The Imperial guard dropped Mara onto a metal, waist-high table. Luke locked his teeth around his protest over his roughness. Her body settled limply on the surface, but her chest moved. The binders on her wrists clunked against the table.
The captain of Midnight Omen glanced over at her, but didn’t take his hands out of the case that also rested on the table. “It’ll be some time before she joins us.”
Luke didn’t unlock his jaw as he glared at the black uniformed man. The two black-suited guards on him shoved him against the wall. This ship was too small to have an allotment of stormtroopers. He wasn’t sure how to work that to their advantage, but it had to be one.
“Prep him for my interrogation.” The captain’s lips twitched into a thin, predatory smile.
A blaster muzzle was pressed against Luke’s temple while the other guard removed the binders on his wrists. Then his hands went to Luke’s uniform tunic fasteners. Luke forced himself to stop his instinctive jerk away as the blaster pressed harder. His tunic fell open and they yanked it down his arms. It hit the floor and they tugged his sleeveless undertunic from his pants and over his head. Before he lowered his arms, his forearms were slammed into binders attached to the wall above his head.
“Excellent, dismissed.” The captain waited until the three guards left the interrogation room before walking around the table with an electroshock nerve probe in his hands. “I’m afraid we don’t have an IT-O, so we have to be more hands on here.” His smile widened into a carnivorous grin. “What was your little band up to?” He didn’t pause between asking the question and touching the probe to Luke’s chest.
Pain radiated out from that spark, howling through his nerves, and loosening his tongue with a scream. His whole body spasmed. The binders stretched his arms tight as his knees buckled.
The spark retreated. Luke heaved in air while he could. The captain chuckled. “Not so cocky now, Rebel scum.” He hypnotically waved the probe back and forth before lunging forward again.
Luke braced himself against the anticipated pain.
But the captain lurched to a stop with a horrible gurgle and his hat falling to the floor. A thin belt was around his throat, digging into his flesh. The Imperial crumpled slowly, revealing Mara behind him. Her bound hands twisted the belt tighter around his neck. His face was going as red as a Devaronian, but she didn’t stop until his chest stopped moving and his body went limp.
She let go of the belt and he followed his hat to the floor. She stepped over the body and swayed heading to Luke. She was still disorientated from whatever chemical was still surging through her system. But she made it to him, leaned against his chest, and looked up at him with glassy sheen to her green eyes. “Luke.”
“Mara.” He breathed out her name. “I’m okay,” he said in a stronger voice. “Are you okay?”
She pushed up onto her tiptoes. He was pretty sure she hadn’t understood what he had just said. She pressed her lips against his. His eyelids slid closed as he opened his mouth to her kiss. The pressure sent a welcome heat through his sore nerves. He relaxed against her and the binders. The rest could wait for this moment.