Sixty One

This evening, with travel and arranging the kids, we go with pizza for dinner. Boboli thin crusts either vegetarian or pepperoni with or without anchovies. We like sliced tomato rather than tomato sauce, more margherita style, just with meat. Twenty two diners, two slices for the kids, three for the adults, fifty six slices. We get six off one crust, so ten pizzas. Sloane, Dasha and I do an assembly line while girls have cocktails.
Dasha, “Kota B, get children out of the pool and showered, they can shower outside. We will serve them first, in twenty minutes. They can haf dinner by the pool, then to the dorm. We will bring ice crim later.”
Kota B goes out to round up swimmers, Oceane is in there too.
Kota B, “Miss Oceane, cocktails, dinner in an hour. Children, out of the pool and shower. I have robes for you to put on when you are done and dried.”
The kids don’t argue, moan or groan. Whining isn’t in their nature. When Kota B says time for bed, they climb into bed. They are free to fiddle with tablets, which they don’t do much, or Kota B will play a movie, or they can clump in groups to chatter, but they do it in bed. It doesn’t last long, the girls are active. Except for language lessons and basic math, they make up what they want to do. Between art, calligraphy, creating plays or dances with Amaya, or doing plays from classics to Sherlock Holmes stories, except for the hour after lunch, they are almost never still. 
Little in the present touches them, they don’t know who is President, which country is mad at which other country, politics and commerce isn’t even an abstraction. They don’t have mobile phones, don’t text, social media has never popped up on their tablets. They don’t play video games. Fashion is Victorian or in the deeper past, Greek is popular. Amaya has hiking gear for them in Canada, in New York or Arizona they usually wear chemises or tunics, sometimes leggings depending on weather.
When we travel , they have kid jeans, pullovers and sneakers, but they come off as soon as we get home.
Amaya, “Chloe and I are in LA next week to schedule initial rehearsals and a production schedule with Amelia Fallows, our new director. As you know, Harry Childers retired while he’s got a reasonable facsimile of health. He recommended Amelia, who worked with him on other films. She’s on board with our style, no fluff sequences, no long chase scenes, no mountain views to chew up fifteen seconds of screen time because writers couldn’t think of anything interesting for the actors to say, or that more action would drive up the budget, while filming a mountain costs nothing.”
“Any role for Matt?”
Matt Damon is an A level talent that worked with Chloe on the Ultra Violet films and one other. We don’t age, Matt does, his role in Amaya’s films had to change accordingly. She does not subscribe to the ridiculous notion that a sixty year old Sean Connery is going to seduce twenty five year old girls even with a Scottish accent. In any case, Matt’s role was never a love interest with Chloe, but they have great chemistry in action sequences and dialogue.
Amaya, “Of course. He’s a grandfatherly type, he plays an ex-pat intelligence officer who was stationed in Tokyo and retired to Kyoto. He disappeared into the Shingon Buddhist community. Chloe, when she is not being geisha, visits the temples frequently and becomes acquainted with the American, now a monk. He is responsible for her recovery from the rape. Typically Buddhist, he advises her to avoid violence then puts her in touch with a pair of contract killers, Elle and Sarah.  He understands and applauds her determination to seek both justice and to rid the world of men who destroy the Earth for personal gain. And he takes a retreat from his monastery for a year to train all of them in hand to hand and stealth tactics. It is all quite nuanced, subtle.”
“Too subtle and an American audience won’t get it.”
“Not that subtle, I understand the limitations of an American film audience. Parts will be only appreciated by an Asian mind.
Chloe, “Matt and Claudia were delighted to hear Amaya had a screenplay, when she sent what she had at the time, she told Matt he could expand his role or shrink it depending on his availability. He suggested his expanded role as combat trainer. Amaya loved the idea, which gives a major star more minutes onscreen, good for Matt, good for us.”
Amaya, “He gets points and a guaranteed million, half upfront. Five hundred million box office, he makes ten.”
“Think you can scare up that many paying customers?”
“Worldwide? Of course. This movie will still be streaming ten years from now.”
What Amaya lacks in self confidence she makes up for in self confidence. 
“Who is going as security? When you start filming, Sarah and Ellen will be around, what about this trip?”
“You think we need it?”
“Shadows have gotten more determined about trying to kill us off, what do you think?”
“Twins cannot go, Daria has business and Dasha is reluctant to leave without her, not to mention the children.”
