I laughed. "A three-person House is cozy enough. What reason would we have to go to a Transactions fair?"
"It will be colorful and full of intriguing strangers," Ekkuli said. "Give me enough time and I'll tease stories out of every corner. Please, Tañel? I want to do something different today."
I was suspicious; I adored Ekkuli but the eperu was as enigmatic as truedark, and it was hard to know its real reasons for anything. No doubt it really did want me to take it to the fair... but I couldn't be sure why. Such uncertainty is an invitation to get bitten on the nose, as clay-keepers like Ekkuli do not shy from truths, even the fanged ones. Perhaps especially the fanged ones. The last time it had teased me into something, I had ended up abandoning everything I knew, leaving the House I'd lived and worked in all my life with nothing more than what I could pack on a rikka.
Then again, the last time it had teased me into something, I had ended up here: Head of my own Household and surrounded by the two people I loved best in all the world….
Ekkuli reached up and tugged at a lock of my pale mane. "Please, Tañel. We will have fun."
How could I say 'no' to those long red lashes? "As long as we're back before Nashada comes home."
Ekkuli licked the underside of my jaw. "You won't regret it."
The last Transactions Fair I attended was in het Kabbanil, in that old life, before Ekkuli opened my eyes and I ran away with it and my lover Nashada. The three of us had wandered south until we drifted to a stop in het Uren, and here we'd put down a Stone and started House Imeted. We had the necessary prerequisites: a breeder to be Head of Household and at least one other Jokkad to be a member. With my jewelry-making, Nashada's beast-handling and Ekkuli as our clay-keeper we made enough to pay rent on our small property and buy what comforts we liked.
We established here a season ago. Uren is no Kabbanil--not so sophisticated, nor so many people, and certainly no ruins hinting at glorious ages now passed. But we wanted someplace a little less sophisticated. Het Uren might not look kindly on unspeakable stories, but in Uren such stories only cause Ekkuli to complain that no one will pay money for the unspeakable. In het Kabbanil, such stories get you Broken from your House and exiled.