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Dinner, Chapter 3

The Poker Face

By Mercedes ChanttooPublished 15 days ago 7 min read

Disclosure: AI-Generation. This story is a product of collaboration between the author and AI, serving three key roles: Writing Assistance (to refine grammar, enhance ideas, and adjust tone); Personalized Feedback (offering critique and suggestions for improving the narrative); and Visual Creation (entrusting the image generation to AI, as it lies outside my expertise). In crafting this narrative, I employed the capabilities of ChatGPT and Mistral for textual content, alongside Dall-E-3 for the visualization aspects.

In the evening's crisp air, the garden house emerged from the mist, its glass and steel contours glowing with inviting warmth. Lyra and Mike, were the first to arrive, crossing the threshold into a world where light jazz notes danced through the ether. The space, still warming up for the night's festivities, hummed with anticipation. Out of place, a waterbed stood in front of the unlit fireplace. The bar, well-stocked, was under the watchful eye of Emma as she checked a list on her swipe of the cocktails she would be preparing.

As Lyra stepped in, the subtle yet captivating fragrance diffused into the room, catching Emma’s nose as she hastened across the room to greet her favourite guest. Emma, the ever gracious hostess, flashed a smile, "Lyra," she exclaimed, her voice warm with genuine delight, "you look absolutely fantastic as always!" The compliment, sincere and sweet, brought a rosy hue to Lyra's cheeks.

Mike, carrying a sleek suitcase-shaped box, joined Tom with a knowing grin. "Got the latest for us, Tom," he boasted, his voice tinged with the thrill of a child unveiling a toy. Upon opening, the box revealed its treasure—a new dealer base for the sophisticated Ace.

Lyra was momentarily distracted, this looked different, she reached for her swipe. Her eyes widened, unable to mask her surprise at the amount Mike had spent on this particular upgrade. "Fifteen hundred creds, Mike? Jesus, what was wrong with the old Ace?" she muttered, her tone ramping from disbelief towards irritation.

Before Lyra could escalate any further, Emma gently tugged her towards the bar, offering a comforting distraction. "Let's get you a drink, away from the boys and their silly toys," Emma teased, her laughter cutting through the tension.

Tom, with the meticulous care of a curator handling a priceless work of art, positioned the dealer base at the poker table's centre. In a flash, Ace flickered to life, her holographic form the embodiment of a skilled dealer - inscrutable yet alluring.

Her projected upper body pushed the boundaries of propriety. The back was entirely absent, revealing a digital illusion of flawless skin that cascaded down to her waist. Her top, a scant wisp of fabric, clung to her form with brazen tenacity, leaving little to the imagination. The holographic material, shimmering ever so slightly, traced every curve with daring precision, revealing the strong outline of her erect nipples and visible areolae.

Ace greeted the men, her voice resonating with digital clarity, the upgrade process had been flawless, all preferences had been seamlessly transferred to the new entity. "Welcome, The Big Slick and Sir Foldsalot," she purred, her form pulsing with a sensual luminescence.

Mike's excitement was unmistakable, eyes sparkling as he gestured towards Ace. "Deal me a card," he said with a grin. The card zipped from the base, arcing towards him in a brilliant flash. As it landed directly in his out-stretched hand, it slipped from his clumsy grip, fluttering to the floor. "Worth it, eh?" he chuckled, pride edging out any hint of embarrassment.

"How many players tonight?" Ace inquired, her tone even and precise, the perfect pitch of a casino veteran.

"Eight, yeah, and uh, the house is 5 ponies tonight," Tom declared, his voice a mix of bravado and anticipation. "Feeling lucky, Ace."

“Let's make it ten," Mike suggested boldly.

Tom raised an eyebrow, a playful challenge in his voice. "Bit steep? I mean I'm down, but..."

"Go big or go home! Lady Luck is on my side," Mike declared confidently.

Ace grinned, her form glitching and pixelating briefly. "10 ponies it is! Giddy up, and get ready for a wild ride."

