscles told him one thing: she wanted this. The next few minutes promised to be a wild ride.

“Good. Because I’d hate to have to report your behavior, Miss Sullivan.”

She raced to get the buttons of her blouse opened, then pulled the edges apart. Slipped the cups to the side until her pale pink nipples peeked out.

“Touch them while I touch you.” Heat wrapped around them. He could almost feel the need pulsing off her. In a span of less than a minute she’d switched from I should go to make me stay.

He pushed her back until her shoulders hit the wall again. Balanced there, he could play with her. He could lick her and watch those sexy legs buckle as she chanted his name.

“I should order you not to wear anything under your skirt next time we meet. And there will be a next time, Miss Sullivan.” His palms skimmed higher. His fingertips brushed against her silky underwear.

The pink set. He fucking loved the pink set, but he would love the material even more after he peeled it off her and it landed on the floor.

She moved her legs wider apart. The skirt stretched tight across her thighs. “I can’t do that. It wouldn’t be professional.”

He had no idea how she played the game while the breaths pounded out of her. He could barely concentrate.

“You don’t get a say.” He could smell her and it nearly killed him to hold back. “Now tell me what you need. I want to hear you ask for it. Then I’ll decide if I’m going to give it to you.”

He traced his fingertip over her, along the soft material until her wetness soaked through. He kept up the gentle torture, using his finger to caress her while her hands locked on his shoulders.

“Use your mouth.” Her knees bent slightly, as if she was trying to bring his body against hers.

Nice try. “Prove how much you want it.” He shoved her skirt up. She wiggled her hips to make the process easier.


On Sale
Sep 5, 2017
Page Count
144 pages

Helen Kay Dimon

About the Author

HelenKay Dimon is a former divorce attorney turned full-time romance author. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and two have been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine.

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson’s books have sold more than 375 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.

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