When she made it back to her apartment, she understood, though, and she felt a bit silly. She had been watching for this for months, and was grateful that Gask had managed to wait. This would have been awkward when she was round and waddling from the pregnancy. Now, though, she was just a little extra curvy, and fairly energetic. Galana smiled speculatively, making sure to leave the outer door of her apartment ajar. This could be fun.
Normally, Gask woke with Gabriel still in their apartment, before Galana took him off to sleep at the creche. On a normal day, she would be disappointed that the baby was already gone when she woke up, as she liked the soft noises he and Galana made at each other. Even Galask was more tolerant of the baby than he had expected to be.
Galask. . . was so grumpy. He was awake, watching her right there, with a certain tension in his body, but she ignored him, leaving their den entirely. She was hungry, and almost itchy, but the itch was deeper than her hide, and she was somehow sure that an oiling would not help.
She ignored the eyes of the males following her to the feeding pens, and took down a wherry, eating her fill before she looked up. Galask had followed, watching, and she tossed her head away from the grumpy old blue. He was always ruining her fun, complaining about noises and smells that she found fascinating.
She wanted one of the whers to have fun with her tonight. Galask was always so serious, and Galana had so much to do in the infirmary, and Gabriel was too small and breakable to play with. Gask wanted to run, and jump, and tumble with another wher, and. . .
Who will come and play with me, she asked, darting into the trees that marked the beginning of the wild area around the Weyr. I am so bored, and there is so much to do. Come play!
She did not look back, running for bursts on an established path, before venturing into underbrush, jumping over obstacles, or diving under low-hanging branches. Occasionally she would return to a path for a burst of speed, and at each turn, she managed to glimpse the colors of whers following her, playing with her.
Galask was one of the whers following, and she saw his starry blue hide closer than she liked. I want to play, and you never play with me, she told the blue, then called out to the other males following her. Come play a game, we should be having fun all the time.
She ran into a stream, and ran downstream a few lengths, laughing mentally at the feeling of the water splashing up onto her before crossing to the other side, feet covered in mud. She stopped teasing the males then, just running to please herself, and forgetting for a few minutes about the other whers. It felt so good just to run herself out, but that strange almost itch was still there.