STAR TREK-Deep Space Nine


Okay Folks... here it is... hope you like it. Be gentle and honest.
We want to thank Animasola for beta-reading for us. She did it very fast and she was honest. And she liked it!
Its great to work with another writer knowing that the parts you are working on separately with just flow together once they are in place... that is the way it is with Salatrel. The best Rihansu a Vulcan could ask for...

Just a note for those that like to know...
The Klingon Wedding Vows were originally used in the DS9 episode "You Are Cordially Invited" and...
The Klingon Tea Ceremony originally happened in the TNG episode "Up The Long Ladder" and...
Any Klingon words and phrases were the awkward creation of mine using the Klingon Dictionary. Appologies in advance if I did not to this properly.

Gayle and Salatrel...


SUMMARY: The adventures continue as Worf and Nevasa, his Vulcan mate, adjust to living together and discovering Klingon culture.

DISCLAIMER: The Powers that Be own the rights... we just have all the fun. Nevasa is an original character by Gayle Rochefort-Potts.

"To Conquer That Which Is Desired..."
By Gayle Rochefort-Potts
and Salatrel

(c)April 2000

Adjusting to their new life together... was not easy, interesting, but not easy. Each had to make concessions, and some were easier and simpler than others. It was necessary to decide upon separate eating times or suitable places for at least one live meal a day. Gagh and Vulcans do not mix, and a Klingon can take only so much rice, fruit and vegetables. There were sleeping patterns still being dealt with. Klingons dealt with roughly a 24-hour day, but Vulcans managed on much less sleep and far more working hours. Temperature had not become an issue, but only because there were warmer clothes available for Nevasa to compensate with. After three weeks of being together, and bonded, nerves were becoming frazzled.

Commander Worf stepped into the temporary lodgings they shared here on the Klingon home world. Inhaling the burning incense, he softly growled in disgust as the odor hit him. He sighed, quietly. He hated that detestable smell. This was the same one she had used for the past week, and he did not like it. He was uncertain how to tell her.

Nevasa stepped out from the back room. She sensed he was not pleased, but about what she was uncertain. He had kept to himself more and more these last few days. "You have accomplished what you set out to do?" Nevasa inquired without preamble. She did not move too closely; her nose wrinkled slightly as she picked up the scent of blood and raw meat off his clothing.

Worf nodded. "Yes. The paperwork for the house has been finalized. We can move in anytime now."

"Have you seen it?" Nevasa moved to pour the tea that had been brewing.

"Yes, I have, but only the outside."

"Do you wish tea or bloodwine?"

"I will have bloodwine." He felt as if he should have preferred tea. He watched as she poured the deep red liquid into the large glass. He removed his cloak and dropped it onto the nearby chair. He accepted the glass then reached to her chin. He was going to kiss her but her eyes lowered. He sipped on the wine then released his hold. "And your day?"

"It was as I planned." She wore the heavyweight meditation robes she had fashioned for her stay on Qo'noS. "Five pages of my novel have been completed and I feel most refreshed after a few hours of meditations."

Worf growled softly.

"There is a problem?" This time she felt it.

Worf looked into the dark liquid, and then to his mate's eyes. "The incense." He could not hold back any longer, his stomach was beginning to complain. "It makes me feel ill."

Nevasa bowed her head slightly. "You should have informed me of this before. I will purchase a different combination tomorrow." She put her cup down then started into the other room.

"Where are you going?" Worf sat in the Federation standard chair, tapping the space beside him. "Come sit."

"I will light a candle to clear the offending scent." She disappeared before any more could be said. Silently, she hoped he would finish his wine and have a shower then put on fresher smelling clothing.

Worf sighed audibly. He leaned back in the chair and stretched his legs out in front of him. Dealing with the bureaucracy of owning a home was more nerve wracking than a full-scale battle. He held his head up, his elbow resting on the arm of the chair. He had forgotten totally about this project. When Alexander was old enough, it was planned that he returned to a private school on the Klingon Homeworld to learn what it was like to live as a Klingon. Worf had arranged for this house to be built with the intent that Alexander, his family, and Worf, with Jadzia, would be living there. Receiving word of the completion of the house came along with Alexander's request that his father be present when he was promoted. Traveling here was not a problem. It is just that Worf had not expected to be doing all of this without Jadzia... nor with another mate.

"You are tired?" Nevasa went over to her tea and sat down in the armchair facing Worf.

"I am worn out from dealing with the 'red-tape' of owning property. I had no idea that Klingons were just as insistent as Humans to duplicating forms." He smiled. The fatigue was beginning to leave him as he sat here attempting to enjoy her company from across the room. "The ceremony for Alexander's promotion is in two days."

"Are there any special preparations to be made?" She was stretching for conversation. She realized that she would have to clean the chair where his cloak lay and the chair where he sat of the offending odors. Why could he not hang his cloak up?

"You will need Klingon-styled clothing." He had felt closed off from her for the past few days, and it was unnerving. He drank down the bloodwine then placed the glass down. He yawned suddenly.

"You require rest." Nevasa stated. She had noted that Worf had tried to remain awake with her.

"I will sleep later." Worf had missed her company in their bed and had decided he would try to adjust his sleep periods to more closely resemble hers. It was close to impossible. He could not remain awake for days, as she did. She was writing, preparing food, reading or meditating. Occasionally, she would go out for walks and make use of the exercise area that was in the hotel.

Nevasa bowed her head in acceptance of his statement. "Would it not be more logical to sleep if you are tired?"

"Yes, but I want to be with you." Worf yawned again. "I believe a shower would help. Come with me."

"I had my shower earlier in the day. I do not require another."

Worf stood and nodded. He drew in a deep breath and reminded himself that she was Vulcan. "I gather you will not be sleeping with me either." His annoyance was beginning to creep into his voice.

Nevasa lifted an eyebrow. "You are inferring something other than what you are saying." She could feel the change in him. The last few days had become increasingly difficult. She was to meet Alexander the next day and she had concerns of her own. She had found herself increasing her shields as Worf closed his eyes and sighed audibly.

"Why do you not simply read my thoughts and this would be over with." Worf looked to her as his voice took on a challenging tone.

"It is not that simple." Nevasa paused before continuing, "You are angry?"

"You tell me." Worf folded his arms across his chest. There was a part of him that knew this would not gain the mutual emotional release that he needed.

"If I knew, I would not have asked the question, loDnal'wIl," a gentle reminder to them both that there was a connection between them.

Worf dropped his arms, groaned and then allowed it to build to a full growl. "I am angry."

"For what reason?" Nevasa was most concerned with her bondmate's mental state. She would have moved closer to him but she was aware he had stopped at an eatery. The smell of gagh and blood that surrounded him was overwhelming. She also knew that he was oblivious to it. The incense she burned at least would cut through the lingering smell in the quarters.

"The incense. I do not feel well when you burn it."

Nevasa tilted her head. "I burn that variety to clean the air of the smell of the gagh and blood that you bring with you when you stop to eat."

"You do not sleep with me at night." Worf looked to his mate. "I am more interested in sexual activities than you are."

"Your thoughts, when I can read them, are continually on the subject." Nevasa stated, somewhat uncertain of what to do. She ran her fingertips along her forehead. "Our needs are not the same."

Worf glared at her, "Are you implying that I will have to wait seven years?" He growled again then stated plainly, "I do not believe I am willing to do that, Nevasa."

Nevasa was at a loss. "No, that is not what it means." She sighed, the first outward sign of her frustration.

"Then what does it mean?" Worf looked to the ceiling then back to Nevasa. He waved her aside as he walked passed her and out of the room. "I do not wish to discuss this. I do not want to smell the incense. I wish to eat here... in my home. However temporary it may be." He was speaking from the other room as he undressed.

Nevasa sat down in the chair with a sigh. From the sounds of things, he was tossing every piece of his clothing all over the room. "A temper tantrum." She stated in a quiet voice.

Worf stomped to the doorway; he was dressed in just the tight fitting pants of his Klingon uniform. "*I* do not have temper tantrums. I am angry. I am frustrated. I can not eat in my home. I come in and smell this incense that makes me ill. My mate will not sleep in the same bed... more often not sleeping at all."

"I will find alternate housing." Nevasa had assumed this would be the way to solve the differences.

"No, you will not." Worf stated firmly.

"It is the way that most Vulcan bondings are dealt with." Nevasa stated calmly.

Worf walked right up to her, looming over her. "That is not the way of a Klingon mating."

"I am Vulcan," she looked up meeting his angry eyes.

"And I... am Klingon." He held her jaw firmly in his hand. She stood. He debated taking her; it was his right, his privilege as her mate. Oh, what those dark eyes of hers would do to him.

Nevasa placed her palm on his bare chest. She recalled the weeks of uncertainty and the time she had spent wrapped in his arms. Since arriving here, she had spent more time meditating. She had taught him how to shield his thoughts from her and he did so at all times. She did not know how he felt or what he wanted any longer. This was the purpose of the bonding; this is what would help her deal with his differences and his sexual appetite.

Worf noted her breathing had deepened. His jaw was clenched and his breathing had deepened in anger. He reached to her hand then held it tightly in his hand, lifted it to his mouth and kissed it.

"You do not lower your shields. I do not know." Nevasa stated as she watched him lift her hand to his mouth again.

"I did not know I was supposed to." He brushed his lips along her hand. "I will remember to change when I arrive home. I will set the air-cycler in our home to a higher setting and it will clean the stench of my meals from the air." He smiled slightly.

"I will meditate separately during one night period and remain with you otherwise... whether I sleep or not."

He smiled then spoke in a deeper tone, "You will not be sleeping."

Nevasa lowered her eyes, feeling her face warm. She looked back up to him, "We shall see."

"After I have my shower, we will talk." Worf kissed her passionately.

Nevasa drew in a calming breath as they parted. There was so much they needed to learn about each other. "You wish more wine?"

"It would be enjoyable." Worf kissed her again, this time gently. "When am I to lower this shielding?"

"When we are alone. If it is your desire." She stepped back from him. "If it is something that is not desired on my part, I will inform you." She had found herself wishing for far more physical contact than she had expected to. She had even stood by the bed, while he slept, wondering if he would have objected if she had joined him. His shielding was such that she could not read him without touching him. She had not wanted to disturb his sleep, so she would leave him alone and meditate.


The Klingon had come out of the shower, wrapped in his robe, and sat cross-legged on the bed with his mate. They talked for a long time, settling matters. Fingertips touching or caressing a hand or along an arm helped to determine how each of them dealt with the other. He talked about the house he had not spoken of before now, other than he had to settle the ownership of it. He described to her how big it was, the general floor plan and how the rooms had been planned out.

Worf had finished his bloodwine and had placed the glass on the side table. He stretched out and closed his eyes. He was definitely tired and the day had worn his patience thin. Tomorrow would be the day they could move into the house officially, and in a month or so Worf would need to return to DS9.

He felt movement on the bed. He looked to Nevasa, as she was moving off the bed. "And where are you going?" He asked as he opened one eye.

"You require rest." She had been feeling his growing fatigue as the conversation went along. As matters were settled, he relaxed. The fatigue was evident in his eyes and even in his speech.

Worf sat up reaching for her hand. "I wish you to remain." He pulled her to sit back on the bed.

"I was uncertain." She reached to caress his face. "You have not lowered your shielding nor have you given me..."

Worf pulled her into a kiss, wrapping his arms around her as he laid back taking her with him. He held her face then studied it for a moment. "Is this enough of a hint?"

"Sufficient for the present." She smiled slightly. She felt his thoughts as the barriers between them were lowered. She felt her entire body warm.

That deep mellow voice rumbled in his chest as he murmured, "You Vulcan have no idea of these matters? No idea how deeply desired you are." "It does not occur to me that this..." and her finger drew over his full dark lips, "might be your need. Or that this need requires fulfillment. For Vulcans..." Worf bared his teeth and she ceased her quiet speech. His fingers pulled at the shoulder ties that held her robes and at the second set of ties, the robe slipped down.

Worf kissed her neck worked his way down one shoulder then along the swells of her breast where the fabric of her robe rested. He growled softly as he brushed the fabric out of his way. He pressed her back onto the bed, his lips brushed her breast; his mouth took in as much as was possible. He was not one to waste time.

Her hands clenched in his hair. She moaned softly as he suckled her. Her body shivered then relaxed as she felt his pleasure in this activity. She slipped her arm out of the sleeve of her robe. She unfastened his robe and opened it as far as she could. His hand continued to caress her skin that had been bared as his mouth continued to tease. She preferred the slow lovemaking but knew that he preferred the more intense and fierce approach. She did not govern his passions. She was capable of physically handling the Klingon's standard preferences in coupling and Worf's were somewhere in the middle of both.

He lifted his mouth from her breast then marked her skin. He heard her sharp intake of breath as he continued to taste her skin. He moved towards her mouth then claimed her. He reached for her hand, bringing it to his temple. "Join us."

Nevasa lifted her hands to his temples.

"You will teach me this soon."

"If you wish." Nevasa felt the remainder of her robe slipped off her body, and then Worf settled beside her. He replaced her hands against his face. "You are prepared now, My Klingon?"

"I am always prepared for you to invade my mind." Worf nuzzled her neck. His body was already prepared to take her but he was quite willing to wait. He had learned patience along the way. He felt the slow fire thread its way into his thoughts and then the teasing at his nerve endings. He moaned her name then placed his fingers against her face. "I want to learn this," he whispered as he moved his robe out of the way then moved to cover her.

[It will take a great deal of time, My Passion,] her thoughts caressed his; her hands moved to slip his robe off him. She continued to caress his back, as he occupied her with kisses. She brushed her lips against his shoulder; he whispered his approval of her actions as her teeth bit into him. She shivered at his growl.

Worf slipped into her body slowly. She was totally prepared for him. He began the slow rhythm, moving in and out of her warm body. He growled as her hands pulled him tighter to her. He pushed in deeper and was rewarded with her moan of pleasure. He felt her thoughts flowing in, engulfing his mind; it seemed as if his thoughts were lost to her every time and he did not care. He gave himself with total abandon and pleasure.

Nevasa held her breath then slowly released it as she felt herself filled with this Klingon. Nothing had prepared her for how this felt and it was welcomed more each time. She moved into his thoughts; he had a natural ability for this. He had not realized yet that he would slip into her thoughts once she opened the link. That was all he had to learn, to open the link and not to be so... stubborn. She moaned his name as his body released into hers. So warm and so satisfying. She felt so complete with him this way.

Worf growled with his release then pulled her close to him. He sighed as his body relaxed. He brushed back her hair then rolled over with her still in his arms. To a Vulcan, this sensory experience always bordered on the edge of heresy. Nevasa only allowed this much emotion to be elicited from her being, her heart, and her mind. Her mate reached to her wet sex seeking her release but she grasped his hand instead and whispered that this was enough sharing for tonight. He kissed her gently. "Now tell me why is this not desired?"

Nevasa smiled, "At the moment I can think of no other activity that I would care for." She gently bit is neck, not even marking the skin. She felt the vibration of his growl.

Worf reached for the covers, insisting that she stay put. He pulled them up then lay back with a sigh. "Now I can sleep."

"Good." Nevasa brushed her lips against his, and then laid her head on his shoulder. She knew he would not permit her to move until he was asleep. She was content being here with his arms wrapped tightly around her.

Morning would be here soon enough and then the real trial would begin, meeting Alexander and moving into a house together.


The large stone house was, to say the least, of an interesting design. Worf had given the architect a certain amount of discretion on the outside design and it was a Klingon styling.

Worf and Nevasa stood in the center of the main room, both investigating the room in their own way.

Nevasa looked up to the tall ceiling and then to the series of tall but narrow windows. She had been surprised at the actual size of the house.

Worf began to examine the workmanship on the fireplace and then the walls. He, too, had been surprised at how big the house really was. He had envisioned something smaller. Then again, he had become accustomed to living on starships and space stations; anything would be smaller compared to that.

"What do you think?" He voice boomed in the empty room. He smiled as he turned to face her, and lowered his voice. "We need furniture in here." It still echoed.

"I have not yet formed an opinion." She moved towards one of the doors, and then gestured towards it, "May I?"

