I am not the Vheshrame Expert In Transaffectionate Flirting. (That would presumably be Tethezai.) Nonetheless, I have some important details about it that anyone attempting it for the first time should keep well in mind.
- Starting the discussion off theoretically is a perfectly sensible beginning: "Have you ever thought about kissing someone of a different species?" However, at some point, if the flirtation is to be considered successful, the discussion should switch from theoretical to applied, e.g., "Kiss me now, for I yearn for it as the squid-dog yearns for the mackerel!". Or maybe, if one is more shy than melodramatic, "Um … this is kind of forward of me, but, well, would you be horribly upset if I asked to kiss you? I'm not asking, really, I'm just, well, asking if I can ask."
- Timing is crucial. If one intends to leave matters for later (see previous point) one should make sure that a later is indeed possible. For example, if ones' intended flirtee is leaving in early afternoon and shall not return for at least three months, if ever, one should not choose late morning for the discussion.
- Situation is also crucial. If one has recently brought one's same-species and evidently very serious girlfriend to visit one's family, it seems just a touch improper to flirt with other guests after she has been gone for only a few days. It makes one seem inordinately randy. It makes one seem inconstant. It makes one seem, in retrospect, downright noxious. In combination with the preceding items, it even makes one seem randy, inconstant, noxious, and incompetant at it, which is not an appealing combination at all.
Well, most of that was in retrospect. Flounderbouncer and I had a friendly little chat about transaffection, sitting on the roof of the upper house, but I don't think it'll ever become any more than a chat. If he wants anything more, he had better ask for it directly, and even then I doubt he'll get it.
Aside from that rather insulting or incompetent little foray, Threeze was entirely romantically unsatisfying. Restful place, in the wintertime, but I was rather hoping for more.
Iska evidently had a fine time. She and Riverred hit it off immediately, and spent hours discussing religion and languages and whatnots. Despite her pair of handicaps (blindness for the physical one and low class for the social one), Riverred seems to know a great deal about those two topics: Flooosh has been inviting students home several times a year for a month of years, I suppose, and Riverred has had many experts' voices to educate her, even if she can't read on her own. (Or maybe she can -- there is a spell for that, though I don't know if she's got it grafted or even if she would use it if she could.) So far as I know there was no transaffection there either either -- they both seem to act their class about it, and in any case they were talking in the upper house's fire room.
In any reasonable terms, I, too, had a fine time. I'm simply not feeling entirely reasonable about it at the moment. That unflirtation with Flounderbouncer has unpleased me -- if he was going to do something, why not earlier and more? And in any case, with Spirshash's disaster so close in mind, the thought of actually and actively wrecking a marriage (even preemptively) is too close and too distasteful.
The trip back has been quiet enough, no leaks in the Queen of Every Whelk or any such. Whelkie is dickering with the harbormaster's assistant about landing fees or dock space or port taxes or something. I am on a roof, pretending not to be avoiding Iska, and pretending not to be very worried about what Spirshash has done these last nine days.