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Sustenance

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It had been six months since Captain Ben Solo received the letter at his posting with the news of his elder brother, Anakin’s untimely death. The letter was from his uncle who urged him to return to his family estate and take on the family duty.

 

But Ben Solo was not born to take on the Family title, he was afterall the youngest son of the family. His grandfather Bail Organa passed his peerage to his grandson and declare him his heir. Grandfather Anakin Skywalker had done the same; his son Luke - who was knighted after his first battle - took a vow of celibacy. It all passed down to Anakin. The eldest son who was born with all the Organa-Solo-Skywalker charms, but none of the health and vitality.

 

The younger Solo was the polar opposite of his brother. While Anakin was frail and sickly, Ben was healthy and strong. Anakin was the life of the party, quick to smile and charm everyone around him. While Ben was quiet, reserved and quick to anger. He didn't have the temperament to take on Anakin’s responsibilities. But now he had to. So he sat down to write a letter to his superiors. Stating his situation and asking to be relieved of his duty.

 

It had been six months since Ben had lost his one and only best friend and everything in his life has changed.

 


 

“Ben! Slow down, brother.” Anakin called after him. But Ben didn’t have the patience to indulge him right now.

 

“Leave me be, Ani, I need to be alone.” Ben said over his shoulder, without slowing his pace.

 

“Ben you know I can’t walk as fast as you.” Anakin sounded out of breath, and that made Ben slow down a little. He finally stopped and slowly turned around to face his brother.

 

“Thank you!” Anakin huffed doubling over, bracing his hands on his knees as he caught his breath.

 

Ben reached out and rubbed his back, “Are you alright, Ani?”

 

His brother straightened up. “I will be fine. Let us sit?”

 

They sat on the log by the path, and looked out at the field. Ben stared out at the distance, he could see the manor, and if he listened closely we could hear the bustling even from this far.

 

“They are just worried, you must know that.” Anakin implored.

 

“This is my work brother. What do they expect me to do? Not take this promotion? Give up on my ambitions? And do what? Stay here? I don’t have a future here Anakin. This is your house, your future, I have no part in this.”

 

Anakin sighed. “I am not going to stop you from chasing your dreams. I know you are a soldier, it’s in your blood. It is a noble act to serve one’s country. And I couldn’t be more proud of you little brother. But just promise me one thing?”

 

“And what would that be?” Ben asked, amused by his words.

 

“That you will return home to us, your nieces and nephews will need their uncle to give them horseback rides, and also to teach them how to ride a horse. I am hopeless in those aspects.” Anakin said with feigned disdain in his voice.

 

Ben laughed and bumped his shoulder, “Is there something you are not telling me brother? Is there a little Solo on its way?”

 

Anakin managed to look bashful rubbing the back of his neck. “No, not yet, but someday soon.”

 

Ben got to his feet and held a hand out for his brother. Anakin took it and Ben hefted him up.

 

“I am very happy for you and Katherine.” Ben said as they started walking back to the manor.

 

“Thank you, and I am happy for your promotion. But just promise me you'll come back home.”

 

Ben nodded, it was foolish to make such a promise, but he would indulge him. He loved his brother and he would lie, if only to appease him.

 

“I promise.”

 


 

Ben Solo reached the manor as the sun was setting in the sky. He was the Captain of a regiment overseas, so it took him a while to sort out his responsibilities. But during that time tragedy hit the household once again. His sister-in-law, Katherine took to her bed immediately after her husband’s death. She was pregnant, but her will to live all but left her and she died during childbirth.

 

When he stepped down from the carriage he could feel the manor wasn't the same as he had left behind. There seemed to be a dark cloud over it. And it unsettled Ben to no limits. Anakin was the life of Organa Manor, Ben always made everything worse. How would he even attempt to restore what was once before.

 

He strode down to the main entrance and was met by his mother, she too didn’t look her regal self, wearing the customary black gown for mourning. She reached her arms towards him and Ben had to duck down to embrace her. He didn’t hold back like he once did. His mother needed him now more than ever, and he would oblige her this much.

 

“Oh I have missed you, Ben.” Leia Organa-Solo pulled back, her eyes swimming. “You must be tired from the long journey. Come I’ve asked them to serve us tea in the parlor.”

 

Ben was sitting by the fire by the time they were served with tea and refreshments. He had been quiet, looking at the fire burning on the hearth.

 

“How is the child faring?” Ben asked finally.

 

“She is doing well. She is so beautiful. She has Ani’s eyes.” His mother gave him a watery smile.

 

“Jen, could you please ask Lady Rey to bring baby Padme to meet her uncle?” Leia asked the maid who was serving the tea.

 

“Yes, milady.” the maid curtsied and left.

 

“Lady Rey?” Ben asked, his brows furrowing.

 

Leia sighed. She somehow managed to look even paler than before.

 

“Ben Kenobi, died last month.”

 

Ben swallowed hard, he wasn’t even aware that his namesake had expired.

 

“His granddaughter, Rey, poor girl, old Ben tried to make sure she inherited the estate, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Her husband died in the war and she miscarried her baby.” Leia paused, wiping her eyes, “The next of kin is a distant cousin who didn’t want to keep a young widow in the house, so young Rey was left with nowhere to go.”

 

Ben took in the information. He never had the opportunity to meet this young woman, but he had heard of her.

 

“I had to take her in, she is so young, besides I am her Godmother and I made a promise to old Ben before he died.”

 

Just then the doors of the parlor opened and Ben turned. He felt his heart stop for a second, his eyes were met with the most beautiful woman he’d ever behold in his life. He was on his feet in an instance.

 

“Aw there she is, the stars of my sky.” Leia cooed, as Lady Rey brought the baby close to her.

 

Ben couldn’t stop looking at the young woman, and had to physically shake himself out of his trance to focus on the scene that was unfolding in front of him.

 

Baby Padme was swaddled in white linen wrappings and placed on a lace quilt over Rey’s arms. She was slowly waking up hearing all the commotion going around her.

 

Ben was still rooted to the spot when his mother gestured him to come closer.

 

Lady Rey was looking down at the baby, her face had a serene glow, full of love and affection towards the baby she was holding in her arms. She hadn’t taken her eyes off her even once since she walked into the room.

 

Ben came closer to look at the object of her attention. Peering down he saw a turf of dark Blonde hair and rosy cheeks. Then she opened her eyes, and his brother’s eyes were staring back at him. Ben felt overwhelmed with emotions. He never thought he’d see those eyes ever again. But there they were, looking back at him.

 

He was surprised when he saw a tear dropping on Padme’s nose, the baby squirmed, and Ben realized it fell from his eyes.

 

“Ben, are you crying dear?” Leia said, placing her hand on his arm.

 

Ben rubbed at his cheek and his hand came back wet. He was indeed crying. When he pulled his eyes up, they were met with Ms. Rey’s. She was looking straight at him. Their eyes met and Ben felt a spark run through his body, he instantly felt a connection. And even though he had no way of knowing, he had a feeling she felt it too.

 

He cleared his throat and dragged his eyes away from the beautiful woman in front of him, and looked at his mother.

 

“She is the mirror image of Ani. May i hold her?” He said, looking back at young woman.

 

“Of course.” She delicately handed the baby to him. She was so cautious, like she didn’t quite feel confident to hand him the precious bundle.

 

Padme looked so small in his arms. She was probably the smallest human being he ever saw and she was indeed the most precious one.

 

That was the moment Ben Solo’s life truly changed. His world had shifted and he knew he wasn’t going anywhere.  He was tied to the manor; to his family, and to this small child.  The last remnant of his brother, and he didn’t know if he had any fight left in him to oppose this.

 

He held the baby for a little while, lost in his thoughts as the ladies talked in hushed voices. Then he heard her address him, and was brought back to the moment.

 

“Your Grace, it’s time for her feed, and she looks a little tired.” Lady Rey said, looking at the baby with a softness that pulled at his heart.

 

He carefully handed the baby to her, Ms. Rey bid them both goodnight and walked out of the room with Padme in her arms.

 

“I brought her here before Padme was born. She is a special one.  I do not know how would I have survived all this if she wasn’t here. She was like a blessing to us.”

 

His mother continued the story.  Informing him how Rey Kenobi instantly became friends with Katherine; how she manage to lift her mood so much that Leia almost hoped Kathy would survive the childbirth. Then after Padme was born she took over the child’s care, and how Padme probably thinks Rey is her mother. She even took charge of the household while Leia was overcome with grief after losing Katherine so soon after Anakin. How she still helped around the house as well as taking care of the child.

 

The more he listened the more Ben became enamored by the young woman. She was well-educated, born and raised in upper-class society, but she never showed interest in marriage, and her grandfather indulged her. She had the best tutors, teaching her arts, history, language and literature. She even traveled to Europe with her grandfather. Her mother died when she was very young, so she took charge of the household at a very early age and had been the mistress of Kenobi Manor for some time.

 

Old Ben all but planned to leave everything to her, including training her to run the estate, but the man underestimated his own mortality.  And marrying her to a commoner, who she called friend, had been a foolish mistake. But who was Leia to judge? She was sure she would have treated her own daughter much the same way, and wouldn’t have forced her into marrying some pompous peer either.

 

Ben could only laugh at his mother’s brashness. Leia did marry for love to a commoner.  But the difference in her situation was that her parents were alive, and Anakin was born within the first year of their marriage, and his grandfather was more than happy to name him his heir. Unfortunately, Rey Kenobi hadn’t been so lucky.

 

Chapter Text


 

The night Ben returned he retired to his quarters, he found out his mother shifted his things to the master bedroom. He would have preferred staying in his old room but he acquiesced. Being the master of the house required him to take on the room.

 

He got ready for bed, pulling on his sleeping shirt and loose breeches. The bed was softer than he was used to and he couldn’t get comfortable. He contemplated on sleeping on the rug in front of the fireplace, but that probably won’t be deemed appropriate.

 

After lying in bed for a couple of hours and when the elusive sleep didn’t come he finally gave up. Sitting himself by the fire he started reading a book he took out from the library earlier. Ben always had trouble sleeping, and reading had got him through the longest nights.

 

He didn’t realize he fell asleep in the armchair, until he was awaken by the baby’s cry. He stumbled to his feet, pulled on his robe. Ben shuffled out of his room and followed the noise to the nursery. The room used to be his and Anakin’s nursery when they were young. It was right across the hall from the master bedroom.

 

He saw there was a warm inviting light coming from the room, he didn’t think much of it, as he turned the knob and entered the room.

 

When he walked in he found Rey wearing a long white sleeping gown.  The lacing on the front was undone and one of her breasts was out as she was in the processes of bringing the baby to her chest.

 

Ben was transfixed by the sight of her. Her soft brown hair was loose and curling at the ends.  Her eyes puffy from sleep, her pink lips pulled at the corner into a soft smile as she looked down at the baby, who was quietly sniffling but not crying anymore. The sight of her almost translucent gown, and her soft creamy breasts, puckering into dusty rose colored nipples was enough to get Ben’s blood running south.

 

As the baby latched onto her nipple Rey looked up startled, it all happened within moments. She gasped, trying to cover her chest with padme’s quilt, and Ben averted his gaze as he offered a weak apology before leaving the room, shutting the door behind him.

 

Once he was in the hall he leaned against the door, trying to catch his breathe and wrapping his thoughts around what just happened. He walked in on her while she was feeding the baby, he walked in on a private moment and saw her in a state of undress. He should be ashamed of himself, but all he felt was extremely aroused.

 


 

He couldn't remember the last time he was aroused by a woman this much, or taken by one for that matter. That's why he thought he was best suited for a life of celibacy like his uncle. But since the day Rey Kenobi walked into his life, his life wasn’t the same.

 

He would find himself looking at her when she was in his presence.  He sought after her when she wasn’t around. His every single leisure moment was filled with thoughts of her. He would listen to his mother talking for hours, just to get a little mention of Rey Kenobi.

 

Ben Solo realized that the young widow walked into his life and made a home inside his heart, without even trying.

 

Rey adored Padme, like she was her own. Maybe Padme was filling the void left behind by the child that Rey lost, just as much as Rey was filling the position of Padme’s mother. She was attentive and diligent. She fed her, bathed her, played with her, talked and sang to her, took her out in the sun, she even read to the baby. The baby loved her equally. Padme would sometimes have her fits - much like him when he was a baby, his mother would always love to point that out to Ben, and Rey would be the only one to calm Padme down.

 

Ben also adored that Rey took care of his mother; indulging her with poetry and literature, or entertaining her with stimulating conversation about history and travel. Leia Organa was always ahead of her time.  Her knowledge and education set her apart from her peers and she often grew tired of them. But she finally found a worthy companion in Rey.

 

She was even great with the staff. He learned Rey was friendly with the help at the Kenobi Manor as well. She was a great mistress and treated them with respect and love.

 

Ben started to realize he liked everything about her. Even though he never had the courage to interact with her directly. He was too afraid he might say the wrong thing or offend her. He saw her avoiding his gaze. He still hadn’t apologized for walking in on her the first night. He never managed to find the nerve to broach the subject, so he decided to avoid it.

 

But as he settled into a routine and got used to the domesticity, he realized he was slowly but surely falling in love with her.

 


 

“Do you require some assistance?” Ben spoke, startling her. Rey jumped and turned around, dropping the rag she was in a process of shoving down her breast band.

 

“My L-Lord?” She looked flustered.

 

“I mean, do you need some assistance with the baby, while you take care of…” Ben averted his gaze from her, and turned his head to the side, “the situation.”

 

She was quiet for a while, then she replied in a weak voice, “I would appreciate that, sir.”

 

Her face was flushed red when he looked up. She was averting her eyes, hand clutching the rag to her chest, like a shield. He cursed himself for making her uncomfortable. But he couldn’t see her in distress.

 

She gave him a shallow curtsy and left the nursery.

 

Ben walked over to his niece’s crib, she was awake and looking up at him. She gave him a gummy smile and Ben felt his heart melt and worry recede. He picked her up cooing at her.

 

Holding her made it better every time. He remembered why he was doing what he was doing. He left his position and ambition to take care of his family. Holding Anakin’s daughter to his chest gives him strength to endure his internal struggle.

 

A struggle not made easy by the presence of his new torment. His torment named Rey Kenobi, and her intelligent hazel eyes and beautiful smile; and the fact that she was so close to him yet so unreachable.

 


 

The baby would wake up at exactly 3 in the morning, and her cry could be heard throughout the manor. With her nursery being just across the hall from his quarters he would be woken up every night like clockwork. Ben would be aware of Rey walking by his door to reach the baby. He would hear her slight footsteps, then the door creak open.

 

It would send him back to the first night he spent in the manor. The first night Ben heard a cry and went to inquire about the baby. Just to walk right in while she was in the process of feeding the baby. It was one of the most beautiful and serene things he had even seen. The divine scene was burned into his brain for eternity.

 

If he listened closely he could hear her cooing at the babe, calming her down. If he closed his eyes he could picture her, holding the baby to her chest, then sitting down on the rocking chair in the corner.

 

He could picture her in the white shift that he knew she wore to bed; unlacing the front and bringing a swollen dusty rose nipple to the baby’s mouth. The image in his head made his throat run dry.

 

She kept humming to the baby a soft tune of a long forgotten lullaby, her voice could be heard through the walls.  It was hauntingly beautiful, and every night listening to it gave him a sense of peace and serenity that he never felt in his life.

 

Every night he fell asleep to the faint sound of her voice and the calming noise of the rocking chair.

 


 

Every morning after that would be an exquisite torture for Ben Solo. He would see her walk around the house, doing chores she wasn’t required to do. Helping his mother taking care of the household. It was hard for his mother to assume the role of the Lady of the manor once again when his sister-in-law died. But Rey being there made it easier. And Rey was raised to be a Lady of a grand house, just like the one she grew up in, so it came naturally to her.

 

When Leia would tell her she was too good to them, and she wasn’t required to do all that, Rey would just smile and say she was helping out and earning her keep. She had skills and no way of using them. They might as well benefit from it, as long as she was there.

 

She was eternally grateful that Leia took her in when she had nowhere to go. And she'd let Leia know that with her every action, which in turn would make Ben fall even deeper for her.

Ben solo never fell in love. It was Anakin’s destiny. He was supposed to fall in love and have children and to carry on the family name. Which he did, but his life was cut tragically short.

 

Ben Solo never planned to fall in love. But he did, and to a woman he could never have, or would ever deserve, not in a million years. She was an angel, while he was damaged and jaded, edges too hard and jagged. Besides she was forbidden.  Society would never have deemed their union proper, even if she would have him, which she won't.

 


 

 

Also here is the picture of her glorious boobs. lol... (sorry couldn't help it)


 

Chapter Text


Ben was returning from a walk one day when he saw Rey coming out of the house and heading towards the carriage.  He hurried towards her and helped her to the carriage. As he touch her hand, he felt the same spark run through his body again.

 

She gasped but didn’t pull her hand away. When she settled down, Ben cleared his throat.

 

“May I ask where are you headed, my lady?”

 

“To the town. The dressmaker.”

 

“I see.  Would you mind if I accompany you?”

 

She looked surprised. This was probably the most they have interacted. But she schooled her expression quickly and nodded.

 

Ben climbed into the car and sat across from her.

 

They were quiet the whole way to the town. Ben stole a few glances, while she was busy looking out of the window. She was exquisite, her profile was sharp but her features soft. Just looking at her made breathing a little harder.

 

When the carriage jerked to a stop Ben was shaken out of his reverie. He found Rey looking at him, curiously. He cleared his throat, and got down from the car and offered her a hand. This time she put on her silk gloves, so they didn’t make any direct skin contact.

 

They let go as soon as she got down. Ben followed her to the shop. He waited diligently as she went about her business. She got her dresses, and shoes and they were promptly taken to the carriage. Then she started browsing around the shop, and Ben settled for looking at her.

 

She always wore black or grey. Was she still mourning her family? Because all her purchases had been of dull and mourning colors.

 

Not for the first time Ben wondered what was she planning to do with her life? She was so attached to Padme, would she stay with his family and offer to become Padme’s governess? Or would she move on, purchase a small house somewhere with her inheritance and live out her life? Would she join the church? She didn’t seem the religious type. Or  would she remarry? The thought made Ben’s heart squeeze and jealousy churned inside him.

 

He looked at her from across the shop. Rey was talking to the dressmaker as she showed her some of her new designs. Her eyes sparkled as she touched a particular red gown. Ben could imagine how gorgeous she'd look wrapped in rich red silk or blue chiffon. He wondered how she used to dress when she lived in her estate.  Was she draped in finery or maybe she always dressed modestly.

 

“Oh my dear, why don’t you try it on. It would suit you so well.” The dressmaker urged her.

 

“I don’t know.  It wouldn’t be appropriate.” Rey looked a little flustered, surely looking for an excuse. “And I shouldn’t leave Lord Solo waiting.”

 

The dressmaker looked at Ben beseechingly.

 

“Oh it’s perfectly fine. I can wait. Please go ahead.”

 

He saw Rey reluctantly following the lady to the back of the shop. Ben couldn’t deny, the thought of seeing her in vibrant colors excited him to no limits.

 

He dutifully waited, this was the same dressmaker who made his mother’s clothes, and Lady Organa-Solo was known for her elaborate and fashionable gowns. Ben remember spending hours here with his brother when they were just boys, while his mother got fitted for her new gowns.

 

There was shuffling in the back, and Ben turned to look and saw Rey through the curtains. She was now dressed in the same red silk gown she was looking at. She was a vision to look at in the fashionable gown. The fitted fabric showing her curves, and the bodice pushing her soft creamy bosom up in such a tantalizing way that it made Ben’s mouth water.

 

She was twirling for the older lady as she gushed over her. Ben swallowed hard, he shouldn’t intrude on a private moment, but he couldn’t tear his eyes away from her. Right then the bell at the front of store rang, bringing Rey’s attention to the storefront.  Her eyes briefly met his and she blushed. Ben felt like he was caught doing something he wasn’t supposed to, which he was evidently. He averted his gaze and looked down at his feet until the dressmaker informed him Rey was ready to leave.

 

He gestured Rey to go ahead without looking at her. When she was out of the shop, he promptly asked the dressmaker to pack the red gown.  She did without asking any question though she did give him a knowing look, which Ben respectfully avoided.

 

When Ben came out he found Rey conversing with one of their neighbours. The two women bid each other goodbye at the sight of him. He walked up to her, the package in his hand and they made for the carriage in companionable silence.

 

As Ben was helping her up he saw something unusual. He followed her in, sitting in front of her when he got a chance to inspect. There were two wet patches on the front of her dress; it took a second for his brain to catch up. He had to make her aware of it.

 

He cleared his throat and summed up his courage, before he gestured with his hand, “Ms. Rey you’ve something on your gown.”

 

Rey gasped and looked down, her face turning a deep shade of scarlet that he could see even in dim light. He tried to avoid looking at her to ease her embarrassment, but when he finally looked back, he found her almost on the verge of tears.

 

“Please don’t cry, it’s only natural.” He attempted to comfort her. But the damage was already done, she wrapped her arms around her and almost folded into herself. She looked so small and vulnerable at that moment, so different than her usual self.

 

Ben hurriedly shrugged off his outer coat, and scrambled to her side taking the liberty to drape it over her shoulder. That’s when she started crying earnestly.

 

He noticed that she had been very quiet as of late. That’s why he saw her going to the town as a good sign. But now he realized she was more upset that he previously anticipated if something as simple as this could set her off.

 

He pulled her close and she came willingly to his embrace. He wanted to offer comfort and understand what was wrong. But didn’t know if he should cross the line more than he already has.

 

She sniffled into his chest, her hand curling into a claw on his vest. Her voice came out muffled by his chest where she was pressed against.

 

“Padme started on solid food and she hadn’t been feeding as much as before. And my body--” he felt her gulp against him, “my body hasn’t caught up with her schedule.”

 

Ben finally understood. Even though he didn’t know why she would deem to tell him this, above everyone else. Maybe he was just here when she eventually broke down. But he could see the reason for her frustration. He knew many mothers suffer from a feeling of loss when they stop feeding. For some mothers it was the only way they could feel close to their babies.

 

“She fed every two hours before, and it is hard and… painful.” Ben gulped, he kept making soothing circles on her back, trying to ease her pain, even though he didn’t know if the gesture was welcomed. If she was feeling pain, he wondered if he should call on the healer to give her something for it.

 

“Soon she wouldn’t need me anymore. And then what will I do?” She sounded wretched as she buried her face in his chest and weeped.

 

Oh so that’s what was bothering her really. That the baby won’t need her anymore. Ben’s heart went out to the young woman. She lost her baby and then she found Padme, now she was worried about losing her too.

 

“Hush now, Padme will always need you, she loves you. And even if she stopped feeding it would not change that.”

 

Rey pulled back a little. She looked so young, with her red nose and teary face, as she looked up.

 

“Do you honestly think so?” She swallowed, her lips quivered as she spoke.

 

Ben lost a beat, distracted by her pink pouty lips.

 

“Yes, for all she knows, you are her mother. And she would always love you as such. That baby is enamored by you, I see it in her eyes everyday. You are the sun to her, she can’t look away from you when you are around.” Ben finished, bringing his hand up and wiping the tears from her cheeks.

 

She was letting him touch her, which was a miracle in itself and he would take whatever she gives him. He let his hand cup her cheek. She leaned into his touch, seemed to be lost in her thoughts for a moment. Then she slowly pulled back.

 

Ben mourned the loss of contact, but he schooled his expression, he couldn’t be greedy. She gave him so much, and he was thankful for it. At least he got to hold her warm slight body against his chest.

 

Rey pulled the coat tighter around her shoulders and took her handkerchief out and wiped her face dry.

 

“Thank you, my Lord.” She said in a small voice, “You must think me hysterical.  I apologize for my behavior.”

 

“Please, don’t.” Ben stopped her immediately, “Please don’t apologize. I can’t pretend that I can understand your pain, but I want to offer my help. You have nothing to be ashamed of.  What you’ve done for my family so far and what you continue doing, I couldn’t repay that even if I wanted to. I am indebted to you, Ms. Rey. Please feel free to share your worries, I will gladly listen, if you need someone to talk to.” He finished his piece nervously, still looking down at his hands. He could still feel the softness of her skin against his palms.

 

She shifted beside him. When he pulled his eyes up to look at her, she gave him a warm smile.

“Thank you for listening, sir and also for the offer.” She then turned and looked out of the window. Ben nodded and did much the same. He didn’t move to the other side. They sat there in silence, the rest of the way back.


 

 

Chapter Text

 


 

 

Something had changed after that day. Rey was more open to talking to him, or including him in her conversations with Leia. He would often join them for evening refreshments in the parlor. While he wasn’t as charming as Anakin had been when entertaining ladies, he would still try to be more engaging. They would talk about the war, politics and current affairs.

 

If Ben was honest he did prefer to spend his evening talking to the two most intelligent minds he knew in England. He was sure if they were given the opportunity to run the government, they would have done a better job than the gentlemen.

 

Rey had the most interesting opinion about things, and would always question; she had such thirst for knowledge. He could see why it would have been a mistake to marry her to someone who wouldn’t have appreciated her intelligence. Old Ben saw it and tried to prevent it. Her marriage was one of convenience he recently learned; there was an understanding. She never wanted to marry in the conventional sense. She wanted the freedom to learn. She already surpassed most gentlemen he knew in knowledge and education. And most men didn’t like women who were wittier than them and wouldn't have indulged her.

 

It definitely wasn’t the case for Ben. He was as much in love with her wits as he was with her beauty.

 

She would sometimes join him in the library after dinner for some light reading. Some nights his mother would join them, and some they would spend alone. Lost in their own reading materials.

 

He would steal glances at her every so often. He couldn’t help it. Sometimes she would catch him staring, but she never complained, on the contrary she would actually give him one of her sweet smiles. And Ben would feel his heart soar at the sight.

 

He would still worry for her.  She did look a bit paler and he could see her stretching her back more often when she thought no one was looking. Which could only mean she was still uncomfortable and in pain. So one night he decided to broach the subject.

 

“So, is the child feeding well?”

 

Rey looked startled for a moment, hand freezing in mid air holding the book she was putting back on the shelve. She didn’t turn to face him.

 

“Um, yes, her schedule changed a little, but that is to be expected. She is taking the solids well too.” She still had her back to him.

 

“And how are you doing?” Ben asked, his voice shaking a little as he got up from his seat.

 

She finally turned, “I’m doing well, thank you for asking.” She said with a shy smile.

 

But Ben could see it wasn’t true. He walked up to where she was standing by the shelves and looked down at her.

 

“You can talk to me if something is bothering you.”

 

He gathered his courage and brought his trembling hand up, placing it under her chin, turning her face up to met his eyes.

 

She was looking at him, her eyes wide and he could see the dark circles under them. Had she not been sleeping well? He traced the freckles dusting the bridge of her nose with his eyes. Ben ran his thumb along her jaw feeling the prominent bones. She had lost weight as well.

 

He was so close now.  If only he were to duck down a little he could kiss her lips.  And how he wanted to at that moment, he wanted that very much.

 

He saw her run her tongue over her lower lip. And followed the direction with his eyes. He moved even closer to her.

 

“I am right here and I want to help. You must know that?”

 

He felt so wretched at the moment. He wanted to help, he would do anything, be anything she needs. If only she would let him.

 

“You only need to ask.” He hoped she knew the implication of his offer.

 

Rey nodded. Closing her eyes for a moment, “I know.”

 

There was a knock on the door, Rey jumped and moved away from him.

 

It was the baby, she was awake a maid informed Rey, so she excused herself and left the library. Ben slumped against the shelves. It was getting harder and harder to stay away from her.

 


 

A few nights later, Ben was lying wide wake in his bed. Sleep was eluding him, and he didn’t particularly feel like reading either.

 

At around half past two, he heard soft footsteps outside his room. Ben was confused. He didn’t hear the baby cry these past few nights so he had slept through.

 

He figured it was the schedule change Rey was referring to. Which was odd in itself, because it didn’t seem like Rey was getting much sleep. She looked tired, and if it was possible the dark circles under her eyes were even more prominent..

 

He got up from bed. Pulled on his robe and walked out of the room. He thought of checking the baby first.

 

It felt much like his first night at the manor all those months ago.

 

He pushed the door open and found Rey sitting on the rocking chair holding the baby. Padme was fast asleep cradled in her arms.

 

Rey looked up when he entered. She looked relaxed and calm. She awarded him a small smile before looking down at the baby.

 

Ben shut the door behind him but stood by it in case she wanted him to leave.

 

“You are not sleeping?”

 

“I couldn't.” Rey replied, her hand tracing the baby’s temple. “you?”

 

“Neither could I.” he paused before adding. “Have you been doing this every night? Because I haven't heard her cry for a few nights.”

 

“Yes. I can't sleep so I come here and watch her sleep.” she looked up at him.

 

“And when she wakes up for feeding, she doesn't cry. She smiles when she finds me looking at her.” She looked tired but her eyes look bright.

 

“I'm sure she likes not waking up alone.” Ben said, taking the chair across from them.

 

Ben placed his elbow on his knees, stapling his hand in front of him, resting his chin on top.

 

“Why do you reckon you can’t sleep?”

 

She shrugged, pulling Padme even closer to her chest. Ben realized she still thought she would lose the baby and all he wanted to do was reassure her.

