Of Scavengers and Smugglers - Chapter 2

Of Scavengers and Smugglers - Chapter 2

Of Scavengers and Smugglers Ch. 2

Rey awoke first the next morning, still snuggled in Jakson’s arms.  As she began to regain consciousness, a huge grin spread across her face as she began to remember the events of last night.  This man, one of the only kind souls she had ever met in her life, had deflowered her in the most wonderful way imaginable.  She had been nervous as hell the whole time, but he was nothing short of patient, reassuring her of her beauty every time she began to doubt herself.  It was all beyond her wildest dreams.

Kissing his chest, Rey whispered, “Good morning, Jak.”

Jakson stirred, rubbing his eyes awake with his free hand.  Finally opening them, he seemed a bit surprised to find a nude Rey lying in his arms.

“Wow… I didn’t dream that?”

“Only if I dreamed the exact same thing.”  Glancing at her makeshift clock on the wall, Rey was startled awake.  “Holy shit, did we oversleep!”

“Great sex’ll do that,” Jakson replied with a laugh.

“Well then, guess it wasn’t a total waste of time.”

The pair rolled out of bed, gathering their clothes strewn about the floor and dressing themselves.  As Rey tied her hair back up in her triple buns, Jakson broke a polystarch muffin in half and grabbed a couple of pieces of vegmeat, handing one of each to Rey.

“Breakfast of warriors.”

“Cheers,” Rey agreed, drinking a sip of water.

Sitting at the small table, Jakson’s expression began to turn rather serious.  “Um, I know it’s pretty shitty of me to only just now think of this, but… what do we do if you get pregnant?”

Rey beamed, touched by his concern.  “That’s so sweet of you, Jak.  You show far more consideration than any pilot or trader would have.  They'd have left in the middle of the night without even a second thought, I'd wager.  But to your concern, I doubt there’s any risk.  I am familiar with human biology, and I know that my cycle just ended three days ago.  If I hadn’t known that, though, I’d have been far more careful last night.  You and I both know what the Blobfish would do to you if that happened.”

“Fuck, you’re not kiddin’.  Guess we outta be careful all around.”

“Agreed,” Rey said as she stood.  “That starts with you going north of here for about a kilometer before you start your day.  Nothing but sinking sands out there, nobody to see you and suspect anything.”

“Will do.  Now then,” Jakson continued, pulling Rey onto his lap as she giggled, “when do I get to see you again, pretty lady?”

“Well, someone did promise me a game of holochess.”

“My place at sundown?”

“Sounds delightful,” Rey purred, kissing him for several long seconds.

*****

The rest of the day passed as if Jakku had fallen into a black hole.  Rey was so excitable that she nearly tripped a few times while scavenging inside a Rebel troop transport.  Jakson could hardly get any work done, spending much of the afternoon staring at the various parts scattered about his worktable.  All the while, visions of Rey danced through his mind.  Forcing himself to focus, he managed to be productive for around an hour and a half, until he finally saw that the day was beginning to end.  After a quick trip to town for food, he raced back home for a shower and shave before Rey arrived.  As the sun began to sink below the horizon in the distance, he spied a makeshift speeder heading his way.  He exited out the back service hatch, the only operational entrance to the shuttle, and waved to Rey as she arrived.

“Took you long enough,” he shouted.

“No shit!  This day took forever!” she replied, hopping off her speeder.  “Have a tarp for my ride?”

“Better.  Bring it around the side of the shuttle; I blew out the wall to one of the cargo bays and covered it up.  Plenty of room in there for your ride and my bike.”

After storing Rey’s speeder, Jakson brought her into the shuttle proper, showing her the spacious living area.  A decent sized table sat in the middle with a couple of chairs around it, as well as a few seating areas located around the edges of the room.  Jakson could tell that she was impressed.

“Quite nice.  Far more elegant than most Imperial ships I’ve seen,” she remarked.

“I should hope so.  This was the primary transport for all the Empire’s highest-ranking officers.  Vader and Palpatine themselves had their own personal shuttles even nicer than this one.  You hungry?”

“Famished.  It’s been a hell of a long day.”

