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Episode 11: Security Breach

Zack awoke the next morning in confusion. He'd gone to sleep alone. His dreams had been tortured and strange, with his mother giving him blowjobs on a bullet train while Adam and his minions chased them in a helicopter.

As he woke up, what really confused him was that he could feel someone lying beside him. Without bothering to open his eyes, he turned toward them and wrapped his arms around whoever it was. Soft lips pressed to his, and they kissed for a long time before he did anything.

Finally, he opened his eyes. He was only mildly surprised to see his mother in his arms.

"Good morning, Sweetheart," she said softly.

"Hey," he said sleepily. He looked past her to the alarm clock to check the time. "Shouldn't you still be with Dad? He's gonna get upset if you start spending all your time with me..."

Sharon frowned, and it felt as if she shrank in his arms. "He's already upset. Actually, he's well beyond upset. Your father left this morning."

"Huh?"

"He walked out on us."

Zack felt a cold chill run up his spine. "Why? Because of last night?"

Sharon had tears in her eyes now. "That was just the last straw. He didn't feel like competing with you for head of household, I think... and he could see you were winning."

"Aw, shit. I'm sorry, Mom..." Sharon hugged her son tightly.

"It's okay, Sweetheart. You couldn't have known."

"But now you're all alone..."

"No I'm not. I've got you." She kissed him passionately, and their discussion ended for a while.

-----

Zack and his mother made it down in time for lunch, and she fixed it for them. Sitting down next to her son, she took a deep breath, to continue their talk from earlier.

"Zack... I don't want to pressure you. You're only a teenager, after all, but I'm going to need your support more than ever now. My income isn't going to be enough for all the stuff we used to take for granted. Your father paid the bigger bills out of his salary."

"Let me see if I can't find a way to make some money, Mom," Zack offered.

"Honey, I'm not sure any part-time job you could get..."

Zack cut her off. "Hey, I got you a new car with one of my part-time jobs," he said with a smile.

Sharon blushed. "Yes, you did. Okay, if you can find something. But don't let it interfere with your classes. We can make it on my income... it'll just be tight."

"There's... something else," Sharon said, uncomfortable having to bring it up.

Zack knew what she was worried about. "Mom, anytime I'm alone, you're welcome to join me in bed," he told her, putting his hand on her arm. Having decided to take her as a lover in the first place, he could not abandon her now. She looked at him with immense gratitude.

"Thank you, Sweetheart." She leaned over and they kissed for long moments. When they broke the kiss, Zack sat back and had to consider a few things.

The easiest way to cover the bills is to have more income... the easiest way to have more income is to have more working people living here. I wonder how I can achieve that. Well, something to work on later.

-----

Zack pulled up in front of the dorms on his bike. He was about to get off, but he saw Linda coming out of the dorm just then. She waved to him, her helmet dangling from her other hand. He took his helmet off and smiled at her as she approached.

Once she reached him, she wrapped her arms around him and they kissed. Zack rubbed his hands across her back, enjoying the feel of her. Their tongues were soon playing together as he pulled her more tightly against him.

Suddenly, Zack felt a wave of emotion wash over him. It was so strong, it nearly made him nauseous. It was, once again, that inky-black, indefinable feeling that he always seemed to get from Linda. It caused him to break their kiss.

"Something wrong?" she asked.

"Uh... no, I guess not. Hop on."

As she climbed onto the bike, he tried to decipher just exactly what it was he was feeling from her. He still couldn't get a grip on it. Right now wasn't the time to dwell on it, though; he had to drive the bike. Her hands came around his waist just then, forcing him to push back her emotions from his mind so that he could concentrate on keeping them out of an accident. He put his helmet on, and away they went.

-----

Zack had chosen a nice but informal restaurant on the far side of town from the campus. This meant that very few of the college students bothered to go there. They walked in, and were immediately seated. Their server was a lovely brunette that Zack had to avoid staring at, lest he offend his date. She took their drink orders and disappeared to let them mull over the menu.

Linda said, "I've never been here before."

Zack replied, "It's not a popular place with the college kids. The service isn't fast, and the prices aren't extra-low. Not to mention where we are. The guy who runs this place - his son was in one of my classes - didn't want to be overrun by the students. It's why he picked this location."

"Oh."

"The food is great, though."

After the waitress returned, they ordered their food, and she disappeared again, to Zack's mixed emotions of disappointment and relief. Linda certainly was attractive enough, however, to mute his disappointment.

The two chatted amiably about their lives. Zack noticed that Linda tended to gloss over details, but he felt she might have some unpleasant things in her background. Maybe that explains the black emotions...

When the food arrived, Linda was surprised at the size of the portions. She was also well pleased with the taste of her chicken cordon bleu. Zack had ordered pork chops. As they ate, they continued their conversation, and Zack grew even more uneasy about Linda.

Deception. I can't think that it could be anything else. So, what is she hiding?

He didn't get an answer before dinner ended.

-----

Zack drove them back to campus after dinner. His plan had been to get laid tonight, and he figured that being close to her quarters would be beneficial. The school had a lot of green spaces, and so they parked the bike and began to walk.

As they walked, Zack tried to piece together just what he was reading from her. It was tough to keep up a conversation while he was doing that, but he managed, if poorly. Linda didn't seem to notice.

When they reached a quiet spot where some benches had been placed, they sat down. The benches looked out between some groups of trees into the distance, and also gave a good view of the rising moon. Zack put his arm around Linda, and she scooted closer to him, snuggling herself in tight.

For a long moment, nothing was said, and Zack used the opportunity. He closed his eyes and concentrated on the person next to him. He was trying to read her thoughts. It was difficult, as he could not slip fully into a trance, for fear that she would say something that he would miss.

Soon, he was able to slip into her mind... but he was met with a sheer wall of blackness. It was as if she did not have any thoughts. He probed very gingerly, but he might as well have been pushing on a monolith. He stepped back, looking to see if there was any way past this...

How could anyone have built such a wall in their mind? Did she build it on purpose? Why?

Zack decided to push harder, trying to force his way into her thoughts. Too much about her was odd, and he wanted answers. Suddenly, her mind shoved back. Zack was so startled, he lost his concentration, and was pulled out of her mind.

Linda sat up, looking at him in concern. He was shaken, and, he realized, actually shaking. She backed away from him just slightly.

"Are you okay?"

She acted as if she had no idea that he'd just been in her mind... as most people would not have noticed. But if she had those kinds of defenses... something he'd never encountered before...

"Uh, yeah, I guess..." he said, his voice quavering a little. "Um... maybe we should walk back now."

"Okay," she said, pushing herself more tightly against him for a moment before getting up.

Zack got to his feet somewhat unevenly, but then he shook it off as best he could. He walked alongside her, his thoughts going a mile a minute while his feet struggled just to keep up with Linda's slow pace.

What the hell is she? Is she working for Adam? Did he find some kind of... whatever she is... to keep an eye on me?

Did PAO do that to her???

I need to find out.

-----

Zack pulled into his driveway and shut the bike off. He had begged off with Linda, leaving her at her door with a kiss. Though he was horny, he was too uncomfortable around her now to consider sleeping with her.

Once he walked into the house, however, he knew that he could take care of his horniness. His mother looked up from her seat on the couch, and smiled beautifully at him.

"You're home early," she said softly.

"Things... didn't go as planned," he replied. He moved over to where she was sitting, setting his helmet down and taking off his jacket along the way. He slid onto the couch next to her, and wrapped an arm around her. "So I thought I'd come home and spend some time with my mom."

"Mm," Sharon purred as her son pulled her close. "I like that idea."

"I thought you might," he said, as he put his hand under her chin, turning her face to his for a kiss.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

As Zack put his bike helmet into the box on his Harley, he heard the door to the house open. He didn't turn to see who it was until he'd retrieved a small package from inside the same box.

When he turned, he was greeted with Mary's smiling face. She stepped up to him and they kissed passionately. They remained lip-locked for a long time, until Mary had to let him go so that she could take a deep breath.

"I missed you," she said.

"I see that," he replied with a chuckle. He ran his hands along her hips, enjoying the feel of her body against him.

"Someone else missed you, too," she said in warning.

Zack knew he was in trouble. "How mad is she?"

Mary tilted her head just so and said, "Pretty mad."

"Well," Zack said, "I did bring her a gift, to try to heal the wound."

"Can I see?" Mary said. Zack opened the package and showed it to her. Mary stared at it approvingly. "It might not stop her from chewing you out, but she'll like it."

"Thanks. She in her room?"

"Yep."

"Okay." He kissed her again, and then they both walked into the house. Zack just waved to Brian, who was busy necking with Bonnie on the couch, anyway. He walked down the hall until he reached Wendy's bedroom, and paused, taking a deep breath. Then he knocked.

The door opened rapidly enough that Zack was sure she had heard him pull in the driveway, and might have even been waiting for the knock at the door. That didn't bode well for him.

"Zack!" she cried, and threw herself at him, wrapping her arms around him and giving him a fierce hug. He pushed his way into the room - her feet weren't even touching the ground at the moment - and closed the door.

Finally, Wendy let him go, dropping herself to the floor. Then she slapped him. "You bastard."

"Wendy..."

"I haven't seen or heard from you in over a week!"

"I'm sorry, it's-"

"Do you have any idea how that made me feel? I'm supposed to be your girlfriend! How many girls have you screwed since I last saw you? And I didn't get any! You didn't even call to say hi! Brian helped your parents move into the new house, but you didn't even invite him to see it, let alone me!"

"I'm sorry, I-"

"There was a concert yesterday. I wanted you to take me, but I had to go on my own, 'cause you never called me! I had no idea what you were doing. I know you have Wednesdays off from school! But did I see you last Wednesday? Oh, no! You sure do treat your girlfriend like shit, Zack!"

Zack didn't say anything, figuring she wasn't done.

"Well?!" she demanded.

"I'm sorry," he said simply. "I don't have an excuse. I got busy, my mind was focused on some other shit, but no, I don't have a reason that I didn't call you. I did bring you a present..." he said lamely.

Wendy set her jaw for a second, then held out her hand.

Zack set the box in her palm. It was another velvet jewelry case, and Wendy's eyes brightened slightly at the thought of what might be inside.

Zack had needed to use the same trick to get this gift as he had her first one, though he'd gone to a different store. That way, there would be no suspicion. Figuring out what to get her that might ease her ire had not been easy. If he'd guessed wrong, he was in deep shit.

Wendy opened the box and looked at the bracelet inside. It was a tennis bracelet, made of silver, and set with amethyst stones all along its length.

"Wow," Wendy said softly, not aware she'd spoken.

"I know you were born in February, and that amethyst is your birth stone..."

Wendy stared at it for a while longer, and then she looked up at him. Her eyes flashed again.

"You're trying to buy me. You think this little trinket can keep me happy?"

"No," he said honestly.

"Well, you thought right! This doesn't mean anything... though it is really pretty..." Wendy shook off the thought. "But that's not the point!"

