‘Sabre Dawn’ - chapter four (back to chapter one)

by Angela Jade

Rated - NC-17

e-mail - angela@yavin4.free-online.co.uk - constructive criticism always appreciated

Feel free to post wherever, as long as it’s got this spiel at the top.

Disclaimer - recognisable characters belong to Lucas, Zahn, Stackpole et al. I’m making no money from this.

Story - continues the sequel to my other fanfic, ‘A Vision of Missing Moments’. Written in response to the number of people requesting ‘more smut’... you asked for it...

January 2001
 
 

Chapter 4 - Bespin
 

The bright, white light that was dawn on Cloud City powered its way through the hotel window and slowly crept across the floor as the sun rose. Abruptly changing direction when it reached the bed, it finally encountered the long tangle of red-gold hair that dangled over the side, and then shone straight into the face of Mara Jade. Swearing vehemently in Huttese, she turned her face away from the offending light, her arm brushing against her husband’s side.

“No, Mara, please! Not again,” he muttered. “I need to sleep.”

The corners of her mouth curled upwards into a sly smile at his words, and one green eye opened. He was still asleep, lying on his back with one arm near his face, the other draped across his bare chest. The stark, white sheeting, apparently compulsory in every Bespin hotel Mara had ever encountered, was pushed down to his waist, almost but not quite camouflaging his morning erection. “C’mon, farmboy,” she whispered. “Let’s do it again. Please?”

“No,” he mumbled, still unconscious. “Tired.”

Propping herself up on one elbow, she gently bit her bottom lip as she watched him sleep. Gorgeous. She still found it incredible that for ten years she’d never had the urge to share her bed with him, yet now she lusted after his body almost constantly. Firm muscles over a compact frame, with a delicate tan that, since their visits to the hotel solarium, covered every centimeter of his body... She licked her lips predatorily, before leaning forward and tracing the outline of a nipple with her tongue. Tiny muscles responded automatically and the flesh obediently stood to attention, but Luke slept on.

She could always wake him up and... “No, too early,” Mara mumbled, before settling her head on his warm chest and drifting off to sleep once more, her hand resting lightly on the prominent bulge of the sheeting.
 

“Mara?”

She smiled but didn’t open her eyes. “Mmmm?”

Luke’s voice was throaty and not altogether steady. “What are you doing?”

“Sleeping.” She felt his erection twitch under her hand. “Sorry, do you want me to move my hand?”

“No, no, that’s alright. You can just ... umm ... leave it there. If you want.”

“Okay.” Mara tried to relax again, wondering how long it would take him to make his move. In fact, she’d almost dozed off when she felt his hand gently sweep round the curve of her breast, his thumb stroking her nipple to life.

“Mara,” he whispered as his hand followed the contours of her waist and hip. “Do you want to take a shower?”

Sighing happily, she twisted her head until she could look at him, her chin resting on his chest. “A shower?”

Strands of mussed red-gold hair fell over her face, but couldn’t hide the twinkling green eyes and mischievous smile. Gods, he loved her. Especially when she was massaging his... “Yes, a shower. In the shower room. With me. Please?”

“Oooh, beg some more, Skywalker.” She wriggled up his body and pressed a kiss to his chin. “You sure you’re not too tired?”

“Tired? Why would I be tired? I’ve only just woken up.” His arms wrapped around her and pulled her in for a passionate kiss. “C’mon, let’s shower.” An eyebrow twitched. “Real water. No sonics.”

“It’s the water, isn’t it,” replied Mara, as he lifted her into his arms and swung his legs out of the bed. “Moisture-farm boy gets turned on by water.”

Luke kissed her again as he stood up and started carrying her towards the shower room door. “Nope. It’s you naked and wet that turns me on.” The door zipped open and he carried her through and set her carefully down under the shower head, activating the privacy shield with one elbow. “Although, now I think about it, you fully clothed and dry turns me on, too.”

