Disclaimer: See Chapter 1. Thank you so much to Fameanon (and L'Vek, Kuvak, Forrest and S'Vec), Caren Rose, Ahlysha, Nyotarules and the anon reviewer for reviewing! You are spectacular in the extreme, all of you!
A/N: Thank you so much to Fameanon. Look below, sweetie, and you'll know why. ;)
Tawny looked up at Kuvak, biting her lip and lightly touching the box she had hidden in her pocket. They were in the transport station, where a shuttle was waiting to take him to a Vulcan ship.
"S-so...S-so this is goodbye?"
She drew out the box in her pocket and looked him in the eye. He was the only man she knew who had showed the same level of interest in her that she had for him, and it made her want to cry that he was going so soon. She wanted him to stay...it frightened and elated her that it looked like he was extremely pained to leave her. She admitted to herself that she was madly in love with him. She was starting to see a future, not just rambling on the Earth, hoping for something to come her way. She felt she had purpose now, a goal to attain, and it was both extremely complicated and beautifully simple: marry Kuvak.
"This is not goodbye, Tawny Townsend," he murmured. He placed the palm against her cheek. "This is I will see you again soon."
His eyes lit up and his sculpted lips twitched upward as he gazed deeply into her eyes. "Tawny Townsend, we will be together again soon. I promise you this, there is no other out there for me than you, and I will return and you will come to Vulcan." He glanced around, and she followed suit, and there were too many people in the station for her to do what she wished to do.
She shivered at the dark look in his eyes, and she boldly took his hand and led him to a side hallway, then into an empty baggage storage room. She leaned against the wall and pulled him to her, kissing him with a fervor she didn't know she had in her, but it was still bittersweet. The dawn of friendship and deep affection was rising over her heart in regards to him, and it pained her to be parted so soon. If she were honest with herself, she feared time away from her would lessen his regard for her. She feared she was in a one-way relationship, that perhaps he wasn't as in love with her as she was with him.
"S-still, I-I have something f-for you," she breathed, holding up the box. She swallowed thickly and nibbled at his ear and neck as he opened the little black box, and she waited for him to react.
He opened the box, and she pulled away, leaning back against the wall. He breathed in a sharp breath and lifted the pendant (Emmie had called it an IDIC) off its bed of velvet, his eyes darkening further. He pressed the tiny button on the side, opening the locket, and he stared down at her picture nested in the gold casing. She thought she saw tears in his eyes, but he rapidly blinked them away.
"Tawny, this is...most agreeable. What ever made you think to do this?" He pulled it from the confines of the box and began to place it around his neck. He turned around, silently indicating he needed her help to latch the chain.
She took the ends of the chain and latched it, and he turned around, regarding her with an eager gaze, and she leaned back against the wall.
"I-I...I thought y-you m-might like a p-picture of me...o-old-f-fashioned, I-I know, but...you'll have a p-picture of me w-with you always...i-if you where i-it often...i-if you m-miss m-me...j-just o-o-open the locket and..." She bit her lip and let the tears spill down her cheeks. "Oh, Kuvak, I'm going to miss you!" she whispered breathlessly, burying her nose into his neck and breathing him in as if he were oxygen. "I...I-I've fallen q-q-quite hard o-over you..."
He nuzzled his nose into her hair, and she felt him inhale deeply. "I know your scent, Tawny," he said, his voice becoming low, like a growl. "It is the most exquisite thing I have inhaled in all my days. You...you are my soul's twin, Tawny Townsend, my...my life's mate. I feel you and I were destined to meet..." He gazed down into her wide eyes, tenderly lifting her chin. "To be together, as twinned souls," he continued.
She let out a long breath, and she could feel her eyes mist over with new tears. "I l-love t-that s-sentiment..." she whispered in reply, leaning closer so that their lips were almost touching. "With you, I see a brighter future, and my path is very clear to me," she breathed, amazed that she didn't stutter. "With you, I look out at the world, and it is ten times as beautiful. I notice every good thing and think of you, and I want to share all of this with you." She placed both of her hands on his cheeks. "Please...I beg you...do not forget me. Because I can't get you off my mind, and it's driving me crazy."
