It must have been the light. When Wedge crossed the lawns to the garden and saw the other man standing there, he nearly turned back to the manor house. He had no desire to participate in even more meaningless small talk. But when he grew closer, even by just a few paces, he saw that the moonlight covered the gardens with a translucent silver curtain. The vision seemed so ephemeral that he dared not take another step, for fear of dissolving that light.
And that man. He stood, face upturned toward the sky, copper hair tumbling over the shoulders of his black uniform tunic. He appeared at one time part of the gardens and somehow distant, as if he didn't really belong there at all. Wedge was convinced once the moon moved behind a stray cloud and the light shifted, the man would be gone. Taking a tentative step, Wedge let out a quiet breath and lowered his gaze. When he looked back up again, the silver light had disappeared, but the other man remained. In fact, he had turned to watch Wedge walk toward him and offered an open smile.
" Good evening."
Wedge nodded and approached the other man. He waited until he was standing next to him to return the greeting. There was something about him that Wedge thought he should recall, but he couldn't quite place it. Perhaps they had met earlier that evening. After the first few rounds of introductions, all the Phinyans seemed alike to him.
" Good evening." Wedge scrutinized the man. For a young officer, he wore a rather old fashioned uniform. "I'm sorry, but have we been introduced already? I can't seem to keep track."
" I quite understand. And no, I don't believe we have." His eyes still held a glint of silver, mingling with the blue to create an odd, yet pleasant color. "General Kenobi, Obi-Wan Kenobi."
Wedge accepted the firm handshake. He felt as if he knew the name, yet the memory was like smoke and disappeared instantly, leaving only the annoying sensation of having forgotten before you could recall.
" And I am General Wedge Antilles."
" Of Alderaan?" Obi-Wan's eyes lit up a bit brighter. "I serve with a branch of the Navy from Alderaan."
" No, not Alderaan. I'm not associated with any particular system, save perhaps Coruscant." Well, that would explain the uniform. The diaspora from Alderaan often honored their home planet by keeping to the customs of the Old Republic.
Obi-Wan felt the smile fade from his face when he heard that this General Antilles wasn't from Alderaan, too. Not that Alderaan was his own home, the Temple was, but once he began to serve under Bail Organa, the planet became the closest thing he had to a home. When he saw Wedge's eyes drift down to his belt, he froze the smile.
" You're a Jedi knight?" Wedge asked, somewhat surprised.
" Yes." Obi-Wan hesitated and resisted the urge to grasp the hilt of his 'saber. Too many people - both on Phinya and in the Navy - treated the Jedi like curiosities.
" And yet you serve in the Navy?" Wedge continued his smile friendly and voice warm. "That's very interesting. You don't find it difficult being both the general and a Jedi?"
" I can't say I don't, but," Obi-Wan frowned, "I try to think of it as one very long mission, on which I'm required to serve as general. When it's over, I can give my report to the Council and then take a very long nap."
There were other circumstances, Obi-Wan knew that, but they lost both significance and meaning that evening. If he could recall them clearly, that is, for the silver light that had dissolved into the night had infiltrated his mind and soul. Reality consisted of this magical garden and forest and the man that stood next to him.
Wedge's response to Obi-Wan's last statement was a low chuckle. Instantly, Obi-Wan found himself smiling again. He wanted to hear that sound again; it told him that Wedge understood how he felt, how tired one could get after months of thankless labor only to be told that the few hours you had reserved for sleep were now going to be used for work. Again.
When he looked at Wedge, Obi-Wan found that he wanted to hear the other man laugh in a different way. Wedge had deep, brown eyes, which shone clear in the moonlight but held the warmth of sunlight. Obi-Wan imagined that the smile that would appear in those eyes when matched with laughter or passion. Especially passion. Obi-Wan crossed his arms over his chest to fight back the tingling in his fingertips.
Wedge held Obi-Wan's gaze until he moved away a fraction, arms clasped over his chest. He had seen the flash of recognition in Obi-Wan's eyes, and the slight embarrassment that flushed his face afterwards. It was utterly charming and just the tiniest bit ridiculous, thought Wedge. Obi-Wan must be his own age, although it was hard to tell if he were older or younger. His smooth-shaven face and shoulder length hair made him appear youthful, but the fine lines around his eyes gave him an air of maturity and sadness.
"You've explored the whole garden already tonight?" Wedge asked and took a step closer to Obi-Wan. "Or do the forests interest you more?"