"Angel, I'm sorry. I know I've been a jerk."

"You can't buy love, Zack!"

The thought jolted him. Is that what he'd done with his mother? Had he bought his way into her heart? Or, at least into her bed? He shook it off. Now was not the time to consider that.

"What can I do?" he asked.

"Zack," Wendy said, her anger subsiding in the face of his unmitigated regret. "All I want is to spend time with you. To sit with you on the couch and watch a movie. To go to a concert or a football game. To bring you back here and let you screw my brains out. I want you, not gifts."

Zack did his best to process the thought. Like most men, he just assumed that women wanted jewelry. Wendy could see the confusion in his eyes. She put the box down, and stepped closer to him.

Zack reached out for his girl, and she came to him. She looked up into his eyes, and she could see how sorry he was that he'd hurt her. She wrapped her arms around him, and said, "Don't ever let it happen again."

"It won't," he promised.

They stayed in that embrace for a long time, but eventually Wendy stood up on her tip-toes and they kissed. Zack knew that was uncomfortable for her, so he picked her up and carried her over to the bed, laying her down and then lying down beside her. They returned to their kissing immediately.

Zack wrapped his one arm around Wendy, pulling her against him as they kissed. His hand roamed her back, caressing gently as he went. Wendy sighed softly into his mouth as her hand massaged his side.

When Zack's hand slipped down onto Wendy's ass, she moaned quietly to encourage him. He fondled her ass through her jeans, loving the feel of her against him. He knew she had to be able to feel his erection, as tightly as she was pressing herself against him.

After a while, Wendy pushed Zack onto his back, and she rolled on top of him. This allowed both of them to use both hands, and Zack's other hand immediately started groping her ass with its partner. Wendy moaned in pleasure, and let her hands rub up and down Zack's sides vigorously. Her movements were beginning to pull his shirt up his body.

As soon as Zack's shirt was bunched up beneath his arms, Wendy broke their kiss.

"Off," she said. He knew what she wanted. He struggled to remove his shirt as she sat up. By the time he'd worked his own shirt off, she had removed her T-shirt and bra, exposing her beautiful, large breasts to his view. Zack reached out and caressed her tits, causing her to close her eyes and sigh again. As he continued to fondle her breasts, Wendy reached down and unfastened her jeans, then unfastened his. She didn't do anything more because she didn't want him to move his hands.

Soon, though, she needed more contact. She leaned down, rubbing her tits against his bare chest and sending tingles through both their bodies. She wiggled a little, and Zack got the idea, taking hold of her jeans and pushing them down off her hips. Together, they got her pants and underwear off, and she was then completely naked.

Wendy slid down Zack's body. When she reached his waist, she grabbed his pants and underwear together and began tugging. Zack lifted his hips to help. She tugged them ferociously downward, until they were at his ankles. She thought to remove his shoes and everything else, but she was simply too excited to bother.

Moving back up his body, Wendy took Zack's hard cock into her hand. She stroked it a couple of times gently, eliciting a groan from Zack. She placed her lips on the head of his dick and sucked the head into her mouth. She let her tongue run along the tip of it, and then she lowered her mouth further onto him. Her hand fondled his balls while her mouth began to bob up and down on his shaft.

Zack was in heaven; Wendy was very good at cocksucking. Her lips worked him over, and he was soon right on the edge of his climax. Wendy could tell, and she moved her mouth even faster, sucking even harder. Zack grunted loudly, and came, blasting his load deep into her mouth. Wendy swallowed repeatedly, causing Zack to spasm even more, giving her more of his seed.

Wendy released his dick from her mouth then, but as she slid up his body, her hand encircled his cock, caressing it and stroking its semi-soft length. Zack shivered at the touch of her hand; he knew he'd be hard again soon.

Wendy pressed her lips to Zack's, and their tongues were soon intermingling. Wendy rubbed her tits against him as they kissed, and her hand continued to gently work on his shaft. It wasn't very long before Zack felt himself again rising to the occasion.

Wendy continued to stroke him until he was fully hard, and then she sat up, breaking their kiss but again giving him a wonderful view of her body. She raised up on her knees and slipped his dick between her legs. Then she slowly relaxed herself, letting her body slide down onto his waiting prick. She moaned loudly as he entered her tight, wet pussy.

Zack loved the feel of her on his cock. Her cunt gripped him and squeezed him in ways that he could barely stand, they were so pleasurable. In seconds, she was fully impaled on his dick, and then she looked down at him and smiled. He ran his hands over her thighs and along her sides, grinning back up at her.

Wendy paused only a moment before she began to move up and down on Zack's cock. She was immediately moaning, already aroused to a fever pitch by having him near her. She could feel her heat rising, her body already approaching its climax.

Zack could tell, too, and he began to thrust up into her, driving his cock as deep into her as he could go. She was crying out, her body twisting as she rose to her orgasm. When it washed over her, she screamed out her pleasure, her body writhing on top of her lover. Zack held onto her as he continued to thrust his hips, slamming his dick deep into her.

As she came down from her high, Zack pulled her down into his embrace. He eased off his movements, but he didn't stop; he continued to make slow thrusts into her, to keep himself aroused.

Wendy looked at him with a wondrous expression on her face. "That was a better gift than the bracelet!" She kissed him, and as she did, he felt her pussy squeeze his cock. He rolled them over, until he was on top.

When they broke their kiss, he said, "And it's the gift that keeps on giving!" Wendy's eyes went a little wider as he began to thrust hard and fast into her, and she grinned widely. It was going to be a long afternoon.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack rolled out of bed the next morning, almost literally. He'd stayed with Wendy all night, and he was still pretty tired. His shower did little to perk him up, but he made his way to the kitchen after getting dressed. Luckily, since he'd spent nights with the Selmans before, he had clean clothes here. He wouldn't look completely gross for class.

"Hey, Sweetheart," Mary said, greeting him quietly. She knew he wasn't really a morning person.

"Hi," he said, yawning. She motioned him to sit, and she set breakfast in front of him. He smiled in thanks, but mainly he attacked his food. He was sure he'd need it just to stay awake this day.

Wendy came in just as he was finishing up his breakfast. She sat down next to him. "You didn't wake me up," she grumped.

"I figured you needed your rest," he said in explanation.

"So do you..."

"Yeah, don't I know it," he said, stifling another yawn. "But I have class."

He finished up his breakfast as Wendy started into hers. Getting up, he took his dishes to the sink and rinsed them off. He made sure to go over and kiss Wendy good-bye, and promised to see her later in the week. Mary accompanied him outside to his bike.

"I'm glad you came over yesterday. She was getting very unpleasant to be around."

"I'm sorry," Zack said sincerely. "And I'm sorry we didn't get to spend any time together..."

Mary stepped closer to him. "It's okay. She needed you more than I did." Mary kissed him warmly, and pushed herself against him. When she broke the kiss, she looked deep into his eyes. "That doesn't mean I don't need you, though."

Zack pulled her into another kiss, wrapping his arms strongly around her, and they stayed that way for a long time. Finally, he let her go.

"I will make some time for you this week. I promise."

"Thank you," she replied. She stepped back as he started the bike, and she watched him ride off down the street.

-----

Zack was not surprised to find Gabrielle waiting for him outside class. He kissed her good-morning, and they stayed in their embrace for a long moment after their kissing ended.

"How was your weekend?" he asked.

"Boring. Yours?"

"Not quite so dull. My father walked out on us."

"Oh, shit."

Zack shrugged. "I have to find some way to bring in some income, so Mom won't worry so much."

"Can't you use the program?"

"Sure... if I can think of a way to do it so that no one notices."

"Oh. Yeah, I hadn't thought of that."

"We'd better go in. Here comes the teacher."

Zack and Gabrielle walked in and sat down, but Zack really didn't hear very much of the lecture that morning.

-----

When lunchtime finally rolled around, Zack asked Gabrielle to wait while he checked his mail again. Luckily or unluckily, there was no news waiting for him. The couple made their way over to the snack bar, and got their food to go. It was a nice day outside, and they picked a bench to sit on to eat their lunch.

"I need you to do me a favor," Zack said. It had taken him all morning to get up the courage to ask her about it. "But it involves your telepathy." He'd already made sure there was no one within earshot, and he kept his voice low.

"Okay," she replied, unsure. "What?"

"One of the girls I've been seeing... her mind is very strange. It's... like it has a wall around it. I'm wondering if I just can't see into it because my telepathy isn't as strong as yours."

"Okay. Who is it?"

"Her name is Linda. She works in the bookstore."

"I've seen her," Gabrielle confirmed. "What do you think it is?"

"I don't know. I at first thought that she was lying to me... because her emotions are black. But now, I think what I was sensing wasn't really her emotions, but was this... wall, or whatever, so now I don't really know at all what's going on."

"Okay, I'll..."

Zack saw her eyes focus on someone behind him, and so Zack turned to see who it was.

"Oh, Christ. As if the day wasn't bad enough..."

"You know her?"

"Unfortunately."

"Well, Mr. Griffin," Lisa Dunham said in a voice of dripping politeness. "I thought I might find you out here."

"What do you want?" Zack asked as impolitely as he could manage.

Lisa arched an eyebrow at him. "Well, I just wanted to give you a heads-up, Mr. Griffin. My editor has approved my little investigation into you. I'm going to turn your life upside-down and inside-out. You can't hide from me forever."

"I have nothing to hide from you. I have done nothing illegal."

"This isn't the same girl I saw you with the other day... perhaps you're playing around, too... a sure sign of immorality..."

"This is one of my classmates. We're having lunch together. And, just to clear up any issues you may have, the last time I checked, being immoral wasn't a crime, anyway."

"So you admit it?" Lisa asked quickly.

"To you, I wouldn't admit the Earth is round."

"Your attitude is only going to play against you, Mr. Griffin," she said.

"Ask me if I give a rat's ass."

Lisa arched her eyebrows again. She turned to Gabrielle. "I don't suppose I can get your name?"

"Sure," Gabrielle said, surprising both people. "My name is Ivana. I'd better spell the last name out for you, it's a pain." She did, and Zack caught on immediately, but the reporter was still puzzling it out.

"Fook-sak? Fuckzak? Your name is Ivana Fuqezak?"

"Oh, you, too?" Gabrielle asked innocently.

Lisa turned crimson at the realization of what she'd just said.

"I can destroy you as easily as him," Lisa threatened.

"Lady, fuck off," Gabrielle said bluntly. "We were having a nice lunch until you showed up. Now blow. Before I get the campus police and tell them you're harassing us... and that you threatened us with bodily harm."

"I did not!"

"And Zack has done nothing illegal, yet you seem perfectly willing to accuse him of such. If you're willing to lie, why shouldn't I be?" Gabrielle said.

Lisa opened and closed her mouth twice, then she turned and walked away.

Zack looked over at Gabrielle and gave her a thumbs up. "Nice touch."

