Fretted Hearts 5
Lady Saille
Rated PG-13
Disclaimer: Obi-Wan/Padme and the Starwars Gang belong to George Lucas, this is just the imaginings of an over active mind.
Thanks to Katie and Sara for beta reading this for me.
Tell me how I am doing.

She moved quickly, slipping out of the quiet temple and into the morning mist. She smiled to herself knowing that Obi-Wan was too engrossed in his practice to notice she’d slipped out. She had dressed herself in a light linen chemise and a simple bodice, easily laced by her own hand. She moved quickly already knowing her destination. She fleetingly considered telling someone where she was going before remembering that he’d given them instruction to watch out for her.

She closed her eyes for a moment, trying to hear the direction of what she sought. The slight sound of rushing water poured over her senses and she began to follow it with out thought; like a dreamer in a trance. She smiled as the heavy morning mist parted around the calm water’s edge and hung in wisp; creating a nearly surreal scene.

For a moment she wished that someone could see this with her before quickly pushing the unwanted thoughts aside. She missed Obi-Wan, which was odd since he was one of only five other people on this tiny little moon. She quickly shed her cloths, intent on allowing the waters to calm her nerves. Something was getting ready to change, only she had no idea what.
She was avoiding him, which was impressive considering the scarcity of people on this jungle moon. He sighed, running his fingers through hair. Where was she? He needed to talk to her, wanted to see her before he left. It would not be long, but he was sure that she would not appreciate him just up and leaving her here, even if she was safe. He sighed realizing she wasn’t in the temple. He moved quickly down the stone steps, latching onto the tiny quiver of energy that answered to her name. Following it into the woods he sighed; she hadn’t listened to him. He wasn’t really surprised, but now she was putting more then just herself at risk. The children that found safe harbor under her heart were something she needed to consider.

He felt an unwelcome well of emotion pitch inside him. Worry, warring with tenderness, and understanding with worry, he knew she needed to get away to heal herself. To grieve for things that she could no longer have. He continued to walk the sound of rushing water meeting his ears and with it, unwarranted panic. What if she was in trouble? He knew it was unlikely as he’d felt no disturbance in the force, but still it did not ease the part of him that had grown to rely on their connection in order to gage her well being and mood. He moved toward the sound of water and forced back a surprised gasp.

It was a waterfall, a lovely and powerful. It was nowhere near as high as those found on Naboo, but he understood why she might have been drawn to them. Where was she? He glanced around, his eyes finally alighting on her form beneath the falling water. She seemed to have perched herself on the rock face beneath the falls. Her eyes wear closed, her neck arched slightly as water poured over her form. She laughed softly, before pushing off into the water.

How had he ever thought she would not adjust well to this place? It seemed that out of all those who were now using this humid jungle world as home she had adjusted the best. She seemed to thrive in the less then hospitable environment. She met every challenge that had been thrown her way with a grace that belied her previous stations and yet pointed directly to it. She was steal and velvet.

She continued to swim seeming to play games with the water itself. She was content and Obi-Wan loathed the fact he was about the shatter that contentment. Her eyes shot open and her gaze skirted the area around the pound as though she had sensed his last thoughts. It wasn’t possible since the link was as tightly locked down as it had been two weeks ago.

She started to move toward the shore, and something that Obi-Wan had some how missed forced itself into the front of his mind. She was naked as the day she was born. He wasn’t sure how he’d missed bare shoulders and skin the color of alabaster, but he certainly couldn’t ignore the fact that water was quickly revealing far more of her slender frame then the Jedi had ever seen.

His mouth went dry as he forced himself to turn away from the site of her. He heard the water splashing around her feet as she reached the edge and the sound of annoyed mutterings as she fought to pull clothes over wet skin.

"What are you doing here?" she questioned as she moved toward him. The Jedi turned to face her and realized immediately that he shouldn’t have. While she was clothed, the under dresses light material clung to her still wet skin. He forced his gaze to stay on her face, it certainly wouldn’t do to start lusting after her. It would only cause problems between them. They where friends and that was all they could be. He reached forward, almost against his will to brush the droplets of water from her cheek, they still hung on her eyelashes falling every few seconds. He leaned forward and pressed a tender kiss to her cheek before capture one of the tiny droplets with his mouth.

He pressed a soft kiss to her other cheek before trailing one along her brow. He fought the desire to press his lips to her soft rose hued ones in a lingering caress. He felt her shiver and before he questioned the wisdom of the action he found his arms sliding around her, pulling her slender form against him. He wrapped the heavy robes he wore easily around her.

