ALSO A WOMAN
Written by Gina Leeds
The turbo doors slid shut with a soft woosh.
Alone for the first time in many days, Princess
Leia Organa paced the length of the luxurious
chamber Lando Calrissian had provided for her.
Her initial feelings of apprehension and
skepticism about Lando and his Cloud City were
somewhat mollified. After their traumatic
escape from the Imperial Star Destroyers, the
passengers of the Millennium Falcon were in sore
need of respite.
The chamber was spacious and regally appointed.
The decor here, as in the rest of the mining center,
was elegantly simple and supremely functional.
Polished surfaces gleamed. A few brilliant islands
of color and texture constrasted dramatically with
the predominant stark white. Leia inspected the
suite of rooms with an appraising but appreciative
eye. The beauty of the place was like a balm on
her weary mind.
There had been so little time now for beauty
and for quiet reflection in her life. The
responsibilities she had taken on had consumed her.
Rubbing her temples, Leia gazed thoughtfully at
the hygiene area. A shower would definitely be
a step in the right direction!
As Leia skinned off her soiled fatigues, her
thoughts returned to the events which had led to
her presence here. Lando. She definitely would
reserve judgement on Han Solo's old friend. That
honeyed voice, those velvet eyes, that attentive
leer -- he *was* attractive, and he knew it. As
he led them through the corridors from the landing
dock, Leia had overheard him inquire of Han whether
seperate quarters would be required for Han and
the Princess. The audacity of the man! Leia
wasn't certain what irritated her more: Lando's
presumption, or Han's wicked grin as he loudly
asked for a private chamber!
Leia stepped into the hydrosonic shower and
set the adjustments for the warmest spray. The
water made her skin dance. She slumped with
relief against the side of the shower stall and
let the tingling spray re-energize her. Luke
kept coming to the front of her mind. However
uncertain her own position her in the Cloud City,
Luke, wherever he was, might be in far greater
danger. The sense of seperation from him had
been constant and nagging. The awe-stricken
farm boy from the sands of Tatooine had come
a long way since the day he had burst into her
Death Star cell --- and into her life. The
memory of her last meeting with him in the
medical complex on Hoth still tugged at her.
She remembered the earnestness in his eyes;
the smell of his skin; the taste of his lips.
Abruptly, Leia flipped the switch for the
drying cycle and was buffeted by a blast of
warm air. Impatient, barely dry, she stepped
from the shower. There was a full-length mirror
beside the stall. Leia paused, gazing
reflectively at the lithe image before her.
Han. Where did the Corellian fit into the
picture? Almost without thought, Leia's hands
rose to her breasts. That embrace on the
Falcon... She remembered the pressure of his
body against hers, the urgency of his mouth
and hands. Han. She shivered.
When Leia palmed the switch to the clothing
storage area, the door whisked obediantly aside,
revealing an impressive array of garments. Not
only was Lando admirably prepared, the man also
had taste. Leia selected a shimmering
floor-length white robe with long winged sleaves
and a plunging V-neckline. She wiggled into it
and released the dark coils of her hair.
Barefoot, her long hair and pristine robe
swirling, the last Princess of Alderaan's Royal
House swept out of her chamber and down the
deserted corridor. All of the chamber access
doors had two types of summons devices: a buzzer,
and a silent flasher. Aware that the occupant
of this chamber might be asleep, Leia punched
the button for flasher only. After a moment, a
familiar voice came over to the door intercom.
"It's not locked."
Leia pushed the release and the door slid
open. Han Solo, fully attired except for his
boots, reclined on the ornate bed. He lifted
himself up onto his elbow, a devlish grin on
"Well, it's the Princess! Should I rise,
"No, Captain...but you will rise when I
Something in Leia's tone wiped the smirk
off Han's face. He sat up, eyeing her
"Looks like you had a chance to clean up,
huh? How's your barracks?"
"Very adequate," Leia replied, approaching
the bed. The robe was iridescent, almost
translucent. Han made a leisurely and poorly-
concealed survey of Leia's form, tantilizingly
visible beneath the garment's sweeping folds.
"I like the outfit," he said wolfishly.
Then suddenly the words seemed not only
inadequate, but inappropriate. What began
as a leer on his handsome face transformed
itself into more of a bemused smile. He
leaned back again.
Leia stood at the foot of the bed, gazing
down at Han. Just when the silence had
discomfited him to the brink of speech, Leia
"I fear there may not be much time left to
us, Captain. I suggest you remove your
Han had always thought the expression
"my jaw dropped" was just a figure of speech
but he felt his own jaw snap down in suprise.
He looked up incredulously at Leia.
"Remove my... What in the name of the
A slight smile touched Leia's lips.
