I leaned against the landing strut of my x-wing, nervous as hell. Sure, I’d flown in battle before, but those times I had been a rogue pilot, someone who joined the fray to help her sister and friends. This time, I was flying as a Rogue, as a member of the most elite group of fliers to grace the Galaxy.
I was barely keeping myself from panicking.
This is no different than any of the other jobs you’ve been on. You get in. You get out. You keep calm and go with the flow. Just like always.
But unlike "always," I had eleven other people depending on me. This fact had a ball of ice developing in my gut. Oh, Gods, I could get all these people killed. I could get Celeste killed. The thought of my incompetence murdering my sister almost made me run to the ‘fresher to recycle my last three meals.
Instead, I played with the end of one of my braids, pretending to check the thong that held it tight. Celeste wore her hair in one braid whenever she went into battle. Simpler and less likely to swing into her face at inopportune times. I preferred wearing my waist length hair in two braids caught behind my ears. A helmet pressing down on a braid resting on the nape of my neck had a tendency to make me feel claustrophobic. I didn’t know why, but it did. Celeste said I wore my hair in warrior braids like some of the Jedi of legend.
These stupid, inane thoughts kept me from losing my lunch.
Well, they kept me busy until I noticed the gorgeous pilot sauntering….correction, strutting over to my ship. Mmmm….If he flies as good as he looks, I’m in very safe hands. A naughtily little smile got through the panic. Oh, how I would LOVE to be in those hands…
I shook my head in amusement. That walk of his… The strut of a man who KNOWS he’s desired. Very desired. And, very loved.
I hoped he knew how much I loved, love, him.
He grinned at me. That heart-stopping grin that always made me want to pounce him and have my wicked way with him. Vaguely, I wondered if Commander Antilles would court martial us if I tore off Wes’ clothes and mauled him right there on the ferrocrete. That would be a helluva good way to get rid of pre-flight jitters.
I KNEW that he was thinking similar thoughts. The grin turned into a leer. "Ready to go on the ride of your life?"
I smirked at him as we fell into our old game of innuendo. "Depends on the type of ride you’re referring to, Flyboy." I reached out and traced my fingers along his belt, adding a new aspect to our play. His breath caught and I felt a blaze of pride well up inside me. This wonderful, gorgeous man. My dearest friend. The person I trusted most, was attracted to me. Desired me. That knowledge ALMOST made me feel like I deserved to be a Rogue.
After all, for Rogues, the impossible was their stock in trade.
I forced my thoughts away from my assumed inadequacies and focused on the stunning man that was quickly becoming unraveled by the light patterns my fingers were drawing along his midsection. "Are you talking about the sort of ride that involves getting naked or one that involves X-wings?"
He caught my hand before I could reach my target. "Bad, Selina." I pretended to pout but he saw through my act. "You know what sort of ride I was referring to, though seeing you shimmy up the ladder in nothing but that beautiful hair of yours…" He slowly ran his hand over one of my braids. "I would definitely not complain." He winked and I gave him a shy smile, unused to receiving sincere complements of any sort. "Though I’d be worthless in battle since I would be thinking of your naked self."
Suddenly the mood was shattered. Unintentionally he had struck my deepest fear. That I would be worthless in the coming battle and my Squad would pay for my incompetence.
As I expected, I didn’t have to voice this fear; somehow Wes always knew what was troubling me. I was thankful he didn’t mention my fear. Instead, he caught hold of the braids that framed my face and wound them around his fists. "It’s your first time, Rookie…"
The mention of my "first time," correction, the lack of a "first time" made me blush.
He leaned in closer to whisper, "I love making you blush."
And I love you.
He must have seen my thoughts reflected in my eyes. His grin softened into a gentle smile. "Love you, Selina."
"Love you, too, Wes."
The serious moment passed and Wes was the jokester again. "So, Rookie. How should we celebrate the completion of your first mission? We could go to dinner…"
"Big surprise, a pilot thinking about food."
He gave my left braid a gentle tug. "Remember, YOU’RE a pilot now."
Suddenly I paled, remember all those fears. "Uh, yeah."
He gave my braid a harsher tug, pulling my mind away from my insecurities. "Like I said we could go to dinner or we could go dancing."
A truly wicked idea came to mind. How could I not have wicked thoughts when he was so close? When I could feel myself getting lost in those rich dark eyes? Gods, how I loved him. And of course, him being so close was steadily driving me crazy with desire. How could I not want him? He was the most attractive man I had ever met, and he damn well knew it and took advantage of it shamelessly. Not that I was complaining.