Worf nodded once, "This is your home as well, be'nal'WI." He turned to follow her. If he remembered correctly, this hallway led to a room that functioned as a library and office. Passed that was a sitting room and a spiral stairway that led to a very large master bedroom.

Off the opposite way from the central room was a small hallway that led to the kitchen, a series of other rooms that would serve as guestrooms, sitting rooms or whatever they chose to use them for. Another staircase led from the kitchen down to a room that had been fashioned for working out. From the series of rooms a staircase led down to a storage room or up to a large single room, its actual use had not been determined.

Nevasa entered the room at the top of the stairs first. As the low lighting came on automatically, she noted the single piece of furniture then turned to Worf. "You insured that a bed, and nothing else, was in the house."

Worf shrugged, "One must have priorities." He leaned on the framework then waited as she entered the room. He had arranged a small surprise for her.

Nevasa walked around the large bed. It rested upon a raised dais in the center of this grand, sun-lit room. She ran her hand along the thick silk covering that draped onto the platform. She looked to Worf, "Your choice?"

He bowed his head.

Nevasa noted a large alcove. When she approached it, she noted the meditation stone and the Vulcan firepot in the corner. She looked to him, "I am honoured." Her head bowed slightly. "You were doing more than merely paperwork yesterday."

"I regret that I could not do more." Worf straightened then walk to her side. "Does this meet with your approval?" He motioned towards the bed.

"It meets yours." Nevasa stated with a slight Vulcanesque smile: a quirked of her brow and a wry lilt of her lip. "It will serve, I have no doubt of that."

Worf ran his fingers down her arm then took her hand and pulled her to him. He bent his head and kissed her firmly on her mouth. She pulled her fingers from his hand then wrapped her arms around his neck. He wrapped his arms around her waist then pulled her closer, lifting her off the floor. He took a step towards the bed, allowing her to stand on the platform. He met her eyes and asked her in a whisper if she would care to insure the fact that the bed would serve adequately.

Nevasa kissed his mouth then his neck. She felt the low growl in the back of his throat as his arms tightened around her. She was about to answer when another voice was heard.

"Father!" came the voice from downstairs.

Worf held his breath then released it slowly. "He is early." He moaned then lifted his head from his preferred activity. He turned to call towards the doorway, "I will be down in a moment, Alexander."

Nevasa watched as his face changed, the hunger disappearing from his eyes. He brushed her lips with his fingers. He sighed then asked her if she was ready to meet Alexander.

"As much as I ever will be."

Worf grinned. "He is just as nervous as you are."

She raised her eyebrow. "No doubt."


Alexander was checking out the house, heading down the opposite hallway than his father had. He had inspected all the rooms and had picked the largest one for himself. He would remain here in residence when his father returned to the Federation. He was pleased that he would not have to stay in the block housing any longer. To be in a home on his own would assure him a certain measure of regard with the other cadets and with one cadet in particular. He was heading back to the common room just as his father and his father's mate entered the room as well.

"Father. I am pleased that you could come." Alexander had for the most part found his own way and had come to an understanding of his father as well. He had a great deal of news for his father and was anxious to share it all, but he promised himself it would keep.

"I was pleased as well." Worf looked to his son that was almost as tall as he and beginning to fill out. "Alexander, this is my mate, Nevasa."

Alexander bowed his head. "The House of Martok welcomes you." He sighed to himself. Why did his father not find a Klingon mate? Why were his 'love interests' always of a different species? He had no objections, just a curiosity. One day he would ask when he had the courage to ask such a question of his father.

Nevasa bowed her head. "I am honoured." She could sense a tension from Alexander, which under the circumstances was totally understandable.

Alexander cleared his throat, "I saw to the items from storage this morning. The few pieces of furniture should be delivered soon, as well as the items from my residence."

Worf nodded, "You have chosen a room?"

"Yes, third one down on the right. The largest, unless you had a specific use for the room?"

"No." Worf looked around again. "You did not wish the large room upstairs?"

"I assumed you wished the privacy." Alexander glanced briefly in Nevasa's direction, she had already moved off to discover things on her own. "I can use that room when you are working with the Federation." He stepped towards his father. "I spoke to a member of the Batlh ghoD crew. He hinted that your mating was an interesting event."

Worf growled. "He should not be speaking publicly of such matters." He watched Alexander's eyes; they were bright with a curiosity. Worf leaned closer to him, "We will talk of such matters at another time."

Alexander nodded. "Martok and his wife will be present at my promotion. He asked if you would be in attendance. At the time I was unaware that you would not be arriving on your own."

Worf reached up and tapped his son's head. "And you have not informed him of the change?" He grinned at the look on Alexander's face. Worf shook his head. "You will join us for a meal?"

Alexander nodded. He decided to tease his father a little more. "Can she cook?"

Worf laughed, "She can cook. It is that you do not appreciate a good meal." He wrapped one arm around his son. "Have you found someone that will tolerate your habits?"

Alexander smiled, "Maybe."

"loDnal." Nevasa called to Worf as she re-emerged into the room. "If we could purchase the necessary ingredients, I could prepare our meal."

"You will be cooking enough." He looked to Alexander. "Today we eat out. Tomorrow, we can buy whatever is required."


The remaining items were delivered while they were out having their mid-meal. They had managed to find an acceptable eatery that catered to other species and it was not too far from the house.

Worf stepped into the common room, "Now this resembles a room." Carpets had been placed and furniture had been set in place. He ran his hand over the simulated leather of the Klingon style chair. He looked to Nevasa with a slight grin. "You wish to try this?"

Nevasa studied it. It was obvious that the curved padded area was a seat, but the rest of it seemed to be tubes that grew from it, came down, and then curved back up, and some were padded at the ends. "It is a chair." She stated somewhat confidently. She slipped between the framework and Worf lifted her onto the seat. She could lean back, but her feet could not reach the rests nor were her arms long enough to reach the cushioned armrests.

Worf grinned.

Alexander chuckled.

Then they both laughed. Though she was obviously a full-grown Vulcan, here in this seat... she looked like a Klingon elfin fairy child.

Nevasa understood the humor; she smiled then waited patiently for Worf to help her down.

Alexander wiped his eyes, "Perhaps on your lap, Father."

"If she were to sit on my lap, it would not be with you around." Worf stated with a slight grin, then reached to Nevasa, who was the only one not laughing out loud, but her eyes twinkled with merriment never the less. Her Klingon helped her out of the chair.


Alexander was the first to see the stack of boxes in the storage room. He looked to his father, "Just how much did you pack?"

"Almost anything of value." Worf began to examine the markings on the outside of the boxes. "When the Dominion began the war, many of us packed up the items we could not or did not wish to replace and sent them home." Worf lifted down one box then tapped the seal, the box hummed, the top split and the sides slide open. He lifted out a holopic then looked to Alexander with a grin. "You see, priceless."

Alexander looked to the holopic of a small boy. "You?" He took the framed scene from his father and sat cross-legged on the floor. "About four?" His father nodded. "Then you were still on Qo'noS?"

"Yes." Worf sat beside his son then pointed to the adults in the picture. "My birth mother and father. The other woman, my nursemaid, took care of me when my mother was busy." Worf smiled slightly then reached into the box for another holopic. "My first day of school on Earth, after my parents were killed. This was a most difficult day." He sighed, "It was so difficult for Mother and Father to deal with the fact that I wasn't accepted all the time." He recalled that day with a great deal of clarity. Being called 'Turtlehead' was the least of his worries, but the Rozhenko's made him feel that it was the others that were being left out of his friendship.

Alexander pulled another one out, "This was on the Enterprise, not long after I came to stay." He remembered the day the holopic was taken. Counselor Troi had insisted on it and at the time, he was not pleased. From the look on his father's face, he was not pleased either.

"If you had frowned any more, I would have imagined that you would have grown another ridge." Worf smiled at Alexander when he nodded in agreement.

Both turned when Nevasa came down the stairs. "You do not appear to be working?"

"Reminiscing." Worf passed the holopic of Alexander up to her. "He was not happy."

"It appears neither were you." She had never really questioned him about his past. What was past did not have any relevance in the present; at least that is what Vulcans were taught. She handed the framed picture back.

"No I was not. I had just become accustomed to the idea of having a son, and I was not prepared in the least to function as a father." Worf stood then replaced the items in the box. "Sorting this will take more time than I had thought."

Nevasa closed the case then picked it up, "You wish this one in the common room?"

Worf nodded. He began to tackle the remaining ones while Alexander saw to his collection. The steady stream of cases continued up the stairs and in no time they were left with only the larger ones.

Nevasa had gone to prepare some tea and a snack. They had picked up some food on the way back from mid-meal. There was much to learn about this culture and her place in it. There had been some discussion about what Nevasa should be wearing to the ceremony the following day and it was decided that she could and should wear a female warrior's garb. Her response had been to raise an eyebrow, then after a few moments, quietly agreed to the suggestion.

She carried the tray down into the storage room. "Come, the tea is prepared." She poured out the three cups then picked up a sliver of cheese for herself. She was beginning to feel as if she had a place in all of this. She had even considered collecting her things from Vulcan to bring here. No doubt, Sashek, her former mate, had placed her personal possessions in storage.

Worf moved the case over to the side, preparing to go through yet another large box when Nevasa came down. He left the case for the present and went over to enjoy the tea and the food. He was getting hungry. He smiled at Nevasa; no doubt, the link between them had alerted her to his growling stomach.

The cases were used as makeshift chairs and tables for the present. One item remained to be purchased: a dining table. They had planned to do that later in the week, after the ceremony.

Conversation seemed to be restricted to food and what else was needed for the house. Worf offered Nevasa a taste of the dried meat along with a reminder that she would need to eat some for the nutrients. She did not agree but tasted it and agreed that it was palatable.

Alexander was the one that cleaned up the dishes and brought them upstairs. He sensed that his father wished a few moments alone with Nevasa. Besides, he had promised to make a call to someone.

Worf watched his son as he disappeared up the stairs then turned his attention to Nevasa. He leaned forward and kissed her. "How are you finding this place?"

"I am finding it is comfortable." Nevasa moved closer to Worf. "So you wish me to wear warrior's clothing. Why is this?" She had felt his ripple of mental pleasure when she had agreed to it.

"Because I believe that is appropriate." Worf met her eyes as she moved closer.

Nevasa knelt facing him, resting back on her heels. "No other reason?" Her fingers traced his facial features as she studied his eyes.

"No other reason." Worf stated softly.

"You are lying, My Klingon." She spoke softly and placed her fingers at his temples. "The images that you have associated with this outfit have nothing to do with correctness."

Worf smiled. "Perhaps I need to see you in the outfit and then it would bring sensibilities to my... vision." He reached to lightly trace her ears then along her jaw. He held her jaw, then pulled her to him into a passionate kiss.

Nevasa was aware where Worf wished all of this to lead. She placed her hand on his chest and gently pushed him away. "If you do not finish down here, we will never have time to shop for this outfit. And I will not have appropriate clothing for this ceremony."

Worf drew in a breath then let it out all at once. "You are correct, as always." He stood and reached to her hand, pulling her to stand then wrapped his arm around her. He brought her hand up to his lips; his teeth gently scraped the inside of her wrist. He held her, sharing with her his pleasure with her and his honour at her being at his side tomorrow. "An hour. And then we can leave to find warrior's clothing for a Vulcan."

Nevasa slipped from his arms and then headed up the stairs with the tray. She began the clean up. She heard movements from Alexander's room as he began to sort things out as well. This seemed to be a perfectly normal activity and yet she had never functioned within a household with a family. She paused at this thought. She looked around the room and realized how 'at home' she felt here. With the dishes and leftover food put away, Nevasa headed up to the bedroom to meditate for a time.


Worf pulled out the larger case. He broke the seal as he sat down on the floor. He sighed, relieved it was the last box and if the others were any indication, this one would be placed in storage as well.

He opened the top lid and was overwhelmed with an almost forgotten scent. "Jadzia," he whispered. He looked to the stairs as he pulled his shielding into place. He drew in a breath, released it slowly then reached into the case. The first item he drew out was the red gown that Jadzia wore at their wedding. He found the small hand-carved box that she kept all her favourite jewelry in, not much. It was a collection that she treasured.

He felt his chest tighten as all the pain came back to him from the day she had died. All the dreams for his future had vanished for him that day. He did not know if he should continue or just replace the items and close the lid.

He drew in another deep breath. He turned as he heard Alexander's heavy steps coming down the staircase.

Alexander stopped. He had this feeling that he was intruding; maybe it was something in his father's face. He was not sure. "If you want to finish here, I can take..." he wasn't sure what to call her, "Nevasa to the clothiers."

Worf nodded, his words stuck in his throat. He cleared his throat, "I can meet you there."

Alexander nodded. It almost seemed as if his father was in pain. "Everything alright, Father?"

Worf looked to the case, he wanted to say no and yes in the same breath. He looked back to his son. "Yes. I will join you in a bit."

"Fine." Alexander paused as he headed up the stairs, his father would not have known where the store was. "It is over three streets and up one. You can't miss it. It is called 'The Warrior's Closet'." Alexander waited for a moment before he continued up the stairs. He met up with Nevasa in the common room. He noted an odd expression on her face. "Father wants to finish down there. He said he would meet us at the clothiers." He was not sure if he was asking or telling her.

Nevasa bowed her head then headed for the closet that held her cape.

"It is warm out." Alexander offered. He wore a loose fitting top, and lightweight pants.

"It is never warm enough for a Vulcan." She stated softly. She felt a little off-balance. Worf had snapped his shielding into place and she was heading down to check on him when Alexander told her of the plans.

She wrapped the cloak around her; she could not ignore the feeling any longer. "Your father is functional?"

Alexander grinned at the wording. "Yes. I think he just wants time to himself." He started down the walkway as she closed the door. "He was going through the last case."

Nevasa nodded. "Items that belonged to Jadzia." Worf had not closed the shielding fast enough. She sensed his surprise at how much he missed Jadzia. Nevasa was not surprised; she had felt this before from him and accepted this as a part of him. "It is kaiidth."

Alexander walked beside her, "Kaiidth?"

Nevasa smiled. "Kaiidth. What is, is." She walked along with the young Klingon warrior. "What has happened can not be changed."

Alexander nodded. "Makes sense."


Worf closed the case and then lifted it onto the storage shelf. He felt drained and a little lost. He felt guilty for having neglected his duty to Nevasa. He sighed again then looked to his timepiece. "I am late." He thought that in the time that passed, they would have had enough time to choose and purchase her outfit and would most likely be on their way back to the house.

He looked around the room, surprised that the space was now clear. He headed for the stairs and began to think of a few ways to make it up to Nevasa and Alexander. He headed out the door and down the walkway then towards the clothiers.

He had walked only a few blocks when he spotted them coming out of the market. Alexander was carrying a great deal of packages. He caught up with them and began to take some bags from his son.

"You bought out the store?" He walked beside Nevasa; he sensed her understanding with everything. He peeked into the top bag, "Fish?"

"Yes, I talked her into trying it." Alexander stated proudly. "And we found her outfit for ceremonies."

Worf laughed. "Good. I can not wait to see you in it."

"Then you will have to wait until tomorrow." Nevasa stated with a teasing note in her voice.

Once in the house the bags were unpacked. Nevasa took her outfit upstairs and out of the way.

Alexander folded the bag as he watched his father put the last of the food into the cooling unit. "You are feeling better?"

Worf nodded. "I am honoured that you helped her with her needs."

Alexander smiled, "She is interesting. Quiet." He thought a moment, "And surprising."

"Yes, that she is." Worf leaned against the counter.

"You have not known each other long." Alexander had made it sound somewhere between a question and a statement. There was much that he had to learn about his father, and now his father had a mate. Worf did not answer. "She does not wear a ring?"

"We did not have time. Vulcan laws bond us. That is sufficient for the present." Worf was unsure what to do next.

Nevasa appeared and began to prepare last meal.


Worf stepped from the shower, dried off then pulled on his robe. He had not been able to shake the feeling of loss since discovering the case with Jadzia's things.

