The Mystery of It All Rating: PG

Anakin Solo stood at the railing, watching the surf crash against the beach. It was a warm night with a light gentle breeze. Just enough to bring the tang of the ocean and push away the worst of the humidity. The planet's sole satellite hung full and heavy, not quite midnight, but well above the horizon.

All in all, it really was one of the most beautiful planets in the entire Core, Colony or Expansionary regions.

Especially the beach that his room overlooked.

And not for the first time, he wondered just what he had done to deserve this punishment.

What vile action did he perform to have to suffer in this way? He frowned for a moment, as he once again tried to come up with some reason, something, for his Uncle to have done this to him; to have assigned this particular mission to him.

Movement down on the beach below drew his attention, and he quickly focused on it.

Stepping out into the sand was the source of pain.

Two feminine forms walked down there, their names were Leena Sor-Cartang and Tahiri Veila.

At 21 standard years of age, barely 1.7 meters tall, and with long dark hair, Leena was a popular Falleen songstress with a propensity for wearing barely anything at all. She was flighty, flirty and didn't just walk into rooms, she bounded into them. Usually in an effort to get her hands on him or some other random male.

After her latest successful music tour she had been targeted by the Red Kire criminal syndicate for kidnapping or worse. Somehow she was able to request Jedi protection, and as luck would have it, Anakin's uncle, the Grand Master of the Jedi, had decided that this mission could also double as something of a vacation for Anakin.

Tahiri, despite being the same age and height as Leena, was as different in personality as she was in hair color. Tahiri's outfits tended to be cut along conservative lines, quite often only giving the merest tease of a breast or a leg. Her tendency to be able to talk the ears off a Gungan did nothing but hide her quick wit and sharp, analytical mind.

The other difference between the two girls was that one was his assignment, and the other his girlfriend.

Though from their behavior over the past few days one would have a hard time distinguishing which was which.

He watched Tahiri as she followed Leena, admiring the way she moved and how the wind would pick up her curled hair every few moments, and how she would almost instinctively try to tug it back into place. Then his eyes shifted to the other girl. He worked at keeping a frown from his face, as he noticed that she was once again, wearing an outfit that left pretty much nothing to the imagination. She had a translucent wrap around her waist, but the rest was just thin strips of cloth, and Anakin was pretty sure that if he was closer, they wouldn't be covering her modesty at all.

That girl is going to get herself killed, he thought to himself. If she can't figure out how to keep a bit lower profile.

A surge of annoyance came across his Force Bond with Tahiri, and he shifted his gaze towards her; and quickly realized that both girls were staring at him.

Leena with a look approaching smugness, and Tahiri's face was full of outrage.

He swallowed quickly as he realized that she must have thought he was staring at the other girl.

Tahiri turned away and stormed off, heading down the beach, and Anakin hung his head down, while leaning over the railing.

A few minutes later, a hand rested itself on his shoulder. Surprised, he raised his head and spun around.

"Tahir .... Leena, what a ... pleasant surprise."

She stepped closer to him, and he found himself pressed up against the railing. He swallowed.

Heat emanated from where her body was pressed against his, and the grin she turned on him was pure predator. "If you want, we can make it a lot more pleasant."

He put his hands on his shoulders and forced her back a few steps. "I ... I don't think that's a wise idea. I'm here to be your bodyguard."

She pushed forward again. "That's what I have Taryn for."


"Whatever, she can be the bodyguard and you can have fun with me."

He frowned, and replied, "No, I couldn't do that. Besides, Tahiri's my-"

She cut him off by pressing her lips against his.

In his surprise, he just stood there and accepted it.

Then he got a bigger surprise.

"What the kriff is this," Tahiri snarled. "I walk away for five minutes, and you start slobbering all over her."

He frowned worried, as he pushed Leena away from him again. "It's not like that 'Ri."

Teena stepped up into Tahiri's face, and gave a saccharin sweet smile. "No, Taryn. It's exactly like that. He's mine now."

Tahiri's whole body seemed to clench, and she spun away on one heel, storming from the room.

Anakin tried to side-step around Leena. "Ree!"

Leena grabbed his arm, pulling him to a stop. Snarling slightly, he spun to face the girl. "What? Why did you do that?"

"Because I want you. And what I want, I get."

Not this kriffing time, Anakin thought savagely, as he said, "Keep deluding yourself, Leena. I'm not yours, and I'm not going to be."

Anger twisted her features for a moment. "Yes, you are."

His plam struck her face with a fleshy thwack. He stared at her, watching as the shock, and then anger rolled across her face.

