Era of Rebellion - Navigation

Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:6:3) in the Essesia system: Esseles (Larius Lacus: Sierra Rodney's lakehouse and New Calamar: Concert Hall).
Lady Rikka Dakkar, El-Nay Darr, Grand Moff Claudius Rodney, and Major Sierra Rodney.

Sierra Rodney had only recently been approved to return to work. That included returning to her concerts in the terrible Zevrin tour. Tonight, New Calamar would house her second appearance. Perhaps she felt most comfortable there because Esseles was her home, or maybe it was attributed to the fact that her husband would be there too. They had yet to leave home, however, because Sierra had been busily rattling off instructions on how to take care of Ewwiekewwieikkie and actually get her to sleep at night. Drusilla was a lost cause. The only way to force her to go to sleep would be to drug her. Now she was in her bedroom, rushing to get dressed. She selected a pretty red dress from the closet. As she began dressing herself, as quickly as possible, she found that the dress no longer fit with its cinched waist and her swollen tummy. In fact, as Sierra pulled up the dress, the seam popped out over her baby bump. It seemed like nothing was going in her favor so far. She'd had to change a broken string on her violin, Ewwiekewwieikkie had consumed all of her pudding, and now she had destroyed the dress she intended to wear. "I know.. I'll make a new fashion statement..." Sierra said to no one in particular. If she didn't start making some clothing choices soon, she was going to be late for her own performance.

Claudius Rodney had purchased a luxury box at the New Calamar concert hall for what would be his wife's second performance of six. Although he did not realize it, he was playing into Colonel Zevrin's hand perfectly by providing the Rebels not one, but two, high profile targets in a public venue with plenty of advanced notice. As he settled into his chair he was nervous. He looked down into the sea of humanity that was filling the orchestra section, and he could not help but become paranoid and see the potential of danger everywhere. There were plenty of Imperial officers in the crowd in civilian attire, and increased security was of course present, but the Rebellion had proved itself to not be easily deterred. As he waited for the curtain to rise he simply hoped he could get through the performance without his fear and anxiety destroying what was left of his stomach. He wanted her so much to give a strong performance to spite her wicked mother, but deep down he just wanted to get her out safely.

Rikka Dakkar sat within the sea of humanity. Her place had been specifically picked by Zevrin. It was in the middle of the orchestra section while being far enough away from the stage that Sierra would see her every time she looked out. It was in her best interest to keep Zevrin happy. Making her daughter look like a fool in front of the whole galaxy was one way to do that. She hoped that her presence alone would break Sierra's concentration. She was *so* happy to be involved in her daughter's life again. Things were far to drab when she wasn't harping on Sierra.

Three dresses later, Sierra finally found something to accommodate her changing body. By then, she had spent so much time fussing over herself that the time to appear on stage was nearly upon her. Like her other shows, she would not be performing alone. She had back up musicians to fill in her inability to play every orchestral instrument at the same time. The young Rodney woman grasped at her violin case. Her stomach did a turn as her thoughts directed to the safety of her husband. She had a blaster pistol hidden beneath her dress...but how much could it do? If there was a full-fledged Rebel attack, a tiny pistol was going to be meaningless. Sierra made her way backstage towards the front of the stage. The curtain was down. Everyone was ready... Was she? Someone prompted her to head onto stage. As the curtain rose, Sierra felt the terrible, cold exposure that came with being on stage. These shows were so much more crowded than anything she had endured before. As she sat in front of a piano, one could see how her hands shook. Her fingers fumbled to fall into position over the keys. Breathing in and out slowly, Sierra looked towards the crowd; more specifically, to the luxury box where Claudius was. A little smile appeared on her lips as she leaned into the keys and began to play. She let the music sweep over her, muting her performance anxiety.

