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Countersplurge Part III

Chapter 7 opening binge

We were especially privileged to have seven Queens visit. The most usually assigned to Royal occasions away from the Palace are five, but more normally three. Tradition only permits odd numbers but the practical constraint is mobility. Thus events in the Palace see more Queens on show - the biggest turnout is thirteen for the Palace Mayfest contest (when of course the Queens have a personal interest in proceedings).

At 4.45pm they arrived outside the double doors of the compound, having processed from the Palace along the Strand in a "road train" of seven trailers hauled by a dressed up John Deere tractor. Their bulky helpers lifted them off one at a time and carried their silk trimmed palanquins into the courtyard. The Queens were not expected to move their great bulk themselves, it was all done by the helpers. When all seven were lined up facing the dais, first of all I noted they were completely naked, yet not obviously so because they were so swagged around with necklaces, jewelry and cowry shells. Second that, although they were not all equally fat, they were arranged so that they sat up and leant back on their vast mountains of ass as sort of backrests. Their backsides flowed up and out at the back, like they were sitting way down in 1950s coupe automobiles with bulbous flesh coloured tails. Their legs were splayed to accommodate great bellies set before them on the silk mattresses, and their tits fell to either side. The things that they moved were their eyes, constantly scanning surrounding faces, and their fat arms, forever reaching out to touch people in greeting as they settled. The last two Queens unloaded were the fattest and received the most applause but they could not see forward over the blubbery ballooning of their bellies and breasts. One of the small to middling sized ones, I noted, was Queen Philippa - my Floppy Filuppa, from the airport.

We waited then for the Prince Regent to arrive. I recognized a familiar pattern, the bigger the man the longer the wait. The poor Queens, stranded in their own fat, quickly grew uncomfortable in the afternoon heat and had to be cooled by bearers using long handled ostrich plumed feather fans. The breasts and ass flesh on one of the fattest pair glistened and ran with sweat; Queen Philippa splashed some kind of liquid over herself.

In the sticky heat, two hands intimately groped my backside and a thick vodka voice growled in my ear: " So I see my little American girlfriend she already grow herself a great fat Dolores ass"

"Thank you Yuri, you can go right back home after that insult, and you certainly can't come in without your Snoopy helmet!"

"But I bring!" he cried, pulling it out of his pocket, slapping it first on my head then his. Clearly he enjoyed the ceremony, we spotted him much later that night dancing with one of Jelia's poolside friends, his hands deep down the back of her dress.

I also spoke to Ilsa. I complimented her on her acid yellow dress, telling her it was the first time I had seen her wearing clothes.

At last we heard the motorcade sirens, then the stretch limo arrived. The Prince Regent was helped out, a great walnut whip of a man, draped in swags of dark purple blue cloth, his bald head tiny above bulging mounds of flesh. He was greeted by the Minister and Carlo, then slowly took his seat on the dais. The Minister spoke first about cultural development and the modern world: of Dolores culture and traditional cuisine and how the American influence of unhealthy fast food was seducing the young of Dolores. He was especially pleased that one of his own protocol staff had been taken into partnership in this new Jefferson Center to reverse the trend and demonstrate the best of Dolorean food culture.

After a short formal address of welcome by Carlo, the Prince then stood up. His spectacles in place, he launched into a long speech. Dolores and America, we stand together as equals, jointly building economic prosperity in the Pacific theater blah blah. The speeches were exactly what you would expect, and I knew that Arpul had drafted them all. But then he seemed to extemporize, looking around, he said he was disappointed not to find a "Fast Food Court", a modern American cultural development he had seen frequently on satellite TV. He also said he had heard that fat people were now the majority in the States, but why had they not sent one to run this Center (I got nudged by Hiccu about this). Lastly he returned to the script in hoping there would be a lot of interesting books on the culture of food that would give Dolores new inspiration in the unending task of building the nation." He then unveiled a plaque and declared the Center open.

Afterwards we lined up, shook his hand and ushered him to the buffet. A mad scramble followed and the buffet was wrecked,. It disappeared within minutes. Of course Arpul had anticipated this, and wave upon wave of reserves were summoned but they were also ruthlessly dispatched. Lastly the old standby arrived, endless flows of Shlum cartons were chugged down throats.

The Queens were hand fed the from the buffet by their helpers, though the larger ones had also brought their own regular fare and were sucking noisily from great bladders held aloft by their helpers. I had always wondered how they coped with going to the bathroom. This evening I couldn't help noticing large damp stains spreading across the silk palanquins.

