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The Life that's Left

EverSteam's Avatar

04.06.2013 , 09:28 PM | #91
To recap...

'This isn't just a... social call. I know something you might be interested in.' Ah, the real point of his call. How could I have been swept away by him and forgotten where I really stand? Where I need to stand.

'Thrill me,' I reply with a challenging smirk.

'Maybe if I live through the next few weeks, I will.' He smiles in that sad way and shakes his head. His fringe falls back into place; his black eye hidden once more. I dig my teeth into my tongue to stop any reply or change of expression. He's still taking me apart with every word.


It's all I hear. The rest is static, white noise that's deafening yet everything is silent all at once. I see his lips move more and his business air crumble into concern as I begin to shake. I take steps back but soon run into the couch. I sit down on it, out of the holo range.

I watch but don't register Damin pressing controls, trying to see if there was a cut in the line. Either he gives up and hangs up or we really do cut out because the light in the room leaves with his holo image.

So soon... why?


Less than an hour later...

'Great Hunt starts in two months. When can we expect you?'
'Be there in three weeks. Got a few things to wrap up here.'
Brandon frowns a little. 'Can't be sooner? Cutting it a little close.'
'I like it close.'

'We're not like Eidolon, right? We're different?'

'Huntmaster declared her Grand Champion.'

'Try to keep up, Torian! You might learn something from the Grand Champion.'

'Kellian Jarro. You took down the 'Mandolorian Killer'?'

'It's nice to see a professional in action.'

'Twenty two Talz, four Wild cats and five Wampas. I would say that's a tie, Champion.'

'What would you like to be called, Champion?'
'Grand Champion, Corridan Ordo.'

'Why did you enter the Great Hunt?'

'Next hunt that's called, I'm going to enter.' So much to prove.

'Don't think there's better than Mandalore's daughter and Grand Champion of the Great Hunt in one.'

'Will need new recruits. Another Great Hunt might be earlier than usual. I know if you entered you would win. Planning too still?'
'Yes. Hope this war doesn't get in the way.'

'Stay safe and careful, Champion.'

'What kind of guy does a Grand Champion of the Great Hunt go for?'
'They have to be able to kill. And like to kill. That would be necessary. And strong. Loyal. Genuine. Honest. Have a great body. Someone like you.'

'I'll be with you then, Champion.'

'Have fun out there, my dear?'

I look to my right. The voice didn't fit. It was new and clear and loud. When the present returns, it is a controllable wave. Gault stands in the doorway of the holo room. I've forgotten that I was angry with him for slicing my security. I forget that I am angry with myself for leaving it unguarded.

'I did actually. Nice of you to ask.'

I come out of my daze enough to know to pretend to be here: smirk, breathe, meet his eyes. How can you not see that I'm falling apart before your eyes, Gault? Are you that blind and shallow? I move myself up and cross my legs. I pat the seat next to me but Gault doesn't take it. He swaggers closer and leans against the holo terminal, folding his arms and look at me with a stern and curious evaluation in his eyes.

'Hey, something came for you while you were gone.' Gault pulls a small, rectangular metal crate from his pocket. It isn't as lengthy as his skinny, long fingers and it isn't as wide as his palm. Gault tosses me the crate and I catch it in my right hand on reflex. I can feel the damage to the muscle as they try to pull come up short. It doesn't change anything as long as my metal is intact.

'What happened to your arm? And the rest of you as well now that I look at you.'

'You know how it is,' I reply with a sly smile and a wink. I turn the crate over in my hand and wonder what it is. 'They just don't make clothes like they used to.'

'And for that I am very grateful,' Gault assures me with a vigorous nod of his head and a long leer at my too exposed chest. I hadn't noticed. I should have checked what I looked like before calling Damin. Do you really care?

'Keep your eyes up and away, Gault, or you'll lose them.' The threat comes without thought. My mind is on the strange crate Gault has given me. It's marked in the same way all postal boxes are marked. The only thing that makes it strange is that Gault is giving it to me.

'No promises, my dear.'

'I never expect any.' He chuckles but I only frown down at the crate further. 'This has your name on it.'

Gault shrugs and crosses his arms. 'Ah, yeah, only because I picked it up.'

'And bought it I'm assuming since I haven't bought anything in months.' I raise an eye brow and begin to examine Gault as carefully as I examined the box.

'Yeah, well, just open it already.'

I open it and look inside with contained curiosity. I'm surprised to see the comet set vile I that I had been thinking of buying for months. The process of making it hardens the glass but 80% making it stronger than steel but it also increase the price by 987%. Atonement isn't cheap and indulgence is expensive. Still, it would be better than the fragile glass cylinders I carry my serum in on long trips. Three vials broke while I was in the jungle. How many I have left is rapidly decreasing and my need is speedily increasing.

I look up at Gault and raise an eye brow as I tip it into my hand. I hold it up, my elbow on my knee as I lean forward and cross my other arm across my chest.

'Alright, I bought it for you. I saw you looking at it on the Galactic Trade Network and thought... you spend far too much money on farmers and paupers.'

I scowl at him and he only grins as he mooches closer, sitting on the still vacant space next to me. I make a 'hmph' sound and look back down at the item that is feeling heavier and heavier in my hand.

'What's the angle, Gault?'

'What angle? I never have an angle with you.'

I roll my eye and smirk at him, easing away and facing him. 'And I never plan to kill you in your sleep.'

'Well, that's a relief because I had been left thinking sometimes that you were.'

I shake my head and wonder not for the last time what's under all that indifferent, perverted slime.

'Gault, we've been together for over two years and in that entire time you haven't even bought me a drink.'
he shrugs and raise his empty hands. 'What's the hurry?'

'Usual.' I hold up my bitten forearm. 'Constant life or death situations.'

Gault moves his arm as if to move it around my shoulders but looks at the blue, red, brown and green on me closer and decides against it. I notice he is wearing yet another new shirt.

'Well, I've only gone through fifty of my two hundred years. I'm planning on living for the next one hundred and fifty of them. What's two years mean in that time?'

I bite back any retort that two years is actually 6% of my life and the less than a year left will make it 9.67742% of my life. I only sigh and recline my head on the back of sofa. I can imagine the hell it is going to be to get the dirt, slime and blood out of the dark blue suede.

'What have you been doing while I was gone?' I ask instead.

'Only the usual things that running a crime empire involves. Though I did receive an interesting call,' Gault too casually says.

'Mmm?' I ask as I massage my temple with my free hand and lean as far back as I can. Too many things to think about and even more that I don't want to think about. I will leave for Duxn tomorrow. Why did you have to tell me, Damin? I can't make a connection between that news and Corridan's insistence on seeing me. 'Much too discuss', huh? Well, even if it is part it can't be everything.

