“That is enough, Cinka.” Maelinn came up behind the Sairah and laid her hand on her shoulder. “I am nothing like you.”

“But you are.” Cinka snapped abruptly, “You receive crids and you are also on a contract. Your body is his, just as mine is, except you are property, Maelinn, because you have nowhere to go when Zaile tires of you. I know what real life is.”

Cinka jerked free of Maelinn’s grasp and stepped away, glaring at her. “You are nothing more than a pampered pet. You would not survive a day on your own. That is the only thing that separates you from me and if you ask me,..”

Maelinn looked shattered as she heard those words. She had a contract. She’d seen it before. The ADC contract that made Zaile her guardian. Maelinn had never really thought about it that way. Zaile didn’t treat her like she did Cinka.

“Leave now, Cinka!” Riley jumped in front of Cinka, motioning to the door.

Cinka held her ground, glaring into the Littan’s eyes. They had dilated unnaturally with his anger so that they were almost completely black, except a pale brown ring that almost seemed to glimmer. He was also baring his fangs, which Cinka had never seen him do before. “IF you do not do what I tell you to do, then I will let Zaile KNOW what you just said to Maelinn. You know he will not approve of it and obeying me is also on your contract, need I remind you, Cinka?”

That little inclusion had its uses. Riley rarely made use of it, choosing to ignore her, but in this case, he just wanted her to leave them alone. He didn’t really want to tell Zaile what had gone on. As much as he did not like Cinka, she kept Zaile happy and distracted. Riley also didn’t want to deal with finding a replacement. He needed to be on the ship near Lexx, not searching for disease free bed partners for Zaile.

“Whatever.” Cinka retorted, dropping her hands to her hips. “I can’t believe you’d choose that sterile freak over me,.. and,” She grinned maliciously. “I wonder what Zaile would say about you and Maelinn.”