Forty Nine

I found a barn owl last night, he’s going to patrol with his mate. I hope they come up empty. If Oceane is right, the Shadows are going to do something to catch our attention. If they have to do that, it means they don’t know where we are or they’d try to kill us at home.
Janah, “What about Canada? I’m sensing hesitation.”
“I have that on hold as a backup. I think we need to see if birds come up with anything. If we aren’t under Shadow surveillance, there’s no point in shipping girls north.”
“Good, we don’t much like being split up anyway.”
“That too, and I need to check in with Kota B.”
I tap a tablet, Kota B appears onscreen, “When the children go to the kart track, or hiking around the property, make sure one of our Shadow spotters goes with them. Daria, Zi, Chloe or Janah, and one of the laser gun girls.”
I post a message to the family board with the same information, received notices start popping up, good, one thing done. 
Next, “Emma B, are Oceane and Cassie GPS activated?”
“As always.”
“They don’t leave the immediate area, house and pool, that’s it. The second a foot hits dirt, round them up and point them back.”
“Noted,” seems to be a bot conspiracy to use noted instead of got it, or on it.
Anything else? Yes, call the parents.
“Hello Sis,” she’s onscreen in Malibu.
“When are you bringing the children back? I need a dose of adorable.”
“We may go to Canada early, summer is starting out warmer than usual. You can always come here until we go, or just go to Canada with us.”
“Let me talk to the others.”
“We got one of Oceane’s cryptic messages a couple days ago, Shadows descending, powerful ones.”
“That’s no good. The few times she’s had premonitions, they turned out to be true.”
“We have no reason to think any Shadows knows who or where we are. Her only other comment is they will try and draw us out, which, if she’s right, is better.”
“Well yeah, if they knew, they’d come to you, not create an incident. Doesn’t bode well for innocents.”
“No, somebody’s going to get hurt, I can’t fix that.  Besides, when Shadows prowl somebody always gets hurt. You know what to do.”
“I’ll have the others on alert. We can’t tell Shadows from anyone else, but I can alert them to any sense of disorientation, fuzzy thinking, a brain tingle.”
“That’s it. Where are James and Kara?”
“St. Martin’s, James loves it, happy to park at the beach bar and admire the wildlife strolling around in as little bit of bikini as possible. Kara happy to park on the balcony and paint, or not paint considering her technique.”
Kara, Janah’s mom, has an unusual style. She stares at a canvas, mentally applying paint, selecting colors, until she sees the entire work on the canvas of her brain. Then she paints it. It almost looks like tracing, which she is sort of since she’s got the image in her head already. Her 3D works leap off the canvas, it is uncanny. Over the years, street artists have used versions to make sidewalks appear to be lakes, or bridges over a deep canyons, they’re quite good.
“Dahlia and Clarissa doing well I trust.”
“Fine, doing a play with the children, learning math, Dahlia is a reader, Clarissa is a bit of a math prodigy. I’ve gotten two new taekwondo students. Same strategy we used with all our rescues, keep them busy and as much or little attention as they wish. Chloe is a favorite.”
“Chloe is a favorite with everyone.”
“She’s helping them learn their lines for the play, I’d never heard of it, but Nikko was familiar, it’s Japanese, The Scarlett Princess of Edo.”
“Are they doing it in English?”
“Both, it will be over a few evenings, it’s almost eight hours long.”
“What! Sounds like child abuse.”
“It was their idea, the thing is quite violent, an evil samurai, a greedy moneylender, a pimp, a duplicitous princess, an abbot, two monks, a couple of other cast members, thirteen in all. Ten children and Valeria, Amaya and Chloe will take the two lesser roles.”
“Just the thing for tender minds.”
“We don’t have any tender minds around here.”
“I’ll talk to Lacy and Taylor and get back to you. Taylor’s been doing a bit of young model mentoring in LA. In fact, we had a few up, they hung around the pool, we had lunch outside, catered of course. Gorgeous girls, fourteen and fifteen, whip slim, four or five standard SoCal beautiful, a couple more interesting, like Chloe. They were enthused to know Chloe lived in the big house across the mountain, disappointed that she wasn’t home.”
“Nice of you to entertain, the sharks would be after them to club or something.”
“The agency keeps a short leash, girls are routinely shipped home if they are found with non prescription drugs, alcohol or in the bathroom throwing up after meals. There are minimum bodyweights based on height, of course the girls are five ten at least.”
