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Notes: Many chocolate Jedi, as usual, to Helens and Jedi Rita for their comments and suggestions throughout the writing process. QAJ is definitely a process, and there are three people involved. Take one out, and it just wouldn't happen.
I am aware of his presence for several long moments before I am ready to face him. I felt him approaching, felt him hesitate outside the door, and felt him stand stock-still in the open doorway for three long breaths. He is nervous. I sense a little fear as well, which makes me cringe, but then... guilt? What has he to feel guilty about?
He kneels before me and waits. I cannot make him wait much longer, though I need a few more seconds to collect myself. What will I say? What should I say? I surface from my meditation as slowly as possible, not wanting to risk feeling the mild disorientation that can accompany a quick ascent. Now is not the time to be even slightly unaware of myself.
I see him even before I open my eyes.
He looks tired, but otherwise well. He reaches out and tucks a few stray locks of hair behind my ear. My heart pounds at that gentle touch -- I don't deserve any kindness from him, not after what I did. I force myself to meet his gaze.
He is silent, watching my face, waiting for me to speak. I inhale slowly and release my collected tension as I exhale again. I look down at my hands.
Before I can say another word, he launches himself at me. "Oh, Master, I'm so sorry!" He is in my lap, embracing me tightly, trembling as I instinctively slide my arms around him and pull him close. He seems so childlike suddenly, and that thought makes me feel even worse about everything I've done.
Then I register his words.
"What are you...? Why are you apologizing? You've nothing to--"
"I'm sorry for the way I treated you," he breathes, so softly I can barely hear him. "I've been such a prick, and I was even worse over the last few days. I never even came to see how you were doing, and I should have known..." His breathing is irregular, but I can't tell if he's crying.
I'm stunned, frankly. I had assumed he'd stayed away out of fear, or anger. At my lowest moments I feared that I'd lost him completely, just as I'd lost my first apprentice. Why would he come back here and kneel before me and tell me he's sorry?
"Slow down, breathe." The only thing that feels right at this moment is to hold him and to comfort him. I pull him against me tightly, burying my nose in his hair and kissing the top of his head. His hands clench my tunic in great handfuls, as if he is clinging to me for life. Slowly his breathing evens, but he continues to hold on to me. This position is getting less and less comfortable -- I've spent a lot of time in it lately.
"Let's move this to the sofa, shall we?" I clasp his shoulders as he sits back. His eyes are red-rimmed now, though there isn't any evidence of tears on his face. He nods his head, not looking at me.
We move to the sofa and sit cross-legged, facing each other. He pulls a pillow into his lap, almost like a physical barrier, and crosses his arms around it protectively. That is the kind of behavior I was expecting -- unconsciously defensive. He waits for me to speak once more.
I take a deep breath, trying to remember all of the things I was planning to say. I had planned these words, but saying them takes more courage than I anticipated. I exhale audibly. "Before this goes any further, I want to tell you how sorry I am for what happened. I know I forced myself on you that night. I didn't stop when you asked me to, when you... I don't know if you'll be able to forgive me for that. I don't know what I can do to regain your trust in me. I'll do whatever you ask, whatever I can." It seems like a good idea to stop talking now, so I do. I wait silently.
His eyes flit up to meet mine at that, an expression of mild confusion on his face, resting his chin on the pillow. I can't help but notice that he's almost curled into a ball, with the pillow protecting his abdomen. I slide away from him slightly, out of his personal space as much as I can. He doesn't seem to notice the movement. He appears lost in thought, face stone still.
He takes a deep breath, as if emerging from a light meditative trance, as he looks up at me at last. "Master, it wasn't like that. You didn't mean to hurt me. I had been behaving so badly towards you for weeks and that night... It wasn't your fault. I pushed you, and I kept pushing you, and--"
I shake my head at that, cutting him off. "Obi-Wan, this had nothing to do with your behavior."