El-Nay Darr was prepared this time. Instead of a flashy dress that nearly tripped her up she was instead wearing her Mandalorian armor. She attempted to dance in the armor with the other backup dancers, but she looked and felt ridiculous. Her targeting scanner was down over her right eye giving her a field of view over the crowd, which would immediately alert her if a weapon was drawn or a hostile action was taken. She did not want anything to happen to Sierra, but this time she would prefer it if nothing happened to herself either. She detected the presence of Rikka Dakkar, whom Sierra had informed her about the other day, but she did not have permission to assassinate her. With a simple flick of her wrist she could have blown the woman away.

And what a visage that would have been. Rikka Dakkar, blown to tiny bits at her daughter's concert. Sierra and Claudius could have thrown a lovely party to truly 'celebrate' the dead. On stage, Sierra left her life in El-Nay's capable hands, as well as the additional security her husband had ordered. As she looked out to the audience, she did notice Rikka's face. It was hard to miss, after all. A little part inside of her recoiled, but then she recalled her and Claudius talking about her past. This was the getting over it part. She let Rikka's presence roll off of her shoulders. Her life had moved far beyond Rikka's abuse. The concert progressed forward without a hitch. Sierra traded out playing piano for violin, which truly was her instrument of expertise. She had played since she was four years old, after all. The sound of the instrument rang out over the auditorium. Within a few songs, this would all be over. She wondered what Claudius thought. He'd heard her play so many times at home, but this was different. Every aspect of this music was her own; the instruments, the composition, and so on.

As the concert drew on Claudius allowed himself to relax in his seat, and before too long he actually began to enjoy it. He imagined what life would have been like if not for the Rebellion. If he had simply been the ruler of a minor core world and his wife permitted to be an artist. Instead, he found himself at the helm of an Imperial war machine, and his wife was only permitted to perform under the threat of imminent Rebel attack. Each song brought them closer to a happy conclusion to evening, and a third of the way through the Ringali Shell concert tour. He found himself moved by Sierra's playing and, unbeknownst to him, tears were beginning to flow from his eyes. It had been a wonderful and thus far safe evening.

It would have been a different life, that's for sure. The second concert was, without a doubt, going to be the most pleasant. Though having her husband there was very risky, it kept her mind from wandering off the deep end. This was especially true with Rikka in the audience. As the show began to wind down and Sierra made it to her final song, she stood, playing a solo violin piece. It was sad. It was happy. It was complicated. The high points were complimented by low points. When, at last, she drew bow from violin, the crowd erupted into cheers. It seemed that Claudius and Sierra had secured another win against Zevrin. Sierra shyly bowed as the curtain dropped. She headed backstage where she intended to reunite with her love.

The Dakkar woman was flabbergasted by her daughter. The quality of her performance was incredible and transpired what she was capable of doing. Rikka would never admit to it. She seemed furious when the show ended. She was red in the face, rearing to get to Sierra like a bull. She made her way towards the access point backstage. Whatever magical words she said to the guard allowed her to step five feet closer to where her daughter was. Rikka opened up her clutch, drawing her hand inside of it. It looked like she was going for a weapon.

El-Nay was beginning to sweat beneath her armor, and she was dancing under the spotlight for more than an hour in her heavy armor. Just when she thought the concert was over her targeting scanner alerted to her the motion being undertaken by Rikka Dakkar. "Gun!" she screamed to Sierra, before activating her jetpack. Like a wrecking ball she swung into action, heading directly towards Rikka in a collision course. Once again she had leapt before she looked, sending herself hurdling towards the potential danger without another thought.

Claudius had already made his way from his luxury box to the backstage area where he was waiting with some flowers to congratulate his wife on her magical performance that captivated his heart and momentarily transported him away from the galaxy of problems facing them. He was smiling from ear to ear, quite proud, and informing every stagehand endlessly that Sierra was his *his* wife. But all of that excitement was immediately washed away when he heard the Mandalorian yell 'gun'. Was Sierra under attack ... *again*? Would they ever find peace? Would they ever be allowed to have a single evening devoid of pain?

