Weeks had passed since the induction speech. It seemed like the recruiting number was dwindling every day. Some cadets couldn’t handle the intensive and often brutal training sessions we were subjected to. Others just disappeared, never to be heard from again. No one asked questions.

We had just finished a training session and exited the training facility. I was preoccupied with my injuries and feeling a little fragile.

“Cadet… XN-2903, isn’t it?”

The voice sounded familiar. Uh, no… not him!

I turned to face him. General Hux was standing there, staring right at me, waiting for me to reply.

A few of the other cadets stopped and stared at us. Others whispered and grinned as they walked past.

“General!” someone saluted

Hux raised his hand in reply but continued to look at me

“General…” I replied, trying to tidy up my sweaty and bloodstained appearance. Not sure why, but feelings of insecurity started to seep back in.

“How are you progressing?” he asked

I looked at the cadets staring at us both, snickering at each other.

I felt like I should reply as quickly as I could and leave. But as soon as I looked at that face… and those eyes…

“Cadet!?” he asked again

“My apologies General… ”

“Apologies? For what, cadet?”

My mouth was as dry, and my throat felt swollen. Whenever I thought of something to say, I’d erase it in my mind, thinking it was stupid.

But those eyes, so blue. His skin, his hair, those lips…

“You seem a bit preoccupied”

“I’ve just… got a lot on my mind now. Sorry General”

As he was looking at me, I saw his eyes wander down my body ever so briefly.

He was looking; he was definitely looking.

When his eyes found mine again, the corners of his mouth curled into the faintest grin.

I did everything I could to control myself and hide my embarrassment.

“Indeed. Well, if it’s any consolation, Cadet, your tutors are impressed with your performance. As a result, I’ll keep a closer eye on you over the next few months. Once your training is complete, you’ll be able to choose where you want to be posted”

I had forgotten all about that. In three months, I can choose where I wish to continue serving the First Order. Depending on my results, I could be stationed anywhere in the galaxy.

“I’ll let you go, Cadet. I’m sure you’ve got a lot of preparations to make,” he said as he nodded at me and walked away.

What did I just do? I practically ignored him… such an idiot. I turned to watch him walk away. He walked with his hands behind his back, his movements swift and purposeful.

I started to wonder the way I always did. How many other cadets was he “keeping a much closer eye on?” Maybe some of those rumours circulating about Hux were true. Or maybe I was just a silly little girl who blew off one of the most powerful men in the galaxy because of fear.

I managed to undo years of mental training in three minutes’ time…

I’m so not ready for this… I’m not ready to play his game.

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