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This has got to stop.

The idea flitted through Major Kira Nerys' mind for the hundredth time as she looked across the desk at Deep Space Nine's Chief of Security, who seemed frozen except for the arm he used to extend a dataPADD. Ever since the end of the recent Dominion occupation of the station, when it had looked like Odo had abandoned his friends and obligations to the Federation forever, the air had been rife with tension between the changeling and the Bajoran first officer whenever they had been forced to meet.

The only exception had been a few brief hours spent in Jadzia Dax's dressing room. That was when Kira had forced Odo to sit down and talk to her, while Dax's bachelor party had raged in the background. By the end of the evening -- or, more accurately, by ten-thirty the next morning -- Kira had thought that things were more or less back to normal.

But the tension remained. Not so much because of events during the occupation, but because of what had happened at the end of it. When Odo had decided to once again abandon his people and help the Federation retake the station, Kira had asked him why. She could still remember the look in those deep-set, far-seeing blue eyes, which had fixed her with more self-confidence than she had ever seen her friend display.

"I think you know why," Odo had said quietly. It was true, she did. Kira winced, irritated at the guilt that assailed her.

He did it because he loves me.

It had been years before he had gotten up the nerve to tell her -- two hundred years all told. It had taken an older, wiser version of her friend, one who had seen Kira die in a different timeline, two centuries before, to finally speak the words that the Odo she knew, worked with, cared for as a friend, found impossible to say.

I love you, Nerys. I have always loved you.

Kira had often heard, from the vedeks and prylars, and in the Prophetic writings, that love was a blessing to be welcomed and cherished. But Odo's love frightened her. As dear a friend as he still was, as much as she still cared for him in spite of the distance that had sprung up between them, the idea of possibly returning Odo's love held Kira in absolute terror. Odo was so --


"Will that be all, Major?" Kira tore herself loose from her reverie to look at the changeling who sat rigid behind his desk with shadowed blue eyes fixed on her face. Odo continued carefully, "Because I have several reports that I promised to --"

"Will you have dinner with me tonight? In my quarters?"

For a moment Kira wondered who had issued the invitation. Then she realized, astounded, that the words had come from her own mouth. She swallowed, and forced herself to wait calmly for whatever answer her friend might give.

"Tonight?" The response was admirably level, a direct contrast to the warring elements of wonder and dismay that shone in her friend's wide eyes. "I -- I -- what time, Major?"

He agreed. He'll be there tonight. For a moment Kira didn't know whether to be relieved or appalled. "Is twenty-hundred hours all right?"

"That will be fine, Major." Odo gave her a solemn nod, oddly endearing in its formality. He seemed to search his memory, no doubt for the correct additional response to such an invitation. "I'd be delighted to join you. Is there anything I can bring?"

Kira thought helplessly. "How about a bottle of Bajoran spring wine?" was the only suggestion she could come up with, and even she winced at how lame it was. "Unreplicated," she added, and felt a little more original.

"Certainly." Odo gave another solemn nod. "I'll be looking forward to it." Then Kira finally responded to the silent plea in his eyes and exited the Security Office, her own thoughts a tumbling blur.

Why did you ask him? an inner voice railed at her. Because, she retorted, we need to finish having this thing out. Because Odo is my friend and I love him.

The loaded word was out there before she could stop it, and Kira's fundamental honesty forced her to study it, to evaluate its meaning. Love. Yes, I love him. He's my oldest friend here on the station -- one of the oldest friends I have, now that so many of them have died.

Kira had never missed her old friend, Lupaza, so desperately as she did at that moment. I wonder what Lupaza would have thought of Odo? she wondered. And realized, startled, that Lupaza had, in fact, once ventured an opinion of the station's security chief, Deep Space Nine's lone holdover from the Cardassian occupation of Bajor.

They had been several glasses of spring wine past sober at the time -- Lupaza was visiting Kira on the station, back shortly after their initial discovery of Odo's people in the Gamma Quadrant. Kira had relayed the story of the changeling world, and their discovery that Odo's people were, in fact, the leaders of the Dominion, while Lupaza listened, a thoughtful expression on her face.