"What's her problem?"

"I'm not really sure. She doesn't like that I'm living in a fancy house with no apparent means of income, I guess. That's what I meant about using the program in ways that won't draw suspicion."

"I see."

"So, anyway, about Linda..."

Gabrielle nodded. "Let's go after class and see what I can get from her."

"All right."

The rest of their lunch was spent talking about more pleasant topics.

-----

Zack was glad that Gabrielle was in class with him; she was able to take notes, and he could hardly focus on anything going on around him. His mind kept churning over what he was going to do about Ms. Lisa Dunham.

Finally, they were released from class for the day, and Zack and Gabrielle headed over to the bookstore. Zack worried at first, because they didn't see Linda right away. After a few moments of browsing, however, she came out of the back room and walked past them to the front. She didn't pay any attention to them, so she didn't even wave to Zack.

Zack held up a book, as if they were looking at it together.

"Anything?" he asked quietly.

"Give me a second. There's a few competing voices in here."

"Okay."

Zack watched as Gabrielle concentrated. He saw her eyes squeeze tightly shut, and she began to sweat a bit. When her body jolted, he grabbed her, to keep her from losing her balance. She opened her eyes and stared ahead, almost in panic.

"Are you okay?" Zack whispered.

Gabrielle didn't trust her voice. She nodded, shakily. Zack put down the book he was holding, and escorted her out of the bookstore. Luckily, Linda was preoccupied with a customer, and never noticed either of them.

Zack led Gabrielle out of the Student Union Building, and off across campus, until he came to an area with the fewest people he could find. It turned out to be the same area he'd brought Linda on Saturday. He drove that thought from his mind, lest it leak to Gabrielle. He got her sitting down, and then he held her hand until she stopped shaking.

"What happened?" he finally asked, as she began to catch her breath.

"Something... shoved me away! I've never seen a mind do that before! I mean... resist, yes. Stop me from entering, sure. But actually push me back? I've never seen that."

"Wait... there are people you can't read?"

"I can't read you unless you let me."

Zack raised his eyebrows at that. "But then, how did you..."

"You let me. Don't ask me to explain it. You have walls in your mind. Some stuff, I can't get anywhere near. Other stuff, the walls come down when I approach. Other stuff is completely open. Her mind is not only walled off, it has defenses. I don't know what caused that."

"Could it be the program?"

"I don't know. We need to do some research. Speaking of... why didn't you use the program on that bitch reporter?"

"I tried. It didn't take. I've got to figure out why."

"Okay... sometime this week, we need to work on these problems."

Zack nodded. "Not tonight, though. You look like you really need a good rest."

"And a back rub," she said, eyeing him.

"Your wish is my command," he said theatrically, and stood to take her back to her room.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack met Gabrielle outside of class as usual the next morning. Though he'd spent a good portion of the evening with her, they had not spent the night together. She was worried the floor mother for their program would get upset. She greeted him with a warm kiss, though.

"Mmm. Good morning."

"Hey. I looked at the schedule. Today's one of our work days. If we can get our work finished early here, we can leave early, and work on those projects we talked about yesterday."

"Good idea," Zack replied. They stayed in the hall, kissing, for a few more minutes, and then walked into class. Before the teacher even bothered to show up, the two were at work on the project for the day.

-----

By working into their lunch hour, Zack and Gabrielle finished up just as everyone else was coming back into the room. They both turned in their projects to the teacher, who dismissed them. They did their best not to bolt out the door.

When they finally got outside, they slowed down a bit. Gabrielle followed Zack to his bike, but there she paused.

"I still don't have a helmet," she said dejectedly.

"I know," Zack replied. "Get on, anyway."

Gabrielle shrugged, and got on behind him. When she wrapped her arms around him to hold on, he wiggled.

"What's the matter?" she asked.

"That tickles," he said with a chuckle. She changed her grip, and he settled.

Zack started the bike and drove slowly out of the parking lot. He didn't pick up much speed as they drove out onto the roads. When he turned left where she expected him to turn right, she was concerned.

"Where are we going?" she asked him.

"To get you a helmet."

"Oh." She settled back and smiled.

-----

When they made it back to Zack's house, it was clear the place was empty. He frowned at the thought, but didn't really know why. Then he realized he was disconcerted because he never thought that a house that size would ever be empty.

Got to do something about that.

Shaking off the thought, he led Gabrielle up to his bedroom, where he'd had a chance to get things set up how he wanted them. Gabrielle pulled a chair over to join him at the computer.

"So, what do we do first?" she asked.

"We have three projects for the day. See if we can figure out how to control your telepathy, see if we can figure out how to increase mine, and see if we can figure out what's going on with Linda. Oh, four projects. See if we can figure out why we can't reprogram Lisa Dunham."

"Okay... what order do you want to do them in?"

"We should split the effort. I'll take Lisa Dunham, and my own telepathy. If you can start to work on the Linda thing..."

"Sounds good... but you've only got one computer."

"I know. That's why I took the two that I can do without one. I learned a neat meditation trick that helps me figure out problems sometimes, so..." Zack got up from the computer, having brought up all the research material he had used thus far. "The file I opened is the one I've used most. All of these disks contain material I got from Adam when we started... it's general research material, it doesn't relate to the program at all. Maybe there's something in all of that."

Gabrielle looked at it all dubiously. "Okay."

Zack kissed her, and then went over to lie on the bed. He closed his eyes and took some deep, cleansing breaths...

-----

...Zack was transported to his usual place. He noted that his bevy of beauties seemed to have reduced itself, and that they were mostly lounging now. Still, three of them approached him.

He was not surprised to see that the three in question were Stephanie, Wendy, and Mary. He was a little surprised that Gabrielle wasn't represented here, though.

Mary-maiden answered for him. "You don't consider Gabrielle to belong to you."

"Oh." He blushed, realizing that he did, indeed, think of her differently from the others.

"You have things to work out," Steph-maiden said.

Zack nodded. "Yeah, like why I can't reprogram this reporter-bitch."

"We're not sure," Wendy-maiden replied. "But we have spotted some gaps that need to be looked into."

"Show me," he said.

Wendy-maiden led him over to a soft couch and sat beside him. Some of the other maidens, who were unknown to him, gathered around. Zack was given images and then a listing of marked code. He knew that it was all being indelibly printed onto his memory, but he concentrated on it, anyway.

It seemed that the images and code, which alternated back and forth, would continue forever, but eventually, the mental screen went blank. The maidens remained clustered around him for a while, but then each one drifted off after giving him a kiss. He rather enjoyed that part.

The Wendy-maiden remained by his side throughout. "There's more you wanted to know."

"Well... not so much know... unless you can tell me what that wall around Linda's mind is."

"Look at your own mind. It has rooms. Some of your rooms are locked to everyone but you. Some of your rooms are even locked to you. Those are walls you cannot breech."

"So someone has locked off her mind completely?"

"Yes."

"But... the defenses?"

"That had to have been taught, somehow. You don't have the knowledge necessary for me to go further."

"Oh. Maybe Gabrielle will find something."

"Possibly. There was more?"

"Yes, I wanted to learn more about my telepathy... I still can't use it in real-time."

"You must practice with it. That is the only cure for your problem. The skill must become as natural as listening or looking."

"Can I practice in here? Will it help any?"

"Yes. The better you get in here, the better you'll be out there. Not as good as when you lock yourself off like this, but still."

"Yeah. Okay. Let's go."

"I can't go in there."

"Why not?"

"Out there is reality. I'm not real."

"Oh." He gathered Wendy-maiden into his arms and kissed her passionately, then he let her go. "Thanks for the help."

Wendy-maiden drifted off into the background, and Zack entered through the doorway into what he knew to be his telepathic area. The colors were few and far between today. He figured that was because there weren't too many people around.

He was immediately able to identify Gabrielle; she was the only color-image standing still. He decided that she would make a reasonable practice target.

Concentrating, Zack moved toward her mind, which was, at the moment, a kaleidoscope of colors, indicating some confusion on her part. He slipped into her mind easily, and walked softly, so as not to disturb her. He wasn't even really looking for anything specific, but he did try to find any indication that she might have been misleading him. He still worried that he was trusting the wrong person. Thankfully, he found nothing to indicate deception on her part. In fact, her thoughts about him were... quite entertaining.

He slipped out of her mind after a while, having visited all of the easily-accessible areas, though he hadn't really paid much attention to what he saw. He didn't want to invade her privacy too much, he only wanted to practice.

Stepping back, he looked around and saw another color-image that was standing still. He focused in on it, and its color was a dark crimson of anger and hate. He moved toward it carefully, and slipped inside.

This mind was a maze of walls. Everything was partitioned off. He had slipped into what was obviously a public persona of this person. He concentrated, and was able to see what they were seeing. What he saw surprised him. Whoever this was, they were staring at his house... through a camera.

Ah... Miss Lisa Dunham, I presume. Zack wormed his way into the top level of her consciousness, and sure enough, he found that he was inside Miss Dunham's mind. He thought this might be a much more interesting exercise. Seeing all the walls told him why the program wasn't working right. It was never meant to navigate such a convoluted path. He would need to find a way to get the program to either follow all paths at once, or to simply smash through the barriers.

Zack walked through pathways, looking into rooms. Though she had compartmented her mind, it wasn't truly locked off. Its protection came from the complexity of the maze. He saw her as a child, being berated by her father repeatedly. He saw her as a teen, being taunted for her scholastic achievement, despite her cheerleader-like appearance. He looked in other rooms, and found that she had struggled for everything, and had often been put down by people who had gotten things more easily than she had.

Still... no reason to be a bitch about it.

He found the room where she was keeping her current assignment. He saw pictures of his mother's car, of their new house, and of himself and some of his girls. She had obviously been following him around for a while. Zack wished he had a way to jumble up this information.

Having a silly notion, he stood in the middle of her mental room and screamed at the top of his lungs, "Give it up!"

Zack actually felt a mental shudder. The images blurred for a second, and then things steadied back down... but he sensed a... weakness to things.

That's... interesting...

Zack would have stuck around to see if he could do it again, but he was beginning to feel fatigued, and he had this strange sense that he was needed inside his real body. He made his way back out of Miss Dunham's mind, and slid back over into his own mind again.

Zack opened his eyes to find Gabrielle staring worriedly at him.

"What?" he asked.

"I called you three times. Where the hell were you?"

"You don't want to know. What's up?"

"Nothing, really... but I'm not making a lot of progress here."

"Sorry. Let's work on it together."

"Thanks."

-----

"Hey, Sweetheart... Oh! Hi, Gabrielle," Sharon said as she walked into her son's room.

"Hi, Mrs. Griffin."

"You two look like you've got quite a project going here." They had printed out miscellaneous items that looked like they might be of use, and they were strewn all over the bed, the desk, and the dresser.

