S.I.N. (multi-author series)
by Ashlynn Monroe
eBook ISBN: 06452-02074
Aryn is already being punished for her fantasy, so she decides to follow Jazmyn’s advice. This illegal act can only be experienced in one place, and Jazmyn knows just where Aryn needs to go — S.I.N. Socially Inappropriate Networking is an underground program Jazmyn loves. Aryn only hopes she has the courage to make her cybersex dreams a reality.
Aryn lounged on a pristine beach, the sound of the surf and the warmth of the sun leaving her feeling relaxed and at peace with the universe. She sighed and leaned back against a palm tree. A light breeze stirred her hair and slid across her skin like a caress. Everything was perfect.
“Aryn.Black@peoplemail.com: Hurry, hurry, hurry, down to Jimmy Chow’s house of beauty! We have everything a girl needs to enjoy the summer sun. Buy one, get one free on all summer essentials!” a male avatar, wearing swimming trunks, screeched. He appeared in front of her, disrupting the picturesque stillness. Aryn gave a short, surprised gasp and jerked awake.
“Damn dream-spammers,” she muttered as she sat up and swung her legs over the side of her bed. It was five in the morning and she knew there was no point in trying to go back to sleep now. She’d have her system checked out by her favorite IT hunk at work. She’d been having some glitch activities with her People Wide Web lately, and she really needed a full scan. She knew Jamar was usually the first one in at the office, so she’d use the unpleasant wake-up call to have him check her out while she checked him out. She just hoped her privacy filter wasn’t on the fritz too.
Yawning, she stretched and walked into the bathroom to get ready for the day. “Shower, Del-1-4-0-7,” she said loudly. The interactive features on this new apartment totally made the ridiculous rent worthwhile. The water began to flow. She ran a comb through her hair and grabbed her loofa before stepping inside the small stall. The wet heat sprayed over her skin and the massaging droplets hit her perfectly. Aryn closed her eyes and sighed. She’d set all the personal settings to her taste when she’d moved in last month.
When the timer shut off, Aryn put on her sexiest office appropriate dress. Her pale skin didn’t look good with too much make up, so she just applied a little mauve lipstick and mascara. Then she put a curvy line of kohl eyeliner under each of her almond shaped eyes. Satisfied with her face, she ran a comb through her long hair before twisting the chestnut colored mass into a knot. She gave herself a final appraisal and made a speculative humming sound. She didn’t have much to work with. Plain brown eyes, and around thirty too many pounds on her ridiculously short frame. She wasn’t eligible for hot status — maybe cute, but she’d never be the kind of woman other women envied. She was just boring, with a responsible streak that annoyed her friends.
Sighing, Aryn stepped away from the mirror while touching the panel next to the bathroom door. The fog on the mirror evaporated and she watched a tiny squeegee sliding in the sink and another rolling down the shower door. She was finished in the bathroom. This was as good as she could make herself appear. Today she wanted to look nice if she was going to be fondled… err, repaired by her fantasy hunk. She grabbed her bag and keys off the dresser.
The murky grey dawn was giving way to a brighter pink hue as she stepped outside and touched the panel on the right to lock her front door. Rushing down the steps, she managed to catch the commuter train just in time. Private transportation was considered too wasteful, and with the anti-pollution laws of 2078, the tax on owning any sort of motorized vehicle made them something only the wealthy could enjoy.
Her ride to work only took fifteen minutes. She waited with the other people getting off on her street. A chain of office workers shuffled towards the exit and she took her place with them. Aryn blinked as the bright morning sun hit her eyes. The doors gave a subtle swoosh as they closed behind her. Using her hand to shield her face, she looked up at the row of tall, skinny towers. The glare was too much for her eyes.
“Dim,” she said, and her vision adjusted.
She worked on the seventeenth floor of Marcus Enterprises, programming data into biometric devices. These days everything ran off biometric sensors, just like her door panel. Sure all the parts came from overseas, but for safety reasons her company chose US programmers to do her job. She worked long hours, but the pay was excellent. Decent jobs were scarce. With the population living longer than ever, a girl almost had to be an ambulance chaser when job-hunting.
She touched the elevator panel. “Black, Aryn, clearance yellow, floors one, six, seventeen authorized. Enter,” the electronic voice instructed. The doors opened and she stepped inside.
“Seventeen.” The car moved swiftly to her floor, opening to Marcus Enterprises’ brightly painted lobby. The shiny chrome floor and furniture sparkled as the sun streamed in from the huge windows lining the exterior wall from floor to ceiling.
She crossed to the admittance panel and the wall slid open as it registered her security clearance. She walked down several tight corridors until she found Jamar’s office. Aryn tapped lightly in an old-fashioned gesture of politeness. Few people knocked anymore, but she’d been raised to follow the old courtesies.
