By Angela Jade - firstname.lastname@example.org - constructive criticism and happy thoughts gratefully received ... please don’t flame me!
Set directly after Chapter 9, a few months after ‘Vision of the Future’ by Timothy Zahn.
Main characters - Luke and Mara; Han, Leia and the kids
Rated - NC17
Disclaimer - all these characters belong to Mr. Lucas and Mr. Zahn. I write about them as a form of flattery - please don’t sue. I’m making no money from this.
Summary - smut and wedding plans. Still no sign of a plot.
Written May 2000
Chapter 10 - wedding plans
Mara sat in the middle of the huge bath and put her arms around her legs, her sigh blowing the bubbles off her knees. ‘This is great.’ She reached up and adjusted the clip holding her hair on top of her head. ‘We owe your sister, big time.’
Luke squeezed another spongeful of water over her back, watching the suds slide over her skin. ‘And she never told you she’d booked us in here?’
‘Nope.’ She rested her chin on her knees. ‘First I knew was when she told us last night. She said later that she felt guilty about dragging us off to a party on your first night back.’
‘I think she’s more than made up for it.’ He gazed around the huge hotel room. Heavy wooden furniture, an enormous bed, and thick drapes didn’t detract from the the half-sunken monster of a bath in the middle of the room. ‘Uncle Owen would have had a heart-attack if he could see the amount of water we’re wasting.’
‘So don’t waste it. Get washing, farmboy.’
‘Yes, my lady. At once.’ He ran the sponge over her neck and shoulders, before squeezing its contents down her back. ‘I didn’t know this place even existed.’
‘I’m not sure when they turned it into a hotel,’ replied Mara.
‘What was it before the Republic took over?’
Mara turned to look at him incredulously. ‘You don’t know?’
‘No.’ He dabbed her nose with the sponge. ‘Should I?’
She blew the offending foam off her nose. ‘Think for a minute, Luke. Twenty-eight state rooms, all at least as big as this. And almost two hundred small double rooms on the lower floors.’
He looked at her blankly. ‘I give up. What was it?’
She turned slightly so she could kiss him. ‘I should probably be pleased you don’t recognise a brothel when you’re in one.’
Luke realised his mouth had fallen open and he quickly closed it. ‘A brothel? You’re kidding.’
She ran a finger down his jawline. ‘Luke Skywalker, you are so cute. I bet you’ve never been inside a brothel.’
His eyes twinkled as he met her gaze. ‘Maybe I never needed the services they provide.’
‘Sorry, I forgot.’ Mara turned round until she was facing him, then scooted backwards. ‘You made a vow of chastity when you joined the Rebellion.’
Luke threw the soggy sponge at her. ‘I did not. I just mean that I’ve never had to pay for it.’
Mara’s laugh echoed round the room. ‘Are you claiming that YOU had groupies?!’
He snagged another sponge as it floated past and threw it. ‘I was in Rogue Squadron. We all had groupies.’ He stretched out, leaning against the edge of the bath. ‘Besides, your side were always trying to kill our side. When you think you might die any time soon, you take comfort where you can get it.’
Mara smiled a predatory smile as she slithered towards him on her stomach, her head just above the water. ‘Does that mean if I threaten to kill you, you’ll take comfort in me?’
He bit his bottom lip as she crawled up his legs. ‘Uh, I don’t think it’s supposed to work like that, Mara.’
‘Really?’ She sat on his thighs, grabbed a passing sponge, and started washing his chest. ‘Then how is it supposed to work? Do I get someone else to threaten you?’
‘Is it just me, or is the water getting cold?’
Mara grinned and leaned forward to the bath controls behind him, making sure her breasts brushed against him. She punched a few keys and the tiny water inlets all over the bath added warmer water until the requested temperature was reached.
‘You’re pretty good with the bath controls,’ said Luke. ‘You sure you’ve never worked in one of these places?’
Mara knew he was teasing, but still let out a yell of outrage, before lifting two sodden sponges over his head. Luke caught her arms before she could squash them on him, but she still squeezed her fingers so he got soaked.
‘I’ll get you for that, Skywalker.’