“I recall a stretch back in the PC days when plus-size tried to be in vogue. It was a lost cause. That was when the average American woman’s dress size had ballooned to sixteen to eighteen.”
“I remember, and I remember us vowing that the first blush with double digit dress sizes would be met with an intervention. Nobody even got close.”
“Science finally figured out how to control appetites without pumping people full of amphetamines. I notice the whole plus-size curvy is beautiful thing disappeared around the same time.”
“Some cultures still see the full figure as the ideal of beauty, I’m glad I don’t live in any of them.”
“True that.”
We click off, my mom is the most even tempered person I know, although James is right up there, come to think of it, so is Kara. I guess if you get Janah and I as children, it’s better if you don’t shock easily.
Valeria appears, must be tea time. I didn’t even get my post lunch chill, busy with potential Shadow threats.
“What do we do for tea today?”
“Children are having tea ceremony with Chloe and Amaya in the dorm. They want to learn it, today they are guests. Chloe says to learn to be a guest is as important as to learn how to perform the ceremony.”
“She’s right, one of the first lessons Ari Murakami taught us when we learned from her. She was geisha.”
“Like Chloe and Amaya.”
“She trained them from apprentice, to maiko, to geisha. I learned the ceremony, but not the other levels. Good thing, you don’t want me singing in Japanese or any other language and I don’t have an affinity for musical instruments.”
“Amaya has kimonos for them, when I left they were getting dressed. Kota B is going to feed the ceremony to our screens while we have tea.”
“Cool, while I get cookies and the rest organized, ask Kota B to send the feed to Susan as well, she’ll love it. Message Sis to let her know, I just talked to her, she’s at home.”
Valeria clicks on a tablet and the messages go out, a minute later she gets a ‘received’ from Sis.
Dasha and Ellen appear from different sides of the house, as tea steeps, girls file in and take places. Grace B and Emma B serve and offer petite fours and cookies while we watch a formal tea ceremony unfold upstairs with Chloe and Amaya performing the ritual and ten perfect kimono’d angels entranced by the performance.
I get a message from Lacy, “How marvelous, Susan would have messaged but she’s too teary to properly type. The children are splendid, and damn that’s a big dog.”
I reply, “Our gentle monster, she is so tender with the children, I’m her snack sucker. If anyone she doesn’t know approaches, Morshchiny moves directly in front of the children and stares. Mastiffs don’t growl or snarl, that would be beneath her dignity. Her expression is enough, people keep a wide berth.”
“I imagine so, beautiful animal though, all those folds, I understand that’s where the Russian name came from, winkles.”
“Yes, and her commands are in Russian, English sit, stay, guard, capture, friend don’t mean anything to her. I’m the only one that communicates to her in English, but that has to do with treats.”
“What laser like attention, the children are like Chapman’s girls when they focused on something. Then a million questions.”
“The children will ask questions when the ceremony is done, it may take Chloe and Amaya another hour to answer them. Then it will be time for another of Amaya’s sacred duties.”
“Bartender, and she’s good at it, you want a perfectionist as your bartender.”
As I suspected, Amaya doesn’t appear until six thirty, “Sheesh, little question boxes, what does this mean, what does that thing do, we had to give them the entire history of tea ceremony, with the aid of Kota B. Chloe and I got educated as well.”
Chloe, “It was fun, and I doubt we’ll get kimonos off them until bedtime.”
“They look splendid, Sis had a nice cry.”
Amaya, “You fed the ceremony to them, wish I had known, we would have acknowledged them.”
“My bad, simply didn’t occur. Just as well, sentimental Susan might have collapsed in a swoon if the kids had waved and hello’d everyone.”
“I think that is sweet.”
“I did tell them about the play, Sis can swoon then.”
Janah, “What’s for dinner?”
Ellen, “Fried chicken, mashed with brown gravy, all day green beans with ham and onion, cherry crumble with or without vanilla bean ice cream.”
Janah, “With, can I have dessert first?”
“Go away, we have a hundred twenty pieces of chicken to fry. Look, Oceane is by the pool looking delicious, Amaya has wine open, you can figure it out from there.”
Ellen and I watch Janah move off to the bar.
Ellen, “Geez, those hips, gives me oceans of notions.”
“I know that strut, she knows we’re admiring. It’s an invitation. Show up later and she’ll give you notions you don’t know you have.”
