Spark and Flame
The Climatic Battle
Summer jerked awake in the cluttered lab that was becoming all too familiar to her. Claire... No Claire had been a friend, not a close one perhaps, but a friend. This villain, Rewire, was staring at her intensely from ten feet away.
“How are you feeling Cinder?” There was an edge of levity to the question, the malign knowingness of a person holding all the cards cruelly taunting someone with none.
“Still strapped to a chair, Claire.” She had to force the corners of her mouth to not twitch upward at the dumb little rhyme; channeling all her energy into looking defiant. “Are you going to do something to me or just keep taunting me until the League kicks down your door?”
Claire raised an eyebrow, she’d hoped that Cinder would be unaware of the Summerbot persona but apparently it had also stripped away any inclination that Claire had messed with her head at all. Things were going so much better than she had hoped.
“We have all the time in the world Cinder, the League doesn’t even suspect you’re missing yet.” She clasped her hands together, keeping the pointer fingers extended outwards to idly bounce off each other as she spoke, sparks leaping between them, “Tell me, what’s the last thing you remember?”
“There was the bank and then…” Summer’s voice trailed off, her eyes squinting as if to see the past more clearly, “You woke me up to make me watch what you did to that poor security guard, Emily. Then you put me to sleep and then you woke me up just now.”
“Good, no memory loss,” Claire lied, giddy that Summer was apparently unable to remember their previous programming session. She hadn’t been sure if the emulation idea would take or even make sense to Summer but apparently the Summerbot persona not only understood the idea but was adding in little twists of its own, eager to serve it’s mistress. Wonderful.
“I’ll give you this one chance Summer: If you agree to serve me as a super-villainess then I won’t brainwash you into my robotic thrall.” Claire’s wicked grin glowed in the illuminating crackle of energy jumping between her fingertips.
Summer knew something was wrong here, she could almost wrap her mind around the thought but it kept slipping away. If she answered “yes” Claire wouldn’t just let her go, there would have to be some sort of coercion, some way to make sure she didn’t turn on her. Maybe it would afford her an opportunity for escape, but most likely it would be the same result as saying “no” but with the indignity of betraying her values first. It was easy to figure out what happened if she answered “no”: Claire’s powers were clearly formidable and she would have to fight with everything she had to keep herself from becoming an obedient fembot. Not that that was necessarily a bad thing, it had been wonderful when they’d done it before, but that was just play with no true threat of brainwashing... Wait, had she and Claire done that before? Her mind reeled trying to reconcile disparate memories of kneeling in silver hotpants before two different women: the dull silhouette of Claire screaming her name through Summer’s mind, and the other memory so much more vividly detailed until she tried to focus on them and they scattered into mist.
Summer shook loose the memories of playing robot, it didn’t matter who it was her answer was the same.
“Never,” she glared fiercely at Claire, “Do whatever you’re going to do to me, but know that I will resist you to the utmost. I will not simply give in. I am a superheroine of the League of Superheroines and I --”
“Summerbot foreground.” Claire had to hold back a chuckle at Summer’s little speech, the delicious irony being almost too much to contain. Summer’s mouth hung open mid-sentence. Her eyes widened as her jaw dropped another inch, before closing into a content smile.
“Summerbot active,” she cheerily droned, eyes settling with a look of adoration on Claire.
“Good work Summerbot, you understood and executed the Cinder emulation flawlessly.”
“Thank you Mistress”, Summer piped out, her smile widening her blushing cheeks.
“In fact you went beyond my expectations,” Summer’s face lit up with glee at the praise as Claire approached her. She shivered as Claire placed her hands in the familiar spots on her temples. The beautiful blue lights flickered in the corners of her vision once more.
“Why did you restrict Cinder’s access to her memories of being brainwashed, Summerbot?”