Mara took a step backwards and started the shower, eyes closed and a cheeky smile on her face as she tilted her head backwards and let the warm water cascade over her head and shoulders. She fully expected Luke to ravish her instantly, and was a little disappointed when it didn’t happen. Finally, she opened her eyes; he was leaning against the opposite wall, his arms crossed tightly across his chest as he watched her intently with dark eyes.

“You are so beautiful,” he breathed.

“Watch,” whispered Mara, smiling enigmatically. She squeezed some cleanser into her hand from a bottle attached to the wall, turned her back on him, then washed her hair. The suds rinsed off her water-dark hair, slowly following the curves of her waist, behind, and legs. More cleanser. She turned to face him again, sensuously rubbing the oily soap into her skin: arms, breasts, stomach, thighs. She met his intense gaze with one of her own as she slipped a finger into her folds...

Barely able to control his own desire, he watched her pleasure herself, unable and unwilling to look away. When her mouth dropped open and a tiny shudder rippled through her body, his hands descended to his throbbing erection and he started stroking himself towards his own completion.

Her eyes fluttered shut at the spectacle before her. “Luke...”

He was on her in an instant, pressing her against the wall, his mouth hungrily finding hers as his hands roamed over her body, slipping over the wet skin. “Gods, Mara, I want you.”

Her hands gripped his shoulders as he lifted her to a more convenient height and suckled frantically at her breasts. She arched her back gently and ran her fingers through his now-dampening hair, sighing his name as she carefully hooked her legs behind him. “Please, Luke. Just take me. I can’t wait much longer.” She could feel his hands tighten on her buttocks, could feel the smooth wall sliding on her back as he lowered her a few centimeters, then he was in her, filling and stretching her as he whispered her name over and over.

“Sith, that feels good,” she moaned, dropping her head to his shoulder where she could lick and suck at the wet skin. Her thighs tightened with each thrust and her breathing came in louder gasps.

His voice whispered quietly in her ear. “You are the most beautiful, talented, amazing woman I have ever met. Sometimes I want to put you on a pedestal and worship you all day long. But most of the time I just want to screw you until you beg for mercy.”

A low growl was the only sound that escaped her throat.

“I love you, Mara Jade. I love you so much, it hurts.”

Her inner muscles contracted around him sending him close to ecstasy; he threw his head back, struggling for breath as Mara’s mouth settled on his exposed throat, kissing, licking, nipping. Her heart pounded as her mind soared upwards, and she leaned her head back against the wall, her orgasm imminent. Her low-pitched scream was muffled by his mouth as he kissed her thoroughly, groaning as he finally reached his own climax.

*****

The vast corridors of Cloud City were bustling as Luke and Mara made their way to the restaurant they’d chosen for lunch that day, yet no one tried to stop them or even appeared to recognize them. Perhaps it was because the city was now a popular tourist resort for the rich and famous; the local populace had seen too many well-known faces to be impressed by the Skywalkers, and other tourists were either too wrapped up in their own affairs or merely pretended to be oblivious. Or maybe it was because long capes were fashionable once more, making Luke’s Jedi robe less conspicuous than it usually was. Either way, Mara appreciated being able to walk the streets without being accosted by ‘admirers’ and the media.

The restaurant was also busy, its many small tables filled to bursting with beings of every shape and color, the air alive with a multitude of unintelligible conversations. A solitary Bith sat in one corner playing a gentle lilt on an extended kloo horn, and a human waiter deferentially showed Mara and Luke to their table.

Mara sat herself opposite Luke with her back to the crowd, frowning slightly as he smiled at her. “What are you grinning at? Have I got dirt on my face or something?”

“No. I’m just happy, that’s all.”

“Happy, huh?” The corners of her mouth curled up and one eyebrow rose. “And why would that be, Master Skywalker?”

Leaning across the table, he took her hand in his. “Because I’m married to you, my love.”

“Have you been drinking?” she asked, amusement coloring her tone of voice.

“No. I told you; I’m just happy.”

“Ah. Must be the sex then.”