 

“Rey listen, she isn’t going anywhere. No one is taking her away from you. You don’t need to worry yourself sick.”

 

She was about to protest but Padme made a snuffling noise and squirmed in her sleep, before stirring awake. Ben saw the baby reaching up with her tiny palms towards Rey. And she in return gave the baby a watery smile.

 

Ben would never tire of watching them interact. But the baby was probably hungry and he should leave. He moved to get up but-

 

“Stay.” Rey said in a small voice, barely over a whisper.

 

Ben was was frozen between standing up and sitting down. He cleared his throat, and asked, “I beg your pardon?”

 

“Stay.” She said more firmly this time, her eyes meeting his.

 

Ben sat himself down immediately. He took a deep breath, shifting in his seat.

 

The baby made a muffled sound, and Rey looked down at her. She pulled at the strings on her night gown, untying it as the fabric gave away. She moved the collar aside, and revealed her left breast. Lifting the globe she brought the nipple close to the baby’s mouth. The child immediately latched onto the tit and started suckling noisily.

 

In the dimmed light she looked like the embodiment of every woman who ever offered sustenance from her own body to nourish an infant. It was the most beautiful thing he ever had the opportunity to witness.

 

The loose gown slipped from her left shoulder, revealing the beautiful smooth skin of her neck and chest. Light brown freckles dusting over her collarbones. He had a glimpse of her bosom before but not in details, and Ben was glad he got the opportunity to now. Her creamy breast were small but round and perky. Her areolae dusty pink in color - just as he remembered - puffy and raised.  Her nipple swelled from which, half an inch long in length. Ben watched greedily, committing every detail to memory.

 

Rey sighed as the infant kept suckling to her tit, small hand pushing against her ripe breast, a content smile gracing her lips.

 

Ben sucked in a deep breath, teeth clenching, his brain was on fire. His body was reacting to the scene unfolding before him. He felt his blood rushing to his cock, and it was coming to life.

 

Rey looked up, seeing his discomfort, her brows furrowed in confusion.

 

“Did you not want to stay?” she looked mortified, “I apologize if I’ve read your intentions wrong. I thought you wanted to…”

“No.. I do.” Ben took a deep breath, trying to take control of the situation. “I want to be here. This..” he looked down at the baby, happily suckling at her nipple with no care of the world around her, making a tiny content noise, “This is beautiful.” He looked up meeting her hazel eyes once again, “Thank you.”

 

He ran his hand through his dark hair, slightly pulling at them.

 

“Good. I appreciate the company.” She said, drawing the baby away from her left breast and turning her around before shrugging off the gown from the right shoulder and offering her right breast to the infant.

 

Her upper half was bare to him and she didn’t seem to mind, or attempt to cover up.

 

“I saw how you looked at us, when I feed her. I thought you were curious.”

 

She did not beat around the bush. Ben realized that if he had been upfront about what he wanted from the beginning, then he wouldn’t have had to suffer through all these months.

 

“I am.  I wanted to be here, very much.” He said, leaning forward.

 

He saw her swallowing upon hearing his confession.  She shivered a little.

 

“Are you cold?” Ben said getting to his feet and was beside her in one long stride.

 

“A little.” she said.  Ben saw that her white shawl was draped on the back of the rocking chair. He took it in his hand and wrapped it around her bare shoulders. His hand momentarily brushed against her skin and he felt the familiar spark run through his body; and wondered if it is always going to be like this for him, every time they touched?

 

He covered the upper half of her body, and tucked the shawl around the baby. He could no longer see her naked flesh but he felt unusually content. The whole gesture seemed strangely domestic and intimate. He could see himself doing this everyday.  Watching her feed the baby, and once the baby fell asleep massaging her sore back, before taking her to bed and making love to her until she was tired enough for sleep.

 

Ben shook himself out of the fantasy, but he couldn’t lie; he had thought about that obsessively for the past few months since he returned back home.

 

By the time Rey was done, Padme fell back asleep. She pulled the sleeping mouth off her nipple and cradled her up against her shoulder to make her barp.

 

“Do you want me to put her in the crib?” Ben asked.

 

She nodded and handed the baby to him. He carefully carried the precious bundle back to her crib and placed her there, before turning to look at Rey.

 

She was tying up the draw strings into a cute little bow. The front of her gown was already staining wet.

 

Rey found him staring, “She didn’t feed much.” she explained with a weak smile, before drawing the shawl tighter around herself. She walked up to the crib and pulled the quilt over the baby, tucking it around her snugly to keep the night chill away.

 

Soon after they bid each other goodnight and went off to their respective bedrooms.

 


 

Chapter Text


 

It soon became a new pattern. They would go about their business all day. Ben would have evening refreshments with the ladies, then after dinner they would join him in the library. When he’d retire for the night, he would lie awake in bed waiting for the clock to hit two am. Then he would get up, fix his mussed hair, pull on his robe, and go to the nursery. Some days she would already be there, sitting on the rocking chair cradling the baby, and some days he would be the first one there.

 

They would sit there for a while, chatting and recounting their day, or talk about the baby. When she wakes up Padme would feed.  Some nights she would stay awake afterwards and they would wait up until she falls asleep.

 

Rey would sing her that lullaby on those nights, and Ben would be content with silently listening. She had the voice of an angel; he could listen to it all day.

 

One night Ben didn’t realize with his shut eyes, when she had finished singing.  He opened them and felt a tear drop on his cheek, he looked up and and saw her looking at him with a warm smile.

 

“Is something wrong, my lord?” She asked.

“No, it’s just you have a beautiful voice.”

 

She ducked her head, blushing, “You are too kind.”

 

“Can I hold her?” Ben asked all of a sudden. He was missing his brother, and her singing reminded him of his boyhood.

 

“Yes, of course.” She said, raising up. She walked up to him and carefully placed Padme in his strong arms. The she went on and kneeled by the arm chair, meticulously tucking the quilt around the baby.

 

Holding Padme in his arms always brought him peace, but this was different. He couldn’t take his eyes of Rey who was kneeling before him. She looked up and met his eyes, when she was done fussing over the baby.

 

“She has grown so much, you can feel it, she has gained weight?” Rey enthuse, resting one of her hands on his knee, looking lovingly down at the baby. Ben realized not for the first time that Padme was her whole world.

 

He shifted the baby in one arm, and reached out and grasped her hand on his knees. Squeezing it gently.

 

“It’s all because of you. You must know that.” Ben implored.

 

“Thank you.” Rey said, caressing Padme’s cheeks with the back of her hand, while she slept on.

 


 

A week later, Ben returned from outside a little late. He was out all day, attending some business in the next county. By the time he reached home it was dinner time. He joined his mother, and was surprised to find Rey wasn't there.

 

Ben cleared his throat. It was a nervous habit born from years of being quiet and speaking only when spoken to. It had instilled a kind of anxiousness that made speaking out loud harded in any social setting.

 

“Where is Ms. Rey?” Ben asked, looking down at his food.

 

“She wasn’t feeling well. So I asked her to take rest.” Leia informed him.

 

“Is something wrong? Does she need to see the doctor?” Ben tried to stay calm but couldn’t keep the worry out of his voice.

 

“I’m sure she is just tired. It’s common in young mothers. And in every respect she is a young mother.”

 

Ben nodded. She looked tired all the time, but she pushed on, she really must not be feeling well to be relegated to bed.

 

“You don’t have to worry yourself Ben, she will be fine.  She just needs rest.” Leia told him as she patted his arm.

 

But Ben couldn’t help but worry. After dinner he retreated to his chambers, but he was too jittery to sleep. He paced the length of the room, he didn’t know how long for. He needed to see her, to know if she was well. But he couldn't just go to her room, that would be highly inappropriate.

He was restless and almost walked out of his room to seek her out several times, but managed to stop himself.

 

After a few restless hours spent pacing and worrying, he decided to go sit with Padme. So he pulled on his robe and marched to the nursery. It was empty and dimly lit. When he walked up to the crib, he found Padme awake. She was happy to see him, flailing her arms around to be picked up.

 

Ben smiled down at her, and picked her up in his arms. He held her to his chest, cooing at her and paced the small room, as she snuggled into his neck. Soon she fell asleep and Ben sat down on the armchair, still cradling her in his arms.

 

Ben didn’t realize when he fell asleep. He was dimly aware of the baby in his arms, soft and warm, snoring lightly. Then he felt a feather light touch brushing his hair from his face.

 

He slowly opened his eyes and found Rey crouching over them. Her hand still on his face. She dragged her fingers down the side of his face before straightening up.

 

She had a shawl draped over her usual night gown and she looked tired, more than usual.

 

“How are you feeling?” Ben asked straightening up in his seat. Readjusting Padme in his arms. Rey was looking down at the baby longingly.

 

“I’m feeling well. I just missed her. May I?” She asked holding her arms out.

 

Ben got up and placed the baby in her waiting arms. She pulled Padme to her chest and ducked down, nuzzling her head and inhaling deeply.

 

“Lady Leia wanted me to stay in bed, so I haven’t seen her all day.”

 

“Should you be up? You still look so tired.” Ben said, his eyes searching hers.

 

“I’m fine. I will just feed her and go back to bed.” She told him, but seeing his worried expression she added, “They don’t know about her schedule. She would be hungry in a bit.” She said sitting in the rocking chair with the baby in her arms.

 

As soon as she said that, Padme stirred awake. She looked up at Rey and gave her best gummy smile.

 

“I think she missed you too.” Ben said as he looked down at them with pure adoration.

 

Rey pressed a light kiss to the baby’s forehead and started unbuttoning her nightgown. It was different from what she usually wore. It had buttons down the front.

 

Rey pulled the baby to her breast and she latched on easily. Rey sighed and laid back against the chair. Leaning her head back.

 

“What is bothering you?” Ben asked leaning forward in his seat.

 

“It’s nothing, just my neck feels a little stiff.”

 

Ben was on his feet as soon as she spoke the words.

 

He stood behind her chair and moved her hair aside, ignoring the jolt and her shivers.

 

“May I?” he asked before proceeding.

 

She nodded. Ben didn't waste any time. He started kneading the tender flesh on the back of her neck. Rubbing down her spine and coming up and repeating the process.

 

Rey closed her eyes and her mouth fell open slightly.

 

“Is this okay?” Ben asked, now using both his hands to massage her shoulders. Working out the knots, of which she had many.

 

Ben kept doing it as she feed the baby, she made these little contented sighs that sometimes turned into moans, and Ben relished in them. Happy that he made her feel good in any capacity.

 

He massaged her until the baby was done feeding. Rey pulled her off and put her in the crib tucking her in.

 

Ben followed her and stood behind her, placing a hand on her back and asked, “Are you feeling a bit better?”

 

Rey leaned into his touch. “Yes, much better.”

 

He slowly started making soothing circle in her back with his thumb. When she sighed contently he took it as an invitation, and placed his hands on her shoulders and slowly started massaging down her back.

 

Rey placed both her hands on the rails of the crib leaning onto it, as Ben worked the knots in her back. Her shawl fell to the ground and a soft moan escaped her mouth.

 

Ben swallowed the lump forming in his throat. Her throaty moans made his stomach tightened and it sent blood rushing to his groin. He closed his eyes, taking a few calming breathes. He thanked the lord for having the good sense of wearing his robe. He did not want to frighten her, she had only just started to open up to him.

 

Ben trailed his hand to her waist and massaged her lower back. He felt her stiffen then relaxed.

 

Ben moved forward bringing his mouth closer to her ear and asked “Is this where it hurts?”

 

Rey nodded. He focused his attention on that spot. Her muscles were unusually stiff, Ben put a little more pressure to loosen them up. He could feel the two dimples on her hip, pressing his thumb on them. He longed to feel her soft skin without the fabric covering it. Her soft flesh felt heavenly under his palms, and he tamped down the urge to pull up her gown and run his hands all over her body.

 

Rey kept making these soft noises that kept him going. It would have been better if she was lying down, but he didn’t make that suggestion. He would help take care of her anyway she would let him; and he was not going to push for more, lest she felt obliged to do it out of duty, not because she wanted to.

 

After a while Rey reached back with her hand and placed it on his wrist, halting his movement.

 

“That’s quite enough, my lord.” She turned around on the spot to face him. Ben didn’t bother moving his hands as she turned in his arms. His hands now resting on her waist.

 

She peered up at him, her tired hazel eyes meeting his dark ones. She didn’t pull back from him either.

 

“Why do you think you are having this pain?” Ben asked.

 

“I don’t know, I just feel a little weighed down. It might be tiredness.” Rey tried to dismiss it.

 

“Are you certain? You are not feeling pain--” his eyes flitting to her chest before pulled them up to meet her eyes once more. “like you mentioned before?”

 

Rey’s cheeks pinked a little. She look down, her eyes fixed on his collar. She remained quiet.

 

“So I take it the pain is still there?” Ben asked.

 

She nodded. Ben took a deep breath then put his hand under her chin, tilting her face up.

 

“What can be done for the pain?” Ben beseeched.

 

“I don't know.  Maybe I just need to get used to the baby’s new schedule.  My body would have to adjust but till then I have to endure it.” She finished with a tiny shrug.

 

“Well, can't you ask someone? My mother maybe?” Ben asked, his hand dropping to her shoulder.

 

If it was even possible her blush darkened. She averted her gaze once more. Ben waited. Then she finally nodded.

 

“Excellent. Please let me know if you need something, I can go down to the apothecary and fetch you herbs or medicines.” Ben declared.

 

He reluctantly pulled away from her and immediately regretted the decision. She was letting him touch her, he should have waited until she pulled away.

 

Already missing her warmth he settled for observing her. She tucked the covers more snugly around the baby before pulling the curtains shut.  She bent down to pick up her shawl, that had fallen on the floor. His eyes briefly fell on her cleavage, her soft globes were visible through the loose collar of the night dress. She stood up and wrapped the shawl around her shoulders and looked at him.

 

He realized he was staring, but he didn't feel guilty anymore. He wanted more. He wanted her, every bit of her.

 

He reached out and held the door open for her.

 

“After you.” he ushered her out, shutting the door behind him.

 

She whispered the softest good night and was off to her room far down the corridor. Ben looked at her retreating back and waited there by his door until she was inside her room with the door shut behind her; before stepping into his room.

 


 

 

 

Chapter Text

 


 

The next day when Ben Solo went down for breakfast, he again found his mother alone. He didn't bother asking about Rey this time. He had some work to attend to in town, so he went out to deal with his business.

 

When he returned later in the afternoon, a maid informed him his mother and Rey took the baby to the lakes. It was beautiful day outside after all.

 

Ben decided to settle in the library and got on with his reading. He didn't get much time for it now with all the responsibilities. A quiet afternoon with his books was what he needed.

 

He took his seat in the far corner on the table by the window. It was obscured by a row of bookshelf and provided him with much needed privacy. Growing up he spent much of his time in there. Hiding away from the world. Getting lost in the world of books.

 

Ben felt at ease in the library. He prefered spending time here than working in his study.  It used to be his mother's when she ran the estate, then Ani’s. His father never really assumed the role as head of the household; he was away at sea most of the time, and he died there as well. His mother was more than capable to run her family estate, she never needed help anyway. But according to society it wasn't a woman's job, and she never got recognized for it. His father, the admiral, was still called head of the house.

 

He never understood society's hypocrisy and bias against women. And he vowed to never bend to their rules.

 

By late afternoon Ben felt a little sleepy, and decided to rest his head a little, but ended up falling asleep on his books.

 

He jerked awake in a dimly lit library, evening light coming from the window. He fell asleep and no one bothered to light the candles on his desk for him. They probably thought he was in his study.

 

He was about to get up from his seat when he heard soft murmuring. Then noticed there was a soft glow behind him. The fireplace was lit and the ladies were sitting in their usual seats by it.

 

And they were talking about him. Ben’s curiosity won out as he quietly sat back down.

 

“He is working so hard. I worry for him.” Leia said with a sigh, placing her cup on the saucer.

 

He heard shuffling and Rey placing her book down.

 

“But why my lady?” She asked in a quiet voice.

 

“He wasn't prepared for this. To take on this responsibility. He had other ambitions. But asking him to let go of them was cruel, I shouldn't have.”

 

“But if he didn't who would have? It is his responsibility now, because of the circumstances.” Rey said with sincerity, “I think it's admirable.” She added.

 

“It is. I had overseen this responsibility before.  I know how utterly challenging it can be. I'm very proud of him, he is doing so well. But he needs to claim the title, he can’t delay it anymore. It’s that just makes me feel guilty, I don’t have the heart to ask him for more, because he never wanted this. My poor boy.” his mother's voice broke, he wanted to comfort her.

 

But Rey was there first, “My lady. You shouldn't think like this. If he is here maybe his priorities have indeed changed. And he wants to be here for his family.” Her kind words made his heart feel warm.

 

“Yes, his family . Now that would be another thing altogether. I hope he understands the responsibility to its entirety. Being the heir requires more than just overseeing the land and running the estate. He'd have other duties too. One’s that he might not be willing to take on.” Leia paused sounding thoughtful for a moment.

 

“Enough about that.  Tell me child what has been bothering you? I know you've been wanting to ask me something. No, don't deny it. I can tell.  Call it a mother's instinct.” Leia said leaving no room for contradiction.

 

“It's about,” Rey sounded lost for words, “It's about Padme’s new schedule, and how my.. how my body is reacting to it.” she said in a small voice.

“Hmm, she isn't feeding much is she?” Leia asked, “I had the same problem with Ani. But not so much with Ben.”

 

“Well she is feeding, but not as much. And my body seems to not be ready for her to wean so soon.” Rey said, even without looking at her face Ben knew she was blushing.

 

“Ah I see. Are you dealing with leakage and pain?” Leia asked.

 

“Both, actually.”

 

“You'd usually have leaking breasts when you just started feeding and are getting used to it. Seeing as that isn't the issue, I'd say it's because she is feeding less.”

 

“I actually had no problem in the beginning. But then it's started at night, and now during the day, at the most inconvenient times and places.” Rey sounded embarrassed.

 

Ben remembered the carriage incident.

 

“Oh dear.  Well I'd suggest you hand massage them a few times a day. Probably just after feeding, to get the excess amount out. It also helps with the pain. If you feel lumps just massage them out.” Leia paused, she heard rustling, “It is very normal. And it will get better.”

 

The door of the library opened and someone informed Leia that she is needed in downstairs.

 

“Meet me downstairs for dinner.” Leia told Rey before getting up, “And Rey, hot compresses help too. Ask the maid to heat some water for you before bed.”

 

And with that his mother was gone.  The door shut behind her.

 

Ben contemplated his mother's words as Rey walked over to the shelves behind his desk with a few books in hand, probably in the process of putting them back.  She was startled when she saw him, dropping the books. Ben was on his feet in a moment picking them up for her.

 

She was still panting from her fright when he straightened up. Her hand on her chest as she narrowed her eyes. “Have you been here the whole time?”

 

“I passed out, woke up a little while ago.” Ben said, rubbing the back of his neck.

 

He could almost hear the question in her tongue.

 

“Have you--” she started.

 

“Yes, I heard what my mother just said. It's a good thing you talked to her about it. Now we know it's perfectly normal.” he tried to keep his voice steady. The way he said we sounded very intimate even to him.

 

“I apologize for listening in. But by the time I woke, you were asking the question to my mother.  I know it took a lot of courage to do that and I didn't want to interrupt you.” Ben tried to make her understand.

 

“You don't need to apologize-” they were interrupted by the door of the library opening. The old butler strode in.

 

“Excuse me Master Solo.  Dinner is served, and your mother is waiting for you.” he turned to Rey, “You too miss.”

 


 

At dinner Ben heard his mother asking the butler to arrange warm water for Rey. Ben pretended that he didn't hear it. But he saw Rey shift uncomfortably in her seat.  And after dinner they all went to their respective rooms, and settled down for the night.

 

Ben couldn't sleep.  As usual he counted down the hours until he could see her.

 

He was out of his room around 1.30 in the morning. For the first time he contemplated to go knocking at her door. But he refrained from doing something as rash as that.

 

He took his book and went to the nursery to read by Padme’s crib. The baby was soundly asleep with no care of the world.

 

At around 10 past 2 Rey stepped into the room.  She shut the door behind her before locking it. Ben swallowed hard and followed her movement.

 

She didn't meet his eyes, not even once.  She just went straight for the baby. She stood inches away from him as she collected Padme into her arms.

 

Once she was settled down on the rocking chair, she peered up at him. Ben could see she was a little anxious and wondered if he should leave and give her her privacy.

 

Instead he opted for asking her the question he was burning to know.

 

“Did the hot compress work?”

 

“A little.” Rey answered as she looked down and started unbuttoning her creamy white shift.

 

Ben stared at her as she moved the fabric to reveal her gorgeous breasts. They looked a little flushed and her nipples look slightly engorged.

 

She let out a sigh of relief once the baby latched onto her right nipple and started suckling noisily.

 

The skin on her chest above her breasts looked red and irritated. Ben gathered it was probably from the heat of the compress.

 

He traced the light dusting of freckles up her left breast, and was surprised to find a little white bead of milk gathered at the tip.

 

Ben’s throat felt dry all of a sudden, and he had the strong urge to kneel in front of her and lick the drop off the pink tip.

 

He dug his nails into the armrest to stop himself from moving, and settled for observing her.  But every now and then his eyes would drift to the weeping tip, and the droplet that gathered on it. He wondered what it would feel like to close his own mouth around it, and what it must taste like.

 

When she was done she put Padme back in her crib, and turned around to face him. It was rather quick, so Ben guessed the baby didn't feed much.

 

“You look anxious, what happened?” he asked standing up.

 

She looked down, hands still braced on the rails behind her.

 

“The compress didn't help much. And she didn't feed well either.” She informed him, looking up now that he was standing right in front of her.

 

Ben reach up and caressed her cheek, “So do you require assistance?” he asked softly.

 

“Please.” she said, peering up at him, her hands came up and started unbuttoning her nightgown.

 

Ben reached up with trembling hands, and moved her collar to reveal her breasts once again. Rey placed her hands over his and dragged them up, putting them against her swollen tits.

 

Ben took a sharp intake of breath as he felt her soft flesh under his large hands. They were even softer than the rest of her body.

 

He weighed the soft mounds in his hands, they fit right in his palms. He traced her areola with his thumbs; feeling the raised skin, and her plump nipples were erect at his touch.

 

Ben couldn't believe his luck.  That she would let him touch her in this way. He started to massage them slightly. They felt so warm and full. And tiny beads started forming on the tips of her nipples.

 

He slowly got into a rhythm and heard her sighing. He looked up and saw her eyes were half closed and mouth slightly open.

 

“Is this okay?” he asked searching her face for a reaction.

 

Her almond shaped eyes narrowed to slits as she looked at him.

 

“Mmm.”

 

Ben swallowed. Her nipples started to leak, and the milk was dribbling down over his fingers. He was transfixed by the action. And licked his lips involuntarily.

 

Rey looked down at his hands and a soft moan escaped her mouth. She placed her hands on his wrists and halted his movement.

 

Then all of a sudden she turned around, her hands still on his arms that were encircling her.

 

She brought his hands up again and leaned back against him. Ben could feel her heart beating as she pressed her back against his chest.

 

He didn't wait any longer and started squeezing her breasts once again.

 

She was moaning a little louder now, eyes closed and head resting back on his shoulder.

 

Her milk was spraying out now, wetting his hands and dribbling down his forearms. He peered down over her shoulder, and found the front of her nightgown was drenched, and he could see her bellybutton though the filmy fabric.

 

He gulped, as he felts his cock twitch. He ducked his head and press his lips to the crook of her neck. And kept helping relieve her of the excess milk.

 

Rey’s hand came up and she sank her fingers into his hair, as she pushed his face down. Encouraged by her action he slowly started nuzzling her neck and shoulder. Pressing soft kisses every so often.

 

After a while the flow started to slow down. And her breasts felt lighter in his hands. The nipples didn't look as puffy as before. There was just a slow stream trickling out.

 

Her breathing was not as ragged as before either. She looked flushed, but relaxed. Her hand was on the nape of his neck, making slow circles with her thumb.

 

Ben slowly stopped squeezing, and started massaging again, until the flow stopped entirely. He wiped the liquid off her tips, bringing his thumbs to his lips and licking them clean.

 

Rey looked up at him from where she was resting her head on his shoulder. He saw her swallowing and followed the movement of her throat.  He leaned down and pressed a kiss to her slender neck, and another to her cheek, before he started buttoning up her gown.

 

Then he wrapped his arms around her waist. Holding her against him for little while longer. He could feel their hearts were beating in sync.  Ben had never felt as content in all his life as he did in that moment with Rey in his arms.


 

 

Chapter Text


A few days later Ben was sitting in the parlor reading the day's newspaper. The ladies were with him but they were busy entertaining Padme. While Leia had her sitting on her lap, Rey sat in front of them. She would cover her face and Leia would ask Padme where did she go? And when Rey would open her hands and reveal her face the the baby would start giggling.

 

Ben would steal glances every so often, it filled his heart with warmth when he saw them laughing and playing. They have again fallen into a routine, and their nightly activities now include Ben lending a hand, giving Rey some much needed relief.

 

He was lost in his thoughts when Charles - the butler, entered the room carrying a letter.

 

“Your grace, this came for Ms. Rey.” He announced.

 

Leia took the letter, reading the address before she passed it down to Rey, as Padme tried to grab it.

 

“You should open it, it looks urgent.” Leia urged her while taking a sip of her tea.

 

Rey tore the letter open and Ben followed the movement of her dainty hands.

 

She skimmed over the letter before passing it back to his mother.

 

She looked contemplative as she reached out and took the baby from Leia. Padme was delighted to be in Rey’s lap.  She snuggled against her neck and started playing with her loose curls.

 

Ben sighed, he wished he could do that too. He shook his head to snap out of that train of thought.

 

“What seemed to be the matter?” he asked his mother.

 

“It's a letter from the lawyer who is overseeing Old Ben's will. He asked Rey to visit the mansion and sort out some paperwork regarding her inheritance.” Leia turned to Rey, “I think you've inherited some personal property, as well as all the personal belongings of the Duchess.”

 

Rey nodded.

 

“You are welcome to bring them here Rey. You don't have to worry about that. If you don't want to sell them of course.”

 

“My grandmother wanted me to have them. I don't know how to thank you for your continued hospitality, your grace.” Rey said with sincerity.

 

“Nonsense! You are my responsibility Rey. Besides it's the least we can do after all that you've done for us.” Leia declared looking down at Padme. Then turning to Ben.

 

“Ben, I want you to accompany Rey and look after all the details of the proceedings. I don't trust these people, especially not that distant cousin.” Leia finished with clear distaste in her voice.

 

“There is no need for his grace to make an unnecessary trip. If you can arrange a carriage I can manage it myself.” Rey interjected.

 

“You will do no such thing. I will be accompanying you, and we'll take my carriage” Ben said with a finality in his voice that left no room for argument. There was a hint of annoyance too.  Ben couldn't believe she would suggest that he'd let her leave all by herself to travel cross country. He didn't even bother with the politeness or the usual detached demeanor he assumes when they were in company of others.

 

“That settles it then.” Leia said clapping her hands together.

 

“But what about Padme?” Rey asked and Ben noticed her hand reflexively tightening around the baby.

 

“I raised two boys without a nanny. I think I can manage a few days.  Beside Jen took care of children before. I'm sure her help would be more than sufficient.” Leia tried to reassure her.

 

“But what about feeding?” Rey asked in a weak voice.

 

“We have a stand in wet nurse.  She can fill in for the days you’re gone.” Leia said with a kind smile as she placed a hand on Rey’s.

 

“Now, I'd suggest you go and make preparations for your trip.” Leia looked at him, “Both of you.”

 

Ben just nodded and left the room to go inquire about the carriage.

 


 

The next day they set out for the mansion quite early in the morning. It would take them a whole day to travel there.

 

Ben was up and ready in his customary black outfit. Black tailored coat, black breeches with black undershirt. His necktie made of black silk. He thought about how Anakin used to tease him about his attire.

 

He was waiting by the stairs in the foyer for Rey. The coach was ready, the steeds were well fed and ready for the long journey ahead.

 

He checked his pocket watch, it was 10 past 7. He looked up and saw the maid coming down.

 

“Where is Ms. Rey?” Ben asked.

 

“In the nursery with the baby, milord.” The maid answered.

 

Ben sighed and decided to go check on her.

 

The door of the nursery was open, he stood there leaning against the threshold. Rey was holding the baby.  Padme’s tiny head was resting against her shoulder, her hand in her mouth and drool dripping down her fingers. But she looked happy. Rey on the other hand, was whispering quietly to the baby, as she snuggled her.

 

When Ben listened closely, he heard what she was whispering.

 

“Don't worry, I will be back. I will not leave you, I will return for you, I promise baby. Don't miss me too much. And don't bother grandma too much. Be a good girl. I love you, my Paddy.”

 

Ben’s heart constricted when he heard her little conversation with his niece.

 

But they were getting late. So he cleared his throat to let her know of his presence.

 

Rey turned around, startled. Her face was tear stained and her nose red. He felt bad for asking her to leave the baby.

 

“We are getting late, Rey.”

 

She nodded. Kissing the baby's head, then cheeks and her little nose. Padme giggled at the attention. Rey put her in the crib.

