One Hundred Thirteen
We enjoy egg rolls and crab cakes in the courtyard with cocktail of choice. Gerard is further mesmerized when Cassie has hers floating next to Oceane.
Gerard, “The wonder of your people Daphne, to think I spend hours trying to get a pencil to roll across a table while Janah floats objects through the air and now Cassandra floats herself in the air. I’m privileged to be a witness.”
“We have no idea how she learned, one day she was just up there in Oceane’s room, Oceane was drawing as if nothing unusual happened. I hesitate to tell you the rest.”
“Now you must, don’t tease an old man.”
“She can travel to the past, sometimes to the future, but that’s more opaque.”
“What happens exactly?”
“She sees pieces of the past, things are sometimes clear, other times only hints and suggestions. In the future it’s guesswork, I mean it needs a certain amount of interpretation. She can’t predict the stock market, much to Nikko’s dismay. She also cannot have any effect on the past, it’s a snippet of what happened, she can’t influence anything.”
“And she goes often?”
“We don’t know that either. Much of the time she seems to be elsewhere, but whether it’s elsewhere in the past or future is unknown. She may be in other galaxies for all we know.”
Gerard, “Does that mean what I think it does?”
“Oceane said once that Cassie creates universes. Are they made up universes, like a science fiction story she thinks up, or something more real? Again, we don’t know. What we don’t know could fill those universes.”
Oceane says to no one, “Everything is in the nothing, Cassandra is the nothing.”
Gerard, “Gee whiz sounds trite, but gee whiz.”
Janah, “There’s so much going on in our own world of which we have no knowledge or perception. Shift perception to the infinite and everything becomes possible.”
Gerard, “People are concerned with the physical, getting more, more money, bigger houses, sexier cars. Their energy gets used up chasing the latest fad or fashion. Few people have the patience to do nothing and let the universe speak to them.”
“Can’t blame them, sometimes the universe is mute for years, it has no agenda or a need to finish anything on a schedule. People are finite, at least this life is finite for almost everyone. Buddhists and Hindus invented reincarnation to compensate. Another comforting improbable myth.”
Ellen comes out, “If quantum philosophy class is over, dinner awaits.”
Sloane, “Great! My head was starting to spin, come down Cass, time for veal marsala.”
We find spots inside, too many for the dining table, Ellen and Dasha have set up tables throughout the living room, which is open to the kitchen and dining area, one big room.
Gerard, “Ellen, Dasha, once again I lack proper superlatives. This is splendid, extraordinary.”
He’s right, the veal is fall apart tender, coated in rich marsala sauce with earthy mushrooms and potatoes. The world’s most perfect French bread, Leidenheimer’s, add soft butter and soak up the sauce, heavenly.
Even Oceane, who normally eats only seafood and chicken is dragging the bread through sauce, she takes a bite, another drag, feeds it to Cassie.
Cass is capable of feeding herself, they tend to share things, bites of tender veal for instance. They enjoy watching each other enjoy, it’s so sweet.
After hors d'oeuvres, then salad, veal, pasta and bread, our chefs opted for lighter fare dessert. With Cognac, they serve crème brulée, crispy vanilla bean and caramelized sugar over a creamy custard.
Janah, “Superb ladies, I won’t be hungry until breakfast.”
“Only because you sleep like the dead. If you got up in the middle of the night, you’d be poking around the refrigerator.”
Janah’s brain chews up calories like a blender. In the Shaolin Temple, I used to sneak her snacks. When we entered, it was a meager breakfast and a meal at one in the afternoon, no dinner. I took over the kitchen and jacked the nutrition and quantity, then Janah became Abbess and we implemented a tea before evening meditation that included healthy snacks.
Gerard, “Her brain eats calories like a marathon runner.”
“True, and she’s not shy about exercise, her’s is primarily yoga, but not yoga lite. She does all the pretzel stuff and more, walks on her hands, including up and down the staircase at home. She was the strongest family member until the twins met the bear.”
Gerard sighs, “Perhaps another Cognac, then tell me about the bear.”
He listens to a story about transmission from a grizzly, just for amusement Dasha lifts me over her head…with one hand, sets me down as if I was no more than a small ceramic vase.
