Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentine's Challenge 2017 Submission #8 by Dant Solo



I wanted to write this to prove I can still write something short, because these days my stories turn out longer than I even expect lol. I told Zyra I was writing it because I just knew if I didn’t make myself obligated to, I would never finish it. Sure enough, I got to a point and was just stuck. But, I had told Zyra I was writing it so I had to finally finish it. The first simply fluff I’ve written in a long time. Hope you like it!
 
                                                       Epithet
                                                 By Dant Solo

    Moonlight filtered through the clouds, a smattering of stars shining distantly, here and there. Head tipped up to the sky, Leia Organa leaned back in the oval-shaped repulsor chair on the balcony of her home. She shifted beneath the thick blanket protecting her from the cool air.
    Home.
    The word had not existed in her vocabulary in so long. It seemed so strange now to have a permanent place to rest her head. Permanent for now, at least.
    She was slowly getting her life together. Getting a life.
    She had a home again, and family. A brother, a…whatever Han was, she mused.
    Boyfriend? The word seemed so juvenile, so casual. Roommate? Too platonic. He wasn’t exactly her life-partner, they had made no such vows. Consort sounded too formal.
    She glanced over her shoulder to where he slept, peaceful and content. They had such limited time together, between both their schedules.
    They had yet to be in a setting where she had to introduce him as anything but “General Han Solo.” Those within their circle knew of their relationship. Beyond that, she had no idea how well-known it was that they were…together.
    Companion? 
    This is my companion, General Solo.
    Well, that just sounded absurd. He might as well be a pet growlie.
    Lover was too…sexual.
    She smiled to herself at the silliness of her thoughts. Once upon a time, not too long ago, there had been no time to ponder such frivolities.
    Quiet rustling behind her, footsteps creeping up on her, she sensed Han’s sleepy presence. Rubbing an eye with bundled fingers, he lowered to the floor at her feet.
    “Whatcha doin’ out here?” His voice was low and heavy with sleep. He leaned his head onto her crossed legs, one hand digging beneath the blanket to curl back and circle her waist. 
    Leia dove her fingers into the softness of his hair. His eyes were closed, expression dreamy and content. She loved to see him like this, relaxed and unguarded.
    “Just thinking.”
    One eye popped open. “’Bout what?”
    Unbidden, the corners of her lips rose. “Us.”
    The other eye opened as well. “What about us?” He didn’t sound worried, just mildly concerned.
    Leia laughed lightly. “Nothing bad. Don’t worry.” One hand slid from the blanket to stroke his cheek.
    “When you look at me like that, I can’t worry.” His thick voice rumbled in the low light, bringing her a slight shiver. His eyes grew concerned. “No nightmares?”
    “No nightmares,” she replied lightly.
    His eyes softened and closed again. She watched him, hands continuing to meander through his hair.
    “I love the way you touch me,” he murmured, making her smile. “No one’s ever touched me like that.”
    “Like what?” He always seemed to speak the most freely and openly when he was in that twilight of fully awakening.
    He frowned the way he always did when he was searching for the right words. “Like…like even your fingers love me. You’re loving me with your fingers.”
    Her smile widened brightly. He could be so blunt yet beautiful. “My fingers do love you.”
    His smile beamed in return and he snuggled closer to her with a sound of utter contentment that further warmed her. He pulled part of the blanket aside and rubbed his cheek against the skin of her leg.
    “You’re so soft…I didn’t know skin could be so soft.” His head rose and he rested his chin on the side of her knee, gazing up at her. “Must be your easy, royal lifestyle.” His eyes glinted mischief.
    She tossed him a mock-glare. “Yes,” she replied dryly. “These last few years have been particularly undemanding and peaceful.”
    His smirk turned to a slow grin. “Except when you were arguing with me.”
    She suppressed her smile, enjoying the banter. “Arguing with you? It was you who was arguing with me.”
    “Oh, I think your memory’s faulty, Your Highness.”
    She could no longer batter down the threatening grin. “You’re arguing with me again.”
    “Me?” he asked with exaggerated innocence. “I wouldn’t dare.”
    “It’s your default setting.”
    He chuckled, low but hearty, and kissed her thigh. The gentle, intimate gesture made her smile as she looked back out into the night. The city was lit up even more brightly than the stars in the sky.
    “I’ve always loved sitting outside at night,” Leia said wistfully. “It was a lot nicer when my view was filled with trees and mountains rather than lights and the paths of hovercars.” That familiar pang of loss hit her, no longer a deep ache. Closer to acknowledgement than grief now.
    Silence for several moments then Han spoke and his voice held a different timbre, something tentative and quiet. “You miss having everything you could ever want laid out in front of you?”
