Chapter Thirty Three
Paco, “I am Paco, and you ….”
Chan, “Mr. Smith.”
“Well, Mr. Smith,” he skips Senor, better to keep this English, “may my men have a look around?”
Paco's got two men with him, the ones who ate breakfast. They must be higher status than the two sent off to check out the hotel. Zi is keeping an eye on them downstairs.
They aren't a problem, but they know what suite Paco is in.
The men find nothing, nothing to find.
Chan, “Please, make yourself comfortable. Would you like a drink, something to eat?'
Paco, “Nothing, thank you,” Paco's men stand on opposite sides of the room, trying for menacing.
“How can I help you?”
“Pardon my rudeness. May we check you personally?”
Chan lifts his arms, one of Paco's butt boys comes over and does a quick frisk, “Nada.”
Paco, “I apologize. Do you know who I represent?”
Chan, “The businessman, Eduardo Rojas.”
Paco smiles, “Si, yes. And you know, then, the nature of our problem.”
“We do a favor for a small group of businessmen, bikers I think they are called. Small, but one of them is distantly related to one of my associates, so we help. You have a much more significant difficulty. We can remove that difficulty.”
“Forgive me, but we do not know you, have never heard of you. You see our dilemma?”
“Of course. That you have never heard of us is an advantage. No authorities have heard of us either except as corporate entities that pay their share of taxes to governments around the world. We also support many elected and bureaucratic officials. We lobby for tax favors, speed up red tape. We donate to charity. Nothing suspicious.”
“And we have no idea what those companies are or where they are located. So the dilemma is if we do business and there is an error, to whom do I address my concerns? And how?”
“I have a proposal. First, you will have a contact. That person will be available to your financial manager Alexis Moreno, at any time. Second, in order to begin the relationship, please examine the briefcase on the table.”
Paco nods at Doofus One, he goes to the case, clicks the latches. Inside is cash.
Chan, “Nine hundred thousand in non-sequential bills. I suggest you advise Mr. Moreno to wire one million to an account I will give you. Our fee is ten percent of all funds. I am supplying your cash in advance to demonstrate good faith in our venture. Future funds can be sent in any currency to any location in the world. It can sit there, or you can get cash, a letter of credit or a cashier's check, no questions. In the US, of course, you don't want cash, it generates a SARS report. Many other countries impose no such inconveniences. Try a few transactions, when you are satisfied, you can tell our associate what funds you would like to deposit and where you want the proceeds of your investment sent.”
Paco, “Just like that.”
“Yes, of course.”
“And you get no interference from banks, no investigations, no questions?”
“If so, it is our problem, not yours. Your distance from us is part of the fee you pay.”
“If our volume increases, do we receive a reduced fee?”
“Sadly no. More volume increases our risk.”
“You say you can handle, what term did you use.. an unlimited amount of cash. What if I tell you it is a billion dollars?”
“All at once, or in pieces?”
Paco smiles, stands to leave, “Mr. Smith, I will discuss your proposal with my associates,
he looks at the briefcase, “May I?”
Chan, “Of course, of course.”
Two ‘of courses’ in a row means it's show time. Paco had declined refreshments, so we couldn't waltz in as room service. Instead, we use the room key card, click in and surprise Paco and the Doofuses, not the name of a band, but it could be.
They don't react near quickly enough, we do have a serving cart and are dressed as waiters. As the door shuts, Chan lays his hand on Paco's shoulder and Paco folds like a bad poker hand. I'm on Doofus One as he's reaching inside his jacket, Doofus Two has his weapon out, Chan tosses Paco into him, Nikko takes the pistol, her finger behind the trigger so he can't pull, and twists, cracks her knee hard just over his kneecap, leg’s bent the wrong way, she takes the gun, clocks him with it, his video goes dark.
