It's in His Kiss
Does he love me, I wanna know
How can I tell if he loves me so?
"The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss)" Cher
It was early. Too damned early. Sunlight had barely crept between the skyscrapers of Coruscant, tinting stone and metal with the palest of yellows and the faintest blush of pink. It was lovely, in a cool, urban sort of way. Light glittering off transparasteel. The lights from aircars twinkling merrily….
Too bad I was too tired to appreciate it.
I turned away from the view and entered the building that housed the apartment I shared with Risha and stumbled toward the lift, trying to think of nothing but sleep. As if the Force wanted to thwart my efforts, the music that was streaming through the lift’s speaker system was some girl group singing advice about how to know if your lover is true. Great, as if I needed more reminders of last night.
Groaning, I ran a hand over my forehead, rubbing at the ache that blossomed inside my skull as I remembered the night before. Wes at the Cantina, with some blonde wrapped around him. I had lost a bit of my sanity when I saw my lover with another woman. I had terrified the slut and attempted to break Wes’ jaw. I fled the pub before he could recover, losing myself in the shadows and the adrenaline rush produced by a wild night of theft.
An old friend had found me, his presence keeping me from doing anything outrageously stupid. Wonder what Wes would do if he found out I spent the night with Jaster. Guess it doesn’t matter now.
"Wonder if he spent the night with her," I muttered. The annoying strains of the music trailed behind me as I exited the lift and headed for home. While considering the evils of girl groups I scrounged around in my purse for my keycard. Not that I really needed a key. I could have broken in, but Rish would’ve vaporized me if I marred the stylish finish on the apartment door.
As thoughts of painful, Risha-inflicted deaths flit through my exhausted mind, I suddenly realized that there was a shadow stretched out across our doorway. The keycard fell back into my purse and I reached under the sleeve of my blouse, pulling free a plain steel knife. Great, as if my night couldn’t get worse, I’m now going to be mugged.
I crouched down a couple of meters away from the being lying across our doorstep, well out of the reach of most sentients. At least I have someone to take my aggression out on. "What are you doing here?" I growled.
Slowly, he raised his head, staring at me with blurry summer-colored eyes. "Waiting for you," Wes yawned. His gaze settled on the knife in my hand and he grew still. "Selina, I know you’re pissed at me, but could you please not skewer me?"
Hmmm…nice idea. Reluctantly I sheathed the knife. "Ok, so you’re waiting for me. Why?"
He sat up and rubbed the back of his neck. "Because I was worried. Because I wanted to apologize." Damn, even half-awake and miserable he looked good. Miserable? Why should he be miserable? The look he gave me caused my breath to catch. Loneliness, fear, longing, all swirled together into desperation. "Because I was terrified that I’d lost you."
"Why shouldn’t you have lost me," I countered tartly. "You were kissing another woman."
Wes stood, annoyance and anger radiating off of him. "SHE kissed me. Not the other way around." He glanced at the other doors lining the hall. "Can we discuss this in private before your neighbors decide to listen in?"
"Fine," I snapped, catching hold of my key card.
He stood by my shoulder as I unlocked the door. I swept into the room, trying my best to seem indifferent to his presence. But it was difficult. I loved him. Despite the kiss I had witnessed, I loved him fiercely.
But if he had been unfaithful…
Before I could work myself into another morose of confusion, Celeste materialized beside me. I let out a screech and swung my purse at her. She caught hold of the strap and placed the bag on the table next to the door. "A bit nervous, Sis?" she asked blandly.
Gods, how I hated that Jedi stuff. "Yeah, I get that way when people magically appear next to me!"
Celeste smirked, Wes glared. Lovely.
"So you’re going to talk to him?"
Wes looked annoyed. "I’m right here you know. You don’t have to talk about me in the third person."
"I guess I have to talk to him," I answered, studiously ignoring his complaints. "Though I don’t know if it’ll change anything. I saw it with my own eyes."
"You saw a woman kiss me. I did NOT kiss her back!"
I turned, suddenly angry at his continued protests. "You’re stronger than her. You could have pushed her away."
Wes looked scared and hurt. Doubt began to form…Maybe I had been wrong. "Selina, I was caught by surprise. It happens. One minute she was talking to me about the Squad, the next she was all over me." He looked down at the floor, avoiding my eyes. "I didn’t react the way I should have and I’m sorry."
