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The Vulcan Agreement

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Author's notes: Read on the Logical Choice forum that after Trip and T'Pol's baby died, they lost their bond. Liked the idea and decided to use it here.


It had been three days. Three excruciating days waiting, hoping that Trip would somehow defy the physics of the Garan planet or abandon his post and contact her. The irony wasn't lost on her and caused the thread she had to sanity, the final link to logic and control, to snap. With a grimace working over her face, her eyes clouded in a thick green haze—the blood rushing to her brain—she reviewed the circumstances.

Five days ago, Trip had volunteered to go to Garan and study starship specs with engineers and scientists; it would be two weeks of pure heaven for him. The only catch was he'd be out of communications range during that time, during the time Enterprise was scheduled to travel to Starbase Three in a sector nearest Andoria. Phlox had some supplies on order, more than just his typical homeopathic remedy.

It was supposed to be routine. It should've meant for significant downtime for every crewmember. T'Pol had even fished a book out of Enterprise's library to bide her time.

And then it happened.

She ignored the first signs of disease overtaking her body and mind, causing night sweats, making her run her hands more slowly over her body as she showered and turned her stomach against food. Waved off too were the concerns of her colleagues, including the doctor, communications officer and captain. She knew why they asked: she'd been punchy, her voice teetering toward anger.

It wasn't just that.

Every time the captain was on the Bridge with her, she could hear his heartbeat, throbbing, echoing in her Vulcan ears like the gongs sounded at a Vulcan ceremony. When he was near she would catch a whiff of his scent and writhe; the smell of him before was exceptionally human before and yet now it had the aroma of the sweetest delicacy. Drinking it in, she would lick her mouth and taste salt and sweat.

It wasn't just this incident.

Visions of him happened almost nightly—at least for the past two days and beginning to overcome her day: him crouching over her, kissing her wildly, fingers grasping her hair, his tongue ravishing hers and then fondling her throat. In each encounter, he was almost always naked. She'd seen enough of him in Decon enough to imagination it—broad shoulders, strong back, firm buttocks...it made the fever within her burn hotter and more fiercely. It wet her underwear and caused saliva to pool in her mouth.

When reason hit her, she hypothesized that the Pon Farr dreams happened because he was the alpha male aboard.

It was a logical deduction.

To stave the hunger, she tried contacting Trip anyway, despite the images of her captain spread over her bead, but it was futile. The communication would reach him after the need killed her. She even thought about sending word to Vulcan, but that was pointless as well.

And a Vulcan male nor Trip for that matter was her captain.

Just as her fever threatened to kill her, opportunity unfortunately struck for T'Pol in the strangest of ways. Archer came to her quarters, worse—he came at the suggestion of Phlox.

"Sorry I'm late."

He explained, with confusion starting to mar his face, that he was there for neuropressure; the doctor had recommended it to cure his brief bout of insomnia and apparently she had agreed. The time he was supposed to be there was 2100, and he was ten minutes late.

I must have agreed in my insanity.

Though T'Pol wanted him to come with her—her body starved and boiling—was preparing to die. And she stood dumbstruck, he wandered into her room, keeping his eyes on her as if he was already suspicious.

She could've asked him to leave, and had already worked out the words in her brain, when she thought of him disrobing for her and cursed silently the affect of the mating cycle on her brain. So, she instructed him to strip off his shirt, shoes and socks. And he obeyed.

Her eyes drank his form like it was a woman stares at water when dying of thirst. His chest, broad and sculpted, showed off dark hair from just below his neck to his stomach where his pants prevented further inspection. A flick of her eyebrow distracted her from wondering how thick the hair was below his navel. His body was a pinkish-brown hue with lightly tanned nipples. It was just as sultry as her imagination had captured.

"Kinda warm in here," he said.

"Yes."

He coughed through the silence, and she pointed to the bed where he lay down on his stomach. Rubbing her fingers against each other, enjoying the feel of touching her own skin, she eventually placed them on his shoulders. He wasn't just toned, his muscles were like coils—hard and firm. Tiny freckles dotted his neck and back and it took every centigram of Vulcan willpower to resist licking them.

Soon she discovered instead of tapping along his tendons and spine as neuropressure demanded, her hands massaged him, kneading his skin. As her hands caressed his lower back near his waist, he jumped slightly—bucking his hips in the air—and she bit her lip.

Yes, she thought. That single notion stilled her hands and quieted her breath.

"I apologize," she said.

"For what?" he asked.

He doesn't know the motions that are intended for neuropressure.

And with that, she drew her fingers back and gazed over him again; the fabric of his pants stretched across his buttocks, not tight, but well enough for her to envision what it must look like without clothing hiding it.

He said, "You know, I only accepted this because I wanted a chance to talk with you."

"Oh?"

"You've been acting a little strangely lately." Lifting up slightly, he turned to her. "I wanted to see if you were okay."

"I'm fine."

"You took today off, and when you contacted me you sounded upset." He sighed. "I tried stopping by earlier, but I didn't want to intrude."

"And why do you intrude now?"

Sitting up, he lifted his hand toward her face and wiped a bead of sweat that trickled down her temple.

"I know you're not well. It's hot in here, but not that hot."

Oh, yes it is, she thought, reveling in his touch.

"What's wrong?" he asked. His eyebrows raised and he ducked his head to catch her eyes. "T'Pol?"

"I wanted you to come here tonight...more than to help you sleep."

He waited.

"I have entered Pon Farr more than a day ago and I was hoping...."

"What?" he asked.

With a pant, she lowered her hand and rubbed his inner thigh.

"I need you," she said.

His eyes shot open and he backed up off the bed. "Whoah."

Circling him like a caged animal, she explained she needed to have sex with him. Sex multiple times over until her thirst, which seemed endless, was quenched. She tried to sound logical, clinical, succinct, and yet every word she uttered rang desperate like a plea.

Through the mind-numbing haze, she'd forgotten to tell him everything but the most urgent of information. And when he looked unconvinced, as if he would keep his seed to himself, she licked her lips, she delivered the most pertinent.

"I will perish without you."

"What?" He sounded surprised.

"My heart and brain will stew, overcooking...boiling in my own blood."

The death sentence, the one she'd been so eager to let destroy her, now seemed like an unfair punishment, especially with him half-naked in her cabin, sweating. The scent was enticing, calling to her most primal instincts.

The captain folded his arms and then paced for less than a minute before giving an answer she'd already known he would give.

"What do I need to do?" he asked. The words were said sheepishly.

"Remove the rest of your clothing."

Before he did, he waved her over to where he stood.

"Come here," he said.

One small step in front of another, she headed toward him removing the distance between them until she was in his arms.

"Why me?" he asked.

The hug was soft, not the pressing one of a lover, and his fingers spread over her hair petting it as if to calm a child.

"Because the need is great and my desire for you overwhelming," she said.

And before they could whisper anything else to each other, she stood on tiptoe and pressed her lips against his—hesitant—as if the touch would scorch her mouth. And she right. Instantly her lips were aflame as well as the rest of her skin, burning. His mouth was moist and hot, wet with the taste of coffee and sugar—bitter and sweet.

Through the pounding in her ears, she imagined her blood thickening as her pulse strained against her neck and wrists. Saliva coated her mouth and throat. The waves of heat swelled within her, between her legs.

Before long, her tongue's invasion spread to his throat, ears and jaw. With satisfaction, she saw his eyes slip shut at the barrage and his fingers slid down to grip her waist. His chest bare, she savored the salt of his collarbone and breathed deeply the light aroma of citrus—his soap and deodorant.

Yes, she thought. It was like a scream in her mind as his lips worked against the base of her neck.

Just as his mouth was about to darted back up, she shoved him against a wall, pinning him, while forcing his hands above his head in surrender. Although she was stronger, her condition had weakened her considerably and with a gasp, she felt him wrangle free. At their struggle, their hips accidentally collided and rather than separate, his fingers grabbed at her backside, drawing her closer grinding her against him. The feel of their bodies intertwined made her pant and she knew he was equally anxious by the thunder reverberating at his breast.

It's why she pursed her lips to his chest, placing a feather-light kiss there. And then as his breath labored, she wound her mouth and teeth around his nipple until his back archer into her. Her teeth and tongue worked against it and then the other one until he caved.

"Oh," he said. The word stumbled from his throat, a groan—sexy and seductive.

His hands wandered to her chest, to the peaks of her blue satin pajama top, and he dragged his fingers along her breasts as his tongue dove in between her lips. When she sighed into his open mouth he fumbled with the buttons of her shirt until he splayed it open. The cool air felt tantalizing, and the hairs on her arms stood on end as the jade green points of her flesh widened at the cold.

His fingertips brushed her nipples, causing them to swell further along with the craving. And when he rolled them between his fingers, the throbbing between her legs heightened and words burst out of her mouth.

"I need you."

His knee gently parted her legs and slid between them until his thigh was flush against her. Cradling her closer, their chests touched. The hairs of his torso tickled her skin and he cupped his hand on her rear to move against her. It made her quiver and then lick his cleft.

Wrapping his mouth around a pointed ear, he whispered to her.

"You like that?" he asked.

"Yes." A pulse beating between her legs—need consuming her. "Please."

Their mouth touched again, his seeking hers, and their tongues met, his forging in between her lips. As his fingers gripped her ass, bringing her closer still, his other hand fondled her breast.

She could feel his erection against her hip, enticing her to unbutton his pants. Gazing into his eyes, she flattened her palm along the bulge of trousers—soft cotton. Even beneath the fabric, she could feel it jumped at her touch, and a small hiss left his lips.

Slipping her fingers in the waistband of his briefs, the tip of him was already wet with excitement, and his skin was smooth like velvet. He whispered a curse into her ear, and she drew her fingertips around him.

"You enjoy that?" she asked.

The playful comment wasn't lost on him, and yet he didn't smile. Intensity shone in his eyes as she taunted him, so she tightened her grasp around his flesh to stroke him again.

His voice was low, both in decibel and timbre, and confident. "Yes," he told her.

His hand slipped into her pajama bottoms to feel the skin of her buttocks, squeezing her glut with more urgency than before. A whimper escaped her. With a crushing kiss, his hand gripped tighter and the same light huff left her lips again.

I am chaos and he is control.

She ached to cause the same urgent need in him.

Skimming her thumb along his skin, swirling it along his tip, it moistened further. Her fingers wandered his length and his head fell back against the wall, the slickness of him echoing in the silent room only deafened by his occasional murmurs of contentment.

She was about to continue when he stopped her, whispering for her to halt her motion. Almost immediately, she began her languid brush against him again until, he grabbed her and devoured her mouth while tenderly pinching her breasts, the nipples and areolas, until her stomach clenched.

"Yes," she said.

Her hand slid out from his underwear and she stepped backward until she felt the bed against her knees. Sprawling out over the covers for him, she guided her top from her shoulders and wiggled out of her pajama bottoms and panties.

Instead of rushing to join her on the bed, she noticed he watched her, licking his lips. His face was flush, his torso and his pants were open to reveal the tiniest bits of skin: his hipbones and the very tip of him.

It nearly made her growl.

As his eyes admired her body, she grabbed him and wrestled him beneath her. The need was too great, starving her. She'd asked, even begged him to hurry, but now she felt anxious to have him. Hurriedly shoving his pants and briefs down past his hips, she straddled him in one quick motion.

The tip of him entered her and a she gasped in delight.

Finally.

About to assert more pressure until he filled her completely, a hand gripped her hip to hold her still.

"Wait," he said. It was a choked plea.

A wave of emotion overtook her. His emotion. There was a yearning there, more than just burning desire. The feeling made her body tingle, her stomach feel weak and her throat close.

It was enough to distract her.

Panting, he asked again. "Wait."

Barely, lifting her hips to break their incomplete connection, he scooted out from under her and kicked off the rest of his clothing. It gave her time to eye him with the same appreciation: thick hair covered his stomach past his navel and clung to the area between his legs; his erection was thick and long; and his toned legs were covered in dark hair.

Her mouth watered. She wanted him inside of her, to drown the fires that raged within. By the half-lidded expression and his weeping flesh, she thought he felt the same.

And yet, for some reason, he did not move and when she tipped her head hoping he would begin the coupling, she felt kisses along her spine and on her neck. Hs feather touch brushed her shoulders, somehow finagling her on her back with her head on a pillow gazing up at him.

Yes, take control. But, hurry.

Their mouths met again, their tongues dancing against the other and yet he didn't cover her with his weight. Frustrated, she tried to entice him—attacking his mouth and biting at the cleft of his chin.

"What are you waiting for?" she asked.

And then she felt it. A finger glide between her legs, easily and gently, swirling inside, drifting in and out. Strangled for air, she closed her eyes.

"I want to make you ready for me," he said.

Her breasts ached with desire, her nipples elongated and firm, as the throbbing between her legs intensified with his every touch.

"I am. Can't you feel my desire, my anticipation?"

When he didn't answer, she opened her eyes—gazing at him—when he whispered a response before teasing pushing his finger back into her.

He said, "I want to see you overcome by it."

"I am."

His index finger slipped over her clit and his mouth suckled at her breast, whispering against her skin to cool her peaked nipple.

"No you aren't, at least not yet."

His tongue lapped at her mouth and yet every time she attempted to meet his mouth, he retreated. When she sighed in annoyance at the taunting, his tongue swerved down to her chest, licking the tip of her breast and then gently tugging at it with his teeth before enveloping it in his mouth. Adoring her skin and letting his tongue roll out occasionally, he sucked long and slow.

Her back arched into him and her fingers intertwined in his hair.

"Yes."

Becoming more breathless, she watched his nose nudge her other green peak and felt another finger slide into her, circling to touch each of her walls gently until her body writhed to the motion of his mouth and hand. It loosed a whimper from her throat and she craned her neck, resting the crown on her head against the bed, bringing her hips up to meet his hand.

"Yes," she said.

His body stretched out to rest along side hers and he continued to nip, kiss and lick her as his fingers pivoted between her thighs, his thumb occasionally stroking her. Heat traveled from her stomach to her face, flushing it, and she bit her lip while widening her legs to give him access to her.

"You're beautiful," he said.

His fingers guided into her more urgently, but just as tenderly.

Watching him, a haze started spreading over her eyes while her hands almost sightlessly reached around his jaw to bring his face to her lips for a kiss. When they parted she stared into his eyes, green and sparkling radiantly.

He was beautiful, too.

It wasn't just his physique, his face or the Pon Farr.

There was something in addition, an emotion that lay deep within him, one she now had access to thanks to their bodies touching. He wanted to take her to great heights, to watch her experience pleasure, ecstasy that he brought. She could tell he wanted to do so slowly, painstakingly so, letting her relish in the lust until the moment overcame her. And he wanted to watch her fall into an orgasm with loving strokes—loving, because he'd cared for her.

T'Pol knew that given his preferences, he'd watch her succumb a thousand times over even before feeling himself explode in bliss.

It made their connection all the more erotic and soothing.

Before she could say anything, his hand's rhythm quickened and her hips rose to meet it eager to bring this torture to an end. A moan left her lips as his teeth nibbled on her breast distractingly.

"T'Pol," he said. The word was hushed, but it caused a film to coat her eyes until it was transformed into white-blindness. Her breath extolled in short gasps.

"Please," she said. It was almost a sob, and she mumbled the word again.

A third finger pushed for entry into her when her breath left her completely. Immediately, her feet planted themselves on the bed and she barely noticed her toes curl against the cool bed covers. Thrusting her body forward, lunging, the climax was swift, engulfing her and forcing her to quake and tremble as she felt herself clamp around him hard and fast.

Although his onslaught slowed, it didn't stop, and she quivered around him until her body clenched him less frequently. The veneer of control slipped around her for a moment until she opened her eyes. Jonathan's face was the epitome of desire.

"I want you," he said.

Stopping his loving ministration, he withdrew his fingers and then licked them clean, his eyes on hers. It was a moment of passion, and the act she found just as sensual and intriguing as every other he'd introduced.

Her breath caught in her throat. "I want you, too."

Settling between her legs, gazing into her eyes, he carefully pushed himself inside of her. The motion was exquisite—painful and yet pleasurable—stretching her completely with contentment. And before he could move, she placed her hands around his waist to hold him still.

Because her breath stuttered, he leaned over her and whispered.

"You all right?"

"Yes," she said. It was more than all right; it was ecstasy.

She brought up her knees to barely grip his sides and he grabbed her form and drew them together in long, slow motions, ones that enabled the two of them to look into each other's eyes. She tried her best to keep his gaze, letting her eyes flutter from time-to-time, depending on his angle and speed. And while he gently swerved his hips against hers, she traced his back, shoulders and buttocks lightly with her fingernails and bit her lip trying to keep from whimpering.

It pleased her that her smallest convulsion, caused his breath to pause and legs to push faster, gaining momentum.

Their tongues met each, flicking and darting against each other, while they panted into each other's open mouth. Her hand cupped his butt, tugging it to her body to add more leverage, more of him to fill her.

He lunged at her harder and she saw beads of sweat trickle down the side of his face. As if thirsty, she sipped it and the perspiration that collected at the base of his neck and above his mouth, in the dip directly over his lips. His taste was delicious.

He cursed again, hot in her ear.

"Fuck."

Yes.

The gentle nibbling of her teeth turned vicious and soon she raked and chomped at him in a fever. Her mouth suckled his neck until it left small bruises and her nails ripped at his skin, digging into his back.

"Oh, God," he said.

His teeth gnashed back, tearing at her throat and gnawing on her ears.

Yes. "More."

Grabbing at her legs, he wound them around his waist and jutted against her harder.

"Yes."

A tangle of fingers ripped through his hair and soon their mouths attacked each other until she thought she tasted his blood. Instead of acrid on her tongue, it was delicious, like the flavor of mating.

Squeezing his hips, her legs tightened around him and he shoved against her powerfully.

"Yes," she said.

He rocked against her, like an earthquake, shaking the bunk and scattering books from overhead to the floor. With single-mindedness, he kept up the motion until she believed the bed would come loose from it bolts.

Yes.

Her body was wild tremors of absolute delight.

A string of saliva connected them even as their mouths parted and she dove for his lips every time they separated. His pupils exploded nearly past their rim, expanding into the green irises that surrounded them until they were eclipsed.

Frantically, their hips collided while sobs and pleas escaped her mouth, some spoken in Vulcan and an occasional curse came from his. Sweat dripped from his hairline, sticky, onto her green skin and she delighted in its bath.

Finally feeling herself black out, shaking in his fury, her shoulders suddenly rolled forward, violently, and her lips barely touching his ear. At the completion of her climax, she whispered his name, her body weak with ecstasy and her voice too unsure to say anything else.

"Jonathan."

He was so close. She could feel his body swelling and noticed his jaw loosening. A hairy hand gripped the edge of her bed as if to give him the last additional power he needed to pull and push himself toward his goal.

Digging his feet into the covers, forcing their connection to deepen, he launched forward a few times until his voice cracked and he trembled, bursting inside of her. His neck elongated, displaying strained muscles, his mouth fell open and he cried out deep and low. Seeing and hearing him orgasm, feeling him release inside of her made her quake underneath him—again—loosening another moan.

Aftershocks unsettled her bunk, his hips pumping occasionally as reflex to her clenching him in quick bursts. He throbbed to match the syncopated beat, his body quivering until both grew still.

Relief. Tears of joy nearly trickled down her face. Exquisite relief.

Cool like rain pouring over her body and down her throat, after being stranded in the desert for days upon end, she was quenched. Satiated. And although embers sizzled within her, she felt the satisfaction of being doused—wet from his sweat and hers, sticking to her body, wet from his mouth and tongue lavished all over her skin, and wet from his seed.

Relief.

The Vulcan heaved a small sigh and he hung his head, placing the crown of his damp hair into her shoulder. Although the madness had not completely left her, she knew had enough presence of mind to speak to him with gratitude.

"Thank you."

Gulping for air, he nodded.

"Vulcans turn animalistic during mating," she said.

The side of his cheek sloped up and his eyes eventually caught hers. "I noticed."

"I did not frighten you or harm you?"

The other side of his cheek rose, too. "No."

