POSTRainfall6: A Morning at the Mansion
“I wish you wouldn’t do that.”
“Stare at me while I’m sleeping. It’s rather unnerving to have to wake up to that everyday.”
“But I’m your husband. I can look at you whenever and however I like.”
Tam chose this moment to end the conversation before it began by rolling her extremely pregnant body from the bed. She sat up and pulled on her robe, keeping her back to him. As she strode from the room to the door towards the nursery, she felt his gaze blazing on her retreating form.
“I checked on him earlier. He’s still asleep.”
Again she ignored Xanatos. Everyday with him, being in this place, this life with him, trapped like some caged bird, was a struggle. He didn’t make her transition into captivity easier by doting on her and their unborn child. She would never get used to this life, just as she would never get used to him. She stepped into the darkened room lighted only by a small nightlight in the corner. Her son, Omega, lay sleeping soundly; his small two-year-old body snuggled comfortably into the bed covers. She bent toward him, ruffling his hair, pressing a kiss to his forehead. He stirred at the feather touch but fell back into sleep without fully waking. If it weren’t for him or for the baby inside of her, she’d leave Xanatos; escape and leave all of this grandiose luxury behind. As it were, even a year later, she’d yet to forgive him for taking her away from Mumby. He was a monster for doing it the way he did. Each day, she whispered a silent prayer for him; she missed him so.
As she walked back inside their bedroom, she barely glanced at the devil lying in their bed. He rose, cutting her off as she headed into the bath. His hand lightly grasped her arm, stopping her. She stared straight ahead, waiting on him to introduce the topic of today’s argument.
“You really shouldn’t think about him. You’re with me now, where you should be.”
Ignoring him, she jerked her arm out of his grasp and walked into the bath. She decided against locking him out; he’d use his magic to force the door open anyway. She reached into the shower stall and turned on the spout. As the water warmed, she stripped the robe and gown and panties she wore. She stepped inside, pulling the door closed behind her. He allowed her this privacy but she knew he waited. After she finished, she opened the door. He stood there holding a towel and immediately wrapped it around her body. She whispered a soft thank you and stepped out of his way as he commenced to bathe himself. Moments later, she sat at her dressing table applying a soft layer of makeup. She wore a long black dress; the flowing fabric draped over her round stomach. Xanatos fumbled around in the closet looking for a shirt. He strode back into the room, buttoning it up as he stared at her.
“I wish you’d stop wearing that color.”
“I happen to like black. I’ll wear it until I’m tired of doing so.”
She continued applying mascara to her lashes avoiding his look and the reflection of him standing just behind her. He finished buttoning his top, walked to where she sat and squatted next to her. His hand settled on her stomach, but she refused to look at him.
“How long are you going to be mad at me? It’s been a year almost.”
She gave him a look, pulled his hand from her belly and stood. Turning on her heel she ignored him again and walked into Omega’s room. The two-year-old continued to sleep. She wanted to wake him, but it was still early so she decided against it. Xanatos sat on the edge of the bed, pulling on his boots. His hair was wet and wild and his face was flush from the hot shower. She decided she’d go for a stroll around the gardens; she needed the fresh air. She headed for the door without telling him her plan; she needed to get away from him.
“I’ll come with you.”
“No. I want to be alone.”
“No, I’ll come with you.”
She waited as he stood and walked over to her. He grasped her by the arm and together they walked the length of hall to the stairs. He held to her waist as they descended. They passed through the large set of doors. Xanatos turned back instructing Bentley to keep an eye on Omega in case he awakened. He turned to Tam and placed his arm around her waist again. They began their stroll from underneath the portico, down the stairs into the manicured grounds. The rains had let up over the past couple of weeks. The sun shone brightly and the smells of morning were about them. Suddenly, the baby in her womb kicked. She stopped and held to her stomach ever amazed at the life growing inside of her.
“Are you okay?”
“Yes. He’s just kicking again.”
“Yes, she’s just kicking again.”
She hated that about him; he could read minds, read auras. He knew when she lied or when she was telling him the truth. She often wondered why he bothered with a blood test back on Coruscant if he knew Omega was his.
He placed his hand on her stomach feeling for the movement.
