She just doesn’t understand.
I. Don’t. Want. To. Live. Near. Him.
It doesn’t matter how capable he is, or how… restrictive Melsy is. I just don’t want to be nearby. He’s a jerk. He can’t keep his eyes and hands and words to himself. I don’t need it and I don’t want it.
“We think, hm. We think you don’t believe us.” Dubhe is watching me carefully. “But it is hard for us to read humes.”
“It’s not that I don’t believe you. I just don’t like being near him.” I’m sure I’m cringing right now.
Tilting her head, Dubhe tries to understand. Maybe she wasn’t cringing? Sometimes I struggle to understand the facial expressions of other races. “We don’t understand. He provides anything we need. It makes life very easy.”
I sigh before continuing. “He looks at me like… I’m delicious meat. I don’t like that. He takes every opportunity to touch my body, and it bothers me. It bothers me a lot. I don’t want that from him.”
“Melsy, Lillia.” Dubhe barks at the two of them. Lillia responds by walking away, while Melsy looks at Dubhe.
“Melsy, go get Tristain. We need to have a conversation.” The air in the room suddenly feels frigid.
Melsy stands there and thinks for a moment, before smiling one of Tristain’s smug smiles and nodding. “Yes, yes, I get to have more fun with my husband.” She then walks away through the door that Lillia opened back up.
Wait, that’s what Lillia was doing? And what is with Melsy… She seems awfully happy about this.
“Mika, we know you don’t have anywhere else to go, and the bearfolk will actively try to kill you and take your son to be raised the ‘proper’ way.” Explaining this to me, Dubhe looks grim. “And we know humes will just try to use you to make more bearfolk to raise their way… Or kill you.”
I… Maybe that’s true. No one made a big deal about it in the caravan, though. I just can’t believe it. “Still, I-”
Dubhe interrupts me. “And we can keep Tristain away from you. You don’t need to see him. You don’t need to talk to him. Honestly, we don’t really want to see him much right now either, but he is the father to our children,” she finishes with a sigh.
She says all of that, but how much can she hold up? So much has changed since I came from the Enclave. It’s hard to trust people on their words alone. Even though Dubhe has been good to me, I’ve seen very little of her compared to Lillia and Tristain. Of the other people going with us, I definitely don’t trust Tristain, and it’s hard to take Lillia seriously. Unless it’s about food. Then she’s serious.
Who would I be able to trust? I don’t want to go with a bunch of people to some unfamiliar place to live, with no consideration of my feelings. How am I to take care or Nanook if I’m constantly being frustrated, flustered, and harassed? Now that I know the travelers of the caravan, there is better people out there to be around. I don’t want to be around people like Tristain. I can’t do it. I won’t do it.
I understand that I need to rely on others. This world is not easy to survive in for someone other than a dragonfolk or a dryad. Why would I choose to be with someone like Tristain? There are other people. Certainly it helps that I’m a void.
We sit in silence and continue to feed the children. Nanook eats so much. As I watch Dubhe feed all of the non-bearfolk children, Nanook has continued feeding, from one side to the other. Does she really have that much in there? Dubhe’s continuing even after Nanook has dried me up.
She looks up at me and smiles. “We’ve had many children before. It gets better after the first few times. Male bearfolk are also very greedy. They can feed into oblivion. From what we’ve been told, they always feel hungry, even when their bellies are so full they could burst. It’s both a curse and a blessing.”
That sounds terrible. Being hungry forever? And Otsu travels with us every day. Do we look like walking food that he must ignore? I need to ask him. What an honorable bearfolk he is, living with urges like that day in and day out, and not giving in to them. (Editor’s Note: Oh, the irony)
Would I be able to do such a thing? Would I be able to hold back my urges to live near the people I care about? Could I be so noble? I don’t know. It’s hard to imagine.
“Subjugation quest completed.” Announcing in the doorway as she enters, Melsy takes a ‘guts’ pose. You are… so strange.
She quickly jumps out of the way, startled, and shrieks with an ‘Aieee’ noise, before gripping her tail to her chest.
“I couldn’t help it, it just looked so cute and playful” Tristain enters the door behind her, smug smile and all.
“W-well, if it was cute, I guess I can forgive you.” Melsy smiles sheepishly. Within a heartbeat, though, she does a complete change of attitude. She continues talking to Tristain in ‘very serious mode.’ “But, you better ask next time. Veeeeery sensitive.”
“Not appropriate.” Dubhe chides the two of them.
There is a grumble behind Tristain, and he also jumps out of the way, following behind Melsy.
Otsu strides in, on all fours. His form fully fills the doorway.
Wait, why is Otsu here?
Author’s Note: Thanks for the support! I am in your care! Pretty sure there will be a second chapter this week, but there might not be. Finals are done… but there may be a recovery effort on way.