At the words, Archer grinned and fell by her side. Taking her hand in his, he kissed her fingertips—creating a small buzz in her stomach, and when he was done with that, he twirled a lock of her damp hair.

He said, "That was—"

"Yes it was."

Mirthful, he gave a small chuckle and hearing the rumble of his laugh rather tickled her, too.

"You still warm?" he asked.

"No."

Involuntarily, she shivered as if to proof she was cold.

Settling the covers over them, he drew them up and she situated herself until it provided a modicum of modesty, even though they were naked in bed together, covered in each other.

"Mmmm," he said.

"What?"

"Just an expected turn in our relationship."

Leaning up on her elbow she spoke to him. "I thought of sharing my bed with you, of you bringing me pleasure. It was all I could think of for nearly three days."

"A fantasy?"

"Yes."

She shivered again, goose bumps forming over her arms as he snuggled her against him and kissed the crown of her head.

She said, "I will need you again soon. Perhaps we should sleep until then."

Her body was tired, as if the fire that raged inside of her had weakened her, even despite the dousing of pleasure she just received. Though she knew the man next to her had more questions, she watched him nod and then fall asleep.

When she closed her eyes, she thought about many things: about how erotic he looked bringing her to the heights of desire and how intense, more so than his persona on the bridge, he was in the throes of passion.

And yet there was information, important, that needed to be conveyed. Her face pressed against his chest, she could feel the contentment that spread over his body, more so than just sex.

Perhaps he does not know about Trip, she thought.

It seemed impossible. Lt. Reed knew about Trip, she had assumed her captain, a friend of Trip's, would've as well.

Perhaps we should discuss this.

But the gentle rumbling of his nose lulled her into sleep and then was drowned out by the night dreams of Pon Farr.


The urge woke her up.

Hot, sweaty and with her teeth itching, she looked over her sleeping lover's half-naked form. He was on his back, even in the small bed, with one forearm draped over his head and one dangling off the side. A light snore escaped his lips, and she knew he was oblivious to her desire.

I must remedy that, she thought. It was important to continue to catch the need before it turned completely to flame...before she threatened to scorch him with her lust.

Sliding her tongue along his chest, swiveling it amongst his hair until it reached his navel, she heard his deep breathing stop. His voice sounded hoarse and groggy, and a hand flopped against the bed.

"What?" he asked.

She didn't answer. Instead, she resumed kissing his exposed skin and pushed away covers to liberate the rest of his flesh. As her mouth blazed a trail darting along his hipbone, his fingers intertwined in her hair and his body jolted alert.

His flesh was hard.

She brushed her digits along him until he was wet, which didn't take long—the liquid gleaming even in the darkness of her cabin.

Unexpectedly, she felt his hand cup her face.

"Come here," he said. His voice was drenched with want.

I am here. A confused eyebrow shot up when he leaned up to kiss her, passionately. He nudged her body until her back was on the bed as his body loomed over hers.

His lips traced over her ear, her throat and then her breasts. As she arched her back to meet his tongue at his every lick, she felt his fingers—the same ones made in a Vulcan kiss—explore between her legs. Squeezing her eyes shut at the circling motion that stoked the flames within her, she felt his lips on hers again.

"You like that," he said. It was hushed like a whisper, and it was a comment, not a question.

"Yes."

He nibbled at her neck again and then kissed her belly button, each lip print nipping at her control. Raising her legs to give him better access, fluttering her eyes, something damp flicked where his fingers treaded. Half-lidded, she noticed his face between her thighs and felt his tongue slip inside her.

What is he doing?

It was something Trip had never done, given the limited number of times they'd had sex.

Another human mating practice? Before she could ask, he spoke to her with want.

"Do you like it?" he asked.

His lips diverted to suckle her inner thigh and disappointment washed over her. Lifting her head, she looked at his face and captured his eyes.

"Yes," she said. Her voice quivered, uncertain, and he smiled warmly in response.

Purposefully, as if he wanted her to see, he dragged his tongue over her folds, his face the picture of desire. His mouth teased her where his fingers worked and darted fluttering there. Slamming her eyes shut, perspiration collected around her hairline. Vulcan whispers poured from her lips when she realized the craving was more intense today, and that it needed to stave the hunger soon.

"Stop," she said.

Teasing, his fingers widened the opening between her legs and his tongue scooped inside of her and she heard him swallow what collected there.

"Please stop," she said.

He obeyed, only to ask a question. "Why?"

I am flame!

Coiled like an animal, she pounced on him and he huffed as his body landed on the bed. She was eager, eager to touch him everywhere to have him call out to her. Letting her tongue wander over his body, dashing it madly to the sensitive areas of his lips, neck, chest and stomach, she basked in his physique.

He had engorged, his voice was vulnerable and his eyes were stormy.

Without thinking, she placed her mouth on his swollen flesh to suckle the liquid that formed at the tip. It was tacky, sweet and sour and he trembled below her as she swallowed.

He enjoys this.

It was exhilarating to have control. The hunt. It was like hunting the ancient tiger-like creature from her childhood in the rites of Kahs-wan, where she was hungry in the desert; it was the only time when a Vulcan was allowed the flesh of an animal.

Jonathan is my prey.

Stroking him with her tongue, she licked up the base and suckled the tip of him. His hand carelessly fell to her hair, spinning her locks between his fingers as he purred under her. She did it again and his voice was harsh and barely above a whisper.

"God, you're driving me crazy."

Now you know how it feels.

Her tongue swiveled around the spongy flesh of his tip and he groaned, making the hair on the back of her neck stand up. She wanted to hear the same desperation from again and took him almost completely into her mouth.

It elicited the same reaction, except now—she noted, with mild amusement—his other hand clutched the bed sheets to the rhythm of her mouth.

Her tongue licked up his base as her mouth swallowed him again. And again. And again. And moan after moan slipped from his mouth until she could tell the pitch had slipped by octaves, raspy.

"I think you should stop," he said. He'd intertwined his fingers in her hair and his grasp was becoming tighter, almost painful.

Her mouth taunted him again, and she heard his toes flex and ankles pop.

His tone became more urgent. "Oh, God, stop."

And the look in his eyes was serious.

His face was flush which made the green hue of his eyes stand out, even in the dim starlight shining through the portholes. It didn't deter her though and she lavished his flesh, testing him, as his hips pushed toward her mouth.

"Please, T'Pol," he said. It was a plea, and one her Pon Farr could not ignore.

Straddling him, she eased herself onto his rigid column, still wet from her mouth. The moment their hipbones met, his hand reached up to cradle the side of her face and she nuzzled her cheek into his outstretched palm.

Using her thighs and knees for balance, she pushed herself up and swiveled her abdomen to connect and leave him. A hand reached at her waist and helped her motions, just as slow and deliberate as the pace she'd set. It made her turn into his palm and kiss it, slipping her eyes closed for a moment just to enjoy the feel of him.

The penetration was deep.

Maybe she'd leaned down, or maybe he'd managed to crane his neck to meet her lips, but somehow she realized the two were kissing. It wasn't the mad frenzy from yesterday where her lips sought his blindly, it was more languid even if the need today was greater than yesterday's. Instead of darting and dodging their tongues against each other, they rolled together and even met outside their mouths to mingle and play.

Leaning up, so that he'd created a lap for her, his hands rushed beneath her hair as their bodies undulated. And as their eyes met, his fingers tugged at her breast gently.

"This feels great," he said. His hushed tone barely reached her ears and she couldn't help but agree.

"Yes."

She wrapped her legs around his lower back and he helped her meet his body and fall against it as he kissed her lips, cheek, eyes and neck. His teeth occasionally worked themselves to the points of her ear where she could hear his soft and labored breathing.

I can go on like this for days.

And just as she thought that, his thumb circled the sensitive spot above their joining and she heard herself struggle for breath. Her fingers combed through his hair at the gesture and her mouth took his while she forced their bodies together, giving into gravity.

The leisurely ministrations of his thumb became a little more furtive and she bit her lip, whimpering, letting the hum of it buzz her teeth. A small smile perked up his face and his tongue lapped at her mouth.

She swiveled her hips more matching the motion of his finger, titling her head back, arching toward him. A wet tongue slid along her nipple until much of her breast was in his mouth. She rode him harder, quickening the speed; his hips bucked against hers with more fervor.

After suckling her, his teeth nabbed the other one, nibbling and tugging. Fingers spread through his hair, bringing him closer to continue the way he made her body throb and ache. His mouth was about to tease her again, when she felt her body begin to reach its greatest climb, as if she was teetering on the edge of a cliff.

Cupping her hand on his shoulder, she brought herself up and fell on him relentlessly—over and over, losing track of what her fingers, mouth or tongue was up to, and barely coherent of what his were doing.

Her only reality: his eyes staring into hers.

Their soft cries mixed, her eyes coated in green—either the blood in her body coursing through her or the color of his eyes filling her entire world. Jutting out her chest, gasping for air, she threw her head back as the feeling of her walls clamped him insistently, many times over, deep and long.

He burst inside of her.

Again delicious satisfaction quenched her. It's the first time she'd closed her eyes and did so to relish the nirvana.

Better than meditation. Much better.

Zen.

After a few seconds when her eyes opened, she realized they were both twitching—the ripples bringing her mind into focus. The need again was fulfilled and she would live another day.

Curiously, rather than bask in the afterglow of his orgasm, she noticed he looked at her as if basking in hers. The gleam in his eye was warm and comforting like a candle in a darkened room.

Yes, his eyes are deeply green. Not hazel, but pure.

Rather than part or speak, he kissed her—one delivered on her lips and then was joined by the parting of her mouth with his tongue. When he ended their embrace, he sighed.

It was then she knew, although she should've deciphered it yesterday.

He loved her.

And the passion they shared was meaningful to him.

A smile tugged at his cheek, as if to affirm her thoughts, and he kissed her again on the tip of her nose.

"That's a nice way to wake up," he said.

Barely turning her head, she noted the time. It was still early—0421.

He will need to be on the bridge in less than three hours.

Shifting her weight to leave his embrace, she felt an arm snake around her and bring her into a hug. When he released her and before he could kiss her again, she left his lap and sat next to him.

A dreamy smile covered his face, and he brushed a lock of her hair from her forehead.

"I have something to tell you," she said. The fever's effects evacuated her mind, leaving her with logic—cool like a lifeline.

"You've got my attention," he said. There was a hint of laughter to his voice and she nearly frowned at it.

"Jonathan," she said.

"What?" The same smile plastered his face.

"I've been gathering feelings from you, or at least what I believe are feelings."

"Oh?"

"Yes. It seems there is affection you feel for me, one with romantic undertones."

"You've decided to share Pon Farr with someone else?"

There was a sparkle in his eyes, bemused with his own joke that was extinguished suddenly, as if he'd seen there was no warm glimmer in hers.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"I assumed you knew about a relationship I'm already involved in."

"What?" he asked. A furrow crossed his brow.

"I thought you knew. I thought he'd told you."

"No." His jaw clenched and his eyes fell to the bed. "I...you said you wanted me. I thought that meant...."

"Yes, it is clearly a miscommunication. I wanted you, yes, but had Trip been here, I would've wanted him."

The room must've dropped in temperature a few degrees because she got a sudden chill, one that climbed her spine and made the hairs on her neck stand—it was the icy stare from the man she shared her bed with. He was speechless.

"That is why I thought you knew," she said. "You and Trip are friends, so I assumed he—"

"Trip?" he said. It was clear the stun was only now wearing off.

"Yes."

"Trip," he said again. The words stung the air as if they were foreign, awkwardly spilling from his tongue.

"Yes. Jonathan, I apologize, I thought—"

"I don't understand."

"Trip is out of communication range, at a conference. He could not fulfill my need from that distance and since my Pon Farr came on suddenly, I had to look for alternatives. I felt the next most logical choice was you. We have been friends for some time and—"

The thud when he dropped his head into his hands stopped her comment. It was clear in her fever she'd made a colossal error in judgment.

"Trip and I have been friends for more than ten years." The weakness in his voice said everything. The look in his eye after his head finally lifted could only be described as haunted. "Ten years."

"You feel I have compromised your friendship."

The remark went unquestioned.

She said, "You feel this, despite the fact you saved my life—that you needed to mate with me in order so that I may live?"

Frowning, he dragged his glare to her. "We didn't just mate, T'Pol. I made love to you, and I think you did the same to me."

She was about to contradict, when he continued. "I pleasured you with my tongue, and you pleasured me with yours. That's not merely copulation."

He swallowed deeply and she could feel her heart beat, thumping in her chest.

Jonathan said, "I think you even enjoyed it."

Her skin prickled and the hairs on her arms stood up when he leaned in, speaking directly in her ear.

"It felt like you would want to do it again."

The man was undoubtedly sensual, erotic, and rather than take the information as defeat, he spread his lips over her mouth. After leaning back, he asked her a question that seemed rhetorical.

"I'm right, aren't I?" he asked.

She finally found her voice, shaky though it was.

"Pon Farr urges are uncontrollable. The desire is overwhelming. Intense." Her toes even curled at the mere mention of her lust. "It blinds us. Jonathan, I would do anything in the throes of it."

"Even call out my name?" he asked. "Even take me in your mouth?"

"Yes."

He seemed unconvinced, but backed away from her and wiped his hand over his face.

He said, "Trip gets back in about a week."

"My fever should be under control by then, but I will need your assistance until that time...that is if you decide to continue to help me."

Turning his body to stare at the ceiling, he seemed to give the matter more consideration that he did initially. After several minutes of silence, he spoke, his voice rough.

"You were right, what you said."

Knitting her brow, she was about to query his meaning, when he added a few words.

"I'll help you. But, I don't think we should tell Trip."

Although the Southerner was open-minded, she understood this would be difficult for him.

"Agreed," she said.

Rising, he looked for his clothes scattered across the floor, stepping into them hurriedly.

"There is no need for you to leave," she said.

"Yeah, there is." Buttoning his shirt, he threw a look to her and softened. "Listen, I think we should just stick to...copulation."

"You mean only sex?"

"Only sex," he said. "And once it's over, I should leave."

"If that is what you wish."

"Seems like it's for the best."

With a frown on his face he was about to depart, when she told him she wouldn't be able to attend the Bridge for a few days. Her fever would prevent her from working and may give their arrangement away to fellow crewmen.

After a sharp nod, he walked out the door. When it shut behind him, T'Pol fell back on the bed and breathed in the scent of her room. It smelled of sex and him, lingering on her pillow, on her mouth and in her bed linens. In a perfect world, a Vulcan's mate would share their quarters every day for a week, but that seemed impossible now. And while the cool mantle of logic was within grasp, she thought maybe it was for the better.

Trip will be back soon and my fever will be over.

On weak legs, she pushed herself off the bed and walked to the shower. Before she stepped underneath the stream, her hand swiped at the inside of her leg. Warm and wet. It was him; she was filled with him and their mating.

Giving a sigh, she stepped into the shower anyway, hesitant to wash away his love making and scent. After soaping herself, briefly wondering if his hands would suds her breasts, buttocks and inner thighs one day, she rinsed it away along with his smell.

Stepping out into the room, she noted the air filters hadn't recycled the air. It still had the odor of sweat and sex.

With that, she put on a light robe and meditated.


Want hit her in the early afternoon, like a sandstorm, whipping at her control. It had been building for some time, but by lunch it because impossible to ignore. With trepidation, she pushed her body to the comm and called for him.

I want to share my bed with him again, my need. I want to look into his eyes and know he is enjoying my pleasure.

"Archer here."

"It is T'Pol," she said. The words were hard to spit out, especially trying to remove want from her voice.

"You'd like to see me?"

His voice was casual, as if missing the huskiness of their earlier interludes.

He must be on the Bridge.

Trying to wipe the memory of his face climaxing from her mind, she stiffened her voice.

"Yes, do you have a moment?" she asked.

"I'll be right there. Archer out."

It took approximately fifteen minutes for him to arrive. And when he did, she nearly leapt at him as he crossed the threshold of her room. Instead of meeting her lips, he held her at bay, bracing his palms against her shoulders.

When she stopped pushing forward, his hands slid off her robe, freeing her of the cotton garment, and she shivered. Her head titled so her lips could capture his until, surprisingly, he backed away and started taking off his uniform.

Maybe he does not know how great the fire inside me is. "I need you."

"Lie on the bed," he said.

Confused, she did as he requested and waited for him. Each stitch of clothing was peeled from his body, and she watched as he unzipped his suit and then slipped out, unbuttoned his shirt and then stripped out of it and then removed his underwear to free himself.

Licking her lips, feeling the covers under her fingernails, she noticed he was hard and ready for her.

He said, "On your stomach."

She did so, and then asked him a question. "Why?"

Waiting for him, she felt his form settle on the bed and begin to kiss her spine and shoulders. Hunching her body to meet his lips, delighting in each kiss, she found herself on her hands and knees.

He curled the fingers of one hand around her hip and pulled her toward him. Unexpectedly, she felt him push inside her, his lower abdomen against her buttocks. It caused her to gasp.

"I wanted to caress you," she whispered, clumsily.

"You felt ready." His voice was husky and dark.

Before she could answer, he rocked gently against her.

"I wanted to feel my skin on yours," she said.

His stomach and chest curved around her back, the fur tickling her spine, and she felt his breath on her ear. Although his penetration became more shallow, his skin on hers made her hang her neck forward with desire.

"Like this?" he asked.

A moan escaped her lips as he rocked against her again.

He nibbled on the back of her neck and she pushed against him a little. Soon their bodies met each other's and she could feel his breath on her shoulders and neck. The motions were fluid and even tender. And yet, something about this coupling felt sterile. There was a connection made yesterday and early this morning between them that wasn't present now. Even though her body was succumbing to paradise, she felt oddly disappointed.

"I want to look into your eyes," she said.

"You don't like this?" he asked. His voice was unsteady.

"It's not the position; I want to look into your eyes."

Carefully, he disconnected from her. Whispering against her back, he said words that stung her.

"I thought this was just about sex."

But, before she could answer, he took her hand tugging it gently and the two walked away from the bed and toward the bathroom. As she was about to ask why they were headed there, she understood: the bathroom had a mirror. It was the only room that did.

Facing toward it, looking at her own trembling and naked body, she saw him come behind her to rest his hands on her shoulders. His eyes met the mirror and his hand caressed her belly, easing her over the sink—draping her there—while he spread her legs apart and caressed her flank.

Yes.

Staring at his visage—his flush cheeks, dark eyes and his damp hair—made her burn. She leaned her body over the sink further and gripped the cold steel, writhing under his touch.

As he pushed into her again, she could see his focus on their connection—staring at her back and then closing his eyes as he buried himself in her. His cheeks hollowed and his jaw clenched and then she looked at her own face—her eyes had narrowed and her lips split apart.

"Oh," she said.

Like a wave, his body pushed against her and she rolled along with it, her eyes glued to his. And the dance began again, much like she imagined it on her bed. His hips rocked against her and the depth of him inside her made her struggle for air. Removing the entire length of him, he'd re-enter, slowly as her knuckles clamped around the sink tighter.

It was agony to watch her own body—breasts exploding yearning to be touched and jiggling at the force—and desire so squarely on his face without their lips touching.

"I want to kiss you," she said in between staggered breaths.

His hand guided over her flank, bringing her to him harder.

"Oh?" he asked. His voice was deep, rumbling. If she didn't know better it was a groan. "You said you wanted to look in my eyes without changing positions."

The remark left her silent, and instead of responding verbally, she pushed against him harder until her skin slapped against his. His fingers moved from her hip to her shoulder and he slammed his body against hers harder.

The mirror caught his eyes; they were steelier, much colder than yesterday. Their green hues lacked true affection.

He said, "You just want me to fuck you."

Yes. She'd heard him curse before, but the licentious comment made her grab him, tightening around his girth. Ludicrous as it was, she enjoyed hearing him say that while looking at her in a mirror, spread out for him. A moan escaped her lips.

Using the sink to push herself, she collided with him harder still. A groan left his lips.

"Tell me more," she said. "I burn for you like an inferno, and your words are like oxygen and fuel."

Although his face was dark with lust, an odd smile crept over his lips. "You want me to talk dirty with you?'

She was silent, pulsating gently for him. Pushing against him, she found her mouth moving, asking a question before her brain could comprehend it.