Janah takes a glass of red form Amaya, turns just enough to look at us looking, smiles and goes out to ogle Oceane.
Ellen, “And that is how you do that.”
Dasha, “Ellen, Dahfoney, maybe fantasize about Janah later, you haf cheeken for frying, not only for Valeria and Dasha to do everything.”
“Sorry, caught in the moment,” I take my place next to Valeria, we have three fry pots working, Dasha collects the finished product on racks that allow extra drips to collect in the pan below. The pieces need to sit and cool, which helps the skin stay crispy. Thirty two girls, fifteen chickens. They won’t eat all of it, particularly since there are ten children. We’ll put leftovers in the refrigerator and the remainder will mysteriously disappear tomorrow.


Nothing happens for three days, not nothing, we have our activity filled hours, but nothing bizarre enough in the news to suggest Shadows. I’m beginning to wonder if Oceane got a signal crossed. Then Grace B calls a meeting with Janah, Nikko and me, we gather in the office.
Grace B, “One of my endless list of duties includes monitoring the news, you have no idea how much political crap I have to endure, your politicians never tire of listening to their heads rattle.”
“Is there a point in there someplace, or are you practicing to become one?”
“Everyone’s a fucking comedian. Six families, mom, dad, two to four kids each, have evaporated from a small agricultural community around Alliance Nebraska. Nebraska grows corn, soybeans, wheat, hay and cattle, boring crap but it pays the bills, usually. That’s only background, the point is most of the area is given over to farms and ranches.”
“They all disappear at the same instant?”
“No, which is why it took a while to bubble up. Some of these farms are miles from the town, people in town wouldn’t see them for long stretches. Some of the kids went to school, others were home schooled. Not even clear when they went missing. Could have been over the summer, a school break, the best guess is the last four months, not longer than six.”
“Not kidnapping for ransom, you don’t take the whole family, I don’t know, maybe if grandpa is rich.”
“No ransom demands and despite speculation by local yahoos, it is not alien abduction either. What would any self respecting alien want with farmers and cow people? The multi-universe children know there are other life forms, from what they have seen our intergalactic neighbors are far too busy with their own battles to wander off in search of hayseeds.”
“No demands of the state, a reactionary group of some sort?”
Grace B rolls her eyes, “Do you think I might have mentioned that? Like I decided it was irrelevant?”
Nikko, “To state the obvious, this sounds like Oceane’s presentiment, a weird enough series of events that would certainly attract our attention.”
Grace B, “Score one for the samurai.”
They look at me, I’m the CO, they want a plan.
“We go to Nebraska and sniff the soybeans.”
Nikko, “Who’s heading up the investigation?”
Grace B, “It is disjointed, there is some question if it is a county matter or a state matter, or a matter at all. The FBI is out, there is no evidence of a kidnapping, even if there was it would have to cross state lines for them to jump in. Besides alien abduction, other clodhoppers think they went off and formed a cult, everything from end of the world to child marriage. One family was known to be suspicious of government and that many of their constitutional freedoms are regularly violated. A search of the house and outbuilding did not uncover any survivalist stockpiling, a few rifles, but everyone has rifles out there. The five other families were what they appeared to be, ag people, with trucks, chickens and cats wandering around. All of them had dogs, only the freedom family had a growler, the rest were Labrador types, big friendly mutts.”
“You did a great job, a ton of information.”
“Dōmo arigatō, and before you ask, we searched all the available records with photo matches, socials, date of birth. A few of the kids had some social media crap, none of the home schoolers. There was nothing to indicate current whereabouts. Mobile electronics were left at home, whoever took them made sure they could not be easily tracked.”
Janah, “Social media interest faded under its own intrusive weight. People got over the fascination with screens, trying to sort out fake people or news from real, signing up people they didn’t know, meaningless likes. Even selfies became passé.”
Nikko, “Not a moment too soon.”
“Sounds as if we can have a fairly free hand, legally no crime has been committed. Hard to disappear in the world anymore though, the evidence that convinces me it’s Shadows is that there is no evidence.”
Janah, “How many people exactly?”
Grace B, “Twenty four. Twelve adults, twelve kids from four to fifteen, seven girls, five boys.”
“A lot of people to control.”
Nikko, “Which means there are a lot of Shadows or powerful ones.”
“Oceane said five, rather she stuck out five fingers, and she said powerful.”
Janah, “Five Shadows for twenty four people, I suppose the younger kids don’t need much control, but still.”
