A lot of readers expressed an interest in me expanding the first alternate ending to my story. This is the one where young Luke comes back. So I did expand it and you can see it here. The first part is the same, but it continues on for a few more pages.
Mara watched as Luke disappeared into Waru. She forced herself to wait a full second before she engaged the winch system. The hoist groaned to life and started winding in the cable tethered to Luke at an excruciatingly slow pace. When the line finally became taut Mara made a silent prayer that everything would work out for the best. She still had a bad feeling about his plan.
She let out a relieved breath as Luke emerged from the gelatinous interior of Waru. Mara made sure he was completely out before she disengaged the winch, disembarked from the shuttle and ran down to the Jedi.
She skidded to a stop next to Luke and pulled him into her arms. "Luke, are you alright?"
Luke tried to say something but he began coughing. He rolled over on his hands and knees and vomited up a stream of yellow ichor. "What the…?" he groaned as he tried to spit up a foul tasting fluid out of his mouth. He reached up and dragged his fingers over his face in an attempt to remove the fetid gel covering his body.
"Thank the Force, you're alright," Mara practically sobbed.
Luke turned to the sound of her voice. He blinked his eyes in a vain attempt to rid himself of the visceral fluid covering his face and eyes. "What? What's going on? Is that you Mara? Where am I?" Luke looked up toward the burning sun of Jaguada. "This isn't Crseih Station. Am I having delusions again?"
Mara's heart dropped as she gazed on Luke's very confused and handsome face. "Shavit! I have naïve farmboy Luke, don't I?" She shook her head sadly. She knew this was a possibility, but she hoped to get her Jedi Grand Master back.
"Mara, is that you?" He rubbed his eyes, trying to clear his sight. "Am I dead?" Luke asked looking totally disorientated.
"Yes it's Mara and no you're not dead." She helped him onto his feet. "Come on, lets get you into a sonic shower and I'll tell you what happened."
Luke came out of the 'fresher wearing nothing more than a towel and a perplexed expression on his face. "You said you had a change of clothing for me?"
Mara held a bundle of clothing she retrieved out of Luke's travel bag. As she brought the outfit to the Jedi she couldn't help but gaze at his muscular chest and reminisce of the many nights they would lay in bed, her hands running over his firm body. Her face flushed in embarrassment and desire. "Here," was all she could muster to say as she handed him his clothing.
Luke gave her an puzzled look. "Thanks," he whispered as he disappeared back into the 'fresher to dress.
He exited a few minutes later wearing a cream colored tunic over dark blue pants. It was clothing Mara purchased for the other Luke. She was tired of seeing him wearing black all the time and the Jedi Grand Master was more than willing to change his wardrobe to please her.
Luke looked down at his clothing. "I don't remember owning this outfit."
"You wouldn't," Mara replied. "I bought it for you a couple weeks ago."
Luke shook his head in confusion. "A couple weeks ago?" He sat down at the galley table across from her. "What is going on? How did I get here, Mara?"
Mara ran a hand over her face not knowing what to tell him. "Luke, do you remember anything from the last few weeks?"
Luke frowned. "I was…" Luke hesitated, "I think I was experiencing delusions while in Waru."
Mara exhaled audibly. "Did you dream you were a sixty-three-year-old Jedi Grand Master widower with a teenage son?"
Luke's eyes went wide. "How did you know?"
"Because it looks like you switched bodies with an older Luke Skywalker from an alternate dimension," she said softly, dreading the upcoming conversation.
"So what I experienced was real?" Luke whispered.
"In an alternate dimension. From what the other Luke told me our two dimensions are very different," she explained.
"Why am I here and not Crseih Station?" he asked again.
"When you were pulled out of Waru by your sister three weeks ago, you were confused and claimed to have a son named Ben. Shortly after your rescue Waru disappeared and with it any chance of finding out what really happened. A few days ago probe droids discovered Waru here on Jaguada and you…I mean the other Luke decided to come to this planet to try to either recon Waru or get back to his son." She paused before continuing. "It looks like he's back with his son."
"Why did you come with him and not my sister or Han?" Luke asked.