“Must be the wine, bourbon and Cognac, I’m hallucinating,” he laughs, “what an amazing group of humans, or should I say, next generation of humans, humans 2.0. I’m feeling like the beta test.”
Janah, “We’re always beta test, everything is beta, that’s the beauty of it, there’s no alpha, no omega, only the turning of the wheel.”
One Hundred Fourteen
Janah and Sloane have plans, they return to the hotel with Ellen. Lauren and I go along with them. Sarah and Mani snagged Oceane and Cass for playtime in Sarah’s dungeon. She assured me that they would not be restrained, the restraints are for her when she and sadistic Mani are alone. Dasha and Eloise are staying with Katya and Katja.
At the hotel, Lauren and I take the smaller bedroom in our suite. Janah, Sloane and Ellen will need the king bed. I vow to myself not to get into Janah’s head, tempting as it might be to watch magnificent Ellen’s reaction to her first cock.
We do going to bed things, then slip into cool sheets.
Lauren, “Sloane gets two girls.”
“Well, she has the extra part, Ellen’s never been with a man, until tonight the only penises she’s seen are on porn sites.”
“I went to a site.”
“It’s mostly about girls getting jizzed in the face.”
“You may be growing up too quickly.”
She giggles, “Don’t worry, I’m not sneaking into Sloane’s room at night. I kissed Cassie though, she’s sooo angelic. She smiled after.”
“Criminey, what happens to you when puberty hits?”
“It was a soft kiss on the lips, we didn’t swap tongue. I wanted to see how it felt, it was nice.”
She grins up at me, yawns. I wrap her up, she pulls my leg over her slim hip. I kiss her cheek, we fall away.
When I wake, I slip out silently, decide a warm shower would be nice. Then I find a t-shirt and go to the living room. The door to Janah’s room is still closed. While I make coffee, I peek in Janah’s head to see if she’s awake.
She is, watching Ellen doing Sloane’s erection, she appears enthusiastic.
Janah, “She got her first taste last night, then Sloane did us both, after which Ellen got a second first taste of the creamy white. I woke up in the middle of the night to find her doing Sloane again, then again this morning after Sloane screwed her silly.”
Janah slips down, I see the spurt into Ellen’s mouth, then a second shot for Janah. Sloane slides the tip across Ellen’s lips, she and Janah kiss. Such nasty girls, my hands find their way between my legs.
As I orgasm, I catch Lauren at the bedroom door smiling at me.
“Thought you were asleep.”
“I got up right after you came in here. You didn’t traumatize me, I watched girls do themselves on the porn site. I do me all the time, it feels dreamy.”
“It does that,” I go to the bathroom to refresh, return to find Lauren nursing a cup of coffee.
Lauren, “Not particularly hungry after last night, can I skip breakfast?”
“Up to you, actually I’m not either. Janah will want something if she ever leaves the bedroom.”
“Did she and Ellen have fun? I’m sure Sloane did.”
“Sloane may need a day or two to recover.”
Yes, I have rather frank discussions with my daughter, my mom did with me and I’m mostly sane. I don’t freak about her curiosity, if you think your kids don’t check out porn then enjoy your delusion. I’m not suggesting you introduce them to it. I used her admission to have a discussion, how some girls guide their own careers, how some get abused and stiffed with more than a dick, as in not getting paid what they were promised. How girls resort to porn because they may not be the brightest bulb on the tree, or they may need quick cash, or they just like it. If you go to any common site, like teensnow.com, I find it impossible to believe all those girls are being, um, jerked around. They went in willing with their eyes open, at least until the first shot was fired. What I can’t figure out is, with so much free stuff, how anyone makes a living at it. A question Lauren asked for which I had no answer.
The trio appears, Ellen is here, kind of, she’s got a glazed hazy demeanor.
Janah, “What’s for breakfast?”
“Rib Room is right down the elevator, across the lobby. Let’s me slip into something besides a t-shirt and I’ll go with.”
Sloane, “I’m going, I’m starved.”
“I guess so.”
“Did you peek?”
“Just this morning, I was checking to see if J was up, and she was, so were you.”
Lauren and I slip on jeans and platforms, brush out our hair, we all traipse down the hall to the elevator.