Jakson stepped over to his food pantry and pulled out a couple of ration packets, solidifying the polystarch muffins and placing all the food on a pair of plates.  Meanwhile, Rey poured a couple of glasses of cold water, setting them on the table.

“I tell ya, what I wouldn’t give for a prime cut of nerf steak,” Jakson mused.

“I’ve never had it, but I can’t imagine it being anything short of succulent,” Rey agreed.

“You have no idea…” After staring off into space at the mental image of such a luxurious meal, Jakson soon snapped back to reality.  “So, uh, I don’t think I ever asked about your story, Rey.  How’d you end up here?”

Rey grimaced before answering.  “There’s… not that much to tell.”

Seeing the pain in her eyes, Jakson said, “I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to bring up bad memories.  You don’t have to tell me.  Though, I hope you do know that I won’t judge you for anything you do feel up to telling me.  That I can promise.”

Sighing, Rey nodded.  “It was fifteen years ago.  I was just five years old when my family left me here.  I don’t know why.  All I know is that they had to leave, and I couldn’t come with them.  So, Unkarr Plutt took custody of me, trained me in the art of scavenging.  But even though they left me here, I know my family will be back, one day.”

Though Jakson admired her strength and ability to hope, his heart broke for the poor girl.  She had been through so much pain and suffering through no fault of her own, yet still managed to hold out hope that she would be able to escape one day.  He wracked his brain for some way to help, but nothing came to him in those moments.

“So… I remember those scratches on the wall of your home.  Are they?”

Rey nodded.  “Yep.  One for every day I’ve been here.”

Jakson reached across the table, brushing his hand against hers.  “I’m so sorry.”

Rey shrugged, saying, “It can’t be helped.  I can only do the best I can with the knowledge and resources I have available.”

“Have you ever thought about leaving?  I mean, going out into the galaxy and looking for them?”

“To what point and purpose?  I wouldn’t know where to begin.  No, when they come back for me, I’ll be here waiting for them.”

Seeing her mind was set on this matter, Jakson immediately sought to turn the conversation to more positive thoughts.  “Ok, time for my revenge on you, little lady.”

“Ooh, someone thinks they’re gonna whip my arse in holochess, eh?” Rey asked, her eyes immediately brightening.

“Nah, I’ll go easy on ya.”

“That’s your first mistake, lover.”

The pair adjourned to the seating area in the corner, a curved sofa surrounding Jakson’s holochess table.  As the match began, both proceeded cautiously, each feeling out the other’s strategy.  Rey struck first, taking out one of Jakson’s advancing soldiers.  Jakson was quick to retaliate, managing to take two of her monsters down in a row before Rey could develop a defense.  The match continued at those numbers for some time, until Rey finally managed to pin down two of Jakson’s monsters.  Analyzing each of their positions, he decided to sacrifice the stronger one.  The other would have a prime opening to attack in the coming turns.  Jakson fell back into a defensive setup at that point, drawing Rey into a trap.  As her numbers dwindled over the next few turns, she finally conceded defeat.

“Ok, I admit it.  You’re damn good at this.”

“When one travels amongst the scum of the galaxy with the Irving Boys, one learns out of necessity to be able to game and gamble with the best of ‘em.”

Sliding around the couch to sit close to him, Rey flashed a mischievous grin.  “Good thing we didn’t wager anything ourselves.  I can’t imagine how you would take advantage of me if we had.”

“Wanna go double or nothin’?” Jakson fired back with a smile.

“Hah!  You wish.  I know damn well when I’m beat.”

“Smart girl,” Jakson mused.

“Smart enough not to kick you out last night.”

“Like I said.”

Drawing Rey closer to him, Jakson wrapped his arm around her shoulders, pecking her forehead with a soft kiss.  Rey responded by laying her feet up on the sofa and resting her head on his shoulder, running her fingers through the back of his hair all the while.  Yet all too soon, she began to feel friskier, and moved her hand towards his pants.  A few gentile touches, and Jakson's cock began to harden.

“Someone knows what she wants,” Jakson teased her.

“You bet your gorgeous arse I do.”

