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Love and Trust

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We always made love slowly on Coruscant.

Missions rarely allowed time to leisurely savor the physical expression of our love. The demands of duty, of diplomatic functions and courtesies, of tiring negotiating sessions, of the sporadic outbreaks of war, often left us tired and drained. We tended to only cuddle before falling asleep, awakening to make love hastily in the morning before dressing for the day’s endless tasks.

The rhythms of Coruscant were different. We were still busy, debriefing from the old mission, studying for the new, honing our skills, reacquainting ourselves with friends whose paths crossed ours infrequently. But we were home, with greater freedom to set our own schedule, to center ourselves in the Force and recharge ourselves for the next assignment.

Making love to Qui-Gon satisfied the needs of my heart, mind, and body. The heart, to connect both physically and emotionally with this amazing man, this great Jedi negotiator and warrior, and be reassured in the most elemental way of his love and desire for me. The mind, to challenge myself to be worthy of his quicksilver intellect by pleasing him in new and varied ways that showed both my primal passion and humble reverence for him. The body, for the sheer sexual release and joy his skilled hands, lips, tongue, and words could bestow upon me.

Time never mattered to us on Coruscant. We made love whenever we wished - in the morning, the afternoon, the evening, the nighttime. Whenever the Force and our own desires willed our union. It was late afternoon. We were on our bed, with my calves resting on his shoulders, his body buried in mine. He was thrusting slowly, ever so slowly, making me wait. Not that I minded. I needed to be able to concentrate for what I planned.

I gathered the Force, using it to sustain my patience, then creating a physical tendril, coasted it down Qui-Gon's back, between his buttocks. My tendril gently opened him, stretched him. He was going to be the taker and the takee. Concentrating more on the tendril than my own need, I enlarged it, widening him, tapping on his prostrate, sending sparks through his senses.

He smiled down at me. Oh a bad smile. I knew that smile now. My Master could be devilishly gleeful in ways most friends and acquaintances could never imagine. His hands were braced on each side of my head, but one hand moved to cup my face, his thumb stroking my bottom lip, coaxing my mouth to open more than my current gasping required. As I did, a Force tendril of his own creation slipped inside. Only not just warmth and energy, it felt like actual hard substance. My mouth gaped wider as the tendril enlarged in diameter and length.

His cock.

Oh gods, his cock was in my mouth. That mammoth size I had grown to know so well was filling my throat. But his cock was still in my body. I was filled with two of Qui-Gon's cocks. I couldn't even care that he'd done it again, taken one of my grand schemes and topped it. I sucked madly on nothing while my arms flailed in the air, as if striving to grab hold of invisible hips and pull him even deeper into my mouth. I caught shoulders, trying to yank him closer to me. I rolled my hips more frenziedly, desperate for him to increase the speed of his thrusts, frantic now to reach my pinnacle. I lost control of my own Force projection.

He obediently speeded his thrusts, bucking against me and his groans became louder, harsher. His hair swung madly around his head. As he reached his own peak, he lost control and my teeth snapped together as my mouth emptied. I whimpered and bit again, as if I could grab back what I'd lost. We were coming together, my seed splashing onto his abdomen as his flowed into me. He released a strangled scream as my body writhed in ecstasy.

He collapsed onto the bed next to me and we lay in stunned silence for a moment, too dazed to speak. We finally moved in unison, straightening the disheveled covers and snuggling. I had to ask, "Where did you learn to do that?"


I hated that tone, that soft, sad tone that just by saying my name, asked, "Why do you raise these questions when the answer will make you unhappy?"

"Qui-Gon, it was Deeyan, wasn't it?"

"If it makes you happier to know," while his voice said he knew it wouldn't, "I first tried using the Force with - ." His muscles tensed for a second. "Yoda wants us. In the Council Chamber. It's not an emergency but we should appear as soon as we can." Summons from his Master through their old training bond was not unprecedented, but it was unusual. We sprang out of bed, heading for the shower to wash off the musky smell of sweat and sex.

My answer would have to wait.

I strode into the Council Chamber, Obi-Wan at my side and two steps back. We were calm and controlled. No one could guess we'd been screaming in passion minutes earlier. Only Yoda and Mace were present, which was unusual but not unprecedented. A figure stood between the two of them, shrouded in a midnight blue cloak, similar in shape to a Jedi cloak, but of a rich, velvet fabric while ours were a serviceable woolen material.

Yoda spoke first. "Qui-Gon, something we need to discuss with you."

The figure dropped back his hood. He was an exquisitely beautiful young man, with blue eyes and reddish blonde hair brushing his shoulders. The cloak parted enough to reveal an outfit also of costly fabric – azure blue velvet which highlighted his eyes, his vest decorated with intricate multi-color embroidery. Walking forward, he kneeled in front of me. “Master Qui-Gon.”

I felt the spike of emotions. They echoed throughout the room, both shining bright in their intensity and violently ugly. Anger. Rage. Betrayal. The feelings ripped through the Force and as rapidly shut down, hidden behind a shield. Covered, but not dispersed. Barricaded, but seething and alive.


Mace, Yoda and I all looked sharply at my apprentice, searching his impassive face for answers. The young man kneeling at my feet was oblivious to Obi-Wan's seething reaction and opened his mouth to speak. Yoda preempted whatever he might have said.

"Something to say, you wish?"

"No, Master," was Obi-Wan's toneless reply.

"Say something, you will," was Yoda's command to that evasion. I started to interrupt but halted at Yoda's expression. With the merest flick of his ears, Yoda could indicate he would not tolerate my intervention.

"A question, then." Obi-Wan was carefully polite and neutral. "Is he from his highness Deeyan?"

"Sent him, Deeyan did. For Qui-Gon. Know why, you think?"

Obi-Wan understood when honesty was demanded. "I believe he's a pleasure boy, sent to remind me of my place."

Yoda's ears flattened as he absorbed that information. "Why think you this?"

"He looks like me," was the simple reply. The observation was accurate, I realized. The tinge of red, suppressed by Obi-Wan's short hairstyle, was visible in the boy's longer locks. The eyes were more true blue than Obi-Wan's gray, but Obi-Wan's eyes would reflect blue if he was wearing that same outfit. Their height and physical build was almost identical.

"And send a pleasure boy to Qui-Gon, why should his highness?"

"He threatened that he would, if I didn't accept Qui-Gon as my lover." Mace's in-drawn breath made Obi-Wan realize further explanation was required. "It was a misunderstanding. I did accept Qui-Gon willingly."

"So you reassured us, when the Council the relationship approved," Yoda said. "Serious offense, it would be, if a Master's advances forced upon a Padawan. But if misunderstanding that was, why send pleasure boy now? Hmm?” Yoda’s lips pursed together on the last syllable.

Obi-Wan wasn't looking at me. His attention was studiously fixed on Yoda the entire conversation. "I don't know. I don't listen to Qui-Gon's communications with his Highness."

“An idea you must have. Assumption you make. Think you Qui-Gon has complained to Deeyan?"

“I couldn’t say.” He maintained that polite tonelessness.

“Master.” Yoda disapproved of my intervention but this time, I insisted. “I do not know why Deeyan would have sent a pleasure boy to me. Obi-Wan and I are very happy together, as both Padawan and Master and lovers. I will communicate with Deeyan and return this young man to him.”

Yoda and Mace exchanged glances. “Return him, you will not. Offend his Highness you may not. Stay for a month, Torson will.”

The pleasure boy looked at Yoda, clearly surprised, but I barely registered his actions. My attention was divided between Yoda and Obi-Wan. I argued as long as I could with Yoda while Obi-Wan became more reserved, his mental shields increasingly firm, blocking my touch. In the end, Yoda demanded obedience and we strode from the Council Chamber, all three of us. Myself, my Padawan lover, and my temporary pleasure boy.

This month between missions promised to be vastly more difficult than I could ever dream.

We silently walked back to our quarters. Obi-Wan was obviously seething, unbelieving that Deeyan could send such a gift, convinced that I said something to trigger this action. Hostility was radiating from him in waves. Even Torson could read his body language.

