Chapter 10: Happiness Is A Butterfly
The medical droid told her again that crying was upsetting her nerves, which could potentially hurt the life she carried inside.
She apologized but the tears kept coming.
She turned her teary eyes to the man that lay beaten next to her in the medical room. Guilt she could not contain made her look away.
My husband. She thought, still in a state of disbelief. He is my husband!
Palo Jemabie's beauty did suffer at the hand of the Jedi Knight Anakin Skywalker, yet behind the purple-bruised skin, he was still a handsome man.
She could easily see how a woman would fall for him. She could not see how one would cheat on him. Specially when the affair could inspire such scandal and legal repercussions. Or maybe that's what made her do it?
Was the thrill of danger what pushed her towards Anakin's arms? Was it pure lust? Her own evil heart?
The child within her belly kicked hard. She groaned quietly and put a hand over it.
Poor creature, she thought, self-hate reaching new heights; to have a woman like myself as a mother… But the father? Is it her husband or her lover?
It would be easier if my own husband was the father, she thought at first. But then she feared the Jedi's jealousy could affect her child. He had almost killed Palo… Oh, would Anakin dare harm a child? She shuddered.
And there's the alternative, what if her affair caused the pregnancy… she would be bound for life to him. They would have something to link them forever, and this thought was as terrifying as it was—gods, she hated herself—exciting.
She didn't want to, but again and again she was reminded of Anakin's kisses, the feeling of recognition, the fire he inspired in her. She looked at Palo again and tried to imagine the two being intimate. It did not excite her as Anakin did. Was that what initially made her be unfaithful?
Moons of Naboo, I'm terrible!
Perhaps her accident had been her punishment for being such a vile woman. Perhaps… it was a chance to redeem herself.
She could still be saved, good. Not riotous but righteous.
She could try to atone for her sins and be a good wife, mother, woman.
"I'm sorry," she muttered, stroking Palo's bruised cheek, forcing herself to feel love for him.
He opened his eyes. He smiled.
"Not your…fault," he muttered. "That Jedi… he must be crazy… for you. And I don't blame him."
Her face colored crimson.
"Don't talk of him please. I am so ashamed. You must know, I—"
"You don't have to say it, Padmé. I am willing to forget everything. I just want us to be happy together. I am taking you to my—our home, here in Naboo. It's a city house in Theed, Darling."
She took a deep breath.
"Palo, I think it might be too soon."
With an effort, he sat up, and took her hands. "But we have already lost so much time. I want us to be together. Don't you think being with your lawful husband to be the best for you?"
She nodded, though unsure.
"A child should have a family. A decent one."
He might as well had slapped her.
"You're right," she agreed. "It's for the best."
She rose from the bed.
She didn't want to be in the medical room, it made her sick.
"I'll go back to my room to sleep—and don't follow, please. You need your rest and you need it here. I'll come back first thing in the morning to check on you, Palo. I promise."
He nodded. "Wait," he said before she could leave. "Kiss me good night. Please, Darling."
She couldn't deny his request.
She went for a quick peck, but he pulled her hard and stuck his tongue down her throat. Not a bad feeling, yet not a right one either.
"And by the way," he whispered, seductively. He appeared to be a master of seduction now, not the family man she had thought him. "Don't call me Palo, call me dear, darling… daddy…" he grinned, "that works, too."
Padmé's eyes opened wide.
"Good night, Darling."
The unreality of her reality troubled her greatly, but she just wanted to get free of it all.
Outside the door, she found Palpatine, watching her with his pitying expression.
"Come, poor dear," he said, offering to walk her to her room.
"Where's Anakin?" she asked, worried. "Is he alright? What did you do to him? Where is he?"
"Goodness, Padmé! I don't believe you were this worried before when your husband was fainted and beat up bloody! Oh don't scowl, I only say this to warn you. You must be careful in front of other people."
"All right. Well, he's fine. He is outside in the garden, I believe meditating."
"Is he still so angry?"
Palpatine sighed. "I'm afraid so. My dear, he confided something to me… quite troubling."
"Sir, we've passed my room," she said, concern rapidly growing.
"Yes, we're going to meet him."
"Oh, please no!"
"You have to, Padmé. He's on the brink and you have to set him straight."
"But I am afraid!"
