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VRG Trilogy 2C04 06


Virtual Reality Gaming Trilogy - Part 2
From Lust to Love

Copyright c 2002, Bingain (M~F+, cons, rom, ScFi, oral)


Chapter 4

Tim gave Alan a call when they were about five minutes away
from the game center. Alan told them to go to the staff
entrance at the rear of the building, and he would wait for
them there.

Tim saw Alan and Manus waiting for them outside the rear
entrance. He introduced Emma to them. "This is Alan, my
high school buddy. This is Manus, Annie's boyfriend," he
told Emma.

"Hey, Emma, welcome," Alan said.

"Hi Emma," Manus said. "You know Annie?"

"How can I not know her?" Emma said, smiling. "She's with
Tim every day." She giggled.

The guys chuckled as they went inside. Alan led them into
a room at the back. The room had a 'Staff Only' sign on it.
There were eight reclining chairs in the room. Unlike
those Tim had seen in other gaming center rooms, these
chairs were regular reclining chairs found in most
households. There were already four people in the chairs,
all wearing huge headset-like devices which covered their
ears and eyes, and a microphone at their lips. They were
also wearing big gloves like those worn by baseball players,
as well as big vinyl boots. At a corner, a guy was sitting
behind some equipment and monitors. Alan gestured for his
friends to go out of the room.

"Okay," Alan said. "As you can see, they are wearing the
standard prototype gears: headset, motion-gloves, and
motion-boots. Those chairs are just there to provide
comfort. You can actually lie on the floor."

After Tim and Emma finished chuckling, Alan continued, "The
game is called 'Double Taker'. It's a team game, in which
a team of people plays the bounty hunters, and the other
team plays the fugitives. I don't know why it has to be a
team. I guess it has to do with something they will
release later on. The starting point in the game is a maze,
with a random number of exit points, from eight to sixteen,
leading to different worlds. Some are deserts, some are
busy streets, some are small towns, and others are hotels,
business towers, anything. I heard that they've made about
fifty different worlds so far.

"The bounty hunters and the fugitives start at different
ends of the maze. The fugitives have to get into one of
the exit points before they are caught in the maze. Once
they get into the worlds, the bounty hunters will be
notified, and all exit points will be closed for two
minutes, before a new one will be opened near the bounty
hunters, and they can follow into the same world, but
usually different areas.

"There's a secret touch down point in each world. They are
randomly generated, so it can be a dumpster which you have
to jump into, it can be a big cat you need to kick, or it
can be a pretty girl that you have to grope."

Even Manus joined Tim and Emma laughing. Alan smiled as he
went on. "The key for both parties is to seek information
from the environment and the people. For the fugitives,
they can even tell the NPC to give faked information to the
bounty hunters."

Emma stopped Alan. "What is an NPC?" she asked.

"Oh," Alan said. "NPC stands for Non-Player-Characters.
They are computer generated dummy people. I don't know
what will happen if you grope every female NPC you see."

Manus, looking at Emma, said, "Or if you grope every male

"Yeah," Emma said, giggling. "Do you have an 'NPC' sign
you can hang on your chest?"

All the guys laughed. Then Alan continued, "There's no
violence or bloodshed in the game. Bounty hunters don't
shoot. They're equipped with capturing devices that will
catch the fugitives when they are within a range of ten
feet. So, if you play the fugitives, forget about
camouflage. It doesn't work if you're within range of the
capturing devices. The game's over when the bounty hunters
catch the getaways, or when the getaways hit the touch down
point, or when all players communicate through the game
moderator and agree to a draw or a pause, or if the game
has reached a predetermined time limit. Game moderator is
the guy you see in the corner. He can do anything with the
game. Any questions?"

"Yeah," Emma said. "Can I kiss my partner in the game?"

"That's the problem," Alan said. "In a trial game, I
kissed a girl I was trying to date. She works here, as
well. I didn't feel anything when I kissed her, but when
she woke up from the game, she had a bite on her lip, and
her tongue was almost slashed off. We were finished. She
didn't want to know how I kiss in real life."

Tim and Emma bent down laughing. Manus was also laughing,
although it wasn't the first time he had heard the story.

"Anyway," Alan said, "they found out some bugs in that part.
I'm not sure if it was the sensation programming, or the
emotion programming. They should've compensated me by
sending me a dozen chicks. But, instead, they disabled
some features in the game. Now all players in the game
wear full helmets and the same kind of clothes. The looks
and voices are all taken from a few random generated
templates. So, practically, it doesn't matter if Manus or
Emma plays my girlfriend." He beamed at them.

"So I suppose I can't take my clothes off in the game, can
I?" Emma asked, smiling slyly at Alan.

"No," Alan said. "But you can do it here and now. I don't
mind." He turned to Manus. "Do you?"

"Hell, no!" Manus said, eying Emma.

Emma giggled, and turned to ask Tim. "Do you mind?"

"I don't mind, if they pay us to provide them with a show,"
Tim said, with a made up innocent look.

"All right," Alan said. "Let's don't get carried away. Oh,
I almost forgot. We've named the moderator 'Bingain'. If
you need to contact him while in the game, press the
emergency button on your bracelet, and yell his name.
Don't bullshit with him, though. He's not going to help
you solve the quest, or give you hints. He's there to
protect you from mishaps, and note any bugs. Now, do you
want to play the cop or the outlaw?"

Emma glanced at Tim. "Well, he's a bad boy," she said.
"So I suppose we should play the outlaws."

"Okay," Alan said. "Let's set the game time to thirty
minutes. Is that okay?"

"Fine for me," Tim said.

"Fine for me too," Emma said.

They went inside the room again. Alan went over to the
moderator and told him the team arrangement and game time,
while Manus helped Tim and Emma put on their equipment.
They took their seats, and the moderator came over to help
them adjust the equipment. "Raise your thumb when you're
ready," the moderator said.

Tim raised his thumb. "This is better," he thought to
himself. "At least they have a life moderator here."


Tim found himself in the maze, wearing black track-suit.
He heard a female voice from behind. He turned around and
saw a tall girl in a similar outfit, wearing a black helmet.
The girl was almost as tall as he was. He couldn't see
through the tinted face shield she was wearing, so he
couldn't see what she looked like. Nevertheless, he knew
that it was his partner, played by Emma.

Emma studied him briefly. "Hi, bad boy," she said, and
raised her hand to push on her face shield.

To his surprise, Emma could lift her face shield over her
head. Her simulation had blue eyes, a tall nose, and a few
strands of blonde hair on her forehead. "Typical Barbie
doll template," Tim thought, as he raised a finger to lift
his face shield. "What do I look like?"

"Oh," Emma said smiling, "you look as bad as you are in my
bed, baby. How about me?"

"You're so sexy, I suppose my bad thing is sticking out of
my jeans in the room," he said.

Emma giggled. "Really?" she said, and came over to grope
at his crotch. "Can you feel this?"

Tim looked down at her hand. He could feel her fondling
his manhood, but it was as if he already had sex a dozen
times that day. He didn't feel blood rushing to that part.
He stretched his hands to fondle her breasts. "How do you
feel?" he asked.

Emma looked down at his hands, then raised her eyes to look
at him. "My goodness," she said in disappointment. "It's
the first time a guy has groped me, and I can't feel it.
This game sucks!"

Tim laughed. "Well, I suppose we need to find an NPC to
grope, then," he said, and looked around to find way to any
of the exit points.

They jogged for about two minutes before they found a
shining metal door. It opened when they were a couple
steps away from it. They stepped out of the maze, and
found themselves in a pub. The door vanished behind them.

"A pub!" Emma said excitedly. "Let's dance, baby."

"I thought we were trying to get away from the bounty
hunters," Tim said.

"Well, let them find us," Emma said. She held Tim's hand
and went to the floor.

Emma stopped in front of a nice looking guy. "Hi," she
said to him.

The handsome guy turned to look at Emma. "Hi, lady," he
said. Then he returned his attention to the girl he was
dancing with, and continued swaying to the music.

Emma whispered to Tim, "I'm going to grope him. Back me up,

"Handsome guy," Emma said, sliding her body in between the
dancing couple, and 'accidentally' groping the guy's crotch.

The handsome guy halted, and looked at Emma. "What do you
need, my lady?" he asked, smiling.

Emma stepped back a little. "He's hard," she whispered to
Tim. "Try his partner."

Tim hesitated briefly. "Back me up," he whispered to Emma.
He stepped forward to the girl, who was still dancing, even
though her partner had stopped when Emma talked to him.
"Hi, sweetie," he said.

"Hi, handsome," the girl said.

Tim pretended he was bumped from behind, and fell toward
the girl. He held the girl with one hand, and touched her
breast with his other hand. Her breasts felt like a
plastic surgeon's work.

The girl stopped all her motions. Everyone else in the pub
stopped. Lights were turned on. Music was halted. Tim
swung around to look at Emma, who was glancing around with
an astonished expression. Then different music played, and
all the people in the pub applauded. "Congratulations!"
they screamed.

People around Tim and Emma started moving away. The floor
where they were standing started to rise into a platform.
A pretty girl in an evening gown came over.
"Congratulations," she said. "You've defeated the evil
bounty hunters."

They saw Andy and Manus behind the girl. They were
apparently very disappointed. "Game's over! Please come
play again," the girl said. "Counting down now. Five,
four, three, two, one, thank you!"

Tim woke up in his reclining chair. He turned his face to
look at Emma, who was also looking at him. She had a tiny
smile on her face.

The moderator came over and removed the equipment from them.
"Congratulations," he said, smiling at them. "You guys
have broken the record for hitting the touch down point in
the shortest time." He then went over to help Alan and
Manus take off their gear.

"Holy crap!" Manus said. "What did you do? How did you
find out about the touch down point?"

"Female instinct," Emma said, giggling. "Hurray for all

All the guys in the room laughed. "So, do you want another
game?" Alan asked.

Emma thought for a moment. "I'm a little tired. Can we
play again next week?" she said.

"Sure," Alan said. "I'm trying to find a time earlier, so
Annie can join us. Damn, we need more females. The
developer wants more females to participate, so they can
adjust the game balance accordingly."

"If Annie comes, what about you?" Tim asked.

"Well, I play it every night. You don't have to worry.
I'll be the moderator, so this guy can play those bloodshed
games he likes." He pointed to the moderator at the corner,
who was smiling at Alan's remarks.

"By the way, those face shields on the helmets," Tim said.
"I could lift it up. A feature or a bug?"

"Bug," the guy in the corner said. "It will be fixed

"Yeah, it's a bug," Alan said. "It doesn't tally with the
present policy of shielding character identities. I
believe eventually there will be no face shields, and you
can choose your face and features like some other games.
There's a lot to be done with this cheaper personal gear."

"It's still fun. Too bad I have a smart partner," Tim
beamed at Emma. "Or, we could have a more challenging

The four players went outside the game room.

"Are you leaving now?" Tim asked Alan.

"Yeah, in a moment," Alan said. He turned to Manus. "Are
you going to wait for me?"