It was over. Sierra knew she owed El-Nay a huge 'thank you' for enduring so much time on stage, in armor, dancing. She was glad that the Mandalorian had not been shot this time. It would make it easier to have her accompany her for the remaining concerts. Her pleasant mood shifted with the sound of a single word 'gun'. "No!" Sierra reached beneath her dress in a rapid moment, grasping at her own weapon while crouching into a defensive position. As she turned around, she watched El-Nay collide with ... with... *Rikka*. She saw Claudius too in the foreground. Her heart skipped a beat, touched by his sweet gesture of bringing her flowers, but terrified that something bad was about to happen.

"Ouch!" Rikka screamed dramatically as something *heavy* collided with her body. She fell to the ground, continuing to scream and wither in pain. Her clutch had flipped open, and sure enough, the woman *had* a very small blaster pistol with her.

Beneath the surface, Rikka had gotten a rise from Sierra. She was furious that the woman had come to cause attempt to*kill* her? She felt like she might burst...but she remembered something. She remembered that there was another win that she and Claudius could make against Zevrin tonight. Her head rose, looking towards El-Nay. "See to it that this woman is jailed. Let no one treat her wounds. She attempted to murder the Grand Moff. Isn't that what you saw, El-Nay?" She paid no mind to her mother. Instead, she stepped around her and moved towards her husband. "Are you okay?" She didn't care if Arden broke Rikka out of jail again rapidly. What she cared about was right in front of her eyes.

El-Nay was quick to grab Rikka's clutch, finding the small hold-out blaster. She rose, grabbing the Alderaanian noblewoman by the shoulders, and clutching her close. "As you command, milady," she said, with a firm nod of her head to Sierra. A moment later she reactivated her jetpack, sending her soaring out of the open air amphitheater and towards a detention center worthy of a political criminal like Rikka Dakkar. The one thing she hoped as she soared through the air was that the Governor had seen her heroic actions and would respect her more following the event.

"Rikka..." Claudius muttered under his breath. The mere sight of her caused his hands to clench into thists, causing the thorns on the stem of the flowers to cut into his hands. When his wicked stepmother was finally taken away he wondered how long he could keep her detained this time, or whether it might be better for El-Nay to simply *drop* her during her flight. "I am fine, Sierra," he said to her, as the dust began to clear. "Let's get out of here," he pleaded with her, as the longer they lingered the greater the danger seemed. And they no longer had the added benefit of their Mandalorian bodyguard, or at least human shield.

The same exact thought was running through Sierra's head: would it be better if El-Nay dropped her during flight? No one would be angry if it happened. After all, what do they say about accidents? She was relieved to hear those reassuring words. He was fine. *They* were fine...all three of them, that was. She took his free hand, whisking him away towards the back where their speeder was parked. "We're not going home tonight." She told him. "We're going to unwind at my lakehouse." She grinned as she moved into the driver's side of the speeder. In the backseat, she had a box with various foods and sparking starfruit cider packed. They needed to relax, *celebrate*, and enjoy one another. Besides. . . there was a nice tub in the lakehouse that they hadn't gotten to use yet. Once they were on their way, Sierra began to speak. She sounded shy. "Um... What... What did you think of *it*?" Her concert.

"That's the best idea I've heard all day," Claudius said, as he led his wife out the rear entrance of the concert hall to where the speeder was waiting. "One night away should only result in the girls causing a moderate amount of property damage," he joked, before settling into the speeder. As he relaxed and allowed her to drive he began to calm down from the adrenaline rush that had began when he heard the word 'gun' uttered by the Mandalorian nincompoop. "I thought the concert was amazing. You were wonderful," he said to her, s he reached across the center console to rest his hand upon her thigh. "We'll show the performance to our children one day," he pledged to her, as they approached the newly acquired lakehouse he had gifted her. He was looking forward to it as much as she was.

