January 31, 2012
It feels like having a torn hole inside you;
Red and ragged at the edges,
Where teeth have grabbed
And pulled and ripped,
Fringing a dark and bloody void.
It aches and aches
And will not heal,
Just a torn and bloody hole
Where love used to be
And now never will.
January 20, 2012
I thought I told you to leave me
While I walked down to the beach
Tell me how does it feel
When your heart grows cold?
An angled plane of green light swept over the still contours of her face; it could have passed for a human woman’s, and a beautiful one at that, were it not for the strong blue colour of her skin, touched with a gentle purplish sheen along the cheekbones and above the brow. The wide, lambent red eyes were closed, creating an illusion of serenity that was quite alone in the cold, precise chaos of the room. Two medi-droids employed their many limbs and instruments cutting incisions, spraying fresh cells into burns and contusions, manipulating and setting broken bones and pumping into her veins the analgesics that kept her so still, so silent.
“You don’t do Sith jobs, do you, Eul’yara’kolia?”
Small for a Chiss, she had to bounce a little in her step to match paces with Keeper, an older human male of substantial intelligence and verve. The greying hair at his temples provoked an instinctive respect she couldn’t quite stifle, though she knew it was quite common in humans. It wasn’t the miracle it seemed amongst her people, who were uniformly ebon-tressed, with the appearance of grey strands denoting the siring of an exceptional child or children. Still, it didn’t seem that unlikely. For all his age, Keeper retained intellectual and physical capabilities that many a younger agent could spend their life envying. That he might have sired a few pink-skinned offspring to inherit those traits didn’t seem impossible.
He was also kind; at least, as kind as an Imperial Intelligence handler could be. He’d taught her well to clear her head and purge her feelings, but what warmth she retained had settled solidly on Keeper as a father-figure. She skipped again to catch up.
“Working directly with the Sith. You’ve been avoiding it. Can’t say I blame you, but it’s been noticed. So I’m giving you an assignment before Darth Imagus does.”
It took him a few paces more to realize she wasn’t breathing, her eyes blank as she focused on some internal debate. He stopped and handed her a dossier. “House Taiva. It’s run by a Twi’lek, very far from the conservative, pureblood Houses, but potentially valuable all the same. And should keep you out of trouble, at least enough to keep Master Kargas…. and me… happy.”
She took the datapad from him with a forceps snip of stiffened fingers. It was a mantra among old agents: “Don’t work with Sith.” They were all bone crazy, every single one.
The faintest hint of a smirk twisted her lips. “Don’t worry, sir. I didn’t want to live forever anyway.”
When you’d your hands upon me
And told me who you are
I thought I was mistaken
I thought I heard your words
Tell me, how do I feel?
Voices, distorted and incomprehensible, swelled and withered in and out of her awareness like great clouds of blackened sound. Splotches of light eddied across the inside of her eyelids. She thought she felt a touch on her face for a moment, the ghostly warmth of fingers that would never touch her again. Her throat constricted, the brutal force of emotion startling her; it was a grief, an ache that she’d thought long since dwindled away.
“Please… Please don’t go, Daddy. Please don’t leave me again.”
The world was empty; there was nothing to answer her silent prayer and such foolish dreams were for children. In the space of a heartbeat, she was sitting up, forcing her eyes open, parsing the blurred image of a white room by force of logic and guesswork when her eyes refused to adapt fast enough to suit her. A scalpel blade swiped from a nearby tray and tucked into her palm prepared her for the worst but slowly returning vision showed her no immediate threats. She gave a smug, sardonic smile for the medi-droids as she slipped out of bed and forced herself to stand.
She told herself she didn’t feel the pain. Not from her wounds, not from the repairs, not from anything. There was no past. Only today.
“Did I happen to have any visitors while I was asleep?”
He’d kissed her. Parried a lightsabre strike that would have taken her head off along with his, then kissed her. Why had he kissed her? Why had he tried to save her life while she tried to kill him? Why had he tried to save her life and then guaranteed its ending by sticking his tongue down her throat?
His facial tendrils had tickled against her skin, the sensation vivid in her memory.
The lightning had burned. An equally clear recollection, strong enough to make a wince ripple across the indolent mask of her features.
The purebloods in House Taiva had been looking for an excuse to get rid of her and Hesadryt had handed it to them. Her collaboration in the twins’ execution might have set her straight with her superiors but that kiss could have queered everything.
