Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind
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09.03.2012 , 08:13 PM |
Weather Light XS Freighter
Aaron hung his punching bag in the cargo hold, the old weathered leather was supple and soft after years of abuse. He started taping his fingers winding it through and around his fingers and knuckles, he flexed his hands then made two tight fists, satisfied. He pulled his shirt off revealing a heavy and well muscled chest and large broad shoulders, he started drills.
Left, right, left.
He replayed the holocall from Mitka in his mind.
Right, left, right.
He still hadn’t heard a word from his parents.
Left, left, right.
Then there was his brother. Cohen had been nothing but friendly to Oriah, but everytime he made her laugh Aaron felt a pang in his gut.
Right, right, left.
He was jealous, and it was stupid, she was still a kid, a girl, he was too old for her, but she had this way of smiling at him that made his heart do flips.
Left, knee, kick, left.
She was an early riser, and she had got into the habit of joining him for breakfast, making him coffee. Oriah made it better then he could, and he looked forward to those early mornings where she would speak softly to him. Those blue eyes would wander into his heart, and her smile lit up his world, and in those quiet mornings, he felt as though they had a connection. Then Cohen would wake up.
Right, kick, left, knee.
Then the moment would be broken, Oriah would look up at his little brother with what looked like adoration, excited to tackle their puzzle and the two of them would bound off to the bridge, leaving him alone.
Right, right, right, left.
He shouldn’t be mooning over this girl anyways, it was a stupid crush. He hit the bag harder, freestyling, breaking up his rotation, hitting it in short powerful jabs. He started grunting with the exertion, could feel the sweat on his face and back. If he hit the bag hard enough he stopped seeing Oriah’s face, he stopped hating his brother, he stopped worrying about his parents, he stopped hearing Mitka cry in his ears. His muscles started to ache and he just pushed himself harder, clearing his head. In this moment Aaron was instinct and movement, the world fell away and he was alone with his fists and the heavy leather bag. He slowly started dancing around the bag, offering long arching kicks between punches, he would dance in close with his elbows and upper cuts and knees. Arms up in a defensive stance, he would swing them in a wide arch hitting the bag with a hook, then a jab. Time stood still and the bag accepted his frustration, and anger without protest, rocking from the ceiling, the chains jingled gently. A flash of red, and a face caught his eye, he stopped where he was breathing heavily. Oriah was leaning against the doorway with a crooked and appraising grin on her face.
“I’m sorry for interrupting. Don’t let me stop you.” Oriah walked into the room and perched herself on an empty storage crate. Aaron suddenly felt awkward, the chains hooking the bag to the ceiling were too loud in the silence, and he reached out and stopped the swinging.
“You and Co, figure out the puzzle of the cubes?” He stood with the bag between him and Oriah, suddenly aware of his bare chest, and sweat.
“We’ve hit a wall, we’re taking a break. He also wanted to check over his weapons for when we meet up with Mitka. The puzzle can wait for now.” She spied Aarons open bag, and her eyes lit up. Oriah jumped down and grabbed the boxing gloved, and target mits. She strode over to Aaron, stuck one glove between her legs and opened the other waiting for Aaron’s hand. He gave her a questioning look but complied. She laced him up expertly, and he wondered when Oriah learned about boxing. She put his other glove on, then slipped the target mitts over her own long slender hands. “Come on then, let’s see how you do with a moving target.”
“I…I don’t want to hurt you.” Aaron flexed his hands inside the large leather boxing gloves, bringing them into a lazy defensive stance.
“You won’t, I grew up doing this kind of thing with my step-father, who’s about your size. He taught me how to absorb a punch, and how to throw one. He’s former Imperial black ops, he was a good teacher. I can handle myself.” With that she gave an easy swipe which Aaron ducked under.
“Yeah, well my dad taught me not to hit girls.” He landed a gentle punch on her left hand.
“Seriously Aaron? Is that the best you’ve got?” She swung at him faster, this time catching him under the jaw.
“Hey, that hurt.” He said in a faux hurt voice, it earned him a laugh and a smile. He gave her a crooked grin.
True to her word, Oriah held her own, directing his attacks and defenses with the target mitts, she kept him at a quick pace, catching him off guard more than once. They remained in relative comfortable silence, though every time she winked at him he would falter.
“That’s cheating.” He finally said, rubbing his jaw.
“What’s cheating?” She smiled at him sweetly, and Aaron got the distinct feeling she was flirting with him.
“You know…when you…wink.” Aaron could feel his ears burning. Oriah bit her lower lip, her eyes were all mischief, and she stepped towards him.
“Since when is winking against the rules?” She pulled the target mitts off, then grabbed one of his gloved hands, and slowly started unlacing them.
“Ever since my brother turns to mush whenever a pretty girl smiles at him, throws off his whole game, and you, Oriah, are a very pretty girl.” Cohen’s voice carried from the doorway. His tone was teasing, but there was an angry glint in his eye directed at his older brother. Oriah blushed. “I think I might have a solution to our little problem. Why don’t you come to the bridge and take a look?”
“Did you account for the gravitational resonance of that dwarf star?” she trotted out of the cargo bay.
Cohen nodded at her, waited until she was out of the room, before giving his brother one last challenging look, then turned to leave. Aaron was left standing in the middle of the cargo bay wondering what the force happened. He was more frustrated now then he was when he started, a cold shower would have to do then. As he untapped his hands, he couldn’t help but smile, maybe she did like him.
Force of Wills
Force of Wills: The Ties that Bind