 

“Bye bye baby, be good.” She said, then hastily turned around and exited the nursery. Ben shut the door and followed her.

 



When they got into the carriage she looked out of the window at the manor, until the manor was too far behind to see. She remained quiet as she stared out the window.

 

Ben didn't have any word to soothe her anxiety. So he decided to remain silent.

 

A few hours into the journey Ben couldn't take the silence anymore.  He moved to the seat beside her and pulled her to his chest. She came willingly.

 

And she spent the rest of journey in his arms.

 


 

It was almost sundown when they reached the town near the Kenobi mansion. Ben planned to stay there and find accommodation for the night.  Then set out for their destination early morning.

 

He asked the coachman to take them to an inn. Rey had fallen asleep against his chest hours ago, as he held her around her waist.

 

When they were nearing their destination for the night, he caressed her cheek and whispered against her ear, “We are here, Rey.”

 

She slowly opened her eyes, adjusting to the darkness. She looked at him, confused for a moment before pulling away.

 

She looked from side to side, tucking her loose curls behind her ears, hands smoothing down the creases on her dress.

 

Rey wrapped her black woolen shawl over her shoulders. And Ben noticed she was wearing all black as well.

 

“Where are we?” She asked turning her face towards him.

 

“We are in the town near your former home. The coachman is taking us to an inn. We will stay there the night.” Ben informed.

 

When they finally reached the inn Ben was relieve to find out it was a rather charming place. It had a good view of a pond that was beside the building.  It was a lovely three story manor with a beautiful courtyard that Ben was sure would look magnificent during the day.

 

He looked at Rey and wondered if she would enjoy their stay here. Would she like to go down to the pond and spend some time outdoors with him. He decided he would in fact suggest it once their work tomorrow was done.

 

Ben helped Rey down and ushered her to go inside. They were greeted by the innkeeper and the owner of the establishment. Ben urged her to take a seat in the parlor while he dealt with the arrangements.

 


 

Rey saw him leave with the innkeeper.  She stared at his retreating back until he stepped into the other room. She sighed and took a seat in an armchair by the window. It was a beautiful place that would look even more stunning during the day. Rey had heard about this place. She saw it and passed by it a thousand time, when she lived in their mansion.

 

It was a retreat for the wealthy clientele passing through the town. She never had the need to be a patron of the establishment because she had her own home less than a mile away. But now things have changed for her. It wasn't her home anymore. She didn't have a home.

 

Then she remembered the man in the next room. He felt like home. When she was with him she felt like she belonged.

 

Rey turned away from the door and started observing the room. There were a few other guests in the room. Everyone was lost in their own worlds. Some were talking with their traveling companion; some were reading the newspaper. A little girl was playing with her dolly, sitting by her parents.

 

Rey was instantly reminded of Paddy. She wondered if she would be like this when she grew up. Would she like to play with dolls, or spend time outside climbing the tree like she had, or would she be in the library reading books like her uncle. She felt guilty for leaving her behind, but forced herself from delving into that thought. It hurt too much and she might end up weeping; yet again.

 

She looked down at her hands, trying think of something else to distract herself when she heard someone address her.

 

A gentleman in his mid thirties walked up to her and sat down on the seat adjacent to hers. It took a moment for Rey to place his face. He was a son of a Baron, Lord Turrell.  He tried to court her during a ball season. Rey remember the man with wariness, he was arrogant and spiteful.

 

“Lady Rey! What a pleasant coincidence that I am to run into you here.” he took her hand and brushed his lips against her knuckles.

 

“Lord Turrell. It's very nice to meet you again.” Rey said formally. She wanted to get up and leave, find Ben and go to her room and rest. Anything but sit here and talk to this man.

 

“What brings you here, my Lady?”, he said still holding her hand, Rey felt like pulling it away but didn't want to make a scene.

 

“I am here to attend to some legal proceedings at the mansion.” Rey answered tersely.

 

“Ah, the passing of his grace Ben Kenobi, what a shame.  He was a good man, my condolences with you.” he paused, “I want you to know that if you need anything, just let me know.  My door is always open for helpless young widows, like yourself.”

 

Rey saw red, hearing his implications, “I beg your pardon?” she pulled her hand away and stood up, when he grabbed her arm.

 

“Don't make a scene, Rey, we are in civil company.” he paused looking around, like he was making a point. “Besides, you know I've always liked you.  But you rejected me and married some commoner. What a shame; you wouldn't have been out of means now if you had. But it doesn't matter, I can still take care of you, if you are willing.  I can arrange a handsome flat for you in London.  You can attend parties and enjoy society life. All of it can be yours.” He finished in a low, and what might have been a seductive, voice.

 

Rey was about slap him when she heard Ben’s voice. She never heard him sound like this, so low and so dangerous.

 

“Unhand her.” Ben snarled as he grabbed hold of Lord Turell’s gangly arm.


 

 

Chapter Text


 

 

Ben followed the gentleman to the office. He was impressed by the wooden interior of the inn and how tastefully it was decorated.

 

“Your carriage is in good hands Your Grace. It shall be ready before your journey tomorrow.” The owner informed him.

 

He was a portly man in his late fifties, very amicable. Ben nodded.

 

“We need two rooms if you please.  And we'd be staying two nights in your establishment.”

 

“Are Your Graces traveling with children, or do you have more parties joining you and your wife?” the man asked good naturedly.

 

His wife? But before Ben could clear the confusion, the man went on, “I do have two excellent rooms for you to choose from. Would Your Grace like a room with the view of the pond or a view of the garden?”

 

Ben didn't know what to say, so he answered with, “Whatever she prefers.” He will just take the other room.

 

“Marvelous.” the man told him in a conspiratorial voice, “It's always better to let the Lady decide. Shall we?” he enthused.

 

“Lead the way.” Ben told him.

 

“I dare say you two make rather a handsome young couple in your all black attire.  I do have to admit at first I found it rather odd. But then I saw your carriage and may I say, if it’s not too rude, that Your Grace has a certain fondness for the color?”

 

But Ben wasn't listening to him anymore. His eyes fell on Rey sitting by the window, and a man is holding her hand and she looked uncomfortable. When he approached them, he heard what the man was suggesting.

 

Ben rushed to her side as she got to her feet and the man dared to grab her arm. Rey looked like a goddess with her righteous anger, and was ready to slap the man but Ben got there first.

 

He grasped the sleazy man’s arm in an unforgiving grip. Ben was incensed. He hadn't felt this much rage since he returned from the war. He was ready to rip the man’s arm out of its socket if it would please her.

 

“Unhand her.” Ben snarled in a low and dangerous voice.

 

The owner had followed him to the scene, to break off any unpleasant situation that arose, when he asked the other man, “Lord Turrell, do you know Her Grace, Duchess Solo well? I must say this is highly inappropriate behavior. I'm afraid I am going to have to ask you to leave.”

 

The man let go off Rey's arm, but Ben didn't let go of his. He felt like breaking it with his bare hands.

 

The man looked incredulous and asked in disbelief, “Duchess?”

 

“Yes, this is His Grace, the Duke of Alderaan. And his wife. Now, I would ask you to apologize and leave my establishment.”

 

The man looked at Rey and then back at Ben. He mumbled an apology, and winced, as Ben's fist tightened around the man's gangly arm.

 

“Your Grace please.” The owner pleaded, but he was too mad to listen.

 

Then he felt Rey's hand on his arm, staying his hand before he broke the man's arm.

 

“Ben?” she said his name for the first time. And it sounded heavenly on her lips.

 

Ben let go of Lord Turrell but not before he pushed him back with a little more force than necessary. The Baron stumbled back, massaging his bruised arm. He bowed down lower than necessary, profusely apologizing to him and then turned to Rey.

 

“My Grace Rey-” Turrell started.

 

Ben all but grabbed his throat, “Who gave you permission to address her?” he thundered.

 

“Ben!” Rey placed a hand over his heart, and pulled his hand away with the other. Then she turned to the man who was coughing and catching his breath, “You should leave.” Rey said coolly.

 

Turrell bowed again, gritted another apology before hastily exiting the room.

 

Ben turned to the owner, “We'll take the view of the pond.” He said, his hand clutching Rey's over his heart.

 

The owner looked distressed, then his eyes fell on their joined hands on Ben’s chest and his expression softened.

 

“Of course Your Grace, if you would like to follow me.”

 

Ben pulled their hands down but didn't let go. Their fingers interlaced as he followed the man, with Rey at his toe.

 


 

As soon as the door closed behind them Ben turned to Rey. And held her face between his hands, “Are you okay? Did he hurt you?”

 

She just looked up at him with her big hazel eyes brimming with tears. Ben felt like burning the whole place down; going after the man and ripping his head off for causing her pain and saying such disgusting things to her. Just thinking about it was making him sick.

 

Rey closed her eyes and a teardrop rolled down her cheek. Ben duck down to kiss the droplet away, tasting the salt. And when he pulled back she was peering up at him, a tender expression gracing her beautiful face.

 

A faint blush to her cheek, eyes soft and lips quivering. Her hands clutched the lapel of his coat, like she didn't want him to move away. His eyes travelled down to her lips and back to her eyes a few times.

 

Ben thought about his next action. He had thought about it constantly for the past five months. But never did he imagine he'd actually be able to do it. So in that moment he stopped thinking about it. And just did what came naturally.

 

She was still looking up at him as she bit her lower lip, a vain attempt to stop it from trembling.

 

Ben ducked his head slightly, she felt so small against him, he had to bend down a little to bring his lips close to hers.

 

Ben stopped, just a breath away from meeting her lips, his eyes traveled back to her hazel ones. She slowly closed them and reached up. Their lips met and Ben felt the spark flaring once again. He thought he had got used to it, but this was different.  This was a whole new territory.

 

Ben felt his breath catch in his throat as her lips moved against his.  A soft brush at first but she didn't pull away.  Then he felt her reaching up more and knew she was on her tiptoes now.

 

As her hands moved up and she clasped them behind his neck his moved down, caressing her neck past her shoulder and arms before resting on her waist. He wrapped his arms around her and pulled her closer, lifting her off her feet as he deepened the kiss.

 

Her fingers sunk in his hair and Ben moaned at the feeling of them carding through his strands.

 

Ben felt Rey humming against his lips, her fingers tightening in his hair. He opened his mouth and ran his tongue along the seam of her lips.  He wasn't ashamed, he wanted more.

 

But Rey surprised him by opening her mouth and capturing his tongue. She sucked onto it, before setting out to explore his mouth.

 

They continued for a while.  Exploring each other's mouths, and Ben wanted it to go on forever. But soon they both pulled away for breath. Rey was panting against his lips, her eyes still shut. Ben placed a soft kiss against the corner of her mouth, then her cheek, her jaw and her chin.

 

He bent down and easily picked her up into his arms. Rey gasped, her eyes opening as she went on to wrap both her arms around his neck. Ben walked them to the bedroom, the whole time looking at her downcast eyes, and her long eyelashes fanning her tearstained cheeks.

 

Ben walked over to the bed and gently placed her on top of the bedding. He got down on his knees in front of her, lifting her skirt a little as he started unlacing her shoes, one after the other. When he was done, he held them both in his palms and looked up at her.

 

She was avoiding his eyes, instead looking down at her hands in her lap, warring at her lips. They looked red, surely the result of their activities. Ben put her feet on his thigh, and reached up to cup her chin.

 

“Rey?” when he called her she finally met his eyes. Ben smiled up at her, his thumb slightly brushing her lower lip.

 

Her eyes looked incredibly sad and Ben’s couldn't stand it. He needed to make it better. Something was bothering her, and the incident downstairs just escalated that.

 

“Tell me what's bothering you?” he took a calming breath before adding, “Is it what that bastard said?”

 

She turned her head to the side averting his eyes.

 

“Please, don't turn away.” he said, getting up and sitting beside her. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her into his chest.

 

“He was way out of line, I shouldn't have left you alone.” Ben said with remorse.

 

Rey pulled away, staring at his eyes, she said, “Your family has done enough. You kept me shielded from all this, please don't fault yourself.” Ben tried to protest by Rey shushed him with her hand on his lips. "I knew the world would be difficult for someone like me, but I don't think I fully understood it until tonight.” she pulled her hand down, interlacing them together in her lap.

 

“I'm fortunate I had Leia as my godmother, and that my family ensured I wouldn’t have to depend on anyone for my finances. But there are women who have neither, and they have had to resort to accepting offers like that. Some probably do it for protection. Society is so very cruel towards women. I wouldn't have realized it if I wasn't in this situation.” She finished with a sigh.

 

Ben reached out and took her hands in his, trying to comfort her. She was right. And Ben had never understood these rules either. She was capable, strong and intelligent but she couldn't inherit, she couldn't carry on her family legacy without the help of a man. And then she'd have to face more injustice once she became a widow. He couldn't imagine Rey being subjected to such cruelty.

 

He pulled her to his chest once more. “I'm sorry.”

 


 

Ben changed into his sleeping clothes in the living area, so Rey could have privacy while she changes.

 

He looked at the armchair and the couch.  As the result of his hasty decision downstairs these are now his only options. He could just take the floor, he'd slept on worse surfaces during his time at war, the floor was a luxury compared to that.

 

He decided to let her go to sleep first, because she would surely protest. As he was contemplating his options, Rey walked back into the room.  She was now dressed in one of her nightgowns. Her soft brown hair fell loose around her shoulders.

 

She looked at him and smiled softly, making his heart skip a beat. He wondered if she needed something.

 

“Are you hungry? Do you want me to go downstairs and tell them to get you something to eat?” Ben asked.

 

“No, I'm not hungry but thank you.” Rey said, she leaned against the doorway to the bedroom.

 

Ben got up and walked over to her. He stood in front of her and his hand reached up on its own accord to tuck a wayward curl that fell on her face behind her ear.

 

He wondered if she needed help with something else. Their nightly activities were quite regular for them now.

 

Ben cleared his throat, “Do you need help to...express?” he asked looking down at her.

 

Rey blushed, ducking her head and she shook her head slightly. “No. I'm fine for tonight, thank you for asking.”

 

Ben hummed, caressing her cheek with the back of his hand. “You look tired. I think you should retire for the night.”

 

Rey nodded, then furrowed her brow, “What about you?”

 

“I will, in a while, I'm not too tired yet.” Ben lied he was exhausted. He had a feeling Rey could see right through his lie, but she acquiesced nevertheless. Ben leaned down and pressed a soft kiss to her forehead. She had a contented smile on her face before she turned around and went back into the room.

 

Ben assumed the armchair by the fireplace once again. He was there for a while, thinking about everything that happened that day, and what would happen tomorrow. Everything that was happening with Rey gave him perspective. He didn't want anything to do with his legacy, but because he was a man he got to claim it all.  The title, the lands and the properties. And Rey, because she was a woman had no claim to her family legacy, even though she was deserving, and now she had to face more injustice, in the form of lecherous men with dubious intentions.

 

Ben wants to shield her from all the prejudices and injustice. And he will ,as long as she let's him.

 

He rose and walked to the other room. She was sleeping on the right side of the bed. He took a pillow and a blanket from the pile and walked back to the living room. Placing the pillow and the blanket in front of the fireplace he lied down.

 

After a few restless moments Ben heard movements.  When he opened his eyes they met Rey's hazel ones. She was sitting beside him on the blanket, looking down a him, soft curls curtained her face.

 

“Why didn't you come to bed?” she asked her eyes narrowing.

 

Ben was lost for words, he stammered for an excuse, then settled for the truth, “I thought you'd want your privacy.”

 

“I think we're a little beyond that now, don't you?” she got up and held her hand out for him.

 

“Come to bed.”

 

Ben was taken aback for a moment. But she was right, and he didn't have any argument to counter her. So he complied.

 

They walked back to the bed.  She climbed in first and Ben followed. They were lying on their backs looking up at the ceiling for a while when she turned onto her side, her back facing him. He saw her shiver, as he traced the raised skin of her exposed back.

 

Ben shifted closer, rising up onto his elbow, peering down at her, “Are you cold?”

 

He saw her nod, still looking straight ahead.

 

Ben pulled the covers up their bodies and slowly settled behind her. His arms encircling her waist, he pulled her flush against his chest.

 

Ben pressed a kiss on the crown of her head and heard her sigh.

 

He leaned in and said against her ear, “Better?”

 

Rey hummed, her eyes fluttering close, as she melted into his embrace.

 

Ben stayed liked that for a moment just looking at her beautiful face. He pressed a kiss on her cheek and the corner of her mouth, before settling back onto his pillow.

 


 

 

Chapter Text


Ben woke up with a soft body pressed against his chest. It was a strange feeling to share the warmth of another person with him in bed. He nuzzled his face into her hair, the smell of lavender, lemon and something distinctly her.

 

Their bodies fit like puzzle pieces. Her head resting on his folded arm, tucked right under his chin. His other arm was wrapped around her waist, her hand was holding his to her chest, and it was resting between her breast.

 

He felt the soft orbs pressed against his fingers. The lacing of her nightgown was undone. And he realized he was holding one of her breasts in his palms. He sighed, feeling the slight weight in his hand, the softness and the warmth. He didn't realize when he started kneading the flesh, but then he felt her move in his arms and let out a soft moan.

 

Ben’s eyes snapped open, he raised his head and looked down at her. The sunlight that was streaming in through the curtains was doing strange magic to her skin. Ben bit his lips as he traced her features with his eyes. Her hair, fanning against the pillow, sunlight lighting it up in shades of auburn hidden among her chestnut strands.

 

Her long eyelashes resting against the apple of her cheeks, lips in a pout. He could feel puffs of warm breath on his arm. She looked so peaceful.

 

He looked at their joined hands resting between her bosom. Her hand so small against his, she could only wrap her fingers around his pinky and ring fingers. But her grip was strong Ben mused, leaning in and brushing his lips against her shoulder, down her upper arm and back. Then he noticed it. The deep purple and blue bruises on her other arm that was placed on the mattress.

 

Ben sucked in a sharp breath, his nostrils flaring. She got bruised when that bastard grabbed her arm. He closed his eyes and tried to calm himself down. He didn't want to wake her, she looks so peaceful in her sleep.

 

He reached out and gently took her bruised arm in his hand. Bringing it to his lips he laid soft kisses on it, carefully avoiding the affected areas. But his insides were boiling.

 

He tried to temper his anger down, bottling it up for later where he will find a way to express it. He was not a forgiving man, far from it. He could still feel the man's throat in his grasp, crushing the windpipe is the easiest way to kill a man. Well it was easy for him, if he'd just applied a little more pressure.

 

Rey stirred in her sleep, slowly opening her eyes and looking up at him. Ben schooled his expression, and drove down his murderous thoughts, he didn't want to scare her. Not when she looked like an angel who somehow landed in his arms, and let him hold her while she slept.

 

Still holding her arm he said, “Good morning.”

 

Rey smiled, turning to lie on her back, “Good morning.” She said, stifling a yawn, pulling her other hand to her mouth, leaving his still on her breast.

 

“Did you sleep well?” Ben asked, bringing the palm of her hand to his cheek, she was letting him, her eyes softening.

 

“I did.” she replied, then added almost as if to herself, “after a very long time.”

 

Ben felt his stomach do a flip flop, he hadn't slept this well in years. He felt like wrapping her in his arms again, burying his face in the crook of her neck and shoulder, and not getting out of bed all day.

 

But they have to get up. So he turned his face in her palm and placed an open mouthed kiss there. He trailed down, kissing the inside of her wrist, then her forearm. Rey hissed, but didn't pull away.  They both looked at the bruises, and Ben saw her eyes widening just a little before her expression was schooled into an indifferent one. Ben felt his anger surfacing once more, and before he could stop himself, the words slipped from his mouth in a low growl, “He'd pay for this.”

 

Rey looked worried for a second, then she smiled up at him, she reached with her hand and grabbed the back of his head and pulled him closer. She placed a feather light kiss on the corner of his mouth.

 

“We should get ready.” she whispered against his cheek.

 

Then she pushed up, sliding off the bed. She walked to the wash basin at the corner of the room and poured some water from the water jug.

 

Ben settled for watching her as she gathered some water in her palms and splashed it on her face. The sunlight made her wet skin glisten, water droplets trickling down her slender neck and wetting the front of her gown. She dipped a washcloth in the water and started wiping her arms, neck and shoulders. The gown slipped down a little, revealing her creamy skin, the freckles on her back darkening in the sunlight.

 

Ben silently observed her. In the back of his mind he knew he was probably intruding, but he couldn't care less. She was a sight to behold and he would drink it in, committing every details to memory and locking the memory up in his heart.

 


 

 

When they reached the mansion, Rey and Ben were escorted to a large sitting area. As the door opened, Ben noticed two men standing by a table looking at some papers.

 

There was a woman sitting on a divan, with an elaborate hairstyle and laden with jewels. She was sipping on a cup of tea. When they entered the room, she looked up at them. Eyes narrowing as she sized them up, her eyes sweeping over Rey dismissively. She turned to Ben and her eyes lit up with interest, which in turn made Ben feel very uncomfortable.

 

The men turned when the butler announced their presence.

 

“May I present Lady Rey Kenobi.” Rey did a shallow curtsy. The taller of the two men, with a pointy face and sharp features, sneered, he did not even try to hide his disdain. Ben suddenly felt the urge to wrap his arms around her or somehow shield her from these people.

 

“And, His Grace,the Duke of Alderaan.” At his introduction, everyone in the small group of three seemed a little more alerted. The woman shifted on her seat, putting the cup down, she stood up. The tall man’s brow furrowed but he straightened up, and the other gentleman seemed to perk up, he bowed first. Walking up to him, extended his hand.

 

“Your Grace, I am the attorney in charge of the Kenobi will. Your godfather spoke highly of you. Thank you for joining us for the proceedings.” the man finished, as Ben shook his hand.

 

The attorney then turned to Rey, and bowed, “Thank you for joining us my Lady.”

 

“The pleasure’s all mine,” Rey said as the other man walked up to them.

 

“I'm sure it is.” the taller man added as he took Rey’s hand and brushed his lips against her knuckles.

 

“Cousin Maul.” Rey addressed him curtly with a nod.

 

“Darling Rey, very good to see you,” Maul then turned to Ben, “Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Your Grace, welcome to my home.” he add the home pointedly. Ben felt Rey shift beside him. She clearly had not come to terms with this man calling her ancestral home, his .

 

Ben nodded, his eyes still holding Maul’s “Shall we proceed?” he said tersely.

 

The attorney looked flustered, looking between the two men.

 

“Yes, of course.” he moved to the table and started sorting papers as they took their seats around the table.

 

The attorney read out the whole will, going over all the legal details of handing over all properties to the next male heir.

 

To protect her rights her family included her in the distribution of the patrimony. Rey had no claims on the physical property, such as land or the estate.  However, her family had left her a handsome income; one that would make sure she wouldn’t need to depend on someone else for finances.

 

She was also entitled to any personal property that was left to her by her family members. There was a list of items, the attorney read them out one by one. She received books from the library, her grandfather's grand piano, a personal carriage and many other items.

 

Ben would've felt wary of the proceedings and would have shown his annoyance, if he hadn't realize the process was irritating Rey’s cousin even more. He seemed to be unwilling to let go of anything he thought he was entitled to inherit. So Ben settled for taking pleasure in his disdain.

 

When it was time for her to sign the legal papers stating she had received the properties left to her, her cousin interrupted by clearing his throat.

 

“If I may say something before she signs?” Maul asked.

 

“Yes, of course Your Grace.” the attorney replied, much to Ben’s annoyance.

 

Rey put down the ornate quill and folded her hands, one over the other on the table in front of her. Ben shifted in his seat beside her.

 

“If I may suggest, cousin Rey could benefit from selling these items back to us. That way the beauty of the estate stays intact, things remain in their rightful place and she wouldn't have to worry about relocating them.” Maul suggested.

 

Ben felt Rey flinch in her seat beside him.

 

“That's an excellent suggesting.” said the attorney.

 

“I'm sure it would be hard to relocate these items; and the maintenance would be terrible burden for a woman who's all alone. She doesn't even have a house of her own yet. Where would she take them anyway?” he finished with feigned sympathy.

 

“Yes,” the woman, who Ben presumed was Maul’s wife said, “Same goes for the items left by the late Duchess Satine. I can't imagine what cousin Rey would do with them.  What with her being a widow; and even if she remarried they wouldn't be appropriate items and jewelries for her anyway. We would gladly take them off her hands. We're willing to pay a generous amount.” She ended with a sugary smile but her eyes were full of venom.

 

“If Lady Rey wants to--” the attorney started, but finally opened his mouth.

 

“She would do no such thing.” Ben interrupted the attorney.  He had had enough of these people insulting Rey and trying to decide on her behalf.

 

“Need I remind you that Lady Rey is under the protection and care of her Godmother, Her Grace Leia, the Duchess of Alderaan? She isn't out of source or out of means.” Ben spat out.

 

Then turning to the attorney, he continued, “I'm here to represent my mother, and she wanted me to tell you that if Rey decided to keep her inherited properties, Her Grace would be more than delighted to accommodate them.”

 

Ben turned back to the couple, “You don't have to burden yourself with the responsibility. If Lady Rey wants to keep them, she very well can, logistics won't be an issue.”

 

Pointedly looking at the woman Ben added, “Those jewels belonged to her grandmother.  If she wants to keep them locked up, by all means she can. You do not need to concern yourself. And I would not sit here while you blatantly insult her while disguising it as concern.”

 

“Thank you, Your Grace,” Rey interjected before he could carry on, “But I am sure my cousin here wasn't trying to insult me. Those items are invaluable to me; she just lacks understanding of sentimental value.” Rey finished with a disarming smile on her face.

 

The woman was visibly fuming when Rey finish. She picked up the quill once more and finished signing the papers in front of her.

 

Ben just stared at her with awe in his eyes and a smile tugging at the corner of him lips.

 


 

Chapter Text


 

After the legal proceedings were completed, Ben went ahead to oversee the logistics of moving Rey’s property to the manor. He got his coachman to find transportation for the objects to be moved.

 

He left Rey at the mansion. The staff were delighted to have their old mistress back, even if for only a day. She was well loved by everyone. And Rey was happy to be back around familiar faces, the smile on her face said that much.

 

Ben was reluctant to leave her there, even if for few hours, but the elderly housekeeper, Maz reassured him.

 

“I raised that girl Your Grace,” Maz told him when he was at the foyer, about to leave for the town to make arrangements, “I know the attitude of the new occupant of the mansion leaves much to be desired, but she will be fine among her former staffs.”

 

Ben left, slightly reassured. Her living relatives weren't the kind of people he would want close to anyone he loved.

 

After the bizarre encounter with the will, they excused themselves and assigned Maz and the attorney to help them with the arrangements. Ben was glad he didn't have to act civilly with them anymore. He just wanted this day to be over with, so he can take Rey as far away from these people as he can.

 

When he returned it was past noon. The staff were moving the furniture one by one. He asked them to direct him to Rey, and was told she was in the library sorting out the books.

 

He followed the directions and soon found himself in a grand library. There were shelves upon shelves of books, all bound beautifully. The warm, rich smell of paper and wood was inviting. Ben could imagine Rey growing up spending her time here, sitting by the fire, lost in the world of a well-worn volume.

 

He spotted her as she expertly climbed down the shelve ladder on the far end of the great room, all the while juggling a few volumes in one hand. Ben felt a sudden dread, what if she missed a step?  But then he realized she'd probably done this all her life, and he knew she wasn't some helpless maiden, she could handle herself.

 

Rey handed the books to the person who was helping her. There was a small cart, that was used to move books around and it was laden with volumes. Ben spotted some of his favorites among them.

 

“That would be all.” Rey told the person helping her, “Thank you for your help, Stefan.”

 

“It was my pleasure My Lady. It was nice to be able to move things around for a change. The library doesn't need much keeping as of late.” the man- Stefan- answered.

 

Rey looked sad, “I'm sorry Stefan.”

 

“That's fine, My Lady.” then he added in a more conspiring voice, “I've applied for a position in the town's library. It might not be as grand as this one, but at least I'd have readers to help.”

 

“Let me guess, the new owners are not big on reading either.” Ben snarked, making them both turn to look at him.

 

Stefan gave him a curt bow, looking a little hesitant. “Your Grace.”

 

“It's okay, you can speak freely.” Ben encouraged.

 

Stefan smiled, “No, they’re not big on reading, Your Grace.”

 

Rey laughed, “You can go ahead.” she told him as Stefan started rolling the cart towards the exit.

 

“All set here?” Ben asked, taking a step closer to her.

 

“Yes.” Rey answered, eyes scanning her surroundings longingly.

 

Ben reached out and caressed her cheek. He understood her sadness and wanted to reassure her. “Everything will be fine.”

 

Rey nodded. She understood too.

 

“What else is left?” Ben asked, pulling away.

 

“My old room.” Rey said looking down.

 

Ben wondered why she was acting shy all of a sudden. But he followed her as she went to her old room.

 

It was spacious, tastefully decorated, and looked lived in. Ben could see traces of Rey reflecting in the room. A large bed with beige drapes and gold embroidery. A vanity by the window, and small pots of indoor plants on the windowsill.

 

A maid was already packing her things for her. When Rey walked in the maid started to talk to her excitedly, but when she saw Ben she fell quiet. Rey told her it was okay, that she could talk freely. Ben admired the way she treated her staffs and how much they loved her back.