When Kira finished, Lupaza sat and considered her words for several moments. Finally she asked, "Why did he come back here? Why didn't he stay with his people?"

"I told you. He made them let us go. He probably saved our lives."

"Yes, but he could have done that and still stayed, couldn't he? I thought he'd been hoping to find his people all of his life."

"Yes, but they weren't what he thought they'd be. The most important thing to Odo is justice."

Lupaza's mobile face had clearly shown her skepticism. "Nerys, justice is a concept. People don't give up the dream of a lifetime for a concept."

"Odo's -- different."

Lupaza shrugged, and let it pass. "He has beautiful eyes, doesn't he? You don't often see eyes that color, at least not on Bajor." Her own dark ones gleamed with mischief. "Tell me, have you ever thought about ..."

"About what?"

"You know."

Kira could feel a blush begin to rise in her cheeks. "I have no idea," she insisted, even while her face betrayed her.

"Well, Nerys, he is a shapeshifter. That humanoid form of his -- do you know if it's -- accurate?"

"I have no idea! And I'm not going to find out!"

"Where's your spirit of adventure? If he can hold any shape he wants to, for as long as he wants to -- how long did you say he could stay solid?"

"I didn't!" An expectant silence filled the room as Lupaza patiently awaited the information. "Sixteen hours," Kira acknowledged reluctantly.

"Sixteen hours -- I'm not sure if you'd be able to walk when it was over, but don't you think it would be fun to find out?"

"Lupaza!" Kira met her friend's question with a shriek of delighted outrage. Both women laughed until they cried, and then Kira added, more seriously, "Odo doesn't do things like that. You should hear him talk about 'coupling', like it's some kind of -- chronic illness."

"I don't know." Lupaza had smiled her wonderful smile. "It might be worth trying to 'disable' him."

Now Kira looked back over time and thought sadly about her dead friend.

Lupaza wouldn't have been afraid, Kira taunted herself. Lupaza would have been willing to give it a try, just to see if it would work.

Kira returned to her quarters when her duty shift ended, and went through the motions of setting the table for two, even though she knew that Odo wouldn't eat. It just felt odd to invite someone to dinner without laying a place for them -- deciding to go all out, Kira lit a pair of slender white candles, their scent of nadala blossoms quickly filling the room. Kira breathed deeply of the light, calming fragrance, and then hastily changed from her uniform into the red dress she had worn for Dax's bachelor party. The dress itself was comfortable, molding itself to her torso like a crinkled second skin, and she left her legs and feet bare, to enjoy the feel of the carpeting beneath her toes.

The doorchime sounded promptly at twenty-hundred hours. Odo would try to be on time to his own execution, Kira thought, suddenly amused, and consequently was smiling when she turned to answer the door.

"Come in!"

* * * * *

Odo took one look at the radiant face of the woman who greeted him and wondered if he wouldn't melt right there. He was glad to surrender the bottle of spring wine, as he didn't trust himself to hold it. Prophets, she's beautiful. She's the most beautiful thing I've ever seen.

"Good evening, Nerys," he said carefully. Odo felt proud of himself for remembering that, on an occasion like this, he really shouldn't call her 'Major'. "I hope that wine will be all right. I researched the year -- unless Quark has been changing the labels on the bottles again, it ought to be good."

"I'm sure it will be fine." They stood awkwardly for a moment, and then Kira gestured toward the sofa. "Would you like to sit down?"

"Yes, thank you." Odo perched himself cautiously on the sofa's edge, and pushed back gingerly until he came into contact with the backrest. He realized belatedly that he should have 'worn' something other than his uniform, and tried to make excuse. "I'm sorry I didn't take time to change -- I came here directly from Security."

Kira gave a nervous-sounding chuckle. "I'd accept that excuse from anyone but you, Odo. You can 'change' anywhere -- you just forgot, didn't you?"

Odo forced himself to smile as he acknowledged the transparency of his own deception. "I'm afraid so."

