Leia watched with horrified disbelief as Luke and Chewbacca were dragged from the room, wondering how their rescue attempt could have gone so badly? Luke was unconscious as they slapped binders on him and Leia just couldn’t fathom what could have gone wrong. He must have been poisoned somehow. Perhaps when they were bringing him up after his battle with the Rancor? Suddenly his throat had seemed to close over. Unable to breathe, his face had gone red then purple and Leia had been terrified that he would die. Then one of the stupid Gamorreans had hit him over the head and knocked him out. But for some reason, as soon as he was unconscious, Luke was able to gasp a lung-full of air and now appeared to be breathing normally.
The minute Luke had started struggling, Chewbacca had attempted to help him, but was overwhelmed with Gamorreans holding him down. He too was bound and dragged away, leaving her alone with the Hutt. A different sort of fear gripped Leia then. Fear for the safety of her body and the life she carried inside it.
The slave collar was roughly replaced around her neck by one of the Gamorreans and her face was shoved up against Jabba’s slobber ridden mouth. Revulsion replaced her fear briefly, then Jabba ran his putrid tongue over her face and she literally retched.
He was talking to her but she didn’t understand a word he said. Then suddenly her clothes were being pulled off. Leia screamed, bit, kicked, fought with every millimetre of her being, but they were just too strong for her. Within minutes they had stripped her naked and Jabba held onto the chain attached to the collar around her neck the whole time.
Trembling with shame and outrage, and expecting to be raped, Leia told the Hutt defiantly, "You’re going to regret this." She hoped desperately that she sounded more confident than she felt.
The Hutt seemed amused by her and said something more. Then the Twi’Lek grabbed her by her upper arm and pulled her off the dais and into the middle of the floor. He left her standing there; surrounded by Jabba’s court, wearing nothing but a slave collar and the chain which connected it to Jabba’s dais. Her hair had come loose, for which she was grateful. It fell in a thick wave to her bottom and covered her breasts at least.
But Jabba was obviously unhappy with it, because he muttered something and the Twi’Lek moved around behind her and roughly lifted the hair away from her body.
Leia stood proud, hate-filled eyes seeing nothing but the Hutt; watching as he appraised her. Then she realised that breeches were coming unhitched all around the room and quailed mentally. I can’t do this. Her eyes slid to the figure of Solo, hanging frozen on the wall nearby, and all the admonishments he had given her on their four week journey to Bespin seemed to replay in her head at once. All his reasons for refusing to take her anywhere near Jabba.
But Jabba was obviously in no mood to share her today. He growled intolerantly at the would-be rapists and they retreated. Leia glared at the Twi’Lek and jerked her hair out of his hand, covering herself as much as she could, while Jabba barked something and several court members rushed away.
A large, six-breasted woman returned a moment later with her arms laden, and proceeded to dress her. First came the gold ‘loincloth’, a metal horror that also carried a skirt of sorts back and front, then a matching metal breast covering. There were even small boots to go with it, which Leia thought was kind of incongruous. But they saved her from walking around barefoot, so she was content to wear them. Then her hair was being done none too gently, and a headpiece was worked into the arrangement.
Jabba rumbled what she guessed to be an expression of satisfaction when they’d finished, and pulled her up onto the dais with him. She tried to endure his attentions by shutting her mind to it; tried to focus her mind on Han, but when the Hutt’s hand found its way in through the side of the metal plate covering her right breast, Leia baulked. Repulsed, and without thinking, she leapt off the dais.
Jabba was livid. He yelled and bellowed at her, then flung the chain at her in fury. It collected the side of her face and left her lip bleeding. Then, faster than Leia could have believed possible, Jabba swung his tail around and knocked her off her feet. He was bellowing again and this time it was followed by laughter from the crowd. Leia looked up, fearful that he had just pronounced her execution, and remained crouched on the sandy floor, not knowing what she should do.
Jabba barked several commands at her and his Twi’Lek second hove into view.
"Nukdo," he purred maliciously. "Nukdo ne wanna Jabba nah."
The musicians started up at Jabba’s bidding and he rattled Leia’s chain.
"Dance!" the large woman hissed at her, hurriedly translating. "Dance for your master!"
Leia chewed her lip and stood up. Jabba wanted to test out his new slave girl and dancing was obviously a major part of her ‘duties’. Sighing, she got to her feet and reminded herself that she’d been in worse situations. Interrogation on the Death Star had been worse. There was no way out of this; she would have to dance. It was years since she had done any formal dancing, yet she had been trained. But that sort of dancing in no way matched the type of music she was being presented with.
