tagRomanceKnight Squadron - Interlude

Knight Squadron - Interlude

byvenomlegions©

Summary: Jade Jordan finds a surprise in her bed, and Jag Panzer makes good on a not-so-idle suggestion.

(Sequel to Knight Squadron: Journey)

***

30 plus years after the Battle of Syria...

Aiden Hunt had established the Borleais base as one defiant rebel stand, an obstacle for the Chiggers and a testament to his sometimes less-than-sane tactics. The General, it was rumored, was not all there. As crazy as he-and his strategy-was, it was working.

The installation was deep into its night shift. It was as close to completely asleep as any military establishment came during a time of war. Pilots, officers, and non-coms who weren't on duty were in their rooms, catching up on much needed rest. For weeks, the Chiggers had buzzed them, testing their defenses and their readiness, wearing them down. They could all feel it: something big was about to happen.

Jade Jordan emerged from one of the narrow personnel lifts into a long, wide corridor on one of the upper floors of the old biotics building. She'd spent the last several hours in conference with General Hunt, Colonel Crane, Shamus, and Lomax, going over battles and battle plans, and Shamus's new psychological warfare schemes. Lomax was there for decoration, mostly, but Jade had come to learn the the big Armesian had plenty of practical information to volunteer about small unit tactics.

She supposed he, too, was a testament to Aiden's lack of good mental health. 'It's working for him so far.'

Jade used the Mystica and her more physical senses to scan the hall for hostile intent, unfamiliar lifeforms, or anything that just didn't feel right. It was a habit she'd developed since the start of the war, and a habit she'd maintained since gaining command of Twin Suns and becoming the infidel embodiment of Ula Yuan, the Chigger Goddess.

Her boots made no sound on the deck, and the only noise that did violate the peaceful stillness of the passage was the gentle hum of the air exchange unit for the building as it worked. The level she was on was carpeted, and the paint on the walls had faded. The light fixtures made some attempt at art. In another lifetime, the floor had once played host to diplomats, ambassadors, and military brass come to witness the progress of the Empire's scientists. Now, it served as the living quarters for a Goddess and her pilots.

A smile touched Jade's lips. Being a goddess did have its moments. Sure, there was the endless paperwork and constantly having to act like the spoiled brat so many people already thought she was. There were the dirty looks, the strange companions, the odd hours, and the training. (One did not just wake up a Goddess, after all.) But four little words... "The Goddess wishes it" ...got her anything she wanted, and she was wreaking havoc on the minds of the enemy. Confusion and distrust among the opponent was a good thing.

She paused at her door, her hand hovering over the pad that would allow her access. There was someone in her room; she could feel him. He was a presence in the Mystica so intense that he was impossible to ignore. Not that she ever tried. This someone was more than welcome in her room whenever he pleased. Jade spared a glance at the chrono strapped to her wrist, and spent a moment wondering at his plan. It was late, and the Twins had some early maneuvers they were going to run through. The rest of her pilots were in their rooms, as close to sleep as they were going to get. Why wasn't he?

She decided that the best way to get an answer would be from him. So she pressed the pad, and the door slid open to reveal her room, lit up. She stepped in and promptly frowned. The door slid shut behind her, and locked automatically.

Jag was stretched out on her bed, his arms tucked under his head and his eyes closed. His breathing was deep and even, his body visibly relaxed. The Colonel was sleeping.

Jade simply stood there, staring at him, trying to figure out what to do. He'd never done this before... Shit, she'd never even seen him so out of uniform! That was mind-boggling enough. No boots, no jacket, not even a familiar flightsuit. Just a sleeveless black tunic and those soft trousers most pilots wore when not on duty.

Finally, she sighed. She was tired. She didn't really care, if she was honest with herself; Jag in her bed, looking so comfortable, didn't bother her in the least. And she'd get over her surprise.

The Goddess leaned over to unstrap her boots, then left them next to the door, in front of the forma chair there. Quickly, she stripped out of her flightsuit, and left it draped over the back of the chair. Quietly, she commanded the room lights down to sleep level, and then she headed for the oversized bed that was a luxury on this base.

Jag was going to share the covers. Of that she was certain. If she had to levitate him using the Mystica, she was crawling under that sheet. Lucky for her, she didn't have to trivialize the Mystica like that.

In the dim light, she saw him roll to his side, tugging down the rumpled bed clothes as he went.

"Do you mind, Great One?" he questioned, that bare hint of amusement in his tone. She suspected she was the only one who noticed it, the only one he ever showed it to.

Jade climbed onto the bed, wriggling under the sheet and the light blanket as she went, taking an absurd amount of pleasure in the feel of the clean sheets against her skin, and noticing that his scent seemed to pervade the air already. She pulled the pillow down to her, and shook it some to fluff it and make it more satisfactory. She flashed Jag her warmest smile.

"Why would I?" she countered. He returned her smile, the expression a little more prominent now that they were completely alone, and laid the covers on her shoulder. She noticed then that he, too, had pulled the sheet up around him. It seemed to her that he was settling in. "Why are you here, though?"

"We just can't seem to find much time, can we?" he quipped, quoting her recent lament. He held an arm out. "Come here."

More than happy to oblige him, Jade scooted closer. Jag settled his arms around her, tugged her closer still, and rolled to his back. He set about making them more comfortable.

"I'm making time," he finished.

Jade smiled into the darkness. She felt Jag combing his fingers through her hair idly, and with her cheek pressed to his chest, she could hear his heartbeat just as well as she could feel it. His whole being radiated a sort of relaxed pleasantness that made her feel warm.

