Thursday, April 21, 2016
September 4, part 2
I’d arranged to com Clan Seot after lunch. Now that we can talk in real time, we like to take advantage of it.
I was a couple minutes late connecting to their frequency, but I’d had to change Anrel’s diaper. I tried to hurry through it, but she was so cute that I had to take time to give her kisses. She squirmed nonstop, determined to roll over. Busy baby.
Finally I was seated on the floor with Anrel, feeling my tummy get all squirmy the way it always did when I was about to see Clan Seot. They flip my switch.
The instant the vid of the three delicious hunks popped up, I gave them a frantic wave. “I’m sorry I’m late!”
They smiled at me, each man sinfully gorgeous in his own way. Hunky Seot, adorable Cifa, and sexy Larten. They make me believe the prophets love me and want me to have nonstop sweaty sex.
Yes, I am going to Hell. But if that road is paved with Clan Seot, I will skip straight down.
Cifa, who has younger siblings he used to babysit, was the first to speak. “Babies and children will always make you late. But that is okay because you are worth waiting for,” he cooed to Anrel. “Oh, you too Shalia.” He winked to let me know he teased.
I laughed with the other two men. Clan Seot is always busting each other’s chops. I was apparently now to be included in that.
“By the ancestors, woman, what have you been doing to your arms?” Seot’s tone was admiring.
I looked at them, confused as to what he was talking about. I wore a tank top, so they were bare. “What? What’s wrong?” I asked.
“Nothing. Look at the muscle you’ve got now.”
I huffed a disparaging breath, though I was secretly pleased. My arms had gone from sickly little sticks to toned in the last few weeks. I don’t want to give credit where it was due though. My former trainer was persona non grata. “Please. You guys have the arms. Boy, do you have the arms.” I ogled with a lascivious leer.
“You look amazing,” Seot asserted. His gaze ran up and down my body. He was just as overt in his appreciation of me.
“Gorgeous,” Cifa sighed.
Larten had said nothing thus far. “The Nobek remains silent,” I joked. “He is not so easily impressed.”
The dangerous-looking brute cocked an eyebrow at me. “If you were here I’d throw you down and show you how good I think you look,” he said, one corner of his mouth sliding up to give me an evil smirk. “Words would not be necessary.”
I pretended horror, covering Anrel’s ears. “Larten!”
He grinned, unrepentant. His usual slightly sinister look softened as he looked at the baby. “Speaking of strong women, look at this one pushing herself up.”
“She is!” Cifa was always delighted with all things Anrel. This time was no exception. “She’ll be crawling in no time. What a big girl you are, Anrel.”
“The two of you are finally thriving,” Seot said. “What was this report I heard about you taking on an entire squad of Tragooms though?”
“Oh no,” I groaned. “Trust me, the story has been exaggerated to a ridiculous extreme. I didn’t fight an entire squad by myself, and I made so many mistakes I shouldn’t be alive to talk to you. I had more luck than skill.” On the heels of that, I realized my humiliation kept me from showing proper appreciation to one of the men who deserved thanks. I told Larten, “One of the things I did do right was the trick you showed me when facing a bigger opponent. That definitely saved my skin.”
He beamed with pride. “I am glad, Shalia. Did you blood your knife?”
I’d never heard that phrase before, but the meaning seemed clear. “Twice.”
“Yes!” Larten howled, making Seot and Cifa wince. He pounded his feet in quick succession, and I recognized the rhythm of an ancient Kalquorian tribal dance. I had a moment of fear that he would slap the snot out of his Dramok or Imdiko, as that usually happens during such displays.
Instead, he straightened with the happiest smile I’ve ever seen a Nobek wear. Seot and Cifa chuckled at him. Then the Dramok turned to me. “How many Tragooms in total did you kill, Shalia?”
I cringed. I didn’t want to tell him the number. It was embarrassing, more an admission of stupid luck than any real skill. But Seot has a way of looking at me that doesn’t brook any hemming or hawing. When the man asks a question, he expects an answer.
So I told him, “I was credited with 14.”
Cifa’s jaw dropped in comic shock. Larten’s grin got bigger, though it didn’t seem possible it could. However, Seot nodded, his expression serious though gentle. “Quite the count. You are to be commended.”
“Commended?” Cifa spluttered. “She deserves the rank of commander.”
“Shalia doesn’t want a lot of attention for this matter, as much as she warrants it.” Seot’s tone held a hint of warning for his clanmates. “She’s ready to move on and leave that part behind her.”
I heaved a breath of relief. With just a few short words from me, my Dramok beau understood how I felt about the matter. He got it without me laying it out. I could have kissed him for his understanding ... but then, I could kiss Seot just for standing around and looking gorgeous. Still, I was grateful to him for shutting the conversation down.
To underscore that, I asked Larten, “You do the historical demonstrations? Are you part of that ancestor appreciation society?”
He’d gone back to his dashing and slightly dangerous look. “I am. I can trace my lineage all the way back to Itness, father of Princess Gamrec and slayer of The Big Boot during the War of the Breeds.”
My knowledge of Kalquorian history is next to nil. Most of what came out of Larten’s mouth might as well have been spoken in Adraf for all I understood. It was clear this was a matter of pride for the big guy, so I nodded and made impressed sounds.
“It’s good you know your ancestry,” I said. “I have no clue about anyone in my distant background except a little about my grandparents.”
“Tradition and honoring our ancestors is good. Thinking about you getting here soon is even better.” Larten gave me a looking-over to let me know his plans for our future.
I wagged a finger at him but couldn’t keep the naughty grin off my face. “Do I need to cover Anrel’s ears again?”
The rest of our conversation settled into tame catching up, however. While Clan Seot gives me all sorts of dirty thoughts, it is nice getting to know them outside of rampant lust. I know I like these guys. I know they’ll be a good fit for me and Anrel already. Still, they do have some pretty heavy competition from Clan Aslada. I also worry I’ll need time to get over Betra and Oses before I can truly commit to a clan.
Clan Seot tempts me to jump in headfirst, but I’m going to be smart about this. For once, I’m going to think things through.