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Episode 7: Debugging The Code

Zack was zipping down the street on his new scooter. He'd been out and about just having fun on it for the last hour. Finally, he decided to head on over to Brian's house, to show him his new toy. He zoomed around the next corner, and headed off for that part of town.

Zack noticed immediately that Brian's pickup truck was gone, so Brian was almost certainly not home. Oh well, he thought. I'll show it to Wendy, then.

Zack knocked on the door, and then walked in, calling out a greeting. He heard Mrs. Selman call out from the kitchen, and so he went in that direction. As he entered the kitchen, he saw Mrs. Selman sitting at the table. She looked very dejected as she stared down into her coffee cup.

"Hi, Mrs. S," Zack said, slipping into the chair next to her. She looked up at him and a soft smile crossed her face.

"Hi, Zack. If you're looking for the kids, they're out at different things. They probably won't be back for over an hour."

Zack could tell, even with as little experience as he had in relationships, that she didn't want to be alone. He shrugged nonchalantly as he settled into his chair. "I guess I have you all to myself, then," he said with a grin.

Mary Selman looked at him oddly for just a moment, but then the look faded, replaced by the blank look she'd had on her face before. She took a sip of her coffee, and Zack leaned forward, his arms on the table.

"What's the matter?"

She looked at him again, and took a deep breath. "It's nothing, really. I hear you and Wendy are becoming close."

Zack blushed slightly. Any closer and they'll need surgery to separate us. He nodded, with kind of a sheepish grin. "She's a sweet girl."

"She's a lucky girl," Mrs. Selman said, and then blushed herself. "I know you'll take good care of my daughter."

Zack wasn't quite sure what he was supposed to say to that.

"No offense, but I kind of thought you'd go after Bonnie or Pam. Then again, they seem to have grown very fond of Brian lately, so you might not have been able to pry them away."

"They didn't interest me, anyhow," he half-lied. He wouldn't have given up a roll in the sack with either of them, but Wendy was more than that. At least, he hoped she would be more than that.

"Really? Wendy is luckier than she knows. Zack, you're already like a part of the family. I'm glad Wendy has found someone to care for her. I just wish I could find someone... well, someone as nice as you are." Mary suddenly blushed very deeply, and pushed herself away from the table. "I have to go for a minute," she said, her voice heavy.

Zack wasn't sure what was happening as Mary hurried out of the kitchen. Her foot stumbled over the loose edge of the hallway carpet. She tumbled to the floor, and didn't seem to be getting up very quickly. Zack got to his feet and moved to where she was now sitting on the floor.

As Zack knelt down, he saw the tears glistening in her eyes. His heart broke as he watched this wonderful woman, who had treated him so kindly for so many years, crying in her despair. He used his fingers to lightly push her hair back out of her face. The tears were still flowing, but she wasn't sobbing, just crying. Still, Zack thought that wasn't terribly fair. She'd done nothing to deserve this kind of hell.

He looked her in the eye, and saw - or at least thought he saw - a desperate need. Slowly, he leaned in. As their lips touched, his eyes closed. He felt her arms come around him, pulling him more tightly to her. He took a chance, and parted his lips, allowing his tongue to snake out of his mouth and wriggle along her lips. She slowly opened her mouth, allowing his tongue entry. He wormed his way in, and soon their tongues were dancing. Zack brought one hand up, along her side and around to her back. He moved that hand farther up until it was gently cupping the back of her head.

Zack's other hand moved across her abdomen softly. He caressed her tenderly, giving her every opportunity to push him away. She refused each and every one of those opportunities, and they continued to kiss. Finally, Zack slipped his hand upward, gingerly cupping her breast in his hand. He felt her moan against his tongue, and he knew that he definitely wanted this beautiful woman.

Zack slipped his hand off her breast as he moved himself onto one knee. Continuing to kiss her, he tenderly pulled her to her feet, rising with her. Once they were standing, he pushed her strongly against the hallway wall, and there they continued their kissing. Zack's hand returned to her breast, squeezing slightly and causing her to moan.

Eventually, the pair began to move down the hallway. Their movements were awkward and a little uneven, because they refused to break their kiss. Finally, after bouncing off the wall a couple of times, they made their way into her bedroom, and fell together onto the bed.

As Zack got up more courage, his hands moved in and began to undo the buttons on Mary Selman's blouse. She knew what he was doing, and had no intention of stopping him. When he reached the last button, he pulled the blouse out of her slacks and pushed it away from her chest. His hands returned to her tits, which were now covered in a fairly thin bra. She groaned at the feel of his hands.

Mary began to pull at Zack's T-shirt, freeing it from his jeans and then working it up until it was bunched around his neck. At this point, a break in their kissing was mandatory, so they parted reluctantly. Mary shucked her blouse, and undid her bra, throwing it onto the floor with her blouse. Zack had already freed himself of his shirt, and admired Mary's wonderful tits, which showed only the slightest hint of sag. His one hand reached up, tweaking her nipple as he cupped her breast.

Pushing her gently onto her back, Zack's lips engaged Mary's free nipple, sucking it into his mouth to allow his tongue to run over the erect nub. Mary brought her hand up to run her fingers through his hair, pulling his head more tightly onto her tit, forcing more of it into his sucking mouth. His hand strayed from her other tit, moving down across her abdomen. Mary moaned as she felt his fingers dance around her belly button.

When Zack reached her slacks, he deftly unfastened them. Sliding his hand into her slacks, he could feel the heat radiating from between her legs. It was a wonderful feeling. He moved his hand up, and then back down again, this time moving his fingers inside her panties. He pushed his hand deep, moving between her thighs. Mary groaned loudly as his finger slipped along the side of her already-erect clit. He felt her wetness coating his finger as he slipped further down.

Zack's lips continued to work over Mary's nipples as his finger sought, and found, the opening to her cunt. He slipped a finger in, working her over slowly. Mary was beginning to writhe on the bed, her hips rolling up to meet his finger.

Suddenly, Mary pushed him away from her. He looked at her in shock. "Enough of this," she muttered. She climbed off the bed, and shoved her slacks and panties roughly down her legs. Next, she pulled off Zack's shoes and socks. While she was doing that, he unfastened his jeans, and pushed them, and his briefs, down off his hips. He saw Mary's eyes lingering on his erect cock as she took hold of his clothes and removed them.

Mary moved back onto the bed, and took his prick in her soft hand. She stroked him a couple of times, before she moved herself around. When she straddled him, it was his face that wound up underneath her cunt. Before he could do anything at all, he felt her tongue running along his shaft. He shivered with the pleasure that caused. Her lips and tongue slid along his length, back and forth until she had him coated with her saliva. Then, she placed the tip of his cock to her lips, and pressed her head downward. Her lips parted, sliding softly along the skin of his cock, and causing him to shudder in pleasure.

After a moment, Zack realized he was supposed to be participating. He looked up at her lovely, well-trimmed blonde cunt, and thought it was beautiful. He pulled her hips down slightly, and he ran his tongue out along her pussy lips. She moaned against his cock, and that caused him to shudder again. He began to move his tongue back and forth, slipping against her wetness. He gasped as he felt her take his entire cock into her mouth, her lips working against the base of his dick, her throat clasping at him.

Zack tried to keep up his tongue-lashing of her pussy, moving his mouth toward her clit, and teasing it out of its hood. Mary mewled, and began to suck his cock even harder. Zack was grunting with the strain, trying not to come, as he licked her clit furiously. Mary finally pulled her mouth almost off his dick, sucking just on the head. Her tongue swirled around the head of his dick, and he couldn't resist any longer. Zack loosed a torrent of cum into Mary's mouth, and she kept sucking him. His cock shook with the strength of his orgasm, and he groaned at his release.

Mary's tongue continued to do its work against his dick, and Zack did not even begin to subside. His dick was as hard now as it had ever been. Mary continued to lick and fondle him for a few more moments, but then she moved off him.

Zack looked up at her as she knelt next to him on the bed. Suddenly, a look of uncertainty passed across her face. Zack knew she was beginning to wonder what she was doing here, with what was, presumably, her daughter's boyfriend.

Zack reached out to Mary. She took his hand, and allowed him to pull her down to him. Their lips met, tenderly but passionately. Zack allowed his hands to roam over her back, caressing the silky skin there. He moved his hands down, and cupped her ass cheeks. Mary moaned into his mouth. She could feel his hard cock trapped between them, and, as unsure of herself as she was, she really wanted to feel him inside her. Her movements made this quite clear to Zack.

Zack rolled them over, still kissing. He broke their kiss and pushed himself up on one hand. His other hand reached down to position his cock at her entrance. Mary groaned as she felt the head of his dick pressing against her pussy lips. She was longing for the release she knew this would bring. Sensing her readiness, Zack pressed forward, sliding his dick deep within her in one slow, smooth stroke. Mary moaned loudly at the feel of her cunt being filled.

Once he was inside her, he leaned down to kiss the base of her neck. Mary mewled as he began to softly move within her. Her hands caressed his sides as he slowly slipped in and out of her wetness, sending shivers throughout her body. He continued to move smoothly, tenderly, and she mewled and sighed beneath him as her pussy sent waves of pleasure to her brain.

Zack could tell that Mary was really enjoying this, as was he. He used one hand to caress her tit, thumbing her nipple lightly. She gasped at each touch, and was sent higher on her roller coaster ride of passion. He started to move just a little faster within her, pushing her to new heights of joy. Her hips were rocking up to meet him, pulling him further inside of her with each plunge. He felt her building, and he wanted to help her reach that orgasm. He leaned down to kiss her again, his tongue caressing hers. She was groaning against his tongue, and his movements were sending sparks of delight throughout her pussy.

Finally, it was more than she could stand, and Mary came. Her body rocked and shuddered beneath him, her pussy rippling along his shaft. He continued to slide in and out of her throughout her climax, sustaining her bliss as long as he could.

As Mary started to settle from her climax, Zack began to pull out of her. She stopped him, quickly grabbing his hips. He looked at her with curiosity.

"Don't... please... I don't want to be done with you yet." She smiled up at him coyly. He understood, and was perfectly happy to oblige her. He pushed himself back into her, causing her a momentary shudder. Embracing her again, he rolled onto his side, taking her with him. Their legs tangled , and he could feel her pressing tightly against him, her tits mashed against his chest in a most pleasant manner.

"Mmm," she said softly, feeling his hands caress her body. Her pussy was still grasping at him, keeping him hard and ready for more. Her free hand caressed his side, sliding down to massage his butt from time to time. He kissed the lovely lady in his arms, holding her sweetly, and waiting for her to recover from her come.

Finally, she indicated to him that she was ready to handle more. With some reluctance, he slid his cock part way out of her, and then thrust back in. The sudden speed caused her to gasp, and smile. He repeated his move, pulling smoothly out of her, and then ramming back into her. It did not take very much of this before Mary was fully aroused. Zack began full-fledged thrusting then, moving in and out of her as rapidly as his body and their position allowed.

Mary loved the feel of her tits sliding against his skin as Zack pummeled her grasping pussy. She moaned and cried in pleasure as his cock pleasured her. She had not felt this kind of wonderful feeling of ecstasy since... well, for a very long time. The boy whose cock was buried deep inside of her was arousing in her passions long dead.