"You've wanted to take me like this before?" she asked.

Their eyes met.

"Yes," he said.

"Tell me other ways you've wanted me."

"T'Pol, I don't think it's—"

"When I fantasized about you, I imagined the two of us in the shower, wet and eager to be in each other's arms. You hoisted me around your hips and the two of us sought heights, pleasures, yet unknown."

She noticed Jonathan's speed had picked up.

He said, "I thought about you in Decon, rubbing gel all over your body, on your shoulders and breasts until you kissed me, teasing my mouth."

"Yes," she said.

Their bodies connected with increasing speed and force until she felt the throbbing between her legs grow outrageous, as if she wanted to scream. To compensate, she lifted her hips to provide him more and better access. And in response he slapped his flesh against her, unfazed.

An orgasm hit her, broad sided her, until she felt the undulation of her body give way into a moan and clenching. Yet, in the mirror Jonathan seemed persistent, even through her climax.

It's when the frenzy began.

Blissfully unaware, taken from one release to another, she eventually heard her mate behind her cry out in ecstasy. Taking her narrowed eyes, lost in heaven themselves to the mirror, she noted his gaze was on her. When the orgasm hit him, he said her name as if by accident.

"T'Pol," he said.

Quaking his body fell against hers to hold it until the shivering ended. His forehead fell forward, splashing a bead of sweat onto her back, and then he came up for air.

The relief this time was delicious, like savoring tea after a long day.

Exhausted, he slumped against her. "God."

The quivering of his body continued and then she noticed his legs were shaking; it's when she realized she was also barely able to stand. The labored breathing behind her settled and eventually he looked at her in the mirror.

"You all right?" he asked.

"No," she said.

She could tell his mouth was about to ask where he'd injured her, when she interrupted.

"That was extraordinarily pleasant."

A purring laugh became a heartfelt one and echoed through her bathroom. He stroked her back, his fingers sliding up toward her neck.

"Yeah. It was."

He dismounted and bobbled, his balance off-kilter and before she could help him, he fell on his backside. T'Pol would've said her captain was graceful until that moment, and she inwardly smiled that she had felled the man.

"Jonathan?"

He blew out a long breath and laughed. "My legs just kinda gave."

Even after he stood carefully, she noticed his knees still wobbled a little.

"Why don't you lie down?" she asked.

He nodded. "Just for a second."

The two headed over to the bed and without hesitation, he stretched out his form on her sheets before taking his hand through his sweaty hair. Feeling her own legs strained, she lay down next to him and let her toes play with his hairy ones.

It caused him to snigger and twitch before he moved his feet from hers. When she shot an eyebrow, thinking his tittering laughter sounded incongruous with what she knew about him, he explained himself.

"I'm ticklish on my feet."

Her feet moved over to his again, and he scooted away, with the same results.

"Come on. Cut that out."

And then it happened; she kissed him for the first time that afternoon. She wasn't sure why, but it certainly wasn't logical. Their foray was over and the fires of her Pon Farr had cooled, her skin warm and her eyes glowing. As her tongue pressed into his mouth and rolled against his, she hummed into his throat—a sigh.

He backed away.

"I better go," he said.

"Stay," she said.

Maneuvering over her, he left her bed and then grabbed at the railing for a moment to catch his balance.

"It looks as if you need to rest anyway," she said.

"Nah, I'll be okay. It's just been a while since I stretched my muscles like that."

An eyebrow arched, almost as if by its own volition, and she heard her voice speak before she could assess whether it was appropriate.

"How long?"

Furrowing his eyebrows at her, he shook his head. "I should get back to the Bridge."

Her mouth tugged down ever so slightly and a knot strangled her stomach.

"Perhaps before going back to the bridge, you should shower," she said.

Scratching his damp head, he looked down and then gave a slight nod. "You don't mind?"

"No."

He headed into her bathroom, after collecting his clothes strewn out over the floor and shut the door behind him—a sure indication he wished to be alone.

Even with calm enveloping her, there was the residue of Pon Farr—embers that could be easily stoked given the opportunity. Imagining Jonathan in the shower, wet and naked, singed her insides and for a moment her heart fluttered at the thought.

Her deepest fantasy, the one she envisioned as she felt stricken with the Fever, was to wrap her legs around his waist as their bodies united. And yet, her Pon Farr didn't rage.

Perhaps I'll just watch him.

The moment her feet padded against the deck plating, she thought better of it.

There may be another opportunity. Right now, he needs his privacy.

Soon, he emerged dressed, hair dried and looking just as polished as when he entered her room. Instead of a man, rutting against her—helping her to reach climbs of bliss, he was her captain.

She said, "I will contact you again when the need arises."

He nodded and was about to leave, when she stopped him and pressed her open palm against his cheek. Her thumb stroked the stubble that grew there, gliding along as if to cut her skin.

"You have been generous to me," she said. "Thank you."

The Vulcan felt him wither, his heart beating into his throat.

Before he could leave, she pressed her lips against his and after only a few seconds he separated from her and headed out. Instead of luxuriating in the afterglow of their coupling, she stared at the door.


The hours rolled by, dinnertime came and went, and the need to mate began to surge through her. When she could stand it no longer, she used the intercom to reach his quarters. No response. She decided to call his Ready Room and then the Bridge. Nothing. He wasn't in the Captain's Mess or the Mess Hall, nor was he in the Situation Room.

A green veil, her blood, started covering her eyes and she could feel her pulse speed furiously—the skin of her neck jumping to its beat. Piercing the skin of her hands with her nails, she fought for control.

Her tongue swelled, caking inside her mouth making it impossible to speak. For a moment, she thought about wandering the halls to look for him, to beg him to come to her bed.

The throbbing between her legs intensified, reminding her of their trysts—how he filled her, how his heavy form weighed down her body and how his fingers and tongue teased her into submission. Almost with a smile, she closed her eyes to recall the feel of his stubble against her groin as his tongue flicked along her folds and inside her.

Removing her robe, she noticed her breasts had swollen in excitement thinking about him. It made her bite her lip, hard—hard enough that she felt blood trickle down her chin. Her fingers ran in between her legs to test the readiness of her body. She nearly cried out; her body was, sopping—weeping for him.

Where is my mate?

Despite the dryness of her mouth and trembling hand, she was about to make a ship-wide announcement to plead with him to take her when her door chimed. Naked, her knees unsteady, she walked to the door.

"Who is it?" she asked. The quivering of her voice startled even her.

"It's me. Open up."

A growl formed in her throat and she licked the blood from her lips as she acquiesced to the demand. In an instant, his body wrapped around hers as if to protect her from passersby, leading her backwards until the door closed.

Wearing a gray tank top and shorts, drenched in sweat, he narrowed his eyes at her.

"Oh my God, are you all right?" he asked.

Tuning out his questions, including whether to call Dr. Phlox, she focused on his skin—it was sticky and slick as if he had mated, just as wet as when they were last together. Voracious, T'Pol twitched her nose, sniffing at his neck to catch his scent and relished it was his alone—a mixture of grass and musk.

Mine.

About to lick a bead of sweat from his neck, hands fell around her shoulders in concern.

"T'Pol, answer me. Are you all right?"

"I've been thinking about you," she said. Her voice sounded raspier than she'd intended.

He looked at her clenched fists.

"You cut your hands?"

Opening a hand, she noticed she had. Ten prick points bled freely where she'd dug into her skin with her own nails.

"Yes," she said.

"You're covered in blood," he said. "Is it from your hands?"

Glancing down, her breasts were smeared with green, trailing down to her stomach, past her navel and at her groin. She didn't remember touching most of her body, but she must've. A weak nod let him provide a relived sigh.

"Let's wash you off," he said.

When he touched her arm, leading her into bathroom, she felt it tingle and again the fierce beating of her heart slammed against her chest; it was delight she would live, it was delight that she would fornicate until submission and it was delight that the man touching her would be the one to take her to the sublime.

"I heard from Lt. Reed you'd called up to the Bridge ten times looking for me," he said. "I was in the gym. I'm sorry, I didn't realize—"

The words drowned out and a growl worked from her throat about to spring from her lips when they stopped in front of her shower. His thumb dabbed at the blood dripping from her mouth.

At his touch, she whimpered, writhing against his body.

Touch me.

Taking his hand, she traced a lazy pattern over her chest and between her legs, noticing his attention remained focused on her face.

She said, "I burn for you." Her hand left his and dug easily into his shorts, past his elastic waistband, and reveled that he was already becoming stiff. "I have been stewing in my heat, my blood boiling for you. I have been thinking of the ways you touch me, the way you look into my eyes."

His jaw clenched, as if she was stoking his fire.

She said, "I need your lips on me, your body against mine."

He leaned over, without disturbing her gentle exploration of his erection, to turn on the shower to warm up. When he turned back toward her, she couldn't help but capture his lips, smearing the blood from her mouth onto his.

Averting her eyes, she saw green had stained his shirt and pants. A chill went up her spine.

"Take your shirt off," she said.

He obeyed, tossing it to the ground.

Seeing his skin and chest hair matted down with perspiration made her shiver with anticipation; she pressed her mouth against his chest—tasting the salt and the musk and then savored it on her tongue. Her palette cried for more of him, and her tongue wandered to his nipple where she grabbed it with her teeth before looking up at him.

"You're sweating," he said. His voice was husky too.

"I do so for you, my mate."

Slowly, as if to tease herself, she pushed his shorts down past his hips and reveled in the sight before her. The tip of him, what her hand had played with, had already engorged past the waistband of his Starfleet-issued briefs and lay on his hip. It was smeared with her green blood and still she could see the tip of it gleaming with a white, milky substance. Forcing his underwear down, she kneeled before him.

Her tongue flattened against him, tasting the metallic of her blood, the salt of his sweat and the salty-sour mixture that was his essence the one she craved in her heat. Closing her mouth around him, her hand reached for his backside, she attempted to swallow almost his entire girth. It earned a ferocious moan, one that made her walls twitch. After letting her tongue stroke him inside her mouth a few times, she let him fall from her lips.

"Have you fantasized that I bring you to orgasm like this?" she asked.

"Yes," he hissed.

The pounding in her ears, her heart, drowned out all other noise. If the inferno that raged inside of her was less fierce, she would gladly bring him to climax this way, but now was not the time.

Rising, she stared into his eyes.

"I have envisioned that as well," she said.

Urgently, he kissed her, his tongue and mouth devouring hers. Her heart raced, throbbed. And when they broke for air, his mouth still soiled with her blood, she felt her insides tremble for him.

"Please, hurry," she said.

Stepping under the spray, she let the water hit her. It was warm, like a blanket, and just as comforting. After stripping out of the rest of his clothes, he met her under the nozzle.

Water cascaded down his body, momentarily stopping it from reaching hers. It matted down the soft fur of his chest, legs and arms. Beads of rain streamed down his skin and the heat of the shower hung in the air making it thick.

His hands reached under her wet hair and they kissed harder, their tongues lapping at each other, and then his mouth darted to her ear to suckle the point. His fingers slid between her legs and entered her quickly, causing a gasp to slip from her mouth.

"Did you touch yourself like this when you thought of me?" he whispered.

She didn't answer at first, so his fingers taunted her again.

"No," she said. "I wanted to save that feeling for you. I wanted my body to tremble for you."

It was his turn to growl. Feeling his hand leave her body, she gazed at him with confusion until she felt him clutch waist and hoist her to his middle. Leaning her against the corner of the shower wall for stabilization, he pushed the tip of himself inside her.

After both had time to adjust, he buried himself and she couldn't help but throb at the feel of him, pulsating around him in short bursts. When the spasms passed, she noticed his lips on her breast, suckling it.

"Is this like your fantasy?" he asked.

His eyes met hers briefly before his teeth raked against the soft, green flesh of her nipple. A moan was his reward, one that she was sure loosed itself from her stomach.

"In my visions, you massaged my skin with soap."

With one arm still around her waist, he reached his other out under the gun of the soap dispenser. Darkly, he gave her a command.

"Pump some in my hand."

Leaning against the wall, she pushed down on the lever and saw a dollop of white foam squirt out. For only a moment, his hands rubbed together—leaving her precariously at his waist and against the wall—until one arm rejoined around her. A hand leisurely touched her breast and then massaged it.

As the foray began, his hips rocked against hers. She heard the creak of his knees as he lowered himself with his legs and rose to meet her body.

In an instant she was whisked away again. Hands continued to roam, kneading skin and then teasing it as his hips met hers. Snapped back to reality, she heard him whisper in her ear again, his breath already becoming labored.

"Your fantasy was like this?"

"No," she said. "This is better."

"Mmmm."

Her mouth found his and as she kissed him, she noticed he kept his eyes open. Focusing on the green hue, stimulated almost beyond the point of control, she whispered against his mouth.

"Your eyes are pleasing. I like when you watch me like this."

His mouth touched hers and their tongues rolled against each other before he spoke.

He said, "You mean when we make love?"

"Yes."

Her fingers spread over his cheek and she kissed him again. And again. And again until their mouths attacked each other while their eyes held steadfast, trained on the other. Even though she had to dip her head down and search for his mouth because of their position, she wanted to kiss him—more than to feel his lips at her breast, tracing the side of her neck or even suckling the point of her ear. Her tongue and throat swallowed his gasps and grunts, just as his swallowed hers, all the while, his eyes stayed on her.

Soon the timing of their mouths connecting and the way they moved against the other seemed to keep a rhythm that his body created. Their cries, muffled into each other's throat caught the same beat, syncopated only by a fraction of a second. The mist of the spray was warm and began making him almost too slick to move against or hold onto.

Weaving her fingers into his wet hair and wrapping her legs around him more securely, she noticed his head backed away from her mouth. Instead, his mouth dipped open as pants escaped his lips, huffing upward toward her.

It was more intimate than when their lips touched. Much more.

Her hand petted the hair at his temple, stroking it and his cheekbone watching his eyes lost their hue, becoming blacker by the minute. Focusing on drowning out the water cascading to the ground, hitting the white tile of the floor, she focused on his voice—the soft huffs that barely made it to a tenor note. She'd lost concentration—where his hands caressed her skin, teasing in all the places she enjoyed being touched.

Their dance, his music—it was seduction. And before she could think, her body thrust forward in joy and her body trembled at the force at her waist while staring into his eyes. Her head was clear enough to notice her voice quivered, echoing off the shower walls just as his pupils exploded past their rim.

"Join me," she said.

Rather than furrow his brow at her, his hands gripped her and he pulled and pushed her body against his—hard.

"Oh, God."

"Yes," she said. It was encouragement.

His voice cried out a little more helplessly, wordlessly.

"Yes," she said again.

Her hips met his, grinding faster and harder until his hand left her shoulder to grab for the wall, to hold himself up, as he came. She heard his voice shake, reverberating off the walls and noticed his eyes watching her. And then she gasped again, her canal twitching with delight.

Instead of saying anything when Jonathan recovered he furrowed his brow. It caused hers to knit hers as well.

"What?" she asked.

He shook his head.

She persisted. "What?"

He pushed at her hips to disconnect them and she noticed his arms trembled, as if he'd overused them—hoisting up her body—past the limit. When her feet touched the ground, she looked up into his eyes and touched the side of his cheek.

Without answering, he put his hand on the glass door to leave, when she stopped him.

"I'd like to wash you."

He said, "I don't think that's such a good idea."

Before he could resist, she pumped lather into her hands and spread it over his chest. Taking her hands in his, he shook his head once more.

"You didn't like that?" she asked.

He sighed. "It's not that."

She took that as liberty to smooth her soapy hand down his stomach and over his genitals.

"Don't," he said.

Glancing down, noticing his waning erection twitch as if to wax again, she replied.

"I thought you liked that."

Cupping her chin in his hand, he spoke almost against her lips.

"Did I satisfy you?" he asked.

"Yes." She poked an eyebrow in his direction.

He said, "You said you burned for me. Do you still? Do you need more from me?"

Her fire had cooled significantly, leaving only the trace of embers that she felt in plak-tow. And yet, the luxurious feeling of completion that was there before was tempered by another feeling—a need to kiss his lips and touch him. Her heart pounded and her throat threatened to close.

"No, I am satiated."

He swallowed deeply, his hand leaving her chin. Looking up at him, gazing into his eyes, she stood on tiptoe to touch her lips to his while her hands massaged his shoulders.

"Why are you doing this?" he asked. Instead of sounding angry, the timbre of his voice was low and soft.

She had no answer.

"T'Pol, you told me in a matter of days this will be over."

"Yes."

She pressed her mouth to his again, letting her hands clean his chest.

He said, "You told me you were involved already."

"I fail to see your point."

He raised his brows and looked down at her, a decided frown cascading across his face.

"You're involved with Trip."

She didn't comment, although she knew where he was going with the conversation. Doggedly, he continued.

He said, "You indicated you wanted to continue a relationship with him."

Silence rang out, and instead of answering him, she snaked her hand around his gluts to wash them. Before she knew it, her body was pressed against his.

He said, "This feels wrong."

"Does it?"

He panted a little and then captured her lips suddenly. When they parted he told her the truth.

"No."

And then after they looked into each other's eyes, he felt the need to say more.

"Maybe that's why it is."

She said, "Our agreement is to continue this way until my cycle has ended."

Their lips met tenderly again and his hands joined in massaging her skin. "I thought the agreement was: just sex."

"If that is the case, I'd like to change that agreement."

"Why?"

"Vulcan mating is casual. After copulation, it is not uncommon for couples to touch and caress each other."

"Among humans this just builds intimacy."

"Mating is always intimate."

"T'Pol, among humans intimacy and love go hand in hand." Gingerly, his nose touched hers. "The more intimate we become the harder it's going to be to leave."

"For you," she said.

A frown planted itself on his face. "Yes, for me."

"Do you think it will be easy being my commander after this?" she asked.

A while passed before he answered her. "No."

"Then, it seems that problem already exists."

His head leaned against hers and he stared into her eyes, as if looking for something—searching.

"Your eyes were open as you climaxed," he said. It was a whisper. "I felt you wanted to reach intimacy with me, not just to satisfy your Pon Farr."

Her hands left his body and she knitted her brow.

He asked, "Do you think it will be easy for you to fall back into a relationship with Trip after this?"

A swallow was his only answer. She turned her head and pushed her way out of the shower and grabbed a towel. When she wrapped it around her, she heard the shower door squeak open and felt his presence behind her.

"Why do you want intimacy with me?" he asked.

"It is gratifying."

"Why?"

"Because you are my mate."

He gently turned her shoulders to face him. "Even out of Pon Farr? You told me you no longer burned for me, and yet you still wanted to kiss me."

"I told you—Vulcans—"

"Yes, they touch after sex. I don't think that's why you want to kiss me after you're already 'satiated' or watch me as we make love."

"Oh?"

"No. I think you feel a connection between us."

"A connection?"

"Something that has been there for a while. Something we can explore because Trip isn't here and because you've entered your mating cycle."

"You're suggesting my need for you is emotional?" she asked.

His hand raised, cupping the side of her face and his thumb ran along her cheek. "Isn't it?"

Silence ensued until his lips pressed against hers. When they broke, he looked her in the eye and opened his mouth tentatively, speaking in whispers.

"You asked me if I was in love you with."

For a moment, she wanted to put her hand over his mouth to stop whatever he had to say from reaching the air and traveling along it, but instead she let her heart thunder.

He said, "I was honored you asked me to help you through Pon Farr for many reasons. I'm your friend; I'd never want anything bad to happen to you, and I'd save your life anyway I could."

Yes.

He continued. "I was touched you trusted me."

Yes. I always have.

"And as a man I was thrilled. I wanted to feel your body, listen to your whimpers...." Producing a small smile, he finished his thought. "I've been in love with you for some time."

The words were said, shooting through the air like lightning—electric. However, rather than feel elation, she felt something akin to terror. Pumping, her heart struggled against the news and she felt hot tears work themselves to her eyes threatening to spill.

"In my lust, I have hurt you, my dearest friend," she said, when she found her voice.

"You don't want to kiss a friend, you want a lover," he said. Closing the already cramped space between them, he looked down on her. "Tell me you haven't enjoyed hearing me cry out, moaning your name. Tell me even after you've been satisfied, that you haven't wanted to press your lips or body to mine."

