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Awakened

By Connie Hutson

Adventure / Romance

Chapter 1

Jedi Knight Kyp Durron took another quick look at the large holographic clock that hovered in midair in front of a tall and thick spire jutting out of the middle of a vast meeting area. Surrounding it were countless beings of all shapes and sizes along with a few dozen shops and cafés, and two very popular restaurants that kept showing up on ads all over the planet. The scents around him, scents he couldn’t recognize and some he didn’t want to recognize, were all but intoxicating.

Kyp sighed. As was common for his best friend, Nikk Vox was late. Thirty minutes late. Sitting on a low bench made out of some expensive glossy material, Kyp couldn’t help but wonder what Nikk had gotten himself into this time. Because even if he ran late, Nikk would usually let him know – if he wasn’t otherwise…uh… preoccupied, of course.

Perching his elbows atop his knees, he watched as a large fountain spewed colorful water high into the air, lights at the bottom of the marble basin changing its hue every thirty seconds or so. It was a truly beautiful sight, although he thought the pink and blue holographic flitter flies were a little too much.

With another sigh on his lips, Kyp got to his feet and decided to send Nikk a quick message rather than wait until his Lordship thought Kyp worthy of his presence. Thinking not so happy thoughts about his best friend, Kyp rounded a tight corner and jumped down a short flight of stairs before weaving through a throng of people. On an average day he wouldn’t feel comfortable walking through such a vast group of beings, fearing that someone might recognize him. But today he chose to walk the city wearing stylish civilian clothes rather than Jedi robes. He’d even left his lightsaber back in the temporary quarters he shared with Nikk to keep up appearances. For all intents and purposes, he was an average human male out for a stroll.

Kyp wasn’t paying attention as he rounded another corner a bit too fast and suddenly ran headlong into a young woman. She was carrying a stack of data cards and they loudly clattered to the floor in front of her feet.

“Sorry.” Kyp said quickly, crouching low and hurriedly picking up the scattered data cards.

“This sort of thing happens to me all the time, so there’s no need to be sorry.”

It was her voice that made him slowly raise his eyes. She was kneeling on the ground in front of him, head bent low as she reached for the data cards. “I am officially a klutz.” She continued, oblivious to the fact that Kyp was openly staring at her. He was stunned. Her voice was absolutely mesmerizing. In fact, he thought he could listen to her talk for hours on end and he would never ever tire of her voice. “My brother once gave me this gadget thing that was supposedly unbreakable. Well, I accidently tore it up in under an hour.” She chuckled softly and looked up to meet his eyes.

And suddenly it was like time stood still.

She was beautiful.

Chocolate brown eyes twinkled in the warm sunlight. Dark brown wavy hair was bound into a messy bun at the back of her head. She wore standard civilian clothes that hugged her feminine form perfectly and her skin reminded him of a lighter shade of Corellian brandy. There was a smudge of dirt on the tip of her nose that made her that much more adorable.

Kyp forced himself to look away and handed her the rest of the data cards before they both straightened up. She had to tilt her head back a little to look at him and the smile she shot him nearly knocked him off his feet. “Thank you.”

He gave a short nod. “You’re very welcome.” And as an afterthought he added, “What’s your name?”

“Eliziya.” She answered quietly. “Everyone calls me Liz, though.” She paused for a moment then laughed softly. “I’d shake your hand but I might drop the data cards again.”

“Eliziya. That’s a beautiful name.” Kyp said and he honestly meant it. He could picture himself saying her name over and over again…it was just so lovely.

A slight blush colored her cheeks. “Thank you. And thanks again for helping with the data cards.” She smiled shyly and Kyp realized that she was about to leave. He didn’t want her to leave.

“I’m Kyp, by the way.” He said awkwardly, searching his brain for something decent to say.

“Well, Kyp-the-savior-of-data-cards, thanks for your help. I really appreciate it.”

Blurting out you can’t leave yet! wasn’t necessarily the smartest thing to do. He didn’t want her thinking that he was a complete idiot, or moreover a crazy lunatic. So he eyed the data cards precariously balanced on her arms in front of her. “Where are you headed?” He asked, reaching over and grabbing half the stack. He wouldn’t even give her the chance to refuse his help.

“Uh…” She frowned at him. “Coruscant Medical. But you really don’t need to carry those.”

“What if someone else runs into you and you have to pick them up all over again?”

Liz wrinkled her nose and wasn’t that just the cutest thing he’d ever seen?

“You might have a point there.” She smiled at him and that blush returned to her cheeks. “Thank you, Kyp.”

“My pleasure.” And just like that, he completely forgot about his meeting with Nikk.

***

Liz had to force her legs to keep moving even though her knees were like jelly. How embarrassing! First throwing the data cards to the floor and then having this drop dead gorgeous man help her out? Things like this just didn’t happen to her.

