Disclaimer: See Chapter 1. Thank you so much to Fameanon, Ahlysha, and 2redbird for reviewing.

A/N: This chapter is rated M. Don't like, don't read.

San Francisco, Earth, December 25, 2152

Yuris woke with the dawn, to the singing of birds in the trees outside, and he breathed in a sigh of relief. They were safe on Earth, and he would not start his new position at West Vista Medical Clinic until the 29th of December. In the meantime, he had a few hours before she woke (he could tell from her breathing that she was still deep in sleep), and he watched her for a moment as he composed a list of chores in his head.

The merry, crackling fire that had blazed behind the grate was dead and cold, and he needed to find more firewood and start another fire. Fog was clinging to the window, and were it not for her warmth draped over him, he would be quite cold.

With every breath he took, her head rose and fell, like the gentle motion of a boat on a still, calm lake. He gently stroked her dark hair, all the way to her back, slipping his hand beneath the blanket that covered them both. Her flesh was veiled only by her shirt, and he couldn't help but slide his hand underneath her top and stroke his fingers up her spine. She gasped, waking suddenly.

"Forgive me," he murmured, withdrawing his hand as she stared at him in confusion. "I did not mean to wake you."

"What time is it, my love?"

"Dawn," he murmured. "Go back to sleep."

She obeyed, allowing him to slip out from under her and cover her more thoroughly with the blanket. He stroked two fingers down her soft cheek, then turned to business.

In fifteen minutes, he was dressed and had another fire blazing at the hearth, and he turned his attention to breakfast. However, another idea came to him, and he knelt down at her side and touched two fingers to her temple, his eyes fluttering closed.

Eponine, he called into her dreaming mind. Eponine, come to me.

And there she was before him, warm and contented and smiling in delight.

"Hello, Yuris," she murmured cheerfully, kissing his cheek as she wrapped her arms around him. "It's been a long time since I've seen you in here."

"I did not want to wake you," he explained quickly. "I will be gone from the house for a while. Sleep, and I will take the key. I'm locking the door."

"Why are you leaving the house?" she asked, suddenly fearful. He tugged at their bond, flooding her with reassurance and calm.

"It's a surprise," he whispered in her ear, almost smiling at her. "Now, sleep until I return."

He gently withdrew from her mind and left her sleeping soundly on the couch, and he took the key and locked the door behind him, safeguarding her against intruders and the clinging fog.

He headed east towards the nearest shopping center, fingering the credit chip in his pocket. The lights and festive decorations looked strange in the mist, but he found himself in a store with very little ideas on what to get her in celebration of their union, and the holiday at hand.

"Need some help?" a man with brown hair and a cocky smile asked him from the counter. He shrugged.

"I do not know yet. However, if I require assistance, I will ask you," Yuris replied kindly, examining the rack of scarves. A light blue and white cashmere number caught his eye, and he took it.

"A little late on your shopping, aren't you?" the man said, winking at him. The Vulcan blinked.

"This is for a separate occasion."

"Ah, a birthday? Late graduation present? Wedding? Anniversary?"

Yuris wasn't sure why the man was so eager to make conversation, but he decided to indulge him. "I am newly married. One cannot find a gift for his new wife while on a transport."

"Well, I rejoice with thee!" the man said in Vulcan. Yuris turned to him, noting the flawless Shi'Kahr accent the clerk had taken on.

"Thank you," Yuris said, looking at a wall of jewelry.

"Those rose gold earrings would like nice with that scarf," the man suggested. "I do believe your wife would look fetching in them, don't you think?"

"She would look fetching in nothing but a plastic bag, if she decided to wear such a thing," he murmured to himself. The man laughed.

"She must be beautiful. Congratulations. Is that all? Would you like these wrapped? I'll do it for free, since it's Christmas Day and all."

Yuris thanked him and handed him his items, and soon he was leaving the store, heading back home. He did, however, make a stop into a bakery for their breakfast.

Eponine was drowsing when he locked the door again and set the keys on the kitchen table, and she rose from the couch, stretching her arms over her head and yawning.

"Where did you go?" she murmured, sniffing the air appreciatively.

"I noted you like fresh bread," he whispered, stroking her fingers as she came closer to him. "I stopped at a bakery on my way home."

She kissed his cheek and held him close, and he wrapped his arms around her in return. "Did you sleep well, ashaya?"

"I had a very comfortable pillow," she muttered into his chest, squeezing him affectionately. He felt a purr of contentment build in the back of his throat, and she smiled incredulously up at him.