He moved into the bedroom, uncertain if Nevasa would be sleeping tonight or not. He watched the shadows of her movements cast on the wall. The fire-pot was just bright enough that when she stood in front of it, she would cast a shadow on the wall. He rested one knee on the bed as he watched the series of reflected movements to her nightly exercise routine, ke-tarya.

Nevasa finished preparations for her sleep cycle. She had planned to be with Worf tonight. He was, now, preoccupied with his unexpected discovery. She sensed his longing for Jadzia. She stepped from the alcove; Worf had not moved. He had not lowered his shields either and she had not forced the issue. There were some matters that she did not know how to deal with; conflict was one. Vulcan relationships did not have emotional conflict.

She slipped into bed then cleared her throat softly, "Are you getting into the bed or remaining in that position for the night?"

Worf looked down at her, "Getting into bed." He finally moved, slipped off his robe then slipped under the covers.

Nevasa was surprised to say the least when Worf turned away from her, mumbled a sleep well and nothing more. She moved closer to him; her hand caressed his arm. "You are shielding."

Worf closed his eyes, he had no real reason for hiding this from her but there was a part of him that did not want to share this with her. "Just a little while longer. By tomorrow everything will be well."

"As you wish." Nevasa ran her hand down his arm and slipped her hand into his. She was careful in placing her hand in his, careful that she would not initiate a mental joining. The back of her hand nestled in his palm, nothing more.

"That is it?" Worf's guilt was playing on his thoughts. He would not have let it go so easily if the situation were reversed. Some part of him was hurt that she was being so understanding. It was almost as if she did not care.

"I do not understand." Nevasa sat up, moved onto her knees and faced Worf. "Do you not wish to sleep? I assume you wished time to deal with your thoughts as they pertain to Jadzia Dax."

Worf turned onto his back and looked at his mate. "Something like that." She was right.

"You do not wish to interact with me for the time being." She thought about it for a moment, "That is understandable and acceptable. What more do you expect?"

"You are not angry?" Worf sat up. He was prepared to argue, and in that heated exchange expected to burn away some of this guilt and hurt.

"No. I have no cause to be." She moved her braid back over her shoulder. "Why do you expect me to be?"

Worf stared at her calm face, dark eyes and sighed. "I do not know." He stretched out again; pulling the covers up he rested his arms on the covers. "I only know I would be."

Nevasa stretched out beside him. Worf pulled her close to him wrapping an arm around her.

"I had forgotten about all the things we had in storage." He paused. "I should have been with you, not Alexander."

"It gave us time to learn of one another." Nevasa felt his body relaxing; this was a good sign. "He is pleased you are here for the ceremony." She caressed his face. "I do not wish to intrude on your memories, just feel the sense of you being there."

Worf had to admit to himself that he had missed the calming influence of her Vulcan controls on his strong emotions. He closed his eyes and lowered the shields. He felt a flood of concern for him, none of which had been noticeable today in the least. He pulled her closer to him, "I had planned on quite a different time together."

Nevasa nuzzled his neck, gently biting his chin. "There will be enough time tomorrow night. Go to sleep, T'hy'la."


Nevasa was putting the finishing touches on her hair. Small rows of braids from her hairline back, then she would leave the back loose. For now, it was being braided into a single braid making it easier to finish dressing. She fastened the bottom of her hair with a tie. She had slipped on the bodysuit made of Deltan silk; whisper thin but it was to keep her warm.

Worf and Alexander were downstairs eating first meal and she could hear them talking and laughing. The mood that had descended around Worf was now lifted and he was looking forward to this day. No doubt, Alexander was informing Worf of some of the happenings at the shop. The elders that ran the shop traded barbs with each other and the customers with ease. At first, they were uncertain if they should even speak in her presence. The elder male had even asked her if her ears were real. When she smiled as a result from Alexander's laughter, everyone seemed to relax.

Then the discussion changed to verifying the myths of Vulcans as she chose her style of dress. Did they really steal thoughts? Did they have all emotions burned from them as a child? Was it true that when one died, the mate died as well? Then the inevitable question, was it true that Vulcans only mated once every seven years? Why was it that Vulcans were wrapped up into such a secret?

Nevasa answered some of the questions with a simple yes or no but others required a short but not very revealing explanation, just enough to satisfy the curiosity.

Nevasa took down the heavy outfit and placed it on the bed. The dark green fabric was chosen to signify her Vulcan heritage, the edging in grey was to unify with Worf. This would be an interesting day and an interesting outfit. She had been shown numerous styles and began to pick out the features that she found esthetically pleasing.

She had discovered that Klingons did not normally wear underclothing and was instantly relieved that she had decided on the bodysuit. She slipped on the thigh high boots first, smoothing them up her leg. The sole of the boot was not as thick as was usual, nor was the heel quite as high. She could not have managed walking in the customary statuesque heels. She had tried one sample pair and had almost fallen into Alexander. The next piece of clothing that went on was the skirt. This was fashioned out of strips of padded fabric. It did have a shorter underskirt that prevented everything from being revealed. The final piece was the bustier along with the shoulder armor.

She heard Worf's heavy footfalls as he came up the stairs.

"Are you ready, My Mate." He called to her with more than just a little enthusiasm. He stopped in the doorway and growled. Nevasa did not look anything like the Vulcan he met on Risa. She now resembled, if one ignored the elegantly pointed ears, a Klingon warrior.

"Almost." She fastened her IDIC pin on the edge of the bustier's large cutout that displayed her cleavage quite nicely. It seemed that this was tradition, so her bodysuit was cut to accommodate this. She reached to the gloves, looking to Worf as she slipped them on. "And your opinion?"

Worf nodded and growled again. He would have to stay close to her today. Many would be attracted to her. The day may even see a fight or two over her. He grinned, "Yes, most appropriate." He indicated that he wished her to turn. "You are not wearing your hair loose?"

"Yes. I placed it the braid while I dressed." She flexed her hands and fingers as she pulled the fingerless gloves into place.

"May I?" Worf wanted the honour of taking her braid out. He ran his fingers through her soft hair. He was unaware of the low growl that would escape his lips until she turned around and faced him.

She lifted her eyebrow. "We have an entire day before we return here. I trust you can wait."

He drew in a long breath then let it out slowly, "I do not have a choice." He ran his fingertip along her ear, "So, they believe these are unreal?" He chuckled. He leaned closer to her, whispering close to her ear, "And that you steal my thoughts?"

Nevasa smiled. "Your son shares too much." She tilted her head slightly, and then looked back at him, "Do you wish to attend the ceremony, lo'Dnal'wI?"

"Yes." He frowned slightly, not understanding why she would even ask.

"Then behave or you will find yourself the victim of your own urgings." She ran her nails along his cheek, not marking him in the least.

Worf straightened; surely she did not mean that she was feeling the same urges that he did. He reached out, lifted her chin, and met her eyes. "I thought..."

"We are bonded, Worf. What you feel, affects me." She dropped her eyes to his mouth. She moved his hand away then kissed him. She stepped back just as he was about to wrap his arm around her. "Come, we are expected."


Alexander stood at one end of the ceremonial 'river'. Members of his family and friends stood above, each holding a pain stick. There was shouting, cheering him on. He looked to the position his father had chosen, near the end, an honoured position and one he had hoped his father wanted.

He glanced quickly at Nevasa, standing off to the side, the only indication of her alienness was her pointed ears and that she stood quietly off to the side. She bowed her head, Alexander returned the gesture and accepted her part in all of this.

He drew in a breath then looked to the crowd, and then in a loud, clear voice stated in Klingonese, "Today I am a warrior. I must show you my heart. I travel the river of blood." He moved into position and after another deep breath, he began the ceremony that would change his life.

With each step Alexander took, a warrior stabbed him with the pain stick and growled. Occasionally, the stick slipped into unprotected areas, delivering a stronger jolt of electricity to his system. He felt his knees begin to buckle half way through but he was determined that he would never succumb, to end up on his knees not even for a second.

The ordeal seemed as if it was lasting longer than it should have. With a steely gaze, Alexander dared a glance up to the end of his trial. He looked up and saw his father's face. He was close to the end. He drew in a deep, ragged breath, sweat poured from his face in this greatest effort of his life. It was only his will that forced this Klingon youth's body to continue to move.

His body sang with the pain. He heard his father's voice and his encouraging, strong growl. Again another pain stick stuck home to his already tender flesh. He felt the pain stick. The charge traveled through his body. He looked up, met Worf's eyes and then took the final step.

He was breathing deep and fast. He could not believe that he had made it through. He drew in a deep breath and let out a growl so loud that it filled the room.

He was a warrior!

Alexander clutched the edges of the short wall, shivering in the aftermath of his torturous trial. It was the firm hands of his father that that encompassed his chest, drawing him fully up to his feet. His relatives began to cheer his name and hardily clasped him upon his back. The good will was most welcome to this newly declared warrior, but it was one person in particular his gaze now sought. Her bright eyes conspiratorially met his and Alexander smiled at his secret intended. Her name was Kor'JaHl and she was glorious as her long flowing red hair seductively draped over her warrior's armor. It was thrilling to know that she had witnessed his first test. Right in front of her eyes he emerged as a warrior. Arms wrapped around him and the scent filled his nostrils. His chosen mate was waiting for him... he laughed as his hands clenched in the long dark red hair. He met her eyes. His mouth captured hers, her whispered promise of her love for him. He twirled her around then released her and looked for his father.

The events that had just passed had made him euphoric.


Worf dipped the large mug into the vat of bloodwine. He handed it to Nevasa then dipped in another filling it to the brim for himself. He gulped down a few large mouthfuls then murmured his approval. He looked to his mate, "You must drink some of it. It would be an insult to Alexander if you do not."

Nevasa drank a mouthful of the spiced wine. She moved off with Worf to find a place to sit down. "I would not wish to insult Alexander."

Worf waved her to the only vacant seat, and then sat with one leg on the wide arm of the chair and the other resting on the floor. "I will find some raktajino later." He knew she would not want to drink the bloodwine for the duration. He looked over to the large table laden with food. "Do you wish something to eat?"

"I wish to rest for a moment." She sipped at the wine and rested one hand on Worf's leg. She shifted slightly in the tall-backed chair; this was the first opportunity she had to sit down since this morning. The weight of the outfit was tiring on her body. It may have been made with modern fabrics but she had discovered that weights were sown into the clothing to retain the ancient qualities.

"You should eat soon. You have not eaten all day." Worf caressed her hand that rested on his thigh. He finished the tankard of wine then tapped it against hers. "I will drink yours if you do not wish it."

Nevasa poured her wine into his tankard, filling it just over half way. She looked to the assortment of foods, wondering if there would be anything she would be able to eat. Before she could say anything, Worf upended his mug and drained it.

"I will get you something to eat." Worf left the tankard in her care then made his way over to the table. After a little bit of friendly pushing, he returned with a large plate of stew and an assortment of extra vegetables. "There is little meat in the stew. The bread is made from a vegetable that resembles Terran potatoes." He handed Nevasa the cutlery as he explained that he had been invited to play some games. "They test agility with weapons."

Nevasa nodded. "I will remain here."

Worf leaned close to her, whispered to her that she was to call to him if Martok's wife came over to speak with her. He delivered a kiss, and then headed into the adjoining room.

Nevasa looked around the room as she ate some of her meal. Her inclusion of meat and fish into her diet had to be done gradually. She did not wish to become ill. A few of the others were eating and moving around, and talking. She was hard pressed to follow the conversations, even with the mental connection to Worf. His laughter traveled from the other room just as she spotted Alexander walking closely with a young woman. The two would avoid the main group of people, choosing to find the dark corners and to remain hidden as much as possible. When Alexander had introduced Kor'JaHl to his father, Nevasa could feel his anxiety. Then how quickly it dissipated when Worf accepted her.

"Vlansopra?" came the whisper behind her.

Nevasa was aware that they might not have realized that she could hear their whispers. She continued with her meal, she had only a few more bites and she would be done.

Nevasa stood with the empty plate and headed over to the table to add hers to the growing pile of dishes. She looked back to see if she knew either of the two that were whispering. She did. One was Martok's wife, Sirella.

Alexander appeared at Nevasa's side. "Do you require anything?"

"A translation of a word." She paused for a moment, "Vlansopra."

Alexander frowned slightly, "Where did you hear that?"

"A discussion. It was a word I am unfamiliar with."

"Well," Alexander began in a lowered voice. "It means leaf-eater but it is usually used to mean someone who is incapable of hunting. Which also can mean that they can not provide for their family. Sometimes used as an insult." He looked to the Vulcan, "Was it spoken in reference to you?"

"I do not know." Nevasa was being honest; she had not heard the entire conversation.

Sirella moved over to Alexander, she cast a glance at Nevasa then addressed Alexander. "Is this your father's latest acquisition?"

Alexander growled slightly. "Your insults are not required. Lady Sirella, this is Nevasa of Vulcan, Bondmate to Worf, House of Martok."

Sirella was not pleased with the status this one had. "Really." She looked Nevasa up and down quite thoroughly. "Why does she wear the warrior's clothing, when she is not a warrior."

"I am a warrior in my own right, Lady Sirella." Nevasa stated plainly. "At the age of seven, Vulcan children are given a survival test. If they pass they are given the status of adult and they begin to train in all the ancient forms of combat."

Sirella looked around; she was gaining an audience. "With what? Words of wisdom?"

Nevasa lifted an eyebrow; this woman desired a confrontation. She did not wish one, but to back down would bring disgrace to Worf and Alexander. "I am fully qualified in the use of most styles of weapons. I am also proficient in various forms of hand-to-hand combat."

Sirella stared at this Vulcan, not believing a word. A voice in the back of the crowd suggested a demonstration of the Vulcan's skill. "A suitable suggestion." Sirella looked over the crowd; she snapped her fingers at a young warrior. "Bring a bat'leth. You will be her challenger."

The warrior snapped to attention then bowed, "Yes, My Lady Sirella." He disappeared for a few moments only to return with two bat'leths and two daggers.

Nevasa scanned the crowd as she waited, looking for Worf. He was here, she felt him. She bowed her head to the warrior then as she accepted the knife, she recognized him. This was the officer she had pressed against the bulkhead onboard the ship, Batlh ghoD. She wondered if Sirella was aware of the connection. The blade was slipped into her belt and she accepted the bat'leth as she was instructed. She had spent much time practicing with Worf, just as he had learned to use the Vulcan lirpa and ahn-woon. However, none of these people knew this, not even Alexander.

Alexander stepped forward, "I will serve in her place, Lady Sirella."

"Your status is not in question, Alexander. Hers is." Sirella waved off the crowd and immediately they formed a circle around the two.

Martok took his place beside his mate. He turned to Worf stopping him in his tracks. "I would not interfere, Worf. My wife has a point. Your choice in mate must prove herself."

Worf growled in a low tone then stepped back. He knew Nevasa could manage. He was not overly concerned about the actual fighting. He wondered if Nevasa was aware that these people expected her to kill. He closed off his concerns from reaching her; she did not need any distractions.

Nevasa held the bat'leth with ease, finding the weight acceptable to her. She bowed her head to her opponent. He returned the gesture awkwardly. They assumed the first position and waited for the word to be given.

"ghoS'Suv!" Was Sirella's clipped command]Sirella gave the word and the competition began. Amide the shouts and the catcalls, the clang of the bat'leths filled the dank ceremonial cavern. Cheers went up as bloody wounds were scored on either side.

Worf managed to watch, with great pride. His fists clenched as he contained his enthusiasm. He did let out a growl when she scored an exceptionally good strike.

Alexander stood with an arm around Kor'JaHl, both cheering for Nevasa's side. He had been surprised at Nevasa's skill and strength. He looked again for his father and this time found him in the crowd. His father seemed to be watching intently, unaffected by the crowd's preferences.

In a sudden move, Nevasa tripped the officer then pinned him with the bat'leth. The crowd moved to stunned silence waited with baited breath. She too waited, breathing heavily, her heart pounding at her side.

The officer looked up to this female, he had too much to drink earlier and his reactions were slow. He wet his lips and growled, "You must kill me."

Nevasa raised an eyebrow in disbelief.

