The journey to the surface was getting quiet between the two of them, Alanna still unsure of1 opening up to her friend about what was really going on. And Ezali impatiently waiting for her friend to explain why she seems so off and why she was so unsure of her words when talking about Laars.
Station-to-Groundside was a short trip, but even with all the chattering of the other passengers, it still seemed like a long and quiet flight. ”So,”
Ezali said eventually, stifling a small sigh inside her helmet. ”How are the twins doing? Is Firith still ‘Banner-mad’? Or has he found a new distraction?”
She’d only met Alanna’s family a couple times, mostly in passing on those few occasions when she’d stopped by to bug Alanna at work.
Firith’s eyes had lit up like a sensor board when he’d first seen her, and until Laars, Alanna’s husband had dragged both of the kids away to catch their shuttle, he’d been an endless stream of questions about her gear, where she’d been, what she’d done. Ezali had done her best to answer what she could, in a kid friendly manner, but was losing ground until she bought them all a few moments silence by letting Firith try her helmet on.
Jiari, almost unsurprisingly considering she was apparently a Force-sensitive, seemed much older than her tender years, speaking considerably less than her brother and taking in much more of the world around her. Laars seemed nice enough, though a bit stand-offish, though she chalked that up to jealousy because she was ‘True Mandalorian’, something that one still ran into from time to time.
Alanna shook her head, Ezali had never been one for small talk and it was clear that there was more thay Ezali wanted to know and Alanna reckoned she knew what. "Firith's fine, for now, more concerned with his sister for the time being."
Alanna leaned back in her seat and looked towards her friend. "It's obvious there's more to this Ezali and since small talk has never been your thing I'd prefer you just came out and said it."”Wayii! Jorhaa'ir, nayc jorhaa'ir, gotal'ur laam gar kovid...”
Ezali muttered softly into her helmet. ”Alright, but I iwas going until we got somewhere a little more private.”
Even though she was keeping her voice low, Ezali still leaned in towards Alanna. ”If you want to make it in my line of work, one thing you need to get good at, is ‘reading’ folks. Tell who’s lying, who’s scared etcetera...and I’ve known you long enough, and I’m good enough at my job to know something is up Lanna.”
Her voice carried a mostly ‘flat’ no nonsense tone, but at the same time it was tinged with concern for her friend. ”I know it’s got something to do with your husband. You broke eye contact for a moment when you said his name, the way your lekku twitched at the same time, or the fact that you didn’t mention him in your retirement plans.”
She let out a sigh, and in a move that managed to generate a few half-heard grumbles from a couple of other ‘True Mandalorian’ shuttle passengers, she pulled her helmet off and looked at her friend with concern. ”Please, can you tell me what’s wrong? I just want to help, if I can.”
Ezalis tone was a fair one, Alanna had heard that phrase before and while she didn't know the direct translation she would hazard a guess at 'make up your damn mind'. And considering less than 10 minutes ago she didn't want to talk and was now asking what Ezali's question was, it was a fair comment. Alanna took a moment to think, on the one hand she was so close to pulling her plan off and kicking the two timing snake out of her house. But on the other, she'd had this all bottled up for so long that she needed a release, someone to vent about it too. But if Ezali cared as much as she said she did could learning the truth about what was going on cause her to do something stupid?
Whether to tell her or anyone for that matter had been on Alanna's mind for a while, Ezali had been her closest friend for a few years now, one of the few people Alanna was comfortable being open about things with. Alanna nodded to herself as she reached her decision. "Alright, alright. You're right I know I can tell you. But I need an assurance that after I tell you, you won't go and do something stupid until I say you can. Can you promise me that?"
Ezali’s face twisted with concern at Alanna’s words, but there was little to do but accept her friend’s terms. ”Bat ner ijaat,”
She replied, placing her right hand over her heart. ”On my honour.”
Alanna nodded her head and pulled her jacket sleeve up revealing her wrist console. Pushing a few buttons the image of a woman appeared, looking no more than maybe 20 with long flowing blonde hair. "This, this right here is what's getting me down. She's a new girl on Laars's shift… but… I'm pretty sure she's also the girl he's sleeping with instead of me."
Ezali’s eyes narrowed at the holo. Pretty enough I guess, though if I was goin’ for a human, I’d go redhead...bit young.”How certain are you?”
It wasn’t her doubting her friend, she just wanted to get a feel for how serious it was. ”You want me to run her through the system?”
She added, fingers drumming on her helmet."Well I found a bra stuffed under our bed, that didn't belong to me and didn't fit me either. It also had her name on the label. She's also not wanted… unfortunately, I was on the panel doing her interviews, we made sure this time that we didn't hire criminals."”Okay, that is pretty damning,”
Thoughts of how she’d confront the hut'uun
who’d hurt her friend started to form. ”I take it from your demeanor you’ve yet to confront him about this.”
An eyebrow arched questioningly."I haven't no. My plan is to do it tonight, I've arranged for the kids to go to their grandparents, I don't want them there in case it turns… ugly.
It was a strange feeling this, like a weight was slowly being lifted off of her shoulders. She'd suspected something since just after Jiari and Firith's seventh birthday but she'd only known what was happening for just over a month, but she hadn't sat around and moped.
Sure Alanna was heart broken. To her this was
the ultimate betrayal, after everything she went through as a child Alanna had tried her damndest to rebuild her life on Mandalore and to do that she had opened her heart to Laars, given him everything that she was and now he'd thrown it away. But Laars had forgotten just who his wife was and more importantly, who her family were. Though Sable didn't know it, thanks to some memory wipes, he'd been helping her plan her revenge. No, it wasn't going to be torturing him for hours on end until he's begging for mercy, though inside she wished it was, but his life would be absolutely ruined as a result.
Ezali sighed and rested a companionable hand on Alanna’s shoulder. ”You’ll get through this. I’m planning on being in-system for a while, so if you ever want to call to vent or whatever, please, don’t hesitate.”
She was doing her best to keep her temper, but she found it difficult. Though she’d been born on Coruscant and not introduced to the Mandalorian way of life until she was about ten, she had taken to it like a gungan to water. To raise children, and train them to be worthy of being called ‘Mandalorian’ was the highest aim of any worthwhile Mandalorian; that someone would cast that all aside for a fling was infuriating.
He’d hurt her friend, and his actions spat on her very culture; he was going to hurt badly
It was reassuring to the Twi'lek to know that she had a friend who cared about her so much, it's just a shame that Alanna planned to drink enough to forget about the whole ordeal and Ezali was such a lightweight. "I appreciate it, I really do. Just try to be free tonight and probably tomorrow as well because I plan on having a hangover that lasts a good while.
Ezali sighed and shook her head. ”Fine, but if you get your ass thrown in lock up because you get too hammered, I reserve the right to laugh at you.”