Star Wars fan fiction
introduction and preview
Only For A Season
Chapter 1: Desert Visitor
Chapter 2: Game of Marbles
Chapter 3: Stargazer
Chapter 4: Dewbacks and Darklighter
Chapter 5: Skyhopper
Chapter 6: Beggar’s Canyon
Chapter 7: Boonta Eve
Chapter 8: Sunstealer
Chapter 9: The Stone Needle
Chapter 10: Shifting Sands
Chapter 11: A New Season
Chapter 12: Japor Strands
Chapter 13: Farmer’s Holiday
Chapter 14: Starkiller
Chapter 15: Setting Suns
Chapter 16: Seeds of Rebellion
Only For A Season
By mid afternoon the following day at the Lars homestead all the preparations were complete. Outside in the courtyard white linens draped the surfaces of tables bearing food and drink, and the whole area was covered by a tent to ward off the day’s lingering heat. Though the majority of the flowers were inside, the outdoor tables were also decorated with vases of flowers Annalis had provided from the Starkiller’s garden. Something exotic (following the rehearsal Annalis had deemed the previous, more mundane, arrangements unacceptable). There were deep purple blooms with red in their centers, accompanied by another smaller but still exotic red flower, and fragrant white apple blossoms. There were almost as many comments about the flowers as there were about the bride’s dress.
Breanna, who was radiant in her beauty and happiness, stood in a shaded corner of the courtyard receiving her guests. Once the guests had greeted the bride-to-be they would proceed inside where Luke was also receiving the well-wishes of their guests, and doubtlessly waiting nervously for the start of the ceremony. Biggs, who hadn’t been far from Breanna’s side all day, stood only a few steps away from her out in the courtyard.
It was an old tradition, but since the groom was forbidden to see the bride after nightfall the day before they wed, it was the best man’s place to watch over her in his stead. Biggs had waited outside her room at her parents’ home that morning while the women had helped Breanna dress and ready herself, then he had brought her to the Lars farm and remained nearby while she received her guests. The best man wouldn’t leave the bride’s side on the day of the wedding (except to leave her in the company of her parents) until the moment her father would give her in marriage to her husband. For that reason the groom chose someone he trusted implicitly for the task, and it was considered a great honor.
Biggs had taken his duty quite seriously, but that didn’t keep him from joking with Breanna that by mid day he was familiar enough with the details of her dress to take over answering questions about its embroidery if she got tired of fielding them.
Breanna giggled at the idea.
Biggs decided again that he liked her laugh. It was light, honest, and generous.
“Well if you’re looking for a short break, maybe you could go ask Annalis if she’s gotten the flowers rearranged for my bouquet.”
Biggs flinched almost imperceptibly.
“Please,” Breanna smiled. She knew that the last thing Biggs wanted to do was discuss anything having to do with flowers, decorations, or proper wedding protocol with Annalis. And she didn’t really blame him for that. “I wouldn’t ask, but I’ll never hear the end of it if I forget those flowers.”
“Okay. But only for you,” Biggs bantered with her. He glanced around the courtyard. Almost all the guests had arrived and gone inside. It wouldn’t hurt to leave Breanna alone for a couple of minutes... then he caught sight of a familiar figure. “Hey, Tank would you mind standing in for me for a minute?” Biggs asked. “Brea needs me to get something from her matron of honor.”
Tank broke off his conversation with another of the boys from Tosche Station at Biggs’s call.
Breanna smiled between the two of them as Tank approached. “Another handsome man in uniform to watch over me. You’d better hurry back, Biggs,” she joked.
Biggs grinned, enjoying her sense of humor. “Behave yourselves. I’ll only be gone a minute.”
Breanna smiled as she watched him leave. She had half expected that having Biggs to escort her around all day would be an incredibly awkward experience, but Biggs was good company, just the right combination of funny and charming. And he was more than a little intimidating to anyone whom he thought treated her with too much familiarity. In short he took his duty to her and his obligation to Luke as best man very seriously. By comparison Breanna was surprised when she turned back to Tank and found him standing a lot closer than he had been a moment ago when Biggs had left.
“You really don’t have to watch me that closely,” she joked, but this time there was no humor in her voice. She didn’t like the way he was looking at her any more than she liked his proximity. Without thinking she moved back a step, but her dress slowed the motion, allowing Tank to take two more steps toward her.
