|Chapter 114: Jamian
It's best to know the truth
Of that I have no doubt
But you'll have to face the future
When the truth comes out
Jamian wasn’t looking forward to this cy’ree meeting, but he couldn’t really get away with skipping, so he helped Magnolia set up, focusing on the Project to keep his mind off of Melchior.
“Penny for your thoughts,” Magnolia teased; he noticed, despite his startled embarrassment, that she asked while Ty was out of the room.
“Just making sure the place is tidy,” he covered. It wouldn’t fool her, but it would give him time to think of a better answer.
“Mm-hrrm,” she smirked. “Try again, honey, I wasn’t born yesterday.”
“Not exactly looking forward to the meeting,” he admitted. “I’m not comfortable with everyone.”
“Mmm, cy’Linden can take a little getting used to, I know,” she smiled. “Just stick close to Ty and he’ll take good care of you.”
“He seems at least as interested in everybody else, sometimes.” He tried not to sound to bitter, but Magnolia’s look was still sympathetic.
“Well, that’s the nature of cy’Linden, honey. You gotta roll with it.”
“You don’t,” he pointed out. “I don’t see you trying to get in bed with Ty. Or me, for that matter.” That was quite a thought, though, wasn’t it? He shook his head quickly in an effort to clear it of voluptuous catgirls.
“Oh, honey, Ty doesn’t like sharing, and I don’t think you’d like it much if I wiggled my way in bed with your Keeper, now would you? That don’t mean I’m not playing by the cy’ree rules, though; you don’t think I sleep alone all that much, do you?”
“I guess not, then. So what do they expect me to do?” What did Ty expect him to do?
“I don’t think anyone expects anything, darling, except for you to loosen up and have some fun. Enjoy yourself! Nobody’s gonna bite you or nothing.”
“And what about Ty? I don’t think he wants me to, uh, loosen up.” Except alone, with him, as a girl, which wasn’t getting any easier for her time with Melchior. He fought down the memories and concentrated on remaining male.
“Oh, honey, Ty doesn’t know what he wants. You’re just gonna have to show him.”
His words caught in his throat. “Show... him?”
“Take charge, you know. Let him know what you want. Otherwise he’s just gonna walk all over you all year, and you don’t want that, now do you?”
“I guess I could try that,” he mused. It would certainly be a change, at least.
“You do that, hon.”
Of course, taking charge was easier said than done when the meeting got started, especially with Ardell and Ivette determined to make him the filling in their sandwich.
It was his own fault, partially, for sitting there again where they could bracket him - him, he insisted to himself, despite the way his body wanted to change whenever Ardell touched him. Of course, maybe he could still make a point. Screwing up his courage, he leaned forward and kissed Ivette.
“Mmm,” she purred. “That was nice. Do it again?” She somehow made it feel like doing what she asked was the most natural thing in the world.
Jamian glanced to the side, towards Ty, who was yet again necking with someone else. Not paying attention, yet. Ignoring the voice screaming in the back of his head that this was a bad idea for so many reasons, he kissed Ivette again, wrapping his arms around the succubus.
She licked her lips and smiled at him, draping her arm around him. “Oh, I could just eat you alive.”
“I might like that,” he grinned back at her, trying to radiate something, anything other than the rising panic.
She didn’t seem to notice. She pressed him back against the waiting Ardell and nuzzled at his neck, over the thin chain of his collar-necklace. It was very nice, he had to admit, if he could just turn off the rational part of his brain. Her skin, pressed against his, her lips... But his orders were scrabbling at the back of his mind, even as she leaned him into Ardell, her breasts and his hands pinning him in place.
“Wait,” he mumbled, the anxiety bubbling over.
“But we’re having fun now,” Ivette purred.
“Well, yes, but,” But what? She had a point. Two of them, pressed against his chest through that thin sheet of cloth, and she wanted him to take it off her, he could feel it... “butIshouldn’t...”
“Forget that,” Ardell urged. Ivette bit his neck lightly, showing him her other points by demonstration. And they were very nice, but no, I can’t was pressing at his mind in a way it never did with Melchior. “I shouldn’t,” he repeated.
“Ivette.” It wasn’t the rescue he’d expected, or been hoping for, and it wasn’t a tone he’d expected from that voice. Apparently, neither had she.
