Han Solo eased back into the low slung chair, crossed his leg and rested his right ankle on top of his left knee. In his hand, he held a short glass cut from a heavy, leaded crystal, its facets and crevices catching the light from the flickering candle on his table and twisting it and bending it like a torturer would its victim. He swirled the glass absently in his hand as if teasing the tortured refraction while he created a tornado of dark, amber liquid within the glass.
His eyes traveled the length of the night club and the sound of a husky, female voice singing in a language that Han could not quite place hummed softly in his ears. The multi-lingual spacer was able to decipher about every fifth word, recognizing the universal theme of unrequited love and heartache. His lips broke into a quick smile, thankful that he couldn't identify with the lovesick crooning, could not and had not identified with it in a long, long time.
There was a tall, lanky blonde watching him from the end of the bar. Han noticed her noticing him as she caught the tail end of his smile. He shifted in his seat and took a sip of his whiskey, letting his gaze move over to the dance floor just outside the wall of doors that were flung open into the night. When his eyes came back around the bar they landed first on the blonde, who was still studying him intently with a look Han recognized but didn't care to pursue. In the next instant his wife came into view, walking slowly but resolutely toward him, a defiant swing to her hips and a teasing smile on her lips.
Leia eyed her husband knowingly as she approached him. It wasn't a rarity that he would be noticed by the opposite sex. Hells, it wasn't a rarity that he would be noticed by the same sex. As her eyes traveled the length of his tall frame, she had no problem realizing why. It wasn't just the clean lines of his muscular build or his handsome face that did it. She, who had been privy to touch, tease and memorize every tantalizing centim of him, knew more than anyone that it was much more than that.
There was an intangible essence about him that drew people to him. It was the way he leaned back in his chair as if he owned the place, as if the chair had been built specifically for his body and anyone else would appear awkward in it. It was in the way he clung loosely to the expensive glass in his hand and twirled it around carelessly as if it and the world around him were of no consequence whatever. And it was in his relaxed demeanor, as if time itself were hanging from his fingertips and he enjoyed toying with it mercilessly.
She enjoyed him watching her as she approached, his simmering stare setting her insides to a boil like a flashfire. In all her years as a young woman on the Senate and then in the Rebellion, mired down with taking herself oh-so seriously, she would've never thought that she would enjoy having a man ogle her body. But his was not the uncontrolled flare of desire that she had seen in the boys and young men during her limited encounters with them. Han's had always been, and was now, a smoldering want that went much deeper than any conquest of the moment.
The other boys and men had only wanted her for themselves, for an aspiration of some sort that they would fulfill by conquering her. Han had wanted to liberate her, and he had. The way she was currently dressed was her acceptance of that, her homage to it. She did not mind that he looked upon her as sexual being in a tight-fitting outfit. It was part of what he had given her, and this was part of his reward.
Han moved her chair out for her with his foot, foregoing the formality of standing. She sunk into the seat with the ease of royalty as if the chair was draped in velvet and she wore a tiara on her head. Alderaan may have been destroyed, but she would always be a Princess.
"I thought you got lost," Han offered over a sip of his whiskey.
He let his gaze pour over her, starting with her hair. She wore it up in an assortment of clips that made it appear that the look was achieved haphazardly, allowing several strands to fall innocently down her neck and onto her shoulder as if by mistake. It seemed that one innocent puff of air would cause the entire thing to tumble loosely down her back. But, having waited patiently for her to perfect the hassle-free look and having an in depth knowledge of how to skillfully dismantle it, Han knew much better than that.
"There was a line," Leia replied dryly.
Han's eyes continued to amble down the length of her, admiring the sheath of a dress clinging to her taut body that had almost prevented the couple from leaving their hotel room earlier. It had tiny straps instead of sleeves and a very low neck instead of the usually very high one. It flared away from her body nowhere, unlike most of her wardrobe, hugging her every line like a lovesick puppy. The dress stopped well above her knee and she wore heels that brought her lips much closer to his than normal.
