The Senator's Wife

by indie

AUTHOR'S NOTE: This story is pretty short and it is complete. I do intend to write more stories and vignettes set in the universe created for this story. They will be added as additional chapters to this story.

She paces the living room, glancing out the window at the panoramic view of Imperial Center. Despite the luxuriously comfortable furnishings, she does not sit while she waits. She hates this place, this chic apartment in the most exclusive address on the planet.

This apartment is not all she hates.

Her loathing for herself far outstrips any animosity she feels toward the place reserved for their clandestine affair.

He's late – as usual – and she despises him all the more for it. He may be the one person she hates more than herself, yet perversely that fact makes her hate herself even more. He makes her wait in order to prove a point, to prove that it is his schedule that matters, his wants that matter. He needs to prove to her that she means nothing to him.

She looks at the door and considers leaving. Her cloak is draped over the back of the absurdly expensive repulsor couch. She needs merely to scoop it up and head for the turbolift.

She turns back to the view. She has no intention of leaving, any more than he has any intention of not showing up. He'll be here. He always is. Belittling and cruel, he makes her regret their physical passion every time.

But if she ignores his words, if she ignores the way he treats her when they are both in the armor of their own clothes, then she can almost believe he is the man she still loves. His words can lie, but his touch cannot.

The apartment has an impressive view of the Senate complex and she knows it is no accident. He undoubtedly chose this apartment for that very reason. He wants her to stand here in his arms and be forced to think of the husband she betrays like clockwork. Her eyes fall shut at the thought. She will not cry. For if she cries, he will know why and he will be doubly vicious, doubly demanding.

Bail Organa deserves so much more from a wife than the bitter deceit she provides. He is a good man, proud and just. He is a wonderful father to Luke and Leia. As a lover he is kind and considerate. And yet, her body does not burn for his touch. She does not hunger for the texture of his skin beneath her fingers, for the taste of his kiss against her tongue.

With a huff, she resumes her pacing. She is achy, impatient. Her temper is waspish. She hates her lover all the more for these facts. She knows this feeling, this insatiable hunger within her. She wants to hit and bite and scream and love. Everything inside her hungers for his touch – now.

She knows her body. She knows what these feelings mean and the consequences they herald. She knows it just as well today as she did five years ago. If he comes to her here and now, if they sate their passions today, a child will be conceived. The child will be a full sibling to her beloved Luke and Leia. Only this child won't be fathered by her loving Jedi protector, Anakin Skywalker. This child will be fathered by the Emperor's most vicious servant, Darth Vader.

She is disgusted with herself, with her weakness. It took everything she had to turn him away at Geonosis, to verbally deny her feelings toward him. And then he was wounded and so vulnerable and she could not stay away. He wanted more – of course. He always wants more. His passions are insatiable. After the first encounter, he pursued her relentlessly. He wanted to marry her – she actually laughed in his face at the idea.

He did not respond well.

She would not marry him. The very idea was absurd. She was a senator, he a Jedi Padawan. They would have been forced to lie to everyone they loved, everyone they trusted. So despite the aching void she felt for him, she crushed the idea.

If only she could have crushed what she felt for him so easily. It was difficult to ignore him. As the Clone Wars progressed he became increasingly more famous, The Hero With No Fear. She found it nearly impossible to escape talk of him, holonet reports of his exploits. Every dinner conversation of the war effort included mention of him.

And then came the rumor he was killed.

It brought her entire existence to a grinding halt. Anakin could not be dead. It wasn't possible. She was in mourning, in a state of constant agitation and depression, desperate for any word of him. Even worse, she could not admit her feelings to anyone.

And then, unexpectedly, she did nothing more proactive than glance over her shoulder one afternoon on her way into the Senate buildings and there he was, lost in conversation with two other Jedi.

He saw her and quickly extricated himself from the conversation. She was unable to speak, overwhelmed with the reality that he was standing in front of her, whole and unharmed.

Unable to stop herself, she immediately reached out for him, kissing him greedily. He took full advantage of her reaction. Grace forgotten, he half-dragged, half-carried her to her private shuttle. It was clumsy and inelegant and glorious.

They finally ended up in her apartment, in her bed. Thanks to the war and her own cruelty, he was older, quieter. He did not beg her for promises or effusively profess his feelings. He was gentle and loving. Perhaps he came to the same realization as she - their relationship was doomed. There was no talk of their future together, no talk of a next time. That fact did not stop either of them from enjoying their stolen moment. She was desperate to imprint him indelibly on her memory.

When he finally left he had missed the convoy to the Outer Rim and most certainly would be disciplined.

When he finally left, she was pregnant with Luke and Leia.

Bail was always one of her closest friends and he became her lone confidant. She told him everything about Anakin and her condition. She told him she had no intention of informing Anakin of the pregnancy. The knowledge would not, could not, change either of their paths and it would only make their choices harder.

Bail was widowed several years earlier and when he suggested a marriage, she immediately rejected the idea. She would not be a burden to him. She would not force him to claim another man's child.