Tilting her face upward, Rey planted a long kiss on Jakson’s lips, teasing his cock with her fingers the whole time. As they made out, Jakson decided he wanted more control this time around, especially seeing as he had yet to give Rey an orgasm of her own.  Wrapping his arms around her torso, he flipped her to lie on her back on the sofa as he knelt over her.  Rey yelped in surprise at the sudden change, and couldn’t suppress her giggle fit at his playful use of control.  A quick kick of her legs, and she pushed the holochess table out of their way and removed her boots in the same motion.  Her laughter began to turn to moans of pleasure as Jakson’s tongue returned to duel with hers.  He soon broke their kiss, beginning to blaze a trail of soft, tiny kisses down her body, first on her cheek, then her jawline, then her neck, down to her exposed shoulder, and finally her midriff.  Slipping his hands into her belt, he soon unbuckled it and opened her wrap.  After several long seconds of teasing this area, he slid his fingers into the waistband of her pants, pulling them down and off her body.  Now at eye level with her moist pussy, Jakson slowly kissed his way up her inner thigh towards his target.

“Wha… what are you doing, Jak?”

“Well, if you must know, Rey, I plan to eat your pussy and make you scream at the top of your lungs,” Jakson chuckled.

“Y-you don’t have to-”

“I want to.  I want you to experience an orgasm, and I want it to be by my hand… or maybe my tongue.”

“But that’s completely unnechooooooooly shit!”

Rey felt a jolt of electricity pulse through her entire body as his tongue touched her womanhood.  He began by tracing the outline of her lips, circling around from the top to the bottom before finally returning to the top.  Jakson then spread her lips, gazing into her sweet pussy and inspecting her clit with his tongue.  Rey’s hips began to buck, but he simply held her in place with his arms, allowing him to stay on target.

“Oh god… Jak, you’re… incredible…” Rey moaned.

Jakson said nothing, just smiling to himself as he continued his worshipping of her.  He savored the tangy juices now flowing from her slit, feeling every little twitch of her magnificent body.  Rey now held onto the sofa cushions in a death grip, trying to keep her hips still, and even wrapping her legs around Jakson’s head for stability.  Finally deciding that she had been tortured enough, Jakson eased himself upward and focused all his attention on Rey’s swollen nub.  Using an old trick he had learned from a particularly experienced bedmate of his in the past, he began to use his tongue to trace the Basic alphabet on her clit.

“H-H-HOLY FUCK, DON’T STOP!!!” Rey exclaimed in surprise.

Jakson kept up his oral assault, knowing she was close to exploding.  As he reached the end of the alphabet, Rey had released the sofa from her grip, placing her hands on his head in a way that seemed to beg him to make her cum.  With a huge grin, he took her clit in his mouth and sucked gently.  The stream of expletives flowing from Rey’s mouth soon became nothing but unintelligible babbling.  As her body tensed up as stiff as a board, Jakson finally sent her over the edge by blowing a jet of cool air onto her clit.

Rey unleashed a bloodcurdling scream of ecstasy, cumming long and hard and coating Jakson’s face with her juices.  Every time she thought it had subsided, her body felt a spasm that sent her over the edge again and again.  Finally, after almost a minute, she finally fell limp on the sofa, and the rise and fall of her chest slowed to a normal rate.  Beaming with pride, Jakson sat next to her, admiring his handiwork.

“You… are something else… Jak…” Rey panted.

Moving to lie next to her on the sofa, Jakson whispered, “Don’t think I’m done with you yet.  Not by a long shot.”

“Wouldn’t have it any other way,” Rey said with a smile, kissing his lips.  “Huh… I don’t taste half bad,” she observed.

“No complaints here.”  Sliding off the sofa to his feet, Jakson scooped Rey into his arms.  “Thought you might want to get more comfortable.”

Arriving in his bedroom, Rey was surprised to find that his bed was quite large, big enough for two people.  Jakson deposited a half-naked Rey on the bed and began to remove his own clothes.  As he disrobed, Rey looked on with lust in her eyes and finished removing her belt, wrap, and tunic.  Soon, both were completely nude, and Jakson joined her under the soft sheets.  They kissed for several long minutes, Jakson allowing Rey to take the lead, as she was still likely recovering from her earth-shattering orgasm.  Soon, she felt her passions bubble up within her once more, pushing Jakson onto his back and pinning him with her body weight.

