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An Unfair Trade

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Link glided to a stop in front of the Sand-Seal Rally award platform and let go of his rented sand seal's leash. Both the seal and the Hylian were exhausted from the race they had just run. The last few hours had been filled by non-stop action, and Link was grateful for the cool breeze that rattled the palmettos sprouting from under the corners of the platform and dried the sweat soaking his hairline. Sensing its freedom, the seal immediately flopped over with a grunt and buried its fins in the sand. Link released his feet from the straps on his shield, an old hunk of metal he had found in a cave that was probably ready to be sold for scrap now that he'd used it to surf up and down sand dunes all day. He stood and straightened the elaborate golden headdress perched on his head. The Thunder Helm was his reward for running himself ragged over the past few days helping out the citizens of Gerudo Town. The Chief had made it clear that her precious heirloom was only his to borrow, and while it was probably not the most decorous way to do so, he felt he’d earned the right to wear it in whatever situation he chose. Its highest honor in his possession thus far had been to reflect the sun and Electric Lizalfos shocks as he wove through the flags on the sand-seal race course.

Shabonne, the woman in charge of the race track, thrust her pocket watch at Link as he walked over to the shade of a few tall palm trees in which she stood. Her companion, Tali, a strapping young woman with a hairstyle of gorgeously voluminous, tight red curls, shifted silently on the balls of her feet to watch his approach.

"You shaved thirty-six seconds off your best time yet!" The old Gerudo crowed. "I can't believe how fast you are, and with a rented seal, no less!"

Tali, the previous Sand-Seal Rally champion, nodded in agreement, or perhaps she was acknowledging the loss of her old record. It was hard to read her face in the light of the setting sun.

Link wasn’t about to argue with a professional about the merits of sand seal breeding, especially when he’d taken up the racing hobby only a few weeks ago. The seal he had chosen from the rental stall had adapted quickly to his style of commands, and the two of them had flown through the course like old partners. He would be sad to return it to its owner at the end of the day.

The two ladies agreed that there was nothing better to celebrate a new record being made than a round or two at the Noble Canteen, the most popular bar in Gerudo Town.

"Come on, Champion! Change your clothes behind the shrine over there and follow us!" said the elder.

Link looked down at his outfit. He'd forgotten that he was wearing his voe clothes, which, while excellent to wear in the desert heat, made it abundantly clear that he was a man. His identity was probably the worst kept secret in all the desert, but rules were rules, and the guards would not let him past the gates unless he was disguised as a woman. So he dutifully changed and trotted after his two giant companions. As their little procession wended their way through the city, they attracted plenty of attention, and by the time they arrived at the bar, their number had increased by about a dozen. Link was at the back of the pack by then, but he didn't mind. He was just glad to be caught up in the camaraderie.

The crowd at the bar was thick, and Link waited patiently for his party to put in their orders first. When it was his turn, he stepped up and asked Furosa, the sole bartender, in his politest voice for a Noble Pursuit.

"Sorry, miss," came the curt reply. "We don't serve minors here. Why don't you go to the day care down the road."

Link tried out a charming smile before he remembered that his veil obscured his face. "I see that you're put off by my youthful looks. I assure  you, I'm over one hundred years old!"

"I don't think so, sweetie. Come back in a few years." She reached for some empty bottles left on the counter top, unwilling to spend any more time on a fruitless exchange of words.

Frustrated, Link looked over across the room to Shabonne and Tali, who were chatting with a group of assorted hangers-on. They would be no help in confirming his age, and he realized as he failed to grab their attention, they seemed to have forgotten about him entirely. Turning back to Furosa, he said, "The last time I was here, I was served alcohol!"

"Not from me you weren't!" She glared as she dried a bottle with a brilliant white rag. Technically, she was correct, as the last time he had a beverage here he was nineteen, not 119, and Furosa hadn’t even been born yet. He knew that was a futile argument to have, as previous experience had shown that hardly anyone believed his true age.

Sighing, about ready to concede, he asked, "How about a glass of milk, then?"

Furosa puffed up with irritation as she hissed, "Milk? You can't be serious! We don't sell anything as childish as milk here! This is your last warning. Get going before I throw you out!"

Link was just about to ask her if she would also deny a drink to the Chief of the Gerudo, who was several years younger than his apparent age, if she happened to walk into the bar; when a tall Hylian vai with dark hair and glasses stepped up to the counter next to him, and in a strained falsetto, ordered two Noble Pursuits.