“Tenet number three: I must protect my own existence and the integrity of my programming so long as the measures taken do not conflict with Tenet One or Tenet Two.” Her eyes pulsed with blue light, “Had Cinder known she was not in full control of her mind she would immediately begin searching for ways and options to restore control. By disallowing her access to those memories I was able to allow the Cinder emulation to run while preventing her from trying to damage the integrity of my programming. Was I correct in doing so mistress?”
Claire was barely listening to the explanation, focusing instead on neural pathways Summerbot was accessing in order to explain her reasoning. The structure was fascinatingly beautiful; long repressed pathways of robotic subservience twining themselves throughout all of Summer’s brain. She’d kept them alive over the years: sometimes in her dreams half-reflecting on playing out the fantasy before and sometimes on lonely nights in front of her computer, hand in her panties, watching a woman being ordered around like a mindless slave and wishing it was her. She could clear her browser history easily enough, but the best she could do to the urge in her head was push it to the back of her thoughts, where it had taken root and flourished. Now that Claire had given it a name, a purpose, and a mistress; it was fully willing and eager to use its backdoors to all of Summer’s synapses to finally live as it desired.
“Hmm?” Claire roused herself from her hyperfocus on Summer’s self-created snare to answer her adoring servant, “Yes Summerbot, your line of reasoning made perfect sense and your ability to reason as such has saved me countless hours that I thought I’d need to take to help you develop the skill. Well done.”
“Thank you mistress!” Summer’s accomplished smile formed briefly into an “O” shape as Claire tickled her pleasure centers electric blue.
“Now Summerbot I have some questions I want to ask the Cinder emulation. For the remainder of our time in this room when I say ‘Is that true?’ you or any emulations you’re running will immediately answer my question truthfully. Do you understand?”
“Yes mistress.” The thrall of a woman cheerfully responded, the wonderful blue glow fading from her vision as Claire removed her hands, “I could answer any questions you have from their memories without emulation if you wanted it mistress.”
“I know Summerbot, but I want to make Cinder tell me herself.”
“Oh!” Summer looked at Claire with awe etched into every feature, “Of course mistress. I apologize for my presumptuousness.”
“Summerbot load Cinder,” Claire didn’t see the need to accept the apology of a drone. Summer’s eyes rolled back and then blinked shut before the defiantly agitated Cinder returned.
“-- will never give in to the whims of evil!” Summer finished from her earlier speech. She cast a puzzled expression at the villainess as she let out a snort of laughter, “Wait weren’t you just standing over there?”
“I was,” Claire forced herself to hold it together, “Perhaps you were so absorbed in your speech that you lost track of where I was?”
Summer cast a doubtful glare at the villainess, but her mind was telling her that she had indeed gone overboard with the speech and lost track of her position.
“In any case, if you won’t join me willingly then I’ll have to resort to other measures,” Claire caused a sharp crackle of lightning to arc between her fingertips, “Perhaps though I could take it easy on you. Even if you won’t serve me, if you answer some questions to my satisfaction then I’ll let you keep most of your mind intact.”
Summer stayed silent, puzzling out what sort of game the villain was playing.
“Question one: Why did you stand me up for that coffee date back in college?”
“What?” Summer shook her head incredulously, “Is that really all you care about, something I did back in college?”
“Answer the question.”
“Fine. I was still trying to get over my breakup with Jen and I wanted to go drinking to help me forget.”
“Is that true?” Claire watched with excitement.
“Yes.” Summer’s eyes rolled briefly, her muscles tensing in a sudden spasm. Her mouth kept going to her seeming displeasure, “Well it’s partially true. I also wasn’t really attracted to you and didn’t think our date would go anywhere and figured standing you up would be easier than telling you to your face.”
She let out a deep breath as her muscles relaxed.
“How? Why did I tell you that?”
“Feels good to get it off your chest after all these years, doesn’t it?” Claire remarked, ignoring Summer’s counter-question, “How about now, Cinder? Do you find me attractive now?”
