Lilliya stood out on the small balcony letting the soft Endor breeze play with her golden hair. It was messing up the tight braid she had done, and normally would be annoyed by that, but didn’t care this time. Something felt odd today. Something in the air. She couldn’t pin point it, as usual. Whenever she felt something odd, something odd happened. Whether it was bad or good. Sometimes she could tell if it was a bad feeling or a good feeling. But most of the time she couldn’t. This was one of those times.
It just felt odd. Maybe it was the way she was feeling towards her father.
It was that feeling again. The feeling that something was coming. That something was about to happen. And soon.
Her skin crawled all over and she shivered, though it was hardly considered cool out. It was one of those warm-but-humid days.
Thank the stars for the breeze.
Reaching at the top of her constricting silver jumpsuit, she unzipped the front to her chest, exposing her neck, collarbone, and ivory skin. And lying there against her sternum was the glistening crystal. The sun hit it brightly, allowing the crystal to shoot it’s own rainbow colors of light dancing across her bosom and face. The sun felt warm and inviting and Lilliya smiled, ignoring the nagging dark thought in the back of her mind. Right now, she didn’t care. It was a beautiful day and that was all that mattered at the moment.
She closed her eyes and absorbed everything around her: the scent of the green trees, the movement of the air, the sound of distant animals busy with their own lives, the taste of the sweet and pungent vegetation.
Yes, it was a good day.
“What’re you thinking about?” Jenar’s voice came up from behind.
Normally, any person would jump at the sudden intrusion, but not her. She already knew he was there. She could feel his presence. It was unexplainable, but she could always feel his presence.
“About what a nice day it is,” she answered quietly, waiting for him to stand beside her.
He did. And looked out into the forest with her.
“It is a nice day. But Endor always has good weather. What makes this day any different?” Jenar asked. He had already changed into his normal black shirt and cargo pants, so the breeze could filter through him easier.
Lilliya opened her eyes and focused her attention on the ground.
“Nothing,” she said tiredly. “It just is.”
Jenar smiled at her. He loved how simply she put things. No reasons, it just is.
“So, how’s dear-old Dad?” He turned to look at her.
Her attention shifted away from the nature now, leaning her elbows on the balcony.
“He’s too hard on me,” she said.
“Ah,” Jenar sighed. “Well, he’s commander-in-chief and you’re his daughter. Of course he’s going to be hard on you. He wants you to be the best. I wish he’d be a little harder on the rest of us.”
“No,” Lilliya smiled wryly, “that’s my job.”
“Oh, yeah,” Jenar gave a little laugh, “I forgot.”
Lilliya allowed herself to laugh with him. Jenar was truly the only friend she had whom she could relate to and talk with. She could be herself around him and not have to feel that she had to put on a show of strength for him like she did around the others. It was a shame, this wall or mask she hid herself behind. She was grateful for Jenar, that there was such a person she could open up to.
“You’re thinking again,” Jenar broke in.
Lilliya barely flinched and turned to look at him.
“Yeah, I’ve been doing that a lot lately.”
“I’ve noticed. Not another premonition again, is it?” Jenar’s expression turned very concerned.
Lilliya wasn’t even thinking about that nagging thought in the back of her mind, but Jenar seemed to, once again, easily pick it out.
“I don’t know, or at least I don’t think so,” she answered, looking away.
“Yeah, you know. You always know these things, Lil. Sometimes I think you’ve got Jedi power in you. Maybe you should enroll into that Wayland Institution.”
Now Lilliya forced her sarcastic laugh. “No way! I am not going anywhere near those creepy monk-like things. Besides, Dad would freak.”
Jenar shrugged. “Well, I don’t think they’re creepy. But you’re right, Admiral Daddy would disapprove.”
Lilliya remained silent.
Jenar took the opportunity. “Still . . . you do display signs of the Force.”
Lilliya had it with this topic. She never did like these Force/Jedi discussions Jenar seemed to have a knack for bringing up. For some reason, it set her off in “annoyed-mode”.
“Whatever,” she waved her hand indifferently. “You can think whatever you want. I don’t care.”
Jenar fought back a sarcastic comment and smiled at her way of defense. She always did this when they talked about an uncomfortable topic.
“Oh no! Don’t you start avoiding now,” Jenar said, trying to make eye contact with her. He knew how uncomfortable she got when he looked her straight in the eye. And he also wanted to see the color of her diamond scar, knowing that it’ll give away her, otherwise, well hidden emotion. “Maybe you are a Jedi, Lil, and you’re just hiding from your own power.”
“Blah, blah, blah! I’m not listening,” she said, covering her ears and moving farther down the balcony.
“Don’t do that, Lil,” he followed her, attempting to get in front of her path. “You’re just gonna hide behind that mask of yours again.”
“Whatever. I don’t want to hear it,” she spoke, side stepping him the whole time.
