C'Lon wasn't surprised to find Erat in the surveillance room a few hours later. She'd decided to come down and make sure everything was secure before settling down for the night; it had seemed like a good idea with a Jedi being held captive on board.
"You okay, honey?"
He turned and smiled at her. "Yes, I'm fine. It was a bit odd, you know." He shrugged, embarrassed. "To have sex like that, knowing the whole crew was watching. I know they're used to that sort of thing, but..."
She noticed that the camera had been trained on the sleeping Jedi's form. "I think he enjoyed himself. And so did you."
Erat glanced pointedly at the floor. "Looks like we weren't the only ones. I hope you're going to make one of them clean this mess up." He wrinkled his nose in mild disgust.
"Can we expect a repeat performance tomorrow?"
Erat gave her melodramatic sigh. "I suppose I could work it into my busy schedule somehow." He grinned. "I think I'll take him to the shower room in the morning. I trust there are cameras there also?"
"Yes." C'Lon pursed her lips. "I'm sure the men would like to see the Jedi... made uncomfortable. I know how you feel about such things, but it might be best if you could find a way."
Erat nodded, but remained silent. They watched the monitors for a few minutes. She squeezed his shoulder and left him to watch.
Word spread quickly, and there was a queue outside the surveillance room when C'Lon arrived to unlock the door the next morning. Many of the men were juggling cups of caf', looking a bit groggy. She wondered how long they'd been there. B'Wal was first. She doubted he'd risen that early; they probably just let him get in the front of the queue.
"Mornin' milady," he grinned, scraggly teeth clearly unbrushed. That Jedi was lucky indeed, C'Lon reflected. It could have been much, much worse for him. It still could be, if he didn't continue to cooperate.
She palmed open the door and ignored the riot that erupted behind her as the men pushed their way in. In the harsh artificial light, the floor was truly revolting.
"First one to spunk cleans the floor," she announced. The men laughed: now it would be a contest, a weird sort of circle jerk.
C'Lon turned one monitor away from the men's view and keyed it to the twins' cell, then put the sound bud in her ear. Erat was still there, watching the children eat breakfast. He sat a small distance away from them, chewing on one finger, lost in thought.
"What's wrong with you?" the girl -- Manya, C'Lon recalled -- asked.
Erat looked up. "What?"
The girl stared back at him in that infuriatingly serene Jedi manner. "You seem... distracted. I thought maybe something was wrong with you."
Erat met her gaze with a serene stare of his own. "Nothing's wrong," he said in a very calm tone. "Nothing at all. Eat your breakfast." They stared at each other for another long moment, and Manya broke the gaze, looking down at her half-eaten piece of toast. Rill glanced back and forth between them, chewing his food.
C'Lon sat back in her chair, regarding the trio curiously. Erat's hold over the twins was impressive, as was his ability to deal with the Jedi. It was almost as if he knew what he was doing with them. He had gained a modicum of trust from Qui-Gon, and the children seemed drawn to him. Perhaps he'd worked closely with Jedi before? It wasn't unheard of, and her knowledge of his experiences before coming to work for her was scanty at best.
Or perhaps there was another reason why he knew so much about Jedi? C'Lon frowned, and then shook the thought away.
Erat gathered the trays when the children had finished, and checked each of them over. "Would you like a shower later today?" he asked. They nodded eagerly in response. C'Lon fully intended to keep the children's presence onboard a secret, and made a mental note to disconnect the cameras in the shower area after the morning's show with the Jedi.
Erat disappeared from view and reappeared in Qui-Gon's cell several minutes later. C'Lon turned on the monitors in the room, and released the signal to the other viewing areas on the ship.
The Jedi looked up as Erat entered, but didn't move otherwise. The men stared at each other for a moment. Erat set a tray of toast and juice on the man's sleep couch and settled wordlessly on the other one. Qui-Gon was quiet as he ate, keeping his eyes focused on the tray of food. Erat watched his every movement.
"I can take you down to the shower room after you've finished. If you like."
Qui-Gon looked up, swallowing. "I get a choice in the matter?"
"Of course," Erat smirked. "If you'd rather stay here, I'm sure I could arrange for a bucket of water and a rag to be brought in. Or perhaps you'd prefer not to wash at all."
The Jedi's eyes narrowed. "I'm sure it's in my best interest to remain as unappealing as possible."
Erat shrugged. "Suit yourself. I can hold my breath, I assure you."