"So -- go ahead and change now. I won't peek." Kira playfully closed her eyes, and Odo wondered what her eyelashes would feel like if he were to reach out and brush them with his fingertips. He then closed his own eyes and concentrated for a moment. He remembered a dark blue tunic and pants in a soft, brushed silk that Garak tried to get him to buy back when he had been changed into a humanoid. The Cardassian tailor had insisted that the outfit would look wonderful on him, and while Odo had resisted the sales pitch, he now simulated the garment in his living flesh.

"All right," he said softly. He found Kira's response both unnerving and gratifying -- her smile faded a bit, and a flush of soft color touched her cheekbones. Her eyes, a rich, chocolate brown, crinkled a bit at the corners as she conceded:

"Good choice, Constable." A serious note crept into her voice. "You look nice."

"So do you," Odo hastened to reply, even while he cursed himself for being inane. He tried again. "You're absolutely beautiful tonight." He then wondered if this might be considered an implication that she didn't always look so well. "You always are, of course. I don't mean to --"

"Hush, Odo," Kira said softly. "It's all right -- I'm just as nervous as you are."

"I didn't think that was possible." Odo forced a smile, and looked up to where Kira still stood awkwardly, the bottle of spring wine clutched in her hands. "Did you want to chill that? It's cold now, but you might want to keep it on ice."

"Oh! Good idea!"

Kira seemed relieved to have something to do, as she raced across the room to the replicator. She returned shortly with the bottle ensconced in a bucket of ice tucked in the curve of one arm, and a full glass of wine in her free hand. After putting the bucket on the low table that stood to one side, she took a deep swallow of the golden wine as she angled herself down onto the opposite end of the sofa, while Odo let his eyes linger on the muscles of her slim white throat. Then Kira smiled at him, and her tongue flicked out to catch a drop of wine from the corner of her mouth.

"It's delicious. Thank you for bringing it."

"I remember how I enjoyed it while I was a humanoid." One of the few things I did enjoy. That strange, limited, unpredictable, messy human body. It didn't give me a moment's rest whenever Nerys was in the room. It didn't matter if she was pregnant. All she had to do was look at me and that inconvenient 'organ' stood straight up at attention. Odo dared to glance, very briefly, at someplace other than a spot on the wall past Kira's left shoulder, and took note of how her dress clung to the slight curves of her body, her nipples clearly outlined through the stretchy fabric. He only looked for a second, before he returned his eyes, guiltily, to Kira's face -- where he found her surreptitious gaze focused, unmistakably, on the area of his crotch. Then she looked up. A dull red suffused her cheeks as she realized she had been caught.

"That's beautiful fabric -- I mean, it would be, if it were fabric. I mean, it's still beautiful -- it looks like fabric --" It was Kira's turn to try to explain herself. She finally gave up and lifted the wine bottle, refilling her glass with an air of relief. Odo felt a stab of sympathy.

What was she looking for? he wondered. She should know that I don't react in the same way as a humanoid -- that was so limited, when all is said and done. It's nothing compared to what I feel now -- every cell in my body is on fire at the thought of touching her.

Well, she can't see that, now can she? The taunt came upon him unexpectedly. Maybe she's just looking for some sign that she can recognize. Odo considered this notion with a sense of sudden enlightenment. I can give her that.

He waited until Kira excused herself to go back to the replicator to prepare her dinner, and consequently had her back turned. Then Odo readjusted his shape, so that his clothing was distinct from the flesh beneath it, and he had once again adopted the form that had marked his humanoid state. He could feel his sensors redistributing themselves -- having had a humanoid body, he could mimic one now perfectly. Including the erection that almost seemed to occur of its own volition, in response to the woman who finally turned to call him to the table. Odo was both pleased and embarrassed to note that Kira's gaze once again flickered down the length of his torso, and that her color deepened at what she found there.

However, seated with a table between them, they were finally able to relax into something that resembled normal conversation. Apparently having decided that work was off limits, Kira inquired brightly after Mora Pohl, the Bajoran scientist who had been responsible for Odo's training when the changeling had seemed to be nothing more than a fascinating laboratory specimen. In a way, Dr. Mora had become a sort of foster father to the alien being who had been placed in his care, and Odo smiled as he made his reply.

