Bror Jace was sitting comfortably in Downtime, sipping a Lomin Ale thoughtfully and pondering the greater meanings of life. It was late, both in terms of actual Coruscant time, as well as in actual shift time. He knew full and well that every other member of Rogue Squadron was tucked comfortably in their beds, enjoying a last few hours of precious sleep before they were called back on duty.
Downtime was comfortably empty at this time in the morning-night, and as much as Bror enjoyed the company of other persons – particularly those of the female persuasion – he was also capable of enjoying the occasional drink in solitude. Ever since Nawara and Rhysati had become a sexually-involved item, he had taken to wandering around the deserted corridors of Folor Base. There were nights, even for a man of Bror’s prowess, when a good pair of legs were a bit difficult to find.
During his midnight wanderings, he had come across quite a number of illicit rendez-vous in darkened corners. If he hadn’t been so wealthy to begin with, he might have considered taking up a career in black-mailing.
He was going to miss those midnight wanderings, particularly where he was going. For some reason, he didn’t think that wandering around with Vratix would be quite as entertaining as stumbling upon a pretty lieutenant with her legs wrapped around a superior officer’s waist (names kept secret in the interest of preserving the participants' reputations). And of course, there was the simple fact that it would be difficult to find his own company on those nights when he didn’t feel up to wandering. Even if he ever did find himself somehow attached to a Vratix – wholly unlikely as such an event was – he was incapable of working out the geometry that would make such a match physically possible.
Not that he actually spent a lot of time thinking about it.
He ran a long finger up the side of his bottle of Lomin Ale, enjoying the cool, damp feeling of condensation. The transparisteel was smooth to the touch, and as he picked it up to take another drink, he couldn’t help thinking that one of the things he would miss even more than women, was the comforting feeling of a cold bottle in his hand at the end of a hard day.
He was still pondering the implications of this thought when he heard the voice behind him. His mood immediatly crashed and burned.
“Well, well, well,” said the lilting, flirtatious tone. “One last drink before the road?”
Bror swiveled on his barstool and turned to face the woman who had just snuck up silently behind him. The dim light caught her shiny, black hair, making it appear almost blue, but the rest of her remained in shadow. Still, the tall, slender figure and long, graceful neck gave him enough of a hint to the woman’s identity. And that irritating tone of voice was positively unmistakeable.
“Erisi,” he said in his coldest manner, “shouldn’t you be getting you beauty sleep before you're required to look perfectly luminous for the Press tomorrow? Planned what you're going to talk about yet? How you didn't manage to seduce Corran Horn, or will it be your rather mediocre kill ratio instead?”
Erisi sat down gracefully and crossed her long, slender legs. Bror had to wonder if she had chosen that particular seat specifically because of the way the soft light complimented her high cheekbones and finely shaped jaw-line. “You know, Bror,” she said, her voice dripping with sticky, false sweetness. “If I didn’t know you any better, I’d think that you might be…jealous.” She held the last word in her mouth like a piece of sugar, drawing out the last syllable in an overly seductive manner.
Bror was jealous. But then, he would have been jealous if anyone beside himself had an inter-planetary news interview. He hoped that that pretentious, goody-goody twat Corran Horn never pulled off that kind of publicity while he was exiled to the sweaty jungles of his home planet. It was bad enough when Erisi one-upped him; he figured that he would probably have to jump off the tallest building on Coruscant if Corran Horn ever managed to.
He took another swig of his lomin ale. “See, Erisi,” he said with perfect calm, “that’s where you’re wrong. The simple fact is that the Press only chose you for the interview because they figure that you’re the most likely female member of this squadron to screw for a chance to see your lovely face on the inter-planetary news tomorrow.”
Erisi’s eyes narrowed. Her blue irises looked black.
Bror grinned at his own wit. “Oh no, did I offend your virgin sensibilities?” He pretended to look thoughtful for a moment. “Or is it really because I hit so close to the truth. Apparently I have better aim than you in that respect, as well.”
But Erisi recovered quickly. “Of course you do, Bror,” she said, her tone once again dripping with irony. She leaned forward and placed one finger seductively on Bror’s ale bottle. “But, the question you have to ask yourself is whether or not that will always be the case.” Bror noticed for the first time that the zipper of her flight suit was pulled down low and the curve of one breast peaked out from underneath the material.
He arched one blond eyebrow. “Really, Erisi, you do give yourself far too much credit. I’ve always been a better shot than you. A better pilot, a better engineer, a better athlete, a better business man…” He let himself trail off.
The little smile that split her finely shaped mouth was chilling. “And yet I always win. I wonder why that is?” She picked up the bottle and put it near her lips. “May I?” she asked him innocently, as if they were friends in a schoolyard and not life-long enemies.
Bror nodded and watched as she placed her mouth delicately around the rim of the bottle. He wasn’t sure if this sensual gesture was designed to cause minimal damage to her perfectly made-up lips, or if it was meant to give the allusion of oral sex. As the sheer sexuality of the gesture caught him slightly off balance, Bror decided that with Erisi’s rehearsed economy of movement, it was designed to do both.
While the thought of her putting those perfectly made-up lips around a different type of shaft seemed fairly appealing to his more base instincts, Bror knew that he would never submit to Erisi Dlarit. Not unless there was something in it for him, as well. He brushed the effect off and leaned back casually in his bar stool. “Don’t test me, Erisi,” he said in his most off-handed way. “There are so many things I could bring up that would leave you speechless. Let’s try to keep this conversation as congenial as possible.”
