THE PERSONAL COMPANION

Author's Foreword

This story is my Christmas '08 present to my good e-pal Elle, whom some of you might remember, for she was the one who challenged me to write my first Obi-Wan/Anakin slash story, "My Master". Then she asked for a very special 40th birthday's gift, and she got it in "The Stranger". This year she has returned to make requests, as you can see from this edited excerpt from one of our MSN conversations:

[…]

ELLE: I thought something. Don't send me Italian sweets this year. We love them, but since the mail service is so expensive, I'd prefer if you didn't spend all that money. Write me a story instead.

I: Why have I the feeling you have something in mind and that this conversation is not casual at all?

ELLE: Because you know me too well!

I: What do you want this time?

ELLE: Well, you could take eunuch Anakin and…

I: No! Not another time! People will think I am a pervert!

ELLE: You should have thought of it when you did it the first time!

I: That first time you hated it! What changed?

ELLE: Time, life, my tastes, me…pick one, who cares?

I: *SIGH* So what do you want?

ELLE: you take eunuch Anakin and make him a pleasure slave that Obi-Wan somehow gets to own…

I: NO! NO! NO! I told you I hate 'pleasure slave' stories!

ELLE: No. You told me you hate the Q/O stories where Obi-Wan is the pleasure slave and is portrayed as a weak sissy. You said nothing against Anakin being the slave…after all, he's a slave in "My Master"!

I: Only because it is the only way to keep him in the temple!

ELLE: Oh, come on, it won't be that bad! After all, I've not asked you something as awful to write such as…

I: What?

ELLE: Qui-Gon being Obi-Wan's hopeless love?...

I: Bleagh!

ELLE: Maybe I could ask you to haveObi-Wan experience sexual problems?

I: What?!

ELLE: Yep. You read well. I'd like to read something about one of the Boys having problems …would you have the balls to write it?

I: Don't challenge me, lady. You know it could end in a bad way…for Anakin, that is.

ELLE: Oh come on…do it…pretty please…

I: Maybe…

ELLE: Great! That's settled…slave! Anakin + impotent! Obi-Wan + a lot of romance…sounds good.

I: Wait! I said nothing about impotent! Obi-Wan…having problems doesn't necessarily mean that…I think it would be a bit ridiculous to have 2 men that can't get it up because one has been gelded as a boy and the other is impotent…no, if I go ahead with this – and I said IF – I will find something else…

ELLE: I'm sure you will…you always have an ace in your sleeve…

[…]

The story you are going to read is the result of this conversation. It's not very long, for I had little time to write it, but it was fun to write.

I apologize to Anakin's fans if he is a bit OOC, but you must realize the totally different background/life/training he got in this AU could only result in a quite different man, although some of his personality traits from the movies are still there…

This is set in an AU where slavery is a common practice in the Republic too, and Jedi are allowed to marry and have families.

Ah, forgot to say that Anakin's training and the whole thing of him being gifted to Obi-Wan was inspired by the beautiful novel by Mary Renault, "The Persian Boy".

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The corridor resounded with the echo of Obi-Wan Kenobi's steps, as his boots hit the marble pavement in quick succession.

The people present in the corridor moved away to let him pass, before gathering again, whispering to each other as they looked surprised as he walked away.

Obi-Wan Kenobi, Jedi Master, Council member, the epitome of Jedi serenity, was in foul mood that day, and every one seeing him could not help but wonder what could have caused such irritation.

As for Obi-Wan himself, he was completely blind to the curiosity he was stirring with his behaviour. He was too busy trying to regain control over his turbulent emotions.

He, the man who had prevented countless wars, who had mediated hundreds of disputes, who managed to keep his calm while dealing with squabbling politicians and petty tyrants, who held his ground and triumphed over the greatest danger a Jedi could face – two Sith Lords – had been completely shaken by what he had read in the crumpled piece of parchment held in his right hand.

Finally reaching his destination, Obi-Wan squared his shoulders and walked inside Mace Windu's office after having used the Force to open the door.

The Korun master looked up from the documents he was checking, showing no surprise at the sight of his flustered friend and his unorthodox entry.

"Tell me it's not true, Mace," Obi-Wan began, waving the parchment in front of the seated man.

Mace took the parchment, smoothed it and scanned it quickly. Then he handed it back to the younger master. "I'm afraid it's true Obi-Wan."

Obi-Wan almost groaned as he sat down heavily on a chair in front of the desk.

"What in the blazes possessed the Chancellor to give me such…such…"

"Personal gift?" Mace supplied delicately. On another occasion he would have been amused by seeing The Negotiator so at a loss of words, but this was not the case. His friend was too distressed.

