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A Course to Steer By

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They headed back to the Crest as darkness fell, urgent and silent, the rush of their breaths masked by breezes through the tall grass. Triska’s head was swimming. Heat prickled at the back of her neck, every movement of her legs sending an echo of want thrumming in her core. To a stranger, Mando might have looked distant, even distracted- but she felt the catch of his glove against her thigh-plate, the touch of his gauntlet against her own. He didn’t break contact with her once as they journeyed back to the ship.

Once they were inside, Mando sent the crib up to the cockpit and ushered her through to the crew quarters, closing the door behind them. He still hadn’t spoken, but she could hear ragged breaths through the vocoder.

Suddenly she felt his hand on her shoulder, spinning her around, crowding her until her back-plate clanged against the hull. His thigh pressed between her legs and she reached out, fingers curling around the edge of his neck-guard, suddenly desperate to feel the heat of his skin.

“Ner verd,” he growled, rolling his hips against her. “Wait-”

She stumbled forward slightly as he pulled away, turning to pick up the strip of cloth she’d used as a blindfold last night. He ripped off his gloves impatiently, and for a moment she caught sight of his hands- large and powerful, marked with old scars- before he was covering her eyes.

“Get this off,” she reached for the fastenings on his pauldron, but he caught her hand. “Mando, what-”

“This armour will save our lives, many times. It must be treated with respect. I will show you…” his breath hitched, fingers closing on the straps of her cuirass… “how to remove it.”

He pulled her forwards, into the centre of the room.

“First, the gauntlets.”

He guided her hands to the beskar at his wrist, tracing her fingers along the release mechanism. She pressed down until she heard a click, and the cuff fell open. She did the same to his other arm, and felt him turn to place them carefully on the table beside them.

“If you had a helmet, that would be next,” he continued, and her stomach swooped as she heard the tell-tale hiss of Mando removing his own. “Now, let’s take care of you…”

He took each of her arms in turn and removed her gauntlets. Like the others, these were laid gently on the table. Triska’s heart was pounding. She opened her mouth to speak, then gasped as she felt Mando lift her arm with his naked hand and press an open-mouthed kiss into the soft flesh of her wrist.

The heat of his breath was searing as he sighed throatily against her skin; she felt her knees threaten to buckle when the tip of his tongue traced up towards the base of her palm. 

“Mando…” she traced her fingertips along the rough line of stubble at his jaw.

“Din,” came his voice, close to her ear as he turned and rested his cheek against hers.

“Huh?”

“Triska… my name is Din.”

She stopped, processing what she’d just heard. Then, as she had last night, she reached up and smoothed her hands gently over his face: the fine creases at the corners of his eyes, the bump along his nose, the pulse that raced at the edge of his jaw.

“Din,” she breathed, feeling a smile tug at the corners of her mouth even as her eyes stung with tears. His forehead touched against hers, his hand reaching up into her hair, and then finally, he kissed her.

She melted into the plush softness of his lips; the simmering heat of his breath as his tongue met hers. Their chest-plates separated her from his body, and she pawed ineffectually at the plane of beskar in front of her.

“Tell me,” she gasped against his mouth, not willing to break the kiss. “Tell me what to do.”

“Here-” he guided her hands to his pauldrons, his own fingers shaking as he released the catches on hers. When he turned to set them down on the table, she took advantage of his exposed side, fumbling with the straps of his cuirass.

Din unstrapped the last of it and lifted it over his head. She heard the clunk of it hitting the table, a little less reverentially than the earlier pieces, and grinned as his mouth found hers hungrily again. Now she was free to slide up his under-shirt, clenching inside as she felt the hot expanse of muscled flesh, traced with rough seams of scar tissue. Din let out a soft, dizzying gasp, twitching under her touch, before ripping off the under-shirt entirely and twirling her around.