My guy is on his knees searching for his mangled manhood, I’d rather roughly mangled it, I pull his weapon out of the shoulder holster. Little gun, a twenty two, good for concealing in a well-guarded place like a casino. Paco is unarmed. We wire up our catch, Janah and Amaya are at the door, I let them in. Janah and Chan are going to rewire brains. By the time they’re done, Paco and Pockettes won't remember how to get back home, or how to drive a car, or even ask for directions. I send Zi a text, ‘Three and Four will get on an elevator. When they do, take another elevator and come to the meeting.’
I have Paco's phone, flip it open and text Three, his name is Bolivar, ‘Come meet our new associate.’ Texts are great, no need to fake voices.
Zi sees him read his phone, nod to Doofus Four to get in the elevator.
Amaya answers the door, short skirt works it's magic, big smile, “Come in gentlemen, Senor Dias would like you to share in our celebration.”
She takes Three's arm, Four follows, they lose consciousness. Zi comes along, now we have a roomful in the suite.
Janah, “Shut the drapes, drag one to the bedroom. Chan will work on him, I'm doing Paco, then we'll take on the other three.”
We get them in place, Chan stacks the remaining three on the bed. Amaya has the IVs set up, bright lights in the face.
Janah, “Better yet, strap in all of them. Amaya can start IVs on the whole lot and speed up the process.”
We do, three in the living area, two in the bedroom.
“This will take some time. Daphne, you Nikko and Zi take the car and go to Eduardo's. Amaya, call on Paco's phone and tell him he’s on the way with the money and the new bankers to make arrangements with Alexis, pending his final approval. Mention three attractive females who are looking forward to a pleasant evening with new clients. Something on that order. Once you’re in, deal with whatever presents itself.”
“Good. I'll call the Society on the way and have a car delivered so you can get back home.”
Janah, “It will be late, this will take several hours, and it's already near five.”
If you have followed our story in prior books, you know Amaya has her own unique skill. She can sing like any singer, in their voice. That means she can speak in any voice. Doesn't matter how deep it is, or how high. She can sound like Joe Cocker or Barbara Streisand and everyone in between. When Paco is ramped up, she will mimic his voice, then call Rojas.
Chapter Thirty Four
Paco is awake, he makes rather stupid threats considering his wrists and ankles are wired to a chair and he has an IV in his arm. Janah lets him go on until Amaya has the tone and pace of his speech down. Then she injects him with oxytocin and plays twenty questions, nothing threatening. Paco settles down, now Amaya has a sense of his normal voice, not his angry one.
She dials Eduardo, the conversation takes place in Spanish. Amaya doesn't speak Spanish, so how does it work?
I hear Eduardo and Amaya, Janah hears it in my head, answers the question in Spanish, which Amaya hears when I change channels. This take milliseconds, that’s how mentaling is, as if it’s all happening in the same brain. Even though Janah is standing next to Amaya, she would have to listen in on Paco's phone, then try and whisper an answer in Spanish in Amaya's ear and hope Amaya catches it; all while Amaya is concentrating on speaking in Paco’s voice.
Amaya can't mental directly to Janah, nor Janah to her. I have two separate channels, one for Amaya, one for Janah. If Amaya mentals me, Janah doesn't automatically get it, I have to channel it. Same way from Janah to Amaya. Whew! It’s more complicated to explain than it is to do. Like I said, I don't think about it step by step, it happens like what Einstein called spooky action at a distance. An electron spins one way, then is bumped into a different spin, it's partner changes spin at the exact same moment. The more technical term is non-locality. Non-locality is not supposed to apply in the macro world we see every day, only in the sub, eentsy, tiny, micro, nothing happens until you see it, potential and probability world of quantum mechanics. But it happens between us.
Amaya, “Jeffe, we have completed negotiations. The flat percentage is ten percent.”
Rojas speaks, Amaya as Paco replies, “Jeffe, they know more volume entails more risk. These are sophisticated people, they will handle any amount we send, and send it to any location in any currency we desire.”
Rojas questions, Amaya says, “Yes, we send a million dollars to an account number, I have a briefcase with nine hundred thousand cash in front of me as good faith on their part. They will work with us the same way on each transaction, they send us ninety percent of what we send them, there is no risk.”