The officer realized that she had not expected this. "No warrior should be afraid to either meet death or serve death."

"I will not kill." Nevasa stated. She looked to the female that had issued this challenge. "I will not kill. There is no purpose to this expect to prove a point to you, Lady Sirella. That is not a sufficient cause." Nevasa stood. She offered her hand to the young male on the floor. "It serves no purpose." The young officer stood after he waved her assistance away.

The room remained silent awaiting Sirella's decision. She was within her right to ask another to kill either or both of them at this point.

"A warrior that has not killed, nor is willing to kill, is not a warrior that I wish in my House." Sirella shot a glance at Worf as he stepped forward. "Is that clear, Worf?"

Worf nodded.

"I will not kill if it is not necessary. I am quite capable of killing if it is necessary. I have killed." Nevasa shivered at the memory. It was not a pleasant one although it happened long ago. She handed the weapons back to this officer.

He shook his head, "They are yours now, Lady Nevasa." He bowed his head then stepped back. He was the one that had felt her strength and her confidence and her control.

"I am honoured."

Sirella was losing ground with this one, and she was doing nothing except being... Vulcan. Sirella drew herself up, "Then tell us of this killing. If it proves of your words with the telling then I will accept you as warrior class."

Nevasa bowed her head to Sirella. "Before I begin, I desire..." Worf handed her the large cup that was thought to hold bloodwine. She drank from it, discovering it was raktajino. Her breathing and heart rate had finally slowed and the warm drink eased the dryness in her throat.

Nevasa drank another mouthful then began, "At the age of seven years, each child must survive the Kahs-wan. They are given a knife, water and sufficient rations for three days. They are given a path to follow and are expected to cross the desert in six days. Once they reach the destination they are given the status of adult." She looked to Worf standing with Alexander. She felt the connection to him and his pride in her actions. Others had obtained bloodwine and were sitting or standing to listen to this tale. "My kahs-wan seemed as if it would be uneventful. My companion and I were half way through and still had most of our rations and a great deal of our water. That night, unexpected rains came. They were heavy and they drew out many of the animals that are normally hiding from the heat of the Vulcan desert.

"Towards the sunrise we had heard movements within the rock formation we had used to protect us from the rain. It was a valit."

Worf's head lifted as he recalled her use of the word the first time they met. She had used it to describe her bond-mate. Or rather former bond-mate. He smiled then tilted his head to continue listening to her tale.

"A valit is a small borrowing animal." She held her hands body width apart. "It is almost blind in the light and uses its sense of smell to find its way. Not a very dangerous animal normally, even to a child. We are taught to allow them their place."

There were a few snickers; another comment that it sounded as if the only thing it was good for was making it into a stew.

"Silence." Worf called out. The sounds died in the room for a time.

"We were eating. The valit was attracted to the food and we discovered it was hurt." She sipped on the raktajino. "We had only small utility knives and this animal seemed large to us. It had become defensive and craved the food we had.

"Initially, we gave it one serving of rations and began to head out of this cavern. We did not expect it to follow us. We had been taught that these animals were harmless if left alone." She had not recalled this event in a long time, because of the Vulcan's memory she was reliving the day with amazing clarity, even her fear. "They were not harmless; their claws held a venom that would paralyze its victim. Their bite was not a clean one; it would tear the flesh of its prey. This animal was dangerous only because of the circumstances.

"I could do nothing else, and our lives were at stake. I remember closing my eyes and throwing the knife as I had been taught." She paused for a moment. "I was not taught to do this with my eyes closed, but I could not watch as my knife killed the animal."

"A warrior would look death in the eyes." A large warrior standing beside Worf shouted out.

"Perhaps." She drew in a breath then continued, "In the end, I did not have a choice. The valit attacked my companion. I remember forcing the valit's mouth from her arm, and tossing it aside. I grabbed her knife and with a great deal of fear and anger insured the animals death."

"What did you do?" Came the inquiry.

"I used the knife and repeatedly..." she felt the disgust she had that day. She swallowed. "... drove the knife into this animal."

"Where was your aim?"

"Did you hit any vital organs?"

Nevasa nodded. She was not accustomed to describing this in detail. She understood their reason; this was the way a warrior described a kill. "I had struck blindly but later discovered that my aim was somewhat accurate. There were injuries to its brain, heart..." She drank the end of the cooling liquid. She looked to Worf drawing strength from him to finish.

"Did you take out the heart and feel it die in your hand?" Came the inquiry, a little too enthusiastic for her taste.

"No I did not."

Alexander cleared his throat; he had been captured by this tale. "Did your companion recover from the attack?"

"We were both very ill for a long time. High fevers from infections. Our lives were never in jeopardy but only because we were so close to the destination." She recalled how difficult it had become as they walked the last distance. "My parents were concerned as they had some hint of our condition through the family bond. It was not known specifically what was wrong, just that there was a difficulty."

Sirella stared at this woman, even at the age of seven she was not sure she could have done what this Vulcan had... however, a year later she would have been able to do more. "How much did this valit weigh?"

"I was told that its weight was half of mine, at the time." She looked to the faces in the room; centered on Sirella's, "I still regret that the animals death was necessary. Later, it was discovered that this valit had young ones. Since I was responsible for its parent's death, I was responsible for these young ones until they survived on their own." She looked to the bat'leth still in her hand, "I have learned the value of a life."

"As any warrior should." Martok interjected.

"It was said, when the two hearts began to bet together, the second heart beat stronger than the first... and the first was jealous. With fire and steal did the Gods forge the Klingon Heart." Sirella looked to Worf, "Worf, Son of Mogh, House of Martok, does your heart beat only for this woman?"

"Yes, it does." He moved closer to Nevasa.

Sirella met Nevasa's eyes, "Nevasa, child of Telek and Ashen, House of H'ua," she paused. She had surprised Worf with her knowledge of this woman. "Does your heart beat only for this man?"

Nevasa's head bowed, "Yes, it does."

Sirella looked around, "Then let all present here today know that this woman and this man are married."

Martok smiled then began the clapping that climbed to almost a deafening roar. He motioned for everything to quiet down then announced that there was to be a toast and everyone dipped his or her tankards for more wine.


Worf climbed the stairs behind Nevasa. He had just put an intoxicated Alexander to bed. The snoring commenced as soon as his head hit the pillow. Bloodwine and the festivities had finally caught up with his 'warrior' son.

He stepped into the their room and reached for Nevasa. He pulled her into his arms and captured her mouth. He held her face, tipping it up slightly, "I have never kissed a warrior in full battle armor."

Nevasa lifted an eyebrow, "I trust I should be pleased to hear that." She caressed his face; his neck then clenched her hands in his hair. Her tongue ran along his lips. She could taste the bloodwine. She had drunk enough of it that she was even beginning to like the taste. She kissed him gently on his mouth then slowly down his neck. She gently bit into his shoulder causing him to moan and pull her closer. She felt his hand slip into her hair then to hold the back of her head, urging her to continue. She tasted his skin; felt his pulse with her lips then closed her mouth on him again. This time she drew blood.

"Yes-s." He whispered as he moaned. "Again."

She licked a path up his neck, nibbled on his earlobe then captured his mouth. She was hungry for him. She had opened the link between them and was experiencing his desire for her. She matched it and acted upon it.

Worf had reached behind him for the wall. He stepped back, leaning against it; he needed the support. He brushed her hair back, and then began his own path of seduction. He ran the tip of his tongue along the edge of her ear. He tasted the tip, then threatened to bite her. He moved down her neck, tasting the sweetness of her skin. His fingers trailed over the exposed part of her breasts. Her skin was warm and soft. He sucked gently on her neck, marking her.

"You have brought honour to this house." Worf held her face, tasting her mouth. He shared with her his pride when she managed the challenge and stood up to Sirella. He felt her fingers beginning to unfasten his vest. "You also bring fire to my thoughts." "You, Klingon, cause my blood to burn." Nevasa pulled him towards the bed.

Worf held her hands, "Not yet." He brushed her hair back as he fingered the closures on her bustier.

He reached to the fasteners for her skirt and tossed that onto the platform that surrounded the bed. He lifted her hands and kissed each palm then held her hands behind her back. He tasted her mouth again. He brushed his lips against hers; "There is a Klingon saying... about the wisdom of taking a lover to bed if they are armed." He withdrew her blade from the sheath at her side. He moved away from her just enough so that he could tap her lips with the blade tip. He very slowly drew it down her chin then lifted her chin with the flat edge. There was a single drop of green blood welling up on her lip. He moaned as the tip of his tongue licked it from her.

"I am not accustomed to wearing weapons." She whispered her tongue snaked out and ran along his lips. She closed her eyes and held her breath as the cold blade moved feather light down her throat, then rested between her breasts. She felt him press the tip of the blade into her skin. She held her breath as it broke the skin.

Worf lifted the blade from her warm skin. He tossed it aside; it landed with her skirt. He pulled her closer; his finger traced the bleeding chevron marking her skin. He brought her against him, his leg moved between hers. He felt the warmth of her body against his thigh. He used his free hand to move her hair. He slowly kissed and nibbled her exposed neck and throat.

Nevasa arched her back, driving herself against him. His desires were the governing force tonight. She moaned for him as she continued with her rhythmic rocking against his hard muscled thigh. Her hands were held behind her back, forcing her breasts to strain against the fabric. She felt Worf's warm breath on her neck.

She drew in a breath, "I need your thoughts."

"Not yet." Worf tighten his hold on her wrists.

She searched for his mouth with hers then captured it. Her mouth moved along his jaw to just under his ear and she scraped her teeth along the taut muscle that ran down his neck. He growled and she felt the shiver travel through her body, her thighs squeezed his leg and she moaned.

Worf knew this would not satisfy her, only feed her desire for more. He moved his leg from between hers and she dropped unexpectedly to her knees. He released his hold on her hands. It was easy to open his shirt, considering it was barely closed. All night she had imagined running her hands and mouth over his skin.

She leaned forward, her mouth kissing and tasting his muscular chest. As she moved over towards his nipple, her tongue grazing the area around it, she then gently rolled it between her teeth. She pulled his vest from him, her hands moved down his body pulling down his tight fitting pants and releasing his aching member. She nibbled a path down his body to his thigh and then bit into his leg.

Worf roared and his body shivered from the mixture of pain and pleasure. He looked down as she devoured his thick hot length. She began a not so gentle teasing with her nails on the inside of his thighs as her mouth sucked on him hard and fast. His body shivered and she released him, then cessation was more than his body could deal with.

He growled then pulled her up onto her feet. He grabbed a handful of her hair and tipped her head back; he captured her mouth hard and passionately. He picked her up and tossed her unceremoniously onto the bed. He stripped off his boots and pants, leaving them in a heap beside hers. Nevasa felt his hands at the top of her thigh, moving down, they pulled down her boot down and then off. He ran his hands up her leg still covered by the tight silk bodysuit. She moaned as his hands caressed her stomach then slipped the other boot off. He ran one hand up each leg, as he moved onto the bed positioning himself between her legs.

He leaned down and attacked her mouth. Her body was warm. She arched her body to meet his; her mouth brushed his then met his in a passionate kiss. His hands moved along the silk covering her legs, then stopped at her hips. He stretched out beside her, caressing her stomach threatening to move lower. His hand finally slipped between her legs, his thumb pressed against her nub, through the fabric, began a slow circular motion. As soon as she began to move, he moved his hand away.

Nevasa moaned and whispered for him to touch her again. No matter how frustrating this was, it was enjoyable. Every time he touched her, she felt some sense of his emotions as well as the physical reaction her body had for him.

Worf found himself on his back, Nevasa straddling him. She took his hands and placed them at the opening of her armor vest. "Finish what you have started."

He ran his hands down her sides then around to her back and to her firm derriere. He held her tightly against him and moaned. He moved against her slightly, stroking himself with her fabric covered sex. Both almost past the point of teasing, but that was the game they were playing. Who would give in first?

Nevasa leaned down and kissed him then whispered close to his ear, "I want you inside of me."

"But that is not possible yet," Worf whispered back.

"Then I will make it possible." Nevasa moved down, but found herself on her back again, this time her hands tucked under his knees as he straddled her.

"No, you will not." Worf stated. His fingers trailed down, then tore open her vest. His fingers continued down to her exposed breasts, his hands roughly holding them while he sucked and nibbled them. Nevasa moaned as he continued to mark her. He bit slowly into the swell of one breast; he broke the skin and licked slowly at the bright green blood that welled up. He was taking her breath away with his actions, breaking down all of her Vulcan proprieties. He sucked hard on the nipple, elongating it as he pulled away and causing her to cry out.

He caressed her face, and then reached for her weapon that had been discarded. He met her eyes. "This takes skill, trust and you must not move." He ran the blade between her breasts, not even marking her skin, but when the blade met the fabric, it split as if running through liquid. He moved down her body, releasing her hands for the present but reminding her with a glance, not to move.

Nevasa felt a shiver travel through her body. This was affecting her in a unique way, totally contrary to her way of thinking. She felt the blade move down, feeling only the hairline coolness of the blade. He touched her sex with it and she held her breath, meeting his eyes. She wanted him badly.

Worf tossed the blade aside again then reached to her shoulders and quickly removed the fabric. He heard her moan and felt the desire for her in his own body. He ached for her. He admired her control; he was not so certain he could have done the same. The bodysuit was abandoned into the pile with her other clothing. He returned to her, stretching out beside her, and began to devour her. Moving down her body, he tasted, nipped and marked her as he made his way down her body.

Nevasa reached into his hair, her fingers clenching in the length, anticipating the pleasures he would inflict on her. With his head by her waist, her Klingon lay next to her, his body pressed against hers. She shivered as his tongue touched her, then moaned deep in her throat as he began to suck on her nub. His strong hands caressed her legs then spread them apart. He teased her with his tongue and nipped her with his teeth. Nevasa gasped as his finger slipped into her, then a second. He began with a slow agonizing rhythm as he sucked harder on her.

She arched her back; her body shivered and she clenched her hand even tighter into his hair guiding his face towards her sex. She was finding it difficult to breath, and her uneven gasps were making her light-headed. Her free hand reached to his body, her nails raking his skin, gently at first, but beginning to mark him with her growing need.

She turned her head and teased the sensitive tip of his hard member with her tongue. She ran her lips along the length, her teeth gently nipping him. She shifted her upper body slightly, swallowing as much as she could of his hot, stiff penis. Releasing the hold she had on his hair, she pulled him closer. She felt a shiver travel her body as another finger entered her, causing her to suck harder. Her nails slowly raked his thighs.

Worf lifted his head only long enough to watch as she swallowed his aching member. She sucked harder and he growled. Her nails teased at his sacs and then at his puckered hole, fueling his hunger. He thrust deeper into her mouth. His mouth descended on her, hungry laps along her swollen lips. He sucked harder as his fingers thrust in and out of her at a furious pace. His long tongue diving into her depths, taking what he wanted. He pushed his hips towards her forcing her to swallow his seed with his release.

Nevasa drank him hungrily, sucking him dry. Her body had shared his release. Worf had retaliated by sucking hard and biting down with her release.

The nearly spent Klingon crawled back up to her face, captured her mouth and positioned himself to enter her. He lifted one of her hands to his face. "Join us."

Nevasa did not hesitate; she had been hungry to touch any part of him but would only be totally satisfied with this. She began to form the bridge that would allow their thoughts to flow easily one to the other. She held back the fire that he craved from her.

Worf entered her ready body slowly; she arched her back then reached down and pulled him into her. He felt the quickening of his heart then realized; it was hers he was feeling. He wasted no time; he slid in and out of her deeper each time until he felt the cool fire that slowly would infect his thoughts.

Nevasa held him tightly to her as she fed him the mating fire he had begun to crave. He moaned as he nuzzled her neck and then bit down on her shoulder. He was not fighting it any longer. He accepted it quickly adapting to it. She reacted in kind and dug her nails into his firm flesh.

Worf captured her mouth, forcing his tongue into her, tasting her. His mouth pressed hard against her. His body shivered and he lifted his head only enough to take a breath. He felt her approaching release as she pulled him closer. He felt her nails scrape along his skin. He felt the effect her thoughts had on his, driving him deeper into her and then he growled with his release.

