The chapter is going to start out with some Drama/Angst, which there will be some scattered throughout. Remember that Koval and Comfort share a bit of an age difference and they have different personalities that they have to work through, but I will balance it out with some humor and romance towards the end of the chapter. Hope you enjoy, and again; thanks for the reviews!
The following day, Koval arrived at Letant's estate bright and early, so early in fact that Comfort was still in her pajamas and just barely finishing breakfast when he was announced into the dining room, causing her to almost choke on her orange juice.
He walked in looking impeccable, and proud as always, but he had a special smile that he would allow only for his Comfort to see.
She was alone this morning as Bea was taking the children to school, and then Jan and Rosemary decided to do a double date and left early to do some shopping.
Comfort smiled as he took a seat next to her. "Well I'll be! This is an unexpected surprise! I didn't know you were gonna call on me so bright n' early!"
"I have made arrangements; we will tour three Romulan Universities this morning, two of which specialize in Viral diseases and other associated sciences. Afterwards we shall take a brief recess to consume nourishment, and afterward that, I will show you what you humans like to term as: 'a surprise.' "
Comfort raised a brow at him. "I assume yer takin' time off your busy schedule to accommodate me."
He gave a nod and a closed-lip smile. "You are worth it my future wife."
She laughed at his response and covered her face with her hands, a part of her still thinking that this is all just some crazy dream and that when she woke up; she'd be back in her house near the bayou, getting ready to go to work or school.
"I fail to see the humor, my Comfort." He replied. Everything that Letant had advised of was into account so he could not see why she was reacting this way. He was giving her everything that she wanted just now.
"I'll go with you, but in the future I would prefer if you talk to me b'fore you start makin' arrangements. You didn't even know if I had plans already."
"I am looking out for your best interest! For our best interest! And that should be our first priority!" Koval countered.
"Say I go to these schools and I reckon I don't like any one of them, then what?" She asked as she crossed her arms over her chest. She was a feisty one, that was true and certain, it was both thrilling and slightly annoying for he was going out of his way far and beyond for her, but as odd as it was; he liked that she had a mind of her own and didn't automatically give in; it made things all the more exciting since everyone gave into him without question.
"Then you would be foolish. There is no greater learning to be done than the one's accomplished at a Romulan institute."
"You forget that the institution where I did all of my learnin' was based on Earth, so your opinion is highly debatable."
Yup, she had him there, and since he couldn't really counter her statement, he went with an emotional tactic.
"So you want to leave me, is that what you are trying to tell me Comfort?"
They stayed staring at each other for long moments, and then Comfort pushed her chair back and picked up her dirty dishes. Her silence was maddening; maybe this was a bad idea after all.
"I'll go since you already made arrangements." She then turned away and began walking to the kitchen. She wasn't happy, and if he read her correctly, she was probably angry and that wouldn't do at all. He got up and walked after her.
"I really do only want what is best." He said softly as he stood so close behind her that if he leaned an inch forward, he would have bumped into her.
She turned around to face him, her expression one of confusion. "Best for who Koval? You? Why are you so fixated on marrin' me anyway? We hardly know each other, and I'm human and… less than two months ago you hated me!"
He sighed deeply. "You still have not forgiven me."
"I have!" She countered. "But I'm not a Romulan, and I have dreams and ambitions too, it's not just about what you want. All I'm sayin' is if you're going to make a decision that involves me; my opinion should matter in the decision too."
"You do not understand. I am looking out for your best interest, if this were about me I wouldn't allow for us to even be seen together in public. Before you, I would never have been seen talking to a human! Even the Praetor has come to me asking why I have been carrying on with a human. I have my own superior questioning my motives all because of you!"
He would have kept going but he saw the look on her face and knew that he might as well put his foot in his mouth.
"This just proves why we shouldn't be t'gether Koval." She looked down at his finely shined shoes as she said this. "I'm sorry that I've caused you trouble. It's obvious you have a reputation' t' uphold; truly, I wont bother you anymore." She turned around, but he spun her back to him.
"NO!" He cried and pulled her in his arms. "I will not let you go that easy!"