Rojas asks another question, Amaya says, “We are returning in a few minutes, should be less than two hours. The local associates are traveling to meet with you and Alexis tonight.”
Rojas questions, Amaya answers, “By local, I mean they work in the States. They will come in their car, they travel to other customers tomorrow. Besides Eduardo, the associates are female, attractive, two are Asian, exotic, the American is exquisite. They are looking forward to a small celebration perhaps a swim in your pool. They are most gracious and look forward to expressing their gratitude.”
Perfect, get him thinking with his smaller, more influential, brain.
Amaya as Paco continues, “We will see you and Moreno shortly. They mentioned a taste for champagne.”
Janah hears Eduardo laugh, Amaya says, “Thank you, Jeffe.”
She hangs up, “If he's suspicious, he's good at covering. I imagine he'll call back under some pretext, out of caution.”
Janah, Okay, we'll deal with it when it happens.
Amaya, Daphne, you got that? Stay online in case Rojas decides to call again.
Nikko, Zi and I are in the car, heading up the Garden State Parkway.
Thirty minutes later, Rojas calls, Amaya answers, they exchange a few words, says he's calling to confirm that Moreno will be there as well, so far so good. It is a ridiculous pretext, meeting has no point without the accountant. He’s anxious, confirming Paco is on the way.
We arrive at the house, Amaya, we need to look around and an excuse as to why Paco isn’t here yet. Call and tell him you got a flat tire but it's fixed and you will be along in twenty minutes.
I feel Janah's translation pass through my head on to Amaya. A minute later she mentals, Done.
I get out of the car a block away, Nikko waits with Zi. I want to see if I can get a handle on the body count in the house, “While I'm peeking, ask Zi to zoom in and see how many people she senses. There could be people upstairs, places I can't see.”
Nikko drives by the house, I'm at my former spot at the rear corner under the hedge. The patio is softly lit, pool lights on. I see a housekeeper setting out food, bottles of champagne in buckets around the room and out near the pool. There are four men, Eduardo, Alexis, and two goons. Obviously, Eduardo thinks he's going to be joined by his security chief and four more dorks. For three women, he hardly needs an army.
Nikko, Zi says five.
That's what I count. Pick me up where you dropped me.
I get in the car, we're in slacks, heels, a blouse and jacket, business-like, not stuffy. We can't go in armed to the teeth, better to let them see we aren't armed at all. I brush a bit of dirt off my knees, check to see none is on my shoes. I lip gloss, we touch up makeup, pull in the drive and walk to the front door.
Rojas is all graciousness. He introduces Moreno, we cough up names, everyone is smiles and bonhomie.
Rojas, “Take their jackets, Javier, hang them in the hall closet. While Javier is doing his thing, patting the jackets down for any unwanted weapons, Rojas steals a look at the labels.
Rojas, “Excellent taste.”
“Thank you, Señor Rojas,” I'm in Daphne dazzle mode.
I nod, “As you wish.”
“Would you like refreshment, I am told champagne is in order. Is Cristal acceptable, or perhaps Dom Perignon?”
I smile, “Excellent taste yourself...Eduardo,” I bat my eyes, “Where is Paco?”
“Oh, in my captivation with such beauty, I forgot to mention. They had an unfortunate tire problem, but it is fixed and I expect them soon.”
“Aggravation. But your Paco is a resourceful man, he has great regard for you, Eduardo. His questions were quite thorough. We can get a few account details out of the way if you wish. You may prefer him to arrive with our guarantee, however. I am delighted to accept your hospitality, and your company, while we wait.”
Rojas, “Would you and your friends like to sit by the pool?”
“I think they might want to refresh first. Perhaps you and I can go out and...get better acquainted.”
“How thoughtless of me, of course. Esmeralda, will you show our guests?”
Nikko and Zi follow the housekeeper down a hall, followed by Javier. The other two goons stand around, not part of the party, wallflowers.
Rojas and I walk around the pool, I am effusive with compliments, I lead him to a corner on the far side of the pool near the lawn.
