Smile flirtatiously back?

From Create Your Own Story

Before you can stop yourself, you feel your lips parting in a soft smile of your own, one that dares to suggest you might like what you see. It’s a look you’ve seen on a lot of other hopeful faces at formal dinners like this, but you never thought you’d join the ranks of the smitten. Oh well, all in as they say. You’ve learned a lot from Varma, and the pleasant buzz of the alcohol already in your belly whispers encouragement.

What harm did a little bit of flirting ever do, anyway?

For a moment, he looks almost puzzled before his half-smile turns into a full grin. In the next moment, the ambassador turns away and resumes his conversation with Advisor Lospien. You swallow back the disappointment. You’ve heard the Naboo are a fiercely traditional people; maybe you scared him off. You say as much to Varma, bared shoulders slumping.

Your friend laughs, nasal and delighted. “You need to be more confident,” she says. “If he looks at you again, you’ve got him intrigued.”

For a long moment you nibble at the edge of your plate, cleaning up what little remains that looks edible. Long enough to wish you had stayed in the hotel tonight and let Varma attend the Advisor. You were silly to ever think the flirting thing could work for you.

Something runs like a skittermouse over your thoughts, and you look up, nearly dropping your fork when you realize the ambassador is looking at you again, more openly this time, almost like he’s appraising you, and that realization makes you blush and reach for your drink to cover up your surprise. Advisor Lospien notices that he’s lost the ambassador’s attention and pats the younger man’s shoulder, saying something to him that is lost in the distance and party noise between you.

Varma sucks in her breath when the men shake hands and move in separate directions. By all the acolytes in the temple! The ambassador is heading in your direction, weaving between the tables with a natural grace of movement and purpose. You can see even more now; he can’t much older than you are, if at all.

You sit, trapped and fully aware that your smile must look more terrified than seductive, as he makes his way to your table and stops only a meter away with an eloquent half-bow from the waist. “My lady,” he purrs.

Oh! That voice! Refined durasteel wrapped in velvet and dipped in sweet sauce, it’s enough to get a tingle going at the base of your spine. You sputter and set the wine glass aside and manage a soft “Ambassador Palpatine” before your own voice fails you.

His smile is back, though it’s more gentle now and less interested. “Advisor Lospien had so many complimentary things to say about his niece that I felt it imperative to meet you before retiring from this lovely engagement.”

Your uncle spoke to him about you? Your tongue is sticking to the roof of your mouth, something about his close presence is electrifying. You finally manage to unstick it when you see the pure glee on Varma’s long face.

What do you say?

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