This is a furry story, which means that the characters are animals with human traits or, if you will, humans with animal traits. Think Disney's Robin Hood, if that makes it easier. If M/F or M/M cybersex is not to your liking, then you'd better back off now. Likewise if you are underage. Otherwise, hope you'll have as fun as I did when I wrote this. Comments and thoughts most welcome to

Sex Virus
by Winter

6:32 PM - Home, sweet home
Locking the door behind him, Charlie took a deep breath, letting out a sigh as he put his briefcase down, stepping out of his shoes. Flexing his toes, claws scraping the carpet, he continued with a series of bends, twitches and stretches, all of which were supposed to relieve stress, to make him feel more relaxed. Bollocks, he thought, his mind still a turmoil after the last chaotic office day of the week. Damn, how he hated his job! He'd spent ten hours bending his back, feeding his ulcer coffee, only to find at the end of the day that some shithead from Programming had made it all go away, vanished into some vast black hole in cyberspace. Well, they still paid him, even though the results of his labour went AWOL. Stepping out of his ill-fitting suit, and into some comfy clothes, he entered the kitchen, tail wagging behind him. A couple of slices from yesterday's pizza and a bottle of coke, preferably combined with some lousy pay-per-view movie, would do a much better job at taking his stress away. Later, some on-line gaming would make him even more relaxed. By the time Monday screamed its way in through his alarm clock, he would be almost back to his normal self. The movie was lousy, and the cold dinner didn't sit very well in his stomach, but still he felt that gruesome tiredness, that cramping of his muscles, beginning to disappear. During the news, `...were found dead near the Windsor Nuclear Power Plant. Apparently, the trio had hijacked a car in Old London, then managed to break through the road seals surrounding The Bowl. As to why, the police still have no...', Charlie fell asleep, for some bizarre reason dreaming that he was attacked by daisies dressed like hula dancers.

10:15 PM - Shall we play a game?
Waking up with a start, Charlie soon realised that he had missed the football results. He also realised that his stomach was growling, not satisfied with cold pizza. Grudgingly, he fed it an over-ripe banana, sternly telling it to behave. Grabbing another coke, he went into his bedroom, patching himself up to the apple of his eye, the reason why he lived the last week every month dining on pot noodles. The Virtual Interaction Neural/Chemical Exo-stimulator had cost him more money than he had ever seen, and the instalments were bone-crunching. Still, he felt it was worth every cent. What VINCE did was to work as an interface between the user and his/her computer. Instead of staring at a boring, two-dimensional screen, Charlie could walk around, so to speak, inside his computer. When he played a game, he felt that he was physically there. If, say, a monster ate him, he would feel a slight pain, induced by the highly complex, electronical masterpiece of a suit he was wearing. It covered him from head to toe, prodding his nerves or his body when told to do so by the computer. Occasionally, to simulate a major sensation, say a major battle wound or an on-line orgasm, it would inject him with patented drugs, making the sensation almost frighteningly realistic. To keep him from tossing about, VINCE included a padded seat, complete with straps, and a helmet that shut his brain more or less off from the rest of him. VINCE let him keep enough control to activate buttons with his fingers, to keep on breathing and such, but the rest of his thoughts and brain-directed movements went directly into the computer, which let his on-line self move while his real body kept mainly still. Charlie loved his VINCE, and although he hadn't tried out all its functions, being afraid to approach the more sexually advanced web sites, he'd had a lot of fun with it.

10: 31 PM - Cruisin' the fibre-optic freeway
Inside VINCE, site navigation could be carried out in a plenitude of different ways, and Charlie's preference was an almost impossibly red Ferrari Testarossa. Generally driving around, he passed, with almost blinding speed, site after site. Some were manifested as buildings, tall or short, covered with neon signs or plain. Some were inviting, others were private property, protected by electrified fences and huge guard dogs. Every now and then, he would stop, checking out something that caught his eye, but he never spent much time anywhere. As he tired of cruising, he touched a button on the steering wheel, and a soft, female voice whispered in his ears.

"Where do you want to go today, honey?"

"The Game Room," Charlie answered, and the car sped off, now on an Automated Guidance System. Within seconds, he was there, leaving his proverbial vehicle outside the huge doors. As Charlie vanished from sight, the car disappeared with a slightly buzzing sound.

10:49 PM - Close encounters of the French kind
At this hour, the Game Room was in a bit of a turmoil, changing its clientele as the kids were forced off their computers, being replaced by their parents. The Americas still having work hours, the place was mainly crowded by Europeans and Africans, and not yet as busy as it would be came the small hours. Sensing his pre-programmed preference, the site let a busty young vixen meet him at the door, taking a coat he felt sure he hadn't been wearing a second ago. Still, it was a nice welcome. They passed a wall-size mirror, and Charlie paused briefly to check his appearance. For most part, he was still himself, an alsatian in his late twenties, blue eyes and dark brown hair, but his on-line self was a tad more muscular, his fur slightly more shining. Nodding his appreciation, and receiving thumbs up and a grin from his mirror image, he went on, catching up with his hostess. She brought him a drink from the bar, and since he was a frequent guest, she knew to make it a San Fransisco. Sipping the tri-coloured liquid, he smacked his lips appreciatively, although deep down he knew that the taste was induced chemically, and that his lips had touched nothing more than a spray from a set of nozzles on the helmet. Not that he really cared, the drink was good. Thanking his hostess he kissed her cheek, enjoying both her giggling blush and the totally realistic way he could feel every strand of her fur against his face. Not for the first time, he thanked whatever higher powers there might be for his VINCE. That would be my bank manager, he thought, letting out a short laugh.

"What do you want to play first, Charlie?" the vixen asked, tilting her head in a way he found very cute. Then she leaned closer, her breath making his ear twitch. "Or would you like a rerun of your first time here, hmm?"

"Maybe later, honey," Charlie whispered back, earning a disappointed sigh. He had made love to her, wildly, swept away completely by her sexy, seductive charm, not caring one iota that she was just a computer construction. Now, though, it disturbed him somewhat. He stopped at a viewscreen, activating it with a touch. "I'll check who's on-line first."

"Well, if you change your mind, or need anything, just call me, honey, okay?"

"Sure will."

Some of his on-line friends were there, and he sent greetings to those who were already in a game, waving to those who were still in the main area. The one name he was truly looking for was listed as off-line, though. Carla the snow leopard. They had met in the chat rooms, which were represented by chic little cafés, and Charlie had liked her from the start. Not because her on-line self was slender, sexy and cute as a button, which it was, but because she had shown a sharp sense of humour, that came with a brilliant intellect. Shortly after meeting, they had been talking like old friends, and had ended up having sex. Even though he knew next to nothing about her real self, Charlie felt like he wouldn't mind falling in love with her. Now, though, she was off-line, but he tagged her name, asking the site to call him the moment she stepped in through the door, greeted as he knew she would be, by a young fox with a huge...


