Cissi's Intimates, the chain of apparel stores that I had founded independently of Gvagma, but was now intimately linked to Gvagma, with 2200 stores in Greater Mecnita, had just won a franchise to open 10 stores in Dorgdid. If the chain should prove as successful in Dorgdid as it had been in Mecnita, we might be able to anticipate 600 or more stores there eventually. Greater Mecnita had a population of 350,000,000, while Greater Dorgdid had a population of 100,000,000.
I was apprehensive about bringing up the subject of Gvagma as an umbrella organization with Vranquelli, the mayoress of Dorgdid, because I had been talking as if Gvagdo, the Girls' Volleyball Association of Greater Dorgdid, would be another Gvagma-like association, autonomous and independent. Now I was changing my mind, it might seem, by espousing the idea that Gvagdo become a division of Gvagma instead. Perhaps Vranquelli would resent this, as if I had been aiming at a worldwide girls' volleyball dictatorship. So I explained the whole thing to Ellennamandia, asking her to broach the subject tactfully, delicately and gradually with Vranquelli, so that we might get a preview of the response she'd make. Fortunately for us, Vranquelli was amenable to making Gvagdo part of Gvagma, providing that Dorgdid be allowed to participate in playoffs in Mecnita. This was a reasonable request certainly. This outcome was felicitous, for now I could seek the same arrangement with Fwascren to start with, instead of offering complete equality at first, and then reneging, as I had done with Dorgdid.
I contacted Rubia as soon as I had the answer from Ellennamandia, instructing her about how to go about making the proposal to Ezmit, the mayoress of Fwascren, and the very same day, I got an optimistic assessment from Rubia, who had already talked it over with Ezmit, finding her agreeable. I brought the matter up before the Royal Council of Ung a few days later. Ajinblambia and the Geese all liked the new plan, and told me to go ahead. One of them must have contacted Obscont, for the day after the meeting, Obscont's headline read: DORGDID AND FWASCREN WILL JOIN GVAGMA. The subtitle read: WILL SISSY RUN WORLD VOLLEYBALL?
As I mentioned earlier in this chronicle, for a brief while in year '394 there was a team called the Eldor Junior Geese, primarily for girls 8 to 12 years old. Among the teammates were Endria, Julgana, Arepi, Umaria and Jina. Because I was handicapping the performance of the Eldor Geese, Ajinblambia proposed that we add a clone. Now there would be the Eldor Senior Geese and the Eldor Junior Geese. I was transferred to the Eldor Junior Geese with all the young girls, while Riya replaced me on the Eldor Senior Geese, whereupon they went on an unprecedented winning streak. It had been terribly embarrassing to play with all the young girls, but the spectators whooped with merriment to see me, 70 inches tall with 18-inch horns, among girls 54 to 60 inches tall. Jina was absolutely the best player on our team, though she was only eight years old. I was probably the worst, but everyone was too polite to say as much. Once Dhabbi had quipped, "Sissy, why don't you pay more attention to Jina, and try to be like her?"
Now, one day in year '400, who should appear unexpectedly at my office in Gvagma Tower, but Jina, the captainess of the Eldor Junior Geese? I didn't even recognize her she had grown and matured so much. She had a gorgeous figure, with a full bosom, broad hips and a slender waist. She had long lustrous hair, with bright red nails and lips. When she had identified herself, I rushed over and embraced her, kissing her passionately on the mouth. She was only 14, but it had still been 6 long years since she and I had played together on the Junior Geese. "Incredible," I thought, "that six years ago she was already better than I at volleyball!" Now she wanted to play in Gvagma, but being only 14, would not be allowed to play, whereas I was the High Maid of all Gvagma's 2000 teams. Go figure! The irony of it all!
