We’re past tea time, they’ve moved to cocktails.
Nikko, “Wanted to come out and play, but I figured the rest of us should stay invisible.”
“Right call, if something went bad, they wouldn’t have known about you, Zi or Daria.”
“What did they think they were accomplishing?”
“Maybe they’re research psychologists studying whether drunk and stupid leads to poor decisions,”
Janah asks her favorite question, “What’s for dinner?”
Dasha, “Fried trout, grill fresh mushrooms you found wiz also meex root vegetable, herb macaroni and chiz. Dessert ees berries wiz crème fraiche.”
“Yummy, I shall have a Gosset and anticipate. Anticipating will go better on the porch, I’ll do my part and fire up the heaters.”
Need outdoor heaters here at night, it dips to high thirties or low forties when the sun sets. Must be a real thrill in the winter when it’s minus something.
Janah, “Daphne, one of your pals has landed.”
I go outside, a great horned is on the railing, big one, must be the female.
“Sloane, go help Dasha with the fish, we’re in the middle of frying.”
Sloane hops up, Chloe goes with her, our extra hands for cooking duty.
“Your brood is big, you do not fight for mates and territory?”
“We don’t mate, and we have more than enough, we have been fortunate.”
“You have been diligent. We followed your encounter with the three. They took shots at anything living, killing to kill. We honor your bravery. There are always humans who come to kill for sport. They don’t kill and eat, which we would understand, they just kill.”
“Humans are violent by nature, ignorance makes it worse. We do what we can, it’s never enough.”
Cassie floats up to the railing and is suspended eye level with the owl.
The bird blinks, it always seems like owls stare, their eyes don’t move in their sockets, “This one has gone beyond even you and your mate, the white haired one. She sees what you cannot, dwells in the Absolute.”
“She is young, how did she come to it?”
“As a child, she had no conception of the world, she was a prisoner. While that was unfortunate and ugly, the person who kept her gave her no opinions, biases, taught her nothing. She was just a doll to dress up, to sit this way or stand that way. As an unintended consequence, she sees the world as it is, not as one who is conditioned by parents, friends, or beliefs.”
The owl thinks this over, shifts from one leg to the next, like a slow dance, “Your people continue to amaze, talk to the animals, you learn from the eagle and owl, the girl who is part wolf, the one who speaks to the fish, all the doing of the white haired one.”
“You are most perceptive, we have met generations of forest creatures, each one understands, and offers to help us understand. We are most grateful.”
“Tomorrow, the bear will come. The two who are the same, the bear is their spirit guide. He will make them invincible.”
“You mean the twins? They are Russian, thus the bear.”
“I don’t know any of that, just that the bear will appear tomorrow or the next sun. You will allow him to transmit, are they strong? It will be painful.”
“They are iron, but it will be their decision, not mine.”
She blinks at me like I’ve just discovered the obvious, “Human, the transmissions are as hard on us as they are on you, we offer out of compassion. If they refuse, we accept.”
“They will not refuse, I meant only that I do not speak for them. The generosity of our forest friends has never been in question. The bear is welcome and appreciated, as was my training by your ancestors.”
“I will come in three or four moons, check on your skills, the eagle will be around, she comes in her own time.”
I bow, “We welcome our instructors anytime.”
She turns, long wings rise, then powerfully down, lift off and gone.
Amaya, “More weird, what did the bird want?”
“Thanked us for dealing with the dorks, they’d been randomly killing up and down the lake. Must have been several miles, I didn’t hear gunshots.”
“She also said a bear will show up for the twins.”
Daria, “For what?”
“A transmission of skills, she didn’t say what, I can only think brute strength.”
Janah, “A big grizzly can lift a thousand pounds, jaws can crush a bowling ball, has serious claws too.”
Amaya, “Yikes, is that the kind of bear coming?”
“There are black bears and grizzlies up here, be one or the other.”
Daria, “As long as we don’t gain five hundred pounds and grow body hair.”
“Dahfoney, dinner ees ready for eating.”
“The other Russian bear informs me dinner is served.”
We settle in for crispy tender fried trout, creamy herb mac and cheese and grilled vegetables with our favorite, garlic sauce. Bottles of sauvignon blanc and pinot make the rounds.
