Monday, April 1, 2013
Okay, so it’s been a couple of days since my last entry. Been busy, busy, busy getting ready for my presentation. Too busy to entertain amorous Kalquorian men. Too busy to be nervous. Until now. I’m due to go onstage at the site’s auditorium in two hours. Nang expects 436 of his men to attend, or 90 percent of the rescue group stationed here. The rest will get the presentation via vid when they aren’t on duty. Damn. Over 400 Kalquorians watching little ol’ me try to get through this without freaking out. Scared doesn’t begin to cover it.
Interesting development has occurred. An Imdiko showed up to do respite care for Mom while I’m off doing this thing. Sure, she has a Nobek standing guard, but she needs a real caregiver. And who is it that came to do the mommy-sitting? Nang’s own Imdiko Trenu.
He’s a nice looking guy with the perfect chiseled chin and high cheekbones that could make a girl’s heart go pitter-pat. Long spirals of black hair too nice to waste on a man. And extremely standoffish from the moment he set foot in our little dorm. He was so remote, in fact, that I decided I wasn’t comfortable with Trenu taking care of Mom.
I got right to the point after my second attempt to draw him out was met with no more than a polite response. The major kicker for me was that he refused to bend down low enough for Mom to measure his head for one of her custom caps.
I told him in a firm, no-nonsense tone, “Imdiko Trenu, I mean you no offense when I say this, but I don’t think you’re the right personality to handle my mother.”
He seemed startled at my statement. He stared at me, blinking big wide eyes. “Matara Shalia, I assure you that though most of my current duties are administrative, I do have experience caring for people with diminished capacity.”
I snorted. “Diminished capacity or not, Mom needs someone with a little more warmth than you seem capable of. She is used to caregivers who treat her with deference and go along with her more benign compulsions. Her wish to measure your head is something easily done and causes no one harm. There is no reason for you to refuse her something like that.”
“Mean man.” Mom pouted in a corner, knitting away and giving Trenu a grouchy look.
“You see?” I folded my arms over my chest. “You’ve hurt her feelings. That could ruin her whole night.”
Trenu looked askance. “I am so sorry, Matara Eve. I didn’t mean to offend you. Of course you can measure my head for one of your lovely hats.” He bowed to her, the very picture of contrition. “Perhaps you could even show me how you do it? It does look like an interesting pastime.”
She smiled, brightening in a heartbeat. “You want to learn how to knit? That would be fun.” She started to dig for another pair of needles.
Trenu looked at me for a few beats, the stiffness leaking out of his posture. “I apologize for my attitude. I just didn’t want to give you the wrong idea, Matara Shalia. I realize you’ve had a few ... amorous encounters with my Dramok.”
I lifted my brow. “Only two. Or three. And they didn’t lead to sex with Nang.” Not real sex, anyway.
Trenu studied me. “Nang’s response to you led me to believe it might be a little serious between you two. That there was a possibility you might want to join our clan.”
Well, that was news to me. I hadn’t even considered that option. Hell, it was nowhere on my radar. Earth’s destruction was still a little too fresh to be living hornily-ever-after with a Kalquorian clan.
I told Trenu, “Either you misunderstood or Nang is assuming too much. I’m not in the market to be any clan’s Matara right now.”
The Imdiko’s relief was obvious. “I apologize if I was rude to you and your mother. Quite frankly, I don’t think you’d do well with our clan. I and my Nobek do not wish to add a Matara.” His brow wrinkled. “I hope you are not offended. It’s nothing personal.”
“I’m not offended, but I am surprised. I thought all Kalquorians were looking for female mates.”
Trenu bit his lip and slowly shook his head. “I have no interest in women. Neither does my Nobek. It has never been an issue with Nang until a few days ago after he met you.” He gave me a half-smile. “He is crushed on you.”
“Crushed?” I was completely puzzled for an instant. “Oh, you mean he has a crush on me. Like infatuation.”
“Exactly. We hope it is only a temporary interest. Not that there is anything wrong with you,” Trenu hastened to add. “It’s just -- my Nobek and I aren’t made that way. To enjoy females in a sexual manner, I mean.”
My curiosity on the matter was piqued, but I didn’t know how to approach Trenu with the questions I had. Like why a man would prefer other men to women. He made it sound as if he was born that way, that it wasn’t a choice. If that’s the case, it’s a good thing he wasn’t born on Earth. The penalties for homosexuality were the worst of all offenses. Even serial killers got more mercy.
Anyway, Trenu eased up with the whole stay-at-arms-length attitude after he realized I wasn’t chasing Nang for clanship. He’s turned out to be pretty nice, in fact. Right now Mom’s showing him how to knit, and they seem to be having a good time together. So I guess he’ll be all right to keep an eye on her this evening after all. I suppose it could
Oops, had to break it off there because Trenu had a question. He's proving to be quite conscientious. That's one less thing to worry about tonight.
I am so nervous! I need to start putting myself together. I don’t know how I’m going to do this. How do I get over 400 Kalquorians to think my opinion matters when no Earther ever did? Nang really put his faith in the wrong person. But I have no choice but to get through it. I think I might throw up.