Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Danielle Langley and Christopher Levy.
Zero years before the Battle of Yavin (35:2:30) in the Corellian system: Corellia (Gold Beaches) and Nerf Herder, in the Essesia system: Esseles (The Void) and Nerf Herder, and in the Sullust system: Nerf Herder and Sulon (Barons Hed: Spaceport).
Asher Arkovich, Sophia Cromwell, Sub-Lieutenant Tosha Previn, Lord Marcus Rodney, and Dena Tenn (death), and Major Min Traebor.

Marcus peered through the viewport of the Nerf Herder as the transport soared low over the oceans of Corellia. The brilliant Corellian sun was shining high on the horizon, reflecting off the water and filling the cockpit with a pure, natural light. Looking over his shoulder he observed that Sophia was still asleep and a satisfied smile came upon his middle-aged lips. As he spotted what he hoped would be a deserted island, he altered the vessel's course and descended the landing claws. Several moments later he touched the ship down directly on the beach, with the front claw actually in the water. "Wake up," he yelled cheerfully as he popped the hatch, allowing the fresh sea air to permeate through the cabin.

She groaned a bit before she would rub her eyes and sit up. Blinking a few times at the bright light before she quickly stood up. It smelled...salty.. "Where...are we..?" Her hair was in slight tangles but it caressed her cheeks and looked like it meant to be that way. She bit her lower lip before she slowly moved towards the open hatch and her eyes went wide ", Marc..." She glanced back to him for a moment, a slender brow rose before a grin curled over her lips.

Marc's arms wrapped around her slender frame, bringing her back close against his chest as he drew her in against him. He lowered his head, burying his nose in her hair for a moment as he inhaled her scent. His strong, rough hands roamed across her stomach as he enjoyed watching her take in the scenery. "Come on," he said to her, breaking the silence, as he moved out of the hatch onto the gold Corellian beach sand. He extended a hand to help her get out, the sound of the waves washing up against the hull of the transport rhythmically beating in the background.

"I'm coming..." When he had his arms wrapped around her she just stood there, hesitating before she would relax into him. She bit her lower lip gently before she nodded when he went away. She glanced down to his hand then she smiled as she reached her hand out to take his own and joined him out of the hatch and onto the beach "It's amazing!"

Marc turned around, watching her body illuminated by the sun setting behind her. He smiled at her as he stepped out into the sea, letting the salt water starting to flow over his aching body. He let out a loud, pained groan as the salt water made contact with the bite on his shoulder. "Ah," he groaned as he sat down on the sea floor, just his head sticking up above the water, the waves constantly brushing against his bruised form.

She did not step all the way in, just until she was knee deep. She looked out into the vast amount of...water, just everywhere before her. She took in a deep breath then closing her eyes tipped her head back to let the rays slip over her skin before letting out the breath. She blinked her eyes open before she squinted lightly and glanced out to find him.

"What am I going to do with you?" Marc asked as he looked up at her, a playful smile plastered upon his face. The more time he spent with her, the more he wanted to be with her. It was dangerous, and it had already distracted him once professionally, nearly costing them their lives. He rose out of the water swiftly, moving towards her as the sea splashed around him. Stopping in front of her, his hands reached around her body, drawing her nearer to him as he allowed his lips to gently connect with hers.

She grinned then, with a soft giggle she shrugged lightly "Am I really that bad?" A slender brow rose before she felt his hands on her, then her arms slipped around him and her lips pressed to his. She ended the kiss not soon after before she kissed along his jaw line then whispered lightly "Aren't you glad you told me your name..? She smirked then standing back just a bit so she could see his face.

"How do we manage this and still be able to be successful on the hunt?" Marc asked her as his finger tips began to slowly move down her back in no discernable pattern, gently brushing against her sun drenched flesh. He sighed contently as he held her in his arms. He felt as if he could protect her, but also knew that it was extremely difficult to work with someone when you cared for them. "I care deeply for you..." he finally admitted in almost a whisper, moving his face back down to place a series of passionate kisses upon the side of her neck as the waves crashed into them.

Her body shuddered. This was extremely romantic and her heart pounded against her chest. Her arms wrapped around him tighter, and she moved so that she could capture his own lips to hers before she would move to let those lips brush along his ear lightly... "...Oh you too...I believe more than...I should..."

"We could just walk away from all this you know..." Marc suggested, not really meaning it, as he pulled her down into the waves with him. As he lay there in the moist, compact sand, he positioned her on top of them. The Corellian star beat down strongly upon their light-colored skin and the waves continued to flow over them. His hands held her firmly, the sea causing their bodies to slip against one another as he lay contently beneath her, the sand clinging to his body.

That was the wrong thing to say, especially if he didn't mean it. She bit her lower lip to say something, but got 'rudely' interrupted when he pulled her to lay on top of him on the sand. The water splashed up lightly around them and she just laughed lightly shaking her head, no really able to believe this was happening. She bit her lower lip, leaning down then she let her lips brush against his ear with a soft whisper "...Don't tempt would ruin your life to quite this and you know it."

"You're right," Marc said as he rolled over slightly so that he was now on top of her, pushing her down against the powdered sand of the beach. "It's too much fun," he said as he leaned down and pressed his lips against hers as a wave crashed over them. "Besides ... we've got to make the money to pay for vacations such as this," he added as his hands started to roam over her body.

She bit her lower lip then her hands on his hips slowly sliding up till they slid around to rest on his chest. "Marc..." She slid her hands from his chest down to his arms and to his wrists grabbing them to make him stop "...How about we go and collect our money then..?" She licked her lips slowly...that was just the greedy part of her talking.

"One track mind," Marc said as he climbed off her and then offered a hand to help her up. He moved towards the ship, starting to dust some of the sand off his body. "Sand is everywhere..." he complain to her over his shoulder as she started to climb up into the ship. He stopped to turn around, looking at the Corellian star begin to set. His eyes then moved to her and he smiled. "Beautiful," he said as he said about both of them.

She pouted a little. Part of her did not want to leave, but would the Black Sun really let them rest as long as she wanted? A slender brow rose then as she turned to look towards the star before her cheeks turned a deep red and she glanced over her shoulder towards him, she only hesitated a moment before she turned and literally flung herself on him with a girlish giggle and a soft kiss to his lips.

Sitting down in the cockpit he activated the ship's repursorlift engine and it began to rise off the beach. "We'll come back," he promised to her as his hand moved to accelerate the thrusters. The ship lurched and began to accelerate quickly into the atmosphere. He wanted that money, but he also knew it would come with a new assignment. "Strap yourself in," he warned her as the sky in front of them gradually replaced with a starfield.

