Title: "A Thin Dark Line"
Chapter (1/5)
Written by: Shawn

Summary: Passion, darkness, and an enduring love mark Anakin and Padme's marriage throughout the Clone Wars.

Ship: Anakin and Padme Skywalker
Category: Angst/Drama/Romance/Erotica
Rating: MA for graphic sexual situations, language, and mentions of violence.

Timeline/Spoilers: Canon from "Attack of the Clones" through the beginning of "The Clone Wars" Season 6

Disclaimer: Disney owns everything.

Authors Notes: This chapter takes place two years into the Clone Wars.

Authors Notes 2: Be on the lookout for my new Kindle stories under the name "seanbecks" Keep an eye on my profile page for updates and previews.

"They say a good love is one that sits you down, gives you a drink of water, and pats you on top of the head. But I say a good love is one that casts you into the wind, sets you ablaze, makes you burn through the skies and ignite the night like a phoenix; the kind that cuts you loose like a wildfire and you can't stop running simply because you keep on burning everything that you touch! I say that's a good love; one that burns and flies, and you run with it!"
C. JoyBell C.

The desert outskirts twenty miles South of the ruins of Sirrah City
Late-afternoon
The planet 'Marquise'
The Core worlds

Above them the intense glare of twin suns rained down like fire from the heavens.

Uncomfortable and exhausted, Senator Padme Amidala found it hard to breathe in such harsh humidity, though not solely because of the extreme weather she was enduring. Although she abhorred the emotion of hate on a deeply personal level, she fiercely loathed those who shadowed treachery, manipulation, and the pursuit of self-gain at the expense of others within the guise of compassion.

Squinting beneath the scorching temperatures of Marquise's duel suns, Padme tried to tune out the trio of Senators conversing behind her as they road aboard a rusted ground shuttle that had seen far better days. Obviously reconditioned, minus a canopy, the oppressive heat bore down upon them all from a bright sky above. Three rows of three seats, with the driver-droid and two Clone Troopers at the front, accompanied by four security speeder bikes on either side as they ventured back to their makeshift compound. Rattling over the dusty dirt terrain, the nine passenger shuttle was as bumpy a ride as one could imagine.

While doing her best to ignore them, Padme caught bits and pieces of the humanoid Senators vile conversation. Of how much they hated being here, and that this world wasn't worth saving as it provided nothing they considered of value. The planet Marquise was a fairly desolate Core world, similar in many ways to Tattoine in the Outer Rim, minus the vast Hutt influence of course. But because it was not rich with resources, the Senators thought little of their time here, or the immense suffering the people had endured. In their eyes the good publicity alone was worth the trip to this Force-forsaken world. And now as they were away from the watchful eyes of the HoloNet news droids they whined, complained, and generally made the types of disparaging remarks that made her sick to her stomach. She loathed their snickering over the hardship of the people of this world and the poverty-stricken conditions its citizens now faced after a lengthy Republic and Separatist confrontation ravaged the small planet for twenty-nine straight days.

Their cities were decimated. Their infrastructure shattered. Their people fractured out into the brutal wilderness, starving and in desperate need of even the most essential basic needs. Clean water. Food. Clothing. Shelter. Access to medical assistance. The war crippled their way of life as the death toll reached a catastrophic seven hundred and forty-eight thousand.

Their population prior to the attack was nearly two million. The small world lost almost half its population over the rumor that Count Dooku was hiding there.

While battling a throbbing headache, the sweltering humidity left Padme feeling drained, her light clothes clinging to her skin. Never had she witnessed a sky so bright as this one. Dark shades protected her eyes, but the overwhelming heat was beyond even Tattoine's sweltering climate in the way it affected you. Felt as if it had seeped into her very bones, sapping her of strength. She'd gone through nearly a dozen bottles of water in the last eleven hours, battling dehydration as she worked tirelessly alongside relief workers in building makeshift shelters, preparing and serving food to the hungry, and then coordinating in a forest area where a greenhouse would be built to grow food once more. Participating in the actual labor wasn't something asked of her as her presence alone brought much needed media attention and donations to the suffering planet.

Ever mindful of the need to stand for who that could not, Padme worked with them anyway. Her hands dirty, her body sore, and yet her determination unwavering. With every new HoloNet News interview she gave, donations continued pouring in for this war-ravaged planet. She promised to match them all up to one million credits of her own wealth. And as Supreme Chancellor Palpatine sent the trio of Senators seated behind her to asses and aid the relief effort, their presence was only tolerated by the sheer amount of credits they themselves donated. So she bit and held her tongue as the needs of the suffering outweighed her need to give those Senators a piece of her mind.