"Yeah," Manus said. He turned to the couple, and said,
"I'll show you guys out."

They waved goodnight to Alan, then again to Manus outside
the entrance, and drove back.

"Why didn't you play another game?" Tim asked.

"Oh," Emma said, smiling slyly. "I thought you wanted to
play another type of game."

"Oh," Tim said, copying her style. "How did you know?"

Emma sniffed the air. "I can smell it," she said, giggling.

"Where are we going?" he asked.

"My home," she said. "Dad's asleep now. But you have to
be careful and not to make any noise. I don't think you
should stay overnight, unless you can wake up really early
tomorrow morning. It's not a nice thing if you were to
wake up at nine, go for your pee, and get caught by my dad
naked. He may like your ass." She giggled again.

Tim laughed. "By the way," he said. "How did it feel when
you groped the guy's cock?"

"His cock was hard, but cold," Emma said, giggling. "I'd
rather have a hot one." She put a hand on his thigh and
started stroking.

"Don't make me come while I'm driving," he said.

"Oh," Emma said. "I've never tried that before. Sounds
like a good idea." She moved her hands over to his bulge.

"Oh," he said. "I thought you'd rather I come with you
later, than being wasted before arriving at your house."

"Oh, well," Emma said, glancing at Tim. "If you get wasted
so easily, what're you good for?"

"How many times have we done it today?" Tim said.

"Only twice," she said. "You still owe me ten."

"Oh," Tim said. "Ten. We need that guy you groped at the

Emma burst out laughing. "By the way, how was the gal you
groped?" she asked.

"Plastic surgeon's work," he said. "Forget about her.
Yours are a million times better."

"Oh," she said. "Just a million times?"

"Trillion times. I stand corrected," he said.

They got into her house carefully, and sneaked into her
room. They experienced their hot, passionate, and vigorous
game. He had to cover her mouth with his lips so she
wouldn't wake up her dad as she came loudly. Tim left her
house after a brief rest. He didn't know if he could wake
up before her dad the next morning. He went home, took a
shower, and went to bed.


During the following week, Tim was informed by Alan that he
had managed to get them a one hour period at midnight on
the following Sunday. Tim also knew Annie would be

Tim rented a room at a motel on Saturday, so he wouldn't
have to worry about where to go for a nap and fun games.
It was indeed a brilliant idea. Emma was more demanding
than the previous weeks. He didn't even take her out for
dinner, but ordered a pizza instead. They had a nap after
their dinner, until it was time for them to go to the
second virtual reality game.

Emma seemed delighted to see Annie at the gaming center.
"Should we have an all female team against an all guys
team?" she suggested.

Tim shrugged. "Fine for me," he said.

But since Manus looked a little hesitant, they went back to
a mixed team. They also decided that Tim's team would play
the bounty hunter role this time. Manus explained all the
details to Annie before they went into the room, where Alan
was busy with the equipment in the corner.

After a few seconds, Alan looked up and saw them. "Nice
timing," he said. "I've just applied a minor patch. He
gestured for Tim to step over to him, and whispered in his
ear, "Grope your partner when you're in the maze. This
feature will likely disappear by the next time you play."

Tim found himself in a black suit and tie when he was in
the maze. He knew he was still wearing the helmet, and he
couldn't lift the face shield up. He turned around to
check his partner. Emma had shrunk in size, but had well
proportioned figure. She was wearing similar attire as he.
She waved to him.

Tim went over, hugged her, and 'accidentally' fondled her
breasts. Emma looked shocked, staring at him. "You groped
me!" she said. Her voice sounded like Marilyn Monroe.

"How did it feel?" he said.

Emma didn't answer. She reached for his crotch and fondled
his manhood. "Oh my goodness," she exclaimed. "You're
getting bad."

Tim laughed. "Too bad we can't take off our clothes," he
said. "Let's go after the outlaws. May be we can strip

"Hope so," she said, giggling.

They began searching in the maze. A while later, they
heard a voice coming out from a public addressing system.
"Fugitives have gone to The Double Taker Tower," the voice
said. "Capture operation has been suspended for two
minutes. A portal will then be opened to that area when
operation is resumed."

"Well," Tim said. "There's nothing we can do except wait."

"Oh well," Emma said. "Nothing to do, except groping."

"Well," Tim said, "considering you can't remove your helmet
or your clothes, and you can't even kiss, I don't see a
huge incentive in groping. It's only going to make things

"True," Emma said. "I hate this damn helmet."

They waited until a bright blue portal opened in front of
them. They stepped inside, and found themselves in the
lobby of an office building. They looked around, but they
didn't see the suspects. They glanced at each other, and
went over to the enquiry desk, which was manned by a bulky
security guard.

"Have you seen two people who are wearing helmets?" Tim
asked him.

"No, I haven't," the guard said.

They looked around again. Emma grabbed a businessman who
passed by them. "Have you seen anyone wearing helmets?"
she asked.

"They went to the basement," the business man said.

"Hurray!" Emma exclaimed, and started to walk toward the

Tim moved a step, remembered something, and asked the
businessman again, "Did they tell you they were going to
the basement?"

"Yes," he said.

Emma heard it, and she came back. "So did you see where
they headed for? Don't tell what they said or what they
told you to tell us, or I'm going to kick you in the
fucking balls. You got it?" she growled at him.

"They went inside the elevator to the farthest end," the
businessman said, with a scared expression on his face,
covering his groin with his hands.

"Yay!" Emma gave Tim a high five. They went over to the
elevator. It served levels Thirty to Forty-five, still a
huge area, but at least they were getting closer.

"Okay," Tim said. "We don't have to care how these NPC's
think or feel. We can be rude to them and nobody is
getting hurt." He looked around, and pulled out a roll of
newspapers from the litter bin. They waited for the

As soon as the elevator door opened, Tim raised his
newspapers, pointing to them. "Hands up! Nobody moves,"
he yelled, "or I'll blow your heads off."

Everyone in the elevator had their hands up. "Okay. Now,
whoever can tell me where two people wearing helmets went,
can go. Everyone else will be eliminated."

"Level Thirty-four!" half of the crowd said, while the
other half said "Level Forty!"

Tim could hardly control himself. Emma was already
laughing. "All right, who told you they were going to
Level Thirty-four?"

"The man in black," half of them said.

"Who told you they were going to Level Forty?"

"The woman in black," the rest said.

"Where did they actually go?"

"Level Thirty!" they said in unison.

Tim and Emma exchanged looks again. "Now get the hell out
of here," Tim roared, waving his roll of newspapers.

They went inside the elevator, pressed Level Thirty, and
waited for the door to close. "It looks like they don't
have very good teamwork," Emma said, giggling.

"Looks like it," Tim said, smiling.

When the elevator door opened on Level Thirty, they looked
around the lobby. "Where do you think they've gone?" Emma

Tim thought for a moment. He pointed at the floor.
"Downstairs," he said. "If I were them."

Emma thought for a moment as well. "Sounds logical," she
said, and started looking for a stairwell.

"Now what?" Emma said as they reached the Twenty-ninth

"Well," Tim said teasingly, "if the damn helmets and
clothes could be taken off, I would have taken my partner
to the restroom or storeroom. But we can't. And Annie
isn't a very playful person, so I would guess they may be
either somewhere on this floor, on their way down, or..."

"Or what?" Emma asked.

Tim thought briefly. He knew Manus had played this game a
number of times before. Manus would probably have thought
of many tactics. He would probably have found the safest
place. Tim jogged toward the elevators and pressed the
button. He then turned around to Emma. "Main Lobby!" he

They found the escaping couple sipping coffee in the lobby
coffee shop. Manus had a very disappointed and frustrated
look on his face. The end game routine replayed again.
Emma hugged Tim in excitement in the game, and again after
the game when she got off her chair.

"Another game!" Manus offered, apparently still feeling
like he lost the game unreasonably.

"Tim!" Alan waved at him, before anyone could respond to
Manus's request.

Tim went over to Alan, who handed back Tim's cell phone to
him. "Deb called you," he said. "She didn't sound good."

"Oh, thanks," Tim said. "I guess I'm going to call her
back now. You want to play?"

Alan glanced at Emma. "She's your partner," he said.

Tim turned to Emma. "I have a call from my sister. I need
to call her back and I don't know how long it'll take.
Would you like to team up with Alan?"

"Sure," Emma said. "Well, Alan, I hope you're better than

Alan smiled at her. He picked up the phone and pressed an
extension number. He asked another guy to come over and
take up his moderator position.

Tim went outside to the hall and called his step-sister.
Deborah cried into the phone when she heard her brother's
voice. She told him what had happened. She had a big
fight with her boyfriend on the day before. She thought it
over, and went to his apartment to try smoothing things out,
and found him in bed with another girl. She broke off with

Tim consoled his step-sis, and talked with her until he saw
his friends coming out from the game room.

Chapter 5
"How was the game?" Tim asked when he drove back to the

"We lost this time," Emma said. "They played fugitives
again, and went into a jungle world. How the heck could we
gather any information from the animals? We couldn't find

"Well, I suppose there's a way to make them talk or to give
information," Tim said. "You just hadn't found out."

"Oh well," Emma said. "We tried stroking them, groping
them, threatening them. Nothing worked. Maybe you should
try them next time."

"So it's a disappointing loss, huh?" Tim said.

"Yeah, kind of," Emma said. "But it's just a game, no big
deal. Well," she turned and smiled at Tim as she continued,
"do you know he's big?"

"Alan?" Tim turned to look at her. "Goodness! You groped

"Oh well," Emma said, "are you jealous?"

"Well," Tim said, "you're not my girlfriend."

"You know," Emma said, smiling at Tim, "This is why I like
you, even though you're a little off my style. You don't
take things for granted like most guys. Yeah, guys, they
can screw every girl they meet, but a girl has to wait in
his bed for his merciful fuck."

Tim laughed. "Merciful?" he said. "Well, I know my
position, and I think I know what you're looking for.
After all, it's your summer vacation here."

"Very true," Emma said. "You know, if you were more
romantic and caring, I might want more from you."

"I thought I was very caring," Tim said.

"You are," Emma said. "In a friendly manner, not a
romantic manner."

"I don't get it," Tim said.

"Have you ever bought me flowers?" Emma said. "Have you
ever bought me tiny gifts? Have you... well, never mind
that, you're not supposed to say you love me." She giggled.

Tim thought for a moment. "I'm sorry," he said. "I
thought I would do that for... nah, I was wrong. You're
right. Thanks for letting me know."

"Anyway," Emma said, giggling, "you're not my type of guy.
But it's great to have you here. You're a great guy. You
know, if you can stick your cock into my belly button, I
may let you pop that unbeatable cherry."

Tim laughed again. "So, did he grope you?" he asked.

"Alan?" Emma said, giggling, "He's a useless chicken. What
a waste for him to have a big cock!"

"Nah," Tim said, smiling. "He's not useless. I guess it's
because I'm his friend, probably his best friend."

"Oh," Emma said. "Did you tell him I was your girlfriend?"

