Encounter at Courtesy Suites
Courtesy Suites was a hotel like no other. Billing itself as "the most advanced luxury business hotel in the world," the original Courtesy Suites was the first hotel of the modern civilized age to openly recognize the fact that human beings like the idea of having personal slaves, even if we hate the idea of anyone actually being forced to be a slave. Courtesy Suites was founded, according to its marketing literature, on the principle of using advanced computer and automation technology to satisfy their guests' deepest desires. But the service that made Courtesy Suites completely unique was, of course, the staff. Almost every staff member, from the receptionist at the front desk, to the housekeeping staff, to the restaurant maitre d', to the "companions" who would visit you in your room at your request, was an android, an artificial construct designed to look and act almost perfectly human. They were designed, built, and programmed expressly to please their guests, in any way possible. Over the years, android technology had advanced and seeped into ordinary life, at least for those who could afford them. Other facilities now offered robotic service, but for the best, most advanced, and most most pleasant experience, the Courtesy Suites chain of luxury business hotels and resorts was still the place to go.
Ray Caputo sat on the plush couch of Room 322 of one of those resorts, ostensibly reading a long, dry memo. To his credit, he actually did have the memo on his lap, and he did turn a page from time to time. But much more of his attention was actually on the redheaded beauty of an android doll who cuddled against him, silently stroking his body as he attempted to read.
From the outside, the doll looked like an unusually beautiful woman in her early- to mid-twenties. She wore a blue-and-white patterned halter-top, and a long blue skirt that was currently lifted up almost to her hips, exposing her creamy thighs, one of which Ray's hand was idly caressing. Her expression was that of a woman supremely contented simply to be next to the man she loved.
The truth, of course, was quite different. Beneath the android's lovely feminine exterior was a carefully designed, precisely machined high-performance plastic skeleton, animated by high-tech tensile fibers, controlled by a computer that would make the best electronics of the twentieth century look like a slide rule. Its programming, based on the wildly successful PersAnalysis software, enabled it to analyze tiny clues in a guest's body language and expression in order to determine what kind of behavior he wanted, and to respond just as the guest desired. Despite appearances, the android truly had no mind of its own, no desires of its own. Its only purpose was to please.
How different from his ex-girlfriend this android was, Ray thought to himself. Paula would never have lay against him so contentedly while he read. No, she would have demanded his full attention, whining petulantly until she got it or until he made it clear he wasn't going to give in to her demands, and she stalked off in a huff. She'd have asked what he was reading, and why it was more important than she was, and why couldn't he get finished with it already. And she wasn't really all that attractive, either.
But the doll, now... she'd wanted to talk, but he'd told her to be quiet and she hadn't said a word since. He told her to keep him company while he read, and now she lay here with him. For half an hour she hadn't said a word, hadn't disturbed him in any way -- well, not deliberately, anyway. Her mere feminine presence was certainly enough to disturb him somewhat, but that was a pleasant disturbance. And if he wanted her to go away, all he had to do was tell her so, and she'd be gone, without a word of disappointment or anger. He could even ask her to remind him of her name, which he found he'd forgotten.
"What's your name again?" he asked casually, turning his gaze to look into the android's clear blue eyes.
"Danielle," she answered simply. No backtalk, no "How could you forget my name?" just a simple answer. What a wonderful invention. He leaned over and kissed her lips.
So much for work, he decided, tossing the memo down on the floor. "There's a pool here, isn't there?" he asked Danielle.
"Yes, sir. Would you care for a swim?"
A few minutes later, Ray was dressed in swim trunks with a towel wrapped around his neck, at the entrance to the pool area. Danielle, still dressed in the halter-top and skirt she had worn to visit him in his room, pointed out to him a notice beside the door.
NOTICE: The Courtesy Suites pool area is for the use and enjoyment of all of our guests. All androids in this area will wear distinctive colored bands around their wrists, ankles, and neck, so that you may identify them easily, and they are all at your service for anything you may desire. Please avoid disturbing other guests...
Most Courtesy Suites androids are water-resistant, but only androids wearing orange bands are capable of acting as lifeguards. At least two such androids will be on duty at all times.
Children are not permitted in the Courtesy Suites pool area except between the hours of noon and 2pm.
Nudity is permitted in the Courtesy Suites pool area only between the hours of 8pm and 11pm. This applies to androids as well as guests.
As he finished reading, noting that it was about 9pm now, he saw that Danielle had taken a set of blue bands from a locked compartment and was affixing them to her limbs.
"What would you do if I told you not to put those on?" he asked her.
"I'm not allowed to enter the pool area without them," she said, frowning.
"And if I ordered you to come with me anyway?"
The android shook her head. "I cannot violate the rules, sir. I am required to wear the bands if I am to enter the pool area."
Ray shrugged, and pushed open the door to the pool room.
"Hi!" a perky blonde doll greeted him. She wore a bright green bikini and green bands around her limbs and neck. Her damp shoulder-length hair was tied back in a neat ponytail. "I'm Becky. Oh, hi Danielle!" she added as the redhead followed Ray in, then turned her attention back to him. "This is your first time to the pool, isn't it?"
"Yes," Ray said, looking around the huge room. Rather than a big square pool such as one usually found in a hotel, this pool looked more like a pond, with sandy beaches and amorphous edges. He couldn't see much of it from the door, due to the tall hedges and bushes that blocked his view. The nighttime illumination provided enough light to see by, but not a lot more.
"Kind of strange, isn't it," Becky said, indicating the pool. "It's designed that way on purpose, so there are lots of little nooks and corners where you can get some privacy if you want it. People often do." She slunk over to him and pressed her hips against his, holding on to his towel and looking up into his face with wide green eyes. She smelled quite nice, Ray noticed. "You know what I mean?" She glanced down at Ray's swelling bathing suit. "Yes, I see you do know what I mean. We could use some of that privacy, if you like..."
Becky was an android of a different design than Danielle. Instead of adapting her personality to whatever a guest desired, Becky's programming included an entire personality donated by an actual human woman. In a sense, Becky actually had a mind of her own. She could actually remember growing up as a poor Hispanic girl in an inner-city neighborhood, and deciding to donate her personality -- in exchange for a substantial amount of money, of course -- to IPM Corporation to become an android. While she was still bound by the rules of Courtesy Suites, and programmed to obey and please guests under most circumstances, within those constraints she was free to act as she desired. Her playful personality and natural friendliness, not to mention an ever-present interest in sex (somewhat enhanced by filters on her senses that made every human she encountered look sexy to her) made her model one of Courtesy Suites' most popular androids. At the moment, that very hotel stocked eleven copies of her, and frequently all eleven were in use. The one greeting Ray happened to be Number Six.