But in due time she intended to do just that. For now though, she played the political game she knew so well. One she'd mastered a long time ago. Patience, she learned, was as much a weapon as it was a virtue.

Sighing as the miles of endless devastation flew by, Padme was on her third day of five on this planet, and she was struggling to maintain her focus. Sweat glistened over her brow as the soothing cool air, what little of it there was, blew through the clattering air-conditioning duct in front of her. Two more days on this world and then she would be back on Coruscant. Until then she intended to ensure Supreme Chancellor Palpatine kept his promise about the immense financial aid package this world was promised, and that she used her powers of persuasion to guilt those behind her into 'offering' an even bigger donation to the cause.

The towering compound, a retro-fitted former hotel converted into secure living quarters for the Senators, loomed over the horizon. Padme longed for a long refresher session, a soft bed, and the comfort her cool quarters.

But being reminded in such a stark manner of what the war looked like up close and personal, her heart broke for her beloved husband. As her gaze turned skyward she knew he was out there, somewhere far away from her, fighting to keep what peace was left and end this tragic war. What she was witnessing first hand in recent days, he'd been exposed to for the two years on countless worlds. She worried for his spirit and his safety because he was at times reckless and quick to anger. She worried because she loved him with all that she was.

Six long, sad months they had been apart. Six months since she last saw him. Held him in her arms. Felt the beat of his heart beneath her head as she laid upon it. The time seemed endless, their communications kept impersonal and brief so as not to draw suspicion. She wore no ring to bind them, nor has ever been called by her true last name. She could not be seen even holding his hand in public, lest their secret come to light. Such small things when weighed against the horror this world had endured. Nonetheless, they caused her a great deal of hurt. Thankfully, she'd become an expert at burying her pain. And her secrets.

Nonetheless, Padme dearly missed her husband. Desperately so. Longed to see him. Lived for the HoloNet's news reports of his latest exploits. Lived to see him alive.

Prayed he stayed alive.

Publicly, her perfected political face ever present, Padme took great pride in her work. Her fight for the helpless. For those that had no voice. Against this atrocious war and all that it left in its wake. It consumed her days. Endless meetings. Votes. Travel. Security. Negotiations. Compromises. Coasting through the political hurricane that was the Galactic Senate while trying not to drown in the ever changing, rising tide.

Her professional life consumed her, while her personal life broke her heart, squeezing the very air from her chest. She was thankful for the distraction, painful as it was. Just not in the dead of night when missing Anakin was at its worse. Its most deeply private. When she just longed to know that he was alright.

When the shuttle came to a shaky halt it wasn't until the driver-droid called her name a second time that she broke free of her inner thoughts. The towering metal-glass seventeen-floor former Hostlin hotel was now a quickly refurbished Republic military compound. Nearly four dozen Republic Clone Troopers were waiting, and then escorted her and the other Senators inside through the secure lobby area where they were identified, and then allowed to pass. They ventured toward a set of elevators at the far end of a long corridor.

Frivolous chatter surrounded Padme as they made their way through the compound. Military personnel, droids, clone Troopers, personal attendants, relief volunteers, communications officers both Republic and local officials busied themselves in every corner. Holding onto her exhausted silence, she tuned them all out, her gaze set straight ahead. She was just to drained to care. To worn down. Had seen far to much suffering today, and with no true end in site.

Padme's spirit was weary, and so was her heart. She just wanted to fade away for a little while.

If there were one thing she was grateful for, it was that each Senator had their own floor all to themselves and their personal entourage. Exiting onto her floor without so much as a goodbye to the others, Padme was escorted by a squad of Clone Troopers past her own personal security detail spread throughout the hallway until she reached her private quarters. They departed with a nod as she found C-3PO waiting for her. Raising her hand, she cut him off before he could utter a single word. "Unless there is an absolute emergency communication, I am not to be disturbed under any circumstances. I am very tired, so please offer my sincerest apologies for any communications, as well as a promise to reply to all messages left by the time I return to Coruscant. I just need to rest, understood?"

The protocol droid gave a curt nod, polite as always. "As you wish, Senator. Captain Typho and his team have finished their sweep of the entire floor and your master suite. Your security staff are in place and the area has been given the all clear. Motee and her staff are nearby if needed. The entire floor is quite secure. But I will inform them that unless there is a dire emergency that you are not to be disturbed for the rest of the evening. But before you retire, would you like me to have your dinner prepared? I cannot imagine you've eaten anything in that dreadful heat."

