The trip to New Alderaan had offered Sierra Rodney a
lot of information. Jelena had filled in so many voids
and answered a handful of questions ... with answers
that were not necessarily good. She thought it best to
reunite with her husband in the privacy of their
lakehouse, where they could show their true emotions
without having to worry about their daughters seeing
them unhappy. Sierra had cried on her way home. Her eyes
were still red and puffy. It had taken too much effort
to remove El-Nay's Mandalorian armor. She stood on the
porch awaiting Claudius' arrival wearing an
environmental suit. She was watching the otter family
mingle again, wishing it was just as easy for their
family to be together. She didn't know how she was going
to tell him everything. She had a realistic expectation.
If she was upset by the information, he'd be devastated.
Sierra clung to the railing. This day was only going to
continue to get longer.
Claudius Rodney sat in the rear compartment of the
Kwai holding Bruce in a harness that was strung over his
chest. He looked ridiculous, but at least his son would
be safe if they experienced any turbulence. "Thank you
for doing this," he said into the cockpit, as he felt
them begin their descent. He wondered what had happened
on New Alderaan, but for now he was simply glad that
Sierra had made it back to Esseles unharmed. "We'll be
back with mommy soon," he said to his son, as he looked
down at the boy's brown eyes, smiling, and speaking like
anything but a Grand Moff. They would be at the
lakehouse soon, far from the war, far from the Squibs
coming dangerously close to invoking the ire of a
Esselian animal rights group for their endless pursuit
of the ducks.
"It's no problem, your Governship," El-Nay Darr said
from the cockpit of the Kwai. "I needed to get my armor
and ship back anyway," she said, unwilling to let
another 'arutii', or outsider, handle her beskar'gam and
starfighter. In the distance she could see the lake,
nestled in a mountain valley that seemed picturesque.
"Wow. Must take a lot of credits to live here," she
said, as she looked down to the coordinates she had been
given for the lakehouse. "Hang on to that baby. We're
coming in," she warned the Governor, as she slowly
guided the shuttle down into the landing platform close
to the lakehouse. When they were settled down, she rose
from the cockpit and moved to the ramp of the ship. She
was wearing civilian clothes, like a Corellian pilot,
which is what her father wanted to be. Unable to have
her helmet and the psychological comfort it provided,
she instead had to make do with a pair of simple
glareshades. She looked cool, but she felt anything
Claudius hung on to Bruce for dear life as the
shuttle gently landed on the shores of Larius Lacus, but
fortunately it was El-Nay at the controls and not Randi
Trainor, which resulted in a remarkably soft landing. He
rose from his seat, supporting the back of Bruce's head,
and beginning to walk down the ramp. "We're here to be
alone. Please collect your armor, and your ship, and
then return to the estate," he said to the Mandalorian,
as the two moved down the path towards the lakehouse.
"Sierra?!" he called out, half anxious and half excited,
as he stepped into the simple, but elegant house on the
shore of the lake. "I should have known," he said, as he
moved forward and found his wife otter watching.
"There's mommy!" he said to Bruce, as he moved towards
Sierra. He leaned forward to give her a kiss, but was
careful not to squish their child between them. "*We*
missed you," he told her, with a smile, trying not to
immediately ask her what happened.
Lucky for everyone, Bruce was in an incredibly good
mood. The boy was beginning to get used to traveling in
the Kwai, and thus, he handled takeoff and landings much
easier than he had when he was born. He stared at his
father with a growing smile on his face and a look of
awe in his big, brown eyes. With each passing day, Bruce
grew to resemble both of his parents. His blonde hair
had come in thick over the month and a half since his
birth. The landing didn't phase him as he fed off of his
father's feelings. He didn't know that they were about
to reunite with his mother until he was taken through
the home. The boy let out a happy squeal when he saw his
mother. He flayed his arms and legs excitedly. Truly,
both men seemed happy to see her.
The storm of emotions inside of Sierra briefly
cleared when she heard Claudius call for her. She turned
around, spotting both her son and her husband. The
sadness on her face rapidly changed to happiness simply
because she was so glad to see them. She approached
them, kissing her husband lovingly. Bruce's excitement
warmed her heart on a day when she was not feeling at
her happiest. She bent down, placing a kiss on his
forehead. "I missed you both too.. I *hate* being away
from you." She gently embraced Claudius and Bruce,
careful not to hurt the small boy.