The Jedi snorted. "I'm sure you can," he replied, then returned his attention to his meal. "A shower, then, since I have a choice." Erat grinned, and Qui-Gon pursed his lips. "How are the children?"
C'Lon winced at the mention, hoping the men around her weren't listening too closely.
Erat's smile faded into a replica of the Jedi's earlier blank expression. "They're fine. They're under my care as well." At Qui-Gon's raised eyebrow, Erat snorted. "Mind out of the gutter, now. I'm protecting them." He shrugged. "I'm good with kids."
Qui-Gon said nothing, staring at Erat in a way that made C'Lon's stomach lurch. Erat stood his ground, not reacting to the obvious attempt to intimidate him. Qui-Gon's expression soon eased into one of quiet respect, and he stood.
"I'm ready for my shower," he said.
Erat stepped forward, hypospray in hand, and gave the Jedi an injection. Qui-Gon flinched, but said nothing. He closed his eyes for several seconds, seeming to concentrate. Perhaps on remaining standing, C'Lon mused, given the dose of cytlicine he'd just received. When Qui-Gon opened his eyes again, Erat produced a set of cuffs from his bag.
Qui-Gon's eyes narrowed. "The Force-inhibitor and sedatives aren't enough?"
"No," Erat retorted. "I'm not leaving this room without having as much control over you as I possibly can. Strip down to your trousers first." The Jedi complied, a bit more slowly than seemed to be necessary. Erat held the cuffs out, and Qui-Gon raised his arms before him, wrists together. Erat shook his head. Qui-Gon sighed and turned around, crossing his wrists at the small of his back. Erat sidled up behind him, fastening the cuffs with an audible click. He took the opportunity to press a kiss between the Jedi's shoulder blades. Qui-Gon jumped at the touch and Erat laughed. "Don't be shy, now. We'll have an audience in the shower room as well."
As soon as the two men came into view once again on the monitors, a silence fell over the occupants of the security room. C'Lon settled into her chair, determined to enjoy the show. Asking Erat to "take care of the Jedi" was one of the best ideas she'd had in months, and she'd be damned if she wasn't going to benefit from it as much as possible.
Erat led Qui-Gon to a shower head in the center of the room and glanced at the cameras, as if making certain he'd chosen the best location for the viewers. He turned back to Qui-Gon and began to undress himself.
The Jedi's eyes narrowed. "What are you doing?"
"What does it look like?" Erat snorted in response. "I have to wash you, and I'm not getting my clothes wet." He stepped out of his trousers at that, and Qui-Gon looked away. Erat smirked. "Does it bother you?"
"Does it matter?"
"No. Let me help you out of your trousers." Qui-Gon grimaced as Erat tugged the garment off, blatantly leering at the man's genitals in the process. "Impressive even like this," he mumbled. Qui-Gon did not respond.
Erat turned the water on, and when the temperature was right he pushed the Jedi under the spray. Several minutes of perfunctory washing passed, Erat's soapy hands sliding quickly over the man's skin, periodically turning his body to rinse off the foam. Qui-Gon kept his eyes closed, letting himself be turned and touched without complaint -- until Erat's soapy fingers found their way into the crack of the man's ass.
"Wha-- Wait!" Qui-Gon cried, taking a step forward, out of the spray.
"Hold still," Erat replied with a smirk. Qui-Gon was pinned against the wall now, and Erat used the position to his advantage, replacing his fingers and slowly stroking between the Jedi's cheeks. "Spread your legs a bit and this will be a lot easier."
Qui-Gon glowered at him, but quickly gave in. He closed his eyes once more as Erat's hand slid down between his legs to cup his balls, and back up to swirl a finger lightly around his entrance. The Jedi was growing hard, apparently against his will. Erat slipped a wet finger into the man's body and began fucking him with it, slowly. Qui-Gon gasped, but didn't try to move away this time.
"Surely," he panted, "you're being rather too thorough."
"I think I can be a bit more so," Erat said, his voice pitched low. He slid his other hand around Qui-Gon's waist to begin stroking the Jedi's rapidly firming erection. "Shall I wash this for you as well?"
The Jedi groaned and leaned his forehead against the tile wall, water streaming down his shoulders. Erat's erection was now visible, much to C'Lon's delight. She zoomed the camera in for a tighter shot of the Jedi's ass.
