Claudius Rodney was sound asleep in his Corellian
king bed, beside his lovely wife, as content and
comfortable as one could be. If it were up to him he
would have slept several more hours, but the sound of a
loud *splash* outside the window caused him to begin to
stir. His eyes opened slowly, and he stretched out his
arms and legs, as he began the waking process. "Oh it's
too early," he whined, as he began blinking to focus his
vision. He was fine with the pool, but its position to
close to their bedroom window was ill-advised. When he
saw the chronometer he wanted to cry. He was up earlier
than a cadet. Sleeping in was one of the privileges of
rank. He let out a sigh, allowed his head to crash back
against the pillow and an instant later he was back
asleep and snoring filled the room. But then *splash*
again and his eyes opened once more. There would be no
rest for him.
Sierra Rodney was peacefully sleeping beside her
husband. The pool had its advantages in that
Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie had fallen asleep
early last night...too early, as fate would have it. She
was sleeping on her side while experiencing a dream
where Ewwiekewwieikkie came barreling down the slide
repeatedly, splashing her every single time. "S-Stop
it..." She mumbled, rolling to bury her face in her
pillow. The second splash woke her. She blinked. The sun
wasn't even up yet. Reluctantly, she lifted her head to
peer over her love at the chronometer. She let up a
groan that summed up both of their feelings. Another
*splash* came from the yard. Sierra buried herself up
against Claudius' back. If she was up, then surely he
was too. "It's too early for pool time... Or living."
She closed her eyes. There was the big meeting to be
held in Claudius' office today. It had kept her from
falling asleep easily the prior night, which was not
proving to be an advantage now.
"I was so happy when they went to bed," Claudius
said, but most of his words were muffled by the pillow
his face was planted against. "...but the earlier they
go to bed, the earlier they wake up," he complained,
when suddenly he heard another *splash*. "We need to
sound dampen these windows," he said to his wife, before
slowly rolling over to face her with a groan. "With the
meeting I would have hoped to have gotten more sleep,"
he said, as he looked across at his wife. "Somehow this
is your new aide's fault," he told her, as he leaned
over to place a good morning kiss upon her lips. "How
did you sleep? While you were allowed to sleep that it
is," he asked her, but with commentary.
"I was too..." She recalled joyously spending the
evening with her husband and falling asleep *after* the
Squibs. "We might as well soundproof the whole room. I
bet we'd sleep better if we did... It also gives us a
place to escape Drusilla's jizz." She smiled as he
rolled to face her. Sierra nudged her body right up
against his and rested her leg on top of his hip to make
herself, and her growing belly, more comfortable.
"*Everything* is his fault... Maybe we can sneak aboard
the Retributor and catch a nap in our living quarters
there before the meeting." She suggested. She knew full
well that the meeting would be no fun. Sierra expected a
screaming match and Major Eona chain smoking her out.
She kissed him. "Mm... Good morning, love. I slept
okay...obviously not enough. If I don't fall asleep
standing up during my meeting with Lieutenant
Meham'ohorovi'cloca I'll be surprised. How did you
sleep?" She leaned forward to steal another kiss. The
splashing persisted, but there was no immediate need to
jump out of bed.
"Yes. Another task for your aide," Claudius teased,
as he outstretched his arms above him and had himself a
good stretch. "If you'd like, wear a pair of my
gladeshades. Claim you have a migraine. Then she won't
know that you're asleep. She'll think you're just
listening really hard," he suggested to his wife as he
began the slow process of sitting up. "I slept good for
a little while at least," he said, as he looked over at
the quiet bassinet. "At least it didn't wake Bruce up,
you wanna go check on him?" he asked, lazily, as he
returned her kiss.
"...It sounds like you're speaking from experience.
The glareshades is a good idea. I'll take a pair with
me." She, too, looked towards the bassinet where Bruce
was supposedly sleeping. "...Yeah. I can't believe all
the noise hasn't woken him up yet." Sierra slowly rolled
out of bed. As she approached the bassinet, she quickly
became aware that something was wrong. There was an
unnatural silence. She couldn't even hear the little boy
breathing while he slept. When she looked in the
bassinet, Sierra found *nothing*. "He isn't here!" Her
blood pressure spiked as initial panic settled in.
