No One Liners
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Scotland, UK
Current Game: SWOTR
Beryl flinched as Penni fumbled with the buttons up the back of her dress.
“Sorry,” he apologised. “Cold hands.” It took him a few moments, but finally he did up the last one. “There. That should do it.” He eyed her over. “You look nice. Green suits you.” He pulled thoughtfully at his chin. “Turn around.”
“Just turn around. So I can see how it looks from the back.”
Beryl raised a dubious eyebrow, but did as she was asked.
“Hmm. Very nice,” he purred. “And you can barely see where I put the plasti-skin on your…”
“Hey!” Beryl quickly covered her backside with her hand and whirled around to face him. “Okay, that’s enough ogling for one day!” she said, glaring at him. She shifted uncomfortably as Penni merely stared back at her, grinning a dimpled grin. “Right, so, thank you, nice meeting you, I’ve got to go now,” she said to him hurriedly, and she started for the door.
“Whoa, not so fast! Wait just a minute!” he said, barring the way out with his body. “One last thing.”
Beryl looked at him askance, and her fist began to close. “Look, I told you I wasn’t that kind of grateful."
“I know, I know....” He held up his hand in a peaceful gesture, then went over to the desk unit in the corner of the room and began to rummage through a drawer. “Ah. Here it is.” He held up a necklace with a small green stone in the setting. “Always knew I’d find a use for this. It belonged to….” He paused, and gave her a sort of sad smile. “Well, never mind. It'll look better on you.”
Standing behind her, he put the necklace around her neck. “There. That’s better. Every Nabooan woman wears some kind of jewellery no matter what her, erm….” He cleared his throat. “Professional qualifications may appear to be.”
Beryl frowned at him, feeling more uncomfortable than ever in the flimsy dress. “Do you practice at being so ‘endearing’ or does being a nerfherder just come naturally to you?” she said icily.
“It’s a natural talent,” he replied, grinning slightly. “Oh! Almost forgot!” He held up his hand for her to stay put, then moved to the door. He opened it, and whistled down the corridor. She caught a few murmured words, then Penni closed the door again, holding a package in his hands.
“Here,” he said, tossing her the parcel.
“What is it?”
“Well, open it and find out.”
Warily, Beryl did. “Shoes?” She lifted the high-heeled green shoes out of their box. “You bought me shoes?”
Penni shrugged. “Well, you can’t exactly go barefoot through the streets of Theed, now, can you?”
“Unbelievable,” Beryl muttered. She put them on. “And even more unbelievable. They fit.”
“Sent someone out with your remaining boot, to make sure they got the right size. You like them?”
She stared at him for a moment. “Why are you doing this?”
“Like I said, you can’t go around Theed bare….”
“No, not that,” Beryl interrupted. “Being so nice to me?” she asked suspiciously. “What’s your game?”
Penni shrugged. “Game? No game. Just want to help you out.”
“You don’t know anything about me,” she said. “I mean, I could be a Rebel spy or something.”
He cocked an eyebrow. “Are you a Rebel spy?”
“No,” she said flatly. “But that’s not the point. I could be. Why take the chance?”
He took a moment to consider before answering. “You remind me of someone I used to know.”
“Oh. I see. Old girlfriend or something?” Beryl said sceptically.
“No.” Penni paused as if debating whether or not to expand on his answer. “So, shall we go?” he said, changing the subject. “I can escort you outside the barracks, but then I have to go back out on patrol. But you won’t have any trouble getting through the main gate. Just drop my name if you run into any problems.”
Beryl nodded. She didn’t know quite what to make of this Imp soldier. He didn’t seem to fit the stereotype of what she believed an Imperial soldier should be like. “Lead the way.”
As they left the barracks, Penni hushed his men’s leering looks and cat calls. “Get back to your duties!” he snapped at them, with all the authority of a true and hardened sergeant. “I want this place shining by the time I get back! Now move it!” The soldiers scattered like a frightened herd of nerfs.
Okay, so perhaps he does fit the stereotype, she thought.
Outside, the barracks, Penni took hold of her uninjured arm, and gently spun her around to face him. Without warning, he kissed her. “Sorry,” he apologised. “Had to get something for my trouble. Plus, the men are watching.” He winked. “Take care of that shoulder, now. Maybe I’ll see you around.”
Even though she thought she probably should be angry at him for kissing her without her permission, Beryl couldn’t help but smile. “Not if I see you first,” she said. “And thanks, Penni,” she added quietly.
She headed in the direction of the main gate of the Imperial Base, giving a quick backwards glance over her shoulder at him as he headed for the swoop bike garage.
Veni, Vidi, Velcro. (I came, I saw, I stuck around)