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Something went very wrong during Myka Bering's trip to St. Louis. She couldn't pinpoint exactly what it was, but one minute she was standing in the snow and the next minute she was in a barren desert, staring up at a shimmering blue wall that looked like it was made out of geometric pieces of energy.

"What the fuck?" she cursed, spinning around to take in her surroundings. Behind her was a town, that much she could tell, and in the other direction, forest, which she couldn't get to anyway unless she could figure out a way to pass the energy field.

"Can I help you?" a gruff voice sounded, and she spun toward the town to see a man with a badge walking toward her. "How did you get in here?"

"You wouldn't believe me if I told you, so I'm going to say I parachuted out of an airplane."

He snorted. "Right. Because airplanes are a dime a dozen. Where's your parachute?"

"All right. Assuming this is St. Louis, I'm fairly certain I time traveled here. Is that better?"

"It used to be St. Louis," he said, nodding toward the arch. "Now it's called Defiance."

"Right," Myka said, eyeing him warily. "And you are?"

"I'm the Lawkeeper. Who are you?"

Where the fuck was she? "Myka Bering. I'm an agent with Warehouse 13."

"Never heard of it. What's your business here?"

"I literally have no idea."

"Okay then... welcome to Defiance, and stay out of trouble." He tipped an imaginary hat to her and extended his arm toward the town.

"Thanks," Myka said, unnerved as she started the trek.

--

She relaxed when she got into town. Her first impression would have gone so much smoother if she'd realized she was at a Cosplay convention. Thank God. Pete and Claudia had dragged her to Comic Con on several occasions, so this wasn't as foreign as it could be. She didn't recognize any of the costumes from any sci fi shows that she watched, though.

She made her way into a place called NeedWant... interesting name... and approached the bar. There was a dark-haired woman in an elaborate gown with very sparkly eye shadow behind the bar. Myka waited for her attention.

Kenya turned from serving a drink and stopped in her tracks, staring at the woman who had just entered her establishment. "Hello," she said, eyebrows raised.

"Hi," Myka said. "Can I get a drink?"

"Of course. This is a bar, among other things," Kenya said, smiling at her. "What would you like?"

Myka glanced at the list of drinks on the wall and cringed. "Can I just get a beer?"

"Yes you may," Kenya said, ducking down to retrieve one from the mini fridge. She passed it across the bar after popping the cap off. "Three scrip."

"Three what?"

"Three scrip?" Kenya asked, eyebrows raising again.

"Is that like three dollars?" She pulled out her wallet and took three ones, setting them on the bar, then grabbed another for a tip.

Kenya stared at the money, eyes widening. "Where did you get this?" she asked, snatching it up before the stranger could decide to take it back.

"My bank account?" Myka said, taking a swig of the beer and glancing around, not too bothered with the woman's reaction. They obviously liked to be genuine at this convention.

Kenya shoved the pre-war money down the front of her dress for safekeeping. "The rest of your drinks are on the house, sweetie."

"Don't call me sweetie," Myka said as the bartender's face lit up to see someone approaching behind her. She slowly turned on her barstool and almost dropped her beer.

"Fávi Tarr," Kenya exclaimed fondly, leaning over the bar to hug the new arrival.

Myka had to forcibly close her mouth at the sight of the amazingly hot woman dressed all in white and silver with platinum blonde hair and really, really pale skin and... light pink eyes? Holy fuck.

“Hello,” Stahma said just as fondly, returning the hug until Kenya squeezed her too tight and she slipped out of the embrace.

OhmyGod. Her voice. What kind of an accent even was that?

Feeling eyes on her, Stahma inclined her head toward the stranger. “Hello... I don't believe we've met.”

The quiet way she spoke and the intensity of her gaze had Myka stumbling over her words. “No-- I-- we haven't. I love your costume.” Way to go, Myka! Smooth.

“Costume?” Stahma asked, turning inquiring eyes on the bartender.

“Clothing,” Kenya 'translated'.

“I know what it means,” Stahma said mildly. “Why does she call my clothing a costume?”

“Not to break role or anything, but this is a really elaborate convention. I mean the costumes look so real, and you have all these fully-functional businesses... even a whole town. I've never been to a con this realistic. How long is it going on for?”

Kenya folded her arms over her chest and regarded the stranger with something like irritation. “What the fuck are you talking about?”

