Luke's hands were working their magic on Callista's aching shoulders. His rhythmic kneading was hypnotic, making her forget about the outside world...
"How does that feel, Callie?" he whispered, as he began kissing her neck, sending delicious shockwaves throughout her body.
"Mmmm... very nice," she purred, reaching her hand behind her to pull his head even closer, savoring the feel of his lips on her warm skin.
"Which is nice, the massage or the kissing?" he asked with a wicked laugh.
"Both," she replied, her voice even huskier than usual. She turned to give him a lush kiss, running her fingers up his back, making him shudder in delight, as he moved even closer towards her, the gap between them nonexistent now.
"Now that's what I call a kiss," he breathed into her ear, as she laughed softly, her breath tickling his cheek.
"You liked that, hmm?"
"Well... Not quite as much as how I liked what we just finished doing..." he answered deviously, his fingers lightly tracing her arm.
Callista gave him a sly smile in response to his mischievous look. "Who would have thought that those Tatooine farmboys had this wild side to them?" she teased, pressing her bare chest against his. "My husband's not so innocent after all, is he?"
"Don't they always say it's the quiet ones that surprise you?" He winked at her, laughing brazenly as he kissed her, gently pushing her back down onto the bed, the weight of his body softly crushing hers.
She looked up at him, affectionately caressing his arms. "Why can't things be this simple, Luke?" she sighed.
He laid himself down beside her, placing his arm around her waist as she snuggled close to him. "I wish I could keep things like this, Callie... I wish we didn't have to deal with all these things we've dealt with in the last three weeks. Assassination attempts... Bombings... Bodyguards..."
He squeezed his eyes shut as his voice trailed off. Maybe if he could just keep them closed, everything would be all right once more when he opened them back up...
Callista propped herself up on her elbows to look at him. "It'll all be over soon, sweetheart," she whispered gently to reassure herself almost as much as to reassure him.
"I hope you're right, Callie..."
"Come on," she said, as she stood up from bed, pulling him up as well, "Let's go have some tea, I think we'll feel better once we do..."
Luke nodded reluctantly. They both slipped on their robes as he followed her into the dining area. She disappeared into the kitched to fix the tea, as he sat at the counter. He turned his head as he heard light footsteps behind him.
"Hey, what are you doing up, princess?"
Luke was surprised to see his daughter walking out towards him, sleepilly rubbing her eyes.
"I couldn't sleep, Daddy," she replied, letting out a heavy sigh that made her sound older than a four year old.
"Oh, I see," Luke said. "Well, how about Mommy fixing you some warm milk, huh? That might help you get back to sleep?"
She nodded, as he helped her up on the counter stool to sit on his lap.
"Callie, we've got one order for a cup of warm milk out here," he called out to his wife.
"Cray, sweetheart, you're still awake this late?"
"I'm sorry, Mommy, I went to bed at my bedtime, honest! But I couldn't get back to sleep after I woke up..."
Callista suddenly felt uneasy. She wondered if Cray had had another nightmarish vision... After the incident at the ceremony, she had been sure that they would stop.
"Sweetie... can you tell us why you can't get back to sleep? Did you have another dream?"
Cray shifted uncomfortably on her father's lap for a moment, looking down at the counter to avoid her parents' eyes. "Yes..." she finally managed. "They were chasing us... We were trying to run to you, but they grabbed us... You and Daddy were so far away..."
Callista's eyes widened in fright, and she began to quiver slightly as she looked in Luke's eyes.
"I think... I think they're coming here, Mommy... They're coming to Cor.. Coruscant. They're coming for us..."
"Who, baby? Who's coming here for you?"
"I don't know... I couldn't see their faces, I was too scared..."
She began to cry, as Luke wrapped his arms tighter around her and pulled her close to him, transmitting the Force's calming energy to her to quiet her anxieties... "Shhhh... It'll be okay, I promise you, princess," he whispered to her, "We won't let anything happen to you. Anything."
And he hoped with all his might that he could fulfill that promise...
Ayedana Wey had been waiting for this day for a long time. She and her sisters had been biding their time, hiding, planning, preparing...
The Nightsisters had been defeated before. Fourteen years ago, on Dathomir, they had been vanquished by Luke Skywalker and his friends, their sisterhood destroyed in one swift stroke of the Jedi. And ever since then she and her sisters had been waiting for the right time to rise again and take their revenge on him and the Jedi.
They were larger in number now, grown from the tiny group that she had founded and whisked away to Dandoleer. She had taken great pains to keep them secret from the prying eyes of the Republic, hidden from Skywalker. And her gamble paid off... Now the Nightsisters had truly been reborn. They were no longer a fringe element, but a force to be reckoned with.
Especially now that they had found a powerful ally.
Tal Sorbin had found her weeks ago. How, she did not know, nor did she care after a while, for he had promised her the deal of a lifetime. In exchange for the destruction of the Jedi, she and the Nightsisters would take their rightful place with him in Coruscant, the galaxy finally at their grasp.
Could he be trusted? Perhaps, perhaps not. It did not matter to her. He was going to give them the chance to eliminate the Jedi, and then perhaps they could dispose of him too.
"Yes, who is it?" Ayedana answered, with mild annoyance. Who could it possibly be at this hour?
"Forgive the intrusion, I wanted to speak with you about Skywalker."
Ayedana turned to face her visitor, her irritation now assuaged at the mention of the Jedi Master.
"Yes, what is it Sevar?"
The younger woman paused before she spoke, watching Ayedana inspect herself in front of her mirror, smoothing the stray white strands that had come out of her braid, tugging at her long velvet robe.
"Well, did you come here to just stand there? What about Skywalker?"
"I-I'm sorry, I just wanted to let you know that Sorbin's men have gotten the ships ready. I will be able to take one in the next few days to travel to Coruscant."
Ayedana spun around look at Sevar. "Sorbin's men know nothing of you going to Coruscant, do they?" she asked apprehensively, instinctively grabbing the younger woman's arm.
"No... I... I told them nothing about where I was going, as you wished."
"Good," Ayedana sighed with relief, releasing her grip on Sevar's arm. "Sorbin doesn't know about my plan for the Skywalker children, and I'd like to keep it that way, Sevar."
"Yes, Ayedana... But... Why haven't you told him about--"
"He doesn't need to know!" Ayedana quickly hushed her. "All that matters to him is that we go to Yavin to surprise the Jedi. Beyond that, he doesn't need to know any extracurricular activities by us, is that understood?"
Sevar nodded obediently.
"He wants all the Jedi killed, Sevar. All the Jedi, as well as their heirs. If Sorbin finds out that we're sparing the Skywalker children to take them as our own..."
She leaned in closer to Sevar, her voice dropping to an ominous whisper, "Pray he doesn't find out what we are about to do, Sevar..."
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