Thursday, November 24, 2011

591 - Blush Me Red

As we got up from breakfast, Chevenga said “I want a word with you, Minis.”

“Oh, certainly.”  He was speaking as if it were important.  What had happened?  An emergency of some kind?  Or had I done something wrong?  I could feel my gut clench, tight around my happiness from my late night dreams.  I could see Ky’s face, worried for me.  I smiled at her.  If anyone could see through my sudden fear, she could.  I leaned over and whispered in her ear.  “It’s probably nothing.” She regained her smile and patted my arm, right in front of everyone!

“Of course, Min,”  she whispered back and her eyes twinkled at me. Min.  She called me Min.  Oh, I do need to MAKE a wonderfully romantic proposal for her, one that we’ll be able to tell stories about… I clung to that as Cheveng—Virani-e led me off to the study at the front of the house just off the family dining room and sat me down by the desk.  He leaned over toward me, looking at me seriously.

“Minis, why have you not yet asked Kyriala to marry you?”

I blinked.  This was the last thing I thought he’d be telling me.  It took me a click to shift my thinking.  I thought he’d been smiling at Ky and I courting at his table.  It… shook me.  “I... I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment... when we get back... I was waiting for Kallijas to ask Laisa... and didn’t want to step on their announcement...” I held out my one hand and pull the ring out of the glove pocket.  “I’m carrying the ring just in case.”

“Look, you don’t have to announce the moment you ask her.  You can keep it private for a time.  Can’t you see she’s in an agony of waiting?”

“Oh... um... er... well... um...” I was blushing and stammering as if he’d caught me shenning in the palace corners…  I was even kicking the floor with one foot as if I could pry up a tile. 

“Can’t you see you are in an agony of waiting?”

“She might say no, still... " Not likely.  That’s just my fear talking.

“Are you kidding?  She’s not going to say no!  Minis, she could barely keep her hands off you just now!”

That had me flash a smile.  At least our feet off one another… “Um... well... I’m not healed up yet... and I don’t want to offer her a damaged man for a husband...” That was the boy in me.

“Minis, she knows you and how damaged you are and she still wants you! Can’t you see it in her eyes?  Her smile?  She’s probably green with envy at Laisa for having been asked!  They probably go off for their girl-talks and curse you for not asking... or worse... more likely... poor Kyriala is wondering what is wrong with her.”

“NO... oh, Gods, no I wouldn’t want her to think any such thing... oh, Ten, I’m just such an idiot...”

“So quit being such an idiot and ask her.”

“Yes.”  I clipped the word off hard.

He looked at me under his brows.  “Unless you think that’s bad advice?”

“No.  I have a plan.”

“Oh.”  He was confused, I could see that. “But you said first it was because you were worried she’d say no, then that you didn’t want to hand her damaged goods...?”

“That’s my fear.  I know it.  It’s part of what has been slowing me down... I acknowledge that I’ve been moving slowly.  But Gannara and Farasha and Kyriala and I have an understanding but I have to do this RIGHT.  It’s the dance of comb and fan.  If I don’t do it right she loses face.”

He thought for several clicks.  “I think you are masking your fear behind propriety.”

“Yeha.  I really am.  And now I don’t want to make the big question an afterthought to someone else’s.”

“You maybe want to let her know that’s why you’re holding off.  In case she has worse ideas why, such as, you’re no longer interested.”

“Um... I’m getting to the point where I can get that Yeolis, who’ve been ‘rattling crystals’ before they’re fifteen, might think I’ve been so slow as to be catatonic.”

“Twelve,” he said.

I dipped my head, acknowledging.  “You were twelve, yes.”

“I didn’t mean just me.  I was about average.  That’s not why I’m saying all this anyway... it’s the looks I kept seeing on her face. The ones she has when you are not looking at her.”

“The ‘oh my Ten this boy is slow, eye rolls?’

“No.  The ones that are a mix of yearning and worry.”  That made me pause and think.

“I think we’re all right.  Um... I’m going to say she and I have... well... reassured each other...”  She must have been the one in my dreaming bed. Virani-e raised an eyebrow at me, grinning.

“You think?  You might want to make sure.”

“Um.  Yes.  I... should... Would mamoka-back be too Lakan?”  I’m blushing again.  How could I have this much blood in me?

“I don’t know... I don’t know her well enough.  How does she feel about mamokal?”  He got this planning, strategizing look.

“Mil Torii Itzan still has his mamoka... she liked it when we rode it the night of the election party.  She likes animals... and... hmmm.  I could speak to Mil the day we get home...”

“If he says no to that, I’m an Arkan’s uncle.  You were planning to invite him to the wedding anyway, I assume.”

“Oh, yes I couldn’t leave out any of the Fortunate Fifty... and Assembly and their families... Ky was saying that she... um... wanted a Jitzmitthra wedding...”

“And you have even a sliver of your mind thinking she might say no?”  He shook his head, Arkan style.

I drew myself up. “It’s not fear,” I said.  “It’s just nervousness!”  

He tried, and failed utterly to stifle his laughter.  “Right.  So long as you don’t let fe--nervousness control your actions.  You mean next Jitzmitthra?”

“Immediately after my third threshold birthday.”

“Oh right.  You can’t marry until then... but you can ask her anytime and be betrothed, yes?”

“Yes.  I will do it, second Fire come if I lie, the day we get home.”

“And that’s far enough away from Kall and Laisa not to seem like an afterthought?”

“Especially if I arrange to... oh Gods I’m already forsworn... I have to speak to Mil and get a fantastic meal on mamoka-back, even the Marble Palace servants can’t do that if we get in that late... not the same day... but the next.”

“I’ll take your oath as meaning you’ll start to arrange all that on the day you get back.  You know... you could take her into the woods... perhaps have the mamoka waiting...”

“Yes!  Oh, she likes Nasty... we’ll go for a ride.  There’s this wonderful palfrey that I’ve been wanting to buy for her, the exact same colour as her hair.  The mare could be a betrothal gift.  Better than jewellery.” I smacked myself in the forehead.  “What was I thinking?  I can arrange the romance rather than waiting for the perfect moment.”  I heaved a sigh.

“Absolutely... oh, you are going to be a four, yes?  Well, there’s plenty of room on the back of a mamoka for Gannara and Farasha... you could fit an entire eight up there if you were so inclined.”  He had his quirky grin on his face.

“Um... yes.  We’re together enough that... well... I’ll do it right.”

“Kyriala knows what she’s getting into?  Well, you said you all had an understanding.”

I nodded.  “Sometimes the girls are so far ahead of me, my head spins, especially anything to do with family.”

“All the more reason to let them drag you forward, kicking and screaming.”

I had to grin.  “Oh, please, no, please, don’t. Stop. Don’t stop.”   Virani-e started laughing, full throated and it broke high, leaning back in his chair. He smacked me on the shoulder and started to get up. “I expect a full and detailed report as to how it goes.”

“Um... of course... “

“Not that full and detailed,” he said laughing.

Phew...  “Oh, good.  Just enough to blush me red. All right”

“Yes.  That would be perfect.”


  1. Haha, arrange. Ah well he'll get there soon enough. There -will- be juicy details, right?

    (This needs an editing. You've left bits of bracketed roleplay in. Also, "smackeds".)

  2. I wanna vote reaction: "in suspense" about two thousand times.

  3. Ah, yes, I fixed them. Thanks.

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