He shook his head, showering her with droplets of water. ‘Please, no more revenge.’
She looked at him from under her lashes, squirming up his body until he could feel her breath on his wet face. ‘But I like revenge. It’s fun.’ She kissed him, her tongue duelling with his, tasting him, feeling his body pressed so close to hers. She trailed kisses up his jawline, pausing to delicately lick at a droplet of water as it snaked its way down past his ear. The low moan that escaped his lips stoked the fire within her, and she returned to ravage his mouth.
They stopped to breathe, their faces almost touching. Luke could feel Mara’s hand sneaking up his thigh, and caught it before it could reach its final destiny. ‘Not yet. Turn around.’
Mara frowned at him suspiciously. ‘Why?’
He kissed her. ‘Please? I want to slow down.’ He gave her a lop-sided smile. ‘Humor me?’
Her gaze locked with his for a moment, before she gave a tiny nod of assent and turned round on his lap, slipping between his legs and landing on the bottom of the bath with a small bump. She leaned back into his chest, closing her eyes and trying to ignore the erection pressing into her back. Mara couldn’t suppress a smile as she felt his hands roaming over her sides and stomach, slowly working their way up to her breasts. Sighing, she leaned back into him as he gently caressed her nipples with wet fingers; involuntarily her hands found themselves massaging his thighs, pressing them close to her. As his left hand sneaked down her belly, she could hear his quiet breathing in her ear, could feel his erection growing harder, more insistent. Slowly, Mara turned her head towards him, pulling his head to hers, desperate for a kiss. His mouth descended on hers, hot and needy, just as his fingers found her clit.
‘Oh, Gods, Luke. I can’t take much more...’ Her body arched and twisted as he continued to torture her, teasing her, refusing to bring her to completion. She reached up with her hand once more to pull him in for a rough kiss, trying to pull herself round on his body, to impale herself on him.
He held her in place. There would be no escape today. The sensation in his artificial hand was slightly dulled as it continued caressing her breasts; prosthetics still had some way to go before they would be as sensitive as flesh and blood. But his left hand continued stroking her, starting to bring her to a climax. He felt her squirm in his arms and tightened his grip, determined she wouldn’t break free. Then suddenly he plunged a finger into her, gritting his teeth as he felt her buck against him, yelling out his name. He buried his face in her hair, his mouth close to her ear. ‘Come on, Mara. Come for me.’
She twisted in his grip once more, ravishing his mouth with her own. The gap she’d created by twisting round meant she could reach behind her and ... there. She grabbed him and gently squeezed, delighted to be causing him to moan as much as she had been doing.
He slipped a second finger inside her. ‘Mara, please.’
Mara shuddered as she heard his voice, low and husky, filled with longing. She knew he wanted her to let go, wanted her to climax, to give herself over to him. Reluctantly, she returned both of her hands to his thighs, leaning back and relaxing into him, listening to his voice as he continued whispering in her ear. ‘I love you. I need you. I want you. Come for me, Mara.’
She relaxed completely into the sensations, inside and out. His presence behind her was so intense, so overpowering... She arched her back as she finally climaxed, yelling his name and gripping his thighs, before twisting in his embrace to kiss him once more.
His forehead had dropped to her shoulder when he felt her come, his eyes squeezed shut as he fought his own climax. He lifted his head as she turned to kiss him, then he decided enough was enough. He scooped her into his arms and stood up, the water pouring off them both. Three steps led out of the bath, and he took them slowly, careful not to slip and drop his precious cargo.
Mara continued to kiss and nip at his chest and neck, still wrapped in the euphoria that followed her climax. Her brain barely registered the fact that Luke had laid her down on a pile of towels and robes, and that he was now kissing his way up her body. When he reached her head, she looked into his deep blue eyes, quite happy to lose herself in them.
He gazed down at her; her red hair starting to escape its clip, her skin glowing and wet with water and sweat, her lips parted as she continued breathing heavily, her green eyes burrowing into his, claiming part of his soul. He felt her legs hook around his, and his mouth descended on hers as he slipped inside her, kissing her as if his life depended on it.
