set in the The Senator's Wife au universe.
Takes place 7 years after 'Revenge of the Sith'
“Are you sleeping with her?”
He turns from
the datapad he is reviewing to watch Padmé
walk into the living room. Her head is
held high, her features taut with righteous indignation.
He takes a
moment to marvel at her beauty. It has been more than half a
since they were last alone together.
Seven months ago the tense negotiations with the Chiss pulled him to
Empire’s border. Six months ago Padmé
miscarried the tiny life that was their fourth child.
supposed to be here. Not tonight.
Tomorrow afternoon maybe her
curtly worded message informed him only this morning. She has
been in no hurry to see him.
But that was
before this evening’s Imperial dinner. He doesn’t need to ask who
it is to whom
Padmé refers. Padmé is angry about his
dinner companion. To the outward
observer, Padmé spent the dinner perfectly poised and coolly
controlled. But he felt her anger, buffeting against his
consciousness, inescapable as Tatooine’s sweltering heat. It's
why he's here waiting for her in their apartment rather
than retiring to
his personal residence. He has never
been one to turn away from conflict.
“Lovely to see
you, Senator,” he says, rising to his
feet. He uses her former title solely to
court her rage. He shouldn’t, especially
in light of her mood, but he can't resist.
“Don’t avoid the
question,” she counters, her voice deathly
quiet, her tone icy cold. “Is she your
He looks at her,
blinking slowly. “No.”
It’s the truth. He isn’t sexually
involved with his beautiful young dinner companion, though not for lack
seems only slightly mollified. She shrugs out of her heavy dark
revealing the ballgown he saw earlier.
It’s an artful arrangement of crimson red silk that drapes her feminine
curves to perfection. She is a
stunningly beautiful woman and he's half erect simply from looking at
“Who is she?”
“Her name is
She’s a Lieutenant in the Imperial Navy who was assigned to the
six months ago as my personal physician.”
Padmé stalks toward him. She is most displeased and he
why. As his personal physician,
Lieutenant Hess has the one thing that up until now, has been
Padmé’s alone, intimate
physical knowledge of him. Of course,
the situation with his physician is vastly different from his
Padmé. For all of her innuendo,
Lieutenant Hess is a very competent, professional physician and there
no inappropriate contact between the two of them.
comes to a stop directly in front of him, arms crossed
over her chest. “Your physician?”
“Since when are
medical droids insufficient?”
He looks down at
her, his face betraying no emotion. “Since the scars on the right
side of my
chest refused to heal and grew painful to the point of distraction.”
immediately softens. “Anakin,”
she says quietly, reaching out to him.
She gently, but
insistently, pulls at his cloak and
overtunic. When it becomes apparent she
won’t be satisfied by anything short of a visual inspection, he humors
shrugging out of his clothes until he is bare to the waist.
He doesn’t look.
never looks. He has no desire to bear
witness to the monstrous scars covering his chest from collarbone to
damage is far more extensive on his right side, flowing down his right
the elbow much like the fire from which it sprang. The shiny,
puckered skin continues down his
torso, past his hip. The injuries consume
most of his right leg until both the scars and the leg abruptly in a
above his knee. The flesh of his back
and left arm is unmarred, but it is little consolation. He feels
far more machine than man most days,
a freakshow, an oddity.
fingertips gingerly to his skin, she hisses
through her teeth. The newest set of
graphs is still raw and they probably look quite gruesome. But
despite the appearance, he is far more
comfortable now thanks to Lieutenant Hess’s expert attention.
“I’m sorry,” she
“I had no idea.”
“Why would you?
been apart for months.”
The words are
spoken without rancor, but there is much left
unsaid. He has been away for months and
aside from a brief and agonizingly cryptic message informing him of the
miscarriage, they have been out of communication. There is an
unmistakable distance between
them now, much more profound than the physical distance that normally
them. He returned to Imperial Center
two weeks ago and they both know they’ve been avoiding one another.
He stares down
at this woman, the mother of his children,
the woman he loves; the only woman he
will ever love. The
charade grows old for both of them. Luke and Leia have started
school, Annaé is a
toddler, walking and quickly learning to talk.
He doesn’t know his children. He
will never know them. It is an
impossible risk he is not willing to take.
