Pleasure & Pain: Chapter 5 Rating: PG-13

I sink into the pain, letting it wash over me, getting lost on its current, becoming oblivious to what's happening around me. I lose track of myself and of time.

Then I can fell the pain start to lessen, to release me from its embrace.

I open my eyes, to watch Nethi walk, no saunter, towards me. The shift she wears today catches my eye; it's just as tight, just as small as Lumiya's. Even though it appears to be identical to Lumiya's it seems to reveal more, while at the same time hiding everything. There is a mischievous sparkle in her green eyes.

I blink my eyes, twice. I'm confused; I could have sworn there were blonde highlights in her black hair. I find myself shivering slightly, and return to watching her walk toward me. Her movements are pure warrior, no hint of the dancer, yet still graceful, powerful, seductive.

I have a very funny desire, one that's almost overwhelming. I want to see her toes, but she's wearing some type of closed-toe sandal.

She is carrying a plate of some roasted meat and various vegetables. My mouth starts to water as she comes closer.

I feel a hunger in the pit of my stomach, one that is hard to ignore with her in the room.

She kneels in front me, and begins to cut the meat. I wonder if she places herself in that position just for me.

I wonder if her position does the same thing to Vong males, as it does to human males.

She lowers the power to the repulser, bringing my face closer to where she kneels, and lifts the first bite to my lips. "Partake."

Somewhat inappropriate plays on the word flit through my mind, and with an effort I push those thoughts away.

The meat is good. It holds a gamey flavor, as if it was a wild animal recently killed, but it is prepared perfectly. It is a delicious, tender cut of meat.

It evokes a feeling of bliss, almost as good as that drink of water or Tahiri's kisses.

Absently, I wonder why I always think of Tahiri when in the presence of Nethi and Aunt Mara while around Lumiya.

Then, she's holding the next bite to my lips, and my thoughts once more focus on the simple pleasure of eating, of being fed, of being sated.

Again, I think of the oddly subservient role she is taking in these things. It just seems so alien to what I consider Yuuzhan Vong.

I wonder what caste she had been. Some part of me says Shaper, but she has so few scars and both hands are real.

Then the next bite is given to me, and thought once more flees my mind.

And that is how the meal progresses, I have some random thought about family, life and these odd circumstances, and then I am given a bite of food, and my train of thought is dashed. All too soon, the food is gone.

Nethi looks up at me, expectantly, hopefully.

I want to look away, look anywhere but into her eyes. I resort to lowering mine. "That was delicious Nethi, but I did not recognize the taste. What was it?"

I hear her laugh; no it was to short, to mischievous, to be a laugh, it was a giggle, a soft musical sound. One so out of place with what I think of as Vong that once again I look into her eyes and am mesmerized.

That mischievous look had moved from her eyes to her smile. "Whisperkit."

"What? What was it?"


"Why would you kill a whisperkit to feed it to me?"

"You killed it, Anakin."

I could feel the despair at what I did to that whisperkit fill me again. Nethi sensed my mood change, as she reached up and touched my face. "It's okay Anakin, it was only a whisperkit. Look at me."

The command seemed so out of place for someone kneeling in front of me that I obeyed.

"It's okay. Obeying what Lumiya says, doing as she commands is a good thing."

Then she kisses me.

I feel a shock run through me, not unlike the ones delivered by my restraints. Oddly, I can feel the same shock running through her as well. And I can feel the surprise she feels at the shock.

She pulls back, and resumes her kneeling position, lowering her head again.

It takes me a moment to catch my breath, and get my thoughts back into order.

I watch the top of her head, and notice that her breathing is heavy, almost a pant. "Nethi, can I see your toes?"

Her head pops up fast, the surprise at my request evident in her green eyes. Rather than answering verbally, she leans and slips her legs out from underneath her. Then she removes her sandals, revealing her toes. Pink, perfect, human.

I smile at her as she wiggles her toes. "That is how you should be, without shoes."

She returns my smile and whispers "As you wish, Anakin."

I find it amazing how just the removal of her sandals changes her; she appears so innocent and carefree now. I desire that innocence.

She resumes her position of kneeling in front of me, with her head bowed, and I hear the door open. I look up and see Lumiya walk into the room. Her smile is once more predatory.

"You know Anakin; there are other benefits to serving me, besides just the end of this pain."

I look at her. "I will not kill Tahiri."

I notice Nethi tense at my mention of Tahiri's name.

Lumiya continues on, as if I had not spoken. "You could have Nethi; you could posses her, do with her as you please."

As she speaks these words, I see Nethi raise her head slightly, the shock on her face and in her Force presence. Lumiya sends a glare her way, and Nethi is once more the subservient maiden kneeling before me.

Lumiya smiles at me. "I want to give you these things, an end to this pain, Nethi for your own. Yet to do so, you must serve me."

She leans in close, her lips brushing mine. "Please Anakin, serve me."

"I will not kill Tahiri."

Lumiya, spins from me, and begins walking from the room. Her voice is filled with sorrow as she speaks, "Come Nethi, there is nothing more for you to do in here today."

I watch Nethi walk out of the room, and catch the quick, furtive glance she throws over her shoulder towards me. As she goes out into the hallway, I can feel an emptiness looming within me, an emptiness that the pain cannot fill. Yet I am happy, for she leaves without her shoes on.

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