Title: The First Time
Author: CG aka HKY
Summary: Anakin and Padme struggle to have their wedding night, the story culminating to jealousy, betrayal, pregnancy, and all things leading to Revenge of The Sith era.
Chapters 1-6 (Chapter 6, THE LOVE SCENE)
A secret wedding.
The newlyweds? A powerful young queen from Naboo and a young Jedi Padawan learner.
She wore a white lace covering on her head and a white dress. Her new husband wore black and dark brown. His shiny new prosthetic arm gleamed in the sunlight. He caressed her face.
A cleric on Naboo performed the secret wedding.
He kissed his wife. Thinking, how desperate he was to carry her off to their suite. A feeling that could only be described as desire intermingled with nervous excitement. When the ceremony was over the cleric bade them goodbye, having sensed the broom's eagerness to be alone with his wife.
"Shoo!" Anakin said, without looking over his shoulders at the two droids that accompanied them. His eyes were locked on her face.
He was leering again and Padme didnít like it. He had the look of someone who could Ė if possible, devour her whole... like a jelly filled bread bun. Yes, that awful leering reminded her of when he was first assigned by the chancellor to protect her. That day, she was busy packing her luggage Ė and he, busy complaining about his Master Obi Wan Kenobi.
She called him Ani.
He announced he wasnít Little Ani anymore... but a man. He stood before her... tall and ever present... peering down at her from crystal clear blue eyes. At that moment, the attraction between them was palatable. Waves of energy volleyed back and forth between them. He was seducing her. But Padme couldnít allow it. She was his superior and he was studying to become a Jedi Knight. It was dangerous.
"Donít look at me like that!" she snapped.
She was angry. Angry at herself because she knew, deep within her heart that she was already trapped... locked under his spell, slipping over an event horizon like a wave of light and crushed to singularity. Days later she was finally able to admit that she loved him too. As hard as she tried not to she did. Then again, she always loved him. But this time, she loved him differently than when she cared for him ten years ago when he was just a little boy and she, a very young lady.
Ani was a man.
The two droids, Threepio and Artoo Detoo stood beside them on the veranda, the sun gleaming against Threepios platinum colored plates. Slowly, the newlyweds slipped inside, leaving their droid companions behind and walked to the honeymoon suite.
There, Anakin shed his cloak, leaving it on the floor close to where they stood. Padme trembled... just a little. It was probably the beat of her heart thumping wildly in her chest, vibrating, throbbing until she felt the its pulse between her legs.
Anakin held his thumb beneath her chin, tilting her face upward.
"Iím scared too," he whispered.
He might have sensed her feelings. It was impossible to hide anything from him.
Anakin leaned in, his hand still holding her face. But Padmeís arm shot out and grabbed the flesh wrist on his left hand. It seemed as though she was pushing him away. But when she grabbed him, she did so, to bring him closer. Anakin shivered from the touch. He slid behind her, bringing his lips to the nape of her neck, his hands reaching around to cup her breasts. She felt the hardness of his erection through the thin fabric of her gown as his hand slid the dress she wore up her legs.
Padme turned, drawing him into a passionate kiss, when suddenly, the comlink Anakin wore on his belt begin to buzz. He let out a frustrated growl as his hands dropped.
"I have to take this," he said, in answer to her unasked question.
Padme clung to the sleeve of his shirt, waiting tenatively for the session to continue.
"Yes, Master," he spoke into the comlink... "Iím wanted by the council?"
Padme released a panicked sigh.
"But--" he began to object. The warbling on the other end came through the line forcefully enough for Padme to hear.
Obi Wan Kenobi.
"Yes, Master..." Anakin finished.
He severed the connection.
"Iím wanted on Coruscant."
"But youíre not well..." Padme said, touching his arm. "What could they want with you now?"
"My sword arm... Iím wanted for physical therapy. They want to know if my arm is good enough to..." he stopped, sensing her dread.
"To fight again?" Padme asked him, softly.
Anakin turned. "If weíre going to be married..."
"We are married," Padme corrected.
"Youíll have to come to terms with my career. Iím a Jedi."
"I know that. But if you fail the physical examination..."
"We can be together. We wonít be forced to live a lie. You could retire without shame. You fought honorably and was injured."
"Retire?" he asked, as though she spoke complete and utter nonsense. "This is what I want to do Padme. Would you like if I asked you to leave the palace? To leave politics altogether?"
"I couldnít, thereís too much at stake right now!"
"Then you understand my dilemma," Anakin finished. "The Republic is in trouble."
Padme drew close to her husband, resting her open palm on the side of his flustered face. He looked down, not looking at her now.
"I worry about you Anakin... that youíre doing too much. Maybe getting married was wrong... maybe this is a sign."
His eyes rose to meet her face.
"Now that I have you," he said, almost desperately... "Iím never letting go. I love you, Padme."
"Theyíre taking you away from me on our wedding night."
"Donít worry my love," he soothed.
He stalked past her and grabbed his dark brown cloak from the floor.
"I wonít be long."
Padme stared after him and the door closed. She let out a relieved sigh. As much as she wanted her husband there with her on their wedding night, she was also very nervous. This was Ani. He was a man now, and not only a man, but her husband!
It finally hit her.
Padme sat on the edge of the bed and bit her fingers nervously.
Anakin flew his ship to Coruscant. His heart thumped wildly with nervous anticipation. Twice now, he almost crashed his ship into an asteroid field.
He couldn't stop thinking about her. He didn't want to stop thinking about her. He dreamt of having her for ten long years. How will it happen? When will it happened? He was only nine years old when they parted. Who knew the Sith, whoever they were, could unintentionally bring him so much happiness? The irony of which, who knew the Jedi could bring him so much misery? For once could they just leave him alone? Let him rest? Let him be with the wife he's not supposed to have in the first place?