'A Jawa by the name of Blizz called, maybe you remember him?'

'You know, Champion, I know your secret.'

'Rings a bell,' I lightly and warily reply. I curse myself silently for being so stupid as letting my thoughts wander to Duxn when Gault is being so...

'Well, he seems to remember you. He was most excited that his call was answered and seemed very eager to talk.' Gault's dark red eyes are cold and serious as they gaze at me and I wonder if his lip curls slightly up in a disgust that doesn't come from what I'm wearing.

'Say anything interesting?' I ask overly casually as I toss the vile from one hand to the other. My eyes watch it's silver, shimmering progress between the two as it is tossed back and forth: left to right, right to left.

'It depends. Were you aware that four days ago you sent him over half the money you earned on your last bounty?' Left, right. Right, left. Left, right.

'Yes, I am. Isn't any business of yours though.' Left, right. Right, left. Left right.

'Maybe not but he had other interesting things to tell me.' I don't answer and the gift feels like a very large and heavy weight in my hands as it passes between them and what is left of my vest and shorts feels far too tight and far too small. If I had a heart, I know it would be beating very, very fast.

And then the anxious silence is over: the question I didn't want to hear is said and the truth that was so easy to hide and so easy to uncover is out.

'Did you know Torian is dead?'

I almost don't move anymore: my lungs become empty of air and I don't fill them up again; my mind becomes black and dark; red plays across my vision; my right forearm finally begins to hurt with a torrent of constant, intense pain that spreads to my shoulder and my finger tips. But the vile continues to move from left to right.

Gault continues mercilessly.

'Yeah, it seems he died on Corellia or more specifically on the Chancellors' flag ship almost seven months ago. So of course you must know since you were there, just the two of you. And of course whoever killed him.'

I can't speak. I can't say anything. Never meant to not tell Gault. I just can't say it. I can't even say enough to acknowledge it. I'm so tired of thinking it every waking moment. Past months with Gault has alleviated the constant agony to a small pang that though it can't be ignored, it doesn't consume my consciousness. Except for that one slip. One always seems to be a very large number.

I begin to sway or at least I think I do as the world begins to spin as it moves from side to side. Gault pulls me closer to his side, kissing my cheek and my forehead quickly as he pulls me across onto his lap which I numbly sit across.

'Why didn't you tell me, my dear?' he whispers harshly.

My mouth won't open to speak the words I haven't yet thought of. It has always been my way to keep my pains and wounds inside. Why bother to break a habit of a life time twice? It will only hurt more.

I lie as a dead weight in his arms and he remains still, not rocking or moving his hands or arms, just still. Some part of my thinks about all the filth I'm getting on his shirt and pants. My face is against his chest and his breathing is calming despite the loud flurry of its quick beat. I slowly fall asleep from exhaustion.

When I wake, I lie still for a long time trying to discern my surroundings as the happy memory fades. I thought I was back in my room or the cargo hold, Torian holding me in his arms after a nightmare. But these aren't Torian's arms. They are too lean and spindly with none of the warm muscle of his arms. And I'm not in the cargo bay or my room. I'm still in the comm room. And Torian is dead.

'I thought you would never wake, my dear,' Gault quietly says with a smile that hides the two rows of his sharp teeth. He loosens his arms around me a little more but I don't move. In this moment, I don't want to move.

'Wish I didn't.' Didn't mean to say it. Why did I say it?

'Hey! I-,' Gault pauses and the indignant, conceited retort he was about to say fades from his lips. 'Yeah, I know,' he mutters bitterly instead, arms slightly stiffening.

'Blizz tell you anymore than that?' I ask eventually.

'Only that he wants to hear from you soon and some other jibberish. I recorded the conversation so you can listen over it.'

'Not what I meant. Did he tell you how it happened?'

'No, my dear. But I know you well enough to imagine how it went. Let me guess, Torian died doing something foolishly heroic and after it you came back to the ship, killed Skadge because of some taunting and cruel statement, then Mako which I don't mind at all, then made Blizz leave and then assassinated our dear old friend Sith, Tormen, and used his fleet to successfully level Coronet City and give the Republic an opening to destroy the Imperial fleet. Am I close?'

'I actually asked Blizz to leave before killing Mako,' I correct. 'He doesn't know about that. I thought it might upset him.' How can I smile and half joke when the darkness of reality is pressed upon me and we're talking of my husband's death?

'Ah, well, my lips are sealed.'

A retort concerning his kiss earlier enters my mind but then it fades. There wasn't anything in it. There isn't anything genuine in our relationship.

'A Jedi attacked me from behind but Torian moved to take the blow. He was burnt with the Mandalorians on Correllia.' When I finish my small narration, a long shuddering breath escapes me. It hasn't lifted the heavy burden. Don't people always say you feel lighter after revealing a secret? I only feel it has gotten heavier. I now have to live my reality and I am feeling it's great weight already.

'*********** Mando idiot,' Gault mutters.

I move a finger to Gault's lips and he stares into my eye with weary confusion. I extend my blade and shallowly cut his lips with it.

'Ow! Wh-'

I slide off Gault's lap and spin to face him. My punch cuts off the rest of his sentence. Gault rubs his jaw and I sneer at him.

'Well, I can't say I really did deserve that,' he comments dryly as he pats his lips, looking distastefully at the blood it leaves on his fingers; small bubbles of crimson liquid, lighter than his skin. He looks around for somewhere to wipe it and settles for his own pants that are already stained with the slime and filth of myself.

'That was for kissing me. And if you dare kiss me or touch me again, I will tear your horns off with my own hands before I carve your lips off your face and I will do things you can't even imagine and make you feel pain you have never known before if you ever insult him again.'

I stand over him and become aware of the gift that is still held in my clenched fist. I wonder at how it hasn't broken. Guess it really is worth 36000 credits.

'That what this was, Gault? A pity present?'

'What? No!' Gault keeps rubbing his jaw and looks away from me as he shifts slightly in his seat. 'I bought it around two months ago. I'd been waiting for it to catch up to me ever since we landed in Iziz.'

'It doesn't change anything, Gault.'

I turn and begin to walk away from him.

'I know,' I think hear Gault reply with a sigh. But I don't let it falter my steps or allow myself to look back. I can only look back for so long.

EverSteam's Avatar

04.06.2013 , 09:52 PM | #92
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
omg yay @_@
This is a little embarrassing for me, but what does that emoticon mean? I've asked six different people and they haven't reached a general consensus.

