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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:4:10) in the Pavo Prime system: Pavo Prime (Seahorse Casino).
Lord Marcus Rodney and Lady Zara Rodney.

The last place Marcus Rodney wanted to be was Delaya. Retrieving the Nerf Herder, he had taken hold of his *very* pregnant wife and set course for the first destination that came to mind: Pavo Prime. Located in the nearby Inner Rim, the aquatic gambling resort was home to a number of casinos. They had settled into the Seahorse Casino, with a suite overlooking the water. It seemed his brother was not the only one who had a room with a view. "It's so warm," he commented to Zara, given how cold life had been at the chalet. As he moved her onto the balcony they were hit with the pungent aroma of the sea air. "I'll win you a fortune," he said, as he looked down at the lower level where the casino lay. In truth he was a terrible gambler who had squandered much of the family's credits away in the years preceding his marriage. "I saw in the lobby that Max Rebo is going to be performing. Drusilla will be furious," he said, with a smirk, and obvious glee.

Delaya had become a nightmare. After spending time in a holding cell separated from her husband, Zara Rodney did not want to go back home to the chalet. She didn't trust the Imperial Governor who had come to cause chaos. There was absolutely no objections from her when they decided to travel to Pavo Prime. The environment was totally different from the northern portion of Delaya. No sooner had she departed the Nerf Herder did she have to yank off her heavy jacket.

Inside the room, she had changed into a slender sun dress to combat the weather and the additional heat of her swollen stomach. "It is!" She squeaked happily. Her pale skin hadn't seen this much sun since her and Marcus were recorded during their bliss on the beach. She walked with him towards the balcony. She stared at the gorgeous view, briefly forgetting that her brother-in-law had stolen away the islands where they had wed...which resulted in a huge mess. The sea breeze blew through her silvery hair. She shot a bright smile towards her husband. "You will? All I wanted was one of those gigantic Nerf stuffed toys I saw in the arcade." She snickered. "Maybe I'll win *you* a fortune." Zara had spent her time in casinos during her earlier days. "Let's go see Max Rebo. We can brag about how amazing he was that way." She giggled, turning towards Marcus. Her arms wrapped around his neck loosely. "It's so pretty here. We should stay here and wait out all the craziness on Delaya."

There was a buzz at the door before a droid arrived with their luggage. It also brought a special welcoming gift from the hotel management who were pleased to have the free advertising of Marcus and Zara in attendance. In the care package were two stuffed nerfs, one blue, and one pink for each of the babies, fruit and candies, casino chips, and a carton of Auntie Mae's ice cream, which was now being sold across the galaxy.

"It pains me to see Imperials on Delaya," Marcus revealed to Zara, before moving to examine the basket. As he spied the carton of Auntie Mae's he wondered how much money she was making off their celebrity. Perhaps they were entitled to a stake. "I've already won, because I have you," he said to her, before tossing her the carton of purple potato ice cream. Certainly there would be none for him. "Yes. We can get our appearance at the Max Rebo concert on the HoloNet. It will drive Drusilla mad, which will in turn cause her to drive Claudius and Sierra up a wall," he said, with a snicker, as he moved back towards the bed. He was itching to get down to the casino, but he did not want her to know that.

Zara turned around when she heard the buzz. She was surprised to see a welcome gift...*were those nerfs*!? She let out a squee. The plushies were was the sight of a carton of her all-time favorite Auntie Mae's. She started making her way towards him. "I know. I really wish we could chase them off the planet. That Governor guy seems like a massive dick. The Duke and Duchess have their hands full." Zara thought about dropping Sir Tentacles on the garrison many, *many* times. She wondered how far the beast would get before he was struck down.

She caught the carton of ice cream. Her cheeks were red from his sweet compliment. "Marcus~!" She sniffled. "I love you so much." He understood her. He even understood how wild her pregnancy craving was. She popped open the ice cream as she lowered herself down to sit next to him on the bed. She took a spoonful, then offered one to him. She laughed. "I *love* the way you think. Even I've heard Drusilla talk about Max Rebo." Zara rested the carton on her growing belly. She was officially in the final stretch: the last trimester. She was going to enjoy this vacation because soon there would be two new little Rodneys to adore. She ate a little, then closed up the carton and put it away. "Let's go downstairs! I want to be your lady luck." Laughing, Zara tucked her arm in between his. Together, they left their suite. Paparazzi had already been on top of them since arriving. It seemed casino security had successfully cleared them out for now.

Marcus took hold of his wife and slowly navigated the corridor to the nearest turbolift. It was a scenic turbolift on the outside of the building that gave them a magnificent view of the surrounding ocean. Slowly they made their way to the ground level where the buffet and the casino lay. Would he be ever to steer Zara past the endless array of foods? No. Before they got to the casino they found themselves in the line at the nerf carving station, where prime cuts of meat were being offered up to them. And then there was a colossal mountain of Kashyyyk land shrimp. Even though he was not pregnant he sure could eat, but nothing prepared him for the portions that his wife was taking.

Zara told herself that she could resist the food. She told herself that she was going downstairs to make sure Marcus had fun too, for she wasn't the only one who had gone through an intensely stressful ordeal. The beautiful sight before her made her stop thinking about food and how incredibly uncomfortable it was when the twins used her bladder like a trampoline. She leaned against her husband softly. This was *exactly* what they needed.

Downstairs, Zara simply couldn't resist! Her senses were raped by an array of delicious food stuffs. She decided to compromise with her hunger; just one piece of nerf and they would be on their way. Of course, one piece turned to three. "Sorryyyy..." She said, blushing. She felt as large as a dreadnaught these days. When she had eaten until she was full, they resumed moving towards the casino games, blinding lights, and a million different noises. The part of her that was a thief couldn't stop thinking about all the various...highly dangerous...ways she could destroy the casino from the inside out. She was glad she had married someone who understood that portion of her life. "What game do you want to play first?" She asked while watching a rather large Wookiee pull a slot machine handle clear off the machine. "Nice!"