Breanna stood on her toes to look over his shoulder, suddenly hoping that she might see Luke there. Her mind was a blur. Her first instinct was to yell for Biggs to come back, but Tank was a guest and she didn’t want to cause a scene.... Tank moved even closer, clearly enjoying his pursuit and seemingly emboldened as he watched the effect his actions were having on her. Her feet stumbled over the hem of her dress and her hip caught the edge of the table beside her causing the glass vase resting there to rock precariously. Breanna ignored it and caught hold of the courtyard wall behind her with one hand, continuing to pull back in retreat as much as possible.
Tank shoved the table further aside, causing the vase to fall to the ground and shatter. With her cornered, Tank leaned in. There was no longer any doubt that he intended to kiss her. Her preferences in the matter were inconsequential. Breanna made one last attempt to duck away but Tank’s arm quickly blocked her escape route. Her other hand was poised, rigid at her side but she remained still, forcing herself to be calm and composed. Almost out of options, there was a controlled strain of worry in her voice when she spoke out.
“What are you doing, Tank?”
Tank paused at the unexpected question, and Biggs watched for another heartbeat in disbelief.
“Yeah. What are you doing, Tank?”
Biggs could see tension in every line of Breanna’s small frame, but it was Tank who jumped back as if he had been slapped, and Biggs knew that was not far from the truth. If he had gotten any closer to her Breanna would have slapped him, and hard. What Tank would have done after that Biggs was not so sure of. He didn’t like the smug look of entitlement on the other man’s features; Biggs had seen that look too often in the Empire, worn by men who had become too accustomed to simply taking what they wanted.
“Nothing,” Tank answered with a grin. His hulking form still dwarfed Breanna’s and everything about her body language continued to scream that his advance was unwanted. “Just wishing the bride well.”
Breanna had regained her footing when Tank had turned to answer Biggs. She was standing up straight and breathing a little easier, though her eyes never left Tank and her back was pressed tight against the wall, as far away from him as she could move.
“You can leave now,” Biggs said sharply.
“Yeah, sure, Biggs.”
Tank walked toward the homestead, and Biggs’s anger flared. “I don’t think you need to go in.”
Tank looked surprised, then caught on. “Yeah,” he said, and exited the courtyard in the opposite direction.
Biggs took a deep breath, letting the remainder of his anger drain away as he walked deliberately slowly across the courtyard. Breanna was nervously straightening her dress and checking the time; he could see her hands shaking. Biggs pulled over a chair.
“Here. Sit for a minute,” he said quietly. “There’s plenty of time. They’ll wait for the bride.”
She smiled gratefully and sat down, straightening the dress again.
“And a beautiful one,” Biggs whispered as he knelt down in front of her. Cautiously, he took her hand in his, stilling the nervous motion. He could no longer see the trembling but he could still feel it as he rubbed her hand reassuringly, and he was careful to keep enough distance between the two of them as not to arouse any further suspicions. “I’m really sorry that happened, Brea. I would never have left you alone with him if I thought he’d do anything like that.”
Breanna shook her head, “I’m sure he didn’t mean anything by it,” she said.
Biggs studied her face for a moment, wishing he was as certain. “The Academy has changed him, maybe more than I realized.”
“He’s just forgotten,” Breanna argued. “Little things that are important here probably seem silly once you’ve been away.”
“No,” Biggs said firmly. “Some things are still important.” He smiled meaningfully. “And they’re important to Luke,” he added.
Breanna smiled back at him, reassured by that thought. “I know your being here means everything to him, Biggs. Thank you,” she said, and she squeezed his hand in thanks for other things before gently disengaging from his hold.
Her gaze fell to the broken vase and she gave a grimace; she had been hoping it had been one of Annalis’s fancy arrangements instead of the bland collection of green-brown fronds that now lay littered on the packed sand floor. It was tradition that guests bring japor strands to a wedding; one strand was given to the bride and one to the groom. The strands would later be bound together and potted. The bound japor ivory wood in the strands would meld and grow together to form a new plant, and the plant would remain in the house wherever the couple lived. It was said to bring good luck. The couple could then give strands of their plant to others who married and continue the tradition.... The japor itself was nearly impossible to damage, hence its survival on Tatooine, but breaking the glass....
