Irene Heron

"And I’m not your boy, either."

Luke Skywalker was a sight to see when he tossed out that challenge, Han decided, with that stubborn chin stuck out like an insolent dare. Sailing on the heady triumph surging through his body, as close and real as the thrill of flying, Solo nearly laughed in the kid’s face at those defiant words. The hell you’re not, Luke. That mouth of yours might say one thing, but your eyes say something else again. And we both know it, too.

He grinned, just to remind the little twitch he was flying with the big ships now, and leaned in close, closing his fingers hard around slim shoulders. "Let’s find out, shall we?"

Gods! What a mouth the kid had, all sweet ‘n soft ‘n…moving against his like they’d been doing this for a couple centuries at least, because the brat was hitting every damned one of his buttons—

Wait a minute here, Solo! Just who’s teachin’ who a lesson?

He slipped his tongue into Luke’s mouth and decided he didn’t really care anyway, because there was this godsdamned gravity well of desire opening up beneath their feet and they were both being sucked right in...

"Well, maybe I'll be on the bottom this once," Luke whispered against his lips when he gave the kid the chance to breathe again. "Just to see what it's like."

He could taste it in Luke’s kiss, loved it, treasured it, made it his own, this inevitable moment of capitulation, and yet—he had the strangest feeling that it wasn’t just Luke who’d surrendered something here.

So what is it about you, Luke, that makes me feel like... like I just found somethin’ I didn’t even know I was missing? He brushed his right thumb across Luke’s lips, wondering at his sudden, foolish sentiment. Luke was simply another good-looking kid, smart and smart-mouthed, nothing more. A boy who’d take what he could from Han Solo and then walk off without so much as a backward glance...

It was just that he couldn’t ever remember wanting anybody as much as he wanted Luke right at this moment. And maybe he never had, either, but damned if he was gonna waste precious time worrying over something as unimportant as why. Just was. He wanted Luke and by all the gods’ good fortunes Luke wanted him right back, so he was gonna have him. Right here, right now—

He nodded, agreeing with himself, and felt his body winding up tight like one of those old-fashioned mechanical music boxes his mother had collected, feeling the music of desire playing its tunes deep in his bones.

Luke caught Han’s right hand in his left, and he was surprised momentarily by the strength in that grip, until he remembered Luke had spent his entire life on a farm. Strength, and gentleness too, because Luke’s fingers lightly caressed the back of Han’s hand before letting it drop completely—a surprisingly intimate gesture, full of promise, that made the blood rush from Han’s head directly to his groin and left him unpredictably lightheaded.

He thought about the way Luke had explored his body earlier—the avid pleasure the kid had taken in finding and learning his sensitive areas, the enthusiastic, unpracticed way he’d gone down on Han—and the undoubted humiliation Luke felt over what he obviously considered to be a mutilation of his own body. The kid had given more than he’d received, that was for sure. Well, Han was gonna make it up to him this time around. Had his Corellian reputation to uphold, didn’t he?

"You say something about unfinished business?" Whatever hesitation Luke had shown earlier had apparently evaporated with liftoff, because all Han saw in that guileless face was a mixture of eager excitement and reckless curiosity.

Hells, the kid’s beatin’ me at my own game. Han grinned again. Whatever else he might prove to be, Luke was spirited enough to push the limits, and that was something they had in common. Han realized he liked it. Liked the idea of a partner who was quick enough and strong enough to challenge him. The dare in those not-entirely-innocent eyes made him go hard in an instant.

"Yeah." His voice caught on the word, his breath coming too hard and fast. He tried again. "Bed. Now."

So why were they standing there, inches apart, and grinning at each other like a pair of space cases?

Heavy footsteps sounded in the corridor, advance warning that his co-pilot was approaching for his turn at the watch. Han felt the chuckle rising up from his belly at the way Luke took a step backward, trying to put some conspicuous distance between the two of them. Ain’t gonna help, kid. You’ll learn soon enough you can’t keep secrets from that Wook nose.

As he’d expected, Chewbacca took in the situation with a single twitch of his nose and barked his amusement. [Take him to your cabin. You smell like you’re two days into a rutting,] he rumbled as he squeezed into the cramped cockpit area, precariously balancing a piled-high dinner tray and his personal Wookiee-sized kaf mug. [The mating scents will distract me from enjoying my meal.]

Luke obviously didn’t need to speak Wookan to understand the nature of Chewie’s comment. Han could feel the smile curling the edges of his mouth as he watched the embarrassed flush crawl up throat and cheeks when the kid realized the Wookiee very clearly understood the full nature of their budding relationship. Oh, yeah, Luke was definitely something to look at.

Little twitch wasn’t nearly as confident as he pretended, either. He might as well get used to Chewie knowing every detail of his life, though, ‘cause the quarters were pretty close here on the Falcon. Smart and gutsy as Luke was, Han figured it wouldn’t take him long to put all that rimworld baggage behind him.

Han shifted his weight to give Chewie room to push past, bumping them still further apart, and folded his bulk into the co-pilot’s chair. [You have my permission, Han.]

The Wook smiled at his own humor, and Han smirked at Luke’s almost invisible flinch. Many a seasoned spacer had mistaken that Wookiee smile, full of sharp fangs, for a display of anger, too. Had to give the kid credit for keeping himself together under the circumstances. ‘Course, there wasn’t a Sith’s chance in seven hells that he was ever gonna let Luke know how he’d reacted to Chewie the first time. Or what’d happened after he pulled his blaster on the highly indignant Wookiee. Han cast a sidelong glance at his partner, abruptly wondering how susceptible his gossiping co-pilot might be to bribery.

His carefully-honed self-protective instincts rose as swiftly as fog rolling across the marshlands of home. "Like I need it, Chewie?" He closed his hand around Luke’s forearm and clamped down, yanking him forward. Not that he didn’t expect the kid to follow willingly, but he suddenly felt the need to remind himself who was boss. "C’mon, kid, let’s hit the bunk."

