islands were one of the gems of Delaya. Livia Rodney
had done well to preserve the land, for after Marcus
and Zara had enforced poacher laws, the wildlife in
the area was buzzing with life once more.
Technically, hiding out in the paradise was illegal.
However, anyone who wanted to kick the future Duke
and Duchess of Delaya off of the land could happily
try their damndest. It had been the first place that
came to mind when Sierra thought of somewhere safe.
It was the place where the paparazzi had raped
Zarcus' privacy, however, there was no sign of any
HoloNet droids there now. In fact, there were no
signs of anyone else who could bother them or hurt
they needed had been packed into their ship before
they left the medcenter. They could survive for a
week on the island before it became necessary to
return to humanity. Granted, Sierra did not intend
to spend so long away. The duty to watch over Julius
was still at the forefront of her mind. However, the
thoughts that trumped that involved Claudius. The
man had continuously been standing in a shit storm.
Even on the sea islands, there would be no real
relief. His father was dying. His daughters were
going to skewer him and his wife when they returned
home. Meanwhile, work continued to pile up and
disappointing Julius seemed to be a daily
quietly slipped away from the makeshift bed early in
the morning. Their tent was more like a portable
home, activated simply by a touch of a button. It
was like camping in luxury without it being a pain
in the ass to set up. More importantly, it shielded
them away from any potential unwanted HoloNet
reporters. She had been sitting at a little table
with a box of datapads she had taken from Claudius'
desk prior to leaving Esseles. One by one, the pile
dwindled until only a few remained. It was already
warm in the tropical island. For that reason, and
for the sake of enjoying showing off her body
occasionally, Sierra wore a deep blue bikini top.
There were matching bottoms which were currently
covered by a wrap skirt. Her fingers toyed with her
hair in a girlish fashion while she consumed more
information than her brain wanted to. Her other hand
located to her stomach, where she idly rubbed the
place that was beginning to pudge out. The added
weight probably wasn't terribly noticeable. To her,
it certainly was. She had allowed herself to lose so
much weight during her depression over losing her
home planet. Her body was happy to not be deprived
anymore. The young adjutant grumbled. How did
Claudius do it?!
never been to the sea islands, as they were a
protected nature preserve, and he was a stickler for
rules. He had watched portions of his brother's
HoloNet adventure to the islands with envy,
marveling at the natural beauty. He was dressed
remarkably down in just a pair of swim trunks, that
left his upper body complete exposed with perhaps
too much chest hair upon his aging frame. A pair of
simple glare shades covered his brown eyes,
shielding them from the harmful effects of the sun
as they were near Delaya's equator. "This was a
wonderful idea, Sierra, but you don't worry the
media will say we're emulating my brother and his
wife?" he said, with a soft snicker, as he watched
her going over datapad after datapad. "Has the
Ringali Shell fallen to the Rebellion? If not, come
join me," he said, patting at his lap like a much
younger man. "If it has ... fetch me some strong
liquor," he said, with a smirk, as he pulled down
his glareshades slightly to smirk at her. He was
determined to enjoy this brief respite they had been
softly, "If you would like a HoloNet scandal, all
you have to do is ask, my love." Her knowledge of
this place had come from Livia herself, though she
had not seen it until the Zarcus videos leaked. It
had been beautiful...yet it was still even better in
person. Sierra had seen several thranta fly over
their settlement several times already. What was
possibly even more exciting that the exotic wildlife
was Claudius in swim trunks. Seeing him in his
uniform all the time made the change in clothes
oddly erotic for his young wife. She loved him
enough to cause another Rodney sex scandal.
She gave him
an odd look at his question, then realized that it
was he who was swaying her away from work for the
first time ever. Laughing, Sierra placed the datapad
on the table and rose. "No. It looks as if it hasn't
fallen apart without you yet." She slowly lowered
herself into his lap. Her legs straddled him while
her nearly bare torso came to rest on his. "Much
better," she sighed. Despite the circumstances, the
islands offered a moment of sanity. She turned her
head to the side, looking up at him. "We could stay
here for awhile. I suspect it'd take months to find
us, maybe more."
