Edin was normally a calm and stoic individual, but Amira somehow managed to get under his skin in more ways than one. His eyes narrowed as she rounded on him and by the time she poked his chest, there was a low, primal growl that reverberated throughout him. She wouldn’t have heard it before now, but she would know he wasn’t taking this lightly. For a moment he said nothing, his steely gaze, the one she would recall from the bar when he shot the target, meeting her fiery goldens.
“The only one trying to get you killed was you, Amira,” He said, his tone icy and low, “The ship was surrounded by hordes of infected. I cleared a path for you with fire because, in case you forgot, you’re immune to it and the infected are not,” Was she really that dense to not see his line of thinking? He knew she was on the other side of the ship and perfectly safe.
“I’m not going to apologize for not being on my best behavior when my girlfriend’s about to get torn to shreds by a horde of infected,” He snapped at her, his tone still very agitated, “You didn’t listen when I tried to get you out. If we’re going to do this, we do this as a team, which means you don’t do stupid shit that jeopardizes us both. No job is worth losing our lives for so don’t even try that with me. Got it?”
Under different circumstances, Amira might have found the low, primal growl that traveled up the Firrerreo's golden throat and hung there, suspended, enticing. It might have even evoked a tingling sensation to spread over her skin, a dangerous combination of excitement and a healthy dose of anticipation, but not right now. Right now all she could see was red. Bright, blinding, overpowering red. Stronger than his piercing blue eyes and stronger than the way he said "my girlfriend."
Got it? Who did he think he was, talking down to her as if she was nothing more than a stupid schoolgirl, just as Master Roth always had? The Champion had put up with more than enough lectures for one lifetime. First from her mother, and then from her master, and she wasn't going to put up with them from Edin, too. She'd sucked it up and taken each criticism to heart before like a good little girl, allowed it to shape her worldview and self-worth, worked hard to please her master. Not again. Not when she knew she had done nothing wrong.
"I know how Tieflings work, Edin," she spat, nostrils flared. "Contrary to your opinion of me, I'm not stupid. I think I'd know how my body works a lot better than you." Not necessarily true, depending on the context. Her tail whipped back and forth in an erratic motion, as if it took every bit of self-control she possessed to not rake it against the sharpshooter's bike and scratch the finish. "If we're going to be partners, you're going to have to let go of your pride long enough to trust me. Teammates trust each other. Just because you're the Basilisk doesn't mean you get to call all the shots and boss me around." Muscles strained against her dark skin as she continued, her hands balled into fists at her side. "You understand that? I didn't jeopardize your life. You could have ridden off any time you wanted. You jeopardized my life by blowing a kriffin' hole through that ship! How could you have possibly known which side of the ship I was in? I might be immune to fire, but I'm pretty sure I blow up the same as you."
Both hands settled on her hips, the Tiefling leaning forward onto the balls of her feet to stare directly at him, amber eyes ablaze. "What? You don't think I can take care of myself?"@Sreeya
Edin was silent through her tirade. To her surprise, he didn’t growl again or react immediately. His gaze pierced into hers as he looked at her, unconcerned by the show of her tail swinging or her fists balled up. His jaw tightened as he chose his words, that same dangerous look in his eye as she dropped his assassin name. It was at that moment that he regretted ever telling her that detail about himself, for her to be able to shout it out or throw around the term so carelessly. It didn’t matter that they were on this planet, the fact that she spat it out meant she was capable of jeopardizing his entire identity and life without regard. Those self preserving sides of him began to sound the alarms and for the briefest moment his mind went to dark places, went into the headspace of the Basilisk himself - the side that knew only to eliminate. He quickly pulled himself back from that and he said nothing about it. But it was something he wouldn’t forget. And it was something he wasn’t sure he could forgive.
“Is that what you would have done?” He asked quietly after a moment, genuine disappointment in his tone, “If in your mind you fully believed I was endangering myself and you saw me moments prior get physically dragged away by an infected? You would have sat there and done nothing or driven away?” Edin began to walk back towards the bike, “There was no physical way for you to make it to the back of the ship before I did on the bike. Sith doesn’t mean you suddenly teleport and that explosion was purely external. But I’m done explaining myself, Amira, I really don’t care to pacify or feed your stubbornness just because you can’t comprehend why my first thought was to do everything I could to get you out.”
The Firrerreo swung a leg over his bike and motioned for her to get on, “I’ll take you back to the spaceport and leave you with a bike. You wanted to do this job yourself. I won’t get in your way.”