“That’s supposed to be really bad luck,” Breanna breathed. Breaking the vase the japor was housed in was akin to breaking the home that sheltered it.
Biggs stooped down, collected the strands, then walked over to the nearest vase where he tossed Annalis’s fancy flowers aside and replaced them with the japor. He returned to set the new vase on the table as if nothing had happened and looked back to Breanna for approval.
The curious smile with which she had been watching him widened. “Maybe it doesn’t really count until the strands are combined,” she decided.
With her easy dismissal the two of them understood that they wouldn’t speak of this again, not to Luke or to anyone else. Biggs knelt down in front of her once more. Breanna was very smart and equally intuitive. She had the power to hold what had happened over Biggs, but she chose to let it go. She knew Biggs would hold himself responsible for any misfortune that befell her on his watch and she understood that his earlier failure in judgement stung him. Even though no lasting harm had come to her, Biggs had unknowingly placed her in a compromising situation. If Luke were a lesser man Tank’s actions could easily have jeopardized the wedding, and the blame for that failure would have fallen not on Breanna or even Tank, but on Biggs.
“I believe life is what you make of it,” Biggs told her honestly, “and you and Luke will make a good one. Luck has nothing to do with it.” With that said, Biggs rocked back on his heels and pulled a small bouquet of brightly colored flowers from behind his back, which he handed to Breanna. “I stole them when Annalis’s back was turned,” he admitted in a deadpan voice.
Breanna couldn’t help laughing at that.
“Just tell her they looked ready to me,” Biggs finished with a shrug.
Breanna nodded, studying him appreciatively for a few more seconds once the laughter had faded. “We had better go in,” she suggested softly. “Luke will wonder if I’m coming.”
Biggs didn’t move a muscle. “I don’t think there’s any chance of him wondering that. I envy Luke today,” he confessed softly. “He’s a lucky man to be getting a wife who loves him as much as you do.” Then Biggs stood and offered her his arm in escort.
“I’m the lucky one,” Breanna told him as she threaded her arm though his. “With Luke I know exactly what I’m getting. Today he is mine and I am his, and neither of us would have it any other way.”
Luke’s two best friends stood looking at each other for a long moment before Biggs smiled. “Let’s have pity on the groom and not keep him waiting any longer.”
Breanna smiled brightly up at him, nodding, and Biggs walked her across the courtyard and into the house where Dyllan Stargazer was waiting.
“You’re beautiful,” her father whispered when Biggs handed her to him. Breanna smiled brightly and took his arm so that Dyllan Stargazer could escort his daughter to her groom.
Biggs flanked them down the small isle that had been created between two rows of guests, all of them smiling and careening their heads to get a glimpse of the bride in her radiant splendor. Then Biggs took his place at Luke’s side. Luke shook Biggs’s hand, but Luke’s attention was stolen by Breanna. Biggs couldn’t blame him for that. She was absolutely beautiful today.
Breanna’s long, wavy blonde hair fell freely down her back, covered by an even longer fine mesh veil. Her dress was white silk, delicate and form fitting from the waist up, but without being overtly revealing. The embroidery started at the neckline and created a shimmering sheen that draped across her shoulders, adorned her waist, and fell in elaborate cascades toward the floor. The dress was full from the waist down, and when combined with the elegant gait of her stride it was almost as if Breanna floated instead of walked... or maybe that was a result of her happiness today.
Even more than any measure of physical beauty, the last words Breanna had said to him echoed in Biggs’s mind, and he truly did envy Luke in this moment. He and Breanna would be happy together, a happiness they both truly deserved.
Next the magistrate and the cleric entered the room and took their places. The happy buzz of guests murmuring amongst themselves faded into an expectant silence as everyone waited for the cleric to speak the traditional verses.
“Though Tatooine was settled long ago when our ancestors first came to this harsh and unforgiving landscape in order to form lives for themselves and their families, this planet and our civilization here still bears the mark of its beginnings as an outpost world. Our days and our lives still remain focused on the never-ceasing fight for survival against this planet’s brutal elements. For these reasons two things remain certain. First, when there is cause to celebrate we must celebrate together. And second, we must always continue to forge and reinforce the bonds that will allow our continued survival, not just as individuals or as families, but as a community, as neighbors, as a civilization that knows it cannot survive without the help and support of its fellow citizens.”
