He leaned back in his seat and pressed two fingers against his lips, his keen blue eyes studying her as he recalled the past week. He didn’t feel that he had been intentionally avoiding her, but thinking about it now, he could see how his demeanor might be misconstrued that way.
But then, was he wrong? Especially in the time immediately following their encounter, he’d felt some jealousy toward the man she loved. He still felt it in the back of his mind. But he had also resigned himself to the fact that she was not his, and that was where the line was drawn. There was no sense in agonizing over the fact, because he would never be able to change it. And though the jealousy was there, he certainly didn’t want her for himself in any realistic sort of way. It would be risking far too much.
“You know that Sith have infiltrated the Temple,” he said slowly. He paused, his brow creasing. “I don’t mean to avoid you, Ellyn. I’ve simply had a lot on my mind. And…” He paused again and sighed, his hands dropping into his lap. “Perhaps a small part of me has some sorting out to do. Feelings are strange things, sometimes dangerous. And I cannot afford to foster any for you. I wanted to ensure that didn’t happen, but I never meant to push you away.”
“I know the Sith are using children. And I’m busy trying to devise something to keep them safe. The only problem is, I’d have to meet a Sith in order to calibrate anything I’m creating. And, really, from what everyone says, I’d rather not do that. Especially if all I have is my magic and metal blades.” Ellyn sighed softly. This is what she needed to know and what she had felt all along. He was at war with himself.
Getting up, she moved and knelt down before him. Slowly, she reached up and stroked his cheek. “You are destined for greatness, Obi. It’s written in the stars and in your aura. I understand what you say of feelings, but, can we not still care for each other and remain friends?”
Her eyes searched his before she stood up, crossing her arms over her chest. Turning back, those deep chocolate orbs bore into his own. “There will always be a place in my heart for you, Obi. It may not be where you want it to be, but, the Order and every other Jedi out there needs you. You have your committment to them, I have mine to my realm. I would never ask you to leave your vows here and I cannot resign my throne there. Too many people are counting on the both of us.”
She sighed softly, smiling, “My heart has chosen Arzhur, because he too, is a leader like me. He understands my plight, accepts all of my flaws and doesn’t judge me for anything. He loves me and I love him because he is everything I’ve ever wanted. I do not regret our moment together, I’m glad we had it, but, I’d still like to remain as your friend. If you’ll have me, Obi.”
He frowned and leaned forward in his seat. “I would prefer if you didn’t interfere, Ellyn. This conflict is between the Sith and the Jedi. I don’t doubt your abilities, but no one knows the Sith better than the Order. This is our fight.” He sighed and rubbed a hand over the stubble on his face. Every time he got thinking about the Sith threat he felt incredibly old and tired.
He listened to her speak with a quiet composure. There were some points she made that he agreed with and some he didn’t, but he waited until she had spoken her peace before he worked up a response.
“I’m aware that there can be nothing between us. That was agreed upon from the beginning. And perhaps I have felt some small pang of jealousy. But that will fade. I am very well practiced in the art of suppressing unwanted affection,” he paused and gave her a small, bitter smile. He had spent his entire life ignoring his feelings for others, and she was far from the first. They would diminish and fade to nothing with a little time. “You are still my friend, and that much never changed. Whatever I have done to make you feel otherwise, I hope that I can fix it in days to come.”