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The setting for the Sheila & K'avir stories is the Star Trek Mirrorverse. Anything Star Trek-related are the intellectual property of Gene Roddenberry. All other characters, planets, star systems and content not within said scope are my own.


Intergalactic (2/?)


Jupiter turned quickly and washed her hands.  She grabbed the cutting board and carried it into the living room.  Renzo followed with the wine and their glasses.

“Help yourself,” she said as she grabbed some napkins and two small plates.

“Can you bring a knife on your way back?”


Renzo watched Jupiter move around her house with ease.  She was wearing a green dress; she could sport any color and look divine.  The split revealed a goodish amount of leg and he took a slow breath.  Jupiter’s legs were long and lithe and Renzo had many a fantasy about how strong they were, among other things.

Jupiter sat back down and cut open the Brie, revealing the hot, melty goodness inside.  She prepared a cracker for Renzo.  “You have to taste the walnuts, cranberries and pomegranate with the cheese at the same time.”

Renzo took the morsel and ate it, closing his eyes.  After a long moment, during which Jupiter stared at him, he opened them and smiled.  “That’s delicious.  You’ll have to give me the recipe.”

“It’s easy.  Just Google Brie recipes.”  Jupiter took a bite herself.  Then she said, “Renzo, why are you telling me this now?”

The look in his eyes was heated.  “You’re going to be gone in eleven months and I didn’t want…I didn’t want you to leave without knowing the truth.”

“Is that all?”

Renzo wasn’t stupid.  “Time makes fools of us all, Jupiter.  I came here tonight to tell you the truth because I couldn’t let another day go by without you knowing how I feel.  The last few years have been torture; we’ve been working so closely together with our research, your course of study, and your job as my teaching assistant…I wanted to tell you so many times.  Then finally, I got the balls to do it, and here I am.”

Jupiter deliberately shoved a cheesy cracker in her mouth the moment Renzo was done talking to give herself time to think.  Renzo ate another cracker and drank his wine, finishing the glass.  He poured some of the Tozaki Asju into his glass and drank it, watching her.

Jupiter grabbed her wine and drank it down quickly, her stomach quivering.  She was looking for the right words and struggling.  She didn’t know what to do with all this information.  For Pete’s sake, the man was fucking married!  Married!  Maybe that was the answer to the question she needed to ask.  

"What is it that you want, Renzo?  You finally got the balls to tell me that you've had feelings for me for almost eight years and...and what?  What do you want to happen?  What did you come here looking for?  You're a married man and far as I know, you've been married for almost as long as I've been alive, so again...what did you come here for?  Am I supposed to be flattered?  I feel like I should be insulted."  She wasn't.

“Jupiter, I had no expectations.  I’m not stupid.  I know that you know that I’m married.  My marriage isn’t perfect and yes, I do love my wife.  I didn’t come here looking for sex.  I can’t make you believe that if you don’t want to.  All I wanted was to finally unburden myself.  If you want to slap my face and throw me out, by all means do so.  It will not affect our working relationship.  What you do with the knowledge is up to you, but I will still be your major professor.  I’ve invested too much into your education and your future to allow anything to get in the way of it.” 

That was true.  There was also the academic acclaim that she as his protégé would bring.  Lorenzo Candreva was an exceptional astronomer and physicist, and he was a beast when it came to the work.  He was the Observatory Director for Dawnstar State.  His research was well known and highly respected.  He had published over two dozen peer-reviewed articles in scholarly journals and was regularly invited to be a keynote speaker at scientific conferences.  He had a couple of TED Talks on his resume.  He, Dr. Wu, and three other astronomy professors from other institutions were collaborating on a joint venture: a new astronomy textbook and its online interactive counterpart.  Renzo, with Jupiter's assistance, had also published an astronomy guide for children and it became a very popular book that was used in schools to help teachers make astronomy accessible to young minds.

