The minute Spock left, she used the computer to research and download information regarding Vulcan mating practices. She was going to read the rest of it tonight with a cup of tea, as it was interesting reading. K’avir was going to go through something called Pon Farr, and the information on it was vague, but Sheila wasn’t stupid. He was going to experience some chemical imbalance that took away his rational mind and honed his need to mate with a willing female. In other words, he had to fuck or die, and he was planning on doing it with her. It appeared to be a violent practice, but she wasn’t about to let him die. And she’d already proven she could handle rough sex with him. The little bit of information she did find did not provide specifics on how rough the sex was, but the captain had said that because K’avir chose to be celibate rather than indulge in women was going to make this particular bout of…illogic…intense.
There was a lot to think about. Sheila admitted that the little she knew about Vulcan culture was what she picked up in sickbay, and from paying attention to the captain. She acknowledged that she didn’t know what she needed to know before sleeping with K’avir, but it was too late now. They were involved, and for him, it was serious. It was for her as well. Sheila was nuts about her big Vulcan. She now understood why he liked leaving hickeys on her neck and shoulders; primitive as it was, it was K’avir’s way of romancing her, of marking his territory, of letting others know that Sheila was his woman. She found the very idea of that stimulating on a primal level. Maybe she wasn’t the calm, cool professional she thought she was.
Spock’s words were powerful. Coupled with the memories of K’avir’s training and the first night they had sex, everything started making sense. He told her that a Vulcan always knew what he was doing. He singled her out for private lessons and chose to hone her skills with actual combat instead of simulated fights. He chose her before she chose him. He had been preparing her for his eventual pon farr even when she didn’t realize it. He had even said he wanted her just the way she was. And every time they were intimate, she felt the same thing: he wanted her. He wanted her. He wanted her. Spock had said that for Vulcans, to want was absolute. Not temporary, not fleeting, not whimsy. He wouldn’t associate with her, sexually or otherwise, if he didn’t want to be with her.
She closed her eyes. K’avir had been speaking to her from day one and she hadn’t been able to interpret it until now. He was not a gregarious man, but he communicated in the ways he knew how: fighting and fucking. She just didn’t understand his language. But she understood it now. And Spock told her that he would have to learn to understand hers. But she could teach him how. She could show him exactly what she wanted from him and she had no doubts that he would do it.
Sheila got hot and smiled at the memories of last night. He had called her his beloved.
She looked up. “Julian?”
“Sorry I’m late. Had a small problem in Engineering.”
“It’s fine. All is well, right?”
Julian sat down with his tray. “How are you doing?”
“I’m all right,” she said. “Listen, I need to tell you something.”
“I understand that you had a small confrontation this morning.”
Julian looked at her. “Yeah, the big dude…the security chief…told me to keep out of sickbay. I don’t know why, but I have no intention of doing anything he says. I don’t even know who he is.”
“You should. He’s my boyfriend.”
“What? I thought that you were single!”
“So did I,” she said. “But I have learned that I am not. I didn’t understand, but I do now. And I’m sorry to have led you on. But I never promised you anything, Julian. And you might want to listen to K’avir because he will kill you if you don’t heed his warning.”
“He loves me,” she said. It was very simple now. “I didn’t know it before, but I know it now. K’avir loves me and I love him and I’m sorry. You’d better stay away from me, which means I need to be leaving now.”
Sheila stood up, smiling. She had been clueless but she wasn’t anymore. “Goodbye, Julian. It was a pleasure to know you. And if you really want to get involved with someone, there are a bevy of beautiful, smart women on this starship other than me. I’m taken.” She turned and left, wondering where he was. She wanted to see him, to kiss him and hold him and tell him that she understood.
She turned. Julian was behind her.
“Julian, you need to let it go. I don’t want K’avir to kill you and he will kill you if he sees you with me. I heard that he warned you to leave me alone and he issues one warning before he acts. It’s not worth it. Back off. For your own sake.”
“Sheila, seriously? You can’t expect me to walk away that easily! We’ve been talking for weeks!”