MilaniGrey's Avatar

04.07.2013 , 12:22 AM | #93
Quote: Originally Posted by EverSteam View Post
This is a little embarrassing for me, but what does that emoticon mean? I've asked six different people and they haven't reached a general consensus.
Hehe, it's something akin to extreme happiness. I missed your regular updates. I was excited to see more. ^.^
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

04.07.2013 , 01:14 AM | #94
Quote: Originally Posted by MilaniGrey View Post
Hehe, it's something akin to extreme happiness. I missed your regular updates. I was excited to see more. ^.^
Oh! Ok. That's perfectly alright then
I had missed making my regular updates

EverSteam's Avatar

04.09.2013 , 06:04 AM | #95
Five minutes later...

I peel what's left of my torn shirt off. I wince when I feel the sting of hairs and skin being torn off from slime that slipped through gaps in the material and made it meld with my skin. It leaves my arm red and in some places bleeding. I throw it the trash can and sit down.

Are you packing your bags, Gault?

Lie on my back a moment, staring at the a black nothing and consider turning the light on. If I do, I have to see my reflection.

Is he checking the time for flights to Nar Shaddaa?

I lift my torso up, resting my weight on my feet, neck and head so I can peel my shorts and underwear from my arse. I hiss when it rips from my body and sit up. I carefully move it down my legs, trying to avoid it touching them. I'm unsuccessful.

Am I alone yet? I feel alone.

I stand up and toss the shorts in the trash can as well. I clap my hands twice and the lights come on. I'm careful to avoid the large mirror as I slip past it and walk into the shower.

Has he left yet?

Turn the water on and let out and involuntary scream at the pain. I turn the water off and my breath comes in fast gasps. Lean my shoulder and against the shower wall and feel myself sliding to the ground. Look over my body and see more scratches and tears than I thought I had. My transition is making me slip.

That's an excuse.

It is. Know it isn't entirely that. I'm reckless and careless. Why dodge claws when it won't break my arm? Why duck jaws when they can't tear off any limbs? Why live when Torian isn't here?

Stand up and turn the water on again. I bite down hard on the inside of my lower lip until my teeth cut through the skin and even then I only bite harder. My blood is sweet like melted honey in water. Eventually, the liquid needles stop biting and stinging my gashes and I let my teeth slowly leave my lip. There's no point is screaming. I've always been better at keeping things inside.

Do you even care, Gault, that he's dead or that I kept it from you?

I turn my head up to the water and open my mouth. Swallow it readily as if I've been thirsty for a very long time. I shake my head and begin to look my body over. All the while, I my tongue plays restlessly with skin that was almost bitten off of my lip.

My body looks like abstract art or a quilt of different colours carelessly knitted on with no sense of schemes or contrast. Take down a harsh cloth and begin to try and wash it off. After ten minutes, only the blues, greens, reds and browns are left. The pink that seems to be some sort of pollen resists water and I know I will have to use some sort of oil or if that fails, live with pink on my arse, left calf and right collar bone. Unless I carve the skin off.

Why did I keep Gault in the end and not Blizz? What did you have to say to me when you called?

Turn the water off and step out. Steady drips quickly form a puddle wherever I stand. Remember Mako used to make a fuss of it. Her appeals to Torian always fell on deaf ears. First time in a long time, I'm not using my hearing to keep track of my few crew members. Rather not hear Gault's departure.

Have you left yet?

Dry off my body as gently as I can, facing the blank wall. My back is to the mirror. Take a deep breath. I look at my hands that hold the soft towel in clenched fists. Straighten my back and prepare my body for the blow. Raise my hands closer to my eyes. I inspect my metal knuckles.

I don't have time to make it to the sink. Vomit escapes and flies from my mouth. Taste of it burns my mouth and makes my mouth uselessly numb. Fall to my knees and my body jerks again. Tremors rack my body after its over and my hand shakily wipes my mouth. Watch the puke leak into the water and spread.

Stand when my legs are assured and walk to the sink. Wash my hands thoroughly even when nothing is left. I wash my face again and again and again. When I feel a little cleaner, I look into the mirror. See for an instant what I will look like before a year is out. Probably won't even make half a year.

Look to my hands again and I can see it; there's a small part of my skin less than two millimetres pulling away from a metal knuckle. My body heaves again but I have nothing left to vomit.

I turn away from the sink and look at the mess. Walk out, naked but dry and standing, to the small cupboard across the corridor. Take a mop and bucket and begin cleaning the mess. When I'm done, I twist my leg so my foot reaches the sink and wash the vomit off it. My eye finds the same problem on my foot as it did on my hand. Only this time no heaving occurs just the feeling of sinking.

Only when everything is clean and away do I get dressed in long pants, a long sleeve shirt and gloves. Walk to my room and close the door. Spend the night standing there, just inside my locked and secure door. From there I spend the night staring at my breaking bed and the flower that still sits above it; spend the night looking at the wardrobe where his staff and clothes are still along with my bloodied dress from Nar Shaddaa; spend the night looking at my cross bow case, the bow sitting on top; spend the night staring at the cupboard where my failing elixir stays; spend the night staring at the objects that symbolise my desolation and what I lost.

Was stupid to believe him. Stupid to think we'd be happy until I had to go. I knew better. But then I would look into those blue eyes and feel his rough hand and I would believe in him. I did have faith in him. Faith gets you nowhere: faith is worthless.

I sit up with a jolt, all weapons active and ready.

I attack the wriggling thing next to me, the nightmare still clinging to my mind. Reality still distant moments from my mind. I spring onto the thing next to me, straddling it and holding a knife to its throat.


The word falls from somewhere under the white. It pulls at something too new for my past to know and I with strain it's reaching hand.

'What are you and why are you in my room?'

I press harder and the thing stops any movement. I become suspicious and pull the white away to reveal it: the blonde hair, the blue eyes that hold stern concern and the tight frown.

And then the dream passes, the other thing leaves and my memory and self return.

'Torian,' I breathe with a groan. I retract all my weapons and sit back on what turns out to be his hard stomach.

'What was it this time, Cyare?' His doesn't sound frustrated or harsh: only gentle and concerned. It doesn't fail to amaze and irritate me.

My arms cross, my hands finding a grip on lean triceps. I rub my hands along them and feel my own cold, smooth skin.

'The usual.'

That covers a range of sins and evil, doesn't it? It normalises something that can never be normalised and makes the unacceptable acceptable. I've been telling Torian only 'the usual' from the beginning, never defining, never elaborating. He never asks specifics as if he can understand what the horrors of 'the usual' are. And that makes me feel a little lonely, knowing that there are few people that will ever know how unbearable and terrible 'the usual' is and even lonelier that he isn't one of them. And if I can, I will never let him be.

'You can go sleep downstairs again if you want,' I quietly suggest. My voice is weak and pathetic in my ears when I want it strong and indifferent.