He sits up straighter and opens his arms, releasing the pillow. "Master, I knew what I was doing. I was trying to make you angry. Not on purpose, but somewhere deep down, I wanted you to be angry with me. If I hadn't been so rude and obnoxious, the evening would not have ended that way. It would have been like any other night out. We would have come home together and everything would have been fine. You cannot claim that my behavior had nothing to do with it."
"No," I sigh. "That I can't." But we both know that we would probably not have ended up in bed even if he'd reined in his behavior that evening. He'd been distancing himself from me for weeks by then. "But that does not excuse what I did. I had a choice in how I reacted to your behavior, and I--"
"You showed me how much you wanted me. You didn't just leave the club. You wanted me. You care about me."
"I raped you."
The words hang in the air between us. I feel like I have sand in my mouth. I didn't want to say that. I didn't even want to think the words.
He stares at me, wide-eyed, suddenly quite pale. "Don't say that, Qui, that's not--"
I reach out for his hand and take it in mine. "Obi-Wan, as horrible as it is to contemplate, we have to admit that is exactly what it was."
He pulls his hand away and wraps his arms around the pillow again, wild-eyed. "No, no, that's not it at all. It's not like that. It wasn't--"
"Please," I cut him off with a groan of frustration. "Don't make this any harder on either of us."
He stands at that and moves to the other side of the room, arms folded across his chest. I'm not sure what he's thinking now; all I can feel from him is confusion. I pick up the pillow where he dropped it, sliding my hands across the warmth left where it was pressed against his body. Somehow that makes me feel a bit closer to him, closer than I may have any right to be now.
He paces a bit, chewing his lower lip anxiously, body language revealing the turmoil of his emotions. Then he whirls to face me. "How do you know I didn't want it? That I didn't enjoy it?"
I sigh softly. Why is he so determined to fight this? "Obi, please."
"I'm serious," he says hoarsely, though he's still standing meters away. "I got hard, remember?"
"We both know that is a common physical response to forced penetration. It does not indicate consent." My voice sounds strangely clinical in my ears, as if I'm distancing myself from this reality.
He runs a hand through his hair, as if struggling for words. "Maybe I was just resisting because I was angry with you for fucking Siri right in front of me. Maybe I wanted you to prove to me how much you wanted me."
"Obi, listen to yourself. Can you honestly tell me that you wanted that?"
"Yes, I can." He blinks rapidly and puts his hands on his hips, strangely defiant. It couldn't be more obvious that he's lying to me, to himself.
"Then why did you tell me to stop? Why did you fight me?"
"I was angry. I wanted..." He folds his arms across his chest again and looks away, almost frantic to fix his gaze anywhere but on me.
"You didn't want that. You can't convince me that you did. You told me no. You fought me. I did not yield. That makes it rape." The word hangs heavily between us once again, draining my resolve to make him understand.
"Don't I get to decide what it was?" he spits out quietly, still looking away. "It's my body, isn't it? Do I get a say in this at all?"
Exasperated, I press my palms to my forehead. "Obi-Wan, stop this. We have both been trained to deal with situations like this. You know what the legal definition of rape is, and you also know why there is need for such a definition. What I did to you more than meets it." I can't believe I'm having to argue with him about this. Why is he so determined not to see it for what it was? Why can't he just be angry? Yell at me, hit me -- anything but this denial.
He turns away, looking out the floor-to-ceiling transparisteel panel that leads to the balcony. He is silent for a long moment.
"Why?" His voice is so soft I nearly miss the word.
"Why did I...?"
"Why did you approach me that night? After all of that, why did you want me? Why did you...?" He still faces away from me. His emotions are swirling.
"I don't know," I reply. "I don't remember what happened, to be honest."
His shoulders stiffen perceptively, and he chokes back a laugh. "Then how do you know that it was--"
"What I mean," I interrupt as swiftly as possible, "is that I don't remember why I... I remember being angry with you. I remember being with Siri, and forcing you to watch. I felt how upset that made you, and I remember going to you, and then..." My voice is wavering now, and I pause to collect myself before continuing. "The next moment I clearly recall was realizing I was holding you down, forcing myself on you." The words feel as if they're being ripped from my gut now, painfully abrasive as I spit them out. "You were saying no. You were crying. I had my hand over your mouth. I... I realized what was happening and I stopped. But I don't remember anything in between."