“Um, would it be ok if I… repay the favor?” she asked.

Smiling, Jakson replied, “I’d enjoy that thoroughly.  But don’t feel that you have to; there’s no quid-pro-quo here, Rey.”

Rey said nothing more as she began to work her way down his body, kissing his neck and chest for quite some time.  Her light touch was perfect for Jakson; everything this girl did drove him crazy.  The fact that she had kept her hair tied back was quite an erotic sight, especially considering what she was about to do.  Finally, Rey arrived at his pelvic region, and began stroking his cock as she inspected it.  She was a bit intimidated by its size, but not enough to prevent her from diving in headfirst.

She began by licking his length from top to bottom.  Rey found that she immediately liked how hard he was, knowing that she was the one causing such reactions.  After reaching his tip, she continued licking him as if he was a piece of candy, wetting every angle of his engorged member.  As Jakson’s breathing and moaning became more obvious, Rey took him in her hand and held him straight up.

“Please let me know if there’s anything I need to do… or not do,” she said.

“Just avoid the teeth, but other than that, it can take a significant amount of stimulation without it being hurt.”

Jakson’s eyes widened as Rey began to take him in her mouth.  She started slowly, sucking only about two or three inches of him, but soon became bolder, engulfing about five inches of his total length.  At first, she only sucked on him, looking up into his eyes for confirmation that she was indeed doing things well.  Jakson grinned right back at her, nodding in affirmation.  After several minutes of this, he suggested a change of pace for her.

“Try swirling your tongue as you suck,” he whispered.

“Mmmm,” Rey moaned with excitement.

Continuing her sucking, she began to swirl her tongue as he suggested, applying copious amounts of pressure as she did so.  Jakson had the bed sheets in a tight grip, working to stave off his orgasm as best he could.  After all, he didn’t want to surprise the poor girl and scare her off from doing this again.  Rey was completely engrossed in his cock, gazing at the object of her desire as she pleasured him.  Soon, Jakson tapped her forehead, signaling he wanted a break.

“Everything alright?” Rey asked.

“Fantastic.  But I want more than just your mouth,” Jakson replied with a grin.

Lying next to him, Rey untied her hair buns and kissed him again, whispering as they parted, “I’m yours.”

Jakson flipped her onto her back, pinning her down with a passionate kiss.  Rey moaned and squirmed under him, turned on by his sudden exercise of dominance.  The pair maintained their lip-lock as Jakson moved his saliva-coated cock into position.  He at first only teased her entrance, but Rey was having none of it, reaching down and gripping his cock to guide him into her beckoning tunnel.

“See?  This is where you belong, Jak.”

“Oh fuck…”

Jakson began thrusting at a methodical pace, feeling every inch of her tight little pussy wrapped around him.  Rey was in complete bliss, and who could blame her?  She had just lost her virginity the night before, and now the man that had deflowered her was showing her everything the world of lovemaking had to offer her.  As he continued fucking her, Rey cradled Jakson’s face in her hands, never once allowing her gaze to leave his.

Soon, his thrusting became more labored and frenzied as their passions increased.  Coming up on his knees, Jakson stretched one of Rey’s legs out straight, resting it on his shoulder.  Her eyes bulged at the new sensations this angle created, already feeling another orgasm building within her.  He must have sensed this, as he reached down with his other hand and began rubbing her clit with his thumb, jacking her off as he fucked her.

“Fuck, fuckfuckfuck…” Rey gasped.  “You’re… evil…”

“Why?  Because I want to feel you cum on my cock?  Well, if that makes me evil… guilty as charged,” Jakson replied with a wicked smile.

“Just… don’t stop… whatever… you doOOOOOOH HOLY SHIT!”

“There it is!” Jakson shouted with pride.

