Eighty Nine

Opening night, parents are here, the extended family takes up almost two rows in the theater. Most films don’t go theatrical anymore, instead direct to a streaming service. It is expensive to go to a theater, people don’t want the time and expense theater for ordinary movies. Consequently, just being released via the traditional channel, a movie theater, is a sign that there is something special. Critical reviews have some influence, and as was always the case, a film can get great reviews and little box office, or mediocre reviews and become a crowd favorite.
Amaya decided we would just go, not announce in advance that the children in our group were both the inspiration and the voices of the characters. While most of the family filed into the theater with the rest of the audience, Chloe manages to slip in unrecognized, Dasha and I stay outside with Amaya while she’s interviewed.
“Amaya, critical reviews were off the charts, how are you feeling about audience reception?”
“I shall let the audience speak for itself after the showing.”
“There is some mystery about who voiced the characters, the listings are not names the film industry is familiar with, not for the main characters, the kids. Supporting cast reads like a cast of A-listers.”
“My friends were kind enough to read the extra parts, I truly appreciate their involvement.”
“Matt Damon said there was a line at the door to read, even the minor parts, everyone who is anyone wanted to be on the credits.”
“Matt is a long time friend and colleague. He is a gem, a consummate professional. I have to run or I shall miss the opening.”
She dazzles a smile, one intrepid reporter asks, “Amaya, you never age, what’s your secret?”
“Moisturizer and vodka.”
Her non answer gets a laugh, we go in to see the film, there hasn’t actually been film for thirty years, everything is digital, but ‘film’ has gravitas a movie is something you watch on Netflix
The family intentionally avoided seeing any rushes, or the completed movie, in advance. We want to see it like the audience. I am astounded. It might be virtual, or animation, but you would never believe it is anything but real. Not only the children, but the ancillary characters who had speaking roles as inhabitants of other planets. Zycyryn were portrayed as we saw them in our experiences at home, sparkles of light, twinkling by the thousands.
They surround the girls who are spirited off though a time tunnel and almost instantly pop out in a new, unheard of, even unimagined world. It happens just like the kids say it does. Some worlds were incredibly beautiful, peaceful and serene, others quite ordinary, they could have been more or less modern versions of Earth, with different vegetation and animals.
Still others were just as incredibly violent, from the insect-like creatures, to ones who breathe sulfur, to worlds so tiny they could fit on your thumbnail. In each, the children are observers, as they are in their real, unreal and magical lives. How the animators created the colors is beyond my technical expertise. 
As the children travel through our universe and other universes, they talk about what they are seeing. There is wonder, surprise, sadness, never anger, anger implies a judgment, the children don’t judge what they see, it just is. Their talk offers the audience an explanation, this world is this way because the universes are such that all possibilities, which are infinite, will be played out. From the destruction of our universe while others are created and destroyed. How for every bit of matter or energy, there is a corresponding opposite, and that it is all happening chaotically, which creates both infinite possibility and, surprisingly, stability. Without perpetual expansion, contraction then destruction, and subsequent reemergence, the whole thing would collapse in on itself, or perpetually expand into nothingness.
Essentially, the film is the cosmic explanation of everything, total energy is not a constant, it fluctuates in our universe and in all others, nothing is a constant, Fluctuation is keeping it all functioning. Is that weird or what?
The film closes with Uma’s character quoting Alice from Alice in Wonderland, “If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what it is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”
Her avatar smiles into the camera, then her face slowly disappears until, like the Cheshire Cat, there’s just the smile. 
My mom is crying, she’s always sentimental with the children, then there is deafening applause, bravos and shrieking whistles. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a standing ovation in a movie theater, until this evening. Dang.
The house lights go up, Amaya and the children are on a stage set up just beneath the screen. The children in the film have Greek Goddess names, Amaya introduces each by their name in the film.
“It is my pleasure to introduce the girls who voiced the children’s parts, from my left,” the girls are standing from oldest to youngest, “Artemis,” each girl bows slightly as they are introduced, “Diana, Hecate, Nicnevin, Isis, Oshun, Sibilla and Circe.”
