Chapter Three - Nightmares

Mara helped Luke spreading the blankets on the roof top, not far away from the spot where Luke had given her his father's lightsaber four years ago. The stars twinkled above and underneath the artificial sea of lights and the whirling life of the city illuminated their spot as they settled on the pillows.

Leaning back on his elbow Luke looked up at the stars in the darkened sky, his glass swirling with a bright pink liquid. He had never tasted anything like it but it tasted good, in fact it tasted like a mixture of a sweet he remembered from Tatooine and not as strong as normal liquor.

"Thank you, Jade," he said suddenly and for a moment their eyes met.

"What for, Farmboy?" Jade asked and took another sip of her cocktail. She already felt a heavy feeling in her head and she knew that the inexperienced Jedi Master must feel it twice as much.

"For being my friend, Jade," Luke replied softly and closed his eyes. Inhaling deeply the already night filled air, he let his head fall back, his whole posture that of complete trust and relaxation.

Jade stared at him, scrutinising every feature of his face, starting from the tousled dark-blonde hair that showed the evident lighter shades of Yavin's sun in them as well as the small worry lines around his eyes that were now more prominent than a few years ago.

Mara knew she had a part in these lines and she frowned at that thought. What could I have done to prevent them, if at all? she thought and felt Luke's presence brushing her mind, barely touching the barriers that were securely in place.

Her head snapped up and she noticed that the Jedi Master was staring at her with his blue, intense eyes.

"You know, I really like this," Skywalker said slowly, as if he was testing the waters. "We never really just sit and relax."

"Well it would have been a bit awkward and downright foolish if we had during a mission, Skywalker," Jade retorted and lowered her gaze to her glass she held in her hands.

"I guess," Luke replied and grinned. Pushing himself into a sitting position, he sat cross-legged in front of her. "But we definitely earned our down time."

Mara laughed at that, but it was a tired almost worn out laugh and Skywalker watched her intently.

"You know, I never had any down time," Mara said and looked up at the stars. "My ideal of a vacation is being in the thick of things. If I have too much idle time on my hands I think too much ..." she bit her lips and almost angrily, she dragged her hand over her eyes, rubbing at them furiously.

"And we know that Mara Jade thinking is a secret weapon on its own," Luke teased her. He could feel the weariness and fatigue in his companion and he wondered that Mara Jade, despite her cool demeanour must feel as tired as he did.

That had been the reason why he had left Yavin, to get away from his weariness and for the past week he had only done what he had wanted, like trying to sleep in late in which he had not, could not, succeed thanks to his Farmer's chrono. But some of the fatigue had left him as he had spent a lot of his time with his niece and nephews.

"Do you ever get tired of all this? I mean, don't you think you need a vacation and just relax?"

"Sure I do, Farmboy, but I never ...," Jade shrugged her shoulders and looked up at him. "I never had any real vacation before and I guess I would just feel tired of it all after a while. I relax when I'm in a hyperspace jump. That's my real down time, but other than that ... no."

"I know what you mean," Luke replied and slumped back, stretching out on his back and staring up into the stars, his head propped up by his crossed hands beneath his tousled head. "I always thought that adventure would be the thing back on Tatooine..."

"A Jedi strives no adventure," Mara chided softly and grinned when Luke flashed her a look with a mixture of annoyance and understanding.

"How come you always hand out that Jedi code when it is convenient to you, but you'll fight hand and foot to come join me at the Academy?" The moment he had said it, Luke Skywalker knew it had been a mistake. He could see Mara recoiling from him both physically as well as mentally and he sighed. "Sorry, none of my business, Jade. Forget that I asked."

"You never quit, do you?" Mara asked and her green eyes burnt brightly like the most precious Corusca gems.

"No, not when I see you are wasting your potential, Jade. You are very strong in the Force, you could become ..."

"A Jedi like you?" Mara barged in and shook her head. "No way, Skywalker. You might be prepared to sacrifice your whole life, but I'm not that dumb!"

"Oh great, thanks, Jade. I didn't know I was such a failure," Luke snapped back and sat up. Draining his glass he refilled it with the pink liquid from the carafe.

"Take it easy with the High Riser, that's very strong!" Mara reminded him and Luke laughed at that.