I approached Queen Philippa with a peace offering of a special plate of spiced chicken breasts in sour cream. But she hissed "Don't try buying me, sugar. I know how you skinny fart-arsed Americans look down on all of us, laughing at us behind our fat backsides. Be warned! By the time my helpers finish blubbering you up, that Yankie cunt of yours will be nailed down to the floor so hard, you'll only see sky!"

Clearly the way to win Floppy Filluppa's heart wasn't through her stomach; no way was she to be bought off. I had to admire my adversary's spirit.

I was still pondering the fat Queen's warning, when Jelia's Ma and Pa came across and said how grateful they were for giving their only daughter a chance. Ma said she could tell her daughter was happy, she "had grown up" so much in her new job - she giggled coyly as she gestured an exaggerated hour glass on her own pear shaped full figure. We looked across at a radiant Jelia. Like bees round a honey pot, the big men competed in constantly kneading her upper arms and hips as the flash bulbs popped., She reveled in filling the frames of the press boys' pictures by pouting and striking out with exaggerated postures. I noticed the guys having to adjust swellings in their groins before they could move to take the next picture.

The Prince left early and at eight the dancing started with the Beachbum Bigboys Band. At the sound of the band striking up, The Queens, many of whom had nodded asleep over their feed, at once became animated. For the next hour the Queens commanded who should dance with whom, bickering between themselves and hooting with laughter at the results. Jelia was singled out, by Royal Decree, to dance with a hulk of a man, and I noticed Ma and Pa Jelia nudging each other in delight. At nine the Royals were carried off home to bed, some still whooping at their orchestration of the dancing games, others snoring insensibly among the remains of their feeding.

The party relaxed and let go after that, but I glowered jealously as the hulk fused himself into Jelia for dance after slow dance. Eventually they were just propped against a pillar, scarcely moving through the real slow numbers. The gross bastard was stranded for minutes afterwards by the giant hard he had worked up. Arpul danced with me and guessed what was pre-occupying me. He said the guy was a Royal favourite and that Jelia was especially privileged to be summoned by Royal Command. That left me feeling no better.

Amid the dying embers of the party, Jell-O, Arpul, Hiccu and I were sitting knackered, feeling our distended bellies, and surveying the debris. Jelia, alone at last, arrived swaying unsteadily, holding a flower out solemnly before her. Playfully she wobbled her backside cleavage into my nose. Sensing no reaction, she then sat heavily on my lap, draping her arms around my neck. God, she was heavy!

The others all sang out "Jealousy! Da da da da, jealousy!" in unison.

Jelia started back and stared into my face in disbelief then gathered me up so totally in her arms and front cleavage, I nearly smothered.

"Silly Silly Auntie Sam" she sobbed, seeing the tears welling in my eyes.

"Little girls always cry at their own party" said Jell-O, and declared it was time for bed.

Chapter 8 little Sis joins in

The outcome of the grand opening was that overnight, Jelia became a Dolores celebrity. Her pool friends constantly called round with more party photos of her. The Dolores Daily Digest (3D we call it) carried a full center double page spread of the event and Jelia featured in every one of the photo round up frames of big shots in attendance. The Tit Bits diary page of DOS "Dolores on Sunday" had "THAT DRESS" as a headline with front and back close up shots in colour of Jelia doing her best to fall out of it.

Jelia modeled the dress for the Ocean - Wide Women's Weekly and waggled it dangerously across Dolores TV screens. My design entered fashion parlance as the "Jelia double cleavage" and became an essential night-out frock for any healthy, well-packed and bouncy young girl.

It reflected well on the Center: she became identified with the image of us being the cultural hot spot of Dolores City. She was the person for other celebs to be photographed with - often by Arpul's Shluppa Fountain. Arpul also did well out of this and was quickly invited to negotiate more franchises around the island. We found our tennis afternoons became cult Dolores TV watching. You've guessed it, close-up back views of Jelia in her outrageous tennis dress got them drooling. She sold papers too with this dress, the sports pages got heavily scrutinized.

That bit was fine as far as I was concerned. She reacted with disingenuous delight at her notoriety, making me feel more than ever protective of her naked childlike innocence when we were stretched out together, alone on our verandah.