Running a tired hand through her hair, Padme sighed, "Only when I contact you for it, which may be hours from now if at all. Thank you."

C-3PO gave a polite bow. "As you wish, milady. I shall take my leave."

After entering a nine-digit number into a wall-mounted keypad, the beige ceiling-high door slid aside, granting her entrance into the suite. A vastly cooler temperature immediately blessed her face with such comfort she granted herself the first real smile she'd enjoyed all day long. As soon as the security latch shifted from green to red, signaling the door was locked, she began peeling off her sweaty clothes right there at the doorway.

Sparing a glance around the spacious suite, she felt a twinge of guilt at the modest appeal of her short-term surroundings as she knew so many had so little on this world. Basic best described her accommodations, but what more did she need than a soft bed and a refresher unit. Others on this world were getting by with far, far less. No complaint lived on her lips save the resolve to do her very best to help the people of this world.

Emotionally and physically drained, Padme retreated to the refresher for the next thirty soothing minutes.

Emerging greatly rejuvenated, Padme exited the refresher clad in a oversized plush white robe, rubbing a towel over her face. Barefoot and so worn out that even the site of her clothes just lying on the floor, something vastly unlike her, just didn't matter. Craning her neck about, she gently massaged the tension at her temple, and then smiled a bit bashfully when her belly growled ever so. "Dinner sounds pretty good after all," she muttered to herself.

"I don't suppose you could order for two?"

Gasping loudly, Padme's heart just about stopped. Her head whipped around to seek out the voice, and in that split-second she prayed she wasn't hearing things. Wasn't going crazy. Wasn't just wishing she heard what she thought she did.

And then the joyful beyond words truth lived in the beloved vision set before her, standing tall and proud in his dark Jedi robe by the far window.

Anakin.

Her Ani.

Padme was moving before she consciously thought to do so, and was met halfway as her husband caught her as she barreled into him. His strong arms curled tightly around her, holding her so tightly, lifting her off her feet with a little twirl. Unable to resist, Anakin captured her beautiful mouth in a fiercely passionate kiss, basking in the sweet taste of her as if he could draw her very breath into him. This was life. Was worth dying for. Was worth more to him than the entire galaxy. Her arms wrapped around his neck, hoping against hope that she wasn't dreaming. That she wasn't about to wake up alone in her bed yet again.

Trembling in his loving embrace, Padme managed a quiet, "How?" but Anakin refused to relinquish her kiss for even a second as he held her so close. Held her like she was so precious to him. Inhaling the fresh scent of her skin, his wife was was everything and finally... finally back in his arms again. At last the war gently faded from his thoughts. All swept away by her love. Just kissing her left him wondering if he had ever truly breathed before he'd won her heart.
Only when they were both stressed for air did he at last break their kiss, tucking her head beneath his chin, his face buried in the bushy curls of her soft brown hair.

With her head pressed to his chest, the strong beat of his heart was sweetest music to her ears. Evidence of the life coursing through him. It almost brought her to tears, she was so overcome with emotion. Suddenly nothing else mattered in all the galaxy now that they were together again. Her hands clutched at his robe so hard, as if she let go he might vanish before her very eyes. "Ani, how?" she half-pleaded, both overjoyed and shocked by his presence. His dark gloved hand rose to gently cup her face, lifting her gaze to him. That devastating smile of his left her breathless.

"I..." Anakin struggled to explain, lost in her beauty. "Less than eight standard hours ago I learned you were even here. Obi-Wan and I were assigned to protect a Republic military-engineering convoy doing construction on a moon near Kashyyyk. Suddenly I was reassigned, and not without a great deal of protest at first, and sent here as added protection for the Senators assisting in the relief effort."

Padme blinked, knowing, and yet not even able to muster much anger at what she knew was true. "The Supreme Chancellor sent you here, didn't he?"

Anakin graced her with a knowing smirk. "He's always had my best interest at heart,"

At the moment she couldn't care to investigate the slight tremor his words caused because she was kissing him again without a second thought. She drank from his lips, and when he sank his tongue inside her mouth she drew upon it seductively, sucking passionately, dying not to lose even a breaths worth of time with him. One relentlessly urgent kiss after another left her panting in his arms. Her center clenched with need as his mouth wetly sucked over the side of her neck. "How long to we have?"

"A day," he panted hard, cradling the back of her head while plundering the sweet depths of her lush mouth once more. "Maybe two if were lucky."

When Padme felt her husband drawing her back towards the bed she felt like she was on fire. Every sweep of his tongue gliding alongside hers left her greedy
for him. To be filled by him. To have all of him hard and deep inside her, thrusting until the ecstasy tore her apart and she couldn't remember that they had ever been apart. Her voice fluttered, "How did you get in?"

