She heard the next evening that Lord Palpatine had complained about her to Lord Jinn, as action which backfired on his part, as the latter judged her standing up to the two of them as an indication that she was capable of taking on some of the responsibilities that he feared might end up being too much for her husband. After a week or so of managing Tatooine’s affairs she thoroughly agreed with her stepfather-in-law about it being too much for her husband. It was almost too much for her.
After a month or so, she noticed her workload lightening off slightly, but even so she would be inclined to think celibacy just as well for the noble who actually took full charge of his or her planet, when at night she had no more energy to do anything besides fall into bed. She wasn’t sure how Lord Jinn ruled possibly a quarter of the galaxy all together and found time to conduct his long-running infamous affair with Obi-Wan, while still sleeping even with Lady Jinn every now and then from what she heard, but then, she’d always known him to have superhuman energy.
And that was about all the thoughts she had about sex for nearly five months. Well, that and she wished that all three of Lords Palpatine, Windu, and Vos would stop visiting; she held nothing against the last, but he did serve as an unfortunate reminder of what had happened. She didn’t have time for any more.
She did find spare moments to spend with Anakin whenever she could, but inevitably they were continually reduced to summarizing their days to each other at the dinner table (when they both ate dinner at the table) and smiling at each other from across rooms.
On the day she snapped, she was working with Sabé, who handled part of the responsibilities for Telos. Since the start of Obi-Wan’s affair, their friendship had been strained, and here Sabé was so formal to her that if was they had never known each other at all.
“I’m afraid we can’t touch the Restoration Fund,” she was saying to her. “There’d be riots.”
“I wasn’t going to suggest that,” Padmé said crossly.
“Just to be sure, Lady Skywalker,” replied the all too prim Sabé.
“There’s no need to call me that, Sabé.”
Sabé looked up and really at Padmé for the first time since the beginning of the discussion. She started, “Now’s not the time.”
“Then we’ll never get to the time! We’ll just keep on brushing up against each other until we can’t stand being around each other anymore. Please, Sabé, I don’t want it to end that way! I genuinely believed Obi-Wan wouldn’t marry a woman he wasn’t certain he could love. I guess I didn’t want to see, but I really didn’t-”
To Padmé’s surprise, Sabé abruptly cut her off with a burst of laughter. “Oh, forget Obi-Wan!” she choked out. “I should be thanking you now. If you’d stopped me from marrying Obi-Wan, I would never have met Quinlan!”
“Lord Vos? What does he have to do with it?” asked a confused Padmé.
Sabé kept on laughing, and she sounded delighted now. “You mean you haven’t noticed? I’m afraid we haven’t been very discreet, the two of us.”
“You’re sleeping with him?” Lord Vos’s brief affair with Lady Jinn was now long over, but even so she would never have thought it.
“We’re in love, Padmé! I don’t know how describe it; it’s like nothing I’ve ever known. And he isn’t married, and of course Obi-Wan doesn’t mind; Quinlan’s one of his closest friends. It’s so perfect I can hardly believe it!”
She could have babbled on for a while, Padmé thought. But she seemed to catch herself before she started, and turned back to the readouts they were studying and said, “I think we might be able to cut some funds from the shipbuilding program; it’s pretty much working on its own now.” Even so, Padmé felt an unexpected jealousy prick her heart, an anguish when she thought of Anakin, and how the two of them were impossibly twisted up with each other with no solution in sight.
It didn’t help matters that Sabé had turned extremely cheerful, and Padmé started to notice that the entire day she’d been glancing at the chronometer. Padmé didn’t know why it was rankling on her, but she found herself growing crosser and crosser inside.
Finally she found herself staring at a map of the Jundland wastes, considering another problem with no solution in sight, when she slammed the datapad down on the desk, whacking it against the metal again and again, and she yelled, “That’s it! I can’t take it anymore! I’m going to scream!”
“Padmé,” asked Sabé quietly, “do you need a break?”
Being addressed by her given name calmed her down. She forced herself to breath and asked, “Can we continue this tomorrow?” She gave Sabé time to nod then turned and staggered out of the office.
There was a page outside the door, but thankfully with the corridor deserted he felt no need to announce her, but instead turned and bowed as she asked him for Anakin’s location. “I saw Lord Skywalker walking outside with Lord Kenobi, Lady Skywalker.” She thanked him and hurried outside.
The wide open grass plains of Dantooine could never fail to soothe Padmé, but even so she did not take time to savor it, at least not yet. Later, she thought. She was going to go to Anakin and she was going to try to resolve things between them, and she was going to do it right now. Everything else could be handled after that.
She found them near a cluster of trees, Obi-Wan explaining something while Anakin listening. Both turned on hearing her approach, and he stopped. “Padme! Aren’t you going over the financial exchanges with Sabé?”
“I was,” she answered, “but we’re finishing tomorrow.”
“Oh. Look,” he greeted her by taking her hands in his apologetically, getting in her way, “I’m sorry about Sabé. She’s a little overexcited about this change in her life right now, and-”
“It wasn’t her idea,” Padmé told him. “It was mine.”
“What?” a stunned Anakin appeared to Obi-Wan’s side. “Padmé, that’s not like you.”
“It is tonight.” She leaned over, threw an arm around Anakin, and kissed him. When he didn’t pull away, she gently probed his lips with her tongue, making her intent obvious.
Then he flattened himself against her, his grip eager on her shoulders, and shoved his tongue into her mouth, which certainly was message enough about what he wanted. His sloppy inexperienced kisses continued until she pushed his face back with her hands and met his eyes. The hope in them was clear, scarcely concealing raw want, the likes of which she'd never seen in anyone. She felt her heart rise, and knew what she too wanted.
“Come on,” she told him. “Let’s go to the housekeeper and arrange to be put back into sleeping quarters again. By the time that’s done, it’ll be late enough to retire for a private dinner, and after that,” she tried a lascivious smirk but found her mouth felt a little too sticky, “I think I’ll teach you a thing or two.”