She laughed. "Moderate amount of property damage? I can deal with that." The further she got from the auditorium, the better Sierra felt. The night was hers and Claudius' to enjoy. The lakehouse was bound to become that place where only they knew about it here on Esseles. Her cheeks felt warm with blush. She felt complimented and happy. "Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much." She had purposely been trying to impress him. Music was one subject that she had skill in. He made her smile that much more while inspiring her to daydream about their children. "We will..." She agreed happily. "All seventeen of our daughters." Sierra teased as the speeder came to a stop beside her lakehouse. You can imagine that she went and saw it immediately after receiving the key. Sierra was just as bad about surprises as he was.

The sun had set some time ago. It was dark outside. Fireflies lingered above the lake's surface, casting a soft light on the beautiful scenery. Sierra grasped the box with their goodies in it along with the key to the lakehouse. She stood at the door, unlocking it. "It's been a long time since we had an undisrupted bath." Her smile grew. Sierra made her way into the cozy little home. It made for the perfect retreat for both of them. She led the way towards the bathroom. The box was rested on the counter. She pulled the bottle of sparkling cider and two flutes from it. "The concert wasn't all that bad for me either. I was so nervous at the first one. I know you can't be there to see every concert, but having you there tonight made me feel good. Thank you for coming."

"Seventeen counting the three we already have, right?" Claudius asked nervously, as the thought of raising as many children as a HoloNet celebrity on an adoption spree was quite terrifying. The estate would need as many rooms ... if not more ... than the castle at that rate of reproduction. As good as the lake appeared during their daytime visit it looked even better at night with the fireflies dancing upon it. He could have stayed outside on the shore forever if his wife had not summoned him inside for a bath. He was not dirty, but he was going to be. The house had been conveniently furnished as he knew that with all they had on their plates neither of them had the time to properly decorate and furnish a second home. He followed Sierra and the starfruit cider dutifully, before they arrived at the refresher. He took his flute, and immediately clanked it against her flute in a toast. "Congratulations," he said to her with a smile before taking a sip of the cider. "It was an honor to be there," he said, with a smile, as he had seen a different side of her tonight that he thought was wonderful. Two down ... four to go.

She snickered. "I like that that's your first question." She saw those people who had shows on the HoloNet with twenty-some children. They'd need to purchase a ranch with land in order to let all of them roam. Seriously, she didn't see them going that far. Neither of them were that crazy ... right? Toasting with him, her grin brightened as she took her first sip. She felt very flattered. His opinion truly mattered. She needed to know that she wasn't driving him towards insanity when she played at home. He was the person who had heard her play most, after all. She placed her full flute on the edge of the tub and started the water. She perched herself on the tub's edge, removing her heeled shoes and freeing her hair from its restraints. She was looking forward to the end of these concerts. No matter where he was, Claudius was going to worry about her well being each time she stepped out on stage and dangled herself in front of people who hated her by her association to the Grand Moff. Sierra started to undress slowly. It was nice not to return home. She had time to clear her head while not subjecting the girls to it. As her dress fell, she spoke. "How many more *should* we have?" She asked him. "Children, that is." The dress fell to the ground. At this point, Sierra's pregnancy was in full swing. She felt amazing, and looked equally as good.

Claudius began the process of undressing himself, having worn civilian clothes to minimize the bullseye the Imperial uniform would have projected upon him. He did not like hiding or denying who he was. On the contrary, he was proud that he had honorably risen through the ranks over 20 years of service and risen to one of the highest positions possible. However, he acknowledged that because of Colonel Zevrin there were countless individuals on these worlds who wished him harm, and he begrudgingly chose to blend in. He was undressed rather quickly as his normal clothes were not nearly as hard to change out of than the complicated uniform. "We could roll dice," he suggested, as he moved towards the tub. He allowed his hand to slide into the tub, to test the water. "Ah!" he cried, as he pulled his hand out of the tub. "Well. The hot water works," said the man who had not had a hot shower at home in ages due to living with so many women who routinely drained the hot water heater.