She couldn't, and the terror sent shocks of panic down her arms, through her chest and into her stomach.

"You want intimacy between us, because you feel something for me," he said.

A single tear was hanging on the edge of her lashes about to trickle away, when he did something wholly illogical. Picking her up in his arms, he took her to her bed and snatched her towel away.

"Your fever has cooled, and still you want me," he said.

His mouth burned a trail down her neck and to her lips, inciting a fire than felt different than the inferno of Pon Farr. Glancing down her body, her breasts had already piqued to the news he would take her and her legs opened for him.

"You want me to make love to you," he said in her ear.

Hot breath tickled her ear and she writhed beneath him, skimming her fingers through his hair.

"Yes," she said.

And the two fell into bliss.


They hadn't talked any more about Trip, whispering between them about things they'd normally discuss: the ship, the stars, Vulcan....They chatted long after they'd parted from love's embrace until T'Pol finally heard heavy breathing, as if he couldn't keep his eyes open. After securing the sheets around him, she snuggled against him and slept.

He stayed with her all through the night and when her fever scorched her in the morning, they made love again. Instead of rushing off to work, he "called in sick." With a smile, he'd told her it wasn't a lie; the bruises covering him—even on his neck, his aching muscles and the sharp pain he experienced while breathing had prevented him from wanting to show his face in the captain's chair. The assignment, he told T'Pol, was easy and Malcolm could use the experience of command. After he made the appropriate contacts and followed up on orders, he fell asleep.

And yet she stayed awake. Feeling his body spooned against hers made her sigh in contentment. When she rolled over to watch him, she noticed his eyes were already close and the gentle rumble of his nose began.

Sniffing the room, she noticed it smelled like sex—dark and musky as if they had mated hundreds of times sweating against the sheets of her bed.

It wasn't just in my bed—in the shower, against my sink and this morning's tryst: on my meditation mat.

Settling her head against the pillow, she poked at eyebrow into the air.

It hadn't started there.

The memory of this morning almost brought a smile to her face.

Her body straddled his, aching for relief, slamming against his. In her bedlam, she'd managed to force his body nearly off the bed—his head dangling off the edge along with his shoulders, arms and most of his torso.

"T'Pol, wait," he said. "Let me move."

And yet she couldn't hold out. Nails raked against his flesh, piercing his skin. From her height, she saw bruises on his neck and chest, marks she'd placed there. Satisfaction ran down her spine; the symbols scratched and suckled along him were her runes of ownership. He belonged to her.

It made her increase her force and speed.

And soon rutting on top of him, pushing his body this way and that, she finally tossed her head back with demented glee. On her apex, she watched him topple out of bed and her along with him. Their union broken. He struggled for air—the wind knocked out of him—and she crawled to him, her mind clearing only for a second.

"Are you all right?" she asked.

When he finally caught his breath, he laughed.

"I've never been fucked so hard I fell out of bed."

She wasn't sure whether it was the curse or the purring in his throat, but she leapt for him again until he sprawled out on her meditation mat with his hands above his head.

A smile was on his lips, a teasing one, as she slid on top of him again.

"You like the control?" he asked.

She didn't answer, but silently mused maybe she did.

Kisses led to their hips moving against each other's again and soon his smile evaporated; his mouth hung open huffing, panting and chanting words of desire to her. Balancing on her knees, she kept her body stretched over him, holding his hands down—even when they resisted.

"Let me touch you," he said.

Drenched in pleasure, she shook her head. "I'm making love to you."

It made him buck his hips against hers and finally she withered at the onslaught and with a gasp felt her body clench and writhe. Her eyes fluttered and her hands slipped away from his, caught up in the orgasm. Without missing a beat, she felt his hands on her hips pushing her on, higher and higher until her voice whimpered for him.

"More," she said.

"Yeah," he said back.

Jaw clenched he, drew her body to him and away until finally the deep spasms that racked her quickened into release. And just as she climbed past its zenith, he exploded inside of her. Her eyes focused on him as his mouth dipped open and his neck jerked, veins protruding in ecstasy. His breath was staccato and finally with a low moan, his head rested against the mat.

After catching his breath, a grin slowly worked onto his face.

"Wow," he said.

There were times when humans' peculiar language fit like a glove, and his chortled and eager comment seemed to sum it all up.

Wow.

Afterward, they eventually gotten up, spent a little time in the bathroom cleaning up, went over to the bed to lay down and talked into the wee hours of the morning, her heart felt lighter and a giddiness grew there, just as effervescent as his bubbly words.

She felt that way even still. Gazing up, she noticed he stirred only marginally and his hand wrapped around her shoulder, pressing her closer to him.

Closing her eyes, she fell back asleep.


When her eyes opened, she felt lethargic—something that didn't happen often to Vulcans and realized it was because she hadn't eaten. Sitting up, she saw the spot next to her was vacant.

"Jonathan?" she asked.

When no one answered, she walked into the bathroom and noticed that too was empty. Fresh towels had been used though, hanging precariously back on the racks still damp.

Guiding a light robe over her body, she briefly thought about determining where he was when her door slid open. Already dressed and wearing his uniform, which hid his bruises, he walked in, a little stiff, carrying a tray.

"I know you haven't eaten," he said.

As he arranged everything for her, spreading it out over the mat they'd used this morning, she removed the sheets from her bed and spread fresh ones over her bed. At least it would mask some of the sex smell hanging in the air.

"I got you some of the broth you like. I hope that's okay," he said.

Plomek, she thought.

Nodding, she walked over the mat and sat crossed legged.

"I had not felt like eating until recently."

He smiled. "If you're going to come at me like you did earlier, you'll need to keep up your strength."

A chuckle resounded through the room and she narrowed her eyes at him.

"I think I have ended Plak-tow," she said.

She'd already explained what it was last night, which is why he nodded his head and then lifted the lid of his own meal.

"Too bad."

The twinkle in his eyes remained for a second, before he tucked into his breakfast—fruit, a muffin, coffee and orange juice.

"You showered?" she asked.

"Yeah," he said. "I also stopped by Dr. Phlox this morning."

"Are you well?"

He waved her off. "I just bruised a rib. He gave me something that'll help me breathe a little easier."

"Do you think he knows?" she asked.

He shrugged. "Hard to tell. Though, he did suggest I take the rest of the day off."

"He saw the bite marks and bruises?" she asked.

"I didn't disrobe, just unzipped my uniform and lifted my shirt," he said. After biting into a piece of fruit, he leaned over and put his hand on hers. "You're upset?"

"No," she said. Sagging her shoulders, she told him again. "No."

"What is it then?"

"I...," she said. A sigh heaved from her lungs, a deep one. "I feel guilty that I've hurt you. And it feels strange to have him know about my sex life."

After sipping at his orange juice, he nodded as if he knew all too well what an invasion of privacy it was for the doctor to poke and prod about sexual relations.

He said, "Well, as far as feeling guilty about hurting me...." Leaning over, he pressed his lips to hers and then retreated. "I can safely say in my forty-four years, that I've had the best sex of my life. If taking a few bruises is all it costs, then I'm happy to take a few more."

Their eyes met and her lips curled, barely spreading her mouth. Jonathan gave a broader smile and his fingers spread over her mouth as if to notice it. And then his hand left her face and the two tucked into their meal.

When she finished sipping the broth, which she noticed she ate greedily, he offered food from his tray.

"Aren't you hungry?" she asked.

"I had a blueberry muffin while waiting for your broth."

Looking down at his plate, he cut off a piece of pineapple with his fork and held it out.

"Want some?"

Knitting her brow, she pointed to her utensils. "I have a fork."

"We've already shared saliva, not to mention a couple other bodily fluids, I think it's safe to eat off my fork."

With a ghost-like frown, she leaned over to take a bite. And then he produced another, kissing her before she could chew it or swallow it, robbing her of the fruit.

At her bewilderment, he waved a fork toward her and gave a mischievous smile.

"Wanna try again? Come and get it."

His challenge stuck in her craw and before he could wipe the smugness from his visage, she decided to take action. Unzipping his uniform quickly and before he could stop her, she lowered her lips to his lap. As soon as her fingers freed him, she noticed an erection formed almost instantly.

Swirling her tongue from the base, she licked her way to the tip, which had started to gleam.

She heard the fork fall helplessly to the mat, fingers weaved through her hair and a low moan erupted from him.

With satisfaction, she lavished attention the engorged pinkish-brown flesh in front of her. Tongue, mouth and fingers stroked, caressed and fondled him slowly in a steady rhythm. When her fingers tried to gently massage his testicles, she found his clothing too restrictive.

"Take off your uniform," she said.

She didn't need to ask him twice. Keeping his eyes on her, he shimmied out of it, standing, to remove every stitch.

The sultry way he disrobed fueled her eagerness to taste him. And before he could sit back down, she leaned her head up and put him in her mouth again. As soon as her lips had run over the tip of him, she sucked, repeating the process for minutes until she heard his toes flex and his ankles pop.

Her fingers fanned out through the coarse hair at his groin occasionally holding the base of him while her other hand teased the skin that hung between his legs.

"Oh, God," he whispered.

The comment delighted her and urged her to pick up her speed. Attempting to swallow as much of him as she could, she heard herself hum in pleasure. Bringing him to climax this way was intriguing and erotic.

"Come here," he said. His voice was gravely and faint. "Let me take you to bed."

Rather than succumb to his request, her lips worked over him with more intensity and her tongue rolled along his staff eagerly.

She heard his toes creak, flexing, and noticed his body was beginning to clench. Moving her hand to his backside, she forced him into her mouth, sucking harder.

"Oh, God, T'Pol," he said. His voice was thick and hoarse. "You're going to push me over the edge."

And that's just what she wanted. Her worship of his flesh continued greedily, working him until she could feel his hips join in and his fingers grip her hair.

"I want you to fall over the edge," she said. It was the first words she'd spoken since beginning the experiment.

A noisy moan, one that seemed to come from his stomach, fumbled from his mouth.

Tasting him with greater enthusiasm, suckling him, she left her entreat to whisper to him as a lover.

"I know you've fantasized about this."

His hips started to push against her harder.

She said, "I have as well. We have shared fluids, and I want to savor yours."

"Oh, God."

"I've wanted to take you into my mouth, Jonathan."

A noise, something that was almost a word spilled from his lips.

"I've wanted to taste you."

And then she worked harder, her mouth and tongue teasing him to completion—running over him to bring his journey to an end. She could feel his thighs stiffen, as if he was starting to lock his knees and suddenly his hand was guiding her by pulling and pushing.

She looked up, hoping to catch his gaze and as she did, she saw it happen. His eyes, looking down at her, glazed over, his voice sputtered and she felt warm fluid spray into her mouth as if to fill it. It was salty, a little sweet and a little sour and she swallowed the thick mixture, leaving her mouth encompassing him as he twitched inside of it.

Slowly, as he came to, she saw absolute rapture drape over him—his eyes glistened with awe and his body shivered in ecstasy. After the tremors left his body, she removed her mouth from him and stood to kiss his lips.

Grabbing her into his arms, shaky though they were, he kissed her passionately. When they broke for air, he gazed into her eyes.

"You asked me to 'get it,' did I accomplish that task?" she asked.

A chortle left his mouth and he pressed his forehead against hers.

"Jesus."

"I'll take that as a yes."

He kissed her lips again and then admitted he needed to sit down. When he reached the bed, his shoulders sagged and yet a grin remained on his face, plastered there. And she stood before him musing at the destruction she'd caused in the man. A hand ran over his face and he blew out a long breath.

"Jonathan?" she asked.

Although she knew she hadn't hurt him, it seemed wise to ask him.

"Are you all right?" she said.

A beaming smile was her answer. And just as she was about to sit down next to him, his eyes turned half-lidded.

He said, "I'd like to return the favor."

"It wasn't a favor it was—"

He ignored her and opened her robe. "While you were asleep I read into Vulcan sexuality a little."

Blood rushed to her mouth. "Oh?"

Tracing the folds of her labia, something that made her shiver, he nodded. "Yeah."

"What did you learn?" she asked.

His forefinger made small "s" patterns across the opening between her legs and to her amazement she could feel she was wet.

"I learned that Vulcan women enjoy two fingers running along their kotik."

He showed her his index and forefinger pressed together in a Vulcan kiss and mimicked the movement, tracing her labia and clitoris again.

"With an occasional touch inside their sudef-talu," he said.

Closing her eyes, she fell into the lull of his fingers as they barely nudged into her opening.

"And that taking my teeth to tug at your thasek-gonaf would drive you to orgasm faster."

With that, his teeth tenderly bit her nipple and then tugged, flicking his tongue at the end. After he looked at her swollen gland with satisfaction, he turned to the other, continuing to glide his fingers between her legs.

"I even read that Vulcans have a guv-kastorilauk zone," he said.

Just when she gave a twitch, she felt his two fingers dive inside of her as it to explore the erogenous zone he'd read about. Almost right away, he hit pay dirt—as if he already knew where it was—and moved his fingers against that area swirling and scooping to create more friction there.

She wanted him to probe deeper there and without thought raised her leg to rest by his hip. As soon as she planted it there, he kissed the inside of her thigh.

"You have sexy legs," he said.

His teeth took the green nub of her breast again, biting a little harder until she hissed and then he tugged, rolling his tongue against it.

"Your breasts are beautiful."

His thumb of his other hand touched her clitoris and she jumped at the feel—exquisite.

Nibbling with his teeth and pursing his lips to her breast, he spoke in hushed tones against her skin.

She found her hand had cupped the side of his face as he continued to suck harder. Holding his cheek in her hand, she could feel the ripples of emotion. There was hunger and something much deeper that wanted him to see lust dripping off of her without their bodies coupling even though she could see his erection.

"Pleasing you like this," he said, "it's nice."

His poking and prodding one particular spot caused her body to start swelling and writhing as if caught in an eddy of desire. It was difficult to think or act, only accept his motions.

"Do you want my tongue inside of you?" he asked.

She would've said yes to anything and found herself nodding despite not hearing the question. Easily, he flicked it against her groin, his stubble scraping her skin seductively. Although she could feel his fingers and tongue take turns, she couldn't distinguish between the two and the assault against her g-spot was overwhelming.

"Your taste is delicious," he whispered.

He suckled there for a second, lapping at her, and then continued.

"I can feel you tightening against my hand."

A wordless agreement came from her mouth like a whimper. His tongue tickled her clitoris and she felt her fingers cradle his head, carelessly turning over his strands of hair.

"I love bringing you to orgasm," he said. "I love watching you climax."

Her breath caught in her throat, preventing her from speaking. She mouthed his name, letting the last syllable of it hang on her lips as a whisper. As she did, his fingers and tongue entered together and she moaned.

"I love to hear you moan like that."

Inadvertently, she did it again. When she did, his fingers traced the light hair on her groin and his tongue pushed against the sensitive spot that had been teased almost to the brink.

"I love this. I love you," he said.

And in one massive release, she came. His hand didn't still, it teased her to the very end of climax and even his tongue flitted, joining in to bring her to new heights. Her body throbbed for him, quickly and sharply. She could feel his purring laugh at her opening, brushing air inside of her as she continued to twitch.

After the last of her spasms took her, he removed his fingers.

She gazed down at his erection.

"I see returning favors is something you enjoy."

He gave her a wide smile. Before she could make her way toward him, he shook his head.

"Seems like we'll have plenty of opportunities today. I'll pace myself."

That earned him the hint of a smile and she closed her robe as he caressed her gluts before the material draped over his arm.

Turning she looked behind her at his clothes strewn out over her room.

"I'd put them back on, but...I'd better give myself a couple of minutes."

T'Pol ratcheted her eyebrow up a few notches. "I don't mind you walking around my abode nude."

A smile drifted over his lips.


After cleaning up, reading and chatting on and off, T'Pol had changed into her pajamas and decided to kneel against her mat to meditate as Jonathan read a book. Placing her knees against the blue mat, she reached over to light her meditation candle and stared into the open flame.

It was the first time in several days she'd been able to concentrate enough to begin this practice.

Falling into the ritual, she let her body go limp—every single muscle going slack one at a time starting from her head and ending in her feet. In the process, she finally experienced the stillness of her thoughts and let a white light drape around her in tranquility.

It was a respite from her mating urges.

As her breaths slowed, her lungs expanding and contracting, a single question invaded her calm.

Jonathan or Trip?

Sighing, she tried to recapture the infinite the void. Sucking in air, filling her chest and then extolling the air languidly, her heart slowed and alabaster triumphed over her again.

Another idea crept to her brain: Pon Farr was enjoyable.

Rather than wrestle that thought away, she followed the thread calmly.

Yes, it was enjoyable. Enjoyment—an emotion.

She'd heard horror stories about it and had been prepared for the worst. Perhaps that's why now she was so pleased. Her body had been caressed and kissed, she'd personally reached levels of pleasure only dreamt of and had shared the experience with someone she cared for—a friend.

It could've been worse. Much worse.

Vulcan girls complained they were at the mercy of the males, succumbing to Pon Farr—even when it was their own—at the whim of the Vulcan male's dominant ways. It was known as brutal, ferocious, savage—broken bones, contusions and bloodshed a common occurrence.

And yet this felt humane. Sometimes he was the aggressor, sometimes she was. Neither was at the others' whim, instead it was equality. Even during the most savage of their mating, it was ecstasy.

Pon Farr with a human is different.

Humans honored feelings and the tenderness that sex could offer, the intimacy.

Jonathan is correct; intimacy is what makes sex riveting. There is physical satisfaction, but it is nothing compared to emotional satisfaction that intimacy brings.

It's why watching Jonathan's eyes while in the throes was so glorious. It's why knowing he wanted to watch her climax was so exhilarating.

It made her wonder about the sexual experiences between the only two men she'd been with. She'd only had sex with Trip twice, both times outside of Pon Farr. In bed, he was sweet, caring and attentive. There was most assuredly intimacy there. Every time he'd orgasm it would be to her name. The gestures he used were soft and tentative, as if cautious he would offend her.

Jonathan, on the other hand was sensual and erotic. He could still be caring, but she would never him sweet. The way he spoke to her made the hairs on her arms stand at attention and caused her heart to pound. The intimacy with him was intense and raw. And she got the impression though his gestures were tender, they were never cautious.

Realizing that ruminating on the joys of Pon Farr led back to her original question between a man who she'd shared a bond at one time—Trip—or the man who shared her bed—Jonathan—she decided the meditation was over.

Glancing behind her, she noticed her mate was fully engrossed in a book.

Swishing the blue satin material of her nightclothes against each other, she joined him on the bed, lying next to him. He barely looked up from his book.

"That was short," he said.

"I had trouble concentrating."

Closing his book, he leaned on his side and faced her. "Anything you want to talk about?"

"No."

Waiting, he watched her. "Does that mean I should go back and read my book or...?"

"Or?"

"When human women say they don't want to talk about something, sometimes they really do—"

"That must be confusing."

His face broke into a smile. "It is."

"I'm not human."

Tracing his finger along her cheek, he agreed with that. "No, you're not."

It calmed her and her lips twitched.

"Are you staying tonight?" she asked.

"Do you want me to?" he asked.

She hesitated. "Although I'm not in plak-tow, you may be needed at a moment's notice."

"Maybe I should go to my cabin and get a few things."

Nodding, she watched as he pushed himself from the bed, put on his socks and shoes and ensured his uniform was zipped and righted.

"I'll be back in a few minutes," he said.

Giving her a kiss to the side of her cheek, he walked out.

Within minutes, T'Pol found herself puttering around the room, lighting more candles and then walking by the mirror to check her appearance. She straightened her bed and while sniffing at the air, decided to freshen the room's scent using a room neutralizing spray. It was something she hadn't used since first boarding Enterprise, when she'd decided numbing agents weren't enough to stifle the stench of humans.

How things had changed.

The smell of sex didn't bother her per se; she wanted the room to be fresh for when he returned.

Fluffing pillows, setting out extra towels for her guest, ordering Chef to send her wine and turning on soft music, she wanted him to feel more at home.

When Chef arrived, personally, to deliver the wine, she sighed in relief that the captain wasn't there yet. And for once, she was happy that the cook didn't bother her with questions, although she wondered if she'd be talking with him in the near future about it.