They made love slowly, gently, and for a long time.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Luke woke from a light doze, spread-eagled face down on the bed, covered only by a light sheet. He rolled onto his side, propping himself up on one elbow when he saw Mara gazing out of one of the tall windows. She wore a hotel robe and her hair was now loosely hanging down her back, glowing in the sunlight. She turned towards him and smiled when she sensed he was awake.
Luke flopped onto his back. ‘Come back to bed, my love.’ He couldn’t take his eyes off her as she walked towards the bed, her robe falling slightly open, revealing a silky thigh.
Mara sat on the edge of the huge bed, just out of his reach. ‘I’m not getting in there with you, Skywalker.’
He pushed himself up on his elbows and pouted, looking up at her through the hair that had fallen in front of his eyes. ‘Aw, why not?’
‘Because we have a wedding to plan. And your sister is coming over.’ She reached over and tousled his hair. ‘You need a haircut.’
Luke irritably pushed his hair back. ‘My sister?’
‘Yes,’ smiled Mara. ‘Short woman, long dark hair, used to run the galaxy. Surely you remember her.’
‘Yeah, very funny.’ He made a quick grab for her but she slipped out of his grasp.
‘I mean it, Luke. She’s coming over with Han and the kids in a couple of hours. She called while you were asleep.’
Luke collapsed bonelessly back on the bed. ‘She doesn’t want me to have a sex life, does she.’
‘If that was the case, she wouldn’t have booked us in here. And she would have been over first thing,’ replied Mara. ‘Besides, wasn’t our little session this morning enough for you?’
Luke couldn’t help the huge grin spreading across his face. ‘Yeah, it was fun. But I haven’t seen you in ages, Mara. We’ve got a lot of catching up to do.’ He patted the bed. ‘Come and tell me about the bonding ceremony you want. I take it you’ve read the info I brought.’
Mara raised one eyebrow. ‘You want to talk? Just talk?’
He nodded enthusiastically and patted the bed again. ‘Just talk. Honestly.’
She sighed as she stood and picked up a datapad from a nearby table. Then she sat where Luke indicated and started scrolling through the data. She was not in the least surprised when she felt Luke’s hand creep up her thigh, and she whacked it with the datapad. ‘Behave!’
Mara ignored his grumbles and continued scrolling. ‘There. That last one. Short, to the point, and very Jedi.’ She handed Luke the datapad. ‘I might want to rewrite a couple of the vows, though.’
He read quickly, familiarising himself with the ceremony she’d chosen. ‘No threats, please. This is supposed to be about commitment and love.’ He looked back up at her. ‘It’s a lovely ceremony. It suits us perfectly.’
‘I take it that it doesn’t matter what we wear.’
‘Not as far as I know. The Jedi bonding ceremony is just that - it binds two Jedi together in the Force. It all happens on a mental level - the rest is just for public consumption. We don’t even need to wear our lightsabers.’
Mara nodded, running a finger along his jawline. ‘Tell me you’re not going to wear black.’
He scooted up the bed and carefully kissed her nose. ‘I’m not going to wear black.’
‘I give you my word of honor as a Jedi,’ he smiled.
She gazed into his eyes, relishing the feeling of his love for her. ‘Luke, we already have a strong bond. What exactly is this ceremony going to do?’
‘I don’t really know. We couldn’t find any first-hand reports of Jedi that have gone through the ceremony.’ He reached for her hand and held it tightly. ‘Mara, I want to do this. I think I need to do this. But if you’re not sure...’
She pressed a finger to his lips. ‘I’m sure.’ She kissed him gently. ‘I love you.’
‘And I love you.’ He slipped a hand round the back of her neck and pulled her in for a more passionate kiss. ‘Come to bed.’
Mara grinned. ‘Beg some more, Skywalker.’
‘Will you come to bed if I do?’
‘No. I just want to see you grovel.’
‘You are a cruel and heartless woman, Jade.’
‘And your point is...?’
He gave an exaggerated sigh. ‘You’re not going to give in, are you?’
‘Nope.’ She ruffled his hair.
‘Don’t do that!’
Mara grinned evilly. ‘I could cut it for you, if you like.’