It was the continued interest of the hulk that bugged me, especially when Arpul confirmed what I already guessed that Roh, like Torpo, was one of the Palace Toyboys. He'd been hand reared as a fat old woman's personal dildo, till she'd eventually chugged so much down she'd turned into jell-O, drifting insensible out back in the water garden. So the Queens now thought they'd line Jelia up, to keep one of their pets happily occupied - to keep his pecker up. Well Fuck That!

Little sis was coming to stay and I drove down with Jell-O to meet her at Cape Butt airport. I saw her jaw drop as she spotted me. She stopped speechless outside the arrivals door and adjusted her shades and her composure.

"My God Sis, you've doubled your fucking body weight!"

"That is no way to greet your older sister", I said hugging her.

"No Sam, I'm serious! You're in the red for danger zone. Oh Christ, you're going to be dead meat."

"She's not as big as we are" said Jell-O.

"Piss off! Are you my sister?"

I'd never seen Jell-O at a loss for words. Looking unnaturally punctured, he caught my eye and winced as he took hold of her baggage trolley. We turned towards the Cherokee. Sis then scoped me from the rear and guffawed. Holy Shit! A Navy Goodyear Blimp. Hang on, I need to get my camera.

She did not let up till we were on the road, Jell-O and she up front, me in back.

Boy did she need fixing, that skinny shrew! Taking up a fair amount of back seat, I looked at the blonde back of her head and her smooth sunburnt shoulders. Her arms were sleek and somehow concave where mine are fat and bulbous. Her long fingers and rings, stretched along the seat back, contrasted with the bunches of short bloated sausages I had tucked into my soft thighs. I looked down into my swollen cleavage, quivering with the ride over the bumpy potholed road. I felt the rolls over my belly, and explored how my wide butt spread across the back seat cushion. I'd always been the bad one, she was little goody two shoes. I joined the Navy, she went to College.

I also made a mental note that, asap, I must warn her to quit spreading it around here about my Navy connections. I'm just supposed to be acting dumb civvi.

We are actually half sisters, Two dads and eight years separate us. The same Hispanic mum had borne one dark daughter with long thick hair, the other a Germanic blonde.

We got Sis upstairs to the verandah and downing a long Shlum fruit salad drink before Jelia was due to roll up on the elevator from the afternoon shift downstairs. I still hadn't worked out how to present Jelia and me to her. Sis told the familiar traveler's tale of lecherous Yuri's attempts to pull Americans in the sky, while I listened out for the drone of the elevator motor heralding Jelia. Then Sis started into my weight gain once more.

"Look," I said, sucking in my gut, "I am no where near double the weight I was last time we met. Lets be honest about it. There's nothing on me that can't be taken off by serious working out."

She guffawed, shaking her head in disbelief and asked what I weighed. I told her about no scales and said how we measured ourselves instead. She said the way I was going, there would only be one measurement to take, bust, waist and hips would all lie on the same plane. Somehow I found that idea arousing, I could definitely file that away to think about some more later and seriously get off on it.

I decided to seize the initiative and said I bet her I could still beat her at tennis. She rose to the bait, and turned out trim and tanned in yellow sport shirt and white shorts. She sniggered tugging at the love handles between my usual white tie top and shorts. She was very surprised at the solitary TV technician mooching around the court waiting for the afternoon session with his camcorder. I explained about our tennis being cult late night viewing. I could tell she was irked at him filming my waddle rather than her bouncing on the balls of her feet. It only made her spring around the court more. A graduate she may be, but she was unequal to a fat woman's low cunning. By standing still, adopting Arpul's beobab tree method, I had her running all round the court, panting and gasping in the humid afternoon sun. We played till the others rolled up and I won every game. "Great! That must have knocked pounds off me." I said, smirking for the benefit of all, as I helped her off court.

As she cooled off in Arpul's Shlappa Fountain, ministered to by resident Gut Buster Marcus, I watched a round eyed Sis survey the resident tonnage flaunting its expensive sports kit. Her eyes popped at Jelia's boisterous arrival in the skimpiest of her tennis dresses. Tonight Jelia's white skirt rode more or less permanently atop her unique butt projection. The TV man focused on the frequent unconscious yanking of her lace panties out of her crack as she swung about the court, either laughing, or playing the ball with an easy grace.

Oh God! How was I going to explain that my verandah paradise revolved around a gloriously great naked Jelia?