"Dr. Mora is fine -- he's coming to the station in three weeks, to spend a few days working on a project with Dax. We're hoping to spend some time together." Odo's mouth twisted in a grimace of chagrin as he realized the truth of his words. "We've come a long way from 'odo'ital'."

"'Odo'ital'?" Too late Odo recognized his error, as Kira repeated his words curiously. "Odo -- Ital? Is that your full name? What does it mean?"

"It's a Cardassian word." Odo was surprised at how quiet, how level his voice was. "It means 'nothing'."

Kira's eyes widened in indignation. "They called you 'nothing'? Sounds like the Cardassians."

"Actually, it was the Bajoran scientists who called me that." No matter how it might darken his chances with the woman who sat across with him, honesty still had to prevail. "They used it as my Cardassian lab specification before they knew what I was -- when they realized I was sentient, they used it like a Bajoran name -- Odo Ital."

"I'm sorry," Kira whispered.

"You didn't do it." Odo shrugged, and tried to force a note of lightness into his voice. "It was a long time ago. Besides, only Dr. Mora can really say that he's written eight major scientific papers about 'Nothing'."

Kira smiled, and Odo felt his insides turn over. "I don't know -- I think a lot of them write about that. At least Mora's 'Nothing' is more interesting."

The conversation drifted to inconsequential things, and Odo breathed easier. Right up until the time Kira pushed her plate away, and suggested, a tad awkwardly, that they might be more comfortable on the sofa.

"All right." Odo stood and braced himself for whatever surprises the evening might yet have to offer.

* * * * *

For what must have been the ten thousandth time that evening, Kira wished that she had worn something more than body lotion and a single piece of unsubstantial underwear beneath her red dress. The spring wine had gone straight to her head, and to other parts of her as well -- her nipples felt permanently swollen under the clinging fabric, and the juncture between her thighs throbbed. She knew that the occasional bottle of spring wine was brewed with illisi herbs, said to be an aphrodisiac. For a brief moment she regarded Odo with a trace of suspicion, but she dismissed it easily. If nothing else, she could trust Odo to be honorable.

Which is more than I can say about Quark. Kira considered the little Ferengi darkly, and wondered how he might define 'a good year'. Then she focused her attention on pouring herself another drink, and felt surprised as the last few drops splashed into the empty glass.

The look on Odo's face was immediately apologetic. "I'm sorry. I should have brought another bottle."

"Actually, this probably means I've had enough." Kira put the bottle down carefully on the floor beside the sofa, and finally acknowledged the slight and not unpleasant dizziness that seemed to accompany her every movement. She then fixed her eyes on Odo's face and studied his anxious blue eyes. He does have bedroom eyes, she mused, that Idanian woman was right. Abruptly she asked, "Have you ever heard from her?"

"From who?" Odo looked bewildered.

"From that woman, the one who was going to testify against one of the leaders of the Orion Syndicate. Arissa."

"No. No, I haven't." Odo's eyes grew shadowed. "I didn't expect to."

"Did you --" Kira paused delicately, not sure what she was going to say. "Did you love her?"

Odo didn't look particularly surprised at the bald question. "In a way," he said simply. "She wasn't -- she wasn't what I wanted most, but she was more than I'd ever thought I'd have."

'What I wanted most' squirmed nervously on the couch. Kira looked down at where Odo's left hand rested primly on his left knee, only six inches away from her right one. She stretched out her own hand cautiously, and let it settle gently over Odo's. After her friend's initial, startled jump, Kira let her fingers twine with Odo's long, slender ones, and squeezed. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to remind you."

"It's not a bad memory." Odo acknowledged this truth with a sad, sweet smile. "I was actually happy, if only for one night."

'If only for one night'... so, Kira mused, Dax was right. That woman did more than just spend the night in Odo's quarters. "The first time is always wonderful, isn't it?" The question popped automatically from some closet deep in Kira's subconscious, upon which she immediately decided she should slam and lock the door. Her face turned the color of her dress. "I'm sorry," she gasped. "I didn't mean to -- I wasn't saying that --" Damn, damn, damn. What were you saying, Nerys? Have fun trying to worm your way out of this one!

