-- Part 2 ---

The curtains stirred letting the light of the full moon stream in through vaulted arches that led to her private balcony. She stirred waking from an already forgotten dream, orienting herself to the vaguely familiar surrounding. The air was comfortably warm and she gave into the temptation to slip out onto it, naked but for the moonlight and stars. It was a fantasy that was lacking one major piece. She hoped she knew where to find it, but whether or not it would be a willing piece, that answer was in other hands.

Her throat was dry, and her stomach had begun to protest the fact that she had not eaten since breakfast too many hours earlier. If she were bolder, she might go to the kitchen as she was, but instead she opted to throw her lightweight robe on, tying it loosely around her waist. Walking toward the door she glanced at herself in the mirror. Even in the dim light she could see the havoc the water and salt air played upon the tangled mass of hair earlier. Quickly she ran her brush through it, joking to herself.

You never know whom you might run into in these deserted hideaways.

Humming softly to herself she entered the main living area and then onward into the kitchen. Without turning on the light, she poked her head into the refrigerator pulling out a soft drink, then searching for something to quiet the growing gnarling in her stomach.

"There is salad and fruit here from last night yet."

She jumped. In the past hours she had grown so used to the silence that soft as it was, Sarek's voice caught her unaware.

"What are you doing standing there in the dark? Do you like to scare young, defenseless girls?"

"I would hardly call you defenseless, Amanda, anymore than I would believe you could be so easily scared. Indeed, if that were the case, neither of us would be here now."

The tension that had existed between them earlier that day seemed to have fallen away, replaced by the more familiar light banter, and she smiled at him, wondering just how much he could see in the dimly lit room.

"Did you eat earlier? I feel asleep."

"Indeed. I could hear your breath heavy and deep through the door."

"You couldn't—are you telling me that I was snoring?"

"It was a noise such as—"

Before he could go further, she cut him off.

"I don't think I want to know. Are you willing to take on a wife who makes such noises in her sleep?"

"I believe I may have some similar shortcomings, so we may want to 'call it even' as it where."

He reached over and turned on a low light, and she laughed to herself on seeing the rather elaborate meal he had laid out before him. She wondered if he had been waiting for her to wake up, or if he had, by that strange sixth sense of his, come into the kitchen only a short time before she did. They ate amiably, as if the morning had never happened. He seemed in no hurry to press her for an answer, and if this were the last such meal they would take together, her question could wait for a short while.

As they finished, he moved to clear the dishes, but she shooed him away.

"You set the table so let me clear it. Go!" She motioned for him to leave and let her clean up. She needed the time now to compose her thoughts and gather her wits about her. Though he could be formidable when he desired, it was when it was open and vulnerable that she found it the hardest to turn from him. She had a question and an answer and if she didn't get them right the first time, there would not be another. In less than two weeks he would be on his way home.

Amanda came out of the kitchen to an empty room. She looked about confused for a moment. The breeze stirred the long white curtains that draped the broad arches leading outside, parting them just enough for her to see Sarek beyond them, out on the balcony. Taking a deep breath, she moved through the darkened room, then into the night to stand beside him.

"I will miss this moon of yours when I am gone. These evenings it has stood watch over the seas have been ones of great beauty and it leaves in me a feeling of peace, when I seem to have most needed it."

He sounded almost wistful. She moved closer to and tentatively placed her hand over his much larger one, as it lay wrapped tightly around the railing. He looked down at her patiently waiting. Looking out across the sea she searched for the peace he found there and came back empty. Until this was resolved she would have none.

"I have my answer, but it will need to wait until you answer my question."

She looked up at him, seeing the moonlight reflected in his eyes, playing with the angles and curves of his face. She reached out to touch his cheek and stroke it gently. He reached up and covered it with his, eyes filled with both light and sadness. She was suddenly struck with the fact that he fully believed at this point her answer would be no.

"You told me about a cycle but you didn't tell me if, well, if you are only restricted to that cycle. Sarek, I don't know if I could stand living with you if I could only have you once every seven years! I need to know if you can…"

She made a little nod with her head, hoping he would take the hint, only to be met with those same eyes now filled with confusion.

