Inspired by "The Offer" by Android675@aol.com
If you have not read "The Offer" by Android675@aol.com, to which this story is a sequel, stop right here and read it first. (It's available here, among other places.) If you don't, you're missing out on a GREAT story and you may not understand everything that occurs in this one!
Note: The following story contains explicit sexual material. If stories about sex, and particularly robots and sex, do not appeal to you, please don't read any further. This story should not be read by anyone under eighteen years of age. (You know who you are.)
"Huh?" Ben looked up distractedly from his chair. He hated getting interrupted while he was reading the sports section.
"I said, 'How was your day, honey?'" Samantha came bouncing into the room as she said this, tossing her gym bag onto the sofa. She pulled off her oversized T-shirt—actually, it was Ben's—to reveal a shiny, sleeveless, royal blue unitard which reached down to her thighs. She knew Ben didn't like it when she was sweaty, but still she was hoping for a better reaction from her boyfriend. Sam had a great body and she felt she deserved his full attention.
"All right, I guess," Ben replied without looking up.
That does it, Sam thought to herself as she stormed past the living room and into the bedroom. She heard the rustle of Ben's newspaper as he put it down, then the heavy fall of his footsteps behind her.
"I'm sorry, Sam," he said, his hands pressing gently against the door frame. "My day was fine. Stressful as always, but no worse than any other day. I didn't mean to blow you off like that, it's just that I've been so distracted and I wanted to take my mind off everything."
Sam looked into Ben's eyes. There it was—that genuinely apologetic look that always seemed to melt her, no matter what he'd done. She wasn't really that mad at him, she thought to herself. But it was fun making him say he was sorry. "Don't worry about it," she said, a smile spreading to one side of her mouth, then the other. "Go back to your box scores—I'm just going to take a bath."
"OK," he said, "you enjoy yourself. I have to do some work at the office again tonight, so I might be gone by the time you're done, knowing how long your baths usually take. But I promise, I'll try to get home as soon as I can." He leaned over and kissed her forehead, then headed back into the living room.
Sam knew he wasn't lying when he said he'd try not to take too long at work, but she also knew he wouldn't be very successful. Ben worked extremely hard—and though Sam often wished he could take more time off, she also had to admit that his dedication was one of the things she loved most about him. No use thinking about it too much, she decided as she pulled one arm out of the shiny blue unitard. Soon Sam's clothes were strewn on the floor, and the bathtub was filling with hot water.
As she waited for the tub to fill, Sam took a moment to admire herself in her full-length mirror. She only allowed herself to do this after a workout, when she felt really good about her looks. Even though Sam was a professional aerobics instructor, that feeling was sometimes hard to come by. Firmly planting her fists on her hips like some kind of action hero, she sucked in her stomach and lifted her chest proudly. Her medium-length auburn hair bounced up and down in its ponytail as she turned to look at her nude body from every side. Yes, she concluded, she looked great.
Sam remembered what Ben had said a few minutes earlier, about wanting to take his mind off everything. That was exactly how she felt at the moment. It was time to indulge herself. Diving onto the bed to reach the nightstand, she picked up her radio headphones and put them on. Finding her favorite station as she crossed back to the bathroom, she stepped into the tub, closed her eyes, and tuned out the world.
An hour later, Sam awoke with a chill. She had obviously fallen asleep at some point, and since then the bath water had gone decidedly south of lukewarm. Quickly getting out of the tub, Sam dried off and wrapped herself in a bathrobe. She called out to Ben, but he didn't answer. He'd probably gone back to the office already. Just as well, she thought as she crossed the room to turn on her PC. Knowing Ben, he wasn't going to be himself until the project he was working on was done.
While the computer booted up, Sam headed for the kitchen to heat up some leftovers. When she returned, a bowl of pasta and a tall glass of water in her hands, she double-clicked the icon for her ISP. Instantly, her modem's speaker produced a dial tone, followed by the chirping of dialed numbers. The musical tones were so familiar by now that Sam was able to whistle along with them. She was even able to duplicate the beeping, hissing, and boinging sounds which the modem produced as it connected to her ISP. Sam laughed nervously as she realized how silly she sounded. This was a talent she didn't plan on revealing to anyone any time soon.
