Chapter 177b: Jamian
I'm beautiful in my way
'Cause God makes no mistakes
I'm on the right track, baby
I was born this way
"You've been spending a lot of time with Manira lately."
Jamian jumped nervously, glad that his Keeper wasn't a mind-reader. "I… uh… what?" he stammered, twisting to look at Ty. "Well, she's crew. And cy'ree. And Cohort," he pointed out, hurrying to cover. Emotions, emotions… Ty was amused. Okay, that was a good one.
"But not your lover, right?"
"No, no, she's a little…" He gestured around the area of his chest, meaning leaking sex like an oil spill, it makes everything a little icky but mostly seeming to suggest falling out of her shirt, which, to be fair, she never was outside of the suite. Phelen saw to that.
"She is. But you don't mind it with Ivette?"
"I…" I mind with Ivette, but someone's got her on a leash? Manira doesn't really seem on the leash so much as near the leash. "Ivette's more under control… and there was just that once, anyway."
"Relax, relax, I'm not mad," Ty laughed. "I'm just laughing. My cy'Linden Kept is spending time with my crewmate's cy'Linden Kept… and sex isn't part of it." He shook his head. "It's kinda funny, but Phelen doesn't think so. Well, he didn't believe me that you two weren't doing more than talking."
"Lots of talking," Jamian smiled. They did talk a lot, after all, most of it Manira trying to get him to realize something. And he was beginning to figure out more and more of it, the more they met.
"Only you," Ty shook his head. "Only you could Change into a full-blooded Daeva and spend hours just taking with a sexpot like Manira."
Jamian felt like that ought to worry him, but there was no unhappiness in Ty's tone, just amused affection. "Phelen was worried?" he asked instead. "Ty, I don't want to get you in trouble with someone else."
Ty laughed again, and tousled Jamian's hair between his horns. "Jame', it's fine. Phelen's crew, and he's junior member of the crew, too. He's not going to cause trouble. Just - I'll just tell him it's nothing. It is, right?"
Jamian bit his lip. That one was harder to fudge. "I'm not having sex with her, and I'm not in love with her or anything. She's just, you know, nice to talk to."
"Hunh." That seemed to give his Keeper pause. "You like talking to her? I mean… you like just talking?"
"Well, yeah." Jamian smiled a little bit. "I'm a Daeva, sure, but it's not all about sex, Ty. I mean… I've been talking - just talking - with Professor VanderLinden, too." Even if he'd been tempted by the professor, and he was pretty sure he was too intimidated to even think about that, he wasn't going to have sex with his Keeper's father. That just seemed wrong. "You were the one who first told me what the Daeva were, remember? 'Callavanaei.' Professor VanderLinden says it means 'those who inspire.'" Manira had given him some choice words on that, too, but it seemed like a bad idea to bring those up now. "Not just 'those who fuck a lot.'" He grinned cheerfully. "I like talking," he clarified.
Ty smirked at him, although it was clear he was still a little unnerved. "I don't think I knew that."
Jamian struggled to keep smiling. Ty, he sighed inwardly, feeling as if he was channeling Shiva and Niki all at once, when do you ever know anything about your partners that doesn't directly affect you? But that was unkind and unfair, and made him feel guilty just thinking it. So he kissed his Keeper firmly on the lips. "I like kissing, too," he clarified, "and all the, ah, normal cy'Linden stuff. With you at least."
"And sometimes Ivette, and sometimes Melchior?" Ty teased, relaxing. Kissing, Ty understood, kissing and sex.
"And sometimes Melchior," Jamian agreed. Sex with Ivette… was something else entirely. "Yeah."
"So, you talk with Manira. What do you talk about?"
"You know," Jamian hedged. "School stuff? Sometimes our lessons with Professor VanderLinden, or our magic lessons. How messed-up this place is."
"Is it?" Ty flopped back on the bed. "People say that, sometimes, but I don't get it. I mean, it doesn't seem all that messed up to me."
"Ty," Jamian pointed out with more than a little exasperation, "you grew up here. Of course it seems normal to you."
"I… all right, you have a point. Maybe the rest of the world is messed up?"
