A/N: Hello again! This story continues to be dark, and victories come at a steep price when a Sith Lord is the object of one's greatest desires. So once more my usual disclaimer applies: This is a very dark story with some triggers like kidnapping and bondage. Be warned. If these things bother you, please DO NOT READ. For those that understand that love can blossom in even the darkest of hearts, please enjoy and thanks for hanging on for the ride. :)
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Please do not sue. This is purely for fun.
She smiled at his side, as a wife should, during the ceremony that signaled the end of her way of life and the beginning of his. For that was what this was in her eyes, the final death blow to the planet she had so loved, and the rebirth of it in the image that the Emperor and the Empire felt was best. Around her, people cheered as her husband's words died away, his voice magnified not by microphone or speaker or any mechanical device from his side of the galaxy. It was amplified by his power.
By this thing called the Force.
His voice rolled like living thunder, booming across the crowd of thousands that had gathered to hear him speak, to exult in the great innovations that he brought to them. How adroit a speaker her husband was, how charismatic and wonderful and horrible at all once. He was literally spelling out the terms of their servitude—their bondage—and the people that she had once thought of as the enlightened mass of humanity covered their proverbial eyes with their hands and blindly gave over their ability to think for themselves to this beautify monster. All in exchange for the false promise of a liberation from the death sentence of remaining planet-bound.
He brought them the ability to travel among the stars, and all he asked in return was their undying loyalty to him. To do as he said, for such things were in their best interest.
Hadn't another monster said the same things in those few heart-stopping years before the outbreak of World War II? Hadn't her husband learned anything from what she had shown him of her planet's past? Glancing up at the man she both worshiped and reviled, she realized that he had. He'd learned a great deal from her tutelage of Earth's History, only it wasn't the lessons she had hoped he'd take away from the experience.
No, he had seen the flaws and mistakes in the plans of others for world domination. And he had studied those, picked them apart, formulated a new plan on the ashes of their old ones. One that would not fail. One that would keep her planet in the grips of despotism forever.
And how they cheered him, swallowed whole by the glittering promises that dripped from his lips, trading freedom for slavery. How she forced that smile to stay on her lips as liberty died to the song of thunderous applause. She hated it, hated him. Hated that the only thing they seemed to do well together was destroy and kill and break things that were never meant to be broken.
Like her planet.
Like her will.
Like her ability to leave.
Oh god, why couldn't she break away from him? Why did she have to love the very thing she had fought against all her life? And why, if there was any mercy in the universe, did she carry his daughter?
He had only to turn those glowing yellow eyes on her and she knew the sick, sad answer to all her questions. Her soul was lost, burned away with amber flames in his gaze. He had only to touch her and all thoughts of leaving him vanished as if they never were. For she could never leave him now, and that had nothing to do with his conquest of her world or the child growing within her. It had everything to do with how complete she felt as she blazed with anger, with lust. With the power that thrummed through her due to those baser emotions.
She wanted him dead for this, for what he had done to her world.
No, she wanted him alive and bleeding, chained and kneeing at her feet. Begging.
No, she would be satisfied with just his kneeling, his begging for his life with her hands on his throat.
She changed her mind again. No, just kneeling and begging with her hands at his throat, her nails scratching bloody trails into his flesh. Hurting him, tormenting him, watching his powerful body shudder with barely contained lust. But he would stay kneeling, enduring her lashes and tortures. He would yield to her in private, let her command him. Because he loved her, loved the daughter she carried. Stars above, but she knew that to be true. He loved her as he had never loved anything in his life.
Loved her more than his power, more than his station as the right hand of the Emperor.
His hands would wrap around her waist, panting as those yellow dangerous eyes—wolf-like eyes—writhed with his fury and his delight that she could do this to him. And still she would not let up, forcing his lips to hers with a flex of her fingers, graciously bending down to deliver the slightest of kisses. Enough to have him roaring with rage and unquenched need as he fought for oxygen against her choking fingers. Enough to have his power lashing out, shattering their belongings because he could not contain it, could not stand the sweet torment she gave with a glance and the barest of caresses.