With a mechanical whir, several dealer sticks extended from slots in the base, moving with quick precision around the table's perimeter. Behind them, moulded plastic trays emerged, filled to the brim with stacks of vibrant chips. The dealer sticks expertly distributed the piles, while the base seemed to contain more tokens than its compact size should logically allow.

Mike and Tom exchanged congratulatory nods, basking in the glow of their technological triumph. Emma, catching a glimpse of Ace, arched an eyebrow in mild disapproval. Her voice cut through the air, a lighthearted rebuke carrying across the room. "Tom, you're acting like teenagers. Ace - this isn't a strip joint."

Ace's response was immediate, a quip that registered Emma's presence. “Welcome back, Barbarella. Roger roger,” she replied.

Ace's image flickered momentarily, responding to the cue. Her scandalously revealing bare back was promptly covered with a tastefully opaque, digital fabric that extended up to her neck. The top morphed into something more elegant and modest, though still stylish, softening her previously provocative edge. Her nipples, once prominently displayed, were now discreetly hidden beneath the less form-fitting fabric. Though still contour-skimming, the top no longer clung quite so tightly to every ample curve.

Tom, lightly protesting, reassured Emma. “She was decent enough, Em. It’s all in good fun.” Not wanting to miss a beat, he added with a mischievous grin, "But maybe she can assist us with other games… later?"

Emma, secretly enjoying the show but mindful of their incoming guests, playfully covered Lyra's ears. "Tom, you really are incorrigible," she said, shaking her head but unable to suppress a smile.

Emma leaned in, her voice low but audible enough for Lyra to hear. "Actually, would you mind leaving Ace at our place after the game? Just for a little… educational play, of course," she said, her suggestion laced with an impish tone.

Lyra's cheeks turned a playful shade of pink, but she quickly composed herself. "Leave Ace here? I mean, I guess that's fine. I mean getting some more use out of that fifteen hundred cred upgrade, beats staying in the box until next year..." she trailed off, the implication hanging in the air like the sophisticated perfume she wore.

Emma traced her finger along her friend's arm. "Now, Lyra, don't get any dirty ideas. We’re just thinking of a little fun."

The idea seemed to settle into Lyra's thoughts, and after a moment, she responded with a playful glint in her eye, "Alright, but I want her back in mint condition, you hear? No stains, no funny glitches..."

Emma, unfazed, shot back with a blend of humour and firmness. "Don’t worry babe, I’m a whiz with a wet wipe."

As the men continued to marvel at Ace's sleek contours and the flash of cards from her base, Emma noticed Lyra's gaze drifting off, her eyes reflecting a tangle of thoughts. Seizing the moment to shift the conversation to something more personal, Emma leaned against the bar, her elbow brushing Lyra's. "Speaking of upgrades," she began with a playful nudge, "how's our little 'research project' progressing?" The question, light but laden with shared secrets, drew Lyra back from her reverie, a blush blossoming on her cheeks as she turned to face her friend.

Lyra sighed, her eyes flickering with both exasperation and a hint of intrigue. "Honestly, I’m at a loss." she admitted, her fingers drumming a restless rhythm on the cool surface of her glass. “It’s like deciphering a cryptic puzzle.”

Emma's laughter was light yet reassuring, easing the tension. "Relax, it's not a sprint. Let yourself wander," she advised warmly. "I’m guessing you haven't actually tried it yet?"

Lyra's silence was telling. Emma chuckled, leaning in close. "Can't fault the tool if you don't pick it up, darling."

“I took it out the box and cleaned it,” Lyra said meekly.

Emma’s voice dropped to a conspiratorial whisper. "Well, then, the adventure still awaits, doesn't it? Let me tell you a secret, Ms. Strapless is ever-patient, and she won't hold a grudge for standing her up. She doesn't judge or disappoint, and just like me, you’ll find she's always up to spend time with Lyra."

As they spoke, the front door swung open, ushering in laughter and new conversations. Emma glanced towards the entrance. “We'll continue this later. That sounds like Vix,” she said, picking up their drinks.


About the Creator

Mercedes Chanttoo

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