Mac Tom, who creates artificial humans, searches on a chaotic Free Night for the woman he created to be the love of his life. On Free Nights, however, all artificials become independent. Free Nights had been granted to prevent the creation of willing slaves and drones. Mac has until midnight to find Davi Leiko in a crowded party atmosphere and to persuade her to stay with him.
~~~~~ Excerpt ~~~~~
Mac looked upon her with jealousy and loss as he walked toward her. She swayed forward and back as she played the game, watching the rolling silver balls with quick brown foxy eyes. Her arms, like all of her, were smooth and fleshy but firm, tanned just slightly tawny, like all of her, outside her bikini line.
“You shouldn’t have left.” Mac spoke quietly, not wanting to throw her off her game.
“It’s Free Night. Everybody’s out.” She kept her eyes on the game, and snapped another ball into play. “Everybody who’s full and everybody who’s near fullness.”
“You aren’t ready yet. Just one more week. Or two.”
“I feel ready.” She smiled pleasantly, and glanced at him for his reaction.
“I just wanted you right, first. You don’t have — well, a couple of things.”
“I don’t?” She pursed her lips, trying to hide an impish smile. “Don’t I look like I have everything?”
“You know what I mean. Your anger is still missing, and a sense of personal insult — the desire for revenge if someone hurts you. You’ll be helpless out here. Also, that one front tooth of yours isn’t right. The gum around it is gray instead of pink.”
Davi Leiko turned full-front to look at him, ignoring the bouncing bells and lights and silver ball rolling around in her game. Her flowing black hair was swept away from her face in a frame of slight waves. She was stunningly gorgeous, of course; that’s how he’d decided to make her.
“You can’t force me back. I know that. I’m at stage nine now.” Davi Leiko looked up at him ingenuously, as the silver ball in the machine rolled unchallenged between the flippers and clunked somewhere out of sight.