THREE ROADS, ONE DESTINY: First Road
By Master Yo-Gurt and MrsHamill
Archive: By Master and Apprentice, StarWarsChicks, and Fanfiction.net, all others please ask.
Category: AU, Non-Q/O, Angst, Romance, POV
Warnings: Adult content and language.
Spoilers: Nah. We only wish this could happen.
Summary: This is the first part of a four part "prequel" of sorts to Jedi HMO. Just exactly how did this threesome come to be?
Feedback: Please, weíll whine if necessary! Master Yo-Gurt at email@example.com, and MrsHamill firstname.lastname@example.org
Disclaimers: The usual stuff applies, yadda yadda yadda; the only one who makes any money offa dees guys is George. Donít sue us cause we ainít got any money!
Notes: This originally had been intended as more plotless smut, but somehow, a plot managed to creep in there and caused us much grief. Sorry for those looking for pure smut! Also, muchas smoochas and thanks to our beta goddesses, Linda, Silky and Crysta! "We wuv you guys!"
I had seen her as she left her ship, the last one off, of course, being the pilot. She was a lovely girlÖ woman, I corrected myself, she was older than she looked. However, at that moment she looked so utterly exhausted and drained of all emotion it was difficult to see that. Her small pack tugged at her shoulder as if it weighed twice as much as it actually did, and her steps dragged as she left the landing platform for the Temple residences.
My plan had been to approach her then, but another pressing matter interrupted me. By the time I could stop by her quarters to see her, she had managed to refresh herself. She came to the door of their residence, wearing nothing but a pair of menís pajamas Ė Obi-Wanís, obviously, since they almost fit her Ė her hair still damp from the fresher. I felt her brief embarrassment and quickly sent her a wave of reassurance. It was not her fault she was so exhausted. She asked me in but I refused a seatÖ she needed her rest so I wanted to deliver my message and let her go to her well-deserved bed.
"Forgive the late intrusion, Master Pilot," I said, smiling gently at her obvious exhaustion. "I realize youíve just arrived but I made a solemn promise to your roommates to explain their absence the moment you arrived home."
She stared at me in confusion for a moment, then seemed to realize what I just said. "Oh! Yes. To be honest, Master Windu, Iím so tired I hadnít given much thought to that -- yet."
"We have been working you a bit too hard of late, and for that I apologize."
"Oh, no," she protested weakly, "just one of the hazards of being a good pilot, I guess."
I smiled at her again. Her tiredness was written all too clearly in her face, overshadowing her natural modesty. "Be that as it may," I continued, "I hope we donít have to send you anywhere for a while. Unlike your roommatesÖthey will hopefully be home within a few days as well. Master Qui-Gon has been sent to Malastaire for a Trade Federation conference, and weíve had to send Kenobi to Hoth, escorting the Senator for that sector."
She winced at the word "Hoth" and that made me smile. Kenobiís dislike for the cold is well known to everyone. "With any luck, he wonít have to stay, and should be home day after tomorrow," I added, sympathetically.
"Thatís great. I thank you for this information, Master Windu. It was kind of you to stop by and let me know. I havenít seen them now for almost a month!" There was just a touch of frustration in her voice, enough to make me grin. These three are definitely unique in their love for each other.
"It was my pleasure," I said. "Besides, I was threatened with all sorts of nasty things if I didnít." We both laughed and as I turned to go, I added, "by the way, would you care to join me for dinner tomorrow? Nothing fancy, but I would like to show my appreciation for some of the sterling work youíve done for the Council lately."
This request took her by surprise; I could see it on her face. However, she wasnít displeased by my request and I felt relief. I was interested in this relationship, and there were dynamics I needed to investigate. It would be much easier to do in an informal setting.
After a second, she said, "Iíd love to, Master Windu, certainly."
"Good. Join me in my quarters at the seventh hour then? Fine. Till then, rest well, Master Pilot."
She showed up the next evening promptly at seven, wearing more appropriate but still casual clothes, and looking quite a bit more rested and relaxed. A tall woman, as tall as Obi-Wan, she was lean and carried herself beautifully, the mark of a calm, well adjusted, happy person. Her hair was always kept short, the better to fit under helmets, and it surrounded her face in ringlets. I will be the first to admit I am not the easiest person to get along with, but her bubbly and easy-going personality was that we both enjoyed our dinner immensely, and her honest delight in the food I had prepared was flattering and pleasing.
I had chosen a delicious light red wine to go with dinner, one of which I was particularly fond. We had finished the first bottle and were just starting on the second as we finished dessert. The wine and the setting relaxed us both, and I smiled watching her hold back giggles at my descriptions of the scrapes a young Qui-Gon Jinn got into years ago. Most, I had to admit ruefully, were in the company of an equally young Mace Windu.
"I can just see him like that," she reflected quietly, smiling into her glass, "heís so solemn yet so playful. Itís so hard for him to be himself around anyone but those he trusts."
"You and Obi-Wan have been good for him," I noted. "His life has been hard and he has faced many trialsÖ but I believe youíre well aware of that."
She smiled a somewhat sad, knowing smile across the table at me. "Yes. I know theyíve certainly been good for me. Force willing Iíve been able to reciprocate in some small way."
I leaned my elbows on the table, cocking my head to one side as I regarded her quizzically. "Just exactly how did the three of you happen? It seemed to me that one minute they were simply Master and Padawan, then suddenly, a trio. Do you mind my asking how that occurred?" I was hoping she wouldnít mindÖ there were dynamics here I was more than curious about and eager to understand, as it was the only such "threebond" known to have persisted so long in Temple history.
Her smile turned wry, and she sipped some more wine before responding. "No, I donít mind. Iím not quite sure how it happened myself. But it is a long storyÖ"
"We have time," I said, pouring both of us more wine before settling back.
"Yes, I suppose we do have that!" she agreed, raising her glass to mine. "This is truly excellent wine, by the way, Master Windu."
"Mace," I said, clinking my glass with hers, and she responded by asking me to call her Lia.
"Well, letís see," she began thoughtfully, staring at the ceiling. I could "hear" her shuffling through her memories, trying to determine which to tell and which to censor. "Obi-Wan must have been about 19? Yes, that sounds right, I remember going with him to celebrate his 19th year. Heís several years younger than me, I clearly remember when Master Jinn took him on as a Padawan. Such a pretty boy!"
I was raised in the Jedi Temple nearly from birth, although I am not Force sensitive. I was found abandoned just outside the Temple gates. A foundling. I donít remember it at all of course, and the CrŤche guardians were always like mothers and fathers to me so I never felt a lack. For some reason I was allowed to grow up with those so much more sensitive to that all encompassing power than I am.
My mechanical aptitude was discovered early. One of my earliest memories is astonishment by my guardians that I was able to disassemble and reassemble mechanical components so easily. By the time I was ten I was apprenticed to the pilotís guild within the Temple. The Masters and Padawans have always been friends and mentors, so I never really felt out of place.
I well remember my first real sight of Obi-Wan Kenobi. I was at a small gathering with my best friend, a Padawan in the same age group as I. We were a fairly well-known pair around the temple, well known for partying and conquests. At this party, though, neither of us were seeing anyone seriously, and we amused ourselves by making sotto-voce comments on the various other attendees.
A blonde head sporting a Padawanís braid caught my eye from across the room. When the crowd parted enough to see the rest of the body, my eyes grew wide in appreciation. A lean, whipcord body and a very well shaped rear. Kath followed my gaze and laughed quietly. "Not, bad, eh?" she asked.
"Not bad at all," I replied. "Who is he?"
"Nameís Obi-Wan Kenobi. Heís been around for a whileÖ"
"Thatís Obi-Wan? My, my, he grew up pretty, didnít he?"
She laughed her wicked little laugh again. "Yeah, he did at that."
He must have sensed us staring, for he turned while talking to his partner to sweep the room. I was impressed by the startling blue-gray eyes, not to mention the dimples when he finally figured out who was staring at him. Kath and I raised our glasses to him in salute. "So tell me," I murmured, not taking my eyes off him, "is he seeing anyone?"
I could feel Kathís own wicked, dimpled grin without having to look. "Ah, no, but lemme tell you, bud," she said, only slightly seriously, "youíll get into his pants but not his heart. Heís pining for someone else, that one is."
I looked at my friend in exasperation. "My dear friend, since when have I ever wanted into a manís heart? Pants will do fine, just fine!" I took another sip of my drink while she laughed. "So whoís he pining for?"
Kath was quiet so I looked at her; her brow was furrowed in a strangely thoughtful manner. "Well, now, thatís a good question. Iím not quite sure."
I raised an eyebrow. "You HAVE been with him, yes? Someone so pretty, I canít imagine the famous KathÖ"
Her elbow to my ribs stopped my words. "Yeah, yeah, but not seriously. He even seems to have broken Dondoís heart."
My eyes widened in mock amazement. "You donít mean the famous Silky Donís met her match! Will wonders never cease! What is it about this pretty boy? UnlessÖ wait, he IS Master Jinnís Padawan, isnít he?"
Kath had the grace to blush a bit. All of us knew of the torch she carried for the tall Jedi MasterÖ a torch that had never been lit to my knowledge. Master Jinn was the consummate Jedi, aloof, remote, and gorgeous. "Yes," she sighed, "he is Master Jinnís Padawan, and NO, thatís not why I bedded Obi-Wan. You said it yourself, heís beautiful. And heís good tooÖ just, well. Here he comes, perhaps youíll find out for yourself!"
He was approaching us, that devastating grin cranked up and the eyes sparkling above the dimples. He stole Kathís glass while giving her a kiss on the cheek, then drained it. "Greetings, fellow Padawan! I see youíve been dragging in ravishing strays again!"
Kath kissed him back then punched his arm. "Obi, you gonof. Donít you know who this is? She grew up in the Temple too, you know."
"Yes," I added, amused to be able to flummox him, "and I seem to remember helping to change your diapers, youngster."
He blinked for a moment, then the confusion cleared. "Oh, goodnessÖ Iím sorry, ApprenticeÖ uh, Jae-Mil?"
I felt sorry for him then, and held out my hand. "My friends call me Lia. Donít feel bad, Padawan Kenobi, Iím a bit older than you and you have been away for a while. You grew up while I wasnít looking, apparently!"
He took my hand, and instead of shaking it, bent over it and kissed my knuckles lightly. Kath gave me an "I told you so" look over the top of his spiky hair and I grinned.
When he came back up, the dimples were set at about force five. "I guess I just canít believe I would miss such an enchanting creature as yourself. My sincere apologies, and please, call me Obi-Wan."
The rest of that evening passed in a blur, that is, until we made it back to my quarters. Kath, Obi-Wan and I mostly stayed together, making acid comments about the pairings in the Temple and generally having a good time. The young man had a rapier wit, and coupled with that sexy, cultured voice his observations were hilarious. Kath, as usual being very perceptive, finally excused herself, knowing it was time to make herself scarce in the light of the intense attraction that appeared to be building between Obi-Wan and me. Eventually, the party broke up and we found ourselves arm in arm down the mostly deserted corridors, heading for my rooms. Naturally I invited him in for a nightcap, and naturally he agreed.
Once the door closed behind us, though, the civilized Obi-Wan disappeared. I was gently forced back against the wall, his lean body covering mine. His blue eyes blazed into mine as he slowly moved in to kiss me. Obviously, he was waiting for some hint that this was not what I wanted, and since it was, I was not going to fight. Instead, I gave him my best sultry look and asked, in my best, equally sultry, voice, "just what do you think you are doing, Padawan?"
"Something Iíve wanted to do since I caught you staring at my butt from across the room," he answered. His own seductive voice could win prizes, I reflected.
"And who says I was staring at your butt?" I asked, huskily.
"I do," he answered, then his mouth covered mine and we stopped talking, at least coherently, for a while.
Obi-Wan is nothing if not a great kisser. His mouth ravishes, hungrily, as though heís never kissed anything as sweet as your lips before and he canít wait to devour them. My tongue did battle with his to taste his own lips Ė sweet, so sweet Ė and my hands moved to pull him closer to me. I could feel his cock rigid in his pants, and my hands on his rear made him groan.
He grabbed my hands then and forced them over my head, while his lips moved from my lips down my neck to the neckline of my low cut shirt. Oh, Kath was right, he was good, and my own pelvis thrusting automatically into his brought that home to me as he kissed my neck, my chest, moving down to nuzzle my breasts through my shirt. He brought his mouth back up to mine, and we kissed again; then he released my hands and swept me into his arms. If I could have had a coherent thought, it would have been amusement over his romanticism, but to be honest, his kisses drove all thought from my head.