She glanced down at his hands as he drew something from his robes, the same symbol she had had made into the locket, only much older, ancient even, to which were attached beads. He pressed them into her hands. "This has been in my family for a thousand years. It is my meditation focus...I have poured my thoughts and focus into them. I want you to keep them as a symbol of my promise to you, until I can see you again and propose marriage to you as men do in your culture, and then...I will give you a ring." His hand went to her face and his thumb traced over her lips. "This is how serious I am about you, Tawny."
She felt momentarily as if she couldn't breathe, and she held tightly to the ancient IDIC as she sealed her lips over his, kissing him fiercely as if she would never see him again in her life. A month was not that long in the grand scheme of things, but it felt like a lifetime in her current state. She was a girl, madly in love with a man, and it was all so fresh and new to her, and the pain was just as fresh, just as real as his hands drawing her impossibly closer to his warm, firm body.
His lips tasted succulent, and she memorized the feel of them, slowing her pace and savoring the taste of his warm, soft flesh. He finally pulled away when she heard the boarding call for the shuttle to the Vulcan ship.
"I would marry you now if I could," he breathed into her ear, inhaling her scent again. "Your absence will be keenly, and you have no need to worry that I might forget you." He kissed her cheek and licked desperately at her neck, and she felt his teeth sink slightly into her flesh. She gasped in delight.
"Yes," she breathed, so softly she wasn't even sure if he heard it. But his eyes darkened, and he leaned in very close so that their lips brushed as he spoke.
"You will make me late if you continue, Tawny Townsend," he growled softly. "I will extend the courtesy to you to give you time to consider other options. Do not force my hand, or you will be mine, mine alone before you have any true say in the matter." He breathed in her scent one last time and stepped back. "You are mine, Tawny Townsend," he said firmly. "Mine. Do not forget that fact, nor forget that I am coming back very soon to take you to Vulcan. L'Vek has my contact information, should the wait become unbearable for you." She thought she saw him smirk, then wince. "Be safe, and be strong...for me."
"I will," she breathed. He rushed forward and took her in his arms once more, and he kissed her swiftly, heatedly, and she sighed into his caress.
He pulled back and backed away, eying her with a dark gaze. "Mine," he whispered one last time, and finally he turned and walked away. She blew a kiss at his back and sent her love and devotion over the space between them.
She was a girl in love...deeply in love...and this month could no go quicker. Already, she was imagining their reunion, even though he was still in her sights, walking further and further away from her, until he boarded the shuttle and was out of her sight.
As he walked away, she felt a tear roll down her cheek, and though she felt as if a thousand chains were weighing down on her shoulders, she felt light and carefree in a way she had never experienced in this measure. She clutched his gift tighter; she was in love, giddy and inebriated with the feeling, despite his parting. He had claimed her...she was his, and his alone. The very thought made her want to dance and sing, and she rushed from the transport station, holding the IDIC to her heart.
Come for me soon, love, she whispered across the space growing between them. Come back to me, and love me.
She closed her eyes and locked the door behind her as she laid on her bed, hardly remembering the trip back home. Because I love you, I love you, I love you...like the songbird loves to sing, like a puppy loves its master...I'm yours, only yours...my dearest, sweetest love, my Kuvak.
V'Las narrowed his eyes at the screen, his gaze raking back and forth over the information Tarmik had sent him. So...L'Vek, head of the Vulcan Advisory Council to Earth, son of T'Hya's clan, had chosen to take a human wife, and she had survived pon farr with him...not only survived, but thrived on it...he swallowed thickly, pushing down the fear that bubbled up in his chest.