Nikko, “We aren’t getting anything done sitting here. We can’t wait them out, if it’s Shadows trying trap us, it doesn’t change the fact that they need to go.”
“Actually, it’s easier, they rounded themselves up. If we don’t go, they’re going to get more extreme.”
Nikko, “We need to get a move on, who goes?”
“Us, Grace B, our Shadow spotters Chloe and Zi of course, where Chloe goes Amaya goes, two shooters, Sloane. I’ll round them up, Grace B, get us there, transportation, Amaya will see to the pharmaceuticals. I’ll message Eloise to prep two drones.”
Nikko, “We going to just drive around?”
Janah, “They can’t find us if they stay hidden, they have to expose themselves at some point. Daphne will engage birds. We need to know where they’re keeping the victims, either we capture the Judas goat, or the birds find them congregated.”
“If I was doing it, I’d lock down the victims, put the Judas goat with them.”
Nikko, “Thinking like a samurai. We go in to rescue, the others have us in their sights, come in for the kill.”
“Yes, good thing I have a plan for that.”
We break up to prepare, I don’t need to explain my plan, they trust me. 
“I find Amaya and Chloe with the children, “You’re going to Nebraska in the morning, please prep the pharma case, the usual work clothes, it’s a tiny town we’re roughing it at a local motel, there are no hotels in the area.”
Tasia, “Tetya Dafna is going to kill Shadows. Tonight we will call up the Zycyryn.”
How thoughtful, backup that hadn’t occurred to me.
I message Eloise and go off to find Sloane, she’s sitting on the edge of her bed pulling on a t-shirt, “Hey honey, we travel tomorrow, work clothes only, tell Sarah to prep, and ask her to round up one more shooter.”
Sarah comes out of the bathroom, delightfully nude, “You just asked her.”
“Did I interrupt anything?”
“You would have ten minutes ago, but my needs are temporarily met.”
Sarah gives Janah a run for Most Hormonal, which around here is saying something.
“I thought Sloane looked blissful.”
“I took my time with Sloaney’s shaft before she gave me the shaft, twice.”
I grin, a girl needs what a girl needs, move on to my room to toss things in a suitcase for Janah and me.
Now to find Dasha, she’s, of course, in the kitchen. Valeria is there.
“Getting an early start on dinner?”
“Da, pot roasting ees all day job, an hour before we will add carrot, ohnyon, new potato. Whole meal in one. Also fried cauliflower, mushroom and broccoli for appetizing wiz cocktail.”
“We travel tomorrow, return uncertain.”
Valeria, “I want to go.”
No reason to turn her down, “Then recruit Britt to help with cooking, we can’t leave it all to Ellen and Dasha, Chloe is going with us so she’s out as a helper.”
Valeria grabs a tablet and messages Britt.
“We may decide we need you and Daria. I’m trying to balance protecting the children with what we find in Nebraska.”
Dasha stares up at me, intense, “You will go and keel Shadowy peerson, eef they are stupid enough to show up here, they will be dead persons, Katya and Katja will keel them again, then we will feed them to the coyotes that roam outside our wall. Eef you need us, we can be there in half a day. More eemportant, you are responsible for Valeria, I do not anyway care that she ees electrical girl.”
“You know the answer to that,” Dasha understands anything threatening Valeria will be over my dead body.
She blinks her Dasha blink, returns to slicing carrots, talking to herself, “Dahfoney must protect everyone, where ees cauliflower, Ellen must come and break up for frying, tomorrow we will get up early to send off  girls wiz gud breakfast…”
I’m standing here, I can deal with cauliflower and broccoli, pull the vegetables out of the refrigerator and break up florets. The kind of meditative rote physical activity that lets my unconscious mind machinate over possibilities and alternatives in Nebraska. 

Fifty One

Prescott to Alliance 760 miles by air, an hour and a bit, then the ten of us divide up into two SUVs. We’re checked into the Sunset Suites, across the street from the Sunrise Motor Court. Four rooms, two of which are suites with a table big enough for eight. The suites are across from one another at the end of the hallway, the other rooms connect to each suite. It’s a motel, suite is stretching the point, but there is a full refrigerator, microwave and a toaster oven. Valeria will bunk with Janah and me. 
We meet in one of the suites.