His long months
on the Imperial frontier provided ample
opportunity for reflection. Padmé
miscarried her third pregnancy very early.
No official announcement had been made that she was expecting. He
doesn't know if that makes it easier or
harder. It's as if their child never
existed at all. He grieved the loss of a
child he would never know, at the same time grieving for the loss of
and Annaé. His living children are as
lost to him as the tiny life.
perhaps the Force is trying to deliver a none too
Perhaps it is
time he lets Padmé go.
He has been
cursed with agonizingly long months to consider
his next step. Padmé’s life would be
safer, better without him.
The same for the children. It both wounds and enrages him to
living without her, to imagine her happy with the Viceroy. Yet
more and more often, he does imagine such
It shames him to
realize in spite of his monstrous visage,
he is vain enough to require female companionship. It is a
weakness, his greatest failing as
both a Jedi and a Sith. He needs human
attachments, human contact. He may find
the strength to free Padmé, but he cannot live chastely in her
considered the perks and pitfalls of a relationship
with Lieutenant Hess. Such a
relationship would be free of the constant fear of discovery.
Lieutenant Hess is a creature of pure
ambition. He knows she sees a connection
with him as an easy ascent to Imperial heights.
There is no chance his heart would be involved – much less wounded - in
a relationship with the good doctor.
arrangement would also have the benefit of further
camouflaging his attachment to Padmé. He
doesn’t believe the Emperor suspects anything, but he has learned to
underestimate his master. Forming a
highly visible relationship with Lieutenant Hess would divert any
attention from Padmé and the children.
“Are you leaving
me?” Padmé asks quietly.
He looks at her,
She smiles at
“You would make a very poor politician, Anakin.”
He turns away,
crossing his arms over his bare chest,
feeling absurdly vulnerable.
leaving me," she says softy, shock resonating clearly in her voice.
He shakes his
head sharply, still not facing her.
"No," he says. "I mean, I
don't know. I haven't made any
closer, not touching him, but so close he can
almost feel the heat from her body. He
hears the threat of tears in her voice when she says, "Your decision. I
She takes a deep breath. "Do
you love her?"
He laughs aloud,
turning to face her. She is confused, wounded. He shakes
his head, leaning in close. "No, Senator," he says softly,
vehemently. "I do not love
Her brow furrows
and her pain gives way to irritation. "I don't understand you."
staring blindly out the window. Padmé isn’t the only one
confused by this
troublesome new territory. He hasn’t had
a decent night’s sleep in months. The
lone lamp sitting on his elegantly stylized desk provides enough light
when he looks at the darkened window, he doesn't see the skyline, but
reflection. Padmé stands behind him,
staring at his back. He can see the
heartbreak etched on her features.
He takes a deep
breath and releases it. "I am thirty standard years in
She blinks at
"I already knew that."
frowning at her.
He has no idea how to articulate the churning mass of emotions in his
heart and mind. What galls him the most
is that in the last few months he has come to truly appreciate some of
lessons Obi-Wan so laboriously (and fruitlessly) tried to teach him.
Sometimes, it is necessary to deny one's self
the object of one's desires. There can be danger in
He is not a big
enough hypocrite to delude himself into
believing he has found the strength and maturity to stop loving
perhaps he no longer needs to keep her chained to him. He grieves
the loss of the boldness he felt
when pursuing Padmé after the battle of Geonosis. He was
so self-assured, so absolutely
convinced they belonged together. He
believed they could beat the odds, that it was worth any price to be
together. These days he is convinced he
was an absurdly naïve child who carelessly endangered both their
the futures of their children.
"I’m not … a boy
anymore," he says, feeling
"Well, that is
a relief," she replies sarcastically.
His frown turns
even more sour. "I'm trying to truly be a man. I'm trying
to do what's best."
"And leaving me
is for the best?" she
demands. "Leaving our
He flinches as
if she struck him, his pride grievously
wounded. "I can't leave our children," he snaps
bitterly. "They've never truly been
mine." He looks out the window and
then back to her. "I'm an
orphan," he snarls.
"Alone. The only Skywalker. Can
you even begin to appreciate how
difficult it is for me to know my children, my flesh and blood are so
close? Everyone remarks on how much Leia
looks like you, but when I see her, I see my mother. It's almost
painful to look at her. Everyone tries to figure out who
resembles. She resembles me!" He stops for
a moment, raking his hand
through his hair in frustration.