And what was so wrong with having a wife? Married people have children. And children have the genes of their parents. So how then, wouldn't the Jedi benefit from their reproducing? Their children would be as powerful as their parents. They would fill the Temple with little Jedi Padawans. Their union could only be good for the galaxy.
But no... the Jedi were afraid of love. They were afraid of letting him love. If it wasn't for the love he found with Padme, he would never have forgiven them for keeping him away from his mother...letting her die. And even now that forgiveness was questionable.
Anakin sighed as his ship passed through Coruscant's stratosphere, its speed declining as it neared the ground of a Temple landing base. He missed her so much. Wanted to kiss her so much, wanted to touch her...
He let the thought trail... to be heard only in the echoes of his heart. It was time to pretend again. To talk, be officious, act as though the woman of his dreams wasn't somewhere waiting for him, possibly naked.
Anakin entered the temple, hurrying to stand before the council, who were more than concerned about his injury and prosthetic arm. Not many Jedi wore prosthetics. In fact, it was known to diminish one's force abilities in the region of the particular implant.
"Come in, Young Skywalker..." Mace demanded.
Anakin walked in, hands folded behind his back, glove covering his injured arm.
"Strong the force still is, with our Padawan," Yoda commented with some relief.
Mace let his eyes roam over the young man. "Well... he is the chosen one," Mace answered.
"How are you Anakin?" Obi Wan Gently prodded.
"Fine, things considered. I'm adjusting to my new limb, but nothing has changed for me. I'm working to better my sabering skills."
"Have you an instructor on Naboo?" Obi Wan asked.
Anakin colored. "No, Master."
Members of the council looked hither and fro, as they murmured to themselves and each other.
"I felt, some time off was needed for my rehabilitation. I chose to go to Naboo."
"Did Master Obi Wan Kenobi-"
"Master!?" Anakin exclaimed.
"During your rehabilitation, Obi Wan Kenobi was promoted to the rank of Master and is now a member of the council."
Anakin met his eyes: "Congratuations, sir." A proud smile crept across his face.
"Aside from that, you are still a Padawan learner, Young Skywalker, therefore, decisions regarding your rehabilitation will be made by Master Kenobi."
"I...I understand, sir," Anakin said disappointedly. There was no telling where Obi Wan might send him to. And somehow he sensed, the Jedi Master would want to send him as far away from Padme as possible. He knew how deeply Anakin felt for her. Anakin never kept his feelings a secret and told his master how he dreamt of her more often than a should have. A decision he had come to regret.
"Don't worry Anakin, I've not decided to send you to some faraway rehabilitation center. We have one of the best physical therapy centers in the Republica right here on Coruscant. Your reflexes will be as natural as rain when they're done with you."
Anakin beamed. "Thank you, Master!"
Padme had a place at 500 Republica. If he could get the message to her, she could meet him there.
Obi Wan handed him a sheet of paper. "Report there first thing tomorrow morning, you will begin physical therapy, which will focus on teaching you to interface the prosthetic limb with the nerve endings in your upper arm. Though you are already functioning, you are not quite ready for battle."
Were they done yet? How much talking did they need to do? Shut up so I can call Padme, he thought.
Padme walked across the room of her suite, turned and walked back again. With all the pacing she was doing, she wondered if worried she would leave a path in the rug. A permanent one if she didn't stop.
She sat on the edge of her bed again and hugged her knees to her chest. Where was Anakin? Was he in trouble? Did the council find out about the wedding? Would the marriage be over before it even begun? Would they issue an annulment? There was still time, their marriage had not been consumated.
Threepio walked in the room and saw his mistress in what appeared to be distress. Her face was ashen and eyes teary.
"Oh Madame, I do hope you're okay," Threepio said, with what sounded like more worry than a droid should know how to express. "Master Skywalker will be back, I'm certain of it."
If her feelings for Anakin Skywalker were plain enough that even a droid could see, then who else knew?
Then again, Threepio was special, so much more than an artificially intelligent machine. To her, he was equal to any sentient being she had known. On more than one ocassion he had expressed what sounded like human emotion -
"Threepio..." Padme said, ... "Has Anakin called? Do you know if he's okay?"
"Nothing yet, my lady, but I will do my best to keep you informed. I'm very good at that," he offered.
"Thank you, Threepio."
"Also, Madame, there was a delivery moments ago. I have a message to you from the Senate. There's to be an emergency hearing this afternoon. You're presence is requested on Coruscant."
"Did they ask for me or a member of my delegation?"
"The message was addressed to you, Madame."
Padme turned, leaving her back to face the droid - for a look of terror filled her eyes. "Did they mention, Anakin, by chance?"
"I'm afraid not, Madame."
Padme sighed. They knew. They had to know. There was some consolation in all of this. Even though their careers were probably over, at least they'd have each other. Then again... if Anakin had to leave the Jedi Order, would he blame her? Would he love her anymore?
Padme slipped out of her wedding gown, sullen look on her face. She changed into a formal gown and senatorial robe.
Padme met Typho near the garden where her ship waited. Unbeknownst to her, a message flashed manically on the holovoid in her room.
Anakin Skywalker tried getting through to tell her where he was, but alas, she was already gone.
Where is she!? Anakin groaned.
He watched the clocked worriedly as the physical therapist toyed with his arm. The therapist was a human woman with long blond hair and large green eyes. She had a pretty smile, but Anakin hardly noticed. Which doesn't mean, she failed to notice him. She was quite taken by the tall, handsome, virile young Jedi and seemed to prolong his treatment.