“What shall we name her?” He asked his gaze expectant. She stared into his violet eyes, not knowing what to say because she hadn’t thought about it. He cared so much for this baby and she wasn’t even born yet. He cared a lot for Omega, she could tell. She had to give him that much, but nothing could allow her to forgive him all the things he’d done to her in the past. He had an awful way of showing he cared for her; and this is what she could not get him to see, or what he refused to see.
“I don’t know. I haven’t thought of a name.”
“What?” She asked suddenly finding his gaze unsettling. She looked away and pulled from him wanting to continue the walk. He released her stomach and instead of holding her, let his hand rest at the small of her back.
“I thought we could name her after my mother.”
This came as a bit of a shock because Xanatos had never spoken of his mother.
“Yes. Her name was ‘Iso’. It means ‘blessed by the sun’.”
“Iso,” she chewed back the word. “I like it; I like how it sounds.”
“And ‘Xani’ for a middle name,” he continued.
“Xani? What does that mean?”
“Nothing. It’s just…well, a nickname I had, before…at the Temple.”
“And who gave you that name?” She dared to ask. Again, he’d been most guarded about everything in his life unless it directly concerned her and the children. It was as if he’d erased his past and everything began anew from this point on, with them and their makeshift family.
“Qui-Gon,” he replied. He was quiet as they continued walking this time circling a small lily pond on the east grounds.
“You never speak of your mother. Why is that?” She asked. She felt his fingers flex against her back. Her daughter kicked inside her again. He noticed the punch and motioned for them to sit near the pond at a bench resting under a small tree. The leaves of the tree provided shade against the sun; there was a cool breeze coming off the distant ocean. It swirled around them carrying the small petals of baby’s breath in the air. She turned and looked at him, waiting on a response. He looked so pale, unnatural almost. But she realized this was because he ‘was’ pale and the dark of his clothing did nothing but accentuate his coloring.
“I didn’t know her. As I’ve told you before, all I remember of my past is that moment when you and I were first joined. My father said she died shortly after I was born; after reuniting with him, this is all he would divulge of the woman who’d given birth to me.”
For a moment she felt sorry for him; heard inside his tone the hurt of a small boy distanced from the mother-love that comes natural to most. But Xanatos was far from normal and maybe this is why she’d never understand him. And it could be argued that she was far from normal too, but at least she’d known her mother and felt that love and affection from a parent.
“She’s kicking again…here feel it.” She took his hand and pressed it against her belly. He smiled, excited at the touch and at the life that he planted there. Again, he loved her and his children, she knew this, but it was a strange love and she didn’t think she could ever figure it out.
“She’s strong,” he said to her. She smiled and nodded. “Like her father,” she commented in her mind; he heard her because he smiled more brightly and leaned in to kiss her. She caught herself and turned slightly so that his lips landed on her cheek and not the intended spot. He pulled his hand away and grasped hers in his own.
“Don’t be this way with me, please,” he begged.
“You don’t give me much of a choice, Xan,” she replied after a time. “We share these children…that’s all.” Bravely she turned to face him. His eyes hardened for a moment and he forced a smile.
“We were meant to be together. How many times do I need to explain it?”
She looked away from him as fresh tears sprang to her eyes. “I’m a possession to you, Xan, nothing more, nothing less. Your father saw to that.”
“But I love you!” He cried.
“No, you love yourself and the things you have. All of this…” she motioned toward the house and the splendor surrounding them. “All of this is what you love. It’s why you left the Order because you wanted these things.” Angry that she’d allowed herself to be sucked into a tender moment with him, she stood, wobbling on numbed feet. He rose, catching her before she fell. She felt faint and placed a hand to her forehead. The baby inside kicked and moved vigorously as if sensing the tension in the air.
Once she righted herself, she pulled away from his embrace and headed back up the lawn to the house. He was on her heels and she felt his frustration. He reached and pulled her by the arm, turning her until she faced him. His hands came up, settling along her face forcing her to look at him.
“I love you. I mean that. You’re wrong about a lot of things, but do not say that I don’t care for you or our children,” he snarled, eyes wild and searching.