Myka got a sinking feeling. Usually Cosplayers were serious about their craft, but not to the point of refusing to answer questions about a convention. “This... is a convention, right? A Cosplay convention?” She looked at Stahma. “And you're dressed up, quite convincingly I might add, as some kind of alien?”

“Dressed up?” Stahma asked, smiling and dropping her eyes to the floor. “Shíro ksa yu re ya. It is a saying in my language. It means 'seeming is being'. To you, I am an alien.”

This was not happening. "Where am I?"

Kenya was still irritated. "Defiance."

"When am I?"

"Twenty forty-six."

"What?" Wide eyes snapped to the bartender. "Jesus Christ..."

"You don't hear much about him anymore," the Lawkeeper said as he slid onto the barstool next to Myka. "We've got Irzu and Ráyetso, but no J.C."

Myka was slowly realizing that she was not at a convention. Whatever had happened during her visit to St. Louis had taken her into the future, to a terraformed city called Defiance, with aliens and old-school buildings and futuristic tech all in the same place. She thought she was going to hyperventilate.

"When did you think you were?" Stahma asked, sensing the human's distress.

"Twenty thirteen," Myka managed to choke out as the walls started closing in around her.

"So if you are to be believed, you have traveled not through space but through time?"

Kenya grudgingly took the money out of her dress and set it on the counter. "She did have this..."

--

"I didn't do anything; why am I being treated like a criminal?" Myka asked as she was escorted to the mayor's office.

"Relax. Same thing happened to me when I got here and now I'm the lawkeeper." He rapped on the door before opening it without waiting for an answer.

Amanda was about to say 'come in' when the door opened, and she knew it must be Nolan. "No need to wait for an answer, come on in," she said sarcastically, then blinked when she saw a stranger with him. "Who's this?"

"Wow. Why do people have a habit of talking like I'm not here?" Myka asked. "My name is Myka Bering, I'm an agent with Warehouse 13 out of South Dakota. I was visiting St. Louis in 2013 and suddenly I was here. End of story. You know as much as I do."

Stahma, who had followed in the shadows, now stood outside the doors, listening casually as she crocheted. She smirked to herself at the fire in the stranger's voice. Myka. Myka's voice. Myka was a very curious individual.

Amanda blinked, then looked at Nolan.

Nolan shrugged. "Seriously. She wasn't there one minute and she was there the next. It was weird, but I'm used to weird, so... here you go."

"Well what am I supposed to do with her?"

Myka was beyond irritated now and into furious. "What the fuck is wrong with you people?" she shouted. "I just got time-travelly fucked in the ass without my consent, I end up in a town full of aliens, you all can tell me nothing about how I got here, so just find me a place to sleep for the night while I try to calm the fuck down!"

Amanda opened her mouth to utter some curses of her own when Stahma Tarr practically glided into the room and spoke.

"Please forgive me for overhearing," she said, bowing her head with that placating smile. "Madam Mayor, Lawkeeper, Mrs. Bering, but--"

"Miss Bering," Myka corrected her. "As if."

"Miss Bering," Stahma adjusted the title, "but perhaps you would consider staying with me. My house is very empty with my husband incarcerated." She flashed a smile to Amanda at the last part, a sweet, submissive smile that held depths of deceit uncharted.

Spending the night in an alien's house. Not what she had anticipated when she woke up that morning. But no one else was offering and the woman was undeniably intriguing. Sensing she needed approval from the mayor, Myka glanced at her.

"You're not a prisoner, you can stay wherever you want," Amanda said, glad to have the matter decided even if Stahma's smile was disconcerting. "I'll just need to keep your weapons until you leave town."

"You expect me to be in a strange place unarmed?" Myka's brows hit the roof. "I don't think so."

Stahma stepped forward and laid a hand on Myka's shoulder, just briefly, just to get her attention, then removed it. "I would be happy to provide you with something from my husband's collection when we reach my home," she offered.

Myka's jaw worked in silence for a minute before she could make herself speak. "Fine," she finally spat at the mayor, handing over her gun and her Tesla.

"Thank you," Amanda said, locking the items up. "You're free to go."

--

Once she was alone with the alien woman, Myka's irritation faded. The woman had been nothing but nice to her. "So I gathered your last name is Tarr," she said as they walked the streets toward the woman's home.

"Yes, you gathered right," Stahma said pleasantly.

