The final look that
Marcus gave his home planet would sit in Zara's mind
for days as they traveled with no destination in
mind. At first, she seemed angry at the world. She
did what she could to combat what was happening on
the HoloNet while continually seething about her
in-laws. All in all, she spent most of her time
dealing with the backlash of having gone through so
many stressors in rapid succession. She was sick as
a dog to the point where they had to make a crash
landing on some trashy, Vegas-like planet where Zara
felt she could pull connections to find a good
doctor. For the past two days, they'd been laid up
in a hotel-casino room under one of Zara's many
aliases, weathering out the storm of morning
sickness that had crashed down upon her. Her bump
was just beginning to show, not quite noticeable to
the world, but surely noticeable to the man who got
to see her naked (we'll just ignore the fappening
One morning, she awoke
early feeling ... like a monster. While her stomach
had put itself back together again, Zara was feeling
the first tinge of regret over the reckless decision
she had made. She carefully left their bed and
retreated to the bathroom. There, she drew herself a
bath. It was the place where she did all her best
thinking, believe it or not. She sunk herself into
the warm water once it was filled. Finally, she felt
like she was standing on two feet. She had the
ability to process the things that had happened.
Zara began to second guess if she had done the right
thing. Bottom line, she loved Marcus endlessly and
had been blinded in the moment while she tried to do
what she thought was best for their son. "You're
causing a lot of trouble, young man." She
affectionately chastised her stomach like the baby
could hear it. She was afraid her monstrous outburst
was going to chase Marcus away...or worse...make him
unhappy for a lifetime. Zara tilted her head back
into the water until all of her hair was submerged.
One thing was for sure, life needed to calm down.
Marcus remained in bed
long after her, as he did not have another life
growing inside of him. As he stretched he felt the
empty, sunken spot where Zara was supposed to be,
but was not. Her absence immediately caused him to
wake up, sitting as fast as he could he began to
visually scan the room in a panic. He swung his legs
over the bed and rose to his seat, as he discovered
the light on in the bathroom. "Zara?" he called out,
as he moved slowly towards the room, wearing only a
pair of overpriced handmade underwear. As he peeked
into the room a smile came upon his face, as she
always looked more ravishing when her hair was
slicked by having been submerged in the water. "Are
you alright?" he asked, as he moved deeper into the
room, and sat down on the side of the tub so that he
could grow closer to her. His hand quickly entered
the tub, submerging like a predator, before moving
to caress her stomach where their son was
Time flies when you're
being seduced by a bath tub, doesn't it? Zara was so
far lost in her thoughts that she didn't hear him
calling to her. She noticed him only once he crossed
her line of vision and questioned her. A smile
flashed over her lips. She was happy to be feeling
better now, all other things considered. "I'm okay.
I feel way better than yesterday." There was
something sweetly affectionate about the way he
caressed her belly. If she could purr like a kitten,
then she would have! Her smile grew a little more.
"Are you mad at me about the whole Delaya incident?
I'm sorry I didn't bring it up sooner. If you want
your parents to be in our lives, we can figure it
"No. I'm not mad,"
Marcus quickly responded, his index finger tracing
over her burgeoning belly, before spiraling
downwards into her belly button. "At my age I
shouldn't be living at home anyway," he said with a
soft snicker, before examining her more intently ...
he had become so accustomed to her that he was no
longer taken aback by her nudity. "You don't need to
worry, my love. We don't need them. We don't need
anyone. And we can raise our child ... our son ...
without the burden of being an heir," he said,
nodding his head to emphasize his words to her.
"Besides. I saw what the burden of inheritance did
to my brother and how it tore his family apart..."
he said to her, lowering his head silently, as he
remembered his sister-in-law and niece.
Eee! Her belly button
was ticklish! She squeaked and squirmed softly. Zara
should have learned weeks ago that Marcus had the
power to make her feel better...and that's just what
he did. The worry washed away with his words of
reassurance. He even had her laughing again. "I'd
say all my screaming [in bed] would have gotten us
in trouble back there, but then again, your father
was pretty desperate for a heir. I'd half-imagine
he'd cheer us on." It was a horribly perverse thing
to say, yet Zara laughed anyway. She reached up out
of the water so she could half-embrace him as much
as she could. Her chin rested on his knee. The
sadness that came over him when he mentioned his
brother's family was awful. She wanted to know.