The children wave to the extended applause of the audience, then, in unison, the bow again. Naturally, devices are up in the air taking video and photos. 
Then, a miracle, almost, house lights dim, the Zycyryn make an appearance, the children are surrounded by the thousands of tiny lights, just like their characters were in the film. They swirl slowly, then the circle picks up speed until there’s a wall of white light between the children and the stage. After a minute of awe, they power up and over the girls then twinkle out as if nothing had happened.
Dead silence in the theater, then shrieks and yelps of excitement and more applause. I assume they think they saw a neat light show as a finale, one that corresponded with what happed to the characters onscreen. We won’t disabuse them of that notion.
We let it continue for a few minutes, the children wave and smile. Amaya hustles them to the side exit, followed by the family. Our cars are there, we pile in and beat a hasty retreat.
Amaya is on the fence as to whether the children should be interviewed. Although they did practice handling questions, it was decided not to have Q&A time tonight.
At home, there’s a buffet if finger food Ellen and I prepared earlier and the Bs arranged while we drove from the theater. Champagne pops, cocktails are prepared.
Amaya, “Appears to have gone over well,” she’s on a tablet looking at the page we created for the film, “thousands of comments already, New York played three hours earlier.”
I’m on Chloe’s fan page, “Geez, Chloe’s page is loaded with congratulations for her and the children. Everyone wants to know who read the kids’ parts. International release worked out, there’s tons of stuff from Japan.”
James, “I felt as if I got a remarkable, and understandable, explanation of the universe, and why there are other universes. May take a while to get my head around the concept that each unit of energy has a corresponding unit of opposite energy. Seems like they would cancel each other out.”
“I plan to handle it by not thinking about it.”
Grace B, “Good idea, your mind is twisted enough already.”
Lacy, “A science fiction, fact, film that made me cry at the sheer beauty, it was breathtaking.”
Amaya, “Thank you, although the credit belongs to the children and Oceane, she drew the scenes for the animators to turn digital.”
Taylor, “Wait…you telling us that Oceane drew everything?”
“Not the children, the landscapes and most of the creatures, it was a time consuming process, Oceane works at her own pace. The children described, Oceane drew what they described, the animators took those drawings and replicated them. They said it looked like graphics, too precise for pencils. I explained that she does only color pencil drawings and oil paintings, she has no idea of computer graphics.”
Oceane smiles, she feeds a shrimp to Cassie and kisses her cheek.
Taylor, “The music was…understated.”
Amaya, “On purpose, we had a story to tell, and while music can affect emotion, it can also be a distraction. Documentaries about nature, or the stars, are particularly bad about big drama music. If they show a waterfall, it will be to crescendos and drum rolls. As far back as Ultra Violet, I had to rein in the music, build-ups to action scenes, the parts where Chloe was searching for someone in a dark alley or a creepy building, they always want to add suspense music. I allowed a bit, but it had to come and go quickly.”
“Don’t audiences expect it, the suspense music and all?”
“When I got rid of most of it, I never heard a single complaint, either from critical reviews or any audience comments. Nobody on Chloe’s fan page ever asked where the creepy music was. It was not there, they did not miss it. It is like my view of car chases, motorcycle chases, trucks…or just on foot, all of it has to be minimal or nonexistent. And it has to be believable, no cars sailing off elevated parking lots down six floors and drive away.”


Accolades spill over to the next day. Video of the girls on stage surrounded by thousands of twinkling lights, then enveloped in a wall of light ultimately bursting into a cyclone of spinning sparkles that simply disappeared. They showed up on the front page of multiple online newspapers and television shows. 
We, of course, could do nothing but let them believe it was a rich technical feat, which it was, but not the kind they meant. One reporter went to the theater to ask how the light show was designed, the theater owner said there was no equipment installed, that he was as surprised by the display as everyone else.
The reporter concluded that theater management was bound to secrecy, like magician’s performances or the lighting spectaculars at concert events, and let it go at that.