Once she was logged on, Sam checked her email. Nothing. Her old college roommate, Kim, should have gotten back to her by now. It was almost time for Kim's annual visit to Boston, and more than a week had gone by since Sam sent out her email asking for Kim's itinerary. Sam was sure Kim must have a good reason for being out of touch. Most likely, she was traveling on business or something. Sam decided that she would give Kim one more day before calling her. Shutting down the email program, she opened up a web browser and surfed around for a while.
Eventually, Sam arrived at one of her favorite sites—the Collegiate Dance Association, which sponsored the national dance team competitions she'd been a part of in school. Though three years had gone by since her graduation, Sam still missed being on the dance team. That's where she had met all of her best friends—Debbie, Julie, Kate, and especially Kim.
That was also the one time in her life when she'd had a legitimate reason to be wearing full-body catsuits made out of shiny lycra.
Except for Kim, none of the girls had ever talked about it much, but it was really exciting to wear those costumes. Sometimes she wished she still had hers—the black one with the hood, when the team tried a spider-woman theme, or the one from the Christmas show that was all red from the front and all green from the back. Or, best of all, the gold one, from the performance that won them the championship, when the entire team dressed up like life-sized Oscar statues and danced to Academy Award-winning movie songs.
But those outfits were team property—and despite the strong temptation, she'd never gotten up the courage to steal one. All she had were regular workout clothes, and though she almost always chose shiny material, they just weren't the same. Besides, there was no one else to wear them with, none of the camaraderie of dressing exactly the same as a whole team of girls focused on the same goal. There was something inexplicably exciting about that, too.
Well, there was no going back to college. Still, Sam suddenly thought, maybe it would be fun to buy a dance costume for herself now. She'd met Ben after graduation, and he'd never seen her in one of those outfits. She wondered if he'd like the way she looked—though butterflies filled her stomach as she wondered how she'd feel if he didn't. As she finished her dinner, Sam finally decided that it was worth a shot. If Ben wasn't impressed by her appearance, or at least excited by the boldness of her dressing up so strangely, then maybe he wasn't the right person for her after all. A girl should always make sure her man treated her right, she thought to herself—that's what her friend Kate always used to say. Ben was just going to have to find a way to appreciate her little . . . what was the right word?
Sam paused for a moment. "Fetish," she whispered aloud, staring off distractedly into space.
Sam suddenly snapped to, startled. She couldn't believe she'd just said that! She'd always thought of fetish as something of a dirty word. Sort of like kinky, she suddenly thought. The words often seemed to connote a lot of hard-core stuff she simply wasn't into.
And yet, as she fantasized about making love to Ben in a lycra catsuit, it was obvious to Sam that both words suited her. The realization excited her immensely. Sam's heart began to thump loudly in her chest as a feeling not unlike stage fright came over her. She was completely alone, but it was like a huge audience was watching her. "I have a lycra fetish," she said aloud. "It makes me feel really kinky." A wave of satisfaction and relief washed over her. It felt wonderful to talk like that.
Sam imagined saying those words to Ben—not necessarily in a sexual situation, but sometime when he least expected it. Like the next time she came home from the gym—maybe that would get him to put the paper down. Or during a big night out, in a fancy restaurant, with another couple just close enough that they might, or might not, be within earshot. Come to think of it, maybe it was best if someone else did hear her. She'd wear that Chinese-style red silk dress he loved so much, with its tight collar and sexy little buttons that ran down to her shoulder, and she'd put her hair up the way he liked it. And then, just as the waiter came by to refill their water glasses, she'd lean forward and say: I have a fetish that you need to know about. Nothing, I mean nothing, gets me hot like wearing shiny lycra catsuits. Let me wear one for you tonight, Ben. I need to show you the kind of woman it turns me into.