Claudius said optimistically, as his arms wrapped
around his young bride. "Whatever happens while we
are away will hopefully fall on Arden Zevrin," he
said optimistically, as he rose from his seat,
simultaneously lifting her up. He moved forward
towards the oncoming surf, which first crashed
against his feet and gradually moved up his body as
he entered the water. It was warm and felt good
against the aching bones of his lower body. When he
was convinced the depth was sufficient his hands
withdrew from Sierra's grasp and he allowed her to
fall into the tropical waters. It was paradise. He
knew immediately why Marcus had chosen it. All
around them sea life flourished in the unspoiled
waters that surrounded the preserve. It was
representative of what Alderaan and Delaya used to
would be wonderful." Arden Zevrin would fall again.
It was only a matter of time. No sooner had she
grown comfortable in her new home did Claudius raise
to his feet. Logically, she objected entirely. *No*.
She recalled him plunging through a glass coffee
table last time he tried to do olympics with her
standing upright. Instead, her youthfulness hit the
surface and she giggled like a young girl. There
were no coffee tables here, after all! Together, he
brought them into the warm water. Sierra sunk into
it when he dropped her. Her blonde hair and her
entire body were soaked. It felt *amazing*. The warm
water worked its way all over her, prompting her to
remove the wrap around her waist and throw it
towards the sand.
clear water was easy to see through. All around
their feet, there was beautiful, vivid colors of sea
life. It reminded her of the good parts of Alderaan.
It also reminded her that even during hard times,
life really wasn't so bad. She buried her feet in
the sand and stood. The water came up just beneath
her breasts. "I can't wait to bring our son here,"
she told him, grinning widely.
"I hope this
still exists in this pristine beauty when he is old
enough," Claudius said, as he lowered his body into
the cool water until it reached his neckline. He
sighed as the cool water rushed over his body, and
with it the troubles of the galaxy were washed away.
"You don't think the people will accuse us of using
our nobility to violate the law and trespass here?"
he asked her, as he allowed his legs to rise up from
beneath him. He lay there buoyant, bobbing up and
down in the water, as he floated aimlessly. "I wish
we could live here, but it would be improper," he
said, as he looked in the direction of his pregnant
wife. There were none of the problems he was running
from here. No Empire. No Rebellion. No family drama.
It was the most pleasant experience of recent memory
and he was glad that Sierra had surprised him with
"It will be,"
she replied confidently. It would be *their*
responsibility to protect this place. The world
needed places like this. Places where everything was
as it had once been. She tilted her head backwards
into the water. "They probably will, but they will
also accuse me of being a whore based on the color
of whatever gown I wear in public next. Even we need
a sanctuary." She cared not about what people
thought of her. She had purposely avoided reading
any news about their pregnancy, and would continue
to do so. The first time she saw an article title
calling into question who the father was, Sierra
shut it down. People were offended by everything
She moved into
deeper water. Like him, she positioned herself on
her back. Her arms were spread out wide. Her fingers
moved in and out of the water. Why hadn't she taken
him here sooner? It was mind numbing. "I wish it
too. The seclusion is sometimes necessary in order
to breath again. I can see why your brother decided
to marry here. I have no idea how he ever left it
behind." She floated towards him. Her fingers linked
with his. "It's like the honeymoon we never got to
have." She made a face, "That first meal was *very*
memorable. I hope the Emperor doesn't want to
congratulate us over our son."
never dare call you that," Claudius said, as he
shifted so uncomfortably in the water that he lost
his buoyancy and sunk down into the water. "Is it
wrong to claim something that is supposed to belong
to all the people for ourselves?" he asked, as he
regained his composure and looked around the area.
"It was a great honor to dine with His Majesty," he
said, despite the inedibility of the meal. "I hope
he does. It would be a very fortuitous beginning to
our son's life," he said, with a big smile on his
face, as he swiftly moved to embrace his wife. He
held her tightly, thinking about the Emperor
pleasantly. His view of the man was far different
from the rest of the galaxy's.
did a flip at the thought of another meal with the
Emperor. Claudius may have nothing but admiration
for the man, but Sierra felt different. His Majesty
was so powerful. It was intensely stressful to stand
before a man who could kill you, your family, and
everyone you ever knew in an instant. She shifted
into the water, floating with her feet beneath her.