The times would have to change eventually. Sierra didn't know how to uproot Colonel Zevrin from their lives. The woman's roots were deeply into the happenings of the sector now. With the Emperor pleased, destroying her might bring other hardships to their doorstep. She silently swore that a day would come when he'd *never* have to hide who he was. Pushing all that from her mind, she focused instead on the topic of the future, the parts of their family which had yet to arrive. "Okay. Let's roll the dice." Sierra agreed. Once their son was born, she'd be even more on board with that plan than ever. She simply enjoyed being pregnant. She couldn't wait for Bruce to arrive.

She shot up to her feet when he cried out. "What is this 'hot water' you speak of?" She winked. She knew he ended up suffering as he currently lived with three women. Who *really* opted to take a cold shower out of their own free will?! Certainly not Sierra. She slowly began to sink into the warm waters. "Mmmm..." She sighed as she sank down. "This place is wonderful. You spoil me rotten, my love." Sierra settled. "Just wait until our one year wedding anniversary. I'm already plotting." She teased.

Claudius swung his legs over the rim of the tub and allowed his tired old bones to settle in beneath the water. A series of old man noises escaped his mouth as he relaxed under the luxuriously warm waters of the bath. "I hate to sour your impressions of me, my dear, but ... I need the use of this lakehouse as much as you do!" he said, as his eyes closed and his head slowly descended below the water. Submerged he felt the embrace of warmth that only came from a hot bath, and as the water flowed into his ear canals he thought he could hear his own heartbeat. A moment later he emerged from back beneath the water a changed man, completely relaxed, and half asleep. "Plot away. Use the scheming skills taught to you by the ISB to shower me in gifts. I insist, he said, laughing slightly, before laying his head back and unleashing a contented sigh. Things could not get better for the war weary Grand Moff.

Sierra laughed pleasantly. "I know! You need somewhere to escape to also. We'll create a man cave for you here. With... man stuff. Whatever that entails." She liked that they had somewhere to go to unwind, relax, and enjoy each other. It was a nice alternative from going out into the city for dates. Sometimes, the only person Sierra wanted to be around was Claudius. She tilted her head backwards into the water to dampen her curly hair. The warm water really was very hot. It worked out the tension knots that she'd been holding in her back all day while anticipating the concert. It was lulling her towards an early bedtime. She didn't realize how much tension she'd been holding in. Still, she gently boarded his lap once his head was above the water. Instead of instigating, her hands met with his shoulders in a loving massage. Sierra giggled. "Okay, just remember, I've got that on record now." She winked, referencing all the ISB listening devices littered around ... well, anywhere but here. Her short massage ended with her snuggling against his chest. "I thought the bath was a good idea, but now I'm so sleepy."

"Man stuff? Like the heads of animals I've slain on a great hunt? And souvenirs from the great shockball and shock boxing matches I've seen?" Claudius asked her, as he arched a wet eyebrow at her. As a member of the nobility and upper crust of society he was not much of a manly man, and little idea of what a 'man cave' was even meant to be. He had lived in ancient castles and luxurious estates ... the idea of living in a cave of any kind seemed foreign to him, although he conceded it might be the only shelter they could afford if Drusilla continued to drain their accounts. "A shame," he said to her, as she began her much needed massage, eliciting a series of soft moans and gasps from him. "I thought this was the one place where the ISB was *not* recording," he fired back playfully, never letting her off the hook for her connection to the Empire's most infamous branch. "Well don't fall asleep in here ... you'll drown us both!" he said, as he turned his head towards her, to place a kiss upon her to wake her up. "And what a HoloNet story that would be ... Grand Moff and wife drowned in bathtub. Somehow Auntie Mae would find a way to capitalize on the tragedy with a limited edition, commemorative flavor," he joked, but in fact the woman probably would. "Live. Live for me. Live for our children. Live to spite that ice cream impresario," he said, with a subtle wink.

