Disclaimer: See Chapter 1. Thank you so much to Fameanon (and your host of characters), Ahlysha, maba7x and the anon reviewer for reviewing!
Desiree was frozen on the couch, counting down every minute until Oratt was brought home. She had been home for an hour now, her eyes glued to the door. In her head, she unintentionally replayed the moments in V'Las' office, where he had offered her food, where he had touched her without permission, where he had nearly had her trapped. She was exhausted from the heat and the gravity, and her pregnancy, as it progressed, was simply adding exhaustion to her worn-out state. She would have had very little chance of getting away from V'Las, if that Vulcan dressed in black hadn't come and saved her.
She laid a protective hand over her belly, tearing her eyes from the door and rubbing her hand against her stomach. Already, she could see a tiny swell, a bump where her baby was growing. She lifted her shirt to see it better and smiled down at the plump, rounded form of her abdomen. I can see you already, honey, she thought to her baby. I can see you growing. We have a lot to be thankful for, you and I.
She jumped when she saw something move in the corner of her eye, and she saw her husband rushing toward her. She quickly stood, and he caught her in his arms, kissing her fiercely. The tears that had been building back up since the other Vulcan saved her were finally released, and she pulled back from their kiss.
"Oratt, sweetheart, I'm so sorry...I should have listened to you..."
His eyes darkened. "I felt your distress...did he touch you?" he growled.
"Tried to," she murmured. "I don't want to go near him ever again. Please...please forgive me..."
"There is nothing to forgive...but why wife, why did you go?"
She felt new tears build in her eyes. "I wanted to help you!" she exclaimed, biting back more tears, though they kept coming. "I thought there was some legal loophole he was going to tell me about...but I wasn't about to put out, just to save you!"
He frowned, and she cupped his cheek, feeding the meaning through her touch. His eyes darkened further, and he pulled her as close as she could fit against him while they were fully clothed. He lowered his head and inhaled the scent of her hair, and she breathed his musky scent in as well, finally feeling like the worst might be behind them.
"How did you escape him?"
"Another Vulcan stopped him...he had blue eyes and was dressed in black...he said he would see about getting you released...he made good on his word."
Oratt nodded into her hair and inhaled again. "Whoever this Vulcan is, I am in his debt."
She smiled and kissed his neck, nipping slightly at him before sighing into his warm embrace. They stood there in perfect silence for perhaps twenty minutes, and then she spoke again. "Oratt, my love?" she breathed.
"Can you please make love to me tonight? I need you."
He looked down at her, his dark and hardened expression softening, and he kissed her lips with soft tenderness. "As you wish, my wife," he purred in her ear, then led her to his bed.
Oratt awoke, wondering briefly why he felt so contented, so comfortable, so...good. It wasn't until he saw Desiree, his Desiree, laying with him that he remembered the events of the last few days, of last night...he sighed in contentment and planted a tender kiss on his wife's temple. Wasn't it about time they bonded in a Vulcan union? He desired a fuller relationship with her, everything he hadn't had with T'Resh.
His eyes dropped to her stomach, and he allowed himself a tiny smile at the sight of the tiny bump, that first swelling of her belly where his child would grow for the next six months. He stroked her hair and inhaled her scent...why had he not appreciated how divine her aroma was? It was intoxicating in the most wonderful way, and made him salivate for a taste of her...he noted the number of bite marks she bore on her creamy skin, and he once again buried his nose in her caramel locks and inhaled deeply. Desiree...my Desiree...
He reluctantly slipped from her side and padded into the front room, to the console. A tiny light on the side was flashing silently, indicating that he had a message. He stared at it, dumbfounded, and he summoned Desiree, awoke her with a simple tug of the bond.
He was amazed that he could sense, smell and hear her approach before he saw her walk into the room, and he smiled ever so slightly as she stretched and yawned. She looked heavenly in the morning light, the sunlight making her hair shine in the most agreeable way...
