Commander Wedge Antilles looked up as someone rapped sharply at his office door.
He deliberately ignored his visitor, letting her stand at attention while he finished reviewing progress reports on his datapad. At last he looked up and returned the junior officer’s salute. "Do you need something, Sandskimmer?"
She was trying very hard to be respectful, but the scowl on her face betrayed her true feelings. "We had a bet." Wedge looked at her. "Sir," she added as an afterthought.
Wedge grinned. "Ah, yes. And what was it you agreed to do?"
"Summarize incoming reports. Sir."
"That’s right." Wedge didn’t bother to conceal his glee. He hated datawork. "I’ve already got seven reports on Commenor’s personnel; I’m expecting several more from Coruscant this afternoon." He handed a datapad to the irritated young woman and waved her into a chair on the other side of his desk. "Have fun."
She accepted the pad with a barely audible "Yes, sir," and sat down opposite her commanding officer, determined to get this over with as painlessly as possible.
Falynn Sandskimmer would never have made that stupid bet if she’d known just how good a pilot Commander Antilles was. Sure, she’d heard the stories, knew his history-- Hero of Endor, of Coruscant, of Thyferra, blah blah blah. But he was almost thirty year old, for Hutt’s sake! She figured he was just coasting on his reputation-- an old man just couldn’t be that good.
So she egged him on until he challenged her to a contest. They agreed to race a pair of ore haulers down a trench, with Wraith Squadron’s executive officer transmitting their progress back to base. Falynn got first pick of the haulers and suited up against vacuum; then, just to be a little more insulting, she’d proposed a wager. If she won, she’d get a two-day pass to Commenor. If the Commander won, she’d do two days worth of datawork for him.
The race was doomed from the start. The Commander used every trick in the book to get past her and finally just dropped his hauler on top of hers to hold her back. Falynn came out of the trench sputtering mad, insisting that he’d cheated.
The Commander agreed completely-- he certainly did cheat, it was the only way to stay alive. The enemy, he reasoned, wouldn’t hesitate to use any means necessary to win. New Republic pilots likewise had to use extreme measures. Sullenly, Falynn admitted that he might be correct.
Their bargain wouldn’t be so bad if he weren’t so blasted smug about it. But he’d had that insufferable Corellian grin on his face from the moment Falynn walked in. He’d practically busted a gut when he told her how many reports she’d have to prepare.
No wonder, she groused as she looked over the first set of numbers. I bet he planned this so I’d get Squeaky’s supply report. Squeaky was a manumitted protocol ‘droid, and quite the most annoying, rude piece of machinery that Falynn had ever met. While most droids tried too hard to be ingratiating, Squeaky didn’t give a damn, and was more abusive than the average bounty hunter. His report was peppered with commentary on everything from how much body cleanser the Wraiths used to how unappreciated he was.
"Gods, I hate that ‘droid," Falynn mumbled.
She looked up and saw the Commander watching her with raised eyebrows. To her annoyance, she felt herself flush and muttered, "Sorry, sir," before quickly going back to Squeaky’s data.
Wedge chuckled to himself. That bet couldn’t have come at a better time, he mused. I hate doing Squeaky’s reports. Apparently Falynn did, too.
She was taking it more graciously than he’d expected. No swearing, no slamming things, no death-laser glares. He was almost disappointed.
Falynn glanced up and Wedge quickly looked back to his datapad. He felt her eyes on him for just a moment and expected a snide comment, but she went back to work without a word.
She tapped a button on her datapad and the next report sprung up, this time from General Crespin. Falynn grimaced as she read through his assessment of Wraith Squadron’s progress. In particular, the General noticed a lack of respect toward superior officers by several squadron members, most notably Flight Officer Falynn Sandskimmer. The dark-haired woman seethed as she read his opinion of her attitude and abilities.
A twinge in her neck reminded Falynn to move a little and stretch as much as she could. I’d give anything to get out of this. I don’t think I can read through another of Crespin’s rants. But she’d never worm out of a bet.
The trick, then, was to make the Commander want her to leave.
Belligerence was the first, easiest way, and also the quickest route to another reprimand. Anyway, Falynn was certain that Commander Antilles wouldn’t buckle under antagonism. He’d just get angry and probably assign her to another two days of gruntwork as punishment.
