Like? Like? YesNo. There should be shrimp! Feel funny. Puff myself up big, big, big! I blush blue, I blush gold, I blush red red red. I sexy. I sexy beast. She red/white. Pretty, pretty, pretty. SCARY. I wiggle up thing, hang on lamp over table, don’t fall in kaf. Kaf hot. Cook me. Cook snails!
Sofi sofi sofi waving cooked snails! I shy. I brave. I go down find dish. Grab cooked fish, drop cooked fish. Raw fish! Jia smart. Whee, I give Sofi raw fish! Take her present. Don’t like cooked snails. Drop snails for dog. Sneaky sneaky. Sofi blushs bad red. Why? Don’t like cooked snails! Chase chase with raw fish! Wave tentacles, blush sorry.
She pokes. I poke. She pokes with two. I poke with three. She grab! Eeeeeeeee. I grab. Yes. She yes. I yes. Yes.
Ili scooped up the knotted ball of tentacles from the kaf table. “I’ll just put these guys in their tank, hmm?”
Kyriala leaned back from the table. “That’s good, Ili. Tirchaer, I’m glad your pets have finally decided to snuggle!”
“Don’t you mean mate?” Tirchaer gathered up her book and notes where she and Ili had been going over what might happen if the domoctopuses decided to go past the clutching tentacle stage. The domoctopus was fussier even than horses and Ili had been afraid that they might have a falling out before and slash each other up with their beaks.
Ky blushed but answered “Yes.” Farasha giggled as the children clattered out. “I’m not even showing yet and I’m so TIRED,” she continued to the other women around the table.
Sukala grinned at her. “Have you felt the baby move yet?”
“No, but I really want to.”
“So put a cushion on the floor and lie on your stomach. It won’t hurt you or the baby.” She blew powdered sugar off her fingers and dusted her hands together. “Is there any tea left?”
“Of course,” Inensa said and looked toward the serving hatch where one of the servants came gliding out, as smooth as if they were on skates. “More ezethra, please,” she said. The garden hall was actually open today, the glass wall folded open so they could see and hear the girls team training on the open-air faib course, though what they seemed to be doing currently had more to do with checking each other, than anything else.
“I should be down with Minis and Ili for the Solstice ritual tomorrow.” Kyriala devoured another sticky bun, sighed and had another goblet of water instead of kaf.
“You don’t feel up to going?” Farasha stretched luxuriously. “I feel like I could ride all day.”
“I’m envious, Fara and you don’t need to keep reminding me,” Ky snapped. “Sorry. Sorry. I have a bit of a headache and I’m still feeling off.”
“It’ll get easier later on... in the middle,” Sukala said, her knobby old fingers waving. “Before you start feeling as big as a mammoka.”
“You don’t need to appear,” Inensa said. “Only in an emergency, if Minis AND Ilesias weren’t able to do the ritual. The last time that happened was hundreds of years ago, to Ilesias the Great in fact.” She found herself with an interested audience and cleared her throat. “Nothing much to say except that the Imperator was at war and the Coronet was too ill to stand. The Fenjitzas actually took up his orb and stepped in.”
“I’ll see how I feel tomorrow after I finish throwing up,” Ky said with a wan smile and Fara moaned in sympathy, for her morning sickness had welled up after not having any to start with.
“One thing,” Ky said, rising decisively. “”I always like to swim!”
“I shall be here,” Inensa said. “I have another report to read from the city.”
“I’ll come with you girls,” Sukala said. “After I check on Amitzas.”
Inensa resolutely picked up her package. “He should be awake from his nap soon. Hmph. A Mahid, napping.”
“Good on him!” Sukala grinned at her and she didn’t look up. The girls in the distance shrieked with laughter, soaring up the ramps and over the jumps.