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Alice Bee and Christopher Levy.
One year after the Battle of Yavin (36:8:26) in the Essesia system: Esseles (New Calamar: Sierra Rodney's lakehouse).
Grand Moff Claudius Rodney and Major Sierra Rodney.

The HoloNet was ablaze with a new advertisement featuring Auntie Mae's latest flavor, Sierra's Scandal Squib Sinsation, which featured a mix of vanilla and berry ice cream that was described as too hot to miss. As Claudius sat on the bed in the lakehouse watching the ad he was mortified, so much so that he actually *wanted* to pet Nea. "C'mere," he said, as he reached out and scratched at his head. It was just supposed to be a simple trip to the Squib medical school, but he should have expected complications whenever the Squib people were involved. At least they were at the lakehouse where no one could tease them about the latest holonet scandal. Never again would he be able to look at the King of the Squib Polyanarchy the same way again.

There had only been one option: run away. Sierra Rodney felt she might be safe from the cruel HoloNet at the lakehouse. She had been in the refresher taking a much needed shower. She'd been in there for so long that the warm water ran out. Even if she lived to five-hundred years old, she would never forget how it felt to be assaulted by the King of Skor II. As she emerged from the refresher, dressed in only her robe, she heard the Auntie Mae commercial. Wordlessly, she turned off the HoloNet. There were videos of the whole incident circulating. Sierra didn't need to explain herself to Claudius. He'd *seen* it all. "Ewwiekewwieikkie is *not* going to that school!" She declared as she made her way up into their bed. "Can you believe that? He expected me *do things* with him!" She had thrown away her trousers. They would never be the same again. She reached towards Nea, slowly petting further down the felinx' body.

"It's good to be the King," Claudius told her, before raising his hands in a defensive position to protect himself in case she threw a pillow at him. "I'm sorry," he said, as he tried his best to look apologetic. There was, however, something humorous about what had happened. "Agreed. Maybe we could find a school here on Esseles that she could commute to and you could supervise what's going on," he suggested, as he did not like what 'hands on laboratory exercises' meant at the Squib school. "Are you okay?" he asked her, as they began petting Nea together. He looked over at the bassinet to where Bruce was currently resting, unaware that the sea cow and otters had excitedly began swimming about outside his window.

She made a face. "Ooooh. It's easy for *you* to joke about. You weren't the one getting humped! You may be injured, but I can still make you sleep on the couch!" Sierra threatened him playfully. She inched closer to him. After all that had happened, she was glad to be home. "I like that plan better. She's too far away on Skor II ... and I don't trust that pervy King... She saw him *naked*, Claudius! There's going to be questions! I was hoping to wait, you know, another twenty years before we had to explain all of that to her." She sighed, "I'm okay. I feel terribly embarrassed. The HoloNet is going to keep this in the spotlight for a long time." Her fingers rubbed over Nea's back. Petting the felinx helped some of her discomfort disappear. "Are you okay? Despite our wants, it seems Nea has become one with you." She watched the felinx soak up the affection. He rubbed his furry head against Claudius' hand aggressively.

"Melickielickie didn't see, did she?" Claudius asked, more concerned about the child than the adult. "He always seemed so nice..." he said, his cheeks reddening, as he tried to put it from his mind. "I'm sure there'll be another scandal in no time to get you out of the headlines," he said, trying his best to reassure her. "I'm feeling better by the minute now that the felinx is no longer perched on my chest," he told her, as he began petting the felinx again. "I'm not sure why he is behaving this way towards me," he said to Sierra, as suddenly the felinx began rubbing his hand. "Ugh," he said, rolling his eyes and wondering if somehow Bruce was involved in this behavior.

"No... Thankfully she was asleep. We were able to preserve her innocence." The HoloNet would have its fun with her and then it would be over. No matter what was reported, her family continued to love her. That was what mattered. "I'm glad to hear you're feeling better. I was worried about you." Her hand rolled off of the felinx. Instead, she cuddled at his side with her arm gently draped around him. "Because you possess whatever trait that your family has that makes animals attracted to them. Think about it. Our special thranta ride." Her eyes lit up. That was an especially precious moment in her life that she treasured. "I don't think it's Bruce this time. I think it's you." Her fingers ran up and down over his arm. "I'm sure you're relieved it's Nea who wants to cuddle on your chest and not Crassus." Sierra revealed slyly. Oh, she knew all about that worrt.

Claudius lay with his wife processing what she had said. She was right ... he had a lot of special encounters with creatures himself ... even before Bruce was born. "You're right," he admitted to her, before turning to place a kiss upon her forehead. "You're always right," he added, admitting that she had a much better assessment of things than he did. "Crassus? Who told you about Crassus? I'd almost forgotten about him..." he admitted, as getting married and have a child had made his shipboard pet an afterthought. He wondered what would happen if Bruce ever crossed paths with that creature.

"Don't you forget it," she said playfully, though she was far from always being right. She hadn't been right about the trip to Skor II. "I caught Kerrie preparing his meal one day. I was jealous you had a worrt and didn't tell me." She teased. "Then he almost ate us... So, I think you're the one with the magical animal touch. I have to ask ... where did you get him?" The age-old mystery would finally be solved! Sierra still thought that Crassus had been pocketed when he was small enough that pocketing was possible. "Do you have any other secret pets? I'd imagine you could fit a lot on the Retributor..."