A moment later she berated herself yet again for forgetting that Odo was fundamentally a gentleman, and an honest one. "You're right," he said simply. "It was the first time -- the very first time -- and it was wonderful." Kira saw the trace of a smile on Odo's averted face. "I wouldn't have missed those hours for anything, no matter how much pain followed. I finally opened up to someone and followed my heart. It was a hard lesson for me to learn, but I wouldn't wish it back."

Odo stared at some point past his knees throughout his softly spoken speech, while Kira stared at his profile and fought back the lump that rose in her throat. Not giving herself time to think, she leaned forward on her knees from where she'd been sitting with her feet tucked beneath her, and kissed her friend gently on the cheek. When Odo looked up at her, astonished, she repeated the experiment on his narrow mouth, that forbidding slit that seemed to defy all hope of surrender -- and after a moment of what was clearly astonishment, found his lips softer and more accommodating than she had ever dared to dream. Strong, lean arms encircled her waist, and she found herself seated in Odo's lap while they proceeded to kiss each other senseless.

It was Odo who first managed to pull his mouth away, to Kira's dazed disappointment. Who ever knew that Odo could kiss like that? That was one of the things that made me worry -- what the inside of his mouth would be like, what it would feel like. But it feels wonderful ... Kira shuddered as she felt Odo gently run his palm along the curve of her neck onto her bare shoulder, and then sensuously down the length of her arm. Then he shuddered, and seemed to take control of himself with a visible effort.

"Is this what you want, Nerys? Or are you just doing it out of -- kindness, or pity?"

Kira almost laughed as she considered the throbbing between her thighs, the almost unbearable pressure of her dress against her hard and aching nipples. "No, Constable," she said gravely, with thanks to the spring wine for loosening her tongue, "what I want now is you."

* * * * *

Odo considered the bald words carefully, with a surprising sense of relief that the word 'love' had not been spoken. If she said she loved me, I wouldn't believe it, not yet. But I can believe that she wants me, at least tonight. The evidence is clear enough. Odo looked down to where the most prominent pieces of evidence protruded beneath the clinging fabric of Kira's red dress. As though catching his thoughts, Kira reached up behind herself and unfastened the top of her gown, letting the flap of fabric fall forward on her chest. Odo took the cue and pulled it the rest of the way down to her waist. He then let his eyes caress Kira's small, firm breasts, as he cautiously slid his hands up her sides and ran his thumbs over the dark, jutting nipples that tightened still further under his touch. Kira let out a soft half-moan of pleasure, and then she suddenly stiffened, her eyes wide with concern. Odo immediately let his hands fall to his side, and looked up at Kira anxiously.

"Nerys, is something wrong?" He swallowed and made the brave offer, "Do you want me to stop?"

Kira shook her head in negation, but her eyes remained solemn. "Could you tell me -- when you made love to Arissa, what did you do?"

"I'm not sure I know what you mean."

"Did you -- did you stay a humanoid? I -- I don't mind if you don't," Kira hastened to add. "I just -- wondered."

Odo stifled his dismay at Kira's sudden flash of xenophobia -- Prophets knew, she was a Bajoran, and the Bajorans had been given little reason to trust other peoples. Instead he said quietly, "Most of the time, yes, I remained a humanoid." He made his voice level, almost clinical. "I shapeshifted so that I had basically the same body I had when the Founders turned me into a humanoid, and allowed it to react as it would have then." He allowed himself a small, rueful smile. "'To become a thing is to know a thing.'" He steeled himself and went on, "Later, when we were talking -- she asked about what my other experiences had been. I told her about linking, and then -- then I showed her what my natural form was like. What it -- felt like." Odo fixed his gaze on Kira's face, and watched as concerns and curiosity went darting through her dark, expressive eyes.

Finally she smiled -- a shy little smile, as she reached out and caressed the 'fabric' that covered his chest. "Does it matter to you, which way you do it?"

