The not so suspenseful continuation...
I hear a new mans footsteps and heart. It makes the other man slink back into the shadows further and slip away. I know the next time he will approach me. And I will break his f***ing arm at least. Our confrontation could never end with only words.
'Never seen the kid so happy.'
I don't turn to Corridan's voice. I just keep looking out. My thermal vision is on. Everything is blue. Sometimes, there are small flashes of red as a lone bird flies in the night. Most have fled the city.
Corridan walks to kneel beside me and I don't let my guard down. He looks blind into the night. Only a few street lamps still work. He remains silent. I have nothing to say. Heard enough when he spoke to Torian. Seems I've done a lot of listening in on Torian's conversations recently. Hearing them just makes everything more complicated. How knowing your making someone happy complicated?
'Not just 'cause of Jicoln. All you. Know that, right?' Corridan speaks basic. Doesn't need to. Could speak Huttese, Mando'a, Dosh, Rodese, Durese, Shyriiwook or any other known language and I would be able to understand him. I don't want these Mandalorians to forget I am one of them.
'Don't need you to tell me about my husband's happiness,' I retort in Mando'a. I let a note of anger and apprehension slip into my voice. I turn my head to him and flash a smile. 'But it's appreciated.'
'After he met you on Dromund Kaas, he was star struck,' Corridan explains after a pause. 'And something more, I see now. You left a strong impression on him and the others. Mainly good. Don't want to know what half of them said. It had nothing to do with your fighting.' He grins slightly. 'Torian wasn't too impressed by that.' He chuckles at the memory. I can imagine Torian's silent disapproval. Mando'ad seem fond of gossip.
Corridan turns serious. 'Remember when he came for the hunt on Duxn after joining up with you. Seemed troubled by something. Angry and sad. Asked him about it and he said you both went on a big hunt.'
He pauses here as if he thinks I'm going to explain what Torian was thinking and feeling. I'm not. It's my business. Haven't even told Torian everything so I'm never going to tell him anything. Took over three months for Torian to know anything.
When Corridan realises I won't talk, he continues.
'He had plenty of other stories. Never smiling more than when he was thinking or talking of you. Obvious to see how he felt. Others were jealous to hear them. Didn't think him worth you.'
After a small pause he continues quietly. 'Good to see him happy. Never was inclined that way before. Not everyone can forgive a son for who their father was.'
I nod. The last part isn't a bit of new information. Never really thought about how Torian felt on Tython. Only ever assumed he was disgusted. I'm happier than I let on at hearing of Torian loving me so early. Thought I was alone there. I like the thought that all along the way, he was mine to hold.
'At the Alderaan op, I saw how his fighting had improved. The man he has become. It's a good one. Always knew it would be. He let slip you were teaching him many things.' His smile and eyes hint that he's not just talking about shooting with a blaster rifle. I can't help but smirk in return. Men gossip more than women. 'Seems you know a lot about fighting. Showed me the tooth you gave him. Wouldn't mind seeing how much you can do myself some time.'
I leer at Corridan but don't look at him. 'What about now? No other human or droid for another three hundred meters that aren't ours and no aircrafts flying in this sector.'
He regards me for a moment. I tap my ear. He nods.
We fight bare handed. I go easy on him. We're both slow at first. But gradually the tempo increases. He's on the ground in twenty. We both change fighting styles. He's on the ground in fifteen. And again: ten. Not even trying hard and choosing how long each bout should be. But he is good. Would have been better at Torian's age. He'll have more than one bruise in the morning. Possibly a black eye. But nothing that will impair his fighting in the morning.
'Perfect form. No weaknesses. Fluid movements. Been trained well. I wonder by who.' I don't nod or acknowledge this. I just keep going through the movements. All the while, I am aware of the streets below.
'Interested to see what you can do with a gun. Guess I'll see tomorrow.' I pin him to the ground again. When I let him go, he only sits up. He's seen enough. 'Fight well. Speak Mando'a. See why Torian chose you. You are one of us.'
I nod and return to watching the streets. Think about replying that I don't need his approval or say so to be Mando; I think about saying being Mando'ad means little to me; I think about thanking him and I think about not saying anything. What I do say surprises me a little.
'Not the only woman around here that meets that criteria.' Loathe the bitterness in my voice.