After a brief moment of respectful silence for the cleric’s opening words the magistrate spoke. “It is for this reason that we are here today. Today marks the occasion of Luke Skywalker and Breanna Stargazer becoming husband and wife to each other. And it marks the joining of the Lars and Stargazer families in this common union.”
The magistrate explained for the audience the negotiation that had been finalized between the families over the last year and a day. Breanna was to be given to the Lars household. The newlywed couple would live with them, contribute to their household, and be supported by them as they learned the skills that would allow them to make their own way, and in time they would be given an allotment of land on which to make their own homestead. The groom’s family would help with the raising of children and eventually the bride and groom would repay them for their start by caring for them as they grew too old to maintain their own farm. Once the magistrate had proclaimed all of this the cleric read verses outlying that sacred progression.
“For these reasons the families of our births are divided and new families are created. That the young couple may better learn to build a home, and make provisions for the needs of the other within their partnership. So that youth may be counseled by wisdom and experience – especially in the virtues of respect and patience – that they may learn to provide wise council, honest encouragement, and unyielding partnership to one another in times of difficulty, as well as compromise and humility in matters of conflict with one another. And that they may come to appreciate a reasoned entitlement to the rights and comforts of marriage leading to the timely procreation of heirs. So that youth can again be guided by experience and wisdom in matters of the rearing of children, and that the rearing of children may provide a lasting joy within the family to further warm the home and heart. And, finally, so that when time and nature deem that youth is more able than wisdom, then youth will lift the burden from the shoulders of their elders. Thereby, in their aged years, the wisdom and guidance so freely offered can be repaid to them in full until the end of their days.
“It is for these reasons, these rights, and for the fulfilment of these scared duties, that the families of our births are divided – so that new and stronger extended families are created.” The cleric turned his attention to the two families. “Do each of you grant your permission for this union?”
Both families gave permission and, according to ancient tradition, they also voiced their approval by proclaiming the match a good match. As the families had agreed upon years ago, there were no gifts to be exchanged between them, only the couple to be given to one another. So the cleric returned his attention to them.
“Luke and Breanna, marriage is a contract, an institution, a sacred union. That union yields great rewards, and brings with it heavy obligations.
“Luke, do you promise Breanna the safety and comfort of a home, to concern yourself with her well-being in mind and body, to make provision for her physical and emotional needs, and in matters of conflict to balance her obedience to you as your wife with your benevolent deference to her wishes as her husband?”
“I do,” Luke answered with a solemn smile.
“Breanna, do you promise Luke the comforts of marriage and the right to procreation of heirs, to make your common home a place of sanctuary and comfort for him, to concern yourself with his well-being in mind and body, to make provision for his physical and emotional needs, and in matters of conflict to balance your duty as his council, confident, and partner with your obligation to obey his wishes as your husband?”
“I do,” Breanna answered, her solemn smile echoing his.
“The sacred vows have been made. I invite the families to now offer their blessings.”
Once the couple had received the blessings from their families the magistrate opened the ledger he had brought with him. “And now, to sign your commitment into law.”
Luke and Breanna each signed, their signatures recorded into local law by the magistrate and witnessed by the cleric.
“Please join hands,” the cleric invited.
Luke extended his hand to Breanna, who took it readily.
“May the vows you have made today join you in mind, body, heart, and spirit for all the days of your lives. And may love, respect, fidelity, and deep affection have dominion over your hearts and lives. With the same endless with which the suns are joined on their common journey in dominion over the sands, so may it be with you upon your journey.
“Of a husband it is said, ‘He should put his wife before himself.’ And for a wife it is said, ‘Where the heart lies, so the flesh will follow.’ May you never forget your rights and responsibilities, your duties and obligations to one another – but may they always be carried out with honor so that the true perfection of this union may bring you every happiness, and increase your household in both number and in joy. These are the duties charged to you with the vows you have freely undertaken to each other, to your new family, and to your future family....
“Now where there is heavy burden, may there also be great delight,” the cleric declared with a smile. “You may show one another some sign of the common vows that bind you,” he offered.
