This is a bad idea. A really, really bad idea.
But here I am. Dressed casually, as if I just walked out of the house and ended up at this coffee house like any other day. Jeans, boots, a tank with thin straps to show some skin, a scarf with voluminous fringe to cover what I had better not show. Not even to Aaron. Not even in this age of rampant body art could I pass for merely tattooed.
I have my laptop and a stack of books, a latte steaming next to an untouched bagel on a plate, but I’m not fooling anyone. I might as well be wearing a t-shirt that says “Grace Is Waiting for Her Date.” Every time the door opens I lift my head and every time I know immediately that it’s not him. Yet the bats in my stomach launch into another wild ballet, and my nostrils flare as if to catch the faintest scent of … something. I will know it when I taste it. I will know him the instant he arrives. If he ever arrives.
We are soul mates, of course. True lovers. We have been bound, hearts and minds, since our first adventure together in Demesne. We are actually game-famous for being the first alpha testers to bend the clumsy motion-capture suits into amorous positions, the first beta testers to build effective erotic environments despite the limitations of those first “full sensory” helmets.
Yet unlike tens of thousands of other Demesne couples, we have never seen each other in the flesh. Pictures, video now and then, but lucky for me, he has never pressed for more reality – ha – than I have been willing to give. Our avatars have always expressed us best. Especially now that mocap and sensory transference technology have become so good it is almost better than the real thing.
Last week, we made game history again, becoming the first players to open the way to the Island in the western sea. It is not a higher level in the game, just a sideways step into a hidden land, one so elusive that half the game population believes it is a myth. Rumors have it that there are many ports of entry to the Island, but in the three years since its announcement, no one had found a way in.
But they want to. The Island is entirely devoted to sensual pleasures, your every sexual fantasy fulfilled, with no battles to be fought or treasure to be unburied or enemies to outwit. Your health, energy, and karma are instantly topped off and then doubled. Any curse or geas is lifted, any injury healed.
Even now that we have been grilled by all the gamer media (“Demesne’s First Couple ‘Graces’ Sex Island,” “Amazing Grace Opens Pearly Gates”) we have not revealed how we opened the way. I don’t know how much of our reticence is respect for the secrets of Demesne and how much is simply that there are things you can’t say to a 17-year-old blogger.
It’s hard to believe that a corporation as powerful as Demesne’s publisher could get away with something so pornographic. Not that we’re complaining….