“Let’s get busy, Grace B has the abduction sites loaded into the drones. We can take both cars and explore the area while we monitor what the drones picks up. I doubt there’s much to learn from empty homes but we’ll see. Grace B, check for helpful neighbors before you get too close. Somebody may be taking care of cattle, feeding the dogs, we don’t need them spotting the drone.”
Grace B, “Maybe it will support the alien abduction theory.”
I grin, “Just don’t get the thing on someone’s camera.”
“Spoilsport. I suppose I can blast the camera out of their hands.”
“Not that extreme.”
Valeria, Janah, Zi, Mani, and I take one car, the others in the second, giving us a Sensitive, and a shooter in each. It’s only cautionary, I don’t expect Shadows to be chasing us down the street. They don’t work that way.
Valeria, “Why do they not use weapons given their history of failure in dealing with you in the past?”
Janah, “Shadows are like most psychopaths, think they’re better than. If they are aware that we have killed Shadows in the past, they believe it was the weakness of the Shadow, that they themselves are more skilled. I’ve never heard one say so, but my gut tells me they find the idea of needing a gun beneath them. It’s dumb on their part, but Shadows have twisted minds, again like psychopaths they are cunning and duplicitous, but not necessarily intelligent. If fact, their condition precludes real intelligence.”
Valeria looks out the window, not that there’s much to see, a little town, kind of quaint, the buildings mid twentieth century, a few older. Sleek and fancy doesn’t carry weight here. There’s still lots of sleepy places in America, like most of them, young people move away. Some stay away, some don’t care for the city and move back to the farm. One incentive to return is that farming today is almost entirely mechanized, they don’t need immigrants, they use robots. Machines that collect the corn and soybeans, harvest wheat and hay, all with no human operator.
We’re driving down a two lane, surrounded by crops.
Mani, “Must not be harvest time, like I know about farming.”
Janah, “A few weeks until you see the machines. Most farmers don’t buy them, it’s a business, they lease for the time they’re needed then back to a warehouse until the next harvest. The same company trucks the harvest to mills. In many cases, the same company plants the stuff. Essentially the farmer isn’t farming, he or she is simply the landowner.”
Zi, “Wonder why the farmer lives here at all? Couldn’t he just lease the land to the company?”
Janah, “Some do. The bit I read explained that being on the farm is a kind of
in-the-blood thing. Even though the days of sweat from sunup to sundown is gone, they want to be on their dirt.”
Mani, “What do they do with nothing to do?”
“Play checkers?”
Janah, “There are repairs and maintenance to buildings, I’m sure they keep equipment for specialty jobs that needs looking after. Tap into VR for education, experiences, games. Grace B sardonically calls them hayseeds and clodhoppers, but these folks grew up with technology, grandpa might be old school, but a twenty to forty year old today had laptops and mobiles growing up.”
Valeria, “I see a lot of grass, where are the cows?”
Mani, “When I lived in Mississippi a million years ago, there were cattle ranches. I found out it takes and enormous amount of grazing land to support a herd, I forget how much.”
Janah, “Twenty acres for eleven head of cattle from birth to slaughter.”
Zi, “Geez, no wonder cattle ranches are so huge.”
So far, a lot of land and nothing, we spot houses of course, tending towards the rear of the property, few people.
I’m driving so I can’t see the screens, “Anything on the abduction sites?”
Mani, “So far they look like what we see here. One place had a truck parked, Grace B kept her distance, when she zoomed the cam I could spot a couple of people, couldn’t tell what they were doing, wait…here’s one with a cop car outside. No flashing lights, no EMT van.”
“Maybe just revisiting, looking for clues they may have overlooked. For that matter checking to see if the family has mysteriously turned up, is isn’t a subdivision, neighbors are miles away. Valeria, ask Grace B to run a news feed, if there’s nothing current, tell her to go back a couple of days.”
We wait all of thirty seconds, then a story in the local newsrag, “The Box Butte County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson reminded citizens that the homes of the missing families are still potential crime scenes, any curious intruders will be arrested and charged with interfering with a police investigation. Only appointed neighbors are allowed access for purposes of animal welfare and are not allowed to enter homes, only outbuildings with livestock is permitted. Sheriff’s deputies are revisiting homes in the hopes of collecting additional evidence regarding the disappearances.”
Valeria, “Thank you Grace B, at least it explains the police activity.”
Grace B, “Yeah, they still don’t know jack. By the way, the story has come to the attention of the sick fuck press. Those assholes have already started to leave slime trails around town.”