“Mara!” He blushed as his eyes darted to nearby tables. “Keep your voice down.”

She stifled a snort of laughter at his reaction as the waiter arrived with their lunch.

They ate quietly, chatting about meaningless trivia and playing footsie under the table. Dessert arrived, then caf, and Mara realized she hadn’t felt this relaxed in a long time. She rested her chin on one hand and grinned happily as she sipped the last of her caf. “Now this is what I call a honeymoon.”

“What, lunch?”

“No. Well, yes.” She waved a hand at him irritably. “A nice hotel. Meals out. Nothing to do but laze around. You know; a proper holiday.”

“We could always rent a gym and do a little sparring,” he replied. “This is supposed to be a training holiday...” His voice, his very breath suddenly caught in his throat as shock cut his sentence short. “Sith!”

“Luke? Luke, what’s wrong?” She watched as his eyes widened and the color drained from his face as he stared over her shoulder, the force of the shock he was feeling almost palpable over their bond. “Are you okay, Luke?”

“I ... I have to go. I can’t...”

His gaze remained focused beyond her the whole time and Mara twisted around to see what he was looking at, then whipped back round when she realized he’d stood up and was working his way through the tables to the nearest exit. Dropping a handful of credit chips on the table, she hurried to catch up, stretching out with the Force as she did so. Nothing seemed particularly dangerous, yet still Luke sped away from the scene like a guilty Jawa, his cowl pulled over his head shrouding his face.

Finally she caught him, grabbing his arm and spinning him round to face her. “What the hell is wrong with you, Luke?” she demanded in a low voice. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost.”

“Maybe it was.” His blue eyes met hers, the vulnerability in them making him appear half his age. “Take me home, Mara.”

She paused for a moment, not quite willing to accept his curt answer, but his pain was too much for her to bear. Slipping an arm round his waist, she gently steered him back towards their hotel, acutely aware of the beings around them as she stretched out with the Force, determined to protect him from any danger.

Once they reached their destination, she quickly hustled him to their room. His continuing silence began to worry her, but she was sure he would speak once they were alone. Propelling him into a chair, she knelt at his feet, her hands resting on his knees as she watched him carefully. “Can you tell me what’s wrong?” she asked quietly.

His eyes finally focused on her as he became aware of the concern she was radiating. “I saw someone. Someone I never expected to see again. Someone I thought might even be dead.”

Her hands tightened almost imperceptibly at the emotion in his voice. “Who?” she whispered above the hammering of her heart. Who in the galaxy could invoke this reaction in the Jedi Master? She strained to hear his soft reply.

“Callista.”

Many thoughts raced through Mara’s head in the silence that followed. Confusion, denial, apprehension, anger, fear... She closed her eyes and saw an image of Luke and Callista on the ‘Hunter’s Luck’ seven years previously, embracing, kissing... Her eyes snapped open once more; she realized her hands were trembling and she forced them to stop. Was it possible that he could still love the woman...? “Are you sure it was her?”

He nodded, one hand pushing nervously through his hair. “She looked a little older but, yes, it was definitely her.”

“Did she ... Could you...”

“Sense her?” Luke shook his head. “Not at all. That’s how I knew for sure it was her.” He turned his anguished gaze upon her once more. “Mara, what in the galaxy is she doing here?”

She made herself meet his eyes as her brain went into overdrive, contemplating every possible scenario that might have brought Callista to Bespin at exactly the same time as they happened to be there. Nothing fitted. Excepting weird and wonderful machinations of the Force, it had to be deliberate. And since no one knew their itinerary, that led Mara to one, and only one conclusion. “Luke, she must have followed us here.”

“Followed us? How? Where did she follow us from? She couldn’t know where we were...” His voice trailed off as he caught sight of Mara’s unflinching expression. “You think she’s the one that’s been trying to shoot us down?”