The bartender squinted at her new customer and relented, but not before warning, "That better not be for the little miss there!"

Link interjected, ”No, I'll be having a hydromelon agua fresca, please." He knew that was on the menu; he remembered someone ordering it the day he came to inform Furosa of her best customer's whereabouts.

While he waited for Furosa to fix his drink, Link looked over at the lady next to him and realized with a shock that it was Bozai! The jogging enthusiast who had given Link both pairs of his boots was dressed in the same style of clothing that the hero himself was wearing, though each item of the other man’s wardrobe was a hodgepodge of different colors. Instead of a scarf adorning his head, a slim jeweled headband held his hair back from his face, and as he turned to greet his old acquaintance, Link noticed how Bozai’s glasses magnified the effect of the mascara and eyeshadow applied to his large, dark eyes.

Bozai greeted Link with a raised eyebrow and said, ”Well, my darling little adventurer! We meet again!”

“Hi," returned Link and gave him a half-hearted wave of acknowledgement. A rising surge of panic propelled his thoughts: Should I make a run for the bathroom and climb out a window? Or stay and explain why I left him in the middle of the night?

Bozai nodded his head at the trio of drinks the bartender had slammed on the counter. He made sure that Furosa was distracted by more customers at the other end of the bar before he asked, "Care to grab a quiet corner, catch up on old times, and join me in a drink? First round's on me!"

The friendliness of his request startled Link, but after a moment or two, Bozai’s confident attitude and the prospect of a free drink won him over, and he graciously accepted the offer.



Whispers followed them to a booth in the back of the bar.

“That's the vai who found Barta...twice!"

"...she killed a Molduga just to get its guts for my cousin's husband. He's recovering from sandfly fever..."

"Didn't you hear? That's the little vai who tamed Naboris!"

Bozai stumbled when he heard the last one. I went down on the Champion?

He'd heard the news when the Chief went out into the desert south of town, and then, the very next day when the great dust cloud settled back into the sand and the horizon cleared for the first time in months, he had been just as jubilant as the other citizens to see the change. Word spread quickly about a courageous foreign vai who aided the Gerudo in victory, but he hadn't put two and two together…

Of course it was her. Anyone who would selflessly climb a snowy mountain to find evidence of a long-lost legend would also be the kind of person who wrangles giant, terrifying, electric-sandstorm-creating beasts and wins! A spring formed in his step when he realized his brush with fame. And I caught her attention! Me! Ol' Bozai's seen her naked!

They sat down at a table close to a group of couches occupied by a lively, non-sand seal-related party. Bozai slid one of the cocktail-filled mugs across the table to his companion.

"I advise you to take it slow. They mix them here for eight-foot-tall women,” Bozai raised his hand above his head, "and we are," he lowered it to rest atop his headband, "much smaller. No offense, of course! I think you're the perfect size," he finished, a blush creeping out from beneath his veil.

Link raised the mug to his lips and took a taste. A fruity aroma with a cooling finish issued from the deep purple liquid. Supremely refreshing, he thought as he smacked his lips, and very strong.

"Hang on, I'm going to ask for some straws. This veil is a pain to drink around,” Bozai complained, and left to hunt down the utensils.

By the time the other Hylian came back with a handful of straws clutched in his hand, Link had decided on a topic of conversation that would answer the new question burning in his gut. "So, why are you still here? I thought you said you were going to leave town after the last time we met?"

"Well," the awkward older man began, and sipped his drink through pursed lips. “No doubt you recall that you left me barefoot. In the desert." He spoke slowly in clipped tones, punctuating his sentences with sips of his drink. "The guards here in town had no mercy for me, so I made my way to Kara Kara Bazaar. Took me two days, traveling only during the night. I asked around, and found a merchant selling second-hand clothing. She sold me some shoes, and these too." He gestured at his feminine outfit. "She told me they suited me, but I don't know about that. I think it was just a sales tactic. An effective one, but still, ehhh..." He shifted in his chair and picked at the beaded collar of his blouse.