Drusilla had never taken Bruce out of their bedroom
during the night. Frankly, entering their bedroom once
everyone had been tucked in was risky business as they
were married and did certain. . . martial things.
Sierra's shaking hands lifted their son's blanket. She
noticed blue fur on the bassinet mattress, but it didn't
seem to soothe her at all. "Ewwiekewwieikkie!" She
shrieked. Ewwiekewwiekkie didn't know that Bruce
couldn't swim. Her intentions may be pure...but he
simply wasn't old enough to be alone with his sister in
Sierra charged out of their room quickly. Instead of
gracefully making her way down the stairs, her bare foot
collided with a jewel on the very first step which
caused her to fall down the remainder of the stairs on
her rear end. The noise that Claudius had to be hearing
sounded like the two Squibs stampeding up the stairs,
but in reality was his wife having a Rodney clumsy
moment. Claudius had joked that she would be attending
to him sooner than later, but in reality, it seemed the
other way around. "Damn it..." She grumbled as she used
the railing on the stairs to stand again. "I need an
adult," she whined.
Claudius immediately woke up when Sierra said that
Bruce was gone. All of the worst things that entered a
father's mind entered his in that moment. But when
Sierra called for Ewwiekewwieikkie he became more
annoyed than concerned, as he had noticed some negative
changes in his adopted daughter lately. She had been
acting up, but he had hoped it would just be a phase.
This, however, was a step too far. He heard Sierra
crash, which caused him to rush from the bed and out
into the corridor where he found his wife trying to
stand at the base of the stairs. "What happened? Are you
alright?" he asked her, as he moved down the stairs to
join her. When a normal person fell it was of concern,
but whenever a pregnant woman took a tumble it was a
cause for urgency. "Should I call a doctor?" he asked
her, as both of his arms wrapped around her
"I stepped on something painful and fell.." She
looked up the stairs and sure enough, shining bright
like a diamond, was a jewel. "Oh for Germanicus' sake!"
Sierra exclaimed. She had momentarily been derailed from
saving Bruce. "I-I'm okay." She lied, rubbing at her
backside and further along her spine. "Don't worry about
me first...worry about Bruce first!" She was hurting
from her tumble time down the stairs. She hooked and arm
with his and led the way, slowly, towards the yard.
"Today isn't starting out on the right foot, my love."
She looked across the yard. "Ewwiekewwieikkie!"
Ewwiekewwieikkie was the happiest she had ever been.
She had her pool with her waterslide, and her new
brother was an animal magnet. All she had to do was hold
him and every animal from miles around would come to her
to play with. She wished she had been able to take him
to the zoo, because then the animals might have followed
them home. For now she was content that the ducks did
not run away when she tried to get near them, and avians
had come down from the mountains for her to examine and
pet. Between this she would go for a ride on her
waterslide, and when Sierra emerged from the estate she
was a soaking wet mess, standing over Bruce who was on
the grass, surrounded by ducks. "Good morning!" she
said, as she ran towards Sierra, to give her a big hug
that left her wet and covered in strands of blue fur.
"I'm sorry," Claudius said to her, as he looked
towards the jewel at the top of the stairs. As he
followed her outside he was glad to see that Bruce was
well, but surrounded by ducks and other avians he could
not readily identify. It would have been a birdwatcher's
paradise. The Stormtroopers seemed baffled, and he did
not want to have to answer any of their questions, sho
while Sierra spoke to Ewwiekewwieikkie he moved to pick
up his son. As he did, all of the ducks began flapping
their wings and quacking at him. They did not want Bruce
taken away, nor did it seem that Bruce was any
particularly hurry to leave.
To Sierra's greatest relief, Bruce was safe. There
were a massive amount of bird species around him, but
none of them seemed to have harmed him. She preferred
Bruce summoning birds and not the sea monster from
Delaya. She saw Ewwiekewwieikkie, totally soaked and
grinning from ear to ear. "Good morning,
Ewwiekewwieikkie." She said as she received a hug that
soaked through her pajamas. She hugged her adoptive
daughter back before diving into serious mother mode.
