He was guilty, but that was nothing new. He'd felt that way every time he was with a woman these days. The root of it was so simple, even he could see it: he hadn't actually spoken to Cinia since his decision to return to his philandering.
He told himself he was afraid of what the Sith would do. Really, though... he was afraid of what she would say.
He still loved her, or he thought he did. But it took the form of an unspoken sentence: she's too good for me. She would have realized that eventually. At least this way, it's on my terms.
Occasionally, he almost believed it.
There was movement in the darkness. He turned, wondering if the woman from last night had woken already. She'd seemed to fall asleep just an hour ago, leaving him alone on her ship. Alone with the guilt.
It was her, but she was dressed now, and she held a blaster in her hand.
"... Just once, I'd like someone to seduce me and not be a bounty hunter," Tyron sighed.
"Not the first time? Then you should have seen through it," the woman said. "But I guess that would require thinking with your brain."
Then, before he could retort, she fired.
Tyron couldn't place the voice. His eyes were still screwed shut. He'd been awake for an hour, maybe two, but he didn't want to let on. When he let on, they would doubtless start hurting him... whoever they were. Maybe House Rist. They'd sent the last hunter.
But if it was Rist, why was he still alive? The Syndicate had killed their leader... scores of their men. All on his account. They wanted him dead, didn't they?
His curiousity betrayed him. He opened his eyes.
Tyron had never seen the man before. He noted wrinkles, streaks of gray in the dark hair--fifty, or near enough, he guessed. The man was smiling, which did little to reassure him. What made his captor happy was probably not good for him.
"You've never met me," the man said, noting his scrutiny. "You can call me Josef."
"Who are you?" Tyron noticed his lips were dry, wet them: "Where am I?"
The wrinkles in Josef's face deepened with another smile. "I'm with the Black Suns, Mr. Ravein. Where is not important. You're our prisoner, and that's all that matters."
"We can do this the easy way... or the hard way."
This time, Josef was not alone. He'd brought two other men--young men. The kind of men who looked like they could tear him apart without really trying. One of them was cracking his knuckles, as if to underscore what would happen if he elected 'the hard way.'
"Oh, I know your bosses don't look kindly on traitors," Josef said, tone deceptively soothing. "But why would we advertise that we'd captured one of you? If we did that, they'd start looking, and we don't want that. We did our research on you, Mr. Ravein..."
"That must have been boring." Even now, humor was an instinct. Perhaps especially now.
"On the contrary. It was fascinating. The sheer amount of time you squander on vices... women, drink, gambling, Huttball... well. Your comrades will simply assume your lack of contact is your latest 'binge'."
Tyron frowwned, an easy comeback eluding him. Josef's prediction was unfortunately close to the truth. He often ignored his work in favor of having fun, but... surely someone would notice. Mikita would come to work on the Eclipse or something. Wouldn't she?'
"Cooperate with us," Josef said, "and your stay doesn't have to be... unpleasant. Resist, and I fear you'll find our hospitality quite lacking."
His mind was made up with one more look at the two brutes. "Let's do this the easy way," Tyron said.
"Wondeful." Josef gestured at one of his men, who produced a syringe. "Of course... I can't exactly trust you, Mr. Ravein. Even if you'd resisted, information under duress is... unreliable. Luckily, you solved that little problem for me. I had some of my people take a look at the things you had with you. They tell me this little needle is actually a powerful truth serum. Fascinating stuff."
Suddenly, carrying a vial of Ubbit's concotion didn't seem like such a great idea. At least the other eight were back on his ship. Tyron swallowed.
"Don't worry," said the Black Sun member, smiling. "Soon, I'll know everything there is to know about your organization."