Discussion in 'Fan Fiction- Before, Saga, and Beyond' started by EmeraldJediFire, Jan 25, 2013.
Will Ben approve?
Bravo on your continued superb pacing and characterization. Luke's feelings for and about Melinda are exactly what you'd expect. As are those well-meaning ones in his life I have a question or two about how L&Melinda will end up, but mostly because of a fic I'm working on where Mara's the one who just lost someone. I'll convo about it
I guess you'll have to see.
I'm really not sure on that one myself. She's very special to him that's for sure but I haven't quite decided it. And yes, we should.
BEN! You got some explaining to do, Luke! lol! Very nice.
Do you watch I love lucy or have you by any chance?
I have, and that's exactly the voice I hear with that particular expression.
Its a classic...I simply love it but I cant watch it anymore since i dont have cable
On a roll so I'm gonna post another chapter; need to at least catch up with FF.N so I don't have that many chapters to transfer lol
Note: When we last left off, Ben had come home...does he know about Melinda..and what is he going to say if he does?
.Chapter 5.Luke smiled. "What a surprise. What brings you by?"Ben scowled. "I live here."He chuckled. "So you do." He ushered his son inward. "Come in."The youth followed behind and Luke could feel his son's piercing stare that seemed to bore a hole into his back. He frowned inwardly."What's wrong, Ben?" He said, not turning around. "You obviously have something you want to say.""You tell me, Dad."Luke turned to face his twenty-four year old son. Ben was openly glaring at him, looking apparently displeased. An unsettling feeling came over Luke."What have you heard?" He asked."What have I heard?" Ben repeated. "So, it's true.""Depends on what you've heard."Ben scowled again.Luke exhaled, hanging his head slightly."Why didn't you tell me?""What was I suppose to tell you, Ben?""That you were seeing someone.""It's not like it sounds."Ben folded his arms over his chest. "Then what is it?""This is why I didn't want to make a great announcement; because I knew that everyone would blow this way out of proportion. Frankly, I expected a lot more from the people I interact with on a daily basis. And you…""Me what, Dad? Why haven't you told me about this woman before? Why am I the last one to know when I should have been the first? I'm your son." His chest was heaving as emotion filled his voice. "What about Mom? Weren't you the one who said, you'd never remarry? How can you.."This was Luke's breaking point."Don't you dare bring your mother into this," Luke growled, his blood rising. "I don't know what authority you think being a grown up gives you, Ben, but it never has given you authority over me. I am your father, do you understand? The relationships I chose to have are my decision. I loved your mother—and I will NEVER love another woman like her—but I'm not entirely immune to being human. If I chose to keep the relationship I have to myself it's my own discretion. Is that understood?""Dad." He protested."No." Luke paused. "Now, is that understood, I repeat?"Ben hung his head, bowing under his father's tirade. "Yes, Dad."Luke looked upon his son, the reality of what had transpired dawning on him. He stepped back mentally, closing his eyes. He then focused himself inward and began to run through a basic Jedi calming technique."I think you should leave, Ben." He suggested and turned away."Dad…" His son protested."Now."He knew that he was unable to contain the anger that raged within him, and the best thing that would be done was for Ben to remove himself..
Luke found himself in the mediation garden, beams of moonlight falling down upon him. The silvery moon highlighted the grey in hair turning it practically silver. He had his head bowed and his eyes closed with his legs crossed, hands placed upon his knees.He hadn't been able to sleep that night, perhaps it was because of what his son had said. Perhaps it was because of how he'd reacted. He wasn't really sure. All he knew was he had a horrible feeling in his gut. He could hear the blood rushing in his ears and could hear the sound of the city all around him.Was it guilt he was feeling? Did he feel guilty for yelling at Ben?No, that couldn't be it. He wasn't wrong in his response. He was the father. Ben had been wrong; he had been entirely out of line with his line of questioning. And the fact that his son had used Mara against him just chafed him badly."Mara…" He muttered, bowing his head. "What can I do? Help me...Show me.".