"Yeah, Mom." Zack walked over to her and gave her a very unchildlike kiss. Sharon hesitated for only a second, but it felt so good that she soon responded, and they were kissing passionately. Gabrielle merely smiled and turned her head.

When Zack finally released his mother, she was breathing hard. "Damn," she whispered quietly. "I needed that."

"I know you did," he said with a grin.

Raising her voice back to normal, Sharon asked, "Will you be staying for dinner, Gabrielle?"

Gabrielle, having been warned about Sharon's cooking, looked to Zack, who looked to his mom.

She grinned. "I'll keep it simple. I promise. Burgers and fries!"

Gabrielle laughed. "Okay, sure."

Zack hugged his mother and gave her another, much shorter, kiss. She smiled at him and left them to their work.

"She seems happier," Gabrielle said.

"Yeah."

"She doesn't seem upset that your father left."

"I'm not sure it's sunk in yet."

"Could be. Anyway, I found this..."

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack woke up to the feel of a soft woman next to him. Without opening his eyes, he didn't know exactly who it was, though he'd not been awakened by a doorbell. Whoever it was, he embraced her, and she snuggled tightly against him. He ruled out Gabrielle, his mother, and Wendy, and then Mary... which left only one girl he could think of offhand.

He opened his eyes to check, first, before embarrassing himself. His guess was right.

"Hey, Steph," he mumbled softly.

"Good morning, Master," she replied, keeping her cheerfulness to a minimum, because he was not a happy riser. She pressed her head into his shoulder, and he rested his cheek in her hair. His hands stroked her back softly, but there was no sexual meaning in it. Right now, they were just resting together.

"You're here kind of early, aren't you?" Zack finally asked.

"Beverly has an afternoon class."

"Oh. Where is she?"

"Straightening up our new room. I figured I'd let her do it."

He could feel the grin on her face.

"Uh-huh. You just wanted to get to me first."

"Yep!" she said, her grin widening. She looked up at her master and then she kissed him. It was a kiss of surrender and of longing, but there wasn't any passion in it... yet. She knew he wasn't ready for that.

"Well, I'm not complaining. It's been a while, hasn't it?"

"It's okay. I know you're busy."

"You have no idea," he said with a tired grin.

Zack closed his eyes to think about things. He'd told Stephanie to move in with him, and of course she'd brought her slave along. Zack had told his mother the night before, and she'd taken the news calmly. He'd also told her about some other people he was inviting, and she was happier about that. He smiled, realizing there was a source of income right in front of him that he had not considered before. He resolved to talk to his mother about it later.

For now, he pulled Stephanie closer, and rested. He was soon asleep again.

-----

When Zack and Stephanie finally made it downstairs, they found Sharon talking to Beverly over coffee at the kitchen table.

Upon seeing Stephanie, and then Zack, Beverly bolted to her feet, her head down, her hands clasped in front of her. Sharon saw the display, knew it for what it was, and eyed her son very carefully. Zack went over and kissed his mother, sitting down next to her.

"Morning, Mom," he said.

"Zack... what's that all about?" she whispered. They watched as Stephanie approached her slave, and then gave her a kiss. Beverly kissed back hotly, but it was clear that she would never advance the situation.

"Tough to explain, at least for me. Don't worry about it too much. How are you this morning?"

"I'm all right."

"Um... why are you home?"

"Problem at the office. The equipment isn't working, so not much point in being there."

"Oh. Okay. Well, I thought of a way to get some more income for us."

"Already?" she said with a smile.

"Well, the answer was right in front of me."

"What is it?"

"Rent out the other house. The house is fully paid off, so any rent would be pure profit, until something breaks... we could bring in six or seven hundred dollars a month that way."

"Yes, that would definitely help, Sweetheart."

Zack nodded. "I thought so. Anyway, I'm going to be over at Wendy's house today for the most part. You need me to do anything while I'm out?"

Sharon shook her head. "No, Honey. You have a good time. I guess I'll get to know our new houseguests better."

Zack smiled, and ran his hand along her arm. She shivered slightly, and then he leaned over and kissed her again. "Love you, Mom," he whispered.

"Love you, too, Sweetheart."

-----

After breakfast, Zack went back up to his room. Stephanie soon joined him, but she didn't bother him, as he was working on his computer. Zack went to check his email, and was unpleasantly surprised at what he found.

Master:

You are in danger. I am afraid for you. Adam has someone spying on you. He has repeatedly referred to 'her,' so I know it's a woman. I'm not precisely certain, but he also blurted out the name 'Linda' on the phone yesterday. I can't be sure that he was talking about the spy, but if you know someone named Linda, I would be very leery of her, Master.

Adam is doing some very strange and evil things, Master. The map in his office has more and more blue area shaded. It also has a set of other shadings on it now. When he was not looking, I saw the legend, and there were dates on it. Master, he has an area shaded for our entire state by the end of next month. He has the entire mid-west marked for the end of the year, and the entire country marked for three years from now.

There are also pins marked, in his area and yours. He has six red pins marked inside your area... but Master, he also has two blue pins in your area. He has no red pins marked in his blue area, so I don't think he knows about myself or Valkyrie.

Master, I know it's not my place to tell you what to do, or to try to outthink you, but it would appear that Adam is attempting to control massive numbers of people. If he ever finds a way to use the program on large numbers at once, he could be unstoppable.

I am very scared, Master. Please give me instructions, because I don't know what to do. I want to be with you, where I'm safe. This makes me very afraid. I love you, Master.

Your servant,

Terry

Oh, shit. So, it probably is the program that's causing the thing in Linda's head. She's been programmed to be a spy... or just programmed to prevent me from programming her? That's possible... Anyway, she's obviously a problem, and she needs to be dealt with.

And who's the other spy in my midst?

That was an issue Zack would surely consider at great length.

-----

Zack ate lunch with the girls at his home, but after that, he knew he had to go run his errands. Things were becoming simpler and more confusing all at the same time, and Zack wondered just what he was supposed to do. Adam was a problem he had no clue how to deal with, other than to get those he cared about out of the line of fire. Then again, he didn't know where the line of fire was, so that in and of itself was a tricky question.

Finding solutions to his other problems seemed minor by comparison. Getting rid of Lisa Dunham was going to be tricky, but not really dangerous; she could only reveal the fact that he was playing around, with his mother's permission. It occurred to Zack that, if she caught on to Zack and Sharon's relationship, things could be problematic, so he would do everything he could to keep that from happening. Other than that, she couldn't possibly have anything on him.

Taking care of the women in his life was perhaps the most pleasant problem he had. He was working toward solving that one now, which was part of why he was going where he was going.

He pulled into the driveway and shut off the bike. He had climbed off and put his helmet away before he wondered why no one had come out to greet him. That was unusual. He walked into the house to find Brian sitting on the couch, with Pam giving him a blowjob.

"Oh... hey, Zack," Brian grunted. "Didn't hear you... pull up."

"I can see why not," Zack said with a chuckle. "Where is everyone else?"

"Dunno."

Zack could see he wasn't going to get anything out of Brian; his sister was sucking his brains out through his dick. Zack wandered back into the kitchen, to see if he could spot anyone there. He found Bonnie making herself a sandwich. She was slightly disheveled, and she blushed when she saw Zack.

"Hey, Bonnie. You seen your mom?"

"I think she's in Wendy's room."

"Ah, okay. Thanks."

Zack walked down the hall, and stopped in front of Wendy's door. He was about to knock, but decided not to bother. He quietly opened the door, and found out why no one had come to greet him.

Wendy and her mother were embracing, their lips pressed together. He could tell their tongues were intertwined, and they were massaging each other's bodies in various places. Both of them still had all their clothes on, but Zack wondered how much longer that would last.

"Ahem," he said with a chuckle in his voice. "Why wasn't I invited?"

They broke the kiss, and both of them turned crimson in embarrassment.

"Oh, uh, Zack..." Mary said, faltering. Wendy couldn't even look him in the eye.

Zack walked all the way in and closed the door. He walked over to the bed and sat down beside them both. He motioned Wendy toward him, and she kissed him, her tongue now invading his mouth. He broke off the kiss before it grew too heated, and let her sit back. Then he turned to Mary, who came to him without prompting, her tongue thrusting its way into his mouth, her kiss forceful and passionate.

When they finally broke it off, he smiled at her. "How much playing do you two do when I'm not around?" Zack asked, curious.

"Actually, today was the first time we were going to... without you around," Mary said. Wendy just nodded.

"Oh. And I spoiled it for you. I'm sorry."

"It's okay," Wendy said. "I'd much rather do it with you, anyway." This time, Mary nodded.

Zack hugged both of the ladies, and they stayed embraced for quite a while. Finally, Zack let them go and sat back. He stroked Mary's hair, and he rubbed Wendy's shoulder.

"How have you guys been doing?" Zack asked.

"Bored," Wendy said instantly.

Mary replied, "Okay, I guess. Lonely." There was a lot of meaning in that last word, and Zack made up his mind to deal with it soon.

"I'm sorry I haven't been around so much the last couple weeks. It's been crazy lately."

"You're here now," Mary said. "That's what matters."

Wendy climbed into his lap and laid her head on his shoulder.

"Things are likely to get weirder soon. I may be even more distracted... and I don't want to be ignoring you two because of it. I needed to find a way to fix it."

"Did you think of something?" Wendy asked quietly, her head still lying on his shoulder.

"Yes, I did. I want you guys to all come live with us."

Wendy's head came up at that. Mary looked surprised.

"Zack, that's... do you have room for all of us?"

"And then some. I figure that Brian and the girls will want to share a room..." Zack felt a little odd talking about that to Mary, but she just nodded.

"Will I get to sleep in your room?" Wendy asked, pointedly.

"Not all the time, Angel, but quite a bit..."

"I like it," she said immediately, with a grin. She put her head back down on his shoulder and wrapped herself around him as tightly as she could. He put his arms around her back and looked at her mother.

"Mary?"

"Zack... what will your mother say?"

"You have a little bit to learn about Mom," he said cryptically. "It won't be a problem."

"Then... I guess we need to ask Brian and the girls if they'd like to..."

"Okay. Let's do that."

The three got up off the bed. Wendy pouted about losing her seat until he took her hand. The three made as much noise as they reasonably could walking down the hall and through the kitchen. By the time they made it into the living room, the three people there were at least pretending that nothing had been going on. A silly ruse, since everyone in the house knew the score.

"Hey, Bri, I was thinking. Why don't we move your family into our new house? Plenty of room, nice furniture, and I'd get to eat your mom's cooking every night."

"Why do I have the feeling it's not her cooking you want to be eating?" Bonnie said, shocking everybody. Zack flushed beet red, and everyone else laughed.

"Well..." Zack allowed. "It would also mean you three could share a room, instead of having to play on the couch all day..."

It was Bonnie's turn to blush.

Brian considered. "You sure your Mom won't mind?"

"Nah. She's cool with things. Um... I guess I should tell you all now that Mom and I have become... close... since Dad left."