    The odd wording of his question took her a moment to process. “I’m not sure I would put it like that…I miss…everything I loved.” That pang again, but it didn’t crush her soul.
    The arm around her waist tightened and she sensed some shift in Han’s mood but couldn’t guess what he might be thinking.  A glance down showed him pensive. Her fingers brushed through his hair again.
    “What are you thinking so hard about?” she asked lightly.
    His eyes fell shut in defense and she wondered if he would answer truthfully or shut her out. Inner turmoil radiated from him in soft waves.
    “Nothin’, I just…” He paused for a long moment. His lower lip jutted out as he struggled. “Wish there was a way I could get it all back for you.” The words seemed to rush from his lips as if he were forcing them out.
    Leia sensed there was more to it than that but took it as presented. “If only it were so simple.”
    Han sat up with bright eyes, now fully awake. Her gaze was drawn to the tan skin of his strong, broad shoulders and her hand glided over that path, smooth, taut muscle beneath her fingers. He sighed through his nose, closed his eyes, and bent his head into the caress.
    “I love my new life with you,” she whispered, sensing he needed to hear it.
    The only indication he had heard her was a slight crinkle of his brow. She leaned over and kissed the top of his head, soft hair tickling her nose. It seemed somewhat of a miracle that they had arrived here. Their dynamic had shifted so dramatically after that one stolen kiss. All the resentment and animosity had just melted away, as if drifting into the distance on the breeze. 
    “You rescued me,” she said quietly.
    His head rose curiously, eyes questioning. “On Hoth?”
    Her lips quirked upwards. “No, from myself.”
    He was still puzzled, lips rounding slightly.
    Her smile grew and her gaze remained soft. “I lost myself after the Death Star. But, you found me.” It clicked more soundly into place. “Not found me exactly. You kicked in my doors and dragged me out.”
    Now he was smiling, eyes swirling with too many thoughts. Poignant emotions bounced between them, boomeranging back and forth. 
    “I love you.” His deep voice rumbled through her, thunderous. Before she could respond, he reached a hand into her hair and gently tugged her lips to his. His tongue delved into her mouth, softly, heat slowly rising between them. There was only the sound of the pulse in Leia’s ears, thrumming loudly.
    The ready hand at her thigh slid slowly beneath the blanket, like a heat-seeking missile, cupping her in his hand, causing her to strain into his palm. She broke the kiss to throw her head back with a soft, expectant moan.
    Forcing herself to come to her senses, she spoke in a throaty whisper. “We should…” She broke off at the light brush of Han’s fingers against her closed lips. For a moment, she could scarcely think. Her breath came in gasps as his fingers made a tantalizing path up, down, back again. “Inside,” she whispered, trying desperately to think past the movements of his fingers.
    One finger dove inside her moist heat and her moan was suddenly deep and frenzied. It was impossible for her to think and Han gave a gruff laugh low in his throat. His mouth moved to her ear and he licked her lobe. “You said inside.” His breath whispered into the cavern of her ear, sending a shiver up her spine.
    “The bedroom,” she whispered urgently. 
    “So traditional.” His mouth moved to her neck, sucking gently with his teeth.
    It was a struggle to form words and his stubborn insistence on misunderstanding was not helping. She grabbed him by one shoulder and shoved him back just enough to force their eyes to clash. “The media,” she said shortly.
The passion in his eyes blurred for a moment. Then understanding dawned with sudden clarity and his gaze cleared.
    Media drones followed her often enough for Leia to worry about being caught in a compromising position. She was not one to risk an audience.
    With a sheepish raise and lowering of his brow, he stood, held out a hand to her, and brought her to standing. Inside, he tugged the curtains shut before Leia pulled him by the hand to the bed with breathless anticipation.
    She pulled the sleepgown over her head and tossed it to the winds. Then his hands were gently lowering her by the shoulders until her back was against the mattress. His weight atop her body brought comfort, feeling him so solid, so there. 
    Her hair pooled all around her and Han grabbed a large tumble in his hand and tossed it upwards, out of the way. His fingers moved to her cheek, a gentle caress. Their eyes joined in a gaze of understood emotion and they both smiled softly at the same time. Leia’s heart thudded hard in her chest…it always moved her when he looked at her like that. As if he simply could not believe she were real.
    They made love slowly, savoring these moments ogether, as if they had all the time in the galaxy. The air was heavy with passion, filled with moans and gasps of pleasure as they teased each other into a frenzy.
    And then Leia was calling his name, desperate, digging her nails into the skin of his shoulders, body rising to a crescendo. Han quickly followed her over that edge of ecstasy into the twilight realm where nothing existed beyond that moment of fulfillment, mindless and all-consuming.
