I look at Luke with disdain. I follow him through the rain at a rapid pace and don’t let him off the hook. The crumbled hut sits lifelessly behind me. The hut that had just been cradling such a tender connection—something I had never experienced before. Not like that.
Luke quickens his own pace and is lengthening the distance between us. I scowl and match his speed.
“How could you do it?” I yell, my staff in one hand, ready to be put into action if necessary.
“Do what? You don’t know what you’re talking about!” he roars through the storm.
“You created Kylo Ren!” I screamed. All the thoughts rumbling through my mind in a torrent of fury and anguish.
Luke said nothing.
“Listen to me!” I yell, hitting him in the back with my staff. Luke tumbles with a splash into the muddy hillside.
With my staff threatening to smack him again, I pose the question I need his answer to: “Did you do it? Did you create Kylo Ren?”
“Yes, I made a mistake, but he already had darkness in him.”
“Your mistake was thinking his fate was already decided. There is still good in him. I saw it… I felt it. When we touched…I saw his future. It isn’t what you think! He will be the light that brings the First Order down! He is our last hope!” I could feel my cheeks tighten, and I realize I’m smiling. The same fluttering in my chest from the hut whispers back into my body. I feel him. Ben. He’s with me now. I know it.
“You fool!” Luke spits. “You risked all of our lives by getting so close to him through your naïve hopes and dreams! You don’t know what you’re dealing with.”
“I know exactly who I’m dealing with. Ben Solo. The chosen one.”
One look at my smiling face, as my grin refuses to vanish, sends Luke through the roof. “You opened yourself up to the dark side for a pair of pretty eyes! Now he is a part of you. He will see and feel your every move, and he will be able to control you!”
“No! You’re wrong!” I reply, the smile finally relenting. “He needs me, and we all need him. I’m leaving. I’m going to get him.” With that, I turn around and look to the crumbled hut to find my things. I start gathering them when I notice Luke is calling out to me still. The rain is pouring. I am soaking wet.
“Rey! You don’t know what you’re dealing with! Rey!”
I ignore him and continue packing. “Come on, Chewie,” I say, nodding to my Wookiee companion. “We’ve got quite the trip ahead of us.”
When we get things settled inside the Millennium Falcon, I finally have a chance to catch my breath. My heart is hammering against my chest and I can’t get it to slow down. I take a deep breath in, and I let it out, closing my eyes and focusing. Easy now, Rey, it’s okay. You’ve got this. It will all be okay. Ben will be okay. He’s…part of me now…
That familiar rift sends shivers down my spine. We’ve connected! My eyes flash open, and for a moment I don’t see him. My eyes search in front of me, but all I see is an empty room. A bed, dull walls, silence. Is this his sleeping chambers? Searching for any kind of movement, I realize something is underneath the covers. Someone. I get up and approach, going back into the more spacious parts of the Millennium Falcon. I follow the vision to the bed, and that’s when I see him. Ben. He’s sleeping. How did I connect with him while he’s sound asleep?
His face looks different. It isn’t stoic and nervous, angry or afraid. It’s calm. Serene. I kneel at his bedside and take my fingers he had just touched not long ago and trace them along his scar. I feel his skin hot beneath my cool fingertips. His body his masked with a blanket, but I can see his bare chest and shoulders. I swallow a sharp breath as I look at his fluttering eyelashes.
Then it hits me.
“Did you summon me in your sleep?” I whisper, my fingers swirling to his chin and then tracing the bridge of his nose. “Are you dreaming of me?”
Ben mumbles something inaudible, as if answering me. Maybe he can hear me? “Ben,” I whisper, moving my face as close to his as I can get, our lips close to touching, “I’m here. I’m here for you. Ben…” My eyes close and my face falls on his.
“Rey,” he whispers onto my lips as they part. I taste his mouth on mine and a surge of fire and lightning sears through my bones and wakes me with a jolt.
With a gasp, I open my eyes. Ben is nowhere to be seen. I’m in the cockpit. All that is in front of me are billions of stars in a sea of black. I touch my lips. Was any of that real? Was I dreaming?
A familiar hand grabs hold of my shoulder. I jump and turn around to see Chewie looking down at me. He grunts a few words to me before heading back from where he came.
It’s time. My time to finally meet Ben in person—face to face, in the flesh—is finally here.
Read the rest of the chapters of ‘The Madness that Binds Us’ here.