Eighty Five

Michael, “Les quatre perfections, welcome, usual?”
Katja, “Da, Michael. Ees Lady Mary complete operation?”
“Yes, last week, she’s still recovering. Her pals were in here yesterday. It’s as well as can be expected. Maybe six weeks they said. Next time I see them, I’ll say you asked after her.”
“Spasibo.”
Over coffee Katja relates what Michael told her, Ellen says, “Glad to hear it. I’m also glad I didn’t wake up to find myself feeling male.”
Katya, “Mary is a tough girl. She had crappy childhood though, trans was not as understood when she was child.”
Breakfast arrives, Mani says, “We saw various commercial property for sale, do you want us to check it out?”
Katya, “Anything Ellen finds interesting. Small commercial, not something complicated. Retail maybe, small shops like Katya Donut. We need more experience to take on large projects.”
Ellen, “It’s an education, we don’t really need to do it for the money. But Katja’s right, I like having projects, but not sixty hour a week ones.”
They wrap up, Ellen and Mani are off on another tour of town. They are searching in the Garden District, which is still active. All these years after Katrina and Mid-City remains only partially rebuilt. Orleans parish has rebounded somewhat, from half a million before Katrina, to a low of a quarter million, now at just under four hundred thousand. But the city is sixty percent black and, most aren’t middle class. That translates into middling property values and slow growth. There is some advantage to commercial, the city lives on tourists. And it’s done a good job of creating a flow of annual events to bring them in. Conventions like New Orleans, the play and sassiness of the Quarter, excellent restaurants sprinkled around town.
The twins walk the Quarter, tourists throng Jackson Square, Bourbon Street is quiet, too early, the masses will show up by seven or eight. It’s Friday, a big play night.
Katja, “Mani is in up to elbows now, I think we do not haf problem wiz her.”
Katya, “Nyet, she is a good girl like Ellen. By the time we finish getting her money into banks, she will also be on more jobs and in deep. She likes the murder business, takes risks, doesn’t wait always to be told.”
“We will call on Lady Mary, I haf number een phone.”
She dials, Renaldo answers, “Ees Katja, ees okay to visit Mary now?”
“Hey honey, let me check,” Katja hears, ‘Miss Mary, the twins want to visit, what do you think?’ then, “come along, just a few minutes though. She’ll want you to stay longer, but…”
“Ees no a problem, we say hi, a few minutes only,” she clicks off.
Raymond answers the door, “Hey babies, mmm, mmm, mmm, if I wasn’t so queer, I’d eat you two up.”
Katja, “Why ees gay person boyfriend of woman who was man?”
Raymond, “She had the man parts, now those are gone, but we’re all used to one another, and we’re business partners.”
Mary, “I hear you, quit talking nasty and bring my dears to me.”
“Katja! Katya! I am such a mess, you must swear to keep my secret.”
Katja, “Ees no one we are telling Mary. You look well for such a big deal operating.”
Mary, “It was horrid. A week of painful everything, even where there is nothing. Like someone beat me all over, like my father used to do. Got something from his asshole self, learned to take punishment. Where is gorgeous Ellen? I should hate her but she’s too sweet.”
Katya, “She and Mani are looking for property.”
“Mani?”
“We hire Mani to take care of house, she is Thai.”
Mary, “Lot of Thai trannys.”
Katja, “Not Mani, she ees lazebian like us also. We haf two girls to play now.”
Mary looks at Renaldo and Raymond, “I got two girls to play with too baby.”
Raymond, “She was wondering how things match up now that you are a complete woman.”
Mary, “Sucking cock is sucking cock, whether it’s in a man’s mouth or a woman’s. And my surgery saved dorsal nerves, which is what stimulates the clitoris and penis. So yes, I should be able to get off. Orgasms for women are more complicated, so much to do with hormones, partner, atmosphere. But physically, I’ll have sensation.”
Katya, “We are happy for you. Are you adjusting in your head?”
