It was supposed to be a simple meal shared for expediency. Susan wasn't nearly so heartless as to let the woman wait for God knew how long for an open table when she had more than enough space at her own table. Talia hadn't seemed nearly as surprised as Susan had expected her to when she came to the table.
"Thank you for the offer, Commander," came that whisky-smooth voice as the blonde sat down. She quickly placed her order with the harried waitperson before continuing. "I don't know that I've seen this place quite this busy before."
"It happens occasionally," Susan replied. "Are you settling in on the station?"
Talia shrugged nonchalantly. "As well as can be expected, I suppose. I'm being kept busy enough, that's for sure." She smiled as her drink was delivered and took a long drink of the spicy iced tea.
Susan found herself drawn to the play of muscles as Talia's throat moved with each swallow of her drink. She wondered briefly why she was getting so warm so suddenly, but attributed it to the crush of people in the bar and took a healthy swallow of her own drink.
"Penny for your thoughts?"
The question caught Susan by surprise. "You mean you're not just going to read them yourself?" she replied with a scowl.
"It's not normally my way to do so unless I've been asked," was the defensive reply.
Susan held her hands up in acquiescence. "I'm sorry," she said and pinched the bridge of her nose. "Clearly, the crowd has made me more short-tempered than usual."
"Apology accepted, Commander."
There was a secretive smile tugging at the corners of Talia's mouth. The expression intrigued Susan more than she cared to admit. She was even more surprised to realize that the look made Talia look even more beautiful than normal. God help her, she wanted to see that smile on Talia's face more often, no matter what it took. And then that smile grew even wider, causing Talia's grey eyes to sparkle in amusement.
What in the hell is going on? Susan wondered as she tentatively smiled back.