‘I don’t like the look on your face when you say that.’
She wiped the smile from her face and narrowed her eyes, her voice dropping an octave. ‘I could cut it.’
Luke swallowed hard. ‘Now you’re scaring me.’
Mara laughed out loud as she jumped off the bed. ‘Get dressed, flyboy.’
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Han Solo didn’t particularly enjoy piloting any of the family’s air-speeders - it was all very boring. His hands absolutely itched to be at the controls of the Falcon again, but the shield generator had blown and Leia refused to let him go up without shields. So he gritted his teeth and continued flying along in the mind-numbingly predictable air-way, bored out of his skull. Of course, the last time they’d flown like this to meet Luke and Mara... Now there was a memory to brighten any dull moment. A grin slowly crept across his features and he glanced surreptitiously across at his wife. ‘Are you sure they know we’re coming?’
Leia spitted him with a glare that would take the fur off an ewok. ‘Yes. They know we’re coming.’ She indicated the three inquisitive children on the back seat with a tiny tilt of her head. ‘Now, can we please drop the subject?’
His eyes twinkled as he winked at her. ‘Of course we can, sweetheart. Consider it dropped.’ He faced forward again, but the grin refused to leave his face.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’
‘Yes, Anakin,’ replied Leia, ‘just a few more minutes.’
‘Not at this speed,’ muttered Han under his breath. He spotted a gap in the lane below and whipped down, accelerating slightly.
The children giggled; their father had turned down the inertial compensator again, and the g-force pushed them back into their seats as they dropped.
‘We’re in the bottom lane, now,’ announced Anakin. ‘We must be nearly there.’
‘Yes, dear,’ replied Leia automatically.
Han took a swift right and pelted down an alleyway, before turning a sharp left. He pulled up in front of the hotel so sharply that the children were flung forward in their restraints, laughing.
‘We’re here! We’re here!’ said Anakin, bouncing up and down.
Jacen and Jaina rolled their eyes at the excesses of little brothers.
A young woman in a smart uniform stood close by as the doors hissed open and Leia and the children climbed out. ‘Madame Solo,’ she said, bowing her head in Leia’s direction.
Leia smiled warmly as she ushered the children through the hotel entrance.
‘Hi, Gill!’ yelled Anakin, before he too was yanked through the door.
Han tossed an over-ride card to Gill, which she deftly caught. ‘And don’t park it so far away, this time. It took me ages to find, last week.’
Gill struggled to keep a straight face. ‘Captain Solo, all you have to do is call the desk and I’ll bring it round front for you.’
Han paused a moment, then gave her a lop-sided smile. ‘Now why didn’t I think of that.’
Not quite sure whether he was kidding or not, Gill moved round to the driver’s side and climbed in. ‘Enjoy your stay, Captain.’
Han gave her a brief wave before following his family into the hotel.
Mara stopped typing at the only computer terminal in the room and looked up at Luke with a grin. ‘How long have you been trying to sense her?’
He returned her grin with one of his own. ‘She’s been broadcasting like mad since she arrived.’
Mara nodded as she turned back to her work. ‘Go and let them in, then. I’ll only be a few more minutes.’ When he didn’t move she glanced back at him. ‘What’s up?’
‘At some point I’m going to need to talk to Han and Leia alone.’
Mara hit a few keys, then swivelled to face him. ‘Without me? Are you keeping secrets, farmboy?’
Luke grimaced. ‘No. But it’s about the kids.’
She smiled, understanding. ‘How about I take them down to the gardens?’
‘Thank you.’ He bent down and kissed the top of her head, before heading over to the door. As he passed the empty bath, he pressed the switch that prompted the heavy lid to slide slowly across. The door chimed just as Luke opened it.
Three young voices yelled in unison: ‘Uncle Luke!’ Then Luke found himself wrapped in the group hug that had become the habitual greeting bestowed on him by his niece and nephews.
‘Hi, kids. It’s good to see you, too.’ He shuffled sideways, all three children still clinging to him, to allow Han and Leia to come in.