She looked away and felt the tears fall. She thought of Mumby; she couldn’t help herself. Why was fate so cruel to her? 'He' loved her without the damn chip in her back attaching him to her forever.
“Stop thinking of that junkie!” He yelled. His hands gripped at her arms and he shook her slightly. She cried more openly now, feeling Iso turn in her stomach. She felt faint again and this time she succumbed to it. She fell seeing only the bright glare of the sun in the sky. Strong arms caught her and there was a wetness trailing down her legs as she lay against those arms.
“The baby…” she whispered. Xan already knew. He lifted her and bounded quickly up the stairs into the house. The wetness increased and she felt cramps begin to tug at her inside. Xanatos yelled to the wait staff, something about Omega and getting the car. Everything went black. When next she opened her eyes she saw nothing but his face. They were in the limo and held her all the way to the hospital. There were tears in his eyes as he urged the driver to step on it. The cramps attacked her insides again. Xanatos felt them and placed his hands along her back sending waves of comforting heat-warmth to her body. He urged her to hang on, but she lost consciousness again. She woke again to the bright light of a sterile hospital room. Xanatos sat in a chair at her side. She turned and looked at his sleeping form.
The room was dark. She lifted her hand and saw an I.V. hooked up to her bloodline. She glanced at her stomach and saw a flattened surface. Where was her baby? Panic seeped into her bones and she began to shriek, but found her voice was only a whisper. She fell back against the bed, tears stinging her eyes. Xan woke up, soothing her cries kissing her forehead and wiping the tears away. He explained that she’d gone into labor. Because she was so small, the doctors had to take the baby just as they’d taken Omega. He told her that between some unspecified time and that morning that she’d contracted a virus, which is why she was feverish in the garden. She cried and he explained that the doctor’s had taken care of the mild infection and that baby Iso was fine, just resting in the nursery. He’d take her to her later, but now she needed to rest.
She marveled at his calm. He could be so gentle sometimes. Maybe he did love her as much as he’d said and his mania on Coruscant was just some sort of phase. But she remembered the aftermath of all of that. She cried and the tears flowed freely. He leaned in and kissed her lips and she allowed him this. His finger found her temple and he pushed her back into sleep, into rest and recovery.
Weeks passed and she reveled in being a mother again. Iso was indeed strong and growing everyday. Omega took to his new sister easily. He helped Tam feed her, was at her side when she received a bath and even assisted with her diaper changing. Xanatos adored her. Again, just as he had with Omega when they first arrived on Telos, he took time off from work and for a while they were the model nuclear family. The flow of things was easy for her, but when it came to nights, after the children were put away, Tam was uneasy at allowing him to make love to her again. Another child would further tighten the bond, keeping her close to him. Xan wouldn’t use protection and grew angry when she asked for her organs to be fixed so that she could not birth any more children. To him, it was all a reminder of her un-love for him, and indeed it was.
One fateful night, he slid into bed behind her. His actions told her that he wanted to make love, but she denied him, claiming a headache, saying that she was too tired.
“Tomorrow, I’m getting a nanny to help you with the children,” he stated as he turned over in a huff.
“I don’t need a nanny,” she replied directing the statement to his back. He flipped over gaze angry and hurt.
“Yes you do. I’m sick of you being ‘tired’ all the time and having these ‘headaches’,” he responded. “I’d like to make love to my wife sometime this millennia,” he huffed.
“Whatever, Xan. No nanny. I’m not trusting my children to a stranger,” she finished turning her back to him again. He grabbed her shoulder and pulled her back. His naked body slid over hers; she felt his erection press into her stomach.
“Xan, I said no,” she repeated.
“I don’t care. It’s been a month already. I can’t go without it anymore,” he stated while pulling her gown up over her legs. She shifted beneath him, pushing him off.
“Get off me!” She hissed while pushing him back. He pulled at her panties, ripping the fabric. His hot body settled against her; he reached between her legs opening her to him. He pushed inside, finding her hot and moist. He held his breath as he looked at her. There were tears standing in her eyes.
“Why can’t you love me?” He asked quietly pleading with her to understand his want.