"I'm a big boy, I know what I can and cannot do or handle!"

"Oh, so it is okay to bug me about becoming a Jedi but it is not okay, if I just remind you to take it easy on the booze? Now that is double-standard, Jedi Master!"

Anger was thick between them and as quick as it had surged up in Skywalker, the quicker it subsided. Luke sighed and shook his head.

"I'm sorry, Mara," he said slowly, looking up at her from lowered lids. After a few more moments of silence, he suddenly asked: "Why do we always argue?"

The softly spoken question threw Mara into a loop. For long moments their eyes locked before Mara managed to tear her gaze away. She did not know herself. Arguing with anybody came natural to her due to her more than caustic nature. But was it her nature? All her life, she had kept people at a distance because she had learnt from an early age that anybody getting close to her was doomed. Either they were sent away or killed.

"Mara?" Luke asked when Jade's silence continued. She looked so deeply engrossed in her thoughts that it frightened him to some extent. He had known Mara was not the superficial woman she wanted to project to the outside world, but that a simple question like his would throw her into such a deep contemplation was new to him.

I guess we really don't know each other very well, he thought sadly. Even after eight years she is a stranger to me most of the time.

"Mara?" he asked again, certain that she was ignoring him deliberately, but when she looked up he could see the sadness in her eyes, as well as a surge of what ... regret? coming from her through the Force.

"I don't know, Skywalker. Perhaps we are too different," she shrugged. "... that's why we argue all the time."

"I don't think we are too different, Jade. Rather the opposite ..." Luke teased her but when she shot him an exasperated look, he tried to bite down on the laughter.

"Think about it, Jade. We are both almost the same age," he stopped and frowned. Are we? I don't know Mara's age! For all I know she could be older than me.

*I'm not, Farmboy,* Mara sent him through their Force bond and Luke had to grin at that.

"Well, I was right, we are about the same age, Mara," he replied smugly which earned him another annoyed look. "Okay, let's see ...," he counted off his fingers. "We are both single, independent, strong-headed ..."

"You forget Bantha headed in your case," Mara joined in and grinned.

"We are both Bantha headed," he conceded and held up another finger. "Have military training..."

"I more than you," Mara giggled when Luke shook his head with a sigh.

"Attractive, have a sense of ... ouch!" Luke rubbed his head where Mara's knuckles had connected with his skull. "What was that for?"

"I don't want to be attractive, I want to be feared ..." Mara held a warning finger up into his face.

"Ever the Emperor's Hand, huh, Jade?" Luke asked and drew himself up on his knees, their bodies almost touching. "But you are attractive, Jade, and I ... uh-ummm ... well I had my fair share of attention..." Skywalker blushed furiously when Mara grinned at him.

"The handsome Jedi Master Skywalker," Mara laughed softly. "I've seen the headlines on the holonews." Mara sat back and looked up at the stars. When Skywalker looks like that he is so much the Farmboy, she thought.

"Did you know that the Emperor thought you handsome as well?" she suddenly asked and Luke's head snapped up into her direction.

"He did?"

"Yes," Mara nodded her head and looked at him with a tilted head. "When he gave me the datapads with your information, he told me clearly not to be deceived by your handsomeness."

"And were you?" Luke knew he was putting one or two of his limbs on stake with his question but he had to know.

She shrugged. "All I saw in the holos I had of you was a man who was the arch enemy of my Master, and thus my enemy. I didn't realize you were handsome until ..." she bit her lip and threw him an embarrassed look. "Well, not that I think you are attractive and handsome, Skywalker, so wipe that smirk off your face. What I mean is, when I saw you at Jabba's place, you didn't look like the murderer I had come to know from the holos. And then on Myrkr ..." Mara shook her head. On Myrkr I noticed how attractive the Jedi Master was! She thought and kept her barriers securely in place. No use to let him know how much he had affected me on Myrkr!

"I guess you are handsome ... in that naive Farmboy sort of way."

After a while, Luke shifted uncomfortably and after another look towards Mara, her head snapped up.

"What is it Skywalker?" she asked.

"Do you sometimes ... think about Myrkr?" Luke asked and suppressed the blush creeping up into his cheeks. "You know ... about ... the lake?"

