Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:22) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Larius Lacus: Sierra Rodney's lakehouse).
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and Major Sierra Rodney.

Claudius Rodney was in a better mood than he had been in some time. Colonel Zevrin was out of their lives, he had the Emperor's favor, and he felt as if he were on the verge of a great victory that would allow him more time to spend with his wife and children. Retreating to his wife's lakehouse on Esseles he was content to let the inept Ensign Sheppard deal with the house full of young women, as he felt his wife deserved a night off following how adeptly she organized the conference with the sector command. He had removed his uniform and put on comfortable close to blend in with the other vacationers at Larius Lacus. As he sat down at the dinner table the food he had ordered for them was already on the plates, as he did not want her to have to cook either. He smiled across at her proudly. He looked and felt young.

Sierra Rodney was grateful for the break. Her stress level had been through the roof since meeting with the Emperor. There had been a great internal conflict building inside of her, one which Kerrie had shone light on. It was impossible for her to miss. Combined with the drama concerning Drusilla this morning, Sierra wasn't feeling like Lady Incredible. She had been soaking her swollen feet in cold water inside of the bathroom when dinner arrived. Her stomach groaned, but not because she was hungry. Drying her feet off, Sierra made her way out of the bathroom. Abandoned was her uniform for a much more comfortable knee-length dress. She sat down at the small dinner table in front of him. She wore a smile. This was going to be the most difficult night of her life. She didn't want to deflate his newfound happiness. Her eyes flickered over the food. She chuckled. "Thank you. We won't have to fight to keep our dinners here." She briefly reached across the table. Her hand brushed over the top of his before returning to her side.

"Our estate is positively overflowing!" Claudius said, as he smiled lovingly across the table at her. "I still don't know how Callista ended up back at the estate," he said, with a laugh, but he never minded her presence. "Is Ewwiekewwieikkie getting along with Melickielickie? I worry it might bring back some unpleasant memories for her, and she's never had to compete for 'treasure'," before, he reminded his wife, with a concerned nod of his head. He had not picked up on how Sierra had responded to his renewed Imperialization following the meeting with the Emperor, nor was he aware of what had happened with Drusilla. He had become so focused on the Chandrila operation that he had lost sight of what was truly important, which was all the more ironic as he was throwing himself into his work now to make time for family later.

Sierra was secretly grateful that they weren't about to have a daughter. Claudius would need another male in the house now that Melickielickie was living with them. She smiled and laughed. "I know. She just kind of appeared. Ewwiekewwieikkie has actually been surprising me as of late. I haven't seen her fight with Melickielickie yet ... and, really, it seems to be bringing out some sense of responsibility in her. Before I left this morning, Melickielickie fell down and started crying. Ewwie was *really* worried about her. It was adorable..." Sierra was reminded of Drusilla. She picked up her fork but fiddled with her food instead of actually eating it. "Ah... I, er, grounded Drusilla this morning. I busted her sneaking in through the back door after a night out with Pollix." There was venom in Sierra's voice. "I'm going to travel to Onderon and skin that boy. I want to know *exactly* what happened."

"Great merciful bloodstained gods!" Claudius exclaimed, before slamming his fist down onto the table, which caused his plate to rattle. "I knew that *boy* was too old. He's a bad influence," he said, as he looked down at the table and shook his plate. "No, no. *I* will talk to him," he said, as he matched her venom with his own toxicity. "She needs to have respect for you and your rules. You are her mother now," he said, decisively, before picking up his knife and cutting into his meat. He imagined it was Pollix as he sliced into it, before chewing on it deliberately. "I am glad things are working out between the Squibs," he said, as he placed his silverware back down upon the table to continue the dinner conversation. "I think the meeting went well, though I did worry that Commander Howe might blow a gasket. It seems every time I rid us of an ISB agent another just shows up," he said, with a smirk, before taking a sip from his glass of water.