She could hear El-Nay beginning to collect the pieces
of her armor from inside the house. She called to mind
other tidbits of information that Jelena had given her
on New Aldera. Sierra couldn't stop herself. "Hold on,"
she commented to Claudius. She knew he was dying to hear
what she had to say, but there was something Sierra
*needed* to know. She marched into her home, spotting
El-Nay dressed in civilian clothing instead of her
armor. "El-Nay!" She called out. "Jelena said you
attacked her some time ago on Esseles." She paused in
front of the Mandalorian. "Why?!" Sierra snapped. Her
sadness was mixed in anger, which she now directed
towards the woman who had saved her family on multiple
occasions. She wanted to know the truth, *all* of it.
"Gaah!" El-Nay squirmed, as she heard Sierra scream
at her in a way she had never before experienced. She
cringed, pulled back, and began to squirm. "Y-y-y-es,
M-milady?" she asked, stammering, barely able to get a
word in edgewise. Weakly, she pointed at Claudius, as
she looked towards Sierra with a terrified look beneath
her glareshades. "H-h-he hired me to find her. After ...
after Jelena shot Kerrie and fled," she said,
swallowing, as her breathing began to become labored. "Jelena
... Jelena shot Ma-Ma-Marcus, and I subdued her," she
said, before dropping to her knees in obedience to beg
forgiveness. "I'm sorry it got it out of hand, but at
that point I wasn't sure if Kerrie was even going to
live. Oh, Milady," she said, as she began to cry, and
reached out to clutch her hand for forgiveness, placing
her tear stained face upon Sierra's hand, kissing it.
El-Nay had, unintentionally, become Sierra's
scapegoat. She would feel bad for it later, but right
now, she wanted more answers. Her head shot behind her
shoulder, looking at Claudius. He had never told her
that he had hired El-Nay, though she was sure that he
hadn't instructed the Mandalorian to harm his daughter.
Her head snapped back towards El-Nay. "Jelena shot
*Marcus*?! Why did she shoot Marcus?" Marcus was a
bounty hunter in his free time. Sierra had accidentally
learned that some time ago. Now there was this... She
looked down at El-Nay as she dropped to her knees. Her
heart was beginning to ache in so many ways. Sierra
noticed that she was feeling especially raw and damaging
El-Nay immaturely. There seemed to be logic to
everything. Kerrie had been hurt. El-Nay reacted. And
Marcus...oh...how did he fall in line with the timeline?
Sierra could feel her eyes growing hot. It was like
she'd been standing in a very dark room, and all of a
sudden there was blinding light. She brought her hand to
her face to attempt to stop the tears from coming.
"I...I forgive you, I forgive you." Sierra said as she
began to deflate.
"Marcus was in charge of the hunt for Jelena," El-Nay
admitted, blurting out too much information in a
desperate attempt to win back Sierra's favor. "If it
makes you feel better, Marcus really tore into me for
it, and he got rid of me before he took Jelena to Delaya,"
she continued, too ignorant to understand the
implications of what she was telling her. Her cheeks
were stained with her tears, and although they could not
be seen, her eyes behind the glareshades were red. "You
forgive me? Oh thank you, milady. Thank you," she said,
groveling, as she worked her way back onto her feet.
"I'll ... I'll take my armor and go so you two ... uh,
three ... can be alone," she said, as she moved towards
where her beloved suit of beskar'gam was being stored.
She had dodged a real slug there. She would not forget
Claudius listened as El-Nay provided information on
Jelena's defection, which somehow tied into the
information that Sierra had gone to obtain. "Marcus ...
Marcus is a bounty hunter?" he asked Sierra, as he moved
to take a seat, Bruce still strapped into the safety
harness on his chest. "Marcus ... took her to Delaya
instead of bringing her back to me?" he asked, as the
room began to spin. Suddenly he felt very dizzy and
lightheaded. "Can you ... can you take Bruce?" he asked
her, weakly, as he brought his hand up to the side of
his head. "Then what happened?" he asked her, feeling
overwhelmed, as if he might pass out. "Is my whole
family part of this Rebellion?" he asked Sierra, as he
looked up at her with weary eyes and sadness.
"Marcus was the one who took Jelena to Delaya!?"
Sierra had wondered that when she spoke with her
stepdaughter. However, the conversation had been
sensitive enough without bringing her uncle into it. It
seemed the whole family had conspired to keep Jelena
away from her father. She closed her eyes for a moment
to process the new information. She gave El-Nay the
opening to leave...to leave them *alone*. Sierra turned
around towards Claudius. She removed her young son from
the safety harness and cradled him against her chest. At
least there was one child who wasn't betraying the
"Marcus is a bounty hunter." Sierra confirmed. "He
goes by the name 'Nerf Herder'. I learned of this when
he came to assist in rescuing me when Zara's sister
kidnapped me. I did what research I could, but I had no
idea he had any part in this." She looked down at her
husband with a deep frown on her face. El-Nay had
delivered the first blow, now Sierra would have to deal
out many more. Slowly, she came to sit on his knee with
their son. Her arm wrapped around his neck to help
support him. He was going to need it. "I spoke with
Jelena. She told me everything... And that's why we're
here, not at home.." She pressed her lips to his
forehead. She felt horrible for her husband. She didn't
understand why the family had gone out of their way to
work against him. "Are you... Are you *sure* you're
ready to hear what I have to say?"
