And a busy time was had by all
The week became nine days. Enormously busy days. If two thousand soldiers and officers and five hundred sailors have shore leave in a town with at most two thousand people — things get messy. There were fights. There were alcohol-poisonings. There was disease. There were accidents. I’ve written before about the streets in Selday, and that they’re actually stairs, mostly, right? I think I did. Well, tumbling down one of those stairs usually meant being carried up to the hospital, where at one point all beds were occupied.
And this was my hospital week. Before the army arrived, I was so bored that I thought my fingers were my only option. After the army had arrived, Moyri and I saw each other exactly twice; once at the banquet, and once the night before the army was going to leave when we took baroness Cynla and general Leva up the cliff for a night of heart-to-heart talks, the kind you can only have if you can be absolutely sure there is nobody but Anshen near… We talked, and I danced, and Anshen joined us after the dance, and he kissed all of us. Getting quite the ladies man, that boy!
So, yeah, my kitty-cat got thoroughly bored with the attentions Mrs. the honourable Middle-finger of Khushi, Sheriff, Journeygirl Doctor and Mistress Confectioneress, also Guild Master to a bunch of apprentices I by the end of the period hadn’t seen for much, much too long. And Jeran, he did go to the Pink House every night! Still, that meant we could use his bed in the wards. And I’d promised… And I didn’t even sleep every night, I think I had one shift of 48 hours.
Still, apart from the lackanookie problem, or rather, lacking Moyri problem, it was FUN!!!
There was so much to do, and it was all so interesting, and I learned so much. Varyn is a dear, though she has a bit of a way with her that makes everyone who works with her feel that she’s disapproving a bit. She’s not hard to work with, but I always felt like my work fell short, just a bit, somehow. I asked Jeran, and he did feel like that as well, though not so much. I guess it’s just the way she is. And I think she’s a bit bemused by me being who I am, too, and faintly feels it’s not the best I could be. Or something like that. But I learned a lot!
And the morning after the army had left, when I walked with Moyri to the White House, she to go on to the Pink House, and me to the hospital, we were so relieved… And I went to Doctor Varyn, and she smiled at me, with one of those rare warm smiles that changes her whole face, and even a bit the way she sits or stands, and she proffered a pen.
“Sign, Khushi!” she said, and I looked at the parchment. It was the official proof of my enrolment in the Doctor’s Guild of Veray, and the license to practice in the Barony of Ryshas, and any other place subject to the approval of a senior Doctor of the Doctor’s Guild of Veray.
I dropped the parchment, I’m afraid, and reached out over the table, and kissed Varyn, and kissed her good! She was a bit flustered, and I noticed that I really, really had to run to the Pink House, or else I would cause a scandal. Or, at least, a scandal not with Moyri.
For when Jeran appeared, he’d had the night shift, and wanted to join me going down to the Pink House, I wanted to kiss him, too, and more than that.
And then I had to visit the brothels, to tell the owners that there would be a health inspection in a few days, after a mandatory holiday for all working girls and stiffs. The owners agreed completely with me, and I even got a bit of an extra understanding with them. I put down my nurse’s headscarf, and put on my sheriff’s cap, and told them that I would turn a blind eye to whatever happens to the nastier kind of customer, short of outright murder, but that if they would ever hear of any house providing whores to the nastier kind of customer, that they would have to squeal to me. Or… And at this, they also agreed.
But after nine days of day and night custom, these brothels smelled so much of seed and discharge, of sweat and perfume: of sex, that my bottom itched like nothing on earth. And the boys and girls, done all in after all their work, they made it worse. I told the owners that they’d better ask Ma Tylse, my housekeeper, whether she had friends who would want to help to clean up the houses while the whores were taking their holiday, and left for the Pink House. Rapidly.
When I arrived at home, and Coran was working on his book of workers and waiters-for-work, I wanted to fuck him silly… I wanted to kiss Moryn. I wanted.., so I ran upstairs, not even thinking about upstairs, to the former verandah, now office, grabbed Moyri, who was going through paperwork with Halla, lifted her skirt and started kissing her.
She put out a big squeak, then grabbed me, slung me over her shoulder, so I undid her shirt and started sucking on her tit, the left one, if I remember correctly, and carried me downstairs and into our bedroom.
We only left to fetch something to drink and eat, and then disappeared again, in the bedroom, and into each other. Oh, I know, I really like the bodily bit of fucking, but this time, this time when we came for what felt like the umpteenth time, I let my mind sink into Moyri’s. I’d not just missed her body, I’d not just missed our casual caresses and touching through the day, I’d missed having her mind close to me, and just being in the same place as her, and listening to her breathing, and feeling her mind touch mine, accidentally, when she is thinking out some problem and feels that I might be connected, or involved, or… I missed her!
And she’d missed me, but she still gave a little gasp of surprise at me melting down, and then we were together, and had a bit of sleep… And on waking, like we always do, we started listing the things we were going to have to do, need to do and want to do. Not to each other: our public things. Like the health inspection of all the brothels, the holidays that should be given to everyone who had worked to receive the army, whether the town is left richer or poorer, and so on. I guess that some people might think that weird? But apparently we both are put together that way, if we’re satisfied, rested, we start talking shop.
It’s one way we make sure we know that we support each other’s burden.
We only left the bedroom when it was time for dinner, and sat down at the table. Ma Tylse had prepared food with and without meat, and she was kind of endeared with the way I was wrapped in a towel, and Moyri in a bed-sheet. A bunch of apprentices and kids came in for dinner, too. They had been out doing something, but I’ve forgotten what. Even the ones who had never been here before took our nakedness in their stride, and the dinner, too.
Moyri and I are getting used to eating from one plate, me holding the spoon in my left hand, she the knife in her right hand, feeding each other in turns, holding hands… Seeing us do this did cause a bit of mirth amongst the younger people, but I saw Jeran and Maile looking with more than a little bit of wistfulness.
I agreed with Maile that the next morning we would try some new recipes, and order new supplied, since all sugar had gone, all honey and most of everything else, and go to the Temple of Mizran to get the order sent out. After that, I went to borrow a book or two from our backyard neighbour, the doctor, and giving one about stars to Moyri, took the one about bones and how they differ from people to people, and when Moyri was settled in the comfy chair, settled myself between her legs, and spent the evening reading, drinking a glass of wine and discussing the books.
My book was utterly stupid, to the point where the author had drawn a horse’s back leg lower bone and claimed it was Khas, so I put it away, and started writing in my Naigha’s book.