Aunt Beru and Dywn Stargazer each wiped their eyes. Luke tightened his grip on Breanna’s fingers, pulling her a step closer as he reached for her other hand. The couple joined hands, smiling as they moved close to each other. Luke leaned to kiss his new bride, and the rest of the room was forgotten for a few precious seconds as they kissed one another softly. Then Breanna leaned into his embrace and Luke released her hands to wrap his arms around her.
They hardly moved apart from each other after that, as hand in hand they received congratulations and the well wishes of their friends and neighbors. Once the congratulations had been offered, refreshments had been consumed, and traditional dances had been exchanged among the wedding party it was nearly dusk. Biggs placed a hand on Luke’s shoulder. He had one more duty to perform as best man. Aunt Beru reluctantly let Luke go, again wiping her eyes. Biggs escorted Luke across the floor to where Breanna was dancing with her father.
Dyllan Stargazer conceded to tradition, allowing Biggs to cut in so that he could turn and escort Breanna to Luke. The rest of the floor fell silent as Biggs bowed to the bride and offered her arm to Luke. Luke took her arm and slipped his hand into Breanna’s again. Her arm then slipped around his waist, and they danced as their guests politely applauded the last dance of the wedding party, the first dance of the bride and groom.
Once the dance was concluded Annalis presented her sister with the vase of ivory japor fronds, now bound together and potted into a single container. That presentation was Annalis’s final duty as matron of honor and it officially marked the end of the wedding ceremony. Luke and Breanna then walked out into the courtyard to see their guests away.
The party wasn’t entirely over; at dusk the reception would relocate, in this case to the bride’s family home; Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru went ahead with the Stargazers to help them receive the guests at their home. Soon only Luke, Breanna, and Biggs remained at the Lars homestead. Luke’s stomach gave a funny jolt. He had forgotten until that moment that Biggs wasn’t here to stay. He would be leaving in a day or two, and Luke didn’t know when he would next see his friend.
Breanna hugged Biggs and thanked him. He whispered something in her ear that made her smile, offered a polite kiss on the cheek, then stepped back from her. Breanna also stepped back; she gave Luke’s hand a squeeze as she walked past him and retreated far enough to allow the two friends some privacy for a proper farewell.
Luke hugged Biggs tightly. “You take care. I’ll be here waiting on you.”
Biggs nodded. “You take care too, Hotshot.” He paused. “I’m happy for the two of you, Luke,” Biggs said softly and he looked at Breanna for a long moment. “You don’t know how lucky you are. Take good care of her.”
Luke swallowed hard and nodded. “I will.”
Luke and Breanna climbed from the courtyard after Biggs. Luke slipped his arm around Breanna’s waist and the both of them stood waving until Biggs’s skyhopper had disappeared into the distance. Then Luke turned and steered her back down the courtyard steps and inside. It felt strange to be standing there all alone, difficult to believe that after a lifetime of being prepared for this and the past year of anxiously waiting for this day they were actually married.
Breanna grinned as she glanced back at him, and her hand brushed his. “It seems so quiet now,” she whispered, her fingers curling into his, but even before she had spoken Luke could tell that she was feeling the same awkwardness he was.
“It does,” he whispered, moving closer to her.
It was an old tradition to give the newlywed couple the house to themselves for a short honeymoon period. A couple of days was long enough to neglect the duties of the farm and time enough for young lovers to become acquainted with the bliss of married life. Luke remembered that Annalis and Kyle had taken a week long tour instead. During that time they had stayed at fancy hotels and eaten expensive foods....
Luke felt a twinge of guilt that he had no more to offer his bride than a farmer’s holiday... but deep down he knew that Breanna didn’t want more; she wanted him, and that was all that mattered to Luke. Breanna flushed and dropped her eyes when Luke moved close.
“Wait a minute,” he breathed and he crossed the room to hurriedly press a series of buttons. Music sprang to life, first the bland but pretty background music from the reception. Luke frowned and entered another code to change it. A blast of something young and full of energy followed, causing Luke to cringe. “Sorry, he called over his shoulder as he remembered the correct sequence. Something between the two styles followed, soft and romantic without being sleepy or dull.
Breanna smiled, knowing that Luke had chosen that himself. His hand tightened against hers when he moved back to her.
“Dance with me again?” he asked hopefully. “Just us this time.”
