Meanwhile, aboard the Sriven, Riley stirred from his sleep.  It had been a long night.  In the darkness, he didn’t see that there was someone else in his room and his thoughts were elsewhere.  He slowly sat up and stretched, flexing his arms and fingers in an almost methodic sequence.  Riley yawned and ordered sleepily, “Lights on.”

‘I had better check on Lexx before I do anything else today.  Busy day…’ Riley blinked in the bright light.  He grumbled to himself, having forgotten to tell it to adjust slowly to full lighting.

She sat watching him.  The young littan/kourwine girl had actually been there all night, dreading the time when he woke up.  She had only been there a few hours, having been walked to Riley’s quarters by that obnoxious Cinka.  The sairah woman had gone on and on about how lucky Lisaan was and made lewd comments that the younger girl did not particularly want to hear.

Apparently, Cinka didn’t know Lisaan’s background.  She wasn’t like Cinka.  She was smart… educated and shy. It had dealt an enormous blow to Lisaan’s self esteem when her family had given her up to creditors.  The universe hated her.  Everyone in the universe hated her.  The fact that she was a natural hybrid had not sat well with the community they were living in.  It did not matter that her family had as many crids as the others … she represented something they did not want to acknowledge.

For a moment… she remembered the shame.  They had taken her and cut the tops of her ears, making it difficult to tell at first glance what species she was.  She looked like a littan female… with kourwine abilities.  And right now, she was dressed up in an appealing nightgown, extensions in her hair and makeup on her face.  Lisaan hated it.

She watched nervously, holding her breath and wishing she would just vanish.  She didn’t like what she had been told to do and didn’t want to think of the consequences if she didn’t.  Then,… she saw a telltale jerk in Riley’s movement.  He had seen her out of the corner of his eye.