Torson – if he had a last name he hadn’t supplied it – strolled around our quarters, looking at our few souvenirs and decorations, making himself at home. He’d picked up a small case when leaving the Council Chamber. I don't imagine pleasure boys require a surfeit of clothes.

Obi-Wan was trying to hide his anger, but his overly calm expression screamed his displeasure. I ignored his attitude, preferring not to talk in front of our guest. That conversation would be reserved for our bedroom. I spoke politely with Torson, learning he was hungry, preparing a small meal for him.

I waited until Torson was devouring a salad, bread and cheese, before broaching the subject. “While I appreciate Deeyan’s gesture, you do understand that your services will not be required. You will be our guest. You are welcome to spend your time as you please. The Academy has extensive training facilities and a beautiful garden. Or there are many activities on Coruscant."

The pleasure boy finished swallowing and took a sip of tea before replying. “I would hate for Deeyan’s money to go to waste. I’m quite willing to be flexible.”

“Pardon me?” I answered, not sure I understood his meaning.

“Well,” Torson drawled, the timbre of his voice lowering, “if Obi-Wan won’t allow you to use me by yourself, I’m quite happy to do you both at the same time. You’re very attractive in very distinct ways.” He flicked a seductive glance at Obi-Wan, who was pacing in the small living area.

“That won’t be necessary.”

He paid no attention to my fast reply and continued, “Think what it could be like, me on my hands and knees. You’ve prepared me well and you’re thrusting inside, your thick cock buried deeply, my channel so hot and tight around you. I’m sucking on Obi-Wan, licking him, my mouth filled with his cock. You are both sweating and straining, your hands digging into my hips as you drive into me, Obi-Wan’s fingers digging into my scalp as he fucks my mouth. I can tell from your groans that you’re approaching your climax, so I suck even harder on Obi-Wan. I want him to come when you come. I want your seed to overflow my mouth and body. I want you both to scream at the same time as you look at each other over my body, to know that I caused that explosion, that pleasure.”

It was oddly fascinating, this sweet-faced boy describing his fantasized threesome. Obi-Wan had the same ability, to look so charming, so artlessly mischievous, and then enrapture my imagination with unbelievably erotic scenarios.

Only with Obi-Wan, our sexual play always seemed a reverent expression of our love for each other.

Torson’s words simply seemed dirty.

Shocked and repelled, my response was delayed too long. Obi-Wan jerked Torson out of his chair. “I think you need an early night. You must be tired after your long journey.” The savagery of his tone belied the politeness of the words.

“I was still eating,” Torson protested.

Obi-Wan shoved him into the Padawan’s quarters and slammed the door, sealing it locked with a Force application. Turning to me, he demanded, “What did you say? What did you say to Deeyan?”

Now I was angry, at Obi-Wan’s treatment of Torson and his accusations. “You can’t blame him for that, Obi-Wan. He’s a pleasure boy. It’s what he’s trained to do. He doesn’t deserve to be sent to bed without his dinner.”

He grabbed the plate, stalked back to the bedroom, opened the door, pushed the plate at Torson and banged the door shut again. “Fine. He won't starve. Now what did you say?” His voice rose. Any pretense at Jedi calm was finished.

I gritted my teeth. “I told you in the Council Chamber that I haven’t said anything to Deeyan which should have provoked this gift. I don’t know what he misinterpreted but I do know that you are overreacting and distrustful. I thought you knew me better.”

“Maybe I don’t know you at all. I’m going to bed.” He flounced into our bedroom, stiff backed and indignant. I sighed. An hour ago, everything was fantastic. I was in love with the man of my dreams, a man I hoped to share my life. He was in love with me. Now I had a foul-mouthed visitor and an aggravated lover. Obi-Wan was very possessive, but I never dreamed his emotional reaction would be so violent. I wasn’t going to coax him into good humor. After our years together as Master and Padawan, our months as lovers, if he didn’t trust me, didn’t trust our love, any words of mine were meaningless.

Maybe the Council was wise to be concerned about Master/Padawan relationships.

We slept together, backs to one another rather than bodies spooned. I didn't understand why Qui-Gon slept with me after my temperamental display. Maybe to reassure me that he wasn't with Torson. I awoke early, dressed, woke the boy, made him dress, and dragged him to the dining hall for breakfast. I wouldn’t permit another repeat of last night’s scene.

We received odd looks and heard scattered whispers during breakfast and as we walked to the training facilities. Word travels fast, even among Jedi who pretend to be above gossip. I secured one of the smaller, lesser used rooms, preferring not to exercise under scrutiny. A moderate kata to warm up and loosen my muscles while my food digested. Torson lounged on a bench and watched me curiously.

My calm was disturbed and it showed in the kata. A misplaced step, an awkward bend to the arm, a leap too high or not high enough. Torson began making snide noises at every mistake. I doubted he was acquainted with this particular kata, but he was well trained enough to see the breaks in the flow.

I challenged him eventually. We fought hand-to-hand, at first testing each other, learning differences in style, searching for weaknesses and overconfidence. He was good, I'll give him that credit. The tussles became more bitter, striving for the upper hand, each unwilling to yield. Overall, I was winning.


After several hours, I called an end. I was exhausted but not any happier. We were both sweating, trembling from our exertions. Since he was my size, I tossed a clean set of my casual clothes at him and by mutual unvoiced consent, we separated to showers at the opposite ends of the wash room. He looked odd when I met him outside, dressed in neutral beige with his blue velvet boots and cape. Lunch in the dining hall, more discreet glances. Torson maintained a stream of overly innocent remarks, as if we were two casual acquaintances enjoying a pleasant meal. He enjoyed my misery. This was not a good day. It was time to meditate.

We strolled to the gardens, Torson trailing after me as I so typically followed Qui-Gon. Only the two of us lacked the steady contemplative rhythm to our stride that my Master and I shared. In the gardens, I sank onto the ground, crossing my legs in front of me. Qui-Gon tended to meditate on one knee, but I preferred a cross-legged position. Torson sprawled on the grass in front of me, smirking.

“Is thinking going to make it all better?”

I wasn’t going to let him anger me. He’d succeeded too well last night. “Don’t mock something you don’t understand. Meditation for a Jedi allows us to communicate with the Living Force.”

“Ah. The Living Force.” He shut his eyes for a moment while the breeze cooled our bodies. “Somehow you are not what I expected. Deeyan didn’t have much to say about you. He talked about Qui-Gon.”

“Be quiet.” I didn’t want to know what Deeyan might have said about either of us.

“He said Qui-Gon was one of the best men he ever knew. That anyone would be honored to have him as a lover or friend.” His words rang with truth. I’d heard Deeyan express that sentiment.

“Be quiet. I’m already familiar with Deeyan’s opinion of Qui-Gon.” I closed my eyes to shut out his visage, signaling my unwillingness to talk.

I submerged myself into the power of the Force, into my connection with all living creatures. With the crisp grass under my legs, the minjeni bushes growing behind me, the cella roses smelling so sweetly. My fellow Jedi moving peacefully through the gardens. I even touched Torson’s presence, though the Force was very weak in him. I was perversely gratified by his low midi-chlorian level.

Torson. Why was he here? What had I done to cause this? And why was I reacting so badly?

This morning’s exercises nagged at me as my thoughts roamed. He was a superb wrestler, well trained and alert. Would a pleasure boy be such a skilled athlete? Possibly. Good muscular control and development would be useful. No help there. Deeyan. Deeyan also fought well hand-to-hand. I remembered Qui-Gon talking about their bouts.

Torson dressed like Deeyan. The rich clothes, the distinctive elaborate embroidery on Torson’s vest matched the design patterns on the nobles of Yunada, but pleasure boys weren’t trained on that planet. They weren’t illegal, just not an accepted part of the culture. Deeyan had to hire him from another world. Would he have asked for a pleasure boy to be dressed in his own native clothes? Didn’t quite make sense, but wasn’t completely illogical. It might even be part of the normal service. No help there.

Deeyan. Would he embarrass me? Publicly chastise me because I kept battling Qui-Gon for sexual control? I didn’t think so, but I wasn’t sure. We had spent very little time together, and most had been at public receptions or during Qui-Gon's recuperation, with his Queen also in the room. Deeyan would do anything he could for Qui-Gon, of that I was positive.