"He is a bad influence!" Sierra agreed. "She never was sneaking around like that *before* he came around." She was massively relieved that he sided with her. Sierra loved Dru, and so she wanted the best for her. The idea of letting Pollix trample all over her daughter didn't sit well with her. "I've taken away her allowance for the next month. We can talk over other punishments. I think an empty wallet will speak for itself." Sierra had hit Dru where it hurt. She had a feeling that they would both be going to see Pollix very soon. Her fingers rubbed at her temples. "She said she hated me... I'm beginning to fear what Melickielickie will be like in another decade. Food *always* works with Squibs, doesn't it?" She sat back. The way he mutilated the meat on his plate made it simple to know what Claudius was thinking about. She had made herself quite angry on the way to the Retributor this morning. Everything focused back on the meeting and Sierra's bad feelings came back quadrupled. "Oh, I wouldn't worry about him. He's the new guy on the block and he's got to prove himself. He simply got offended by General Glin. Perhaps Commander Howe needs to wear his big boy pants to the next meeting." Sierra remarked.

"No. She never was," Claudius said in agreement with his wife ... not that he knew, as he was hardly ever there. "Good. Sometimes I think credits are the only things she understand, but I fear if she gains access to his money we'll lose what little control over her that we have," he said to her, as he took another bite of his meat. "Yeah. You ISB types," he said, before bringing his hands up in front of himself in a defensive position. "Kidding! Kidding!" he said, playfully, before lowering his defenses. "What did Kerrie want?" he pressed her, as his facial expression changed. It had been on the back of his mind ever since he saw them together, but he did not want to press her on the subject right away. "Is it about my birthday?" he asked, as he leaned forward to get closer to her.

Sierra rolled her eyes and laughed. "I know. Damn us ISB types." She winked, forcing herself to begin picking at her food. "If you don't be nice to me, I'll record everything you do!" It was an empty threat. She had already found Arden's device in his office and had it removed. While that didn't assure privacy, it was better than letting the device keep filming their lives. His question caused the room to become cold and uncomfortable. She should have known he would pry! Her cheeks turned red while he pressed on. "I'm not telling you! It won't be a surprise then! You'll just have to be patient until your birthday." She leaned forward just enough for her nose to brushed against his in a teasing gesture. "When will you have Kerrie reassigned to the family? I like having her close. I trust her ... and, let's face it, she's a better body guard than El-Nay." She played to her husband's hate for the Mandalorian in hopes that he'd allow her to have what she wanted.

"*Everything*?" Claudius nervously asked her, as he took another much needed sip of water. "I don't want to end up like my brother," he teased her, before the conversation changed to his birthday. He was as impatient and curious about surprises as Drusilla, but he decided not to ruin the evening by begging to know more. "Reassigned, why? I hear she's doing an excellent job with the Commandos," he said, revealing just how disconnected from the Clawdite he had become since she was replaced by his wife. "Hey! You were the one who pressed me to let El-Nay have the position," he said, as he slid his foot under the table and teased her with a short game of footsie.

She brought her hand up to her face and laughed. "Neither do I. As I recall, I wasn't the one getting handsy in the lake last time... That was you, good sir!" Sierra was hardly innocent. She had instigated sex in his office, where both of them knew it was being recorded. Underneath the table, she engaged his feet in a battle of their own. If only she could stop time here, then Claudius would remain so happy. She was going to have a sensitive conversation with him tonight. How she brought it about was key. Sierra was *never* his enemy. "Really? El-Nay and her both seemed pretty unhappy being with the Commandos. I know Kerrie would be much happier with us. It would be good for the girls to have her around. It'll bring us peace of mind too, knowing that someone we trust is keeping an eye on them while we're away."

"You know she covered up Jelena's initial involvement in the Rebellion. She felt it would keep her *safe* from the Empire. Twisted logic if I ever heard it," Claudius said, before taking a drink of his water to cool off. "She should have told me. Maybe things would have been different," he said, frowning as he thought back upon those days. There were things he should have done differently too, but he was too high on his horse to admit that right now. "Alright, Sierra. Alright," he said, as he lowered his hands to the table to indicate submission. "After the Chandrila operation I'll have Kerrie reassigned to the estate," he said, as he moved his hand over to hers, coming to a rest upon it as he shared an affectionate embrace. "Now, is there anything else you want?" he asked her, as his finger slowly traced along the features of her hand. He wanted to grow old memorizing every millimeter of her flesh.

