General Trinh is delivering papers

  by: Walter Guest



They heard whispering outside. Then a voice called in. It was a female voice.

Kincaid and Hao looked at each other, waiting for the other to take the lead.

A girl's head popped up at the bottom of the doorway. Hao heard Kincaid suck in a breath at the sight of her.

The girl had darkish red hair and a very light complexion. She had a small, narrow, slightly upturned nose below her blue eyes. Her mouth was tiny but perfectly shaped. Her chin was slightly pointed but had a dimple at the tip. The face would have been completely western had it not been for the shape of her eyes. They were slanted in such a way that her expression was perpetually sultry, even when she smiled as she was doing now.

Hao knew her. Her name was Phouc. When last he had seen her she had been a scrawny youngster who got in everyone's way.

"Greetings," Phouc said. She spoke in Rhade but her mischievous smile was directed at Kincaid. "Can I come in?"

"We have no time for children," Hao said. "We have important things to talk about." He didn't know how long they would be able to stay and, so it wouldn't be a wasted trip, he was anxious to show Kincaid some of the real beauties of the village.

But Phouc had seen the expression on Kincaid's face. Hao could say what he wanted with his mouth, Kincaid was saying much more without a word. Phouc came up the ladder slowly, with great assurance. Her eyes didn't leave Kincaid's face and the naughty smile didn't leave her lips. The age old instincts of her gender had made her certain of her welcome.

As she came up the steps, Hao was surprised to see that she was no longer a scrawny youngster. Her breasts were fully developed; not overly large but okay for her body which was on the thin side. The brown nipples were extended, disclosing her excitement. Her skin was like no other Rhade. It was a light pink. Hao knew she had been protecting herself from the sun in order to maintain such a complexion. Her hips had not developed as much as her breasts. They had spread out enough to make one sure that this was no longer a little girl, but not much more. Over all, Hao thought, the girl did not make a bad impression. She was not to his taste in women but still, she was not ugly.

Phouc went straight to Kincaid, took him by the hand, and led him to a corner of the hut. She smiled into his eyes all the time. She smiled as if she knew a secret that no one else knew. She smiled as if she might tell him that secret if she decided she liked him. She smiled as if she had to or the happiness would explode within her.

Hao was shocked to see the same smile on Kincaid's face. He wondered what was happening to his friend. There were fully developed women in the village. Why would he waste his time on this skinny girl?
But it was too late. He knew his friend was stricken. There was no arguing with that.

Another girl was coming up the steps of the hut. Hao hurried to the door to stop her. "Back down," he said gruffly.

The girl stopped, looking up at him. "I am with Phouc," she said.

"Back down," Hao said again, stepping down one rung of the ladder. "Phouc will be busy."

The girl suddenly understood what was happening. She giggled behind a hand and went back down the ladder.

Hao followed her.

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