Qui-Gon. My thoughts circled to my Master, my lover, the man I hoped to unite in a life-bond though I hadn’t yet asked the question. The time hadn't seemed perfect yet.

I didn’t always understand Qui-Gon. Despite our years together, he could be a mystery. His emotions and ability to trust were badly scarred by Xanatos. The first few years were the hardest, when it seemed every mission separated us, sometimes by unavoidable circumstances, sometimes by Qui-Gon’s deliberately abandoning me. I was frequently overwhelmed by my insecurity, left alone to handle chores seemingly beyond a boy’s ability. I was so desperate to be a Padawan, to be the best Padawan, to be worthy of Qui-Gon, I coped with everything life and my Master tossed at me. I never gave him reason to doubt his trust. I always made him proud of me.

Yes. I always made him proud of me.

It was so clear in that instant of time. Qui-Gon did keep secrets from me – the Jedi secrets belonging only to a Knight or Master. His thoughts on a mission, not wanting to prejudice my opinion before hearing my ideas. The great love affair of his youth, his casual liaisons. The dark secret of his inappropriate love for his Padawan. But he was always proud of me, respected my opinion, trusted me. If Qui-Gon had a serious problem with my attempts at domination, he would have said it to me. If he had mentioned anything to Deeyan, his words would have been laced with rueful, pleased amusement. If Deeyan acted on Qui-Gon’s words to chastise me, it was Deeyan’s misunderstanding.

I trusted Qui-Gon with my life, my training, my future as a Knight. I could trust him with my heart.

I thought myself so secure, so confident. I was going to be a Jedi Knight, a worthy student demonstrating the teachings and wisdom of my Master. One impertinent human threatened my relationship with Qui-Gon and my control shattered. When had the insecurity of my youth transmuted to such intense jealousy of Qui-Gon? Had I conquered one personality flaw, merely to substitute another? I cringed to recall my demand, my desire to invade Qui-Gon's private conversations with his friend. I was embarrassed that I gave him greater respect as a teacher than a lover.

Trusting Torson was another matter. Nothing about him quite added up. I doubted whether he was a pleasure boy. I hadn't appreciated the way he'd intentionally tried to cause problems last night and baited me all day. Admittedly, even a non-Jedi could sense my feelings toward him. I had given him cause to dislike me and he'd responded in kind with unabashed glee. So - on the trust scale, Qui-Gon yes, Torson no. I opened my eyes, aware from the position of the sun that I had been meditating for hours.

The little brat was gone.

He wasn't difficult to locate. He seemed to delight in aggravating me, so I headed for the place I would be most annoyed to find him. Yes, he was chatting in our quarters with Qui-Gon, making a noble attempt to appear he found Republic politics fascinating. Qui-Gon stood up as I entered and approached him. He expression was distant but not overly stern.

I stepped close to him, balancing on my toes so our hips would touch and guided his head down. I kissed him lingeringly. He didn't reciprocate, his tongue and lips passive while I learned anew the sweet male taste of his mouth. I kissed him until the tension in his shoulders eased and his arms circled my body. His tongue dueled back and I could feel a stiffness of another variety bumping against my body.

I broke the kiss, my body still pressed tight to his, and rubbed my cheek on his beard while speaking low into his ear. "Forgive me, Qui-Gon. My reactions yesterday were unworthy."

"Torson -" He was reminded of the pleasure boy, sitting on the couch, watching us.

"Has seen and done more than one lover apologizing to another, a Padawan asking his Master's forgiveness. I should not have doubted you." I had to restore our relationship. Nothing was worse than being distanced from him. Torture was preferable to the sad reproach in his eyes.

"I will talk to Deeyan, Obi-Wan, despite the Yoda's restriction. Please believe me that nothing I said should have triggered this reaction." His voice also was almost sub-vocal, creating our private world from Torson's inquisitive ears.

"No, Qui-Gon. This isn't worth defying Master Yoda. Deeyan is your friend and he thought he was helping you. A silly misunderstanding isn’t worth dividing us." My warm breath caressed his ear as I spoke. "I love your beard."

"I'll mark you. Your skin is sensitive." He started to separate our faces, but I held him fast.

"You love to mark me. I've seen you when you thought I was sleeping. Seen you staring down at me, when our come has mingled on my skin and your bites mark my flesh. When I'm well-loved and exhausted. When I can only sprawl bonelessly and the sheets are twisted off the bed from the power of your love. You have this possessive glow in your eyes, this conquering triumph. I love that look." His large hands spasmed and closed on my buttocks at those words. Sometimes discussing reality was even more powerful than describing fantasy.

That intensity of his reaction brought him to awareness of our visitor. He cleared his throat and backed away. This time, I let him go.

"It's late. We should have some dinner."

"Actually, I had planned dinner out with several friends. I would like to invite Torson." I smiled winningly at our guest, who smiled mockingly back.

"Obi-Wan - " Qui-Gon was concerned.

"Please." I directed my request to both of them. "I'd like to make up for my reaction. Besides, Torson will be here a month. He should meet some of the other Padawans."

"Well, if I can't spend the month pleasing Qui-Gon, I guess I have to do something with my time. Might as well make a few acquaintances." Torson didn't trust me any more than I trusted him. We were both operating under the old saying about keeping your enemies closer than your friends.

I kissed Qui-Gon, fast and hard. "We're going to a restaurant several levels away and maybe to a club. Don't wait up."

Torson flippantly saluted, as if mocking my kiss, then obediently followed me out the door, down the hallway, and through the Academy grounds. We almost reached the entrance quad where I was meeting the other Padawans when he began clapping.

"Truly a bravura performance. The wet-eared kid leads his Master by the nose - or should I say the dick? I never thought Jedi Masters were so gullible."

We were physically well-matched, but I had one decisive advantage. I slammed him against the wall, keeping him in place with my hands on his chest and a blanket of Force on his body. "I don't like you Torson. I don't trust someone who enjoys causing trouble. I don't believe you're a pleasure boy. But Deeyan sent you and he is a friend of Qui-Gon's. For their sake, I will tolerate you until I know why you're here."

He smiled tauntingly. "So there's some brains under the cute face and jealous temperament. I had wondered."

I released him, sensing an imminent approach. While Torson was massaging his throat, Vashtar cheerfully called, "Hi Obi-Wan! Oh." He halted abruptly, realizing who was with me.

"Hello Vashtar. This is Torson." Sezon and Bant arrived, with similar expressions of blank dismay. "Yes, he's the pleasure boy sent to Qui-Gon." They exchanged glances and I tackled the issue before the evening became an uncomfortable fiasco. "Yes, everyone knows Qui-Gon is my lover and has been for several months. No, Torson's presence won't change our relationship. His arrival is only a bizarre misunderstanding. For this month, he is our guest. So can we go to dinner?"

Bant asked, "Are you sure you're comfortable with this?"

"Perfectly," I replied, maintaining an insouciant posture and vocal tone. "Besides just think - we have a real pleasure boy. Can you imagine the information he can share about the habits of the rich?" I laid one hand on Torson's shoulder. "I'm sure you'll be happy to share your perspective, won't you Torson? We're going to be mediating disputes among many of the wealthiest people in the galaxy. It will be interesting to understand the totality of their lives." I thought I managed to find a reasonable justification for encouraging him to talk smut. I could see an avid interest in my friends' faces. From my discussions with Qui-Gon, Jedi are more sexually adventurous than the days of his youth, but a gap persists between our activities and our impressions of the galaxy's most affluent citizens.

He shot me a dirty look before accepting my challenge. Lowering his voice and eyelids, he murmured, "Well, I couldn't reveal trade secrets…but a little casual conversation wouldn't hurt."

Obi-Wan had lied. No, not really lied. His words were truth, they just weren’t the complete truth.

He’d realized something today, something while meditating. I had seen how deeply he was entranced, making connections and forming patterns that I had been too busy with today's tasks to examine. His anger had dissipated and been replaced with – what? I wasn’t quite sure. Certainly a calculated need to keep Torson under close observation, though not from jealousy.

