Moving on - Part 6

Mara stood alone at the edge of the bluff that overlooked the bay. The ship was finally repaired and nearly ready to leave but she kept her back resolutely toward it. Her attention was on their beach below.

Their beach.

When had it become their beach?

A light breeze blew off the ocean tugging gently at her fiery mane which, for the moment at least, fell unfettered about her shoulders and down her back. She was wearing clothes again for the first time in a local day. Both she and the clothes were clean now and smelled fresh but the clothes felt restrictive. She longed to be naked with Luke again down on their beach. She hugged herself against a cold that wasn't there, luxuriating in her memories of their time together here – remembering the love they had shared that morning…

She had gradually awakened that morning while the sun was still below the horizon and the sky pale blue and full of small puffy clouds. Luke was snoring softly beside her still deep in slumber. She had been on her back with Luke snuggling beside her, his arm draped across her breasts and one leg hooked across her waist. He had felt wonderfully warm, yet Mara found herself restless again. She knew that they would be leaving later that morning – a prospect that she did not welcome. How odd, she thought, that when they first landed she had almost been restless to get going again and now it was quite the opposite.

So, she had carefully gotten out from under the blanket – and Luke – and walked slowly back up to the pool and waterfall. The morning was cool and her clothes were finally dry but she resolutely maintained her state of undress. Putting on clothes would have meant leaving and she wasn't ready to go just yet. Upon reaching their pool, she had found a tree to lean against and sat facing east to wait for the sun to crawl above the horizon.

As dawn had gradually approached, the base of the clouds had taken on a coppery color and for a moment it had looked as if someone had scattered bright coins across the sky. Luke would probably make some inane comment about the clouds matching my hair or something, she thought absently. He's such a romantic – but I wouldn't have him any other way. Besides – I think the sky matches his eyes. She then had watched as the light first touched the top of the mountain that rose behind the falls and gradually work its way down to the waterfall, creating a rainbow across the pool. Finally it crept to where she was leaning against the tree and she had basked in the sudden warmth of the sunlight on her naked skin.

It had been as if the sun rekindled her desire once again, reminding her of the feel of Luke molded against her and filling her. At the thought of Luke again, she had found herself wishing that she had dragged him awake just so he could experience the beauty of this sunrise with her.

Strange, she had mused, that she could be so torn by the thought of him at that moment. She had wanted to give him the time he needed to rest but also to enjoy this moment with her so that it would be something special between just the two of them. This thought of sharing had reminded her of the love they had first given one another right here by the falls, arousing her to the point of desperate need. In another time she would have simply pleasured herself but now, she found she wanted to share her pleasure with Luke. Maybe he's done sleeping, she had thought wickedly, and if not, I guess I'll just have to wake him up.

"But I did see the sunrise with you, love," his voice had come softly beside her.

She had started and turned to find him, gloriously naked and definitely more than a little interested, smiling down at her and leaning against her tree.

"Have you been in my mind again?" Mara asked, smiling back up at him, knowing full well that he must have been.

"A little," he responded as his face took on an impish grin.

"Then I guess I'll just need to teach you a lesson about that." She had risen, kissing him in earnest as she eased him onto his back in a bed of soft puffball tree fronds and gently sheathed him with herself. "I'll just have to make sure that you learn to do a better job of reading my face. Don't move a muscle, Farmboy."

She had ridden him with an urgency that shocked her – almost as if she was trying to compress all of her newfound passion into this final joining before they had to leave. She kept her eyes tightly shut at first and allowed herself to focus on the sensations of the sun on her skin and of Luke beneath and within her.

Sensing his mind caressing hers, her eyes fluttered open to gaze at his face. It held an expression of love, joy and wonder along with more than a hint of his own need. As her eyes found his, she opened her mind fully to him once again. In that moment, when minds merged and eyes locked, it had seemed that they were staring into each other's souls. She knew – through their link – that he was overwhelmed just watching her pleasure build and her body writhe above him.

Her older self would not have been able to do this, would not have been able to find sexual fulfillment with another soul, would not have trusted her most private moments with someone else.

It seemed so strange that trusting another with such a deeply personal thing could also bring freedom. And she had used that new found freedom to be selfish and use Luke as the instrument of her own pleasure, riding him like one of the waves that crashed upon their beach. Finally she had collapsed, sexually exhausted and fulfilled against him. As her mind had returned to her – muscles still twitching pleasurably around him – she had begun to feel guilty for having been so selfish.

"Sometimes… taking turns is just as much fun as trying to… get there together," Luke panted. "Says so in… your silly book…Now sit up but let me stay inside you."

Mara obliged grinning and, gathering his legs beneath them both, he stood and had carried her into the water until he was nearly waist deep. "Now lay back and float. You're incredibly erotic to watch and I really need to have you."

He took her there with her hair floating about her head like an ocher cloud.

It had been wonderfully relaxing, watching pleasure build on his face and feeling it build in his mind while she floated there. His hands were on her hips and their movements caused water to lap gently between them creating delightful sensations at her most sensitive places.

And he was right. Watching your lover take his pleasure was surprisingly erotic and enjoyable. So much so that she had been able to join him at his climax.

Afterward they had frolicked about in the pool, allowing the falling water to wash and massage them once more. Then they had lain in the morning sun, letting it dry them for one last time on this world. Finally they had walked, holding hands once more, back to their beach.

At the camp site, as if by some silent agreement, they remained naked while packing up their things, ogling each other in the process and making intimate smacks and grabs at one another. Mara had found that bending down to gather up items could be dangerous but, as long as Luke returned the favor, she really didn't mind.