Janah, “Crap, wait until the alien abduction crowd gets going. Though in a way, it helps us. People asking questions, recording interviews, it gives us a little cover, all the new faces around.” 
Amaya’s in my head, “Nothing here.”
“Did you catch Grace B’s feed?”
“Chloe read the news report to us. What do you want to do? If I keep going we will be in South Dakota.”
“Head back to the hotel, we’ve seen what we can, I need to find a few cooperative birds.”
“We will stop and get food and drinks, any preference?”
“Coke Zero, you know what the other’s like, any food, cold cuts and chips maybe simplest.”

It’s five, I hadn’t taken note of just how far we’d driven out of town, it’s quarter to six before we’re back in the hotel. Amaya’s crew hasn’t gotten in yet, knowing Amaya, she’d averaged eighty on the near empty roads, meaning they were further out to the north and they still had to stop for groceries. It occurs to me that is she went out at eighty, she’d come back at eighty, maybe the drive time is irrelevant.
I get my answer, they show at six fifteen with bags of cold cuts, drinks, bread, chips, and chocolate cookies for dessert.
“No Russian Standard, we have to slum with Smirnoff.”
“Should I shag ice from the machine?”
“Nope, I bought bagged ice, machine ice turns to water in warm alcohol, bagged ice is much harder. I will make drinks.”
The rooms only have mini fridges, still, better than nothing.
Sloane, “We got deli chicken, ham and roast beef, provolone cheese sliced, the usual condiments, plastic to eat if off of.”
Janah, “I’ll have chicken with Dijon Daph, no cheese, cut the crust finger sandwich style. I’ll get my own glass of wine.”

Fifty Two

I’m in from outside, “Found an owl, explained what we wanted, he’s on the case. Birds everywhere know about Shadows, or Dark Ones as they say. He said he would spread the bird word.”
Janah, “Good, one thing done. I’m glad that some folks like to live this way, small town, iconoclastic, suspicious of outsiders. I don’t want to hang any longer than necessary.”
Nikko, “Our lifestyle is not that different, we’re a small town, and iconoclastic. Maybe we should get cows.”
Amaya, “We have a small lesbian town, with hot lipstick lezzies, cows are out of the question, we have a dog that could qualify as cattle, iconoclastic, yes.”
I mental Janah, “Done, want more wine?”
“One more, bring Valeria a vodka, she’s seducing me.”

I tote the drinks over, Valeria’s finger’s tracing Janah’s thigh, they kiss, ignoring me. I leave the glasses and cart off the plates and empties.
I had Valeria to myself, with an Oceane sideline, I know full well it wasn’t Valeria who seduced Janah. The message is, she’s taking over my sylph til further notice. A subtle humiliation, it makes me squirmy. I squeeze my legs together, feel a warm tingle.
The evening passes uneventfully, Nikko and Amaya brought a few books, the TV plays a movie on low that nobody watches. I’ve cleared the plates, everything is plastic and throwaway. Wrap the remaining cold cuts as stick them in the refrigerator. Girls go off to their rooms, it’s just Valeria, Janah and me.
“Shall I bunk elsewhere?”
Janah, “No, you have to watch me take her. You keep your hands to yourself, wherever you want to keep them.”
I look at Valeria, her eyes don’t leave Janah’s face, she kisses her neck, “Make love to me.”
In the king bed, I may as well be an unused pillow. Valeria’s deep gasps and slow moans, uncharacteristic for her, have my hormones racing. I have toy busy between my legs while I watch Janah busy between Valeria’s lovelies. Valeria’s eye alternate between closed and open as Janah attends to her. Of the three of us, I’m the only one who knows I’m in the bed.
Valeria lifts off the bed, gurgles, then with a screech, sinks back quivering. She grabs Janah by the hair, pulls her up, lick her face, then they kiss deep and long.
Sneaky Janah has used Qi tongue, Electric Girl must have felt electrified.
I buzz off to my first orgasm.
Round two, Janah flips to her back, Valeria kisses her way down, torso to knee, back up the other leg, then rolls in between Janah’s legs. Tender kisses up the inner thigh, then to the main event. Valeria has learned well, slow is how you go, soft and succulent. I catch Janah’s cherry vanilla scent, Valeria’s eye closed as she tastes and touches. 
I thought after Janah climaxed, it would be the finale, but no. Janah turns over, knees under her, head on a pillow. Valeria slips her finger between Janah’s legs, when it’s nice and slick she coats Janah’s anus and leans in to lick.