"You should be. What you did… it was incredibly brave—or dumb. Oh I know I shouldn't scold you. After all, it was another woman doing those actions. I see your accident washed the darkness from you, leaving only the angel in you, Padmé."
"I don't understand."
"Do you have any idea of the kind of woman you used to be?"
She lowered her gaze, ashamed. "Y-yes."
"I mean, a brilliant politician, of course. But behind closed doors, your morals were, err, loose, to say the least."
"You married in secret, so your love life wouldn't suffer. Your many suitors never imagined you were already tricking a man into playing little home. But one of them, oh you picked wrong! You must have been very wild and fierce, having an affair with the most famous Jedi in the galaxy."
"I've paid and I am still paying for what I did, sir."
"And you will continue to pay, Padmé, it seems. Tell me, child, are you sure Mr. Palo Jemabie is the father?"
She swallowed hard. "No. I am not."
"Hm. Terrible. And do you know how far your exuberance reached with Skywalker."
"I—I have an idea of it."
"Doubtful. You would not walk willingly into his path again if you did. Padmé, be brave: Anakin thinks you and him are married."
She stopped and almost fell.
"You two had a wedding ceremony, illegal of course, as you were already married to our compatriot… but Anakin doesn't know that. I rather fear to think how he'll react."
He should kill me.
"I deserve his rage," she said, her shaky voice somehow still determinate.
"But your child doesn't. You must make him think the child is his. That should protect you for a while."
"But I don't know if it's his."
"You tricked him before. Do it again."
"But I don't know how!"
And I don't want to.
"Well, figure it out," he bowed to her. They were in the entrance to the garden. Somewhere, there, in the lurking darkness, the Jedi hid like another dark shadow.
Turn around. Run. Hide!
She walked slowly.
There is still time. He might not find you. Run!
She clashed against a tree, she narrowed her eyes, trying to be more careful.
He is crazy and you do not know how to be a femme fatale. You cannot trick him. He could destroy you!
"I," she heard somewhere behind her. "I am sorry."
"Anakin," she breathed. "Where are you?"
Be afraid of him. You saw him almost kill a man in his jealousy. He is not the man for you.
"It was not your fault, Padmé. He was taking advantage of you. I couldn't help myself. I wanted to kill him! Oh if only!"
"I am the one you should have hurt, Anakin," she turned and twirled trying to find him, he blended all too well in the darkness. "Your wrath should have befallen me."
"I did want to hurt you," he admitted. A knot formed around her throat, a soft, painful pull caused by two invisible hands.
Yes, she thought, hurt me. I deserve it.
The pressure increased. She gasped for air… then she remembered.
"The baby!" she screamed. "Oh please stop!"
He did-though not immediately.
She fell to the ground. In a second, he was kneeling before her.
"Are you alright?"
She should have coiled back. She should have pushed his arms away. Oh why did she rest her weary head on his chest?!
"I can feel her," he said, his hand over her growing stomach. "Our little girl. I can feel her…" emotion broke his voice.
Oh if only it were ours… if only Palo had not appeared. Oh no chase away that evil thought!
"Actually," she blurted, just to have something to say. "I believe it's a boy."
"I like Leia," he said through his tears. "Let's name her Leia."
That's a pretty name. But it's still a boy—oh damn it, focus!
"Ah—Anakin, we have to stop."
His hands moved from her stomach, grazing her legs, the inside of her thighs. She closed her eyes, weak to his touch, defenseless to the emotions he awoke in her. Oh why did it have to be wrong and forbidden? She understood why her evil old self would risk dignity for a scandal like this… "Ohh you hav—haaahh to. Stop."
His moist mouth was on her cheek, softly, oh so very softly he bit her as her moaning grew.
He laid her down on the ground.
She couldn't see anything. For a moment, she was filled with rage as he removed his hands from her.
Scream him to stop! Push him away!
She waved her hands trying to find him. He laid on top of her, but without letting his full weight fall on her. She found his face and pulled him for a big kiss. She gasped when he stopped. She had her mouth wide open when again he kissed her. Oh yes. Yes. Oh may he never stop kissing and touching me!
"Anakin," she breathed.
"Padmé," he called back.
Her hands felt him thoroughly till she found his belt. Her hands shook with deprived need as she, though working hurriedly, slowly managed to pull his pants down. Her hands caressed him harshly. He groaned but did nothing to stop her. She knew now there were certain types of pains too good to reject. Like when he entered her. She screamed loudly through each hard thrust but she could not begin to imagine ever wishing he would stop. Quite the contrary she prayed the night would last forever.