Rey had completely lost control of herself.  The combined sensations of his cock and his hand seemed to collide into a single bolt of lightning coursing through her body.  She came faster than she ever expected, her juices leaking out around Jakson’s cock and dripping onto the bed sheets.  And yet, as much as her pussy was trying to force him to cum, he was still not done with her.

“I like… this… position…” Rey panted as she finally came back down from her high.

“Ditto. Wanna try another one?”

“What do you have in mind?” she asked in anticipation.

“On your knees, from behind.”

Rey grinned at his naughty suggestion and carefully slid off his cock, turning over and coming up on her hands and knees.

“Like this?”

“Almost. Stick your ass up higher and arch your back downward; coming down onto your elbows might help with that.”

“So… like this?”

“Perfect,” Jakson beamed, gazing upon her gorgeous backside. Rey’s ass was tiny and well toned, as was befitting her athletic body. Yet it still had just enough meat to jiggle when she stuck it out like this.

“Jak… you gonna stare all night, or you gonna do what you promised?” Rey pleaded.

“Just taking it all in, dear,” Jakson shot back.

Jakson moved himself into position, aligning his rock-hard cock with her dripping slit, and pushed into her. He felt his eyes bulge at the sensations of this new angle. Rey’s pussy was rather tight, being that she was a virgin until yesterday, but she felt even more so from behind. Hearing her gasp and seeing her body twitch at the reintroduction of his cock only heightened the eroticism of the experience. Slowly burying himself within her, Jakson finally sheathed his full length inside her, pausing for a moment to allow her to adjust.

“I’ll go slow,” he reassured her.

“T-thank you…”

Tempted as Jakson was to grab hold of her slim waist and pile-drive this gorgeous girl, he managed to restrain himself.  He knew damn well how appreciative she would be of a long buildup to another orgasm. His motions were smooth and methodical, and he adjusted his angle as he went to explore every inch of her pussy. These adjustments turned into Rey’s favorite part, as he was able to hit many of her pleasure zones in the process. Soon, Rey could once more feel her desire for more begin to well up within her.

“A little harder please,” she whispered.

“If you insist,” he replied with a grin.

Jakson made his thrusting to be about the same speed, but now more forceful, placing his hands on Rey’s ass cheeks for stability. Her moans of pleasure increased in reply to this, as well as from the highly erotic feeling of giving complete control over to him. He could do anything he wanted to Rey at this point, yet she trusted that his concerns were for her pleasure and enjoyment. As she grew wetter, Rey began to push herself back against him, aiding in his thrusting and continuing to hit her most sensitive spots.

“Faster?” Jakson asked, picking up on what she was doing.

Rey could only nod in reply, as she was edging closer to her third orgasm. With a huge smile, Jakson took hold of her waist and held her still, pounding her pussy at a feverish pace. Her squirming increased with every movement he made, and he was fast approaching his own big finish. Moving his arms around to Rey’s flat stomach, he guided her to prop herself up on her hands, cradling her torso against him.

“You close, Rey?”

“Yes… yes, just a… bit… more…”

Jakson took great pleasure in fondling her perky breasts, pushing through the cramps in his legs and thrusting into her full force. Feeling his excitement starting to overwhelm him, he began kissing his way up her back in an attempt to drive her over the edge once more before he exploded.

“Holy shit… that’s… hot…” Rey moaned in pleasure. “If you keep… that… up…”

“You’ll cum?” Jakson replied huskily. “That’s the idea. Cum for me, Rey. I want you to. I love feeling your pussy latch onto my cock. You know you want it. You know you need it. Do it. Cum all over my cock.”

“Oh, god… holy SHIT! YESSSSSSSSSSS!!!”

“Yes, yes, yes, YES! HOLY FUCK! REYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!”

At last, the two lovers climaxed simultaneously, their screams of ecstasy echoing through the tiny room. As they panted and recovered from the experience, they caressed each other, causing a series of aftershocks that prolonged their orgasms. All the while, Rey remained impaled on Jakson’s cock, wiggling her ass every so often to tease him all over again. Finally, they collapsed onto the bed with Rey spooned in Jakson’s arms.

“We should… probably set a timer of some sort,” Rey purred. “Can’t afford to oversleep tomorrow.”