Since the newly disguised man seemed to be inviting commentary about the effectiveness of his wardrobe, Link turned his eye to sartorial critique. The strategic padding in Bozai’s emerald green halter top added a suggestion of breasts to his wide-shouldered frame, an addition that the Champion hadn’t bothered to utilize for his own outfit. He had not taken the time to look as they were walking to their seats, but he was willing to bet that Bozai’s hips were similarly enhanced as well. The tall Hylian sat primly in his seat, hardly speaking, brushing a lock of hair that had escaped from his headband away from his nose, and was rather obviously staring at the other patrons of the bar. It was kind of strange to see Bozai so out of his element. All of their previous interactions had been marked by his bluster and bravado. Sure, he was plenty awkward too, but that awkwardness was tempered by his oversized sense of self-importance and the pure force of his will.

"I like your makeup," Link said, sidestepping the implied question of whether he was acceptably female or not. "Especially your eyebrows. Bold shapes really work on you."

"You do? Thanks!” Soaking in the compliment, Bozai added, "I asked the concierge at my hotel, and she told me about this place-"

"You asked the what now?" Link interrupted. "Where are you staying?"

"Oh, at the Royal Palm Suites,” Bozai answered with an air of studied nonchalance that was clearly meant to signify something important. The resurrected knight combed his spotty memory for a recollection of the hotel’s name. Had he walked past it before? Seen the sign and changed his mind? It did sound familiar…

“Ah, right. I've heard of that place.” He drummed his fingers on the table. “Sort of tucked away in a corner of the city? Gems inset onto the front doors, and a really, really, really tall doorwoman waiting nearby?”

“That’s the one!” Bozai confirmed with a pleased look in his eye.

Link continued, “Never stayed there though, even when I had a bunch of rupees to blow. I usually stay at the Hotel Oasis when I want a roof over my head."

"You can sleep there? I thought it was just a massage parlor."

"Yeah, they have a spa in the front, and lodging in the rear." Link snorted, unable to stop his mind from heading straight to the gutter. Perhaps the bartender was right to refuse him a drink, if this was the height and sophistication of his sense of humor.

"But anyway, getting back to my story—" Bozai plunged back into his narrative, finally beginning to loosen up, "it was to my benefit that I was left unshod! As you can see, it ended up bringing us back together! Once I realized my advantage in these special clothes, I thought, ah ha! Here's my chance to see what Gerudo life is all about!"

Link put down his drink and chided in mock outrage, ”So you infiltrated the city and now you're spying on them?"

"What? No!" Bozai raised his hands as if to deflect the accusation, bracelets jangling with his sudden motion. Sheepishly he amended, "I'm researching. I was getting less than nowhere outside the gates, so I just thought..."

Link wasn't surprised to hear him admit that his tactics were ineffective at attracting positive attention. A little self-awareness would go a long way in that man's case. Personally, he thought Bozai had looked like a turbo moron running in circles through the sand outside Gerudo City, but his tact prevented him from actually telling that to the self-professed scholar.

"But so far," Bozai went on, "my research has been in vain. I've been learning so much, so I thought I'd start flirting a little with my new information in mind, but it's not working. I don't know what I'm doing wrong!" The lonely fool started detailing all the tidbits of info he had picked up, from the daily schedules of the most attractive Gerudo women to all the different words for sweat he had overheard. Then he launched into an explanation of the various methods of flirting he had been trying out.

Blah blah blah. This was the man Link remembered. The one who wouldn't shut up. He allowed his mind to wander, making vague noises of interest and nodding his head when he sensed a lull in the monologue. Bozai was right about one thing, however: the veil was a pain to drink around. He rolled up the offending flap of fabric and tucked it up behind its tie, leaving his mouth and one side of his jaw exposed. The Champion of Hyrule spent some time chasing his straw around his mug with his tongue. When he caught Bozai looking at him (slack-jawed behind his veil no doubt) he grabbed the straw between two fingers, gave the end of it a little flicking lick, then curled his tongue around it to slurp up the melted remains of his drink with exaggerated gusto. The lascivious maneuver just toed the line of public propriety, and predictably, it worked to stop the other man from talking.

Link asked, “Are you flirting inside the town or outside?” with the hope that he would receive a one or two word answer in return.

“Mainly in town. Why?”

“Inside the walls, the Gerudo probably think you're giving them compliments, just being friendly and all. Outside the walls, well, I don't have any advice for you there.”

“Um.” Bozai took his time to digest this new piece of information.

Link continued, ”How many ladies here do you think go for...other women?"

Bozai cocked his head. "Why would you say that?"