 

There was a large ornate chest in the corner. Rey opened it and started taking out items. They ranged from a silk scarf to elaborate jewelries.

 

Ben leaned against the door-frame and settled for observing her as she went about packing. From what he could gather, it was her grandmother's chest. And she was sorting them out for the journey.

 

They will carry a few of the more valuable items with them in person. She took out a little tiara, and traced it lovingly with her finger. The maid talked about the time Rey wore it to a ball.

 

“Wasn't it your first ever ball, My Lady?” the girl asked.

 

“Yes,” Rey answer, as she gently placed the jewel back in its box.

 

“And you wore that blue gown, you looked so beautiful.”

 

Ben could only picture her. He wished he had been there, and had her first dance. Well he wouldn't have let her dance with anyone else for the rest of the night, and he knew it. He was never interested in balls and other social events, but he now wished he was.  He might have met her before, and maybe things would have been different for both of them.

 

Ben shook himself out of his reverie, and looked back at her. The maid was holding a necklace against Rey’s neck as the two women admired the piece of jewelry.

 

“The Duchess liked quite elaborate jewelries.  They were not like any I'd seen before.”

 

“They collected them from their travels abroad. She never followed the current trends, she would set her own style.” Rey chuckled, still admiring the necklace she held against her neck.

 

It was indeed an elaborate piece of jewelry; diamonds and sapphires encrusted in intricate patterns. Ben mused it was almost as beautiful as the person who was trying it on.

 

She put the jewelry back, and picked up a few more.  She asked the maid to pack everything back up, and to bring the box she separated to their carriage.

 

“Are we done here?” Ben asked once she looked up at him. She smiled, looking around as if committing every detail to her memory.  She then walked over to a corner.  There were several dolls placed there. She picked up the one in a bright orange dress with blonde ringlets.

 

“This is for Padme.” She said with a bright smile on her face, as she clutched the doll against her chest.

 

Ben couldn't help but smile back. “I'm sure she would love it.” He said as he ushered her out of the room.

 

When it was time to leave, Ben wasn't surprised that her cousin didn't come down to see them off.

 

Rey hugged her former staff memembers and her dear friends, bidding them goodbye.

 

Maz, the elderly housekeeper once again pulled him aside, “Please take care of that girl.” she said pointedly. “She can be stubborn and she'd always think of others before herself.”

 

Ben looked back, Rey was talking to Stefan and the young maid now.

 

“You care about her,” Maz observed. “You'd have to make sure she doesn't sacrifice her own happiness for others.” She finished with a finality in her tone. Ben nodded.

 

“What about you? Are you staying in their service?” Ben asked, he was curious.

 

“My family served the Kenobi’s, now there isn't a Kenobi left in this mansion. So I would move on as well.” She said.

 

“You should contact my mother, I'm sure she'd find you a suitable position at the manor.” Ben told her.

 

“It is a tempting offer, Your Grace. I know all about Her Grace’s generosity. I would think about it.” Maz finished.

 

To that Ben gave her a curt nod and walked over to the carriage, and helped Rey inside. They set out for the inn soon after.

 

The sun was low in the sky when they reached the inn. Ben decided they could have dinner at one of the tables by the pond. They were delighted the entire time they were there. Rey was sad about leaving her home, but she was taking it better.

 

She talked about her life in the mansion, of the staffs she called her friends when she was growing up, and of her grandparents. She was too young when her parents died for her to remember them. The reminiscing of memory was bittersweet, and she seemed happy to have been distracted.

 

Rey enjoyed the beautiful scenery and Ben enjoyed looking at her. Soon they finished their dinner and were heading towards their room.

 

Once in the room Rey went to freshen up, as Ben changed out of his clothes in the sitting room. When he walked into the bedroom he found Rey standing in front of the basin. She had taken off her dress, and was only wearing an embroidered muslin underdress.  Her back turned to him.

 

Ben walked up to her and asked, “Is there something wrong?”

 

Rey was startled, but she didn't turn around.

 

“I need help tonight.” she said in a quiet voice, over her shoulder.

 

“Certainly.” Ben said, as he came to stand just behind her. He reached out and placed his hands on her waist, pulling her flush to his chest.

 

Rey melted into his embrace as Ben’s large hands reached up to tug the slip open. But what he found he never expected.

 

He craned his head to look over her shoulder. Ben’s breath caught at the sight. Her under dress didn't cover her breasts at all. The collar framed around her chest, and tucked right below her breasts, leaving them exposed and making her nipples stand erect.

 

Ben didn't waste any time.  He took them in his palms and started kneading the flesh. Rey moaned at the contact, snuggling back into his chest.

 

The milk started flowing after a while. He squeezed and pulled her long nipples between his thumb and forefinger. At first it was only a little stream of milk shooting out, but he gradually worked it to get a good stream going.

 

After a while the liquid started dribbling down his hands, wetting the cuffs of his night shirt. He looked down at her wet and puffy nipples. They looked red from the attention. Ben licked his lips and his throat went dry. He longed to wrap his mouth around her raised flesh. But she didn't permit him to do that yet, and he didn't want to push her.

 

His eyes traveled down her body, as he felt her fidgeting in his embrace. When he looked closer he saw her rubbing her thighs together under her sheer white shift.

 

Ben bit his lips, but a groan still escaped when he realized what she was trying to do. She was as turned on as he was from their activities.

 

He was too distracted by her action and his own arousal, to notice the flow had stopped. He was still pulling at her erect nipples which just made her squirm even more.

 

He bent his neck and started kissing her shoulder, then followed the expanse of her slender neck, before capturing her bottom lip. Ben sucked the soft flesh into his mouth, nibbling softly. He pushed his tongue inside.

 

Rey responded almost immediately. She raised her hand and grasped the back of his head, her fingers sinking in his hair. She pulled him even closer and deepened the kiss.

 

When he pulled away, he saw her eyes were shut and her lips still parted. His eyes traveled down to see her other hand was fisting on the flimsy fabric over her mound. She rubbed herself slowly against the heel of her wrist.

 

Ben gulped, and tore his eyes away to look at her face. She was staring at him, her eyes full of longing. Bringing his mouth closer to her, he whisper against her lips.

 

“Let me help you with that.”

 

Her eyes widened just a little but she gave him the tiniest nod. But Ben was already reaching down. He bunched the material in his hand, feeling the silky skin of her thigh.

 

At first Ben ran his knuckles against her mound, feeling her jolt.  He repeated the action a few more times. The curls covering her pussy were sopping wet. He moved his long finger along the slit, parting the lips as he felt more liquid gushing out.

 

Rey buried her face into his neck, her mouth latching onto the skin of his throat. She moaned against his skin as he drove a digit inside her pussy.

 

Her knees buckled and Ben pulled out. He took a step back and sat on the side of the bed, pulling her onto his lap.

 

Rey settled in with a sigh, back still pressed against his chest, head resting on his shoulder. Ben spread her legs and pulled the skirt of her dress up, revealing her toned thighs.

 

He reached up and brushed his thumb over her clit. Rey shuddered in his arms. She grabbed his other hand and brought it up to her breast. He took the hint, she liked it when he touched her breast, and the realization made him feel unusually happy.

 

Rey was sloppily kissing his cheek. And Ben focused on pleasing her. He rubbed his thumb over her clit as he pushed his finger back inside her.  He loved the way her pussy closed around him, the velvety walls warm against his skin and slick with her arousal. He started pumping in and out as he felt her biting his neck. Her hand was back in his hair, and she was pulling at it a little harder.

 

“Like this?” he asked.

 

“Mmm yes.” she replied breathlessly.

 

Encouraged by her reaction he pushed another finger inside her.  She pulled her lips away and looked down. He followed her gaze and heard her groan as she saw what his hand was doing.

 

Ben could hardly believe it himself. He pulled her back, and captured her lips once more. She moaned into his mouth.

 

He moved to her other breast, paying it the same attention, as he kept rubbing his thumb over her clit.

 

“Does it feel good, sweetheart?” Ben asked her, nuzzling the side of her face.

 

“So good-” Rey croaked out.

 

“You like that, hm?” he asked as he curved his fingers in a come hither motion inside her.

 

She nodded vigorously.  Ben smiled against her cheeks. He felt her nails digging into the soft skin of his neck as her pussy convulsed around his fingers.

 

“That's it love. You can let go.” Ben whispered as he felt her orgasm building.

 

Her pussy squeezed around Ben’s fingers and Rey let out a muffled scream against his neck, where he knows he would have a few bruises in the morning. Her back curved out, and her toes curling on the edge of the bed.

 

Ben kept pumping his fingers as she rode out her orgasm. Rey slumped back against his chest, panting heavily.

 

“Shh, you're alright.” Ben said placing feather light kisses along her temple.

 

Ben pulled his fingers out, a trail of her arousal wetting her inner thighs. He was transfixed by the scene, as he wiped his wet hand on her soft flushed skin.

 

As Rey caught her breath, she shifted in his lap. She suddenly turned around and threw her arms around him.  She pulled him into a tight embrace, her thighs resting either side of his torso, squeezing.

 

Her hot center was resting on his erection. But all Ben could do was wrap his own arms around her smaller body and return her embrace.

 


*Duchess Satine's Jewels. This is the elaborate necklace she was trying on. (found it on Tumblr under Star Wars fashion)*

Chapter Text


 

They’re stepping out of the inn the next morning when Rey noticed there was a man waiting in the foyer.

 

When he saw them, he hurried towards Ben and held a letter out. It had the military insignia and Rey understood it had something to do with his former posting.

 

“Captain Solo,” the man turned to her, “My lady,” then he looked back at Ben, “this is an urgent letter from your posting, the Colonel asked for this to be delivered to you in person. I'm afraid I have grave news.”

 

Rey looked up at Ben, he was clutching the letter tightly in his hand.

 

“Maybe we should sit down for this.” She suggested, placing her hand on his arm.

 

Ben seemed to be in shock, so she looked at the other gentleman. “I'm sorry My Lady I have to be on my way. The letter explains everything, Captain.”

 

With that he bowed out of the foyer. Rey ushered Ben to a nearby seat, close to a window in the parlor. Once settled down Rey asked if he wanted her to read the letter.

 

To that Ben finally snapped out of his reverie and shook his head. He started to tear the letter open and Rey settled for watching his reaction. She wondered if she should give him some privacy, but decided against it. He'd probably need someone.

 

He opened the letter and quickly scanned it. Then he read it a second time. Rey saw different emotions flickering on his face, which were then schooled into a professional expression, surely a result of years of military training.

 

He looked up at her. “I have to urgently set out for Arkanis. But first I have to take you back to the manor.”

 

“But that's closer to here.  If you go back to the manor it would take you twice the time.” Rey told him. But of course he knew that, he just didn't want to cause any inconvenience for her.

 

“If we set out for Arkanis now we'd reach there before sunset.” Rey paused, “Do you think your business would take longer?  I can take a carriage and go back to the Manor on my own.”

 

“Nonsense! I can't let you travel alone.” then seeing her expression of annoyance he tried again, “I'm sure you are capable of it Rey, but you are my responsibility.”

 

Rey gritted her teeth, “Then I don't want to be the reason for your delay. I say we set out for there now.”

 

Rey knew she was being stubborn, but she didn't do anything to remedy that.

 

Ben’s face softened and he gave her one of his rare soft smiles, that never failed to make her heart stutter.

 

“Very well. But I’ll have to send an urgent letter to my mother.  Letting her know about the change of situation.”

 

Ben took a paper and quill from the inn keeper.  He wrote a letter to his mother and urged them to post it immediately.

 

Then they were off on the road. They remained silent for quite some time. But finally Rey’s curiosity won out.

 

“What did the letter say, if you don't mind me asking?”

 

Ben cleared his throat, Rey knew it was a nervous habit “A colleague of mine, another Captain, he passed away. Killed in battle last week.”

 

Rey noticed a curious expression on his face. She asked, “Were you very close?”

 

“Hardly,” he made a snorting sound, “We tolerated each other. He was the Captain of the other battalion in our regiment. We were actually constant competitors.” Ben said with a smirk.

 

Rey was confused. He saw her confusion and carried on.

 

“We worked well together.  The goal was the same. I wouldn't want him to die.”

 

Rey understood the urgency then. “Are we going to his house, to deliver the news?”

 

Ben looked back at her and nodded. “We would deliver the news to his father. He wanted me to do it. Just like he would have.” Ben said absent-mindedly.

 

They were quiet the rest of the way. Rey observed him while he seemed to be lost in his thoughts. Something shook him, there was more than just the death of a compatriot.

 

When they reached their destination it was late afternoon. They were received by a gentleman in his 60s.

 

When Ben broke the news the whole environment changed to that of mourning. A younger gentleman, with the same shock of red hair rushed to Mr. Hux’s side. With the help of Ben they settled him in a seat nearby. There Ben recited the whole message, telling him the cause of death. Then he moved on to telling them about the late Captain Hux’s bravery and his tactical mind that would be sorely missed at the battlefield.  Britain had truly lost a great soldier, and how he would be missed.

 

Rey just listened quietly as they were served refreshments. Armitage Hux was the eldest of the family, his father seemed to be a man proud of his son. Brandol Hux was a retired General and he informed them it was Armitage’s ambition to become a General too someday.

 

He even told Ben how his son had admired Captain Solo, but Ben didn't seem to believe that.  He was lost in his own thought.

 

The General asked if they would join them for dinner, but Ben respectfully declined, saying they had a long journey ahead of them, and they should be on the road.

 

They found a good inn nearby.  One recommended by the late Captain Hux’s younger brother. When they arrived, they didn't bother with the charade or insist on separate rooms, the inn was full and they assumed Rey was his wife.

 

They got the best guest suite, one that had a living area and a bedroom. It was a rather nice place, and not a shady roadside inn.

 

Ben dealt with the arrangements of their accommodation with his usually proficiency. But when they got to their room he immediately went to the bedroom. Rey could see Ben was exhausted and a little detached.

 

She couldn't blame him, seeing the family mourn made her feel a little hollow too. Not a day went by that she didn't miss her grandpa, or imagine how her life would have been if her son had survived.

 

But that was in the past, Rey made peace with that. Or she tried to, everyday.

 

She found a new home with Leia’s family. Her baby in Padme.

 

And Ben. She didn't know how to describe him. She'd never met a man quite like him. He was kind and caring. But always so melancholy.

 

Rey had never been treated like this by a man of his social standing. He understood her feelings, indulged her curiosity and had been a confidant in more ways than she could even imagine.

 

She never thought she would ever find a man she could imagine a life with. And here he was, but a little too late.

 

Rey opened up to him and let him in.  Let him comfort her in a way she never let anyone before.

 

All the peers; the eligible men she got to meet who'd come to schmooze her grandfather at their estate for her hand in marriage. How they'd look around the mansion like they were trying to ascertain the value of everything. Rey could see the greed beneath their niceties. So could her grandfather.

 

Or the balls she attended and the men who would try to charm her; thinking her to be easily swayed and domesticated. How they hated her wit, and would leave with comments like “ well you are rather plain looking anyway.” Rey could only laugh, she wasn't some insecure little girl who would be insulted by such comments.

 

Her husband was her friend, but it was never more than that. It was convenient, it was an understanding. They'd stay married, they'd give her grandfather a male heir, and she would run the estate, while he'd be away at war. He never had a prospect and he wasn't like other men, his taste was...different. And she knew it. She understood it. So it was a good option for both of them.

 

If she knew there was a man like Ben somewhere, she probably wouldn't have settled for that life.

 

She wasn't naive, she knows Ben has feelings for her that aren't just platonic. She wouldn't say that didn't thrill her. For the first time in her life she found a man who made her feel. And she relished in his attention. Indulged his desires, and welcomed his advances.

 

She feels alive when he touched her and how tender he with her. Those hands that had fought in wars, could also be so delicate when he helped her at night. And his eyes, dark and deep. He could make her knees weak and set her body on fire with just one look.

 

So she welcomed him and indulged her body with his touch. What was she to do? She was only human. A girl. She had urges too; she just didn't know if they'd ever be fulfilled. So she'd take what he gives her and return it back to him, if he gave her the opportunity. She didn't plan to remarry. She had no virtue to save. She'd live out her life, she would stay with the Solo’s and help them with Padme. If her services are no longer required she would move away.

 

She didn't have the delusion of marrying Ben, even if he wanted it. Leia might be a great godmother and guardian to her, but Rey couldn't imagine she’d want to wed her only son to a widow. Not when he could have any woman he wanted.

 

Leia might have hopes and dreams for Ben. And Rey was not going to ruin them, not after everything Leia did for her.

 

Rey was sitting in the living room, contemplating, because she decided to give him some privacy. When she heard no sound coming from the other room anymore, she figured Ben probably went to bed. So she got up and went to the bedroom.

 

Ben was indeed in bed. The candle on his side of the bed wasn't lit. Rey started getting ready for bed too. She changed out of her clothes and pulled on her night gown. Her breasts felt heavy and sore. But they weren't leaking, so Rey thanked her luck their late night activities seemed to have worked, and stopped the leaking during the day. She just hoped it would remain the same during the night.

 


 

Rey was woken in the middle of the night by a shuffling noise. She sleepily called out for Ben. When he didn't respond she got up and saw he wasn't beside her.

 

She was worried. She got out of bed and went to the living room. Rey found him there sitting on the couch with his head resting in his hands. He was sobbing, it was soft and almost indecipherable.

 

Rey hurried towards him, getting to her knees in front of him. She shushed him. Trying to pry his hands away to see his beautiful face.

 

“Ben, what's wrong? What happened?” she was running her hands up and down his forearms in an attempt to comfort him.

 

“You don't want to tell me?” she asked now pushing his hair up and carding her fingers through his soft raven locks.

 

He finally looked up, his face was tear stained and flushed. Rey reached up and wiped his face as he leaned into her touch.

 

“That could have been me Rey. That should have been me. I should've been the one to die. And Ani should still be alive.” Ben croaked out.

 

“Hush now! Don't say that! Do you hear me? Don't you ever say that.” she said not unkindly, as she pulled him into an embrace.

 

His face was pressed to her chest and she felt him sob again. She focused on rubbing his back in a soothing pattern.

 

She understood why he was so upset. She heard him speak, his voice muffled by her chest.

 

“I promised him I'd come back. I did, but he is gone.”

 

Rey hugged him even tighter. Shushing and cooing. Whispering words of reassurance.

 

She knew the Solo brothers had been close, and now she understood the depth of their relationship. Her heart went out to Ben. But she didn't know how to comfort him, so she just held him and let him cry it out.

 

After a while Ben became silent. Rey could only feel his heavy breathing against her chest. She was getting uncomfortable from kneeling in one position for too long. And besides her breasts were feeling extremely tender, and and her back felt stiff.

 

As if he heard her thoughts or felt her discomfort Ben suddenly got up, taking her with him. His hands were under her thighs and he lifted her up in one smooth movement, like she weighed nothing. Rey wrapped her thighs around his waist and her arms encircled his neck, pushing his face against her bosom as he walked them back to their bed.

 

Placing her on her side of the bed, he climbed in after her. And settled down with his head resting on her chest and arms encircling her waist. Much like earlier this morning, when she woke up with him sleeping on top of her.

 

Rey realized this was a comforting position for him so she decided to indulge him as usual. She kept running her fingers through his hair. And her other hand rubbed his back.

 

His body was carefully placed on her, making sure he didn't smother her. But his weight on her felt so right, she couldn't help but find pleasure in it.

 

Her swollen and sore breasts forgotten for a moment. But then she felt him nuzzle against them. His nose rubbing her nipple through the flimsy fabric.

 

Rey closed her eyes reveling in the feeling, when she felt herself leaking. But she had no motivation to do anything about it.

 

Then she felt something strange. A hot and wet swiping motion against her covered nipple. Her eyes flew open as she looked down at Ben.

 

He was licking her nipple over the fabric, his eyes fixed on her.

 

Her fingers tightened in his hair, and she watched him pull at the strings holding up her collar. His eyes were pleading for her but she didn't know for what.

 

He asked for her permission, hand stilling on the string wrapped around his fingers.

 

In that moment Rey couldn't care about anything else. It wasn't possible for her to deny him anything. Especially not this. It felt like they were set on this path for a long time. Finally they were here. But she was lost for words, her throat felt constricted with emotions and her heart felt full.

 

Finally she managed a nod, and as soon as she did, he pulled the collar loose and moved it aside to reveal her swollen mounds.

 

He stared at them for a moment, before lowering his head again and captured one erect bud between his lips.

 

When he finally sucked, Rey felt like she would lose her mind from relief.

 


 

Chapter Text


Carefully placing her on her side of the bed, Ben climbed on top of her. He didn't feel like being away from her, not even on the other side of the same bed. The prospect of not having skin to skin contact with her was unbearable for him at the moment.

 

He wrapped his arms around her waist and rested his head on her bosom. He nuzzled his face against her chest. The softness of her full breast felt heavenly under his touch. Her nipples were hardening under the thin fabric. He noticed her breasts felt heavy and full when she pulled him into the embrace, and Ben felt guilty for not helping her relieve them before bed.

 

Ben felt so torn and scattered earlier, he passed out from sheer exhaustion. He had woken up feeling like he would suffocate. Getting out of bed and running to the other room, without waking her in the process, drained him of his energy.

 

He was falling apart and didn't know how to gather himself. But then she came rushing. His guardian angel, his salvation, his Rey.

 

As if she knew he needed her. Even he didn't know what he needed. He just wanted the pain to stop, the voices to be quiet for a moment. He was obsessively rotating Ani’s ring on his finger. It felt like a burden, as if it was dragging him down.

 

He always wanted his grandfather's ring, but Anakin inherited it. He had no claim on it then, he had no claim on it now. He felt wretched, he felt like he cheated.  It was Anakin’s life he was leading. Ben felt like he didn't deserve it.

 

The death of a compatriot brought all these emotions back to surface. It could have easily been him. Instead he was living a comfortable life. Taking his brothers place. It was a terrible burden to take.

 

When Rey had found him; she was like a lifeline, as she pulled him back from his wretched pit of despair. At that moment he realized if it wasn't for her, he probably would have lost his mind by now, what with all the guilt and frustration he had inside of him.

 

Learning her history, the things she had to go through, and her strength and perseverance, gave him perspective. It made him appreciate his own life better. And it kept him focused, and to not give into despair.

 

She had held him now as he felt himself calm down. Her words of reassurance and her soothing touch drove back his trepidation, and he could think clearly again. He had focused on her heartbeat as he felt his own heart calming down to steady beats.

 

Ben started rubbing his nose against her erect buds and felt her shudder beneath him. The fabric was getting wet and he realized she’d started to leak. He felt the wetness against his cheeks and couldn't stop himself. Before he knew it his tongue was swiping against her covered wet nipple.

 

Rey gasped and looked down, her eyes met his and he didn't regret his action.  Eyes still fixed on her, Ben started licking her nipple with more enthusiasm. He could taste her sweetness. He knew the taste of course, he’d never left an opportunity to lick his fingers clean every time he helped her express.

 

He felt her fingers tightening in his hair, and the sensation made him groan against her breast. He had to taste her.

 

Ben raised his head and brought up his hand, wrapping his fingers around the drawstring of her nightgown, he looked up again and asked for her permission. Even though he needed this like his life depended on it, he'd stop if she didn't want him to.

 

Rey looked at him for a moment. Her almond shaped eyes widening. He could see different emotions flashing on her face. Ben waited with baited breath, fearing her rejection.

 

But then she made her decision. Her eyes softened in that indulgent way they usually do. She liked to indulge him, and he knew that very well. She nodded and Ben’s hand almost moved on its own volition.

 

The knot gave away and the fabric covering her chest came loose. Ben pushed the collar aside revealing her glorious breasts. He felt his heart constrict, he'd been thinking about this ever since the first time he walked in on her feeding the baby. Since then she had let him watch her, let him touch her, and help her express. He never pushed for more. But God knows he wanted more. He longed to wrap his mouth around her dusky pink buds and suckle her milk from the source.

 

Ben didn't want to wait any longer, he ducked down and captured one of her long wet nipples between his lips. Her whole body shivered, and her arms tightened around his shoulders.

 

Ben closed his eyes and sucked. One long pull, then another. The milk didn't come at first, but after a few deep sucks it started flowing. Slowly at first, then it started gushing out, filling his mouth with warm, sweet liquid.

 

He heard Rey sigh and she resumed running her fingers through his hair. It felt heavenly to be like this. To be so intimate with her. To feel her warm body pressed against him. To drink her sweet milk.

 

Ben felt Rey’s hand come up and she brushed away the strands that fell in his eyes.  She caressed his cheek, before holding her breast and started squeezing it. The flow increased with her assistance and Ben greedily drank up.

 

Ben could feel himself hardening, blood rushing to his cock and making his brain fog. Her soft body under him, and all he wanted was to rut against her while drinking from her tits. But for the time being he focused on drinking. Her milk tasted rich and sweet, like nothing he had tasted before.

 

On hearing her moan he opened his eyes to look up at her. She was still staring down at him, her eyes half laden and sleepy. A content expression on her face, much like when she fed the baby. Ben wondered if it could be that she wanted this as much as he did? She sighed again, pulling his head even closer, her other hand still squeezing her breast.

 

Ben started running his hands up and down her sides, feeling her perfect curves. But he was tired of feeling her over her clothes.  He longed to touch her supple skin and trace her freckles with his fingers, then his tongue. His cock twitched against her thighs.

 

Pulling back from her nipples Ben pushed up onto his elbows and got to his knees beside her. Rey looked up at him; alert and awake all of sudden.  Her brows furrowing and confusion written all over her beautiful face.

 

“What happened?” She asked, getting up to a sitting position, hands reaching for him. Ben grasped it between his, bringing it to his lips and kissed her knuckles.

 

“Nothing...” he said against her knuckles, “I want to feel your skin, without all these layers.” He gestured at her gown, and felt his cheeks burn.

 

Rey looked down at her at body, her cheeks coloring as well. She bit her lips, looking up from under her lashes as she pushed the fabric down her shoulders. Her gown pooled around her waist.

 

Ben sucked in a breath and placed his hand on her stomach. The flat plains and the taut muscles felt incredible under his palm. He traced her bellybutton with his thumb, round and round until he heard her moan. She likes that , Ben made a mental note to try that again later. He leaned down and kissed her lips, and realized he would never tire of kissing her. He deepened the kiss as he laid her back down on the pillows.

 

Pulling away he grabbed the fabric of her gown and slowly pulled it down. Rey raised her hips to assist him. Ben mused that his beautiful girl was always eager to try something new. He traced her skin with his eyes, every inch of it covered with golden freckles, he was mesmerized by her beauty.

 

He slid her gown down her legs and finally she was fully bare in front of him. His cock was painfully hard now, and begging to be released from its confinement. But ignoring the ache in his groin, he started running his hands up her legs, her silken thighs, before stopping at the apex of her legs. He rubbed his thumbs over the soft curls covering her mound, remembering the feeling of burying his fingers deep within her hot pussy.

 

Suddenly Rey grabbed his wrists, staying them as she got up again. She placed her hand on his chest, fisting it in the fabric of his shirt. Ben followed the movement of her hand and looked up in confusion.

 

“What is it, sweetheart?” Ben asked, the thought of rejection spiking his anxiety.

 

“I want this off too.” she stated, her face was flushed, big hazel eyes full of want for him.

 

Ben pulled his nightshirt off in one quick motion, dropping it on the floor. He heard her gasp and then she reached out, feeling his chest. She ran her fingers over various healed scars.

 

She reached down and placed her hand on his clothed cock. Ben’s whole body shook under her touch.

 

“Oh Rey.” Ben moaned as he couldn't help but buck his hip against her hand.

 

“May I?” Rey asked, her hand rubbing up and down his length.

 

Ben gulped, “You really want to?”

 

“Yes.” She nodded enthusiastically. It made Ben smile.

 

Rey got to work, her dainty fingers quickly unlacing the fastening of his breeches. She eased them down, and his cock sprung forward, finally free of its confinement.

 

He was staring at her face and watching her reaction. She looked curious, reaching out she touched the engorged head with the tips of her fingers. He saw her lick her lips before looking up. She gave his a mischievous smile before wrapping her fingers around his cock.

 

Ben felt like he could come right there and then, just from the feel of her hand around his erection. She experimentally moved her fist along it a few times. An animalistic growl escaped his throat, and he fought against his desires to stop her.

 

Rey looked annoyed by the interruption, lips pouting. But Ben wanted to feel her, taste her skin and enjoy her body first.

 

“It’s okay, shh, let me love you first.” Ben urged, laying her back down, settling on top of her.

 

He kissed her lips, followed it down to her slender neck and latched onto the delicate skin over her collarbone. He pulled away to stare at the redness blossoming on her skin, and couldn’t help but feel happy about marking her flesh. He want to make her his, all of her; to mark every inch of her body with his touch, his lips, his teeth.

 

Ben had never felt possessive in his life. He never cared about anything enough. But he was a different man when it came to this beautiful creature bare beneath him. She had awoken a monster inside of him, one that wanted to mark, wanted to own, wanted to possess and wanted to love.

 

He laid wet open mouth kissed down her chest, licking every inch of her skin. He placed two feather light kiss to her twin peaks, then went on to sucking and licking down the underside of her breast. He bit into the soft mound make her squirm.  He went on to kiss her torso and down to her navel.