"Come, join me. Tell me what happened." The life of
royalty was unknown to Zara. Seeing his parents had
been enough to inform her of what she didn't want
for their son. Marcus had endured so much being the
second son. She could hardly imagine the burdens
"You really want to
know?" Marcus asked, as he leaned back, falling
haphazardly into the bathtub, while still wearing
his underpants. His addition to the tub caused the
water to splash out over the lip and onto the floor
below, but since he was only renting the floor by
the night he did not particularly care. "It's not a
particularly pleasant story..." he began, as the
rueful memories filled his mind and escaped his lips
in the story he found himself recounting to her.
"When my brother was young, back before even the
Clone Wars, he met and fell in love with a beautiful
teacher. Naturally our parents didn't approve, but
Claudius was always more headstrong than me, and he
forced the marriage ... and yes, an *official* one
with the parade and all," he continued, playfully
teasing her by splashing the water about on her.
"She quickly delivered a niece ... Jelena ... but it
was a rough pregnancy and she was told not to have
any more children," he said, sighing as he spoke, as
he was coming to the important part. "Well, my
father wanted a grandson ... desperately ... and
told her that she would only be accepted by the
family if she had a son. So she got herself
pregnant, and died in childbirth, after producing a
second daughter..." he revealed, bitterly, before
sinking down into the water himself.
Zara had her second
thoughts. Rodney family history was sticky business.
Regardless, she nodded, agreed, and accepted him
into the tub as the height of the water increased
until the bath overfilled. She recalled their
meeting with Claudius what felt like a lifetime ago.
Zara instantly assumed he was like his parents and
wrote him off immediately. She walked into his
office ready for a fight. She sat with him,
listening to the story about his brother, his wife,
and the terrible evils that his parents played on
them. She only snickered once when he teased her
about the official wedding. She splashed him back
playfully. "You mean I could have been in a parade
fancy waving at people?!" She smiled, attempting to
keep him in a good mood. The story turned darker.
The Duke, whispering bullshit into a poor woman's
ear until, in desperation, she dove into a pregnancy
that ended her life. Zara shook her head. She didn't
know how to react at first. It was sad and
sickening. She even felt bad for Claud. "That's
horrible..." Zara managed to murmur at first. She
drifted closer to him, wrapping her arms around him.
She wouldn't let him sink into the evils of his
parents. She held him close to her body, her heart
thumping against his. "I didn't realize Claudius had
been through all of that. I don't understand what
the deal is with your parents. How can anyone be so
self-absorbed that they push a woman to die at the
chance of having a heir?"
"Yes. A parade. Through
the streets of Leiliani. Tens of thousands of
drunken revelers cheering us on with millions more
watching on the holonet. All done in the same
speeder that conveyed members of the family for
centuries. It really is quite the spectacle. When my
brother remarried last year it was quite the event,"
Marcus informed her, before he found himself in her
warm embrace. It was just the three of them
intertwined in the warm bath water, far from
anything that could affect them. "Yes. He had been
through a lot," he said sadly, both his eyes and
voice drifting off into complex thought. "An heir is
very important to my father. Our family has ruled
over Delaya for nearly a millennia. And now, for the
first time that is under the threat of ending. It
has consumed my father for most of these past years.
He even forced my brother to remarry a much younger
woman just for the hope of him fathering a son, but
that did not work out either," he explained, as he
allowed her comforting touch to prevent a headache
from coming over him. "Jelena would have made a good
ruler, but now that she is off with the Rebellion
she had to be disinherited to avoid Delaya suffering
the same fate as Alderaan. Of course, they could
always win..." he said, but not really believing the
words he said, as his travels across the known
galaxy never took him far away from Imperial might.
*They* were everywhere.
The more he spoke about
what a royal wedding was like, the worse it sounded.
Zara could recall catching a part of a royal wedding
once on the Holonet. They were so extravagant. She
shivered. "Nooo thank you. I can't believe your
brother did it *twice*." Claudius was a nut. A nut
with a tough life, but a nut regardless! Personally,
Zara was more than happy with their wedding. It was
certainly memorable...still splattered all over the
Holonet like it had just happened. She tugged him
closer to her even though there was no space left
between them. "I don't understand. Why isn't
Claudius on deck to become ruler? Why is he an
imperial? The Grand Moff at that! Is it important to
you that your blood remains in power on Delaya?"