"Have you seen, Jedi Skywalker?" Kyle asked. "I went to seek him out to ask him to put on a demonstration, but he wasn't in his room. Do you know where he could be?"Luke turned to glance at Kyle. "No, Master Katarn, I'm afraid I have not," He said. "Have you checked with the guards at the Temple entrance?""No. I'll do that now." Kyle hesitated. "Master, is something wrong?""Why do you ask that?" Luke asked, stepping back from the window."You seem….distracted," He seemed to examine Luke's face. "Are you getting enough sleep these days?""Hmm? Oh. I'm fine, Kyle.""Are you sure?""Yes," He turned back to the view. "Inform the Masters that I'll be retiring a bit early today.""Very well." Kyle started to retreat, but paused, "Luke.""Hmm?""Whatever it is, you know you can come to us, right? We are your friends.""I know."Luke felt Kyle leave, letting his shoulders sag. He knew where Ben was all right; where Luke wasn't. Whether it was an effort of Luke to subconsciously avoid his son or Ben to consciously avoid his father, Luke hadn't seen the boy all day.He was probably still upset with his father over the matter of yesterday—which suited Luke just fine because he was not ready to face Ben again. He was too angry about the boy's overbearing and uncalled for attitude. Never once before had Luke ever recalled Ben giving him such problems, not even in his formative years had the boy been this bad.Years ago, of course, Luke had had Mara to act as a go between. Now…Well, now, it was worse and the wife he'd loved and had helped him cope with their obstinate son was gone. Now, he was left with a young man who was resentful of the possibility another woman in his father's life.He supposed he should have seen it before, should have anticipated this reaction. It had always been there hadn't it? Ben had always been particularly protective of him after Mara had died; an event Luke eventually recognized as his son's fear of possibly losing his father manifesting itself. Even to this day, it was obvious that his mother's death had taken a heavy toll on his mind. Perhaps even was affecting the way he viewed his father and his father's social life in general."Mara..." Luke whispered.He knew his wife wouldn't respond. She had come back that one time during the Second Galactic Civil War—and he hadn't seen her since. He wouldn't have her help for this; this was something he would have to deal with on his own.He would have to talk with Ben, but he knew now wasn't the time. Ben was still resentful and angry—Luke could feel it even now—and that was no state to approach him in. Especially since emotions were still warring within himself. On one hand, he understood his son's emotions, on the other; he was appalled by his blatant insinuations.Luke realized he hadn't lost it till the boy had brought up his mother. The invokement of Mara had sent him over the edge. He knew prior to that he could have maintained his calm, but Mara was always a constant wound in his heart that would never heal truly.He had to talk to someone, and now.He considered asking Melinda if he could see her earlier. No, he couldn't involve her; this wasn't her problem—as much as it involved her indirectly. He let out a breath.He just didn't know who to turn to at the moment.'Luke? Are you okay?'He straightened.'Leia…' He called out, reaching back.'You seemed troubled. Is there something I can do?''No…' He paused. 'Yes. Can I come by? I need to talk to you.''Of course.''I'll be there in fifteen.''I'll be waiting, Brother.'.
This is awkward. ha!
And good old farmboy asking his dead wife on how he should behave toward family members on his new girlfriend.
Awesome post. Full of true emotions; looking forward to the sibling talk. Leia will provide empathy but also straightforwardness.
Just a tad.
Well, Leia is the voice of reason, and the one person that knows Luke better than anyone else--second to Mara of course
People need to stay out of Luke's love life. The guy is a grown man! But I get where Ben is coming from. Great updates - they were all full of emotion.
Agreed, but some people are too nosey lol.. sometimes its good to have some characters know that way they can be a conduit so to speak
Thanks everyone for the encouraging reviews
I hope that the next chapter will be just as entertaining for you.
.Chapter 6."Luke," Leia said softly and embraced her brother. "Come in."
Luke made his way into the apartment, walking slowly. He took a seat on one of the couches. Leia sat down next to him. Her
brother sat staring at the floor for a moment before raising his head to look at her.
"Luke, tell me what's troubling you."
Luke simply shook his head wordlessly.
"Is this about Melinda?"
He lifted his eyes once more to hers. "In a way."
"Ben?" She guessed.