Nevasa rolled with him onto his back. She kissed him hard, bruising his mouth. She straddled him, bringing his hands to her breasts. She began rocking against his hips. She knew he was close to another release. She moaned as he teased her nipples. She pounded against him, her breasts heaving making it difficult to breathe. She moaned as his hands cup her buttocks to help her, but it was not enough. Her hands reached to his face, wishing to make contact on a more direct route.

Worf wanted nothing more than to take her. He rolled them over onto her back. He heard her whisper that she needed more. He began thrusting into her. His movements were hard and unforgiving. She wrapped her legs around his, her hands pulling him closer as her nails dug into his flesh.

She moaned his name; her hands clenched in his hair and her thoughts became her touches. She reached into his mind, caressing his pleasure centers, stroking the nerve endings that would give him the sensation of her hands caressing him.

A deep growl came from Worf as her body shuddered. His body pumped his seed into her. She cried out as their need and satisfaction became one in the same. A final thrust into her and Worf collapsed onto her.

Nevasa's hands still clenched in his hair began to slowly relax. She wrapped her arms around him and held him as their breathing returned to normal.

Worf held onto her and rolled onto his back. He brushed her hair back, kissed her, and then urged her to rest her head on his shoulder. The only sound in the room was their breathing.

"T'hy'la." He whispered to her, "This is most pleasing."

She brushed his lips with hers. "M-m-m, yes."

Both fell into a light sleep. Their activities would not be done for the night.


Nevasa opened her eyes, beside her was empty. She sat up with a slight groan. Her body was sore. She slipped out from under the covers and pulled on her robe. She fastened it at the shoulder then moved down the stairs looking for her bedmate. She found him sitting outside. The door to the garden had been left open and he was wearing his robe and sitting in the grass. In front of him was a plate with an assortment of food. He had a large cup of raktajino as well.

"After all that you had to eat, you are hungry again?" She sat down beside him. She brushed his hair back as she moved closer.

Worf nodded then lifted the cup of hot liquid and offered her some. "I did not mean to disturb you." His fingers caressed her face then brushed her hair back over her shoulder.

"You did not disturb me. I woke because you were absent." She gave the cup back to him. "What are you doing sitting out here?"

Worf looked up at the night sky; the flickering of lights seemed to fill the sky. This was a rare sight on Qo'noS "I came out to count the stars." He smiled at his mate then leaned forward to kiss her. "I did not wish to sit on the floor... we have yet to purchase the table for the dining area and I did not wish to return to the room and disturb you."

Nevasa shivered from the damp night air then yawned. "You will be in soon?" She stood but was stopped from leaving.

Worf stood holding onto her hand. "A moment, wait here and I will put this in the house." He kissed her then disappeared into the house.

Nevasa looked out to the garden. She had not even taken the time to come out here yet. She walked slowly along the path, beginning to investigate just how big this garden was. She came to some bushes that held a flat translucent shell-like flower. She ran her fingers across the surface of one and discovered the petals were hard and the edges were thin enough to cut. She looked to the tree that stood a few meters away and it resembled a strangely shaped cactus.

"Beautiful is it not?" Worf stood a few feet away with a blanket folded over his arm. "I brought this for you if you are intending to remain out here."

She moved over to stand in front of him, "I was hoping for you to return to our bed."

Worf smiled, "And for what purpose do you wish me there?" He pulled her closer.

Nevasa slipped her hands into his robe. Having fasteners only at the shoulders had its advantages. She moved even closer to him then reached up and kissed him.

He dropped the blanket as he wrapped his arms around her and lengthened the kiss. It became more passionate and hungry. He lifted his head and growled, "I want you again." He sounded mildly surprised, if not pleased. He moved her hair back and noticed a dark bruise on her neck. He caressed the area with his fingertips; he kept his comments concerning the markings to himself. He was certain that he had a few that could have bested hers.

"Then let us go in."

"No, here." Worf pulled her to him, his warm hands reaching into her robe. He kissed her neck, saying, "I promise to keep you warm." He pulled her down to the grass, laid her back then opened her robe. His robe was pushed aside but not removed; his body covered hers then entered her. He felt her hands tighten around his arms. He captured her mouth. No preambles, no gentle touches to help her prepare for him. He pushed deeper into her then drew out slowly. No doubt, she was still sensitive from all their previous activity, but it was not a concern for the moment.

Nevasa held her breath as he entered her; he was impatient, but not uncontrolled. His kisses were urgent, turning into nips and then small bites in no time. Her body shivered as his touches awakened her desires for him. Even she was surprised at the intensity that was still there.

Worf growled as he began to pound into her body, his body shivered. His hands clenched in her hair and his mouth pressed hard and passionately against hers. His body shuddered again but there was no release. There had been no satisfaction in this at all; it had seemed only to feed his desire for her.

He held her tightly to him as he changed position. He held her hips in his lap and her body was stretched out in front of him. His hands stroked her body. His fingers pinched each nipple hard and fast, as he watched them harden and heard her moan. He bent down, biting gently into the underside of her breast. Her hands clenched in his hair and she held her breath. This excited him. He brushed his lips against her warm skin along a path to her hard nipple. He licked it slowly then sucked it quickly into his mouth, after a hard pull, he released her.

Nevasa felt her body shiver. She had been holding her breath and released it as she whispered, "Again, T'hy'la." She arched her back and urged his head back to her breast. She gasped as his tongue moved over her nipple again then bit down on her bottom lip when his mouth sucked it. It hurt, deliciously so. Her body shivered when he released it, causing her to moan.

Worf caressed her body; his hands would run from her shoulder, over her breast then across her stomach and over her hip and finally to her thighs. He reversed that path on the way back up her body. He did this a few times then guided her legs to wrap around him. He glided his hands back up her legs, so that his thumb rested on her nub. He felt her body shiver as he touched it.

Her eyes had closed, enjoying the strong caress and when he had touched her nub, it startled her. Thrilled her as well. She groaned.

He began to press harder against the sensitive spot. He watched as she writhed from the touch. He released the touch and her body visibly relaxed. He continued the arousing touches, her moans and whispers urging him on.

Worf pulled her up into his lap, his arousal filling her totally, but he could not move inside of her. Hungrily kissing her as he wrapped his arms around her. Without a word, her fingers moved into position on his face, "DaH."

She understood his urgency; after all, she shared it. She reached into his thoughts, threading the shared fire into him. She found his passion and reeled from the power of it. She felt her body shiver. She read the surprise he felt every time she touched on his thoughts.

He was not satisfied.

"leS." She whispered to him, discovering that he was so tense that his body could not relax enough to reach the release it needed. She caressed his cheek with her lips, "leS, loDnal'wIl." She asked him to relax with her voice as she reached into his thoughts. "Breathe deeply."

Worf growled softly, his fingers moved into her hair and clenched. There had been too much between them. His body was almost refusing to continue. "I need thee." His gentle voice whispered back to her.

Nevasa kissed him as she reached into his thoughts. She felt more than heard his groan. She reached in deeper, to the levels that would help them both. She could tease and satisfy him in this way. Her way.

She pushed him back, urging him to lie back in the grass. She took his hands and placed them at her hips. She brushed his hair back then placed her fingers against the side of his face. "Prepared?"

"No." Worf stated with a gleam in his eyes, not really meaning what he had said. He was always prepared to share his thoughts with her.

Nevasa slipped into his thoughts. She did not hesitate as she began to brush against the nerve endings that would arouse him. Tease the centers that would bring pleasure to him. Giving him the illusion that he was being touched caressed and enjoyed. All of that calmed him.

Worf moaned and his hands tightened on her hips. She began to rock her hips gently. He started to thrust but was reminded with a whisper that he was to remain still. She would accomplish all that had to be within their thoughts.


The afternoon was a cool one, Worf had not been surprised when he woke and checked the time. He stretched slowly then slipped out of the bed. He pulled on his robe and headed for the kitchen to find something to drink.

He poured a large glass of noxious looking juice, but with the knowledge that it tasted far better than it looked. He sighed then began to make tea for Nevasa. He took a moment to step into the hallway to Alexander's room and found his bed empty. Worf grinned; no doubt, his son had some type of duty today. He wondered how much Alexander's head hurt this morning if his own was any indication.

The hot water was poured into the heavy ceramic pot and he added two cups to the tray as well as the fruit that Nevasa had picked up for herself.

He climbed up the stairs slowly, feeling every bruise and sore muscle. He chuckled as he recalled some of the reasons for the injuries. He was looking forward to sharing a shower with Nevasa and insuring that she was not injured too severely. He climbed onto the bed and brushed Nevasa's hair from her face. He hated waking her, but he knew she would not wish to sleep the day away. Not to mention that she was not usually the one to sleep longer than he did.

"Wa'tuv, it is mid-day." Worf had decided to call her that after all the time they spent in the meld. She had to be the "patient one"; he certainly was not, at least, he had not been last night.

Nevasa opened her eyes and sighed. She was not feeling well. Too much of everything. She sat up slowly, moving his hand from her as she did. "You are well?"

"Yes." He leaned forward to kiss her but he stopped midway, something in her face telling him it was not welcome. "Are you well?"

"I need meditation." She accepted the hot tea; it would be most welcome this morning... or rather this afternoon.

"There is time after our shower..."

"I do not wish to share a shower."

Worf's back straightened slightly. She sounded almost cold. Distant. "There is a problem?"

"No." She drank down the tea then reached for her robe at the foot of the bed. She pulled back her hand when Worf's touched hers. She did not want to speak with him. She was not in any sort of disagreement with him, just did not desire his company in the least. His shields were down and hers were not secure enough to ignore the irritation he was inflicting on her.

"What is wrong?" Worf removed the tray from the bed and placed it, out of the way, on the platform that surrounded the bed. He moved closer to her, lifting her chin with his fingers.

She shivered. She moved his touch from her. "Do not." She brushed back her hair trying to avoid him, but she had caught the pain in his face. He did not understand. She was not sure how to explain it. She did not want to explain it. She wanted nothing more than to be left alone.

Worf reacted to her last thought, the only clear one he had received. He was still inexperienced at reading all of her thoughts; they were so fast at times. "I will leave you alone. If that is what you wish."

"That is what I require." She felt the sense of rejection from him. "There has been too much emotion... touching... too much different food." She sighed audibly.

Worf nodded a part of him understanding. "I will shower, dress and leave you to your meditation then." He slipped off the bed. "Is there anything you require?"


Worf headed into the shower, turned the water on, very hot, then dropped his robe and stepped into the steam and hot water. His shower was short and far from enjoyable, it served its purpose. He dried himself off using the drying jets. He pulled on his clothes and with a glance towards her, headed to the common room.

He stood in the center of the room for a moment, lost. He should have realized that matters were becoming too much for her. He should not have insisted on her acclimating so quickly. He clenched his hands and growled with annoyance. He wondered how long this would take and what things would be like after this had passed.


Nevasa stretched and slipped on her meditation robe. Her sonic shower had served its purpose and now she was looking forward to the needed solitude. She lit the candle that served as her center and the incense that aided with her mental exercises.

She breathed in the scent and felt the effects as her body began to relax. She moved to the meditation stone, her hand caressed it, appreciative of Worf's thoughtfulness. She sat cross-legged, her hands resting palms up on her knees, and then her eyes slowly closed. Her thoughts drifted through the events of the past few days, categorizing everything she felt and neatly tucking it away. She savored her accomplishments, pleased that she had honoured her mate's House and had not acted in any way, disrespectful. Her pleasures were recalled; the remaining level of passion was calmed.

She dropped her head back, and slowly drew a deep breath in until her shielding felt intact. She slowly breathed out; she was beginning to feel at one with herself.

Her head dropped forward, she uncrossed her legs and stretched out full-length on the stone bed. Her breathing slowed, her body relaxed and she set her internal clock to awaken in one hour.

Nevasa and Worf had matters to attend to today.


The nighttime torches sputtered and fumed in the crisp evening air. Nevasa had to crane her neck upwards to take in the site of the massive structure looming above before them. Staving off the chill, she pulled her silk cloak tighter as she waited for the others to step out of the aircar. This cloak, along with other Klingon accessories she wore this night, were gifts. Between Worf dressing her, and Sirella offering her proper Klingon lady's attire, Nevasa found her closet now well stocked with a variety of clothing. The curious Vulcan looked to the obviously ancient building and noticed how the gray structure was hewn from differing types of stone. Swirling patterns alternated with speckled silver rivulets. Seemingly carved from the same rock that made up the mountains behind, were the turrets, grand windows and the impressive entranceway into the huge lobby. Always larger than life was everything Klingon: stories, architecture and clothing. Everything that had anything to do with everyday living was created on the grandest of scales.

A slight breeze caused her to shiver and Worf drew her closer to his side. "It is magnificent, is it not?" he murmured to her. His breath blowing warmly against her bare neck.

"Indeed." Nevasa held herself still, enjoying his nearness. "It is quite magnificent. What is the name of the performance? Sirella was vague."

"The Fall of Fek'lhr." Worf answered with pride in his voice. "It is a modern rendition of a classic tale of Klingon folklore."

Nevasa recognized the name from her Klingon cultural studies. Once again, a simple tale that would be turned into a major drama, that was certain. "Do you believe in the devil?" Nevasa nudged her husband and held back her smile.

"Fek'lhr is not exactly the devil, more of an eater of souls."

The term caused the Vulcan women to shiver. In her own people's racial memories, the eater of souls was not just a tale to frighten children, but had been an actual race of people.

"Eater of souls?" she showed no reaction. "Sounds fanciful."

Worf agreed with her assessment. "Indeed! But such an archetype is a vital component in the heroic principles of my people. To die in dishonor is a real fear to my people. Who better to torment your soul than one of the greatest of the dishonored, Fek'lhr?"

Nevasa put her hand upon her husband's arm, patting him gently. "Well, try not to overreact at the performance. After all, it is only a play."

"A play!" Worf repeated in mock irritation. "Nevasa, Klingons do not play, they perform!"

"Ah, yes. Klingon opera, the foremost art form in the quadrant." Nevasa teased. "Well, I will believe it when I see it, Husband."

"Indeed," the tall man's eyes flashed in the warm torchlight. "You will be most inspired, batlh be'nal'WI ghaH'lv." The use of this formal title, 'She who is my wife', always quickened the pace of her heart.

Worf felt a slight nudge from behind as Martok bumped into him. Worf fell silent as they approached the grand entranceway of the opera house. Even from a distance the ornate glided relief was a sight to behold. Writhing, figures eternally locked in mortal combat, loomed twenty feet above them. Enormous figures, strained in battle, were cast against the cloudy moon lit sky. Whether it was a depiction of a specific battle or a symbol of the battling, beating Klingon heart... Nevasa did not know. No doubt both, Nevasa mused to herself. This was not unlike ancient Vulcan art forms. As a writer, she had found that history always seems to be the greatest draw, in any culture.

The throng before the entrance was packed with Klingons of all ages, shapes and economic standings. Nevasa had deduced this from the highly stylized costumes and accessories. Glinting points to rapier sharpness decorated the outfits of some. Daggers were more ornate and jeweled than could be practical. High collars, rigid clothing, and heavy draped fashions, all alongside thin flimsy sheer gowns. All of the best and brightest of the elite came out to show off. There were a few Andorians, Vulcans and even Terrans to be found. Most likely they were Federation Diplomats or important trade partners. Like her, they too had draped themselves with deadly Klingon battle accessories. 'Dressed to kill', most literally, and the irony was not to be lost on the Vulcan woman.

More flesh was being shown here than at any time she had seen, including by the poolside at Risa. It seemed that Klingons, when dressed formally, felt no compunction to cover their skin, nor their other private parts. Ridges were displayed through low cut back gowns. Even amongst the men, chests were bared to display scars and tattoos, brandings of clans, brotherhoods and battles. One female in particular captured not only Nevasa's attentions but Martok's wife as well.

"Hmmm, I remember that one," Sirella purred.

