Chapter Seventeen

The Theed Palace throne room was crowded from wall to wall with citizens of Naboo as well as the nearby planet of Lonessa, all coming to wish the new Queen well.

The Trade Federation had been defeated along with the Sith warrior. Obi-Wan had contacted the Jedi Temple to inform them of his findings, and he realized with some trepidation that his time to leave Naboo had finally come. His Master, Yoda, had requested his return to the Temple as soon as possible in order to discuss the re-emergence of the Sith.

Obi-Wan watched with a somewhat proud grin as Padmé moved about the room, addressing her company. She smiled as she greeted her guests, shook their hands confidently, and held her head high.

'Queen Amidala,' Obi-Wan said to himself and smiled as she caught his eye and approached him. One glance behind her thwarted the handmaidens from following, as she took the knight's arm and together they exited the throne room and slowly strolled down the vacant hallway.

"I wasn't ready for this." Padmé said after a moment of silence.

Obi-Wan nodded, mistaking her meaning. "You know I have to return to Temple. The re-emergence of the Sith is a vital discovery."

"I agree, but that's not what I mean." The young woman stopped and turned to the knight, smiling shyly, her brows quickly furrowing.

"I'm not ready to be a queen! It's one thing to be the Lady of a small planet. Lonessa is half the size of Naboo. Their technology, their customs, their traditions. I didn't think I'd be doing this alone!."

"Padmé." Obi-Wan said, her name caressing his tongue. "You won't be alone."

"I know. I have my handmaidens, the governors, and security officials, Panaka and Bibble to help me. But it's not the same." A small hiccup escaped the young woman as her hand flew to her mouth to stifle a soft sob. "Qui's gone and soon you will be too."

Obi-Wan drew the young woman into his arms and held her gently, soothing her trembling with words of comfort.

"I may be leaving, Padmé," He whispered low into her ear, "but you won't be alone. You'll never be alone. Just because I'm thousands of parsecs away, doesn't mean I'm not with you."

A small huff of breath escaped the queen's nose that Obi-Wan recognized as doubt and he held her beautiful face in his hands, willing her to open her eyes and look at him.

"You don't believe me."

"It's a nice thought, Obi-Wan, but…"

The young knight stopped her words with a gentle pressing of his mouth against hers, withdrawing slightly to whisper a single word. "Listen…"

He watched Padmé's eyes narrow skeptically and questioningly. Her mouth opened to speak, and once more the knight hushed her with a single word. "Listen."

Calling upon the Force, Obi-Wan released all of the emotions he held for her into it; all of his love, his lust, his friendship, his caring, and wrapped her in it. The translucent waves that only he could see cacooned her and enveloped her in, suffusing her body in invisible light.

Padmé's eyes opened widely as the warmth rushed upward from her toes to the tips of her ears, followed by a sensation of pleasure, love, trust, and friendship, and she realized with a start that the emotions were not only her own. Somehow, Obi-Wan was sharing all that he felt with her.

She was about to reveal her amazement and appreciation when somewhere deep within a message came forth. It echoed along her mind in a whisper and rebounded through her soul, and it was the voice of none other than her beloved knight. "I love you." It said softly, sweetly, and silently to her alone.

Her mouth opened in awe as Obi-Wan smiled broadly before her. Her kissed her once more, relieved in her understanding.

"You'll never be alone, Padmé. Just listen to your heart and I'll be there."

­-END-


A/N: Chocolate-covered Obi-Wans to Nelarun who guessed that this story was influenced by the movie "First Knight."

That should be the final of the series of my movie-inspired fics (unless I'm inspired otherwise.) The next story I have brewing in my head is completely original. Which is actually a scary thought! (And could be either a good thing or a bad thing!) Time will tell! Stay tuned! And thanks to all of my faithful readers and reviewers. This AU may not have been everyone's cup of tea, so you have no idea how much I appreciate the responses I received. Take care!