"I wanted to come with him. I refused to let him go alone," Mara admitted reluctantly.
Luke sat silently for a moment. "Did you know you and him were married in his world?"
Luke sat considering the situation. "But that doesn't mean it will happen here?"
Mara almost laughed. He came from a world with a planet full of Sith, a dark entity terrorizing the galaxy and a dead wife and now that he's back his main concern is the marital situation. "Don't worry Luke. There is no guarantee that anything that happened there will happen here."
He looked down. "Oh," he said. Mara thought she heard disappointment in his voice.
He looked up at her. "I'm glad I'm back. Everybody thought I went crazy. Cilghal theorized that something called Abeloth had taken my memories. I didn't know what was happening. I had a teenage boy calling me Dad. We were preparing to fight an entire army of Sith. I was a widower after you were killed by Jacen."
"I was killed by Jacen?" Mara sat back in shock.
"He didn't tell you?" Luke murmured.
She shook her head. "No, he said I was killed by a Sith Lord."
Luke sighed. "I was told that Jacen turned to the darkside, murdered you and then had to be killed by Jaina."
Mara groaned. "Oh poor Luke, his world was a lot worse than he led on." Her heart clenched at the thought of the man she loved going back to such an awful galaxy. She wished she could have gone with him. She loved him dearly and she missed him already.
Luke must have sensed her despair either through the Force or by the look on her face. "Mara…what happened between you two?"
"We bonded," she said simply. "Through the Force…and in other ways."
"You bonded?" The sound of astonishment was unmistakable. "He was only here for three weeks, right?"
Mara nodded sadly.
Luke had a confused and shocked expression. "Mara, you barely tolerate being around me…how did he manage to…what did he say to you to get you to be around him?"
She laughed. "He asked permission to court me."
"He asked permission to court you?" Luke sounded dumbfounded.
Mara buried her head in her hands and she could feel the tears starting to flow. "I love him."
"Mara," Luke said tenderly. "Don't cry." He went over to her and placed an arm over her shoulder. She responded by pulling him into an embrace and laying her head on his shoulder. Luke's eyes went wide. "Mara," he said slowly and cautiously. "How close did you two get?"
"We couldn't be closer," she said cryptically.
Luke's eyes flew open and he pulled away from her so he could look into her eyes. "Mara…did you two…did you have sex with my body?"
Mara couldn't help but laugh as Luke's cheeks flushed a bright red. "Sorry, but yes," she chuckled at his discomfort. "I had to work with what I had."
His jaw dropped. "So when I spent three weeks being first evaluated by doctors, then fighting Sith… he was here…you and him were…"Luke trailed off.
"Luke in his defense he was evaluated by Cilghal and she convinced him the thirty years of memories he had were a dream. He didn't know what happened." She gave him a steady look. "But he wanted what he dreamt about, he wanted a family and he wanted me."
Luke covered his eyes with his hand. "You've seen me naked," he moaned. "What did you two do?"
Mara blushed. "Ummm…just about everything," she hesitated slightly. "Don't be embarrassed, Luke, I liked what I saw."
Luke's head shot up. "Really?"
She almost rolled her eyes at his farmboy naiveté. "Luke you are a handsome, kind and loving man with a great body."
His eyes widened, "Really?"
She chuckled. "Yes really."
He stared at the galley table top deep in thought. "What's going to happen now Mara?"
She shrugged. "I get you home to your Academy."
Luke shook his head. "I mean with us?"
She gave him a steady gaze. "It depends, what do you want Luke?"
He gave her a shy smile. "I would like permission to court you."
She grinned happily as she leaned in and gave him a soft kiss on his cheek. "Permission granted. Court away."
Despite the ease that Mara moved and interacted with him, Luke found the situation a bit uncomfortable. He knew he should feel ecstatically grateful to his alter ego for forging a path into Mara's heart. After all, he had a crush on the beautiful woman for years. Unfortunately, it was an infatuation he never acted on due to her obvious aversion to his presence. He wondered how the Luke Skywalker of the alternate dimension was able to break past her barriers. He probably should simply ask Mara. She seemed much more open to talk than she has ever been.