Claudius had, of course, heard of the Nerf Herder,
but never in a million years would he have assumed that
his brother was that bounty hunter. To him, his brother
was a clumsy playboy, not a reputed bounty hunter. His
heart rate was elevating, and his breathing was turning
into slow, short pants. Without her support he likely
would have fallen over, unable to support himself given
what he had already heard. "Please ... I *need* to know.
Tell me everything," he told her, but his eyes looked
glassy, and his voice sounded distant. It seemed he was
about to learn a difficult truth. It seemed, for the
first time since he encountered her, Arden Zevrin had
told the truth.
Her eyes fell away from his. They were full of
sadness. It was difficult being the messenger in this
situation. She would not be able to protect him from the
truth, for it was the truth that he had wanted her to
retrieve. It may have been an intelligent idea to have
Doctor Tohan on standby should this information hurt her
husband more than she could imagine. Finally, she looked
back at him. "After Jelena left the Warspite, she was
hiding out in the slums on Esseles. That is when El-Nay
*and* Marcus found her. Marcus took Jelena back to
Delaya, where she met with that Rebel, General Rieekan.
It was he who convinced Jelena to go back to the Ringali
Shell to aid the Rebels." She paused. Her eyes moved to
Bruce, who had become serious despite not understanding
the situation in the slightest. Sierra could feel the
tears rushing back. "I assumed that was when her
association with the Rebellion began...but it wasn't. It
was Princess Leia, whom we had gone to school with, who
swayed her to join their efforts."
Claudius listened in complete silence as Sierra
informed him what had happened to his beloved daughter
following her defection. "My brother, my father ... my
mother," he said, as he lowered his head, and began to
pitifully cry. "They *all* knew. They *all* kept it from
me," he said, as he felt his energy drain as if he had
just bit hit by an ion cannon. "Why didn't they give her
back to me? Why did they try and hide her from me? I
could have helped her. I could have prevented all
this..." he said, before stopping. Suddenly he felt like
he was going to be sick. His nausea was getting the
better of him, and he had to close his mouth,
regurgitate, and concentrate to keep from throwing up
right then and there.
Her mouth was dry by the time she finished talking.
The words were so hard to say that she said them quickly
just to make them stop. The family had betrayed her
husband so much. It didn't make sense. Sierra left him
for only as long as it took to secure Bruce in his
bouncer near them, then she took her husband into both
of her arms and held him tightly. She gave him a safe
place to cry, hide, be sick, whatever he needed. Her
hands rubbed up and down his back slowly. "I'm sorry, I
don't understand either..." She whispered. Marcus,
Julius, and Livia had kept the truth from Claudius for
so long. If not for the video Arden had revealed, then
the truth would have never found them. Sierra wanted to
solve things...she wanted to make things better as was
her nature. "I... I... I'll go back to Delaya and see
Marcus.." She couldn't leave again. Now that her arms
were around him, she doubted she would ever let go.
"Don't leave me," Claudius pleaded, when Sierra was
talking about another journey soon. "I love you. I can't
bare to be separated from you. Especially not now," he
said, as he clung to her, fearing that if he let go he
would lift off and float away into oblivion. "Why don't
they ever come here? Why doesn't anyone ever come to
us?" he asked her, as he shook his head bitterly. "We
went to them because they had two young children. Well,
Bruce is younger. They should return the favor and come
here," he said, sounding increasingly jealous. "I cannot
go there officially, but nothing is stopping them from
coming here," he explained, still sounding like a
brother despite his age and position.
Her arms locked tighter around him. The very last
thing she wanted to do was leave. The trip to New Aldera
had been painful. What she wanted most was to remain
close to him and slowly, *slowly* recover. She lifted
her head to look at him. His jealousy was infectious.
Sierra disliked stepping foot on Governor Arundel's
planet without her husband...without protection. They
risked her safety every time she went back to Delaya.