I look back at him, and notice that he is covering his face with his hands. I am seized by an impulse to go to him, to hold him, to comfort him. I force myself to look away instead. The silence draws itself out for a long time, too long. This is too much. I need to know what he's thinking.
"It would be very helpful if you could tell me what you remember. It would... fill in the gap for me. I need to know. Please, Obi-Wan."
He is silent for another minute, and I begin to fear that he still will be unable to admit that this has happened to him. To us.
"I knew you were forcing me to watch you with Siri, and I was angry with you for that." His voice is small and muffled against his hands. I have to strain to hear him. "I thought... my friends are all... I'm slack, you know. I guess I thought you were too. I didn't know that you..."
"I'm sorry. I never intended to deceive you. I thought it would make you more comfortable if you never saw me with women." It seems ridiculous now, now that it's hurt him.
He nods and drops his hands, though he's still facing away from me. It's dark enough outside that I can see his reflection in the glass. I feel strange watching his image this way -- after all, he turned away from me for a reason. I try to look away, but his eyes catch mine in the glass. He stares at me for a moment.
"Actually, it did make me more comfortable. It's not like you lied about it. I could have asked you, and I didn't. I just assumed." He shrugs and looks away.
I shift my gaze elsewhere, intent on giving him the privacy he clearly needs at the moment. "I'll admit that your presence in my life has been a distraction from such things, not to mention that I've had no reason to look elsewhere recently."
He takes a deep breath at that, and for a moment I fear that comment went too far. A sudden spike of fear rips through me. I need to tell him how I feel about him, here, tonight. Can he possibly believe me after what's happened? Or will he just resent me for saying it under these circumstances?
"Obi-Wan, please go on. I need to hear your perspective."
After a moment, he continues softly. "After Siri, when you came over to me and touched me, I was still angry. I wanted to lash out at you, to hurt you back. So I did. You told me I was lying to you, and that I was... hiding something."
I start at that. I don't remember saying those words.
"Then you... looked at me, and it was like..." He pauses, thinking, staring out the window with a strange expression on his face. When he continues, his voice is guarded and smooth. "You were so angry, so... It scared the shit out of me. I didn't know what to do. The next thing I knew..." He pauses and takes another deep breath. "Do you really want to hear the rest?" I feel him probing me gently, concerned for me. It makes me feel even worse.
"Yes," I whisper. "Please, tell me. I need to hear it." I can no longer look at his back, much less his reflection. I start to tremble, despite my resolve.
"You pushed me up against the wall. I was still naked from the waist down, and you pushed my legs apart." He pauses here, closing his eyes, as if replaying the memory in his mind to get the details just right. His voice is still strangely serene. "And then you penetrated me. I didn't know what was happening at first, and I thought you were going to hurt me. It was a moment before I realized you just wanted to fuck me."
He's trying to gloss over it, to make it sound not as bad as it was. He can't fool me. "But I did hurt you, didn't I?" I force myself to look at him again.
"Yes," he whispers, hands coming up to press against the transparisteel, leaning forward to rest his forehead on the cool surface. "I've never liked it rough like that, you know. I've always been a bit of a lube freak." He tries to laugh, but it almost comes out like a sob. "I remember thinking that you couldn't possibly be hard again so soon. I'd just seen you come with Siri. And then it started to hurt. Not just the penetration -- that goes away quickly enough. But the movement itself was..."
I shudder at that, understanding immediately. I've had a few bad experiences, and the thought that I may have done that to him is--
"I told you to stop, that you were hurting me, and you told me to shut up and you covered my mouth with your hand. The way you looked at me was just..."
I am struggling not to make a sound to distract him, though tears are now brimming in my eyes, threatening to stream down my face. I pull my knees to my chest and rest my forehead on them, sobbing silently. This is nearly too much already, but I need to hear it. I need to know.