Mara almost gaped at him. Of course, he had to remind me of the lake on Myrkr. Damn you Skywalker, she thought.

"What lake?" Mara managed to choke out and looked away. His eyes were too intense, too blue for her own comfort of mind.

*The lake where we bathed ...* Luke's voice was but a whisper in her mind, and she shuddered involuntarily.

"All I remember is that I had to wash you, Skywalker. You had your hands tied!" Jade snapped and drew away. She didn't want to be reminded of that time. Her mind remembered all too brightly the time when she had held him at blaster point on Myrkr. Closing her eyes, she tried to ban the images dancing in her mind.

Their banter continued, but both were apprehensive to stay clear of all topics that could let to an inevitable argument again. Especially Luke sensed that Mara did not want to talk about their time on Myrkr, so he tried to talk to her about other things. But in his mind, the events of Myrkr came back to him in Jedi replay.

They had been walking through the forest for two days when they had come upon a lake. They had been both sweaty and tired, Jade even more than himself, as she had not slept ever since he had helped her out of the crashed craft. So she had tied his hands to ensure he would not escape while she took a wash, but that had left them with an even bigger predicament. He could not wash himself.

Luke grinned when he remembered how she had tied him with his arms raised to a low hanging tree branch and how her hands had economically scrubbed at his skin. Luke also remembered that her hands on his skin as well as the wet tank top she had been wearing had had a very exciting effect on his body.

Clamping down on this thought, he tried to banish the images. When the night grew colder, they huddled up underneath the blanket, looking up at the stars. They conversed softly, mostly through their Force bond rather than with audible words until even those grew few and far between them.

Mara suppressed a yawn but Luke noticed it never the less. He lay on his side facing Mara, so when she yawned he stretched out his right arm, patting it invitingly. The young woman hesitated only a moment, before she lay down, her head resting on his arm. The moment Luke felt Mara trusting him enough to lie down beside him, he drew the blanket around them and drew her closer.

For several moments Jade stiffened, but then she rested her hand on his arm that had encircled her waist and she closed her eyes. Both were fast asleep in seconds.

Leia sighed and switched on the com. Earlier in the afternoon, she had sensed some strange sensations coming from her twin and she was determined to find out what had disturbed the tranquillity of her brother's equilibrium.

Punching in the code to his apartment, she waited while the com link established the connection. She was surprised when she heard the soft trillers and beeps of Artoo.

"Artoo, where is Luke?" she asked and watched the readouts of the little droid as it chirped and whistled away.

"What do you mean he is not there?" Leia asked the droid. She stretched out with the Force and all she could feel on the rooftop was the sleeping presence of her brother but it was not the normal feel she experienced, something had changed.

"Han," the Skywalker twin said and watched as her husband's head popped out of the kitchen door.

"You called, My beloved Highness?" he replied with a grin and Leia laughed at that.

"Can you check on Luke? Artoo said he doesn't know where he is but I have located him on the rooftop. He feels ... funny ..."

"Jedi hunch?" Han asked. A long time ago he had stopped to question his wife's sudden intuition and living around a Jedi family had worn off him.

"No, Han, sister's hunch," Leia replied and got up quickly. She walked over to her husband and put a kiss onto his chin. "Could you check on him, please?"

"I'll go, honey," Han grinned and winked at her. "He's probably day dreaming again, but I'll check on him." Giving her a last kiss he grabbed his jacket and made his way to the turbo lifts.

The rooftop lay in shadows, only illuminated by the tall towers surrounding the Palace and the stars above. The Corellian squeezed his eyes to let them get accustomed to the dim light and near the balustrade he could barely make out some bunchy forms on a couple of pillows underneath a blanket.

Han had reached the two sleeping forms underneath the dewback blanket and he had to grin. The blonde mop of unruly hair sticking out from underneath the blanket a tell-tale sign that the Jedi Master was indeed sleeping up here. What surprised the Corellian more were the strands of golden-red hair that lay beside the blonde tousled head on the pillow.

Looking down on the two sleeping persons in front of him, he had to admit that they looked perfectly matched. Skywalker lay on his side, his face hiding in the curve of Jade's neck while his arm was draped over her waist and Jade's arms were around his shoulders. Han squatted down and tucked the blanket around the two sleeping Jedi, just he was used to with his kids.

