Mirrored from Sythyry.
“Some days, I am simply amazing. Some nights, rather,” said Inconnu. He was a tall and lithe Orren man, wearing a wild sarong of red and purple over his brown otterly fur.
“Some days, you are begging me to ask you what you did last night,” said Arfaen. She wagged her tail. “But you may tell me of your latest nighttime adventures while you are stirring the soup. If you can do it in ways that won’t offend Quendry’s innocent little ears.” She grinned at her son, who was shelling peas.
“My ears are strong! They are the strong and strong ears! Nothing offends them!”
Inconnu leapt over the counter and grabbed a pair of stirring-paddles from a rack. Arfaen glared. “No jumping. Give me one of those and I’ll use it on you.”
Inconnu giggled, and presented his rump to her. “Now? Or next time we’re in bed together?”
“There won’t be a next time we’re in bed together if you keep hopping around in the kitchen!” said Arfaen, mock-sternly. She swatted him, but just with a hand, for she is a very careful and clean chef.
“Ooh, you’d break up with me over that? That would cut each of us down to — what? Three dozen traff lovers?” teased Inconnu. “Oh, sorry, I’m supposed to keep it Quendry-safe.”
“Quendry knows about who I’m with, Inconnu,” said Arfaen. “He could smell it out even if I didn’t tell him.”
“Well, I’m going to tell you who I was with last night! Rosibeffa and Plisciné!”
“Who?” asked Arfaen.
“Two beautiful and hot Rassimel girls at that last city we stopped at! Confisse, wasn’t it called?”
Arfaen flattened her ears. “Not that I’m in any position to tell you who to sleep with or not –”
“You sometimes are! And very nicely too!” said Inconnu. “I like you in that kind of position!”
“– but picking up people in port isn’t really that safe for you,” said Arfaen. “It’d be different for cisaffectionate people, since anyone can flirt with someone the same species and no harm done. But flirting cross-species can get you beaten up in most cities, or worse.”
“Hah! What do I have to fear from such things?” snorted Inconnu. “I, who have fought a god — and won?”
“When you fought Thefefy and won — that was a brave thing, and a noble one, but you didn’t beat her or even injure her in the slightest. She killed you several times. If you do that in a bar in Confisse, we will not call it winning. We will call it losing and needing to be rescued a lot,” said Arfaen.
“Be that as it may! I flirted with Rosibeffa and won!” proclaimed Inconnu, stirring the soup. “I won so much that I didn’t just win her, I won Plisciné too!”
“And I was at home, making my tofyof work for zir pay,” said Arfaen. She is continually amused that I — an
great adequate wizard and her patron and social superior nearly everywhere — am her legally-registered and socially-inferior concubine by the laws of one now-distant city state. (But, yes, we are lovers, or I am her concubine, or she is mine, depending on how one wishes to count things.) “So how did Plisciné enter the picture?”
“Plisciné is Rosibeffa’s … Rosibeffa’s … I don’t know really. They might be married, or they might be colleagues, or something. Rosibeffa took me to her — what do you call a prostitute’s professional bedroom? Her office? Her chamber?”
Arfaen started cleaning and trimming the immense pile of radishes that our Herethroy eat. “Wait, they were hookers? You’re bragging to me about how you hired two hookers?”
Inconnu brandished a stirring-paddle, scattering drops of bisque everywhere and getting a groan from Arfaen. “I am going to brag to you about how much I paid for two hookers!”
“You can clean up the floor afterwards, too. OK, how much did you pay for two hookers?”
“Not a terch! They were so impressed with my physical physique and lovely lovemaking that they didn’t charge me a thing!” said Inconnu.
“Wait — you hired them and they waived the fee? Or you snuck out without paying?” asked Arfaen.
Inconnu put his hand on his chest in exaggerated innocence. “What do you take me for? I am a wealthy Orren! I can afford a thousand prostitutes if I want them! Of course I was going to pay them!”
“I am not sure that even the mighty Inconnu could get full value from a thousand prostitutes,” said Arfaen. “And what happened so that you didn’t pay?”
“I gave each of them such heights of pleasure that they unanimously decided not to charge me anything!”
Arfaen shook her head. “Once in a while I hear about a prostitute waiving her fee. Like if the client experiences a severe failure of masculinity, and the prostitute wants to ensure his long-term clienthood.”
“I experienced no failure of masculinity! I experienced a triumph of masculinity!”
“Did you experience a loss of valuable possessions?” asked Arfaen.
“No! I had seventy lozens in my purse when I started the evening, and I had seventy when I finished!” said Inconnu.
Arfaen finished the radishes, and started seeding cucumbers. “Strange. You’re a fine and fun bedmate, I won’t deny it. But I don’t think I’ve ever had a lover who was so good they’d erase all thoughts of money from a hooker’s mind. I wonder what their angle was — blackmail?”
Inconnu laughed. “Let them just try to blackmail me! What will they do — threaten to write to my friends and family and hint that I am traff?” Most of the crew of Strayway is transaffectionate, but most of us are fairly discreet about it except with each other. Inconnu is the most flamboyantly and publicly traff of us — he works hard at it — anyone would know it within three and a half snaps of meeting him. I do not wholly approve of his behavior or his mannerisms. But at least they render him blackmail-proof.
“Well, I’m glad you had a good night with them. Are you tired, or is our date still on for tonight?” Arfaen glanced at Quendry. “After your bedtime, young man!”
“I am not tired! I am filled with the surging energy of excitement and triumph!”
Arfaen smiled, lolling her tongue out the left side of her mouth. “Maybe you learned some new tricks. Maybe I won’t charge you either.”
Inconnu blinked. “Wait, what? You’ve started charging…?”
“No, no. Don’t be silly. And don’t let that bisque burn either.”
Not, of course, that the stories of Inconnu’s prowess stopped with Arfaen. He told everyone who didn’t get away in time.