"Zack," she said, grunting through his wonderful pummeling of her cunt, "let's do it another way,"

Zack slowed down, and then stopped, pulling out of her. She nearly groaned in despair, as her cunt really wanted him back where he had been. She knew he would be soon. Mary rolled herself up onto her hands and knees, and her eyes invited him to take her. Zack quickly understood, moving in behind her. As Zack's cockhead once again slipped into Mary's warm wetness, she lowered her head to her pillow and sighed. His manhood filling her again was what she sorely needed, wanted, and would have, at this point, begged for.

Zack took hold of her hips and began to thrust deep into her. His first thrust brought out a cry of ecstasy, and he smiled. He began to ram into her, enjoying her moans and grunts and cries. He was grunting himself, enjoying the feel of her rippling twat on his prick. He bent over, reaching forward with his hands until he was cupping her wonderful tits. He could feel the hot points of her nipples digging into his palms, and he loved that. He massaged her titflesh, sending waves of pleasure throughout her body and causing her cunt to grip him more tightly. He increased his pace, moving faster and harder against her.

Mary was loving every second of this. She found the strength to push herself back up onto her hands. She used her arms to thrust herself backward onto Zack's cock His hands, still molesting her tits, were driving her crazy, and she was oh so near to coming. When Zack's one hand left her tit and strayed for her pussy, she knew she was about to come.

She was right. As Zack's fingers brushed against her swollen clit, Mary was gripped by an intense orgasm. Her body was wracked with spasms and shudders. Her pussy clamped down on Zack's prick tightly, and began to massage its entire length at once.

This was all Zack needed, and he erupted inside her pussy, spewing his load deep within her. The two of them moved together, their bodies bucking as they groaned out their pleasure. Finally, spent, the two of them collapsed onto the bed, Zack rolling off Mary as his dick slipped from her hot cunt. As he drifted off to sleep, his hand reached out and lightly fondled her breast. She mewled and snuggled more tightly against him as she, too, fell into slumber.

-----

When Zack awoke about a half-hour later, he found Mary had turned, and was watching him sleep. He smiled at her, and they kissed softly. Zack felt a stirring in his loins, but he knew he wasn't about to go at it again so soon.

"That was wonderful," Mary said. "Thank you."

"Any time, Mrs. S," Zack said softly and with a smile.

"Mary. If you're going to make love to me like that, you can call me Mary."

"Mary," Zack agreed, pulling her to him. She came willingly, eagerly, into his embrace, and they held each other quietly for some moments.

After a little while, Mary pushed herself away just slightly, to look Zack in the eyes. "Did you do that to my little girl?"

Zack blushed fiercely, but nodded.

"God, what a lucky girl she is." Mary kissed him again. When she broke the kiss, she said, "On Monday, I'll take her to the doctor and get her on the pill. We don't want to have that kind of accident."

"No," Zack agreed, with a chill. What about the others? He would make it a point to check.

"You're too nice to me, you know that," she said wistfully.

"Bullshit," he said, and then blushed. "You're a great woman. Hell, I wish I'd had you for a mom instead of my own mom."

"Ooh, but then this would have been really naughty, wouldn't it?" she said with a wicked grin.

"I'd have still done it," he said, kissing her.

"Mmm," she murmured.

After a few more minutes of cuddling, she looked at the bedside clock. "We'd better get up, before the girls come home and catch us."

Zack waited until she got up, and watched as she dressed herself. She noticed his gaze, and blushed herself. "I know I'm not as young and pretty as Wendy is..."

"You're beautiful," Zack said softly, and meant it.

Finished dressing, Mary came back to him. "Thank you, again. You made me feel like a woman again, rather than some run-down old hag."

"That," he said, between kissing her, "You will never be."

"You'd better get dressed," Mary said, "before I get undressed again."

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack got out of the pickup truck, and helped Wendy slide over to the door and out. Brian looked at them as he said, "I'll be back in a couple hours, and I'll wait here." Zack nodded, and thought that Brian was smartly not going to watch a girl shopping. Wendy had asked him to go with her to buy some new clothes. She wanted his opinion. He could hardly tell her no, when it was put to him like that.

He put his hand around her waist as they walked into the mall. She snuggled against him as they walked, smiling up at him. He felt mildly uncomfortable, because Wendy didn't know about yesterday. Yesterday was when Zack had made love to her mother while she was out visiting a friend. He tried to put it out of his mind while he was with her, because he didn't want to spoil the day worrying over it.

The first place they went was for shoes. Zack thought this was okay; he could deal with shoes. At least, he thought he could deal with shoes, until Wendy showed him two pair that looked to him to be exactly alike and said, "Which do you like better?"

Zack made the rookie error of pointing out that he couldn't tell the difference. Wendy laughed at him. She put them back, and moved on down the row. He felt a little silly, and so he studied them for a little while. He realized that the biggest difference between the choices was about twenty dollars in price.

After a little while, Wendy had a nice pair of white pumps and a new pair of sneakers, for which she did not require Zack's input. She paid for her purchases, and then they left, making their way toward the place that Zack dreaded: the department store. Inside this accursed retail establishment were more different outfits for her to choose from than Zack wished to think about. His greatest fear was that she would, indeed, want to try on all of them.

Your fault, slick. You promised to come with her.

As they entered and got the cart, he assumed the typical guy role of pushing it. The reason men like to push the cart in department stores is that it gives them something to lean against while the women are shopping. Wendy led him through the store, back toward ladies' fashions. Finally, they reached the area where she wanted to be. Zack noted that the clothes they were looking at were casual, but...

"Wendy? Are you sure you'd want to wear this?"

She looked at him, a little bit of upset in her eyes. "Don't you think I'd look good in this stuff?"

Zack had to be very, very careful, and he knew it. "Hell, yes, you'd look great in any of this... I just didn't think you dressed like this."

She walked up to him and pressed herself against him. "I didn't have a reason to, before," she whispered, giggling. Zack blushed as she returned to looking over the somewhat skimpy outfits. He watched as she selected a medium-length skirt and a half-tank top, which she deposited into the cart.

Finally, after she'd piled nearly a dozen items in the cart, she led him over to the dressing room. She grabbed the first two, and ducked into the dressing room. Zack waited semi-patiently as she tried it on.

"Well, how do I look?" he heard from behind him. He'd turned to watch the people walk by, so to occupy his attention. When he turned around, his jaw dropped open. It was a tight blouse, light green, over a darker green skirt. Her red hair seemed to flare against the colors, and her pale skin almost glowed. Zack was finding it difficult to breathe, let alone say anything.

"You... I... wow," he finally managed. She giggled as she sauntered up to him.

"I remember saying that a couple times, too." She kissed him briefly, before grabbing more clothing and returning to the dressing room.

This went on with each outfit, as they grew racier and more seductive. Finally, with what he thought was the last batch, she leaned her head out. "Um... you have to come in here. I'm not stepping out there to show you."

Zack wondered what she meant, and then shrugged. He stepped into the dressing room, and closed the door. He was already leering at his sweet Angel, who was wearing only bra and panties, in a matching peach color.

"Do you like it?" she asked, modeling it for him.

Zack stepped up to her and took her in his arms. He leaned down, and their lips met. His hands caressed her back, teasing her skin lightly. She moaned very softly as they kissed. Finally, he broke the kiss, and turned her around to face the mirror.

"That is the most beautiful girl I've ever met," he said. His hands moved down, and deftly unclasped the front-closure bra. He pulled it gently apart, and pulled it off her shoulders. He allowed it to drop onto the pile of her other clothes, but his attention was on the view in the mirror. His hands slid against her tits again, and she had to bite her lip to keep from crying out. "And she is even more beautiful now," he said with a small chuckle. Then he nibbled her ear.

"Oh, God, Zack," she whimpered softly.

Slowly, he released her tits, sliding his hands down to gently hold her waist. If they tried anything more than that here, he knew they'd get caught. He just needed to feel her against him, just know that she cared for him.

Wendy was loving every second of his touch, and she didn't care if they got caught or not. She really did want to feel him inside her again, but there was another, important, issue to consider.

"Mom said she was going to take me to the clinic tomorrow. She's putting me on the pill."

"I know," he said softly, kissing the nape of her neck.

"What do you mean, you know?"

"I was talking to your mom yesterday, and she mentioned it."

"Did you tell her we were, I mean, did you..."

"She asked me a direct question, and I answered her," he said, interrupting her stammered thought.

"Oh, God, she's gonna give me a lecture..."

"Don't worry about it, Angel. She just told me to be responsible, and to take good care of you, which I plan on doing." His fingers made small circles against her skin, letting her know the depth of his feelings for her.

"We can't do anything today. I might get, you know..."

"Knocked up?" he asked with a chuckle. She blushed, and nodded. "That's okay, baby. Just being with you is more fun than most of the things I do."

She turned in his grasp, and reached up to kiss him again. They remained together for several moments before she pulled away. "I'd better get dressed."

Zack didn't leave as she removed the panties, which were now somewhat damp, and then put on her old clothes, which included a T-shirt and skirt, along with her underwear. She stood, making sure she looked okay in the mirror. It was then that Zack had a naughty idea. He reached out from where he was sitting on the bench, and ran his hands along the sides of her knees. Wendy shivered, and stepped back to allow him an easier reach. As she did so, his hands slipped up, beneath her skirt. She trembled at his touch, but wondered just what he was doing. When his hands reached her panties, he tugged on them until they came free of her skirt, and slipped off her hips.

As her panties pooled at her feet, she looked back at him. "Zack?" she asked, a little disconcerted. He didn't answer right away, but helped her step out of her underwear. He put them into her handbag, and then stood up, hugging her.

"We're almost done here, right?" he asked.

"Yeah, but..."

"Just try it for a bit. I get a thrill out of knowing you're really ready for me, Sweetheart." He gave her one of his wicked grins, and she blushed. She could feel the heat in her pussy already. She would never have dared do this on her own, but for him to suggest it, to ask her to... she would do it, for him.

"Okay, lover," she said in a sultry voice, picking up the remainder of her purchases. As she was about to stand up, he ran his hand over her ass. The feel of the coarse skirt fabric against her bare skin caused her to shudder. "Oh, God," she whispered to herself. She knew she was wet, and she was loving every second of it.

-----

After they got through at the clothing counter, Wendy led him over to the books and videos. She wanted to get a couple books by Anne McCaffrey. Zack watched her as she moved, and he really wanted to do something nice for her. He thought for several minutes about what he could do, when an idea came to him.

"Babe, can you wait here for me? I'll be back in a few minutes."

"Sure. You gotta go?" she asked with a smile.

"Uh, something like that. I'll be right back." He leaned over and kissed her, and then headed for a different part of the store. Wendy turned back to look at the books.

-----

It took Zack a couple minutes just to reach the spot he wanted. The lady at the counter took one look at him, and her passive mien took on a distinct frown.

"Can I help you?"

"Yes, I'd like to speak with the department manager, in private." Zack's voice was polite, but warned that there could be trouble if his request was not granted.

"I'll see if he's available," the woman said snootily, and disappeared through a doorway. Zack could hear her going up or down stairs, and he waited calmly. After a couple minutes, she came back to him. "Mr. Daniels will be right down," she said in her same haughty air.