"What's your first name? Or does your species not go by first names?"

"It depends who you ask," Stahma said with an amused expression. "My name is Stahma. I think I heard that yours is Myka? Is that correct?"

"That's me. And I'm human, which is not something I usually have to slip into conversation, but I don't know what you are."

"I am a woman," Stahma said, and it took Myka a moment to realize she was being teased. "I am Casti."

Myka took the teasing with good grace, even letting out a little chuckle. "Stahma Tarr, a Casti woman," she said. "Got it." They walked a little longer and she blurted out, "so why is your husband in prison?"

Stahma stopped walking, turned, and smiled that soft, placating smile again, bowing her head as she addressed Myka. "There are many things I would like to discuss with you. That is not one of them," she said, light pink eyes fixed on Myka's shoes, then slowly making their way to her companion's own dark eyes.

"Sore subject. Understood," Myka nodded, and they were walking again. "Holy shit," she said when they stopped in front of a stark white house that looked like it was made of all metal. "This is where you live? Aren't you afraid of contaminating that pristine whiteness with my dirty clothes?"

Stahma laughed and ran a hand down Myka's jacket sleeve. "They are not so dirty, Myka Bering, human," she said, her voice rich and lilting.

Myka had no idea what to make of Stahma. She followed the woman inside, blinking at the brightness. "Jesus. It's like being snowblind," she said. "I need sunglasses to see in here."

"Is that sarcasm or shall we venture to the market?" Stahma asked, stopping in the kitchen. "Would you like some water, Myka?"

"It's sarcasm," Myka said, looking around and then joining her hostess in the kitchen. "Sure, water would be nice since I didn't get to finish my beer. Unless you have beer?"

Stahma stared at the ground and shook her head. "No, I am sorry, we do not," she said. "I do not."

"Water's fine," Myka said, wondering at Stahma's submissive posturing, especially when answering in the negative.

Stahma filled a glass with water and set it in front of her on the counter. "Please. Sit," she said, nodding toward the dining room table.

Myka took the water and pulled out a chair, sinking down into it with a sigh. "Thanks."

"You are very welcome," Stahma said, lingering between the kitchen and the dining room.

"I don't bite," Myka said wryly, glancing over the rim of her glass at the other woman.

Stahma hesitated for a moment, then took a seat across from Myka. "You said you are an agent? What is Warehouse 13?" she asked after a moment.

"It's a long story, but I'll tell you if you really want to hear it," Myka said, setting down her glass.

"Yes, please," Stahma said eagerly.

Myka was struck by how innocent she seemed in one breath and calculating the next. She'd seen the smile Stahma had directed at the mayor back in the office, so she knew this woman was no waif. At least not in some ways. In some ways she was almost childlike in her questions. "All right," she said.

--

Myka talked to her for hours about the Warehouse, Artie, Leena, Mrs. Frederic, and especially Pete and Claudia. She told stories about their most infamous bag and tags, about the ones that got away, about what the artifacts did and the neutralization process. She told Stahma about Pete and Claudia dragging her to Comic Con, and after many questions got the Casti woman to understand what Comic Con was and why she'd thought she had landed in a convention that afternoon.

"So you thought I was a human, dressed as this?" Stahma had asked.

"Yes," Myka had answered, and had then gone on to explain that most people dressed up to attend Comic Con.

Finally she had no stories left to tell about the Warehouse, and she finished off her third glass of water.

"Did your husband die?" Stahma asked as she took Myka's empty glass to the kitchen.

"I've never been married," Myka explained. "Is that not a thing in your culture? Single women?"

"By Ráyetso, no," Stahma laughed. "Not if you want to get anywhere in life." She didn't feel the need to add that she sometimes wished it so.

Myka could see the envy through the laugh, through the layers of armor this woman wore. "But you'd like it to be, right? Or at least you'd like to have the choice?"

Stahma turned her face quickly to the floor. "Of course not. I love my husband very much," she said, the words almost rehearsed in their quickness.

"Are you trying to convince me or yourself?" Myka asked, eyebrows lifting.

"I have invited you into my home and you insult my devotion to my husband," Stahma said, still not looking at Myka.

"I meant no insult, it's just that you-- I think you're fascinating, and in my culture when you think someone's fascinating you try to figure them out. Or you take them home and fuck them. One or the other," she added with a smirk, trying to lighten the mood.

