Chapter Eighty Nine
Before they go off to their room, we have a sex around in ours. It's not like we have to up at the crack of dawn. The twins are their luscious selves, Janah and Daria pair off, I'm pleased to have Dasha to myself. The twins are straightforward and blunt in daily life, not when they have intimacies. They are gentle, enjoy being pleased and pleasing, cuddly cute and sizzling hot.
Dasha, "You make best sex Dahfoney, Oceane too, all fahmeley makes gud sex, everyone is also deeferent."
"I've noticed, something special about each, and the special is different for each partner. It's part of the mystery, and the turn on. Nikko is rough with me, gentle with Zi. Amaya is so gorgeous it hurts, Chloe is exuberantly enthusiastic, like she is with everything. Tiny Eloise is intense, Oceane is like floating in a warm cloud."
Daria is still working Janah, who is busy squirming so erotically I think I see smoke.
Dasha, "Janah ees most sexual girl in a house of sexual girls. Seemple, just touch and go."
I laugh, "Been like that since I've known her. I decided it's her way of getting out of that brain of hers, a zillion terabytes of arcane information, data and facts. Sex is how she rests and resets her soft drive. She's her own cloud."
Janah goes off in her trembling quiet way, none of us are screamers, don't shout out instructions, nobody has ever said, 'oh god, oh god, oh god' or even 'yes, yes, yes.'
After Janah subsides, we kiss the twins, they go off to their room, Janah snuggles into me and we disappear.
This morning, up late for us, eight. It may be a long day, we go downstairs for breakfast and protein load. Crisp bacon, slab of quite good ham, eggs over easy, a veg omelet. Fed, caffeinated and back in our room, Janah checks in with Surveillance.
"He at the office. He golfed yesterday, routine seems normal. The current show has been running a while, no bugs to work out, no crisis to manage. He goes to lunch straight up noon, frequently to the same place we had dinner, Black Oak."
"Too busy to snatch him there."
Janah, "Yes, too public. Besides, we get him after work, nobody's looking for him."
We kill the day in the room, play mental push hands, a practice game where we use qi to pressure our partner's hand, she uses qi to press back. It isn't exhausting like using qi to move objects, more like tai chi qi. (Chi and qi are pronounced the same, ‘chee’ and are the same thing, energy.) At one thirty, I order simple sandwiches from room service. After the light lunch we lounge, tea at four thirty, leave to stalk Taggart at five.
The employees lot is quiet, there are cars, mostly trucks. Surveillance said the office crew leaves at four thirty, stage hands, sound guys and the cast arrive around five.
Janah, "There's a dead spot, from shortly after five until the doors open at seven. We can try for him here."
"I'm in a two inch miniskirt and platforms for nothing?"
"No, I like you in two inch minis, and we may have to use the pickup plan."
It's five thirty, nothing. Then the rear door opens, it's Taggart. He turns back and says something to someone inside, waves and heads to his car.
Janah, "Nobody around, let's do it."
I pull the Escalade next to his driver's side, facing the back of his car. As he approaches his BMW, he clicks his key fob, I hear the doors unlock. I open my door, long legs drift out, get his complete attention. Daria is out the passenger side and around the back of the Escalade. The windows are tinted black, he has no idea if anyone else is inside.
"Excuse me sir, I'm supposed to meet friends at a restaurant, Black Oak. I'm a little lost."
Taggart does the obvious, "Just headed there myself, whyn't you follow me?"
"How sweet, thank you," I hike one leg back inside the car, leave the other stretched out to the ground, Taggart is focused on sheer white panties in between.
"Pleasure to help a pretty....," far as he gets, Daria has his neck, he's unconscious in a second, she shoves him in the back seat of his BMW. Dasha has his keys, slips into the driver’s seat.
Twenty minutes later, we're inside a secluded warehouse, Taggart strapped in a chair facing a wall, face lit up from the blinding halogen light. Janah and Daria arranging pharmaceuticals.
He's heard my voice, doesn't know there's anyone else, I get his head snapped up with an ammonia cap.
Taggart, "What the fuck is this? A kidnapping? Good fuckin' luck. I got some money, but not even a million in cash. If you think the company will pay, you might as well kill me now."