"I have my ways, beloved," Anakin noted mysteriously, nipping at her bottom lip with a sexy little bite. While holding her smoldering gaze he gently untangled the knot of her plush bathrobe, parting it, revealing all that he had ached for on so many lonely nights without her. Even this close she just wasn't close enough. He was literally shaking to have her as they reached her bed. He shrugged off his Jedi robe, raw longing within his dark gaze. His voice trembled with emotion. "I've missed you so much, Padme. I'm dying without you."

"I'm dying without you too," she whispered back to him. There was so much more she wanted to talk about. To learn of his trials and travels, and to tell him of her own. To hear first-hand of his daring exploits and dangerous adventures. To regale him with her every experience in the Galactic Senate. But that talk would have to wait.

What could not wait was this. The way her small hands worked frantically, tearing his dark tunic from his chest. The way the rest of his clothes were lost to their passion, and as he pushed her back onto the bed, her grip on his forearms drug him down as well, drawing his strong frame on top of her.

Anakin devoured her soft mouth with a urgently passionate kiss, inhaling her breath, tasting her tongue... and then peppered warm, heated kisses from her lips down the side of her jaw, falling over the column her throat, descending seductively until he firmly cupped her small breast with his flesh hand while drawing on a peaked nipple with a firm suck.

Wincing passionately, her eyes shut tight, Padme's back arched at the decadent sensation of his hungry mouth suckling on the tip. His tongue drew lazy swirls round and round that elicited the most amorous whimpers from her. The warmest trickle of saliva dripped over the sensitive nipple, and then he captured it once more, sucking hard... sucking so sensuously her sex clenched with hot jealousy. His gloved hand filled with the other breast, stroking the peak with his thumb.

"Yes... yesAni," Padme chanted softly, shivering all the way down her legs to her toes as his hands filled with her breasts. As his tongue traced along the gentle slope, his teeth softly nipping the pebbled peaks. Suckling hard on the stiff nipple, he loved the erotic sounds she made and the way she shivered beneath him. Her lips parted in a wordless cry, her belly trembling when his tender kisses began seductively descending her body. A husky moan escaped her lips when his tongue lapped softly at her navel, teasing, and then continued its southern journey until Anakin settled fully between her spread legs, his warm breath fanning hotly over her weeping sex. Her thigh muscles tensed at the sensation.

The erotic vision and aroused aroma of his wife so wet for him saw blue eyes darken with lust as he gazed up from between her parted thighs. He was nearly in pain with hunger for her. "I've dreamed of this for so long, Angel."

And then he tasted her.

The erotic cries now fleeing the pit of her throat as his mouth closed around her juicy sex had to have been from another woman. They just had too. She couldn't fathom herself being so vocal, so shameless and wild, and yet the sweet pleasure of his tongue gliding lazily over clit left her thighs closing around his head. Saw her quivering as he softly lashed her sex until she was grinding shamelessly into his sucking mouth, her slender hips pumping as the wet smacking sounds of his feast left her nails clawing into the lavender bed covers.

Anakin's devastatingly addictive craving for her, the way he sought her pleasure obsessively was beyond his control. Thrusting his tongue into her, lapping at her entrance, and then sucking on her until her hips rolled... until the muscles in her thighs quivered around his head as he fucked her with his tongue, his hands squeezing the softly rounded globes of her ass so that she couldn't pull away, even as she shifted and rocked. Parting the soft folds with his tongue, he took his time sucking her as her cries grew louder. He felt her hand comb into his sun-shrieked hair, fingernails digging into his scalp as her slender hips rocked into mouth.

She tasted so damn good. Feminine. Wet. Juicy.

His cock throbbed with need as he stroked his tongue over her glistening, swollen clit; loving the way she writhed for him. The air filled with his name erupting gloriously from her lips, her back arched like a bow as she was so close. He was dying to make her cum in his mouth. To have her lose control, helpless to the pleasure only he could give her. But he swore an old Tattoine curse at how badly he lusted to feel her sex wrapped around him again.

Wired and so slick for him, Padme groaned angrily as she was so close... And then she felt him climb over her, parting her thighs, the head of his cock brushed at her moistened entrance. "Uhhnnn!" she cried out when he pushed inside her deeply as his face now buried in the crook of her neck, his breath warming her skin as her legs curled around his hips. The hot fullness of him, coupled with the hard weight of his body pressing her into the bed was overpowering her with ecstasy. Her mouth hung open, lips parted erotically as her inner muscles awakened after so long, drawing hotly around his
length as he withdrew, and then drove into her once more. Slowly at first, rocking into her deeper until she had taken all of him... until she pulsed hotly around him, the pleasure so exquisite she could scarcely breathe.