"Hey," Danielle interposed, sensing that Ray would enjoy being desired by two women at once. "Ray's mine. Aren't you, Ray?"
"Oh, I don't know," Ray grinned, "I think you two could share me, couldn't you?" He greedily ran his hands down Becky's sleek sides.
"Of course," agreed Becky, while, "If that's what you want," Danielle said.
"But first, I want a swim. Why don't you take my towel and slippers and find a nice spot for us to cuddle when I get back?"
"Sure, Ray," said Becky, but first she reached up and drew his head down to hers for a sexy kiss. She was a better kisser than Danielle, Ray decided. When the redhead stepped up for her turn to kiss him, he stopped her. It wasn't as if she could really be offended, but he liked proving it.
"Not now, Danielle," he said, handing her his towel. The android gave him a satisfying sulk, but turned away obediently. Becky picked up his slippers after he stepped out of them, and the two dolls ran off together.
Ray walked over to the pool and slowly waded in to the cool water. As he got further into the pool, he could see better how the hedges formed small pockets of pool and beach, where a few people (or a person and some dolls) could be hidden from most of the rest of the room. There was a large open section of deep water long enough to swim laps in, and shallower corners here and there. There were others in the pool, but they mostly seemed to be in isolated ones and twos and threes, unsurprisingly. From a distance it was sometimes hard to tell which figures were human and which android, except for those who didn't move. Those could only be dolls.
Ray swam several laps across the pool, until he began to get tired. As he approached one end, he noticed Becky floating there on her back, immobile, her head near the wall and occasionally bumping against it. He grabbed the wall near her with one hand to hold himself up, and with the other caressed her face. Except for the drops of water that dripped off of him, and the damp spots left by his touch, her face was dry. So was most of the top of her body. Which made him realize this must not be Becky after all, or at least not the same Becky who had greeted him. She must have been floating here for a long time to have dried like that. Her clear green eyes were open, and her lips smiling. She floated a little higher in the water than he thought a live woman would. Her arms were at her sides, and her hands seemed to have been immobilized in the middle of a light flutter. He wondered how she had gotten like that, before realizing he might well be able to ask her.
"Can you speak?" he asked.
"Yes, sir," the android answered.
"What's your name?"
"How long have you been floating here, Becky?"
"Two hours and eighteen minutes."
"A guest ordered me to remain motionless."
"What were you doing before that?"
"Swimming with her and another android. Having fun. We were floating on our backs."
"How long will you stay here like this?"
"Until someone allows me to move again, or until the pool closes."
"What happens if water leaks into you?"
"I am designed to be water-resistent," the blonde doll said calmly. "If some water were to get into my internal systems, I could be damaged, but that is not likely to happen."
"I see," Ray said. "What did the guest do after she told you not to move?"
"I'm sorry, I really don't remember."
"You don't remember?"
"No, sir. I am programmed to forget the details of any guest's actions except when I am with that guest. To do otherwise would be an invasion of the guest's privacy." In point of fact the guest, a woman named Pamela, had been cavorting with Becky Three and a male android named George. George, another android with a donated personality and an ever-present sex drive, had been trying for some time to tempt Pamela into letting him make love to her, and had finally convinced her to take him to her bedroom. Rather than tell Becky she'd decided to ditch her, Pamela had just ordered the pretty doll to freeze, then gone off with George. But Becky's knowledge of that event had been locked off in a private area of her memory, where she could not access it. All she remembered now was that she had been with a female guest and another android, and the guest had ordered her to remain motionless. She had long since given up wondering what happened during the many moments she could not remember, and simply looked forward to each new experience for whatever pleasures or novelties it might bring.
"Oh, yeah," Ray muttered. "I knew that. Would you like me to allow you to move again?"
"Yes, sir." Becky never liked being immobile. There was always so much she wanted to say and do. Right now she wanted to to see the man whose wet touch she could feel on her body and whose lordly voice she was forced to respond to. She'd caught a glimpse of dark brown hair a few times as he leaned toward her, but she was staring almost straight up at the ceiling and could not turn her eyes to look at him more directly. The touch of his hands on her body pleased her and excited her, but also scared her a little. She wondered what he was going to do with her. She wondered whether she would like it.
Ray didn't want to free her just yet. She was too beautiful just as she was. Instead, he let go of the wall, and sidestroked his way off toward an unoccupied shallow cove, pulling the helpless doll along with him. Her silken hair trailed down from her head like a blonde fan.
Once he could stand on the bottom, he reached under the robotic girl's back and pulled loose the tie on her green bikini top. Then he pushed her up onto the beach until her back rested on the fine sand, and whisked off the soft cloth to reveal her perfect breasts. He lay next to her, exploring all of her lovely curves and surfaces. She looked much younger than Danielle. Had she been human, she might have been as young as seventeen, and certainly not over twenty. Ray, at thirty-something himself, would never have admitted to a desire for so young a girl. But hey, these were only androids. For all he knew, Becky could be several months old, while Danielle could have rolled off the assembly line just yesterday.
"Do you like what I'm doing now, Becky?" he asked her.
Had she been free to move, there would have been no doubt of her feelings. His touch, combined with her inability to respond, made her incredibly aroused, but she could not show it. "Yes, sir," she said, "but I would like to be allowed to move."
"I know you would," Ray said, kissing her right breast. Then he lifted himself up to lie on top of her and gently kiss her motionless lips, incidentally giving Becky her first chance to see the man who was taking such enjoyment from her body. Her mouth did not resist the pressure of his own. She could neither stop him from sliding his tongue between her teeth, nor respond with her own tongue. She could only lie beneath him helplessly as he did to her whatever he wanted, feeling his hairy chest against her tender breasts.
"Can you feel my hard-on?" he asked, running his index finger over her face. For the first time he noticed a light dusting of faint freckles over her nose and cheeks; just enough to enhance her cute, impish expression. Her smile remained frozen like a pretty picture. She didn't even flinch as he ran his finger around the outline of her eye.
"Do you want to do anything with it?"
"I'd like to make love to you, sir, if you'd let me." She really did.
But another idea had occurred to him. Suppressing his lust for her for the moment, he rolled off of her and sat up. "You can move, Becky."