Amaya was overwhelmed with requests for appearances, naturally with the children. She demurred, citing the need for the children’s privacy. It turned out to be a good move to have the children’s features altered, Amaya and I made them up for the theater appearance, not makeup like makeup, more like disguise light. Different hairstyles, some with altered color, smaller girls had platforms under the nearly floor length identical dresses they wore, taller ones wore flats. Names on the credits were the ones they used in the film and the ones they were introduced as at the theater.
Given the box office receipts, there is no promotional reason to do interviews, the production grossed over a billion dollars in the first three days. It cost less than eighty million to make. Murakami Sylk Films does its own distribution, no ten percent to the distributor. Gross receipts are split fifty-fifty with the theaters, after production costs, we netted over four hundred million in the first three days. We’ll take it out of theaters after a month, then go to streaming. We have no idea what revenue will be from ancillary sales, clothing, toys, collectibles. I expect a lot of kids will do Halloween in the costumes the girls wore, and the costumes of the beings from other planets. Chloe Couture will handle sales from a linked website. All the costumes will be custom fitted, just like her clothing line.
The way Chloe Couture works is simple, there are no stores. Customers take their own physical measurements and can upload a photo of themselves. Or, if they wish, our cam will take their measurements, but they have to be stripped down to bras and panties to get accurate numbers. Some women don’t mind, others prefer not to. The site doesn’t keep any photos, and it says so, guaranteed, but some women are cautious, I can’t blame them. Then they ‘try on’ various items virtually. If they like it, they place an order and the item is produced and shipped. It is so automated it takes only a couple of days from order to shipping.
“When will costumes be available?”
Amaya, “Already in the system, I want to avoid knock offs, which will happen, but they won’t be custom fitted and likely shoddy. Customers are warned that authentic costumes are only available on the site. If they see things in stores or other websites, they are fake and we are not responsible for the quality. People will try everything, like returning fakes to us for a refund, or reselling on Amazon or one of the auction sites. Our stuff has micro-chips, no chip, it is not ours, no matter how good the knock off is. Major designers do the same thing. We do not hope to get all the sales, our items will be exclusive to the purchaser and relatively expensive.” 
“You’ve covered the bases it seems.”
“I always do.”
Britt comes along, “Wow mom, I’m still buzzed about the movie, the site has gone nuts on top of all the comments on Chloe’s fan page. Everybody wants to see the children.”
“When was the last time we did stuff because other people wanted it?”
She grins, “Never, at least as far as my tenure around here.”
“Chloe does that once in a while, she has a hard time turning down fans and interviews. Which is why Amaya handles those things, Chloe would be gone half the time.”
“Well, Chloe is ultra-nice.”
“Yes, and we wouldn’t want her any other way, but people would take advantage.”
Britt purses her lips sideways, “Not with Amaya around. I’m going to run the hills with Sloane and Sarah, I think Cassie is coming, Sloane told her to get dressed for a run.”
I see Oceane’s naked loveliness move past the patio door, going swimming. Sloane, Sarah come down the stairs, Cassie is behind them all suited up in her running togs.
Sloane, “Bye mom, we’ll be an hour, then a swim, then what’s for lunch?”
“Burgers by the pool.”
Earns me a kiss, they head out the door jogging off, I see a mahogany lump of fur following Cassie, Morshchiny has decided to run along with them. She’s good for maybe twenty minutes, then she’ll be back sitting on the steps halfway into the pool. Mastiffs aren’t wolfhounds.
A naked child swarm buzzes down the steps, Tasia, “Going swimming Tetya Dafna, what is lunch?”
Always a popular question, “Burgers,” always a popular answer.
A collective, “Yay.”
I’d post the menus on our family board, but then I’d lose the fun of collective yays and yummies. Guess I best get to patty making.
I open the refrigerator and discover one of the other chefs has beat me to it, probably Dasha. After breakfast, I saw Ellen go off with Janah, who had that look in her eye. Sex around here isn’t limited to evenings, or afternoons, it isn’t limited at all.