“Either Janah and me, or Ellen and Sarah, they’re going to be in the movie, or  maybe Sarah and Mani. You don’t need all three unless they just want to go.”
“I shall make a call, if they have business, then you are on the hook.”
“A few days at Shutters is hardly on the hook. You’re just doing meetings, right?”
“That’s it, in fact, we’re doing them at Shutters as well as staying there.”
“Let me know, I need to get our pizzas going.”
The kids have started their pizza party by the pool, Oceane and Cassie are having wine outside while they eat. Danika and Su are talking with the girls about Shaolin and Buddhism. No, not to make converts, we don’t proselytize, that’s for the religious.
The girls like all things old to ancient. Su is an expert on the history of Buddhism and weaves that in with the history of Shaolin.
Janah, “Let’s have ours poolside as well, it’s a gorgeous evening.”
Grace B, “Seventy four degrees, wind at three miles per hour, ten percent humidity.”
“See? Gorgeous.”
And it is, crusty slices of pizza, Grace B keeps the wine flowing, Kota B collects the girls’ plates and cups and heads off to get them in one of the dishwashers.
Nadia, “Tetya Dafna, Danika says gung fu is like dance, can we learn gung fu?”
“Of course, shall we start tomorrow?”
Rewarded with a grin, so adorable.
“Have you asked Danika or Su to instruct you? Zi or I can help.”
“Danika said she would be happy to show us, Su is going to teach us about Buddhism and Shaolin. She said I have to ask Mama first.”
I turn to Dasha, “You good with that, Mama?”
“All learning ees gud for children,” she tells them, “you will follow instruction. When Tetya Dafna taught Mamas, we leesten and obey our teacher. You will also be gud student, da?”
A chorus of young girl voices, “Da, Mama.”
“Danika, the scheduling is up to you and Su, tell Kota B and she will make sure the girls are ready.”
Amaya, “Goody, I am going to get all of them gung fu practice uniforms.”
“Save yourself the trouble, just call or email David Li with sizes, he’ll have everything overnighted.”
“Duh, how do I forget there is a Shaolin temple stocked with uniforms I can access?”
“You have a movie on your mind. Let me talk to David in the morning.”
“Thank you, you have solved my security issue and the uniform thing. I should reward you in some way.”
“I can think of a few ways.”
“Then come to me this evening, I never disappoint.”
No, she never does.
Janah, “Well, one of us scores anyway.”
“Hah! All you have to do is stare at Eloise for a few seconds, she’ll show up in your room and make your head spin as long as you wish. Or if you’re feeling a different need, make a lewd suggestion to Sloane, or Danika.”
“I’m going with your first suggestion, Eloise is so wonderfully demanding, and inventive.”
“And an expert with hardware, some of which she is sure to bring along.”
“Now I’m getting warm.”

On the pretext of refilling her wine glass, Janah leans into Eloise and whispers. A sly grin, nearly a sneer, crosses her face. Oh my, Janah’s in for it tonight.
As we finish up, Kota B rounds up the fairies and they fly off to their enclave. Grace B has clean up under control. Our slow paced pizza dinner has moved us on past ten. We wander off to our rooms to do bedtime prep. After which I head to Amaya’s room, it occurs to me to wonder where Chloe will be. I am delighted to find out she’s part of our playtime. Time to bring my best game.

Sixty Two

Sarah, Ellen and Mani jump at the chance to spend a few days in Santa Monica. Early fall, weather delightful. 
Shutter’s management is on hand, along with the Concierge, George.
“Miss Amaya, Miss Sylk, and your guests….?”
“Hello, Malachi, George, this is Eileen, Jill and Fe Lee, part of the newest film we are here to plan.”
Ellen, Sarah and Mani are traveling under assumed names. In those names they are licensed security for Murakami Sylk in any capacity they are needed. I use their real names to keep your reading life simpler.
“Welcome to Shutters ladies, your suites are ready, and I understand you will be taking meetings in yours as well.”
“Yes, there are only two joining Chloe and I, our friends are here to enjoy Santa Monica and Venice Beach while we plan production schedules. Ellen and her companions will be out for lunch. You will have lunch delivered to my suite all three days?”
“Absolutely, high protein as requested, urn for coffee, another for hot water, tea selection is in the room. Fruit, granola and protein bars, do we have that right?”
“Perfect. We need to cover a lot of ground and don’t need sleepy heads. The five of us will take early breakfast at Coast, you have arranged a quiet corner?”
“Your table will be reserved, come down anytime. I can also add a privacy divider if you wish.”