" I find them somewhat irresistible." Obi-Wan commented. "As if there is something there I should find."
" Have you tried looking for it yet?"
Their steps easily became directed toward the forest, leaving behind the brush of grass against their boots and replacing it with a soft carpet of moss. Wedge paused when Obi-Wan's fingertips brushed against his.
" I think I've already found it, actually."
Obi-Wan's fingertips caressed his hand and Wedge turned to face him. Moonlight now fell on Obi-Wan in shifting patterns as the wind stirred the leaves above them. Irregular blocks of silver floated over his hair, silver and copper, and cast an eerie glow over his face, his eyes blue and silver with golden lashes. He leaned forward and kissed Wedge, just a brief touching of lips, but powerful enough to make Wedge see a tangle of silver, copper and gold light from behind closed eyelids.
" If you'll have me, that is." Obi-Wan whispered, the first part of his statement having been made by the kiss.
To answer with words Wedge deemed awkward. He brought their mouths together again and slid his tongue over Obi-Wan's lips. He tasted of wine, only sweeter and less pungent. Wedge lingered over his lips for a few seconds. The moment was so perfect, it almost felt like his first kiss, but without the nose-bumping and squirming. He smiled as he pushed his tongue between Obi-Wan's lips and felt his partner's lips curve in response.
Obi-Wan could never claim that many people had kissed him. Perhaps many times, but a good majority of those times had been by a single person. And yet, each time was different and lovely in its own way. Wedge kissed him slowly and tenderly, with an affection that was not expected. Desire lurked behind the kiss, but not without some degree of care. It was more than a kiss. It was escape.
He pressed one hand to Wedge's chest and deepened the kiss. When they parted, after a few soft kisses and a final light brush of lips, Obi-Wan let his hand drop. He smoothed it down the front of Wedge's uniform, the deep green jacket fit trimly, from broad shoulders to slim waist. Under Obi-Wan's hand his body felt firm, masculine.
" We should undress." Obi-Wan murmured. He slid his hand to the center of the jacket and started to unfasten it.
Wedge stilled Obi-Wan's hand with his own. Obi-Wan raised an eyebrow as doubt shadowed his eyes.
Wedge kept their hands joined and led Obi-Wan deeper into the forest to a small clearing. More light shone here, the canopy of leaves being thinner, and in the distance there was the rushing sound of water.
" This will be better." Wedge nuzzled Obi-Wan's ear with his nose tip. "Besides, it helps to get the boots off first."
With little coaxing from Wedge, Obi-Wan sank to the forest floor. They undressed each other slowly, using the time to touch and taste. To hurry seemed useless, there was no question of time in the mind of either man. They were simply here, in the forest, together, for as long as they needed to be.
After Wedge slid Obi-Wan's trousers from his body, both men were nude in the muted light of the forest. Kneeling beside Obi-Wan, Wedge lowered his head and pressed a warm, long kiss to the other man's abdomen.
" You're beautiful." His breath was warmer than the kiss and damp against Obi-Wan's skin.
" Not handsome?" Obi-Wan asked.
" That too. But so very beautiful, especially like this."
Wedge sat back on his heels and rested a hand on Obi-Wan's thigh. This man, his lover for the night, was indeed beautiful. From the smile on his thin lips, to the gold hair dusted over his chest, leading to a thin line over his stomach and down to the darker thatch of hair at his groin, to the slender hips and well-muscled thighs. Obi-Wan had the body of a warrior, but the elegance of one trained to use that body for more than mere fighting.
With languid motion, Obi-Wan sat up and brought his face close to Wedge's. He circled one arm around Wedge's waist. His touch was so light that it was almost frustrating, the fine hairs on his arm barely coming into contact with Wedge's skin.
" And you are irresistible. Like the night itself." Obi-Wan licked his lips after he spoke.
Leaning even closer, he kissed the corner of Wedge's jaw. Then, moving soft lips behind Wedge's ear and down the side of his neck, he tugged Wedge down to the ground. Only when they lay together did he pause. The moss was spongy beneath their skin, but only a little damp and not cold at all. Only cold, thought Obi-Wan, when compared to his lover's skin.
Propped up on one elbow, Obi-Wan slid his body as close as possible to Wedge's. The press of his erection into Wedge's thigh was delightfully arousing. The simple touch of skin to bare skin brought him to near full hardness. Or maybe it was the sight of Wedge laid out before him, naked and just as aroused as he was.