Luke moved up to the cockpit where Mara was sitting contemplatively, watching the star lines pass by.
When she sensed him she smiled and motioned him to join her. He sat in the co-pilot seat silently trying to get up the nerve to talk to her.
"Just come out and talk," she finally said. "No need to work up the courage. I won't bite your head off."
Luke looked over surprised. "How did you know I was trying to work up the nerve to talk to you?"
She shrugged. "It appears that you and the other Luke are on the same Force wavelength. I had a close bond with him and it seems to have transferred to you."
Luke frowned in confusion. "What kind of bond?"
She looked over to him and smiled. Her gaze lingered on his face longer than one would do with a platonic friend and Luke once again found himself blushing. "The bond we had allowed us to feel each other's emotions and sometimes communicate words or ideas."
Luke shook his head in disbelief. "I still don't know how he managed to come so close to you in a few weeks," he looked over to Mara. "I thought you didn't like being around me."
Mara laughed. "I didn't, but he was married to a woman very similar to me for twenty years so he knew what to do and what not to do."
Luke gave a nod of understanding, although he didn't understand a thing. "What are the things I shouldn't do?"
Mara chuckled. "For starters, don't pester me to train as a Jedi. He didn't expect me to become a Jedi... he wanted me in any capacity."
"Okay," Luke said slowly, although he was positive it was Mara's destiny to become a Jedi.
"If it's my destiny to be a Jedi then let it come naturally and without you badgering me to train," Mara bit out.
Luke's jaw dropped. "Mara, I didn't say anything about it being your destiny to be a Jedi."
She turned to him irritated. "What do you mean you didn't say anything? You said…" she paused and then gave him a sheepish look. "I'm getting into your head, aren't I?"
She laughed and went back to staring out the Transparisteel window as if reading the mind of a Jedi Master was commonplace…and maybe it was commonplace with her and the other Luke.
"How much was I like him?" Luke asked.
"He was you…just more mature and self confident. I didn't scare him at all. He said things that probably would have gotten you killed," Mara gave Luke a grin.
"Oh," was all Luke said in response.
Mara frowned and looked over to him. "What's wrong?"
Luke gave a slight shrug. "I am just having a hard time wrapping my mind around what happened. Not just the body switching, but what you and him were doing together…with my body. It doesn't matter that you liked what you saw, the fact that you saw me…made love to me…is unsettling. You have very intimate knowledge of me, but I have the same just-friends familiarity of you. It feels very off balanced." He looked away embarrassed. He wasn't sure if he verbalized his concerns in an understandable way.
Mara pursed her lips in thought. "Are you saying you want to level the playing field?" She gave him a wicked smirk. "Are you suggesting I get naked and we make love…so we're even."
Luke's face heated at the suggestion. "No Mara! That is not what I'm suggesting." He shook his head in frustration. "I was just explaining how I felt about the situation. I didn't say I wanted to rectify the problem right now."
She threw him a disappointed look. "Pity."
"Mara, I want a relationship with you, not meaningless sex."
"Sex with you was never meaningless," Mara countered. "I had a relationship with the other Luke. I fell in love with him. I know this is not easy for you to handle, but it is also difficult for me." She gave him a reminiscent smile. "You went into Waru as the man I loved and came out with the same body, but not the same memories."
There was a long pause between the two before luke broke the silence. "Are you sorry that I'm the one who returned?"
She shook her head. "No. The other Luke said you deserved to have your life back…to live, love and have a family of your own and he was right."
Luke nodded. "And I'm supposed to have this family with you?"
She gave an exasperated breath. "Only if that's what you want. I am not going to stuncuff you to my bed at blaster point and have my way with you."
Luke chuckled. "That would be interesting."
She smiled. "Now that sounds like something he would say." She stood and moved out of the cockpit and down to the crew compartment. "I need to use the sonic shower and get some sleep. I haven't slept well for days."
To Luke surprise she stripped off her shirt while moving down the corridor revealing a black bra underneath.
"Mara." Luke called out in astonishment.
"Yes," she turned, waiting for him to continue.
Luke buried his head into his hands. "Mara, am I going to have to see you walk around half dressed for the whole trip back?"