'Nayc, Cyare.'

'Don't you get tired of this?' I ask a little too wearily. I hold my arms tighter across my chest, finding little security or comfort in the thin shirt I wear.

'Waking to have you on top of me? Never, Cyare.' His arms emerge to hold my waist and he gives me a small grin I can't help but quickly return. I shake my head and lie down on him. I like his heat warming my skin so much it makes me feel like it's my own. But something about that feeling makes me disgusted with myself. It makes me feel like a parasite or leech and I suppose in too many ways I am.

He wraps his arms around me and holds me so tight that I feel them say 'I will never let you go'. I can only wish to believe them.

'Utreekov,' I scold with a smile he can't see. I can feel his own smile that's hidden in my hair. Neither of us say any more for a long while. He only holds me close and I feel my ineptitude at any of this. When other women wake their men with kisses and touches, I wake mine with a knife or hand to his throat almost every g** d*mn night.

'Do you ever go to bed with me and wonder if you won't ever wake up again?'

'Gev, Cyare! You know I never do.'

'I don't know it anymore than I know that I might not realise soon enough and I might kill you,' I coldly reply, glad I can't see the frustration in his eyes.

'Then you need more faith in yourself.'

'I have faith in my ability to kill people.'

Torian gently rolls me off him and onto my back, rolling himself on top of me. His hands move to my face and I'm forced to look into his penetrating, blue eyes.

'Then have faith in me, atin mesh'la.' His kiss if gentle and warm. His lips and tongue and hands try to remove my doubt. And they do. For these few moments or longer, I do believe him and that everything will be alright. He's alive tonight and tomorrow doesn't matter.

It's tomorrow now. I'm standing in it and it does matter. It matters so much.

Sometime in the early morning, I lean against the door and sit on the floor, my legs pulled to my chest with my head on the arms that rest on my knees. I cry because tomorrow matters more than I can stand and hurts more than anything I've ever felt.

I have faith that I will live through tomorrow and I have faith that tomorrow, and all the tomorrows after, will be that little bit more painful to live through than the tomorrow before. I have faith that everything will only get worse from here.


MilaniGrey's Avatar

04.10.2013 , 02:16 PM | #96
My feels. Poor Leeriah. <3
The Islingr Legacy
Ebon Hawk Server
"How dreadfully spooky." -- Vesaniae's Darth Nox

EverSteam's Avatar

04.11.2013 , 04:52 AM | #97
5 long hours after... (middle of the morning)

'You're still here.'

How does it sound to the Devaronian? Does her greeting sound surprised or like an accusation? Does it betray happiness? Is she angry? None of these. It doesn't sound like anything. She sounds like a woman commenting on unsurprising and mild weather. Or a droid.

He spins around in his chair with a creak to face her as she stands in the doorway with legs apart and arms crossed over ample chest. He lets his eyes linger there as he speaks before moving them up to take in her expression. His eyes look for dark lines under her eyes but her skin is as clear and porcelain as it is every day. He isn't sure if it is the face of a woman who spent the night crying or grieving.

'I am, my dear. I never said I was going to be anything else. Though I am also rather hungry. We need more food supplies.'

Gault gestures with a lazy and dismissive hand to a datapad that is on the control panel next to him as he explains. He does the jobs around the ship that are expected of him though that list has shrunk substantially and he never likes to give the impression he does. He knows if he left it to her, the galley would remain empty forever.

She arches her eyebrow in an expressive and regal way that beats even the most high bred Aleraanian. Yes, she definitely doesn't look like a woman grieving, he thinks with a mutter to himself. Is it because she's keeping it so close inside or is it because she doesn't feel anything? He knows it has to be the first. He doesn't think two stubborn, cautious people being in love could have been more obvious.

Gault doesn't understand how she could hide it for so long or how she could say nothing when he stood in this bridge and scolded her like she was misbehaving child and insulted her husband like he was a negligent father. If he knew, if he had understood then, then maybe he would have let her crimes slip and not tugged viciously on a lead he has no right to. But he didn't know and he didn't understand. All night he thought of everything he has said to her and all night he has admonished himself for them.

'I don't see why Torian isn't stopping you. He is supposed to be your brave and strong protector after all. Isn't he fretting that you're going to break a nail?'

Idiot, Gault silently cursed himself for. How could he not see her constant aversion, the stumble over his name and the bitterness and self-loathing in her voice every time he was brought up? The way she averted her face and her fists clenched? Now he knows it was so obvious, so clear.

'I guess since you say 'we' you aren't planning to leave anytime soon.' Her deduction is cold and rather accurate. She's tired on the inside and if this is a good bye, she wants it over with.

He grins at her in the most charming way he can and is rewarded by no change in her. 'Can't get rid of me that easily, babe.'

She frowns and her brow knits in confusion. The wrinkles it causes in her forehead and straight and dark with shadows. When she ever so slightly tilts her head without conscious thought, her hair comes free from one of her ears and falls as a wave across her face.

Her hair has gotten longer like how he preferred it, the Devaronian thinks with a scowl. He liked it shorter instead of the length now a little past her shoulders. She doesn't move it back and he wonders if it is because she is too single minded to notice such a small distraction from her interrogation.

'Even when I've spent three months lying to you?' she inquires incredulously.

She doubts him and is suspicious. She had expected his immediate departure and any reason he has to say cannot be a good one for her. He can't do anything to remove her distrust or take the walls around her down. All he can do is stay even when it isn't in his best interest and hope that if a day comes that she needs help, then he is there to help her.

'Four months and one week actually,' he corrects her. He didn't notice that he was keeping track of the weeks that went by with her. 'And hey! if that's the worst thing you've got in your closet then yeah, I'll be here for a while.'

Her frown turns to a scowl. It isn't a closet she keeps her secret in and it is far from the worst. If he stays as long as he always proclaims he will, either of her secrets will get him killed. She tells herself this isn't her concern. **** happens, right? Right?

He notices the reaction and it only makes his suspicion of something she never wants him to know being hidden in the engine room. And by the way she avoids ever being down stairs like the it was had the rakghoul plague, he guesses it isn't a secret she particularly likes. He wonders if it has anything to do with her Mando. He isn't sure about that though. It feels separate and... darker.

'If that's the case, you can come supply shopping with me.' Her neck and back straighten as she deals the order. It's a tick in her she has never noticed and never will: it's a left over habit from over a decade ago when she gave orders to scared men and scuttling women. Is Gault scared?

'After all, a weak and pathetic woman like myself needs a strong man like you to help carry all the boxes,' she mocks with a smirk. His body relaxes at the well loved expression and he returns it willingly.

Gault scoffs. 'I've seen you throw a grown Gamorrean out of a window from five metres away.'

