A Year Without the Sun (prologue)


A small sound woke Veshielle and she was instantly alert. She couldn’t believe she had gone to sleep at all, not in this stiff-backed chair, and certainly not two meters from the man who had tried to murder her.

Well, he hadn’t tried, she amended silently, for if he had wanted to kill her, he surely would have succeeded. No, the Jedi had been profoundly conflicted. But what exactly was at war within him, Veshielle did not know. After their ordeal, the man had had no energy for explanations and Veshielle was herself too exhausted to have comprehended any had he given them. It was morning now, not that the constant midnight sky of Nar Shaddaa betrayed this fact. Veshielle worked her legs for a moment, making sure they would support her. When she felt sure that they would, she gingerly rose from the chair, her eyes never leaving the still form on the bed. She took a step closer to inspect his face, partially obscured by bedclothes. The Jedi was right about one thing; he was, in fact, quite handsome. His cyborg implants did not detract from his pleasing looks; in fact, they served to add to the overall effect. She wondered what had befallen him to necessitate the removal of his eyes. Chiding herself for her pointless musings, she continued her quiet assessment of the sleeping Jedi. His breathing was even and slow. No doubt his sleep was being aided by the flow of kolto vapor that poured from the unit above the bed. She was thankful for that. The previous evening had clearly sapped the man’s strength to nearly its limit and sleep was the very least mercy he deserved. Mercy, she laughed silently and without mirth, was what she herself had begged the Jedi for when he was gripped by his fury. The fear she had felt as she looked up into his tortured face looming above her, his redhot saber arching toward her neck, revisited her now and she shivered. No, she must not indulge this; there is no time to squander on fear, she scolded herself. Now was a time for action, decisive and swift, for her own sake, as well as that of the man sleeping in her bed.

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