"Obi-Wan?" He could hear the question in her soft voice, she studied his face for a long moment and he couldn’t help but wonder what she was seeing. Their gazes held for long endless moments as he attempted to find his voice; though it seemed to have deserted him.

"Is something wrong?" she questioned, worry shaking her voice. He could feel the edges of her carefully created shields beginning to unravel as fear forced her to reach for him in every way she could. He gasped softly as suddenly walls built so well crashed down around them.

"My Lady," He gasped uncertain of exactly what had just happened. She drew back from him, a curious look on her pale features. Her soft brown gaze was strangely alight, as though she had just figured out something extremely important and was not telling him what it was.

"When do you leave?" she asked then, drawing herself completely out of his embrace. He felt suddenly very alone and cold. She wrapped her heavier linen shawl around her shoulders and continued to hold his gaze. "Master Jedi"

He sighed; he wasn’t feeling much like a Master Jedi, in fact if his feelings were anything to go by he couldn’t have been farther from it a master Jedi he was not. He wanted to stay with her, to keep her safe to forget the rest of the Galaxy was in turmoil.

"But you can’t and I would never forgive myself if you didn’t do what you have to. Just come back to me." She said somehow privy to his thoughts.

"My Lady?" He questioned, and the look in her eyes brightened. She took a step forward.

"I leave in a few hours," he admitted.

"Waited long enough didn’t you?" she asked, her tone teasing.

"I figured the longer I waited, the less likely I would be to stay when I should go."

"I would never have asked that of you. I know about duty." She whispered her voice filled with tears she would not shed.

"I didn’t mean to imply that you would my lady. Only that given the depths of what we both feel that I might be far to tempted to simply stay." She nodded once and Obi-Wan wondered at her understanding. She seemed to take everything in stride. His newly awakened desire for her seemed to simply be another facet of their complicated relationship. He knew she could feel it, there was no way she couldn’t be aware of the hunger her nearness was starting incite within him, and yet she didn’t call him on it.

"Walk with me." She requested, and like so many other times he could not refuse her.

She watched him from the corner of her eye, trying to figure out what had changed his emotions. They where bubbling up in a tide of unfamiliar sensations and pouring over her in an unfamiliar veil. She wanted to ask him about it, to inquire of it’s meaning, of why it felt so strangely right. She paused in her steps staring at the ground for a long moment.

"My lady?" she could hear the question in his smooth, melodious voice. She sighed, glancing up at him; her eyes caught and trapped by his intent gaze. She felt a fine trembling take her form as she stared into his eyes, lost in there crystalline depths. She felt herself stepping closer to him, seemingly against her will.

His large, capable hand came up to cup her cheek tenderly. His eyes drifted from hers to settle on her slightly parted lips. Her breath was caught in response, something warm and pleasant curling in the pit of her stomach. She found herself leaning closer to the Jedi, wrapping her hands around his neck, and allowing her fingers to play with the hair at the nap of his neck.

His tepid gaze found hers once more, and her heart began to race inexplicably, his warm breath bathed her lips as his eyes seemed to seek answers to unasked questions. In her mind’s eye she saw with stunning clarity, the completion of this embrace, the soft, nearly gossamer brush of his lips over hers was hesitant and needy all at once. Warmth spilling through her as her lips parted allowing the kiss to deepen even more. She could feel his hands, strong on her shoulders as he drew her more tightly against his form. She gasped when the sound of a foreign voice forced her from her thoughts.

"Obi-Wan?" She whispered watching as he blinked, seeming like dreamer only just waking. He held her gaze for a moment longer and in the depths of his eyes she thought she caught sight of unmistakable hunger, only to have it swept away and in its place the same tepid warmth she'd grown accustomed to.

He glanced over her should toward the figure that was making its way toward them. He shook himself, shocked to realize he’d been about to kiss her, been so close to simply dragging her into his arms and learning if her lips where as soft as they look.

He silently thanked the force for the timely interruption. "Come, My lady," He whispered softly, leaning forward to quickly press his lips to her forehead. For the first time the feel of her soft skin beneath his lips offered little comfort for the Jedi. It only awakened a gamut of forbidden sensations and desires.

Chapter 6

They did not say good-bye.

She stopped the words on his lips, only a softly whispered "safe journey" and "may the wind be always at your back" passed her lips as she pressed them to his cheek. He understood her dislike for good-byes, they’d both been forced to say far to many of them as of late. Nothing was as it had been, nothing would ever be the same, for them, or for the galaxy.

