say, life had *not* been easy lately. Sierra had an
inevitable five concerts to endure along with her
other responsibilities. Claudius has his hands full
between his duties as a Grand Moff, husband, and
father of his growing family. Despite having a
terrible day at work, she decided that it was all
going to turn around. Upon arriving home, Sierra
bribbed Drusilla to watch the girls with some Max
Rebo autographed memorabilia. While she cooked
dinner for the girls, she persuaded her husband to
go upstairs and change. They were going *out*. She
didn't tell him where they were going, simply that
he needed to dress casually. Sierra liked surprising
him...especially when she knew the surprise was
good. As soon as she had, somehow, gotten Callista
and Ewwiekewwieikkie to sit down and eat, Sierra
escaped up to their bedroom. "Are you just about
ready?" She said, shimmying out of her trousers. Her
tunic followed. "We're probably going to be late for
work tomorrow." She warned him. Sierra was trying to
tease him to get him curious about his surprise.
"I was born
ready," Claudius obnoxiously declared, like a cheap
HoloVid star, as he placed his glareshades upon his
face to complete his ensemble. "Where are we going?"
he asked, as he allowed her to be the lead after his
past dates such as the thrata ride, the speeder bike
adventure, and the lake getaway. Hopefully he came
back with his pants this time! "Hopefully someone no
one can find us," he suggested, as he wondered what
she was up to. His curiosity was unbearable. He
could not stand not knowing, and he thought Sierra
enjoyed playfully holding that over him. He was like
a child demanding to know what his presents were
before his birthday. Wherever and whatever it was he
was sure he would enjoy it because Sierra would be
Oh yes, she
*loved* keeping him on the edge of his seat. While
Claudius was a master at selecting their dates, she
was pretty sure he was about to meet his
competition. Sierra stood in the closet, laughing at
her husband's declaration. "Okay, but I wasn't. I
need to put on clothes first." She playfully wiggled
her rear at him before selecting one of her favorite
dresses to wear. She quickly dressed, pausing in
front of him to kiss him. "I'm going to enjoy
watching you squirm while you try to figure out
where we're going." She giggled. Her hand grabbed
his as she lead him off to show him a whole new
world... Or not really, as he'd been living on
Esseles much longer than she had!
taking the speeder bike, Sierra ducked into the
driver's side of their speeder. She had already
gotten in ready in anticipation of their date. "Any
guesses?" She asked him with a bright smile on her
face. Once they were both ready, she began driving
in the opposite direction of the city. Her eyes
darted down to the chronometer on the dash. "I hope
we're not late..."
practically ready to burst from the sensation of not
knowing where they were going. He *had* to know, and
needed to learn patience before he just started
begging like Drusilla. As he moved into the
passenger's seat of the speeder his imagination
intensified. It seemed like they were staying on
Esseles, or they'd have taken the shuttle, unless
she was driving to a spaceport just to confuse him.
"Auntie Maeland?" he asked, as the children had been
pestering him. That fiendish ice cream baroness had
parlayed his brother and sister-in-law's popularity
to build an incredible culinary empire. He felt the
whole thing ridiculous, especially when the Sierra's
About to Pop Pudding Pops hit the market.
"That's a good
guess... But not right! Besides, if I took you to
Auntie Maeland alone, I wouldn't be welcome in our
house anymore." She joked. The girls had seen a
commercial for it on the HoloNet. Since then, all
Sierra was hearing about was the one hundred reasons
why they *needed* a family vacation. She didn't
imagine that Auntie Mae would eventually find out
that the elder Rodney's wife also had a craving
around them was dark. The streetlights came less and
less. They were now driving through a mountainous
region outside of the city. Sierra took an exit that
looked more than a little shady. She didn't drive
for much longer than that. Three winds and a turn
later, her and Claudius were in the middle of
nowhere. "You *did* say you wanted to be somewhere
where no one could find us." She reminded him as she
opened her door and got out. She rounded the speeder
to the trunk where she pulled out a small box
containing a tent for two. It wasn't technology
advanced or anything. A cooler beside it said that
she intended to stay awhile. "Come on!" She verbally
prodded him, offering him the little cooler as she
started off into the wooded area. It was so dark.