The sexual distraction was an obvious ploy, a means to ensure I allowed Torson to accompany him without fuss. Obvious ploys were a valid diplomatic tactic. I’d coached him in their use. Sometimes when two hostile parties want to compromise and still save face, a deliberate facade can be invaluable.

Of course, when the parties haven’t reached that stage, an obvious ploy can backfire and create even more unbearable havoc.

The question was – did he realize I knew it was an obvious ploy and was willing to play along? Or did he truly believe he’d fooled me? If the former, fine. I would trust Obi-Wan with my life, my honor, my soul. I would certainly trust him with Torson, no matter how upset he might have been yesterday. If the latter, I must disabuse him of my gullibility and run him through more diplomatic drills. Such shoddiness could get him killed.

In the meantime, my evening was free and I needed some meditation of my own. I sunk into my pose and submerged myself in the power of the Force, my thoughts floating free.

My Obi-Wan. My Padawan, my closest companion, my lover. The object of my desire for so many years.

My jealous, possessive little imp who mistrusted me too easily.

Was this fiasco my fault? Had I said something in the wrong way to Deeyan? I didn’t think so. I had talked to Deeyan of my love for Obi-Wan more before we became lovers, needing to express my insanity to a sympathetic and nonjudgmental ear. I supposed I made a sporadic remark about Obi-Wan’s effort to sexually dominate me but I never sounded unhappy about it. It’s ridiculous to be upset when someone is dedicated to pleasing you in unimaginable ways.

In actual truth, I talked little of our relationship, even to Obi-Wan. Missions were too busy and hectic for our personal concerns. On Coruscant, we were too happy. We told each other frequently of our love, in that casual, “I love you, you’re wonderful” way. We kissed and caressed and made mad, passionate sex, but we didn’t delve into our feelings.

I was hesitant to accept my good fortune. Part of me resisted believing that Obi-Wan truly loved me. Other than a certain possessiveness of my time, he never indicated any deeper feelings until after I was wounded. My fantasy dream had been granted too easily, too quickly. I thought he would ask me for a life-bond, but this idea hadn’t passed his lips. Part of me feared that his love was transitory, that he assumed we were lovers during his apprenticeship and he would separate from me after his Knighting.

He never said he wanted to spend his life with me. And I was too scared to ask.

He was jealous of me, a jealousy that manifested itself in minor ways during missions. If I chatted too long with an attractive diplomat, either male or female, my apprentice would appear at my elbow, reminding me of some obligation. He would maintain his Jedi cool and serenity, but he would send this calm look at the diplomat, as if shouting, "Mine!" The message was always clearly received and that diplomat never attempted any further lengthy conversation that wasn't strictly limited to our negotiations. I cherished these small displays of jealousy as evidence of his love, sidestepping the Dark Side potentiality. Obi-Wan was merely human, not at risk of turning, my subconscious told itself.

But jealousy isn't always a symptom of love. Sometimes it's just a desire to possess and control.

So I unconsciously ducked the issues, concentrating on the living moment, blind to the future. I cringed to realize my own personality flaw. I should have fulfilled my duty as his Master, lecturing him sternly on eliminating his dangerous possessiveness. Maybe if I had faced my own fears, asked him to life-bond, he would have been more secure in our love, more trusting of my actions. I had wronged him by not tackling our problems and that crack had broken wide when presented with Torson.

I should have risked more, should have made him face his feelings and decide if his jealousy was about love or power. I should have been capable of hearing any time restrictions he might place on our relationship. We might have avoided this fiasco. When he and Torson came home, I wouldn’t delay. We would talk and I would express myself honestly and completely. If he was only mine until his Trials, I would continue to cherish each moment. If he was mine forever, I would do everything to make him confident of my feelings.

I was calm, centered, happy with my resolutions. I looked at the clock to note hours had elapsed as my thoughts drifted.

And then I felt Obi-Wan’s fear.

Torson faked well and my friends got slightly intoxicated, which helped his deception. I nursed my only drink and listened intently while allowing my eyes to glaze.

He’d been raised rich. He was acquainted with the luxurious trappings that the wealthy take for granted – gourmet foods, clothes of expensive fabrics, furniture of natural woods, human servants and customized droids. He wove those items into his story, coyly skirting over the sexual details, instinctively appreciating that the Padawans’ imagination would add minutiae more vivid and decadent than he could describe. But he wasn’t a pleasure boy – he’d probably never even met one. There was a certain oddness in his tales, as if he’d been isolated for much of his life and was relating stories he’d heard more than lived.

The hour was late when we left the club, closer to dawn than dusk. I wasn’t drunk, though I wasn’t admitting that fact. Torson had talked more than drank. Bant was relatively sober, as Calamarians are less susceptible to alcohol. Sezon and Vashtar were extremely tipsy and all of us were tired, both from the lack of sleep and the intensive physical training we did every day.

Jedi prescience saved our lives. The tingle hit my awareness, the knowledge that a threat was imminent. I was pulling my lightsaber, lighting it and turning to meet the attack from behind as my fellow Padawans were becoming conscious of danger. I deflected the first two blasts from the mobile Seeker droids as the other lightsabers shimmered into existence. The Seekers circled us, floating in the air, a lethal ring of electronics programmed to kill.

“Surround Torson. Protect him,” I instructed tersely. Fortunately, he had been walking in the middle, so we rapidly formed a complete box around his body, our backs to him. Our sabers flashed as they met the bolts of deadly energy attacking us.

The barrage of fire stopped. The Seekers were programmed to analyze a battle and not waste energy unnecessarily. They skimmed back and forth in the air around us, darting closer, unexpectedly moving up and down, seeking an opening, sending sharp bolts that would badly wound, if not kill.

“Report. How is everyone?” I commanded. If anyone was still in an alcoholic fog, I had to add that fact into our battle strategy.

“I’m fine, Obi,” was Bant’s fast reply, followed by Sezon’s weak, “Okay.” At Vashtar’s “Not so good,” I instructed Bant and Sezon to switch places. As the most capable, Bant and I would be back-to-back, with Torson in the middle of our square. We’d be able to help protect the other sides better. The Seekers took several shots as Bant and Vashtar switched but were unsuccessful at breaking through their defenses.

“My Master is on her way,” Bant stated as we paused again, waiting for the next volley. “Qui-Gon also,” I said while Sezon simply added, “Yes.” In the midst of danger and fear, we all instinctively sought our bond with our Masters, communicating our predicament.

Vashtar moaned, “Mine is off-planet.”

I soothed, “It doesn’t matter. They’ll be here soon. We only have to hold out.”

I was surprised to hear Torson’s voice from beside my ear. “Let’s do better than hold out.” He was using my shoulder to brace his arm, holding a blaster in his hand. The weapon must have been in a holster at the small of his back, hidden by his cloak. No wonder he'd worn it, despite the clash of colors.

His aim was as good as his wrestling. With one squeeze of his finger, the Seeker facing me exploded, small metallic fragments spinning away as it disintegrated.

Now wasn’t the best time for a personal confrontation, but I had to snap, “I never realized pleasure boys were trained to be expert marksmen.” Muscular control could be important for a pleasure boy, but I doubted many avid hunters hired pleasure boys as companions for shooting trips.

I turned my head enough to see his face as he quipped back, “You learn something new every day.” He was maintaining his façade as best he could, but the flash of fear in his eyes was revealing. Torson may have practiced a lot on a shooting range, but he wasn’t accustomed to battle. Adrenaline and panic were consuming his body and mind, because he already knew what I had just comprehended.

Torson was the target.

Before I finished rising from my meditation and running out the door, Obi-Wan was suppressing his fear and dropping into a mental and physical state of battle readiness. He was a superb warrior and had been since the first time we fought draigons together when he was only 12. I was so proud of his instinctive ability to analyze, strategize, and react in the middle of conflict.

As I raced across the Academy grounds, I sensed he was marshalling the other Padawans, uniting his troops to counter the unexpected attack. Most of the time it was only the two of us, engaged in battle against hostile forces. Obi-Wan had few previous opportunities to command others, but he was rising to the challenge. Rasse Tel and Avocca met me at the entrance quad. We’d all made the same judgment – a public air car should just be leaving the front of the Academy grounds. Taking it would save the two minutes required to start one of the own transport vehicles.