Pouring two glasses, she waited for Jonathan to return. Glancing down at her blouse, she decided to unbutton one more button and show off the slightest bit of cleavage. When he re-entered, rather than chime the door, he slid it open and walked in with a small duffle bag. His eyes looked at the ceiling and then at a few candles.

"This is nice."

He was dressed in casual clothing: a brown, untucked shirt and khaki slacks. Spying the curve of his backside, she watched him bend over and put his duffle bag under the large sand-colored artwork on her wall.

It is nice.

She breathed through the embers of the mating cycle and let them comfortably sizzle.

When he straightened, he must've seen the gleam in her eye and a bemused smile came over him.

"Leering?" he asked.

Amusement settled in her stomach, tickling it. "It seems so."

That won her a bigger smile and he traipsed up to her, sauntering, and then folded himself in two sitting on the bed.

"Sorry it took so long—I wanted to walk Porthos."

"I understand. It gave me time to freshen up."

"I can see that." Glancing over to two glasses stored next to her bed, he asked her a question. "Wine?"

"I have read humans believe it to be an aphrodisiac."

He chuckled. "Where'd you read that?"

"I believe the same place you learned about the art of guv," she said. Mentioning that he'd researched Vulcan sexual techniques seemed to quiet him and gave her the upper hand.

"I see," he said.

"Do you want any dinner?" she asked.

"I ordered a few things to be delivered here," he said.

She was about to question it, when he intercepted her thought.

"I told Chef you were just getting your appetite back and asked him to deliver all vegetarian dishes."

"I asked him for a bottle of wine," she said.

"He mentioned that. I told him you had read it increases hunger."

It seemed a convenient lie and probably explained why Chef didn't linger.

When the door chimed, T'Pol buttoned her blouse by one and Jonathan slipped into the bathroom until the cart was wheeled into her bedroom. The steward, Crewman McCormick, eyes scanned the room, and T'Pol tried to explain her candles.

T'Pol said, "I have been trying to meditate through my illness. I hope you won't divulge that I have so many lit; I know it is against regulations."

The steward nodded and left without another word.

T'Pol shook her head and tried to reassure herself; she hadn't lied. She'd been attempting to meditate ever since she entered Pon Farr, an illness to her people, without success. And lighting so many candles at once was strictly against fire regulations.

It didn't prevent, however, Jonathan from chiding her after opening the door.

"You're really pushing it," he said.

She agreed silently and wheeled the cart in front of the bed.

"What did you order?" she asked.

Lying on the bed, he pointed to the cylindrical metal plates and their covers. "Why don't you find out?"

Poking her fingers through the top hole, she uncovered a tofu dish, more Plomek broth, fruits and vegetables. There was also a small red flower, grown by the botany team, with a hastily scribbled note.

"Feel better, T'Pol. Captain Archer"

After thanking him, the two of them tucked in. He grabbed at various fruits and vegetables with his hands, which she pretended didn't bother her while she concentrated on the tofu and broth. She needed the soy, the protein and gathered maybe he did as well. Thus far, he'd stayed away from meat.

Holding out her fork for him, as he'd done earlier for her, she offered him a taste of her meal. Eagerly, his mouth closed around it.

"That's not too bad," he said.

"It is sa'vaka," she said. "Chef knows I like this."

When he'd swallowed the last of it, he took a glass of wine to his lips. "This is kind of romantic."

During dinner, the two fell into old patterns—talking about the ship, the rotation and each got in some personal information. She noticed they were both careful not to mention Trip's journey or the information he could come back with or what time he may arrive. And it was just as well.

Dinner came to an end, but before she could wheel the tray away from bed, he took the flower from it.

"You don't seem much like a woman who likes roses."

"Oh? What flower would you think I would like?"

He shrugged. "Something exotic—like a Bird of Paradise or lily."

"My mother grew a desert flower called alok-ana. It was red with a thin yellow pistol and the fragrance was sweet." She paused at the memory, thinking back when she ran through rows of them craning her neck as they towered over her.

"The alok-ana is your favorite?"

"Yes. Perhaps for sentimental reasons."

His hand held hers as if to comfort her; undoubtedly he knew her mother's death still brought her pain.

She asked, "What type of flower do you like?"

"I don't know. My mom used to grow red and pink roses in our backyard in San Francisco. There was one variety that climbed the trellis in the back—a crimson color."

Spreading out on her bed, he crossed his legs and propped up his head with an elbow while letting his other hand twirl the rose.

"Then again, when I was a boy, I think I liked roses because they looked like a woman's mouth."

She stretched out next to him.

"How so?"

A whimsical smile crossed his face and he showed her the flower. "Look at the petals—they're soft and plump, pouting as if waiting to be kissed."

"It looks like a flower to me," she said.

He grinned more and ran the bloom along the shape of her mouth. The petals against her skin were like velvet and he hung the bloom against her bottom lip. As he repeated his gesture, she closed her eyes until she felt his mouth on hers.

When she opened her eyes, his lips retreated from hers. The familiar sizzle that swept through her body was there again, ignited by him. Desire must've sparked in her eyes because he registered surprise.

"I thought the strongest urge of the mating fever was gone," he said.

Her mouth closed on his, her tongue slipping in between his lips before she came up for air and spoke.

"This is not urgent," she said. Her bare feet caressed his and she provided him another kiss.

"Not urgent?" he said.

With that, he ran the blossom against her neck and she shivered at it.

"No," she said.

The rose traveled across her cheek and over her lips until finally reaching her pajamas. He ran it over one peak and she realized her breath shuddered. Placing the rose down, he leaned over to her and nibbled on her ear while unbuttoning her top. Instead of feeling a blaze light her skin and innards, her heart throbbed at his touch.

Gliding the satin material over her shoulders, causing her to shiver, he worked to push off her bottoms and underwear until she was naked. Having completed that, he took a sip of his wine and looked over her—admiration plainly on his face.

"You are a beautiful woman, T'Pol."

Blinking quickly, a little vulnerable, she craned her neck to kiss him again. When their lips met, she could taste the wine on his lips and the black currant that clung to his tongue. She suckled it for a moment.

"Turn around," he said.

She did so, and felt again the cool petals against her warm skin, smooth. He started at her shoulders and wound down her spine—tickling her. From there, he swiveled the bloom to her waist and to follow the curve there before he ran it over her buttocks. After he swiped it underneath each cheek, he swerved it momentarily between her legs, until she could feel the petals against her folds. A soft moan left her mouth and he let the flower travel over the back of her legs and against her feet.

Hypothesizing he was done, she turned onto her back, noticing he'd taken his own shirt off. She was about to speak when he began nibbling on her toe and let the flower glide up her legs and between her thighs, this time delving a little farther.

"Oh," she whispered with surprise.

It felt silky dipping into her, tickling her skin. Each petal of the flower was like a finger caressing her, circling to entice her to further whet her passion.

Moving the bloom to her stomach, she marveled in how damp it was, realizing it was her that he was trailing over her own body. And then he diverted the flower once again to tease her center, watching over her caught in his own lust. Again, there was the feeling of many tiny fingers massaging her and she bit her lip to writhe at how feather light the touch was.

Closing her eyes, she heard herself call his name and then felt her nipple become wet. The flower touched her breast, twirling softly against it. And just as she was about to ask him to stop, his mouth leaned over to blow cool air on her wet nipple, shriveling it almost to the point of pain.

"This is agony," she said.

His hand caught her cheek, touching it comfortingly. "I hurt you?"

"No," she said. "But the need is becoming desperate."

"I thought you said the need wasn't urgent." His voice was genuinely concerned.

"It is becoming so," she said. Before he could respond, her tongue ran over his lips. "You control my Pon Farr."

Darkening, his eyes looked into hers. "How desperate?" he asked. Rather than wait for an answer, he took his tongue to her other breast and suckled it before blowing cold air onto that one as well.

If she'd had a less scientific mind, she would've guessed her breast was on the verge of exploding rather than merely over-stimulated. Blood rushed between her legs and gave the smallest of pulses. Lowering her lids, she tried to contain herself.

It earned him apparently enough time for his mouth to collect an ice cube from his water and press it against her breast. Nearly jumping at the shock, she felt her chest shoot toward him as if begging for more. And he was happy to oblige. His icy mouth and tongue wandered to her throat, to her earlobe, over her navel—letting the ice cube sit there for a few seconds and over her breasts.

She knew she had the strength to fight him, to stop him. And though it was torture, it was the kind that made her heart race and the pulses between her legs grow stronger.

I must want him to torture me like this.

His tongue finally entered her mouth, cold and cool and she collected the ice cube—at least what was left, between her teeth and crunched it until it evaporated. When their mouths connected again, she placed her hand over his crotch. It was stiff, rock hard, and she fumbled at his navel to unbutton his pants.

Splaying it open, she was thrilled—even if she didn't show it—to see he was wet for her. She tried pushing his pants, but the position made it awkward, so he volunteered himself, leaving her bed. Taking a sip of wine, he then set out to push his clothes off and join her on the bed. Before he could lay next to her, she asked an absurd question.

"Have you pleasured yourself thinking of me?" she asked.

His eyes turned stormier, but her answered her inquiry. "Yes."

"Show me."

"What?" he asked.

"Show me."

For a second a tinge of embarrassment lit his cheeks, and just as she was about to rebuke herself verbally for letting Pon Farr carry her away into the erotic, she saw his thumb and forefinger, along with his hand, take a stroke. And then another.

It was beautiful—his eyes on hers, the sound of his slickness against his hand and his jaw clenching and hollowing as waves of pleasure must've been consuming him. It was vulnerable and yet he held confidence as he did it. The moment a moan left his lips, she realized she had to have him right away. Kneeling on the bed, she faced him and met his lips. At first the kiss was tender and then it turned unabashed and unrestrained.

Tangling their limbs around each other, he pushed her down until she was staring at the ceiling with her legs spread wide for him. His weight was heavy and satisfying, fitting against her as if he belonged there. Settling, he stared into her eyes and entered her swiftly; the two cried out as he did so.

Encouraging each other on, kissing and touching every spot within reach for what seemed like eternity, she found the orgasm particularly sweet. Challenging herself, she said his name at the apex, whispering it in his ear and triumphed in the accomplishment; warmth, a figurative one, landed in her tummy and the word pushed him to completion. Content that his warmth filled her so entirely, she kissed him again to let him know she was satisfied.

The two snuggled into bed, her face on his chest. Placing two fingers toward him, the Vulcan kiss, she was about to explain the significance when his two fingers touched hers as if a Vulcan might.

"Did you read this in the database?" she asked.

He kissed the crown of her head. "No."

"How did you—?"

"I don't know." His chin nuzzled her head. "Maybe Surak?"

Maybe.

They nestled against each other and when she nuzzled her head against him again, she heard him say barely above a whisper.

"Tell me about your mother's garden."

A smile wanted to cross her lips, but she refrained. The two talked until both of them fell asleep.


The next day was his day off anyway, so when she asked for him at 0320, she noticed he seemed only too happy to oblige. Their union was slow and intimate. Their fingers rubbed against each other as two Vulcans might, he had formed the Vulcan greeting while caressing her skin and gave her frequent languid kisses. After the moment had taken them, they whispered to each other staring in the darkness of her cabin into each other's eyes until she woke up.

The first thing she noticed when her eyes flashed open, besides the heat of a body next to her, was the scent of sex again in the air. Rather than feel the urge to neutralize the odor, she sucked in its fragrance—musty and salty with a hint of spice. Perhaps it was her imagination, but the more time she spent with him the more her room smelled like him. The more she smelled like him.

Looking over at Jonathan, his wrinkles dispersed into smooth skin and the hint of a smile on his face, she wondered about what would happen after Pon Farr. Although neither had discussed next steps, it seemed that day was fast approaching. The slow intertwining of their bodies didn't hold urgency as any day before. It meant even the embers were being snuffed out and that a cool logic was returning to her mind for good, rather than allowing her fleeting glimpses of sanity.

If she had been in Pon Farr on her planet and her mate was away, she would call to him through their bond and he would return. But, she and Trip didn't have a bond; it had been severed several months ago when Elizabeth died. And although it had been awkward, she and Trip had continued to see each other.

Maybe because we were the only people who could comfort each other.

After the death of their daughter, when Trip had offered to sire her a child—as if that would make up for the loss—they found comfort in each other's naked bodies and joined in a union of sorrow and loss.

It had not yielded a bond.

Because there was no bond, when T'Pol entered her cycle, Trip had not returned to claim her as his mate. And so she took up with one who wanted to save her life, her friend—Jonathan.

Perhaps she had deemed that the union with Jonathan would be that of friends, comforting. And yet when their bodies came together she discovered there was yearning in his eyes. She brought out a fire in him.

On Vulcan if a male helped a female already mated, there was would be no connection and on the day her Pon Farr had ended, he would take his leave of her. If the female was unbonded, there was a chance that their mating could lead to more—a bond between them.

If she had been on Vulcan, it would mean that she was free to choose Jonathan or Trip.

Closing her eyes, she determined that such a choice would be painful to both men. Trip would be hurt if she left for Jonathan. Trip was tender and emotional, and would hold a grudge against them, suffering deeply with his wound. Jonathan would also feel pain if she chose Trip; the two were friends and their relationship would wane.

If she chose Trip instead of Jonathan, she would see the pain in Archer's eye, but he wouldn't let on how deep the injury was. He'd recover, their union would be secret and Trip would feel joy again.

But, how would I feel?

Feeling is illogical, and yet she did.

If logic had been available the day she called to Archer for assistance, she most likely would've asked him to kill her or she would've continued on her path to let her body seek its own destruction. It would alleviate the need for choice now and would've spared everyone hurt.

When her eyes drifted open again, though, she looked at her lover. Instead of the comfort she'd sought to only douse her flame, she had become consumed by fire. His actions, his words...they'd tickled her stomach with want. The memory of how he'd fondled her skin with a rose, the way he'd scooped his tongue into her and how vulnerable he'd been as she asked him personal questions stilled her breath.

She may've turned to him as a friend, but somewhere in the process he'd become more. His friendship would never go away, but the throbbing between her legs when she saw him...she wondered if that would never go away either.

Stirring, she saw a smile drift over his lips and his eyes open slowly.

"What time is it?" he asked.

"1003," she said.

"I slept longer than I should've," he said. His voice was gravely in the morning and made her toes curl.

"How long have you been awake?" he asked.

"Not long."

He rolled over on his side to face her and she did the same. The sheets wound around his middle displaying his naked chest and stomach, his hair was akimbo and he had lines along his cheek where a pillowcase left an imprint. For a second, she wanted to kiss him.

"Did you sleep well?" she asked.

His hand stroked her cheek. "Yes."

Softening, she nuzzled his hand. "I did as well."

"You're starting to sound like your old self."

"I'm beginning to feel like it." Scooping his hand away from her face, she held it for a moment. "I doubt my need will last much longer."

"I'd read it can last as long as a week," he said.

"It can. It can last as few as four days."

"Oh."

Her grasp around his hand tightened in response.

"Are you hungry?" she asked.

"Sure," he said. "Want me to go get us something?"

"I can retrieve it. I feel well enough."

With that, she slipped out of the bed, for the first time in days put on her catsuit and headed out the hall to get breakfast. After stopping to chat with various crewmembers who expressed concern she'd been sick a few days, she returned to her cabin with food.

The two ate in relative silence as his eyes watched her. She could tell he had something to say, but wasn't interested in talking. It was really the first time since he'd arrived they'd been quiet.

"Jonathan?" she asked.

Putting down a bowl of yogurt with some fruit, he shook his head as if he knew she was asking about his reluctance to speak.

"I'm fine," he said.

An eyebrow poked up. Even the way the information rushed out of his mouth let her know he wasn't. Leaving her Plomek Broth, she sat next to him.

She said, "The lines of your face draw tight as if you alone shoulder a heavy burden."

He backed away from her until their eyes met. A spark of realization was there, floating in his pupil.

"You have worn that look many times before. I have always noticed it," she said.

"You never said anything before."

"I have wanted to," she said. A hand caressed his cheek, wrapping around his skin. "What troubles you? That there are so few days left?"

"What happens when those days are up?" he asked.

"I don't know."

He nodded, his chin hitting his chest. "Maybe this week has been difficult for you, but...I...I've felt whole. Complete."

"Our physical union?"

"No." He corrected himself. "That's not the only reason. You wouldn't understand."

"I'm listening."

Heaving a sigh, he asked her a strange question. "Do Vulcans feel love?"

"Yes. At least, I have."

His eyebrows climbed a little, as if only mildly surprised. "How do you feel about me?"

"I love you as a friend. And I am a bit overwhelmed at the level of intimacy you and I have shared. I did not think it would've been possible."

"And Trip?"

"Those feelings are also complex. We have history—a daughter we buried, friendship....He was there for me when no one else was."

He stared down at the ground.

She continued. "There's a physicality to love and a deep emotional connection. I am uncertain where you and he land."

"I didn't think when you asked me to help you that we'd have...this. When I enter here, I'm not a captain and I'm not merely your friend; I'm a man."

His face gave way into a lopsided smile that wasn't a grin at all; it held sadness. "I've loved you for some time, I just didn't think anything was possible."

"Why?"

"Because I'm your commander."

"And what has changed now?"

"You needed me."

She held out her fingers and he brushed his along her digits. "It is a perplexing issue."

"Yeah," he said.

"Can you help me through my last days? I would not hold it against you if you could not. I might be able to—"

"See...that's the thing about how I feel." When she knitted her brow in confusion, he leaned over to kiss her lips. "How could I not help you?"


The rest of the day seemed oddly normal. After finishing breakfast, he headed to the gym to work out and think and she spent some quality time meditating or trying to.

She'd made difficult decisions before—joining Enterprise to enter the Delphic Expanse, asking to enter Starfleet and a multitude of others. Never before had she had to determine which of two men she'd want to hurt.

It burned her throat thinking about it.

I must choose another. Thank you for what you have given me.

She envisioned Trip would cry, collapsing on her and asking what he could've done differently, or better or less of. The tears would cascade from his face to her blouse and wet her shoulder with his sorrow. The emotional outburst would form a lump in her throat and she'd wear his cries with guilt, bathed in his hurt.

If she said those words to Jonathan, she would see the well of pain in his eyes, snuffing out the twinkling light, as he hurried to get away from her. His face would be dry, as would his throat when he spoke to her. And yet, she'd know she crushed him fatally. It would sink down in her stomach and wallow in misery every time she saw him.

There is no correct answer, no logical solution.

As her eyes closed to end the rumination, she thought back to the way Jonathan made love early this morning.

Their bodies writhed against each other leisurely, connected even before they began to make love. Their mouths opened and lazily met with long sighs. Their noses, cheeks and chins touched for extended periods of time as they kissed, their tongues reaching almost beyond their ability.

Rather than focus on bringing her to climax or draping her with pleasure, his mouth wandered to love her skin. His fingers didn't slip between her legs and drive her; they played with her fingers. And he caressed her skin as a Vulcan, spreading his hand into a greeting and allowing it to meander her body.

The movements were sultry and her lips moistened as he performed them. When he finally pushed inside of her, they were wrapped in each other's arms. Her legs stroked his sides—his hip and his legs—as he sluggishly maneuvered in, around and out. Fingers tangled in his damp hair, twirling the locks between her fingers, enjoying the feel of his thick mane.

Placing her lips on his neck, she bit tenderly, grabbing between her teeth while her tongue rolled around to relish the taste of him. His hands caressed her legs and arms as if just to massage her skin.

Like the rolling waves of an ocean, breaking peacefully, they languidly tumbled against each other. And as the ecstasy continued to drown them, their lips became raw and they were touching each other in ways they may've been embarrassed or too hurried to do before. Unlike any other time, their cries sounded, telling the other the wonder and awe spreading through their bodies.

It was a long time since their foray began that she felt the taste of her climax on her tongue—the wetness swelled it. Catching his gaze, able to see into the darkness of her room, she saw such emotion—love, support, curiosity, patience and encouragement. When the waves of her body crashed against his and the relief settled between her legs she felt him join her.