Girls are more ravenous in the Rockies, perhaps a combination of the chill, thin air and hiking around the mountain. Tomorrow we haul it up to the falls for an outdoor lunch.
After dinner they collective decision is to toast by the fire. Bedrooms have gas fireplaces, we have to clean enough ash out of the big one in the main room as it is.
Speaking of which, we need a few more logs, “Sloane, grab more wood please.”
She goes outside, returns with a half dozen logs and stacks them in the copper firewood bucket, adds two to the fire.
“Thank you dear one.”
She curls behind Oceane who is curled behind Cassie on the cushy mat in front of the couch. Nikko and Zi have Janah surrounded, I think they plan an assignation later.
“You going to Nikko’s room?”
“Yep, Zi is feeling frisky, you can’t see her hand under the blanket, she has a soft touch.”
“Maybe I can sneak Oceane into my bed.”
“Just show up in her room, things will work out.”
And they do. After an hour of winding down by the fire, Eloise goes off with Amaya and Chloe. Janah Nikko and Zi went a half hour earlier, Zi had Janah glowing and needed to ignite the flame.
Daria and Dasha have me tingly, they’d been making out on the loveseat until they went up to their room. I decide to go proactive, I stand over the three girls left, Sloane, Oceane and Cass, pull off my t-shirt, Oceane sits up and rolls down my thigh highs.
Yum, she’s kissing my legs…we don’t make it to the bedroom. Oceane has me propped on pillows, she’s between my legs, her tongue feels heavenly. Sloane and Cassie watch, then Cassie turns to play with Sloane’s erection, then takes it in her mouth.
When she’s ready to explode, Sloane kneels next to Oceane’s face, Cassie fondles until the creamy dream squirts onto my lower abdomen. It slides slowly over my pussy, they lick it up and give me a whale of an orgasm in the process. The scene closes with my head between Ocean’s legs, Sloane’s between Cassie’s, they swap tongue while we taste the divine succulence.
None of us make it to bed, we sleep in front of the fire, comfortable under the supersize comforter.
I blink awake, Mistress Dasha is standing over me, “You haf already enough sex, time for making breakfast and preparing lunch for hike.”
I smile up at my treasure, Sloane’s hand is parked between my legs, she’s such a tease. When I go to ease it off, she gives me a gentle squeeze, I grin and kiss her. She turns to Oceane, who has Cass wrapped up on the other side and falls away again.
After flush, refresh, brush, Dasha and I are in the kitchen.
“We haf enough trout left, we will make St. Charles aig.”
She shipped a case of Miller’s Select jumbo lump crabmeat. Not as good as fresh, but not bad at all, particularly since it will be on top of fried trout and a poached egg and covered with hollandaise.
“What do we make for lunch?”
Cheeken salad, fake cheeken salad for Janah, Oceane will probably eat as well. Crackers, chiz, enough.
We pack the salads into Tupperware and stick the containers in the refrigerator, plastic forks, a knife to cut cheese. I stick a bag of beef jerky in my backpack. We’ll keep the food chilled with gel packs in an insulated shoulder bag. Everyone will carry bottles of water, Bandit wine in recyclable Tetra Pak cartons.
Girls filter in, have coffee or tea, then Dasha and I get to poaching. We use a different method now, more like soft boiled. Set the eggs out to get to room temp, shells will crack with cold eggs dumped in boiling water. Stir for the first couple of minutes to center the yellows. Cook for six minutes exactly, remove and put into a bowl of chilled water so they don’t continue cooking in their own heat.
Heat the trout filets, cut the egg in half, lay the two pieces on the trout, top with crab, top that with a couple spoons of hollandaise, serve. There are biscuits and corn muffins. I have Champagne opened, may as well go whole hog.
Amaya, “God this is heavenly, may I have a biscuit?”
Dasha hands her a buttery delight, “Blackberry jelly or black cherry preserves in the bowls, bottle of raspberry maple syrup if you prefer.”
“Sinful, what made you think of sprinkling cane sugar on the biscuits?”
“We butter outside before cooking, I had cane out for tea, so I try sprinkle on top of beeskit before we cook. Make a leetle crunch when you bite.”
Chloe, “Delicious, we have it so good, our meals are always splendid.”
