"A-I-E-R--" Kitai began.
"L," Tavi corrected, from his place on the floor beside her.
"It's a lower-case L, not an I."
"They look the same."
"Yes, they do."
Kitai stared at him. "Why would a culture build their basis for communication on a symbol that has two meanings?"
Tavi shrugged. "You just have to look at the context. If all the other letters are in lower case, you know it's an 'L.' If not, it's an 'I'."
"It is foolishness. Like when groups of letters make a sound that is not how those letters should sound at all, or the same sound is made by different groups of letters. Or your words that sound the same but have different meanings, and sometimes they are spelled the same, and sometimes they are spelled differently." She threw her stylus to the ground. "Tears of the One, why?"
"I thought we were past that," Tavi grimaced, putting down the slate.
Kitai leaned into him and fixed him with a level gaze, their noses almost touching. "I will lie with you, Aleran. Would you like that?"
Tavi blinked. He felt a flush begin to rise on his cheeks. "Um. Yes. I would like that very much."
"Very well then." She rose gracefully from her seat against the wall and straddled him, then pressed her mouth to his in a slow, sensual kiss. They were both a little breathless when she pulled away and murmured, "I wish to continue this lesson."
"Kitai, I... what?"
"I have no desire to abandon this lunacy and ride horses," she continued. Then she added, looking very pleased with herself, "Or young valleyboys who feel my time is better served reading pages than pleasuring myself with them."
Tavi gaped at her. "'Lie,' you said."
"You made a pun. Several, actually. When did you learn to do that?"
"It was not difficult," she said, sitting back on her haunches. "Your language has many words with multiple meanings, many of them involving mating. One needs only to eavesdrop on Maximus for five minutes to--"
"Oh, crows," Tavi groaned. His head fell back against the wall with a painful thunk. "Tell me you haven't been learning about euphemisms from Max..."
She laughed merrily and kissed him again. "You see how frustrating your language can be?"