Despite the scraping his day-old beard had given her mouth, she kissed him again. Her tongue protruded between his lips and he welcomed it as the final gasps of his orgasm racked him.

She noticed when his head cleared, he rubbed her nose with his and whispered to her.

"That was—"

"Sublime?"

"Yeah." He stroked the side of her face. "I love you."

She kissed him, and he seemed satisfied with the response. And later when he spooned against her and she snuggled into his body, she felt satiated in her very soul.

It also made her feel undeserving.

Reminiscing, she realized it had been hours since breakfast merging into late afternoon or early evening. Jonathan had not come back, as they had discussed, and for a moment she felt a strange pang and her lip pout.

Unable to wait for him any longer, and already deciding her behavior was sloth-like, she entered the shower. On entry, she noticed instead of just pouting, she was frowning.

Emotion.

Tonight they'd decided to watch a movie together. Wearing comfortable clothing, relaxing in his presence was exactly what she'd wanted. If the need took her, maybe they would couple just as serenely as they had the night before, and he would stay once again with her nestled in his arms.

I am selfish. He is experiencing pain, probably seeking his distance and I want him to comfort me.

Before she could sigh with disgust at herself, she heard someone enter the bathroom.

"Jonathan?"

After a few more seconds, the shower door opened and he appeared to her naked.

"Sorry it took me so long to get back."

"I was beginning to wonder what happened."

"Small detail to work out with Malcolm."

She hung her head to her chest. "I had feared—"

His lips pressed against her forehead. "I thought we already discussed that I would help you no matter what."

That wasn't what she feared, although what did frighten her was slightly beyond her grasp. Easing into his arms, she accepted them around her, even sought them out. And when he began to massage her skin with soap, there was a tickle in her stomach and a stifled need to smile.

"You've showered today?" she asked.

"Yeah." With a sly grin, he shrugged. "Never hurts to have two."

With that, the two washed each other and themselves, kissing intermittently. Falling into the lull of his hands drifting over her gluts, neck, back, ears, stomach and breast, she leaned her hands against the wall to let him suds her enjoying every moment of it. Instead of letting their intentions turn erotic, he washed her hair and then kissed her before leaving the shower.

And as if falling into a routine, they dressed, had dinner and talked just as if they might any other day. The only difference was the leisurely gazes he provided her during their meal and the flick of his thumb against her mouth to wipe away a crumb that dangled at the corner of her mouth. She settled into meditation and he read a book until what humans considered twilight swept into night.


They cuddled, her sitting in front of him on her bed watching a movie, her back pressed against his chest. The movie was interesting, but his physical proximity made it somehow difficult to watch. Closing her eyes, she traced the feelings to Pon Farr and then lifted her lids slowly. He must've either been watching or attune to her mood, because his changed as well.

While kissing her neck, his hands drifted over her breasts. A purr trilled in her throat, which worked a chortle out of his.

"You need some assistance?" he asked.

Shivering, almost with delight, she whispered to him. "Yes."

He nibbled on the tip of her ear. "Want me to turn off the movie?"

A small pant left her lips as she felt his fingers focus on the satin that peaked over her nipples.

"Yes," she said.

Kissing her temple, he moved to tap a few buttons to end the program and have the projection fade away. It gave her enough time to face him and she could see his bemusement.

"What?" she asked.

"Don't know. I'm just smiling."

They kissed and she felt his grin against her lips, and it made her stomach feel lighter. As kisses turned into making out which headed into foreplay, she noticed his smile didn't fade. Usually his look was intense and seductive; now, he just seemed pleased.

Naked, feeling his fingers dip between her legs, her voice quivered.

She said, "You've been grinning. Wildly."

The swivel of his fingers made her moan slightly and she watched his grin grew wider. "I'm happy."

Her legs spread further for him.

"And why shouldn't I be? There's a beautiful, naked woman in front of me who wants to have sex with me."

His fingers entreated her until she let out a small gasp.

"Maybe even begging to make love with me," he said.

The words were playful and though she was aroused, she was adamant not to give in without providing some banter as well.

"You realize the begging is temporary," she said, her voice near a tremble.

The twirl of his fingers hit the spot that drove her to climax, and she moaned louder.

"Maybe your sex drive may take a nose dive, but I think you'll still want to come when I do this."

He tapped the area again as if to prove a point, and she raised her hips to meet his hand. Instead of giving her a look of pure mischief, it softened to that of a pleased lover.

"Jonathan," she said. It was in between a moan and a soft cry.

With his lips still tugged up, he kissed her again. "I love when you say my name, T'Pol."

His nose rubbed against hers and their lips met in brief, gentle kisses. Overcome with lust, she watched him through half-lidded eyes as he admired her body and the connection his hand made with her.

She took his erection in her fingers and palm, watching the gleam remain in his eye, but his smile start to melt away into desire.

"What do you want me to do?" he asked.

"I want you to take me," she said.

"How?"

"Slowly, like you're doing with your hand."

He swallowed deep and then licked his lips. "I want to be deep inside of you."

Nodding, she felt herself clench around him. "Yes."

Withdrawing his hand slowly as she did the same, he gave her some instructions. "Lie on your stomach."

When she did, she furrowed her brow. "I want to watch you."

"This will help me get deeper," he said.

With a raised eyebrow, she realized that although she enjoyed staring into his eyes, this idea was not without merit.

He whispered, "Besides, you can listen to me orgasm for you."

Yes, that certainly has merit.

Titling her hips up as the side of her face pressed against the pillow, she felt him enter her and lay on top of her. His arms stretched out to take her hands in his and his lips never left her ear.

It was sensual just as last night, and it gave her an opportunity to listen to every grunt, pant, gasp and moan he produced. With satisfaction, she noted he indeed was deep almost pressing against her bladder. The sensation made her instantly feel like exploding and when she squirmed with pleasure, he grasped her hip firmer. Even in that position, he managed to find the area that gave her the greatest delight and pushed against it with zeal.

"God, you feel good," he said.

It was a whisper and the heat of his breath against her ear caused a shiver to jolt down her spine. Her hips bucked against him in response making the languid thrusts he delivered shallow. Counteracting, he spread her legs wider and buried himself further. A low moan muffled into her pillow.

"I'm so deep," he said.

It excited her almost more than the feeling of him filling her—slowly pulling her into him and then retracting. After minutes seemed to melt away into hours, his hand curled to hold her belly to him and when he did, she felt the first in a series of small climaxes begin. Gripping the covers of her bed, she tried to hang on through them, but found the quiet moans she gave grow loud as he continued his ascent.

When her cry reached a more furtive pitch, despite her wanting to control her voice, she heard him ask in her ear as he paused.

"I'm not hurting you, am I?"

The sultriness of his voice in her ear and the skipped rhythm of their hips made her shove against him. Resuming their climb, cries became desperate words between them. Although the plak-tow had not enveloped her senses, she called to him to reach her final plateau wishing in a way that it would never be attained. Having him inside her, his body racked with the same pleasure, made her hope that this coupling would never end.

Halting again, he dragged her by the hips to the end of the bed so he could stand. Once he was there, he dove into her again and she felt her eyes flutter as he penetrated her deeper still. Struggling for breath, she noticed his leisurely pace sped considerably and his sensual rhythm turned more chaotic.

It made her mouth water and her light pulses intensify.

Closing her eyes, she listened again to him—his panted breath and low cries. With almost a satisfied smile, a moment of lucidity hit her.

Usually he is fairly quiet; this is noisier than he has ever been.

And he got louder still as if to prove her point.

His fingers traveled her spine to grasp her shoulder and he slammed their bodies together until deep, strong throbs released her—clenching his entire length. It jolted him into his own climax, and his hand gripped her shoulder much harder; his voice and body quaked behind her.

"Yes, Ashaya," she whispered.

And he exploded, a sharp crack in his voice.

There was an electric stillness that fell over the room, the quiet of completion mixed with something else. As she reflected on it a moment, she felt his hand caress her back and flank before drifting to her hair, which was barely out of reach. A few kisses were placed along her spine and T'Pol suddenly felt the urge to break the silence.

"You were right when you told me I would hear you. It was difficult to miss your voice."

A chuckle gave way and he departed from her. She settled her stomach against the sheets, her arms folded out so she could lay her head against them and Jonathan dove into the spot next to her.

He smiled softly, letting the grin shine more in his eyes than on his face and he pushed a lock of sweaty hair from her face.

"You're saying I was noisy?" he asked.

"Yes."

"Think the neighbors will complain?"

A smile sparkled in her eyes, too. She didn't have neighbors—her cabin was securely nestled in a bulkhead, one of the safest places on the ship. Instead of delivering a comeback, she provided a small kiss to his lips.

Becoming serious, he looked into her eyes. "Ashaya?"

"What?"

"You called me that. I don't know what it means."

"I called you that?"

"Am I not pronouncing it correctly?"

Her lips fell into a straight line. "You are."

"What does it mean?"

She said, "It means...someone who you have an affection for."

The two stared at each other until he opened his mouth about to speak until she placed her fingers over his lips to stop him. When she lowered her hand, his brow furrowed with confusion.

"T'Pol?"

"You were going to ask me a question I do not yet have an answer to."

He produced a sigh, a small one, and rolled onto his back to stare at the ceiling.

"You know, the fact that you didn't know you called me that seems like it means something."

Perhaps, she thought. And yet, she was already prepared for an answer. "I believe I already told you, in Pon Farr a Vulcan will do and say anything."

Turning his head toward her, his eyes gleamed with intensity, his pupils larger than just a moment ago when he smiled at her.

"Are you sure you believe that?" he asked.

"Wouldn't you rather lay here and enjoy each other's company instead of discussing this?"

And yet the enlarged pupils did not shrink and the same storminess hung in his eyes.

She said, "I am trying to tell you, Jonathan, I do not wish to talk about this."

A frown smacked itself on his face, and he got up to use the restroom—what T'Pol imagined was an escape. She was used to the two of them talking and kissing for nearly half an hour, almost afraid to leave each other's side, before either of them took care of any personal hygiene. This was a significant departure from their ritual.

When he emerged, she pushed herself onto her side.

"Are you alright?" she asked.

"Fine," he said. He scanned the floor to pick up his clothes and began to shimmy back into them.

"What are you doing?"

"Getting ready for bed."

As he slipped on his sweat pants, she raised an eyebrow. He'd slept beside her nude before—many times during her mating cycle. Maybe the clothes, she reasoned, would act like a barrier, making him feel more secure. Watching him, she felt her mouth tug downward slightly and then got up to go to the bathroom.

After cleaning up, she walked out and noticed her cabin was dark. Jonathan had already turned over on his side, away from the door and had gone to sleep without providing a kiss and without the two of them talking.

There was no mistaking it, he was mad.

Slipping under the covers, she decided to spoon him and wave off the emotions that undoubtedly waged in him, whipping. As her hand curled around his hip she leaned over to kiss his cheek.

"Goodnight," he whispered.

And before sleep overcame her, his arm nestled hers around him.


T'Pol stared down at her scanners looking in to see a spectrum of light and color that she had never seen before; greens and reds twinkled with brilliancy and she realized that her equipment was unable to assess whether it was a space-phenomenon, a ship or a being. It caused her to lean in and twirl the dial of her scanner with more zest.

"What is it?" Archer asked.

Raising her eyebrow, she shook her head. "Unknown, Captain."

"Hoshi, can we hail it?"

"No, sir."

T'Pol looked up on the viewscreen and saw it shimmer. For some reason, unexplainably, it caused her to leave her station. When she turned to ask her captain what was the next logical step, she noticed he was directly behind her, much closer than she was comfortable with.

The Vulcan turned to look at Hoshi, but she was busy fiddling with the nodules in front of her as if busy with communications duties. Malcolm likewise was focused on the task at hand and Travis kept his eyes trained ahead.

In a strange way, it gave her a feeling of being alone with him.

"Beautiful," he said.

"Yes," she replied. And when she turned to look at him again, she realized he was talking about her.

"I'll see you in my Ready Room, Commander," he said.

Marching off to his office, she decided to follow and ask about his behavior. From a scientific point of view, she wondered whether the entity—and she assigned it that value without proof—had affected him.

The moment she entered and after the door slid behind her, she watched him unzip his uniform, peeling it off. When he stood in front of her naked, he took himself in his hand and slowly moved his palm to fondle himself.

His face held tension, seduction and exposure, making this act seem more private, and yet, rather than turn her back or call Dr. Phlox, she stood watching him—mesmerized. The captain's skin was pinkish brown, with fur covering his chest and genitals and she noticed what he held in his hand was large—both in girth and length.

Her voice barely able to speak, she asked him a question.

"Why are you doing that?"

"Because this is as close as I can get to you."

The remark left her eyebrow perched against her bangs.

"There is an anomaly we must attend to." She meant to say entity rather than anomaly, and before she could correct herself, he responded.

"Yes, there is."

Instead of stilling his hand and hiking his uniform up, he continued to rub his thumb and forefinger over his length until she could hear he was slick.

"We don't know whether it is well-meaning."

His voice hoarse, he corrected her. "Hasn't attacked us yet."

"I think you should stop."

"I can't."

She noticed the sound of slick friction was accompanied by tiny moans from him.

"Someone will notice," she said.

"Does that matter?"

"Cease."

"You asked me whether I have done this thinking about you before—many times over, T'Pol."

She took a step back.

Gravely, the timbre of his words ridden with lust, he continued. "I think about what would've happened if you didn't turn to Trip. I think maybe I wouldn't hide behind the mantle of being your captain, that I'd be the one giving you physical comfort."

"Jonathan, I think you should stop." There was a part of her that didn't mean it, and as the clenching of her stomach and other parts of her began, she secretly hoped he would continue until he was racked with satisfaction.

As his hand picked up speed, she noticed his eyelids dropped; he was staring at her with half-lidded eyes.

"We've been friends for many years," she said.

His body began to move along with the motion of his hand and hips. "Friends who've saved each other, rescued each other. We've shared so much. Maybe it's all the more reason we should do this."

Biting her lip, she watched his dance.

"We're friends who find each other attractive," he said.

"Stop."

"Why? I think you like this."

It caused her to wake and before she could think, she meshed her lips against Jonathan's. Pressing her fingers along his temple, she begged him.

"Let me see your feelings for me."

Although he was groggy, it was clear he understood and nodded as she entered a mindmeld. Swimming through the ocean of his thoughts, she saw clearly that there was more than just desire there, and that every day that ticked by cemented his feelings in more confusing ways. She understood many of his musings: bringing her to orgasm wasn't nearly as sweet as hearing her call his name or refer to him as "my love"; sleeping next to her was more soul fulfilling than have her clench and moan for him; and lazily traipsing his fingers along her naked skin to admire it was more heavenly than pressing his lips to her breast. Love, the kind between friends had been there for him yielding to more romantic thoughts for some time, bottled up and tapped down. In a way, though it hurt him, his soul felt freer than it had in some time—being able to love her beyond just friendship quenched him. And it nourished him despite knowing Trip would be devastated.

Jonathan had vowed Trip would never find out, and in the meantime, he'd let the confusing feelings sucker punch him in the gut as they had been. He promised to allow himself less than a week's worth of time to love her as he'd wanted for years. And he already decided, no matter what, that being her friend after her Pon Farr was more important than being able to take her into bed again.

His eyes turned glassy, and so did hers.

Brushing past those thoughts, she fought her way into his fantasies and provided a glimpse of hers to him. Spying one of his that was particularly appealing, especially right now, she confessed to him.

"I dreamt of you."

He was already panting a little. "In our meld...I saw."

"Then you know I need you."

Her fingers dropped from his temples.

Before he could answer, she left their bed and rummaged through a drawer, almost tearing through it like a human who's late for work looking for a pair of socks might, until she found her treasure. It was a sash, a gold one, decorated with Vulcan symbols: logic, peace, tranquility. If she'd been human, she would've laughed at the irony of the moment. Forcing his hands above his head, she tied the garment around them and the bed frame until it was secure enough to keep him there, but loose enough to give him room to escape should he need it.

"What are you doing?"

"I am honoring your fantasy." Her hand fled between his legs and she could tell he was already intrigued.

"Why?"

Because I should have sooner. "I need you."

With great care, she pressed her lips to his mouth and then peppered them along his chin, throat, shoulders, arms, hands, chest, stomach, legs and feet. Traversing back to her starting point, she let her tongue flick against his skin to lavish it. And then delighting in his body, her hands joined in cherishing his flesh until he writhed beneath her.

It was important to make several trips around his flesh, caressing his skin with her mouth. When a husky moan left his lips, her mouth diverted between his legs. She took his testicles in her hand and felt how tight they were already. Tugging gently at the skin, she licked up the base of his engorged flesh, swirling her tongue at the tip to collect the wet mixture there.

"T'Pol," he whispered.

"You are my life-long friend," she said. "And the reason I too am confused is that you are indeed attractive, desirable."

Tapping nerves along his hips, using neuropressure, she increased his arousal enough to hear him moan again. She was taking him to the very peak of excitement.

Her fingers detoured to touch his gluts and because his hips thrust forward, her finger accidentally slipped between them, brushing him in a place she had no intention. To her surprise, he moaned. Feeling between his legs again, the blood rushing there intensified.

Taking his nipple in her teeth, she gently tugged first with her lips and then her teeth until he spoke to her.

"Untie me, I want to make love with you."

She performed the same action again.

"Please," he said.

Listening to him plead made her want to growl and take him swiftly, but instead she clung to a modicum of logic.

"In your mind, I saw that you wanted to feel what the fires of Pon Farr are like," she said.

He could only pant in response.

She said, "I want to show you."

Licking his lips, his eyes turned dark.

"Jonathan, control is easy for you, loosing it is much more difficult."

Her hand wrapped around the base of his column, pumping leisurely.

"Let me do this," T'Pol said.

She watched his feet kick the covers in slow motion and he nodded as she dipped her tongue into his navel. Like an expert, she teased his body as the beat of her heart—pounding like a Vulcan drum—took over; it caused her to grow wild—biting his gaf, enveloping his sakal in her mouth, using her lips and tongue to suckle his lok and pressing her fingers into his pla'dor. And yet, her movements didn't allow him to reach completion. Each time his release was eminent, she backed off and waited for him to recover.

All the while, he called her name, rutted his hips, cursed, demanded and eventually pleaded with her.

"I'm so close. Please, T'Pol."

Invisible, his irises eclipsed by pupils, hair drenched with sweat and red-faced, he asked her again with a voice so faint she strained her hearing to understand it.

"Please. I can't take any more."

She straddled him and worked her hips against his. As he might've to her, she talked to him, trying to take him to the sublime with her voice.

"You were close."

"Yes," he said. The wince covering his face told her he was working to keep from exploding inside of her, testing his limits.

She said, "It was torture?"

"God, yes."

Removing her hips completely, letting him leave her cervix, she dove onto him again mostly because she knew he liked that. Her legs rested on his hipbones as she circled her waist until she felt the spot that quickened her release and focused her efforts there.

"You are dangling over the edge," she said. "Teetering."

"Yes."

"It is maddening."

"Yes."

"A taste of ecstasy and agony."

Again she felt him engorge as if seconds away from climaxing and she removed her body from his. His jaw clenched and his body writhed to the missing rhythm as a cry of agony left his lips. Panting, his breath so shallow she noticed he could barely speak, he begged her again.

"T'Pol," he pleaded.

Her hips settled against his again and she began to fall against him. Somewhere in the frenzy, his hand came loose and grabbed her hip to deepen their union and keep the connection. She realized, all too late, she would be unable to leave him and allow their orgasms to synchronize.

Suddenly, she watched his torso convulse and heard him cry out before she felt his warmth fill her. His neck muscles strained and the red that rose to his face turned burgundy. Black eyes stared at her with fear, delight, anguish and relief.

And as he came, she felt her own body twitch a little; watching him succumb was arousing and the feel of him throbbing violently in her was erotic.

When he recovered, and part of her relished that it took him so long, he wrangled his other hand free while she shivered on top of him, her own need heavy.

"Fuck," he said.

Swiping his hand along her trembling cheek, he whispered an apology. Then, he separated them, flung her into his arms and turned on the shower. When the spray warmed, he took them inside and began to kiss her. His fingers slipped easily between her legs and he pushed them into her, working her g-spot with zeal. Lips pressed against throat, ears and finally nipped at her breast.