 

Rey started giggling when he swirled his tongue in her bellybutton. She was ticklish there, and Ben found it incredibly endearing.  He kept licking until she grab him by his hair and pulled him up.  She crashed her lips to his, and they kissed passionately for a long time until they both needed to breath. Ben nudged her nose with his, kissing her cupid's bow and then the tip of her nose. She looked at him with so much adoration in her eyes that Ben felt like his heart was going to explode.

 

She placed her hand on his head and guided him down to her breasts once more. He understood what she wanted, and if he was honest he wanted it more. Ben latched onto her nipple once more. It was leaking already and Ben kept taking in long pulls that filled his mouth with her warm sweet milk.

 

Ben reached out and grabbed her other tit and slowly squeezed it. Taking the nipple between his thumb and forefinger, he started stimulating it. This action feels natural to him, he could do this in his sleep, and that made him smirk against her breast.

 

When he felt the flow stop, he pulled away from her breast with a wet pop. He licked the nipple clean before moving to the other one. It was leaking already from the stimulation. Ben felt Rey brush her thigh against his cock, making him jolt. Rey pushed him onto his back, mouth still latched to her nipple, as she climbed on top of him.

 

Ben was still suckling as Rey settled on his torso, sliding down so her butt was touching the tip of his cock. He growled, biting the nipple that was in his mouth. She moaned pushing her butt against his erection.

 

Pulling away from her, Ben touched her face; looking deep into her eyes he asked, “What are you trying to do, love?”

 

Rey smirked down at him, her eyes twinkling, as she moved her hips down and rubbed her hot wet center along his cock.

 

“Make you feel good.” she said against his temple, then she kissed his forehead, pulling his mouth back to her tit.

 

She kept rubbing herself on him, as Ben felt her wetness coating his cock. It felt delicious to have her velvety core being rubbed against his hardened member.

 

Ben had got himself off thinking about her more times in the past few months than he ever had in his life. Even if it felt good at the time, he felt guilty afterwards. But to have her like this, willingly pleasuring him and taking her own pleasure, was everything he ever wanted and more.

 

He wanted to get lost in the moment. Having her sweet nectar running down his mouth as he pushed up against her. He placed both his hands on her ass and squeezed, pressing her hips down as he bucked up against her.

 

“Tell me how is feels Ben?” She asked, cooing at him.

 

“Incredible! You've no idea how long I've been wanting to do this.” he said against her breast.

 

Rey threw her head back, as he started rubbing the tip of his cock against her nub. Ben took this moment to latch onto her breast once more, giving her a couple of deep pulls until it started to flow steadily. She kept rubbing her sleek center over his hardened member. He knew she was close, so he reached down and started making slow circles on her clit, and heard her gasp.

 

“Come for me sweetheart, I want you to come on my cock.” Ben said against her skin.

 

“Mmm.” she moaned out, stilling as she indeed came on his member.

 

Ben looked up at her with reverence and pure devotion. She looked like a goddess.  Her back arching up, her breast pressing against his face and her mouth falling open as she rode out waves of pleasure. He rubbed her back as he support her over him, her hands gripping his shoulders, her ass against his folded thighs.

 

Rey was his goddess, and all Ben wanted to do was worship her. He took one of her hands from his shoulder and started to kiss each of her fingers.

 

When she finally calmed down, she looked at him with guilt written on her face.

 

“What about you?” She pouted.

 

“I will think of something.” Ben said with a wicked smirk on his face.

 

“But-” Rey tried to protest, but it died in her mouth as he suddenly flipped them, and Rey landed on the mattress with a soft omph .

 

Ben held her hands on either the side of her head. Her face was flushed from her orgasm and her eyes were wide in surprise. But it was soon replaced by longing and a hint of mischief when he started rubbing his cock against her belly. The soft skin of her stomach was coated with their juice.

 

Rey whimpered as he started moving faster, and his chest rubbed against her breast. She smirked and reached down and loosely wrapped her hand on his cock. Ben groaned, it felt amazing to be trapped between her hand and her stomach. Losing all self control he started rutting against her like a madman. Until her squeeze became too much and he came, ropes of cum shooting out and coating her belly, her breast and neck.

 

Ben couldn't believe his own eyes. His beautiful girl, completely bare and looking thoroughly debauched, covered in his seed, smiling right up at him.

 

Rey reached out with her finger and gathered the cum that hit her chin and put it in her mouth and sucked her finger clean. Ben thought he could come again just from the sight of it, if he hadn't come moments ago.

 

Instead he crashed his mouth against hers, tasting himself on her tongue, but he couldn't be bothered by it. He kissed her thoroughly before pulling away and getting to his feet. He went to the wash basin and got a wash cloth. He wiped himself up as he walked back to bed, feeling her eyes on his cock as she followed the movement of his hand.

 

Ben kneeled beside her and he wiped her upper body clean. He then ran the wet cloth between her thighs, making her moan.

 

When he felt they were both sufficiently clean he tossed the cloth on the bedside table and lied down, resting his head on her chest. He heard her sigh and smile down at him, as he wrapped his mouth around her nipple once more. Ben got back to doing what he'd started; feeling sleep taking over once again.


Today's Aesthetics from tumblr.

Chapter Text


 

The next morning Ben woke up much like the previous day with his head resting on her bosom, his body covering, hopefully not smothering, half of hers. He pushed up on his elbows and looked down at his beauty. She looked so peaceful in her sleep. He brushed the strands of hair that fell on her face aside, caressing his hand down her jawbone and resting it on her chin. Rubbing his thumb on her lower lip, he wondered if she'd mind him kissing her like this.

 

Her eyes fluttered open and her sleepy gaze fell on him. She smiled up at him, leaning into his touch.

 

“Good morning.” she said, kissing his thumb that was lightly touching her lips.

 

Ben leaned down and gave her a sweet lingering kiss. Pulling back he smiled down at her and said, “It's time to wake up.”

 

She made a tiny huffing sound but let him help her into a sitting position.

 

“As much as I'd love for us to stay here and stay in bed, we should be leaving soon.” he said getting up on his feet.

 

Rey’s attention perked up all of sudden, her eyes rounded, “Padme.” She breathed out before hurriedly getting up from the bed and busying herself to get ready.

 

They had their breakfast and were off on the road in less than an hour. Ben could feel the energy from Rey. She was excited about returning home, back to Padme.

 

He felt happy for her, but if he were completely honest he was also a little broken up about not having all her attention on him. And not having her all to himself like he had the past few days. Now that he looked back he quite enjoyed their little journey. They sure had their dark moments, but at the end of the day it was worth it for having her in his arm as they slept.

 

But now that he knew how it felt to have her next to him, to sleep through the night and wake up happily beside her, he didn't think he could bear sleeping alone in his cold bed, knowing she was just down the hall sleeping in her own lonely bed.

 

Ben didn’t bother with sitting on the opposite sides, he wanted to be as close to her as possible, for as long as he could. He reached out, interlacing their fingers, resting their joined hands on his thigh. He felt her excitement, it was intoxicating. She was overjoyed at the prospect of reuniting with her baby.

 

“You’ve missed her.” Ben stated, seeing her looking out the window.

 

“Yes, every single moment.” She said, looking up at him.

 

“I hope not, every single moment.” He teased with a mischievous smirk on his face.

 

Rey’s cheeks pinked. She ducked her head bashfully. But Ben captured her chin and tilted her face up, bringing his mouth close to her, he whispered, “I hope I distracted you for a few moments.”

 

“You did. And it was more than a few moments.” She breathed out. Rey gave his lips a quick peck before pulling away. Once again looking out of the window, taking their joined hands and resting them on her lap.

 

The rest of the day was spent in companionable silence. By the time they’d reach the manor, it would be late and they didn’t want to make any unnecessary stops, it was a long journey and they didn’t want to prolong it anymore than it already was.

 

They changed positions a couple of times; he dozed off for an hour, resting his head on her shoulder. And Rey slept most of the day cuddled against his chest, his arms wrapped around her to keep her steady.

 

When darkness fell, Ben felt Rey fidgeting at his side. She’d been up for a hour and had been very quiet.

 

“Do you not feel well, love?” Ben decided to just ask.

 

“Umm. Yes.” She looked away, shouldered slumping, almost like she was trying fold into herself.

 

“What is it? Do you need to express?” He had a feeling he was right, from the way she was averting his gaze. His sweet girl was still so shy.

 

“Hey listen, all you have to do is ask? I am in this with you. I am right here.” He told her, tugging her arm, “Come here.” He put his arm around her and pulled her to his lap.

 

Rey wrapped her arm around his neck as soon as she settled. Ben was relieved to find the buttons of her dress were at the front and not on the back. She wore a dress with a high neck and Ben was briefly reminded of why it was a good decision, on her behalf, to wear this. He remembered leaving more than a few marks on her neck and her chest. The idea made him feel both guilt and pleasure.

 

She started unbuttoning the dress, and he adjusted her on his lap so she was more comfortable. His arm wrapped around her back.  He held her sideways and his large hand grasped her upper thigh to hold her in place.

 

“I think I should take you in my mouth. we don’t want to make a mess now, do we?” Ben implored.

 

Rey nodded as he pushed her dress aside, and revealed her full breast. He felt her hand reach out and grasp the back of his head, pulling him down to her chest.

 

He took her in his mouth, his tongue squeezed the breast up against the roof of his mouth. His tongue pressing right behind her nipple, and did a rolling action. Ben found out last night that this helped coax the milk out faster, and he wanted to give her relief without making her nipples feel sore and chapped from his suckling.

 

After a few moments the milk started flowing in a small stream. Rey assisted by squeezing her breast to help get a steady flow. Ben drank up, sighing against her skin. She kept running her fingers through his hair, making a soothing sound.

 

He heard her moan a few times, and felt her shifting in his lap. He could fell his blood rushing to his groin. He knew she can feel him getting hard. She leaned in and Ben felt her press her lips to his hair. She kissed the back of his bent neck.

 

“Your neck will hurt later. Let me shift.” He heard her say, as she pulled him away from her breast.

 

Ben looked up and couldn’t help but feel a little upset at the interruption. She wiped his lips and placed a feather light kiss on them. Then she shifted in his lap, straddling his thighs, facing him. She raised herself slightly on her knees, her hands clutching his shoulders tightly, bringing her chest closer to his face.

 

He looked up at her with awe, she never failed to surprise him. She could be so bold and sometimes so shy. Rey was a contradiction and a puzzle for Ben to solve. And he was willing to spend his whole life figuring her out.

 

Ben looked up, and thanked his good senses that he ordered a carriage that could accommodate his considerable height. And it left quite a bit of room overhead, so he didn’t bump his head on the roof when the road was bad.

 

He wrapped his arms around her back, holding her steady as he captured her nipple once more. Ben heard Rey sigh, and he looked up to see her throwing her head back. He reached out and grasped the back of her head with one hand to keep her from hurting her neck.

 

Ben then shut his eyes and focused on enjoying her sweet nectar filling his mouth. After a few minutes he felt the breast was empty and moved to the next one; and subsequently emptied it as well. He then pulled his mouth away with a wet pop and moved her back in his lap, resting her butt on his thighs. Rey captured his lips between hers, running her tongue over his lips. Ben knew she could taste her milk on his lips, and the thought made his cock twitch in his breeches.

 

They kissed for a while, both taking time in exploring each other’s mouth. After a while they pulled away for much needed air. Ben looked up at his Rey, lips kiss swollen, cheeks flushed and eyes half ladden. He couldn’t imagine he was in any better shape. He looked down at her exposed chest, at her raised skin and wet nipples. Between them, they quickly buttoned her dress up. When Rey tried to climb off his lap, he pulled her back to his chest.

 

“Stay.” Ben said, pressing his lips in her hair. He felt her wrapping her arms around his waist. Ben tugged her head under his chin and they stayed like that the rest of the way back to the manor.

 


 

It was late when they finally reached the manor. Ben got down from the carriage, taking in the fresh night breeze, it smelled like home. He held his hand out, helping Rey down, but didn’t miss her warning look saying, I can get down without assistance, thank you very much. It made him chuckle but he helped her anyway.

 

They walked to the manor, and were surprised to find his mother still awake waiting for them in the parlor. Leia hugged her son much to his chagrin. But she informed him, she was afraid of letting him out of her sight, so Ben tried to understand. She had lost a lot in a very short period of time, so her trying to keep him closer made sense.

 

“Rey my dear, I hope all the legal proceedings went seamlessly?” Leia asked her, holding the girl's hands in hers.

 

“It did, thank you for asking, Your Grace.” Rey answered.

 

“Oh and you’ll be glad to know, some of the items already arrived today. I've asked them to put those in the ground floor storage. When you get time tomorrow please take a look, dear.” Leia said. “But now, you should take rest.  I have asked them to bring some light supper for you two in your rooms.”

 

Before Rey could say something, Leia interrupted her.

 

“Padme has been a proper angel, she didn’t bother anyone. Yes she cried a couple of times, surely she was wondering where you went.” Leia smiled her. “Come now, I am certain you want to see her. And I’m sure she would be happy to see you,” Leia paused, looking back at Ben, the gestured to follow her, “Both of you.”

 

Ben nodded and they followed her to the nursery. He was looking forward to seeing the baby as well. He could feel Rey’s excitement again. If his mother weren’t here and if she were alone, Rey probably would have run to the nursery the moment the carriage stopped at the front of the house.

 

When the door to the nursery opened Ben found a woman sitting in the chair near the crib. Putting her needlework down she got up and gave them a low courtesy.

 

“Your Graces.” the nurse said.

 

“It okay, you can sit down. They are just here to see the child.” Leia told her.

 

But Rey was already by the crib, looking down at Padme, with tears in her eyes. Ben followed her, walking up and standing beside her. They baby was still awake and her little round eyes lit up at the sight of Rey. She started kicking her legs in excitement. Ben was there too, but Padme only had eyes for Rey. Her tiny arms flailing about, hands reaching up to her.

 

Ben heard Rey choke back a sob and he looked at her to find tears rolling down her cheeks.  He had the strongest urge to wipe them away. And he would have if they didn’t have company. Well he didn’t care about that, but he was afraid Rey might.

 

Rey reached down and picked Padme up into her arms, hugging her tight to her chest, nuzzling her head and taking in her scent; Ben could tell, he had observed her actions very closely for far too long. Padme squealed in joy to be in her arms, burying her face in Rey’s neck, making sweet baby noises. Ben briefly wonder if she was trying to tell Rey she missed her. She could be.

 

“I missed you too.” Rey said, lips pressed in her hair.

 

She pulled back, and looked at the baby, “Have you been good? Hmm? You didn’t bother grandma much, did you?” Rey asked Padme.

 

The baby gave Rey a gummy smile, delighted by the attention she was getting from her.

 

“She has been a very good girl. Except for waking up at two in the morning, which was rather curious.” Leia interjected.

 

“That’s her midnight feeding time. I apologize, I should have warned you.” Rey said, her eyes flitting to meet Ben’s for a fraction of second then she looked away, her cheeks turning pink.

 

“That’s fine, we had it handled.” Leia reached out and patted Padme’s head. “But you should retire to your room now, you had a very long journey.”

 

Rey wanted to protest, but Padme giggled and reached and hands out to Ben, seemingly noticing him for the first time. Ben smiled at the baby, walking up to them, leaning in close and placing a soft kiss to her cheek.

 

“How is my girl?” Ben asked, feeling the baby’s little hand on his face.

 

“She is happy.” Rey replied, and Ben knew she was.

 

“Okay, I think, that’s enough excitement for the night.” Leia laughed.

 

Rey reluctantly put the baby down, she knew his mother was right.

 

“Come now,” Leia urge, “You need to sleep too.” she took Rey’s hand and pull her towards to door.

 

Ben loved the way his mother treated Rey, like she were her own daughter. It warmed his heart. He followed the ladies out, stealing one last glance at the Padme. The baby settled down, already starting to doze off.

 

Ben wondered if sleep would be so generous to him tonight, now they Rey was off to her room and he only had a cold empty bed awaiting him.

 




Chapter Text


 

 

Rey woke up the next morning with sunlight in her eyes. She looked up at the window and saw that it was well into the morning, and she was still in bed. Was she really that tired, how could she sleep through the morning? She got up from bed and busied herself to get ready for the day.

 

She missed the morning feeding session for Padme. A few days break from the routine couldn’t have affected her that much, she must have been exhausted. Realizing she also missed breakfast, Rey decided to pay a visit to the kitchen as well. But first she needed to go see her baby.  She had been away from her too long.

 

Opening the door she stepped out into the polished wooded corridor. The nursery was just a few doors away, and so was his room. But she stopped her mind from drifting to him. She opened the door and found the nurse again sitting on the chair by the crib.

 

“Good morning Your Grace.” She greeted, getting up.

 

Rey gulped, wondering why the nurse was addressing her with that title. But before she could correct her, the woman spoke out.

 

“She had her morning session, and has been sleeping ever since.” Rey walked up to the crib and looked down at her precious bundle.

 

Rey had with her the doll she got for Padme.  She placed it beside her in the crib. She brushed her fingers over Padme’s soft, downy hair and down her cheeks. Her heart clenched.  She ached to pick her up, hold Padme to her chest. But the baby was sleeping and she didn’t want to disturb her.

 

“You have such a good child Your Grace. Always happy and playful, never fussy.” The nurse supplied.

 

“I heard you have been taking care of her all by yourself? I just want to say, if it's not too improper, Your Grace, that I think you have done a very good job. What with you still being so young and having so many other responsibilities.”

 

“Yes, she is a blessing from god for us, our Rey.” She heard Leia’s voice from behind and turned around to find the lady of the house standing in the doorway, looking regal as always.

 

“Your grace.” They both addressed her in unison.

 

“She is a great mother, and it shows in Padme’s nature.” Leia said, “Agatha, would you please go to the kitchen, and ask the staffs to bring us tea, and some light breakfast for Lady Rey?”

 

“Yes, Ma’am.” Agatha said before taking her leave.

 

Leia sat down in the arm chair, and gestured for Rey to take a seat.

 

“And before you ask, you are her mother. You didn’t give birth to her, but you took care of that baby from the moment she saw the light of this world. And that makes you her mother; not blood.  I’d know.  My birth mother died in childbirth. My parents, the Duke and Duchess of Alderaan, they adopted me.”

 

Rey looked at her with tears in her eyes. She didn’t know about Leia’s parentage, and was grateful she thought her worthy enough to share this information. Moreover she was touched by her statement. Leia really gave her the place of Padme’s mother. And wasn’t that everything she ever wanted.

 

Rey heard Padme make a small noise, indicating she was waking up. She got up and took the baby in her arms. Padme was about to cry, but upon seeing Rey she calmed down; instead just making some sniffling noises against her neck.

 

She looked back at Leia, her eyes watering, “Thank you.”

 

Padme put her whole hand in her mouth, sucking it loudly.

 

“Looks like she is hungry.” Leia informed, smiling kindly at the mother and her baby.

 

Rey sat down on the rocking chair and started feeding her. Padme latched onto her nipple easily and Rey closed her eyes.  Finally it felt like coming home.

 

“She was mostly on solids these past few days. I asked the nurse to stay for a few more. I assumed you’d like some rest after such a strenuous journey.” Leia told her.

 

But Rey felt disappointed. Even though the lady sounded nice and helpful, she felt a little possessive about sharing Padme’s responsibility with anyone else. But she couldn’t refuse Leia or upset her. And if she was upset, it must be because she was tired. The continuous journey did take a toll on her.

 

“I guess I could do with a little rest. But if you don’t mind, Your Grace, I’d like to make a request.” Rey asked, timidly.

 

“Yes?” Leia urged her to continue.

 

“I’d like to feed the baby.” Rey blurted out.

 

Leia, laughed throwing her head back. “Do you even have to ask that question. When I said she is yours, I really did mean it Rey. She is your responsibility. You can do anything you feel is best for your baby. ” Leia finished.

 

Rey took a much needed breath in. The door opened, a maid rolled a food cart containing tea and breakfast, and started serving.

 

“We missed you at breakfast.” Leia said suddenly. “I was about to send Jen to check up on you. But Ben stopped me. He said you must be tired, and you should sleep.”

 

Rey ducked her head bashfully at the mention of him, she could feel her cheeks warming.

 

“Well he is definitely not taking rest. He headed out for London this morning. I asked him to rest and go tomorrow. But he wanted to get his work done immediately and return home tomorrow.” Leia finished, taking a sip of her tea.

 

Rey pulled the baby off her breast, she was again fast asleep. She placed Padme back in the crib and was handed a plate of food by Jen. She thanked her and settled down on the chair once more.

 

She wouldn’t lie, it did bother her a bit, that he just left without saying goodbye. But another part of her scolded herself.   He had no obligation to do so . She tamped down the bitter disappointment and looked up at Leia.

 

For a moment their eyes met and Rey felt like Leia could see right through her. She was definitely observing her closely. Rey swallowed hard before forcing a smile on her face.

 

“Why is he going to London?” She asked, genuinely curious. What was this business that couldn’t wait?.

 

“He is finalizing his claim, and submitting his papers in the Royal Court. Ben is officially accepting the title and peerage.” Leia said, happiness in her voice. “And I probably have you and this trip to thank for that.”

 

Rey smiled.  He had seemed distressed about her inheritance, and mentioned several times his disdain for the law that forbid women from getting what was rightfully theirs.

 

“Ben is very sensitive, but he realized that he was fighting the wrong thing. He decided to take his responsibility more seriously. And I couldn’t be more happier.”

 

If she was honest she was happy for him too. She only ever wanted what was good for Ben.  God knows he deserved it.

 


 

By the time Ben reached London it was already night. He took lodgings at the gentleman’s club he was reluctantly part of. He wondered if he should have stayed in one of those palace inns; he would have had less chance of running into people he knew, and their London home was getting some building work done. Not that he’d much prefer staying there all by himself, calling staff to serve him for only two days.

 

Not to mention that house brought back memories of being stuck in the place during the London Season. His mother would always attend, and Ben and Anakin would be stuck in the house. It didn’t get better as they grew up. Then he was forced to attend the elaborate parties; every year. Anakin was a natural and enjoyed attending them. For Ben it was a nightmare. Being paraded in front of so many people. Socializing was never his forte. And being under the eyes of constant scrutiny was not his idea of fun.

 

Ben was exhausted from the long journey, and he had a stressful day ahead of him so he went straight to bed. The memories of having Rey in his arms kept him up for a while, but he willed himself not to dwell on the thought. Although his mind kept drifting to what she might be doing right now. He went to sleep thinking about her wide hazel eyes and pink lips.

 

The next morning he went to the parliament office and was met with his solicitor. The day went slower, and the proceeding took longer than he anticipated. Even though he was there, comfortably sitted in an office with people serving him all day, and his solicitor doing all the running around. And when he was finally done, he returned to the club.

 

Ben officially accepted the title and the full extent of the implication finally hitting him. People would come up to him and try to earn his favor, schmooze him to get what they wanted, or just try to get his attention in general. There was nothing he hated more than unwanted attention. He tried to avoid making eye contact with anyone. He didn’t want to run into someone he knew. But luck had other plans.

 

The moment he stepped into the club, someone called out to him. “Benjamin!”

 

Ben reluctantly turned his head to find the elderly Admiral Ackbar approaching him. “Or should I be calling you Duke of Alderaan, young man.” He said as slapped his hand on Ben’s back.

 

Ben was used to this kind of greeting from the man. The admiral was an old family friend and knew him since he was just a baby.

 

“You're returning from Parliament, I suppose?” He asked.

 

But at Ben’s confused expression he added, “Everyone knows everything that goes on around this club, and London. Good, good. Your mother and uncle were a little worried about you taking on the responsibility. But I knew you would not disappoint. We are men of military, we do not back down from responsibilities.”

 

The man beside the Admiral nodded in agreement. “On this is General Satura. And this is His Grace, the Duke of Alderaan.” the admiral declared.

 

They shook hands and Admiral Ackbar asked him to join them for dinner.  Ben politely declined, saying he already had his supper and he intended to retire early, to rest for the journey back to the manor tomorrow. But they insisted on having a drink and he couldn’t say no without sounding rude.

 

When they stepped into the parlor, a server served them drinks. Ben felt uncomfortable and wanted to finish his drink quickly and leave. Then other people started to join their little party. The Admiral was an influential man, and knew people in high positions.  He paraded him around, the young Duke was getting him more attention.

 

“If you don’t mind me asking, Your Grace,” Another elderly gentlemen, he’d introduced himself but Ben seemed to have forgotten his title; he was probably a member of House of Lords, Ben remembered, “but are you married or engaged otherwise?”

 

To that the Admiral laughed and addressed the man who questioned him, “No he isn’t.  He is indeed currently unattached.  Her Grace, the Duchess of Alderaan, is currently looking for a suitable bride for her only son.” He turned to Ben and said, “You should find a good girl and settle down Ben. That too is your responsibility now. And my friend here, has two lovely daughters of age.”

 

Ben gulped looking absolutely flustered. He wondered if getting up and running for the exit would be too odd a thing to do for a man of his standing to do. He didn’t know what to say.

 

“Well, His Grace should definitely consider attending the balls this London season. All the eligible young ladies will be there, and I’m sure someone will catch his fancy.” Another gentleman piped in.

 

They all had their eyes on him as they laughed in unison, and Ben had never felt so on the spot in his entire life. He heard someone asking if he’d fancy joining them at their mansion for a week where they could hunt game.  Someone else asked him to join their family for dinner during the season. He felt like he was going to suffocate, when he felt a hand on his shoulder.

 

Ben turned to look at the smiling face of his childhood friend, Poe Dameron. It took a moment for his brain to catch up with his surroundings, and he got up from the chair with a little more haste than was strictly needed.

 

“Poe Dameron.” He extended his hand to shake; they would have embraced if they weren’t in such formal company. And if he was honest, his friend came to him as a lifeline during a dire situation.

 

“Ben!” Poe said, smiling up at him. “The last time I saw you, we were in the middle of a warzone and I was being shipped off. How have you been my friend?” Poe asked.

 

Ben could feel eyes burning on his back, but he chose to ignore them.

 

“I've been well. What about you?” he asked, looking down at his friend’s leg.

 

Poe’s eyes followed his gaze and he chuckled. Poe was a military doctor, and the last time they saw each other his friend had one of his legs blown off in the battle, while saving some injured soldiers. Poe in Ben’s eyes was a real hero. And he suddenly felt bad for not reaching out to him when he returned to England.

 

“Oh, I’ve never been better.” Poe said, before tapping his right leg with his walking stick. It made a metallic sound.

 

“I’ve got myself a new leg.” He joked, then looked around Ben and addressed the Admiral and his friends, “Gentlemen, I have to steal my friend away. We haven’t seen each other in over a year, we have a lot of catching up to do. So if you’d excuse us.”

 

Before they could grunt out their responses, Poe stirred Ben away from them.

 


 

Poor Ben... :(

Chapter Text


 

Ben and Poe went to the bar and sat down on stools. His friend let him settle down first before asking, “What were you doing sitting with those vultures? You looked like you are about to have a panic attack.”

 

The bartender served them two glasses of hard liquor, and Poe, pushed both towards him. “Drink up, man!”

 

After a few deep breathes and two glasses of liquor Ben felt his nerves settling in.

 

“How are you feeling now buddy?” Poe asked with his hand on Ben’s shoulder.

 

“Much better, and thank you for back there.” Ben gestured.

 

“No problem.  The moment I walked in and saw you sitting there, I knew you were in trouble.” Poe paused, “I see your little problem didn’t get better.”

 

Poe knew about his social anxieties, almost as well as Anakin did. They were the only two people in the world Ben talked about his little problem with.

 

“No truly.” Ben looked at his friend. “I really appreciate what you did for me back there.”

 

“Hmm, but I think you should finish you drink and retire to your room.” he was checking Ben’s pulse, “You heart is beating a little too fast.”

 

“But we've just--” Ben started, but was interrupted.

 

“No buts Ben. When are you returning home?” Poe asked.

 

“Tomorrow morning.” Ben answered.

 

“Then you should definitely go to bed early.” Poe said. “Unless you plan to stay another day, and we can catch up.”

 

Ben thought about it. He hadn't seen his friend in over a year, but he didn't feel like delaying his stay. He now had responsibilities back at home, even though there was nothing too pressing that couldn't wait another day. But he already missed Rey terribly.

 

“No I have to leave. I have some important work to attend to.” Ben said, avoiding his friend's eyes, guilt churning in his stomach.

 

“Ah important work I see.  You are either taking being the man of the house too seriously; considering I'm sure your mother is still running the estate.” Ben tried to protest, but Poe continued, “Don't deny it. I know that woman a little too well.” he chuckled.

 

“Yes she is.” Ben admitted, still avoiding his friend's eyes.

 

“Then you are not telling me something, you know I can always tell.” Poe said, looking at him with suspicion.

 

“Is it about a girl?’ He asked after a short pause.

 

The way Ben tensed up gave him away, but he was more surprised by the fact that his friend was spot on. He was good. Ben thought. Or was he that easy to read?

 

“It is, isn't it?” he barked out a laugh. “Good God Ben! Who is she?”

 

“It's complicated.” Ben answered.

 

“Then uncomplicate it!” Poe enthused.