“Sure I do,” she said. She was cheerful. “We’ve had great conversations and I do admit that you’re a good-looking guy. I’m sorry I wasn’t truthful with you, but I was ignorant of certain customs. My boyfriend is Vulcan and he doesn’t talk to me like you do and so I was confused. But I’ve learned his language and he’s all I really want, you understand? So you have no choice but to walk away, if you want to live.”
“He can’t be all that bad.”
“If you keep following me, you’ll find out.”
Sheila kept walking. He knew that her arm was injured, so it wasn’t likely that he would be waiting for her in the gym. But no matter where he was, she would find him. However, she had to change clothes first.
Sheila kept walking. It was best to ignore Julian; hopefully he would take the hint. But once she got to her quarters, she realized that he was still behind her. He grabbed her injured arm and she winced.
“Ow! Julian, let me go!” Her arm had not fully healed; the tissue regenerator did not go as deep as she thought; perhaps due to her lack of focus last night.
“Sheila, this isn’t over! You’re not going to make a fool of me!”
“Let go of me!” She snatched her arm away and cradled it. “What are you doing, grabbing my arm like that?”
“I won’t let you make a fool of me, Sheila. You’ve been playing me this whole time and now all of a sudden you’re dating the security chief?”
“I told you that I was sorry, but I also never promised you anything other than conversation. Now deal with it. We have nothing. Nothing. Leave me alone.”
Julian reached for her arm again and she pulled away and backed up, colliding into a wall. She turned. It was K’avir.
Sheila gasped. When had he shown up? Did he see Julian chasing her? It didn’t matter; she knew from the look on his face that he was about to kill Julian. “K’avir! K’avir, don’t...”
K’avir didn’t speak. He took a step and got between Sheila and Julian. Julian looked at him as if K’avir’s imposing stature was nothing to fear. “So now what? We fight? We duel? Your girlfriend is a fucking bitch! She led me on!”
K’avir didn’t say anything, but Sheila could see his muscles ripple under his uniform. She tried to reach for him, but when she tried to, her arm ached. “K’avir, it’s all right. I’m fine. I’m okay. Don’t kill him! Please!”
Her arm throbbed. Julian yanked it hard enough that she thought he might have pulled the skin apart. Sheila held her bicep and felt fear rising in her throat. K’avir was going to kill Julian and he was too stupid to realize it.
K’avir took a step towards Julian. Julian didn’t back down.
“Julian, you need to get away from here!”
“I’m not scared of this guy. He may have everyone else here punked, but I’m not scared.”
“You’re a damned fool! Don’t you understand? He’s going to kill you!”
“And you’re a lying bitch, so—”
K’avir flattened him with a punch to the face. Julian’s nose broke, his lip split, and three of his front teeth went flying. The blow sent him stumbling and he landed on his ass. K’avir went towards him, fists clenching and unclenching. Sheila grabbed his arm, not caring about her own. Blood soaked her uniform sleeve.
“K’avir, baby, please don’t do it. Don’t kill him! I’m all right, let’s just go!”
He turned to look at her. The look in his eyes was wild and dangerous and it frightened her a little but also aroused her. She let him go, confused. Julian got to his feet and put his hands to his face. Blood ran out of his nose and mouth and covered the front of his uniform. Sheila turned her attention to him.
“Julian, get the fuck out of here before he kills you! HE WILL KILL YOU! Don’t be stupid! Don’t you get it?? He’s going to kill you!”
Julian didn’t have a chance to take two steps before K’avir’s hand was around his throat. He lifted the bleeding man six inches off the ground, staring into his eyes.
“K’avir, please!” Sheila went over to stand beside him. She put her hand on his arm. It was like iron. “Baby, please…please don’t…”
Julian realized that he had committed a major mistake and tried to speak. “Muh…smorry… ”
Sheila looked at him and then back at K’avir. “K’avir, please!”
Julian was trying to break his grip and struggling to breathe. He kicked and brought his fists down on K’avir’s arm, but the Vulcan was an immovable object. K’avir stared at him, impassive, but raging inside. Julian had dared— dared—to put his hands on Sheila; he had the testicular fortitude to actually grab her and re-injure her arm. He insulted her and called her offensive names. The line hadn’t just been crossed; it had been leapt over. Julian’s behavior was unacceptable. He was going to kill him.