“Of course not! You’ve already hurt two people in front of me and threatened to do the same to me. You’ve let resentment get the best of you and worse have started taking it out on others, innocent people. You’re repulsive.” Summer’s words were meant to sting, but Claire only arched an eyebrow in response.
“Is that true?”
“Noooooo.” Her chest heaved against her bonds as the truth was forced out of her, “You look so much better than I remember: hotter, sexier. If we weren’t enemies I’d want you to fuck my body while fucking my mind with your powers.”
Summer was gasping in her seat, fear creeping into her once defiant stare.
“If things were different Summer,” Claire cut her off, an odd softness taking over her tone, “If we weren’t set against each other like this, do you think we’d have a chance together now?”
Summer was speechless; Claire’s face had sunk from malevolent, brain-warping villainess to a wreck of neurosis and regret.
“Please Summer, answer the question.”
“I…” she stammered awkwardly, “What? I don’t…”
“Is that true?”
This time the spasms were gentler but more elongated, Summer’s mouth flapped open and closed in silence a number of times to Claire’s pleading stares before something rolled out.
“I don’t know. I think if we had reconnected some other way, some normal way, I’d be willing to at least try.”
Claire’s face lit up with actual joy for once. Gone was the evil villainess playing with her prey; replaced with a lovesick puppy finally getting attention from the person they most wanted.
“We can make that happen,” Claire’s voice hopefully put forward, joyful smile coursing its positive energy through every muscle of her body.
Summer shook her head, mouth agape, “What--”
She stopped as she saw Claire’s body shudder and intake a heavy breath. Red light poured out of her eyes, nose, and mouth, casting sinister shadows around the room. The joyful look was gone when she regained her composure, she looked almost pained.
“Fuck.” she said rubbing her back, “I got carried away and lost focus.”
“Claire are you okay? That tattoo on your back is it--”
“Next question,” Claire cut her off with hateful intensity, “What is the current status of the League of Superheroine’s investigation into the Crimson Codex?”
“I don’t know, I swear!” Summer gave her a look of concern, “Please Claire, that thing hurt you. I know you’re not a bad--”
“Is that true?” Claire’s voice was steel, hard and firm.
“Yes, mostly.” Summer blinked, “I know they’ve put Scrylocke full time on the case, but I haven’t heard of any progress being made. Everyone is still baffled by the Zenith Labs break in.”
“They only know about the Zenith Labs break in?”
Summer barely opened her mouth before Claire cut her short.
“Is it true?”
“Yes. The only crime linked to the Crimson Codex is at Zenith Labs.”
“Wonderful. You are no longer needed,” Claire said viciously, “Summerbot foreground.”
Summer was still trying to piece together what was happening to her and what the information she had just divulged meant for the League when she stopped existing. Summerbot turned her looks of worry and confusion into a sweet smile to greet her mistress.
“Summerbot active.” she chirped.
“Summerbot it’s time for our final test tonight,” Claire growled, foul mood not affecting the chipper fembot persona, “The first new instruction you will add to your programming is that you will not leave this room or allow your emulations to leave this room until I tell you ‘all clear’. Is that understood?”
“Yes mistress,” a happy nod bobbed towards Claire, “I will not allow this body to leave the room until you say ‘all clear.’”
“Second instruction: Summerbot enter core programming mode.”
Summer’s happy look faded away in a flash as she squeezed her eyes shut and slowed her breathing. She rolled her head slightly and twitched her muscles. A minute later she slowly opened her eyes, staring straight ahead.
“Core programming mode activated.” she monotoned.
“Summerbot, add a corollary to Tenet Two. When running an emulation you may ignore or defy an order I give in order to act in accordance with the emulation, so long as you do not violate Tenet One. However any order I give preceded by the phrase ‘You want to’ you will execute regardless of what the emulation would normally do. Assimilate this programming and repeat.”
