When Taran turned, he found Siti right at his side, her red hair a sexy mess, her lips plump and pink. She wore an outfit much like the one Asla had worn – tight and tiny. Taran imagined she made an excellent living.
“King Taran!” she hugged him like an old friend.
He hugged her back, hard. “I’m having a bad night. You said we could talk whenever I wanted. Is that offer still good?”
“Yes.” She withdrew and took his hand, leading him into what he assumed was her private, curtained area. The small, neat and comfortable room, was draped with colorful buntings on the wall. A plush bed took up most of the room, but fluffy pillows and blankets rested in the corner.
“Have a seat on the bed or the pillows, wherever you’d prefer,” urged Siti.
He opted for the pillowed corner while Siti sat on the edge of the bed with her legs crossed. If she decided to uncross her legs at any point, with that miniature skirt… Taran gulped and settled into the cushions.
But before he spoke, he studied the quarters. The room, dimly lit with candles on iron wall sconces, was spotless and smelled clean, like fresh herbs. Taran had expected something more lascivious, something that screamed sex, a place where naked men and women frolicked openly, but that wasn’t the case. It was… comfortable. A little busy, with the many vibrant buntings and pillows, but comfortable.
To his right, Taran spotted the payment jar. Before anything else, he rose, and emptied half the coins from his money pouch into the vessel.
“Sire, no, I cannot accept that,” said Siti. “I invited you as a friend. I don’t expect payment, and certainly not what would amount to my wag...
... middle of paper ...
...red what he might do if I didn’t, so I walked up to the bed and touched her breast. But I couldn’t bring myself to do anything else, so I fled from the room. My father shouted after me that I was a ‘fucking woman’ as I ran. And right in the hallway, I ran into my mother. I hadn’t closed the bedchamber door behind me, so she heard those women. And my father.”
“Was she very upset?” asked Siti.
“No. She caught me by the shoulders and embraced me, told me it was all right. She didn’t care about my father, and the women meant she wouldn’t be forced into his chamber later.
“‘And Taran, none of this is your fault,’ she said.”
“The queen is a good and strong woman,” said Siti. “But it sounds like you’re nothing like your father when it comes to women. If you were, surely those feelings would have come to the surface already. In what others ways do you worry you’re like him?”
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