We continued in the bedroom, clothes flying every which way in our urge to feel skin on skin. Then we were both naked, gasping, his mouth engulfing my right teat while my hand toyed with his substantial erection. He ground his thigh into my crotch, further inflaming me, then moved to my other teat, growling like a dog worrying a bone. I released his penis to bury my hands in that short, spiky hair, arching my back against the lips that inflamed my nipple. With a last lick, he released it and moved back up against my neck, chewing on my earlobe as his legs parted mine.
I was sopping wet by this time, and he had no problems burying his hardness inside me. We both moaned, and froze in mutual pleasure. Then I wrapped my long legs around his back and with my heels, forced him in as deep as possible, groaning my delight. He began to thrust and I tipped my pelvis up to accommodate him, as well as to get that cock rubbing so delightfully against my clit. He pulled my hands up above my head again, pinning me down as he rammed into me, harder and harder until we both came, shuddering, gasping and hoarsely screaming into each others mouths.
I couldnít have moved if a whole herd of Taun-Tauns stampeded through my bedroom at that moment. I wasnít sexually inexperienced, but his energy and exuberance caught me off-guard, brought me quite a bit more than I was expecting. We lay still; his fingers gently caressing my palms, his head buried against my ear. I could feel his heart hammering in his chest, and his Padawanís braid tickled my cheek. He smelled good, clean and fresh with a hint of something spicy.
Finally, our breathing and heartbeats slowed. He moved his hands silkily down my arms and pushed himself slightly off me, looking at me with a strange expression on his face. "That wasÖ goodÖ" he said, hesitantly, smiling.
I smiled back. "Yes," I said, still rather breathless. "It was very, very good. Tell me," I continued, tugging gently on his braid, "do you always try to kill your partners on your first dates?"
He chuckled deep in his chest. The dimples were back, but only at about force three. "That depends," he answered, kissing me again, lingeringly, "on whether this could be considered a first date. Iím even better on a second date."
"I shall endeavor to have healers standing by then," I whispered, running my nails down his back, and pulling him down for another one of those kisses.
He was the first to break the kiss, looking at me with that same, strange look on his face. "Does that mean I can see you again?"
I grinned. "I donít see how we can avoid it, Padawan Jedi. Itís a small Temple."
"That it is, Apprentice Pilot, that it is. But just to be sure, I would like to request the pleasure of your company tomorrow at dinner. Are youÖ free?" This last was said so wistfully it made something in my heart go thump.
"Actually, Iím not free, Iím very expensive," I teased gently, again tugging on that braid. "But I think you can afford me for one night, I mean, evening!"
We both laughed at my slightly unintentional faux pas, then he kissed me again. "If you are that expensive," he murmured against my lips, "perhaps I should give you a downpayment."
I realized at that point that his assets were definitely firming up again, so I smiled. "That may just be necessary, PadawanÖ" and I flipped him over, to take my pleasure. Obi-Wan was and is a generous and solicitous lover, even then at his young age. I donít know how he learned to do so much with that talented tongue, but during the throes of orgasm you donít stop to ask for clinical details. He seemed equally entranced with my oral skills, and quite noisy in his appreciation.
At breakfast the next morning, I found out that his Master was off planet attending a conference, which is why he was so available to me. We spent a passionate afternoon and night together, making love on every available surface, several times. He had the insatiability of youth which, combined with that intensity he brought to everything, entranced me. I must have come a hundred times that evening; I know I was hoarse from screaming for several days, and had problems sitting down too (to Kathís delight).
My favorite memory from that night is how impatient he wasÖI had just cleared off the table from our meal and was walking back to the kitchenette for dessert when he grabbed me about the waist and lifted me on to the table. I remember shrieking in glee and ineffectually batting at his hands as they held me around my waist, but his strength was greater than mine and anyway, I was pretty horny by that time as well.
I had chosen to wear a short dress (one of the two I owned) and with a deft movement, he reached up and wrenched off my panties, shoving his finger inside me while kissing me, hard. "I want YOU for dessert," he managed to rasp out before flipping me over, bending me over and ramming his cock into me, deepÖso deep. Gods, it felt so good; I was holding on to the edges of the table for dear life, crying out in agonizing pleasure as he plundered me, holding on to my hips hard enough to bruise. And that was just the first time that evening.
Before falling asleep that night, we talked about things; how it felt for me to grow up among Force sensitives, how afraid he had been that he wouldnít make Padawan. It was very late and both of us were exhausted and sore from screwing, but comfortable enough to enjoy the afterglow.
I must have drifted off for a moment; I opened my eyes to find him propped up on one elbow, staring at me quizzically. "What?" I asked, sleepily, smiling and tugging on that funny braid. It had come in handy as a handle on many occasions during that long, lovely night.
He smiled. "Nothing, I think. Iíve just never met anyone quite like you. How is it we hadnít met before?"
I caressed his face. "We have, remember? I changed your diapers. If I had known then what I know nowÖ"
I left that thought open and he blushed a bit around the dimples. "Thatís NOT what I mean and you know it," he laughed, softly, pushing a stray curl off my forehead. "Itís so good with you, I feel like Iíve known you for agesÖ"
"Poor Obi-Wan," I murmured, kissing his fingers. "Itís good for me too, Obi. But you know your heart isnít really here with meÖ" Now, what in the name of the Force made me say that? I wondered. It was as if someone else took over my mouth! Apparently he wondered it too for his quizzical look intensified.
"What do you mean, Lia?" he asked, confused.
I sighed. "That Iím more sleepy than I thought. Never mind, we need to sleep. Imagine, a little boy like you wearing an old lady like me out!"
"You are NOT old," he whispered, kissing my closed eyelids before drifting off to sleep himself.
I woke early, as I usually do, and spent some time watching him while he slept in my bed. He looked so vulnerable, so innocent, he quite took my breath away. Firmly I shoved such feelings aside; I had meant every word I said to Kath earlier. Letting a man into my pants was one thing, letting him into my heart was quite another.
Quietly I went into the Ďfresher to clean up. I should have known what would happenÖ perhaps on some level I did, for it wasnít very long before I had company in the shower. "You ARE trying to kill me," I growled, as his arms circled my waist and his erection shoved up against my lower back.
"Yup," he agreed, sleepily, massaging my breasts under the hot spray. "But what a way to go, donít you agree? Besides. There is no death, there is the ForceÖ"
I had to agree to that, breathlessly, as by that time his "forceful" fingers had found my clit and were rubbing gently. I turned in his arms, getting more soap on him, and kissed him soundly. Before I was quite aware, he lifted my butt in his hands and impaled me against the shower wall with his penis. We kissed frantically, moaning into each others mouths as we rammed our groins together. It was almost as if the night before hadnít happened Ė except for my soreness Ė and his thrusts just intensified as our tongues danced.
Our shared orgasm ended with both of us on the floor of the shower in a heap. It was lucky that my shower stall was small, else we might have drowned. Instead, we sat, his back to one wall, me still feeling his softening cock inside me, the hot water drenching us and sweeping away the remains of our passion. I lifted my head from his shoulder to stare into those intense bluey-greeny eyes, dancing with mirth. "Good morning," I said.
"And to you, Apprentice Pilot. Did you sleep well?"
"Except for the strange man in my bed trying to kill me, yes."
"I take exception to that remarkÖ I am NOT strange. Odd maybeÖ"
"Then perhaps I should call you Oddi-Wan."
He reached out to tickle me along my ribs. "You do, and Iíll tell the whole Temple aboutÖ"
"You wouldnít!" I gasped, laughing.
"I would." I shut him up at that point with a kiss, then reached up to turn off the water.
"I am hungry," I announced, and to the feral look in his eyes at that remark, I hastily added "for food, Obi-Wan, real, solid food."
"I know something that is solid, delicious and has just the right amount of caloriesÖ" he began, which signaled my tickling him. We fell out of the shower stall laughing, and I threw him a towel.
"Force save me from horny young Padawans," I laughed, wrapping a towel around myself and helping him up.
He kissed me again, and seriously too. "Thank you," he said softly, the dimples intensifying to force four and the eyes brilliant.
"For what?" I asked, my breath catching.
That soft, cultured voice was seductive. "For yesterday. For last night. For next week, next monthÖyou are exquisite. Just thank you."
I was having a bit of trouble controlling my breathing so I abruptly looked away. "You arenít so bad yourself, Padawan Kenobi." I forced myself to turn back to him. "But, please, donít take this any further, all right? Letís just enjoy each others bodies, no strings."
His smile faded a bit, but the intensity with which he stared at me did not dim. "Very well," he said, slowly, softly, "no strings. Youíre right, of course, and your body is very nice to enjoy."
"As is yours, Padawan, as is yours. Besides, we may well get tired of each other soonÖ" How many times that had been true in my life, I thought Ė I had lost count of the occasions.
His hand on my chin forced me to look into his eyes. "No. I donít think so. Thereís somethingÖelusiveÖ"
Despite my words, things were getting far too serious. Time to lighten the mood, I thought. "Iíll show you elusive," I said, grabbing his towel away and sprinting into the bedroom with him in hot pursuit.
All good things must come to an end, and the next day Master Jinn returned from his conference. The next few days stretched to weeks, which stretched to months. Somehow, everywhere I turned, I seemed to find Obi-Wan. I did not go out of my way to seek him out so I can only assume he was there by his own design. Not that I was complainingÖhis stamina was impressive and despite his own heavy training schedule we managed to get a bit of sweaty exercise together several times a week. Our stolen hours were intense and draining, but left us craving more.
This was apparently the longest he had stayed with any partner, a fact I resolutely ignored. Kath kept me informed of the progress of the betting amongst the Padawans, gleefully too, I might add, but I did my best to tell myself it was just a passing fancy, on both our parts. We both liked sex, and lots of it, and we were a good fit. Thatís all. Nothing more.
Then, seven or eight months into our "relationship" (whatever that may have been), he and his Master were sent away on some crisis or another. My own Master had me working hard on various tasks which kept my mind fairly occupied. But, to my chagrin, I didnít stop thinking of Obi-Wan. The young man had wormed his way into my life in an astonishingly short time, and I found myself drifting off, thinking about him, about that body, that smileÖ and looking for him around every corner, even though I knew he wasnít there.
This was ridiculous. I had been determined for years to live my life by myself, not to let anyone, much less a stripling, into my life to complicate it. I couldnít understand why he continually haunted my thoughts and dreams, nor why I wasnít interested in another bed partner while he was gone. It wasnít as if we had committed to each other after all. Resolutely, I forced those stormy blue-gray eyes from my thoughts, concentrating on my job. And that worked too, until he came back from wherever he and his Master had been.
I hadnít known he was back. It had been a long day and I trudged down the hall to my quarters, my mind filled with a combination of quadratic equations and a difficult problem in astrophysics. I palmed my door openÖ
And was pushed through it by a strong body, one that slammed me up against the wall and began kissing the very life out of me. I managed to shove him away long enough to recognize my assailant. "Obi you snot! What are you doing? You just scared it right out of me!"
His eyes were overflowing with hilarity and his dimples were cranked all the way up to devastating, but he didnít stop what he was doing, which basically amounted to ripping my flightsuit off me. "Does that mean youíre not happy to see me?" he asked in a little boy voice, sliding my arms out of my suit.
"Obi-Wan!" I tried to be menacing, but his fingers were deftly tickling me and making it hard to concentrate, plus he had managed to get my hands tangled in my suit behind my back and I couldnít defend myself. "I donít know what youíre playingÖ ah, playing atÖ stop it!Ö but itís got toÖAHHHH!" His mouth had latched onto a nipple while one finger had found its way into my panties and was doing terrible things to me.
"Yes?" he asked, letting go my nipple for a moment while his finger continued to work at me. I could no longer control my amusement or my desire, and with a thrust, bodily pushed him away from me, tumbling us to the floor. I knew he would catch us and not allow either of us to be hurt, and I was right. But at least I was now on top, where I preferred to be, and had managed to free my hands.
"You," I grated, ripping his tunic from his shoulders as I moved to straddle his hips, "are the very devil incarnate."
His eyes were sparkling and he was openly laughing. "And what do you intend to do about that, mílady?" he asked, his question ending in a gasp as I bit down on one of his nipples.
"Letís see," I pretended to think while I ran my hands down his chest, causing him to gasp and wriggle as I found ticklish spots. "I think, I really think Iíll just fuck you blind!" and with that, I latched my mouth onto his and we proceeded to vie for position on the floor.
We eventually ended up leaning against the sofa; at least he was, his head thrown back on the cushions. I was straddling his lap, my head against his chest listening to the pounding of his heart and waiting for my own to stop fibrillating. I managed to drag my head up to look at him and using his Padawan braid I made his head tip forward so I could see his eyes.
"Welcome home," I murmured, kissing him.
"That wasÖ quite a welcome," he agreed, kissing me back.
"Hey, now wait just a moment, you are the one who basically attacked and raped me. I was just your willing accomplice."
