Deceptions Chapter 13

Anakin awoke nearly two hours later, having willingly followed Padmé into sleep rather than releasing his bond to her. Padmé herself was still deeply asleep, and, as he didn't wish to disturb her, Anakin slowly and reluctantly disentangled himself from her embrace.

"Rest well Angel..." he whispered, as he kissed her lightly on the forehead. She sighed and rolled over, snuggling down deeper into the coverlet, exposing her back in the process. Anakin carefully touched the scars there, his touch becoming a caress only to pull away when she shifted again. Carefully, he pulled one of the covers up to her shoulder and lightly kissed her again resisting the temptation to just lay back down next to his sleeping wife (and child) and hold her (them) in his arms. Out of comfort rather than modesty, he draped another blanket over his shoulders and wandered over to the other couch to think things through, and perhaps even meditate. Ironically, with all the Jedi tenements against 'possessive attachment', Anakin found that mediation actually came to him more easily when he was with Padmé. That the thing that would have normally would have separated him from the other Jedi actually made him more like them. Her very presence helped him stay focused, grounded, able to step back more easily and see things more clearly. Obi-wan would be pleased, he thought wryly.

Anakin sat down, closed his eyes and took several slow, deep breaths, willing himself into a light trance like state yet keeping one ear open to his sleeping wife. When all was said and done, he thought, her happiness and safety were all that mattered.

They would be found out now, it was inevitable. When the fact... the child... was discovered, he would stand by her. No one would accuse her of licentiousness or imply any impropriety, she was a married woman and if either the Senate or the Jedi council had issue with this fact... well...

He was getting ahead of himself... he needed to take a few mental steps back and think things through... Whom could they trust? They would need allies, and soon, just in case things did get ugly... Dormé... she had already proven herself a trusted friend and confidant, she would be a strong asset once she was informed... whom in the Senate? Jar Jar Binks was a given. Many people mistook his kindness and open faced honesty for ignorance, but they did so at their own peril. For all of his clumsiness, and innocence, Jar Jar's loyalty and devotion to his loved ones would be without parallel, but still, this was more Padmé's field of expertise... she knew more so whom could be trusted, who would be willing to stand by them. He briefly considered speaking to the Chancellor himself, but in his heart of hearts, he balked at this idea, at least, for now. Over the years, Anakin had approached the Supreme Chancellor on many occasions, seeking guidance and sometimes, although very rarely, intercession. In this instance, however; he felt it would be best to keep as few people aware of the situation as for as long as possible... Besides, hadn't the Supreme Chancellor told him to learn to trust his own instincts? Palpatine had always shown faith in him and his judgment, even more so than... than... Obi-wan.

Obi-wan. He would be the worse. So the Jedi Master would at long last have his suspicions confirmed... he and Padmé were not about to deny themselves the physical aspect of their relationship... Obi-wan wouldn't understand that despite the poor timing, children would be a welcome part of his life... if it meant choosing between his wife, his child (son) and the damned Order could take their outdated mentality and stuff it up their collective...

A warm soft touch around his belly interrupted his chain of thought and he opened his eyes.

"I didn't want to disturb you but..."

"I know..." he sighed."It's almost time to go back for now..." he trailed off, eyes growing wide.

"What?" she asked him, genuinely puzzled and then she looked down at herself and giggled.

"I'm sorry... It was right there and I wanted something to wear. You don't mind do you?"

Anakin started to giggle softly as he took her into his arms and pulled her into his lap.

"My undershirt is NOT proper Senatorial attire my love... unless you were planning on forsaking politics for the Order?"

"We could make it a family tradition..." Padmé began in mock seriousness. "Father, mother... Son... Daughter..." She started to cry ever so softly. "Ani, I'm still so afraid..."

"Why?" he asked he quietly, holding her tightly, starting to rock her in his embrace. "I am here, with you and our baby... I will not leave your side..."

"Someone will take him... or her! The Jedi..."

"Will have no say in the matter my love..." Anakin interrupted her smoothly. "No harm will come to you or our child, I promise you..."

"The laws of the Republic... If the child is force sensitive..." she pressed but again, Anakin cut her off, a little more sharply this time.

"We have the right of refusal Padmé... besides; we don't know if our child even will be force sensitive... Padmé, Angel... everything will be alright. Do you believe me?" He kissed the top of her head and stroked her arm tenderly. "Padmé?"

She began to sniffle a bit as her tears subsided. "Yes, I do... I love you Ani..."

Anakin kissed her head again and murmured his own "I love you's" until she had calmed down completely. Reluctantly, at last, he began to pull away.

"It's almost time you went back. They'll miss you…"

She kissed him tenderly, her eyes shining. "I need to wash before I go…" Padmé sighed, "Tonight then?"

"Yes, "he whispered huskily. "A calm before the storm… a storm we will ride out together. All three of us… you me and our baby… the Republic, the Jedi, they can all go to blazes for all I care… I have you, both of you, and that is all that matters…"

"Tonight." She whispered in his ear. "Tonight. Here. As soon as you can." She stroked his chest lovingly, "I want to have you all to myself as long as I can…"

"Of course," Anakin agreed kissing her once more. "Wash," he told her gently pushing her off of his lap. "Perhaps I'll even show you how we conserve water on a desert planet…"

Padmé needed no further prompting and sauntered lazily into the fresher. "Hurry…" she called softly over her shoulder.

Anakin nodded, wanting to allow himself one last consideration before joining his wife.

Obi-wan… He would need to buy some time. The answer came to him, suddenly, almost unbidden but effective. There was great need for a skilled negotiator in the Sulust sector; he knew that for a fact…. 'Vader' could prepare the order. 'Vader', the name he had given to his inner demons. The name he could always use to give orders surreptitiously through any computer terminal. Anakin knew that mealy a word from 'Lord Vader' would insure that things would be carried out without hesitation, and most importantly, without question. That was indeed, a most satisfactory solution all around. It would be a simple, and effective way to see that Master Kenobi would be securely 'indisposed' for at least a month, (perhaps even two,) without any risk of real harm coming to him, and it would buy some precious time so that Anakin could prepare for the inevitable fall out…

The echoing sounds of water falling brought his attention back to Padmé and he turned just in time to see his gauzy Jedi undershirt come sailing out of the fresher. Padmé began humming an unfamiliar tune, seemingly oblivious to the fact that he door was still open and at last, Anakin chased the last of thoughts of the Jedi, the Senate and Obi-wan out of his mind as he rose to join his wife…

Holonet news: The Capital.

Senator Amidala's office once again denied rumors that she has been too ill to perform even the most perfunctory of her duties. As an active member of many of the restorative comities, her presence has been sorely missed over the last few weeks…

Count Dooku, former Jedi Knight leader of the Separatist movement that started the war nearly three years ago, has once again ostensibly been sighted on yet another outer rim planet. Many knowledgeable sources have put forth the claim that Dooku himself has been dead these many years and his name is put forth as a 'bogie man' to scare the masses by those who would profit most from the continuation of the war …

Chancellor Palpatine's office has announced the creation of the 'Regional Advisors Offices'. As the name implies, the Regional Advisors would be placed in various areas of the Republic to help reunify our shattered way of life…

In market trading news, seemingly in a show of support for this new stronger government, many interplanetary stocks gained on their respective trading markets…