The next time she found him late at night, he was standing in one of the nearby dune valleys. Maya knew better than to get too close when Darrus was outside at night. These evenings, he only went out for one reason - to practice.
She didn't want to go in either. With a pair of macrobinoculars and a full canteen, it had become her personal ritual to come out a few minutes after he did, spread out a blanket, and lie on the warm sand while she watched him. There was something hypnotic about the way he moved. Before, in the back room of the bar, she'd been fascinated by his sword katas.
Now that he had two weapons again, he was an order of magnitude more breathtaking.
Darus moved like a ghost over the sand. Maya watched the dunes carefully and there were honestly times when he left no tracks as he danced. Danced was a good way to put it. This wasn't merely combat training; there was a grace and a flow to his motions. His metal sword would sweep up as his lightsaber arced through the desolate horizon, parallel to his chest. All the while, his body never stopped.
In the bar, he'd been fairly still as he "fought". Now, he was a completely different animal. There was a frenetic yet completely controlled energy to the way he acted. She could see the sand swirl around him. The Force, he'd called it, was in turmoil while he danced, yet he seemed entirely focused. His eyes were not wild and violent like they'd been with the Trandoshan. He was calm, almost placid as his blades wove death in the cool night air.
He had also apparently picked up a few moves from Vaaro in the last few days. The ex-commando had been chiding Darrus earlier about needing a weapon to fight. In response, Darrus had smiled, nodded, and punched the Rodian in the face. The resulting battle spilled out of the villa and into the desert before they both collapsed, grinning and laughing like fools.
Ever since then, Vaaro was teaching Darrus how to fight with his body instead of with beams and blades. Maya could see now that the former Jedi was a quick learner. In less than a hundred hours, he was already incorporating martial strikes into his combat dance. There was a kick with both weapons crossed above his head. And following it, a back flip after a punch with the hilt of his saber.
A fast learner indeed. Maya'd studied with Vaaro occasionally, but even after years of practice, Darrus' move were cleaner, faster, and better than her's. She'd have been jealous if she didn't detest violence so much.
Detesting violence... That raised another question.
Maya put the binoculars down and rolled over onto her back, eyes cast starwards. She left the dark-eyed force of nature to his katas and turned her thoughts inward for a moment. If she hated violence so much, why was she becoming so attracted to a man who could reasonably serve as its incarnation?
He'd pulverized that Trandoshan. He'd sliced apart a trio of stormtroopers while she watched. He'd even admitted to her he was a General in the Clone Wars, an officer who'd doubtless killed thousands if not billions of sentients. He was everything she'd come to detest in men. In people of any gender. War turned her stomach. Death hurt to even imagine.
So why Darrus? Why these feelings? And why couldn't she make them go away like she had so many times before?
Overhead, a streak of light caught her attention. A shooting star.
Sadly, Maya missed her chance with it. Her mind locked up, completely unsure what she should wish for...