“Thank you, not necessary. Shutters guests are used to celebrity, we will not be so unusual, Chloe is the only recognizable one. We are never pestered here.”
The bellman takes luggage to the suites, there’s a fair amount, five girls, three of whom have extra Glocks, magazines and ammunition in their bags. When they got off the Blue Sky flight, they holstered the G-43 Slimlines they carry day to day. In the bags are 19s Gen 4. Both guns use a nine millimeter ammunition, the girls use hollow points, they are safer, for them and any bystanders. Dum dums won’t make it through the body, and will do max internal damage to the target when the bullet fragments on impact.
They unpack, after which Ellen, Sarah and Mani take a stroll around the hotel interior and exterior. They want to be familiar with entrances and exits, when they are open and shut for the night.
Balconies overlook the beach, but aren’t on the beach. It would be difficult to access a room from the balcony, the hotel is loaded with security cams and it’s pedestrian busy along the beach anyway. 
They meet back in Amaya’s suite and have coffee.
Sarah, “Such a gorgeous place, in a gorgeous place. I love New Orleans, but I could do more SoCal.”
Amaya, “Buy something if you think you will be here enough. Or just fly out for a week of chill, that’s what we do. No housing expense, into Shutters, they take care of everything, good restaurants in walking distance, driving LA is a horror story.”
Ellen, “We talked about it, we like your way. Come out, hang for a while, fly home. Navigating the freeways is far more trouble than it’s worth.”
Mani, “What’s the schedule?”
Amaya, “Tonight nothing. We have drinks, find a steak. Tomorrow, breakfast at seven sharp, back in the room for eight, Amelia Fallows and her production assistant Marina will show up at eight thirty. The morning will be spent in casting, working lunch, the afternoon we organize a filming schedule. That will take us into the second day. The third day will be spent on what locations we need in Tokyo and Kyoto. I left a fourth day open in case we need more time. The objective, when we are finished, is to know who, when and where everything needs to happen. Then Amelia, or her production assistant, fleshes out a budget and sends it to me. It will take them a week at least, probably more. We do not want to film in Japan in the winter, earliest next spring.”
“Where do you want us?”
“Once the meetings start, we shall be in the room, no need for you to hang around. Enjoy Venice Beach, have a fish taco.”
“That’s not how it works honey. We came as security. Cerveza and tacos aren’t in the mix. I’ll figure it out. One of us will be in the room, the other two will be paying attention to the inside of the hotel, the other to the outside. We need to meet Shutters security people and access to the hotel’s cams.”
Amaya, “Let me make a call.”
Ellen, “Not necessary, we’re credentialed as Murakami Sylk Security. I’ll speak with management. The tabs you run up here, you should own the damn place by now.”
“Be nice, they are most accommodating.”
“Honey girl, when I’m done, their panties will be wet. You think about filming schedules, let us worry about annoying people.”
Chloe, “They have it under control Amaya, let’s organize a blockbuster.”
The first night is relaxed, BOA Steakhouse on Santa Monica  Boulevard. Cocktails, followed by appetizers of chilled prawns and seared scallops, then center cut filet with either tri peppercorn or foie gras butter or bacon jam.
Ellen, “Damn, steak is excellent.”
Amaya, “Try the creamed spinach, the chipotle lime corn is tasty too.”
Mani, “Sure is, and this steak is bigger than my boobs.”
Sarah, “Even after your enhancement, before, pecans would have been bigger.”
Mani had her invisible breasts turned into apples, ala cosmetic surgery. That was years ago.
Mani laughs, “True that.”
Chloe, “I thought about it, Amaya insists mine are perfect, so no go.”
Ellen, “She didn’t want you to surpass her.”
Amaya, “I have no intention of going under the knife. Mani was brave for doing so, not me. Funny, none of our tribes has bosoms, in the heifer sense. One would think with all our family additions one girl would be ample.”
Chloe, “Janah is the most developed, and she’s hardly going to be on some men’s magazine cover.”
Amaya, “And Janah kind of hand picked us, I think perhaps it is she who does not wish to be surpassed.”
Chloe, “Janah’s not interested in heavers, she’s a leg girl, remember Daphne was first.”
“How they met, in each other’s mind. Janah could see through Daphne’s eyes when she was at home standing in front of her mirror. Daphne got her mom’s legs, which remain splendid to this day.”
“Helps if you don’t age. Susan got the blood and proteins when she was nearly forty. All her years of taekwondo kept her lean and tight. She stuck at being hot forever.”
