A sharp cramp seized Ema’s lower abdomen. She sucked in a breath and, once the pain swiftly passed, she glared down at her pants-covered crotch.
“I don’t even use you. Why the hell do you make me suffer?” she hissed. Her uterus twinged as if in response, but at least this one wasn’t as bad as the one before. The pain meds had kicked in earlier, thank god, so the stabs were coming less frequently.
Sitting back against the hotel bed’s headboard, she glanced up as Nahyuta left the bathroom and approached her bedside. They handed her a washcloth, which had been saturated in near-scalding water and wrung out.
“You’re a saint,” she sighed and placed the cloth on her abdomen. It wasn’t a heating pad, but it would do.
“Are you feeling better?” Nahyuta sat down on the other bed. Documents and folders scattered across the foot of the mattress shifted under their weight.
“Yeah. I swear my periods usually aren’t this bad.” Ema should have known better than to wait so long to take painkillers. Instead of taking them at the first spot of blood, however, she got caught up in analyzing numerous fingerprints and footprints for an hour. Then, when the cramps started hitting, she knew she made a mistake.
“It’s all right. We’ve finished all we can for the investigation today anyway.”
Ema’s phone, laying on the nightstand, buzzed. Nahyuta grabbed it and handed it to her.
She glanced at the screen. “Oh, it’s just the fop. I bet he wants to gush about his date with Apollo.” She set the device down beside her, deciding to look at it later.
When she glanced over at Nahyuta, their brow was slightly furrowed. She grinned. “What, are you feeling protective over Apollo now?”
“No, it’s not that. But rest assured that Prosecutor Gavin will meet the Holy Mother very soon if he harms my brother.” The fact that they spoke matter-of-factly throughout the whole sentence was rather intimidating. The fop better be careful.
They paused, collecting their words. “…I’ve noticed that he flirts with you, but doesn’t he you’re aroace?” They started speaking faster, growing heated. “Even though he is not serious about it, if you’re uncomfortable and he has refused to stop—”
“Slow your horses,” Ema interjected. She straightened, only to immediately regret the action when a brief cramp made her wince. “Damn period. Anyway, I appreciate how much you care. I really do. It’s nothing to worry about, though.”
Although Nahyuta’s shoulders relaxed, they looked at her imploringly.
“Here’s the thing. As much as I complain about the fop, he really is a good person. I know he’d stop if I told him to.” Being able to say that with complete confidence warmed her chest. She had some good friends, she really did. “But I haven’t. We’ve got this weird friendship, I guess. We tease each other, you know? It’s just what we do.”
“So you ‘homies’ have an understanding?”
“Never say that word again.” She really needed to police their slang. “But yeah.”
“Good. It does make sense; I make allowances for you that I wouldn’t for others,” Nahyuta mused.
“Like your hair?”
They crossed their arms and huffed. Behind them, their long silver braid rested on the blankets. “I’ve had my hair ruinted far too many times to let just anyone touch it.”
She laughed. “Fair enough. Hey, grab my snackoo stash out of my suitcase, will you? I’m craving them hardcore right now.”