One

Even though we don’t age, time moves on. Lauren, my adopted daughter, came to us when she was eight. A product of  a perverted Shadow father who sexually abused her. The good news is, being a Shadow, he could take her mind, she was not herself when it happened. For his own safety, he also erased her memory each time. She wasn’t clear that she was sexually abused, she had suspicions. She does know she was locked in her room all day while her father was truck driving.
We handled it like we did the other wards and adoptees, got her busy with lessons, plenty of physical exercise, tons of attention. There are, including Lauren, twelve girls in our Greenwich Village condo, plus my mom, her two companions, Lacy and Taylor, and Janah’s parents, James and Kara.
Everyone got the RNA and proteins that mysteriously popped up in Janah and me. We stopped aging at twenty five, over the years, as girls moved in, they were given the option. Who doesn’t want to quit aging? Nikko is permanently twenty five, Zi a couple of years younger. Amaya and Chloe are eighteen-ish, Eloise is twenty, Sloane is eighteen. Ocean and Cassie something like fifteen, Dasha and Daria seventeen or eighteen, I’m vague on some because they didn’t know their ages when they came to us.
We’re all lesbians, I’ll get to Lauren in a bit.
We don’t have sex rules, everyone mixes intimate partners, the variety is scintillating. Some of us share bedrooms, Janah and I, Nikko and Zi, Amaya and Chloe, Oceane and Cass, our twins Dasha and Daria. That doesn’t mean exclusivity, girls are frequently found in different beds.
My adopted daughter Sloane is transgender, born physically a boy, all girl otherwise. She did hormone treatments, and was considering a full transition. That changed when Oceane discovered a fondness for the boy part. Subsequently, Janah surprised me, she likes the boy part too. Neither of them are interested in men, Sloane isn’t a man, she’s a girl with a penis, the rest of her has breasts, smooth hairless skin, only hair she has is on her head.
We are lipstick lesbians, we don’t dress lesbian, there’s not a single flannel shirt in the place, our comfortable shoes are mostly girly sneakers, we wear makeup.
To Lauren. When I closed out Book XV, Lauren was ten. Puberty kicked in at twelve, they mature earlier these days. She had a decision to make. We’d talked it over when she was a month from fifteen.
“You can decide to quit aging anytime now. You can wait, or you don’t have to take the treatments at all. It’s not painful, some injections and you’re done. If you wait, you may grow a bit more, fill out some.”
Lauren, “I’m five-six. How much might I grow?”
Janah, “Based on feet and hands, not much, you’re proportionate. If your feet were bigger, I’d guess a couple of inches, but I suspect you’re done.”
Lauren, “I love the way I look, I don’t want a bigger butt, it’s cute, my legs are long and curvy from swimming and gymnastics, I have muscle tone. I want to stay where I am.”
And she did. A year later, she hasn’t changed an ounce.
I’m with her in her room, she’s admiring her nude self in the mirror.
“I’m so happy I went for it. I might not be Amaya, but I’m definitely jailbait.”
I laugh, “You haven’t shown much interest in sex, with either gender.”
“No, that’s not my thing, my thing is me. Toys or fingers do the job when the mood strikes. Am I weird?”
“We’re all weird by common standards. We also don’t care about common standards.”
“God thing I’m cute, my family is nothing short of gorgeous.”
“Janah prefers to be surrounded by beauty.”
“Glad I got enough likes.”
Janah is master if intention. When she intends for something to happen, it happens. She reached out for me when we were eight, we learned to talk mentally, telepathically, didn’t actually meet until we were twelve. We’ve been physically inseparable since.
Some of us mental, which I call our telepathy. Not all of us. Having someone who can be in your head twenty four seven is not for everyone. Those of us who do it respect privacy, kind of have to. We can not only swap thoughts, we can see what the other sees, hear what they hear. Other senses, not so much. We stay out of other’s heads unless there’s a reason, it comes in handy when we chase Shadows ordeal with Society targets.
Janah and I can mental with Nikko. I can mental with Dasha and Daria, also Amaya. They don’t mental with the others, excepting the twins, they can mental with each other. Don’t get confused, it will clear up as we progress. Make a note, you will see mental conversations in italics. 
Lauren steps away from the mirror, I’m sitting on her bed. She comes over and straddles my legs and sits.
“Does your adopted daughter turn you on? You don’t have to answer, I see you watching me,” she giggles, “what a perv.”
“Like you object to my objectification.”
“I’m a tease, it’s fun.” 