Even this was not the same. From the moment he’d left, all he had desired was to return to her. He wanted to be with her, exploring the changes in their ever more complicated relationship. He pushed the thoughts aside ruthlessly, denied love, squashed love, put it in a tiny box in the back of his mind and locked it there along side the brightly shining link. He could not let these new feelings interfere. She was not meant for him.

He could not be her lover. He’d seen what love did to Jedi, understood how dangerous it was. She was his friend, confident, his soul mate, but she could never be his lover. He glanced toward the star-studded blackness outside the cockpit of the small craft. He could remember the first time he’d seen the stars and the awe that had gripped his soul.

They offered him little comfort now, as his mind painted pictures of her, her rising from the water like a goddess of old. He could recall with perfect clarity the sensation of her soft form pressed tightly against his. The way her tiny frame had molded easily to his as though she were meant to be a part of him. Her lips pink and parted, begging for kisses he’d nearly given.

He forcefully thrust the hunger to the back of his mind, not sure how to purge himself of this inappropriate desire. He would not follow Anakin into the darkness. He would remain true to himself, to the Force. Only he feared that where she was concerned he’d never been exactly capable of being completely detached. She had always been Padme, whether she wore the garb of a simple peasant or the trappings of a great queen.

She was the woman whose soul was twined with his.

In the back of his mind a tiny voice, that proved more than reasonable, reminded him that this was the reason the council had insisted he close the link between them. This was what they had feared, though Yoda had not said so in as many words. He’d learned something in that room, something he’d not shared, even with Padme. If they had known of the link the council together would have attempted to break it, though Yoda, upon examining it closely, had admitted that "break it they could not." All the power of the Force could not sever this link.

His student, his Padawan, Anakin Skywalker, had given in to the dark side and the entire universe was slowly being made to pay for mistakes that could have been prevented… and those that could not. Obi-Wan knew full well that while a part of him wanted to take the blame for Anakin’s turning, it truly rested on no ones shoulder’s but Anakin’s. He’d chosen the shadows and darkness and walked away from the light.

Obi-Wan wanted to on some level make it right, to fix what had gone wrong. The how of it was where he was running into trouble. No one could undo that evil that had been done. Some choices once made could not be undone. This was one of them.
But he had a bad feeling about it, like something was off. He’d dismissed it as he’d left Padme, believing that it was merely the desire to stay with her that was coloring his senses. The only thing he was certain of was that this might not go as planned.

He’d sensed his old master’s aura. Yet he was uncertain if it was because of his actual presence or merely the left over echo of his essence that resonated through the room. This very room was where Padme had betrayed him time and again with his master. He’d doubted it until Palpatine had shown him the vid-recording of them engaged in a passionate embrace. He’d not needed to see her face to recognize her, nor had he needed to see that bastard's gaze to know that it was Obi-Wan.
‘Oh my love how could you do this to me?’

He posed the question to the night air expecting no response. He already knew the answer. The very man who had misguided him had led his lovely wife astray. Obi-Wan had always been jealous, always wanted to be what Anakin was. So he’d settled for stealing the one thing that Anakin had left in the world, his angel.

Now that he looked back on it, Obi-Wan’s seduction had been subtle, slow, and careful. It was no wonder his beloved Padme had not been any match for his master’s carefully laid plans. He knew for certain that she must have tried to break things off, why else would her apartments have been the scene of a struggle?

Obi-Wan had kidnapped his wife from the sanctuary that Anakin had placed her in at Palpatine’s urging. He thought putting her there would be safer for her, taking her away from things that reminded her of Obi-Wan. It would give them time to heal. He’d seen tears on her face, tears of joy, of love. Obi-Wan must have come to the house and forced her to leave with him.


Obi-Wan ducked behind the heavy shipping crate to avoid the latest patrol of guards. He forced himself to remain calm, to blend in with his surroundings and to keep his eyes open. It would do no good for him to be caught. He was here to rescue some friends, and then to get back to where he belonged. He sighed, thrusting the inappropriate thought aside. This was where he belonged, on a mission as a Jedi Knight.

To add to the danger, he was fairly certain he’d sensed Anakin’s unique signature in the force. If Anakin were here it would be only a matter of time before someone knew of his presence. He moved quickly down the long, brightly lit corridor, pressing himself stealthily against the wall as another patrol of guards passed by.
He moved down to the adjacent doorway, intent on his goal. He had no care for anything else, only for his mission. He needed to get the two Knights that had been captured from their cells. He would not leave his brother’s to suffer.