The public air car was running five seconds early but with the assistance of the Force, we jumped through the air of Coruscant, clinging to the side. Rasse was closest to the door, opening it swiftly so we could sidle in. The car rocked with our movements and the atmospheric pressure, but we cast Force blankets to calm its motion.

Avocca moved immediately to the front of the car. Of the three of us, she was best with electronics and began overriding the droid driver’s programming. This late at night, few passengers were on board. Several emitted small shrieks at our dramatic entry, but calmed when they recognized our attire. I moved among them, touching shoulders, murmuring reassurances to cover my small mind pushes. Rasse was on his communicator, alerting Yoda to our precipitous departure and our Padawans' plight.

An old woman patted my hand as I placed it on her shoulder. “Never you mind about me dearie. Off to rescue someone?”

“Our apprentices are under attack, old mother.”

“Someone would hurt Jedi? What is happening to the world these days.” She tsked at the sad state of affairs on Coruscant.

I had to smile and give her shoulder a reassuring squeeze. “Don’t worry, we’ll take care of them.”

"You do that, dearie." Her face was lined with a network of wrinkles, and her sincerity was indisputable. "The young need our care and protection. Enough freedom to test their wings, but care and protection always."

I smiled once more and stood, closing my eyes to center on Obi-Wan. My sense of him only glanced his awareness, so he would not be distracted from battle. Surprising, but the conflict appeared to be over. I concentrated harder, receiving an answering wordless pulse. I would have expected tired, semi-drunk Padawans to need more time to dispatch Seeker droids, those lethal, vile machines. Perhaps the apprentices were more sober than I realized, or there were fewer droids. A training bond is useful, but it does have its deficiencies when conveying detailed information. I yearned for the days when we would have a stronger life-bond, if that dream did happen.

Fortunately, most good citizens were sleeping. Traffic was slight and Avocca coaxed more speed out of the air car than normally possible in Coruscant's crowded skies. Only minutes passed and the air car coasted to a stop beside the walkway holding our students. Lightsabers were extinguished and tense muscles relaxed at our arrival, though most did not visibly display their feelings. Vashtar's gasp of relief echoed loudly in the relative quiet of Coruscant. We stepped from the car and hurried with unconscious dignity to stand close to our own Padawans. Like them, we did not reach out with a hug or overt expression our concern. Jedi remain in control in public, even on a deserted walkway, watched only by evening commuters. I clasped Obi-Wan on the shoulder, then Torson, keeping my lightsaber ready in my other hand.

"You are well? I sensed Seeker droids."

"Yes, Master. They didn't approach close enough to destroy with our sabers, but Torson eliminated them with his blaster." Unexpressed questions lurked behind Obi-Wan's calm. I instantly caught the train of his thought. Blasters weren't an expected accouterment for pleasure boys.

One of Torson's hands was behind his back, apparently returning the blaster to its holster, hidden by his cape. "My thanks to you," I said.

Rasse spoke. "Returning to the Academy on the air car is too risky. The vehicle would be more hindrance than help if other Seekers are sent. We should put this - boy - in the car with the other civilians and make our way back at super speed."

"No!" Obi-Wan's vehemence was surprising. His words continued seamlessly, but I could see his mind working with lightning speed to find a suitable justification. "Whoever sent the Seekers may have received recordings showing Torson using his blaster. Our attacker may decide to retaliate against him."

"Your Padawan lover is very - thoughtful - toward your guest, Qui-Gon." The disdain in his use of the term 'Padawan lover' spoke volumes. Our relationship apparently was not well accepted by all the other Masters.

"We are Jedi, Master Tel. We protect the citizens of the Republic." The firmness of Obi-Wan's reminder of our duty was as close to a scold as a Padawan dared give a Master.

Avocca had been speaking to her communicator. Fortunately, she interrupted before Rasse could verbalize offense. "Mace is bringing a defensive transporter. I'll reprogram the air car droid to resume its journey so these people can get to their homes."

"Everything all right now, dearie?" The old woman hovered in the car's doorway. She stepped out so Avocca could enter the car and I introduced her to the Padawans. A normal civilized act, always so disconcerting with the adrenaline running in our veins. Only a few minutes, and we could send these people on their way. A few minutes, and Mace would arrive with a sturdier vehicle. A few minutes, and Obi-Wan and I could question my 'pleasure boy' on what we had both realized.

Torson had been the target.

Master Rasse Tel made an unbelievable amount of noise on the trip home. He was indignant about violence against Padawans in the heart of the Republic. He wanted Mace to have the Council do something. He wanted to hunt down everyone who had ever bought Seeker droids. He was too blinded by his own anger to see the truth. He was very tiresome.

The other Padawans had a brief flurry of babble. Safe in the transporter, out of the public’s eyes, their fear was released in an explosion of conversation. The evening’s activities, the attack, how many shots had been deflected, how well Torson aimed, how well I coordinated our stand. Sezon talked to Rasse, Bant to Avocca, Vashtar to Mace, all at the same time in a cascade of sounds. I couldn’t be proud that everyone applauded my efforts. I had known Torson was a mystery. I shouldn’t have assumed that no danger existed. My carelessness in taking him off the Academy grounds endangered all our lives.

Qui-Gon, Torson and I stayed silent during the trip, during our walk across the Temple and back to our rooms. I was oddly proud of Torson. He wasn’t a trained Jedi, but he retained his control and poise.

He broke down in our quarters. Perhaps the transporter wasn’t enough of a place of safety for him. Perhaps he resisted appearing foolish in front of the others. He began trembling, involuntary quivers of his muscles, his mouth shaking as he tried to talk. Even a small skirmish like tonight can be unsettling to those unaccustomed to warfare. Qui-Gon sat on the couch. He pulled and I pushed Torson to settle by his side. Long arms wrapped around the shuddering frame, holding him close, holding him tight. Nothing in this universe is as comforting as Qui-Gon’s embrace.

I headed for the small kitchen area, starting tea brewing. I paced back and kneeled down by the couch, stripping off Torson’s boots, undoing his belt to remove the holster and blaster. “I’ve started tea, Master.”

“Good. Add some honey for Torson.”

He managed to spit out a statement. “They were after me. Me.”

“We realized that,” I replied soothingly.

“You’re safe here in the Academy. You’re safe now,” Qui-Gon added, stroking his hair.

My eyes connected with Qui-Gon’s. We were back in sync. We’d both reasoned out the truth, we both believed taking care of Torson was our priority. A knotted ball of worry unwound, uncurling through my soul. My Master and I were in harmony, working as two halves of a perfect team. I would have smiled but I was afraid Torson would misunderstand, think that I was laughing at his stress reaction. I contented myself with gripping Qui-Gon’s knee and lowering my shields, my physical and mental touch expressing my love.

“I was horrible to you,” Torson stuttered at me. “How could you defend me? Your lives were at risk but you protected me.”

“We are Jedi. We protect the citizens of the Republic,” I said for the second time that night. “Besides, I believe I reacted badly to your presence. I can’t blame you for taking offense.”

He shook his head, not understanding that harboring grievances leads to the Dark Side. “I lied about what Deeyan said. He said you and Qui-Gon were two of the best men he ever knew. That anyone would be honored to have either of you as a lover or friend.” He grinned weakly, “But that if anyone got between the two of you, you’d cut his balls off.”

I winced. Deeyan’s ranking me with Qui-Gon was flattering but his character assessment was unfortunately probably accurate. Threatening to cut someone’s balls off isn’t exactly a Jedi trait but I was extremely possessive of my Master, a personality facet well demonstrated over the last two days. I was working on this flaw with lengthy bouts of meditation but I was a long way from perfection. Choosing not to dispute Deeyan’s evaluation, I said, “Let me get the tea.”

He grabbed my hand as I started to rise. "I was jealous of you before we even met. Deeyan respects you both so much. More than he will ever respect me."