Jamar smiled, his hands pausing on the large glass screen taking up the majority of his desktop. She wanted to melt right into the floor. He was so incredibly hot, and looking at him made her giggle nervously. Aryn bit her lip, fidgeting.
“Is there an equipment issue?” He looked curious, nothing more, but she wished he’d throw her down on his desk to fuck her until she couldn’t walk. It was so hard to find a partner willing to have physical sex these days. Too many people ended up on pay-for porn sites that way. Eye cameras had really taken the intimacy out of relationships. If the person who propositioned you didn’t record you and sell the image, then it was highly possibly a hacker would record off one or both of you.
“Well, not really. It’s me. I’ve been on my technologist’s waiting list for weeks and the malfunctions I’m experiencing are getting to be ridiculous. I haven’t had a good night’s sleep since the issues began.”
He frowned. “Mmm, dream spammers, right?”
“They’ve been awful. I’ve noticed my spending increasing and it seems like every time I’m having any sort of pleasant dream they show up. I’d love to just go to sleep without anyone in my head.”
He grunted, but she couldn’t tell if it was with understanding or annoyance. “Did you do the MELA upgrade? The 3.0 was flawed.”
“Is that what started this? Geez, I wish I’d known that, but every time I ate anything I was warned that if I didn’t upgrade, my digestion calibrator could be at risk. I gave in and ran the upgrade. I usually wait until at least a month after these things are released, but this one frightened me into installing it the first week.”
He grinned. “Those government programmers are getting a bit tricky. They’ve figured out no one wants to be first, so they make the warnings dire now. No worries. I’ll have you fixed in a few minutes. Let me call my buddy. He’s from the ninth floor, so it’ll take him a sec to get here. He helped with my MELA fix and I’m sure he’d love to show off.”
Jamar’s fingers flew across his touch panel for a second before he looked up at her again. “He’s on his way. Please sit down, Aryn.” He indicated the uncomfortable looking chair across from his desk.
She sat. “So, have you been following the trial of the guy who thought about robbing the convenience store last year?”
Jamar looked up but didn’t reply.
She continued, nervously trying to make interesting conversation. “They’ve had a forensics team working on his thoughts for months. I heard they’ve found out he had a big obsession over planning robberies. It’s a good thing they scan for those kinds of things, or he’d probably have actually gone through with it.”
Jamar looked up again. “The guy didn’t actually rob the store. He just thought about it. I think it’s a bunch of bullshit.”
Aryn bit her lip. His eyes blazed with an intensity she wasn’t accustomed to seeing on another person’s face. She looked away. “I guess,” she mumbled, regretting her choice of the sensationalized topic. They sat quietly for a moment. Then he began typing on the touch screen again.
Watching Jamar was a treat. He worked out, she could tell. His dark skin contrasted nicely against his perfectly pressed white cotton. The tight, button-down dress shirt couldn’t hide his amazing bod. She’d love to unbutton that shirt. Jamar had strong features and thick black hair. She’d pay good money to run her fingers in all that curly mass.
She felt awkward. He seemed a bit offended by the earlier conversation. She didn’t know him that well, so she should’ve kept the conversation light. His fingers flew over the touch screen as he worked. A three dimensional image of one of the newer biotech prototypes displayed in the dim light of the room and she marveled as it morphed before her eyes. He was fast. She’d never seen someone program so quickly.
There was a sound near the doorway, and he looked up, his fingers pausing. She turned, following Jamar’s gaze. Hot. The newcomer was almost as sexy as Jamar. He looked equally fit. She’d never seen such broad shoulders before. This man’s soft blond hair and bright blue eyes made her feel a quick flash of lust. Sitting in the same room with these delicious males was better than a strong cup of coffee to start the day. She was almost glad her tech wasn’t working.
Blondie stuck out his hand, and she shook it.
“Hi. I’m Tossh.”
“Hello Tossh. I’m Aryn,” she whispered shyly.
His voice was as fantastic as the rest of him. Aryn could feel heat rising to her cheeks. She felt her panties grow damp. They’d both have to touch her, even if it was just for a few moments.
“Okay, let’s fix you up,” Jamar said, giving her a small smile. His fingers worked and the image hanging over his desk stilled, and she saw the save icon flash across it. Then the prototype disappeared. Jamar began typing again and Tossh looked at the panel with interest.
“Mmm, what do you think?” Jamar asked.
“Let’s get a complete diagnostic,” Tossh replied.
Jamar stood and the men came over. The manly eye-candy crowded her deliciously. Her body was alive with need. She swallowed.
Jamar pressed on the touch panel. “Do you, Aryn Black, declare you’ve come here of your own free will and release us from all liability of personal contact? Do you allow us to touch your ports?”
