Whatever he'd been expecting from the quiet youth, it was not what he heard next.
The admission was prefaced with a great deal of stuttering and flushing, and Jer's eyebrows raised, pinching in towards the middle along a well-traveled line. He looked back and forth between Orin and Cole as the boy began to speak, picking slightly at his bread. His shoulders lowered a bit when the youth said it seemed to have passed, but he still listened in mildly anxious perplexity.
He had just picked up a handful of dried fruits and nuts when the boy's next revelation came, and several of them made a loud clatter on his pewter plate as they slipped from his fingers, bouncing and rolling onto the wooden table. There was a brief pause, and then a muffled, strangled noise as he desperately fought to stifle a laugh of surprise, relief, and bewildered amusement. It mostly came out as a cough, and he took a deep drink of water to cover it and collect his thoughts.
"Well," he managed, finally, observing Orin, and then looking over at Cole again. "Well."
The idea of having gone through life for eighteen years and still not knowing what arousal was was thoroughly baffling to Jer, and despite his growing understanding, momentarily flummoxing him as he reached for the next step. Adding this to the fact that he had only met this young man a few moments ago, he felt compelled to take yet another sip of water before he could respond more coherently.
"Well," he started again, "I can tell you for certain you're not ill. Or in any danger." There was still a slight edge of suppressed mirth and wonderment in his voice, but he mostly managed to keep it even and steady. "What you just experienced is a completely normal response. All men have it sometimes, though usually when they're younger for the first time. It's..."
Jer looked at Cole, almost desperately, keenly aware of the fact that he had known Orin for all of a quarter of an hour at this point, if that. But a glance at Cole's face told him the normally articulate ambassador was not going to be stepping in on this particular subject. The librarian ran one hand through his hair, standing it up on end again, and let out a heavy sigh.
"It's something that happens when they encounter something that...interests them. Sexually." He cleared his throat very loudly at this, having just barely managed to bite off the word, hoping for a swift end to this particular line of discussion, and to avoid prolonging it with an excess of euphemistic language. "At any rate. Not an illness. Not a danger or a cause for concern. You'll be just fine."