Moving toward the large chamber that should hold the prisoners he was surprised to find it empty. He glanced down the corridor. Something was wrong he could feel it, causing the hair on the back of his neck to stand on end. He pressed himself against the wall and listened intently.

"Are you certain they will send someone?" asked one of the uniformed men, the insignia on his jacket labeling him a General.

Obi-Wan sighed, wondering what they where talking about.

"Of course they will Sir, there are too few Jedi left for them to allow two of their own to simply be executed. Too bad no one told them that they where executed weeks ago."

Obi-Wan barely suppressed the gasp of shock, realizing this was an elaborate trap.
"Who do you think it is?"

"I don’t know, but Skywalker seems to believe it will be his old master."

The two continued to talk and Obi-wan silently thanked the force for idle gossip in all its forms. Now all he had to do was get back to his ship without getting killed and report the sad news to what was left of the Council.
Easier said than done he thought ruefully.

Anakin Skywalker stared numbly out the window, the words echoing in his ears. He'd refused to believe it for a moment, frantically searching for her essence, only to find the place it had once been empty.

She was gone, pulled from him without him even realizing it. Anger and despair warred for dominance in his mind and heart. Dead, murdered, he screamed silently clearing the items from the top of the desk in front of him in rage. He drew in ragged breaths, attempting to gain control of his emotions.

She appeared to have struggled with some one; a lightsaber had ended her life. A lightsaber. That left only one candidate for the fowl crime. Obi-Wan had killed her. It felt wrong, he couldn’t fathom how Obi-Wan would willingly harm her, even if he considered the man sithspawn. Anakin knew that the love he so often felt when in the room with them could not have been an act.

Was his master correct? Did his wife have a change of heart and realize that he was the better man? Had she been killed for that realization? He shivered, feeling tears form in the corner of his eyes. He’d been angry when he learned that she’d disappeared, now he was furious, his anger having one target. His ex-Master Obi-Wan Kenobi. It was not enough to hold him back, to be jealous of him or his powers. No, Obi-Wan had to try and take the only good and pure thing in his life away. He’d soiled the purity of his and Pamde’s love, and when she realized her mistake he’d killed her for it.

He could feel his Master still on the grounds. He’d come for the two Jedi they’d held prisoner, not knowing they had been killed. They’d died cursing the darkness with their last breaths. Noble creatures, so sure of their rightness, so like Obi-Wan.

Obi-Wan who had outwardly appeared to be the perfect Jedi, while inwardly he’d coveted everything that Anakin had. Now he understood the power of the darkness coursing through his veins, whispering to him of the power, telling him where to find his master. He fastened his lightsaber on his belt and headed out of the room. He moved down corridors, following the innate sense of his master, the leftover of a training bond and the bright white of Obi-Wan’s essence in the Force, so at odds with the darkness within.

Chapter 7

Obi-Wan waited for the heavy doors to open, his hand on the saber at his hip. He knew what waited on the other side… a very angry Anakin Skywalker. Only, he could not figure out the source of the grief that mixed wildly with the anger in the force. He stepped through the door cautiously.

"My wife seems to have disappeared, you wouldn’t happen to know where I can find her would you Master?" The question came out cold, and callous and Obi-Wan had to force himself not to rise to the bait. He wanted to respond. wanted to tell Anakin that he’d lost the right to call her his wife.

He studied the man who had once been his friend and apprentice and felt a terrible loss. The man he had trained was not anywhere to be found in the creature before him. The coldness of his gaze and the darkness the swirled around him were enough to tell Obi-Wan that Anakin Skywalker was no more. Whatever had been left of him was buried too deeply for him to sense.

"You lost her again?" he questioned keeping his mind carefully blank as he studied Anakin. His former apprentice nodded, slowly.

"But then so have you." Confusion flooded through Obi-Wan but he forced himself not to dwell on her. If he wasn’t careful his thoughts could cost them everything.
"I know what you did, they found what you left of her," Anakin growled, drawing his lightsaber and igniting it slowly.

Obi-Wan saw in his mind's eye the transmission that Anakin had received, the sight of Padme broken and clearly lifeless settled coldly on his heart.
"You think I did that?" He demanded, surprise clear on his face. He wanted to defend himself to remind Anakin that Padme had been his friend, he would never harm her.

"It was a lightsaber," he stated angrily, his hand shaking slightly, his emotions clearly getting the better of him.

"You killed my wife, because she realized she wanted to be with me didn’t you?" He raised the gleaming light sword and charged toward him.