“You were warned,” he said, his voice low and cold. “I told you to stay away.” He continued to squeeze, so angry that he didn’t feel Sheila’s hands on his arm.
Julian’s face was darkening and he had stopped struggling. Sheila kept begging. “K’avir, please! Please stop! Please stop! For me, baby, for me, please don’t kill him! I’m fine, I’m all right!”
“He touched you,” was his response. “He insulted you.”
“It was my fault, K’avir. He thought I was single!”
“It does not matter. He was warned. He will never harm you again, Sheila.”
Sheila put her hands to K’avir’s face and turned it towards her. “Don’t do this. Please don’t do this. I love you. I don’t want you to face disciplinary measures over him. He’s not worth it.”
“The captain understands, Sheila.”
“He also told you to avoid it if possible. I’m begging you to stop, K’avir. I understand now. I understand you. Please let him go!” She stared into his honey eyes, imploring him to stop.
K’avir didn’t take his eyes off Sheila. She stared back at him, taking in the whole of him, breathing in his unique scent. There was a moment of heat between them, a spark of something deep, primal and raw; some ancient force that drew them together and she found herself quite aroused. K’avir stared back at her, allowing his gaze to slide down her body and back up again to her eyes and he took a deep breath. He relaxed his grip and lowered Julian to the ground. Julian fell down, coughing and sputtering, rubbing his throat. Sheila spared him a brief glance and tapped her communicator.
“Shawn, emergency medical team to my quarters, stat!” she said.
Julian was curled in the fetal position, moaning and covering his face. Sheila wanted to help him, but knew she could not go near him, lest K’avir finish what he started. In moments, she heard members of the paramedic squad in the halls. When the team leader arrived, she told them what kind of injuries Julian had and ordered the squad to beam him to sickbay. She felt the need to inform him: “Shawn will take care of you and don’t you ever come near me again.”
Then she turned her attention back to K’avir, who was staring at her, breathing slowly and deeply. That wild, dark look was still in his eyes. Sheila couldn’t believe how turned on she was. She met his gaze and swallowed, holding her arm. Julian had indeed pulled her wound open; she could feel the blood trickling out.
K’avir stared at her, lowering his dangerous gaze to her arm. He sniffed.
“Come on,” she said. She grabbed his hand and led him to her quarters. Once inside, she informed Shawn to expect a patient with throat injuries and a broken nose. Shawn confirmed.
K’avir stood at the door, staring at her. Sheila winced as she held her arm. Slowly, she began to remove her coverall, being careful not to make the bleeding worse. Then he was before her, helping her to remove her clothing. She was still very sore and she took her time. Sheila turned to look in her mirror as K’avir pushed her coverall over her hips and down her legs. Slowly, she stepped out of it and kicked it to one side.
Then he was behind her. Sheila stared into the mirror, at their reflection. He was still breathing deeply, standing directly behind her. She could feel his body heat. He was calming down. Sheila’s body was covered with large bruises from combat last night. She took a painkiller right after she got dressed, but it was starting to wear off. She sighed. She was the girlfriend of a Vulcan warrior. It was logical that he sought her protection above all else, even if he had to murder another man to ensure it. She knew it was an expression of love and she could live with that.
Her arm was bleeding again. She would have to get Shawn to repair her injury. Sheila removed the bandage carefully and examined it. It wasn’t too bad, but it was going to start throbbing if she didn’t take another painkiller soon. To her surprise, K’avir carefully took her arm and raised it to shoulder level. He began to kiss her wound tenderly and moved her so that she was between him and her mirror, caught in his one-armed embrace. Sheila moaned. The room was getting warm and she was standing in front of the mirror in her dark red lingerie and black boots with her knife still in its sheath.
He was licking the trickle of blood that oozed from her wound. And to her surprise—not complete—she found herself getting aroused. It seemed only natural that he would do this; after all, he was turned on by the sight of her body after they fought. Aroused by her bumps, bruises and cuts. He was a fighter and he preferred a woman who would fight back and his reward was the evidence of their combat. That she was proud to walk around the ship bearing said evidence, with everyone knowing who gave them to her, pleased him. She was really beginning to understand the dark beauty behind her, as well as herself. She was learning what she wanted, what she craved and what made her come alive. She had been dead for all those years before and with Lenny, but her Vulcan lover brought her back to life.