"Good enough," he said. He looked around at all the jewelry. It was a very big store, and their jewelry department was top-notch. Zack discovered, over in a side display, something that intrigued him, and he thought it would be the perfect gift for his Angel. Of course, there was no way in hell he could afford the $400 price tag, but he had a way around that.

"Can I help you, young man?" the manager said rather coldly. Zack looked at him as he unsnapped the flap on his PDA case.

"Yeah, I think you can," he said, pulling his Adamant AO PDA loose. "Have you seen one of these?" Zack slid it onto the counter as he activated the pre-loaded script. He had thought he might end up doing this, if he'd found something nice, and so he wanted to try it out.

Several very tense minutes later, the program finished up, and the man shrugged three times. Zack had noticed that the sales lady had stayed far away from their discussion. That was a very good thing; he didn't need her interrupting the program.

"What do you need?" the man asked in a much politer manner. Zack motioned him over to the display case, which took them even further away from the sales clerk.

"I assume," Zack said, "that you have a way to cover merchandise that is either lost or damaged?"

"Of course, sir. There are two or three ways that such things are handled, depending on the circumstances."

"I see. So, if something were to just come up missing..."

"Well, it depends, sir. Anything on the floor that came up missing would be reported as theft. Items from the back room, however, are handled rather differently."

"Okay, I think I understand. Do you have another of these in the back room?" he pointed at the item in question.

"Several dozen. It is an extremely popular item."

"If you took one from the back room and gave it to me here, would there be a problem?"

"Yes, sir. The security camera would see us. You would probably get into trouble, and I would lose my job."

"I figured as much. Could you take me into the back room?"

"Not through the store, sir. There is a door from the outside, however, that doesn't have a security camera covering it."

"I see. Good. I want you to go back to that door and wait for me. I will be there shortly."

"Yes, sir."

Zack checked his watch. He figured Brian would probably be waiting for them by now. He walked quickly out of the store, and around the side of the building. Sure enough, the manager was standing by a metal door, holding it open.

"Thank you," Zack said politely.

"Yes, sir," the man replied. He led him over to several boxes, which were opened. Inside the heavily padded boxes were the usual jewelry cases. "All of these, sir, contain the same item from the front."

Zack opened one, and inspected it.

"Do you know your lady's size?"

"No." Zack took one piece out, and felt it. He tried to relax his mind, to remember Wendy's dimensions.

"One size smaller than this," he said finally. The manager handed him one of the boxes.

"This one is the size you requested."

"Okay, now how can I get this out of here without a problem?"

The manager turned and grabbed a box marked 'repair and maintenance'. Zack wondered at the proximity of such a box, and wondered if the manager was crooked already.

"Put it in here," the man said, and Zack complied. The manager quickly tucked the flaps against each other to close the box, and handed it to Zack. "So long as you leave the way you came in, no one will question you."

"Thank you very much. You're sure this can be covered without undue trouble?"

"This box has not been logged in yet. We will report it as a shortage to the distributor."

"Good. Thank you for your time."

The man let him out the door, and then promptly forgot that he had ever seen, heard of, or known Zack Griffin.

Zack walked out to the parking lot, and spotted Brian's truck. He walked over, and opened the passenger door.

"Where's Wendy?"

"Still inside. I wanted to get her a surprise. I'll give it to her when we get to your house. I'll be right back... well, assuming she's ready to leave."

Brian chuckled as Zack closed the door and walked back into the mall.

-----

Wendy squirmed slightly on the ride home as she pushed herself as close to Zack as she could get with her seatbelt on. Brian noticed, and grinned, but kept his mouth shut. He didn't want to piss Zack off, and besides, it was clear that Wendy really liked him, and that was cool with Brian.

Finally, they got home. Zack grabbed half of Wendy's bags, and then reached in and got the other box from behind the seat.

"What's that?" she asked immediately.

"A surprise," he said mysteriously.

"Ooh," she said appreciatively, drawing it out into a long syllable.

They carried her stuff into the house, and Mary looked at all the bags.

"Did you buy the entire store, Sweetie?" she asked her daughter.

"Mom! There's only like a hundred bucks worth of stuff here!"

Mary smiled at her. "I know. And you needed some new summer clothes, anyway. Is this enough?" she added more seriously.

"For now," she said. "I might need more later on."

"You'll bankrupt us, girl!" Mary said with a smile. Everyone else in the room froze for a moment, and Zack noticed that. Obviously, there was some worry among the kids about the finances. Mary, however, was far smoother than she had been. The kids realized this, and relaxed a bit.

"You wanna help me put 'em away?" she asked Zack.

"I'll be right there," he said. "I wanna talk to your mom for a second."

"Okay... but I want my surprise soon." She kissed him on the cheek, and then danced out of the room with her bags.

"You were a real sport to go with her. I know you can't have enjoyed that."

"It had its moments," he said with a wink.

"You didn't... I mean..."

"No, not until you take care of that other thing. You seem a lot happier today," he said, not quite asking a question.

"I have reason to be," she answered, running her hand along his arm, and then across the back of his neck. She pulled him to her and kissed him, quickly slipping her tongue into his mouth. The pair kissed hotly for a few seconds, and then broke apart. Mary looked over his shoulder to see if anyone had caught them, but Brian and Wendy had left for their rooms. She looked deep into his eyes. "I hope you and I can be together again. I know it may feel like cheating on Wendy, but..."

Zack quieted her with another soft kiss. "We'll see," he said with a smile, indicating more than that. "I should get back and give her the surprise she's waiting for."

"Can I see it?" Mary asked.

Zack opened the box, and took out the jewelry case. He opened the hinged case, and watched Mary's reaction. He was a horrid judge of fashion, but he figured she would know about such things.

"My God, Zack! This must have cost a fortune!" She looked at him more carefully now. "Just... how do you feel about my little girl?"

He closed the case and put it back in the box before he answered her. "She's the sweetest person I've ever met. I'm hoping she wants to be my girlfriend."

"What about the age difference?" Mary asked, concerned.

"I'm not worried about it if she isn't." He turned to her with a mischievous smile and said, "What about our age difference?" He ran his hand along her hip, and she sighed.

"That's... a little different," she said finally. "Go on, give her her present. But remember, she's not protected yet."

"I know." He closed the box again, but then he set it down on the table and turned to Mary again. He stepped to her and took her in his arms. They kissed again, softly. He whispered to her, "I'd have gotten you a present, too, but I didn't want the others to ask questions."

Mary blushed slightly at the thought, but she smiled at him. "Just being with you is enough of a gift for me."

"I like giving that gift... and I like giving it a lot." He kissed her again, and then stepped away. "I'd best go see what Wendy's doing."

"You staying for dinner?" she asked, hopeful.

"I'd like that," he said quietly. Then he turned and went back to Wendy's room.

-----

Wendy was sitting on her bed, waiting for Zack. When he walked in, he noticed that Bonnie was not in the room. He had half-expected to have to ask her to leave, so he could spend a little quiet time with Wendy, which the mall had not been.

"Where's your sister?"

"She's off with Steph somewhere. I think they went to a movie or something." Wendy shrugged. She didn't mind that her sister had a new friend. She then patted the bed, inviting him to come sit beside her, which he did, slipping his shoes off first, to keep her bed from getting dirty.

Once he was next to her, she cuddled close. "God, do you know how horny it made me riding home without my panties on? I feel like such a slut!"

"Feel like?" Zack asked with a grin. His hand went down to her knee, and moved up under her skirt. When he reached her cunt, he felt the slipperiness of her pussy lips, but no underwear.

Wendy moaned at his touch. Zack slipped a finger inside of her, and she mewled. He pushed his finger all the way in, and his thumb connected against her clit. She gasped at the pleasure.

Zack moved his finger in and out of her, and he leaned in to kiss her. He finger-fucked her rapidly as their tongues entwined, and Wendy began to buck beneath him. Finally, she screamed into his mouth, and flooded his hand with her juices. Her orgasm lasted for several moments, and he continued to move his hand against her until she came down from her peak.

"Fuck, that was great!" she enthused as he pulled his hand out from under her skirt. She grabbed his wrist, and brought his hand to her mouth. She cleaned his hand with her tongue, sucking each finger into her mouth to make sure it was clean. Once she was done, she let him have his hand back. He kissed her again, but then she wiggled, getting up off the bed.

"I've got to change now," she said, slipping her skirt down her legs. Zack enjoyed the view as she walked over to the closet and grabbed another skirt. She took some Kleenex off her dresser and wiped herself dry first, and then slipped her clean skirt on. She quickly rejoined him on the bed.

"You know, you can put your panties back on anytime you like," he said to her.

"I know," she said, "but I kind of like having them off when you're around."

He smiled at her, and they kissed again for a short moment. Finally, she broke their kiss and pointed at the box.

"So, what's my surprise?"

"Open it and find out."

She undid the box top, and took out the jewelry case. The box was tossed to the floor, forgotten, as she set the large case in her lap. Zack wrapped his arm around her shoulder just as she was opening it. He heard her breathing stop as her breath caught in her throat.

Wendy looked down at the jewelry in the case. In the center of the display was a heart-shaped pendant of gold with a single diamond at its center. Off to one corner was a bracelet, also of gold. It had several silver hearts inlaid, and the middle heart also bore a single diamond. In the adjacent corner, a pair of earrings rested. They were a matching heart shape, and also covered in small diamond chips. The third corner contained an anklet, with a matching but much smaller heart pendant on it. The last corner of the case contained a slightly heavier gold chain to replace the thin chain to which the central pendant was now attached.

Wendy slowly moved her hand out to touch the fine jewelry. Her breathing started again, but it was ragged. He could feel her heartbeat. Her fingers moved gently over the objects in the case, and then she turned her eyes to Zack. He could see the awe in her face.

"Zack... I..."

He put his finger softly to her lips. "I want you to be my girlfriend," he said as half of an explanation. He really just wanted her to have something nice.

"I'd love that," she said, and then leaned in to kiss him. They kissed hotly for some moments, the case nearly forgotten in her lap. But only nearly. When they broke the kiss, she looked down at the jewelry again. "Nobody's ever been this nice to me," she said softly.

"They should have been, Angel," Zack said, hugging her more tightly with his one arm wrapped around her. Zack reached out with his free hand and took out the pendant. He unhooked the chain, and then slipped it around her neck. He carefully refastened it, making sure not to get it caught in her hair. He then let it slip into place between her breasts. She looked down at it, and then up at him again. Her smile was one he'd only seen once before, and he knew that he'd made her happy, which was his goal.

"I hope you know how to put the rest of them on," he said with a chuckle. She nodded, and then leaned against him, embracing him tightly.

"I love you, Zack," she said.

Zack hesitated for just a moment. He'd said that once already, and that hadn't turned out so well. But this was different, and truth be told, he'd have taken Wendy over Claudia any day.

"I love you, too," he whispered.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack woke up the next morning feeling pretty good with himself. He'd spent a good evening with the Selmans, cuddling with Wendy as the family watched a movie. He'd had to go before it had gotten too dark, but that was okay. He was thoroughly happy with the evening. He also remembered the kiss that Mary had given him before he left. It stirred things in him now, and he decided to take care of them in the shower.