Ellen comes in, kisses me, “Janah spun me sideways girl, I’m still vibing.”
“I’m familiar, you gave her the toy?”
“She may be awhile collecting herself, when I left she was mumbling something about perverted lesbians.”
“The best kind.”
Ellen and I are alone, so we take a short make out break, legs entwined, I feel her softness against my thigh, now I tingle.
“God you’re hot. Put me on your list please, but make me wait a couple of days, I want the burn of anticipation.”
Ellen, “You got it honey, I’m gonna make you qi tongue me until I explode.”
“Count on it.”
Dasha comes in, “Dahfoney, Ellen haf already enough sexy time wiz Janah, now ees for making dinner planning.”
“I was merely booking an appointment a couple of days from now.”
Dasha ignores me, “We haf osso bucco ingredient, you will get veal shanks een oven for slow cooking. Ellen and I will chop vegetable, we will haf gharlic mashed also.”
“On it. You making gravy?”
Ellen, “I know just the right wine too, a California Cabernet, 2019, rich blackberry notes that can handle osso bucco and spicy vegetables.”
Emma B, “Six bottles of Clos?”
“Are the parents coming?”
“No, they were here last night, I think Sis said they are going to Doc’s, that seafood place up the coast.”
“Six is good, find a Merlot for the children, the cab is too heavy for them.”
Emma B, “Of course.”
I have the shanks cooking, revert to lunch prep, burgers out, let’s see…pickles, condiments, slice onion, cheese slices, tomato, chips. We don’t use lettuce, it’s bland and adds nothing to the burger in my not so humble opinion. Actually, we don’t salad much, sometimes Italian, occasionally romaine with bleu cheese.
With so many burgers to grill, and Ellen tied up on dinner, I recruit Britt to help.
“A couple of minutes after the flip, a small squish, if there a hint of pink in the juices, time to take them off. Red means they’re rare and only Nikko likes it that rare. I’ll take one off early for the Japanese vampire.”
Morshchiny lumbers over from the pool, shakes herself, flipping water from her thick coat. Smell of burgers has caught her attention, she sits and looks up a me hopefully.
“I have one for you, don’t tell Kota B, she keeps you on a strict diet.”
The mastiff looks unimpressed, lays down and stretches out.
Britt stoops and scratches behind her ears, “She gets bigger by the minute.”
She starts to get up, Morshchiny’s big paw thumps her hand back on her head.
Britt giggles, “I guess I’m not done scratching yet.”
I’m kind of amazed, the dog is really smart, she has a way of letting us know what she wants, maybe I’m just anthropomorphizing. 
Kota B, “Out of the pool and rinse off girls, lunch is almost ready.”
They line up to shower, Kota B hands out big towels to wrap up in, Morshchiny senses the children in motion, she stands and trots over to them. Uma sits in front of her and squeezes the wrinkly face.
“She’s going to be bigger than me.”
The not so puppy puts her front paws on Uma’s shoulders, sniffs all around her head, then heads for her water bowl for a long drink.
I ask Uma, “What that about, sniffing your head?”
“She does that to all of us, usually when we are in bed, sniffs each of us. She sniffs Kota B too, then cocks her head back and forth like she’s trying to figure out her scent. Kota B says it’s because she doesn’t have phero-somethings.”
“That it, pheromones.”
Girls come from inside, we have burgers by the pool, Grace B passes a bowl of chips, then sodas or iced tea. Oceane distracts the rest of us, she makes rinsing off under the outdoor shower a sensual dance. Drying herself may be an illegal act in some states. I wonder if she knows, like does it on purpose.
She walks over, Amaya says, “Sit next to me, I am in need of inspiration.”
Oceane smiles enigmatically. 

Ninety One

A week zips by, where does the time go? It’s summer and both Malibu and Arizona are getting toasty. Time to head to Canada.
I call Sis, they just returned from our home in the Canadian Rockies and bounced over to Vancouver, “We’re heading up tomorrow, how was your trip?”
