"Sure… Of course, Mr. Baker. However, the court has a statutory time limit within which they can decide about the case; unfortunately, I cannot speed it up… Yes, I will let you know as soon as I receive the judgment. Yes… Goodbye." Amilyn Holdo rolled her eyes and ended her phone conversation with her client, Christopher Baker. She hadn't represented anyone worse in her life. He constantly annoyed her with phone calls and meetings, demanded that the process be speeded up, even when it simply wasn't possible, and insisted on the price of her work being reduced or his opponents being arrested.
She leaned back in her chair with her hands behind her head and allowed herself to relax for a moment. There was an hour and a half left until the end of the official working hours and at least three until the end of the actual working hours. Attorneys never went home on time.
She looked around the room. Her office was located in a beautiful, glazed building. Each of the attorneys and trainees had their own office, but with glass panels instead of walls so that if necessary, they could just wave and one of their colleagues could come for a consultation or help.
There were currently two older people sitting in the office on the far right. Their hair was already blooming with silver, his more than hers — they were bowing their heads over some paper, so it was easily recognizable. But regardless of age, the twins Luke and Leia Skywalker were a huge name in the law world, and if any popularity awards were given in this branch, these two would have full shelves at home. The Raddus Law Office was founded by the two of them, together with Han Solo, Leia's ex-husband. It was expected that as soon as he would grow out of playing children's games and graduate, the fourth "ruler" of the office - the son of Leia and Han, Ben Solo - would join the three founders.
Ben actually graduated with honors from law school. Of course, he practiced in Raddus throughout his studies, as well as quite a few of his classmates. That given, it was an even bigger stab in the back when, after his successful bar exams, he set up - with his parents' money - his own office. It was called Supremacy. He lured a lot of Raddus' employees to him, and whenever he could, he indiscriminately rubbed against Raddus publicly and spoke with utter contempt. Of course, he didn‘t communicate with his parents; they were below his level.
Han never really recovered from this betrayal. Because of Ben, his relationship with Leia suffered a fatal blow that led to divorce. Han changed a lot. He eventually gave up his stake in the company and left. As far as Amilyn knew, the Skywalkers had no news of him either - the last time he had spoken with them was somewhere in Brazil almost three years ago. After the divorce, Leia threw herself headlong into work, winning several large, highly media-watched cases as an attorney, successfully overshadowing Supremacy for a time. Together with Luke, they also wrote and published a rather humorous book of experiences, tales and stories from their rich attorney career, Lawyers Really Suck Sometimes, which was popular even among ordinary readers. Supremacy was starting to compete against Raddus again, and Ben - who had changed his name to Kylo Ren, which he thought sounded more representative (Amilyn didn't share this opinion) - tried to drag Raddus employees to his side, but it was already rumored that he wasn’t exactly nice to people who worked for him, and his ratings haven’t been the best so far.
Amilyn turned her head thoughtfully to the other side. There were two men sitting in two offices in a row - one of them, Finn, was their trainee. Ironically, he came to ask for an internship after he ran away from Supremacy, utterly disgusted. He was young, hardworking and talented. She believed that in a few years Finn would be a successful attorney. For the most part, she was right in her judgments, whether they concerned colleagues or clients — after all, she had been in the company the longest time after the Skywalkers, and de facto stood with them at the office’s birth — but in one case, she had to admit to herself, her judgement was a far cry from right.
The case was Poe Dameron, sitting in the office behind Finn. He was gesturing something at him with a wide smile on his face.
The first, second, and even the fiftieth impression this flyboy gave were more like of a car racer who had accidentally wandered there. He ostentatiously ignored the rules of the dress code and was going to work essentially in a leather jacket; he was often arguing (especially with her) and stubbornly asserting his opinions, even though they mostly differed from the opinions of everyone else. At first, Amilyn didn't understand why Leia and Luke had accepted Dameron into an internship, and why in God’s name they threw him on her shoulders. But very soon she realized again why the twins are such big, respected animals in the law world. They could sniff out talent from miles away, and Poe had plenty of it. Testosterone sprayed directly from him, and he was aware of his attractiveness, but he used it very cleverly at work. Many of his opponents saw only a flyboy and a quickly won case. And they were always oh-so-surprised when Poe shot them down with harsh arguments, and on the contrary, it was him who left the court as the winner.
Around three in the afternoon, Leia, Amilyn, and Poe met in the kitchen to insert a regular dose of caffeine into their veins.
"Holdo," Poe said in his typical tone, pouring himself his coffee, "there's a fun fair in town."
"And?" Amilyn said.
"We should go. I’m inviting you."
The blonde smirked. "You're crazy. You know I have work to do."
"No, actually you don't," Leia interjected. "As far as I know, you’re only working on Baker’s case at the moment, and he's called - how many times today? Five times? Then he has already reached the daily limit. Go have fun, Amilyn. You always work."
"That's rich coming from you," Amilyn snapped, but Poe sipped theatrically from his mug.
"So it’s set," he winked at her. "When you’re done with the paperwork, I’ll pick you up." And then he returned to his office.
