In the second book, Sten and troops are Trapped Behind Enemy Lines and his Bhor friend Otho wants to mount a rescue mission. Cue a Bhor council to decide whether to go or not. This is old-style participatory democracy, and one elderly Bhor gets off-topic, rambling about his glory days. Finally, Otho interrupts — interrupting is really bad manners, but his friends are dying — by cutting off his beard (a sign this is Serious Business) and kneeling to demand a decision now. He's almost sure they'll vote against him, and then he'll be executed, but he had to do something. And then the old guy he rudely interrupted cuts off his own beard and kneels beside Otho to support him. Dead silence. They fly the rescue mission, of course.
Cind is a very junior officer hot for the very senior Sten. She sneaks into his bed and at first everything goes just as she planned but then Sten wakes up enough to realize just who it is in bed with him - and he's not about to mess with anybody as nice as this young girl. He kicks her out leaving Cind even more in love with him because he respects her to much to take advantage of her.