Monday, March 3, 2014

Valentine's Challenge the Third: Submission #7 by Zyra

I haven't written anything in many, many months, so this finally came out...

Day's End

Han and Leia quietly backed out of their children's room, confident that they were already sound asleep for the night.  The couple made their way to the living room, hand in hand, and then plopped down onto the couch in their own wave of exhaustion, taking only a moment to free their aching feet from their boots.

The room was warm and lit in a dull glow by the flames in the fireplace on the opposite wall.  Leia curled up against her husband's side as he wrapped an arm around her, pulling her in close as she said, "That was a fun but tiring day."

They'd spent the day at the zoo seeing animals from all over the galaxy.  The kids had been in heaven in spite of the fact that the excursion had left everyone in the Solo family exhausted.  Han's chest rose and fell in a deep breath before he responded.  "You're telling me.  Poor Anakin didn't even make it to the end.  I don't think he opened his eyes even for a second when I carried him home."

Leia smiled at the memory of her husband carrying their five-year-old son home and not disturbing him as he gently tucked the boy into his bed.

"Our baby is getting heavy," Han said as he rolled his shoulders a bit.  Leia liked that she and Han still referred to Anakin as their "baby" in spite of the fact that he was certainly far from being a baby anymore.  She suspected he would always be the baby to them. 

"Is he too much for you now, old man?" Leia mocked as she sat up to look at her husband. 

Han immediately shook his head.  "No way.  Not me."

She moved to her knees and pushed herself up behind him; her small hands dipped under the collar of his shirt and began kneading the knotted muscles underneath.  Han relaxed immediately under her touch, shutting his eyes and allowing her to work him over.  He had always been amazed that her grip could be so strong.  "You're so good at that," he said honestly as she massaged away any hint of aching left in his shoulders. 

"I know," she replied, her breath warm against his ear.  She slipped her hands down his chest, finding muscles he didn't even realize needed help.  "I'll give you the full treatment."

Her hands returned to his back where they seemed to move everywhere at once, slowly hitting every muscle, her touch warm and wonderful.  "I bet you did this for all the guys back on base during the Rebellion, huh?"

"Oh, absolutely," she replied, in on the game immediately.  "I had a line out my door most nights."  Her hands slipped across his collarbones and down onto his chest once again.  He couldn't help but lean back into her body. 

"Mmm... I bet you did.  I guess I should've been nicer to you back then."

"Nah," she said, leaning her head down close and pressing her lips gently behind his ear, causing him to shiver.  "It all worked out in the end, and now you get me every night."

"I do," he agreed.  "And you take such good care of me."

"Well, you do a pretty good job of taking care of all of us, so you deserve it."

He leaned his head back against her shoulder and smiled.  While he simply adored his wife, she also knew how to make him feel like a million credits by clearly showing that she loved and appreciated him.  Sometimes he still wondered how he'd not only found her, but kept her.  He turned his head toward her, seeing the gorgeous smile on her face.  "Come here," he said, leaning in as she closed the distance to kiss him.  After a few moments, she wrapped her arms around him from behind, resting her chin on his shoulder and holding him tightly.

"We don't have anything to do tomorrow, right?" he said hopefully, fairly sure that the answer was no.  All he wanted to do was stay home and have a quiet day with his family.  Or as quiet as was possible with their three, fairly rambunctious children.  Although more often than not he found their antics endearing.  He hadn't spent much time around kids since he was one and before having any of his own, and he was continually astonished at how intelligent they were at such a young age.  They also possessed an incredible ability to make both of their parents laugh.  It almost made up for all of the trouble they tended to cause.

"No, tomorrow we're free.  Nothing until that senate dinner next week."

He felt his muscles tense again under Leia's fingers, and it did not go unnoticed by her.  "I know you don't love those events."

"No, I don't," Han agreed.  It had been obvious from the time he'd been asked to start attending such events on a regular basis that they were not his favorite.  "But having a gorgeous woman on my arm makes them a lot more tolerable."  Truthfully, he'd gotten used to them at this point.  Usually he was able to enjoy them for what they boiled down to for him: a nice evening out with his wife.  There had certainly been an adjustment period in the beginning, and he hadn't quite felt like he belonged there.  But as the years went by, he stopped caring so much.  And Leia had always seemed so proud to have him by her side.  He always loved the way she looked at him when he was dressed up.  And of course she was no slouch in formal wear, either.