"How close?" Mary asked.

"At least as close as you and I," he replied by way of oblique answer that told everyone what they needed to know.

"Wow," Wendy said quietly. He squeezed her hand more tightly. Brian's eyes had gone a little wide.

"Huh. Now you can't make fun of me and my sisters anymore," Brian said with a smug grin.

"You started it," Zack shot back good-naturedly. Everyone grinned.

"Okay, Zack," Mary said. "I think we should do it. How... I mean, how do we get our stuff to your house?"

"You can leave your furniture... we've got plenty. Just box up your books and computers and other stuff you need. The other thing I was thinking was that you could rent out this house."

"Oh? Why?" Mary asked.

"Money. Without Dad around, we're in a bit of a pinch. If we rent our old house and this one, that'll be over a thousand dollars a month. A big help."

"Yes," Mary agreed. "And if my soon-to-be-ex-husband pays the alimony, that will help, too."

"Oh, he'll pay. Trust me," Zack said with a meaningful look to Brian.

"Okay. It'll take a couple weeks and some money to clean this place up for tenants, though."

"That's all right."

"When do you want us to move in?"

"Whenever is convenient for you. Your rooms are all ready. Want to go over and see the house?"

"Yes," Mary and Wendy said in unison. Zack grinned.

-----

After touring the house, all of the Selmans were a little dazed. Even Brian, who had helped Zack's parents move in, was a little awestruck at the thought of living in a mansion this size. They were each in the process of picking rooms, though Pam and Bonnie had both deferred to Brian on that issue.

Wendy had chosen her room already. It was right next to Zack's. Nobody found that odd. He had cautioned her that he didn't know if she might hear things through the walls, but she assured him that she didn't care; she wanted to be as close to him as she could get.

Mary had been quite uncomfortable around Sharon at first, but when Zack went over and kissed his mother - with his tongue - everyone loosened up a little bit. At this point, Sharon had taken Wendy back to her house to retrieve some clothes, because she said she wanted to feel like the house was her home as quickly as she could.

Zack was in his room, fiddling with his computer, when Mary stopped in.

"Zack?" she said quietly.

"C'mon in," he said, finishing up what he was doing before turning to look at her. When he did, he saw her closing the door.

She turned to him and smiled softly. He got up from his chair and walked over to her. She let him take her into his arms, and she laid her head on his shoulder, feeling warm and comforted. Zack seemed so mature for his age... or perhaps she merely needed the seemingly unconditional love he provided her.

After a moment, she moved away from him slightly, and looked into his eyes. "I can't tell you what it means to me to have you ask me to move in here."

Zack tried to shrug it off. "Figured it would make things easier on everyone." He had other motives, of course, but there was no point in talking to her about them right now. It would only worry her.

Mary pushed herself more tightly against him, and her lips pressed to his. Their tongues were quickly tangling together as they kissed more passionately. Zack's hands slipped down Mary's back until they were resting on her ass, which he squeezed and fondled, causing her to moan into his mouth.

Eventually, Zack broke their kiss. He stepped back from Mary just slightly. He knew what she wanted, and he was more than happy to give it to her, but he was going to treat her more gently than he had in their previous encounters.

Zack slowly began to undo the buttons on Mary's blouse, letting his fingers caress her skin as they slipped along the fabric from one button to another. Mary's breathing became deep and slightly ragged, especially when Zack would slip his hand in to run over her bare skin.

It didn't take him too long to get all the buttons undone, and then he stepped around behind her. He took hold of the blouse and pulled it carefully off her shoulders and down off her arms. Setting it on the chest at the foot of the bed, he turned back to his partner.

Mary's bra was soon unfastened, and then he slipped back around to her front. Again, he pulled gently on the garment, and it slipped off her body, exposing her wonderful, large breasts to his view. The bra made its way over to the chest to land on top of her blouse, but Zack didn't much care anymore. His eyes took in the wonderful sight of her tits.

Zack reached out and gently stroked the outer swell of Mary's breast. She sighed audibly, and her body shivered. Zack leaned in and began to place soft kisses on the upper swell of Mary's other tit, causing her to moan quietly. Meanwhile, Zack's free hand slipped down to her skirt and found the zipper. He licked and nibbled at her breast while he pulled that zipper lower and lower, until the skirt slipped off her hips and down to the floor.

Zack kicked off his shoes as his hand ran over Mary's hip. She was moaning now, running her fingers through Zack's hair. He unfastened his jeans and pushed them down until they joined her skirt on the floor. As he stepped out of them, he pulled off his socks, as well, while his hand returned to caressing her hip and ass.

Mary got into the act, tugging on Zack's shirt until she'd gotten it as far up his body as she could manage. Zack stood up for a second to yank the shirt off, tossing it on the floor as he returned his mouth to her breast. Mary moaned louder as he began to suck on her nipple.

Zack slipped his hand across Mary's abdomen until he reached the waistband of her panties, and then his fingers slipped underneath the fabric and down between her legs. Mary moaned loudly as Zack's fingers slid across her swollen pussy lips. His middle finger pressed upward, sinking into her depths. Mary cried out in pleasure, her body shuddering as his finger slipped into her.

As Zack began to finger-fuck her, Mary's knees gave out. He caught her quickly, and he was glad it was only a couple steps to the bed. He gently laid her down on the comforter, and his lips sought out and found hers, kissing her hotly as his finger returned to its motion. Mary was moaning into Zack's mouth continually now, and Zack could feel her body heating up. Her pussy grasped at his finger as it slid in and out, his palm rubbing gently against her clit as he finger-fucked her.

Mary began to moan and cry in pleasure louder and louder, her body twisting back and forth as Zack's finger worked in and out of her. He broke their kiss and moved his lips down to her tit, sucking on her nipple and tugging it with his lips. Mary screamed in joy and her body's wriggling redoubled. Zack thrust his finger into her faster and faster, and Mary was soon screaming out her orgasm as it wracked her body. Her back arched and she flooded Zack's hand with her juices.

Zack continued to finger her throughout her orgasm, and he only stopped as she started to come down from her high. He slipped his finger out of her sopping-wet pussy, and then he tugged her panties down, removing them from her unresisting body.

Zack removed his own underwear, and then he knelt on the bed next to Mary, who was only then beginning to come out of her climax-induced haze. Zack rubbed her stomach, and his hands quickly began to move upward, until he was fondling her tits. Mary looked up at him and smiled. Zack smiled back, and then he let his fingers begin to roll her nipples. Mary gasped at the sudden shock of pleasure. As Zack continued to manipulate her tits, she moaned.

Zack's hands eventually left Mary's breasts, and he gently pulled her fully onto the bed. Moving down, he softly opened her legs. Mary gladly parted her thighs for him, and she was rewarded. Zack leaned down and began to kiss her thighs, moving back and forth between them, getting ever closer to her cunt. Mary was writhing already, anticipating the wonderful pleasure she was about to feel.

Her anticipation was rewarded when Zack's tongue slid gently across her swollen pussy lips. Mary groaned loudly at the sensation, her hips rocking into him, trying to get more contact. Zack tongued her lips back and forth, running his tongue up and down them, until he finally slipped in-between her outer lips and caressed her opening with his tongue. Mary cried out at the feel of it as Zack tightened his tongue and pushed it into her hole. He began to wiggle his tongue back and forth, and Mary was moaning constantly, her body twisting above him.

Zack knew that Mary was close to another orgasm, and so he slipped his tongue out of her pussy. He heard her sigh at the loss, but she screamed in pleasure when his lips took her clit and began to suck on it strongly. The tip of his tongue flicked over the end of her clit as he continued to suck, and Mary lost it. She screamed and thrashed above him, lost to the pleasure of her climax. Her juices flooded Zack's chin, and he continued to suck her clit throughout her orgasm, driving her higher and higher. Finally, he could tell that her wave had crested, and as she began to descend, he let her clit slip from between his lips. He did lick her pussy lips repeatedly, causing her to shudder and rock as she slowly descended from the heights of her bliss.

Zack finally slid up along Mary's body, keeping his hand in contact as he went. When he was lying beside her, his hand resting on her tit, he kissed her on the neck. Mary shivered at his touch, and turned her head until their lips met. She thrust her tongue into his mouth, tasting herself on his tongue. She couldn't believe the amount of pleasure he had given her. As his hand began to squeeze her breast in a way that she enjoyed immensely, she groaned again.

Zack broke their kiss and rolled on top of her. With a smile, he said, "I'm not through with you yet."

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

Zack rolled onto his side, and this time, he knew who the soft, warm body belonged to. He slipped his arm around Mary and pulled her gently closer to him. It was still early yet, but he liked to relax in bed for a while before having to get up, and having a beautiful woman to cuddle with was, in his opinion, the best way to relax in bed.

Mary sighed as she felt his hand come around her, but she didn't wake up yet. As he pulled her against him, though, his cock brushed her ass. She slowly came awake, aware of where she was, and with whom. She pushed herself back against him and took his hand, placing it on her breast. She sighed with the feel of his body against hers, and closed her eyes again.

Zack kissed her on the neck. "Morning, Mary," he said quietly.

"Mmmm," she responded. He fondled her breast lightly; he wasn't trying to arouse so much as to energize. She smiled, her eyes still closed. Zack continued to softly kiss and caress, and Mary slowly came fully awake.

Finally, she turned in his arms, and they kissed. The kiss was tender and caring, rather than passionate. Mary let it linger for a moment, but then she leaned back and frowned slightly.

"Your mother's going to be mad at me for taking her place, isn't she?"

Zack just shook his head. "Wendy's more likely to be mad at you. Mom knows she can't have me every night. Especially not now."

"When... I mean, how did you and your mother get together?" Mary asked delicately.

Zack hadn't really explained the program to Mary, and he wasn't going to do so now. He said, "Just some changes in her life, and then with me being able to get her all this stuff, and she became more... uh... sexually active, Dad couldn't provide for her, and she sort of..."

"Turned to you?" Mary said. Zack nodded, blushing. "So you took her to bed... and she accepts the way you live?"

Zack shrugged. "I haven't given her a lot of choice in the matter, really..." He let that statement hang.

Mary drew her own conclusions. She nodded, and then sighed quietly. "I'm glad you still want me around, when you can have her, and all the others..."

Zack pulled her more tightly to him. "You're beautiful, Mary. You have a great body, and you're very sexy. Besides," he said with a smile, trying to lighten the mood, "you're the only one here who knows how to cook!"

Mary laughed, and then she kissed Zack. The two of them cuddled and caressed each other for a long time before they finally decided to get up and shower - together, of course - and get ready for their day.

-----

Zack made it to class with time to spare only because Mary was concerned that he would get in trouble. He had kissed every girl in the house, and that was a much longer process than he had thought it would be. He was beginning to wonder if he would be able to handle them all, but decided he'd enjoy finding out, and if not, he could always dump a few of them.