Above them, a vast collection of stars shone.
Without the lights of the city, they could see them
suddenly felt *very* confused. He looked about,
trying to determine where they were, but they were
nowhere. "I did say that, but I just did not think
it possible," he said, as he looked up at the stars.
He could see them much clearer than near the city
where the light pollution drowned them out. "I
wouldn't even need a telescope here," he said, as he
momentarily got lost in the sea of beautiful stars.
In his youth he had traveled to the desolate Castle
Lands where he would gaze up at the stars and first
dream of going into space, which ultimately
culminated in his career with the Republic Navy.
Before he could gaze any longer she was off, having
seemingly brought everything needed for camping. It
reminded him of their time hiding out in the Sea
Islands, camping on the beach. "Okay. Okay," he
said, as he took the little cooler and moved towards
her, further into the woods.
through the wooded area together. The silence, the
complete lack of city life, came as a wonderful
relief. It seemed like they were as alone as they
could be. No Stormtroopers. No HoloNet droids to
record all their intimate moments. *Nothing*. She
marched through the terrain until the treeline
broke, giving them a place where they could stare at
the sky with no obstructions. It was there that
Sierra came to a stop. "Here we are. The perfect
camping spot." She deemed it, resting the box
holding the tent on the ground. She kept looking up
at the sky like she was expecting something...
Which she was.
Turning her attention on her husband, she took the
little cooler and set it on the ground. "It's really
pretty." She said, smiling as she looked skyward.
Her hands rested on his shoulders. Her fingers ran
over the back of his neck. After an immensely long
life, it felt good to get together and relax. Her
eyes met with his. "I love how no matter what
happens, we can always be like this." She leaned in.
Her nose nuzzled against his slowly.
air felt cool against his skin, which caused the
heated temperature of his body that had existed
since the developments with Arden Zevrin to finally
subside. He was beginning to feel relaxed, which was
a rare occurrence these days. "It's wonderful. How
did you find this?" he asked, as he knelt down next
to the box that contained the tent. As he looked
over the instructions he felt like it was simple
enough, but as he began to get the pieces out of the
box he realized he was in for a long night. "Perhaps
... perhaps we should have brought some staff," he
suggested, as he began to get the tent posts
situated. "I love you, Sierra," he said, as he began
anchoring the posts. "I don't think I've ever done
this before," he warned her, as one of the poles
fell back down.
herself to the ground. Ever the woman, the first
thing she did was pick up a crumpled piece of paper
with instructions on how to put up the tent from
within the box. Camping in the Sea Islands was the
closest thing she had done to this, and even that
had been in a luxury tent. This was old school next
to that experience. "I read that this area was
really great for seeing the stars. I looked it up
and found this place. It seemed secluded...which is
always a perk." She picked up a piece of the tent
while beginning to laugh. "Okay, next time I'll ask
Lieutenant Meham'ohorovi'cloc to accompany us." She
teased, watching a pole fall down. "I love you, my
Claudius. We'll get it put together." She said
confidently, relying heavily on the instructions to
begin forming the tent. They had nearly finished the
task when Sierra stopped him from working anymore
with a hand on his. She looked up to the sky. A
meteor shower had begun. Streaks of color moved
through the starry night sky rapidly. "Surprise!"
Anyone but her," Claudiu pleaded, as he begged to be
spare her briefings for even a few solitary hours.
"I see, and we are out of luxury tents?" he asked,
as he began to place the canvas over the poles.
Before too long they had something that looked like
a tent. As he looked up at the streaking meteors
lighting up the night sky, he brought his arm behind
Sierra and drew her near. "And how did you arrange
that? I hope you didn't have to blow up a small
moon," he jokes, as he basked in the glow of the
starry night. "Do we have to go back?" he asked her,
kidding of course, but there was a part of his mind
that at least thought about it.
tents were on the top shelf. I believe that's your
fault, Mister Height." Aw, it was tent-like!