Erat positioned the man under the spray enough to rinse off the soap, and paused to contemplate the sight before him: the Jedi's legs were spread and ass exposed, up against a wall. With his hands cuffed behind him, the position couldn't have been very comfortable.
C'Lon caught her breath as Erat fell to his knees and spread the Jedi's cheeks wide with his hands. The Jedi groaned as Erat's tongue swept across the sensitive skin of his opening, licking at the wet flesh. Erat teased him with flicking movements for several minutes before plunging his tongue into the man's body, his head bobbing as he fucked Qui-Gon with his mouth. The view was partially obstructed by Erat's head, but it was quite clear what was happening. C'Lon had to bite her tongue to keep from sliding a hand between her own legs. Not in front of the crew, she thought. It would become a mantra before this morning was over, she was sure.
The Jedi began shifting his ass back against Erat's mouth, moving with him, and Erat sat back on his heels, smiling. The man before him was on the verge of shaking with need, and Erat seemed quite pleased with himself. He stood and tugged the Jedi back under the spray, wetting the man's long hair. Qui-Gon sputtered a bit, but said nothing. His cock jutted out before him, as big as C'Lon had seen it yet.
Erat soaped his hands and began washing the Jedi's hair. After a moment he grunted in frustration and pushed down on the man's shoulders. "You're too tall," he grumbled. Qui-Gon knelt, and Erat stood behind him, lathering his hair. He tilted Qui-Gon's head back to rinse the soap out, and then moved to stand in front of him, running his fingers through the long strands as he tried to work the rest of the soap out. When he pushed the Jedi's head forward again, Qui-Gon's nose bumped against Erat's erection.
Erat grinned and pressed his hips forward. "I think you can wash something for me now," he whispered. "After everything I've done for you this morning, is a little tongue bath too much to ask for?"
Qui-Gon stared up at Erat, a hard look in his eyes. He hesitated for a moment, and Erat positioned the head of his cock at the Jedi's lips. After a long moment, Qui-Gon gave in, opening his mouth. Erat tangled one hand in the man's wet hair as he pushed his hips forward, fucking Qui-Gon's mouth slowly. The Jedi closed his eyes and seemed to be struggling not to gag.
The noise level around C'Lon rose, an indication that the men were enjoying this scene quite a bit. She focused her attention on the monitor, trying not to hear the sounds of self-pleasure all around her. For the tenth time today, she regretted not having installed a security monitor in her private office. At least there she could have let her hands roam as much as she liked.
The Jedi made a choked noise, and Erat released his hold. He turned and leaned back against the wall, pulling Qui-Gon toward him. "By all means," he said, still smirking, "have it your way."
After a brief pause, the Jedi leaned forward to take Erat's erection in his mouth once again, this time moving slowly. C'Lon adjusted the camera angle for a better view and was rewarded for her efforts. She could see the Jedi's face as his mouth moved back and forth along Erat's cock.
Erat began making mewling noises, his hands clenching into fists by his side, as if he was struggling not to twist his fingers in the man's hair once more. C'Lon widened the angle, and now they could see Erat's face as he panted and cried out.
He pushed the Jedi back and braced his hands on the man's shoulders, breathing hard. He straightened up, motioning for Qui-Gon to stand as well. When the Jedi didn't jump to his feet, Erat tugged impatiently at his arm.
"C'mon, get up," he grumbled. As soon as Qui-Gon was on his feet, Erat kissed him hard, nearly knocking the man off his feet in the process. Qui-Gon stumbled a bit, but appeared to be giving as good as he was getting.
One of Erat's hands was clenched in the Jedi's hair, and the other snaked around his back. Erat's fingers brushed against the cuffs. They fell to the floor with a clatter, and Erat released Qui-Gon from the kiss. He stared at him for a moment, panting. The Jedi looked down at his freed hands, and looked back up at Erat. His eyes narrowed.
Erat turned to face the wall. "Fuck me."
"I--" Qui-Gon paused, rubbing at his wrists. He seemed uncertain what to do.
"Hurry!" Erat cried, looking over his shoulder at the Jedi.
Qui-Gon stepped forward, and then back again. "We don't have any lubrication," he mumbled, almost seeming confused.
"I don't care," Erat grunted. "We're both wet anyway. Just do it, please!" The last phrase ended in a bit of a whine, and the Jedi stepped forward again. He positioned his cock with one hand and grasped Erat's hips with the other, and took a deep breath as he pushed forward.