Ellen, “We owe so much to Janah and Daphne.”
Chloe, “I sure do.”
Finish off the wine, time for a walk around the Promenade, then to the hotel. They go to Amaya’s suite for a nightcap, which turns into playtime. Sarah warms the room when she strips, lays on the floor and strums for her audience. Before she can blast off, the rest are nude and Amaya has her face buried between Sarah’s lean runner legs.
Chloe is in the bedroom getting double teamed by Ellen and Mani. Amaya and Sarah join them, a quintet of healthy lust ensues. Later, sated and rehydrated, Sarah stays in the bed with Amaya and Chloe, Ellen and Mani go off to their suite. 
Amaya wraps up Chloe, Sarah behind Amaya, her Glock on the end table, ready.
Morning, fortunately Sarah didn’t need to shoot anyone, “Wow, I slept deep. Thank you for last evening, I was repeatedly buzzed.”
Chloe yawns, “Girl sex is fun, I don’t know anything about boy sex. Yikes, six thirty, get moving Amaya, seven sharp is getting sharper.”
They pile into the shower together, no time to extend the evening’s follies, dry and dress.
Sarah, “Amaya makes pulling on jeans erotic, girl, what you don’t have ain’t worth having.”
Amaya, “Thank you. I like to make sure Chloe stays focused on what’s important, me.”
They find Ellen and Mani already seated, a corner table as promised. There are a few early risers, the place is half full. Chloe sits facing the wall, her back to the room. There were a few glances when she came through the restaurant, whispers at a couple of tables. 
The waiter comes by, “Miss Sylk, Miss Amaya, welcome, and welcome to your associates. Coffee?”
“Yes please. We won’t need menus. Smoked salmon to start, with the usual accompaniments, then vegetable omelets, crispy bacon, no bread, no potatoes.”
“Yes ma’am, coming up.”
“Ladies, anything else?”
Mani, “Cranberry juice please.”
Ellen, “For me as well.”
Sarah, “I’d like a Diet Coke with the omelet.”
Chloe, “Sounds good, me, too.”
Waiter, “Got it.”
“And let us enjoy the salmon first, we will have omelets and bacon at seven thirty, no sooner. Does that work?”
“Of course Miss Amaya. I’ll be watching, anything else, just give me a nod.”
That’s what happens when you stay in the most expensive suites and generously tip the housekeepers, the bellman, wait staff and concierge. It also doesn’t hurt that Shutters has been mentioned most favorably in several of Amaya’s novels.
Breakfast flows seamlessly, Amaya signs the tab and tips accordingly. 
On the way out, a man approaches Chloe, “Chloe Sylk, I’m your biggest fan, I have all your films, I have to speak to you, I have important information.”
Ellen, leans to Amaya and Chloe, “He’s full of shit. I now Chloe likes to be nice, but this isn’t the time. I smell stalker.”
Amaya, “Then intervene and we shall proceed to the room.”
“Sarah, take them up, Mani stick around.”
The man moves towards Chloe when it’s evident she’s not going to stop. Ellen blocks him.
“Hey, get out of my way, I need to talk to Chloe Sylk.”
“You can tell me, I’ll pass the message along.”
“No, I must speak to her, she needs me, I know it. You can’t stop me.”
He tries to push past Ellen, Mani says, “Oh dear boy, that’s assault.”
She lands a fist in his gut, while he’s bent over, Ellen grabs his arm, twists and turns him, smashes him up against the wall.
Two hotel security guys appear, “Trouble?”
Ellen, “Not much. I can kick this guy to the surf, or you can take over, your call.”
“Better if we do it, liability and whatnot.”
“Okay, and I was coming to see your people this morning anyway. Who’s the boss?”
Mr. Vincent, he’s coming down now in fact.”
Stocky Italian shows up, not fat stocky, just thick, Nose busted more than once, but he’s still standing.
“Whadda we got?”
Security One, “Guy hassling Chloe Sylk, he’s not a guest, wasn’t in the restaurant, no business here.”
The man starts to grouse about his rights, his important information, he’s a regular motor mouth.
Security Two, “Shut up…Sir…you are going to leave now, we’ll escort you out. Go quietly or get arrested, which is it?”
They haul him off, he’s still mumbling but he’s not making more of a scene. Mani follows them out. In the hubbub, the man failed to notice the disappearance of his wallet.
Vincent, “Sorry about that, movie stars, things happen.”