"No," Tim said. "He probably took it for granted. Anyway,
I bet he wouldn't touch you even if I was just putting a
move on you."

"Oh well," Emma said. "His loss. Damn, I've never been in
a threesome with two guys who are best friends." She

They arrived at the motel. "Do you want me to call him
over?" he teased Emma.

"Nah," Emma said as they stepped into their room. "I'm not
going to touch that useless big cock chicken again. Hmm, I
wish you had two cocks. Hey! Let's play sixty-nine."


The next morning at breakfast, Emma asked Tim, "What would
you do if you found me in bed with Alan? Would you join

"Are you considering?" Tim asked.

"What would you do?"

"Well," Tim said, "we're very close friends, but we are not
sex friends. You're a free woman, except when we're
screwing each other. You can screw any guy you like, Alan
or anyone. But I won't join in. Are you considering
screwing him?"

"No," Emma said. "Told you. I was just trying to get your

"Have you ever actually done a threesome?" Tim asked,

"Yeah, once," Emma said. "Just for curiosity. Honestly, I
don't like it. Sex is for fun and joy. I didn't see them
in a threesome. Well, if you had two dicks, I may want to
try it more often." She giggled.

"Too bad, too bad," Tim mumbled, smiling at Emma.

"So what are you going to do today?" Emma asked. "Besides
fucking me?"

"What do you have in mind?" Tim said.

Emma thought for a while. "Why don't we take a drive?
Let's go to Niagara Falls," Emma suggested.

"Promise me you won't get me bad in public place," Tim said.

"No, I won't promise," Emma said, smiling mischievously.

"Please," Tim pleaded.

"No," Emma said. "All I can promise is I'll get you to a
place where you can get relief, the moment you need it."


The following week went on peacefully. The weekend virtual
reality game was called off, as Alan had a problem fitting
them in an earlier time, and Annie wanted to concentrate on
studying for her final examination in her class. Alan had,
however, informed Tim that he had fitted them in a ninety
minute period, from 12:30 am on Sunday, the last day of

Emma had started talking with Annie in a very friendly
manner, whenever she saw her in the parking lot. Annie,
however, still displayed some uneasiness whenever she was
with Emma. In fact, Annie didn't seem to be in a good mood
all week long. Tim suspected she was under huge pressure
because of her school and work.

Manus surprised Tim and Annie by showing up in the parking
lot on Wednesday evening, after their classes. He showed
them the car he just bought from another coworker. It
looked a lot crappier than Tim's twelve-year-old car.
However, it was a big start for Manus, as he didn't make
much money from his summer job. He took Annie home.

Tim and Emma didn't have a final examination for their
class, but they had to submit a research paper. Tim didn't
see Emma over the weekend, as he was busy doing research
and writing the paper. He also called Deborah again to
find out how she was coping with her situation. Deborah
told him she was coming home on the day before Independence
Day. She would be staying home for two weeks, before her
second summer classes started.


The first part of summer classes ended on Friday, June 28th.
Tim had agreed to take the girls to a dinner, celebrating
the completion of the course. They went to a pizza
restaurant. After the meal, they went to a bowling alley,
and had some drinks in the attached snack bar. Manus and
Alan showed up a little past midnight. They had a few
casual bowling games before they all left.

Tim took Emma to his home. His parents had managed to get
both Saturday and Sunday off, and had gone to New York City
to spend a weekend with Tim's widowed step-grandma. They
had sex again and again in his bed.

When Tim woke up on Saturday, it was already close to ten.
He found Emma sitting at his desk and talking on her phone.
She was wearing one of his tee shirts, which she apparently
took from one of his drawers. She waved to him when she
saw him awake, but continued talking on the phone for
another fifteen minutes.

She came over to the bed after the phone call, and snuggled
against Tim. "Good morning, babe," she said, smiling. "I
woke up this morning horny, and you were asleep. So I
called up all guys I knew for some phone sex."

Tim laughed, then stroked her thighs, and said, "I thought
it would be more practical if you just took advantage of my
morning badness."

"Oh, badness," Emma cooed. "Let me see how bad." She
started stroking his hardness. "Not too bad! You need to
be more bad, that is, worse, and more worse," she said as
she started massaging his body with hers.

Tim's morning badness didn't last long, with Emma
straddling fervently on top of him. They took a shower,
and then Tim made Emma a hot breakfast.

"So, what are you going to do for the rest of the summer?"
Tim asked.

"I'm going to UK and France for two weeks with my cousin,"
Emma said. "Then, I don't know... maybe I'll stay in New
York for a couple of weeks, or maybe I'll come to see if
you're taken or not."

Tim chuckled. "Wow," he said in mock sadness, "I'm on the
bottom of your list."

Emma giggled. "Well," she said, "you're the only guy on my
list, so don't feel bad."

"Oh," he said, copying her style again. "Female is your

"Yeah," Emma said, glancing at him, "when I don't need sex.
You know, guys are usually only good for one thing. Well,
two, if you include making breakfast."

Tim laughed.

"Can I smoke in the house?" Emma asked.

"Well, nobody smokes in the house, so my mom may not like
it," he said. "Do you mind if we go out to enjoy the sun?"

"Sure," Emma said. "Would you please get my bag from your
room? Make sure you bring the condoms with you."

Tim laughed as he went up the stairs. He took Emma's
handbag, got some soft drinks from the fridge, and took her
to the backyard. They sat in the glider by a tree, and
continued with their conversation.

"Anyway," Emma said, "I'll be going to New York tomorrow
and staying with my uncle for a couple of days, before the
trip. I'm not sure if I will see you again this summer,
or... well... this life. I'll always remember you, though.
You're just sweet." She smiled amiably at him.

Tim smiled at her. "I'll remember you, too," Tim said.
"You're a great woman."

"Oh," Emma said. "I thought I was a slut."

Tim laughed. "To tell the truth," he said. "That was what
I thought about you when I... you know... first showed you
my badness. Do you mind me asking something?"

"No," Emma said. "What do you want to know?"

"Have you slept with another guy since we first slept
together?" Tim asked.

"No. Should I?" Emma said, and winked at him. "Okay, if
that big cock guy wasn't such a chicken, I might have, and
would have dumped you." She giggled.

"Okay," Tim said. "So you don't usually have multiple
sexual partners at the same time, do you?"

"No," Emma said. "I like finishing with one before going
for another." She giggled again.

Tim chuckled. "That means," he said, "you're a sexually
active person, which is not the definition of a slut."

"Oh," Emma said. "Sexually active, not slut. Hmm, still a
long way to go, huh?" She winked at him.

Tim smiled. "No," he said. "In fact, occasionally you let
some of your deeper side slip out. You're a lot more than
what you seem to be."

Emma smiled at him. "Thank you, sweetie. You surely know
how to make a woman happy without sending her flowers," she
said. "Tell you what. When you come over to Albany to
visit your sister, give me a call. I'll buy you a dinner,
and if I don't have a guy yet, I'll make sure you won't
have the strength to drive back. How's that?"

"Sounds great to me," Tim said, laughing.

"Well, I guess I have to go now," Emma said. "I'm going
shopping with some high school friends. Would you like to
join us for dinner?"

Tim was still considering when Emma spoke again.

"Well," she said, smiling at him, "let's just say I'm not
the prettiest of them."

Tim laughed. "No," he said, "I wasn't thinking about that.
But, anyway, I'll come. Where and when?"

"Seven at lust and sex," Emma said. "Oh, I meant Lester's
Steakhouse." She giggled.

Emma went back to his room, changed back into her own
clothes, kissed Tim, and left.


Tim mowed the lawn after Emma left. He then went to his
room and cleaned it up, something he hadn't done for a
while. He worked on his computer after lunch, then took a
nap. When he woke up, he was almost late for dinner with
Emma and her friends. He hurried to change his clothes,
and drove to the restaurant.

When he was inside Lester's Steakhouse, he saw Emma waving
to him from a big table. He went over. There were already
another four girls and two guys there. They chitchatted
while enjoying food and drinks. Some of them were coming
back home from Albany. Two of them were going to Monroe
Community College, but Tim couldn't identify who. Tim,
however, knew Emma lied to him. She was undoubtedly the
prettiest of all the girls at the table, although none of
them were bad looking.

Toward the end of the dinner, they were discussing whether
they should go dancing, or go bowling. Finally, a vote
determined they would go bowling.

Tim was actually a lousy bowler. Everyone else scored much
better than him. Emma was pretty good, scoring an average
of 170 per game, using her own ball. In fact, most of them
had their own balls. He opted out of the third game,
blaming his aching back, and watched them play. He offered
to buy them refreshments.

When Tim carried the tray of drinks back from the snack bar,
he took another seat next to Emma, which made him feel
easier. A short girl with short auburn hair had just hit a
spare, and came back to take a drink and sit in the empty
seat next to Tim.

"Why aren't you playing?" she asked.

"Arched back," Tim said.

"Well," Emma said from his side, "I guess he meant arched

The girl giggled with Emma.

It was Emma's turn. She picked up her ball, and stepped up
to the lane.

"So, what're you doing at Monroe?" the auburn-haired girl

"General stuff," Tim said, while trying to remember her
name. "I've just finished English One. I hope I'll pass."

"Oh, don't worry about that," she said. "You'll pass, as
long as you go to the class. You'll score a C if you hand
in all the assignments."

Emma hit another strike. Both Tim and the girl gave her a
high five when she returned. It was the turn of another of
the better players. She glanced at Emma, and gave her a
challenging smile before she made her move. She also hit a

They talked loosely and briefly for a while, and it was the
auburn-haired girl's turn again. Tim whispered to Emma,
"What's her name again?"

"Pamela, or Pam," Emma whispered back. "Are you interested
in her?"

"Nah," Tim whispered, "but it's awkward to ask about her
name again."

"She goes to Monroe," Emma whispered. "She lives not very
far away from you. She has no car and no boyfriend at the
moment. You could take advantage of these." She smiled
slyly at him.

"What does she do at Monroe?" Tim whispered.

"Pam," Emma said when she was coming back, "Tim wants to
know what you are taking at Monroe. He also wants to know
what your favorite color is for panties."

"No," Tim said, embarrassed, as Pamela looked at him, and
then joined Emma laughing.

"I'm in Nursing," Pamela said as she sat down. Emma got up
for her turn. She took her ball and smiled slyly at Tim.

"Okay," Tim said. He stayed silent as he watched Emma
throwing her ball in a smooth and stylish manner. She hit
nine pins. She threw again, and made her spare. She came
back and motioned for Tim to get up.

Emma took Tim's seat, and told him to take her seat. Tim
looked at her with an inquiring expression. "We need a
little girl talk here," Emma whispered to him.

When Pamela returned from her turn at bowling, Emma started
whispering with her. They only briefly talked with Tim
when the other one was at the lane. Eventually, Emma beat
the other better player by a small margin.

Emma whispered in Tim's ear, "Go talk with her. I've told
her you're not my boyfriend."

Tim whispered back. "Can we have a fast screw outside?"