“Well you’re gonna. You’ve got the Force. I know, I’ve read about it on the holopad. I’ve read about the symptoms—“
”Symptoms? You make it sound like a disease,” Lilliya laughed.
“—and that some of the signs include premonitions. You have them all the time. And so far all of them have come true.”
“They’re not premonitions because I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I just get a tingly feeling and that’s all. Maybe it’s got something to do with the air or weather,” Lilliya said determinedly.
“That’s only because you’re not trained. If you were trained, then you could pin-point whatever you’re feeling. And it has nothing to do with the weather,” Jenar said, finally stopping her and looking her straight in the eye.
Lilliya fought against her smile, which resulted in her mouth twisting in different shapes. She thought this whole topic was ridiculous and she wanted so badly to laugh, but knew that Jenar had always taken this seriously.
“Okay, Jenar, whatever,” she said, the smile peaking through.
“Don’t ‘whatever’ me,” Jenar said, allowing some humor to come into his voice.
“Whatever! Whatever! Whatever!” she laughed loudly.
Jenar’s stern expression remained. “Lil, you—“
”How do you say whatever in Huttese?” Lilliya asked, completely side-stepping the entire topic. Jenar could speak a bunch of languages and knew that he’d get lost in it if she asked him to translate for her.
“Not this time, Lil,” Jenar said stubbornly.
“Aw, come on, Jenar. How do you say ‘whatever’ in Huttese?”
“You’re avoiding the topic.”
“So?” Lilliya said, then turned away to look out towards the forest again.
Jenar sighed. Obviously she wasn’t going to talk about herself and the Jedi, and he definitely couldn’t make her. Defeat number . . .
Jenar stared at her back in frustration. Then gave up and answered, “It’s not exactly the same slang meaning you’re looking for, but it’s close enough: del’chlamen.”
Lilliya turned around and leaned up against the balcony railing. Then she repeated him with her infamous sarcastic grin, “Del’chlamen.”
Jenar couldn’t help but smile at her. She was such a child at times. But that’s what he loved about her . . . that and other things. Yes, he knew he loved her, would do anything for her, would die for her. But that love seemed to be somewhat stuck. She was a stubbornly independent woman and she decided when she’d fall in love. And it obviously wasn’t any time soon. So Jenar had to sit and wait patiently until she’d turn around. Maybe it wouldn’t happen for a long time, and maybe it wouldn’t happen at all. He only hoped that she would someday and that they would still be around each other when it happened. But this was a sore subject that he didn’t like to think about often, even though sometimes he couldn’t help it.
“How long did it take you to learn all those languages?” Lilliya asked.
“Only about five years starting when I was eight,” Jenar answered, a little disappointed that she avoided the previous subject.
“Why?” Jenar raised an eyebrow.
“Yeah, why would you want to learn all four of those languages when you can have a translator droid or something?”
“Because I didn’t want a translator droid. And because my father wanted me to be educated in translation for the sole purpose to not need a droid to do all the work. He also figured the Vong would destroy all machinery,” Jenar said, shrugging uncomfortably. “I only remember certain basics now. Phrases like ‘how are you’, or ‘what is your name’, ‘I love you’, things like that.”
“Hm, can’t imagine a Hutt saying ‘I love you’,” Lilliya commented.
“Well, they don’t say it very often like we humans do. But when they do say it, they mean it with all their heart. It’s simply that they don’t abuse the phrase, I guess I could say,” Jenar explained.
“Hm, well that’s interesting,” Lilliya sighed, her focus becoming distracted.
Jenar noticed. “You get bored too easily.”
“I’m not bored!” she defended, for she really wasn’t.
“Well you look like it when your eyes glaze over like that.”
“Sorry if I was thinking about something,” Lilliya over exaggerated her words.
“You prod too much. I’ll tell you when I feel like it,” Lilliya said stubbornly, only giving a half smile.
Jenar laughed loudly and said something in Huttese.
“What did you say?” Lilliya whirled on him.
“I said, al lechufeon marahl,” Jenar smiled secretively.
“Okay, well you’re gonna have to translate that in Basic for me.” She stood with her hands on her hips.
Jenar shook his head. “Nope. You’ll have to look that one up.”
“What?!” Lilliya’s eyes bugged out. “I’m not going to do that? Come on, Jenar, tell me what you said. Was it an insult? Because if it was—“ She readied to smack him.
Jenar raised his arms up defensively and laughed nervously, “No, no. It wasn’t an insult. I promise.”
“Then what was it? Tell me!” Now she was really aggravated.
Jenar just smiled at her, and said teasingly, “You prod me too much. I’ll tell you when I feel like it.”
“Oh! You are exasperating!” she huffed. Whirling away from him, she left him on the balcony, fighting the urge to tackle him.
It didn’t last for long. Soon enough she was back, and tackling him to the ground.