Cyar'ika Ch. 01


Chapter One: Etain

"My beloved, do you know / How many times I stared at clouds, / Thinking that I saw you there? / These are feelings that do not pass so easily; / I can't forget what we claimed as ours."

VNV Nation


+ + + + +

This was breaking all the rules.

But the war had broken all the rules of peacekeeping Jedi and a civilized Republic anyway. The Force wouldn't be thrown into turmoil if a mediocre Jedi and a cloned soldier who had no rights broke just one more.

"I never stopped thinking about you, either," said Darman. "Not for a moment."

" long does it take two squads to finish their meals in the bar?"

"Long enough, I think," said Darman.

Karen Traviss

Star Wars Republic Commando: Triple Zero

+ + + + +

It was a delicate moment, as easily broken as fine Corellian crystal glass. Etain broke eye contact with Darman, suddenly shy. She gazed at their hands, joined across the table; her small hand seemed dwarfed between his rougher fingers.

It was a turning point. They both knew what lines they'd crossed. They both knew what further lines were left to cross.

Or, at least, Etain thought they both knew. Sometimes, it was hard to tell with Dar. She glanced up at him through her eyelashes, almost too shy to look him straight in the face.

He had a look of concentration on his face - a sort of unfocused look that she'd seen on him only on those rare occasions when he was considering a situation that couldn't be instinctively addressed by his years of training. Etain became suddenly aware of her erratic pulse and rising body temperature; at that moment, she was finally willing to admit that she wanted him.

*Of course, who am I fooling? I've always wanted Dar...*

She had never let herself think it until now, until this very moment. But, she was finally gripped with the overwhelming desire to throw all of "the rules" to the wind. Suddenly, simple contact through intertwined fingers wasn't enough.

She wanted more.

But, Dar still looked like he was deliberating and Etain felt agonizingly awkward. She wanted Dar to make the first moves, to show her what to do.

*Of course, he's never even thought of doing this, either...*

Etain wanted him to let go of her hand, to stand up, to pick her up, to sweep her off her feet. It was a hopelessly and completely unrealistic romantic fantasy and, she knew it. But, a girl could dream.

So, she dreamed. For about two seconds. She stared thoughtfully at their hands, unable to keep looking up at him, for the moment. She shifted a bit in her seat, uncertain of what to do. She wanted Darman the man to make his moves...but usually in such tenuous situations, she got the Darman that still felt like a young boy. It wasn't his fault, of course; he'd been trained for the pathology of war, not for the psychology of human relationships.

He didn't know what to do now, any more than she did. And, unfortunately, in many ways, Etain knew that she probably had the clearer idea, of the two.

After a few floundering moments, she finally found some small amount of daring - fueled by the fluttering flashes that twisted through her heart - and started to lift his hand up in hers.

"Dar," Etain whispered softly, before kissing his fingers gently.

Darman's eyes focused instantly and Etain's lips froze against his skin. Their eyes locked and she was shocked by the look that crossed his face.

She'd seen this look plenty of times, right before Dar would put on his helmet and pick up his DC-17. It was the look that warned that "down time" was over and that it was now time to start the real work.

Etain lifted her head from over their hands and started to lean back in her chair. A slow, darkly sexy smile curled the corners of Darman's lips for a moment, before he let go of her hand, pushed back the cooling remnants of their barely-eaten dinner, and stood up.

His smile faded, replaced by that intense look of almost feral concentration.

"Sergeant Skirata told us all something once, about Mandalorian men and their women," his voice had deepened into a lower octave that Etain had never heard before.

This "new" voice did funny things to her stomach.

"He told us that Mandalorian men should always respect strong women and strive to always be with strong women."

Etain watched with widening eyes as Darman began to round the corner of the table; his fingers ghosted along the top of the table as he practically prowled toward her.

His eyes never left hers. A strange heat flushed warm just under her skin, as she watched him, fascinated.

This was Darman the man as she'd never quite seen him before.