"Is that why you have come home with me?" Stahma asked, lifting her head.

"Oh God. No, that's not what I--" She stopped talking when she caught the quirk of the woman's lips, and groaned. "You're bad. That was bad." She shook her head. "So bad."

"Whatever will you do about it?" Stahma asked, and before Myka had a chance to respond, she was already walking away.

Myka was after her like a shot. "Are you flirting with me?" she asked, following her through the house and out into the yard.

Stahma turned and batted her eyelashes. "No," she said demurely. "I hardly know you, Myka Bering. And need I remind you, I am married."

Now it was Myka's turn to smirk. "And when I asked if you had any beer, first you answered 'we', then you changed it to 'I', which tells me that at least some small part of you is trying to distance yourself from him."

Stahma's gaze dropped to the ground again. "It would seem we both have a way of reading each other... regardless of whether permission to read has been given."

"Why do you look at the floor when you say something you think I might not like?"

Stahma had no answer for that.

"Is it because you think I'll be less upset if you're not looking at me?"

Stahma still had no answer.

"Is it because that's what your husband requires?"

Myka still got no answer but the way Stahma's head inclined told her all she needed to know.

"Well I'm not your husband. You can look at me even if you're saying something that's gonna piss me off."

That surprised the Casti woman and she looked up, a blush dusting her pale cheeks. "You spoil me," she whispered.

"Every woman deserves to be spoiled," Myka said, stepping closer, trying to hold Stahma's gaze. "I know I barely know you but it hurts my heart that you stare at the floor and try to blend into the shadows. I can sense that there's so much more to you than what your husband wants the world to see."

Maybe she was sent here to rescue this amazing woman from oppression, like some bizarre incarnation of Quantum Leap or something.

Stahma smiled the smile that she'd perfected over the years. "I love my life."

Myka didn't try to rebut that statement; she knew she'd only hit a wall. "But you want to know how it feels to be a whole person, too. To be all of who you are. To stare people down as you gut them with your words, or scream your passion into the night when you take a lover. To stand in the sunlight and shout 'I am Stahma Tarr and I am a force to be reckoned with!' To live outside the shadows. To be free."

Stahma's breathing was a little faster by the time Myka stopped speaking, and the Casti had tears in her eyes. She didn't seem able to speak, and her lower lip was trembling.

"I'm sorry," Myka said, stepping closer, into Stahma's space, reaching up slowly to brush away the one tear that escaped. "That was supposed to be inspiring and feminist. I didn't mean to upset you."

Stahma gasped as the back of Myka's finger touched her cheek. She turned her head like lightning and caught it between her teeth.

Myka's eyes went wide, strong teeth digging into her fingertip. "Sorry," she said again, until she realized the look that had invaded Stahma's pink eyes wasn't anger. The bite wasn't retribution for touching her. It was just instinct.

Stahma released the human's finger and closed her eyes. "I apologize," she said, inclining her head toward the ground.

Myka was having none of it. "Lift your head, Stahma."

Stahma's innocent posture belied the words she spoke and the taunting pull of her voice. "Make me."

Red flags full of dripping arousal slammed Myka in the stomach. Had she just heard that correctly or was she imagining things because she suddenly wanted this woman like she needed air? "What did you say?" she breathed.

Stahma stood still and stared at the ground. "I am fairly certain you heard me clearly, Myka Bering, but I will indulge you and repeat myself. If you want me to lift my head, I require you to make me."

Letting out a slow breath, Myka gently placed a finger under Stahma's chin and lifted the woman's head, glad for no resistance.

"I wondered which path you would take," Stahma said quietly, finally meeting Myka's eyes. "There are many ways to make someone do something. Your firm but gentle choice excites me."

"So I passed your test?" Myka asked, unimpressed.

"I suppose you could call it a test," Stahma said, though it was clear that wasn't how she viewed it.

"But you wouldn't call it that?"

"No," Stahma said quietly. "There was no wrong path to take. I simply wanted to know how you would treat me. Had you pulled my hair or slapped me, I would prepare for an evening with the female counterpart of my husband. Had you refused to force me at all, I would prepare for an evening with no one in charge. But you made me comply, and you did it gently, so now I prepare for an evening of excitement."