The woman stretched out his machine hand, and aimed a laser beam at the tip of one of Anakin's fingers. A sharp red light ripped through the end of it.
He snatched his hand away, flinching with the desire to hit her. Strangely, the pain shot through his entire body.
"I'm sorry," the woman said. "The work on your arm was amazing. Your nerve ends are grafting to the prosthetic perfectly. I assume, the pain in your arms and legs were more acute when I did that."
"I should hope you wouldn't do it again," Anakin said, a hint of threat in his voice.
"No, I won't," the woman replied. "It's a surgery tool, nothing that will damage the material of your new hand. The pain will go away in a few minutes. I wanted to know if your limb is working as it should. Is there anything you want to tell me? Any discomfort?"
"Sometimes... where the flesh of my lower arm meets the prosthetic, there is pain. But only when I move my hand."
"Ah... I see. You need more practice. So, let us meet twice more in a week. I will notify the Council. I have a feeling they want you... or rather, need you back on the battleground. It's simply too early for that."
Anakin sighed. But it was a sigh of relief. More time to spend with Padme. If he could play the injury out a bit longer -- long enough to have something that resembled a honeymoon, he would be happy. But not too long, he was also ready for war and ready to defend the Republic. Between Padme and the Order, having it all is harder than it actually sounds.
Padme walked through the Senate hall to the chambers where the special meeting would take place. Along the way, Bail Organa briefed her on the upcoming congregation, news she received with much relief. The chancellor wanted to vote himself more power. Jurisdiction over the clones and field tactics as Commander in Chief. A job that belonged to Jedi!
What was the Chancellor thinking? The idea that he could orchestrate a war better than the generals out on the battlefield... Palpatine's demands grew more and more absurd with each meeting. It seemed he wanted control of... everything.
Senator Organa and Padme Amidala stood outside of the congressional hall, waiting for the meeting to start. They spoke feverishly about the Chancellor's new demands. In fact, Padme was so engrossed in the conversation that she didn't see Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker approach. When she turned, Anakin looked just as shocked to see her, both equally uncomfortable. How might they keep their eyes from lighting up? The joy in them, in having seen each other?
Anakin couldn't hide the smile that threatened to spread across his face. So much so, that he folded both arms behind his back and looked toward the ground. Perhaps, Obi Wan Kenobi might not see how deeply Anakin felt, how deeply embarrassed he was, and discover their secret. Padme's cheeks were scarlet and suddenly, her words tumbled out of her mouth clumsily.
"Master Kenobi," she said, greeting him first.
"Good to see you, Senator Amidala," he replied, a cheerful gleam in his eyes. "Anakin..." he said.
Anakin looked up. He turned to Bail Organa first, "Good evening Senator Organa."
"Good to-" Bail started.
But Padme was already speaking, and both spoke over each other.
"Good to see you, Anakin..." she said.
Anakin flushed, turned to Padme as nonchalantly as he could muster, but again, she spoke at the same time:
"Good to see you, Milady."
"Will you be on Coruscant long?" she couldn't help but ask.
Obi-Wan Kenobi surpressed a smirk. The two couldn't hide their feelings for each other if they tried.
Anakin had only left Naboo a standard day ago...how hard was it to put two and two together? They obviously saw each other, and if anything happened beyond that, he'd be hard pressed to think Anakin wasn't behind the whole thing. Anakin wore his feelings for Padme Amidala on his sleeve, leering at the Senator, as though he might devour her right there in the congressional hall.
Thankfully, Senator Organa didn't seem to notice.
"As I was saying to Senator Amidala... I don't see how the Republic would benefit if the Chancellor were given authority by the delegation to head the Clone Wars as Commander in Chief."
"I agree, " Obi Wan started... "And not only because the Chancellor hasn't so much as sat foot on a battleground."
"He means well," Anakin interrupted.
"Of course he does, Anakin, but the last thing we need is more red tape. Decisions must be made and made quickly and the chancellor is a very busy man," Obi Wan countered.
Anakin looked at Padme and winked.
"I agree," she replied. It was all she could say at the moment, she was still far too flustered, and even a bit hot.
Lights in the congressional hall flickered and Senators and other interested politicians trickled in. Obi Wan Kenobi, Bail Organa entered the hall first. Padme and Anakin followed, their elbows brushing as they walked inside.
After a long and tedious meeting, the bid to keep Palpatine from seizing power on the battlefield was won. A miracle, if anything. Obi-Wan Kenobi noticed a long time ago how successful the Chancellor was when it came to getting what he wanted.
Strangely, they owe not themselves applause for today's victory. It seemed, Palpatine had less interest in actually winning the bid, than he did in seeing who his opponents were.
Obi Wan had been sent by the Council to represent the Jedi. He argued, and quite effectively, for the need of Jedi to remain in control of all battle planning. Yoda was Commander in Chief of all strategies and Mace Windu was his right hand. So far, their efforts at containing the Trade Federation were successful. So why bother with change? It was Palpatine's policies that needed change.
Senator Organa was quite pleased with the results, but also suspicious of the Chancellor's motives. He was far too shrewd a man to think the Jedi or any reasonable senator would approve of his actions. Instead of arguing, Bail Organa watched the event from his chair, offering unbiased support of all sides. It was a matter of keeping his friends close and enemies of the Republic, even closer... in this case, Palpatine was as big a threat to the Republic as the Trade Federation. He was a kind, gentle, fatherly old man and people liked him. But it was all an act.