He told her about the confrontation.
"You didn't tell him?"
"I didn't want him getting the wrong idea."
"Instead you deemed best to keep it a secret?" Leia sounded exasperated.
Luke glared at her.
"Luke, I'm not saying you're accountable to Ben for your life, but you knew him finding out the wrong way wasn't going to be good. I begged you to tell him."
"How would it have looked if I had introduced him to her." He objected. "He'd get the wrong idea; Melinda…"
Just then the door chimed.
"Hold that thought, Luke," She patted his hand and got up to answer the door. "Now, who could that be?" Leia disappeared for a moment and came back with two guests in tow.
Luke watched them enter Jaina following her mother, Ben at his cousin's right hand side.
"Ben." Luke said, standing to meet his son.
"Well," Jaina announced and pushed Ben forward. "Mission complete. Let's get started."
"Wha-what?" Ben protested, clearly confused. "What's going on?" He looked at his father, then his aunt then back to his cousin. "Jaina?"
"I said it was time to face the music, didn't I?"
.Earlier."You did what?" Jaina Solo-Fel looked at him incredulously. "What possessed you to say a nerf-brained thing like that?"
"Well, he should have told me. I have to hear about this woman through rumors."
"Your father doesn't have to do anything, you laser-brain." His cousin rebuked. "Did it ever occur to you that maybe he's an adult and likes his privacy as much as you do?"
Ben made a displeased face.
"Or that he might have told you when he was ready—that is if you hadn't acted like a complete child?" She had her arms folded over her chest. "Honestly, you leave me speechless. Here you go on whining about how "he should have told me" when you haven't been honest about your own relationships."
"What does that mean?"
"Oh, so we're going to play stupid. Come now, Ben, I'm your cousin—I know you very well. I'm talking about your engagement to Myra Zol. The one you haven't told your father about."
"How did you hear about that? Myra and I haven't told anyone yet."
"Same way you heard about your dad—people talk, Ben."
"I was going to tell him. We were just waiting for the right moment."
"And maybe that's what he was doing." She countered. "…waiting for the right moment."
A look of clarity came over Ben's face.
"Didn't think about that before you opened your trap wide, did you, Hotshot?"
Ben sighed heavily.
"To talk to your dad. It's time to face the music, little cousin."
"I don't think that's a good idea. He looked pretty ticked the last time I saw him."
"And whose fault was that?"
"Exactly. Trust me it will help in the long run if you apologize—you know, be the bigger man."
"You guess? Are you a child or a grown man? Because the child is the one who got himself into this mess. Maybe it's time to let the grown man step up this time."
"Fine, but if he doesn't meet me halfway, there's nothing I can do about it."
"Are we talking about the same man? Of course he will," She scolded. "Uncle may be stubborn, but he knows what matters in the long run—just as long as you don't say anything too stupid to entirely kriff it up."
"I won't." Ben's face soured. "Geez, do you really think me that inept? I'm a bit more diplomatic than that."
"You're track record so far, does not seem to indicate that."
He rolled his eyes.
"Don't do that. It makes me want to smack you upside the head."
"Sounds better than seeing Dad at the moment."
"Too bad—you're going."
.Present.Time to face the music…. that was putting it lightly. What did that even mean anyway? He looked to his father.
"What's going on?" He asked again, his eyes darting to his Aunt Leia's face.
"Don't blame Jaina; I called her in on this." Leia explained. "I wanted this settled. Present company not included, you're all each other has and it kills me when you two aren't speaking to one another." She looked from father to son. "Ben, you have to get over your own personal feelings and accept what's best for your father; what makes him happy despite the discomfort or awkwardness it is to yourself.
"And Luke, I'm not saying you owe Ben an explanation. You are the adult so it is your judgment; but…" She hesitated.
"I think what Mom is trying to say, Uncle Luke," Jaina finished, looking at Leia with certainty. "That if maybe you had trusted Ben to handle it, this all could have been avoided in the long run."
"Exactly," Leia turned to him. "Luke, I know why you were worried, but you have to get passed that." She looked to her nephew. "You both do; Mara's death has left a whole in your hearts, I realize that, but it doesn't have to be that way. It doesn't have to impede your daily lives. It definitely shouldn't affect another's happiness." She had pointedly addressed this at Ben.