“Nikko, you and Zi take the maid and Javier when you hear my shout. Then get Moreno under control.”
I turn to Rojas, raise my glass, we clink, I lay my hand on his chest, over his heart, my palm twitches, Rojas' heart fibrillates, color leaves his face, he clutches his chest and keels over. I don't want to scream outside. Instead, I rush to the patio door, Goon One has seen something and is moving towards me.
“Please, hurry, Eduardo has fallen, it's his chest, heart, hurry, help him.”
I say this loud and scared but my voice carries inside the house, not all over the neighborhood.
Goon One had his hand inside his jacket but decides I'm not the problem. Goon Two follows him, a phone in his hand.
We’re standing over Rojas, I'm babbling about help, as Goon Two is punching numbers in his phone, I sink my elbow into his temple and fingers into his throat.
Goon One is on one knee next to Rojas, it's almost too easy. My knee meets his face, he rolls to the side, reaching for his weapon, I snap kick his hand, the gun is in his lap, I kick it into the pool, sink down on one knee hard to his sternum, I hear it crack. Blood seeps out of his mouth, his eyes glaze, then stare out at nothing.
Goon Two is unconscious. I use his belt and the one from Goon One to secure him. I'm not worried if he wakes up. He won't be able to talk, much less yell. I pull his jacket down around his back, button all three buttons. If he does wake, it will be difficult to move. His hands are belted behind his back, ankles are belted together and I wrap the leftover length of belt from his wrists around the belt on his ankles. He's hogtied well enough for what we need.
I pick up Rojas with my owl claws and drag him to the house, he’s a big sucker, too big to carry. His silk slacks shred along the pavement. By the time he starts to recover, he's trussed up like a Christmas goose on one of his office chairs. Nikko and Zi have Moreno in no go position in another chair.
Nikko, “Maid is incapacitated, Javier is no more.”
“Help me get the bodies inside, turn off the pool and exterior lights and close the curtains.”
We drag the two inside, I decommission Goon Two.
Janah, do you want Eduardo dead, or are you going to de-Eduardo him?
I'm incapacitating the guards here, Paco is finished. After I heard his fifth story of families he's killed, how he enjoyed making parents watch their children die, his men rape their daughters, Chan removed him from the living. Eduardo is particularly fond of raping the younger girls privately. He sells them afterward.
I'll check in when we're done.
Nikko, you got that?
Nikko nods, goes to the kitchen and returns with a serrated bread knife, a good one.
“Hold up while I chat with Moreno. I'd like Rojas to watch his money disappear.”
Rojas, “What do you want, puta? There is little money here, I see Paco was taken in, is he even coming?”
“Paco is ex-Paco.”
“But I talked to him while he was driving.”
“Yep. We have associates who helped him off the road. He called with a knife to his throat, or perhaps a gun to his head. No Paco, Jeffe. No guards either. Just you and me and the numbers boy.”
Rojas, “Okay, that's how it is. Tell me what you want.”
“Please, why would I do such a thing? You plan to torture me, is that it?”
“In the worst way possible. I'm going to let you watch your money disappear.”
I fire-up Moreno's laptop, in the first account in a minute, Rojas looks at Moreno, “This is your doing?”
Moreno shakes his head wildly, eyes wide. He can't talk, his mouth is wrapped up.
I click around, he watches the screen, ‘Transfer complete.’
“That was an example. While we've been visiting, your other accounts have been drained dry. It came to three hundred eighty five million US. Fifty million Euros, and some Colombian spare change of a hundred million pesos, which is like a hundred grand in real money. Colombia needs to upsize its currency.”
A hint of a smile crosses his face, “So, you have cleaned me out. Incredible piece of work.”
“Well, there's the near billion in unwashed cash laying around. Several million right in this very house. The rest scattered around warehouses in New Jersey. We have an excellent laundry, the bills will be so fresh they won’t recognize themselves. Then we fire sale your property for another two hundred million and donate the jungle to the natives in Colombia. It will take a little while, but you won't be objecting.”