She quickly moved to the seat behind him and strapped herself in as he said. Looking out through the window towards the now diminishing view of the ocean and sighed "Yeah..? We better...I bet the nights would have been amazing...and I didn't get to swim yet." She glanced towards him then a smirk curled to her lips with a new feeling: "I'll prove those bitches wrong now, eh?"

"But you did get wet..." Marc pointed out as he moved towards the navigation computer to begin downloading the coordinates for the Essesia system. "Just don't rub it in their faces..." he said to her as he moved his hand over the hyperdrive controls to send them on their return journey to Esseles. "They don't like that sort of thing..." he pointed out as the ship lurched forward and blasted into hyperspace.

"In more ways than one..." She sighed, speaking of well getting wet and not from the ocean. A wicked grin slipping to her lips before she glanced over to him, something dangerous played behind those eyes of hers when he mentioned...not to do that. "Oh, but Marc...I'm sure they absolutely love it."

As Marc activated the auto-pilot, he swiveled his seat to allow him to face her. A serious, concerned look upon his face as she spoke those words. "Sophia ... for both our sakes I hope you are kidding," he warned her. Gone was the kindness in the voice ... the man was genuinely scared at the prospect of displeasing those they were about to see.

She did the same, turning to face him she kept the smirk to her lips but her eyes were not playful anymore. She saw this was not a game, but the smirk...well that was harder to make leave "No, I wasn't kidding." She watched him, then sat back in her chair and crossed her arms over her chest "They aren't the only people out there with jobs." She watched his eyes for a moment, searching them before taking a deep breath in and slowly letting it out "Do you want me to keep my mouth such again?"

"I ... owe these people," Marc explained rather nervously as he rose from the chair and began to walk towards the back of the transport. "I need to keep working for them until I've made up a debt," he informed her, purposely leaving out the key facts and details. His attention shifted towards a bottle of alcohol and he began to pour himself a drink. His body was still covered in sand that he could not seem to shake loose. It was beyond irritating.

She slowly stood up, but she didn't follow him. She narrowed her eyes as she watched him. She stayed silent for a moment until she realized that he wasn't going to say anymore. With the silence she broke it, her voice steady...but a warning almost "What sort of debt would you accumulate with women...people like those people?"

"I failed a mission," Marc explained to her as he sat down on his cot to begin nursing his drink. As he sat down the sand fell from his body and began to mingle into his sheets. He would come to regret that later. He shook his head at her and finished the drink, wondering what she had in store for him.

"And that's all you're going to tell me isn't it?" A slender brow rose as she slowly moved towards him, she turned her back to him and began to strip down letting her clothes pile up on the ground. She grabbed anything clean and began dusting the sand off of her nude form "What do I need to get you to trust me?"

"If I tell you," Marc said as he began to dust some of the sand off his cot, sighing as he settled into the bed with the bottle still clung to his chest. "It would affect the lives of more than just you and I. There are people I'm trying to protect," he informed her sincerely as he looked her in the eyes. He wanted so much to be able to trust her, to confide in her ... it had been ages since he had a person like that in his life.

"Sure..." She glanced over her shoulder towards him, watched him a moment. She would not bug him about it, and she did understand but that still did not make it...not hurt. She licked her lips slowly before she put on a clean tank top and a pair of shorts on... She dusted her own cot off then sat down on it. "I'll keep my mouth shut Marc, that's all you had to say."

"Sophia..." Marc said quietly as he looked over towards her. "It's been a long time since I let anyone else in," he explained to her as he moved to pour another drink. He looked down at the floor as he wiped away some more of the sand. "If I don't tell you things it's just because this is all very new to me," he said as he stood up from the cot and began to walk over towards hers, leaving the bottle behind. He sat down on the cot and placed his hand on her knee, starting to rub her legs. "...what do you want to know?" he asked quietly, not looking her in the eyes. He did not want to blow this.

She looked down to his hand for a moment. She bit her lower lip gently then took in a deep breath, she was silent for a very long moment before she shrugged gently and shook her head. She reached out then and placed her hand atop his, squeezing gently. "No, Marc." She smiled then, small...but smiled "I'm not fool enough to ask you now and have you regret later, you'll tell me when you are ready." She smirked then "And in the mean time...I'll suffer quietly through those two women and their glare."

Marc keeled over onto the cot and lay down beside her. He made no move towards her this time, no passion was displayed. It was different this time ... all he wanted was to lay beside her as their ship moved through hyperspace. "I..." he started, but he bit his lip and held himself back.

She lay down next to him, but it wasn't long before she curled against him, her arm sliding around him and she hugged him to her. She licked her lips slowly then smiled softly, hugging him gently in reassurance. "...Don't force it..." Then her smile grew as she lifted her head a bit to look up to him. "...I'll be around long enough to find out."

Marc rolled over, finally turning over to face her. "Thank you..." he told her, his voice returning to his usual state of kindness when around her. He moved his face forward, placing a soft kiss upon her lips. An arm quickly moved to wrap around her as he drew her in against his body, holding her against him. His eyes began to close, planning to enjoy a brief nap as the ship continued on autopilot towards their destination.

"Mm...welcome..." She snuggled up closer to him, and though her eyes stayed open for awhile, thinking and wondering before she finally did shut her eyes. Yes she had such an urge to bug and to beg, but...for now she would not do it.  For now she would let him sleep...and she would wait patiently...but her patients only ran so far before it just fell off the deep end. With that thought, she felt her body relax and drifted off to sleep.

After the Nerf Herder had successfully landed within the mountain hangar of the Empire's secret facility in the mountains of the planet Esseles, Marcus Rodney began the process of mentally preparing to do with the two contractors he found himself indebted to. His muscular frame, still recovering from the battle with the Trandoshan on Brentaal, found itself once again covered in the state-of-the-art armorweave they had provided him. His eyes moved to Sophia and he nodded his head silently to her as he popped the hatch. He could only hope she would keep her promise and not confront the two women as she had threatened. As he exited the hatch his booted feet touched down on the durasteel floor of the hangar, a stern expression coming onto his face as he confronted Traebor and Previn.

The woman had suited up and looked like a female version of him. The suit clung to her like a second skin and she had actually pulled her hair into a pony tail though her bangs brushed above her eyes and a few longer strands against her cheek. She licked her lips slowly and smiled lightly at him, but her smile disappeared when she followed him out of the ship. She would be good, she promised him such, she would keep her arguing her speech to simple facial expressions if that at all.