Ellen, “Not the hotel’s fault, all kinds of people pass through here. At least he tried outside the restaurant, most people have no idea there was a disturbance. Is there a place we can talk?”
“Sure, come to the office.”
The security office is a desk, and a bank of monitors. Someone monitors the monitors twenty four seven. Others walk the building, the perimeter and the parking garage despite the cameras.
Ellen pulls out ID, “We are private security for Murakami Sylk. In this case for Amaya and Chloe Sylk. There are three of us, me, Fei Lee here and Jill who went up to the suite.”
Vincent smiles, “I know who you are. Management got a call from Miss Nikko. She and Miss Daphne always comes by to see us when they’re at the hotel. We get a fair amount of private security as you might imagine. I see you are armed.”
“Yes, and licensed in California.”
She shows him the license, he’s happy, “We get bodyguards with no license and still want to carry, it gets problematical. We either have to pretend we don’t know, or potentially aggravate a guest. Some of them are easily annoyed. When they get too easily annoyed, we move them along.”
“Better for business, my guess is they also want lots of service and aren’t particularly nice about it.”
Vincent shrugs, “The word we use is asshole.”
“Accurate and succinct. We won’t take more of your time. Your people will see us wandering around, they can pretend we’re invisible. Oh, I would appreciate being able to stop in and check the cams if that’s okay. No reason, just being thorough.”
“Sure, knock on the door, say it’s Murakami Sylk, won’t be no problem.”
Mani shows up, “Thank you. If things go well, we’ve seen the last of our visitor. Here, you might want his wallet, we have his name, address, social, the make and model of his car, and the plate. Want me to make a note for you?”
Vincent grins, “Remind me to stay on your good side.”

Sixty Three

By the time Ellen and Mani have walked the perimeter and returned to the suite. Amelia Fallows and her production assistant have arrived.
Amaya, “Eileen, Jill, Fe Lee, meet Amelia and Marina.”
Ellen, “Nice to know you, I guess Amaya has explained us.”
Amelia, “Yes, and you have roles in the film as well as providing security.”
“We do. We’ll be prepared, as for our presence the rest of the time, just ignore us, we’ll stay out of the way.”
“Amaya said there was in incident.”
“Nothing, overzealous fan perhaps, but he didn’t track like a fan, they usually want a photo, maybe an autograph. He didn’t ask for either, some crap about important information.”
“And he’s gone?”
“Yep. We have his vitals, we’ll research him, and he’s on the hotel cam as well, they’ll be looking out. He’d be nuts to try again, but he was nuts to try in the first place. You have work to do, Mani will hang here, Jill and I are going to work the inside and outside of the hotel. Fe Lee, keep an eye on the balcony, or what’s happening on the other side of it anyway. When lunch appears, you answer the door, sign the tab and tell them to leave the cart outside. You know what to do before it comes in the suite.”
Mani, “Got it.”
Marina, “Check the cart for what?”
“For whatever isn’t supposed to be on your room service delivery. When I get downstairs, I’ll find out what they plan on serving and text Fe Lee. Anything that isn’t in the text doesn’t come in.”
Marina, “Geez, is it always like this?”
Amelia, “Sometimes. And since there was an incident, it only makes sense, caution is better than dumb.”
Marina, “I feel like I’m in one of Amaya’s novels, kind of exciting.”
Amaya, “And if we don’t get busy, we’ll be up half the night.”
Ellen, “One more bit, Fe Lee, when housekeeping shows up, probably this afternoon, she swaps towels and changes the sheets only. Make sure that’s all she does.”
“Will do.”
Ellen and Sarah leave to roam around. Sarah takes the exterior, Ellen walks the floor above, examines stairwells, down to the ground floor.  She will make that circuit until she and Sarah swap up sometime in the afternoon. All three have radio contact, earbuds stuck in one ear.
The day is placid, nobody tries to storm the premises. There’s a swarm of clearly very rich people, they have that crew cut country club look, women aren’t wearing H&M. Amaya would know, Ellen isn’t into designer threads. Maybe if they made ammunition, YSL stamped on the casing, or that guy who’s always in the Nehru jackets.
Mani’s in the earpiece, “Lunch was as ordered, you must have said something, they didn’t even try to bring it in. Grilled fish, vegetables, zero carbs. I tasted a random piece, didn’t die of anything.”
“Good enough. I’ve seen every inch of the guts of Shutters, Sarah, you ready to swap?”
“Sure am, good thing I have a hat, my nose would be toasted by now.”