"I started crying. I was making some sort of noise, and I remember thinking that it couldn't really be you, because you weren't hearing me. You weren't really seeing me. And then, it suddenly started to feel good. It was very strange, because I was still scared of you, but... I got hard, and I could feel you moving inside me. I started to think about how much I missed you. We hadn't had sex in weeks, and I'd missed the way you fill me, the way you fuck me, the way..." He stops there, as if he were about to say something he didn't mean to say. He is silent for a moment. I look up to see that he is still staring through the pane, almost vacantly. "It was starting to feel really good then, and I was getting into it. It was so unreal -- scary and painful and good, all at the same time." He turns to face me at last, clearly a little startled at my now-disheveled appearance. "And then it was like you came back," he said, eyes full of emotion and concern. "Suddenly I looked in your eyes and saw you there. And I was relieved, because I thought... but then you just left. It was like you suddenly woke up from a dream. And you ran away. And didn't come home for days."
I lower my forehead to my knees again, taking shallow, shaky breaths. I don't remember feeling those things, or doing them. I don't know why I would force myself on him that way, why I would ever hurt him, even unconsciously. It doesn't make any sense.
I feel hands on my back -- his hands -- rubbing in small circles, trying to comfort me. It is amazingly soothing to be touched by him at this moment. He slides onto the sofa behind me and twines his legs around me, leaning against my back. His arms snake around me and pull me tight against him. I lean heavily into him, losing myself in the sensation of being held. It's been a while since he's comforted me this way.
I feel his lips against my ear. "Qui, I know you didn't mean to hurt me. You were angry and you weren't thinking straight. And the thing is -- I enjoyed it. I didn't know I liked it that rough, but... After you left, I was so frustrated and angry with you for leaving me that way. Even though it hurt me at first, I still liked it. I wanted it to go on. I stopped saying no fairly quickly, you know."
"That doesn't mean anything, though," I reply softly. "It should not have happened in the first place. Rough sex is something that you carefully talk about beforehand, and what I did to you was completely unplanned, uncalled for, inappropriate. It was still against your will, regardless of the fact that you changed your mind."
"Perhaps, but I know you care about me. I know you would never intentionally hurt me. I don't regret what happened that night."
"I regret it," I spit out. The words sound harsher than I intended. I mean it, though -- as much as I regret anything I've ever done in my life.
"Don't," he whispers, petting my hair, stroking one hand down my arm, leaning into me, voice soothing. "I know you didn't mean to hurt me. You just got... swept away in the moment, or something." I feel his lips close against my ear. "It's not the first time that you've blacked out like that, is it?"
I feel my body tense at that. It has happened before, but... I want to think about that some more first. I don't think I can talk about it now. He senses my reluctance to answer his question and doesn't push me. Instead, he squeezes me tighter and plants soft kisses on the back of my neck, nuzzling me with his cheek. Soft stubble against my skin is so... I'm stunned that he is the one comforting me, holding me. I'm the one who lashed out, who hurt him. Why is he doing this?
I take a deep breath and turn to face him. He smiles sadly at me, wiping tears from my face with a thumb. He leans forward and kisses me so sweetly that I nearly start crying again. I don't deserve this; I really don't.
"Yes, you do," he whispers. "We both know you didn't mean to hurt me. We need to take care of each other." He pauses, as if searching for something more to say. He closes his eyes and then opens them again.
"Obi-Wan," I start, taking his hands in mine, "there is something more that I need to tell you." I pause, suddenly realizing that this may be a very bad idea. I search my brain for something else I could tell him now, instead, but nothing comes to mind. I've put this off long enough. I lock onto his eyes with my own. "I love you."
He smiles, looking away, down at our intertwined fingers. "I know that, Master. I love you too."
