The Journal Entries

Elenya, Ring 06, 03198

A Pleasing Shape, Chapter 6: Hardware Failure

Jouet had asked to come with him to the spaceport, and Darzi, after contemplating her clumsiness, had reluctantly agreed. She could balance with reasonable proficiency, but stairs still presented her greatest challenge, and standing on a moving vehicle had been impossible. Darzi had ordered a sit-down cab, despite the unfamiliar mark-up in price.

He still had little clue how much money he really had.

Peren bounded out of customs with her usual energy, still wearing her trademark labcoat, spliff still dangling from her muzzle. No glasses. She dropped her bag and plowed into Darzi when she saw him. "Tower! Oh, I missed you!"

Darzi hugged her back, hard. His body couldn't help but compare her to Jouet now and the blood rushing to his head and groin told him that he still wanted her. He had gone to bed the night before with oddly mixed feelings about her return. He'd started to adapt these past three months, and gotten used to having a convenient outlet. "We've missed you too."

"We?" She looked up at him, then to his left. "Is that Jouet?" Jouet nodded. "Fah, Darzi, how did you get her to stand?"

"I took your advice," he said. She looked puzzled, and he stifled a snort. "She's a love-bot. I got lonely. It turned out that was what she needed. Attention. Some tutoring. She talks, although it's... funny."

"Funny, huh?" Peren straightened herself out, marched over to Jouet and said, "Funny how?"

Jouet opened her mouth, paused for a moment, then said with a voice like a church organ, the pitch rising and falling in strange, musical cadences, "Darzi thinks I sound like your music. I have missed you, Peren."

Peren's jaw opened slightly. "She does sound like something I'd play!" She reached up and took Jouet's hand. "Can I... can I listen to you, and try and make my keyboard sound like you? Would you mind?"

Jouet shook her head. "I would not mind if you made music with me."

They decamped from the spaceport. Darzi suggested going to Peren's apartment to dump her one bag, but Peren dissented. In the cab she said, "Your place."


Peren grabbed him and held him close. "I've missed you. You might have had someone to fill your lonely nights, but I didn't."

"Not even once?"

"Not when I thought of you, Tower."

Back at his apartment, Darzi and Peren both helped Jouet up the stairs into the apartment. Peren grabbed Darzi and hauled him into his bedroom. Clothes flew so fast Darzi had no idea where most of his landed, and he didn't care much. He and Peren fell to the bed, and the feel of her fur was a welcome reminder of the nights they had spent together last Spring. He kissed her and she returned the favor gleefully. "Fah, Darzi, I needed you."

"I needed you, too," he said. "A lot." He slipped down the length of her body, found her pussy. She whimpered, "Oh, yes," as he plunged into her sweetness. This was something he had practiced on Jouet, but only in a token way. He liked doing it, but he didn't see much point in doing it with the robot, even if she admitted to liking it. On Peren, it felt more like a necessity, a passing pleasure he owed her before getting his own.

Peren came with much more organic sounds than Jouet. Both were his lovers now, he should be able to take each of them on her own merits, but avoiding comparisons was nearly impossible.

He licked at her complex and tangled labia, finding his way to where her clit lay hidden, slid his tongue up against the odd vertex of flesh that protected it from unwanted impact, and tasted her. She put her hands on his head, into his hair. Darzi moaned softly, thrilled to once again have Peren within reach.

"Darzi, fuck me? Now?" Darzi pushed himself up and covered her body with his. To his annoyance, his cock wasn't hard. "What's wrong?"

"I don't know," he said. He grabbed his cock, which was always so ready, and and stroked it. It remained only somewhat hard, not nearly as hard as it should have. He felt turned on, he was convinced of it, but his cock was telling him something else. He growled softly.

"Wait," Peren said. "Let me." She pushed him up against the wall and plunged her head down between his thighs, taking his cock into her mouth.

"Peren!" Darzi hissed. "Oh god, that's good."

"Mmm, hmm," she said. Darzi's erection returned almost immediately and she said, "There, that's got you ready." She lay back on the bed, open for him.

But when he tried to get inside her, his erection softened to the point where he couldn't get into her. Peren was tighter than Jouet, harder to find a way into. Darzi threw himself off her and against the wall, growling. "It's not working!"

"Why not?" Peren said. "Is it me?"

"I don't think so. It got hard for you when you were sucking on me."

Peren glanced at the door. Darzi blushed and said, "Maybe. I don't know." Peren's eyes darkened. "I'm sorry, Peren! How was I supposed to know this would happen? I mean, it's something she needed, right?"

"I guess," Peren said. "But I don't want... I want to know that you want me."

"I do!" Darzi was gripped by the fear that she might leave. Not now, not just as he'd gotten her back. He didn't want her to disappear from his life again. "Peren, please."

"Please what?" she said. "She is a sex-bot. She's supposed to be perfect for you. And I guess she is. If you like 'em still and lifeless."

"But she's not still and lifeless anymore. That was the whole idea. You thought it was a good idea."

"I didn't think it was such a good idea that you'd lose interest in me!"

"I didn't! God, Peren, I wanted you back so badly. Every day. Someone I could trust, who'd hold still. Someone I had a relationship with." He grimaced. "Artist to model and all that."

"I'm sorry, Darzi, I didn't mean... it's just, I waited so long for you, too. But I wasn't even getting laid."

Darzi nodded. "I don't want to take something for it. I'm sorry, Peren. You know I want you."

"Do I?"

"You had an orgasm, didn't you?" he said.

"Is that what you think? That I had mine and now it's your turn? Lertnote for you, Darzi, I like cock. I like fucking. I like knowing that I turn you on, that you get hot for me, that you can't stand it without me. And I like the way it feels, too. And you can't give me that." She stood up and grabbed her clothes. "I guess you've got your turn-on."

"Peren, please don't go."

"Why not, Tower? What good will it do if I stay? Neither one of us will get what she wants." She carried her shoes out the door and left.

"Dammit!" Darzi swore. He wished he were the tantrum type, ready to throw something, but nothing came immediately to hand. It wouldn't have helped anyway.

"I heard, Darzi," Jouet said, her voice musical and beautiful, despite the odd clash of notes.

Darzi sagged. "It's not your fault."

"We could have gone slower. Kept your love for her alive. Is that not how it works?"

"No, that's not how it works, dammit. I'm better than that. She's better than that." Darzi sank into his big, plush chair. he surprised himself by crying.