The legal jargon suddenly felt like dirty talk. She tried not to chuckle. Aryn’s mouth went dry. “Yes,” she answered. Her voice sounded husky so she cleared her throat in embarrassment. Jamar gently pushed her forward, as Tossh moved her hair off her neck. Aryn flinched, not because it hurt, but because her improper thoughts had left her body hypersensitive.
“Does that hurt?” Tossh asked quickly.
“No, sorry. I — sorry.” She could feel the heat of her cheeks intensify. Tossh gave her a friendly smile, but she looked away, unable to meet his eyes. The realization these men would be looking into her mind made her regret her uncensored lust. She could be fired for sexual harassment if they saw what she was thinking. She quickly tried to make her mind go blank. It wasn’t working. Potato. Shoe. Cat. She thought of random things — anything but how much she wanted them to keep touching her.
She felt Jamar hook the cable from his workstation into the port at the back of her neck. She jumped when the typical jolt of a data transfer began. The sensation was something she’d never gotten used to. Chair. Table. Orange. She prayed she’d stopped herself in time.
Tossh took her wrist in his hands gently, taking her pulse. “You don’t look so great,” he told her as she glanced up at him frowning. “If this is something physical and not just tech you should see a medical doctor and not your technologist.”
“Thanks,” she muttered while looking at the floor, and trying not to focus on how warm his skin felt against hers.
“Done,” Jamar said. Tossh let go of her arm and she had to catch herself from groaning with disappointment. They both began working at the touch panel again. She sat patiently.
Tossh chuckled. “Oh MELA, you naughty girl you, messing with the settings again, I see. Good news Aryn, I can fix this really quickly. It’s fantastic Jamar called me down here.” He looked at the other man and grinned. “Often technologists will miss this because it’s so ridiculously simple. Can I sit down?”
Jamar stood and Tossh took his place. Aryn watched the blond’s long, sexy fingers manipulating the touch screen with incredible grace. She wondered if he’d ever handled a woman’s body, and if so, had his fingers moved as proficiently? She wished these two hunk-o-rific men would take turns “re-programming” her body. Would she find their “tools” to her liking? Aryn almost groaned, and tried not to think dirty thoughts — she’d never been great at censoring herself.
Tossh gave Jamar a quick look. The men grinned. She could feel the heat of a blush creeping up her chest and neck to burn in her cheeks. What if they’d seen how filthy her mind was? Raspberry. Map. Shopping. Nothing was helping her dispel the erotic image of them stripping off their clothing for her in a slow seductive way. She really wished her best friend, Jazmyn, would stop sending her all the sexy videos because her mind was too easily corrupted. She hadn’t had a man in her life, giving her regular sex, for almost a year.
“Lean forward, please,” Jamar, asked.
She did, and then she felt him unhooking her. His fingers skimmed over the back of her neck for a moment. The pleasurable contact was so brief she wondered if she’d imagined his hands lingering on her skin. Human contact. She missed a man’s touch on her body so much.
Since the Recreation for Procreation laws were enacted a few years ago, most people wouldn’t have sex outside of marriage. If you wanted to cohabitate, the paperwork was so horrendous it was easier to just masturbate. Casual sex was becoming outdated. Aryn sighed. She wasn’t a slut, but she did enjoy sex. It was a shame that freedom was dying to the sound of the mass’s thunderous applause. People believed the statistics about dropping STD and unwed pregnancy rates, but the majority of people seemed to forget, nothing comes without a price.
Maybe Jamar was right about the want-to-be robber. Thoughts weren’t actions, until the deed was done. Aryn was so lost in her contemplation that she jumped when Jamar touched her shoulder lightly.
“You should be good to go. I’m glad you stopped by. It was nice to see you.”
She smiled shyly at him, hoping he had no idea how “nice” she thought it was to see him too.
“Later,” Tossh said as he gave them a quick wave and left.
“So that’s it?” she asked, slightly disappointed.
“Yes. You’re all set. You should sleep like a baby. Wait, those marketing masterminds go after babies too. You should sleep like they know your bank account is empty.”
Aryn chuckled. Jamar was cute and funny. Too bad company policy prohibited interoffice dating. She held out her hand, another of her old-fashioned courtesies, and he took it. She felt him squeeze her palm affectionately. This time she knew she wasn’t imagining the lingering connection. When he let go, she felt a moment of bereavement.
The office was quiet, and she went right to her desk. It was still a little early, but there was no place else for her to go, so she sat down. Aryn logged into her workstation and gave it a quick swipe with a cleaning cloth.
“Good. Morning. Aryn,” the choppy automated voice said.
“Good morning Sasha,” she replied. She’d given the female voice a nickname and it helped with her security. If someone hacked her password, but didn’t refer to the screen as Sasha, it would immediately shut down until she and her supervisor input their passwords.
