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FIRST LOVE    |    EXCERPTS
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Jaina smoothed her straight brown hair back behind her ears and
turned to face the tiny holocam that sat in front of her on her
desk almost hidden by a mound of spare parts. "Let's try this one
more time, from the top," she muttered. Then, taking a deep breath,
she switched on the holocam.
"Hello, Zekk. Things are pretty quiet here on Yavin 4. I really
miss - well, we all miss you. I wish you'd reconsider and come back
to the Jedi academy. Uh-oh. That's no good." She flicked the tiny
holocam off, erased her message, and flicked it on again. She cleared
her throat and started over.
"How are you, Zekk? I realize you didn't stay here for very long,
but things at the academy just haven't been the same since you left.
It seems like such a long time since we last saw you."
Jaina switched off the recorder again. "Oh, great. That was cheery,"
she scolded herself. "Guaranteed to send him running to the Outer
Rim Territories and beyond."
She closed her eyes and imagined Zekk was right here in front
of her…his emerald eyes alive with intelligence, his almost-black
hair tied back at the nape of his neck…
Opening her eyes again, she reset the recorder to the beginning
and readjusted her features to look more happy and relaxed. She
actually felt calmer then, and switched the holocame back on. One
more time. Forcing a twinkle into her eye, she flashed him the same
lopsided grin that she and Jacen had inherited from their father.
"Hi, Zekk. Hope you get this hololetter soon. I recorded a few
others and gave them to old Peckhum. He said he'd send the messages
to you, but he couldn't guarantee when you would get them."
She cleared her throat and kept talking.
"We're all busy as ever, still at work rebuilding the temples."
She winced at the memory of the Shadow Academy attack Zekk himself
had helped to engineer, but plunged ahead and steered her thoughts
toward safer topics. "Seems like each time we get settled in, something
comes up and I'm off with Jacen, Tenel Ka, and Lowie on some new
adventure. Not as exciting as the life of a bounty hunter trainee,
maybe, but it keeps us on our toes."...
Jaina shook her head. "I know you're looking for Bornan Thul,
too. Have you caught any news on your end?" she added hopefully.
"Wish we could find something good to tell Raynar when we see him
next. Last we heard, he was still I hiding with the Bornaryn fleet
- the trading ships his parents own. We tried to send messages,
but we can't tell if word got through." She sighed. "Course, I have
no idea if this letter'll get through to you, either.
"Anyhow, if you run into the fleet or get any word about Bornan
or Tyko Thul, we'd sure like to hear from you." Jaina stopped, blushed
slightly. "Well, we'd like to hear from you anway, if you
get the chance. I'm rambling, so I guess I should sign off now.
Peckhum will encrypt this message and send it out to all the bars,
cantinas, smuggler's dens…" She grinned. "You know, all those places
where scoundrels and bounty hunters hang out. I'll send another
hololetter when I have time. Until then, may the Force be with you."
She smiled one more time. "Bye Zekk."
Jaina stopped recording and nodded. "That ought to do it- not
too gushy or emotional." She really hated having to walk on eggshells
when she spoke to an old friend. (2-5)
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