Thursday, January 14, 2016

August 22, later (part 1)

Anrel was such a good baby while I got ready for the dance club. And by good baby, I mean she slept for most of it.

I love how Betra set up my vid and com as a monitor. It allowed me to take a nice, long shower while still keeping an eye on Anrel in the other room. I am enjoying this stage of her babyhood. Once she starts crawling and walking, taking time for myself is going to be another matter entirely. I don’t mind. I like being wrapped around her tiny little finger.

I was dressed and made up in time for Candy to come in and work her magic with my hair. I can’t do a thing with it, and Candy seems to be a born hairdresser. A lot of women ask her for tips. It doesn’t matter the length or texture; the woman can style like a pro.

I’m hopeless as always. Candy did this really cool thing, giving me a messy braided bun that was a fun break from me just ignoring it or pulling it back into a pathetic ponytail.

“There,” she said, standing back to view her handiwork. “It’s the type of look that you can sweat your ass off dancing and it will still look good.”

“Terrific,” I said, turning my head this way and that to enjoy each angle in the mirror. I liked how the untidy ‘do contrasted with the sleek dress I wore. “Just the thing for a night out on the transport.” She’d put a sparkling barrette next to one temple which went well with my sleeveless silver dress. I wore no other jewelry since I already looked like walking bling.

“You look hot,” Candy grinned. “Look at those guns, girl! You’ll have to thank Resan for those awesome arms.”

I shot her a dour look and she burst into giggles. What a butt.

Candy was insanely gorgeous as always. Her hair was caught up in a high curly ponytail. Her dress was daring and flouncy at once. The ruffled neckline of her black dress plunged daringly halfway to her navel. The inner curves of her breasts were a tease without quite crossing the line into sleazy. She had the ‘girl next door gone bad’ look down to a tee.

“You’ll be lucky if Ama and Mihi let you dance more than one song,” I commented. “They’ll trip over their tongues.”

She tossed her head, making the gazillions of loose curls sproing. “I am going to dance for hours whether they like it or not. But I will promise them extra special consideration for patience.”

Her wink was too wicked for a cutie like her. I nearly fell over laughing. I ended up waking Anrel with my loud mouth.

That was our cue to coo and make silly faces as I cradled my little girl. When my door announce went off, we were still carrying on with high-pitched baby voices and getting our lipstick on Anrel’s happy face.

The sound of someone at the door made Candy glance at the time. “Oh no, I should have been out of here ages ago! See you at the club, Shalia! Love you, Anrel!”

She ran at the door. It opened for her. In her haste, Candy nearly ran over Clan Dabil and Megan.

“Oops, sorry,” she yelled as Tep and his Nobek Kegad made room for her to pass. “Sorry, I’m late; have a good night!”

“Opening night jitters?” Dramok Dabil asked, his broad face breaking into a wide grin.

“No, that’s just Candy,” Megan laughed. She stepped in and gave me a hug. “You look amazing, Shalia.” Her voice went up a hundred octaves. “Hi Anrel. Hi, pretty girl.”

Tep already had his arms out to hold her. “Let me see this little lady. Medical is so quiet without you, Anrel.”

Megan made a face, but it was goodnatured. “If I get to hold her for one second, I’ll be amazed. No, go ahead Tep. But if you’re going to hog her all night, you’ve got diaper duty.”

“Sounds right to me,” Kegad muttered to Dabil. His teeth flashed behind a heavy mustache and beard. “Thank the ancestors they never covered that in training camp.”

I grinned at the Nobek. “You’re one of the heads of ship’s discipline. You can assign diaper changing duty as punishment. I wouldn’t mind.”

That made him and Dabil laugh. Meanwhile, Tep took Anrel over to the lounger and sat down. “Don’t listen to them, pretty baby. You are precious no matter what you do or how it smells.”

“So why did you always have an orderly take care of such business when it happened in Medical and I wasn’t available?” I told Megan and the rest of his clan, “If Tep’s changed the first diaper, then I’m a Tragoom.”

My announce went off again. “Enter,” I called.

Betra and Oses stepped into the room. They exchanged bows with Clan Dabil. “So many people to take care of one tiny baby,” Oses smirked, his gaze challenging Kegad.

“We were just discussing the diaper changing. With the stories I’ve heard, it seemed appropriate to have backup.”

“I had not considered that. I wish you well tonight. Remember Kegad, sometimes retreat is not so dishonorable.”

The rest of us chortled over the deadly serious way the two Nobeks discussed the issue. I swear Kegad only partly joked.

I handed Megan the bag I’d prepared as Oses fussed with the door’s lock. “If I’ve forgotten anything, Oses is programming the door to allow you back in here. And you know you can com any of us if you need me.”

“We’ve got it, Shalia. Go have fun.” Megan’s eyes twinkled. “Com when you’re headed back and we’ll meet you here with Anrel.”

Tep stood and came over. “She’ll be fine. Have fun and don’t worry.”

I smiled up at him. “With you taking care of her? Not a worry in the world, Doc.” I replaced the lipstick kisses that had disappeared from Anrel’s face while in his care. “Good night, Anrel. I love you. Be a good girl and I’ll see you later.”

We all headed out together, splitting up as Clan Dabil, Megan, and Anrel headed one way and Oses, Betra, and I went another. I walked between my two sweeties, my arms in theirs as we headed for the promenade. I wore a big smile. Anrel was taken care of, I got to go dancing, and I was in the company of the best men on the ship. It was going to be a great night.

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