"She did...?" Claudius had given her a slab of new news. It had been so long since they had seen Jelena. She missed her. Sierra's head hung. Now she was concerned that she was making the wrong decisions for her family. Nonetheless, Claudius let her have what she wanted. Sierra had taken two wins home tonight, but she didn't know if she could triumph a third time. She looked down at their hands. "Thank you, Claudius." In her mind, this was the right choice. She had to remain confident otherwise she would fall apart. She watched the movement of his finger while goosebumps began erupting over the exposed flesh of her forearm. Every little beat of her heart was for *him*. Her eyes looked into his. "Yes." She said. "I want you to love me forever. I want nothing to ever take us away from each other." She was ready.

"Yes. She takes her oath to our family more serious than her oath to His Majesty, so rather than tell me what Jelena was up to, she attempted to cover it up rather than tell me. She thought she could keep control of the situation, and keep her safe from Zevrin and the ISB. But, all that ended up happening was Jelena shooting her..." Claudius remembered, bitterly, as he looked down at his glass and wished he had something stronger than water. "You're welcome," he said to her, as he did feel better about his family when Kerrie was around. She would surely put a stop to late night entry and exit by Drusilla and Pollix at the very least. "I will love you forever, Sierra. How could I ever do anything but that? *Nothing* will ever take me from you. When this battle is over it's my hope that I can settle down and devote myself to you and the girls entirely," he naively told her, as his optimism reached record highs.

Claudius relayed to her disturbing information. She would seek out to learn more from Kerrie herself. It hadn't been right to keep the information away from Claudius, and it sounded like the situation had gotten out of hand. She hoped not to lose anymore of their family to the Rebellion. His words were reassuring when she was feeling down on herself. When Claudius was like this, when he was so positive, it rubbed off on Sierra. She briefly smiled, imagining him home with her and their growing family. It was something she wanted to, even though she understood how demanding his job could be. Slowly, Sierra stood. She grasped one of her husband's hands tightly. "Thank you," her lower lip quivered. She looked like she was going to cry. The young woman led him back to the bedroom, for her appetite had gone to a place where it wasn't coming back from. She sat on the bed, persuading him to sit in front of her. She wrapped her legs and arms around him as much as she could with her always growing belly getting in the way. She pressed her forehead against his back and began to talk. "Claudius, I'm worried about you." She could feel the bite of food she'd eaten at her throat. Blerg. The terrible feelings hadn't stopped in days.

Claudius easily allowed himself to be led to the bedroom, as sharing his nights with her were the parts of his day that he cherished the most. "Worried about me?" he asked, with some difficulty, between moans from the pleasure of her rubbing him. "There's nothing to worry about. Things have never been better," he tried to reassure her. His eyes closed and he continued to moan as she clung to him, bringing a physical closeness to the emotional bond he felt with her. "What's on your mind?" he asked her, pressing somewhat, as he could tell something was wrong, even if he was not entirely sure what. He had been so preoccupied with his own happiness that he had taken Sierra's emotions for granted, but he decided that needed to change ... now.

Her fingers made their way up and down his back. Sierra had shifted his attention. Now Claudius realized that something was up with her. He wasn't going to give up until she knew. "It's complicated." She began reluctantly. "I'm worried about what's going to happen on Chandrila. It isn't like you to sign death warrants like this, Claudius. You're a good man." She reminded him. "I'm going to support you until the end of forever, but I also don't want you to do anything you might regret down the line. Innocent people are going to die. If you succeed and please the Emperor, is that going to be enough for your conscious?" She came at him as what she was: one very concerned wife. Instead of talking to him about it and raining on his parade, she had internalized until she could take no more. She clung to him tightly.