I’m leaning on my hands, she takes them and puts them on her thighs, “Smooth and tight, huh?”
“Very.”
She kisses my cheeks several times, then a lingering one on the lips. She hops up.
“Enough for you.” 
She turns again and pulls me up, “Find me a chemise and make me a cup of tea mom.”
Bossy thing, I like her a little sassy, she’s been infected by Amaya.
I find her a curve hugging chemise, nice and gauzy, reveals just enough of what’s underneath to entice. I slip it over her head pull the hem to mid thigh, take the opportunity to smooth it with both hands over her slim torso. While she admires herself in the mirror, I click the intercom for Emma.
“Tea for Lauren please.”
Emma 1.0 was just being completed when we left you in the last volume. This version, Emma 3.0 is amazing. We call her Emma B, b for bot. She’s named after Emma Watson, the totally adorable, stylish and svelte British film star of Harry Potter fame. Ours is the grown up version, about her Bling year. Amaya thought it would be fun to have Emma Watson bring her coffee.
Amaya designed the original skin, Emma the robot looks just like Emma the film hottie. And Amaya can reproduced any voice in any range. Emma sounds like Emma. The bot washes dishes, fills and empties the dishwasher, sets the table. She does laundry, can even fold the clothes out of the dryer but usually doesn’t, Janah finds folding meditative. Emma can navigate the steps, push the vacuum, dust and change sheets. She cleans the bathrooms. She’s a member of the family.
Eloise and Lauren are finishing up Grace, a second bot that looks like Chloe Grace Moretz, in her Hit Girl days. We went with Grace because our Chloe named herself after Chloe Moretz when she came to us.
In the Kick Ass film, the character is a twelve year old girl that curses like a Marine. Our Grace does too.
Emma B comes up the steps, into the bedroom with a cup of tea. Made, carried through the condo, up the circular staircase without spilling a drop.
Lauren, “Thank you Emma B.”
“Anything else Miss Lauren?”
“No, nothing.”
“Good afternoon Daphne, shall I get you something?”
“I’m good.”
“If you are going downstairs, I can clean Miss Lauren’s bathroom now.”
Lauren, “Go ahead, I’m done in there.”
Emma B is collecting towels as Lauren applies pale blue eye shadow, I brush her hair, straight to her shoulders, silky soft. Finishes the tea, hands me the cup and applies lip gloss. Smacks her kips together, checks the mirror once more.
“I’m done mom, going to visit Oceane and Cassandra.”
“I need a few things from the market, any requests?”
“Maybe I’ll go food free, anorexic, I need more drama in my life.”
“Good luck with that, I’ll tell Dasha she doesn’t need to make pancakes for you anymore.”
“Maybe not totally anorexic.”

Two

When I return, Dasha’s in the kitchen stirring black bean soup and chopping up garden burger to add. Janah is our house vegetarian, Oceane is a partial veg, she’ll eat chicken sometimes and fish anytime, no beef or pork. 
We don’t know why she makes the distinction, Oceane doesn’t explain herself. It not that she’s being imperial or obstinate, it simply doesn’t occur to her. Most people are trained by parents and society to explain, why do you want this, why did you do that? When they grow up, it’s ingrained in the psyche. People add a ‘because’ to any decision and feel compelled to offer explanations when asked, or even when they aren’t. Explanations are made up anyway, we have no real idea why we do what we do. Your brain says ‘the red one’ you get the red one, tomorrow you might have selected blue.
Dasha, “Dahfoney,” so cute, she retains her Russian accent, people find it charming, especially me, “you will brown chop pork and add to zoup. You haf zour crim from store?”
“Sure do, can’t have black bean soup without sour cream, and I got cauliflower, mushrooms and squash. I’ll batter and fry for the side dish. Do I need to chop onions?”
“Nyet, already in refrigerator, I will sauté een buhter for two minute then add to zoup before serving.”
We like the vegetables to crunch, not cooked down to mush.
Janah comes in, peers over Dasha’ shoulder, “Yum, when’s dinner?”
“Dinner ees always seven fifteen to seven thirty.”
“You going to fry those vegetables, Daph?”
“Sure am, the side for the zoup, or you can snitch some for an appetizer, cornbread and that’s dinner.”
“Is it tea? I’m hungry.”
Janah’s always hungry, she’s got an eidetic memory and chews up information like a wood chipper. Her brain burns more calories than the impossible yoga positions she can twist into.