She looked over the island in front of them. Letting
her imagination roll off his words, she thought
about what it would be like to live here as opposed
to Esseles. The girls would love it.
locked around his neck. The movement of the ocean
naturally guided them into each other. It was like
even Mother Nature herself was pressing them
together over and over again. "No, because we would
rightfully take care of it. Mother had to protect
this place because people were destroying
everything. That hellish tundra where your brother
lives is the result of people being able to run
rampant through places like this." She looked into
his eyes, smiling. "Does it make you happy to think
of waking every morning to this?" She said, looking
all around them.
Claudius could answer her questions the sound of a
young thranta taking flight distracted him. He
lifted his head, bringing his hand up above his eyes
to stare at it as it flew against the gleaming sun.
He moved through the waist deep water until he
arrived near Sierra, bringing his arms around her
tightly. "It makes me very happy, but I would be
happy anywhere with you," he admitted to her, as he
spun her around a bit in the water, creating a
vortex. "I would not want to disrupt the island
though," he said, as he came to a stop in the water.
"We could have something elevated above the water,"
he suggested to her, as he began to put a plan in
motion. "Technically that won't be a violation of
the law..." he added, smiling, as he began to
imagine a life with her and the children here.
"Security would be a concern. Do we trust it to
Gaius or do we bring in Seatroopers?" he said,
already worried about securing the location. Even in
paradise there was still danger.
shot to the young thranta as it took to the skies.
She smiled. Indeed, new life was all around them. It
gave her husband the opportunity to capture her in
his arms. The smile on her face grew wider, twirling
round 'n round in slow, fluid motions until she
stopped, facing him. "That makes me happy to hear."
She said cheerfully. As long as he was with her,
then she didn't care where she lived. Admittedly,
the more he talked about living here, the more she
liked the idea. He even suggested the perfect way to
make it happen. Her little jaw dropped. "You're a
genius." Her smile curled up her face, "You're *so*
right. We could have something elevated above the
water..." Now she was seriously thinking about it.
She imagined enjoying the land with the girls, and
sharing it with their little son. It seemed
infinitely more appealing than continuing to live on
Esseles. "We should research both options. It would
be nice not to see the Seatroopers, simply because
they don't understand the importance of this area. I
don't want them to make a mess of it. At the same
time, I need to see what Gaius can do for us. What
do you think?" She buried her nose into his neck.
again," Claudius said, referring to the time she
called him a genius. He took the compliment, smiled
happily, as he extended his arms to feel the warmth
of the sun shining down upon him. "I can't imagine
Ewwiekewwieikkie's fur in this humidity. Are you
prepared for all that brushing?" he asked her, with
a wink, as he moved deeper into the water. The sea
life began to migrate around him, brushing against
his legs. "I am not sure. Neither is a perfect
option. The Seatroopers will leave a heavy imprint
on the area, but Gaius has failed to protect the
family on numerous occasions. Including just the
other day," he said, as he grew silent, remembering
what happened to Bruce. He wanted to runaway to this
island paradise, but because of who they were
neither the Empire nor the Delayans would let them
live in peace. "I envy my brother and his arctic
hideaway," he said, as he turned to look over his
shoulder at his wife. He offered a half smile, once
again hoping she had the answer.
*genius*," Sierra repeated. There was nothing wrong
with giving the love of her life a healthy
confidence in himself. She laughed, imagining poor
Ewwiekewwieikkie's hair. "As I recall, I was the one
asking you to adopt *another* Squib. I'm prepared."
There was no running away from what happened to
Sierra and the Alderaan guard. It lingered in the
back of her mind like a dark passenger. "Good point.
I think we should seriously consider moving here.
Possibly making picky selections out of the
Seatroopers will help us. Only those who aren't
going to run rampant and destroy the land can come
serve us here." You could only envy Marcus so far.
It was freezing in the arctic, not to mention, there
was a gigantic, scary squid. Granted, it provided
one hell of a security detail. "About what happened
the other day," she began suddenly. "I think we
should name the baby Bruce." It seemed random, but
the idea had been bouncing in her mind since sanity
crept back over her.
hearing his beautiful young wife compliment him.
That combined with the sunlight to make him a very
happy man. "We can get a home here," he said to her,
before turning around and placing his hands firmly
upon her hips. "At least it's private for them. No
Empire. No Alderaan Guards. Wait ... a scary squid?"
he asked her, as he tilted his head and arched an
eyebrow at her in utter confusion. But then the
subject turned to their unborn child and he put
everything else ... including the squid ... from his
head. "You want to name our son Bruce?" he asked
her, before saying the name 'Bruce Rodney' over and
over again in his head. "Yes. It shall be Bruce.