“Aww, why not?” Jakson whined with a grin. “Got big plans or something?”

“Something like that,” Rey giggled. “Unkar Plutt is going to be working on that freighter you brought him tomorrow and asked for my help. Lord knows the old Blobfish will need it.”

“True. Alright then, I’ll set an alarm for 0600 standard time. That work?” Jakson replied, reaching over to his nightstand.

“Sounds perfect. Now get back over here and get your arms around me, or I swear I’ll put my clothes back on.”

“Ok, ok! No need to resort to drastic measures!” Jakson said with a laugh.

Cuddling back up with Rey, Jakson touched the panel on the wall above his bed to dim the lights. Pulling the covers over them, he planted a few soft kisses on her neck as he began to fade in and out of consciousness.

“Night, Rey…” Jakson whispered.

“Night, Jak,” Rey agreed with a contented sigh.

*****

“I’m beginning to wonder if this trade was even worth it…” Unkar Plutt grumbled.

“You don’t think she can be saved?” Rey asked from the engine area.

“It's possible, but I doubt I’d break even in the process.  Might be better just to scrap it for parts.”

“Maybe so, but… wait, hold on!  Got something here!”

“What did you find?” Plutt asked, peering down through the hole in the floor.

“This ship’s been modified in several areas, as we’ve seen, but I just discovered the crown jewel.  The standard hyperdrive has been replaced with an SSP05!”

“Noted, but hardly groundbreaking.  The SSP05 is reliable, yes, but is still only a class 1 hyperdrive unit.”

“Not this one,” Rey replied, sticking her head up with a huge grin.  “This isn’t a standard SSP05; it’s a modified Vandangante style, able to hit 0.5 past light speed.  That’s twice as fast as most Rebellion and Imperial warships in their heyday!”

“Just as he said…” Plutt mused.  “That settles it.  If I can get this piece of garbage working again, I’d easily make my money back, and then some.”

Pulling herself out of the engine hold and back onto the main deck, Rey asked, “So, what’s the name of this ship anyway?”

“No idea.  A previous owner completely wiped the ship’s logs.  No record of where it’s been or what it’s seen.  The only identifying marking is the designation YT-1300 492727ZED.”

“Interesting.  Perhaps this ship was used in the Galactic Civil War?  Maybe its logs were wiped to protect a turncoat or a spy?”

“Numerous scenarios exist, each as plausible as the last.  Ultimately, my only concern is repairing it enough to be able to sell it.  That’s it.”

“Alright, where do we start?”

“Let’s check the cockpit,” Plutt replied, sauntering down the hallway towards the helm.

Following after him, Rey couldn’t help but let her mind wander a bit.  She couldn’t stop thinking about Jakson.  His strong arms, playful disposition, and sweet kisses, he was like no one she had ever met before.  Every moment she spent with him made her happier than she ever thought she could be in her life.

“Oh!” Rey gasped, tripping on the doorframe to the cockpit.  Her arm shot out, catching herself before she face-planted to the floor of the ship.

“You alright, girl?” Plutt asked from the pilot’s chair.

Rey replied, “Fine.  Why do you ask?”

“Well, I’ve noticed over the last day or two that you seem… distracted.”

“Do my ears deceive me?  Unkar Plutt showing concern for another living being?!”

“Don’t flatter yourself, girl.  You’re merely my most reliable source of usable parts.”

“Well I can assure you, I am not distracted.  This is Jakku.  There’s nothing here to distract me!”

Pausing a few moments, Plutt replied, “Good.  So I shouldn’t be concerned about why your speeder was nowhere to be found at your home this morning.”

Shit!  What was he doing at my home?!

Thinking better of it, Rey didn’t acknowledge or deny his statement, asking, “When did you come by?”

“My men did, around 0600 standard time.  You appeared to not be home, but they did not approach.  You’re notorious for your security traps, after all.”

“They must have just missed me.  I got an early start this morning, did a bit of scavenging before it got hot.  I figured I’d be here most of the day.”

Plutt now turned in his chair to face Rey.  “Do not mistake me for a fool, girl.  I also got an anonymous tip about a visitor to your home the night before last, said a speeder bike was riding in your direction.”