"Why did you do that?!" the attorney hissed at Leia. She put down her mug and looked as if she was thinking hard about the answer.
"I don't even know," she finally replied with a smirk on her face. "Maybe because you're circling around yourselves like little kids? Seriously, Amilyn. Just enjoy the fun fair with Dameron, one afternoon won’t hurt you. You don't have to be the attorney Holdo all the time."
"And you can be the attorney Skywalker all the time?"
"Stop comparing yourself to me. Plus, Luke and I are having dinner tonight." This time it was the blonde who smirked.
"So, when you're going to dinner with your brother, with whom you own this law office, and you won’t be dealing with anything else but work all night, you're not the attorney all the time, am I right?”
"Go," Leia kicked her out of the kitchen, laughing.
With a sigh, Amilyn returned to her office. True, she hasn’t visited a fun fair for many years. And if Dameron doesn’t have some stupid remarks, maybe she'll survive.
At six o'clock in the afternoon, he appeared in the doorway with a slightly cheeky expression.
"All right," Amilyn said, blowing a strand of hair from her face. "But you won’t get me to any monstrosity where one overcomes gravity thirty times a minute, Poe."
"You don't like flying?"
"I don't like flying upside down."
"Well, fine, I promise I’ll go there by myself. Come on. "
They walked out into the streets together. The September sun, sharp during the day, was leaning against the concrete blocks and burning the city even more, so Amilyn was quite pleased when they arrived just outside the city, where the fun fair was located, and she saw many bushy-crowned trees that provided plenty of shade for the steamy afternoon. There weren't that many people there yet, but she assumed the place was gonna be overcrowded in an hour.
"That's really very nice," she smiled. Colored light bulbs were hanging between the trees, and as it was getting dark, they gradually came on.
"I told ya," Poe said triumphantly. Amilyn wanted to walk toward the center of the fun fair, but he stopped her.
"Wait," he said. He took her by the shoulders and looked into her eyes. "Let's make a promise we’re not gonna talk about work, Amilyn."
"Okay, I promise," the attorney agreed, trying not to notice the tingling that ran down her back as he pronounced her first name. At work, they were addressing themselves as Holdo and Dameron for some reason. She had no idea why, but it must have been her idea from the time when she couldn't stand him yet.
"Here, my lady," Poe yanked her from her thoughts. He conjured a rose from somewhere. Not the paper one that could be shot down in one of the caravans, but a real, beautiful purple rose.
"Thank you," she breathed in astonishment, took the flower in her fingers and smelled it. "How do you know I like purple the most?"
"I didn't," Dameron - Poe - smiled mysteriously. "I was just guessing.”
"I don’t believe this."
"Or maybe I'm not as ignorant as you think."
"Poe," she also addressed him by his first name, "I don't think you're ignorant. I thought that in the beginning, when you were still a trainee. Hmm…” she thought about what she wanted to say next for a moment. "I'm probably pretty rigid because of the system. We all walk in suits; we address each other as colleagues; we are as polite as it gets to our opponents and rivals, even though we would love to claw their eyes out – at least some of them. Over time, this formal environment grinds everyone. When you came, it was a big change. I thought you weren't a good fit for the job, but you're a really great lawyer. I understand why Leia and Luke pulled you into the office right from school. I should have told you sooner. I'm sorry. "
"It's okay, Amilyn," Poe nodded with an almost imperceptible smile. "I understand why you feel that way. The truth is that I didn't want to study law; I just went there because my parents insisted on it, and I rebelled against everything and everyone because of that. This is where all of this came from," he tugged at his leather jacket. "Law only started to look as a serious job for me in Raddus, mainly because of you. I'm grateful to the Skywalkers for accepting me, but you taught me the most. Hey, since we won't be flying upside down, how about driving a car?” he pointed to the left.
Ten minutes later, they were huddled in a toy car, which was meant more for children than adults, and bumping into the other cars. Poe very well noticed Amilyn was enjoying it, and he wondered when it was the last time she'd enjoyed some day only for herself. The whole time he had known her, she appeared at work with iron regularity at exactly seven in the morning and sometimes stayed late into the night. Neither Leia nor Luke worked at such a killer pace. With a wide smile on her face, she was even more beautiful. He’d always liked her, but now a hundred times more.
After the cars, they walked freely through the entire area of the fun fair. Amilyn finally relaxed in Dameron's presence and began to really enjoy the free evening. Around eight in the evening, the air began to cool. The days were still warm and sunny, but it was the evenings that indicated that autumn was gradually creeping into the city. Poe was returning from the stall where a nice old woman was selling cotton candy, with a huge ball of cotton candy on a stick, when he noticed that Amilyn was shivering unknowingly.
"Hold it," he handed her the cotton candy. When the blonde attorney grabbed it, he took off his jacket, walked around her and threw it over her shoulders.
"You didn't have to," Amilyn smiled gratefully.
"And if you froze, who would scold me at work?" Poe replied with a smirk, but he couldn't help feeling satisfied as the blonde closed her eyes for a while, as warmth began to spill through her body.
"And do you know what else is effective for the winter?" Poe continued.