And she would laugh.
But always with utter adoration.
His hand cupped her chin, turning her face to his. And she noticed how hard he was breathing, for the first time noticed the new glow in those golden eyes. He'd heard her thoughts, her desires. Not that she had hidden them, she admonished herself. Gleefully, willingly, she'd cast her mind to the wind, conjured up her darker wishes in an effort to blot out the emotional destruction of her world. Feeling helpless as it happened, turning to thoughts of strength, the thoughts that had kept her warm in those five years she had suffered in his absence.
He'd heard her deepest thoughts, her darkest needs, and she would not back down now. Her own eyes lit with a fire uniquely hers, her breath steady where his was ragged. Ice to his living flame. No, she would not shy away from her own thoughts! Not for him, not for anyone. Not even for the promise of pain if those thoughts displeased him.
She was a former Senator.
She was the Governor of Sol.
She was the Lady Vader.
She was his wife.
And she would not be denied. Not from her world, nor from his body, nor from any other thing she wanted. He smiled that little boy smile, sending shockwaves of lust through her as he did so. But his eyes kept burning, kept the promise alive that he would see to her desires. Oh, he would see to them and to his own, and she would know pain and pleasure soon for the audacity of her imagination. But he would know the same, she swore it.
Let that knowledge fill her eyes, too.
He laughed, the sound nearly drown by the applause of his new subject, nearly swallowed as machinery far too advanced for anyone on her world to comprehend, began to erect the massive shield generators. His arms wove around her, bringing her lips to his, kissing her before the world that they had destroyed together, that they would rebuild together. And all around them, the helpless, naïve and foolish people that thought they received freedom under Imperial rule cheered all the louder for their favorite couple.
Cheering, for their Lord Vader and his Lady wife. Honored that he had chosen a woman from their world, cementing the citizens of Sol as sacred to the Empire if only for that reason alone.
She cried as she sank into that kiss, giving over to him. Tears that weren't quite sorrow and weren't quite triumph. For she was not as broken as she had assumed, and he was not as unbending as she had thought. And tonight, they would discover the truth of that in so many ways.
Their names were Sabe, Eirtae, Rabe, Yane, Sache, Fe, Dane, Dorme, Corde, Verse, Teckla, Motee, and Elle. And they were her handmaidens now. Selected from the "private stock" of the most beautiful of young women that her husband had gathered to take back to the Emperor. The thought made her stomach churn, and anger rose quickly on its heels. There had been so many, hundreds of girls from every nationality and country. Frightened and crying, locked into the detention cells of all places! Into black boxes with barely enough room to move about, with a metal shelf as a bed.
Garbed in thick grey robes with hoods that they were commanded to keep low over their faces. For no one could look upon the faces of those selected to please the Emperor, save for the Lord and Lady Vader, who would make a persona gift, a personal tithe, of these ladies to His Majesty.
She had wanted to strike the woman in charge of their captivity. Her name was Corsuvre, and she was in charge of the gentle task of "breaking" these new girls to their new lives. She was a beautiful woman in her own right, somewhere near the high end of middle age, but with enough loveliness to let everyone know she had been blindingly stunning in her youth.
Corsuvre had dared to tell Padme that these steps were necessary—necessary!—for the mental health of the "Selected." The sooner these girls accepted their new futures, the easier their days would become.
It was revoltingly horrific. Insulting. Cruel. And Padme made certain that Corsuvre knew it.
The first step in the "breaking" was isolation, to remove all traces of everything the girl in question had known or loved. Locked away in the grey robe that was scratchy and irritating, alone with only their thoughts. And every so often a data pad was presented to them, one that talked about the honor they would know in their new lives. It was the only thing that would break up the monotony of their solitude. But even that was denied them after a time. Taken away after only a few minutes.