A smile curled upon Tosha Previn's face as she saw the two hunters descend from their transport, beginning to clap in appreciation of the job they had just done. "Well done, well done..." she said as she tilted her head to look over the hunters. They seemed to be in one piece.

"I trust it didn't prove too difficult..." the slow, brooding voice of Major Min Traebor began as she emerged from the shadows. "I trust it wasn't too difficult..." she said in a knowing voice, arching her eyebrow at the male hunter as a cruel grin came upon her face.

"Enkido is dead. That is all that matters," Marcus said sternly as his eyes roamed from Min to Tosha. He hated being in their presence, but no longer had a choice. He folded his arms in front of his chest and turned to the Black Sun lieutenant. "The credits," was all he needed to say to convey his message to her. That is, of course, why they came.

She had been standing behind him, a bit off to the side while they had their little 'conversation.' She licked her lips the moment he mentioned credits and she moved to stand evenly with him. Her right hand had slipped to her hip and she cocked it to the side for a moment. She glanced towards Marc, then looked to the two women before her. She would not say a word, but that taunting smirk couldn't help but crawl to those soft lips of hers.

Tosha flicked her wrist over to the side and one of the Neimoidian technicians typed quickly onto his computer terminal. There were several affirmative beeps as he looked up at his master and nodded. Satisfied, she then turned her head towards the two hunters and smiled. "You have your credits. They have deposited into your account on Muunilinst per our agreement," she said as she walked around the pair, coming behind them. "Of course you'll have to divide them between yourselves," she  was quick to add.

Marc looked to her and smiled and then nodded his head to Sophia, indicating that they should leave. He had begun to climb back into his transport when he heard a feminine voice clear her throat behind him. He froze, exhaling a deep breath, as he realized it would not be quite that easy. He flashed a quick, nervous grin to Sophia as he turned back to face them. He had been that close to escaping.

Sophia had never stepped away when he started to leave. Woman's intuition she knew they were not through. She turned a bit though, she would not have that woman standing at her back. Her turn was subtle, casual just to make sure she kept the two of them in her sights at all times. When someone cleared their throat though she actually spoke up lightly "I believe they have something else for us."

"I believe you are right," Marc said to her as he took a step in front of Sophia, moving several paces towards the two. He clenched his jaw, scowling at them as he tried to size up the situation presenting itself in front of them. It seemed there was always a 'next job' when it came to these two.

"Did you think you would be leaving here without something else to do?" Tosha asked as she let out a genuine laugh at the two of them. "There is another problem with one of our mines," she bemoaned as she walked slowly next to Sophia. "We have had an understanding with SoroSuub for quite some time now," she explained as she reached out a finger and attempted to stroke Sophia's jaw line. "Unfortunately," she continued as she moved away from the pair, back towards Min. "Not everyone ... understands ... that understanding," she continued offering a small snicker. "We need you to clear up any misunderstandings," she said as she returned to the duo, tracing her fingernails upon the chest of the armor she had crafted for Marc.

Sophia watched her and waited until the last moment. Her hand raised to knock the woman's hand away, but instead with the thought of Marc at the forefront of her mind she simply jerked her hand back instead. She continued to watch her, and the moment she went to Marc she was no longer hearing the woman's words. Sophia took a step forward without thinking, her eyes were narrowed and her hands were at her sides. She made sure everyone knew her hands were empty, but her body was tense...she was pissed "Just  get on with it and let us finish your petty misunderstanding."

Min Traebor began to laugh slowly, before it rose to a crescendo in an uproariously laugh at the hunter's expense. "I told you, Tosha," she said as she observed Sophia's reaction to her touching Marc's chest. She had suspected the two were lovers, but her colleague in the Black Sun had assumed the bounty hunter was much too professional to allow that to happen. "Does this change anything?" she asked Tosha as she flashed a knowing grin to Sophia, wagging a finger at her as if to say 'naughty, naughty.'

"It changes nothing," Tosha said abrutply as she shook her head at the Imperial Intelligence officer. She would not have believed it until she witnessed it with her own eyes. She flashed a quick grin to the bounty hunter and shook her head. "You're slipping, Nerf Herder," she said as her tongue flicked out over her lips like a snake. "Proceed to the Sullust system," she said as she extended him the datadisk with all the pertinent data.

Marc visibly cringed when Sophia made her move, realizing their trap had just been sprung. There was no hiding it now and they were the kind of women sharp enough to use it against him. He snatched the disk from Tosha's hand and nodded firmly to her, not giving them any reaction that their words had phased him. Moving back towards the ship, hurried inside and immediately entered the cockpit. He exhaled a long, deep sigh, his cheeks finally reddening with the embarrassment of what had transpired. He began the preparation for takeoff before Sophia would even have a chance to settle in.

She moved slowly towards the hatch. Yet, before she would leave she turned to face the other two woman. Without Marc there to push her into the ship she was free reign and she was angry. She watched the two women before her eyes moved and glared to the woman who had touched Marc, well...his suit anyway. She let a wicked smile slip her lips, much anger radiated from her. "...It's good to know... One simple woman can take away what two would want." She shrugged. "Maybe I'm not the only jealous one." With that she slipped in and went to hit whatever button would close the hatch and suddenly turned the anger on him "Go. Now."

"Sophia..." Marc grumbled as he activated the Nerf Herder's repulsorlift engine and lifted the small transport off the landing platform. Sliding his hand forward on the craft's throttle the ship began accelerating up into the planet's atmosphere. "That could have gone better..." he admitted wearily as he gripped the controls, the blue sky gradually dissipating into the darkness of space, millions of specs of light illuminating distant worlds through the viewport.

"Shut up." She did not have the other woman with her to point her angry finger at, so as she slipped into the seat next to him strapping in, she crossed her arms over her chest to completely block the galaxy out, including him. She did not mean to react like that and had not realized she had done it until they reacted back to her. She would have killed herself to go back and react in a different manner, but she could not.

"What has been done can not be undone," Marc said to her in a calm, and level-headed voice. He reached across the control panel to place a firm hand upon the skin-tight armorweave covering her knee. "It is all right," he said as his attention temporarily shifted towards the navigation computer, where he began the process of downloading the coordinates for the Sullust system. Privately, he wondered how long it would take before they would make a move against Sophia to get to him.

She took in a deep breath. Slowly she closed her eyes and leaned back into the chair a bit more before she began to replay everything that went through her mind at the moment she had touched Marc. Then her body tensed once words were repeated and her eyes opened to look towards him. "Wait...where are we going?"