Zi raises her Champagne glass, “To our gourmet chefs”
They toast us in unison, how sweet, Dasha and I bow.
Nikko, “You two going to eat?”
“We ate first, made sure things came together. We have a simple lunch for the falls, chicken and fake chicken salad, crackers, cheese. Your backpacks will be ready at ten. It’s chilly up there and it’s overcast with a breeze, dress accordingly.
For dinner, we are slow cooking white beans, ham pieces and hot sausage. J and Oceane will have the veg version with crumbled garden burger.”
Oceane is sharing a second piece of trout with Cassie, there’s crab left, I spoon it over the fish with melted butter.
She smiles at me…sigh, such a dream.
Amaya, “Everyone else works their butt off, those two never lift a finger. Why does that feel right anyway?”
Janah, “Some beings work by adding, um…atmospherics. A warmth we may not notice until it’s gone. The family dynamic would change, no idea how, but it wouldn’t be as good.”
“Ah, of course, you have zeroed in on the truth of it, I should have seen it myself. As if Chloe could be Chloe without me.”
Chloe, “I can’t imagine me without you.”
“Of course you cannot.”
Chloe giggles, Amaya may be the most outrageous creature on the planet. Her self regard has self regard. Then again, she’s a genius performance artist with perfect pitch and can duplicate any voice in any range. A noted author and playwright, with a half dozen successful films under her belt. She selects most of our clothes, makeup and hairstyles. And she can make a car, an SUV or a Formula One Mazda do things near magical.
Oceane tells Cassie, “We are atmospheric,” feeds her a bite of fish.
Nikko, “Zi, Daria, let’s do numbers, and I need to make a couple of calls, we can wrap before we leave for the falls. ”
Bless our business girls.
Dasha, “Everyone go away, Dahfoney and I need to clean and prepare packs. Go talk to wolf or squirrel, maybe they will explain Cassandra and Oceane.”
Sloane’s at the door, “Mom, there’s a grizzly bear outside,” she steps out.
“Dasha, find Daria, it’s time for class.”
So much for business, Nikko and Zi come along with them, we have to see this.
We line up on the porch, the twins sit on the big rock and wait. Cassandra goes to them and levitates next to the boulder.
The giant beast stands on hind legs, his huge paw and touches Cassie tentatively, he huffs and cocks his head.
Dasha, “Bear does no understand how Cass ees fly. Sister ees to explain. You will tell the others.”
“Dasha tells me they are in communication with the animal, he is curious about Cassandra.”
Amaya, “I have been curious about Cassandra since we brought her home.”
Dasha, “We will haf training in small bits, he will come every day, maybe three or four times.”
“Do you get hair and claws?”
“Do not make ridiculous Dahfoney. Eemaya will not permit on beautiful tweens.”
I relay the update.
Amaya, “Body hair is out of the question. Claws can be trimmed, but better to skip it. It would take an entire bottle of OPI to do one hand.”
“As you wish, no claws on hands or paws.”
The bear has shifted, now he’s got his forepaws on the rock, his head rocks up and down slowly. Whatever he’s doing doesn’t appear to cause much pain. When I got the transmissions from the owl, then the eagle, I felt like my brain was being shredded. Both times I passed out and was a wreck for a couple of days.
“He appears to be gentler than my eagle pal, or the twins are tougher than I am.”
A half hour and the grizzly plops down, stares up at Cassandra, she floats to the ground and strokes his head. She leans in an appears to be whispering in his ear.
Then he lumbers off for the woods, the ground rumbles under my feet.
The twins are asleep on the rock.
“Let them rest, I’ll finish up the packs, go for the hike. I’ll stay with the twins, Sloane, take Daria, I’ll take Dasha, they’ll be more comfortable inside on the mats.”
We carry them in, they don’t stir. I do a temperature check, seems normal.
Zi, “Should we stay?”
“Maybe you or Chloe, read the aura from time to time. Everyone else should go, it will be quieter in here.”
Finish up the packs, girls are dressed and out the door. Zi and I sit cross legged and channel a bit of gentle qi energy to the sleeping twins.
Five hours disappear. Zi and I went to no mind and now it’s already tea time. We breezed right past lunch. I get up to make tea and find something to snack on. Ah, good, we have berries in the fridge. Sprinkle cane sugar, enjoy with the tea..