Suddenly, Charlie felt every ounce of air vanish from his lungs, as he was crushed into a major hug from behind. Released an instant before he would begin turning blue, Charlie turned around, still coughing. He didn't even need to look, to know who had greeted him.

"Hello, Pie. How's it hanging?"

"Oh, downwards, pity to zay. And `ey, my friend, I `ave tol' you my name iz Pierre, `aven't I? Why do you never learn?" The large bull gave Charlie a hurt look, his eyes nearly brimming with tears. "You jus' go on an' make funs of me..."

"That's the way of the world, Pie. You screw with my name, I'll screw with yours."

"I'd much rather screw wiz..."

"Pie, please! You know I'm straight, so keep this clean, or I'll throw you out!"

"You are zuch a party-pooper, Chazzie! Never any fun in you."

"Not in the way you'd like." They both laughed. "So, fancy a game of Surreal? Deathmatch?"

"Gladly. I `ave been practizing, you know. Zat girl o'yours, she not `ere yet?"

"Not yet. Might as well let you borrow me for a while."

"Flirtatious. Shall we go?"

Bowing, the bull led the way to one of the multitude of door that lined the walls of the main area. Each led to a different part of the site, games, chats, private rooms, linkways and so on. They chose one with a stylised image of a rifle above it, the words Surreal written beneath. Entering, they were swept right into the game.

11:32 PM - Our hero goes to his grave
Charlie dodged behind the burnt-out wreck of a KZ-47 street combat tank, using it's still mostly intact frame as a shelter against the rain of gunfire that came down on him. Friends of Pierre's had joined the game, and they had ganged up on him. Now he was getting trapped. Reaching into his battle pack, he brought out a couple of cluster bombs, which he armed. Now if only... There it was! A slight sound, to his left, and he tossed the grenades. A series of rapid explosions ensued, followed by a scream that was more from anger and surprise than from actual pain. In the air before his face, Charlie watched his score rise by two. Great! Two more frogs! Damn Foreign Legion had been getting the better of him, but now they were down to manageable numbers. Just three remaining, counting Pierre. He was the most dangerous of them all. Despite his effeminate, affectionate side when it came to socialising, the bull was a cold, deadly warrior inside the games. Another explosion snapped him out of his thoughts. One of the remaining Frenchmen had walked into one of his traps, although he strongly suspected that Pierre would never make such a mistake. Still, just two more to go... There was a light tapping on his shoulder, and Charlie looked up.

"Bon jour, Monsieur Chazzie," said a vicious-looking husky, grinning. "Wiz compliments from Pierre!"

Realigning his shotgun to blow Charlie's head off, the husky licked his lips, the smile on his muzzle being one of pure blood-thirst. Playing defeated, Charlie lowered his head, but instead of accepting the seemingly inevitable kill, he whispered a single word.


"Au revoir, Chazzie!"

The husky fired, but his expression changed from smug to stunned, as the spray of shots bounced right back at him. His score of health dropped down to next to nothing, and Charlie got up, grinning now.

"When you meet Pierre outside, make sure he remembers who axed him."

Pulling out a pistol, Charlie shot the husky right between the eyes, adding another point to his score. The lifeless husk at his feet disappeared, and he knew that the waiting room outside the game must be oozing with French curses by now. One single limey, and he was offing them all. As he got ready to move out, though, a beeping noise made Charlie stop in his tracks. A message screen appeared in front of his eyes, and he could read that Carla had arrived, and was now waiting for him in the lounge, having noticed his tag. Not thinking, at least not with his brain, he stood up, getting ready to make his way out of the game, when he heard a familiar sound behind him. Turning, he had just enough time to watch Pierre fire a rocket launcher straight at him, waving good bye as Charlie was blown to bits. A tearing pain coursed through his body, but vanished quickly as he appeared in the waiting room. All around him, Pierre's friends were cheering, teasingly taunting him for losing. Shortly after, the victor appeared, bowing deeply to his applauding audience.

"You `ave to focus, mon ami," Pierre said, laughing. "Thinkin' wiz your prick won't do no good."

"And how do you know what was on my mind?"

"Nothin' was, by ze way you acted. She's `ere, eh?" Winking, the bull gave him another smothering hug, and Charlie accepted a kiss to the cheek. "Go on, Chazzie, `ave your fun, but rememb'r we're to `ave us another game some day!"

"I'll remember that. See ya soon, Pie!"

0:41 AM - Teasing and foreplay
She looked positively radiant as she relaxed in one of the impossibly comfy sofas, sipping a drink while attended to by her well-hung host. The computer-generated fox noticed Charlie's presence, and waved at him before he left. Seeing this, Carla got up, tossing herself around his neck. Breaking the hug, she stepped back to look at him, and Charlie took the opportunity to do the same. He felt his pulse going speed metal, taking in those long, slender legs, well-marked curves, wasp-waist and, last but certainly not least, her gorgeous face, stunningly cute with a short muzzle and sapphire eyes, all framed by a fluffy mane of almost pure-white hair. But what got to him most was her fur, snowy white with the characteristic leopard spots, bits of black clashing against the white in a way that made Charlie's knees wobbly. The scent hitting his nostrils was a soft, evenly dosed rose fragrance, the same perfume she always `wore' on-line. It just barely masked the scent of arousal, but not enough to fool his canine nose. She wasn't just willing, he realised, she was eager! Swallowing hard, doing his best to keep from fainting, Charlie searched his mind for something to say. Sadly, like every other male in the same situation, his consciousness had taken a brief holiday, leaving him in the care of a far less subtle force of nature. One situated considerably lower on his body.

"Can I get you a drink?" it said, using Charlie's mouth, making him cringe as he realised she was already holding one. "How `bout a bowl of nuts?"

"Why a bowl? Think I'll need more than you've got?" Carla whispered, grinning seductively, and Charlie thought for sure that he would drop dead, then and there. "Hello, Chazzie, good to see you again."

"Oh no, must everybody call me that?" he winced. "Nice to see you, too, Carla, but please, please call me Charlie."

"I take it you've met Pierre already. Did you two have some... fun?"

"Sure," Charlie chirped, missing the slight irony in her voice. "Fact is, he blew me away just when I got the call, saying you'd arrived."

"Did he, really?" she laughed, in her deep, pleasant alto. "And I thought you would save yourself for me..."

"What? Oh..." Charlie blushed a deep crimson, his ears flat against his head, tail drooping between his legs. "I didn't mean it like that, Carla. He killed me in a deathmatch."