[Han.] Chewie turned around to stare at him solemnly. He nodded toward Luke. [Don’t make the mistake of treating him like a one-night throwaway.]

Han snorted, looked down at his hand squeezed tightly around Luke’s arm and released his grip. His fingers had left white impressions on the tanned skin, he saw, and didn’t miss that the kid instantly rubbed the spot, like he was trying to restore circulation.


"Yeah. Relax, Chewie."

"What’s he saying?" asked Luke, flicking his eyes between the pilot and co-pilot, certainly sensitive to the small current of tension between them.

"Aw, Chewie just likes to worry."

Chewbacca frowned. [You shouldn’t lie to the cub, either. You’re the one who made him a crewmember. As First Mate I won’t have one of my crew treated with disrespect. It’s not good for morale.]

Han’s volatile temper flared instantly and the pleasant warmth of arousal took a quantum shift into a lightning strike of anger.

"I said, don’t worry about it."

Han watched as Chewie slowly, deliberately, rose to his full, imposing height. He knew the Wook wasn’t trying to intimidate him, exactly, but was merely employing a time-honored method of impressing his audience with the gravity of his statement. Beside him, Luke showed every sign of being at least a little intimidated—was that his imagination or was the kid actually leaning a little closer? Despite Han’s best intentions not to allow the reprimand, he couldn’t help but flash back to his childhood; to an irritated mother who also drew herself up to her full height and recited Han’s full catechism of names just before administering discipline for yet one more incident in his seemingly endless stream of youthful indiscretions.

[I am not worrying, Han. You will do the right thing.]

Damned if the Wook didn’t even choose the same words his mother always used.

[Your irritation is with yourself, Han, not the cub. You like him too much to use him in this way.]

Han felt his mood soften instantly, knowing Chewie well enough to read his genuine concern. Not only for Luke—but for himself, as well. Sometimes it was frikkin’ inconvenient to have a two-and-a-half meter tall furry conscience... and sometimes he felt pretty damned lucky that conscience was there, speaking his mind.

He smiled, knowing that Chewie’s sensitive nose would detect the truth of his fading annoyance. "Don’t worry, Chewie. No mistakes. Everything’s fine. Now."

After a lingering sniff and a hard, warning stare, the Wookiee nodded in satisfaction, sat down and returned his attention to his meal. Han barely heard the muttered, [Good. Because I suspect this cub can bite and scratch and I am tired of patching you up.] and wondered if he had been meant to hear it, or not.

Hoping the kid hadn’t been totally tripped out by the brief altercation and really hoping the first words out of his mouth weren’t going to be ‘drop me off at the nearest spaceport’, Han turned to Luke and showed his best leer. "You still want?"

Wide-eyed with confusion and caution, Luke darted another quick look at Chewbacca, who was studiously concentrating on his dinner, and then flashed one of those quick, brilliant smiles at Han. Before he could divine the kid’s intent, Luke leaned forward and planted a solid kiss on his mouth. The kind of kiss that went long enough and deep enough to rekindle the fever in his belly that’d vanished in the white heat of anger.

He guessed it didn’t matter if the little twitch couldn’t quite bring himself to put his desire into words yet. He’d long been a believer in the old axiom that actions spoke louder than words anyway.

Just as they broke apart for air and headed for the passageway, Chewie tossed one final comment after them.

[I expect my cut of the profits to be increased if I have to pull very many double-shifts, captain.]

Han threw an exaggerated scowl and a thumbs-down gesture over his shoulder, and let the kid tug him forward. This time it was Luke who led the way to his cabin, because walking itself had become a delicate task for Han, his uncomfortably tight pants slowing his progress. And following that perfect rear view down the corridor sure wasn’t making it any easier for him. He felt a brief stab of resentment and... well, worry, that Luke didn’t seem to have any trouble walking. Wasn’t quite sure what to make of that.

The only way he made it all the way to his cabin was to focus on each step individually, because if he thought about the fifty or so paces it would take to reach their destination, he knew he’d give up, grab the kid and sink down to the deckplates with him, comfort be damned. But he wasn’t gonna do that, damnit, because he’d promised himself to do things right for Luke this time, let the twitch know just how gorgeous and appreciated he was and—

Watch it, Solo. You’re gettin’ sentimental again. It’s about pleasure, remember? Give the kid a good time ‘n he’ll give you one in return. Nuthin’ more’n that.

Luke reached the door to Han’s cabin and stopped, a very odd expression on his face while he waited for Han to catch up.

Oh, no, you don’t, kid. No second thoughts, no backin’ out now—

"Han." Luke leaned back against the bulkhead and casually crossed his arms and ankles, reminding Han of a younger version of himself, hanging out around the Corellian ports and wearing a two kilo chip on his shoulder.

Uh oh, here it comes.

Luke held up his arm, where only a faint reddened area served as reminder of Han’s show of temper. "Don’t try forcing me again," he said emphatically, and damned if the angry glint in those blue eyes didn’t make the fire in Han’s belly burn even hotter.

Han curbed his instinctive retort and instead, impulsively leaned over and pressed his mouth to the sensitive area, imagining he could taste the heat of the insult and anger on his lips.

"Forgiven?" he drawled out as he straightened again, and knew he had the brat even before the corners of the kid’s mouth twitched and started to curve into a smile.

"Did Chewbacca yell at you for doing that to me?"

"Whaddaya think?"

The smile broadened. "I think he did. I think that’s what the whole thing in the cockpit was about."

Well, Sith, what was this kid anyway? Some kind of mind-reader?

"Tell ya what, Luke, you pick up Wookan and ask him some day." As if he’d learn Wookan in less than a couple of years anyway. It’d taken Han nearly a year of constant living with the Wookiee to distinguish the nuances of all those guttural rumbles and growls. Kid wouldn’t be around long enough to—

—why did that thought make his gut cramp up?