Emma giggled, went to the snack bar, lighted up a cigarette,
and waited for Tim. "Okay," she said as Tim came over to
her. "What's the matter?"

"Look," Tim said. "I'm not putting a move on her. It just
happened she was sitting next to me and talking to me, and
I felt stupid not knowing her name, and I didn't want to
ask her."

"Oh," Emma said, smiling, "don't be so harsh, baby.
Actually... well, anyway, you can talk with her like a nice
friend. What will happen next, nobody can tell."

"I'm sorry, Emma," Tim said. "I didn't feel easy."

"It's okay, baby," Emma said, smiling. "It's not the first
day I've known you." She turned to watch the people buying
refreshments, and continued, "Actually, she had also asked
about you. I just want to tell you one thing though, in
case... in case you're interested. Unlike me, she'll be
very distressed if you screw her and then sleep with
another girl. Well, I hope she doesn't mind it if it's
me." She turned to Tim and smiled.

"I thought you would, too," Tim said teasingly.

Emma smiled. "Actually," she said softly, "I would.
That's why I always tried to waste you out before you go."
She giggled.

Tim chuckled. "Okay," he said. "Fast screw is over.
Let's get back."

They went back and continued with the game. Tim
participated in another game, and then withdrew again. He
talked with some of the others, but mostly talked with Emma
and Pamela. Tim and Emma excused themselves from the group
when it was midnight.

Emma whispered something to Pamela, and Tim saw the auburn-
haired girl blush. She poked Emma before bidding them

"What did you say to her?" Tim asked on their way out.

"I told her I had to screw you one last time before handing
you over to her," Emma said and giggled.

Tim laughed. He turned to Emma. "Are you going to?" he

"Well," Emma said, "actually, no." She turned to look in
his eyes, and continued, "I wouldn't have told her if I
had the intention. We had a nice conclusion this morning.
I like it. I'd like to keep it that way, until you come to
Albany and beg me."

"Oh," Tim said.

"Well, Tim," Emma said, "there aren't many guys I've
screwed, and will keep as friends. You're on a very short
list. You should feel honored." She smiled at him.

"I'm honored," Tim said. "In fact, just knowing you and
having you talk with me in this way is an honor."

"Oh," Emma smiled, "should I break my promise and blow you

"Well, maybe they've fixed the virtual reality game so you
can now take off your clothes," Tim said.

Emma laughed. "Oh yeah," she said, glancing at him. "That
may be better. We've got to hurry. Time's up."


Alan was again working behind the equipment in the corner
of the game room. He raised his head to greet the two
couples, and said, "The developer is apparently working on
some material patches, so there's not many changes from
last time you guys played. All male versus all female, or
couples duel?"

They decided to try a gender duel game. The girls chose to
be fugitives. "Girls like being chased," Emma said,
giggling with Annie.

Then Annie add, "But they don't necessarily like to be

Alan laughed with the guys, then said, "Let's make it
thirty minutes per game." He then helped the players to
put on their gear.

Manus and Tim followed the girls into a medieval town.
They searched, asked the NPC's, went into the forest
outside the town, but they couldn't find them. They were
rather frustrated. Manus was trying to say something, when
a bright red portal showed up in front of them.

"The fugitives have found the secret to eternal freedom.
You have failed your mission," a stern female voice said.

"Damn it," Manus said, and walked into the red portal. Tim
followed him.

They found Annie and Emma sitting at a table in a place
that looked like a vineyard. They were sipping wine, and
smiling happily at the guys. "This game is crazy," Emma
said. "Five bottles to touch down."

"Plus stroking this cat," Annie said, smiling. A big cat
with light brown fur was snuggling in her lap.

They returned to reality in the game room.


"I guess it's a pairs duel now?" Alan asked them.

His phone rang. Alan picked up the handset, talked briefly,
and then he rose up. "Hang on for a moment," he told them.
"They need me at Room Two now. I'll be right back." He
rushed out of the room.

After a few minutes, Manus took off his gear and got up
from his chair. "I'll go check it out," he said, and he
left the room.

Manus returned a few minutes later. "Some stupid guys mis-
configured some routines. Alan's fixing it now. No biggie,
he's done it million times before," he said.

"Should we wait here or outside?" Tim asked.

"We can start playing," Manus said, as he put on the helmet
and boots and struggled toward the corner. He took his
gloves, but didn't put them on. "I'll play from here," he

"I doubt if that's a good idea," Tim said. Technically, a
person could be a moderator and player at the same time,
but since a moderator could do anything, he could win every
game easily if he wished.

"Don't worry," Manus said. "I know what I'm doing. By the
way, why don't we try something new? We'll let the
computer assign roles for us. What do you think?"

"Then how do we know whether we're playing as bounty
hunters or fugitives?" Emma asked.

"If you're wearing a red bracelet on your left wrist in the
game, you're the bounty hunter. If you're wearing a blue
bracelet, you're a fugitive," Manus said.

Tim wasn't very comfortable with all these ideas, but he
followed along.

A few moments later, Tim was in the maze again. He looked
at his bracelet. It was red. He was a bounty hunter. He
looked down at his apparel, and found that he was wearing
dark blue sweats and pants. He turned around and saw his
partner looking at her bracelet. She had apparently been
assigned a body from a nice template, as her figure showed
up pretty sharply, even in her loose sweats.

"We're the cops," she said, looking at him. She had a
Boston accent.

"Yeah," Tim said. "Let's go get the criminals."

They started looking for their targets in the maze, without
success. A few minutes later, they were informed by the
game that the fugitives had gone to the 'Double Taker
Paradise'. They followed when a portal was opened for
them, two minutes later.

They were on a beach. Tim looked around and then said to
his partner, "A sign's over there. Let's go take a look."

"It's getting dark," she said, as she followed him toward
the sign standing in the sand.

"Yeah," Tim said. "I didn't realize it had different time
settings, as well." He stepped closer to the sign, and
read what was written on it.

"We're on an isolated island!" she said, in a slightly
daunted voice, when she saw the words on the sign. "No
people to ask!"

"I guess we'll have to look for signs and indications, and
hope it's not a big island," he said.

A while later they found a stream coming down from a forest
on the gentle slope. They went over and saw some wet

"They'd been here!" she yelled, as he examined the
direction of the footprints. They were leading to the

"Let's follow them," he said, and started scooting,
following the footprints.

"Do you have the time?" she asked, slightly panting behind
him. They were inside the forest, and couldn't see the
beach anymore.

Tim checked the bracelet. "We've been here for ten
minutes," he said.

"Footprints have disappeared," she said.

Tim looked around. He was on the left bank of the stream.
If they had crossed the stream, they should have left
footprints behind. He turned to his left. The soil and
grass were dry. "I think they went there," he said.


"What's the time?" she asked again, after another little
while. She was panting.

"Twenty five minutes," Tim said. He was also panting.

"I don't think we're going to find them," she said.

"I think you're right," he said. "But we should try for
the rest of the time. Only five minutes left."

They slowed down and continued with their search, without
success. Tim started to think Manus might be taking
advantage of his dual identity to hide his tracks.

He checked the time again. They had been in the game for
thirty one minutes. "Oh no," Tim said to himself, "not
again, not another game crash."

She was also checking her bracelet. "Thirty two minutes!"
she squealed. "What's the matter?"

"I don't know," Tim said. "Probably some bugs. Don't
worry, we have the moderator who will get us out fast."

"Damn it!" she sighed, and sat down beside a tree trunk.

Tim walked over and sat down beside her. The sky was
getting darker. They couldn't see more than twenty yards

"I don't like this," she said. Tim couldn't see her face,
but knew her eyes had to be showing some fear.

"Don't worry," Tim calmed her, putting an arm around her
shoulder. "I've been in worst situations before, and I'm
still very alive."

She giggled, and leaned her back on his chest, while
catching her breath.

He put his hands on her arm and stroked gently. He would
have stroked her breasts, if she had not talked about the
conclusion of their sexual relationship earlier that day.

She snuggled closer, and started running her fingers on his
thighs near his knees. Tim started to wonder about her
convictions from earlier on.

"Hmm, I'm feeling a little dozy," she said. She leaned her
entire body against his, and her elbow was almost on his

He was starting to get a hard-on. He intuitively ran his
fingers towards her rich breasts. She sighed on contact,
but gave no other indication of approval or denial. She
acted a little different than before. He wondered if the
talks earlier had changed her attitude. He knew he now had
a full hard-on, as he was cupping her fabric covered
breasts and pinching her nipples.

"Goodness," he thought to himself. He could hear her
making low humming noises. "This is really killing me.
Can't remove clothes, can't remove helmets, but have the

It was then the sky turned bright all at a sudden. Both of
them raised their hands to shield the abrupt change of
light level from their eyes. When he could see again, he
saw a knight in shinning golden armor on a tall white horse
in front of them. He gaped at the vision.

"Hey, you okay?" the knight asked.

"Yeah, what's the matter?" they said together.

"Let's go back and I'll explain," the knight said. "Wait
here. It'll take a few seconds."


A few seconds later, Tim was back in his chair in the
gaming room. A young guy in front of him began helping him
to remove his gear. He turned around, and saw only Annie
was in her chair. Emma wasn't there. He turned his head
to the corner, and saw Alan rising from the seat.

"You're the golden knight?" he asked as he got out of his
chair. "Where's Emma? Where's Manus?"

"Who else would be a golden knight in a modern adventure
game?" Alan said, smiling. Then his face darkened. "You
don't want to know what happened."

"What happened?" Annie showed up beside Tim and asked.
"Where's Manus?"

Alan looked at them, apparently hesitating to let them know.
The young guy who removed their gear had left the room.

Annie looked at Alan, then at Tim. "Oh, no!" she blurted
out at Tim. "It was you?" Her face turned pink rapidly.

"Manus has just been fired," Alan said slowly. "For

"What misconduct?" Annie asked, anxiously.

"He... well, he left the game unattended, which was
actually my fault as well," Alan said. "And the security
guard caught him doing something with a girl in an empty
game room."

"What?" Annie and Tim screamed together.

Alan dropped his head. "Yeah, it's Emma," he said slowly.
"I'm sorry."

Annie fell into a chair. She started to sob.

The air in the room was feeling solid. Tim found it hard
to breathe. He didn't feel bad for Emma, engaging in
intimate activities with another guy. He was just her
friend and former playmate. However, it was very
distressing that she did it with Manus, Annie's boyfriend.
What made it worse was that it had to be Manus' idea, as he
was the only one who could change the team formation, sneak
them out of the game, and find an empty room.

Tim didn't know what to say to Annie. It was probably best
for her to cry her eyes out. He looked at Alan, who was
obviously having the same thought. They went out of the
room together.

"I'm sorry, Tim," Alan said.

"It's okay with me," Tim said. "Emma's not my girlfriend.
She's probably not even my friend anymore. But Annie is
indeed a poor victim."

"Oh," Alan said. "Yeah, she is."

"Were they naked when the guard found them?" Tim asked.

"Yeah," Alan answered briefly.