Daria is stirring, Dasha blinks awake. I bring them each a cup of strong black.
“Feeling okay, crummy, something in between?”
Daria, “Body is sore, like after a long workout,” she checks herself over, “not anywhere bigger, we are hungry.”
Bring a bowl of berries, “You want cheese and crackers?”
Dasha, “Beans are cooking.”
“Yep, I’ve checked the a couple of times, not much to do, the slow cooker doesn’t chew up much water, I added a little earlier. I do need to make rice.”
Zi comes alongside, “Nothing remarkable in the aura, look like the twins, always a bit dark, more purple than grey, not black at least.”
“They don’t do light, serious, not light. Daria brightens up around Chloe, but so does everyone.”
“And Dasha is lightest when she’s working with you, apart from sisterly intimacies.”
“Even Chloe can’t compete with twin minds, which are the same mind.”
“Like you and Janah, Nishiko a part of it as well.”
“Yes, but she maintained more independence, then you came along. She’s happy with the way things are. All our relationships have shifted, more girls joined the family, personalities affect personalities. The important thing, even surprising, is none of it seems to disturb the harmony. Twelve girls from vastly different backgrounds and nothing but clam flowing water. All our disturbances are external, Shadows, Society work, doofus drunks.”
“You and Janah set the example, relationship without conflict is your reality that awakens the rest of us. I felt it in the temple, as did the old masters.”
Brown rice simmers, what else? We have a supply of frozen dinner rolls, I’ll get those in the oven later.
Troops come trooping in.
Amaya, “We are filthy exhausted, particularly wolf girl and her alien pal.”
Sloane, “Mom, the wolf brought his whole family, his mate and four adorable cubs. Cassie and I played and played, ran across the fallen logs over the creek, the cubs chased us around the woods. Thanks for the beef jerky, they really liked that.”
Chloe, “And the twins’ bear showed up and splashed around in the creek with Cassie. He’s apparently fascinated by her levitation. He stood on his hind legs facing her and waved his big paws up, it was clear what he wanted.”
Sloane, “And she did it, the wolves howled, the grizzly sat in the water staring.”
Nikko, “And your friend, or the offspring of you friend made an appearance. Landed square in Cassie’s lap while she sat in the air cross legged.”
“Dang sorry I missed it, Zi and I spent the day elsewhere, I’d say where, but it was nowhere.”
Janah, “And the twins?”
“Nothing but sore muscles, Daria said like after a hard workout. They’re upstairs bubbling in the Jacuzzi.”
Chloe, “It was a magical day all around then.”
Amaya, “Come along magical girl, we are for a steaming shower and a giant cocktail.”
Hikers go to clean up, criminey, there’s a ton of clothes to be washed. I get it started. We have two commercial washers and dryers at every house. Wherever we are, they always seem to be running. Fortunately, Janah considers folding to be meditation. We have shelving in the laundry rooms marked with designated bedrooms and baths. Janah’s eidetic memory is most helpful, she puts the girls’ clothes in the right slot. the owners come along and take their things to be put away.
Dasha and Daria come down.
“Da, we are for vodka cocktail now Dahfoney. We are to relax, can you feenish dinner?”
Wow, she must be sore, “Easy, it’s actually already made, need to get rolls in the oven and we’re good to go.”
“Janah, our twins need a qi massage, Dasha is so sore she asked if I could handle dinner.”
Sloane comes in.
“Get Cassie to qi massage one of the twins, Janah will do the other.”
She races off, returns with Cass and Oceane, they surround Dasha, Janah is working on Daria.
Amaya and Chloe return, Amaya asks, “They okay? Stupid question, if they were, Janah and the others would not be working on them, I must need a drink.”
“Dasha and Daria need one first.”
Amaya, “Of course,” Chloe goes to Daria, checks the aura.
The rest show up, Amaya concocts beverage of choice, refills vodka shots for the twins. With all the activity, I didn’t prepare appetizers, after a round the women are ready to eat.
“To simplify, we’ll do buffet style, rice, spoon out what beans and sausage you want, get a roll, butter on the table. There’s open Merlot and Zin, beer in the refrigerator, icy mugs in the freezer, bon appétit.”
