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08.08.2012 , 05:29 PM |
Guilty Pleasures #3 (I don't think I have any more to write on this one this week, but who knows, they keep popping into my head
BH - chapter 3 spoilers
“Weird spot for a mark to hide,” Skari muttered, surveying the cutesy boutique with a good bit of disdain. The salesgirl wasn’t doing a good job hiding her apprehension as she straightened a rack of something sparkly and pink. Skari glared at her until the girl ducked out of sight.
“What do you think?” Mako asked, jogging into the shop behind her, slightly out of breath.
“Only one here is Miss Shaky,” she said, jerking her head toward the counter where the salesgirl was doing a lot of not-looking.
“No, I meant the clothes,” Mako said, reaching over to pull out something flowery and orange.
Skari looked at her, sure that she’d lost her mind. “The clothes? What are you talking about?”
“Uh, well, I thought it might be a good idea to do some shopping!” The relentless good cheer in her voice set off warning bells.
“Ignoring the fact that you told me there was a mark with a good chunk of credits on their head hiding here, for the love of small furry things, why would I need these kinds of clothes? I have a dozen sets of armor that work just fine for what I need.”
“What did you do, Mako?”
“I maybe, might of, kinda putyourprofileonLookingforLoveandyouhaveadatetonig ht.” Mako had managed to put a good bit of distance between them, but it really wasn’t enough.
“YOU DID WHAT?!? I’m going to KILL you!” Skari started across the boutique with murder in her eye.
“Wait! Wait! It’s not that bad; he’s really hot, I checked him out!”
Skari stopped, groaned and covered her face.
“You need to get out, live a little!”
Skari threw up her hands. “I do get out! I get out all the time!”
“Only to track people down!”
“You need to have fun, meet some guys, relax a little.”
“A date is NOT relaxing.”
“Come on, please? Just once.”
Skari glared at her and then slumped, “Fine, once. But that’s it!” For someone who’d faced down the who’s who of powerful and deadly, her stomach was doing a wonderful job of tying itself in knots.
Mako creeped back closer, still watching her warily.
“So,” Skari waved her hand helplessly at the boutique, “how does this all work?”
“The store? Well usually we give them credits and they give us pretty clothes.”
“Dating,” Skari said with an evil look, “how does this work?”
“Uh,” Mako’s eyes widened, “you’ve never been on a date? But what about that guy with the cybernetic implants you told me about?”
“We never dated, just hooked up, and that was a long time ago. So, no, I’ve never been on a date.” Skari crossed her arms and glared at the clothes. She could almost see Mako’s mind whirring.
“Well,” Mako said slowly, “you’ll get dolled up, go to Club Vertica, and meet Nerron…”
“That’s his name?”
“It is not,” Mako frowned at her, “anyway, you’ll meet Nerron, you’ll eat, drink, talk about your lives…”
“Then talk about the weather! I don’t care!”
Skari sighed, “I suppose this means I need to wear a….dress.” She said it as though it were a very nasty word.
“Yes, you do.”
“I’m not doing pink.”
Mako had won on the dress. It was short, the same shade of red as her eyes, and tight enough that Skari couldn’t fit a blaster under the skirt. Skari had refused to wear heels however, so they’d gone with thigh high black leather boots where a blaster could hide. Priorities were priorities. Her date was...not late...but she had been sitting Club Vertica for almost a quarter of an hour already, watching the dancers out on the floor. The music had her tapping her fingers on the table in time with the beat as her nervousness built.
"Askari Ma'grav?" The voice was smooth. Skari looked up at the man who had stopped at her table. Mako was right, the man was hot: slightly shaggy dark hair, dark blue eyes, tall, lean build, handsome but not pretty, and an appreciative gleam in his eye. Her stomach knotted tighter.
"Nerron Bloker." Skari acknowledged.
Nerron seated himself across from her.
"I must say, your holo didn't do you justice," he said, giving her a thorough once-over.
"Uh, thanks," she said, her conversational skills dropping below their normally less than stellar levels.
"Do you come here often?" His smile was as warm and friendly as his voice.