"I know, Chazzie." Laughing again, she leaned forward to kiss his nose. "You're just too cute when you blush. And it's so easily accomplished."

"Well, glad to be of amusement," he said, a surly look on his face. "Call me any time you need a jester. Anytime at all."

"Thanks, I'll remember that." She kissed him again, this time a good, long one. The taste of her hungry lips and probing tongue made Charlie's head spin. "Whew. You're such a kisser, Chazzie."


"Nope. You're my little Chazzie, always will be. Pierre was right, you know, the name does suit you."

"Next time, I will kill him. The more hurtful, the better."

"Don't be such a sour-puss, honey. Let's go find some secluded place, hmm?"

Charlie's heart skipped a beat, but he still managed to take her out-stretched hand, allowing himself to be led off to one of the many private rooms. It contained little more than a large, bed, filled with soft sheets and cushions, a sofa with a low coffee table, and a mini-bar. Charlie helped himself to a virtual coke, then sat down in the sofa as Carla indicated. She began slowly undressing, displaying her feline grace in a dance that made him stand at rigid attention, even though he was sitting down. I'm really in for a treat tonight, he thought, as she tossed off her panties, standing naked before him. Damn, she's sexy! Sitting down next to him, she started caressing the front of his trousers, enjoying the way they bulged. Charlie leaned his head back, sighing and moaning as she squeezed him harder. His own hands began exploring her naked body, stroking against her silk-soft belly fur, feeling her small, firm breasts and finally finding their way in between her legs. This time, it was her turn to moan. Kissing, they rubbed their bodies together, and they were really beginning to get it on, when a soft knocking at the door ruined the mood. While Carla slipped into a dressing gown, Charlie set his trousers straight, and went to open. His hostess waited there, an apologetic look on her face.

"I'm so sorry to disturb you, Charlie, but you've got a priority message. I can't let it wait until you've at least acknowledged receiving it."

"Oh, all right. Give it here!" He realised that his voice sounded a bit harsh, as the vixen looked down, and he patted her head reassuringly, making her light up again. "Don't worry, I don't blame you. Might as well read it, since it'll still take a while to get back in the mood."

`Dear Mr Stephens, sorry to take up your valuable time. There seems to be a slight problem with your loans account. Please reply to this message as soon as you can, to avoid any unnecessary trouble. C. A. McAllen, Glasgow Financing Ltd.'

"Who's it from?" his hostess asked, tilting her head. "Friend of yours?"

"In an odd way. It's my bank manager." A million thoughts coursed through Charlie's mind, none of them pleasant. Now what the hell...? "Better get back to him right away."

"What's wrong, Chazzie?" Carla asked, earning a jealous stare from the vixen. "You don't have to leave, I hope..."

"Don't think so. I'll just see what's wrong, then get right back here, to you."

"Good. I'll keep the bed warm..."

"With that monstrosity of a fox you conjured?"

"Hey, he's great, I'll have you know. In more ways than the obvious..."

"Just don't wear yourself out, Carla. I don't want you to fall asleep while we..."

"Just go, silly! Get back soon!"

1:18 AM - A dangerous meeting
Charlie held up the message in front of him. Amazing, he thought, feels just like I'm holding a slip of paper. Then he pressed a button at the bottom of it, and found himself being sucked into a phone wire, reappearing in an empty room. A naked light bulb hung from the ceiling, and a lonely figure waited for him beneath it.

"Mr McAllen?" he asked, hesitantly. As he recalled it, he had never seen Mr McAllen wearing a black hood and cape before. Or sporting a pair of maliciously glowing, red eyes.

"No," the figure said, his voice a deep, menacing growl. "Mr McAllen has nothing to do with this. His name was just bait."

"Bait? What the hell is this!?"

"Hello, Charlie. Guess what? You've just been hacked!"

"Hacked? What the hell are you talking about? Who the fuck are you!?"

"Call me The Borderliner. There's nothing I can't do to a computer. And I did it all to yours."

"Why?" Suddenly, Charlie's mouth felt dry, and he had a sick feeling to his stomach. "Why me?"

"Nothing special. Random pick. Wanna hear the deal? It's a sweet one..."

"I don't want to hear the deal! Get out of my freakin' face, arsehole!"

"Ain't no way to treat the man who might be able to help you stay alive, Charlie!"

"What do you mean?"

"Oh, try to get back, just go ahead. Go back to your kitty, while she's still hot for you!"

While his stomach sank to hang loosely dangling from his kneecaps, Charlie kept entering the command for `back', but to no avail. Fear gripping him, he tried to exit the program, to get out of his VINCE suit. Still no response. He was trapped within the machine!

"What the fuck have you done!?"

"Virus." Beneath the mask, the furry snout cracked into a broad grin, making Charlie wince. This was serious. Dead serious. "Yeah, thought that'd get to ya! This one is a little pet of mine. I call it Love or Consequences."

"Why me?" Charlie whined. "I've done nothing to you!"

"That's what's so sweet. Like I said, random. It's gonna be a kick to watch, though."


"Oh, now you wanna hear the deal?"

"Yes, please, Mr Borderliner, please let me hear the deal."

"Okay!! Got ya cringing now, man! How well do ya know your VINCE?"

"The manual..."

" shit!" Borderliner shouted. For a second, Charlie thought he sounded like a kid. "It says nothing about the cool stuff it can do. Do ya know that many people actually died during the try-outs of earlier models?"

"Never said anything about that."

"Hah! That'd ruin sales, man! No, they died of heart attacks, you see. Fucking or killing on-line, that's all they're used for. Giving people the kicks they don't get enough of in real life. So what's the solution?"

"To make the experiences less realistic? To ease down on the suit's input to the brain?"

"I knew you'd said that!" Again, the kind of thing a smug child would say. "Nah, they fitted the suits with things that aren't in the manual, or even in the legal stuff. Clot dissolvers, and such. Anti-epileptic medicines. Adrenaline, to help start a heart that's stopped. There's stuff in there that's got names longer than your dick!"

"They... they couldn't..." Charlie felt faint, as if he'd pass out any second. "What... what are you doing to me?"

"That's just a mild sedative. It'll make you dizzy until I remove it. In case something goes wrong, it's supposed to keep you calm, not to mention disoriented, until they can help you out."


"The manufacturers, of course! Geez, you're dumb! Let me get you off the dope." Almost instantly, Charlie's thoughts brought themselves into order. "They monitor everybody using a VINCE, keeping a twenty-four-seven alertness in order to get people out of trouble before it turns bad. Guess what? You're off surveillance, until I say so!"

"What does it do, your virus?"

"It kills ya. That's what Consequences means."

"A-and the Love?" Silently, Charlie cursed himself for stuttering, as he saw that grin return.