"That noise in your chest, mon ange...are you purring?"

"A natural reaction," he stammered, blushing. "You're...are you agreeable to it?"

"I like it," she confirmed, kissing his cold shirt. "As if I'm laying with a giant cat." She kissed him again, this time on the lips, and for reasons he could not explain, his face grew warm. His blood, too, was warmed by her kiss, and it seemed even the most gentle, chaste exchanges of affection between them devolved into tantalizing caresses and delightfully tangling tongues. And now was no exception; any thought of eating breakfast with him seemed far from her mind, and when her fingers crept towards the clasp of his shirt, he pulled back and lightly nudged her neck.

"What are your plans for the day?" she whispered, rearing her head back.

"Familiarize myself with this house and celebrate the holiday with you," he replied, and her hand sheathed in his hair, messing it up again.

"Eponine, I can feel your desire," he said more darkly than he meant, stroking her cheek with his thumb. "There will be plenty of time for that after you have eaten, hm?"

He could not believe he had said it so simply and concisely. When he had politely inquired of his former bondmate if she wished to engage in intimacy, he was usually quiet and subdued. Eponine brought a strange darkness out of him, the darkness of his basest nature, but he shoved it away and held up his offering of still-warm bread. He could feel her mouth watering in anticipation, and he smiled ever so slightly at her as he guided her to the table.

Breakfast was satisfying, but over quickly, however her plans were delayed when she caught sight of the bag that contained her gifts. She asked about them, and he once again informed her that it was a surprise.

She excused herself to get cleaned up and to brush her teeth, and he cleaned the table and put the leftover bread away.

Eponine gingerly sat down on the edge of the couch, watching Yuris gather his gifts to her. She accepted them with trembling hands, and he sat down next to her, gently tucking a hair behind her ear. His action made her breath hitch in her throat, and she was suddenly hyper-aware of his presence, of his every move.

Their fingers brushed as he handed her a package wrapped in brown butcher paper, and she carefully opened it, her hands trembling. His touch made warmth spill into her gut, and this was the first gift she had been given in nearly nine years. She gasped as she revealed the rosy gold earrings, lying in a bed of tissue paper, and she touched them with a light finger, as if they might crumble if she used more force. Her next gift was a scarf, the cashmere soft as clover and as smooth as a babe's skin.

"Yuris," she breathed. "These are beautiful."

She looked up at him, and his eyes were shining in pleasure. She could feel satisfaction flowing into her, and she kissed him, letting herself linger in the moment, and when he made to pull away, she pulled him right back in.

"Thank you," she said, and she set them aside with a frown. "I don't have anything to give you."

He took her hand and shook his head, his palm warm as he stroked her hair. "My Eponine, you have already given me more than I could have asked for. You...I can feel your devotion to me...that is a gift every Vulcan man wants, whether he admits it or not. All my life, I have longed for someone like you, and now you are mine...that is a gift that will last me many Christmases."

It was as if they were reading each other's minds as they kissed again, more passionately than before, and she palmed his chest, tracing his strong muscles and delighting in how firm and toned he was. He seemed to sense her desire, because he unlatched his shirt and allowed her to touch his skin. Her touch made him tremble, and she slowly pulled away from his lips, trailing lazily along to his ear. She had always wondered what would happen if she touched his ears, and the results were more than satisfying. She had never heard him make a noise like that, but it made her heart pound in anticipation, and she wrapped her arms more firmly around him, caressing his smooth and powerful back.

"Eponine," he whispered roughly in her ear. "Eponine, I wish to take you. Do you wish that as well?"

"Yes," she moaned, rearing her head back as he licked gently at her neck. Her vocalizations were encouragement enough, it seemed, because he moved lower on her body, nibbling at her collarbone.

She couldn't seem to unbutton her shirt, and she whined in protest; he covered her mouth with a demanding kiss and relieved her of her shirt faster than she could have taken it off. His lower lip fit snugly between her teeth as she silently thanked him, ever so gently tugging him. He growled at her, his fingers tracing warm circles on her back, and with one simple sweep up her spine, he had her throbbing.

Her back hit the soft couch cushions, and she stared up at him in awe, stroking his back with reverence, as if he were a god from mythology taking a mortal mate.

"I know you have been mistreated in the past, ashaya," he said, his tone gentle. "I promise you, I will not hurt you."

"I know," she replied. "I trust you."

His eyes flashed at her words, and he lowered his head to her collarbone, where he had been nibbling.

