Sneak Peek Sundays are now on Saturday; the idea is that I’m going to take all day Sunday off and focus on other things. This week’s sneak peek is into The Path of Latan the Clerk. Here, Latan’s bodyguard, Haveshi Yellowcrow (from last week’s sneak peek), makes something very clear:
With his morning hygiene and grooming completed, Latan went over to the fire where the male guards were eating breakfast. Jokun dished up a pile of meat and onion hash onto a tin plate and handed it to him. As he ate, Haveshi Yellowcrow emerged from the woods and sat down by the fire. Instead of eating, she took a small mirror out of a pouch she was carrying, along with a dark stick, and began applying a black line around her eyes. When that was finished, she took out a small ceramic pot, opened it and dipped a fingertip in it, and applied a red substance to her lips.
As she put the small pot of lip color back in her pouch, she glanced over at Latan and met his eyes. His face flamed at having been caught staring. He was sworn to celibacy in the service of a Source, and had no business being so fascinated by the sight of a woman putting on cosmetics. Besides, it was rude to stare.
“You’ve never seen someone putting on makeup before?” she asked.
“I, well, no,” he stammered. “I just, it surprised me that a woman in your situation would bother with such things.”
“Just because I have a man’s job and a man’s skills doesn’t mean I have to look like a man.”
“Ah, well, no, of course not.” Then curiosity led him on. “Don’t you worry, being that you look so obviously like a woman, that someone might try something, er, untoward?”
He barely even saw her move. In an instant she was behind him, one arm around his neck in a chokehold, the other pressing the sharp edge of a knife to his throat. “No one,” she said in a low voice in his ear, “tries anything unless I want him to.”