"He is sorry," Celeste offered.
"How do you know?" I snapped. Both Jedi and Rogue winced at my tone. I felt myself blush in embarrassment. "Sorry. Long night. My nerves are a bit frayed."
"No problem. I know because I looked inside his mind. He didn’t do anything. Well, he was enjoying the view, but he didn’t want anything else."
Suddenly I was wary of her words. "You looked inside my boyfriend’s mind?"
"YOU USED THE JEDI MIND WHAMMY ON MY BOYFRIEND!?!"
Celeste looked chagrined, Wes looked expectant. I really didn’t want to know how I looked. "I didn’t hurt him, Sis. Just looked to see if he was telling the truth."
"You could have scrambled his brain or something!"
She sighed as if I was trying her patience. "Sis, I’m a Jedi. I won’t intentionally endanger anyone’s health or life. He wasn’t at risk. And he IS telling the truth."
Suddenly she stiffened, letting her robes flow around her. In one brief heartbeat, my sister had gone from confidant to Jedi. "Selina, you have to give him a chance. Talk to him or I’ll mind whammy you both." She paused and gave me an evil grin. "For your own good of course."
Before we could protest, she glided out of the room, all Jedi robes and haughty superiority. Sometimes I hate having a Jedi for a sister. Especially since she was almost always right.
Sighing tiredly, I plopped down onto the couch. Wes tentatively sat beside me, making sure not to touch me. "Soooo…" he drawled nervously. "Where were you last night?"
That’s none of your business, I almost snapped. Reining in my temper, I finally allowed myself to speak. "The usual mayhem."
"Theft?" he asked simply.
I nodded and stared at the toes of my boots. I didn’t feel guilty. Wes had never made me feel guilty about my illegal habits. But it was difficult not to fall into the familiar patterns that happened simply because we were together. It felt odd sitting beside him and not touching. I almost reached for his hand, but stopped before I gave into the impulse. "You spent the night here?"
He chuckled and smiled wryly. "For awhile. Then Celeste decided that I should sleep outside the apartment. Thought it might show my sincerity."
"Either that or you had begun to snore."
"I do not snore," he sputtered indignantly.
"You do when you’re drunk," I countered. Gods it was so easy to fall into our usual banter. I couldn’t forgive him, not this easily. "Wes, why’d it happen?"
His fingers brushed lightly against mine. "I don’t know. Maybe the Force is testing our relationship. Maybe seeing if we really are faithful to each other."
Faithful…Oh Gods. How would he react….Suddenly fear added a cold knot to my stomach. Swallowing hard, I tried to ignore the nervous flutter that was tickling the back of my throat. "Wes, there’s something I have to tell you. Jaster found me last night. Stopped me from doing anything stupid." I paused for breath, waiting for the worst. "And he stayed the night. To make sure I didn’t hurt myself."
As he absorbed my words, I realized how hypocritical I seemed. I had slept with another man, though nothing sexual had happened and I was ready to toss away my relationship with Wes because of an errant kiss.
I might be a thief but I try not to be a hypocrite…
"So you really have no right to condemn me," he said slowly.
"But nothing happened between you and Jaster." It should have been a question but instead it was a statement.
"Nothing at all. He was protecting me."
"So we’re even?" he asked almost hopefully.
"Seems like it. Unless…" I really didn’t want to say it but I knew I had to. "Unless in our hearts we wanted to cheat but just didn’t get the chance."
His fingers clasped mine, sending a wave of comfort rippling down my spine. "I have never wanted to cheat on you."
"And I haven’t ever thought of cheating on you," I offered, somehow sensing that words weren’t quite enough.
"So does that mean everything is fixed?" He seemed hopeful but there was also a tenseness lining his shoulders that I knew was not right.
I shrugged. "Dunno. Seems too simple of fix. It just doesn’t feel right."
He nodded, understanding what I meant, and from the tenseness that lined his shoulders, he felt the same way. "How do we make it right?"
I sat back against the cushions, trying to find an answer. My fingers somehow managed to become laced between his, a comfort that seemed far too natural for a night of ill choices to destroy. He squeezed my hand gently, worry lines creasing his handsome face. "Are we going to be ok?"
"I think so, there’s just…" I sighed, trying to find the right words. "There’s um…tension. Can you feel it?"