 

“She is unavailable.” Ben said.

 

“Don't tell me you’ve fallen for a married woman?” he muttered urgently under his breath.

 

“What no! Well she was-- but she is a widow.” Ben tried to explain.

 

“How old is she?” His friend kept interrogating him.

 

“19, she will be 20 soon.” Ben answered.

 

“Ah, that's rough.” Poe said, “How did you two meet?” he took a sip of his own drink.

 

“She is the granddaughter of my namesake. He died last winter.” Ben said.

 

“Old Ben Kenobi, God rest his soul.” Poe said, lifting his drink.

 

“My mother is her godmother, so she is staying with us now.” Ben said looking down at the table.

 

“That must be difficult. But if you fancy her, then what is the issue? Don't tell me you have problems with her being a widow?” His friend didn't keep the judgment out if his tone.

 

“What no! I love her! And that's not the problem,” Ben declared.

 

“Oh you love her, so what's stopping you?” Poe asked.

 

“I don't think she wants to remarry. And she is too good for me.”

 

“I think that's for her to decide. Have you asked her?” Poe implored.

 

“No.” Ben said.

 

“What's stopping you? I think you should remedy that, and fast. You know thirty percent of young upper class widows remarry within the first year? I say you snatch her up before someone else does.”

 

Ben looked at his friend incredulously for what he was suggesting. But he was right. Although Ben knew Rey didn't like anyone, he could see how his advances might be perceived. And it didn't look good for him. He needed to make his intentions clear to her.

 

“Yes.  You are right. I should talk to her. And let her know how I feel.” Ben concurred.

 

“That’s the spirit!” Poe gestured the bartender to serve them another round. “Let’s drink to that. Wait what’s her name?”

 

“Rey.” Ben said, even speaking her name out loud made his heart feel warm.

 

“R-e-y” Poe enunciated, “Beautiful name. Tell me more about her.”

 

“She is witty, educated, loving and caring, steadfast and very headstrong, and she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen.” Ben said, almost like in a daze.

 

“You really are in love. Steadfast and headstrong, I’ve never heard a man liking those qualities in a girl.” Poe said, “Then again, you aren’t just any man now, are you?”

 

Their drinks arrived and Poe picked up his, “To Rey then?”

 

Ben did the same. When they finished their drinks, he got up and looked down at his friend.

 

“I want you to visit us at the manor. How about next week? We have so much to talk about.” Ben asked.

 

“I will take you up on that offer Solo.  I’m sorry, Your Grace.” Poe chuckled.

 

“Please don’t call me that.” Ben smiled at him, “I’m tired of hearing people calling me that. The last thing I want is my best friend to address me like that.”

 

“I wasn’t going to.” Poe laughed. “So this is goodbye.” He said, extending his hand that Ben took. “Until next time.”

 

“Good night.” Ben said, before turning away, and walking out of the room.

 


 

Ben felt his nerves were on edge all the way back to the manor. The anticipation of seeing her again, and to tell her how he felt kept him anxious all day. But he couldn’t be more happier.

 

He needed to let her know his feelings. That his intentions towards her were pure and true. He intended to marry her, if she did the honor of choosing him. He thought back to all their interactions. How forward he had been and how that might be viewed as inappropriate. But she did respond to his advances in kind. She had been so accommodating, and so bold at times. He was in love with her boldness as well. She seemed so sure of herself and Ben admired that about her.

 

He didn’t believe his feelings were one sided. She felt something at least. And that was enough for him. If she’d just have him, he would worship her for the rest of their life together.

 

By the time he reached home it was late. He looked up at the manor and saw most of the lights in the windows were out. He knew everyone had probably gone to bed. He sighed, he needed to see her. But how? He didn’t want to wait until 2 am for Padme’s feeding time.

 

He was greeted by their butler at the door. Charles took his coat and hat and asked if he wanted dinner. Ben declined. And upon realizing the household was still awake for him, he asked them to retire for the night.

 

Ben’s heart was pounding in his chest as he made his way up the stairs. He made his decision. He would go visit her in her room. He felt his palms sweating and he clenched them into fists at his sides. When he reached the upper landing he stopped to take a deep breath, and to steady his heart beat. He closed his eyes and pictured her smile, it was like sunlight, and it gave him courage to walk down the hallway to her room.

 

It was the last one in the corner. Ben realized he had never actually been to this room. Actually he had never been to a lot of the rooms in Organa Manor, his own home growing up. He found it curious. But this was not the time to ponder upon that, he admonished himself.

 

When he reached the door, he wondered if he should knock. But that might wake his mother, who was sleeping in her room down the hall. He took another calming breath, ran his hand through his hair and knocked once before turning the knob.

 

It was unlocked. Ben pushed the door open and thank God the hinges didn’t make any noise. The first thing he noticed was how sparse the room she was living in was. It was a far cry from the elaborate quarters she had back in the Kenobi mansion. That was a room worthy of a Princess.  This on the other hand was dreadful. It looked more like his army quarters in the field. And he felt ashamed for not noticing that before. For never venturing to these rooms, and never looking into where she was staying. It wasn’t like there weren’t better rooms at the manor. They could have put her in his old room, or one of the guest rooms.

 

Ben felt angry, so much so he didn’t realize that she was awake in her bed and looking up at him with questioning eyes. And God she looked gorgeous in the dim moon light that was coming from the window. Curled up in her small bed that was pushed up against a wall, dressed in one of her white sleeping gowns, she was the most beautiful woman in the world. Raising her head up from the pillow, pushing up on her elbow and she called out to him, “Ben?”

 

That brought him out of his reverie, but it did nothing to his anger.

 

“Why did they put you in this room? This is--” He looked around, “depressing.”

 

She was now sitting up, with her back pressing against the headboard.

 

“I thought I heard your carriage coming in.” she said, looking up at him, his eyes adjusting to the dark, and he could see her more clearly, she smiled,” And no one put me here, I chose the room.”

 

“But why?” He said, walking up to the side of the bed, his hand reached out and caressed her cheek.

 

“It was the only one available with a view of the sunset.” She said as she held his hand against her face.

 

Ben was on his knees in a flash, cupping her face and crashing his lips to hers. Would she ever stop surprising him? She would rather stay in a room like this just to be able to see the sunset.

 

He pulled back and whispered against her lips, “I missed you so much, sweetheart.”

 

She laughed at that, pecking his lips and dipping her fingers in his hair, “It’s only been a day.”

 

“It has been two, and that was a lot.” He said bringing her back to his lips and kissing her thoroughly.

 

It was getting heated and he felt her fingers in his hair tightening. He could feel his blood rushing south already, but he needed to talk to her. So he pulled back again, hands smoothing down her hair as he took in her features.

 

“I want to tell you something.” He said, and saw confusion in her eyes.

 

“What is it?” She sounded a little worried.

 

He took a deep breath, pulling away, holding both her hands in his. He then placed them over his heart. Kneeling down they were almost eye level.

 

“I hope you know I have feelings for you, and they are nothing but sincere. I want to be with you.  I want you as my wife, and in return I want to be yours.” He felt his eyes welling up, as he poured his heart out to her.

 

She had tears in her eyes and she tried to speak, but he placed a finger over her lips, “You don’t have to answer me now; you don’t even have to feel the same way. I don’t want you to feel obliged. I just wanted you to know that.” He paused to take another deep breath.

 

Than added, “Maybe someday you’ll be mine, and I will wait for that day.  But for now, I want you to think about it.”

 

They stayed like that, looking into each other’s eyes, for a while. Until he felt her kiss his finger tip that was resting on her lips. Then she whispered against his skin, “Okay. I will think about it. But now,” she moved further towards the wall, “Come to bed. You look exhausted.”

 

Ben felt his heart swelling, she didn’t say no. She will think about it. He really didn’t want her to say yes to him tonight. He did not want to rush this. If they were ever to be together he wanted it to have a solid foundation and not to rush in.

 

He got up, and started uncuffing his shirt. He placed his cuff links on her bedside table, then started to unbutton his vest. All the while he kept his eyes locked on her’s. He took his boots off, and then unlaced his breeches.

 

He climbed into the small bed and pulled her to his chest, kissing her temple. His hand ran up and down her side, tracing her curves. He heard her sigh contently into his chest.

 

“I have missed you too.” She mumbled into his chest.

 

Ben chuckled. And kissed the crown of her head, tucking it under his chin. He move to his back, and pulled her on his chest. The bed creaked under their collective weight.

 

“You know, my quarters have a nice view of the sunset.” He said. Rey peered up to meet his gaze. “And the bed is also much bigger.” He added suggestively.

 

“Is that so?” Rey smiled up at him.

 

“It is so.” Ben said, pulling her back and closing his own eyes.


 

 

Chapter Text

 


  

Padme was sitting in her bassinet placed between Leia’s chair at the head of the table, and Rey’s on her left. She was making her usual baby sounds as Rey feeds her boiled messed baby corns. Padme was too busy playing with her new doll than notice what she was eating. Ben found it funny when she’d try to chew with her front teeth. She had four of them now. And she was never shy to flash them when she smiled.

 

Leia was busy reading a ledger, her round glasses resting on the bridge of her nose, that she'd sometimes push up when they slid down the narrow slope. Ben was eating breakfast with the three women of his life, and for the first time in a long while felt content.

 

Ben’s eyes drifted to Rey, like they usually did whenever he was in her company. She was smiling at Padme and making funny faces to make her open her mouth for food. He suddenly remembered waking up that morning with Rey draped across his chest. They shared lingering kisses, then to his displeasure she got up. Smiling down at him she scolded him to get up as well. But he sat there in her small bed, hands clasped behind his head and back against the headboard, watching her as she got ready. He wondered if it were possible for her to look even more beautiful in the morning. Then he had to sneak out, carefully making sure not to make any noise on his way to his room.

 

Leia cleared her throat beside him, and that brought him back from his thoughts. She folded the ledger putting it aside and looked at him.

 

“I assume everything went well in London?” His mother asked.

 

“Yes the papers should be processed by next week, and I will get a formal notification from my solicitor.” Ben replied before sipping his tea.

 

“And you took lodging at the club? As the house is getting some building works done.”

 

“Yes” Ben said curtly, he didn’t want to talk about his stay there. He felt his mother’s eyes on him, but didn’t meet her gaze.

 

“Did you meet the Admiral?” Leia asked.

 

And Ben was dreading this question. Of course she knew.

 

“Yes. Why? Did he send you a letter already?” Ben asked with a frown on his lips.

 

“Yes the Admiral sent me letter telling about your encounter. He was very happy to meet you, but didn't get the chance to say goodbye.” she said pointedly. Thanks to Poe he had the excuse to leave, and dodge those invitations. But knowing the Admiral he probably let his mother know about them as well. Now he just hoped his mother won't make him attend them.

 

He looked up and met Rey’s eyes. She looked concerned at his sudden change of mood.

 

“Nevertheless, I'm glad things went smoothly and you are back home.” Leia said. Ben looked at her with confusion, it's not like his mother to change topic like this.

 

Leia turned and smiled at Padme, then she added, “Now that you are both back home, and having left this little one alone for so many days, it's time for you to take her out.”

 

She looked at Rey and then him. “You are taking Padme on a picnic.”

 

Ben was taken aback, “What?”

 

“Yes, no excuses. I've already asked the staff to prepare a picnic basket and get the carriage ready. Padme never gets the chance to go out, and I'm sure Rey would appreciate it too.” Leia finished.

 

Ben looked at his mother for a second then to Rey. Her eyes were lit up, and she looked excited. And he wasn't going to say no to spending a whole day out with her, even if his mother came along. He could stare at her and talk to her without any excuses.

 

“Okay.” Ben acquiesced.

 

“Good, go make preparation.” Leia ordered, getting up on her feet.

 


 

Ben watched as Rey climbed down the stairs with Padme in her arms. They were both wearing dresses made of the same fabric. She wore a soft coral color flowing gown that made her look like a divine goddess descending from heaven. Ben’s heart skipped a beat at the sight of her.

 

He blinked a couple of times. She was smiling up at him as she came to stand in front of him. She was holding one of Padme’s hands and waved at him, looking at the baby.

 

“Ask your uncle, “how do I look, uncle Ben? Do you like my new dress?”” Rey said, her voice high pitched and that made little Padme giggled. She was delighted by the attention she was getting.

 

Ben on the other hand couldn’t take his eyes off Rey to look at the baby. It was rare to see her wear color. Actually now that he thought about it, he had only seen her wearing black or dark toned colors outside, and white at night. So it was like a whole new experience to see her wearing colors. She looked even more beautiful than usual. Padme gave a loud squeal when Rey tickled her chin and that snapped him out of his reverie.

 

“She looks beautiful,” Ben said, touching the baby's cheek, but his eyes were locked on the young woman holding her. Rey blushed, averting her eyes.

 

Right then Leia walked into the foyer, followed by Charles who was carrying a picnic basket.

 

“We have packed you a light lunch. And the carriage is ready outside.  I asked Jen to take the baby’s basket there already. I think you should set off now, it’s such a beautiful day out.” Leia told them, her face lighting up into a warm smile.

 

“Are you not accompanying us, Your Grace?” Rey asked, concern painting her features.

 

Leia chuckled. “No my sweet girl. I am feeling a little under the weather. You two should take Padme,” she looked down at the baby, “Look how excited she looks, in her new dress.”

 

“But, if you are feeling unwell, I think I should stay back.” Rey implored.

 

“Nonsense!” Leia outraged, her hand coming up and cupping Rey’s cheek. “You will do no such thing. You are going to take my granddaughter out, and you are going to enjoy your picnic. I just need a little rest. And you need to get some fresh air.” She turned to Ben and told him, “I think you should set out now.”

 

Ben looked at his mother suspiciously. It’s not like her to feel under the weather . And wasn’t she the one who suggested they should go on a picnic? She was up to something, Ben knew it, he was his mother’s son after all. But he forced himself not to think about it for now.

 

He nodded and walked out of the house. Once near the carriage he took the baby from Rey and helped her up, and then gave Padme back to her and got in himself. His mother’s behavior was still on his mind as the carriage started pulling away. For the whole ride Rey talked and pointed at things outside the window to Padme. She was so utterly consumed with the baby to even notice him. That made Ben smile. He shook his head and settled for observing them.

 

When they finally reached their picnic spot, Ben again helped them down. This time she put Padme in her basket and Ben opted for carrying it for her. They didn’t bring any help with them. Growing up his mother taught them to be self reliant. And they’d never dragged their servants with them when they were out. God gave you two hands, you can carry your own things Ben. His mother told him when he was five years old, and he remembered that till this day. Humility was a rare trait in their society but Leia raised them to be humble.

 

“Are you sure you want to carry her, Your Grace? We can get her pram down.” Rey asked.

 

Her addressing him like that made Ben flinch a little. But he understood, why she wouldn’t call him Ben when they had company.

 

“No it’s quite alright. Besides you can’t roll a pram on grass. It’s not very far. Come.” Ben urged her.

 

Rey took the food basket and they walked toward the meadow. It really was a beautiful day. Rey looked around, her eyes taking everything in. He raised the basket and looked at Padme. She had quite the same expression as her beloved Rey. She was sucking on her fingers, her eyes were round with wonder.

 

“Where are we going?” Rey asked, as he lowered Padme’s basket.

 

“It’s a spot a little further. It has a stunning view of the pond, and the surrounding valley.” Ben looked at her, “You’ll see soon.”

 

Ben took them around a heavy patch of trees and bushes that quite hid his special spot, overlooking the valley. When the green bushes cleared up they came to a secluded meadow by the pond.

 

He heard Rey gasp beside him. He turned his head and looked down at her stunned face. “I never thought there would be this much green. Even the water looks green.”

 

“Don’t worry the water is clear, you can go dip your feet in it if you want.” Ben said, and saw her eyes light up in glee.

 

“I will set everything up.  You should take Padme to show her the ducks.” Ben urged her as he put Padme’s basket down, and took the one Rey was carrying from her hand.

 

Rey knelt down and picked Padme up, and took her down to the pond. There were a small flock of ducks quacking near the edge of the pond. Rey took Padme closer to them.  Ben pulled out a blanket and laid it on the grass; he placed everything else on the blanket before walking down the path to them.

 

“That’s a duck, can you say duck? Quack quack?” Rey asked Padme and he crouched down beside them.

 

“Has she say her first word yet?” Ben asked her.

 

“No she hasn’t. I’m trying to teach her, she is trying though.” Rey said, in a sad tone.

 

“Well she is only a little over six months so she will soon. Afterall you are always talking to her.” Ben said.

 

“I read in a book that you if talk to them they learn to speak faster.” Rey informed him.

 

“That sounds logical.” Ben said thoughtfully. He looked around and spotted some pretty flowers on a nearby shrub. He got up and picked some for his ladies. When he got back, he found Rey had her dress folder up, and was dipping her feet in the pond. She had Padme on her lap, and when Ben stopped she looked up and smile at him.

 

“Are those for us?” Rey asked, squinting eyes.

 

“Yes,” Ben said, bashfully ducking his head as he settled down beside them. He passed her a bunch of blue and purple flowers. She started plucking them. Then she started twining the little flowers in Padme short hair. Padme was busy looking at the ducks, pointing at them and looking up at Rey and saying something in her baby garble. Something that only Rey understood, because she nodded and said yes. Ben was fascinated by their interaction. When she was done decorating her hair, she looked up at him and asked how her baby looked.

 

“She looks even more beautiful. Almost like her mommy.” Rey blushed prettily at his compliment, looking away. Ben smiled and then looked up at the sky. The sun was high in the sky. He looked back at Padme and said, “I think we should move to the shades, the sun is getting hot.”

 

“You are right.” She said, nodding. He took Padme from her and helped her to her feet. They walked back to the shade, and sat down on the blanket. Rey started digging through the basket to get some food out. They'd packed some picnic pie. So she served two pieces out on small plates. Ben had Padme sat on his lap, the baby resting her head back on his belly. She was craning her neck to look up at the sky. Rey took out Padme’s own little blanket and laid her down on it. She then passed the plate to Ben. And they started eating.

 

“Did you come here often?” Rey suddenly asked him.

 

“Yes, growing up we used to visit the pond for picnics. Later, Anakin and I used to ride here for fresh air. This was our spot.” He said. “My family usually would visit somewhere there.” He pointed down the valley, on the other side of the pond. “It’s closer to the road. You don’t have to walk much.”

 

Rey put some cheese on his plate and they resumed eating, talking about small things. When they were done, Ben offered to put everything back. Rey picked Padme up from where she was laid looking at the sky, her hand seemingly trying catch the clouds. Once she was back in her lap, Padme started nuzzling Rey’s neck and chest.

 

“I think she is hungry.” Ben told her, but Rey was already aware of it. “You can feed her if you want, this place is very secluded.”

 

Rey hummed and started unbuttoning the front of her dress.  She opened it up to her torso and Ben noticed she didn’t have any elaborate undergarments on. He gulped, then said, “I like you dress.”

 

She pushed the fabric aside and brought Padme up to her left nipple. The baby happily latched onto the teat. “Thank you.  There was a lot of fabric, so I asked the dressmaker to make Padme one too. She looks so pretty in it.” She said, looking down at the baby.

 

She kept nursing as they made small talk, and Ben kept looking. But after a while, he could see she was getting uncomfortable without a back support.

 

He got up and moved behind them.  He wrapped his arm around her waist and pulled her closer so her back could rest against his chest. “Better?”

 

“Yes, thank you.” She said, over her shoulder. He caressed her arms and her sides. When she pulled Padme off her left breast, Ben spoke again. “Why don't you lie down. It would be easier.”

 

She nodded and they both lay down on the blanket. Ben was behind her, and he extended his arm for her to rest her hand on. He was on his side, looking over her shoulder at the baby who was now happily suckling from her right breast. He reached out and cupped the baby’s head. It looked so small in his large hand.

 

“She is tired.” Ben said, tracing the soft baby hair.

 

“Mmm, but she had fun.” Rey said, looking back at him.

 

Ben pulled her even closer and said against her cheek, “We should take her out more often.”

 

Rey hummed, relaxing into his chest.  


 

For those who don't dwell in the TumbLand, here is the art piece. :)

Chapter Text

 


 

 

Rey was still feeding the baby and Ben had his hand resting on her waist. He ran his hand up, caressing her sides, and brought it over her left breast. He gave it a small squeeze, and nuzzled her neck and cheek, as he heard her moan.

 

Encourage by her reaction, he took her hard nipple between his fingers and rolled it. Rey turned her head and kissed the tip of his nose.

 

“Do you want to...?” she asked, her voice sounded deep and throaty.

 

“Yes.” he answered eagerly.

 

“Let her finish. She is almost done.” she told him.

 

Ben pulled away from her neck and looked down at the babe. Her mouth was going slack; she was slowly falling asleep.

 

Rey pulled Padme away and wiped her mouth with a napkin. Ben reached out and pulled the baby basket closer. She wrapped the baby in her soft blanket and carefully laid her in the basket, tucking her in.

 

Then laid back down on his folded arm looking up at him. Rey cupped his face and her thumb traced his lower lip.

 

Ben kissed her thumb and said, “You really are looking breathtakingly gorgeous, sweetheart. I can't take my eyes off you.”

 

He leaned down and kissed her cheeks. And her nose. Their faces were so close he could feel her warm breath against his face. She slowly dragged her gaze down to his lips and looked up again. Ben saw her bite her lower lip and smile. “You are beautiful too.”

 

She dipped her fingers in his hair and ran them through his locks, fingertips scraping against his scalp. She grasped the back of his head and pulled him down to her lips.

 

The moment his lips touched hers, he felt a jolt and a shiver ran down his spine. He mused that no matter how many times they do this, it would always be like this. He felt her soft lips against his and he needed more. He would always need more of her.

 

He pressed his tongue against the seam and she granted permission. He kissed her with his tongue exploring every inch of her mouth.

 

They kissed for a while, but he felt himself starting to get to hard, so he pulled away. He kissed her chin and down her neck.  He then pushed the fabric of her dress aside and kissed her pretty nipples, one after the other.  He took her right nipple in his mouth and started nursing.

Rey let out a throaty groan. Her fingers tightening in his hair. He had nursed last night in her small bed, after Padme’s feed. They could fall into a routine, Ben thought. As the baby isn’t feeding as much, he could relieve her and ease her discomfort. Rey wasn’t opposed to the idea and Ben was more than willing to help out.

 

He felt the right breast emptying, and switched to the next one. He had thumbed her left nipple as he drank from the other. Ben felt her fidgeting under him. He knew that nursing turned her on, and she was unconsciously rubbing her thighs together to ease the ache.

 

Ben reached down and bunched the fabric of her dress with his hand. As he pulled it up, he ran his palm up her silken thigh until her reached her core. Rey gasped as he slipped his hand inside her breeches. He pulled away and looked up.

 

“Shh.. It’s okay.” He said, eyes looking at her as he gently started rubbing her. Then went back to drinking.

 

After a while he pulled away from her empty breast. She had her eyes squeezed shut and her lower lip between her teeth. Ben stopped his ministration, and got up. Rey’s eyes flew open, her cheeks flushed and question in her eyes.

 

He smiled down at her, before he grasped the band of her breeches and pulled them down her thighs. Rey squeaked and rose up onto her elbow.

 

“Ben. What are you doing?” she looked around, covering her chest. Ben smirked, slowly dragging them further down.

 

“Pleasuring you.” He ducked his head down under her skirt, spreading her legs a little further.  He gave her slit an experimental lick and felt her whole body shudder, as her hand flew to his head.

 

“Ben!” She screeched.

 

Ben pulled out from under her skirt, and looked up at her. “You want me to stop? You just have to say the word.” Ben smirked.

 

Rey’s eyes were round with shock. She shook her head.

 

“Thought so.” He said, with a wink before he ducked back down.

 

Ben wrapped his arms around her thighs, and rubbed his nose in the soft curls covering her mound. He inhaled deeply, taking in her essence.

 

“Lord you smell divine, Rey.” Ben gritted out against her core.

 

He then took her nub between his lips and started sucking noisily. Rey let out a suppressed moan through her lips. And it spurred Ben on. He parted her lips before letting go of her nub. He pressed the flat of his tongue on her slit and started licking her up earnestly.

 

“Mmm, Ben.” She moaned, as he drove his tongue into her pussy, and started moving in an in and out motion. Rey bunched up the fabric covering his head and pulling his hair through it.

 

Ben nudged her clit with his nose a few times and felt her jolting up. He pulled away from her sopping core, and pressed two fingers in her entrance. He felt Rey stiffen so he rubbed his thumb over her belly as he started working his finger in and out of her.

 

He kissed the soft skin of her inner thighs and whispered against her skin, “Darling, you are so wet and you taste amazing.”

 

He heard Rey choke back a scream, as he simultaneously crooked his fingers, hitting the rough patch of skin inside her and recaptured her clit in his mouth. Her back arched up and Ben felt her pussy squeezing around his fingers as she came with his name on her lips.

 

She rode out her orgasm as Ben kept sucking her clit. He pulled his fingers out and greedily lapped at the cum that gushed out of her core. He felt her coming down as well, her back wasn’t arched up anymore, as he came from under her skirt. He looked into her eyes and put his wet fingers in his mouth and licked them clean.

 

Her face was flushed red and she had pulled her hands up, and covered her face. He fixed her skirt before crawling up her body. Bracing on his elbows either side of her shoulders, he pried her hands open to look at her beautiful face.

 

“Are you okay?” Ben asked. She nodded, her face still partially hidden. Ben leaned in and kissed her red cheeks. “Are you sure? Did I hurt you?” He was suddenly feeling very self conscious.

 

“No!” Rey gasped out, her hands cupping his face. “It’s just, I never…”

 

“Oh.” He said, turning his face in her grasp and kissed her palm. “I have never… either.”

 

She smiled, up at him. Ben kissed her again, knowing she could taste herself on his lips.

 

When he pulled away, he pushed up, taking her with him.

 

“I think we should get ready to leave.” He suggested.

 

Rey nodded, and they started packing everything up in relative silence.

 


 

When they got home, Charles informed them that Leia was expecting them in the parlor. They were a little tired from the journey and Padme was fast asleep in Rey’s arms. She told them she’d put Padme in her crib and come down, but the butler said Leia asked them to bring the baby with them. Ben and Rey exchanged confused looks and then did what his mother asked them to do.

 

As Ben stepped into the parlor he knew something was different. His mother was sitting by the fireplace in her usual armchair, but there was someone else in the other armchair.

 

Their backs were turned, but when Ben and Rey entered both turned around to look at them. Ben felt his brow furrowing at the sight of their guest. Leia rose to her feet and so did their guest.

 

“Oh you are home! Look who is here. Gwen is paying us a visit.” Leia exclaimed.

 

Ben looked at the statuesque woman with suspicion. Why was she here?

 

Leia extended her hand towards Rey and the baby. “Rey dear, come here. I’d like you to meet Lady Phasma.  She is Katherine’s elder sister, and our Padme’s Aunt,” Leia turned to Gwen and said, “This is Lady Rey Kenobi, my god daughter.”

 

“It’s a pleasure to meet you My Lady.” Rey curtseyed.

 

“Oh hush, please call me Gwen, so I can call you Rey, and properly thank you for taking care of my one and only niece.” She looked at Padme, who was up and resting her head in the crook of Rey’s neck, looking at the new person.

 

“Oh she is so precious. She looks like Ani. May I?” Gwen asked, with her arms extended.

 

Ben could see as much as he could feel Rey stiffening a little at the request. And her hold on the baby tightening a little before she relaxed and carefully gave Padme to Gwen.

 

“Hi, I’m your Auntie Gwen.” she was cooing at the baby, but Padme was a little too tired to show much enthusiasm. She turned to Rey and extended her hands towards her.

 

Ben smiled inwardly, Rey never had anything to worry about. Rey grasped the baby's hand and looked up at Gwen.

 

“I think she is feeling tired. It has been a long day.” She said apologetically.

 

“Oh, of course.” Gwen said, handing Padme back over to Rey.

 

“I think you should put her to bed and come join us for dinner Rey.” Leia urged her.

 

Rey nodded and quickly exited the room. Ben stared even after the door shut behind them. Then he heard Gwen clear her throat.

 

“Nice to see you Ben.” She said, taking her seat again. “It’s been years. The last time I saw you was at the wedding.”

 

Ben walked over to the fireplace and looked at the fire, “Yes, it’s been a while. How is your husband doing?”

 

“He is doing better now, that’s why I could finally travel.” Gwen said. Ben turned to the ladies and saw his mother patting Gwen’s hand in a comforting gesture. Her husband, the Marquess was gravely ill, and for that reason she couldn’t leave his side.

 

“I couldn’t make it to the funeral, and it still saddens me that I couldn’t say goodbye to my sister.” Gwen said, and Ben could hear pain in her voice. He could sympathize with the woman. He still regretted not being able to say goodbye to Anakin.

 

“I just can’t believe they are gone. Both of them.” She said.

 

“There is no point in dwelling in the past, dear.” Leia said, but her voice broke mid sentence. Ben looked at his mother and once again was awed by her strength.

 

Right then Charles walked in to announce their dinner was served; and they promptly moved to the dining room.

 


 

Ben was at the table and was listening to his mother and Gwendolyn, when Rey joined them. Their eyes met for a second and Ben felt his heart flutter. The ladies were talking about their childhood, and Ben was reminded of the memories.