Her little shoulders shrugged and her nose twitched. "Ew, no heads of animals. I don't want Becky the Bantha staring at me from where she's mounted to the wall." She hated those trophies. No matter where you were in the room, their eyes followed you! Her legs squeezed his. The way they played with each other was an endearing feature of their relationship. They could always laugh together. *Always*.

"Nope. No privacy for you. I thought you knew better." She could take his teasing. The fact was that she had planted no devices and wasn't going to ... unless they decided to take up some seriously strange kinks. Otherwise, this was their safe haven. "Mmm!" She pawed at his face, kissing him back lovingly. Sierra began to laugh. "Oh my gosh. I can see the commercials right now. Come stop by Auntie's Maes, where you can get your ice cream way..." Sierra sang, successfully getting the jingle in both of their heads. "It'll be called the 'Drown Your Sorrows Sundae'." She had seen a commercial for pudding pops already. As angry as she was to be in the woman's spotlight, she had to admit, those commercials made her inner pregger monster scream. She wanted to eat them. Sierra wrapped her arms around his neck, latching herself to her love. "Our poor children. I'm sure Blueberry Bruce Banaza will be a popular flavor. What about Olivia..?" She tapped her chin thoughtfully.

"Marcus should use his authority as Duke of Delaya to nationalize Auntie Mae's, seize the woman's profits, and restore the ducal treasury," Claudius said, with an emphatic nod of his head, as he had no love or admiration for the woman who seemed poised to promote every aspect of his family's lives to sell her ice cream and other confections. "I learned a valuable lesson about the simplistic views of people that they would flock to an ice cream parlor simply because my brother and his wife would eat there," he said, as he had obviously given this a lot more thought than perhaps Sierra had expected. "Now that I have renounced my claim on the Duchy for myself and my children I don't see how she can claim we are public figures and continue to legally use us in her marketing," he complained, shaking his head with a passion. "I would really hate to see our children adorning the side of ice cream cartons in convenience stores throughout the known galaxy," he said, with a sigh, before helping her out of the water, which was beginning to prune his flesh and shrink his manhood as it the water cooled. As he led her back to the bedroom the HoloNet was playing an ad announcing Auntie Mae's latest flavor, Rikka Road, which had *a lot* of bumps in it.

Honestly, it wasn't a half-bad idea. Auntie Mae's had grown overnight simply because Zara Ta'em favored one flavor of ice cream. Sierra listened to him talk about the ice cream empire of Auntie Mae's. "It is sad, isn't it? People are swayed to do things simply because of social status. If more people learned to think for themselves, the world would be a better place...or at least one where our family wasn't making Auntie Mae rich." She didn't want to see their children on ice cream cartons. The commercials that Auntie Mae ran were ridiculous, and any offspring of theirs would likely be subjected to it. She groaned in disapproval, then used his help to make her way out of the tub. She didn't care to dry off too much. She much preferred to be led to the bedroom by her husband. She registered hearing the Auntie Mae jingle, but she didn't think twice about what the commercial was actually for.

Sierra settled into bed beneath layer upon layer upon layer of soft blankets. She let out a long sigh. Finally, she had decompressed entirely. "This lake house was an intelligent investment, my love. Now I have somewhere to hide when I anger our youngest." She laughed, leaning up over him to steal a kiss.

Claudius crashed into bed like a starfighter that had been shot down. He was glad to be in a bed where he would not be awoken by either of his children with their various antics. "Let it never be said that I don't have some intelligence," he said, as he let out a soft groan while rolling over onto his side to face her. He stretched his legs out as far as they would go, allowing himself to enter a state of relaxation he rarely experienced as of late. "All we need to do is find a young Prince ... preferably with a yacht ... and a high threshold for pain and she will bother you no longer," he said, laughing at how hard this task would be. He could surely find her a minor lord or perhaps a Baron, but with his renunciation of his title a Duke or a Prince suddenly seemed an unlikely reach.

