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A Whisper of Time by Paula E. Downing

By Paula E. Downing

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But Samta didn't seem to mind. With ceremony he conducted her back to her stateroom, waved blithefully at the corridor camera, then swept her hand to his lips for a brief kiss. “Lady Rainbow,” he murmured, and she gasped and yanked her hand away. ” She stared at him, eyes wide. ” He looked startled in his own turn, and then flushed a deeper brown in obvious chagrin. “I'm sorry, really. I was trying to be too cute. ” He sighed. “I'm sorry. ” “It's just that —” She stopped, unable to continue. Should she explain how a Jaguar Sun danced with her in an imaginary glade?

She wondered, stretching her arms outward in the graceful pattern of a creature worlds away. Suicide is not a test I'd care to try, personally. She smiled and stopped her dance, letting her arms fall loosely to her sides. It wouldn't have worked before, she realized; there wasn't enough of a crisis. But now, through Hillary and Samta, the crux gave the opportunity. She felt grateful to her new friends for their daring, knowing full well how academic punishments could descend on them both for defying the Powers.

He meant to be kind, this time more deftly, but Medoret had grown too familiar with certain wary expressions on human faces. Across the room, Dr. Sieyes looked at her coldly, his displeasure written in every line of his face. She saw him jerk slightly, then don an engaging grin as he turned to the woman seated beside him and began talking to her animatedly. Medoret looked down at her slender hands and felt the old despair well up again. Layard moved smoothly on to another topic. ” Samta asked in a low voice.

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