"We're going to the Sullust system," Marc informed her as he settled into his chair once the transport had leveled off into atmospheric flight. His hands moved over the computer and began to program the coordinates. His hand moved to his pocket, giving the disk back over to her. "Stick this in the reader and let's find out why..." he said as his attention was focused on the navigation computer.

Her movements were jerky as she grabbed the disk from him and slipped it into the reader. It was just a system, there were other planets and no way they would land on hers. There was absolutely no reason for her to be nervous about it. So, taking a deep breath she pressed a button to have it start up before leaning back in her chair and waiting for the message to arrive::

The familiar voice of Tosha Previn emanated from the terminal of the ship, as she went over the operation that they had so ornately conceived. "You will travel to the Sullust system. Once there, you will land on the moon of Sulon. It is an unassuming location largely populated by employees of Sulon Incorporated. Sulon Incorporated 'was' paying tribute to the local Black Sun Vigo ... but no longer. Remove the current head of the company," she concluded in a stern voice as the transmission terminated, leaving only a holographic image of Sulon Incorporated chief executive officer Dena Tenn.

Her body tensed. She just stared for a moment then sat up straighter. She did not look to see if he saw her reaction, hell she did not care at this point. Should she say something? Doubt it...why? What difference? Maybe she could play ill. They were going to her...home...Perhaps she could just...pretend they did not exist  "Sounds like an easy mark."

Marc never was comfortable with the fact that his name was associated with the word 'target' in the field of bounty hunting, and a small smile curled upon his lips as the navigation computer began to beep. "Are you saying Marcs are easy?" he joked with her as he moved his hand forward on the hyperdrive controls, sending the small transport lurching forward into hyperspace. He had never heard of Sulon. He had never heard of a lot of places. The odds of it being her homeworld were exponentially small, and he read her nerves as a more a delayed reaction from her encounter with Traebor and Previn.

"Yes." She looked towards him then and  then her tension eased. There would be no way in hell they would ever come across her parents...or...well he was a different story, but still he should be long gone from now. She smiled gently then, before her smile became sly and teasing "...I find Marcs to be very...very easy, don't you?" Her smile grew as she played along letting the tension slip from her.

"I'll show you how easy a Marc can be..." he said to her as he activated the auto-pilot and unstrapped himself from his seat. He reached for her and without much hesitation he pulled her from the seat and up into his arms. A playful smile coming upon his face as he moved, he swung her up into his arms and prepared to carry her towards the rear of the transport, softly laughing the entire time.

When they landed she was back in the suit he had gotten her, her hair was back into a pony tail though stresses were wavy now from their...tussel together and brushed along her cheeks. She slowly took a step out of the open hatch and down to the ground, biting her lower lip she glanced around. She took in a deep breath and let it out with a sigh. Home...she never thought she would be back "...How should we do this? Seems easy enough for an in and out?"

"Well we're not going to use as bait this time..." Marc said as he made sure his armorweave was adjusted properly. The young woman had taken a lot out of him during their time in hyperspace and he was finding it hard to maintain the same level of virility she had at her age. "It seems like a simple take out. Let's have a look..." he said as he dropped down onto the sandy moon of Sulon. "So this is Barons Hed..." he said as he took a look around. There wasn't much to see around here. It seemed like nothing more than a poor, mining town. "I can't imagine living here..." he bemoaned to her as he walked out of the small spaceport, if you could even call it that

She bit her lower lip then, looking up to him her voice was soft and distant almost "" She sighed lightly then began to follow him. "It...seems so simple here, I really do think an in and out will do then we can leave and revisit those...witches." She was nervous, she just wanted to leave to get off of this moon...again.

"There it is," Marc said as he pulled Sophia aside to observe the small building that was the headquarters of Sulon Incorporated. It was a small, mining facility that seemed practically deserted like most of this 'city.' It would be dark soon, and he could afford to wait for the cover of shadows to do his dirty work. His eyes moved towards the speeder lurking in front of the facility, suspecting by the ornate design that it must have been meant for the executive. "Let's wait," he said as he crunched down in front of a broken down wall that surrounded one of the empty homes in this desolate dump.

"Oh come on, Hero." She glanced towards him, taking in a deep breath then sighed lightly "We can run in, kill him, and run back out. It's easy..." She crouched down with him however, she would not go by herself...just incase. She glanced towards him, she hoped she did not know whoever ran this place now, but she doubted she did in the long run. Sighing she reached up and tugged gently on her pony tail.

"You just want me to run in and start shooting?" Marc asked her in genuine disbelief, his hands moving to quickly assemble his AXM-50 "Blast and Smash" energy rifle. He loaded the projectile launcher and then peered his head over the short wall to look at the building once again. It did not even seem guarded. This seemed too easy. Was it a set up?

She watched him a moment, reaching behind her she pulled out her own weapon of choice. Biting her lower lip she shrugged lightly "This place creeps me out..." 'In more ways than one.' She smiled lightly "Besides I figure it would be a better change from the whole let's try and trick the head we're hunting."

Marc shook his head and raised himself up from behind the wall, loading the power cell into his heavy rifle. "The things you talk me into..." he said as he hopped the wall and began moving towards the compound. He kept himself low to the ground, unsure if there were any sentries present. It seemed like the only security on this barren moon was provided by the fact that anyone who tried to escape on foot would die instantly of heat stroke in the wasteland. Coming close to the speeder, he crept down beside it and used it as cover to better survey the location. Without speaking, he motioned with his hand for her to come forward.

She would mimic him after he motioned for her. What was the point of guarding such a place? Who came here anyway? Yet, though she had not been there for years she seemed to remember people around, at least one person...somewhere. She was nervous because of where they were, maybe that was why...maybe it was nothing, maybe she was overreacting. All this came to her mind as she moved up next to him quietly.

A moment later, Dena Tenn, a small female Sullustan emerged from the front entrance of the Sulon Incorporated office. The difference between the Sullustan sexes was very difficult to detect by outsiders, often giving the impression that there was only one. However, Sullustans themselves were more than capable of picking up countless variants among their people. There was a nervous look about her and she seemed very cautious. Her decision to cease payment to the Black Sun and instead support the fledging Rebellion was not without peril.

Asher, an attractive Human male in his mid-twenties, followed Dena Tenn out of the structure. Having been born on this barren moon he had seen first hand the effects of poverty under the hand of a totalitarian body, such as SoroSuub. This was one of the factors that drove him to join the Rebel Alliance and persuade Sulon Incorporated, the largest, and perhaps only, corporation on his homeworld to support the cause. In his hand, he was carrying a small bag, containing credit chips provided to him by Dena to deliver to the Rebellion. "The Alliance is most grateful for your contribution," he said in a polite, gracious tone. He nodded his head to the female Sullustan, preparing to enter his speeder.