Silence stretched on. Edin's eyes were cold. Calculating. Distant. Unfamiliar. They stared at her as if she were a stranger, as if he were a stranger. Someone she didn't know. Not even the man she had sat down next to in a cantina on a whim.
"No," she answered in a firm voice, her gaze determined, shaking her head. "You know I wouldn't have just left you, and I wouldn't have sat around twiddling my thumbs either. I would fight to the gates of Chaos and back to save you." Amira thought he realized that, after everything they had shared, after everything they had said to one another on Dantooine. Holding each other in their arms beside the still, warm water beneath the stars. Tucked away from the rest of the world, where they could truly be themselves. Surely those weren't just words? They weren't to Amira. Edin had saved her earlier, and from a terrible, agonizing death. The Tiefling was grateful, and his steady, protecting hand meant more to her than she would ever be able to put into words. She wanted him to come to her rescue, not just today but every day that followed. It was his arms she wanted to fall into for safety, his hands she wanted to comfort her and brush away her tears. But not at the expense of her dignity—to be yelled at moments later with little to no warning, just because he didn't like a choice she'd made in the heat of the moment. A choice she still stood by.
As soon as the sharpshooter's leg swung over his speeder bike, Amira's heart sunk. Her stomach was suddenly nauseous. That was it? He was leaving? Leaving her alone? Just like that? The Tiefling's tail began to droop, and she never even realized it, settling in the dirt, limp and still. And what would the ride back be like? Would it be filled with more silence, followed by an awkward and shattering goodbye at the spaceport? Would she even ever see him again after that?
To hide her face, the Champion turned away from Edin, diverting her gaze to anything but him, just long enough to process the situation and get a grip on her emotions. Maybe that wasn't a good idea, retreating into her head and allowing herself to get caught up in the moment, because she could feel herself starting to spiral, and slender fingers ran through her hair, trying to ground herself.
This was how it had always been with Roth. She would make a mistake. Speak out of turn. They would argue, he would lecture her, and then she would be punished. Sometimes, they would part ways. Hours would stretch into days and days into weeks, without a single word passing between them. Sometimes she wouldn't even see him, when he'd lock himself away in his office or leave on extended trips without her. The Tiefling would spend every passing day alone, wandering the halls and rolling lawns of his estate on Muunilinst, or worse—exploring the dark passageways of his labyrinth beneath Dorinth, forbidden to journey to the surface until she had been forgiven. Then, when the proper amount of punishment had been dolled out and enough time had passed, she would be forgiven. They would make up, and life would be wonderful. Until the next mistake, the next word spoken in haste. Then the vicious cycle would repeat.
Amira couldn't go through that again. The long nights spent tossing and turning in her bed, crying, wondering if their relationship would ever be the same again. The days spent going through the motions, agonizing over the possibility that she would never see him again, that he was satisfying himself with another woman halfway across the galaxy. Not with Edin. Especially with Edin.
Dark hands fell away from her head, and she turned to face the Firrerreo again at last, but she didn't say anything at first. Instead, she closed the distance between them and reached across the bike. If he didn't stop her, she would switch the speeder off and take a single step back, tucking loose strands of silver behind each ear, like a timid schoolgirl. "No," she said, voice breaking. "We're going to stay here and talk this out. After that..." There she paused, diverting her gaze from him as her shoulders began to sag imperceptibly, the thought alone enough to crush her from the inside out. "After that, if you still want to leave, I won't stop you."
That was the last thing she wanted to say, but she meant every word. Amira wouldn't stop him, and she wouldn't cling to him and beg him to stay with her, as much as she desperately wanted to. She wanted to tell him that, more than anything, she wanted him—needed him to stay by her side, but she couldn't. Not without looking pathetic. Not without looking like the small, inadequate woman that, deep down, she knew she was. She'd pleaded with Master Roth before, and she wasn't going to do it again. For her own sake, and for Edin's. @Sreeya
Edin despised the whirlwind of emotions he felt, all of it unfamiliar to him. He had been cool and detached for as long as he could remember. He remembered the cost of his attachments and how it allowed warlords to constantly take advantage of him and have him do their dirty work. He didn’t become such a proficient killer by accident - it had been a devastating curse to mold him into one of the deadliest assassins in the galaxy. He coasted through life on his own terms. He took whatever he wanted from the galaxy and never worried about giving anything back. It had all been so simple. All before he ever used a tiefling to level his shot to pop a bounty. All until he gazed into those golden eyes that forever etched themselves into his mind and heart. All until he felt as if he were the target of a scoped shot instead of him doing the shooting.
