"Get me a shot 'a juma, and keep 'em coming," I say even before I manage to take a seat. The bartender lifts a brow and studies my appearance, as though wondering just how many credits a scruffy looking gutter rat like me has to offer. Before he can jump to any conclusions, I slap a chip down onto the table and turn towards the dancing girls.
The bartender makes an odd noise behind me, one that I've come to associate with a combination of frustration and repulsion. Though, of course, I could be wrong; I've had my moments. Pushing the barkeep from my mind, I focus all my attention on the Twi'lek girls up on the stage.
Their wide hips gyrate as their hands roam their own full figured bodies, their lekku hanging down their backs and swaying with the pulsing rhythm of their dance. At one point in my life, I would have wondered away from the bar and sat at the base of their feet, feeling my pockets to ensure that I had enough credits to visit the Red Light Sector after they had finished performing.
Tonight, however, I merely reach for my drink and take a swig deep enough to take my breath away. I've tasted the finer things in life, and so I've lost my taste for glittery, colorful bodies and lekku. Not that I don't enjoy watching them, of course, 'cause I do. I'm just not affected by them as much as I used to be.
Now, my taste tends to run more down the human lane. The Jedi human lane. Five years ago…hell, even two years ago…if you'd have told me such a thing was possible I probably would have laughed at you. Or shot you, depending on my mood. Now, I'd just lift my glass and take a swig before promptly turning away. See, Jedi always manage to find a way to worm their way into your mind; to slither past all your defenses. It's part of why I hate them, really.
But this certain, manipulative woman managed to suck me into their filthy ranks. At the thought, I grimace and take another swig of my Juma. Of course, I didn't stand a chance when she stood there, those big blue eyes focused solely on me while those perfect, kissable pink lips were turned up into a hopeful smile. Like I said, I didn't really have a choice.
I'd never met a woman quite like Vitaria Niele before, and I haven't met one since. The woman was the damnest combination of tease and innocent. Those big blue eyes, too battle weary to be naïve, yet still young enough to be guileless, would bore into me one moment and make my chest hurt in a way I honestly hated, and the next she'd be walking around the hawk in little more than her underwear. Occasionally, she'd blush like a virgin at some ribald comment I'd made, but at other times she'd respond in kind with a sly wink.
The mixed signals she sent me confused me to hell, but at the same time, I was inexplicably drawn to her. Perhaps it was due to the fact that she walked into my life in her underwear, her shoulders squared and her chin lifted in defiance when I gaped like a teenager at her rather large…assets (Hey, I'd been in a prison cell for over two weeks. I was a little desperate at the time). But somehow, something told me it was more than that.
It was more than her beauty that made me stay by her side, although her beauty alone certainly would have done the trick. She had these massive, wide set blue eyes that reminded me of a Corellian Sapphire that I'd stolen (which landed me in jail, as per usual) a couple years back. Add those to a killer body and full pink lips and I was, obviously, completely lost.
But really, I think it had more to do with her personality and carriage more than anything else. Yeah, its clichéd, but hell, it's the absolute truth. The woman carried herself like she was some sort of empress or something; not in a haughty way, mind you, but in a manner that commanded respect. And kriff, did she get it. People everywhere fawned all over her. They all begged her for her help, and not just because she was a Jedi. See, by this time most everybody hated that kriffing cult for what they did in the Jedi Civil War. No, they went to her because she just has this aura about her. A help a kitty out of a tree and give bread to all the street children in the galaxy kind of aura.
And her voice…she had a voice that you strained to listen to, even if you were halfway across the cantina. Not because it's exceptionally beautiful (although it is), but because you know that she thinks before she speaks, and because every word spoken has an undercurrent of wisdom and command.
She's dedicated to everything she does, be it relationships, training, battle…whatever. She never puts out some half assed attempt. Rather, she throws her entire being into everything she does. Sometimes it drives me crazy; other times I respect her more than I've respected anyone in my life. Sometimes though…sometimes she's too dedicated.
Like now, in her fool's errand to go after Revan and help the kriffing woman 'halt the spread of the Sith.' Sheer lunacy, I tell you. The girl could barely fly the hawk, and she honestly believes she can fly herself past the outer rim, locate a crazy who obviously doesn't want to be found, kill a couple thousand men, and make her merry way back home? Craziness!
"Another," I say with a scowl as I hold my empty glass out to the barkeep. The man grumbles under his breath but refills my glass anyway. I take another deep swig, and I relish the swaying, dizzying feeling that accompanies the drink. Yet for some reason, no matter how drunk I get, I can't forget her.
I take another deep swig of the juma, desperate to forget her. I remember not too long ago, I was the roughest man you'd ever find. Women, booze, and cards- that was my game. I played it well…maybe too well for my own good. Nothing could hurt me, nothing could touch me. And then she came into my life. And suddenly no other woman could match her, no amount of booze could make me forget her, and no game of pazaak was more intriguing than her. I've gone soft.
I keep seeing those big blue eyes peering up at me, her hands nervously twisting golden strands of hair. Pleading with me to understand why she has to leave as she holds a blanket up to cover her bare chest. She never looked more beautiful than she had at that moment, her lips swollen from my kisses, sweat covering her body as a result of my attentions. And she just sat there, telling me that she needed to leave.
Letting me know that I'm not important enough for her to stay.
I look down at my glass and notice that it's empty again.
"Get me another shot of Juma."