Luke kept smiling at him and raised his eyebrows. "Don’t worry. I plan to." He nudged the cabin door open with one foot. "Later."

"I like the way you think." Han grabbed him around the back of his neck and pulled him into another heart-stopping deep kiss. At least his heart stopped, and he thought maybe Luke’s did too. It should, if he hadn’t lost his touch.

Like the way you kiss, too, damnit. How long had it been since he’d felt like this, all raw and turned inside out with need? Just for some blond-headed, blue-eyed twitch of a boy who kissed like a dream, fought like a demon and—

Luke pulled away and Han came up for air. He was surprised to realize they were inside his cabin now. When had that happened?

"Me too."

"You too what?"

"Like the way you kiss."

What the hell? Han was pretty sure he hadn’t said that out loud. "What... I—"

Luke traced a finger around the ridges of Han’s ear, a gesture that sent a jolt clear through to his already weak knees.

When had he lost control of the situation?

"Han?" Luke breathed his name into his mouth, made it sound like some sacred incantation. A potent charm with the power to create... he didn’t know what.

"Yeah, kid."

"Drive’s engaged."

Hearing his own words tossed back at him broke the magic spell woven by the breathless gasp of his name.

"Sure is." He pulled back far enough to see Luke’s eyes, to gauge the hesitation battling with desire—and found none. Not a hint of regret or indecision. Whatever doubts the kid had had, they’d truly evaporated.

And Han found himself wondering again why that was so important to him. "Not gonna do anything you don’t want, Luke."

"Don’t think that’s possible," Luke said, and then looked surprised at what he’d said. "I mean—" Sweet! Han grinned, delighted with the kid’s unthinking response. He was definitely ready, a tasty morsel ripe for the taking. "I know exactly what you mean." He took a long, leisurely look at the youth standing in front of him and ignored the twinge of guilt sneaking up his spine at Luke’s obvious discomfort at the inspection.

"Take your clothes off, Luke."

He was amused to see Luke’s hands automatically fumble for the hem of his shirt before halting in mid-gesture.

"Don’t give me orders, Han."

"That’s Captain to you, Navigator." He probably shouldn’t have said that, because a haunted, hesitant expression briefly crept back into those unguarded blue eyes, but damnit, he needed to put some distance between him and this kid, because... well, just because.

Luke’s slight falter of confidence didn’t last for long, though, before that stubborn chin lifted again and irritation flashed in the eyes. "I don’t think so. Not in the bedroom."

Han took a moment to enjoy the sulky expression, caught himself and grinned again. And realized he’d been doing an amazing amount of that since meeting Luke. "I don’t think so, sir," he emphasized, just to tweak the kid’s engines.

To his surprise, Luke smiled widely. "That’s better."

Smart-mouthed little... Han rolled his eyes in an exaggerated show of exasperation. "You do anything with that mouth besides smart off?"

Luke’s smile grew even wider and Han couldn’t help but respond in kind. That blasted grin was as irresistible as Corellian folk music—and made Han just as happy, too, he realized abruptly.

Luke glanced down at Han’s crotch in a deliberately provocative gesture that made Han fight the urge to push the kid down on his knees and make good on his insinuation.

"You already know the answer to that."

"If you wanna do something more than argue with me, you’d better be stripping down pretty quick ‘fore I change my mind."

Better watch yourself, Solo. Keep this up and the kid’s gonna get the upper hand here. And wouldn’t Chewie laugh then?

"I dunno ‘bout that, Captain, sir," Luke disagreed slyly, if amiably. "If you want me to put my mouth to good use I’m thinking maybe you should be taking your clothes off."

Oh, Sith Sith Sith. Just thinking about that lush, hot mouth wrapped around his cock ensured some serious anti-gravity action on that same part of his anatomy.

"Definitely got a point there," he agreed just before Luke began undoing the toggles on Han’s shirtfront. He could feel the fingers fumble nervously with the unfamiliar fasteners and quickly clamped down on his laugh. Which transmuted into an unexpected moan once those fingers touched his bare skin, burning him wherever they stroked.

Fingers that traced the contours of ribs and breastbone and quickly, furtively, circled nipples before sliding up to his shoulders and easing the shirt and vest down and off.

"Your turn, Luke." He pulled the shirt over the kid’s head—wanted to bury his face in that tangled mop of sandy blond hair and smell the scent of youth and sun and innocence—to reveal a tanned expanse of smooth flesh. Han gently laid his hand over Luke’s heart to measure the rapid pulse visibly shaking the kid’s chest. Excited? Scared? Nervous? Embarrassed?

Oh yeah the twitch was a very appealing sight, but they’d wasted enough time with transparent distractions. "You tan all over, kid? Let’s see the rest."

Luke blushed, in places Han never would’ve dreamed a human being could blush. "What, you didn’t look the first time?" Luke retorted.

Han shrugged, having fun with the small contest of wills. "It was dark."

"Not any darker than it is now," Luke pointed out reasonably enough, glancing at the glow panel and winding his arms protectively around his torso.

So the kid was still nervous and embarrassed about his body. Just about what he’d figured. Damn all parochial rimworlders. He could just imagine the torment Luke must’ve taken from those buddies of his. Who the hell cut boys anymore anyway? That popular tradition died out when the Jedi fell from favor, he’d heard. Not that Corellians had ever taken to the custom in the first place, thankfully.

He took hold of Luke’s jaw and pulled his face close, pinning him in place with as stern a stare as he could manage. "Ain’t you figured it out yet, Luke?"

The kid made no movement to twist away from his grip, meeting the stare directly. "What?" A shadow darkened those clear blue eyes. Childlike, teeth captured and worried at that full lower lip.

"I like looking at you. All of you." Still holding firmly to Luke’s jaw, Han dipped his head and claimed his mouth once again, amazed all over again at how easily they fit together and how comfortable it felt. Luke’s mouth molded to his, teeth barely clashing and tongues reacquainting themselves. Everything about the slender body in his arms felt familiar – the way smooth skin stretched over sharply angled bones, the heft and weight of Luke’s body, even his scent...

