After settling the new arrivals for the night, Sinclair and Eren took to the shopping street, choosing to walk on the second level of it. Most humans had retired and the only places that still had them, were mostly crowded around bars.
“So tell me again, why you can’t be bothered to sleep?” Sinclair crumbled, following the railing with his fingers.
“I am disappointed in you! You’re suppose to be my bodyguard!” Erin scolded, but it carried no bite.
He knew the man must have been tired, and so was he, but at this moment he couldn’t imagine dragging himself back in that tiny cubicle bedroom and had he left alone, Sinclair would have hunted him down and given him a new hindsight on their next sprawl. But it felt good to be able to talk to him without others around. It had been long since they could do it.
Sinclair sent him a glaring look to say he wasn’t blind, but he still didn’t appreciate being used as a half-brained bodyweight if his sleepiness was anything to go by. He wouldn’t be much use if something happened and all his addled mind could do was dream of soft pillows and thick bed, no matter how uncomfortable the bunkers in their rooms were.
“I just can’t sleep.”
“Then do the insomnia thing in your own room!” He growled.
“Have you lost your free spirit that this cage looks like home?” He asked him instead, his eyes looking over the street leading to the bar he knew the elders of knudhy kept gathering.
He knew about the place, because until now he had made everything in his power to keep away from there. It belonged to a human couple, who’d come here close to half a year ago and had caused quite a bit of a stir, when the human political party had tried to kill one of their workers. It would have been sad comedy hadn’t it brought up the fact that humans were trying to doctor knudhy’s view on their culture by eliminating same gender lovers from the public for years in order to fit the form they thought knudhy had been looking for. He didn’t completely set the blame on humans though – had knudhy been more honest about their own ways, this might have not happened.
As it were, he learned quickly that this had become the center of the after work meetings for knudhy, who followed Tyton and Tige, because Tyton’s partner was still barman there.
He recognized the older knudhy walking towards it as he observed. It was the same, who had watched them during the arrival He had changed out of his work clothes, wearing now something that would have passed as simple in Tudor era. He had left his overcoat home it seemed and all the colors related to security chief were gone, replaced by completely black attire with golden leaf motive decorating the broad chest of the vest. Dressed like that he gave no impression as if he was in charge of things. It did little to hide his statue, nor the way he walked as if he owned the place, giving the by-standing businesses assuring glances, like checking on them quickly before moving on. They seemed to know him from earlier times, probably from Feher, if he guessed right, which led him to question what role he had on the planet. Couple of minutes later he saw him disappear in the bar, where he knew from previous look inside were Tyton and Tige.
He almost dismissed the knudhy by then, if it hadn’t been a glimpse of a completely different fabric catching his eye. Something thin. Something that flowed over pair of jeans and tall boots. Something that belonged to his sister.
Sinclair noticed it too, letting out a groan. “Is that why you dragged me out here?” He asked, tiredly.
“Where is she going?” He asked himself, surprised that his sister was running around with purpose in her eyes and not at all tired looking as he had left her behind.
Her step haltered and she stopped altogether in front of the bars. She kept searching inside until her eyes fell on the knudhy, who’d just entered the bar beneath them. Her shoulders slumped and for a long moment she stood there in silence, preparing herself. Then she took a deep breath and started determined walk straight into it, after the knudhy.
“Come on, move away!” Eren tugged at his bodyguard to get out of his way and he ran around the corner of the bridge, back to the point, where they could see inside the establishments.
They got in place right in time to hear the song begin. It was sweet, low tone with tremble only stage fright could add to the performance. He lowered himself over the reeling to see better, but the only thing he could spot was the hemline of the dress from the backside.
“Shit, this isn’t happening!” He let out a sob, listening his sister perform one song he had ever hear her sing. It wasn’t long one, but it was clearly practiced for so long there were parts that sounded drilled in to her while the ends of the lines still choked. She had never been a singer, the woman had most dreadful singing voice he had ever heard and absolutely no hearing for it. Yet here she was and singing her heart out in front a bar
“If your uncle put her up to this, I’m gonna kill him!” Sinclair snarled, not caring whom he was threatening and he could appriciate his sentiment. As long as he didn’t actually do it.
“Take a number!” Eren grit his teeth, running his hand over his face and into his hair, grabbing at its roots, listening one dreadful note come after another. “God, this is painful to watch!”
“What was she thinking, doing it now?” Sinclair whispered. “If they’re here for diplomatic mission, doing it in front of Tyton and others -”
He didn’t have time to finish, the singing stopped and Eren realized his breathing ended with it. He begged the gods the knudhy would have sense at least not to be as rude as Asot had been, to let her sister down gently if that was the case. Or he would end up in a bloody fight with the bastard, who humiliated her in front of all those people.
There was absolute silence. People had gathered on the street, clearly pulled in by impromptu confession and he almost hid his eyes, too scared to see.
The knudhy in black stormed out, his face distorted by anger. He didn’t give the surrounding crowd a second glance and disappeared quickly into the street leading away from the area.
“Did she sing for him?” Sinclair wheezed out a breath he’d been holding.
“I don’t know.” He admitted. As far as he knew their family had never had direct contact with knudhy before, but he could care less about them right now.
“What are you gonna do?”
He straightened and sighed, watching her sister still standing there, stuck on her place. What could he do? If he went down there right now, he let her know he’d witnessed her embarrassing confession. Had she wanted other clan members to see, she would have not done it here.
A woman with short apron appeared hurriedly by her side. He couldn’t see the face, but by her attire she guessed she was working there. He saw her put her hands around her shoulders while she said something. Half a minute later his sister stumbled aside, kept up by the woman’s hand and she was led towards the bar, where he knew they were giving her something to drink to settle her shock.
“There is nothing I can do.” He sighed. “It’s better if she thinks none of her family saw that.”
“It will come out, though.”
“Probably. But I’ve heard Tyton to be fair man, I doubt he would allow anyone present to use it.”
“You can’t be sure.”
He glared his bodyguard down. “I have to be, we don’t have much choice, do we?”