Mara lifted one hand in greeting, but didn’t turn round. ‘I’ll be with you in a minute. Just finishing something.’
Luke suddenly found himself abandoned as the children rushed over to hug their aunt-to-be. ‘That’s nice,’ he muttered.
Han clapped him on the shoulder, laughing. ‘You should probably get used to it.’ He frowned at the perfectly made bed. ‘Did you guys even sleep in this thing?’
‘The maid’s been, Han.’
Han grinned roguishly, before sitting at the top of the bed, his feet up and his hands behind his head. ‘I knew that.’
Leia kissed her brother’s cheek. ‘Don’t mind him. He’s still in a good mood.’
‘I’m always in a good mood,’ retorted Han. ‘Especially when I don’t have to fight my way through a couple of hundred reporters just to visit my own brother-in-law.’ He crossed his arms and leaned forward. ‘So when are you guys gonna get married so we can get rid of the crowd outside your apartment?’
Luke merely smiled as he pulled over a chair for his sister, and one for himself. ‘Soon.’
Leia spoke hesitantly. ‘Luke, you said something about a Jedi bonding ceremony. What exactly does that involve?’
He grimaced slightly, catching Mara’s eye as she pulled up a chair to join them. ‘We’re not exactly 100 percent sure.’
Leia looked back over to the computer terminal - her three children were busy taking turns at exterminating virtual womp-rats, shouting when one of them made a hit. ‘Okay, so tell me what you need, and when you need it.’ She looked back at her brother expectantly.
Luke nodded. ‘We need a circular room of some description, doesn’t matter if it’s open to the sky or not. A raised dais in the middle, also circular. Seating round it, not too close to the dais, with a gap of a couple of meters between the seats and the surrounding wall.’
‘A round room?’ Leia looked puzzled.
‘Symbolism. You know; continuity, infinity. All-encompassing Force. As far as I know, most of the Jedi ceremonies involved circles,’ replied Luke.
‘And why can’t we sit close?’ asked Leia.
Luke gave a wry smile. ‘Because I’m not sure what will happen.’
‘It’s not dangerous, is it?’
Luke shrugged and glanced at Mara. ‘I don’t think so. But I don’t want to risk anyone else.’
Leia sighed. ‘I’ll see what I can do. Anything else?’
Mara leaned forward and handed Leia a datacard. ‘That’s our guest list. Let me know which politicians you want to invite; I have the power of veto.’
Leia nodded. ‘Yes, boss.’
‘Wow,’ said Han. ‘Not often I’ve heard you call anyone “boss”.’
Leia slapped his leg. ‘What about a reception for after the ceremony?’
‘Organise whatever you want,’ said Luke.
‘Really! Anything?’ Leia’s eyes lit up at thought of a formal Alderaanian reception.
‘Yup, anything.’ Luke smiled. ‘Mara and I will be staying approximately half an hour.’
‘Hold on, Skywalker,’ said Mara. ‘You still haven’t told me where we’re going afterwards.’
He grinned at her smugly. ‘It’s a surprise.’
She narrowed her eyes at him. ‘I don’t like surprises.’
‘You’ll like this one.’
‘Wait a minute,’ interrupted Han. ‘You’re going to let my wife, the only woman in the galaxy who could turn a family picnic into a full-blown official banquet, organise your wedding reception.’ He paused to draw breath. ‘And you’re going to make ME STAY!’
Leia turned to face him, a superior smile on her face. ‘Are you finished, dear?’
‘No. I’m hurt.’
‘But you could wear that nice uniform you love so much,’ said Leia.
Han stared at her for a long moment. ‘You wouldn’t,’ he growled.
She met his intense gaze without even flinching. ‘Try me.’
‘Ummm, could I just butt in here,’ said Luke quietly.
Leia turned brightly to her brother. ‘Of course. Han and I can talk outfits later.’ She saw Luke nod almost imperceptibly towards Mara, who nodded in return and stood up.
‘C’mon, kids,’ said Mara, the enthusiasm in her voice sounding only a little forced. ‘Let’s go outside for a while.’
She was totally ignored.