“Fifteen, there will be cookies, oatmeal and shortbread. Cheese and crackers during cocktails. Smoked salmon too, but that doesn’t apply to you.”
Emma B comes down the steps with the laundry from Lauren’s room, after she’s loaded it, I snag her for tea duty while I finish making the cornbread batter and get it in the oven.
Emma B, “The usual assortment?”
She means green and black, “Yes, and cookies. Just set the dining room table, don’t worry about the low table today.”
“No performances then, too bad.”
She means our resident geishas, Chloe and Amaya, playing flute and shamisen, or perhaps Chloe dancing while Nikko plays. I learned tea ceremony from Nikko’s mom, Ari Murakami. Then over the course of several years, she worked Amaya then Chloe through the stages of Geishas, first Maiko, then Geisha. 
Ari was an Okaasan, house mother and resident trainer of Geisha, in Japan. Nobody wants to learn the art of tea, entertainment and subtle conversation in the states. Too busy yelling opinions at each other and posting crap on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter. 
When I came along, then the others, the Murakami’s were delighted to find Americans wanting and willing to absorb their culture. 
Soichi Murakami, Nikko’s dad, taught Nikko and me, then Chloe, the art of the sword. He is Hanshi, the equivalent of Master in other martial arts, or Sensei in Shotokan or judo. Hanshi is a 9th dan, which isn’t awarded anymore. It takes almost fifty years to get to 8th. No shortcuts in kendo.
Chloe and I are evenly matched, Nikko is on some other kendo planet. We can get a point if we get lucky, otherwise she bashes us with bokken at will.
“You like the music Emma B?”
“And Amaya’s voice, I got my voice from her, as you know.”
“Amaya is uniquely talented.”
She pops in my head, “Good of you to acknowledge. Your little minx is in here coercing me into polishing her nails. She stares at herself in the mirror more than I do.”
“Hard to imagine,”
Amaya’s favorite vision is hers, at least until Chloe came along.
“We are admiration worthy. Lauren is a bit like Chloe. I am flawless, Chloe is pieced together by a blind puzzle maker. While the parts alone are nothing remarkable, the complete package is adorable. Lauren’s nose is not big, but not proportionate to her face, her owl eyes are too round and too dark, near black, like Nikko. When she stares at you it’s like she sees right through. She has, however, annoyingly perfect lips, her honey olive skin is glass smooth. Not a mole or a freckle anywhere, she made sure to show me. How can there be an asexual exhibitionist?”
“That’s one for Janah. Although she self stimulates, just doesn’t do intimacies with other people. I assume she’s happily in lust for herself.”
“I can relate, but I want girls groveling for my perfection.”
“Any shortage of grovelettes?”

I hear laughter as she tunes out, as if, straight women are tempted to jump ship when they get a look at Amaya.
Eloise appears, “Grace is operational, test run tomorrow, where’s Lauren?”
“Being catered to by Amaya.”
Nikko, Zi and Daria arrive from their Chinatown offices. They run the business and investment end of our lives. We have substantial real estate investment in the city, homes in Canada and Arizona, a drone manufacturing business, a property management company, a film company and over a billion dollar portfolio of stocks, index ETFs, and municipal bonds. There’s a sideline of four Down Home restaurants in the boroughs, and Ultra Violet, a thoroughly modern environment serving a mix of southern and New Orleans dishes, a few blocks into the former meat packing district. It’s insanely busy, but our manager, Mariella likes the beehive and is well compensated. All staff participate in profits, there are bonuses, fifteen an hour minimum wage, no tipping. Mariella has waiting lists for employment.
You don’t get as filthy rich as we are without a jumpstart. Janah, Nikko and I inherited property from Mrs. Fong, lots of it, a couple hundred million at the time. In the course of Society work, we also stole over two hundred million from various drug cartels. Amazing amount of juggling to get that much cash laundered, but Nikko did it over several years and multiple shell corporations.
Dr. and Mrs. Epstein, who started the Society, left us nearly a hundred million in cash and property, including a 5th Avenue condo worth a gigabyte of bucks today.
We turned it into the Epstein Library, rare books revolving around science, philosophy and more esoteric Buddhist works. Visitors by appointment, with verifiable academic credentials.
Expanding into property management, our other businesses and Nikko’s handling of our stock and bond investments have led to a net worth approaching five billion.
Every girl in our tribe has a piece. Amaya’s book royalties, profits for Chloe Couture and Chloe’s compensation for acting or modeling are separate and belong to them. They do mix their investment accounts in with the rest of us. 