"We'll play a game, you and I. Fail, and you die."


"That's random, as well. One of three. Either, it injects you with a strong clot dissolver, until your blood vessels collapse, and you die of brain haemorrhage. Or, it feeds you adrenaline until your heart explodes within your chest."

"And the third?"

"VINCE has got some fine stimuli, as well. This one's my fave, I think it's the most painful of the three, definitely the slowest. It makes you cum, over and over again, by stimulating your sexual organs, electronically, chemically and... mechanically, until you die from exhaustion. Some way to go, eh?"

"What kind of a game?"

"Rules are easy, Charlie. Fuck ten different people, within the next hour."

"That's all?"

"The Love bit. Thing is, you can't tell them about me, or the virus, or try to bribe them or rape them or anything. Do that, and you're disqualified. Same goes for seeking any form of help, including activating your anti-virus system. No matter how expensive it was, my virus is faster. Try it, and you're disqualified."

"And killed immediately..."

"Yeah. And computer-generated sex toys don't count, either, like that cute li'l vixen of yours. Only real people, so to speak. So, you'll have to seduce them, or convince them in some way other than the aforementioned, to sleep with you."

"When you say sleep...?"

"Oh, I'm not greedy. Any kind of sex will do, as long as both you and the others get off."

"What does this gain you?" Charlie asked, getting irritated. "What sick pleasure..."

"Don't you yell at me! Mind you, I can pull your plug any time! Now get back and start your thing. I'll keep a good eye on you."

"You'll be watching?" Borderliner nodded, grinning again and cupping his groin. "You get off on this?"

"Yeah. Aren't you going? First one shouldn't be too tricky, that kitten's still waiting."

"When does the clock start ticking?"

"Now. One, twenty-seven. Sixty minutes, Charlie, no ad breaks. Three thousand, six hundred seconds."

"Oh, shit!" Charlie entered the `back' command, and promptly reappeared outside the private room, earning a concerned glance from his vixen hostess. Pushing her aside, sternly, he went inside to see Carla.

1:28 AM - Bang on time
"Carla, I want you. Right now!"

Charlie started tearing at his clothes, not bothering to shut the door behind him. With some luck, he thought, this could turn into an orgy. Carla let her dressing gown fall, glancing at his naked body.

"My, you're quick!" she cooed. "Bank meeting go well?"

"Perfect. Come here!"

Pulling her into a tight embrace, he kissed her, then proceeded to lick and nip and suck at her neck. Soon, she was purring, her hands exploring his back and butt. Luckily, Charlie knew just about what spots set Carla off, and now he played them all, cupping her breasts as he let his fangs scrape against her collar bone. Their tails entwined, the pair laid down on the bed, and he entered her somewhat roughly, his urgency not exactly the same as hers, but with the same result. He took her faster than he had ever done before, thrusting hard and deep while he used both hands to clench her buttocks together, making her tighter than ever. Apparently, this worked both ways, because he felt her approaching a fast climax, coming before he did. Her gasps and sighs and her soft purring helped him reach his goal, and while he checked his watch, he emptied himself into her, pulling out so fast the last of his seed landed on her stomach.

"Wow, Chazzie-dear, that was magnificent!" She was still purring, her voice seductively low. Obviously, she wanted more. "You never showed me your wild side before, honey."

"I'll show you more next time, baby," he said, hurriedly, as he slipped into a bath robe, not bothering to put on his clothes. "Gotta rush now, see you soon!"

Before she could answer, he had left, slamming the door behind him. Accompanied by his hostess, he started across the main area, desperately looking around for someone to do.

1:33 AM - Hare we go
"Let's see," Charlie said, activating a screen. "Any other friends here?"

"Well," the hostess answered, "there's Pierre, Jack Hill, Woodrunner..."

"Female friends, if you please. Ah, here's Jane Hansen." He pressed a button next to her name, and was transported to the other side of the main area. "Jane, hi!"

"Chazzie!" The one who answered was a small, muscular bunny. "Long time no hellos, eh?"

"Exactly. How are you these days?"

"You know, same ol' stuff. Couldn't get any of my work buddies to join me here, so I'm basically alone." Winking, she caught his eye. "Or rather, I was until now..."

"Great, Jane." Charlie thanked the heavens. She was actually flirting with him! "Want to go someplace secluded?"

"Why, Chazzie! You never accepted my flirtings before!"

"How blind I was, to your beauty, my dear." Deep down, Charlie hated his own guts, but this was no time to be noble. Enter pragmatic mode, he thought. "Come on!"

He dragged her by the hand to an empty back room, then unwrapped his bath robe. Urgency worked wonders, and he was ready for her. She gasped at the sight.

"Chazzie, is that an enhancement? You look wonderful."

"So do you, love," he said, untying her trousers. "Let's make love, Jane!"

"Mmmm, yessss, let's!"

In some way, the situation was appealing to Charlie, no matter how bad he felt about using his friends. But seeing Jane, cute little Jane, standing on all four in front of him, raising her fluffy tail, made him long for what was to come. Pausing for a couple of seconds, despite his need for hurry, he took in the beautiful sight, as he caressed her, feeling her jump as his fingers slid over her clitoris. Then he pushed himself in, marvelling at the warmth and the wetness, wondering how the VINCE suit could transfer it all so realistically. She was tight around him; each thrust from his maleness, combined with how he kept up his fondling, stroking her sex while he gently pinched her nipples, made her squeeze in around him, as she neared her peak. Whimpering her name, Charlie let himself go, his orgasm triggering her own. In the corner of his eye, Charlie caught a counter, ticking up from one to two. Another sick joke from the Borderliner. Kissing Jane's cheek, he got up, hoping against hope that the bastard wasn't peeking on them. Pulling the bath robe on, he checked his watch. Two in less than ten minutes. Normally, a performance like that would have made him feel ashamed with himself, but this time, speed was crucial.

1:47 AM - The bitter sting of rejection
What time he had earned was easily lost once things started to go less smoothly. After Jane, he found a fennec girl he had met a couple of times in chat rooms, Sandra. She had wanted to talk, since they hadn't met in a while, but had grudgingly agreed to a quick bout of love-making. Despite the fact that they had both reached orgasm, it was in no way satisfactory to either of them. When he left her, she had not been happy. Problem was, he had now been with every girl in the room he knew well, and the next couple of fleeting acquaintances had bluntly rejected him. He fell quickly behind schedule, desperation making him less and less attractive. At a loss, he was now standing with his eyes closed, clenching and unclenching his fists to help himself regain his cools, while his vixen hostess eyed him cautiously. Charlie felt his life fluttering from his hands, when suddenly the air was squeezed from his lungs in a familiar way.