"It isn't as it looks, Solo," came the soft voice of Mara Jade. Looking up, green eyes bored into Han Solo, challenging him.

"And how does it look, Jade?" Han replied just as softly while he watched as Mara disentangled herself gently from the still sleeping Jedi Master.

Sitting up, Mara brushed her hair out of her face, then tucked the blanket around Luke again before she gracefully rose to her feet. She drew Han away from Skywalker.

"Not a word, Solo, and you can wipe that smirk out of your face," Mara growled as she tried to keep her voice down. "Skywalker fell asleep after he had just one too many cocktails."

"If you say so, Jade," Han drawled and matched her stand as he drew his arms across his chest. "You two looked pretty cosy together."

"Solo, do you have a death wish?" Mara asked and stepped closer to the Corellian who could barely contain his laughter. "Because you surely appear like it."

Han held his hands up and shook his head. "Hey, Jade, relax. Leia asked me to check up on Luke as he felt strange through their Force bond," he grinned and motioned with one hand to the emptied glasses. "I guess he is out drunk, huh?"

"Yes," Mara smirked. "He only had two Anotian High Risers but it sure knocked him out."

"Anotian ... High Risers?" Han gulped and shook his head. "I knew you would not give up on killing him, Jade. Do you know how he'll feel once he wakes up?"

"He drank them in a duration of three standard hours, Solo. He will be okay like a new born babe," Jade retorted and stopped when she realised that her voice had risen. "He needs the sleep."

"Yeah but in a bed and not a cold floor, Jade," Han retorted and regretted it immediately when Mara flashed him an annoyed glance.

"Not you as well. Skywalker is a grown man, don't mother him!" she hissed in a menacing voice. "Isn't it enough that that wife of yours mothers him?"

"Funny coming from you, Jade, when you tucked him in earlier like he was Jaina or Jacen," Han chuckled and held his hands up. "Okay, okay, Jade. No need to tear me limb from limb. Just make sure he gets down to his apartment later, okay?"

"I will, Solo," Mara promised and moved to turn when Han's hand on her shoulder stopped her.

"Are you staying on the Fire? Or up here?" he asked. "Leia might find a place for you if you need room to bunk."

"I already have a place to sleep, Solo, but thanks," Mara replied coldly and watched as Han Solo nodded, then walked over to the turbo lift doors. The young woman waited till the doors were closed behind the ex-smuggler, then she turned back where Luke was still sleeping.

Squatting down beside the sleeping Jedi Master, she gave him a nudge in his ribs. Even with the cocktails they had shared earlier he came awake with his arms raised in a defensive gesture. Mara had to smirk at that, she was partly to blame for this as she had often woken him up on Myrkr in a similar fashion.

"I'm awake, I'm awake," Luke mumbled and rubbed his eyes.

"Relax, Farmboy," Mara said and in one smooth motion rose to her feet. Picking up the strewn pillows, she watched as Luke scrambled to his feet.

"Sorry I fell asleep," Luke mumbled and gathered the dewback blanket in his arms. He exhaled softly when Mara thrust the pillows into his arms with more force than necessary. "Okay-y," he gasped as he followed her to the turbo lift. "You made your point."

Once they had reached Luke's apartment, they quickly said good night to each other and turned in. Mara stood in front of the ceiling to floor transparisteel windows and stared out to the city beyond. Skywalker had given her first takes of the refresher and now she listened to the shower going on.

Closing her eyes, she recalled the evening. It had been amazing how easy she and Luke had spent the evening together and yet there was always this underlying tension. She shook her head and turned away from the window and stepped over to the bed. The lights had been dimmed, giving the room a soft, warm glow.

The young woman quickly changed into her camisole and had to grin when she remembered Luke's reaction this afternoon when he had encountered the soft, tiny garment. Slipping in between the sheets, she motioned her hand and switched the lights off with the Force, then snuggled into the pillows.

Sleep did not come naturally. Her thoughts were still in turmoil and images of Luke and her on Myrkr, then on the rooftop when he had given her his father's lightsaber as well as their recent stay on the rooftop alternated before her mind's eye. Especially their talk about their adventures on Myrkr kept nagging her and exasperated, Mara sat up.