Corridan chuckles a little. 'Insecure are we?' I scowl at him with a death stare and though he quietens his grin remains. 'Don't be. Never seen Torian look at any of them the way he looks at you. Others have only been casual things. Don't think he cared for them at all. Can't say the others felt that way.'
I keep my face impassive. I'm insecure?
Never thought about women for longer than a few moments a couple of times. Suppose Torian never had to worry about other men outside of Gault. I killed them all. Remember Torian's words on Belsavis: the viciously desperate look in his eyes. Guess knowing they're dead isn't always comforting. It doesn't change feelings or memories. People who say time heals or wounds are full of crap and lies. It's never true no matter how many times you tell yourself that. The anger I feel would never change even if I had a life time.
'I don't like competition.'
I smile at the memory. I don't like competition either.
Corridan smirks a little. He has a good smirk. Well practiced. 'And they don't all meet that criteria. From what I have seen of you now, I know none could beat you. None prettier, either.' His smirk twists into a flirtatious smile.
I am lying over him, my gun pressed to his temple and my lags and spare hands pinning him to the ground. I am fast. I try not think of why. I don't like to think of why I can do a lot of things.
'Pow,' I say clearly with dead eyes and a blank face.
But then I grin down at him and laugh. 'I'm the kind of woman that shoots if you try anything.' I wink at him and roll into a sitting position.
Corridan's wizened face shows surprise. I don't think his face has moved like that in a few decades. There is a question in his eyes. I tap my temporal lobe, just above my ear, and wink. He nods and returns the grin.
'Kind of woman that's full of surprises, I'm sure. Wonder if Torian knows about that.' I wink again and sit against a pile of rubble, my back to the city.
Corridan turns sober and continues. 'Weren't many lovers, though. Not everyone accepts Torian because of Jicoln. Thought for a while he ruined his sons life. But it's only made him stronger and try harder. Wish more were like him.'
I nod. Yes, I think I do like Corridan. He knows not only how to gain respect but also love. He can read people well and say what needs to be said with a frankness that isn't repulsive. Seems like a man that does have honour. Almost a good man. Almost.
'Are any of them here?' I ask curiously. It try to remain stoic but Corridan has sharp eyes.
'I don't want one less clan Ordo member,' is his stern reply. I smile at the way he's quick to protect his clan. I don't push for names.
After a lengthening silence Corridan speaks again. 'He didn't teach you, did he? You couldn't have learnt so well so quickly. Hardly an accent. Another enigma.' He looks at me with determined curiosity; the look a man gives a particularly hard but fascinating puzzle they can't yet put down.
'Had a wide and thorough education,' I reply vaguely. I don't look at him. I return to my post properly. I have piqued his curiosity and though I think it started as a concern for Torian, he's now just plainly interested. I'm not here to interest or entertain others.
'Seems you have. After our victory, during the feasting, we will have a competition. Standard celebrations. Interested to see how you fare. Torian will enter. Think I might this time, too. Want to see how good he's gotten since Alderaan personally. Torian won the last one. Now I know why. He had a good teacher.'
'Had a harsh
teacher,' I correct. 'He's the good learner. Give him all the credit. Learnt a lot faster than I did.' I can't help but sound proud of him. Guess he's my trophy too.
Corridan chuckles a little. I turn and look at him with a look that demands an explanation. I don't appreciate being laughed at. He's more than slightly amused. 'Haven't seen two people so in love in a long time,' he explains. 'Very refreshing,' but the look in his eye suggests something different and the dark brown eyes only look sad.
'Good to know you're taking care of him.' Wouldn't say that if he knew anything. Happy as Corridan's words have made me, they are void. Doesn't know enough for them to mean anything. So I cast them away from organic memory. I could never take care of Torian.
Corridan gets up and leaves. He has a slight limp. I didn't go that easy on him. But it's nothing that won't be fine in a few hours.
And then I am alone with my thoughts in a way I never wanted to be.
Two years, huh?
Wonder how much destruction I can cause in two years while I'm here. Two years is too short to love Torian. I wish I had more than half of me to give. But I don't. And I can't. I look to the stars and see the words 'what if?' written there. Too many 'what if's to count.
I have decided what I would wish for if I only had one. Revenge is within my means. And Torian is within my arms now. But 'now' can only last for so long.
I don't want to leave you, Torian. So please, fate, let me stay.
I silently beg the impassive, silent stars.
'I don't want to die anymore,' I whisper to no one. I am alone.