The woman made from glass called herself Verona. She had eyes of the palest blue.
"What do you smell like?" said Howie.
"I was made without odor," said the woman made from glass, who had the most charming turn of phrase.
"But in the flesh?" said Howie.
"In the flesh?" she said, considering. Then giggled. The body of a woman but the laugh of a young girl. "In the flesh, I'm a vampire. I live in a coffin, in the dark. I drink blood and eat dogs for breakfast."
"That is serious."
"At least tell me your real name."
"Diana, Princess of Wales," she said.
Then giggled again.
"Come here," he said.
Obediently, she knelt at his feet.
* * *
"And?" said Cory Blenfan.
"You'll have to guess the rest," said Howie, smirking.
"Sometimes I worry about you," said Cory. "Why don't you go with a real woman?"
"She is real," said Howie. "That's what makes it so exciting. She really exists, somewhere. It's not like she was just a software construct. That's what makes it sex, not masturbation."
"That's getting a bit philosophical for me," said Cory. "How about I introduce you to a real woman? Flesh and blood, I mean."
"No," said Howie.
Because flesh and blood can —
But I won't think of that.
* * *
"So who's this Diana?" said Howie.
"You really don't know?" said Verona.
"I think I knew," he said. "Once."
"She was a princess," said Verona. "But she died."
"I won't ask how," said Howie.
"A wise decision," said Verona softly. "It was very sad."
Beneath the flawless uplift of her breasts, Howie could see her heart beating softly, softly. Her warmth radiated out from her luminous flesh.
"What are you really like?" he said, softly. "In the flesh, what are you really like?"
"Well," said the woman made from glass, with a sly...