K’avir moved her hair to one side and his kisses went to her neck and shoulders. His arms came around her to pull her to him. “T’nash-veh vak-sur. T’nash-veh vaksurik k’diwa.”
Sheila leaned into him, surrendering herself. She was way too sore to make love to him, but it didn’t matter. They didn’t have to. She could tell him that there were other ways to show her that he desired her.
“K’avir,” she murmured. “K’avir.”
“Sheila,” he breathed, turning his head to look at her reflection.
“I understand now. I know what you want.”
“All I want, k’diwa, is you.”
“I have to learn your language of expression, but I will do it because I wish to please you. I will not have you dissatisfied with me.”
“You don’t have that to worry about, baby.”
“I would have you right now,” he murmured, “but I know that you are not up to it. I wish to remind you of my desire.”
“We don’t have to have sex for you to show me, K’avir. And I understand that it is not something that you would say. I just would like to have open, tangible reminders that you care for me. I want to be seen with you, to hold your hand, to take meals together, or anything like that and I want you to be comfortable with it. I understand that you are expressing your love in the way you know how, but I need a little more than that.”
“I do not know how.”
“I will show you if you trust me. It will require you loosening your strict hold on your Vulcan disciplines, but surely you knew that when you chose me as your mate.”
“I am willing.”
“And I will learn how to speak your language so that our communications are always clear from now on. You must teach me that.”
She smiled and rubbed his hair. “Would you get me a painkiller hypo out of the drawer over there? I’m going to be hurting in a little while.”
K’avir grabbed the hypo and handed it to her. Sheila injected herself and turned to face him. She cupped his cheeks and kissed his lips. His breathing increased and he grabbed her ass. “I do not wish for another to have you, Sheila. I do not want you with anyone but me.”
“I don’t want anybody else, K’avir. I didn’t really want Julian, but he paid attention to me in a way that you didn’t, or couldn’t. He took meals with me and talked to me. I recognize that he was trying to initiate a relationship with me, but I told him that I didn’t want that. I’m sorry I put you in that position.”
“It does not matter,” he said. “I will protect you and defend you with my life.”
“I won’t have a life if you’re not here, K’avir. I’m crazy about you.”
He caressed her bruised back, staring at it in the mirror. “You must lie down,” he said. “You are sore and I can feel your tension. I will attend you.”
She started to walk to the bed, but he picked her up and carried her. She let him, staring into his amber eyes, which were filled with so much tenderness that it made her breath catch. He laid her on the bed and sat beside her and began to remove her boots. Sheila let him, realizing that he was making an attempt to show her his feelings outside of sex. Normally, he tore off her clothes.
“I want you to be content with me. I do not want you displeased. I will do my best to give you what you ask for, Sheila, but I am Vulcan and we do not let our emotions come to the surface.”
“But you almost killed Julian.”
“He hurt you. He put his hands on you. I will not have another man claim my woman. You are my chosen mate. Vulcans do not share and violence does occur when such circumstances arise.”
“I understand that you will undergo a period of illogical behavior soon and that I must be bonded to you before it takes place.”
“We do not discuss it, but you are correct.”
“Will you talk to me about it before it happens?”
“I will make every attempt because you must be informed. It is not pleasant. I could hurt you, hence the reason for your advanced training. You may find it necessary to fight me off.” He removed her stockings, one at a time and began to massage her legs.
Sheila gaped at him. “Fight you off?”
“It can be violent. Combat helps to alleviate some of the tension, but I will be insane and driven by a singular act: to mate with you. I am not a small man and you will require periods of nourishment and rest, which I won’t allow. You will have to fight me off in order to have it. You will have to run from me, Sheila. You will have to hide from me. In this instance you will want to keep yourself from me, but you will not be successful, for I will hunt you down and I will have you.”
Sheila closed her eyes and felt two things simultaneously: a finger of fear and a hand of excitement.
“Hunt me down?”
“This time of…illogic…strips Vulcans to their base natures. My senses will be heightened and I will track you by your scent. Wherever you are, I will find you. You will not be able to hide, though you may try.”
“Will I need to take some time off work?”
“It would be logical for you to do so.”
