From Court in Between
Tansy Thrift loved a good cup of tea. She not only liked the taste, but she associated it with company. When she set up house in the stable at d’Chevalier Manor, one of her few luxuries was a set of china cups decorated with tansy sprigs, given to her by her stepmother, Ruby. Later, she drank tea with her only regular visitor, Finn Rivers.
When Court Leopold arrived in her life he shattered her routine. His advent also shattered three of her cups, leaving her with just one. Therefore, when she made him a cup of tea…
She handed him the tea, steaming and fragrant. He looked down at the cup and recognised the design as a sprig of tansy herb. Of course.
He raised it to sip and closed his eyes with pleasure. “Aahhh.” He remembered the tea he’d had in Martina’s kitchen. It hadn’t been like this.
“Aren’t you having any?”
“I had one while I was waiting for you to finish thinking.”
“One’s never enough.”
“I know. I’ll have another one when you finish.”
He paused with the cup close to his lips. “Surely we can drink at the same time?”
“Not unless you care to take it sip about.” She let the silence stretch before she added, “I don’t have another cup.”
Later, when they were stranded on an island, they were still taking turns with the tea.
He reached past her and poured tea into the cup. “May I go first? All that talking is making me parched.”
“Go ahead,” she said.
He drank half the tea and handed the cup to her.
One point of significance about the sip-about tea was that Court had been used to living with humans, and he couldn’t picture them sharing this way, whereas Tansy had been over there almost all her life and so she had little concept of the dangers of sharing cups.
“We’ll share it then.” He drained half the tea, although it was hot, and gave her the cup. He thought she might object, but she thanked him and drank.
He found himself smiling at a ridiculous thought.
“What?” she asked.
“I was trying to imagine sharing a cup of tea with Jordy or Gem. They’d think it was most insanitary.”
He waited for her to get the joke, but she looked blank.
“Jordana is the other half of Courtesan. Gem is her sister, who acts as our roadie. I mean, she travels with us and helps out at performances. They’re human.”
“Oh. Human. They’re afraid they might catch something from you. Don’t they know they can’t?”
This wasn’t the last conversation Tansy and Court had over sip-about tea. Even when they acquired some extra cups they probably shared one now and again, just for old time’s sake.