 

Gwen and Katherine were very much a part of their childhood. They would come and spend summers at the manor, because their mothers were childhood friends. Gwen was the eldest of them all, just a year older than Ani. Kathrine was her younger sister and she was Anakin’s age. They’ve been betrothed to be married since they were toddlers.

 

In most cases it was usually just an arrangement; but his brother was actually in love with his wife to be. Ben thought their mothers played a big part in ensuring that; by letting them spend so much time together. Gwen was always there as well, quite like Ben. But for him it was easier, as it was his home and he could escape to the library, where he’d spent most of his childhood.

Throughout dinner Gwen engaged Rey in her discussions, and Rey was happy to hear about their childhood. Ben imagined what would have happened if Rey had frequented the manor like the Phasma sisters had. She was Leia goddaughter, but the Kenobi family lived so far away, that it wouldn’t have been convenient. Beside she didn’t have anyone growing up to take her places. Old Ben was much too old to be travelling across country. But Ben mused what it would have been like to know young Rey. She was almost 9 years younger than him, but he knew he could have had a more intelligent conversation with little Rey than people his own age.

 

“I see you are still the same Benjamin. Still so quiet and surly.” Gwen jested, making his mother and Rey giggle at his expense. Ben didn’t mind, if it amused his ladies.

 

“And you are still as brash and assertive as always.” Ben remarked, taking a sip of his wine.

 

“That I still am.” Gwen nodded.

 

“Then tell me Gwen.  Why are you here all of a sudden? I know you wanted to come before, but couldn't. So I find it a little curious that you’d leave your household and travel all the way here, while your husband is still recovering from his ailment-”

 

“Ben!” his mother cut in, but he raised his hand. “Let me finish mother. There has to be a purpose for this visit, and I’d like to know what that purpose is.”

 

Gwen gave him a calm look, she put her utensils down and looked at Leia. “I wanted to say this in my letter, but thought it would be wise to say in person.”

 

Leia gave her a quizzical look, his mother wasn’t aware either. Ben knew his hunch was right.

 

“I know you are all taking good care of Padme; and you are her family. But the child has no parents now, and as much as you love her, Ben will get married and this house will have a new mistress. I’m not sure how much the new Duchess will appreciate having another child around.”

 

She then turned to Ben, “You can’t say you are still thinking about following your uncle’s path, because that’s not how things will work now Ben. I am her aunt, and I can’t have children, so it is only prudent of me to offer to take her responsibility. She would have her own house, and will be loved by two parents and will not have to feel left out.”

 

Everyone was quiet, and the tension in the room was so thick, one could cut it with a knife. Even his mother was too shocked to say anything. Ben kept his eyes locked with Gwen, he will not show any sign of weakness. He put the glass he was clutching down. And looked at his mother, who looked disgruntled and then to Rey. She was at the verge of tears and Ben felt like punching something. But he calmed himself down and looked back at the blonde woman.

 

“I understand where you are coming from, Gwendolyn, but I would like to remind you, I am Padme's legal guardian, and she is my responsibility. Thank you for your concern, but I will not let you or anyone else try and take her away from her own home. And that is final.” Ben said before he got up and walked out of the room.

 


 

Chapter Text


 

 

To Rey it seemed like she was listening to everything from a distance. Like she was floating and the voices were drowned out by the sound of blood rushing to her ears. She couldn’t lose Padme. She’d lost enough. She lost one baby, and she couldn’t handling losing another. But what the woman was saying made sense. If she knew what was best for baby Padme she’d at least say Gwen had a point. But still, she was selfish in her love for her baby. She couldn’t imagine being apart from her.

 

“Leia, you mustn’t misunderstand me. I only want what’s best for Katherine’s baby.” Gwen beseeched.

 

That stung. She knew Padme wasn’t really her blood, but she did everything for her except for carrying her in her belly. Katherine died before giving birth to the baby.They had to cut Padme out of her. It was a horribly selfish thing to think. But when the midwife handed her the baby, she wasn’t breathing. Rey rubbed the baby’s tiny feet and held her to her chest, and by some miracle she started breathing and crying. Padme came to life in her arms. And ever since she loved her like her own.

 

“You must know Katherine was more than my sister, and I feel her loss everyday. And I’d love Padme as my own.”

 

Leia finally opened her mouth. “I don’t doubt that, and I will not question your intentions either. But it isn’t that simple. And I do stand by my son’s decision. He is her legal guardian, and that was Anakin’s wishes. Besides as long as I am alive Padme would never feel unwanted in her own home.”

 

“But-” Phasma started. And Rey knew what she wanted to say, what about after? But this time Leia interrupted her.

 

“We will discuss this matter later. It’s late.” Leia told her.

 

“That’s all I want, I want to discuss this, that’s why I am here. We know it’s okay now, but we don’t know what the future holds, and once Ben gets married-”

 

Rey stood up. “Please excuse me.” She rushed out of the room, she couldn’t breathe, it was too much for her to take, and she couldn’t hear Ben getting married and Padme being shipped off. She was being selfish because Gwen had a point, but she just couldn’t face it.

 

She practically ran upstairs. She fought the urge to go to the nursery and hold the baby to her chest, because she needed some time to think clearly and gather her thoughts. But she knew if she was left along with her thoughts, she would eventually make the right choice and that will break her heart in a million piece.

 

She tried to calm her breathing as she walked to her room. Her heart was beating out of her chest, and tears were running down her face. She shut the door behind her, and leaned back against it. Eyes shut as she choked out her first sob.

 

“Rey?” Her eyes flew open when she heard him say her name. He was standing by her window looking at her. And when he saw her state he rushed to her side in two long strides and gathered her up in his arms.

 

“What’s the matter?” Ben asked.

 

Rey looked up at him, annoyed. He couldn’t be serious, he knew what was matter.

 

“You couldn’t possibly be upset about what Gwen said?” Ben asked.

 

“And why shouldn’t I be?” Rey asked, pulling away from his embrace, walking to her bed and sitting down. Ben sighed loudly and followed her, sitting himself beside her on the tiny bed as well.

 

“You can’t be so arrogant to think she doesn’t have a point.” Rey said and couldn’t keep the accusation out of her tone.

 

“She has a point?” Ben sounded incredulous.

 

“Yes she does, Ben. She is Padme’s aunt, her blood. And she is right, you and Leia, you love Padme, but you won’t be there forever and she would need a mother.”

 

“But she has a mother. You. You are the reason she is alive today. I won’t let anyone take Padme away from you Rey. Blood or no blood.” Ben dismissed.

 

“But what about-” Rey swallowed, “when you get married, there is no guarantee your wife would be kind to her.”

 

Rey knew he made his intentions clear last night. And she said she would think about it, and she had been thinking about it ever since.

 

Ben rolled his eyes. “So you are saying you won’t be kind to Padme?”

 

“Ben-” Rey started.

 

“Ben what? There won’t be any other “Duchess”. I only ever intend to marry you and you are her mother. So I don’t see any point of us arguing about Padme’s future.” Ben said, sounded a little weary. “Unless you are planning to say no.” He said in a calm voice. But Rey knew he was anything but.

 

“Ben I am trying to think practically here. I mean you can’t be serious.”

 

She knew he was infatuated with her. But this could easily be attributed to their proximity to each other and lack of other options on his part.

 

“Serious about what Rey? About being in love with you?”

 

She gasped, turning around to look him in the eyes. Ben turned around folding his leg, facing her as well. He placed one hand on her waist and the other under her chin.

 

“Because I am. I am in love with you. I'm utterly and madly in love with you. And I have never felt this way about anyone before.”

 

Rey felt her heart stutter at his admission. He sounded so sincere. Ben Solo was always sincere. He never said anything he didn’t mean.

 

She felt a tear drop rolling down her cheek. No one ever said those words to her. She reached up and cupped his cheeks in both her hands. And leaned in to brush her lips on his. She pulled away with a sigh. She wanted to say those words back, but she has to make him see. She couldn't give in just to have her heart broken. She didn’t think she can handle it.

 

“I never wanted to marry, Rey. I would have settled for raising Anakin’s daughter as my own. But you made me feel, and I can’t imagine a life without you. So if there ever going to be a mistress of this house, that would be you or no one. So don’t worry about Padme. I don’t want anything to influence your decision, not even the baby, only your own feelings. I won’t accept anything less.”

 

He grasped her hand and brought it to his lips. “And like I said before, I am willing to wait for your answer.”

 

“But it doesn’t matter what my answer is. No one will be happy with this Ben.” Rey said, finally speaking out those words, that had been on her mind for so long. Her insecurities, tormenting her. “You might think you are in love with me, but sooner or later, you’d meet someone, someone who doesn’t have a past-”

 

“There won’t be anyone else.” Ben said with a finality in his voice.

 

“How do you know? You don’t attend social events. Met new people. You haven’t even looked for a bride yet, or courted anyone. How would you know if your heart would want someone else if you never try?”

 

“Because it already belongs to you. And who said I didn’t try? I’m going to be 30 years old in a few months Rey, and my mother had me parading around at those society events ever since I was a boy. I have met my share for women. No one captivated me like you have, Rey.” He said, reaching out and caressing her cheek. She felt herself involuntarily leaning into his touch. But then she snapped out if it.

 

“What about Leia? What about her wishes?”

 

“What do you mean? My mother loves you.”

 

“Yes as a ward and her goddaughter. But no mother would want their only unmarried son to marry a widow.” She said with a voice devoid of emotions.

 

“Have you met my mother? Do you think she cares about that. About a marriage that you went into out of obligation? Let alone hold it against you? Rey, you know her better than that!”

 

Rey looked away. “I just-” but she had no answer for him.

 

Ben wrapped his arms about her and pulled her to his lap, tucking her head under his chin. “Don't worry about Padme. Don't worry about my mother. You wanted me to court? Let me court you. Let me prove to you my feelings. If you don't believe my words, make your decision based on my actions. Give me this one chance.”

 

He tilted her chin up to meet her eyes. He looked at her like she was the most important thing in the world for him. He pecked her lips.

 

She wanted to believe him, she really did. But life had been so unfair to her. She never thought she’d find happiness, and the possibility of it scared her. He was right, she wanted to be sure. And more importantly she wanted him to be sure.

 

“What are you thinking?” He asked her.

 

“Are you sure about this?” She asked him back.

 

“More than anything in my life. But you don’t have to believe my words. I will prove it to you, Rey. You will see.”

 


 

The next morning Ben was extra cautious leaving Rey’s room. He wanted to stay until Rey woke up, but thought it would be prudent to leave early and let her sleep. Padme was up late last night and Rey didn’t get much sleep. He kissed her forehead and her nose, and almost climbed back to bed when he heard her sigh in her sleep nuzzling closer.

 

He got ready and went downstairs for breakfast. He found his mother and Gwen at the dining table, much like how he left them last night.

 

Last night , just the thought made him furious. Gwen crossed a line last night. It was Anakin and Katherine’s decision to make him Padme’s guardian. Her suggestion went against their wishes. Not to mention her insinuating he wouldn’t take care of the baby like he should and let some random woman dictate her future. Ben never planned to marry, Rey just happened. And one of the things that drew him to her was her love for the child. This whole discussion was ridiculous to him.

 

It seemed to be Gwen was acting normally this morning, as if last night never even happened. Ben was cautious he wouldn’t be caught off guard again. But as soon as he heard what they were discussing he lost his appetite.

 

“I can’t wait to get to know her more. From what I’ve heard from you last night, she really is a gem. And I’m glad Padme has her. But-” she took a sip of her tea before adding, “What are you thought about her remarrying? She is your ward, so the responsibility falls on your shoulders, Leia.”

 

Ben felt like getting up and leaving, but that would look suspicious.

 

“Well I haven’t ask her that. And honestly, it’s up to her. I shan’t be forcing her into anything.”

 

“But it’s her life. She can’t be living here taking care of Padme. She needs to have her own family.”

 

Ben’s fist tightened on the fork he was holding. He tried to calm himself down. It didn’t mean anything. But just the thought of her being with someone else made him want to scream.

 

He could just tell his mother he wanted to marry Rey and shut this down right away. As much as he’d like to honor her wishes, Ben was the Duke of Alderaan, and he didn’t need his mother’s permission to marry. Although he knew his mother wouldn’t be opposed to the idea.

 

But that would mean Rey would have the pressure of his mother’s expectation as well. If he declare his intentions to the world, and she didn’t want to marry him in the end, she’d have people asking her the reason. And he couldn’t imagine being the reason for her distress. He didn’t want her to feel obligated in anyway.

 

“You don’t have to ask her directly, just take her to social events. When she interacts and socializes she’d know better. You have to give her the scope. That is all you need to do.”

 

“Hmm. You have a point.” His mother agreed, to his horror. She also turned to look at him. And Ben couldn’t quite place the look she gave him. Gwen laughed beside her.

 

“Yes it rings true for your son too. He needs to find a bride as well.” She said pointedly.

 

“We are not talking about this again.” Ben grinded out. On the contrary, he thought, maybe leaving was a better option.

 

“You don’t have to, you just have to accompany the ladies.” Gwen picked up a letter from the pile in front of his mother. Leia was in the process of checking the mails. “Here is an invitation to a ball that your mother was considering attending.” She turned to Leia and said, “I think you should take Rey as well. Let her socialize a little.”

 

“I think it’s an excellent idea as well.” Leia said. Right then Rey walked into the room. “Oh Rey’s here as well.” She took her usual seat.

 

“What do you think of attending a ball? Leia is going, so is Ben.” Gwen asked her without a beat.

 

“Um, what about the baby?” Rey asked. Always her first priority.

 

“Padme will come with us. The building work in our London home is completed.  We can spend a weekend there and attend society.” Leia enthused.

 

“I will be attending as well. Come on it’ll be exciting.” Gwen said, placing her hand over Rey’s.

 

Rey looked down at her hand then to Ben. Their eyes met and Ben saw something flash in them. It was too fast for him to understand.

 

“Okay, if you all are going.” Rey said finally.

 

“Excellent, I am sending a letter to tell the staff to make preparation. Gwen are you coming with us?”

 

“No, I am leaving this afternoon, but you will see me in London.” Gwen responded. They started talking about preparations, and Ben tuned them out.

 

He looked at Rey, she was very quiet. When she felt his eyes on her, she looked up. As much as the thought of her socializing with other men infuriated him, this could be an excellent opportunity for him to prove his sincerity to her.

 

He understood her insecurities, even though most of her concerns were unfounded. Anyone who she deemed worthy of her would be the luckiest man on earth. Her being a widow had nothing to do with it. And he surely didn’t deserve her, even if she thought otherwise. He also understood her fear, everyone she loved had left her, unwillingly so but she still felt abandoned, it would take time until she could trust again. But he was in love with her. And he knew it in his heart she loved him too.

 

Ben realized so far they had been involved in secret. It was time to change that. He would be courting her and she would see. Besides the prospect of traveling with her again, made him feel giddy. He would have an excuse to take her out and dance with her in public. Ben realized attending the ball might actually work in his favor after all.

 


 

Chapter Text

 

 


 

 

They set out for London on Friday morning. Padme was excited to be out again. Ben realized the baby, much like her father liked carriage rides. She was sitting on his lap, looking out of the window, pointing at things and looking up and talking to him in her baby garble. He smiled down at her and occasionally hummed and nodded.

 

The whole ride his mother and Rey were engaged in conversation. They took a break around midday for lunch, but were on the road soon after. He held the baby most of the ride. Rey only took her for feeding. She happily handed Padme back to him when they were done. Ben had a feeling she enjoyed it when he interacted with the child. Ben did too, he was very fond of the little one and loved any excuse to be affectionate towards her.

 

They reached their London home around sundown. It was a grand house, one Ben never understood the need for. But his family had it for generations. It might have made sense when his Grandfather Bail was alive; he was a prominent political figure and attended parliament, so he spent a lot of time in London. Now it felt like a waste. Growing up Ben didn’t have the best memories of this house. They stayed here when his mother attended balls, and it meant inevitable boredom for boy Ben, and unwanted attention when he got older.

 

But this time around it felt different. With Rey and Padme with him, it felt unusually domestic to be visiting the estate. He was asked to take the master suite, which was his mother’s usual room, but he declined, saying she’d be more comfortable there. They made sure Rey got the room with a temporary nursery, she requested it when Leia wrote to the staff to make preparations for their visit.

 

He was happy to stay in his own room, which was next to the one Rey was currently occupying. He didn’t plan to spend much time there though. He was already getting ready to go to the next room. He dismissed the attendant assigned to him. Ben never felt comfortable being attended to by servants. He pulled on his nightshirt and a pair of loose breeches, and put on his robes. Everyone went to bed early after the long journey. So the household was quiet already.

 

He knocked once before stepping inside. Rey had her back towards the door, standing in front of the door to the balcony. Padme was in her arms, she was rocking the baby to sleep. When she heard him come in, she gestured for him to be quiet, and Ben obliged. He was entranced by the scene.  Rey standing by the open door - through which moon light was streaming in, as the curtains fluttered with the mild summer breeze. Her hair was down and she was wearing one of her nightgowns that she wore to bed.

 

Ben quietly sat down on the bed, with his back pressed against the headboard. She was pacing the room and softly singing a lullaby. When Padme fell asleep, she took her to the adjacent nursery and put the baby in the crib. The door to the nursery was right across from the bed and Ben could see the crib. Rey walked back to the bedroom and pulling the door shut behind her.

 

Ben held out his hand and she took it and let him pull her to bed. It had become a routine for them to sleep in the same bed. She cuddled up against his chest, and he pressed his lips in her hair. She was quiet and was playing with the string of his night shirt.

 

“What are you thinking?” Ben asked, tilting his head to look down at her.

 

“Nothing.” she answered, her voice muffled by her nuzzling his chest.

 

“What are your expectations from tomorrow?” Ben asked, he was genuinely curious.

 

“What expectations? I'm here because your family is here.”

 

“Yes, but they expect you to socialize and meet potential suitors. Men looking for a wife.” Ben stated. He tried to keep the infection and jealousy from his voice but failed.

 

She peered up at him. “I never had the plan to remarry.”

 

Ben felt his heart stop for a second.

 

Then she continued, “I don't want to parade myself in front of men, like I'm some kind of possession. I've done it once when I came out into society. I never wanted to do that again.”

 

Ben felt his fear pacified a little. But her statement still left him unsettled.

 

“I don't want to see you being paraded in front of unsavory men either.” he pulled her back. “You know you just have to say yes.” he smirked down at her.

 

She pushed up again and smile at him. “They want you to socialize as well. So what's your expectations of tomorrow?”

 

“I'll do no such thing.” he said flatly.

 

“And if I tell you I want you to do that?”

 

“Why would you want that?”

 

“Because I want you to know that there are other options for you, than just me. I want you to see that.” she beseeched.

 

Ben snorted. “You are so stubborn.”

 

“Would you have liked me if I wasn't?” she asked, resting her chin on top of her hands over his chest.

 

“You wouldn't be you if you weren't.” Ben observed, tucking a lock of hair behind her ears.

 

“I'm here to court you. No one else. And soon people will realize that.” Rey furrowed her brow questioningly.

 

“I'll parade around with you on my arm talking to other women and  you can see, and decide for yourself if I'm wrong. I won't be happy with them.  If you know me at all, you'd see that as well.”

 

Rey sighed shaking her head.

 

“I can be stubborn as well.” Ben quipped.

 

“Let's sleep, before little miss in the other room wakes up.” He said kissing her forehead.

 


 

His uncle arrived first thing in the morning. Looking grim and foreboding as usual, in his dark grey attire. But when his eyes fell on Rey his face cracked into a bright smile. One Ben hadn't seen in years and one he quite missed. His uncle wasn't always the man he was now, he was a bright ray of light that grew fainter with the years.

 

“Uncle Luke!” Rey squeaked when she saw him walk into the drawing room of the London home. She got up from her seat and walked up to him and curtsied.

 

Luke tilted his head to the side and touched her cheek and smiled at her, “My precious girl. How have you been?”

 

“I've been well, Uncle.” she beamed up at him.

 

Luke looked passed her at the bassinet that Padme was sitting in. She had her whole fist in her mouth, sucking on it noisily.

 

“And there is my little bundle of joy.” Luke crouched down in front her and tickled her chin, making Padme giggle in joy.

 

He looked up and met Ben’s eyes and smirked. “Good to see you enjoying family life.” he said looking around.

 

Ben stood up and walked over to his uncle. They embraced and Luke patted his back.

 

“I'm glad you could join us Uncle.” Ben said.

 

Growing up Luke was the only father figure he knew. His father was rarely around, and when he was in the house he'd never got along with his youngest.

 

“You mother asked me to join you. I don't think I want her wrath upon me by ignoring that request.” Luke said, “Where is she?”

 

“She is getting her dress fitted for the ball.” Rey answered.

 

“And what about you? Aren't you going to get  fitted as well?” Luke asked her goodnaturedly.

 

“I have had something fitted already.” Rey said. Her eyes flitted to Ben for just a second.

 


 

Ben was waiting by the door, his hat and his cane walking stick in his hand. His uncle tapping his feet with impatience beside him. They were both military men. They appreciated punctuality. Whereas his mother always took a lot of time getting ready. She would always wear the most extravagant gowns, and her hair would be put into the most elegant style. Leia Organa demanded attention and appreciation wherever she went. And she was never late, everyone else was just early.

 

“Is Rey following your Mother's suit?” Luke huffed beside him.

 

But Ben knew why she was late. She was probably fussing over Padme. They'd be leaving her with a new nanny. And Rey was having a hard time dealing with that fact.

 

They saw his mother walking down in her elegant white gown. And Ben helped her take the last few steps. But as soon as she was down, his mother gasped. Ben followed her line of sight and looked up.

 

He felt his breath knocked out of his chest. Rey stood at the top of the stairs, wearing the red dress he got for her all those weeks ago. Ben had left it in her room the night before they came to London. They didn’t talk about it, and he didn’t even know she brought it with her, let alone would actually wear it to the ball.

 

She looked absolutely gorgeous in that gown. The red color against her sunkissed skin looked incredible. All Ben wanted was to run up to her, pick her up in his arms and take her to his bed. Ball be damned.

 

He heard her mother clear her throat beside him, and he tore his eyes from Rey and looked down at his mother. She nodded towards Rey as if saying “where are you manners?’ He got the hint, not that he needed much prompting. He ran up the stairs, and offered his hand to Rey as she started to descend the stairs. She took his hand, and Ben felt the familiar spark as their skin touched.

 

He helped her down and walked her to the carriage. Ben reluctantly let go of her hand when they boarded the carriage. He sighed as he took his seat beside his Uncle. This was going to be a long night for him.

 


 

When they reached the venue, his uncle walked Rey into the ball. Something about how her godfather should be the one to introduce her, which Ben found extremely inconvenient. He and his Mother walked ahead, with Luke and Rey following closely behind. They were introduced at the entrance and instantly all eyes were on them. Wherever he looked his eyes were met with sugary sweet smile and cunning eyes.

 

He longed to turned around and look at his girl in the pretty red dress. As soon as they entered they were greeted by the Admiral. They exchanged greetings, and he introduced them to his friends. His Mother and Uncle had a long history with the Admiral, and they treated the portly man as family. But right now he was getting on Ben’s nerves.

 

“This is Captain Roberts.  He has just returned from sea and is looking to settle down.” He informed Luke, and Ben didn’t miss the way Robert's eyes drifted to Rey, which made his skin crawl.

 

“Maybe he should ask Lady Rey for a dance later. Hope you have spots left on your card my Lady.” The older man smiled, looking at Rey directly this time.

 

They talked to the Admiral’s party, and he introduced the man Ben had met at the Gentleman’s club; the one with the eligible daughters. Unfortunately this time they were accompanying their Father.

 

“This is Heather and Mary Beth, Your Graces.  My daughters.” The girls curtsied deeply, both looking at Ben.

 

“Charmed.” Leia said with a smile, while Ben fidgeted beside her.

 

Across from them Luke and Rey were in deep conversation, one that he could hardly hear over the music. They were joined by two more gentlemen, and they were both staring at Rey as she talked. He caught the end of their conversation, it was about his Uncle’s recent travel to Paris.

 

“They can both sing and dance. Excellent at managing households and Heather’s needlework is the best in the county.” The man droned on at Ben about his daughters.

 

Ben was getting extremely frustrated, and looked at Rey to save him from this torture. But his little minx seemed to be enjoying his suffering. She gave him a cheeky smile instead.

 

“Is that so?” Leia enthused and Ben wanted to die.

 

Then came another one of his Mother’s acquaintances with her daughter in toe. Ben knew this woman and her daughter. They had been introduced before. She practically shoved the man to the side in order to talk to Leia. They greeted his Mother and then turned to him.

 

“Your Grace. Do you remember my daughter, Bianca? You have been introduced before. Perhaps you’d like to ask her for a dance?’

 

If he was honest he forgot about them. All he remembered was that this woman had been married three times, and her daughter was from her first husband. She was pretty, he supposed, and the woman was looking to marry her to someone who’d bring her the most wealth and influence.

 

“Not really.” Ben said curtly.

 

The woman was taken aback at his direct rejection. Leia looked extremely uncomfortable. And his detached response wasn’t helping. But from the looks of it his Mother wasn’t very fond of them either.

 

As if sensing the tension Luke joined in the conversation. And Rey was looking a little distorted as well. “I just had the pleasure of meeting your husband on a voyage, Lady Wainwright” He enthused trying to distract them.

 

Right then the music changed, and the song that started playing was one of Rey’s favorites. Ben looked at her, but his Mother beat him to it.

 

“Isn’t this the song you keep singing Rey?” Leia asked.

 

She nodded with a smile.

 

“Ah, then maybe you should let someone take you for a dance?” Luke asked.

 

Ben had had enough of this.  If he wanted to make a point then he had to do it now.

 

“Excuse me Mother,” he said to Leia.  He then walked up to Rey, and stood in front of her.

 

“My Lady, may I have the honor of this dance?” He asked, extending his hand towards her.

 

He knew everyone’s eyes were on them, and Rey was too shocked to react immediately. She clearly didn’t expect him to be so forward. Rey put her hand in his, almost like her body was compelling her to. Ben smirked and turned to his Uncle.

 

“Is that okay?” He asked for Luke’s permission.

 

“Yes of course. Go ahead. I will keep your Mother company.” Luke stated.

 

Ben pulled Rey away from the annoying crowd, and lead her to the dance floor at the center of the hall.

 

They caught up with the music and soon were dancing among the couples. He wrapped his arm around her waist, feeling the silken fabric under his palm. Her one hand was resting on his shoulder and the other engulfed by his large hand. He pulled her closer than strictly necessary.

 

Her eyes were locked on his, as he swayed her to the sound of the music.

 

“You look surprised.” Ben smirked down at her. “I told you I will be courting you.”

 

“I didn’t expect you to…”

 

“To what?  Pull you away in front of my family, and all those potential suitors?” Ben whispered in her ear, “Do you really think I’d let those slimy men put their hands on you?”

 

Rey pulled away too look him in the eyes. Her own widening a little. He leaned in, his lips almost touching her temple, “You are mine, Rey. And as much as you want to deny it, I am yours too. Only yours.”

 

Ben turned his face and brushed his lips against her cheek, making her jump a little in his arms. As the song ended Ben didn’t let go. They danced into the next song, eyes lock, lost in each other.

 


Rey Moodboard:

Chapter Text


 

 

They'd been dancing for a while and Ben seemed to have no intention of stopping. His eyes locked onto hers. They'd sometimes drift to her lips, down to her neck and then her cleavage. He’d tear his eyes up to meet hers again, looking apologetic. But she couldn't blame him. The dress did put a lot of emphasis on her bosom, especially when they are dancing so close.

 

Having him so close affected her as well. She was aware of his every move. His hand on her back, he would slide it down her spine, over the silken fabric to her waist when he turned them. Every time that happened Rey would almost forget her steps and years of dance lessons.

 

Ben was a good dancer and had a natural instinct. He led her on, even when she missed a step or two. Rey was agile and quick on her feet, but she never cared much about dancing. At that moment it felt even less relevant. All that mattered was his eyes on her and their hearts beating in sync with the music.

 

His eyes on her felt like the gentlest caress. They were dark with passion and devotion for her. She could feel his love in that moment. The ballroom disappeared as if they were the only two people there. The only two that mattered.

 

“I want to be able to kiss you.” he whispered after a while. The statement was a simple one, but full of implications. “To hold your hands and be able to call you mine.” he added with a sigh as he pulled closer to his chest, nuzzling into her hair.

 

“Please be mine, Rey.” his voice filled with longing, it made her knees weak.

 

They didn't even notice when the music ended, and the couples stood side by side clapping.

 

Ben let go of her waist, but kept holding her hand. He quickly hooked her arm in his, and placed his other hand over her one resting on his bicep.

 

The couples for the coordinated group dance started lining up in the middle, and Ben pulled her away, towards the edge of the dance floor.

 

Rey was looking down at their joined hands. When she peered up she found him still looking down at her. Right then they heard a familiar voice, calling out to them.

 

“Ben, Rey!”

 

They looked to the side to find Gwendolyn approaching them, looking regal in her deep blue ball gown, fluttering around her ankles as she made her way to them.

