Sibling Rivalry

"We're here." Padme's happiness was infectious, as they entered her childhood home. She soon found herself in the exuberant arms of her father, mother and older sister.

"Mother, this is my Jedi protector, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

"Nice to meet you madam." Obi-Wan graciously bowed. "Now I see where Padme gets her good looks."

"She for sure didn't get them from me!" It was Padme's father, Ruwee who took the young Jedi's hand and shook it firmly.

"Have a seat young man." He motioned for Obi-Wan to sit down at the dining table.

The women scurried themselves away to the kitchen where Padme's mother Jobal, and her older sister Sola were preparing their evening meal.

"So, tell me, my boy, how much trouble has my daughter been giving you?"

"A little." Obi-Wan could not help but grin at the man's humorous nature.

"Ahhh. I know better than that. Why, when she was 12, we sent her away to join the Youth Legislature Program just to have some peace in the house!"

Obi-Wan continued grinning, but the older man's countenance soon changed. He leaned closer toObi-Wan and spoke at a lower volume.

"Seriously, Master Jedi. Is she in great danger?"

"She is, sir. But I won't allow anything or anyone to harm her, I can assure you of that."

Ruwee, sat back, crossed his legs, and while chewing on a toothpick, looked Obi-Wan twice over through squinted eyes. "Ah! Dinner is ready." He suddenly burst out.

The conversation during dinner was light and Obi-Wan enjoyed it immensely. Being a part of happy family gatherings was not a common occurrence in his life.

After dinner, Jobal reassured him that he was more than welcome to stay in the guest quarters overnightand to adjust the environmental controls to his liking. She insisted that he make himself at home.

"I will be a moment in the garden to do my meditation exercises, and then I will retire. Thank you for your hospitality."

Back in the kitchen, the ladies of the household gathered to discuss the fine attributes of their dinner guest.

"He is a rather nice-looking man, Padme." Her mother casually commented while drying the dishes.

"Yes, he is." On that fact, Padme had to agree.

"And he'd make a rather nice husband too, don't you think?"

"Mother!" Padme's eyes rolled. "I've known him for years. We're just friends."

"Good." Came Sola's reply from the other side of the room.

Padme's eyebrows went up in response to her sister's statement and deep within her, she felt a funny knotting sensation.

The next morning following breakfast, Obi-Wan returned to the garden, but soon discovered he was not alone. Sola had followed him out and asked to join him.

Inside the house, Padme glanced out the window and upon seeing the two of them together, had to ask, "Mother,what is Sola doing walking with Obi-Wan?"

"Apparently, your sister has a crush, my dear."

"A crush?"

"You said you two were just friends, so after your Father and I talked to Sola last night, we gave her our blessing."

"Your blessing!" Padme was completely flabbergasted.

"Why yes, Padme. What did you expect? You bring a man here, a very handsome man if I must say so myself, and announce that he is without attachments and you have no intention of changing that. Sola is single and looking. What did you expect?"

"I…..I…." Padme stammered, unable to think of any logical reply to her mother's outlandish statement. "Excuse me."

Stamping her feet down hard through the dew covered grass, Padme approached the couple, who were engrossed in conversation.

"Sola." Padme attempted to be as civil as possible. "May I speak to you a minute?"

Obi-Wan immediately sensed the aggravation and irritation in Padme's demeanor, but there was another emotion there he could not quite put his finger on. "Excuse me ladies. I'll be inside."

Padme watched Obi-Wan enter the home to assure he was out of hearing range before she lit into her older sister. "Sola! What in the hell do you think you're doing? "

"Nothing any sane single woman my age wouldn't do." She stated matter-of-factly.

"I bring a man – a friend— into our home and you immediately latch your claws onto him? Without regard to my feelings….I mean…his feelings?" Padme's voice softened as she began to blush.

"I thought you didn't have any feelings for him."

Padme's eyes widened as the realization hit her. She put a hand to her mouth and sat on a nearby bench. "Oh my."

At that moment, Padme's mother opened the window and asked Sola to come inside and help her with the breakfast dishes. Sola complied, leaving a befuddled Padme sitting outside alone.

Meanwhile, in the house, Jobal had mentioned to Obi-Wan that Sola had possibly dropped her bracelet outside and asked if he could go find it. Instead of a bracelet, what he found was Padme, still sitting on the bench staring into the bushes.

Sola and Jobal stood to the side of one kitchen window looking down into the garden.

"So, did she fall for it?" She asked her oldest daughter.

"Hook, line and sinker, Mom."

"Works every time."Jobal smiled proudly as they watched through the window and saw Obi-Wan and Padme embrace for the first time.