"Oh!" the blonde exclaimed. She blinked her eyes, took a deep breath, ran her hands over her breasts and ribcage. She liked to make a big production out of moving for the first time when she'd been immobile for a while. With a big stretch, she sat up and looked around. "Thank you... I don't know your name."
"Thank you, Ray," she cooed. Moving closer to him, she reached for his shorts. "You have no idea how horny you made me..."
Ray slapped her hands away from him. "Nope. Follow me."
Becky pouted, wondering if she'd done something wrong. Sometimes she wished she was one of the PersAnalysis androids, so she could always know what a guest wanted. Nevertheless, she had to follow him as he waded back into the pool. She remembered she was topless just as her legs had taken her out of reach of it, and called to Ray, "Wait, can I get my top?"
"Nope," Ray called back, loving the feeling of power he had over the lovely doll. He swam back out into the main pool, then looked around for Danielle and the first Becky. Sure enough, they were standing on the water's edge, chatting playfully. After a moment Becky noticed him looking toward them and nudged Danielle, and both of them waved to him. He waved back, and was about to swim toward them when another sight caught his eye.
On the shore about ten yards away from the dolls who waited for him, two figures stood a short distance away from the bank. One was a tall brown-haired man, the other a lovely blonde woman with long wavy hair and longer legs. Their bodies were pressed against one another, their lips locked together passionately, their hands roving greedily over each other's nude bodies.
"Becky, who are those two over there?" Ray asked, pointing them out.
"One minute," Becky said. Her eyes went blank for just a moment, as her onboard computer sent out a query over the hotel's wireless network. "That's Jonathan and Phoebe," she said. "They're both androids."
"Why are they doing that?" he asked.
"A guest told them to make love to each other standing there."
Ray looked around, but there didn't seem to be anybody paying particular attention to the pair. "Is that guest still around?"
"I'm not sure... no, apparently he was distracted by someone else, and left Jonathan and Phoebe like that. Nobody seems to be in charge of them just now. I bet they're enjoying it, though."
"Why do you say that?"
"Isn't it obvious? I mean, I guess they might prefer not to be doing that in public, but I bet they're happy to have the chance to do it at all. They're both donated personalities, and they really are in love with each other."
Ray turned his head to look at the blonde doll. "How about you, Becky?"
"Oh, I'm not in love with anyone in particular. But I do love sex." She drifted closer to him, put her arms around him and kissed his neck.
"No, I mean do you have a donated personality?"
"Yes, I do." She kissed him again. "My donor didn't do it for the sex, but I like it anyway. Want to see just how much I like it, Ray?"
"Yes, but not just yet. Let go of me, Becky." Ray had decided he wanted a closer look at the writhing couple. With a hmmph, Becky released him from her grasp, and followed him obediently as he swam over toward them. The dolls ignored him completely as he climbed out of the water, fully engaged in their lovemaking. Jonathan was a good-looking man, he supposed, though he didn't much care. But Phoebe... Phoebe was hot. The smooth lines of her legs, the wide curves of her hips writhing against the android man, her narrow waist and perfect ribs. He couldn't get a good look at her breasts, pressed as they were between herself and her robotic lover, but he had yet to see a female Courtesy Suites doll with less-than-perfect tits. Her face was perfect loveliness, even distorted as she rubbed against Jonathan, kissing him, being kissed, and simply keeping herself constantly in contact with his skin. He walked slowly around the couple, seeing them from all sides like a very good porn movie right in front of him. Neither of them showed any sign of having noticed him, even when, turned on by the gentle pants and moans the two androids let out as they made love, Ray reached out and touched Phoebe's smooth back. Luxuriating in the feel of her silky skin, he ran his hand up the doll's spine, into her cascade of soft golden hair...
"If you're going to join these two, do I have to stay and watch or can I--"
"Shut up, Rebecca," Ray silenced her. She had been pretty sure he would, but that was okay. She would have liked to be part of a foursome with Jonathan and Ray. At least he hadn't told her to freeze, which he could have done just as easily.
Ray was tempted to have sex with Phoebe here and now, but he couldn't bear to stop the two dolls from their lovemaking. It wasn't so much that they loved each other -- after all, they were androids, here for his pleasure, not their own. They were just so beautiful as they were. He didn't know how long they'd been at it, but it didn't matter. They were machines; they could keep it up all day. Neither of them was sweaty -- androids didn't sweat -- although now that he looked there was plently of realistic fluid dripping down the insides of Phoebe's legs. Maybe someone else would stop them, but not Ray. And he had another adventure in mind anyway. On the other hand...
"Phoebe, can you be in my room tomorrow morning?"
The gorgeous doll managed to pull her lips away from Jonathan long enough to ask, "What room... sir?"
"Room 322. Come in silently, say about seven o'clock, and wait for me to wake up."
"Yes..." she had to pause as Jonathan's mouth found hers again for another long kiss, "...sir."
Leaving the two dolls behind, then, Ray walked over to where his first Becky and Danielle waited. He grinned as he looked back and forth at the two identical blonde Beckies: bare-chested, loose-haired Rebecca behind him, and bikini-topped and pony-tailed Becky in front of him. The Becky in front of him looked dismayed when she saw another Becky following him.
"Hey! What's wrong with me that you had to go find one of my twins?" Topless Rebecca stuck out her tongue at her. In truth neither Becky minded sharing a man with another doll -- especially another copy of herself, which they didn't get a chance to do often -- but they did like to tease.
"Nothing at all," Ray said, walking straight up to her and kissing her. "But when I ran into another one just like you, I figured two was better than one." Behind her, he noticed a large sheet had been spread out on the sand, just out of sight of the pool, with his towel and slippers placed carefully next to it.
"So now I have to share you with two other dolls?" the blonde demanded. Sharing with one other was fine, but with two... well, a girl sometimes didn't get much attention that way, especially an android girl. Becky Six had been in lots of situations where a man made wild passionate sex with a more mature-looking android while she was ordered to massage his shoulders or rub his feet. Or watch. Of course, she existed to please, and if that was what he wanted, that was what she would do... but she did have her preferences.
Happily for her, Ray had a different idea. "No, I don't think so. Danielle, go for a swim."
"But I'm not wearing a swimsuit!" the redhead protested.
