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The silence registered like a heavy weight oppressively dragging him down into a darkness often visited and seldom easily escaped. It was a risk many took. The overuse of certain drugs, each with their own balance of cause and effect, had a hard toll on the senses.

Beyond the window a golden light, hot summer, harsh and burning, played over the tree that stirred in the warm summer wind. Eyes wide open, brain shut tight, heart pounding, his third eye became enlightened not with pleasurable relaxation and welcome eroticism but with horrific darkness full of nightmares and brutalities.

No news is good news.

Happiness is everything.

Silence is…

Silence is…

Darkness.

Sleep.

Deep, deep, sleep.

The night hours passed. In the middle of them She came in and saw him on the bed. He lay naked, his conditioned physique glistening with sweat, crimson beads, jewels waiting to be collected, the mood lights played tricks with her eyes. She had been out pleasuring. Drifting through the rooms of Club Was I. Finding delights, filling her appetites. But the crowd was a shallow one tonight. Many fledglings brought out by the heady summer day. In the end she had found them tiresome and hard work, unskilled and too quick, too eager. Sometimes she was happy to teach them, guide them, but tonight she was in the mood to play and not to teach.

In the end her senses told her enough was enough. The music became a droning noise, the drinks bitter, the food tasteless, the company unattractive.

She left then. Walked the night to see if the late cafes and pavement crowds, mall scenes and doorway supplicants might change her mood. They did not. She thought about a stimulant? And then decided against it. The quick way out seldom worked for her, she knew her own moods well enough. So she walked and walked and recognised his building.

He never pass-coded his door once he knew you.

This surprised her.

He had held a party, what was it? A year ago now? More? She remembered what had happened then more than the date of when it had happened.

She was there as a friend of a friend just met on the corner, eyes had made contact, ‘I am going to a party.’ The friend had said in an almost breathless moment, she reached out a well manicured and, like the rest oh her body, painted hand. ‘Come with me, my dear, you are sure to make new friends and be satisfied.’

She had looked on with desire as this naked but exquisitely painted amazon had approached, hand now in hand she had just nodded and with questioning followed.

She had not been surprised to find other naked but painted souls there, his door had been opened and even his neighbours seemed to be involved for the party was not only in his rooms but in the corridor outside. Courtesy and formality took place, they were introduced, he wore a loose robe and she noted he was naked and painted underneath. He had smiled and just as she had taken him in, he returned her glances.

He said, ‘You are in need of attention!’

She smiled, nodded. Cheers, laughter, the Amazon, He, and those closest removed her clothes and it’s soft brushes, air brushes and gentle fingers painted her from scalp to toes. When finished, much applause and the Amazon spun her around. Eyes full of hungry envy, they kissed, parted, smiled.

It was all too quickly full daylight and even then the gathering did not seem to finish but instead gently drift into a calm passing. He had let them both play, joined in for a time, then let them engage with others in delightful erotic play. They had found each other again, she leaving for a bathroom visit, then to find sustenance. That was where they found each other. He gave her drink, food morsels. And then he removed the drink she had held in her hand, putting the drink down he then kissed her hand and, spreading her fingers wide, he placed the palm of her hand against his Identi-pad, ‘Recognise?’ Was all he said.

In lush tones the compu-voice returned, ‘Recognised!’ Came the reply.

And that was that.

And her she was.

Watching a sleeping figure wrapped in mood light, lost in a haze she could only guess at.

She cast of her clothes and headed for the bathroom, showered, dried herself but not completely. She picked a small towel out of a bundle and finished drying herself with it, making it damp and too wet. Still naked she then walked back to where he lay. Then she proceeded to use this now cool damp towel to remove the sweat and try to cool him down. He did not stir.

When she finished she threw the towel into a corner.

A cleaner droid picked it up soundlessly and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.

She lay beside him. With deft skill, she positioned herself one leg over him, one arm beneath him, as if to lay over him but she rolled herself so that she now lay on her back and not he. She cuddled him. He slept.

The mood light changed, calmer, calm tranquility.

As she drifted off into a sleep as deep as his she thought, perhaps she heard, music…

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