Their toast was interrupted by a man. Though that might have been too polite, in Azzah’s opinion. It was Hasani, coming up from Reem’s side.
“Look, it’s the doubled spears.”
There was nothing inherently wrong with what the young man said, but the tone of his voice made Azzah know that it wasn’t meant as fact or compliment. She fixed him with a sharp look.
Reem whispered into her ear. “He’s had a little too much. Not everyone can handle their nights well, eh?”
Azzah nodded and said nothing.
“I don’t understand what you both do.” The boy sounded legitimately confused, his words trying to figure it out. Azzah didn’t know whether to look at him or not, but as Reem sipped from her bowl without looking, Azzah followed her example. “As spears, shouldn’t you be fighting? If you are good spears, that’s what you’d be doing. Driving away those Unclean.”
Azzah’s temper rose up. She felt her spear against her back, crying out to defend against such insult. A year ago she would have blamed his youth, but it was too late. He should have known better. His muscles were that of an adult now, not of a child, defined by sweat from having lingered close by a fire on a warm night. All to remind her, in her rising fury, there was no excuse.
But Reem did nothing, so neither did Azzah. She stared down into her bowl, watching the liquid shake slowly from side to side. Eventually she noted that came from her hands, clasping the side of the bowl too tight.