Janah, “Nikko and crew arrive today, Katya will collect them at the airport, should be in by eleven. They’ll have eaten on the plane, I’m having breakfast and skipping lunch, we’ll get a Hansen’s this afternoon, enough calories to fuel me until dinner.”
“Enough calories to fuel division of Marines, but they sure are good.”
Sloane wants another debris omelet, Janah and Ellen do the buffet, Lauren and I have more coffee.
I spot the Po’Boy Breakfast on the menu, eggs, crispy bacon on Leidenheimer’s French bread with mayonnaise, lettuce and tomato. Too good to pass up, Lauren and I share one. Anything on Leidenheimer’s is good, just butter on Leidenheimer’s is good.
“I am a junkie for this bread. Wish we had it in New York. I’ve found French breads close, but not the same.”
Janah, “Makes the trip to New Orleans special, it isn’t like we don’t eat well in New York, Canada or Arizona. Thanks to you and Dasha anyhow. Speaking of, wonder what they’re up to?”
I tap into Dasha, “What’s up angel?”
“We are haf breakfast at Café Envie wiz Gerard. I am for steak and aig plate, ees gud, you see?”
Must have just been served, juicy sirloin, eggs sunny side and hash browns.
“Lauren and I split a po’boy, eggs, bacon, lettuce, tomato on Leidenheimer’s. It was good. Cass and Oceane okay?”
“Da, after breakfast, I will bring them to you, Oceane ees better when Dahfoney ees there.”
“Is there a problem?”
“Nyet, she ees same Oceane, she told me ees better when Dahfoney ees here.”
My heart wobbles, “Right after breakfast, okay?”
“Da, she ees fine Dahfoney, eating Shepherd’s Omelet wiz Cassie, you will see.”
“The others are at Café Envie, Dasha must have had a busy night, she’s having steak and eggs.”
Sloane, “My kind of girl.”
I tap into Janah, “Oceane told Dasha that it’s better when Daphne is here. I had no idea, they could have come back last night with the rest of us.”
“I never noticed either. She doesn’t make a thing about you being in sight all the time. I think it’s just knowing you’re in the house, having the proximity. We’ll bear that in mind in the future.”
We sure as heck will.
One Hundred Fifteen
Dasha brings Oceane and Cass to the hotel, I embrace each with a long hug, don’t make a thing of it otherwise. Oceane seems fine, I hold her hand, surreptitiously check her pulse, her normal sixty per.
“The hotel has a decent sized swimming pool on the roof, suit up and I’ll watch you swim.”
Don’t have to tell her twice, Lauren and Sloane suit up. Cass and I enjoy the lovely fall air while the three girls lap. Lauren eventually gets out huffing.
“Oceane is incredible, there is no way to keep up, she just goes and goes, even Sloane can’t catch her.”
“She can’t outrun Sloane, but she can out swim almost anyone.”
“She should be in the Olympics.”
“She would only wonder why, it would confuse her.”
“I hadn’t thought of it that way, it would, she doesn’t do it to win anything.”
“No, just the idea that it was a race would lose her interest. She’s a near expert diver, but not a competitive one. You may have noticed, Oceane and Cass have limited tolerance for other people.”
“Besides you, Janah and maybe Chloe, the entire family has limited tolerance for other people.”
I laugh, “You have a point mon petit ange.”
“My little angel, I’m good with that.”
“Dasha was my little angel, which in Dasha-speak was ‘my leetle anjul’. In Russian it’s moy angelochek, I didn’t know that until later.”
(prn: moy mah-linkian-ehkul. Russian is tough.)
“I couldn’t use the same version with you, so I went to French.”
“I’m happy to be the French version, you can spoil me in any language you like.”
“Speaking of, have you decided on a language?”
“French and Russian. Janah is teaching me French, the twins Russian, plus the language lab at Chapmans. I’ll be fluent in thirty or forty years.”
“I struggled with Chinese, but I got it, I can make small talk in Japanese but lack any of the nuance. At least I can cheat and pull phrases out of Janah’s head.”
“Sloane, time to go,” she stops Oceane, the climb out into towels I have, to the suites for showers.
