A/N: Well, now. This is a ficlet I've been thinking about for awhile, just a bit of a stretch for me.
Trout: You posted your Nadia piece, and so I figured I should be brave and post this. In other words, this is your fault. :) And I wasn't going to post it here because I was a bit embarrassed by it, who knows why. I'm weird like that. Oh, and notice that I wrote a kiss! Again! Good Lord above, what's happening to my morals!
He wasn't entirely sure where she had come from.
Shorter than he usually went for, he at first didn't give her a second glance. Women too conceited to surgically enhance their height weren't worth his time. He needed legs, needed larger than life female. He always got them – he was Gej Derim. The women would come. They always did.
As they had earlier tonight. Two different ones were trading off – neither knew he was with the other – and he was making headway with the short-haired, spunky blonde across the bar when she caught his eye.
It wasn't that she was the most gorgeous woman in the bar; he wasn't sure how one male sitting amongst all the skin showing at that moment could make that assessment. It wasn't her attitude: the little head shake indicated a bit of a firebrand, a definite tough type. He knew her kind. He couldn't count how many he'd gotten that were exactly like her.
The thing was, he thought he knew her.
A strange tug of memory – a holonet report detailing some event occurring somewhere he had been but maybe didn't remember. A blurred image of a dingy bar, a dirty glass full of watery whiskey, staring up at that report in wonder as he slowly understood why he was watching the 'net at all.
Solo'd gotten married.
And, if drunken half-memories could be trusted, that short, firey thing over there was Solo's pet princess.
It couldn't be the same girl. This one had the green skirt with the slit that went who knew where – the way he liked them. She had a low-cut bodice on. Not much else. Also the way he liked them. Not really dressed how a princess should be dressed, right? But, hey. How did princesses dress? And this princess hooked up with Solo – she has an adventurous side.
It didn't matter, so he threw back a shot and stared at her a bit longer.
She was staring at him, dark circles where her eyes should be, an effect of the low lighting and probably some real eye make-up effort on her part. He felt a shiver go up his back, felt his skin prickle. Solo's girl. A decent-looking thing watching him way across the bar. Maybe Solo wasn't adventurous enough. Maybe she was slumming.
More than usual, that is.
The more he glanced at her, the more he decided that she was a bit more than decent-looking. A lot more than decent-looking. Her hair alone was worth some attention, draped to the side like that. So she was full of herself. She had a right to be, looking like that. Wonder if Solo'd ever seen her looking like a regular one-night stand? Looking straight at him like he was next on the desert menu, because she was downright seductive with that look on her face.
Solo's seen things a lot more seductive than that.
He grabbed his second girl's drink and hauled it back, pushing down the all-too-familiar anger at that. No need to get angry. Lorraini's old news, long dead. Not lying or cheating anymore, he'd made sure of that.
He couldn't stop thinking of Lorraini's skirt though. That short affair that left nothing to the imagination? Nothing. Was it red? Gold? He could imagine both colors on her, in that one memory he'd kept for the express purpose of remembering the skirt, the only thing that was worth recalling about her. Which color?
He pushed himself off the bar and locked gazes with Solo's brunette, smiling at her as he threw a hand up into his hair. Greasy. Huh. She stayed where she was, not smiling, lifting an eyebrow as he made his way through the crowd of drunken patrons. Up close, he could define her eyes, brown – and big. They narrowed at his approach, and he knew right away that he had been right.
Crazy as hell.
She tilted her head to the side. "Outer Rim."
So she wasn't going to play any games, either. "He know what you do when he's gone?"
She came closer and he got distracted by the glitter on her eyelashes. She didn't answer – smart girl – but wrapped her arms around him and looked up. The glitter sparkled in the dim lights.
"You do this often?" he asked.
She smiled, just a little bit, and he thought that maybe she looked even better like that. "We have an agreement."
He nodded, knowing full well who she was talking about.
She continued. "I don't question him about who he sees or what he does. He doesn't care what I do."
She laughed quietly, darkly. "Neither one of us wants to bother with actual commitments. I'm busy. He's busy." She flicked dust off his shoulder. "It was . . . convenient."
He nodded again, understanding the sentiment. "So the fairy tale goes."
"The fairy tale –" she pulled his head down, whispered in his ear "– is severely overrated." Ducking her head before he could move closer, she pulled on his hand. "Come on."
Stumbling over the drunks, she led the way, stopping only to down a glass of Corellian whiskey before heading toward the exit. He was concentrating on how she walked, the smooth movements of her hips, when he felt cold air smack his face and opened his mouth to drink in the feeling. Such a temperature difference between the bar and the street.
She continued to lead him to a shadowed alleyway less than two blocks from the bar. Certainly adventurous. She turned towards him, pressed her hands to his chest and he got another big glance at her eyes as they studied his face. Go ahead, princess. It's a nice face to look at, right?
