Friday, June 27, 2014

33 - Lady May I?

As they walked along the pathway up the cliff-face, he didn’t look at her but said “You didn’t have to come and fetch me personally.”

She had her over-veil on and he couldn’t see her eyes so he had no idea what was behind the blank cloth.  And the long silence.  “I realized that.  Would you have come out if I weren’t standing right under your nose?”

It was his turn to be silent for more than a few breaths.  “Ah. No.”

“So I was correct in thinking that an Agador message or a Mom poke would have been ignored like a crazy street preacher?”

“You mean like someone denouncing the Font of All Knowledge?” He grinned.  “They usually get picked up by the lesser Immoderates and hauled away.

He thought he could hear a smile in her response. “Exactly.”

“You really need me and not just Mom?”

She stopped and turned to face him.  He could just see her eyes and was suddenly glad he had the protection of a layer of cloth between them.  “Terence Cameron… I don’t know exactly how that damned Prime taught you…but it is imperative for us… we cannot win if you keep this up… that you stop this habit of yours, of running yourself down.  You know what you know and you have promised to help.  Do less than your best and you will be foresworn.”

He twitched a bit as if she’d just punched him in the stomach.  “How old are you, exactly?”

She tossed her head and turned to head to the bridge.  “I told you.  Besides, in Lainz no one knows my birthday… only Ky’s.”

“Hmmm.” He followed after her, staring at the back of her head as they stepped out from under the shade of the Rim Gate.  Siwion. You’re used to being the one in the centre of attention.”

She snapped around and stopped in the middle of the roadway, crowds pouring around them, most of them going in to the city. “Why you well um er…” She sputtered, then drew a deep and audible breath.  “I’m used to being privileged, you mean?”

“This is going to be a very stop and start conversation if we keep on like this, Hara.” He locked his hands at the small of his back.  She dropped back beside him and even if he couldn’t see, her stance under the veil hinted that she’d just taken up the same posture he had.  “Yes. I suppose.” She sighed.  “Kyrus… well… he is a younger version of you.”

He stopped himself from stopping but stumbled.  “What? Um…”

She’d gotten ahead of him again.  “You don’t have to worry… I’m not propositioning you.  We might all get wiped out next week if Prime figures out our deceptions.  I want to come with you.”


“You said that already.”

He snapped his mouth shut.  “You’re not propositioning me?”

“Is that all you heard?”  By this time they were on the first bridge and instead of stopping, she walked faster.

“No! No! I heard the rest of it… I’m just not used to listening to lighter voices...” he let his trail away.  It wasn’t what he wanted to say. It wasn’t what he meant. She turned toward him, slowly, her steps slowing as well.  “That’s not what I mean… I mean… I… don’t know.” He flung his hands in the air.  “My life is ruined and I don’t know how to say anything anymore!”

“Maybe we should let our hormones be and just focus on the war?”

He couldn’t tell if she were joking or not and finally just shrugged.  “Yes.  That sounds good.  Um… lady… may I court you if we survive?”

1 comment:

  1. He finally managed to pull his foot out of his mouth long enough for one good sentence. ;)