He looked at me, both amused and appalled. "How can you be an accomplice to your own rape?" he asked.
"Obi-Wan Kenobi, where you are concerned, nothing is impossible any more. I never should have given you access to my quarters! I suppose now that youíve violated my innocence, youíll have to leave."
One eyebrow shot up to his hairline. "Violated your innocence? Just who is younger here, you or me?"
"That," I said, licking a sensitive spot behind his ear and causing him to groan, "is not the point."
"Youíre right, of course, Apprentice," he said, grabbing my hips in a solid grasp, "the point is rather firming up at the moment, and will continue to do so unlessÖ youÖ stop!"
I laughed and kissed him passionately, realizing that yes, his point was firming up nicely. "And just what do you intend to do about it, Padawan?" I asked, teasingly. "Especially since youíll probably have to leave immediately."
He grinned, an evil grin that shot shivers right down my spine. "Ah. There you go, leaping to conclusions again." He kissed me, and licked my lips sensuously. "I donít. Master Jinn sent me back a day ahead of him. I," another lick to my lips, and he lifted my hips only to grind them back down on himself, "donít have to leave this spot," and he kissed me again, leaving me quite breathless, "until tomorrow morning."
The sudden surge of sexual response and happiness within me was quite easily picked up by him, and his grin gained several degrees of heat. I rolled my eyes, again regretting having a partner who was Force sensitive. "Well, I can tell you right now that you ARE leaving this spot, and shortly too."
His eyebrows wiggled, making me giggle. "You lead, and Iíll follow, little girl," he leered, and we both managed to make it to the bed before moving on.
That night was wonderful. If anything, our separation whetted our appetites for each other and drove him to dizzying new heights. Either that, or he had stumbled across an extremely potent aphrodisiac. Regardless, I wasnít complaining. It felt like his mouth was every where at once; on my breasts, on my cunt, in my hair, on my lips. He used the Force in ways Iím positive were not acceptable by the Council, but which drove me absolutely wild. I did my best to keep up with him, and I remember I had a good time, but that night actually belonged to him.
Slowly, probably because I was dizzy from lack of oxygen due to constant gasping and screaming, it began to seep through my consciousness that there was a hunger in him that wasnít being sated. Even in orgasm, it appeared it wasnít enough for him, that something was lacking. By the time we wore each other out, Kathís words had come back to me, that he was "pining for someone else." I might have missed it had we not been separated for a while.
Morning came too soon. We were snuggled together, spooning in my bed; his arms were around me holding me tightly, even in sleep. I woke before him, as usual, but didnít move. I wanted to think, free of worrying he might pick up on my thoughts. What was it that bothered me so? I didnít want to even consider that I might be falling in love with him; love was for others, not me. But I could admit, albeit grudgingly, that I cared for him, cared deeply. He was a good man, by turns gentle, silly, sensuous, imaginative and funny. By the time he began to stir next to me, I had come to the conclusion that I owed it to him, owed it to me, to see if I could figure out where that hunger, where that emptiness I sensed within him was coming from.
I could tell he was mostly awake by his breathing, but he was a slow riser and I knew he hated to actually get out of bed. I twisted in his arms, which wasnít easy as he was heavily into denial that morning had come. I brushed his braid back behind his ear and then blew gently into his face. He twitched and wrinkled his nose.
"Doní wanna get up," he slurred, holding me tighter. "Wanna screw."
I laughed softly. "Obi, you canít do that without first waking all the way up."
He smiled, his eyes still closed, and rubbed his morning erection against my thigh. "Wanna bet?" he asked.
"I think doing that to you this morning could be considered necrophilia," I teased, reaching down and grabbing his cock firmly. He grunted, and I swear his eyes cracked open a bit. At least, I thought I saw blue in there.
Suddenly he rolled on top of me, and this time I was sure I saw blue, in at least one of his eyes. Then his head dipped down to gnaw on my neck and I couldnít be sure any more. I hummed in pleasure as his unshaven cheeks scraped against the sensitive skin of my neck, and his tongue laved the rubbed area. His knee insistently worried open my thighs, and I wrapped my legs around his back as his penis slid easily into my abused depths.
"MmmmmmÖ" I said, stroking his back, "you feel so good, Obi-Wan, yessssÖ"
Mornings are the best with him, especially after busy nights. We made love gently, his tempo slow and steady, our kisses languid. The orgasm we shared was quieter too, less eruptive and gentler. Then he rolled to my side, his softening penis slipping out of me but our groins still locked together and my legs still around him.
"Ahhh," he sighed, "now I can go back to sleep happy."
I yanked on his braid, making him yelp. "No, you canít. Your Master is coming home today, remember?"
He groaned. "Canít I just stay here and hide under the covers?"
"No, you canít," I repeated, smiling gently. My fingertips softly traced the dimples on his face, his eyes, the roughness of his cheeks. One eye opened to look at me, then another.
"What?" he asked softly.
I shook my head slightly. "Nothing."
"No," he said, propping himself on an elbow. "Not nothing. What is it? You have a strange look on your face."
"Just chasing stray thoughts," I answered lightly, trying to suppress my earlier musings from his scrutiny.
"Some elusive ideas?" he asked, grinning.
Thereís that word again, I thought, drowning in his eyes. "You could say that," I answered. "Obi-Wan," I said softly, hardly hearing myself, "itís not really me you want in your bed, is it?"
He blinked, and his hand that had been stroking my cheek stilled. "What do you mean, Lia?" he asked softly, his voice suddenly vulnerable.
Well, thereís no turning back now, you stupid, stupid bitch! "Obi-Wan, donít get me wrong. You are a wonderful person, and your lovemaking quite takes my breath awayÖ literally. I would be quite happy to die in your bed, sir, you know how to treat a woman right."
He smiled at that, and bowed a bit, clumsily, from his prone position. "Thank you for that, my lady," he said, and immediately followed with, "however, I sense a "but" comingÖ"
"But," I said, smiling sadly, caressing his face and lingering on that dimpled chin, "even I can tell that thereís someone else you are thinking of, someone who owns your heart. Who is it, Obi-Wan? Whoever it is needs to know."
His eyes got wide and the color drained from his face. Abruptly, he turned away from me, on his stomach, hunching his shoulders. "I Ė I didnít know it was so obvious."
I rubbed his back and shoulders with my fingertips, gently, trying to relax him. "It isnít, Obi, dear, it isnít. But weíve shared a bit more than body fluids over the pastÖ goodness, could it be almost a year? I may not be force sensitive, but Iíve grown up with them and I can feel it in you." Gently I turned his face to mine, but his eyes wouldnít meet mine. "Whoever it is, doesnít know." It was a statement as much as a question.
Miserable now, he shook his head. "And youíre, what, afraid to tell this person?"
A nod. "Because whoever it is, is in love with someone else?"
"No. Not that I know of." The miserable look had not gone away.
It hit me then, with a jolt. "Oh." I took a deep breath. "Itís your Master, isnít it." Those brilliant eyes came up to mine, and the look was so devastated, so anguished I felt my heart melt. I put my arms around his shoulders, burying his head in my neck and patting him.
We just lay that way for a moment. I wanted to let him get himself back under control before asking more questions about the situation, then it dawned on me that he may not want to discuss it with me. "Obi, if you donít want to talk about this, we can end it here and I swear itíll never get beyond this room."
He pulled back to look at me. At least the dimples were back, a little bit anyway. "No, itís all right. Are you sure youíre not force sensitive?"
I laughed. "Oh, Iím sure all right."
"Well, you might as well be from the way you figured me out." He looked down at his hands.
"How long?" I asked quietly.
"Long as I can remember. I thought it was just hero worship at first, but thenÖ"
I blew an explosive breath out. "Why havenít you told him?"
"I canít, Lia, I canít. Heís my Master for pityís sake."
"So?" I was truly puzzled. "There are many Master/Padawan pairings. I donít think itís unusual for a Ö"
He interrupted me harshly. "I know that." Then he grimaced, and modulated his tone. Obviously, this was something that had been bothering him for a long time. "I just canít. I know he doesnít return my feelings. Master Jinn isÖ well, heís special. If you knew him youíd understand."
It didnít make sense to me. "How can you be so sure if you never have asked him? How is he to know about how you feel when you wonít give him at least a hint about whatís going on inside you?"
"Youíd just have to know him to understand," Obi-Wan repeated, in almost in a whisper.
Yes, I think I will have to, I thought, a hidden resolve quickly squashed lest he pick up on it through the Force. Aloud, I said, "all right, I wonít push. But I promise, Obi, I will never tell anyone this," except maybe your master, I added to myself.
He looked up at me and smiled, sadly. "Thank you, Lia. IóI guess itís actually good just to have someone else know, someone I can trust."
"You can trust me," I said quietly, and kissed his forehead. "I swear it."
We lay still for a while, until I sensed he was back under control. "Just do me one favor?" I asked, smiling a bit.
"What?" he asked, puzzled and a little wary at my smile.
"Donít go yelling his name next time I blow you, okay?" It took him about half a second to realize I was teasing him, then he pushed me off the bed.
In hindsight I was surprised and touched that he had come to me before even unpacking. Despite our physical intimacy, I didnít quite know how to handle the whole situation with him. Physical intimacy was fine; emotional closeness, even after this past year, was a whole different matter. So we talked of inconsequential things Ė where he had been, what I had been doing, the latest update on Kathís betting pool amongst the Padawans on how long we would last Ė while our feet wrapped around themselves under the table
Apart from the fact that our tryst lasted from late into the early morning, Obi-wan needed to be ready to face the Council, and he was expecting his Master to return shortly. So we both took a while that morning to make sure that he was ready, dressed and fed to face the CouncilÖ not fresh from a make out session and smelling like a Huttese cat house.
"I expect Master Jinn to show any moment to drag me to the Council," he said, sopping the last of his eggs with some bread. "Then itíll be meditation exercises and heíll do his level best to kill me in weapons practice."
I choked and laughed at the same time. "You poor baby. Life as a Padawan is just so terrible, isnít it?"
He touched my hand. "Well," he said mischievously, itís gotten a bit better of late!" His grin faded a bit as he continued, his hand wrapping around mine. "I missed you, Lia. I didnít get much of a chance to say that earlier, and I sense thatís not exactly what you want to hear, and I know we havenít made any commitment to each other, but I really did miss you."
My mouth quirked in a half smile. He was right; that was not what I wanted to hear. But I could not lie to him. "I missed you too, Obi. Iím glad youíre back."
"So this is where youíve been, Padawan." The deep voice startled me but not him. We both looked up, and I found myself looking up and up and up to the very tall visage of Master Qui-Gon Jinn. He was smiling gently at the two of us and it struck me how right Kath wasÖ he was a devastatingly beautiful man. Where the Padawan was all fire and youth, the Master was elegance and power.
"Yes, Master, justÖ um, eatingÖ" they both grinned then and I found myself actually blushing, realizing just how much the Master must know of the Padawanís earlier exploits. Obi caught my blush and laughed, damn him!
"Master, may I present Apprentice PilotÖ" Obi began, but Master Jinn interrupted.
"I know of the Apprentice through her Master," he said, taking my hand as I rose. "Enchanted, Pilot Jae-Mil. Iíve heard many good things about you."
It was quite hard to concentrate under that penetrating gaze, but I managed to force myself. The knowledge that Obi-Wan was standing next to me, reveling in my discomfiture, didnít make it a bit easier.
"Thank you, Master Jinn, thatís very kind of you. Your Padawan," and here I shot Obi-Wan a venomous glance which did nothing to abate his grin, "speaks very highly of you as well."
Qui-Gon laughed. "Oh really?" he said, looking at Obi-Wan in amusement. "He never says anything nice about me when weíre together , but Iíll take your word for it, Cadet." He hadnít released my hand, and the heat from his fingers was giving me slight shivers, an interesting reaction I thought. "Unfortunately, I must remove both of us from your lovely presence. Duty, and the Council, await us." And then he did release my hand, not a moment too soon. "If youíll excuse usÖ"
"Lia, Iíll call on you tomorrow if thatís all right," Obi-Wan said, turning to go with his Master.
At that moment some urge straight out of nowhere jabbed me in the rear and forced me to talk without thinking, something I never do. "Actually, I was wondering," I said quickly, and they both turned to look at me. "If I could have the two of you over for dinner tomorrow night. If youíre free, that isÖ" I realized I was finishing lamely, but the stunned look on Obi-Wanís face and the puzzled, curious look on Qui-Gon's had laughter bubbling up inside me.
Master Jinn glanced at his Padawan Ė who was, by this time, doing "old stone face" Ė and said, "Weíd be delighted, Cadet Pilot. But, if I may ask, what brought this on?"