Padme and Anakin sat several rows away from each other, allowing everyone else to leave ahead of them. When the room cleared, they walked cautiously beneath a balcony then slipped into the near darkness behind the column that supported it.
Anakin held Padme's cheeks and kissed her head, cheeks, nose, and lips manically. There was a fluttering in her stomach.
She closed her eyes and rested her head against his chin, happy but worried at the same time.
"I told you... everything would be okay," he assured, kissing her neck feverishly.
"No one knows?"
"They don't suspect a thing. We can be together."
Padme wrapped her arms around his neck and caressed his chin with her forehead.
"I've been ordered to stay here on Coruscant for physical rehabilitiation."
"Then I'll stay at my flat on 500 Republica. When you have time, we'll meet."
"When I have time?" he scoffed.
Padme ran her fingers through his hair. "We'll have our moment, Anakin. Give it time."
"I've given it ten years." His hands trailed her neck, sliding to graze her breast. She moved his hands away.
Padme smirked. "You were just a little boy," she said. "You had no choice."
"I... I just love you so much," he said, pulling her by the shoulders and crushing her against him. "I don't know what I would do without you," he finished.
There was desperation in his voice... so much need. Times like these she wanted to hold him in her arms and rock him.
"Don't ever leave me Padme," he said, looking into her eyes.
"I won't," she answered. He was hurting her.
Suddenly, a familar voice called out from just around the corner. Before Anakin and Padme could react, Obi-Wan Kenobi and Senator Organa was upon them. Anakin's eyes were wide with surprise as the men approached. His hands still gripped Padme's shoulder and there was a flustered look plastered across his face.
It was all Obi-Wan Kenobi could say. Or ask. Senator Organa had yet to close his mouth, for he was gaping at them.
"She fell into my arms-" Anakin replied somewhat defensively, moving Padme away.
His hands slid from her shoulders. She adjusted her senatorial robes then blinked as though she was confused, as she searched for an excuse.
"Senator Organa, you were looking for me?" Then looking at Anakin, she spoke again. "Thank you, Anakin. For saving me yet again. I might have taken a terrible fall."
Senator Organa relaxed. For a second, he wasn't quite sure at what he had stumbled upon. Anakin Skywalker was very protective of Senator Amidala. Just as well, he might have sensed her injury and arrived in the nick of time.
Senator Organa and Padme Amidala walked off, discussing all things relating to politics. Obi Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker trailed behind them. Not once, did Anakin's eyes fall from Padme Amidala's stride.
'She fell into his arms?" What does he take me for? A fool? Obi Wan thought.
And what about the look he cast over Padme like a ominious shadow? Obi Wan had seen that look before. Whenever Anakin talked about his mother...
Anakin and Obi Wan Kenobi separated outside of the Congressional Hall, where throngs of citizens enveloped the Senators and Jedi. A member of that crowd was the chancellor himself... smiling, shaking hands, and kissing babies.
When he was done he walked to Anakin, a kindly old smile fixed upon his benign features. "Anakin my boy, I trust you are well..."
"So, tell me, son... what did the others think of my bid? I understand some of the senators, as well as the Jedi disliked the suggestion immensly. Which is why they sent you and Master Kenobi to do the Council's bidding."
Anakin looked away. He didn't like these discussions. He only went to the meeting because Obi Wan asked him to. Or rather, he had no choice but to do what his Master told him.
"I know you had no choice in the matter, son." Palpatine laid a cold wrinkled hand on Anakin's shoulder. The young man shuddered.
"Thank you, sir. I know you mean well."
"Good, Anakin. I'm glad you understand. Your friendship means everything to me."
Anakin nodded, happy his friend was not angry with him.
"Senator Amidala was there," Palpatine said in a conspiratorial voice.
Anakin pretended not to notice.
"Yes, I saw her just outside of congress."
"She was happy to see you, was she not?"
Anakin's face turned two shades of red. "Uh, I suppose so," he stammered.
"Senator Amidala will be very busy the next few weeks," Palpatine started, sounding like a gossipy old woman. "Such a shame...being so young. She'll be working closely with Cobra Sien for the next few weeks. He's very fond of her... VERY. You've met him, haven't you? Handsome, tall young man? Recently elected Senator from Endor?"
Anakin flexed the muscle in his jaw. No longer did he look like the tall awkward teen assigned to Padme those weeks ago. Anakin could be downright intimidating. And losing his hand only made him harder... tougher. He'd seen Cobra before. Tall, dark haired, aqua-green eyes, curly-hair... renown artist...
Artist? Wasn't there some conversation between him and Padme a while ago about this guy?
The revelation collapsed on his head like a ton of bricks. Padme did seem a bit reluctant when he talked to her beneath the balcony. The way she "flinched" when she promised never to leave him. Even worse than that, Cobra seemed a perfectly suitable mate for a Senator. They shared the same rank and career. Who was he, but a Jedi -- as a matter of fact, not even a Jedi, but still a Padawan learner?
Anakin bristled, eyes focused ahead. "Thank you, Chancellor, I must go now," he blurted.
Anakin raced off without giving the Chancellor the chance to reply... Padme was still close, he could feel her. His eyes scanned the crowd for her face. And when he saw her, she was with him. Cobra Sien. They were quartered off, engrossed in conversation. Anakin slipped to a corner and watched intently.
Unbeknownst to him, was that Obi Wan Kenobi was not far behind. Anakin was in fact, so focused that he didn't feel his master's approach. Obi Wan followed the Padawan's gaze to Senator Amidala.
"Anakin?" Obi Wan called. "Come along, the Council have given us an assignment."
