A/N: I'd like to thank my beta reader, Zyra M, for all of her help on this story and on all of my stories. A million thanks!
And this chapter should live up to the "M" rating, so you've been warned.
The Path Forward
Chapter Seven: Words and Flimsis
Arriving back on Kashyyyk, the couple was greeted by Chewie, Malla, Luke, Threepio and Artoo. After some good-natured complaining on Luke's choice of guests for the event, the group headed for Chewie's house to eat dinner together.
During dinner, Han's aggravation over Threepio's presence was overshadowed by Leia's announcement that the two of them would sleep separately on this night before their nuptials and that they would not see each other the entire next day until the actual ceremony was held in the early evening. Not really caring what her reasons were, but pouting like a small child, Han heard something about anticipation and dresses, makeup and hairdo's.
When his eyes gazed upon her for the first time, some twenty hours later, he may not have known anything more about dresses, or hair and makeup than he had the night before, but he certainly understood the anticipation part. She walked towards him slowly and Han had the insane feeling that she just might vanish before she reached him. As she turned to stand next to him, he grabbed her hand just to make sure she was real.
The ceremony was a blur of tears, laughter and a couple of all-important 'I do's'. Afterwards they danced and ate and visited among their small group of friends. Leia had been right. A once-in-a-lifetime event is not defined by where you are or how many people are there to witness it, but who those people are and what they mean to you. Han had everyone that was anyone to him in the entire galaxy for this once-in-a-lifetime event there with him and he couldn't have dreamed it up to have happened much better than this.
How often did reality surpass your dreams, Han wondered as he held Leia in his arms around that dance floor one last time. As the night wound down, the couple said their goodbyes and walked hand-in-hand toward the small, secluded hut where Han had proposed just days before.
Stepping into the hut as a married couple, Han felt strangely different, as if he had reinvented himself in the last few days. If this is what having a permanent, happy life and future spread out before him felt like, then he truly had been missing something all those years. As they entered the room, he inhaled deeply and said, "Somehow this place feels different."
He watched Leia walk towards the balcony and heard her say, "Yes, somehow I feel totally different."
Realizing that he had placed the 'different' feeling on the room and not himself, even though that is what he had meant and that Leia had said what he couldn't, he asked, "In a good way?"
Leia turned around and rested her elbows against the railing behind her. Han smiled at the sight of her in her dress, the ring he had designed especially for her, sparkling on her finger. "Yes, of course. I just didn't expect it to be so…immediate," she clarified. And then turning her back to him, she looked out towards the waterfall in the distance and said, "It was only a few words and a couple of flimsis. I didn't think I would feel like an entirely different person than I was yesterday."
Han looked down at his own hand and the ring upon his finger, her words causing his stomach to turn uneasily. He stepped up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist. Resting his head on her shoulder, he gave her a squeeze and whispered into her ear, "It was more than just words and flimsis."
She spun around in his arms and looked at him. "I know." She placed her hands on his chest and looked down at her fingers. Shaking her head, she said, "I don't know. That came out wrong."
He took his finger and lifted her chin. "You're not having second thoughts?"
Shaking her head, she croaked out, "No." She wrapped her arms around his neck. "Absolutely, positively not. You're the best thing that has ever happened to me."
"Hey." He bent down and kissed her on the nose. "That was my line."
"Yeah, well, I've let you believe that all these years, but it's really me who's the lucky one."
"I think we'll have to concede to a draw on that one, Princess."
"I like when you call me princess," she confessed, after all the years of bristling at his nicknames.
"I always suspected as much." He lowered his lips and began to trail tiny kisses along her neck.
A long, breathy moan escaped through her throat and she pressed herself against him. "And sweetheart…especially."
He lifted his head up and their eyes met. "Are you trying to reveal all your deep, dark secrets to me, Your Highness?"
"Now that one," she said with a smile as she shook her head at him, "I'm not too fond of." He watched her smile widen and he responded with a crooked grin. She swallowed and her smile immediately disappeared, her expression turning serious. "And no, unfortunately, you already know all of my deep, dark secrets and yet you still stood up there and married me today."
He watched the tears well up in her eyes. Han wondered how two people could both feel with every fiber of their being that one did not deserve the other. He only knew that he planned to spend the rest of his life proving to the galaxy that he deserved this woman standing here in front of him.
