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Ayess turned when Taliya entered the cockpit and she pulled up short. “I thought you’d be in bed,” she said as she sank into her chair.
“I could say the same for you.” Ayess searched her gaze for a long moment. “What’s wrong?”
She shook her head and sighed. “Nothing. Everything. I’m not sure.” The Araxian tilted his head and she managed a smile. “I’m all right, Ayess. I just can’t sleep.”
“Then why are you not with Luzita? She is your mate, isn’t she?”
“No. She is… was… my lover. But that…” She sighed.
“I do not understand,” Ayess said slowly. “I thought that humans…”
“You thought that humans what?” She sat up and turned to face ni, hoping for a conversation that would take her mind off of Luzita.
Ayess’ race does not have words for he/she/his/hers, etc, because they are (for lack of a better term) hermaphroditic. Their pronouns to refer to other members of their race are “ni” (for he/she/him/her), “ni-es” (his/hers), “ni-en” (they/them) and “ni-en-es” for theirs.