I stared down momentarily at our joined hands, oddly aware that even in this small feature, we were similar. Strong hands, short fingernails, my calluses more from lightsaber practice than blaster and wrestling. He'd been fleeing danger and Deeyan had sent him to someone who hated him on sight. He'd retaliated. I couldn't blame him. I could only blame myself for releasing such destructive emotions within myself. "You showed great courage today. You destroyed the Seekers, not me. I think Deeyan may respect you more than you think. Now relax and let me get the tea."

We coaxed the hot fluid down his throat and Torson ultimately nodded off, cradled in Qui-Gon’s arms. To my question of whether Qui-Gon wanted help getting him into bed, my Master shook his head. “I think I’ll hold him. He may have nightmares without the physical reassurance of a human touch.”

I accepted his plan without argument, performing the same small tasks as I had done for Torson, removing his boots and belt before taking off my own. I found Qui-Gon's hair brush, and combed his and Torson's hair as much as I could without disturbing their position. I sat on the floor between his legs, pillowing my head on his thigh, sighing as I closed my eyes.

“Obi-Wan,” he said softly, “you should sleep in the bed. There’s no reason for you to be uncomfortable.”

Eyes closed, I murmured, “Want to be here. Want to be with you. Love you.” I felt his large hand rest on my head, long fingers twining through my short hair.

“I love you,” he whispered back before stretching out a Force flicker to extinguish the lights. I snuggled closer, hugging his calf. We slept.

Waking up surrounded by healthy beautiful young men may be a base pleasure, but it is certainly an undeniably attractive experience. Torson and Obi-Wan were sleeping, eyes closed, mouths softly parted, breath even and slow, a faint stubble on their faces. We'd barely moved during the night. We would suffer stiffness for the odd positioning.

Torson. I would guess Torson, House of Himinal, great grandson of His Highness Torson of Yusan. Torson the Sixth or Torson the Last, depending on your view of history. He was the final monarch before elections established a democratic form of government. I should have made the connection. Strained relations between Deeyan's father and the democratic government originally brought Deeyan into my life. My friend had occasionally mentioned assisting the other ruling family in their exile from the neighboring planet. Why someone would want to kill the offspring of an honored but barely remembered monarch was a mystery to me.

Yoda sat in the chair across from me, sipping a cup of tea. He used the Force to float another cup through the air where my hand could reach it without disturbing either of the youth. We drank in peace.

"Deeyan sent Torson to us for protection, didn't he?" Obi-Wan's question surprised me. He woke instantly on missions, but on Coruscant normally greeted the day with yawning and stretching. "You would have explained if I hadn't reacted so badly."

"Concerned we are, relationship between Master and Padawan. Leap to assumption, you did. Learn to trust each other, you must." Another cup floated from the kitchen area and Obi-Wan clasped it. Yoda did like to demonstrate his fine grasp of the Force.

Obi-Wan's voice was dry. "I learned a great many things last night. I learned Vashtar's Master does him no favor, keeping him safe on Coruscant. The Council shouldn't allow it. That Master Tel is too quick to make assumptions, both about matters that concern him and matters that don't. That none of us should assume we are safe simply because we are on our home planet. We did well last night but we shouldn't have needed Torson to help destroy the Seekers. If our reflexes weren't slow from careless drinking, we would have been able to deal with them. That Padawans should train together more. If war ever breaks out, we will be fighting as a team, not only with our Masters."

I was proud of my apprentice's bland recital of observations. Several Masters could benefit from his wisdom. Last night had exposed critical deficiencies existed beyond those in our relationship. But I wasn't going to allow Yoda to place all the blame on him. "Despite Obi-Wan's reaction, you should have warned us about Torson's danger. He shouldn't have left the safety of the Academy."

Yoda blinked his eyes, a tiny gesture accepting my scold. "Obi-Wan's inviting him to dinner, unexpected this was."

"When protecting someone from assassination, the unexpected should be expected." I must remember to ask Yoda for whatever transmission Deeyan sent, to see if more information was provided on the reason for Torson to be in danger. Always the clever strategist, was Deeyan. The Council might have wanted to refuse a request made to me from a friend. They couldn't say no to a request from a King.

"Master, it doesn't matter." He shifted his head to see my face. "Torson is fine and Yoda was right to test me. I shouldn't have been so quick to doubt you, or to doubt your friend. Neither of you deserved my lack of trust." His voice gentled as he added, "I also learned that I love Qui-Gon Jinn with my heart and soul and that my jealousy disrupts our harmony."

I sat the cup on the sofa's arm so I could place my hand on one side of his face. "I didn't behave well, either, Obi-Wan. I wasn't happy that you thought I might have complained to Deeyan behind your back. If I could do that meeting again, I would tell you of the two finest days of my life. The day we bonded as Padawan and Master, and the day that I woke on Yunada and you made love to me, fulfilling my fantasy. Every day with you, life is better and more treasured, and I fall more completely in love. You can trust me, Obi-Wan. You can trust that I will love you as long as you desire it."

His throat rippled as he swallowed, tears of happiness briefly shining in his eyes. "I feel the same, Qui-Gon."

"Said he this, fine everything would have been?" Yoda queried. The little troll never did know when to stop pushing.

Obi-Wan turned his face into my palm, placing a kiss on my skin. "No, probably not." He looked back up at me. "I'm sorry Qui-Gon, but what I believed hurt me badly. I don't know if any words would have magically made everything all right. Sometimes hard experiences are the only way to learn lessons. I will work to eliminate my jealousy."

I sent a pulse of love through our bond. I must admit I didn't want him to be totally successful. I liked his possessiveness, the knowledge that someone in the universe loved me so much, he wanted all my time and attention. As Jedi, we spend our lives in the service of others. I had never appreciated how nice it was, being someone else's focus until my teenage Padawan started appearing at every class I taught to other apprentices. That small action gave me hope through the long years as I waited for him to reach maturity.

"This is getting almost too sweet," Torson complained.

"You're welcome to go to your bed any time you'd like," Obi-Wan snapped, then sighed as his mistake registered. I smothered a grin. I didn't have to worry about him controlling his jealousy too soon. "I apologize for my unkind words, Torson. Good morning. Are you feeling well this morning?"

"Well yes, Obi-Wan," he replied, overly polite. "I'm a little stiff, but your Master makes quite a nice pillow."

Obi-Wan didn't take the bait, merely rising to say he would begin breakfast.

"Request private breakfast with Torson, I do." Yoda rose, gesturing at Torson to follow him. "Talk we must."

Torson shrugged, raked his hands through his hair to comb it, and left with him. Obi-Wan and I were finally alone.

We weren't slow this time. The door barely shut before we were on each other, tongues driving deep, dueling with each other. Hands tugging at clothes. I heard a ripping noise but didn't know if it was my clothes or his being torn. It didn't matter as long as we both ended up naked. Silken flesh revealed to greedy fingers, caressing warm skin, exploring the body’s plains and hollows, fondling strong muscles. I shoved him down and for once he acquiesced to my superior weight, falling to his back on the floor. His hand was on my cock and my hand on his. We were bucking madly against each other, pumping hard, searching for an immediate release to affirm our togetherness.

"Obi-Wan, we should talk - "

"This first, this first - " he groaned back.

We came fast, moaning into each other's mouth, panting softly as we wafted down from that incredible high. I rolled us over and he acquiesced to that also, snuggling his cheek on my shoulder. Our legs and arms twined together. Now we could slowly pet and relax.

He trailed one fingertip down the middle of my body, starting at the hollow of my throat, straight down my chest, abdomen, my cock, before starting the path up. Patiently. "So why didn't you tell them?"

My small "Hmm?" indicated my confusion. "So why didn't you tell Masters Yoda and Windu you loved me?" he clarified.

The time for more honesty, to admit my own failures. "Several reasons. I have been taught for decades to control my emotions, to release dangerous feelings into the Force. I tried even harder after I fell in love with you, knowing it was wrong to yearn for my own apprentice. It's difficult to ignore the training of a lifetime and confess intimate feelings, even in front of old friends."

His finger arrived at my throat again and began its journey back. He made an inquisitive sound in his throat, encouraging my confession. "I also was angry, that you were so quick to assume I would betray you."

