As a small boy desperate to measure up, Vir often begged to be included in his cousin Dima’s games, pleas that Dima often accepted, Vir now suspects, to satisfy his own amusement. He was chubby even then and walked slowly with a pronounced limp, but in every game he would try as hard as he could, pushing himself until, inevitably, he stumbled, skinning his knees and elbows and drawing the laughter of the other children. It was here, on Dima’s playing field, that Vir became well acquainted with his blush.
Thousands of small things made Vir’s face grow hot as a boy. So it was only natural that sex would make him blush as well as soon as he became aware of it. In the later years before his Ascension- and in the years after- he spent many hours of his day furtively watching young women, taken in by the way they moved, the way they dressed… everything about them. Sometimes the girls noticed him looking and Vir, red-faced, was forced to admit his interest. Most of them laughed at his foolishness- fat little Vir Cotto was no prize to their thinking- but there were a few…
Vir doesn’t like to think about how he lost his third position. Up until today, that incident qualified as Vir’s most embarrassing moment by far. But now it all comes back. Vir remembers Ilia Donato capturing his mouth in a kiss and pushing him insistently to the ground. He remembers the smell of her perfume, the taste of her lips and the feel of the river reeds pushing into his back. He remembers the thrill that ran through him as Ilia hastily undid the buttons of his waistcoat, reached through the laces of his shirt and touched him- remembers fumbling to undo the back of her dress to reciprocate. It was the first time he had ever gotten that far and he was anxious to get it right- anxious to please her. Vir remembers the way the dress fell over Ilia’s shoulders when he succeeded at last- remembers tentatively extending one brachiarte to explore her.
It was then that her father burst through the bushes roaring his indignation.
Vir moans, covering his burning face with his hands and falling back against his pillows. The memory is oddly appropriate for the current circumstance.
“I’m never leaving my quarters again,” Vir says aloud in the empty room.