Her arms moved around his shoulders and Luke felt his breath catch when the space between them closed more than he had expected. Slowly he let his hands slide from her waist and his arms curl around her back, holding her as closely as she held him. With her arms snug around his neck and her head nestled against his shoulder they moved slowly to the music.
Brea relaxed and felt at peace as she followed Luke’s lead. His arms were around her. Occasionally she felt his hand on her back, softly stoking her hair, her neck. Then when the music stopped she opened her eyes to look up at him, and Luke kissed her. This time the kiss was like nothing she had expected. It took her breath away, and yet she never wanted it to stop.
Luke couldn’t help kissing her. She was so beautiful and so close to him. Just the softness of her skin and the smell of her hair made it hard for him to breathe. When he finally pulled back they were both breathing hard. Luke’s hand had come to rest against the side of her neck and his other arm was holding her close against him. Brea could feel his hair brushing her forehead, and when she opened her eyes he was watching her intently. He looked relieved when she smiled tentatively, and he bent toward her again.
Brea turned away slightly. “Luke–” she whispered. Suddenly this was moving too fast for her. “Can we dance, just a little longer?”
He nodded. “As long as you want,” he murmured in her ear.
Neither of them had yet to move a muscle. She could feel the warmth of his breathing against her ear, and if she was honest with herself she knew that that kiss, their closeness, had affected them both more than they had expected.
“I know–” she started hesitantly.
“Don’t worry. We’ve got the rest of our lives for–” his nerve failed him over the words and Luke flushed a deep shade of crimson, causing Brea to laugh as she settled her head against his shoulder again.
“Thank you, Luke,” she whispered.
“I love you, Brea,” he answered. “I won’t rush this.” He waited for her to speak.
“I know what’s expected of me,” she replied. “I– I promise, I won’t make you wait long. I– just–”
Luke sighed, his arms moving closer around her. “You’re scared. I can tell,” Luke whispered a second later when she didn’t argue. “I don’t want that, Bre,” he stammered painfully. “I promise we’ll figure this out together.” He swallowed hard, kissing the top of her head. “I just need you to trust me. I won’t do anything that hurts you.”
She held him tighter than he would have thought possible a minute ago. “I trust you, Luke,” she whispered.
They danced, holding each other close, until the music faded. One song, then another. And then they stood there just holding each other.
“I think I’m ready now,” Brea said, leaning back from him gingerly. Luke kissed her again, reassurance more than passion behind this kiss. His hand found hers and they walked together down the hall to the bedroom they would share.
Luke paced nervously, waiting for Breanna to return from the refresher at the end of the hall where she had gone to change clothes and ready herself for bed. His stomach was in knots. His brain was buzzing trying to remember everything his uncle had told him to remember, but mostly it was his own nerves that had his thoughts running in circles. This depended on him; Brea was depending on him. He wouldn’t let anything hurt her. He hoped he didn’t disappoint her. He was determined to make his every move show her how much he loved her. He was just scared to death of messing this up. He didn’t know how to begin to balance what his bride needed of him with everything his newly awakened body was screaming at him in anticipation now that the moment was finally here. When he had kissed her... the passion had been overwhelming; he had never felt anything like it, and he had never wanted anything more than he had wanted her in that moment... but her hesitation had stopped him cold. Brea wasn’t ready the way he was ready, she wasn’t so sure about this. His hands were trembling. How was he supposed to reassure her when he didn’t know what to do? Uncle Owen had been deliberately short on details, telling him that it would make sense to him, that he’d know what to do. Luke hoped he was right. He had learned the basic facts about what happened between men and women long ago, but between him and Brea, that was something entirely different. He didn’t know how this was supposed to work, what she would expect him to do or not do.... The door opened, Luke turned on his heel, and his breath was stolen away. She was even more beautiful than he had expected, if such a thing was possible. The elegant dress she had worn for the ceremony was replaced by a simple night dress. Her hair fell in loose waves around her face and over her shoulders. And she was standing there, waiting for him. Luke noticed his immobility (though he had not a clue of the charming way his mouth hung open in an awed smile) and moved toward her – his knee connecting abruptly and painfully with the chest at the foot of his bed. “Brilliant, Skywalker,” he mumbled, trying not to curse as he stumbled back to his feet. Brea was giggling. “I’m