Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Secret Love is bestowed a Silent Blessing....

As the first signs of twilight appear over the distant horizon and rumbling falls, the young, passionate couple subside their intimate desires as they approach the quaint, yet humble, abode. The Naberrie homestead was modest, yet elegantly decorative, with a warm and cozy appeal to its subtle humbleness. Vast windows filled the dining area, allowing the gentle glow of the Naboo sky to light the room. The colors used throughout the home were soft and pleasing, giving off a sense of flowing calmness. Even the furniture had a homey feel, yet conservative and up to date in Theed's modern styles.

Dinner was just being served as Padme' and Anakin entered the spacious nook. Jobal and Sola were carrying bowls and platters of colorfully, delectable foods. The aroma from the unique variety of entrees was enticing. Anakin couldn't help but savor the scents that permeated the room. Jobal smiled and nodded at both of them, indicating for them to take their seats and help themselves to the bountiful spread that lay before them.

Ruwee, Padme's father, insisted that Anakin try the duck, glazed in a topatoe cream sauce. Anakin grinned with acceptance and added a rather healthy heaping to his place setting. Almost immediately after that, Ruwee passed a mug of Gralish Liqueur in front of Anakin, setting it down with a loud and heavy thump. Anakin couldn't help but to lean forward, peering into the large cup, as if to smell the liquid concoction placed before him. Ruwee smiled astutely, and let out a hearty chuckle.
" Go ahead, my boy, it'll put hair on that boyish face of yours. "

Anakin bit his tongue, refraining from his normal defensive demeanor, for this was Padme's father and he had no intentions to displease him and least of all, Padme'. Feeling a hearty swat on the back, Anakin realized that the man was just delivering some friendly banter and bringing some fun to the table.
Even though the Naberries were all for dismissing formalities, Jobal would not stand for rude, improper behaviors at her dining table and she flashed a glare in Ruwee's direction, letting him know that she disapproved of his horse-play. Then, smiling at their guest, Jobal passed another platter Anakin's way.

" Eat, eat, you must be famished. It's not like we can feed the table scraps to the R2 unit. "

Anakin smiled as he laughed at Jobal's humor and gratefully scooped another helping of sweetened yams to his plate.

" At least someone appreciates my jokes. " Proclaimed Jobal as she seated herself amongst her family at the long rectangular table.

" Dear, the boy is just being polite, now pass me some more of that duck. " Laughed Ruwee as he extended his arms.

" Fine, you can have more of that bird to go along with your foul mouth. Oh, and you my dear, get no Beebleberry pie. " Smirked Jobal.

Ruwee grimaced with a shrug, then he twitched his back and shoulders against the oblong backing of his chair. For the remainder of the meal, he was quiet and concentrated on his plate in front of him. As everyone seemed to finish, there was a small conversation going on between Padme' and Sola concerning her short stay on Naboo. As Padme' gracefully sipped her warm cup of stimcaf, she broke the news.

" I think I should spend the remainder of my brief leave outside the Palace Plaza at my apartment. My strength is almost fully restored. Besides, Anakin can help me get settled. " Padme' firmly placed her mug down on the table and folded her hands in front of her, awaiting her family's response.

Suddenly, there were multiple outbursts of conservation all at once. Mainly surrounding the three women who sat towards the far end of the table in a triangular pattern, with Jobal at the peak, leaving Padme' and Sola on either side of her. Ruwee and Anakin sat silently, both shoveling mounds of food in their mouths, so they would have a legitimate reason not to respond if called upon to intervene. Finally, Ruwee pushed himself away from the table, gesturing for Anakin to follow him outside to the front terrace that graced the secluded alley way.

Once outside, the sweet perfume of nectar and the fresh ocean breezes engulfed Anakin's senses, leaving him to feel somewhat rejuvenated. Following Ruwee's lead, Anakin sat down on a step beside the man and nervously began to twiddle his mechanical and flesh fingers.

" By the looks of things, it's worse than what I had gathered it to be."
Ruwee spoke as he nodded at Anakin's new appendage.

