Rajhir and Flencik left Ospar’s chambers, heading towards the in-house transport. As he hurried to keep step with his long-legged companion, Rajhir put his earlier amusement away.
“You didn’t wait for my call.”
The Imdiko glanced at him, blinking at the disapproval in Rajhir’s tone. When Rajhir met his gaze, Flencik colored again, this time with shame.
“I – I had the perfect chance to make those copies. I wasn’t sure I’d get another.”
“I was worried about your safety. I was going to tell you to go ahead with copying the files, but I wish you would have waited.”
Flencik’s brow creased. “Why?”
Rajhir shook his head. “I told you I don’t know Ospar that well. I wanted to be sure you weren’t risking your career on a fool’s errand.”
Despite the scowl he said it with, Flencik suddenly looked pleased with Rajhir’s concern. “That’s very kind of you. You’re put out with me, aren’t you?”
Rajhir halted and Flencik did the same. The Dramok put his hands on his hips and looked up at his bigger companion, searching the doctor’s open, trusting face. He said, “You’re only a year younger than me, but you seem so damned innocent. I don’t like that you didn’t wait for me to confirm it was worth the attempt. That wasn’t smart on your part.”
Despite Rajhir’s censure, Flencik grinned. “That’s very Dramok of you to say such a thing.”
The Imdiko seemed almost giddy to be getting Rajhir’s stern attention. He really was infatuated, and Rajhir decided Flencik indeed was perfect to satisfy Gegra with.
Folding his arms over his chest, still displaying disapproval but letting a hint of flirtation appear, Rajhir said, “I’m upset with you, Flencik. Perhaps you’d like to make it up to me?”
Several emotions flitted across the Imdiko’s expression, each interesting to Rajhir and easy to read: worry, hope, and suspicion. The man truly had no guile.
Settling for caution, Flencik answered his challenge with, “It all depends on what you have in mind.”
Flencik’s grin lit his face. “Okay.”
Rajhir let the last of his stern reproach ease. “Good. I’ll tell my parents’ kitchen staff to make extra.”
Flencik’s smile dimmed immediately. “Oh. No, no, I just remembered. I have plans tonight. Maybe some other time, but thanks.”
He turned and began walking to the transport again, leaving Rajhir gaping. The Dramok recovered and hurried after Flencik, trotting to pass the big man and stand in his way. He made the doctor stop.
“What just happened?”
Flencik refused to meet his gaze. “I told you—”
Rajhir interrupted him. “I heard what you told me, and I’m calling bullshit. You don’t want to eat with my parents?”
The Imdiko still wouldn’t look Rajhir in the eye. He shuffled nervously and said, “I’m sure they’re fine people. I just – they might get ideas about us and we’ve just met. I don’t know anything about you, Rajhir. It’s not proper.”
Rajhir looked closely at the other man. Something about what Flencik said – or maybe it was the way he said it – still had the Dramok calling bullshit in his thoughts. It really bothered the Imdiko that Rajhir had wanted to take him to his parent clan.
Release tentatively set for March 2014.