He hurried to her side and wrapped an arm around her to draw her to himself before she was even done stretching. She gave him an incredulous but teasing look, and when she relaxed from her stretch, she lowered her arms around his neck. He kissed her lips, trembling with excitement, knowing he would have to meditate this all away later. But for now, he allowed himself this moment with his wife, his beautiful Desiree.
"What is it, Oratt?" she murmured, yawning again. He nuzzled his nose into her hair and purred.
"They have dropped all charges," he whispered, and she pulled back, disbelief shining in her beautiful deep blue eyes.
"What?" she asked, slowly cupping his cheek, as if she could not believe this to be true. He leaned into her touch and kissed her again.
"The Council of Physicians and the High Command have all dropped their charges against me," he repeated, holding her close. "Desiree...let's go home."
She smirked up at him. "But we're in your house! Isn't this-"
He cut her off with a kiss, trying to convey through his touch how much he wanted to get away from here. The corruption that had led to his arrest was opening his eyes to how twisted his home planet had become. Though the threat of prejudice still lingered on Earth, it was Vulcan who had punished them for their actions, not Earth. His home planet was falling into ruin, and only now could he see how low they had already fallen.
"No, Desiree," he whispered, pulling back from their kiss just enough to speak. "This is no longer my home. My place is with you, on Earth, with our child..." He placed a hand over her swelling abdomen, feeding her the pleasure he felt at the sight. She smiled ruefully.
"But what about your career, your job-"
"I am a senior physician in the Inter-species Medical Exchange," he said quickly, stroking her hair. "I can have my choice of assignments. I'm sure there are many institutions who would be pleased to have my experience in their ranks. I will find work on Earth, near to our home."
She sighed and leaned into him. "This...this is actually a relief. I don't think my body could handle much more of this heat."
He kissed her forehead. "We will be on our way home soon. But I'm sure your body would have adjusted in time. Humans are much more resilient than my species gives credit for." He looked down at her, pride bubbling in his chest. "My telsu, my Desiree endured a fever with ease. She carries my child and stays faithful to me in times of doubt." He kissed her full on the lips, pouring every ounce of gratitude he felt towards her through the bond, until she gasped with the depth of the feeling. "She is more than able to live on my planet, if someday it becomes a more suitable home."
"Ok," she conceded. "I'll pack my things."
He nodded. "We will leave as soon as we can. But there is something I must do first."
Yuris was just about to make some tea when the doorchime rang. He knew it couldn't be Strom's biweekly visit; his chosen brother had come the day before yesterday and wouldn't return until tomorrow. His family rarely visited, so it was unlikely it was a member of his clan. He hurried to answer the door, straightening his robes as he went.
The man on the other side of the door was the last person Yuris expected to see at his door. The last time they had spoken, he had assured Yuris that he would see him suspended, see him lose his standing with the medical exchange. But the man standing before him was not the man he had known years ago. This was a man transformed by joy and grief, who carried the look of a man burdened with suspicions, if not secrets. He could hardly believe that he was Oratt of Shi'Kahr.
Oratt raised the ta'al and bowed his head in respect. Yuris frowned slightly, but returned the gesture.
"Greetings, Yuris," Oratt began, his tone contrite and soft, unlike the harsh, pompous tone he usually took with those beneath him. "May I come in, and speak with you?"
Yuris bowed his head and let Oratt enter, and the man lingered near the door as Yuris fetched some water. Oratt accepted the offering with soft thanks, and Yuris fixed him with a grave stare.
"If I may be so bold, Osu...why are you here?"
Oratt stiffened slightly, but held Yuris' gaze. "To apologize for my behavior on Dekendi."
Yuris waited, dumbfounded, and the elder physician breathed in slowly. "I was wrong to persecute you so fiercely, Yuris. You are a good man, and I doubt you've harmed anyone with your...ability...Please forgive me if I say that I am still uncertain where I stand regarding...melders...the last few days have...spread doubt in me about our society."