Sheila closed her eyes. She made a mental note to check with the captain to see if he could offer her some advice.”
“I cannot promise that I will not hurt you, Sheila. I will not be myself.”
“I can handle you, K’avir. I can take it. But I have a question. You say you chose me. When did you do that?”
“When you were still with your former consort.”
“K’avir? K’avir, really?” She hadn’t known that he even noticed her. Life with Lenny was a hell all its own.
“Yes. I knew that he abused you and that you tried to hide it. You could not hide it from me. It was in your eyes, in your face…and then one day it was not. Your bruises began to fade and you did not have as many as before. The look in your eyes changed. You became harder, tougher and you survived. You began fighting back.”
She blinked, remembering the pain and the abuse from Lenny until something inside of her snapped. After he hit her in the kidneys one evening, she couldn’t get up for almost an hour and there was blood in her urine later. When she was able to move around, she waited for him to sit and read a medical journal and then she smashed one of his large glass baubles against his head and put a shard of glass to his throat. She made an inch-long cut across his throat and it scared the hell out of him. After that, whenever he tried to hit her, she hit back, and gave as good as she got. She broke Lenny’s nose and he stopped hitting her altogether. From then on, he sought pleasure elsewhere and Sheila was relieved.
“I didn’t know that you knew.”
“I did not understand it either, for my experiences with human females are limited. I meditated constantly. Then the opportunity arose for you to gain combat instruction and I wanted the chance to teach you. Your eagerness to learn stimulated me. You are a warrior like me, Sheila. You have that spirit. You did not let him break you; indeed, you became better after your experience with him. It is that which drew me to you, which made me choose you.”
“If I had never…would you have told me if I didn’t…the night we first…would you have said anything…?”
“It would have come to pass soon enough. I have always been aware of your attraction to me. You were not aware of mine.”
“K’avir,” she breathed, sitting up to put her arms around him. “I had no idea.”
“I should hope not,” he said. “I am Vulcan. For me to reveal anything violates my discipline and training. I will reveal myself only to you.”
“Good,” she said, nipping his earlobe.
“There are two other things I should mention. It is something that you must acknowledge.”
“What?” She pulled away to look at him. “What is it?”
“The first is obvious. You cannot bear children. I am aware of this but it does not diminish my desire for you.”
She blinked rapidly, stunned that he even knew such a thing. “You don’t have a problem with that?”
“I told you I wanted you just the way you are, Sheila. I would never try to change you. I just do not wish for you to worry about something that you cannot control.”
“You do not want children, K’avir?”
“I accept that we will not have children.”
Sheila closed her eyes, hoping that Lenny would burn in seven layers of hell for what he did to her. She wanted kids and she would have loved being the mother of K’avir’s children. But it wasn’t meant to be. “I’m sorry.”
“Why do you apologize? It was not your choice.”
“I struggle with that some days,” Sheila said. “I wanted to be a mother and sometimes I think about it and it makes me sad.”
“When you are sad, I will comfort you. Do not worry. Now for the other issue.”
“What is it?”
“You were aroused during my confrontation with Lt. Matthews.”
Sheila looked at him. “Yes.”
“Even though I intended to end his life.”
She looked at him closely. “I couldn’t help it. I felt something.”
“What did you feel?”
“Excitement. Something, I don’t know, basic. Something…pure. Ancestral, maybe? Something about you willing to kill for me. I wish I could articulate it but I can’t. Not that I wanted you to kill Julian, but…”
“Is it something that you could live with? If I should have to take another’s life on your behalf? I would do that, Sheila. You must be aware that I will do it if I felt it was necessary. I know that you can defend yourself, but it does not matter. I will kill for you, k’diwa.”
“I don’t know, K’avir. I admit, I got horny when you grabbed him and when you put him down while you were looking at me. I couldn’t help it. I don’t want you to kill anyone, but I do understand your desire to protect me. I have a lot to work out, but I promise that I will work it out. I don’t quite understand all this yet.”
“It is merely your fighting spirit; your subconscious response to my nature. You get aroused when we fight. You are turned on by the very nature of combat, be it positive or negative. Do not hide it or diminish it. Accept it and embrace it. You are my woman, my mate, and it is acceptable behavior for you. If this starship is attacked by the Empire, you and I will fight side by side.”