He made a point to keep his crooked grin in place as he gave her a squeeze and said, "Hey, now, none of that. It's our wedding night."
"You know I don't do well with change." She blinked and Han watched a tear fall down her cheek.
"What change? Nothing's going to change. We're just official now, that's all, Mrs. Solo."
The smile returned to her lips and she studied him for a moment. "I was wondering if you would mind if I kept the Organa name."
Han felt his mouth fall open slightly, but he hadn't found the words he wanted to say yet so the silence hung there between them. Truly this request did not bother him and in actuality he felt it may be a positive step for her in light of her recent struggles with the memory of Bail Organa. He took a deep breath and finally said, "If that's what you want."
"I mean, I would take your name, too…of course."
Smiling at her, he replied, "Of course."
"I certainly want every woman in the galaxy to know that your name is the only thing about you that is still single."
His grin turned wicked and she rewarded him with her best rendition. He lowered his face to hers and confirmed, "So, Ambassador Leia Organa Solo?"
"Yes." She dropped her hands from around his neck and wrapped them around his torso instead. Han noticed her tears were drying up. Tightening her arms around him, she asked, "That sounds right, don't you think?"
"Naw, doesn't sound right." Lowering his lips down to her neck again, he breathed out, "It sounds perfect."
The crashing of the waterfall pounded in his ears and all his focus landed on just one thing. Anticipation had finally gotten the best of him as his fingers explored the back of her dress, unlocking the tiny fasteners that held it together. The delicate straps resting on her shoulders fell down to the crooks of her arms and before they went any further, Han lifted her up and carried her towards the bed.
"I've never made love to a married woman," he confessed in her ear.
"That's certainly a relief," she deadpanned in return.
He lowered her to the ground so that she stood before him. His hands were gently grasping her at the shoulders and he felt her trembling.
"Are you alright?" His hands gave her a squeeze and his crooked grin faded.
He shrugged his jacket off, her arms fell down to her sides and he began to undo his shirt buttons. "Wedding night jitters?" He asked as his shirt hit the floor and he stepped out of his shoes. His belt buckle clicked open and she nodded her head with a smile. There might be something to this anticipation stuff, he conceded. "Don't worry, sweetheart. I'll be gentle."
He pulled his belt off with a 'zing' as it unwound from around his waist. The action and the noise seemed to jolt her back to reality.
She stepped out of her shoes and smiled as she said, "I thought gentle was for before the wedding."
He cocked his head to the side and slipped his pants and boxers down to his ankles. She leaned into him, her hand slipping in between them.
His forehead dropped on her shoulder for a moment while a long, guttural groan escaped his lungs. "Gods, Leia you are going to kill me one of these days."
He lifted his head and stared at her, her arm moving slowly in between them. His eyes and his hands went to her head as he began to remove the myriad of clips holding her hair in its elaborate 'do. Her mouth began to explore his chest and his neck.
As her tresses began to fall, Han noticed that they just barely reached down to her mid-back. He grabbed her busy hand and stilled it as he whispered, "Your hair."
Her lips moved across his neck and she licked his earlobe. Her breath was hot against his ear. "Do you like it?"
He watched her dress slide down her body and his hands cupped her breasts. "Yes."
"It's traditional to leave the hair uncut until the wedding day." She pulled her face away to look at him as she added, "I was beginning to think mine would reach the floor before then…"
Her wicked grin reappeared, effectively cutting off his argument on how long ago he would've married her if able to. He shook his head at her cruel teasing. "You are a wicked, wicked woman."
"I keep trying to tell you that." Grabbing him by the shoulders she spun them both around and pushed him down onto the bed.
Propping himself up on his elbows, he watched as her hands slid her panties off her hips. Waggling his eyebrows, he took in the sight of her standing there naked in front of him and agreed, "Um. That you do." While he gave her a devilish grin and a wink, he added, "How 'bout you try showing me instead?"
He watched her as she looked at him for a moment as if deciding on her next move. He had felt different just moments before and now she looked different to him. She was his now and it put an entirely new spin on his desire to possess her. Any concern that he had ever had regarding marriage turning down the heat on their want for each other or casting a dullness onto their love life seemed very much unfounded to the naked Corellian at this very moment.
She placed her knee between his legs on the bed and then lowered herself to him. As she trailed tiny kisses up his inner thigh, Han contemplated the advantages of anticipation one last time as he fell back on the bed and slammed his eyes shut following the warm sensation of her mouth surrounding him. Talk about reality surpassing your dreams.
