Author's Note: Welcome one and all to my first foray into the land of Star Wars fan fiction! This being my first attempt, it's probably going to suck, but…well… Never mind. About the story: this is an Alternate Universe, a sort of 'what if' story. So keep that in mind and enjoy!

Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars, the mighty George Lucas does. I am poor so I beg of thee, no suing.

A Broken Promise

Four years. He wasn't coming. He'd said a few weeks, a month at the most. Weeks, a month, that wasn't anywhere close to four years. Master Qui-Gon Jinn, that Jedi, had not kept his promise. Anakin had given up waiting for him three years ago.

The first sun had barely cleared the horizon when Anakin trudged into Watto's shop. Watto himself wouldn't make it in until the second sun was up, nearly an hour from now. But if Anakin didn't get started immediately, the scummy blue Toydarian would accuse him of laziness and strike him a few times with his cane. Wanting to avoid such unnecessary pain, Anakin got right to work.

A new shipment of scrap had come in yesterday and a good chunk of it still needed to be sorted and catalogued. With practiced ease he picked through the grimy junk, determining each piece's quality and condition with barely a glance. Once a certain pile of parts was large enough, he'd scoop it up and shift it to another larger pile in the lot behind the shop, and then it was back to the sorting.

It was mindless work and that meant that while his hands were busy, his thoughts were somewhere else entirely. And at the moment, his thoughts were where they usually went these days; that blasted broken promise. That Jedi had given him hope, real hope that he might escape this miserable dust ball and make something of himself. But now he knew better. That Jedi had used him, just like everyone else (except his mom, of course) used him.

Suddenly he paused mid-motion. Something was going to happen. He wasn't sure how he knew. He just knew. And when he knew things like that, they happened. Curious, Anakin abandoned his sorting and slunk into the shop, seeking the cause of his odd feeling. He didn't have far or long to look.

Watto fluttered into the shop with an elderly human man following closely behind. The man was finely dressed in a style of clothing that clearly marked him as a wealthy off-worlder. While he was old with a weathered face and white hair and gray beard, his sure strong step spoke of energy and health. And, for some strange reason, Anakin had a feeling that this man was very powerful and very dangerous.

"Now please be reasonable." The strange man purred in a deep, velvety voice that made Anakin shiver.

"I am being reasonable. The boy is not for sale!" Watto snapped back.

Anakin stiffened warily. That man wants to buy me?

"Come now, I've already offered you double his worth." The stranger calmly pointed out.

"His mother I could be persuaded to part with, but not the boy!" Watto declared.

"She is of no use to me; it is the boy that I am interested in." The stranger declared.

"Well you can't have him." Watto grunted, heading for the counter. "Boy, get back to work!" The Toydarian snapped in Huttese when he spied Anakin watching from the back doorway.

"There you are." The stranger smiled before Anakin could escape. "Do wait there, once I finish these negotiations we will leave immediately."

Anakin gaped at the man. Watto roared foul Huttese curses at the off-worlder and swiped at him with his cane.

"I said the boy is not for sale!" The Toydarian snarled. "Now get out of my shop unless you want to buy his mother or some parts!"

"I will have that boy. If you refuse to sell him to me, then I shall simply have to take him." The man replied softly, calmly, and with tangible threat in his tone.

Watto was stubborn, but a coward. He backed down. "Fine, I sell him to you, but at triple price or no deal!"

"Done," the man replied without a second's hesitation.

Anakin blinked, dazed, as Watto reluctantly slapped the off-worlder's palm to seal the deal. There was some exchange of currency and a small transmitter box that would allow the man to take Anakin wherever he wanted without setting off his slave implant. And then the man beckoned to him.

"Come boy," he commanded and strode out of the shop, forcing Anakin to run to catch up.

"Where are we going sir?" Anakin asked, still half-dazed by this sudden turn of events.

"To my home." The man replied.

"Can I say goodbye to my mom before we go, sir?" Anakin wondered.

"No, that Toydarian has made me late; there is no time to stop." The man informed him. Then he smiled a smile that was meant to look warm, but felt more sinister than friendly. "Perhaps we can visit her some other time when I am not quite so busy."

"Yes sir." Anakin swallowed and followed his new owner tamely without complaint.

He had no real choice but to do as he was told, he was a slave after all, just living, breathing property. If he disobeyed, he could be beaten, starved, or even killed. He had no choice but to abandon his mother and his friends. Though he did manage to find one bright spot in this otherwise unhappy situation. At least I'll finally get off this dust ball…