"Lia, please call me Lia," I said, frantically trying to think of a proper reason. Oh, well, when the brain comes up blank, go with the truth. "No reason," I said, sincerely, "Iíd just like to have two gorgeous men at my dinner table at the same time. Think of all the points Iíll score among the Padawans!" At this, they both burst out laughing, and I couldnít help but join in.
"Well, far be it for me to refuse such a request," Qui-Gon said, still chuckling. "What time shall we be there, and should we alert the media?"
Obi-Wanís eyes widened at the joke and his laughter cut off with a choke and a coughing fit. Qui-Gon solicitously thumped him on the back, causing my eyes to tear with the effort of holding back my own giggles. "Eighth?" I managed to gasp out, rubbing my nose hard to hide my grin.
"Eighth it is. Are you sufficiently composed to appear before the Council, Padawan?" At Obi-Wanís weak nod, he turned and began striding out of the room.
"Iíll get you for this!" Obi-Wan hissed, his own eyes tearing at the effort to hold back laughter. Then he turned and practically ran out of the room to catch up to his Master. I dropped back into my chair, finally giving in to hysteria, laughing until my sides hurt.
Of course, well before the end of the day the news was all over the Temple. Kath threatened me with all kinds of horrible retribution for not inviting her, but there was nothing she could do; her own Master, Tovra, had them leaving that afternoon for Alderaan. In truth, I had no idea what had spawned my mad idea. In fishing for a reason, any reason (while I frantically cleaned my quarters, planned and prepared a lavish meal and reported for my own duty shift), I decided it was partially revenge for his "rape" of me the day before. Partially it was an offer of friendship. And, finally, it was genuine curiosity over this tall Jedi Master who had half the Temple Ė and my own lover Ė agog over him.
That last thought stopped me in my tracks. Iíve never been one to meditate, but I felt I needed to do some heavy duty thinking over the fact that I considered Obi-Wan my lover. Both of us had agreed at the beginning of our relationship, no strings. But the "relationship" had been ongoing, despite involuntary breaks in it, for almost a year. Then there was the fact that after he left I could think of little else but him for days, and when he returned I felt a deep happiness. And now there was his secret love for his Master to consider.
Weíd both had other lovers; I knew for a fact that he had had a number of Padawans, male and female, as a bedmate at one time or another. I myself had a more than a few of the male ones too, yet these affairs so far never lasted long. A few lasted months, one had lasted for almost a whole year. Yet I had never referred to any of my partners as "lovers". Obi-Wan was the first I ever thought of in that way.
This problem took up all my time in that day and a half before my dinner party. No matter how I looked at it, I had no answers, and time was marching on.
By the sixth hour, everything was as ready as it could be, and I was immersed in flop-sweat. I found myself basically clamping down on the emotions brought on by my relationship with them, trying not to feel at all. I wandered the Temple after my duty shift, aimlessly Ė or so I thought, until I found myself in the upper spectator balcony of one of the smaller gyms. Below me two very familiar figures were sparring.
They were both stripped to the waist, gleaming with sweat, and undeniably, incredibly alluring. From the exhaustion on both their faces it was evident that Qui-Gon had put his Padawan through an especially demanding session. The Master was just showing Obi-Wan a series of katas that appeared to be slightly above Obiís level of expertise, but the Padawan seemed to be learning them quickly and efficiently, despite his tiredness.
Qui-Gon was able to talk him through the most difficult of stances and movements, but for some others that simply wasnít enough. After a while he must have felt Obi-Wan wasnít entirely focused on his exercise any longer, for he began gently admonishing his student.
"Padawan, you must concentrate if you want to end this exercise with sufficient precision!" Qui-Gon said, looking sternly at the young man in front of him.
"Yes, Master, IóIím not doing my best today," Obi-Wan admitted grudgingly while his look lingered for a moment on Qui-Gon. In a flash, I realized why he was not doing his best. Qui-Gon was too close, too tempting. Poor Obi-Wan, I thought, so close and yet so far.
"What is it, Obi-Wan?" asked Qui-Gon, his voice gentle and puzzled.
Jedi are not supposed to be prideful, I remembered. But I knew, I knew at that moment what was stopping Obi from asking for further help was his pride; his pride in how well he could pick up lessons, the pride of simply being Master Jinnís Padawan. I donít know how I knew it, but I did.
"Master, could you please demonstrate this last move? I seem to have difficulties with how to position the staff correctly." The voice was soft, the eyes downcast, the very picture of abject humility. This must be costing him, I thought.
Qui-Gon, on the other hand, appeared to be amused and puzzled to hear such a confession and request from his pupil, but he was there to teach, not to criticize. "Very well, Obi-Wan, let me show you the correct way".
The Master positioned himself right behind his Padawan. His chest touched Obi-Wanís back, while the Masterís arms were gripping his Padawanís who in turn held the training staff in both his hands. They then tried to step through the difficult kata, but it was obvious to me that Obi-Wanís concentration was flagging. Iím sure he was both enjoying and burning at the close physical contact with his Master; the slight touching of muscles, the rubbing of his Masterís nipples against his back. In the end, he knew it was useless to continue and he let Master Jinn know so.
"Master, please, enough for today. Iím just tooÖ"
"Iíve noticed, Padawan", Qui-Gon released Obi-Wanís arms and turned his apprentice towards him.
I watched, holding my breath, as the two men stared at each other. They were separated by only a hand span, their eyes locked on each other, oblivious to everything around them. How can he not see it? I wondered. Then I had yet another revelation; I realized I was thinking about both the Padawan and the Master. Qui-Gon loved Obi-Wan too. I was certain of it.
"Seems all the thoughts you have left right now dwell with that young woman and the dinner weíll have with her tonight." When he finally spoke, Qui-Gonís voice was rough with repressed emotion, even as he smiled gently.
I wondered whether Obi-Wan could hear the gentle scolding or the amusement in that tone? How could he not know how his Master felt for him? "You are right, Master, my thoughts were not on the exercise. I hope youíll forgive your poor, inept student!" Obi-Wan bowed his head dejectedly in front of his Master.
Obi-Wan smiled a little as he returned Qui-Gonís look. Qui-Gon took Obi-Wanís chin in one of his strong, large hands and gently tilted it up to his face. "Padawan, you have never been an inept pupil. Impatient, headstrong, and stubborn at times, but never inept."
I could see the Master's eyes linger on Obi-Wanís as he held the young man's chin in his hand. Both their faces reflected so much love and warmth for each other, how could they still be in the dark about their mutual love? And then Obi did something that took me, and I'm sure Master Jinn, totally by surprise; he reached up with one hand and drew his Master's face down, close enough to give his teacher a little kiss on the cheek, very close to his lips.
Qui-Gon was clearly startled and let go of his Padawan's face, and Obi-Wan took a small step backwards. I could clearly see the big, loving smile he wore. "Thank you, Master," he said, "for all you're doing for me. I know I'll never be able to repay you for the kindness and love youíve shown me my whole life."
At that time I wondered if either of them understood what just had happened between them. Obi-Wan had once mentioned to me his Master's opinions regarding sexual relationships, between men and women or the same sex. Master Jinn thought of them as equally valuable and precious, and according to Obi-Wan he was partial to neither scenario. In fact Obi-Wan was quite certain that Master Jinn hadn't engaged into any intimate encounters ever since he had taken Obi as his Padawan. Most likely so as to be able to fully concentrate on the training of his Padawan. Obi-Wan wasn't even sure if his Master had ever been in love; if he had, he must have been extremely discrete about it. In matters of the heart, as probably in all things, Qui-Gon was a very private man.
But now, here they were - both in love with one another and neither willing or able to admit it. How I wanted to talk them about this. How I wanted to be there for both of themÖ it was like an overwhelming ache in my heart and I actually felt dizzy from the pain. I may not be Force sensitive, but controlled breathing and meditation work for everyone and I ruthlessly used those techniques then, to bring myself back under control. And by the time I did, they had separated and were gathering their things to leave.
"Well, Padawan, you know I will make you pay me for my services as your instructor, donít you worry about that", Qui-Gon was saying with a small chuckle, "but now we should be going and get ready for our rendezvous with your friend Lia."
Yes, Master, we should," and Obi-Wan followed his Master to their quarters. I left shortly after they did, my thoughts full to overflowing.
I thought dinner that night would be charged with emotion and overwhelmingly difficult; I was wrong. Master Jinnís presence, so large and comforting, made it impossible for me to feel ill at ease or awkward. Of course, I canít speak for Obi-Wan, but the look he gave me as he entered my apartment was almost unreadable. His eyes always give him away, though, and they were dancing with mirth.
My apartment was small, two rooms, a tiny Ďfresher and a small kitchenette area off the main room. My living area doubled as a dining room, and we were a bit crowded around my small table, but the company more than made up for that. I served them dinner consisting of steamed vegetables and a delicate shellfish dish over pasta. I know they both liked it; Qui-Gon was generous in his praise and while Obi-Wan barely said a word, that was mainly because his mouth was always full.
The Master amused me by telling me stories of Obi-Wanís youth, stories that made him groan but nothing very embarrassing. He also plied me with questions about the guild and my place; would I be continuing with them, what was it like working with my Master, and questions like that. At first, I thought he was only trying to be polite, but as the evening wore on, another feeling, clearly coming from him, slowly began to manifest itself in me. He was attracted to me.
Iím not an egoist. I have a ordinary face and a well proportioned body that I keep in good toneÖ I have to, itís part of my job. But Iím no overwhelming beauty and Iíve never pretended to see something that wasnít there. The heat that built inside me was slow, subtle, and it actually was a bit frightening. Obi-Wan, bless him, appeared to be completely oblivious to it, and Master Jinn acted the same way, but I could feel it in him, too. I knew I was attracted to him Ė Force, heís gorgeous, how could I be breathing and not be? Ė but could I be seeing something that wasnít there?
Dessert came and was promptly devoured, I know men and how much they like sweet stuff. Over glasses of Alderaani ale we chatted, and I again felt that strange heat, every time I caught Master Jinnís eyes. We were just cheerfully arguing over the dishes, which had to be done by hand since I had no automatics in my small kitchenette, when Obi-Wanís comm went off. He looked both puzzled and annoyed as he answered.
It was Master Yaddle, who was in charge of the crŤche. Seems Obi-Wan had befriended a little girl, one of the younger children, who was ill with a fever and asking for him. It was clear to me that Obi didnít want to go, but felt he should.
"Oh, Obi, you big softie you," I teased gently, "of course you should go. Weíre all done here anyway."
"But I should help with the dishes," he said, lamely, looking to his Master for guidance.
The Master just smiled fondly at the Padawan. "Obi-Wan, go. Iíll help Lia with the dishes and see you back at our quarters later."
Obi-Wan rolled his eyes and grinned, rose and kissed me. "Very well. Thank you, Lia for that wonderful dinner. Iíll call on you tomorrow."
"Iíll expect a complete description of this other woman, you know," I teased, kissing him back. "I knew there was a soft heart under that hard exterior!" he blushed a bit and made a hasty retreat.
After he left, Qui-Gon stood and began stacking dishes. And against my strident objections, all he did was chuckle. "I was raised in the Temple, Apprentice, as were you, and I know better than to question a Master, and I am helping you with the dishes."
Well, what could I say to that? So it was that we ended up at the tiny sink, him washing and me drying and putting away. We worked in companionable silence for a while, before he spoke, almost hesitantly.
"The two of you make a good couple, you know."
I grinned lopsidedly at him, running a towel over a plate. "Yeah, I guess so. Heís a wonderful man, Master Jinn, you should be proud of him."
"I am. And how often am I going to have to ask you to call me Qui-Gon?"
I laughed at that. "All right, Qui-Gon. Sorry."
He smiled. "But letís not change the topic. You two make a good couple and I know youíve been seeing each other for some time."
I just looked at him, wondering where this was going. "Are you asking me what my intentions are towards your Padawan, Qui-Gon?"
That got a chuckle. "Yes, I suppose so, even if I shouldnít. After all, heís a grown man able to handle his own affairs. But, you see, sometimes my impulses to watch out for him just get the better of me. Forgive me if I am prying." He made a slight bow in my direction, and couldnít help but grin at this mock display of humility by the ever so humble Qui-Gon Jinn.
"Thatís quite alright, MasÖ", I bit off that formal address, mindful of his request earlier, "...Qui-Gon, I donít mind." His look still bore that intense curiosity and I could still feel that heat that had been building up between us right from the start of the evening. I was at a loss at how to explain it; what was going on? Crossing my arms, I leaned my backside against the counter and looked at him. "Obi and IÖ well." I sighed, and realized he was staring at me.
"I know you are lovers, Lia. But where are you taking this relationship?"