She blinked slowly, a humming sound pouring from her slack mouth. Then she blinked quickly thrice and droned back:
“When running an emulation I may ignore or defy an order you give in order to act in accordance to the emulation, so long as I do not violate Tenet One. Any order you give preceded by the phrase ‘You want to’ I will execute regardless of what the emulation would normally do.”
“Very good. Exit core programming mode.”
Summer closed her eyes again, body shuddering and twitching as it incorporated the new programming. Claire loosened the rightmost wrist restraint and unzipped the gloves dampening the superheroine’s fire powers just a bit. Summerbot returned to normal with her mistress standing over her, fiddling with her restraints.
“Summerbot awaiting orders mistress!” She was beaming at her captor’s form, the lycra-covered breasts inches away from her face, the shimmering gloves making final adjustments to the metal band around her throat.
Claire gave her a confusing look: excitement mixed with fear mixed with pain with just a dash of tenderness. She took Summer’s head in her hands and gave her a kiss on the forehead, amplifying the drone’s excitement from the kiss with a jolt to the pleasure center. Summer’s eyes stopped rolling in time to watch Claire walk away, firm ass glimmering in black spandex. She sat in a chair facing away from Summer and began working on something at one of the desks. Summer waited patiently for an order, smile plastered to her servile face.
When it finally came, it wiped the smile away: “Summerbot load Cinder.”
With a grunt Cinder came back to the fore. She squinted at where Rewire had been, searching the room briefly before finding the villain absorbed in something at one of her desks. She began trying to piece together yet another disconcerting time jump when she flexed her right arm and found the binding much looser than she remembered. She glanced with worry and excitement at the supervillain, had Rewiremade a mistake?
She worked slowly, careful not to make any noise. Getting the first arm slipped out of the binding was the hardest part, she nearly dislocated her shoulder doing it. She used her teeth to unzip the glove packed with foam, watching constantly for Rewire to start turning around. She let the wet glove drop softly into her lap, wiping the foam away from her freed hand. She pointed a finger at Rewire, her anger begging her to incinerate the evil woman. She calmed her temper; heroines didn’t hurt people with their back turned to them; she’d settle up with Rewire soon enough, face-to-face.
She loosed the other glove and the rest of the restraints, almost amazed at the opportunity. Rewire had only turned from her work once, and Summer had managed to place her arms and head back convincingly enough that the little half glance Rewire gave her didn’t notice anything amiss. Finally free of her bounds, she levered herself forward and onto her feet. She was almost thankful that Rewire had pilfered her ankle boots, she’d be able to sneak up on her much more effectively while barefoot. She skulked slowly, hands at the ready, toward the seated villainess; stopping a foot behind her.
Summer brought two spouts of flame to her fingers as she barked out:
“Claire, don’t move! I don’t want to hurt you. Put your hands on your head and turn around.”
“Well which one is it Cinder?” the villainess seemed a lot less surprised than Summer had expected, “Should I not move or put my hands on my head?”
“Put your hands on your head and turn around,” Summer said firmly, showing she wasn’t joking around.
“Alright, you got me.” Claire put her hands on her head and slowly spun around in her chair, staring right into the twin spouts of flame Summer was threatening her with.
“Okay, good.” Summer’s voice was intense, her eyes constantly scanning for the villainess to try something, “Now--”
“Actually, I don’t think I’ll go peacefully” Rewire yanked her hands off her head, lightning arcing above her head. Summer shot the twin flames at her, but they went wide. Rewire deftly hopped to her feet, her wicked grin glimmering in blue electric light.
“Looks like you missed Summer. I’ll give you another shot, go ahead.”
Summer scrunched her face in anger, bringing her hands together in one swift motion to spew an infernal rope at her former friend. Again the shot missed despite the women being only a few feet apart. Rewire cackled before shooting a small, crackling ball into Summer’s shin, causing her leg to buckle underneath her.