"Well, I did kidnap you, but not for money. Settle back, I'll tell you a story."
Taggart, "This is fuckin' crazy, cut me fuckin’ loose bitch."
A right cross to his jaw settles him down, "Shut up and listen, I hate to be interrupted."
Taggart, "You...," I rearrange his nose, blood drips.
"I hate to repeat myself. Must I? You can nod, yes or no."
I get the nod no, "Good. As I was trying to say before your rude interruption, there was once a stepfather who took an interest in his wife's daughter. Not a paternal interest, a sexual interest. And his wife, self centered bitch that she is, handed the girl over to stepdad like Christmas candy. Ever heard of such a thing?"
Taggart, "S’got to do with me?"
"Taggart, listen up, you've heard this conversation before, but in case you need to refresh."
I click on the recording, Mrs. Taggart is first actor, "I'm going out, have fun with the little slut. You have all night, I won't be back until tomorrow."
Taggart's voice, "Who's up tonight, Freddie, James, got a new one?"
Mrs. T, "James....and a new one, friend of his. Doubling my fun."
Taggart, "You're getting me hard."
She laughs, "My cuckold husband, you really like the humiliation don't you?"
"You're so good at supplying it."
Mrs. T, "Cock feels like a rock in there. Take it out on the girl, I need to get moving to my own hard boys."
The sound of a door closing, then a girls' voice, "I suppose you want to fuck me now. You are such a perv, turned on by your wife's screwing around, turned on by a twelve year old."
"You get paid, paid well, you got more shit than Paris fucking Hilton."
"I wish. Finish your drink, let's get it over with, I want to watch a movie in my room."
It's nothing for a bit, then the sounds of sex, "God you have such a tight body, you like me to lick that pussy, you won't admit it, but it gets you hot. Take my cock, that's it, suck..."
Enough child porn, Taggart says nothing, then, "Shit's fake."
"Uh huh. Thinks the cops will buy it? Or the company you work for? That's where it's going."
"Who are you? Cops? I got nothing to say, I want a lawyer."
"And I want a home in the hills, which, unlike your lawyer, I’m getting. I’m not the police. I'll read you my version of your rights though. You have the right to admit or deny. It doesn't matter to me which, my mind's already made up. You have the right to pain, I have the right to administer it. You have the right to lose your assets, every last dime. I have the right to take them in the name of Jenny. You have the right to live on the street and sleep in a cardboard box. That's it."
"Oh man, why? The girl doesn't object, her mom handed her to me. Screw me up, the kid's no better off. Her mother doesn't give a shit."
"Mom's up to bat next, she gets the same rights, equal justice under my law."
It's sinking in, he blinks, drop of sweat rolls down his cheek, "Look, never again, I'm done. I'll move out, divorce her, never see the kid again. I never did it before, never gonna do it again."
"All true, truer that you can possibly know. I'm going to rehab you, when I'm done, you'll be lucky to remember how to locate your dick. Hey, that's an idea….."
"You are fuckin' insane."
"Shouldn't profile, but, in my case, you've nailed it. I'm a total psycho, and I’ve got you all tied up."
I insert a syringe in his arm. We aren't going to kill him, well, not exactly. He's going to be someone else, with the brain power of slime mold. By the time he's conscious, he won't remember his name, his mother's maiden name, the name of his first pet or the year he graduated high school. Taggart will be in some major city, homeless, unable to get an erection with a crane and a five hundred milligram Viagra.
Two hours later, "He's finished, let's pack up and go."
"What about his car?"
"Minders coming for it, soon to be gone from Missouri, a grey market ghost. Whatever they get for it goes to the Society, ultimately for Jenny's care."
Driving towards the hotel, Janah disconnects from a call, "Mom is out, looks like for the evening. The girl is at home alone. I was going to front mom and deal with the girl tomorrow, but this is an opportunity. Go to Taggart's place."
Janah and Jenny have been talking for a half hour, "Taggart won't be around anymore, he's been persuaded to move on. The question is, do you want out of here? I won't force you to leave."