"We will make them come here this time. I don't want to
be away from you. I don't want to be away from the
children. Just because Marcus is Duke does *not* mean we
must always cater to him." Marcus and Zara had come to
visit them on Esseles a single time since their
marriage. It was only for the reason of Claudius meeting
the twins, not because they actually wanted to spend
time with the family. She groaned, burying her head into
"He may be a Duke, but I am a Grand Moff," Claudius
replied to her, in a bit of ego. There had been so much
dumped upon him over the past few moments. He did not
want to discuss it anymore. "Let's go swimming," he said
to Sierra, as he made an old man noise and rose from the
couch. He moved towards the bedroom where he began to
strip off his uniform and then found himself a pair of
swimming trunks. "Let's bring Bruce. I don't think the
sea cow or the otters will bother him," he said, as he
hopped on while leg while changing into the bathing
suit. At this point he just wanted to relax and spend
some time with his family.
Sierra, too, rose from the couch. She picked up
Bruce. The young woman had been obsessing over this new
information all the way home. If she didn't get her mind
off of it, she was going to burst. She followed Claudius
into their bedroom, where she placed Bruce on the bed so
she could begin changing out of her environmental suit
and into her bathing suit. When she had dressed herself,
she leaned over the bed and began dressing Bruce in a
diaper made for going into the water. "I think he'll
enjoy that." She commented, picking up her little son.
She nuzzled him. The short time in New Aldera had made
her long for her family. They needed this precious time
together. She took Claudius' hand, giving it a squeeze
as she led them all out of the house and towards the
lake's warm water. "We're going into the water now," she
told Bruce, "Don't worry, it's just like taking a bath..
Only mommy and daddy get to come with you." Sierra
slowly moved into the lake as to not shock her son.
Claudius never let go of his wife's hand as he waded
into the cool, refreshing water of Larius Lacus. "Oh,"
he said, contently, as the water swept over his feet and
ankles, which had developed chronic pain from two
decades of wearing the restrictive boots of the Imperial
uniform. "This is a wonderful place. Maybe when the war
is won and we no longer need such security we can retire
here instead of the estate," he said, dreaming of a
brighter future. He allowed himself to lay back,
floating away slowly. As he closed his eyes and lay
weightless in the water everything seems to feel better.
As the water entered his ears he could hear his own
heartbeat, and if he allowed himself to fall asleep he
could. But as he drifted he suddenly impacted something
and lurched out of the water. He thought it was a rock,
but it was the sea cow. "Oh, hello," he said, as the cow
snorted some water at him. "Sierra, look who it is!" he
said, with a warm smile as he looked to it. "Bring Bruce
to see?" he said, as a question, rather than an
Sierra kept her hands on Bruce. The boy was
processing everything going on around him. For the first
five minutes, he was silent. As he grew more comfortable
with the new setting, he began to babble. "There you go.
See? It's fun!" She kept herself upright. The water did
much to relax her, as well as the presence of both of
the men in her life. "I'd like that. I love it here ...
and I'm not just saying that because of the otters."
Sierra commented with a smile. She was showing Bruce how
to play with the water when her husband called her over.
"Sea Betsy!" She exclaimed. The troublesome sea cow had
really found itself in a bind on Delaya when it got
stuck in the sand. Thankfully, there had not been a
repeat of the sea cow's beaching here on Esseles. She
waded through the water with Bruce. She trusted the sea
cow. She had seen it play gentle with Ewwiekewwieikkie
before. "Bruce, this is a sea cow." She explained to her
infant, who began laughing at the sight of Sea Betsy. He
reached out his hands towards the sea cow. Sierra's
smile grew. Her eyes lifted towards Claudius. "It looks
like we have another animal lover in the family."
Claudius watched Sierra like a thranta as she moved
towards the sea cow with their precious, infant son.
"He's really taken to it," he said, but then suddenly he
was struck from behind, knocking him forward, and
causing him to fall face first into the water. He had
been knocked over by an otter, and as he brought his
head up at the water he saw multiple otters moving
towards Sierra to investigate Bruce. "Sierra," he said,
with a mouthful of lake water. "Be careful!" he said, as
he suddenly saw her surrounded by otters.
Sierra's hand guided Bruce's hand over the head of
the sea cow slowly. "I think he agrees that we should
retire here. Where else do we get to live with sea cows
*and* otters?" She wondered if she should heed to
Jelena's warning and talk Claudius into leaving his post
for good. The dark thoughts slowly leaked into the happy
moment. Should the Empire lose, despite how unrealistic
that idea was, it would result in Bruce *and* Olivia
losing both of their parents. Ewwiekewwiekie,
Melickielickie, and Drusilla would be impacted the most
after that. She wondered if they should have a plan in
case all hell broke out. Her sadness was short lived
thanks to the otter that carelessly knocked her husband
face first into the water. "What the..?" The whole otter
family was coming infinitely closer than ever before.
She clutched Bruce close. He wasn't afraid. If anything,
the presence of the otters excited him, just like the
sea cow. He was making all sorts of happy noises. He
batted the water with his hands, creating small
splashes. "Wow... They are *really* close." She sounded
slightly nervous. One bold otter crept up on her
shoulder and began sniffing her face. "If this thing
kills me, I couldn't think of a happier way to die..."