“If you have something to say, I suggest you just say it,” Rey fired back, her defiance growing.

“What I have to say is that you of all scavengers know my rules in Niima Outpost!” Plutt roared.  “Each resident knows to stay away from my best source of income.  Why, then, would you be having a late-night visitor?”

The game was up.  Plutt knew something was going on, and there was no use playing coy anymore.  “Because, frankly, what I do and who I associate with in my spare time is not your concern.  I work for you, but you do not own me.  In fact, you need me.  As you yourself said, I am your best source of income.”

“None are indispensable,” Plutt growled back.

“Perhaps not, but you might be well served to allow your best worker to be happy and content in her private life.  She would then be more likely to work harder for you during the day.  I understand your anxiety for your income; it is a reasonable concern.  However, you know damn well how capable of defending myself I am.  Thus, one can only assume that if I do strike up a friendship with someone, it is of my own choosing.  That’s all you need to know about that.”

Unkar Plutt studied her face with intent for several long minutes.  He saw the defiance in her eyes, and knew there was no changing her mind on this.  Finally, he whispered, “Just make sure your productivity does not wane.  For if it does, your new ‘friend’ had better watch his back.”

“I think you know me better than that.”

Snorting, Plutt replied, “Fine then, sit here and look at these diagnostics from the ship’s hyperdrive.  It’s powerful, yes, but in quite rough shape.”

Studying the screen Rey asked, “Has this thing ever been maintained?  I mean look at this.  The energy is fluctuating in the motivator like crazy, that can only mean the power core would surge if the ship were taken into outer space.  In its current state, I’d wager this would trigger a chain reaction leading to a fuel leak and poisonous gas flooding the ship.”

“Hmm, it appears you may be right.  I have just the part that might fix the problem: a compressor.  Place that on the ignition line, and that should solve it, I’d wager.”

Rey was about to point out that this was a cheap shortcut with no guarantee of lasting success.  Their conversation a moment ago convinced her to bite her tongue in that moment.

“I can get that for you.  Where is it?”

“Go to my concession stand, ask my men for the compressor located on my workbench.  They’ll know the one you mean.”

Rey nodded and exited the ship, heading back towards town.  Alone at last with the ship, Plutt admired the controls at the helm, quite pleased at his acquisition.

“Soon, my friend.  Soon, you'll travel the galaxy once more.  You are now mine… my Millennium Falcon…”

*****

As Jakson waited at home, his stomach grumbling from hunger, he began to get worried about Rey.  It was well after dark, yet she still hadn’t shown up as she had said she would.  Finally deciding he had waited long enough, he prepared a ration packet, devouring it in record time.  As he finished, he heard the sound of a vehicle approaching the rear entrance of his shuttle.  Not chancing an ambush, Jakson drew his Bryar pistol and cracked the door open, peering out into the night air.

“Jak, it’s me,” he heard a voice say.

“Rey!  About time!”

Swinging the door open, he welcomed her with open arms, scooping her up in a tight hug.  She seemed rather tepid, barely returning his affections.  He could sense her hesitation and returned her to her feet, looking into her soft, hazel eyes.

“I was getting worried.  Everything ok?”

“Um… I’m not sure,” she replied, biting her lip.  “Can we go inside?”

“Of course.”

Back in his living quarters, Rey relaxed on a sofa, sighing from her long, weary day.  Jakson kept his distance for the moment, pouring a couple of glasses of water for them.  After handing one to Rey, he sat next to her in awkward silence for a few minutes, allowing her to make the first move.

“He knows,” she finally said.

“Who knows?”

“The Blobfish.  He knows,” Rey explained.

Jakson was stunned to near silence.  “H-how?  How does he think he knows?”

“His men walked by my place this morning, noticed I wasn’t there.  Someone also spotted you traveling in my direction the night before last and tipped him off.”

“And… how did you respond?”

“Started off by trying to play it cool.  Said his men had just missed me, that I had gotten an early start.  He didn’t buy it.  Started lecturing me about the rules of Niima Outpost.  So I reminded him that he needs me, as I am his best source of income, to use his words.”

