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She tried. She really did. But no matter how hard she concentrated on the tools and projects laying before her, Amae’s mind was not on the task at hand. Nope. Her mind was out the door and down the hall where El and Isaac were practicing.

“That’s it.” She laid her tools aside and wiped her hands clean. “She invited me to come.” She gave one last look at the fuel injector laying on her work bench. “I don’t want to be rude.” A slight huff and a few butterflies later and she was on her way down the hall. “We aren’t desperate for a fuel injector anyway.”

Amae winced as she approached the door to the make-shift gym. Isaac let out a yelp which was quickly followed by a loud thud. She was sure he was lying face up on the floor. That’s my girl. Amae smiled as she walked in the room. The energy in the well-lit room was palpable. Every fiber of her being came alive as she watched the two wrestling for dominance.

“C’mon old man! You can do better than that.”

Isaac grunted as he tried to roll the younger woman off of him.

“When did you get so strong?”

He hooked his arm around her shoulder trying to find leverage but it was no use. Finally, as he glanced around the room for something, anything to help him, his eyes landed on the one thing that would give him the opening he needed.

“Hey Amae…”

The mechanic smiled and waved at the duo and that’s all it took. Isaac felt the moment El relaxed her hold and he made his move. He bucked his hips and swung the woman off him and quickly pinned her to the floor.


Isaac let out a little chuckle as El struggled to free herself. He should have thought this through. There was no way El was gonna lose now that Amae was in the room and watching. A hard elbow to the jaw and a well-placed knee allowed El to regain her footing. However, Isaac was left doubled-over, hands on his knees gasping for air.

“Illegal move, El.”

Amae couldn’t take her eyes off of Elida. The sweat rolling down her brown skin, the way her tank top clung to her body. Her chest rising and falling with each labored breath. The way her curls stuck to her neck. She licked her lips and swallowed. Hard.

El glanced at the mechanic and back to Isaac.

“You really wanna talk about illegal moves right now?”

Isaac couldn’t help but laugh. He knew he was busted.

“I had to do something...nothing else was gonna break your concentration.”

The two friends shared a knowing grin.

“So…who’s winning?”

Amae smiled as two heads turned in her direction. Both out of breath. Both stubborn. Both cute…one more than the other in Amae’s eyes, which were focused on the object of her affection.

Isaac straightened up and watched as El made her way to her water bottle.

“I’m okay if we call it a tie. How bout you El?”

Amae watched El swallow. She couldn’t help but follow the trail of water that escaped those gorgeous lips and was currently charting a course south. Oh, to be a drop of water.

“A tie it is.”

El raised her water bottle in a toast to the outcome. Isaac was a great sparring partner. He knew exactly when to give and when to take. And apparently, now, he knew her greatest distraction. They had had each other’s back for years. And no matter what they faced; in the end their friendship was even stronger. They were more like siblings than anything. And so, Isaac enjoyed teasing the pilot.

“Why don’t show Amae some of your moves, El?”

And with that Isaac grabbed his towel and headed out the door. A sneaky grin crossing his face.

“Ummm... I…”

Elida just stared at the door as it closed shut. She looked over to Amae and smiled. Her nerves about to get the better of her.

“You…want to…”

El motioned to the mat and was surprised to see the look of excitement that crossed the mechanics face. Her heart skipped a beat as Amae began unzipping her jacket.

“I would love to see some of your moves.”

El couldn’t stop the grin that slowly spread across her face. Are you flirting with me Amae?

The taller woman pulled her jacket off and tossed it on the floor. El tried not to stare at the tone body before her. Amae was wearing a tight, deep blue t-shirt that hugged her body perfectly. Her toned arms with her beautiful markings made the former queen almost swoon. She needed to gain some self-control. Quickly.

“You sure you’re ready for this?”

El took a fighting stance and waited while Amae did the same.

“You might be surprised what I’m ready for…your majesty.”

Amae arched a single eyebrow and in that moment, the shorter woman wondered if she wasn’t the one unprepared. One look. One smile from Amae and she was disarmed and ready to surrender.

“Let’s do this.”

They circled each other slowly. Arms reaching out…testing the waters. Amae made the first move, charging in. Elida quickly spun to her left and grabbed Amae from behind. Forcefully pulling the taller woman against her. One arm around her waist, the other around her neck. They had never been this close and both women shook from the intensity of the feeling. Amae could feel the strength in the warm arms wrapped around her. And yet there was a gentleness that told her El would never hurt her.

El’s breath was hot against her neck while her body molded itself against Mae. So compact. So solid and yet so soft. They stood there. Just breathing each other in. Feeling their bodies move in perfect time. Soon the sparring grip loosened. El’s arms slid around the mechanics waist. Amae relaxed and melted into the embrace.

Amae slowly turned to face the woman who held her and her heart. She smiled as she noticed the little gold flecks in the shorter woman’s eyes.


Amae placed a finger against the lips she wanted to kiss. The lips that were now smiling back at her.

“El…I surrender.”

And with that, both women slowly leaned forward. The sensation of their breath mingling was intoxicating. Amae loved the way Elida smelled like sweat, cinnamon and leather. It felt like she had waited a lifetime for this moment. Elida had never felt butterflies before. But here she was, trembling with excitement. Wanting nothing more but to taste those beautiful lips so close to her own. Nothing was going to stop her…

“Hey guys, I forgot my…”

Once again, both Elida and Amae jumped apart. Isaac cringed from the death glare he was receiving from El.

“You know what…I can get it later.”

Isaac had enough sense to quickly exit the room without another word. He was sure he would get an ear full later.


“Don’t say another word.”

Amae held on to Elida’ strong hands. She’s shaking.

El thought she might melt right there in the middle of the floor from the smile Amae was giving her. They leaned forward and rested their foreheads together. The almost kiss not forgotten but the moment once again broken.

“Tomorrow. Dinner in my room. I’ll cook and you bring the drinks.”

El felt a goofy smile crossing her face. Is this what falling in love feels like?

“What time?”

“5 o’clock. Don’t be late.”

With that Amae pulled away and grabbed her jacket. If she didn’t leave soon, she wasn’t sure she would get away without smothering the gorgeous scavenger in kisses. Not that that was a bad thing. But she had a plan. And that plan did not include any more distractions, interruptions or greasy work clothes or sweaty bodies. Okay. Maybe sweaty bodies…at some point.