Another excerpt from The Lady is Blue
Reconciled. This scene follows the snippet from last week. The aliens have scales of different colors indicating class, long claws and crests. When they seized control of the colony on Eden, the heroine Dr. Lucy Stannis felt betrayed by Sa Kamizan Veedak, even though he mentioned that he might need to compromise. He has appeared as the General, the leader of the coup, but has lost status and his name, much to the confusion of the humans. In last week's snippet, Lucy was devastated when she was ordered to vacate her science laboratory. The General denied her accusation that he was responsible and promises to restore her lab.
Here, Lucy meets the General to thank him. Remember, they are on opposing sides, so they have moved out of the public area.
When they entered the lighted space, the General spoke again. “I have missed your company, Lucy.” He gazed down and Lucy saw the loneliness in his eyes again. This time she was not afraid.
“I know,” she replied gently. “I tried to hate you, but never quite succeeded.” The Blue gestured for her to proceed up the stairs and he followed close behind.
“I don’t like your compromise,” she said abruptly, turning toward him. Their faces were almost on the same level since he stood on a lower stair.
“Poor Lucy, you look so pale and thin. I was worried about you.” He sounded sincere. Lucy searched his face. New lines of tiredness were visible around his eyes. The General continued bitterly, “I am an old, fat fool!”
“No!” Lucy raised her hand to touch him. Suddenly, she was locked in a tight embrace and pressed her face into his neck. His coarse scales chafed against her bare arms, and Lucy gasped, “Careful, you’ll squash me!”
“Sorry!” He relaxed the pressure. “Do not leave me!”
“I’ll stay with you, Veedak,” she promised, “although, we should not do this in public.”
Those scales are a problem!