Nevasa took another look at the young female. Lithe and willowy, this frail female was most unusual amongst the typical hard body type that was the hallmark of the Klingon warrior caste. Wraith-like, her haunting beauty provoked only minor attention from the other males. Dim orange luminescence from the multitude of torchlights caused her bronze skin to gleam through the chinks in her chain mail. To Nevasa's astonishment even her dark, perky nipples poked through the chain mail. Of all the Klingons, her costume was the most daring. She was in the company of elder Klingons, a male and female. Her parents perhaps, Nevasa speculated. The girl looked around, gazing at the crowd, as if she were looking for someone or seeing if someone was looking at her. Nevasa noticed that it was the women who were gawking at this daring, emaciated youngster.

Sirella was the picture of Klingon decorum as she stood tall and proud amongst the bustling crowd. In every instance, when someone attempted to slip past her in line, she would shoot him or her a deadly look, grab their arm and shove them back. Martok assisted his wife in asserting her place in line. One young man growled as she grabbed him by his ponytail and thrust him out of her place. Worf smiled in a toothy grimace as he recognized the trespasser.

"Alexander? You were invited to attend?" Worf blurted out.

The surprised youth whirled around to the strangely familiar voice.

"Father! I... I... I..." a stunned Alexander stammered as he attempted to collect himself.

"Will you join us?" The one eyed Martok offered. "Or are you joining someone?"

It was unheard of for one of Alexander's age to attend such a prestigious performance alone. A stuttering Alexander gathered his wits puffed up his chest and replied to his elders' inquiry. "Indeed, I will join you, Uncle, my gratitude. Kor'JaHl's family offered me an invitation. But, circumstances had prevented me from arriving at the prearranged meeting place."

Worf let out a low growl in disappointment. "It is most rude to be late, Alexander."

The young man quickly halted his father's lecture. "But, I had offered my declination within an appropriate time frame, Father." Mustering an inner strength, Alexander looked his father straight in the eye.

It was the first time in his life that he stood at eye level with his father, in more than one way. These past few years of immersion in the Klingon way had taught Alexander customs, rituals and codes of conduct. He was a far cry from being fully versed in the subtle nuances of honor and ritual, but he was on the road. Now no longer a child, Alexander realized that he had fallen short of expectations in the past. It was his place and his honor to continually prove to his father that he was aware of the Klingon way.

Worf's dark face altered from disgust to pride as he heard how his son hired a prestigious messenger to offer a ritual declination of the invitation. For in the Klingon way, once an invitation was accepted to anything, whether it be battle, a social event or even an informal meeting, nothing short of death would prevent one from arriving, on time, to said event. Alexander had observed the codes by securing a messenger. Worf growled again, but this time in approval as Alexander related to his father the tribute he had attached with the declination. "An honour blade? Most prized." All knew that an offer of tribute was not only a token for rectification but also an opportunity for retrieval. It was a universally understood but unspoken message: allow me the opportunity to attend to you once again. "Do you expect another invitation in the near future?" Worf could barely keep the pride from his voice. His son was leaning the ways!

"That is why I am here, Father. To claim my tribute and answer *this* demand." The throng surged forward as Alexander passed a small note to his father. A slightly feral grimace crossed his father's face as Worf accepted the note.

This was a serious matter, Worf thought to himself as he appreciated the thick stock of the folded paper. Worf took in the significance of this handwritten note, on paper no less. The handwriting was bold and impeccable. Inside was a simple statement. : "Inform your duty master, that your future mother-in-law has summoned you to the family's side." With such a message no man would dare detain Alexander any longer. Worf's eyes widened as he looked to his son, the significance striking his heart as well. In a low voice, Alexander replied, "I secured a transport and came directly here. I hope that my attire is not too informal?" Alexander inquired, as first his father, then Sirella looked him up and down. Yes, his battle armor was bloodied, his ponytail a flyaway mess. Of all the patrons of the opera this night, Alexander was dressed *the* most appropriately.

"Turn around, Boy!" was Sirella's terse command. Alexander thrust his chin into the air and duly complied. "Hmm, fix your hair and you will do fine. Martok!" She turned to her husband, "Give him your dagger." The matriarch's eyes narrowed as she looked to this youngest member of the house. "A young man should never enter a battle without the weapon of his family." Sirella utterance was loud and profound, intended for those around them to hear.

Nevasa kept her thoughts to herself as she was once again struck by the realization that Klingons saw everything as a battle. Even a simple wait in line was a chance to establish one's honour. Though it was organized and restrained, there was still a silent battle going on, a pecking order, saving face, and besting the other. Even in the matters of love or marriage, the battle imagery was retained. Nevasa deduced that this note must have been Kor'JaHl's family's way of accepting him as a potential mate. There would still be many more trials for this young man to face before he could claim the hand of his beloved. But he was on the right road, especially with a note such as this one.

As Alexander accepted the simple but jagged dagger, he thanked Martok then looked to his father. Worf nodded to his son in a silent understanding. Again, the crowd surged forward, jostling the group and breaking the still moment between father and son. "Qapla!" Worf offered to his only son. With a tight smile and a nod of thanks, Alexander sheathed the dagger and pressed his way through the throng, oblivious to the shoves and elbows being dug into his chest in reward for his impertinence.

From somewhere deep in the crowd, a single, booming voice broke out. It was a simple melody sung in Klingon. Once again, Nevasa was grateful for their forethought in implanting a sub-dermal universal translator. Her husband began to break out in song, joining his voice to the other. As the two men persisted in their song, other voices joined the impromptu choir until most of the Klingons in the crowd were singing and swaying in unions. When they came to the chorus, Nevasa recognized the tune... it was a lullaby Worf was fond of humming as he dressed in the morning. Most curious how a people so devoted to battle would have such an artistic sensibility. It was single moment of union Nevasa sensed around her. A common cause that all of the dispirit individuals had identified, grasped at and savored in the form of an ancient lullaby. With a rousing finale of vibrato and long sustaining final notes, the Klingons concluded their song. Hearty laughter followed in its wake. Nevasa was amazed at this almost carnival-like atmosphere and silently compared it to the Vulcan gatherings she had attended. Most were somber and quiet by comparisons, but no less significant to a people's inner self. This was no very different from the celebrations on Vulcan, or anywhere the Vulcan writer had visited in her travels, almost a communing of Souls.

The throng began to thin out and the house of Martok reached the threshold of the theatre. Sirella presented their invitations to the guards. Their ceremonial garb was spectacular, Nevasa noted, and told herself to remember these details for future stories. Long purple capes were attached to silver chest plates. The males' and females' long hair was elegantly braided in multiple rows tight against their scalps. The braids were done so tight that the guards' faces looked strained from the pulling. The stony expressions upon their massive faces rivaled even the placidity of any Vulcan. The guard scrutinized the Lady Sirella's invitation. How Alexander made it in was beyond Nevasa's comprehension. Beside them, others attempted to "crash the gates". With a brute force and noisy ruckus that surprised Worf, even the smallest female guards summarily threw out the rabble-rousers. With a succinct grunt and a jerk of the guard's head, Sirella and her troupe were admitted into the gilded hall.

Nevasa again found herself nearly gawking at not only the enormity of the place but also the grandeur of the halls. Klingons may perform most of their ceremonies in caves, but their arts are housed in gloried fashion! Numerous staircases wound up and away from the ground floor, each stretching up and reaching to different levels. Chandeliers hung with deadly-looking glass. The hall filled with the cacophony of busy voices and Nevasa of Vulcan was infused with a stimulus overload. Something deep within in her core cried out for peace, but she was Vulcan and knew that all of this hustle and bustle could be tolerated, perhaps even appreciated. It was while she was deep in conversation with herself that a touch upon her shoulder drew her out.

"Do you wish to keep it?" Worf asked Nevasa, as he touched her cape, aware of her need for warmth.

"No." Nevasa turned, allowing her husband to remove her cloak. As she watched other men take their women's capes and check them with the clerk, Nevasa drew her hands down her dress. She had felt comfortable in the outfit that Worf had helped in choosing for tonight. The color of her Vulcan blood; deep green in heavy brocade, that fitted perfectly to her voluptuous form, then billowing out into a full skirt with a train. The neckline flowed from her shoulder and down to the raised waistline, emphasizing her ample cleavage. This design concept was most prevalent in Klingon attire. The back of the dress had been left bare, not to expose back ridges but to expose her family markings. The Klingon females had no compunction both young and old about baring the swells of their chest. Worf informed her it was a pronouncement of womanhood and strength to respect. This stiff collar against the back of her neck only highlighted the brevity of the front, but it was also a symbol of protection, a holdover from the older styles. Her hair was fastened back from her face, making her heritage quite evident, the length cascading down her back.

She watched Worf as he handed their cloaks over to Martok. Worf had donned a simple but ancient style. As with all the warriors, his rippled hair was loose about his shoulders. Nevasa had toyed with it in the air car on their way to the opera. But it was his outfit that intrigued her. This snug deep magenta jumpsuit was very flattering on his well-toned form. Nevasa had to look over again and again as his firm backside was deeply cleaved by the snug outfit, and the front was no more forgiving. Luckily, his low-slung belt obstructed too obvious a view of his manhood. His studded, quilted vest housed his weapons. His jumpsuit looked as if nothing could be covertly hidden in that tight a costume. The over-soled boots that Klingons insisted on wearing adding[ed] a hint of clumsiness to his normally statelier gait. Most illogical footwear for a warrior people. But at the same time, the added height created an imposing figure. This fact the short Nevasa noticed right away as she felt like a child amongst these trees of Klingons.

"We are required to mingle before the performance, my wife."

"Mingle?" was Nevasa's curious reply.

As always, he was gallant and Worf took her hand in his and kissed her knuckles. "Sirella is waiting. I will attend you later." And with this cryptic exchange, her only link to sanity retreated from her side.

In its place was the toothy smile of the matriarch, Sirella. To be segregated from his side at a time like this, Nevasa's panic flashed though her, but she just as quickly quelled it. Vulcans do not experience fear, but trepidation is an acceptable alternative. It was not that Nevasa did not trust the matriarch, but, being keenly aware of ritual, Nevasa did not wish to insult where it was only ignorance on her part. Martok's wife beckoned the wary Vulcan and led her through the vivacious gathering towards the females' side of the courtyard.


In this cacophony of armored bodies and bellowing voices, Alexander Rozhenko took up a pursuit of his intended. Pushing his way through the throng he craned his neck in one direction then the next seeking her out. There amidst the dim brilliance of the torches was his prize, clad in her gunmetal gray warrior garb, partially baring her womanhood, accenting it in all it lushness. It was her lovely swells that he had first taken notice of. But after that firm backhand, as she let him know that his attentions had been noticed, Alexander knew that he wanted this one.

Many nights since, he had lay in his bed, burning in carnal thoughts of her. Above him, beneath him, in front of him, in the throes of passion, giving and taking splendid sexual acts. The young man quivered as he watched her supple flesh jiggle while she laughed with her ladies. Her guards flanked their gathering and it would only be another moment before he was noticed. But he stalked her, in silence, attempting to covertly steal glances at her before he would be required to acquire a proper air about him in the presence of the others.

It was she who saw him, lying in wait. She made a hasty excuse then retreated from the group. The crowd swallowed her up and Alexander lost sight of her for a moment. But then her face emerged in front of his.

"Come," was her quick command as she took his hand and led him away.

It was a few twist and turns down the convoluted halls. And after each turn the hall narrowed, until their shoulders jammed in on either side. There in the dark, far-off passageway, the young lovers found sanctuary. It was here when Kor'JaHl attacked his mouth.

Alexander's knees buckled at the ferocity his beloved devoured him with and he surrendered for the moment. Pressed against the stonewall, he returned the favor with an excruciating grip upon her wrists. He held her in place as his lips hungrily nipped hers. The young woman was held still as her attacker devoured her thick lips with his own.

It was during the matches when she had first noticed Alexander, son of Worf of Starfleet. The sight of this male had aroused her sexuality and her suspicions. He was part human, so many had mentioned, and that was cause for derision amongst many of the other young females. A smug Kor'JaHl watched him savagely best the others. His fists contacted their faces, cracking jaws, breaking noses and loosening teeth. As he spilled their blood upon the stone floors, she knew that he was the one she wanted to be first pierced by.

"H-m-m..." Kor'JaHl let out a deep growl as her chosen slipped his tongue into her mouth.

His excited fingers vigorously pulled her hair and she reveled in the pain. He was very inexperienced, as was she, but the two of them were determined to enjoy discovery. Long sable hair drew across their covert spectacle. His breath was warm, so very warm, and warmer than she had imagined and her face grew hot and sweaty while her inner temperature rose. Over and over she found herself having to draw in her breath. She noticed that he too was having difficulty remembering to breathe during this fierce exchange.

She burned for his touch and as his mouth covered hers, a deep ache grew inside her body. Over and over Alexander delved into her fleshy orifice, rimming her teeth with the tip of his nervous but determined tongue until finally she returned the favor. Very gently she intruded into the warm wetness. Alexander sucked upon the thick muscle so vigorously that the base ached. Her fingers longed to rake him across the check, but she did not wish to leave her mark on him in a public fashion. Not yet, and not in front of her mother. Instead, her fingers slipped into the length of his strands and yanked so hard he let out a yelp.

Alexander released her tongue and it snaked back into her own mouth. The youths felt each other's hot breath upon their face. The hunger was insatiable. Never before had they experienced such longing, such need, such...

"This feels so good, " Alexander whispered to his lover in the dark. Blackness enveloped them, hiding their deeds from view. The young man had no idea where his hands went. They just groped her body, slid down her armor over her leather-clad bosoms. Kor'JaHl shook in anticipation as her desire blossomed from her budding femaleness. She took his face in her hands and compelled him lower down her body. His cheek brushed across her warm softness. His nose nuzzled her breasts. Lips planted the gentlest kisses upon her skin. Kor'JaHl sucked in her breath as he suddenly lapped at her flesh. Her fingers scratched at his scalp and he widened his licks. Daring to dive even deeper into her leather bonds. His tongue attempted to reach her shielded nipples. But the bonds were too effective and refused to yield. But that was not a deterrent to Alexander, who continued to try. She had perfumed her flesh, perhaps knowing that this could be a possibility. She was a not one to pass up an opportunity. For one so young, she was resourceful. But then again, most women compared to men were.

This had been Kor'JaHl's first adult venture: the opera. Her parents had never invited her before, considering her a mere child. Now many things and opportunities were availing themselves since the onset of her sudden growth this past hot season. The Jok'ta'Lar burned hot in both adolescents. Kor'JaHl braced herself against the stonewall, as Alexander felt his way about her form. Each touch was an exciting adventure and he ignited her nerves with his clumsy exploration. And his tongue wetting her skin was most invigorating. But it did not matter to the young woman; she was excited to be finally alone with him. Then her hands sought a bare patch of skin beneath his armor. Her hands slid in beneath his leather vest to touch his muscular shoulder. So firm and taut he felt. So smooth and warm was his skin. Alexander growled as she gently touched him. He halted his caresses to enjoy her touch. His quiet voice whispered in between long drawn out breaths.

"Kor'JaHl." He chanted her name, and then sought her mouth once again. His teeth held her lips firmly but gently.

He too knew the implications of such a public marking without a formal approval from her family. It was her age that was of great concern.

She was very young but well developed. In mind, body and spirit. Soon after they had met, they had sparred. She had challenged him and he found that he had to work to keep up with her. Though, in the end, he did mange to pin her to the dirt floor. The warrior had straddled her body and clasped her wrists above her head. Rippled coppery hair spilled out around her face, red blood trickled from her lower lip where she had sunk her teeth in. Her sweet breath blew upon his face and she attempted to catch her breath after the vicious workout they had shared. It was a split-second but they both felt the instinctual draw. It was not the right time or place but Alexander had been tempted to take her there and make her his own. Her actions dared him to; she had performed all of the ritual overtures making her intentions known to him. But again it was her youth that prevented him from such action. With each year, the need to follow proper protocol grew stronger in Alexander. He would wait for her, for she was worth the wait, he told himself and had told his friends too.