Jenny, "I don't have a mother, I have a pimp. I should have outed the asshole, but I was scared nobody would believe me, or I would be tagged a slut or whore. That's what she kept telling me, she'd said she would tell people she didn't know about any sex, that I was always flirting with him. That I walked around in nothing in front of him, that she talked to me, even punished me, but I wouldn't quit. Who would believe me? It seemed better to go along and shut up. Some girls in my class give boys blow jobs all the time. They aren't any older than me. I never did, I was giving blow jobs at home."
Janah shows her photos of the first Flagstaff ranch, horses, the dogs, kids working in the gardens, on rafting trips, skiing.
Jenny flips through the pictures on Janah's phone, "I get to do all that?"
"Yes, and the others came from similar situations. They don't call each other names, they were victims just like you. If you don't like it, say so and we will find you a proper family."
"Will I have to see her again? What if she comes looking for me?"
"No, she won't find you either. We're really good at this."
She smiles, "Cool, I am out of here? Really, just gone? You aren't turning me over to some pimp are you? Is this some deal she's dreamed up, to sell me?"
Janah smiles, "You're a smart girl, but don't try for too smart. Tell you what, let's Skype the ranch, you can talk to some of the kids."
"Really? Right now?"
Twenty minutes later, she's stuffing clothes into a small suitcase, "Tim said his mother sold him, and he was moved around for a year until you guys found him. Tina said the ranch is great, she's able to paint, get on the internet for classes, house parents help with lessons. She rides horses every day and milks cows. That seems kind of gross, but the horses are beautiful."
"You don't have to milk cows. Everyone has small jobs, you may prefer the crops, or taking care of the horses, cooking. The point is to get you in a healthy place, when you're grown, you can go to college or whatever else you might want to do. We take care of the cost until you graduate. Your job is to grow up safe and healthy."
Jenny starts to cry, "I'm leaving my friends, my house, my stuff. Who will I be?"
"A girl with a new name in a safe happy place. Who you become will take care of itself. You could decide to stay here, that's up to you, but this is a onetime offer, there's no second chance. Sorry, it's how it has to be."
Jenny sniffles, "Don't like most of those girls anyway," then a smile, "the horses did it, and maybe I can milk a cow."
A couple arrives, grandparent types who will take Jenny to Flagstaff. Janah hugs her, gives her a phone number to call. A Society number with an area code a long way from Manhattan. If she leaves a message, Janah will call her back.
We stayed in the car for the talk, Jenny doesn't know from us, just a disguised Janah with a different name.
Janah climbs in the Escalade, "Okay, Surveillance will call when the woman comes home. In the meantime Daria, empty his accounts and park them in the Society account tagged for Jenny. I'll blank the woman, memory of life here and Taggart. Sex will repulse her. Other than that, she'll be functional. They'll take her someplace, leave her a little money, she can figure it out from there. We'll sell the house, proceeds to Jenny's account, the usual."
Bad Mom shows up at nine the next morning. Daria drops her cold, Janah goes to work. Minders pick her up two hours later. She'll be mildly drugged until they get wherever, put in a motel room and left enough cash to function for a while. She'll be foggy on her past, able to work, not a lost soul like Taggart. There's always Walmart.
We're on a flight out at two, with time zone changes, in Manhattan by seven.
Nikko and Zi are still in Arizona, Nikko mentals me, "Went well, congratulations, another kid pulled from the garbage heap."
"They want out, but they’re kids, they don't see a way. It's not like they can hop a bus and get a job someplace anonymously. Some leave, wind up in the hands of pimps."
"I don't think we've had a kid go to a ranch that wanted to go anyplace else."
"One had to be relocated after Janah did a reset, remember the girl who wanted to have sex with everyone?"
Nikko, "Yes, but she went to another ranch, it was a judgment problem as I recall."
"Hormones overwhelmed judgment, minor tinkering and she was good to go. No problems since. You're right, not a single kid has asked to be moved to a family. The people at the ranch become family. Kids who go off to college come back for summer break, holidays, just like other college kids go home. It's a bonus for us. Kids at the ranch see the ones who lived there with a life, going to college, making friends. It encourages them. A few graduate college and return to help. It's quite gratifying. We get a supply of tutors, mentors who had the same lousy experience, survived and thrived. The ranches are our best project."
Nikko, "Got to go, we have one more property to see, then fly home tomorrow morning."