 

“Gwen.” Ben greeted her curtly.

 

Rey smiled at the statuesque woman, and they both curtsied.

“It’s a pleasure meeting you again, Gwendolyn.” Rey said, and Ben grumbling something under his breath beside her.

 

Gwen didn’t seem to miss that either. She turned to Ben and said,

 

“Your mother has tasked me with introducing you to a few… people.”

 

“Oh! Did she now?” Ben exclaimed in a high pitched voice, that was certainly not like himself. “Please lead the way.” He gestured.

 

Rey tried to pull away, but he held tight. “Lady Rey should accompany us.”

 

“Of course.” Gwen said over her shoulder, as she led them to a group of young women.

 

“Ladies, this is His Grace, the Duke of Alderaan.” Gwen declared.

 

They all curtsied lowly, almost as if in sync.

 

“And this is Lady Rey Kenobi.” Gwen added gesturing towards Rey.

 

But none of them seemed to be interested in her. Their eyes peeled on Ben. Rey peered up at him, but he had his own eyes fixed at some point above their heads.

 

“This is Lady Susan Thorpe. Lady Elinor Dashwood, Lady Charlotte Fitzwilliam, and Lady Rosalind Hamilton.”

 

“Pleasure.” Ben muttered under his breath.

 

“As you all know, His Grace is currently unattached, looking for a bride.” Gwen said with a bright smile.

 

Rey felt a little hollow at the remark. And beside her Ben stiffened as well.

 

“And I am tasked with introducing him to the most eligible Ladies at the ball.” Gwen added with a sweeping gesture at them, making them giggle. They were giving Ben this hungry look that set Rey’s teeth on edge. Making her question why was she willingly doing this to herself?

 

“I’ll stop you there, Gwen. I actually have a few questions that I would like to ask them. If they don’t mind, of course.” Ben said, his voice sounded polite but had a sharpness to it that Rey wasn’t used to.

 

“Oh. Ask away. The purpose of this was for you to get to know them.” Gwen stated, but she looked a little off guard.

 

Ben still held Rey at his side. She felt the women's eyes on her. They gave her a look of disdain, as if wondering why was she with him.

 

He followed their glances to Rey and gave her a smirk. There was a glint in his eyes that made her aware that he was up to something.

 

“What are your thoughts on politics, ladies?”

 

One of them, the first one to be introduced, Rey believed her name was Susan, huffed. “Politics is the world of men, what do we have to do with it?” She said it as if the topic bored her and she would much rather not discuss it. Others exchanged glances, but remained quiet as well.

 

Right then a server came and offered them drinks and the women didn't even acknowledge him, rather waved him away. Rey felt bad, she smiled at the server and took a glass of chardonnay, thanking him.

 

“Hmm, moving on. Household staff, what are your thoughts about them?”

 

Elinor, with dark blonde curls, answered this time. “What of them? They are there to help us. And we should know how to manage them to run a successful household.”

 

“Certainly. And how would you treat them?” Ben pressed on with a disarming smile that made the woman blush.

 

Rey saw Gwen shake her head. “They are servants and should be treated as such.” Susan interjected with a sharp smile of her own.

 

“Naturally.” Ben said. Fixing her with a stony glance but his smile still in place.

 

“Those are beautiful earrings,” Ben pointed out to the blonde woman on the right. “Lady..?”

 

“Charlotte Fitzwilliam.” The women breathed out. “Thank you, Your Grace.”

 

“Lapis Lazuli. Like the headdress of a famous Queen of Egypt.” Ben looked around, “Can you ladies tell me her name?”

 

Rey looked up at him. She knew what he was doing. He was trying to prove a point, and so far she had to admit, he was succeeding.

 

The women looked at each other, confused, before looking at him. Even the proud black haired one, named Susan looked a little flustered, her snide look crumbling a little. Rey saw Gwen roll her eyes.

 

“Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.” She exasperated. “Is this really relevant, Your Grace?” She bit out.

 

“No. Just a little history behind the stone she is adorning.” Giving Charlotte his most charming smile. The woman turned pink and she ducked her head bashfully.

 

“My next question is about children. How do you ladies feel about them?” Ben asked, his voice sounding genuinely curious.

 

“Love them,” Rosalind, the one with blue eyes answered. She had been quiet so far. “I want to have at least three.” She added with a bright smile.

 

“They’d be a handful, how do you plan to take care of them?” Ben pushed on.

 

“There would be nannies, of course.” She stated in a matter of fact way. And the other two nodded.

 

“I would have a governess for them from an early age. The Lady of the house doesn't have time to raise children. Boys would be sent to boarding school, of course, to ensure proper education.” Susan stated.

 

She had a point, that’s just the way of society, but it still horrified Rey. If they were willing to send their own children away, what would they do to the one that wasn’t their own, she could only imagine. They might be eligible but not for Ben or the Solo household.

 

Ben glanced at Gwen, and she looked aghast, like her worse fears were being realized. He then turned to Rey, and gave her a pointed look. Rey shook her head. If they indeed represented the most eligible ones, Ben was right, he wouldn’t be happy with these women.

 

Noticing the thoughtful look in her eyes, he cleared his throat.

 

“Thank you for your time, ladies. Now if you’d excuse us.” Ben told them. The look of shock and confusion on their faces was almost comical. Rey could only shake her head. Ben then turned to Gwen, and asked “Gwendolyn. Are you coming?”

 

“Yes.” She answered, her irritation clear in her features.

 

He pulled them away and as soon as they were out of the young women's earshot.

 

“What was all that?” Gwen gritted in a hushed voice. Ben finally let go of Rey’s arm and turned to face Gwen.

 

“I told you I wasn’t interested in all this, but you had to push my Mother.” Ben spat out.

 

Looking at them Rey suddenly realized what they reminded her of. They were like siblings, arguing about something they disagreed on. Maybe they were, to a certain extent. They practically grew up together.

 

“Then you could’ve refused right away.” Gwen narrowed her eyes, “Why didn’t you? It’s not like you to do something you don’t want to do. It’s not like anyone can make you do anything.  Especially not now that you are the Duke.” She said throwing her hands up.

 

“Exactly. I think you should remember that next time.” Ben snapped, taking a step towards Gwen.

 

“BEN!” Rey exclaimed, placing her hand on his arms. He pulled back, composing his features again.

 

Rey looked at Gwen, she didn’t look offended. She folded her arms in front of her and gave Ben a bored look, like she’d seen him react like this before. But then she looked between them, and was about to open her mouth when someone call out from behind.

 

“Ben!”

 

They turned around to find a handsome man with a bright smile approaching them. His steps had a slight limp to them, and he was walking with a walking stick. “There you are. I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

 

He extended his hand and the two man shook.

 

“Rey this is Poe Dameron, my dear friend. And-” he turned to the man, “ This is Lady Rey Kenobi.”

 

“It’s a pleasure to finally make your acquaintance, Lady Rey.” Poe said, taking her hand in his and brushing his lips against her knuckles. “I’ve heard so much about you.”

 

“And you know Gwen.” Ben added.

 

He turned to Gwen and nodded, “My Lady.”

 

“Ben, now that your friend is here, I’d like to steal Rey away for a moment.” Gwen told Ben, as she took Rey’s hand. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to her.” Seeing Ben’s suspicious look she added, “Don’t worry. We won’t be long.”

 

She pulled Rey away, before Ben could protest.

 


 

They found two empty chairs at the far end of the hall and sat down facing each other.

 

Gwen leaned over and placed her hand over Rey’s, and said “I apologize, I had to leave the manor. I was looking forward to spending a little more with you, and to get to know you better.”

 

Rey smiled at the older woman.

 

“I heard what happened during Padme’s birth, and afterwards from Leia. I can't tell you how grateful I am to you.” She added.

 

“You don't-” Rey tried to speak but Gwen interrupted her.

 

“I know what you would say. That I don't have to thank you, because you see Padme as your own. And I understand that. I just wanted to thank you on behalf of Katherine.” she said, discreetly wiping the tears from the corner of her eyes. Rey knew it was hard for her. This woman probably never showed weakness in front of anyone.

 

Rey turned her hand and captured Gwendolyn’s hand in hers. She squeezed the woman's hand in reassurance.

 

“I also wanted to apologize for my words at dinner that night. I know I have hurt you, unintentionally, but still. It must have sounded selfish and uncaring, believe me I'd never want to take her away from you. I just didn’t know. You must believe me Rey.” she beseeched.

 

“I understand.” Rey said, “You just want what's best for Padme. I can never begrudge you for that. And you are right, if Ben’s wife doesn’t accept Padme-”

 

“But that’s ridiculous.” Gwen said. “Ben will only marry you.”

 

Rey gasped, “I beg your pardon?”

 

“Ben is in love with you. You must know that?”

 

“What? How?” Rey asked, all color draining out of her face.

 

“Anyone with eyes can see that Rey. And I know you feel the same way too. You two weren’t very subtle on the dancefloor.” Gwen was looking at her shocked face. Rey averted her eyes.

 

“I wasn’t sure, that’s why I took on the responsibility to introduce him with those women. I wanted to see your reaction.” She paused for a second before adding. “But I’m confused. I’ve known Ben since he was a boy, he is very single minded. He could have refused, but he didn’t. Almost as if he was trying to prove something.”

 

Rey bit her lips together, because she knew that he was indeed trying to prove something-- to her.

 

“I know there is something going on between you two. You can tell me Rey. Why did he agree to make acquaintance with those women if he is in love with you.” She sounded concerned, and it reminded Rey of her late sister. Katherine was kind. Rey found a sister in her, and she could see the same qualities in Gwen as well, below the hard exterior.

 

Then her eyes widened in some realization, “Don’t tell me he wants to keep you a secret?” Gwen sounded horrified.

 

Rey was appalled by her insinuation. She needed to clear up the confusion. Ben would never. What was between them was pure and she couldn’t let someone think of it in that way.

 

“No!” Rey insisted. “Ben would never. He wants me to be his wife. I made him see those women.” She admitted, looking down at her hands resting on her lap.

 

“But why would you do that? Why would anyone do that?” Gwen outraged.

 

“I want him to be sure. I wanted him to know there are other women out there.  Women who could make a better wife.” She mumbled, not daring to meet the older woman’s eyes.

 

When she didn’t say anything for a while, Rey peered up to look at Gwen.

 

“You surprise me, Rey. I am in awe of your strength.” She stated. “No woman would be strong enough to do what you are trying to do. You are willing to let go of Padme to ensure her future, even if it destroys you. And you are willing to see the man you love with another woman, if it means his happiness.”

 

“Apparently not. I couldn’t stand it.” Rey gave out a nervous laugh. “Couldn’t see him with them. I thought I could, but…” She felt her cheeks warming and looked away.

 

Across the room she could see Ben. His back turned to them, still he was so easy to spot. No man stood quite that tall, or commanding. His presence demanded attention. And she could see people drawn to him. But this man only wanted her. It was hard to believe, but it was true. Rey knew it.

 

“He only has eyes for you, Rey.” Gwen said noticing where she was looking. “Ben was always special. He never showed interest in anyone. And he was bent on following his Uncle’s path. We just thought he was different.” She looked back at her and added, “But in reality he just hadn’t met the one.”

 


 

“You are right she is exquisite. Everyone in the hall has their eyes on her.” Poe chuckled.

 

Ben’s expression soured in seconds. “Yes, that is precisely the problem.” Ben grumbled.

 

“Did you not let your feelings be known?” Poe asked looking confused. “I mean the way you two were dancing, one would think you are courting her.”

 

“That was the point.” He sighed. “And yes, I did tell her how I feel.” Ben looked at the glass of champagne in his hand, “I even asked her to marry me.”

 

Poe almost choked on his drink, before he composed himself, “And what was her answer?”

 

“I didn’t ask for one. I want her to think.” Ben tried to sound nonchalant.

 

“To think? You should have made an announcement by now.” Poe insisted, “Not only is she young and beautiful, she is also rich.” Ben looked at him, “I just heard the Admiral mention it to a gentleman.”

 

“Of course he did.” Ben gritted out, “ And she is.” he confirmed, “Her family left a generous amount for her in patrimony.”

 

“Oh. No wonder the overwhelming interest.” Poe said, shaking her head. “Any suitor would want her. Rich widows are in high demand.”

 

“Don’t you think I know that?” Ben was feeling extremely irritated.

 

“Well, the bright side is they think you are courting her. The way you walk around arm in arm. And the dancing.” he nodded towards the dancefloor. “Consider territory marked.”

 

Ben thought about Poe’s remarks. That was the point. He did want to court her. But now every moment she wasn’t at his side was putting him on edge. He could still feel the softness of her gown under his palm. He should go and find her.

 

He quickly spotted his Mother and Uncle close to the entrance. He bid Poe goodbye and walked towards them. He wanted to leave. When he approached the twins he saw they were talking to a couple, who looked vaguely familiar.

 

“Ben! There you are. You remember our cousins from Naboo?” His mother asked when he approached them.

 

Ben looked at the couple, they were indeed his cousins from his late grandmother Padme’s side. He remembered spending a summer at their home, the Naberrie estate when he was younger.

 

“Yes. It’s a pleasure.” Ben greeted them, shaking the gentleman’s hand.

 

Right then Rey and Gwen joined their little party.

 

Their cousin’s whispered something to Luke and he told them to go ahead.

 

Ben was confused, he asked his Uncle. “What’s going on?”

 

“We are leaving with the Naberries. They’ve invited us to spend a few days at their estate.” His mother said.

 

“They are honoring our Mother in the county and want us to be there.” Luke interjected.

 

“It’s the 50th Anniversary of her passing.” Leia added grimly.

 

Ben looked between them. It was a little unnerving when the twins coordinate their responses like this.

 

“But it’s late. Is it wise to travel at this hour? You can leave for Naboo county in the morning.” Ben implored.

 

“Yes we certainly could, but the event is the day after tomorrow. If we set out now, we’d reach there tomorrow night.” Luke said.

 

“But-” Ben started.

 

“Don’t worry son, it’s not like this is our first adventure.” Luke said, with a crooked smile.

 

There was no stopping them once they’ve set their minds.

 

“Very well.” Ben sighed, giving up convincing them.

 

His Mother reached up and touched his cheek, “You two enjoy the weekend.” She looked at Rey. “Don’t cut the trip short. Take Padme to the garden party tomorrow.” Then turned to Gwen, “You take care of them.”

 

“I shall.” Gwen gave Leia a broad smile.

 

“I will see you at the manor.” Leia said, before she joined Luke at the entrance.

 

Gwen sighed beside them, “I should go find my husband. I will see you tomorrow.” With that she left as well.

 

“So what do we do now?” Rey asked, looking up at him.

 

Ben turned to her, and the whole evening came back to him. It was stressful and at times unbearable. But in the end he felt like it was a rather successful one. He demonstrated his point. She finally looked less doubtful. She looked breathtaking in the dress he’d presented her with, and their dance was magical. Ben couldn’t wait to finally have her all to himself. Hold her and kiss her. And it seemed like fate gave him an opportunity to have her all to himself. Well not entirely. He didn’t mind sharing her with Padme.

 

“Now,” He smirked down at her, taking her arm in his again, “We call it a night and go home.”


 

Rey Ball Dressboard:

 

Chapter Text

 


 

 

Ben walked them out the entrance. He could feel the eyes on them. It was like everyone they passed were looking at them. The whole of London society was watching their every move. He knew he had to somehow make it official. Let people know he was courting Rey, unless they get the wrong idea.

 

The only problem was he gave her his word, that he won't pressurize her into a decision. But she really needed to make one. And fast.

 

He looked down at his love and wondered, he must be the luckiest man in the world. That he gets to be by her side. He could see it in every man's eyes, they wanted to be in his place, they coveted her. He felt the green-eyed monster turning inside his belly. He glared at anyone who dared to look at her. Communicating his place, marking his territory, as Poe put it.

 

Rey seemed to be lost in her own thoughts. Ben nudged her to get her attention as they make their way down to the main gate to their carriage. She turned her head to look at him.

 

“What are you thinking?” Ben asked in a soft voice.

 

“About balls and society.” she sighed. “It's silly.” she added.

 

“I'm sure it isn't. Tell me.” he urged.

 

“What's the point of all this?” she asked. Ben knew it was a rhetorical question. But he opted for an answer anyway.

 

“People like to feel important. And want attention. Elaborate gatherings make them feel special.” Ben said looking around at the finely dressed, jewel-studded gentry. Much like her, he often time wondered the same thing. And that's the difference between her and any other women.

 

“You asked them those questions.” she asked suddenly. “Why those particular ones?”

 

“Isn't it obvious? Why do you think?” Ben countered.

 

“I don't know.” she answered, again not meeting his gaze.

 

“Politics and History, are two of my favorite subjects.” Ben answered pointedly. He knew they were hers as well. Something they both have in common. But he didn't point that out. He knew Rey already figured it out.

 

“My mother raised me to treat our staff with respect and not act entitled. You can tell a lot about a person observing how they treat the people in their service.” Ben continued.

 

Rey was raised much the same way. Her employees at the mansion adored her. Compassion was something that was rare in the society they lived in.

 

“And you know why I asked about children.” Ben said. And this time she nodded. He was sure that's one question both Rey and Gwen appreciated.

 

“Need I explain more?” he asked.

 

Rey shook her head. Ben let go of her to help her with her coat. He shrugged his own heavy coat on and draped hers over her slender shoulders.

 

He was pulling her back to his side when a gentlemen lightly tapped at her shoulder. Rey and Ben both turned to look at a nicely dressed gentleman. He was in his late twenties. Ben couldn't help but fix him with a hard glance. But the man only had his eyes for Rey.

 

“Well well, Lady Rey, I did not expect to run into you here. I thought you swore off balls.” he chuckled.

 

And to Ben’s horror Rey giggled by his side. Ben looked down at her. She was smiling up at the man.

 

“Sir Tristan Wren. It's a pleasure. I can see you've returned from your assignment.” Rey said.

 

“I have and I am back to the scene, thanks to my mother.” he said rolling his eyes.

 

Rey laughed. Looking at Ben.

 

“Pardon my manners. This is His Grace, Duke of Alderaan.” Rey introduced him to the man.

 

“And this,” Rey gestured towards the man, “Is Sir Tristan Wren, of the Mandalorian Clan Wren.”

 

Ben knew about them. They were elite clan of soldiers. In fact Rey’s grandmother the duchess was from Mandalore.

 

“His sister is my good friend,” Rey inform Ben. “Speaking of how is Sabine?”

 

“Finally agreed to marry actually. The ceremony is at the end of summer.” Wren answered.

 

“Besides, I would consider myself a friend of yours as well, my lady.” he added, in his easy way. He must have been a very likeable man, if they'd have met in any other circumstance, Ben might have liked him as well. But now all he could think was how familiar he was with Rey.

 

Rey laughed in her free way, before saying. “You are. We connected in our disdain for this kind of events.” she looked around to make her point.

 

“And that's why I'm surprised to find you here. London, the heart of it all.” Wren gestured.

 

“I'm here with the Duke’s family. His mother is my Godmother and I'm staying with them.” Rey said sweetly.

 

“Oh,” Wren observed looking between them. Clearly wondering what was between them. And as if to prove his point Ben tightened his grasp on her.

 

“You must be on your way, I shouldn't keep you here in the cold much longer.” he looked at Ben and smiled, extending his hand towards him, “It was a pleasure making your acquaintance, Your Grace. Are you here attending the season? I'd much like to see you both again.” Wren asked.

 

“No. But we are attending the Garden party tomorrow. Then we will be returning back to Alderaan.” Ben informed.

 

“Then I must catch you there tomorrow.” He told Ben, then turned to Rey and gave her beaming smile. And captured her hands in his, brushing his lips against her knuckles, making Ben clench his jaw.

 

“Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, my Lady. Sabine will be thrilled to see you.” he added letting go of her hand.

 

“I look forward to it as well.” Rey said as Ben pulled her away towards the gates.

 


 

When the carriage started pulling, sitting across from her, Ben couldn't help but feel a bit annoyed.

 

“He seemed to be very familiar with you.” Ben said, trying to keep the sharp edge of his tone, but failing.

 

“Well Sabine and I came out into society together. We both hated socializing. Sabine more than myself. And Tristan was there to keep her from losing her temper.” Rey smiled as if remembering fond memories.

 

“He is interested in you.” Ben said flatly. He was jealous and he didn't like to play games, or beat around the bushes.

 

“Yes he did want to court me, but he had to leave and I couldn't wait.” she answered truthfully.

 

“Were you-” Ben swallowed dreading her answer, “Were you involved?”

 

“No.” she said, shaking her head. “he was just a good friend. But if he could stay, yes I might have considered his offer. Grandpa wanted me to have a husband.” Rey said looking down at her linked fingers. “He would have been a good choice, our families were familiar and they are good people. But it wasn't meant to be.” Rey concluded.

 

It didn't really sate his curiosity or calm his jealous nerves. “What about now?”

 

“Ben.” Rey said, her eyes meeting his gaze. “I only ever had feelings for you. I didn't plan to remarry. Him or anyone. But-” she paused. Then carefully shifted to his side of the carriage. “It's only you. There is no one else.” she reassured, touching his hand. She sounded earnest and Ben knew she was telling the truth.

 

He pulled her to his chest. “I believe you.”

 


 

When they reached the house, the staff greeted them, ready to serve. Ben informed them, his mother and uncle won't be returning, and they mostly likely would leave after tomorrow as well.

 

Rey asked the nurse about Padme.

 

“She is sleeping My Lady. She has been fed and changed.” the nurse informed. “Do you want me to stay?”

 

“That won't be necessary. You can come back tomorrow.” Rey told her. She liked to take care of the baby herself, Ben knew that, and they couldn't possibly have the nurse waiting in the nursery when Ben visited.

 

She excused herself and went to her room. Ben dismissed the staff for the night. They were temporary staff hired for the weekend, except for their elderly butler. He'd been taking care of the house since his grandfather Bail was young. Ben asked the man to retire for the night before he made his way upstairs.

 


 

When he entered the room, Rey was sitting in her dressing table, taking her earrings off. She looked at him in the mirror. The moment their gaze met across the room, Ben’s heart skipped a beat. He walked behind her, eyes still locked on each other in the mirror. He stood behind her and placed his hands on her shoulders.

 

He started massaging the knots loose in her shoulders. Her eyes slipped shut and soft moan escaped her pink lips.

 

“You looked ravishing tonight, Rey.” he said, looking at her reflection, his hand slowly slipping down her shoulders to her clavicles. Tracing the prominent bones down to her sternum.

 

“All night I had to restrain myself from doing something stupid.” He said, tracing his fingers up her throat and down her sternum to her cleavage. Dipping in her soft curves.

 

“What did you want to do?” Rey asked, nothing above a whisper.

 

Ben slipped his hand inside the front of her dress and cupped her right breast. He kneaded the flesh and saw her eyes slip shut. A soft moan escaped her parted lips. His other hand cupped her chin and tilted it up. He ducked down and kissed her from above. Capturing her moans in his mouth. He pulled back and looked at the mirror again. This time noticing the front of her dress had a little wet spot.

 

“Did you like my gift?” he asked her. Rey opened her eyes and followed his gaze in the mirror.

 

“Yes, I loved the dress. I can’t believe you bought it. It was weeks ago!” She exclaimed, turning around on her stool to look up at him. His hand slipped out and he rests it on her shoulder.

 

“It was. I saw you try it on. I had to buy it.” He told her, his fingers tracing her sharp jaw.

 

“But back then-”

 

“I fell in love with you the moment I laid my eyes on you Rey.” Ben said. “The moment you walked into the parlor, holding Padme in your arms. When our eyes met. I sensed our destinies were intertwined. But I didn’t know how?”

 

He felt Rey stiffening under his touch. She slowly got up on her feet. Her hand sneaking behind his neck, fingers sinking into the soft hair of his nape. Rey pulled him down for a searing kiss. He felt like she was trying to communicate something through the kiss. She had never kissed him like that before. Her fingers tightening in his hair, her lips parting and tongue running along the seam. He opened up to grant her entrance and her tongue darted to every corner of his mouth. She pressed closer to him, he knew she was on her tiptoes.

 

Ben wrapped his arms around her waist and lifted her up off her feet. He was enjoying her enthusiasm, and her assertiveness. She was kissing him so possessively, for a second he wondered what has gotten into her. But he wasn’t complaining, not when she was making these heady noises. Not quite content, more like demanding. And Ben was more than willing to give her what she wanted. When she finally pulled away, they were both panting. He set her down, their bodies still touching each other.

 

“Ben-” Rey started, but Padme started crying from the nursery. They both turned to look at the small door, that leads to the baby’s temporary room.

 

“She must be hungry.” Ben said pulling away. “I will get her. You should make yourself comfortable.”

 

He had a feeling she wanted to say something important, but pushed the thought away to focus on the crying baby. Ben stood by the crib looking down at the red face of his niece.

 

Once Padme saw him, her cries dissolved to soft sniffles. He scooped up the baby carefully along with her soft blanket.

 

“Hey sweetheart. What happened? Had a nightmare?” He murmured to the baby, as he held her to his chest, and walked back to Rey.

 


 

She settled on the couch by the balcony. The moonlight was streaming through the rustling curtains. She was staring out into the night sky when she heard Ben approaching. She turned to see the big hulking man carrying her tiny baby in his arms. Padme was 7 months old and big for her age, but in Ben’s arms she manages to look tiny. She wasn’t crying anymore, but rather reaching with her hand to touch Ben’s chin.

 

The sight almost brought tears to her eyes. They were the two most important parts of her life. Two pieces of her heart. She knew she was a fool to deny Ben for so long. He was the man for her she knew that. And he made her believe she was the only one for him as well.

 

Her heart was full looking at them. He held the baby so tenderly against his chest. She had never met a man so caring in her life. Ben was so affectionate towards his little niece, and so attentive. There was something so appealing about this part of him. She adored it as much as she adored his wandering fingers and wicked tongue that he used to pleasure her. This made her knees weak the same way his mouth on her full breast did.

 

“Here is your Mama.” Ben told the baby as he handed her over to Rey. She loved it when he called her Padme’s mama. She couldn’t keep the smile off her face. She pulled Padme to her chest as Ben sat down beside her on the couch.

 

She smiled at him before turning her back to him. She looked over her shoulder and asked him,
“Can you unlace my dress, please?”

 

“O-of course.” Ben said and she felt his hand on her back. Soon he pulled the lacing loose and Rey felt some of the pressure on her chest being relieved. She pushed the dress down and took her breast in her hand. She brought her nipple to Padme’s mouth and the baby latched on instantly.

Rey felt Ben’s hand on her waist as he pulled her back to his chest. She sighed and snuggled into him. He had her arms around her. One hand helping her hold the baby against her chest. The other one cupped her exposed breast, helping her express. He was looking at the baby from over her shoulder.

 

Padme was already drifting off, fighting to keep her eyes open, looking up at both their faces. Ben chuckled, pressing his mouth against her neck.

 

“I know.” He told the baby, “She was too beautiful to look away.”

 

Rey blushed, she turned her face and kissed his hair. Ben pulled up and kissed her lips.

 

“I think she fell asleep.” Ben declared pulling away. She looked down at Padme. The baby’s mouth fell open, she wasn’t suckling anymore. Rey pulled her up and rocked her a few times, to make her burp.

 

“I will put her back.” Ben said, reaching for the baby. She handed him Padme and saw Ben walk back to the nursery.

 

Rey stared down at her interlaced finger. She wanted to tell him. She almost did when Padme wanted their attention.

 

“I hope she left some for Papa.” Ben said from where he was standing, leaning against the door frame. His lips quirk into the crooked smile that she was in love with.

 

Love. That’s it.

 

Ben walked back to her. This time he laid his head on her lap. Their prefered position when he nursed. Rey pushed the dress down to reveal both her breast to him, and saw him take a sharp intake of breath. No matter how many times they did it, his reaction to seeing her full breast never changed.

 

She guided him to her chest and sighed when he captured her swollen nipple. Her tits were so full, pressing against her nipples. When Ben started nursing, she felt the pressure reducing.

 

Rey carded her fingers through his luscious hair, looking down at the man. The man she loved. She couldn't wait to let him know now. She felt his hand on her other breast, thumb teasing her nipple. Temporarily making her forget what she wanted to say.

 

But Rey grasped his wrist and pulled away. She needed a clear her head if she wanted to say the next words. The question he asked earlier this evening had played in her mind all night.

 

Ben looked at her, his brows furrowed in confusion. He pulled away from her nipple. She swallowed hard then took a deep breath before saying,

 

“Y-yes.” that's all that she could manage to croak out.

 

Ben got up from his position and turned to face her.

 

“Yes what, love?” he asked, cupping her face.

 

“Yes, I will be yours.” she finally answered the question he asked when they were dancing.

 

“What?” Ben exclaimed, getting on his knees in front of her.

 

“I will be yours Ben Solo. I will be our wife.” Rey finished.

 

She felt him scooping her up in his arms making her yelp and swing her around. Ben laughed in his free and open way and that made her laugh too.

 

“Are you sure?” Ben asked once they stopped spinning.

 

“Yes.” she said, kissing him again. Her hands cupping his beautiful face.

 

“I love you,” Ben said against her lips. “You just made the happiest man on earth, Rey.”

 

Rey ducked her head bashful. Before adding, “I love you, too.”