To Woo a Handmaiden
"Dorme! Are you really going to eat all of that?"
"Sure. Why not?"
Padme was astonished to see her friend gulping down what was left of the frozen dessert at the bottom of the container.
"Don't you care about losing your girlish figure?"
"No. Nobody's going to be looking at it anyway."
She stared at Dorme with a look of surprise that was quickly replaced by one of guilt. Since returning from her honeymoon, she had not takenthe time to simply sit and talk with her friend.
"Dorme." She laid a hand on her arm. "I'm sorry I haven't been here for you."
"You've been a little busy, Mi'Lady."
"Well now that the honeymoon is over, we have a chance to talk. So, put the spoon down and join me in the living room."
In a moment, Padme heard a the clank of a dropped spoon hitting the bottom of the kitchen sink and Dorme was soon plopping herself down next to her on the sofa.
"So tell me what's troubling you."
"Come on. What is it? Is it Anakin? "
"Anakin." Dorme huffed and placed both palms over her eyes.
"Dorme, what are you feeling?"
"Regret? Humiliation? For starters."
"What? Why? I thought you said you had a wonderful time together on Kintan. He even kissed you after the wedding."
"I know. And we spent the entire afternoon together in the market. He was friendly, charming, and very attentive."
"So what happened?"
"Come on, Mi'Lady. I know it was the pheromones talking, not him. We can't stand each other! You know that. It was just a fling. It's over. No big deal." After a slight pause Dorme continued. "I'm going to bed now Mi'Lady. Is there anything you need?"
"No. Thank you, Dorme. Good night."
Padme sat in silent contemplation on the couch watching her friend exit the room. True that the pheromone spray Dorme had been misted with in the market was what caused Anakin's initial attentions to her, but what Dorme was forgetting was something that she told her once about Niktolian pheromones.
"There has to be a seed planted or nothing will grow." Padme mumbled aloud. "There has to be a seed."
Anakin has feelings for her, whether he realizes it or not. Now, she just had to figure out a way to convince him of it.
Following a short Senate meeting the next day, Padme found herself standing outside the Jedi Temple Meditation Chamber. Being married to a Jedi Knight apparently had its benefits. She had entered the building and discovered Anakin's whereabouts without a question being asked of her. In fact, Padme was somewhat surprised to a mere passing smiling glance from Master Windu.
She paused just inside the chamber door, squinting into the dimness of the room, barely able to make out the huddled shadowy figure of Anakin Skywalker, deep in meditation. She waited for a moment and cleared her throat.
"I'm sorry to disturb you Anakin. Can we talk?"
Anakin was quickly on his feet and approaching her. "That's okay, Senator Amidala, Senator Kenobi. Uhm. What should I call you?"
"Actually, it's hyphenated. Amidala-Kenobi. But you can still call me Padme, you know. You always have."
A slight grin appeared on the young Jedi's face. "I know. It's just that you being married to my Master now and all. It seemed inappropriate."
"We are still friends, you and I. Right?"
"Yes." He grinned once more and sighed heavily. "Yes Padme."
"Good." She returned his smile and motioned to a long bench in the hall behind them.
"I am curious as to why you are here. Master Kenobi isn't planned to return from Kintan until tomorrow."
"I know that Anakin. I didn't come here to check on him. I came here to talk to you."
He looked somewhat surprised at her statement. "Oh?"
"Well, about you and Dorme."
"Oh." He replied, his eyes immediately falling to his boots.
"I don't know Padme. I don't know what came over me. The way I threw myself at her like that. It must have been embarassing for her. I just had this overwhelming urge to kiss her, to touch her, to...well, you know."
Padme noticed a slight blush to his cheeks.
"I have to be honest with you Anakin. You were suffering from the effects of Niktolian pheromones."
"It wasn't her fault!" Padme was quick to explain. "She was accidentally exposed to it in the market."
"So, it was just a chemical reaction then? Not my own feelings?" His expression was almost one of disappointment.
"Oh no, Anakin! Don't think that. All that pheromones do is heighten the emotions that are already there. You had to have noticed an attraction before we entered the market."
"Well. Yes. The way she handled the Morgukai, the wedding, stowing aboard the ship, visiting me while I was...meditating." Padme noticed another blush. "She's got guts."
"And you love them, don't you?"
"Love her guts?" Anakin teased and then turned more serious as he pondered the question. "You know. I think I do."
"I knew it!" Padme blurted out, catching a stern glance from a Master and apprentice walking by. "I knew it!" She repeated more quietly. "So, what are you going to do about it?"
"What can I do? She can't stand me!"
"How can you say that? Didn't she kiss you back on Kintan? Didn't you spend the day together in the market? She told me herself she enjoyed your company."
"She did? But she also didn't speak to me all the way back to Coruscant! And she hasn't spoken to me since, and that was three weeks ago!"
"I think she's just waiting for you to make another move."
"Anakin Skywalker. I never thought I would hear myself say this - but I think you're scared of her!"
"I am not! Although, she is a bit intimidating...conniving...stubborn...and...beautiful."
Padme was beaming at him now, which brought another blush to the handsome young Jedi's face. "Here's what we'll do. To help smooth things over, as soon as Obi-Wan gets back, we'll set up a double date. Will that be okay?"
"That would be great Padme. Thanks."
Padme was a bit stunned but relieved when Anakin abruptly reached across and hugged her tight. She could feel the hope building within him and was happy to be returning the favor she owed Dorme.
She was startled however, at a sudden change in his aura and upon hearing his gasp, she turned to follow his gaze to see Obi-Wan standing a few feet from them, his eyes glaring. She immediately withdrew from the short embrace and stood to meet him, but was shocked once more as he turned away from her and walked quickly down the hall, disappearing through an open doorway.