She felt him raise her leg, leaving her entry more exposed for his exploration. When a third finger nudged for entry, she breathlessly mouthed his name.

In her ear, as she felt her mind begin to cloud, he told her how much he enjoyed what she had done to him.

"I ached for you."

"That is what the fires feel like," she said.

One hand dove between her legs as the other cradled her backside enabling what she determined was his fingers to probe her more deeply.

"Every touch is exquisite and yet agony?" he asked.

"Yes."

"And you wait for relief, beg for it."

"Yes," she said.

"No one has ever done that to me," he whispered to her. "Made me plead with lust like that."

And yet she knew he liked it.

"But, it wasn't just because you were taunting me, T'Pol. It's because someone I loved was driving me to the brink."

She trembled.

He said, "And I think you know what that feels like. You like it when I do that to you."

Suddenly, her chest thrust out as she tightened quickly around his fingers pulsating for him. He worked a little more furtively, and she was glad he did, the throbbing intensified until finally her body shook with more vigor, zapping her mind and tapping her muscles.

Even in the fog that clouded her mind, she could hear something outside the bathroom.

"What?" she said. Her body still quivered, connected to Jonathan.

"I didn't say anything," he whispered. With that, he playfully nibbled at her ear.

"You in here?" she heard.

It was enough to make Jonathan's lips fall from her ear and his hand leave her body. And before either could do anything more, the door to the shower opened.

Clad in a Starfleet uniform and jaw so slack he could've caught a ball in his mouth, she witnessed crimson spread over Trip's face.

"Trip?" she asked.

Jonathan moved T'Pol gently behind him, as if to protect her, and spoke calmly. "Trip, listen, before you do anything, I think we should talk."

The Vulcan peaked around Archer to watch Trip begin to understand the consequences of what he'd just walked into. For a moment, he seemed he was going to say something, but before any words came from his lips, he shook his head. When he turned his back to make a break for the door, T'Pol turned off the shower, reached for a towel and secured it around her.

"I'm going through Pon Farr and while you were gone, Jonathan...Captain Archer...helped me...."

His eyes fell accusingly on Archer, who was right behind her fighting to put a towel at his waist.

T'Pol said, "You and I have discussed Pon Farr—it is the mating cycle and—"

Trip gazed around the room, at the clothes discarded all over the floor, the unmade made and then seemed to sniff at the air.

And then with that, he left. When the door closed behind him, T'Pol stared over at the man who'd helped her for days.

Archer hung his head.

"I'm sorry," he said.

His arms circled around her and for a second she forgot that the engineer had come into her quarters at all. For a moment, all she felt was the beating of his heart and the temperature of his body rise.

"You should probably go talk with him," he said.

"I don't know what to say," she confessed.

"Do you want me to talk with him?"

"What would you say?"

"I'd tell him that we got involved to save your life."

"Involved?"

A sigh left his lips and she saw his body sag. "What would you call it?"

She knitted her brow. "I had not made a decision about whether to continue our relationship."

His lips tightened. "You're going back to Trip?"

"I don't know."

Closing his eyes for a second, he hung his head. It rested against his chest for more than a minute and waited for him to say something. Finally, his head snapped into place and his eyes met hers.

"Well, T'Pol, when you make up your mind let me know."

Searching for clothing, he let his towel drop and began to put on his pants as a frown threatened to collect on her face.

"You knew this," she said. Switching from her towel to a robe, she gathered it around her. With more emotion in her voice than she'd intended, she told him their agreement. "You said you would help me. Even in your mind, you let me know you would assist me no matter what."

"If you need it, I'll help you." Stuffing his feet into his socks in anger, he nodded. Under his breath, which she didn't miss, he said, "If Trip doesn't help you first."

Just as he crammed his feet into his shoes, she stopped him once more.

"You told me you cared for me."

The comment seemed to catch him off guard and quieted his anger.

"No, I said I love you, T'Pol."

"Then why are you leaving?"

With an expression somewhere between fury and pain, he stroked her cheek. And then he took his duffle bag and left.

As soon as the door slid shut, T'Pol watched after it wondering what to do next.


It took several breaths and many minutes to pass for her to really appreciate what exactly happened; the events whirled by so quickly her brain almost didn't have time to catch up.

Whatever her decision, Jonathan was right, she should talk with Trip. Putting on clothes and drying her hair, she went to his cabin to see him. After her finger pressed against the chime several times, a downtrodden man answered the door.

"May I come in?"

A single nod and a pouting lip was her answer and she made her way in.

"Trip—"

He sat down at his desk and offered a seat on his bed for her to sit, and without a second thought, she did so.

"I got your message." With a frown, he shook his head. "Actually, I got all of them. It's why I'm here now. I hopped aboard the ship I knew would get here the fastest, even told them it was an emergency. Left the conference right away."

"I'm sorry," she said.

"The captain?"

"Yes. He is my friend and came to me in my time of need."

"Why did it have to be him?"

She said, "I wanted to wait for you, but the madness took over, controlling me."

"I guess I should be grateful," he said. The tone of his voice was depressed, as if he were anything but thankful. "He saved your life."

"Yes, he did. I knew he would."

"Yeah."

Silence broke out for a few minutes, and T'Pol waved him over. "Sit by me."

Reluctantly, he left his chair and sat next to her.

"So, is it over with him?" he asked.

"My mating cycle is almost at an end."

"You seem pretty rational to me," he said.

"I have more moments of sanity, but occasionally I am taken by the fever—the urge."

"It's kinda weird for me."

"I can imagine. It is also strange for me."

"You didn't just walk in on me and another woman. You didn't have to smell sex in the air."

"No."

"Then don't tell me you know imagine what this feels like." He pointed, getting a little agitated. "Jesus, when I walked in, I thought something was wrong—you were moaning. I just didn't realize you were moaning for him. Not until I left anyway."

She flattened her lips and remained silent.

"You in love with him?" he asked.

A sigh left her lips. "I don't know."

That seemed to do more damage than understanding she and Jonathan had physical relations and tears welled up in Trip's eyes. Her hand grasped his.

"Do you love me?" he asked.

"I care for you deeply."

"That wasn't my question. I asked whether you love me."

A knitted brow formed between her eyes and her lips tugged down. "I don't know."

Water cascaded down his cheeks.

"What's next?" he asked.

"I don't know that either," she said.

Her eyes became glassy as well and she held his hand tighter.

She said, "You and I have been through many things together—hurtful, painful things."

"You tacking this on as one of them?"

"I seem to cause you nothing but misery."

He shook his head, tears falling faster. "That's not true, T'Pol. I still love you. And I don't care about our bond ending, or your marriage....I think we have a chance together to be happy."

One thing Vulcans and humans had in common was the inability to forget times gone by. But, she and Trip were in a committed relationship and she felt there was something to protect.

Something.


When T'Pol got back to her bed quite late, she crawled in between the sheets—the ones she and Jonathan had not so long ago tumbled in. Sniffing her room, she noticed the smell on her and the one she associated with her captain had become one in the same. Frustrated, she changed her sheets again and put on fresh ones and then immediately neutralized the room with something that would zap his smell. Noticing even that didn't seem to help, she dug into her medicine cabinet and put on something that she thought she'd never see again—nasal numbing agents.

Swiping the drug under her nose, she waited for the effect to take hold. And waited. And waited. After an hour of pacing and sitting around, she could still smell him.

Him!

Maddening. With his scent came the feeling it was still on her, on her hair and body and under her clothes. Disgusted, she took those off and threw them into the laundry chute and then turned on the water to sit under the nozzle and wash every speck of him off of her—washing him from her lips, from her hair, from her breasts and nipples, from her stomach and from between her legs.

Rub him clean off her body.

And yet, as she stood under the spray, she didn't rinse him away, she fondled her breasts and closed her eyes thinking of him. Twirling her breasts in between her fingers she thoughts of him doing the same, pinching them as if they belonged to him. Her pressure wasn't the same, and the size of her hands was smaller and not quite as satisfactory.

Spreading her legs, swallowing, she pushed one finger into her canal so gently. And yet the width and length didn't feel like his finger, especially with the pointed nail at the end.

It is of no use.

The strangest sensation happened as she tried to pleasure herself, a warm tickle in her stomach as if someone were watching. Gazing around, she wondered and tried again pushing her own fingers between her legs.

I thought you said Plak-tow had ended.

The rumbling in her head sounded like his voice, and she whirled around in guilt to see if he was there. Only tile, her soap and shampoo and the water gathering at her drain.

"Hello?" she called out.

Shutting off the water and grabbing a towel, she slipped into it and searched her cabin.

"Hello?"

There was silence.

As if a game, she looked under her bed, in her closet, under her desk, and any crawl space she thought he could hide. She even looked in ridiculous places—under her made bed and in the laundry chute.

Less than an hour had passed without seeing him. So, she finally decided to use the comm.

"T'Pol to Ensign Sato."

"Hoshi here," she said.

Hoshi once a month served with the gamma crew as senior officer, and because T'Pol made up those duty rosters, she already knew the Japanese woman was there.

"Do you know where the Captain is?"

She gave an order to Crewman Perez behind her and a faint noise that sounded like an answer came back.

"Ship computers indicate he's in his quarters. Would you like me to connect you?"

"No," T'Pol said. With a frown, she mumbled she didn't want to bother him and then hurried to end the transmission.

As she stared at the metallic box in front of her, she knew she smelled him. Him—the scent like salt. Licking her lips, she could almost taste his mouth, even with the razor-like hair that grew on his beard.

"Why can't I get you out of my mind?"

And when he didn't answer, she felt herself scream it at the top of her lungs in her head as if to shut out all noise. A small jolt, like shock hit her, and for a second she imagined that she'd kicked Porthos from her bed and fell to the floor.

"It must be the madness," she said.

Pon Farr was ancient and secret, with information yet unknown. Rather than reflect on the mysteries of the ages, she sucked in her fear, her dread, and climbed into a fresh set of sheets.

They smell like him as well.

And then she fell asleep.


In the wee hours again. The need wasn't savage, but it slunk along her skin causing it to bead up with perspiration.

Jonathan.

She called to him even in her hypnotic mind hoping he would make his way to her door and slide inside to relieve her. After a few minutes passed and he didn't join her, she spoke to him again.

Jonathan!

"Jonathan. Bolau tu!"

Minutes passed that somehow worked into an hour. Each second that ticked an urgent call to him to wake from his slumber and join her in their mating bed. An hour turned into more and insanity tickled her brain, scorching her insides. Breathing through it, she tried to find logic and reason.

Logic and reason are nothing!

Licking her fingers and spreading them through her hair, fondling her own ears, she waited for him, wondering if he was close. Footsteps rang in her mind and forced her to take her wet fingers to her own breasts, then in between her own legs. Plunging one and then two fingers between her thighs, she felt herself begin to fade; the need was being filled, but there was absence and longing.

He is waiting outside the door for me, she thought.

Spreading her legs wider she spoke his name to the air, letting it travel to the breeze and tickle his mind.

T'Pol.

When he entered, it was not the entry of a man in love. His entrance was that of a man in heat, emblazed just as she, and watching her scoop her delicate hands into her own opening called to something feral inside of him.

"You didn't ask Trip," he said.

"Come to me," she said. It was a cry, one on the verge of another empty orgasm.

Instead of dropping his clothes to the ground, he practically tore them off his body and didn't even bother with his trousers and underwear. Grabbing the elastic of his sweats and underwear, he brought them down far enough to meet her need and his.

Oh, and he is needful.

Sweating with wild eyes, damp hair, red lips and an erection, he loomed over her on the bed and then took her swiftly.

In an instant she was fire—flame.

Falling into each other's arms, they called eagerly to each other and T'Pol lost the sense to know whether they were speaking in their minds or whispering on their tongues. Kisses turned hot and passionate where mouths became raw, teeth nipped and tongues dangled from their lips.

Gentle cries became furtive pleas. Hers were like mews and she heard the sultry way she called to him, almost as if through his ears. And she relished in the deep moan of his, lavishing the baritones.

Oh, yes, she thought.

In less than half an hour, she came hard, her body teased to a delicious conclusion and his fell into bliss not too long after. Somehow during their love making, they'd managed to lie facing each other, their hips on the bed. He'd been rolling her onto her back with each of his powerful thrusts.

"Exquisite," she said.

Though she thought better of the comment, she didn't want to take it back.

He said, "I know this is going to sound crazy, but...I've been wanting you all night. I dreamed that you were masturbating while thinking of me."

I dreamed the same. She thought back to him pleasuring himself in his Ready Room as she stood idly by.

"You enjoyed it?" she asked.

"Yes." Darkly, he whispered to her. "I imagined flicking my tongue against your fingers."

I wanted that as well. In her delirium, maybe she'd even convinced herself he had.

With the tremors between them eroded, he left her body, a satisfied sigh accompanying it and without realizing, she noticed she sighed along with him.

A smile formed over his lips just as terror gripped her stomach and twisted it, in a crushing vice.

"Thank you," she said.

"T'Pol, why didn't you go to Trip?"

An eyebrow spooked at his question, wandering against her forehead and with as much calm as she could muster, she told him.

"Vulcans do not leave their mates during Pon Farr."

In her brain echoed, "Liar!" and with horror she couldn't tell whether it was his voice or hers.

"Did you say something?" she asked.

"No."

Taking off to the bathroom, he cleaned himself as she stared at the ceiling, his love spilling from between her legs and onto her sheets.

I should change them again.

When he left her bathroom, his sweats and underwear securely where they belonged, she entered the room. Rather than give her complete privacy, he hung at the closed door.

"T'Pol, I know how you feel about Trip, and maybe it's best that we just...."

Her ear inadvertently titled toward the door.

He coughed. "Call me when you need me."

For a second, she imagined he kissed his hand and pressed it on the door, his fingers spreading against the metal, before he shuffled into his shirt to head back to his abode. She even imagined him feeling silly for doing so, but rationalized no one would see it, and it didn't matter anyway.

As soon as she heard the front door open, she pressed the button to the bathroom door to enter her room. It was too late; he was already gone.

Heavy in her heart, she changed the sheets again, neutralized the room with spray and then sighed when she smelled him so clearly again.

Perhaps this is love.


The next morning, before Trip had a chance to report to Engineering, T'Pol took advantage of her position—the first time she could ever remember doing so. Tapping her thumb on the button, she told Trip he was relieved of command and that she'd stop by his quarters later.

Sadness resounded in his voice and he accepted the order without a fight. It singed the Vulcan with guilt. After showering, trying again to rid her room of Jonathan's smell and grabbing breakfast, she headed to Trip's quarters.

There is much to discuss.

Although she hadn't entered a meditation, there was a nagging at her stomach. She'd had sex, willingly and knowingly with Jonathan even when Trip was available...even when he'd confessed that he would satisfy her need. Why she called up Jonathan, called him ashaya during their romantic interludes and tried to quench her own fire while thinking of him was beyond explanation. Beyond reason. Beyond almost everything she had ever known.

Except emotion.

When she had been addicted to trellium, emotion stormed through her—jealousy, lust, sadness—tapping down everything else. This, this feeling about Jonathan, reminded her of those drugs—deep, powerful and wrecking her concentration. And with the pain of her feelings with Jonathan, she found delight, humor and satisfaction. Satisfaction.

While in front of Trip's door, she realized that was a new emotion. Jonathan gave her satisfaction in sex, satisfaction in her emotional relationship with and satisfaction in the deep and personal mental connection.

Satisfaction of the katra.

Satisfaction.

The word hissed against her lips as she mouth the words and felt like freedom to her stomach. Before she realized she had done so, her fingers depressed the chime.

"You need me?" he asked.

Lowering her eyes and crossing the threshold, she shook her head. "No."

"Your need will probably come soon. You told me Vulcans go mad, so I worked up restraints and I asked Chef to deliver Vulcan dishes to my room."

"Trip—"

"Adun'a," he said.

She bristled under the comment, maybe even physically, because he spoke again.

"T'Pol?" he asked.

"There is something we must discuss."

He sighed. "Listen, about your Pon Farr...I can understand why turned to the captain. He's your friend and hell...he's mine, too."

She opened her mouth.

"I guess I'm just jealous. We haven't been intimate in a while...not since Elizabeth died."

Her heart thumped in her throat. "I know."

He shook his head. "Human men are jealous, especially when their beautiful, exotic girlfriends are in bed with another man, despite that he saved your life. You've told me that Vulcans are dispassionate about Pon Farr."

Another parting of her lips was stopped.

He said, "I want us to be close, like we were once. I want to kiss your lips and nibble on your flesh like that day after the funeral."

Tears welled in her eyes, and in an instant, he had his arms around her. Just as her head was about to rest on his shoulder, she found his lips on hers, entreating so much more.

"You told me about the passion of Pon Farr. Maybe I can incite it."

And thought his words were soft and careful, the kiss he gave was loose and sweet. His large juicy lips clamped on her own, his tongue pushed into her mouth and soon he was backing her toward the bed.

No! resounded in her mind.

His fingers curled around his shirt, bringing up his chest—blond and light brown hair covered white skin. Pink nipples poked into the air as if he was already aroused. With his hand on hers, he pressed her fingers to his erection. He was nearly fully aroused and her hand squirmed from his.

"I should come back," she said.

"Why?" he asked. His fingers slid along her waist.

"Because." No!

"Why?" he asked again.

His lips marched along her throat, wet as he slid his tongue along.

"Because," she said.

Fingers eventually cupped her breasts and in the same pant she gave to continue, a voice, which sounded entirely unlike her own, rang out.

"I made love to Jonathan last night, after you returned."

The two stared at each other and Trip had to ask her to repeat it, as if the words were ludicrous.

"I asked Jonathan to help me last night. I craved him in my fire."

A frown formed on his face and crimson rose to his cheek. "It's the Pon Farr. Once you're over this, you'll want me."

"No."

"Huh?"

"I don't believe so."

"You're saying...you're saying you love him?"

"I don't know; I only know that I need him."

Sitting down, clumsily into a nearby chair, he put his head in his hands.

T'Pol spoke, her voice so quiet she wasn't sure she spoke at all whispered. "We may have a bond."

"You told me a bond was formed when—"

"It is more than just the need to mate, Trip. Friendship has turned into something else entirely." She frowned at him and then tried to ease the burden. "He's helped me so many times before...."

She could see the realization spark to his eyes, and tried to explain as best she could.

"At first, I thought we would be friends who assisted each other. I thought there would be room for you when you returned. The more I thought about him, the more we....I returned home last night and found that I called to him. And he heard me."

"It could be coincidence."

She shook her head, sadly. "I knew he would come."

Trip expelled a long breath and for the first time the Vulcan saw clarity.

She asked, "When you think back on our relationship, how many happy times do you recall?"

A hand swiped away a few tears, and he confessed that he was happy when he thought about their son Lorian, their daughter Elizabeth, their neuropressure sessions, when he teased her, when she'd shown her feelings for him through jealousy and the times they'd made love.

Most of those times were happy to her as well, though she'd never categorize it as such. As a lump developed in her throat, she remembered many more unhappy times than happy ones: her marriage to Koss, Lorian's disappearance, Elizabeth's death, the trellium addiction and how she'd taken advantage of Trip to satisfy her carnal lust while in her addiction. The most meaningful moments between them were painful, at least to her; with vivid clarity she remembered the night they made love after burying Elizabeth the two crying, even her, as they had sex. At the time, she'd believed it might renew a bond severed by the loss of her daughter, but when no link came, she should've known it was the end.

Barely able to say the words, she told him that, gently, and his tears trickled down his cheek again.

"Perhaps we were ill fated from the beginning," she said.

Trip's eyes shut and she took him into a hug, letting the water smack her in guilt and hurt. Upsetting him so caused her own eyes to water and a few tears to flow.

"I will always care about you, my friend. I apologize for hurting you," she said. "I never wanted to."

And rather than say anything back, he seemed to let her hold him for many minutes more until morning had passed to afternoon and ventured into night. The two worked through emotions, sorrowful, pleasant, hurtful and glorious.

Even after their words halted, she stayed by his side to ensure he was okay. When he nodded lamely he would be recover, she for the first time that day thought about leaving him.