Geez, they’re hungry. I bring bowls to the twins, they’re done being qi’d and are propped against the couch, Sloane delivers two Sapporo filled frozen mugs with a twist of lemon. I sit with them while they eat.
“You do not anyway eat Dahfoney?”
“Tasted my way through while I set things out, feeling better?”
“Da, Cassie’s qi ees strong, I feel muscle jump.”
“Good, and you Daria?”
“Janah is the expert, I can also work on myself and sister before bed.”
“Better to save your energy, the others who qi will take turns, it will give us a chance to practice.”
She’s finished her bowl, “More?”
“Nyet, enough for now.”
Dasha scrapes the last spoonful, I take both bowls and empty mugs, “Another beer, wine, vodka?”
“We are gud, thanking you Dahfoney. We need to move around, not sit and get more stiff.”
They go outside, bundled, the sun has set and it’s cold. I see them circling the house on the video screen, it’s well lit around the perimeter and Eloise’s enhanced cams provide crystal clear images.
Chloe is next to me loading the dishwasher, “They never complain, for them to sleep five hours in the afternoon is a first.”
“Janah said they were a sheet of stiff muscle. Bad enough to have sore legs from hiking or weights, to have every muscle sore at the same time must be nasty.”
“I hadn’t thought of that, so he did the entire body, not a part at a time.”
“Must have, maybe he doesn’t have that kind of control, it’s all or nothing.”
“And they have to go again, two or three more times?”
“They don’t have to, but I think it might go easier, like when you tear down a muscle and it rebuilds stronger.”
“Oh, sure, of course, I was wrecked from my first few active kendo sessions, then it got easier on my body,” she giggles, “it didn’t get easier with Hanshi.”
“Tell me about it, I can still hear him growling his disapproval at my numerous failures of technique.”
Eloise comes downstairs, “We’re almost finished the new robot prototype.”
Nikko, “When did you start that?”
“We wanted something to do more than clean floors. The new one will do almost everything, dust, bathrooms, change sheets, laundry.”
Amaya, “You jest midget. Next you will say it can make cocktails.”
“Actually, yes, and set the table, clear the table, rinse plates and fill the dishwasher. It can also wash your hair, give you a bath and an orgasm, but I think you’d rather have Chloe do that.”
“Vesnushki does not stoop to giving baths, I give her baths but I have ulterior motives. It sets her up for sex play, bathed by me, a girl will do anything my heart desires.”
Nikko, “Chloe does anything your heart desires anyway, so does everyone else.”
Amaya, “As is my birthright, I am my own thousand points of erotic elegance.”
Nothing to say to that, she only speaks the truth.
“Thank you Daphne dear, you may come to me later and grovel, I may let you devour my perfection.”
“I work best on my knees.”
Zi, “What’s so funny? Wait, your aura is sparkly fuchsia, sex talk with….ah, Daphne of course.”
“How do you know?”
“You don’t mental with anyone else, and Daphne’s aura is golden lust, like your hair. When it’s Janah, it’s white lust.”
Amaya, “Eloise, instead of robot slaves, how about an aura scrambler? Keep Zi confused.”
“And miss the fun? Nah-way.”
“So where is this machine?”
“On the computer, Daria and I will build it when we get to Manhattan. The first one will be field tested there. If there are bugs, we fix, then build them for the other homes. We need several for each place. They will bring coffee or snacks, we think one bot for four girls, so three for each house.”
Nikko, “You are convinced they will do all those things?”
“They do them in the model, we will have separate servers for the robots. The field test will reveal flaws, the real world is messier than computer models and we have so much tech there may be crossed signals or interference issues.”
Amaya, “So Daphne will get my coffee and I will get her dildo?”
Eloise giggles, “Maybe.”
Dasha and Daria return, “Better, we are more relax, qi application did gud job on us.”
“Lay down again, perhaps Amaya will fix after dinner drinks, I’ll work on you, need a volunteer for Daria, Nikko.”
Nikko joins me on the floor, we do hands on, necks, back, torso, arms, legs. It chews up an hour and we’re pretty gassed.
“Your muscles are loosening nicely.”
Daria, “Pain is gone, thank you Nikko, Janah, Cassie, Daphne.”
“When is the next session?”
