Chapter One

Stolen Moments: Velvet Shadows

"Master, are we in a hurry?" Anakin teased. He had never seen Obi-Wan fly so fast for no reason. His Master usually got a little squimish while flying, but in the last few moments Anakin had noted a steady increase in speed.

"What? Uhm, no Anakin. I'm... I'm just tired of flying and ready to be home." Just a few moments ago Obi-Wan had felt a disturbance in the Force, like a wave crashing into his subconscious. He had reached out immediately through the Force, attempting to confirm the cause. She was safe, but there had been an explosion. Her strength and attitude, the things he loved her for, were putting her in danger once again. He had to hurry to her to ensure that she was indeed all right.

His report to the council on the Antion border dispute was as brief as he could make it. Anakin kept casting him sideways glances, apparently curious as to the cause of Obi-Wan's rush.

Focus Obi-Wan...You will see her soon enough.

After Anakin retired to his personal living space in the Temple for a much-needed rest (at the insistance of his Jedi Master), Obi-Wan made his way to the Senate chambers. He stealthily crept down the long hall, distracted the guard using the Force, and finally entered the Senator's apartment. Minutes later, he could hear anxious and animated voices in the hallway, which soon entering the living area.

"I'm fine. I just need to think. Give me a moment, please." Padme was still shaking from her near-death experience. Corde was dead. She had not only been her bodyguard, but a trusted friend, and she had paid the ultimate sacrifice. Dropping herself onto her bed, she wiped fresh tears away with the back of her hand.

"Are you all right m'lady?"

"Yes, I'll be fine, Dorme."

"I'm sorry to disturb you, but I've have been asked by security to remind you that we meet with the Supreme Chancellor soon."

"Thank you, Dorme. I'll be ready."

You are a professional Padme, she chastised herself. You knew the risks. She knew the risks.

Her fingers soon were fumbling through layers and layers of clothing hanging the length of the large walk-in closet. Something was not right here. She felt a presence of something -- no, someone and someone dear. Just then, a familiar form emerged from the clothing at the back of the closet.

"Obi-Wan!" She could not help but yell out, immediately placing her hand over her mouth. The smile across his face expressed his joy in seeing her, but he immediately placed a finger on his own puckered lips.

"M'lady? Is everything okay? Do you require assistance?"

"No, Dorme. I'm perfectly fine. I'll be out in a minute."

Obi-Wan had backed himself into the vast sea of the senator's wardrobe, out of sight of the peering handmaiden.

Padme discreetly made her way to the back of the closet, pretending to be searching for an appropriate outfit. Her body tremored slightly as a hand slipped through the gowns and gently grasped her own.

"Are you all right?"

"Oh Obi-Wan," Padme sobbed. "Corde is dead. Someone blew up my ship. She's dead."

"I know. I felt it. I got here as fast as I could." He reassured here as his thumb stroked the back of her hand.

For a moment they gazed into each other's eyes, sharing all the feelings that could not be expressed by words.

"M'lady? I'm sorry, but we need to fix your hair. It's almost time to leave."

"I'm coming, Dorme."

"I'll see you later this evening." Obi-wan's hand slipped out of hers and gently caressed her face before his own disappeared back into the layers of velvet shadows.