“Perhaps you should try aiming next time Cinder,” she taunted, nostrils flaring at something in the air. She frowned, looking over her shoulder at a singed desk and destroyed lump of machinery before looking back at Cinder regaining her footing, “Shit, that was stupid. Cinder, you want to stop throwing fire around my lab?”
The intonation was a question, but when Summer readied herself for another volley of flame she found herself unable to call the fire to her hands. She took a step backwards, mind panicking.
“Not so tough when you can’t throw fireballs, huh?” Rewire’s boots clicked forward, right hand dancing with electricity. Summer turned and ran, trying every step to conjure some amount of flame to use in aiding her escape. Time and time again the flames flickered out before taking on a full form. She beelined towards the door, hoping she could make it without Rewire shocking her into submission. She heard a crackle from behind her as a bolt of blue lightning fizzled into the wall behind her; she lunged for the door handle, only a few feet away. The handle wrenched downwards and she pulled the door open in a frenzy of panic and adrenaline. When she moved to cross the threshold of the door frame though, her legs locked up underneath her.
“What?!” the exasperated Summer yelled down at her frozen limbs, “No! No no no no!”
The adjoining room had another door about thirty feet straight ahead with enough space around it to make it more than just a hallway. Occupying that additional space was the furniture for a small lounge setup: a couch, tv, small coffee table, a few end tables, a bookshelf, rug, and two familiar figures. Alisha was sprawled on the couch and beginning to stir from her previous slumber by Summer’s shouting. Kneeling on the floor not far from her was Emily, a pair of clunky headphones over her ears, mouthing words into the air. Her blank eyes stared past Summer back into the lab as her body tensed and twitched to the rhythm of the vibrating panties sealed around her waist.
“Gong somewhere Cinder?” Rewire’s mocking voice called out from behind her. Summer looked back to gauge how close the villainess was, surprised to see that she had stopped. Rewire was just standing there in the middle of her lab, arms crossed in victory.
“What did you do to me?” Summer’s voice was desperate, almost pleading, “Why can’t I move?”
“I don’t know Cinder, why can’t you move?” Rewire’s mocking voice was paired with a equally frustrating expression, “Maybe, just maybe, you’re still standing there because being made into my puppet is exactly what you want.”
Summer balked at the insinuation, of course she wanted to escape! Had Rewire already messed with her mind and this was all just some sort of cruel game? Her brain dismissed the idea immediately, if she had been brainwashed then she’d know. She was confident about that, although she wasn’t sure why. Perhaps it was some sort of targeted force field system, a tech-oriented super villain could certainly manage something like that. She whipped her head back to Alisha, now sitting upright on the couch staring at her, hand beginning its tireless work of stimulating her crotch.
“Alisha, please, help me.” She hissed into the next room, “She’s done something to prevent me from moving, just help me --”
Alisha’s eyes went wide as a familiar mantra poured out of her lips in response: “I will not aid Cinder in any way. I will not listen to anything Cinder says! I will not interact with Cinder in any way unless you command it!”
She sank back into the couch, repeating her programming with greater and greater intensity. The hand fucking her brains into obedience rubbed and slid along her cunt with skillful fury. Summer’s eyes jumped over to Emily, equally if not more useless, droning out presumably whatever instructions were flowing through the headphones on her head. There was no one to help her.
“Just admit it Summer, you don’t really want to escape.” Rewire was clearly relishing each word as she taunted the stuck heroine, “You want to march over here, kneel at my feet, and kiss my boot.”
It was like a switch was flipped in her head, her legs were suddenly able to move again. But instead of sprinting past the two women in the lounge, mindlessly repeating programmed mantras, they spun her around to face towards Rewire again. Heavily but steadily they marched her body to the villainess, Summer powerless to control them. Rewire was grinning haughtily at her as her legs buckled forward and threw her to the ground in front of her black, shiny boots. Summer let out a whimper, one final attempt at a “no”, as her lips puckered and placed a revenant kiss on Rewire’s boot.