“Splendid, we’ll be here for a week or so, lovely city, I could convert to Canadianism.”
“I understand Vancouver to be more international.”
“Yes, it is, and we’re going on a culinary tour, every ethnic cuisine in the world is here someplace. Lacy and Taylor were buried in restaurant recommendations the last few days, James, Kara and I are looking forward to their selections, tonight is Chinese.”
“You coming home afterwards, or flying off someplace else?”
“James and Kara are returning to Malibu, the three lezzies are going to St. Martins for seven days. I figure I’ll need to walk the beach and swim the ocean after our week of gourmet indulgence. In St. Martins, we can seafood every day, binge on lobster.”
“When we get back, we’ll have dinner at our place and swap stories, enjoy, kiss the girls and dad for me.”
We disconnect. If you’ve followed our story, you know mom and her pals have become travel junkies, I can’t recall how many times they’ve been to Greece. If it’s a civilized country, they’ve been there. None of them want to go on safari, fight off mosquitoes in South America or stumble around the Himalayas. They like five star and first class.
As far as gourmet food and calories, mom is a fifth degree black belt and practices religiously. If a taekwondo class is around, she shows up, Masters recognize Masters, she’s always welcome. Lacy and Taylor are dance and yoga girls. Lacy is tiny, like five two, Taylor is a former fashion model, and hasn’t aged since she was thirty, she could still walk runways. 
Janah, “Talked to Sis?”
“Yep, they’re in Vancouver on a dining tour, then going to St. Martin’s in a week. Your parents are returning here.”
“Dad is the envy of every man they come across, traveling with four hot women. He says in restaurants he’s treated like royalty. I suppose they figure a man having dinner with four babes must be something special.”
“Dad is special, he took me on as a daughter, I got a free dad when I met you, and another mom in Kara. Having a super smart dad and three moms worked our really well. Only wish C-mom could have been around, she would be so into the massive family we’ve accumulated.”
“I miss her too, maybe we should get Eloise to make a C-mom bot, no, never mind, Susan might be weirded out.”
“I don’t know about that. She still talks to Chris, in her head. What if we have her participate? She knows C-mom inside out, and we have videos of her taekwondo lessons, Amaya can duplicate the voice. Tell you what, when we’re all back together, I’ll get her alone and ask about it. I’ll just tell her what happened, we were reminiscing and the idea of the bot popped up. Then it’s her decision.”
“Personally, I’d love to have a Chris B, maybe we won’t use B, we can call it C-mom, or Susan can decide.”
“What about a Ms. Alva bot?”
“That’s up to you and Sis, I didn’t know Ms. Alva, she passed before I met you in person, we were just connecting mentally then.”
“I’ll think it over, I have so many phrases and quirks in my head. And the children would love her.”
“Let’s let it marinate for a month, we’re going to Canada anyway, when we come back to Malibu, it will be clear.”
So we drop it, but not drop it, the thing will sit in our heads. I’ll also talk it over with Nikko, she’s got laser focus, if the idea has holes, she’ll zero in on them.
Eloise pops on the screen, “Which bots do we take to Canada? Kota B obviously, but Grace B or Emma B?”
“Emma B, we’ll give Grace B a little vacation.”
“I’m going to pack up Emma B, do you want Kota B to ride in the cabin?”
“Yes, that plane will have her, the children, Morshchiny and the Mamas. We’ll split up the rest of us at the airport.”
She clicks off. 
Dasha appears, “What do we need to take Dahfoney?”
“Our clothes and cosmetics are there already. You have arranged the food?”
“Ees deliver already, Jan and the others took it to the house when they peek up parents.”
“Then just ourselves, phones, we have computers all over the house. Since the parents just left, everything must be in working order.”
“Daria said there are no malfunction reports, she viewed all the rooms on the cameras as well.”
“Great, easy peasy then, just show up.”
“We haf an hour before tea, we will go to your room and you will make me feel gud Dahfoney.”
Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
I think to check into Janah’s head in case she’ in our room, she’s not, I recognize Britt’s room. Then I see Britt’s lovely green eyes looking up at Janah from between her legs. Janah’s eyes close and I hear a soft moan, I check out. 
Dasha, “Ees Janah een room?”
“No, she’s visiting Britt in hers.”
As we walk to the bedroom I share with Janah, she says, “Breet ees sexy girl, she likes sister and Dasha for playing.”
“I like sister and Dasha for playing, so does everyone else.”
“Da, do you want me to get sister?”
“I think I’d like you to myself for the hour.”
Dasha isn’t a smiler, I detect a slight grin. Although you can’t tell one twin from another, particularly nude, she knows I have a thing for my Leetle Anjul. I start with kisses, work her entire body nice and slow, flip her over to open with a tush tingle while I use a long finger to tingle the softness. She’s nice and lubed, I swipe her butt with the lotion and return to my task. After she vibes, she rolls to her back and I start in. Qi up my tongue until she’s barely able to breathe and take her over the top.
I shift from between her legs and lay next to her. She’s staring at the ceiling biting her lower lip. I run my hand over her hard tummy, lean down to kiss it.
“You will fuck me now Dahfoney.”
Strapped up, I do just that, the toy vibrates against me while I work her slowly, then speed up as she peaks, we go off together.
“You haf always best fucking Dahfoney.”
“Service is my middle name.”
We refresh, slip on t-shirts, Janah comes in rather glassy eyed.
“Earth to Janah, come in Slutsky.”
Janah, “Britt is so enthusiastic, I shorted a few neurons. I got my revenge, when I left she was still babbling.”
Dasha kisses her, “Nasty perve, Breet ees thirteen.”
Janah, “And that stops you and Daria when she shows up in your room?”
Dasha heads to the door, “Sister haf sexy time together, we are also nasty perverted peersons.”
I laugh. Britt is thirteen because that’s when she decided to stop aging. She chose thirteen because she was just coming into puberty and didn’t want the accompanying hips and breasts. She likes to tease Amaya, that she will always be younger than her. Amaya stopped at sixteen.
“Time to tea, see you in a bit J.”
Dasha and I get to the kitchen, Ellen and Chloe are arranging tea.
Ellen, “I wondered, thought the intimacies might have run log.”
“And where were you?”
She glances at Chloe.
Chloe, “I seduced her when she seduced me with those legs.”
“Where was Amaya?”
“At her desk, she stopped long enough to watch the show.”
“She didn’t participate?”
Chloe giggles, “She used a toy. While I was enjoying Ellen, she enjoyed watching Amaya.”
Ellen, “Watching Amaya self stimulate is a whole other dream come true. When Chloe clit licked me, I exploded, screeched like a ten year old on a roller coaster. We reversed roles and I got a nice screech out of our movie star. It worked out well for everyone, Amaya went off a second time.”
Nikko comes in, Lauren is behind her, “Enough sex talk, tea time.”
Lauren, “Funny, I just got an earful of seriously nasty Japanese, she kisses Nikko’s smooth shoulder.”
“My daughters are lost.”
Britt comes in, kisses Lauren, “Hey gorgeous.”

Ninety Two

Canada, it’s stunning here, the lake seems to get deeper blue every trip.
Francois, “Welcome, we have had the good fortune of a run of family, your parents had a great time, Susan and Lacy may have cleaned out the lake of fish.”
Jan, “We followed the reviews of the children’s movie, it was wonderfully received, Too bad there’s no theater within miles of here, we will have to wait until it comes to some streaming service.”
Amaya, “No you will not, I sent the file before we left this morning.”
“Wow, I know what I’m doing tonight, thank you.”
Don, “And who is this ball of fur?”
Uma, “Morshchiny, she’s still a baby.”
“A big baby, a mastiff, wow. How big will she get?”
“Janah says a hundred and thirty pounds, she’s only fifty now.”
Jan laughs, “A fifty pound puppy, good gracious.”
“Kota B keeps her on a strict diet, they need a lot of protein.”
Kota B, “Strict until Daphne slips her a burger from the grill, I saw you sneaky.”