"No, you don't understand. I mean that I am in love with you." I have said this to him once before, months ago. I'd hoped he would write it off as a slip in a moment of passion. This, however, is different -- clothes on, emotions laid bare, facing each other, make-or-break scenario. "I have been in love with you for a long time. This is probably not the best time to tell you, but I need for you to understand that."
Obi-Wan is very quiet, eyes dark and clear as he watches me. He sighs and I feel the wave of emotion roll off of him. "Qui-Gon, I..."
"I know that you don't love me -- not in that way. It's all right, you know. I can accept that. I can even be happy with it."
"Happy? I don't understand."
"If you felt the same way about me, it would be a dangerous situation for you. You aren't supposed to become emotionally attached to anyone. We would probably have to be separated if that were the case. You couldn't possibly finish your training with me, and I would be forced to remove myself from your life altogether in order to avoid negatively influencing you. It would be devastating to both of us. This way..." I pause at the somber expression on his face, reaching up to stroke his cheek. He closes his eyes at my touch. "This way I don't have to worry about any of that. We can be lovers, and I can feel the way I do about you, and we can continue to work together -- at least for a few more years."
Obi-Wan opens his eyes and squeezes my hands. "What happens after I'm knighted? What if I don't love you then? You'll have spent all this time..."
"Don't worry that far ahead," I smile. "I said that I would continue to love you. I didn't say I wouldn't find other lovers." He looks down at that, a small frown flitting across his lips. "Perhaps I'll fall in love with someone else altogether. The arrangement we have now works for me. I don't see any reason to change it."
He nods, carefully studying his hands.
"Thank you," I whisper, cupping his face with one hand.
"For what? I haven't exactly been a model padawan lately." There is a hint of disgust in his voice. He sighs, closing his eyes. "T'nell told me about what happened last night."
Oh. I had forgotten about last night. T'nell was so kind and caring, and I repaid him by using him so horribly.
"It should have been me," Obi-Wan continues. "I should have been the one to bring you home and comfort you, not him."
"Is he... is he angry with me?" He ought to be, after the way I behaved.
"No, but he was pretty pissed at me," Obi sighs. "I went with him to the healers' ward today, and he--"
"The healers' ward?" I blurt out. I press one hand to my forehead, trying to will away the rising panic. I knew I'd hurt him, but that badly? He didn't say anything. He even put me to bed before he left. "Is he all right? I should comm him. I--"
Obi-Wan drops my hand suddenly. I glance at him to see that his eyes have narrowed. "You fucked him, didn't you?"
He didn't know? I'd assumed that T'nell told him that, especially if that's why he went to the healers' ward. Unless T'nell didn't tell him that it was me who had... Fuck. I sigh and meet his gaze firmly. "Yes, I did. I didn't know how--"
He stands and backs away, scowling. I feel a wave of anger peeling off of him now, shockingly intense. "I can't believe you... Damn you, Qui-Gon, why can't you..." He stops and tenses his jaw, as if forcing his mouth closed before he says something he'll regret. He takes a deep breath. "Well, you weren't as miserable as you made people think, were you? You still managed to seduce my best friend." His voice has a sharp edge to it now, and it makes me shiver to hear it.
"Obi, it wasn't like that."
"Oh, no? How was it, then? He's had a crush on you for a while now, you know. That was part of the reason why I didn't want you to fuck him that night at the club. How could you just use him like that?"
"I didn't mean to hurt him! It just happened. He was here, and we were on the bed and... I kissed him and then... I don't know why I did that."
He turns to face me now, eyes flashing. "Just like what happened in that back room? You didn't mean that either, did you? What was he to you, anyway? A substitute for me? Would you have fucked me if I'd been the one to comfort you last night?"
I sink into the sofa, stunned. "Obi-Wan, that isn't fair."
"No, it's not fair. He'd never bottomed before. Did you know that you were his first? Do you have any idea how much it means that he gave that to you, and how much it would hurt him to know that you don't give a fuck about him?"
