It's not my place to question where he is every moment of his day. We're a high-profile couple with many responsibilities beyond what a normal couple might have. We have kids, and no, we didn't have to take them to school or playdates; we have 'droids and staff to help with that. But even so, our lives often diverged, and it was not unusual not to see each other for days or weeks, or even longer.
But we did try to "make a date" to see one another at regular intervals. We joked about not remembering what we looked like together. The dates are not always successful, usually because unexpected and important things do come up. We abandoned the dates for a while when it seemed like one of us would be sitting and waiting for the other to show up all the time. It was depressing and demoralizing, and it would end in tears and invectives not very nice.
These days, we try to be more realistic about seeing each other ... when I first retired from government work, we weren't used to seeing each other so much. Fortunately, Han was without a co-pilot, and I seem to have inherited some of my father's abilities with spacecraft. He did (begrudgingly) admit that I was "nearly as good as Chewie," the Wookiee I used to think of as Han's lifemate.
Chewbacca has been dead for many years now, and I still miss him. When he left us, Han was empty and distraught I had long ago accepted that he meant more to Han than I or the children did. It did hurt, but it wasn't unexpected ... and I accepted that Han needed to try and replace that hole in his life.
I'm glad I did, because Han came back full-circle to me, and now I'm his co-pilot and his lifemate. Stinking nerfherder that he is, he's a bit slow about stuff like this. But then again, I was slow about that sort of thing at one time, too.
To be fair, I admit that it took me longer to accept Han as my lifemate. I'd been trained all my life to work in government and social service. It did take me a while to recognize it, but I was married to my work. Even after going half-way across the galaxy to save him from an eternity in carbonite, I wasn't ready to marry him and accept him as my "one and only." So much was happening not only to me, but to the universe! I have to admit, I kind of liked things the way they were: Han loved me, Luke was my brother, and the galaxy needed me. I felt indomitable, and I didn't want to change that.
What changed my mind? I guess I finally realized that even if I wanted things to stay that way forever, I wouldn't be able to keep Han and Luke with me without some changes on my part. I knew I had enemies I'd spent most of my youth fighting the ruling government from underground and had pissed off some powerful elements, both legitimate and criminal. But I didn't expect my enemies to come at me from the inner circle I was working with. It was tiring and discouraging, and I understood that I needed friends with me who would love me unconditionally, and for always.
And too, Luke and Han were taking on dangerous, risky campaigns on behalf of the New Republic. I had lived a long time with the uncertainty that my brother and my boyfriend might not come back to me alive. It made me stubborn and a tiny bit superstitious, that if I was glib and flippant about it all, it would be all right in the end. Besides, both men had cheated death and worrying would do me no good, I had told myself.
But in time, I saw that things were changing, and not always to my liking, and that none of it was really in my control. My brother, who had loved me in a non-brotherly fashion until the reality of our relationship was revealed to him, had been roaming away. I couldn't count on him to be with me when I needed him. It was sometimes months before I would hear from him, and I missed being the center of his life.
I had finally noticed that my boyfriend was taking longer and longer to come back, between missions. I knew the tenor of his tasks was becoming more fraught with responsibility, and time was something which couldn't be clipped ... but I started to have the nagging feeling that I wasn't his one-and-only anymore.
Unable to face Han directly, I questioned his first mate, and though I do not have the fluent grasp of Shyriiwook I wish I had, I caught the subtleties of Chewbacca's evasive answers. [You could just check his mileage logs,] he'd suggested, mysteriously.
So I did ... and I found that if Han was coming from a sector, say, six lightyears away, there would be an extra half a lightyear on the odometer. Not a lot, you may say ... but half a lightyear is a long distance. And this was consistent; no matter where he was coming from, there would be extra mileage on the clock. I could even triangulate and saw that he was always going to the same place at the end of every mission, before coming back to me!
It gave me pause. Was he just hanging out with his old smuggling buddies? But that was hardly sinister ... surely, Chewbacca would not have me going over the Falcon's distance logs if Han was simply doing business or seeing old friends.
Perhaps, he was seeing someone else?
How dare he!
