Chapter Seventeen

"I have it."

"It does not weigh too much, I hope," Obi-Wan groaned before pushing himself back to his feet and anchoring in place again. The soft leather of his boots, dug into the loose ice crystals.

"Excuse me?" Siri's voice crackled over the comm.

With a puff of warm breath over cold blushed lips, he laughed into the biting chill.

The sudden tug on the line threatened to rip the Jedi from his place, but he countered with his own weight and the aid of the Force, holding the line firm. Siri would never let him live it down if they both went tumbling over the edge.

Behind him, Obi-Wan could hear footsteps crunching over the frozen ground. Mentally reaching back, he scanned the quiet Twi'lek. She was afraid. If she were afraid of the fall off the edge, she should stay close to the Dug's freighter. Though, he suspected that her fear had nothing to do with the cliff.

Keeping a small piece of his attention focused on Janua, he slowly twisted the cord around his gloved hand. Bringing his arm back, he repeated the action, slowly drawing the line back in.

Janua drew a little closer, bobbing about curiously as she pulled her cloak tight. Dark eyes danced across the Jedi's rigid form before searching his face. Soft ginger strands brushed against his forehead with every move. She opened her mouth, but paused and closed it. After a moment, she tried again and succeeded in forming the words. "How long?"

"How long what?" The thin nylon cord cut into the layers of material that protected Obi-Wan's flesh from the cold as he pulled it in. He was beginning to wonder if he was going to have any feeling in his fingers by the time it was all over.

"How long have you two been," the young woman pulled her hood back revealing an innocent red face, "involved?"

Obi-Wan laughed, warm breath turning into little clouds of white, but then sobered at the frown that crossed the Twi'lek's face. "We are just friends," he said evenly, betraying no emotion.

"Oh."

Sensing she did not believe him, the Jedi added, "Nothing more." Internally, he brushed off her questioning as naïveté if she could think that he and Siri had any relationship beyond friendship. Maybe just a touch of rivalry left over from their youths, but just a touch.

"You two are very close," she stated.

"We have known each other for a long time." He was beginning to wonder if there was an end to the nylon line. He kept drawing it in and still no sign of Siri.

There was a scraping sound just over the side of the cliff that drew Janua's attention. She bit her lip slightly before looking back at Obi-Wan. "You two share a great affection not shared by 'just friends'."

Before Obi-Wan could say anything, she pulled her gray hood back over her face and bolted back toward the freighter.

A dark gloved hand waved up over the edge before grasping the cord once more. "Now, what were you saying?" Siri growled as she pulled herself up onto the snow pack. Brushing the white from her dark cloak, she tossed the blue case to the ground between the two Jedi as Obi-Wan quickly wound up the remains of the cord.

"I was speaking to Janua."

"Hrmph." The blond haired Jedi glanced about curiously as she straightened her clothes and pulled her cowl back over her head to protect from the cold before returning her bright blue gaze to Obi-Wan. "You were speaking to whom?" she asked, shifting her weight to one leg.

"Janua." He glanced about, noting the Twi'lek was nowhere to be seen. "I do not think she liked my answer."

Scooping the case up off the ground, Siri teased as she drifted passed him and patted his shoulder, "Poor girl. Did you break her heart?" A knowing laughter filled the air.

Obi-Wan just stood there watching Siri saunter toward the freighter. Her long cloak whipped about and twisted against her form in the sharp breeze. "Something like that," he whispered.