“Usually you do not like anything,” Nashtra pointed out when he saw the way Peter started to devour his food.
Bayani chuckled. “He wouldn’t work out as my boyfriend if he did not like fish.”
“Is that so?” Nashtra queried.
At first Bayani did not understand the question, but then he remembered that he would not know about any of the places back on earth. “Where I come from, it’s an island country. We eat seafood all the time. When he comes to my house,” he went on, pointing to Peter, “me mother cooks him a whole feast of seafood.”
“What about you?” Nashtra asked, looking down at Himeko.
“My parents’ homeland is also an island country, but it’s further north then his. Seafood is a major staple there, too.”
“I wonder what would happen if we gave Nashtra sushi,” Cerys pondered out loud She had a wily grin on her face.”
“With a fresh enough fish, and the right kind of rice, maybe we could make him some,” Himeko replied, her tone a little more serious.
“Is that what sushi is,” Nashtra not sure asked. “Rice and fish?”
“And seaweed,” Bayani added. “Those two love it. Me, I like my fish smoky from the grill.”
“Tell the truth,” Peter told him. “You like it burnt.”
Bayani gave him a baffled look, then realized that it was Peter’s turn to tease. They went in enjoying their meal, from the crusty bread that absorbed the last of the stew’s broth, to the grilled vegetables and fresh cheeses. While they ate, they listened in on some of the conversations of the diners nearby.
“I almost didn’t get a room, one was saying.
“You’re lucky you did,” his friend said. “Nobody wants to be outside once it gets dark.”
“Right you are! There are more of them than ever these days.”
“That doesn’t sound good,” Cerys said, speaking softly so that they would not realize that she had overheard. “Do you think they mean the noir beasts?”
“Unmistakably,” Nashtra whispered, pretending that he was focused on his food.
“It sounds like the problem is getting worse,” Himeko said.
Nashtra’s expression had turned grim.