She looked down as if just realizing what she was doing. "Sorry, it's a habit."
Luke shook his head flabbergasted. "In three weeks you got into the habit of stripping while walking around a ship."
She gave him a smug look. "Or in his apartment. At least it is one of my less embarrassing habits I developed while around him."
"It's your least embarrassing habit. Do I even want to know your most embarrassing habit?"
She cocked her head to the side and gave him a teasing smile. "I don't think you're ready for that." She didn't bother putting her tunic back on, but tossed it into the ship's lone cabin and grabbed a bathrobe on the way out. "See, I have a bathrobe. No walking around in the nude today."
As she closed the door Luke slapped his palm to his forehead and wondered how he was going to handle this wild side of Mara that he never seen before.
Luke stood at the entryway of the shuttle's sleeping chamber. It was a small room only big enough for a small storage locker and a bed…one bed. "Mara," he called out the the beautiful redhead currently in the galley finishing a snack. "What are the sleeping arrangements?"
She finished chewing on the piece of fruit she was eating before she replied. "Luke and I slept together in the small cot." She hesitated for a second. "I can sleep in the Captain's chair in the cockpit."
Luke shook his head. "No, I'll sleep there. You take the bed."
Mara walked up to him and teased a finger down his spine startling a jump out of him. "The bed is big enough for two. We could sleep together." She ran her tongue over her lower lip seductively. It was a gesture that totally aroused the Jedi. "Completely clothed, that is," she added.
Luke swallowed hard. "I don't think I'm ready for that. I'll feel more comfortable sleeping in the cockpit."
She gave him a sensual smile. "I understand. It'll be a couple days before we are back. We can take turns sleeping in the pilot's chair or we can alternate sleep schedules."
Before Luke could respond she leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on the cheek. "Goodnight, Luke." She then turned and entered the shuttle cabin.
Luke wandered down the shuttle flight deck and flopped into the Captain's chair. He took a long calming breath. He always hoped Mara would one day warm up to him…but he never expected to face a Mara Jade who was very ready and willing to have a more intimate relationship.
He needed to meditate. He also needed a cold shower, but that will have to wait until they got to Coruscant.
Luke piloted the shuttle to the designated docking bay near the Imperial Palace. He put the ship down for a gentle landing and then began the power down procedure. Mara was in the copilot seat assisting him in the post-flight check-off list before movement on the docking bay floor caught their attention.
"It's your sister and Han," Mara remarked. "She'll be glad to get you back. When the other Luke was pulled out of Waru calling out for his son and saying he was from 44 ABY…well, they all thought you lost it."
"Everybody in 44 ABY thought I was insane also." Luke's eyes grew somber. "I feel bad for Ben now. I kept denying his existence. Every time I said, 'I don't have a son' he looked crushed." He paused for a moment. "I thought I was hallucinating. Now that I know I wasn't…I can't believe the pain I put him through. He already lost his mother…" Luke trailed off, not wanting to talk about Mara's death.
She gave him a warm smile as she stood and gave his shoulder a squeeze. "It's not your fault. Neither Luke knew what was going on. I'm sure Ben has his father back and he's happy."
Luke finished up the checks and stood. "I hope so. Their universe was awful. There was so much war and death."
Mara sighed mournfully. "Yes, way too much."
"I'm sorry Mara," Luke said realizing the man she loved was now in that horrific galaxy and was probably fighting a world of Sith and a dark Force entity.
Mara's eye's glazed over but no tears fell. "He is with his son. He's in the right place." She turned to the boarding ramp. "Come on, I promised your sister to bring you back in one piece."
They both moved down the ramp and were greeted by Leia and Han. Leia ran up to Luke and gave him a warm hug. "Luke, I'm so glad you're alright. I was so worried."
"I'm glad to be back. The other Luke's world was terrible."
Leia pulled away from her brother and gave him a curious look. "What?"
Mara chuckled. "It looks like Cilghal was wrong the entire time. Our Luke did switch places with an older Luke Skywalker from another dimension."
Leia's eyes went wide. "You mean that bizarre stories about the Vong invaders and Mara dying were true?"