"There's always a line," he replied as he worked his way back up her body.
When their eyes met she asked, as if she had been waiting patiently to do so, "Did you order a drink for me?"
"Yes," he replied as he set his whiskey down on the table with a sigh. "But you may have had better luck at getting it served more quickly."
"Me or your friend over there," Leia replied, inclining her head toward the tall blonde at the bar.
Han followed her invisible directions, his eyes landing on the female in question. She was turned away from him, her attention distracted by some other human male. Nonetheless, he allowed his eyes to drink her in for a moment, knowing full well that Leia was watching him the entire time. When he brought his attention back to her, she eyed him derisively. He laughed.
"What did you order for me?" She asked, not taking his bait.
"A fizzy sunrise."
"A fizzy sunrise?" She replied, scrunching her nose up as she leaned back in her chair. "I'm not in a fizzy sunrise mood."
Han smiled at her as he picked up his own drink. "Whiskey," he said happily, "no matter what mood I'm in."
"Our relationship would certainly have been less interesting if I was as predictable as you are."
"Our relationship would have been less interesting if we had been three-headed Zeltrons with a hormonal imbalance."
He sipped his whiskey and she watched him, conceding him his point. His hair was cut shorter than when they had met but longer than his military days and it tilted handsomely to the left in the closest semblance of order she was sure that it had ever seen. He had let his facial hair grow to something a little more interesting than a five o'clock shadow. Hints of silver, white hair dappled his chin, making him appear much more mature than he acted sometimes, Leia thought with a wry smile.
His eyes looked almost blue in the faint lighting of the nightclub and she couldn't tell if it was the flicker of the candle light or his ingrained mischief that made them sparkle the way that they were. His face held the perpetual tan that seemed impervious to her own skin; the stark contrast of his flesh against hers flashed through her mind drawing with it a wave of heat across her chest. He was the sun to her moon, she thought; he may light the way, but she changed the tides.
She tore her eyes away from him, leaving his to explore her body alone while her attention roamed about the room, the lazy days behind them coalescing in her thoughts. They had arrived a few days ago for a meeting between her and an important delegate, only to find the delegate had left on urgent business and would not return until week's end. There was no point in flying back home. So they had stayed, with no itinerary and no agenda.
"This is as close to a vacation that we've come to…," Leia mused and then shook her head and said, "ever, I think."
Her eyes returned to him, slipping back into their familiarity. He had answered simply, casually with his usual self-assurance. She raised an eyebrow and tilted her head challengingly.
"I took you to the beaches of Borleias after we got married."
She smiled, her mind quickly swept away by visions of sand, crystal, blue ocean waters and pink, sun-kissed skin. "That's true."
He grabbed her hand and kissed it and her thoughts quickly left the beach and jumped directly into the bedroom. His mind followed hers with ease as his lips curled up crookedly and he drawled, "You ready to blow this place, Princess?"
She leaned toward him, taking pleasure from the novel feel of the cool night air kissing the rarely exposed valley of skin between her breasts. She watched as Han's eyes followed the breeze and she chuckled when he shifted uncomfortably in his chair. "But I haven't gotten my drink yet," she replied innocently.
He leaned over in his chair, closing the distance between them. Resting his lips against the shell of her ear conspiratorially, he whispered, "There's a bar in the hotel."
"No," she said, straightening herself up as she pulled away from him. "I'll wait for my drink."
Unable to drag his mind out of the bedroom she had invited him to; Han replied sullenly, "The drink you aren't in the mood for?"
"I planned on drinking yours."
He narrowed his eyes to her as he finished the remainder of his whiskey. The music slowed to a crawl and the sultry foreign accent that had cried of heartbreak earlier, now spoke softly of romance and true love.
"Care to dance?" Han sat up and held his hand out to her.
She took his hand, accepting silently as she allowed him to lead her to the dance floor. Han sidestepped past a few clingy couples, before he spun around and pulled her to him. The song was slow, the notes creeping out of the instruments as if they too were lovers who did not wish to be separated. Han held Leia to him, the entire length of her body pressed up against his as she followed his moves adeptly.
