A/N: Thank you, for all of the positive reviews. Yes, you all got your wish- I took the plunge and wrote it with a M rating in mind.

Writing this chapter was an... interesting, enlightening? experience and I'm quite apprehensive about posting it. Apparently I'm more far more conservative than I had previously thought. I tried to do it tastefully and without resorting to cliches, but it's gotten to the point where I'm so nervous about it thatI can't objectively judge it. Anyway, set my mind at ease and read and review- constructive comments would be appreciated- I know this cannot possibly be close to perfect, so please, point out what's wrong.

At least this time, the chapter will be a little better edited, as I have actually forced myself to read right through it...cringe.

So, here goes nothing-



Standing outside in the dying rays of the sun had been tolerably warm, but the stone villa was chilled. Anakin made a small gesture with his free hand, turning on the heat regulator and flicking on a light in the corner of the room.

As Padmé pulled him towards her, he heard her mumble into his shoulder.

'Show off'

He answered only by bringing her with him as he sat on the nearby lounge, positioning her neatly across his lap.

The seating arrangements gave her good access to the junction between his jaw and neck, just below his ear- a benefit she was eager to exploit. Brushing feather light kisses across the area, knowing he found it particularly sensitive, she grinned into his neck as she felt his hand tighten its grip on her knee. One arm was slung around his shoulder as she twirled sections of his hair around her fingers and the other hand pressed firmly against his rapidly rising and falling chest. She loved what she could do to him.

Perhaps sensing her smugness, Anakin took action of his own. The hand on her knee unhurriedly gathered up the long skirts that covered her legs and slid under them to make contact with her thigh. The muscle fluttered under his hand while she adjusted to the touch, enjoying the warmth of his hand as it moved upwards painstakingly slowly to her inner thigh. It was a cruel torture and she pulled away from the crook of his neck, choosing instead to watch him as he very deliberately teased her. Instinctively, her knees spread to allow him better access and her hips nudged forward ever so slightly in a vain attempt to increase the pressure between his hand and herself. She saw an arrogant smirk lift the corners of his mouth. In an effort demonstrate to him that he didn't hold all the cards she ground her rear hard into his lap and enjoyed the lapse in control that flashed across his face. She beamed angelically at him as his eyes flickered back open.

Finally showing a little gentlemanly complaisance, he pushed her backwards into the lounge cushions and stretched out alongside her, back pressed into the back of the chair, head propped up on his elbow, one hand still moving under her skirts. He leaned over for a kiss, tongue gently pushing for entrance to her mouth, as his fingers finally reach their goal. A reactionary noise came from the back of her throat- whether it was a moan or whimper she wasn't really sure- that sent shivers through her husband, as he not only heard it, but felt it through the kiss. She squirmed under the heated spread of warmth from between her legs and became uncomfortably aware of the numerous layers of clothing that separated them.

The first to go was the top of her dress- shrugging her arms out of the sleeves, the expensive material bunched at her waist and she arched her back to increase the contact between her own goose-bumped skin and his only partially bared chest. She tugged at his robes to little effect and was eventually forced to break the kiss and make him sit up. She watched through desire-hooded eyes as he moved to kneel between her legs, divesting himself of the encumbering uniform and robes. The half-light emphasised the play of skin across his fluidly moving muscles and she enjoyed the view, lip bitten in anticipation. His utility belt dropped to the floor, the omnipresent lightsabre following it. He leaned over her reclining figure, weight resting on one arm propped above her head, as he removed his pants. Her impatient feet assisted them down his legs and kicked them resolutely to one side.

Leaning up she whispered harshly against his ear.

'I want you.'

The three monosyllabic words undid him, unravelling the delicate threads of his self-control and he pushed the front of her skirts high up on her waist, not hesitating to waste time on pleasantries.

She locked her ankles behind his knees and slowly initiated a tentative rhythm between them, settling her hands against his sides. Her entire body felt over sensitised- a burning ache had spread across the surface of her skin, her breasts throbbed when they brushed against his chest and the upholstery of the lounge seemed to scrape on her back. She couldn't escape from the information overload that her brain struggled to process. Her hearing registered the unquiet noises of hips meeting hips, the hard breathing next to her ear and the small sounds occasionally issuing from her own lips. She closed her eyes against the looming ceiling overhead, and concentrated on the maintaining the increasingly frantic pace her husband was driving her to.

The regular air rushing past her neck and hair had degenerated to erratic exhalations that matched her own. She felt the beginnings of the end tingle through her nerves and permitted herself a small cry. Generally she was uncomfortable with making indiscreet vocalisations, but there always came a point where her pleasure-addled mind would forget its inhibitions to a degree. Above her, Anakin could tell she was close, and reached down to pinch the tiny bundle of nerves against her pubic bone. He grunted coarsely as he felt her tighten, her nails digging in to his sides, burying his face in her neck as he followed her example.

Opening her eyes, she pulled at his shoulders, encouraging him to take his weight off his arms and relax against her. His mass pushed her into the cushions and his nose pressed into the hairline at her neck. She treasured the almost-crushed sensation of having him so intimately close and gently rubbed her palms over the dual rows of half moon dents she had inflicted on his back, before drifting gradually into the realm of sleep.

