No one gave him more happiness then her, his precious Lena who shared so much of him that he couldn't imagine having another child. The way her hair curled the same way his did, the same way her dark eyes focus on every object and how she wanted to know all that it did. There was hardly anything about the girl that resembled the mother. The mother had been a black hair woman with porcelain skin and bright blue eyes. He stood now with his hands on the porch railing, looking out to the open yard with a single large oak tree where Lena always played through her childhood, now she hung from a branch almost ten feet in the air. He wasn't worried if she fell, she was much smarter then that and knew how to land safely. Her feet dangled as her long dirty blonde hair blew around her in the breeze, hiding her face from him. Most parents would take photographs of such moments but he didn't. He instead decided to store the memory in his mind so he would have it longer and constantly with him.
Never had he heard her call to him to watch her, she always knew. There was a great deal she could and would learn from him as e looked at his watch. One hour until they arrived. He needed Lena to start the routine soon but he decided to let her enjoy herself for a while longer. It was rare for her to go outside and enjoy the world. She was more interested in finding out what he father did in his office behind the locked doors. Her mother had tolerated his business for a short time before leaving three years ago, not saying another word or making a reappearance. The girl didn't mind, and didn't ask questions, instead continued to play and learn, reading every book he brought her and begging for more. He had promised for her tenth birthday he would give her the book about Mysteries Unexplained. He knew of a man who possessed a rare copy that was in perfect condition. He was to be here in less then an hour now. He sighed heavily, drumming his fingertips along the wood as he always did when either thinking deeply or passing time.
He looked at the watch on his wrist again, the roman numerals staring back at him. Lena laughed and he looked up, smiling; a rare occurence that was reserved for his daughter. She had jumped from the branch and landing on the balls of her feet and her hands. She stood back up, staring up at the branch and smiling again back at him. "Is it time, Daddy?" She asked, seeing that his wrist was still brought up so he could see the time. Her gait was quick yet she carried herself with a overdeveloped grace that most teenagers lacked. Her chin was high, her arms at her sides and her shoulders back. "Not quite," he replied when she reached the stairs and came to stand beside him. "Would you like me to say the routine again?" Her innocent voice melted his heart everytime, but not enough to make him stop his business, only fuel it for his business was what made him and her happy. "If you would like." He turned to look at her and she smiled up at him as he bent down and put his hands under her armpits and lifted her so she could sit on the railing. She always liked it when she was at eye level with whoever she talked to.
"Step One, offer to take a jacket and serve a beverage." she started, waiting for him to nod for her to continue. "Step Two, lead them to the office to wait for your arrival and make sure they do not explore your things." He nodded again as she went on. "Step Three, leave when you walk in, go to my room and lock the door." He nodded a final time and cupped her cheek to kiss her forehead. "Why must you always insist on saying it when you know it so well?" He asks softly, smiling at her. She ginning back, her dark eyes full of light and wisdom. Her small hands lay in her lap as her black dress hung around her knees. "Because you know that I like to remind you how much I know." she said, the smile disappearing but the humor staying on her face. "But I want to know more," A hint of whining was evident in her words. He sighed heavily again, looking her straight in the eye, still cupping her cheek. "When you are older, I will teach you everything I know. So well that when I am too old, you can teach it back to me." It was a line he always said and meant.
She nodded, and halfway through the words she repeated it back to him, making them both smile as he looked at him watch. "Forty five minutes to go, I am going to go over what I will discuss and I would lik you to leave me to my thoughts until it's time." He says gently and she nodded, wrapping her around around his shoulders and hugging him tightly. "I love you, Daddy." her whisper echoed in his ear as he hugged her back. "And I love you as well, Lena." He whispered back. He took a step back so she could jump off the railing. Her hands straightened her dress and he tucked a curl behind her ear that was blowing across her cheek. He watched as she went into the house, the white double doors still perfectly painted, the small panes of glass wiped spotless. He watched through one of the panes as she went upstairs, her shoes hanging from her hand as she went up the carpeted steps. It was not a rule she do that, not his own anyway but Lena always fully a schedule by rules.