The tethers to you are strong.

With a single kiss to his cheek, she left.

Endings, she thought. They have never been my forte.


After she left Trip's cabin, it was late. In fact, the time was near midnight and her emotions were wrecked. The suppression of emotion was never easy for her, nights like tonight only made it more difficult.

And yet, instead of going back to her own quarters, she wanted to seek the solace that only one man could ever really provide. Her feet led her to his door even before she realized she was there and her finger pressed his chime.

The speed in which he answered the door let her know he was already up, most likely brooding over the events. But, when he came to the door he didn't chastise her, instead he drew her into a hug and then welcomed her in.

Maybe he knows I have shed tears, or perhaps he sees what expression I wear when my heart is heavy. Perhaps it is the bond itself....

"I spoke with Trip."

"I figured as much," he said. His hand hadn't left hers and they walked to his bed. "What happened?"

"He was upset," she said.

Even in the whisper, she could feel the lump catch in her throat, making it impossible to say anything else at least for the moment.

Jonathan took his hand and wrapped it behind her neck to draw her forehead to his lips.

"I'm sorry," he said.

The words whispered against her forehead, and before she could respond, he drew her into a hug and she felt the last spark of emotions wrestle from her. A few more tears flowed her eyes and landed onto his neck. And when the water hit him, he wrapped his arms around her tighter.

After her tears had dried, she left his arms. The lump was still there, despite the pain in the pit of her stomach easing.

"You all right?" he asked.

She nodded.

His hand cupped the side of her face. "Listen, I've been thinking. I'm sorry for pushing you for something more between us. You made it clear almost from the start how you felt about Trip—"

"Jonathan—"

"Let me finish." He sighed. "I...you two are my friends. I'll try to let the two of you have some space so that—"

"Ashaya—"

"So that...." He paused. Ashaya? "You chose me?"

Her fingers covered his and she felt his mixture of emotions: relief and joy for himself, and sadness for Trip.

She said, "I don't know where this may go, but it seems worthwhile to continue it. When the Pon Farr releases me, perhaps we will know the direction."

Jonathan swallowed, nodding his head. And he held her again, this time less in comfort, but more as a lover.

"Stay the night," he said. It was a whisper in her ear.

They connected lips, got ready for bed and slept.


Morning came and something wet nudged her cheek. When she creaked open her eyes, she saw Porthos. A giant red tongue came out from his mouth and slapped against her cheek and mouth. Before she could wipe the slobber from her face, she heard the man in bed beside her chuckle.

"Porthos, no licking," he said.

The dog shone his big brown eyes and then whined. A hairy hand reached over her and ruffled the dog's fur.

"Sorry, he likes to wake me up for breakfast."

"I had no idea Porthos was trained as an alarm clock."

"No, not my breakfast. His."

T'Pol reached a hand and caressed the dog's fur.

"He's got a clock in his stomach," he said.

There was a quip that came to mind, but rather than say it, she watched as Jonathan left his bed and fed his quadruped. Instead of jumping down to sit in front of his food bowl though, Porthos was intent on sniffing T'Pol.

"Come here, boy," he said.

Porthos looked back at his master and then grumbled into bed next to her. With a grin, Jonathan shook his head.

"You've made a friend," he said.

He walked over, arms extended, as if to pick the Beagle up and force him off the bed when T'Pol explained she and his animal had actually been friends ever since they thought their captain—while blowing up the Xindi weapon—had died.

"I came to visit him often," she said. "It, I believe you would say, cheered me up."

Porthos, as if spared being shoved off his master's bed, put his head on his paws to curl up for a nap. Jonathan got into bed, letting his dog lay between them.

"You have Bridge duty today?" she asked.

He frowned. "I do. I'd better go. And...as the XO could you ask that Trip take the day off?"

She nodded.

"Thanks," he said. Leaning over his dog, he gave her a small kiss. "You going to be okay?"

"Yes," she said.

And with that, he got up and made his way into the shower, put on his uniform, gave her another kiss and headed out the door. With a sigh, T'Pol stroked Porthos' fur and wondered what exactly would happen next with his master.

After lazing around for a thirty more minutes, thoughtfully petting the dog—which seemed to make him happy—she eventually got up, made the captain's bed and then headed back to her quarters for a shower and long-overdue meditation.


It was late in the day, almost toward evening, when she felt the stirrings of her blood—the weakest pang of need she'd had since her Pon Farr began. Closing her eyes, she recognized that she could stave it off, possibly entirely, but it seemed unfortunate.

Placing her thumb on the intercom she called to her lover.

"T'Pol to Captain Archer," she said.

Her voice was steady and cool, like the logic in her mind.

"Archer here. I'm in my Ready Room."

"I thought I should let you know that my symptoms have not completely vanished."

"Oh?" he said. In his voice, she heard a smile.

"No."

"Hmmmmmm."

There was a tease in his tone, and her brow peaked in response to it. So, she rebuked him.

"Jonathan."

"Can you wait?" he asked.

"Yes."

"You sure?"

"Yes."

"All right, I'll see you in about an hour."

When the comm link closed, she decided to enjoy some light meditation to occupy her mind. Sitting in front of the candle that was already lit, she let her eyes focus on the dancing flame. Taking deep breaths, she took in the scent of her candles, the incense smelled like Vulcan—tasting of mystery, sand and logic. Placing her hands, palm up, on her knees, she thought about her homeworld and the mating cycle.

My planet and my blood called to me even light years away.

Shutting her eyes, she fell into her meditation as she twitched her nose and also took in another scent in her room—Jonathan. Sucking it into her nostrils, she was able to break it down into components: salt, musk and woods. The man smelled like Earth itself like the sea breeze that even she could smell from Sausalito, the smell of dark and ancient forests and the whiff of the fauna that roamed his land.

A white light, the one that took over her senses in meditation came to her and she envisioned herself there as all thought drifted from her brain and stillness reigned. Even the thump of her heart beat more slowly, her blood flowed quiet and her breath became a whisper.

She heard a voice, and when she opened her eyes, she was surprised to see her captain standing before her, drenched in he blinding light of the room.

"I thought I was at my desk," he said.

Her eyes closed for a second and she stood. "You are."

A question hung in his eyes, and she shook her head as she spoke. "When you leave here, you will open your eyes and believe you had a dream."

"But, it's not a dream?" he asked.

"No."

"Then—?"

"We can discuss this later," she said.

"Huh. You know, this is going to sound funny, but for a minute I thought I smelled the desert."

"You did."

And then she sat back down, noticing his voice was no longer behind her and stayed in meditation. Her mind stilled completely.

The ringing of her doorbell awoke her and she made her way to the door. When it opened, he greeted her with a smile and walked in before taking her into his arms.

"You're barely sweating," he said. "You must be feeling better."

"I am."

"What did you do today?" he asked. His lips nipped at her throat and ears.

"Meditated."

"All day?"

"Not all day, but much of the day. It was the first opportunity I've had in many days to do so successfully."

Their mouths connected and she led him to her meditation mat. Before he could lean in again for another kiss, she decided to bring up a topic.

"Did you have a dream today?" she asked.

"Huh?"

"Did you have a day dream?"

His head titled to the side and he shook his head. "Other than thinking about us."

"What did you think about us?"

He shrugged. "I thought about how much fun it would've been to meet you when you lived in Sausalito. I thought about kissing you. I thought about the desert, like when we went to the Forge...and could almost remember what it smelled like there. You know, gritty, arid and like incense."

"Any auditory recollection?" she asked.

He laughed. "Well, after pondering that, I envisioned you told me basically to get back to work. Except...."

"Except what?"

"Except I wasn't at my desk...and yet I was."

A hand smoothed over his face and his visage changed from good humor to confusion. His head ducked down and his eyes scanned the floor if searching is memory, something that by the furrow of his brow she guessed was just out of reach.

"Jonathan, I believe you and I have a bond."

"Our minds are linked?"

"Yes," she said. Surprise rang in her voice. "Ashaya, it seems I selected you even before I ended my relationship with Trip. And it seems you selected me as well."

The creases over his eyebrows doubled.

"A bond forms during the physical union of my species. Its ways are mysterious, and yet it indicates choice and affection. We were not intimate last night after I came to you. It means our bond was formed before."

"Intimacy," he said. "This bond is based on intimacy."

"Yes." Surak?

"And this bond will last—?"

"For an unknown period of time. Possibly as long as you are my choice and there is great affection between us."

He remained silent, as if pondering the information.

"We can go to a priest and ask him to remove it," she offered. "If that is what you prefer."

Rather than answer her question, his lips met hers and he pushed her gently to the mat below them. Whispers in her ear reached her brain and katra.

"Tushah ashau tu, T'Pol."

"And I you."

And they kissed again, their mouths and tongues mingling. When they finally broke for air and so that he could slide her robe off, a glint of humor smacked in her stomach.

"Your pronunciation of Vulcan needs assistance."

A rumble purred in his chest, swallowing his laugh, and she felt his mouth caress her skin—her ears, her throat, her chest, her breasts and her stomach. As his head lowered to so that his lips could dip between her legs, she asked him to remove his clothes as well.

When he'd shed everything, his body covered hers and they kissed and took turns letting their lips meander the other's body. Hers diverted to gluts, after nudging him over as far as she could in his state of arousal, where she enjoyed sinking her teeth into his round flesh. By the sound he was making, she thought maybe he enjoyed it as well. With precision, her lips ran over his hairy legs to his feet where he squirmed under her mouth's touch. Snickering, he wiggled as she nibbled on his toes and then joyful delight seemed to turn darker when her mouth and teeth caressed his soles.

After rolling him onto his back again, she placed her hands on his hipbones and pressed tenderly at first, and within an instant she heard him groan while his already stiff erection seemed to swell further.

"Neuropressure," she said.

"You've got to teach me that," he said, breathlessly.

An excellent idea.

She took his hands and placed them on her abdomen, adjusting them to the right spot, and pressed. Within an instant, her head titled back as the blood rushed with greater intensity to her nether regions.

Two fingers of one hand slipped inside her as he used his other to press on her abdomen again.

"Yes," she whispered.

Gaining the advantage, he gently pushed her on her back again. Kisses fell onto her body, feather-light ones, along her throat, at the tip of her breasts and then finally between her legs. As if he was kissing her mouth, she could feel his lips plump and his kisses become more eager. Eventually, his tongue rolled into her opening to deepen the kiss. And just when her moans became more urgent, his fingers joined in the assault to her senses—both those teasing her and those pressing on her nerves.

"I need you," she said.

His tongue plunged once more and her eyes slipped shut before she experienced his mouth on hers. When her lips opened for him, she could taste her own scent on his lips and tongue—at least she assumed it was hers. Diving in for another kiss, his fingers continued their gentle ministrations and her hand went to the tip of him to taunt him as well.

Running her fingers along him, she noticed right away he was wet and tacky to the touch. She pumped her hand a few times, lost in the small twitches that compressed his fingers; they were gentle and only made her hungrier.

Her other hand ran along his cheek and touched his temple to join their minds. And as if by instinct, his fingers left her body and he pushed himself in with a low groan.

My mind to your mind. My thoughts to your thoughts. Our minds are merging....

"Our minds are one," she whispered.

She saw her own body laid before him, her cheeks green with passion and her own eyes dark as if the brownish orbs were obliterated into a void of black. Her breasts were peaked, showing large, green-tinted nipples and her throat was the color of Earth's forest. Swallowing, she saw her lips pouted and then opened for him just as the flowers of a petal—the rose he mentioned earlier.

Yes, he thought to her. I love your mouth.

As he pulled himself from her body and pushed again, she knew he saw his own reflection: sweat collected at his forehead and on his chest, his face flushed with his red blood and his eyes stared with intensity.

You are so pleasing to look at, she thought.

A whimper left her mouth, and she heard it as if she were him, high pitched and soft. It was a success to him, as if he triumphed in causing her to call out for him. And syncopated, he moaned for her—a deep rumble.

You like when I call to you, too, he thought.

Very much, she thought back to him.

One hand was on his glut, feeling the supple skin underneath. It hadn't occurred to her before, but she liked touching him there—it was the only part of his body that wasn't hard and lean. At the notion, a smile briefly passed over his lips.

He liked when she grabbed at his backside during sex as well.

Twitching her nose briefly, she smelled an interesting aroma—incense, salt and something that was clean, crisp and slightly acrid. As his lips pressed against hers, she realized it was how she smelled to him. Her scent was that of copper tubing, pipes left in the rain for a few hours—sharp. And as his lips pressed against her throat, he sensed how he smelled to her. His laugh exploded at her neck.

I smell that bad? he asked. Like a monkey?

Instead of answering, she grabbed his bottom and forced him against her harder.

It wasn't just the physical excitement, there was emotion welling within him—dark. Lust. When Vulcans allowed themselves the experience, it was terrifying, clouding all other emotions like rage. Women and men from her planet were want to shred skin, rip flesh in their teeth and break bones to bring themselves to ecstasy, much like how she felt in her early stages of Pon Farr. With a human, she noted, it was sensual, like a hot, summer night in Sausalito—steamy and sticky. What was equally interesting is the more time they spent in a tangled embrace, him rutting against her, the less coherent his thoughts were while she was still able to tap logic.

Is it always like that? she asked.

Sometimes worse, he said.

He carefully maneuvered to his knees and in an instant she felt him probe deeper. Instead of her gasping, he did.

That's what it feels like? he asked.

Yes.

Their mouths had a more difficult time touching, but her hand stayed at his temple. His fingers joined in, teasing in a small circle, and he bit his lip as his eyes fluttered. T'Pol knew he could feel it as it were his own small orgasm.

Fuck, he thought.

Stay with me, she answered.

Base, like an animal, Jonathan's thoughts drifted to primal instinct, beginning to blot out other thoughts.

Mate.

T'Pol craned her neck and thrust her chest for him, her toes curling. He took her breast in his mouth and suckled, and then knowing her thoughts, he sucked vigorously biting it without mercy.

Yes.

She felt his mouth wrap around her other nipple and squeeze it his mouth until she thought it would burst. Saliva rushed to her throat, coating it, as she experienced her tightening around him.

His hips worked more powerfully and one hand grabbed her waist, drawing out of her before shoving back in. The other hand fell between her legs again; his fingers rubbing her swollen flesh.

Yes, she thought.

He moaned in response.

As if falling into his mind, she knew he could taste his orgasm and that brought her closer still to hers. Her hips pumped upward to meet his more readily.

Oh, God.

Yes.

The throb between her legs and his matched each other's, both ferocious and quick. His eyes clouded over with red and hers with green; his heart thundered in his chest and hers sounded like a drum; his pupils exploded and hers were blanketed; his body clenched and hers yearned to meet his.

And with the twirl of his finger, she felt it. The infinite. The void. Bliss draped around her, contracting and convulsing muscles, sending an earthquake across her body and a smile to her lips. It wasn't the tepid one she normally gave to show good humor; this was a grin spread over her entire face—his grin, the one he felt inside as he fell into the sublime. How it smacked onto hers, past her more than fifty years of suppression was beyond her.

His teeth gritted one last time as spray drenched her canal and then he gasped for air before his manhood twitched again and again. Like a woman, he shivered instead of quaked at the release, giving a small whimper at the feel. It was her whimper, the one that she'd been holding back.

Ashaya, she thought.

The feeling almost made her laugh, but she caught the giggle from expelling.

Sound, sight, smell—everything came to a standstill and with exhaustion she lowered her hand to break their meld. She already knew what was there—awe and wonder.

Quietly, he placed his forehead against hers and his hands reached behind her neck in a lover's knot. A kiss, one that was tender and one that included their tongues, passed between them and in silence, he eventually rolled at her side.

T'Pol felt a strange sense of completion. For minutes, she had known what it was like for him to love her, and the experience was simply remarkable—satisfying in her katra, satisfying in her mind and satisfying to her body.

It made sense why they were one.

And the moment she thought it, she knew there was much more to this relationship—more than Pon Farr, more than a bond and more than passion shared between two people. She'd cared for him and always had. The mating cycle just allowed her to think about him as a man instead of her captain.

Yes.

Glancing over his body, she knew he was most certainly a man, not a boy. Even his demeanor was that of a man—deep emotions that remained hidden from sight, except to her. He made love to her like a man—without holding back, confident in his skill, mischievous and eager to please her. And he even loved her like a man—protecting her, acting like a blanket to cover her when she was sad, being a friend and being an equal. Watching the sweat on his chest and even with his waning erection, she nodded.

He is mine. And I am his.

His lips turned up into a smile, and he leaned over to her.

"If I didn't know better, I'd think you were leering," he said. His face a little more serious, he asked her, "If you need me again, we can—?"

"I am satisfied. To my very katra, Jonathan."


The rest of her Pon Farr was short and when the sixth day passed, she realized it had left her entirely. Rather than give up the idea of mating with Jonathan, she decided to luxuriate in it. After all, she enjoyed the feel of him and their time together.

With great pain and suffering between them Jonathan had spoken to Trip. Keeping his friendship was important to both of them, and Jonathan decided to spend the day with his old friend. He'd indicated, after their talk, it wasn't easy, but that maybe there was something salvageable. Maybe. In truth, Jonathan cared for Trip greatly and would not give up the friendship easily, and even though Trip felt hurt, he had the same admiration of Jonathan. It made for at least a tentative relationship, one that had the chance of becoming more.

It made T'Pol feel easier. Her friendship with Trip was also important, and she wouldn't give it up so quickly. When she spoke to him, she noticed there was hurt in his blue eyes, but that he was willing to work through that, and even said so when they finished breakfast alone together. After he made his way to Engineering, she started to head to the Bridge.

The one thing she and Jonathan had not discussed was how they would treat each other on the Bridge.

Would it be strange to work with him, after everything that happened? Would I remember the nights of passion and be caught up, unable to work?

When the turbolift finally deposited her at her destination, she saw the man she'd shared a bed with almost an entire week. He gazed over, a grin spreading over his face.

"Welcome back, Commander."

Reed, Mayweather and Sato, the only ones on the Bridge, joined in.

"If you'd care to follow me into the Ready Room, I think I can debrief you."

A ludicrous smile made its way to his lips and for a moment, she heard an echo of his voice, something she was beginning to get familiar with.

Debrief? he thought. Freudian slip.

She said, "Of course."

After they made their way in he leaned against his desk and crossed his arms.

"It's great to see you here. I've missed you," he said.

"You've seen me every day, many times more than once."

"I've missed working with you."

"About that—"

He nodded, as if he was able to discern what she'd say next. "I think being discreet is a good idea."

She nodded.

"You and Trip were discreet. But, I got the impression you two didn't have an ongoing relationship."

It was true; their relationship was one of stops and starts with sorrow at nearly every turn. Fate seemed against them.

"Yes," she said. It was a quiet acquiescence.

"I was hoping ours would be more ongoing."

Lifting two fingers, she nodded her head and thought to herself she needed to explain more about the bond. Perhaps he didn't understand they were destined to be together; Providence had picked him for her. It's why their bond was so strong after such a short time and why they derived such pleasure from each other.

His fingers met hers.

"Although, I hope you don't expect my sexual drive to be so voracious," she said.

Placing his arms around her, he chuckled into her hair. "Actually, makes me feel better. I was beginning to get performance anxiety."

She allowed her eyes to twinkle at him and he rubbed her shoulders before letting her go.

"Vulcans are not demonstrative," she said.

His lopsided grin faded. "I know." Putting his hands on his hips and giving a sigh, he reminded her of something she already knew. "I think I understand you a lot better now."

"I know you enjoy affection."

"I don't think you're telling me you'll never show it."

That is true, she thought.

He said, "We'll take it easy. One step at a time."

"That is a most logical decision."

"Hmmmm." He tapped a few controls and pulled up the next mission, one that Admiral Dagan asked him to participate in. It involved studying a new quasar, logging the data and sending it back to Starfleet for further review; it was the only one that Vulcan scientists had actually recorded made some sort of noise—music.

As she was about to walk out the door, she felt his smile on her back.

It seems working together won't be problematic, she thought.

Nope, he thought as well.

He pinched her left buttock just before the door opened. And as she turned her head, an innocent smile planted itself across his face.