Lily woke with a start. Where was she? What day and time was it? She felt as though she had been sleeping a long time. She saw the TV as if for the first time, and ran across the room to turn it on. It hummed to life quickly. With some chagrin, Lily noted the remote on the bedside table. Flouncing back into the silk coverlet, she turned to a weather/news channel and watched for awhile, not quite awake, not quite asleep, but in an in between state. Staring. Her mind started filling her in on the last few day's events and she was slightly traumatized from it all. A knock at the door startled her. The TV said it was eight thirty. It was Vicki, bearing a tray of breakfast. There were scrambled eggs, bacon, toast, with butter on the side, plus some oatmeal , a piece of fruit and some milk. She eagerly devoured the tray, eating everything as if starving. She asked for a diet coke, and Vicki looked at her strangely as she crossed to the mini fridge and retrieved a cold can. Lily rolled her eyes. She had forgotten about that already. Quickly getting over feeling stupid, she felt as though she could whip her weight in wildcats this morning, or at least eat her weight in wildcats. She was so hungry. She asked for more and Vicki pulled the bell next to the bed. The response was quick and perfect. She had more eggs and bacon before her than she knew what to do with. She overindulged. Her stomach hurt. She forgot why she was here. She went for a walk in the garden. Vicki showed her the way. She was amazed at the many different species of plants growing there. There was a pond with a small waterfall and Lily sat in the sand surrounding it, looking into the pool, watching giant goldfish sliding around beneath the water. She felt as though the world could go away and she wouldn't notice. The room smelled like dirt. A good smell. Earthy, elemental. Moist. It was more humid here than in the rest of the carefully climate controlled environment of the house. It was warm, but not oppressively so. She had almost started to fall asleep when a sudden splash of a frog leaping into the pool startled her. She shrieked a little, and then was startled again by deep booming laughter. Caught off guard, Lily swiveled around to see Hayu, again dressed all in white. He looked like a southern sharecropper in his gauzy baggy pants and long tunic length white shirt. Hayu had a rather distinctive port wine birthmark on his chest, over his heart, and Lily could make it out through the thin material. She put her hand over her heart to still it's pounding.

"Did you have to scare the hell out of me? " She asked with a smile. He laughed again and offered his hand for her to rise.

"Although I do adore you at my feet, I also adore you hugging me! Rise, rise up sweet thing and give your Hayu a morning hug." She accepted his hand readily and stood up with a bounce to hug him warmly. He was probably the most stable force in her life right now. She looked up to his face and he bent down, puckered up for a kiss. Obliging him she kissed him squarely and with a little more passion than one might expect. His wild, overgrown eyebrows shot upward in pleased surprise, his mouth held in a little rosebud.

"Well! " He exclaimed. "GOOD morning to YOU! Yes, yes, a very good morning indeed. Did you sleep well?"

"Yes, thank you. Like a dead thing. I forgot where I was when I woke up. We must redecorate my rooms. Not like me at all. "

"Your rooms? Who said you had any rooms here? "


"Remind me to fire her. Yes, you have A ROOM here. One!" He had his stern fatherly look on his face and pretended to be put out to admit that he kept a room for her here. More ammo on her side. Lily was quite pleased with the way the morning was turning out. She had a sweet nonchalant affect, and then smiled as she took his big, paw like hands into hers, swinging them back and forth like a child.

"I wont remind you to fire Vicki, she's probably the backbone of this house! I like her. I'm very flattered you keep A ROOM here for me. Makes me want to come back more often."

Hayu pounced on her statement.

"Yeah? I keep a room and you'll come back? Soon?"

Lily looked down then up coyly. He quietly studied her eyes, looking for the lie.

"Yeah." She leaned into his belly and rested her chin on his chest as she gazed up at him. He wrapped his arms around her and hugged her to him. Kissing the top of her head, he pushed her away from him. She pouted at the push off. He looked at her over the top of his glasses.

"What do you want from me now?" He asked.

Lily looked very put out by this question, but she couldn't really fault him. Usually she needed something. She really didn't want anything more than a few days of respite before she got combobulated again. But she could have everything at his command if it met her whim, as long as Hayu got his way. Hmmph. She thought. I don't need anything from you. She turned her scowling, childish countenance on him. First he broke into a hearty chuckle, then mock "catching" himself, he touched his fingers to his lips, batted his eyes, and tried to look contrite. He looked like a baaaad little boy, her dominatrix of the mind imposed. Yes, a bad little boy indeed, who needed punishment. Lily's left eyebrow cocked itself, beyond her control, and her lip twisted in that way it did when she was about an evil thought. Hayu loved to play, caught the bend of her mind immediately, and recoiled from her as if in horror of what was to come. She advanced on him , playing along in the way he had hoped, until he stumbled backward and fell hard into the sand onto his ample backside with a laughing "whoop!". She advanced on him slowly, her hands on her hips akimbo, a stern disciplinarian look to her face, until she came to straddle his outstretched legs and tower over him. He looked up in mock terror and grand amusement. She spat on him disdainfully and walked away toward her chambers. Hayu lay back into the sand, feeling lucky his mistress was in a good mood. How he enjoyed these little visits from Lily. His laughter filled the domed enclosure like the reverberations of God himself. She pretended not to be affected as she stalked back to her chambers, but secretly she smiled to herself. They'd always had a good relationship. He had helped her a lot when she was first starting out. Got her the right contacts, suggested her to those with the money to afford the thief she was yet to become. He was really very lonely, being of the opinion that he could never be with a woman who wanted him, since her standards were obviously so low. Herself excluded of course, since she would never stay, no matter what he offered her. She was too much her own person. It often took coming "home" to Hayu to see the person she was, he was like a mirror. She pulled the bell, and when Vicki appeared, she requested to have her personal luggage brought up. It was delivered summarily.

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