She leaned in and kissed his neck a few times in appreciation.  "I enjoy showing you off, too, flyboy.  There's dancing at this one, too.  I know how much you love that."

Her hands hadn't stopped working the muscles in his shoulders, sending a shiver down his spine.  "I love any excuse to hold you.  Especially in public."

"Oh, do you?" she said as she climbed out from behind him to sit sideways in his lap, her arms wrapped around the now much looser muscles in his neck. 

"Mmmhmmm..." he said just before she leaned in to kiss him.  He broke away after a few moments and lifted Leia to her feet before standing and taking her hands.  "Come here."

She had a confused smile on her face as he pulled her over to the middle of the dimly lit room, illuminated only by the glow of the skyline outside of the large window and the glimmer from the flames dancing in the fireplace.  "What are you..."

She trailed off as he pulled her close, one hand at the small of her back and the other with his fingers entwined with hers.  He grinned at her knowingly, seeing the reflected light sparkling in her brown eyes.  Releasing her for only a moment, he reached to the knee-high table in next to them and grabbed a remote, setting it back down quickly and pulling his wife close once again as the soft music began playing in the background. 

Leia's smile grew wider as they began gently swaying to the lovely tune.  "Did you have that all planned out?" she asked.

He shook his head.  "Nope, came up with it just now."

"Very smooth."

"I thought you might like it."

"I do," she said with a smile before leaning her head against his chest. 

He leaned down and kissed the top of head, their bodies still swaying gently to the music.  He couldn't remember the last time they'd danced barefoot in the living room for no reason, but he made a mental note to try and do it more often. 

His eyes were closed and he was only really aware of the feel of Leia's body against his and the familiar smell of her perfume.  But the almost hypnotic tones of the music were interrupted by Leia's voice.  "I think we have an audience."

It took Han a moment to remember where he was as his eyes opened up to see Leia looking past him.  He turned to see their twins, Jacen and Jaina, dressed in their pajamas with their sleepy faces peeking timidly from behind the couch.

"Is anything wrong?" Leia asked, her voice calm and slightly concerned.  Their kids were generally good sleepers thanks to typically very active days, so seeing any of them out of bed, especially after such a long, tiring day, was not a common occurrence without good reason.

Jaina shook her head.  "We're just really thirsty, and then we heard music."

"You're thirsty, huh?  Well, let's see if we can fix that," Leia said as she walked over to their kids and led them over to the sink.  Han followed, turning on the faucet while Leia grabbed a couple of glasses from the cabinet and handed them to her husband. 

The twins gratefully gulped down their water and Jaina finished hers first before handing the glass back to her father.  "Do you guys always dance after we go to bed?" Jaina asked.

Han and Leia both laughed.  "No, sweetie," Leia said.

"Why," Han asked, "do we look like we do?  Are we good dancers?"  His young daughter smiled and nodded, making him wonder how long it would be before she stopped looking up at him with such admiration.  "What about you, Jace, do you think Mom and I are good dancers?"

The boy shrugged and tilted his head a little before replying, "Eh," indicating the fact that he was less than impressed.  The mischievous, crooked smirk on his son's face reminded Han so much of himself it was almost scary. 

Han and Leia laughed once again as Han looked up to his wife.  "Harsh critic, this one," he said.

"All right," Leia said as she took the now empty glass from Jacen's hand and placed it on the counter.  "I think it's time for everyone to go to bed."

The twins offered no resistance as Leia took each of their hands and started leading them back to their bedroom.  Han followed slightly behind after pausing to shut off the music and turn out the light in the fireplace. 

They crept quietly into the dim room, careful not to awaken the still sleeping Anakin.  Although Han suspected that Chewbacca could enter the room and let out his loudest roar and the boy wouldn't even stir. 

With the twins safely tucked in once again and satisfied with the obligatory repeat goodnight kiss, their parents left the children's room, hopefully for the final time that night.  Han threw an arm around his wife and led her down the hall to their bedroom. 

Once inside, Han crawled onto the bed and collapsed on his stomach, Leia following to lie face to face next to him with an arm draped across his back.  "They are pretty cute little people, even if they do make me tired," Han said, his voice slightly muffled against his pillow.

