“I’m gonna need to take this thing off.”
Cara felt an intense range of emotion. She didn’t want to break his code, but at the same time, she wouldn’t let him die. She couldn’t let him die. She admitted to herself just recently that she did, in fact, have a crush on Mando. No, Din. A huge crush. To the point of loving him.
Filled with emotion, she reached to remove the helmet, desperate for any way to keep him alive. But when she did, he grabbed her wrist to stop her.
“I can’t show my face to anyone. This is the way.”
This was the only way she could keep him from dying and he’d just snuffed it out. Cara could feel the dampness in her eyes as he said this.
She was NOT crying. Cara Dune did not cry. She did not feel any emotion besides anger. And yet, this man, whose face she has never seen is tearing down that barricade.
“We both know I’m going to die,” he said.
He had just said the one thing she wanted to pretend she didn’t know, the one thing she didn’t want to believe was true. But hearing his voice say that had just made it more terrible, like it was a confirmation.
She felt a tear run down her face, clinging to her skin as it slowly inches its way down her face. As it reached the corner of her mouth, she licked it away, hoping he wasn’t aware enough to notice the inevitable reflection shining off the moisture on her face. It tasted salty and mellow, tempting more tears.
She didn’t agree with it, nor want it to happen, but if he was determined to die opposed to betray his code, that was his choice. But she was not going to let anything, not even her own fear stop her from telling him one thing.
This was how many people confessed their feelings and she felt stupid, weak confessing to him in this way, regretting the fact that she had never told him before it was to this point.
She tried his first name cautiously, worrying that birth name usage might not be allowed among his people. But she felt this was way too personal to just call him Mando.
He didn’t sound angry at the use of his birth name, which was a positive, but she wasn’t about to push it any further.
She wanted to talk to him calmly, but she found herself unable to do so.
“Okay, so if you’re gonna die, which I really don’t want to happen, I’m gonna tell you this just so you know.”
She knew her voice was cracking, something she knew he couldn’t miss. She was nervous as hell, but she knew this would be her only chance, that she would regret it for the rest of her life if she didn’t tell him.
“I love you.”
There. She said it. She could stop now. But she didn’t. She couldn’t.
“I have since Sorgan. I know it’s stupid, but I thought you should know if you’re gonna die and all.”
There was a moment of silence. Cara was scared to death that he had gone unconscious or hated her for this. But Mando broke the silence.
“You know how much I want to kiss you right now, but I can’t. And it destroys me.”
Cara felt like she was dying. Mando actually returned her emotions, and over that, his first reaction was that he wanted to kiss her.
He spoke up again. “But there might be a way for me to live.”