“Here you are forcing yourself on me and you wonder why you have to ask that question.” She looked away sniffing back tears. He must’ve seen the hurt in her eyes, something. He must’ve registered for the first time the she couldn’t love him as much as he loved her. Slowly he pulled out and she winced at the departure. He rolled from her, out of the bed, grabbing up a pair of pants and a shirt. He left the room without a word and she lay in the darkness wiping her eyes. She listened hearing the sound of an aircar escalate into the atmosphere. She turned over in the bed, pulling her gown back into place. She fell asleep, alone for the first time in a long time. Even she had to admit that she missed him, his presence there with her.
A short time later, she woke to the sounds of the baby monitor. Iso cried, ready for another feeding. She hobbled sleepily into the next room. Lifting the infant into her arms she sat in the padded window-seat and opened the flap on her gown revealing a weeping breast. Her daughter took to the nipple, suckling hungrily. Tam hummed softly as she watched her baby feed. The door to the bedroom opened and closed. She heard Xan shuffling around inside. She ignored him as he stood in the doorway looking at them. Iso finished, mouth no longer moving. She lifted her child onto her shoulder, standing, patting the baby’s back waiting for her to burp. Xan entered into the room looking disheveled and reeking of alcohol. He pulled Iso from her arms and proceeded to burp the baby.
Tam was so tired. Xan motioned for her to go back to bed. She was unsure at first; he had been out drinking or something, but she knew he wouldn’t do anything to harm his child. She trusted him this much. She settled into bed and immediately fell back into sleep. Shortly after she felt Xan resting beside her. He spooned against her, his arm settling above her head and his other hand rested heavily on her hip. His body was warm and soon the smell of liquor no longer invaded her nostrils. Together they slept this way until the morning light hit them both across the face.
Weeks turned into months. Iso blossomed. Omega began to talk nonstop. Because Tam refused his advances, Xanatos began staying out longer. He’d gone back to work, but she was unsure he was always working. A part of her didn’t care, but a part of her was concerned because occasionally she’d give into him just to keep him pacified. He always came home though and was always up the next morning eager and ready to play with the children. There was war in the southern regions. Xan’s company suffered due to the mining and refinery facilities he owned in those areas. There was talk of Republic occupation to straighten out the disruptions. It was during these news-views on the holovid that Xan let his true hatred of the Jedi and the Republic be known.
“Those f_cking bastards,” he murmured one morning while holding Iso in his lap at the table. He watched with an intense gaze as the computerized news anchor revealed the latest happenings with the peace talks. The view switched to a senator representing the Republic; he urged the Telosian Consortium to join with them so that they would have the backing of the Jedi before this war escalated any further.
“Xan, please don’t use that language around the kids,” Tam said as she sipped her coffee. Little Omega laughed as his father glared at Tam. She stood and walked to his side, reaching for Iso. He let her go to her mother’s arms as he commented, “Well they are a bunch of bastards always interfering where they don’t belong,” he mused.
The camera angle widened, revealing two Jedi standing on either side of the senator. Xanatos grew still as he looked on.
“Do you know them?” She asked detecting the change in his mood.
“Unfortunately,” he replied distantly. “He was my former master. Qui-Gon Jinn,” he seethed, sucking his teeth as he uttered the name. “And the one next to him must be my replacement,” he continued. Tam shifted Iso in her arms and walked back to her seat.
“Well, maybe we should invite them up. It’s been a while since we’ve had visitors in this house,” she offered attempting to be wifely. But she knew she angered him; saw it as he turned an icy stare onto her. He looked to his son who watched the exchange between the two adults.
“Did you hear that, O? Your mother wants to invite your father’s mortal enemy into our house for tea and crumpets. What do you say to that?”
The little boy laughed at his father’s expression. He turned to Tam and said, “Bad mommy. Mommy makes daddy mad,” and burst out laughing at the look on her face. She was glad her son found their conversations amusing. If it wasn’t for the kids, she swore, she’d be out of here; but she’d make damn sure she cut Xanatos down to size, verbally, before doing so.
“I am not a bad mommy,” she told her son. Looking to Xanatos and seeing the wide grin on his face she continued, “And you need to stop encouraging him to think of me that way.”