" Oh, this? It has nothing to do with the war. This was more of a result from a one on one negotiation. " Stammered Anakin. He was caught off guard with Ruwee's inquiry and a bit embarrassed too, as he hugged the durasteel arm closer to his body.

" Well, either way, I am grateful for you and the others who risk their lives daily to protect my loved ones, especially my Padme', for she is closer to the danger then anyone and very dear to my heart." As Ruwee spoke to Anakin, his eyes were filled with much love accompanied by a swelling of tears. Anakin could feel his emotional pain and his fatherly pride for his daughters' accomplishments.
" We are keepers of the peace. We will do what we must. " Assured Anakin.

" I prayed that someday you'd come. Still.....it's hard to let go of something so precious."
Said Ruwee, obviously no longer talking about the war and its events. Anakin locked gazes with the man, the father of his secret wife. Swallowing hard and uncomfortably, Anakin was unsure of what he was going to say next.

" It's ironic, I lost her years ago to politics, starting with the legislative program. Now I feel I am losing her all over again. " Ruwee's words echoed inside Anakin's soul, so bold yet so honest and genuine. He felt suffocated in his realization that Ruwee knew the truth; somehow, he knew. Anakin had to say something, he felt it. It was a need to divert and abort all related ideas and thoughts; immediately.

" I..I don't know...what you're talking about, Sir. The Senator has never been more devoted to her people and their ideals. " Burst Anakin, trying to stay focused on the political issues rather than personal matters.

" Don't play coy with me, young Jedi. I may be old, but I'm not blind." Smirked Ruwee, as he continued to explain his findings. " I've known since the day she brought you here. A father knows his daughter. She didn't have to say a word. I saw it in her eyes. Those bedroom eyes haven't shined so bright since...well, since she was accepted to the Legislative Youth Program. " He sniffled as he spoke, wiping away a fallen tear that had sneaked down his cheek.

" Sir, I'm a Jedi. Such things are forbidden to me, I could never...we could. There are rules that I must obey...." Anakin's words trailed off as he stammered, trying his best to explain his commitment to the Order. The harder he tried, the more nothing would come, leaving only emptiness and lies on the tip of his tongue.

" You are in love with her, aren't you? " Blurted Ruwee.

The question was so bold, throwing Anakin completely off balance. He felt his jaw tighten, as he clenched his fists, not in anger, but in astonishment. Without thinking, as if on impulse, he rose to his feet, towering over the man now sitting below him.
" I've given my life to the Jedi Order. " Anakin said slowly and sternly, meaning every word. " But I'd only give up my life for her, for Padme'."

As Anakin honestly admitted his adoration for Padme', she appeared from the elegant foyer and stepped out on to the terrace. She wore an expression of bewilderment as she approached the startled men. Anakin couldn't help but feel a wave a relief washing over him in her presence. His posture straightened and he felt buoyant once again, ready to take on the whole galaxy by himself. It was as if he were seeing her for the first time. She was positively beautiful, the most graceful creature he had ever seen. Anakin's heart raced as his breath quickened, he was so full of love and it was noticeably apparent. He hastily approached her and snatched up her luggage. Then, he stood before her, hovering only inches away from her radiant face.

" Here Milady, let me. You shouldn't be lifting that in your condition."

" Thank you, Anakin." Padme's appreciation was spoken in a confused tone and she appeared to be somewhat dazed by his carefree behavior.

" You're welcome, My Lady. " The words he spoke were normal formality procedure, but the hint beneath them, were laced in possessiveness.

Padme's jaw dropped in shock over his frivolous antics. Hoping that no one else had caught the obvious flirtatious remark, she dismissed it and lovingly hugged her father as she said her goodbyes. As the young couple departed from the family's residence, accompanied by a bleeping R2 unit, Ruwee and Jobal held each other in a tight embrace, vigilantly looking on after them.
" Do you think she'll be alright, Ruwee?"

" She couldn't be safer."

" How can you be so sure?" Queried the inquisitive Jobal.

" He's a Jedi. His loyalties lie with the Republic." Answered Ruwee. In his thoughts, he went on to say, " and his heart lies in the palms of our daughters' hands."

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