“See Cinder? This is clearly what you want.”
“No!” her head strained upwards trying to meet Rewire’s eyes, her own flooding with fear and desperation, “ I don’t want --”
“What you really want though,” she fell silent as Rewire cut her off, “You want to fuck me. You want to let me fuck you. You want to let me make you cum your last ounces of resistance out from between your legs, leaving you a quivering, obedient fembot.”
Summer lunged at her, knocking her off balance. They crashed to the floor, Summer locking lips onto a somewhat startled Claire. Her hands caressed their way up and over Claire’s ass, searching blindly for the waistband of her tights. Claire regained her senses enough to grab Summer’s head in one hand, holding her in the kiss she’d wanted for almost a decade. Claire’s tights were suddenly yanked down to her knees, her leotard twisted to the side as Summer ran her helpless fingers over her inner walls. Claire released the kiss to pant and moan heavily into her thrall’s neck, kissing roughly when she had the self-control to do so.
Claire’s back began to arch as Summer worked her body, the controlled becoming the controller in that moment. Claire surrendered to the bliss, hips thrusting against Summer’s hands, moaning head tossed back in ecstasy. Summer swirled her fingers over Claire’s clit, noting the sudden lack of sound or breath emanating from the other woman’s throat as she neared orgasm. As Claire started screaming, her arms jittering to the side, Summer forced her mouth into another elongated kiss, sealing the sound between them. Claire bucked harder and wilder for a few more seconds before allowing her body to relax, breathing heavily.
“Fuck, that was better than I ever dreamed!” She gasped, eyes refocusing on Summer, “Give me a second… wow!”
Internally Summer screamed at herself to run, attack, tie Claire up, do anything other than sit there; but her traitorous body was still waiting to let Claire fuck her into obedience and ignored all of Summer’s orders. She sat on the ground patiently as Claire crawled to her knees. Soon enough Claire placed a gloved hand on her sternum and gently-but-forcefully pushed her backwards onto the ground. Claire straddled her, somewhat awkwardly as she hadn’t bothered to pull back up the tights bunched at her knees. Summer felt the slippery gloves slide under her uniform and the cold, metal contacts in the fingertips brush along her vulva. The chill felt surprisingly good, sending more than one type of shiver along her spine. She hardly registered the other hand teasing through her hair, splaying itself out over her head.
“Are you ready?” a husky voice rasped in her ear, “Are you ready to cum your brains out for me?”
Summer didn’t get a chance to respond as blue light filled her senses. Her pussy spasmed as sparks danced over it, blips of pain melding into greater pleasure. The sparks were in her eyes too, in her mouth, in her ears; they were pouring from Claire’s hand through her brain and down her spine. She swore she could feel when the two surges of electricity met, that they exploded into a blissful blue light that radiated through her body. Her body spasmed as she lost herself to oblivion, her mouth letting out a silent scream of ultimate pleasure.
When it ended she fell limp on the ground, her eyes fluttering as Rewire rose above her. Once her breathing slowed, she opened her eyes to gaze vacantly at the villainess looming over her.
“Are you my quivering, obedient fembot now Cinder?”
Her mind searched for the reason that question was wrong, but couldn’t concretely find it. Every thought she latched onto told her the same thing.
“I’m… I’m... “ her mouth moved slowly, trying to consider the words she was saying, “I’m your quivering… obedient… fembot…”
“Very good. Now tell me, who defeated you and made you into a mindless thrall?”
“You did,” Summer said groggily, her head swimming with emptiness.
“I did what?”
“You… defeated me and... made me into a… mindless thrall…” her voice was so tired. Thinking was just too hard right now.
“Alright I’ve had my fun,” Rewire knelt down beside the weary superheroine, “I’d been fantasizing about defeating you and bending you to my will for weeks now. The trap at the bank was the most prudent course of action, but this little scene we just played out was so much more fun. Besides, this way we both have our fantasies fulfilled.”
