The Daukhrame Diplomatic Corps [23 Chirreb 4261]
Two very serious-looking Cani were waiting for me in the parlor when I got home: Jherrel and Crander, or something like that. I can't remember any of the rest of their names. Anoof was waiting with them, his tail between his legs.
They talked very quietly. They said they were Ilottat's friends, and as loyal to him as only Cani can be. They made several points. Sharp pointy points. It hurt a lot.
- Daukhrame is the loyal ally and concedes affan in various matters to Vheshrame. This isn't about the relationship between the two cities, not a bit. (Which is an exceedingly scary way to start a conversation. I recommend it if you are ever trying to terrify forigners. Not that they were trying to scare me particularly.)
- Still, Ilottat is, in some sense, a representative and to-be (or "hopefully to-be") ambassador of Daukrhame. I am, in some sense, a representative and even an ambassador of the Duke of Vheshrame.
- And Ilottat and I are in a ... physical ... and emotional? (I nodded. I think it's true.) relationship.
- Which may, understandably, make the lords of Daukrhame uncomfortable with their utter assurance in Ilottat's ... not his loyalty, which they are not questioning (and in any event there is no, absolutely no, conflict between Daukrhame and Vheshrame). But his singleness of purpose, his desire to promote the wishes and needs of Daukrhame (which in any case do not conflict with those of Vheshrame, but, perhaps, may be given an ever-so-slightly different emphasis).
- And, under the circumstances, Ilottat's choice of perversion (Yes, they quite directly said that particular word, to me, about my love and about me, without twitching an ear) could be interpreted to indicate that he may, in the future, be swayed by other Zi Ri -- and, potentially, other Zi Ri who are not in the service of Daukrhame's good ally and elder brother Vheshrame.
- Which is to say, if Ilottat continues being so obviously a transaffectionate Zi Ri fancier, his career as a diplomat and spy will be over before it is properly started.
- So if I actually love him, I will do best by him to break up with him in so painful a way that he will never want to see a Zi Ri ever again.
And then they left. Anoof stayed, and held me while I writhed around as if my spine had been severed just below the neck.
(And he told me various other things, of course. Ilottat has been warned, several times, by various diplomatic folks including Jherrel and Crander. That is why he has been so fussy about being seen with me in my real form, or part of it ... not that it helps, as any Cani in the building can tell at a sniff what he and I have been doing. Not that concerned senior Daukrhame diplomats wouldn't think to check about such matters, considering Ilottat's history.)
Anoof didn't recommend any course of action to me. He was pretty distraught himself ... he blames himself for it. Not that he expected me to be appointed ambassador to a nendrai when he started being go-between.
I don't have any good ideas of what to do either.
And it hurts that he was right about needing to hide, too.