Odo shrugged, and managed to smile in return. "I enjoy touching -- temperatures, textures -- no matter what form I'm in." He stealthily returned his hands to Kira's waist, and from there let them slide up to cover her breasts, reveling in the heated pressure of her nipples against his palms. He pressed his lips into the soft curve of Kira's neck, and sighed as he felt the vibration of the half-moan that escaped her. "Why don't we start with what you know? If you want more later, you can tell me."

"I want you to be happy." Kira's expression was serious, grave, as she drew back and captured Odo's face in her hands. "If only for tonight." The words were a whisper, before she lowered her mouth back to his.

Tonight. Odo fought down his last vestige of resistance, the inner voice that screamed a warning that pain could come tomorrow. Tonight is what matters. Tomorrow can go straight to hell. "Are you ready for me to --?" Odo paused delicately, and wondered how he could possibly finish asking the question while he hoped that he wouldn't have to. Kira let out a soft chuckle, and warmth suffused her voice as she replied in a sultry murmur:

"Am I ready? Why don't you check and find out?" She parted her thighs, very slightly, and her seductive smile invited an immediate reply to her provocative invitation. Odo studied her face and dared to rest his hand lightly on the inside of her knee. "You need to check higher than that, Constable," Kira whispered, and Odo finally slid his hand up the smooth skin of her inner thigh, under the short skirt of her dress and into the warm curve where her thighs joined. He slipped his fingers under the silken scrap of her underwear, to find a soft thatch of hair that was even silkier, and soaked with her juices where it guarded the portal to her inner depths. Ever thorough, Odo allowed one careful finger to probe that hidden entrance, and Kira let out a sharp moan.

There it was -- the fleshy protuberance that various references, written by human Federation doctors, described as "one and a half-times the size normally found in human females, and marked by a slight ridged pattern which mimics that of the Bajoran nose". It was set more deeply than the human norm as well, in a place where it would be genuinely and thoroughly stimulated by the act of intercourse -- an act which it clearly anticipated with some eagerness. Odo gave a shudder that was less arousal than sheer terror. I need to reshape, get rid of these 'clothes'. Without frightening Nerys, or even making her nervous.

Odo finally decided on the simplest excuse. He set Nerys down on the sofa beside him, kissed her avid mouth with delectable slowness, and said, "Excuse me. I need to go change."

* * * * *

I need to go change. Kira leaned back against the sofa and considered the words that suddenly seemed rife with layers of sensuality. Bajorans weren't generally famed for their love-making -- they took the same straightforward approach to sex as they did to most things in life. She'd certainly never spent so much time being kissed and caressed by a fully-clothed partner that she thought every nerve ending in her body would explode -- but he's not fully clothed, a voice whispered in her mind. He's been naked the entire time. He's always naked. Kira wondered how that image would sit with her, next time she sat across from Odo at a staff briefing.

Oh, Prophets, a staff briefing ... you have to work with Odo, Nerys, every day. How is this going to affect that? Are you taking him as your lover, or are you just taking him for the pleasure you can have tonight?

"Are you all right?"

The soft-spoken question distracted Kira from what could have become a rather disturbing reverie. Instead, she looked up to see Odo standing in the doorway that led to the bedroom, his body bathed in shadow only intermittently broken by splashes of candlelight. Still, it was enough to let Kira see that he was lean and wiry, his musculature subtle but well-defined, his stomach flat and tight. While below the stomach --

Kira forced her eyes to return to Odo's face as she got slowly to her feet. "Stay there. Let me come to you." She shed the dress that was by now a wadded roll around her hips, and walked with even, steady tread to where she could slide her arms around Odo's waist and press her body full-length against his. She wasn't sure what she expected him to feel like, but she found him to be wonderfully real.