“She needs a lot of protein.”
Dasha, “Thanking you for taking care of the house, do we haf things to take over?”
Francois, “We brought it when we collected the parents, only this chest of fresh Walleye, caught this morning.”
Chloe, “Yummy, I can smell them browning on the grill now.”
“Where are Charles and Su Lin?”
“Painting a room in our quarters, here’s Vicky.”
“Welcome, geez, I forget how large the family has gotten, the children are so adorable, and will someone introduce me to the bundle of wrinkles?”
Uma, “It’s okay Morshchiny,”
The mastiff has placed herself in front of the children, staring silently. She doesn’t know our friends, Shaolin monks who run the guesthouse and serve as fishing guides.
Uma walks over to Jan and the others, “Come and meet them Morshchiny, they are our friends,” she touches each of the monks on the arm, signifying they are not a danger to the children.
Morshchiny ambles over, sniffs each of them in turn, accepts pats on her sizable head.
Uma, “Now she knows you and will never forget, she should meet Charles and Su Lin though.”
Francois, “Let’s walk up the road and say hello,” just then they come into sight.
Morshchiny moves in front of Uma, stands watching the approaching monks.
Uma stokes her head, “They are friends too.”
Charles, “What a beautiful mastiff, my parents had one, massive animal, ate them out of house and home, but he was insanely protective. She’s not going to eat us is she?”
Uma walks over, Morshchiny follows and repeats her ritual.
“Now she knows you as friends too. You are all safe,” she returns to the other children, Morshchiny right behind.
Su Lin, “I see the children are sufficiently protected, good to see everyone, Jan and I are dying to see Amaya’s film.”
Jan, “She sent us a video file this morning, we can watch tonight and be amazed.”
Su Lin grins, “Great, if I have to roll paint on another wall, I may lose my mind.”
Charles, “It wasn’t that bad, and the bedroom looks great. We have a full season though, just one room for now, testing the color. We’ll do the rest over the winter.”
Dasha, “Dahfoney, ees time for going to house, monks are busy, we haf dinner preparation also.”
“The head chef has issued my instructions, thank you again for taking care of the parents and restocking.”
Francois, “Never a problem, mon cher, the boats are fully charged, the houseboat is docked on your side. Daphne, if you will pilot yours, Don and I will take the other two.”
We have a thirty four foot cruiser, cabins and full kitchen, good for tooling around the lake, fishing or just a ride out to sun. Our boats are electric now, powered by the sun and we can plug them in when they aren’t in use. 
The houseboat is better for fishing, Chloe and Zi love to ride around on a fish spotting tour, then snagging dinner.
Amaya loves to ride around sunning nude up top, she wouldn’t bait a hook if her life depended on it.
We zip over, so nice to have near silent engines, only the sound of water as we glide along. I park our boat in the boathouse, the crowd unloads and makes their way to the house. Francois and Don wave and return to the guesthouse. Ellen and I secure the cruiser, we join the others.
Ellen opens the chest of fish, “Gee, they even filleted the things, how sweet. All we gotta do is season and toss them on the grill.”
Sloane comes down with Sarah and Cassie, “Going for a run in the woods mom, maybe my ancestors will show up.”
She means a wolf or two. Sloane was gifted with a transmission from a wolf years ago. She’s long dead, but the descendants all know of the wolf-girl. Sloane’s top speed is forty miles an hour and she can maintain that for a mile. The fastest human clocks at twenty five, and that’s for a hundred meters. Sarah was a three and five thousand meter runner in high school, setting state records, and was offered a scholarship to Tulane. That is, until the coach insisted she train like all the other runners. Sarah didn’t believe in running long distances for warm-up, or particularly in warm-ups at all. The coach wanted to generate a sense of team, which is fine, but not Sarah’s style. Sarah opted out and the university lost the fastest middle distance runner not only for the school, but all the schools they competed against.
Sarah decided college wasn’t her thing and walked away. That was when she moved in with Katya and company in New Orleans, subsequently the five of them moved in with us. 