"Now, you can be angry and hurt and not resolve a thing." She turned back to her brother. "Or you can talk this out like rational adults. I know you both care about each other very much, so I know you'll do the right thing." She looked to Jaina. "Come, Jaina, let's go to that café down the street and leave these boys to talk."
"Right behind you, Mom." Jaina stopped and leaned over, eyeing her cousin. "Mom and I have created a path—don't screw it up."
With that, she followed her mother out of the apartment, leaving Luke and Ben alone. They stared at one another, neither saying a word for a good while.
They paused once more looking at eachother. Ben cracked a small smile. "Should we roll dice to see who goes first?" He coughed. "Sorry; stupid joke. Dad.."
Luke raised a hand. "No, let me go first."
"No, let me." He insisted quite stubbornly.
Luke tried to hide his smile. "If you insist."
"Let's sit then."
"I'd rather stand if you don't mind."
"As you wish."
Ben began to face the room, searching for the words he wanted to say. When he had finally mustered his courage, he swallowed hard and turned back to Luke.
"Let me start off by saying, I'm sorry I blew up at you." He paused. "I was angry you hadn't told me. I thought you were hiding it from me like you were ashamed of what you were doing, but that wasn't it, was it?"
Luke shook his head.
"I didn't think so." He took a breath. "It just was…kind awkward when I thought about it. You with another woman; I just couldn't see you being with anyone passed Mom I guess. It was too weird for me. I…do want you to be happy, Dad. I saw personally what happened to you when Mom died, how it left you like you were broken…and even though you'll deny it to this day...if you were allowed to follow Mom into the Force, you would have.
"You couldn't stand to live without her and that scared me back then. I thought I was going to lose you too. But it scares me more when I think about these past ten years, the sadness etched on your face every time your anniversary rolls around, that silent grief your pretend to hide when the day she died draws near. You feel alone without Mom...And I can't help feel at a loss…I can't do anything to help you; I've never been able to—but maybe because that wasn't my place….
"Maybe because this woman was meant to ease that pain," He paused. "I know she was…because as much as I tried to deny it, I've felt your spirit lift to heights that I haven't felt before. I sensed the change, but I didn't know what to make of it. It's her, isn't it? She makes your heart feel light."
"Yes." Luke said with emotion in his voice.
"That's good. I'm glad." Ben smiled. "So, when do I get to meet her?"
Go Jaina and Leia! Those guys needed a figurative slap upside the head. I loved the Luke-Ben talk. Very in-character.
Ben is hiding his engagement but he gets mad at his dad for not telling him he had dinner a couple times with a woman. Talking about calling the kettle black. Jaina and Leia need to knock those two Jedi's heads together.
This is great.
Yeah, I figured out the only ones who could make them see reason were the females in the family; the Skywalker men can be quite hard-headed.
Yeah, he's a total hypocrite, but he wasn't technically hiding it...he just wanted to the perfect time.
LOL I take that as meaning 'good'.
.Chapter 7.Luke informed his son he'd be meeting Melinda for lunch the next day. He decided it was then that he should introduce them.
"Won't I be a surprise though?" Ben asked. "She's only expecting you; now she's going to be saddled with your kid."
Luke rolled his eyes largely. "She's hardly being 'saddled' with you. You're not ten and Melinda and I are not in that type of
relationship. She's been married prior to this and has three grown children of her own."
Ben looked interested at this. "So have you met them?"
"Melinda's children. No, not yet."
His father laughed lightly. "It hasn't really come up. We've only known each other for few days."
"Almost a week," Ben corrected. "If the rumors are true"
Luke glared at him. "Beside the point; the point is I want you to meet her and she'd love to meet you."
"You told her about me."
"No, I would have rather she met you in person."
"Reduce the shock effect."
Ben scowled. "Was that a pot shot?"
His father gave an innocent look. "Now, why ever would I try to do that?"