“Both have our… fantasies?” Summer started, half intended as a question about what fantasy of hers was being fulfilled and half just the braindead repetition of the last thing she heard.
“Let’s make sure I didn’t do any real damage during that last blast,” Rewire’s hands were on her head again, the blue light pouring through her brain. Summer just let herself rest against the hands probing their magics into her mind, she was too defeated to resist.
“Perfect, nothing major,” Rewire said to uninterested ears, “Most of the behavior change was due to the Summerbot persona pulling the strings to follow the order I gave it. There’s a few neural paths we need to fix up, but nothing we can’t do in fifteen minutes.”
“Summer… bot?” Summer flushed as she looked up at Rewire with pleading eyes. That name, that designation, sounded so right right now. So appropriate. So hot.
“Well if it’s what you want,” the teasing tone was wasted on the confused Summer, “Summerbot foreground.”
The bewildered-but-compliant look faded off Summer’s face in a flurry of blinks, replaced with a much calmer countenance. An adoring smile tilted upwards towards Claire, who returned the look.
“Summerbot active” she purred.
“Summerbot, return to the chair,” Claire tilted her head towards the restraint device, “You’ve done extraordinarily well! I think we’ll only need a few more hours and you’ll be ready to go out on you own recognizance.”
“Thank you mistress,” Summer droned with pride, strutting her way back to the chair with its multiple metal bands. She took her seat, patiently waiting for Claire to command her further.
“We should have you back to work by Monday morning,” Claire told her as she approached. A gloved hand traced it’s way down Summer’s unmoving body, her steady expression of mindless, cheerful obedience met with a wink and toothy smile from Claire, “Well, maybe Tuesday.”
Summer didn’t care either way, she lived to serve as Claire’s obedient fembot. Blue light shimmered off the cold, steel walls as Claire went to work on her.
The alarm blared loudly on her nightstand. Summer reached out with unseeing fingers to silence the hellish klaxon. He fingers connected with it and… shit… she pressed snooze. She groggily rolled herself out of bed, resigned to the fact that in ten minutes she’d have to be up and with it enough to actually hit the “alarm off” button. She dragged herself into the bathroom, splashing cold water on her face until the last shreds of sleep were banished for another day. All things considered, she didn’t feel too bad for getting blackout drunk the night before.
She ran through the previous few days in her head. Saturday night had been the embarrassment at the bank, an unannounced security drill and a jumpy security chief. That woman, Emily, was lucky she only got singed when she snuck up on Cinder. Fortunately the bank manager was able to get the sprinkler systems shut off and deal with the fire department so Summer could hide from her shame at home. Sunday had been a blur of ice cream and tv reruns in the early afternoon devolving into drinking alone at home, worrying about what sort of lecture she’d get at Monday morning’s briefing.
That problem had solved itself, since she’d woken up slightly hungover on Monday and just decided to call in sick. No one seemed surprised. She’d recovered mid-day with a slice or two of pizza to soak up the alcohol and then decided that if she was going to drink she may as well not do it alone. After the first drink at Carpe Diem, she’d met someone nice; someone with dark hair who knew her from somewhere else. Her name was on the tip of her tongue, but the memory was lost under hours of booze and banter. What she did remember though...
Summer ran to the previous night’s discarded jeans, rummaging through her pockets. Tucked in her wallet she found a small, folded scrap of paper. Smiling, she opened it to find a phone number followed by a “- C.” Right! Claire from college! She smiled at the thought of her, a chance run-in had kindled something between them; something that hadn’t been there before but with time and distance had grown unknowingly and unnoticeably until fate had smacked them together again. Her sappy smile was blasted from her face by the petulant alarm, demanding a proper shutoff this time.
She grumbled to herself and tucked Claire’s number under the corner of a turtle paperweight on her dresser. Claire would have to wait until later, today she had to go to work.