Zara had no doubts that the old Duke would find out
about their son someday. It was disappointing that
Jelena couldn't take over, or anyone else for that
matter. She wanted to learn more. Zara had wanted to
join the Rebellion for some time. The Empire was a
strong force, however. It was hard to put so much
faith in such a small group of people. She sighed.
She wanted the war to end as much as anyone else.
Alderaan had shown the whole galaxy what they were
Marcus was wondering why
Zara was choosing now to press him for this
information, but he was too comfortable in her
embrace within the relaxing hot waters to question
her in return. "I guess it's only fair that you get
to learn about your new family," Marcus began, as he
moved his hand up to run his fingers through her
wet, matted hair. "Claudius is next in line, but
he's getting up there in years as well, and the
thoughts are already focused on the next
generation," he explained, as his hand moved to pull
her hair off of her ear, which he began slowly
caressing with just the tip of one finger. "He's an
Imperial because they're the ones in power. He got
swept up in the Republic when the war began ... duty
and honor and all that ... and then one day the
Republic became the Empire as if someone simply
flipped a light switch. As for becoming a Grand Moff?
He has always been very political, very charming,
very good at those sorts of games and jumping
through hoops," he said, as he reached for a lavish
sponge and began to slowly rub it upon her back.
"He's even met the Emperor," he said, with a degree
of fear ... yes, fear ... in his voice as he spoke,
all the while continuing the sponge bath upon her
back. "It never meant much to me ... the power it
is. It's sad to see the family end, but the power?
No. It never meant anything to me..." he informed
her, earnestly, as the sponge made it's way around
to rub at her sides, and perhaps a bit further to
*Family* was an
uncomfortable topic for Zara. The parts of her life
where she actually had one felt like a blur
sometimes. Perhaps that was why she avoided it until
he brought it up. It felt safe to question him about
things; even bad things. He kept her relaxed with
his soothing touches while he lifted the veil from
her eyes. As much as she hated it, she saw the logic
behind looking to the next generation for the heir.
There was no use in grooming Claudius for the role
if he wouldn't remain in it for long. As Marcus
explained everything to her, she began to see his
brother as less of a bad guy. She didn't want to be
his new BFF, he just seemed less bad than the Duke
and Duchess. She nodded her head. It all made sense.
In their brief meeting, Claudius seemed perfect for
the job. Zara cringed at that name; *the Emperor*.
The Emperor's terrible legacy had spread throughout
the universe long ago. He was not a man she wanted
to meet. Chances were, if she was ever brought to
the Emperor, it would be the last day of her life.
She fixated on that for a moment while he began to
wash her back. A minute later, she descended back
into reality. "I don't envy him for that. I guess
he's right where he belongs right now. With the
power the Empire has right now, he can consider
himself safe." She was referring to the Death Star.
She deflated to the
wonderful washing he gave her. Her shoulder sank and
her body relaxed. "I didn't think so. You don't seem
like that kind of person, my Marcus. You're too good
to be power hungry." She reached behind her to run
her hands over his cheeks then back through his
hair. "Look at the bright side. Someday we'll be so
unknown that we can have sex on the beach without
the whole galaxy knowing about it. Wouldn't that be
nice?" She shot a sly smile behind her shoulder.
"Speaking of our sex life... Do you think we can go
back home? Your parents don't know about our secret
hidey home. I can add some extra security measures
"Of course we can go
home, Zara," Marcus said, as he began to run the
soapy sponge across her chest, more to tease her
than to cleanse her. "The far north is much too cold
for my parents, and they'd never think to look for
us there," he reasoned, agreeing her logic and
believing it might be the best course of action.
"And besides, our son can grow up building
snowmolator..." he said with a smile, before
dropping the sponge, and bringing the hand up to cup
her jaw. His head then moved towards hers, eyes
slowly closing, until he placed a tender, loving
kiss upon his young wife. He could have remained
like that forever if not for the alarm at the door
that announced to them it had been open.
Into the refresher
arrived a protocol droid, who wobbled back and
forth, and felt no need to respect their privacy.
