The laughter stopped.
"Oh, who could that be?" a male voice said exasperatedly.
"I don't know," replied a girl's voice. "I can completely understand why they'd want to see you, though."
"Hang on a sec," the boy called.
"Matt," murmured the girl quietly.
"Yes," Matt replied seriously.
"You have to tell them to wait a minute."
Then she giggled and Matt called, "Make that ten minutes."
Arthur rolled his eyes. "I don't particularly want to hear anymore of your conversation. Thirty seconds and I'm walking in on you."
"Arthur, you can't do that," I hissed.
"Listen to the girl," Matt called.
"Harriet, they're going to be much longer than ten minutes and unless you've developed a fatal attraction to Matt's voice, I doubt you'll want to stand here for that long."
"Ooh, this person sounds interesting," the girl called. "She and I could discuss Matt."
A few seconds later, Matt opened the door.
"Who's developed a fatal attraction to my voice?" he asked.
My jaw dropped open. Matt was ... there wasn't a word for it. His hair was black but tinged with every colour of the rainbow, his eyes were a warm brown but they were intense with darker flecks in them which made them easy to fall into and he was tall, muscular and ... topless. I barely noticed that though because I was transfixed by his eyes.
"You are an amazing looker," I think I said.
"Sorry," he apologised. "I'm taken," he said grinning.
A girl in a pink blouse and black miniskirt sat up on the bed behind Matt. She had long black hair and electric blue eyes and she said, "I told you every girl on the planet thinks you're hot,"to Matt who was smiling as he looked at me and Arthur.
"What did you want?" he asked Arthur.
I decided to strike up a conversation with the girl on the bed while Arthur explained.
"Hey," I said.
Matt stepped aside and I walkedpast him.
"You must be Zara," I said cheerfully. "I'm Harriet."
Matt turned and frowned at me. "How on earth do you know who Zara is?"
"Arthur told me."
Matt turned back to Arthur. "Why've you been talking about my girlfriend to yours?"
"Hey," Zara said.
"Apparently you're amazingly in love with Matt," I said. "I was awed when Arthur told me how you two are attuned to each other."
Zara stood up and frowned at Arthur. "Um, that was really random,..."
"What's his name?" she asked Matt. "Aardvark?"
Matt turned to her and kissed her. "You can call him whatever you like, my love."
"Your love?" Zara asked, looking captivated.
"Yes, my love," Matt said adoringly.
Zara fell into a sitting position on the bed. "Wow."
Matt turned to me. "So you want to know how a Captivator usually behaves?" he asked.
"Well, okay," he said. "Sit down somewhere and I'll converse with you as if I just met you in a bar or something - you're a little young for bars aren't you?"
"Yeah, I have to wait another few months. Zara can go in them, though."
I sat down at his desk as he spoke.
He turned to Zara. "Zara, love, you don't mind if I act how a typical Captivator would, do you?"
"Oh, I thought you were captivating anyway," she replied. "Go for it."
Matt drew up another chair and sat opposite me.
"Why, hi," he said in a pleasant voice, that he managed to make sound flattering.
"Hey," I said, caught and held by his eyes. I forgot Zara and Arthur were there completely and just wanted to be lost in those eyes.
"What's your name?"
"Harriet Thyme," I replied.
"Matt Mesmeri-..." he introduced himself as.
I fell asleep and woke up again.
Matt was grinning. "Does that often happen, sweetheart?"
"Yeah," I replied stupidly.
The intensity of Matt's eyes increased. "Do you like it when that happens?"
"Yeah," I replied, not really in a position where I could give sensible answers.
"Would you like it to happen more?"
"Mesmeri-..." he said.
I drifted off and awoke again.
"You do like that, don't you?" he asked, smiling captivatingly.
His eyes burned with fierce intensity. My mind went blank for a while.
"It was nice to meet you, sweetheart," he said. "I hope to see you again."
"Enchant," he murmured in my ear. I fell forwards, asleep again.
I woke up in a daze. I was lying on the floor.
"That's exactly how they'd talk to you," Matt said, voice its usual tone again. He was sitting next to Zara who was staring up at him as if he was an angel.
"D'you know what?" I said. "I actually want to meet one."
Matt looked at Arthur. "Your girlfriend's crazy, mate."
Arthur looked concerned. "She is."
"Nah," Zara said, "She's just under Matt's spell. He did keep her in a trance for a while."
"What did he suggest?" I asked.
"Oh, nothing; he's far too decent to act totally like a Captivator."
"A typical one," Matt said, "would ask you if you were interested in him, might make you interested in him, might ask some of your favourite things so he could enchant you and then he'd hypnotise you to follow him wherever he went and you'd end up either totally in love with him or too hypnotised to really be yourself."
"Oh, I see. And you're the one in this house who can act most like one?"
"No, who told you that?"
"Nah, you want to talk to Ryan."
Arthur looked alarmed. "No! I don't trust him!"
"He's your own brother."
"You have like six, don't you?" Zara asked Matt.
"Yeah: Henry acts like he's dead right now so we leave him alone."
"I bet you tried to get through to him the most," Zara said.
"That's flattering, my love."
Zara fell backwards so she was lying on her back. "You really ought to stop calling me that."
"I don't want to stop: I love spelling out my feelings for you."
He leant in and kissed her.
Matt wasn't paying attention to anyone other than Zara now so Arthur and I quietly left the room, closing the door softly behind us.