The Firrerreo watched the way her tail drooped and there was a visible shift in his posture. His gaze lingered on her, his expression softening as they stood in silence for a long moment. There was nothing but the guttural groans of the undead in the sinkhole. Edin watched in silence as she switched off the bike, his hands drawing away from the bike handles as he watched her demeanor change. Just as she hadn’t seen him withdraw and turn to ice, he hadn’t seen her be anything but her fiery self. Seeing the tail droop and the way her gaze didn’t meet his shattered through whatever walls he put up.
He said nothing when she finally spoke, his gaze still lingering on her. As her eyes turned from his once more, he reached up to gently cup her chin and tilt her face to look at him again. Edin said nothing for a moment, forcing her to look at him, drinking in the sight of her eyes and allowing her to see his own gaze in turn. There was hurt reflected in them both.
“I never want to leave unless you want me to,” Edin said finally after a long moment, “I’m messing up because I don’t know how to do this. I don’t know how to stay my hand, how to keep my cool like I always do, how to be in control, how to just stop myself from acting when I see you in danger,” He spoke with while still cupping her face, “I don’t know how to be rational when I’m so stupidly in love with you, Amira.”
There was no telling what the Firrerreo would do next. He was as stubborn as a falumpaset, as headstrong as one of those goats he despised, and as unpredictable as the weather on Dromund Kaas. He was a drifter, an assassin with no ties and no responsibilities beyond his next paycheck. Men like him—they didn't want to be tied down, particularly after the childhood he had been forced to endure on Tatooine, at the mercy and the whims of slavers. Monsters, who didn't care whether he lived or died. As safe and secure as the Tiefling might have felt every time he held her in his arms, as valued as she might have felt every time he pulled her close and whispered in her ear, there was always that nagging voice in the back of her head. The one that reminded her that he would never allow himself to grow too attached to her, that she'd never mean as much to him as he did to her, that she was nothing more than Master Roth's used up leftovers.
But then the sharpshooter always did the most unexpected thing. This time, he cupped her face in his hand, calloused fingers brushing against her chin, and forced her to look at him again. She could see her own pain reflected in those brilliant blue eyes of his, along with something else that she couldn't quite place yet. All she knew was that whatever it was, it gave her hope, and she would cling to that hope for as long as she could, golden eyes never straying.
The gesture brought her thoughts back to Dantooine, to the impromptu dance they had shared in her living room, when he curled his finger under her chin and murmured against her lips, I'll stay as long as you want.' He'd said it then, in the midst of domestic bliss and contentment, swaying to the rhythm of one of his mother's favorite songs, and he said it now. On an abandoned planet, beset with undead zombies and unchecked natural predators, right after their first real fight. All the available evidence suggested that he meant every word, that his consistency didn't depend on the setting or the situation they found themselves in. He wasn't going anywhere, a permanent fixture in her life—hopefully forever. His past, her past, the baggage they would carry with them into the future—it all felt so insignificant in the moment.
"You haven't messed anything up," she said, her expression slack and her pupils large as they stared at each other. The Champion leaned forward, into his embrace, and wrapped her arms around his neck. One hand stroked the back of his head, slender fingers fiddling with his hair as they often did. This was like a scene out of one of those sappy holodramas Amira indulged in from time to time, where the love interest would take the leading lady in his arms and whisper words that took her breath away. Words so powerful and so moving as to make her forget about the rest of the world and everyone in it, to the point that she was willing to follow him to the ends of the galaxy, no matter the cost. But this wasn't a holodrama, and it was happening to her, not some actress. This was real, and she knew it was, by the familiar warmth that flooded her body in waves, by the nerve endings that stirred and tingled with every little touch—somehow more overpowering that ever before.
Edin had elicited desire in her before, so strong that it clouded her judgement and left her aching to touch him, but this time it was different. All because of three little words. Three little words that she wasn't sure she would ever hear. "You love me?" she repeated in a small, breathless voice. The Firrerreo would practically be able to feel her racing pulse, her heart hammering against her chest. "You're sure?"
Amira stared at him, golden eyes searching his for any sign, any sliver of indecision or doubt, but she found none. He meant it—just as he always did. The Firrerreo had never been anything less than honest with her, from that first day on Takodana, when he'd told her he was the Basilisk, until now. He'd always been telling her the truth, whether she realized it or not.
