Deleted Scene: Nick at Night from Toxic Love

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This deleted scene originally introduced the hero, Nick Bryce, before he met our heroine Chloe Parikh.

I pulled it because it best fits into the narrative before the first choice branch, but that made the intro sequence too long. So all you lovely folk on my website get to see it as a bonus scene!


Nick couldn’t remember the name of the naked brunette straddling him, and name-remembering was rule number six in GenFriend’s “dating” manual for their immune breeding stock. He did all the right movements—sex had become so rote for him at this point, it wasn’t like he had to think or otherwise mentally engage in the act—but if he had to say her name he was in trouble. Rose? No, that was her perfume, not her name. She smelled of synthetic flowers.

Luckily, his faulty memory seemed unlikely to be an issue as she hadn’t stopped talking since he picked her up for dinner an hour and seventeen minutes ago. Not over the meal. Not over the walk back. Not when she shut the door to her mid-level room at the Venetian and stripped while dragging him into a bed with pink sheets already askew. And after the first kiss, she’d opened her mouth and kept going. With the talking, not the kissing.

Wait. Silence? Shit. For maybe the first time all night, she’d paused in her monologue, as if for a reply. He didn’t even know what she was talking about. Panic thundered through him. It wasn’t her fault they were stuck doing this. He didn’t want to be rude; he just wanted out of here as soon as effing possible. Nod and smile. He nodded and smiled.

She giggled and kept talking.

He breathed a sigh of relief and the bouncing started. Good. The constant slap of body on body made this easier, less personal. And hey, whatever made her happy, and, more importantly, got him back to his garden faster, was great with him. He’d never felt sympathetic for fertilizer before, but next time he would whisper sweet nothings to the bag before he poured it.

He usually let women take the lead. It was both easier and a sexual conduct encouraged by GenFriends. Women had the pain and inconvenience of carrying and birthing the genetically enhanced babies; men just had the “fun” of making them. Woo, fun… So he’d never argued with GenFriend’s system of ladies’ choice. But Jesus, it was his fourth booking this week. Didn’t they have anybody else in that little black book of immune sperm?

With a shriek like a dying kitten what’s-her-name collapsed onto his chest.

Nick didn’t care if it lost him his man card. He never wanted to have sex again.

He picked up the pace, trying to bring things to a rapid close. She moaned and rubbed against him, like they were actually close, not just two people copulating for science.

Panicked, he pumped faster but couldn’t seem to finish the job.

He was never doing this again. Not out of his immense respect for science, not for the Vegas laws that required it, hell, not even for love.

Okay, maybe for love. He could remember a time when making love was badass. At eighteen he would’ve done anything for Leslie Maxwell if it would get her into his bed one more time. Back then he’d been quite enthusiastic about every naked moment.

But that was before GenFriends.

“Look at you, stamina boy. I’m impressed,” NoName purred.

He gritted his teeth. Think of Leslie. Think of Kerrilyn. Or think of back when it was still fun to be GenFriends’ most requested pollinator.

Pollen. The daisy pollen should be ready in the morning for him to test for Tox75 resistant DNA. He was close. Those results were something to look forward to, something to get excited about. Plants in their infinite variety and surprising resiliency fascinated him. He loved his little daisies that just may become the first plants to bloom outside a city complex.

Such innocent little flowers. Striving so hard in a hostile world.

With a gasp he finally released, shooting his anthrax-immune little swimmers into Talks-a-Lot the Also-Immune.

Aw, fuck. He came for daisies? Surely the psych unit would give him a hiatus if he admitted gardening turned him on more than boobs. That was as depressing as it was crazy.

The woman rolled off him languorously.

Thank god. It’s over. He reached down the edge of the bed, snatching for his boxers. She snuggled up next to him, and he froze. Please don’t ask, please don’t ask, please don’t—

“Want to stay the night?”

Hell. He was supposed to say “yes.” It was an unacknowledged policy in GenFriends that if they asked, you stayed. It was just one night (or three, if they requested you all three). A guy could handle sleeping next to a woman for one (three) night(s) after sexual intercourse. It was a natural instinct of human bonding or something, and psychologically they needed it to feel at one with their role as mother. Or something.

But he’d “bonded” with too many women this year. He needed space. They were nesting, and he was scrambling away like a womanizing prick. But he couldn’t do it. He couldn’t stay.

He cleared his throat. “Oh, sure. But I have a five A.M. pollen test to run at the greenhouse. I’ll need to set an alarm.”

About thirty seconds later he stood the Venetian’s never-ending hallway of cream and tan. He wore only boxers with the rest of his clothes wadded up in his arms. The door clicked shut behind him, leaving the hallway in blissful silence. Once, near nudity would’ve embarrassed him. Now, for the sake of Vegas’s children, he shoved on his jeans as he strode away. The rest of it he didn’t bother with. He was used to being naked in front of strangers.


To meet Chloe and find out how Nick recovers from his, er, sexual slump, check out Toxic Love!

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