He had finished his shower and was eating breakfast when there was a knock at the door. He grumbled a bit, until he remembered who that probably was. He was intrigued that there were still people out there who weren't affected by Program Alpha-Omega. He got to the door just as there was a second knock.

Impatient bastard, ain't he.

Opening the door, Zack saw four people standing before him. Two of them were Adam and William. The other two were women whom he didn't know. He motioned them all in and closed the door. The one woman had settled on a chair, but she was sitting on the very edge, as if ready to move at a moment's notice.

"Sorry to interrupt your summer, but it seems the project has hit a snag." Adam was choosing his words carefully for an obvious reason.

"Why don't you introduce me?" Zack asked.

"This is Terry Meuller. She's my secretary. It seems our new training technique doesn't have the desired result on her."

"Hmmm. That's odd. And this?" Zack said, indicating the other woman.

"That's Shirley Jansen. I believe you two already know each other."

Zack's eyes darkened, and Shirley blushed. "Yes, we have," Zack said, feigning irritation. "Why don't you take Terry back to my room, Val, so I can talk to Adam?"

"Sure thing," she said with forced cheeriness. Once the two were out of earshot, Zack turned to Adam and said, "Okay, what's the deal?"

"I've tried everything I can think of, and all the versions of the program we have, but nothing even puts her under, let alone programs her. I don't know what's going on."

"Okay. You got a copy of the script you want implanted?" Adam handed over a disk. "You're staying in town somewhere?"

"At the Summers Inn."

"I'll call you when I'm done for the day."

"Look, Zack, this is important to me, and..."

"I'm not going to try to work with you standing over my shoulder." Zack thought for a few moments, and then said. "I'll let you leave your spy-bitch here. She's already betrayed me once, so she shouldn't have any trouble ratting on me again, if I do anything 'bad'."

"Look, Zack, you know that she's been programmed, don't you?"

"I figured," he said, knowing the real truth of it far better than Adam.

"Okay, fine. Shirley should stay out of your way, but I want her in the room the entire time."

"Yeah, whatever. Now, I've got work to do, so if you want me to get it done, then go away."

As Zack closed the door on Adam and William, he turned with a frown. Something about Adam was just really setting him off, and he didn't know what it was. Perhaps it was just how he was always pushing, always wanting to be in full control of the situation.

Not like you, who just programs the situation to go his own way.

Zack shoved that thought firmly aside as he walked back to his bedroom to see what could be done with his new subject.

"Hi, guys," he said on entering the room. Shirley was sitting on the bed, but Terry was standing, looking out the window.

"Okay, Terry... you seem a bit upset."

"Mr. San...uh, I mean Adam, said that if this programming doesn't take, I may lose my job. How am I supposed to know why it doesn't work?" She seemed to be both angry and scared.

"I can understand. We'll try to figure out why this technique isn't working for you. It may be a flaw in the program, so we'll have to see. First off, let's rule out equipment failure. Why don't you come and have a seat right here." He indicated his desk chair. She moved over to it and sat down.

Zack leaned over his computer, resting his hand gently on her shoulder as he brought up the script-selector he'd written. He felt her relax slightly at his soft touch. He took a second to look at her, and she smiled ever so slightly at him. He smiled back. Picking a simple relaxation script, Zack let it load, and then the program was ready.

He turned to her, not removing his hand. "Okay, now this is a simple program. It's just to relax you. If it works, you should lose about an hour of time."

"How does it do that?"

Zack rummaged around his brain real quick and came up with, "It induces Alpha-waves in the brain. Don't worry about it, it's not harmful. If it works, you'll feel very good. When you're ready, just press 'Enter'."

Zack stepped away from her, and watched as she hit the Enter key. He noticed immediately that she had not gone under the way most people do. He puzzled at that while the program ran. He noticed that Shirley was, in fact, under, even from as far away from the computer as she was. So it's definitely not the machine, and this version of the program works on most, but not all. Hmm. What could it be?

After four and a half minutes, the program ended, and she turned to him. There were actually tears in her eyes. "Not a thing," she said in frustration. When she noticed Shirley, her eyes opened a little wider. "So, it is me."

Zack went to her and knelt down, looking up into her face. He rested his hand on her arm. "Terry, this isn't your fault. When we first created this program, it was... well, very finicky. We've gotten it to work on almost everyone, but obviously there is still some tweaking left to do. I don't understand why Adam is blaming you for this. By the way," he added conspiratorially, glancing at Shirley for effect, "what is his last name, anyway?"

"I'm not supposed to tell you," she said, but then she smiled. "But it's Sandalwood."

He smiled at her, and winked. "Gotcha. Let's go out to the living room, to leave Shirley to her relaxation for a while."

-----

For the next several hours, Zack and Terry chatted about her life. They were interrupted when Shirley came out of the bedroom, but they didn't let it distract them too much. She sat down on the couch next to Zack, while Terry was sitting in the easy chair next to the couch. He paid close attention as she related her childhood, and her growing up. Normally, he would not have found such a conversation fascinating, but he was looking for something that would set her apart from the rest of his subjects.

They broke for lunch, and Zack made sandwiches for everybody. They continued talking while they were in the dining room eating, and it was near the end of lunch that Terry finished telling Zack a chronological account of her life.

"And that's pretty much where I stand today. I've been working for Adam for a year and a half, I haven't got a boyfriend or much in the way of family, and I spend most of my nights watching television. I guess none of that really helps, does it?" she asked with a frown.

"Never can tell," Zack said, just to try to cheer her up. He led them back into the living room, and sat down. The other two resumed their positions as well, and Zack laid his head back, trying to think. Finally, his head came forward.

"You've never been to a psychiatrist?"

"No."

"Psychologist?"

"Nope."

"Have you ever had any form of therapy at all?"

"Not that I... well..."

"What?"

"I don't really consider it therapy, but I did go to a hypnotist for a little while, when I was nineteen."

"For what?"

"I had... uh... some nasty habits I wanted rid of, but couldn't seem to beat them on my own. He did help me break those patterns. Why is any of this important, anyway?"

"Well, because therapy, and especially hypnosis, changes the way your mind is working. Since our training programs also do similar things, it is possible that your earlier hypnosis is interfering with what's being done to you now. I'll have to do some research to find out if that's the case, and if so, what I can do about it, without interfering with your earlier treatment."

"Yeah, I really... uh... don't want those habits back."

"What were they?"

He watched as Terry blushed fiercely. "I'd rather not talk about them."

"Okay, I understand that, but... it may be important to my research. If you could just write them down for me, I don't really need details, I just need to know what you had done."

Terry hesitated for a long moment, but then she nodded. She took the pad he was holding, and his pen. She wrote down a list of things, her hand shaking slightly. Then, she handed the pad back. Zack made sure to keep the pad held in such a way that Shirley would not see what Terry had written. Zack's eyebrows went up as he looked at the list. He flipped the page back to his original notes, effectively hiding the list.

"I understand. I'll see what I can come up with. If you want to call Adam and have him come get you, I'm going to need to do some basic research, and I probably won't be ready for you again until at least tomorrow."

"Okay. Do you really think you can do something about it?"

"Probably. I just haven't encountered this issue before."

"Thank you," she said with a smile.

-----

After Shirley and Terry left, Zack went back into the research materials that Adam had sent along with the PDAs. There were, roughly, a zillion pieces of information here, and Zack had no way of finding exactly what he needed. He slapped together a rough-and-ready search routine to look through the files, and started his computer looking through the files for words such as "hypnosis", "therapy", and many variations thereof.

As big as those files were, Zack knew such a search could take all night. He couldn't go anywhere, either, since he'd have to change CDs when the current one was done, and so on. He flipped on his newly-acquired television, and watched something inane while his mind mulled over what to do about things. The items on Terry's list were rather surprising, and he understood why she didn't want to discuss them. His mind went back over the list:

*exhibitionism

*voyeurism

*nymphomania

*a distinct desire to sleep with strangers

*a tendency toward younger boys (at least five years younger than me)

*loud and raucous orgasmic vocalizations


Zack knew that last one had to come from a psychology book or similar material. Any normal person would simply have said they were too loud in bed. The trouble, Zack knew, was that most of what she'd worked to get rid of was all the stuff that Adam wanted to put back. In essence, there was a war in Terry's head, with two competing technologies trying to tell her two different things. Zack figured that the hypnosis was winning only because it had been entrenched for so long.

Well, we'll just see about that.

-----

Six hours and five CDs later, Zack had about 200 MB of information stored on his hard drive. Good gravy, I've got to go through all that? Well, better get to it. It was already well into the evening. He didn't expect to get much sleep.

-----

Zack turned out to be much more right than he knew. It took him several hours just to realize he was going in the wrong direction. He felt very stupid as he realized that the commands he was trying to enter into her brain were not the problem. She'd never noticed those, because she had never, in fact, gone under. Pissed at himself, he shoved himself away from his computer and stalked off to the kitchen to get a snack. His parents had just gone to bed, and the house was quiet. He munched on some graham crackers as he sat in the dark, considering what was going wrong.

He stopped in mid-cracker when he realized that it had to be that hypnosis had denied access to the part of the brain that Program Alpha-Omega would normally use as a gateway to program the mind. So, it would be necessary to 'pick the lock' before he could attempt to program her mind.

So, he thought on his way back to his room, how in the hell do you pick a mental lock?

Four more hours of research would give him the theory. He decided that practice could wait for daylight.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack's head was jolted off the pillow at seven o'clock. He slapped the offending alarm clock, and rolled - almost literally - out of bed. He padded off to shower and try to wake himself up. He'd managed about four hours of sleep, and that just wasn't enough for the mental activities he was putting himself through.

He decided, when he came back into the room, to run himself through PAO on a refresher script. Zack didn't like relying on these too much; he wasn't sure what long-term effects it could have. However, on days like today, when there was work to do, he'd risk it.

Fifteen minutes later, and he felt a lot better. It was briefer than his usual stints, but he had work to do, and he didn't know when Adam would be returning his subject. He had found several important pieces of information last night about the theory of picking through a mental blockage like the one intentionally induced by Terry's hypnosis. The trick was turning that theory into code. Would he be able to pull that off? Zack wasn't sure. He looked at his watch, and cursed. It was nearly eight o'clock already. He slammed his brain into overdrive as he began searching, once more, through the documents that Adam had given him concerning PAO and psychology.

-----

The knock at the door startled Zack, and he cursed. Looking at his watch, he realized it was already 10:30.

"Shit! Where'd the time go?" Zack hustled out to the door, and opened it. This time, it was only Terry and Shirley. "C'mon in," Zack said, stepping aside. As the two entered, he said, "What, Adam too busy to harass me today?"

The two ladies chuckled. Terry said, "He's attending to business by long-distance. Not his favorite of activities. Do you have any hope for me today?" she asked, her voice turning very serious.

"Well, I've got an idea. I have to put it into code yet, but maybe in a couple of hours. You guys can watch TV or something, if you like."

"Thanks," Shirley said, dumping herself on the couch and picking up the remote.

"I'll stick close to you, if that's okay," Terry said. "Just in case you need my input or something."

