Before I introduce the scene that consists of two characters: The ambience is nothing short of amiable, cordial if you will. In addition, character Y is the citizen of a vassal country to the country of character X. The death of Y's emperor is still recent (less than a month ago), even as X's Queen (widow of the emperor) is with child. Finally, the reason for Y's presence is due to his recall from a colony, after rumours of an incestuous affiliation with his Queen cousin.
Character X emerged from the hallway and Character Y's gait was immediate at her heel.
"You were long held." Y knew his tone held warmth, and his mind’s reprimand was scalding.
"I seek your counsel on a certain matter." He waned the warmth from his voice.
“Oh to be desired." He shook his head, fighting against a smile. X had left a long braid to parallel her spine, the way she had done upon their first meeting.
"Rather you didn’t boast about such a fluttering thing." He angled a little aside to allow a maidservant walk past with a bow, bringing him closer to X. She looked at him, her grey eyes roving, but said nothing. Light notes of calendula and something (exotic location in my world) philandered in the air around them.
Then she snorted impassively. "Of course not." Y's breath caught when her eyes lowered to his lips. She took her time dragging them back to his. A tingling, impassable, began at the base of his spine.
“I will not stale your desire then, captain.”
Flustered, Y traced the bridge of his nose. “I am honoured.” X gave a small smile.
“Shall we?” He motioned for the open courtyard to their right.
“After you, captain.” The two soon began for the sunlit courtyard and Y appreciated the way slivers of sliver in her eyes lit up as she gazed up at the sky when he turned to look at her.
“Why do you stare, captain?”
“Forgive me, I was only gathering my thoughts.”
She looked at him, disbelieving. “To be so inept in the art of falsehood.”
At this he allowed himself to laugh. “You antagonize such a virtue?”
She chuckled softly. “But of course! Too much politics surround you.”
“You need not bother yourself to that extent.”
“Rumours about your less than familial relations with your Queen cousin still pricks at you?” He looked at her to find her studying him.
“I doubt it will ever cease."
“Is this the matter you seek my counsel on?”
“No. Questions about the authenticity of the western attacks that claimed out emperor circulates within the city. Disgruntlement grows in the eastern and southern cities at a refusal to retaliate.”
“The emperor was no fool. He had to have anticipated the Western attack.”
“Hardly. The lengthened period of inactivity is highly questionable. (Empire's name) is not known for such passivity.”
X nodded her head, patronizingly. “(Collective name of allied country's citizens) are not prepared to export dragonfire resistant steel, as this was their term of consolidating to the empire. Unless you wish to have your men burn to ashes.”
“You spoil the (aforementioned collective name).”
X threw her face heavenward. “They are close to our affections, captain.”
“Then it should be no problem bending them to your will.”
X’s eyes lowered slowly. “A pregnant empress sending her men to their deaths is nothing short of suicidal.”
“The generals will understand the pain of a brokenhearted widow.”
“Tell your people that the empress will attack when the westerners have let their guard down. After the 15th year, they will have given up hope of a retaliation. (Aforementioned collective name) will have come to our will before then. Do not hasten things, captain, or we will all burn.”
“And captain, you will do well to advice your people against the inclinations of a rebellion. You understand the empress seeks an outlet for her grief.”
Y watched her walk away, the braid at her back swaying at her movement.
End of scene.
I have been very dissatisfied with this scene, as I do not understand how else to describe the second interaction between two characters.
Should I be more descriptive of their surrounds, their reactions to their conversation?
Also, is it perhaps the dialogue that is lacking? Should there be a different level of familiarity than what I have written?
Finally, I aimed to subtly portray a seemingly one-sided affection from character Y to character X, but I feel I might have been otherwise blatant. I feel I should only allow the warmth in Y's voice at the onset to divulge an underlying affection and discard all other indications, but can it not mislead as platonic familiarity that arises from a second meeting?