"What happened to her?" Tim asked.

"They let her put on her clothes, and escorted her out of
the premises," Alan said.

"Who gave the order to fire him?"

"The manager is always on call," Alan said. "I'm the
acting shift supervisor. I called him and reported the
incident. He told me to fire him at once. We don't
tolerate either of his indiscretions."


"A supervisor quit. I could've been promoted if I'd been
here longer, or had better qualifications. Nevertheless,
the manager recommended that I act in the capacity. I'm
not sure if this incident will screw up my chances," he

"I'm sorry," Tim said.

"Don't worry, buddy," Alan said.

They saw Annie coming out of the door. Her eyes were still
red. She walked toward the exit. Tim bid Alan goodnight
and followed her out.

"I'm sorry about it," Tim said as they walked toward his

"Not your fault," Annie said softly.

He didn't know what to say.

"Sorry for you, too," Annie said.

"She's not my girlfriend," he said. "In fact, our intimate
relationship had ended earlier today. She's going on a
trip tomorrow."

"She broke off with you?"

"No," Tim said, opening the door of his car for her. He
closed it after she had got inside. He went to his side,
got in, and started the engine. "We were never more than
friends who happened to share beds," he continued.

"Sounds rather new to me," Annie said.

Tim took his car into the street. "It would've been better
if I hadn't brought her to the game," he said.

"Well, she couldn't have changed the partners and smuggled
him from the game to an empty room," Annie said.

"Yeah, you're right," he said.

"I suppose earlier is better than later," she sighed.

"Don't worry," Tim said. "You deserve a lot more, and
you'll get it."

"Thanks," Annie said softly. "I hope so, too."

When they were a few miles from Annie's house, she asked
Tim, "Do they sell beer in coffee shops?"

"No," Tim said. "Only pubs and bars." He turned to Annie,
and said, "You shouldn't drink."

"I need to," Annie said.

"Don't you have any beer at home? I suppose your brothers
drink," Tim said.

"Mom doesn't allow any alcohol in the house," she said.

"I'll buy some from a pub and... where are you going to
drink them?"

"I don't know."

"Don't drink then," Tim said. "It won't help."

"It can get me to sleep."

"You'll have a hangover tomorrow morning," he said. "It
hurts like hell."

"I'm already in hell," she said.

Tim sighed, and then thought for a moment. He said to
Annie, "You can have one, and I mean one only, at my house.
Then you either go home or sleep in Deb's bed. How's

"Your parents won't mind?"

"They're in New York now."

"Okay," Annie said. "Thanks."


Tim took Annie home, and got her a beer. He got one for
himself as well.

"You want to stay in the kitchen?" he asked.

Annie thought for a moment. "Do you still have that
ancient stereo in the family room?" she asked.

Tim chuckled. "Of course," he said. He went into the
family room, turned on the light, and went over to check
which music program it was programmed to play. He turned
it on, and some ancient soft music began filling the room.

Annie came into the family room and sat on the couch,
sipping her beer while listening to the music.

Tim sat in his dad's recliner and drank his beer. Annie
didn't say a word, so Tim didn't say anything either.

"He was the only guy who had said I was pretty," Annie
broke the silence after a while. "I should have known it.
It was just some sweet talk, done for a purpose."

"You know, Annie," Tim said, "you actually are pretty.
You're not movie star material, but you are charming. A
guy should feel extremely lucky to be with you."

Annie smiled at him. "Thanks for the nice words," she said,
"but you had told me something different in the past."

"I've been consistent with you," Tim said. "I've never
said you're pretty like those models or movie stars. But
most of us normal people are normal, and we don't wear
makeup 24/7 and have plastic surgeons changing us all

"Well, you forgot one thing," Annie said.


"Even for a bed-sharing friend, you chose a pretty one,"
she said. "And I really mean pretty."

"I've told you, it was pure chance," Tim said. "Yes, she
is pretty, in that sense. However, from the moment we
first met, both of us knew we weren't meant for each other.
She was with me for her needs while she's here, and I took
advantage of her needs for my own."

Annie giggled, "Sounds dirty," she said.

"Not really," Tim said. "She didn't deceive me, and I
never told her I loved her. We had sex for pleasure, not
for love. It's better than ..." He halted.

"Yeah," Annie said. "It's better than telling a girl you
love her and that she's pretty, screw her, then dump her."

"Yeah," he said.

"Can I have another one?" she said, swinging her empty




"Just one. Just once. Please?"

"What if you still want another after that?"

"Throw me in the dumpster."

Tim laughed. He got another two bottles from the fridge
and shared with Annie. They listened to the music while
having their beer.

"He was my first one," Annie said softly after a while.

"First boyfriend?"

"First boyfriend, first love, first..." she said slowly,
looking at her beer. "First everything."

"Not everyone's first whatever is memorable," he said
slowly. "I haven't seen any of our friends still with
their first love." He thought about his step-sister. She
had most of his firsts, and he was still with her, but in a
different manner. His situation was also special, and
specific to himself.

"He used to be very sweet," she said, as she took another
sip. "Until he started working at VRG. I hate those

He thought for a while before responding. "Sometimes it's
hard to differentiate between what's real and what's
virtually real," he said. "But..." He paused momentarily,
as his mind went back to the game he played with Deborah
two years ago, then continued, "But I suppose if you don't
like something, it's hard to virtually like it, even in

Annie raised her head and looked at the ceiling fan for a
while as she thought about what Tim had said. "I guess
you're right," she said. "I guess even if he hadn't been
to that game, he would've been to other real life games.
The result would be the same. It's just a matter of time.
I've heard that guys don't change."

"Guys do change," Tim said, as he thought of occasional
talks he had with his step-mom. Betty had told him he was
behaving rather differently since he had started working.

Annie thought for a moment. "Okay," she said. "Guys
change. But their personalities don't."

"Same for girls," he said. "I assume."

She thought for another moment, then said. "Can I use the

"Sure," he said, "if you still remember where it is."

"Of course I do," she said. Then she put her bottle on the
coffee table and went to the bathroom.

Tim checked the time while Annie was in the bathroom. It
was already a little before three in the morning. "Do you
need to leave?" he asked her when she came back from the
bathroom. He knew she worked on every Sunday.

Annie thought briefly, and said, "Can I stay a little
longer?" She didn't ask what time it was.

"Sure," he said.

Annie sat down and took another sip of her beer. "You
know," she said, "I can't imagine how I could've survived
the night if I were by myself. I didn't know it hurt so

Tim didn't know what to say. He knew she was hurt, but
honestly he didn't know how bad. He also felt his bladder
filling up. "I'll use the bathroom," he said. He then
went to the bathroom outside the family room.

When he came back to the family room, Annie was leaning her
head on the top of the back of the couch, staring at the
stationary ceiling fan, and holding her beer at her stomach.

"Are you okay?" Tim said. He stepped closer, and saw a
drop of tear starting to roll down from the corner of her

She didn't say anything. Another drop of tear was forming
at the corner of her eye.

Tim pulled a sheet of tissue from the box on the corner
table. He passed it to Annie, but she didn't take it. Tim
hesitated briefly, and wiped the tear off her face.

After Tim had wiped off a couple more teardrops from her
face, Annie tilted her head to look at him. "Thanks, Tim,"
she said softly. Her eyes were still wet.

"No problem," Tim said, and sat down beside her.

Annie tilted her head back to stare at the ceiling fan. He
could see a drop of tear begin forming at the corner of her
eye again. He wiped it off her face again.

Annie tilted to look at him again. "Can I borrow a
shoulder?" she said.

Tim leaned over to her, and held her gently in his arms.
Annie started weeping on his shoulder. He patted her

Eventually Annie's weep came to a halt. She still stayed
on Tim's shoulder. A while later she raised her hand and
Tim felt her bottle of beer against his arm. "Please," she
said on his shoulder.

Tim took the bottle from her hand, and leaned forward to
put it on the coffee table. He then leaned back, still
with Annie on her shoulder. Annie moved her hands to his
back. They stayed in that position silently.

"Thanks," Annie whispered after a long while.

"No problem," Tim said.

"Thanks," Annie whispered again. "I actually haven't felt
so comfortable in a long, long time."

Tim smiled into her hair. Annie held herself a little
closer to Tim, and then they resumed their still position
in silence again. A while later, Tim felt her hands
slackening behind him. She seemed to have dozed off.
Tim's eyelids were also becoming heavier.


He awakened suddenly when his back hit the cushion, and
Annie fell on top of him. "Sorry," Tim said when he
regained composure. "I must have fallen asleep."

"Sorry, I felt asleep," Annie said, at the same time. She
giggled as she realized both were saying the same thing.

"Do you want to sleep in Deb's bed?" Tim asked.

"Okay," Annie said, then paused briefly and said again,
"Can... Can we stay here?"

Tim didn't feel comfortable the way he was twisted on the
couch, but he didn't object. He shifted a little into a
slightly more comfortable position. Annie crept up a
little to lean her head on his chest. It was still a
rather uncomfortable position. Tim shifted a little again,
and Annie shifted after him.

Tim was almost asleep when Annie's forearm fell loosely
onto his crotch. He nearly jumped. In fact, he could feel
Annie jigging slightly on him. Her hand quickly moved away
from his sensitive area.

"I'm sorry," she said softly after a while.

"Don't worry," he said. Then he realized her breasts were
on his stomach. He could feel her heart pounding. Her
heartbeat seemed to be a little fast.

"I wish I had a figure like the one in the game," she said
slowly after a few moments.

Tim's mind went back to the game he last played. Of course,
he didn't know it was Annie whom he was fondling, or he
wouldn't have done it. His mind went further, and he
wondered what if he knew it was Annie, and she had behaved
in a suggestive manner. His thoughts about their actions
during the game, together with the feel of her breasts on
his waist, were stimulating his instinctive blood rush

"Did you always do that with her in the game?" she asked.

"Do what?" he asked. He had a feeling he knew what she
meant, but wasn't certain. He didn't want to make a

"What you did to me before Alan showed up."

He knew his face was heating up. "No," he said, "other
than testing the sensations." He wondered why she was
asking about this.

She giggled. "That's what we did too," she said. "I
didn't feel comfortable when he did it. He asked me to do
it to him, and I refused."

"Why refused?"

"It's a personal thing, you know," she said. "I didn't
feel like we were in a private place while we were in the
game. The environment and atmosphere just wasn't right."

"I see," he said. "Yeah, my mind was also busy thinking
about how to escape, or how to catch the other team."

"Yeah, that's right," she said, pausing for a moment. She
continued, "Why did you do it to me?"

"I didn't know it was you," he said.

She giggled again. "Why did you do it to her?" she changed
the object in her question.

"Well," he said. "The chase was over. We were taking a
rest. We were together, close together, and... Well, you
know, it's like back to home after an exercise."

"How did it feel?"

He thought for a while. "It felt good," he said.

She giggled at his response.

"How did it feel for you?" he asked back.

She shifted a little on him before answering. "Good," she
said. "But embarrassing afterwards."