"Why, Captain," she responded calmly, "surely
a man of your experience can deduce what I am
Han bolted upright into a sitting position,
his expression filled with suspicion. "Just a
minute, Your Adoration. How come you
Leia interrupted, another gentile smile
softening her face. "Han, our position here
is precarious at best. On Alderaan we were
instructed from birth to banish despair by
seeking out beauty and pleasure."
Han's posture relaxed perceptibly. "Well,
I've been called a lot of things," he declared,
a cocky grin on his face, "but never 'Beauty' or
Leia had a strong intuition grasp of just
how hard she could push Han; what she intended
did, after all, require his voluntary cooperation.
She knew the point beyond which he would not
comply. But she also knew she had maneuvered
him into a position where he could not refuse
her now without forfeiting all future claims
for her attention. It was unfair, she realized;
but then, these were unfair times.
"Your trousers, Captain?"
Han's grin, less self-assured, was nevertheless
still firmly attached to his face. He reached
for the illumination controls on the headboard of
the bed, and the lighting in the room dimmed to
dusky twilight. Then he began to unfasten his
"Should I take off my socks, too, your
Horniness?" Han asked sarcastically, tugging
off his trousers.
"That won't be necessary, Captain," Leia
"And here I always took you for a romantic!"
Leia moved to beside him as he kicked the
pants aside. "Perhaps I am," she said.
"Yeah...what could be more romantic than this?!"
For a moment he leered purposefully at her,
covering his own feelings of vulnerability. But
when he realized just how intent was Leia's
inspection of his own body, his expression was
"Satisfactory, Princess?" he inquired gruffly.
Only someone who knew him as well as Leia did
would have seen Han was embarrassed.
Her only reply was to reach out with her hands
and cup him lightly. To mingled feelings of
helplessness, resentment, and relief, Han found
that his body and the Princess had achieved an
instant rapport that his mind and hers had never
Han started to reach for Leia, but she took
hold of his arms and clearly indicated he should
lay down flat. He complied, but his eyes fastened
their gaze intently on her face, filled with
"You see, Captain?" Leia chided him softly.
"I said you would rise at my command."
"Cute!" he snapped; but there was no malice in
Leia mounted the bed, straddling Han, the
glittering robe bunched like a snowdrift around
her thighs. He reached for her again, but again
Leia pushed his arms down. She touched him with
a devastating blend of gently innocence and slick
experience; and when she suddenly guided him into
herself, Han's breath left him in a soft grunt.
"Suprised, Captain?" Leia's voice was as honeyed
as the sweet syrup of the mangus fruit. "Or did
you expect me to be a shy virgin?"
"I didn't 'expect' anything, Your Venerableness,"
Han retorted. "After all, whose idea was this,
anyway?! If you..."
Whatever else Han had on his mind became
instantly unimportant. The movements of Leia's
body swept all other thoughts from his mind.
Moaning softly, he reached for her arms, and
this time she did not push his hands away.
"For years I have carried the burdens of my
responsibilities, Captain," Leia whispered huskily,
rocking over him. "But even a Princess needs
beauty... and pleasure. Even a Princess is also a
Han's hands grasped Leia's waist, then her hips,
as the intensity of her movements increased. The
white robe shimmered, gleamed. It hugged Leia's
breasts and sides, then fell away, then clung
again. It dazzled Han's eyes just as the tight
wet grip of Leia's body dazzled his senses. He
dug his fingers into the soft flesh of her buttocks,
as if by holding her tightly enough he could
prevent himself from falling over the brink.
Blood roared in Han's ears, his pulse pounding
so furiously that he did not hear her throaty
groan of orgasm; did not hear the name she chanted;
did not guess whose face she had fixed on behind
her tightly closed eyelids as she thrust her way
Panting, Han let his hands drop from Leia's hips.
He stretched his head back, his eyes closed, his
face flushed and perspiring.
Leia slid abruptly off the bed, pulling the
diaphanous robe around her legs. Her breath
still came rapidly, but she stood steadily on her
"Thank you for this pleasure, Captain. If you
ever mention this incident, I'll swear on the death
of my father that it never happened."
Han stared at her, stunned. But he could see
she was in deadly earnest. And Han Solo was nothing
if not adaptive. He was quick to grasp and accept
the essential realities of the situation.
He stretched his long naked legs, rubbing his
stockinged feet together like a contented cat. His
eyebrows arched in boyish innocence. "What
incident?" he asked owlishly.
Leia smiled. She punched the wall controls,
then hesitated at the opened door. Her expression
was strangely intense -- a look Han had never seen
before. "Perhaps, Captain -- if we are given the
Then she was gone, the white robe a glistening
swirl down the corridor.
Continued in THE FIRE BANKED