Rojas has figured out that things have gone seriously wrong. And he isn't coming up with a way to make it right.
I turn to Moreno, “You might live. You are familiar with Eduardo’s signature, yes?”
He nods, Rojas says, in Spanish, something to the effect of removing Moreno's balls.
“Alexis, ex-Jeffe isn't removing anything. Nikko.”
Nikko cuts Eduardo's throat while Alexis tries to process his nightmare.
Zi comes in with a stack of papers the Society provided before we left, deeds to the Rojas property.
“When I release your hands, start signing, go on until you come to the end: then stop,” Alice in Wonderland is pertinent to so many situations.
He does, after the first signature, I check it against his other signed documents, he isn't going to play games. The Society will get everything notarized and processed, a few corporate entities they keep warehoused made property purchases, nothing unusual in that.
We leave the mess. Zi has cleaned everything we touched, including my champagne glass, we did our rough work in gloves. She's got the jackets from the closet. We leave Esmeralda alive, the Society will figure out what to do with her. She didn't actually see any of the hard parts, she's sedated for now. Teams are on the way to sanitize the place on top of our quick clean. Authorities will be notified of unusual activity at the Rojas home, a bunch of cars, men pouring out, then gone.
Chapter Thirty Five
Janah and Amaya join us shortly after midnight, they'd dropped Chan in Chinatown.
She and Chan had rearranged the Doofuses, she didn’t take time for subtleties, it was a hard reset, they'll be lucky to find boxes to sleep in. I'd given Moreno notice that if he chose to become a pest, he could join Rojas in a heartbeat. He swore on his mother's grave. I decided to engage a safety as well. I'd dosed him up like Esmeralda. The Society will take them both to Moreno's apartment in boxes and unpack them inside. Then make sure they are drugged enough to be out of it for twelve hours.
Amaya, Janah and Zi return to New Jersey early the next morning and Janah does her thing. When she leaves, Moreno thinks he's a tax preparer for H&R Block. His new job starts next week. He believes he's making a step up from his life as a part time bookkeeper. The Society is relocating him to Iowa. She doesn't want to off him. We have no evidence he'd done anything but flip around Rojas' money, and he’s apparently gay if the pics on his computer mean anything. He'd be a reasonably productive citizen. Maybe have some bad dreams, but then, who doesn't? Janah said he was easy to work on, almost like he was desperate to forget.
Esmeralda is rearranged enough to recall nothing. She will find herself in front of Immigration with no green card, no other identification. She will not remember anything about events at the Rojas home, she will not remember his name or that she ever worked for him. In two days she will be in Mexico, not Colombia, with a small house in her name and enough money in the bank to live, even have her own housekeeper if she wishes. She will be vague on how this happened, but she will have documents and a valid Mexican passport. Even if she can think of questions, there is no one to ask.
There was something in the news about bodies found in a casino hotel suite in Atlantic City. Apparently some kind of drug gang retaliation. The suite was in the name of one Paco Dias. His body one of three found in the room. Cocaine, heroin, and guns all over the place.
Janah's trip to Moreno takes most of the day. Nikko and I spend the day on financial details, by six that night everyone is cooked. Chloe is still with Susan. I call her to say we’re home, everyone is pooped and that all we’re doing is going to bed.
When Janah returns, I recap what we have, “We spent a hundred thousand and ancillary expenses to get a half billion plus property. We get the money after the Society is finished bouncing it around. The Society gets the proceeds of the property sales. They rounded up dirty cash from the house the same night and the warehouse stashes the next day. We'll discuss what to do with proceeds, but I told Mrs. Epstein to safekeep the bulk of it in Society accounts. When we travel, we can spend like Saudi princes, create inflation in fancy hotels and restaurants. We get three hundred million at least, more depending on the real property sales.”
We have a light supper, by eight, Amaya and I are wrapped up and gone, Janah, Nikko and Zi equally unconscious. Janah and Chan played with people's heads for two days, exhausting work.