Zack shrugged. He didn't mind the company, but he knew she was going to be bored fast. He led her back to his room, where she sat down on the bed. He returned to his computer to continue slogging away at the code.

-----

Zack had just about finished up what he hoped would be functional code when he felt a soft hand on his shoulder. He jumped, and nearly swore at Terry, who jumped back slightly at his startled reaction.

"I'm sorry, Zack," she said earnestly. "It's just that it's nearly 1:30, and you didn't stop for lunch. I was wondering if you were hungry."

Zack looked at his watch incredulously. He was used to being interrupted by his mother when he was programming; he knew he lost all track of time. But to have someone else just calmly tell him he was working too hard, well, it was a little unusual.

"Give me another twenty minutes. I may be almost finished. Then we can find out if it works or not."

Terry beamed at him, and she left the room. He didn't know whether she'd stayed by him or not. He'd not needed her help, and he'd forgotten she existed, except as the whole reason for what he was currently doing. His mind quickly went back to the symbols and variables on his screen, once again shutting out all external disturbances. His mother had once commented that it would take a natural disaster to shake him from one of his 'trances' in front of the machine. He didn't care. All that mattered was the code, and making it work.

Nineteen minutes and fifty-three seconds later, by Terry's watch, Zack pushed his chair back away from his desk.

"How do you do that so precisely?" she asked.

"Huh?"

She gestured at her watch. "Twenty minutes. Almost on the dot."

He grinned at her. "Lucky guess."

She nodded, unsure. "Your lunch is ready."

He cocked an eyebrow at her, and got up to go see what lunch was.

-----

"Okay, now, I can't guarantee this is going to work. I'm working on trial and error here. I'm hoping it will work, because I think I've over-engineered the problem. But you can never tell with this kind of thing, so don't be disappointed if you still don't get the desired result. It will just mean that I don't have the algorithm right yet."

Geez, next I'll be selling used cars.

Terry sat down in his office chair, and scooted herself closer. Zack stepped back as she reached for the Enter key and pressed it. The loud, but musical, noise that assaulted them all was something of a shock. He'd not expected it to be that ferocious. Once he'd recovered, and the sound had died to a more reasonable level, he realized that Terry wasn't moving. In fact, it seemed as if she was barely breathing. He held his hand under her nose for an interminably long moment before he felt her exhale.

Releasing a breath of his own, he realized she was under. He also knew what was about to happen. She was not being programmed exactly as Adam had requested, of course. Though hopefully Adam would never figure it out, Zack was programming another spy within Adamant Computers. He felt kind of bad that he had to do this to her at all; she'd been very nice to him over the last two days. But he had his own ass to worry about, too, and he was sure that Adam wouldn't like it if Zack told him to fuck off.

Zack did have to admit, however, that he was looking forward to the next little while. Terry was quite a looker, and her long auburn hair was very sexy. Zack decided to fully undress while she was being programmed. He'd decided yesterday that Shirley needed proper punishment for ratting on him, and he was going to use Terry to help him.

He stepped to the door and called down the hall, "Hey, Val, get your ass in here." He went and sat on the bed and waited. It took only seconds before she hustled into the room, and stopped dead.

"Zack, wha..."

"Strip. You've got, I figure, about three and a half minutes left. Get moving."

Shirley recognized when a command had been given. She did not finesse her way out of her clothing. In less than a minute, she was pushing her panties down off her legs, and then she was completely nude.

Zack studied her body for a moment. Her dark brown hair framed an oval face. Her breasts were a bit small, but stood firmly from her chest. Her nipples were already hard, either from the cool air, or excitement. She was thin, and her hips flared invitingly. He studied the thick patch of bush between her legs for a long second before he spoke.

"Get over here." She walked over to him shyly. He had been stroking himself while he watched her undress, and he was fully hard now. "Are you wet?" he asked, rather crudely.

Shirley blushed. She parted her legs for her master to see her wetness. She couldn't believe she was this aroused just from being naked in front of her master. When he reached out and stroked her pussy lips, she moaned.

Zack smiled. He'd written this into her initial script, on the off chance that they would one day meet. He moved his hand from between her legs, and grasped her hip. Spinning her around, he pulled her down into his lap, his cock pressing up into the crack of her ass.

"You know what's going to happen now?" Zack asked. Shirley nodded. "What?"

"You're going to fuck me," she answered, her voice quivering.

"Do you want me to?" he asked with a smile.

"Fuckin' A!" she confirmed.

Zack lifted her up off his lap just enough so he could position his cock at her entrance. He pressed her down slowly until a couple inches of him were inside of her, and then he rammed her down onto him. Shirley screamed out in a mix of pleasure and pain. Zack grunted with the feel of her pussy clutching at him.

Zack wiggled his hips against her, and Shirley moaned. She was full, and a bit sore from the rapid intrusion, but she was also highly aroused. She waited for him to begin moving inside of her, but he only continued to make small gyrations.

"Master?"

"Shh. We're waiting for our third."

It took several moments for the meaning of that to register on Shirley, and before she could protest, another loud noise and a bright flash were emitted from the computer. Zack saw the familiar triple-shrug, and heard a loud sigh of relief from Terry. She turned to see her new master with one of his other slaves impaled on the object of her desire. On the other hand, the slave in question was kind of nice to look at, herself.

Terry rose from the chair while unbuttoning her blouse. After a moment, she froze.

"Master, may I?"

"We're waiting for you," Zack said with a smile. As Terry returned to removing her clothing, Shirley started to get rather uncomfortable.

"Zack, I'm not... 'into' girl-girl stuff," she said hesitantly.

"I know," he said with a sneer. "But she is. And let us not forget that you are being punished, so what you want isn't entirely relevant, now is it?"

"No, I guess not." Shirley tried not to watch as Terry disrobed, revealing a gorgeous, large set of tits and a shapely body that had men drooling. Shirley was disgusted at what she knew was coming.

Once she was completely naked, Terry sauntered over to where the pair were sitting on the bed. Terry reached out and cupped one of Shirley's small tits. Terry hummed appreciatively as her other hand came up to massage the other breast. Shirley felt a little sick, but then she felt the cock inside her moving. Her pussy twinged, and suddenly everything felt very good. It was only when she realized the hands on her chest were feminine that things were not wonderful.

Terry made this worse. She leaned in and began to kiss Shirley on the lips. As Zack continued to move inside her, he leaned in and said, "You'd better kiss her back, and nicely, too. I want to see tongues moving."

Shirley moaned in despair as Terry's tongue immediately pushed its way out of her own mouth and against Shirley's lips. Shirley hesitated for a long moment before parting her lips to admit the intruder.

Terry molested Shirley's mouth as Zack plied Shirley's cunt. He watched as Terry enjoyed kissing her captive partner. Finally, Terry broke their kiss. She leaned forward, and pressed her tit to Shirley's waiting lips. Shirley opened her mouth and snaked her tongue out across the tender flesh of Terry's nipple. Terry moaned at the feel of it.

Zack continued to pummel Shirley's twat, bouncing her on his lap, as she switched to Terry's other breast. After a while, Zack decided it was time to take it to the next level. He motioned to Terry to back away, and then he allowed Shirley to come to rest in his lap.

"Get up," he said quietly. Shirley immediately climbed off his lap. He stood, and then turned Shirley around, pushing her down onto the bed. She understood what he wanted, and scooted herself back up onto the bed. He knelt between her lewdly spread legs, and then grasped her ankles. Putting her feet up against his shoulders, he pressed his cock back into her warm and grasping cunt. Shirley sighed at the feel of being filled by his manhood again.

Once Zack had established a rhythm, he motioned to Terry, whispering something in her ear. She smiled and kissed him on the cheek. Terry climbed onto the bed, and straddled Shirley's face.

"You'd better eat her out good, Val," Zack said. Shirley groaned at the humiliation of this. Her tongue reluctantly slipped out and played against Terry's pussy lips, tasting the juices of a woman for the first time. Terry mewled in pleasure at the feel of a new tongue against her body. Zack began to thrust harder into Shirley, sending waves of pleasure through her body.

Terry, seeing the position her master was in, reached out and pulled Shirley's legs even farther up. Shirley was nearly folded in half. Zack smiled at Terry, and then leaned over to kiss her. Their lips met briefly before their tongues got into the act. Zack's hands, not having anything else to do, reached up and cupped each of Terry's large tits. Terry moaned into his mouth as their tongues dueled.

Shirley was humiliated, and she was also fully aroused. The pounding her cunt was getting was sending shivers of pleasure throughout her body. What her mouth was doing was not nearly as bad as she had feared, not that it mattered, since she had orders. She felt her heat rising, her body climbing toward its ultimate pinnacle of pleasure.

Zack could tell that Shirley was getting closer, so he broke off his kiss with Terry so that he could concentrate on bringing Shirley off. He began to grind his hips against her with each inward thrust, mashing his pubes against her and rubbing her clit. Shirley was beginning to twist and writhe on the bed. He motioned to Terry, and she reached down to toy with Shirley's tits, twisting the nipples.

That was all it took, and Shirley was lost in the grasp of an intense orgasm. Her body bucked and twisted beneath her two partners. Her moans were lost in the folds of Terry's cunt, but it was obvious she was in complete ecstasy.

Once Shirley's gyrations had calmed, Zack pulled out of her. Terry climbed off of Shirley's face, and Shirley immediately rolled over, away from them. Zack thought about doing something about her just then, but decided it could wait.

Terry moved against Zack, and reached down with her hand. Encircling his cock with her dainty fingers, she purred, "Can I have it now?"

Zack smiled at her, and pushed her backward, down onto the bed. Her legs splayed out, and Zack was soon above her, his cock resting against her pussy lips. She bit her bottom lip in anticipation of the pleasure soon to be hers.

Zack didn't make her wait for it, but pressed in firmly. Inch by inch, he buried his cock inside of her to the hilt. Terry moaned at the feel of him inside her, and she twisted her hips in small circles to add to the sensation. Zack leaned down and kissed her just as he started to move inside of her cunt.

Terry gasped into his mouth as she felt his dick sliding in and out of her. She was lost in waves of pleasure as her body tingled from the joys her cunt was receiving. Zack moved faster and faster, gripped by his passion. Terry began to thrust her hips up at him, meeting his every move in synch.

The pair rutted on the bed for only another minute before they both started to feel the urge building inside of them. Zack was the first to lose it, spewing his cum deep inside of Terry. When she felt her master coming, Terry's orgasm flowed over her like a wave, submerging her body and mind in a world of bliss and white-hot pleasure. She cried out in joy as she writhed beneath her master and lover.

When the pair came down, Zack had to struggle not to collapse on top of her. He managed to roll to her side, resting gently against her.

"It looks like my programming was a success, master," she said quietly.

"Yes. I'm sorry I have to give you to Adam."

Terry frowned. "I'd rather have you. But I know it's important."

"Yes."

"I just hope we'll be back together someday."

"We'll see. You'd better go take a shower. If he sees you like that, he'll know what happened."

"Yes, Master."

Terry got up to do as she had been bidden. Zack knew that he had no choice now but to deal with Shirley. He turned over onto his other side, and saw that she was huddled, but she didn't seem to be crying. He softly touched her side. She shivered a little at his touch, but didn't move away from him.

