My New Girlfriend [3 Nivvem 4261]
Well, strictly, my first girlfriend. Ilottat wasn't a girl, and Strenata wasn't a girlfriend.
I acquired Jinthinia at Across Saga, as we had arranged. When I say "acquired", of course I mean that she offered to let me ride on her shoulder, which can hardly be considered improper or even remarkable. It did give me the opportunity to comfortably curl my tail around her upper arm.
Which upper arm, I might add, was quite pleasantly wrapped in a brown, slightly sparkly chemise or caprice or cerise or something along those lines. I haven't quite learned the names of biped clothing very well. Noble Honey wasn't exactly known for keeping her clothes on, much less organized.
(Someday, perhaps, I will achieve the twelfth part of the pleasures that that sentence implies.)
Jinthinia:"Where are we going to eat, Sythyry?"
Me:"Why, at Ghu Navage Ghu! A place renowned for huge spiky potted plants, grilled caterpillars on sticks with ground groundnut sauce, and lovestruck lizards."
She giggled in purple.
I tell you truly that, when she giggles, it's a purple giggle. I can't explain it more than that.
Me:"So, let us depart thither, where we may dine upon delectable comestables, or, perhaps, comest upon delectable dineables."
That got another purple giggle. And the offer of a shoulder to ride, as mentioned above.
Oh, let's see. On the way there, we talked about ... hmm ... the story that Thestra had told me about how she met Denaist; the story that Thestra had told Jinthinia about how she met Denaist; how one might reconcile the differences in these stories (which is harder than it might seem, since they involve quite different casts of characters); assorted other bits of Across Saga gossip. Nathardlu is probably sleeping with Grey Eel, did you know that? Did you care? (I didn't, and I do, but I don't think any other Across Saga regulars read this.)
Dinner... let's see. Orren can eat a lot, especially if they didn't quite manage to get to lunch due to a busy day at work, and there is a certain intimacy in sharing food. So I got a full dinner sized for a biped, and Jinthinia got a full dinner, and she ate most of both.
So, we started with consommees: wudgeon for me, eel and mushroom for her. There is nothing interesting to say about consomme. They were transparent. They were intensely flavored.
Then a plate of little pentagonal cheese tarts, served levitating. This was one of the very flirtiest things of the evening. One thing Jinthinia finds pleasing about Zi Ri is fire breath. I let the waiter know, privately, that the pentagonal tarts should be a bit cooled, rather than fresh from the oven as they would be for a cisaffectionate couple. (Well, for anyone, really.) On the discovery that they were not quite as delightfully melty as they should be, I was nicely provided with an opportunity to re-melt them. Jinthinia was quite specifically delighted.
And they say that Zi Ri fire breath isn't useful for anything! They know not what they say!
After that, I got a slice of zabouf wing broiled in butter, in an extra sauce of pureed spinach and little tiny clams: very rich but a bit bland. Zabouf really needs clove to taste good. Jinthinia got a custard with chub-beetles and sour berries. That was surprising. She didn't like it very much, but she finished off the zabouf.
After that ... I think it was grilled bird livers and grilled carrots on a bed of purple lentils spiced with istomard for me, and a plate of crabs for Jinthinia. Then some frozen cheese and bitter greens. My dessert was a currant tart; I was far too full to have more than two currants from it. Hers was a semifredo of raspberry nuts. She had to ask me what a semifredo was.
After we finished talking about Across Saga people and food, we fumbled around the point a while. Both of us were afraid of The Conversation, you see.
No, no. Not The Conversation I have with Vae. Every pair of people have a The Conversation -- or several if things are awkward. It's The Conversation that you're afraid or unhappy to have.
No, no. Not that The Conversation either.
The one about whether we want to, well, do it together.
No, no. Not that it. Adventuring.
The Real Conversations
Actually, there are several more topics that I'd like to know a bit more about. Like her previous life -- I know that she was married to three Orren men, and has a 16-year-old son by them, and is on tolerably good terms with all four of them but lives by herself.
And like her adventuring -- she does it for the money, which is a bit unusual at least in my social circles. Strenata is the other biped adventurer I particularly know, and she does it because she's in the city guard and/or the duke's special service, and it's kind of a family trade for her. Rhedwy, of course, is an adventurer, but that is because she is a Sleeth.
And, of course, what her personal life is all about, and where she might be able to fit a Zi Ri into it.
These conversations will have to wait until our next date.
Jinthinia:"That was very nice, Sythyry!"
Me:"I'm glad you enjoyed it!"
And, because we were walking by Ghaln-Yastrou Park, which is a good place for such things, we slunk around behind some bushes, and kissed very nicely for a few minutes.
She's refreshingly not shy about being traff. People who come to Across Saga mostly aren't. She says she's not worried about being called traff: everyone who is in any sort of social position to know about her personal life knows she is; it's not a secret.
But she doesn't want to be seen being specifically traff. Walkingaround with a Zi Ri on your shoulder is fine. Kissing one, especially kissing very nicely for several minutes ... well ...
Jinthinia:"I don't want to be seen. Nobles can do it -- you can and nobody'd be a bit surprised. I'm just an inker. I don't want people to think I'm putting on airs."
Me:"But everyone knows you're doing it. Everyone who hears that we've gone out more than once will think we've gone in, too, and be thinking all of sorts of wicked little intimacies. And who knows? They might not be all wrong."
Jinthinia:"Ooh! I hope so! But I've gotten much worse from being seen with a Herethroy -- very with a Herethroy -- than I ever did when I was living in the Cani longhouse but being private."
I need to hear more about that story, don't I?
Anyways, it's much nicer to just be a bit discreet than it was to slither around Ilottat's utter fear of being thought traff.
And when we got to her door...
Jinthini a:"Sythyry, would you like to ..."
Me:"Yes! Very yes!"
Jinthinia:"Yay! Come for dinner the night after tomorrow. I'm not any Ghu Navage Ghu, but I'll match your tonight somehow. Hey, do you like Rampaging Birds?"
Me:"The real ones, yes!"
After that I had to tell about the Milkrather Cafe, and got a big purple giggle for the story.
So I am rather pleased with how the evening went. No doom in sight!