When we gave them our protein markers and juiced up hormones, they were between twenty and twenty three. Fifteen years later, they’re still between twenty and twenty three. Janah, Nikko, Zi and I are the elders at twenty five, excepting the children, everyone else is a teenager in biological years. We don’t know why the children don’t age, we didn’t inject them with anything, they just don’t.
The shoal of children swims through the living room and out the front door, Morshchiny right in the middle, Kota B must still be in the dorm arranging their things.
Oceane floats in, she’s in a wetsuit, which means she’s going swimming.
“Somebody on the dock while Oceane swims please.”
Nikko, “I’ll go, catch a little sun.”
Mani, “Me too.”
They park on the dock while Oceane swims. She’s careful, the lake deepens quickly, you can walk out maybe three to ten feet from shore then it drops off into what was a canyon or a glacier a few million years ago. I park on the porch with Janah, Nikko and Mani are clothing free on the dock, the already pristine view is more pristine. 
Janah, “We’ve had a busy year.”
“We’ve had a busy life, I wouldn’t want to miss a minute, well, I could have skipped Ms. Alva and C-mom passing.”
“I’ve farmed out Society work, there was one target that sounded interesting, a rich guy who’s brother obviously killed his younger Asian wife. They got the local coroner to tag it a suicide. We we’re coming here, so I didn’t take it on for our crew.”
“What was it? I mean what happened?”
“The woman, Burmese I recall, wife of a wealthy American businessman, was found hanging off a balcony outside the house. She was bound hand and foot, had four instances of blunt force trauma to her skull. Which means she hung a rope around her neck, figured out how to tie her ankles together and then her hands, fasten the rope and jump over the balcony.”
“The local cops asleep, the DA?”
“Money, guy’s rich, white, and American, the wife is foreign. The brother, who claims to have found her, the husband wasn’t at home at the time, was living in a guesthouse on the property. The cops found an Asian bondage porn magazine in the bedroom of the guesthouse.”
“And it’s still a suicide?”
“Yep. Our team went to chat with the target, they’re going to find out the real story because there is no way it’s a suicide.”
“No, at the least it’s a sex game gone bad, like he strangled her and went too far. A hanging would mask the strangulation.”
“And if she was tied up as part of the game, untying her might leave unexplained marks on the body. In my scenario, he left her tied up, took her body to her bedroom in the main house, rigged the noose and tossed her over. That’s my guess anyway. Social Workers are going to find out. I told them to use drugs, not beat a confession out of him, video the interview. If he did it, we’re going to find out.”
“The rest of the work has been ordinary stuff then.”
“Yes, wife beaters, child abuse, although sexual abuse is either down or we aren’t catching the cases. We haven’t had a bad daddy thing all year.”
Oceane swims in, strips off the wetsuit and joins Nikko and Mani. 
“The view keeps improving.”
Janah, “Do tell, think I’ll horn in and get horny.”
She strips off her t-shirt and walks down to the dock. I may sit here forever.
I can hear the children in the woods, it sounds like a hide and seek, there’s the occasional shriek, Chloe comes along and sits next to me.
“The dock never had it so good,” she giggles, “except for all the other times girls sat out there sunning.”
Nikko and Mani get up and slip on their shirts, then join us on the porch.
Mani, “Now I’m all tingly, when Sarah gets back, I’m going to shower with her, see if she’s up for a bit of fun.”
Nikko, “When is Sarah not up for sex?”
“Never, she’s worse than Daphne, except Daphne doesn’t like to be slapped around.”
“I get slapped around quite enough sparring with Nikko and Zi. In bed, my preference is gentle.”
“I slap her around before we get in bed, although we’re mellowing, it doesn’t happen as often as it used to. I think Sloane calmed her down, Sloane would never hit her, even on request.”
“I wonder, does everyone share their sex lives as much as we do?”
“Girls talk about it when it’s just girls, when their boyfriends or husbands aren’t around.”
Nikko, “If men knew what their sig others said about them, there would be more breakups.”

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