Amaya, on the other hand, wakes up revved. We do bathroom things, play hide the soap in the shower and she dissolves my brain under the warm water. After we dry, I lotion her legs and get distracted by the loveliness while kneeling in front of her. My tongue makes her squeal and quiver.
Amaya, “Looking down and seeing you on your knees while your tongue tickles sets me aflame. I could watch you do me for hours.”
“Maybe we should take a day off to explore that very thing, I'm game.”
Amaya runs her finger down my nose, leans forward to kiss me, licks my lips, “Tasting me on you is invigorating. I am feeling gloriously empowered. Speaking of which, dress me, nothing little shorts and a halter top.”
I get up to fetch, wait while she does her face, then dress her in front of her mirror while she checks herself from every angle.
“Sheesh, I am so hot I want me. I have no idea how you control yourself.”
“When am I not drinking you in, touching you or catering to you?”
“When you are slavishly catering to Chloe or Janah. I accept it because I know your thoughts do not stray from me. They cannot, you are me.”
“Put something on, we must collect the Fairy Princess.”
While I dress she spends the time productively staring at herself in the mirror.
Going to get Chloe, back in a bit.
Janah is just stirring, Who's going to make my tea?
Made, bringing you the pot and cups now.
I enter Janah's room, which is called that for convenience, Nikko and Zi mostly sleep there as well. Janah has a room, Chloe has a room, Amaya has a room, I wander according to their moods.
I set down the tray and exit, Amaya and I walk to the condo.
Chloe screeches and jumps the last three feet into my arms. She's nearly as tall but weighs twenty pounds less, all long muscle and sinew. I get kisses and kiss, she has her legs wrapped around me and buries her face into my neck. It’s good to be so wanted.
She unwraps and goes to Amaya, more gently. They take each other’s hands, kiss cheeks like the French, then a long kiss on the lips. Amaya envelopes her, Chloe glows and winks at me.
Susan, “She was going through withdrawal. In three days, we went to two movies, walked Central Park for miles, walked to Chinatown to see Ning and Miyako and went to a play. All day it was, 'Daphne says, Amaya says, Daphne did, Amaya did, when do you think Daphne's coming home?' Then about a hundred, 'I got a text from Daphne, a text from Amaya'...how did you have time to work?”
“You must drive Nikko crazy.”
“Nikko read every text.”
Chloe grins, “Really?”
“Every line. I'd get a text and she'd snatch the phone out of my hand. I don't know why she just didn't read it in my head, she wanted to see it on the phone. She asked Amaya politely, I think she's bitextual.”
Taylor, “What did you just say? I have to remember that, bitextual. Susan, your daughter is strange.”
Susan, “I'm still waiting for a kiss.”
Amaya goes first, Susan holds her hand, looking over the vision in tiny cotton shorts, “God you’re gorgeous.”
“Guess I can skip the kiss.”
Susan tears her eyes away, “Make it quick, I'm studying art.”
Amaya sticks her tongue out at me. I kiss Susan, then Taylor.
“Can a girl get some coffee, we didn't take time this morning.”
Chloe stands, “I'll get it. You could have had coffee if you and the Queen hadn't decided to play.”
Taylor, “Play?....ohhhh, is she right, how would she even know?”
“After Queenie and Daphne have been frisky, they have the same aura, medium magenta, a purplish pink. Unless Amaya has been being bossy, then it's darker. Today she was less demanding.”
“Forget what I said about Daphne, you are all strange.”
Chloe giggles, “Yes.”
“And what are their auras when they hug you?”
“Violet, snowy violet, my color.”
“Both the same?”
“Of course, they are the same.”
“Good point. On a different matter, Chloe has work on Wednesday. I was told she is only going to the Murakami's two days now.”
“Yes. Did you put it on the website?”
“Yes, since you haven't had a chance to check, it's the teen clothing line, a series featuring Chloe over several pages of varied looks.”
“Okay, how much time?”