"Damn," Marc cursed to Sophia as he heard the footsteps, realizing they had missed their chance. He rose up from behind the speeder and immediately moved his AXM-50 rifle into line with the two that were on the other side of the speeder. "Take the human," he yelled down to Sophia as he squared his rifle on the Sullustan. Pulling back on the trigger he unleashed a series of three bolts of deadly energy directly at the small creature.

She stood up and because of his voice she had her gun trained in his exact direction. At first she saw nothing, just the man in her sights until...she really saw the man. Her gun lowered in the slightest, her eyes went wide and her lips parted in a nervous pant type noise. Then she spoke, soft...surprise thick on her tongue and...fear? "Asher?" A slender brow rose and her gun lowered more to where it was pointing towards the ground now, her body was more tense...but there was no way she could kill him, she was in shock. She just stared. This could not be, how could this be? She knew he was part of the was one of the reasons she had run, but she figured the stupid bastard would have been dead by now. '...His eyes are so...' No! She would not remind herself of anything that was him, She just shut her mouth and glared at him.

Dena Tenn was barely able to react as Marcus emerged from behind the speeder and fired at her. The last vision through her eyes was of the bolts of energy heading towards her. The rest was eternal darkness, as her head was struck by two of the blaster bolts. A brief moment later, her lifeless corpse slumped down to the ground in front of the dilapidated building she had spent the last twenty years of her life working in.

Asher twitched as he saw Dena Tenn fall dead beside him. "Gaah..." he cried out, cringing in fear as he dropped the bag with the credits. He closed his eyes, not yet recognizing it was Sophia. He fully expected to die in the next instant.

Marc turned his attention quickly towards Sophia, wondering why she had not fired. He turned his rifle quickly towards the man and prepared to fire. He had been seen and that was unacceptable. This man needed to die and quick.

"Coward..." She shook her head and then moved to quickly step in front of Marc. She knew him. There was no way she could watch him just seemed out right wrong. She moved, her hand reaching out to brush along Marc's arm, then to his hand before she would lower his gun and move to stand before him, she looked up to him as something...some emotion swam over her eyes "Look, we hit the ...we did what we needed to do, let's just go, hnn?" A slender brow rose, but something about her was pleading.

Marc groaned as she reached out and pushed his rifle. "What are you doing?" he asked angrily as his blast fired off, completely missing the target and impacting the wall behind him. He was enraged, wondering what she could possibly be thinking. If this man got away having seen them murder the Sullustan executive, it would needlessly complicate both their lives. "Sophia?!" Asher shouted in severe confusion as he realized his former love was standing there before him, brandishing a weapon, having just taken part in the ruthless murder of his associate. "What are you doing?" he asked, using the same words as Marc, with the same disbelief, but for vastly different reasons.

She completely ignored Asher. She kept her hand on his wrist, her eyes watching him, she did not look away. But her face faltered she almost looked sad. "I...can't kill someone I know. And I can't watch it either." She would not explain who Asher was, not yet anyway instead she took in a deep breath and in the next moment she was actually fearful of what Marc might do "...This...this is my home planet, Hero."

"What?" Marc said angrily as he took several steps back from her. He was sure now that the man needed to die, to protect her identity and her relationship with him. "Why didn't you tell me before we landed?" he asked her as he stumbled back a bit, shaking his head at her in disappointment. For the first time he understood the hurt she felt when he had not been honest and forthcoming with her about his past.

Asher saw the conflict between Marc and Sophia as an opportunity to escape, but not before accomplishing his mission. He reached down, grabbing the bag of credits and dove into the waiting speeder. Slamming his foot upon the accelerator, the craft used its repulsorlift engines to begin roaring away from the duo of hunters. He did not understand what Sophia was doing there with him, but he could not afford to sit around and find out.

She was shocked at Marc's reaction. It hurt so much she actually felt as if something squeezed her heart. Her eyes showed the pain, but then that was the last he'd ever see of it, she lifted her gun, turned and fired. She fired a blast right into the engine of the speeder. She would not let him get away, she would not kill him, but she would not let him get away that was for sure. She fired again, and again until spark flew and flames engulfed the machine. Asher had time to get out if he didn't care about his money. She let all emotion slip away from her face then, and she didn't dare look back to Marc. Instead she holstered her gun and began heading for the flaming speeder

Asher cursed as his speeder began to flame, forced to leave the bag of credits inside the passenger seat. He groaned in anger as he leapt from the burning wreckage that had stopped near a large boulder in the wasteland not 10 meters from the office. He looked towards the approaching Sophia and began to scramble, but that is when the speeder suddenly exploded, erupting in a massive fireball. The man dove to the ground and shrapnel rained down upon him, badly injuring his right leg.

Marc's brow furrowed as he looked towards Sophia, not understanding why she would let him get away just to blow up his speeder several ways away. In all his travels throughout the galaxy since the Clone Wars he had learned many things, but had made no progress in his ability to understand women. In a state of some confusion, he hoisted his rifle and began to follow Sophia into the wasteland. What the relationship between the two was still remained a mystery to him.

She bit her lower lip. But the moment she saw the energy her walk sped up a bit more. "Asher you idiot! You're supped to dive when someone shoots at you!" She went to him, gun still in it's holster, she grabbed part of his upper and pulled him away from the rest of the flames before she knelt down near his leg. She did not say anything to anyone, she had a one track mind. Fix, the leg. She felt like she would burst with emotion overload any minute. She loved, yes...she loved Marc, whether she would say it out loud ever was another thing. Asher... Maybe she thought she loved him once, whether that was real or not she still ran from him, her family...and she still had the old urge to help him. One of the reasons she ran...she hated protecting him.

Asher let out a loud groan as he lay on the desert surface, his right leg thoroughly penetrated by a piece of metallic debris. He could not walk at the moment, might not be able to walk for some time if the doctors on this backwater moon could not save the leg. "Sophia..." he cried out in pain as he looked up at her helplessly. "Why are you doing?" he asked her in a mix of shock and disbelief. "...for money?" he added, quite coldly.

"It's none of your damned business anymore Asher. Now shut up." She moved, shaky hands. Her eyes were wet, but there was no way in hell she would cry in front of Asher, he had made her cry enough. Although she couldn't remember why. She had torn Asher's own clothing to make a tourniquet then she wrapped her hands around the metal and yanked, the moment she did her hand was on the wound and she was ripping more cloth with hand and teeth to tie and wrap around it...once done she slipped away from him she was...close to hyperventilating. She could not handle this. Her ex, her new...heart somewhere behind her...the thought of killing Asher, but having to help him...she bit her lower lip hard. She was not one that handled thing like this well.