This time, the Tiefling was going to ignore that nagging voice in the back of her head. The seeds of doubt planted long ago by her master and her own crushing failures. Edin was the only thing she was going to focus on, allowing his words and the euphoria of every look and touch to ground her in this moment. Nothing mattered but this moment, but the happiness she had never known until now. "You haven't messed anything up," she repeated, leaning against his chest plate, their faces inches away from each other now. The radiant glow of her features couldn't be mistaken for anything less than wholehearted adoration. Her left hand reached upward, to wrap around his, still cupping her cheek.
"Your hands are right where they belong. On me. They're steady, and they're gentle, and I wouldn't change anything about them because..." She laughed, unshed tears welling up in her eyes. "I love you, too, Edin. I love everything about you. I don't ever want you to leave. I want you to stay right here—to be my protector, my lover, and my companion."
The Tiefling erased the distance between them, pressing her lips to Edin's with all of the intensity and craving of a first kiss. @Sreeya
Edin couldn’t help but give her one of his famous fanged grins when she asked if he was sure, “Why, should I rethink this?” He quipped back right away. It was a heavy topic, but he knew where he stood. He had always known. Saying it out loud was cathartic and liberating for him and he knew it was a shot he wanted to take regardless of where it landed. Seeing the emotions well up in Amira’s face confirmed that he wasn’t alone in this. The Firrerreo welcomed it when she closed the distance between them. As she spoke, it was as if he had been a corpse that had a defibrillator zap it back to life. He hadn’t even known that emotions could course through him like this - like electricity zapping through every neural pathway and jolting him to life.
He leaned into the kiss as she closed the last bit of distance, savoring it as if he had never kissed her before. In some ways, this was the first time. There were no coy smiles, no dancing around the topic, this was when they had laid their souls bare. Of course, it had to be right next to a sinkhole filled with dying infected. The stench of death was lingering strong enough for his sensitive senses to pick up, but he focused only on Amira and breathing her in instead.
His hands wrapped around her, one of them gently brushing against her silky strands as he tugged her close. Passion laced into the way he kissed her, his hands shamelessly traveling along her body. She would know she was desired and that she was his with the way he gripped her. After a moment, he finally drew back to gaze into her eyes.
Without a word, he moved off the bike and kicked down the lock to steady it. Edin’s hands grasped Amira by her slender hips and lifted her up to prop her on the bike, allowing her legs to wrap around his hips as he stood facing her. The Firrerreo stared at her for a moment before shrugging vaguely.
“...Can’t be worse than a barn,” He said simply before tilting his head to grin at her.
"Absolutely not," Amira laughed as soon as their lips parted, unable to bite back the silly, lovestruck grin that stretched across her lips and made her face glow. She still hadn't come down from the high of hearing Edin say, 'I love you'—her knees week and her stomach fluttering as if a hundred butterflies had been trapped inside—and she hoped that it would be a long, long time before she did. She didn't want the excitement to fade, to fall into domestic drudgery, and hoped that the distance and the months apart that were unavoidable in their line of work would keep that spark alive and thriving. Even if it was torture every time they parted ways, each time she was forced to say goodbye—as long as it meant he would always come back to her, it was worth it. The Tiefling's amber eyes wandered Edin's face, memorizing every line and every detail all over again. "I have a thousand reasons why you shouldn't change your mind... and I want to show you each and every one of them." There was a part of her that didn't believe those words, and that probably never would, but the way Edin's hands wandered the length of her, the way his aquamarine eyes gazed at her made her feel as if she were the most desired woman in the entire galaxy. More valuable to him than all of the universe's precious gemstones, beskar, and alcohol thrown together. No man had ever made her feel this way. This valued. This needed. This important. This loved. Scars, temper, and all.
Deft, possessive hands reached for the restrictive armor he wore, fumbling with its plating and fabric while her head dipped forward. "Looks like I'll get to ride more than just your bike today," she whispered into his ear, teeth dragging against its pointed rim as tangles of silver hair brushed against his face, giving him a whiff of the Tiefling's jasmine scent. Dark lips traveled down his neck after that, slow and methodical as they sampled his golden skin.
