Naya had been sitting in her room for less than ten minutes when the door chimed. She answered it to see Cheln facing her. She somehow managed not to swallow. “Yes?” she said keeping it short.
Cheln was looking fairly relaxed, “We’re still at least an hour away from Mandalore. I was wondering if you’d join me for dinner.”
Naya was a little surprised by the invitation. Although it didn’t really sound like it was optional. “Ah, sure, when is dinner?” she said.
“Now,” Cheln said as he extended his hand. Naya stepped forward but avoided his hand, in turn he placed it in the crook of her arm. “This way,” he said guiding her down the corridor.
Naya had expected to be led to the mess hall, but instead she found herself in Cheln’s rather large quarters. A table for two had been set and a large covered serving platter sat in the middle of the table. Cheln pulled out a chair for her and Naya sat, surprised at the gesture.
Cheln lifted the platter cover, “I had slow roasted gornt with red wine jus cooked as I heard it was something of a delicacy on Ryloth.”
To say Naya was surprised was something of an understatement. Cheln had either been to Ryloth or he’d done his homework. “Wow, er… thank you.”
A smile touched Cheln’s lips, “Sometimes it’s nice to taste a little bit of home.” There was an undertone to Cheln’s words but Naya had no idea what it meant. Cheln served up the dish and then took his own seat. “So have you been to Ryloth lately?”
“No, I haven’t been to Ryloth in quite a while,” Naya said truthfully as she started eating her meal.
“So you’ve been travelling with Vren for some time?” Cheln said casually and Naya suddenly realised where this was going. Cheln was trying to assess her worth as a bargaining chip with Vren.
Naya shrugged as she took another mouthful of the delicious meal. “You could say that,” she said, considering that they had travelled down that dark tunnel for ‘some time’.
“How did you meet?” Cheln said, asking a more direct question.
Naya took a moment as she finished her mouthful. “We met under fire. The circumstances led us to a co-operative agreement,” she told, looking Cheln straight in the eye.
He studied her for a moment, “So what is your field of speciality?”
A broad smile spread across Naya’s face, “Explosives.”
Cheln matched her smile, looking impressed, “Ah a lady after my own heart. I started my career in explosives.”
Naya nodded, “So what’s your preferred product?”
“Ultra-blast,” he grinned.
Naya’s eyes widened with enthusiasm. “It’s good stuff if you can get your hands on it.”
His look turned smug, “I’ve got some on board.”
Naya’s jaw dropped, “No way!”
“I’ve got a unique job that requires something more spectacular than regular explosives,” he said as he looking at her with a tilt to his head. “Perhaps you’d like to assist my team?”