It was scary when the first ray of sunshine shone above them.
She tried to rise—she was now the one on top of him—but he made her back into position and she continued to give him pleasure. And of course, also receiving.
Stop now! Too much now… No. Never stop.
She kissed his neck, lowered to each pectoral, his stomach, and she couldn't stop. He was so gorgeous now under the morning light. She wanted to taste every bit of that man.
The way he responded to her touch also made her crazy. She couldn't imagine any kind of music more heavenly than his moans, the way he called for her.
The morning grew chilly but she didn't care being naked before him.
The most delicious exhaustion took over her, and she collapsed next to him.
He took her in his arms, in the most gentle manner, and covered both with his cloak. She could hear the singing of birds. Smell the soft smell of the many flowers.
"I love you," he said, laying his cheek on her cheek.
"I love you, too," it was only natural for her to respond. She didn't know where the hell did that come from, but it came and no turning back from that. He grabbed her a little more tightly. She could feel her face moisten, but she wasn't crying. It was him. The Jedi wetted her with his tears. He didn't look any less manly for it. She liked his softer side, she craved for it actually. Especially after such a night.
"Let's make a run for Varykino," he said, his voice dreamy. "I'll send for the droids later, but it's important I get you there safely first."
"That's our home, my love," she could hear his smile. "A little estate where we have been immensely happy before. I want our daughter to be born there. I want her to grow there, too."
"What's it like?" she asked, indulging the fantasy.
A pink butterfly came to rest over her nose, Anakin brushed it away with his finger. "It's a lake country house. Secluded, secure. A small paradise even without you, love. It is not as sumptuous as this one. But it has all the beauty Naboo has to offer. Besides, that's where we married," he kissed the top of her head.
"Did you know what that fucking artist said, Padmé? He tried to convince Palpatine he had married you! The nerve of that… I don't want to think of it anymore. How could anybody take advantage of you in your state… but don't worry, I won't let him. Or anybody. I'll protect you, and our baby."
"How are you so sure I didn't marry him before you?"
He sat and made her too. He stared hard, then he grinned.
"Impossible, you were with him when you were teenagers," he said, resentfully. "And you haven't seen him since. It's ridiculous he thinks he can pull such a lie."
She looked away. Teenage sweethearts? Deep sigh.
"What you sigh for?"
She cleared her throat.
"I fear what happened between us was the last time."
"No. I assure you. I won't lose control again."
"I understand if you have little faith in me."
"Palpatine believes in Palo," she tried, tentatively.
"He was tricked, but I'll convince him, too."
"How? Are you going to speak to him?"
"Yes. Later. When I have you far and safe."
"Tonight, Padmé. Meet me here again and we'll run away!"
He rose and helped her to her feet.
She watched him dress with a beating heart. The dream they had shared turning again a nightmare. The bliss they had shared fading away as easily and quickly as the butterfly he had slapped away. He helped her dress as she struggled to think straight. How to break the news to him?
I can't run away. Lying, cheating whore as I am, I have a husband that loves and needs me. Oh how to face Palo again?! How to break his heart…
"Go back into the house," Anakin said, fully merged again into the Jedi she had known. "Don't talk to anybody, not even the droids. I'll arrange everything."
I can't run away with you!
Though, it doesn't look like he's giving me much choice...
"Anakin, what about Palo?"
He breathed in and out. "Don't speak to me about him if you don't want him dead. Stay away from him Padmé. If you ever let him lay a single finger on you, I'll kill him."
Not an empty threat.
"I'll see you tonight," he said, watching her walk away. "And if you don't show up, Padmé, I'll go myself to get you."
She ran away back into the house, knowing perfectly well what she wanted to do, although not yet knowing what she was going to actually do.
I guess, wait and see.
Author's Note: Hello again! Happy 2020 :D I hope this new year I'll be able of writing more for FF.
The title of this chapter comes from a Lana Del Rey song from her new album Norman Fucking Rockwell! Have you heard it? It's great and I highly reccomend it. I suspect those songs are gonna save me from writer's block ;)
Well, Padmé and Anakin's lives are a mess. What you all think?
Please review and let me know!