Disclaimer: I don't own Star Wars.
AN: Here's the third vignette in the Forever Destined vignette series! A total of a year has passed since Binary Sunset. Enjoy and let me know what you think:)
Dinner, Dancing...and Danger?
Coruscant Maximum Security Prison:
It had been six months since he had been put in this hell hole. But he did not worry, for his family was working to get him released. Devan De'reux couldn't wait to get out of this prison and back to his life. The Skywalker's would pay for imprisoning him like this. In the past, Coruscant's prison facility would have been difficult to escape, even for a De'reux, when it was run by Commander Ackbar. But the Commander was promoted to General and charged with his own fleet a few months ago. Now, the prison was run by a young Commander by the name of Piett. He used to be a loyalist with sympathies toward the Imperial Underground, though his superiors were not aware of this fact. It was not too difficult for Xalazar to sway him to their side with the heavy payoff given to him and promise of a high rank and position when the day came for the Empire to rise up and crush the Republic. Piett was young, naive, and struggling to make a living. The life offered to him by the De'reux's was just too tempting for one that could not necessarily be considered evil, but was weak in character.
The purple electric current that coursed around his cell bars was shut off and the door slid open. Two guards wordlessly motioned to the criminal and he smirked, as he was ushered to the exit. Waiting for him was a ship with his family aboard. He was welcomed home with open arms, before the ship quickly disappeared from Coruscant airspace and into the realm of hyperspace.
Six Months Later, Present Day...
Two Jedi star fighters soared over the sparkling, artificial Coruscant Lake. They circled around, high above the city planet, weaving around various skyscrapers. They rounded the corner of the central business district and into Senate airspace. They soared over the Rotunda and finally came to a land on one of the Jedi Temple's many land pads. The pilot's glass domes slowly lifted, as the engines ceased operation. A green and blue astrodroid each popped out of their secure post and followed along, as their Masters also jumped from their cockpits. Anakin's boots landed solidly on the permacrete beneath him, as did Obi-Wan's.
"It's good to be home," Obi-Wan mentioned.
"Yeah, especially since the last four days were a complete waste," Anakin replied.
"Now Ani, you're focusing on the negative," Obi-Wan said, as they each swiped their security access cards. They were granted access and the door slid open.
"Come on Artoo," Anakin called.
"You too Arseven," Obi-Wan called to the green astrodroid. The two droids rolled behind them.
"I just wish we had better news to report to the Council," Anakin said.
"Finding Devan De'reux on Corellia was impossible and the Council knew so. They sent us to investigate, but did not expect us to find him, much less arrest him," Obi-Wan replied.
"I know...but I hate the fact that his sleazy family thinks they can do whatever they want. People are only going to be hurt with him on the loose, especially now since he has an axe to grind," Anakin said.
"You're right, but he will slip up again. And if he or his family are foolish enough to come after you or Padme, they won't know what hit them when we get done with them," ObiWan replied, as they entered the lift, taking them up to the Council chambers. Debriefing would be quick and they would relay what little information they had gathered. The central fact remained, despite Bel Iblis' outspoken position against the villainy of the De'reux family, they were untouchable on Corellia.
"Well, I believe that just about concludes our business today. I always enjoy our visits, Senator. Our people could not have better representation," Queen Apiliana said over the comm screen.
"Thank you, your majesty. I am honored you think so," Padme replied.
"Sabe should have her monthly report complete in a few days. She'll be in contact then," Apiliana informed her. Padme nodded.
"Thank you, your majesty. I bid you good day," Padme said, as the transmission went dark. Padme smiled and began putting things away for the day. The comm buzzed suddenly.
"Yes Elle?" Padme asked.
"Queen Organa is here," Elle replied. Padme smiled.
"Please send her in," Padme said. Breha came in with a double hover stroller that sat two in front and two in back.
"Mommy!" Kimberly and Jenna called.
"Hello sweet girls," she said kissing them both.
"And hello my sweet boy," she added, as she kissed Jayden, who sat in back with Natalie.
"Did you kids have fun at the zoo with Aunt Breha?" she asked, as they lifted the children out.
"Mommy, I saw a Nexu and it went rahhrhahaa!" Kimberly demonstrated excitedly.
"Oh my," Padme replied. Breha chuckled.
"Thanks for letting me borrow the double stroller," Breha said.
"No problem. Anakin and I never take them anywhere without it. Thank you for taking them today. They can be a handful," Padme replied.
"Oh please, I enjoyed it. Besides, they all play so well together, especially the twins and Natalie," Breha replied.
"I know. It's amazing how close the three of them are. Every time we separate them, the twins fuss, especially Jayden," Padme said.
"Natalie is the same way. But I'm glad they're so close," Breha replied.
"Me too," Padme said, as Breha picked Natalie up. Padme's comm buzzed again.
"Yes Elle?" she asked.
"Senator, I'm afraid Senator Malachai is here to deliver an invitation," Elle said.
"Tell the Senator he may leave his invitation with you," Padme replied shortly. But unfortunately, Senator Machius Malachai waltzed into her office.