For some reason Mara expected him to be angry, to defend Callista from her unspoken accusation. But Luke was calm, as composed as he’d been before his sighting of the woman he’d once loved. His eyes left her, his gaze wandering aimlessly around the room as if searching for something. “I don’t think...” He swallowed as he looked at Mara again. “I can’t believe she’d do something like that. Unless she’s insane or...”

“Or she’s gone over to the dark side,” Mara finished for him, standing slowly and placing her hands on her hips as she ruthlessly suppressed the torrent of emotions coursing through her brain. “Well, I’m not going to sit around and let her take another pot-shot at us.”

“What are you going to do?”

“Track her down. Watch her.” She shrugged. “Meet her, if necessary.”

He nodded slowly but made no offer to help, just slumped in his chair and closed his eyes. Mara shook her head, annoyance creeping into the gesture. Well, he’d have to sort out his own feelings himself. All she could do was deal with Callista, then cope with the consequences. Yet still she worried; for him, for herself, and for their marriage. She squeezed his shoulder gently before making her way to the room’s computer station and settling in for an afternoon’s slicing.
 

More than an hour later, she sat back in her chair and stretched her arms high above her head as she tried to roll the knots of tension out of her neck. “Wish I had Ghent here,” she muttered as her fingers settled on the keyboard once more. Her whole body jumped when she felt Luke’s hands settle on her shoulders.

“I’m sorry, Mara.” He felt her muscles stiffen as he kissed her neck. “I’ve been a selfish Hutt, too busy thinking about myself. Can you ever forgive me?”

Well, he was nothing if not straightforward. Slowly Mara swivelled her chair to face him, raising a questioning eyebrow but saying nothing.

He grabbed a nearby stool and sat facing her, his knees barely touching hers. Taking a deep breath, he finally met her gaze and at last she could see the love in his eyes once more. Love for her. “Mara, I can’t believe I reacted like that. If I’ve upset you, I’m very sorry. I just ... the shock...” He scrubbed his face with his hands as he composed himself again. “I thought she was dead, Mara. Or living quietly on Chad or some other backwater planet. She hurt me, she left me, she never once got in touch. And you know the worst part? On at least one occasion I hoped that she was dead. Knowing that she was alive and cared so little about me hurt more than mourning her...” He took her slender hands in his own and brought them to his lips.

Mara continued to carefully school her expression, even though she wanted to throw her arms round his neck and hug him forever. Luke Skywalker wished someone dead? Correction - had wished someone dead. She doubted he could feel like that now that he’d straightened himself out since his brush with the dark side, but Callista had obviously had one hell of a hold on him.

“I love you, Mara. I always will. Please don’t ever leave me; I don’t think I could live with myself...”

“I’m not going to leave you, Luke.” Her voice was hoarse with emotion as her hands gripped his. Was that why he’d over-reacted? Seeing Callista had reminded him of a fear he held deep within himself; that any woman he loved would abandon him. That she would abandon him?

“Have you found her?” he whispered, almost reluctantly.

She shook her head. “Security on Bespin is tighter than a Jawa’s purse-strings. I was just about to contact the restaurant to try to find out if she’s a regular client.” She watched Luke’s reaction carefully. “I thought I might leave a message that an old friend would like to meet her.”

He sat perfectly still, hardly breathing, his eyes fixed on hers. Finally, he blew out a breath. “Okay. I’ll meet with her and find out what she wants.”

“No way, Skywalker!” Mara stood up quickly and took a step away from him. “I meet with her. Me.” She jabbed a thumb towards her chest. “I’m sorry, Luke, but I just don’t think you can pull this one off. You’re too involved.”

“Mara, I have to do this. I have to speak with her,” he said quietly. “Don’t you see?”

“I saw her twist you round her little finger before, Luke. If she’s gone Sith on us, I’ll bet she can do more than that now.”

It took one step to put him directly in front of her, and he pulled her into his arms. “Mara, it’s you I love, you I married. I want to spend the rest of my life by your side. Callista is part of my past, but it’s a part I knew I’d have to face some day. Please don’t feel insecure about us.”