Then I saw Hiccu practicing Sumo bumps against mountain Marcus and recalled my first night with Hiccu at Inn on the Sea. I whispered in his ear and took him across to introduce to Sis. It worked a treat, in due course I saw them go off in the dark and presently checked the verandah lights switch on.

By the time I rolled a very unsteady Jelia out of the elevator room nearly three hours later, Hiccu had wrought his magic. Her eyes closed, Sis lay sprawled and oiled across the sleeping area, her long back uppermost and her golden hair radiating like a sunburst over her pillow. I soaped and showered the squiffy Jelia, dried us both and led her back to the verandah. I maneuvered her into crawling across to Sis by slipping my hand between her thighs from behind and tickling her bush. I felt like a peasant driving her favourite cow. She settled down alongside the half asleep Sis and, with a plump arm down between little Sis's thighs, worked across her back with her soft ample mouth and tongue. Sis writhed and groaned in long drawn out pleasure, then, turning on her side, drew her knees up and curled into Jelia's billowing of breasts and belly, sound asleep. I recovered from my vicarious climax, leant across to the frig and reached out the best part of a newly opened half gallon of Shlum mango ice cream. I spooned it into a slowly sobering Jelia, finishing by kissing her mouth clear of the creaminess. I whispered "Thank you," into her ear then curled up behind, cradling the softness of her butt globes into me.

For her month's stay we were a happy maison a trois with Sis on our verandah. We oiled one another, caressing and inspecting our unclothed bodies as we lazed, snacked and slept. I got the greatest aesthetic pleasure from contemplating Jelia's smooth fat beside the willowy grace of Sis, the rich golden browns of Polynesia against the honey tan of the US of A. These contrasts of flesh in the warm glow of our calm verandah were as pleasurable as the culinary contrasts of sweet and sour or the hot and cold of baked Alaska. I knew how Jelia adored the sensuality of lying between two sisters, one dark and buxom, one light and lithe; both of them competing to savour her plump delights.

Never again during that first visit did Sis return to nagging me about weight gain. Instead the reverse happened, Jelia and I enjoyed working undercover on softening and rounding out Sis's scrawnier bits. We would persuade her that her skirt was hanging slack across her butt or that her bikini needed a little more filling out. We were so subtle in our approach that the full weight of what we'd built on her bottom end did not completely dawn on sweet lil Sis till she'd gotten back to Florida. But she'd fallen for the delights of our Dolores verandah life and back she came for more. Over the months, as she notched up the visits, we watched her grow. From a bubbly blonde, she became a bouncing blonde, then an increasingly wobbly blonde. She always seemed the last to notice the disastrous effects on her figure.

Chapter 9 fountains of fat

Towards the end of Sis's first visit, we received our first summons to attend at the Palace for a soiree in the Prince Regent's personal wing. It was, Arpul explained, the most modern part of the Palace. We wiggled along the Strand in our party dresses, looking like fairy cakes and turned through the Palace gate, to the wolf whistles of Jelia's Butt Gutsers. Across the first court we turned right and passed along inside the wall flanking the town's business district. The Prince Regent's wing was Las Vegas tackky. As we entered his court, elaborate concrete patio lights were supposed to illuminate the landscaped gardens had anyone bothered to renew the bulbs.

The inside was hilarious. It was a Dolores copy of an American Mall Food Court. Obviously none of those who had created it had ever seen the genuine article. It had all the main features, but interpreted in a Dolores way. For example the central water feature was a shlubber fountain in which a number of Queens were tastefully arranged in the naked finery I had first seen at the Center's opening. Four, including dear Philippa, were on dry land, the three largest were floating, hulls well down, little freeboard showing, four others sat with the water splashing around them.

"Like a flower arrangement", I whispered.

There were foods of every kind stacked in the imitations of Fast Food outlets around the food court - burgers and hot dogs being well to the fore. Arpul was already there and took us around introducing us. There were many from the business sector of Dolores present, particularly the Chinese community. We were pressed to sample the foods. Sis was being escorted by Jell-O and I was foraging with Jelia. We piled plates and sat down with a plump Chinese couple Lao and Lulu.

"What will happen at this soiree?" I asked.

"Ah! It is the Prince Regent's favourite," Lulu said, her eyes shining, "a Karaoke night."

"Oh God! I hate those," exclaimed Sis.

"But we love them here" said Lulu, a look of pain shadowing her immaculate porcelain features.

To change the subject, Jelia admired Lulu's traditional tight red Chinese dress, and stroked her plump thigh which was peeping alluringly out of the high side slit.