Ben rolled his eyes this time. "Cute." He muttered, folding his arms—but smiling nonetheless. "So, she's a widow eh?" He kept smiling. "So that was the angle. That must've taken you by surprise."
Luke sighed. "Son, please give me some credit. I'm old not stupid." He waved his hand, gesturing for Ben to follow him out of the apartment. "I figured it out the moment she told me what the 'angle' was."
"Still, got to hand it to Aunt Leia; that was pretty good. She's pretty crafty."
Father and son entered the turbolift and Luke pressed the button to take them to street level.
"Pretty crafty? You're just figuring that out?" He asked dryly. "Have you not been around your aunt for the last 22 years?"
Ben ignored his father's sarcastic tone.
They got were almost to the bottom, when Ben said, "I guess she figured you'd have something in common since you were both widowed."
"That's my line of thought, yes."
"It must've worked though, right?" He commented as the door's opened.
Luke conceded, smiling, "It did."
"See. Crafty." He touched his father's arm to stop him. "Dad, I really meant it," Ben said, stopping in the middle of the lobby. "I really am sorry for my behavior. I do want to see you happy. I know you've been alone without Mom for a long time. It was wrong of be to begrudge you…companionship." It was obviously difficult for him to say this. "So, if you're happy with this woman, I'm happy for you."
Luke's face softened considerably and he ran a hand through Ben's hair.
"Thank you, Son." He looked around. "Let's go home, shall we? We're only a short walk from the Temple."
"Yeah, I'm exhausted. After all, I've got to get my beauty rest; don't want to look like some monster that crawled out of the Dagobah swamps." He said cheekily.
Luke banged on his son's bedroom door. "Ben, I know you're in there! What's taking so long?"
"I'll be out in a minute." He repeated.
It had been the tenth time Luke had heard the statement this morning. The boy had uttered it every time Luke had gone to check on his progress. It was like dealing with a female!
Luke gave up and retreated to the kitchen since it looked like he would have time for caf. He set the caf maker to percolate and waited for his son's 'minute' to be over. The caf machine signaled it's readiness and Luke started to pour himself of a cup just as Ben barged into the kitchen.
"So, what do you think?" Ben announced, pivoting in place to display his ensemble. "Pretty good right? I'd say I out did myself; very GGQ."
GGQ stood for Gentleman's Galactic Quarterly; a young man's style magazine that Ben had subscribed to for awhile.
The young man was wearing a off-cream dress tunic (pressed), grey trousers (also pressed) with his boots polished to a fine shine. His hair contained a decent amount of product in it. Needless to say, his son knew how to dress to impress-thanks no doubt to Ben's mother and his aunt.
He apparently noticed the caf in his father's hand. "What're you doing making caf? We need to go." He asked, frowning.
Says the young man that took half an hour to get ready. Luke thought humorously.
"You're out," He said instead. "I was beginning to think you got lost in your closet or something."
"Hah, hah," Ben rolled his eyes. "Very funny."
Luke's eyes twinkled. "I thought so."
"Perfect, now if you're done being a comedian we should go."
"Yes, we should." He examined his son once more. "You're dressed rather nicely."
Well, I figured I'd put my best foot forward meeting this lady friend of yours. Don't want her thinking I'm a total disaster."
Luke nodded. "Very sound judgment."
"Thanks." He looked around. "So are you ready?"
Ben looked over his father in turn. "So you're comfortable with what you're wearing?"
Luke looked himself over; he was wearing brown pants and a black tunic. His boots were also shiny.
"Ben, this isn't Melinda and my first time going out. What I'm wearing is fine."
He nodded. "So her name's Melinda?" He asked, exiting their chambers in the Council tower.
"Tell her that when you meet her."
Ben pursed his lips as if considering this. "Thanks, I think I will"
"Melinda!" Luke greeted, approaching.
"Luke." She called back, getting up from her outdoor table.
"You did tell her about me right."
"Of course." Luke scoffed.
His father approached the woman and took her hands into his upon coming closer. He held them gently and leaned in to kiss her cheek. The woman smiled prettily, noticing Ben.
"It's good to see you." Luke said warmly.
"We just saw eachother two days ago." Melinda reminded him.