She cuffed him halfheartedly. “I am not insecure, Skywalker. I’m just being logical. Because of her connection to you, she might be more able to hide her true purpose in being here, but I’ll bet she can’t hide it from me. I should speak with her.”

“No,” he replied simply. “And I don’t give a Ranat’s ear for logic. I have to talk with her, just once. If she’s our enemy I’ll know it, and besides, there are a few questions I need answers to.” He kissed her firmly then pressed his forehead to hers. “It’s something I must do, Mara. And I have to do it alone.”

Her lips formed a thin line as she studied his face intently. Finally she let out a breath she hadn’t realised she’d been holding. “Fine. I’ll try to follow you from here through the Force.”  She smiled grimly. “I guess it’ll be good practice.”

“Thank you.”

She turned away from him towards the comm unit. “This is always assuming we can actually locate her. If she thinks we saw her, she could be light-years away by now.”

*****

The following day Luke retraced their steps from the hotel to the restaurant, his heart full of trepidation, his mind roiling with a thousand possibilities. Callista had acknowledged Mara’s message and agreed to the meeting, even though Mara hadn’t given their names. That was enough to rouse Mara’s suspicions and she had remarked at great length that she thought Luke was walking into a trap. Was it purely coincidental that Callista frequented the same restaurant as often as she obviously did? And she didn’t appear to be travelling incognito or under an assumed name; Luke was still trying to figure out whether this made him more or less suspicious when he arrived at the restaurant’s ornate entrance.

Waving away an approaching waiter, he slipped quietly into the main dining area and immediately began scanning the busy room. He spotted her almost immediately; a solitary brunette sitting with her back to the doorway, her signature in the Force distinctively muffled. Taking a deep breath, Luke walked carefully over to her table and stood behind the empty chair on the opposite side. “Callista.”

The woman’s head snapped up and he watched gray eyes widen in shock. “Luke?! Oh, my stars, it’s you.” The color drained from her face and her mouth opened and closed in shock, her eyes never leaving him. Eventually, she leaned back in her chair, her arms crossing over her stomach as she struggled to regain some self-control. “Well, I didn’t expect it to be you.”

He sat down slowly, resisting the urge to catalogue the features of someone who had once meant so much to him. She still looked very much like Cray, but the intervening seven years had allowed the person she used to be to impose on the body she now inhabited. There was no trace of Cray’s blonde hair among Callista’s malt brown locks, and a few delicate age-lines softened her countenance. Finally, he found his voice again. “Who were you expecting?”

She shrugged, still staring at him as if he were an apparition. “Lando Calrissian, if you must know.”

“Lando?” He nodded to a nearby waiter bearing a tray of water glasses and allowed him to place a long-stemmed glass before him. His mind went into overdrive, trying to assimilate as much as he could from Callista’s demeanor, reactions, and words.

“Yes. Lando,” replied Callista. “I have money to invest and he’s the first person I thought of. I contacted him; he said we should meet in Cloud City.” She sipped shakily from her own glass. “He mentioned something about opening a casino here.”

“Lando.” Was she lying? He couldn’t really tell.

Nodding, Callista returned her attention to her glass, running her fingers nervously up and down the stem. “I heard on the holonet that you’re married. Congratulations.”

“Thank you. We’re very happy.”

A wry smile crossed her lips as she met his gaze once more. “I have to admit, I was surprised at your choice of bride.”

Invisible hackles rose inside Luke, but outwardly he remained the epitome of calm. “Surprised?”

Her shoulders lifted once more in a shrug. “Mara Jade. Ex-Emperor’s Hand and smuggler. I just never saw the two of you together.”

Luke wondered if he would ever be done defending Mara from her past. “She’s a Jedi now. Her background is irrelevant.”

Slate gray eyes bored into him. “Do you love her, Luke?”

With all my heart, he wanted to yell. She would kill for me, die for me, and I’d gladly do the same for her. She is the other half of my soul, the part of me that I hadn’t realised has been missing all these years. Instead, he just said, “Yes, I do.”