Leaving them alone to the maddening boredom. So that when the pad was presented again, they would eagerly read its contents, if only to escape the hell they were living in. If they successfully answered questions based on the content of that data pad, they were given a sweet treat, or more time with the pad. Or more information to read on how wonderful the Empire was.
So this was the new era of freedom and promise the Lord Vader delivered? She would claw out his eyes for this!
But for now, she could only save these thirteen, only go through the stock of girls and choose those that resembled her in looks, or those that had specific skills as a lady's maid or assistant. It was easy to make an excuse to take them, stating that she was the Lady Vader and would be a target for assassinations due to her husband's work for the Emperor. She would need bodyguards, body doubles, and assistants of all kinds.
It was all she could do for them now. But only for now, and the others would not be forgotten.
His wife—his lovely, headstrong, wonderful wife—had disobeyed him yet again.
Part of him had to wonder if she enjoyed the pain he gave her, if that was the reason why she constantly flaunted the rules, threw in his face the fact that she could and would do as she pleased. Perhaps it was, at least in part. And that was fully his fault. He'd noticed the change in her, the shift in the patterns of her thoughts when he'd returned to her planet those scant three days ago. She was sharper, harder, more determined than ever before.
More in love with him that he had ever felt he had the right to experience.
Devoted to him, utterly and completely, as in love with him as he was with her. It frightened him with its intensity, was the main reason he had left her behind in the first place. Yes, he could admit that to himself now, now that she was fully his. She was the one thing in the known galaxy that had disturbed him so greatly that he had had to flee. All because she loved him for who he was, not what he was. She had chosen to be his wife not for his strength in the Force, as others had tried. She had chosen him not for his position with the Emperor.
She had chosen him because he was Anakin. Nothing more. Just Anakin Skywalker.
Just. For. Him.
Loving him with is imperfections and his perfections. His scars both inside and out. His anger and his pain and his joy and his delight. All of him. And yet…
…and yet she would do these things that defied him.
The man called the Lord Vader leaned against the smooth wall of his chambers, watching the thirteen women as they donned new robes of some strange shimmering fabric. They did not see him, cloaked as he was in the Force, their minds so easy to manipulate and trick into believing he was just another shadow gracing the corner of the room. Temptation rose in him, the fleeting thought to start to rearrange their minds as a punishment for his wife.
What would she do if her precious little group of girls suddenly decided that they wanted to go back to the grey robes of the Selected? He doubted very much that she would simply go back into the detention area and choose another thirteen. No, she would weep and wail, scream at him and blame their change of attitude rightfully on his shoulders. Maybe then she would realize that while he found her flagrant disregard amusing, the Emperor would not. And he would punish her in ways that she would never enjoy.
He winced as one of the girls spun around in her new robe, the colors of yellow and rose and orange jarring to his senses. These foolish little flowers would stand out in stark contrast while on any ship.
"I do not approve, my Padme."
The women froze. Or screamed. Or did both.
A few threw themselves at their new mistress, hiding behind Padme's chair.
The intelligent ones, the two that had obviously read far enough in their teaching literature, did the proper thing. They folded themselves instantly down to their knees, their palms pressed to the floor. Their foreheads touching the deck.
And they whimpered.
One even cried softly.
Those two he rewarded with a soft caress of their hair, a gentle smoothing with the Force to acknowledge that they had pleased him. That they understood their place as servants, as items of pleasure, their wills and bodies bent towards bringing a pleasant distraction when called upon. Perhaps it would not be so bad to put his Padme through the training to become a Selected. Only at his hand, of course. She would need to know her place before she attended the Imperial Court. For not even his strong connection to the Emperor would save his wife if she decided to defy His Majesty.
"I do not approve, my love, of turning my people in these 'Selected,'" she replied, rising smoothly to her feet. Imperious as any queen, as lovely as a dream brought to life. "Why have you frightened my handmaidens? Corde, Dorme, get up. You do not bow to him that way ever again."
"Stay," he said, the one word lancing through the room. The two stayed in their bow of supplication. "They understand their place."
