Coming from any other man it would have been a compliment. Poppy was perfectly aware, however, that Dr. Keir Traherne definately wasn't flirting w/ her.
Keir made it clear he wanted no distractions while they worked to save the West African rain forest. And that was fine w/ Poppy--she'd been hired as the project's photographer. It was a job that she loved & one that would take all of her time.
But that didn't stop her from wishing she could replace cool, immaculate Astrid, the assistant Keir kept constantly by his side. And it didn't stop Poppy from regretting that Keir thought of her only in terms of trouble!