It took a moment for Claudius to find his footing in
the muddy bottom of the lake. But, once he was on his
feet he began to scurry over towards Sierra through the
family of otters. "What ... what's going on?" he asked,
as he watched all of the lake creatures swarm towards
their son. As the creature climbed on top of Sierra he
began to panic, unsure of what to do. "Are they
dangerous?" he asked, wondering if he should try and
swat the creature away. He was not sure if she was
terrified or enjoying herself.
She was both terrified and enjoying herself. The
otters normally kept their distance. "Um.. I'm not sure.
How about you..." She carefully adjusted, offering him
Bruce so that he could keep the boy safe while the
otters devoured her ... only it didn't work out like
that at all. No sooner had she transferred the child
over did the otters shift their attention to Claudius.
"I swear, it's him. Bruce draws these creatures in. I
wonder if it's because he's..." Sierra stopped. 'A force
user'. Bruce had protected her on Delaya by summoning
the thranta, of that she was certain of. Each time she
thought about what he was, she began to feel light
headed and sick. *Five years* echoed inside of her head.
The time with Bruce was so limited that she felt bad
every time she parted from him. Unknown to her, she had
begun to cry. Lord Vader would take her baby boy away
Claudius was glad that Sierra offered him Bruce and
he began to get him away from the otters when suddenly
the creatures began swarming him. "Sierra, what do I do?
What I do?" he asked her, as he clutched his baby boy
close to his chest. "Is that how the force works? I
never call seeing otters following around Lord Vader,"
he said, as he became swarmed with the otters as Sierra
was. "Should we ... should we get out of the water?" he
asked her, as one of them suddenly climbed up his back,
which caused him to scream. (d)
She rubbed at her eyes to clear the tears. "Um, um, um!"
She rushed over to them in attempt to protect both her
husband and her son. When he let out a scream, Sierra
let out one of her own in reaction, and then Bruce did
the same. "Let's get out." She said, swimming behind him
to protect his back during the escape. The otters
continued to follow Bruce until they were inside the
house with the door closed. "I don't think we're going
to be able to take Bruce to a zoo any time soon." She
said, glancing down at her happy baby. "It didn't phase
him at all.." Sierra briefly parted from her family to
collect a fresh sleeper for Bruce as well as a new
diaper. She rejoined them, leading the way towards the
kitchen. "Let's bathe him and get him in bed. We could
both use some 'adult' time." She said, not really
meaning anything sexual. She was having a hard time
settling down after the last week. To make matters
worse, it was becoming evident to her aboard the
Retributor that people had seen the leaked videos of her
abuse. She sighed, standing over the kitchen sink and
preparing it for Bruce's bath as he was too small to
take one on the bathtub. "Why don't you do it?" She
looked back at Claudius with a little smile.
"I'll do it, but you need to supervise," Claudius
said, as he stood in the kitchen, still wet from the
lake, and trying to process why the creatures of the
lake were so taken by Bruce. As he lowered Bruce
delicately into the bath water before reaching for the
soap. "We need to get you clean, your lordship," he
said, as he smiled down at his son and began washing
him. Then suddenly there was a crash at the window,
which caused him to move to protect Bruce. When he
looked up he saw that there was a black and white felinx
in the window, looking at them. "Oh no. Sierra. It's
happening again," he complained to her, as he sat Bruce
up in the sink and began to rub the soap on him. "Shoo.
Shoo," he said as he waved his hand at the felinx, which
was not moving at all.
"Deal." Sierra arranged a towel on the counter to dry
Bruce off with once the bath was finished. She stood
beside Claudius, allowing herself to live in the moment
for once... and enjoy it. Their son, thus far, was a
calm little man. As long as he had his mother or his
father, he seemed to handle even the wildest of
situations well. "Look at all that hair." She commented
while he washed their son. The sudden crash at the
window made Sierra jump. "What was that!?" Perched on
the window sill was a *very* cute black and white felinx.
The felinx remained outside the window, staring in at
the baby Bruce. Bruce had become more excited than ever
before. He cooed loudly at the felinx. "He's going to
turn our home into a zoo." She laughed, gently knocking
at the glass to try to make the felinx leave. "It's
better a felinx than a rancor." She commented. This only
solidified her decision to never take the boy to a zoo.
