Chapter Nineteen

Explaining to Obi-Wan what had happened was the hardest thing Padmé had ever had to do. In the moonlight, she could see the seriousness of his face turn to confusion and then a touch of anger crossed his brow. Panic seized her but Padmé was relying upon the hope that he would forgive her.

Should she have even told him?

Yes. She convinced herself. He needed to know the truth before they went any further. And before he found out from anyone else.

His silence was frightening, but not nearly as frightening as when he abruptly rose from the bed, leaving Padmé's offered caress hanging in mid air. He quickly pulled on his leggings and began pacing in short strides back and forth near the bed. Padmé rose up to a sitting position, wrapping the coverlet about her, wishing he would say something. Anything. Screaming at her would better than this.

But then the words started coming out and she changed her mind. They were bitter, pain-filled words that tore through her heart.

"How could you." He hissed with his back turned to her.

"Obi-Wan." Padmé pleaded from the bed. "It was highly irresponsible of me, I admit. I shouldn't have trusted Nute Gunray. If only he had stuck to our deal!" The words stumbled from her mouth before she could stop them and their impact was reflected on the incredulous glare that Obi-Wan wore as he spun to face her.

"Nute Gunray has nothing to do with this! Just who are you blaming anyway?"

"Myself." Padmé hurriedly admitted. "This is nobody's fault but my own. But remember, if I hadn't done what I did, then we would never have met." She dared a small smile.

"Perhaps that would have been best." Obi-Wan retaliated, still glaring at her.

"Don't say that." Padmé urged as she fought back the tears that were beginning to threaten. "We love each other."

"No. I don't think so." Obi-Wan moved about the room, picking up his articles of clothing strewn about as the panic within the young woman welled. This was it. He was leaving. What could she say to stop him?

"I'm sorry, Obi-Wan."

A slight chuckle escaped him that hurt worse than any of his previous cynical words.

"It's too late for that."

Having gathered his belongings, he turned to face her once more.

"You lied to me. I thought I knew you, but obviously I don't. Master Qui-Gon was right. I should've listened to him. But now it's too late. My master is dead. And it's all your fault."

The tears began to fall as Padmé was helpless to sit and watch Obi-Wan leave the room.


Epilogue

Having been informed of the rendezvous between the young apprentice and the queen, the handmaidens quietly made their way to Padmé's sleep chambers. Surely, their luck wasn't this good. With four months to spare, it seemed that the girl had actually secured herself a husband!

They moved together down the short distance between their dormitory and hers, the early morning sun lighting their way. Just one peek through the door to confirm what Panaka had suspected. If Kenobi had spent the night, then they could all relax a little easier.

The door slid open, but Rabé was surprised to see that the bed was empty. It was Sabé who entered the room first and found the queen standing by one of the tall windows.

Once she had reached her side, only then did she discover that things may not be all right after all. From the looks of her, it was obvious that Padmé had been up most of the night crying.

"Mi'Lady?" Sabé lay a gentle hand to the young woman's shoulder.

"Where is Jedi Kenobi?" Blurted out Eirtaé who had walked up to the other side.

"Gone. He's gone." Padmé replied quietly.

"Gone where?" Rabé asked from behind.

"He's coming back isn't he?" Eirtaé questioned rapidly.

They waited in silence as Padmé stared out the window into the sunrise for some time.

"No. He isn't coming back. And I don't think I'll ever see him again."

The handmaidens looked to one another with sympathetic support and understanding. They felt sorry for the queen, but she had brought this on herself. She had brought this on all of them. Still, she was in pain and so they lay comforting hands to her back and shoulders and joined her in viewing out the window.

The view however, wasn't the only thing they shared. The young woman's heartache and the reality of broken dreams were experienced by them all.

End.


AN: Before you wish 1000 plagues down upon my head and send 1000 viruses to my computer – let me assure you that this is NOT the end of the story. It will be continued in a sequel under another title very soon. Thank you for reading and reviewing. : )