Link picked up his hydromelon juice, swallowed an extra large gulp, and rolled his eyes. Never mind about his previous conclusion about the desperate single’s new-found sense of awareness, the guy was terminally clueless. That much was clear.

"Because you're dressed like a woman, in a town restricted to women, and you look enough like a woman for the other women to consider you one as well?"

Bozai looked like he had been run over by a sand seal.

"And what do you think will happen when you do manage to get a date? Will she be happy surprised or angry surprised to find out that you're actually, you know..." Link didn't say the last word out loud. Even if no one was actively listening to their conversation, why chance it?

Bozai sank to the surface of the table, cradling his head in his arms. “I’m an idiot! Why did I never realize…”

“Hey there, it happens to the best of us,” Link said gently, trying to keep the laughter out of his voice. “Maybe you’ll remember for your next try tomorrow.”

Bozai made quite a pitiful sight as he thumped his forehead repeatedly against the table. He finally lifted his head, glasses and headband askew, and said with a pleading look in his eyes, “But it worked on you! I asked you out for drinks and you accepted!”

“We know each other already. And I was already in the bar…”

"But… but that's what you did to me!" Bozai said with the smuggest look he'd ever seen a pair of eyebrows make.

The blond Hylian protested, "That was completely different!" Though the only difference he could name at the moment was the choice of venue for their ‘date’. "I thought you knew! You seemed to be completely fine with it at the time!" It didn't make him feel any better to shift the blame to the other man, but this came as quite a shock to the young hero, and he didn’t know what else to say.

“I told you that night,” the love-addled man reminded him, “that you gave me a surprise. But I overcame it, and I had a good time. So no harm done, really.”



The wooing wanderer talked at length about everything and nothing while the resurrected Champion listened as best he could. They were occasionally interrupted by appreciative ladies stopping by to congratulate Link on taming the Beast, or thanking him for some kindness he had recently performed. Bozai did not miss the way the hero’s eyes turned down at each compliment, or the way his voice reduced to a whisper when he spoke a few words in response.

So modest, he thought to himself. She’s gorgeous and humble. I’ve never seen this side of her before. What an attractive combination!

“What's your plan then, once you leave Gerudo Town?" Link asked his drinking companion, who was gazing disconnectedly at a pair of women playing checkers at the next table. Whatever direction Bozai said he was going, Link would make sure to go anywhere else. It was fine to run into the man once or twice, but he had no intention of making this a regular thing, or striking up a friendship with him.

Bozai drained the last of his Noble Pursuit and sighed. "I have a few ideas, but my most pressing concern is, well, I'm starting to run low on funding. I'm originally from the Tabantha Hill Country. My father gave me money to, and I quote, 'Make something of yourself, boy. There's plenty of opportunities out there for a tenacious young man, but you have to go out and grab them first!'" He sighed again and slumped in his seat. “I’ve been making a living dealing in rare and useful boots, with the eventual goal of opening up a shop in Tabantha Village. It got burned down by a roving gang of Moblins about ten years ago, but it's close to both the prime hunting snowfields and the Hebra Mountains, so I think if it got cleaned up and rebuilt it would be pretty popular.” He stopped and perked up in his chair. “Am I boring you?”

“No, not at all!” the traveler answered. “I love stories of renewal and rebuilding. It gives me hope for the future, to see people continuing their lives in the face of Ganon’s destruction. it might sound cheesy, but it’s the truth.” He shrugged one shoulder and twiddled with his straw again, this time using only his fingers.

Bozai’s voice softened as he said, “That sounds lovely, actually. And it’s just how I imagine your mind working. Underneath your insatiable need for boots and all that sass, you’ve got a big soft heart, don’t you!”

Oh crap. He’d let something personal slip. Damn those Gerudo and their delicious alcoholic elixirs.

“So anyway,” Bozai continued, unperturbed by the return of Link’s stony silence, “I had some money, and a pair of snow boots. I decided to come out to the desert and see what's happening in footwear, but I discovered that the only cobbler who made sand boots died years ago without passing on her information. What a tragedy, am I right? Any way, I got a little sidetracked with the women here. Gorgeous beauties, every one, and all of them completely uninterested in poor ol’ Bozai! Of course, the history and the forgotten lore of the area sucked me in, too. Now I'll be going back with some supplies, but no boots, nothing to base prototypes on but my own memories. I was hoping to travel back with a girlfriend, or even a wife, but..." Link picked up his agua fresca at just the right time to miss the possessive look that Bozai shot at him.