Claudius moved his hand up to their son's hair,
wetting it and washing it, as he smiled at his wife. "He
got your hair color," he said, happily, as he managed to
get their son clean. "Do you think that's why the ducks
came to the estate?" he asked her, as he was beginning
to buy into Sierra's theory that Bruce was attracting
the animals. "He's certainly going to make
Ewwiekewwieikkie and Melickielickie happy that wherever
he goes he'll summon animals for them to play with," he
said, as he lifted the little boy out of the water and
got him over onto the waiting towel. He began gently
rubbing him with the towel to get him dry, taking a more
active role with him than he did either of the girls.
This time he was truly going to be a father.
"Maybe... It could be that, or maybe Ewwiekewwieikkie
left out something that the ducks were attracted to."
She laughed, calling to mind the conversation she had
with the girls about *not* feeding the ducks candy, or
any other kind of sweets. "We had so many adventures
with nature when I was pregnant with him. I wonder if it
was him all along." She appreciate Claudius not thinking
she was totally off her rocker for saying something so
irrational. Neither one of them really knew how the
Force worked. It seemed possible. Sierra giggled,
imagining a slightly older Bruce chasing the ducks with
the girls. She briefly left Bruce and Claudius to
prepare their son's nighttime bottle. When she had
finished, she sneaked up behind her husband and embraced
him tightly. "I love you," she nuzzled close to him. "I
hope Bruce will go to sleep easy tonight. Once he's in
bed, I'm going to hold you and *never* let go."
"It's true. She's always dropping food," Claudius
said, as he finished drying their son. When she embraced
him from behind he was glad that it was *not* another
wild creature, although she had her moments in the
bedroom. "I love you too," he said, as he removed the
towel from their son. "There. All cleaned and dry," he
said proudly, before turning his head so he could look
at her over his shoulder. "I love you too, Sierra. Thank
you for letting me take part in this," he informed her,
referring to bath time. He wanted to be active in the
care for his son. He needed to be active in the care for
his son. "Let's get him to bed so we can start holding
on to one another," he said to her, playfully, with a
bit of teasing in his voice.
Peeking over his shoulder, Sierra could see that the
felinx was *still* there... *watching*! She had a
feeling that they'd be seeing it again, especially after
Sierra snuck out some blue milk for the felinx to drink.
Finally, Sierra began to feel truly better. Watching her
husband and their son interact during bath time had done
wonders for her. Claudius made for the greatest father
in the world. She was happy her children had him, even
the unborn one residing in her womb. "You did a good
job, my love." She happily commented. Sierra learned
forward, nipping at the back of his shoulder. "Okay.
Here you go!" She placed the bottle in his hands. "I'll
meet you in our room!" It was impossible to miss the
teasing tone in her voice. She darted off quickly into
their bedroom where she quickly stripped free of her
bathing suit and hung it up to dry in the refresher. Her
fingers worked through her damp blonde hair in an
attempt to make herself look pretty for her husband. She
was momentarily distracted as she passed by the mirror
on her vanity. She caught sight of the beginnings of her
new baby bump. Six weeks had already gone by since she
had conceived again. She was pleasantly reminded of the
new life growing within her and wanted to show it off.
She regretted that the Inquisitor had ended her first
pregnancy so abruptly, but this time was sure to be
"Wait. What do I do with this?" Claudius asked, as
she handed him the bottle and fled ... she was gone
before he even started speaking. "If only your sister
Ewwiekewwieikkie was here. She knows everything about
food," he told her, as he examined the baby bottle. He
lifted his son, cradling him in his arms, as he offered
the nipple of the bottle to him. Fortunately, Bruce knew
more about feeding than his father did, and the process
proved much easier than he suspected. "Hah! He's doing
it! He's doing it!" he said, but he was talking to
himself. Once the bottle was finished he took it away
from Bruce, and cast it aside. He then lifted him,
placing him against his chest, with his head near his
shoulder and began patting him on his back to get any
air out. Slowly he moved towards the bedroom to find
Sierra, but when he arrived and saw Sierra naked it was
worth the small delay.
Bruce let out a loud burp that shook the entirety of
his infant body. He was more than content after being
bathed, fed, and cuddled. By the time he reached the
bedroom, the boy was already falling asleep against the
warmth of his father's chest. Sierra turned suddenly.
Claudius had been quiet and caught her off guard. She
smiled at him lovingly. Even though her womb was
occupied, the sight of Claudius and Bruce made her
ovaries scream. First, she approached where the bassinet
was situated in the seating area in their room, where
Bruce would be close enough that they would know if
anything was wrong. She pulled back his blanket and
repositioned his bantha toy so she could tuck the boy
in. "I love you, my little prince." She told her son,
who was now on his way to dreamland. She pressed her
lips to his forehead. "Sleep tight." Her eyes gazed up
at Claudius. Their moment, as a family, was what she
needed to fully calm down. She released all the tension
she had been holding inside of her.