“You are a great mother. I’m only joking; Omega knows this,” he smiled while turning his attention back to the holovid.
Tam stood from the table, taking one last sip of coffee before she reached for Omega. The little boy’s chubby hand held to hers as they passed Xanatos while leaving the room. She walked by him and he grasped her arm.
“Don’t invite them here. You might not like the outcome of the visit,” he stated. There was an ominous tone to his voice and she felt a shiver travel up her spine. He let go of her arm and his gaze wavered back to the peace talks.
This distancing occurred more and more. As the war raged in the south, Xan worked longer hours. Omega asked for his father at bedtime, but mostly Xan wasn’t home yet. When he did arrive he talked of the war and the Republic intrusion upon the state. He cursed the Jedi namely Qui-Gon and his new recruit Obi-Wan. One night, she met him at the edge of the stairs. A storm raged outside. He entered the house fully soaked, stripping his clothing as he climbed the stairs. He saw her there and she knew by the look on his face that he was drunk. He reached for her, but she pushed him away. He reeked of alcohol. He grabbed her and pushed her inside one of the extra bedrooms on the second floor.
“Not tonight, Xan. You’re drunk,” she said.
“Here we go again. ‘Not tonight, not tonight’,” he mimicked. “Why can’t you let me love you?”
“This isn’t about ‘love’. You stink of alcohol and I don’t want you near me like this,” she pushed him away walking toward the door.
“Like this?” He asked. “So you ‘do’ want me…” He waited on her answer. She didn’t mean to say what she’d said the way she said it. It was misleading, but at least it got him off of her, for once. She heard him sit on the bed inside the room. Slowly, she turned watching as he ran long fingers through his hair.
“Well, it certainly took you long enough, didn’t it?” He continued. She was quiet allowing him to speak because she felt like he wanted to talk. “Will you come…come sit next to me? Please? I won’t…hurt you.” He patted the bed whereby he sat. She walked over to him, sitting softly on the bed. She settled her hands in her lap as she waited. He reached for one of the hands and interlaced her fingers with his own. In the darkness of the room, the scant light filtering in from the hallway, settled on the noticeable difference in their skin. She gazed at their unified hands, listening to the roll of thunder outside the window.
“Look, I’m sorry I’ve been…so awful…lately. It’s just that, this war, this…” He stopped.
“Xan I know it’s affecting your business, that’s okay…”
“No, it’s not. It’s actually more than that…I, I’ve been drinking a lot, because…”
“Because of what?”
“You know those two Jedi on the holovid the other day?”
“Well, one of them is responsible for…for killing my father. Qui-Gon…”
“I don’t want to get into all of that just now…let’s just say, they’re here and I’m re-living what I went through before I brought you here.”
He squeezed her hand again, attempting to elicit some understanding from his wife. But frankly, this was a lot for her to take in.
“Xan, it’s okay to grieve,” she replied not really knowing what else to say. Grief, she knew a lot about that; it’s all she experienced for most of her time here with him. It was almost wrong for her to even say the words to him.
“Grieve, yeah. But if they stay…I may have to do more than that.” With this he turned to her and she could feel his eyes upon her. There was something dark in his tone. She looked away, unable to meet his gaze even in the darkness.
“I don’t know what to say…” She offered weakly.
He reached a hand turning her face to his. “You don’t have to say anything, just…just let me be with you when I need you.” He searched her face; closing her eyes she felt him search her mind. Thankfully, she thought of nothing, but she knew what he wanted. He leaned in for a kiss and she turned slightly allowing him this much. He pressed his lips to hers deepening the gesture and she returned the kiss, touching her tongue to his. He moaned into her mouth, hands pressing her back into the bed. He ravaged her mouth and for once she willingly, fully gave into his need. She didn’t know where this offering came from, but she hoped it would be enough to sustain him for a while. He reached for the tie at her waist and began opening the robe. She stilled his hands and sat up. She pulled the robe from her body and lifted the gown from her head. He stared in awe as if seeing her lovely body the first time.