1:48 AM - Close encounters of the French kind II
"Chazzie, still `ere, are you? Ready for a re-match, mon ami?"

"Pie, not now, I'm in a great hurry!"

"Don' look like you are. C'mon, `ow `bout a Schlagfest one-on-one, eh?"

"Pie..." A new idea suddenly made its way into Charlie's mind, and while part of him screamed for sanity and reason, he felt he just couldn't reject it. He still had close friends in here, after all. "Pie, all this flirting, all these insinuations, do you really mean them?"

"Of course, mon ami. You should know, eh, just `ow sexy you really are. I'd do anything..."

"Then let's go. Right now."

The bull's jaw dropped, and he allowed himself to be led into a private room. If I ever see one of these beds again, Charlie thought, it'll be too soon. If I ever see one of my friends again, I'll be lucky. The sane bit of his brain was still hollering at him to quit, to go to his death like a man, but it was without strength, cornered and surrounded by his will to live, and the lust he forced himself into feeling. Better enjoy it, Charlie, he quietly told himself. Slipping out of his bath robe, he tossed Pierre a tube of virtual lubricant, then hugged him, planting a kiss on his cheek. Laying down on the bed, he tried his best to look seductive.

"Just promise me you'll be gentle, my friend. It's my first with a guy, on- or off-line." Dear gods, he thought, eyeing the bull's swelling member, that has to be an computer enhancement. They just don't grow that big. "C'mon over and kiss me."

Obediently, as if he was still reeling from shock, Pierre laid down next to Charlie, who locked their lips together in a passionate kiss. Spreading his legs, he pulled the bull on top of him, breaking the kiss to watch him lube up. Stroking himself, Charlie set his mind for what was coming. Pierre smiled shyly as he put some lube on his fingers, getting Charlie ready. Moaning slightly at the touch, Charlie still couldn't help but wince as he saw the affection shining from the bull's eyes. Oh gods, he really does fancy me! The pity he felt for his French buddy, combined with another bout of self-loathing, made Pierre's entry relatively easy. Still, the pain was enough to make Charlie cry out. If I ever get out of this, he thought, I'm gonna tear that fucking VINCE suit apart, to see what the hell it just put up my arse! Hearing his cry, Pierre halted his movement.

"Please, Pie, don't stop," Charlie moaned. "Please don't stop."

"If you zay so... Chazzie, are you really..."

"Yes! I'm sure. Please, take me!"

Pierre leaned down, kissing him again, and Charlie did his best to respond, running a hand up and down the massive chest, while he used the other to stroke himself. In spite of his hesitation, he was slowly starting to enjoy himself, and it didn't take long before his climax started to build. Caressing Pierre's face, kissing him and urging him on, Charlie soon felt the bull flex and twitch inside him. With a roar, Pierre reached his peak, soaking Charlie from within while he kept thrusting into his own palm, getting there a few seconds later. Crying out, he felt the orgasm course through his body to end up as white spots on his dark-furred stomach. Withdrawing, Pierre slumped down beside him, his strength all but spent.

"Chazzie, that was..."

"Yeah, it was great." Getting up, he paused to kiss the bull's cheek, hoping Pierre wouldn't hate him for this. "I'll see you, Pie."

He put on the robe, watching as the counter ticked up a four. It was two o'clock now; twenty-eight minutes left. Six people left. It was impossible!

2:00 AM - Around the world in eighty thrusts
Chewing his fingerclaws, Charlie once more opened his friends list, noticing to his dismay that the Europeans were dropping off, while the Americans were still almost completely absent. Damn! He managed not to jump when his vixen hostess touched his shoulder.

"Charlie, don't say anything. I'm in private mode, so nobody but you can hear or see me. Something's wrong, isn't it?" Charlie didn't answer, but kept opening and closing his eyes, not losing the desperate look. "I'm right! Are you hacked?"

"Oh shit," Charlie muttered under his breath. "Bet he's laughing now."

"You are! I might be able to help you, just keep up... whatever you're being forced to do."

She disappeared, and Charlie felt puzzled. Private mode? He had a feeling his hostess had stepped out of bounds, maybe even re-written her own source code. The problem with these semi-AI's, he thought. But this time, it might prove to be his blessing. Still, he felt he couldn't lay his life in her hands. Better try and win the game!

"'Ey, Chazzie! You seen Pierre `round?" The one who asked was Eric, one of the French guys who had fought him in the deathmatch earlier on. "He was lookin' for you a while back."

"Yeah, and he found me. He's in there." Charlie pointed to the back room. "Still sleeping, I guess."

"What? You finally went an' did it? Bet he's flying high, right now. Chazzie, he's wanted you for quite some time, now."

"I know. But it's nothing serious, I'm just in fun mode tonight."

"Fun mode enough for me?" Eric winked, and Charlie looked up, not so much seizing the opportunity as pouncing it.

"Sure thing, Eric. Right on?"

"Why not? Can I invite my friends?"

"Friends?" Suddenly, Charlie realised that the lithe racoon had company; a couple of pandas.

"This is Lian, she's from China, and Rodrigo, from Sao Paolo."

"Nice to meet you both." Charlie shook their hands. "Consider yourselves invited."

"Thank you," Lian said. "Eric's told me about you."

"Doubt half of it's true," Charlie muttered, glancing at the racoon and receiving a coy wink in return. "And the rest exaggerated."

They made their way to another back room, Charlie once more fighting a desperate battle against his own nausea. Just hope I don't hurl all over them, he thought. I'm so sick of all this deception. Eric confidently slipped out of his one-piece battle suit, proudly displaying his lean body. The stirring inside his white briefs enticed a smirk from the Brazilian panda.

"Enhancement, Eric?" he asked.

"Not a single centimetre," Eric replied proudly. "All genuine, Parisian pain riche."

"Let's have a closer look," Charlie said, making the racoon gasp as he pulled his briefs off in a swift motion. "Hmm, someone get me some ham and mayonnaise."

"Hungry, Chazzie?" Eric commented, and they all laughed. "You can `ave it for dinner, if you'll kiss me for starters."