Solid, Kira thought, dazed, as Odo once again started to kiss her, he feels solid. Solid and smooth. Used to men who carried the scars of the Cardassian Occupation branded in their flesh as well as in their minds, Odo's unmarred skin was a sensory experience in and of itself, a delectable erotic feast as he slid his hands down her back and lifted her against him. I forget how strong he is, Kira mused, before rational thought was obliterated as an extremely realistic and well-sized penis pierced upwards into her waiting depths. Odo's arms were unwavering, holding her upright as she gasped and writhed against him -- Kira was dimly aware of being lowered against the bed, before Odo set up a steady rocking motion, driving in that wonderful schlikta again and again ... Kira cried out loud as a glorious culmination swept over her, wave upon wave until she went limp with exhaustion. Odo stilled his movements, but Kira had the vague, blissful realization that he was still hard, and still inside her, and that she never wanted to let him go.

"Prophets," she whispered, as she ran shaking hands over her partner's back, "who taught you to make love like that?"

Through half-closed eyes Kira could see that Odo was startled by the question, and a little embarrassed. "Books, mostly."

"Books?" Kira grinned a little, and propped herself up on her elbows so she could peer more closely into Odo's suddenly shy features. "What kind of books? Textbooks?"

"No -- novels."

"I think I'd like to read those books," Kira purred, as she drew Odo down into her arms and started to kiss him.

"I'll be happy to lend them to you. They're mostly human and Bajoran."

"What are the Bajoran ones?" Kira ran her hands lazily over Odo's shoulders, his chest, and his stomach, before reaching down to fondle the warm weight suspended behind the member that still impaled her. "Does this feel like it did when you were a humanoid?" she asked softly. "Does it feel good?"

"It feels wonderful -- that's one nice thing I learned by becoming a humanoid, where to put the nerve endings. Prophets, I could do this all night." He began to move again, gently. Kira let out a throaty sigh and wondered if she could make it through such a night without passing out.

"Did any of the books you read have someone doing that?" she teased, even while her hands slid around to clasp Odo's buttocks.

"Yes, as a matter of fact -- Cleramida did, and Cleramida Triumphant."

Kira's eyes went wide as Odo solemnly cited the titles of books, sweeping if unlikely romances, that she and Lupaza had both devoured as young women. They had also giggled at the prowess of Cleramida's various lovers. "I ever find a man who can do that, I'll marry him," Lupaza had announced, and Kira had agreed.

Guess what, an inner voice quipped, you've found one.

Kira sighed as Odo pulled away from her, then tensed as he began to kiss his way down her torso. His mouth lingered for some time on her breasts, his tongue circling her nipples, drawing each one in turn into his mouth to be sucked. Not only sucked, but nibbled -- Kira was soon gasping, as her hands and eyes begged her lover to enter her. Instead, Odo's mouth left her breasts to travel still lower -- after lascivious attention was paid to the hollow of her navel, his tongue slipped over the curve of her belly to dip between her thighs. It found the nub of her clitoris, and applied itself with sensuous precision.

"Oh, Prophets ..." Kira let one hand twine itself in Odo's hair while the other flew involuntarily to her own breasts, there to caress her nipples and add a few additional little stabs of pleasure to the sensory deluge that swept over her. Dax told me that humans and Trills liked to do what Odo is doing -- I didn't really believe her, it seemed so pointless. Kira moaned and cried out as the point of the exercise made itself utterly clear, and exploded into rapture that engulfed her whole body. No concerns about contraceptive shots or her partner's satisfaction, just perfect, mindless pleasure -- limp with exhaustion, Kira managed to open her eyes to bare slits as Odo slipped up to lie beside her and draw her into his arms.

"Was that all right?" he whispered, reaching up to stroke her cheek, his fingertips light as gossamer against her skin.

"That was wonderful," Kira breathed, as she caught his hand in hers and pressed it to her lips. Then a small concern finally nagged its way to the forefront of her consciousness. "What about you? It doesn't seem like we've done much for you yet."

"Do you know how many times I've dreamed of making love to you?" The question came as the barest of whispers. "I want to take my time -- to kiss every inch of you, from the spot on the nape of your neck where the hair grows to a little point --" Odo paused to demonstrate "-- to the hollow of your instep, and each toe. I want to pour over you like --" Odo stopped abruptly. His eyes grew shadowed, and he turned away.