Mary, “I been good with me for a while, lotta therapy after dealing with my father. The trans community helped a lot, and the double R’s have been perfect companions. I been lucky overall.”
Katja, “We will go now, Mary. You haf to make recovery so we can come to big show.”
Mary frowns, “Not so sure about the big show. The landlord is selling, whoever he sells to might not want a drag show in the place. He’s talking to someone who does condos, remodel and sell.”
Katya, “Who is landlord?”
Renaldo, “Macy, Terry Macy. He’s okay, his aging wife is a spoiled brat who thinks she’s a fairy princess, she wants to move to Florida permanently. Sit on the beach and show off her enormous fake tits.”
Mary, “I got fake tits.”
Raymond, “Yes, and we talked you down from huge to merely appropriately ample.”
Mary smiles at the twins, “They save me from me all the time.”
“Who owns bar?”
Renaldo, “The three of us. Raymond and I tend bar, Mary does what Mary does. We got costumes, other performers to pay, the band. We do fair business, but it doesn’t make any of us rich.”
“Why not move business?”
Raymond, “We have everything set up, our people know where things are, it’s a nice place, not a Bourbon Street strip club. Lease is affordable. People know where we are, come from out of town all the time. We have to relocate, we have a problem. We could do it, if we can line up a lease that doesn’t break the bank.”
Katya, “We will buy building, you can haf show.”
Mary, “What? You got money for it? I think he’s looking at two million. There’s the club, big bar, takes up the whole bottom floor. Office space upstairs, lawyers and an accountant, storage space. The music runs at night, the bar is open at noon, but no music so it doesn’t matter to the tenants. They even come to the show sometimes.”
Katya, “Good, then the whole place is rented.”
Mary starts to cry, “Don’t be jivin’ girls, you really gonna do this?”
Katya, “Where do I find Macy?”
They leave, Katya calls the number.
“This Terrance Macy?”
“Yeah, Terry, I’m not too formal.”
“My name is Katya. I am friend of Lady Mary.”
“Yeah, great gal, I wish I could help her, I gotta sell the building she’s in sad to say.”
“You have an offer?”
“Developer’s talking two point two. It’s a fair price, lotta space, he can crank out condos, maybe six. He hasn’t put down any money.”
“Are you available to talk? I may want to buy.”
“Yeah, sure, now?”
“Where are you?”
“Actually, I’m at the club. Needed some electrical work, buildings old, you know how it is.”
“We will be there in maybe fifteen.”
The place is nearer the Rampart Street side, two blocks into the Quarter, towards Canal Street, the more tourist oriented section.
Macy, “Twins! I’ll be damned. Good thing you don’t dress alike, nobody could tell you apart. Come in, we can sit in the club.”
The long and short of the discussion is that Katya will look over the current leases, Ellen will check on clear title to the property. If the numbers aren’t too bad, the twins can outbid a developer simply enough.
Katya, “We will meet Monday. Do you have any offer in writing from the developer?”
“Nope, just a general discussion. I had the property appraised, I used the appraisal for the asking price.”
Katya, “Who is he?”
“From out of town, Dallas. Name’s Sidney Roth. Says he’s done conversions all around Dallas, thinks the Quarter has potential for quick turnover.”
“He has a company name?”
“Roth Development.”
“We will do second appraisal, also building inspector.”
“Give you the appraisal I got, save you some money.”
“We will do our own, I have partners to reassure. Maybe you do better than your appraisal.”
Katya has no intention of doing better. She’s going to have the place covered ground to roof, front to back and everything in between. From what she saw, it needs work. The developer would gut it, but then have to install new plumbing, rewire electrical and build out from scratch. There is no way he’s going to pay appraised value for a building where he gets only walls and floors.

Eighty Six

Ellen, “We buyin’ a club?”
Mani, “That’s kind of cool.”
Katya, “The actual bar and club is owned by Mary and her friends, we would be landlords. First, Ellen will get appraisal, then hire inspector to go over entire building, structure, plumbing, electrical. Also verify title with the city. Mani, Ellen  and I will follow appraiser and inspector, take notes and pictures.”