    Stillness…breathing, just breathing. The hard hammering of Han’s heartbeat against her own. Slowly, thought returns. One hand against the back of Han’s neck, stroking softly. Limbs weak, one leg curling around his waist, wanting to enclose him within herself, become even more intimately entangled. His lips, soft, damp, lingering against her cheek as one hand slips into the tangle of her hair. 
    They remained in that illusory haze, blocking out all else, able to pretend for just a little while that nothing bad could ever touch them, and the galaxy was a safe place.
    All too soon, reality returned to settle over them, worries pushing their way in. Han would be leaving again in just two days. The separations were difficult enough without the constant worry for his safety that left her with anxiety whenever she was not completely absorbed in an activity. It reminded her of the early days after Alderaan, when she pushed herself to the limit, never allowing herself the time to think.
    “Wish you weren’t leaving again so soon,” she whispered. “I hate to watch you leave.”
    His head lifted, expression earnest for a moment before splitting to an arrogant grin. “That’s why I go…so you can miss me.”
    The words were flippant, but Leia could sense the underlying emotion. He was doing what he always did; detracting from the seriousness of the moment, affecting a cocky air so that she would smile and roll her eyes instead of frowning.
    She didn’t take the bait. “I will miss you.”
    He gave up trying and sobered. “I’ll miss you, too.” He kissed her tenderly on the lips then rested his head against her breast.
    One hand caressed his shoulder absently. “I have that dinner with the State Department tomorrow evening.”
    Han groaned.
    “You don’t have to come,” she said, meaning it.
    He looked up at her, grimacing. “Well, if I don’t, that’s a whole ‘nother night I won’t be with you.”
    Excitement rose. She hadn’t expected him to accompany her. “So, you’ll come with me?”
    He sighed and rolled his eyes slightly. “Yeah.”
    A grin burst forth and she saw his expression soften to an almost-smile.
    “Just don’t expect me to like it,” he grumbled.
    “I won’t,” she replied, still smiling. “So, what should I call you?” she asked, suddenly playful.
    “Huh?”
    “How should I introduce you?”
    His brow was furrowed in confusion. “Whadda you mean?”
    Feeling suddenly sheepish, her enthusiasm dampened. “Nothing.”
    “No, c’mon, what’d you mean?”
    It was clear in his tone that he was not going to let this go without an answer. Leia stared at the ceiling, wishing she hadn’t said anything. “I was just thinking earlier…about what we are…or rather, what I should tell people we are…”
    The silence drew out momentarily, not nearly as comfortable as it normally was between them. Leia was tempted to reach out through the Force to find his feelings, but held back, uncertain.
    “What do you want us to be?” His voice was serious, husky.
    The question made her squirm and she was aware of heat spreading across her cheeks. She forced a trickle of laughter. “Well, my ‘boyfriend’ sounds silly.”
    “You wanna be my concubine?” The mirth in his voice was contagious and Leia found herself suppressing a chuckle. “Maybe a member of my harem.”
    The corners of her mouth turned up as an eyebrow rose. “I think you should be a member of my harem.”
    His grin slanted, eyes twinkling, and he slid up to settle eye-to-eye with her. “Oh, you are definitely not allowed to have a harem. You are all mine.”
    “Oh, and you think that you’re allowed to?” She was half indignant, half joking.
    His smile softened, his voice lowered. “Nah. You’re the only one I want.”
    Her head canted to a haughty position. “That’s more like it.”
    He chuckled low in his throat and it seemed to vibrate through her. She planted a quick kiss on his mouth then lowered her eyes.
    “I’m just…not sure what to say we are. All the terms either sound ridiculous, or formal, or…too serious.”
    “Too serious,” he muttered, barely audible. “Whadda you consider too serious?”
    Returning her eyes to his, she saw that he looked sober and curious in the low light. “Well, like…” She felt suddenly awkward. “Bondmate, for example, implies a life time commitment…” Her cheeks flushed darker. This entire conversation was a mistake…
    His gaze fell to follow his fingers as they stroked her forearm. “Is that something you would want?” he asked quietly.
    Her breath held in momentary suspended animation. She forced herself to speak. “What do you want?” she asked, swallowing hard.
    “I asked if you wanted that, Princess.” His eyes met hers, frighteningly serious.
    She watched him carefully, unable to read his intentions. Here goes nothing, she thought with a deep, inner sigh. “Yes,” she breathed.
    It took a seemingly never-ending moment for him to answer. “Okay then. Bondmates it is.” He smiled tenderly, brought her hand to his lips and kissed her fingers.
    She melted with relief and pleasure, smiling back at him. She knew he loved her, knew he was committed to her. But, having never talked of the future, she hadn’t known if Han Solo, who had always valued his freedom above all else, ever even gave thought that far ahead.
    She placed a hand alongside his cheek and they smiled together like two excited school children. Everything settled more firmly into place and Leia felt more at home than ever.