I'll be Kesseled, Mara thought. I haven't thought about it in years and now remember it as if it had been yesterday. Thumping her pillow she lay back again and willed herself to sleep. For a fleeting moment, she felt Luke brushing her mind and despite herself she had to smile. His calm presence soothing her to sleep.

*Good night, Farmboy*, Mara sent him and Luke smiled.

*Good night, Mara,* Luke replied likewise.

Luke was back on Myrkr. Even in his dream he could feel the heat of the sun shining down on him. The rays of the sun falling through the thick foliage of the jungle trees blinding him as he stumbled over tree roots, pulling Artoo's travois. He felt sweaty and tired and Jade's blaster poking into his ribs had left a sore spot just above his kidneys on his back.

For the umpteenth time he asked himself why he had helped her getting out of the crashed craft. He should have known that she was dangerous, lethal even, considering how she had expertly shot two Vornskrs earlier.

He had to admit he was in awe. Her cool professionality as well as her determination impressed him and her beauty ... he had never seen hair that colour, let alone such eyes ... had he? Ever since he had first opened his eyes after she and Talon Karrde had picked him up in his disabled X-Wing, something in the back of his mind had nagged him, wanted him to remind him of something, but every time he tried to retrieve it, he came up with a blank.

He was relieved when she called a halt and he slumped tiredly into the soft grass on the bank of a lake. Luke heard Artoo whistle softly and he tiredly crouched over his astromech, reassuring him softly that everything was all right.

"We rest here," the voice was tired, so much he could tell. When Luke looked up he saw firm, muscular legs in tight combat trousers standing over him and he had to squint his eyes to discern her face. Up till now she had used her surroundings to her advantage, always approaching him with the sun in her back, so that he always had to squint when he looked at her, blinding him efficiently.

"Can I take a bath?" Luke asked and looked over to the waves that softly lapped at the small embankment.

"What and let you swim across the lake so you can escape?" Mara Jade snapped and shook her head, her golden-red mane dancing with thousands of lights. "I don't fall for such a ploy, Jedi."

Luke sighed and shook his head while he tiredly rubbed his eyes. Without the Force to sustain him even he had to admit he had limits.

"You could do with a bath as well, Jade. You and I stink, and I don't want to exit this life, already stinking like a dead carcass."

He watched as the woman in front of him seemed to muse over his suggestion. With an efficiency and grace that sought its rival, she slid her blaster into the holster on her wrist and pulled a coil of synthrope from her backpack.

"Take off your boots and jacket!" she ordered and Artoo let out a warning whistle.

"It is okay, Artoo, don't worry," Luke assured his artificial friend more out of custom than any real conviction.

"Get to your feet and strip, Jedi," Mara Jade growled, she was getting more annoyed by the minute. The man was weird, looking after his astromech like it was a real being. "If you don't get a move on I will use your tin here as a target for my shooting exercise." she indicted Artoo with a curt nod of her head.

The agitated whistles from the astromech almost sounded like whines and Mara smirked at that. Taking out her vibroblade, she cut off a fair amount of the synthrope and watched as Skywalker took off his boots and then his jacket.

Pointing at the top he was wearing, she let the rope snap. "That too, or do you always wash in a tank top?"

Sighing, Luke hooked his thumbs into the hem of this tank top and pulled it over his head. It was a good feeling to get rid of the sweaty garment and feeling the cool breeze on his skin.

"Hands!" He heard his captor snap and he held them out to her. He watched as she efficiently and tightly bound his hands together, leaving a good length of rope. She wrapped the end around her left wrist, then started to take off her boots as well. Luke blushed when he noticed her stripping down to her underwear and he was surprised to see a pair of military issued male underpants covering her shapely behind.

Tugging at the rope she dragged him towards the lake and all Luke could do was follow behind, trying not to stare too openly at the woman whose swaying hips captured his whole attention.

"Who would've known," he murmured beneath his breath and gasped when she gave the rope a sharp snag and he crashed into the lake, head first.

When he came up for air, sputtering and trying to get the water out of his eyes, she had already advanced into the lake further and squirted cleanser into her hand. When Luke came back to his feet she tossed the bottle towards him and he fumbled to catch it.