Luke nodded. "Yes."
Han was the first one to raise a curious eyebrow. "Um, that means you weren't here in the last three-and-a-half weeks?" He looked over to Mara but hesitated and appeared to change his mind about asking the obvious question.
"Luke knows what happened between me and his double," Mara told Han.
Han mouthed a silent, 'Oh'.
Luke didn't want to discuss his sex life or his body's sex life out in public. "Mara and I need some time to work things out."
Leia took the hint. "Of course, you two probably want to get back to your apartment. We have a speeder here; we can drop you two off."
"Apartment…you mean apartments?" Luke asked. Then he realized what his sister was saying. He turned to Mara. "You moved into my apartment with him?"
"Okaaay," Han groaned. "Here," he tossed his speeder keycard to Luke. "The speeder's located on level 6, parking space 21. Leia and I are going to take an airtaxi."
Leia looked momentarily confused, but Han jerked his head in a 'let's get out of here gesture' and she decided to follow her husband's lead. "Yes, take the speeder. I have some shopping to do." As she followed Han out of the docking bay she turned back to Luke and Mara. "Let's plan on getting together for dinner soon."
Luke shook his head in disbelief. "He talked you into moving in with him?"
"I wasn't really living with him. I was just staying in his apartment while on Coruscant." Mara grabbed the keycard from his hand and started walking to the parking lot. "You already know we had sex. Does it matter that I was living in your apartment while we were together?"
"Mara, don't you see how this could feel like a complete invasion of privacy to me?" He ran his hands through his hair in frustration. "Mara we're friends and I would love to be more than friends, but I would hope it would be on mutual terms. Not what I'm experiencing now."
"I know," Mara said quietly.
"No, you don't know," Luke shot back as they continued walking. "How would you like it if you were pulled out of Waru and then I told you that while you were off in another galaxy fighting Sith, I was having hot passionate sex with your body, living in your apartment, sleeping in your bed, going through your belongings, and invading your privacy in it's entirety? How would you handle that?"
When they arrived to the speeder Mara opened the door and slid into the driver's chair and waited for Luke to move into the passenger seat. She leaned forward, resting her head on the steering yoke. Her face was a mask of frustration and despair. "I don't know how I would handle it Luke." She looked up at him. "Please remember that neither he nor I knew what was going on. When he asked me to stay with him, he thought he was inviting me into his apartment. Cilghal had him convinced that Waru gave him thirty years of false memories. He didn't understand what happened to him…otherwise I know he would have done things very differently."
Luke sighed and made a placating gesture. "It's not your fault Mara…it's nobody's fault." He gave her a weak smile. "I'm sorry that I'm making this harder than it should be." He steeled his nerves to reach out and gently caress her cheek. "You are a beautiful and desirable woman. I want a relationship with you. It's just I am having a hard time accepting what happened. Things have changed so dramatically. The last time I saw you I don't think you said more than three words to me before you stormed off."
Mara sighed audibly. "I know this is a big change for you, Luke. For years I have been cold, distant or outright hostile to you." She turned and gazed at him, her eyes wistful and unfathomable. "I told the other Luke…I might as well tell you," she said softly. "I have been attracted to you for a very long time, but I've been fighting those feelings. When I came to the Academy to train, it was mainly to be with you, to see if a relationship was possible."
"What?" Luke's eyes went wide. "I never realized you thought of me that way."
She gave a rueful nod of the head. "And that is why I left. I didn't want to see you every day, wanting, hoping that something will flourish between us, only to be disappointed." She averted her eyes and started the speeder. "Should I drop you off at your apartment?"
He gave her a faint smile. "Why don't you drop us off at our apartment. I think we have a lot to talk about."
Mara smiled when she walked into Luke's apartment. The place held so many fond memories…albeit they were now bittersweet memories of her Grand Master. Luke followed her in closing the door behind them.
"I guess you know where everything is," he said with a slight chuckle. "Make yourself at home."
She made her way to the couch and sat down. She patted the cushion next to her inviting Luke to join her. He smiled and sat down next to her.
"What do we do next?" Luke asked tentatively.