"If I can what, Amanda?"

She tried to force the words out, but the sounded so base and cold even in her head. Suddenly she moved and standing on her toes she pulled his face down toward hers. She had kissed him before, but those kisses had been relatively brief and chaste. This time she didn't hold back, kissing him long and deeply, thrilled not just with her own desire, but with the knowledge he was not pulling away.

Finally, the strain on her toes and neck gave way and she went to pull back. She could sense the slightest trace of hesitation on his part as she did so.

"How did that feel? Did you like that? Or do you feel repulsed?"

"Is this your question, Amanda? I think you know the answer. It was most pleasant."

"Is that all, just 'pleasant'?"

She moved back in close, nestling against his broad chest, feeling the slow calming rhythm of his breathe. Amanda looked out across to the translucent waters, letting the warm breeze of the balcony lull her into a state of temporary security.

This was a paradise, a time just for the two of them and so far it had been dedicated to discussions and debates, agreements and acknowledgements, revelations and acceptances, both spoken and silent ones. But that's not what she needed now. She needed to know that he was capable of holding her and loving her, not just with his thoughts, but also with his body, with his soul.

She let her hands run along the front of his tunic. The fabric looked like linen, but felt like silk, light and subtle. It was held together by bindings along the side and she slipped her fingers quickly through them letting the shirt fall open. She glanced upwards out of the corner of her eye, seeing the curiosity marked in his eyes. She ran her hand down the length of his chest till she found his heartbeat. It beat in a rapid tattoo, in strict contrast to the calm he tried to exude.

Kissing his smooth chest, letting her lips linger on the dry, silken texture of his skin, she drank in the subtle fragrance of his scent. She tried to frame a description in her mind. Spice? Musk? Copper? Or a combination of those three things?


He now tried to put a space between them. It was new territory to them both, but one she knew had to be traveled. She didn't know if anything Sarek had known before this had prepared him for what she would want and need. This was all that she would require of him—to know he would truly be there for her once the doors to the outside world were closed. If he protested, if he refused, she knew it would be a life she would have to walk away from, no matter how great the temptation. For one thing she was sure of- she did not have a masochistic bone in her body.

"Trust me," she said as she took Sarek by both of his hands and led him to his bedroom door. On reaching it she dropped them and turning, firmly grasped the knobs on the double doors flinging them open. Then she turned back toward him and in one fluid motion loosened the sash on her robe and let it fall to the floor…

Stirring within the gentle embrace of his arms, she let the back of her hand trail down his side, marveling at the wonder of it all. It had been rocky for a while until she had found the trigger point, a spot that seemed to have even been a total surprise for him, but once found, there had been no stopping either of them. She had the answer she needed and desired. In fact, all said, it was more than she could have imagined. Amanda sighed contentedly, then felt Sarek stir, grasping her hand and pulling up to look at it, letting his fingers trace the length of hers.

His voice was a husky whisper, "I believe you owe me an answer?"

She pulled herself up so she could look directly and deeply into his eyes willing him to feel the truth of her reply, "I will never leave you. I will always be there for you, no matter what. You need to believe that and know you can trust your secret with me."

She enfolded her arms about him squeezing tight, burrowing her head in the crook of his arms, trying to hide the tears that had sprung up unbidden. He tenderly pried her face free of its refuge and gently brushed the tears from her cheeks.

" I would not have you cry."

"I don't think you have a choice in the matter", she laughed, "so I suppose you had best get used to it."

"Indeed," he let a small smile play about the corners of his generous mouth, "And I am sure that there are manners of mine that you will need to adjust to as well. I hope that you will find some of them at least at pleasant as the ones you subjected me to this night."

She laughed and kissed him, with a playful kiss and he responded with one filled with promise, as they tumbled across the bed in movements of sheer joy, in true discovery of one another. And at this very moment all was right with the universe.

The sun had rose finding their bodies still entwined. And though over the course of the years necessity might keep them physically apart at times, in their hearts and souls neither was ever to sleep alone again.