He found Gabrielle waiting for him at the door. He kissed her as passionately as all the other girls he'd lip-wrestled with that morning, and she wrapped her arms around him. They were still kissing when the teacher showed up.

"All right, you two," he said with no emotion at all in his voice. "Let's get to work, shall we?"

"Yes, sir," Zack said with a smirk. Gabrielle giggled, and they followed the teacher into the classroom.

-----

"All right, folks. Let's wrap it up and head to lunch."

Zack's head came up in surprise. He'd not been thinking about his schoolwork; he'd had his other problems on his mind. Gabrielle had seen that, and had not bothered him about them, until now.

"Zack? Is something wrong?"

He nodded, but said, "Not here. Let me check my email, and I'll take you to lunch again."

Gabrielle nodded, but she just turned in her chair so she couldn't see the screen. Obviously there was something bugging him, but she wouldn't push him to tell her until he was ready.

Luckily, there weren't any surprises waiting for Zack in his email. He logged out of the system, and he took Gabrielle's hand for the walk out to his bike.

"Where are we going?"

"Somewhere off campus," he said. They climbed on, and Zack set out. He moved around randomly, trying to pick somewhere, and keeping an eye on his mirrors. The knowledge that Linda was the spy meant that she could be following him around, even listening in on conversations...

The only vehicle he noticed repeatedly was a familiar blue Ford.

That bitch is going to be a real problem.

He finally pulled into the parking lot for KFC.

"This okay with you?" he asked Gabrielle. She answered affirmatively, and he turned the bike off.

"Why the roundabout route?" she asked once she had her helmet off.

"I was looking to see if anyone was following us. Other than Miss Dunham, I mean." He motioned with his eyes, and Gabrielle looked.

"That bitch!" she said heatedly.

"Don't worry. I've almost come up with a way to beat her. I think. C'mon, let's eat."

Zack walked up to the counter and ordered three meals.

"Geez, you are hungry!" she said with a chuckle. Zack just rolled his eyes at her.

"Here you are, sir," the girl behind the counter said, putting their food down. Zack looked around, and saw that there were plenty of clerks to handle the crowd.

"Miss, can I ask you for a favor?"

"What?" the girl replied, frowning and indicating with her tone that she wasn't receptive to doing customers favors.

"See that blue Ford out there?" he asked, pointing.

"Yeah..."

"I'll give you five bucks if you go deliver this meal to the lady sitting in that car."

The cashier gave him a hairy eyeball. "What's the deal?"

"She's a nosy reporter who's been following me around for days. Certainly she needs lunch as badly as we do..."

The girl laughed. "Okay, no charge. That's funny." She smiled at the two, and grabbed the dinner. She whispered something to the clerk next to her, who laughed. Then she went off to deliver the meal.

"Come on," Zack said with a smile, and made his way over to a table where they could clearly see the clerk approach the car. She handed the meal over, and then pointed to the store. Zack saw Lisa Dunham look at him, and he waved to her. She grabbed the meal from the clerk, who started to walk away, unconcerned. The clerk had not made it back inside the store before the blue Ford peeled out down the street.

"Nicely done," Gabrielle said with a chuckle.

"Cheap at the price," he said seriously. "I'm getting tired of her."

"So deal with her!"

"The program doesn't work on her, remember?"

"Ever thought of trying it on her supervising editor?"

Zack snapped upright. "Uh... no, actually, I hadn't."

Gabrielle giggled at him, then she turned serious. "Is she what's been eating at you today?"

"No."

"What, then?"

Zack looked around. No one was close to them, and he didn't see anyone looking in their direction, but he lowered his voice anyway. "Linda is a spy for Adam."

"What?" she exclaimed, too loudly. Zack swiveled his head, but nobody took much notice of her outburst.

Gabrielle got control of herself. "Are you sure? How do you know?"

"Yes, I'm sure. And I know because I have spies of my own."

"Geez, this is getting very cloak-and-dagger... when does the CIA get involved?"

"Shit, I hope never!" he hissed. He took a deep breath. "This isn't funny... Adam seems to be pretty fuckin' serious about this. Gabrielle... you might want to back out now. I don't know just how dangerous he is."

Gabrielle swallowed her bite of chicken and wiped her hands. She looked him dead in the eye and said, "You can't go this alone. You need my help."

"Probably. But I don't want to risk your life over it."

"What about yours?"

"I started it."

"Oh, what horse shit. He started it. We're in this together."

"Okay... but if the fit hits the shan, I want you to bug out."

She smirked at his speech, but she shook her head. "No promises."

Zack sighed heavily. The rest of lunch was pretty quiet.

-----

As the couple made their way back into the building after lunch, Gabrielle said, "We should do something about her over the weekend."

Zack nodded, but didn't speak. He was concerned about that second pin in the map. Gabrielle could still be a spy... but I don't think so. Her mind isn't closed off like Linda's... it could be Lisa, though... Her mind is compartmented... maybe he figured if I found a way around one, I wouldn't find a way around the other? Or maybe it's not Lisa, and there's someone else I have to worry about...

Zack was so absorbed with his thoughts that he actually bumped into Gabrielle when she stopped walking. He looked up, jarred from his reverie, to see a sign on the door of their classroom. She smirked at him, before reading the notice.

Class:

The presentation scheduled for this afternoon has been canceled because the persons who were to give the presentation were called away on an emergency.

Since we are caught up with our work, there is no reason for us to get too far ahead of ourselves. You have the afternoon off. Please be in class at the normal time tomorrow morning.

Mr. Valden

"Well, that's cool, I guess," Gabrielle said.

"Yeah, I suppose, though I wanted to see that presentation. Not that I'd have enjoyed it today..."

"Yeah. Should we work on the Linda problem?"

"We can't. She's working."

"Perhaps tonight?"

"You have to worry about your dorm mother, remember?"

"True." Gabrielle sighed. "Did you make any progress on research for turning off my ability yet?"

"Some. I've had more success expanding my own. Come on, let's go back to my place, and we'll keep working on it."

"Okay."

Zack led her out to his bike, and they made their way to his house.

-----

A couple hours later, Gabrielle was working hard on Zack's computer, and she jumped when he began to rub her shoulders.

"Calm down!" he said with a chuckle. "You're working too hard."

Zack had spent the last couple hours working with his telepathic skills. He'd played around in the mind of his next door neighbor, a cute redhead who was perhaps four hundred feet away, working in her garden. He had noticed some odd things happening as he'd been in her mind, but he didn't know what they meant, and so he wrote them off.

"Sorry," Gabrielle said. "I just got a little focused, and you startled me."

"It's okay," he said, leaning down and wrapping his arms fully around her. He kissed her on the neck. "Did you find anything?"

"Maybe. I found more about what may help us understand what happened to Linda in here, though."

"Oh?"

"Yeah. I was looking to see if there was a way to erect a wall around my telepathy... so nothing could get in, you know? And this does talk about how it may be possible to do that with a person. Of course, they're couching it in the form of hypnosis and brainwashing in these materials..."

"Of course. Mind control isn't possible, after all," he said sarcastically.

"Of course not!" Gabrielle agreed. They both giggled. "Anyway," she continued, "it seems that erecting such a wall can be accomplished, if you can figure out how to script it."

"And therein lies the challenge!" Zack said theatrically. "But you want a door in your wall."

"Why?"

"So you can still use your telepathy when you need it."

"I won't. I hate the damn thing."

"You may find that you've come to rely on it more than you think."

Gabrielle sighed. "Maybe."

Zack rubbed her shoulders. "Find anything else?"

"Not really. I didn't see anything about blasting through walls, or anything."

"Did you see anything about the mind being a maze?"

"Yeah! How did you know?"

"I didn't. Where did you see that?"

Gabrielle thought for a second, then nodded to herself. She picked up the disk and put it in the drive. "It was on here." She let the information load, then found the right spot. "Here it is. Is this important?"

"It could be. Let me in there. By the way, could you take a look at my neighbor? I was rummaging through her head, and I noticed some odd things happening. Could you take a look and see what that's about?"

"Okay. Which way is she?"

Zack pointed. "She's a redhead, if that helps you find her."

"Thanks." Gabrielle went over and lay on the bed, just to give him some room to work. Zack turned to the computer, and was soon lost in his research.

-----

It was another hour before Gabrielle startled Zack out of his reverie by taking his earlobe between her lips and sucking on it. Zack shivered all the way down to his toes as she tongued his ear. He lifted his hand up to hold her head in place for a moment, then he caressed her hair. She let go of his ear, and then he turned his head to kiss her.

"Now who's working too hard?" she asked with a grin.

"Guilty as charged," he replied. "But I found some useful things in here. I'm not yet sure how to apply them to a script, but..."

Gabrielle nodded. "I think we need to take a break."

"Okay." Zack stretched, getting up from his chair to move around a bit. "What, exactly, did you have in mind?" he asked, walking over to her and wrapping his arms around her waist.

She kissed him before answering him, but she said, "I want you to show me more about using the program."

Zack arched his eyebrows. "Like what?"

"I still don't know how to use it on my own, Zack."

He nodded. "Okay... I've been writing up a reference on the script language... that's really all you need for that..."

"But I need to see what a particular script does, so I can get the idea."

Zack sighed audibly. "Well... shit. I can either write a dozen scripts to show you what each thing does, or I can write one massive script that does all of them."

"Why don't you like that second choice?" she asked.

Zack stepped away from her. "Because the only script I know of that needs all of that will turn the person into a total slave."

"Well... you have one of those, don't you? I mean, isn't that what Beverly is?"

Zack turned and shrugged. "Sort of. Not really. If she was a total slave, she wouldn't mind going down on Steph. She still doesn't like it, though she does it without complaint now."

"Well... what about Steph, then?"

Zack shook his head. "She was never a total slave. She is a slave, but most of that now is of her own free will."

"Oh... maybe I don't get what you mean by 'total,' then."

"Imagine someone whose only purpose in getting up every morning was to do what you wanted them to."

Gabrielle's eyes widened. "You can do that?"

Zack nodded. "Sure. It's not really any big deal. But you have to realize that it subverts everything about them. Oh, they still have their personality, but it will be colored by total adoration and submission to their master."

"That could be fun for you..." Gabrielle mused.

Zack smirked. "Uh-huh." He sighed again. "Shit... better to do it this way than to have to find a dozen girls to screw with, without people noticing."

Gabrielle kept her peace; she had a reason for wanting him to do it this way.

-----

Since there would be others involved, Zack borrowed his mother's car when she got home. He and Gabrielle drove back to the campus, figuring it was the easiest place to work; the people there were so mobile that anyone's disappearance for an afternoon, or even a whole night, wouldn't be unduly noticed.

They wandered around for a while, trying to figure out who to 'take.' Zack finally let his mouth ask the question that had been plaguing his mind.

"Why do you want me to do this? It's not the easiest way for you to learn."

"I'm not sure I know what you mean," she replied, lying.

