And as for the part still on the Rhea, I too (at first) took that exchange to mean there was some sort of affair going on with her commanding officer.
I am totally surprised by that. I was going for one friend plying another friend with comically exaggerated flattery and sweet talk to extract a favor. It never occurred to me that it might be interpreted as flirtatious in any way.
Christopher, I've thought about it, since you said yesterday that, no, it wasn't supposed to have been interpreted that way.
And I think the reason I thought that (and I can't speak for anyone else), is that Trys flirting with Dawn Blair is one of the very first
things we see her do. There was no reason, as a reader, for me to not
take it seriously, since Blair does seem to take it seriously (the flirting works on her, after all) and I hadn't seen yet the extent of Trys' personality. There was never any reason for me not
to think that Trys was bisexual, probably into multiple simultaneous relationships.
Now, I'm like, "Oh, you weren't suggesting that," and I'm slightly crushed.
I'm not criticizing. I'm just trying to think through why I thought that about Trys two weeks ago when I read the book.