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Aggressive Negotiations

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The Senator representing the Alderaan sector was her new assignment. There were finally enough trained Jedi that the Council accepted the Chancellor’s request to provide security to the New Republic, the way the Jedi of old had done.

The stories about Senator Padme Amidala and her handsome Jedi bodyguard, Anakin Skywalker, had now become legend, since the truth about Master Luke and Senator Organa’s parentage was revealed. From the immense anger and hatred that erupted when the revelation became public, a thousand galaxy wide romances had sprung, immortalizing the star-crossed lovers and the heroes their children became.

It was a shame, really, that Rey did not want her new assignment, did not want to be tempted by Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala’s grandson. There were no attachment rules in the New Jedi Order; Master Luke and Master Mara had been married for years now.

But Rey had always been alone before she was discovered on Jakku, and alone she stayed, though she was surrounded by the other Jedi at the training temple.

She was only really close with Master Mara, and that was fine with her. She was not intimidated by Master Luke as so many others had been, but both knew they were not suited for the other personality-wise.

Ben Solo had left the training temple shortly before Rey arrived; she knew now that it had to do with the scandal surrounding his mother and uncle’s parentage. At the time, she only knew there had been conflict, and that Master Luke went away for a while.

And now she was going away, leaving the only true home she had known, even if she still felt like an outsider, for an assignment she did not want with a man she felt certain to dislike.

 


 

His hair was so soft, as soft as his plush lips. She bit down on his lower lip, causing him to growl and pull her roughly down towards his hip, towards his hard length, but she put her hands on his shoulders, pushing him back down backwards onto his luxurious bed in the Alderaaanian suite on Hosnian Prime. She straddled him, grinding onto his length but not pushing him into her.

He moaned, grabbing at her hips so tightly she knew there would be a mark come morning.

“Rey,” he moaned once more, his eyes dark with desire, looking up at her as if she were the only being in the galaxy.

“Rey,” he whispered into her skin, as if her name were a prayer for salvation, holding her to him as if she were the only thing that mattered to him, buried deep inside her, their bodies entwined in the darkness.

 


 

Senator Solo was remarkably blunt and awkward for a politician, but she supposed he had been trained as a Jedi like herself, not as a diplomat, from a young age.

He was arrogant, and anger rolled off of him in the Force like the X'us'R'iia, but he was also intelligent, and cared deeply about bringing order to the unruly Senate. He did not revive the failed idea of a First Senator from before his mother’s retirement, but he did serve on the notoriously prickly Rules Committee, the youngest Senator there by a longshot.

He never asked about her time at Jedi Temple, never asked after his aunt and uncle, only seeming concerned with the Jedi when he was annoyed with her or critical of her technique, or mused about not needing a Jedi protector.

“I don’t think your grandmother complained about her Jedi protection,” Rey retorted.

“That’s because the stories don’t mention that my grandfather is the one who killed her,” Ben replied, looking up from his desk, his glasses askew, his normally pristine hair out of place.

With that, he stormed off, and Rey noted that his normally perfect calligraphy was smudged, his invitations unusable for the inkblots dripping across the flimsiplasts.

 


 

They kissed after one of their many confrontations in the training room, droids and padding flying through the room in an emotional tempest of Force prowess.

They kissed in Ben’s office, the aides long having gone home, Rey promising she’d keep him safe.

They kissed in back alleys, having snuck out of the Senatorial complex and donned civilian clothing, after eating street food, people watching, and laughing the night away, pretending they were, could be a normal couple.

Not a Senator, and his Jedi bodyguard, their lightsabers hidden under their cloaks and their identities shed for the night.

 


 

She didn’t want to love him. She didn’t even want to like him, at first. The assignment would have been easier that way.

But she went with him to Naboo, where there was so much water and greenery, teeming with the living Force, that it quite literally took her breath away.

He was gentle and kind to her, showing her a vulnerable side of himself he never allowed anyone to see. He told her to wander off and explore the city of Theed while he was sitting in meetings, insisting he’d be perfectly well protected by the Queen’s handmaidens and the Royal Naboo Security Forces.

Everyone on Naboo seemed happy, peaceful and content with their lives in a way she knew she would never experience again. The galaxy was not at peace, unrest was everywhere, and the Senators were always on edge. She had been assigned Ben’s bodyguard as a reason.

But here, she could laugh as little children asked her to float rocks and water droplets with the Force. She could appreciate the sun and the water spray on her face, trailing her fingers through vines and flower petals.

She savored the taste of a Nubian pear, its juices dribbling down her chin, and the taste of it on Ben’s lips as well when he kissed her after a formal dinner at his grandmother’s estate in the Lake Country.

It was her first kiss, taking her breath away the way the scenery had, and she enjoyed it at first, but then she panicked, pushing him away.

“We can’t,” she started, but then he took her hands, gently rubbing them within his own. His hands were soft, made for calligraphy and gloves; hers were callused from tinkering and building things.

“We can,” he said, and pulled her to him once more.

His luxurious black suit and her Jedi robes tumbled to the floor in his--their--bedroom.

The Force flowed through them as they made love, desperate and powerful yet intimate and tender all at once. She could feel him inside her, physically and emotionally, and knew she would never be the same, and he felt the same and was reassuring her and opening himself to her and it was all so overwhelming and wonderful that she wanted it all and again.

Don’t be afraid. I feel it too, he whispered to her, and she felt it on her skin and in her heart and mind.

He moaned as she straddled him, as she raked her hands through his thick dark hair, as he called out her name.

 


 

It was several weeks after they returned from Naboo that Rey saved Ben’s life for the first time.

The First Order’s assassination plot was foiled not only by hard work, but Jedi instincts and quick thinking; though it was several years before, the Napkin Bombing was never far from the minds of those who served the New Republic. Such a tragedy could never be allowed to occur again.

It did not. Rey disabled a bomb with her knowledge, honeed from years of scavenging on Jakku, and bare hands. Her other Jedi colleagues acted quickly to get Senators, tourists, aides, and other workers to safety.

The security cam recordings of Ben taking down a stormtrooper platoon with his lightsaber was a hit on the HoloNet. Almost as much of a hit as the video of Rey crashing into him, pulling him down to the floor and covering him with her body when the second bomb, the bomb she couldn’t diffuse, went off, and Ben kissed her once the dust cleared.

“Another Padme Amidala and Anakin Skywalker in the making?” the tabloid headlines asked.

Rey just shook her head and laughed.