I realized he was coming home to me after every mission. He was just a bit late every time ... it's not like he skipped coming back to see me completely. I took that as a sign that though he might have met someone else, he wasn't ready to break it off with me yet.
Admittedly, I was not so rational when I thought those things at first. I was enraged more than saddened or retrospective. How could he sneak off to see someone else? While true that I wasn't the type of girlfriend to follow him around, he knew that from the time he'd met me. I would not could not! bend to his will; if he wanted a shrinking violet of a woman, he should have hooked up with someone else!
Of course, that may have been what he was doing ...
I thought about hiring a private investigator to follow him, but not only would that be pointless (for Han is the expert at evasion and blockade running), but it might draw attention to us through the holomedia. We were already gossip fodder for the trade-rags, there was no end to what they would do to scrape up a delibitating story. And if Han ever did find out what I'd done, that would have been the end of us, for sure.
I could have just commed him, but Han's next scheduled leave was still a long time away. I didn't want to do it via holomessage, even if it was encrypted. He was often undercover and I might not be able to get through to him ... and I didn't want Intelligence seeing my messages, either.
I'd just have to wait to talk to him about this. But patience is not one of my virtues, at least not in personal matters. Even at a young age, I needed to act on information, rather than ruminate slowly over it.
But I could not act on any of this as immediately as I would have liked. I would have talked to Luke, but he was away on a non-defined mission, as well. (For all I knew, they were together!)
In my distraction, I had been pacing the corridors of the Senate. I had learned at a young age that if you looked like you were going somewhere with purpose, people would not stop you to ask you anything. I did not want to be stopped. I was agitated and had no outlet for this discovery about Han, nor for the turmoil of emotions roiling my gut. So I took an angry walk!
Blind with fury and striding quickly down the long, curved, polished corridors, I didn't see the young intern pop out of one of the doorways leading into the Senate chamber itself. He didn't see me because he had a tall stack of datapads interspersed with many sheets of flimsi in his arms, and was obviously struggling to get through the doorway.
Long gone were the days when I was the youngest person on the Senate floors. This intern was significantly younger than me, so young that he didn't even think to look annoyed when I collided hard into him. Instead, he simply looked surprised and perhaps a little bit amused.
I was impressed at his calm as he picked up the scattered flimsi sheets and datapads. He even had the wherewithal to turn the things on to make sure they weren't damaged before re-stacking them in a pile on the floor.
For some reason, this young man flustered me. Maybe it was because I was so embarrassed and agitated to have caused such a mess?
Or maybe it was something else about him that caused me to stop and pay attention.
I told him I was sorry, and could I help him carry his load to his destination, wherever it was? He looked at me and smiled, and said, "I'd be pleased to have your help." Well, whoever he was, he didn't seem to know who I was ...
It frankly startled me that he accepted my help; it's not that I didn't intend to help him, but I was prepared to override his protests. Not getting a negative answer stunned me, it sort of took my breath away. And he had such soulful, beautiful gray-blue eyes ...
As I carried half the pile of things to the Senatorial docking level, I can't say I recall any thoughts going through my head, but I do remember being quiet. Even I have to admit that this is not usually my way; I'm usually the one to broach the uncomfortable subjects with strangers, to pride myself in politically correct yet witty reparté. But I remember being so flabbergasted by this young man that I simply followed him.
I also remember in retrospect that I had completely forgotten about my discovery about Han's "extra mileage."
"Thank you," the young man said simply, as I put the papers into the speeder's trunk. I noticed how his long blond bangs blew becomingly across his face in the outside breeze and I noted the cute way his face dimpled when he smiled. I couldn't help by stare at his beauty.
And then he put his hand on my arm and gripped it. It wasn't a subtle squeeze. It was firm and strong, and it totally unnerved me.
For some reason, I didn't step away. I looked into his face and was startled again to see his eyes looking at me with a warm and uncomfortable familiarity.
I honestly cannot remember what happened next, other than that I must have gotten into the speeder with him. We ended up at a quiet section of the city. I remember going up a rickety, old-fashioned mechanical lift, and the loud clunk with which it stopped on one of the lower floors as we descended down. It jostled me and I actually was thrown into space ... but he caught me.