“Mani, take the interior, Sarah will come to the room. She’ll handle housekeeping.”
Mani, “Good by me. I don’t suppose you guys have eaten. I’ll bring you a protein bar. Sarah, there’s stuff left over or a bunch of fruit and bars. The fish was excellent, light lemon butter sauce. Vegetables just sautéed and seasoned, no sauces. They’ve been hard at it, actors in the US and a bunch more in Japan. Phone calls all over the place. They ate lunch but I don’t think they tasted any of it.”
Sarah, “I’m in the stairwell, be there in a sec.”
They swap positions, Ellen and Sarah have been in constant motion since this morning, Ellen stopped by the security office twice. She takes Mani there, introduces her as Fe Lee and heads outside.
At six thirty Sarah checks in, “Meeting is done for today. I don’t think they have much grind to grind out more. They are going to the Living Room for cocktails.”
Ellen, “Mani, take the doorway entrance from the hotel, I’m gonna grab a change of clothes and come to Amaya’s suite for a shower. Sarah, downstairs and take the beach entrance.”
In two minutes, everyone is reshuffled, Ellen takes a cool shower and washes her hair, then into a fresh pair of jeans and a pullover.
She checks in, “Anything?”
Mani, “Zip.”
Sarah, “Ditto.”
“Good. Sarah, I’m coming down, you shower and change, then come down again, Mani can go up next. Good thing you got a boatload of fresh towels.”
Sarah, “Figured we’d need them, for what I gave the housekeeper, I could have had a hundred towels. And we haven’t touched the ones in our suite.”
It isn’t a night for a party, Amelia and Marina have a drink and leave, Amaya and Chloe return to the suite.
Mani is already there, Ellen and Sarah right behind.
Chloe, “I felt enveloped in protection, thank you.”
Amaya, “Obviously there were no problems. The hotel cooperating?”
Ellen, “Couldn’t be better, Nikko spoke to them before we even got here.”
“No wonder. We got a ton of work done, Amelia was prepared, in some ways more prepared than Harry Childers used to be. And Marina’s spreadsheets look like something Daria would create. We have a few more roles to fill, then the shooting schedule in LA, then the schedule in Japan.”
Mani, “Japan isn’t until the spring, does it have to be completely planned now?”
Chloe, “The Japanese cast has to be slotted into specific times, some of the actors have windows open only during certain weeks. Then there is the matter of location shots. We have to have permission to close streets, access to buildings, none of it can be done at the last minute. And every location has to have an alternative location. Things happen and we may have to shift where we film. The Japanese are very cooperative, but stuff gets out of their control, or the weather doesn’t cooperate.”
Mani, “I see, thus need for a precise production schedule.”
Amaya, “And Marina carries much of that burden, although she has assistants to handle specific areas, she still has the responsibility of making sure we have access to where we need to be, and the people who need to be there are there.”
Chloe, “What’s for dinner? I need carbs, first I need a shower.”
Ellen, “I’ll find something.”
She finds Locanda Del Lago, exactly one mile walk from Shutters.
Chloe, “No shortage of carbs, my taste buds are tingling.”
They have cocktails, skip appetizers and pasta, order Chianti and head straight for the main course. Entree for Ellen, Mani and Chloe, osso buco, veal shank, saffron-parmesan risotto, gremolata, which is chopped parsley, lemon zest and garlic, which typcally accompanies ossu bucco. For Amaya, chicken breast stuffed with mushrooms, lettuce & fontina, prosciutto wrap, green beans, fingerling potatoes. And for Sarah, angus beef burger, sautéed wild mushrooms, fontina cheese, caramelized onions, crispy pancetta, which is black pepper infused bacon and truffle mayo.
Bites are shared, they finish off a second bottle of Chianti, dessert is unimpressive so they pass.
Ellen, “The entrees were delicious, appetizers didn’t inspire, glad we passed, I’m full enough.”
Amaya, “Agreed, Chloe, did you feel stoked or need something else?”
Chloe, “Overstoked, the osso bucco wasn’t Ellen’s or Dasha’s but it was damn good, or maybe I was just hungry.”
Ellen, “No, it was quite good, all of it, they didn’t dry out Amaya’s chicken breast, which happens too often, the prosciutto helped with that. My bite of Sarah’s burger was tasty, nice crunch of pepper bacon. I’d come again.”