She gave a resigned nod and dropped her gaze back to her glass. “It seems like a lifetime since we were in love.”

“You never loved me, Callista.” He was amazed at how calm he felt, as the truth he’d wanted to utter for so long was finally delivered.

“Yes, I did. You know I did.” Her voice sounded desperate, as if she were trying to persuade herself as much as him.

“Why did you do it, Callista? After you brought the ‘Knight Hammer’ down, I thought you were dead. Why did you leave me a message to say that you lived but were leaving me? What was the point?”

“I don’t really know,” she replied miserably. “I just ... I didn’t want you to think I was dead when I wasn’t. I needed you to know the truth; that I’d gone to rediscover myself, to find a way to touch the Force once more.”

“I chased all over the galaxy looking for you.” A tiny hint of the pain he had gone through all those years ago crept into his eyes. “For eight months, I neglected my students, my family, my duty ... just so I could try to find you.”

“You shouldn’t have, Luke. You should have forgotten me, carried on with your life...”

“If you really wanted me to do that,” he hissed, “then why didn’t you just let me think you were dead. Or you could have sent a message saying to forget you.” Abruptly, he leaned back in his chair, sipping his water and regaining his composure. “No. You wanted me to follow you. I know that now, even though I will never understand it.”

“I didn’t! I ... I’m sorry.” Tears formed in her eyes and she pulled out a white handkerchief and dabbed at them ineffectually.

On dozens of occasions, particularly just after he waved goodbye to her on Nam Chorios, Luke had tried to guess what he would say to Callista if they ever met again. That very morning, he had wondered how he would feel; angry, sad, betrayed ... or maybe even some kind of affection? But now he felt only pity. “Did you ever manage to touch the Force again?” he asked quietly.

“Only the dark side,” she said, sniffing gently. “I had an implant put in to help me control my anger, and I meditate a lot.” She raised her eyes to his. “I’m not a danger to the Jedi, Luke. I can handle it.”

“I know you’re not dangerous,” he replied. “And you know you can come and visit if you need any help. The Praxeum’s doors will always be open to you.”

She watched him for a long moment, gray eyes blinking slowly as they swept away the remaining tears. “Will you be there, Luke? There are some things I’d like to talk to you about...”

“No,” he said, shaking his head. “I really don’t think that would be a good idea.” He smiled weakly. “Tionne is still our historian; I’m sure she’d love to have a long conversation with you.”

“But, Luke, I thought we could maybe...”

“No,” he interrupted, standing slowly and placing his hands on the table in front of him. “Seven years ago, you decided that our lives should continue on different paths. At the time I couldn’t accept it, couldn’t understand why we should be apart.” His blue eyes seemed to shine as he finally found an end to a chapter in his life. “You were right, Callie. It wasn’t our destiny; we would never have worked.” He looked down at his hands, and had a sudden longing to be with his wife. “Goodbye, Callista. And I hope you find the happiness on your path that I have found on mine.” He turned away.

“Goodbye, Luke.”

He never heard the whispered reply as he strode towards the door.

*****

Arriving back at the hotel, he was surprised to find Mara asleep on the bed. He sat carefully beside her and for one long moment he just watched her sleep, her features totally relaxed and peaceful. Finally he reached out and moved a lock of hair that had fallen over her face. “Come on, sleepy-head. I thought you were going to follow me through the Force?”

Green eyes fluttered open and she produced the smile that caused his heart to skip a beat. “I was following you. It got boring.”

“Boring?! Thanks, Mara. Glad I can keep your attention.”

Lifting herself onto an elbow, she tilted her head to one side. “Stop pouting, farmboy. You know there are other ways of keeping my attention.”

“I know.” He gently caressed her cheek, smiling when she turned her head to kiss his palm.

“Are you going to tell me what happened?” she asked, her expression suddenly serious. “Is it safe to leave, or are we going to be shot down?”

Sighing, he shook his head. “No, I don’t think it’s her. To be honest, I can’t believe she’s got the courage or the initiative to try.”