Tim almost choked on her disclosure. If not for the more
stunning news Alan revealed right after he realized it was
Annie and not Emma he had been fondling, he would have a
hard time facing and talking with Annie. He also knew her
face had to be pink, because his face was heated. He felt
Annie's breath getting more rapid. In addition, he was
surprised to realize that his hands were moving up and down
on her back.

"Actually," she said, "better than when he did it. I
should've known. How stupid!"

Tim stopped stroking her back. "Well," he said, "it's hard
to know with the helmet and computer-assigned body.
Besides, you hadn't really done it other than those times
when you were testing."

"I mean in real life."

"You mean what you felt in the game was better than what
you felt in real life?"

"No," she said, while tucking her head into his chest. "I
mean... I mean your way made me feel better than his way."

Tim was interested to know how Manus did it, but he knew it
was beyond stupidity for him to ask. His mouth got drier
as Annie moved on him again, establishing a closer contact
between them. He realized his hands were caressing her
back again, but in longer and slightly heavier strokes.

"He wouldn't do it," she said.

"Do what?"

"The strokes," she said softly. "Feels good."

He felt her head moving on his chest again. He bent his
head down and found her looking at his face. Her face was
very pink, and her eyes were glistening. She started to
creep her way up on him, until her face was only a few
inches from his.

He held her closer intuitively, and kissed her. He rubbed
her lips with his, and erratically licking them. Her
reaction was passionate. She sucked his lips, probed her
tongue into his mouth, and licked his tongue. Apparently
she enjoyed the kiss a lot, as it was a very lengthy kiss.
They were breathing heavily after the kiss.

Annie moved her face to the side of his face. "It's the
longest kiss I have ever had," she breathed into his ear.

Tim didn't say anything. He was busy massaging her face
with his lips and licking her earlobe, while stroking her

"I like this," she whispered. She was stroking his chest,
and began licking his earlobe back.

A while later, she shifted a little sideways, and propped
herself up with an arm beside him. One of his hands slid
down to her arm. She moved her lips to his and kissed him

He slowly glided his hand from her arm to her breast, and
ran around it. She was wearing a lined bra, so the feeling
was less intimate than in the game, when was wearing a bra
without lining. He moved his fingers slowly in circles
around her bra.

Annie broke the kiss. "I bet it's less exciting," she said.

"You weren't wearing a lined bra in the game," he said.

Annie giggled. "I'm small," she said. "You know that."

"It's not a question of size," he said.

"You can do without the lining," she said softly, and

He slowly lifted her tee off her head. It wasn't an easy
task with their position. He then reached his hands to her
back, and unclipped her bra, which fell onto his chest.
She moved her hands one at a time, to get herself out of
the straps. Her breasts were small, but looked pretty and
firm. Her nipples were also rather small and light in
color. Tim gulped as he saw her breasts.

Annie was looking nervously at his face. Tim smiled at her.
"You're pretty" he said. "I'm honest."

There were sparkles in her eyes. "Aren't they small?" she

"Yes," he said, "and pretty."

"Don't you wish they were bigger?"

"No," he said. "Size and prettiness are two different
things." He raised a hand to touch her bare breast.

They both let out a sigh on the contact. Tim ran his
fingers around her mounds, as Annie closed her eyes and
breathed with her mouth. When Tim started running his
fingers on her nipple, Annie's breath became light moaning.
He kept on stroking her breasts, with occasional tender
pinching on her nipples. Annie started to quiver slightly,
as her breath became more and more rapid.

Annie opened her eyes and looked into his. "It's far
better," she struggled to say, while adjusting her
breathing. "Do you feel good?"

"Extremely," Tim said, looking in her eyes.

Annie smiled, but said, "Are you sure?"

Tim smiled but didn't answer. He moved his hand away from
her breast, held her hand in his, and led it toward his
hardness. Her hand tightened, and she struggled when she
knew what he was doing. She gave in when he persisted.
She felt his hardness. Her face was flushed red.

"Did I lie?" he asked, still looking in her eyes.

Annie took a deep breath. She shook her head. She also
slowly withdrew her hand from his hardness. He pulled her
hand back to his crotch.

Annie gave him a shy smile, and left her hand over his
hardness. She began gliding her fingers around his hard-on
as he resumed fondling her breasts. They kept on making
out, kissing and breathing heavily.

After what it seemed like hours, she opened her eyes again.
She looked at him and said, "Do you want to take me to your

"Are you sure?" he said.

She didn't answer. She closed her eyes again and wrapped
her arms around his neck.

Tim carried her in his arms, and took her upstairs into his
room. He moved carefully in the darkness, and laid her in
his bed. He stripped himself, and climbed into the bed.
They kissed again, while stroking each other. When they
parted from the kiss, Tim began kissing down her neck and
body. He kissed and licked her breasts. He sucked and
lightly bit her nipples. He ran his fingers all over her
trunk. Annie shivered and moaned.

Tim freed his hands from her body, unbuttoned her jeans,
unzipped her zipper, and slowly slid it down her hips.
Annie raised her hips slightly, to assist him in removing
her jeans. Tim paused, kissing her breasts as he pulled
the jeans off her feet. He then did the same thing to her

Tim knew Annie was nervous when his lips touched her body
again. Her body was a little tight. Annie, however,
encouraged him to go on by stroking his hair tenderly. He
slowly kissed his way down to her crotch, while running his
fingers down to her thighs.

Although they were in near total darkness, Tim could tell
Annie had sparse pubic hair. He had to push her thighs
lightly to open her maiden area to him. When his lips met
her labia, she let out a cry, and almost clamped his face
between her thighs.

Tim kept on teasing her outer sex, while her body and legs
were shuddering. Annie let out another cry when his tongue
probed into her slit. She moaned in between her rapid and
heavy breaths. After a while, Tim replaced his tongue with
his finger, and began looking for her hood. She was very
wet, but still pretty tight. His finger began moving
inside her silky tunnel, as his tongue lapped around her

Annie literally screamed when he found her clit. He kept
his licking to feathery touches, while moving his finger
faster inside her. It didn't take long for Annie to have
her orgasm. Her body and insides trembled so vigorously
Tim had to stop teasing her. He crept toward her face, and
caressed her shoulder with feathery strokes.

It took quite a while for Annie to recover. She held Tim
tightly in her arms and kissed him fervently. It was
another long kiss.

"Did you enjoy doing it?" she asked after the kiss, still
panting lightly.

"Yeah," he said. "I like it."

"He didn't," she said. "He'd rather come inside me...

Tim smiled in the darkness. "Well, I like that too," he

Annie giggled. "I think I'll like it too," she said. She
opened her legs.

Tim kissed her again, and slowly moved into position. He
moved his hips towards her crotch, and placed his tip
against her wet lips between her thighs. He felt Annie
spreading her legs a little more, arching her knees. He
pushed slowly inside her. They both let out a sigh when
his glans was inside her pussy.

Annie wrapped her arms around his neck, as Tim continued
pushing inside her. Their crotches met and parted as Tim's
cock moved in and out of her pussy. They began making
noises and breathing heavily and rapidly.

Tim began to move faster when Annie started to move her
hips, matching his pace. Even though Annie was still a
little tight inside, Tim knew he should be able to last
awhile, as he had devoted quite a lot to Emma the previous
night. He slowly increased his pace, when he felt Annie
was comfortable with his speed.

Annie had her orgasm again. She clasped Tim tightly with
her arms and her inside muscles. It took her quite a long
time to loosen her muscles while Tim paused on top of her.
"Come on," Annie whispered when her orgasm subsided.

Tim continued with his motions. He went faster and faster
inside her tight tunnel. He began to groan louder than
Annie. He didn't last long. He spurted deep inside her.
Annie held him close to her.

Tim rolled off Annie when his breath recovered. He held
Annie in his arms, and a little later he fell asleep.


Chapter 6
Tim was awakened by Annie's shriek. It was already the
next morning.

"I'm late!" Annie said, and struggled to get off the bed.

Tim checked his clock. It was already a little past ten.
Annie found her panties and started to put them on. She
paused when her panties was still midway on her thighs.
"I'd better take a fast shower," she said to Tim.

Tim got off his bed and went to the linen closet to get
Annie a bath towel, while she gathered her clothing from
the floor. Tim led her into the bathroom, and remembered
her tee and bra were still in the family room. "I'll go
get your bra and tee," he said.

Tim dropped Annie's bra and tee in the bathroom, and went
back to his room. He put on his clothes, and waited in the
corridor. "I'll drive you to work," he said when Annie
appeared from the bathroom.

"What time do you get off your work today?" Tim asked her
on the way.

"Eight," Annie said.

"Can I come to pick you up?" Tim asked.

Annie turned around to look at him. "Do you want to?" she

"Of course I want to," he said.

Annie smiled sweetly at him.

Tim dropped Annie off near the bookstore where she worked.
He drove home, mowed the lawn, and took a shower. He did
his laundry, and ate some food in the kitchen. He then
went to the family room, and thought about what had
happened over the weekend.

It was a tremendous turn-around for many people. Manus did
something stupid, and lost both his girlfriend and his job.
Alan was innocent, but he could have been affected, in
terms of his prospects at the gaming center.

Annie lost her boyfriend, but ended up sleeping with Tim.
Tim tried to console Annie, and turned out having sex with
his friend. He wasn't certain where it would lead them to.
He wouldn't mind having Annie as his girlfriend. She
wasn't very pretty in her appearance, but she was a sweet
girl. He also wasn't sure exactly how much he felt for
Annie, and how much Annie felt for him.

Then Tim thought of Emma. She did something weird, not
because she wouldn't screw a guy, but because of the
delicate situation she was in. She had known Manus was
Annie's boyfriend, and so far Tim's impression of Emma was
that she was actually a girl with a warm heart, repressed
with her sultry behavior. He couldn't understand. He
considered calling her to find out, but decided against it.

Tim actually was astonished when he realized he was calling
Emma a few moments later. The recording told him she
wasn't available, but he could leave a message, which he
didn't. He hung up the phone and wondered if she had
turned off her cell phone, or if she was was talking on it.
He knew she was going out of town for at least a couple of
weeks. She was probably already out of his life, without a

Tim thought of Manus again. That could have been an
expensive fuck for him. Tim had actually come across some
indiscrete situations in his working experience. He had
seen women in their sexy sleepwear while he serviced their
computers. He had been given daring hints by some women.
He didn't know if it was the tight schedule he was always
given that prevented him from trying out those special
rewards, or if he really wasn't interested in them at all.


Tim picked Annie up after work. They went out to dinner,
and then went for a walk along the river. They made out in
his car, but didn't have sex. They didn't have a venue
anyway, as Tim's parents were back, and Tim knew Annie was
rather tired, due to the insufficient sleep she had the
previous night.

Annie was going to have her day off on Monday, but Tim had
to work. Since the second summer session was a week away,
they were both free in the evening. They agreed that Tim
would come pick Annie up at her house after work.


Tim was driving to his last assignment for the day on
Monday when he got a call from his boss, Philip.