“All day I'm afraid. Clothing changes, hairstyle, and makeup changes. Make sure she rests the night before, we start at seven. Oh, and Deanna would like an interview. I said I'd have to talk to her family. Deanna's interviews are all fluff. She's not getting into deep background, it's all about the work.”
“Gee, so I won't get a mention?”
“Not a chance. Chloe is a new face, so a little about how she finds it so far, then personal light, hobbies, boyfriends, music preferences, favorite television stars. Deanna gets lots of hits when she has a new young model, she knows to keep it superficial.”
“Sounds okay, I'll run it by Janah, she's offline resting.”
Susan doesn't say anything with Chloe here, Janah resting means the job had been hard on her. I think to myself, 'not half as hard as it was on Eduardo and his assholes, they're resting permanently.'
Chloe, “Susan is concerned, Daphne, you can reassure her. I already know it was difficult. You and Amaya did your Chloe aura, but I see stains of strain as well.”
“The retreat was difficult. We worked with the most difficult meditations. Janah was most intense.”
Susan frowns, “I see,” she takes Chloe in her arms and hugs her tight, in a silent minute she is visibly relaxed, strokes Chloe's face, “my tension reliever.”
Taylor and Amaya are off saying hi to Kara, “Chloe, if I don't get you back, Nikko will pout and whap me silly with that bokken. Round up Amaya, or if she wants to hang here, that's fine.”
James and Kara come in with the others, James, “Welcome home. I was just thinking it's been a few weeks since I've connected with you. Chloe's been a delight, the moms even let me talk to her for a while.”
“Hello, dad. I think brunch is in order. Suppose I whip something up Sunday and we inflate our calorie intake for a few hours?”
Kara hugs me, “Count us in, bring something?”
“Yourselves and an appetite. I'll add Lacy, that will be eleven, I prefer things odd.”
We do hugs all around, time to get Violet Princess back before I get in hot water.
Chapter Thirty Six
Busy doing nothing, being with each other, “Tomorrow is brunch with the family. I need to hit the grocery. Anyone who wants input can come along, or I can make it up as I stroll the aisles.”
Chloe, “I'm coming.”
Amaya, “Writing to do, have fun at the supermarket, a bottle of Russian Standard if you please,” her preferred vodka
Janah, “I'm going to nap, even though I got up three hours ago.”
Zi, “Nishiko and I will enjoy each other’s company.”
Chloe and I exit, we discuss menu items on the way to the supermarket, tour Morton Williams on Bleecker and a couple of local deli's and return to unload groceries, refrigerate what's necessary and go to Chloe's room. She’s on her back, I'm on my side facing her. Her right hand moves between her legs.
She plays slowly for a while, then picks up the pace, I'm following directions. I glance at her face, she's watching me look at her, the tip of her tongue on her top teeth, eyes narrow, breath quick. I turn back to the center of the action, a spasm and a squeeze of the hand between her legs, a shiver of pleasure. She giggles.
“I like you to watch me, weird huh?”
“I do it for Janah sometimes, or Amaya. For lesbians, it's called a strum queen, a girl who likes to have other girls look at her while she masturbates.”
Chloe, “I like that, a strum queen. I wonder if I qualify as lesbian? For instance, I love to be held and kissed by my family of women. I don't want boys to touch me at all. I don't want other people to touch me. Amaya gets me warm, you too, I love lying between both of you.”
“When you’re ready, it will be evident. Janah and I started up shortly after she hit fifteen, I’m three months older. We kind of mutually decided to wait until then, but we showered together, shared kisses, slept together in nothing every night. Best we can tell, you’re fifteen-ish. We didn't have any records of your actual birthday.”
“I tried to keep track, my non-sister told me I was six one time, but never mentioned a birthday and she never mentioned my age again. I think we have the years right, just not the day. I'm six years older since I came here, you guys haven't aged a day.”
“Well, as we've discussed, you can get the DNA anytime you wish.”
“Just remember, for all we know, we'll catch up overnight at some point.”
“Don't. I have no plans to wake up next to anything but beautiful Amaya and Daphne. No mentaling for me.”