“Come on, Joff, come play,” she coaxed, gesturing to the smaller boy. He, however, shook his head adamantly.
“He doesn’t want to play that hard – doesn’t and can’t, I suspect - so leave him alone.”
“Aaw, but he’s playing so nicely.” She wiggled atop Jamian by demonstration, sending another twisted spike of pleasure and panic through him. “And Ty left him out here for us…”
“Ivette,” Joff interrupted sharply, his voice carrying across the room. “You’re a fucking empath.” The unaccustomed profanity made the whole room stop and stare. “You know he’s miserable, you know you’re making him miserable. Leave him alone.”
“Aww,” she mumbled, but she untangled from Jamian, stepping away, clearing his line of sight in time for him to see Ty staring at him in perplexed dismay. Jamian sat up, trying to straighten himself up while watching Ty sidelong.
“Jame’...” His Keeper looked a little shell-shocked, and rather unhappy. “Come here.”
He stood, brushing himself off a little more, and walked over to Ty with a sheepish smile. “Hey.”
Ty hugged him tightly, then pulled back to look him in the eye thoughtfully. “Are you okay?”
“Well, she wasn’t trying to hurt me.”
“It never even occurred to me that you wouldn’t want it,” he murmured.
“And what about you? I thought you didn’t want me with other girls?”
“I get jealous.” He nuzzled the side of Jamian’s neck, just over the spot where Ivette had bitten. “Succubi, incubi, I can see why you’d rather be with them, but you’re mine. I don’t want to share you.”
“And how do you think I feel?” he asked quietly.
“What?” Ty stiffened, startled. “What do you mean?”
“You’re all over other people all the time.”
“I’m… but that’s cy’Linden.” He blinked, gaping at him. Around them, cy’Linden was determinedly ignoring them, the noises of the party-slash-cy’ree-meeting building up again.
“Does that make them not count? Us not count?” Did it make Ivette not count for him, either, then?
“Us?” Ty blinked.
“You’re talking like it’s not cheating to be with a cy’Linden.”
“Well, of course it’s cheating for you to be with a cy’Linden. With anyone.” Ty glowered.
“And what about you, or anyone else?” Jamian challenged him.
“Me?” Ty reeled back a little, stunned. “What?”
“You’re just allowed to cheat with whoever you want, then, is that it?”
“Cheat?” Finally, it seemed as if something was getting through; he paled, and stepped backwards, towards his room. “You don’t mean…” Somewhere in the audience of people pretending to ignore them, someone sniggered.
“Of course I do! Am I the only one supposed to be faithful, then?”
“Well… yeah?” At least he looked as if he knew how stupid that sounded. “I mean… I’m cy’Linden, Jame.”
“And so am I!” he retorted hotly.
“Just because you’re a Daeva! You didn’t even want to be!”
“Want to be what, then? An easy lay? Is that all this cy’ree is to you?”
“Easy, hell! I’ve had better luck with nuns!”
“You would try that, wouldn’t you?”
“Well, yeah…” Ty frowned. “Do you really want me to be faithful to you?”
“Of course I do!” he flared.
“Really? But… really?” He made a dismissive, embarrassed gesture. “Okay, really. Why?”
“Because I care, you idiot! Did you think you were the only one who could be jealous?”
“Well…” From the look on his face, he had. Weakly, he murmured, “no-one else ever said anything.”
“Well maybe they were just going behind your back too,” Jamian snapped without thinking.
“Why would they… too?”
“Because you don’t seem to care at all!” he exclaimed, throwing his hands up.
“That’s stupid, of course I care. I just never thought you cared. Too?”
“Yes, too! And you know what? Melchior does things for me you’ve only dreamed of!”
“Mel...” Around them, the room had fallen silent again. “Melchior? Jame, Jaya, you’re kidding, right? Tell me you’re kidding? It’s a lousy joke, if you are, but, Jaya…”
“No, I’m not,” she retorted. “He makes me feel like a lady!”
“Gods.” Ty blanched. “You slept with that little goblin. You really did. Jaya. Why?”
“Goblin? He’s twice the man you’ll ever be!” With that, she stormed from the room.