"Shit," Erat groaned, hands forming fists against the tile. His body stiffened and the Jedi stopped his movement, free hand stroking Erat's back.
"Sshhh," he soothed, leaning forward to kiss the younger man's shoulder. "Tell me when."
A long moment passed before Erat grunted something unintelligible, and Qui-Gon pressed forward again. He paused when he was finally buried in Erat, pressing his forehead against the younger man's back. His hands moved up to grasp Erat's hips.
C'Lon felt the heat rising in the air around her. The scene was intense and erotic, but there was something about it that was not quite right. Later, she thought as Qui-Gon shifted his hips back, pulling out of Erat. I'm not going to worry about it now.
The Jedi fucked Erat slowly and steadily until Erat began begging for more, faster, harder. Qui-Gon stroked Erat's cock in time to his thrusts, and it was over in a matter of minutes, with first one man and then the other shuddering his climax. They leaned against the wall and each other, panting. Finally, Qui-Gon stood and moved to rinse himself off under the spray of warm water once more, hands coming up to cover his face and press hard against his temples.
Erat continued to lean against the wall for another minute. He didn't watch Qui-Gon.
Ten quiet minutes later, both men were dry and dressed. Erat retrieved the handcuffs from the floor and held them up, his expression blank. Qui-Gon nodded and turned, his hands clasped behind his back. Erat fastened the cuffs once more, and the men disappeared from view.
C'Lon had paced the floor of her private office a hundred times in the last hour, emotions roiling in her gut. She'd trusted Erat, more than she'd trusted anyone for as long as she could remember. What if she'd been wrong about him all along?
The soft knock at the door startled her into immobility for several seconds before she finally collected herself. "Come."
The door slid open to reveal Erat smiling lazily at her, hair still damp form the shower. The shower, when it had hit her so suddenly, when she'd finally began to put it all together. Her anger rose within her again, and she scowled at him.
His smile faded. "You... wanted to see me, milady?"
"Sit," she snarled before turning her back to him, walking to position herself behind her desk. She adopted a stern and suspicious expression before she turned back to face him. He paled at the sight of her, but kept his eyes firmly on hers. The expression on his face reminded her of the Jedi, and she bristled even further.
"You're hiding something from me," she stated, as flatly as she could manage. "And I need to know exactly what it is. I need to know if trusting you has been a mistake." There. She'd said it.
Erat looked bewildered. "Sorry?" he spit out, at last. Well, she hadn't thought he'd come right out and tell her exactly what she wanted to know.
She leaned forward in a way she hoped was menacing and began reciting the words she'd been rehearsing in her head for the last hour. "You know quite a lot about the Jedi for a bodyguard I picked up five months ago. I wouldn't have even noticed it until these last few days, but now... it's obvious." She stood then, and circled her desk to stand right in front of him, towering over him. "Why you've always been such a good fighter for your size. Why in a pinch you can get people to do precisely what you want them to do. Why you always seem to know exactly when something bad is about to happen, just before it does." She paused and Erat stared at her, mouth open. It looked as if his brain was working feverishly to think of something to say. "And then there were the handcuffs this morning."
"C'Lon, I don't--"
"Yes, go on, now. Tell me how you did that nice little trick with the handcuffs in the shower."
"Trick? What are you talking about?" He was flustered now, more ruffled than she'd ever seen him before.
She leaned back against her desk. "I saw you put the cuffs on the Jedi before you left the cell, and you were careful to make certain they were secure. But then, in the shower, they simply fell off at a mere touch, just when you wanted them to." He was silent, staring blankly at her now. "Those cuffs require a key, Erat, and all you had to do was touch them." She glared at him, crossing her arms over her chest. "So tell me, my boy: why is it that you know so much about the Jedi?"
Erat was silent for a moment before sputtering, "C'Lon, please. I don't--"
"I mean it, boy," she growled, leaning down to glare into his face. "You need to start talking to me right now, or I'll have B'Wal throw you into a cell for the rest of this trip. I need to be able to trust you. There's far too much at stake." Indeed, everything was at stake: her life, her future, the money. "Answer me. How is it that you, Erat Chol -- a mere bodyguard who's been passed from thug to thug for most of his adult life -- know so fucking much about the Jedi?"
He withered under her gaze, and his reply, when he finally spoke, was a rough whisper: "Because... I used to be one."
She blinked, wondering if she'd heard correctly. "You… what?"