Claudius watched as mother and son were reunited and
as the little prince fell asleep he and Sierra were
alone. The bathing suit slipped from his body and found
their way down onto the floor beneath his feet. He moved
towards her, draped in the moonlight, slowly, savoring
each second he had with her. He brought his right hand
up to her chin, cradling her head, and angling it up so
that he could lower his head and place a loving kiss
upon her. "I love you, my Sierra," he said, as he
lowered his head, and pressed his forehead to hers.
"After today I wonder if you're the only one I can truly
trust," he said, as his left hand moved behind her,
running up and down her back, before finally coming to a
stop just above her buttocks.
Sierra gave one last smile to her sleeping son, then
redirected her attention to the man who had aided her in
bringing Bruce into this world. Her eyes followed his
swim trunks down his body. The attraction she had for
him burned inside of her chest. The moonlight cast odd
shadows in their room, making it seem all the more
intimate. Sierra's slim arms wrapped around Claudius'
neck. She shared in that loving, passionate kiss with
him. If all things came to an end at that very instant,
it would be okay because they had each other. "I love
you, my sweet Claudius." Her blue eyes stared into his
brown ones, "I don't know about that, but I can reassure
you that you can trust me completely. I will never
betray you. I will never sneak around like that behind
your back. I don't ever want to hurt you." She drew her
lips to his for another, shorter, kiss.
"You could never hurt me," Claudius said, as he
looked down into her eyes affectionately. With that he
moved both of his hands to each of her wrists and then,
leading her by both arms directed her towards the bed.
He guided her down slowly, before coming to a rest next
to her. He moved his face to hers, kissing her upon the
lips, and then the neck, and finally down her chest.
There was no sense of urgency on his part as he loved
his wife and this would not be a night of lust, but of
love. His heart was racing, perhaps beating so loud that
she, too, could hear it. His breath was hot and heavy,
and each time he panted on her his warm breath caressed
Happiness began to override all other emotions. As
Sierra was led towards the bed, she could think of
nothing more than how much she loved him ... and how
much she couldn't survive all the trials and
tribulations of life without him. She lay on the plush
bed on her back. Her eyes followed him. "Claudius.." She
whispered, kissing him with every ounce of love in her
body. Sierra took it on herself to protect him...and to
never allow something like this to happen again. It was
her job to make sure Drusilla never followed the path of
her sister to the Rebellion. She was breathless when the
kiss ended. Her breathing became shallow and labored
with each additional kiss he pressed against her body.
After the Holovid leak, it had left Sierra exposed to
old demons; the old demons he cast out with each kiss
now. His hot breath and continuous attention drew moans
from her lips. Even though she couldn't hear it, she
could feel his heart beating hard in his chest against
her body. They were slowly building each other up to
their intimate union. As he finished kissing her chest,
her hands dipped down into his hair. She massaged his
scalp with her finger nails. "Look," she whispered
sweetly. "I'm beginning to show again."
Claudius' brown eyes angled downward towards Sierra's
stomach, indeed seeing the burgeoning baby bump that
indicated another child would soon be with them. While
she massaged his scalp he lowered his head, kissing past
her bosom and finally coming to a stop on her stomach.
He pressed several kisses upon her stomach before
allowing his tongue to dart into her belly button,
swirling around inside in a corkscrew pattern. "As you
grow you'll only become more beautiful," he told her, as
he angled his eyes up from her stomach to her eyes. He
then reached up with both of his hands, guiding her down
onto her back on the bed.
A bright smile broke out on her face. Like before,
she was prideful of the changes in her body. She took to
them naturally like she was made for motherhood. "Eeee!"
She squeaked, wiggling against his tongue as it darted
inside of her belly button. At the moment, he made her
feel *very* beautiful. All her life, people had been
telling her that she wasn't *good enough*...but not
Claudius. Claudius never ripped her down. Contrary, he
built her up to the point where she actually possessed
an ego. "I'm so lucky to have you." She told him as she
came to lay down on the bed.
Claudius made base camp on her stomach where he again
placed kisses on the flesh barrier separating him from
his future child. When he proceeded through the
dangerous valley between each of her breasts, sliding
his tongue up her sternum slowly. When there was no more
to explore he climbed to the mountain top, with his face
firmly hovering above hers. He smiled down at her,
before placing a kiss upon her lips. His tongue pressed
forward, darting between her lips, and rubbing back and
forth against her own tongue.