“I notice you didn’t mention motive.”

“I’m not sure about that, either. She still doesn’t hold you in particularly high regard, but she was pretty nice to me...” He paused. “Mara, can I try something?”

“What sort of something?”

He slid closer to her and beckoned for her to sit up. “I’d like to try and show you the whole conversation. See how much you pick up.”

“Sure.” She leaned forward as he touched his forehead to hers and closed his eyes. As her own eyes slipped closed, she could feel him stretching out to her, replaying his memory of the time he’d spent at the restaurant. Suddenly there it was, in glorious color. She could ‘see’ the entire conversation from Luke’s point of view, could ‘hear’ every word, could almost smell, taste and touch everything he had. She fought down the elation she felt at yet another manifestation of their bond and concentrated on the scene behind her eyes. When it had finished, she sniffed disdainfully. “It’s not her.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure,” she replied. “No-one can act that pathetic.” She shook her head in disbelief. “I just can’t believe she would come on to you like that.”

“She didn’t come on to me!” exclaimed Luke.

“Get a grip, Luke. ‘There are some things I’d like to talk to you about’. She was flirting like mad.”

He couldn’t help but smile at the sing-song voice she’d used to repeat Callista’s words. “I think you’re over-reacting, my love.”

“No,” she growled. “This is over-reacting.” In one quick movement, she had pushed him over and was straddling his stomach, pinning his shoulders to the bed. “Right now, I’ve got an urge to go and injure that woman, but I know you won’t let me. So I guess I’d better figure out some other way of working out my aggression.” Leaning down, she kissed him fiercely. “You are mine, Skywalker, and don’t you forget it.”

Gazing up at her, he saw jealousy and possessiveness revealed in her eyes, a risky combination in Mara Jade. He reached up and slipped a hand behind her head, pulling her in for another passionate kiss before whispering onto her lips, “And you are mine. Always.”

Their hunger for each other exploded over their bond and clothes were hastily removed as lust threatened to consume them both. Gentle caresses quickly became fervent strokes of desire, and they covered each other with feverish kisses. When she finally had him naked, Mara wasted no time in mounting him, growling deep in her throat as she buried her face in his neck. Her hips rose and fell in a steady rhythm as she kissed him senseless, claiming him as her own.

He settled his hands firmly on her waist, thrusting as much as the position she’d chosen would allow. He shuddered violently as her teeth dragged gently over his skin, accompanied by her voice in his head... //you are mine ... you are mine ... you are mine//  He released her body and tangled his fingers through her hair, pulling her towards him for another intense kiss. “I will always be yours, Mara.”

As she tightened her grip on him and rocked towards her climax, she leaned down to whisper in his ear. “Anyone tries to take you from me ... they deal with me.”

His back arched off the bed as his orgasm hit; through the haze of ecstasy he was dimly aware of her body collapsing bonelessly on his as she yelled his name.

They lay perfectly still for several minutes, their labored breathing the only sound in the room. Finally Mara slipped off to one side, pushing her tousled hair out of her eyes as a huge grin lit up her face. “Well, that was fun.”

“Yeah,” replied Luke. “Shame we can’t just stay in bed all day.”

Snuggling closer, she carefully traced the outlines of his muscles with a fingernail. “What’s stopping us? I’m game if you are.”

He grimaced. “Lando’s coming, remember? And one credit gets you ten that we’ll bump into him if we’re still around when he arrives.”

“It’s a big place, Luke.”

He shook his head emphatically. “Stuff like this happens to me all the time, Mara. I can’t go anywhere without Leia or Han or one of my friends showing up. And since we’re still officially on our honeymoon, I’d rather avoid everybody.”

“Where do you want to go next then, my love.”

“That depends on whether you feel up to a little more training, my apprentice,” he replied, raising a speculative eyebrow.

Propping herself up on his chest, Mara regarded him carefully. “What do you have in mind?”

He grinned. “Dagobah.”

*****

Onward to chapter five

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