Amaya, “And I need to get Chloe into bed, we have another grind tomorrow. Oh, we are having room service breakfast at seven, Amelia and Marina will be there. You are, of course, included. It is going to be standard, scrambled, cottage cheese, bacon and ham, I did request waffles, I figured carbs at breakfast would be okay. Another room service lunch at one, all protein, I did not think to specify.”
Ellen, “I’ll check in the morning. It was fish today, I’m guessing beef or chicken and a different veg selection.”
“Thank you. Then, if we are done, a brisk walk to the hotel. Who is bunking with us tonight?”
“Mani, she’ll take the sofa sleeper, or just the sofa, you and Chloe need to crash, so do we.”
At the hotel, Ellen and Mani go to Amaya’s suite first, check things out, no sign of any visitor, the balcony door is locked, nobody under the bed, in a closet or hiding in the shower.
Sarah checked their suite, empty as well, Ellen shows up.
Sarah, “Everyone tucked in?”
“Yes, won’t be a half hour before they’re all asleep, me too. I must have walked ten miles today.”
“Heard that, let’s strip and climb in, you can wrap me up while I zone out and fade to black.”
Which is almost what happens. Ellen’s luscious legs against Sarah’s proves too much temptation. Sarah spends enough time enjoying elegant thighs wrapped around her head to make Ellen tingle and vibe, then shudder in climax. Ellen falls blissfully away, Sarah only needs a few minutes of self stim to go off on her own. Then she’s curled into Ellen and gone until the sun comes up.

Sixty Four

The second work day comes and goes without incident. They decide burgers are for dinner and Umami Burger is the place to get them. It’s nice and casual, and the burgers are unique. They settle on three, cut in half to share. 
K-BBQ Burger, gochujang glaze (a pungent fermented Korean condiment made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans) and caramelized kimchi, sesame aioli, Korean ketchup, scallion-cilantro salad.
Hatch Burger, roasted hatch chilies, house Cali cheese, roasted garlic aioli.
Umami Burger, parmesan frico (a wafer of shredded cheese and potatoes, heated until crisp) shiitake mushroom, roasted tomato, caramelized onions, Umami ketchup.
Sides of maple bacon fries and tempura onion rings, crispy cabernet to accompany.
Chloe, “That was heavenly. Good idea to only order three and split. A whole burger would be too much.”
Mani, “Do you finish tomorrow? Not that I’m in any hurry to go home.”
Amaya, “I think so, we will chew up most of the day. Odds and ends we can clean up on the phone. I will tell the hotel we check out day after. I thought about asking Amelia and Marina to dinner, but they will have been with us three full days, two for breakfast and three for lunch. I suspect they will just want to go home but feel obliged to accept.”
Ellen’s phone dings, “Hi Daria, what’s up?”
She listens, it’s a one way conversation, then, “Okay, I’ll check when we get to the hotel, just finished dinner. Yes, we’re fine, no stalker. Kisses to everyone, bye honey.”
Chloe, “Daria have something on the guy, what was his name?”
“John Plunkett, lives in El Monte. She has detail in an email, we can read it at the hotel, I don’t want to be distracted staring at my phone.”
In Amaya’s suite, Ellen reads detail off an IPad, “Age fifty two, well, well, used to be a paparazzi. At least we know where he learned to be obnoxious. Turned stalker three years ago, busted in front of Simone Sanders home after repeated break in attempts.”
Sarah, “Who’s Simone Sanders?”
Amaya, “She did a TV series about a hooker mom, PTA by day, escort by night. Writers did a great job, it wasn’t smarmy or sentimental, it was part thriller with a sense of humor. Her daughter was aware of her mom’s career, they talked about it. Daughter was twelve, smart and savvy. She even knew who’s dad was hiring out her mom while pretending to be church going family guys. You can imagine the complexities, both to create tension and to be funny. I wish I’d thought of it myself.”
Sarah, “Oh, yeah, I recall, it was good, what happened to it?”
“Sanders wanted to move on, she did the series for, I think, two or three years. TV can be a good source of steady income, but it’s a grind doing the same bit over and over. She did a couple of so-so movies, married some gazillionaire and had kids. She does a few guest appearances on this or that TV series.”
Ellen, “After Sanders got a restraining order, he was spotted inside the hundred yard boundary. Her security put him in the hospital, broken ribs and a wired jaw. He moved on to a new talent, a kid really, like Chloe Moretz when she was thirteen. Young actor with a breakout part like Emma Watson in the Potter thing, or Moretz in Kick Ass. This time he reverted to paparazzi as a cover for stalking. Another restraining order, another violation, he went to jail for six months, got out six months ago. Showed up at Shutters looking for Chloe, skipped the paparazzi pretense.”