"You obviously need to if I'm causin' you so much trouble." She replied.
She had an idea of what was going on. This was obviously something that he had been hiding, and while the argument could be seen as an attack on her person, it was also a confession of what he's been having to deal with, and his wanting reassurance that she acknowledged the fact that he was going through some trouble due to the nature of their relationship, but at the same time; he needed to know that this ordeal didn't mean she was now going to give up her life for him. This was a choice he had made on his own, and he needed to stand up to it, not make her feel guilty about it.
The smell of her perfume reached his nostrils and he inhaled her scent deeply.
"I can't let you go. You are the most wonderful being I have ever known! I … Praetor Neral can rot in hell! I will not lose you!"
He bellowed before he pulled her in for a searing kiss. She wasn't responding to it, so he stopped to look at her. She slowly lifted her hands so that they cradled his face. She looked deeply into his eyes and tentatively brushed her lips against his before the kiss grew once more, and when he felt her tongue, it was like an electrifying pulse, shocking his entire system, ultimately leaving him weak in the knees; another reaction he had never before experienced.
Her fingers were prodding along the golden symbols embroidered on his fine tunic, and then her hand disappeared just beneath it so that she felt the warm touch of his smooth skin. She was tempted to explore further but he grabbed her wrist gently as if to stop her.
"Be careful my Comfort, I do not wish to escalate things further than what you are ready for." He whispered in her ear before nibbling on her lobe. She moved her hand away shyly and she felt him chuckle in response before kissing her lips again. A slow, yet deeply emotional act that portrayed everything that words could never say. Kissing had never really been an interest of his before but it was quickly becoming one of his favorite things where Comfort was concerned.
"I'm sorry." He whispered in her ear between kisses. "I should have taken your opinion into consideration. I will not fail to do so in the future."
"What about us being seen in public?" She whispered. "Are you sure you will not care?"
He kissed her ardently as if to give her his response.
"So... " He whispered in her ear. "Would you like to accompany me to see the Romulan Universities my Comfort? I can cancel if you prefer."
She smiled coyly. That was more like it. "Yes I'll go, just give me a few minutes to change."
She cradled his face and gave him a long and smoldering kiss before finally letting go and leaving in the direction of her guest room. Koval watched her go and sighed loudly as he leaned against the kitchen counter. "This human will be the death of me."
The first place they went to was Rateg Medical Institute where their guide was a skinny and nervous looking Romulan who had apparently never seen the chairman before in his life and was having trouble coping with the situation. His mouth opened as if trying to speak but only a series of squeaks emerged. Comfort looked awkwardly over at the Chairman but he was well poised with his chin up as always.
"If you will just guide us to the infectious disease area, we'll take it from there."
For this particular outing there were four armed guards surrounding Comfort and the Chairman as opposed to just the usual two, and she wondered if he had doubled up because this was their first official outing alone.
Their nervous host opened the first lab door with jittery fingers and motioned for them to go in. The chairman placed his hand over Comfort's shoulder, stilling her to wait. Two of the guards went into the room, did a search and came back with their nod of approval.
"I will go in first, just to make sure." He whispered to her. It suddenly dawned on Comfort that this was the reason why she had seen all the Romulan men always lead first whenever they were out in public. At first she thought it had something to do with Romulan male arrogance but it never dawned on her that it could be for safety reasons.
They went into the lab and Comfort was amazed to say the least at their state of the art equipment. At one point she took a seat at one of the stations and began looking at vials of different Romulan bacteria specimens through a microscope. Beside the table was a stack of books the students used at the institute, and once Comfort started to read through them, she didn't want to let go.
"Comfort, we still have two more establishments to visit." He reminded her.
"Yeah, just let me finish this paragraph."
"You can take the books with you if you want." He replied.
"Really?" She asked hopefully.
Koval nodded to one of his guards and he picked up the stack of books, and they were on their way, the host of the institute mumbling nervously as they left.
Oddly enough something similar occurred at the other school they went to. Their guide was not as nervous but he was obviously very intimidated by the chairman and it was then that Comfort realized just how much respect he commanded amongst the Romulan people, it was no wonder he was so use to getting his way all the time. She smirked to herself at her revelation.
