Shouta found everyone a futon to sleep in. They laid underneath the ceiling that showed the stars, sleeping off that good food and alcohol. Shouta cleaned up the kitchen, making himself a bit of tea. He sat outside, sipping his drink, watching a shooting star streak across the sky. He played with the cup in his hands for a while, thinking about Yetunde. He wondered what she looked like outside the simulation. If she loved him. If she moved on… He shook his head and sighed, heading back inside.
He laid down on his bed, closing his eyes, falling asleep himself. Somewhere, a monitor beeped, lights flashing on underneath a thin layer of dust.
He grunted, waking up. He looked around. He was back in Yetunde’s old apartment. Rain gently pitter-pattered against the open window, one of Yetunde’s many scents of incense burning on the sill. He ran a hand through his hair, surprised at how short it was now. He sat up, the big blue blanket he gifted her falling off of him. Yetunde walked back into the room, the button-up shirt from the night before barely buttoned, barely covered anything. He watched her move around the room, her afro bouncing with every step she took. As she walked past him to pick up the dirty wine glasses and a condom wrapper, he grabbed her, pulling her back into bed. She squeaked and laughed as he buried his face in her neck. He sighed, holding her close to his chest.
“Well, good morning to you, too!” She said, laughing.
“Morning,” he grumbled into her neck.
“How did you sleep?” she whispered softly, closing her eyes.
“I slept great. Had the oddest dream, however,” he whispered, kissing her neck. “Something about a simulation,” he murmured, his fingers dancing on her bare thighs. She giggled.
“You work too much,” she teased, pulling herself from him. He watched her get out the bed, lighting another stick of incense. Thunder rolled from miles away. The rain came down harder. Yetunde looked outside, watching the tram from her window.
“So, what do you– what’s up?” she asked, noticing him staring at her.
“Nothing… Just you are so… Wow…” Was all he could manage. He sat on the edge of the bed. Yetunde walked over to him, placing a hand on his cheek and kissing his forehead.
“What do you want to eat?” She asked him. Shouta grabbed her hand and kissed the inside of her palm.
“What are my options?” he asked, pulling her onto his lap
“Well, I’ve been so busy with school and work, I haven’t had time to fill my fridge so I was thinking about ordering in,” Yetunde responded, gasping at Shouta poking her. She grinned.
“You are awful,” she growled, kissing him. He kissed back, his fingers undoing the buttons of her shirt. As Shouta pulled the shirt from Yetunde’s shoulder, Yetunde shivered in anticipation, her breath hot and quick against his lips. He smiled into her lips, kissing them gently.
“What’s wrong, baby?” he whispered to her, making her groan. She shook her head. He kissed her again, harder this time. She wrapped his arms around his neck, pressing herself into him. He grabbed her by the waist with one arm, holding her close as he flipped her onto her back. He stared down at her, his thumb tracing her face. She smiled up at him, sucking on his thumb as it passed over her lips. He kissed at her neck, at her chest, her fingers getting lost in his hair. He brushed his tongue over her nipples, making her squirm. He looked up at her.
“I can stop,” he said, slowly sitting up.
“No!” Yetunde called out, sitting up too quickly and smacking her forehead against his. They both yelled out and laughed, falling back onto the bed. Shouta kissed her head.
Yetunde nodded yes. She started to play with his hair, her eyes locked onto his.
“You’re beautiful,” he whispered to her. She pulled him down and kissed him once more, his hands automatically going to her hips.
Thunder rolled over the apartment building as Shouta dove his face between Yetunde’s legs. She squealed, her nails clawing at the blankets on her bed. He looked up at her, entering the Konami code onto her clit. She let out a long sigh, arching her back.
“S-Shouta,” she breathed.
“Hmmm?” he responded, pressing the code in harder and faster. Yetunde let out a noise from her throat. He pressed a finger into her slowly, watching her chest rise and fall quickly. Yetunde tensed up, her voice caught in her throat. Shouta licked up her wetness, slowly pulling away from her body.
He woke up to noise coming from the kitchen. He slowly sat up in his bed, trying to ignore his hard-on. He pulled the covers over his thigh when there was a knock on the door.