Yuris blinked several times before he spoke. "I accept your apology, Osu. Though I doubt there is much you can do to help me now."
"Not true, Yuris," Oratt retorted with a triumphant gleam in his eye. Yuris had never seen such a look on the old man's face. "I will do what I can to re-instate you to your old position."
It took at least a minute for that statement to sink into him. "Osu..."
"Call me Oratt, Yuris. I will no longer be residing on Vulcan, but on Earth, with she who is my telsu, and our child," he said, a hint of pride in his lofty voice. "I will work to help you from there. If I can find a commission on Earth, would you be agreeable to moving there?"
Yuris raised his eyebrows. "Wherever I am needed, wherever I can help others, Osu...Oratt..."
He thought he saw a smile on the old man's lips, and the man's brown eyes were glittering with satisfaction. "Very well, Yuris, then I will take my leave of you. Our transport leaves at 1500. Good day."
He turned to leave, but Yuris called him back. "Oratt."
The senior physician turned to him, his expression still contrite. "I hope you can forgive me in time for what I have done to you, Yuris."
He nodded. "Did I hear you correctly? Telsu, and a child as well?"
Oratt's eyes flashed with what looked like joy. "Yes."
"What is her name, if I may ask?"
"Desiree. Desiree Beaumont."
"She is human."
Oratt nodded. "She is the most compassionate and loving creature I have met in all my days. She has made me new."
Yuris nodded, genuinely happy that Oratt had found such joy. He knew of his past from Strom, and only wished this poor, lonely man the best. The universe had decided to be kind to Oratt, it seemed, and Yuris was more than pleased to see Oratt be kind to others in return.
"Then I wish you a safe journey, and I rejoice with thee for thy child."
Oratt nodded, his eyes shining with pleasure. "Good day, Yuris. I will do all I can to help you."
Yuris watched him leave, then immediately turned on his communications console to talk to Strom.
Desiree flopped down on her couch, sighing heavily as Oratt handed her some tea. It had been an exhausting experience to go to Vulcan, endure that heat, and come back again, all while pregnant. She wasn't sure if it was poor health or the nature of a hybrid growing inside her, but she was sapped of energy. She panted a thank-you to her husband and leaned against him when he sat beside her.
"I received another message," Oratt said quietly. "I wanted you to be home before I told you of it."
She looked up at him. "Well?"
"The man who saved you...he has deposited a great deal of credits into my account, on the condition that I use it to build him a research facility, with myself as head director."
She sat up. "That's great! Did he tell you his name?"
"No," Oratt sighed. "He wished to remain anonymous."
Desiree frowned. "Ok...so what are you going to do?"
"I am in his debt," he replied. "If he wishes me to build a new research facility here on Earth, I will do so. If he wishes me as head director...I was head director of a clinic in Shi'Kahr, and copious amounts of research came out of labs under my direction. I am no stranger to this sort of thing...it would be work, and he is willing to pay me a great sum for my services."
Desiree nodded. "He sounds like a nice man...he was polite to me. So when are you going to start?"
"As soon as I can gather my thoughts and start plans. In other words, tomorrow. Today, I wish to focus on you. You are long overdue for a checkup, ashaya. We have a child to consider."
She smiled and rubbed her stomach, pushing her shirt up so Oratt could place his hand over hers. "We've been lucky so far," she whispered, leaning back into him. "Baby on the way, no health problems...you've got work now...I have to think about going back to work. My vacation is nearly over...I think I'll switch to online teaching, what do you think?"
He kissed her forehead. "I would not wish to get in the way of your career. Whatever you feel is best for you."
She sighed and nuzzled against him. "We'll see...whatever comes, we'll take it on together."
A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who reviewed and favorited and followed and all that! This story is not done by any means, and even this is one cog in a larger wheel of stories. But there will be a sequel, following Oratt's new jobs and the secrets he must hide, Turatt and his schooling, and the demons still hiding in the shadows. No, dear reader, it's not over. I'm just putting Part 1 here to bed.