“Four or five days.”
A quiet evening of fireplace and off for rest, been a busy day.
“Amaya, I’ll take a sex check if I may, working on Dasha has me zipped.”
“Of course, frankly, after the hike, Chloe and I are cooked as well, I think all the hikers will be happy to just flame out tonight.”
Resilient Dasha is at her post for breakfast prep when I show up. We make a standard American, pancakes, bacon, grits and scrambled.
After breakfast everyone is content to chill, even chiller, at ten Janah cracks open Charles Heidsieck and they have an impromptu Champagne party until lunch, then a luscious nap.
Our days roll by, the grizzly appears the fifth day after his first transmission and they have another go. It was less brutal, the twins recover in half the time. We spend another stretch of days boating, fishing, hiking and Janah’s berry and herb hunts. The day before we’re set to leave, the grizzly guru does the third and last transmission, then takes Cassie on a walk through the woods. An unnerving sight watching her ride off bareback on a bear’s back.
She has her wolf pack with her, they take off after Cassandra. I know the forest creatures won’t hurt us. But we also have experience with human creatures who wander the mountain looking to create mischief and mayhem.
While I dawdle on the porch waiting for Cass, there’s a rush of draft, an owl lands on the balcony railing.
“You are leaving soon.”
“Yes, business matters and Shadow matters, the Dark Ones. Our computer program is showing unusual activity to the south, in our country.”
“My mother said you kill them.”
“Yes, Shadows are irredeemable, we cannot fix them.”
“You cannot fix humans, you are killing each other all the time.”
“Some never learn, some like it. Humans love war, they give each other medals and awards for the best killers.”
“You retain the skills my elders gave you?”
“Yes, they have saved lives, and taken some. My daughter learned from the wolf, now the bear has given strength to the twins.”
“The ones who look the same. Humans are strange, all our children look the same.”
“We don’t have litters as often.”
“I heard of one who can fly.”
“Cassandra, she is with the…wait, here she comes now.”
The big beast lumbers in, Cass slides off his back, he stands on hinders and requests her to fly, big paws raise and lower. Cassie rises to his eye level, Lotus position in the air.
Owl does the head bob, studying the rarity, then twists her face around to me, “She does it, she is not human then.”
“A different species of human, a more advanced one.”
“Can she fly over the mountain?”
“She does not have your talent. She can rise in the air, but not move through it like the eagle and the owl.”
“Her wings are no good for that.”
She slowly flaps her wings once, shifts from one leg to the other, back and forth. I’ve noticed they do it when they’re thinking things over.
“Why does your family return to the horror of the city, why not just live here?”
“We could, it isn’t the cold, we can deal with that. The white haired one is the matriarch of our flock. She has assembled it out of intention to help the abused, then we became aware of Shadows, our work extended to them. She will not hide away if we can help, even though the work is endless and we can never fix even a small part. The transmissions our forest friends generously give us help tremendously with that work.”
“Good to know the effort is not wasted, the forest is alive with news of the humans who understand, Now one who can rise in the air on her own. Who taught her?”
“No one, she did it herself.”
“She was not poisoned by imposed limitation, like common human education, which consists primarily of repeating what is known and accepted. You learned from watching your mother and father. Those are essential skills for survival, finding prey or avoiding predators. They do not teach you how high or how fast you can fly, you find that on your own.”
“You will return in the warm season?”
“Yes, every warm season for a long time, we do not get older.”
“We were wondering, every year you come, our old ones die but we know the stories and we live long enough to see you for many seasons. None of you show the signs of age, always the same.”
“Our biology and blood are different from normal humans, we don’t know why we got the gift, or the curse perhaps. The white haired girl and I have the proteins, we discovered we could pass them along to others. The forest may have to put up with us for a long time.”
“The one who is of the sword, black eyes and serious demeanor.”
“Nishiko, she is master of the weapon.”
“You will give her a message, the rattlesnake will give her striking speed, next season, when you return.”
“How do we find it?”
“She will find you, do not be afraid, nothing will hurt you here, you are of us.”
She takes off as suddenly as she appeared. Cassie is alongside of me, the grizzly must have left while I was chatting with the owl.
Cass is looking at me, smiling her adorableness, she goes off in search of Oceane.