"Honey, you can't take Bruce from me and your father's
bedroom without asking first. When we saw he was gone,
it scared us." She explained. She, too, had noticed
Ewwiekewwieikkie acting out. She didn't know if the
Squib needed more attention or what. She took her by the
hand and led her over to a bench. "Sweetie, is there
something wrong?" She asked as worry settled into her
Ewwiekewwieikkie did not understand, because she
often saw Drusilla with Bruce, and she was ten years
older than her. She began to get anxious when her
adopted father picked up Bruce and the ducks began to
get upset. As Sierra led her towards the bench, her
yellow eyes were looking towards all the avians hoping
they would not go. "But Dru takes him all the time," she
said, as she tilted her head towards Sierra. "I took
Melickielickie and Callista to the zoo," she said
proudly, continuing to smile and laugh, unaware that
anything had gone wrong. "I not allowed to go to Delaya.
I not allowed to do anything I guess," she said, before
she, too, developed the Rodney family pout. Even though
she was not adopted the pout nevertheless had found its
way into her repertoire. "Did you know Bruce is an
animal magnet? I know Bruce is an animal magnet. Since I
no go to zoo. Zoo comes to Bruce. I need Bruce," she
explained, in a way that made total sense to her.
Sierra listened to Ewwiekewwieikkie. She suddenly
felt bad that they hadn't included Ewwiekewwieikkie in
the Delaya trip. Internally, Sierra crumbled at seeing
Ewwiekewwieikkie had adopted the family's signature
pout. Sierra reached out, holding onto one of her paws.
"Yes, Drusilla does watch Bruce often...but she *always*
asks first. You can help out with your brother too. You
just need to ask your father or I before you take him."
Despite how badly the zoo visit had gone, Sierra saw how
proud Ewwiekewwieikkie was of her independent trip. "You
did take Melickielickie and Callista to the zoo. You
showed me that you can take on some responsibilities. Do
you want to help out more? Maybe you can study with
Doctor Tohan and become a nurse." Even though
Ewwiekewwieikkie was child-like, it was important that
she receive some independence of her own. She did a good
job looking out after her sister after all.
"I'm sorry we didn't take you with us to Delaya..."
She reached out, wrapping an arm around her wet form.
"How about this...me, you, and Bruce can go on a special
trip to Delaya. We'll all go to the zoo together there."
Oh, she knew all about Bruce being an animal magnet. The
boy had summoned a thranta to injure Papius Arundel. He
had made a connection with a gigantic octopus.
"Hmm," Ewwiekewwieikkie murmured, as she brought her
paw up to her face to consider what Sierra was saying.
"Okay! Then, can I borrow Bruce to make the birds come
play with me?" she asked, as her mouth hung open,
causing her tongue to slide out with excitement. "Yes. I
help more," she said, excitedly, as she did a little
dance while standing on the bench that only caused more
water and fur to go flying. She was getting *very*
excited. "I talk to Doctor. He said I no get spoons for
helping. He said I get credits to buy my own spoons.
Sounds fishy," she said, as she considered the bargain,
tapping her foot impatiently. "The Delaya zoo? Yay!" she
screamed, before wrapping her arms around Sierra and
giving her a good, wet squeeze.
She smiled and nodded her head, "Yes, you can borrow
Bruce to make the birds come. Just remember, always
*ask* first." She stressed the point to her repeatedly.
She would need to think about what jobs Ewwiekewwieikkie
could take on. Washing her bantha was most certainly on
that list. She had seen Zara towards the end of her
pregnancy with the twins. There was no way she'd be able
to bathe the bantha at that point. Seeing
Ewwiekewwieikkie dance, and shower her with blue fur,
put Sierra in a better mood despite her aching back. "If
you work and get credits, I'll take you somewhere
special to use your credits. You can buy things besides
spoons, Ewwiekewwieikkie. There are so many more shiny
things out there." Sierra explained, quite possibly the
stupidest thing she had ever said. As the girl accepted
Sierra's bargain, she, too, wrapped her arms around
Ewwiekewwieikkie and gave her a squeeze. "Alright,
sweetheart. Why don't you go play with Bruce? I need to
go shower." Sierra rose from the bench and began making
her way towards Claudius. Ugh, maybe she would take him
up on seeing Doctor Tohan.