Claudius sighed when she mentioned Chandrila, as he knew that there was a moral ambiguity to what they were about to do. However, to him, and apparently the Emperor, the ends did justify the means. "Sierra the entire galaxy is being torn apart by these Rebels. Even our family has been divided over it," he said to her, sorrowfully, as he leaned back into her. "I know it's awful to think about, but if a few on Chandrila have to suffer so that the Rebellion can be brought to a swift end isn't it worth it?" he asked her, apparently revealing that to him it was worth it. "It's not *just* about pleasing the Emperor. It's about ending the war and getting back to living. The Emperor ended the last war, and I believe he can end this one too," he said, as he moved his hand down to her legs that were wrapped around him. He placed a hand on her foot, which seemed swollen, and began to gently rub it. He hoped she understood ... he needed her to understand.

It was impossible to place a value on life, wasn't it? She quietly thought back to how many people had lost their lives so just her unborn son could survive. Sierra could understand his justification. She wanted the war to end so they could all be together again. The war had spread throughout a majority of her life. She, too, wanted to see better days for the galaxy. Behind him, she let out a sigh. The foot rub was much needed after a lengthy day in the most uncomfortable kind of boots. Slowly, she let out some of that pent up tension and began to relax into him. "Yes, I think it's worth it. The longer the war goes on, the more lives that are lost, not spared. I want the war to end every bit as much as you do. When it does end, when everything begins to settle down, I want to make sure you'll be okay." She cuddled him lovingly. She understood...and she hoped he understood her too.

"Sierra ... as long as I have you and our children I'll be always okay," Claudius told her, reassuringly, as he continued to rub her swollen feet. "I want our son to be born into a galaxy free of war," he told her, as he contorted his body so that he could turn and look at her. "Please don't worry, my love. It is but a necessary evil to do a greater good," he told her, before moving his head forward, somewhat uncomfortably due to the position of his body, to place his lips upon hers. He knew that as long as he had her at his side all would be right with his world, but he wanted to make all right with the galaxy as well.

Those were the words she needed to hear most tonight. She hadn't realized that their family had such a profound effect on her husband, but she could honestly say she felt the same. Through all the trials and tribulations they had gone through in the five months they'd been married, Sierra had continued to be happy. She knew why. It was her family and her wonderful husband that made everything okay at the end of the day. Her legs released from his waist to make it more comfortable for her to turn towards her. It was only her belly getting in the way now. She looked at him and felt the ease of realizing everything was going to be okay. Her hands cupped his face. She began to kiss him lovingly. Her hands persuaded him up her body as she laid back on the bed. Only then could she lock her arms around his neck to keep him close. "I believe you. I believe *in* you. I know you can help end the war, my Claudius. It'll be so wonderful when you do." She smiled brightly. "Because we're going to have way too many children in the house for us to do anything other than raise them." She laughed. "And you thought you were done."

Each kiss she placed upon him warmed his heart and his soul. There was never a more perfect moment in his life than these moments with her. "I'm just getting started," he told her, as he moved to shower her in a few kisses of his own. He placed his hand upon her stomach where he could feel their son slowly developing within her. "I want him to grow up in a galaxy that has forgotten war. I know that it will be hard for the Chandrilans, but if it makes life easier for the rest of the galaxy..." he said, his voice wavering, as a tear began to well up in the corner of his eye. "No more. Let the Emperor's Will be done," he declared, before pushing her gently down upon the bed and coming down upon her. He began to undress her when his comlink began to beep, indicating the orbital bombardment of Chandrila had commenced. He tried to ignore it, and instead focused on his wife. He did not just want to escape the chaos of the estate tonight, but the chaos of the war as well.

Everything was going to be okay. Claudius had given her the cure to the sickness that had been plaguing her as of late. Suddenly, Sierra felt so much better. A weight dropped off of her chest thanks to a combination of words. A wide smile broke out over her face. She giggled when his kisses tickled her lightly. "Damn straight you are," Sierra teased him. She was committed to the idea of having a large family with her love. Nothing sounded better, in her opinion. She looked down at his hand. Their son was feeding off of his mother's newfound happiness and was content to kick and punch to ensure his parents that he was developing just fine. "Let the Emperor's Will be done." She repeated confidently. Claudius was making the right decision...the decision that *had* to be made.