Anakin moved over her, inside her, gliding in and out of her snug depths as she clutched him so tightly. Muscles exerting powerfully, he captured her sweet mouth with a hard, possessive kiss while fucking her with a slow rhythm. The lustful way she moaned and whimpered his name made him feel so powerful. After so long he struggled for control. Struggled to reign in the animal within so that he could draw out her pleasure forever. Struggled for time to make it so good for her. Make her cum so hard, fighting the intense urge to take her with fierce, wild thrusts. Think of her, think of her, think of her was his mantra.

But his Padme wasn't so innocent anymore. Wasn't seeking the expected fairly tale of soft caresses and sweet whispers this night. She wanted what he wanted. Such a reunion that they might never forget when once again they were parted.

Drawing his plump earlobe into her mouth, gently biting, she quietly begged, "Fuck me hard, Master Jedi... I'm yours."

"Padme, yes!" Nailing her hips to the bed until it shook against the wall, grunting raw, hot breaths over her throat, every inch of her was his to posses forever. Anakin reached one hand beneath her hips, cupping her ass hard, now pounding into her with aggressively deep thrusts. Harsh breathing and the bed squeaking angrily was the music of fiery lust as they fucked passionately. Nothing had ever felt so good as being inside Padme. So exquisite. The fiery way her sex held him so tight, squeezing around his every thrust, so lost in her love he wanted to die. "Mine!" he swore, thrusting into her small frame, his knees digging into the bed, lunging into her with his full strength, every muscle in his body exerting.

"Yes!" she cried out, her nails raking down his back as he powered into her, his impacting thrusts pushing her up the bed, shoving the covers aside. This was the raw, hot lust she'd craved so desperately to kill her aching loneliness for him. Being his absolute focus. His only need. Sustenance for his soul. She hung on tight, legs curled tightly around her husband, ankles locked over his lower back, her arms holding onto him as they rocked as one. Fucking hard, grunting, moaning, his cock claiming her once more. Mindlessly driving into her, forcing her ecstasy as she was being taken so hard.

Padme was being fucked so hard... suddenly, violently, the thick column of his manhood elicited a tremendous climax without warning, seizing her entire body in the blink of an eye. Clenching hotly around him, her wordless cry, nails digging into his back as intense pleasurable waves swept over her trembling, quivering body, jerking her beneath him. Her eyes rolled hard as the force of her orgasm rode through her. And then feeling his one last thrust so deep, his cock bursting inside her in thick warm surges of his seed! She took all of it, every single drop, her sex draining him until he slumped over her at long last with a well-satisfied groan.

Eye lids shut and sapped of strength, Padme held him in a full body embrace, their hearts beating rapidly against each other. She felt the wetness of perspiration all over his back, their bodies glistening with sweat. The scent of their passion heavy in the air, drowning the moment in passion. The bedroom spun as her mind tried to wrap around such pleasure. Tears wet her eyes at how badly she'd missed her husband. How deeply he loved her. Unconsciously, she began kissing his face, touching him, not wanting to miss a second of his presence. Of having him in her arms again where he belonged. "I love you," she whispered against his temple, pressing her face there. "I love you so much."

Gently drawing himself free, already he missed the warmth of her feminine embrace. Lifting his gaze to her beautiful, flushed face. Her blush stained cheeks. Her kiss swollen lips. The red marks he'd left on the side of her neck. Her gorgeous post-sex hair fallen over the sheets. Suddenly fear crept up his spine as he'd been so aggressive with her, "Padme, I'm so sorry. Was I too rough? I just needed you so badly. I... I couldn't help..." Her loving caress over his cheek warded off his fears.

"I wanted exactly what you gave me, love. I desperately wanted your lust and your fury," she replied while wearing a tender smile, tapering a well-manicured finger over his mouth. There was such emotion laced within her voice as she spoke. "I wanted to feel that. To drown out all the pain and sadness of us being apart for so long. I wanted your aggression and your desire. Rest assured I am fine, and far from done with you, dear husband."

"No man has ever loved a woman as I love you, Padme," he whispered in her ear, smiling brightly. Rolling over onto his back beside her, he lovingly tugged her against him. Bending down, he brushed a precious kiss to her forehead, and then rested his against her. This was the purest essence of life to him. All that he needed in the galaxy. Attaining Mastery within the Jedi Order meant nothing compared to Padme. "Its been so long, Angel. Far to long. I've missed you so much and..."