Snap out of it, Solo. Must be gettin’ mushy in your old age.

"Don’t believe me yet?" He rubbed the backs of his knuckles against a cheek, trying to remember a time when his own cheeks had had that smooth, just-coming-into-manhood texture to them, the beard still fine and soft, before maturity and experience had left their marks on him. He could just barely feel the small tremble in Luke’s hands where they clung to his waist.

"This help?" He captured one of Luke’s hands and pressed it hard against his pants front, where his erection was painfully trapped. The pressure felt so good he almost forgot what he was trying to do here. "Even a little?" he managed to grit out before the moan had a chance to escape.

Luke nodded, beginning to smile. His fingers curved and tightened around Han’s cock before releasing him.

Han dropped to his knees in front of Luke and tipped his head back to grin up at the gaping expression on the kid’s face. "I’m gonna make you believe me, whether you want to or not," he threatened cheerfully.

The hardest part was remembering how to work the unusual waist closure; other than that skinning the kid out of his pants and shoes took only a couple of seconds.

He was just as pretty as Han remembered, the slender cock jutting out defiantly from a nest of dark blond curls, kind of naked and defenseless looking without its protective hood—took a little getting used to. But definitely not malformed or inadequate in any way.

At least he was reassured the interest was mutual.

He felt Luke shrink back from his gaze, and caught the tension tightening up the muscles in minute shivers. One way he knew to stop that...

He touched Luke’s cock gently, almost reverently, tracing out the pattern of surface veins and anticipating a flinch that never came. Risking another upward glance, he met Luke’s guarded, watchful stare.

"You don’t have to—"

Who had taught him shame about that beautiful body? Han would’ve cursed those fools of an aunt and uncle and those idiot friends if he’d had enough concentration to spare… but right now he couldn’t think past how godsdamned much he wanted Luke.

"Ain’t doin’ it ‘cause I have to." He leaned forward and licked the temptation in front of him from root to crown; the kid tasted like a jolt of pure, raw energy. A shock lingered on his tongue just as if he’d contacted a live, ungrounded circuit.

Touching the kid was addictive, that was for sure.

At the gasp of sheer delight he backed off and took advantage of Luke’s momentary distraction to push him back onto the bunk and follow him down to the mattress.

"I like touching you, too. In case you hadn’t noticed."

Luke was a very appealing sight, sprawled out underneath him, arms and legs twining around him now like Han was the only solid object left in the kid’s universe and he was hanging on for dear life. He started to ask Luke if he’d made a believer out of him yet, but Luke’s mouth was moving against his jaw and neck, tongue lapping gently, teasingly, and Han lost the words in the wake of tongue and lips.

He fumbled at his own belt and pants, awkwardly caught between his own urgency and not wanting to break skin contact with Luke.

"Let me do that," came a soft whisper in his ear, followed up by a quick nip on his earlobe. Deft hands brushed his own aside and seized control of the moment.

"You don’t have to," Han answered, only realizing after the fact he’d used the exact same words Luke had used a few moments earlier.

The coincidence sure didn’t slip by the brat either, because Han felt the chuckle against his neck. "Ain’t doin’ it ‘cause I have to." He’d have to remember to tell Chewie to give Luke some lessons in proper respect for authority figures one of these days. First Mate had to be good for somethin’ besides givin’ the captain grief, right?

Luke didn’t have any trouble at all with his pants, or even the boots. They just sort of melted right off his feet at the kid’s touch—which Han figured wasn’t so strange, since that’s what he’d been doing ever since they met—melting. Melting into some unrecognizable, soft-headed sentimentalist. No pretty, big-eyed boy was gonna cause Han Solo to make a fool of himself—even if the twitch did have the lushest mouth, finest backview and quickest mind this side of the Core.

He’d learned his lesson the first time around. Didn’t pay to give anybody that kind of power over yourself. Wasn’t nobody could say Han Solo didn’t learn from his mistakes.

So... he was naked. The kid was naked. They were in his bunk—the captain’s bunk. And he was the captain. A starving captain, hungry for the long-delayed main course. Time to show Luke just who was dinner and who was the diner. Didn’t mean it was gonna be one-sided though; by the time he was done, Luke was gonna understand thoroughly why Corellians deserved their collective reputation.

"This one’s for you, kid," he muttered, using his greater mass and strength to roll them over, so Luke was underneath him again. "Just lie back and enjoy."

"I plan on it," Luke said softly, capturing Han’s face between his hands. Han felt the tingle clear down his spine and into his groin. Surrender. Victory. So sweet when volunteered, not demanded.

"Like I said, Luke. Nothin’ you don’t want." He possessed that fine, trembling mouth again, coaxed the tongue into his mouth and answered the silent plea for mercy.

He touched Luke the way Luke had touched him before, with as much inquisitive tenderness as he could muster, seeking the sensitive areas only to discover his partner was as responsive as any Corellian. Kid’s entire body was an erogenous zone, to judge by the gasps and shivers.

Shoulda figured that already. Twitch has a Corellian soul.

He tried to draw the pleasure out as long as he could, tried to balance what he wanted to give with what Luke could take—and failed all too soon. Too inexperienced, too needful to endure… Luke came without warning, crying out a belated advisory simultaneously as he filled Han’s mouth with the hot, sharp taste of completion.

He tastes just the way he smells. Clean, untouched, innocent... honest. Nothing to hide. Perfect.

Han swallowed and waited out the shudders and aftershocks; holding Luke’s cock on his tongue until it softened and he felt the rest of the kid’s body follow suit, muscles slacking in the aftermath of release.

Loose. Relaxed. Ready.

"’S good, Luke," he muttered, sliding up to meet those blue eyes. Eyes that had a hard time meeting his, embarrassed by lack of stamina. "Just what we needed. Now you’re more relaxed. Makes it easier—better—for both of us. If you still want that."