"And you do?" I feel my own anger rising up now, threatening to flood my senses. "Do you give a fuck about anyone other than yourself? Are you really so concerned for T'nell, or are you jealous that he saw a side of me that you think belongs to you? I did know that I was his first, by the way. He asked me to be his first. Did you know that? He didn't tell you, and that irritates you to no end, doesn't it? You weren't here that night, and what happened between him and me is none of your fucking business!"
I realize suddenly that I've stood and crossed the room and backed him against the transparisteel wall. He is standing his ground defiantly, eyes dark with anger, fists clenched at his sides.
I back away slowly, trying to calm myself down. I can't keep the bitterness from seeping into my voice, though. "You would be just fine with me continuing to be completely devoted to you, while you fuck whomever you want, whenever you want, wouldn't you?"
"Well, I don't have a choice, do I? I'm not allowed to love anyone, remember? All I get to do is fuck people. That's all I'm allowed!"
"And you do it so well, don't you? Of course, whenever I have become truly intimate with someone else, the moment I've let someone else into my life, you couldn't tolerate it. You batted your eyes and behaved as if you loved me just long enough to make sure you had my undivided attention again."
"Don't bring Aslahn into this, Qui-Gon. That isn't fair. That was three years ago."
"But it's not just Aslahn. There was Koresh and Tomak Bel as well. I no sooner begin to feel comfortable with someone than you sabotage any chance of happiness I may have had."
He puts his hands on his hips and gapes at me. "I cannot believe you think that I... Qui-Gon, we weren't even lovers when you were dating Koresh or Master Bel. How could I possibly have broken up those relationships?"
I grit my teeth at that. He knows full well what he did. "You were rude to them. You managed to find excuses to stay home on nights they were around. You jumped into every conversation, even fairly private ones, and you were obnoxious and argumentative. They didn't want to spend time with me in our quarters for fear of having to put up with you! That tension ruined those relationships. Aslahn still avoids me when he's on-planet. Tomak had the worst of it, though. That break-up was horrible, and you just stood by and smiled at your handiwork."
"That's ridiculous! How can you blame that breakup on me? You two fought all the time."
"We fought about you! When you weren't around, we got along very well, but every one of your stunts led directly to a nasty argument. One night, he called you a contemptible brat who should never have been apprenticed in the first place, and I told him to go fuck himself." Obi-Wan suppresses a smile at that, which only irritates me more. "After that I gave up on dating. And you, coincidentally, suddenly became much more pleasant to be around."
"If you're accusing me of being immature and overly possessive, then I won't try to defend myself," he smirks. "I don't have the benefit of your years of experience."
"Oh, fuck you." It feels good to say those words after that unfair jab about my age, but I cringe immediately at the hurt I now see on his face. I take a calming breath and look down, defeated. "I'm sorry. That was uncalled for."
"Yes, it was," he replies, voice trembling slightly.
I suddenly feel very guilty for dredging up past hurts in a fight that is certainly more about the present than anything else. I've never been good at arguing with friends, despite my proclivity for doing so with my superiors on the Council. I tend to avoid personal conflict whenever possible, as the outcome tends to be fairly unpleasant. I return to the sofa and drop onto it heavily, resting my elbows on my knees and my head in my hands. After a long silent moment, I feel Obi-Wan's weight drop beside me. Keeping my eyes closed, I reach for his hand. He takes it. We stay like that for several minutes, quiet, tense, and tired.
"I'm so sorry," I finally manage to say. "For everything. I love you so much, Obi-Wan; I truly do. I don't want to hurt you."
He squeezes my hand. "I know. I do forgive you... for what happened the other night."
"Thank you. That means a great deal." I turn to look at him now, and am struck by the way his skin nearly glows in the dim light. His eyes are full of emotion. He smiles tentatively. I squeeze his hand and smile back.
He releases my hand and embraces me, sliding closer. I turn into the embrace and pull him against my chest, leaning back against the sofa. The feel of his weight pressing into me is incredibly comforting. He rests his cheek on my chest, tucking his head under my chin. I plant a soft kiss on the top of his head, inhaling the scent of his hair, exhaling warm breath that stirs the reddish strands. They tickle my nose but I don't care. I pull him tighter to me. The fingers of his free hand are tracing a small circle on my chest. If this closeness -- this moment -- is all I can have from him, I think it will do.