'Used to be able to do seven metres.' Was that teasing joke or a disturbing fact? 'That was a good night. Hutta?'
This is how it should be. No secrets, no lies and no tension. Would it be a mistake for him to hope their banter will never end? Would it be a betrayal for her to never want it to end?

'No, Hutta was the Rodian and Twi'lek. The Gamorrean was Tatooine. First night I joined the crew and you literally brought the cantina down.'

'And you're still here,' she sighs with a smirk. Her eye seems a lighter now, like sunshine through a fractured window. 'Why are you here?'

Why is she never satisfied with his answer? What does she want to hear? He tells her the truth. It isn't a lie just because he doesn't say everything.

She's not sure why she keeps asking. She can only sense that he never tells her everything but doesn't have the understanding of people to fill in the small and obvious gaps. The only behaviour Gault could display that she could understand is his constant lechery and an anger at being lied to for over four months. She would walk out if she were him. Damin thought he would walk. She can't understand friendship.

'Do you really not know, my dear?' his sly smirk softens a little. Sometimes, she looks as young as she is and he feels the force of how horrible and long her corruption was. She's a fifth way through her natural lifespan but her emotional understanding is stunted at a tenth of it. But that only makes her more dangerous.

'I wouldn't ask a question if I knew the answer.' She's angry now. She hates anyone realising any gap in her understanding and knowledge.

He shrugs and holds his arms wide, palms up. There's nothing up his sleeves.

'You're good for business, that's all.' It's an answer she can understand. 'With the galaxy knowing Gault Rennow, galaxies uprising Crime Lord, travels with the infamous and loathed Leer aka. Ravager Haran aka. the Champion of the Great Hunt aka. Republic and now the galaxies Most Wanted, I have to buy and fight a lot less people.'

'And how does the galaxy know this?' Her scepticism is unfounded and her ignorance to their fame is endearing. Take away her hate and anger and there's something... not so bad.

'Don't you ever read the holo net, my dear?'

'Not what you seem to.'

'Well, the funnies are for an acquired taste.' She doesn't laugh at his joke and waits for an explanation, still standing rigidly over him. 'Every time you kill someone, it's all over the holonet news. Every time we're seen together in public, it's all over the celebrity gossip.'

'And why would that be?' She raises her eyebrow as she always does and it distractedly crosses his mind that her eyebrows and a dark brown while her hair is a deep, dark red.

'My dear, maybe you haven't noticed, but you're almost more famous and feared than the Emperor. You certainly are more seen and directly kill a lot more people. Don't tell me you actually thought no one knew anything about what you do? You aren't an assassin anymore, babe. You're in the limelight now. I'm merely basking in the reflection of it.'

'And reaping it's rewards apparently.' She quickly smirks before it fades and her expression relaxes. She turns this information over in her mind. Her gaze goes blank and Gault is reminded of a wait to a terminal generating an answer to a search or installing a new program.

'So tell me what exactly the gossip on the net says about us?' She eventually asks.

'Nothing spectacular. Only that you're my bodyguard, hired killer and then some.' He waves his hand and picks up one of his many discarded datapads, skimming through the net and searching for the best example of proof she could want. He seems to be able to tell them apart despite no immediate difference in appearance.

'And then some?' she inquires. She knows the Devaronian is keeping something he finds amusing from her and is enjoying toying with her. It annoys her in the way a cat is annoyed with dangling of a string that keeps escaping it; only this cat has very dangerous, very sharp and very quick claws.

'Yeah, only speculations on our relationship: married or not? That kind of thing. General consensus is that we're *********** though.'

He knows the best way to get a reaction from her and he finds her coming anger amusing. So he doesn't leer at her or smile suggestively. He only waves his hand dismissively as if it were nothing.

'Despite the fact I already am married?'

'Well, you didn't exactly go put that down into paperwork, did you?'

'Mando'ad don't need to. Our word and oath is strong enough.'

'You're-' Gault shakes his head at how she can hate something, become it, reject it and freely accept it at random moments. 'Right, whatever you say, my dear. The point is that no one who isn't a Mando doesn't know it.'

She nods and then leers at him in the way that show the white, long pointed teeth in the back of mouth.

'Poor Hylo must be heartbroken by these reports,' she mischievously sneers.

'And so must your blue-boy.'

She scowls. He meets her every offence with another. He could never count her in combat but he always can in words. She guesses that's why she keeps him around. She always likes a challenge. But she also hates losing. It makes her very, very angry.

He smirks. Her hit was wide with Hylo. He won this round and he always does like winning.

'And these rumours have been around for how long?' she asks coldly.

It's a strange contradiction the way her voice becomes gentle and soft when she's angry like fine velvet covering your ears. She's a reflection in a broken mirror: she's the same as other women but she's broken and fractured and sometimes you realise how opposite she is. Sometimes, you realise she isn't human.

'Well, they didn't care about you till after the Great Hunt though I think the military on both sides found you irritating. And then you had the Mando and everything and I wasn't a crime lord then so... they've only been around for the last four months.'

'And you were never going to mention them to me?' she clarifies in that soft voice that is warm and sweet like fresh honey from a hive.

'I didn't know they were worth mentioning. I thought you knew.' He always supposed until this conversation that she was aware of them and didn't care. If anyone in the galaxy could genuinely say they cared for no one's opinion of them, it would be her. He finds it amusing that she couldn't be and was possible the only person in the galaxy who wasn't.

'Of course I didn't know!' she snarls angrily.

'If it will make you happy, the next time an article is written on us, I'll read every false and saucy word of our steamy affair.'

She glares at him and her deep red lips slightly pout. He groans inside and curses how oblivious she is to how beautiful she can be even when missing an eye. If she ever guessed even half the things he imagines she would have killed him long ago.

'You really have no idea how famous you are, do you?' he asks with a chuckle, letting his eyes return to the datapad. 'You know, it's kind of adorable how unaware of yourself you are.'

She extends one of her blades and reaches her arm out to point at him. It isn't close to him in that is a hairs width away or even a hands width away, it is that it is out at all and pointed to him that makes it too close and his heart start drumming a little quicker. The blade is clean and shining but all he can see is the blood of many men.

'Take that back now,' she warns.

She wonders for a moment what Gault would do if he ever really tested her. Could she still kill him like she could of once? She isn't sure but she knows she hates the accusation more for how uncomfortable it made her than anything else. The thought of her being 'adorable' in any way even if it is only 'kind of' to anyone is repulsive and confusing.

'Come on, honey, no need for violence,' he calms in an acted husbandly voice. He doesn't even look up from his datapad.

She scowls and retracts her blade.

'At least this explains a lot,' she growls. She begins to pace the four metres from one side of the cockpit to the other and Gault refuses to let his amused eyes follow her.