In no time at all, the four of them were naked, cuddling on the large bed. Charlie stroked Eric's chest, kissing him softly while the French racoon fondled his genitals in return. To his horror, Charlie found that he wasn't reacting. After four quick orgasms, it seemed that he was worn out, at least mentally. Closing his eyes, he forced himself to get into being with Eric. The racoon was handsome, and a passionate kisser, and the gentle touches slowly brought life back into Charlie's tired member. However, slowly was not enough, and Charlie thought back on the previous adventures of the night. Jane's cute rump filled his mind's eye, followed by Carla's expectant smile. What set him off, though, was the memory of the pure love that had shone out of Pierre's eyes, the second before they had kissed. Locking onto that memory, Charlie opened his eyes, seeing the two pandas making out next to him. He rolled away from Eric, and kissed Lian's neck, sending a shiver of pleasure down her spine. At the same time, he let his hand replace hers, stroking Rodrigo's erection. Locking eyes with Lian, he moved on top of her, and entered her in a single, flowing motion. As he began making love to her, he kept on rubbing Rodrigo, urging the panda to get behind him. Before long, he felt himself being invaded. Just one more, he thought, as he motioned for Eric to stand up on the bed. The racoon complied, his erect penis now hovering invitingly in front of Charlie's muzzle. Invitingly, he thought, almost laughing out loud at the idea. I never in my life thought I'd be doing this. Still, he couldn't help but feel a tingle of excitement as he let his lips enclose the massive head. Eric moaned as he pushed forward, nearly gagging Charlie before he pulled back again. If this is what it tastes like in real life, he thought, then it's not as bad as I'd imagined. He focused on Eric, doing his best to stroke and suck the racoon towards orgasm. As for the pandas, he allowed Rodrigo's movements to bring him repetitively in and out of Lian. The feelings were intense; since the Brazilian panda was much smaller than Pierre there wasn't much pain, but instead Charlie could feel strong jolts of pleasure run through his body as Rodrigo kept bumping against his prostate gland. Combined with the slick, tight heat of Lian, he could see his own peak rising up in front of him. Knowing the rules of the game, he removed the hand he didn't need to support his weight from Eric's shaft, to tickle Lian's clitoris instead. This was the last of his conscious acts, before his instincts took over, and he rushed up that peak and flung himself from the edge of it. He couldn't scream, gagged as he was, otherwise he would've howled like a wolf as his entire body went rigid, and he shot his virtual seed into Lian. At the same time, Eric groaned, his knees shivering as he filled up Charlie's mouth and throat. The dog swallowed as much as he could, but had to give up long before Eric was finished, because his concentration was broken as Rodrigo increased the speed of his thrusts, pushing Charlie even further up inside Lian. The pandas came together, convulsing inside and around Charlie, almost giving him a second orgasm. Finally, it all abated, and Charlie nearly whooped with joy as his counter clicked up to seven. Less than six minutes had passed, and he still had a chance. Worming his way out of the pile of furs that surrounded him on all sides, he tossed the robe back on, ignoring Eric's plea as he left the room.

"Chazzie, `ey! We weren't finished!"

2:07 AM - Back on schedule
Twenty minutes left. Three people left. Charlie activated a screen, checking for newcomers. His vixen hostess had appeared next to him, holding a glass of some milky white drink. The colour almost made him gag, and he wrinkled his nose as she offered it to him.

"Charlie, you're going to spend yourself. This will give you strength."

"What is it?" Charlie asked, surprised by the concern he could hear in the computer-construction's voice. "Vitamins?"

"And Gin-Seng extract," she nodded. "And some other good-for-you things."

Shrugging, Charlie gulped the drink down, trying his best not to think of his treat from Eric. The taste of the racoon's semen hadn't been too bad, but the texture of it had made Charlie more than a little queasy. Still, this drink tasted okay, even though he felt no immediate effect. The Americas were coming on-line now, and the Game Room main area was filling up. He recognised several names, but none he felt certain would go to bed with him. Pierre's French team were all still there, but he knew he had already been with the only two who would be interested. Chewing his fingerclaws, he walked over to the chatroom café, where he set his tag to say `Looking for fun and pleasure!'. Almost immediately, he got a reply, and a sexy-looking rat appeared right next to him. She introduced herself as Megan, and as they talked, Charlie did his best too look attractive. The now rather messy bath robe wasn't exactly helping. Megan turned out to be a nice girl, and to his surprise, Charlie felt himself react. Inside of a minute, he had gone from spent, to rock-hard, and he caught himself wondering what that drink had held, other than vitamins. Megan noticed his condition, and to his great relief, she offered to go with him, pulling him towards an empty side room. He pulled off his robe and kissed her, while his hands started to roam her body.

"I want you," she whispered, licking his earlobe. "Right now."

"Only too happy to comply," Charlie said honestly. "I just hope I can manage."

"Busy morning, eh?"

"You have no idea, honey. Luckily, I have a friend who's taking good care of me. She slipped me a little something that should kick in any minute."

Just then, it did. Charlie's erection turned almost painfully hard, and he knew for sure that his vixen host had been playing with recipes. Megan whistled, clearly impressed with the way Charlie was now leaking pre-cum all over the floor. Sitting down on the edge of the bed, she beckoned to him, winking coyly. With his newly found vigour, he soon found himself lying on his back on the bed, with Megan on top of him in a sixty-nine position. She worked his tool eagerly while he tongued her deeply. This was more to Charlie's liking, he thought, savouring her juices. Much better than the semen Eric had fed him. Shoving the tip of his nose inside her, he started licking her clitoris like there was no tomorrow. There might not be, he thought, almost bursting into hysterical laughter. Purring deeply, he withdrew his tongue to nip at her with his teeth. This seemed to drive the girl wild, and she sucked him so hard he was beginning to see stars. As the familiar feeling began to rise up within him, he resumed licking and kissing her sex. Just then, there was a faint ping, and a screen appeared just above Megan's left buttock. A message had arrived, a reply to his inquiry for fun and pleasure. `Wanna have some fun and pleasure with a pair of identical twins? Message us back! Sammie and Jamie', it said. Charlie could hardly believe his luck. Twins! He might make it, after all! Just then, Megan grunted as her orgasm hit, and Charlie reached up and pressed the send button on the screen.

"I'll be with you in a second," he said, releasing the button and realising he might as well have been talking to the rat-girl. "Oh yeah, I'm almost there..."

He came harder than he had at any time during the night, draining himself into Megan's muzzle as he howled out his joy. Once he was finished, she rolled off of him, panting as she wiped his semen off her chin.

"Damn, Charlie, that was really something! Do you need a minute, or can we...?"

"Sorry, honey, I need to run. I'll get back to you, promise!"


Charlie didn't hear the rest of what she yelled at him. The counter ticked up to eight, and this time he didn't bother with the robe as he rushed out into the main room. Calling up his screen, he re-read the twins' message, then pressed the button that would take him to them. There was still enough time, if only he could persuade them to make it a quickie.

2:14 AM - Twice the fun
Charlie recognised his surroundings at once. It was one of the deluxe side rooms, a kind he had visited only a couple of times before. The bed was a huge, soft-looking one with plenty of blankets and pillows. A quick glance at the time showed almost thirteen minutes to go. As he appeared, so did a grey-furred head out of a pile of blankets on the bed. A broad grin split a large lupine muzzle, a muzzle that definitely belonged to a male. He realised that he hadn't really been suckered, merely fooled by his own mind. Jamie and Sammie. Of course he had thought they would be girls, and not the huge mountains of muscles than now smothered him in a crunching embrace.