Crossing his arms over his chest, he gives Padmé a sharp look.
"Luke is my only son. Do you want to imagine how many times I
fantasized about helping him build a light saber or learn to fly a
speeder?" His words trail off the
longer he talks, his rage replaced by frustration and sadness.
She watches him
carefully, unshed tears shimmering in her
He looks away,
not wanting to see her pain. He doesn't want to feel as sorry for
he feels for himself. He wants to lash
out at someone. He starts to pace the
living room, his anger simmering again.
"What about you?" he demands.
"What about your husband?
You accuse me of infidelity while you return to his bed every night.
Is that what you want? Me alone, chastely pining away for you
you and the Viceroy live a model life with my
“I would never
wish for you to be lonely, Anakin,” she
Listening to her
soft words, he regrets his
accusations. Padmé is many things, but
cruel is not among them. She would never
wish to torture him. He kept these
emotions secret from her for a very long time.
He didn't want to upset her. He
didn't want to admit how agonizingly isolated he feels.
He closes the
distance between them, pulling her close,
cupping her cheek in his hand. “Padmé.”
is very beautiful,” Padmé grudgingly
admits, unable to keep the jealousy from tainting her words. "And
blonde.” She pulls away, putting several steps between
them. She doesn’t go far. “And young." She turns to
face him. "I'm sure she could give you
The desire to
smash his fist through the wall in frustration
is nearly overwhelming.
"I don't want
more children," he says tightly.
Too late, he
realizes the folly of his words. But she has already looked away,
streaking down her cheek.
He goes to her,
turning her toward him, though she still
refuses to meet his gaze. "I love
the children," he says. "I
want them. I wanted the baby we lost." She finally looks up
at him. "I have absolutely no intention of
having a family with Lieutenant Hess or anyone else."
She pulls away
Her arms are wrapped protectively around her body. "Of course
not," she says
quickly. "I know you wouldn't. The Emperor would be as much
of a threat to
your children with another woman as he is to our children."
He watches her
"That's true. But it's not
why I wouldn't do it."
She looks at him
skeptically. "You'd rather chastely pine for me?"
He doesn't react
to her throwing his words back at him. He expected as much when
he said them. He suspects her long years in politics make
it more habit than any true desire to wound him. "I love you.
are the mother of my children."
"But you're leaving me."
"I didn't say
that," he corrects.
He nods, looking
down at his hands, one flesh, one
artificial. Why she would want him
baffles him. She is supposed to be the
reasonable one, the voice of maturity and duty.
Only now is he realizing perhaps he has forced her too far.
Perhaps it is now incumbent upon him to make the
He clenches both
"I am considering it."
She is quiet a
long time, staring blindly at the expensive
painting decorating the living room wall.
He didn’t pick it out. It came
with the apartment. He doubts Padmé has
ever given it a moment's notice. And he
doubts she truly sees it now.
“Is it because
of the baby?” she asks quietly. “Is that why you’re leaving?”
He can’t prevent
the wave of pain and shame that washes over
him. Before he can school his features
into a mask of indifference, she turns.
“I see,” she
says, her voice a trembling whisper. She takes a deep breath,
looking away. “I’m sorry, Anakin.”
She gives him a
wry, watery smile. “It was my fault."
He stares at
her, dumbstruck. "Your fault?"
"Women weren't made to have children forever. The doctor warned
me that my age could be a
factor. Birth defects and miscarriage
are more common as maternal age increases."
He is silent so
long, Padmé finally turns to look at him and
finds him gaping at her.
"I'm barely human
and you think it's your fault?” he demands incredulously. “It's
not you, Padmé, it's me."
She stares at
him, truly confused. "What do you mean you're barely
human? Of course you're human. How could you think
impatiently to the scars covering most of his
"You were injured,
Anakin. You're talking like you think
He can't look at
"Anakin." She closes
the distance between them, placing
her palm against his cheek and forcing him to meet her gaze.