Anakin didn't care about the assignment. He couldn't only think of Padme and their missed wedding night. "What about my rehabilitation?" Anakin asked. "Would the Council send me on a mission when I have physical therapy tomorrow?"
What he meant to say was that he would have Padme tonight, then physical therapy tomorrow.
"Of course not, Anakin. The assignment will be here on Coruscant. At the temple. Master Yoda thought it would be a good idea to have you work with other Padawans."
At the temple with other Padawans? Who did they think he was? A boy? He lost an arm fighting a Sith Lord -- after saving his own Master! He's already fought the first battle of the Clone Wars and they think...
Anakin turned, his face burning with anger. "After all I've done, the Council is sending me to work with Padawans? How dare they," Anakin barked. "This is an outrage-"
Obi-Wan laid a hand on Anakin's shoulder, his face a mask of serenity. "Be calm, Anakin. They're merely trying to give you something to do while on medical leave. We know how restless you can be. The Council isn't asking you to train with other Padawans... they are asking you to train them."
"To train them...? You mean, like a teacher? Like... a master?"
"Not a master in its fullest sense... but yes. The Council are impressed by you Anakin. You held your own against a Sith Lord. And you saved me from certain death."
"You think I'll become a full fledged Jedi Knight? You think, they'll send me to take the trials?"
"When the time is right, Anakin. When you are healed."
Suddenly, Anakin was smiling again. "Thank you, Master. I'm honored." Suddenly, he was breathless...but he couldn't fully enjoy his newfound success. Padme. If she wanted someone else... he couldn't even think it.
Obi-Wan smiled, glad the boy wasn't fixating on Senator Amidala again.
Obi Wan Kenobi grabbed Anakin by the arm and pulled him off. But the Padawan spun around, trying for one last look at Padme. She and Cobra walked off. To whereabouts unknown.
"Easy, Anakin..." Obi Wan said. "Is something upsetting you?"
"No, Master," Anakin replied uneasily.
"You'll need your rest. Padawan learners can be a handful. But, I'm sure you would already know that."
Obi Wan smiled.
"Of course, Master."
Face it. If the marriage is going to work, I'll have to trust her. Why marry me if she's going to run off with someone else? he thought. This would have been Obi-Wan Kenobi's answer... the way he might have answered if he could talk to him. Funny, how he could predict his Master's words. So ingrained was Obi Wan's teachings that his words often flew out of Anakin's mouth. And frequently, did they creep into his thoughts when he was troubled, making him calm again.
But then, there was sometimes a malevolent reply, which often came from a cavern from deep within his soul:
Maybe, this someone would have more time to spend with Padme. Maybe, because this someone shared her rank, could marry her and celebrate their love openly. Maybe because she wouldn't have to live a lie... he could give her more than you ever could.
Master! They would call him Master!
With a wave of his hand he moved the sliding door aside and walked into the training room. He looked around. Before him was a group of restless two and three year old children. Some slept, some ran in circles, some were curled into a ball, crying. Some were drooling.
He stood there, mouth agape... This is my class? Somehow he had expected a group of well disciplined 10 year olds, or maybe, if he were lucky, a group of 13-15 year olds standing like army of men, lightsabers already drawn.
He quietly waited for the children to notice him. Seeing an older Jedi, would absolutely prompt them to attention. Obi Wan was on his way. In his quiet meditation, Anakin could feel him.
Obi Wan entered seconds later and placed a comforting hand on Anakin's shoulder.
"When you said 'work with other Padawans', I didnt' know you meant for me to babysit."
Obi-Wan laughed in his genteel way, creases crinkling the corner of his eyes.
"We've all had to do it, Anakin. It's a right of passage."
Still, Anakin didn't appreciate being tricked, even though he could see the humor in it.
"I remember... shortly after Qui Gon died, just before I was knighted, Master Yoda ordered me to his chambers and gave me the assignment of 'training' the Padawan learners."
"I remember that."
"Yes, you were among them. The oldest in class, as a matter of fact."
"Now I understand why you had that look on your face."
"Seeing the children was quite a shock. After all, I had only destroyed a Sith Lord. I fully expected an older class."
"Tell me something, Master. Did you use the dark side?"
"The dark side?"
"To defeat Darth Maul? Is that how you beat him?"
"I may be a Jedi, Anakin... but I'm still human."
"Because you loved Master Qui Gonn?"
It was an open wound, even eleven years later. Obi-Wan simply smiled. Qui Gon was the closest he had ever come to having a father.
"The point, Anakin, is that, while I was surprised to have the children there, and little disappointed, I was happy to see you. It was their way of saying they had accepted my decision to train you. And that made me happier than you can ever imagine."
"I'm to look at the bigger picture then? That this gesture, by the council was their way of accepting me? To show me that I am soon to become a Jedi Knight?"
Obi Wan squeezed Anakin's muscular shoulder, causing his mechanical hand to spring open. The children laughed.
"I suppose I should interpret this as a sign that they're paying attention."
"Indeed it is," Obi-Wan replied, seeming to answer both of Anakin's questions at once.
A few toys laid scattered about the floor. Silver colored plastic balls, Jedi action figures, toy light sabers...
Anakin raised a hand and the toys seemed to come to life, rising from its place on the floor to float mid-air.
"Good morning class, I'm Master Skywalker, and this is Master Kenobi."
In unison, the children replied:
"Good morning, Master Skywalker. Good morning Master Kenobi..."
"Everyone one of you are to pick an object from the air... pluck it really, and balance it in your hand."
The children, one by one began to pluck the floating objects from the air and hold them outward in their tiny palms. Even the children who were crying, probably new to the temple had wiped their tears away, in awe of Anakin's trick, to participate.