Claudius had been watching a safe distance, hoping
Sierra would find the right words to use to motivate
Ewwiekewwieikkie. Based on the dancing and hugs it
seemed that she had. When she came running back to him
to take Bruce he seemed confused, but Sierra indicated
it was okay, so he handed him over to her. Suddenly
Ewwiekewwieikkie was enveloped in avians, but rather
than get scared she was giggling happily. Finally,
Sierra returned to him, and he moved back inside, though
he kept an eye on his children at all times. "Are you
okay? Maybe we should postpone the meeting," he
suggested, as he looked down towards the ground. He did
not have confidence in his staff, and expected nothing
but bickering and infighting.
She watched Ewwiekewwieikkie, Bruce, and their many
avian companions. Bruce looked happy too. Since all was
well, Sierra decided it was okay to leave the two
together. She made her way back inside the house. Now
that she had been embraced by a soaked Squib several
times, she was in need of her morning shower. She took
her husband's hand and gave it a squeeze. "I'm okay. I
just hurt my back a little. Don't postpone the meeting.
I had a hard enough time falling asleep last night
stressing out over it. We both know rescheduling would
only postpone the inevitable unpleasantness." She sat on
a barstool at the kitchen counter. She looked at her
husband with bright blue eyes. "Whatcha makin' me for
"Hurt your back?" Claudius repeated, and then
frowned, as he was tempted to call a doctor against her
will. "I'm sure Doctor Bailo can see to you before the
meeting," he said, as he returned his wife's hand
squeeze. "Let's see," he said, as he turned and opened
the counter to find a box of cereal. He took it, a bowl,
a spoon, and a bottle of blue milk and set to work.
Moments later he offered her the combination of the
elements. "Auntie Mae-o's. With marshmallow Brad the
Bantha and Doug the Dewback. Our daughters swear by it,"
he said, sincerely, as he slid the bowl over to her with
an affectionate smile. If he tried to cook something he
would have to remember his firefighting training course
during the Clone Wars.
Sierra never liked making a big deal over herself. If
she woke up the next day and couldn't get out of bed,
she'd *still* try to pretend like she was a-okay. She
grumbled at the mention of Doctor Bailo, but ultimately
agreed to meet with her under her breath. She placed her
chin in her hands while she watched him prepare her a
bowl of cereal. Sierra laughed happily. "I'm surprised
they haven't picked out all the marshmallows yet. Thank
you, love. I appreciate you slaving over blue milk for
me." She winked. She picked up her spoon and settled
into breakfast. After all, Sierra was eating for *three*
now. After her first bite, she smiled brightly. "Oh
Claudius, your cooking is so good." She teased him.
"I know," Claudius replied with a confident smile, as
he raised his right hand across to his left shoulder to
brush some imaginary dust away. He moved away from
Sierra momentarily to get to the control panel where he
transmitted a distress call to Doctor Bailo, wherever
she was these days. With that taken care of, he moved
back towards the large transparisteel sliding door to
look out at Ewwiekewwieikkie and Bruce 'playing' with
the avians. "I sometimes forget how old she is. She's
older than you," he said, as he looked towards the
ground, wondering what was to become of Ewwiekewwieikkie.
When he adopted her he did not think long-term, and
while it was a good solution at the time he needed to
ensure she had a life beyond playing at his estate. The
same issue would come for Melickielickie one day.
As Sierra ate her cereal, she noticed that there were
only marshmallows of Brad the Bantha. It seemed one, or
both, of the Squibs had picked out all the Doug the
Dewbacks. "I know. I forget too. She's so childlike in
so many ways. I've been thinking about her *future*."
Sierra said. She took another bite of cereal, but this
one caused her to cough *hard*. "Ugh!" She reached into
her mouth, pulling out far too much blue fur. Suddenly,
her appetite had left the estate. She pushed her cereal
to the side and rose. "I realized that I've been
reluctant to give her new responsibilities because she
seems so young. She wants to do more, and so, we need to
trust her with more. She has expressed an interest in
becoming a nurse. I think we should support her. With
Doctor Tohan's help, I think it's possible that she
could make a good nurse. She was very sweet when she
took care of me." She stood beside her husband to watch
Ewwiekewwieikkie and Bruce play.