And he smiled as four others detached themselves from the group huddled behind his wife, attempting to follow this Corde and this Dorme and pacify his anger. In unison the four cried out as whips of air slashed at their backsides, the same strength and power he had used on his wife that first night of their reunion. They howled in their pain, causing the others in the corner to cry out as well.
And he continued to punish them until they fell into the same position of supplication as the other two. Only then did the pain stop.
He beat the rest of them in the same fashion until they followed suit, the beatings longer and more painful for each wave of women that resisted the longest, a kneeling circle of thirteen around him and his wife. Padme stood there, tears streaming down her face, eyes blazing with pure hate. Powerless to stop any of it, to stop him.
He came to a stop before her, fingertips brushing away her tears, caressing her face. She was stiff beneath his touch, braced for the pain that he would give her. For surely if her so-called handmaidens were punished, would she not receive the worst of it?
Oh, that she would. Just not in the way she was anticipating.
His hand slipped beneath her chin, pulling her in for a tender kiss. Like the kiss she had envisioned giving him. And his hand slipped down to her pale delicate throat… gripped and squeezed. Again, as she had envisioned doing to him, as he would have let her if she had not defied him this one last time. Thusly her hopes of control would be used as her punishment.
She gasped, hands flying to his wrist.
"No," he said softly, gazing into her wide eyes. "You will submit this time, Padme. Of your own will, or I will do to the others what you will refuse to let me do to you."
He saw the fire in her burn hotter, passion and hatred, a cocktail that had him wanting to rip the clothing from her body and take her right then and there. But that would be what she wanted, wouldn't it? And she was to be punished, not pleasured. His hand squeezed tighter, her lips parting as her windpipe constricted under his grip, cutting off her oxygen.
And slowly, ever so slowly, he pressed downward, forcing her to her knees. The Force replaced the grip of his fingers so he would not have to bend himself double. Lower and lower he pressed, until her head was bowed to the deck like the others. A flick of his wrist had the Force wrapping around her wrists, forcing her palms flat to the deck. Kneeling before him like the others, a dramatic black petal in this sea of pastels.
"Look up, my flowers," he called, letting his Force grip on her throat relax, letting her draw breath again, but not letting her rise. "Look upon the perfection of your mistress. See, she is not immune to the laws of the Empire. She, too, will bow to the Emperor. Just as I bow to the Emperor. Just as you all will. See how lovely she is, your mistress. How perfect and pliant. You look to her for leadership and protection? Fine, she will give those things to you—at my discretion."
He turned about the room, meeting each of their eyes, their tear-stained faces. Reveling in the whimpers that left lips, the fresh tears that fell when they gazed at the kneeling Padme.
Let it all sink in.
"You belong to us now, handmaidens," he continued. "You will serve us. I will give you that gift and make a gift of you in return to my wife. She has chosen you, and it seems I cannot deny her what she wants. But you will learn your place. When you are in private, such as now, you will kneel just like so until you are called upon for a task. You will not speak unless invited to do so. When in public with my wife, you will protect her with your very lives. You will stand strong and proud at her back. You will perform your duties with perfection. If not… I will show you a hell that will make you beg for death. It is just that simple."
He spun back towards Dorme and Corde, watching them shiver as he caressed them again with the Force. "Dorme and Corde," he said, his tone gentle. "You two hold my favor above the others at the moment. Go now to the Detention block and ask Mistress Corsuvre for thirteen data pads containing the text Joy of the Selected. Bring them back here and distribute them to the rest of your fellow handmaidens. All of you tonight will read these texts and put them to memory. If my wife is to have attendants, they will be trained well."
He casually reached a hand out behind him, and his wife gasped anew as the Force pulled her upright, brought her hand into his. "My wife and I will retire for the night. Do not disturb us."
Padme, to her credit, kept her comportment as a perfect lady until the doors to their bedroom closed behind them. Then she received her true punishment. And he did not have to use the Force to hear the crying from outside the door as the handmaidens wept each time Padme screamed.