“Come on in Armitage,” Rey teased. “The water is perfect.”
Stars, why did she always have the compulsion to immerse herself in the nearest body of water, no matter how filthy? Hux could only guess.
“I’d rather not,” he replied, trying to keep the disdain out of his voice and failing miserably.
“What’s the matter?”
“Nothing,” he groaned. He didn’t want to talk about it.
With a splash, she rose out of the water and started toward him, wading slowly and every so often being pulled back as the tide ebbed. The sound of the waves around them was soothing, but Hux didn’t feel like being soothed.
“Please tell me,” she coaxed, finally coming to sit down beside him and shivering in the cold. “I want to know.”
“It really isn’t. You’ve been pouting all night.”
“I am a grown man, I do not pout!”
“Grown men are actually the worst about pouting,” she said with a laugh.
He scowled, pressing his boots into the sand, so it formed a small barrier between himself and the sea.
“I’m not pouting,” he insisted.
With that, Rey rose and headed back to the water, wading in until she was up to her chest.
“You’re going to ruin that dress,” Hux murmured.
“What use is a dress if it can’t be worn in the water?” She asked. “All these stuffy clothes have to have some use!”
“They have a use,” he answered. “They’re supposed to make you look nice.”
She smirked at him from the water then dipped her head all the way back till it pooled in the waves around her.
“And is it doing its job?” She asked with a slight raise of her brows.
He set his jaw, eyes raking over her in the moonlight, “I think you already know the answer to that.”
“Please come in the water,” she begged. “It will make you feel better; I promise.”
He leaned back on his elbows and looked up at the moons. Rey looked so beautiful in the water. That dress was clinging to her in a way that made his chest ache and his blood rush.
She giggled at him as he finally stood and started to undress. He neatly folded his clothing and laid them atop his boots and then stretched out. He was down to his black boxer briefs now, but the air was warm, and the sand felt cool under his feet.
He waded gracelessly into the warm water, splashing about until he finally reached her. When he stood face to face with her, he stopped.
“Better?” She asked.
He shrugged noncommittally. So, she draped her arms over his shoulders and pressed a kiss to one
cheek then the other.
“Will you tell me what’s wrong?”
He pulled her closer, picking her up and letting her wrap her legs around his hips. He leaned forward and buried his face against her neck.
“It’s stupid,” he replied.
She pulled back from him so she could look him in the eyes.
“I’m sure it’s not,” she paused. “Does it have something to do with the ceremony? Or the wedding?”
“No—well, yes,” he said reluctantly. “Sort of.”
In the quiet of the waves rolling against them, causing them to sway, she just looked at him and waited.
“It’s what you said, during the reception.”
She gave him a puzzled look, frowning down at him, one hand tangling in his hair.
“During the toasts?”
He looked away and out toward the horizon, then nodded slowly.
“What did I say?” She asked with concern.
“Well, it was when you talked about your friendship with Finn, and you said—you called him—.” He stopped, why was it so hard to say?
“When I said he was my best friend?”
Stars, when she said it, he realized how childish it sounded.
“Yes,” he whispered. “I know it’s stupid. . . ”
She smiled down at him, “It’s not.”
“Well, it’s sweet. What exactly upset you about it?”
“It’s just,” he swallowed, his body painfully aware of every inch of her pressed against him.
Why couldn’t he get the words out?
“I've—I’ve never,” he paused again. “I’ve never had a best friend, and I had sort of thought that you and I—that I was—.”
Her expression softened, “you thought I was your best friend? And it hurt your feelings that I said Finn was my best friend?”
Hux pursed his lips and looked back at the water.
“It sounds so ridiculous when you say it.”
“You know, I can have more than one best friend.”
“No, you can’t,” he argued. “The whole point of a best friend is that you only have one. That they’re the best.”
“You sound a little like you’re whining,” she replied, smirking again.
He huffed and readjusted her in his grip, wading deeper into the water.
“You know,” she said softly. “What you and I have is different. It’s a different kind of love. You’re both my closest friend and my love, and no one else can compare that. You know me better than anyone, and you didn’t even have to go inside my mind to do that.”
His eyes flicked back to her momentarily before settling on the water again. The moons reflected off the water and cast a soft blue glow on them.
“Finn and I are friends,” she continued. “We’ll always be friends. And he got married today, today is about him and Rose. And I wanted to say something special about him. He was the first real friend I ever had.”
“And you’re the first for me,” Hux said quietly. “You’re so many of my firsts.”
“You’re so many of mine too,” she said. “My first kiss, my first—first.”
“Being your first is wonderful,” he whispered against her neck. “But I’d much prefer to be your last.”
“Me too.” She replied, brushing a kiss to his lips and tugging at the band of his boxer briefs.
They spent so long in the water their toes and fingers were wrinkled when they finally emerged. The air had gotten cold, the moons all but disappeared, and the sun had begun to rise, it was time for them to make their way back to their lodging at the hotel. They’d snuck away after the reception for a moment of peace, but it had turned into a night of lovemaking in the water.
Rey ran fingers through her damp hair and then expertly braided it in a matter of seconds. General Organa and Kaydel Ko Connix had taught her a few things about styling hair and Hux had to admit, he liked seeing each new style she tried.
He couldn't help but blush, even though it wasn't the first time they'd snuck away for privacy. Somehow she always made his blood pump and his chest ache. He dressed quickly, shivering as he donned his white dress uniform. Rey wrung the water out of her dress and gave him a sheepish grin. As she tried to slip her feet back into the heels, she groaned.
“Still hurting?” Hux asked as he finished securing his belt and brushed his damp hair out of his face.
“I just don’t understand why every single formal event requires me to put on some ridiculous outfit and shoes I can barely walk in!”
Hux tried not to laugh, he knew she hated to get dressed up like this, even if she did look ravishing.
“Here,” he offered, stooping down he pulled her up into his arms.
“Thank you,” she replied, giving him a quick peck on the cheek before adding, “my dear best friend.”
He didn’t stifle the laughter then, “don’t you start.”
“I’m just getting started,” she teased. “From now on it’ll be ‘best friend’ instead of ‘General’ in the bedroom.”
“You wouldn’t dare—”
“You just like to see me in pain,” he said in mock hurt.
“I do not!”
He carried her back to the hotel, resting his forehead against hers and relishing in the feeling of complete and utter incandescent happiness.