sorry,” she apologized, trying unsuccessfully to muffle the giggles as Luke sat down on the chest. She sat beside him. “Are you okay?” she asked worriedly. Her hand came to rest on his leg as she struggled through another fit of laughter. Luke found her laughter contagious as he nodded a yes. “I really am sorry,” she tried again. Her touch lightly grazed his throbbing knee, and they were sitting close enough for her leg to brush his. Luke touched her face, brushing back the wave of hair that had dipped over her shoulder, his pain momentarily forgotten. “That’s okay,” he whispered, averting his eyes shyly; then his face just as abruptly lifted as he tried not to let himself stare at the curves of her body. “I love the sound of your laughter.” Her smile faded somewhat; the mood between them had grown serious again with expectation. Luke grinned, and on an impulse his fingers found her waist, not to hold her but to tickle her. He was rewarded by an answering squeal of surprised laughter. Breanna scooted away from him, pausing only to try to tickle him back. The contest went on until both of them were tired from laughter and neither really noticed that they were lying close to one another on the bed. Luke traced a finger up her side and leaned over her, smiling as he kissed her lips. They kissed breathlessly and the motion of his finger gave way to the palm of his hand. The feel of kissing her was intoxicating, and when they came up to breathe his lips quickly found her neck, not wanting to break the contact. Brea closed her eyes, enjoying the strange sensation of his breath and lips on her skin. She allowed her caution to slip further. The sound and feel of his laughter was still fresh in her mind. Her heart was racing from the feel of his kiss. This felt good. Luke had always taken care of her; she trusted that. He would not hurt her, and she refused to be afraid of his closeness. Brea blinked, stunned to realize that he had drawn back, and she wondered if she had done something wrong. Her hand found his shoulder and she realized that he had taken off his shirt.
Luke flushed uncomfortably. “I hope it’s okay. I usually sleep like this,” he trailed off.
She nodded in understanding. “I usually sleep in something a little cooler too.”
His eyes dropped almost involuntarily, as if trying to determine what parts of her might in the future be uncovered on a nightly basis. Then his head snapped back up.
Brea laughed at his reaction and cupped his face in one small hand. “It’s okay, Luke,” she breathed. “You’re allowed to look at me. Allowed to touch,” she whispered more softly, her fingers moving against his cheek in a way that caused his eyes to flutter closed. Brea watched his face for a second, then kissed his lips.
Luke was surprised but he responded, kissing her softly but letting her lead the encounter this time. When they drew apart again she found herself stealing a glance at his body. There was strength there, beneath a boyish build. He would never have the wide shoulders or extra height that Biggs was already coming into, but she thought him beautiful and perfect.
Luke tried to ignore his self-consciousness as Brea politely averted her gaze after a second or two. He knew his physical shortcomings; he had always been teased as a runt, picked on by Fixer and the others, but he had proven himself to them. Brea was another story. She had always seen more in him than anyone else, even Biggs. He feared disappointing her once she saw him as he truly was.... Luke leaned away from her to pull down the bed sheets. Brea wriggled under but almost before Luke had settled in beside her she moved close against his side.
“Is this okay?” she asked when he tensed in surprise.
Luke closed his eyes and he was reminded strongly of the night they spent in the cave, the way he had felt at peace lying beside her, listening to the sound of her breathing in the darkness. Tonight he didn’t have to sleep lightly for worry of their safety through the storm, and nothing was stopping him from holding her close. Luke nodded against the top of her head, letting his arm move around her, cautiously bringing her closer. Brea relaxed and nestled her head against his shoulder the same way she had when they had danced... but at the moment her breathing was tickling against his bare skin. Her arm moved around his rib cage and Luke took a deep breath.
He couldn’t have explained what he was feeling if he had tried. He loved everything about having her close to him, and yet that closeness was slowly driving him crazy. He knew he should be settling to sleep, letting his new bride have time to become comfortable with him, but his body was in full rebellion; his palms were wet, the feel of her breathing made hairs all over his body stand on end, and her slightest movement was enough to send chills racing through his spine.
They lay still for a long time, each wondering if the other was falling asleep.
“Luke,” Brea whispered cautiously. “Remember when we were in the cave, what you said to me, when we– when we almost kissed?”
“I remember,” he answered. He remembered everything about that night.