"If what you want to see is the effect of each different command, then it would be more learning-friendly if I did one command to each person."

"That could be, what, thirty people or more?"

"A lot more."

"Then that's not terribly realistic. And would take too long."

"True, but..."

Gabrielle sighed. "Okay, okay. There is at least one guy back home that is really cute, but he's always been an asshole to me. I want to see what this would do to him. Maybe I'll... 'modify' him when I get home."

Zack arched his eyebrows, but couldn't say anything. That was, after all, exactly how he'd started out. He sighed, and thought about it. He didn't pay much attention to where they were walking. When he looked up, the were walking by Harding Hall, one of the girls' dorms.

Why is that important... Of course!

"Can I have your notebook for a minute?" he asked. She had brought her book bag with her so that they would have something to carry the equipment in, just in case they needed it. She reached in and got her notebook.

Zack had never bothered to remove this page from her notebook... he'd not known whether or not he was ever going to use it. He saw it there: Harding Hall, room 215. He motioned Gabrielle over to it, and they walked in.

No one questioned them as they climbed the stairs to the second floor, and began to look around. They found room 215 without difficulty, and knocked on the door.

The girl that answered the door was not the person they were expecting.

"Yeah?" said the girl, not impolitely.

"Excuse me," Zack said. "I'm looking for Jill."

"She's in the library. Studying."

"Oh. Do you know where in the library? It's kind of important that I speak to her."

"She usually goes to the third floor lounge."

"Thank you very much," he said. The girl nodded and closed the door.

"Makes sense. The third floor lounge is almost always empty."

"That could be useful."

"Uh... yeah."

-----

Zack and Gabrielle took the elevator up to the third floor of the library, and looked around. The third floor was mostly microfiche archives, and almost no one came up here. It was a good place to study; Zack would have to keep it in mind for the future.

The couple walked over to the lounge, an area that was enclosed by bookshelves used to hold decoration rather than books. Sure enough, they found Jill sitting at a table, diligently working through her textbook.

Zack kept his voice quiet, so as not to startle her, though he thought surely she'd heard them get off the elevator.

"Jill?" he called.

Jill jumped, anyway, though only slightly. Her head came up to see who was interrupting her, and then she blushed, and grinned.

"Hi," she said softly.

"So you do remember me," he said.

"How could I forget?" she replied.

Zack walked over and sat down across from her. Gabrielle stayed at the entrance to the pseudo-room.

"I've been thinking about you," she said.

"Oh?" Zack queried.

Jill nodded.

"Is that good or bad?" he asked.

"Depends on whether or not you want to get laid, I suppose," she said with a mischievous grin.

Zack blushed. "That could be good. First, though, I have something I need to show you."

"Ooooh," she replied seductively.

"Not that," he said.

"Aww," she pouted.

"Well... in a minute."

She perked back up. Zack found it amusing, and wondered if she was a highly sexual person. He took out his PDA, and brought up the necessary script. Gabrielle had moved over when he pulled it out, and was looking over his shoulder. He turned his head and explained what he was doing.

"Just like anything else. You pick the script that you need. It doesn't run any differently."

"Okay."

Zack slid the PDA across the table to Jill. "Just press the "Execute" button."

Jill reached out and hesitated for only a second before jabbing her finger onto the button. The sound of Program Alpha Omega reached both Zack and Gabrielle, but both of them were immune to it at this point.

"Are you programming in a code for her?" Gabrielle asked quietly.

"Yeah," he said. "But even she doesn't know what it is. Only I do."

"So she couldn't get herself de-programmed by someone else."

"Right."

"Nifty."

They both waited quietly while the script finished up, and then Jill raised her hand to her shoulder, dragged it sensually across to her other shoulder, diagonally down across her chest to her abdomen, and then across her stomach, making a perfect "Z"... and tenting Zack's pants just from watching her do it.

"What the hell was that?" Gabrielle wanted to know.

Zack chuckled. "My first verification move. I still use it on this particular script. You... um... might want to watch the door now."

"Okay," Gabrielle said, shaking her head as she walked away.

"Master? How may I serve you?"

"Lift up your shirt and show me your tits." He could tell she wasn't wearing a bra, because her nipples were trying to tear holes in her shirt.

Jill lifted her shirt without hesitation, exposing her nice chest to his view. Zack nodded appreciatively at them, and then stood up. He walked over to where she was sitting, and had her scoot her chair back slightly. He unfastened his pants, and pulled his pants and briefs down off his hips. He hopped up onto the table, and made himself comfortable.

"You were so good at it last time, why don't you give me another blowjob?"

"Yes, Master!" Jill said enthusiastically. She pulled her chair closer again, and ran her hands over her master's thighs, reaching for his hard cock. Her fingers encircled his prick, and she stroked him a couple of times as she leaned forward. Her tongue slipped out to slide over the head of his dick, causing him to moan quietly.

Jill moved her tongue down along the side of his shaft, licking him all the way, and then she moved back up the other side. She swirled her tongue around the head again, and then she opened her lips and let her head descend, taking his cock slowly into her mouth. Zack closed his eyes and put his hands on the back of her head, just enjoying the feel of her mouth on his shaft.

Jill descended on Zack's cock until her nose was resting in his pubic hair. Then she began to bob up and down rapidly, using her tongue and lips to arouse her master. She sucked on him hard, trying to draw the cum from his balls. Zack grunted, knowing he couldn't last long with this kind of treatment.

Jill kept up her wonderful onslaught, and it wasn't long before Zack grunted one more time, and let loose a torrent of cum that filled her mouth and leaked out the corners. She swallowed as fast as she could, and kept sucking until his climax was fully past. She licked his cock clean, making sure to get all the juices off it, and then she let it out of her mouth.

Zack was trying to catch his breath, but he was recovering fast. "Stand up," he said to her. Jill did so immediately, pushing her chair back out of the way.

"Take off your clothes."

Jill looked to Gabrielle, but she was making sure that someone was watching the door, not hesitating. She stripped her outfit in seconds, leaving her before Zack completely nude. Zack looked her over, his cock already beginning to stiffen again at the sight of her body.

Zack motioned her closer to him, and then he took hold of her arms, pulling her even closer. Finally, she got the idea, and climbed up onto the table with him, sitting in his lap, straddling his legs.

"If you get me off one more time, I'll give you a treat tonight when we get home."

Jill's eyes lit up brightly, and she kissed him passionately. She reached down between them and fondled his cock, quickly bringing it back to total hardness. She lifted herself up, and then thrust herself back down, impaling herself in one swift motion onto his prick. Zack gasped at the feel of her tight cunt wrapped around his rod, and she screamed into his mouth at the sudden feeling of being full.

Jill didn't stop, though. She began to buck on his shaft, rising up and slamming down onto him just as fast as she could go. They kept their lips locked, to muffle their grunts and screams as they fucked each other rabidly on the table.

It wasn't long before Zack could feel the cum boiling in his balls, and he knew he was getting close to coming again. Jill's pussy was squeezing and massaging his dick for all she was worth, and it was just more pleasure than he could stand. He began to buck his hips up into her, and that only drove her wilder. Her gyrations grew to be too much, and he put his hands on her hips and slammed her down onto his cock, fully impaling her and holding her there while his prick gushed its load deep into her. At the first feel of her master's cum, Jill lost it, screaming out her orgasm into his mouth, still plastered to hers.

For long moments, the pair rocked on the table, letting their passions subside. Once she was coherent again, Zack had Jill move off him and get dressed. He was about to reach down and pull his pants up when Jill leaned down and started licking him clean. He let her do her job, and then he pulled up his pants, sliding off the table to stand up.

"Very good, Jill. Remind me that I owe you a treat tonight."

"Yes, Master!" she gushed.

"In public, you need to call me Zack," he told her. She nodded, but frowned slightly as she tried to integrate that into her thinking. He let her handle that herself as he turned to Gabrielle.

"Get the idea?"

"Not yet, but as I watch her, I think I'll figure it out."

"Okay. Now what do you want to do?"

-----

Gabrielle, Jill and Zack spent a couple more hours together, before Gabrielle decided to call it an evening. Zack took her back to her dorm room, where he kissed her passionately. She told him she'd see him the next day, and then they parted.

Zack then had to walk Jill back to her room so she could gather some stuff. Dealing with her roommate might be interesting, he thought. He thought he might need to use PAO on her... though he had no interest in her. She had simply not attracted him when he'd seen her.

Luckily, however, she was not in the room when they got there. Jill gathered up some things and put them in her suitcase. She put all her schoolwork in her book bag, and then she wrote her roommate a note, telling her that she was in the process of moving out, but that Jill wasn't going to inform the school, so she would have the room to herself for the rest of the summer.

As they were walking out of the dorm, Jill waved at someone. Zack turned to see who it was, and was shocked to see Angela coming toward them. Her bright red hair certainly announced her presence, even in the twilight. Zack set down Jill's book bag as Angela approached.

"Hey, you two. Where you off to? You look like you're moving out."

"I am. I'm moving in with Zack," Jill said cheerily. Angela looked at her in surprise. She was even more shocked when she said, "Hey, maybe you should come, too!" Jill turned to look at her master for approval.

"I'm game," Zack said with a smile. He remembered his time with Angela fondly. Though Courtney had been more aggressive, Angela had been the better lover. Angela also remembered their time together, as she blushed.

"I..."

Zack reached out and gently wrapped his hands around her waist, pulling her against him. He kissed her hotly, and she responded immediately. When his hand caressed her tit, she moaned.

Zack broke their kiss and let his lips trail across her cheek until he was sucking on her earlobe. Angela gasped at the sensation; her ears were very sensitive. He continued to tongue her ear as he groped her breast. Angela was soon writhing in his touch. It wasn't long before she let out a squeak, strangling the cry of passion that wanted to escape as her body was seized by a small orgasm. She shuddered in his grasp until it finally passed.

"Oh... shit," she said breathlessly.

"Sure you don't want to come...again?" Zack asked with a wicked grin.

"Okay," she said. "I'll join you." Zack knew she was still under the effect of the program; he was surprised she'd needed any prompting at all. Then he realized that the script he'd used on her was pretty weak.

I wonder, though, how much this stuff fades with time...

He would worry himself about it later. Right now, he had another girl to pack up.

∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼∼≈≡≈∼∼

"Uh... Zack, who's she?"

"You don't remember Angela?"

"Oh! Shit, from last week."

"Right. She lives here now."

"Along with..."

"Yeah, Jill, too. They're sharing a room."

Angela wasn't wearing very much at the moment; just a t-shirt and panties. She got up off the bed and walked over to Zack as they came in.

"Hey," she said softly.

"Hey, Ang. You want to go study in your room? We're going to have to talk about stuff... it would probably disturb you."

"Okay." She kissed him deeply before she grabbed up her stuff and headed out of the room.

"You're very popular these days," Gabrielle said with a smirk.

"Jealous?"

"Envious is the proper word."