"If you can call it so…"

"You prevented a civil war on his home planet. He wanted to reward you."

"I'm a Jedi, Mace. I don't need a reward—and certainly not one of this kind. Tell me, do I look like someone who would welcome such a gift?" Obi-Wan asked, hoping fervently for a negative answer.

"Of course not, Obi-Wan. But the Chancellor knows you are unbonded and he probably thought you would welcome some company."

Obi-Wan bristled as his hands gripped the arms of the chair so tightly his knuckles turned white. "This is even worse," he said with a soft, pained voice, as old wounds were opened again. "He doesn't see me as a libidinous man but as one who is not even able to find someone to warm his bed."

Mace Windu sighed, knowing what was passing in his friend's mind. "Obi-Wan please, calm down. I'm sure the Chancellor just wanted to give you something special, and that his choice doesn't imply any personal judgement."

Obi-Wan nodded, "I know Mace. Sorry for the outburst, but you know how I feel about slavery, especially sexual slavery.

"Of course, Obi-Wan. No need to apologize; I too would feel pretty unsettled in your place."

The younger Jedi took a deep, calming breath, then fingered the parchment. "Do you think we can contact the Committee and tell them there has been a mistake? That the Chancellor didn't know I'm bonded or something like that? The last thing I need is a pleasure slave."

Mace shook his head. "It's too late, Obi-Wan. Your Personal Companion has already been assigned—and you know what happens to them when they are refused…"

Obi-Wan felt a lump in his throat. He knew what happened when Personal Companions were refused or discarded by their assigned masters. They ended in the lower levels brothels, where they would spend their life until they were too old or too damaged to be useful, and were cast off and left outside to die.

"But it wouldn't be his fault…"Obi-Wan tried to reason.

"It wouldn't matter in the eyes of the Committee. It still would be a rejection and punished as such."

Obi-Wan fell silent, as he rubbed his bearded chin. What a situation! Why of all the things did the Chancellor have to give him a slave? A trained pleasure slave! He felt the irrational desire to march in the Chancellor's office, grab the man by his shoulders and shake him until his teeth rattled. He quickly dispelled the idea, releasing his upset and frustration into the Force.

"So," he finally said, "I think it would be best that I went to retrieve him before the Committee believes I have rejected him. Their closest office is near the Senate Building…"

"There is no need to leave the Temple, Obi-Wan. Your Personal Companion is already here," replied Mace, gesturing with an arm toward the other side of the room.

Obi-Wan turned to look in the indicated direction and saw a young man sitting on the couch, a leather bag resting at his feet.

He cringed inwardly. Unsettled as he had been, he had not sensed the other presence in the room. He just hoped the young man had not been too upset by some of the things that had been said.

"Come here, Anakin," Mace said gently, "It's time to introduce you to your new master, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

The young man stood up, picked up his bag, and walked over the desk, as Obi-Wan rose to his feet.

He looked to be in his early twenties, tall and broad shouldered. His hair was shoulder length and dark blond. His face was smooth, with refined features, full lips and deep blue eyes.

All in all he was quite comely, certainly very attractive—if someone is attracted to males, which Obi-Wan was not.

He had once read that the Committee studied the profile of the intended master before assigning the Personal Companions, but it seemed clear that in this case they had been wrong—not that Obi-Wan was going to complain, for he would never make use of a slave, male or female they could be.

The young man bowed his head deeply, and said in a cultured voice, "Master Kenobi, my name is Anakin Skywalker, and I'm at your complete service."

"Pleased to meet you," Obi-Wan replied. "I hope you are not too upset by what I said a few minutes ago."

"No, Master, I'm not. Master Windu alerted me of your probable reaction."

Obi-Wan turned to face Mace with an arched eyebrow, "Am I so predictable?" he asked.

"In matters of morality, integrity, honour and slavery? Yes, my friend, you are very predictable." Mace answered with a smile. "Now, why don't you take Anakin to your quarters? He can sleep in the padawan bedroom, at least until you take a new apprentice."

Obi-Wan looked at the Korun master with surprise, "I thought Anakin would live in the servants' area, with the others." He was a bit of a loner, and while he had loved to share his quarters with his former Padawan, he was not keen to the idea of sharing them with a man trained from infancy to provide sexual favours.

Mace looked at him sharply. "It doesn't become you to be so dense, Obi-Wan. You must be aware of the fact a Personal Companion must live with his or her master. The Committee will certainly monitor your match for a few months and sending Anakin to live away from you would look like a rejection to them."

Obi-Wan could only nod, as he mentally cursed the Committee. "Fine then. Anakin, please follow me; I will show you your new home."

"Yes Master," the young man said with a smile, bending down to pick up his bag, before falling in step with Obi-Wan.