"Let him bleed to death," Marc demanded as he came up behind her, sounding very irritated as he surveyed the scene in front of him. There was a smoldering wreckage near them and a dead corporate executive only meters from them. They were nowhere near the ship, and in this desolate world they stuck out like a sore thumb. He shook his head at them, feeling quite disgusted by her behavior. "Let me just end it," he demanded as he raised the blaster rifle squarely in line with the man's head.

"You shoot him..." She slowly stood "And you are no Hero of mine." She turned to look up to him, the moment her back was to Asher did she feel the first hot tear spill over and slide down her cheek, she clenched her jaw and grit her teeth. "I'm not like you...'Hero'...I can not watch someone I know die." She watched his eyes then, before her lower lip began to quiver and she looked very much the girl Sophia, not a hunter at all.

Asher slumped back, laying his head down upon the dirt of the wasteland. In the distance speeders were seen approaching the flaming wreck and his eyes slowly rolled over towards Sophia. "Go..." he said to her, the tears welling in his eyes as he could no longer look at her. "...go, before they see you. But never come back..." he said angrily as his hands gripped into the red dirt that covered the desolate moon.

"Asher..." She her back to him still, before she turned back to him, watching him lay there. She took in a deep breath then slowly let it out "You know...if you say anything we really will have to kill you..." She bit her lower lip waited a moment, flicking her gaze to the other speeders then back down to him "Tell my parents I'm sorry..." She turned, she ran. She knew Marc would be behind her...eventually, but she needed it. She needed to run...just as she had run the time before. She was more of a wreck than Marc would ever realize.

Marc was hustling now, he could see the speeders as well as Asher, and he slung the large rifle over his shoulder and began to move quicker. The weapon encumbered him severely, hindering his movements. He considered tossing it aside, but he doubted he would be able to find a new one and he had become accustomed to this particular model. "Move," he said angrily, as he caught up to her and headed towards the spaceport. He considered leaving her behind. She deserved it in his opinion. One of the speeders stopped at the wreckage, but soon another was headed directly towards them.

The hurt she felt made her stumble, she went down. He had enough time to leave if he was going to. She had a second to glance behind her and look to the speeder that was coming, then she turned back to him. She watched him run. They would not have time, sure it was just a speeder... She bit her lower lip and this time tears flowed. Damn being a woman. She stood up from her fall and turned her back to the ship, to Marc. She whipped her blaster our and aimed it at the speeder coming towards them, anger  allowed her to calm herself enough to shoot, to fire at the speeder and think of nothing else.

Marc adjusted the barrel of the weapon, switching it over towards the micro-grenade launcher setting. Pulling back on the trigger he unleashed a grenade that went spiraling through the air towards the speeder. Her blaster fire had been effective against the reinforced security speeder, but his grenade landed directly upon it and the resulting explosion tore the vehicle apart. He had made his decision. He would not leave her behind. He could not leave her behind. "Come on," he said as he began hustling towards the transport once more.

"Marc..." She turned towards him, she did not hesitate this time. That was all the reassurance she needed. She would have loved for things to be normal, there was that split second thought of seeing what her family would think of him. But then...there would be none of this, a grin slipped her lips and she would miss this. She ran harder until her legs ached and she finally came up to him. She ran with him now, she did not look over she didn't want to ruin the thoughts in her head by seeing how he felt at this moment "Almost there."

Marc jumped into the Nerf Herder and quickly tossed his blaster rifle into the back of the transport as he moved towards the cockpit. His hands moved furiously over the controls of the small ship, before Sophia would ever get a chance to board. "Close that damned hatch and let's get out of here," he shouted over his shoulder as the ship's engine began to flare to life. The ship began to rumble as it powered up, the loud *humm* echoing throughout the small craft. They needed to get out of there ... quick. They had very nearly blown what should have been a very easy assignment.

She stumbled into the ship, falling she kicked her leg up hitting hte button that closed the hatch until she fell down on her rump with a hiss. All she did was reach out and wrap her arms and hands around anything she could to keep her from moving. "Go. Just...go." She bit her lower lip finding herself repeating hte same thing Asher had said. She shook out of it and looked up to him, she knew she didn't have time to get up and strap in.

Marc pulled back on the stick and the small transport and fired the maneuvering thrusters to raise the ship out of the crudely constructed docking bay. More security forces had begun to arrive, firing their blasters at the ship as it moved away. Some of them scored direct hits against the ship, causing the viewport to flash as the bolts impacted. "Hang on," he yelled over his shoulder towards her as his hand moved over the throttle to accelerate them away from Barons Hed. At least no one had bitten him this time.

As the Nerf Herder settled into hyperspace, Marc unstrapped himself from the seat and activated the autopilot. His eyes looked to Sophia as he moved to the back of the ship, still not sure what had happened on Sulon. He said nothing, knowing he had learned something about her private life that he was not meant to know. He sat down on the edge of his cot, and let out a tremendous sigh as he tried to unwind from the stress of the mission. His eyes rolled towards the bottle of alcohol they had been gradually consuming and he lifted it to his face. There was no time for a glass and he simply took a big swig from the lip of the bottle, his cheeks flushing red from the effect.

She moved to stay seated in the seat next to the pilots. She was keeping distance between the two. And despite being on autopilot she began pressing buttons lightly to bring up a map of the surroundings planets, galaxies, just to give her something to do. She began to search through the planets with a mild curiosity, but she said nothing, and did not turn around to face him.

Marc sat there for a long while, using the bottle of near poisonous liquid to calm his nerves and ease his tension following yet another ferocious battle that had forced him to take so many lives. Feeling quite inebriated he moved from the cot and slowly walked towards the cockpit, allowing his gloved hands to rest on the black armorweave that covered Sophia's shoulders. "Are you gonna tell me what went wrong down there?" he asked, his voice already sounding like he was on the road to drunkenness.

She narrowed her eyes more then looked up to him. She wanted relax against his touch, but she could not. She was embarrassed. She took in a deep breath and looked up to him. "You remember, how you weren't ready to tell me anything about your past either, Marc? Well...this is my moment of not being ready." She bit her lower lip You weren't supposed to see anything."