"Shhh." She pressed twin fingers to his mouth, shaking her head. Snuggling into the warmth of his body, she rested her hand over his beating heart, so content and at peace. "We're reunited and we can talk about everything later. Right now," she declared in a most Sith-like tone, her eyes dark with
desire. "Its my turn."

Humming delightfully as her warm mouth began trailing soft little kisses down the side of his neck until she straddled his belly, gliding those same kisses down his hard chest. One sexy oh-so-male smirk lifted his expression as he watched her ghost her tongue over his dark nipple, and then sway a lazy path down his chiseled stomach. He inhaled sharply when her small hand curled around his semi-hard cock. It lengthened fully in her stroking grasp the moment her mouth hung above it.

"Relax, Anakin. Close your eyes and think of nothing but how much I love you."

His cock twitched in her grasp when her oh-so-soft lips pursed over the head, brushing the most wicked sensation. She gave it a tender little suck, and when her gaze lifted she found him wearing the most beautifully lustful expression. She had never felt so powerful. Grinning evilly, her eyes shut as her lips closed around him once more, nursing slowly at the head while stroking the base with her fist. Their shared taste was intoxicating as she rolled her tongue over the weeping slip before sucking gently once more.

Suffering through the most pleasurable sensory overload ever, the hypnotic vision of watching her head bob up and down over his lap, her thick hair lightly fanning over his belly nearly drove him as mad as the soft, hungry caress of her mouth. Breathing heavily, his hands clawed at the bedsheets as the sounds of her wet sucking and the erotic feel of her taking him inside the humid confines of her mouth was so damn good his body tensed powerfully. "Padme... so good, baby... Padme... Padme..."

While far from the prude the HoloNet often portrayed her as, Padme's eagerness was even a shock to herself. But she wanted him so badly. Wanted him to never forget her when they were apart. Wanted to pleasure him so completely the mere thought of her would make him hard. Softly gliding her lips up and down his cock, warmly engulfing him, she took him as deep as her comfort would allow. Time after precious time she inhaled the throbbing length, bathing it in warm saliva, sucking gently. She was addicted to the taste of him, so hard for her. She didn't want to stop pleasuring him, her cheeks caving in sharply as she began sucking harder. This was her husband, and he would forever know endless pleasure came from her alone.

Her slick, hungry sucking sent shivers through Anakin as her name fled his throat over and over in vocal worship. The erotic way she drew so rhythmically around him, the sight of his cock vanishing in her warm mouth, hungrily working her lips and tongue... he could already feel another mind-shattering orgasm threatening his sanity. "Padme, so close..." A scowling wince crawled over his face when she slipped him free from her mouth. His eyes opened, and then widened when she ascended his frame, straddling his lap, pressing the head of his cock at her entrance, and slowly rocking back to take him inside
her once more. "Ahhh, Padme..."

"You," bending over him, she pressed her mouth to his, "Belong," her knees settled on either side of his upper thighs, "To me," her lower body rocked over his lap, sinking him deep inside her as she moved up and down at a lazy pace, falling back, rising, and then sinking down around him. She loved the way his hands held her slender hips, trying not to drag her down faster as he let her have her way with him. "I love you, Anakin."

On the heels of a long, deep moan as her name hissed from his lips, Padme rode him at at easy gallop, her toes dragging over the sides of his legs, sinking him inside her heat slowly. Her inner walls suckled and released around him as her hypnotic rise and fall over his lap felt so damn good. When she captured his mouth with a scalding kiss, he took hold of her, possessively pulling her hips down, forcing her harder on his cock as he began to thrust up into her, matching her rhythm. "Love you so much, Angel."

"Mine!" Padme swore with her eyes shut, swiveling her hips over his lap, coiling her back in a snake-like rhythm, squeezing around him so wetly. Her breath hitched as she rode him hard, her small breasts dangling over his chest, perspiration dripping off them both. He felt so hard inside her, solid and incredibly male. So very alive, trembling over him, loving the passionate wincing faces he made. Her hands braced on his shoulders, nails digging in, holding on tight as she fucked him, riding his thick cock hard as her climax threatened intensely. The harsh grunting, flesh slapping, their sweat mingling as they made love passionately reached an intensely pleasurable crescendo.

As erotic lust stained her beautiful face, Padme rode him hard with long, grinding thrusts. Eyes shut, she heard his warning, loved his lack of control, and felt him stiffen even harder inside her before her name ripped from his lips as he came hard. She rode harder, squeezing tightly around him, and then cumming herself a second sweet time while willing every urgent burst of his hot seed inside her... not stopping until his last gasp as he was spent and boneless beneath her.