“Did that work?”

“Somewhat,” Rey replied.  “I don’t think he’ll do anything yet, but he did say I had best not let my productivity drop.  If it does… he’ll come after you.”

“I’m not afraid of him, Rey.”

“Don’t underestimate his influence in this town.  He owns all the muscle this region has to offer.  In all honesty… it may be best to… end this.”

Studying her face, Jakson asked, “Is that what you really want?”

“No!” Rey exclaimed.  “But, if something were to happen to you… I could never forgive myself.”

Jakson wrapped her in a tight hug, running his fingers through her brown hair.  “Rey, I can’t make you stay.  You know that.  But I’m here with you right now because I want to be.  You make me happy, Rey, happier than I’ve been in years, and I’ll do anything it takes to keep from losing you.  If that means helping you scavenge, repair parts for you, whatever it takes, I’m in.”

A tear began to roll down Rey’s cheek at his reply.  None of this made any sense to her.  Why would anyone go to such lengths… just for her?  As she pondered this over and over, she peered deep into Jakson’s eyes, searching for answers.

“Why?  I don’t understand?”

Seeing her desperate expression, Jakson knew there was no going back.  He didn’t want to scare her away, but knew he was in danger of losing her nonetheless in that moment.  He had to lay everything on the table.  After several long seconds, he found the courage to speak.

“Because… I love you, Rey.”

He had said it.  She had heard him say it, yet Rey still couldn’t fathom it.  She stood in stunned silence, a look of disbelief on her face.

“I’ve… I’ve fallen for you, Rey.  Hard,” Jakson continued.  “You were abandoned on this planet by your family, and nobody would have blamed you if you allowed this wasteland to bring out the worst in you.  But you… you managed to use it to bring out the best in you.  Rey, you built yourself up into one of the strongest, most down-to-earth people I’ve ever met.  You kick ass, you can fly with the best of ‘em, and you can even repair things as well as I can!  Rey, you’re exactly the kind of woman I’ve always dreamed of meeting.  Now that I’ve found you, I’ll do whatever it takes to be with you.  I mean if that’s not love, I don’t know what is.”

Rey had begun crying once more, but now cried tears of joy and happiness at his admissions.  Still, as touched as she was by his true feelings, and as much as she desired to reciprocate, doubts lingered in her mind.  She was always guarded and cautious in the interest of self-preservation, but this was different.  After all, this man had taken her virginity two nights ago and was now professing his love for her.  Yet she couldn’t bring herself to say it back, despite feeling the same way.  Choking back her tears, she finally heaved out a few words.

“I… want to be with you too, Jak.  I’m just… not ready to say what… what you just said to me, and… I need you to be ok with that.”

Jakson gave a sweet kiss to her forehead.  “Take as long as you need.  I’m patient, and you’re worth it.”

“Alright then,” she said, wiping the tears from her eyes.  “Now, what do we do about the Blobfish?”

“I think the answer’s obvious,” Jakson replied.  “I won’t let him control my entire life, so we just need to be sure your productivity stays at least at the level it’s currently at.  My suggestion would be some sort of tag team system to maximize both the amount of spare parts we find and their value to Plutt.  Now, I’ve learned a lot as a scavenger in my time on Jakku, but you’re far better at finding spare parts than I am.  That’s why I propose a complete split to the work.  You focus on finding usable parts out in the Graveyard of Giants while I focus on cleaning and repairing all the parts both of us have collected.  What do you think?”

Thinking a few moments, Rey finally replied, “It could work.  And if I’m always the one to deliver the parts to Plutt, that can only play in my favor in regards to being his most reliable source of income.  It won’t be easy, perhaps quite monotonous in all honesty, but I bet the Blobfish would leave us alone.”

“Then it’s worth it,” Jakson said with a smile.

“Alright then.  I’m in.”  Seeing how late it had become, Rey asked, “Wanna hit the sheets?  Been a damn long day…”

“Sounds perfect to me,” Jakson replied.  Wrapped in each other’s arms, the couple passed out the moment their heads hit their pillows.

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