Ever since she was just beginning to walk and talk, she insisted that everything be a part of a plan, nothing spontaneous unless she caused it. She enjoyed mind games and loved to do puzzles that worked her brain as he enjoyed in the little freetime that he got. Now was a rare occasion for him to gather his thoughts. He was honest with what he told her, and her trust in him was valuable, she trusted no one else. He looked back to the paved driveway, knowing very well it was empty but enjoyed the fact that he could not see the road from his porch. He ignored his watch now as he went inside himself, not going up the stiars or checking on Lena as he went to his office to go over his plan, making sure that he had everything exactly how he wanted it so there would be no surprises.
Lena had gone into her room, the dark red walls inviting to her as she lit one of her white candles and burned her sage, spinning the dried bundle around her as the smoke cleared her head and worries. She knew her father would not let anyone hurt her and she knew that he knew that she was aware of his practices. They didn't bother her, what bothered her most was that the once Mrs. Morgan had promised to stay with her father forever and left as soon as things got a little out of hand. Now all he had was her, a nine year old girl who still knew nothing of life and what all was in it. It made her hands shake of how close the information was to her but she refused to use the internet as her father did once in a while. She didn't trust websites, and refused to be another victim of societies standards.
She let the sage burn out and she tossed it in a small bowl on her shelf. She looked over her perfectly made bed and color coordinated closet, even the perfect lines from vacuuming on the soft white carpet. A smile came to her face, knowing that this room would always stay like this, that way if anything changed in her rules, this room would always stay as it is. Her father never went in here without her permission, another rule she expected him to follow. Lena took out a small pocket watch that had been a gift two years ago and waited for another half an hour to pass by before she made her way downstairs and began the routine.
His office door stayed shut at all times and he wanted to leave it just a few minutes before the arrival, he didn't want to make a grand entrance, just make sure that Lena was presented. She was the innocent one who showed how happy and pleased she was to have him as a father, giving the guest a more relaxed attitude once they met him face to face. He kept a low profile on the streets and rarely went into the city unless it was absolutely necessary. His name was not spoken in the wind, his picture was never taken. Neither was lena's. She was even more protected. She was not enrolled in school, instead she learned on her own, not by his guidance but by his tests to make sure she understood completely what she was learning even though he knew she always did. He also made sure that no other family members knew about her. That would just add to more liabilities to worry about and he didn't have the time or patience to protect them all.
He intended to soon move out of America, visit London perhaps, they both wanted to go there. But not now, he had more things to receive besides the book, he needed information that was strictly forbidden for him to even speak out loud. The time was fading away and he put any stray papers away, and left the office, closing the doors and going to another room as he waited for the knock at the front door.
Lena went downstairs at the sound of the three knocks, putting her shoes back on and opening the door, the man looked down at her with friendly and ignorant eyes. His tousled black hair fell almost over his eyes, his business suit tailored recently, he had forgotten to take off the tag from the sleeve. "Hello sweetheart, is your Daddy home?" he asked, leaning down to meet her at eye level. "He is expecting me."
"Yes, I know, may I take your jacket, sir?" She asked as she stepped aside and held the door open wider so he could enter. Already his eyes traveled over the fine decor of the house, the large painting of gardens instead of family photos on the walls and long flowing curtains on every window. He took off his coat and she took it from him, going to the hall closet to hang it up. "I will show you to my father's office but would you care for anything to drink?" He drew his eyes away from the fireplace in the parlor to nod. "Why yes, how about some ice water for now?" Lena ignored his condescending tone and went to the kitchen to get the glass of water, bringing it back to him as she led the way to the office, opening the doors and guiding him to the seat in front of the mahogany desk. He drank almost the entire tall glass as he waited the three minutes while she stood patiently waiting against the wall, keeping her eye on him, learning silently of how he tapped his thumb on the arm rest and scratched his cheek a little too much.
Little details were important to her, they helped her remember a person as he looked over at her. "Shouldn't you tell your Daddy I am here?" He asked, smiling softly at her, in a way that was not friendly to her. "He already knows and is here now." She explained as another set of doors opened, marking her cue to leave the room and go back upstairs, taking her shoes off in the process and locking her bedroom door behind her as her father got to work with his business.