"I am sorry." He pressed kisses on my cheek, my throat. "Loving you means so much to me. The feelings have existed so long, and yet I’ve only recently realized them. What I feel seems so powerful, so overwhelming at times, I don't handle my own reactions well. I am so jealous of you, even of your past. I want to be the only one in your life.”

I couldn't stop the shudder that undulated through my body at his blunt admission of love. "I am so glad to hear you say that, my love." He cocked an eyebrow at me. It did seem odd for a Jedi Master to admit being happy his student couldn't cope with his emotions. "Jealousy can be more about control and power than love. I've been afraid. I've been afraid your feelings weren't as strong as my own. I have loved you so long, and you seemed to fall in love in an instant…" I trailed off, not because I was afraid any longer to express myself, but because the morass of churning emotions was so difficult to separate. "If you feel jealousy more than love, our relationship can't survive."

"I love you, Qui-Gon and our relationship will survive. It will survive all our lives and into the Force." He spoke with determined firmness. When he set his jaw and his gaze turned steely, my Obi-Wan appeared to have the resolute strength to change the rotation of the world on its axis if he wanted. "I promise you." That declaration deserved a kiss. Two kisses. Three. Our hands began exploring.

His lips reluctantly separated from mine and he studied me with a calculating determination in his eyes. I wondered what he was contemplating. He didn't make me wait long before speaking. "Perhaps I've been approaching our relationship the wrong way."

"Yes, Obi-Wan?"

"I have been trying to control you. For so many years, you've been this wise, all-knowing Master, close to me and yet unreachable, with your superior knowledge and experience. My jealousy has demanded I bind you to me, to dominate you sexually to prove that you are mine. Perhaps I should be willing to try the reverse."

"The reverse? How can you make me dominate you?"

One corner of his mouth tilted up. I could read the subtle change in his face. Serious time was over. I would obey his signal. We would talk more later, I promised, both as lover and Master. He tucked his arms under his head, laying on his stomach, scooting his knees up so the lower half of his body was raised. "I'm a pleasure boy, Master. Your pleasure boy."

"Are you really?" I kept my question mild, but my heart beat was racing. This was going to be good, very good.

"I've been trained all my life for you. I exist to please you. Fuck me, Master, please fuck me."

For a second, my chest froze at his urgent demand, my breath catching in my throat. "Is that what you want? To be taken?" How did he make such an erotic plea seem so sublime? Was it the love in his eyes? Or the purity of his soul, that no manner of sexual games could disguise?

"I want to be taken by you, Master. Taken until I can't breathe, until I can't see, until I faint with pleasure."

What's a Master to do, when his Padawan makes a request? I complied, settling between his spread legs, lubricating my erection with my own saliva, too impatient to seek out massage oil. As I began carefully loosening the tight ring of muscle, he began chanting a litany, "Fuck me Master, take me, take me hard, take me rough, I'm yours…"

I entered him slowly, savoring each delicious inch as his body clung tightly to my cock. One hand controlling his hips, the other on the floor to hold my weight, I fucked him, sharing my own litany with him. "I'm your Master. The only one you'll ever know. I'll take you every day, every night, I'll take you until you faint with pleasure."

He moaned and arched into my body, shoving back at me. "Yes, Master, yours yours yours…all our lives…"

He screamed when he came, his body contracting around mine. I muffled my own cry by burying my mouth in the nape of his neck. Our sweaty limp bodies fell to the floor again, automatically moving to curl together.



"I apologize if I've seemed the distant Master. If I've been too concerned with my own control. If I haven't properly balanced our relationship as lovers and as student and teacher."

There was a grumbling note to his "Hmmm?" The midst of afterglow isn't a good time to tackle weighty issues.

"Maybe I should also be willing to risk the reverse. Next time, you shall be the Master and I'll be the pleasure boy."

His expression was an odd combination of disbelief and goofy cheer. I'm not sure I've ever seen that look on his face. Seductiveness took over as he mused, "You are a little old for a pleasure boy, Qui-Gon. Maybe you should be a noble warrior I've defeated. Your culture demands your absolute surrender to the victor. Absolute and willing."

I twined his braid in my fingers, nipping at his nose. "Whatever inventive scenario you imagine, Obi-Wan. I trust you in all things, including - creativity."

"As I trust you, Qui-Gon, my love."

I found him in the gardens, sprawled once more on his back, eyes closed but not sleeping. Yoda was watching over him. I bowed to the Master, accepting responsibility for our charge. He rose and hobbled off. The Jedi Temple was likely secure against an assassin, but we would respect the determination demonstrated in last night's assault. Torson looked as disheveled as he did this morning when he walked out of our quarters.

He must have sensed my presence, opening his eyes to stare up at me. "So, you two have some wild Jedi sex and everything's fine now?"

Glad to see he hadn't lost his touch. I sat by him, picking up one hand, cradling it between my own. Easily, I admitted, "Yes, Qui-Gon and I made love and discussed our relationship. We're working on our problems."

He eyed our hands. I answered his silent question. "I want to show you why the Force is so important. I want you to understand how and why Qui-Gon and I serve the light."

Like yesterday, I opened my mind, searching for the patterns of life. The flow and ebb of people's breath, of plants taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen, of small insects floating through the air carrying pollen. The rhythms of life that surround us, that so many citizens of the universe never notice. Then I touched Torson's mind, showing him the significance of every life, the power of that energy.

"That's the Force," I said softly. I thought back to yesterday, my jealousy, my anger, my hatred of him. I let the memories ripple in my mind, disturbing my focus, twisting my connection to the Force. Everything turned bitter and bleak, the taste of ashes in my mouth. "That's the Force when violent emotions control."

I had been staring straight ahead but now I faced his eyes. I was stunned to see faint tears trickling from the corner of his eyes, slipping down his cheeks. "Torson?" I asked hesitantly, seeking understanding.

"I don't know whether to hate you for showing me what I can never have, or love you for it. I can never have that, can I?"

Reluctant, I nodded my head in agreement. "Your midi-chlorian level is very low." I paused but continued, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to hurt you. I wanted to help." I was sincere. The image of waving sweets in front of a starving child passed through my vision.

"Doesn't matter. Would you mind…?" His hand reached out for mine, and I took it. "I'd like to experience more of the Force."

I didn't respond, simply slipping into a meditative trance, carrying Torson's spirit with mine.

"Every life is important," he said softly.

"Yes." There wasn't much else to say.

"I've never felt like mine was."

"Someone thought it was important enough to try to take it." We were both talking in a daze, the energy of the Force floating in the air surrounding us, a small portion of our minds on our conversation while the greater amount of our attention was expanding together, unfurling to see the totality of life.

"My great grandfather was a King until he was deposed by democratic elections. He was a wily old schemer. He couldn't stop the dissolution of the monarchy, but he protected our assets."

"Money?" Of course. One of the major motivators for people's actions. I was glad Jedi never attached much importance to it or material possessions. We were trained to recognize greed and counter its effects during negotiations, but it was an emotion we rarely suffered. I internally winced at the thought that jealousy could be as bad as greed.

"Money, titles to certain lands, royal jewelry. My family keeps our assets, as long as a direct male descendent of 21 years lays claim to them within a week of his birthday."

"No one attacked your father or grandfather?" I couldn't uncharitably suggest that maybe his winning personality incited the assassin. Not when our minds were communing together, analyzing the wind shift caused by the slight flutter of emerald wings on a lostrian butterfly.

"It's the land. The current government is negotiating with several businesses, creating new developments. Under the agreement, they've had nominal control since my father's death. I guess someone woke up to the fact that I'll stake my claim soon. I'll have to agree to their plans and co-sign the contracts. Unless I die within this month. Then all our assets revert completely to the government."

"So a corporate leader sent an assassin after you and Deeyan sent you to us?"

"Considering how badly the first attack was bungled, it was probably the government which organized it." No wonder he admired Deeyan so much. They shared a joint distaste for democracy.

"So what are you going to do?" I flopped next to him and we gazed up at the sky. Every detail of the air cars was so precise, despite their distance, the rays of sunlight hitting their metallic surfaces, the beauty of the physical universe merging with the sleek manmade designs.

