"I was curious,” she says, when he asks her. She has seen him eyeing her, seen him moving closer, and holds out one of her hands. It is stronger than his, and the nails are pointed. “Are you curious, too?”
Karitoki is fascinated by the Pania, who beckons him with her plump, scaled flesh, her razor-sharp nails, her fish-oil scent.
His Pania, Karitoki thinks, as the two spend more time together by the rock pool. His Pania, he believes, loyal to him just as she is loyal to the lives of the dolphins and whales she guards. His Pania, if only she would eat the delicate mussels he cooks for her, every day, by the sea.
But a Pania never eats cooked food.