Jabba rumbled and shook her chain; he was getting impatient. Leia took a deep breath and started swaying, moving her arms and legs in what she hoped were elegant patterns, and was violently interrupted by the larger woman who was acutely aware of their master’s perturbed dissatisfaction.
"You dance like you’ve got a stick up your arse!" the woman hissed at her. "Jabba wants an exotic dancer, not some prima ballerina! Dance like a whore or he’ll feed you to the sandworms!"
Leia tried to think, forced herself to block out other influences, frantically searching for some experience she could use. Then she had it. There had been an ancient race on Alderaan whose dances she had studied several years ago. Without waiting another moment or letting herself think too hard about it, she launched into a fertility dance. It was the only one she could think of that might be considered erotic enough. Throwing her whole body into the movements, and keeping time with the music, Leia writhed.
Jabba seemed mesmerised.
The pace increased, but slowly, deliciously. She had the musicians following her lead now, and intended to drag it out as long as possible. Leia fluttered her hands over the parts of her body she wanted her audience to focus on, thereby doubling the effect each movement had. She had to admit that there was a cathartic element to losing herself in the dance, and the concentration involved allowed her to block out where she was and whom she was dancing for.
Across the room, Lando Calrissian was in shock. Seeing Chewbacca brought in by a bounty hunter had been bad enough. To have that bounty hunter revealed as Princess Leia and find out that Skywalker was there as he and Chewbacca were dropped into the Rancor’s pit had seriously tested Calrissian’s resolve to remain anonymous.
He couldn’t begin to imagine how Skywalker and the princess had escaped from Vader. Nor did he miss the fact that Skywalker had a new hand. But he was undecided whether or not he should tell Solo about his girlfriend’s dancing prowess. One thing was certain; Leia had just made sure she would not be killed any time soon.
It hit him when Solo’s old nemesis, Jaden Farrouq swaggered into her path. The princess had obviously recognised the smuggler and reacted instinctively for half a second, putting a protective hand over her belly. She had removed it immediately, made it look like the movement was part of her dance and switched her reaction from shock to feigned indifference. But, watching her, Calrissian strongly suspected that she was pregnant.
He groaned mentally. The stakes had just gone up 500 fold. Not only was the princess at risk here, but her unborn child as well. Han’s child.
A wave of anger flared through him. Anger that Solo could be so careless. Anger that she could be so careless. He had to assume it wasn’t planned and came to the grim conclusion that one of them had let their contraception lapse. Solo may well have been her first, but Calrissian knew the princess was not stupid. Certainly not stupid enough to have unprotected sex no matter how besotted she was.
Farrouq was talking to Jabba now, and Calrissian couldn’t help wondering what he was telling the Hutt.
In fact, the Hutt was quite irritated by Farrouq distracting him from the delight of watching his new slave girl. Until he mentioned the fact that she was supposedly Solo’s wife. That explained why she had come for him, and why the Wookiee was working with her. The Jedi was still a mystery, but then Jedi had always been renowned for interfering in things that were none of their business.
He felt a resurgence of the anger he’d felt when the Jedi had killed his pet Rancor and was mulling over suitable torments and punishments when the music came to a close. Pulling his new slave girl back to him, Jabba relished the feel of her warm skin against his cool, wet belly. He ran his tongue over her, enjoying the taste of her sweat, and this time she remained where she was.
So she was not entirely stupid, it seemed. She could learn.
Nevertheless, he caught her glancing at the carbonite statue in the nearby alcove and considered unfreezing Solo. Watching her mate die could well break the determined spirit in his new slave girl, and it would certainly distract him from the disappointment of losing his pet Rancor. Watching her torment would doubtless be amusing too.
Jabba felt her stiffen as he commenced fondling one of her breasts. Stiffen but not pull away. And felt smugly pleased and confident in his power over her.
Watching the Hutt fondle the princess had to be one of the hardest things Calrissian could remember doing. Solo might forgive him for Bespin, but Lando knew for certain that Han would never forgive him for this.
Abruptly he decided they would have to leave tonight. Somehow he would get Chewie and Skywalker out of whichever dungeon Jabba had put them in, but he seriously believed that he would have to kill Jabba to get Solo and the princess away. Trying to formulate a plan, Calrissian idly ran his hand across his belt, checking that the thermal detonator he had secreted into one of the pouches was still there. Jabba was very select about the sort of armament his guards were allowed to carry, and thermal detonators were not on the list. Calrissian had been shocked to see Princess Leia under the bounty hunter’s helmet, but had been quick enough to make sure it was he who relieved her of the thermal detonator when she was being disarmed.
And while the throne room was protected by a non-destructive electromagnetic pulse that would deactivate anything with an electrical current, unless the security EMP was activated, a thermal detonator could make a wonderful mess.