Paul Atreides was to be married to Princess Irulan and take the role of Emperor of the known universe, there was no romantic intentions involved in the act but Chani, her illuminated blue eyes staring at her lover in their bed beside her, was worried it meant more. The thought of a foreign princess claiming the title of his wife, getting the chance to be intimate with Paul, it made her fearful of this arrangement. She rested her head on his shoulder, her brunette locks draping over his skin as she felt his chest move up and down. She put her hand over his beating heart, enjoying the feeling of them being together. She could hear his breathing echo through their little cavern, a calming sound in the darkness. She adjusted her position next to him, trying to get closer but bumped his rib cage with her elbow, quickly moving her arm away. Paul began to stir, she could feel him moving, the pull of their shared woven blanket against her skin with each movement he made.
“Chani.” He calls out her name softly and she sees the glow of his eyes staring back at her, she curves into him as he wraps her arm around her. He breathed in deeply, taking in the way Chani felt when they were together as whatever image his mind had conjured in his dreams drifted from thought. It was just them, enjoying the company of the other and laying in the dark like the only thing in the world was each other. But despite their closeness, the comfort of being with him, Chani’s worries crept to the front of her mind, taunting her like the controlling use of the Voice by a Bene Gesserit. Her eyes met his and she decided she would not remain silent about her fears, she was not weak willed and meek, she would confront him.
“Paul, do you feel anything for the princess?” She questioned him, her voice firm as she felt her body tense up, wanting to hold her ground as she awaited his answer. Paul had fully awakened, any sense of tiredness had evaporated at Chani’s surprising question. He smiled, looking at what he could see of her in the darkness, so strong and beautiful. Chani was grateful that Paul replied quickly without hesitation.
“I feel nothing for Princess Irulan, she’s merely part of an arrangement.” He tells her reassuringly, placing his rough, battle worn hand against her cheek as they lay together. Paul saw no one but Chani in this moment, her eyes and silhouette being the only thing in the known universe that mattered. Chani was still full of unease, she knew that it meant nothing but Princess Irulan was to be his wife and she was to be left as his concubine, she was afraid that would change their relationship between them. She did not want to give up what they have as she knew it. Their relationship was intimate, it had lasted through the hardships of this long battle and they would willingly die for the other. Chani wanted nothing to replace that.
“But where does that place me in this arrangement? I don’t want to be resigned to your mere concubine, Paul, we mean more to each other than that.” She tells him, her voice full of concern and vulnerability that Paul rarely heard when she spoke. He brushed a piece of hair away from her face, cupping her cheek with her hand and he stared into her eyes, wondering how she could ever think that she would be resorted to just his concubine. Paul would never let that be the case, he could not even think of the idea that Princess Irulan would be more important to him then Chani would ever be. The very idea that he would let that happen repulsed him. Their cavern was so quiet as Chani awaited Paul’s response, it was almost as if they could hear each other’s heartbeats.
“Chani, you are not a mere concubine, you are my love, my true wife and the mother to my future children, no Princess could ever mean more to me then you do. I love you, Sihaya.” With those words, Paul pulled Chani closer into his embrace and they began to kiss. It was soft and tender, the familiarity with each other’s movements and behaviours make the moment seem all the more intimate. In the moments between them, it was only them together on Arrakis and that was all that mattered.