Everything comes under divisions of Murakami Sylk and The Sylk Trust. We can do a lot of school funding via the Trust, and education based 501C3, money we contribute is tax deductible. The Trust is some eight hundred million apart from our group net worth. 
We are the one percent. But we don’t park money overseas, we don’t fudge on taxes, we pay what’s owed. Our accountants do take advantage of legitimate tax breaks, they wouldn’t being doing their job otherwise.
If you’ve read the preceding books, you know most of this. For a more detailed description of the growth of our family, see prior volumes, there are general summaries in the opening chapters.

Three

Tea is our time for quiet reflection. Cocktails are for winding back up, the screeching laughter can make eardrums rattle. Now time for dinner. Girls take places at the table, which was built for twelve, now expanded, and can handle sixteen comfortably.  
Emma B serves. It still amazes me, a robot spooning soup into the bowl, pouring wine. I’m coordinated, but still get the odd drip here or there, Emma B never does. She places a hunk of cornbread on small plates, places them precisely to the top left of each dinner plate.
“Come on Emma B, there must be crumbs.”
She shows me a small brush, like for applying sauce.
“Next you’ll be using a hand held vacuum.”
Emma B, “I had not thought of it, perhaps you will hear a giant sucking sound.”
We laugh, Amaya asks Eloise, “Where does she pick up arcane phrases from decades old election cycles?”
“She can play YouTube while she works, or surf the net. And she doesn’t sleep, just being in motion recharges her batteries, she’s her own charger. While we’re conked out, she’s learning.”
“One day she will be smarter than Janah.”
Janah, “Amaya, she’s already smarter than me, us, all of us collectively.”
Amaya’s mouth opens, nothing comes out.
Dasha, “No to worry Eemaya, Emma B ees not creative genius, only smart.”
Emma B, “You are correct Dasha. I am programmed for efficiency, creativity is frequently inefficient.”
Amaya, “I am relieved, for a moment I envisioned being eclipsed by a mechanical device.”
Nikko, “We should have a bot for Shadows.”
The table is silent. Things are frequently so obvious, nobody thinks of them.
Janah, “Good gravy I’m getting slow, glad Nikko is still on game.”
“Don’t over credit, I was sitting here wondering what a monk bot would look like, in robes or everyday gung fu uniforms, or a kendo bot. The Shadow thing popped in my head.”
Eloise, “I can make the bot, I can’t give it the aura of a Shaolin.”
Oceane, “Cassandra can, she creates universes,” she takes a bite of fried cauliflower and feeds Cass the other chunk as if it’s nothing unusual.
Eloise, “Guess that settles that, Lauren do you want to help build a Shaolin bot?”
“Of course! Will it look like mom?”
“How about one after Daphne, one after Zi?”
Lauren screeches, “Tomorrow, we start tomorrow, okay? Amaya, will you design the skins?”
Amaya, “Those are skins I know intimately, they shall be perfect reproductions, Zi and Daphne are going to have twin sisters, who are smarter than they are. In Daphne’s case, say fifth or sixth grade.”
“I can access Janah’s brain, I don’t need smart, I got smart. And I can access your brain, I don’t need creative, I got creative.”
Amaya scrunches her lips, “You may be smarter than you look, legs.”
Janah, “Pass the veggies please, I seem to have run out. Dasha, the soup is remarkable, as you can tell from my empty bowl.”
Emma B, “More soup Janah?”
“Yes, and another hunk of cornbread, butter and microwave it a bit, I like it warm and squishy.”
Emma B, “Like your girls.”
The table explodes, Emma B’s got a sense of Brit humor.
“Daria, I assume you are responsible for the software, good job.”
Daria, “Nyet, Susan and Amaya did the background. Emma B is fully aware of family intimacy preferences. You have no secrets from your servant.”
Emma B, “I am the soul of discretion, my mistresses excluded, no one outside the tribe will hear any gossip from me. I can’t be tortured, bribed or blackmailed. I am also studying law and medicine. As Eloise continues to sharpen my motor skills, I will be able to suture, align broken bones and even do brain surgery, which is likely only necessary in the case of Daphne.”
My friends have another burst of laughter, Amaya rises to my defense, “You shall do no such thing tin pot. Daphne’s quirks are essential to our overall functionality and safety. If she starts thinking linearly, we are lost. Clear the table and deliver Cognac, what entertainment options are available?”
