"No matter what you say, you’re not going to convince me!"
I eyed the Rogue, thoroughly enjoying the view. Soft black hair that had a tendency to tumble down across his forehead, making me want to brush it out of his eyes so I could feel its silken texture against my skin. Wide blue eyes that were more beautiful than any jewel I had stolen. Full lips that demanded kissing…
I shook my head, clearing away the illicit thoughts that had been forming. Wes was my dearest friend and he needed help, not that he’d admit it. "All right, Janson. I won’t say another word on the matter."
Wes let out a thankful sigh, then suspicion flashed in those gorgeous eyes. Was the flyboy suspicious of lil old me? He knew me better than I thought.
I circled slowly, causing the Rogue to shift from one foot to the other like a nervous schoolboy. I stopped in front of him, standing on tiptoe to look him in the eye. "Not going to say a word because actions speak louder than words."
I almost laughed at the panic in his eyes. You would’ve thought I was about to sentence him to life in the spice mines, not a few hours in my company.
Giving him my most innocent smile, I took his right hand, squeezing his fingers gently to reassure him. "I promise not to bite." I couldn’t help grinning. "Unless you want me to…"
He took the bait, just like I expected. Stepping forward, his body brushed against mine, causing tiny sparks of electricity to surge down my spine.
Oh Gods, he was gorgeous.
And I had him just where I wanted him.
"Perfect," I purred, taking his hand and placing it on my hip. Before he could protest, I caught hold of his other hand. Maneuvering him until we were positioned for the first step of a waltz. "The only way I’m going to be able to convince you is to show you."
"But I don ‘t know how to dance…" I finished his protest by stepping on his foot.
"You can’t learn if no one teaches you." Did I note a moment of hesitation? A relaxation of that stubborn pride? Time for the argument that would allow me to win the war. "And if you don’t know how to dance, how are you going to score with that pilot from Gold Squadron you’ve been panting over?"
Wes rolled his eyes. "Can’t you ever leave well enough alone?"
"Nope," I answered, ignoring the tiny pangs of jealousy that was like needles in my soul. This was Wes Janson. My best friend. We were JUST friends. Why should I be jealous if he beds some other babe, Instead of me.
Because we had shared one incredible, turn your whole world upside-down, heartfelt kiss. A kiss accompanied by a challenge in the form of the lyrics of a song. I still worried over those words, wondering if he was right. Was pride keeping me from fighting for something that felt so good?
Jealousy seemed to be my constant companion since that kiss. Not jealousy, exactly, more like envy. How could I not envy the woman Wes had set his sights on?
The Rogue squeezed my hand, forcing me to stop composing the list of 101 Reasons Not to Fuck Wes Janson. "Why do you know how to dance?"
Bless his suspicious little heart. His paranoia was much needed since I couldn’t think of one reason not to fuck Wes senseless. "Because it’s part of my job." More suspicion, which turned his eyes a stormy shade of azure. "You know, go to tedious parties, laugh at jokes older than the ruins at Yavin, dance with obnoxious pretty boys…"
Wes gave me a wounded look. "You don’t think I’m pretty?"
Pretty, no. "Kidnap him, tie him to the bed, and have wild incredible sex till we both die happily of exhaustion" gorgeous, yes.
"Of course," I murmured. I couldn’t help myself. The temptation was too great. My hand slid down his chest, allowing me to feel the muscles under his faded tunic. I felt his sharp intake of breath. Felt the movement of his chest tingle through my fingertips.
Gods! What the hell was I doing? I tired to take a step away, but the hand on my hip kept me still. Fearfully, I looked into his eyes. What if I had gone too far? What if my little lapse in control ended our friendship?
Instead of anger, I saw wistful longing.
His eyes snapped shut, making me wonder if I had accurately read him. After all, he wanted Goldie from Mediocre Squadron not a smart mouthed thief like me. Or me… Sure, Selina. And banthas fly…
"So…" He drew the word out as if it pained him. "What’s involved in this dancing thing?"
Rather lame change of subject, but I pounced on it. Soon I was explaining the basics of the dance and slowly showing him the steps of the waltz.
We worked all afternoon, dancing through the faint rays of sunlight that filtered through the windows of my apartment. He had a far better sense of rhythm than I expected.
Not that it mattered. I was enthralled with the way the setting sun painted his skin gold. How the blue of the sky seemed far paler than the color of his mischievous eyes. By the way he laughed the first time we waltzed around the dining room (I never entertained so why clutter up the space with furniture?) without a single misstep.
Eventually, unfortunately, he pulled away from me. I bit my lip as he let of my hand, the broken contact leaving me bereft. Gently he brushed a curl behind my ear. "Thank you, Selina."
I smiled, unable to answer. Aching to…to do what, I wasn’t sure. Desire was an undercurrent to the maelstrom of feelings I was experiencing, but not the main force. Loneliness. Jealousy. Longing. All mixing together to form an ache I could barely contain.
Finally I was able to speak. "You have to go?" He was kind enough to ignore the break in my voice.
"I need to get ready for the party." I nodded, not trusting myself to speak.
Gently, he kissed my forehead, forcing me to remember a kissed shared at another party. Smiling weakly, I prayed he would do something more, give me some sign. But I knew that he wouldn’t. That night he had made it clear that the next move would be mine.
And being the stubborn, cowardly fool that I am, I pretended I didn’t love him.
I offered him almost sisterly advice, ignoring the hurt in his eyes. I wished him luck with his latest interest, thought he thought of him being with another woman almost drove me to tears. Somehow I managed to act as if I wasn’t bleeding inside.
He paused in the doorway and I barely resisted the urge to ask him to take me to the party. Gods, how I wanted to be with him, but I couldn’t say the words.
Instead, he spoke, but not the invitation I prayed for. "G’night Selina. Thank you."
"You’re welcome. I’m glad I could help." Help you get another woman. By the Force, I’m such a fool.
He began to speak, then quickly turned away. Not quickly enough though. The longing in his summer-colored eyes reflecting the longing in my heart.
But I said nothing as he walked to the ‘lifts.
Longing was something I was used to. An emotion I had
lived with for a very long time. There was something
almost comforting about it. But it was a cold
comfort, especially when compared with the warmth of
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