"No, just once before," she said, "but that was..." She shook her head. Act normal. Normal people do not hunt down bounties in high class clubs. They go to high class clubs to eat, drink, and dance. Nerron's expression was curious, appreciative, but not suspicious. It had been a long time since anyone had looked at her like that.
"Do you dance?" she blurted out and then sputtered, "I mean, at clubs like this?" She clamped her mouth shut before more asinine questions came out of it.
His smiled widened, "I do actually. Do you like dancing?"
"Yeah...I mean, I don't really dance, I mean in places like this..." Oh please just let the floor open up and swallow her whole. There had to be a good way to get out of here without causing a ruckus. Too bad ruckus-causing was her modus operandi.
"So where do you dance?" He looked like he was enjoying himself actually.
Skari risked a small grin. "The refresher mostly."
He laughed and then sat foward. "As much as I'm enjoying your company, I do have to reveal something."
"What's that?" Skari asked, sitting back from the table, a sinking feeling in her stomach.
"I'm actually not Nerron Bloker. Well, I am, but he's not real."
"Figures," she muttered, sliding her blaster out of her boot under the table. Why did she even try to go to social events? "And you are?"
"I'm a SIS agent. Jonas Balkar. I've been tracking your career for quite some time. Very impressive."
"F*cking SIS," Skari growled, "Any reason I shouldn't kill you?"
"I'm actually here to deliver a warning from Janarus. I was trying to figure out how to contact you without alerting either side when I spotted your profile. Didn't figure you for a Looking for Love girl." He grinned.
"I'm not," she said, glaring at him as she slid her blaster back into her boot, "my slicer was having some fun."
He nodded once, that grin still on his face. "And that, of course, would explain why you're here tonight looking amazing."
Skari felt her cheeks heat even as she continued to stare him down. "What do you need to tell me, messenger boy?"
His grin widened, "Haven't been a boy in quite some time, but let's get to business...you okay?"
Skari hardened her jaw, fighting off the unwelcome disappointment that was stinging her nose. "F*cking fabulous. Spill it."
He considered her for a moment more before leaning forward, "Janarus wanted you to know that the job coming up for the spice trader on Ord Mantell is a trap."
"Is that so?"
"Saresh put together a black ops group to go after 'assets to the Empire' and you're on their list."
"Well, that's just peachy. Having the Republic gunning for me didn't go so well for them last time, you know."
"I've heard that," he said with a grin, "Janarus is planning to meet with Saresh to let her know that you're on our side, but that won't be for a couple weeks."
"I'm on no one's side but my own."
"Fair enough," he said with a wave of his hand, "but watch yourself for awhile."
"I always do," she muttered.
"What was that?"
"Nothing," Skari said, picking up the half full glass of wine and knocking it back like cheap whiskey. She stood up. "Well, as much fun as this has been, I gotta go." She looked out at the dance floor with its swirling, colorful couples under the gleaming lights and fought back a lump in her throat.
"That is one hell of a dress."
She glared at him over her shoulder. He was relaxed, that appreciative gleam still in his eyes. "Shove it, Balkar."
He stood. "Before you go, I don't suppose you'd be interested in one dance? No woman in a dress like that should make it home without a dance."
Skari looked back out at the couples on the floor for a long moment. "One," she said without turning around.
She jumped when he slid his hand across her lower back and led her out to the dance floor. Panic hit her when he pulled her into his arms. "I really don't know how to dance," she babbled, "maybe it would be better..."
"Hush," he said, his eyes kind, "let me take care of this."
Skari swallowed and then nodded. She concentrated hard at first, trying not to make a fool of herself, but between the music and Jonas's guidance she managed to relax a little...a little. It was nice to be able to let someone else lead for once. Actually...she looked up at Jonas's face...it was more than nice. After this, she would go back to her grimy ship, her blasters and armor, but for right now, this was very very nice.
If you haven't leveled a trooper, I'd like to introduce you to Jonas Balkar. Fangirl sigh. Too bad my girl is completely committed to Aric.
aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?
My Name is Solomon Crae
The Man in the Box