Lamia Pathsways 19b

As the last of the lamia’s loops slides away you grab the end of her tail and hold it close. “If Bagheera thinks you’re trustworthy, then I trust you.” You smile. “I’d be happy to stay here in the jungle with you.”

The lamia grins and claps. “Ooh, really? Yay!” She squeezes her tail around your shoulders in a soft embrace and cuddles your face. “I promise we’ll have such a wonderful time together.”

“And you’ll keep them safe,” Bagheera says, eyeing the lamia.

“Oh, of course.” The lamia grins and lifts her fists. “That tiger won’t even know they’re in the jungle. That tiger thinks they can sniff them out, they’ll just smell me, they’ll just smell flowers, I’ll hide them and keep them safe and never let anything bad happen to them.” She hugs her arms around you. “I’ll never let you out of my sight.”

That gives you pause. Will she watch you like a hawk? Always next to you? Maybe even always have her tail around you? Or by sight did she mean—is she going to always have her eyes looking into yours, with that hypnotic spell? Are you getting into more than you bargained for here?

At the same time . . . this is a very pleasant hug . . . by a very pretty girl. A very pretty girl with a soft, hugging tail, who wants to keep you safe and in the jungle.

That sounds nice. Doesn’t it?

-29a It does sound nice. You’re certain she doesn’t have any intention of being overly controlling. It was just a turn of phrase, proof of how much she cares for you. You’re sure you’ll have a lovely life with her in the jungle.
-29b Actually . . . what if this restricts your freedom? What if she wants you in her coils all the time? Even if that sounds nice, you want freedom to come and go as you want. Even the human village might give you more freedom, but you still don’t want to go there. Maybe—once Bagheera is gone—you should bail? (unfinished)