With tied hands it was a struggle to wash and most of the cleanser dripped off into the water instead of meeting his skin. Sighing he tried to cup water with his hands but failed miserably. When he looked up, he almost gaped.

Mara Jade had ducked her head under water and now her tank top was drenched and left little to nothing to his imagination about the shape and size of her breasts. In fact, the grey, soft material was almost transparent.

Looking down on his hands again, Luke swallowed. By the Force, she is one hell of a woman, the errant thought came quickly and Luke blushed more furiously. Suddenly, his arms were snapped up and he found himself tied to an overhanging tree, his back scraping against the rough surface of one of the rocks that bordered a waterfall.

"What ...?" Luke asked and struggled against the synthrope, but managed only to let it cut deeper into his skin.

"You can't wash yourself, so I'll do the job," Mara Jade said as she stepped closer to him, cleanser in hand. Luke swallowed as he watched her squirting the cleanser into the palm of her hand then throwing the bottle over unto the beach.

Luke shivered beneath her touch as she started to wash him with efficient and determined strokes but he could not suppress a groan when her hands, surprisingly soft hands he had to admit, roamed over the expanse of his chest, the movement almost a caress. His head slumped forward and he gritted his teeth, when her hands came to rest on the waistband on his combat trousers.

"Jade ..." he groaned out loud when he felt her stepping even closer towards him, her wet skin almost clinging to his own as if drawn to it by a magnet.

"I see the Jedi Boy got pretty excited, huh?" Her voice was like a caress, husky and with a sexy catch. Skywalker shuddered, when she caressed him through the material of his trousers, squeezing his erection.

"I ... couldn't help myself, Jade," Luke gasped. Their faces close together, they both basked in the closeness, breaths mingling, lips almost but not quite touching. "Untie me, Mara," Luke growled when he pushed his hips into her hands.

The laugh was soft, her breath cooling the heated skin on his face, as he felt her thumbs hooking into the belt loops of his trousers and yanking him closer.

"Why should I do that?" she asked in a husky whisper, her tongue flicking out and licking over the corners of his mouth. A growl rose in his throat, as he brought his head closer to her and sucked on her tongue.

"Because I could give you a good time," Luke replied while he caught her bottom lip between his teeth. Did I just say that? he thought but quickly dismissed the emotion. He groaned into her mouth when he felt her tugging at his pants, freeing his painful erection from the confines of his trousers.

Her hands were squeezing him, stroking and caressing him in the age old rhythm of lovemaking and Luke strained against the tight ropes that still kept his hands securely in place above his head.

"Mara, come on..." he urged her. "Free my hands!"

"So you can take over? I don't think so, Jedi," Mara breathed and stepped away from him. Luke groaned in frustration but his breath caught in his throat when he noticed her wiggling out of her panties. Soon, the black garment floated on the water away from the struggling couple.

One slender leg wrapped around his waist, while she used her hands on his shoulders to push herself up. He tilted his hips, seeking the warm, wet place between her thighs and when they joined both groaned. Luke gritted his teeth, without his arms to hoist her up all he could do was just lean back, while Jade rode him. But he could feel that she wasn't satisfied about their mating as well.

Suddenly, something metallic glinted between her fingers and Luke wondered fleetingly where she had taken the vibroblade from. Then his arms were released all of a sudden and he brought them around her, his still tied hands pulling her towards him. Now they both had the leverage they needed and both groaned when he slid even deeper into her.

"Yes," Mara whispered. "Yes, Luke ..."

"Oh Mara, you are wonderful ... I ..." Luke groaned and pistoned into her again. He pulled her close and whirled around, her back against the surface of the boulder now.

"Yes, Luke, call me what you want, I love you," a voice said and in Luke's befuddled brain something snapped. There was no water surrounding them anymore and they laid sprawled across a soft bed. When he looked up, Mara's face had been replaced by Callista's.

"NO!" Skywalker gasped and tried to get away from the woman who had hurt him more than any one alive or dead in the galaxy.

"Luke, don't you stop!" Callista growled and tried to keep him back. Luke lay sprawled on his bed in his quarters on Yavin, panting heavily. "I will pretend to be anyone, even that bitch Mara who you are so fond of, but don't stop now, I was so close."

