Blood of the Pure

“Master Saeed?”

It was far from the first time he’d heard those two words together; indeed, over the past few weeks, he rather thought he’d got used to them – at least so far as the combination no longer sounding bizarre and foreign. Yet this time, they gripped his attention more than usual. Not by volume – or, at least, not by great volume; that they were spoken so softly was, in fact, part of what seized his attention. He hadn’t heard them said so hesitantly since the first few days.

Nor had he ever heard them used here.


Saeed looked over to his robe, draped some time ago over the back of a chair in his workroom. In moments like this, a little dignity could be a precious thing.

But he abandoned the notion after only a moment’s thought. Dignity was all very well, but he was sodden with his lover’s seed. Even if the robe managed to obscure all of it, which was unlikely given how much of the stuff had landed on his neck and chin, the smell of sex permeated each breath he took and couldn’t fail to fill the whole room.

Besides, if he put the robe on without first taking a bath, it would need such a thorough laundering that there might not be much fabric left, afterwards.

So be it; the sabrecat would trust to the dignity of his own person and demeanour, and dare anyone else to comment on his state.


Everyone knew there were no unicorns.

And they were right. Saeed knew that as well as anyone else, and not in the lazy, “everyone knows” sense. The sabrecat had travelled the land for three whole years, searching for some true signs amidst the folklore and assumptions. Because what everyone knew was not always right. Everyone knew there never had been unicorns either, that they were nothing but a tall tale, and there they’d be wrong.

Even among the most unlikely legends, there was just too much in common for it to be pure talk or even exaggeration. Missing, or largely so, was the immense variety of rumour and retelling. Oh, the exact powers of, say, powdered unicorn horn were far from agreed upon – but there were too many things that all the old accounts he found did agree on for him to dismiss them altogether. Too many common accounts of what various parts or extracts from the creatures did, and, perhaps more compelling, of what they did not.