She awoke much later, at some unknown hour of the night, to find herself in her bed and missing the warm body that should have been beside her. Listening, she quickly deduced that Anakin was not in the 'fresher, but moving around somewhere else in the main area of the house. The floor was cold under her bare feet and she pulled the top sheet from the bed to wrap herself in, draping the material toga-like. She shuffled sleepily out into the living area and spotted her husband leaning a hip against the food preparation bench, picking at sliced fruit in the dark. Without a word she moved into his arms, tucking her cool fingers inside the waistband of his pants for warmth.

The cold had raised tiny bumps across his arms and torso and she was momentarily reminded that he came from a hot planet. If she was feeling the cold, he most definitely was.

With her ear flush to his chest, she could hear the sounds of his chewing and she was comforted by the closeness. A piece of fruit was offered to her lips, which she gratefully took, savouring the tangy flavour. His left hand rubbed slow reassuring circles through the sheet on her back, while the mechanical gloved right hand hovered over the fruit platter, undecided over which to pick next.

Her gaze wandered across the open planned living area to the lounge that had played host to their 'activities' previously. He white dress lay in a ghostly heap on the floor, evidently having slipped from her waist when Anakin carried her to bed. It didn't matter- it was probably ruined anyway. She would need to get rid of it before she returned to Coruscant. Dormé would have a fit if she set sight on it, not to mention all the uncomfortable unspoken questions that might be raised by a dress in that state. She chuckled to herself, mentally picturing the possible situation.


'Just thinking about how I'm going to get rid of my dress… Force help me, and you for that matter, if Dormé sees it.'

'Your wardrobe doesn't often come away unscathed from these encounters of ours does it?'

Another quiet laugh. 'Normally it's just buttons that need resewing- but that… I'd be willing to bet that dress is entirely unsalvageable.'

'You weren't too fond of it, I hope.'

'It was a worthwhile sacrifice. Besides, I have others.'

The last piece of fruit was floated up to her, and she rolled her eyes at him.

'Show off.'

He grinned, teeth showing in the silvered light of the stars and moon that poured through the window.

She swallowed the last of her midnight meal and turned to lead the way back to the bedroom. A surprised yelp issued from her when she suddenly found herself swept off her feet and carried over his shoulder, protesting vehemently and hammering on his back with her fists. He only laughed at her futile attempts and gracelessly dumped her on the bed. She loved these all too rare silly moments, when the rest of the world just seemed to recede- she wasn't tired or worried; he wasn't frustrated or brooding. Something else entirely came out in their foolish behaviour that almost allowed her believe they were a normal, madly in love young couple- not secretly married; not struggling to oppose insurmountable galactic forces; not required to hide from their friends and families.

She looked up at him and smiled, gesturing for him to join her in bed.

Her sheet had slipped and her hair was a tangled mess and Anakin thought she'd never looked more gorgeous.

'You're beautiful'

She considered serving him up a wisecrack about nobody looking good at such an unholy hour of the morning, but caught onto the earnestness conveyed in his words. She chose instead to take the compliment for what it was and after a moment of hesitation replied with a sincere 'Thank you'.

He passed out of her line of vision as he climbed behind her, lying with an arm open in invitation. She declined it though, instead, repositioning herself on top of him, straddled across his legs. He knew exactly what was coming- she had never once failed to conduct a physical examination of his new scars and battle wounds- and the scene played out with a haunting familiarity. Somehow, she managed to graze her fingertips over the raised scar on his shoulder without the slightest of sexual connotations. She found the healing scratches on his forearms and the shiny patch of new skin low on his side where he had been scorched by a wayward blaster bolt. Her unrestrained hair fell across her face, obscuring it in shadow and he wished he could see what she was thinking.

Every time they met up she took the time to take this inventory, always keeping her deep concern unvoiced, but he was equally worried about her. At least she could see his scars- they were visible physical reminders; he had no way of seeing her record of hardships. She carried her own burdens wrapped so tightly within herself that they were completely indiscernible. The helplessness of his situation frustrated him and a frown darkened his face before he thought to hold it back.

She caught sight of it and brushed both hands across his upper body conclusively and with finality, satisfied with her inspection. Crawling over his body, she placed a very deliberate kiss on his mouth that tried to communicate the sum total of all her care, worry and love. The responsive movement of his lips against her own was quietly passionate, uncomplicated by the threads of fervour and inflamed desire that usually ran through their kisses.

She took hold of his left hand in hers and moved to lie against him, turning onto her right side and encouraging him to follow her movement by tugging at his hand. He complied and pulled her back against his chest, nudging her legs apart so he could tangle his own between them. His arm snaked around her waist; the hand coming to rest unobtrusively cupping a breast.

She would awake the next morning to the feel of his fingers circling on her stomach.

The three days and two nights together would fly past all too quickly.

On the second night he would watch her fall asleep, her hand resting on top of his where it sat in the depression of her lower abdomen. Early in their last morning together she would cry discreetly as they made love. He would depart to meet up with the fleet, and she would be left to close down the lake house while the deep-seated loneliness and desolation settled in the pit of her stomach once again.

On their first night apart she would desperately wish for his comforting warmth and violently resent all that kept them apart. By the end of the week the acute pain of his absence would recede to a dull roar in the background and she would be able to concentrate on reality once again.

Thanks for reading. So... What did you all think?