"So not a test, but an assessment?" Myka said, finding Stahma's explanation riveting. She had obviously never met anyone like this woman, and every step deeper into Stahma Tarr's life revealed just that much more about the woman beyond the role of well-kept wife.

"Yes," Stahma said, smiling. "You understand."

"Now it's my turn to assess," Myka said, running a finger along Stahma's cheek. "Though you have a slight advantage by knowing you're being measured."

"But I won't know what you're measuring," Stahma pointed out.

"That's true. Before I begin, I'd like you on your knees in front of me, Stahma."

Stahma stepped closer to her, speaking in hushed tones. "But the ground is cold and hard, and my gown will get dirty..."

Keeping her smirk to herself, Myka placed her hands on Stahma's shoulders and applied a little pressure.

Stahma relented, lowering herself to her knees on the stone.

"Give me your hand." Myka held out hers.

Stahma placed her hand into Myka's.

"Tell me you're going to be a good girl."

Stahma visibly trembled at that directive and cast her eyes to the ground instantly, but did not say a word.

"Stahma," Myka said, her tone a gentle warning.

Still Stahma said nothing.

"Tell me you're going to be a good girl or I'll give you a spanking," Myka said, the gentle part of the warning fading to a more stern tone of voice.

Stahma gasped, her face flushing, and the words tumbled from her lips with more emotion than Myka had heard all night. "I'll be a good girl," she finally whispered.

"Thank you," Myka said, bending down to kiss the back of Stahma's hand, still held in her own. "You can get up. Assessment concluded."

Still blushing, Stahma gathered her skirt as she stood, then brushed off the front of her gown. "I am very curious to hear your interpretation of the last two minutes," she admitted.

"You don't mind obeying on its merit. You gave me your hand as soon as I asked for it."

"That is true..."

"You require slight incentive for directives that may be uncomfortable. Just a little reassurance from me and you were on your knees."

"Yes. You are very astute."

"The only reason you obeyed my last command was because you didn't want to be punished. You didn't want to say what I asked you to say."

"And what did that tell you about me?"

"That you crave positive attention rather than negative, but you're willing to try to get away with disobeying if the directive doesn't suit you."

Stahma couldn't help the smile at hearing that. "I find it impressive that you only needed two minutes to figure out more about me than anyone else has been able to ascertain in my entire life. Or has wanted to."

"I wish your life was filled with people who cared enough to know you, Stahma Tarr," Myka said fondly. "But at least for one night, you will be the object of someone's undivided attention and devotion."

Stahma needed to break the somber intensity of that truth, and asked with sparkling eyes, "whose?"

Myka laughed, stepping into Stahma's personal space again and leaning forward so their faces were a breath apart. "Mine." She feathered her lips over the other woman's, then pulled back. "Are you done trying to top from the bottom?" she asked.

Stahma bit her lip and looked up at Myka from under dark lashes. "I have no idea what you mean, Myka Bering..."

"Stahma Tarr," Myka whispered into her ear in warning. "You told me you were going to be a good girl..."

Stahma shivered at that, her eyes drifting closed, all nerve endings focused on Myka's breath against her ear and the reminder of words she had spoken.

"Didn't you?" Myka asked when she got no answer.

"I... I may have," Stahma offered, shifting her weight slightly.

Myka raised an eyebrow, guiding Stahma back into the house. "I'm disappointed," she said quietly from behind the Casti. "Please remove your gown."

Stahma wanted to protest the human's disappointment, but she knew she had just outright lied, and so with shame coloring her cheeks she began the elaborate process of undressing.

Myka watched the multifaceted removal of the gown, transfixed. It was such a complicated procedure she was glad she'd asked Stahma to do it herself.

Once she was out of the gown, Stahma folded it and placed it on the kitchen table.

Myka wanted to comment on the Casti's beauty, standing in nothing but a bejeweled thong, her pale skin almost shimmering in the harsh lighting, but that would have to wait. She let her eyes tell Stahma that she appreciated what she saw. She stepped up and tucked soft, silky hair behind the trembling woman's ear. "Are you afraid, Stahma?"

"Yes."

Myka circled around behind her and pressed her fully-clothed body against Stahma's nearly naked one. "What are you afraid of?"

"The strength of the pull I feel toward you. And perhaps a little bit afraid because I think you are going to punish me."

"What is it about being punished that makes you afraid?"

"The shame of driving you to such an act."