When did she learn that? Wasn’t from me, it’s not Oceane’s thing as far as I know. Although Janah does it for Eloise and Amaya, maybe she introduced it to Oceane, then Oceane to Valeria. We have a complicated intimate life, girls like different things, Janah likes everything, as does Sarah. Slutskies.
Another O for Janah, another for Daphne. They hit the bathroom to refresh, when they return, I go. When I return, they’re cuddled like kittens.
Janah, “Fix up the sofa outside, I want her to myself.”
I’m banished to the sofa sleeper, I know her plan. She won’t let me make it up in the morning until the others show up. When they’re here having coffee, Janah and Valeria will appear from the bedroom together. Daphne slept alone, put in her place again. Susan will love the story.
I sleep well, despite being curled up alone. Up early, I go downstairs and outside to see if any birds are looking for me. Circle the hotel then out to the small stretch of trees in between the rear of the Quality and the parking lot for an industrial park.
Nobody home in the trees, as I start back, I hear a whoooot! Turn left and look up, a barn owl is giving me the owl stare, then a blink.
“Hello, you are not the owl from last night.”
She does the head bob and swivel owls are famous for, “You can speak the language.”
“One of your species taught me, in the north.”
“We were told of a human who understood. Also to find the Dark Ones.”
“Did you?”
“No, an eagle. She will lead you when the day star is overhead, she is hunting now.”
“I will return midday and wait.”
“You have promised to kill them.”
“And I will.”

She blinks at me, flaps her wings and is gone. Birds are all business.
When I get to the suite, the girls are there with coffee and tea, Grace B is making up the sofa sleeper. Janah and Valeria come out of the bedroom.
Grace B, “Daphne got the couch, Janah got Valeria…seems fair.”
Chloe giggles, Amaya laughs out loud, Janah is smiling sweetly, “Tea Daphne, then fetch us breakfast from the buffet.”
Sarah a ‘be a good little slave’ finger at me, she’s loving this. Sloane rolls her eyes.
I deliver tea to Janah and Valeria, hustle downstairs, they have cheese omelets, I toast two bagels, grab a couple container of cream cheese and two yogurts, stack it on two plates and return to the room.
“They even have actual utensils, not plastic,” I hand them over.
Sloane, Sarah and Mani head for the buffet with Amaya and Chloe.
Amaya, “Shall we bring you something? I know you have service duties here.”
Valeria, “You may go, you can clean up when you return.”
In the elevator, Amaya grins, “You, dearest, have another Queen B to grovel for.”
“Apparently so. No problem, I’m good at it.”
“Like mother like daughter.”
I smile, Humiliation-R-Us.
When we return, Janah and Valeria have disappeared, disappeared to the bedroom, the door is closed, maybe they’re having a shower. I sneak a peek in Janah’s head.
I see Valeria’s butt and back, Janah’s giving her a tush tingle, I tune out before I get over stimulated.
While they play…again…I relate my chat with the owl.
Nikko, “So they’re here?”
“Someplace. Grace B will launch a drone and follow the eagle, then we’ll have a location, maybe get something on video.”
Nothing to do until noon, the girls go off to their respective rooms, Grace B parks in the hallway, I’m left to…well, nothing. I fold up cross legged to meditate and resist the temptation to follow the follies in the bedroom. If I did, it wouldn’t be meditation, it’d be masturbation. I’m already steamy from this morning’s subservience. No good, my brain is filled with visions. I take off my jeans, stretch out on the couch and my finger meditates on me. It doesn’t take long, I’m vibing wonderfully, sucking in oxygen, then settle into a post climax reverie.
My phone dings, it’s Susan.
“Hello mommy.”
“Find anything?”
I tell her what we know, “You can relax a little, if they’re here, they aren’t there.”
“You sound a bit breathless, did I interrupt anything?”
I confess last evening’s and this morning’s events, I hear Susan giggling throughout.
“Been there, Janah has put me through my paces since forever. I can’t wait to submit the next time. She came over the day before you left for Arizona, walked over naked, strutted around the house teasing the crap out of me, then left me out when she took Taylor into the bedroom.”
“Where was Lacy?”
“In town, or Janah would have taken them both. And she’s gotten Valeria into it you say?”
“The minx took to it like Oceane to water.”
“Good Lord, they’ll have you shucking and jiving half the day, lucky you.”

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