Meet The Relatives by Lynda Williams, is the touching story of very Demish Dela's adventures in Red Reach. Illustrations are by Richard Bartrop.
At the same time, his thumb stroked the side of her breast under her arm. He did it absently, as if it soothed him as he dwelt on whatever preoccupied him in such a hair-raising, unusual manner. Normally, Vras didn't have much of an attention span for deep thoughts.
Normally,Vras didn't have much of an attention span for deep thoughts.
Sert waited beyond the second airlock. There was another, fierce looking highborn beside her. A male one. And a Vrellish highborn unknown to the court Dela had come from, which considered every one of them dangerous. "W-who is that?" Dela whispered, clutching Vras by an arm.
"Harn," he said. "A cousin."
Vras had told her before, in bedroom conversations, that cousins were anyone who smelled too closely related for sex. When pressed for details about what one called actual cousins, Vras had just shrugged. By which she concluded that the limitations of Vrellish record keeping were unthinkably huge. Apparently, if no one could remember what relationship obtained between two people, but their noses said there was one, they were 'cousins'.
Dela did her best to smile at Harn's stony expression without earning the least response.
It could be worse, she thought. He could be female.
She didn't need any more competition.
"Ready?" Sert asked Vras in her deep, steady voice.
He answered her with a nod, a spring in his manner once more as if a weight had lifted, or he'd simply decided to set it down.
Sert, Vras and their 'cousin', Harn, began to run, trailed by the pack of six nobleborns.