Renzo became a tenured professor in half the time it took the others in his cohort.  He was a grant-writing genius and brought millions of research dollars to DSU’s College of Sciences.  And he spent years teaching Jupiter how to do and be the same.  She was already a force to be reckoned with academically.  Many of his colleagues at other universities and research institutions called him regularly to ask about Jupiter’s progress and future plans in academia.  The calls at once pleased and depressed him.

Jupiter stuck her finger into the cheese and scooped up some, absently sucking it off her finger, deep in thought.  Renzo watched her carefully as he enjoyed some apple slices.

“I don’t know what to do about this, Renzo.”

“You don’t have to do anything, Jupiter.  Honestly, I feel like a weight has been lifted.  I love hearing my name on those beautiful lips of yours.  I can live with that as long as I can have one more thing.”

“Which is?”

“A kiss.  One kiss.”

Jupiter stared at the man.  Years ago, way back in ASTR 1010 and ASTR 1020, she used to fantasize what it would be like to have a man as fine as Dr. Candreva.  A man that all the girls gushed over, a man that looked good, sounded better and smelled amazing.  Jupiter knew that either he was an entire thot or he had to be married to a showstopper of a wife.  Her classmates showed up to class with as much skin showing as possible, making sure to sit where they could be seen.  Jupiter never did such things even though she, like them, had a crush on the man.  The crush carried over to her sophomore year, when the classes were smaller and more intimate, and started to dissipate by the end of the semester.  By then, Jupiter stood out, both academically and physically, and there was no need to whore herself to get Dr. Candreva’s attention.  Apparently by then, she already had it.

Jupiter found herself laughing as she sipped her wine.  The universe had jokes.

Renzo stared at her, stung.  “Are you laughing at me?”  This wasn’t a joking matter.  Too much was at stake.

“No.  I was just thinking about freshman astronomy and all those girls that sat in the front rows just to get close to you.  Most of them wore as little clothing as possible in order to get your attention. The conversations we used to have before and after class were practically X-rated.  If you made the slightest indication that you were interested, those girls would have done anything you wanted, and probably some of the boys.  You were such a hottie, so much better looking than our other professors.”

Were?  And here I am thinking I still look halfway decent.”  Renzo took very good care of himself.

She could grant him a boon.  “You’re still handsome, Renzo.  I thought you were fine then, and I still think so, since we’re being honest.  But that has nothing to do with anything.  I can acknowledge your hotness and move on because there’s nothing to be had.  You’ve got a wife and three children.  I’m not stupid and definitely not hard up.”  That last bit wasn’t entirely true.  Rashaun made things difficult for her at times with his hit or miss stroke game.

Renzo ate some grapes.  “I love my job, Jupiter.  There’s no way in hell I’m going to jeopardize everything I’ve worked for to have a meaningless affair with a student.  That included you, in spite of how I felt.”

Jupiter faced him.  “Would it have been meaningless then?”

He met her eyes.  “I don’t believe so.”

“One kiss?”


“And then what?”

“I’m fine with you filling in those blanks.”

Jupiter cocked her head to one side.  “What?”

Renzo sat back on the couch.  “If you want another kiss, then it’ll happen.  If you want me to leave, you’ll tell me to go and I will.  If you ask me to stay, I’ll do it.  I’ve done what I needed to; what happens afterwards is up to you.”

“You’ll do anything I say?”


“As long as I let you have a kiss.”

“I’ve wanted to kiss you for so long, Jupiter.  You have no idea.”

She nodded.  Hell, it wasn’t like he was hideous and had a disgusting mouth.  “All right.  Stand up.”

Renzo put down his wineglass and turned to face Jupiter.  She was standing up, her glass in hand.

“You don’t need liquid courage, do you?” he asked, concerned.  If she did…

“If that’s the case, I’ve been gathering my courage since before you called.”  She put the glass down and walked towards him.  “One kiss.”

“Please…not a peck.” 