Both were shivering as they held each other, heaving for air, lustfully exhausted from the aftershocks of incredible sex.

There was so much more to be said. To be shared and discussed, but tonight they simply needed to be a husband and wife reunited. After the fiery passion came the need for a peaceful, restful sleep. A joyous slumber. Shifting warmly under the heavy covers, they shared a final kiss in the dark before falling fast asleep, safe and sound in each others arms.

And for that brief moment, all was right in the galaxy.

The ruins of Sirrah City
Early morning
The planet 'Marquise'
The Core worlds

The horrific sight of countless dismembered, charred corpses piled in dozens of burial mounds by the side of the road entering what was once a well-populated city were beyond words; now emitting a viciously foul stench as they rotted in the merciless heat of twin suns. Massive flocks of Kells flew overhead, picking at the rotting insect infested flesh.

Piloting a civilian 74-Y speeder, the same his wife flew beside him, Anakin once more witnessed the raw savagery of war and the viciously dire consequences of the innocent caught in the crossfire. Blazing a path through the devastated epicenter of the disaster area, he recalled the intercepted coded transmission that led the Jedi Order and the Republic military to believe there was a chance Count Dooku was on this world and building a massive droid factory. Marquise was a strategic masterpiece as it was far enough away from Coruscant to receive little notice, but close enough to serve as a grand launching pad for a gigantic invasion force. A world devoid of precious natural resources, advanced technology, or great wealth.

And yet, people lived here. Were born, fell in love, made families, and were a culture all their own. They mattered. And they deserved far, far better than what they received at no fault of there own.

Anakin and Obi-Wan had been deep in the Outer Rim when word came that the Republic Military was moving in to try and capture Count Dooku. While intelligence proved correct that a huge Separatist Force had invaded the world, completely disrupting their communications with intention to build a droid factory.

Unfortunately, Count Dooku was nowhere to be found.

The ensuing battle crippled the world in seventy-two standard hours, with well over half its population murdered in the global attacks. Its cities and villages were burned to the ground as Separatist forces dug in deep. Eventually they were overwhelmed and destroyed, a clear show of might by the Republic, but at what cost. Those that survived bore not only the unimaginable grief of those they lost, but the immensely harsh realities of a post-war world.

Squinting beneath a brilliant sun, Anakin pointed towards a once towering structure that had completely caved in on itself, and had crashed into a second building. Thick smoke still simmered from the wreckage, surrounded by massive shards of titan-crete, toppled over air-shuttles, sprawling piles of rubble, and cracked glass everywhere.

Exhaling deeply from the oppressive heat, Anakin expressed, "Padme, while I respect that your heart is in the right place..."

"One final sweep, I promise," Padme replied in her comm-link as they navigated a dense downtown section of the devastated city, their journey hindered by damage to the roadways and the dozens of collapsed buildings crumbled all around them. "The Republic Military refused to search for anymore survivors, but I spoke to a couple who were found just yesterday in an area thought to be completely destroyed. I just want to know for myself that we've exhausted every possible avenue to help the people of this world. Especially since our forces assisted in this senseless slaughter."

Sometimes Anakin wondered how anyone could have a heart as loving and kind as his Padme. And though his cynical side considered this exercise futile, if noble, he still hoped she was right and that he was wrong. "Hang a left at that sky-train station. The bridge on the other side was toppled and I don't trust these speeders getting us over debris that huge."

Angling her speeder at a great velocity just behind her husband's, Padme handled the controls and his tricky pathways with a skill she found great pride
in. Although the signs of destruction were catastrophic, the massive outpouring of support from every corner of the Republic whispered hope to
her heart. "Thank you for accompanying me. I know you do not see much point in this excursion."

"By your side is where I will always be."

Oh how she longed for them to be normal, sometimes. For s simpler life minus the secrets and lies they are forced to tell. Their reunion should have come with an amazing dinner and a night out to celebrate their love. Their passion burned white hot as ever, but in the light of day the knowledge that hundreds of thousands of people were struggling to survive without food, shelter, or clean drinking water brought the stark reality of the day back to
the surface. "My scanners aren't picking up anything."

"You knew they wouldn't. Between the static interference and low-level radiation in the area, you were relying on my Jedi Force-intuition to find anyone alive."

Padme saw no reason to refute his claim. "You know me far to well."

"And love you endlessly."