Humans had shown their potential for greatness since the moment Vulcans had made contact with them. They rebounded quickly from their wars and rebuilt their society in a tenth of the time it took the Vulcans to do the same. They were advancing quickly, rapidly expanding beyond their own borders, building vessels for exploration...they were inexplicably resilient, and no matter what restrictions the High Command tried to impose on them, the humans continued to grow and learn and progress...too quickly for comfort...
And now they continued to show their strength, thriving on the fever? What sort of beings are these humans? he asked himself for the hundredth time.
He flared his nostrils and accessed his comm, frowning at the face on the screen.
"You know who I need to talk to." He watched as the screen turned over to the man he needed to talk to, and he bowed his head in respect.
"I have news...I'm not sure how you'll take it, though..."
T'Mil strode through the hallways of the Consulate, in search of her nephew's room. She was in conflict; her clan may have a reputation for being progressive, but she wasn't certain of her nephew taking this human bride. She was curious, she admitted to herself, but she was also concerned. If this wasn't a viable match for L'Vek, she would use her power to strip their growing bond and make him marry a Vulcan woman.
All in all, the impression she got from this human woman L'Vek had found would indubitably color her view of her son's supposed intended. T'Via had given a thorough (though biased) report when she returned to Vulcan, and T'Mil was barely able to save the alliance with T'Kal's clan, offering a young daughter of her clan to one of their young sons, assuring a possible future between their families. A part of her, the part she needed to cast out, was appalled at her nephew's (and her son's) behavior...taking human women as wives...what in the name of Surak were they thinking?
And yet, a larger part of her was curious, reminding her that the story of the IDIC had no end, that this was possibly simply another chapter in its story, a first step towards a more intimate future with their human allies. If this human woman was devoted to L'Vek, T'Mil would give the couple her blessing and be on her way. She knew she wouldn't be here very long; even in fever, her nephew was an intelligent man. She trusted him enough to bless his choice, because if his choice kept him well, it was logical to give such a union her blessing.
She rang the doorchime to L'Vek's quarters, and he answered after a few moments. He looked surprised to see her, but he cleared the look from his face and straightened, raising the ta'al and offering her the traditional greeting, and she returned with the standard response. He let her inside, and she turned to the woman standing in the middle of the room while L'Vek fetched water for his elderly aunt.
She sized up the woman and quirked an eyebrow at her beauty, her bearing; it was easy to see why L'Vek was drawn to her, at least in physical appeal. She raised the eyebrow further when the woman raised the ta'al and bowed her head in greeting, and she looked her straight in the eye as she welcomed T'Mil to Earth.
"Your presence honors me, my lady," she said, her voice ringing with conviction and sincerity. And she had a lovely foreign accent T'Mil had never heard. Quite lovely... "Welcome to my planet. I hope the cold isn't too bothersome. Coming from the desert myself, I know sometimes San Francisco can be unpleasant."
T'Mil let her eyes soften. "I am old, and the cold gnaws at my bones, but the cold and the travel could not keep me from visiting she who will be my nephew's wife." She eyed the woman again, gazing deeply into her clear gray eyes, and she straightened her old back, drawing herself up to her full height. L'Vek came back with water, and T'Mil took it and drank it, handing the empty cup back to her nephew.
"So tell me, Meskhenet Mehvesh Sadir...you helped L'Vek through his Time?"
She bowed her head. "Yes, my lady, I was honored to be of help."
T'Mil nodded. "You were not injured too badly?"
"No," Meskhenet said softly. "I feel fine. A few bruises, a few things sprained...we both came out alive and relatively unharmed, and for that I am grateful."
She let her gaze rake over the woman's features. She really was an attractive human, and already T'Mil could imagine great-nieces and great-nephews with their combined genes...the children would be incredibly attractive, and desirable to the open-minded. T'Mil could feel devotion and love pouring from Meskhenet as L'Vek re-entered the room and offered his fingers to her. She touched him eagerly, drawing herself closer to him, as if she were comforted by his shelter, cheered by his company...loyalty was an excellent quality in a mate...