If she’d just had another 24 hours, everything could have been so much better. She’d had it all figured out. Hesadryt, Avarox, Mahal and most importantly, the Matron – everything would have clicked, if it wasn’t for one horny twit with an assault cannon. And now she looked like a traitor herself.
“Inquisitor Sha’tar of House Taiva was here approximately two hours ago.”
The droid’s voicebox was still synthesizing the last syllable when she jumped out of the window.
I see a ship in the harbour
I can and I shall obey
But if it wasn’t for your misfortune
I’d be a heavenly person today.
[Lyrics: “Blue Monday” by New Order.]
January 15, 2012
A full moon and long, shallow puddles across the road and pavements painted the night outside in chiaroscuro, silver and black. Ian and Dolly staggered hand-in-hand over an arched bridge in front of the palatial Innocenti town house, occasionally losing their grasp on each other and weaving apart with loud exclamations and much laughter, then veering in again to be reunited through a random process of misplaced hugs, hand clasps, ass-grabbing and yet more laughter. At last, reaching the street and the pillared balustrade looking over the wide, flat vacancy of the river, Ian lifted his girl up to the top of the wall and gave her a long, breathless kiss while she wrapped her legs around him.
Resting her chin on his shoulder, Dolly watched the house out of the corner of one eye, nuzzling gently at his neck and ear while she murmured “I thought we were supposed to pretend to be drunk and horny?”
The two broad-shouldered men at the townhouse’s front door gave them only cursory glances. Once they had left the front gate, they’d ceased to be of any concern, despite the enthusiasm with which they’d expelled the couple mere moments before.
“I’m doing really well,” Ian mumbled into her neck, pausing to puff out the few strands of her hair that clung to his lips, “…at about half of that. Any sign of Mike yet?”
She shook her head, snapping a play-bite at his shoulder. “Nuh-uh. Everything seems calm, though.” Her fingers squeezed at the top of his right arm. “Wait a minute… There he is.” Nothing more than a flicker of movement at a top floor window, a shadow blending into first, a trellis, then up to the black shingle of the roof. “He’s going over the bicep.”
Ian pulled back to look at her face, a huge, mischievous grin claiming the lower half of his face. “Did you just say ‘bicep’ for no reason?”
She flushed, lower her eyes, but there was an answering sparkle in her eyes as she squeezed her legs to pull him back against her. “No.” She shook her head, lips pressed solemnly together, but her body shook with suppressed mirth.
“No, you didn’t just say ‘bicep’?” He was laughing too, cupping her head between his hands as he rested his brow on the crown of her head, smelling the soft, subtle scent that always clung in her hair.
She squeezed his arm again. “No, I said ‘bicep.’ I just had a really good reason for it.”
“Well now, if there are any other muscles you’d like to inspect…”
A quiet splash came from the water behind them and Ian looked down to see Mike’s head and shoulders breaking the surface of the water. He was still wearing his tuxedo; it clung heavily to his limbs as he grabbed the bottom of the balustrade and pulled himself up.
“I thought you two were supposed to be waiting at Meier’s Yard?” Mike kept his voice to a harsh whisper, his wet clothes and hair making their own rain as they dripped into the black glass water around him.
Ian tucked his chin into his wife’s shoulder and hissed at his friend. “Something came up. Can’t you wait for ten frigging minutes?”
“No I bloody can’t! It’s freezing in here and this tux is a rental!”
“Fine! Five minutes, then!” He gave his wife an apologetic kiss on the forehead. “Sorry, love, no foreplay.”
She gave him a wide-eyed, vapid look. “What’s foreplay?”
“Behave!” Ian’s jaw set. “Right! Mike, give me the ring!”
A dripping arm stretched up from the shadow of the wall, meeting Ian’s down-stretched hand and slapping something small and gleaming into the palm. “Rendezvous in the bar for a couple of drinks after I’ve changed?” Mike whispered.
Ian shook his head sternly and lifted Dolly down from the balustrade, giving her a solid slap on the rump that sent a seismic wave running from back to front and quite wiped out his ability to think of work along with any wish to look at a skinny, wet, rat-faced thief instead of his girl.
“No way, mate. Tomorrow’s soon enough for celebrating. I’ve got one more job to do before tonight’s over.”
Ian straightened his tie and gave a purposeful thrust of his chin. “Got me some educating to do!” He aimed a kick at Mike’s fingers, sending the other man dropping back into the water with a splash and a drowned expletive, then jogged after the mesmeric swish of his wife’s hips. As they faded into the night together, there was a squeal, then more giggling and finally there was nothing save the rhythmic wash of the tidal river.