A grim satisfaction settled into Khessya’s heart as she watched Jakarro’s ship fly away. She had shown little restraint fighting those slavers and her old Masters would frown at her willingness to deal death but there were men and women on Rishi who were now free of their chains and their relief was well worth it.
It was time to head back to Raider’s Cove and give Lana and Theron the news. She frowned, puzzled at her eagerness to do so then slightly shook her head. This was neither the time nor the place for self-reflection.
She turned to Zenith who was observing the horizon. “Back to town?”
Zenith nodded. “Before, Jedi. A word?”
Khessya’s frown deepened. It had been a while since her friend had called her by her title instead of her name. This was serious. “Of course. What’s on your mind?”
Zenith looked up for a second, the way he always did when trying to find the right words, before catching her eyes. “About that SIS guy…”
Khessya felt a pang of… something she couldn’t quite name. This wasn’t a subject she felt ready to discuss. “If you mean to remind me he’s a spy and can’t be trusted, I already know that!” Her tone had been harsh, more than she had intended.
Zenith shrugged. “’Course you do. You’re not stupid.”
She raised an eyebrow. “What is it about then?” Still harsh, but much less so.
Zenith’s expression switched to that almost-smile he sometimes had when talking with her. “You. You act different around him.” She frowned again. “Nervous. Almost shy. Your guard down.”
Khessya looked down, feeling her cheeks blushing. Theron had a way of making her feel comfortable yet uneasy at the same time just by being there. She hadn’t realized it showed.
Zenith shrugged, catching her eyes again. “Don’t think anyone noticed.” He looked up again. “Feelings for him?”
Khessya crossed her arms, almost wrapping them around herself. “I don’t know. Maybe…”
Zenith nodded. “Thought so.” He shrugged. “A spy, true. But respects you. A lot. Shows in his eyes.” He frowned, deep in thoughts for a moment. “Might even care. Not sure.”
Khessya gave Zenith a bewildered look. This had to be the most disconcerting conversation they’d ever shared. “I-“
He shook his head, interrupting her. “Just. Careful, Jedi. Situation like that. Can’t watch your back!”
Khessya looked her friend in the eyes, the disbelief turning into gratitude, and offered him a rare, warm smile. “Thank you, Zenith. I will.”
He returned her smile with his almost-one then turned his gaze back to the horizon, to Raider’s Cove. “Good. We head back? Or you need someone else dead first?”