"See you then."
I relay what Nikko said to the others, "Guess we'll be building another house soon."
"We'll have a pool at the new house, a big one, Olympic. You can swim in your backyard. We aren’t buying near a lake."
Oceane smiles, nothing is better than water, her element, "Can it have a diving board? I can fly."
"Sure, two, one low, one high dive. We'll make it twelve feet deep on one end, swimming lanes, heated in winter, the whole thing. Just don't break your neck."
Oceane, "Water will never hurt me."
Amaya, "Diving, cool. I hadn't thought of it, great exercise, balance, proprioception. I shall become proficient. While we wait on the house, I will take Oceane to an aquatic center and we will train."
Daria, "I will go, and Dasha."
Eloise, "Me too."
Chloe, "Don't leave me out."
Amaya, "What fun, we shall begin immediately, I will make arrangements. A coach, one piece swimsuits, caps, everything."
Guess we're signing up for something else.
Chapter Ninety One
Amaya never dawdles, two days later we have swimsuits. one piece Speedos. We skip caps, most of us have too much hair, pony tails swill have to do. Janah and Nikko aren't taking the class, but they come along to watch. At the aquatic center, we meet Marcy, our instructor.
"What are you wanting to accomplish?"
Amaya, "Exercise and fun, nobody is going to compete, and none of us has done anything but a dive from poolside, we are green as grass."
Marcy, "Everyone swims? I guess it sounds dumb, but I don't want to assume."
"All of us. Oceane is our swimmer, she is in the water almost every day, but we have an endless pool at home, no diving."
Marcy was a college diver, has the bulky build of a competitive athlete. She's not a former Olympian, but more than qualified to show us basics. After a brief explanation and demonstration, we line up for our first springboard jump. It's a jump, not a dive. Small steps at first, then a couple of longer strides, jump to the end of the board and let it propel you up. The idea is to maintain a straight posture, coordinate arms with the jump (they go straight up as you spring off the board.)
Marcy, "Anyone freaky about going in headfirst? Before we do a springboard, just go to the end of the board, bend and dive in."
No problem, Marcy doesn't know us, the general levels of athleticism. By the end of the session, she has a better idea of what we can do.
"This isn't going to be much of a problem for you. Somebody holding out on me? Been diving in secret?"
Amaya, "All of us do some kind of exercise involving balance and coordination. Daphne and Zi are martial artists, Chloe does kendo and swims. Eloise does tai chi, the twins gymnastics. I am the least athletic, but I dance several times a week, actively."
Marcy, "Starting to make sense. Most brand new divers have nowhere near the level of body control you guys do. Try not to get ahead of yourselves. When do you want to have a second session?"
Amaya, "Tomorrow. Half of us, half the day after. We will alternate until we have proficiency. Like I said, this is for fun and exercise, we do not need perfection."
Amaya prevaricates, she won't be happy until she has it mastered. Marcy's happy, she has a gaggle of new students paying full freight for lessons.
At home, we have afternoon tea.
Amaya, "What did diving feel like Oceane?"
"Flying to my friend," water is her pal.
Amaya, "I have further to go than the rest of you."
Dasha, "Dahfoney and Zi already flying gung fu. Vesnushki ees always relax, she can let go wiz no thinking."
Eloise, "I'm no flying martial artist either. It's fun, everyone learning the same thing."
"I'm going to get a trampoline for the roof, a good one."
Nikko, "Good, I can do that."
Janah, "Me too. Although if we keep it up, we're going to need a second roof, the place is almost covered with stuff now, three bedrooms, a pool, a garden, gymnastic equipment, Daphne's grill."
"There's room, and it will fold away when we aren't using it. I'll set it up between the garden and the pool, that way you won't go sailing off the roof if you miss. Dasha's gym mats will cushion the roof around the trampoline."
Amaya, "Great! I can get in more practice right here."
Susan calls, I tell her our latest endeavor, "Super, I want to trampoline, let me know when you have it. All our travel, I stuff in as many taekwondo classes as I can when we're at home, now I can bounce around at your place. The diving was fun?"
"Yes, Oceane started it, we had our first session, we’re going to alternate, four of us one day, four the next."
"Who opted out, never mind, Nikko and Janah."