Obi-Wan side stepped the blow with ease, Anakin's anger and pain clearly making him careless. For a moment Obi-Wan wondered if the Anakin he had known and loved was in there somewhere, brought to the forefront by the ‘death’ of Padme. He reached forward cautiously with curious mental fingers, brushing along the darkness before him. He sought out his apprentice, only to find nothing but deeper shadows within. His heart ached with the knowledge that he was so far gone that he could not see the truth.

The pain he felt was so real and coupled with the image of Padme’s lifeless body, Obi-Wan had to fight the desire to call out to her. He wanted to reach out for her, to touch the link that lay quiet in the back of his mind, safely away from prying eyes. He knew if he did though, Anakin would sense it.

While part of him wanted to ease Anakin’s pain, another part wanted to use this belief to their advantage. If Anakin thought she was dead then he would not look for them. He continued to block blows and while he knew that he shouldn’t let this remind him of so many of their sparring matches, he couldn’t help himself. It was so similar, except for the fact that now if he could, he knew Anakin would kill him.
Anakin may have been more in tune with him than he was, but Obi-Wan still had years of practice that Anakin did not. Obi-Wan had been trained by one of the best, Anakin had had only Obi-Wan. While he’d taught Anakin well, the boy had not always wanted to learn the lessons being taught.

They continued to dance, a fine almost evenly matched contest. Anakin’s blade came in contact with cloth and skin every so often, only for Obi-Wan's blade to do much the same. Blades crackled and crossed as the two men pushed against each other. Obi-Wan forced himself to calm as Anakin’s blade sliced cleanly through flesh. He gasped, only vaguely aware of the pain being reported by the minor wounds that marred his flesh. Anakin had improved since the last time they had fought but he had still failed to learn one lesson.

Obi-Wan sensed Anakin’s anger rising steadily, anger because Obi-Wan blocked all of his attacks. Obi-Wan had managed for the most part to block without causing harm to Anakin, only he was fairly sure it would be only a matter of time before he would have to find a away back to his ship. He gasped softly when he miscalculated a blow and Anakin’s red saber again met cloth and tender skin.

He shifted his stance, catching Anakin off guard. He drew his lightsaber up sharply, knocking the red saber from Anakin’s grip. He studied his ex-apprentice for a split second before sprinting toward the direction of his ship. He had to get to it and out of there before Anakin had a chance to tell someone of his presence.

Anakin watched uncaring as his betrayer disappeared down another brightly lit corridor. He glanced in the direction the lightsaber had flown and held out his hand easily, waiting for the force to bring the small silver object to him. He glanced once more to the space where Obi-Wan had once stood. Blood spatters of it, streaks of it, lay in wild patterns on the floor. In his minds eye he saw Padme, his beloved wife, her eyes wide with shock as he’d accused her of having an affair.

White-hot anger had left his soul livid and scared with pain. Kisses became scars like he’d feared they would. He studied the bloodstains, deep and brilliant. Obi-Wan had numerous wounds marring his form. If his master did not get medical attention soon those tiny insignificant cuts and bruises would be the death of him.
Such a fragile thing the physical form, it needed such care and maintenance. He wondered what had become of his beloved’s form. Palpatine had insisted that it be taken care of off world where she’d been located. She’d been burned, her soul released to the Force from which it had sprung. Some day he would join her there, of that he had no doubt, good or evil, in the end you all became part of the one.

Chapter Eight

She sighed glancing around the room, not sure what she was looking for. She'd been sick all morning. The Healer had said it was normal given her condition. She sighed, hating the part of herself that wished she was on Naboo again, where she could easily take care of this problem. A few carefully mixed plants and the life growing in her would be no more. She sighed, knowing it wasn't right. The potion was to be used only in dire circumstances, when the child might cost the life of the mother.

These were dire circumstances, she thought uncharitably, hating the fact that this was happening now. She had wanted children once, but not like this, not when their father could never see them. She closed her eyes forcing the unwanted thoughts away.

How she missed Obi-Wan.

There was nothing that anyone could give her to ease that fact. She chuckled softly to herself, finding the fact that she'd been ready to reach out for him using their connection, only to find it strapped tightly down, more tightly then she could ever recall.

She accepted that fact. She knew he had his reasons. She sighed, knowing no one would be awake at this hour. She was not a prisoner here. She could come and go as she pleased. So she wrapped a light shawl around her shoulders and headed for the dark hallway.

She knew where she was going, had stopped herself from seeking out the room since he’d left, but tonight she needed to feel like he was near. She entered the dark room without making a sound, though why she was being so careful she did not know.
He was not there, had not been there for what seemed like forever.