"We need to talk. There are a few ways we can proceed. I can go back to work with Karrde and we can start dating…feel out the relationship," Mara said not liking that option at all. After spending so much time with Luke she really didn't want to be apart from him.
Luke shrugged noncommittally. "I guess we could do that." He paused in thought. "What else could we do?"
Mara pulled in a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Currently I am on a leave of absence from Karrde's organization, so we could stay here together in the apartment and get used to each other's company."
Luke's face flushed. "You mean as a couple?"
"Or as friends," Mara added. "You do have a spare bedroom."
Luke nodded slowly. "I think I like that idea a little better. You could then fill me in on what has happened in my reality while I was gone."
"There is one more option," Mara said nervously.
"And that is?"
"We pretend that everything that happened in the last few weeks happened between us. I know I can do it. It is you that may need some adjustment."
Luke made a nervous chuckle. "You mean jump right into being lovers?" He shook his head. "That's dangerous Mara. If things don't work out between us our friendship would be ruined."
Mara's head dipped in a sad gesture as she carefully chose her next words. "It's a little too late for caution…at least for me. Luke, you have to understand that for the last couple weeks we were lovers. We had an intense physical and mental bond. We had a connection through the Force. If a romantic relationship never develops between us…to me it will feel like a break up. I don't think it would ruin our friendship, but it would be painful for me to be around you for a while."
"So you're saying we have nothing to lose by jumping into a relationship, because…"
"Because I'm already deeply in love," Mara finished his sentence.
Luke started ringing his hands nervously. "How do we start that?"
Mara smiled. "By a kiss."
A nervous smile crossed his face. "Okay, a kiss, he said as he leaned in and gently brushed his lips across hers. He felt an anxious fluttering in his stomach as he pulled her close and deepened the kiss. This felt so good, but also thrilling, as if he was doing something dangerous and forbidden. He was surprised when he felt Mara reaching out to him with the Force. He wasn't sure her intentions, but trusted her implicitly and opened himself to the Force...and to her. He gasped and broke off the kiss as Mara's Force essence mingled with his, causing an intense feeling of euphoria to meander its way through his very soul. Luke found the sensation more intimate than any sexual encounter he had ever experienced.
"It's the bond," Mara explained. She gave him a worried look and he realized she was nervous about him rejecting this aspect of the relationship. Luke smiled and leaned back into the kiss and projected his desire through the Force. He smiled as she gasped in pleasure as his hands roamed across her body, touching and exploring.
Without breaking the kiss Mara maneuvered him so they were lying on the couch with Luke lying on top of her. Luke ran a hand under her tunic and caressed her breast through her bra. Her pleading moans aroused him intensely and he could feel his erection straining against his pants and pressing against Mara's body.
This was getting out of control, but he didn't want to stop. He broke off the kiss and leaned back gazing at the beautiful woman lying beneath him. Her piercing green eyes stared back questioningly, her red hair fanned out across the couch like a halo. She was beautiful and she brought out feelings in him he never experienced before. He slowly slid off her and stood. He grasped her hands and pulled her to her feet and gestured his head toward the bedroom. "Are we ready for this?"
Mara laughed. "Luke I've been ready for days."
"Good. Let's do it," he said softly as he held her hand and led her to the bedroom.
Luke lay in bed covered with sweat and trying to catch his breath and calm his pounding heart. "What the hell was that Mara?"
She snickered. "Just something your alter ego taught me. It's called Force enhanced sex."
Luke held up his hand in front of him and watched it tremble uncontrollably. "How long will my body vibrate like I touched a live electrical wire?"
"A few minutes," Mara laughed.
Luke marveled over what happened. He had been with other women before…but never with a Force sensitive lover this powerful and not one who knew how to increase the pleasure of love making through the Force. Gods, where did his double learn that technique? It certainly wasn't something Yoda ever taught him. For a second Luke worried that it may be a Sith skill, but then shook away the thought. If Palpatine knew about this he wouldn't have time to conquer the galaxy…he would be too busy kriffing his concubines.
