Disclaimer: It's George's Sand Box - I'm simply destroying the sandcastles
Title: Choices and Chains
Timeframe: Dark Nest Trilogy
Genre: Missing Moments, Angst, Romance
Summary: Queen Mother Tenel Ka decides it's time for her kingdom to have a heir and the father of that heir is going to be her long time love, Jacen Solo - willing or not!
Notes: This was a challenge issued by obsessedwithSW: write the missing scene where a grown up queen Tenel Ka decides she doesn't care about the risk to the consortium and chooses to take Jacen as her lover and father her a child.
Choices and Chains
"But, your majesty, it is unheard of for the Queen Mother to not have chosen a consort by her fifth year of reign. Surely you understand the protocol of the matter. You must ensure your bloodline-"
"Enough." Tenel Ka pierced the advisor with a steely look. "I understand my obligation to my people. I am aware they require an heir."
"Don't misunderstand me, your majesty," the advisor begged, obsequiously prostrating herself before her monarch. "The people accept your firm rule, but by not having taken a consort, or even searched for one among those eligible males of the Consortium is almost unheard of in our history."
Tenel Ka waved the advisor away, turning on the ball of her foot to stride to the window of her chamber that overlooked the city surrounding the Fountain Palace. A city of subjects - her subjects, that were counting on her to provide for them and guide their path among the galaxy. A city of subjects who had thrown male after male at her feet in an attempt to catch her interest. Her lips twisted slightly in derision.
None of her people understood her. None of her advisors understood her and none of those fawning, over-inflated, self-absorbed, insincere males understood her. Force, she'd been informed just last week of a new fad sweeping the men of the Consortium. Training accidents with un-blunted blades that maimed the males by removing their left hand just below the elbow.
Stupid, foolish males. Not one of them had caught her interest for even a fleeting moment; and not one of them had even attempted to look beyond the trappings of her position to see the woman underneath. The woman who was scared of failing her people. The woman who had taken the crown as it was her responsibility and not her desire. The woman who yearned to be anywhere but caught within the gilded walls of the Fountain Palace. The woman who was as much a prisoner by her position as those who were thrown in her dungeon.
She turned from the window and strode with purposeful steps towards the holo-net transceiver. She'd received an intriguing message from an old friend. A friend she'd thought about almost constantly. The man who had haunted her dreams since childhood, promised her forever and who'd been her only choice for companion.
The man whose death had destroyed a part of her she'd never thought to have again and who was directly responsible for her acceptance of the crown. The man whose re-emergence had taught her that she was a prisoner of her position. The man whose resurrection had shaken her to her soul.
Jacen Solo owed her; and she knew just how to collect.
Tenel Ka led Jacen from the gardens and into the recesses of the Fountain Palace through the secret passages that lined the walls. Her advisors knew they were meeting to discuss possible strategic advantages and the usage of the Hapan armada in the fight with the Killiks. What they didn't know was exactly what Tenel Ka was seeking in return. Neither did Jacen, for he thought their negotiations were complete.
Tenel Ka slipped into the passage that led to the secret section of her chambers. A section she'd prepared for this very evening and one no one except the Royal Family would know anything about. Which left her grandmother - whom she'd ensure would not interfere - and her father. Isolder would never have dreamed of using this section of the passage way and Tenel Ka was counting on that.
She'd spent long hours debating this course of action. Long hours remembering her girlish infatuation that had never had the chance to express itself in an adult manner. The innocent kisses and the fumbling caresses they'd shared; they had been the standard no man had ever been able to live up to. Those she had initially let close after Jacen's death, in an attempt to move beyond her memories, had never been able to live up to his memory.
They'd tried, but she'd been left aching, yearning for something she hadn't believed possible. And now, with Jacen on Hapes, stepping into her carefully planned encounter, she couldn't help but wonder if the man would live up to her memories.
Jacen stiffened beside her as they emerged into a small alcove.
No more than a ten by ten room with only one entrance - an entrance Tenel Ka moved to close behind them - he regarded her questioningly over his shoulder before looking around the room.
There was a sleeping pallet set up in one corner, furs and hides spread out generously across the floor area. The stone floor had been swept clean and a small basket of what he assumed to be food was sitting on a nearby blanket, two place settings. Lizard hide had been stretched across the floor to prevent the cold from seeping through. Everything was illuminated by Dathomirian torches.
"Should I be worried about being taken advantage of?"
She didn't smile, simply looked at him, her back to the door. Her knees were suddenly shaking, and her heart was pounding loudly as she stared at him calmly. Her voice betrayed none of her nervousness. "I had hoped to convince you to take advantage of me."
