“Are you certain that I didn’t mention I wanted today off?” I asked, having had virtually no time to unpack my things yet. “No, boss-man, sir. Sorry. You didn’t, so I didn’t think you’d want to miss income from the evil twins hiring you to help them unpack. Daddy’s back! Time to go see the beach! Beware the evil twins, boss-man, sir!” exclaimed Aaliyah. I sighed and started walking to the east wing. I was shocked earlier when Mila gave me a warning that I had a job soon. Between that shock and the disconcerting presence of the Alma-like face appearing on the mirror in my room when Mila talked, I hadn’t thought about Aaliyah being on vacation when Mila offered to call her for verification on my job. Perhaps expecting mind-reading from the kid genius was too much, but I truly wouldn’t put that past her anymore. Her financial and software development skills were the biggest contributors for my bank account’s meteoric rise. I honestly would have been fine with a cheap apartment for now, but I truly loved the grandeur of my business’s headquarters. I probably should suggest to Aaliyah that we rent out the ballroom off and on for extra income. After I had enough best friends employed, we could offer catering and other services as well. I probably should look into what Aaliyah assigned Jarod so far and get around to training him. That would have to wait for now though.
“Mila, can you bring up Ai or Mai for me, so I can ask where they’d like me to start?” I inquired. “Man-slave!” exclaimed Emma as she walked down the hall toward me. “Hey, Emma. What’s up?” She didn’t get to answer before Ai appeared on the mirror and said, “Love the hair, Emma, but why is James letting such a brilliant shade distract him when he’s supposed to be working for us?” Emma giggled and thanked her. She must have dyed her hair again after we finished practice earlier, and I had to agree that the bright magenta suited her. “The boss-man was one minute early,” stated Mila, “You requested to postpone the call till you finished your tea.” Ai rolled her eyes and said, “He still isn’t in here, now is he. James, tell the stupid computer to be nice to us!” I shrugged and said, “Aaliyah’s the one who programmed Mila, so you’re welcome to ask her if you don’t want Mila’s software available in your wing.” I heard Mai yell from off the screen “Don’t let the mean boy pick on you, Ai. Just get him in here to unpack our things.” Ai sighed and said, “Hey, robo-brains. Open the door and show them the way over here.” When we arrived, Jarod was giving Mai a foot massage. He smiled and said, “Hey, Emma. Hey, boss-sir-dude-guy. What am I supposed to call you when I’m working, anyways?”
I laughed and told him he didn’t have to call me anything special. “Jaaaaaames, help with these boxes.” demanded Ai. “Helping” was, of course, doing all of the work with magic as she told me in what order she wanted every last book. The twins had quite an impressive library which spanned two stories of their wing, but filling it actually went fairly quickly between magic and the well-organized boxes. Ai just never bothered telling me how the boxes were arranged, so I was stuck figuring it out several boxes down the line. With all of their possessions hauled into the house already, I wasn’t under any delusions about whether or not the twins truly needed Jarod or me. They didn’t. They simply enjoyed bossing us around. Emma went back and forth between helping with the unpacking and lounging with the twins. She had apparently volunteered to come help. Marco showed up to bring us all sandwiches while we were on the fourth room. I was grateful that Mila announced his arrival at the front of the wing, so I didn’t need to explain why things were floating around. Perhaps I would eventually know him well enough to relax around him but not yet. I was only mildly surprised to find out that the twins had a wine cellar when Ai sent Jarod to fetch a bottle. I hadn’t noticed a basement anywhere else in the house, but I didn’t truly know my way around very well yet.
After setting up the private dining room, Mai decided that Jarod and I earned a break. We were invited to swim in their private pool, which had a subfloor by itself. The place appeared to be a beautiful cave with a large variety of tiny, colored lights twinkling from the walls. Most of the room’s light came from the pool, which had statues of luminescent creatures in various places. There was an outcropping of rock that turned out to have a diving board hidden within it. I quickly fetched Jarod and I a pair of trunks after we informed the twins that we weren’t joining them without something to wear. Emma hadn’t been any help at all in that argument. The pool was heated, but there was also a smaller hot tub not far away which looked like a natural hot spring in the surreal room. We probably spent a couple hours goofing off in there before Mila appeared on the cave wall, startling Emma whom I barely caught before she fell into the pool. “Evil twins, the workmen are finished upstairs. Do you want to inspect the rooms before they leave?” asked Mila. The twins declined but declared our break over. Jarod and I both felt the need to inspect the wall where Mila had appeared. There was a screen hidden there, set to display an image identical to the rest of the cave walls.
I had been upstairs only briefly earlier that day when Ai and Mai were putting the rest of us through martial practice. Most of the floor had been blocked off by plastic to keep dust from getting into the rest of the house. Now the hallway mirrored the lower floor in its great length as well as the blue color scheme. No one could step foot into this wing without feeling the owners loved the ocean, especially after Jarod, Emma, and I set up the various paintings, statues, and vases the twins brought to decorate it. Out of all the rooms, the one that disturbed me the most was the only one that didn’t need any unpacking. The long, electronic table had a three-dimensional layout of the city and suburbs coming out of it. Each wall was a touch screen interface displaying different data, from stock market numbers to billing reports. The electronics were cool, but the room made me uncomfortable still because I was imagining faces, names, and troop arrangements on each display. Though Mai called the room their office when she caught me looking inside, it reminded me of a war room straight out of a science fiction movie. Perhaps I should have asked the twins more about what they planned to pursue as a career before inviting them into my home.
Before Mai and I could rejoin the others, Mila was asking if I would accept a call from Regina. Even though Mai gave me quite the sigh, I told Mila to put Regina through. “James. I found him.” she told me. “Huh? Found who?” I asked. “Luke, James. I found Luke.” she told me. I couldn’t believe the news. Luke, the werelion who killed Nathan, was found by Regina, who I didn’t even know was looking. “Come over here and tell everyone. Mila will guide you here.” stated Mai as Ai came walking down the hall with Emma and Jarod in tow. The twins guided us to sit at the long table in their office as we waited for Regina to arrive. Now as I looked around the room, I pictured Luke’s face up on a wall with all we knew about him. I could easily imagine werewolves on another as well as a wall for Alma, the psychotic girl whom I couldn’t stop thinking about. A room such as this was perfect for tracking supernatural murderers and planning how we would fight back. I wasn’t sure how much convincing I would have to do for the twins to be on board for such a use of their office, but I most certainly did intend to see. One way or another, we would soon be tracking a werelion and finding a way to stop him. Luke was not going to get a chance to kill someone again.