Boundless – a Love story
"moowazsee, ook…? Sumluvr ffum 'for?"
"Come again, Bé?" Luke murmured, nuzzling the top of her head, half asleep himself.
"Nofans… oo seepy oo…"
Luke smiled wryly, and squeezed the warm body snuggled in his embrace. "Sleep Mud, Bé," he grinned, all at once fully aware of the question but feigning innocence. It wasn't something he wanted to talk about, anyway. "Why not let it go for now…"
He felt gentle fingers brush down his side, and a shiver ran down his spine, and a name rose to the forefront of his mind, unbidden.
The caress became a poke. "You understood me perfectly well, Luke!" Aubé grumbled. Raising her head to meet his eyes, her tone softened. "So you did recognized that woman tonight…"
He shrugged, and caressed her back lightly, absently.
"No…" he said softly. "Not really…"
It doesn't matter, anyway. That was so many years ago… and that girl was far too young...
An inquisitive arch of the eyebrow. "Young, huh? Pretty too, I'll bet?" There was no rancor in the question, only curiosity.
Luke sighed, sleep all but forgotten. "Yeah," he said at last. "Very…"
Her caress began again, gentle and soothing as she lay her head against his chest.
"Wanna talk about it?"
"Not really," Luke said abruptly, then more softly. "Besides, she's been dead for a long time… six… maybe seven years or so… Maybe longer, I think…"
"I'm sorry, Luke," Aubé whispered, and in that moment, Luke loved her all the more knowing that she meant it.
"We met in some off world bar in the Outer-Rim," Luke began softly, as if he were telling a bedtime story to Pemberian. "It was… maybe two years after Endor…" Here he paused, almost apologetic. "You were… gone, I guess, and I was helping out Rogue Squadron do a little clean up…"
Aubé nodded, but didn't interrupt him. It was a painful part of their past that still carried the sting – for both of them – and that only time would allow that last mark to heal.
Now it was Luke's turn to give a reassuring squeeze, as he continued. "Well, I was young and pretty lonely, and she was one of the few Force-Sensatives I'd met who didn't either reject me outright or run away…"
Aubé kissed his chest tenderly, wordlessly reassuring. Go on… After a moment, he did.
"Four months or so, I guess. When Rogue Squadron returned to Coruscant, we stayed behind… Scion wanted to follow up on a rumor that some Moff or another was hiding out near Anzat…"
"How did she die?"
Luke's jaw set itself. "Senselessly…"
She squeezed him once in silence, as Luke continued. "We let ourselves get complacent… unaware… A small troop of remnant Imperials… it was over before either of us knew what happened…"
He trailed off. Many years of losing friends in the same way had left no need for further explanation.
They fell silent for a while, and Luke thought that perhaps his wife had fallen asleep again. The birth of their son and subsequent whirlwind of attention often wore her out in the evenings, but after a moment, she spoke again.
"Did you love her?" Aubé asked gently. "I mean, really?"
Luke sighed, "You already know the answer…"
"But I want to hear you say it…"
"Aubé… Bé… Please…"
"It'll be all right," Her voice still low and soft. "Go on…"
"Yes…" Luke sighed, suddenly feeling a weight roll off of his shoulders. "Yes, I did… Very much so."
To his surprise, Aubé smiled at him.
"I'm glad for you, Luke…" she said gently, settling back into his embrace and beginning to drift. "You've always had… so much love to give… so… boundless, like the Force itself…"
"I love you," he murmured. More than anyone I've ever known…
"I copy, Red Leader…" she sighed, already half asleep. "Over…"
Now it was Luke's turn to smile. "Over…" he echoed, but the only reply was a soft snore.
He lay there for a little while, allowing his thoughts to wander where they would. He thought of Scion and her laugh, deep and rich, and of how her long hair had shone in the light of the twin moons of Toola.
How that in her embrace he could almost forget the woman he had thought he'd lost, and now lay safe in his arms.