Now as they took liberties with each other, Alexander once again felt the call of honor and attempted to pull back despite his instinct and hers. But she was not making it easy. Her hands invoked his maleness and it now strained against it leather bonds. Pain and agony and he loved it. Wanted more from she who was firing his essence. Never before had Alexander felt so alive, every nerve in his body was awakened by her scent, her being. Each breath of hers that hit his face captured his own. Very slowly that call was ebbing away. Her mouth upon his and her hands upon his thighs brought him over the edge. He was undone and there was no way he could go back.

"Kor'JaHl. I am too close. We must stop or. ."

"Or what? " she bit him hard on the back of his neck. No one would able to detect it for his hair would obscure it. But it would be their secret. He yelped and held her in his grasp. She relented, her mouth gently brushed against the skin she had just marked. She realized his rational. And despite the darkness, they could see the glittering in the other's eyes as they caught the dim light from the distance. Only their breathing filled the darkness between them. Their bodies were packed so very, tightly in these cramped quarters. A quiet click caused their breathing to increase. They both knew what the sound was and Alexander felt her grab his hand. She had taken her vest down and sudden soft warmth filled his palm. He instinctually squeezed her bare fullness. And she let out a soft cry. His fingers drew up the roundness and he passed a thumb gently over her perky nipple. It immediately grew erect at the stimulation and he repeated the gentle action, fascinated with her response. He felt a stinging slap across his face

"You are not a child toying with your mother's teat! Feel it man!" Was the young woman's breathless commanded. He knew that his touches were affecting her and driving forth her instinct to dominate him. To be dominated by her! The thought only kindled his desire and he eagerly complied with her demands. His hand grappled her breast with a force that made her stifle a scream. He pinched her erect nipple so forcefully then she griped his hair.

"This is my flesh you hold in your hand," Kor'JaHl murmured to the darkness between them. It was one of the ritual expressions many youngsters discovered in forbidden texts. Then her hands grabbed him by the hair and forced him to his knees. She drew him to her breast and thrust out her cleavage commanding him to suckle her. His mouth was full of her soft pliable youthful flesh. His eager mouth sucked in her nipple making it grow longer and firmer in his hot hungry mouth. As Kor'JaHl began to writhe from his sucking, Alexander kissed and licked all over her breast. He chose a spot on her outer side, and then with a mouthful he bore down and sunk his teeth in. She shivered as he sucked his prize. Her warm blood seeped into his mouth. He licked her bloody wound and kissed her torn flesh. It began to throb and for a moment she worried that it would be visible to others. Not only did she want to avoid being reprimanded for these actions but also she wanted to keep this private, between them, for now. But her lover was smart and had inflicted his mark far on her outer side, where it would be fully obscured by her leather vest.

The darkness shrouded the pair: one upon his knees sucking upon her bare breast; the other braced against the stone wall, accepting all his mouth and hands could give her. She felt something deeper inside of her stir. There was a need she had never realized before and she wanted more but knew that this was not the right place. She could not bring the words to her mouth to order him to stop. Instead she kneed her lover in the throat. He suddenly drew back clutching his injury. By his hair she drew him back up to her eager mouth and she covered him with a passion that overwhelmed his own.

"I want..." She trailed off as her teeth bore down on his tongue. This time she drew blood. And did not care. He could think about his swollen injured tongue for the remainder of the night. Knowing she gave it to him and knowing what it implied.

This foreplay was overwhelming and their youthful, hormone driven bodies overloaded their budding discipline.

"This is what I want. And Kor'JaHl took his hand and drew it beneath her skirt. Alexander felt her tuft between her legs. He gently carded through the wiry wilderness. She jolted as he flicked across her sensitive thick lips. Her legs parted further. Alexander Rozhenko was stunned when he felt a wetness engulf his fingers. Just as he dared to slip through the cream covered flesh he heard her whimpers and felt her breath upon his face.

"I do not know..." was his nervous utterance.

"I will show you next time," was her curt reply. Once again she took his mouth.

He continued with this delicious exploration of her sex and enjoyed the response his clumsy attentions elicited. A delicious but undiscovered country it was for them both. Very cautiously, he let his finger work its way into her hot tightness. Slowly, tenderly he worked his finger in deeper and deeper, until she again slapped him.

"Enough!" she rasped

And Alexander was pressed against the wall as Kor'JaHl rummaged about his pants. The young man surrendered his will as her fingers found his fastenings. One by one she undid his studs. With a force that mirrored her passion, she rents open his trousers as wide as she could and yanked them down his hips. The young Klingon fell to her knees, supplicant. Alexander was silent in the ravishment. He winced as her breath blew into his pants. His own wiry tuft responded to the gentle breeze.

In this budding excitement, his fingers raveled around the strands of silky red hair, but he did not dare witness his undoing. It all went by in a flurry of overwhelming sensations: warmth, wetness, and gentle then forceful pressure. There was no control to any of this and his heart beat hard in his chest. First his tip was licked. So engorged he was that he ached all over: his hips, his groin. It was if he would burst any moment. He longed to buck and rock but if he made a move his release would be immediate.

But the kneeling girl did not know this. Her trepidation about all of this was even more arousing. She was a reluctant licker of his rod and her hesitant tongue gently lapped at his slit, then traced down to the underside of his engorged head. As his fingers tightened in her strands, he moaned, and then curled his toes.

"Kor'JaHl..." He seethed her name.

As she screwed up her courage, the hot member was unexpectedly and surprisingly engulfed. His thick rod was encased in her wet tightness. And he cried out loudly, finally abandoning all control. He stifled his cries, fearing revelation of their secret. Her mouth pulled back on his shaft not letting up the pressure then quickly engulfed him once again. And that was it.

With his pants wide open, her fingers gripped his short hairs and she deep-throated her prize. The pulsing shaft drove deep down into her throat. Instinct took over as she encouraged him to buck against her lovely face. But she only pulled him in deeper, urging him more fiercely. She had never done this before, but she reveled in the power she has over this man. The power of just her mouth over his entire being, body, mind and soul. The only sounds, in this far-off alcove, were their mutual moans, her slurping and the slipping of flesh gliding into flesh. Her jaw began to ache but she would not relent. To do so would mean admitting weakness for such a menial task as this.

Between clenched teeth, Alexander called out her name and the name of every god he knew.

She heard him beg, begging her to stop, to continue. Then he held her hair, detaining her from any further suckling. "Kor'JaHl," was his ragged growl. "May I release?"

There upon her knees in the dimmest of light he caught her eyes looking at him. A torchlight from the distance slightly illuminated her silhouette. He saw his member, thick and full in her wide opened mouth. "M-m-m..." was her murmur as their eyes locked. Then she savagely bit down on his fleshy shaft and nodded her assent. Alexander surrendered.

His fluids burst from his slit. They filled Kor'JaHl's mouth and she was so surprised that she let go of her wet hold on him. The throbbing member continued to spout its seed. She gingerly held the weeping rod as it all leaked to the floor. She spat up what she had in her mouth. It was so bitter and she gagged. But his moaning and growling continued as the fluid oozed from his slit.

Again the young woman reveled in her power over him. For this moment he was completely at her whim, paralyzed with pleasure. Her tongue eagerly licked the rod as it still throbbed in the wake of his spent passion. She knew she wanted more as she listened to his heavy breathing fill their intimate alcove. She longed to see her own maidenhead blood covering the length and girth of this magnificent weapon.

Before she could regret it, Kor'JaHl engulfed him and sucked him one last time. Her murmurs vibrated his groin. Alexander winced as her wet warmth savored his subsiding erection.

"I could..."

"Stay like this forever?" She finished and let the now limp shaft slip from her little mouth. Her throat burned and her cheeks ached from being stretched beyond the usual. But this had only stoked her lust for this man. And she knew by the week's end that he would be hers marked by her blood and teeth. Despite any objection her mother might have. Alexander will be hers.

As he writhed in delightful agony from the wound upon his member, he teased, "Kiss it and make it better!" Baring his teeth at her, and by making such a demand, the young man had no idea of what he had just done.

In one fluid motion, Kor'JaHl shot up and flew down the dark hall, leaving her spent lover plastered to the wall, Alexander was left panting and moaning and now wondering.

"Did I anger you? " was his anguished beseeching. But he was met with silence. As he hastily buttoned up his pants, his oversized boots stuck to the grungy ancient floor. He called out her name but her black form continued to hurry down the hall.

In his mind, Alexander mulled over the possibilities. Has he incurred her wrath? Pleased her? Confused her? Will she tell her mother what happened? Her father? Would she change the story and say that he had forced her? Now he was terrified and the young man rushed after her.

With a glance over her shoulder she shot him a coy look. Kor'JaHl let out a deep lusty chortle. Her hair flew about her face as her eyes sparkled in magnificent danger. It is most pleasing to be chased after, especially when he wore his worry so well. This one has real promise; the young woman thought to herself and sped up her retreat.


Sirella gave everyone in her entourage a moment to take everything in. With pride, she watched as this second mate of Worf's gaped at the beauty of the Klingon opera house. Dangling from the vaulted ceilings were rows of deadly looking crystal chandeliers, razor sharp and glinting with the luminous glow from the hundreds of candles. If one were to drop to the floor, the results could be catastrophic, or by Klingon standards... an encore.

It was as near to awe as Nevasa could experience. This building was magnificent. She deduced that it was a collection of many smaller building absorbed into one. The styling was eclectic and stages of building technology evident in the various stages of additions. Though haphazard in some parts, the construction was solid and it flowed especially in the use of the timbers and stone blocks, favored choice of the structure.

Sirella told Nevasa that this House was an ancient one. Its purpose and construction segregated from war and strife. One of the few remaining buildings still standing after the numerous wars and skirmishes that her people had shared in through the ages. Displayed upon the walls were famous daggers, swords, shields and other accruements of the Klingon warrior. No one but a fellow warrior could appreciate the beauty of such a collection. These were pieces of history, well within arms reach. Just as the centuries had rolled on, men and women had learned the art of war and with it came the tools of such an art.

"These are our finest treasures," Sirella boasted to her Vulcan companion as she gestured to the battle tools.

Nevasa felt an iron clad grip upon her wrist as she was compelled to follow her Klingon matriarch. "This is my favorite," She spoke with reverence as they halted at a fine honed suit of armor. In the belly there was a gaping hole. It was surrounded by rust and caked with what looked like blood. Nevasa wondered how long the blood had been there and if it was refreshed for effect.

Do Klingons think blood is beautiful? She wondered to herself and her silent query was answered with Sirella's comment.

"This suit of armor is one of the most sacred of my clan. She who founded my clan, died in it... it is her blood." And Sirella gingerly touched the wound in the armor. "Her blood that bore a nation."

Nevasa saw how others watched Sirella graze her fingertips over the wound. But no one else dared to touch her family's honor. It was as if it was a silent understanding amongst them all; touch only that which you know is yours or what you are entitled to or be prepared to fight for your life. Sirella let her fingers slide into the rusty hole in the armor to feel the inside of the cool metal. Violent-looking spikes covered the suit, most heavily upon the breasts. And it was a slim-looking suit. Unlike the others around which were obviously suits made for a male figure.

A golden gleam caught Nevasa eyes. By the suit's side dangled a golden chain. On it was... and Nevasa choked back a gasp... and turned her head away to escape the barbarism. In revulsion, Nevasa absently touched her ear, recalling the gruesome display of severed flesh. Sirella noticed the direction of her gaze and smiled at the squeamishness of this demure female.

"Come, "she urged her charge. "We shall attend to the men now".

And along with their silent entourage, Sirella and Nevasa walked past countless daggers and swords. Still encrusted with blood old and new, ornate and simple, familiar and foreign. One in particular caught Nevasa's attention. It was a familiar looking one. She remembered a duplicate on Worf's wall, from his collection. It was now strapped to her outer thigh, as an accessory for her formal attire.

The couples met at the entrance of a dark staircase. Surrounding the foyer were grand cases but this one, by comparison, was narrow and dark. A striking resemblance to an ancient stairwell in Vulcan dungeons, Nevasa mused to herself. As the smoke from the candlelight and torches began to tease at Nevasa's throat, Worf came to her side and offered his arm to escort his wife up the dark staircase. He held his hand out; hers was to rest on top of his. With Martok in the lead, they made their way up the casement and to the 'family seating area. It was a cramped stairwell, slightly lit, by dim floor lights and the lights at the top of the stairs. It wound around and around. The short steps made Nevasa's calves ache. It was with the final step that her muscles threatened to give out. The stair well opened up onto the largest indoor amphitheatre Nevasa had ever seen. Nevasa looked around to the great upper hall of the opera house. Everywhere she looked the building only grew larger and grander.

The crowd seemed to part in her approach. Nevasa had a strange sense of pride at her association with this family. Not that others feared, but rather respected this clan. It was a situation that the humble Nevasa had never experienced before. Her life had been lived in mostly solitary writing and meditations. Short excursions into the desert and the occasional formal gathering with Sashek, but nothing of this grandeur and certainly not having an association with such a high standing family. Their status was obvious.

Sirella looked forward as they approached her private box. But Martok glanced over his shoulder to give the couple a wink. Martok's youngest son was in awe of it all as well, this being his first theatrical visit. And he had to be redirected more than once back to the path to the box. Sirella removed a key from her bodice and took the chain off her neck. With the quick turn of the key, the door was unlocked and Sirella deftly threw open the large wooden doors. She stood in the center of the room as her guard lit the torches. Then the room came to life. Nevasa with Worf upon her arm dared to step in. A stylized table, just enough for a plate of food or a tankard of ale, with bench seating that could be divided if desired. The fold down armrests could be used for comfort when sitting or for pillows if there was room to stretch out. There was room for up to ten people in this seating.

Sirella beckoned Nevasa to her side. Worf released his wife and Nevasa glided forward. Sirella parted the long dark drapes and there before her was the most glorious stage one could imagine. The Vulcan woman stifled her murmur of pleasure. From floor to ceiling was a gilded ornate sculpture. Writhing bodies, hunted animals, hair flying, limbs lunging: it was a masterpiece of energy and life. Nevasa was once again in awe.

It was the exuberance of Sirella's youthful son that spoke what all whispered in their heart. "Now that is something!" And he closed his mouth quickly as he saw how Sirella darted him a death glance.

Nevasa longed to touch the carvings to absorb their living energy. She swore that if she dropped her shielding she would be able to feel their life forces. The colors were the colors of life and once again she wondered if the paint was blood or other natural pigments. All the emotions, which a sentient being could have, were displayed upon the enormous faces on the larger than life carvings around the stage. Joy, despair, lust, greed, the blood lust of warfare, hatred, rage, and even the tenderness between a mother and child. Nevasa could not tell if the child was newly born or newly deceased. The expression on the mother's face could mean either.

All of these guises of Klingon life were an insight into the Klingon way. This was the strong heartbeat of her husband's people. It beat in a rhythm slightly different from her own, with a stress on the third of five beats. It was a tempo she had grown to cherish in her beloved husband. It was this heartbeat she felt as Worf pressed his chest to her back.

Sirella awaited her mate and he attended to her needs first. He then entreated the others to take their seats. Attendants had arranged all before hand. Each seat had a name upon it. It was a practice to ensure that everyone knew his or her place, as per Sirella's clan's practice.

There was a purposeful rap at the outside door casement and all eyes drew to the threshold. There, in the doorway with one of the stylized front entrance guardians, was a penitent Alexander.

"We found this skulking in the halls." The glowering officer began. "He insists that he is of the house of Martok. Does he belong to you?"

The ensemble let out a deep chuckle as Martok admitted the young man into the private chamber.

"Yes, he is one of ours. We appreciate you directing him here." The stoic officer only grumbled then he turned on his heel and strode down on the hall. With a hearty clasp on the back, Martok drew Alexander closer. "You could not find her?" The young man swallowed hard as he listened to his Uncle continue. "Too bad. It will not look good to her mother." The one eyed Klingon gave the young man a toothy grimace then slipped back to his wife's side.

It took all of Alexander's strength not to quiver at Martok's comments. Then his father gave him cause to jump as Worf's gruff voice took on its usual accusatory tone. "Alexander, you look as if you were running through the halls. "

"Yes," Nevasa interjected, "Your face is all flushed."