Then, abruptly, she drew back, practically pouting as she stared at his chest plate. Amira had plenty of experience in this department, but never with his armor. It didn't just slip off like his normal clothing did. "I can't get this thing off," she frowned impatiently, anchoring her hand to his belt so he couldn't go very far. She glanced up, her smile gradually returning the longer she stared at him. "Mind helping?"@Sreeya
Edin couldn’t help but chuckle as she fumbled against the armor. He tilted his head and grinned at her, “What, only experienced with stormtrooper armors?” The Firrerreo reached down and unclasped pieces of the plating covering him, letting it fall one by one with a thud. However, his desires and urges got the best of him and he didn’t want to be parted with her for any given time. He leaned in to capture her lips once more as he undid his armor.
It wasn’t long before he got to work on her own attire, still keeping her propped against the bike. It was just as emotionally charged as it was physical, and he completely forgot about the infected or their fight earlier. The most important thing was Amira and the sense of liberation he felt from having told her how he felt. He fought against it for so long, and he thought he could run away from it on different instances while they were apart. And yet he found himself back in her arms each time and he knew there was nowhere else he wanted to be. He loved her and there were no ifs or buts about it - for better or worse he belonged to her.
At some point later they found themselves on the ground. Edin gazed up at the night sky, spotting mostly a haze with a star twinkling here and there. He was almost used to the infected stench just barely lingering, but he mostly focused on the jasmine scent of Amira. He had his arm around her, holding her body close and ignoring the discomfort of the ground against his back.
This was certainly a twist from where he expected the night to go from where they started, but a part of him wasn’t entirely surprised. Edin exhaled softly, sweat lining his bare skin from their activities and the hot and humid climate. The Firrerreo’s hair was disheveled and his skin shimmered between gold and silver in contentment, a low purr rumbling deep in his throat.
Edin turned to gaze at her, reaching over to brush aside a few strands of her silvery hair, “I hope this doesn’t mean you expect me to be more likely to stand around doing nothing when I think you’re in danger,” He said with a raised brow, a smile gracing his lips.
The Tiefling watched Edin carefully, golden eyes intent on every movement he made, unclamping each piece of armor and tugging them free, committing the procedure to memory. Even when he started to kiss her again, his desire palpable, her hands followed the course his took, along the rest of his armor until every last piece of it had been discarded, scattered across the dirt and the sand. Exactly where it belonged. Then her hands wandered to his bare back, stroking the scars that told a story. Stories she would want to hear, when she wasn't otherwise preoccupied.
"Next time I'll undress you myself," she promised, words spoken barely above a whisper as she pulled him close, amber eyes ablaze.
Darkness had fallen over Utapau, and the two lovers stared up at the night sky—a warm, hazy blanket all their own. The air was warm, the night quiet and still, apart from their own labored breathing and the occasional groan of the undead. The zombies, only feet away from them, had completely slipped Amira's mind until this moment. So had the mission, for that matter, but she didn't mind. Both would keep until morning, when the sun had risen and they could plot their next course without distraction. Tonight, all she wanted to do was fall asleep in Edin's arms. It had been weeks since she had, and it wasn't every night the man of your dreams confessed his love for you. The experience they had just shared together had been utterly ethereal, one of a kind—as if it were the first time she'd ever been touched by a man. Loved by man. In many ways, it was.
Eventually, she would need to rummage through her backpack for the sleeping bag and the food she had brought along with her, but for now, she just took a deep, savoring breath and watched the Firrerreo's skin shimmer in the moonlight, changing colors. It was difficult to tear her eyes away from his body, toned and on full display for her and her alone, so she didn't even try, ogling him shamelessly. These moments were already too far and few between for her liking. Edin was like a drug—addictive and intoxicating but without the adverse side effects—and Amira couldn't get enough of him. His voice. His smell. His touch. His striking, boyish features. She almost wished she could take her dataphone out and snap a picture of him right then and there, to never forget what he looked like at this exact moment, but she knew that he would probably protest.
So instead, she just scooted closer to him and slipped her leg in between his, intertwining their bodies. "Of course not," she chuckled softly in reply, fingernails sketching a pattern across his chest. She wanted Edin to come to her rescue, just as much as she wanted to come to his. The Tiefling craned her neck against his shoulder, staring up at him and smiling at the sight of his messy hair, matted to his scalp with sweat. He'd never looked more handsome than at that moment. "I never got to thank you for earlier... that was quite the shot." She shuddered a little at the memory, as if she could still feel the zombie's cold, lifeless hands grip her by the horns.
Brief, tender kisses were pressed along his jawline as she spoke. "You should swing by my place soon, so I can thank you properly. There's something I want to give you."@Sreeya