"Right-o, but they got inspired by the trampoline idea. Just come by anytime you're in the mood, I'll call when some of us are going to have a session. Where do you fly off to next?"
"Greece, need to spend some money in their crappy economy."
"Oh, we haven't talked, we're building a house near Prescott. You and Taylor should fly out when Nikko and Daria go to monitor construction. It's Arizona after all, chock full of cranky Republicans. Still, we had a great experience at the Bondurant school in Phoenix, then built a ranch in Flagstaff, now another near Flagstaff and a third home. Prescott is about a hundred miles from Flagstaff, southwest. "
Susan, "Good Lord, you've been busy, when did all this happen?"
"Couple of weeks ago, you know Nikko, once we decide on a project, she burns rubber and doesn't stop until it's done. She loves being busy, Zi and Daria right alongside."
"Ten girls, going to be a big house."
"Still in planning, but I promised Oceane a big pool, that's how diving came up."
"You don't get much time for Canada now, how much use will the new house get?"
"Good question, we build and see if we come. Oceane may transplant, an Olympic pool."
Susan, "I don't see your family splitting up that much.'
"No, more like she and the twins, or Amaya and Chloe may go with her early, the rest of us a few days later, like that. Just to give her extra time. Janah is thinking about letting a couple of female monks live there full time. There are mystics and contemplatives who would welcome free room and board. They can keep the place operating so we don't have to close up and reopen all the time."
"And Oceane could go alone if monks are there."
"Only theoretically, Dasha and Amaya would never allow it."
"They think Oceane that fragile?"
I laugh, "It isn't Oceane, they have no intention of letting her out of sight for more than a few days. We're all attached to each other, Oceane is a special case beyond that. Amaya's even worse about Chloe."
Susan, "Ah, that actually makes sense to someone who knows your weird family. Like neurons in a brain, everything is in touch, some more in touch with one area than another."
"Yes, and all the connections are necessary for the entity to function. Some days I think we're all just part of Janah's brain, hormones and electrical impulses in a single mind."
Chapter Ninety Two
Diving is fun, like gung fu without getting so beat up.
Marcy, "Daphne, you and Zi are incredible. I've never seen beginners go to back and front somersaults pike position, tuck, reverse and twists. it's been what, three weeks?"
"We do versions in gung fu, we've trained for years, our proprioceptive skills are pretty high."
Marcy, "What about Oceane? She took to this like she grew up doing it, she's not a gung fu student is she?"
"No, she's a water student. If it involves water, even diving into it, she's fearless. Diving is great for our family, Dasha and Daria are the most determined people you will ever meet, Dasha is a talented gymnast, her sister isn't at Dasha's level, but she's good. Amaya will persist until death. Chloe just thinks it's all fun, so she's relaxed."
Marcy grins, "Amaya grills me on technique, and she demands clear, concise answers. People who have to grind harder to get it often do better in the long run."
"Amaya will grind it to dust, she's on the trampoline at home every day."
Marcy, "Ah, you figured out trampoline is like diving, no wonder they progress so quickly, she hesitates, then, "I haven't asked, and it's none of my business, those marks you and Zi have...."
"Part of Shaolin, to become a priest."
Marcy, "They look like burns."
"Yeah, they do."
Marcy, "Okay, I'm done being curious, was it okay to ask?"
I smile, "Everything is okay to ask, not always okay to answer."
"I get it. What an incredible family, ten women, Shaolin priests, kendo masters, a movie star and a highly regarded author. And a sizable property management business."
"That's Nikko, Zi and Daria, I just cook and clean."
She looks at me sideways, "Uh huh. My dad is a corporate attorney. He said Murakami Sylk might be the best run conglomerate on the planet. Nikko has repeatedly turned down seats on Fortune 500 boards."
"She appreciates the interest, her focus is on family assets, she feels outside activities are a distraction."
Marcy, "Wouldn't it be good for business?"
"Probably, but that's not how she does things. Focus means focus, Nikko is ultra-focus. If we give up some connections, so be it."
Marcy, "Dad says people call her for advice anyway."
"And she's happy to offer observations. She also understands people are sometimes looking to make a case, for her to take sides. Unless she hears both positions, her advice is neutral."