“Yeah?” he groaned, staring at the wall.
Dana peeked into the room.
“We made eggs and toast. There’s some for you when you’re ready,” she said, leaving and closing the door. Shouta sighed, hanging his head low. He tried to remember the last time he dreamed. Or maybe it was a memory Shouta left his room after taking a cold shower. He walked into the kitchen, the other three huddled around the computer.
“What’s going on here?” Shouta asked, as he poured himself some tea.
Ekundayo looked over at him.
“We’re looking over these blueprints. Trying to figure out how we can get Samara in without tripping off any alarms and then letting us in. As far as we can tell, it looks like an AC vent on the 3rd floor will have to die.”
Shouta nodded, playing with his cup.
“You alright?” Samara asked, putting a forkful of eggs in her mouth.
“Yeah just trying to shake off this dream I had,” he mumbled, sipping his tea.
They moved on horseback in the late night. Shouta took the lead, breaking off to the right 10 miles from the city where the hacker player was. Dana broke off from the group 5 miles away. Ekunday and Samara rode in on one horse. As Ekundayo rode up to the city gates, Samara turned into a wisp, floating around the guards undetected. She floated past bodies, trying to remember where the hotel was. She was let inside by a person covered from head to die Dog gear. The inside was actually a command center, people running back and forth between rows of computers. Samara found a vent and entered it. She made her way to the 3rd floor, entering rooms and looking around.
She found the pod room, turning herself whole. There were two pods in front of her, the backs of them facing her. Samara slowly crept up to the pod on the right, peeking over the side. The body inside was nothing but stretched skin over bones, the person barely clinging to life. Samara shook her head.
“I can only imagine what the poor bastard looks like on the outside…” She looked over at the other pod. Yetunde was inside. She looked normal and the world didn’t seem to glitch out when Samara touched her. She huffed and moved around to Yetunde’s side, putting on the USBs into the computer. An alarm went off.
“Offfff course,” Samara whispered to herself.
After that night of good food and a good sleep, Dana, Ekundayo and Samara felt stronger, more powerful. Samara spat at the floor by the door. The door suddenly caught fire, blocking any entry from the Dogs. But she didn’t have much time or she was going to die in this room. When the computer dinged, Yetunde’s pod shut down. Yetunde groaned, opening her eyes and seeing Samara.
“We don’t have much time,” Samara said, helping Yetunde out of her pod.
“Do you know how weird it is… To be in this simulation with two of you?” Yetunde asked, laughing weakly. The wall came crashing down. Samara slowly peeked out.
“Let’s go!” It was Ekundayo.
“Bit of a problem! Yetunde’s here!”
“Like, real Yetunde and not evil Yetunde?”
“Yeah… Sorry about that,” Yetunde chuckled, leaning against the unbroken part of the wall.
Ekundayo lifted the earth up to the hole in the wall, allowing Samara and Yetunde to travel down safely to the ground. Samara loaded Yetunde up in front of Ekundayo.
“I’ll see y’all when you catch up with Dana. Get her the fuck outta here,” Samara said, turning into her wisp and spooking Ekundayo’s horse. The horse took off, jumping over a guard that came out of nowhere. As they left the town, Dana rode up behind them, throwing fireballs, causing perfectly placed lines of gasoline to go up in flame. They rode passed Shouta, who laid down a talisman he chanted into. He rode next to Ekundayo, glancing over and noticing Yetunde. She was asleep.
“We can’t take her back. We need to make sure she isn’t a trap,” he said, spurring the horse to go faster. The others chased after him. They rode for hours before he slowed down. It was another 2 before he stopped next to a river. The river turned into a waterfall, running into the ocean. Shouta helped Ekundayo get her down as Dana and Samara set up camp. It was daylight when everyone and everything were settled in. Dana, Samara, and Ekundayo were sleeping, Shouta was sitting by the river when Yetunde woke up. Shouta looked over at her. She smiled. He quickly went to her side, placing a hand on the side of her face.
“Hey,” she whispered.
“Hey, you,” he said softly.
He bent down and kissed her.
When Dana woke up, Shouta, Yetunde and one of the horses were gone.