By the time they were done, the back seat of the Chairman's hover car was loaded with stacks of books. Comfort hungrily poured over them as they rode over to get something to eat.
"I admire your thirst for knowledge; any one of those institutions would be extremely fortunate to have you." He said as he watched her read.
"I have t' say I'm real impressed. The first school in particular had remarkable tools and advanced equipment. I could see myself studyin' there for hours."
He gave a self-satisfied smirk at her response, surely she had now seen how practical it would be to stay living in Romulus, there would be no need for her to go back to Earth, especially after he'd show her the 'surprise'.
The restaurant that they dined at for lunch was small, and once he and Comfort walked in, the owner flipped over the "Back in 1 hour" sign and locked the door. It wasn't as fancy as the other place he had taken her to where they had met Vreenak, but once they stepped out to the back and she saw the view of the lake, she immediately preferred this restaurant better.
He explained the items on the menu to her and she ended up going with the T'kunclut dish which he said was similar to grilled fish and vegetables.
When his dish arrived however, she couldn't help but stare at his plate. It looked to be like octopus or something of that nature. She took a bite out of hers and smiled immediately. "Wow, this is very good."
"Surprised?" He asked.
"Well.. yes, a little." She replied.
"Try some of mine." He cut a piece of the octopus looking thing and picked it up with his fork to feed it to her.
Watching in awe as she opened her pink mouth and carefully tasted the food. She blinked and smiled again. "Wow, that's so tender!"
"The cook of this establishment has been preparing food for 120 years, he is very skilled at his craft."
"Here, try mine." She said as she cut a piece and also fed it to him. She had to admit that despite their differences, she was growing extremely fond of him, and then there was the kissing which was unlike anything she had ever experienced back in Louisiana with Bobby Joe Fenton. That had just been a complete mess that she never wanted to have repeated, but something had told her that it wouldn't be like that with Koval, and it wasn't; it was always indescribable. She wondered about how other things would be with him too as she looked at him from across the table. He looked up having noted that he was being observed, and she broke her intense stare with a slight jump, and a deep blush. This did not go unnoticed but he decided not to say anything about it at present. Maybe Letant was right, maybe if he were fortunate enough, he'd have her as his wife in four months as well, or less.
"You finished already." He stated in surprise.
"Yeah, it was good." She replied.
"Are you still hungry?"
She shrugged. "I could eat more."
"Good, they have wonderful desserts here."
And that they did. They ordered four, three of which the chairman insisted she had to try. One was almost exactly like a strawberry shortcake, the other had a very deep purple color and seemed to be oozing green sauce, it didn't look appetizing at all but it turned out the be the best tasting one out of the four and she ended up eating the entire thing.
They finished with a hot cup of tea which tasted a lot like peppermint, over all this had been the best Romulan meal she had had since she arrived.
Koval exchanged a few words with the owner of the establishment and then they were off once again. Maybe it was the delicious food, or the breath taking views of the neighborhood which they were passing, but Comfort decided to be bold and scoot over very close to the chairman while they were in the car. She tried to do this discreetly, pretending to be observing something out his side window. Her fingers brushed up against his hand in the process, and she said something or other about the pleasant views, but was cut short when the chairman silenced her with a deep kiss. The guards seated across from them gave each other a shove, and rolled their eyes before going back to pretending they were nothing but flies on the wall. One of them would stare curiously every now and then, especially when their kissing became intense but then the hover car came to a stop, and they got out first.
It took a few moments for the chairman to compose himself. When he got out of the car, his hair was disheveled and his lips were swollen as was the case with Comfort as well. She looked around at the small, but cute looking two story house.
"Koval, where are we?"
Two of the guards had already gone inside to do a thorough search. "If you do decide to stay here on Romulus, you and your family will need a place to live. As kind and attentive as Letant and his wife are, they too value their alone time."
"Koval...I can't... This is too much."
"Before you say what you can and can't do, at least let us take a look inside." He raised a brow and led the way inside to what hopefully would be her new home... at least until they were married.