"You love him?" T'Mil asked boldly, and Meskhenet smiled at her. Not an unpleasant sight on the woman...
"Yes," she whispered, turning to her fiance and touching his cheek with gentle fingers. "With all my heart."
T'Mil nodded. "So be it. If you keep him well, and vow your loyalty to him, then I will see you wed with him in a month's time on Vulcan."
L'Vek could not hide his shock. After a few moments, he spoke. "I confess, clan mother, I thought your will to be quite different in this matter."
"You have been misinformed. My son mistook my apprehension for disapproval. She is a worthy mate for you, L'Vek. She will keep you well." She regarded her future niece with an approving glance. "Yes, a worthy woman, indeed, L'Vek. You did quite well. And she is a lovely creature..."
Meskhenet blushed and dipped her head low. "My lady is very kind."
She raised an eyebrow. "Good manners, too. Very well. It is logical to see you wed, L'Vek. I look forward to our next meeting, my nephew."
She raised the ta'al and departed the embassy quickly, declining Soval's invitation to dine with him. Perhaps another time. She had a wedding to plan.
L'Vek strode into his quarters, knowing Meskhenet was near, but she was hiding for some reason. He was just about to summon her via the bond when he noticed a note on the table. It was folded paper, and he opened it, smirking ever so slightly at the graceful handwriting that flowed across the page. He was pleased he had chosen to learn his telsu's tongue, so he need not put this note through the translator. There was an intimacy in it, her handwriting beneath his fingers, and he breathed in slowly as he read the note, a bubble of amusement rising in his chest.
My dearest high-heeled shoe
I thank you profusely for breaking
right as that attractive Vulcan came up the stairs
I threw away my dearest shoe, but think
what might have happened had you not failed
For once, I am grateful for failure
It lead me to success
and lead me to that Vulcan's arms
My best wishes, and Godspeed,
Rest in peace.
He chuckled very quietly to himself and set down the note, and he concentrated on finding his Meskhenet, his wife, as to thank her for the creative love note. He searched all around their suite, and finally found her in the bathroom.
She smiled at him as he entered and accepted his hand, and he led her to the bed, laying her tenderly back so he could lavish his kisses on her creamy, tanned skin.
"I thank thee, wife, for the note. Most creative, and amusing," he purred, licking her ear, aware of how much pleasure it brought her. He would bring her much more pleasure this night; she made his blood boil with desire, and was more than willing to satiate those desires. She integrated him into a wonderful world of exploration, and for the first time in his life, he experienced intercourse outside of the fever. It was the most glorious thing in the world, and what made it all the more glorious was the look of love and devotion on her face when he made love to her.
"Hold me the way you did all those months ago," she whispered, stroking his cheek. "Hold me like you held me in the stairwell."
He obligingly wrapped his arms around her, nuzzling her gently, relishing the feeling of love she was pouring through their bond. She gazed into his eyes, letting her fingers wander over his face, and he gazed back, in awe of the depth of feeling she held for him, and he for her. My Meskhenet...
"If I live another fifty years gazing into those eyes of yours," she purred, stroking his ear now, "it still won't be enough."
He lightly kissed her lips. "My Meskhenet...I cherish thee, and will cherish thee until we are parted."
She smiled and cupped his cheek, and he was awash in her love. "Rejoice with me this night, my love." Her smile turned mischievous, and she smirked up at him. "Thank you very much for catching me, Mr. Adviser."
He growled and bit her neck. "My pleasure, Meskhenet Mehvesh Sadir...she who is my wife."
A/N: A very big thanks to everyone who reviewed this work. Wow...I didn't expect the story that was just for kicks to get this much support. Thank you all so much, but especially my dearest Fame for her special reviews and for being a great muse! You rock, sweetheart!
Look for the sequel to this story, following Kuvak and Tawny.