"Are you okay?" Tahiri squatted down when she heard Anakin's muffled curse and peered through the low service hatch that led to the repulsor controls of the supply shuttle he was working on.
There was a grunt and some words that sounded like "Not really."
"Well do you want a hand?"
There was a moment's silence while Anakin removed the micro-adjuster from between his teeth. "Actually -- yes. Your hands are smaller than mine, maybe you could try and reach the actuator."
"Okay," she replied, already snaking her way in beside him. "Gosh, you wouldn't want to suffer from claustrophobia, would you?"
Anakin was lying on his back with one arm plunged up to the elbow in the workings of the repulsors. He grinned as she wiggled into the tiny space beside him. "We can't go on meeting like this," he said jokingly.
Tahiri laughed. "So what is it you want me to hold?"
Anakin's grin widened.
"Anakin Solo!" she scolded, although she was smiling broadly too.
Anakin chuckled, bumped noses with her and then nodded towards the open panel above them. "See that little blue-tipped lever behind the cable?"
Tahiri peered into the space Anakin indicated. He had a small glow torch clipped at the edge of the panel, but she still had to wait a few seconds while her eyes adjusted to the limited light. "Yep."
"I need you to hold that firmly while I tweak this spring. Don't let it move down."
"As ordered, captain sir." She slid her hand in, carefully skirting the thickness of the cable. "Got it," she said triumphantly.
"Astral. Hold it tight." He began twisting the adjuster carefully, and Tahiri could hear the metallic twang of a spring protesting as it was tightened. It was hot in the compartment, so Anakin had stripped off the top of his vac suit and tied the arms around his waist. He had also rid himself of the singlet top he'd been wearing under the vac suit. Having to wear the suits was a nuisance at the best of times, but in a tiny space like this it was doubly uncomfortable. It was also unbearably hot. Tahiri was relieved she had at least unfastened the front opening of hers.
In the half-light she watched the muscles at the top of his arm bunch as he worked. The sweat shone on his skin making it glisten, and his hair clung damply to his temples. She could feel her cheeks flush, partly from the heat and partly from desire.
"Got it. Good. Now," he said pulling his hand out and searching around for another tool in the space between them, "I need that small adjuster."
"Can I let go the lever now?"
Tahiri gave a small gasp as his hand accidentally brushed her breast, and she could feel her nipples hardening and becoming ultra-sensitive the way they did at the merest contact with him.
"Sorry," he breathed.
"It's okay." She squiggled on to her side in order to help him look for the missing tool, but Anakin had slid down slightly. When he looked up, he found he was staring directly at Tahiri's chest. His eyes moved up to her face, and their eyes locked.
Anakin pushed himself back up a little, and then reached over to stroke her cheek. Their lips touched, softly at first, but then more urgently as they pressed up against one another. Eventually they ran out of breath.
"Be honest, Solo. This was your plan all along, wasn't it?"
"It wasn't actually. If I'd wanted you I'd have just asked." He kissed her again, moving from her lips to her ear and then down her neck. "Or grabbed you in the corridor, and dragged you off to have my wicked way with you," he added.
Tahiri half sighed, half moaned, and pulled him against her. "This is bad, Anakin. Now we've started doing this, it's like eating topato flakes -- we just want more and more."
"Yeah." Anakin slid her vac suit down her arms and kissed the soft skin on her shoulder. He could see her nipples thrusting out through the flimsy material of her top, and as usual the sight made him want her even more. He rolled up her top and kissed them, making her squirm with delight. "I know. But I don't regret us making love the other night. Let's face it, we've wanted to for a while."
Their lips met again.
"I know," mumbled Tahiri. "How on earth do people wait until they're married?"
"They probably don't. They probably do exactly what we're doing. Decide to get married and then let loose."
"Let loose!" she giggled, trying to breathe normally.
"Bad phrasing," he murmured unfastening the lower portion of her vac suit, and then untying the knotted sleeves of his own. It was hard to talk properly. He still found that when he got really aroused he would shake. Fortunately so did Tahiri, so he didn't feel too awkward about it, although it would have been nice to be able to act as suave and smooth as people did in the HoloDramas. He gathered that the aplomb eventually came with practice.
Tahiri helped him slide his suit down so he could unfasten his pants. Then she wriggled her suit down so she could get one leg out. He slid his hands around her and down the back of her loose-fitting trousers, pulling her against him.
"I think I've found the tool you were looking for," she whispered when their mouths disconnected.
"I thought it would turn up eventually," Anakin whispered back. Then he caught his breath as Tahiri rolled down his trousers and he felt her carefully extricating him from his boxers.
"I see you're good to go."
"With you -- always."
Tahiri ran her hands down his chest as he slid her pants off her hips. She ran her finger down the line of dark hair that ran like a seam down from his navel, and he twitched, chuckling. He slipped her panties down, and she snaked her arms up around him as he slid on top of her. The first time they'd made love he'd been frightened of hurting her, first with his superior weight pressing down on her petite body and then as he pushed into her. That part of the process was still a bit awkward, and he was training himself to take it slowly and let her move on to him. That way he figured she'd be more comfortable. He felt the familiar thrill as he slipped inside her, the sensations in his lower body mirrored by exploding fireworks in his head. For a while the sounds they uttered were in language that was strictly non-verbal.