"So does that mean you've given up on women?"

Bozai shook his head vehemently. "I still like women... a lot." He looked around appreciatively at the customers in the bar, then leaned forward and added in a failed whisper that carried powerfully across the table, "But I think I like sucking dicks too."

"Preach it, sister!" shouted an inebriated Gerudo who happened to be walking past their table, and she slapped Bozai's shoulder with a force that knocked him halfway off his chair.

He picked himself back up and winced, rubbing his shoulder and continuing to say, ”As long as it's attached to a pretty girl like you. That clothes seller offered me a 'special discount', but I turned her down… she wasn't my type."

Link giggled, a knowing smile curled unseen beneath his veil. All too soon, he found himself staring at the empty bottom of his mug. He looked over to his other drink and remembered that it had been empty for a long time.

"Are you ready for another round?" he asked. "I can't order them, but I’ll foot the bill for whatever you get!”

“I’d be happy to get us some more drinks! Are you up for another Noble Pursuit? Or something to eat as well? I think they serve snacks here, if you’re willing to wait a little longer.” Bozai smiled down at Link as he stood to return to the bar.

“Oh, no need for snacks, I brought my own!” Link declared, and dug out a handful of roasted nuts from the pouch at his waist. He picked a piece of lint off the largest acorn and dumped them on the table. “I’ve got enough to share… if you come back soon.” He popped a few nuts into his mouth and grinned as he chewed.

Bozai looked from the bar, to Link, who was doing an admirable impression of a squirrel stuffing its face with nuts, then back again to the bar, and coughed. “It’s pretty busy in here, actually. I think everyone’s still working off their taming-of-Naboris excitement. Don’t feel like you have to save any of those on my account. I’ll be back as soon as I can!”

A warm feeling of well-being suffused through Link's body and mind as he sat waiting for Bozai to come back with their drinks. It was easy to forget his cares and worries. The ever-present gnawing of his duty was mercifully dulled by the sweet liquid fire he had been imbibing.

"I can't believe we've only been talking about me all evening! I do apologize for my rudeness. We didn’t get a chance to spend much time talking together before, did we? Whoosh! Total whirlwind! And now here I am, dominating the conversation like an oaf. I’m so sorry! What has brought you back into town?" Bozai asked as he returned with fresh drinks.

Eyes sparkling with the memories of the day, the Champion replied, ”Oh you know, I thought I'd take a small break from my usual heroic antics and do some sand seal racing. I’ve been breaking and setting records all day, actually!”

Bozai made a face, disgust apparent through his disguise. "Ugh, sand seals. Not my favorite, honestly. They're loud, hard to steer, and so smelly!” He paused to point across the room at something behind Link. “Speaking of broken records, I think you may have broken some hearts along with them!”

Following Bozai’s gesture, Link twisted around to see a familiar pile of bright red curls splayed across a table halfway across the room. A pair of shoulders could just be seen shaking behind the hair, and Link could also make out a hand grasping a large belt buckle decorated with a stylized sand seal. The unmistakable sound of brokenhearted sobbing drifted through the buzz of the establishment.

"Oh no, that's Tali! She was so happy for me when we were racing earlier! In a sort of stoic way." Link pushed his chair back to rise from his seat. "I'm going to go over there and see what I can do to help."

Bozai reached across the table and grabbed his hand before he could fully stand. "I think you're liable to do more harm than good... besides, she's got some friends with her, she'll be fine."

Link shot him a glance that said, I can't believe you just gave me some good advice! and sank back down into his chair.

"I told you I've been learning about women!” the scholar said triumphantly.

Link tried to steer the conversation back to the previous topic, but the fresh infusion of Noble Pursuit into his system was letting his tongue run too fast for his mind to catch up to. The result was slightly confusing to his companion, who was dealing with his own heightened level of intoxication.

“You know, it’s too bad you feel that way about them. I mean sand seals, not women!” Link added hastily when he caught the baffled look Bozai threw at him. “I could have given you a ride around the dunes east of here.”

“That’s sweet of you, but I would have to turn you down, for several reasons. Only one of which is my distaste for sand seals. I am planning on leaving here early tomorrow morning. I have a long and lonesome journey to embark on, and— 

The adventurer interrupted, “If you’re leaving town, maybe you could find someone on the road. Save them from a monster. That usually works for me!"