"Dinner or dancing would be fun, but we could…" I let my voice trail off as I gave him a thoughtful, almost absentminded, look.
"We could…" He coaxed. I had to keep myself from smiling. He was so impatient. ‘Course I shouldn’t be too much of a tease when he had two great handfuls of my hair.
"We could…" I repeated, giving enough pause to cause a look of frustration to cross his face. "We could go back to my apartment and FUCK each other until neither one of us can move for a week."
He groaned, and suddenly my back was pressed against the landing strut. The discomfort of a metal pressing against my spine was quickly forgotten as his body pressed closer to mine. I began to tremble, not from that earlier fear, but from the fire that was beginning to bubble through my veins. "Do you know how much I love it when you say dirty things with that sweet mouth?"
Before I could answer, his fists tugged my head back. Then his mouth was devouring mine with an intensity that I had never experienced before. Instantly, I responded to his hunger, tongue fighting his for dominance, fighting to get a taste of the man I craved more than breath. But there was no way to win this battle. He wanted me and he would have me the only way he could before this flight.
Not that I truly minded losing the fight… My hands caught at the back of his flight suit, grabbing great fistfuls of the orange cloth, trying to find some way to steady myself as my senses intensified until all I could feel was Wes. The insistent tug of his hands as they tangled themselves deeper into my hair. The warmth of his body seeping through the silken cloth of my flight suit. So hot that I was sure he would scorch the material from my body. The almost velvety caress of his tongue against mine as he ravaged my mouth. Gentle but fierce. An almost perfect description of the man in my arms.
Desire was ricocheting through my body and soul. Setting off an ache so deep it was more pain than pleasure. Soft moans echoed in my ears, and vaguely I realized they were coming from me. I wanted him so much. I was ready to beg him to take me right there, in front of our squad mates and anyone else who cared to watch.
Then, of course, someone had to interrupt.
Slowly, reluctantly, Wes pulled away from me enough to allow me to see who had interrupted us. It took a moment for my eyes to focus on…
"Uh oh…" I shouldn’t known the interruption would be in the form of our commanding officer.
"What are you doing to your wing, Selina?"
I debated a number of answers. Then my smart mouth, which had been so deliciously occupied by the ministrations of my partner in flight, took over. "Well, Sir. If you don’t know what we’re doing, you’d better get a hold of Risha. She needs to give you more dancing lessons."
I almost wished the ferrocrete would swallow me up as the great Wedge Antilles blushed. Oh Gods, I am so dead.
Risha was my sister, and the commander’s lover. When they had met a few weeks ago, Risha had given Wedge dancing lessons. Which had led to dancing of another sort.
Wes, who was one of the first to know about this liaison, chuckled softly against my neck, tickling my skin and making my earlier fantasy of fucking him in the hanger seem tame compared to the illicit thoughts racing through my mind. Especially since he had released my hair to move to my rear, gently squeezing as his tongue began lapping at my throat. "Stop that," I hissed despite wanting to forget the upcoming flight and have him continue with what we had started.
"I’m so glad my pilots are so close," Wedge interrupted. I swallowed hard, looking at my commanding officer nervously. I had rarely heard sarcasm from Antilles and I wasn’t sure if it meant we were going to get a light reprimand or spend the rest of the year cleaning the hanger with toothbrushes. "I would say, carry on, but then you two wouldn’t be flying with us this afternoon."
I gave him a hopeful look. "That mean we’re not going to be court marshaled?"
Wedge pretended to scowl at me, an expression I had seen while he was with Risha. Another sign that we weren’t about to become janitors. "If you two can pull yourselves away from each other and get into your ships, then yes."
"We’ll be ready in a minute, Sir." I managed to salute while Wes snickered against my neck. Wedge shook his head, muttering something about the things he puts up with in this outfit, and headed for his snubfighter.
Wes pulled away when Antilles was gone and sighed. "Looks like we’ll have to continue this later."
"If there is a later…"
He kissed me again, a quick brush of lips to silence my doubts. "No ifs, We are going to dazzle the rest of the squadron and impress Wedge so much that he gives us a week downtime."
I smiled at him, my terror finally at rest. This man would not let me fail. He wouldn’t let my insecurities get the better of me. He would help me fly like the Rogue I had become. He was my best friend, and I knew that he would always be there to support me.
And most important of all, he loved me.
With that combination, how could I fail?
I grinned at him and kissed the end of his nose.
"Come on, darlin’. Let’s earn that downtime."
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