He reacted by slowly turning to face her, his eyes locking with hers. An intense brown, they looked black in the flickering light of the torches. Tenel Ka's breath caught in her throat as he took one step, steady and purposeful, and then another towards her. His hand came up to gently brush a tendril of her hair from her face. His eyes never left hers. "One can never be taken advantage of if one is willing, Queen Mother." His words were soft, but meaningful.
Her hand caught his as he made to lay it against her cheek. "No titles, Jacen." Her words were low, her voice holding a husky quality she didn't fully recognize. "No treaties. No barriers. Just you and I."
"Is this your choice, Tenel Ka?"
"You are my choice."
He inhaled sharply, his nostrils flaring. His hand cupped her face; hers cupping the back of his fingers as his eyes searched hers for answers. "You could have anyone."
"They are not you."
He didn't give her any other chance to object, his mouth coming down to slant across hers. Her hand left his, reaching up instead to twine about his neck. She pressed herself to the length of him, arching against his body even as his hands slid, one into her hair and the other about her waist. She could taste his want and need on the tip of her tongue as she opened her mouth to his.
He tore himself away, pressing a hot, open mouthed kiss to the column of her throat. She gasped as he hit a sensitive spot, her neck arching of its own accord. His touch was like fire, molten lava flowing from where he touched her into the pit of her stomach to explode into an inferno of need and desire.
His touch was like nothing her past experiences had prepared her for - including the dreams that were mere shadows to the reality.
Her hand slid into his hair, balling into a fist as his mouth trailed wet fire across her collar bone. "Jacen." His name was a breathless plea that barely made it past her lips.
He pulled away to look at her, his eyes heavily lidded orbs of molten amber searching her expression. Tenel Ka relaxed her hold and reluctantly let her hand slide from the soft fall of his hair. He smiled at her. "I've missed you, Tenel Ka."
"You should not have stayed away so long."
"I didn't want to," his admission was soft as he gently caressed her flushed cheeks with his finger tips. "But our paths separated a long time ago."
"Eventually all paths must cross again." Tenel Ka's breath hitched as his hands slid from their previous positions to twine in the loose ends of her hairdo. They shifted and she felt, more than saw, as he began to work the pins from her hair. "I trust they will not wait so long to cross again."
"One can hope," he brushed a kiss across her cheek, his hands holding the weight of her hair as the pins hit the floor soundlessly.
Tenel Ka's had slipped to the clasp on his cloak and undid it. The fabric slid from his shoulders with a touch, pooling on the floor about his feet. She moved to the top button on his shirt and stopped.
His eyes flared. "In a rush, sweetheart?"
She arched an eyebrow at him. "I have waited a long time to have you, Jacen Solo. I am permitted to be impatient."
His mouth swooped down to hers as his hands let her hair tumble about them. His hands moved, sweeping her up in his arms, and taking the two strides to the nearby bed of furs. He placed her in the center and followed her down, never breaking the kiss.
She lifted one leg, hooking it over his hip bone, as she arched into him, giving herself to the wild abandon she felt in his kiss and his touch. Together they spiraled over the edge of sanity and let the inferno consume them.
Some Time Later
Tenel Ka pushed herself up with the stump of her left arm and stared down at the sleeping man who shared her furs. His face was relaxed in a contented smile, his breathing deep and even as he slept, unaware of her scrutiny. She smiled, knowing no one could see her and placed her hand low on her abdomen.
Her people expected her to produce an heir and take a consort. Carefully, confidently, she manipulated the strands of the Force and ensured one when she would never provide the other. She'd chosen her consort; he lay beside her. But he was a consort no one would ever be able to accept and one she couldn't publicly declare.
Jacen Solo had her heart and her soul, and he would provide her with an heir - but not one he could be traced back to. With a female heir to inherit the throne, the pressures to take a consort would lessen and eventually disappear.
For that night, if nothing else, had proven one thing. No other man would ever effect her the way Jacen did which made taking anyone else to her bed impossible.
Her smile was satisfied as she finished manipulating the Force strands, feeling the positive outcome, and lay back down beside him. His arm came about her shoulders as he rolled towards her. His breath feathered across her cheek and he smiled, waking from deep slumber to semi-consciousness.
"I love you, Tenel Ka."
His words warmed her. She placed a gentle kiss on his lips. "And I you, Jacen. Sleep love, and hold me close. The morning comes too soon."
If he heard her, she didn't know, but his arms tightened around her and he held her close as she finally let sleep claim her.
Author's Notes: Big thank you to obsessedwithSW for the challenge. It didn't come out quite the way I'd intended but it came out pretty close to it!