Bruce Rodney," he said, moving to place a tender,
loving kiss upon her lips. He was in love with his
wife and soon they would be a trio. As he held her
close he looked over her shoulder at the island
behind him. It would be a wonderful paradise for
Bruce to take his first steps upon.
elated to hear those words. She felt that the girls
would be happy with their decision as well. "Yay!"
She cheered girlishly. A new home for a new
beginning, right? Her small hands rested on his
shoulders. Sierra had never told him that Marcus'
sea beast had nearly killed her, Kerrie, El-Nay, and
the Rebel. In all seriousness, that day had been so
immensely stressful that even thinking about it made
her feel uneasy.
The idea of
naming their son Bruce was pretty far out.
Thankfully, it wasn't as horribly new age as 'Mug'.
Bruce was an old name. A good name. Her head nodded
slowly. *Bruce Rodney*. It had a nice flow to
it...and, even better, Claudius liked it. Sierra's
smile was larger than life when he kissed her. She
returned it, willingly pouring all the love in her
heart out to him. As the kiss ended, her head met
with his shoulders and her eyes closed tightly.
Happy tears rolled down her cheeks. "Thank you for
being in my life, Claudius." He had saved her from
an enemy much more dangerous than the
"And thank you
for being in mine," Claudius said, as he began
leading her towards the shore. "The one drawback is
that both my mother and father begged you to
relocate here. I hope this doesn't constitute them
winning," he said to her, with a soft laugh. Her
skin began to dry almost immediately as he stepped
up onto the sandy beach. He moved her deeper in land
where the beach blanket was waiting for them,
lightly shaded by the overhanging trees. "But I
won't let that deny us paradise," he said to her, as
he sat down on the blanket next to where a small
picnic lunch had been placed. He opened the basket
and offered her up a fruit juice, which was about
the strongest thing she could drink given her
delicate condition. "We should bring the girls. Let
them see it," he said, as he cracked open his own
juice. A slight breeze crept in, dancing over their
skin, and cooling them on an otherwise hot day.
There was an
audible groan that came from Sierra when he brought
up Mother and Father. She hadn't liked the way they
handled her pregnancy. Julius, who was much too
touchy with her and Livia, who acted like a vulture
who wanted to sweep down and care for Bruce. "Let's
say it doesn't. That makes me feel better," she
laughed. "What was it with them? Did Livia really
think I didn't want to raise our son? I've been
looking around on the HoloNet," she began explaining
to her husband while she squeezed the water from her
hair. She settled down on the picnic blanket, now
talking with her voice and her hands. "I saw these
baby carriers that'll be perfect for work. I can
just strap him to my chest and off we go," she tried
to show him what she was talking about with her
hands before taking hold of the fruit juice. "Thank
you." She wouldn't be seeing any alcohol for a
lengthy amount of time. It was a sacrifice she did
not mind making. She drank, staring out at the sea
where there home might be someday soon.
"We should. I
do care that they are on board with the move. First,
we have to conquer whatever mess awaits for us back
home. I'm sure Drusilla will act out in one way or
another." Because of their son. The more Sierra
thought about the world outside the islands, the
longer she wanted to stay here to hide. Thankfully,
she was having a lovely picnic lunch with her
husband. The day wasn't bad. She began to distribute
food between both of them from the basket.
"I'm not sure
if we can afford them, Sierra. I got an alert that a
massive purchase has been made on our account,"
Claudius said, still not sure what exactly had
occurred back on Esseles. "Oh. Go ahead and buy it!"
he said, not wanting to disappoint her. There was
always more money, but there would only be one
Bruce. "Do you think Doctor Tohan is holding up
managing the three girls okay?" he asked, he
thinking about his old friend alone in the house
with four emotional young women. Between Jelena's
brooding, Drusilla's greed, and Ewwiekewwieikkie and
Callista's boundless energy he could not imagine
that was going on back there. And he did not want to
either. He did not want to go back, but they could
not stay away forever.
furrowed. "What? What are you talking about?" She
hardly monitored their finances. She rarely made
purchases for herself. "Did you find out what it
was?" They still had months and months to prepare
for Bruce. She wanted to enjoy that part with
Claudius. It was a pretty big deal, after all. This
was his first son. "I'm sure he is. Doctor Tohan may
be old, but he's still a feisty as ever." She said
this, recalling his jeers when he had confirmed her
pregnancy. He still had it! At least that was the
hope. Sierra rested her drink on the towel. She lay
back, staring at him. "We can go back if you want. I
would rather be on Esseles than deal with your
father groping my stomach again. My uterus never
received a formal thank you. I'm so disappointed,"
she said, snickering.
