The glow of artificial light increased from a faint blush to half dimmed morning radiance. This particular light program for the Amarrian Captian’s Quarters was set to mimic morning light. For some it was a gentle way to wake up. For others it was a substitute for the planet side sunlight they hadn’t experienced in ages. For the Matari woman that slept on the narrow slip of bedding, it was a mild annoyance that caused her to roll over with a faint groan.
“I thought you were a morning person?” The soft whisper came in the form of an ease male tenor. Groggy words laced with a chuckle at her reaction to the light.
“Being a morning person and wanting to get up are not mutually exclusive.” Even with only being half awake, her tongue was still sharp. “Besides, shouldn’t you be flattered that I choose to stay a bit longer?”
She moved once more, the thin linen that covered her slid down to reveal the smooth slope of her shoulder, back and hips. He smiled. His mind shifted focus from her quip to the newly exposed flesh.
“I suppose you’re right.”
He reached out to touch her. Thick and slightly rough finger tips ran over the silken skin of her back. She would shift slightly against his touch, but wouldn’t move away.
The light caused her warm earthy colored skin to shimmer, while his only seemed more pale. The contrast in their skin made him grin like the cheeky bastard he was. His euphoria was short lived as a small voice made him question if the enjoyment was erotic or racist. His eyes drifted lower as did his hand. An action bore from shame rather then desire.
“Why haven’t you told me about your tattoo?” It was a strange question to ask, but he was searching for anything to pull him out of self inflicted guilt of being racially aware. Yes, he would ask about her Voluval; that would make him feel more… enlightened.
“Because I think that getting to intimate would be a detriment to our professional relationship.” Even though sleepiness, the flat tone of sarcasm came through clearly. A dead give away that she was fucking with him. She would stir once more to roll over in the small space. Bleary eyes narrowed and focused upon her companion. “Really?”
“What?” He tried to appear genuinely shocked at her response. “I can’t want to know more about you?” He reached out to touch her arm. The gesture was an unspoken affirmation of his words. This advance would be blocked by a single sweeping motion of her own hand, a raised eyebrow and an unconvinced purse of her lips.
Another heavy sign came. Shifting to his back, he laid back down. His hands moved to brush downward over his face. He became quiet and the entire room with him. In the silence footsteps in the outer corridor could be heard as well as the dripping coffee from the mini cantina drone and even the sounds of the docking bay attached to the quarters.
“I was thinking about something… and… I decided that I want to think about something else.” He brought his hands down so they rested against his chest, his fingers folding in between each other. The shame was a bit clearer in his eyes.
“You know you sound like a spy when you talk like that.”
“I know. It’s just… It… Nevermind.”
“It’s okay. You don’t have to tell me.” She rolled once more and settled on her stomach. Her right arm rested on his chest and as well as her head. “It is my Voluval. It’s the sacred mark we receive when we come of age. It doesn’t mean as much as it used to, but it’s still tradition and holds a good amount of significance.”
“Does yours have a special meaning?”
The silence came again. Her full lips parted, but no words came. Instead, those dark almond shaped eyes bore into him.
“Every Voluval is sacred and carries some kind of meaning.”
“No… I mean...” She paused and leaned back from him slightly. “They are really important to us. They bare the most… secret and special part of a person. They are a window into the wearer’s fate.” Her words were heavy with meaning. Her voice nearly breaking as she tried to verbalize the emotional and physiological connection that no other race could really understand. Her eyebrows furrowed. “Do you really understand?”
“Probably not.” It was one of the moments of unadulterated truth. “But want to at least try.”
“You are of me, but not mine to keep.
You are of rock, but you will not be bound.
You are water, but you will not be consumed.
You are of sun and will harness it.
You are of air and shall wield its power.
You are of the universe. You are of Eden.
You are the wandering soul.
Those were the words my Grandmother spoke when my Voluval was revealed. She was… is our clan matriarch. The wisest woman I ever knew. I could see the tears welling in my mother’s eyes, but my Grandmother’s face was almost stone.” A flicker of sadness came to her voice and her eyes, but in true Martari style they were pushed back. “A few days after that I left the clan and the planet.”
“And you obviously haven’t been back since.”
Slowly, methodically she rose up from where she laid on the bed. Her expression was stone and her silence was deafening.
“So, I’m right then?” He watched her as she shifted once more and her eyes narrowed slightly. The small gesture compelled him to explain quickly. “Well, you’re Vherokior. They’re considered the more nomadic of the Matari people. And your…” He motioned to her brow. “Your naming mark and your Voluval are your only tattoos… which is unusual for a Matari. Even one of the wandering persuasion.”
She still didn’t respond.
“My father was an anthropologist. Of all cultures. Becoming more culturally aware and embracing all people regardless of background was important to him. It was also something he instilled in his children.” As he explained his knowledge, he slowly moved to sit up. Even sitting side by side, he was still tall than her. Larger in mass as well. “I didn’t mean to offend and you don’t make this easy. Sometimes it’s like I’m talking to a brick wall with you.”
“And what about your slaver Grandfather?”
“If you know that, then you know about the accusations and the trial.” A contempt filled smirk marred his thin lips. “Amarrians enjoy persecuting their own as much as they enjoy persecuting others.” He turned and got up from the mattress that was really only meant to fit one. His large hand ran over his smoothly bald head while he wandered over to the mini-cantina drone and poured a cup of the thick engine oil like substance.
“Let’s take the Slicer and Dramiel up to Old man Star today. It’ll be like told times.” She followed suit, rising up from bed and walking over to the small sink. Water was splashed on her face causing some of her red dyed hair to become wet in the process. The water continued to run as she brushed her teeth.
“Is that all you ever think about?” The shift in conversation made him feel slightly put out. Sometimes it was just hard with her. Taking a long drink, he walked over to where she stood and turned the water off.
She watched him as he approached. A smile curved around her toothbrush while she kept scrubbing her teeth. After a quick spit she took a careful look at her teeth in the mirror and shook her head slowly. The water was turned back on long enough to rinse before she turned it off. He could have sworn he caught that indignant twinkle in her eye.
“No. I think about the things that make me happy. You can understand that can’t you?” A taunting wink was cast in his direction. “Right now, for me, that’s you and Old Man Star.”