"But you did it on purpose," Myka reminded her.

"I understand," Stahma agreed. "I am also afraid of being hurt."

"I promise you, the way I punish you will be nothing like the way your husband has mistreated you," Myka said, dropping a gentle kiss to Stahma's shoulder.

"He has not mistreated me," Stahma tried to defend him, but it sounded weak even to her own ears.

"If you need to think that, I won't strip it from you," Myka allowed her the fantasy. "Take me to the living room, please."

Stahma took her hand and led her through the house into the sparsely decorated sitting room, assuming that was the equivalent to Myka's request of a living room. There was a sofa.

"Thank you," Myka said, keeping hold of Stahma's hand as she took a seat on the plush white cushions. "Oh. Wow. This is heavenly," she complimented, tugging Stahma into her lap.

Surprised, Stahma gave a little gasp as she landed in Myka's lap. Never had she been sat in such a position; not since she was a child.

"Can I ask why you lied?" Myka suddenly questioned.

Stahma's jubilence fled and she stared at the floor. "I don't know."

"Were you testing me?"

Stahma gave a soft shake of her head. "No Ma'am."

Myka's insides gave a jerk at the unexpected appellation and she squeezed Stahma's waist. "I'd better get on with it before you get yourself out of trouble by saying things like that," she smirked.

Stahma turned in Myka's lap and buried her face against the human's neck in an uncharacteristic show of hesitance. "Please don't punish me," she whispered against the warm, soft skin.

Myka lost her breath for a moment, then said in gentle warning, "Stahma..."

"I'll be a good girl," Stahma promised, her voice barely drifting into Myka's ear even as close as her mouth was to it.

"Will you?" Myka asked, gently taking Stahma by the hair and tugging until they could look at each other. "You'll be good for me?" Jesus, what was this woman doing to her?

Stahma nodded. "Yes," she said sincerely. "I'll be a good girl for you."

"If I give you another chance, I need to hear you tell me what you think will happen if you're not a good girl, Stahma Tarr," she said, kissing a pale cheek.

"I think you will..." It was hard for her to say it. "I think I will get a spanking." It wasn't a word she used often, possibly not ever, until tonight.

"Yes," Myka said, pulling her into a hug. "A spanking you should be getting right now, but I believe you're sorry and I believe you've been hurt a lot, and I believe that even a little spanking is scary to you, so you can have another chance. Is that agreeable?"

"Most agreeable," Stahma said gratefully, burying her face in Myka's neck again. "Maybe I should say that I will try my best to be a good girl," she amended after a moment. "I have never met anyone like you, Myka Bering, human, and what I perceive as good may conflict with your perception, and I don't want to lie again..."

"You are incredibly precious," Myka said before she could censor herself, stroking a hand through Stahma's gorgeous hair.

"No one has ever been so kind to me," Stahma whispered.

"I think you surround yourself with the wrong people, then," Myka told her, rubbing her back. She felt the woman tense under her touch.

"Hángotso," Stahma muttered under her breath.

"What does that mean?" Myka asked, raising an eyebrow. She could tell by the Casti's tone of voice that it wasn't something nice.

"I just get a bit frustrated when everyone talks so poorly about my husband," Stahma explained, the tension easing out of her as Myka kept rubbing her back.

"What does it mean?" Myka pressed, though she didn't stop rubbing. As much as she could tell it wasn't something nice, she could tell that Stahma didn't want to translate the word.

"Do I really have to tell you?" Stahma asked with a quiet sigh.

"You said it to me; I would like to know what it means," Myka said, more and more curious.

"You'll punish me," Stahma whispered, the childlike quality back in her demeanor.

Myka just waited quietly now, rubbing her back.

Stahma lay her cheek on Myka's shoulder. "It means cocksucker," she confessed, defeated.

Myka's jaw dropped. That, of all the things, she hadn't anywhere near expected. "You called me a cocksucker?" she asked, incredulous.

"No," Stahma told her, shaking her head. "I said it in reply to you, but it was not directed at you in that way. It was directed at the situation. I would not call you such a thing."

Myka looked her in the eyes. "Do good girls use words like 'cocksucker'?" she asked.

"No, they do not," Stahma said, hanging her head.

"You understand you're going to get that spanking now?" Myka asked, watching the other woman's reactions carefully.

Stahma stiffened again. "Please..."