Sexual bliss filled Sierra's mind. Every bad thought
shelved itself. Her focus was on nothing other than her
loving, handsome husband. Her body felt as hot as if it
were a summer's day. His ascension up her body was every
bit as exciting as his descension. As he kissed her
stomach, she was reminded that it wouldn't be long
before Doctor Tohan would be able to make the
determination if she was carrying a boy or a girl. She
couldn't wait. She couldn't wait to plan out their lives
with their future baby. He teased her so much more with
his kisses followed by the extra attention he gave each
of her breasts. Her hands were right back on him,
pressing firmly into his back. Her head moved from side
to side. The delighted moans came louder. Her cheeks
were red when he finally reached her face. She was
Her mouth locked with his. Her lips opened to accept
his tongue. Her own tongue, just as hungry for him as
the rest of his body, began to nuzzle against his. She
could taste herself along with him, which made her moan
again into his mouth. Another wave of pleasure erupted
in her body. She felt loved. She felt secure. She felt
whole again. "I love you so much," she told him,
breaking the kiss suddenly. "I just... I just... I
*cannot* live without you. You are a part of me, my
"Don't worry, Sierra. You don't have to live without
me," Claudius promised her, as he repositioned himself
above her. "I am nothing with you," he told her, as he
pressed his lips back against hers. He bit at her lower
lip, before again sliding his tongue between her lips
for a second type of penetration.
She was comforted by his words. From the day they
wed, she knew this was forever. Sierra moaned. The
simple, slow motion was incredibly sensitive for her.
Her bare body cuddled against his. His words made her
heart ache in all the right ways. She knew the same was
true for herself. They *needed* each other. His bite
made her gasp but before she could bite him back, his
tongue was inside of her mouth, muting her. Sierra's
hands relocated to his face to gently cup it between
them. Her tongue was the aggressor this time.
"I should mentally prepare myself for the fact you're
keeping the felinx, shouldn't I?" Claudius asked her, as
he lay atop her, smiling lovingly into her eyes. He felt
as if their two bodies were one, and as the sweat began
to flow from his body and his skin began to adhere to
hers that became a reality as each time he lifted up his
skin literally peeled off hers.
Claudius' question was answered with Sierra's happy
laughter. "Were you reading my mind again? I was going
to put blue milk out on the porch for it... And if it
came inside and wanted to stay, who am I to blame it?"
It clearly wasn't his first day being married to her.
She smiled brightly. Her love for him swelled inside of
her chest. Perfect, amazing, and sexier than anyone else
in the whole galaxy; that was her Claudius. She timed
the movements of her hips to his rhythm. The sex had so
much added intimacy to it tonight. Sierra's soft body
was covered with a thin layer of sweat that made them
cling together. "Mmm..." Her toes curled from how
sensitive she felt. Her hands, which were now positioned
on his shoulders, had begun to shake softly. Her smile
grew. "I was so unhappy today. I don't know how you made
me feel so good again. I suppose you're just amazing
like that... and it helps that you're on board with
keeping that felinx..."
"Well, you said it, not me, and who am I to argue
with you?" Claudius said, as he paused momentarily,
gazing down upon her with unconditional love. "I am so
blessed to have you in my life. If I don't tell you that
enough I am sorry," he said, before moving his hand to
brush some of her blonde locks out of her face. The
sweat was dripping off him now, and even though there
was a slower pace, he nevertheless was starting to feel
fatigued. Tonight the orgasm was of a secondary concern
... they were making love ... not merely having sex. He
could feel the pleasure build in his body, but it was
nothing compared to the love he felt in his heart.
Sierra was glad that she would get to keep the cute
felinx, but what she was more happy about was Claudius.
He made her feel loved in a way that was undeniable.
During his brief pause, Sierra made herself closer to
him. Her arms wrapped around his neck. Her legs,
loosely, hooked around his waist. They were as together
as together could be. Her heart beat hard in her chest
next to his. "You tell me every day, Claudius. You
always show me in your actions. I hope you realize how
deeply I appreciate you being in my life. I value you
more than anyone else in the galaxy." She nuzzled her
cheek against his hand. "I love you so much..."
Claudius' eyes rolled back in his head as he
finished, and he quickly came to rest on the bed beside
her. "Oh I love you," he told her again, for perhaps the
hundredth time that day. He tightened his arms around
her, as he held her, glad that they did not wake their
son. As he pulled the sheet up over them for the night
he looked up at the moon that was shining through the
skylight. Despite all that he had learned about his
Rebellious family, as long as he was with Sierra all was
right in the world.
Making love like this was the perfect way to end one
very, very long, trying day. She moaned until he had
finished filling her. All at once, she released him from
her grasp so he could lay beside her. They did not stay
separated for long, for Sierra cuddled right back into
him. She, too, was relieved that Bruce hadn't woken up
while they were making a ruckus. She was exhausted and
ready to fall asleep with him. Her head rested against
his chest. As she closed her eyes and began to fall
asleep, Sierra Rodney knew he would not let her float