Amaya and Chloe arrive about twenty minutes before Nikko, Zi and Daria. Katya and Dasha are waiting when the first jet lands.
Amaya, “Katya, and the other Communist, miss me?”
“Da Eemaya, everyone was depress and could barely haf sexy time every night.”
Chloe laughs, “Hello sweets,” hugs for Katya and Dasha, “the business girls arrive soon?”
Katya, “Fifteen or twenty, let’s get your bags in the car. I’ll take you to the hotel, Dasha will take her sister and the others when they get in.”
The Mercedes GLC seats seven comfortably, but not with luggage, thus two cars.
Katya pulls away just as the second jet from San Francisco arrives.
On the drive in Dasha asks, “Do you want lunch?”
Nikko, “Not for me, we had a full breakfast on the plane.”
Two more declines, Zi, “I look forward to a nothing day, we were busy the entire trip. A walk around the French Quarter later maybe.”
“We are for Galatoire’s tonight, so many, they geeve us reservation even when they do not make reservation. Gerard calls someone.”
We gather in the Penthouse Suite, what a zoo, eighteen girls. I couldn’t resist light snacks, there is Champagne in buckets around the suite. A selection cheeses, a Charcuterie board with pâté, sausages and terrines, also stuffed potato skins with Gruyère and prime rib debris.
Nikko, “This is what you mean by skipping lunch and light snacks?”
“Sloane and Janah don’t skip, have the pâté, it’s delish.”
The two sets of twins are in one corner, a blizzard of nonstop Russian swirls. I hang with Oceane and Cass until they’re ready to disappear to their room. Oceane can take a crowded room for a while, not for a long while.
When they’re settled for an afternoon nap, I click on the news, turn the sound off. If Cass wants to watch, there’s a scroll at the bottom of the screen. Lean over to kiss Oceane, cheeks, nose, forehead, gently on the lips, the same for Cassie, I’m rewarded by smiles.
Rejoin the others, Janah asks, “Got them sequestered?”
“Had their fill, they have to endure a busy restaurant and a long dinner later.”
“We could stay, let the others go out.”
“Hadn’t thought of it, perhaps. I’m torn between getting them out, more used to people, or not force feeding them.”
“Get Chloe to take their aura-temps later.”
“Change of topic, Daria thinks there is Shadow-like activity in Florida, Tallahassee to be exact.”
“Isn’t some college there?”
“Florida State, it’s also the capitol city. It’s the university that appears to be the hub of activity.”
“At least there’s coeds, something to look forward to. What’s the activity?”
“I must be prescient, Oceane’s rubbing off on me. And what are our coeds up to?”
“Losing a day or two, not recalling what they were doing or where. A video shows up, you can imagine what they might be on cam doing. Then blackmail. Pay or go viral.”
“Ah, nasty. I doubt coeds have a ton of money in the bank, which means they have to call mom or dad and try to explain why they need cash.”
“The Shadow’s being relatively smart, not asking for thousands, rather five or six hundred, something they could get off a credit card. We think it’s a Shadow for obvious reasons.”
“No sign of drugs in their systems, have zero recollection of the event, how they got there, what they did, how they returned to campus.”
“Any commonalities? Same sorority, dorm, classes, extracurricular stuff?”
“Sports. Gymnastics, cheerleader, track, volleyball, tennis. Our Shadow’s into tight and white, no ethnics, no minorities. At least they aren’t all blonde.”
“And to satisfy my perversity, what’s on video?”
“Almost bland, take it off, masturbate, use a dildo, one girl on camera, no guys, thus no intercourse. Daria thinks there may be others who did more explicit stuff and may not have reported it.”
“Why does she think that?”
“For now, a suspicion. We haven’t tapped into phones for the girls, we do have copies of their statements. What’s been documented is kind of blah, a Shadow wouldn’t be content to blackmail a few hundred bucks for a masturbation video. She thinks he’s been practicing, and he may be a she. Shadows aren’t like stalkers or serial killers where most are male. This could be a woman.”
“Nikko’s going to want in.”
“What I thought. We’ll send her and Zi for surveillance. Maybe Eloise to operate a drone. If conditions warrant, more of us can go. I suppose we should wait a couple of days, Nikko just got in from a busy week in San Francisco.”