Marc moved towards the pilot's seat and fell into it, tiredly. He looked over towards her, wondering who it was he had let get this close to him. He realized he hardly knew her, but he had revealed to her the inner workings of how he operated. It scared him. "Well then let's both start telling..." he said as he extended the bottle over towards her, feeling he needed to know at least something if he was going to be able to continue with her.

Alcohol. It always worked to get lips flapping but she was not sure if she wanted it to. After a moment though she took the bottle and gulped down a huge swallow. Then another before she began coughing lightly and handed the bottle back. She shuddered lightly then took in a deep breath and turned away from him "The day I left my home planet, was the day of my wedding..."

"Your wedding..?" Marc slowly asked, not entirely sure what to make of that. He realized she must have had a life before him, but he never considered she had been in a relationship that was that serious. It should not have bothered him, but it did. He lowered his head and shifted over in the chair slightly, having difficulty looking her in the eye. "...did you love him?" he asked quietly as his foot scuffed the floor nervously.

She continued to fiddle with that map of his shirt, searching still for nothing in particular. "I don't know." She took in a deep breath her body feeling warmer now from the alcohol she had consumed so quickly "I think I loved the Idea of a perfect family. I loved the idea of becoming something my parents could be proud of..." She glanced towards him "But I did not love him, the only day I had the courage to do something about it...was my wedding day. I decided if I was going to break my parents hearts...that I would break my own and never come back." She smiled "I use to dream when I was little, that if I would marry, it would be with someone that could protect me." She shook her head slowly, hitting the button to make the map disappear "It's not supposed to be the other way around." She shrugged "He loved his Alliance more than he could ever care for me. I couldn't take it anymore so I left... Everyone, everything." She smiled, but it was sad "I became what everyone fought against, and hated."

Marc listened to what she had to say carefully, feeling a bit better about the situation knowing that she left him on her own terms. "Can we trust him?" he asked nervously as he considered the information the man now had access to. If he reported what he saw, their lives would be in grave danger.

"Yes...No..." She sighed "I don't know." She turned to face him then watching his eyes for a moment before she took in a deep breath and sighed "It depends on if he really loved me." She smiled and this time her lower lip quivered "How could anyone go through their life wanting to marry someone, but loving their job more..." She glanced away from him "Your turn to dish."

"What would you like to know?" Marc asked her, folding his arms in front of his chest uncomfortably as he prepared to whither her onslaught. He looked at her, maintaining strong eye contact and offering her a slight, reassuring smile. After a moment he relaxed, his hands lowering slightly and moving to caress her right knee. "Look," he said slowly, "...whatever you want to know." He swallowed noticeably, his Adam's apple bulging through the armorweave of his suit.

"I want to know..." She turned to face him more, watching his eyes searching them. She was going to need more drink when it came down to it. "...why you are so afraid to tell me anything. I just don't understand." She shook her head slowly then sighed and slowly stood up, taking the bottle with her and walked away from the cockpit and to the cot "I won't break your trust...not ever again, Marc."

Marc got up and began to follow her and the alcohol towards the cot, but he chose not to sit yet. "I am sorry I haven't told you everything, Sophia," he said very quietly as his eyes moved from her to the deckplating. "I am a member of an important family," he told her as he moved towards her cot, sitting down next to her. "If my identity became known it would jeopardize them," he confessed to her as he tiled his body down to lay down next to her.

She continued to sit, looking towards him. She tipped her head back taking a sip of her drink then letting the bottle sit on the floor of the ship. She licked her lips slowly watching him before she blinked a few times. "Are you afraid I will tell somebody?" She watched him then sighed "Even with the things that I know could be done...I would never let anyone know who you are."

"Those women we work for and other people I've crossed," Marc said as his hand moved around her, resting upon her armor-covered stomach as he clung to her affectionately. "...they would torture you and make you tell," he told her in a very concerned voice as he began to pull her down to lay next to him. "I don't want anything to happen to you because of me," he said as he looked her in the eyes, turning his face to her as he placed a tender kiss upon her lips.

She melted into the kiss. Closing her eyes a moment, before she slowly sat up to watch him once more. "Marc. No amount of torture would give you away, nothing they could do to me...I..." ::She couldn't admit it, couldn't say the real words:: I adore you too much, I can take care of myself when it comes to that, please you have to learn to trust someone.

Marc looked at her, his hands wrapping around her young body to draw her closer in to him. He could not believe he let him get into a situation like this. "I do trust you, Sophia..." he finally admitted to her, moving his face towards hers to place a tender kiss upon her once again. His hands moved down her back, rubbing against the armorweave that adhered tightly to her body.

She sighed, then slowly moved to curl against him, but she made no moves to let the armor on her body go anyway. She closed her eyes, just concentrating on the feel of his hand. "...So you're just protecting...your parents? Is that all..." She watched him for a moment then, searched his eyes if he let her, licking her lips slowly they were numb from the alcohol.

Marc sighed as he lay against her, feeling a very special connection with her at this point in time. "Not just my parents," he explained to her quietly as he shifted into her. He pressed his lips against the back of her neck and inhaled the scent of her hair. The smell of burnt Sullustan flesh was still in his nostrils. "My brother and his family too..." he said quietly, his voice trailing off. There was more to say, clearly he was still holding something back.

"You're so close Marc..." ::She arched herself into him, molding as if she had always meant to be there. "...Please don't stop. Tell me." She slowly rolled over so she could face him, her hand reached up and fingers gently brushed along his cheek, she watched his face a moment then smiled gently "I'm...always going to be here, I want to know everything about you...please...tell me?"

Marc's eyes fixated upon hers, wanting to believe that he really could trust her. He sighed contently as her gloved hand caressed his face, causing him to shudder against her. His hands moved slowly down her back, pressing into the small of her back and forcing her tightly against his body, the armorweave of their suits awkwardly sliding against one another. "They asked me to kill my brother," he explained to her, very coldly. "They did not know he was my brother because I have protected my identity for so many years," he continued, the words coming very slowly as he recounted to her the events that connected him to the Empire and the Black Sun.

She inched closer to him, but the moment he started speaking about what had happened in his past her eyes lifted up and watched his face, searching his eyes. "Oh Marc..." She did not say anymore and her voice was hardly a whisper when she spoke to him, but she tried hard to keep her mouth shut. She wanted to hear what he was willing to tell her. She knew it meant a lot for him to say anything.

"I took the job..." Marc admitted to her, ashamed that he had even considered it. "...but only to make sure he would not get killed," he continued to explain as he moved his right hand slowly through her long, raven hair, letting her locks slip between his gloved fingers as he caressed her. "I rigged an explosion that would disable his ship ... not destroy it ... and he was unarmed," he explained with a sense of relief as he relived the events in their grim details. "But, because I failed the mission, I must serve Previn and Traebor until the debt is paid," he explained as he closed his eyes and allowed his head to fall down on the pillow. The relief of having told her overwhelming.