"He almost ate you?!" Claudius exclaimed, having never wanted his wife near the vicious creature. "I'm afraid there isn't much of a story there. I was doing an anti-piracy patrol near Hutt space and the creature was amongst the cargo," he explained, as he knew that it was a subject of some conjecture among the crew. "I did not want to have him disintegrated so I took him as a pet," he explained to her, as he recounted the rather mundane tale. "He has been with me for over a decade, but, unfortunately, not without incident," he explained to her, reflecting on all of those that had been injured ... and *worse* ... during the years of transferring him from ship to ship.

"Well, he almost ate Kerrie first." Sierra smiled. As mundane as the story was, it demonstrated one of the many reasons why she loved her husband so much. He was so sweet...even to the gigantic worrt which was responsible for all sorts of trouble. She adjusted into an upright position before carefully maneuvering over him to kiss his lips without disturbing the felinx or hurting him. "As difficult as it has been to keep Crassus, it's better than him being disintegrated. We'll just let Kerrie keep taking care of him.." She kissed his forehead. No sooner had she resumed a comfortable position did her comm begin to beep from the other room. Sierra groaned. "If that's King Ebareebaveebeedee, I'm going to scream.." It took her a moment to gather herself and rise from the bed. The comm continued to beep until she reached it. "Major Rodney," she answered professionally. It wasn't work-related. It wasn't King Ebareebaveebeedee related either. In fact, it was just *weird*. Five minutes later, Sierra made her way back into their bedroom. "Do you think someone put something in my food at the college? I *have* to be hallucinating Apparently we've won an Auntie Mae sweepstakes..."

"What?!" Claudius exclaimed so loudly that it strained his ribcage and startled Nea. "Why did you enter an Auntie Mae sweepstakes? Wait, you wouldn't have ... Ewwiekewwieikkie? Melickielickie?" he asked, throwing out suggestions as to who might be behind it. "What did they say we won? Is this real, or is it a trap?" he asked, rapid firing questions as his level of trust had fallen with everything they had been through lately. He imaged that Ewwiekewwieikkie or Melickielickie could have very easily pressed something on the holonet that automatically entered the family in any number of sweepstakes. He was just fortunate they had not overwritten the parental controls on the holonet shopping frequency.

"It had to have been a mistake by one of them...or both. Or maybe Sorbet figured it out. I don't know!" She reached the bed and settled. She looked Claudius in the face, but began laughing before she delivered the prize to him. "Yousa gonna love dis surprise... And yes, I think it's real... We won a Gunganese destination wedding." Sierra was laughing again, "At Una Bombad Smilin Shrine on Pavo Prime. Isn't that just ‘nutsen'?" She wiped the tears away from her eyes from her laughter. "We have to do it! How could we not!?" Sierra reached towards Nea, petting him happily. "You can bring Nea too."

"A Gunganese destination wedding?" Claudius repeated, as if shocked that even such a thing existed. He imagined it as being the only thing more chaotic than a Squibbish one. "Una Bombad Smilin Shrine?" he again repeated, before bursting in laughter, no longer able to keep a straight face. "Are we being pranked?" he asked her, in absolutely sincerity as such a thing did not sound plausible. "Alright. We'll go," he said, as he reached over to pet the felinx, with growing affection. "...but I think we'll leave him behind, lest he end up on the menu," he said, unsure of what exactly Gungans ate. He had his suspicions.

"I hope not! As long as we don't have a repeat of today's incidents with a Gungan, all will be well." Sierra would never leave the house again if that happened. "Ooh, good point. Gungan cuisine can be rather interesting..." Interesting was a gentle word. Sierra reached over to turn out the lamp beside their bed. Night had fallen outside of their content lakehouse. Bruce was asleep, and, with any luck, he'd stay that way until morning. Sierra gripped the blankets to cover both of them, including the felinx who wasn't going anywhere. She clung to her husband as she prepared to drift off with him. "Well, even if it's really weird, I'm sure we'll have some funny new stories. I also get to accomplish my dream of marrying the man I love again.. Granted, I thought it would be some time before we renewed our vows." She felt at ease with him. She expected the Gungan destination to be nothing other than chaotic, but it would be chaos with Claudius. That was her life.

"So Nea is going to sleep with us from now on? Is that how this is going to work?" Claudius asked Sierra, dryly, as he looked down at the felinx that seemed completely unfazed by the movement of the blankets. He turned on his side, wrapping his arm around her and drawing her near. He was fortunate to have her back in his arms after the near fatal attack on Delaya and her chaotic encounter on Skor II. He never wanted her to leave his side again, for one never knew when a horny head of state was lurking about. "I love you, Sierra. I'm happy to renew our vows in whatever culture Auntie Mae decides," he said, with a wink, before leaning forward and placing a kiss upon her lips. "Goodnight, my love," he said to her, trying to fall asleep, despite the presence of the felinx.

The answer to his question lay openly on Sierra's face. Oh yes, the felinx was staying. She snickered. "Just for tonight." It was a little white lie. Nea had made himself the owner of his people very quickly. Sierra inched right into Claudius' arms. A happy sigh escaped her as they cuddled together. It was so good to be home: the home that was in his arms. Her heart filled with happiness at their reunion. Likewise, she never wanted to leave his side again. She avoided it like the plague. "I love you, my Claudius." Her heart skipped a beat in her chest. He knew just what to say to make her feel like a very special woman. Her lips locked with his in a final goodnight kiss. "Night, night, love. I'll see you in the morning." The felinx didn't phase her. As soon as she found her favorite spot against his chest, she was out. As she fell asleep, the final thought that entered her head was that she was so grateful to have him in her life.

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