Obi-Wan had been right about Wedge's body. The smooth, firm muscle of his chest tapered to a narrow waist and hips. And a lovely, full erection jutting out from dark curls. Obi-Wan held his hand over Wedge's penis, circling fingers around it without touching quite yet. He was close enough to feel the heat radiating off Wedge's skin, and with it, the smell of male arousal. Below him, Wedge breathed through moist parted lips. His tongue grazed over the tips of his teeth, pink against white, and Obi-Wan held back no longer.
The tips of Obi-Wan's hair brushed over Wedge's collarbone, tickling and itching as he sealed their mouths together. Wedge surged up to meet Obi-Wan's mouth, forcing their tongues together in a struggle. His hips jerked up at the same time, seeking the warmth of Obi-Wan's touch. Slim, cool fingers stroked Wedge's erection, from base to tip, then down the length again. The gentle scrape of Obi-Wan's fingernail on the underside of his penis had Wedge breaking off the kiss.
" Feels so good!" He panted though wet lips.
" Gods, yes, you do, you do feel so good." Obi-Wan answered with words harsh and quick.
He skimmed a finger over the tip of Wedge's penis, collecting the filmy pre-ejaculate and bringing the finger to his mouth. Suckling with relish, he slid the finger from his mouth and offered it to Wedge. Wedge took it into his mouth, tongue flickering over the glistening tip before his lips closed. A tremor of luxurious desire passed through Obi-Wan. The sight of Wedge, tasting both himself and Obi-Wan, and the feel of Wedge's mouth surrounding his finger, were erotic in their simplicity.
Wedge released Obi-Wan's finger from his mouth, clasping his wrist, and then kissing the palm of his hand. Pulling Obi-Wan toward him, he kissed his palm again, then above his wrist and up to the inside of his elbow. Here he sucked the skin, drawing circles with the tip of his tongue when Obi-Wan shivered.
" Sensitive." Wedge mumbled and kissed the damp, pinkened skin.
There was a growl, and then he was covered with Obi-Wan's body. A hungry kiss, erections pressing together, and Obi-Wan, slipping effortlessly between his thighs. Obi-Wan's lips fluttered over his throat, wet tongue dipping into the hollow and licking its way to his left nipple. A feeling like warm honey oozing though his body overcame Wedge as Obi-Wan looked up to meet his eyes. He pushed an errant lock of hair out of Obi-Wan's eyes and behind his ear. Obi-Wan smiled, slow, sweet, like honey, like desire.
He dipped his head down again and nuzzled Wedge's chest. Obi-Wan's lips returned to his nipple, teasing and licking. His other hand stroked Wedge's chest and tangled fingers into the soft dark hair that covered it. He made soft, grunting noises as he slid his cheek down Wedge's chest. Noises that made Wedge wonder if Obi-Wan got more out of pleasuring than being pleasured.
Burying his nose in the hair at Wedge's groin, Obi-Wan inhaled the deep, musky smell. It was so perfect, so explicitly masculine and tempting. He sat up slowly, bending to kiss the tip of Wedge's penis, then stroking his own. He was hard, hard enough to come if he wanted right then and there. Obi-Wan could bring himself to climax and come hard, wet and messily over his own and Wedge's stomachs. But the desire that had turned Wedge's eyes to near black stopped him.
Desire had made Obi-Wan's body taut. Poised on the brink of climax, he smeared the ejaculate from both his lover's penis and his own over the length of his erection. Wedge moaned at his touch, hoarse and guttural, and Obi-Wan felt more than heard the sound. It vibrated in the air around them, quivered in the pit of Obi-Wan's stomach, and tingled through his body to the very core. With forced steadiness, he prepared Wedge for love making, biting back the desire that rose up inside.
But then the wait was over and Obi-Wan felt his arousal fill him as he filled his lover. There was the night and Wedge, the only two things that mattered for him. The smell of clean air and damp earth, the sound of his breathing synchronized with Wedge's, the exact rhythm they created as they moved together. Obi-Wan stroked Wedge's erection as he moved inside his lover. It was so good, so right, to feel this way, with this man. He was going to come soon; the pleasure was approaching pain.