"Vulcan men...bite their mates...to claim possession of them...to show others that they are claimed...does this displease you?" he asked between nipping at her breastbone. He was moving tortuously slow down her body, and she stiffened as his nose brushed her breast.

"No," she gasped, closing her eyes and gripping his hair as he unlatched her bra, tossing it aside. His kiss was gentle at first, but soon it reached a higher level of lasciviousness she had not expected from him. She throbbed harder, moaning in want, and he raised himself up with his strong arms. She stroked those arms, lovingly, tenderly, but her nails dug into his wrists as he did a trick with his tongue. She felt as if electricity was coursing to her core, and she felt herself bloom in readiness.

"Yuris," she moaned, gripping his hair. "That felt..."

She was too ashamed to say it, but he did it again, and she arched her back in response to that. A third time, he teased her, and a noise escaped her throat that she had never heard before. Half gasp, half exclamation, Yuris trembled at it, and the bond was humming with desire.

Lower he crept, inching down her flesh, licking and kissing and nibbling as he went, until he was nosing at her thighs, pushing them apart.

"Mon ange, what are you-"

She had raised her head to ask him her question, but she was cut off with a soft cry when he showed her exactly what he was doing. She parted her legs wider, and he gripped her thighs, his thumb tracing circles in the most intimate of places. She thought she sounded like a whore when his tongue plunged inside her, but she couldn't help herself. Never had she imagined sensations like this before. She hadn't even considered that this was possible. Her sexual education was severely one-sided, but Yuris opened up new ways with every deft flick of his tongue.

She felt pressure building inside her, like a teapot on the verge of singing, and sing she did. She howled and writhed and gripped the sides of the couch, once he truly went to work on her, and his purrs made her sway on the edge of release.

One press of his finger, and she felt heat burn her face as the pressure rushed out of her body. She was held in the arms of pure pleasure for a minute or so, and then she was back on the couch, his dark, proud eyes boring holes into hers.

"I love you," she gasped. She repeated it, and he only smirked.

She gasped as his fingers began a sensual exploration of her insides, and she felt that pressure return quickly. It stayed longer, as he observed her, slowing when she clenched, only to quicken his pace as she began to relax. So she stayed suspended in glorious torture for the better part of forty-five minutes, though it felt like several days to her. She begged for release, and he relented, another press of his finger. Tears leaked from her eyes as she writhed in pleasure's clutches, and she howled as she felt his teeth break her flesh right above her left breast.

When she came down from it all, she started to protest the fact that he had given her two releases and had none for himself, until she noted the dark stain on his pants. He silenced her with a kiss and plunged his fingers into her again.

A third release, a fourth he coaxed from her, and he inhaled her scent and confided that he could, most likely, intoxicate himself on that aroma alone. She moaned, helpless to his whims, and she whimpered when he returned to her womanhood with his tongue. He was not teasing this time, but rough, passionate, hungry. She could only tremble.

More tears preceded her fifth release as she begged him to take her, demanded that he give her more. She wasn't sure what she wanted anymore, more of his tongue or straight on to actual relations. It all felt like heaven to her. It hardly mattered what he did to her, as long as he received pleasure from it. The dark stain on his pants had spread.

He shimmied out of them and tossed them aside, followed quickly by what looked like a loincloth. He was bare before her, and she was speechless.

Another "I love you" tumbled from her lips.

His face was flushed green, but he smirked in satisfaction as he raised himself up. Their gazes locked, and she nodded once, her gaze a silent plea. He obeyed that plea.

She was plenty slick with her own juices, and his first stroke, far from causing her pain, made her moan. The pressure was coming back again, and she welcomed it, clutching him like a lifeline as he gave her another stroke.

The day was waning into afternoon now, the shadows slowly lengthening over the floor. The fire was dead, but they did not need it, not with the heat of their passions searing their flesh. They tumbled amongst the waves together, never stopping, slowing only to prolong the moment. Again and again he plunged her into an ocean of bliss, and her death grip on his body grounded her. She confessed love for him again and again, told him he was wonderful, that he must have been an angel that fell from heaven. Never had she felt so close to another being before. Never had she been touched as if she were precious, or urged to topple amongst the waves again, because her pleasure was his pleasure, and his pleasure hers. The bond was throbbing now with their mutual desire, and as evening fell, he called a halt so they could rest, and eat.

No words needed to be spoken, only a look. He understood her silence and held her trembling body close, and she thought quietly to herself that this was the best Christmas present anyone could ask for.