Emma B doesn’t get insulted, she’s incapable of it, like Daria and Dasha, taking offense isn’t in their genetic code. That doesn’t mean they won’t kill you if you’re an abuser, it just means you can’t upset them with name calling while they do it.
“A former Oscar winner, the Revenant, if you care to spend three hours watching a man get mauled by a bear.”
Amaya, “Out of the question, a bear made the twins as strong as…we favor the bear. Next.”
“I recommend an oldie, Serenity. A space expedition, mostly too macho, but one of the characters is Summer Glau of The Sarah Conner Chronicles. She plays a demented sister of one of the crew members. Not enough screen time, but what there is of her, is splendidly entertaining.”
“A crazy girl in space, right up our alley.”
Emma B can start a movie while clearing dishes and pouring Cognac, the multitaker’s multitasker.
Emma B’s right, Summer is luscious, and wipes out a bar full of baddies, our kind of girl.
Time for bed, I follow Lauren upstairs.
“Take off my chemise,” I do, hang it up in her closet.
She has her video cam, “Let’s make a video of me.”
Lauren’s made videos of herself since she was ten or so. Just in her room alone, she doesn’t share any. When she was younger, they were still nude, just no self stimulation. Her walking around, laying on her bed, at the vanity, five minutes maybe. Around twelve, they started getting more risqué, but nobody has seen them but me. She plays them on a loop sometimes when she’s alone in her room, it’s like wallpaper, she doesn’t sit and stare at them. She wanted me to do the recording so she could be more mobile, not have to adjust the cam all the time. She’s learned how to pose, which angles look most appealing, how to accessorize. She’s nude, or in a shortie robe or gauzy silk t-shirt, with jewelry, sometimes knee socks. Her ears were pierced long ago, then she got her belly button pierced, a small platinum chain with a sapphire is what she uses the most. She’s learned poise and self assurance as a coincidental benefit. 
I film her standing, one long leg cocked to the side, then she turns and looks back at the camera coquettishly, her hands slide up the back of her legs and over her tush. She lays on the bed, on her tummy, looks back at the cam again, then flips over. Traces her thighs with her fingers, her legs part, one knee bent, hand runs up the inside of her thigh, fingers trace the softness between her legs. Middle fingers slides along the slit, she gasps, a low moan.
“I love the way it feels,” her finger slides inside, a few minutes later a quiver and climax while she stares into the camera.
She slides her wet fingertip across her lips, then puts it in her mouth and sloooowly pulls it between her lips.
“Bedtime Lolita, she likes me to be around before she goes to sleep. Brush, flush, I comb her hair, she straddles the bidet and I wash her, then dry.
In bed, I cover her face with soft kisses, linger on lovely lips, she smiles and curls up. 

Four

I head to our room with Janah’s luscious on my mind, Amaya’s beat me to it. Her face is buried between Janah’s legs.
I sit on the bed and take advantage of Amaya’s nudity, run my hands over the back of her legs, her rear, lean over and kiss it.
Janah peaks, shudders and vibes, Amaya rolls over, my eyes roam her superbiosity.
“Janah needed relief while you spoiled Lauren.”
I lean in and kiss her legs, “Lucky Janah.”
She turns again, pulls her knees under her, “Tingle my tush.”
I crawl in behind her, tongue gets busy, Amaya groans, “God I love that.”
Janah flips and works her way under Amaya until she’s in position to tingle the other soft sensational. Amaya leans forward and gives Janah another go while we double team her.
When we can’t take more orgasms, we refresh and plop back down in bed, lucky us, Amaya is sleeping with us.
“Oceane got it in her head that she wanted to sleep with a movie star, and lucky for her, there was Chloe. My dearest accepted her fate lie the brilliant ingénue she is.”
“Accepted her fate? Getting jumped by Oceane is not what I’d call accepting my fate, neither would Chloe.”
Amaya sighs, “She is unique, granted. Something…I cannot describe, I think she slips us drugs.”
Janah, “Oceane is a drug, small wonder Cassandra levitates and Sloane wants to keep her boy part.’
Amaya, “I shall cuddle Janah, Daphne you get to cuddle me, my creative genius needs rest.”
Morning shows up, I blink to a figure next to the bed, it’s my angel, “Dahfoney, you are to get up now, not lay in bed and fondle Eemaya all day. Ees for breakfast and girls haf work to do.”
When I’ve prepped me, I go to the kitchen, caffeinate and help Dasha prep breakfast. Today she’s decided on traditional, biscuits, grits, grilled ham slices and crispy bacon, omelets or to order eggs, girl’s choice. 