“K’avir, I’m a doctor. I’m supposed to save lives.”
“But you have been forced to take them since the rebellion. And you have embraced that.”
Sheila nodded. He was right. She felt good about every asshole she had to stab, shank, or shoot since Spock committed mutiny and turned against the Empire. She harbored not one pang of regret or sympathy. He was right. She was hard, tough, and she could be ice-cold when it was required. She was indeed a warrior. This man was so right for her. He had been under her nose the entire time, waiting for her to get the courage to change her circumstances. Sheila felt herself getting warm again. The painkiller had kicked in several minutes ago and she was very relaxed. K’avir was an amazing man. She had been foolish indeed to think that they couldn’t be anything more than sex partners. She was grateful to the captain for his intervention and forcing her to see things as they truly were. She could have lost her wonderful Vulcan boyfriend by being blind to one form of expression.
“Stay with me, K’avir. Do you have duty tonight?”
“No. I wanted to instruct you on how to use your tachi.”
“I had it made for you,” he said. “I would like for you to master it someday.”
“You had that beautiful sword made for me?”
“You are my match,” he said. “My equal. My mate. You should have a particular level of skill in combat. I feel it is a plausible request.”
“Tell me that you don’t need to be with the captain.”
“I do not unless he requests my presence. He is in his quarters this evening.”
“So you can stay with me?”
“I would like to stay with you.”
“Then stay. Don’t leave me.”
K’avir nodded. “As you wish, ashaya.”
K’avir put his hand on her stomach and moved it back and forth. He closed his eyes. Sheila covered his hand with hers, liking the warmth and tenderness he exuded.
“K’avir, I like this. I want you to touch me like this more often.”
He nodded. “I will take an afternoon meal with you in the officers’ dining room. There is a Vulcan chef. I would like for you to try some Vulcan cuisine.”
Sheila beamed at him. “I’ll try anything you want.”
“I cannot hold hands, but I will escort you to and from Medical Bay before and after your shift.”
“I can live with that,” she said. “I want you to teach me how to speak Vulcan,” she said. “I want to learn everything about you. I need to know more about this man I love.”
K’avir stared at her belly. “We will not engage in combat instruction for four days, four hours and forty-five seconds. Your body must heal. I have a request.”
“What is it?”
“Do not use the tissue regenerator to repair your arm. Use a needle. I would like for you to wear a scar.”
Sheila blinked, but then remembered the night she threw her blade at him and cut him. He had asked her to use a needle to sew him up.
“So that everyone knows,” she said.
“Everyone should know by now,” he replied. “You have never before made it a secret that I was training you in combat. It was only with the arrival of Lt. Matthews that you began covering yourself.”
She stared into his eyes. “He kept asking questions and I decided on a whim to cover up so he wouldn’t ask me anything else. I did tell him I was learning to fight, but it wasn’t a sufficient answer for him. Don’t be mad. He was concerned for my safety, but he couldn’t understand why I allowed myself to get banged up. So I just started wearing my coveralls and lab coat.
“Do not be ashamed of my display of affection.”
“I’m not. I’ll never cover up again.” She sighed as she looked at him. He started rubbing her legs and she stretched out to give him access. The room got quiet as K’avir focused his attentions to her calves and ankles. Sheila wanted to seduce her man, but she simply could not handle it. Her body throbbed all over and it was nice to lie here and let K’avir tend to her. How was it that two people could be so into each other like they were? It was like their bodies were in tune with one another but their minds hadn’t caught on until now. There was no need for words, for she understood him and he understood her, and all was right with the world.
When Captain Spock briefed his senior officers the next morning, he was acutely aware of the ship’s Chief Medical Officer and his Chief of Security sitting next to one another. They were the epitome of professional, listening and participating in the briefing; or at least she participated because he never spoke. But the captain understood that words weren’t required to see that they had figured out one another. When the briefing was over, the other officers got up, chatting with one another, but he pulled out her chair and helped her to her feet. She stood up and they stared at one another for a moment before walking out of the ready room. It might have taken all of a second, but Spock immediately recognized the intense passion between them and knew that he would have to initiate a bonding ceremony in the very near future.