His hands fumbled down into her hair as he moaned, "Holy hells, Leia."
Lingering for what seemed like an eternity longer. She finally released him and began to plant tiny kisses up his stomach and across his chest. His hands slowly working themselves along the curves of her body as they came into his reach.
"What were you saying about me killing you one of these days?" she whispered into his ear as he felt her tongue flick along his earlobe and a shiver run down his spine.
"I thought you had wedding night jitters," he teased as he watched her pull her face from his and look at him. Smiling at her, he said, "Just what did they put in that cake?"
His eyes fell to her breasts as she lifted herself further up and let him explore her body freely, his hands roaming over her soft, warm skin.
"Wouldn't you like to know," she replied and he watched her giggle, as if she was pleased with her own wantonness for him this evening. And as she lowered her face back down to his, he saw a wild look in her eyes that nearly frightened him.
It wasn't as if he and Leia hadn't done just about everything possible in the bedroom by now, but something about it being their wedding night had set even the seemingly mundane on fire. Like the fact that her hair no longer covered much of anything when it draped over her shoulders. And the way their rings sparkled in the moonlight that was pouring through the windows. Or the way her soft, white skin contrasted against his tanned body.
"You know you were wearing white out there today," Han reminded her as he watched Leia position herself over him and lower herself down.
His mouth fell open and he sucked in a deep, long breath as she took him inside of her. "Were being the operative word there, Captain."
Han couldn't stop the wide, crooked grin that crept across his face as he shook his head at her. "Just how much wine did you have at the reception?"
"Would you quit worrying about my diet," she breathed out as she rocked herself back and forth on top of him.
Just what she was having for dessert, if it ever was a question, was now quite clear to him. Han placed his hands behind his head and felt content to watch her like this for the rest of his life. Her constant shifting from sitting straight up to leaning in towards him, from kissing him on his mouth to trailing her tongue and tiny kisses along his chest and arms and any other piece of skin she could find, nearly making him dizzy. But he was Corellian after all, and he managed to keep up with her, if not keep count for her.
A serious expression clouded over her face and she sat up straight and slowed her pace. The sheen of perspiration that painted her body made her skin glisten in the fading moonlight. Han watched her lick her lips, her eyes danced with delight and then he watched a wide grin crawl across her face as she said, "Can you believe we're married?"
For some reason those words acted like a catalyst for him and he could no longer sit back and leave her in total control. His face grew serious and he grabbed her arms as he said, "From the day I met you, I never had a doubt."
Leia threw her head back and laughed at him and he couldn't help but join her as he spun her around on her back and landed on top of her. She offered no resistance.
"Find something funny, Princess?" he asked as he laced his fingers over hers, pinning her arms by her head as he began to move his hips on top of her, creating his own teasing pace.
"Nothing funny about that," she replied breathlessly and he lowered himself to her and kissed her deeply.
The frivolity disappeared as Han released her hands and quickened his pace. She began to study his body with her fingertips, trailing them over him frantically as her mouth had done earlier. He felt her fingernails dig into his back and her legs clamp around him. He was certain he had set some kind of record tonight. The pull of his own release grew larger inside of him and his resistance gave way to exhaustion.
Calling out her name he finally succumbed to it and collapsed on top of her, feeling as if every ounce of energy had been drawn out of him, his arms too weak to lift himself off of her right away.
Finally rolling over to his back, she nuzzled up into the crook of his arm and breathed out, "Who's gonna kill who one of these days?"
"You," he breathed out heavily and then added, "You are going to kill me one of these days."
He felt her fingers walk across his chest and then her arm plop down around him, as she said, "What a way to go, though, huh?"
Shaking his head he looked down at her and she tilted her head up to see him. They smiled at each other. This was definitely the way to go.
"I love you," she whispered as she stretched up to him for a kiss.
As they nestled together in the large bed, he wondered what he had done so right in the universe that had made him be lucky enough to have this incredible woman in his arms, telling him she loved him and showing him in more ways than one. He whispered the words back to her and felt her arms squeeze around him in response as she rested her head on his chest.
As his eyelids became heavy he thought once again about dreams and reality. If, as he had been told, dreams were merely wishes for the future, he felt for sure that he might never dream again.