Disclaimer: See Chapter 1. Thank you to everyone who reviewed this story, and I hope you enjoyed it.


Tomik awoke to the sound of his child crying, and Kiki opened one bleary eye and pushed her curls out of her face. What time is it? she asked, and he gently stroked her hair, sending her restful thoughts so she might go back to sleep. He hoped T'Kira's wailing would not disturb Terik, as the three-year-old needed at least seven hours of sleep during the night, an hour more than Vulcan children his age, but that concession to the boy's human blood was more than welcome now, with his infant daughter T'Kira sleeping at odd hours. She crawled all over the house when she wasn't sleeping, but Terik, despite his youth, had an uncanny ability to reign his sister in and guard her from most hazards in the house.

He slipped out from the covers, dressed only in a light loincloth against the heat of the dry season. T'Kira was wailing away in his office down the hall, and he raised an eyebrow at her as he slipped into the dark room. She raised her arms immediately, bouncing away against the wall of her crib, and he touched her temple to calm her. The wailing stopped, he picked her up and changed her, and then rocked her back to sleep, stroking the downy red curls on her head.

He could not help but notice the striking resemblance she bore to his Kiki. Same slender nose, same soft lips, and a shock of red curls on her head. She had delicately pointed ears and upswept eyebrows, the same as his son, and her eyes were his, blue as Earth's sky. Strangely, his son received his mother's bright green eyes, a rarity among Vulcans.

Tomik traced two fingers along T'Kira's plump cheek and left her to sleep in peace, and Kiki was awake again by the time he returned to bed.

She kissed his chest. "Have I told you lately how much I love you?" she whispered sleepily.

He smirked and sent her a pulse of devotion through their bond. "I predict T'Kira will sleep until 0600. When is the meeting with Ambassador Olusola?"

"0830," she breathed, her eyes drooping heavily. "One of her aides is sick. But we know this negotiation is going to take a while, probably all week. I'll be home late again."

He nodded, stroking his hands down her bare back; he could feel her apprehension through the bond and smiled ever so slightly in the darkness. Kiki, I will not make you have a discussion about tomorrow's plans at 0230 in the morning. That is not conducive to your health or well-being. Sleep now, ashaya...I will wake you when it is time to rise.

She did not have the energy to send him more than a smile and a sleepy pulse of love and contentment, but he did not mind. Four years of marriage with her, and he was more enamored with her now than he was when he first saw her. She had handled his fever with determination, and bore him a son almost 10 months later. And now their daughter was nearing the first anniversary of her birth, her birthday, as Kiki called it. She insisted on celebrating those days for her children, and when it was Kiki's turn for celebration, he made a week of nights as pleasurable for her as he could.

He sighed in contentment as his thoughts drifted to their shared marriage bed, to her readily roused passions and tender touch. He was blessed to have her, and Tomik knew his wife felt fortunate to have him as a husband. His katra did not lie. It never lied. This one was his, and he would cherish her until his last breath.