His hands held me with a sureness that was electric.
He never mouthed endearments of love, but it seemed rather obvious that he was smitten with me as he drew the curtains closed. He never took his eyes from me, and they looked sure and calm the whole time, not desperate or hurried. He stood me up to undo the pins in my typically ornate hairstyle, pulled down the fastener at the back of my neck, all the way down below my waist. It wasn't too fast, nor was it so slow that it could tickle. This young man was tuned into my pace and my needs.
I nervously joked about how sweet he was, and I remember how hushed my voice was. He responded by pressing his lips to my neck. His hot white teeth nipped and pinched me, confusing my feelings as they rose to meet his careful yet passionate ministrations.
He may have murmured something, but that data is lost forever, masked by explosions as he rocked me to my core.
I returned to my apartment the next morning feeling skittish and alive. I didn't need any sleep at all, despite having spent all afternoon and all night having sex with a man much younger than me.
Perhaps that was the secret to my beauty routine; people commented how well I looked. I smirked at the thought of what they didn't know ... I had the fountain of youth in me all day and night!
I imagined no one knew of my affair with the young man, who's name I never learned. I might be with him still, if something had not brought me back to reality. It could be that the lack of sleep eventually did catch up to me. Or perhaps it was the perpetual soreness. Or that in between sexual bouts, he insisted on playing hologames (he really was much younger than me!).
I like to think it was the realization that I actually missed Han. The revelation hit me that Han was more than just sex to me.
Sometime in the midst of the gymnastically fantastic activities, I realized that I did not love this young man. I did not know his name, and I didn't have any need to learn it. I coldly realized that the intern season would soon be over, and he'd return to wherever he had come from. Go home to your mother, I remember thinking as I kissed him between bouts of pounding and screaming.
The young man did not pursue me or even seek me out, and I never heard from or saw him again. Now and again, I think I see him, or I wonder if he'd been changed by the sex we had together. I doubt it; he was very self-assured and though I was pleasured and thrilled, he had complete control of the sex. Sometimes I wonder if it actually really happened, or had I dreamt it up in the moments following my discovery of Han's infidelity?
It did me a galaxy of good to be both obsessively busy and sexually fulfilled during that time. By the time Han did come back, I was ready for him.
He never knew what hit him the sex we had that day was intense and thrilling. At first, he was stunned and happy ... then I could tell something was going on in his mind. He suddenly asked where I learned to fuck like that?
"One picks up things, when one goes the extra miles," I commented back to him, as casually as I could.
He looked sad and a little panicky. "You know?"
I wasn't angry, I truly wasn't. But I couldn't suppress the urge to tease him. "Know what? That I'm a great fuck? Heck, yeah!"
I excused myself to refresh and dress, walking around the apartment naked as I relaxed.
Perhaps he saw the bitemarks and little bruises on my body, though they should have all healed by now. As far as I was concerned, I was looking good and feeling fine!
Perhaps he felt the effect of all the unique exercises I'd experienced while he was away.
Or perhaps he simply decided that he liked what he saw and decided he didn't want to risk losing it.
I kept him at arm's length in terms of my mind and what was in it, but I fucked him hard and long every chance I could get, till his next assignment.
When he left, I discovered that he'd left the Millennium Falcon behind. That did surprise me, for that ship is the biggest love of his life. But even more surprising, I learned that he'd left the smuggling vessel on Rebel Dream, my consular ship!
Even a nerfherder could figure out the significance of his parking his disreputable boat on my diplomatically important Star Destroyer. Han was going the extra mile to let me know he'd come back, and that perhaps I was at least as important as his beloved Falcon. Or perhaps he put his ship in my ship to keep an eye on me?
I hummed to myself some nonsensical lyrics about the effect of young love on an older woman, and about the things my body had seen that Han would never know about. Still, I don't think he should be upset about any of it, suffering the benefits as he was! Would he have preferred I confronted him about his liaisons or his late returns home?
Perhaps the buzz of having the illicit-yet-innocent affair made me receptive to the Council's insistence that I meet Prince Isolder of the Hapes Cluster while Han was away. And it did help that Isolder very strongly resembled that young gray-eyed, blond-haired intern!
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