"Qui-Gon," I said, becoming exasperated, "heís too young for a serious relationship, donít you think? We agreed, no strings, when we started. Besides, he has a lot of training with you before him, and I donít want to be a distraction to him. Obiís a great guy, a wonderful man, but I canít see myself committed to a long-term relationship to him Ė or maybe anyone -- in this point of my life." Except maybe to you, my mind filled in, a thought which I squashed, appalled and embarrassed at my strange reactions to this Jedi Master.
He didnít notice that coda, at least I hope he didnít notice. Instead, he went back to washing, and handed me a rinsed glass. "Iím truly not meaning to interfere in your affairs, Lia. Youíre a wonderful person, I hope you realize that. And I hope you realize how important youíve become to him over the last several months. The spiritual balance I have seen in him lately I have no doubt has a great deal to do with you." He put one hand on my shoulder smiled down on me, a warm, gentle, loving smile, and I instantly blushed.
I found myself completely out of words, a situation very unusual for me. I needed to tell him what Obi had confided in me, but I couldnít. I needed to tell him how wonderfully sexy I found him, him and his Padawan, but I couldnít. I needed to tell him how much I wanted not only be important in his Padawanís life, but in his as well, but I couldnít.
I mentally sighed, and returned my attention back to the business of that glass I was holding in my hand, waiting to be put away into one of the cabinets above the sink. It was somewhat too high for me to reach and I strained to open it. Being helpful, Qui-Gon took the glass from my hand to put it away for me. Our hands touched, our bodies were far too close for comfort, and we froze. Those midnight blue eyes bored into mine, and I felt our bodies reacting in sync. I wanted to kiss him, to have him throw me down on the floor and ravish me, and he felt the same. What was going on here?
With a shudder, he managed to get his body under control, and I did the same, stumbling back a step. Deliberately, he put the glass away, closed the cabinet door, and dried his hands on a towel, only then looking back to me. Iím sure my expression could have done a fish proud.
"Thank you for a lovely evening, Lia," he said, his voice low, rough, and incredibly sexy. I murmured something in reply, and watched him go, his back rigid with control. This, I thought frantically, is getting WAY out of hand.
And so I spent another mostly sleepless night in my own bed, alone. Every time I dozed, my brain would conjure two pairs of eyes, one changeable blue-green, one stormy midnight blue, my treacherous body wanting both of them and my sensibilities shrieking like a fishwife that this was wrong, wrong, wrong.
By morning, my dilemma was no better, and neither was I. I showered in a daze, got to my work shift late, stumbled in class, and finally got called on the carpet by an exasperated Master Pilot. Master Bosta was not my Master, but she had always been close to me and had helped with my training on several occasions. I sat across from her now, miserable, and feeling like a little kid caught sneaking in someplace where she shouldnít be, while she tried to figure out what was wrong.
I sighed heavily at her questions. "Master, Iím so sorry for my lack of attention today," I said, "itís a personal problem that Iíve been wrestling with. I assure you I wonít let it interfere again."
One expressive eyebrow was raised. "You have the makings of a truly spectacular pilot, Lia, but I know that sometimes life gets in the way of what we want to do. I expect youíll be taking your tests for Master within the next month or twoÖ ah, that surprised you, didnít it?"
My jaw hung open. Yes, it did surprise me. I had no idea I was that ready. She chuckled at my expression and continued. "Yes, your record is sterling and the guild feels you are ready. You know you can always come to me for help, donít you?"
I smiled at her. Master Bosta was a wonderful woman and a fantastic pilot, but Iím sure she didnít want to know about my man troubles. "Thank you, Master. Things will be resolved soon, I know they will." One way or another, I added mentally.
"Good. Lia, I know youíre involved with Obi-Wan Kenobi Ė and I hope thatís not where the problem lies Ė would you feel comfortable accepting an assignment with him and his Master?"
Again, my jaw dropped, but this time I managed to get it back under relative control quickly. "An assignment? With them?" My brain whirled frantically. Alone with those two men on a shipÖ for how long? "Whatís the assignment, Master?"
"Taking emergency meds to a mining planet near the rim. Three, four days I should think, no more. Do you feel comfortable with this? I could assign someone elseÖ"
"No, no," I said, with more confidence than I felt, "I feel comfortable with this. Iíll accept the assignment, but I do thank you for giving me the choice."
"My pleasure, Lia. Soon, youíll be giving yourself assignments. You need to gather your things and get to the port then, you leave with them in an hour."
I was late! My fuzziness apparently extended to time sense; before I knew it the hour was almost up and I hadnít even gotten my stuff together. Hastily I threw on some travelling clothes, put some essential utensils into my bag and was off to meet with Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan at the landing dock. By the time I arrived at the shuttleís designated docking bay, Qui-Gon already waiting outside, slightly tapping his foot on the floor in a gesture I could only interpret as one of impatience. No, not him, Master Jinn showing impatience? Hmm, but that mannerism was so very much like his own Master, Yoda.
I was fairly out of breath when at last I reached his side. I sheepishly looked to the ground, watching his foot. "Anything you need to squash there, Master Jinn?" I know it was facetious but I felt bad about being late and I hoped to lighten the tension between us from last night. He looked at me very sternly, my quip seemed to have bounced off of him without so much as a smirk from him.
"You are late, Pilot! Almost half an hour so. The settlers on New Coruscant need these medical supplies as fast as we can get them to them." His voice had a definite edge to it as he admonished me, and I immediately regretted the little joke I had tried to pull of just a minute ago.
"Iím sorry, Master Jinn, I Ö"
"I understand, but regrets and excuses are of no help right now. We have to get going now."
I felt like a scolded six year old who had just been told not to pick his nose in public. Well, now I certainly could appreciate Obi-Wanís hectic urgency to leave my quarters when he was late for an appointment with his Master.
"Um, yes, sir." I looked around. "By the way, where is Obi-Wan? Shouldnít he be here with you?" Unless, of course, he was already inside the shuttle making last pre-flight check-ups on the systems, which was MY job.
"Obi-wan will not accompany us on this mission, Apprentice." A touch of regret and poorly concealed concern was easily audible in his voice. "He contracted a rare strain of Melegarian flu and has come down with a slight temperature. The healers told me it will only get worse before it will get any better and that a trip offworld at this time was simply out of the question. Apparently that child he saw in the crŤche was contagious. Quite a surprising lack of foresight on the part of the healers."
I couldnít disguise my dismay. Obi-wan sick? Oh damn, not him! Qui-Gon registered the concern on my face and placed one large hand onto my shoulder. He felt so good, and as if by magic most of my worries were lifted off my mind. "He will be fine, Lia. There is no reason for you to let your concentration wander off our mission. Once weíll be back he will be his old, untiring self again, I promise."
That last remark bore a tiny barb toward our notorious love marathons and I smiled. "Thanks, Qui-Gon. Weíll have to bring him a souvenir or heíll pout. Shall we get going then?" I held his amused look for a moment longer. "I shall endeavor to make up for any time we Ö I lost for our trip."
"I am sure you will, Lia," he agreed, and he followed me into the shuttle. Well, at least he was calling me by my name again, so perhaps he had forgiven me. I certainly hoped so.
I expected the trip to New Coruscant to be pretty routine and uneventful. We had been assigned a small, four man shuttle, since our cargo was small there was no need for a large cargo shuttle; the meds were placed in one of the small cabins. While we cleared the spaceport Qui-Gon made sure for the umpteenth time that everything with the supplies was in proper order. When I didnít see him in the cockpit after a few hours, I went to find him on the way to getting dinner rations. He was in another of the staterooms, practicing a difficult looking kata, his shirt off, his chest sheened in sweat. With effort I wrenched my eyes away from his firm body with effort, and beat a hasty retreat back to the control room.
It wasnít long after that I felt his presence at the door. I knew he was standing there, watching me, but neither of us said anything for the longest time. If pauses can be pregnant, this one was close to birthing. Finally, he cleared his throat behind me.
"Is there anything I can assist you with, Lia?" he finally asked, and I shuddered at the raw sensuality in his voice.
I swallowed, hard. "No, no, thank you; I was just going to retire. Iíll take the first cabin on the right since all systems monitoring is routed through there. Iím sure youíre already comfortable in one of the other ones." I was babbling, trying to avoid looking at him, unsure how I would react to those deep blue eyes. I was afraid if I did I wouldnít have a prayer to save me.
Again, the silence grew thick between us, and the heat became almost scalding. "Good night thenÖ Lia," he finally said, his voice low and rough. I waited until I heard him close the door of his cabin behind him before whispering my response.
"Sleep well, dear Master. I hope I can do the same."
Exhaustion can do wonders to combat insomnia. Despite my inner turmoil, between lack of sleep the night before and the adrenaline I had spent that day I slept like the dead, with no problems to bother me. The shipís AI controlled our flight smoothly, leaving me little to do.
Which was not a blessing. I both needed and dreaded interacting with Qui-Gon Jinn. I felt like a slut, hungering after him in the worst physical sense, uncontrollably drawn to him. The fact that he was not only responding in a physical, but also in an emotional way to me only made things worse. We carefully and delicately tip-toed around each other all that day, but it was a small shuttle and there wasnít much we could do to avoid each other; only so many maintenance functions to be performed, only so much time a Jedi Master could spend on his knees in meditation.
By the end of the day, then, we were tired, and more than ready to allow our guard to slip a little. He hesitantly joined me in the control room, sitting in the co-pilotís chair gingerly, ready to bolt at the least instigation.
This is utterly ridiculous, I thought, which must have been picked up by him for he grinned tiredly at me as I sighed in frustration
"How much longer to New Coruscant, Lia?" he asked.
"Weíll be there mid-day tomorrow," I answered, not looking at him. "Qui-Gon," I started suddenly, only to realize he said my name at the same time. We glanced at each other and laughed, causing the tension to finally decrease a notch or two.
"Iím sorry, Lia, Iíve been avoiding you."
We smiled at each other over that, and he continued, "and thatís quite a feat on such a small shuttle." Our laughter put us a little more at ease, and the next few hours passed companionably with us telling stories. Qui-Gon is a gifted raconteur, and he could make stories of his and Obi-Wanís domestic and offworld adventures incredibly amusing. He talked of the time when Obi-wan almost drowned in a vat of sugary molasses because he insisted on trying to get back his comlink he had dropped into the vat. And the highly embarrassing incident with an Illinemian delegate who had clear designs on Qui-Gon and very openly, and proudly, strutted around the Master with something that could only be interpreted as an erection.
We both laughed hard and for a short instant our eyes seemed to lock onto one another, brimming with subtle signs of want, of longing. Qui-Gon hastily turned his head back to the stars, and I pretended to check some of the indicator light on the control panel. Things were thawing between us, but a lingering uneasiness still remained.
Finally we were content to just watch the stars in silence. Qui-Gon had made himself comfortable in the co-pilotís chair, his dark robe draped around him like a warm blanket, covering him securely while he sat there with eyes half closed.
I watched him, stared at him, couldnít get enough of the noble outline of his face; his curiously shaped nose; his ears; the silky hair he always so meticulously tied back in a partial ponytail to keep it out of his face, his strong, bearded chin. He was so beautiful, so different from Obi-Wan. His whole body radiated strength and elegance, his face wisdom and nobility. And I wanted him; badly.
Not that Obi-Wan didnít matter any longer; he did. But Ė we had agreed on no strings being attached to our "relationship" or whatever it was we had. We were perfectly in our rights to explore other options "if and when" they became available. At this moment for me the if and when was right here, right now, watching Qui-Gon half asleep or meditating or whatever he was doing right next to me in the cockpit. It made me think back to all those explicit fantasies Kath had me told about her and Master Jinn. Damn her little dirty mind, I thought, as her fantasies very quickly became mine!
I stood swiftly, intending to get as far away from these impulses as I could. But I forgotÖbeing the consummate "mind reader" that most Jedi were he most certainly had picked up my thoughts already. Damn and double damn; as I stood to slip by him he turned in his chair, blocking my exit with his long legs. I looked down at him to find those deep blue eyes locked on me.
"Lia," he said roughly, and took my hand.
Thatís all it took to destroy what was left of my self control. With one swift motion I seated myself across his lap, hooking my arms around his neck. His eyes were locked onto mine in confusion and need, but before he could say or do anything, my hands were on his face, pulling it right towards my mouth until his lips couldnít escape mine.
My tongue traced a wet outline along the contours of his lips, prying them open with the urgency of my desire for him, starting to discover the taste of his mouth. After this first assault Qui-Gon seemed to come to his senses and he gently pushed me away from his face, both his hands resting on my shoulders.
"Lia, what are we doing?", he whispered, his eyes searching mine.
"Donít you feel it, Qui-Gon?" I asked, my thumbs tracing his cheeks, my eyes boring into his. "Since the other night. I donít know how I know it, but I know you like me, you want me. And I want you too."