END

29 comments:

  1. I'm glad you stuck it out and were able to write something short, although I'm not sure it qualifies as "fluff" because it really says a lot about them.

    First I love Leia thinking about how she hasn't had a home in a long time, and I love that of course Han is there ;) And I can totally see her wondering what exactly she's supposed to refer to Han as, because as she says, boyfriend doesn't exactly sound right.

    I also love what Han says as she runs his fingers through his hair, and I can totally see what he means by that, like he's not used to that sort of just general loving physical affection, for no other reason really than he's there within reach ;) I also like how she reassured him there when she talked about missing things from her past.

    And of course I love the end when they settle on Bondmate as the appropriate word. And that Leia was a little hesitant about it and Han made sure she answered. Very sweet.

    Lastly, quite surprisingly I think this is the first one of these stories that actually had some sexy time in it. Not that that was ever the point, but it's still nice ;)

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    1. Thank you so much! I noticed everyone else's fics didn't include sexual content and thought maybe I took it too far lol. I think you hit on all the meaningful moments and interpreted them just right. I'm happy you enjoyed it and that I took the challenge!

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  2. Ahhh... "Even your fingers love me" Why is that so SWEET!? They are inarticulate but heartfelt words, and they're just so touching. Melts my heart!

    I agree with Zyra that there's a lot of good stuff packed into this so-called "fluff"--- stuff that is fairly weighty and character-revealing, stuff that progresses their relationship significantly. I love that you have Leia tackling such an awkward topic, trying to figure out how she should refer to Han when she introduces him. I especially love Leia thinking the whole conversation is a mistake. That is a glimpse into just how vulnerable she is at this stage in their relationship, which is really moving.

    All of this and sexytimes, too! lol Han's "misunderstanding" of Leia's directive is hilarious. Glad you obligated yourself to post this! :)

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    1. Thank you 😀 Inarticulate was what I was going for lol. I'm glad you appreciated the humor in the misunderstanding lol.

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  3. So glad you committed yourself, because the outcome was special. It was tender and sweet and funny and sexy.

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  4. Aww... I loved their conversation about who they are to each other. Leia's fear (and hope) felt so real, and Han's responses were just perfect. I also like how you describe Han "finding" Leia by kicking in her doors and dragging her out. That's about right. I vote for you writing more fluff! ;)

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  5. Thank you 😀 I don't know why I find writing fluff so hard these days. I think it might take another challenge to get me there again lol.