Lao beamed happily and said Lulu had been much thinner when they had first come to Dolores. He owned a big banqueting house on the main business street, which he said he would be honoured if we would sample.

The Prince Regent appeared in a great striped blue business suit and circulated. We rose as he came to our table.

"You like my Food Court?" He said addressing me "this is what I hoped you would have at your Center."

"And this is the lovely Jelia we read so much of," he stroked Jelia's haunch appreciatively where it flowed over her rear cleavage. Then he passed on.

"Holy Shit! What a creep." said Sis, a little too close to his hearing for my comfort as he started at the next table.

The Karaoke started with the Prince Regent singing "If I were a Rich Man" followed by businessmen and their partners volunteering. Their favourites were slow ballads. With the slow numbers, the dancing started and the Queens trundled that vile hulk Roh out for Jelia. The trousers of his suit were loosely cut. Effectively they incorporated a third leg to accommodate his genitalia, hanging like an engine pod below a B52. He could scarcely dance for the interference and I noticed Jelia several times inadvertently kicking his foul great encumbrance. That sonofabitch deserved to wince, I thought, observing his reaction.

I was so overcome by outrage at the gross obscenity of this spectacle, that I failed to notice all eyes were upon me. Queen Philippa had especially requested that I sing a Karaoke number. Although I like Country music there was nothing suitable on the menu, so I sang an old Roy Orbison "I'll never be sixteen again" in a way over the top manner which, I hope, called Floppy Filluppa's bluff.

Sis and I were obliged to walk home without Jelia. She had collapsed in a heap with the awful Roh under a tree fern adjacent to the "living statuary" pile of Queens. Those goddam Queens had so colluded in feeding the favoured couple all night, they couldn't stand by the end and passed out. I had to leave Jelia there trapped below the hideous Roh; they were snoring in unison.

Chapter 10 an extra wide uniform

A few days after Jelia and I had made it up after the Palace binge, there was an AFTERGLOW message in our Email from Washington. This was our pre-arranged code word signaling encrypted Email. I was being summoned to Hawaii over developments in the ocean piracy business. Sis was due to return home in a few days time so we decided to bring forward her departure and fly to Hawaii together. Weighing in at the airport, Sis at 218 pounds found she had put on 22 pounds in a little over three weeks of Dolores easy living. She was shocked, but we all said she looked far better for it, pushing out the pale green silk traveling suit she'd had made.

On the other hand, I knew I would be heavy and oh, boy, was I at 353 pounds! Yuri roared with laughter and, after checking in the flight desk computer, announced to all the prospective passengers that Aunty Sam had stacked 118 pounds onto her blubbery ass in the 3 months since she had last flown Air Dolores. I had no choice but to open the jacket of my linen trouser suit and pirouette, sticking my ass out. Everyone clapped but I muttered to Sis that I was going to have one hell of a job finding a uniform to fit. That proved to be not my only problem. I was acutely uncomfortable during the connecting flight on into Hawaii, the 767's seating did not cater for the width of my backside.

I got a uniform run up overnight in Honolulu, Sis and I having to search for a 46DD bra to fit.

Once I'd seen Sis off, I felt pretty good flying off from my hotel in a Navy helicopter out to a warship to meet the top brass. There were gasps as I heaved myself over the threshold into the conference room, my hips brushing either side of the steel doorway (O.K. so they are narrower than onshore).

"Lieutenant Esfera reporting, Sir!" I felt my boobs dance as I saluted, and all eyes swiveled from my face down to my chest.

"Welcome Sam" said the old Admiral, "Gentlemen. Larger than I've ever seen her before, may I introduce our representative in the Dolores Isles, Lieutenant Samantha Esfera."

"Sit down Sam. Hey you guys! Pull that wall bench over; looks like she'll be more comfortable on that." said another Admiral chairing the session.

I said I'd flown over from what had proved to be a real "hardship station" and the old Admiral said "Yup, it sure looks like you'll be finding it difficult to fit in that Jeep we sent you, we'd better get you out something bigger".

"Now Sam, down to business," said the chairman, "we've brought you in because there's been a new outbreak of piracy. Nasty business. Two merchantmen attacked; similar circumstances. Both within 120 miles of the Dolores. No survivors on either, of crews of 7 and 8. Both share same residual evidence: no sign of a scrap, just some glutinous puddles on the bridge and on decks, which we've got samples of. Similar cargoes, luxury goods, predominantly foods, in cartons. All we've got to go on is the transcript of a partially completed radio message <Don't fall for the fat merm> from MV Cairns Courier, 18.13 hours on the 23 rd."