With a flick of his hand, he motioned the door to the hallway closed. She heard a sharp intake of breath as she touched the waistband of his pants. Slowly he leaned back allowing her access. She undid the clasp and unzipped the fly; he lifted his body as she pulled the material down. He scooted back onto the bed, reaching for her but she brushed his hand away. She climbed on top of him, finding his sex and stroking the already hardened member into readiness. He sighed then moaned as she settled her tight passage upon him. Immediately, she began a slow movement, meeting his thrusts. His hands and mouth grabbed at her breasts, squeezing and tasting as she moved against him. She couldn’t deny how good he felt inside of her. She moaned as his fingers tweaked the standing nipples. As he suckled, she cried aloud feeling him swell larger inside of her.
They continued in this vein for a few moments longer. She couldn’t last, rarely lasted; it didn’t take her long to come. She cried out, called his name as waves of ecstasy shook her body. Her inner muscles responded by squeezing his length and he came on the cusp of her orgasm; he called her named and she felt the hot liquid of his seed spew deep inside of her. Together they held to one another and rocked. She moved to rise, but he held her begging to stay inside her a moment longer. She felt hot tears slide down his face onto her chest. She stroked his hair, hugging him tighter to her. Her body, moving of its volition, tightened against him and he moaned. Unable to deny the reoccurrence of her arousal, she ground her hips against him. His member sparked to life and she wondered at his readiness come so soon again.
He rolled her over onto her back, lifting her legs into the air as he leaned over her gaining a better angle. Slowly, he began to thrust. She moaned at each stroke feeling him fully inside of her; knowing the shape and design of his member perfectly fitted to her channel. His breath came in heavy puffs on her face. His bottom pistoned in and out of her wetness and she moaned, reaching above her for support. She remembered their first night together, when he’d taken her inside that hotel on Coruscant. She concluded that he favored her this way; loved to see her pant with want and need while she lay helplessly beneath him. He spread her legs and continued to pump vigorously into her. She moaned and felt herself on the verge again. Her body burned; her innards melted at the friction their movements created. She came hard, clamping down on his stiff member. She saw the reaction of her body’s response on his face; he stilled and suddenly sat upright. He pulled out of her and began to stroke his length. He moaned and finally grunted as he shot against her. His essence landed on her stomach and chest. As his movements slowed, he leaned over her, hands traveling the length of her torso rubbing his seed into her skin. When he got to her breasts, he pressed his deflated sex against her mound and leaned while he sucked at her sore nipples. Painfully, he tweaked a response, moaning as he watched his hands abuse her flesh.
Finally, he got up and pulled her with him. He slid his pants on, not bothering to fasten them. He watched as she slid on the robe, standing on shaky legs. Together they walked the hall to their bedroom. He looked at her all the way, pleased with her seeming acceptance of him after all these years. When they entered the bedroom, she headed for the fresher, wanting to wash away the stench of sex from her body; but he pulled her to the bed. He took off her robe and his pants fell next to it on the floor. They both slid into the bed; he held her from behind. His hand slid up her leg and settled between her thighs. She attempted to push him away, but he refused. He told her he would have her again, all through the night lest he wake up to find this all a dream; finding that she still rejected him. A finger slid just inside her entrance and after a while she was reluctant to remove the thick digit. He teased her all through the night; she came, little earthquakes shaking her form as he brought her to the edge over and over again. The next morning, he made love to her fast and swift. They showered together and he bathed away her soreness.
For a while, life was more tolerable for Tam. But Xanatos grew worse. He openly plotted how he would capture and torture the Jedi for they had stayed on the planet. The presence of the Republic could be seen everywhere. Xanatos came to her when he needed her and most nights he didn’t bother to come home at all, so intent was he on destroying the Jedi. She learned of an instance in which he had actually captured the young Obi-Wan. She tried to talk some sense into him; she threatened to leave him if he didn’t quit. But he only doubled the amount of bodyguards he had watching over her. He bragged that she couldn’t leave him now, not after the all night finger-action; not after she admitted to caring for him. She was disgusted with him, but he couldn’t see it. He’d become obsessed with this young Jedi. He began to neglect the kids. And again, she grew to truly resent her husband. She devised a plan to get away from him because now she truly saw how far gone he was. No amount of loving could cure the sickness in his heart and in his mind. She’d given him a chance, but even that wasn’t enough.