Jupiter stood in front of Renzo; he had her by a full five inches, but she was not deterred.  She cupped his cheeks, wiggling her fingers in the light growth of his beard, marveling at the softness of his facial hair.  Renzo put his hands on hers and closed his eyes as he lowered his face to hers.  Jupiter marveled at his beautiful smooth lips before gently pressing hers to them.  Renzo parted his mouth and Jupiter did likewise…and then things got interesting.  His lips were soft and utterly kissable.  Jupiter closed her lips around his upper lip in a baby kiss and then did likewise with his lower lip.  She slipped her tongue in his mouth, moving her hands so she could put her arms around his neck.  Renzo carefully put his hands lightly on Jupiter’s waist and the kiss continued with Jupiter in command.  Five seconds later, Jupiter pulled away and stared into Renzo’s eyes.  Her heart was thrumming in her chest and it wasn’t the only thing thrumming.

“Wow,” she murmured in a low voice.  The man could fucking kiss.  Way better than Rashaun.

Renzo gently ran one finger over Jupiter’s lip.  “Thank you, Jupiter.”

She nodded dumbly.  “You’re welcome.”

He started to move away from her but she grabbed his sweater.  “Wait.”

“What?  What is it?”

Jupiter took a deep breath, throwing caution and propriety to the wind.  “One more.”

He smiled at her.  “Are you sure about this, Jupiter?”

She nodded.  “I’m sure.”

Then she was in his arms, hers around his neck, his lips blessedly covering hers.  Jupiter’s eyes were closed as he kissed her.  It had been a very long time since she’d been kissed like this.  Rashaun’s technique was nowhere near as delicious.

Renzo broke the kiss and released Jupiter.  He ran two fingers over his lips and closed his eyes, satisfied.  Jupiter looked at him, breathless, trying to ignore the somersaults in her stomach.  She spoke before she realized what she was saying.

“Jesus, I wish my boyfriend could kiss like that!  You should give him lessons.”

She needed to stop comparing Shaun to Renzo.

Renzo wasn’t shocked to hear that Jupiter had a boo.  The woman was extremely appealing and he was aware that at least two of the men in the grad office wanted to get to know her a lot better. 

Jupiter took a deep breath and stared at Renzo.  Words escaped her and she wondered if he could read her expression.

“Tell me what to do, Jupiter.”

Jupiter bit her lip.  What she didn’t want him to do was leave, but she didn’t know what other options she had until she heard herself saying, “Do you want to see my telescopes?”

Renzo smiled lazily, unable to help himself.  “I would.”

“Come with me.”  She walked towards her back door, opened it and went outside on her deck.  The sun had set and the sky was dark but there were at least two thousand pinpricks of light in the night.

Jupiter’s deck was very large.  She had a telescope on both sides, carefully covered with tarp.  Renzo looked up at the sky, whistling.  As he was growing up, he dreamed of having a location like this for stargazing.  There was very little light pollution this far out.

Jupiter said, "On a clear day, you can see Mermaid Island."

“This is a good place to stargaze,” he said.  “Why do you have two telescopes?”

“I have two because my parents didn’t like sharing.  This one was my father’s.”  She removed the tarp to reveal a large Orion 10019 NightQuest.  And this one,” she walked past him to the other telescope and pulled off the tarp, “was my mother’s.  It’s a Celestron Nexstar.  These and the name Jupiter are what you get when your parents are science teachers and amateur astronomers named Venus and Mars.  Good thing they didn’t name me Earth.”

“Earth Jordan isn’t a bad name, actually,” Renzo said.

Jupiter rubbed the side of the Celestron, thinking of her mother. “I guess.”

Renzo chuckled and walked over to the Orion.  “Do you mind?”

Jupiter smiled.  “Not at all.”

He peered through the eyepiece.  “Ah, Cygnus…and there’s Deneb, one of my favorites.”