"Oh...I'm terribly sorry Padme. I didn't realize you had company," he said, with a feral grin.
"Mommy!" Jayden called, tugging at her dress. She lifted him up. Jenna and Kimberly stopped playing for a moment to stare uncertainly at the intruder.
"Whether I have company or not never concerns you. You just barge your way in whenever you please," she replied hotly.
"Your hostility is tiresome, Padme. I just came to personally deliver this invitation to the Grand Opening weekend of my new resort, beginning tomorrow night," Machius replied.
"Fine. You've delivered it, now leave," Padme replied.
"Come now Padme, I'd really like to see you there," he said, as he took a step toward her. Even though he was only a year old, Jayden was already showing himself to be somewhat of a prodigy, as was his twin sister. Their midichlorian counts were now the second and third highest in Jedi history, only exceeded by their father's. Jayden pointed his tiny finger at the man.
"Bad!" he shouted. Machius glared at the child.
"Cute," he said sarcastically. Padme smirked.
"Bad! Bad!" Jayden cried. His twin sister followed suit.
"What lovely brats you have," he growled. Padme smirked again.
"You're getting too close to me. They don't like it," Padme stated. Machius suppressed a growl and backed away.
"I hope to see you there tomorrow night, Senator. You and your husband as well, your majesty," he bowed to Breha, before leaving.
"What a nerfherder!" Breha said in exasperation.
"He's about as slimy as they come," Padme replied.
"Well, I should get home. Say bye bye sweetheart," she cooed to her daughter.
"Bye bye," she waved her little hand.
"Bye bye," Jayden called, but then whimpered a little, as Breha left. Padme shook her head in amusement.
"You're a little young to be having a crush already, my handsome boy," she told him, with a giggle. Jayden's sour face changed, as the door opened again.
"Daddy!" the three of them called, as their father, Luke, and Leia came through the door. Anakin knelt down and scooped his youngest daughters up, hugging them tightly. Jayden squirmed in his mother's arms and soon was enveloped in his father's embrace as well. Padme smiled, as they put the younger twins and Kimberly in the stroller. Anakin smiled and pulled Padme into his arms.
"I missed you," he said.
"I missed you too. Even four days is too long for you to be away," she replied, as their lips met in a tender, passionate kiss.
"Let's go home," he said, as he pushed the stroller. Padme looped her arm on his and their oldest children trotted along beside the stroller.
After dinner, the children went to play in the room they had deemed the play room or rec room. After Jayden and Jenna came along, Bail granted Padme's request for a bigger apartment. The Skywalkers moved to the very large, vacant penthouse that was basically the entire top floor of Republic 500. It had seven bedrooms, plus the Master bedroom. Each of their kids could have their own room, though Jayden and Jenna were sharing right now. That currently left them with three guest bedrooms. The apartment had the large rec room, where most of their toys were kept, and three freshers, not including the Master fresher. The apartment also had a large kitchen, living area/dining room, and a beautiful, spacious veranda. The apartment was a two story penthouse and a beautiful spiral staircase led up to the second level. The Master bedroom and four of the other bedrooms were upstairs. Currently, all the children slept in the upstairs bedrooms, close to their parents. Four guest bedrooms, the rec room, and Padme's office were on the first floor, which a hallway led to from the living area. When Luke and Leia were older, they would move to two of the downstairs bedrooms. Padme sat down on the sofa, having just cleared the table. Threepio was taking care of washing the dishes. She set the baby monitor on the table, since the kids were still very young, they had placed one in the rec room. Anakin kissed her forehead and pulled her close. She felt something in her pocket and pulled out a datacard.
"What's that?" he asked.
"Senator Malachai's stupid invitation to the Grand Opening of his sleazy resort," she huffed. He winced.
"Um...what would you say if I thought we should go?" he asked gently.
"I'd say that you couldn't be serious," she answered.
"Well..." he began.
"Ani, you can't be serious," she chided.
"Well...the Council kind of wants me to go...and I need a beautiful date to escort," he said, kissing her hand. Her interest perked slightly.
"They want you to spy?" she asked.
"Observe was the word they used. But yeah, they basically want me to keep an eye out for any IU activity," he said, using the abbreviation for the Imperial Underground.
"I suppose...but you know I loathe casinos," she responded.
"I know, but apparently, there's more than a casino. There's a five star restaurant and lots of fine wine. Not to mention, a ballroom. We both know how much you love dancing," he said.
"Keep going," she urged him.
"I've reserved us one of the hotel suites, the most luxurious one they have. There's a big Jacuzzi in it and an even bigger bed," he tempted her.
"And I suppose mom and dad are eager to babysit already," she replied.
"Of course," he replied.
"Well...it has been a while since we've gone anywhere...just the two of us," she added.
"It has," he confirmed.
"And I guess since there will be dancing, I certainly can't refuse. Especially with the added possibility of my gorgeous husband in a Jacuzzi with me...wearing nothing by the way. I guess I would be foolish to refuse such a lavish offer," she said, cuddling against him.
"So, you're in?" he asked. She kissed him passionately.