I said "So I'm here because of:

One: the proximity of the Dolores,

Two: luxury foods as cargos in each case and

Three: the word FAT.

Is that it gentlemen?"

"Yeah, that's pretty well the long and short of it Sam"

"OK! What's this gluey stuff you've got?"

An orderly brought a canister from around the table and opened it for me. Out came the sticky sweet smell I'd last smelt on the Air Dolores fight coming here.

"That smells a bit like Shlum, the Dolores national drink"

"We figured you would know something Sam"

"So what do you want me to do?"

"Go back to Dolores, keep your ears and eyes open, and keep reporting back. You see, we have reason to believe - we've heard from Mafia connections here in Hawaii - that this goes right to the top, that the King is running some kind of racket."

I pointed out that the Prince Regent ran the show because, as everyone says, the King simply grew too fat living the good life - its so easy to do, I added, stroking my gut.

"Yeah, but that could be a dummy. Just suppose younger brother is left out front minding the shop while the King gets down to the real business in back, where there are big pickings to be made."

I conceded that theoretically this might be possible.

"So maybe you should get more involved with the Palace and check it out."

We adjourned for lunch after that. Then a couple of the guys and the only other woman flew back with me to the hotel, and we settled in by the pool for a session. I was aware that another agenda existed, for I got pumped pretty hard. They had all scrutinized my reports from Dolores and quizzed me hard about Arpul, "the nice guy" as they put it and "the nasty guy" Queen Philippa. The woman, a Navy "shrink", clearly sussing my personal involvement, probed my reluctance to encourage Jelia to take up with Roh and the Palace;.

For dinner I wore the gold dress Jelia had got me (now noticeably tight and gappy); "my" old Admiral was showing up. He came back to my room afterwards for a tete a tete. It was obviously a morale booster, but I did rather wonder which of us this was intended for. We got close, then with shaking fingers, he started to unfasten my dress. I sort of exploded out of it all over him. In a voice muffled by the soft billows of my front, he admitted he'd been itching to do that since I'd bounced through that door this morning in my uniform. We also tried my white uniform skirt on him, and the demonstration of my massive spare capacity generated a real hard on. Appropriately I relieved this for him in the rolls of my midriff. He kept wanting to weigh bits of me in his hand: a breast, an upper arm, a cheek of my ass, a thigh, saying "What have they been doing to my poor little Sam?" Eventually I just cradled the poor old devil up into me and he slept like a babe.

Back "home" again, I didn't have to bother trying in our tactic of getting closer to the Palace. They made all the running. Jelia had been there again while I was away, on a photographic assignment this time with a local magazine, famous for its salacious picture stories.

Next we went for a charity fashion show in the water gardens at the back. It was a floodlit evening affair. Jelia was one of the models and, still using the slow strut I had taught her, she looked magnificent in the whole range of clothes she was asked to try, from business and evening clothes to skimpy beach ware and even dramatic full length overcoats, boots and extravagant scarves - should a Dolorean girl be contemplating a Moscow winter. I helped out behind the scenes, where the models changed, in back of some great clumps of bamboos. At first I enjoyed the hustle of having to haul clothes off the girls in the tight space we were allotted, and at the same time push and squeeze them into other outfits against the clock.

But my enjoyment ended when Roh lumbered up and competed with me in the cramped space to get Jelia ready for each re-appearance on the catwalk. The two told me in unison that Roh had done a fashion course at one time - hopefully when he was a little more agile than he was now. As happened before, they were fed a non stop supply of refreshment sent by the Queens and again, inevitably, they collapsed insensible before the end of the night. To my disgust, this time Jelia was draped over him half naked as they had slumped while trying to pull her leg free of a catsuit.

I had to come to terms with the fact that a lot of nights after that, Jelia stayed over at the Palace. On the nights when she still came back to our verandah, we would lie caressing one another, talking it through. She knew it was in her long term interest to keep in with them, for in all honesty, the Palace would be at the heart of Dolores for a lot longer than our Center would exist. Of course I knew she was right. I really had no choice. By going along with it I might even keep a slice of Jelia for me, rather than lose her completely. And this would help me in my mission to learn more about the Palace.

To be continued