Struggling for control, Qui-Gon turned his head to one side, trying to avoid to facing me. My hands made him move back towards me. "I know what youíre thinking. Yes, I am close to Obi-Wan, but we never made an exclusive commitment to each other. We are both free to see whomever we wish. I told you that last night." I was lying. Of course I wanted to spend all the time in the world together with Obi-Wan, but lately I had noticed a strong desire to be in the company of his Master as well.
He still was stalling. "Lia, I do like you, and your relationship with my Padawan be as it may, but Ö". I held a hand to his lips, silencing whatever protest he struggled to come up with.
Again, gently, but now with more determination, Qui-Gon slid his hands down to my waist and stood me on my feet, rising with me. As he stood up from his seat, the robe that had covered him slid to the ground, and he held me at an armís length away from him, looking me straight into my eyes.
"Lia, believe me, I DO like you. And yes, I do feel a strong attraction between us, a very strong bond through the Force." He drew me marginally closer, looking down at me, with a regretful smile forming on his lips. "Lia Ö I donít know why, or how, but I think Iím falling in love with you."
The bottom dropped out of my stomach as I absorbed those words. He was feeling it, I had been right! "But Ö", he continued and I knew what was coming now, "Ö you are seeing Obi-Wan. Heís my Padawan, he trusts me and will never knowingly do anything that would hurt his feelings. I donít believe you would either."
"No, of course not", I said quietly, shaking my head. I was about to turn away, utterly furious at myself for throwing myself at him. He stopped me and enveloped me in a warm, gentle embrace, his head resting on mine, his breath soft against my hair. Oh, Gods! It was all I could do to resist wrapping my arms around him and holding on for dear life, but I knew if I did, I would be lost.
His voice was raw with repressed emotion. "I wish circumstances, that things were different, Lia, but Ö"
He fell silent and I mustered all my strength to pull away and look into his eyes. "I am sorry, too, Qui-Gon. I hope you can forgive me for my shameless display."
"There is nothing to forgive," he said in a soft whisper, and we remained standing that way for several minutes, his hands on my shoulders, my fists clenched at my sides in an attempt at control.
"We need to get some sleep before we arrive at New Coruscant," he finally said, dropping his arms slowly from my shoulders. I didnít answer him, I didnít need to, all that needed to be said was there between us, in my trembling arms and his deep blue eyes. He pulled himself away and left the control room.
I sank into the cushion of the pilotís seat, feeling Ė nothing! That was it, I had made a complete fool out of myself in front of him. Then and there I swore Iíd never again let my control slip so completely. Not with him anyway. I put the shuttle on autopilot for the next eight hours and tried to find solace in my cabin, knowing sleep would be hard to come by tonight.
The next day we arrived at New Coruscant, a vastly different place than itís namesake. The planet was lush with vegetation and shimmering blue with two extensive oceans covering almost half of the planetís surface. Not a bad place for a new beginning, I thought.
After unloading the medical supplies, Qui-Gonís presence was requested at a meeting with the leaders of the settlement, something he could hardly refuse. So while he was busy talking politics or whatever it was he had been asked to address, I wandered over to check out the local bazaar. Qui-Gon would find me there after the meeting was over, I knew, using the Force as his guide. After a bit of window shopping, I found a nice stone to buy for Obi-Wan as a little gift in compensation for his missed trip. For some reason he collected "Force-sensitive" stones, I wasnít quite sure why. Must have been a joke between him and his Master, but this one simply looked too nice not to purchase.
After another hour of wandering around I was joined by Qui-Gon, who looked exhausted. The meeting must have been intense, and to relax a little we agreed to meander through the bazaar a bit more until we found some place to sample the local cuisine. At one particularly small shop he decided to buy me a necklace of small stones shimmering in green and bluish hues, similar to the tunic I wore on the evening of our dinner together at my place. I told him no, but he insisted, and I was very flattered and touched by his gift.
Finally we found a carry-out establishment that served some beverages and simple snacks. Both our feet hurt and we were thankful for the reprieve a nearby park bench afforded us. Over some potent local wine and fruit we talked about the customs of the people who had settled New Coruscant, but never came around to last nightís little incident. It wasnít long before we both were very relaxed, and I noticed Qui-Gonís hand slowly moving closer to mine until he covered it with his, squeezing it gently.
"I so much enjoyed your company today, Lia. Thank you for being with me." I didnít realize he was leaning closer to me, probably to kiss my cheek, and a movement out of the corner of my eye made my head turn just enough so that our lips touched, instead of his lips to my cheek.
We froze. His lips tasted of the fruit and wine and need and suddenly I couldnít breathe. The heat, which had been banked in both of us all day, came roaring back at a furnace intensity, catching us both by surprise. I closed my eyes and shuddered. His hand came up to my face and tentatively his tongue peeped out to taste my lips, causing me to moan in my mind, but I dared not move, dared not destroy this magic moment I wanted so badly.
It took me a moment to register the fact that we were both trembling, badly.
The Gods have always looked after me, thatís why I keep them on my payrollÖand the ball that came from nowhere to smack Qui-Gon in the leg must have been sent by one particularly upset at my obtuseness. We broke apart and I gulped the rest of my wine, hardly noticing as Qui-Gon restored the ball to itís owner, a small child. Then he sat still, not looking at me, his cloak gathered around him like the Force or a protective barrier. Protection against me? I wasnít sure of anything any longer!
I jumped when he took my hand again. "Itís getting dark," he observed. "Weíd best get back to the shuttle."
I nodded shortly and stood, and was surprised to find his hand holding mine once again, firmly, possessively. "We can find some accommodations here in the port, if youíd preferÖ" he said, still holding my hand.
"No, thatís all right," I stammered, "Staying on the shuttle means we get an early lift off. But if you wish to stay hereÖ" I continued, praying that he would say yes, no, I didnít know what I wanted.
"You are correct of course," he murmured thoughtfully, "the shuttle is best."
As we walked the short distance to the docking port, he kept my hand in his. His hands are large, his callused fingers are gentle and strong, and at that moment they were bringing out an urgent feeling of want, of needing him and his hands on other parts of my body, needing to feel his caresses. Yet at the same time I wanted to run, to hide, to get away from him and bury my feelings deep into the darkest corner of my mind. But he was determined to not let my hand leave his.
Once aboard, I again tried to free my hand, to escape to the control room, to escape the scalding heat of his touch. He held me back for an instant, enough for me to see the want in his eyes, before releasing me. I practically ran to the control room, stifling sobs of frustration.
It took me several minutes to regain a measure of control. Once I did, I buried myself in routine, calling the tower for pre-permission to lift off in the morning, checking systems. Then I turned to discover him standing behind me his hands in the sleeves of his robe, his eyes on mine, burning.
"We cannot avoid this any longer, Lia." I stood to face him, desperately trying to maintain my calm. "We need to resolve this, and I think we should do it now."
There was no doubt for me now. He needed me as much as I needed him. It may have been a purely physical need, having little or nothing to do with emotions, but it was there and avoiding any longer would just make us Ė me Ė sick. I reached my hand up to his face and caressed his cheek, reveling in the feel of his silky beard, the softness of his lips.
"Itís too late, Qui-Gon. Much too late," I whispered, tangling my hands in that luxurious mane of hair. A deep moan escaped his throat as a shudder rocked his large frame. Abruptly he surrendered; his arms went around me in a crushing hold, he pressed his mouth onto mine, demanding entrance, thrusting his tongue in and tasting me deeply.
With one sweeping motion Qui-Gon picked me up into his arms, his lips remained fastened upon mine as he laid us down on the floor of the cockpit. Our bodies moved against each other almost frantically, our hands roamed over and under clothes, moving them out of the way to touch overheated flesh. Before I was aware what was happening, we were laying on his robe and our clothes were mostly gone, in heaps around the small room. He never stopped kissing me, tasting me, nor I him, any part of him I could reach.
With another shudder of control, he managed to pull away from me. I was laying on my back, my hair a wild disarray around my face. His own face was wild, especially his eyes, deep blue and filled with a variety of feelings; lust, confusion, need. What I saw in his face reflected the inner turmoil this escapade of ours created not only in him, but in me as well. "Lia," he whispered again, touching my face softly, the tension in his voice clear, "Lia, I donít know what is happening to me, to us!" The great Master Jinn at a loss for words, now here we had something unique, unique and frightening.
His confusion and dismay went right to my heart. This was a man who was used to being in control, used to commanding situations, not having them command him. I pulled his hand to my mouth, kissing his fingers. My eyes never left his as I tried to reassure the man I so much wanted and needed. His face reflected the same needs as mine, the same lust, and yet there was still that slight hesitation, that little bit of unease at the whole situation that gnawed on his mind.
"Qui-Gon, there is more here than just us. Donít be afraid to give into your feelings. Surrender to us Ė Iíll catch you. Weíve come too far now to stop." My hands brushed through his luxurious hair, unfastening that little braid of his. I pulled his face closer to mine and started to open his lips with mine.
"Yes, we have come too far, havenít we?" he said gently, almost sadly, before he opened his mouth to mine.
From that moment on, I was held prisoner by him. He maneuvered himself over me on the floor, taking the tips of my nipples between his fingers, rubbing them, massaging them. His hands prepared me, his mouth prepared me, I was drenched in my own juices and sobbing in frustration before he even let me free his engorged penis from his pants. And even then, he dominated, allowing me to taste the weeping head only momentarily before dragging me back up beneath him, his mouth locking on mine and his hands again holding mine captive.
"Qui-Gon, please!" I managed to gasp, as his mouth moved over my neck, nibbling, tasting. He then let go of one of my hands, to carefully insert first two, then three fingers into the wet cavity between my legs, scraping the inside of my cunt, teasing my clit with his thumb. Oh Gods I moaned, not caring that my pleasure might even be audible back on Coruscant. I pressed hard against his fingers, wishing he could shove them up all the way inside to feel the tip of my cervix, wishing it was his cock, not his fingers. His lips were locked on my teat, sucking the already hard nipple and flicking it with his tongue. I felt the explosion coming and screamed as my orgasm overwhelmed me, my juices coating his hand, my back bowed and rigid in ecstasy.
His fingers slowly left my cunt. Gently he rolled me over to bring me home to his chest, where I lay, panting. For the first time since we had started, he spoke. "This is not the most congenial of places, Lia. I think we should move into one of the cabins."
Qui-Gonís voice was soft, and still carried a hint of some suppressed emotion Ė sadness? Disappointment? I wasnít sure, and as I gained some control over myself, I pulled up to look into his face. His eyes were hooded, but met mine.
"If you have regretsÖ if this is not what you wantÖ" I began, but he stopped me by climbing to his feet, bringing me with him in his arms.
"No regrets," he murmured, cupping my face in a strong hand. I smelled myself on his fingers. "You are right. There is something more here than just the two of us. But right now you and I should be just about enough for us to handle." He was right, and I let him lead me to the next room, onto the bed therein.
I was determined to reassert myself, to make sure that he would have no regrets at all over this liaison, so I took a measure of control and gently pushed him to the bunk before me. I was naked, but his pants were still on as well as his boots. I bent down before him and undid the clasps of his boots, tugging them off and setting them aside. Then I pulled his pants all the way off, while he leaned back on his elbows and raised his hips to help me. I ran my hands up his legs slowly, feeling the silkiness of his skin and the taut muscles under it. His proud manhood jutted from itís nest of dark curls, itís tip red and glistening with pre-come. I ran my tongue up itís considerable length, enjoying the catches in his breath as he watched me. I then engulfed his cock in my mouth, sucking gently running my tongue and teeth along itís sides.
He let his head fall back, his eyes closed, enjoying the sensation I could tell from the way shivers ran up and down his chest and the way his arms trembled. He didnít let me have my way too long, though, before he reached for me and pulled me back up to his mouth. His hands tangled in my hair as he moved to lay down on his back, pulling me on top of him.
Even though I was straddling him, he still retained control. So strong, his large hands held on to my hips and lifted me easily, rubbing my wet cunt over his erection while his mouth worried at my neck, my nipples, every part of me he could reach. The only sound in the room was our raspy breathing, coming stronger and harsher as our pleasure heightened.
Finally, I could stand it no longer. "Qui-Gon," I murmured, "pleaseÖ" His eyes on mine knew exactly what I was asking, and he pulled me down for another deep kiss. I lifted my hips while his hand positioned his penis, then he held my hips firmly in place while I sank down on his hardness.
"Lia Ö aaahhhh, Gods, Lia," he moaned into my mouth. He didnít let me go all the way though, holding my hips above him. Slowly, oh so slowly, he let me sink until he was half-way in. Then he pulled me back up off his cock, and I almost feared he might have been overcome by second thoughts. But no. Again he let me sink, gently, the thumb from one hand tickling my clit.