"Gotta love a man who can take the initiative," she remarked. She couldn't see his face, but she could feel his smile.

"I thought you'd be pleased. Don't fall asleep yet."

Jade stifled a yawn. "Why not?"

"Because I'm making time. How was your day?"

She wanted to laugh. As it was, her smile was wide. "Jag, are you being a boyfriend?"

His hand moved from her hair to the back of her neck. "I prefer partner, if you don't mind, Goddess," he commented, with just enough indignation in his tone to let her know he was only half-kidding. "I haven't been a boy in years."

"My apologies," she murmured, amused. God, that gentle kneading felt good. "My day was fine. Long. Somewhat tedious. And yours?"

"Better now. Much better now." He paused. "You're tense."

"You're fixing that problem, aren't you?" She closed her eyes briefly. "Are you going to make this a habit?"

"I thought about it," he admitted. "But it might endanger your role."

Once more, she found herself frowning. She'd almost forgotten about that drawback. The most inconvenient one, in her opinion, though she knew Jag would disagree with her. At least intellectually. Momentarily annoyed, she snuggled closer.

"Hmm."

Jag's hand slid from her neck to her shoulders, down into the undertunic she wore, and he found the spot between her shoulder blades that had been a hard knot of tension since Hapsburg. The small smile never left his face.

"Have you heard from your parents?"

Jade's grin was quick. "Mom's got a temporary scoundrel's license," she said. "She and Dad are rigging a planetary election."

Jag's chuckle rumbled deep in his chest. "That doesn't surprise me."

Jade pulled away from him... reluctantly, because he was finally easing some of the tightness in her shoulders-and propped herself up on her elbow. "Lights," she said. As the room brightened, his face became visible, the amusement evident on his handsome features, and she fixed him with an expectant stare. "And just what is that supposed to mean?" she demanded, overdoing the indignation.

"Simply that it doesn't surprise me. It was your father's idea, wasn't it?"

Before that night on Hapsburg, when he'd made the comment about the men who stepped on the queen mother's toes, Jade Jordan would never have imagined Jag Panzer the type to tease so easily. But in the weeks since that day in the conference room... that day when she'd broken down... she'd found that the grim young Colonel from Rim space had a wicked sense of humor, and a playful streak that could, if it aspired to, rival that of Jarro Fenn.

But he never displayed it in public, and his playfulness wasn't something he shared. He saved it for her, and that was a gift she didn't want him to give anyone else. She feigned sheepishness.

"Well... yes," she admitted.

Jag's small smile was all too knowing. "You Jordans..." he muttered, and trailed off.

Jade raised an eyebrow. "What about us?"

She felt his hand slide up, from the small of her back to the nape of her neck, and he tugged her down to him. "Scoundrels," he murmured. "All of you." And his lips met hers in a warm kiss. It sent a thrill down her spine, and she willingly folded in.

"Admit it," she whispered. He brushed his mouth to hers once more. "You like scoundrels. There aren't enough of them in your life."

"One," he countered, "is quite enough." His other arm encircled her, and deftly drew her down and around. Before she could argue, she was under him, accepting yet another searing kiss.

"What are you doing?" she managed, when he pulled out for a breath. He lowered himself, and she slipped her arms around him. Jag met her gaze.

"I made time," he told her quietly. "Now I'm carrying you away."

Jade shivered. He waited for an answer. She knew he was waiting for her to tell him no, but she didn't want to tell him no. Not after he'd made the effort. Not when the weight of him felt so good.

He dipped his head and caught her mouth, kissing her softly. She moved her hand from his back to his neck, and curled her fingers in his hair. He slipped his tongue along her bottom lip, then into her mouth and against hers. He kissed her as if he had all the time in the galaxy... and maybe, for the time being, he did.

It was hard for her to open her eyes when he finally broke the kiss, but she managed it, and found him staring back at her, his eyes concerned and dark and kind all at once. She felt his hand at her waist under the tunic, fingers stroking lightly against her skin, and she was suddenly aware of just how thin her tunic was. He pressed one more kiss to her lips, chaste this time.

Jag didn't say anything, merely dropped light kisses along her neck, down to her collar bone, as his hands worked up from her waist. Jade decided leaving her eyes open and trying to control her breathing were lost causes; she set about finding the edge of his tunic to raise it over his head. He let her get it off him, and then returned the favor by divesting her of her top.

"Still prettier than Colonel Derek," she heard him murmur, and she had to chuckle. He lifted his head, to meet her eyes, and she got the feeling that he was doing it to check on her. She breathed deeply, breathing in the scent of him. The air was thicker suddenly, with something she couldn't quite place. She let her head fall back onto the pillow. Whatever would be, she trusted him. She formed that thought and sent it to him, and found herself pleased beyond reason when he accepted it.

Jade drew her hands up, cupped his face, and pulled him to her for a kiss. Jag obliged, and she realized that all his shields... the ones that hid his thoughts from her, the ones that made his face that mask of impassiveness... were gone. She felt everything he did. Felt the love he had for her, felt the ache of longing, the heat of anticipation. That more than his gentle kiss made her moan and clutch him tighter.

"I need you, Jade."

Four more words, and rather than being obeyed, she was melting. She opened heavy eyelids, and found pale green eyes cloudy and dark. He lifted one of her hands to his mouth. He didn't bother saying more than that; she could hear his thoughts, and he didn't doubt it. It hit her in a rush...

"Oh."

The small sound escaped before she could stop it. He reached to brush her hair back from her face. She snaked her arms around his neck and pulled him close again, pulling the weight of him back, feeling his strength as he moved above her.

***

The End!

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