Downtime in Las Vegas
Part Nineteen: Sunset
The desert of Nevada was so much different than the wastes of Tatooine. The twin suns of the arid planet had a way of baking the land into glass. When compared to that crystalline soil, the sand outside of Las Vegas almost seemed pillow-soft. The air lacked the searing quality of the Jundland Wastes. It was hot, the heat radiating up from the sands almost burning Tonís lungs, but the warmth eased aches that he had long ago learned to live with.
For the first time since Endor, Ton felt himself relax. Of course, Erinís presence has nothing to do with it. Hm, if I believe that, Iím sure Booster can find a SSD to sell me.
He leaned against the side of the dusty Firebird and eyed the woman beside him. The only indication that she noticed his attention was the way she fiddled with the edge of the blanket she had spread out for them to sit on.
"Is it that much different than Tatooine?" she whispered, finally turning to look him in the eye. He still found it surprising that she didnít avoid the optic, accepting it as if it were as natural as flesh and blood.
"Very much. Tatooine is harder. Darker despite the twin suns." Ton found that his voice was low, matching her whisper. For some reason, it seemed sacrilege to break the quiet that permeated the land.
She stopped playing with the blanket, hands resting demurely in her lap. He wondered how someone who had been so forward the night before could suddenly become so shy. "How can it be darker with so much sunlight?"
"Tatooine is a planet filled with broken dreams. Most people settle into the landscape, accepting that they will never have more than the scrap of land they eke a living out of, while othersÖOthers look towards the stars wishing for a life they most likely will never have." He looked thoughtful for a moment, watching the deep colors of sunset spill across the darkening sky. Even the brightness of the sky was different, as if the second sun of Tatooine managed to leech the color from the planetís sunssets. "Only the lucky ones, get to escape."
"A planet of broken dreams," she murmured, shivering despite the heat.
Without thinking, he slid his arm around her. He barely managed not to grin foolishly as she snuggled against him. "Even broken dreams can somehow be achieved," he said softly, suddenly realizing that perhaps his words could be true. Perhaps if he had more faith in himselfÖResting his chin on the top of her head, they silently watched the play of light and shadow, both beings considering his words until twilight forced them back into the city.
Continued in Part Twenty