Myka wanted to cave again but she held her ground. "It's all right, Stahma. Turn over and lay across my lap."

Her entire body trembling, Stahma complied. She folded her hands beneath her head and pressed her face into them. "Please," she said again, tears in her eyes.

"I'll show you you don't have to be scared, Stahma," Myka said, running one hand through the shaking woman's hair and swatting her behind lightly with the other.

Stahma jumped, not sure what she'd expected. She didn't speak.

Myka swatted her again, just as lightly, and felt her jump again. "Are you okay so far?" she asked.

Stahma assessed the situation. She was still afraid, but she also trusted Myka. And she had used a very nasty word even by human standards. "Yes Ma'am," she said, the tears in her eyes welling further at Myka's gentle treatment of her even during a punishment.

"You don't have to be scared, beautiful," Myka promised again. "It will hurt by the time I'm done, but you will not be damaged."

Stahma believed her. She nodded into her hands.

Myka stroked her hair as she spanked her, light swats gradually giving way to something more firm, then to stinging slaps of her hand that made Stahma gasp and squirm. But Myka could tell the fear was gone by the way shoulders were no longer knitted together and she had crossed her ankles loosely somewhere in the middle.

She continued for awhile, mesmerized by the light pink shade of Stahma's backside now and how warm her skin was. She could feel the heat every time her palm made contact.

Stahma squirmed a lot and cried a little, the pain sharp and stinging but not brutal and scary, just like Myka had promised. She could feel the heat radiating from her skin and wondered, with her sensitivity, if she would be able to sit comfortably after this. Somehow the thought was thrilling instead of disconcerting. A particularly hard swat made her cry out softly. "I am sorry," she offered, breath slightly ragged.

Myka landed three more and then danced her fingertips across Stahma's burning cheeks. "All done," she told her. "You did so well. Are you afraid?"

"No," Stahma said, a few more tears falling. "It hurts, but as you promised. Instead of feeling broken, I feel I was taught a lesson."

"That's exactly how it's supposed to feel," Myka told her. "Come here." She helped Stahma turn over and sit in her lap again, mindful of her sore backside, and hugged her. "No more backtalk, okay?"

Stahma curled into her, a feeling of belonging hitting hard and making her choke out a sob. She had never felt like this with Datak. He loved her, in his own way, she knew, but Myka was cherishing her. "No more backtalk," she agreed, her arms going around Myka to cling fiercely.

"It's okay to cry, beautiful," Myka murmured, running a hand up and down Stahma's back, feeling the rippled muscles beneath her fingertips.

Well she was experiencing many new things. Never had she been told she could cry. But somehow hearing it from this amazing, gentle woman made it okay, and she let the sobs overtake her, safe in Myka's embrace.

"I've got you," Myka kept telling her, holding her close, and when the woman finally calmed her tears, Myka brushed away the last few and kissed her.

Stahma surrendered to the kiss, opening her mouth with a sigh, making a soft noise of approval when she felt Myka's tongue slip inside. It was so different than kissing her husband. It was perfect.

Myka kissed her for a long time, exploring every inch of her warm, inviting mouth, and when she finally pulled back, she smiled. "Good girl, Stahma," she praised, still cradling her with one arm.

Stahma purred contently at the praise, feeling the sentiment swell in her chest like a heated glow. "I was a good girl?" she asked, needing to make sure.

"Yes, you were a very good girl," Myka said tenderly. "And you're going to be my good girl for the rest of the night..."

The word 'my' stirred something deep inside Stahma's carefully constructed, self-imposed prison, and the languid moan left her throat before she could stop herself. "I will," she promised, breathing hard. "I will be your good girl." Tonight and forever, if dreams came true.

"I would like to lay you out on a nice soft bed," Myka told her. "Would it make you uncomfortable to be with me in your bedroom?"

Stahma's heart started racing at the mention of being with Myka in that way. She obviously knew it was likely, but having it confirmed was just that much more exhilarating. She shook her head that it wouldn't be uncomfortable and took Myka's hand as she stood from the couch, walking a little gingerly to the bedroom.

There wasn't much to look at in there, either. Just a sculpture or two and a giant fluffy bed. Myka stepped up behind Stahma and palmed her pink little ass, rubbing and lightly squeezing, delighted by Stahma's surprised gasp, pained yelp and then pleased moan. "I like hearing you make noise," she said with a grin, turning Stahma in her arms and lifting her by the hips, tossing her playfully onto the bed.