When she remained staring at him, he took the initiative and kissed her. Sometimes when he kissed girls like this, he took his time, pretending to sweep them off their feet, attempted to paste a romantic look in his eyes. All a game, of course, but they responded better if they actually thought he cared about them.
But this was Solo's girl.
And so he kissed her hard, assuming she was used to encounters like this and that she might've guessed that he had a past with Solo. Being Solo's girl, she had to know her husband had some grudges against him, some of which were business settlements, most of which were personal. Like Gej's.
He noticed she didn't close her eyes. Interesting. A mark of a girl who knew what happened on the streets, in rundown bars and alleyways, why the galaxy relied on money and not sentiment like some girls thought. So he didn't close his eyes either, watching her watching him, her eyes narrowing and hardening as the kiss continued.
It took him a moment to realize that her eyes had shifted over his right shoulder before he felt another rush of air, this time on the back of his neck, as he heard the definite click of a blaster being set for 'kill'.
Solo's girl had stepped away from him and was wiping her mouth on her sleeve, a disgusted look on her face. He turned around quickly, ready to confront the owner of the blaster pointing into his brainstem, and –
Solo hadn't changed that much in the years since Gej had known him. The man still had the DL-44, at the moment pointed between Gej's eyes, and, he assumed, was still a hell of a shot. The ruffled hair was still ruffled, the bloodstripe still visible.
The Solo glare was still mildly frightening, too.
"Toss the blaster over there. The spare on your right leg, too."
Gej did what Solo said, his eyes narrowing and a curse under his breath as he did so.
"Comm your copilot, tell him you're with a girl."
"Smart choice." Solo's gaze got even harder. "You've gotten wiser in your old age, Gej."
Gej had time to curse Solo a bit before a second click sounded from behind him. He stiffened, angry at himself falling for such an obvious trap and letting another of Solo's people sneak up behind him.
Solo looked over Gej's head to the person behind him, genuine concern in his voice, Gej thought. "You all right?"
An angry female voice answered back. "Fine. Just wonderful."
Solo's girl continued. "Just shoot him and get it over with."
"Shoot me for what?"
Solo smiled, but not in a pleasant way. "New Republic Intersystem Code 4747 says I can kill you for your fifteen murders out here on the Rim. Not to mention you've got ten Rodian children smuggled in the Leaf you planned to sell here on the slave market. And we've got you on sixteen counts of fraud and –" He shrugged. "What the hell? You don't care what we've got on you, do you?"
Gej kept his silence.
"Not to mention you kissed my wife, which makes me a whole hell of a lot angrier at you than you can possibly understand."
"I didn't know she was – "
"Shut up," Solo's girl's voice said behind him. "You knew who I was."
"On Corellia, you can killforadultery, did you know that, Gej?"
Gej began to seriously doubt his chances for survival as Solo walked over and holstered Gej's blaster and pocketed the charge from his holdout. "You're awfully quiet, buddy."
"You don't murder in cold blood, Solo."
Solo bobbed his head from side to side, as if weighing decisions. "I don't, but you do." He nodded toward his girl behind Gej. "And she looks pissed enough at you to do it herself. You weren't supposed to kiss her. She's awful mad, looks like."
Gej turned slightly to stare at Solo's wife, her blaster pointed steadily at his forehead. She narrowed her eyes. "If it was a good kiss, I might not have minded."
Solo spoke up again. "Too bad you didn't impress her, Gej. She a good kisser."
She nodded. "You might've actually had fun."
Gej furrowed his brow. They were playing with him. If they really were going to kill him, they would have done it already. It was a quiet street, no witnesses. The report would only have to be tweaked to say he attempted escape. It would be that easy.
"As it stands, Gej, old buddy, you've got a few hours of NRI interrogation to go through. Sounds like you've got some info we'd like."
Ah, that was it. "Thought you were going to kill me," he rasped.
"Nah. Just stalling for time."
Gej looked up as he heard a speeder pull up and a few NR Intel agents jump out. As they came up, Solo and his girl holstered their blasters, stepped back. He found himself on the ground before he could say a word and a pair of wrist binders incapacitating him as he was bombarded by agents. He was pulled up in time to see Solo checking his wife over for injuries. They were talking quietly, until Solo noticed and turned his attention back to Gej.
"Oh, hey, Gej. You want a tip? Be a little softer next time. Leia's a lot more sensitive than she lets on."
Gej bared his teeth as he struggled against his binders. "Sithspawn. You're a pain in the ass, Solo."
Solo grinned. "Yeah, I know. You love me, Gej, admit it."
"You – "
He spared the necessity of finishing as he was shoved into the speeder and the door was closed. Gej mumbled under his breath as he regarded the interior of the speeder and concluded that it was best to go quietly. He'd just wind up with more bruises if he tried to get out of here anyway. So he sat back as the agents drove him away from Solo and his girl, cursing them the entire way there and wondering how the hell he had gotten himself into this position in the first place.
And how the hell he was going to get back at Solo from inside a prison cell.
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