"I will be teaching you, not only what the Force means... but how to use it. I'm sure, some of you know already, which is why you are here."
Padme walked into her suite at 500 Republica and collapsed on a large brown chaise. She raised a hand to her forehead and cringed in frustration.
She missed her husband.
Their careers threatened to keep them even further apart, now with her writing that bill with Senator Sien at Palpatine's suggestion. A great bill, at that alloting a certain amount of the republic's budget to serve the poor. Who could resist it? Even if she was working with a man who on more than one ocassion had been quite flirtacious with her.
Cobra Sien could flirt as much as he wanted. She would never want him. Her heart belonged to one man. A Jedi.
Threepio took mini-steps into the living room then a few more down a tiny flight of stairs, wishful that he should not fall again and bend one of his plates.
"You called, Milady?" he asked.
"Yes, Threepio. I need you to go to the temple. I have a message I'd like you to deliver. But it must- it absolutely must be held in the strictest confidence. You will give it to no one but Master Skywalker, understand?"
"Oh Threepio, it's so urgent and so utterly private."
"I understand, you have my word, Madame. I would never surrender the correspondence, not even the threat of a scrap yard will deter me from my mission."
"Thank you, Threepio. I knew I could count on you."
He turned, and quite human-like, looked at Padme: "Always Madame...Always..."
Padme smiled warmly at the droid then gave him a pink envelope. Threepio slipped the letter into a hidden compartment beneath his shoulder plate then trotted out of the room. He "liked" the Senator. She was one of few humans who treated him like a real person. And he was eternally grateful.
When Threepio was finally gone, Padme peeled the robe she wore from her body, revealing the strapless empire style dress beneath. She walked to the veranda, all the way to the edge. Her hand gripped the balcony as a gentle breeze blew soft big curls about her head.
Where are you? Padme muttered. She wanted to feel her husband's strong muscular arms around her, to feel his lips pressed upon hers... Padme cringed as tremors shot through her body. Tremors of anticipation.
When did it happen? On Naboo? So suddenly? What made him so hard to resist? Why was it so hard to reject his marriage proposal knowing everything about it was wrong? These were questions she had not yet addressed. She asked him once, if he were using a Jedi Mind Trick against her. He told her only the weak minded were susceptible. But with Anakin being so strong in the force, who's to say, he hadn't imposed his will on her? Mind Tricked her into loving him? Then Jedi mind tricked her into accepting his proposal? The dishonesty and lies of their marriage went against all that she stood for... and yet she couldn't resist.
They've been of one mind since he was assigned to protect her those weeks ago on Naboo. Even now, she couldn't stop thinking of him -- not even long enough to fulfill her political duties. All she could think about was being with Cobra Sien alone in her suite tonight and what Anakin might think. If he would approve...
Padme sighed. She didn't want to anger him. Anakin could be a handful when angry.
Padme turned away from the balcony, shaking her frustrations. I love Anakin, I could never be afraid of him, she thought. But despite her declaration, it was the voice of doubt that answered:
What about the sand people? it asked.
"It was a mistake!" she shouted, as though she were speaking to someone else. Suddenly exhausted, Padme spun around and looked up, tears swelling in her eyes. She found herself looking right at Cobra Sien.
"Senator!" she exclaimed.
"Yes, Senator Amidala. We are meeting tonight? No?"
Flustered, she straightened her dress, pulling it high enough to cover her bosom. She was so lost in her thoughts that she had forgotten to change. Something less appealing would have done just fine.
"Are you alright?" Cobra asked.
"Yes, I'm quite fine, just a little... out of sorts," Padme answered, brushing a strand of hair from her eye. "You have something for me? Your provisions?"
"Yes," he answered. "But, before we settle down for business, I thought we'd take a walk in the park? Share a meal, perhaps? I have a picnic basket..."
"Oh, Cobra, I can't."
"Don't make me beg," he replied, a charming smile spreading across his face. "I'm starved," he finished. Hungry for you, he wanted to say.
Padme cringed. "Fine. But no walk in the park," she said, pointing her finger accusingly. "You'll have to eat here. I have plans and wish to be done with work."
Padme pretended not to hear him.
Cobra left the veranda, then came back a few minutes later, meeting her in the living room with a picnic basket and blanket. Padme watched, mouth open as he spread the blanket at center of the room, right on the floor then set the picnic basket on top. He gestured for her to join him, and Padme, electronic databoard in hand, reluctantly sat down.
Cobra opened the basket, laying fruit, meat, wine, and bread before them.
"I find it somewhat ironic that we're here enjoying a lavish meal, as we write a bill to help the poor and starving," Padme observed.
"It may be ironic, but it's not against the law," Cobra replied.
Anakin was frugal when it came to eating. He understood charity, the poor, and abstaining from excessive amounts of food. Cobra on the other hand came from a wealthy family and didn't care to understand such things. How he came to work with her on such a sensitive matter was beyond her understanding. What was the chancellor thinking?
Cobra slurped and smacked on pieces of fruit, and at one point, tried to stuff a piece of cheese in her mouth... an effort at being romantic no doubt. He was no Anakin, indeed. There was not a subtle bone in the man's body.
He slid closer to her, laying a hand on Padme's thigh. She moved it away, her face ashen. "Dont-" she said.
"Don't?" he ran his hand down her arm... "It feels good, doesn't it?"
"I'm involved. And even if I wasn't I wouldn't be interested in you," she retorted.
Anakin left the training room, completely wiped out. Chasing children around for hours, wasn't as easy as it looked. Obi Wan Kenobi waited just outside the door, eager for an update on Anakin's first day.
"How was it?" he asked.