"Me too." The disordered blond hair was a silken waterfall sliding through his fingers, a welcome distraction from self-accusing eyes. Eyes that took the edge off his desire and made him feel awkward about pursuing his own needs until Luke was ready. Han’s initiation had been with a partner as inexperienced and young as he’d been… he’d never felt that creeping sensation of failure and disappointment now consuming Luke. Seen it a few times since then, though, with others, and up until now had always been impatient with the lack of perspective.

Just sex, junior, something pleasant to while away the time, make us both feel good. I made you feel good, now it’s your turn to make me feel good.

Discarding his usual pattern of annoyance, instead he fumbled for reassuring words."Luke... coming fast ain’t exactly a crime, y’know. More like a... compliment." Han grinned, dredging up his own youthful memories. "Shoulda seen how long I lasted my first time."

What the hell is wrong with me? Have I been possessed by the spirit of some long dead do-gooder? Couldn’t explain why it felt different to him this time. Just did.

Luke smiled. "Who says it’s my first time?"

Sure, right. So it’s your second time—and your first time was twelve hours ago right here in this bunk.

"Whatever you say, kid." Han wasn’t about to start an argument now, not with Luke smiling and willing. He rolled over to the side of the bunk, winced when the movement put pressure on his aching cock, and reached down to jerk out the underbunk storage drawer. Had to be lube in there somewhere...

Luke shifted and stretched across him.

"Looking for this?"

He looked up and swore silently at the strain on his neck and back, legacy of his uncomfortable, unbalanced, half-upside-down position. Sure enough, Luke was holding up a familiar tube, apparently plucked from the adjacent table within easy reach, and the twitch wasn’t even trying to hide his amused smirk.

"Yeah." Now he remembered placing it there earlier, anticipating just this occurrence. His brains had obviously migrated to a somewhat lower region than his head in the meantime.

"You always this clumsy?" Luke asked, grinning broadly.

The light speed shift in mood was more than a little disorienting and he responded in kind, grunting as he levered himself upright. "You always this much of a pain in the ass?"

Luke’s eyes opened wide in a show of premeditated coyness belied by a wicked curve of his lips. "I thought that was your job, Captain."

Damn right it is, kid. And it won’t be clumsy or painful at all. You have no idea...

"C’mere." He hauled Luke in close for another searching, plunging kiss. And another. And another, losing himself in the Tatooine whirlwind sucking all the oxygen from the room, leaving Han to gasp in the resulting vacuum at the core of the cyclone.

He’d long abandoned his effort at trying to sort out the confusing sensations of how familiar, and how new, all this felt at the same time. All he could do was yield to the moment and enjoy the way the kid played his body and emotions, and wonder when it had become more than just physical.

Don’t think about it, Solo. Whatever kind o’ magic this kid has, I ain’t gonna spoil it by askin’ too many questions. Hasn’t been this good in a long time.

All right, just admit it. Hasn’t ever been this good.

Somewhere he’d lost all concept of time and place, until his entire universe centered around that sweetly responsive mouth and tongue. Not to mention the warm, firm flesh under his hands, and the eager, curious hands gliding across his own skin.

Only other thing he hadn’t lost track of was the obstinate demand of his cock, aching for a far more comprehensive release than had been offered thus far.

He stroked Luke’s rekindled erection nestled between their bodies, almost envying the kid his rapid recovery. "You ready?" Nothin’ you don’t wanna do, he said with his eyes.

Yes, Luke replied equally silently, every graceful angle and curve of his youthful body an invitation to possession.

He retrieved the tube from the folds of tangled sheets and squirted some into the palm of his hand, warming it. No point in shocking the kid out of the mood with icy lube—Luke was unmistakably ready. Been a long time since he’d seen such a pretty sight, a beautiful virgin, flushed and damp and hard, spreading his legs so eagerly.

Sweet suns, if he didn’t get hold of himself he was gonna be the one apologizing for coming too quickly.

"You’re godsdamned beautiful, you know that?" He leaned down to kiss Luke gently, first on the lips, on each pebbled nipple, on the indentation in the expanse of flat, hard belly, and finally on the silken cockhead, again seeping its desire.

"So’re you."

He would’ve laughed at the misguided compliment, but hands clutched in his hair, and Han felt the minor pain of strands ripped from their follicles by the strength of Luke’s grip.

"I want you, Han," Luke said in a strange, desperate voice. "Real bad."

" ‘S all right, kid, all right," he gentled, forgetting all about his hair and sliding his slick fingers into the crease to circle and probe. "I know how it feels."

He thought he’d forgotten what it was like, to feel so vulnerable and excited and at risk in bed; to want something for someone else more than he wanted it for himself.

You’re nothin’ but a fraud, Solo, he jeered at himself, watching Luke’s faint grimace of discomfort as he probed within with one, then two fingers. Watched as his expression transmuted to one of confused rapture and blue eyes closed to savor the pleasure—and then flew open abruptly.


Need closed its tight fist around Han’s groin. "Good, huh?"

Luke nodded, too dazed for words. Han braced himself against the bulkhead and half-lifted Luke on top of him. "Then it’s time to make it good for me, too." Not to make the twitch feel guilty or anything, but his body had finally reached its tolerance limits.

Luke blinked and looked bewildered, but obediently assumed a straddled, kneeling position over him. "You want me—"

"Hey, you were the one said you didn’t wanna be on the bottom," he grinned, falling into a familiar rhythm with his right hand, spreading the rest of the lube on his cock. "All you gotta do is sit down. I’ll navigate this time around—you do the piloting."

This had to be Luke’s decision, his choice, because it was suddenly very important to Han that Luke cross that final, invisible boundary alone.

For a timeless stretch they stared at each other, transfixed across the canyon of desire like two alpha packdogs scenting each other’s determination. Everything hung in the balance, until Luke licked his lips, looked down at Han’s cock so intently Han swore he could feel the heat of that laser look, and back up again to lock gazes as he slowly, slowly, lowered himself.

