[*Thendria Kol is -not- my character. I am writing these stories with permission and suggestions from Blazbaros*]
"I can't stand her anymore, Tayan. She's unappreciative, rude, and I caught her harassing my poor kaksharash yesterday; grabbing them by the tail and dragging them backwards. Only letting them go to do it again,"
The third woman in the group put her hand to her chest, dismayed at the first woman's lack of sensitivity, "Inaleb, think about what she just went through! It's not even been a month since..." she bit her lip, the circumstance still bringing her softly glowing eyes to water.
The first woman spoke again, "I know, I know, but not once has she given a 'thank you' or even said 'hello' to me. She's your niece, Tayan, but I'm beginning to think she'd be more at home with those brutish Jinyan's."
Tayan, who had been listening from across the kitchen and cutting ingredients for dinner finally put her foot down and stabbed the knife into the cuttingboard. Rounding on her lover, her volume was low but her tone was sharp as the knife she'd been handling, "That's enough, Inaleb! I know she's a handful, but how could I face my sister when my time comes if I did nothing to care for her daughter? As far as I'm concerned, Thendria could burn down my garden and I would still support and love her the same."
Inaleb shrank away at the shorter woman's glower, her horizontal ears twitching uncomfortably. She glanced to the still shorter Vai, seeing the sympathy in her violet face. She sighed, "Okay. maybe I was a bit out of line. I'll try to be more patient with her, but I'm tired of being the only one tending to her studies. If you two could..."
"I can help in the mornings. It's not too busy at the office recently," came Vai right away. She would always try to meet at the middle ground if it was the least she could do.
Tayan sighed, "And I'll see what I can do to get her interested in an apprenticeship." She nodded to nothing in particular before continuing, "Putting her time and effort into something she can enjoy should...help."
"Your sister was a professional dancer, wasnt she?" Vai inquired.
"Yes, Thendria's fatheress, too. They were both splendid. The owner of the ship was a family friend that had asked them to perform, all expenses payed, of course." Tayan choked up and began to lose composure, the loss of her closest sister still like a lance through her.
Vai and Inaleb quickly came to her aid and supported her, consoling her and reminding her they were with the Fathers now. The short, purple skinned woman looked to a nearby chair, and with a glow of her yellow-gold eyes, it dragged its legs across the kitchen floor to under Tayan where the other two gently sat her down.
Inaleb held her lover's hand in both of hers, "I'm sorry, Tayan. I should have never brought this up."
The grieving sister shook her head and took a deep breath, pushing the sobs back down, "No, this would have come up sooner or later, and I think sooner is better than later. I'll talk to her right now."
They all jumped when a defiant scream came from somewhere in the house. With Inaleb in the lead, and Tayan in back, they charged from the kitchen, hearing crying and yelling. They came to a halt at the door of the living room and watched in horror at the chaos going on in their house.
All over the room were broken toys, tossed about haphazardly. Their youngest child, Vai and Tayan's daughter, was crying as she tried desperately to reconnect two halves of her favorite doll. Meanwhile, both of Tayan and Inaleb's purple-headed daughters were ganging up and wrestling the fourth, snow-haired child to the ground. Their collective yelling and indignities too jumbled to make out.
Vai darted to her daughter, wrapping her arms around her and trying to console her, rocking and shushing her endearingly. Tayan and Inaleb had a harder time pulling the other three away from each other until the sisters' mother grabbed them by the collars and near choked them when she hauled them away, leaving Tayan to contest with her niece.
Thendria kicked and struggled but the girl was no match for the woman pinning her to the ground. She'd scream profanities and other such pleasant things, all the while her daughters trying to explain the situation, but it all amounted to loud, incoherent noise. Pushed to her limit, Tayan out yelled everyone.
"THAT'S ENOOOOUGH!!!" It was enough to get everyone quiet, that much was certain. She glared at Thendria, who returned a frustrated stare with those deep red eyes of hers, clearly not feeling guilty in the least.
Tayan stood, dragging Thendria with her, grabbing her by the left shoulder and lightly twisting her right ear. In her share of pain, Thendria was led out of the room and into the master bedroom down the hall. She gave a light shove to send her niece towards the bed while Tayan herself was panting angrily.
She pressed a hand to her brow, shaking her head while her deep, irritated breaths slowed. A few choice words were caught in her throat, but with a frustrated sigh, she let them go.
"Thendria..." she started, clearly angry but trying to hold on to her composure, "...you...you can't DO that." After she said it, even she knew she wasn't clear, "You can't provoke people just because you think you're entitled to be angry. I'm not saying you can't be upset, because I'M upset too."
She sighed, watching as Thendria wasn't even looking to her. Tayan shook her head, on the verge of tears again, "Thendria..." she stepped up, crouching down, looking into her striking red eyes. The aunt searched for something, anything in those empty eyes, devoid of the cheer and zest for life her own daughters had...but found nothing positive.
Swallowing a sob, she kneeled and leaned in wrapping her arms around her niece. Tayan shook in light sobs, holding the girl close. She felt cold and did not return the hug. She was almost limp, unfeeling, refusing to return the smallest sentiment though their loss was shared.
Tayan cried now, not for her sister, but for this girl. This girl who saw no purpose in herself, who derided those who enjoyed a comfortable life and could not understand her loss. Even those that could understand, she shunned and sought no comfort.
For a moment, a fraction of a second, Tayan pitied the girl, and spent years hating herself for it. The last thing she needed was pity.