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  6. Oh my heart! *melt*

    I am smiling from ear to ear, reading this story. It's sweet and romantic, but at the same time reveals so much depth about their feelings for each other at this stage. The dialogue feels quite natural and very much in character for them. And the added bonus of sexytimes was the icing on the cake ;)

    More fluff, please!

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    1. Thank you so much! So happy you liked it.

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  7. This is so lovely. The writing flows really well too. I love that Han just agrees that, "bandmates it is". So tender and sweet. Bravo.

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    1. Thank you! So nice that you enjoy the writing as well as the plot 😀

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  8. I used to read your stories back in the day, and couldn't be more pleased to see you back! I tried to find a favorite line or two, but there were just so many. I think my favorite part was when he first came out. Their conversation is fun to read and easy to picture. I liked his sleepy voice, her fingers in her hair, "no nightmares?" and so much more. I liked the end where he's not afraid of having a serious conversation about them. I love that he will go to the state dinner, just to be with her. Well done!

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  9. Dude, did anyone else see that Harrison nearly hit a 737 aas he was landing at John Wayne airport yesterday? I just saw it on the news. Good gravy. Should we even let him fly any more after losing Carrie? And I'm still for no more boats for Simon Le Bon. Harrison needs to stop with the close calls!

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    1. Bwahahaha Simon and boats, yes.

      It seems that the stars of the OT are trying everything they possibly can to distance themselves from the ST, but they are taking it too damn far.

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    2. Sequel Trilogy - But feel free to drop in any word that starts with "S" you would like. I can think of a few others. :)

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  10. And DantSolo, I love your story - I love how there's a seriousness and what I read as a little bit of insecurity about whether she wants to take the bonding step, so he wants to hear it from her before he gets lets himself be that vulnerable. I loved that.

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    1. Thank you, so happy you enjoyed it!

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  11. I love how playful and gentle they are with each other, and spiced up with their usual teasing. And ultimately, both vulnerable, open and serious.

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  12. I always love watching Han and Leia figure out what to call each other, so I smiled immediately upon starting this fic! I loved the opening of Leia sitting on the balcony thinking, I felt very peaceful reading it and reading her interactions with Han. I'm glad SOMEONE included sexytimes in their story, too, thanks for that and for this piece! :)

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    1. Thank you 😀 I felt a little self-conscious because no one else did smut but oh well lol

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  13. *slowly making my way into reading all the fic here*

    I second imnothere24--it's an interesting topic seeing what they would call each other pre-marriage, because girlfriend/boyfriend doesn't sound like them. In the one fic I wrote where this comes up, I had Leia introduce him as General Solo and immediately put her hands all over him in a "and we're together" silent message, lol. I loved Leia's thoughts about it, and Han getting it out of her later, making him think about it too and ask what would /she/ want them to be.

    I second everyone's opinions on the smut. No need to be embarrassed because everyone was waiting for it, lol, and you should always write smut!

    I really liked the banter about having a harem, the way you incorporated that dialogue from TFA, Han saying he'll go with her to that dinner. It was a very meaty type of fluff!

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    1. Oh. I will have to read that! Thank you, i'm happy you enjoyed it 😀

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  14. "Lover was too…sexual." Oh Leia, honey... it's never too sexual with Han, alright? Oh my! Happy dance of delight! This was so much deliciousness and so hot! This was just the best. Perfect smut. I love the way Han muses that nobody has ever touched him the way Leia does. I love that Leia tells Han that she loves her new life with him. I love that through the entire story they never seem *too* sentimental or *too* maudlin. They are open and ardent, and drawn to each other, and have let down their guard enough to really be together, but they're heartfelt without being cheesy! And then A grade smut and lovemaking! Whoo hoo party time! And of course they agree upon 'bondmate.' Ah... What a lovely conclusion to this fic! So delightful and satisfying! Thank you!

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  15. Haha thank you. Love your comment about nothing being too sexual with han lol. And yeah, I don't see them being cheesy. Thank you for reading and especially for reviewing 😀

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