Chapter Ten

Leia eyed the building carefully, not sure if she was entirely game to follow Luke inside.

"Are you coming?" he asked, pausing at the doorway to turn back and look at her.

She hesitated one more moment, obviously just enough for him to prompt

"I thought you were hungry?"

"I am," Leia insisted.

But this – restaurant – as he'd titled it, didn't exactly meet up to her expectations of the word. Or any establishment that was serving out food. She briefly considered skipping this meal and waiting until the next. Surely tomorrow she could find something more palatable to eat, when the village wasn't bathed in the darkness of night and those stalls they'd passed were no longer locked up and empty.

Then her thoughts flickered to the other person who was now affected by what she ate. And her subdued need to not jeopardise the little thing.

Luke took a step back and gently wrapped his arm around her shoulder.

"Trust me," he whispered with a tilted smirk.

She didn't, but she followed him in anyway.

They slipped into a booth in the half-filled establishment, lists of food immediately springing up from a holo projector between them. Leia studied carefully, not recognising even a single familiar meal. Perhaps it's a little simpler than I'm used to the princess admitted to herself. Her ignorance in matters like this wasn't a great self-revelation but she was pretty sure Luke would me more familiar.

"Do you know what any of this is?"

He shook his head in reply, and Leia immediately regretted her prejudice. Sometimes she forgot that Luke's backwater upbringing didn't give him immediate knowledge of every lowly thing in the universe. Although he was confident about this place. She snickered to herself, just shaking her head when he looked up in enquiry.

"I'm just going to guess," Leia decided.

The waitress droid attended to them momentarily, and they both gave their orders before settling down to study their surroundings.

Leia's eyes travelled over the patrons, thoughtfully assessing their appearance.

"Kumarat is a member of the Republic," she spoke quietly so only Luke could hear.

Her brother looked out over the tavern-come-diner's small clientele with a critical eye.

"I haven't been here before but I didn't get the impression their society had such deep divisions."

Luke didn't understand a word she meant. Everyone here looked to be of relatively simple but equal means. There was no division, simply a lack of wealth. Of course he silently remembered, having no trouble equating this with his sister's previously sheltered upbringing and wondering how she'd made it through so many years of the Rebellion and still been naïve of the conditions that so much of the galaxy's inhabitants existed in.

"They're just of little means, Leia," he tried to explain as gently as he could. "That doesn't mean that their society is divided."

"Compare the people in here to the controller who granted us docking permission. The fabric of her uniform alone makes her look like a queen compared to some of these people."


A smile of self-satisfaction stretched across Padmé's lips as her breathing finally began to sink from gasping breaths back to normal. The bed dipped for a moment by her side and the sound of Anakin rustling around caught her attention. Lazily she turned her gaze, raising an eyebrow at the sight of his tall muscular form standing beside the bed. Gracefully slipping out of his clothing nonchalantly. Her eyes openly admired him, her satiated appetite briefly stirring once more before abating as he slipped back into her side.

She sighed happily, unbelievably fulfilled to have him back with her. It was heaven to contentedly relax back into the pillow as he propped himself up on his elbow beside her. Studying her like she was the most beautiful thing in the galaxy. His moist lips parted, drawing attention to the flushed skin that was pink from her kisses.

"I'm sorry that was," he paused to let an evil smirk tug at his lips. "Rushed."

Long fingers brushed against her cheek, caressing her skin and making one thing perfectly obvious.

"No you're not," Padmé laughed.

He hovered over her grinning like a mad thing. Pale hands reached up, stroking over his tanned jaw a moment then drawing him down for another kiss. Their lips brushed together once, twice, before his fingers reached up into her hair and held her still.

"No, I'm not sorry," he agreed. "Just because it was fast doesn't mean it wasn't good."

Holding her still the newly knighted Jedi started pressing sloppy kisses from her mouth, down her throat and into the hollow of her neck.