"Yeah, thought it was just me." A flicker of a smile warmed me. The possibility that things could be fixed was within our grasp. I could feel it hovering in the air. Perhaps the Force was testing us. Maybe we needed to see if our love could withstand such turmoil. But how to strengthen that relationship and ensure that a moment of indiscretion on both our parts wouldn’t ruin things later on?
"I can forgive you. And I think you can forgive me."
The smile intensified as he brushed his lips against the back of my hand. "Nothing to forgive. I’m just glad you didn’t do something stupid." Again, he kissed the back of my hand, sending a warm shiver down my spine.
Ever had a thought that seems totally random, but suddenly makes perfect sense? As desire tried to replace doubt, that song from the elevator drifted through my mind. "Does he love me, I wanna know. How can I tell if he loves me so?"
Wes gave me a curious look. "What? Of course I love you."
I stared at him for a moment before grinning. Which caused him to look even more worried. "Selina, did you hit your head, last night during one of your…adventures?"
"Nope," I answered, almost beaming as I realized that the strange thought was perfect way of resolving the tension between us. At least the prefect way for two neurotic, but in-love Rogues to resolve the situation. Unfortunately, Wes didn’t see the brilliance of my idea. At least not yet. He was still staring at me as if I had suddenly turned into a bantha. "Oh, come on Wes. Remember, the first time you threw down the gauntlet. Daring me to make the next move."
"Yeah," he said slowly. "I kissed you."
"You also quoted lyrics of a song to me and disappeared before I could grab you and shag you senseless."
He pouted, giving me his most forlorn look. "Aw, if I’d stayed, you would’ve shagged me that night?"
I swatted at his shoulder with my free hand. "Focus on the present, Flyboy."
"Ok, we could shag now…"
"Sorry." He sat straighter, trying to give me his undivided attention, though I knew that he was still having naughty thoughts. Truthfully, so was I. But a malaise of tension and uncertainty still tainted the air. And I knew it would taint our relationship.
"Like I was saying, that night you quoted the lyrics of a song to me. I’ve been thinking maybe the lyrics of another song might give us a clue about how to resolve this."
"Couldn’t hurt," he paused, rubbing his jaw thoughtfully. "Correction, it could hurt. A lot."
I ignored his comment and the pitiful look he was giving me. I would be properly sympathetic another time. For an injury that wasn’t caused because I had seen another woman kissing him. "Well, while I was on the lift, one of those annoying music songs came on."
"You’re grand idea comes from music you heard on the elevator." His lower lip quivered and he sounded exactly like Hobbie, somber and mournful. "We’re doomed."
Laughter dispelled more of the tension. Gods it was hard to fight with the man. He always made me feel good, well almost always…
"Seriously Wes, I think there’s merit in this bit of music."
"All right, oh Great and Wondrous Leader, what is the advice."
I crossed my arms over my chest and glared at him. "Now you’re making fun of me."
"True, but you didn’t break my jaw for it, so that must be a good sign." I groused and he slid an arm around my shoulders, pulling me close so my head rested on his chest. "Honestly, Sel. I want you to forgive me. I’ll do just about anything to make things right again." He kissed my forehead and smiled shyly. "What was the advice?"
Damn, he looks good when he’s shy. Makes me want to find the chocolate mousse and….
Advice…oh yeah, I was supposed to be telling him my great idea. The great idea that didn’t involve chocolate mousse…
"You know the Shoop Shoop song?"
I sighed. Great, I was going to have to sing. My voice wasn’t exactly made for singing, but then, if Wes had to listen to my attempts at carrying a melody, he would have a true deterrent not to stray. If he did, I’d torture him by singing all his favorite songs. Wait, that was a truly awful punishment. Even Isard wouldn’t be THAT evil…
"Does he love me, I wanna know. How can I tell if he loves me so?"
Wes didn’t run away in absolute terror at the sound of my attempt at singing. Surprisingly, he actually picked up the song at the line that had captured my attention.
"If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss…" He pulled me onto his lap and grinned, causing my breath to catch as the brilliance of that smile shattered whatever distrust was still lurking in my soul. "I think that is a wonderful way to resolve this situation."
I expected him to speak, to whisper some endearment. He didn’t, he just pulled me closer and kissed me.
Does he love me, how do I know?
How can I tell if he loves me so?
If you wanna know if he loves you so, it's in his kiss. That's where it is…
Mmm...The song was right. It defiantly was in his kiss…
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