Han wanted to close his eyes to concentrate on his own sensations and found he couldn’t tear his eyes away from Luke’s face, wanting to savor every nuance of reaction to penetration. Gods only knew what was reflected on his face as he helped Luke position himself precisely by touch alone, felt the initial amazing enclosure and the inevitable rebound. And watched sweat beads pop out on Luke’s forehead at the first tearing sensation.

Not that he’d needed any confirmation Luke was virgin when it came to this.

Luke gasped and his head sagged backwards, neck muscles taut with pain. Han felt the tension in the strong thigh muscles on either side of his hips as Luke rose slightly and cursed the loss when cool air, not hot flesh, caressed his cock.

"Take your time," he muttered through gritted teeth, closing his fingers around Luke’s clenched fists as hard as he could to keep from grabbing Luke’s hips and forcing him down so Han could sink into the compressing channel, could lose himself to the familiar, deliberate taking of pleasure and pretend nothing unusual was happening in the region of his scarred heart.

"C’mon," he moaned, directly contradicting himself.

This time when Luke lowered himself it was for keeps, taking Han into himself slowly, cautiously, holding him at intervals to get used to the intrusion. Han catalogued the minute changes around his cock, could tell when the passage softened and eased into acceptance. Saw the acceptance mirrored in Luke’s eyes. The triumph of will and desire over phantom fears and provincial attitudes.

"Better now?" As if he couldn’t judge that already, from his own experience and the accelerated unraveling flashing across Luke’s face.

"Oh, yeah," Luke whispered, settling his weight across Han’s mid-section—and coincidentally joining them as fully as possible.

For one brief, disorienting moment Han straddled the terminal cusp of a black hole in much the same way Luke straddled him, precariously balanced between the life he’d once known and a myriad of unsuspected futures—until he fell into the stars behind Luke’s gaze.

Desire, no longer orphaned, mated now to Luke’s passion and shaped into mutual pleasure. Oh what a fit! Kid, you’re a godsdamned glove, you know that?

Luke stumbled into an awkward, staccato rhythm; Han anchored the kid’s narrow hips and moved underneath him, refining and smoothing the pace into something resembling the powerful roll of a Corellian ocean at high tide.

Yeah, an’ I’m the frikkin’ beach, he thought, surrendering himself to the enchantment of the moment, to the icy, burning friction of Luke’s muscles and sheltering in the simple equation of sex. And an instant later wondered why he’d cast himself as a beach instead of a solid, immutable cliff.

Because cliffs get worn away, diminished when they come in contact with the ocean, but a beach is renewed by its touch, came the answer from somewhere deep inside him.

Hells. As if he didn’t have enough to worry about already, without having sappy thoughts like that.

"Han?" The twitch stopped, leaned over, wearing a half-worried expression superimposed over fading pleasure. "Did I do somethin’ wrong?"

He thrust up against Luke, grinned at the involuntary gasp wrenched in response, wrapped his arms around slender shoulders and pulled him close.

"Nah, kid. You’re very right." It’s me, lettin’ my heart take control during sex, and that’s always a big mistake. "Why, somethin’ not workin’ for you?"

"Yes. I mean… no. I think." Doubt spread into blue eyes. "You just looked—"

Han took advantage of Luke’s confusion to seal their mouths together, to probe with his tongue and steal away the memory of his own misgivings from what should be nothing more than mutual enjoyment.

"Nothin’ wrong anywhere I can see… or feel. C’mon, you wanna finish this?"

He released Luke and pushed him back far enough to slip a hand between their bodies and grab the kid’s cock. As nice a fit in the palm of his hand as he was elsewhere. He rubbed his thumb across the crown and on impulse lifted his hand to the kid’s mouth.

"Wanna taste yourself?"

He’d known that would prove a successful distraction before he even consciously thought of it. He’d seen it before, the way the kid had hunted for traces of himself in Han’s mouth. Didn’t have to look to know that slender, cut cock leaped hard against Luke’s belly, because he could see the rising thrill in his eyes.

Luke accepted the challenge, sucking Han’s thumb between full, trembling lips, tongue licking away like a kitkin searching for the last drops of milk from its mother’s nipple.

That’s it, junior, let’s keep this goin’ in the right direction. You ‘n me, doin’ what feels good. No game playin’, no need to pretend this is anything more than fun on one side ‘n business on the other.

He pushed up again, and pulled Luke into the faster pace he set for himself. Luke bit down hard on his thumb before releasing it, and Han hardly noticed the sharp pain, swallowed by the consuming, stroking pleasure elsewhere.

Luke was incredibly beautiful now, Han realized, absorbed by the shades of ecstasy chasing across features sculpted by passion and desire. A beacon anchoring him to the source of the release threatening to overtake him at any instant. He closed his fist around Luke’s hardness again, pumping hard, coaxing the kid to join him in freefall.

He succeeded, felt the small geyser of wetness spill over his fingers and belly and let that trigger his own deliverance from tension; watched Luke’s mouth loosen in a silent shout of liberation and shut his eyes to possessively contain his due reward—and the frightening sense of something bigger than himself stirring in that instant.

Luke went rigid, then slack, and practically collapsed on top of him, breathing fitfully against his neck. Their hearts lay next to each other, hammering a ragged, asynchronous pattern Han could feel clear through to his marrow.


Gods but he loved the way Luke said his name, the way it seemed to have power over the kid.

"Yeah?" He kept his eyes closed, almost scared to see Luke’s face.

"Wouldja look at me?"

Sith. He could hear the tremor of returned insecurity in the twitch’s voice. He opened his eyes and met Luke’s gaze. "Ain’t nothin’ wrong, Luke, if that’s what you’re thinkin’. That was good, kid."

Better than good. But you don’t need to know that.

