Saturday, November 4, 2017

Star Talker: Part 18: Culture Shock


I reluctantly submitted myself to Daesha's attentions. Wincing into the pillow as she applied the salve to my bruises. I wrapped the towel back around myself as she disappeared into the bathroom to presumably wash her hands. She returned swiftly, gliding gracefully across the room toward the wall of cabinets and doors. She slid open a door to reveal a closet inset into the wall. An array of gowns in various jewel tones lined the rail. Daesha turned back to me, gave me a quick once over, and plucked a deep purple from the selection on display.

She approached with the garment, dropping her eyes to the floor. "May I?"

I slid off the bed and stood in front of her. She smiled, fins billowing again, and dropped the gown over my head, tugging it into place. It was an empire cut, the waistline hugging me just below the bust. The lining was comprised of a silky material that felt rather luxurious against my skin. Daesha caught up the two bands of fabric at my left shoulder and wound them through some sort of brooch, pulling them until it fit snugly.  I noted that the dress only had one shoulder, leaving the bandage over my brand on display.

I fingered the brooch, noting that it was in the shape of some sort of large-tailed bird made of a collection of colorful stones. "Are all Klotharan gowns like this?" I said to Daesha, who had knelt to put some sort of matching slippers on my feet. They reminded me of dance shoes.

Daesha looked up at me, her gaze drifting to my fingers worrying at the brooch. "There are different cuts, colors, embellishments and such. There are different qualities of materials depending on the wealth of the family in question. Some have more complex designs. However, all gowns of mated women are designed to display the marriage brand. Unmated women tend to cover both shoulders. Those with two mates typically wear halter styles."

I blinked. "A woman can have two mates?"

Daesha nodded, digging through a small case of jewelry, holding various pieces up to me as if judging their appropriateness. "With the abundance of men on the planet, it is not an uncommon arrangement, particularly among the lower echelons of society. The bride price is easier to manage if two men contribute. Sometimes brothers will take on the same mate as well, if the family can only afford one bride price."

Well, that was fascinating. "Are there ever men with two female mates?"

Daesha slipped some gold bangles on my wrists. "It's not unheard of. If a man is rich enough to purchase marriage contracts from off world races, then he can acquire two mates. No man has ever had two Lo'Rahni women for mates as far as I know. It's considered the height of greed to deprive others of a potential mate when you already have one. Now, sometimes, two mated couples or triads will come together to form a single household, particularly if some of the partners have a taste for their own sex."

"What about female only pairs?"

Daesha stood back from me, examining her work. "That is only permitted if both females involved are infertile. Even if that is the case, they are still required to be attached to a male's household in some capacity."

The anthropologist in me was positively humming. "How thoroughly archaic," I said in wonderment.

Daesha shrugged.  "It is simply how things are. You've seen their men. There are benefits to having one of those hulking creatures on your side."

Her eyes went wide briefly, then dropped to the floor. "Apologies, Mistress. I overstep myself."

I snorted. "Well, you aren't wrong about them being hulking creatures. No harm in the truth."

She seemed to purse her lips. "You are going to get me into trouble eventually. I know it."

I tilted my head. "That is probably not inaccurate. I seem to be quite gifted at getting myself into it. Splash damage is probably a good possibility."

I looked down at myself, the lush gown flowing delicately around my ankles, gold bangles tinkling at my wrists, a jeweled brooch at my shoulder. "Aren't I a bit overdressed for being confined to the apartments?"

"This is actually one of the simpler gowns that was purchased. Besides, Master will want you well-dressed regardless of confinement."

I turned, feeling the silk graze the skin of my ass. "And...um...underwear?"

Daesha blinked, confused. "Under what?"

"You know. Smallclothes? Things you wear under your clothes?"

Daesha frowned. "Why would you wear clothes under your clothes?"

I raised my eyebrows. Well then, something to add to my notes later. Underwear didn't exist in Klothar. At least, not this part of it, anyway.

I clasped my hands in front of me. "Care to give me a tour?"


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4 comments:

  1. It is just so wonderful how you have worked out this 'civilization', the culture. I love it!

    Rebel xox

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  2. Really enjoying all he mating laws here - somehow seems like a good reality

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  3. Love this look at the culture... :)

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