"You're a man, Anakin, not a
He stares at her
His gaze drops to his chest, to the raw, angry scars that comprise his
flesh. He hold up his prosthetic arm,
flexing his mechanical hand.
looks at him for a moment and then lowers her
eyes. “Lieutenant Hess obviously finds
“Kyah Hess is an
opportunistic bitch. I could be a Hutt and she’d still offer to
frowns at him, irritated her attempt at appealing to
his vanity failed so spectacularly.
“What about me?” she demands. “If
Lt. Hess is mercenary, what does that make me?
I jeopardize my marriage to be with you.
I’m the mother of your children.
If you think so little of yourself, what must you think of me?”
He studies her
“I think you’re an angel,” he answers honestly.
She rolls her
“And I think you’re being maudlin and overly dramatic. You’re a
man, Anakin. Nothing more, nothing less. And I continue our
relationship because I
love you and I am attracted to you."
Her expression turns bitterly wry and she adds, "And quite possibly
because I've gone completely mad.”
He looks away,
frowning sourly. She is right, of course, he is human. And
he is being overly maudlin and
dramatic. But he cannot deny there are
days when he feels decidedly inhuman,
removed from the entire species, set aside like some piecemeal monster
Palpatine’s creation. It is a sentiment
he knows his master does everything to encourage. Palpatine wants
him set apart from
humanity. He wants, no needs him to be feared
Yet despite how
fearsome he may seem to the majority of the
galaxy's inhabitants, he finds himself more fearful by the day.
Every day Luke, Leia and Annaé grow
stronger. He watches them from a
distance and he can feel them shining in the Force like impossibly
but bright beacons in a sea of
darkness. He hopes beyond hope it is his
connection to them, his affinity for them that makes it seem this way.
He prays the Emperor has not noticed
“I want you to
take the children and go to Alderaan,” he
Her brow furrows.
He looks at her,
his features tightening. “It’s dangerous to keep the children in
close proximity to the Emperor, especially when I’m on the other side
galaxy. I would be unable to protect
“I can protect
them,” she says with determination.
arches in disbelief. “Palpatine destroyed the entire Jedi
Order. One former Senator will not stand
in his way.”
Her cheeks flame
with insult, but they both know he’s
“They are the
legally recognized children of an Imperial
Senator,” she says. “Palpatine needs the
Senate. He can’t simply abscond with
people’s children. There are limits.”
He stares at her
for a moment, knowing they are both
thinking the same thing, Palpatine has no limits. He shakes his
head. “You have
She crosses her
arms over her chest, defiantly meeting his
gaze. “I won’t run.”
“It’s not about
It’s about keeping the children safe.”
He can see her
jaw muscles clench. “That’s not fair,” she hisses quietly.
His lips purse
together in a bitter smile. How many times did he utter those
to Obi-Wan? Older now, wiser and
disillusioned, he knows the truth. “Life
She looks away
for a moment and then back to him. “I love our children and I
would do anything
to protect them, but I will not hide us away on Alderaan. And I
don’t appreciate you trying to use them
to manipulate me.”
“I’m trying to
keep all of you safe.”
truly suspects something, it won’t matter
where we hide. It’s safer to maintain a
high public profile. Palpatine is evil,
but he’s not stupid.”
He’ll do anything he damn well pleases.”
She shakes her
“No he won’t. Despite the
propaganda the Empire churns out, his control is not absolute. He
He needs the Senate. Maintaining
control is always harder than winning it in the first place.”
He turns away.
much as it pains him to admit, she has a point.
“This is all a
You’re trying to end our relationship on your terms,” she accuses,
her voice tightly measured. “The children and I aren’t available
He rounds on her
quickly, snapping, “Nothing about this
relationship has ever been convenient.”
Her eyes narrow
as she watches him. Slowly, she crosses the distance that
separates them. He watches as she
lightly traces one perfectly manicured fingernail up the length of his
left arm. “You are as much mine as I am
yours,” she says quietly. “And I will
not give you up to some blonde bimbo with a medical degree and a
He knows it’s
dangerous and stupid, but a tendril of dark
pleasure curls in the pit of his stomach at her jealous, possessive
words. She is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen,
with a fiery passion and intellect to match.
Inexplicably, she wants him.
closer, her silk-draped body barely brushing
against his naked chest. Her fingertips
skim over his skin, coming to rest at the waistband of his pants,
unmarred flesh. She lowers her head for
several moments and then looks up at him from beneath her dark lashes.