She moved toward the small uncomfortable pallet that set against the wall and served as a bed in the sparsely furnished room. She settled down, wrapping the blankets that smelled faintly of the Jedi around herself. She allowed her eyes to finally close, feeling more at peace then she had since he’d left.

She could feel it, the whisper of awareness that told her something was wrong. She’d been informed that Jedi Kenobi would return as soon as he was able. She sighed, wishing not for the first time that she had been able to go with him. He’d insisted though that it was the safest way. It was not simply her safety but that of her children she needed to take in to account. She sighed brushing her fingers over her stomach softly. It didn’t seem any different, though she knew now that life stirred there.

Life that came from the ashes of what had been before. Twins, a boy and a girl, she thought though no one had told her as much. She closed her eyes allowing her mind to clear. Something, like the hum of tiny wings echoed through her, only a hundred times more intense. She grasped onto the softly shaking energy, curious as to its nature, its meaning. She moved along the shiny silver cording. It was thick, wide and strong in her grasp. Like it had been layers and layers, she could make out places where it had been strained and drawn taught to quickly as though pulled on from a great distance. She studied the long silver cord for an endless moment, trying to understand its meaning.

Something sent of jolt of pain through her, alarms sounding strangely in her mind. She blinked slowly glancing around the room. Confused for a moment. Obi-Wan. She was in Obi-Wan’s room. She wrapped her arms around herself trying to ward off a chill that came from within, she reached for him, in spite of herself. She’d promised she would not, but the moment she could not stop. Like someone had thrust a hole through a great damn she could not stop the flood of emotions she was receiving.

He was hurt, tired slowly losing consciousness, seeking the solace of healing sleep. His essence seemed to call to her, to wrap around her in a frantic embrace. She sighed trying to send warmth and calm to him. Even as she attempted to figure out how far away he was.

‘Close.’ The word slid into her mind weakly and she grasped onto it like a lifeline. Trying to offer up as much of her own strength to her protector as she could.

‘Obi-Wan?’ she thought, allowing her concern to infuse her metal voice. She forced herself to shut out everything, her fear, her surroundings, everything but the tendrils of power that connected them. She imagined it between them; strong and shining with incandesce. She tried to tell him what she wanted him to do. She sensed the moment he grasped on to the idea. He mentally latched onto her.
Using her strength to keep him conscious long enough to land his ship. She felt blackness sneak up behind her and engulf her in its cool embrace. The last thing she heard was his concerned voice calling her name.
He felt her weakening, felt her grip on consciousness loosen, felt the exact moment the darkness took her. He could not stop himself from crying out for her. ‘She’s fine,’ he mentally scolded himself for his uncontrolled reaction. This was not befitting a Jedi Knight. What had happened to the man who had been able to leave her where she fell during the battle of Geonosis? He sighed, that man was long gone. Lost to the darkness and the pain of change.

Force he hurt all over. His body ached with the pain of the multitude of wounds his former Padawan had inflicted. His mind a whirl with the knowledge that Palpatine had set them up and inadvertently given them exactly what they needed.

Time. He sighed leaning heavily on the healer that was helping him from the ship. He allowed himself to be lead to the infirmary, his mind attempting to rouse the unconscious thoughts of its mate. He wasn’t even aware he was doing it until he felt her annoyance through their link. 'Tired, sleep', her mind whispered to his, begging to be allowed to rest. He pulled back, mentally surprised. He hadn’t been aware of what he was doing. He’d reached for her on instinct.

When the healer had finished applying bandages and healing ointments, Obi-Wan quickly left the small rooms, hardly hearing the words the healer was saying. He was free to go and the only place he wanted to be was with her. He moved swiftly down the lengthy corridor toward his own rooms.

Somehow he wasn’t surprised to find her sprawled out on his bed. He sighed forcing back the un-Jedi like thoughts that filled his mind at the sight of her. Her pale skin shone with a strange, almost other worldly glow in the low light. She lay with one leg unclothed to the thigh, wearing a loose fitting sleep garment, its soft off-white material molding her curves, moving with each of her slow breaths.

His gaze fixed for a moment on the rise and fall of her chest, then wandered to the one hand that was drawn up next to her chin. Clutched tightly in her slender fingers was the hem of one of his cloaks. He stood froze in place for a moment, before he found his legs carrying toward her.

‘Padme,’ he murmured softly in his mind. "M'Lady," he said aloud, hoping he would reach her on some level. She shifted slightly, her eyelids fluttering before she sighed and turned over.

He caught a surprising image on the edge of her dreams. It was both of them, clinging to each other. He realized after a moment what she was requesting of him.
‘Hold me.’