"Tim," Philip said, "can you work overtime tonight?"

"I'm going out tonight," Tim said.

"We need you. In fact, we need everyone," Philip said.
"Can you call off your plans?"

Tim hesitated.

"Tim, we've got an emergency situation," Philip said. "A
corporate client had all their computers infected with
viruses. We're sending everyone over."

Tim thought for a moment, and reluctantly agreed.

He then called Annie at home. She was one of only two
persons he knew who didn't have a cell phone. The other
one was his step-mom. Nobody answered the phone at Annie's
house, so Tim left a voice message.

His cell phone buzzed right after he hung up the line. It
was Annie. She was apparently not at home, as he could
hear some background noises. Annie asked if they could
defer their date until Tuesday. Her suggestion fit his
situation perfectly, so he agreed.

Nearly everyone from Philip's company was at the client's
office, where more than two hundred computers were infected
with fatal viruses, and had to be reformatted. The more
senior technicians were working with the client's system
administrator and operators to restore data backup for the
servers, as well as trying to identify how the viruses got
spread so fast. It was almost four in the morning by the
time Tim got home.


Everyone in the service center looked sleepy the next
morning. Philip had to cut down on everyone's workload for
the day, as much as was practical. Tim actually had the
desire to call Annie to cancel the date that evening, but
decided against it. He went to pick up Annie after work.
He knew he was a little late, as Annie worked until five on
the weekdays, an arrangement she made so she could go to
the evening classes.

Instead of dinner, Annie suggested that they buy some food
to eat at a park. She didn't talk much during the drive.
She didn't even talk much during the meal in the park. She
seemed to be troubled by something.

Annie finished her meal, and took a sip of her soft drink.
"Tim," Annie said, "I've got something to tell you."

"What is it?" Tim said. He felt something crushing was
coming up.

Annie thought briefly, and said, "You know, it was a new
horizon going out with you. It's not like when I was with
Manus. I actually like being with you much, much more,
even without the better sex." She blushed a little before

Tim chuckled but let her go on.

"I was still very distressed by what Manus did to me, after
you left on Sunday night," she said. "I didn't have a body
to snuggle up with, or anybody to talk to, about my
feelings. I didn't feel good, and I slept badly. I didn't
any better in the morning, either. I had wanted to call
you, but I knew you were busy at work."

"I'm sorry," Tim said. "I should've taken a day off."

Annie smiled at him. "Alan called me," she said. "He told
me once again how sorry he was, and asked how I was doing.
Well, I guess I'm not a good pretender. He knew I wasn't
okay. He came over, and we went to the park to talk. I
knew he felt sorry for screwing up my relationship with
Manus, although it wasn't his fault. We talked all day in
the park, except when we went to the grocery to buy some
food and refreshments."

"Oh," Tim said. "He was off yesterday?"

"No," Annie said. "He called up his manager for a day
off." She giggled.


"You know," Annie said, "my impression about him had always
been that he was a silly kid, who was only interested in
games, and nothing else, not even girls. He showed
something different since he started working at the gaming
center. But yesterday, he showed himself to be a totally
different person."

"Yeah," Tim said. "He's grown up a lot since the school.
He's probably more mature than I am."

Annie smiled and paused for a while before she went on.
"He was my friend, one of my high school friends. He
wasn't interested in me romantically. We all knew it. But
he took a day off just to talk with me, in my distressing
moment. We talked about everything, from relationship to
life, from school to career, from love to sex." She looked
at Tim's eyes, and went on, "No, we didn't have sex, not
even a kiss or a feel." She giggled.

Tim smiled at her, but didn't say anything. He knew she
hadn't finished yet.

Annie dropped her head to look at her hands. "I knew I
liked you," she said. "I wouldn't have sex with you unless
I liked you, no matter how badly I felt, or how horny I was.
I wouldn't have gone out with you, either, even if I had
made a mistake in sleeping with you. Actually, when I was
with you, I felt glad that the stupid jerk had dumped me."
She giggled again.

Tim smiled at her.

"It is very strange," she said very slowly. "I didn't know
what happened. I started to feel a real affection for Alan.
I loved talking with him. I was very confused with myself.
That was why I called you." She looked into Tim's eyes,
and resumed, "I needed some time to think it over. The
three of us are all friends, I can't screw up the
friendship between any of us."

Tim actually was thinking of the same thing. He didn't

"I thought about it at home last night. I stayed up almost
all night. I compared the weight of the two of you in my
mind. I knew I liked you. I also knew I liked him. I
started to think how I would feel if one of you left me. I
asked myself who I would want to stay with my entire life,
and who I would want to start a family with. Do I sound
silly thinking about all these remote possibilities?"

"No," Tim said after some consideration. "You take a
relationship very seriously. You're very special, and

Annie smiled at him again. "Thank you," she said. "Anyway,
I didn't know what triggered it, but I came to realize I
actually had fallen in love with that silly kid. I'm
convinced that he would do anything, and I mean anything,
for me. I don't know how I would be if he didn't want me.
I'm not sure if I would have the courage to live on." She
looked up again at Tim. Her eyes were wet.

Tim had mixed feelings. He was upset about it. He knew he
was beginning to feel a real affection for Annie, and she
was about to walk away from him. He was amazed about the
development. He trusted Annie, and believed in every word
she told him. He believed what she said, about her feeling
for Alan was from her heart. He had never thought a talk
in the park, for one day, could lead to such a huge
decision. He was also a bit glad it was Alan who had
stolen Annie's heart. If anyone in the world was to have
Annie instead of himself, it had better be Alan, his best
friend. He furthermore felt fortunate that it happened
before was convinced he had fallen in love with her.

Annie broke into his thoughts. "Of course, I wasn't in
good shape this morning at work. I stayed up until very
late last night, doing the thinking. Alan called me at
work. He knew I wasn't in good shape again. He came over
and took me to lunch. He drove forty minutes round trip,
just to have a twenty minute lunch with me. It was more
than a truckload of roses." She looked at Tim again. Her
eyes were shining with joy.

Tim went over to Annie and hugged her. "I'm glad for you,"
he said.

Annie smiled. "I'm sorry, Tim," she said. "I know it

"It does hurt a little," Tim said. "But it's not too bad.
I like you, but I haven't fallen in love with you yet. I'm
glad this happened early enough, and I'm glad it's Alan.
Damn it, lucky guy." He smiled at her.

Annie giggled. "I'm glad it's not too late, either," she
said. "I hope we can still be friends. You're a sweet
friend that I can't live without."

"We'll always be friends," Tim said. "You, Alan, and me."

"Thanks, Tim," Annie said, and smiled sweetly at him.

"Did..." Tim said. "Did he know about what we did that

Annie blushed. "I didn't tell him," she said. "But I know
he knew it."

"Are you going to tell him?" Tim said.

Annie thought for a moment. "Do you think I should?" she
said. "It's embarrassing."

"Well," Tim said, "I think you should. You shouldn't hide
anything from him. And, you know, he and I are close
friends. guys can't keep secrets. I may tell him
something I shouldn't when I'm drunk. It's always better
that you tell him first. It was something done before you
felt anything for him, so it's nothing like cheating or
whatever. He's not going to feel bad."

"Yeah," she said. "I think you're right. I'll tell him.
He's not going to feel bad, but he may want the same
thing." She giggled.

Tim laughed. "Isn't that going to be even more
embarrassing?" he said teasingly.

"Well," she said, blushing, "It will, but I guess I'll like

"Let's go," Tim said. "I'm going to buy you a cup of
coffee to celebrate it."

"Thanks," Annie said, smiling. "By the way, can I borrow
your phone?"

"Sure," Tim said, and reached for his cell phone. "Damn,
it's in the car," he said.

"Oh, okay, don't worry," Annie said. "I'll call him when I
get back home. Oh, yeah, is the coffee for me or for him
and me?"

Tim thought briefly. "Let's forget about coffee," he said.
"I'll buy you guys a dinner to celebrate."

Annie smiled.


When Tim got back home, he realized he had a voice mail on
his phone. It was Alan. He called Alan back.

"Tim," Alan said, his voice rather tense, "can we talk

Tim knew what he was going to talk about. He didn't know
if Alan knew of the talk Annie had with him earlier.
"Sure," he said. "When will you get off work?"

"I'll be at your house before ten thirty. Is that okay?"
Alan said.

"Sure," Tim said. "I'll be waiting." He hung up the phone
and began thinking about the situation again. He laughed
to himself. It was more amazing than any story or movie he
had seen before. He went to his room and checked his email.


Tim heard a sound on his window. He knew Alan had pitched
something at his window, which overlooked the backyard. It
was Alan's usual sign of telling Tim he was there. He went
into the backyard. Alan was sitting in one of the gliders,
drinking a beer. Tim saw a pack of beer on the table. He
went over, took a bottle, opened it, and sat in the other

"So you want to talk about her?" Tim said.

"I'm sorry," Alan said, looking at the house. "I didn't
mean to. I didn't know a talk in the park would result in

"Don't worry, dude," Tim said. "She and I didn't have a
lot going on, not yet." He thought of something, and added,
"Did she call you tonight?"

"Yeah," Alan said. "After you called. She told me she had
a talk with you, and you're going to buy us a dinner." He
laughed and went on. "She also told me that she did
something exciting with you after Saturday's game."

Tim laughed. "I hope you don't feel bad," he said.

"She didn't have to tell me," Alan said. "I knew it would
happen when the two of you left the game center. I don't
know why I had that feeling. No, I didn't feel bad. I
didn't feel for her back then like I do now. I would feel
bad if she had done it with you tonight. Not that she
can't, we aren't a couple, not yet, but I feel for her."

"You know that wouldn't happen," Tim said. "You know me
and you know her."

"Yeah," Alan said. "I do, and I ain't worried."

"Congratulations!" Tim said. "She's a nice girl."

"Thanks," Alan said. "I still feel bad, though, for
stealing a girl from you."

"You didn't," Tim said. "But I'll remember, if I fall in
love with a girl, I won't let you talk with her in the park
for more than five minutes."

Alan laughed. "I promise I won't," he said. "It's amazing.
I didn't even touch her hands, and I had fallen in love
with her."

"I guess exchange of minds is more important," Tim said.
"It's probably fate as well."

"Probably," Alan said. "I don't think I can live without
her. I need to talk with her every moment, or I'll feel
itchy. I'm going to buy her a cell phone."

Tim laughed again. "What are you going to do when she goes
to Albany?" he asked.

"I'm looking for vacancies in Albany chains," Alan said.
"I'll move over with her, then move to wherever she will go
to after she finishes school."

Tim turned to look at Alan's face. His eyes were shining,
like Annie's eyes earlier in the park. "You're for her,"
Tim said. "You're the right one for her. I'm glad for the
two of you."


Tim's workload on Friday was extremely heavy, as the
following day was Independence Day. By the time Tim got
home, it was close to seven.

Tim saw his mom setting the table, and his dad was talking
with Deborah in the family room.