Smiling, Sierra settled in at his side. She stared
up at the sky, in awe of how beautiful the meteor
shower was. It was simply a strike of good luck that
it was taking place tonight. She tried to maintain a
serious expression, looking at him. "Oh, come on. It
was *just* a small moon. No one was using it."
Sierra broke out into laughter. She felt happier and
happier by the second. All the Arden mess had been
cleared from her mind for the time being. After all,
it was important *not* to take work home. To his
question, Sierra seriously thought about it. "No."
She said, resting her head against his shoulder.
"We'll live out here and fashion clothing from
leaves. There's a lake down the way, so that takes
care of some of our water and food problems." She
knew full well that no matter where they were,
Sierra would be happy. "But... what about pudding?"
She asked, looking towards him with a silly smile.
"Claudius, everything is going to get better." She
laughed at her joke, before turning his head towards
her. He held her there as the meteors streaked
across the sky, occasionally bathing them in light.
He angled his face down, connecting his lips with
hers in a loving, passionate kiss. Being out among
nature and the wild animals had stirred something in
him. He felt young. He felt alive. As he drew his
face away he smiled lovingly down at her. "At my age
I think I need more than leaves to cover me," he
said, with a soft laugh as he began to lead her in
the direction of the tent. "Pudding ... well, now
that there's two people here we should expect an
Auntie Mae's franchise any day," he teased her, as
the HoloNet jingle played in his mind. It was so
catchy that even he found himself singing it in the
shower. "Everything is better," he reassured her, as
he led her inside of the tent. As he sat there in
the tent, he brought his hand up to caress the side
of her face. He pushed forward, laying her back
down, and slowly climbing on top of her. And that's
when the tent collapsed, falling down on them
awkwardly. The first time had not done the job.
feeling of completeness filled Sierra. Though she
had taken him on this date with the intent of making
him feel infinitely better, it was she who also
benefited from it. Her husband's sweet love was so
amazing. Kissing him, Sierra felt nothing but joy.
He'd taken her breath away by the time his lips
moved from hers. She snickered. "I might have to
agree. If you ran around in leaves all day, little
would get accomplished." Rising to her feet, she
followed him back to the sad makeshift tent. "Well,
that settles it. As soon as Auntie Mae's opens here,
we can move right on in." He wasn't the only one
suffering from Auntie Mae's jingle. She found
herself humming it as she went through day-to-day
activities. That woman was the queen of frozen
She sat down
within their tent, proud that it was staying
upright. He *did* reassure her. She knew it too.
Despite what had happened on the Retributor, they
still had this wonderful life. She was happy that
she didn't have to face the days without him. She
was still so elated to be his wife and would feel
that way forever. Her head tilted into his hand.
Sierra laid back on the ground. She allowed lust to
begin filling her mind. Between the romps on the Sea
Islands, in the lake on Esseles, and now, she
realized that there was something thrilling about
having him in nature. Her rans rolled up his arms.
No sooner had he settled on her did the tent fall
down. Sierra was laughing. Instead of letting the
tent's destruction stop them, she simply thrust the
pieces to the side until they were exposed to the
night again. "I suppose we'll sleep under the stars
tonight." Her hands urged him to lay over her.
to catch her breath after a passionate romp in the
woods. She had her arms around Claudius, still
clinging to him for dear life. Her heart was
pounding so quickly. Her head tilted towards his ear
where she nipped at his lobe. "I love you," she
whispered. She felt strong again...and in her
strength, she realized that enough had gone on with
Arden Zevrin. She was ready to knock the woman off
of her high horse in order to improve her family's
lives. She would not be forced to endure five more
shower was not the only fireworks on display that
evening. The romp the two had enjoyed left him
satisfied and completely spent. "I love you too,
Sierra. I'm sorry I failed to assemble the tent
properly," he told her, as he leaned over to drape
his arm around her. She had found the perfect
retreat for them, breaking from the horrors that
plagued them aboard the Retriubtor. This was
precisely what they needed to keep from breaking
under the diverse obstacles that plagued their daily
lives. He held her close to him, his eyes slowly
closing, as he drifted off to imagine a world where
every day would be like this.