Joton Waterfront Park
Jessten needed the fresh air before training. Time alone was a double-edged sword these days. It left her alone – away from the interference of others, but it also left her alone with her own thoughts.
She felt Oberti Perton before his voice reached her. “Are you okay, Jessten?” he asked.
“Why wouldn’t I be?” Jessten asked.
“I just thought…,” Oberti started. “I mean, everyone’s talking about...”
Jessten turned around to look him straight in the eye. “What?! Does no one else have arguments here?”
“Not so publicly, normally,” Oberti said, avoiding her gaze. “Is it true that you named the Neví?”
“Yes, it’s true. Just like I told him. I was there, not because I wanted to be, but because my father insisted. They were arguing about names, so I came up with the Almaran word for ‘friend.’ That’s the honest truth. Is everyone planning on stringing me up for it? Or just Laisen?” She turned and walked faster towards the beach.
Oberti matched her pace easily as he continued. “You missed Kailey chewing him out big time.”
Jessten stopped abruptly and looked at Oberti again. “What did she say?”
“Not much, really. Just how stupid he was being. It stunned him too.”
Jessten sighed and walked again. It didn’t matter, really. Until he was willing to put an age gap behind them… until he was willing to talk to her like a person… until he was willing to let go of his ego, she had no chance with Laisen.
Someone else was jogging towards them.
“Are you coming to train?” Frey asked.
“In a minute,” Jessten said. “I was just explaining some things to Oberti. Have you two met?”
Oberti shook his head.
“My friend and sparring partner, Frey Rovlin. He’s dating Se-orna. Frey, one of our Yezí A’mara, Oberti Perton.”
Oberti shook Frey’s hand, then gave him a friendly embrace. “You are kinsmen if I’m not mistaken,” Oberti said.
Frey nodded. Then, he looked at Jessten. “Do you know when Se-orna is going to be back?”
“Actually, we had news about that while you were out, Jessten,” Oberti said. “Rami, Ra’kate and Se-orna are coming back tomorrow, as soon as they can get away.”
“That’s great news,” Jessten said.
“To me too,” Frey replied. Even Jessten could feel him thinking amorously about her roommate. She grinned inside.
“Let’s go train,” Jessten suggested.
“Do you mind if I come and watch?” Oberti asked.
“Not at all,” Frey said. “I’ve often said to Mathis that it would be good to get more from the Complex training with us. It always seems to make us better somehow.”
“Only when they don’t hide,” Jessten said pointedly.
Freebooter Apartments – Games Room
Xanthine came in, feeling the need to sit and put her feet up. But she was first distracted by the young man at the spin darts board in the back corner. She watched as he seemed to be able to hit the numbers at will. Joneel’s raw talent was obvious.
She drifted towards him, only semi-consciously; then saw that Tasp was sitting on a couch also watching him. She joined her lover, putting her feet up across his lap. He removed her shoes and rubbed her feet.
“So, has his shaze improved at all?” Xanthine asked.
“Shaze isn’t everything!” Joneel retorted sharply. He turned back to the board and sank the dart into the double 50 as the boards twisted and turned.
“Darts isn’t going to win a shaze battle,” Xanthine scolded.
“Maybe not, but I didn’t die or get injured in the battle yesterday. That must count for something!” Joneel quipped.
“So, you didn’t get hurt – did you pull your weight?”
“I’m the one who killed the student – as retribution for my wife being taken in by them that very morning.” He walked up to the board and retrieved his darts, placing them in a small case, which he pocketed.
“Very good. Keep up the effort and you’ll be ranked quickly. I trust you received your reward?” Xanthine asked.
“The girl you provided was very beautiful, but she wouldn’t share my bed and ran off. These Project women may be just that – projects. I’d rather have my partner back.”
“I will leave that to you to work out how to do that then,” Xanthine said. “There are ways of keeping people involuntarily, but they often cause extra work as well – as Egan well understands now.”
“I will formulate a plan,” Joneel said. “Maybe Sheena will help me.”
Sheena had just walked in the door. Joneel looked at her with obvious lust.
“That’s not your wife,” Xanthine remarked.
“That one will kill you,” Xanthine warned.
Joneel laughed as Sheena joined them.
“Do you have news?”
“I was given tomorrow off,” she replied.
“Any word from the abári?”
“She’s expected to be back any day now, I guess, but I’m not sure other than that,” Sheena reported.
Xanthine saw Joneel edge closer and touch Sheena’s waist half a moment before the woman’s knee crunched into a tender area. She winced, feeling the shards of pain flying all around.
“Ow!” he squeaked. “Why did you do that?!”
“No man touches me!” Sheena seethed.
“You need a man to do just that!” Joneel retorted.
Xanthine found herself agreeing with the man. It would be a very interesting man who managed to dominate Sheena enough to get her into his bed. She half wished she could be there to watch. On the other hand, she was slightly afraid of seeing what would happen to the man who managed it.
“Get him out of my sight before I kill him,” Sheena demanded before turning to issue a final threat. “Runt, if you touch me again I will kill you.”
Joneel scarpered to another part of the room, still in pain.
“As your superior, I remind you to not frighten away our recruits,” Xanthine said.
“Then remind your recruits to keep their hands to themselves!” Sheena glowered, turning to the spin darts board and throwing three darts viciously, one into the center of each rotating panel.
Xanthine left her to it and walked over to where Cerástes and Elið played Wolff. Tasp stayed with her as they joined Uana and Sipper.
“I think Sheena sometimes forgets she’s not the Curator,” Uana said.
Sipper nodded his head.
“Yes, Uana. Someone is going to put Sheena in her place one day and I’d love to be there to watch,” Xanthine replied. Her tummy tightened uncomfortably. “That’s a hard one!”
“Are you okay?” Tasp asked.
A moment later, the tightening had relaxed. “Yes. I’m fine, but I may need some relaxing tonight,” she said looking at her lover.
“Let’s grab something to eat, take it upstairs. You take a lovely bath, then I spoil you with passion all night long,” Tasp suggested.
“Mmmm. I like that.”
If you have enjoyed this book, I would be grateful if you could put your thoughts as a review on [Goodreads](coming soon) for me.
Buy at: (coming soon to Books2Read, Scribl, LBRY and Lulu - paperback.)
Other Chapters of this set
Birth of the Neví - Chapter 1 on Whaleshares
Name of the Neví - Chapter 1
Mind of the Neví - Chapter 1
Game of the Neví - Chapter 1
Maps and Guides
- Kri'enden & Joton - 830 TCE (New/imprived map coming soon)
- Character Guide and Image Credits
- Calendar and Glossary - for Name of the Neví but these two parts are true throughout.
Writing and artwork copyright myself 2005-2019 – all rights reserved.
If you are interested in helping me publish these works, please contact me on Facebook or Discord, viking-ventures#2883.
Asking @popcornexpress to bring popcorn!
author/designer at A'mara Books
photographer/graphic artist for Viking Visual
verified author on Goodreads
find me on Twitter
blogging on: Steem, Whaleshares, WeKu, Hyperspace
Join us in the Official Whaleshares server in the text channel "the-phoenix-project"