Keeping the peace (inner)

“What did you think?”

Dear lord he sounded conceited, but they had to keep him around for the rest of the event. They smiled, all politeness. “It was wonderful. Thank you again for agreeing to speak here.”

“Well, one couldn’t turn down a request from you… could they?”

They heard the hesitation there. Which aspect was it about? Who knew. They couldn’t think about it now, they had to be polite. “In any case, I’m glad you could accept.”

He took their arm. They resisted the impulse to yank away. “Would you accompany me to dinner?”

“I couldn’t say no.”

Today would continue to go well. They could deal with this.