A Nice Little House in Paris
“So Ox are you surviving the move to a small house?” Izzo grinned at his friend and former subordinate.
“So far. It’s not as bad a squeeze as I feared. I hadn’t realized the basement was finished. Arno pounced on a bedroom down there, and Oxie decided to join him. It’s now Boy Territory. They’ve declared the bathroom off limits to girls, but allowed as how they could come down to the use the big screen.” Ahxe Withione Timber Black Point shook his hand, then Xiat’s. “But even though that gave us an extra bedroom, Niin has opted to rent an apartment. Something about sharing a bathroom with two girls . . .”
Izzo grinned. “At least you lucked out with a good secretary.”
“I know. I hate to say it, but I think Rael may have gone to the Princess School and strongly suggested they not send an immature sexpot.” Ox shrugged. “I’m not going to ask.”
“Safer that way.” Izzo turned his head at a giggle. “Hi, Rael. Giving up your magic house?”
The woman he consider one of the most dangerous people he’d ever met grinned.
“I figured they needed a few months at a minimum to check out Paris before they decided exactly where to live.” Rael shrugged. “Probably years. Although since this isn’t in an enclave it will cease to work rather quickly as Razz is . . . ten? So even though Arno and Ryol both passed their control tests and can live here, it won’t be long before the smaller brats blossom and need to be in one of the enclaves.”
Izzo blinked. Nodded. “I shouldn’t be surprised. I saw how well controlled their magic was, building sandcastles on the beach.”
Ox nodded. “Living in the Montevideo Enclave simplified everything when Ryol felt the touch of the One. Arno, of course, did it so quietly even he didn’t notice.”
Xiat nodded. “Fortunately the Gothic Horror is inside the enclave, so when it happens we won’t have to move.” She stepped into the kitchen. “Hey Raod, good to see you again. All moved in?”
Izzo waved as he followed Ox into the living room. “I’ve never seen the house furnished. I watched a bit of the renovation—not good for the ego. Xen just sat down on the floor and things happened.”
“Ooo! I wish I could have seen it.” Ryol called from the stairs as she trotted down them. The sixteen-year-old, was a spectacular redhead, and knew it. “Did he really use firewood for the floor?”
“Yep. He’d just take a chunk and pull it out to about the right thickness and smear it out across the floor.”
Ox shook his head. “Well, the results are spectacular. Although I’m not sure about the dark blue bathroom.”
Xiat started laughing. “It started out pink. Rael was horrified.”
“You’d better believe it!” Rael walked out carrying a tray of veggies and dip and placed it on the dining room table. “And I know perfectly well he did it on purpose.”
Ryol rolled her eyes. “Grownup are stupid. Pink would be nice upstairs. It’s a really boring bathroom.”
Xiat strolled out to join them. “How’s the new school?”
“Not bad. I wish we’d started last year, so we were just two more new freshmen, but well, in Montevideo when everyone found out we were Xen Wolfson’s kids, everyone already knew us. Here were strangers and his kids. There’s been . . . talk.” She shrugged. “I just ignore it, and get on with all the testing. Actual classes will start next month . . . but we’ve already got homework.”
“And no friends.”
“I know two other students, so it’ll all come together. I don’t have trouble making friends.” She looked behind them, and Izzo glanced back.
Her twin brother was coming up from the basement. Arno, quiet and smart. A gangly teen-age version of Xen Wolfson.
“Boring fiction, but the history book is up-to-date.” The boy circled around them to snag a carrot stick.
“We were talking about making friends after moving. You probably haven’t even talked to anyone yet. And I thought ‘Sahara Trek’ was funny. I suppose you dissected the science and ignore the brilliant characterizations.”
Arno rolled his eyes, jerked his thumb at his sister and made quacking motions with his other hand.
“I am not talking to much!”
“Yes you are. Here you are with an excellent opportunity to pick up information for that current events report we have to turn in next week—personal communication with the External Relations Director—so maybe we should let the adults talk and listen in.”
Ryol glared at him, then turned a smile on Izzo. “Speaking of moving, last I heard, the Other One and Helios have both finished their embassies on Embassy. Are they adjusting well?”
Izzo sighed. “Well, they’re adjusting. The Whirlpool Earth’s main building is almost done. So we’re getting . . . a bit of friction from them as well.”
Ox shook his head. “It’s enough to make me glad I’m switching to Internal.”
Izzo grinned. “But Ox! Wouldn’t you love an opportunity to build a police and courts system from scratch?”
Izzo snickered. “Wise man. But if it doesn’t work out here, just give me a call.”