Luke stared hard into his eyes, maybe seeking to confirm or deny his own private theories about what’d passed between then, and then grinned. "I can see that now."

Brat. I’m gonna hafta watch him careful. He sees too damned much. Worse’n Chewie, I’m beginning to think.

He yawned, taking refuge in a pleasantly satiated body. "Get some sleep, Luke. We’ve got a busy watch ahead of us."

A small frown creased Luke’s forehead. "Am I supposed to sleep here?"

He’d forgotten he’d assigned Luke that small cubicle on the far side of Chewie’s cabin, occasionally reserved for supercargo but mostly used as a convenient storage hold for frequently used supplies. It was a mess; nobody’d had the time to clear off the bunk or even a path to reach it.

"Guess you better stay here tonight. Tomorrow you can clear that cabin out ‘n get settled in." He tried to make it sound like he didn’t care much one way or the other whether he fell asleep to the comfort of another warm body or woke up to the sight of tumbled blond hair and sleepy blue eyes.

"Wouldn’t wanna put you out any, Han."

The slightly sarcastic tone to Luke’s comment told him he’d probably overdone the casual attitude. Twitch was just independent enough to climb out and spend the rest of their sleep cycle cleaning out the cabin. Which meant Chewie would give him hell for taking what he wanted and then booting the kid out. And that meant now he had to make it clear Luke was welcome. Been a long time since he’d found himself giving away so much territory to one person.

"Nah, ‘s all right. Just so you don’t snore."

Luke smiled, a little uncertainly, and nodded before snuggling into the hollow at his shoulder. "I don’t snore." A pause, then, "At least, I don’t think so."

Knew it. Knew he’d never slept with anybody in his life.

Han drew him in close. "I’ll let you know. For future reference. So next time somebody asks you, you’ll know the answer."

Luke shifted against him, jabbed him with an elbow as he moved—possibly deliberately—and a moment later lifted his head to look into Han’s eyes.

"Yeah, kid?" So what’s the problem now?

"I… um, you make it sound like—"

Hells, I let myself get sidetracked by that smart-mouth attitude. I bet he’s haulin’ around a major cargo of farmboy fantasies about what it’s gonna be like for us. Shoulda thought o’ that first, Solo, ‘n set him straight right away. He don’t know the score yet, the way things work.

Han brushed a damp fringe of sunsilk hair back from Luke’s forehead. "Like what? Like what we got’s not gonna last? Don’t you go getting romantic notions on me, kid."

Luke snorted and flushed. Probably embarrassed him now, but damnit, I don’t want him moonin’ around over me.

"Romance, nothin’, Han! But do you hafta make it sound like some kind of… business deal?"

So Luke did have some romantic illusions floatin’ around.

He raised up on one elbow, self-preservation instincts kicking in and ready to defend his independence. Wasn’t gonna tie himself to anything beyond Chewie and the Falcon. Neither one of them would ever let him down, but Luke—Luke was still an unknown quantity.

" ‘S what it is, though I’d call it smart business. You got lucky this time around. You coulda met up with somebody who didn’t give a womprat’s ass whether Sunseeker ‘n his buddies sold you into slavery."

Luke jerked upright in one smooth lunge, the sheet falling away from his naked body and fire flashing in his eyes—and Han found himself trapped between resurgent desire and irritation.

"Me? Lucky? From where I’m sittin’, you’re the lucky one!"

Admiring Luke’s spirit didn’t mean he was gonna let the twitch get away with turning the tables. He got right in Luke’s face, pointing his finger against the kid’s nose. "You were lucky. ‘N you oughta be grateful to me, ‘stead of givin’ me grief over True Love Forever."

Luke swatted his finger aside and snapped, "What are you talking about anyway? I never said anything about love or romance. I never figured on this being forever either. I just thought if we’re working together and sleeping together maybe it meant a little more than just… just…" Luke spluttered and turned even redder than he’d been before.

Definitely a fighter and not easily intimidated. Once Luke learned to control that temper of his, he was gonna be real useful.

But Luke wasn’t the only one getting mad here. Who needs to learn to control his temper? Han thought ruefully, and wondered why this boy could turn him cross-eyed furious in under ten seconds when he’d always prided himself on icy control.

"Than what? Luck? Convenience? Happy coincidence? That’s all it is, ‘n I’m not gonna pretend otherwise. Truth is, I like you, kid. I want you in my bed. Long as it works for both of us, that’s the way it’ll be. But that’s all there is to it, so if you’re lookin’ for something more, Chewie n’ me’ll just drop you off when we get to Binal, no harm done, and we go our separate ways. Won’t even charge ya for the passage."

Maybe his lack of control had loosened his tongue a tad too much, because Luke’s eyes dropped before his mood-puncturing irony.

"Seems to me I’m not any better off with you than I would’ve been bein’ sold as a pleasure slave. Either way it looks like I’m a whore."

Han stared blankly at Luke, frosted shock curdling in his chest . Sith! I never saw that one coming.

Whore. He thinks I think he’s just a whore. Good only for enjoying and using, and tossing away when I’ve had my fill of him. Oh definitely, nice, Solo, real nice. Couldn’t’ve done more damage if I’d tried. C’mon, how in all Sith’s seven hells am I supposed to fix this one?

He swallowed hard and cleared his throat experimentally, wanting to get rid of the bitter taste of failure filling his mouth. "Ah, look, Luke, that ain’t how I think of you at all. You’re a good mechanic, you’re smart enough to be navigator, you’re good in a fight ‘n I want you in my crew. Regardless of whether you’re in my bed or not."

Luke shrugged, opened his mouth for some kind of sharp retort, Han was sure, but nothing came out. The way he foundered for words reminded Han of a beached tsalom he’d once seen, suffocating in the surfeit of oxygen. He’d taken pity on the suffering then and tossed the fish back into the water but this time he couldn’t afford the compassion. Not and protect his hard-won wisdom.

" ‘Sides, Chewie’d… chew my ass if I got rid of you. He likes you, y’know."

