“Look what followed me home! Can I keep it?” Risella grinned at all the other tall, slender humanoids with purple, pink, blue, or lavender hair.
Dylan swallowed, feeling very short and very human. “Err, hello. I’m Dylan Stuart.”
“Rizzo’s new toy,” another purple haired man? woman said, with a low, silvery laugh. He glided, more than walked over to Dylan, tossing his sunset tresses over his shoulder. They actually glittered with the movement. He reached out to take Dylan’s chin in his hand. “Can you be ridden, or do you fight the bridle?”
“It doesn’t work like that,” Dylan said. He tried very hard to keep his voice even, but the words still came out in a low growl. “Humans are no longer the sidhe’s toys, or pets, remember? This was one of the things you agreed to in the treaty.”
“Well, that answers that question,” the purple haired man, Dylan was almost sure he was a man. He eyed the smaller man with interest. “You can be ridden, but you might try to throw your ‘partner’.” His mint green eyes moved for a second to Rizzo. “I wouldn’t mind taking you myself.”
“Yo, Gievann, hands off!” Rizzo said, sharply. With a couple of strides, she reached Dylan’s side. “I asked if I could keep it, not if we could. Prior claims, right?”
“Ah, but he followed you here, uninvited,” Gievann said. He didn’t release Dylan’s chin. “This means the pretty human belongs to whoever claimed him first.” He smiled at Rizzo. “You asked if you could keep him, but you didn’t claim him. Are you sure you’re old enough to be making claims?”
“I was old enough to attend an alien academy!” Rizzo said, bridling. “Plus, I met Dylan first. This makes him mine.”
“Rizzo!” Dylan snapped. “I thought you accepted me as an equal!”
“Heh, you humans are so cute!” Rizzo said. She leaned forward with a grin. As she did, she whispered in his ear, “Play along, you idiot! You followed me home to a sidhe compound, don’t expect everyone here to behave as if they were human!”
Dylan shut up. As Evelyn Stuart’s son, visiting an alien enclave, he was expected to behave diplomatically. He had to accept that the sidhe’s ways weren’t going to be anything like the humans.
It was hard, though, when they treated him like a toy and a possession. How could he respect the sidhe, when they refused to respect him? Even Rizzo was making a big show of patronizing him.
He gritted his teeth and swallowed his anger. If he could just keep his temper, he might learn something here.