"What have I done all my life? Been raised and trained by old loyalists to be a monarch of a planet that doesn't want me." The physical skill to lead his army, the interest in politics to rule his country. He was undoubtedly well versed in economics, history, social conventions…everything but a practical profession. Raised with enough money for luxuries, but isolated for his protection, fawned over by the remnants of an aristocracy that couldn't allow the death of their glory days. I could fill in the picture. With such an unnatural, unbalanced childhood, no wonder he could be such an annoying individual. He'd either learned to manipulate his handlers to have a sense of control over his environment, or maybe they'd trained him deliberately, assuming he'd need skill in power plays.

"We're not so different. All my life, I've been raised and trained to be a Jedi Knight. It's been bred in my bones. All your life, you've been bred to be a ruler." I had faced hard truth yesterday. It was time for Torson's. "But you can't. So what do you want to do with your life? You're young, intelligent, you'll have money. You can do anything you like."

"I can do anything I'd like. That's so easy to say, but like you, I was bred for one profession. I want to rule. I want to govern. I want to help my people." He was frustrated. "I don't want to suddenly decide to be a lawyer, or a pilot, or a businessman."

"Then run for election."

He stared. "Be a common politician?"

I arched an eyebrow back. "You mean you're good enough to rule a planet because an ancestor thousands of years ago defeated other people in battle, but you're not good enough to run for office and let your people decide your worthiness?"

He stared back at the sky. "Can we stop talking and just feel the Force?"

I didn't argue, concentrating on the divine sensation of the Force caressing every sense. Maybe the Force would reveal his path to him.

The month was decidedly better than I originally expected when presented with Torson. Our would-be King stayed on Jedi grounds, usually accompanied by Obi-Wan or I. He should be safe at the Academy, but anyone with enough money to purchase Seekers might send other forms of electronic death. A Jedi companion seemed wise. Mace or Yoda would spell us regularly, so we could have time alone.

We talked, oh how we talked. My feelings toward Deeyan. Toward Xanatos' betrayal. How we both felt when I spurned to take him as Padawan. The early days of our relationships. Missions together. My casual lovers. His. The first time I used the Force trick, not on Deeyan but a fellow diplomat, and experienced only the distaste of being a trophy. Every insecurity, every over-confidence. The myriad details of our lives, both small and large. Two people who lived together as long as we had couldn't help but know each other. But we were also two Jedi, who'd always struggled to subsume our human responses to conform to the pristine image of our Order.

We harmonized so well as warriors, as negotiators, that too much of our own individual personalities were unknown to each other. We dispersed our feelings to the Force to control them, without fully understanding ourselves. Now, I ruthlessly dropped my shield of the all-wise Master and he exposed the man behind the perfect Padawan. That month became one of the most wonderful periods of my life, as I learned every hidden depth of this man who'd been my faithful apprentice for so many years, and allowed myself to reveal my own vulnerabilities with a liberating freedom.

Torson and Obi-Wan bonded surprisingly well after their rocky beginning. They spent hours meditating together. It became one of the few items we didn't discuss, at Obi-Wan's request, to preserve Torson's privacy. I respected that boundary, as Obi-Wan respected the few limits I placed on our conversations. We all three wrestled, honing our skill, and Torson was a fascinated spectator to our lightsaber practice. Torson proved to be a pleasant companion when he desired, making several friends among the Padawans. They occupied an amazing amount of time reading and arguing philosophy. The future seemed to weigh heavily on his mind.

Escorting him home after his 21st birthday was almost anti-climatic. We met with the representatives of the Yusani government, Torson signing with a flourish the papers that claimed his birthright.

He walked us back to the spaceport. "I shall miss you, both of you."

Obi-Wan hugged him. "I had hoped you might reject your claim. Disavow any claims to the monarchy. Let go of the past."

Torson smiled. "I contemplated it. I'm tired of being a pointless symbol of a dead age. And I don't want my children to suffer to same fate. But someone was willing to kill me and I won't walk away. I intend to hang around, cause some problems, find out who planned those attempts. They'll have to listen to me."

"Maybe we should stay." Obi-Wan glanced my way as he made his suggestion, knowing we had a mission.

Torson responded before I could. "No. All my life, others have raised me to fit their vision of what my future should be. It's time I started taking control. I'll do fine without protectors. Besides, I wrote a very detailed legal will before leaving Coruscant and had it registered here. Succeeding in killing me now would cause severe problems with the government's plans."

I had to caution. "Be sure you can handle what you create."

"Don't worry. I know what I'm doing."

Though I'm not normally demonstrative in public, I hugged him, hoping privately that his confidence wasn't misplaced. Torson had become a very dear friend in many ways. Obi-Wan and I boarded the transport vessel, heading to our cabin. Obi-Wan was chuckling and shaking his head as we settled in. "Something amuses you, my love?"

"I almost pity whoever tried to kill him. I don't think they realize what they've created."

"You have such faith in him?"

Obi-Wan had dropped his cloak carelessly on a chair, and flung himself back on the bed, locking his fingers behind his head. "Yes, I do. I predict he will renounce his rights to the throne, even his rights to his inherited assets when he can do it as a grand gesture. He'll probably save it for his presidential run. It will be rather nice."

"What will be?" I puttered around the cabin, stowing our luggage, hanging Obi-Wan's cloak.

His was decidedly smug. "The balance of it. You can have a best friend as a King and I'll have a President on the neighboring planet. We'll never have to worry about finding a good spot for a vacation."

"As long as a best friend is all he is."

Amused at my warning note, he asked, "Why, Qui-Gon, not jealous are we?"

I halted at the side of the bed, watching his eyes sparkle. He'd been working so diligently on his jealousy. Maybe it was time for a matching gesture, to show I could relinquish some of my authority.

I couldn't read Qui-Gon's thoughts as he looked down at me. It's a Jedi asset, to mask your reactions. Qui-Gon could be too successful around me. I was surprised when he dropped to his knees and bowed his head. "My Lord, your army has defeated mine. Spare the innocents and I am yours to command."

Surprised, but not slow in taking advantage of his offer, sitting up on the side of the bed. I slid the tie out of his hair, stroking my fingers through his long hair. "You'll obey every order."

"Absolutely, my Lord. Completely and willingly." I heard a touch of subdued pride under the humility.

I warned, "I shall be demanding. Very demanding." I was ready to master that pride.

"As is your right as victor, my Lord."

"Then rise and strip yourself, my pet. I want to see my prize."

He was graceful, as always, slowing removing his clothes, letting them fall to the floor in a pool of beige and brown, his normal fastidiousness disregarded.

My hands trembled as I stroked his lean flanks, the taut thighs, brushed fingertips over his penis. His naked form was perfection itself, hard muscled and elegant. "You have a good body for an older man."

"Thank you, my Lord."

"Not very much chest hair. That's excellent. I prefer smooth skin." My hands moved up his torso as I stood, flicking on his responsive nipples, stopping at his shoulders.

"I live to please you, my Lord."

"Then arouse me. If you are satisfactory, I'll treat your people as kindly as my own. Disappoint me and they will suffer the consequences."

Once again, he sank to his knees, disturbing my clothes only enough to free my cock. He was skilled and he'd learned what best pleased me. He used all his knowledge, alternating between gentle touches on the delicate underside and a strong sucking. I gasped when he ran his beard over my sensitive skin, the short hairs prickly yet strangely exciting. That technique was new. He took me fully into his mouth, his face pressed against my curly hairs. He hummed, the vibration sending shivers from my cock throughout my body. I would have fallen at my explosive release, if not for his firm hands holding my hips, helping me stand.

I wasn't ready to end this gratifying pretense yet. I doubted it would become a normal part of our routine, just as I never intended my pleasure boy escapade to become a common expectation. I mastered myself enough to say coolly, "Quite satisfactory, my conquered pet. I do believe I shall keep you. Now rise and strip me. I mean to fuck you."

Our eyes connected as he stood. Beneath the façade of a triumphant warrior, he could see my pure happiness in his gesture. I could tell from the delight in his eyes. He trusted and loved me enough to surrender his control, just as I trusted and loved him enough to conquer my jealousy. That was all we needed. Love and trust.

~ the end ~