"A weekend away with you and the chance to make a fool out of Machius Malachai? You bet I'm in," she answered. He chuckled and kissed her again. After many kisses later, the couple walked hand in hand to the play room to round up their children for baths and bedtime.
The next day, Padme arrived home early in the afternoon. Shmi and Elana were already there with Kimberly and the twins. They would be spending the weekend there with the kids, including Natalie, Ryoo, and Pooja, since Obi-Wan and Sola were also attending. Qui-Gon and Yan would arrive later when Anakin came home.
"Hello sweetheart, how was your day?" Shmi asked.
"It was okay. I'm kind of even looking forward to tonight. It's been a while since Ani and I have had a night out, even if has to be at Malachai's resort. Are you sure you're okay with watching all of the kids?" Padme asked.
"Of course sweetheart. We're going to have lots of fun," Shmi said. Padme held Jayden and thanked Elana for pouring her tea. Padme finished her tea, as they chatted and then went upstairs to the bedroom to get ready.
Some time later, Anakin entered their bedroom and his breath was taken away.
"Wow..." he uttered, as he stared at his wife, as she twirled in her dress for him.
"What do you think?" she asked.
"I think I'm going to have to kill every guy in this place, because none of them will be able to take their eyes off you," he replied in awe. Her dress was silver in color and glittered elegantly. It fit her curves perfectly and the slim skirt went to her ankles, except it had two slits up the side, all the way to mid thigh. It was a perfect dancing dress. The straps were very thin and the neck scooped just above her bosom. She wore her hair up in an intricate twist and two curls framed her face on either side. The ensemble was completed by a pair of matching silver strapped slippers, also designed for comfort and dancing.
"Your eyes are the only ones I care about," she said.
"You look amazing," he replied, as he kissed her tenderly. Anakin started getting dressed for the evening as well. He shed his Jedi clothes and first donned his black dress pants...after he strapped his light saber to a leg holster he put on his caf muscle. Padme gladly helped him with the buttons on the black dress shirt, before he tucked it in. She helped him fix the silver tie she'd got him to match her dress. After he put his shoes and jacket on, he ran a quick comb through his shaggy curls.
"So...how do I look?" he asked.
"Devastatingly handsome...drop dead gorgeous...very sexy. Whichever you prefer...or all of the above," she said sultrily, kissing him passionately. He devoured her lips in with own, plundering her mouth with a passionate rhythm and pulling her petite form against his own. They smiled at each other, as their lips parted. He draped his long cloak over her shoulders and offered his arm to her. She accepted and they went downstairs to say goodbye to their children and family.
Bail had invited Anakin, Padme, Obi-Wan, and Sola to ride in his luxury vehicle with him and Breha and they agreed. They soon arrived in the tourist district at the new Bespin-style resort. Bail's driver dropped them off and the three couples proceeded to the entrance of the lavish resort. Holonet swarmed around the entryway and Machius Malachai was very much enjoying his spot in the limelight. As Chancellor and Queen Organa entered, the Holonet was there, their questions firing as fast as their holo cameras were snapping holos. Obi-Wan and Sola were afforded much of the same attention, much to their chagrin. Anakin and Padme were bombarded by them, as they entered. The hounds fired question after question, which grew more insane, as they went. They pushed past the reporters, dreading the fact that they would once again be plastered all over every gossip page possible...not that this was new for them or anything. Machius smirked, as he watched the Senator and her husband. He discretely raised his comlink to his lips.
"You were right. Kenobi and Skywalker are here with their wives," Machius said.
"The Jedi Council has sent them on an expedition, no doubt. Don't worry...they will be watched. Act like their presence does not bother you in the slightest," Garret informed him.
"Yes sir," he answered, as he stuffed the device in his pocket. Machius calmly approaching the beautiful, alluring Senator and her husband.
"Senator Skywalker, I am honored that you and your husband accepted my invitation. I would be most honored if you and your family members would join Chancellor and Queen Organa at my table for dinner," Machius said. Padme glanced at Bail, who looked bored. The Chancellor had likely agreed to dine with his constituent, so he did not seem biased or not neutral toward the slimy Senator. Bail shrugged at Anakin and Padme.
"We accept," Padme replied stiffly.
"Very well. Please follow me and I'll lead us to the table I have reserved," Malachai said.
"Great," Padme said, under her breath, with an air of sarcasm.
"Look at it this way, I can keep a close eye on him this way," Anakin told her quietly.
"True. Do you sense anything from him?" she asked. He smirked.
"He's trying to act like my presence or Obi-Wan's doesn't bother him at all. Too bad he's not very good at hiding the nervousness I sense from him," he said.
"I wouldn't doubt that he's up to something. With any luck, we can catch him at something...and enjoy a romantic weekend together," she said.
"Well, I don't know if our investigation will amount to anything...but I do know that I will be sharing a weekend full of love and romance with my beautiful wife. That's a promise," he told her with kiss to her lips. The three couples joined Malachai at his table, where they were delivered menus, and immediately served red wine. One thing was certain, it would be an interesting weekend...