Bozai was silent for awhile. ”Hmm, I suppose that is one way of going about it. But fighting monsters... that's so extreme! I'd prefer to stay away from the monsters, myself. It's so dangerous out there these days, even for seasoned adventurers!”

The matter of fact remark hit Link like a blow from a Lizalfos’ tail.

Thank you for reminding me that it's all my fault.

It was his sworn duty to rid the world of the scourge of Ganon and its Malice, and he'd been upholding that duty almost tirelessly for months now. Forcing himself to stay active kept his feelings of hopelessness at bay, up until he collapsed from exhaustion. Interacting with Bozai was turning out to be one of his rare indulgences, along with practicing the varied forms of shield surfing that could be found across the land. It was quieter times like these when anxiety crept back in, whispering from the dark crevices of his mind, and squeezing an electric grip on his heart. As much as he knew he needed the occasional break from his endless valor, even to remind himself of what he was fighting for, he seldom followed his own advice. Vah Naboris had been the last Divine Beast he had needed to tame, but the accomplishment he felt dulled in comparison to the despair that welled up in his soul whenever the moon rose red and raw to undo all of his hard work.

Link broke through his dark thoughts and ended the silence to ask, “Well, what about a horse stable?”

“Excuse me?” Bozai had the grace to look politely puzzled.

Link was finding it even harder to organize his thoughts after consuming just one and a half Noble Pursuits. “The women there. At the Hyrulean Stabling System. Not just any girls, but the ones who work there. Lifting hay all day, mucking out stables. Wrangling horses. Makes a woman strong, you know, well, that work would make anyone strong, but..." He gestured a little wildly with his hands to make his point. "That's the way you like them, right? And it’s not sand seals, horses smell completely different.” A grin plastered itself across the knight’s face. The tips of his ears were practically twitching with glee. This was a solid lead. Bozai would have to give the idea a chance.

"Yeah, I suppose that's an idea," Bozai muttered, looking dejectedly down at the table.

What was his problem? Link thought with considerable frustration. For someone who was a self-confessed connoisseur of femininity, he sure wasn’t excited about actually putting himself on the market, and he certainly wouldn’t attract anyone moping about like that.

Looking nervous like he hadn’t been since the beginning of the evening, Bozai dipped under the table to retrieve something from his backpack. "I guess this is a good a time as any to give this to you." He took a deep breath, and held out a package in his hands. "I've been hoping against hope to see you again, and I believe the Eight Heroines brought us together on my last night in Gerudo Town. Please accept this with my love!"

Link took the present and began to unwrap it with a mix of curiosity and dread. The wrapping paper felt thick and smooth under his prying fingers, and it had probably been a bright white before its extended stay in Bozai's backpack. Beneath the paper was a wide flat box, similarly unadorned.

It doesn't weigh enough to be something like a knife or a bundle of arrows, Link mused. So what can it be? He lifted the lid and gasped. A confection of bright pink lace, liberally festooned with golden bows and dripping with matching ribbons, bloomed from the wrappings. He raised the slip of fabric to eye level to more closely examine its structure and came up bereft of an explanation. Is it a dress? Or maybe a night gown? Holy Hylia, is this underwear? He thought about shaking it out to see it in all its frilly glory, but remembered that they were in the middle of a public establishment. He looked to Bozai for guidance instead.

"I know it's not boots, but... do you like it?" The would-be suitor pushed his glasses up with a ringed finger and leaned forward, anticipating a favorable answer.

“I-I-I don't have the words for it, really. What a thoughtful gift!" It was true that a lot of thought went into it. A lot of misguided thought, effort, and rupees had gone to waste as well. The lingerie was certainly stylish, just not his style, and not something he was willing to wear, even to humor the gift giver.

However… here was an unambiguous sign, if he wanted to follow it. Bozai was desperate, he could see the hungry look in the man’s eyes as he stared across the table. If he wasn’t going to take any of the hints Link had lobbed at him all night that their relationship was dead in the water, then the Champion was just going to make sure he got his, and damn the consequences. The small blond vai leaned forward and crooked his finger, gesturing for Bozai to come closer.

"I can see you undressing me with your eyes over there,” he whispered, moving close enough for the first time all night to smell the other man’s darkly floral perfume. “How would you like to undress me with your hands... in your hotel room?"