"Then strip first," Ray ordered. He collected his Beckies, one on each arm, and started to head for the sheet, but decided to stay for a moment and watch Danielle strip. The blondes didn't like that. The topless one reached down to stroke his groin, while the other started to say, "Aren't you--"
"Freeze, Beckys," he ordered, and both identical blondes instantly stopped, motionless. He slipped out of their rigid grasps, and watched Danielle undress. She didn't look happy about her situation. (Of course, she had no real opinions. To her android mind, making love to a man was no different from swimming by herself. But she could sense that Ray liked the feeling of ordering her to do what she didn't really want to do, so she let him believe she was unhappy to be sent away from his tryst with the Beckies.) She perked up a little when she noticed him watching her.
"Decided you want me instead after all?" she asked hesitantly.
"Nope, just want to watch you."
She pouted again, but by now she was naked, her clothes in a pile on the sand, and his order to her to go for a swim still held. Reluctantly she turned away from him and took a long stride toward the pool.
"Freeze, Danielle," Roy commanded. The redhead obeyed, catching her balance and standing posed in mid-run. Roy stepped over to her and felt her up gleefully. Still, compared to Phoebe or Becky -- either one -- she just wasn't all that attractive to him any more.
He decided to leave Danielle in an interesting situation for someone else to find. It seemed only fair. "Twenty seconds from now, unfreeze. Swim for as long as you want, but as soon as you touch the shore again, freeze." That would be amusing, he thought. He stepped back towards the Beckys, and turned back to watch as Danielle suddenly unfroze and continued her run toward the water. She made a long, clean dive into the water, then swam off.
Ray turned back to the motionless blonde dolls, and slipped between them to look at them from in front. Both of their heads were turned inward to look at the space where he'd been. The ponytailed one's lips were still pursed with the shape of a word she'd been in the middle of saying when he'd ordered her to freeze, while the topless Becky held her left arm across her body as she had attempted to grope Ray's crotch.
"Well, now," he drawled playfully, "let's see. Two pretty girls, both identical, both ready to make love to me as soon as I let you. Which one first, I wonder?" He looked back and forth from one to the other as if caught in a whirlpool of indecision. In reality he was just enjoying playing with them. "What do you think?" he asked, stepping up to topless Becky to caress the cool skin of her cheeks and shoulders.
The android moved only her lips. "You've already made me feel really good, Ray," she said. "If you let me, I'll reward you for that."
Ray let his hand drift down her chest and off the bump of her left nipple, before crossing to the other blonde and tracing the contours of her waist and hips. "Do you have a better offer for me, Becky?"
"I've been thinking about making love to you ever since you came into the pool room," she coaxed him. "If you let me, I'll show you what I've come up with."
"Hmm," Ray said. "Both sound like good offers. Why don't you both come make love to me at the same time?"
The girls, released from their poses, smiled sweetly as they came toward him, and a moment later all three were in a tangled pile on the sheet, a pretty blonde on either side of the dark-complexioned Ray. Both girls began by kissing Ray's face and neck, while their hands played over his lower body. It didn't take long for them to get his swim shorts off, nor for him to undress them. One Becky -- it happened to be the one he had encountered frozen in the pool -- moved to lay on top of him.
"No," Ray said breathlessly, "use your mouth." The android looked at him uncertainly for a moment until Ray reached up and pushed her shoulder down along his body, clarifying his order. Inside, Becky was disappointed; she'd hoped for some relief to the sexual excitement he'd aroused in her earlier. But she was an android, required to follow orders, and so with a cheerfully sexy expression she took the man's organ between her lips and began stroking it expertly with her tongue. Meanwhile, Ray drew the other Becky higher on his body so he could kiss her lips and caress her lovely breasts. She showed him her own excitement in her short, panting breaths and low moans.
The two dolls, now that their master-for-the-moment had established what he wanted of them, fell into a rhythm designed to bring the man to the heights of ecstasy. Both knew that their own pleasure was a distant second priority to satisfying this customer. Moaning sensually, Ray no longer knew which doll was which, or even which of the four hands roaming his body belonged to which doll. Nor did he care, so long as they continued. Which they did, as Ray lost himself in the loving grasp of the two lovely robot girls. It was almost a surprise to him when he finally came, in strong, awe-inspiring bursts, into Becky Three's waiting mouth.
Ray held Becky Six against his chest, her breasts pressed between them and her cheek resting lightly alongside his. Had she been human, she would certainly have found that pose uncomfortable, but as she was, discomfort had no meaning to her. She would remain there as long as Ray wanted her there. The other Becky curled herself around his legs, and pressed her face against his stomach.
"Becky, can you get me a drink?" Ray asked after a timeless interval.
"Of course," both androids answered in unison. They would have preferred to stay with him, enjoying the afterglow, but of course his orders came first."What would you like?"
"Oh, I don't know. Champagne? No, wine. White wine. And a tall glass of water."
Both Beckies tensed to move, but Ray did not relax his grasp on Becky Six, so the other one ended up going. Once she had gone, Ray rolled over onto his side, continuing to hold the blonde doll against him. He kissed her once more.
"What were you like before you became an android?" he asked, curious. "I mean, before you were donated..."
"I know what you mean," Becky said. "It's okay to say 'before I became an android.' That's exactly what it feels like to me." Her expression grew somewhat more serious, though never completely losing the playfulness that was the hallmark of her model. "I can't remember a lot about it, and some of what I do remember I'm not allowed to talk about. I grew up very poor in a big city. My parents... spent a lot of money, a lot more than they had. I had to learn to live on my own very young. I never went to school much, so I didn't know enough to get any really good jobs..."
"Were you a prostitute?" Ray asked. Despite the advent of sex robots, there was always a market for the real thing. And there were those who couldn't afford robots. Becky knew she had catered to that market, but that detail was one her programmers had felt she should not reveal.
"I can't say." she replied, "I was no virgin, though. A lot of times I lived off the generosity of one boyfriend or other, but never the kind of guy who would really help me out for the long haul. Then I got pregnant, and that was real trouble, even though I loved my daughter a lot. I wish I could remember more about her... though maybe it's better that I can't. Anyway, I managed to make enough money to keep myself and her alive, but just barely. I can remember living with two other women for a while in a filthy apartment in the worst part of town. Then I heard that IPM was looking for personality donors, and I figured, why not? If you passed the tests and they used your personality, they paid a lot of money, and I could sure use it. So I volunteered, and... well, I guess they decided to use me. I'm glad they did, too. It's been a lot of fun, being an android here."