"Timmy, Timmy," Deborah chirped, "how're you doing?" She
ran over to him and hugged him. She then pecked him on the

"Wow! Deb," Tim said. "You're early. I thought the bus
from Albany arrived at nine."

"I got a ride from a friend," she said. "I hate the bus,
takes three months to get here." She giggled.

Their mom told them that the dinner was ready. They went
to the dining table.

"So, are we going to the parade tomorrow?" Deborah asked
them while eating. "Don't say yes, please."

Her parents and brother laughed at her. "Unfortunately, I
have to work tomorrow," Dad said.

Deborah turned to her mom. "I'm not working tomorrow," mom

"Okay," Deborah said. "Let's dump the guys and go
shopping." She turned to Tim, and said, "Oh, almost forgot
you. Are you working tomorrow?"

"No," Tim said.

"You can join us shopping," Deborah said, winking.

"No, thanks," Tim said. "What a torture."

Mom and Deborah laughed at him.


Later that evening, Deborah went into Tim's room and sat on
his bed. "So, what's the news?" she asked him.

"Not much for me," Tim said from his desk. "Annie broke up
with Manus." He briefly told her the story.

Deborah laughed so hard, she was bent over double. "Poor
Annie," Deborah said. Then she had a sly smile on her face.
"Is she with you now?" she asked.

"What makes you think she'd be with me?" Tim asked.

"Well, you're my brother, and she's my friend," she said,
rolling her eyes, "and I know you both." She giggled. "Is

"No," Tim said. "In fact, she's with Alan."

"Alan?" Deborah shrieked. "That silly gaming boy?"

Tim laughed. "Oh," he said, "you'll be surprised to see
how much he's grown up." He told her the story about them.

"It's amazing; it's unbelievable," she said. "I need to
see how he behaves now."

"You can," Tim said, "if you come to dinner tomorrow. I'm
buying them dinner to celebrate."

"Of course I'm coming," Deborah said. "You're not going to
leave me behind, are you?"

"No," Tim said. "And even if I do, you'll cling on to me."

Deborah giggled. She leaned forward on the bed and poked
Tim in the arm. "Are Julie and Cyn coming?" she asked.

"I didn't call them," Tim said. "Do you want to?"

"Of course," Deborah said. "You're a pig, Timmy. How can
you leave them out?"

Tim laughed and passed her his cell phone.

Deborah called up Julie, and talked for what seemed like
two hours. "Where're we going?" she paused and asked Tim.

"Waterloo Susie," Tim said.

Deborah returned to her phone chat again. "Jared can't
come," she said after hanging up. "Julie's coming. You
know what she said when I told her about Annie and Alan?"


"She said, 'Oh no! The silly gaming boy?'" Deborah repeated
Julie's words, then fell back, laughing.

Tim laughed so hard he actually felt pain in his side.

"Poor Tim," Deborah said after laughing. "Oh, I need to
try Cyn. Maybe she's broken up with her boyfriend."

Deborah called Cynthia. She couldn't find her, so she left
a voice message and gave Tim back his phone.

"So," Deborah said. "How have you been doing?"

Tim told her about his brief relationship with Emma.

"Oh," Deborah said. "Sorry about you, sorry about her.
Anyway, I'll try to find you some girls tomorrow while mom
and I are shopping." She giggled.

"What about you?" Tim asked.

"Well, not much," Deborah said. "I broke off with that
idiot, and I became a lesbian." She giggled.

Tim laughed, then said, "No, serious."

"Well, not much," Deborah said. "I'm not worried. I'm
pretty, am I not?"

"Of course you're pretty."

"I need to pick up a better class of guy," she said,
smiling. "Some kind of silly gaming boy, I guess."

"Alan must know some," Tim said, and got another poke from


"I didn't know Alan was so sweet," Deborah said in Tim's
car after the dinner with her high school friends.

"Nobody knew," Tim said. "Isn't it amazing?"

"Very amazing," Deborah said. "You should ask him what
games he plays, so you can play them as well." She giggled.

Tim laughed with her. "Who gave you the ride from school?"
he asked. "Guy or girl?"

"It's a guy," Deborah said. "Not my guy. Sorry, not a
girl. No chance for you."

"Oh," Tim said jokingly, "you didn't pick up any girls in
the mall for me?"

"I tried very hard," Deborah said in jest. "They asked me
which games you played. I told them you had quit gaming,
and they shook their heads and went away."

They laughed for a while, and then went on with their chats.

"I'll be looking for off campus residence in the spring,"
Deborah said, "for me, Annie and Alan. We can then share
Alan." She giggled again.

Tim laughed again, and thought for a moment. "Do you think
you'll need a car?" he asked.

"I can't afford it, you know that," Deborah said.

"I'll buy you one," Tim said.

"You?" Deborah said, turning to look at him.

"Yeah," he said. "I've saved up a little."

Deborah thought for a moment. "Why don't you buy yourself
a newer car?" she said. "I can drive this crap."

"No," Tim said. "I'm driving this crap. It'll be a
nightmare if your car broke down. You know nothing about


"Why what?"

"Why do I have to get the better things all the time?"
Deborah said.

"Because you're my sister, my beloved sister, my baby," he

Deborah turned to him. Her eyes were wet. She leaned over
and pecked Tim on the cheek.

They went home and checked some pre-owned car information
on the Internet, as well as dealers nearby. They decided
to check the local pre-owned car dealers the next day,
which was a Sunday. They didn't find any cars Deborah
liked, that also fit their budget.

Since Tim's second session of summer classes started on the
following Tuesday, Tim decided to take Deborah to some new
car dealers on Monday after work. He hoped they might have
traded in some used cars that fit his budget.

Tim was surprised to see Bob walking out from the showroom
while he and Deborah were walking toward the entrance. He
waved to Bob.

"Hey, Tim," Bob greeted him. "Nice to see you."

"Hi, Bob," Tim shook his hand. "You own this dealership as

"No. But one of my uncles does," Bob said, chuckling.
"Half of my family is in the auto business. We compete
against each other."

Tim laughed, and introduced him to Deborah.

"You're buying a car?" Bob asked.

"Yeah, for her," Tim said. "We're looking for a pre-owned

"What's your budget and your wish list for a car?" Bob
asked Deborah.

Tim told Bob their expectations.

Bob thought for a moment. "Tell you what," he said. "You
go in and take a look. If you don't find anything great,
come to my place. I've got one. Someone traded in a
pretty decent car earlier today."

"Oh, cool," Deborah said. "Why don't we see your car

They went to the dealership owned by Bob and his dad. Bob
showed them the car.

"It fits your budget," Bob said. "And it's in very good
shape. I'd wanted to keep this for Sue's sister, but she
wouldn't take anything from me. Like she'd have to sleep
with me or something if I gave her anything."

Tim chuckled. "Why didn't Sue give it to her?" he asked.

Bob laughed. "Sue knows she can buy anything she wants
with my money, but she's not working, and doesn't have her
own money for this car. Actually, she had tried making up
a story, but her sister didn't buy it," Bob said.

"I see," Tim said. "How much is it?"

"Sixty four hundred," Bob said. "I've taken out the
commission. I can't cut the price down further, although
you're my friend. The salespeople will be unhappy. But I
can make sure you get a nice car, a deal you're not going
to regret, and not get ripped off. You know, we all rip
people off, we're the dirty auto guys."

Deborah and Tim laughed at his admittance. "Do you want to
take a test drive?" Tim asked Deborah.

"Sure," she said.

"Pretty good," Deborah said after the test drive. Then she
asked Bob, "What about that white coupe over there?"

"That one is pretty decent too," Bob said, "and a bit more
expensive. Eighty two if I take out the commission and
gimmicks. I like this one better, myself."

"Can I see it?" Deborah asked. She turned to Tim and said,
"I'll make up for the difference if I take that one."

"Don't worry about it," Tim said to his sister.

Deborah decided she would take the white coupe, and
insisted she would make up the difference in price. The
siblings were arguing as Bob watched in amusement.

"Hey!" Deborah said. "Tim, why don't you take this car and
dump your crap? Then you're tight and I can contribute
toward the difference."

"The crap is fine for me," Tim said.

"Bob," Deborah said, turning to him, "can you arrange

"Yes and no," Bob said. "We do, and we like it. That's
how we make good money. But to friends, I'll refer you to
a bank I know. They don't rip people off like we do." He

Deborah smiled at Bob. "You're sweet," she said. "Will
you trade in his car?"

Bob glanced at Tim's car. "Sorry," he said. "Can't make
any money out of it, without ripping you off dearly."

"Okay," Deborah said to the two guys. "We'll take both.
I'll sell myself to Bob for this car." She pointed at the
car Bob had suggested. "And Tim's buying that white coupe
for me."

"I can make it for both, if I can get the financing," Tim

"Come to my office," Bob said. He halted when he saw a guy
in a mechanic's uniform, coming out for a smoke. He
thought for a moment and turned to Tim. "You'll be selling
yours, right?"

"Yeah," Tim said.

"How much do you want for it?"

"No clue, I've to do some homework."

"My initial guess is that it will be worth at most
seventeen hundred," he said, and waved at the smoking guy.
The guy came over. "He's our chief mechanic," he told the

"How much do you think it's worth?" he asked the mechanic,
pointing to Tim's car.

"Depends on the condition. At most, fifteen," the mechanic

"Can you make a detailed inspection?" Bob asked him. "As
if you were buying it for your son."

"Sure," the mechanic said. "For Sue?"

Bob laughed and patted his shoulder. Tim gave the mechanic
his key. Then the siblings followed Bob into his office.

Bob called up his friend at a bank, but she was off already.
He left a message, and then he wrote the name of the bank
and the person, as well as the phone number, on a piece of
paper, and passed it to Tim.

"Call her tomorrow," Bob said. "I'll talk with her
beforehand to tell her if she doesn't give you the best
deal, I'll send my mechanics over and beat her to death."

The mechanic came into Bob's office. "It's in good shape,
although some defects have to be fixed. If I were buying
it for my son, I'd offer twelve to thirteen-fifty," he said.

"What do you say?" Bob asked Tim.

"If Sue's buying it, I'll offer her twelve," Tim said.
"but I'll have to see how the financing works out first."

Bob chuckled. "She does have twelve," he said. "Wait, why
don't we make a copy of your driver licenses, so if you
call in to close the deal, we can handle the formalities
right away."

"That's fine," Tim said. They got their licenses out so
Bob could make a copy.

The next morning, Tim called up Bob's banker friend. He
told the woman about his income and obligations. The woman
ran a credit report for him, then asked what he needed.

Tim had around five thousand in his bank. If he was going
to buy both cars, and pay for Deborah's insurance, he would
need another twelve thousand. He told the woman.

"I believe you're in pretty good shape financially, and
there shouldn't be any problem. The rate I'm offering you
is something you can hardly find elsewhere. I don't want
to get beaten up by Bob's mechanics, after all. Do you
want to come over now?" the woman said.

Tim went to the bank and filled out the applications.
"I'll call you tomorrow," the woman said, "but I'm quite
certain your application will go through."



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