Surprise!

Chapter One

Within a few short days of returning from their honeymoon, Dorme and Anakin found themselves separated. The Jedi Council was sending Obi-Wan and his apprentice to Antion to settle a border dispute. They would be gone approximately three weeks.

Padme had kept Dorme employed as her bodyguard, and the two women soon discovered that they could rely upon each other for solace during their husband's expected long abscences. They now sat together, doing just that; consoling one another, glancing over a data screen revealing a standard calendar.

"Three weeks." Padme sighed, her finger counting off the days on the screen. "That would have them arriving on Coruscant around...here." She poked at a small dated square.

Dorme peered closer to the screen, cocked her head, and before Padme could ask her what was wrong, she had jumped up from her chair and left the apartment. Padme shook her head and took a sip of her tea. The girl was eccentric, no doubt about that.

Dorme returned soon, carrying a digital calendar of her own. "There. You see?" She handed the item to Padme, who glanced over the date, following Dorme's pointing gesture.

"N day?" Padme read the abbreviated notation with a questioning glance at Dorme.

"Anakin's naming day! Shmi told me."

Padme smiled. Dorme and her mother-in-law were getting along remarkably well. Anakin had found his mother employment at the Temple repairing small droids, and Dorme often visited her. Shmi seemed content and even seemed to like Dorme. She even didn't seem to mind when Dorme had attempted to hook her up with her pilot, Ric, although it was uncertain if anything would ever come of it.

Padme looked up at Dorme, anticipating an explanation to her now concentrated expression.

"We must do something special." She smiled sweetly, but Padme knew better. Dorme was cooking up something special all right and Padme sideways glanced at her friend suspiciously as she took another sip of her now cold tea.

The following morning, Dorme stood behind Padme in her dressing room, sweeping her curls up into an elaborate head adornment. The Senator had meetings today and Dorme would be free until later this afternoon.

"What are your plans for today, Dorme?" Padme mumbled while holding onto hair fasteners between her clenched teeth, taking one out at a time and placing them in the hand waiting beside her face.

"I was going to check with Master Windu and see if we can plan the surprise party at the Temple."

"He'd like that." Padme's worry began to lessen. Surely, if the party was to be at the Jedi Temple, Dorme would restrain herself of any elaborate schemes, but just to be sure, Padme decided to question her a little more. "What do you have in mind for the party?"

"Oh, nothing fancy. A few friends, a cake, drinks, some music."

Padme sighed, somewhat relieved, but still a little worried. "Are you sure you don't want to wait to make the arrangements until I can go with you?"

"No, thanks Mi'Lady. I can handle it. Just leave everything up to me."

Padme's eyes rolled a bit, but she quickly hid her exasperated look. Perhaps marriage and Anakin's common sense had rubbed off on Dorme, she hoped. Certainly, she couldn't mess up a simple naming day party.

Later that morning, Dorme anxiously awaited the arrival of Master Windu in the Temple Foyer she had been told wait in. She heard his cloak swishing behind him before she actually saw him and a twinge of nervousness went through her. The man had a reputation for being stubborn and disagreeable. His approaching broad smile relaxed her and she returned it readily.

"Mrs. Skywalker?" Dorme smiled even wider. "How may I be of assistance?"

Dorme quickly informed the Jedi Master of her intention to throw a surprise naming day party for Anakin on the day of his arrival back from Antion. The older Jedi listened intently and smiled once again as Dorme finished speaking.

"That sounds like a lovely idea. I'm sure he will be pleased." The Master then bowed politely and ushered Dorme to the exit of the Temple. "If there is anything else we can help you with, please let us know."

Dorme smiled at thedark-skinned Jedi and shook his hand firmly. She was going to have to take back every nasty thing she had ever thought about the man. He was absolutely charming and so agreeable!

Mace Windu closely watched Dorme leave the building before completely changing his expression. Blast! Dorme wanted to throw Anakin a party! Here? If the stories that Master Obi-Wan had told him about this young woman were true, he must heighten security, check all the fire extinguishers, secure all the younglings in the creche, warn the elder Jedi Masters, and check with the Temple Healers to ensure they would be prepared for the certain upcoming catastrophe.

Dorme's steps down the streets of Coruscant were light and her mood was bright. All of her plans were going so well. Master Windu had so readily agreed, and Padme had even trusted her to make all the arrangements herself! Anakin was going to be so surprised! She strolled into the bakery, smiling at the droid workers and cooks, looking at a few digital scans of various cakes and delectable desserts before making up her mind.

"I want to order the absolute biggest cake that you can make. Big enough for a woman about my size to hide in." Dorme grinned slightly as she thought about the look of surprise on Anakin's face when she, herself popped up out of the cake. She had to be inside the cake, with everyone in their places as soon as Anakin and Master Kenobi arrived back on Coruscant. She knew they would first go to the Temple to report the findings of their mission to the Council, as was customary. Master Windu would then lead the Jedi to a seemingly empty training hall, and there the party would start.

The droid confirmed the order and noted the delivery date, time, and destination. He assured her there would be no complications.

"Perfect." Dorme smiled again widely. She turned and left the bakery with a bounce in her step. Everything was going according as planned. But in Dorme's life, nothing ever went as planned. Even she knew that, but she refused to give in to any negative thoughts. No. Everything was going to be fine. She was going to prove to Padme, Anakin, and herself that she could handle throwing a simple surprise party.