"I'll add it to my Inspirational Quotes by Claudius book." She teased. She couldn't imagine how peaceful of a morning they were going to have. The past week had been a little intense. Sierra had awoken one morning with Ewwiekewwieikkie straddling her, staring at her in a way that reminded her of a hungry cat looking for his breakfast. Needless to say, Ewwiekewwieikkie had been looking for the same. She scooted closer to him, setting one leg on top of his hip to make her swollen belly more comfortable. She laughed, wondering if they could truly find anyone up to the task. "Are you *really* ready for all of that? Marrying off Drusilla, that is? I agree that a Prince with a yacht would be best ... maybe it'll help her forget our little luxury yacht incident." Nope. Sierra would be in her eighties and still hearing about it. After she died, all of her and Claudius' offspring would take on the brunt of the blame.

"A book of my quotations, eh? And how much do you plan to charge for my little gems, hmm?" Claudius asked, as it seemed now everyone had a plan to profit off of him. He reached towards her with both of his hands and unexpectedly began to mercilessly tickle her. Only when he was satisfied he had put aside her dreams of selling his wisdom. "I was ready for it ten years ago," he answered, as he gradually moved back to his half of the bed. "Someday her Prince will come," he said, with a sly wink, but in the back of his mind he had severe doubts. Every father feared no man would want his daughter, but given Drusilla's harsh personality he had genuine reason to be concerned.

"Nothin'! We're married. What's yours is mine!" Sierra squealed as she was suddenly a victim to his tickling. To make matters worse, she wasn't a little ticklish. She was *very* ticklish. She laughed hard while wiggling back and forth. "*S-stop*!" She giggled. "I surrender, I surrender!!" Sierra was watching him now. She expected him to launch a second attack. If not now, then later. *Much* later. She chased him towards his side of the bed. Even though they were not at home, he still had his bed hogging wife with him. Would the man ever truly see peace? "Really? Ten years ago?" Sierra laughed. "Someday she'll find her love?" She winked back as she settled into cuddling him once more. Her guard was down. She was defenseless to any future tickle attacks. "In Drusilla's case, I think we'll have to find her Prince for her. There will be extensive interviews, background checks ... treasury checks... He must have a yacht or intend to purchase one for her." The galaxy was a big place. There had to be someone who wouldn't mind being manhandled by Drusilla. She wondered what kind of person would marry her. As she did this, her face went pale. "Do you ... do you think Dru's children would take after her? Each child will need two for them to sleep in, the other for their clothing and accessories."

"Jelena will probably fall in love with some bleeding heart Rebel insurgent. He'll have a beard ... of course ... and be way too old for her. From some Outer Rim world no doubt," Claudius complained, as he was the father of three very different girls. "I can't imagine what Drusilla's children will be like," he said, suddenly growing very tense and uncomfortable. His body began to stiffen and some of the color left his face. "I ... I don't think I'm ready to be a grandfather," he said, clinging to his wife for support. He did not want to imagine himself as *that* old, and as he knew where babies came from he did not want to imagine anyone doing *that* with his children.

Well, Jelena and Sierra would have another thing common if she truly did marry an older man. She wondered if Jelena had anyone special in her life. Whatever she was doing, Sierra wanted her friend to find happiness. She could imagine what Drusilla's children would be like...and that image was scarier than any HoloNet horror film yet. Claudius looked like he was going to pass out if they went any further into this conversation. She embraced him tightly, planting a kiss on his forehead. "Don't worry. If nothing else, you're a Grand Moff. You can scare anyone who wants to marry the girls. I can threaten to plant devices. It'll be great." She smiled. "Lucky for you, I'll be here to support you so you won't have to endure any of it alone. I'll be here for every Drusilla temper tantrum. That should have been in our vows." She tilted her head downward, nuzzling her nose against his neck. He wasn't ready to be a grandfather ... and she wasn't ready to be a *grandmother*. The scary thing was the high probability that it would happen before Sierra reached her thirties.

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