Before Marcus could play a game he took a long look over the array of alien players, trying to determine if any of them would be potentially dangerous if he bested them. Obviously he would stay clear of the wookiee. There was an entire section devoted to sabacc, his favorite table game. "Here we go," he said quietly to his wife, as he sauntered over to the table. Giving a polite nod to everyone at the table he was dealt his hand and began to play. In the first hand he had lost all of the free credits the casino had provided him when checking in. It was an inauspicious start to the evening. As the night went on he barely made headway, but did not lose too terribly much. A crowd had gathered to watch the famous couple, with some opportunistic gamblers placing bets on when the twins would be born.

"You can do it!" Zara said confidently to her love. She understood the statistics behind casino games, so it didn't worry her when he lost. The difficult part was knowing when to stop. But, the night continued and Marcus was never too terribly down. She stayed beside him, eagerly watching the other player's facial expressions so she could catch on to who was sweating it and who wasn't. All the while, she could hear people making bets on her stomach. It made her roll her eyes. She was close, but not *that* close. Sheesh! She tried to help derail other players with a little feminine charm. As she leaned over to look at Marcus' hand, her low cut dress likely reminded the male players that Zara's body had once been on every nook and cranny of the Holonet.

As the night progressed luck found him, or maybe it was simply Zara's pregnancy engorged mammaries serving to distract his opponents. Gradually the pile of chips in front of him began to return to where he started, and then shortly after began to grow. A few hours later and he had managed to double what he had started with, and decided it was best to quit while he was ahead. He turned his head, placing a small kiss upon Zara's cheek. Then, after tipping the dealer, he rose from the table, collected his chips, and began to leave the casino. However, this time he was careful to circle around the buffet so that they would not fall victim to it again. "This will help a great deal," he said, as he stepped into the turbolift with her. "You know, if you were not so close to delivering, I might consider assassinating that Governor," he said to her, as his underlying aggressiveness briefly breached the surface. Of course that would only serve to bring *more* Imperial attention to Delaya.

Zara enjoyed watching him play. Somehow, luck found them and the pile of chips bred with each other until there was more than what he had started with. She squeezed Marcus' arm excitedly. Together, they departed from the lower portion of the casino so ensure that they left the floor ahead...not behind. In the turbolift, Zara happily cuddled her husband. "It will. You told me you'd win...and you did just that!" They needed to secure their finances for the future, after all. It would take time for Zara to be ready to go back out into the field. She assumed it was in the cards still. She looked up at him, a more serious tone taking over. "You're not alone. Even for an Imperial, he seems really terrible. Did you see Sierra when she came to get us? She looked so upset. I bet he did something to her!" Zara speculated. She had met Papius face-to-face and experienced a slice of how much of an asshole he truly was. "What will we do if he continues to remain on Delaya? It isn't like Claudius can throw him out." She turbolift stopped at their floor. Zara continued to hold onto him while they moved to their room. She was concerned for the family that they had left behind. Was Claudius and his wifey okay?

"There is no getting through to Claudius. His love for the Emperor is illogical and unbreakable," Marcus complained, bitterly, as he entered their room. Once in the room he took his tray of chips and thrust it upwards, showering their bed with all of their newfound winnings. "What can we do? Board ourselves up in the chalet and wait for them to leave. We have children to consider. We aren't Rebels," he said, as he moved behind her, bringing his arms around her, and placing his hands on her belly. Less than two months now, he imagined, as he held her in a warm embrace from behind. "Just out of curiosity ... how long will it be after the pregnancy until everything is ... uh ... *working* again," he asked, burying his face in her shoulder so that she could not see his reaction.

That was the truth. Claudius had one, gigantic-sized boner for the Emperor. There was no saving him. Zara stood back, watching the chips scatter all over their bed. She snickered, thinking about making love all over their winnings. When he swept her up into his arms, she leaned back against him. Her hands ran over his arms. She could feel the babies kicking and punching inside of her. The twins were very clearly Marcus and Zara's children. They weren't even out and they wanted to fight. "You're right. Hopefully it'll all blow over in time. I'm so relieved you aren't Duke.." She sighed. All these things rested on Sierra and Claudius' shoulders. She couldn't thank them enough for taking the bullet. For that, they deserved the sea island home.

She giggled at his question. It was so silly! "*Working*? Whatever do you mean, hubby?!" It was hard not to tease him! "A month." She told him with a dramatic sigh. "How are we going to ever make it that long!? I'll be humping the tauntaun before we're clear for sexy time." She couldn't even imagine. They *still* went at it like animals. Zara turned her head to kiss his cheek. "I guess we're just going to have to go into double time until the babies are here, huh? Can we start by doing it on the chips? Pleasseee? I really wanted to do it on the balcony, but we both know what'll happen after that." Maybe they could make money off of the next sex scandal they found themselves in?

Marcus was admittedly concerned about the potential dry spell in their love life, and her suggestion that they make up for lost time early. "Of course!" he said, as he began to strip out of his clothing. Winning at the sabacc table had excited him, and he wasted no time in helping Zara out of the tent sized garment that was required to cloth her in her *very* pregnant state. He moved towards her, pressing his lips against hers as they shared a tender embrace. He grabbed hold of her, and attempted to lift her onto the bed, but he felt a muscle pull in the small of his back. "Argh!" he groaned, as he released his grasp on her, falling to his knees. He was not quite prepared for how heavy she was, and he had not exerted enough force to lift her. The small of his back was throbbing, but he did his best to conceal just how much pain he was actually in. He did not want her to feel bad.

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