In this scene from For Women Only, Khyff and Mehfawni have arrived at the largest shopping mall in the empire. Mehfawni is a Kin female and a warrior, and it’s natural for her to take charge. When they are greeted by a robotic directory system, she makes a quick decision.
“Thank you for visiting Tarth City Mall,” the robot crooned. “Your shopping pleasure is our only business. How may I increase your shopping pleasure?”
“I think we’ll walk around.” Mehfawni slipped her hand into Khyff’s and turned away. “If we get lost, we’ll come back.”
Just past the directory was a kiosk labeled “Honey And Leather.” Two human males, an Androg, two human females, and a young Tyran male were fastened to it by thin leashes attached to their wrists.
They must be slakes. She couldn’t help but stare. None of them looked like whores, but the kiosk signs clearly stated their prices. A male turned and ogled Mehfawni, and the females stared at Khyff in frank appreciation. So did the Androg.
Her mind balked at the idea of Khyff being sold like that. His records said he’d “worked the streets” when he was fifteen, but by the time he’d been sixteen, he’d been “on call”. They’d called it “marketing” him–selling his services to private individuals who could afford the finest.
Talk about shopping pleasure… She shuddered.
The thought of other females using Khyff made her jaws clamp tighter. How can I be jealous of something that happened to him years ago? Yet there the emotion was, in all its raw and angry power. If he’d been Kin, he’d have smelled it on her by now.
She slid the tips of her fingers into one of Khyff’s rear pockets in a possessive gesture meant to discourage the slakes, who were still eyeing him. It didn’t work.
“Let’s go over there.” She pointed off in another direction.
“Sure, Fawni. What do you want to see?”
She didn’t want him thinking she was trying to buy him the way his clients had, but she still wanted to show others he was hers. An idea came to her, and she slid her tongue across her fangs. “What kind of jewelry shops do they have, t’hahr?”
His eyes crinkled at the corners. “What does t’hahr mean?”
“Oh, um…” The words had slipped out, but they were true. She rose on tiptoe and kissed him on the cheek. “T’hahr is a love word in my language. It’s Felis for my heart.”