"Uplifting. Thank you, Master. You can't imagine how much this has meant to me."
Anakin was in an unusually cheerful mood. More than several days had passed since he and Padme married, and two since he had seen her last - but somehow, the children did wonders in lifting his spirits.
"Although... there was one Padawan learner who was quite resistant."
"Really?" Obi-Wan asked. "Which one would that be?"
"Ronan Powo Ka."
"Ah... the clairvoyant."
"Aren't we all clairvoyant?"
"The child's gift is stronger than that of any other Jedi, even those of adult age."
"Even stronger than Yoda's?"
"Sometimes..." Obi-Wan answered.
"He doesn't seem to like me much."
"I wonder then, what he might have seen...?" This piqued Obi-Wan's curiosity.
"You assume his reluctance has something to do with me?" Anakin was quite offended. And just as suddenly as he had taken offense, did his mood begin to sour.
"No, well... I don't know. I assume you ought to find out."
Obi-Wan slapped Anakin across the shoulder then drifted off, a smile across his face. Again, Anakin was at ease. It didn't seem that the Jedi Master had meant any harm. When Obi Wan was finally out of sight, a gleaming protocol droid turned the corner at the other end of the hall. He moved quickly. As quickly as a droid of his type could possibly move.
"Threepio!" Anakin exclaimed.
"Master Skywalker!" Threepio screamed. "I have a letter from Senator Amidala, it's most urgent!" he said, waving it about in the air.
"SHH!!! Has anyone seen it?" Anakin asked the droid in a hushed voice.
"No sir, I was most discreet."
Anakin turned and walked to the training room again, leaving the slow walking droid to dawdle behind. With a wave of his hand, the door opened. Anakin slipped inside then ripped the letter open.
In Padme's handwriting, the letter read: "Tonight, my love."
Anakin pressed the letter against his chest and sighed heavily. Traces of Padme's Force-scent was all over it. He shoved the letter in his pocket then hurried out. As he came by Threepio again, who had not yet made it to the training room, he stopped and whispered:
"You will stay at the temple tonight, Senator Amidala and I will be busy -- tell no one," he whispered, brusquely.
"Of course, Master."
The confused protocol droid stared after the departing Jedi... "Humans!" he muttered in mock astonishment.
Cobra Sien had finally gone. And Padme was glad. She locked the door behind him by way of entering a security code -- something she had forgotten to do earlier.
She ran to her room.
Padme stripped out of her dress and took a shower, vigoriously scrubbing her hand, where the foul stink of Cobra's touch had lingered. Something Anakin, no doubt, would sense.
When she was done she blew her hair dry then brushed it feverishly. How long til Anakin arrived? She paced to her room and searched the lingerie cabinet for something pretty to wear, settling on the gown she originally planned to wear on their wedding night . A revealing number with strategically placed coverings. She put a thin silk robe over it then ushered the servants and droids out of the flat for the night.
When they were gone, she sprayed a little fragrance on her fingertips then ran them through her hair. Then sprayed her fingers again and dabbed a bit behind her ears.
The doorbell rang.
Padme's heart began to flutter, and her hands shook. At long last --- he was here. Padme ran to the door, entered the security code and flung it open. But it wasn't Anakin who stood on the other side.
"Cobra?" she exclaimed, unable to contain her surprise.
Cobra's eyes dropped to Padme's gown. He licked his lips, a ravenous look on his face as he took her in. She pulled the robe as Cobra shoved his way inside of the apartment.
"What are you doing here?" she snapped.
"I forgot my picnic basket."
"This is totally unacceptable," Padme said, almost in a shout.
"I'll only be a moment," Cobra insisted.
Padme watched as he dropped to his knee over the picnic blanket and stuffed remnants of their meal back into the basket. Just as he had gathered the blanket from the floor, the door to Padme's flat slid open.
Her heart stopped... probably for several seconds. She looked to the door, then back to Cobra again.
"Anakin!" Padme exclaimed. Various emotions ran through her...feelings of surprise, joy, embarrassment--"
Cobra stood and looked at the Jedi, an arrogant sneer spread across his face.
"I can explain..." Padme started.
Anakin pulled the letter she had written him out of his picket then tore it in half.
"The letter wasn't me for me, I suppose?"
A look of worry intermingled with hurt filled Padme's eyes. "I can explain," she gasped.
"Explain? Whatever for? And you are?" Cobra demanded.
"Her husband." Anakin blinked.
Padme lurched over, suddenly unable to breathe. In two words - their careers were over. Ruined. How could he? Her hand gripped the back of the sofa. But Anakin's eyes were trained on Cobra. He was seconds away from wiping the floor with his smug face.
Anakin's walk across the room was slow and deliberate. He looked at the picnic basket on the floor then back at Padme again.
"It's not what you think-" she tried to explain.
But there was a storm in Anakin's heart. A typhoon. Never had he felt so hurt -- this was as bad as watching his mother die on Tattoine. His trust was not easily earned. He loved her.
"Cobra... please leave," Padme said, a plea in her voice.
Then suddenly Anakin was all over him. His mechanical hand tore into the Senator's neck as he slammed him into a wall, at once, shattering one of Cobra's ribs.
Cobra wheezed, unable to breathe.
"Anakin! Please, stop it!" Padme pleaded.
And with that, hearing the terror and sadness in her voice, Anakin released him. Cobra slid to the floor in a quivering heap. Anakin grabbed the man by the collar and shook him.
"Speak of what I have told you to anyone... and I will kill you." Anakin's lip quivered. Padme had not seen him this angry since that horrible night on Tattoine.
Cobra nodded, unable to catch his breath. Unable to speak.
