Ghost in the Machine Ch. 10


"Will this do, o most complicated of lovers," she asked, swaying her behind my way. I stepped behind her and tried. With the added height, I easily slid into her and almost lost it then and there. When the hell did I turn so freaking sensitive? I froze in mid-stroke, trying to smother the onrushing orgasm. Just thinking about Nero did the trick. I even deflated a little bit but Shine, writhing against me, impaling herself upon my rod, got me back to full hardness in an instant. I pulled her against me, trying to make sure she didn't slip and fall, with the other arm I braced myself against the tiled wall. Then I bottomed out. I held still, savouring the feeling of another, real, living body against me, around me.

"How does it feel, Parker," Shine asked, surprisingly sober after that last bout of playfulness.

"Incredible," I breathed. "Even better than online," I added.

"So nice," she murmured, slowly moving her hips. Grinding into each other, we found a rhythm, taking it slow at first. But I was still much too close for my own good. Each slow, deep push brought me closer to a mind-blowing eruption. My thrusts became shorter, faster, more desperate. Shine moaned in approval as we really got going, the hot water pouring down onto us, skin slapping wetly against skin. My hand found her breast and I pinched her nipple, causing her to squeak in surprise. Her pussy clamped down on me for an instant and I thought I might be done for. I froze again. Shine craned her head my way, concern in her eyes.

"Close," was all she asked.

"Mmm-hmm," I managed, focusing every ounce of willpower into not blowing my load.

"Okay," she purred, slipping her hand between her thighs. I felt her fingertips brushing against her slit. "Go mad," she ordered, pushing her hip down onto my rod. I did as asked, grabbed her hips and drew back while Shine's fingers began a flurry of movement on her clit. I drove home, intent on a few more quick, fast strokes before I finally lost it but I felt my knees go weak then and there. With earth-shattering fury I came, trying my best to stay on my feet as I shuddered through a gut-wrenching climax. I held onto Shine for dear life as my hips shook and jerked. Suddenly, she threw her head back and gave a yell of her own, slamming her hip back into me, her pussy fluttering around my still spurting member.

"Oh God yes," she groaned, eventually slipping off my rod and rocking her hips, as if to get rid of a kink.

"You okay," I asked her, wrapping her into my arms. She smiled up at me. This time, the mirth even seemed to reach her normally quite impassive cybereyes.

"Are you kidding me? You were wonderful," she beamed. "But you know what, Parker? Shower sex is seriously overrated, I've just realized that," she added, rubbing her aching back. Then she bent down and picked up the shower gel bottle.

"And since you're here right now, you might as well lather up my back. How about it?"

I happily obliged. It began with soaping up her back and sliding my cock up and down her soapy bum cleft until I was achingly hard again then she turned around and lathered me up as well, nearly bringing me off with the simple act of washing my dick. Before we went at it again in that cramp-inducing cubicle though we changed locales and returned, still quite wet, to the bedroom, drenching the sheets and covers while we tossed and wrestled on the mattress. Eventually, I ended up on my back, looking up as Shine knelt over me, teasing herself with my raging hardness.

"Stop tormenting me, you little devil," I moaned, pushing my hips off the bed to finally get back into her pussy. Now that my body seemed to work properly again, I remembered what a horn dog I was and Shine seemed to like this facet of me as well. Yeah, I really was falling for her.

"Parker, honey, tormenting is what I do best," Shine purred. She placed my dick back along my body, tip pointing towards my stomach, and lowered her deliciously wet pussy onto the shaft, rubbing her slit along the length a few times.

"Also, you could overpower poor little me so easily," she murmured, her lips just an inch or so away from mine. I grumbled and wrapped her into my arms, pulling her close enough to smother her with kisses. Then I heaved and rolled the both of us over, so Shine ended up beneath me. She smiled brightly.

"Oh, help, help," she whimpered, grinding her hips into me. I slid my hand down between us and placed my cock at her slit. Now it was my turn to tease her with the tip of my dick, rubbing it over her clit. Shine moaned happily under me, her hands holding on to my butt cheeks, pulling me against her. Then I couldn't take it any more. I adjusted the angle on my rod and pushed forwards. Shine moaned her approval as I pushed home, driving my full length into her.

"Yes, Parker. Fuck my brains out," Shine ordered, landing a good-natured slap on my behind. I pulled back to do just that when the doorbell rang.


Even in the bedroom, frantically climbing into my clothes, I could hear the voice over the intercom.

"Shine? Are you home? This is Frau Schmidt!"

I groaned in frustration. We thought this was maybe the postman or the guy dumping bulk postings but no, it had to be Old Fury herself. So much for "fucking our brains out." Shine, still gloriously naked, whizzed back into the bedroom.

"Oh, you're dressed. Good. Keep her company until I am too," she urged, pushing me towards the living room. I hopped through the room, fighting to get my shirt and socks on at the same time as the flat door opened and Frau Schmidt came in.

"Oh, having fun, were you," she asked sweetly. I stuttered through a greeting, berating myself as to why I felt so goddamn stupid right now. I held out my hand but she refused to shake.

"What? Did I spill something?" I asked, irritatedly.

"Young man, your fly is still open," she admonished me. I blushed, furiously, and fixed the offending piece of clothing.