Stahma let out the most girlish giggle she had ever heard herself make as she was thrown onto the bed and landed with a whoosh. "Myka," she laughed, holding out her arms.

Her laughter was contagious and Myka followed suit, laughing with her as she climbed onto the bed, lingering above her on all fours. "Stahma," she said when the amusement had settled into a comfortable silence. Aware of intense pink eyes watching her every move, she dropped her head and left a trail of kisses from Stahma's collarbone down to her navel.

Stahma moaned and squirmed under the pleasurable onslaught of what felt like a thousand kisses, and when she felt wetness on her skin she groaned, enjoying the feel of Myka's tongue tracing the path of her kisses back up to her chest.

Her entire being lasered down to Myka's mouth. When teeth closed over a nipple, she cursed loudly in Casti and arched her back. "Nánggo!"

Myka didn't have to ask what that one meant. She smirked, worrying her teeth over Stahma's pebbled nipple, then giving the same treatment to the other. When she kissed her way down to Stahma's stomach again and curled her fingers into the skimpy straps of her thong, the other woman shot upright on the bed.

"Sho húcha ksa?" Stahma asked without thinking, then tried to clear her head to ask in English. "What-- what are you doing?" She didn't think she needed to translate literally, because 'what the fuck' was not the right question here. She was glad her first instinct had been in Casti.

Myka purred and dragged her underwear down her legs anyway. "Is it illegal to lick your pussy?" she asked, amused at Stahma's reaction.

"Yela," Stahma cursed again, her face flaming under the embarrassment of the topic. "You are trying to kill me, are you not?"

Myka tossed Stahma's thong over her shoulder and pushed her thighs apart, settling between them. She spread the other woman open and blew a long, cool breath across her wet folds.

"Yelanda!" Stahma shouted, thighs trying to clamp shut, but Myka was between them, holding her open in more ways than one. It's not that she didn't know what Myka was going to do... she had just never had anyone want to do it for her before.

"Relax," Myka purred. "You smell fucking divine... I'm sure you taste just as good." She flicked her tongue out experimentally, loving the way Stahma twitched.

The first touch almost made her come undone. It was so soft. So wet. So warm. Nothing like a hucho at all. She flopped back against the pillows, no longer trying to keep Myka from her goal. It was incredible. "Myka," she moaned softly, not sure what to do with her hands, so she put them at her sides, fingers digging into the bedcovers.

"Does it feel good?" Myka murmured against her cunt, kissing and licking and biting at her swollen flesh, then just using her tongue, long, slow strokes the length of her.

"Ráyetso, yes," Stahma panted, writhing under the torturous pleasure. Her fingers dug in harder, nails tearing the bedcovers and she drew her knees up, hips bucking softly into Myka's wicked tongue. The feeling of having someone entirely focused on bringing her pleasure was indescribable. She felt important; cared for; beautiful. And Myka took her apart piece by piece.

Stahma's scream of release was music to Myka's ears. She had a feeling that the Casti woman was usually very quiet and reserved. She loved being able to free her, even if only in this way. When she felt hands in her hair, tugging her mouth away, she laughed and crawled up to kiss the recovering beauty.

Stahma had never tasted herself, or another woman, and she found it strangely pleasant. She melted into the kiss, trying to show Myka how she felt. That she felt truly seen for the first time she could remember.

Myka rolled to her side, draping an arm over Stahma and pulling her close. "Are you okay?" she asked, brushing some sweaty hair back from her face.

Stahma nodded, instinctively moving even closer, pressing herself fully against Myka. "I do not have the words to express how I feel," she said. "I only wish tonight would last forever."

"Maybe it can," Myka said with a shrug. "I don't know how to get back to my time yet, but when I figure it out, I'm sure I could take you with me. If you wanted."

Stahma pressed herself even tighter to Myka. "I wish that were possible. I do not think I would fit in very well in your time. There were not aliens on Earth then, were there?"

"No, but who gives a fuck about that?" Myka asked. "You don't have to blend in. You were meant to stand out, Stahma Tarr."

Stahma just pressed her face into Myka's neck. She didn't know what else to say.

"It's okay," Myka said soothingly, petting her hair. "Just think about it."

Stahma nodded that she would.