He drew in a slow breath, calming his mind. He watched her for a moment wondering if he should, or if he was merely making this harder in the long run.
He realized to his surprise, that he didn’t care. He wanted to rest, and more so, he wanted to rest with her.

Chapter Nine

Awareness came slowly, as she shifted slightly, feeling an arm tighten around her as she moved. A small smile formed on her lips almost against her will. Her Jedi held her cradled against his larger form, his breath coming in deep, even, damp gusts against her neck. Her eyes fluttered open and were filled with the sight of his sun kissed locks. The Jedi's face was hidden in the space between her shoulder and neck. She sighed, feeling his lips move against her skin as he mumbled something unintelligible to her. She was well and truly caught she realized, one of the Jedi's muscular legs draped over her own shorter ones. His arms held her against him, one low on her back tangled in the material of her light sleep gown, the other lost in the wilds of her hair.

She felt the hand at her back flex and the tenor of his breathing change. She waited for a moment, forgetting to breathe as he drew back to look at her. His eyes warm and alert, not at all like the sleep drugged ones she had expected to see. "Good morning," he whispered softly. She smiled, still a little uncertain as to how she'd ended up in bed with the Jedi Knight. She hadn't woken with anyone beside her in months. Not since Anakin had called her a whore and told her that he would never forgive her.

She sighed softly.
"Good morning," she answered finally, wondering why he hadn't untangled them.

'Because I like you right where you are.'

The sound of his voice inside her head surprised her. The words he spoke bringing a soft blush to her checks. Her eyes widened as they locked on the deep hazel of his. The link, she realized, was there in the back of her mind, brighter then she could ever recall it being. It fairly hummed with power and energy. She stared at him for a long moment, a million questions running through her mind.


'Right here,' he replied as he tightened his arms around her again.


He sighed and nuzzled his mouth lightly against her neck.

"When you offered your strength to me, it joined us even more deeply," he said aloud finally as his eyes locked on hers once more.

"I don't understand," she replied, confusion rippling through her.

"Neither do I," he admitted, pressing his mouth against the flesh nearest him. Her brow furrowed adorably as she took in his actions. Obi-Wan knew he should stop, he should let her go and they should talk about this fully clothed and with distance between them.

But he simply couldn't seem to make himself let go.

Her hand lifted and pressed lightly against his cheek. He leaned into the touch, welcoming the warm eddies of the Force that caressed him at her tender touch. He sighed, not sure what to make of the ebb and flow of the emotions that moved between them. The deepening of the link seemed to have awakened a need that Master Yoda had not warned him of. Holding her in his arms eased the deepest of the aches but had awoken others, the clamor to caress and kiss and touch and learn would not be silenced. The moment her sleepy brown gaze met his, the link flared brightly in the back of his mind clamoring for attention.

Demanding acceptance and completion.

"Obi-Wan?" she whispered his name again, her mental voice shakily mirroring her words, "What?"

"I am sorry."

He was not certain what he was apologizing for, his desire, his love, or his inability to control those things. So much for his Jedi training now. Even the Force offered him no help, echoing with the desire that held him in its grip.
Her, everything was about her.

It had been for the longest time. Even in the midst of her marriage to Anakin, he'd known there was something unacknowledged between them. He'd never wanted her like this, but he'd never allowed himself to entertain the idea either. Now everything resounded with the demanded for completion.

He wasn't going to give in though. He needed to be at one hundred percent if he hoped to keep them both safe. No matter how much he wanted, he could not allow these emotions to rule him. It could easily cost them both everything. Anakin believed her dead, but Obi-Wan had no doubt that the Emperor was behind that chilling scene, and he would know the truth.

He disentangled himself reluctantly from her warmth. "I don't think we can close it down again," he admitted, wrapping his hands in his cloak to keep from reaching for her. She bit her lip softly.

"Have you tried…"

He looked down then, feeling guilty.
"Only once, and I could not."

He was afraid to add the simple fact that he didn't want to. No matter how much harder it made things, he wanted this link. He wanted it so very much.
She stood after a moment straightening the rumpled nightgown she wore. He sighed closing his eyes against the picture she painted. Her hair in wild disarray, her cheeks slightly flushed, her lips parted and damp. She looked like a woman who had been thoroughly bedded. The thought sent a bolt of desire through him, stopping his breath. Her eyes widened and he realized she had sensed his thoughts.

Damn it. He didn't want this to ruin their relationship. He had to get hold of himself. She stepped closer, curiosity and something that Obi-Wan thought might have been reflected desire shone in her bright gaze.

