It had been three months since Tamalak's unexpected Impression to the tunnelwhere, Chato. The novelty for the other wherhandlers--both with and without whers--had worn off. Now he noticed that he was sometimes the recipient of dirty looks--usually when the others thought he wasn't looking.
This unfortunate circumstance had the detrimental side effect of turning him anti-social in the whercraft. When he wasn't needed for lessons or chores, he spent more and more time at the Weyr, where he was viewed as more of an oddity than as an object of envy. So when he saw someone heading towards him--Reirel, he thought--he put his head down and veered away.
~Why we go dis way?~ Chato asked.
"I'm avoiding people."
"They're jealous of you. They want to be the ones who have you and don't think I deserve you."
Chato sat. ~Dey can't have me. You all mine. Dey try, I bite.~ He showed his sharp teeth.
"No, you can't bite them. Then we'll both be in trouble."
By now, the other person was close enough to hear, if he so wanted to. Tamalak blushed, hoping he hadn't heard that last remark. Or any, for that matter.