"A little," Jamian allowed. He lifted his tail up onto the bed between them. "I mean, I like this. Being able to have a tail. Your cute little tail and hooves. The maybe-immortal part, I dunno, ask me in fifty years? Right now it doesn't seem real yet. And… you know, having it be okay to be what I am, that's pretty net."
Ty ran a hand down Jamian's side, then back up, cupping one small breast. "You didn't think so when you got here."
"I'd had a whole life of hiding it,' he laughed bitterly at the pronoun, "hiding what I was. Being told I was a monster when I didn't. That doesn't exactly encourage, you know, good self-esteem or anything."
"People really called you a freak?" Ty's touch was getting more intimate, caressing the top of Jamian's hip, the small curve of his stomach, the base of his tail. "This beautiful body?"
"Well, most people didn't see this beautiful body," Jamian pointed out, shivering at the touches. He'd been planning on going out and working on Frodleikr again, but it seemed as if Ty had other plans for him.
Could be worse, two parts of his brain pointed out simultaneously, he could be like Ofir and Ardell/he could not want to spend time with you. He blinked, trying to shake the uncomfortable feelings that set of thoughts in tandem brought on and, instead of answering, caressed Ty's tail in return.
"I know you were a virgin when you came to… oh, that's nice. Do that some more?" Ty twisted onto his side to reveal more tail.
Jamian obliged him, stroking around the base of the tiny tail. "More than a virgin, Ty. I'd never kissed anyone. Never groped anyone. Nothing. Never been close to naked around anyone at all."
"Not even in the locker room?" Ty had moved to idly sucking on the tip of Jamian's tail. He definitely wasn't planning on Jamian going anywhere anytime soon, and, with him doing that… Jamian wasn't sure he was, either.
"No. I kept a shirt on, or changed in the bathroom. I mean, yeah, that made me stand out, but not as bad as having tits and a… well, the rest, would have."
"So you lived your whole life pretending you were a freak?"
"I lived my whole life knowing I was a freak. Then I came here, and suddenly the freakiest thing about me isn't that I've got an extra set of genitalia, it's that's I'm some sort of throwback."
"Pure-blood," Ty countered. "Not a throwback, Jamian. Pure bred Daeva."
"That's what Morgan said, too, but I mean, wouldn't pure bred mean I had a Daeva parent or two?"
"Well, would you know if you had? I mean, it could be your father, right?" Ty was frowning, though, like he was remembering something, or hiding something. "Or your mother could have Masked."
"I guess… I don't know." Jamian shook his head. "This place is messed up. One giant genetics experiment. Even Morgan was talking about that."
"What did she say?" Ty asked, very cautiously.
"Oh," Jamian hedged, suddenly aware he'd talked himself into a corner. "About, you know, Frodleikr?"
"That funny thing of yours? The Council woman had heard of it?"
"Yeah." Jamian was suddenly irritated at Ty's dismissive tone. "She said something like 'departed gods, she's done it,' or something," he shrugged. He twitched his tail out of Ty's hands and sat up. "Not that Regine would say anything to me about it, of course. Everyone kept pretending it wasn't real."
"And you think it is."
"I know it is! I've managed to take apart Workings with it!" he fired back. "I've been getting really good at it, even if nobody believed me!" Angry as he was, he stopped before adding nobody but Manira. He didn't want to give Ty any fuel for his random jealous fits.
"Woah, woah, calm down," Ty soothed, and, against his will, Jamian found himself winding down. "That's… okay, sorry," he added, stroking Jamian's leg. "Not what I meant, I didn't mean to upset you. C'mere?"
Jamian slunk up the bed to Ty's arms, leaning in to his Keeper's embrace stiffly. "It's fine," he muttered. "It's just… nobody believes me."
"I believe you." Ty's hands were gentle on his back. "Something I heard Regine talking about a couple times… the last time was when she suggested I ought to make myself available to talk to you, at the beginning of the year. She - she brought our parents together, you know? There were things, genetic characteristics, she was looking to bring out. I don't know who your folks are, but, I mean, look at me. A hermaphrodite and a Daeva. Look at our kids. Same thing. She was going for that sort of thing.
"Maybe," Ty continued thoughtfully, oblivious to the turmoil he was causing in his Kept's stomach, "she was trying to breed this Frodleikr thing in, too."
Copyright © 2009-2012 Lyn Thorne-Alder. All rights reserved.
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