Luke stared at the woman with terrified eyes. He couldn't - wouldn't - sleep with Callista. He just couldn't bring himself to use his former pupil's body like this. Of course, Cray was dead and Callista now had her body, but he felt as if he was desecrating the memory of Cray Mingla.

"Callista ... get out of my room," Luke said, forcing big gulps of air into his lungs. How did I get into this situation? How could I just let myself into this? he asked himself.

"Oh you dunghead, always the conscientious Jedi Master, are you?" Callista snarled, her grey eyes spitting cold fire.

"Call ... you have to understand," Luke started but hesitated, when Callista stood up, standing proudly naked in front of him.

"You will pay for this, Skywalker. I did not take the risk of killing myself while taking over Cray's body just to live a life devoid of sex. You say you love me? Now show it to me!"

She jumped him and Luke had trouble warding off her blows. He could feel the dark side of the Force swirling around her, feeding her additional strength in her anger, as she tried to overcome him, intend on getting what she wanted.

"NO! Callista, anger is of the dark side!" Luke yelled. "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

Mara woke up with a start and a shudder ran down her spine. The dream she had been dreaming had been similar to the one she had had on Myrkr but the feeling of despair and shock that had yanked her out of her dream-state was so strong, she almost felt the pain as it were her own.

"Luke!" she gasped and without bothering to put any clothes on, she grabbed her lightsaber out of training and ran towards the Jedi Master's bedroom.

Skywalker was trashing in his bed, his mind still in the clutches of the nightmare he was experiencing and after Mara had made sure that there weren't any physical attackers, she rushed over to the bed and stilled his trashing arms and legs.

"Luke, it is okay," she soothed him while she tried to catch his arms that were fending off an invisible attacker. "Luke!"

"No, Callista, don't do this ... "

Mara bit her lip when she heard the name. Of course it has to do with that woman! she thought and straddled the Jedi Master to subdue him more.

"Luke, wake up ... you are dreaming ..." she said and kept his arms in a strong hold while she tried to keep her perch on the still resisting Jedi Master.

"Go away, Callista, don't do this!" Luke gasped and for a moment Mara was caught off guard and Luke managed to throw her off him. With a loud thud she fell onto the floor.

She must have sent her shock through the Force because suddenly, Luke sat up in bed, his eyes wide open. Cautiously, Jade drew herself to her knees, her senses fully alert.

"Luke?" she asked, eyeing him closely.

"Ja-jade?" Luke blinked several times than he slumped back onto the pillow. "Oh Gods!"

Mara cautiously stood up and approached the bed again. She could feel the feeling of despair and shame welling up in the Jedi Master and she quickly joined him on the bed, putting a hand on his shoulder.

"You had a bad dream, Luke," she explained softly, unconsciously drawing circles on his naked shoulder. "I felt your shock through the Force and came here."

Luke had held his breath ever since he had realised that Mara Jade was with him in his bedroom. Have I tried anything? he thought. Was it real?

But when he heard Mara's explanation, he let out his breath and turned to face her. "Did ... did I hurt you?" he asked and Mara had to smile at that.

"I could return the question; Farmboy, you are pretty shaken," Mara replied and drew her legs beneath her. "And no you didn't hurt me."

Luke returned her grin shakily and sat up. His legs were tangled in the sheets and when he tried to straighten it out, he realised that he had been too tired to bother with sleeping pants and he was sleeping as always ... in the nude.

Oh-uh, if Mara notices I'm in deep trouble, he thought and for the first time noticed how Mara was dressed. He recognised the camisole immediately and a blush crept up his cheeks. The lacy material covered all the important parts of her anatomy but in a very sexy and erotic way, a lot of things were left to his imagination and yet with the memory of his recent dream he had a pretty sure feeling of how Mara looked like.

"Want to talk about it?" Mara's question took him out of his reverie and he looked at her questioningly. "You mentioned Callista in your dream."

"It was just a bad dream, Jade ..." he answered lamely, trying to hide his discomfort and also the memory of the Myrkr part of his dream.

"The more you should talk about it, then, Skywalker," Mara said and stood up. "Freshen up and I make us some caf."

Luke was relieved and he nodded. "Okay, but could you make some hot chocolate instead?"

"Sure, Farmboy," Mara said and left his bedroom.

Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3 | Chapter 4 | Chapter 5