“Hey, what-” she laughed breathlessly, almost losing her footing, then heard the scraping sound of a chair being pulled up in front of her. Din sat, then reached out and tugged her by the hips, pulling her in between his legs.

“Raise your arm.”

His voice was low and rough, striking a harmony with the deep, insistent thrum of emptiness growing at her core. She did as he said. He yanked hurriedly at the straps, cursing under his breath as he struggled with the smaller catches.

Din pushed up her under-shirt, the heel of his hand smoothing along her stomach and over her ribs. She pulled it over her head along with her bra, placing her hands on his shoulders to steady herself. For a moment, neither of them moved. She could feel that his head was tilted up, just looking at her.

“Mesh’la…”

The heat of his breath sent a shiver across her skin. One hand slid up her back and he kissed a burning trail down her stomach, towards the waistband of her leggings. His other hand grabbed her ass and squeezed hard, pulling her into him. She moaned softly, fingers carding through his hair as his head pressed into the crook of her thigh.

“Gar cuyir jatisyc,” he growled, breathing deeply, scenting her. “Ni linibar…”

Triska moved to raise her knee between them, expecting him to start working on her thigh-plate, then let out a surprised yelp as he surged to his feet. He lifted her up, holding her against his chest as she wrapped her legs around his waist.

With one sweep of his arm, the meticulously-placed armour went clattering to the floor and Triska was laid onto the table. She arched up from the cold metal surface, a dizzying contrast to the furnace-heat of Din’s body rolling against her.

He kissed her greedily, sucking her lower lip into his mouth. She felt the hard swell of his erection pressing between her legs and gasped, canting her hips upwards. Din made a soft, breathless sound in the back of his throat and ducked his head. Moments later she heard the rip of fabric as he tore her leggings & underwear, and then-

“Ohhh…”

Her head tipped back at the sensation of his fingers, broad and strong and perfect, stroking through her folds and circling her clit. Her legs fell open, thigh-plates clanging against the table-top. She could feel the muscles trembling in his arm as he braced himself above her; could smell the clean warmth of his hair as he mouthed a breathless trail across the curve of her breast. She moaned again as his hand moved against her, sliding two fingers into her aching, empty cunt.

It was so close to what she needed; he flexed his wrist and pushed in deeper, smoothing the pads of his fingers against her walls and tilting up into the pressure of his thumb on her clit. She grabbed at the broad, shifting plane of his shoulder blade, trying to pull him upwards, towards her.

“Din, I’m ready- please-”

She felt a shiver pass down the nape of his neck. He rose over her until she could feel the heat of his breath on her face.

“Say it again,” his voice rumbled in her chest. “My name.”

“Din…”

He traced her lips with his fingers, still wet with her slick; the scent of her arousal on his skin was dizzying. He licked into her mouth, and then his hand was on the inside of her thigh, pushing, and the thick heat of his cock was spreading her open, filling her.

“Triska… ner cyare…” he’d ducked his head, breaths trembling against the hollow of her throat. She traced her hands through his hair, guiding him back to her kiss, wrapping her legs tight around him until his hips rocked into her again.

She’d almost forgotten how good it felt; how much better it was than chasing her pleasure alone in a cold bunk. The solid, heavy presence of him grounded her. She felt calm- safe- even as her heart kicked at the animal scent of his need.

They moaned together, building into an undulating rhythm, faster and deeper each time. The edge of the table clanged against the hull and she reached back, pushing against the cold curve of metal. She was so close, and it had been so long: she was like a thread unspooling, ready to be pulled taut. At that moment he reached under her, spreading his palm across the small of her back and tilting her hips upwards and oh-

“Din, I’m gonna-”

White lights sparked across her vision as the pleasure burst and shimmered through her core, cascading along every nerve from the top of her head to the soles of her feet. She felt Din thrust into her a few more times then shudder, his shoulders dropping as his head fell against her chest.

“Cyare,” he said again, whispering into the crook of her shoulder. “Ner cyare.”