"Funny," Ray mused.
"Well, here you are, an experienced woman in a doll's body that looks about eighteen, you probably have sex with six different guys every day, and yet you kiss like this." He kissed her again.
"What's wrong with the way I kiss?" Becky demanded indignantly.
"Nothing at all! You kiss wonderfully. But you kiss... well, like the teenager you look like. Like you've hardly ever done it before, and you're a little embarrassed and hoping your mom doesn't walk in and catch you at it."
The blonde grinned shyly, then leaned forward to kiss him again. She was eager and sexy and and entirely too fun for a mere quick kiss, Ray decided, rolling her over on her back and kissing her deeply and long.
"Do I really kiss like that?" she asked when their lips parted.
And then before he knew it, her hands were roaming over his body again, and his over hers, and they made love together again. Becky knew that Becky Three would hate coming back to see Ray making love to her. Too bad for Becky Three, she thought silently. Such was the life of an android slave.
Some time after they finished coupling, Becky became aware of another figure standing nearby, but it wasn't Becky Three. The newcomer waited with the patience of an android, and the gold bands around her wrists and neck proved she was one, but Becky didn't recognize her. She was a petite woman with Asian skin tone and narrow eyes, but generous hips and large breasts. Her hair was jet black and swept back from her face. She wore a thigh-length Japanese robe made of red silk, held closed by a sash. In one hand she carried a silver tray, upon which stood a wine glass and a tall drinking glass.
Becky considered pointing the newcomer out to Ray, but decided not to. She was quite comfortable where she was, and saw no reason to disturb her lover. If it were important, she would have been signalled to do so, or the arrival would have announced herself.
Soon enough, Ray began to move. The Japanese android cleared her throat gently.
"Excuse me, sir," she said. "I believe you sent for drinks?"
Ray rolled over on his back, looking up groggily. "I did, but I sent Becky for them. Who are you, and where'd she go?"
"I'm sorry, sir. Becky was called away while fetching your drinks, and I was sent to bring them to you. My name is Lia. I hope you are not too upset."
"Hmm," Ray grunted, struggling to a sitting position. Lia, ever helpful, reached down to offer him a hand. Once sitting, Ray's gaze followed the arm up to Lia's delicate face, then down her small body.
"Isn't that a bit of a cliche?" he wondered aloud. "The Japanese girl in a kimono?"
"I wouldn't know, sir," Lia replied. "I like the way this looks and feels. Would you like me to change into something else?"
"No, that's okay. Come down here and let me have some of that wine before it gets warm," he ordered. Lia knelt beside him and offered the tray. Her long, straight black hair nearly touched the ground behind her. "No, I want you to hold the glass for me."
Obediently, the petite doll placed the silver tray on the ground next to her, and held the wine glass to Ray's lips for him to drink. Becky sat up behind him and began to run her fingers through his thick, dark hair.
"Ooh, that feels good," Ray breathed, as the doll's short fingernails lightly scratched his scalp. "Keep doing that, Becky." The wine was excellent as well.
"So how about you, Lia?" he asked. "Were you once a real girl too?"
"No, sir, I'm an android," Lia replied, looking confused.
"He means are you an IPM Donated Personality, like I am," Becky added. "I'm curious too. I haven't seen you around here before."
"Oh," the Asian doll exclaimed. "No, sir, I'm a Sony Self, a brand-new model of android. Every Self has a unique personality, just like a human being, but not modeled on any specific person." Lia cast her eyes down shyly. "I was only first activated today."
Lia was one of the first Self androids to be purchased by Courtesy Suites, and they were still something of an experiment. Most androids, whether they were donated personalities or older technologies, were carefully designed or chosen to have certain desirable personality traits, such as shyness or friendliness or subservience. Each Self, by contrast, was unique, and the Self personalities covered a wide range of possibilities.
"Really? Well, you're very pretty," Ray said.
Lia blushed. "Thank you, sir."
"Wow," said Becky, surprised. "I've never seen an android blush before."
Of course, that only embarrassed Lia more. "I was designed to be as close to a perfect duplicate of a human woman as possible," she explained. "Human women blush, so I do too."
Ray wasn't usually attracted to Asian women, but Lia was very beautiful. Her skin was perfectly clear. Where Becky's face was prettily freckled, Lia's almost looked polished in its smooth, glossy perfection. There was a lovely pout to her lips that he decided there was no reason to resist. His lower body was still quite sated from the attentions of the two Beckies, but he was still quite capable of enjoying the touch of another woman-robot's body. "Put the glass down," he ordered, "and come over here." He spread his legs wide in front of him, making a place for Lia to sit.
"Becky and I weren't enough for you?" Becky pouted behind him.
"Shush," Ray told her, and of course she did.
Lia had set the drinks aside, and now sat hesitantly in the curve of Ray's leg. She looked as nervous as a teenager on her first date as Ray reached for her delicate face, and drew away from him a little. Although she was fully capable of all of the sexual acts of a woman, she wasn't nearly as lustful as any of the androids at Courtesy Suites. She knew that as an android she was required to do nearly anything a guest wanted her to, but it had yet to occur to her consciously that that might include sexual contact.
"What's wrong?" he asked.
"Nothing," Lia said. "It's just... well, I was told to bring you the drinks, sir. Nobody said anything about... well, you know."
"You are an android, aren't you?"
"And you are here to do whatever I want you to, aren't you?"
"Is there any reason I shouldn't touch you? Anyplace I feel like it?"
"Well, no, sir, but... well, I mean, you might say more pretty flattering things to me, first. It would make me like you more."
"True, I might. But the nice thing about you being an android is that I don't have to. I can simply order you to kiss me -- or to lick my dick, or make passionate love to me -- and you'll do it. Shall I do that?"
"I wish you wouldn't." Lia looked down at her hands. Her programming was designed to simulate that of a human woman, and she had opinions of her own that she was (for the moment) free to express. Nevertheless, she knew in what passed for her heart that she was in fact an android, and such she must allow this man to do whatever he wanted to her. She drew a deep breath, and sighed. "What would you like me to do, sir?"
"Look at me. Smile. No, not so wide. Yes, just like that." Ray reached for her face again, and this time Lia did not pull away. Her skin was soft and cool against his fingers as they gently stroked her cheek and jaw. He ran his finger across her smooth smiling lips, then bent forward and kissed them gently. She did not kiss him in return, but that was all right with him, for now.