Leia pulled away from him, their eyes locking for a moment. She said, "I haven't even thought of my meeting…or any of my speaking points."
He looked down at her, first at her face, her smooth skin glistening in the moonlight, then to her eyes, deep, dark and inviting. His eyes moved down, passed her pouty lips, down her neck to her chest, his height still affording him a very, nice view in spite of her high heels. "I'm not thinking of speaking points right now," he answered and smiled at her stifled groan and the quick roll of her eyes.
She pressed herself against him, denying him his view but providing him with an entirely different kind of stimulation. His smile widened wickedly and she said, "I just can't win with you."
He read her just as expertly as she followed his lead on the dance floor. Wiping the predatory grin from his face, he asked, "What's wrong with letting go for a little while?"
"Nothing, I guess. Maybe I'm reading too much into it."
"You?" He smiled. "Naw, impossible."
"Why do I put up with you?"
"Because no one knows you like I do."
"If you knew me, you wouldn't have ordered me a fizzy sunrise," she replied haughtily.
Han threw his head back and laughed loudly. When he looked back down at her she did not seem amused. "Are you really going to judge our relationship on how well I predict your alcoholic mood?" He asked.
"It's as scientific as anything else."
"Whatever you say," he replied as he pulled her to him once again.
They returned to their table after the dance. This time Han pulled her chair out for her. As he took his seat next to her, she asked, "What will you do during my meeting tomorrow?"
"Prep the Falcon, I guess."
"Will you do me a favor?"
It wasn't often that Leia asked him for anything, so he replied, "Anything."
"Will you pick up some of those crepe things that we got at that bakery our first day? I can't stop thinking about them."
Han cursed inwardly. He had planned on surprising her with them, but he admitted nothing, knowing she wouldn't believe him anyway. "I think I can manage that." And then he added, "Will you do me a favor?"
"Anything," she purred in response.
"Don't go to your meeting." He was only half-kidding.
She smiled. "I can't do that." Then, leaning into him, she added, "But I can leave you with some very nice memories to tide you over while I'm gone." Her hand rested none-too-lightly on his upper thigh and she pressed her lips against his and kissed him.
Leia had always been all too cognizant of her behavior in public, but she also knew how much Han enjoyed when she broke with decorum. So when he opened his mouth to hers and deepened the kiss, she responded fervently. Unable to shake the curse that followed them however, even on a distant planet, she heard a voice interrupt them.
"Your drinks, sir."
Leia heard Han swear under his breath as they separated and she chuckled when she heard him mumble something about Threepio. Then she was barely aware of the movements of Han's hands as he pulled out his credit chip and paid the waiter. As he stuffed the chip back into his pocket and the waiter walked away, she looked over to him. A wide, knowing smile crawled across his lips. She looked back down at the table where the waiter had placed two Corellian whiskeys on the rocks.
Her eyes went from Han to the two drinks then back again. She was shaking her head, "You got word to him…somehow after our conversation."
Han's mouth dropped and he pressed his fingers against his chest as he said innocently, "Me?"
She knew it wasn't possible; he had not left her sight since then. "Where's the fizzy sunrise?" She finally asked.
He leaned over the arm of his chair, his eyes following his hand as he grazed the backs of his fingers up her arm and to her shoulder, leaving a trail of bumpy flesh in their wake. "You're not in a fizzy sunrise mood, sweetheart."
His voice was low and rumbling, easily fueling the slow burn that had been simmering inside of her back up to a rolling boil. She was back in the bedroom, white skin on tanned, the perspiration on the heavy, leaded crystal of the two whiskey glasses a premonition of things to come. She shook her head and said through a smile that was half-chuckle, half-moan but a full blown confession of defeat, "Han Solo."
At the end of the night a service droid would clean their table, finding two untouched glasses of Corellian whiskey.