She leaned closer, her lips pressed to his cheek gently. She laid back next to him, then her eyes narrowed. She would get him free. Sophia was a determined woman that was for sure. "...How long until you are free of debt? ...And that's why you want me to be quiet isn't it? You don't want them to mark him again do you?" A slender brow rose, wanting to understand desperately how to help him without letting him know.

"If they find out who I am they will kill me and my entire family," Marc admitted to her as he closed his eyes, trying not to think about it any longer. "Seven more jobs and I can just move on and get my life back," he informed her quietly, believing he could do it if he kept his emotions for her in check. "...just seven more," he repeated to her as he started to feel the effects of the alcohol increase.

"Would they take anything else as payment?" A slender brow rose. Her cheeks were rosy, but she was doing her best to keep her mind on a certain thought so that she would not get carried away with anything else, or distracted for that matter. She watched his face for a moment before she would lay down, next to him she rolled to be on her back with little room.

"Let's just kill those people and get it over with," Marc said reassuringly as he forcefully rolled on top of her, his eyes looking down at hers. His mouth moved down, biting at her lip playfully before sliding his tongue into her mouth in a passionate kiss. She made him feel young again and gave him feelings he thought he had long since forgotten.

"I'd kill them for you, Marc...just give me the word." But she could not speak any longer, her lips were taken over. Her tongue would slide against his, curling around before she slid her gloved hands up his arms then around his back and wrapping around him. Her eyes closed slowly and a soft whimper melted gently into the kiss.

For the first time in years Marc felt as if he had found someone whom he could trust and care about. For most people it would have been a wonderful thing to realize, but he now knew that those who were out to get him had something they could use against him. As he broke the kiss he looked down at her, the fear of losing her almost overwhelming. "Please, Sophia ... don't talk like that," he begged of her, trembling slightly as he imagined what those women might do to her.

She watched him a look of concern passing over her before she reached up and gloved hand caressed his cheek gently and she smiled "No one will take me away from you Marc..." Her smile seemed to grow, but there was a small bit of sadness behind it, because she knew...just knew...she would have to get at those women, she doubt they would let him go after seven more jobs. "I'll always be here... I promise."

Marc moved from her suddenly and stood on the deck of the ship in front of her. His eyes locked on her, showing a fierce hunger that he had never before shown her. His hands ran over his own body, beginning the difficult process of stripping out of his armor. It look longer than normal as he rushed to get it off, completely distracted by the passion he felt for her at this moment. Finally, he stood naked before her and swallowed nervously as he moved back towards the cot.

She did not understand why this felt different, why her heart pounded against her chest as she watched him she had no idea. Something was different, stronger and it caused her to whimper when she saw him naked before her, licking her lips slowly she lifted her hand and reached for him. Slowly she stood up though before he could get down on the cot, her hands, gloved still slid to his hands gripping lightly.

"Sophia..." Marc said quietly as his hands moved away from her grip, roaming to the back of her suit where he began the process of helping her out of the suit. He felt his entire body began to tremble nervously as he helped her out of the armorweave, a lump forming in his throat making it nearly impossible to swallow. When he had finally finished he took a step back, having never really gotten the chance to take a look at her like this before ... she was absolutely beautiful. Slowly he moved towards her, his arms wrapping around her in a tight embrace as his lips again connected with hers.

She could not help but kiss him back, though after a moment she would pause to push a mere inch away from him. Eyes opened to look into his own a soft laugh, thick with lust and other sweet nothings. Her fingers drew soft circles against his bare back slowly sliding down to stop right above his rear "Marc...what's gotten into you..." The way he acted made her feel...nervous, though it was not a bad case of the nerves...she just...she spoke when she was nervous sometimes.

The feel of his body atop hers...she enjoyed it and her arms wrapped around him, her fingers trailing gently up and down his back for a moment, her eyes were closed and she was just breathing softly. Her body still tingle with pleasure slipping through her. She sighed softly her lips near his ear before whispering... "Oh Marc, I..." She stopped herself and simply hugged him to her.

Marc's heart was pounding in his chest, as he looked down into her gorgeous eyes. He felt something for her ... something dangerous ... something that made him wish he had never met her, but he had. "I love you, Sophia," he finally admitted to her and to himself as he moved from on top of her to lay next to her, staring up at the upper bulkhead of the ship. He could not look her in the eyes, afraid of what her reaction might be.

She moved to sit up, her hands reaching out to cup her face in her palms to turn him to face her. Her eyes searched his own for a moment, her heart was aching as she watched him, her eyes seemed to water. "Oh Marc, I...I love you too..." She bit her lower lip she was so...happy. She leaned over and pressed her lips to his own.

Marc lay quietly next to her, his hand moving down to intertwine with her fingers. He was glad that she loved him, but he now had something to be afraid of losing. "What do we do now..?" he asked her, his body trembling from the coldness of it all. He was still naked and thought about getting up to throw something on, but he lacked the energy to move. The sweat on his body began to cool, causing a shiver to run down his spine.

She curled her body against his own. Resting her head on his chest to listen to his heart. She was trying to warm him up and comfort him for that matter. "Don't let go...ever." She opened her eyes then and glanced up to him, watching him. "I love you...Marc...I always will..." She reached out grabbing the small blanket from the cot and pulling it on top of them. "...I won't lose you."

"Please, Sophia," Marc said as he pulled the blanket over them and moved to draw her closer to him. He sighed as he looked her in the eyes, a fear visible in them that normally would be hidden beneath an emotionless glare that enabled him to do his work. "Please don't upset those harpies. Let's just finish the jobs and then go have our life together..." he pleaded with her as he moved to place another tender kiss upon her lips.

"Oh Marc..." She looked up to him, and pressed her lips to his cheek smiling softly "I promise I'll be good this time. I'll make up for my reaction last time." She licked her lips gently and smiled gently before she closed her eyes and held onto him "I'll keep you safe." She kissed his chest gently before curling up into him. "I won't upset them I promise."

Marc's arms tightened around her, pulling her closer to him, as if he were afraid to let her go. He could feel her heart beating against his body, as the two became one beneath the soft blanket. He could speak no longer, his head drifting towards her, his forehead bumping directly against hers as he drifted off to sleep. They would arrive at Esseles soon and another assignment would soon find a way to complicate their lives.

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