This week with Arlene and Jeff:
...Underneath the table, the Prime felt Diana's hand drift lightly up his thigh, slowly moving to the inside. None of the others could see what she was doing, but he knew what she was going to do, and she knew he knew, yet she waited as he steeled himself not to flinch. This woman understands how to hurt me, he thought while trying to maintain an outward calm. The inside of his upper thigh and his sides below his armpits were points on his body where a pinch seemed to hurt the most. But when the pinch finally came, it was a gentle one, startling him even more.
He cleared a suddenly stopped up throat, and went on. "Arlene first, and later Ann joined her to spend time in Ship's simulation training. Trust me on this until you find out for yourself, but simulator or simulation are words that only faintly describe what Ship does. There is no way to tell the simulation from physically doing the same thing, right ladies?"
Arlene grinned at the men. "Hurt, tired, scared shitless: guaranteed you will feel all of them, and you won't have the foggiest notion that what is happening to you isn't real. And… even now, I'm still not absolutely certain it wasn't real."...
Have a goodun;