Jupiter was looking through the Celestron.  “I’ve always preferred Procyon, Arcturus and Rigel.  Antares is pretty cool too, and who doesn’t like Sirius?”

“No love for the Seven Sisters?  Polaris?  Vega?  Achernar?  What about Betelgeuse?”

“Of course.  I love all the stars.  When I was a kid, I said I’d name my firstborn son Antares.  Continuing the Jordan family tradition, as it were.” 

“Do you still want to name your kid that?”

“I’m not even sure I want kids.”

“Fair enough,” he said.  Renzo stood up and covered the telescope.  “Did you grow up in this house?”

“We moved here when I was thirteen years old.”  Jupiter covered the Celestron and walked over to the stairs, gazing at the ocean.  “You’re going to think this is funny, but my father was an avid lottery player, amongst other things, and one day he hit for a lot of money.  He bought this house for my mother and invested the rest.”

“So it’s paid for?”  Renzo joined her at the stairs.  In that regard, she was doing better than he was.  He had about five years before his sprawling brick ranch in Roseland Hills was paid for.

“Yep.  All I have to pay is property taxes and insurance, and for repairs when needed.”

“Your father was very smart.  Catamaran Beach is a nice community.  I thought you had a mortgage and I couldn’t figure out how you could pay it on a TA’s salary.”

Jupiter smiled.  “That little piece of change buys groceries, gas and covers the light and water bills.  Can’t ball on a TA’s paycheck.  Good thing I've got a supplemental income from the royalties on that book we wrote.”

“Either way, I’m glad that your parents left you comfortable.”

Jupiter nodded, thinking of her parents.  They died in a plane crash four years ago and it still hurt.

Renzo saw her face cloud over.  “I don’t want to upset you, Jupiter.  Why don’t you give me a tour of the rest of the place?”

Grateful for an out, she nodded.  “It gets really dark out here at night.  Sometimes I just sit in one of the lounge chairs and listen to the ocean.  I love my house, Renzo.  My parents left it to me.  I’m not inclined to leave it or sell it.”

Renzo opened the door.  Jupiter walked inside and he followed her.  Dare he think that she was planning on sticking around and doing post-doc work at Dawnstar?  It could be both a good thing and a bad thing. 

She walked down the hall where the bedrooms were, turning on the hall light.  Renzo then noticed the framed posters on the walls.  They were singers:  Aretha Franklin, Janet Jackson, Chaka Khan, Beyonce, Whitney Houston, Tina Turner and Nina Simone.

 Jupiter opened the first door.  “This is my office.”

Renzo walked inside.  There were bookshelves, a nice desk with two laptops on it, and more pictures of musicians on the walls.  “Are you a Pink Cage fan?”

“Absolutely.  Leseda and Kemme Thornton are body goals.  Come on; there’s not much to see in here.  Just the place where I spend a great deal of time banging out a chapter draft just for you to shred it to ribbons.”

Renzo smiled.  “No student of mine will turn in trash work.  You’ll thank me when it’s over.”

He followed her to the next room across the hall.  It had a hardwood floor and mirrors on one end.  There was a pole in the middle of the room and more musicians on the walls: Jimmy Page, Freddie Mercury, Michael Jackson, Prince, The Time, Led Zeppelin, Queen and others.

Renzo looked at Jupiter.  “Is that what I think it is?”


“Do you…are you a…” Renzo’s face flamed with embarrassment due to the fantasies that suddenly popped in his head. 

Jupiter laughed.  His expression was adorable.  “Yes, I dance, but no, not professionally.  Pole dancing is good exercise and it makes me feel sexy, so I started taking classes three years ago.  It helped with my grief and it’s a great way to relieve tension. I've got shoes and everything.”

“Who was the music lover?”

“My mother.  She played guitar and piano and tried to teach me.  I can play a little bit, but I’ll never be as good as she was.  Here’s the guest bathroom.”  She opened the door.  “Do you need to use it?”