Mara glanced quizzically at Leia and Han; they were both smiling but made no move to help. She took a deep breath. Children. She could handle three children. ‘Jaina! Jacen! Anakin!’ she barked. ‘Front and center!’ She was pleased to note all three jumped and Jacen even dropped the control he was holding. She smiled sweetly. ‘We’re going outside for a little walk.’
With a lot of grumbling and melodramatic dragging of feet, the Solo offspring followed Mara out the door. Anakin’s parting comment of ‘But I was winning!’ was cut short by the door closing.
Luke turned back to Han and Leia, to find them staring intently at him.
Han’s pose still looked relaxed, but every muscle in his body was tense as he tried to read Luke’s face for a clue of what was coming next. ‘So. You got rid of the children. What’s going on?’
Luke waited until he was sure Mara and the children had gone. ‘Well, I’m going to tell Mara I had to talk to you about taking the children to Yavin full-time...’
‘You’re not, are you?’ asked Leia, her voice full of concern. ‘I thought we decided they were too young.’
He shook his head. ‘I’m prepared to give them another year or two.’
‘At least,’ muttered Han.
‘So,’ interrupted Leia, when she saw the old argument threatening to rear its ugly head again. Her husband and brother were good friends, but they still found plenty of subjects to disagree on; mainly, at what age the children should begin their Jedi training. ‘Why did you want the kids to leave?’
Luke shifted his gaze from Han to Leia. ‘Actually, I wanted Mara out of the way. I wondered how our little project was coming along. The ship.’
Immediately, Han’s face split in a huge grin. ‘She’s a beauty, Luke. You’re gonna love her.’
‘But will Mara?’ he asked.
‘Oh, yes.’ Han nodded enthusiastically. ‘I’d put money on it.’
‘One minor technicality,’ said Leia. ‘The senate are only willing to pay for a basic model. The rest will have to come out of your personal funds.’
‘How much?’ Luke hoped he had enough to cover any additional costs.
‘At least a million.’ Leia shrugged apologetically. ‘Probably more, depending on what you want inside.’
Luke nodded. He’d manage. ‘You’ve got my credit line and my authority. I’ll trust your judgement.’
She smiled gently. ‘Han’s picking out the hardware. I’m keeping the decor fairly simple; I’m sure Mara will want to change it.’
Han leaned forward, a gleam in his eyes. ‘What do you want in the way of weaponry?’
‘How about “top of the range, but discreet”?’ replied Luke.
‘”Top of the range” I can understand,’ said Han. ‘But I’m not sure I can do “discrete”.’
Luke smiled, shaking his head. ‘Just try it, Han. You never know; you might like it.’
‘When’s it going to be ready?’ asked Luke.
‘Two weeks, three at the most,’ Leia replied.
‘Fine. Then we can arrange the wedding for any time after that.’
‘Great,’ said Han. ‘Does that mean you’re finally going to set a date.’
‘Looks like it.’ Luke stood and stretched. ‘I’ve got to go back to Yavin for a couple of weeks. Mara will be coming with me for a day or two, then she’ll be back here to organise the wedding, so you can contact me at the academy about any details or permits.’ He wandered over to the window and pressed his forehead against the transparisteel, trying to distinguish between the dozens of tiny figures in the formal gardens below. ‘She really needs this ship. It’s driving her crazy having to rely on other people.’ He felt a hand on his arm and turned to see Leia standing beside him.
‘She loves you, Luke. Not the material things you can give her.’ Leia smiled. ‘But she is definitely going to love this ship. I promise.’
‘It’s not just the ship, Leia. I’m hoping to give her back some of her freedom.’
Leia’s hand tightened slightly on his arm. ‘You don’t want to keep her with you?’
He shook his head. ‘No. Maybe we’ll settle down eventually. But right now she still needs the freedom to do her own thing. She wouldn’t be my Mara if she didn’t.’
But Luke hardly heard her reply, as his own words were echoing around in his brain. My Mara. He’d never really thought of her as ‘belonging’ to him before, let alone voiced it out loud. He smiled as he saw four figures darting across the gardens below; the one in the rear had long red hair. ‘My Mara,’ he whispered.
Onward to chapter eleven
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