Oh gods…Why does he have to waltz back into my life now? Swallowing hard, I tried to ignore the strange fluttery feeling that started in the pit of my gut. After all, who wouldn’t be concerned if HE was standing behind them? "Hello, Fett."
I craned my neck, looking over my shoulder at the man in battered green armor. His body language did not suggest menace. He was not here to hunt me. He had tracked me down for…I had no idea why he had tracked me down. We had parted over a year ago. I was probably the only person who had left the company of Boba Fett under amiable terms. Usually beings who spent extended periods of time with the bounty hunter ended up disintegrated or turned in for cold, hard credits.
But then, most beings don’t date the most feared bounty hunter in the galaxy.
Strange, tale, that. How my sisters, in desperation, had hired Fett to find the lost sister who had no memory of her siblings. How he had found that confused woman in a slave pit and brought her back to Coruscant. And the strange twist in the tale, Fett had stripped off his armor, and searched her out, playing a game of sexual tag with her until…until finally, to preserve the strange friendship that had grown between them, they had parted.
I shook my head in amazement, I had lived the tale and I still couldn’t believe it.
"Hello Selina." I shivered at the sound of his metallic voice. Even after a year, the sound of that synthesizer made my skin crawl. So hard and impersonal. Just like the pit he had found me in.
I hunched over onto myself, trying to ease the chill his voice evoked. "Why are you here, Fett?" I kept repeating his title as if it would act like a shield, keeping him away from me. Keeping the inhumanity that seemed a part of that Mandalorian armor away from me.
"Your sisters sent me."
Not quite the truth and I knew it. "You mean Celeste sent you." Risha had an intense dislike of Fett. She had no animosity towards Jaster Mereel, the man underneath the armor, but the bounty hunter seemed to cause a deep revulsion in her.
"Yes she did." It seemed odd; having a conversation with someone who was speaking to my back. But then, even when I looked him in the eye, I was speaking to a helmet.
Slowly I turned around, my legs dangling inside the garden instead of hanging in empty space. Studying him for a moment, trying to find any spark of emotion in the bounty hunter, but that armor made it almost impossible. I couldn’t read any emotion from him. He as just metal and efficiency. "Did she tell you what happened? That Wes was pawing some woman in a bar. Right in front of the Force and everyone?" My breath hitched as I spoke. I could fell the scalding burn of tears in the back of my throat.
I remembered how much it had hurt. Seeing him kiss some stranger in a bar. Seeing how intimately her body fit against his; pressed against him in a way that I had thought would only be experienced by me.
I had stormed over to his table; pulling that bleached bimbo from the man I had thought was my boyfriend. The bitch had let out a startled squeak and then called me a psycho. I gave her a look that would have penetrated an x-wing’s shields and she wisely decided to back away. Then I turned my attention to him. There had been shock in his eyes. Wes had stuttered for a moment, but the evidence was vividly crimson on his full lips. Harlot red lipstick all over the lips that were suppose to crave mine.
Rage as scarlet as her marks on him blasted through me. He stuttered for a moment. Something ‘bout her being an old friend. A close friend.
Poor choice of words, flyboy.
Without thinking (or maybe I had been thinking, just not clearly) I balled up my fist and…
One flyboy laid out on the floor, a bruise blossoming on his jaw. One brainless whore screaming at me that I was a violent freak. I turned towards her; she panicked and disappeared into the crowd that was forming around my cheating lover and me.
I looked down at him as he struggled to sit up. So many words had flown through my mind, but I couldn’t form any of them. He was thoughtless bastard. He was scum. I should hall off and kick him where it’d hurt most. I didn’t deserve to be treated this way. HOW DARE HE TREAT ME THIS WAY? Oh, Gods, why had he treated me this way? What had I done?
The tears began to fall, turning the smoky bar into a nauseating blur of color and motion. Scrubbing away the tears I felt my lower lip tremble. I bit down, tasting blood as I tried not to howl out my anguish. One strangled word managed to escape. "Why?"
He gave me a look that heightened my confusion. Anguish and fear and guilt and the desperate look of man who was losing something far too precious. I didn’t give him a chance to answer. Turning away, I bolted for the door. Running away from him. Trying to run away from my breaking heart.
Of course, you can’t run far enough to ease the pain of a breaking heart. You can’t steal enough treasure to make yourself whole.
"Yes she told me what happened." There was something that almost resembled sympathy echoed through his mechanical voice. "I’m sorry, Selina."
I let out a humorless chuckle. "Sorry don’t make it hurt any less."
There was a pause; something in his posture suggested offense. "No need to be harsh, Selina. I am your friend."
Correction, you used to be my friend. Before you let that damn armor get between us. I didn’t mean the metal he wore, but the armor that surrounded his heart. I didn’t miss our romance, but I did miss the friendship hat had been between us. Wes and Jaster had been two of my dearest friends. But I had lost Jas to the hunt.
I swallowed hard, trying to ignore the tears that threatened to drown me. And I had lost Wes to a bimbo he met in a bar. My hand clenched around the ruby as I held my sobs back. "I don’t know who you are, Fett. You’re not the man I fell in love with. You’re not the man I used to be friends with. That man is part of the past and you are not a part of my future."
A whisper of movement, and suddenly I felt the contact of bare flesh against the fabric covering my shoulder. "Selina, please…" The words sounded so strange. Soft imploring masked by mechanical menace. I fought the urge to shudder at the sound.
That strange contrasts that stood before me. The impassive mask, the armor, and the hand he had bared so that I could feel human contact with him.
Perhaps he needed contact just as much as I did.
But it gave no comfort. Not while that damn madelorian armor sheathed his body.
I took his hand, tracing the palm lightly with a fingertip. His hand flexed at the touch. I looked up at him, almost flinching away from the helmet. Staring down at his hand, I had for a moment, ignored the armor. It had made me expect to see Jaster when I looked up. Instead I saw nothing but metal.
I brushed my thumb against his wrist where armor gave way to flesh. "This is why you cannot be a part of my future, even in friendship, Fett. How can you make contact with others…How can you feel any compassion for me, when you’re locked away in metal?"
I don’t know if he understood. The helmet, of course, reveled nothing. Instead of answering, he turned away and quietly left the gardens.
Continued in Part Three