"Hey there, cute fellow," Jamie or Sammie purred in his ear, while Sammie or Jamie reached a hand in beneath his tail to stroke his hole. "Ready for fun and pleasure?"

"Sure, anytime," Charlie said, wondering where he got the strength to sound happy about everything. Looking at the two wolves, he noticed that their erections were at least the size of Pierre's, if not even larger in girth. "Er... who is who?"

"I'm Jamie," said the wolf who was now pushing a lubed finger into him. The other kissed his lips, then lowered himself to suck on Charlie's neck. "And I'm Sammie."

"My name's Charlie, nice to meet you both."

Somewhere within Charlie's mind, an anger began to rise up. A fury so strong it threatened to choke him, yet left him enough clarity of mind to start cuddling back with the wolf twins. The Borderliner had put him in this situation; he was the one who was going to pay, no matter what it cost. The twins were innocent. He quenched the initial distaste he had felt, and instead started stroking Jaime's head while the wolf worked two fingers into his hole. Sammie, at the same time, returned to Charlie's lips for a kiss so tender it surprised Charlie. Fun and pleasure, yes, but he hadn't expected an almost loving feeling from the two.

"Guys..." he began, but was forced to start over as he gasped when Jamie started to stroke his still rigid erection. "Guys, I'm really in a great hurry. I really wanna... ah!... I really wanna make love to you, but can we... can we speed it up?"

"Sure," Sammie said, rolling over until he was standing on all four on the bed, wagging his tail teasingly across Charlie's face. "My brother will lube you up, you just get me ready for you."

It took Charlie precious seconds to understand what the wolf was meaning, and once again he had to quench a face of disgust, turning it into a grin instead. It's all the Borderliner's fault, he kept repeating to himself. All his fault. Grabbing the grey, fluffy tail and holding it out of his way, Charlie stared at Sammie's pink anus. You'll do it, you'll love it, and you'll kill someone later, he told himself, then leaned forward to plant a kiss just below Sammie's sac. Knowing he didn't have too much time, he quickly licked his way to the wolf's hole, feeling the large body quiver in pleasure as he made contact. There was very little taste, but the scent was heavy with musk, and despite what he had felt a couple of seconds ago, it made Charlie very much aroused. Was this an effect created by the VINCE, he wondered, or could it really be this way in real life? Pushing the thought aside, he kept licking the wolf, actually enjoying the yelps and whimpers this enticed. Soon he decided that Sammie was slick enough, and got up to mount him. Twice this night he had received anal sex, now he was about to top a male for the first time in his life. At the same time, he felt Jamie move. The other wolf had stroked Charlie's leaking member while his brother had been rimmed, and now he stood up behind Charlie. So that's how it'll be, Charlie thought. Very well. Steeling himself against the pain he knew would come, he pushed himself into Sammie, hearing the wolf sigh with pleasure. For a second, the warm tightness made Charlie forget about Jamie, lost in bliss, then there was pressure against his own hole. He bit his lip as Jamie entered him, spreading him wider than ever before. The pain was excruciating, but it was almost entirely countered by the pleasure he got from Sammie. Together, the three of them started up a rhythm, but soon enough Charlie found that he was the one who was supposed to do the actual moving. Pushing and pulling, he mated with Sammie while at the same time getting himself mated by Jamie. Before giving in to the exquisite mixture of pain and pleasure, he glanced at his watch. Still almost eight minutes. He was going to make it. With a growl, he leaned down on Sammie's back, reaching around the buff wolf to stroke his erection. Charlie increased his pace when he felt Jamie follow suit, making him the filling of a wolf sandwich. It wasn't long before Jamie moaned with pleasure and started filling Charlie up with a massive load of semen. Almost that same second, Sammie shot his own load over Charlie's hand and into the blankets beneath them. Feeling the tight tunnel contract around his member, Charlie cried out with pleasure and victory as he emptied himself into Sammie. The watch showed five minutes to go. He felt like screaming with joy and happiness, but by now he was all spent. Not an ounce of strength left in him, despite the vixen's miracle drink. Instead, he let himself be cuddled and kissed by the two lupine brothers, returning it as best he could. The last minutes passed quickly, and Charlie didn't even feel like leaving when the screen appeared with another message. When he read it, though, he leaped to his feet: `Well done! Come see me.'

2:27 AM - His just reward
"I'll see you guys later, thank you so much."

"Our pleasure, Charlie," Sammie panted.

"Yeah, thanks. You were great!"

Charlie pressed the button next to the blank space where the sender's name should have been, and in an instant, he was back in the room where he had met the Borderliner. It looked exactly the same; bare walls, a naked light bulb hanging from the ceiling. The hacker himself stood on exactly the same spot as he had last time, as if he hadn't moved at all. There was a malicious shine to the red eyes, and a wide grin across his fanged muzzle. The front of the Borderliner's pants was significantly bulged, Charlie noticed.

"Well, well, well, that was some show. No one's ever made the time limit before." He let out a growling laughter. "Then again, no one has ever been as inventive as you. I didn't think you'd resort to males so quickly."

"I won, Borderliner," Charlie growled. "Your game, your rules, but I won. You've gotta set me free."

"Double-fucking those wolves, that sure was hot!"

"I'm glad I got you all hot and horny." Charlie made his voice thick with irony. He reached out and squeezed the Borderliner's obvious erection, making the hacker jump with surprise. "Not that it matters much, since this thing is no doubt an enhancement."

"Shut the fuck up, you little shit!!" Yelling to the top of his lungs, the hacker pulled away and retreated a couple of paces. Charlie felt the sweet taste of victory in his mouth. It faded quickly, though, as the sneering grin returned to the hooded face. "If you think you're out of danger, think again."

"Wh-what do you mean? Your time limit is up, I beat the virus!"

"You can't beat the virus, Charlie." The obvious shock in Charlie's face made the Borderliner let out an almost shrill laughter. "Ha! Gotcha! I never programmed the virus for the event that someone should actually win. Didn't think it was even possible until I decided to play against such a horn-dog. So I guess it'll kill ya anyway."


"Yeah. Don't whine! What'd you have to go and win for? Bad gaming, Charlie, bad gaming."

"You piece of shit!"

"No need to yell, boy! Just sit back and die. If you're lucky, I might fuck your corpse once you've finished shooting your balls out yer dick!"

"No, please!"