"Sugar. So whoever eats half of this cotton candy faster will win something. I don't know what yet, but we'll figure it out.”
"That's not true," Amilyn grinned, but she agreed to the bet. They walked to the sidewalk, so they didn't stand in the middle of the flowing crowd, and Poe set the cotton candy between them.
"3… 2… 1… go," he counted down, and they both took a deep breath and bit into the colored cotton. It immediately dissolved in their mouths. The battle for victory was even for a long time, but then Poe tore off a piece of cotton candy from Amilyn's half as his last bite. During the second before she could even catch what’s going on, he threw the wooden stick into the grass, overcame the last half step that divided them, and pressed his lips to hers.
Amilyn didn't expect anything like that at all, and at first she was paralyzed by shock. What? Poe, what… a broken bit of a thought flashed through her head, but then her body began to respond on its own. She pressed to him even closer, kissing him back. His several days old beard scratched her cheeks gently. And those kisses, for God's sake… She'd never had anyone who would kiss as well as Poe. They were literally stuck to each other, thanks to all the cotton candy, and Amilyn felt like she had cotton candy in her head as well. Only it wasn't pink, white, blue, or red, but it had Poe's face. She didn't even notice when she wrapped her arms around his neck, but since her fingers were now buried in his black hair, it must have happened at some point.
In the last shudder of self-control, she pressed her palms against his shoulders and pulled away. He smirked like a small child who was given a toy. Amilyn knew she should say something, ideally that awkward sentence about this being a mistake and never happening again, but instead, she just pointed with her head at the nearest amusement.
"But do you realize this is the last level before flying upside down?" Poe asked.
No ride can be more disarming than kissing you.
"Fortune favors the bold," she winked at him, heading for the cash register first.
The moment the amusement began to spin and sway, Amilyn no longer thought she was brave or bold, and her soul was literally squirming inside her. But when after a while she felt Poe's hand on her own, she opened her convulsively closed eyelids and looked around fearfully.
It wasn't that bad. Her brain had grown accustomed to the strange movement, so now she could see the whole irradiated fun fair nicely from above. Apart from the colorful light bulbs among the trees, all the carousels now shone; she could even see sparklers among the caravans, and a little further on she saw an art group dancing with fire. A spark flew around her eyes.
She couldn't help but squeal when they swung to the other side again, and she tightened her grip on Dameron's hand. Her hair was flying in the wind as if she was a superhero, and she could feel a very pleasant cologne from the leather jacket she was still wearing. In fact, Poe had always smelled good to her. She noticed the smell on countless occasions while he was leaning over contracts and testimonials.
"You okay?" Poe shouted so that he could be heard through the wind in her ears.
"Great!" she replied just as loudly, and she did feel that way.
The ride ended, and participants gradually scattered down from their seats, as did Poe and Amilyn. Poe held her hand gentlemanly — and for slightly selfish reasons too, of course — so she didn't hurt herself on the way down the stairs in case of some light-headedness. He couldn't help but notice how her eyes were glowing. He had a terrible need to tell her she was beautiful, but he didn't want to embarrass himself. But again, as so many times before, Amilyn proved to him that she absolutely wasn’t ordinary.
As soon as they descended back to the grass, she stopped him in the middle of a step. He was a little startled that she might be sick, but as soon as he turned to face her, she kissed him. Amilyn Holdo kissed him. Her kisses were still something unfamiliar to Poe, and it was reminded to him in that sweet, sticky episode. Amilyn kissed softly yet passionately, chastely yet like a predator; she was giving into him, yet wanted to lead. He clasped her hips in his hands and enjoyed holding a woman with whom he could bicker for hours, occasionally driving the Skywalker siblings crazy, with whom he was winning big and media-watched cases, with who they were supporting each other during public statements, and with whom he argued the moment the last microphone disappeared and the last camera was turned off, the woman he sometimes dreamed of…
They were running out of oxygen, so they let each other go.
"Fortune is still favoring the bold?" Poe asked.
“I think I like being bold," Amilyn replied with a smile.
"For how long?”
"It's up to you, flyboy."
"In that case, welcome, bold Amilyn Holdo. Dating me means unpredictable situations every day," Poe grinned, taking her hand.
“Wait! Who said anything about dating?” Amilyn looked at him askance, but she had to try really hard not to smile.
"Apparently. I don't buy cotton candy for just anyone, and I definitely don't share it. "
"Hmm… It's true that I don't go on crazy rides with strangers either."
"See!" Dameron threw his arms in the air theatrically. "Of course we're dating, Holdo." He gently took her chin. "And you want it as much as I do."
Amilyn leaned over. "But you'll explain it to Leia and Luke yourself, Dameron." She gave him a short kiss. Amilyn and Poe knew that they would have nothing to explain because at least Leia had known very well what chemistry was between them, long before they realized it. After all, Amilyn thought as she intertwined her fingers with his and they walked out of the fun fair into the dark night, it was Leia who always prompted her for some exciting adventure.
And she was almost one hundred percent sure that loving Poe Dameron would be the bravest, most exciting, and most beautiful adventure of her life.