“Janah, it’s Nikko, she’ll want to leave tonight.”
Janah grins, “Okay, then the story is we’re collecting more data and there’s no point in going now.”
“She’ll go for that.”
Nikko can be in my head, but she isn’t now, so we get away with our of sleight of hand. As far as we know, nobody is dying of anything, sticking Nikko and Zi on a plane the day after they got off one is unnecessary, even pointless since we don’t know if it’s a Shadow and we have no clue where he might be.
I corner Nishiko and give her a heads up.
“We should leave in the morning, call Blue Sky.”
“Daria is collecting more data, we don’t know if it’s a Shadow, we have no idea where he or she may be. Take a couple of days to chill. We don’t have anything useful, I’ll go with and recruit birds to hunt for the Shadow. Other than dumb luck, we really have no other way to find them.”
Nikko’s a businesswoman and a samurai, logic and rationality are not lost on her, she agrees to bide her time for now.
One Hundred Sixteen
Hansen’s will have to wait, the afternoon slides by and nobody moves to pile in cars to go to Tchoupitoulas Street. Girls go off to their rooms to refresh and relax, I check on Oceane and Cass.
They’re playing push hands cross legged on the bed, the energy is such that their hands are surrounded by blue light, occasionally sparks fly.
“Don’t set the hotel on fire.”
They’re both nude…I’m happy to observe, delighted actually. Oceane gets up, slips off my shirt and shorts. Then I’m on the bed being shared by two ethereal lovelies, I respond accordingly, enthusiastically, orgasmically.
“Geez girls, I think you shorted some fuses, I might set fire to the hotel.”
They are paying no attention to me, Oceane’s head is buried between Cassie’s legs. Maybe I should encourage naps more often. I lean over and enjoy Cassie’s tongue in my mouth.
When I emerge from their room, Amaya is waiting, “You are an abominable slut, two helpless girls, I should go in and comfort them.”
“Later, I’m pretty sure they’re about as comfortable as they can get, languid even.”
“No Ellen for you tonight, Chloe and I have already made a reservation.”
“Then Ellen’s perfection will get the pleasure of you and Chloe’s, it might go nuclear. I should alert Homoland Security.”
Amaya grins, “I almost wish dinner were over, but Galatoire’s fish amandine is too good to hurry through.”
“By the way, ask Chloe to read Oceane and Cass, are they up for another roomful of people and a long dinner?”
“I’ll send her over shortly, you may kiss me.”
I do, any physical contact with Amaya is electrifying, I tingle appropriately.
She grins again, “Yes it is, and I am.”
Tea time rolls around, we’re back in the Penthouse suite, Katya and crew will be along at six for drinks, then to Galatoire’s for seven.
Chloe slides next to me, “They’ve had enough of the masses for one day.”
“Janah and I will stay, we’ll order room service and let them watch a movie.”
After tea but before the others show up, I take Oceane and Cassie to swim. Sloane sits with me while they lap the pool.
“Do you want me to stay tonight, I mean skip dinner?”
“No, Sarah might be disappointed.”
“We can’t have sex during dinner, she can come back here after.”
“That’s not what I mean. Go enjoy the restaurant, flirt with Sarah and Mani, see which one slides her hand up your skirt first. Wear snug panties, you don’t want to leave the restaurant sporting a visible hard on, it might freak the customers.”
Sloane laughs, “It’s New Orleans, I might get a round of applause.”
“Galatoire’s will be full of tourists, locals go there for drunken four hour lunches.”
“I hadn’t thought of that, I have snug little boy shorts that will keep things appropriately flattened.”
A solid forty minutes of laps, “Come on girls, don’t use up all the chlorine.”
Back in their room, showers, Sloane and I dry hair, park them on the bed and click on TV. It’s HBO, good enough, they don’t care what it is.
Dress for dinner, our hosts-guests appear, Amaya and Sarah make cocktails. We skip nibbles, they will have more than enough to nibble at dinner.
Janah’s talking with Katya, “Daphne and I will stay with Oceane and Cass, they need down time.”
