Love Bites and so do I

By Eradyne

Inspired by song

Halestorm – Love Bites

"She's left him." Leia said disbelievingly to her husband.

"Who's left who?" Han asked, not putting down his data pad as he reclined lazily on their sofa with his feet up.

"Callista…she's left Luke." Leia intoned shaking her head, "I have a message here from Kam Solusar he's worried about Luke and he wanted us to know, she's gone off to try to reclaim the force on her own and doesn't want anything to do with him anymore."

Han rolled his eyes and out his data pad to the side, "I thought I'd heard all the excuses in the book…"

Leia kicked his boot off of the cushy ottoman, "Yeah? From who?"

Han sputtered, "You know…I meant…not me...Lando has."

Leia scoffed muttering, "Sure, Casanova fly boy..."

He stood up, "So are we going to Yavin? I'm sure the kid's pretty upset."

She turned her brown eyes on him and confessed, "I want to…but I don't know something is telling me that this just isn't the right time. He's probably a lot more than upset, I'm sure that he's devastated."

Han asked, "Are you going to tell anyone else?"

Leia shook her head at him, "Who else would I tell?"

He fumbled with his data pad, "Oh, you know…Tycho, Wedge, maybe Mara…"

Leia narrowed her eyes at her husband as a crooked grin spread across his face, "What are you talking about and don't play coy with me it never works. You are incapable."

Han put his hand over his chest, "Ooo! She wounds me! I'm just saying it might be good for the kid to have a few friends around him…maybe blow off some steam."

Leia crossed her arms, "Right and you think 'maybe Mara' is the way to go about that? They've barely spoken since Callista and Luke got together."

Han rose his eyebrows at his wife, "You don't say? Hmm…wonder why that is."

She shook her head at him, "You're impossible. If you think Mara Jade should know then you tell her. Maybe she'll do us a favor and go kill Callista."

Han asked, "I thought you were fond of her?"

Leia sighed, "For Luke's sake I was. But to be honest I was always wary of a creature who lived in a computer for a few decades then assumes someone else's body…it just seemed very unnatural. I was always kind and respectful for my brother's sake. But I'm relieved she is gone and out of his life. Maybe now he can find someone a bit more worthy of him."

Han smiled again, "I hope so too. Which means I need to go make some calls."

Leia shook her head, "Flyboy, you are hopeless. But I love you."

He kissed her quickly on the head, "I know."

Shada turned in her seat, "Message for you Captain. From Han Solo, it's on your personal frequency."

Talon Karrde moved his hand over his beard discerningly and went to his office to answer the call, if it was Solo usually that meant one thing…trouble.

"Karrde here. How are you Solo? Hope the wife and children are well."

Han answered, "All is well here Karrde. Quiet, the kids are away on holiday, thanks for taking my call I know you're a busy man."

The 'information broker' chucked, "Always, what can I do for you."

Han took a deep breath, "It's Luke."

Karrde let out a full belly laugh and retorted, "When is it not?"

Han replied, "Very true. Well, this time it's not so much life threatening but Callista left him…pretty high and dry and he's messed up about it."

Karrde sighed, "I see. Well my condolences…better to have loved and lost…and all that sort of thing. Is this why you are calling me? Because I have to be honest with you Luke Skywalker's love life isn't high on my 'need to know' list."

Han laughed, "Not mine either, but I'm worried about the kid. He could use a friend, Leia is pretty adamant that we don't get involved. I don't think she wants her true feelings for Callista to come out into the light. So maybe you could mention it to a certain…red haired employee of yours who is well acquainted with a certain jilted jedi?"

Karrde responded, "Ah, you want Mara to go to him. Maybe snap him out of it?"

"If anyone can do it, she can."

"Very true Solo. I'll mention it to her but I'm going to have to let her make this decision on her own. She's been very…um…unrelenting this last year. More so than normal."

Han offered, "Hmm, about a year? That's when Luke and Callista became an item. Mara was pretty steamed about it if I recall."

Karrde smiled, "Yes she certainly was. Hmm…that is worth thinking about. Thanks for letting me know Solo, I'll pass on the news and…do whatever I can to nudge her along providing she doesn't threaten me with bodily harm. My best to your wife. Karrde out."

The Wild Karrde captain, thought for several long moments…

Mara had been out of sorts for about a year…she flatly refused to see her good friend Skywalker…and said many choice things about his tastes in women one in particular. Very interesting indeed…

He stood and walked briskly over to the docking bay.

"Son of a kriffing schutta!"

Came the yelp from beneath a Flarestar-class attack shuttle they had acquired earlier in the month.

"How are the repairs going Mara?"

She slid out from underneath its hull hair flying madly, her simple lightweight clothing covered in muck and sweat, "Karrde! Ugh…it's not as easy as I thought it was going to be. The Weequay aren't exactly known for their practicality when it comes to ships and this is no exception. It's an old ship, but it has one hell of a self-defense system. Anytime I get to close, the damn thing zaps me. I'm tempted to open the landing bay doors and just let it fall out into space and out of my hair."

Karrde chastised teasingly, "Mara, this used to be a valuable ship. If we can clean her up and get her running in good order it could mean a hefty bonus for you."

Mara wiped her hands on her sullied clothes scoffing, "Please! What do I need the money for?"

Karrde shrugged, "Who knows. Maybe you'll want to take a trip one day."

She laughed, "Right! Sure…a trip. Where should I go exactly…by myself?"

Karrde sighed, "Oh I'm not sure…how about Yavin IV?"

The rueful smile fell off of her face in a nanosecond and she spat, "Why in kessel would I want to go there?"

Karrde smirked, "haven't you a good friend there? Sky…something isn't it?"

Mara turned around and started to walk away, "No. Let it go Karrde."

He pursued her, silently pray that she wasn't armed "Oh come now Mara. You haven't spoken with him in months."

"So?" she barked brutally

He answered, "Well, I was wondering why. Maybe it would do you some good to see him again."

She huffed, "He made his choice. I don't want any part of it…he and his body snatching electric brain tick."

Karrde laughed, "Oh my! I think I hit a nerve!"

Mara scowled at him, "Are we done? I'd like to get some sleep."

Karrde nodded, "We're done. It was just a suggestion. Good night Mara."

She muttered a 'good night' and opened her door when Karrde suddenly turned and said, "Oh I almost forgot. Speaking of the body snatching brain tick, it seems they are no longer an item."

Mara leapt back whirling around, "What!? Since when? What happened?"

Karrde smiled, knowing that he had gotten her…Mara was so easily baited.

"Oh, I spoke with Solo. He said that she'd left Luke, didn't want anything to do with him. Apparently, he's quite depressed from what I hear."

Mara seethed, "SHE left HIM? You're joking me? That sucking can of corrosion! How could she do that to him after all he did for her?"

Karrde nodded, "Very true. He might be in need of a friend right now Mara."

She looked at the floor…damn…damn him…damn Skywalker…

"I'll need a leave of absence Karrde."

He fought to keep from smiling, "Effective when?"

Mara sighed heavily, "Immediately. I'll head to Yavin first thing tomorrow. Damn Jedi…I told him that this was going to happen."

Karrde's interest piqued, "Did you? What did he say to that?"

Hurt filled Mara's eyes, "He said that he loved her, that nothing else mattered. Nothing..."

Karrde felt a stab of regret and pity for Luke, "Things change Mara…you may find him a different man."

Mara raised her eyebrows, "That's what I'm afraid of."