She stalked completely round one of the tents to come face to face with him. Now’s my chance. “Why are you following me?”
“What? I don’t know what you mean.” He took a step back.
Maya grabbed a fistful of his dark brown robes. “Yes, you do. You’ve been dogging my steps from the moment I set foot on your planet.” She suddenly noticed that the young man was bigger than she’d thought. His chest was deep and his shoulders broad. His arms were larger than Bobby’s and he worked out. And here I am, holding him by his clothes.
He stared at her hand. “I like you and want to get to know you. If you were one of my people, I would woo you.”
She realized his robe wasn’t made from the rough, homespun fabric used by the common Zeeman. Is he a clan lord? Maya loosened her grip on the silky material. “Who are you?”
He moved back and swept his arm down in an elaborate bow. “My name is Vach Namaste of the Namaste clan. It would please me if you remembered it.”
With a flutter of his robes, he hurried away, weaving through the crowd. It wasn’t until he had disappeared that Maya realized that he’d been speaking to her in English.
Vach finally reached the edge of the bazaar, where he had tied up his steed. He patted its thick neck. “Hey, Brawley.”
His mount woke up with a snort, then lipped at his hand, demanding a treat. It was still standing in the same place that he left it and no one had bothered it. No one would dare touch a sherakey, not even this sleepy fellow. Reaching into a pouch, Vach dug out a sweet lump for his mount. Giving him the treat, Vach turned to see if the human female had followed.
He felt disappointed. But she wasn’t of his race and didn’t understand the proper way to act. If she wanted him to woo her, she should have followed him. If she didn’t, then she should have knocked him on his well-bred butt, just like the human guard had suggested.
Vach had wanted this human female since he saw her step out of the spaceship on that astonishing day a year ago. Her blue eyes drew him closer. Her long, red hair made him want to run his fingers through it. Her curves sent flames of desire flickering through his body. He’d taken to coming into town regularly to stroll by the compound, just to see if she would be there. Today had been one of those rare good days when she was there to follow. He learned a little more about her each time. Now he knew she wanted to find something. If he knew what it was, maybe he could find it for her.
Climbing up on the saddle, Vach clicked his tongue and his mount started down the dusty road toward the Namaste bachelor compound. He contemplated his plan for Hymeneal Night. Vach already knew from eavesdropping at the map seller’s tent that Maya would be out on the desert, all alone.
And then he’d get his chance to have her.