She sways back and forth slightly, biting
down on her bottom lip. “What’s she
like?” she asks in a bare whisper.
“Who?” he asks
dumbly, every bit of his attention focused on
She gives him a
sultry, satisfied smile. “Your young Lieutenant.”
He shakes his
head slightly, trying to focus on what she’s
asking. Impatiently, he frowns. “I don’t know.” He
doesn’t want to think about Kyah
Hess. He wants to think about
Padmé. And touch Padmé. And taste
Padmé. And have Padmé. Of its own volition,
one of his hands traces
the bare flesh of the delicate shoulder artfully revealed by her
“Is her skin
He leans in
closer, dipping his head to skim his lips along
the column of her neck. Her skin is warm
and fragrant, subtly perfumed with the scent of ladalum blossoms.
“I don’t know,” he answers distractedly, “I
never touched her.” His hand finds
Padmé’s hip, pulling her flush against his body while he nips
along her neck
and jaw. She lifts her hand, threading
it through his hair, pulling his lips to her own.
tangle wetly and he groans, knowing any plan
he had to end things with Padmé is as good as dead. He
isn’t strong enough to fight this war –
and he isn’t certain he ever truly wanted to win at all. He
quickly cedes total victory to Padmé,
pulling her even closer. His fingers find
the clasps at the back of her dress, nimbly releasing them until the
gown is nothing more than a pile of silk pooling around her feet.
quickens as he realizes she wore nothing beneath
her gown. He watched her so intently
during the dinner that he knew for certain she was wearing
undergarments. The thought of her calculatedly removing them
in the shuttle on her way to the apartment has him rock hard in seconds.
He kisses her deeply, running his hands over
her naked flesh, languishing in the feel of her skin against his own.
The sensations aren’t the same as before his
injuries. Too many of his nerve endings
have been irreparably damaged. But his
eyes still function perfectly and the sight of her creamy pale,
pressed oh so willingly against his own marred flesh is a potent
aphrodisiac. In this capacity, at least,
he is still completely whole, completely virile.
she begs, fighting to get impossibly closer.
softly, savoring her impatient hunger. He urges her backwards,
step after step until
her bare buttocks connect with the desk.
She makes a small, startled sound as he effortlessly lifts her and sets
her on the edge. Before she fully
comprehends his intentions, he has insinuated himself between her
splaying her knees wide to accommodate his body. He sifts through
the wiry hair covering her
sex and growls deep in his throat at the feel of her intimate moisture
coating his questing fingers.
"Did it excite
you to fight over me?" he asks in a
wicked tone, knowing full well it did.
reply, too lost in sensation. Each of her hands clasps one of his
her fingernails biting into his muscles as he fondles her intimately.
Her eyelids fall shut, her breathing rapid
and shallow. He teases her. Fingertips coated with her own
circle her clitoris, applying just enough pressure to tantalize before
her eyes fluttering open as her eager hands
find the waistband of his black trousers, quickly releasing the fly and
the material down over his hips.
While he loves
the breathy whimpers his teasing elicits,
neither of them is in the mood for a protracted coupling. They
have been too long without one
another. Foregoing further preliminaries,
he pulls her to the very edge of the table.
Her legs instinctively lock around his waist as he guides the head of
his cock to her entrance. Slowly, he
pushes inside her welcoming warmth.
is not ideal and he knows it must be
uncomfortable for her, but the groan she makes is not one of pain.
He continues, not stopping until his entire
length is buried deep within her body.
He rests there a moment, his breathing labored. It has been so
long since he felt this
connection with her and the sensations are nearly overwhelming.
He looks down at her, noticing her
tears. Releasing a shuddering breath, he
cups her cheek in his hand, wiping away the tears with the pad of his
he asks softly.
She looks up at
him, meeting his gaze, her eyes wide and
bright. Quickly, she shakes her
head. “I love you,” she whispers.
He smiles and
captures her lips in a searing kiss. She meets his kiss with
equal ardor, biting
down gently on his lower lip, her fingers threading through his hair.
It’s more than he can take and he has to
move, withdrawing slightly and pushing back into her body. She
breaks the kiss to gasp at the sensation
and he urges her to lay back on the desk.