"We're even now, Shirley. I won't do this to you again."

She rolled over on her back to face him. The look on her face was a mixture of emotions that Zack couldn't read. "I know why you did it, Zack. I don't suppose I blame you for that. What bothers me is that I was starting to enjoy it."

Zack ran his hand along her abdomen to her tit, cupping and squeezing it gently. "Is that such a bad thing?" he asked.

"I never thought of myself as a submissive before. Did you program that into me?" It was odd talking to someone who knew they were being controlled.

"Not intentionally," Zack said truthfully. "But I did tell you to obey me willingly, so... it might have had unintended consequences. I just don't know."

"Well, at least I don't have to put up with Adam's attentions like Terry does. He doesn't find me attractive." Zack could sense some slight hurt in her voice, even if she didn't want to be used by him.

"I do," Zack said. She wasn't the most beautiful woman in the world, but her shoulder-length brown hair framed an open and friendly face, and her green eyes spoke of intelligence. Though her breasts weren't large, they looked nice on her, and her body was slender and it was obvious she exercised. His fingers continued to manipulate her breast as she squirmed beneath him.

"I'm going to need a shower, too," she said. "Unless you want Adam to know I don't belong to him."

"True, but it'll be a while before Terry gets out. Whatever will we do to pass the time?"

They found something.

-----

After both of the girls had showered, Zack took them out to the living room - the bedroom was just too tempting - and sat down to talk with them.

"Terry, your mind contains your commands. You'll sort of 'instinctively' know what to do. If Adam attempts to program you again, it won't actually work. You'll remember the commands, though, and you'll find a way to secretly send them to me. Do you have a way to do that?"

Terry thought for a moment, and then said, "Yes. There is an internet cafe in a town thirty miles from where I live. I can go there. Certainly he hasn't tapped that."

"He might be having her followed, though," Shirley pointed out.

Zack looked at Shirley. "Do you know what he has planned?"

She shook her head. "No, but it's something big. It's important enough that he's set aside other projects to get this one finished."

"Shit. Okay... what's the worst case? Would he fire her?"

"Zack... I don't want to scare you, or you," he added, to Terry, "but worst case is that he'd kill her. Whatever this program is, he really wants it to succeed. If anyone but you stands in the way of that, they are liable to end up wearing cement shoes."

"What's so fucking special about me?"

"You got the program to work. Your work with Terry will only augment your position in his mind. He will worry that there are other people he wants to control that he can't."

"Shit. Digging myself a bigger hole here, aren't I?"

"Something like that."

Zack could see that Terry was a little shaken by all of this. He went and sat beside her, wrapping his arm around her. "Are you going to be okay? Look, it would really screw things up, but if you don't think you can do this..."

Terry had settled against him, but now she straightened. "No. You need me to do this for you. I know that. I'm just... worried."

"If you think you're in danger - either of you - both of you get out of town and come here. Use a roundabout path. In fact, find a way to send me an email or a phone call, and we'll meet... in Tulsa."

"That's a long way from here," Shirley protested.

"Exactly. He'd expect a meeting much closer to my home, and it'll give me plenty of time to see if I have a tail. I wasn't really concerned about all this before, guys, but now, I am. Shirley, you keep me posted, in secret, on what's going on. Do you two hang out at all?"

"We haven't, but after this trip, I don't think it would be commented on if we did," Terry answered.

"Okay. Any info you need to get to me, give to Shirley. She has the know-how to protect her communications." Zack got up and began pacing. "Shit, and I thought I was being paranoid. Now the old question crops up: I'm paranoid, but am I paranoid enough?"

Shirley rose and went to her master. "I'll keep in touch. I promise." She kissed him softly, and he wrapped his arms around her waist. He held her for a little while, drawing some comfort from her closeness.

Finally, he broke their embrace. "I need to know the commands he tried to program you with."

"Okay... um, how do I do that? I don't really know what they were."

"Sit here," he said, indicating a chair at the living room desk. He slid a pad of paper in front of her and gave her a pen. "Close your eyes and repeat the phrase 'Nomac wert' to yourself over and over again."

"Nomac wert?"

"It's 'write commands', reverse and horribly mangled. If he can guess that, I've already lost."

Shirley smiled at him, and closed her eyes.

Zack waited for her to finish, which took nearly twenty minutes. Afterward, she handed him six pages of script. "I have no idea what this says," she told him.

He looked it over, and immediately recognized the scripting language that he used for entering commands. "I do. Give me a few minutes here."

Zack sat down and began to go over the code, making notes as he went. It took him another twenty minutes to determine what the script had attempted to do to her.

"Okay, this is a basic loyalty script... but not a very good one. There are a half-dozen ways to break through this script, including making you believe I'm the one who gave you the commands in the first place. Whoever wrote this isn't actually very good at coding."

"It was probably a junior programmer or something, then."

"Could be. Anyway, just tell him what I told you to tell him, as far as I'm concerned. If he gives you orders that relate to me, tell him you'll carry them out, then relate them to me. This is no big deal."

"Thanks. I guess things are a little easier for me. Sorry, Terry."

"It's okay."

Zack took a deep breath. "I hope like fuck this all works out," he mumbled to himself. To the others, he said, "Okay, let's call Adam. I don't want to be tempted by you beauties for too long, I might give in."

The two ladies giggled as Zack picked up the phone.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack awoke the next morning both relieved and concerned. He was relieved because Adam was on his way back to Kensington, Illinois, where he belonged. He was concerned because he now believed that Adam was up to no good, and that was bad for everyone. Zack was paranoid and kept his information close, but he'd never once suggested to anyone that he'd be willing to kill people over this thing.

That's just nuts.

Of course, there was nothing Zack could do about it until he had more information. He spent half his morning trying to figure out what to do, and realized he was going to drive himself completely nuts if he kept it up.

I need something to distract me.

As he was looking through the information on hypnotherapy, trying to get a handle on Terry's problem, he'd run across two or three references to what was called 'the inner mind'. Zack was curious as to exactly what that was about, and so he decided to go back through the material and do a search on it. Long and tedious? Yes. Something to keep his mind off other things? Definitely.

-----

"Holy shit!" Zack said, after about three hours of reading. He stepped out of his room to get himself some lunch while he mulled over the thought of what he'd just read. "The Inner Mind", it turned out, had been proven scientifically, but had never been properly utilized. The concept seemed to be that extrasensory powers were derived from this portion of the mind that had access to them. The research insisted that three people had managed to achieve some small successes with control over this area, but that learning to manage it had been extremely difficult.

"But to be able to have telepathy? Damn, would that be cool." He wondered what other powers he could access that way. Telekinesis? Clairvoyance? The options were limitless. It was, of course, not that simple.

All of the subjects who'd had any success had been hypnotized or had managed some kind of special trance-like state, and they'd only been able to access their powers in this state. Zack wondered if there was any way to keep the ability readily available.

Could I use PAO to do it? Program my own mind to keep that section of my brain open all the time?

It was a project, and Zack had been longing for a project for a while. He returned to his room, half of his sandwich still in his hand, to begin work on a new script for Program Alpha-Omega.

-----

Four hours later, and Zack had completed an initial script. Looking it over, he wasn't entirely happy with his results. He heard his parents coming in the door, and he knew he didn't have too long before dinner.

Well, let's give it a try, anyway. I'm not sure what's missing, and so maybe actually trying it will tell me.

Zack loaded the script, and booted the program. He allowed himself to be lost in the whirling colors and the warm sounds. Zack never took for granted the wonderful feelings that the program gave him when he used it. He felt so comfortable, lost in its embrace. Still, it was a means to an end, and not a place to exist permanently. He'd written a special code into his mind so that he could never be lost here terminally. That was a program he didn't know how to undo, and that was good, because he never wanted to be tempted to live his life inside a programmed illusion.

After the customary running time, Zack opened his eyes. He felt refreshed, as usual, but he didn't really feel a lot different. There was an odd buzzing in his mind, but that was about it. He shrugged. He wasn't entirely sure how he was supposed to access other people's thoughts, anyway. Did it just happen? Was he supposed to push his mind into theirs? He just didn't know.

Zack was mulling this over when his mother called him to dinner. Well, time to find out if I can read someone's thoughts or not. He figured his parents would be the easiest targets. Dinner was going to be interesting, Zack thought.

He was wrong.

-----

Zack stumbled into his room. Dinner had been both bad food, and a nasty headache. He had to admit he'd given himself the headache. He'd pushed his mind so hard that his vision had begun to blur. His mother had given him some Tylenol, and told him not to work so hard.

Easy for her to say, he thought. He lay down on his bed, wondering if he'd been successful in activating his mind - the buzz was still present - and just didn't know how to make use of it, or if he'd done nothing at all, and the buzz was just in his imagination.

He closed his eyes, trying to relax. As he took deeper breaths, trying out one of the many meditations he'd read about in his martial arts studies, he slipped deeper and deeper into restful awareness.

When Zack opened his 'eyes' again, he found himself back amongst his bevy of beauties. He noticed the number seemed to have dwindled a little from his original harem. Three of them approached him, and he was a little surprised by one of them. He'd expected Wendy, and Stephanie had replaced Claudia, apparently, but the third was Mary, and she'd not been part of his group before.

"Welcome back," Mary said to him, a warm smile on her face.

"Hi there," he answered. "You're new here."

Mary chuckled. "Yes. You seem to have noticed me only recently."

Zack pulled her to him, and kissed her. He knew it was a mental illusion, but she still felt good. When he broke the kiss, he didn't fully let go of her.

"I have a problem."

"We know."

"Of course you do. Do I also have an answer, hiding in here somewhere?"

"Let me show you," Wendy said, taking his hand. She led him away from the others, toward a dark, slightly cold area. She pointed to a doorway with no door. Through the doorway, Zack could see electric colors flashing by, but they made no sense. Wendy led him closer.

"This is the doorway you opened in your mind. Your program did what you wanted it to."

"But I tried all through dinner to read Mom's mind without a single damn thought!"

"Of course. You've opened access to this part of your mind, but you haven't taught it anything yet."

"Huh?"

"When you were born, did you know how to speak?"

"No, of course not."

"Read? Write? Walk?"

"No." He was starting to get the idea.

"Your brain had to be taught how to do those things. They're not instinctual. Maybe this part of the brain was once an instinct, but now it has to be trained, just like you had to learn to talk, you have to learn to read that jumbled mess in there."

"How?"

"You already have a language for teaching the mind to do things."

"But how do I get PAO to target this area specifically?"

"You're pushing, Zack. Remember, I only know what you know. It might be that you can't use the program. You may have to teach your mind what it needs to know, yourself."

"Ugh. And how am I supposed to do that, write it a textbook?"

"Zack, you're a programmer. You give the rest of your mind instructions through a program. Now, maybe your external program can't reach this far in. Maybe you'll have to use an internal program to teach this part of your brain what it needs to know."

Zack's imaginary head was swimming as badly as his real one had been. "I think I get what you're saying... but... shit, how am I supposed to record programs in my own mind? I don't even know if this part of my brain is connected properly to my memory, so... would it even remember what I taught it?"

"I don't know, Zack. That's beyond what you know. You're just going to have to play with it, and see what happens."