He raises his head and smiles at me sleepily. His eyes are green now, sparkling with that hint of mischief that melts my insides even as it makes me nervous. He braces his weight on the hand that's behind me and shifts his body up so that he's sitting in my lap. Then one arm snakes around my neck and he leans forward, pressing his chest against mine. He stares at me, smiling slyly.
This is a bad idea. A very bad idea. But I can't resist that look, that smile, those eyes, those lips... lips that are now pressing against mine tentatively, kissing me sweetly, softly...
"I need you," he whispers between kisses. "Please let me make love to you." Another kiss, this one searing me in its sweetness. "I need to feel close to you again."
I want to say no. I want to push him away. I want to lock myself in my bedroom and not come out until morning. This is such a bad idea. But I've missed him so much, and he's kissing me so... His tongue brushes my lower lip on the next kiss, and I feel it in my core. I open my mouth to him and he kisses me gently, deeply. My hands are on the back of his head now, pulling him against me more firmly. I kiss him back, thoughts of stopping this seeping away in the haze that always accompanies sex with Obi-Wan. It's as if my mind is never completely clear in these moments and I'm acting on instinct.
He pulls away and stands, smiling, extending his hand to me. I pause one moment more.
This is a mistake. I should tell him no. But part of me is afraid that if I say no to him now there will never be another chance. I take his hand.
He leads me to my bedroom and undresses me slowly in the dim light, gently kissing each new patch of skin as he exposes it, until I'm completely naked. He steps back and stares at me then, his gaze hungry, fierce -- commanding. I feel incredibly vulnerable, and a bit overwhelmed. That is as it should be. I need him to just take me this time, to hurt me even, should he wish it. I need to submit to him in a way I haven't before.
"On the bed," he whispers hoarsely. "On your stomach."
I do it. I find myself lying face down in rumpled sheets that still smell of T'nell. I cringe at that, but am relieved that it's no longer a secret. He knows the sheets are stained from last night. I can almost imagine that he's rubbing my face in it. I think I want him to.
He straddles my thighs and strokes the skin on my back gently before leaning down to trail kisses down my spine, across my shoulders, on the back of my neck, down to my buttocks. It's very sweet and gentle. I don't deserve such kindness, but I'll take it gladly. His tongue flicks lightly between my cheeks before he pulls them apart. I moan into the mattress when I feel his tongue lapping gently at my opening, stirring and relaxing me at the same time. I'm finally getting hard -- I'd started to wonder -- and I suddenly have to struggle not to grind my hips into the sheets. That tongue swirls lightly, and he pauses to blow across my wet skin, enough to make me shiver. He flicks the tip of his tongue across my hole now, pulling the skin there tight with his fingers. I start to ache now -- when did he get so good at this? The tip of his tongue presses into me just a little, wiggling and thrusting gently. Too gently. I want more than this, I want--
He pulls a way with a nip on my ass and leans over to retrieve lube from the nightstand. I catch his wrist with my hand. "Just a little. I want..." His eyes catch mine, and there is concern on his face. "I need it rough tonight. Please." He nods slightly and leans down to kiss me before returning to his position. He teases my anus gently with one finger for a moment, as if thinking, and then I feel something being pressed into me -- a shockingly cold sensation as he squirts the lube directly into me, and I grunt in frustration. That's not what I wanted.
"Quiet," he says, stroking my back. "I know you want to be punished, but I'm not going to do that. That's not why I wanted to do this."
I sigh, resigned now to this. I didn't want it to be making love. I wanted him to just fuck me, just like he fucks everyone else. I want to be reminded that I'm not special, that I'm not different from any of the random strangers he meets in dark clubs. If it's truly just a fuck to him, then I want it to feel that way. I don´t want to continue seeing affection in his eyes, to feel gentleness in his touch. I can't get over him that way.