“I will in a few minutes.”

The last room was at the back.  She opened the door.  “The master bedroom, obvs.”

Renzo looked in.  The room was done in beige, tan and ivory.  It looked like a bedroom that could be featured in one of those home magazines.  He saw that there were glass patio doors that led out to her deck and the beach.  And still, more music on the walls.

“Do you mind?” he asked.

“Not at all,” she replied.

Renzo made his way in.  There were two more Prince posters, one David Bowie, one Jimi Hendrix, another one of Queen, another Freddie, and one of young Brian May.

“Interesting selection you have in here, or are they leftovers?”

“My mother and my father saw Prince in concert five times, Michael thrice, and Queen twice.  I think they saw David Bowie perform too.  Queen was one of Mama’s favorite bands.  Even though she absolutely loved Freddie, Brian was her favorite.  ‘It was his hair,’ she said.  ‘On sight,’ she said.”

“On sight?  I’m confused.”

Jupiter giggled. “She meant he could get it on sight.  Have sex with her, basically.  On sight.  No conversation necessary.  Sometimes it’s like that for us girls.”

Renzo considered this.  “Well, the guy does have pretty epic hair.  Your father didn’t have a problem with all these men on their bedroom walls?”

“Mama told me when I was old enough to understand that once Daddy understood her passion for certain musicians, he was all for keeping the posters on the walls.  I’m glad she told me that when I was grown because I would have been grossed out had she told me before then.”

Renzo couldn’t help but laugh.  “And you?”  He was curious.

“To an extent.  She hipped me to music at an early age and I understood why they inspired her.  Especially Michael, Bowie, Prince, Freddie and Brian.”

"I meant are there any that you like enough to do it on sight?"

Jupiter looked at him, her expression revealing nothing.  "Actually, I am more into science nerds.  Rock stars don't affect me nearly as much."

Renzo smiled. “I’m sorry I never got to meet Mr. & Mrs. Jordan.  They sounded like interesting people.  I know that they would be so proud of you.”

Jupiter turned on one of the bedside lamps before turning off the wall light.  She walked out of the room and Renzo followed, closing the door.  “I changed the color scheme and switched the posters around before I officially claimed the room.  It took me two years to get up the nerve.”

Then they were back in the living room.  Renzo said, “I think I’ll use your bathroom now.”

“You can use the one over there.”  She pointed at a door opposite the kitchen.

Renzo nodded and went in, closing the door.  Jupiter stood in her living room, arms folded, wondering what in the hell she was doing.  She should have sent him on his way after that second kiss, but she didn’t have the ovarian fortitude to do so.  She needed to get Renzo out of her house as soon as possible.  Jupiter wasn’t stupid; if she so much as looked at him the wrong way, they were going to end up doing a lot more than kissing.  She was horny before he called; she was contemplating inviting Rashaun over for some dick—even substandard dick would do—but now…dear God now…a better option had presented itself in the form of a man who was a thousand times more appealing…dear God, dear God, dear God…

The little voice in her head said: You have to get him out of here.

I know.

If you don’t get him out, you’re going to have a whole new set of problems.

I know.

Get him out of here and call Rashaun.  Wear his ass out; you’ll feel better.

But truth be told, Rashaun wasn’t that good in bed.  Most of the time, Jupiter was able to get up, go make a sandwich and do a load of laundry after fucking him.  As horny as she was right now, that simply wouldn’t do.

Then use one of your toys.  What you should NOT do is fuck your fucking mentor.

That kiss tho.

So what?  So he can kiss.  So what?  The man is married with three children and he’s old enough to be your father.

No one has to know.  I’ve got an excellent poker face.  And he wouldn’t dare say a word.  Besides, his kids are grown.

No.  It’s not worth it.  He’s married.  He’s got a wife.

I’m aware of all of that.

That’s nothing but your damp pussy talking.  Get that man out of here, stat!

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