"Oh heavens!" the droid exclaimed as he saw the
amount of water that had spilled onto the decorative
floor. "You have made quite the mess. I'm afraid you
will be charged!" he bemoaned, before looking at
them with his illuminated eyes. "I am sorry to
report that your line of credit has been revoked.
You will have to leave ... immediately. The Royal
Bank of Delaya has alerted us your accounts have
been overdrawn," he announced, before moving to grab
a modest towel, and tossing it in the direction of
Zara was pleased to hear
his response. There was nothing that sounded more
pleasant than scurrying home, cuddling under the
blankets, and enjoying life. His teasing made
something out sound very appealing at the moment.
She'd been so sick lately that both of their needs
had been backburnered. She snickered, "I was
thinking ice artist. How cool would it be to have a
life sized rancor sculpture beside our door?" Zara
laughed. Her eyes followed his while his hand cupped
her jaw. Her heart began to thud a little quicker in
her chest. She knew what was coming next. As soon as
their lips locked, her eyes shut and she gave into
the moment. They had been through so much lately.
The best part of all of it was having him and
continuing to be able to make each other happy. Evil
intentions began to fill Zara's perverse teenaged
mind. The alarm wasn't enough to fully stop her from
wrapping her arms around his neck and pulling
herself closer. It was enough to give her pause.
She watched the annoying
little protocol droid come whooshing into the
bathroom like it didn't know any better. The news it
delivered made Zara give an eye roll that even the
Grand Moff would be jealous of. She caught the towel
it tossed at her. Instead of making herself decent
with it, she threw it back to the floor. "One sec..."
She said sweetly to her husband. She rose from the
water, carelessly stepping out of the tub. A trail
of water followed her into the bedroom. The little
droid followed along. "There will be extra charges,
ma'am!" It chastised her. Zara hovered over a bag of
her belongings. She found her favored tool; a
hydrospanner. It wasn't typical for droid repair but
Zara wasn't exactly looking to repair. She rounded
the droid. From the tub, surely he'd hear the droid
panicking. "What are you doing? Don't touch...!! Dehdwjefwhf..." The droid's words became slurred and
eventually silenced entirely after she accessed a
back panel on the droid and worked her magic. Zara
moved to the door next. There, she spent several
minutes hacking the control panel to ensure they
wouldn't be bothered any time in the immediate
future. Once the room was secure, she returned back
to the tub. "We'll check out when I'm done with
Marcus listened from
within the bathtub as the unwitting protocol droid
was dispatched, and laughed slightly at his
misfortune, although he realized that had all but
eliminated any hope of them receiving their security
deposit back. When she returned to him there was no
longer anything that could interrupt them, so he
chose to be bold and moved closer towards her. He
positioned his body on top of hers, causing a rush
of water to spill over the side of the tub. He
lowered his face and playfully bit at her lower lip,
all the while fumbling about beneath the water as he
attempted to take his wife.
He froze atop her
initially, but then found himself crashing down upon
her, with his forehead connecting with the rim of
the bath tub. "Argh," he cried out as his head
impacted, and he went limp upon her motionless, with
all of his weight pressing down upon her. The
combination of the blow to the head and his
post-orgasmic bliss made him nearly unable to move.
It was only as he came back to reality that his hand
released its grip upon her neck and he began to
regain some of his normal sensibilities towards her.
Too bad that it wasn't
the perfect ending for him. Zara saw Marcus hit his
head before she could stop him. Her grip was
loosening up on him since her air had been
constricted for so long. "M-Marcus..." She groaned,
shaking him while the weight of his whole body
crashed down on her. He came back just before she
passed out. "*Ohmygod*." Zara gasped for air while
her hand rubbed his forehead. "Are you okay?" She
said through her deep breathing. This poor man was
accident prone when she was around. She needed to
Star Wars universe equivalent of the pope mobile for
Marcus sat back up in
the now empty tub, placing his hand to the rather
noticeable and embarrassing bump on his noggin. As
he sat there, he looked across at his wife and began
to laugh hysterically. His bank account had been
frozen. Their suite had been flooded. The protocol
droid had been destroyed. "Can we go home?" he asked
pitifully, looking and sounding as helpless as a
child as he pleaded with his wife.