'You mean all this time you thought people stared at us because we're so devilishly good looking?' he asks with a smirk.

'Something like that,' she concedes with a pout, continuing her pacing without pause. She honestly thought it was more her armour or the blood on her arms. Never for this. How could she ever think it was for this?

'Are you even aware of yourself enough to realise how oblivious you are?' he muses, allowing himself to watch her for a moment.

He knows he can push a little further. He doesn't know why, but he feels he does need to assure her that nothing has changed because he can feel that it has. He found out what she wanted him to never know so she could continue her make believe. She can't run away from what happened for ever.

'Shut it, Gault,' she spits.

He smirks at her a little larger and returns to looking through the holonet.

'Now I know why Corridan wants to see me,' she mumbles to herself. She stops at the end of her pace and looks at a small blank wall panel. She punches it quickly and continues her walking, leaving the badly dinted panel to fall with a loud clang.

'You think the big Mando daddy wants to tell you off for sleeping around?' he leers at her.

He's enjoying this and these rumours are the closest he's ever going to get to sleeping with her. It hasn't changed that. And he likes the idea of someone trying to tell her off. He's tried and it almost killed him. He values his life and her honour too much too try again.

'So many things were wrong with that question Gault,' she says with a shake of her head and a scowl. She stops pacing and moves into the pilot chair next to his. 'So why do they even think this?'

Gault turns his ready datapad to her with a repressed chuckle. Under the heading 'Galaxies Most Dangerous Couple in Danger of Splitting' are three images of Gault and her from five weeks ago on Nar Shaddaa. First, it looks like she's sitting over Gault and no more than a horn and slither of his leg, torso and arm can be seen. There are many possibilities to what they could be doing from that angle and all would be incorrect and more than a little unseemly. The second is her moving away from Gault's arm with a glare to the wall. The last shows her walking away from the booth with a frown and Gault looking after her with a glare.

She scowls at the datapad and Gault takes it out of her reach. He can sense when she's about to destroy something and that time is about now. Eventually, she takes a deep breath and smirks at Gault with an amused arched brow.

'So we've split up, huh?' she asks with a terrifying chuckle.

'Nah, if you look at the news two weeks ago it's us in the alley here on Iziz. Apparently I was begging you to have me back. Though, I think we both know it would be the other way around.'

She smiles and laughs with scorn before shaking her head and scowling again. She would never beg anyone for anything. Unless begging would bring him back, she thinks.

'This is f***ed! Those photos were completely misleading!' she protests. Her mind turns to their conversation that night and takes her to Damin. Have you seen them, Damin?

'Don't you think it's better they think we were having a tiff over something like the man hitting on you at bar instead of what we were really talking about?'

'Shove it, Gault. You're not married.'

'And not a day goes by that I'm not thankful for it,' he confirms as he leans back in his chair, hands and datapad behind his head. So that's what she had been thinking about, he muses. Mando honour and all that ****.

'Oh? Forgotten about the woman you're so madly in love with?' She inquires with a leer and kick of his leg.

'Nah, I could never do that,' he answers as he rubs his lean leg. She didn't mean to kick him so hard. She strangely never means to hurt Gault. 'Marrying her would be light years beyond insane and impossible.'

She didn't seem to be listening to him because she shakes her head and her reply has again returned to the reports.

'Don't understand. Don't they see you hitting up every dancer in every city, every night when we're landside?'

Gault nods and presses a few buttons before showing her a new picture and article title. It reads 'Rennow to be Haran's next target?'. The accompanying picture is Gault walking out of a cantina with two twi'leks on his arm. It was also taken on Nar Shaddaa and by the date it was taken after the last ones.

'You're loving this, aren't you, Gault?' she asks in irritated astonishment.

'Completely,' he assures with vigour and a grin.

She chuckles in the way he likes and shakes her head. She looks up to the blank metal ceiling of removable steel plates with a sneering and content smirk.

'I hate you, Gault. You do know that, right?' How can a woman who has killed so many and hates with so much vigour sound so sweet no matter what she says?

'I never doubt it,' he swears with a self-satisfied grin. They both know it's not true but it's easier to say than anything else. True friendship doesn't need to be announced.

'Good. Now come on. I leave for Dxun in the morning.' She stands up and turns to him considering the best way to make him stand from his reclining position. She decides to only kick his leg again as she makes her demand. 'Let's go get those supplies.'

He looks down at the datapad he's still holding. He examines the back of it and doesn't look at her as his leg aches with a whitening bruise.

'Sure but it's going to cost you.'

'How much?' she demands in disbelief.

'Not that much,' he reassures as he turns the datapad over in his hand examining it. She knows there is something wrong when he doesn't smile, call her by an endearment or flirt with her in any other way. She thought they were ok. She thought it didn't matter.

'No credits at least. I was thinking more along the lines of no more secrets or lies especially about dead spouses.'

'I can't do that, Gault, and neither can you,' she frostily replies.

'My mother always told me I should try new things. Or did a twi'lek dancer tell me that? Either way, it's worth a shot. We might find we like having no secrets from someone else.'

He flashes her a grin as he picks up the datapad containing the list and puts it into his back pocket. It's a little sad but he's trying to play it cool. He wants her to know for once that he is serious. He never has been entirely honest with someone but then he's never stuck around with anyone this long or through so many life and death encounters. Maybe...

'Last man I promised it to ended up dying. Had three secrets from him in the end.' Her voice that can be so warm like honey in tea is now cold and sour. She knows it will be the same with him. Their friendship won't allow it and he knows less of her history than her husband had.

'Don't worry, my dear,' he promises with a lopsided smile. She can see something intent in his expression but it doesn't melt the ice in her eyes or heart. 'I'm really not the heroic sort.'

Gault takes a step closer and reaches a hand to touch her cheek. She stands her ground and allows the movement. It makes her skin tingle and she feels ashamed of the unwanted blush that blossoms from under it. It assures him she is alive in there somewhere and some part of her must feel still. The Mando thought she was worth the risk of a blade in the gut or a blaster bolt in the chest. Gault won't go that far but... guess he'll look out for her in a brotherly or fatherly way.

'We all die some day,' he quietly tells her. 'It's not your fault. There isn't any shame in continuing your life or feeling happy.'

'You're obviously not a Mando'ad then,' she sneers. She leans back a little and Gault let's his hand move to her shoulder. 'And there isn't anything to be happy for or about.'

'Think about it and you'll see that's not true. Sometimes you need to let the past lie, my dear.'

'No! I can't.'