She does, her luminous, pale skin offset sharply by the ebony wood of
the desk. Her rosy pink nipples contract
to hard points in the cool air and her dark locks fallen loose from
cascade around her like shimmersilk.
This position is more conducive to their coupling and he glides slickly
in and out of her body, his hands biting into her hips as he drives
She arches her
back, tightening her legs around his
waist. "Missed you," she
pants, her fingernails digging into his forearms.
He missed her as
well, but he is beyond the capacity for
speech. All of his concentration is
centered on her tight, wet heat around his cock, her breathy moans of
pleasure. It was insanity to think he
could ever live without this. One of his
hands releases her hip and his fingers find her clit, rubbing it in
his thrusts. Her breath catches and her
body shivers as her climax overtakes her.
He grits his
teeth, continuing to pump into her as he feels
her orgasm shudder along the rigid length of his cock. It's too
much and he tries to pull away, but
her legs lock tightly around him, holding him inside her. "Padmé,"
he begs, but she rolls her hips, flexing her vaginal muscles around his
and he is lost. He spills inside her,
his body shuddering with the force of his release.
He braces his
palms on the table on either side of Padmé’s
hips, hanging his head as he tries to regain his breath. After
several moments, he lifts his head and
looks at her, his lips twisted into a wry expression.
Gently, he urges
her legs from around his waist, pulling her
into a sitting position. He takes the
several steps to retrieve his discarded tunic, placing the coarse, dark
material around her shoulders before re-fastening his trousers.
She folds her
knees up to her chest as she perches on the
edge of the desk, pulling his tunic tighter around her body until she
completely covered. One of her hands
fists in the fabric and she pulls it closer to her face, inhaling the
scent. She looks up and realizes he’s
watching her. Caught in the act, she
smiles a small, self-conscious smile.
“It smells like you,” she says quietly.
you do too at this point,” he says sourly.
enjoy the moment.”
“This is lunacy,”
he snaps, pacing in a tight circle. With
the heat of passion gone and the afterglow quickly fading, he is once
assaulted with the reality of just how ill-conceived his actions have
been. Again. He stops
looks at her. “What if you get
repeats sarcastically. “I don’t see how that could happen.
I’m too old and you’re not even human.”
She rolls her
eyes, hopping off the desk and crossing the
room to stare out the panoramic windows.
She stands there for several long minutes. “I want another child.”
coming to stand at her side. “It’s too dangerous.”
She looks up at
him, her features pinched with
irritation. “You and I,” she says
impatiently, motioning with her hand between their two bodies, “will always be dangerous.
First you were a Jedi and I was a
Senator. Now I’m married and you’re
Palpatine’s apprentice. Anakin, it’s
doomed, but it is our life. The only
chance we get. I love you and I love the baby we lost and I
want to have another child before it’s no longer an option.”
He looks down at
her, silence hanging between them. With a sigh, he looks away.
“I do too,” he
It shames him to admit it, but it’s true. He does want another
child. Not to replace the baby they lost. Nothing can ever
replace that baby. He wants another child because he loves
and he knows no greater joy in his miserable excuse for a life than
with their children. He knows it’s a bad
idea, but it seems like his entire life has been one bad idea after
considering how he just spent the last hour, it occurs to him that
bad ideas occasionally to lead to good outcomes.
reaching out for Padmé’s hand and she eagerly
twines her fingers through his, allowing him to pull her close.
Palpatine is still a threat. He will always be a threat and there
doubt that grave consequences are inevitable.
But it won’t happen today. Or
tomorrow. And allowing the fear of what
Palpatine might do dictate their actions feels too much like the
He places a
gentle kiss on the top of Padmé’s head.
“How long will
you be on Coruscant?” she asks.
Emperor devises another test for me.”
Her hand rests
on his chest, over his heart. The skin beneath her fingertips is
discolored. “What happened with the
turned out to the Empire’s advantage.”
“That’s not what
He looks down at
knowing he won’t elaborate. She also knows the reality of what
to him along the Chiss border is probably far worse than she can even
imagine. “If you won’t tell me, then at
least do me a favor.”
talented young lieutenant a promotion and send
her on her way.”
The smile slowly
spreads across his face. “I believe Captain Hess will be a
asset to Admiral Ozzel’s command.”
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