Zildath was pacing. His dragon, protector, angel, whatever, sat watching him, chin in one hand, the clawed fingers on his other drumming on the ground.
“Sariel… I am flattered but… no, no.” Zildath stopped, scratched his jaw, tried again, “Sariel, I do not believe I can accommodate any custom of naked soul talk because…” Zildath trailed off and cursed in draconic.
“I’m embarrassed for you,” Hifras the Angel said.
“That’s not helpful.”
Zildath began pacing again. “All the damn time I spent in taverns, watching men blubber over their words you would think I would do better.”
“You’re doing terrible because your trying to glide around the truth.”
Zildath frowned. “That’s not true. I don’t have time. I’ve said this.”
“Zildath…. it occurs to me that when you say you don’t have time, your pack don’t understand it as you do.” Hifras looked amused. Highly amused.
Zildath paused. A new wave of understanding dawning across his face. “Oh. OH. By the tainted blood of a traitor, why did I not think of that?”
“Before it carried no reason for clarification. Sariel is… different.”
“She thought I didn’t like her before. What will she think now?”
Hifras shugged. “Probably nothing bad if you’re truthful.”
Zildath cursed again and sat down on the ground in front of the Dragon. He was silent a long time, staring out into nothing before he said quietly, “I am not certain I can be completely truthful.”
“Cowardess does not become you.”
Zildath glared at his Angel. “It is not cowardess.”
“Then what it is?”
“It is… it is private!”
“Better you just tell her you’re a prude then.”
“I am not!” Zildath almost rose to his feet in indignation but a frown overtook him as another thought immediately crashed into his mind. “At least I don’t think so. I’m not sure how I would know.”
“You sleep naked, you’re probably not. You’re just bad at this.”
“Thank you, you are champion of the obvious.”
“I do what I can.”
“I hate you.”
“You made me.”
“Not the point.” Zildath flopped onto his back, lacing his fingers over his chest, staring at the sky. “Such an odd thing to be concerned over, with everything else going on.”
“Not so odd. Life doesn’t stop just because the world may.”
Zildath groaned at the reminder. “I really don’t have time for morning sex. Or evening sex. Or any sex.”
“Maybe you should make time. Tritheron teaches…”
“Stop. Stop right there.” Zildath pointed at his Angel, but didn’t not sit up. The Angel fell silent but Zildath could feel Hifras’ silent laughter.
Zildath sighed deeply, letting the silence stretch as his mind whirled. Finally he sat up, and looked at Hifras. “Would you mind fetching Talithey please.”
“As it pleases you.”
Without getting off the ground Zildath thought, and built a small room around him. It was made of stone, and resembled the architecture of the monastery, looked as a room inside of it would; sparse and humble, but comfortable.
He put a mirror on the wall, added table and chairs, and finally stood up, really looking at himself in the mirror.
He did not do this often. In fact it was rare he looked at his own reflection. In the past, the face staring back at him had been just another reminder of a terrible word. It had gotten easier to meet his reflection as time passed, and he was proud of his scars. Though as he stood there, staring at himself, Zildath wondered if that pride was because he’d damaged skin he’d always thought unworthy. If he thought his scars a worthy punishment and a means to an end. And if he had then, what did he think of his reflection and those marks on his skin now?
What would someone else think, seeing the whole of him? What had Sariel thought of the Dragonborn made wrong?
No, not wrong, Zildath corrected himself. Apparently not wrong at all. Just… extinct. Or almost extinct. Ugh. Everything was weird.
Zildath sighed, waving a hand and made the mirror disappear. He sat down at the table, asking politely for quill, ink, and paper. If anyone could help him use the proper words, it was Taliethy. And he found it easier to… discuss such delicate matters with her.
Still as he waited, he put quill to paper, brow furrowed.
Sariel. You have great hips. Not that I was looking. That’s not the point. The point is, when I say I don’t have time, it mean it sincerely. And if your intent was not to have morning or evening sex please disregard all previous words.
Zildath reread the words, groaned and let his forehead drop to the table top.
This is how Talithey would find him.