'Have you ever noticed that the people with power in the galaxy - any person that actually matters - has had the shortest straw in their past? Survival of the fittest and only the fittest make it to the top. We, my dear, are at the top. The past has done its job in getting us here and now we can let go of it and reap the rewards.'

I can't say anything to this. What is there to say? That she had spent hours every day and every night ensuring that her man was at the top as well? It was her guard that was down and it was her unfit mistake that should have led to her death. She will never let the past rest and her past has given her no rewards except the ability to get revenge for all the horrors it brought her for the rest of her drastically shortened life.

So she turns her mind back to the real topic at hand.

'Gault, you lie to me on approximately three times every conversation. And on the secret front, you won't even tell me why you're really here.'

He drops his hand and snickers at her as he crosses his arms. He leans against the control panel next to him, careful not to press any buttons.

'I've told you, my dear, I never lie to you. And why I'm here isn't much of a secret. Anyone could know it.'

'Except for me?'

'You're a little slow, my dear. But don't worry, I won't tell anyone that.' He winks at her and it only makes her glare deepen.

'Thanks,' she sarcastically returns.

He chuckles but then it goes and his frown and intensity is back. All she wants from this friendship is light banter and someone to keep the darkness a little at bay. Someone to keep her company while she's human enough to appreciate it.

'I don't ask for much but I'm asking for this.' Gault's sober expression vanishes and he grins at her with sly mischief. 'Plus, we make such an adorable and much loved couple.'

Gault turns the datapad he still holds toward her and she sees a picture of Gault and her here on Iziz walking down the main street arm in arm. He's leaning down to whisper in her ear and she's smiling at what he was saying. The title reads 'Is it love?'

'You were telling me your predictions of the fetishes of other women in the street. I'd hardly say that counts as a romantic conversation,' she drily comments.

'Ah, but they don't know that. I must say, we have a much more turbulent and passionate relationship on the holonet. It almost makes our real life look dull and disappointing.'

'Really, Gault? I've hit you on the head far too hard and too often, haven't I?' she asks in disbelief. She can't understand how he can take it all so lightly. She can't understand how someone could look at it from that angle.

'Well, yes, but that's not the point.'

'No, the point is that there are people writing speculative crap about us and that there are other people taking photos of us!' she growls. She can't see the it with vaguely amused indifference or conceited cynicism. It's far too serious to her for that.

'Price of fame, my dear. Could be worse. I could be Skadge.'

'Don't make me vomit or I will kill you,' she spits. 'I'd rather my current state of marital bliss over either of you.'

He has nothing to say to this. There's no words of comfort he can provide and the knowledge she prefers a dead man over him is a blow below the belt. He can never compete and he isn't sure if he even wants to. A woman like her can only **** a man up or get them killed. There is evidence for the latter and he would rather not be evidence for the former.

'Let's just go get the supplies. Make a list?'

He pats his back pocket and grins. 'And I've checked it twice.'

'Don't exaggerate,' she scolds.

'I'm sorry, my dear.'

'Don't lie.'

'I'll try, babe.'

'Don't call me "babe".'

'Whatever you want, honey.'

'I really hate you, you know,' she sighs in exasperation. She turns and walks away from him but he is as quick and sly in following as always.

'Yeah, yeah. If you think that's enough to make me leave though, you're mistaken.'

'Never give up hope.' He frowns at the saying and she only laughs with twisted, dark humour at it. What hope is there for her now he's gone? What hope did she ever have?

But she isn't alone. Not yet. And she doesn't want to be until the end and she's surprised she isn't after what she has done. She stops at the exit but doesn't turn to look at Gault. She doesn't have enough courage and she has too much pride.

'Gault, thank you,' she quietly and firmly says to him as he stands at the ready behind her back.

'I'm sorry, my dear, what did you say?' She looks back at him then and he waves the datapad at her with something serious and distant in his eye, a frown on his forehead and a smirk on his lips. 'I got distracted by this ad for a twi'lek slave girl. Say something important?'

She smirks and shakes her head. 'No, nothing important.'

'Good to hear.'

He moved it too slow for its page to miss her eye. There wasn't a twi'lek in sight. It was a picture of them on the Imperial fleet seven weeks ago surrounded by soldiers, cantina patrons and bouncers. She's standing in front of Gault with her blasters drawn and Gault's hand is on my hip a blaster in his other hand and he's leaning in to me to whisper an escape plan. He always likes to restrain the number of people she kills. The heading caught her eye and burnt into her memory: 'More than a body guard?'

She doesn't understand why but he lied to avoid her gratitude. She knew better than to push it and her pride and their relationship would also not allow it. Why moves beyond her mind as questions she had never considered enter her mind.

Is that what we look like to others?
she asks herself seriously for the first time. Is that how you saw us? I'm so sorry, Torian. I never knew. Gault is right, she realises as they walk through the street, bartering with sellers and bickering with each other, him leading her by the hand away from a brewing fight or her pushing him away from every woman slightly rich or attractive in the market. If she were to allow him to flirt and buy a drink for all of them, they would still be attempting to buy supplies a week later.

I have no clue when it comes to myself, she has realised before they return to the ship. What else have I never noticed? And how do I start to?


EverSteam's Avatar

04.12.2013 , 05:30 AM | #98
Damin's POV
Six hours later on Alderaan...

My eyes do not open. I keep them closed even though my face is softly implanted in my pillow and hidden from others view. I reach under my pillow for the blaster slowly ensuring the movement won't catch my watchers eye. I retain the heart rate and breathing of someone asleep. Whoever watches me doesn't move from the door way. However, I am patient and willing to wait.

Eventually, I hear their movements and I do not know how, but I feel like something is coming toward me. I turn quickly, sitting up and shoot at what comes toward my head. The blaster bolt hits it off course.

I hear the female snicker I loathe and groan. I spread my arms wide and lie back down in my black silk sheets.

'Nice shooting there at a harmless datapad, agent.'

'What do you want, Miss Kaliyo?' I ask with as much pleasantry as my hangover and irritation at being awoken can allow. I would also not call a rather hard and cornered object being thrown with considerable malice towards my head 'harmless'.

'Not to see your naked *** in the afternoon, agent, that's for sure.'

I don't need to open my eyes again and look at her to know she leans in the doorway where she always does. The doorway is empty in a very pleasing way when she is not standing there and that pleasure is far too infrequent.

I grope my hand around the bed near my outstretched hand and when I find a grip on my covers I pull them over my body. I feel it necessary more as an observation of general decorum among business associates than any discomfort at someone seeing my naked body. An agent who suffers from self-consciousness, nervousness or timidity is not a very good (and thus not a very successful) agent.

'Would you please tell me what you want from this discussion, Miss Kaliyo?' I ask again. The politeness of my language improves but the testy irritation in it has increased.