The last thing they had done before leaving was to get dressed.

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Now, standing on the bluff, Mara found herself wondering if she was even the same person that she had been just one day ago. Had it only been just one day?

She knew he was approaching her, felt his presence behind her, then leaned into him as he slipped his arms about her waist. They stood there in silence like that for a long time. She felt his mind nestling close to hers, much the same as their bodies were.

She let him in without another thought. It just seemed to complete the moment or maybe it had already become second nature to her. And as she continued her reverie of their past day, she was suddenly struck by the fact that there was one thing she had forgotten in all of the excitement and joy they had shared during their stay. Just one small but very important thing she had overlooked. Mara had regretted, when she had to wake Luke on the ship after it had been hulled, that there hadn't been a better time for it. Now, here on the bluff, the perfect setting had presented itself unlooked for.

"I love you," she said softly, like the gentle breeze off the bay.

His arms tighten about her and he echoed her words into her neck with a gentle kiss.

"You know," he said after an eternal moment, "I really don't think you are that much changed from when we first landed. You are still exactly the same person I fell in love with and I don't really want you to change anyway, at least not so very much." She could feel his grin at the bit of teasing and found herself grinning as well. "Seriously Mara, all you've really done is to let me into the very private circle that used to include only you and you don't know how wonderful that makes me feel."

Mara spun about in his arms. "Actually I do have some idea about that. Can't go crawling into my mind without giving away your feelings too." She reached up and kissed him, a long lingering kiss that was full of promises of love yet to come.

"I guess that we are all ready to go?" she asked, already knowing the answer.

"Unfortunately. I really wish that the repairs would have taken much longer."

"Maybe we should test the repair – just to make sure it's been done properly." She slid her holdout blaster from its holster and leveled it at the hull, grinning impishly.

"I don't think we could count on nearly as much cooperation from Artoo this time if we actually performed such a test. We'd probably have to make all the repairs ourselves this time."

"You're probably right," Mara admitted and slipped the blaster home. "And since that doesn't offer nearly the opportunities for fun as washing clothes does…" She left that idea hanging, then added brightly, "But we would probably get pretty dirty again and need to clean up."

"Yeah, but with the ship ready to go, it would need to be a really fast wash up."

"Quickies are OK too."

They grinned at each other.

Then Mara became serious again, and looked back at their beach. "I don't want to tell anyone else about this place, Luke. Something tells me that we will need this refuge from time to time. We are definitely going to stop here for our Honeymoon."

Luke frowned. "I'm not so sure that we will be able to find this place again."

Mara's eyes widened questioningly and Luke explained. "Something in the Force tells me that this place is hidden for some reason."

Mara felt a sinking feeling in her stomach – as if she had been physically struck. They only got one chance to experience this place? "I think it might have been a gift to us," Luke continued. She could feel his regret as keenly as she felt her own. "Perhaps we were allowed to visit so we had a chance to repair the ship, but I think that we were allowed the time here as a way to say that the path we are on together is the right one."

She considered this a moment, not sure that she liked what Luke was saying. In her experience such gifts always came with some form of expected payment. "I'm not sure that I care for the obligation that this – gift – implies. Marriages are hard enough without that sort of responsibility piled on top."

He smiled and came forward to embrace her again. "Sorry, I didn't make that very clear and the Force really doesn't work that way. No obligation or responsibility is implied at all, love. Maybe it's better to think of it as a wedding gift. No strings attached. How we do in this marriage is completely up to us. I think the Force is just saying, 'A lot of good things could come of this and you have our blessing' or something much like that"

Mara felt herself relax as his words sunk in. She still had a lot to learn about the Force. At least she had a good teacher to show her the way.

They turned and walked back to the ship hand in hand once more. Mara didn't even realize that they were holding hands until they were half way up the ramp and she smiled at the thought. The ship smelled a bit fresher than it did when they had first popped the hatch.

She and Luke moved separately through the ship to insure that all the vents she had opened properly sealed again. Then she joined Luke at the hatch to watch Artoo, who had remained outside to make a final inspection of the hull, trundle up the ramp. As the little droid passed between them Mara gazed for one final time at their beach before the hatch slid shut.

Mara was feeling very out of sorts as they finally made their way back to the control cabin. She actually felt much more relaxed than she had in days, but she also felt a sadness like none she had ever experienced. She really didn't feel like piloting a ship at this moment so she let go of Luke's hand and plopped herself down in the co-pilot's seat.

To Luke's surprised look she mumbled, "Letting you into my circle means that I also trust you to drive. At least for now. I'm tired and don't really want to focus on it just now."

She watched absently as he went through the power up sequence, enjoying at the quiet confidence he seemed to exude. He really was her equal in many ways and she was glad fate had placed them together at last. She glanced at the screens as she felt them lift off and her heart fell. Luke had been right. Their view vanished the moment the pads left the surface and the screens fogged once more – just as they had been during their decent.

She gazed over at her lover. His eyes held the far away expression of lightly focusing on the Force, using its guidance to pilot them safely back into space and…home – where ever that would be. It would be where ever they could be together, she decided.

She leaned back and closed her eyes, focusing on the Force, using its power to insure that this day would be locked in her memory for the rest of her life.

Mara almost gasped.

There below them was their landing spot but instead of two separate patches of blue and green just slightly overlapping, she now saw just a single patch, the blue and green colors within swirling and dancing together in an unending pattern, impossible to fathom.

And leading away from the patch was the same fire gem path strewn across the stars.

Mara couldn't help smiling for she knew – with a certainty she couldn't explain – that she would be able to lead them here again.