No. Anything but that. I don´t want to see his face, or to see him at all.
"Qui, turn over." His voice is a bit more commanding now.
I can't. I just can't. "No. Please."
He slaps my ass hard, hard enough that I yelp, more from the shock of it than from pain. "Turn over now." His voice has lowered to something hoarse and gravelly, and the sound of it sends a jolt to my cock. I comply.
His face is hard at first, but gentles when he sees my eyes. I have no idea what he sees there. Fear? Self-contempt? Love? Maybe all of those.
He lifts my ankles onto his shoulders and presses into me in one swift motion, locking my gaze. It hurts, which catches me by surprise. It pleases me as well -- I didn't think he would give me that. He starts moving slowly, even though my teeth are still clenched and my eyes squeezed shut.
"Open your eyes," he whispers. "I want you to look at me when I fuck you like this."
I open my eyes. He is smiling at me. His eyes are full of compassion and concern, but not love. He doesn't love me. He cares about me, but he doesn't... I close my eyes again and throw my head back. I can't watch. I thought I needed this as proof, but I think it hurts more to know, to see that he doesn't love me. To truly know it, deep down is...
He leans forward, bending me nearly in half, bracing his weight on his hands on either side of me. He kisses me roughly... wet, hard... He strokes into me faster, the new angle brushing harder against my prostate, pulling me down with him into a swirl of sensation.
Physical pleasure starts to override emotional pain, and I fall in, kissing him back, gripping the sheets with my hands, hearing myself say things like "harder" and "fuck me," things I only say with lovers, never with strangers, only with people I really care for. The tension is building in my groin, and I want to hold it off, to prolong it. When this is over, I'll have to feel again, and I don´t want to feel. I just want him to keep fucking me, to fuck this pain away. His belly is rubbing against my cock as he moves, faster now. He's close. I'm close. I'm--
I come hard, biting my cheek to keep from crying out, to keep from saying anything I'll regret. I feel my body convulsing around him, and he lasts only a few more strokes. He cries out my name, along with a few choice Huttese curses. I don't know whether to laugh or cry at that. I don't think he even knows what the words mean. They just sound so vile. I laugh.
"What was that for?" he breathes, pulling out of me and falling heavily to the side, chest heaving.
I manage a grin. "You just told me you were going to kill and eat my firstborn. Not terribly romantic." I wipe semen off my chest with a corner of the sheet.
He bursts out laughing at that. It's good to hear him laugh. It's been a while. "I'm sorry," he chuckles. "I guess I never knew exactly what that phrase meant. I certainly hope I've never offended anyone unintentionally."
He rolls into me and snuggles against my side, one arm draped across my chest, head on my shoulder. "Is it all right if I sleep here?" he asks. "You feel so good and I don't want to be alone tonight."
I wrap my arms around him and squeeze him tight, struggling to hold back tears. I don't know why sex with him can make me so emotional. I've had better lovers -- though not many -- but he is just so...
I love him. That's what it is, I remind myself. I wonder how much better it would be if he loved me as well.
He kisses my shoulder, then bites it gently with a giggle. "I may be up for another round tonight," he purrs. I don't think I will be, though I'd be more than happy to suck him off later.
Pathetic. This is going to be harder than I thought.
I stroke his back, feeling the sweat beginning to dry on his skin. I kiss the top of his head. I love the scent of his sweat. There's something so incredibly masculine about him when he's been exerting himself in any way. I know it's merely pheromones, but still...
"We'll be all right, won't we Qui?" he sighs. "Everything is going to be fine now."
I wish I could be so certain. I'm actually afraid that everything will not be all right. In fact, I'm nearly certain it won't be. But this is enough right now; relaxing in the afterglow, holding him, feeling warm slick skin against me. I wasn't certain I'd ever have this again, and it's an incredible relief to be here. Perhaps I can live this way. Perhaps these liaisons with him will be enough for now. If not -- I'll deal with it in my own way.
I'll make this work, somehow.
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