Pepper Mint [11 Thory 4262]
So after that we went to dinner at Kio-Koila. Which, as has been noted before, is a tolerably fancy restaurant not far from the Pillar of Incangiophor, and generally suitable for precopulative dinners among the children of the minor nobility. Though Mynthë isn't quite as aggressively flirtatious as Jrakh was.
Not wholly flirtless! Over the squash course (I had a squash stuffed with cheese and mushrooms; zie had a squash stuffed with bread and ginger), there was a discussion of the particularly sensitive spots on a Herethroy body. Antennae, are a good one, and joints, and mouth, in addition to the obvious ones which did not need to be mentioned. For Zi Ri, it was noted, the topic is easier; our scales do not particularly impede the sense of touch. (Virid, creator god of the Herethroy, is quite practical. Hren Tzen, my own creator god, is rather less so.)
~Mother~ paid for it. I hope zie doesn't realize that zie did, since I know for a fact that zie doesn't approve of my romantic career. I suppose that's not surprising, since zie doesn't approve of my diplomatic career either. I don't much approve of my own diplomatic career either, but I do think that my romantic career should be encouraged. Even if we're a bit short on Orren at the moment.
(But then, who does zie expect my dining companions to be? Of course they'll be members of other species. If I'm eating with another Zi Ri at all regularly, it's surely going to be Zemi, and in that case Zemi had better pay for it. Most restaurants would probably give zir free meals on occasion anyways, zie's that important.)
And then, of course, the doom. The analytical doom. Which waited until we were sitting in the Arena of Massacres and Spectacles of Blood.
Mynthë:"Arena of Massacres and Spectacles of Blood?"
Me:"Oh, yes, and very accurately named, too." I pointed out the cursed, wicked blossomary in the cage in the corner. "That terrible monster has injured more of us than two nendrai!" Which is technically correct, since Sprillet has bitten pretty much all of us and the nendrai have only gone after me.
Mynthë:"I am disappointed in you, Sythyry!"
Mynthë:"You are bringing your work home with you!"
OK, that wasn't the doom. That was the proto-doom. Here's the doom.
Mynthë:"So, um, what's the standard community expectation of what traffs do on a date? I've only had a little experience, and, well, we didn't date much. Or from the community."
Me:"Um ... eating, music, dancing, puppet shows, plays, sports, whatever."
Mynthë:"No, not that kind of thing."
Me:"The other kind of thing we're known for?"
Mynthë:"That kind of thing, yes."
Me:"Well, the only first date I've been on with someone actually in the community didn't turn out all that sticky."
Mynthë:"Oh ... I'd heard that we pretty much always went to bed together on the first date, and that everything we did together is all about the sex."
Me:"Maybe you're thinking about cissies? I hear they like sex a lot." Which got some laughter, and a lot less nervousness.
Mynthë:"Not that I'd never do that, but ... I'm not quite ready to throw myself at anyone. Not quite yet."
Me:"I've had a wonderful evening already!"
Mynthë:"It has been fun. Maybe we could see a puppet show sometime ... even like tomorrow?"
Me:"I'd be glad to!"
Mynthë:"And maybe a later one, but we've got to have a sort of serious conversation first. I'm maybe a bit weird for you. I don't want to do it tonight though."
Me:"I'm not utterly unused to weird. Tomorrow?"
Mynthë:"Yes, tomorrow. Oh, and dinner at the Brandybane. I'm going to need a bit of extra courage."
I think I might need the extra courage, too.