Mani, “What if the current owner doesn’t want to sell?”
Katya cocks her head.
Mani, “Oh,” she giggles, “can I be the one to change his mind?”
Katja, “Not like that, he ees to sell, wife wants out of New Orleans, go to beach, get skin cancer on beeg teets.”
Ellen laughs, “He tell you that?”
“Nyet, Renaldo.”
Ellen, “We saw more of the same on our tour, there’s an empty place on Magazine that was originally a house, it closed as what looks like a candle and knick knack shop. It needs everything, probably get it for next to nothing.”
Katya, “Recent listing?”
“No, been on the market for a while, the real estate sign’s beat up.”
“Let’s do homework on this project, Magazine Street shop doesn’t sound like it’s going anyplace soon.”
Ellen, “After you meet Monday, we’ll get busy. Good thing I made the beans and ribs already or we’d be having cold cuts.”
Katja, “Time for vodka cocktail, sisters are for showering first.”
The twins go upstairs, Mani and Ellen follow suit, then Mani’s downstairs wearing nothing but wet hair, making drinks. She puts them on a tray, brings Ellen her bourbon, takes the tray to the twins room. The shower’s running, she goes in the bathroom, Katya’s on her knees, Katja against the shower wall just cresting to climax. Mani smiles, Katja’s watching her enjoy the show, then a finishing shudder. Katya turns the water off.
Mani hands Katja a big towel, she starts to dry Katya, “You two are the sexiest things on the planet.”
She manages to sneak in a few kiss to tight tush and tighter legs, finishes off with a soft kiss on the money spot.
Katya, “You will finish what you start tonight. Tomorrow Sarah, you will be occupied.”
Mani grins, “Happy problem.”
They sip cocktails while drying hair, then slip on silk t-shirts and go downstairs.
Mani, “I told Ellen she must serve this evening nude. She’ll be all steamy by bedtime, maybe Katja can…”
Katja’s free handing Ellen’s open source territory, “I will help Ellen blow off steam, she will be limp dishrag.”
Ellen, “Touch me there again, ooohhh,” she leans in for a long kiss.
Mani, “God I love this, fall off the bone pork ribs, spicy sweet beans and cornbread.”
After dinner, they have wine in the courtyard. It’s getting on to summer, but the temperature drops just enough to be comfortable. Two stand alone fans create a gentle breeze.
Girls relax until nine thirty, then lust takes over, Mani takes the glasses in, Ellen and Katja roll the fans back to their spot in the workout room. They make their way to two bedrooms, Ellen and Katja, Mani and Katya.
An hour later, after luscious orally induced orgasms, Mani is on Katya with a vibrating strap-on. She gets the intended response, from Katya and herself.
In the other bedroom, Katja is finishing off Ellen with analstim, her tongue slow and soft, Ellen lost in pure sensation, not a wisp of thought in her brain.
Then it’s silent, girls curled up with tonight’s intimate partner.
The bedrooms are near blacked out at night, but the sunshine creeps in just at the edges of the dark curtain. Katya sits up and stretches, to the bathroom to take care of a pressing bladder. She showers, Mani comes in and they play hide the soap, then rinse dry and downstairs.
Ellen has coffee and tea, still clothing free.
“Mani didn’t give me permission to dress yet.”
Katja, “Ees better to see vision of Ellen first thing. We haf fun last night, Ellen make meeny orgasm. No more steamy.”
“It was unreal. I couldn’t think, I just felt, usually I’m in a dream of lascivious lust.”
Katya, “There is a state called anoesis, pure sensation without cognitive content.”
“Well I sure was there, and I slept dream free, like I was dead.”
Katya, “And it has not happened before?”
“Well, when we orgasm, thought leaves, but this was constant, almost the whole time Katja and I made love.”
Katya, “Interesting, and you enjoyed it.”
“Sex always feels good, great, this was more.”
Mani, “Swee-tah. Katja’s got skills.”