After a few minutes Luke regained his breath and he turned over in bed to gaze at his lovely companion. She was lying next to him wearing nothing but a wide smile on her face. She reached out and ran a hand across his chest as she gave him an appraising look. "I love your pecs and abs," she almost purred out the words.
Luke laughed. "I noticed." His eyes raked over her body. "I love your… everything." He moved his hand down her side until it rested on her backside. He then gave her butt cheek a playful squeeze. "That was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced." He pulled her closer to him until their bodies were pressed together. "Let's do that again."
"Gods Mara!" Luke gasped. "He taught you that also?"
She smirked. "Of course, he wasn't a Jedi Grand Master for nothing."
Luke didn't respond to her jibe. He was having trouble breathing, not just from exertion, but from an overwhelming emotional sensation that continued to rush through his body. He knew it came from their bond. It was growing between them exponentially and it the most amazing feeling Luke had ever known. If Mara and his double were doing these incredible bonding and sexual escapades for weeks he could understand why Mara thought there was no going back for her…because now there was no going back for him. He was completely and utterly lost in love. He didn't think he could ever be without her; she was more addictive than any drug.
"Your body and mind will eventually become accustomed to the incredible sensations and our sexual bonding won't be so overpowering," Mara said obviously sensing his thoughts. "But it takes about fifteen or twenty encounters before the adjustment occurs."
Luke grinned. "I'm pretty sure my heart will explode if we do that fifteen more times in a row." He turned and grabbed her up in his arms. "But I probably can do another three or four rounds."
Luke couldn't go on. He was exhausted more than he had ever been. He turned to his equally worn out companion. "Mara, marry me."
He saw a slight roll of her eyes. "We haven't even been on a date." She started laughing as if some very funny thought occurred to her.
"What?" he asked.
She brought her laughing under control. "The other Luke asked his Mara to marry him without ever being on a date."
Luke smiled as he leaned in to kiss her neck. "See, it is either genetic or the will of the Force," he whispered to her. "Did she say yes?"
"Yes she did."
"See, it can work." Luke said enthusiastically. "They were happily married for over twenty years." He pulled her to him as he gave her a wild passionate kiss. He pulled away with a smile. "Marry me. I never want to be without you."
She looked like she was going to refuse but as Luke nuzzled her neck she seemed to have a change of heart. "Okay, but a small private wedding."
"Mara, we can elope if you like."
She smiled. "That sounds good to me."
Luke smiled brightly as he let himself into his apartment. The last four weeks were the best days of his life and his relationship with Mara was getting better and better. Their small wedding was scheduled for next month and she even agreed to accompany him back to Yavin IV to complete her training. He didn't think life could get better. As the door slid closed behind him he immediately sensed a disturbance in the Force. Something was wrong. Mara felt ...wrong. Her cheerful disposition of the last month was gone and now all he could feel through their bond was nervous apprehension.
"Mara?" Luke called out as his stomach knotted with anxiety. Things had been going so well lately that he begun to fear that life would find a way to squash his dreams and he would find himself alone again. As he walked deeper into the apartment he could feel her presence in the back bedroom. "Mara?"
She opened the bedroom door looking uneasy. Luke quickly scooped her into his arms and gave her a soft kiss. "What's wrong, love?" he asked.
She shook her head. "Luke, I'm pregnant."
He stepped back in shock. "What? When did you find out?"
"Today when I went to the doctor."
"I thought you went to the doctor for that leg strain from lightsaber practice?" Luke asked confused.
Mara nodded. "I did. I had a stretched ligament, but before they could prescribe a Perigen patch they gave me a pregnancy test as a precaution." She looked at him sadly. "I'm sorry. I'm on repress meds…I don't know how this happened."
A perplexed frown crossed Luke's face. "Mara, don't be sorry. We're getting married. I probably wouldn't have planned to have a child so early, but I was hoping to have children." His stomach clenched. "Are you saying you don't want the baby?" He couldn't believe the Mara he knew wouldn't want to keep a child of theirs, but he wasn't sure why this was upsetting her.
Mara shook her head fervidly. "I want the baby Luke, it's just…it's," she hesitated.
"It's just what?" Luke asked.
"The doctor said I was four or five weeks along."