Anakin pulled him from the floor then shoved him out of the door. When he was done, he turned a heated look unto Padme. She shook her head, then stumbled back.
Padme watched Anakin. She stood where the living room and veranda met. He paced toward her, face hot with anger, arms reaching. She turned and fled, running into the bedroom.
Padme tried closing the door in his face but Anakin pushed an arm out, jarring it open. He inched toward her and she stumbled backward until there was no where left to run.
"Anakin... I can explain," she wailed.
Anakin slid the belt from his tunic. It fell open, she could see the shape of his muscular abs through the sleeveless white undershirt he wore and the muscles of his arms as he pulled it off.
"Did he touch you?" he asked, throwing the shirt aside.
"No, I would never-"
Anakin inched toward her and Padme closed her eyes, flinching.
He pushed her to the bed then climbed over her, the belt in hand.
"Anakin," she started, "what are you-?"
He grabbed her by the arm, pulling her close. "Don't worry. You'll like it," he said, teeth clenched. He smiled, roguishly.
Padme gave him a worried look. He pushed her over his lap then yanked her skirt upward. Instinctively, she reached to pull it back down. But he pushed her hand away, then rubbed her backside, caressing it gently as he felt the satin material of her panties.
Then suddenly, in one sweeping motion he yanked them off, throwing the ripped fabric to the floor. Padme wailed and bit her lip, her skin red and stinging where the elastic had been torn away. "Why are you doing this?"
"Why?" He asked, as if the question itself was the most ridiculous thing he had ever heard. He brought his lips close to her ear. "Because I like it," he whispered.
Anakin made a fold with his belt then wacked Padme on her naked backside as hard as he could. She buried her face into the cushion and a muffled scream escaped her lips. He wacked her once more then flipped her over, spreading her legs.
"I don't like when other men come near you." He laid on top of her, positioning himself. "Did he touch you?" Anakin repeated.
"I'll leave you if you ever do that to me again," Padme said. She squirmed beneath him, shutting her eyes as he slid low, his tongue light against her clitoris. Padme squirmed once more resisting. "Tonight was supposed to be special," she cried.
"It is special."
Anakin rose over her again, leaned forward and claimed her mouth. His tongue curled around hers. He bit and nibbled her lips obsessively as his hands simultaneously grabbed at her breast and massaged them in an opposite circular motion. She felt the bulge of his penis pressing against her, grinding between her open legs.
Anakin used his body to pin her to the bed as he wrestled - in a mad rush to get his pants down. He then drew Padme toward him. She felt his hardened penis spring forward to rest against her naked entrance. His breathing was unsteady as he positioned himself and entered her, pushing as deep and as hard as he could into her moist and waiting opening.
Padme gasped. Anakin shuddered, his movements less erratic and unsure... even cautious...as he plundered the tiny opening... his breathing in small pants, his anger now fallen to the wayside. All he wanted was to enjoy her, have her forgiveness.
He caressed the side of her face, smoothing errant strands of hair from her cheek.
"I'm sorry Padme," he said, "I love you so much... I just-"
Lost it... she wanted to say.
He pushed in an out of Padme until she shuddered beneath him. He stopped, less he climax too soon.
"You forgive me?"
Padme shook her head, at a loss for words.
"I messed up. I messed up badly," he said, his voice a mere whimper.
He laid his head on her shoulder, hovering over her. "You're gonna leave me. I don't know what I will do if you leave me-"
Padme placed a finger on his lips, silencing him. He brought his face to hers and kissed her softly on the mouth. "I'm sorry... I'm sorry," he repeated. Nearing exhaustion, he laid his forehead against hers, raising one of her legs over his shoulders. She felt a warm gush of fluids enter her. He shuddered and shook, stroking it out of himself, then collapsed beside her.
Padme turned, her legs curled to her stomach. He laid behind her and nuzzled her neck.
An angry tremble in her voice, she spoke: "You ever hurt me again... I'll leave you," she warned.
You ever try to leave me, I'll kill you first, he thought. "I'm sorry Padme, I love you."
His arms encircled her. She rubbed them softly. All seemingly, forgotten.
"It was all a big misunderstanding," Padme whispered.
Even a fool could see, that despite his strength and abilities, Anakin was fragile. A tear fell from his eyes and dropped to her naked shoulder, where the dress had fallen aside. He wiped it away.
"We were working on a bill."
"Dressed like that?"
"I wore this for you."
Padme pulled his arms around her, hugging him closer. "We waited so long..." she muttered. "Don't let a misunderstanding ruin what we feel for each other."
"I don't know what I will do without you," he said. "I can't breathe without you, Padme."
Padme turned, facing him. Anakin pulled her dress over head, seeing her whole body naked for the first time. Unwashed tears made her face a blur. "You're too good for me," he said. "I fear, one day you'll wake up and want someone like Senator Sien."
"Too good for you!?" Padme exclaimed. "But Anakin... How could you think such a thing? We're equals in every way. I don't care that you're a Jedi. If it mattered, then why would I marry you?"
"We're equals... but you're good. And wise."
Padme rubbed his cheek. "And so are you."
He was almost convinced, but wondered how she could say such a thing after what he had done tonight.
Anakin held her by the shoulders, then let his fingers trail up and down her arm.
"Make love to me. The right way," Padme pleaded.
Who said her way was the right way? He liked it rough. But instead, he kissed her shoulder, then her neck, then the side of her face, then her lips. Padme slid beneath the covers, her mouth sliding down his skin, tasting his sweat. Anakin held her in place as her mouth covered his length, deep throating him. He moaned and cried her name over and over again, sighing into the night.