Not Quite as Tough as You Seem
Shore Leave: Business As Usual
Location: Cecile's Guest Quarters
Charlotte's head rested heavily against the pillow, her blonde hair lying wildly around her. She let out a soft laugh, as she shifted to get a little more comfortable. "Well, I must say, you know how to make a guest feel welcome."
"You know how a Captain's life can be, even a simple freighter captain that hits ports of call every few weeks," Cecile said, her lips twisting with humor from where she lay on her back, her head resting on Charlotte's stomach. "But I did work fairly hard on Typhon's world to get that dress ripped just right..." She laughed contentedly and continued, "You showing up with me just out of the shower must have been fate. Or you have these quarters under surveillance."
"I promise, its only the internal sensors," Charlotte said, as she placed her hands behind her head. She was quiet for a moment, before her mind started to kick into some of its old habits again. "I wish you weren't about to head out of here. Without you to distract me, I'm worried I'm going to start thinking again."
Cecile levered herself around and up onto an elbow, resting her chin in her palm, looking Charlotte in the face. "It's lonely at the top, yada yada," she replied. "So, what's lurking beyond those lovely eyes that you don't want to think about?"
Charlotte gazed back at Cecile, trying to think of the right way to reply. Given what they'd just spent the last hour doing, she wasn't certain that saying she was still hung up on her ex, thinking about her at this very moment, was the best topic of conversation. But she couldn't really get around it. That's exactly what was on her mind. She was surprised to hear how vulnerable her own voice sounded.
"I'm worried that when you leave, I'm going to be back where I was before you got here. It's not that it's lonely at the top. It's that being alone at the top is still something somewhat new to me after...well, after my last relationship." Charlotte felt a hint of a wry smile come to her face. "You were kinda my rebound," she teased.
"I'll take it," CeCi bantered back. "Ending relationships kind of sucks, depending on the terms. Can I ask how the terms were?" the brunette queried.
“She was arrested for running a smuggling ring under my nose...One night I went to bed with the woman I loved. And then the next time I got to speak to her was 6 months later at her sentencing hearing,” Charlotte replied with a bit of a forced laugh. She decided to leave out that her own father had been the one behind the arrest. “So it wasn’t under the best conditions, you might say.”
CeCi sat up a bit then, looking at Charlotte and said, "Wait a minute. Defiant...big trial. You and," she thought for a minute then said, "Alina. Alina...Soyka?" Her eyes narrowed a bit and she stated, "I know that name..."
Charlotte's face went noticeably red in an instant. The universe was suddenly not nearly large enough. "I'm sorry...you know Alina?"
The brunette sat up and her eyes shifted to the left only for a moment then shrugged and met Charlotte's gaze, "Not socially. And never face to face but, we did business. Ships always need cargo and sometimes profits get tight..."
Charlotte let out a sigh, shifting a little on the bed. Small world indeed. "There's some weird irony that the sexy brunette rogue I decide to hook up with knows the sexy brunette smuggler I'm trying and failing to get over. I do certainly seem to have a type." She ran a hand through her hair. "Is that the whole story?"
Cecile bit her lip not saying anything for a few beats, just nodding. Finally, she said, "Social relationships and business do not mix. I've made that mistake three times and it's not worth it. That being said, the trial might have done her a favor. There are all sorts of rumors floating about...."
Charlotte tensed a little at the end. That sounded concerning... "What kind of rumors are we talking about?"
The brunette closed her eyes for a moment and breathed out, "I...I really don't mean to spoiler our evening..but I also decided you don't necessarily have your ear to the same ground I do. And you seem to really...You're still in love with her, obviously. So..." CeCi breathed again and said, "They're only hints at rumors. But, rumors are that someone wasn't too pleased on one of her last deals. Something came in short or shipments went missing and she was caught short. She probably owes credits to someone that she won't necessarily be able to do a lot about in prison.
Cecile gave Charlotte a sympathetic look and pushed herself up to place a hand first on her cheek, then on the blonde's shoulder. "These things go sideways sometimes...it will work out, I'm sure."
And there it was. Alina could be in danger, and Charlotte was ready to dive headfirst into the underworld to save her. But she knew she couldn't. She'd have to let the official channels handle that one. A pang of fury welled in her though. Alina's job could very well have gone south because of her arrest. Had Charlotte's father not made a show out of arresting her, had he just made sure Charlotte was informed, they could have made sure any debts were settled before her trial.
More immediately, she realized some of the other words Cecile had said. And how true they were. "You're not wrong. I may try to tell myself otherwise, but I know I'm still in love with her. I want to hate her, and it works sometimes. But I just can't." She looked at Cecile, looking a lot less stubborn and fiery than normal. "I hope that doesn't make this weird between us. I've really enjoyed having you around."
Cecile's hand went to Charlotte's cheek again and she smiled at her, "This is two consenting adults, spending some time together Charlotte. I never thought this was more than two highly attractive beings enjoying each others company." She batted her eyelashes coyly then and smiled, "It's not weird. I think we both need to take enjoyment in life whenever we can. And you did seem to enjoy things so far..."
"You will get no argument from me. I have very much enjoyed things so far," the blonde replied, before cheekily adding. "And I also won't argue that we are both highly attractive beings...I am trying to figure out how I justify leaving this bed so that we can head to your ship though."
The brunette made a show of thinking, then slid her hand found Charlotte's elbow and pulled her up for a kiss. After a few minutes, when they broke for a breath, CeCi said, "Well that's simple enough. I can arrange for delivery."
"I think that sounds much better," Charlotte said, before climbing on top of the brunette. "Now, I believe you were talking about how attractive I am..."