The thought of actually going through with her fantasy was too frightening. This was completely crazy! Still, she had some time on her hands and she was feeling curious. Sam knew herself well enough to realize that if she didn't put her anxiety out of her mind, she'd never be able to go through with this. Clearing her throat, she returned her attention to the computer screen and began her search for the perfect outfit.
From the CDA web site, it was easy to follow several links to the association's approved dance apparel suppliers. Some of the names were new since she'd finished school. The problem was, most of the sites had terrible graphics, and it was hard to know exactly what their fabrics looked like. Worse yet, they all seemed to want too much money for a custom-made costume. They were all geared toward bulk orders and team discounts, not individual sales. Even if she could afford it, Sam was skeptical about trying to get one of these companies to make something from scratch. That would involve too much effort on her part, and too much risk of embarrassment, or of getting bad, nonrefundable merchandise.
No, Sam needed to find a specialty supplier of some kind. But specializing in what exactly? Sam decided to try using a search engine to find something interesting. She tried all sorts of keywords: lycra, spandex, catsuit, costume, custom, and so on. But her queries kept bringing up the same sorts of sites—sportswear suppliers, lingerie catalogs, celebrity photo galleries, and other junk. She was going to have to think of a better word to describe what she was looking for.
Sam thought about her fantasy a little more. What was it that appealed to her the most about putting on the spandex? Some of it was a kind of exhibitionism—becoming naked not by removing her clothes, but by putting the right clothing on. Part of it was simply the excitement of having a secret—something in her closet, a side of herself that nobody else knew existed. But mostly, it was the ability to become something she would otherwise never get a chance to be—a superheroine, or even a villain; an astronaut from the distant future, or an ancient goddess; an Olympic athlete, or an exotic dancer.
The best part was the transformation, Sam realized at last. Sam wanted to be transformed.
Sam typed a new string of keywords into the search engine—lycra catsuit transformation—and waited patiently for the results to pop up. The third site from the top was called Forever Silver. Hmm . . . that sounded like it could be promising! Sam immediately followed the link.
The Forever Silver web site was pretty simple, but it immediately grabbed Sam's attention. The page looked like a computer console from a science-fiction film, with three dark blue display panels bounded by polished chrome pipes. There was a subtle animation to the pipes—a slight reflective glare seemed to dance along their surface, and they sparkled intermittently at random points. The panel along the top read:
The second panel, which ran along the left side of the screen, contained a simple menu whose first item, Welcome, was highlighted. Next to the menu was the main display panel, which took up most of the screen. The main panel was full of text, but Sam didn't bother to read it. She was too busy staring at the two pictures which flanked the text: a great-looking guy on the left, and a gorgeous woman on the right, both wearing skin-tight silver spandex catsuits, complete with shiny silver boots! The catsuits covered everything from the neck down and left nothing to the imagination. This was exactly what she wanted! It was almost too good to be true.
Sam quickly skimmed the introductory message.
Sam couldn't wait to see the rest of the site. Below Welcome, the menu only had two other choices that looked like they would do anything if she clicked them: Online Catalog and one called Initiate Your Personal Transformation! The last two menu choices—Order Status and The Offer—were disabled. Sam could see why Order Status wasn't active, since she hadn't placed an order. But The Offer—what could that mean? There also didn't seem to be any of the usual links for corporate background pages, like "About Us," "Contact Info," or "Job Opportunities." Sam suddenly realized she was getting way ahead of herself. She'd barely scratched the surface of the site, and already she was so hooked that she wanted to know if they were hiring!