Even if she had wanted to talk, she couldn't have. Her tongue was firmly locked into place on the roof of her very dry mouth.

"But, Kal also told us that behind closed doors," Dar stopped beside her and reached out a suddenly confident hand to stroke his fingers across the curve of her jaw. "It's the Mandalorian man who should take the lead in private quarters."

His fingers curled gently around her chin, as he lifted her face up to look at him.

"I don't really know what I'm doing," he admitted, vulnerable again. "But, I'll take the lead, Et'ika, if you're unsure."

Etain hesitated for one minute more. And then, she abruptly pushed herself to her feet and threw her arms around Darman's neck.

She wasn't quite bold enough to kiss him, but she nuzzled her face between his neck and his shoulder. Her lips brushed against the rough fabric of his GAR fatigues and she was gripped by the overwhelming desire to taste his skin. One of Dar's hands settled almost instinctively against her lower back and she shivered against the feel of his body, solid and warm underneath the seperation of their clothes.

They stood like that, for a long moment, until Etain finally lifted her head to look at Dar's face. Something unspoken whispered between them and Dar gently wrapped her loosely bound braid around his wrist, pulling her neck back so that she couldn't hide her face from him again.

He leaned down toward her and for a second, they hovered. Breathing. Lips almost-touching.

And then, he kissed her.

It was shy and awkward, at first. Just a questioning press of lips against lips. Etain was just beginning to wonder if she'd have to take the lead, after all, when Dar surprised her yet again.

He tilted his head to the side and opened his mouth just enough to touch her lips with the tip of his tongue. Startled, Etain opened her lips in instinctual response and their kiss deepened as he slipped his tongue between her teeth.

They were both still shy, still uncertain. But, the tangling of his tongue against hers made Etain stand up on the tips of her toes, wrap her arms more tightly around his neck and press more of her body more firmly against his. She could feel his heart beating rapidly against her breast and the young Jedi Knight wondered absently if she'd hyperventilate herself. Her breath was getting lost somewhere in Darman's mouth and Etain wasn't sure how much longer she'd be able to hold out. before she started insisting the clothes came off.

"Dar..." she managed to whisper between one kiss and the next.

"Hmmm?" Darman seemed more interested in nibbling her bottom lip, than in letting her talk, but Etain suddenly didn't mind.

His right hand had found the bottom of her tunic and had pushed it up over over the hem of her pants. His large hand was slowly slipping across her skin, leaving a trail of goosepimples in its wake. His fingers brushed the swell of her breast and Dar hesitated - but just for a moment. As his kiss turned a bit more dominant, a bit more insisting, so did his hand. He worked his hand between them and ran his fingers across her breast; the motion elicited a low moan from Etain, that was lost inside Dar's mouth.

Her breasts were small - so small, in fact, that she rarely had to wear the restraining cloths required by many other female Jedis. Etain had often been self-conscious about the slightness of her frame, but - as with most other things about her - Dar didn't seem to care. Her entire breast fit easily into the hollow of his palm and he ground the heel of his hand into her, roughly fondling her under unskilled fingers.

Etain didn't care at that moment how unskilled Dar's touch was - it only mattered to her that he was, in fact, touching her. She arched her back, pushing her chest further into his hand and moaned again, this time, louder. The sound seemed to embolden him and before Etain quite knew what was happening, Dar had broken away from their kiss and was busy pulling the hem of her tunic up over her head.

"Oh....!" Etain's flustered exclamation was lost in the fabric that muffled her face.

For a second, Etain entertained the thought of stopping Dar. She was still dreadfully body-conscious. Sure, he'd seen her at her absolute worst as a Jedi - but he'd never seen her like this before. He'd never seen her body; true, her general appearance probably left very little to the imagination, with the way clothes usually hung off of her as if she was some sort of underfed street urchin. But, even a mediocre Jedi had a little bit of personal vanity...and a voluptuous Twi'lek or curvaceous Zeltron Etain was not.

