Chapter One

Padme's fingers lightly stroked through the coarse beard on the face of Obi-Wan Kenobi, as they lay together basking in the afterglow of their lovemaking.



"I need to talk to you about Anakin."

"What about him?"

"He came to see me the other day. Obi-Wan...He gives me the creeps! The way he looks at me..." Padme visibly shuddered.

"It's just a crush, Padme. He'll get over it."

"I don't think so." She leaned up on her elbow to look into his face. "It's more than that. Sometimes, he looks at me could eat me for dinner."

"My favorite meal." Obi-Wan teased, nipping lightly on her arm, trying to ligthen her mood. But he understood what she meant. Anakin was distracted lately and confused. Whenever they were in the presence of Padme, he could sense his apprentice's nervousness and...lust for her.

"Obi-wan be serious! What are we going to do about him?"

"We're..." a sudden rap on her bedroom door interrupted their conversation.

"It's probably just Sabe. I'll be right back." After placing a quick kiss on his lips, Padme grabbed her satin robe and casually went toward the door, but Obi-Wan had a feeling of dread and quickly rose from the bed, grabbing his own Jedi robe.

She opened the door widely to greet the knocker, which did turn out to be Sabe, but quickly closed the door to only a crack when she noticed Anakin standing behind her.

"Anakin Skywalker to see you, M'Lady." The nervousness in Sabe's eyes conveyed her feelings. It wasn't just Padme's imagination. Sabe too was afraid of the young Jedi dressed all in black standing behind her.

"Excuse me." Anakin gently pushed Sabe out of the way and approached the door. Padme instinctively reached to her robe to more adequately cover her naked body.

"I'm looking for Obi-Wan. He's not at the Temple and I sensed him here." His eyes were now peering over her head to view the crumpled sheets on the bed. Obi-Wan stood in the darkened corner of the room, draped in his Jedi robe, concentrating on the Force, hoping to conceal his presence.

"He's...not here Anakin." Padme nervously stammered. "Why would he be here?"

"You tell me, Padme."

And once again those ice cold eyes bore into her and Padme had the urge to slam her door shut and lock it.

"He's not here." She repeated, enunciating her words this time.

Anakin did not speak again, but turned abruptly and in long strides left her apartment.