Luke's brow furrowed in confusion, but then he did the math. "Oh," he said softly, but quickly recovered from his surprise. "Mara, it doesn't matter which Luke was with you during conception. It's my baby either way."
He could feel some of the anxiety drain from her body. "I wasn't sure how you would react," she said. "It's not only an unplanned pregnancy, but I don't know when conception occurred."
He pulled her into his embrace and kissed her tenderly. "Mara, I couldn't be happier." He took a step back his hands remaining on her shoulders. "Mara, put aside the fact that the baby is mine genetically, even if the other Luke was the one present at conception he deserves this." He paused in thought. "His son Ben was born during a war and by 44 ABY Ben had yet to see peace in his lifetime." Luke put his hand tenderly on Mara's belly. "Maybe at least one of his children can experience a life without galactic-wide death and destruction."
She smiled lovingly. "Luke, you're an amazing man."
"And you're a remarkable woman and you're going to make a wonderful mother."
"I hope so," Mara said before she leaned in for a passionate kiss.
Chandrilla- Mon Mothma's beach house. One year later.
Luke sat in a shaded beach cabana watching the surf and listening to the sea birds squawk overhead. He turned to Mara and smiled. "This is nice. I can see why you would want to come back." His gaze slowly glided over her luscious figure. She was wearing a tantalizing two-piece teal bathing suit that flaunted her womanly assets perfectly. "I like that suit."
She smiled brightly. "Thanks, you bought it for me."
"I obviously have excellent taste in swimwear," he joked.
Mara chuckled. "The other Luke said if I wore this suit and asked you to be my boyfriend you wouldn't turn me down."
"He was right," a grin grew across his face. "Hopefully I will grow to be as wise as him."
Mara was about to respond when a whimper could be heard from between them. "It looks like somebody's waking up." She reached down and pulled her infant son into her arms. "How's my baby boy?"
The child opened his blue eyes and made a gurgling noise followed by what sounded like a laugh. Mara looked up to Luke, "He looks so much like you."
Luke cocked his head to the side as he examined the child. "I think he looks more like you. His hair is going to be red."
"But he has blue eyes," Mara pointed out. "And when he's hungry he whines like you."
"Ha ha, Mara, funny," Luke scoffed playfully. He reached out to his son. "Come here, Ben." Mara handed the child over to Luke who cradled the baby in his arms and gave him a gentle kiss on the forehead."
"I never met the other Ben," Mara said softly. "Does our Ben remind you of him?"
Luke gazed down at his son tenderly. "Yes, he does. He feels the same in the Force." He looked up to his wife. "He was born ten years before the other Ben…so I know it wasn't the same egg and sperm that created him, but I wonder if that really matters. Could his soul be the same? Could he have the same Force essence as the other Ben?"
Mara shrugged. "We may never know. All I know is I love you two."
Luke leaned over and gave Mara a quick kiss. "I love you too." He turned to gaze down at his son and said in a sing song voice that only parents use with babies. "And I love you too. Yes I do."
"You sound ridiculous when you do that," Mara laughed.
"I don't care," Luke said with a wink. "Remember when that sleemo news crew caught me doing baby talk to Ben…they thought it would make me look stupid to the galaxy…but they ended up with over a billion Holoweb comments telling them how adorable I was."
"I think they were referring to Ben," Mara scoffed, but then smiled. "Okay, I admit, you are adorable also."
Luke's smile brightened. "Can you believe how things have changed in the course of a year?"
Mara shook her head in disbelief. "When I flew to Yavin IV a little over a year ago to chew you out for canceling my shipping contract I would have never believed I would end up married and with a son a year later. The Force works in mysterious ways."
A serious look crossed the Jedi's face. "I think it was the work of the Force, Mara." He looked down at his son. "The Force found a way to bring us together and give us a son." He looked up to his wife. "The Force may have also given the other Luke some well deserved happiness during some of his darkest days. Maybe after decades of non-stop war he needed a break and he needed his wife to remind him what he is fighting for…love and family."
She closed her eyes in thought. "I like the sound of that 'love and family'."
"Together forever," he added.
"Yes," she said softly. "Forever."