Sam clicked on Online Catalog, eager to take a complete tour of the Precision Passion product line. Surprisingly, the catalog consisted of a single page dedicated to the Personal Transformation Kit, which appeared to be the company's only product. Beneath a large photograph of another attractive couple in the silver catsuits, several smaller photos showed close-ups the other items in the kit. In addition to the calf-high silver boots, with their funky-looking thick heels and bright chrome trim, there were a few optional accessories in the kit, such as stylish silver sunglasses with opaque metallic lenses, a chrome ponytail holder, and a silver belt with a shiny chrome buckle. The kit also came with a high-quality silver makeup set, including lipstick, eye shadow, and glitter hair gel, to go with the costume. It was a complete look that was sure to produce the desired effect—namely, to knock Ben off his feet and make Sam feel incredible. Last of all, there were a few extra items—a black duffel bag to hold the whole outfit in, a smaller zip-up bag for the makeup, and a short black box of some kind, no larger than a wireless phone. It was hard to tell exactly what it was, but Sam guessed it must be a case for the sunglasses.
Sam couldn't believe her eyes. She couldn't have dreamed up a more perfect outfit had she been a professional fashion designer. Still, she had a hard time believing that this company could survive selling just one product, not to mention one so specific in its appeal. How did they make any money? Then Sam realized that the catalog page didn't mention anything about the price. Sure, she thought. They must not want you to know about that little detail until you're already filling out the order form.
Sam clicked on the next item in the menu—Initiate Your Personal Transformation!—and, sure enough, there was the order form. At the top of the page was the price, in large, bold numbers: $79.99. Only eighty dollars? No way! Sam searched the page for the fine print that she expected would say "five easy payments of" or something, but there wasn't any. Plus, the kit came with a 30-day money-back guarantee. This was excellent!
Suddenly, that strange stage-fright feeling came over her again. Sam was hit with the full realization that her fantasy was in reach. As long as she wasn't happy about the products she had seen, or as long as the price was too high, she'd had an excuse not to go through with this. But now, it was obvious that she could have exactly what she wanted, if she only had the courage to finish what she'd started. As Sam filled out the order form—it didn't mean anything until she hit the button at the bottom, she kept telling herself—her heart started beating faster and faster. Though it was reassuring to know that she didn't actually have to talk to another human being to buy the outfit, Sam still felt strange about the fact that someone on the other end would know that a woman named Samantha Taylor, at 1040 Robbins Street, was secretly into wearing silver spandex and makeup.
Then Sam remembered her restaurant fantasy—and the thrill of imagining her little fetish revealed to the world. Suddenly she didn't care who found out about it. Let them all say anything they wanted! It didn't matter at all. As Sam clicked the Submit button, all of her fear slipped away. She felt immensely powerful, completely free.
The site's main panel went blank while the web server processed her order form, and the cursor became an hourglass. Sam stared intently at the screen, waiting for a response. Several seconds passed, during which the chrome pipes in the display interface continued to gleam and sparkle. Sam distracted herself by trying to discern a pattern to the animation, but there didn't seem to be one. She followed the light clockwise, then counter-clockwise; down along the inner edge of the menu display, then around the outside again. It was very pleasant. Soon a full minute had gone by, and Sam's eyes had never left the screen for an instant.
Finally, her order had been processed, and the screen refreshed itself.
The Order Status menu item was enabled now, so Sam clicked it. Her order hadn't shipped yet, of course, but the screen still captured her attention. In addition to the gleaming pipes, the main display of the order status screen had a simple animated background whose deep blue slowly grew just a few shades brighter and darker as she watched. Sam found it hard to pull away from the screen. It felt good to just relax and stare at the pulsating, gleaming display.
Ten full minutes later, Sam finally decided it was time to do the dishes and go to bed. By the time Ben got home, she was sound asleep. Over the next few days, Sam furtively checked her order status every evening as soon as she got home, once she was sure Ben wasn't watching. Each time, the screen welcomed her with its gentle throbbing and sparkling, and she always lingered a few minutes, sometimes clicking the Refresh button a few times to see if the status had changed. Sam's anticipation grew with each passing day. By the time a week had gone by, her need to visit the site had even overpowered her fear of discovery by her co-workers, and she began to check the site several times a day from one of the computers at the gym.
It was two weeks after she'd placed her order, after more than fifty visits, that Sam finally got the news she was looking for. There, against its endlessly pulsating blue background, the Forever Silver order status page rewarded Sam with the confirmation number for her Personal Transformation Kit: N979.