She could be sweet and pleasant and hope he’d take pity on her. And she’d drive herself nuts and probably get sent to sickbay to find out why she was being so nice.
C’mon, Sandskimmer. Think. The Commander is right; desperate times call for desperate measures and all that.
An idea blossomed as Falynn recalled how quickly he looked away when she caught him staring at her. He was so proper, so by-the-book... the thought of a junior officer coming on to him would probably fry his circuits and send him running faster than a ‘droid from a jawa. She’d have to be somewhat discreet, though. No jumping onto his lap and begging for it.
When the Commander turned his back to rummage in a cabinet, Falynn pulled the zipper of her day uniform down a couple of inches. She leaned forward to test the exposure, then yanked it down to the spot just under her breasts. Perfect. Nothing was popping out, not quite, but he’d get a nice view anyway.
Wedge found the data card he needed and turned back around. His eyes flicked to the woman sitting across from him, then to his datapad. A moment later, he looked back to make sure that he’d seen what he thought he’d seen.
Somebody’s been sunbathing nude. was his first thought, one that he immediately regretted. The image that popped into his mind brought a physical reaction that he did not care to have in public. He tore his eyes away from the sight of her smooth skin, her tan perfect from hairline to breast, where Wedge could just make out the brown edge of her aureole.
Falynn suppressed a triumphant grin as she watched her Commander out of the corner of her eye. His reaction was priceless; she wished she had a holo of his perfectly executed double-take. She wondered if he’d pretend to ignore her or order her to zip up.
What do I do? What do I say? ‘Sandskimmer, you’re showing.’ No. ‘Is it warm in here? Should I adjust the climate control?’ Nah. ‘Falynn, will you bend over just a bit?’ Ah, Sith. I can’t say that. Hmm... ‘What the hell are you doing?’ Yeah. That’s good. Say it straight.
"Sandskimmer... ah..." Wedge gulped as Falynn looked up curiously.
"Yes, sir?" she asked, leaning forward.
"Um... nothing. Never mind. Nothing." Blushing, Wedge concentrated on his datapad. She probably has no idea that she’s falling out of her uniform. I’d just embarrass her. Don’t want to do that, nope. I’ll just ignore it.
The Commander studiously refused to look up again, not when she fidgeted, not when she swore under her breath, not even when she ‘accidentally’ dropped a datacard on the floor and bent over to retrieve it.
He’d almost managed to forget about her when a beeping noise jolted him out of his data-induced stupor. Behind him, a transmitter flashed red, indicating that the Coruscant reports were in. Without looking up, he asked, "Will you upload those, Flight Officer?"
"Oh, yes Commander." His head jerked up at her tone, but Wedge saw nothing but innocence on her face. Falynn rose gracefully and walked around the desk, her leg brushing his arm as she crossed to the transmitter.
The woman smirked as she waited for the reports to load onto her datapad. A lesser man would have jumped her by now. Either Commander Antilles was a eunuch, or he had more self-control than any other human male she’d ever met. A surreptitious glance over her shoulder disproved the former theory. His hands gripped the datapad so tightly that his knuckles were white, and Falynn could see the bulging source of his discomfort. And what a source it was. Pity he was too decent to do anything about it.
Wedge sighed and shifted in his chair, trying to ease the pressure in his groin. He jumped when a hand lightly touched his shoulder and squeezed gently.
"Commander, are you all right?" Was it his imagination, or was her voice huskier than usual? "You seem... tense."
"I’m fine." His voice came out an octave higher than he’d meant it to and his cheeks flamed. Falynn rubbed against him and sat down on the edge of his desk.
"You’re sure? Your face is flushed." She reached out and Wedge caught her hand before she could touch him.
"Sandskimmer, maybe... er... your, um..." he desperately made a zipping motion, but couldn’t force the words out. "Um, right. You’re done." He stood and gestured toward the door.
"No sense holding you to this bet, right?" He forced his voice back into its natural register. "Learned your lesson and all that? Good. Thanks."
"Sir, a deal is a deal," Falynn said as he all but pushed her toward the door.
"No, no, no. No harm done. On your way." He opened the door. "Scoot."
Wedge shut the door behind her, leaned his forehead against it, and thumbed on his comlink.
"Wes? Can you get in here right away, and bring the... you know...?"
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