"Maybe so, but still good nonetheless."
Ben shifted, waiting for his introduction.
"This must be your son." The woman said.
"Yes," Luke put a hand to Ben's shoulder, shoving his son forward. "Melinda, I'd like to meet you to meet my son, Ben
Skywalker. Ben, this is my friend, Melinda Rotham."
Melinda appraised him. "I can see where he gets his looks." She complimented Ben indirectly.
Ben tried his best not to squirm at this compliment.
"As much as I'd like to take credit for that, Melinda, Ben takes after his mother more than I."
"Is that so? Well, my mistake." She smiled. "The facial features, yes?"
"Yes, but that's just one of many features."
Ben suppressed the urge to roll his eyes as his father had discouraged it. Melinda obviously caught this.
Ben explained, "My father is referring to the fact, that while I have my mother's facial features, I also have my mother's mouth, Mrs. Rotham."
Ben and Melinda stood examining each other for awhile.
Luke cleared his throat. "Shall we sit down?"
"Yes, let's." Melinda said. "I'm sure you're hungry."
"Starved." Ben announced.
"Understatement of the millennium…." He heard his father mutter.
Hopefully it will go well. Ben seems to be warming up to his dad dating.
Loved the father-son banter. Great update.
Enjoyed muchly the blend of warmth and teasing between father and son. You did Luke seeing Melinda again and Ben meeting her excellently. The tone is just right. There's a sizing up LOL with genuine interest and friendliness and openness with no sense of guarding or reserve.
Thanks all for reading this, I'm happy this is being well-received:
I do love writing Luke and Ben so the dialogue always seems to come easy to me when I write them. I think I have the profics to draw upon during the FOTJ series: I have them to thank.
I continue the pacing also at a rate that seems reasonable for me because to me..Luke truly liked Melinda; she's a wonderful person to be around and hasn't had that sort of companionship since Mara died.
Also, it just occurred to me that I'm about to catch up with FF.N and I haven't been writing much. I need to do that.
.Chapter 8."So, Ben, from what little your father has told me, word is you're an accomplished Jedi Knight."
Ben cut his meat, stopping to look at Melinda. "Accomplished? Well, depends on what your definition of that is." He cut through it and speared a piece with his fork. "I haven't quite reach my Dad's status yet." He gave an easy smile; he no longer let his father's notoriety affect him. "But I'm not bad either…"
"And that's perfectly fine." Luke amended. "He's accomplished much for his age. I'm very proud of him."
Ben felt a warm feeling pass over him at his father's open praise.
"Yes, I can see that." Melinda said. "Ben, is everything all right?"
"Huh?" He stopped chewing. "Yeah, it's fine. Why-"
"Sorry," He finished chewing and swallowed. "Everything's fine, Mrs. Rotham."
"You seem…hesitant is all. I gather I was a bit of a shock?"
"A bit." He admitted. "But its fine," He looked to his dad. "Seeing Dad happy is what's important to me, and you've obviously had a lot to do with that."
The woman seemed to blush much to Ben's surprise.
"Well, I do believe you've done it." Melinda murmured.
"I do have that effect on people. I prefer directness to discreteness." He shrugged. "Sorry."
"No, it's all right. I just didn't expect it."
"He often does that." Luke lifted his glass of juice. "Leaves people speechless; it's not something I can stop unfortunately.
Melinda grinned. "Well, he's an adult so I suppose there's nothing you can do."
"Aside from bricking him away in his room when he frustrates me."
"Would that work?"
"His mother and I contemplated it when he was fourteen."
Ben cleared his throat. "I'm still here." He ground out, trying to sound peeved. "And what do you mean you and mom considered bricking me in to my room?"
Luke gave his son a mock startled/innocent look. "I never told you?"
"No you did not."
Just then a peal of laughter broke through their banter.
Ben turned to witness the older woman laughing happily, her brown eyes filled with amusement.
"Oh, great, Dad." Ben groused. "Now, she's laughing at me."
"Oh, no. I'm not." Melinda picked up her napkin in attempt to dab her eyes.