Katja, “Ees more Ellen’s nature than my skill, we do not do anything new. She ees maybe special girl, we will see if it happens again.”
Ellen, “Whatever it was, I didn’t try for anything, it was just there.”
Katya, “Then do not try for next time, maybe trying will prevent.”
“That’s a good thought, I won’t, doesn’t do any good to relive it.”
Big biscuits, eggs over easy with buttery grits and crispy bacon.
“We’ll have a light cold cuts lunch, your new friend, she have eating preferences? I gotta think up dinner. Or we could go out.”
Mani, “Can we eat at home? I’d rather show you off,” she laughs, “I mean, your cooking.”
Just then, Mani’s phone dings, “Hey Sarah, you at work yet?”
“Not until nine thirty, we do some rearranging maybe, shop opens at ten, I’m off at four, we still on?”
“Of course, I’m all excited. By the way, we’re having dinner at home, you have any food allergies, preferences, are you vegetarian or anything?”
“Nope, we eat most New Orleans things, I’m not crazy about crawfish. Tastes good, but it’s troublesome to peel, messy and fingers stink of fish.”
Mani, “We don’t do those, only boiled shrimp, but we peel them in advance for shrimp cocktail. Ellen’s magic with the grill, how’s grilled fish, or steak?”
“Cool, either one, thanks for asking, I’m a pretty generic eater.”
“You coming straight from work?”
No, I want to go home and change, at the end of the day I smell like boutique.”
“Okay, suppose you call and I’ll drive over and pick you up.”
“Great, probably five or five thirty, you still want me to stay?”
“Absolutely, and tomorrow’s Sunday, we usually go to Café EnVie, you know it?”
“Um, oh yeah, I went there once for coffee. Got to go, still getting dressed.”
They click off.
“All set, anything you want to make is good.”
Ellen, “Then we will have trout amandine with Creole Mèuniere sauce, Brabant potatoes, creamed spinach and a devil’s food cake with buttercream frosting. And I heard shrimp cocktail, which made me want one, I’ll do that too.”
Mani, “Perfect.”
After breakfast and post cleanup, the girls lounge and digest. Katya is always occupied with Katya Donut numbers, the rental property in Houston and reviewing the investments. Katja, Ellen and Mani slip between Japanese and Russian for an hour.
Katja, “I am for working out on machine, maybe heavy bag until lunch.
Ellen, “I’m in.”
The four wind up in the slave quarter converted to gym. Between stationary bikes, treadmill, rowing machine and heavy bag, there are four sweaty lesbians sitting on the mats rehydrating by eleven thirty.
Katya, “Now for shower and lunch, maybe nap later.”
An hour later, they’re having a selection of cold roast beef, pepper crusted turkey and honey ham, a snappy white cheddar, and crispy bread and butter pickles marinated in habanero sauce. Crackers and salt and pepper chips accompany.
Mani, “Just right, high protein, not stuffed with carbs. Boar’s Head has the best deli meats,” she spears another slice of roast beef.
Ellen, “I got to round up trout, shrimp and French bread, take a ride Mani?”
“Sure.”
Hour and a half for shopping, Mani puts things away, girls go off to bedrooms to laze for a couple hours. They gather downstairs for tea at four thirty.
Mani, “Glad I napped, that session this morning was hard good.”
Katja, “Da, when we do together, everyone drives the others, push harder.”
Ellen, “I got the cake baked and cooled, now for frosting. Boil shrimp now, the rest of dinner I make pretty much at the same time. Mani will do Brabant potatoes and creamed spinach, but the Muniere has to wait until the trout is cooked. We have a superb Graves to accompany the fish, two bottles chilling. I found Chateau Villa Bel-Air Blanc, it is splendido. We also have Gosset Champagne as a starter.”
Katja, “I am anticipating, and to meet Mani’s friend.”

Eighty Seven

“Sarah, you know Ellen, these are the twins, Katya and Katja.”
Sarah, “Good gosh, identical doesn’t cover it, guess you hear that a lot, so nice to meet you.”
Katya, “Welcome to our home.”
