Dealing with Arilash
I slunk back into the cave. Arilash curled her tail around her forepaws tightly to emphasize that she was trying to be harmless. “There’s a trail of wounded drakes from here to Chiaract tonight. Did it go badly with Csirnis?”
“It. Went. Excellently. With. Csirnis.” I said. “And you are not going to score any fiancée points off of me today.”
So help me, she turned into a camel. “I’m not trying to. Maybe we can have a truce for the evening?”
Well, I outfoxed her. “I’ll challenge you. You win, you get to declare a truce,” I said.
“If you like, OK. Just a Babble of Raises, though,” she said, and turned back into a dull tan monster half again as big as I am. I guessed wrong about how she was tilting the Small Wall, and my lightning slipped off of it and ruined Murghal’s poster of a famous Ghemelian movie star or something. Claw that the Small Wall, it’s not even good at not being very good sometimes.
Arilash and I swatted at each other a few times. Then she said, “You’re bleeding.”
I flicked my tongue out, and smelled dragon blood. “You mean to say ‘I hit you, and I win.’ Don’t go saying ‘You’re bleeding’ and avoiding the point.”
So she put the Put-Together-Now into me, presumably on where she had clawed me. I hissed at her, “This isn’t a Caramelle. Or whatever a Caramelle to one touch is called. It’s a Babble of Raises, and it’s over, and you won, and can I be done with today yet?”
“Some days you’re just impossible to make peace with, Jyothky,” she said. “But I do declare that truce for the rest of the night.”
“We both know who’s coming in first. I don’t want to come in last, is all,” I said. “I’ve got to keep fighting you to show my indomitable spirit. Even if I keep losing.”
“Can’t I say that I’m so impressed by your indomitable spirit that I don’t want to fight you any more?” she asked.
“That only leaves the sex contests, and you win all of those,” I pointed out.
She rolled on her side, and folded her wings demurely around herself. “You certainly seem to have gotten thumped on that score thoroughly today, by how you’re acting. What happened? Csirnis hinted that it was a quite respectable entry in the sex contests, suitably handicapped.”
So I let her read today’s entry.
She unaccountably said, “Oh, you’re just like me that way.”
“I get pretty irritable if I get too much flirted at, and don’t bring matters to a suitable conclusion,” she said. “I have to be pretty careful sometimes. There was one drake in Fohhona — did you ever meet Ressal?”
“I’ve only been to Fohhona about three days, and with one parent hanging on each hindwing all the time to keep me innocent,” I said.
“Pity, it’s a fun place. Anyways, Ressal is as pretty and as hot as an explosion of brightly-colored chili peppers, and he’s the sweetest, kindest drake you’ll ever meet. But he is utterly unable to satisfy a dragoness. His largest hemipenis lasts for three heartbeats, not three hours like it should.”
“He wasn’t ever going to be our fiancé,” I mumbled.
“Which loses me a great many fiancée points with anyone who cares about purity. It sure did with Roroko! Osoth and I think Csirnis care about it pretty much too, so you’re inevitably the victor in that part of the contest.”
“For whatever that’s worth,” I mumbled. It’s embarrassing about three ways to hear her talk about that.
“For whatever that’s worth. Anyways, Ressal and I would flirt and play tsheriaf and make love badly and then go to one of the roasting pits for dinner, and next thing you know I’m screaming at him about how awful he is, or biting the drake at the next bench for eating too loudly, or writing another angry letter to my mother about how she treated me.”
“All at once?”
She giggled. “No, a different way on each date. On the fourth date, I got smarter. I pleasured myself thoroughly and made him watch, and then coupled with him. And then didn’t bite anyone.”
“Lucky dragoness. I’ve never managed to do that either, I don’t think.”
She laughed. “I could help, if you wanted … Hey, we’ve got a truce ‘til dawn!” We did, too, so I didn’t breathe at her.
“No. Never. Is there any other way to be less cross afterwards? It’s almost as bad as when I’m laying an egg,” I said.
“Take a bath, perhaps. Or just go to sleep.”
I glared in the direction of the river. “Sleep.”
She smiled at me. “Yes, sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning. And, for what it’s worth, Csirnis said he had a very pleasant time with you.”
“Oh. What do the other drakes say?”
“The twins don’t say anything,” she said. I blinked at her a bit. “Osoth and Nrararn, I mean. Llredh gave details in a triumphant sort of way.”
“I wish he wouldn’t have.”
“And Tultamaan was very oblique,” Arilash said.
“I didn’t even couple with Tultamaan yet,” I mumbled.
“You didn’t?” Arilash crossed her eyes. “I suppose he didn’t exactly say that you did. He just Insinuated Things and Lead Me To The Wrong Conclusion.” She hissed. “Well, you’re not missing much. He’s better than Ressal, by a lot, and very enthusiastic in a completely self-centered way. Afterwards he whines about anything you said or did that wasn’t utterly flattering or directed purely at him. I enjoyed Ressal a lot more, all in all. Once I figured out how to use Ressal properly.”
“You’ve had so many adventures. How are you going to manage to settle down to be a reasonable wife for someone?” I asked. I wanted to score some fiancée points.
“I don’t know,” she said, with a bit of darkness in her voice. “I’ll figure that out when the time comes. For now, maybe, time to sleep?”
“Right.” I stuck my head under my wing and was asleep before you could count to twelve grand, if you counted slowly.
Maybe I should marry the drake I like the least, ‘cause the married part of marriage is going to be pretty miserable.
Xolgrohim thought that might be a good idea too. I can’t imagine that any of the drakes would be really happy with me as a wife. (Better than nothing? Possibly, if I work really hard. Better than being an eternal bachelor in Fohhona’s fleshpots? I doubt that.) If I can’t come up with an actually happy marriage, maybe getting someone I can fight with a lot would be a good choice. Fighting’s worthwhile, isn’t it?
|Fiancé||Last Time||Change||This Time|