I put my hands on the back of her shoulders, in the manner of someone about to advise or explain. Then I let my hands slide down past her waist, and come to rest on her buttocks, where I drummed my fingers playfully for a couple of minutes. I told her her age would prevent her from joining Gvagma for the next year and a half or so, but as a consolation, I offered her a job in Gvagma Tower, which she took enthusiastically. It was a part-time job, as she was still attending high school at Luvra School in Ceod.
In those particular days, I had not stopped reporting to Ajinblambia's bedchamber every morning for our three-hour sessions, during which I bathed and dressed her. I had utilized this period also for taking notes on Ajinblambia's life and times, to put into my biographical trilogy of her. Now that those books were published and in circulation, bathing and dressing proceeded in a more leisurely fashion. As I mentioned, at one time I had used a sponge to bathe Ajinblambia, but eventually found that it was more convenient for me just to use my lips and tongue. I would fill a bowl with lotion, liquid soap, oils and perfume, usually with peppermint flavoring, and I'd blend them into a smooth fragrant unguent. Then lapping up mouthfuls, I would apply it directly to her skin, kissing and massaging with my tongue. I would do her shoulders and then her bosom, which was so full that it would take half an hour to bathe the whole area, especially if I stopped to nurse at her teats for a while. Then I would do her midriff . Next I would do her broad hips, lapping up mouthful after mouthful of the unguent and spreading it generously over the beautifully protrusive abdomen. This was usually followed by an hour of cunnilingus, which we both loved to distraction. Finally, I would do her legs and feet, then pat her dry.
...Ajinblambia had had some trouble with her stockings.
In earlier years, Ajinblambia had had some trouble with her stockings. She did not like pantyhose, for if she got a run, it was a bother changing. She would have to go into a private place, and half-undress to change. So she had begun to wear stockings, which were held in place by stocking holders in the legs of a panty girdle or body-shaper, or on suspenders from a garter belt or bustier. Sometimes though, a stocking would slip out of the holder, which she found annoying. So I invented a special tool, like a pair of pliers, that would perforate a hole in the double thickness just below the top of a stocking and press in place around the hole a small plastic grommet, like a miniature of a grommet in a duffel bag. So there'd be three or four grommeted holes around the top of each stocking. Through each of these, I would draw a knittle, that is, a silken drawstring sewn to the hem of her panties, tying a little bow. In this way it was virtually impossible for the stocking to come loose. The stockings did not run at the grommet, because the grommet tool injected a bit of paste to prevent such a thing. I was actually awarded letters patent for my grommet set, and I also offered grommet sets at Cissi's, where someone would demonstrate the entire procedure. Of course, buttonholes would work admirably too, but installing a buttonhole was more time-consuming. I offered some stockings with buttonholes for sale at Cissi's, and they proved popular too. I thought of taking an opinion sample to see whether the general public preferred grommets to buttonholes, or vice versa. I know this sounds like a detail of the most trivial nature possible, but when you have 2200 stores that sell stockings, these trifles do begin to matter.
Ajinblambia had directed me to have ready each morning two identical brassieres and two identical pairs of panties, but of different sizes, mine and hers. My first step would be to put my bra and my panty on myself, conducting a little fashion show, by walking around gracefully so that Ajinblambia could see how they looked. If she liked them, I would put her bra and her panty on her, with the result that we almost always wore matching lingerie. As I drew up her panties, I'd apply a little more unguent to her vulval region with my lips and tongue, and I'd kiss her nipples passionately with more unguent as I put her in her bra. This bra had no underwire, stays, hooks-and-eyes or brassiere strap adjusters. It was all of a piece. So she had to step in and let me draw it over her hips, guiding her arms through the looped straps, with maybe one last kiss on each nipple, as I slipped the bra in place.
The bathing and dressing rituals, though very intimate and private, were not to be interpreted as romance or love-making. I had known Ajinblambia over 10 years, and we had developed a unique rapport. You have to bear in mind that this is Ung, where this kind of affectionate sorority is perfectly acceptable. I had the same sort of relationship, only more intense, with Zevanardia, my spouse and lover.
