“I slammed the water off hard enough to make it clack, got out of the shower, dried, and started getting dressed in a fresh set of secondhand clothes.
“Why do you wear those?” asked Lacuna.
I jumped, stumbled, and shouted half of a word to a spell, but since I was only halfway done putting on my underwear, I mostly just fell on my naked ass.
“Gah!” I said. “Don’t do that!”
My miniature captive came to the edge of the dresser and peered down at me.
“Don’t ask questions?”
“Don’t come in here all quiet and spooky and scare me like that!”
“You’re six times my height, and fifty times my weight,” Lacuna said gravely. “And I’ve agreed to be your captive. You don’t have any reason to be afraid.”
“Not afraid,” I snapped back. “Startled. It isn’t wise to startle a wizard!”
“Because of what could happen!”
“Because they might fall down on the floor?”
“No!” I snarled.
Lacuna frowned and said, “You aren’t very good at answering questions.” I started shoving myself into my clothes. “I’m starting to agree with you.”
“So why do you wear those?” I blinked.
“Yes. You don’t need them unless it’s cold or raining.”
“You’re wearing clothes.”
“I am wearing armor. For when it is raining arrows. Your T-shirt will not stop arrows.”
“No, it won’t.” I sighed.
Lacuna peered at my shirt. “Aer-O-Smith. Arrowsmith. Does the shirt belong to your weapon dealer?”
“Then why do you wear the shirt of someone else’s weapon dealer?” That was frustrating in so many ways that I could avoid a stroke only by refusing to engage. “Lacuna,” I said, “humans wear clothes. It’s one of the things we do. And as long as you are in my service, I expect you to do it as well.”
“Because if you don’t, I . . . I . . . might pull your arms out of your sockets.” At that, she frowned. “Why?”
“Because I have to maintain discipline, don’t I?”
“True,” she said gravely. “But I have no clothes.”
I counted to ten mentally. “I’ll . . . find something for you. Until then, no desocketing. Just wear the armor. Fair enough?” Lacuna bowed slightly at the waist. “I understand, my lord.”
“Good.” I sighed. I flicked a comb through my wet hair, for all the good it would do, and said, “How do I look?” “Mostly human,” she said.
“That’s what I was going for.”
“You have a visitor, my lord.”
I frowned. “What?”
“That is why I came in here. You have a visitor waiting for you.”
I stood up, exasperated. “Why didn’t you say so?”
Lacuna looked confused. “I did. Just now. You were there.” She frowned thoughtfully. “Perhaps you have brain damage.”
“It would not shock me in the least,” I said.
“Would you like me to cut open your skull and check, my lord?” she asked.
Someone that short should not be that disturbing. “I . . . No. No, but thank you for the offer.”
“It is my duty to serve,” Lacuna intoned.
My life, Hell’s bells.”