This was like something out of one of those romantic holoflicks – dreamy guy meets pretty woman and they live happily ever after. Only this was real life and real life often did not involve a happily ever after.

It was extraordinarily difficult not to stare at him. By the stars, he was so handsome. It was one of those moments Liz wished she could stop time so she could call her friends and give out every single detail – starting from the way his lips quirked up into a half smile, or the way his green eyes glistened, or the way his deep voice made a shiver run down her spine…

“I hope this isn’t too much of a hassle for you.” Liz said quietly, keeping her gaze straight ahead. Because the moment she looked back into those pretty dark green eyes, she would be a puddle of goo at his feet.

“Not at all.”

Oh, and that voice! He spoke with a touch of an accent she couldn’t place but by the stars, it gave that deep, velvety voice a whole lot of sexiness.

She cleared her throat as they weaved their way through a group of individuals on their way to the market area up ahead. Already she could hear the vendors yelling out their specialties for the day, different voices and different languages all at once. She made out a lovely piece of music from a Twi’lek vendor accompanied by two lithe female dancers; a very successful advertisement for the goods he sold.

“Are you from around here?” Kyp asked, having to raise his voice just a bit to be heard over the chatter and noise around them. Liz cleared her throat and smiled at him and as she had expected, looking into his eyes wasn’t smart. She tripped and nearly fell forward but she caught herself just in time and not a single data pad slipped from her grasp.

But she knew her face was glowing like a beacon. “Uh…yeah.” She answered a moment later. “Born and raised here on Coruscant. What about you?”

He shook his head, strands of thick dark hair falling into his handsome face. She took the moment to take a closer look at him. Straight jaw line, straight nose that gave him a sort of aristocratic look, full lips that lifted up into a smile as he caught her watching him. Liz hurriedly looked away, again feeling her cheeks flame up.

“Not from Coruscant.” He said, side-stepping a large Bothan male carrying his crying kids on both his arms. “I’m from a colony world in the Anoat system.”

Liz wrinkled her nose. “Sorry to have to tell you this but I have no clue where that is.”

He laughed and it was loveliest sound. “It’s pretty far away, actually.”

“So what brings you to Coruscant then?”

She stepped closer to get out of the way of a group of approaching Devaronians carrying bags of whatever they had bought at the market. Liz and Kyp descended a flight of stairs carved out of stone and touched down on the main market. The place was packed with beings, the vendors selling all sorts of foods and drinks, along with a multitude of spices from all over the galaxy.

“Work.” Kyp answered slowly, almost hesitantly, as they made their way through yet another pack of beings towards the small public transport up ahead.

“Sounds familiar.” Liz said with a slight smile. “I had to go through all these data cards for an assignment. Research is no fun especially when you have to do it alone.”

Kyp raised his brows. “Research for what?”

“I work at Coruscant Medical.” She put just a touch of pride into her voice. “I’m training to be a counselor, starting off as a social worker for cases mainly involving kids around the age of five. There are a lot of rules and regulations I have to memorize and you wouldn’t believe some of those paragraphs. Insanity, I swear.” She smiled. “But I think it’s worth it. Helping others…I guess I’d say it’s sort of my calling.”

Liz pursed her lips as she realized she was talking way too much and way too fast. “Listen to me go. I should learn to shut my mouth now and again, huh?”

“I like listening to you talk.”

She stopped as Kyp said this, eyeing him curiously. The tone in his voice had shifted downward, the sexiness factor therefore going through the roof.

And she was at a loss for words suddenly. Liz smiled and awkwardly managed to tuck strands of wayward hair behind her ear. They reached the transport pad a few minutes later, silently walking side by side. The transport wasn’t crowded, thankfully, and they found vacant seats right near the entrance.

“Do you always do this?” Liz asked with a smirk. At his questioning glance she went on. “Help out girls in distress?”

Kyp laughed and a lovely shiver ran along her skin. “Actually, no. I guess that makes you special.”

By the stars! She was melting. Instant gooey puddle. Had he any idea what he was doing to her talking like that?

She cleared her throat, thinking it best to bring reality back into the picture. “There’s nothing special about me. I’m just your average Coruscanti woman trying to make a living.”

Kyp shrugged. “Somehow I doubt that.” He winked at her and she couldn’t help the laugh bubbling up.

“You’re quite the charmer, aren’t you?”

Again that shrug. “I don’t know. Am I?”

Liz gripped the data pads a little tighter. Because holding something in her hands as tight as possible brought her back to reality, let her know that even though it felt like a dream, it was real. Sitting in a public transport with this beautiful man who was making her feel like she was so much more than she really was…by the stars, it was real.

“Yeah.” She answered softly. “You are.”


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