Placing the bottle on the table, Erisi smiled dryly. “Alright, then. If we’re going to keep up a charade of amiability, you could at least do the gentlemanly thing and bring me a drink.” She placed a slender, well-manicured hand on the scarred wood of the bar counter. The white of her skin contrasted sharply with the dark varnish of the bar.
He smiled politely, even while he suppressed a strong urge to slam the nearly empty bottle down on those lovingly cared for fingers. “What would you like, your majesty?”
“Whyren’s.” She tapped a fingernail lightly against the bar. “On the rocks.”
Bror stood up and walked towards the mirrored counter where all the liquor was kept on Folor. Because pilots and tech crew were on and off duty at all hours of the day, it wasn’t logical to keep a living bartender at Downtime around the clock. Nor was the Rebellion wealthy enough to divert droid resources to a backwater base near the Rim. At Folor, all the non-refrigerated liquor was stored on a counter. Iced liquors and ales were placed neatly in a long cooling case underneath.
Unfortunately, the cabinet was behind him and Bror was forced to turn his back on the woman, something that made him distinctly uncomfortable. He wouldn’t put it past Erisi to shoot him in the back and think she could get away with it. Sometimes in a firefight, particularly if his shields were absorbing more shots than usual, he would wonder if some of the pressure on his rear shields came from the lasers on her X-wing. But, since he hadn’t died yet, he didn’t have any proof.
As it was, he slid off of his barstool with every bit of arrogant grace his upbringing had given him and turned towards the liquor cabinet. He poured Whyren’s for her and himself and added ice. It must have taken him thirty seconds total to make the trip and mix the drinks – not nearly enough time for her to move with anything except the utmost speed – but there she was when he turned around, comfortably ensconced in one of the old couches that made up part of Downtime’s eclectic mix of furniture, not a hair out of place.
He thought that he masked his surprise rather well, but he knew that his instincts prevented him from concealing his initial reaction when he turned around and didn’t see her where she was supposed to be. His immediate impulse was to fear for his own safety: Erisi was the type of person you wanted to map as closely as possible. Still, he didn’t spill the whiskies in his hand.
“I hope you don’t mind,” she said in a purr, “but I thought that we’d be more comfortable here than at the bar.”
“Of course not,” he said with false warmth as he handed her one of the drinks. He desperately wanted to take his drink and run, but he knew that was hardly an option. Instead, he swallowed his pride and sat down gracefully beside her on the small couch.
She slipped off her shoes and turned towards him, tucking her legs up underneath her. Bror couldn’t help but notice that she cupped her glass directly underneath her partially exposed breasts. “When are you flying out tomorrow?” she asked nonchalantly.
He laughed. If there was one thing that Erisi Dlarit could always be counted on to be, it was impatient; she had just tipped her hand. For the first time since she had walked into the room, Bror felt like he had the advantage. “700 hours.”
She sighed deeply and her breasts strained dangerously against the material of her flight suit. Bror was surprised when the left one didn’t pop completely out of it’s casing. “What’s the first thing you plan to do when you get back to Thyferra? Go swimming? Sunbathe? Carouse the nightlife?”
Bror shifted his weight and turned towards her. In the process, his left knee inadvertently bumped her right thigh. Playing along, he didn’t bother to move it. “There’s a girl from school I was thinking I might look up,” he replied. A complete lie of course, and he knew that she knew it, but if he was going to retain the upper hand, he had to keep her thinking that she still held it.
She threw back her head carelessly and let out an almost orgasmic groan of excitement. The left breast came close to popping out again. “Oh! How I wish I were going back with you! The dullness and the darkness of this place is enough to drive me positively mad.”
Bror watched her curiously and wondered if she’d slap him or not if he grabbed at her breasts. Clearly she was making a concerted effort to get him to notice them, and the mischievous part of him wanted to push her seduction techniques as far as he could. How far could he push it until her resolve cracked and she admitted failure? He had made her angry before – it wasn’t really all that difficult – but never when she was making a concerted effort to get something from him. There had to be a place somewhere in her cold, twisted, evil little heart where natural human shame resided. Could he, if he tried hard enough, get it to come to the surface?
But he wasn’t even sure it existed. So he tried a different tactic.
Leaning forward, he let his breath play across the sensitive skin of her jaw. “And what would you do with your leave?”
She looked at him from under her eyelashes and brought her drink daintily to her lips. “Do you really want to know?” Her voice was husky and dark, and Bror felt it jolt straight to his groin without his approval. He could only hope that he could get her breath to quicken in the same way. It wasn’t as if he wasn’t just as practiced at the art of seduction.
He shifted towards her again so that the space between them was nearly non-existent. The rough material of his trousers rubbing against the thinner material of her flightsuit where their legs touched caused a pleasant friction, and he didn’t think that the quick little intake of breath that it resulted in was just good acting.
“Please,” he said, and left it at that, figuring that she could take the word to have any number of meanings.
She licked her lips and made the gap between them even smaller by leaning forward. “I like to go out on my roof when no one else is around and sunbathe.” While she didn’t explicitly add “naked” to the end of the sentence, it hung unspoken in the air in the little space that remained between them.
“Oh really?” he asked, or nearly growled.
“Really,” she whispered and leaned in even closer, so that her lips were barely a centimeter away from his. The little material actually covering her chest brushed lightly against the thin, expensive cloth of his shirt.
Feeling like the hero in a cheap Face Loran espionage holo, he closed his eyes and leaned in for the kill.
To be Continued...
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