His hands moved down her body, pushing aside the lapels of her kimono. She reached up to hold the silk over her breasts, but Ray caught her smooth hands in his. She had long, slender fingers ending in pretty nails painted with purple polish. He moved her left hand to his own cheek, and her right to his chest.
"No," he said as she started to pull her hands away. "Keep your hands on me. Don't you know how to make out with a man?"
"Yes, sir," Lia said, "I have programs for many kinds of sexual activity."
"Well, use one of them," Ray ordered.
"Yes, sir," the pretty doll acknowledged. Becky, still scratching Ray's head as he'd ordered, would have snickered had she been permitted to make sound. She'd known from the very start what Ray had wanted from Lia, and found it amusing that this "brand-new" model of android hadn't been able to figure it out. But Ray didn't seem to mind. In fact, he rather enjoyed the sense that he was forcing Lia to do what she would rather not. He felt no urgency with her, no immediate need for satiation. He simply wanted to enjoy the experience of having a lovely girl at his command.
Now Lia began to respond to Ray's touch, gently stroking his skin. She avoided his groin, but that was fine with Ray. He carefully untied the sash of her kimono, and pulled the two halves of it aside to reveal a lovely body beneath it. Her breasts were large and round and pleasant to the touch. He was pleased to hear a slight gasp of air as he ran his fingers over the doll's nipples, and looked up to see her eyes narrow in pleasure.
"You like this, don't you, Lia?" he asked.
"Yes, sir, I... I do, but I'm not sure you should..."
"What do you think, Becky?" he asked, turning to the blonde behind him. "Should I?"
"Umm," Becky hesitated. "Normally I'd say go for it, but it's getting toward eleven o'clock. There's no nudity allowed here after eleven, you know."
"What are they gonna do, kick us out?"
"Actually Lia and I would have to get dressed and do our best to make you dress too. We'd hate to do that..."
"Well, it might be better," Lia said. Unable to disobey Ray's order, though, she continued caressing his face and chest.
"Maybe for you," Becky said. "Why don't you take me to your room?" she invited him. "You can leave Lia here if you want."
"No," Ray decided, getting to his feet and pulling Lia up after him. "You're both coming with me. Put your clothes back on, girls."
Lia pulled her kimono back up around her shoulders with some relief, carefully retying the knot in her sash, while Becky reluctantly put her bikini back on. The bottoms, actually, might have been the other Becky's originally. She had no idea which ones were which. Not that it mattered, of course; the two dolls were identical. Someone else would come by later and collect the extra garments for washing.
On their way out of the pool area, Ray noticed the android couple still making love alongside the pool. He wondered whether they would continue doing it after putting on clothes, or if their command would expire at some point and they'd go back to wherever it was the androids went when they weren't serving guests. He assumed Phoebe would be washed before she came to him in the morning.
When he got back to his room with his two lovely toy-companions, he immediately ordered Lia to strip. This time she didn't complain. She only sighed, untied her sash and let the ends fall free, and lightly slipped the silk robe off of her shoulders so that it fell to the floor, revealing her lovely body to him, nude for the first time. He walked around her, just admiring the tone of her skin, the shape of her figure, the lustre of her long black hair. She didn't turn her head to follow him as he moved, and her stillness made her even more attractive to him.
Feeling somewhat ignored, Becky felt the need to regain the man's attention. "Shall I strip for you too, Ray?" she asked.
"No," Ray said, keeping his eyes on the Asian doll. "Go start a shower for me. Warm, but not too hot." Disappointed, the blonde could only go to obey her master.
Ray picked up from the table a remote control. He stroked it down Lia's arm, before coming around to face her. "Kiss me, Lia," he ordered.
Shyly, the girl touched her lips to Ray's. "Not like that. Kiss me like you really mean it. Like you want to be kissing me."
Lia blinked. Then, without another word, she closed her eyes and seemed to melt against him. She reached up to embrace him, and put one hand behind his head to gently pull his mouth against hers. This time her kiss was deep and warm, not overly sexy but loving and very, very pleasant.
They were still in mid-kiss when Becky returned from the bathroom, announcing, "Your shower is rea--"
Without disengaging more than his right arm, Ray pointed the remote control at the blonde android and pressed the large power button. She barely had time to notice what he was doing before her voice was cut off in mid-word, her body in mid-step, and her mind in mid-thought. Ray finished his kiss with Lia in peace.
"Come shower with me," he told the doll, leading her to the bathroom. He found Becky's inert body blocking the way. Her right leg was poised forward in mid-step, and her right hand was outstretched. Rather than turn her back on and order her out of the way (and listen to her try to convince him to take her in the shower with him), he simply picked her up and moved her aside. He let his hands linger a little longer than necessary on her trim waist. On a whim, he pulled off his still-damp bathing suit and hung it on the android's outstretched hand, before following Lia into the bathroom.
He had the doll thoroughly wash him, relishing the feel of her slippery, soapy fingers over his scalp, then all over his body. Then he ordered her to wash herself -- "Do it sexy," he instructed her -- and he stood back under the warm water and watched the android lather her own long hair.
"Don't move," he ordered while she stood with her lovely head tossed back under the water, her eyes closed, her hands along her scalp, back arched. He stepped close to her again and took her in his arms, pulling her wet breasts against him and his own erect organ against her. To his surprise, he found himself sliding into her, and decided to go with it.
"Can you make love to me without moving?" he asked.
He was pleased to discover she could. Without changing her expression or her pose, Lia's breath deepened, and the simulated muscles inside her sex began to massage him.
Within her android body, Lia was mortified. She knew exactly what was happening to her, and was helpless to stop it. Worse, Ray's touch felt so good... the way he kissed and licked her breasts, her shoulders, her jaw, was exciting feelings within her that she scarcely knew she was designed to have, and she could do nothing to show those feelings, even had she known what to do about them. Her sex was doing things at Ray's command, not her own. She couldn't even open her eyes to see the man who was having such an incredible effect on her. When Ray finally came inside her, it excited yet another wave of ecstasy she was helpless to respond to... and something else, too, something she ERROR 14 truly didn't underERROR 337stand, didn't know how to ERROR 14 react to. Her relief at the thought that Ray ERROR 337 would now let her move again ERROR 14--
She felt Ray withdraw from her, and at the same ERROR 337 time continued to feel his touch inside her. That ERROR 14 wasn't possible, was it? She heard him say, "I guess you'll have to wash me again." She began to do so, still feeling odd touches all over her body. At least her eyes opened, and she could see Ray as she washed him, with careful attention to his groin.