"That's what dad said. They call her because she offers perspective. He said she's direct and uncomplicated, saved a couple CEOs from potentially disastrous decisions."
"Value of unbiased observation. Another reason she isn't on boards. Sit on X board, you're expected to be adversarial towards board Y. Competition is overrated, frequently detrimental to both sides, but companies don't see it that way."
Marcy, "Competition raises the bar, like in diving."
"Perhaps, then there are all the ones who didn't do well, in part because of the added pressure of competition. Others who drug enhanced their way up. I'm not trying change the rules of sport, but the elevation of one to the detriment of the rest has consequences, not always good ones."
Marcy, "I see your point, I've experienced your point. I always got decent scores for my college team, never the star, certainly not an Olympian. Solid technique, no flash. Some of our stars flamed out early."
"My approach is to do sport to exceed myself, not to beat someone else. And to understand that after mastering basics, which can come in leaps, improvement comes in tiny increments over many hours of training."
"Boy is that true. I heard divers beat themselves up way too soon, learned a technique in a few dives then thought a few more would perfect it."
Dasha comes over, "Daria says we will go now Dahfoney," I see Daria already headed to the locker room.
"Then let's go."
Marcy laughs, "Daria is something else. She devotes two hours from arrival to departure. Exactly an hour and a half wet. Ask her for one more dive, she just walks off."
"She has a mental clock, can tell you when one minute has passed, forty seven seconds, two hours. Knows the exact time of day or night, doesn't matter if she's inside or outside."
Marcy, "Remarkable, geez. I wonder what it's good for though."
"Knowing when her time in the pool is up."
Marcy, "Duh Marcy, I must have water on the brain."
We round up our stuff, change in the locker room, Amaya collects the Mercedes and takes us home.
Janah, "How'd it go? I was offline in your head, on the phone mostly, then on the trampoline. Susan came over and we alternated bouncing. I nearly made a double back flip, landed on my butt. I'm going to nail it soon though."
"Time to back off. We'll go regularly, but I think we got the level of skill we wanted, this was never a quest to turn pro, or even skilled amateur. Amaya and Oceane are more into it, Chloe will want to tag along with them."
Janah, "Nikko and Zi are going back to Prescott, she found a contractor, the architect is finished. Permits sailed through, Yavapai county wants the development, the construction jobs and the sales taxes on all our expensive furnishings. She didn't nitpick about methods of valuation on the property tax, we'll pay the fair amount, which the county welcomes."
"Can we see the plans at tea?"
At four thirty we gather at the big table so Nikko can show the architectural rendering. It's on a laptop, fed to the flat screen TV.
Nikko, "Front view from the gate."
The house conforms to the landscape, desert brown, we're more interested in inside than creating a unique or colorful presentation outside.
Amaya, "It practically melts into the mountain behind."
"That's the idea, the framing is all steel, no wood, the place will be solid, sound insulation in every wall, between the rooms, floors and ceilings.
Windows the same as we have from the last remodel to the condo, electrochromic glass (which frosts over at the touch of a button for privacy, it’s amazing.) Eliminates the need for blinds and curtains.
Let's get to the part you're all interested in, the guts. There are the same sleeping arrangements we have here, so rather than Amaya having a bedroom and Chloe a separate one, they have one big room with a connecting room for Amaya's office. Janah and Daphne, Zi and I, Dasha and Daria, have essentially the same without the office. All the family bedrooms are upstairs, obviously some overlook the pool in back, others the front. You saw the pond in front, it will be Japanese in structure, small waterfall, nothing ostentatious, we aren't building a casino. The pool and pond refill automatically when the water drops to a certain level."
She shows the bedroom and bath layouts, double rainfall showers and separate Jacuzzi tubs. Closets are also dressing rooms, mirrored on one open wall, bench seating, shoe racks.
"Eloise and Oceane are on the third floor, Eloise's room connects to a workshop similar to the one here. There is a circular stair from her room down to the twins. Oceane's room is on the same plan as the second story, facing the pool. As you can see from the rear shot, both floors have balconies running the length of the house, stairways on both ends. The rest of the third floor is open space, for training and dance, heavy bags, like here."