"Gotcha." He frowned, but that didn't last long. Wendy leaned against him, and kissed him. He held her in his arms, and suddenly the rest of the world was forgotten. Illusion or not, it was very relaxing.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack awoke the next morning with a determination in his mind. After he had 'relaxed' with his mental maidens, he'd looked back through the limited information he had on the Inner Mind concept. He went online and did further research that gave him some ideas as to how to continue developing his brain's abilities.

Zack did pause, just before bed, to wonder why he was bothering. He had the ability to program anyone he wanted, so why did he need to know what they were thinking? His ultimate answer had been, why program someone that doesn't need to be? If he could tell what they were thinking, he might be able to find ways to get them to do what he wanted without the need for writing down yet another complicated script.

More to the point, however, was the simple fact that it was a challenge, and Zack loved challenges. Here was a project that he could do for himself. Here was something that Adam had no part of, and never would, because Zack wasn't about to tell him about it. Here was a way to get a leg up on Adam, who he now perceived as a possible - he was not ready to say certain - threat.

For all of the morning, he performed relaxation exercises and meditations, growing more and more able to easily focus his mind on a single thing, able to shut out all the external noise of the world. Of course, hearing external noise was precisely what he was trying to do, but first he had to shut it all out, and then let it back in selectively, or that was how he felt it needed to be.

Having achieved what he considered as close to perfect concentration as he was ever likely to muster, he walked through his harem room toward the doorway. Zack was unaware that he was so focused that it would have taken a physical force to shake him now. He stepped through the doorway, and was immediately submerged in the neon colors of energy, zipping by, all of them at different speeds and completely incomprehensible.

Okay, now what?

As he sat, watching the colors, he was amazed to see that his mind began to discern each different package of color as a person. Their image was recorded, in a hugely distorted way, in the color. There passed a green male, there a blue female. A yellow child whizzed by. Zack didn't know what to make of that, other than he was certain these were real people, and these were their thoughts, if he could just find a way to access them, find a way to interpret this information.

After a while, Zack felt himself growing tired. His mental self was fighting a headache, and he decided this was enough practice for one day. He stepped back out into the company of his maidens, who immediately surrounded him. The Stephanie-maiden led him to a soft cushion, and together they rested, relaxing into a wonderful state of peace.

-----

When Zack woke up, he realized two things. The first was that he really had to piss. The second was that it was already after one o'clock, and he was supposed to help the real Stephanie move into her dorm room today. He took care of business and grabbed a quick bite to eat, but then he hopped on his scooter and zipped across town to her temporary residence at the Selman house.

Zack parked his scooter next to Steph's car, and walked up to the front door. As was his custom, he knocked, and then walked right in. Stephanie was in the living room, watching TV. It was obvious she was waiting for him.

"Zack!" she said with joy. She jumped up from her chair and came to him. A fierce hug was shared between the two, and Zack just enjoyed having her close like that. Eventually, they parted.

"Where is everyone?" he asked.

"The girls are all off shopping. Brian's... out... somewhere or other, and Mrs. Selman's in the kitchen."

"Oh, okay. Well, have you got all your stuff packed in the car from here?"

"Just one last bag. I'll go get it."

"Okay, I'm going to say hi to Mrs. Selman while I'm here."

The pair separated, heading into different doorways. Zack saw Mary standing at the sink, apparently preparing something for dinner. She hadn't heard him yet, and he took a moment to study her form, her face, and just her general poise. He felt a strange sense of happiness in the room, which was odd for this house lately.

Sneakily, Zack crept up behind Mary so that she wouldn't see or hear him. He wrapped his arms around her waist, and squeezed. She dropped the brush she'd been using to scrub potatoes as she felt him.

"Geez, Zack! You scared me!"

"Sorry," he said apologetically. He didn't let her go, though. She snuggled back into his embrace after only a second. He leaned his head down and kissed her on the cheek. She squirmed against him. Turning in his arms, she looked him in the eyes just before their lips met. Their tongues were soon dueling, and neither of them heard or cared about the front door opening.

Stephanie walked back toward the kitchen, to let Zack know she was ready. She didn't speak or make a noise when she saw what was going on. Instead, she slipped back down the hallway to wait in Pam's room. She had a sly smile on her face.

Back in the kitchen, the pair finally disengaged.

"How are you doing?" Zack asked in concern.

"I'm a lot happier now," she said with a coy look.

Zack smirked at her. "You're wonderful. If my parents wouldn't be offended, I'd just move in here and get it over with."

Mary's smile shrunk just slightly. "Sooner or later, one of us is going to have to say something to Wendy, if we keep this up, Zack."

"I know. I've been thinking about it."

"Okay. Just so long as you don't plan on lying to my daughter."

"I wouldn't dream of it." Zack's hand trailed down her back to rest on her ass. Mary sighed quietly. "I think I love you both."

That shook her slightly. "Zack..."

"Shh," he said, and kissed her again. "It's just a thought. Well, I'd better get moving. I don't know how much stuff we have to move, but if we're quick, I won't have to run into Mr. Bromwell."

"Is it as bad as all that?"

"Yes. I don't want to go into it, but... yes."

"You're a good guy, Zack Griffin."

"Shhh, you'll ruin my rep," he said lightly. Mary laughed. "I'll see you later, okay?"

With one last kiss, they parted.

-----

Stephanie and Zack spent the afternoon moving most of her stuff from her home to her dorm room. Since it was clear that she wouldn't be returning home, she wanted to take as much of her stuff as she could possibly pack into her half of the dorm room. Her roommate, she'd been told, probably wouldn't be arriving for another two or three days. That was quite all right, as it gave her the chance to pick which side of the room she wanted, not that it made a whole lot of difference.

It was getting late as they pulled in for what would turn out to be their last load. Zack threw some things together in a box as Stephanie collected the last of her clothing.

"When were you a cheerleader?" Zack asked, holding a baton.

"Never. It was something my father wanted me to do. I never made the cut." Zack could see some tears welling up in her eyes. He set the baton in the box, without thinking, and stepped over to her. He held her for a few moments, letting her get control of her emotions.

"I'm sorry," she said. "It's just... well, he wasn't very happy about it at the time, and..."

"Shh," Zack said, stroking her hair. "It's not important now. You're getting away from him." He held her for a little while longer, but then he let her go, gently stroking her hair before turning back to finish collecting stuff into the box. Steph was packing her clothes carefully, folding them neatly before setting them in the box. He knew better than to rush her over clothing, though he'd finished with his box. He looked around for other items she might want to take, but they'd cleared out almost everything. There was a large stuffed panda in the corner, but it would need a trip of its own, from the looks of things.

Finally, with her clothes all packed up, she hefted the box. Zack grabbed his, and they headed down the hall.

"So, you finally come home. And just where the fuck do you think you're going?" Mr. Bromwell's voice bellowed in the small living room.

"I'm going to school, Daddy," Stephanie said in a voice suddenly small and six years old.

"Over my dead fucking body!"

"That can be arranged," Zack said coldly. He'd been angry at the man's tone, but this was certainly more than he was going to put up with. Stephanie was his responsibility now, and he would take care of her as best he could.

"Mind your own business, young man!"

"Stephanie is my business," Zack responded, his voice still cold and seemingly emotionless. He set the box down on the coffee table, his hand resting on the top lip of it. "Now, why don't you move your fucking ass out of our way, before I move it for you?"

Stephanie went pale beside Zack. No one had ever spoken to her father like that, and she was sure he would come unglued.

She was right. Mr. Bromwell roared and lunged at Zack. Zack, in turn, reached in and pulled the baton out of the box. As Mr. Bromwell got within an arm's reach, Zack turned and brought the end of the baton straight forward, thrusting it directly into the man's chest. Zack watched as he stopped, grasping at the now very sore spot on his sternum. Zack twirled the baton in his hand, grasping it near one end, and, swinging sideways, connected with Mr. Bromwell's temple. The man reeled, falling to his knees across the arm of an easy chair.

Stephanie was looking at Zack in a whole new light. Here was someone who was fighting for her, someone who was standing up for what might happen to her, not just what had happened. She watched as Zack swung twice more at her father. By the time Zack was finished, Mr. Bromwell was lying, bleeding, on the floor.

Zack knelt down next to him. "If you ever touch Stephanie again, I will make you wish you were dead. Do you hear me?"

The man nodded, but there was too much blood gushing from his mouth for him to speak coherently. Zack rose, and pulled his PDA from its case.

"Zack?" Stephanie asked.

"I'm just paying him back a little, Steph. Why don't you go put your clothes in the car?"

As Stephanie walked around her father, Zack finished what he was doing and turned the display to face down at the wounded man. "You shouldn't have pissed me off. If you think the beating was bad, wait until you see this."

Zack hit the execute button, and the flash immediately ensnared its victim. Zack smiled wickedly at the thought of what he was doing to this asshole. Four and a half minutes later, he was done. Stephanie had not come back into the house, which Zack thought was smart of her. He walked back to retrieve the last box, and took it out to the car.

"I don't guess we'll be getting your panda," he said, looking at the loaded back seat.

"No big deal. It didn't have sentimental value. God, Zack, I... I don't know what to say about what you did in there... no one's ever stood up for me before."

He put his hand on hers, and smiled. Leaning over, he kissed her softly on the cheek. "That's what I'm here for," he said, sitting back. "Let's get going, shall we?"

-----

Once they got to Steph's dorm room, Zack put the boxes from the car into her closet. Meanwhile, she took the time to put her sheets and comforter on her bed. Zack finished up the last load as she was beginning to put her clothes into the dresser on her side of the room.

"That's the last of it," he said, closing the closet door. He leaned back against it, feeling a little sweaty, but none the worse for wear. Stephanie came over to him and embraced him. He hugged her back, and it felt very good to have her body pressed against his. The stress of the afternoon, the confrontation with her father, had left him both hyper and edgy. He'd wanted to knock the crap out of Mr. Bromwell since Steph had told him about what her father had been doing. He'd needed to make sure she didn't get hurt again, and he'd wanted to show her that he did, in fact, like her enough to defend her. However, it bothered him that he was, in a way, doing the same thing to her that her father had been, just in a different manner.

"What's wrong?" she asked. It was obvious she could sense his unease.

"Just thinking about us," he said. He looked into her eyes, and asked, "Steph, you... know what happened to you, right?"

"You mean about becoming your slave? Yeah. I remember fighting it. Kind of hard to forget something like that."

"And yet, now that you're under, you seem to really like me."

Stephanie shrugged. She had no answers.

"What worries me is that I'm not much better than your father."

Her reaction was very strong to that. "Bullshit! I'll take you over my father any day. Okay, you took me, I know that. I suppose that's wrong, on some level, not that I'm able to care about it. You also took the ability to worry over why I feel for you the way I do. Okay, so my reaction to how you took me probably isn't right. But Zack, I know how you've treated me. You never took my memory. Even when I hated you, you were... well, okay, you weren't nice to me, but you put up with me, and you were never mean.

"I know that you could beat me every day, and I'd still come back to you, every time." She saw Zack's face go pale, and she hurried on. "But you never have. You've never hurt me, Zack. My dad... my dad hurt me, a lot." She wiped away a tear as she thought about her past. Then she turned back to her future. "Something tells me you'd never do that to me. Honestly, Zack, if I look at it just in the way you've treated me, you're one of the best boyfriends I've ever had. Please don't compare yourself to my dad ever again."