"Qui, oh Gods, please, please, now!" I was becoming incoherent with need the more he teased me, but there was nothing I could do but beg, as he was in control and playing me like an instrument.
"As you wish," he finally said, and his hands pulled me down so he could enter me full-length. Then his mouth claimed mine while his hands maintained the rhythm and control of our deep, urgent, almost violent thrusts that kept increasing in frequency until it was too much for both of us.
He came hot inside me, filling me up and groaning deeply in release. His triggered my climax, and I know my muscles clenching around him only sent him to a higher plane of pleasure. And at that moment I had a strange feeling, as if something else was on Qui-Gonís mind; something I had felt before, with Obi-Wan. As if there was another person he was silently thinking about. And I knew who it was. His Padawan.
Eventually I collapsed onto his chest, both of us drenched in sweat. He gently held me, placing one arm around my shoulders, cradling me in the vastness of his embrace. We said nothing, just let the afterglow take possession of us, savoring the moment.
Soon his soft breath on my hair assured me Qui-Gon was fast asleep Ė perhaps dreaming Öbut of whom? His act with me? Wishing it had been Obi-Wan instead of me he had lain with? Carefully, I slid off him, covered him gently with a blanket and crept out of the cabin to the cockpit to claim my clothes. Poor Obi, I thought to myself, confident Qui-Gon couldnít sense the turmoil that was raging inside my head. Sick at home and "betrayed" by the two people he loved most.
What could have possessed me to bed Qui-Gon? It was as if there was an overwhelming urgency to our coupling, something greater than ourselves. I had a strange feeling of not being alone with him, as if somebody else was lurking, unseen, yet present as if being here in flesh and blood. What was happening to me?
For hours I stared at the starscape, too tired to sleep, my mind too active to rest, a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. At last I noticed a soft noise behind me, knowing it to be Qui-Gon who had finally emerged from the cabin. He had put only his pants back on, and slowly came to my chair to kneel beside me. He turned my chair so that we faced each other and then he rested his head on my lap. I ran my hands through his soft hair while unnoticed tears slipped down my cheeks. "Weíve made a mistake, havenít we?" I asked softly.
He sighed heavily. "If it had been a mistake I would have sensed it through the Force, Lia. I did not. Nor did I sense anything wrong with loving you."
"Then whatís happening here?" I wailed, covering my face with my hands. Gently, he picked me up and nestled me on his lap in the co-pilots chair while I buried my head in his shoulder and sobbed. Softly he patted and soothed me, letting me take all the time I needed to get back under control. His touch was so good, so calming. Slowly I stopped crying, but neither of us moved. Finally, he spoke.
"I know thereís great turmoil inside you, Lia, I can feel it and it is echoing in my mind as well. Neither of us wants to hurt Obi-Wan, and yetÖ I fear it will be unavoidable." I said nothing, and eventually he continued. "I donít understand what is happening to us, but, by the Force, we will see this through Ė together!" Another short pause as he gently brushed his fingers through my hair. "I realize weíll be living in these cramped quarters for another two days, but if you wish I will make sure that nothing of what just happenedÖdoes happen again."
I vehemently shook my head. "No, Qui-Gon. I need this, I need to be close to you. I canít feel the Force, and I donít know if it can help to see us through this. But I trust you. I canít not be with you now, even if I wanted to."
We pulled away from each other far enough for him to look into my eyes; a definite mistake. The heat was rekindled instantly, not in the least diminished by our recent activities, and I caught my breath. "I canít either, Lia," he said in a husky voice, then he kissed me.
The rest of the trip was a haze. Iím not sure how I piloted, or even if, since nearly every moment was spent with Qui-Gon in bed -Ė or on the floor, in the pilotís chair, in the Ďfresher Ė we couldnít get enough of each other. And there it was again, every single time, that familiar hunger in him for someone other than me, the same burning desire as in his Padawan, but I felt even less free to say something than I had with Obi-Wan. I was putting myself in the worst possible position, and helpless to stop.
In the hours before our return to Coruscant and normality, we lay together in one bunk, holding each other tightly. We were numb; from loving, from crying, from despair, from ecstasy. Neither of us had a clue what would happen when we landed, and both of us were too hesitant to broach the subject. I ran my hands over his chest while he played with my hair; neither of us wanted to talk but I felt we had better.
Finally, I moved so that I was resting my chin on his chest and looked up at that face. One of his arms was behind his head, tilting it so he could see me from where I lay, and his other hand caressed my face. The look of languorous sensuality on his face is a memory I put into a special box in my mind to call up whenever I want.
"We need to talk, donít we?" I asked quietly, and his slight smile told me he agreed. "What are we going to do?" I continued.
"I have often taught Obi-Wan that it is a wise man indeed who can admit to not knowing the future," he began, the sadness in his eyes betraying the smile on his face. "I donít know, Lia. I donít know what we will do, what we should do. Neither of us wants to hurt Obi-Wan, or each other, but I fear thatís exactly what is going to happen!"
I hardly heard him, I just tried to take in his beauty, his scent, the beating of his heart. I wished I could forget about the ramifications of our doings, but reality was keeping me in the here and now. "Heís going to have to know, sooner or later, isnít he?" It was more the statement of a fact rather than a question.
"Yes, he will," Qui-Gon said almost matter-of-factly before he continued. "Do you want to stop seeing him?" he asked, but he already knew the answer.
"No!" I exclaimed. "Gods, no." But I didnít want to stop seeing the Master, either, I thought. And there was something else, something I couldnít tell either of them but what needed to be addressed. The idea that I might cause the Master and his Padawan to become enemies over who was going to possess me!Öbitter rivals, the two men that loved each other so muchÖand the thought of leaving both of them for their own good crossed my mind.
Qui-Gon must have picked up on at least some of that, for his arm tightened around me. "Weíll think of something," he said, clearly as unwilling to give me up as I was to give him up. "One day at a time, love, one day at a time."
Leaving the shuttle at the familiar spaceport back on Coruscant was difficult. I felt as if everything should have changed in the days I was gone, that the sky would have turned green and the buildings melted. But everything was the same, right down to the same maintenance droids who serviced the shuttle before we left. Qui-Gon and I parted at the foot of the gangplank, not touching, only our eyes speaking volumes. I took my leave from him in a daze, returned to my quarters, threw myself still clothed on my bed and fell into a deep, exhausted sleep.
The comm unit woke me up the next morning. To my surprise I had slept the whole afternoon, evening and night, and since I had not set my alarm I was late for my duty shift. The call was from my Master, making sure I had returned safely and wondering why I had not checked in with him. I made excuses and rang off, then stumbled into the fresher.
I made it through my duty shift, somehow, silently cursing the day I met Obi-Wan and his Master. My mind was in a perpetual fog and nothing seemed to clear it. Time and again I found myself drifting into a reverie, thinking about two sets of eyes, demanding, loving.
By dinner, I was only slightly better. I didnít want to face going home yet, so I went directly to the commissary for some dinnerÖ and that was a mistake. I had only begun to pick at my dinner when a familiar voice interrupted my misery.
"And here Iíve been on my death bed and not only do you not visit, you donít even call me when you get back!" Obi-Wan, still a little pale but grinning ear to ear, stood before me, holding his own dinner.
My first reaction was oh shit but I knew I was going to have to face him sooner or later. I just wished it could have been laterÖ MUCH later! I managed to conjure up a weak smile in greeting, and said, "you donít look like youíve been on your death bed. Are you sure you should be up?"
His grin faded a bit under obvious puzzlement, but he still maintained an air of nonchalance. "Oh, Iím fine, I escaped from the healers day before yesterday. It wasnít all that badÖ but I sure could have used a warm body to snuggle next to!" He put the tray he was carrying across from mine on the table and sat down facing me.
"Well, Iím glad youíre all right, I really am," I managed, then began to pick at my dinner again. I could feel his quizzical stare.
"That must have been an interesting mission," he finally said, slowly, "Qui-Gon has barely said five words to me since he got back, and even youíre being quiet. I thought it was supposed to be pretty routine. Did something odd happen?"
You could say that, I thought, and swallowed, avoiding looking at him. "No, not really, I guess. It was justÖuh, routine." Yeah, that sounded good. Just in time I remembered the little gift I got for him from our trip, and made mention of it. "I got you one of those "Force-sensitive" stones, the ones you like," I said, smiling slightly in a weak show of nonchalance.
"Oh, you didnít have to do that, Lia, thank you!" His eyes got a sly gleam. "Maybe we should retire to your quarters so you could give it to me?" he asked, leering and grinning. I hesitated, dreading being alone with him, and this was enough to make him alarmed. And then he noticed the necklace I was wearing. Stupid me!
"Is that a new necklace?" he asked with a surprised look on his face. "Iíve never seen it on you before. Where did you get it?"
It was an innocent question, but I squirmed, trying to avoid an answer. Finally, I decided to do what I had come to do best Ė I lied to him! "Oh, I got it off Coruscant, I donít remember when" It was a lie so thin that even a child would have seen through it, not to speak of Obi-Wan.
He leaned over the table to have a better look at the necklace, when all of a sudden his eyes grew big in confusion and hurt. "He gave that to you! You got this necklace from Qui-Gon!" I didnít look at him, I just wanted to get away from him.
I was really becoming disgusted with myself, not to mention panicked, so I stood as if to leave. "Obi-Wan, Iím really whipped, itís been a hard dayÖ"
I didnít get to finish, nor did I get to stand all the way up. His hand caught mine and pulled me back down. "Lia. Somethingís wrong and Iím not going to let you go until you tell me. Just what happened on that shuttle?" His eyes were very blue, very intense, and I couldnít look at them, not if my life depended on it. His hand still held mine, wouldnít let it go.
"Obi-Wan, look. Iím really tired, and I needÖ"
"No." Rarely had I heard such a tone from him. He was probably picking up on my thoughts and turmoil through the Force, despite my best efforts to conceal them. "For the two of you to be acting like this, something mustÖ" The necklace and Qui-Gon. My mind couldnít get off of the moment he had possessed me, filled me with his seed for the first time. Helplessly, almost pleadingly I looked at Obi-Wan, my guilt written all over my face.
Abruptly he released my hand. "Lia, you didnítÖ? Please tell meÖ you didnít?" I looked away, utterly miserable. "Force! I canít believe this! You did!"
His voice was low but intense, and it carried, causing a few people to turn to us in puzzlement. I reached across the table to take his hand, but he wrenched away from my touch. "Obi-Wan, please! It was not as you might think. It wasÖ a spur of the moment thing, purely physical." What a consummate liar I had become!
"You slept with Qui-Gon! With my Master! I canít believe it! I canít believe this is happening!" He looked down at the table, breathing heavily, then ran his hand through his spiky hair. Finally he looked back into my face. "So tell me Lia", he said maliciously, "was it enjoyable? Did you have fun? Is that how you also would describe our relationship to others Ė to HIM? As an enjoyable little nothing? Tell me, whose name did you scream when you came, Lia?" His voice was steadily rising, and several people had risen and left the room, glancing at us in confusion and dismay.
Obi-Wan was furious, angrier than I ever imagined he could be. His hands were trembling, and abruptly he shoved his tray out of the way, almost spilling it on the floor in his movement.
"Obi-Wan!" I almost had to yell to get his attention. "We always have agreed on our relationship being an open one, no strings, remember? It was the physical attraction between him and me" Ė I lied Ė "nothing more!"
"Oh, just physical, huh? Did you compare notes with him about me? Tell me, who does you better, him or me? Huh? Tell me, Iíve really got to know!" He reached across the table, grabbing my chin with one hand, yanking my face towards him. "Tell me, Lia, where do I fit into this little game of yours, eh?"
I tried to move away from him, but his grip was too strong. He really was hurt, I noticed a bit surprised. But why was I surprised? I tried to keep my level down, tried to meet his eyes again, noting the anguish and betrayal that tormented him. "Obi-Wan, stop. You are making a scene. I think we need to just step back here and calm down."
"Calm down? Calm down! I donít think I want to calm down, Lia. What were you possibly thinking?!"
Once again, I spoke before I thought, but his words Ė and my guilt Ė were getting to me, and I had just about lost it. "And what are you thinking?" I hissed. "Who are you jealous of here, him or me? Who is upper-most in your thoughts, Obi-Wan? Tell me that!"
Finally he let go of my face and I reflexively withdrew back into my chair. He stared at me, confused, hurt, and still mad as a hornet.
"That bastard! He will have some explaining to do NOW!", and with clenched fists he stormed out of the room.
"Obi-Wan!" I shouted, chasing after him. I tried to keep up with him, but he wouldnít stop for anyone right now, even if he had to trample Master Yoda to the ground, he needed to find Qui-Gon. Suddenly he stopped, I guess to center himself, to focus, whatever it is Jedi do when they just stand, kneel or sit without any motion. I came up to him, his eyes closed, fighting for control. Then, as if snapping out of a trance, back into his search mode he was, never having acknowledged my presence.