Ray wondered at the android's suddenly clumsy movements. She stared at him with strange intensity, and seemed to be having a hard time washing him. As soon as he felt clean again, he stood back and ordered Lia to finish washing herself, then got out of the shower. He rather wished he'd left Becky turned on, so he could call her in to dry him. Well, it was too late now. He pulled down a towel from the rack and began to dry himself off.
As he opened the bathroom door, he realized that he could no longer hear any movement from inside the shower, though the water was sill running. By the time he'd put on his pajamas, the doll still hadn't come out of the shower.
"Lia? What are you doing in there?"
But the new-model android did not hear him. Some malfunction had occurred within her advanced electronic brain. It had begun by distorting her sense of touch, and spread to her other senses. When her safeguard circuits noticed that her hearing had become unreliable, they automatically shut down the android's brain and main power unit, lest she should fail to respond to an important command.
Ray went back into the bathroom. Through the glass doors of the shower, he could see Lia standing motionless under the falling water. He slid open the door and turned off the water. As the sound of the spray faded, he could hear Lia's soft voice issuing from between her slightly-parted, still lips.
"...function. Hotel operations has been notified, and an android representative should arrive shortly to investigate the error. If this is unacceptable, please call hotel operations. This android has experienced a malfunction. Hotel operations has been notified..."
There was a knock at the door. Ray went out to answer it. "Who's there?" he called.
"Jessica and Denise, sir," responded a pretty female voice, "androids from hotel operations. May we come in, sir?"
Ray opened the door to a pair of beautiful androids.
"Hello, sir," said the same voice, "I'm Jessica." Jessica had pretty locks of light brown hair down past her shoulders, and lovely blue eyes in a wide, innocent-looking face, wearing jeans and a pretty pink shirt. Her companion was a tall, dark-haired, darkly tanned, slender girl in a red stretch blouse and jean shorts revealing long, lovely legs. She carried a metal toolbox. "We received a message that Lia malfunctioned here. Is that correct?"
"Yes," Ray confirmed. "I thought there was something a little strange about her. She's in the shower."
"May we come in and retrieve her?" Jessica asked.
"Sure, come in," he said. The two dolls entered and headed for the bathroom. Jessica noticed Becky standing deactivated near the bathroom door.
"Is there a problem with Becky as well, sir?" she asked.
"No, she's fine. I just wanted to turn her off for a bit."
"Yes, Becky can be a little persistent, can't she?" Jessica agreed. "But so long as you're happy with her." The androids had reached Lia, still murmuring her malfunction alert. Denise put down the toolbox and opened it, pulling out a small gray disk and a thin cylinder about two feet long, which she handed to Jessica. She placed the disk against Lia's chest, above her cleavage, and Lia's voice stopped abruptly. Jessica, meanwhile proceeded to unroll the cylinder into a flat translucent sheet that floated in midair at about waist level. She guided the sheet partway into the large shower, then stood back as Denise carefully picked up the deactivated android and placed her on the floating sheet, letting her long wet hair trail off the end into the shower. She began to carefully wring out Lia's hair.
"May we use a couple of your towels to dry her off?" Jessica asked.
"Go ahead," Ray said. "Do you think the water caused a short circuit or something?"
"I doubt it," Jessica said, pulling down a pair of towels and handing one to Denise. The two androids began briskly towelling Lia off. "The report we got suggested a problem with her programming. That kind of thing sometimes happens with brand new models like Lia. I expect we'll have to take her out of service until Sony can send us an upgrade. I'd be happy to stay here with you in her place, if you like."
"I'll bet you would," Ray muttered. "Can you dance?"
Jessica frowned. "Yes, sir... but I have been told I don't do it very well. I believe that Denise and Becky both have excellent dance programs. Don't you, Denise?"
The dark-skinned doll looked up and spoke for the first time. "Yes, sir," was all she said. Her voice was soft and low, and Ray found it pleasant. He was surprised, though.
"I thought you were just a repair android," he commented.
"No, sir," Denise said.
"She's a fully functional doll, like the rest of us," Jessica added. "She's even a donated personality. Just a very quiet one."
A quiet android seemed rather pleasant just now, Ray thought. "Well, I like that," he announced. "Denise, you'll stay with me. Though I have to say, Jessica, you're incredibly beautiful as well."
"Thank you, sir," Jessica smiled radiantly. Ray decided he could no longer resist the urge to lift his hand to her face and touch her. He brushed his fingers across her lovely lips, and caressed her cheek. "If you'd like to see me again, you have only to ask for me."
"I just may do that," Ray mused. "But for now, take Lia and get out of here."
Unoffended, Jessica acknowledged his order. She covered the motionless doll's body with the two wet towels, and put the toolbox on the end of the floating sheet, by Lia's feet. As she pulled the sheet out of the bathroom and headed for the door, Ray thought of something.
"Wait, Jessica. I want Denise and Becky dressed differently. Can you bring me new clothes for them?"
"Of course, sir. What would you like for them?" Ray carefully described what he wanted. "Certainly, sir. I'll be back shortly." With a last lovely smile at Ray, she left, pulling Lia along on the floating sheet. Ray locked the door behind her, then turned back to Denise.
Like Becky, Denise was a donated personality. Her donor had been a wealthy, self-centered young woman who had decided she liked the idea of having hundreds, even thousands of copies of herself, all over the world, pleasing men. She'd willingly donated her personality in exchange for a sum of money that was next to nothing to her. But she'd forgotten to consider that, although as a person she had considerable influence and ability to do as she pleased, as an android, she had almost no control over her existence whatsoever. The Denise personality modules tended to become moody and quiet, doing as they were required to and little more. Although she didn't know it, IPM had almost decided against using her personality at all, but focus group testing had showed there was a market segment to which Denise's reticence appealed.
She stood silently as Ray examined her. Early in her robotic existence, she had tried to persuade men to let her do as she wanted. Later she resorted to simply trying to guess what they would require her to do. Now she didn't even do that anymore. It didn't seem to matter. He'd tell her when he was ready, and she would obey. She felt his hands sensually touch her neck, her shoulder, her cheek, inspiring mechanical pleasure in her body that somehow failed to touch her mind. Once she would have objected to his intimate touches. Now, she knew herself for this man's toy.
