The Aresan Clan is published four times a week (Tue, Wed, Fri, Sun). You can see what's been written so far collected here. All posts will be posted under the Aresan Clan label. For summaries of the events so far, visit here. See my previous serial Vampire Wares collected here.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Aresan Clan pt 88

Darma sat at a dining table richly spread with food: a whole cooked goose, potatoes, corn and sweetened rolls. She wore a sparkling blue dress that shimmered when she moved and brought out the brightness of her eyes. She looked eagerly at the food, impatient for her husband to join her. Salles sat opposite her in the same beige frock he always wore, inspecting the food with a look more resembling confusion and apprehension: this was not the type of food that a Sage would normally consume and he wondered how this rich food would agree with his stomach.

Onur came in and placed the last of the food on the table, a sweet potato pie still steaming with warmth.

“Thank you, Onur. This looks wonderful. I'm sure we'll love it,” Annsi gushed, “And we won't need you anymore tonight. You can go home and spend the Madrus Feast with your family.”

Onur bowed and said, “Thank you mistress,” and then he disappeared from the room.

Moments later Dorin entered the room, dressed formally and cleanly shaved. He was a short man, a bit round around the middle with a dull, expressionless face. His eyes seemed to be staring at something far off into the distance and his mouth was permanently fixed in a flat, neutral position, partly open. As he walked, he leaned his head back and pushed his paunch forward, like one trying to show off his well-fed belly as a proud achievement.

“How do I look?” he asked his wife as he came forward and kissed her on the cheek. She simply nodded and said, “Good.” He sat down and began to grab food and place it on his plate. “Good thing you were here to keep my wife company while I was away. Thank you,” Dorin said to Salles.

Salles simply nodded as Dorin started filling generous portions onto his plate, Darma reached out and gripped his hand with hers and then told him gently and sweetly, “Don’t take too much. You know how tired you get after dinner when you eat too much.”

“I can eat as much as I want,” Dorin replied in a deep, commanding voice, “It’s a holiday. It’s my obligation to eat generously, in honor of Madrus.”

“But what about the other duty of Madrus?” Darma asked gently and sweetly, “Don’t you want to … tonight … together.”

“Please Darma,” Dorin replied, “These things shouldn’t be discussed in front of our guest. Especially a Sage. They’re celibate, aren’t they? They’re supposed to close their mind to all those worldly cares. Such thoughts cloud a man’s mind, you know.”

“You don’t have to worry about me,” Salles said, “We aren’t actually celibate. We are simply forbidden to marry. I actually have a daughter.”

“See, he can handle all of this talk,” Darma said, “He’s an adult.”

“Still, it shouldn’t be talked at the dinner table, no matter whom we’re eating with. Would you talk about it if your mother was around?” Dorin asked. He had by now stuffed some food in his mouth and was trying to speak while he held the food in his cheeks, and the clarity of his words suffered as a result.

“Of course, I would,” Darma said with a playful smile, “We talk about it together. She gives me advice.”

“Alright, that’s enough of this. Surely we can conduct conversation at the table without having to revert to the basest topics.”

“Of course, my dear,” Darma said without apparent guile or sarcasm, “We can speak about whatever you wish. What is it you’d like to talk about?”

“I don’t know,” Dorin said, his mouth still stuffed. He, in fact, didn’t appear to want to talk at all, since it only seemed to be interrupting his eating, so they ate in relative silence. Darma told Dorin about some of the recent events: the visit from Alles and Annsi, and the horrible murder of their neighbor’s daughter.

Meanwhile, Salles ate cautiously, mostly confining himself to the goose and the corn; Darma sampled from everything, but only took small portions; whereas Dorin ate generously and unconstrainedly.

By the time the dinner was completed, Dorin was stuffed and had to slowly waddle into the living room to relax and let the food digest. Salles excused himself early, saying he was off to bed, allowing the two of them to be alone. Afterwards Darma flirted profusely with her husband. She coaxed, seduced and cajoled, never stinting, never giving up, always trying to aim him towards sharing their bed together, even as his body tilted him towards sleep. She reminded him many times that it was the luckiest night of Madrus on which to conceive, and only with great effort succeeded in her efforts.

<-- Go to Part 87         Go to Part 89 -->

You can see what's been written so far collected here.

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