"I don't want it gone, shut down, or changed," she whispered fiercely as she stepped even closer to him.

"Padme." 'This is dangerous.'

She sighed hearing both his spoken and unspoken words.
"Why?" 'How can this be a bad thing Obi-Wan?'

He sighed again, he seemed to be doing that a lot when he was with her, but he did not know the words to make her understand, not without laying every desire he'd fought so hard to bury away from the light into it's unforgiving brilliance.
He had no right to her.

"You are the wife of my Padawan, You carry his children," Obi-Wan managed to force out, his voice husk with emotions.

She studied his face for a long moment, her brown gaze bright. He could sense the tenor of her thoughts as she sorted out the problem in her mind. She drew her bottom lip between her teeth for a moment before parting her lips to speak.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi, let's get some things straight here. Even when I married Anakin I didn't belong to him. Even when I loved him, something was missing. Something was always missing. I was his wife, and he accused me of loving you. Of not only loving you but acting on that love while I was still his wife."

She paused gather her thoughts into a coherent order.

"He thinks you're dead," Obi-wan said suddenly. "I saw him, we fought."
She nodded as though she had expected this.

"It was a trap? How is it that he believes me dead?"

"Palpatine." He need not elaborate, Padme could well see how the Sith lord could have arranged it, it was clear to her now there was little he could not do.

"That's good, right, I mean, if he thinks me dead he won't be looking for me?"
He nodded once before continuing. "He believes I am the one who killed you," he whispered softly, feeling anew the horror at the thought of ever willingly harming this woman.

"That's absurd," she gasped.

"I am glad you think so," Obi-wan replied softly.

"You would never willingly hurt me," she stated fiercely.

"No, no I would not," he agreed gently cupping her cheek. 'Which is why this is such a dangerous thing,' he mentally added again.

"Obi-Wan I don't understand," she sighed, frustrated with the lack of resolution. Something had to give, something needed to give.

She was right, Obi-Wan thought, something did have to give. He was just hoping it would not be him. He wasn't sure he could stand to have this turn to ashes.

"What are you afraid of?" she demanded finally.

He gasped softly, their eyes catching again. 'How do you do that?'

'I know you.'

The reply was simple and true, she did know him. He just prayed that she would forgive him. He watched as she stepped closer to him, stood on her toes and wrapped her arms easily around his neck, pressing her face into the scratchy material of his tunics. She sighed, her warm breath seeping through the light material.
He rested his chin lightly against the top of her head, before wrapping his arms tightly around her. He allowed on hand to come to rest low on her back, the other tangled in the wild fall of her hair. He held her tightly, suddenly afraid of having her torn from his grasp.

'Why would you ever need my forgiveness?'
Her mental voice was accompanied by a caress of warm tenderness against his mind. He sighed, allowing himself to fall into the comfort she offered so easily. She drew back enough to look into his eyes. He closed his for a moment against the simple truth that lay unspoken between them.

'I love you.'
The words reached her mind barely above a whisper and Obi-Wan waited, his breath frozen in place, as a wild crest of emotion arched to meet him.

"I love you as well,' she replied, as though it were the most natural thing in the world. 'I am closer to you then I have ever been to anyone in my life, would not it make sense that love would be a part of that? There is nothing to be forgiven,' she insisted.

Obi-Wan wanted to argue, wanted to point out all the reasons why these feelings were wrong, why they could not be. Only the strong flow of her emotions through their bond told him without a doubt that she meant what she said.

He wasn't sure what it was that was bothering him so much. Perhaps it was merely the easy way she was accepting these changes which where turning his world upside down. Just for a moment, he desperately wanted her to feel the same out-of-control sensations that were engulfing him.

He caught her chin gently in his hands, his fingers surprisingly steady. He studied her sparkling brown gaze for a long moment, waiting for her to whisper his name in that soft, husky tone of hers, before leaning forward and capturing her lips in a searing kiss.

Her surprised gasp opened the depths of her mouth to him. He growled low in his throat, sweeping into the depths of her mouth and claiming that which was already his. Her slender form was molded tightly against his as they kissed, her hand moved restlessly on his shoulder, seeking to gain purchase on something in the storm of sensations he could sense through the bond that glowed as brightly as the sun in the heat of their embrace. Jerking himself out of her warm embrace, he studied her bright eyes and soft lips.

"I am sorry," he whispered before moving from her and from the room as though he could not escape them both fast enough.

She gasped softly, wanting with everything in her to call him back to her. Instead, she bit her lip to stop the tears that threatened to choke her as she watched the now empty space where he had been.