We play in the rainfall shower, lather, rinse, dry, into t-shirts.
I'm in the kitchen with brunch prep. It's Saturday, late afternoon. The plan is to have things set for warming tomorrow, so I don't have to spend all morning cooking. Tonight pizza, none of us turns down pizza and I don't have to make dinner on top of brunch prep.
Janah, “Anything interesting?”
“You were offline. Chloe and I had a discussion on a couple of topics,” I summarize the sexual conversation, “she’s not pursuing mentaling. Wants the DNA next year.”
Janah, “Good enough then,” returns to her research, I look through her eyes, something in French, I sign off.
I finish up, it's going on six thirty, Nikko heads up to the meditation loft, I go to see Her Worship.
Amaya is on the bed, sitting up against the headboard reading a magazine, curvy lean legs tantalizingly stretched, I stop and enjoy the view.
Without looking up from her Vogue, she says, “You'll enjoy them better if you come over here and kiss them.”
I will, and I do. I work my way down and lick a toe, then sit cross legged with her right foot in my lap and massage it.
I switch feet, Amaya, “That feels really good.”
She stretches, if her tummy gets any flatter, it will be concave. I straddle her and kiss her soft lips, yum.
“You may kiss me again, longer.”
Double yum, our tongues tease.
“Order the pizza, then make me a drink.”
“Shall I find you something skimpy to wear?”
“Black silk t-shirt, you can satiate your lust later with Janah, I am sacking with the Violet Princess.”
Chloe shows up, straddles Amaya, then lays on her, “You are sleeping with me, Yay!”
“How do you know?”
Amaya kisses her, “And you are a splendid creature.”
Chloe beams, hops up and practically dances out of the room.
“She's hard to please.”
“She has you and I wrapped up like Christmas presents, how can she be unhappy?”
She stands for me to pull on her silk shirt, go to make her cocktail, call Marconi’s, then changing her sheets when I hear Janah, “Oh wow. Black suits your exquisiteness exquisitely.”
Amaya, “Thank you. The mission is to have you babbling by bedtime, then Daphne will babble you until you are unbabbled.”
When I emerge, Amaya is next to Janah on the couch, legs curled up, Janah's hands doing strategic research on the smoothness of her skin, while Amaya runs her fingers through Janah's impossibly soft hair. I am poised for a spectacular evening.
Chloe is on the mat with Nikko and Zi, Nikko has a glass of wine, Zi takes small sips, Chloe tries it.
“Three girls, one glass of wine, drunks.”
Nikko, “It's a big glass.”
Janah, “I'd like champagne.”
Amaya, “Another vodka for me.”
Chloe, “Champagne please.”
“What am I, a slave?”
Five simultaneous yeses, I have successfully retained my non-status.
After supplying orders, I return to Amaya's room to find enough to wear to go down and collect the pizza.
Heat the oven, fifteen minutes later security calls, I retrieve the boxes, toast them up a bit in the oven, we don't like mushy crust. I cover the tops with non-stick foil and let the crust crisp, then pull enough out for starters and leave the oven on just warm for the rest. We like to eat slowly, chatter, or not, it’s not uncommon to take an hour over a simple dinner.
We eat at the table, Chloe tells us about her meditations, “I sit silently at the water rock, stare at it, every thought leaves, I feel like a drop of water on the surface, slowly make my way to the edge, a moment of nothing, then sliding down the side into the pool, back through the pump, on the surface again. Just a drop among millions.”
Janah, “Yet merged with all the other drops.”
Chloe thinks, then brightens, “Yes, yes, merged, how beautiful, thank you Janah.”
She stares at nothing, slice of pizza in her hand, gone someplace for a time, then she blinks, stares at the pizza as if wondering how it got there, takes a bite.
After dinner, Zi and I clean up, which is simple, dispose of pizza boxes in the compactor and load the dishwasher. Girls have drifted off to the couch and mat, Zi joins Nikko and Amaya on the mat and flip on the TV for a movie. Janah and Chloe are talking softly in Japanese about Chloe's upcoming shoot.