I told Zevanardia and Ezmeraudia about Jina's visit, and I was amazed to learn that Ezmeraudia had also attended Luvra School and knew Jina, who was four or five years younger than she. Coincidences like this are indeed unusual in a city of 100,000,000. Anyway, I invited Jina to come to Bo House for dinner one night, joining Zevanardia, Ezmeraudia and me. Suzi, my pet cockatoo, was perched nearby too, yipping and yapping psittacinely, but no one paid her much mind. We ate meatballs and spaghetti, with garlic bread, toasted and drenched in sweet butter. A goblet or two of dark red wine followed. Then we drank cups of tuco--Ung's supercoffee--with very chocolaty fudge ice cream.
Thanks to incomparable Mecnita Metro, Jina could come from Ceod to Ramdonia, nearly 50 miles, in 20 minutes or less, but still had to walk a mile from the station at 7 Ramdonia Circle to Gvagma Tower, when she reported for work on the 3 nights out of 10 she was on duty. I told her that she could stay with us at Bo House on those evenings, if she liked, as it was only three-quarters of a mile to Gvagma Tower and we had automated mini-cars. She accepted, and during her visits, we chatted merrily and played word games, with quizzes and puzzles. She slept with Ezmeraudia, who had a huge double bed, with comforters and pillows galore. You could hear the girls giggling, squealing and wrestling for about an hour before they went to sleep. I suppose there was a stolen kiss or two, but nothing further, because of Jina's tender age. After all, Ezmeraudia was a responsible, mature, level-headed young lady.
By day 350 everything was back to normal. I was playing volleyball, dancing, directing Gvagma, Gvagma Village and Cissi's, making Udi's panties and seeing to Ajinblambia's bath. It was a full, hectic day, but exciting and lovely. I was full of enthusiasm and joy, energy and zeal. Nunu had begun making little sentences in Nuu as well as Bhassa Pi'i, and the University of Mecnita was all atwitter at these glad tidings. Nunu was accounted a prodigy, but there was no way of knowing how much of her intelligence was inborn and how much conferred by treatment at the Child Development Department. Obscont carried dozens of articles on Nunu, and her name became a byword. People would say, of a highly intelligent child, "She's a Nunu!" I was proud as punch. Her I.Q. was in the 200+ range, but we would have to wait for two or three years to get the confirming retest scores that would finalize these early evaluations.
With 2200 stores open every day in our 418-day year, Cissi's Intimates provided 919,600 store-days per year. With the average store selling slightly over 200 pieces of intimate apparel per day, the total number of garments sold was around 200,000,000 a year, nearly 500,000 a day. The average garment cost 25 dirhams (about $25). So we were grossing 5000 talents (about $5 billion) per year, but of course, most of this sum went into wages, materials, rent, upkeep and other expenses. The facility on Lanzzar Avenue in Spranceld was overtaxed with this kind of production. So I decided to open a huge factory in New Ozgingd, a suburb north of Mecnita, along the banks of the Umzid River. I was hoping that the facility would be equipped to make 300,000 garments a day, which implied a staff of about 6,000 sempstresses. Our biggest items were panties and bras, which could be mass-produced conveniently enough. The more expensive items, such as peignoirs and gowns, took more time, but we got more money for them. Cissi's in New Ozgingd, which would also have a wholesale and retail sales area, would be around 10 acres in area, say, 660 x 660 feet, with two stories. Thus there would be about 145 square feet per sempstress, that is, the equivalent of a room 12 x 12, which seemed more than adequate. New Ozgingd was a suburb with a large number of ultramodern factories, and Cissi's would fit right in. I invited Idificia and Rachetina, the mothers of the Gvagma Spiral, to prepare an estimate for Cissi's in New Ozgingd. They saw the plant, provided with all the latest equipment, as a 1000-talent undertaking. This is about $1 billion.