Zack looked at her for a long moment, and she smiled back at him. For the briefest moment, he felt a warm sea of emotion wash over him. He thought he could interpret that as love, but he wasn't going to hold her to that. He pulled her a little more tightly to him, and they kissed.

Soon, Stephanie's tongue was demanding entrance into her master's mouth. When Zack's lips parted, her tongue thrust its way in, assaulting his tongue in a most pleasant manner. Stephanie pressed herself more tightly to him, encouraging him to explore her body. Zack's hands slid around her waist to her lower back, caressing her soft skin. Suddenly, his tension and edginess evaporated, here in the arms of a girl that loved him because he'd forced her to, but liked him because she wanted to.

After a little while, Steph broke their kiss. "C'mon, let's see how well this bed works."

Zack hesitated. "You'll get your sheets all dirty..."

"What do you think I put them on there for?" she asked with a sly smile. She grabbed the hem of her T-shirt and it was soon on the floor. In seconds it was followed by her bra. Zack admired her chest. After pulling off his own shirt, he moved close to her, taking her tits in his hands and rolling them around in his tender grasp. Stephanie moaned. Zack kissed her on the neck, and then moved up to kiss the corner of her jaw. His hands slipped down off her breasts, moving toward her waist.

As his lips moved up to nibble on her earlobe, Zack's hands found and unfastened the button and zipper on her jeans. She wiggled as he pushed, and they worked the tight pants down off her hips in short order. She felt them fall to the floor, and she used her feet to pull them, and her shoes, off. Zack stepped away from her, and to her side. He bent and scooped her up, taking the two steps to the bed and plopping her unceremoniously down on it. She giggled as she bounced. He'd read her mood right.

Kicking off his own shoes, Zack undid his own jeans and slid them off. He removed his underwear to reveal his already-hard cock, standing out straight. Stephanie shivered when she saw it, and wiggled her own hips, working her panties off. Zack bent over and helped her get rid of them, tossing them onto the other bed with a smirk. Stephanie's legs parted as Zack climbed onto the bed.

Crawling up between her legs, Zack bent down and ran his tongue along her inner thigh. He switched to the other one, moving back and forth until he neared her cunt. Zack breathed across her sensitive cunt lips, and Stephanie mewled in pleasure. Zack flicked his tongue out, rubbing it across her pouting pussy lips. Steph shuddered and groaned, her hips bucking once. Zack then began in earnest, his tongue pushing its way between her pussy lips, finding her sweet inner flesh. Steph's hands came down on top of his head, her fingers tangling in his hair.

Zack moved his tongue inside her for some moments, feeling her arousal grow. He slipped his tongue up along the side of her clit, and she cried out, her hips thrusting at him. He maneuvered his tongue along the other side, and she groaned again, her body highly aroused. Finally, he took her clit into his mouth, rubbing his tongue along it while he sucked.

Stephanie squealed in pleasure, her hips bucking as her back arched. Her thighs came together, clamping Zack's head firmly in place as he continued to suck and lick her clit. Her body writhed for many moments, flooding his chin with her juices. Zack's tongue continued its work as her body passed its peak and slowly began to settle. When he felt her relax her grip, he let go of her clit. She eased herself down onto the bed, her body covered with a light sheen of sweat.

Zack crawled up beside his lover, which was a tight fit on this smaller bed, but she didn't mind at all. Stephanie turned onto her side and buried her face against his shoulder, pressing her body against him. Zack's one arm came around her, resting finally on her ass cheek, squeezing and plying the flesh there. He knew she'd need a minute or two to recover, and he would certainly give her that. Lying here with her pressed against him was certain to keep him aroused until she was ready.

After a few more moments, Steph moved her hips, grinding herself against him. She pulled her head back to look deeply into his eyes.

"Take me, Master," she said, a deep feeling of contentment showing in her face.

He kissed her as he carefully rolled her onto her back. Her legs came up around his waist as his one hand positioned his cock at her entrance. As their tongues began to duel, He pressed into her. His prick slipped into her easily, because she was already well-lubed and ready for him. As he slipped in inch by inch, he felt her cunt walls massaging his dick. The feeling was incredible, and he enjoyed every second of it.

Once he was fully inside of her, he broke their kiss. Leaning up, he forced her to bring her legs down to his sides. She looked up at him, wondering what he was doing. He took her legs gently into his hands, and pulled her ankles up to his shoulders. He'd enjoyed doing this with Shirley, and he wanted to try it with Steph.

Seeing what he was doing, she smiled up at him. "Oh, God, yes, Zack. Take your little slut!" She played with her own tits, rolling them on her chest as he watched. Unable to hold back any longer, Zack started to thrust into her. She cried out with each thrust, grunting and moaning in bliss. Zack groaned with her; her cunt was so tight and warm, he wanted to fuck her forever. He reached down, pinching her nipples while she cupped her tits for him. His cock continued to slam down into her, and he was nearly folding her in half.

Stephanie's head was thrashing back and forth, her dirty blonde hair flipping from side to side. She was lost in a world of pleasure, and Zack was enjoying putting her there. He watched as her back arched again, and her pussy gripped his shaft. Her hips bucked as she was caught in the throes of another orgasm.

Zack continued to ram into her until she moved through her orgasm. When she collapsed onto the bed, it was clear that she was exhausted. He stopped moving, and slipped slowly out of her. Moving to her side, he gathered her in his arms, and held her tightly.

It took only a few moments before she realized he had not come yet. "Shit, I'm sorry, Zack, I couldn't hold out any longer!"

"That's okay, Sweetie. It was fun."

"No way! I can't let my Master leave it like that!" She wriggled free from his grip, and slid down the bed. "I'm too tired to go again, but I can sure as hell see that you come!"

Before he could say anything, Steph wrapped her lips around his cock. Her tongue played across the tip for a moment, before she began to bob her head lower and lower on his shaft. Her lips and tongue played across the skin of his cock, sending shivers throughout his body. She didn't stop until she'd engulfed his entire prick, the head of his cock well into her throat. She hummed slightly, and Zack shuddered.

Steph began to move rapidly on his dick, bobbing her head as she sucked him, using her lips and tongue to full effect. Her fingers began to lightly caress his balls, and he knew he wouldn't hold out very much longer under these circumstances.

It was only a few more strokes of her gentle fingers and a few more laps of her exquisite tongue, and Zack grunted loudly with his climax, spewing his load deep into her mouth. Stephanie continued to suck him until he was spent. Her mouth and tongue cleaned up every last drop of his sperm before she released his dick from her mouth. He was exhausted, and she was also tired. Crawling up next to him, she cuddled against him, and soon they were asleep.

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When Zack awoke the next morning, Stephanie had to drive him home. He was stiff from having slept so tightly against her, but damn, it had been worth it. They showered together at his house, and he changed clothes and collected his things. Today was orientation for his college program, and he didn't want to miss it.

Stephanie drove him back to campus, and they enjoyed breakfast together at the cafe. They chatted about school things and other unimportant items of semi-interest to them both. They wound up their time with a quiet walk over to the assembly hall.

"This is where you're supposed to go, huh?"

"That's what the sheet says. You can give me a lift back to Brian's after, right? I need to get my scooter."

"Anything for you," she said. Stepping closer, she lowered her voice and said, "Master." She kissed him softly on the mouth, and then slipped away from him, heading back to her dorm while he turned to enter Malcolm Hall.

-----

"Excuse me, can I sit next to you?"

Zack looked up from the info packet he'd been looking over. He knew the hall wasn't even half-full, so it was kind of an odd request.

The inquisitor was a girl about his age with long blonde hair. She was slightly overweight, but she was pretty cute, in Zack's estimation. He sensed... something he couldn't quite place. He was too new with his limited telepathic ability to understand her emotion. It was, however, a simple request, and he didn't see any reason to be rude.

"Sure," he said, shifting his knees so she could get past him, as he had sat on the end of the row. She dropped into the seat next to him, and sighed.

"Thanks. My name's Gabrielle."

"Zack Griffin," he said, shaking the proffered hand. "Do you go by..." he never finished his statement.

"I hate Gabby," she said, a little more forcefully than she'd intended. "Sorry, it sort of gets on my nerves."

"No problem. Gabrielle it is." She smiled at him, and he saw a row of beautiful white teeth flashing at him.

"I'm sorry to bug you, but being here makes me nervous. I just kind of needed someone to talk to, and you seemed... well, bored."

Zack laughed. "Yeah, I guess I was. They're late." He looked at his watch again.

"I'm glad they were," she said with a smile. He smiled back, but wasn't sure just exactly what she'd meant by that.

-----

The group of honor students sat through an interminably boring speech by the dean of the college, and then they were split into small groups. Gabrielle looked a little worried until they were told that they would be grouped by where they were sitting, and then she relaxed.

I think she's attached herself to me. She's probably pretty insecure. Well, I don't mind having a 'kid sister' while I'm here, and she seems nice enough. His thoughts were interrupted as everyone started to get up to move into their smaller groups. He rose, and automatically turned to help Gabrielle if she needed it. She didn't, but she smiled beautifully at him, anyway.

-----

Zack's small group moved out of Malcolm Hall across the quad to a large, institutional building. This, they were told, was Grant Hall, where the sciences were studied. Zack took in the surroundings with interest. Here was a place that would challenge his intellect and give him an endless parade of projects to work on. Here was where he belonged, although he'd go to a much tougher school when he graduated.

He noticed, when his mind finally came back down, that Gabrielle seemed to be a little overwhelmed by the experience, staring wide-eyed at her environment. He put his hand gently on her elbow, and she jumped.

"You okay?" he asked quietly, so no one else would hear him.

She nodded, but it wasn't convincing. "Big places like this scare me. I'm a small-town girl, I guess."

He grinned at her, and nodded. "It's okay. If you want to stick close to me, I won't let you get lost."

"Thanks," she said with heartfelt gratitude. Her eyes sparkled, and she beamed him another of her pretty smiles. He turned his mind reluctantly back to the tour they were being given of the facilities.

When they reached the media lab, Zack had to chuckle. The tour guide, who was about to go into his spiel, said sharply, "What's so funny?"

Zack composed himself and said, "Sorry, but you were about to tell us this is an Iworks ITV model 6822, weren't you? That it is wired into the school system for the entire county, and that you can receive and broadcast broadband video, audio, and data streams from any school hooked up to the system?"

"Uh, yeah. Something like that," the guide answered, a little off-balance. "How do you know so much about the ITV system?"

"I ran it for Thorndyke this past school year."

"Gotcha. Yeah, well, for the rest of you, what it means is that some of your classes will be telecast so that the teacher can sort of be in two places at once. Don't worry, no one will see you having a bad hair day." The guys chuckled, but the girls didn't think that was funny.

Gabrielle was staring in awe of Zack. "You know how that thing works?"

"Sure. It's not actually complicated. I thought you were part of the computer program?"

"I am. But I'm a software person. Hardware drives me batty."

And your software ain't too shabby, either, Zack thought before he could stop himself.

Now why the hell did you think that?

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