Zack walked over and kissed her. She pressed herself against him and kissed back, but then she slipped away from him.

"We need to deal with Linda."

"I know."

"Tonight."

"Why? Why not tomorrow?"

"Because the longer we wait, the worse it could be. Have you dealt with Miss Dunham yet?"

"I've been a little busy..." he said.

"Uh-huh. You need to handle that ASAP, too."

"Okay, okay. Look... I'll call Linda and set up something... what do you think?"

"Just ask her to come over."

"And the girls?"

"Tell her your sister's having a slumber party."

"I don't have a sister."

"Tell her your cousin's in town and is having a slumber party."

"Okay, she'll buy that, probably... at least for as long as it's going to matter..."

"Right. It doesn't have to stand up to scrutiny. It just needs to get her in the room."

"Wait a minute... what are we going to do once we get her here? I still don't have a script that I'm sure will break through her defenses..."

"If nothing else, we can use the old-fashioned way on her."

"Old-fashioned..."

"We can beat it out of her," Gabrielle said. Zack paled. "Oh, come on. This is dangerous shit. Get with the program!"

"And you used to be so quiet," Zack mused.

"That was before I trusted you."

"Uh-huh," he responded dubiously. "I'll go call Linda."

-----

"Geez, Zack, this place is huge," Linda said. Zack had to control himself now; he knew she was an enemy, but he had to pretend she was a friend.

"Yeah, it serves its purpose," he said nonchalantly.

"What's with the teenie-boppers?" she asked with some distaste. Some of the girls were not wearing a whole lot of clothing. Zack's mother had asked him about them, but his answer had been good enough for her. Even the more conservative girls seemed to be getting into the spirit; Wendy was dressed in her nightshirt already.

"My cousin's having a sleepover here."

"Oh. Well... what did you want me for?" she asked, her voice dropping into seductive tones.

"C'mon upstairs, and I'll show you," he said, his voice implying the same thing hers was. She smiled coyly at him, and followed him through the house.

It was only when they entered the room that she got a clue that something wasn't right. Gabrielle was standing there.

"Uh, Zack, I don't do threesomes... Especially not with..."

Zack backhanded her before she could say something insulting. She lost her balance and landed on the bed. Gabrielle closed the door.

"Okay, Sweetie," Zack said, his voice clearly indicating anger, "we're going to try to do this the easy way."

Zack pulled out his PDA, but Linda immediately squeezed her eyes shut.

"Oh, so you think that's going to work, do you? I think I should warn you that Gabrielle here is a lot meaner than I am. Now, you can either watch this, or she will start doing very unpleasant things to your fingers."

Gabrielle took hold of one of Linda's fingers and moved it in a way that caused extreme pain. Linda screamed out, and in her pain, opened her eyes. This was precisely what Zack was waiting for, and had his PDA right in front of her. He pressed the button at just the right moment, and her mind was grabbed. Zack held it in place as her mind was assaulted by a rude and very forceful script. He had put this together in class, actually, and he was worried that it wouldn't work.

After the program had run its course, Linda shrugged three times.

"Does that mean it worked?" Gabrielle asked.

"I don't know. It could just mean that someone is very, very clever. Do you want to try to go into her mind, and see what happens? Or do you think that would be too dangerous?"

"No, I'll try it."

"Okay. Be careful."

Gabrielle sat next to the girl, who gave no resistance at all. In fact, she wasn't even moving, beyond her necessary life functions. Zack pulled a chair over, and set her down in it. He waited while Gabrielle probed, staying close to her just in case.

After a couple minutes, Gabrielle opened her eyes. "The wall is still there... sort of... I mean, I can get past it, it's cracked open in places. The defenses are there, but they've got too many places to guard now, and it's too weak to be a hindrance. I think... I don't know, I'm guessing here... that maybe that defense is normal... but usually it has such a wide area to defend that it can't fight back effectively. With that damned wall, her normal defense could focus on one spot at a time. Hell, I don't know. All I know is it's easy to get in now."

"Okay." He handed her a soda, and then focused on Linda.

"Who do you work for?" he asked, just to get the ball rolling.

"I work for the campus bookstore," she said, her voice dead, monotone.

"Who else do you work for?" he asked.

"I... work... for..." she struggled with the thought, whether trying to bring up a buried memory, or fighting not to tell him, he didn't know. "...Adam... Sandalwood..." she finally said through gritted teeth.

"Thank you. What was your assignment from Mr. Sandalwood?"

"To keep an eye on you," she said much more easily.

To Gabrielle, Zack said, "So, he buried his identity pretty deeply, but not her mission? That seems odd..."

"Very."

Turning back, he asked Linda, "How many times have you reported to Adam?"

"On each occasion of our meeting," she replied. That was so out of character for her pattern of speech, he knew it had to be a command she'd been given.

"What have you told him? I want you to be very specific."

For the next ten minutes, Linda gave him a word-for-word account of everything she'd ever told Adam concerning Zack. Zack was mildly mortified at the information she'd been feeding back to his enemy.

Enemy? Or competitor? No, hell, I don't want to take over anywhere! I just want to have some fun!

He looked at Linda, and asked, "How many people does Adam have spying on me?"

Linda closed her mouth, and kept it closed. Zack slapped her, to get her attention.

"I asked you a question."

Linda simply refused to speak.

"Okay, we can do it the other way."

Zack leaned against the desk and closed his eyes. He made his way quickly into the part of his mind that allowed him to access his telepathy. He made his way swiftly over into Linda's mind, seeing now what Gabrielle had meant about how easy it was to penetrate. He rummaged her mind, but jumped when he found another presence there with him.

<Shit, Gabrielle! You could have warned me!>

<Sorry. It didn't occur to me to join you until you were already inside. I want you to try something for me.>

<What?>

<Tell her to do something.>

<Such as?>

<Anything... just don't try to breach the barrier that Adam has obviously put in her mind... tell her to jump up and down or something. Something she wouldn't normally do... maybe make her sing "I'm a Little Tea Pot," or something stupid.>

<O...kay...>

Zack thought for a minute, and then he said into Linda's mind, <Linda, go do a handstand in the corner!>

Zack was shocked when he sensed Linda rising from her chair.

Zack pulled out of her mind quickly, and opened his eyes. He was astonished to see her standing in the corner. She bent over and put her hands on the floor, then lifted herself into the air, standing on her hands.

"What the fuck?" Zack said.

"There's something very unique about your telepathy. It's suggestive."

"Huh?"

"People who aren't used to telepathic communication are likely to do what you tell them to. Assuming they don't have any major objection to it. I don't know how strong your suggestiveness is."

"You mean... I have mind control powers... in my head?"

"To some small degree, yes."

"How did you-?"

"The redhead next door. You were doing things to her without even knowing it. It shows up in her mind."

"Oh. Oops."

"Don't worry, you didn't make her do anything crazy."

"Can we use this to get her to answer us?"

"That I don't know. Her programming is pretty damned strong."

"Maybe I could just rummage around in her head and find what I need to know."

"You can try."

"Okay. Linda! Get back in your damn chair!"

Linda slowly eased out of her handstand, and moved back to the chair.

"Maybe it's just me..." he said.

"No. You didn't tell her to stay there, so she had no reason to disobey you now."

"Oh. Okay."

Zack closed his eyes, and went back in.

-----

An hour later, and Zack had a splitting headache. He had already downed three Tylenol and a soda. Linda sat in her chair, unmoving and silent. Gabrielle kept an eye on Zack with some concern.

"You pushed yourself too hard."

"I needed to know what she knew."

"Did you find out anything?"

"Yes. There's one other spy here, but she doesn't know who it is. Adam is keeping close tabs on me, and trying to track my every movement electronically. He is looking to control at least the country, if not more. This guy's just sick."

Gabrielle nodded. "Yeah, one small town is enough, isn't it?" she said.

Zack gave her a dirty look. "I don't want to run the town. I just want to have some fun here."

"True enough," she conceded. "But you're willing to break the rules... and even the law... when you need to."

Zack had told her already how he obtained the things he had. He nodded. "True, I suppose. I guess it's a matter of degree... but he's going way too far."

"Agreed. He's dangerous."

"We have to do something with her."

"I have an idea on that."

"What?"

Gabrielle pulled out her own PDA. "Writing scripts on this thing is a pain in the fucking ass, by the way."

"I'll see if I can get you a programmer," Zack said with a smirk.

"Anyway, I want to try this."

"All right," he said, not thinking to ask what she was going to do to Linda. He didn't really care that much, did he?

Gabrielle put the PDA in front of Linda, and pressed Execute. The machine flashed, and then it stopped. Gabrielle put it away.

"What the hell?" Zack asked.

"Remember, we were wondering what happens if you cancel the programming right after it grabs them? Well, now we know."

"But she looks the same."

"True. I think we need to look into her mind... I'll look into her mind. You're tired."

Five minutes later, Gabrielle was very pale.

"What?" Zack nearly screamed.

"She's... trapped."

"What do you mean, trapped?"

"The program rebuilt the wall... but... it's not to keep us out... it's to keep her in. It's like it doesn't want the mind shifting while it reprograms it, and so it freezes it into place... well, since it didn't unfreeze it... she's... stuck."

"Well, we need to fix that!" he said, pulling out his own PDA. He brought up a basic relaxation script, and readied it to run. Gabrielle said nothing, though there was a frown firmly fixed to her face.

Zack let the program run its course, but there was no verification maneuver, and she did not relax as most people would have. She remained a statue in the chair, her body taking care of necessary activities, but her brain was barely ticking over.

"Oh, shit," Zack said, stepping away from her and reaching back for the desk to steady himself. "Oh... shit."

"She's beyond our reach."

"We just killed somebody."

"No," Gabrielle said forcefully. "She's not dead. She's perfectly alive in there. She just can't get out."

Zack looked at her. "That's worse than being dead."

She nodded in agreement.

"We can't be associated with this. We have to do something."

"I know. We need to take her somewhere and leave her where she'll be discovered in the morning."

"Dorm room?"

"No. There are security cameras there. We'd be seen."

Zack thought hard. "The quad."

"Yes! I've looked around. If there are cameras there, they are damned well hidden."

Zack nodded. "I'll go get the car."

-----

Another hour later, and Zack was coming in the front door. He and Gabrielle had dropped Linda's body off on a bench in the quadrangle, and then he had walked Gabrielle back to her dorm room. They had necked for a while, but that had been strictly stress relief; neither of them was in the mood for sex.

Zack said hi to those who were in the room, but he walked through with little notice. Wendy followed him, and she came into his bedroom just as he picked up the phone and dialed.

Before she could ask him what was wrong - the look on his face made it clear something was wrong - he held up a finger to indicate he would answer her in a minute.

Zack waited for three interminable rings before the phone was answered.

"Hello?" the voice said.

"This is Omega," he replied, rather conspiratorially.

The voice on the other end was much more alert now. "Yes?"

"Execute Plan One."

"Yes, Master."

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