"Because," he ground out through clenched teeth, pushing her away from him and standing. "I used to fucking be one! Does that answer your question, C'Lon?"
She wasn't sure what she'd expected him to say, but somehow it hadn't been that. She knew she was the one gaping now while he seethed before her, clearly upset that she'd drawn this confession out of him. He seemed to know he was cornered now, that this was information she could easily use against him.
She didn't blame him for wanting to keep it a secret. There were plenty of people in the galaxy with no love for the Jedi Order, people who would love to get their hands on someone like him and drain every last bit of useful information from him. And then there were the rumors she'd heard about the Order itself, and the way they punished defectors and traitors by wiping their minds of all memory. No, she didn't blame him for not telling her this before, especially considering that she was a slaver. He could bring a fair amount of credits if she'd decided to take advantage of him. Not that it would have been easy.
He was staring at her now, breathing calmed, but that damned unreadable Jedi expression was plastered on his face once more.
"Keep talking," she said, settling back against her desk again. He sighed and slumped into his chair. There was a long pause, and then he started to speak.
"I was raised at the Jedi Temple on Coruscant, taken from my real parents as a baby. It was all I ever knew, and I grew up believing that I'd be a Jedi knight one day, just as all the other children did." He was trembling, just a little. "But by the time I turned thirteen, I hadn't been chosen as an apprentice by any of the masters, and so it was over. The Order sent me to work for the Republic in the Outer Rim, terraforming some barren waste of a planet." He paused here, as if expecting her to respond. She didn't, and he kept talking.
"It was horrible. I was the only child in the installation, and the only locals were miners -- Boradium, I think. Anyway, they were a rough lot. I lived in fear of one of them cornering me in a dark alley. The work was futile, and the living conditions pretty bad. So one day, I ran away.
"I stowed away on a supply ship and slipped off at the next spaceport. I was fourteen then, and... pretty boys and girls have a certain value in places like that. I survived well enough for the next few years."
C'Lon felt a pang of sympathy for him, but covered it up with a smirk. "I always wondered if you'd had experience as a pleasure worker."
"Pleasure worker," Erat repeated, snorting. "That's quite a euphemism." He still hadn't met her eyes, and was staring intently at a spot on the floor.
"Go on," she said, resolving to keep any more snide comments to herself until he had finished his story.
"There isn't much more to it than that. The Jedi training came in handy in that I was able to take care of myself and my friends. Somebody noticed at some point, and gave me my first job as a personal bodyguard. That was five years ago, and... here we are."
She waited, but he didn't continue. "Do you know this Jedi?"
Erat nodded. "Oh, yes. The great Qui-Gon Jinn." His bitterness was obvious.
"Do you think he recognized you?"
Erat half-laughed at that, studying his hands. "I doubt it. He recognized nothing remarkable about me nine years ago when he didn't choose me as his apprentice. The only thing he sees me as now, I'll wager, is a nice piece of ass. That's all I've ever been, to anyone."
The pain in his voice stirred something in C'Lon, and she resisted the urge to touch the boy, to comfort him. He'd always been so serene, so implacably confident. Nothing ruffled him. This sort of self-deprecation was something she hadn't seen before, but it was so raw she didn't doubt his sincerity for a moment.
She had to be sure, though. "If you helped him now -- freed him, helped him get those children to safety -- maybe they would forgive you. Maybe the Jedi would take you back."
He looked up at her then with a rueful smile. "No, C'Lon. It doesn't work that way. It was decided nine years ago that I would never be a Jedi knight, and nothing will change that. I let that dream go a long time ago." He paused, and shrugged. "Besides, I'm a fugitive from the Order. Have you any idea what would happen if he found out what I am?"
C'Lon clenched her jaw. "Yes," she said. "I've heard rumors, at least."
He looked down at the floor again. "I've been terrified of him from the moment I first saw him. I knew who he was straight away, and what it would mean if he discovered me here. I have no interest in revealing myself." He tightened his fingers in his shaggy hair. "I can only hope he didn't notice the handcuffs this morning."
"I think he did," C'Lon replied, and Erat flinched. "It's probably best if you keep your distance from him from here on out," she continued gently. "We're scheduled to rendezvous with the client in two days, and we'll hand Jinn over to him as well. Then it will all be over." She paused and let herself touch his arm. He looked up. "You'll be rich this time tomorrow. What will you do with all that money?"
He smiled, though it seemed to take effort. "I have no idea. I honestly haven't thought that far ahead."