Her back met with the bed. She brought her arms over her head so he could easily remove her dress...a wonderful perk of not being in uniform. The comlink beeped in the back of Sierra's mind, but she was too busy progressing forward with her husband. Her hands began to rapidly undress him until he was as naked as she. "I love you," she told him passionately. "I love you truly, madly, deeply." Again, her lips locked with his. Her soft legs spread to accommodate him then her hips pressed forward to inspire him on. Right now, what mattered was the wonderful man she shared her mind, heart, and body with.

When Claudius had succeeded in removing her dress he shifted to the business of getting his pants off. "If only we could get you pregnant with the next one while you were pregnant with the first one," he suggested, before allowing his body to slowly come down on hers.

That thought was rather pleasant. Sierra chuckled. "That would be wonderful." It was their joint impatience talking. She did wonder, realistically, how long after their son's arrival would she be pregnant again. She didn't know...but she sure looked forward to all parts of the process!

"I swear if that Pollix ever does anything remotely like this to Dru I'll have him castrated," Claudius joked, as he smirked down at his beautiful young wife.

Sierra tried to hold back her laughter but she couldn't stop it. She laughed, "I was under the impression that we were going to castrate him anyway. I think we should lock him up in an Imperial cell for a few days for keeping our daughter out all night." The longer Pollix stayed away, the more elaborate Sierra's punishment for him would be. She didn't care if he was a Prince! She felt no bloodlust for the boy right now, but lust for the man who held her heart. She looked up at Claudius in awe and disbelief. All these years the perfect man for her had been directly under her nose. It took a force of evil in her life for her to realize that, but now that they were together, there was no one in the galaxy who could pull them apart. Her soft body seemed to mold with his until it was impossible to tell where she ended and he began. Sierra's hands pressed into his back. Her fingernails lightly grazed his skin. "I love you, I love you *so* much."

"I'm sorry I left you alone with the kids this morning," he told her, as he began to speed up his assault upon her. His old body was moving so quickly now that it was a blur. Sweat began to pour off him, causing his hair to stick to her younger, slender frame. Each time he lifted up his hair pulled, causing him equal amounts of pain to the pleasure he felt, which made it all the more sensational. When it was over his face found the pillow next to her, as he continued to utter weak noises and he struggled to catch his breath. (d)

His apology made her melt. He was the sweetest man, simple as that. "It's okay, my love... I am going to need you to bargain for my rank insignia back from Ewwiekewwieikkie though." If Ensign Sheppard had failed to get it back while the girls dined on ribs. Her nails dug into his skin a little more. Her head pressed into her pillow. "C-Claudius!" She moaned. There was no stopping it. "Mmmm!!" Her body shook beneath his. She came down from her orgasm slowly. "Oh my..." Her body felt so fulfilled. She was glad they had come to the lake house, for she felt that much closer to him now. With her arms around him, Sierra snuggled her husband. In the other room, her comlink began beeping.

"Finders keepers," Claudius said to Sierra, referring to the Squib's policy on keeping what they found, even if the way they found it constituted theft by their standards. He rolled over onto his back beside her, desperate to catch his breath. He began to close his eyes as he entered into a deep sense of relaxation. A sector away his forces were continuing to attack Chandrila while under the attack of three Rebel starfighter squadrons, but nothing could get him out of that bed, despite the incessant *buzz* of their comlinks. "I don't feel bad for Ensign Sheppard at all," he said, as he rolled over onto his side and savored his night alone with his wife.

"Finders keepers doesn't work when she took it off of my tunic." She chuckled. She'd have to tell him the story of her boots someday. . . and why one of them smelt of fruity cereal. Sierra rolled onto her side and made herself comfortable close to him. Tonight, they were celebrating a victory. Nothing was going to get her out of the bed. It didn't matter how annoying their comlinks were. She wrapped him up in her arms once he had adjusted onto his side. Her body pressed right in against his. "I don't either." She was having a wonderful night with her love. Everyone else could be damned. She leaned forward and snagged a kiss. Her body cuddled up with his until she was comfortable enough to simply close her eyes and fall asleep. The night had been unexpectedly perfect.

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