"Anakin, you still in there?" somebody called, making them both jump.
"Uh, yeah!" Anakin called back. "It's Tagi -- one of the mechanics," he mouthed to Tahiri.
"Are you finished?"
"Um, nearly." He threw Tahiri a warning look as she struggled not to giggle.
"Good. Bring those tools out with you when you come, would you. Oh, by the way, you got any spare screws in there?"
Tahiri was close to exploding, and so now was Anakin.
"Uh, sorry, no."
"You okay?" The voice sounded from a little closer. "You sound a bit funny."
"Yeah I'm fine -- just a bit hot."
"A bit." Tahiri had recovered enough to whisper teasingly.
"I'll be out soon," called Anakin, struggling to make his voice normal.
"Okay. Thanks for the hand by the way. There's so much to do at the moment -- things have been getting a bit on top of me."
Tahiri pressed her mouth against his shoulder to muffle her giggles.
"Just in case you're wondering, I don't usually fix repulsors this way," panted Anakin a while later.
Tahiri laughed and pushed her damp hair from her face. She reached up to do the same for Anakin. "That's a relief, otherwise I might be getting very jealous of Artoo."
"Yeah," Anakin chuckled, then his expression became more serious, and he took her hand in his and brought it to his lips. "I love making love with you," he murmured.
He kissed her hand, and then placed his lips on hers again.
"So have you finished?" Tahiri said softly a few minutes later. "The fix-it job I mean?"
"Just need to tighten a nut."
They both dissolved into laughter.
"What would you have done if Tagi had poked his head in?"
"I'm afraid that would have been memory wipe territory," he grinned as he helped her pull her clothes back up and then began to restore his own. "Desperate measures for desperate times."
"You want me to hold anything else?"
"Nah it's okay. Well," he added, raising an eyebrow, "not right away anyway."
"That's rich coming from Miss Prim-and-Proper-at-all-times."
"Well in that case I'll wait out there." She kissed him and edged back out from the compartment. "Remember it'll be dinner soon."
Anakin regarded his chrono, before plunging his arm back into the repulsor control box. "Good. I'm starving."
"Me too. Can't think why."
"I read somewhere that you can burn up a lot of calories having sex," murmured Tahiri sleepily as they lay together in the welcome darkness of Anakin's room.
"Really. Maybe we should tell Uncle Luke. Perhaps he could bring it into the training regime somewhere."
"Like that would happen," she giggled.
"Yeah. Imagine some of the oldies doing it."
"Eeewww. No thank you."
"Well," said Anakin philosophically. "We'll be old and doing it one day. So I suppose our kids'll have the same reaction you did."
"You sound like Tenel Ka."
"Do you think she and Jacen do it?"
"Jacen!" Anakin tried snorted back a laugh but failed. "He'd spend so long deciding whether it was going to lead them to the Dark Side or not, she'd probably fall asleep waiting."
Tahiri laughed, but turned towards him and reached up to caress his chin. "You two should really try and get on better."
"We do get on. I just don't happen to agree with a lot of what he says. Plus he tends to be overly critical - you know, tends to think that he's the only one who worries about right and wrong."
"Maybe he's frustrated," she suggested, smiling.
Anakin raised one eyebrow. "Hadn't thought of that." He grinned and mussed her hair. "Fortunately that is not something you could say about me."
"Us, you mean."
"Yeah, sorry. Being egotistical again." He rolled on to his side and gathered her in his arms.
"Sorry. It seems to have a will of its own."
"Can't you train it or something."
"Nah - it doesn't listen to me. I think it's bonded to you. See how it's always wanting to salute you."
"Anakin!" Tahiri's reprimand was undermined by her laughter.
"It knows when I'm thinking about you, too," he said softly, running his fingers down her cheek. "And when I dream about you. You should feel sorry for it, you know. Poor little thing -- it's overworked."
"Little! Anakin, when people accuse you of being cocky, they're right in more ways than they think."
Anakin laughed. "I meant it as a term of endearment." He traced a line down from her cheek to her breasts. "But I'll take that as a compliment."
"I hope there's an extra large breakfast tomorrow morning," mumbled Tahiri later.
"Yeah. And lunch." He nuzzled her hair.
"We're helping Cilghal tomorrow aren't we?"
Anakin gazed down at her for a while admiring the way her dark eyelashes fanned her cheek and the pert way her nose turned up. Sometimes she looked like a little doll.
He bent down and touched his nose to her forehead. "Hey -- can't wait till we're married."
Tahiri blinked and turned her wide green eyes up to his face. They crinkled slightly with amusement. "Anakin, you didn't wait."
He grinned. "True. Any regrets?"
She shook her head and settled back on his chest. "None."
"Me neither." He watched her while she fell asleep, and it occurred to him that sleeping together was something that they'd been doing in a sense since they first met. Back then the togetherness had come in their shared dreams. Now it was total -- so much so that he couldn't imagine his life without her. His eyes closed, and soon he was asleep too, and not long later he joined her in her dreams.
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