“I always wanted to marry you,” she whispered. “I loved you since we were little kids, but that night... I wanted so desperately for you to love me back. And when you promised to take care of me, promised yourself to me... I knew you loved me too.”
His fingers absentmindedly stroked her back. “I always knew we would marry. I never thought to question it, but I fell in love with you that night, Bre. I knew I’d do anything to keep you safe, and the thought of anything hurting you turned me inside out. It still does,” he barely managed.
She shifted, lifting herself to face him, and Luke shifted his eyes away.
“You won’t hurt me, Luke,” she whispered. “I know that.”
He grimaced. “I wish I knew,” he struggled over the confused confession. She pressed her head back against his chest and Luke wrapped his arms around her, holding her close.
They lay that way for hours, talking, occasionally dozing in each other’s arms, letting the feel of this nearness become more comfortable and familiar to them. And even if the closeness was occasionally tinged with desire or awkwardness, it no longer felt uncomfortable. Luke felt at peace, warm and drowsy as he lay still on his back, gently stroking his bride’s soft hair and listening to the feel of her breathing. She nestled a little closer to his side, prompting Luke to smile and press his lips against the top of her head.
He didn’t know if they would consummate the marriage tonight or not, but he knew that Breanna trusted him. She loved him and she wanted to be close to him. He didn’t want to take any of those things for granted. As he closed his eyes and drifted asleep Luke knew that regardless of what happened tonight or any other night, the two of them would be okay.
It was just after dawn. Before Luke could even open his eyes he knew something was not right. His mind exploded in panic and worry, and he bolted upright. It was light outside! What could have possibly happened to keep Uncle Owen or Aunt Beru from waking him before now? Then something soft brushed his arm just as he heard an equally soft sleepy murmur. Memory flowing over him, he turned and half fell back in relief before catching himself on one elbow and rolling over to stare down into the face of his new bride.
His uncle had not exaggerated when he had told Luke that he would need to be patient and gentle with her, but neither of those demands had been difficult on him. The fingers of his other hand barely touched her face, tracing a stray strand of hair that swept against her skin. She was so beautiful, his bride, his wife, and he loved her more than he had known he could love anyone or anything.
It had taken them the better part of the night to become acquainted with one another as husband and wife, but it had been more worth it than anything Luke had ever imagined. When they finally had become lovers it was the most intense thing he had ever experienced, beyond physical pleasure, beyond emotional need. He almost felt what she felt, almost heard her thoughts in his head....
Breanna’s hand softly closed on his arm, her fingers applying a gentle pressure against his forearm as her eyes flickered open. She stretched and gazed up at him. Luke moved closer to her side and her smile widened. He smiled back; he couldn’t resist leaning down to kiss her. Brea’s arm curled around his shoulders, pulling him closer, and for a wonderful moment that seemed to last forever they both felt lost all over again. Nothing else mattered as they kissed, holding on to each other tightly.
She whispered his name when the kiss broke, and Luke curled up beside her, his arms remaining around her. They had spent hours last night lying in each other’s arms, talking about whatever came to mind or saying nothing at all. At times the interaction had been intensely passionate and unspeakably intimate, and sometimes being just close enough to touch was all that was needed... her fingertips caressed the midline of his back in that way now. But the passion and the intimacy were still there, the comfort and the friendship were still there. The feeling of loving her and knowing that she loved him was overwhelming. Luke closed his eyes. Suddenly the bright day dawning outside was forgotten. He felt at peace and pleasantly sleepy.
Breanna’s lips touched his forehead. He whispered her name, pressed his lips against the soft skin of her throat, and breathed in her sweet scent. Falling back into peaceful sleep, the last thing he remembered was the darkness of the night before: his eyes closed, their bodies intertwined, the sweet oblivion of being utterly unable to think or to move as his heart had pounded recklessly and his breathing had come in uncontrolled bursts. But he didn’t mind the shocking weakness that had befallen his body; her arms were around him, the motion of her fingers was soothing on his heated skin, and he felt more than heard the touch of her voice.
Brea hadn’t wanted to break the silence with words, hadn’t wanted the sound of her voice to risk exposing his vulnerability in that moment. But her voice had whispered his name; it whispered, I love you.
She had been surprised when he whispered back in kind, I love you too, Brea.
So Let it Be Written Publishing © 2004