“Emma B, cut fruit is in the refrigerator, put it in a couple of bowls on the table. And a bowl of cottage cheese as well. Just set silverware, cups for coffee and tea, water glasses and small plates, we’re doing eggs to order. 
We have a diner-like grill, with commercial vents and sound buffered fans. They create a draft in the kitchen but there’s no cooking smell or smoke, we don’t reek of bacon, or burgers, or anything else. I can do meats, eggs and omelets, pancakes when we have those, on one large surface, scrape the junk into a grease trap, Emma B takes care of emptying and cleaning.
Family starts to filter in. I call us family even though we’re sexual intimates, nobody is biologically related except the twins. The best family is one you create, frequently biological family is dysfunctional to plain ugly. Not always, nothing is always.
Nikko, “Having lunch with a potential management client at Le Bernardin, I’ll go with fruit, cottage cheese and a couple of scrambled Daphne.”
“Must be high potential for you to travel to midtown.”
“Six buildings, four commercial, two residential, a million square feet. Our people have been talking to him for years. His current management lost key people, they’re scrambling, service slipped. He has space unleased that should be, it’s quality property.”
“We going to get the contract?”
“He’s playing coy, but yes, he’s Russian, likes it that Daria can chat in his first language. Today the lawyers show up, she’s going to intimidate them into submission.”
Daria’s specialty, she could stare down an enraged cape buffalo. Since the bear transmitted his strength to her and her sister, she could likely slap one unconscious.
Eloise, “We’re going to present Grace at tea. Lauren, we’ll be busy until then, we test run her on the roof.”
I put a cream cheese omelet in front of Lauren, add two slices of bacon, “And you can get to it as soon as you’ve finished this. You can start being anorexic tomorrow.”
“Yes mother.”
Lauren’s going anorexic a soon as I give up martial arts, it isn’t happening.
Amaya, “No lunch for me, Emma B, bring coffee at ten, and more coffee at twelve thirty, perhaps a bar, one of those protein things Daphne keeps around. I am working on a new screenplay and I need laser focus, not after lunch sluggish. Chloe, please find something to do until my twelve thirty break, we will read lines and see how they sound.”
Chloe, “Great, a new movie, do I have a part?”
“Do you ever not have a part? Are you ever not the star?”
“Just checking, Lauren has expressed an interest, I thought you might be doing something to introduce her.”
“She will have a role, I will bring her along slowly, tease the audience, have the critics snooping, looking to get the scoop on a new talent.”
Lauren doesn’t act surprised, they have been colluding.
“I take it this is a family announcement, my sneaky daughter has kept the news from me.”
Amaya, “A test. She was to shut it until I mentioned it. If she’s going to be an actress, she needs to learn how to play critics, talk show hosts and the media. Keeping her own counsel is imperative, blabbering is death.”
“What’s the plot? Or is there one yet?”
“I’m thinking Lauren is Chloe’s ward, not daughter, black eyes and violet eyes are not a genetic match. Lauren is a serious as death all in or nothing girl, Chloe may actually play Chloe, cheerful, considerate, understanding. The plot will be intentionally thin, dialogue will be the point.”
Zi, “What’s a thin plot?”
“Nothing convoluted, no mystery, no red herrings, no stream of unnecessary characters. It will be a thriller, but straightforward, unlike Ultra Violet which had twists, turns and duplicitous characters. My starting point is Lauren, yet to be named, is the progeny of a bad dad. Not a sexual predator, just a control freak and stalker. Mom is conveniently dead, I don’t have to create a persona. Dad has it in his head that Lauren needs to be with him, despite the fact that he is in some yet to be concocted nefarious business, drug dealer, pimp, contract killer or worse, a politician.”
“A politician? Too cruel.”
“A politician stalker, twist on the old story of the cop stalker.”
“We did a cop stalker once, years ago, then there was the cop the Society thought was an abuser, which he was, but his wife instigated much of it. We passed on the job, they were enjoying their bloody romance too much.”
Sloane, “That was before me even.”
“Yep. Hard to explain how it was several years ago. We were twenty five then, twenty five several years before that, and are twenty five now.”
Lauren, “And will be twenty five twenty five years from now, I’ll still be almost fifteen.”
Amaya, “It’s good to age gracefully, better not to age at all.”
Eloise, “Ready Lauren?”
They scoot up the steps to make magic.

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