"Very, very good," he purred, dramatic teasing laced in his voice.


He couldn't deny the effect her loud giggle had on him. A deep, rumbling laughter, one concocted of pure joy such as he hadn't felt in months, bubbled up inside him. He buried his face in the delightfully familiar curve of her neck and just let it out. Never in a million years would he have thought that when this day ended he would be so unexpectedly happy.

Needing more air he lifted himself off her and flipped over onto his back. Gasping to fill his lungs even as the fulfilling sound of her raucous laughter came from next to him. His hand flashed through the air, catching her wrist as it came down to slap at his chest.

"Hey!" he protested.

But it wasn't heartfelt, that was obvious. He drew her fingers to his mouth and softly kissed every one of them. Before placing her hand on his bare chest and holding it there. Covering the back of her hand with his own he sighed, holding her palm over his strongly beating heart.

Their laughter eventually died down until only the sounds of their breathing filled their room. After only minutes had passed they each turned onto their sides. The silly grins still present as they happily studied one another with adoration only a lover could ever hope to see.

Padmé's hand reached out, rasping against the stubble on his jaw. The back of her hand was like silk on his skin. Sending soft waves of love into the force that soothed his battle-wearied soul.

"Mmmm, Padmé," he murmured.

"My Anakin," she sweetly whispered back, sliding her hands around his neck.

She lightly let her fingers drift over his bare shoulder. Down the taught musculature of his arm. To a bright array of angry wounds.

"Is it painful?"

He winced involuntarily as the pad of her index finger whispered over the aching gashes. A single nod answered her question. It was an odd sensation, to have her loving caress where a war injury was barely beyond fresh.

"Are you going to tell me how you were so close to an exploding droid carrier in the first place?" she asked with a curious smile.

He took a deep breath and put his palm into the small of her back. To comfort himself with the feeling of her.

"It's a long story. And it's classified."

Padmé raised an eyebrow. Making it clear she didn't really care about either of those factors. And his sly grin in return convinced her that he had never really considered them an impediment. Nothing would keep them from being honest with each other.

"It doesn't go beyond our bed," he cheekily warned.

Padmé bit her lip, already knowing it would be an exciting story. When she was alone, later, she always dreaded having heard of his quite daring deeds. Because it made her worry that he wouldn't come out of the next one alive. But when he was next to her, their fingers teasingly brushing over skin, then his tales seemed like thrilling adventures she couldn't wait to hear about. Especially when they were told in his deep, sensual voice.

"Alright, well we were slinking through some dense undergrowth –"

"Wait," Padmé interrupted him, raising her finger to his lips.

He stopped talking, teasingly sucking her finger into his mouth.

"Are you hungry?" she asked.

"So soon Padmé?"

"For food Anakin, I meant for food."

He shrugged nonchalantly.

"I'm always hungry," he answered truthfully. "Are you hungry?"

She couldn't drag her eyes away from the deep blue of his irises.


He rolled over and out of the bed, already tugging on the clothes he'd stripped off barely moments ago.

"Let's go then. I saw a few restaurants nearby on my way in."

Padmé waited, propping herself up and watching delightedly until all Anakin's clothes hid his delicious body.

"Are you going to join me?" he pressed.

Exaggeratingly, she made sure to look begrudging as she climbed out of bed and removed her nightgown. Now it was Anakin's turn to watch, but there was no mischief in his eyes. Only open, hungry desire. She couldn't quite be sure he wasn't going to pounce her until she'd slipped into her own light, low-key flight suit.

"Shall we?" she invited, holding out her hand.

Open surprise covered his face at her invitation. The kind that she'd seen when she first admitted she loved him. That shock that enlivened his features.

"There's no holonet presence on Kumarat yet."

Her justification was enough. Surprise and desire sunk back into his eyes, replaced by overflowing warmth. That private smile of his appearing. He slinked out from his own side of their bed and took her hand, happily following her.