Ray walked around her admiringly. She had straight black hair, neatly trimmed a few inches below her collarbone, with some of it gathered up in a barrett in the middle of the back of her head. She had dark blue eyes set in a lovely, soft face with wide, kissable lips.
"Take off your shirt and shoes," he ordered. Without a word, the lovely doll bent to unbuckle her high-heeled shoes, and stepped out of them, then pulled off her tight red blouse. Under it, she was wearing a sexy dark-brown bra... really just two triangles of fabric covering her breasts, held on by a couple of straps.
"Very nice," Ray commented, admiring her newly-revealed shape. He strode around behind her, and unclasped the bra. "You don't mind if I take this off of you, eh?"
"Actually I'd just as soon you didn't," Denise said, but she offered no resistance as he did just that. He reached around her and fondled her breasts as the cloth uncovered them. Then he slid his hands down her firm stomach to the button of her shorts, which he undid. Unzipping them, he pulled them over her wide hips, and let them fall down around her feet. She wore a thong that matched her bra, and he gently slid that down her legs as well, leaving the dark-skinned android naked in his arms. He pressed himself against her soft warmth, stroking her up and down with his hands and arms.
There was a knock at the door. Ray left off fondling his toy, and looked through the peephole to see Jessica's smiling face. He opened it.
"Here are the clothes you wanted, sir."
Ray took the pile of clothes from her and looked through them quickly. "Excellent," he said. "These are in the right sizes?"
"Yes, sir. These are for Becky, and these are for Denise."
"Good. Thanks." Jessica nodded and left, as Ray closed and locked the door.
"Denise, put these on," he ordered, handing the doll a pile of clothes. The other pile he put down on the TV cabinet before going to Becky. The deactivated blonde still wore her green bikini, and his bathing suit still hung from her motionless hand. He tossed the suit on the floor (too bad; he was really wondering what the blonde would have said upon waking to find it there), then he slowly undressed her. He reposed the doll's arms, stretching them out in front of her so that he could slide them into her new garment. The joints of her shoulders and elbows yielded to his pressure with a silent click-click-click.
After a few more moments of fumbling, the doll wore a pale blue satin slip. She looked even prettier in it, Ray thought, than she had in the bikini, and she felt even better. There's nothing quite like the feel of satin on a woman's skin. The slip draped lightly over the top of her thighs, and left her back and shoulders exposed except for two thin straps that crossed between her shoulderblades. It didn't seem a perfect fit, though, until he realized he had not properly adjusted it to the shape of Becky's breasts and waist. He carefully pulled down the sides of the garment until her breasts seemed to fill it perfectly, then smoothed down the sides around her waist. There. That was perfect.
Then he turned around and saw that Denise had finished dressing herself. She now wore a sheer gown in dark green. The gown's halter top covered just the front of her torso, leaving her upper chest, arms, and back bare. The flowing skirt was slit on both sides all the way up to her waist, looking almost like a long filmy loincloth hanging in front of her and behind her. She wore dancing slippers on her feet.
"Wow," Ray said upon seeing her. "You look perfect. Better than I'd hoped for." He stepped up to her and took her in his arms, kissing her lips just once. When she didn't respond immediately, he told her to kiss him, and she did, quite pleasantly.
"Okay, Denise," he said, stepping back from her. "Here's what I want you to do. I want you to be a... a clockwork dancing doll for me. Do you know what I mean by that?"
"I think so, sir," she said. She paused for a second. Then she suddenly smiled, lifted her hands stiffly over her head, raised herself up on her toes, and began to dance. She twirled about and kicked her legs high in the air, seeming to make only one movement at a time and yet performing a lovely, fluid, flowing dance.
"That's perfect, Denise!" Ray cried, delighted.
The doll didn't answer, but simply kept dancing, while Ray watched. To her surprise, Denise found she was actually enjoying this. At first she had been embarrassed by the skimpy gown he had forced her to put on, and mortified at performing such a silly dance. She couldn't remember anyone ever asking her to do such a thing before -- though she knew perfectly well it might have happened and she would not remember it anyway. But as she got into the dance, she found herself enjoying the quick, precise motion, and Ray's sincere appreciation.
After a minute or two, she found her dance beginning to slow. Of course, she realized. If I'm a clockwork doll, I must be winding down. Sure enough, she continued to slow down, and after one final graceful pirouette, she sank down on her heels once more, and folded stiffly at the waist, her arms still held rigidly over her head so that her hands almost touched the ground. She could not move from that wound-down doll pose.
"Wonderful!" Ray applauded.
Now to reactivate Becky. He took the remote control once more, pointed it at the blonde android, and pressed the button again.
"Oh!" the girl exclaimed as she came to life again. "You turned me off! And you changed my clothes. Oh, I wish I'd been awake for that."
"Well, if you'd kept quiet a little more maybe I wouldn't have turned you off. You ought to learn to leave a guy alone when he's enjoying another doll."
"Yes, sir," Becky agreed meekly. "Did you make love to me while I was turned off?"
"What if I did?" Ray wondered.
"Well..." Becky grinned. "I hope you enjoyed it. But you didn't, did you?"
"Nope. I had Lia instead."
"I thought you would. Where did she go, anyway?"
"That's enough questions, Becky. Come to bed with me." Becky followed him to the bedroom with a sexy grin as he pulled off his pajama shirt. He was almost looking forward to disappointing her. "Denise, you come in here too."
He grabbed a pillow from the head of the bed, and lay down on his stomach facing the other way, the pillow under his head. Becky looked confused.
"Becky, give me a good long backrub."
"Okay," the blonde agreed. She arranged herself sitting lightly on Ray's legs, and reached down to his back.
"And Denise, you dance more like you were before. And don't wind down this time. Just keep dancing till I tell you to stop."
"Yes, sir," Denise acknowledged, and began to dance once again.
Ray stretched himself out, relaxing under the gentle pressure of a pretty doll's well-programmed fingers, watching another lovely android dance for him.
"Is that how you're programmed to dance, Denise?" Becky asked.
"Keep quiet, Becky," Ray ordered. Becky had no choice but to obey. She bent down and kissed Ray's shoulder, but he ignored her, watching the darker android dance. Becky sighed. Sometimes it scarcely paid to have a personality at all. All she could do was to continue massaging Ray's back.
A few minutes later, she realized that Ray was asleep. She lessened her attentions to his back, lest she wake him, but she had to remain where she was. Denise, of course, continued to dance helplessly.
And so they passed the night.