"You ... you hit me!"

He nodded his head. "Yes, I did. I'm here to protect you, even if that means protecting you from your own stupidity."

"You arrogant, simple-minded Jedi! Get out of here!"

Anakin laughed darkly, and turned away again. "That's what I was doing."

The Force flared in warning, and he ducked as a shoe flew through the space where his head had just been at.

Straightening, he turned back towards her, just in time to receive the second shoe square on the nose. He exhaled slowly, as his fingers touched his bruised nose. Frowning, he watched the girl fuming, and then he again, turned away, heading out to find Tahiri.

A few minutes later, he's pushing open the door to the room that they had been sharing on this mission. And stopped to stare.

She was standing there, facing a full-length mirror, dressed in one of Leena's most revealing outfits. He watched as she worried at her lip, twisting her body side to side to get different views on her reflection.

The door shut behind him, and her eyes snapped to his reflection in the mirror. They widened for a second, and a bright red flush became noticeable through her tanned skin.

Turning towards him, she tried to slink over to him, in the same way that Leena moved. "Do you like this Jedi-boy?"

"I ... uh ... it's ..." he swallowed hard, not certain what to say. Nor could he tear his eyes away from her.

She frowned and spun away from him, grabbing up her cloak, and shrugging into it as she stalked towards the refresher.

He ran forward and grabbed at her arm, pulling her to a stop. "Ree, please don't run from me. I didn't do anything, she kissed me."

"You didn't stop her," she snarled at him. "And you've been staring at her every chance you got."

Anakin sighed. "I was surprised, and what's that got to do with you being in that outfit?"

"Leena said that I had to show off my body like this if I wanted to attract a boy's attention. I didn't believe her, but then I saw how often you'd be watching her ..."

Anakin sighed, and then shook his head. "You don't have to wear things like that to get my attention."

She frowned. "So, you don't like me in this?"

"I didn't say that!"

"Then I have to wear things like this to get you to like me," she fumed as she crossed her arms over her chest.

Anakin rubbed at his face for a moment, and then ran his hand through his hair. "Ree, I like what you usually wear, you don't have to dress like ..."

Anger flared on her face for a moment. "Like what?"

He merely shook his head. "Nothing. It's just I like how you usually dress."

"Why? Why don't you like me in this?"

He sighed, and let go of her arm. After a moment, he wandered over to the bed and dropped onto it.

"It's not that I don't like you in that outfit, it's just .... cheap. You're better than having to dress like that."

She sighed, and looked down at the floor. He could feel her insecurity wavering in the Force. Standing up, he crossed over to her, and lifted her chin with his hand. she was worrying her lower lip and tears seemed to line her eyes.

"I ... I just want you to look at me like you look at her."

He grinned at her, and then leaned in to give her a quick kiss. Pulling back with a smile touching one corner of his lips, he replied, "I look at you quite differently than I did her. She's a cheap, shiny trinket without substance and not worth all that much. You though, you're fun, smart and can be a bit ... mysterious."

She was worrying her lip with her teeth again. "Mysterious?" She started to pull away from him. "I don't want you to think I'm mysterious, I want you to think I'm sexy!"

He chuckled grabbing her, and stopping her from turning away. "Don't you know, mysterious is always better than cheap and tawdry. Mysterious is sexy. Showing just a bit of flesh let's me use my imagination. If there's no mystery, then I wouldn't be thinking about you."

She blinked, watching him, the flush still shining brightly on her cheeks.

A small smile began to form on her lips. "So, it's mystery you want then ..."

Anakin nodded, internally giving a sigh of relief.

"Then let me go change out of this," she said, that smile still on her lips.

She walked away, and pulled something out of her luggage and then disappeared into the refresher.

A few minutes later, she reappeared, wearing a long sleeved silk shirt, that buttoned down the front, and Corellian-style pants that hung snugly on her curves. On his second glance over her, he noticed that the top three buttons were undone, and he could see just a hint of bosom.

A grin tugged at one corner of his lips, as his eyes finally made their way back to her face. "Now that looks good."

Her small smile was back, and she shrugged her shoulders.

He stood up, and walked closer to her, wrapping her in his arms. She merely smiled up at him.

As he leaned down to kiss her, she shrugged away, and turned walking towards the door.

"Hey! Where're you going?"

She glanced back over her shoulder. "Hey, I thought you liked the mystery of it all?"

A grin tugging at her lips, she winked, and then blew him a kiss before turning and leaving the room.

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