"Well the first thing that needs to happen is an
explanation that a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine
go down, and that a spoonful of sugar is *not* *the*
medicine," Claudius said, as he rolled his eyes at his
daughter's comedic confusion at times. "Alright. I will
not stand in the way. Doctor Bailo should be here soon
so that she can fix your back before the sector command
staff attempt to walk all over it," he said, with some
truthfulness, as he leaned over and placed a loving kiss
upon her. As he watched Ewwiekewwieikkie with Bruce he
was glad she had not taken him to the zoo, for he surely
would have lured the fierce rancor monster as well.
Perhaps the one creature worse than the sea monster on
Sierra laughed and shook her head. "I'm surprised I
didn't go into a diabetic shock that day."
Ewwiekewwieikkie was a menace with a bag of sugar. His
comment made her groan. "We could stay home and hide
from the meeting. I'll make us our very own pillow fort
and no one will find us." Sierra was growing tired of
the way people treated her and looked at her on her
husband's command ship. Most people assumed they knew
something about a situation they couldn't begin to
understand. As she kissed Claudius, she felt grateful
that it was a battle they fought together. "You think
it'll be that bad? I wonder how much longer it'll take
for people to respect me, or if it'll ever happen at
all." She pulled him towards the living room to sit and
wait for Doctor Bailo. Thankfully, it wasn't much longer
before the old Ithorian female came walking into the
estate from the back door. Sierra assumed
Ewwiekewwieikkie had showed her where to come in from.
Alessandra Bailo had learned to take the calls from
the House of Rodney with utmost importance. She and
Pilaq had been spending time aboard the Retributor
checking on various patients. She was close when the
call came in. It didn't take her long to reach Claudius'
estate. To her surprise, it had gain a pool ... and a
water slide? She decided not to ask. Instead, the
Ithorian female directed her attention on the expectant
mother. "Milord, milady." She said, nodding her large
hammerhead. "What is the problem?" She asked the
question as she made her way towards them.
"Yes. Do that. I'll order Ensign Sheppard to bring
more pillows," Claudius said, as he much preferred
hiding to actually going to the meeting. "It's a turf
war. Each one of these commanders thinks they are the
best suited to solve the Rebel problem. They do not want
to listen. They are worse than our children at times,"
he said, with a sigh, but before he could continue
Doctor Bailo had arrived. "Doctor Bailo, thank you for
coming so quickly," he said, as he extended his arm and
motioned for her to check on his wife. "We were early to
rise this morning and unfortunately my wife well down
the stairs while attempting to check on our son," he
explained, truthfully, as he stepped out of her way so
that the Doctor could examine his wife.
"Oooh. Do that. I want to make a big fort." She
didn't want to think about the meeting. Vice Admiral
Raven seemed to think that peace between the branches
was possible, but Sierra wasn't sure. It was necessary
to *try* to improve the situation. Everyone was
suffering by playing games. Before she could invest
herself too much in work talk, Doctor Bailo arrived.
"Yes. It seems someone left a jewel on the stairs." She
smiled at the doctor. She hoped Doctor Bailo didn't read
too much into the situation.
The doctor frowned. "You must be more careful,
milady. You have two lives to worry about in addition to
your own." She opened up her doctor bag and began to
examine Sierra carefully. "You both are fortunate to
have called me. Doctor Tohan would have given you both a
bonk on the head for this. Stand up, child." She poked
and prodded at the Rodney woman. Her check up was a
little more extensive, as she didn't want to send Sierra
on her way without being sure that she was okay. "It
appears you've only bruised yourself a little bit." She
said. "You may want to ice your back otherwise you'll
feel your fall tomorrow morning. Please milady, take it
easy." She drew herself away from Sierra. "Do *you* feel
okay?" She looked from Claudius to his wife.
Sierra would be taking the stairs slowly from now on.
The disappearance of Bruce had given her a small heart
attack. She was glad to hear that everything was well,
but the words ‘take it easy' never seemed to stick with
her. After she had given birth to Bruce, she'd been up
and doing things less than 24 hours later. Sierra Rodney
didn't know what it meant to take it *easy*. She nodded
her head. "I'll do that, Doctor. Beside the pain in my
back, I'm fine." She tried to reassure everyone.
"Potty! Gotta go potty!" Ewwiekewwieikkie announced
as she came running back into the estate, carrying
Bruce, and in a frantic hurry. "Here you go!" she said,
sweetly, as she handed Bruce back over to Sierra. She
started to do a hurried run when she saw Doctor Bailo.