She blushed, her cheeks flaring bright red, as Dar tossed her tunic to the floor. She started to instinctively fold her arms across her chest, but Dar reached out his hand again and intercepted her movement.

"You're beautiful, Etain," he said in a firm sort of voice that left very little room for questioning.

Her cheeks just flared brighter as his eyes took in the sight of her topless body.

"You're beautiful," he repeated, softly this time.

He moved in toward her and scooped her easily into his arms. Darman paused just long enough to still another, quick kiss, and then sat her down on the table where they had been eating just moments before. Carefully, as if not to scare her, he grabbed her knees and spread her legs open, so that he could slide his body between them.

Etain stared up at him, wide-eyed and nervous; her legs settled easily around his hips and he seemed to fit, just standing, between her knees. His hands brushed along her lower back and sides in gentle, soothing motions. And he nuzzled her ear, whispering softly.

"I've always wondered what was under those baggy tops you wear."

"Oh," was all Etain could think to say to such a startling revelation.

He nuzzled her ear and the curve of her jaw for a moment, before she added hesitantly -

"It's nothing special."

"Shhh," Dar leaned back just enough to shake his head and lay a finger across her lips.

His brown eyes were dark, and deep with an expression Etain had never seen before. Dare she hope...desire?

"Let me be the judge of that," his finger drifted down across her lips and then his hand settled against her breast.

His other hand moved from her hip and joined the other; within seconds, Etain was reduced to inarticulate whimpers, as Darman gave her chest his full attention.

He seemed absolutely fascinated by her breasts. He alternated between rough and awkward, and smooth and gentle, as he tried to learn the shifts and preferences of her body. Etain felt herself leaning backward underneath his assault and her hands moved to grip Darman's arms. She closed her hands over his biceps in an attempt to steady herself, but it didn't help her backward momentum. Dar just let her lean back, pausing only long enough to push the remains of their dinner to a safer portion of the decently-sized table.

By the end of it all, she was lying flat on the table, one leg starting to wrap around Darman's thigh. He had followed her down and was bent over her, one arm bracing him up against the table, the other discovering all the many ways to play with her nipples and make her groan.

"Fierfek," he swore, lowering himself down to give her another kiss.

His words breathed across her lips.

"What took us so long to get to this?"

She answered his smile with one of her own. Etain even managed a small laugh, as she let one of her hands slide up his neck and into his thick hair.

"Seven months apart, remember?"

"Right," Dar seemed to nod a bit to himself, as if making a mental note not to waste precious time ever again.

They kissed again, their movements become more bold, more passionate. Etain rather thought she was getting the hang of this tongue-and-lips business and wrapped her arms around Dar's neck to bring him closer to her. Somewhere in the middle of their heated kiss, she became aware of something else. Dar had cupped one of his hands underneath the curve of her ass and had lifted her leg up over his hip. Their bodies were flush and she suddenly became acutely aware of Darman's own arousal.

"Mmmm," she mumbled against his lips and tried to wiggle her hips.

That didn't provoke quite the response she was looking for, though Dar did break away from their kiss. He suddenly buried his face in her neck and moaned; the sound of his lust did rather funny things to Etain's stomach.

"Etain," her name was something of a curse mixed with a plea.

She stilled underneath his voice, but then a perverse curiosity gripped her. She could feel him - hard, hot, ready - pressed against her pelvis. And this time, she squirmed just to see what would happen.

"Etain," this time, her name was a low growl; a warning.

"What?" she tried to play the innocent and wiggled again.

Dar just growled and suddenly stood up. The sudden loss of contact with his body left Etain a bit confused and no small amount of breathless. And then, for the second time that night, Darman started pulling off pieces of her clothing before she could quite register what he was doing.

In seconds, she was stripped bare. Now, her blush extended from head to toe and she didn't dare look Dar in the face. Truly embarassed now, Etain just kept her head against the table and stared ruefully at the whitewashed ceiling above them. Cool air tried to combat her heated flush, but she was simply too shocked to shiver.

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