Luke just grinned and lifted a fork of something Ben recognized; ribenes—his father's favorite dish which his mother would often make for him. An odd pang emitted inside Ben, but he quickly shook it off.
"So, Mrs. Rotham." Ben started to say.
"Melinda," She corrected. "Mrs. Rotham was my mother."
He slid a look to his father. "I'm not sure I can do that in good conscience. Dad's a stickler for showing deference to older people."
"As you should."
"As verse to elderly, eh, Luke."
"See, didn't I tell you he was smart." Luke rejoined.
"Look as much as I'm flattered by all this praise. Can we not talk about me as if I'm not here?"
"Did you hear something, Melinda?" His father said jokingly, but at the look on Ben's face, he relented. "Oh, all right. Now, I believe you were going to ask Melinda a question."
Ben muttered,"You're horrible do you know that?"
"It's my job."
Ben couldn't help but to sigh heavily this time. "Now," He plucked a roll from the basket in the middle of the table and started to butter it. "Mrs. Rotham.."
Melinda cut him off: "Tell you what, if you're instant on referring to me properly, how about Ms. Melinda."
Ben scratched his head. "I guess that'd be okay."
"Right. Now, Ms. Melinda, Dad says you have children."
"Yes," She affirmed. "They're all grown; two sons and one daughter." She raised a glass of tea and sipped it. "My eldest son Rurich is a botanist, my daughter, Ria is mechanical engineer, and my youngest, Davey is a professor."
"Are any of them married?"
"No, it's all right. It's a perfectly normal question. "
"Davey is engaged, Ria isn't married, and neither is Rurich. Well, he was married, but things happen." A sudden twinkle entered her eye. "So, Ben, is there any special young woman in your life?"
Ben almost choked on his food. Not even his father was ever so direct. It wasn't like his Dad didn't know about Myra, but further questioning would reveal other things.
"Are you all right?" She asked concerned.
"Yeah, I'm okay." He wiped his face, remaining silent.
As if sensing his reluctance to discuss the subject, Melinda gratefully dropped it—which was fine for Ben, because he had yet to tell his father about his engagement to Myra Zol. His father however hadn't gotten the hint. Or he had and was baiting Ben.
"Ben, aren't you seeing that Zol girl?"
"She's not a girl." Ben corrected. "She's twenty-four."
"Son, I'm sixty-nine years old. All young women are girls to me."
"He's got you there." Melinda interjected.
Ben scowled unhappily.
"Is something wrong?" Luke asked.
He sent his father a pleading look as if to say 'I'll tell you later'. Luke looked at Ben curiously but gave a silent nod. Melinda once again dropped the subject, but not before saying:
"Well, I hope you two find happiness."
"Thank you, we're trying."
They spent the rest of the meal in silence, well he did. His father and Melinda made small talk during bites of food and Ben casually watched the exchanged. He noticed the subtle looks they would give each other; the way they would talk, Melinda even clasped his father's hand at one time. It was…a bit unnerving. He couldn't help but think how his father and Melinda looked more than friends at this moment. He wondered if it was just a figment of his active mind. As the saying went, your eyes could deceive you. He shrugged this off as a possibility.
Toward the end of the luncheon, Ben had joined in on the cheerful conversation once more, taking his father's jibes in stride and returning them just as readily.
"So, he finally decided to finally do something different with his hair after all these years." Ben pointed out, waving his fork around.
"He's exaggerating." Luke dismissed. "There was never anything wrong with my hair."
Ben ignored this. "And by do something, I mean he's been combing it backwards and putting some gel in it. I guess he thinks it makes him look older."
Ben was laughing at this point; obviously pleased with his smart alack remarks.
His father wasn't as amused.
"See what I have to put up with." He said exasperatedly then reached over and tweaked Ben's ear, twisting it slightly. "Impertinent child."
Ben gave a fake yelp. "See what I have to put up with." He parroted, eyeing Melinda. `
Melinda watched the exchange, fascinated by it; the bond between Ben and his father was very strong. She wasn't Force-sensitive, but even she could sense the love they had for each other. Ben was obviously protective of his father and Luke obviously held great pride in his son.
She felt blessed to witness it.