"No. I did not
want to find out," Claudius said, as he lay back on
the blanket, trying to ignore what was happening all
around them. "No. Let's stay here for as long as we
can," he said, before the peace was broken by the
sudden crack of thunder. A light tropical rain began
to roll in, lightly falling against their exposed
skin, after a brief stopover on the vegetation
above. The sound of the rain fooling was incredibly
soothing, while simultaneously cooling his flesh.
"I'm sorry about my father. He's old. He thinks he
can grab people by the uterus because of it," he
said, rolling his eyes beneath his glareshades. The
wind began to pick up, blowing around small tropical
leaves, but he did not run for cover. There was no
rain aboard a Star Destroyer and he welcomed the
sensation. The more he thought about it, the less he
could remember the last time he was out in inclement
weather. He should have been miserable, but he was
hear Sierra complaining about remaining in paradise
for as long as possible. As the ran began to fall
over their heads, her happy mood increased. She
giggled to herself. Grab people by the uterus. It
wouldn't have been funny if it wasn't true. Seizing
opportunity by the balls, Sierra shot up from the
towel. "It's okay. I knew what I was marrying into,"
she winked. She leaned down, stealing both of his
hands so she could prompt him to rise back to his
feet. The problem was that Claudius did not know
what *he* had married into. "This is the perfect
time to mark something off of my bucket list!" And
that was the only explanation he got as the young,
pregnant teen guided him away from the vegetation
and into the rain with no obstructions. The cool
water fell down all around them. Sierra stood in
front of him. Both of her hands cupped his face
affectionately. Rain water trickled down her bare
back. She began to kiss him. The young woman was
initiating things that they should *not* be doing in
the open while also telling him a story of her love
with her lips. It was silly. It was stupid. Sierra
really, really liked the idea of making out with him
in the rain.
The kind of
passion that Claudius and Sierra were sharing within
the lush vegetation of the remote sea island. "I
love you," he told her, during one of the rare
opportunities he had to breath between kisses.
"Smart thinking. If there's cameras they won't see
us in here," he said, before he removed the
glareshades from his face and tossed them carelessly
into the jungle so that he could gaze upon her with
his brown eyes. His hands moved down to strip off
his bathing suit, which was the only article of
clothing that separated their naked flesh from one
another. He reached down, grabbing her by the butt,
and lifted her up into his arms as he held her there
against him. His lips connected with hers,
passionately, before moving to the sides of her face
and neck ferociously. He had never felt so
passionately about another human being. This was
definitely meant to be their future home.
had created another beautiful, splendid moment that
Sierra would cherish forever. Claudius reminded her
over and over again the reasons why she believed he
was her soulmate. She was made for him. "I love
you," she responded to him in between their wild
kisses. It was all growing hot and heavy quickly.
She thought they were safe here, and so she had no
objections to quickly freeing herself of her bikini.
The rain fell over her entire body. Places that had
never seen the light of day were exposed now. As
modest as she was, she felt damn fearless at the
moment. With little work he, too, was nude. It
wasn't much longer before her body was coiling
around his. Her legs locked in place around his
waist. Those familiar, electric feelings tingled all
over her body now that they were together. Her heart
was beating three times faster than normal.
stormy sky, Sierra and Claudius made love. There was
no doubt in her mind: this was home. This was the
place where they would spend the rest of their
lives. Her heart grew more entangled with his than
ever. When all was said and done, the couple lay on
the sandy ground locked in an embrace. Sierra felt
so thankful for him. It didn't matter what trial
they faced. Everything seemed to aid in improving
their relationship. She kissed him countless times
to quietly express herself. Claudius was the one
she'd been waiting for all along.