His search wasnít a long one. A turn left, straight down a hallway, left again, straight, through some double doors Ė there was Master Jinn, in one of the gardens of the Temple, in conversation with BoíNarr one of the newly initiated Jedi Knights. He unceremoniously approached Qui-Gon and stood right before him, looking down at his Master with a stare that could kill. "Master, I need to speak with you Ė NOW! Please!" He barely managed to utter that last word through clenched teeth.
Qui-Gon slowly lifted his gaze up to his apprentice, stopping his conversation with BoíNarr who was as appalled as I was at the Padawanís rude intrusion. How could Obi-Wan disregard proper form so entirely for this problem?
"Obi-Wan?" The Masterís look was clearly one of utter annoyance and disapproval of his studentís behavior. "As you can see, I am busy at this moment! Or has your meticulous sense of timing failed you once again?"
"Master, I mean no disrespect, but I need Ö"
"You need, Padawan?" Qui-Gonís voice started to take on a more edgy tone by now. "Obi-Wan, I am in a conversation with Knight BoíNarr right now, and I will talk to you when I am finished, not before. You are excused."
Qui-Gon looked at me, standing behind Obi-Wan and trying to melt into the background, with a sad, regretful, even frightened gaze. I turned my eyes from him and Obi-Wan, fighting back tears of rage and despair.
"Qui-Gon Ö", Obi-Wan started, but there he had made a gross mistake.
"That is QUITE ENOUGH, Padawan!" Qui-Gon responded quite threateningly and in a voice that had risen a few decibels. "Whatever it is you wish to discuss with me Ö"
"Master Jinn, I think I better be going. I-I have some duties to attend to." BoíNarr sounded very uncomfortable being in the midst as it was, of this confrontation between Master and Padawan. Qui-Gon stood, extended his hand to assist BoíNarr in doing so as well, and gently kissed the back of her hand. I was appalled at the surge of primal jealousy and rage I felt at that small gesture. One small part of my mind pleaded for calm, for restraint, but it was rapidly becoming overwhelmed by the gibbering bitch I was becoming. BoíNarr decided it was time to retreat as fast as possible.
I saw how hard Qui-Gon had to fight for control to not let his displeasure with his Padawan , and possibly me, show openly. At last he faced Obi-Wan, a very angry look distorting his face.
"Padawan, what is so pressing on your mind that you had the audacity to disturb this conversation of mine in such a manner?"
All the while Obi-Wan had been pacing frantically, but now he stopped to look into his Masterís eyes.
"You slept with her! You took advantage of Lia!", he burst out and immediately took a step away from Qui-Gon.
"Is that so? She told you then?" He looked at me, not in anger or disgust, but in sadness.
If looks could break you into thousand pieces Ė that was how I felt right then! I turned my face down, not saying a word.
"She didnít have to tell me, Master, you seemed to be constantly on her mind!"
The two of them stood, toe to toe, emanating fury at each other at a pulse that should have melted plasteel. Qui-Gonís jaw worked with the effort of holding back recriminations, and when he finally spoke his words were choked. "We are taking this inside. Now." Without further words, he strode past Obi-Wan and me, inside, towards their apartment.
As Obi-Wan brushed past me I tried to grab his arm. I had to find a way to end this, before it went too far. "Obi.." I started, but he brushed me off. His eyes were so filled with anger and sadness it absolutely broke my heart.
"Go away, Lia. Havenít you done enough for one day?" he asked me bitterly, turning away.
I couldnít let that be the end. Practically in tears I tried to talk to Obi-Wan. "Obi-Wan, I canít let you do this to yourself and him. I canít see you two as enemies just because of me!" That last was directed at his back, as he practically ran away from me. I wasnít sure if he had heard me or not, but I knew I had to catch up to them, in what might be a futile attempt to avert this disaster.
But I couldnít! By the time I made it to their apartment door, it was closed and locked, and from the voices I could clearly hear, they were not interested in opening it for me or anyone. I stood outside, frozen, one hand on the door in supplication, tears streaming down my face as I listened.
"Ödonít understand how you could do such a thing!" Obi-Wanís voice, screaming.
"I am not subject to your rules, Padawan," Qui-Gon retorted, not screaming, but his voice raised and definitely angry. "It is not your place to tell me what I can and cannot do!"
"My rules? MY rules? What about the rules of common decency? What about a Master not screwing around with his Padawanís girlfriend? What kind of Master are you anyway?"
"One that perhaps should never have taken you as my Padawan in the first place!" he roared back, and my heart almost broke. This shouldnít be happening, but it was! My hand dropped and I slowly slid to the floor, my back to the door, sobbing uncontrollably.
"Well perhaps not then! Perhaps I should just go to the Council with this little indiscretion then, and request someone better!" And after only a small pause I heard what I never imagined to hear from Obi-Wan. "You flaming BASTARD!"
A sharp sound, the noise of a hand connecting harshly with a face, immediately followed by a gasp. Then silence. I couldnít bear to witness their fight any longer and so got up and fled back to my quarters.
I spent a miserable evening alone with the memories of the horrible scene I had partially witnessed, not knowing what was happening on the other side of the Temple, not knowing that the entire episode had finally made Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan face their feelings for each other. As Obi-Wan told me much later after this incident, the whole episode served as a catalyst for the two of them to at last acknowledge their feelings for one another. Qui-Gon had never meant to strike out against his Padawan, and the simple fact that he had done so made him realize how wrong he was, how much he cared for both Obi-Wan and me, and how much his apprentice cared for him and me in the same way. It must have been like an epiphany for them. And for the first time they truly realized that this was indeed a three person relationship, not just two couples. With some it could have destroyed a relationship, with them it cemented their bond with one another.
Of course I couldnít sleep that night. The next day was a restday, I remember being grateful for that as I knew my life was shattered and I suspected the lives of my two loves were in turmoil also. I knew by then, after my long night of introspection, that they were my loves, that I loved both of them, fiercely, passionately. Sometime in that long night, huddled on my little sofa, I resolved to do anything I could to heal the wounds I had caused. Near dawn, I must have dozed off, for the next thing I remember is a warm hand on my face and warm breath in my hair. I jerked awake, gasping in shock, to find the two pairs of eyes that so haunted my dreams focused on me. Together.
"Love, are you all right?" Obi-Wanís looked down on me with his chameleon blue-green eyes, concern and love written all over his face. And there was his Master, standing right behind him, his large hand lovingly resting on his Padawanís shoulder. I could sense not the slightest remnant of anger in either of them. Obi knelt next to the sofa and Qui sat at my feet, his arm slung over the back of the sofa. Both their faces were pale and drawn, their eyes were ringed with dark circles, but they were at peace, and together.
My thoughts were all befuddled, I couldnít think straight after all the horrible things that had happened the day before. I thought I was all cried out, but the sight of them both cause my eyes to fill again, and Iím afraid I completely lost it and started babbling.
"Oh, Gods, Obi Ė Qui, please forgive me, Iíll leave, you never have to see me again, donít let me come between the love you two have for each other, please donítÖ"
Obi-Wan made a distressed sound and reached up to take me into his arms. And Qui-Gon did too, taking us both into his strong embrace, holding us both firmly, possessively, comfortingly. I just sobbed, as Obi-Wan tried to comfort me. "Lia, my love, please donít cry, itís all right, thanks to you, everythingís all rightÖ"
Qui-Gonís gentle voice cut through my anguish. "Dear heart, everything is all right. Youíve done nothing wrong, weíve done nothing wrong. This is as it should be."
//All is as it should be now// I heard Obi-Wan sayÖ but I didnít hear it with my ears. I heard it in my mind, and that jolted me out of my self absorption. I pulled back and looked at him in utter amazement.
"What did you say?" I whispered, and he smiled just a little bit, glancing at his Master briefly before turning back to me and wiping the tears from my face.
//We are joined// I heard, Qui-Gon this time, again in my head not acoustically. I looked from one to the other, confused, utterly lost. Could I have just heard them through the Force, through our minds?
//Yes, love, you did // "said" Obi-Wan, again in my mind.
"How can this happen?" I asked, again in a whisper. "Iím not Force sensitive."
"But we are," Qui-Gon said, aloud to my relief. "And we love you as much as we love each other. We have become bonded through the Force, and though I donít know how or why, it cannot be ignored any longer. I love you, we love you!"
It was as if a steel band that had been tightening around my heart suddenly burst, and I laughed almost hysterically. "This isnít possible!" I saw them share a concerned look, but that only made me more confused. "Iíve come between you. You love each other, so muchÖ you donít need me between you to hurt your loveÖ" I was babbling again, incapable of stopping.
Gently moving his Padawan aside, Qui-Gon took my shoulders firmly in a strong, reassuring grip. "Lia, stop. Itís all right. You are not interfering. You have become an integral part of us now, of the love we share."
I stared at him stupidly. "You know?"
Obi-Wan was caught between concern and gentle amusement, but concern was winning. I must have looked a mess. "Yes, love. We know. Itís because of you that we know." Gently he brushed sweaty hair from my face with one hand, while the other wrapped around Qui-Gonís neck. Qui-Gon looked at him, released one of my shoulders and put that hand around his Padawanís back.
"Weíre together," he said simply, looking from his Padawan to me. "All three of us. Together!"
I closed my eyes then, awash in the love and caring I felt flowing over me from them, from their minds. //Together // I heard/thought/felt, and with a sob I reached my arms out to gather them to me, to hold them tight. //How could I have been so blind?// I wondered, only to find myself answered.
//We all were, love, we all were // I didnít know if it was Qui-Gon or Obi-Wan and I didnít care. We were together. There was a great burst of happiness from somewhere that washed over all three of us, leaving us enervated and suddenly exhausted.
Obi-Wan gently broke my grip, and standing, picked me up into his arms. I was completely and utterly debilitated, limp as a cooked noodle, and depleted to the point that I couldnít have moved had I wanted to. Gently Obi carried me into the bedroom and put me on my bed, while Qui-Gon moved to the other side of the bed. Obi-Wan laid down next to me, one arm under my head, one hand holding mine. Qui took his robe off and laid it over Obi and I, then slid under it together with me and his Padawan.
Until that moment, with my two loves on either side of me, I never knew what home meant. "I hope Iím not dreaming," I murmured, on the verge of sleep, safe, secure, and loved.
A soft chuckle in one ear was echoed in the other. "You are not, for we are not either."
"Sleep, dearest," whispered Qui-Gon. "Weíll be here when you wake."
And they were. They still are.
By the time her story ended, we were sharing a seat on my sofa. She was staring at the last of the wine in her glass, smiling slightly in remembrance. Although she had edited a lot of her story, I easily picked up on certain events, which confirmed some things and muddled others in my mind.
After some silence, I spoke, softly so as not to shatter her reverie. "Thank you for sharing that with me, Lia," I said. "It has straightened some things out for me, things I had wondered about."
She looked at me quizzically. "Like what?" she asked.
I took a deep breath, choosing my words carefully. "I think the pain and confusion you initially felt at the beginning of your relationship was due to its very nature. You obviously have a bond, some kind of a triple, aóa "threebond" which, in your initial denial of it, caused all of you much anguish. As soon as the bond was acknowledged, the pain simply dissipated."
She smiled again into her wine glass. "A threebond. Interesting way of putting it. Yes, youíre correct, although it took us a good week to settle into our new lives after that. As I recall, it was just after I took my Masterís robes, about two weeks after our acknowledgement of the bond that I moved in with them. But the horrible anguish was mostly gone from that night on."
"Have you three ever considered formalizing your bond?" I asked, diffidently.
She looked at me in surprise. "You mean, a ceremony and all?" She laughed lightly. "Oh, I donít think Master Jinn would like that very much. Heís a very private person."
"We can easily make it a private ceremony, Lia. No one but the three of you, Master Yoda and I would be present."
Lia looked skeptical, but, probably to be polite and humor me, she finally agreed to at least put the question before Qui-Gon and Kenobi. "Good then, I sense your tiredness after this long story of yours." She smiled in acknowledgement. "Perhaps itís time for us to part? It is late and I could use some sleep myself."
"Yes, Mace, that sounds good. An even better one would be if you could escort me home." We both laughed, being fully aware of the effect that that excellent wine had on both our abilities to maneuver around safely.
"Good, I believe together we shall master the task of finding our way back to your quarters." I stood up then and put Liaís robe gently over her shoulders.
"Let me see, your quarters areÖ" and with that I walked her home.
On my leisurely stroll back I contemplated the story I had just heard from this beautiful young woman. Right there and then I made up my mind to get further information about this curious triumvirate from the other two players involved.
End part one