“Time for the big date,” Karen said wearily, getting herself ready. Why was she anxious? She knew the guy already, and she had gotten to know Chloe well these past few days. Plus, the freedom of choice was exhilarating.

What do I wear? Chloe chooses it.

How much makeup? Chloe chooses it, with veto power from Karen. They had established that early on, Karen was always light on makeup, couldn’t stand the feel of it on her face.

Shoes? Chosen already by Chloe, she had a thing for shoes.

“Are we ready?” Chloe asked, inspecting Karen’s body in the mirror.

“I think we are. You know, despite the lag, I think it took me much less time to get ready for this date than I ever had before.”

Chloe snorted. “Two minds are better than one.”

“Two girls’ minds. High five!” Karen said and high-fived the mirror. She giggled by herself while she waited for the lag, she knew Chloe would what she just did extremely funny.

She was at the door when she finally replied. “Haha! OMG, good one. Hadn’t thought of that.”

“Hey, should we let him wait?” Karen asked from inside the self-driving taxi.

“What? No. I can’t stand to wait any longer myself.”

“Okay, that’s probably for the best.” Karen smiled and looked out the window. The city was enormous around her, the tall buildings, the AR ads blasting in your face. The taxi was spamming her about some beauty centre, she could choose to get advertised at and get a 5% discount on her fare. Which Karen of course did every time. She had a budget for this year in the big city, and she didn’t wanna blow it all off in the first month. Sure, the shopping spree they had just been on had put a dent in her electronic wallet, but it was actually clothing she would wear herself. And Chloe had a good fashion sense. Heck, she was better at being a city girl than Karen was.

She got taken out of her reverie by an incoming message, she tapped the button to hear it. “I take a silly selfie and send it to Terry, telling him how happy I am that I’m on my way there now.” Well, she could do that. Karen stuck out her tongue and made a face, took a selfie and sent it to Terry. Then she frowned and texted Chloe, “Hey, I sent it as you wanted it. But perhaps you wanted me to forward it to you, so it would come from your account? I’m sorry, I don’t know how to handle this…”

“No, silly, by the time we made the round-trip we’ll have arrived at the café. The point was to send it on the way, it’s fine. You have my permission to send selfies to my boyfriend. At least, when I ask you to.”

“Cool, right. Well, almost there now. Want me to open up with something in particular?”

“I opened up the three-way channel already, it’s fine. Don’t overthink it, I guess?” Karen said in audio. “Just go with it. Tell him, ‘hi baby.’ We’ve agreed that we’re gonna roleplay this to the full extent, right?”

“Got it,” Karen nodded and pulled down her skirt. It was shorter than she was used to, but it fit her nicely and showed off her legs They took the last turn and Karen saw the café, illuminated in reds and yellows by the afterburner sunset. Oh god, she really hoped she wouldn’t ruin this. Not so much for her thesis, but for their night together. She had become too invested in it at that point.

She got off the taxi, pulled her skirt down once again, sniffed once, checked herself on the selfie camera and went for the front balcony, where the tables were set and where Terry was waiting for her.

Her legs wobbled. “Get it together,” she hissed to herself. The lines of communication were open, Chloe could see everything, hear everything. It was okay, she had gotten used to broadcasting by now. She saw Terry and her smile touched her eyes. It was genuine.

Terry waved at her and stood up, pulling the chair for her.

Karen took a risk and went for it. She wrapped her arms around him and kissed him lightly on the lips.

Terry froze, his eyes wide. But then he softened up and smiled back at her. “Hi, baby…” she said with much more gusto than she was going for. She cleared her throat and plopped her butt down, it was no time to practice her acting skills. She’d just be herself, but taking instructions from Chloe. “Thank you,” she said, making an ‘o’ with her mouth while she took the seat.

Terry sat down opposite her. “Hello Chloe,” he said rigidly, staring at his feet.

“Oh no, honey, come sit next to me. Let’s watch the sunsets together,” Karen nagged with a cutesy voice and wiggled her fingers for him to come. He had given her the best seat at the table, just like a gentleman should, facing the view.

“Um… Sure,” Terry said and pulled up his chair next to her. He looked so uncomfortable.

“How was work, today?

Terry nodded slowly. “Good. The calculations needed a bit of tweaking, the trajectories had a minor fault in them. We’re all scrambling to get it fixed, it matters a lot for the safety of the ship.”

Chloe butted in at that moment. “My poor Terry is keeping me safe. Doing all the calculations of the outer solar system debris tracking, he makes sure I’m not in any danger.”

Karen touched his face. He was freshly-shaven, smelling of a distinct aftershave that got Karen’s engine going. “My poor baby, keeping me safe,” she squeezed her lips together, cooing at him.

Terry snorted, looking away. “You realise that doesn’t make sense, logistically. I mean, you’re here, yet I’m keeping you safe at the edge of the solar system? Does not compute.”

Karen squeezed his cheek and made him turn towards her. “Just go with it, dummy.” Then she kissed him on the lips, this time a bit more slurpy than the light peck she gave him earlier. Where was she getting this bravado? Karen needed the other guy to do the move first, always. She talked the talk, but when it was time to walk the walk she was a cheeky chicken.

Terry met her eyes and gulped, his face close to hers. “Yeah. Kept you safe again, love.”

Karen booped his nose and leaned back. “Are we getting our usual hot chocolates?”

Terry started at that, and Karen knew he had noticed. This was Terry’s and Chloe’s drink, not Karen’s. “Yes, I’m going all-in,” she said, opening up the menu ARO. She tapped the usual for them both and sent in the order.

Terry looked flushed. It was either the reddish sky or the litres of blood from his entire body had gathered up on his face. “Uh… Yeah, thanks babe. For ordering. Our usual… I mean.”

“Let’s not talk about trivial matters,” Karen said, leaning towards him again. She brushed his elbow with her tit, giving him a nice view. “It’s been so long since we’ve spent time together. Let’s enjoy the sunsets, right baby?”

Terry glanced at her chest, then turned to the sunsets. “Y-Yeah. Of course.”

“I went shopping, did you notice?” Chloe said and they could both hear her. Karen went along and pulled up her top by the straps, pretending to straighten in. Of course, the desired result was that her tits bobbed nicely up and down.

And this time, Terry didn’t look away. “Yeah, very stylish, Chloe. I-I think they’re in vogue, too? You look great. Absolutely great,” he nodded like an idiot.

“Why, thank you, love,” Karen cooed again and pulled his face to hers. She gave him a peck on the lips.

Their order came. The waitress served them with a smile and hurried away, winking at Karen. She took a sip. Okay, the chocolate was nice. She didn’t prefer it, she wasn’t normally gonna order it by herself, but it was drinkable. It made her feel hot, and she fanned herself, showing her neck to Terry.

“Too hot?” Terry asked.

“I must be just thinking it. The sunsets feel hot, the chocolate on top is too much.” Then she smiled at him. “But it’s’ our drink at our favourite spot, during our favourite time. So, that’s what matters alone.”

Chloe’s voice came nagging. “Babyyy… Why are you sitting so far away from me? Hold me. Hug me.”

Terry blinked. “Uh, sure.” He shuffled his chair closer and touched Karen’s side with his body. He timidly put his arm around her neck.

Karen leaned into him, closing her eyes. She could smell the sweet chocolate against the spicy smell of his aftershave, and she could feel the warmth of the sunsets on her face. “This is nice,” she mumbled, enjoying her date. Sure, it was the weirdest date ever, but she had worse, actually.

This was nice.

“I nuzzle up in Terry’s neck and enjoy the sunsets, my hand inside his,” Chloe said. And her wish was Karen’s command.

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