And just like that, we were both heading off to the stars together.

I still ended up in the lower decks.  Mr. Walsh assured me I would
be easily reachable if he needed anything.  He mostly seemed
put-out by the whole thing.  I gladly took the chance to stay out
of his way.

The trip to IO took a leisurely five days.  On the third day, Mr.
Walsh The Second delivered the signed contract to me.  He didn't
say much but I sensed something different in that dead gaze of his.
Had Judy already run him through our plan?

On the fourth day, Judy visited me.  She told me to get off the
shuttle with them in IO and then to pretend I was going to extend
my stay there.  She and the Walshes would be making the return trip
three days later, after Mr. Walsh concluded his business.  I was
instructed to sneak onto that return shuttle.  That's where the
whole thing was going to go down.

I was instructed to do a lot of things, but I wasn't listening to
what she was saying.  I was drinking up that Honeysuckle voice of
hers.  I couldn't help myself, I pulled her close and kissed her.

She kissed me back, but not with her usual vigour.  She seemed
preoccupied.  I let her go.  She told me she couldn't stay long.
She told me she was sorry.  She told me all I had to do was stick
to the plan and we would be together soon.  She told me, "Plenty of
time for all that other stuff later".

That was our last kiss.

Maybe you won't believe me when I tell you this, but I never slept
with her, not properly.  We spent many nights together, we held
each other tightly.  That was enough for me.  I wanted more, yes,
but I was willing to wait.  She was shy.  It seemed strange for an
android to be shy about those things, especially one programmed for
love.  It might seem peculiar to you that a guy could be with a
sex-robot and just be happy with the companionship, the love, but I
was.  Anyway, I always thought we would be together properly some
day.  I was wrong about that.  I was wrong about a lot of things.