Katja, “We haf no formals here, you can be relax and enjoy. Eef you haf question or want something, ask only.”
Sarah, “Thank you, Mani, the house is gorgeous, and so sleek, not full of stuffy antiques.”
Mani, “Not their style. Let’s take your overnight upstairs.”
Mani takes the small valise, Sarah follows up the staircase, then up the second staircase to Mani’s room. They return in ten minutes.
Sarah, “Your home is exquisite, I hate Mani, she has such a wonderful bedroom, rainfall shower, a closet she can walk around in. I’m going to sue my parents for child abuse.”
Mani, “I met her parents, very nice, and Sarah’s room is built for a spoiled brat. Her closet is stuffed.”
“Mom has the boutique, she gets things wholesale, it is time for a bit of housekeeping. I have things I need to haul to Goodwill.
Ellen, “And dad is a surgeon, I understand”
Sarah, “Yes, and he’s almost never home. He does brain and spinal cord, and puts in time in the emergency room. He says it keeps his trauma skills intact, but I think it’s an excuse. He loves doing surgery.”
Katja, “He ees brain expert?”
“Not exactly. He says he is an expert at the plumbing, the parts. The various mental functions are more for the neurologist. Like one guy does the hardware, the other the software.”
Katja, “Ah, ees good example, I am understanding.”
Ellen, “Time for cocktails, your folks have rules about drinking?”
Sarah, “I have wine, my father’s all into wine, he spends a fortune at Martin’s.”
“We have champagne to start, then white with dinner. Mani, please open the Gosset.”
First round in the courtyard, Sarah says, “This is neat. Mosquito netting, fans, comfortable chairs.”
Mani, “Tell us about running, how did you start?”
“I was always on the go, dance class, which was fine, but I like something I can do outside. I did little kid track, ran in local races, 5 and 10K things, a half marathon. I shifted more to intermediate, five thousand meters is my max race.”
Mani, “What is a good time?”
“For juniors, the world record is a shade over fifteen minutes, five minute miles give or take. The best female adults run fourteen and a half to fourteen ten, the record.”
“So the top juniors are close on the heels of top adults.”
Sarah, “Yes, but a minute difference over five thousand meters is a lifetime. My best time is sixteen thirty, like a snail.”
Katja, “You are run for fun, not to be anyway world champion.”
“Yes, I win my share at my pace, local and state races. I don’t have time to travel all over, and I’m not absorbed with it. It keeps me in shape, I may run in college, who knows? I have to get out of high school first.”
“You have a college in mind?”
“Dad went to Tulane and Tulane medical. I’m not interested in the endless slog of med school, I prefer rhetoric and writing. I’ve done a dozen or more short stories, like to write a novel, but I can’t jell on a premise. Still thinking it over.”
Katja, “What ees rhetoric?”
“Effective or persuasive speaking and writing, especially the use of figures of speech and other compositional techniques. There’s also deeper study of logic and logical argument. It’s quite complex. I don’t know if I want to dive that deep.”
Ellen, “You’ll find your sweet spot, honey. Let’s have an appetizer.”
Mani and Ellen deliver shrimp cocktails with lump crabmeat on shredded lettuce, tangy seafood sauce, slice of lemon on the side to squish over the concoction. Freshen champagne.
Sarah, “Yum, is anything better than shrimp and crabmeat? Nice bite to the sauce, what is it?”
Ellen, “Habanero powder, a miniscule sprinkle. I use another occasionally, the hottest pepper on the planet, Trinidad Moruga. It’s like eating molten steel.”
Sarah, “Sounds like my dad, he’s a hot sauce freak.”
“I get it in powdered form, pure ground dried pepper. Add it carefully, once it’s on the food, it can’t be undone. I usually sprinkle a bit on the tines of a fork, that’s how little is necessary to flame up the dish.”
Finish appetizers, they move inside to prepare dinner.
Ellen, “Mani is in charge of potatoes and spinach, sorry to take her from her guest, but it’s a two person job to get stuff to come out together.”