From beneath half-open lids, Wedge watched Obi-Wan. He was even more beautiful in the throes of passion, sweat making his hair cling to his neck and shoulder, his throat and chest gleaming in the light, and his hand, touching, stroking, and bringing Wedge to completion. Obi-Wan filled him, connected with him in the most intimate of ways and sent a flood of heat through his body. He thrust hard into Wedge, then stilled, his head thrown back and sweat tricking down his torso. When he moved again, he let out a low, sweet 'oh' and came.
There was ecstasy in that sound, one that transmuted Wedge's desire into lust and the absolute need to climax. His orgasm followed soon after Obi-Wan's, the heat running through his veins. It was a moment of pure pleasure, too intense to last longer than a few seconds, yet all the more flawless for its brevity. Obi-Wan collapsed by Wedge's side, both of them breathing hard and loud. Wedge took Obi-Wan's mouth in his own and kissed him between breaths. Small touches, caresses and fingertip strokes, continued as climax subsided. Obi-Wan was just as tender after lovemaking as during, his body curling up next to Wedge as drowsiness overtook them both. Sleepy, warm and satisfied, Wedge wrapped his arms around Obi-Wan and pressed one last kiss to the smooth skin of his lover's shoulder before drifting off.
Some time later, after resting and cleaning up in the nearby stream, Wedge found himself kissing that same delectable area of skin. Obi-Wan relaxed in his arms, back pressed to Wedge's chest, long strands of his hair feathering across Wedge's face.
" How long have we been here?" Obi-Wan asked lazily.
" I wish I could stay here for always. It's so easy to forget what I've left behind." He eased back into the embrace.
Wedge agreed silently. His arms tightened around Obi-Wan reflexively and he kissed his neck.
" It would be easy. Maybe a little too easy."
" And I don't think you really can." He looked into Obi-Wan's eyes as the other man twisted around. "Can you? You wouldn't leave that easily, nor would I."
Memories skittered though Obi-Wan's mind, half-formed memories of the people outside the garden. Even if he truly wanted to escape, the Force had willed otherwise. It would flicker again, soon. He stood up and took Wedge's hand. A ghost of worry or doubt clouded Wedge's eyes. Obi-Wan took this to be an echo of the sentiments he had just felt.
They embraced again and shared a lingering kiss. This would be the end of their escape, the forest couldn't be their sanctuary for much longer. In silence they dressed and walked to the edge of the forest.
The light of the moon and stars still illuminated the gardens when the left the forest. Obi-Wan reached out to the Force, this time aware of the disturbance before the flickering occurred.
He opened his mouth to say something to Wedge, but simply returned the smile Wedge gave him.
The light flickered, silver-brilliant like before, and he saw a young man walk down from the house.
" Would that be you or me?" Obi-Wan asked.
" Both of us, I think." Wedge laughed and touched Obi-Wan's hand lightly.
The man drew closer, silver in the silver light. Obi-Wan got a glimpse of blond hair and blue eyes, and then reality flickered back.
" General!" Anakin walked up to Obi-Wan and let out an exasperated sigh.
" General?" Obi-Wan raised a curious eyebrow.
" Well, you weren't answering to Obi-Wan or Master. Is everything all right? You didn't see any..."
" Ghosts? Hardly. Really, Anakin." Heading back toward the house, Obi-Wan placed his hand at his padawan's elbow. "Why did you come looking for me, has something happened while I was away?"
" Are you sure you're all right, Obi-Wan? I don't think much could have happened in the few minutes it took me to follow you out here." Anakin looked down at Obi-Wan. "I just wanted to let you know that I was going to stay up a bit later, that's all."
" Oh, well, that's fine, Padawan. Anakin, have you met a General Antilles?"
" From Alderaan?"
" No, I don't think so. Never mind. And Anakin? I wouldn't doubt some of those myths about the Phinyan gardens. There is much truth behind myth making."
Wedge turned from where his companion had stood and waited for Luke to walk up to him. "Since when did you and I start using formal titles, Jedi Master?"
" Oh, you weren't listening to me, I had to get your attention somehow." Luke ran a hand though his hair. "You look happy with yourself."
" Just glad to be out of the ballroom. What took you so long?"
" Long? It was only a few minutes, don't get impatient. Anyway, Mistress Vallina was telling me that General Kenobi - Ben Kenobi - stayed here once. Can you believe that?"
Wedge stopped and smiled with sudden realization. "Oh, really? And did he believe the stories about magic and the gardens?"
" I don't know. She just said that he had a really good time here."
" Well, Phinya is a lovely planet. I'm sure it was a nice escape for him, if only for a short time."
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