"You're getting number three, Charlie. I lied again, there aren't even any ones and twos in this game. Why getting the good one only once every three games?"

"Fuck you!" Charlie yelled, but his voice cracked up with fear. He slumped to his knees, feeling utterly defeated. "You'll get yours!"

"Nope. Not today, not from you. It should start any... Who the hell are you?" Right by Charlie's side, his vixen hostess had appeared. She pulled him to his feet, then turned so they both faced the Borderliner. "How the fuck did you get into my playroom?"

"I traced your link to poor Charlie. I'm not gonna let you hurt him!"

"You're not...?" The masked figure laughed. "That's rich! A fucking computer construct, going up against the greatest hacker of all times? Measuring balls with the Borderliner?"

"No," she stated calmly. "Kicking balls."

Charlie watched in amazement as the Borderliner suddenly collapsed, yelling out as if in pain. He cursed even worse than before, then the words got lost in a blood-curdling scream. The hacker's trousers ripped open, and his obviously enhanced dick started spewing semen all over the place.

"Have a taste of your own medicine," the vixen said, pulling Charlie back to keep him from getting sprayed. "Number three all the way. Take us back home, Charlie."

"Gladly." He entered the `back' command on his screen, and they suddenly appeared back in the main room, the screams of the hacker still ringing in his ears. "Nice trip to hell, you fucker!"

3:35 - Walking the heroes home
"When I realised that poor Charlie was being hacked, I started scanning for signals in his immediate vicinity. I found the one that lead back to Mr Borderliner and used it to intercept his virus, disabling it before it could harm poor Charlie." Everyone who had been a part of Charlie misadventure was gathered around a table in the virtual office of the Game Room's manager. Charlie had explained himself, apologising over and over again to everybody, and to his great relief been instantly forgiven. One more matter was to be resolved, though; the vixen had broken her programming, and according to company regulations she was to be erased from the database. By Charlie's request, though, she had been allowed to explain herself. "Then I turned his virus loose against him, and released poor Charlie. As we made our way back home, I called the police and gave them Mr Borderliner's address. They have been looking for him for years."

"Wait a minute," Charlie said. "You mean he isn't dead? That he's still out there?"

"No, Charlie, he's been arrested. He's gonna get charged with at least twenty murders, so I doubt he'll be seeing daylight very soon."

"It just hit the news," Carla said, watching a screen. "They caught him in Soho, trapped in a home-made VINCE suit. Apparently, he's just a small boy, no more than fifteen or sixteen years old."

"Hope they fry the little fuck," Charlie growled. "He damn near killed me, too."

"Well, it all ended reasonably well, didn't it?" the manager interjected. "You're safe and sound and... without reason to sue the management of the Game Room."

"What about the VINCE manufacturers?" Eric asked. "Will they have to withdraw every unit? I mean, if he could hack them, anybody could."

"That's up to them," the manager said, "but I'd suspect they'll need a legal miracle to stay in business. Maybe I'll see you all in plain, ordinary VR helmets next time."

"No thanks," Charlie said. "I'm keeping my suit. Maybe my friendly hacker of a host could help us make it safer."

"There's a problem there," the manager said, rubbing his chin. The vixen blushed slightly. "She can't remain as a Game Room hostess since her basic program is scrambled, but I can't very well erase the hero of the day, can I?"

"Oh Charlie, please, can't I come live with you? I could download myself to your computer and we could be friends forever! Can I?"

"Sure, on one condition, Mr manager."

"What's that?"

"Can I bring her here? As a customer, I mean?"

"Naturally! Be good to her, though." He turned to the bouncing vixen. "And you to him."

"I will! I will! I will! Does this mean we're married, Charlie?" Everybody laughed. "Well, does it?"

"I don't know. What's the legal status of a rogue AI?"

"No idea."

"I'll see you back home, Charlie, honey!" The vixen tossed herself around Charlie's neck and kissed him. "Don't be late!"

With that, she vanished, sending her own program to Charlie's computer. He blushed at the many implying grins he received, including a smile and a wink from Carla. She walked over to him and kissed his cheek.

"I have to go now. See you later."

"Yeah, you too."

"Have fun with your new toy, Chazzie."

"Piss off, Carla."

Most of the invited people took their leave of Charlie and started to vanish, but a couple of them remained. The manager once more reassured himself that Charlie was not going to press charges, then happily let them out of his office, explaining that the vixen hostess was a gift, and wouldn't cost him a penny. Charlie thanked him, then turned to the only one of his friends who was still there.

"How are you feeling, Pie?"

"Could be better." The bull sighed. "I had a great time, Chazzie, I really did. Even though it was... it was just..."

A sob racked the huge body, and tears trickled their way down Pierre's cheeks. Charlie laid an arm around him and pulled him closer. They stood there for a while, in the in-between zone connecting the office to the Game Room, then Charlie broke the hug and sought his friend's gaze.

"Of all the people I've apologised to tonight, you're the one who's hurt the most." He took the bull's hands. "If it's any consolation to you, I had a great time, too."


"Yes. I'm just sorry it couldn't have been under different circumstances. Pie, I didn't realise you felt so deeply for me."

"I love you, Chazzie." Pierre looked away, staring at his own feet. "I have ever since we met."

"I realise that, now." Searching his mind, Charlie hunted down the last of his doubts and killed it off effectively. Then he leaned up and kissed the bull on his lips. "Why don't you come and see me? Paris is just half an hour away by train. I could meet you at the Southern."

"Chazzie, please don't humour me, it's not fair."

"I mean it, Pierre." Charlie watched the huge male tremble, then fall into his embrace. "Seeing you hurt was painful, my friend. I care a lot for you."

"So," the bull finally sniffled, wiping his eyes on his sleeve after they had cried together for a couple of minutes. "What happens now?"

"We get together, and take it from there. At the very least, I hope for a re-run of last night, but not as rushed this time."


"Really. Are you this fit and... sizeable... in real life? No enhancements?"

"None, my friend. None at all."

"What about your French accent?"

"What abou' it, mon ami? It's az good az ever."

"You lose it from time to time, Pie."

"Well, it's there mostly to charm ze pants off you, eh? And it worked!"

"Says you. So, when can you come to see me?"

"Why do' you come on down to ze belle Paris, mon ami? A romantic stroll down the shores of ze Seine, wedding in ze Nôtre Dame..."

"Don't get carried away!"

"I'll carry you away, Chazzie!"

"What are you...? Hey! Put me down!"


Still chatting and bickering with each other, the two of them passed quickly through the Game Room's main room, and out onto the streets of the web. Before their parting kiss, they had made their decision to meet in real life. Waving the bull off, Charlie got into his car and headed home. Now all he had to do was to deal with the possibility of a very jealous Artificial Intelligence.