But Bail persisted in his own kind and logical way. He cared for her, he respected her and he finally admitted, he was rather smitten with her. He swore he had wanted a child for a very long time, had thought himself too old. He said he would welcome the opportunity to raise a child with her regardless of the child's true paternity. It was not genetics, he said, but rather actions that made a man a father.

Padmé was fond of him and he made a very convincing argument. She did not relish the idea of showing up on her parents' doorstep pregnant and jobless in need of shelter.

She accepted Bail's proposal. She resigned her seat in the Senate and she became his wife.

And then came the end of the Clone Wars, Order 66 and Palpatine's rise to Emperor. Despite Padmé's affection for her new husband she mourned the death of the Jedi – the death of Anakin Skywalker – so profoundly it sent her into early labor.

The twins were born healthy and strong. Bail supported his wife, pretending not to notice how soul-deep her sorrow ran.

She clearly remembers the first time she saw Darth Vader, the Emperor's wrath. The menacing, shadowy form draped in black Zeyd-cloth robes was indistinguishable as human. Yet there was something so familiar about him, even from the great distance which she viewed him at one of the Emperor's grand parades several months after the end of the war.

She went out of her way to walk alone, knowing, somehow, he would find her. He did. His voice was broken, rasping. The only part of his face visible beneath the black hood was his jaw. A human jaw.

He ordered her to stop. She did. One of his black gloved hands grasped her jaw, forcing her face toward his. She was still unable to distinguish any of his features beneath the hood. But there was something there. Something she could not deny.

"Anakin?" she asked, her voice quavering with emotion.

He immediately released her, pushing her away so abruptly she stumbled and fell. "Whore!" he spat at her in his gravelly voice.

And then he was gone and she knew. Anakin Skywalker had survived.

She never told Bail about the encounter. She couldn't. She didn't want to admit the man who fathered her children was now the most feared creature in the galaxy. She didn't want to admit whatever role she may have played in his transformation.

Yet, she knew he would not stay away. Whatever goodness in Anakin Skywalker allowed him to set her free was destroyed. Lord Vader clearly viewed her as a possession.

For months the harassment persisted. It was a vicious dance, a careful ballet she stepped through with herself as much as with him. She warred with her own desires as much as she did with his demands. He could have forced her, that much was always shockingly clear. Yet he never did. As much as he wanted – and intended – to win, it was not in such a manner. Coercion, manipulation, those are his tools where she is concerned.

Yet for all of his lies and petty threats, it was his truth that finally drew her to him. He hassled her for months, when she shopped or walked or did anything alone. He never approached her when Bail or the twins were near and for that she was intensely grateful. But she knows she found more and more excuses to be alone in public, giving him the opportunity for contact.

It was to this apartment that he finally brought her. It was here that he finally revealed what lay beneath the hood and robes.

She knew from the damage to his voice he was grievously wounded.

He stood there, vulnerable, allowing her to bear witness to the damage Obi-Wan inflicted. He refuses to elaborate on what exactly happened on Mustafar. She only knows there was a vicious battle and he was nearly killed in the process of murdering his former mentor.

His face was left unscathed and for that she is secretly happy. His torso was not so lucky. Most of it is covered with raw skin grafts that make her question the Emperor's true intention toward his apprentice. His right leg was amputated above the knee and replaced with a mechanical limb.

He was quiet, watching her reaction, waiting for her horror or refusal. She gave him neither. She gave him herself.

She wonders if it is his failings rather than his abilities that have always attracted her. She wonders if he remembered her reaction after the Battle of Geonosis and counted on her sympathy to draw her near yet again.

Regardless of what brought them here, it is done. She is Lord Vader's lover. She betrays her husband, finding pleasure in a Sith's arms.

She knows Bail is not stupid. She knows he must suspect. And she knows he probably understands far more than she would ever allow herself to admit. They often discuss the Empire's problems, the most egregious human rights violations. Now and then Bail will discuss a particular project of his with such passion, explain it to her so pointedly she has the distinct impression he wants her to champion the cause to her lover.

Now and then, she does.

For all of his high-handed pronouncements and power plays, there are times when her lover is quiet, gentle. There are times when he touches her so carefully, so lovingly, she knows there is good in him.

She wonders if in several months time he will suspect the child conceived today is his. As far as she knows, he believes Luke and Leia to be Bail's children. He never mentions them and he bristles when she slips and does so. But then again, maybe not everything is as it seems.

She often wonders at the fact that he shares her affections with Bail. She suspects it has much to do with the Emperor. As long as she is publicly viewed as Bail Organa's wife, as the mother of Bail Organa's children, the Emperor has no reason to suspect she means anything to his apprentice. Surely Lord Vader would not suffer such an insult as to share his lover. Surely Lord Vader would not allow another man to claim his children.

The door to the apartment hisses open and she turns, watching him walk into the room.

She crosses her arms, regarding him warily. "I've been waiting for you."