What was she doing? Jed thought as he watched Madam Sativa reach for something near the fountain.
The cool cascades of liquid slowly ceased flowing from the fountain top.
Maria took a long drag from her spliff and gently blew the smoke towards the beautiful vine. The busy insects cleared away from the smoke.
"Come, let me show you." She took the long stainless scissors and snipped the huge buds from the sunny side of the fountain.
"These here are ready to go up." She delicately held the oldest heavy blooms from beneath their ripe flower tips. " Snip here so the vine will produce another bud and continue to trail." She clipped the sticky bud and held it out for Jed to place in the stainless bucket.
He quickly caught on and held the bucket closer so she could drop the ripened buds into the pail.
With each cut, she did something odd but sensual. She licked her finger and smiled. A drop of sticky sweet nectar appeared where she had clipped. Was she tasting it or sealing the cut? She turned and smiled at him. He wondered what her eyes said under the protection of those dark glasses.
"You must seal the offense. El amor cura. The tongue has power beyond lust. El pago es dulce si? Payment is sweet Jed."
He watched as she skillfully harvested half a pail before he knew what was happening.
"There. See where the shadow stops."
"Si." He was transfixed by her efficiency. He had witnessed this automation from his father and others. Did he possess it?
"Here you try." She handed over the large scissors and took the pail from him. "Stick to the sunny area. And use you tongue to taste the harm." She took another drag and blew smoke at the furthest blossoms just beyond her reach.
"What?" He eyed the scissors then her expression. "Oh... OK." He noticed the bees flight, obliging the smokey request.
Jed chose carefully, snipping gingerly. He was sure to pinch the stem close, mimicking her exact moves. The sticky bitter drop surprised him.
"Ah, ahora estamos profundamente en problemas ... porque tú eres hijo de mi amante rojo."
"I don't understand Madam Sativa."
"What I mean my Dear Jed is that you are a natural." Laughing she choked on her spliff resulting in the predictable morning cough.
He understood the phrase she had used; Ah now we are deep in trouble...for you are my red lover's son, but what did she mean?
* * *
Janelle was always discreet with her tricks. If she brought them back to her room, she would usually try to slip them up the back stairs from the kitchen without being noticed. The back stairs were off limits to outsiders, not to be used with paying clientele, but what did she care. She brought in more pesos than the others and she knew it.
She was always careful to make sure Lilly was not in the kitchen before sneaking them past.
Sometimes she would order her to fetch iced water for Madam Sativa, or simply dismiss her before sneaking tricks through the massive old kitchen and up the back flight.
This time something was different. The excitement, the mystery, the danger even, no longer thrilled her.
Janelle was in a place she had never know before. This would be her last paid trick or maybe not even...
Hearing Lilly preparing la merienda, Janelle changed her plans. From the hallway she whispered into the chulo's ear.
"Lilly," Janelle's soft command excited the hairs on her neck. "Look what I've brought for us." Standing behind Janelle stood a tall young foreigner, probably in his late twenties. She pulled him by the hand into the kitchen. His short buzzed hair and tight butt screamed military tourist.
"Why don't you show our guest up to my room." She winked.
"But...I need to..."
"Shush," Janelle leaned in to kiss Lilly's ear. "I'll join you shortly." She turned on her famously large smile coaxing the couple towards the steps.
The young soldier blushed as she handed him over to the warm hands of her maid.
Janelle's price just went thru the roof. Orgásmico!
* * *
The west tower was cool and dry. Maria opened the louvered doors to let the morning air lift the stillness to the roof. The three other openings were shuttered with heavy stationary louvers.
Above Jed's head in the slatted ceiling, rows upon rows of drying buds waited in the darkness.
The sweet aroma coloured in tobacco swirled about. Instantly Jed felt the presence of his father.
"Here, on the end, the fresh wither," She pulled at the three step platform by the old handle. The staired cube moved easily away from the wall gliding to the other side of the tower room. The ombre ceiling above their heads was beautifully packed with dried flourettes in many stages of dehydration, dark to light. The entire ceiling was slatted in 2 x 2 lengths of dark wood, each about four inches apart, running east to west and slotted into a gold-leafed dentil that crowned the ancient brick walls.
At the other side of the tower, Maria stopped the stairs. She placed the pail into a circle cut in the top of the cube that appeared to be made for it. Then she raised the spine of the closest louvered window, allowing more light to seep into the room.
"Place the cut upwards...to seep within." She picked out a bud and held it upside down as she gestured for him to climb the steps and hang the cutting over the wood.
Jed obliged climbing the platform that he was sure his father had something to do with.
Madam lit her spliff and drew in a long breath."Si, slide them together tight, sin luz - no light," she said exhaling.
As Jed reached for the next bud Janelle appeared in the doorway, tray in hand.
Seeing them together in that moment Maria knew. Eres mi corazón – You are my heart. She could see it the instant their eyes met.
Eres mi corazón. A perfect union... two halves together, she thought. Tienes mi corazón... y la bendición - You have my heart and my blessing.
"Yes..." He blushed backing down the platform.
"What do you mean Madam?" Jed questioned.
Janelle poured from the heavy pitcher and handed Maria a glass of the cool water.
Maria took a long sip of water before speaking. Now was the time. She reached for Janelle's hand before speaking.
"This business is all yours...mi hija...I've always loved you as a daughter and now you must know the truth. Jed's father is yours as well."
Glass shattered every where as the pitcher hit the tile floor.
2012 © tgwithin
Please enjoy the previous chapter.
"Bésame, tócame-touch me."
Lilly found herself wrapped in the strong arms of an unknown man. His eagerness rubbing between her warm legs as he kissed her full lips. Slowly she stepped backwards with his weight guiding them towards Janelle's bed. His tongue pressing, his hand searching.
"Bésame, kiss me, all over kiss me please...Bésame." Lilly found herself wanting, pleating, laughing, teasing.