Regardless of the uncomfortable heat, she smiled brightly in spite of the intense heat. "Look over there, past the train yards near the ocean. Entire sections of the coastline just vanished. Trees were thrown around like matchsticks. It'll take at least a standard year to dig out from all the rubble. Schools, hospitals, houses of worship... all gone," she spoke softly in reverence.

"Here. Lets stop."

"Do you sense something?"

Anakin hated to dampen the hope in her voice. "No," he reported. Bringing his speeder to a halt atop what was once a five-story building, Padme quickly joined him. Dismounting, they stood together amidst the devastation as he pointed eastward. "A Separatist cruiser ripped a nineteen block gash through the city when it was shot down. When its core reactor exploded the city was no more."

Padme could only shake her head as she looked on, objecting to this accursed war with every fiber of her being. "We've done all that we could do. I just wish it were more."

"Bringing attention to the situation here, along with food and support, is all that anyone could do. Unfortunately this won't be the last world caught in the crossfire." Turning to his beloved wife, fire lit his gaze. "But I promise you I will find a way to end this war."

"That's a pretty lofty goal, Anakin. Saving the galaxy."

"Well," he tendered a daring smile, standing tall. "I am the Chosen One."

Her Ani... his ego was as immense as his heart. His courage and confidence, indomitable. So far from perfect as he was, and yet perfect for her. Angling into his side, when his arm curled around her slender waist she allowed her eyes to close peacefully. She wrapped her arms around his waist, drawing him
closer. Even as a slight beat of dread laced her tone of voice. "We're taking a risk doing this out in the open, even here."

"I don't care."

"Such a predictable response," she laughed softly, resting her head over his heart. "Can we win this war?"

Brushing a soft caress over her cheek, Anakin pressed a tender kiss to her temple. "I would not think you would ask such a question."

Her brows knitted, suddenly very serious. "I don't believe violence is ever the answer. But it seems to be the only option the Separatists respond too. No matter the grave sanctions lobbied against their worlds or against the organizations and financial institutions that support them and yet still operate in the Republic, they continue on with this campaign of death without end."

Anakin caught her beautiful brown eyes, holding her stare captive. "What are you afraid of?"

"That there is no diplomatic end to this war, and I'm am placing my life on hold for no reason at all," she expressed sadly. "I'm afraid that you will die on the battlefield and I will die inside with grief, all because I have placed our sworn duties above our marriage. I'm afraid that someday you might resent me for never placing us first."

"So shall we leave all of this behind?" Anakin questioned with a flair of sarcasm. "We can take my fighter and fly to the other end of the galaxy. Change our identities and start over. You can have a wealth of skills in any number of career fields, and I... I can become a nerf-herder." Her gaze bore through him angrily... and then gently broke into a side smile followed by soft laughter. "I would be the greatest nerf-herder of all time."

"One day I am going to punch you."

"You have small hands. I doubt it would hurt very much," he smiled down at her, his eyes filled with love for her alone. "I would leave everything behind for you. You need only ask and it is done."

Padme knew that beyond a shadow of a doubt. "I've just... I have worked so hard to build my career to where it is now, in spite of the lack of respect I have sometimes endured being a woman in the Galactic Senate and the consistent whispers that I earned my position solely because I am a former Queen, irregardless of my education or accomplishments as Queen of Naboo." She continued, "I draw strength and great pride in the work I do for the people of the Republic. For the poor and the sick and the worlds that are not rich in resources, technology, or royalty. I want to champion peaceful co-existence and compromise in a Senate far more corrupt than I ever imagined. Those things matter to me a great deal."

"Then how could you ever give that up?" Anakin noted, and watched her face fall before him. "To run away from this difficult life would be beneath you. You could never do it. You're far to noble." Releasing her, Anakin crossed his arms playfully. "I on the other hand, as stated earlier, would be the best nerf-herder in all the galaxy."

Padme sometimes wondered if a heart could burst with love for another. Oh how she adored this man. "You're supposed to be the rebellious one in this marriage."

He quirked a brow. "I like to be unpredictable sometimes."

"I highly doubt the Jedi Council likes the sound of that. And I'm not sure I do either."

Slowing drawing her into his strong embrace once more, Anakin bent towards her soft mouth. "There's no time to discuss this in a committee."

A breath before her eyes slipped shut as their mouths met, she whispered, "I am not a committee."

Beneath the fiery intense heat of the dual suns above, Anakin and Padme kissed passionately, leaving the galaxy behind for a brief, perfect moment.

The End of Chapter 1

Chapter 2: When Anakin learns of Padme's Senatorial meeting at the Jedi Temple, he has every intention of stealing her away even under Obi-Wan's secretly watchful eyes.