Chapter Three: Choices

Aayla's lips gently pressed against Kit's once more as she held his face in her hands; a kiss that was soft yet tinged with nervousness and wonder. His blood warmed as she leaned in closer, feeling her body gently brush against him and he found that his hands had stopped resisting; instead they slowly closed around her waist. In response, he heard a soft pleading whimper escape Aayla's mouth as she opened her lips against his. It was then that all the rationalizing and complexities of his training fell away and the only thing that filled his mind was her.

They broke the kiss, pulling back slightly as they caught their breath. Tentatively, he reached up and brushed her cheek with his fingers. The fringes of doubt lingered in his mind until she closed her eyes and leaned into his touch. Taking his hand in hers, she lovingly kissed each webbed digit. He groaned her name while she traced one fingernail along his strong jaw. It skated down his chin, crooking under it to pull his mouth to hers again. This time the kiss was more insistent, more intense from them both as they surrendered to their feelings and held each other tightly. Kit ran his fingertips along one of her lekku experimentally and was rewarded with a sharp gasp and an involuntary shudder that ran through her entire body. Her arched neck granted him access to her delicate throat, so he lowered his head, wanting to taste her further.

Aayla's breath grew more labored as his kisses played across her sensitive skin, and she repressed a tickled laugh when he nuzzled the collar of her robe aside with his nose to expose more of her bare skin to his lips. She sighed, pressing herself harder against Kit, clutching his head in her hands and kissing and running her open lips over his cranial tendrils. She could feel his desire for her, his need for every centimeter of her being as well as hers for his; a lifetime of repressed desires building, threatening to overwhelm them utterly.

She tilted her head further to one side, wordlessly encouraging him to kiss her more. Kit's body ached from the heat of her body and his hearts raced, feeling like they would burst at any moment. His lips traveled further down, meeting the swell of her breast. "Kit..." she breathed. He lifted his head and looked deeply into her eyes.

It was a question. A request. A plea.

Taking her hands, he gently pulled her with him to his bedroom.

Aayla lowered her head demurely while her heart beat faster with every step they took towards his bedchamber. She felt like a child again: shy, yet curious, a thousand conflicting emotions surging through her heart at the thought of this most serious step they were taking. Finding them at the foot of his bed, she looked up to find Kit's eyes swirling with an intensity she'd never seen before, one that made her tremble with its hidden meaning. Kit brought his lips to hers once more and she felt an overwhelming sense of comfort in his touch. Lost in the sensations, she did not think of herself as a Jedi. She was just a female, in the arms of a male, wanting to experience all the pleasures they could bring to each other. Letting him guide her onto his bed, Aayla closed her eyes and as she felt his arms wrap her in a protective embrace, a voice in her head whispered, I love you...

Kit groaned softly as he awoke. Aayla was curled up beside him, her head nestled in the crook of his shoulder while his arm was wrapped gently around her waist. He could feel one of her smooth legs draped across him and a delicate hand resting on his chest, covered by his own. Kit reflected on how natural it felt to have Aayla lying next to him, sharing his bed, as he absently began stroking his thumb across her hand while he looked at her.

Her head-tails lay languidly across the pillow and the bed sheet was pulled up modestly to her chest. Her eyes were closed, long lashes brushing her cheeks, and her lips parted ever so slightly in sleep. She looked so innocent and peaceful, and more beautiful than he had ever seen her.

It was mid-morning, Kit wagered, which meant the clones were undergoing their regular exercise regiment before the scheduled training with the Jedi. Checking the chrono by the bed, he only had about an hour before he had to report to the training center and set up the day's lesson. Enough time for a brief shower and meditation, he decided. But as Kit tried to gently extricate himself from Aayla's embrace, he found his motions only caused her to snuggle closer against him. A pleasantly awkward dilemma, he laughed to himself. Let's see you get yourself out of this one, Jedi.

He lay there for a long moment before deciding a course of action. Wrapping his arms around her, he rolled her gently onto her back, freeing one arm, then the other. Aayla murmured something incoherent in her sleep, reaching out blindly and embracing a pillow instead.

Crawling out of bed, he picked his robe up off the floor, dressed, and walked as stealthily as his training allowed him towards the refresher. But as he did so, he noticed Aayla's feminine scent still clung to him and the pleasant aroma made him stop. Perhaps the shower can wait. After setting a pot of water on the small stove, Kit seated himself on the floor of the spartan greeting room and began meditating. He was deep in his contemplation when he felt her presence, a shimmering beacon of light in the Force.


He turned to see Aayla standing in the bedroom door, only a white sheet wrapped around her. The sight of the silken fabric tracing her every curve as it cascaded down to the floor made his insides stir. He wanted to take her in his arms again, carry her back into the bedroom and lose himself in her body once more.

"Good morning, Aayla," he said warmly. Kit rose to his feet and walked over to the stove. "I made you some tea," he said, offering her a cup.

"Thank you." She sipped the hot liquid and for several minutes they simply sat quietly. In the proverbial "light of the morning," what they had done weighed heavily on both their shoulders and neither seemed eager to broach the subject immediately. Kit decided that as the elder Jedi, he should set the example. Finding the words, he finally gave voice to his thoughts.

"Aayla. Last night..."

She nodded once; her eyes downcast. In her mind she knew what was coming, although her heart still did not wish to hear it. But her head was clearer this morning and she knew her duty. She remembered how out of control she felt last night, how out of control they both had been, and how lost they had become in their feelings. But more so how much more she had wanted, desiring never to let Kit go. Was it true what the Code was warning them of? How easy it was for selfish needs to take over?

"We mustn't allow it to happen again."

Aayla nodded in agreement, knowing the wisdom in his words. Even as she felt the hurt welling up inside her, she allowed herself to let it pass through and away. Still, her heart managed to assert itself briefly. "Do you regret..?" she asked.

Kit shook his head, a small smile forming on his lips. "Not at all, Aayla. I could never regret what we shared with each other. Nor I would I go back and undo what we did." His expression softened as he stood and took the cup from her hand, setting it down on the table before kneeling in front of her and taking her hands in his own. "But we must remember our duty as Jedi. What happened last night cannot happen again."

"I know," she replied softly.

"No matter how much we both may want it," he added.

Aayla looked up into his dark eyes, surprise quickly giving way to understanding and gratitude. "I know," she said again, smiling. "Thank you, Kit."

He nodded. Feeling that was all that needed to be said, Kit busied himself in the kitchen while she returned to his bedroom and dressed. A short time later she emerged in her robe, trailing her fingertips gently across his shoulders as she passed him on the way to the door. Without being asked, he accompanied her the short distance and pressed the keypad. As it cycled open, she turned to him and asked, "But we can be friends, can't we?" Her lekku waved slowly and Kit understood the unspoken question she asked him. He smiled gently.

"I would very much like that, Aayla."

She returned his smile with one that shone like sunlight reflecting off the seas of Glee Anselm. "I'll see you in the training room, Kit," she said. And with that, the door slid shut between them, cutting off a life that could never be.