“You have no meetings, and you need to do twenty units to stay on goal today,” said the computer.
“Thank you Sasha.” Twenty was a lot. She’d only managed to do twelve yesterday, because of the exhaustion. She’d be skipping her paid lunch to catch up.
Aryn got to work right away, off the clock. She needed to keep her productivity high. Old man Reilly was firing again. He went in cycles of hiring and firing to keep the place productive. No one slacked during a firing spree. Her fingers moved rapidly.
People started pouring in. The hum of many quiet conversations didn’t break her concentration. She glanced at Sasha’s clock. Almost ten. She’d been working three hours. Aryn paused and stretched.
“Hey, you,” Jaemie said cheerfully.
Aryn gave the older woman a quick smile before getting back to work.
“Don’t stress so much. I just saw a job opening go out. I think he’s culled the herd to his satisfaction,” Jaemie’s warm voice held an amused tone. She was certainly in a good mood.
“Thanks.” Aryn kept working.
“Leave your work station for your allotted rest period,” Sasha ordered.
“Override shut down Black-7-1-1-9,” she whispered. She wasn’t taking any chances on losing her job. Sasha didn’t make her take lunch so she kept right on programming.
There was a loud alert beep. “New. Meeting. Immediately. Room 1-0-5,” Sasha said.
Her boss wanting to see her was never a good thing. Aryn stood and locked her screen. Usually being called into the old man’s office ended with being escorted out by the security guard. Aryn bit her lip. She grabbed her purse and headed for her doom — meeting.
When she knocked lightly, Reilly glanced up from his workstation and wiggled his fingers, motioning her in. “I like that you knock. Your work has always been excellent. You aren’t here to make friends. You’re here for the paycheck. Frankly, I find you refreshing Ms. Black. Too many of your generation are… lazy. That is why this has left me very conflicted,” he rushed the words out, then paused.
She didn’t know what to say or what he was talking about. She sat with her mouth slightly open trying to find words. She wanted to defend herself, but she didn’t know what the charges where. This sounded like a “you’re fired” speech, not a “keep up the good work” one. Reilly never told anyone to “keep up the good work.”
“It has come to my attention that Human Resouces found inappropriate thoughts coming from you early this morning, Aryn. You were in the building a full hour before you shift.” He cleared his throat. “You were thinking about sexual relations with not one, but two men in this building.”
Aryn’s cheeks burned miserably as the flush crept up her chest and neck to settle there. The old man looked at her with a combination of shock and sympathy, which made it worse. Those were her private thoughts, but with the broken filter, they’d gone public. She wanted to die. How many people had seen her lust? It wouldn’t take long for everyone in the office to know why she’d been fired. This could even make the local papers. Tears burned in her eyes before they rolled down her face.
“I would normally fire someone for this, but I want an investigation. I’ll be having the men involved speak with human resources, and we’ll schedule you for some sexual harassment training. I see you never had it last year, and that slip on my part has enabled me to keep you.”
A moment of hope filled her. He wasn’t going to can her over this.
“But,” he continued with an authoritative frown. “If this happens again, you’re done. I would suggest you see your technologist regularly,” his voice softened. “Don’t let your filtering fail you again. I will have to give you a week suspension, unpaid, while the matter is resolved. Be back here next Tuesday, bright and early. This — incident — will stay between you, human resources, those men, and me. If anyone else hears of it, I won’t be the one who told them.”
The strangest gratitude filled her. Old Man Reilly wasn’t known for his kindness or compassion. Aryn nodded. “Thank you, sir. This will never happen again.”
He went back to what he was doing without another word. Aryn stumbled out of his office and went back to her desk. She shut down Sasha and told the biggest blabber-mouth in the office that her mother was ill, and she didn’t know when she’d be back, assuring a good cover story for her absence. No one would think anything of her being out for a week now.
She rushed to the elevator, skidding to a halt when she saw Jamar. Aryn wanted to crawl in a hole, but there was no escape. He looked up and pinned her with the oddest expression. He knew. She tried not to cry as she stood silently waiting for the elevator with her hot cheeks marking her embarrassment.
He said nothing, but when the doors opened, he stepped inside. She hesitated and he held the door. “It’s all right, Aryn. Come in.”
Feeling uncomfortable, she stepped inside, and prayed the car was faster than usual.
“I’m not mad. Not at all. It’s like the man on trial for thinking about a robbery. You didn’t do anything wrong, and I plan to defend you.”
Her head snapped up and she looked at him now. He had that same unbelievably intense expression on his face. She bit her lip and managed not to cry as the doors opened on the first floor. Aryn ran out of the building and down the street, away from her humiliation. She passed the commuter stop, ignoring the curious looks people gave her. She wanted to walk home and clear her head. Today really sucked.