Amaya, “Daria would have found more than that. How’s he support himself?”
“Not done yet. He’s got a million or so in a brokerage account. It used to be three million, an inheritance that got chewed up in legal fees mostly, but he has a decent home in El Monte. His car is five years old, a middle of the road Lexus. His computer is full of details about his former targets and now Chloe, all stuff anyone could find on the net, he just downloads and stores it. He has hundreds of Chloe’s photos, TV appearances and interviews. Daria copied everything and deleted all his stuff, the old and the new.”
Amaya, “He could have stuck it in the cloud, or a separate file.”
“She thinks not, his stuff isn’t that sophisticated, and there’s no evidence of him uploading files.”
Chloe, “He’s going to freak when he figures out everything is gone.”
Ellen, “She had Society people break in and install hidden video cams in his place. Whatever he does or says is being recorded, she will forward any activity tomorrow.”
Mani, “The Society is slick.”
Sarah, “Well Janah and Daphne run it, did you think it would be incompetent?”
“You know what I mean Slutsky Sarah.”
“I am what I am, you don’t seem to mind doing the, um, things you do to me.”
“I’m the bitch, you’re the slut, we have our parts to play.”
Ellen, “You are both disgusting. Tonight, I’m here with Amaya and Chloe. You two can get to our room and do whatever nastiness filthy girls do.”
Sarah, “A challenge, I like that.”
Mani backhands her across the jaw, “Shut up cunt.”
Ellen turns to Amaya and Chloe, “The children are gearing up for playtime,” then to Mani, “you guys go finish up whatever you’re starting in your room, good night.”
Sarah and Mani stand, as Sarah walks away, Mani kicks her, she smashes into the door. She turns, her expression is pure excitement, she takes Mani’s hand, licks the palm, puts it between her legs. Mani squeezes, Sarah gasps.
Ellen, “Go, and we work tomorrow, no visible damage, got it?”
Mani, “She will be unmarked, I have other humiliations in mind.”
They leave, Amaya says, “We get up to some bizarre activities, not S&M though.”
Chloe laughs, “Dearest, what do you think our martial artists are doing when they beat the crap out of each other? Or Daria and Dasha throwing Daphne, Nikko and Zi around like stuffed toys?”
Amaya, “I thought it was training.”
“It is, but it’s also erotic, violence has a certain sensuality, you have written about it in your books.”
“So I have. I am content to leave the erotic violence to others. I am erotic enough just being present, any more and people would start to die from excessive stimulation.”
Ellen, “Speaking of which, can I provide any stimulation to either, preferably both, of you?”
“If you are capable of moving after Chloe and I are done with you, you may have whatever you like.”
Ellen, “Let’s get it on, what do you want me to do?”
“Disrobe, after that, just stand there and try to keep from losing your mind.”
Efficiency precludes foreplay, Amaya works up one perfect leg, Chloe the other, then Chloe tongues the soft spot between Ellen’s legs, Amaya does the soft spot between the cheeks of her tush. Ellen’s subsequent orgasm likely showed up the earthquake monitors. She melts to the floor.
“Damn, I’m still vibing, Give me a minute and I’ll get busy, I need to breathe first.”
She goes to the bedroom, when she returns she’s carrying a strap-on. Chloe is on the couch, legs spread, Amaya’s on her knees making her gasp. Ellen sees her opportunity, straps up, layer of lube and she’s, got the toy in one of Amaya’s favorite positions, up her butt. The shaft vibrates, tingling both Amaya and Ellen. In an hour, everyone has multigasmed, Ellen’s been treated to a double tongue, everyone has been on the receiving end of other vibratory devices.
Three girls spread on the couch, Ellen says, “I am perfectly fucked, thank you both.”
Chloe giggles, “I didn’t know I could take one in front and one behind at the same time. I may make that a specialty.”
Amaya, “Chloe only gets analed once in a while, I, on the other hand, have been butt fucked by everyone. Zi is particularly active, she does Janah and I regularly.”
Ellen, “Janah likes anal? Good to know, I’m gonna get some of that next time we’re together.”
Chloe, “She’ll follow you around like a puppy, and do anything you want.”
Girls refresh and collapse into bed, tonight Chloe is surrounded by two succulent sirens, Ellen and Amaya take turns kissing her freckles. Then sleep.

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