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I continued to the next room about the ring. The occupant was an alarmingly voluptuous woman with a thick mane of wavy, raven-colored hair, bluish skin and shimmering, crimson eyes, like rubies which had fires lit behind them. Though she was not beautiful in the typical sense of the word, her features were exotically unusual. I greeted her. Her voice was deep and sensuous.
“And my greetings to you, sir.” Her burning eyes roamed over me. “I'm Kesai-Serris. So tell me: what might I do for you, hmmm?”
“Anything!” Morte cried, “Do anything you want to me!” Kesai laughed heartily, revealing canines long enough to be considered fangs. She shook her head and smiled at Morte.
“Truly, though, please… what can I do for you?” I deflected her question with a question.
“If you don’t mind my asking, what are you?” Kesai shook her head.
“What, can’t you tell?” She drew herself up, thrusting her ample bosom towards me. “A woman!” She raised an eyebrow. “I can see my answer doesn’t please you… I'm plane-touched, actually, like your friend here.” Kesai indicated Annah. “That’s all you need to know.”
I asked if she might know where Vivian’s scent was.
“No, I don’t.” Kesai frowned. “Most of the women will say she’s prissy, but she’s always been nice enough to me… complimenting me on my eyes… and she smells so good! I hope she finds her own scent again, soon.”
As I had talked to her, I had realized that Kesai’s exotic features were not un-attractive.
“You do have very lovely eyes, you know.”
“Tch.” Annah sneered, rolling her eyes. “Idjit.”
“Don’t be upset, Annah… you’re just as lovely.” The wrong thing to say, as I knew as soon as I spoke.
“An’ what’s that supposed ta mean, yeh pikin’ tard?! Didja think me jealous o’ this chatty tart? Yeh sod!” Annah spat and looked away from me, then stalked from the room. Kesai-Serris shrugged and looked back to me, replying to my compliment.
“Why, thank you! You can see them glowing in the dark, you know… bizarre, no?” She paused to look at me. “You've some nice eyes, too… so dark, and mysterious! So full of character.” I next asked Kesai about Marissa, and her veil.
“Hmm. No, I haven’t seen it since the last time she wore it out… but Nenny might have seen something, so try asking her. I'll admit it’s been nice… Marissa won’t leave her chamber without the veil, and so we've all been spared her foul tongue… leaving us only Kimasxi to deal with.” Kesai smirked. “That Kimasxi’s the worst of the two, though.”
“Marissa’s haughty and mean, but Kimasxi… she’s a bitter, spiteful monster of a woman, with a venomous tongue and the demeanor of a balor. I can’t see why anyone would like to speak with her — I sincerely doubt her appearance makes up for that flaying, poisonous mouth of hers — but she receives patrons nonetheless.” I was curious about Kesai’s talents.
“Well, what do you usually do for patrons?”
“Talk, of course! Usually about dreams, often those erotic in nature… but not always!” Kesai winked at me, smiling. “So! Would you like to tell me yours? Don’t be shy; I've heard everything, you know. Nothing will shock or surprise me, and I so love to hear people’s dreams. We can trade if you'd like, too — but you must go first.” I played along with her light mood.
“My dreams were recently revised when I saw you, my lady…”
“Were they, now?” Kesai smiled, her gleaming red eyes looking me over once more. “You look very savage, you know? Tell me: are you rough with your lovers? In the act, I mean… very physical?”
“Why would you ask such a thing?”
“I was curious… and enjoy talking about the act of love. Many people are uncomfortable speaking of it, but it’s important to be able to, especially with one’s partner — it’s good for the both of them! It’s my hope that my clients will find the voice to talk to their own lovers about such things, if they don’t already. So: you never gave me an answer…”
“I'm only rough if it pleases them.” At least, that was what I thought I would do, since I had no memories of such acts. The last few days had been too filled to think about this topic much, and there were too many unresolved issues with the one woman I had seriously considered it about. As I thought of Annah, I realized my comment to her just now had been undeserved, treating her like a spoiled child. Although she did need to find a better way to deal with her jealousy…
“I thought you'd say as much. I'm quite rough, myself… I like to be carried around, and I particularly enjoy biting! I've sharp teeth, though, so I've to take care. Sometimes I get carried away and draw a little blood, you know?”
Morte commented, “It’s enough to make me weep… where was this chit when I had a body?!
“Roaming the Outlands, most likely. But that was a rhetorical question, wasn’t it?” She winked at Morte, then turned to me again.
“You have sharp teeth?” I asked, having only glimpsed them before. Kesai nodded.
“Mmm-hmm, I certainly do. Would you like to see? Here…” She opened her mouth slightly, running her violet tongue over her bottom teeth; her canines were just long enough to be considered fangs. I thought her fangs didn’t look too dangerous.
“I don’t think I'd mind the biting…” Kesai laughed.
“I doubt I'd get through that thick hide of yours, anyway. Do you have much sensation left in your skin?”
“No, sadly; not really. The scars are very thick.”
“Oh, that’s a shame. You do have a lot scars…” Kesai looked closely at my face. “Even your lips, the lids of your eyes… tell me: are you scarred everywhere? You know… everywhere?”
“No, not really. Parts of me have somehow managed to stay out of harm’s way.”
“That’s good, then!” Kesai laughed cheerfully, then put on a mock serious look, placing her hands on her hips. “You never did tell me about your dreams, you know. Come on, let’s have them!”
“I… don’t have dreams, actually.” I realized this to be literally true. Not just for the few days for which I had full memories, but stretching back over a much longer time. Kesai arched her eyebrows in surprise.
“Truly? How sad! Even fiends and devas dream, you know. Are you certain you don’t?”
“Quite certain. No dreams, at all.”