'I just wanted to make sure you read all the latest news so I was doing a special delivery.'

'How thoughtful, Kaliyo. Well, if that is all, could you please show yourself out and inform Vector that our discussion planned for this afternoon will have to be delayed to the evening after we have made the job to hyperspace?'

'I'm not your messenger, agent.'

I hear Kaliyo walk off and I am left to despise and mull over her many contradictions. After I have completed these thoughts and found Kaliyo to be one of the most aggravating hypocrites in the galaxy, I then begin to consider what to do to alleviate my hangover.

I eventually decide to sit up and drink the glass of water that was readily waiting beside my bed for this predicted affliction. I was able to prove to Kaliyo I could drink more Tarisian ale than her and still walk in a straight line though it seems she is better suited for the side effects of such a challenge.

I pour more water from the ready jug and scull it. On the fourth refill, I merely swill it around and around, watching the clear liquid made a dusty blue by my hand, move into a vortex.

I move my hand to hold the glass from the top and hold it up to the burning, bright light of my room that Kaliyo so joyously left on for me. The way the light moves through the distilled water reminds me of the shine in Leeriah's eye and I am left to shake my sore head in melancholy and self scolding. She cannot escape my thoughts in idle moments now that we have met again and I wish I had less idle moments.

I rest my elbows on my knees and hang my head. I run a hand through my fringe as is my habit when thinking of a difficult or perplexing problem. I pull at the roots and think of what I should do about her as I swirl the undrunk water.

I analyse the effect the news had on her and take in her current situation, location and general personality and come to the conclusion I should call her before we make the leap to hyperspace. I must ensure that telling her this well-founded rumour has not endangered our relationship. And that she is ok. I shake my head and drink the glass of water, putting it down on the table a little too hard. I cringe.

It was foolish of me to drink so much last night. Vector's conversation, Kaliyo's summations and Leeriah's... everything effected my judgement more than I care to admit. I must not make the same mistake again.

The thought of Kaliyo reminds me of the datapad which has remained in my peripheral. I bring it close enough to me to pick it up with my bare foot. The screen flickers and I doubt it is still working. Before I place it neatly in the bin under my desk, I see the screen work and display the latest celebrity news.

As soon as I notice the effect the image and article are about to have on me, I lower my heart rate and breathing. Before I read it I consider the rationale for why Kaliyo would decide to show me such an article and can only come to the conclusion that she still doubts my indifference to Leeriah and seeks to aggravate me for her amusement and possibly as a form of revenge for either beating her at drinking or the refusal to join her crazed crusade against her short list of exes that all resided in different ends of the galaxy.

I carefully examine the image. She's on Iziz still from the clothes of those around her and the architecture. It is early afternoon. The only other information they can offer is that she is in a market place. I had thought her leaving for the Mandalorians soon.

I let my eyes turn to him first. I critically take in his expensive grey shirt and black pants which are both cut according to the latest style. I notice with little interest that his horns are slightly long for a Devaronian and they are well groomed. The latter is of little consequence: all Devaronian's take pride in their horns. Though I believe there was a time when he was a bounty hunter that it was broken by a target in an explosion.

His expression is what interests me. The picture is grainy when closely examined and doesn't give the nuances I desire most to dissemble his expression as he watches her. There is no doubt he is amused by whatever she or he is saying and no further than that can I tell. It ads little to my understanding of their relationship. If I cannot understand it, I cannot end it. However, my eye doesn't fail to notice how close they stand.

I don't want to dissect her like I do everyone else but I know it necessary and inevitable. I look to her clothes first and see she is in armour. It is the same as on Nar Shaddaa and as in most of her recent photos. It is painted a dark blue and always polished. I find the symbol on the chest fascinating and wish I had clearer images to scrutinize it. She has bare biceps like only she would dare but her forearms and hand are covered in matching dark blue and silver wrist guards that leave her fingers free. She wears black pants with not armour and black durasteel boots.

I notice the boots under the stall with a wry smile and let the memory of a time when she only wore boots to smuggle me kolto patches, food and water to distract me for an indulgent moment. I take a deep breath and let the memory leave with the air. She's an infection that needs to be removed from myself and the galaxy.

I take in the large sniper rifle she's touching and about to pick up as she looks at the Devaronian with a smirk and raised eye brow. I shake my head. Their expressions and proximity ad nothing new, only confirming previous observations. I think of the other images of them strewn across the holonet and frown slightly. Though these images are most likely taken away from context, I cannot help but feel that they are still evidence for the intimacy that I and half the galaxy believe exists between them.

I am curious as to know whether she is aware of these articles and how she can never notice someone with a camera pointing toward her. I consider this and pin it down to her eyes only looking for threats or prey and a camera is neither to her.

More curious is why she keeps him as a companion. If I believed Leeriah materialistic it may provide an explanation but credits are something she has always been easy with. I could almost say with certainty his attachment to her is founded in finance. All other reasons would always be second from the reports of his character that I have received. I find it hard that such a shallow materialistic being with a known tendency for deceit and betrayal would care for her. Given their age difference, a certain fatherly affection or indulgence is possible especially given that I believe 'Gault' to be far too shallow to look past her metal enhancements to garner any sort of aesthetic pleasure from the sight of her.

I read the article which adds nothing of worth and contains only ridiculous extrapolations from one supply trip. Is it such a mistake to feel a little twinge of irritation that is similar to jealousy or regret? I know I could never persuade her to act in any way other than she did and her objections were founded. I know it was highly likely to occur how she must of imagined and I was only later forced to realise through my parents loss of trust in me. But there is still the doubt and the slim chance that would defy terrifying odds that it could have worked. Maybe, for just a little while at least, I would have felt something similar to Vector's contentment. Damin believes against reason and probability that even a short period of time would be worth whatever the consequence instead of a life where the closest thing to happiness is self-satisfaction in another perfectly completed mission in deceit, subterfuge and/or death. But such emotions aren't to be bourn long and are quickly cast aside by the agent. Damin doesn't exist anymore.

I straighten my back and place the datapad in the trash. I pull clean and perfectly folded clothes from their appropriate draws and head for the refresher. All I want is another drink.

Mathemagica's Avatar

04.12.2013 , 02:50 PM | #99
It continues, yes! Interesting how Blizz' last holocall turned out.

But the piece I love most is this one.


I just had to laugh at their battle of words. It is so beautiful. And when I wondered why Gault was still alive, for some reason a certain other liar (and traitor) came to my mind who never gets killed as well. It somehow changed my viewpoint on many fanfics about said traitor and his class-master.

Stacelita's Avatar

04.19.2013 , 04:06 PM | #100
I love this. All of it. You are an amazing writer! And... More stripping Gault plx... :-)