Mike had never been in a relationship like this before. He was 26 years old and had never had to worry about losing himself to someone else. He had always had friends, but he had never really been close to anybody. But then Alison came: a real woman with lovely green eyes and shimmering hair that was actually tangible. He didn't exactly know how to respond when she suddenly told him in that soft voice of hers that she fancied him.

There really wasn't anything to do except go back to her place; he couldn't possibly invite her into his last refuge from the pressures of reality yet. The comforting atmosphere of her apartment bothered him slightly; he had had women before, but none of them had ever threatened him with intimacy. The thought of sharing his soul with another person disturbed him almost as much as the thought of someone loving him.

When Mike came back to his apartment later, he felt like a changed man. He wasn't sure if he really liked "being in love," as they called it. The only thing he knew was that he couldn't stand being alone like this, knowing there was a warmer bed across the city waiting for him.

And, to his surprise, Alison was waiting for him. She had somehow known he would be back--who wouldnt come back after such an afternoon? It seemed as if she was already beginning to find intimacy with him, as if a little bit of his soul already belonged to her. As far as Mike could tell, there was only one option for him.

Michael didn't read the papers the next day, or for a few days after that. He supposed they would find her beautiful body sooner or later, but he didn't want to face it. He needed to stick to his RPG's for awhile.