That brought Luke’s head up. "He does?"

Han took advantage of the vulnerable moment to wrap his arms around Luke and pull him close, even if the kid did hold himself stiff and unforgiving against the embrace.

"Yeah. He likes you. So do I. Never meant to make you think I didn’t." He spoke quietly, hoping to take the sting out of harsh words with a gentle tone. "What’s between us is pleasant, it’s fun… but odds are it ain’t gonna last. We’ll see the day when one of us is ready to cut the drive, maybe both of us. No point in making that day any harder than it has to be."

"No, I s’pose not," Luke agreed, not quite meeting his eyes.

Han tugged on Luke’s hair to raise his head. "I’m not sayin’ this ‘cause I wanna get rid of ya or wanna give you second thoughts. Or ‘cause I think you’re a whore and not worth the effort. It’s just the way things work. I’ve been around enough to know nothin’ lasts forever."


Luke was agreeing with him, and still he felt guilty, like he’d just kicked him when he was down.

This was why he’d worked so hard to keep things casual. Just wasn’t worth it, the hurting and getting hurt in return part of romance. His way was better and the sooner Luke understood that, the happier they’d both be.

And godsdamn it to all hells, why am I getting so worked up over this? What is wrong with me? Kid put some kind of spell on me, or what?

"Maybe you’ll want your own ship, go into business for yourself." He could see that happening all too easily; Luke had the kind of spirit and determination to make it happen. Might have to try him out in the left-hand seat some time, see what kind of pilot he’d make. Assuming Luke decided to stay on board beyond their first planetfall, of course.

He saw the beginnings of a smile quirking the corners of Luke’s mouth. There’s a thought makes you happy, kid, he thought, pleased with his own insight.

"Or maybe you’ll fall in love and settle down on some pretty world. Buy into the solid citizen, wife and kids routine."

What the hell was he doing anyway, babbling away like a fool, offering all these possibilities for the kid’s future, not one of which had anything to do with him? No wonder Luke thought he was trying to push him out an airlock.

Luke shook his head quickly, vehemently… thoughtlessly. "Nope, not that." Conscious certainty showed in his eyes.

At least the kid was talking to him normally now. He grabbed on to the moment of solid reality in an ocean of entropy and hung on to it like a lifeline. "Too much like your aunt and uncle, huh? Never appealed much to me, either."

Luke frowned. "Not the settling down part, I mean, when I’m old, like 30 or so, maybe I’ll be interested in settling somewhere."

Han winced at the age reference—his thirtieth birthday was already behind him—but Luke didn’t seem to notice.

"I mean the wife and kids." He shrugged helplessly. "That’s not… what I want. Never wanted that."

Han grinned and seized on that as a safe topic. Well, all right, at least a safer topic. He’d always been attracted to both sexes, but knew plenty of folks had a clear preference. Obviously Luke fell into the latter category.

"No females need apply, huh?"

"Right. It just doesn’t work for me." Luke slid the arm that wasn’t trapped between them around his neck and pulled their faces close. "I guess you like women?"

Oh, hells, just one more thing for Luke to worry about. That some woman’s gonna show up in my bunk. S’pose I should lie to him, but I can’t. I just… can’t. Lie. Not to him.

His belly tightened up again, readying for the gut-punch of rejection.

"So it’s been known to happen, kid. But right now I’m with you and there won’t be anybody else long as we’re together." That was a promise he’d made to himself long ago; more than one lover at a time made things too damned complicated. He didn’t cheat on his partners, not in business, not in pleasure.

Luke looked long and hard at him, maybe hunting for the truth in his face, the truth behind those words. Maybe he was weighing the odds on what he wanted against the effort and deciding if he wanted to take the risk. Han wasn’t sure—hadn’t quite figured out how the kid’s mind worked yet. Wasn’t ready to predict what Luke might do…

And was taken by surprise again when the twitch abruptly claimed his mouth. His kiss wasn’t at all gentle or tender, more like he was staking his claim to whatever fidelity and future Han could offer him. He opened under the demanding assault, let Luke take what he wanted and hoped it was enough for him, for both of them.

"Good," Luke murmured when he finally drew back. " ’Cause I’d hate to have to sic Chewbacca on you."

You’re such a godsdamned smart-ass brat, Luke. Bein’ with you is gonna be one hell of a ride.

Luke yielded further into his embrace, no longer quite so stiff and unresponsive.

Don’t get cocky, Solo, he still ain’t said what he’s got in mind.

"So, you still stayin’ here tonight? Or should we go ‘n clean out your cabin?" Resigning himself to getting vertical, more labor… and probably a sleepless night spent reviewing ‘what ifs’—a pointless exercise he thought he’d banished from his life long ago.

Kid hesitated so long Han figured it had to be bad news.

"I want to stay… tonight, Han."

He couldn’t stop the grin that pulled up from somewhere close to his toes. Smiling with his entire godsbedamned body.

"But for tomorrow… well, like you said, no promises." And turned on his side, back to Han, as clear a signal as he’d ever sent to any of his former lovers. Demanding everything be on his terms—or not at all.

Damn! Luke’s action slammed into him like a swoop hitting full revs. He hadn’t expected that, hadn’t wanted to see and hear Luke barricade himself behind the same kind of fortifications that’d served him well for so long.

Didn’t feel so wonderful to be on the receiving end for a change.

Took a deep breath and reminded himself that this was exactly what he wanted anyway. "Works for me."

Yeah, right, works for me. "No promises." One night at a time, that’s how they’d take it.

He shivered suddenly and grabbed the sheet, pulled it up to cover them against the now chill air and spooned himself around Luke. "Go to sleep."

S all right, kid, go to sleep. ‘N maybe in the mornin’ I can show you how nice it is to wake up Corellian style.

For as many mornings as I can hang on to you.

No, no matter what kind of face he put on things, it wasn’t gonna be much fun when the time came to go their separate ways.