Kira felt a sudden stab of shame, as her hands reached out to rest gently against Odo's shoulders. I think it's pretty obvious that you can enjoy 'alien sex practices' just fine, Nerys. Kira pressed her bare breasts into Odo's back, and blew softly in his ear. "Pour over me like what?" she murmured, in her most sultry tone. Her arms slipped tight around him. "Tell me."

Odo caught one of Kira's hands in his, and began to draw it in a slow, circular pattern over his chest and abdomen. "Like honey," he whispered. "Like waves on the beach on a hot summer's day. Like a warm rain."

"Do it," Kira whispered. "Pour over me." She thought carefully, and added, "Link with me, Odo."

Odo didn't turn in her arms. Instead, he shifted so that his face emerged, a clean-lined, Spartan sculpture, through what seconds before had been the back of his averted head. Kira felt a similar realignment down the length of her partner's entire body, and allowed herself no hesitation as she leaned into his embrace. "Link with me." It became a soft-spoken mantra. "Link with me."

It began at her fingertips, as the hands that held hers went liquid, and began to encompass her like a second skin. "Tell me if you change your mind," Odo admonished. Kira nodded impatiently as she felt her nerve endings find a new life, one that transcended anything she had ever known, in response to that spreading, gently tingling, liquid touch.

It was as though a pool of living water slowly engulfed her. I'm inside him, she finally realized, at some indefinite point in time, he's all over me. Only her eyes and nose were free of the ecstatic bath. Then she realized that a tendril of Odo's substance had worked its way into her vagina, swelling to caress her inner walls, while another delicately probed the tight opening to her anus. A third shaped itself into a tongue to tease the interior of her mouth. I'm inside him, and he's inside me. Some tiny corner of Kira's mind toyed with the idea of panic, but the message from her skin was far stronger.

She was having the time of her life.

The substance that entwined her formed mouths to caress her nipples, and fingertips to play enticing tremolos down her spine. Eddies and tiny whirlpools danced delectably across her flesh. The more Kira writhed, the more excited became the play of golden, viscous fluid against her body, until she started to shriek as passion forced tears from her eyes and made her nose start to run. Her heart felt like it was being worked against an anvil. Her lungs had all they could do just to suck in breath to enable her to gasp out her ecstasy. Then a subtle offshoot caressed the inner curve of her right ear, and seemed to plunge straight into her pagh.

Kira somehow managed a single conscious thought. I may not survive this, but what a way to go!

The next thing she knew, she was opening her eyes in the middle of the Infirmary.

She heard Dr. Julian Bashir's soft, cultured voice murmur soothingly, "She's going to be fine, Odo." The doctor stepped into Kira's line of vision, not noticing her open eyes at first as he studied the readings overhead. "She just hyperventilated � apparently she experienced some sort of sensory overload from � from �"

Bashir's voice faltered, and his narrow face reddened as he interpreted the data provided by his obliging bio-sensors. "� from about twenty-two hundred to twenty-four hundred hours tonight." It was a valiant save.

"I'm fine," Kira said shortly. Bashir looked down at her, and a slight smile flickered at the corners of his mouth.

"I imagine you are," he drawled. "Just remember, Major, there can be too much of a good thing."

Kira looked over to where Odo stood, tense and anxious in his usual brown Security uniform. Except it's not. Kira gave him a softly sensuous smile, while her eyes traveled over him wonderingly. It's not too much of a good thing -- it's just right. And it's not a uniform -- it's all Odo. My alien lover. Odo. Gladness bubbled up inside her, bright as a laugh, warm as a kiss in a spring rain.

"Don't look so worried, Constable," she teased. "I'm as healthy as a kivik."

Odo managed a ghost of a smile. "Are you sure?"

"I'm sure." Kira glanced down at herself, and noted that her only covering was a sheet. A devilish notion caused her dimples to dance into her cheeks. "Now get over here. I need someone to wear back to my quarters."

Bashir's face spoke volumes as he silently excused himself and scooted out of the Infirmary. As did Kira only a few minutes later, in a both lovely and loving shimmering amber gown.

Like it? There's a sequel. Also, I would love it if you'd write to me at!