"Oh, hi!" she said, stopping for a hug, before she began
climbing up the stairs to find a bathroom. "Oof," she
said, as she tripped, and stumbled about halfway up,
banging her knee. She was down for only an instant
before she hurried back up towards the bathroom.
Unfortunately, she did not close the door to the estate
and a parade of various aquatic avians was making its
way into the ground floor of the estate.
"Oh for the love of Germanicus!" Claudius cried out,
as suddenly protecting the estate from the avians took
precedence over Sierra's check up. "Shoo! Shoo!" he
said, as he tried to get them out of the estate. They
were flapping their wings and squawking like crazy, but
with some effort he managed to get most of them out, and
the door closed. When done he collapsed to the ground in
front of the door, with his back up against it to keep
the creatures out. "That's it. No one can ever open this
door again," he informed everyone, as it suddenly turned
into the plot from an old holodrama thriller.
"Thank you for coming so quickly and making us all
feel better about my little tumble." Sierra gave Doctor
Bailo's shoulder a squeeze. At that point,
Ewwiekewwieikkie and a parade of avian friends came
bursting into the estate. Sierra took Bruce and cuddled
him close. She watched Ewwiekewwieikkie fall down the
stairs. Before she could even rise to her feet, the
Squib had recovered and disappeared upstairs. Bruce
started laughing *hard* while his father worked to chase
out all of the birds. Sierra rose from the couch and
made her way over to the door to lock it, thus keeping
out all the creatures. "You hear that, Doctor Bailo? You
live with us now." She could hear the old Ithorian
snort. "I guess that settles it. We *can't* go to the
meeting. Boohoo." Sierra took her husband's hand and
started making her way back upstairs. She avoided the
jewel this time, and successfully went up the stairs
without getting hurt. "Good job herding the birds."
"Maybe we can put your aide in charge. That way when
defeat comes he can be the one to answer to Lord Vader,"
Claudius suggested to his wife after she commented that
they could miss the meeting. As they ascended the stairs
he remained behind his wife, determined to keep her from
falling this time. However, if she did get tripped up
she likely would have caused them all to tumble to the
ground. "I have a lot of experiencing herding junior
officers. It's the same principle," he joked, as he
leaned in and placed a kiss on his wife's cheek.
"Sounds like a plan. Promote Tailon to Grand Moff so
we can run away." She laughed as she turned into their
room. She kissed her son's forehead before placing him
back inside of his bassinet where, hopefully, he could
get the additional rest that no one else would. Her
attention zoned in on her husband, who brought a smile
to her face while kissing his cheeks. She turned her
head, kissing the side of his chin. "You're a little
scruffy, Claudius." She teased him, nuzzling her nose
against his prickly chin. Giving him no other choice,
Sierra led him into the bathroom where she began
preparing to shave his face for him. It was like the
ultimate trust exercise. "I will need pudding after this
meeting. None of these people like me. I see how they
look at me. They don't need to voice their opinions for
me to understand what's going through their head." She
grabbed his shaving cream, squirting some into her hand.
She carefully lathered his face.
Claudius' life was now literally in his wife's hands
as she prepared to shave him. He was slightly nervous as
she seemed preoccupied with the meeting. "I will get you
as much pudding as is needed," he promised her, as she
began to lather his face, which made it difficult for
him to speak. "These people, as you kindly refer to
them, did not rise to their positions of prominence due
to their social graces or interpersonal skills. They are
cold, calculating, ruthless people," he explained to
her, as he prepared for his shave. "Do not worry about
what they think. Always remember that *I* still Govern
this oversector," he pointed out, as she readied for
apply a blade to his face. His eyes went wide and he
swallowed one last time before trying to hold perfectly
She smiled. She would hold him to that pudding
promise...the most holiest of all promises. She turned
on the water and ran his razor underneath it for a
moment while he spoke of their comrades. She was tickled
that he was allowing her to shave his face. The fact
was; he was in good hands. Sierra had to shave so much
more of herself that she was experienced with the razor.
"Ooh, so you're saying I can use the ‘my husband is the
Grand Moff' card when people are rude to me?" She began
shaving him slowly. Each brush of his razor was sharp,
soft, and effective. She occasionally wet the razor to
remove hairs and excess shaving cream. "I decided I'm
making a ‘No Smoking' sign for your office too,
otherwise the cloud that follows Major Eona around will
kill us all." The razor ran over his neck but she did
not hurt him.
