Dustweed alone [22 Trandary 4261]
Dustweed was already in bed, alone, and I was puttering around binding a couple of spells to use the not-quite-last of the day's cley, and waiting for the fire to get calm and comfortable and ready to prolong. (For those of you -- primes and monsters both -- who have not had the good fortune to sleep with a Zi Ri in a fireplace, we generally wait until the flames are low but not quite out, and use a Sustenoc Pyrador spell to make them stay that way all night.)
"Some days I don't think myself a very good Herethroy," said Dustweed sadly.
Well, I doubt you could find three Herethroy in Vheshrame who would dispute with her on that. I didn't think it would be particularly useful to agree with zir -- zie can hardly change the main reason zie is not a very good Herethroy -- nor to argue with zir -- for I prefer to have some respectable reasons on my side when I start an argument. "What do you mean, Dustweed?"
"I really shouldn't mind having a lover couple with someone else," zie said. Herethroy can hardly help it -- with such unequal numbers of people of their three main sexes, males and many co-lovers must be in two triads and even so lots of females won't be able to marry. And, of course, they are triads, which allows for the possibility of various intra-marital dyads. Fortunately Herethroy are more level-headed than Orren, given what dyads did to Spirshash's marriage not to long ago.
Me:"Tethezai's not just sleeping at home tonight, then?"
Dustweed:"No. She's on a date with Heartwings."
Me:"I don't know the name -- a Herethroy?"
Dustweed:"There's no reason you would. He's not in the Academy... he's the child of one of the glassblowers. His mother just bought an esquireship, and he's trying to act like a noble."
Me:"I didn't realize that all the nobility had to sleep with Tethezai."
Dustweed looked very hurt, and I spent a while apologizing.
Dustweed:"I don't like this part, waiting for tomorrow to see if she comes back to me, or if she decides to keep him around as well as me, or ... almost anything could happen, I suppose."
Me:"I haven't been enjoying that part of my involvement with Strenata, either. For someone who despises nobility she's certainly spending a lot of time with the highest-titled student at Vheshrame. You at least have gotten your nights with Tethezai ... a fair number of them even. I haven't had that with anyone."
Dustweed:"Except the falling-asleep in Floosh's oven. You'll collect lovers sooner or later ... I think that Rassimel girl was flirting with you. I don't have very many chances, Sythyry. The only Herethroy who could like me would be pretty perverted, and the only non-Herethroy who could like me would be pretty perverted ... and that bring us back to Tethezai."
Me:"Who is, I must say, pretty perverted."
Dustweed:"She said our first day that I couldn't expect her to be her only lover. She is Rassimel, and her hobby is body-play, and anyone who loves a Rassimel must make room for their hobbies, and that is that."
Me:"... oh, seven staring gods..." (Could you think of anything better to say?)
Dustweed:"And I don't have too many choices in the matter. She will be unchaste -- well, unchaste with more than me -- and I can stay or I can go, but she cannot change. And I've thought with all four hands of going."
Me:"You're about to leave her?"
Dustweed:"Sorry, village expression." Herethroy villages have their subtleties of language, by which they conceal strong emotions and decisive action under mild words. "I've just been thinking about it ... a lot. I really should leave her, shouldn't I? I shouldn't have taken up with her at all, should I?"
Me:"Because she couldn't be faithful?"
Dustweed:"Because she's a Rassimel and I'm a Herethroy, curse it. Because the whole thing is indecent and unnatural and wrong. It's not even like we fell in love first, like some crudely printed book from the back of Moffingrinder's Bookstore with a title like Helpless Against Love and not very much literary merit. She seduced me because she enjoys novelty, I accepted because I hadn't had a better offer since ever."
Me:"You certainly both look like you're deep in your loves, now."
Dustweed:"We are. I suppose we are. Not that any amount of love will keep her in my bed. Hah. She did say that love would keep me coming back to my bed, and often, and she really hoped that would be enough for me because it was all she could give. And she hadn't given that to anyone else."
I mumbled some incoherent sympathies or some such.
Dustweed:"It's not like it would be different if she were a Herethroy, not from that side. If I somehow managed to get married, my spouses would surely find each other more appealing than me ... I used to have this dream of getting a wife and a husband, not a mari and a husband, just because a wife couldn't have another triad and I'd only have to compete for her with my husband and I might win once in a while." She laughed bitterly. "At this rate, I'll maybe get my triad: a Rassimel wife, a hired Khtsoyis husband, and me."
Me:"Tethezai's dating a Khtsoyis?"
Dustweed:"Hah. No. She wasn't sure she wanted to try a Khtsoyis. Just Sleeth and Gormoror and ..."
She rather trailed off. I can count to eight as well as anyone. I rather yeeked.
Me:"I won't be stealing your Rassimel, O Herethroy!"
Dustweed:"I wouldn't count on that; she can be awfully persuasive. Even to people who don't want to be transaffectionate."
I yeeked incoherently for a while, and eventually got out, "It's perfectly acceptable and moral for me! I'm Zi Ri and noble!"
Dustweed:"You've got a courtesy title only, so don't push it. Anyways, she's not going to collect you any time soon, nor even Hezimikkinen." Zie sighed, and fluffed zir pillow, and lay back on it as if it were not going to do zir any good. "Just Heartwings."
Me:"Shall I get you some zilwe tea?"
Dustweed:"That would be nice. The sooner and harder I sleep, the better."
So I am playing nursemaid and confidante to a transaffectionate both-female. Gah.