Sarah, “I’m fine right here, I can keep an eye on her, both eyes even.”
Twenty minutes and platters are on the table, fried trout filets crusty with almonds, tangy Muniere sauce to drizzle over the top.
Sarah, “Do you eat like this all the time? It’s all wonderful.”
Mani, “Ellen went to cooking school, and she already had cooking skills. Her grandmother, who lived in New Orleans a long time, taught her. She shows me things, I’m designated apprentice.”
Ellen, “Y’all are welcome to hang here and catch whatever program we watch. We aren’t insulted if you want to go upstairs instead. Later, we have devil’s food cake if you’re interested.”
Sarah, “It looks scrumptious, count me in whenever you’re ready.”
Katja is flipping through movie options, she finds Let Me In with Chloe Moretz.
“Here ees one, she plays strange girl who helps young boy from boolee. Ellen, we will haf Cognac now.”
They watch Chloe meet the boy, at the point it’s evident she’s a kind of vampire, they break for cake.
Sarah, “How can you not love cake, this is light as air, and fluffy butter cream frosting.”
Ellen, “Thank you. The twins sprung for the best in kitchen appliances. Oven temperature controls are like quantum clocks. Gas range with a big griddle and an exhaust vent that’s like a jet engine, sound insulated so you can hear yourself think. Ingredients are first in importance, equipment is a close second.”
They settle back while Chloe makes mincemeat out of the baddies, Katja clicks off when credits roll.
Katya, “Sisters are for bed now. We will go to EnVie for maybe nine tomorrow. If you are up, come along, if not, we will be back at ten.”
Mani, “Let’s go to my room, we can find another show to watch…or something.”
Sarah, “Thank you for a wonderful dinner, and the wine was equally cool. Dad would want to know what it is.”
Ellen, “Mani will text the name to you.”
Girls scurry upstairs, Ellen and Katja wrap up the plates and glasses, add to the dishwashers and go upstairs. Katya is already snuggled under covers.
Katja, “Ellen, we are tired, just only slip tonight.”
Ellen takes a left to her room, “Good with me, I’m fried from our workout, be gone in ten minutes.”

Eighty Eight

Sunday’s right on time, Ellen’s up with Katja drinking coffee and tea, Katya comes down twenty minutes later, Ellen pours tea.
Katya, “Slept like dead girl. Workout, vodka, wine, Cognac.”
Ellen, “No hangover I hope.”
“Nyet, sisters do not have hangover, we do not drink cocktail with sugary mix, eat good dinner, drink big glass of water before bed and when we get up.”
Ellen, “That’s the thing. Do we do Envie, it’s only eight.”
Katya, “Read Sunday papers online, New York Times, Washington Post, drink tea. We will go later.”
They enjoy the morning quiet, click around various websites. They keep up with national news, it isn’t anything they’re passionate about. Politics means nothing to them, they use it as a topic of curiosity.
Katja, “Why ees reech person care about screwing around poor people?”
Katya, “If you say tax around a rich person, he gets heart attack. Everything is about money and house.”
Katja, “We haf lots of money and beeg house. We do not buy politician to keep tax low.”
Katya, “I do not mind tax in America. Rich should pay more tax. They are soft. They do not realize poor will only take so much pushing around, then revolution.”
Ellen, “You think America will have a revolution?”
“Not until they pull out rug from lower middle class and disappear middle class. When people have nothing, they have nothing to lose. Rich in America do not understand that.”
Katja, “American ees too fat for revolution, cannot anyway run for two blocks wizout attacking heart.”
Ellen, “And people who the politicians hurt the most are waving flags and voting Republican.”
Katya, “Republican pushes their morality, Jesus, abortion, too big government, balanced budget. Get working class voters emotional and they do not think. Flag waving is for idiots.”
The phone rings, Katya answers, Penny asks, “Too early?”
“Nyet, having tea.”
“We have a conflict to resolve.”
“Rush?”
“Not particularly, just calling to let you know to check the accounts, details are there.”