"Hi, Frau Schmidt!" Shine piped. I turned around. She wore a fluffy pink bathrobe with the white Playboy bunny on the front pocket and looked super cute in it.

"I thought he was dying," Frau Schmidt snapped, stabbing an accusing finger at me.

"Fleischer said he got off lightly," Shine told her, guiding the old woman to an armchair. The sofa was still draped in towels, the strong smell of soap pouring off it. "Can I get you something to drink? A coffee?"

Frau Schmidt seemed somewhat pacified by the offer. Shine headed into the tiny kitchenette and busied herself with the electric kettle and some cups, whistling off-tune.

"You know, you can stop standing around like a fucking lamp post. In fact, I have something for you," Frau Schmidt addressed me. I carefully tested the sofa, which felt reasonably dry, and sat down.

"Oh? What could that be," I asked, as politely as you could when being rudely interrupted while having the blast of your life.

Instead of answering, Frau Schmidt opened up her ever-present handbag and pulled a large, brown envelope from it. With a resounding 'thwap,' it landed on the table.

"For me," I asked.

"Go on, open it. It won't bite, I guess," the old woman said. I wasn't so sure but nabbed the envelope nonetheless. It felt quite heavy and rustled as I fought with the flap. Dreading the worst, I slipped a hand inside and felt around in it. The envelope was filled to the brim with money. Euros, I recognized as I pulled a handful of bills from the envelope. And a lot of them, judging by the weight of that thing. Then my fingers brushed something that felt different than the Euro bills. I fished for it and pulled out the credit card of the locked-down account.

I looked at Frau Schmidt, dumbstruck, my head awhirl with a hundred questions, first and foremost "How the fuck did she get my cred card?" Shine arrived, bringing three cups of steaming coffee with her. Looking at my face, she smiled warmly.

"I just didn't get around to telling you," she said softly, flopping down next to me on the sofa.

"Telling me what," I asked her.

"After you ended up unconscious and all, I called Fleischer to look after you. Remember? Frau Schmidt brought him here. While he treated you, I told her what happened and she offered to look into things, for a share," Shine explained, her hands holding mine. Her whole posture screamed "apology."

"How big is your share," I asked Frau Schmidt. I wasn't mad, just completely overwhelmed by this turn of events. Like winning the lottery and being run over by a truck, at the same time, if that makes sense.

"If it were only me, it would have been smaller," Frau Schmidt snickered, sipping her coffee. "But I had to pay an associate of mine and he's quite the greedy little fucker. No wonder, it's dangerous to stick your brain into that cyberspace thing right now. Fifty percent."

Luckily, I hadn't bothered with my coffee just yet or Frau Schmidt might have gotten a mouthful of Arabica sprayed all over her. I gulped some air into my lungs.

"Okay, how much is left," I croaked, weakly shaking the envelope.

"Enough to pay for Shine's new implant and then some. About seven hundred and fifty grand," Frau Schmidt explained, taking another sip from her cup. "This is really good, thank you."

"My pleasure," Shine smiled, her hands almost crushing mine.

"Oh, and 'Harley J. Davidson?' Really," the old woman smirked, placing the cup and saucer on the table. Then she groaned softly and rose. "I don't want to overstay my welcome, seeing that you two lovebirds are eager to go at it again," she snickered, picking up her handbag. Almost at the door, she stopped and turned.

"Mister Squier, I would check the news if I were you. If you can get your hormones under control for that long. Have a nice day." With that, she was gone.

I felt like someone had just poured a bucket of ice water down my spine.

"What did she mean, 'check the news?'" I asked Shine.

"Oh, that's right, I've wanted to ask you what the hell happened while you were in the 'Net," she said, fumbling for the remote. A moment later, the TV came to life and Shine flicked through the channels until we reached a news broadcast. My stomach sank as I saw the anchorman talking, the stylized, golden "M" of Mindlink hovering beside him.

"'...assure we are doing our utmost to discover the cause of these seventy-five fatalities,' the Mindlink spokesperson said. Despite these claims, Mindlink stock has plummeted to less than fifty percent of its peak value of $134 last month in the wake of this catastrophe. IT specialists have so far been unable to access the system and-"

My head reeled as the camera switched to stock footage showing Mindlink Central, a clutter of ambulances and police cars haphazardly parking in front of it, their light bars flooding the front of the building with madness-inducing flashes of red and blue, then intermittent close-ups of EMTs hauling bodies out of the building, some of them lacking the customary privacy covering. My hand reflexively wandered towards my own implant as I watched a blackened, almost molten face whiz past the camera, just before an angry EMT slammed his hand into the lens, knocking the view away from the scene. In the background, the anchorman continued to drone on, explaining that the whole Mindlink network was inaccessible and every attempt to infiltrate it ended with yet another fried brain.

"Turn it off," I croaked. Frau Schmidt's visit had been bad but this had me crash back to reality with full force. No, it wasn't a dream. Some malevolent entity had taken over Mindlink and now this entity was looking for Cat. Who knew what would happen? How many more had to die until Nero finally found Cat? And then what?

Shine had thankfully turned off the TV again. I pulled her close, telling her what had happened while I was back at Mindlink. We needed a plan. And we needed to warn Cat. Or rather, we needed to find her, before he did.

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