“Sorry, he’s just thrown off a bit because things didn’t work out as planned,” you tell the priest.
You worded that carefully so that if he’s looking for meaning beneath the surface already, he’ll find it pretty easily. And indeed, he seems a little more on edge. He doesn’t feel confident that you’re just talking about dinner.
So now you’re going to move the subject back to it.
“See, thing is, we had a recommendation already,” you continue. “But the place was shut down and we didn’t have a second choice. Every so often he gets grumpy about not eating, and then he starts asking people.”
“Oh, I see,” the priest says. “Well, I’m afraid I can’t help you.” There’s a bit of relief, but not that much. One thing’s clear, though – if your theory is right, he isn’t looking forward to meeting his contact. Could mean he’s not sure about the job, or it could mean he hopes he doesn’t have to do anything himself.
But you’ve got a way to pull this back to an uncomfortable direction for him.
“Ah well, that’s okay,” you reply. “Not your fault the Golden Rose shut down.”
From the look on his face, it’s very clear he wasn’t expecting that phrase.
“Or was it the Golden Bull? Pretty sure it was Golden something. Oh well, doesn’t matter at this point.”
“No, I suppose not,” the priest agrees. He looks like he’s thinking now. Maybe trying to figure out some sort of test to make sure this isn’t a coincidence.
But whatever’s on his mind, his train of thought is soon interrupted when Long asks another question.