"They're good kids," she agreed.  "I think they had fun today."

Her hand was rubbing lazy circles on his back.  "What about you?  Did you have fun?"

She nodded against the pillow.  "I always have fun with you and the kids."  He raised an eyebrow skeptically.  "Well, almost always," she amended.

"That's what I thought," he said as he turned onto his side to face her and pulled her in close enough so that their noses were nearly touching.  His fingers brushed a few stray hairs away from her eyes, barely visible in the dark room.  "Well, I had fun, too.  I might even keep you guys around for a while."

He could see her smile and feel her warm breath as she let out a little laugh.  "Don't get all mushy and sentimental on me," she said as she ran her fingers through his hair.  "We both know that's not your style."

"No?"  She shook her head.  "Well, what is my style?"

"Something like this," she said before leaning in to kiss him, slowly at first until her hand slipped to the back of his head and pulled him in deeper, making him suddenly feel a lot more awake.  Before they got too carried away, she leaned away from him.  "What do you think?"

"I think you know me pretty well."

"I do love your style.  And I love you."

He kissed her once more before replying, "I love you, too.  And I'm going to do something else that is very much my style," he said as he slowly rolled on top of her.

"I was hoping you'd say that," she responded before he leaned down to kiss her, something he never grew tired of.

If there was a more perfect way to end the day, he didn't want to know what it was. 


  1. And she returns with a bang! Wonderful piece. I loved their dancing and the kids coming in. Very sweet!

  2. If there was a better end of the day piece, it has not yet been written. I love the family moments entwined with the romantic ones. They have a unique capability to recognize what their love has brought into their lives, and you illustrate that so very well. The dance was beautiful.

    Glad to see you back at your word processing program again ;)

  3. This is super cute. I love the bit about Leia giving massages to all the guys on base, with the line outside her door. Love the image of them dancing and the kids watching, adorable. Always love how well you write them as a family, pretty much exactly how I always imagine they would be.

    And it's awesome to have something new from you, Zyra. I was thrilled to see this. I hope it's the first of many new ones from you. It's great to have you back :)

  4. That was too ****ing cute for words. And I mean that in the nicest possible way. Very nice. I've been a ball of anxiety lately, so this was a nice distraction! Well done. I can't even pick a favorite part because all of it was so adorable. I hope this means the dam is about to break, and that we can expect lots more from you! :)

    1. Thanks. I'll write you ten more cute stories if you write another chapter of your story ;)

  5. Thanks for the comments, guys. I doubt this will suddenly open the gate to a lot more stories from me but I did finally type something up and publish it.

    So is anyone still here aside from like, five of you? Because I can have fun doing the blog, but if there is only a tiny handful of people reading here then there's not really much point in keeping things going. I have some ideas for things other than just stories but without any participation it seems kind of pointless.

    1. I am here and check the blog just about every day. But I've also noticed lack of participation also . I'd be interested in what else you have in mind. If you decide to call it a day, I will miss the site, but understand. Maybe leave some links to other sites where we could get our fix.

    2. Okay, I just tried to reply to your newer post above, but my comment gotten eaten--twice! Not sure what the issue is, but since it let me respond to this post once before, I thought I'd try again here…..

      Anyway, I'm still very much around! I know i've been quieter lately, but that has more to do with RL stress than any waning interest. If anything, I appreciate having the distraction more than ever!

      I really enjoy your "discussion" posts a lot. And even if I don't always throw in my 2 cents, it's fun reading other people's responses.

      Anyway, still love this place. And really, really, hope you'll keep up the good work. I'd definitely miss it if it was gone! *sniff, sniff*

  6. Well, you know I'm still here. Would love to see your other ideas and certainly hoping you continue on, but kind of wondering myself.

    This was an unexpected treat, Zyra, and really glad to see something new from you. There's just so much good stuff here, it's hard to comment on it all. So cute about them thinking Anakin is still their "baby." So true. Very hot Leia giving him a massage, the teasing, and the dancing. I like how you paint the family as being busy without it being too frenetic.

  7. Just popping in to say that I'm still here and still a faithful follower of this blog, Zyra, but you know that. Hoping things pick up so we can all see what other things you have in mind ;) I'm sure it will be something good.