Katya, “Daria told me they can do crowds for limited intervals. I understand, Katja is more outgoing, like Dasha, Daria and I can take or leave rooms full of outsiders.”
They file out to the elevator, it sounds like sorority hubris in the hallway, the elevator dings shut and it’s silent.
Janah, “I’m finding myself happy to be sequestered. What’s for dinner?”
“Three oyster po’boys, you can have the fries and I got them to makes another grilled chicken sandwich without the grilled chicken, basically a fancy grilled cheese, which comes with more fries. Three orders of fried catfish fingers. We won’t starve.”
“On the counter, white, there’s beer and Champagne.”
“I swilled enough Champagne this afternoon, white I think, maybe a beer with dinner. Let me see what’s on TV, or I can fire up the laptop and do Netflix.”
Room service arrives, I tell them to leave the cart, I’ll handle the table, give the guy twenty and sign the tab. He’s a happy camper, I’m in a short t-shirt and nothing else, probably didn’t need the extra tip.
I find the girls, still staring at HBO, “Dinner ladies, nobody her but Janah and I, you don’t need to dress.”
They emerge in mid thigh chemises, Cassie has knee socks. I have the table arranged, pour them both a glass of wine.
Oyster po’boys are cut in half, catfish fingers are catfish fingers, there’s a platter of fries we couldn’t possibly finish. Plenty of ketchup, horseradish, tobacco and aioli, which is mayonnaise, they can charge more if it’s called aioli.
The girls are apparently ravenous, oysters disappear with catfish in between bites of sandwich. They only pick at the fries.
“How’s the sandwich J?”
“Great, fries are good too. They managed to get the food up here before it went soggy.”
“For the tab we’ve run up, they should have cooked it in the room.”
Oceane feeds Cass a catfish finger, “We are going to fly soon.”
“Yes, return to Manhattan day after tomorrow.”
“First we will fly to the big school, where girls are locked up. A Dark One has them.”
“Daria thinks there is a Shadow in Florida, Tallahassee, at Florida State University.”
“There are feathers, and a horse, what is a Seminole?”
“A Native American, they used to call them Indians, Columbus screwed up his continents. To be fair, he didn’t know the Americas were here when he bumped into them. he thought he’d reached India by sailing west instead of east, it’s a long story.”
Janah, “What else Oceane?”
She smiles, the data has been downloaded, she’s done and deleted.
“Guess we need to saddle up.”
Oceane, “Cassie and I will go with you and Janah.”
Doesn’t sound like a request, “Okay, I’ll book a flight, do we need to go tomorrow?”
“Girl is already dead, there will be another soon.”
Cripes, “That hasn’t made the news yet. Tomorrow then, Sloane, Cass, Oceane, Janah and me. Everyone else stays, returns to Manhattan on schedule.”
Janah, “I’ll call Blue Sky and shuffle the flights.”
“I’ll book us a room in Tallahassee and get a car.”
So much for an evening chill.
Oceane’s eyes sparkle as she tells Cass, “We are going to the Seminole and kill the Dark One.”
Cassie kisses her, they float away to HBO.
After we make arrangements, I call room service, stack the cart and roll it into the hall.
Then I tap into Dasha, “I’m going with Janah to Florida to find out if it’s a Shadow. Sloane is coming with, she needs to return to the hotel, not party half the night.”
“Da, I am sending her. You want sisters?”
“We don’t know what’s what, this is just a preliminary look. Stay and enjoy the girls, and tell everyone to relax, you’ve only a couple more days to enjoy the city.”
The whole crew returns.
Katya, “Nobody wants to party with business at hand. Party some other time. Can you accommodate us here?”
I’m touched, they are concerned, “Absolutely. Pile in with one of the others, and every suite has an additional fold out sofa bed. I’ve arranged a car for the flight, you don’t need to drive us. No reason not to have playtime here, you don’t need to get up early.”
“You will call if we can help, we kill efficiently.”
“We surely will, and thank you. Make sure our girls have fun for the next couple of days. Dasha, Daria and Amaya will be checking in with me, they’ll keep you posted.”
We kiss, Katya is hard attitude, but she’s not hard with us, she’s caring and considerate, and will happily shoot holes in any asshole who might cause us concern.