"Yes. Most ... all ... of the other Grand Moffs have
such a card. Perhaps I am regarded as too gentlemanly,
too lenient ... too soft. Perhaps that is why I receive
such horrid performance from my staff," Claudius said,
as he watched every movement of the blade in her
seemingly distracted hands. "Major Eona is dangerous. I
do not trust Imperial Intelligence any more than I trust
the ISB. Her connection to Inquisitor Thanor also
disturbs me. Be mindful about her," he said, as she
continued her work to make him seem more professional.
He had nothing positive to say about any of the officers
on his staff other than, of course, Sierra.
"Perhaps you're served bad cards. Inquisitor Thrope
was sent here to aid you, instead she made every move to
hurt you." She pointed out. Her knowledge on Major Eona
was limited. She trusted Claudius' opinion. She let out
a little sigh. The last thing they needed was to cause
problems with Major Eona and bring another Inquisitor
down upon them. "I will. She doesn't seem to be a fan of
yours either. You know, she commandeered a meeting right
out from under me the other week. I didn't know how to
handle it, so I dismissed myself." She washed off the
razor for a final time and touched up any areas she had
missed. She set his razor aside. "Come on." She
continued to prod him, only now that he was freshly
shaved, she brought him towards the shower. "What do you
know about Vice Admiral Raven?" She asked her husband as
she began to undress from her wet, Squib hair covered
Phew. He had survived the shaving process. "Vice
Admiral Raven? Hmm..." Claudius began, as he was ushered
towards the shower. "When I first arrived in this
oversector I was a mere Vice Admiral myself, commanding
a single battle squadron. He was then a Captain,
commanding my pursuit line," he explained, as he began
to undress as well. The highlight of the morning was
about to begin. "As the naval forces expanded he
remained competent and capable and therefore benefited
from a series of promotions until receiving command of
his own fleet," he explained, as he finished stripping
down and stepping into the shower.
Ah. So Claudius had known the man for some time. Her
husband didn't seem to have anything negative to say
about the man either. "When I met with him the other
day, I could tell he was competent. He was very
respectful as well. It seems he just wants to see the
war end. I felt compelled to help him with the
communication problem. You really have nothing bad to
say about him?" Nude, Sierra made her way into the
shower. The young woman was watching herself as to avoid
falling in. Warm water instantly washed over her body,
which had become cold from being damp for so long. She
let out a happy sigh while the water ran through her
blonde locks. As she turned towards Claudius, the first
thing she did was run her hands over his face. "Oh look,
I didn't do that bad. I didn't injure you either." Her
lips locked with his. Ultimately, the meeting would
pass. At the end of it, there would be pudding and a
loving husband. Nothing anyone said could change that.
"You're naked in the shower with me and you want me
to talk about some other guy? Oh, I see how it is,"
Claudius teased, before giving her a playful version of
his pout. "I am sure he is a capable officer, but he is
no Claudius Rodney," he said, as he moved towards her,
pressing against the wall of the shower enclosure,
determined to get her dirty before they got clean. As he
prepared for his intimate time with his wife, he
reflected on what an extraordinary morning it had been.
They had awoken to the sound of predawn pool time, the
kidnapping of their son by their daughter, an injury, a
parade of avians, and an impromptu house call by Doctor
Bailo. Now they had just enough time to share between
them before having to shuttle up for a meeting neither
of them wanted to attend.
His teasing made her laugh so hard. The very last
thing she wanted was to continue to talk about Vice
Admiral Raven while she had her intimate time with her
husband. "Mmm. You're right. Let's talk about him. The
*Governor*." Sierra had a way she said his title which
made it sound like velvet from between her lips. Pressed
against her, Sierra happily realized that they were
about to have a long conversation about Claudius Rodney.
"I love you." If Sierra hadn't experienced the morning
she had, she would have never believed it to be
possible. The thing was...despite the insanity and
bruising her rear end, she was *happy* to live out each
of these days with Claudius. At the end of the
unpleasant meeting, they'd be together again. As their
bodies became more closely coiled together, Sierra
Rodney felt happier than she ever had. Unlikely as it
was, she had an incredible life that she wouldn't trade
for the world.