Lady On A Box
Part Seven: Perchance to Dream

Rating: PG
Diana DeRiggs

Corran's hair was longer now, and he wore it parted down the middle, almost flat against his scalp. It wasn't his most attractive look, but Erisi found that she didn't mind. She rather thought it suited the look of desperation in his eyes.

It had been raining, and so he dripped onto the hallway flooring. The door behind him was still open, and the downpour caused his frame to be silhouetted sharply in the dim light outside.

Erisi willed this moment to last forever ... she loved the knowledge that he needed her. She wanted him, this was true ... but not as much as he needed her. That feeling was delicious ...

The next moment made her shiver as he moved toward her, his face forward, his lips parted ... his face neared her and she ached for the embrace of his lips on hers ... He didn't close his eyes, she could feel his breath as he panted with desire. Those eyes smouldered and burned into hers and she felt the passion crest like an ocean wave, stalled for that fractional moment before it could crash down. It made her ears ring!

Erisi fiercely tossed the alarm clock across the room and snugged down under her blankets again. Sometimes if she could get back to sleep immediately, her brain would continue the dream she was having.

She drifted back, seeing Corran's face looming larger, filling her vision, willing that hormone-induced wash to pump up again ...

That stinking alarm! Erisi put her head under the pillow, willing herself not to hear it. Ignore it, and you can go to sleep again!

But it wasn't her wake-up alarm; it was a klaxon! A warning!

Erisi was completely disoriented for a moment. She had wanted the dream to be real, and she'd promised herself that the solution to her angst against Corran would be solved by her subconscious ... She knew her brain was trying to tell her something with this dream, but she kept getting interrupted!

Base ... I'm at the base ... low bed, she reminded herself. The bedding was very low to the ground, and getting out of bed meant she had to lift herself up, rather than rolling off the higher bed she had at home onto her feet. It made a big difference to the start of her day; it meant she wouldn't land on the floor in a heap and hurt her joints.

On her hands and knee on the floor, her head hung down onto the bed. She took several deep breaths, willing herself to remember Corran in her dream. Erisi sighed as the dream retreated back deep into her mind, barely leaving a memory of a much-sought result.

Erisi was obsessed by Corran Horn; the reason for her dream flooded forward from her memory. He was supposed to be dead! She'd also thought Bror Jace was dead, but Ysanne Isard's spies had discovered not only was he alive, but he was deeply involved with the Vratix Ashern revolutionaries!

She ground her teeth as she suited up into her flightsuit. They were BOTH supposed to be dead!

Erisi had replied to her charges of failure by stating the information she'd given was good; that the attacks and captures were enabled by her data delivery. It was not her fault that agents of Isard had not finished the job properly!

If Erisi was going to die for insubordination, she told them to get it over soon — she was so sick of working so hard, and then getting blamed when the result wasn't what her superiors had expected. It was the recurring motif of her life: failure — through no fault of her own and no recognition for her efforts.

Her father and the Xucphra entity had charged her to seduce Bror Jace; he had rejected her. Ysanne Isard had ordered her to infiltrate Rogue Squadron and pass information to defeat the rebels. Erisi had done all she'd been asked, and more!

She'd decided that some forest gremlin must have inveigled its way into the container of her soul. It was the only way to account for her intensely bad luck.

As Erisi made her way to the docking bay, she thought of the beautiful women she'd seen on the side of the road so many years ago. Her mother and father had forbidden her to look at them or even to talk about them; Erisi came to understand that these women were cast-offs. They were put onto the roadside and displayed on box-like pedestals, to fend ...

She found herself in her fighter, her vision blurred by her tears. Her survival suit and helmet encased her completely. Erisi couldn't wipe her eyes or nose so she settled for blinking and sniffling. How humiliating. She took some deep breaths to clear her voice, which would be conveyed to all ships in the fleet.

She received her orders and was shocked. It was accompanied by a holo ... of her father! Naked!

She laughed after her initial shock, and giggled more after reading the details of this vision. Agents of the underground revolutionary Vratix Ashern had somehow broken through security at the Xucphra estate and forced him to strip ... on public access holo!

Erisi imagined how livid her father would have been, and wondered which heads on his staff would roll!

On the holo, the patriarch Dla'rit demanded his daughter back, "to protect the family." Isard had allowed it; the former Imperial Director had escaped from Imperial City when the rebels had invaded it. She landed on Thyferra, and had been appointed as head of the Xuchphra entity. So protecting the Dla'rits meant protecting the company.

Her orders made her head of the Thyferra Home Defense Corps!

Erisi frowned. Is this all I get for sleeping my way up??

The dream she barely remembered drifted back to her and she couldn't help but smile as the delicious depicted feelings came trickling back to tease her. "I'll get you, Corran Horn," she whispered, making sure her VOX was off. "I'll make you come after me!"

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To Part Six | To Part Eight

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