Chloe, "It's splendid Nikko. For perspective, are the bedrooms the same size as here?"
Nikko, "Bigger by twenty percent."
Amaya, "Finally, the recognition I so richly deserve."
"Downstairs is an office, three desks, a half bath. There is a guest bathroom on the first as well. Daphne and Dasha have a mega kitchen, open to the rest of the space, as we prefer. Like here, living, dining and kitchen are one room, except for a smaller guest bedroom right front. Office is right rear with views of the pool and the mountain. Two circular staircases run from the ground to the upper floors, wood, bigger than the ones we have here. Stairs lead to a hallway separating front from rear bedrooms."
She flips to a separate building, "This is both a pool house and four extra bedrooms. It faces the pool from the right side of the house, one story, doesn't obstruct the view. Not as elaborate or sizable as ours, but quite nice. There is a full kitchen. Two of the rooms are for our live ins."
She clicks to a rendering of the pool, "Fifty meters by twenty five. Depth from three feet to sixteen on the diving end. Two boards, one meter and three."
She flips the frame again, "On the roof of the outbuilding is a covered area, solar panels, under which we will have chairs and tables. Solar panels are also on the rear roof of the main house, can't see them from the front. Given the levels of sunshine, we would have a zero electricity bill but Arizona has a surcharge to be on the grid. I may go to battery backup and get off the grid, when we’re in and using the place, I’ll see if it makes sense. Daphne prefers gas for cooking, but the cost for that is minuscule. There's no gas service that far out, we'll have a propane tank underground, accessible by a retractable metal door. Oh, and three underground generators that can keep basic services running in the event of a failure, in addition to a bank of batteries that will be charged by excess solar power. The batteries kick in first, if they dry up, the generator kicks in automatically."
New photo pops up, "An eight foot stone wall surrounds the property. We are too open without it, people could four wheel right across our land. It will also conform to the landscape. We're connected to a state road by a private road we will build. It will have a gate, you'll need either a pass code or electronic key to enter or exit, the private road, is an arc, the house isn't visible from the state road. Maybe a portion of the third floor, but it's over a half mile away."
"And the stone wall runs to the gate on either side?"
"Yes. Nobody gets in without a bulldozer. The house is just at the back third of a hundred twenty five acres. I bought way more land than we planned, but it’s too cheap to pass on. The property is more or less square, half mile on a side. We own the mountain, nobody can build up there. The house some twenty thousand square feet, not including the outbuilding. The size alone requires a full time crew, thus the monks."
"This is sounding like a half the year home."
Janah, "I think so. Manhattan winters are cold. I would never abandon our city or the temple. But between the new place in winter and Canada in the summer, it's looking like spring and fall in town. It's a short flight for Amaya and Chloe to LA, and Nikko, Zi and Daria to San Francisco."
Amaya, "What happens here when we're gone?"
Janah, "Susan, Lacy and Taylor will look after it. It isn't high maintenance, I don't want outside cleaning people here. If Sis wants to hire someone, she said she will be there when they are. Black or Chan can also check on it if the others are traveling. It’s sealed up tight, no access except through Paladin security. Our back exit staircase isn’t accessible unless we lower it and there’s the solid steel door to get through, which is near impossible. We can’t shut it down, our business girls may need to be in Manhattan for something when we’re in Arizona."
Nikko, "Zi and I leave in the morning to see the contractor. He checks out up and down, our lawyers have vetted him thoroughly, he has a clean record, performance bond, great references. His business is luxury homes. I also have an independent inspector and the county has inspectors. The architect will also be on hand for the entire process. We are paying for the best materials, earthquake standards, the finest plumbing and appliances. It's costing us a bundle plus. Four million for the land, near fifteen for the improvements, in part due to building a road, the mile of wall, huge pool, generators, a lot of luxury extras."
Dasha, "Ees beautiful Nikko, even Eemaya will be satisfy."
"She better be, she's in charge of all the flooring, paint, the entire interior and fixtures of both places. Only the kitchen is designed by Daphne and Dasha, and that's for appliances, not color schemes. Eloise and Daria will install the home automation system when the place is near finished. They don't want an outside contractor to do it."
Amaya, "It will be me, perfect in every way."
I don't doubt it.