Katya clicks off. Penny stares at her dead phone and smiles, “Vika never changes, a constant reliability in my life.”
Katya, “We have a project.”
Ellen, “Conflicts are best resolved quickly, or they only become bigger conflicts, like a virus that multiplies.”
Katya, “Let’s have breakfast, I will check details later.”
As they are dressing, Mani comes along to Ellen’s room, “We’re up, we stayed up a while, and, um…..”
Ellen, “Don’t kiss and tell honey, just get ready. We’ll go to EnVie and snag a table, come along in a bit.”
Michael, “Les trois perfections, where is the Thai perfection?”
Ellen, “Be along in a bit, she had a friend over, they got up after us.”
“Then I will bring coffee and tea, shall I wait on breakfast?”
“A little, if they don’t show in fifteen, bring our usual, they can order later.”
Gerard walks in, “Girls, how lovely, how is everyone this Sunday morning? Mani is elsewhere?”
Katja, “Sit Gerard. Mani haf friend over, they are coming.”
Gerard parks, Michael appears with his morning eye opener, almond liquor au lait, which is as advertised, shot of almond liquor in café aut lait, chicory coffee with steamed milk.
He sips, “Ah, coffee artists. What have girls been up to, solving any more mysteries?”
Katja, “Nyet Gerard. We saw Lady Mary, she ees make recovering. We may also buy building so she can keep club.”
“I heard he was selling, what’s his name? Terry something.”
“Terry Macy. Wife pressing to move to Florida, wants the cash to shore up her lifestyle.”
Gerard, “Yes, yes, Macy. What do I know of Terry Macy?”
Mani and Sarah come in holding hands, doesn’t take an expert to read the body language, it says intimates.
Mani, “Gerard, this is my friend Sarah McClellan.”
Gerard stands, offers his hand, “Pleased to meet you, dear girl. There is a surgeon in town, Dean McClellan.”
“My dad.”
Gerard, “Our city is smaller that it appears, he has a splendid reputation, frequently at the Charity trauma center I’m told.”
“He likes to keep his hand in something besides brains.”
Gerard, “I suspect generosity has something to do with it.”
Michael, “Good Lord, les cinq perfections. You’ll be in double digits soon, Katya.”
“This is Sarah.”
“Bonjour Sarah, there is the menu, I know what to bring everyone else, look it over and let me know your pleasure.”
“I see it, Spinach and Feta Cheese Wrap.”
“Bon, something to drink?”
“I’ll have a café au lait now, please.”
“On the way.”
Gerard, “How did you meet Sarah, Mani?”
“Her mom owns a boutique on Royal. Ellen and I were shopping, Sarah works there on Saturdays. Lucky we stopped by, we were headed home.”
Gerard, “Fate then.”
Sarah, “Must be.”
Katja, “What haf you been doing Gerard, no more déjà senti friend?”
“No thank goodness, that was scary, and really scary for him.”
Sarah, “What is déjà senti.”
Gerard, “The phenomenon of having ‘already felt’ something, when a word or self talk touches off the sensation. Katya figured out that an acquaintance of mine who thought he was seeing the future was actually reliving the recent past. It was due to hallucinogens he was experimenting with. He thought he was going mad.”
Sarah, “Weird, I never got caught up in drugs. Some girls I know do marijuana. I can’t bring myself to try.”
Ellen, “Then don’t. You likely get the runner’s high anyway.”
“I do! Sometimes I feel happy buzzed at the end.”
Sarah, “Try some of the wrap Mani, it’s really good.”
They wind up mixing tastes, farmer’s omelet, shepherd’s omelet, steak and eggs plate, then the food is gone.
Gerard, “Young ladies have healthy appetites. Of course I know that from dining with them on prior occasions.”
Katya, “And we will have something soon. Need to go to Houston next week.”
They settle the tab and part company with Gerard, walk to the house, Sarah is glued to Mani. Whispering as they walk home, zip up the stairs to Mani’s room.
Ellen, “Don’t have to guess what that’s about.”

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