"Even though he was bulky, that guard was a fast walker!" The group accepted that answer with another round of grunts and chuckles. Alexander gently sighed in relief. Once again it was his mother's type of humor that succeeded in deflecting further scrutiny. Strange how at times her ghost would visit him in this form from time to time.

A lack of seating for Alexander was obviously noticed by all. By tradition it would fall to his mother to entreat an invitation from the hostess. Nevasa had her shields firmly in place thus she could not feel Worf's private query through their bond. It was a few taps on her hand before she turned to her handsome Klingon. He nodded towards Alexander, and she deduced that it was her place to request his attendance. The offer was requested and accepted. A seat was brought in for Alexander; their chamber guardian waited for Nevasa to indicate where the chair should be placed.

"Here by his father's side will be most appropriate." She bowed her head in appreciation for his assistance.

There was a shrilling screech that over ran the loud roar of the many voices in the theater. How it had over powered the numbers, Nevasa deduced that it had to be amplified. The shriek sounded again. Nevasa watched the crowds take their seats below them. The night before, Nevasa had quietly absorbed the older language that was to be used here, using chemical implants. She had not wanted the universal translator to miss a translation and interfere with her enjoyment of her mate's language... not to mention how disgraceful it would look to the others.

Similar private boxes hung suspended upon the stonewalls of the theater and she could see other groups in their boxes. The curtain still closed; another shriek rose above the din until finally the crowd silenced. All were tense, as the shrieks continued until it was one long wail. As the shriek transformed into a note, a high trilling note then it slowly descended through the scales until it disappeared in a quiet bass.

Worf's hand tightened around hers as the room went black. His warm breath was felt as he brushed her hair with his lips. Every torch was suddenly extinguished and the place was enveloped in inky blackness. He wrapped an arm around her, pulling her closer. Yet it was so dark that Nevasa could not see her Worf beside her. With a sudden crash, the unexpected sound broke the silence, causing Nevasa to jolt in her seat. She heard Worf soft laughter and the slight rumble in his chest.

A sliver of light emerged as the curtain parted and a single player stepped forward. The figure was an ambiguous one, neither male nor female and the voice was equally as androgynous: a mid-tone that disguised the gender. An interesting sensation, not knowing if one was male or female, Nevasa noted. The voice was rich as it bleated out its story.

"Let there be light!"

Nevasa squinted, as the theater was flooded with a bright light. Harmonious voices cajoled and rejoiced in the light letting even the audience join in the overture. It seemed to Nevasa that everyone know the libretto and the melody, including Alexander. It was a massive feeling of oneness as the rumblings of a thousand voices lifted in one note. Even the young Alexander's face was transformed into a singer who shared his heart with all around him. Each individual voice was lost in the crowd but necessary to the overall effect of one large overwhelming voice in the night. Then the theater went dark again; a low drum beat steadily. Light increased as numerous firepots burst into life upon the center stage.

There upon the misty floor was one man, a beautiful man with long black hair, a trimmed beard and bright eyes. Even from this distance, his eyes shone bright as he sang his song of goodness and virtue. From the depths of the mist came other figures and other voices... male and female, each in their youthful prime.

The dissonant chords created by the mingled voices began to grate on Nevasa's nerves, like nails scratching on a black board. As they rose in volume and intensity, she winced, hoping it would not continue like this throughout the entire performance. Her sensitive Vulcan hearing might not be able to tolerate this without popping an eardrum or two. She thought ruefully how Klingon it would be to have her eardrums popped for art. These people were unique, she told herself and thought of how Surak would approve of all of this, a small price to pay for honour and IDIC. Then the dissonance began to lighten and Nevasa was able to begin to understand the language of the singers and the story began to unfold within the voices of the tortured singers. Garbed in sheer white shifts, the Spirits of Life introduced themselves. Nevasa recognized these as typical archetypes in most cultures; Truth, Love, Death, Birth, Justice, Beauty, Change and all around the theater it was dark except for the mist covered stage signifying Sto-Vor-Kor.

And Nevasa caught her breath; the rhythm was so dynamic and the story so compelling that she had been, for those two hours, transported elsewhere, to this world's distant past. Klingons do have a rich theater, she thought and Worf over-heard her mentally whispered compliment. As this first story drew to a close, the house torchlights sputtered anew and the thunderous applause finally let up.

"Will there be more?" Nevasa inquired.

"Indeed!" Her mate's deep voice teasingly replied.

The group retreated from their sanctum and joined the throng outside in the foyer. This upper landing was an equally abundant weapon's cache. Nevasa found herself separated from Worf and along with other women, came to one side of the grand foyer.


As she emerged from the powder room, Nevasa felt a bit shaken by her unexpected discovery. But it was neither the time nor the place to discuss such matters. After the Opera, in the privacy of her home, this disappointment could be shared with he who is her mate. For now, the Vulcan woman would continue with the evening as if nothing was amiss. Sirella and the others swept her up in their wake and they all once again mingled amongst the thickly crowded room. It was elbow to elbow and Nevasa was finding it difficult to continue her shielding attempts; but it was not impossible. The elder females' gazes prowled about. Their attentions landed upon the young girl who seemed to be the toast of the event.

Nevasa was attentive to Sirella's salty comments. "Only last week, that one conducted her first 'Be'joy'. A right of womanhood." Sirella took that moment to clarify the ritual to her Vulcan companion. "It is when a young female shows her skill at removing the layers of skin, one at a time. Her subject must of course remain alive."

Another companion of Sirella's, the lady Valkris took that pause to interject her gossip. "I have heard reports how that one's mother has begun accepting prospects for the hand of her daughter. But I believe she is going to put off any match." Lady Valkris' tone lowered and the group huddled in response. All seemed to enjoy the conspiratorial nature of the gossip. "I remember that one's mother. She is the type to hold out for the best possible choice." This gossip, though more barbed and vulgar, was not very unlike the type of women talk that Vulcan humans and other females around the quadrant participated in. Nevasa found it amusing how the life story of others was fodder for the bored and saucy, no matter what the species. The talk turned from a passing interest of others to the over all general nature of the individual women's beliefs. The room grew warm on Nevasa. A sensation she had not experienced here on Qo'noS before.

It was necessary to maintain her mental shielding around so many people. Not to do so would have been most unwise. With all of the laughter and brutal looks, the emanations of these people were written upon their faces. The powers of a touch telepath were not needed to ascertain the mood of the room. It could be heard and felt in her chest. There was steady hum of conversation, chests beating with laughter, and more than one combat had broken out amongst the opera patrons, male and female alike.

Nevasa wondered if before the night was out, a suit of armor would be donned or a weapon plucked from its home ready to do battle in the ancient Klingon warrior ways. But matters seemed to have resolved themselves quickly and without bloodshed. The room was packed tight. Thus any clumsy misstep would cause one to jostle another. Concealed weapons or well-jabbed elbows or knees could do much damage in the full-bodied room. It was amazing that this level of confinement did not drive them all mad and demanding their personal space. But all seemed to be coping well with the over crowding and in fact many seemed to revel in the discomfort of the cramped area.

Must be all of the body heat, Nevasa deduced and her attention focused again on the circle of conversation she was expected to participate in.

Valkris' younger daughter commented, "Beauty is only fleeting and that one had better hone her warrior skills if she wishes to keep any mate." The numerous scarring told the story of this young woman's battles the night before with her mate. She bore her wounds proudly, a black eye and a bound wrist. Nevasa could not attest to the husband's state considering all were informed that he was far too injured to attend to this evening's performance.

"It was quite a loud group, don't you think?"

"Yes, no decorum. But I must say she did put on quite a show."

"I believe it was more her incompetence with her blade and tools. Can you imagine? Hitting the artery?"

"Oh yes and her shocked look when she was doused with his blood!" Sirella chuckled eerily.

"I think I still see some. A bit behind her ears!"

And they all shared an uproarious laugh, their bloodwine sloshing over the brims. Nevasa watched the drops hit the stone ground. The red nectar splashed then spread out over the stones, seeping into the cracks. Klingon blood... For a moment it was as if she had stepped out of time. The noise level around her echoed in a deadly muffle. The drips transformed into a lethargic liquid trail. Her concentration defaulted to that personal bloody discovery while in the powder room and its disappointing implications. Nevasa drew her hand to her flushed face, closed her eyes; and then reset her shielding. In that instant all perception returned to normal.

It seemed that an inner level of tranquility had automatically initialized itself in response to the stimulus overload. The inner steely curtain of composure drew itself closed, blocking out the disturbing inner and outer turmoil. Fascinating, Nevasa thought. How a Vulcan could find all of this overwhelming. But she refused to surrender her discipline, though it had wavered. Perhaps it was time for she and Worf to return to the box and wait out the remainder of the performance. To properly interact with such a boldly murderous people, the demure Vulcan might require more meditations before hand. She filed that consideration away for her next encounter with such a large mass gathering.

It was the Lady Sirella who broke Nevasa's reverie when she asked, "What rites of womanhood do Vulcans have if any?"

"Yes," Valkris' daughter added, "what sort of threat could a female have over her mate in order to force him to comply to her wishes."

It was amazing to Nevasa how in Klingon society the marriage was dealt with, as a battle would be.

From across the room, Worf felt his mate's shielding increase. No longer could he sense that smoldering tickle in his head that he had discovered to be their bond. As they prepared for the evening, he had voiced his concerns at how she would react to all of this discussion. She had warned him that it might be necessary to block him out as well for this occasion. It would have been preferable to be by her side but she was strong. For him to come to her rescue would be most... inappropriate. But the sudden severing was most unnerving to Worf and he mentally chafed against this obstruction to her.

A frigid cold blew through Nevasa as she attempted to answer these queries with the most efficiency and least reaction. Though all she longed to do was retreat to the serenity of her mastery but for some reason it was eluding her this night. "Vulcans, in the past, were mind killers." She began to recite from a text she had studied in her parent's home so very long ago. "It was also not unheard of to allow a male to die in Pon Farr. For what ever reason the female deemed appropriate."

A chill seeped into Worf's being. It was as if this icy barrier between them gave off its own reality. Tradition be damned he mumbled to himself and abruptly left Martok and the other men of his group. With the great care, he made his way to the half partition, but could not pass it. A gulf of female bodies blocked his way and there, in the throng with her green gown and pointed ears, was his mate.

A Vulcan statue. Her flesh even more pale then usual. Her lips gently moved as she uttered to her companions who were oblivious to her discomfort of their company. But it was more than that Worf deduced. It was as if she were blocking something within herself as well. Attempting to shield herself from something deep within. He noted her clenched fist by her side, betraying her tension. Now that he knew to be a sign of distress. Although Vulcans possessed a constitution equal to a Klingon that much she had proved to him during the days of lovemaking it was something else that was wrong. He knew her well enough and his instinct was to protect her now. Over the half partition, the young face of Kor'JaHl paused in front of him.


"Nevasa, is it true about the Pon Farr and the death of the mate? Do you die when your mate does?"

They began to bombard Nevasa with questions. "I heard about this ritual separation. No sex? How can you live like that?" So many questions were hurled at her that Nevasa was uncertain whom to answer first and for some reason she could not recall if she was supposed to answer or to decline citing the Vulcan oath of privacy.

She seemed compelled to answer her inquisitors' charges one by one. The answers were from rote memory and it seemed strange to recite from long remembered texts. Words that the ancients had written so very long ago, but words that still held true in the recent rites of Vulcan bonding. She watched the women laughing at her formulated answers. They cold-heartedly joked about how a man would die from frustration.

A strange sentiment ambled through the Vulcan:[Weak, I feel so weak, in front of them.]

Nevasa reassured herself that all would unfold, as it should. She needed to justify this. Now she realized by revealing such private information, how many Vulcan taboos had been broken. She was still recovering from her Pon Farr and had not yet had her shielding put back in it proper place. She was among non-telepaths and did not feel the need to have her mental shielding solidly in place. She was not used to these great crowds, too much jostling and noise, along with feeling disoriented.

One of the women suggested that he should find another, and Nevasa added in a deadly calm voice, "The male is incapable of finding another. He is bonded to the one woman in his body and his mind and will die, alone, ceremoniously, as a decaying animal in the desert. After our great sun, Nevasa, after which I was named... chars the skin, his skin shrivels and the scavenger birds pick at his eyes. The le'matya will battle over his bones and his remains will be scattered about the desert floor. A horrible death will be endured. Days of screaming and agony-searing fire will lance through his body and mind. No amount of physical self-gratification will alleviate it. For her mind and her body is the only touch in the universe that will save him." Nevasa was uncertain if it was a fear or respect that she saw in Sirella's eyes as she finished her diatribe. "Ramshackled remnants of rejected generations litter our desert floor. No mercy. No pity. Only kaiidth. That is the Vulcan way."

Nevasa let out a shiver as she thought of her deepest darkest hours, when she shuddered in agony, during the severing of the telepathic link from a man who never gave her a child nor won her heart. Rejected, then cast aside by Sashek. Though a woman's survival rates are higher. It was not unheard of for a female to expire from the mating fires. As her breathing slowed, Nevasa felt her heart racing. She had not realized how exited she had become while speaking of this, and then suddenly Kor'JaHl appeared at her elbow.

The youth was given a few questioning looks; it was a social insult to have her intrude on their space. But her mother was in tow and she demanded from Nevasa, a formal introduction to the lady of Alexander's house. Sirella smiled at the boldness of this young slip of a girl and offered her greeting to Kor'JaHl.

The matronly woman at Kor'JaHl's side waited for only a moment before interjecting. "So this is the dog's matriarch. I would have never guessed from his lack of manners and protocol. I have heard of you, Sirella. Where in the hell did you ever pick up a pa'Tahk like the one she is considering?"

As the two matrons engaged in a friendly exchange of insults, Kor'JaHl took that moment to whisper to Nevasa, "Your mate awaits thee." Warmth passed between the two women. Nevasa thanked Kor'JaHl and waited for a pause in the conversation to excuse herself. Kor'JaHl insisted that she go and would make her excuses for her. By her honour, as she was to be a future daughter-in-law. Nevasa thanked her for her compassion and discreetly abandoned the group as quickly as she could.

"We will leave now." Was Nevasa's urgent order as she breezed past her Klingon towards the grand exit way.

Her compelling utterance took Worf by surprise. This was not his Vulcan mate's usual tone. He tucked his claim check into his pocket and followed in her green brocade wake. She paused at the threshold, and Worf witnessed her white knuckled grip upon the elaborate door jam. As he peered into her face he was taken aback by her extremely blanched complexion. Her eyes were clenched shut as tightly as her fists.

"Nevasa?" Worf tenderly stroked her bare back as he attempted to discover the source of her discomfort.

Silence was the answer. The Vulcan drew in a long, deep breath, attempting to stave off this sudden wave of nausea. Again she blocked out the massive wall of emotional noise that was the Klingon gathering. Nevasa straightened her posture and smoothed down her gown. Ignoring the chill of the late evening air, the stoic Vulcan continued with her careful retreat, her mate in tow.

While in the aircar, Worf watched Nevasa attempt to resurrect her composure. But it seemed that something was blocking her success. If he did not know better, he would believe that... "Are you in pain?" he asked as the possibility suddenly occurred to him.

"Yes, I am." Nevasa refused to look at him. Could not look at him for the moment. How to begin? She only desired to be in the privacy of their home. Once there, she knew that a deep mediation was required to dispel this discomfort and evoke her serenity once again. But the violence was bothering her. Was this the kind of life she wished to lead? The casual disregard for the fundamental beauty of life these Klingon had was abominable. Or was that it? The Vulcan who had the answers so well worked out before was now confused and muddled. Or was this blood lust an alternate expression of love of life?

No! Serenity was desired and required for the successful continuation of her balanced Vulcan existence. But she must admit that there were times, with her Worf...finally Nevasa swept her gaze over her mate. Concern brimmed in his eyes. Then she realized that her barriers were still blocking the bond. She longed to reach out to him, to touch his essence but it was not her desire to share this anguish with him. In fact this entire reaction was becoming rather distasteful. And the resulting shame even more so. Instead the Vulcan sat and stared at the Klingon in the seat beside her. A man who had shared so much already with her. More memories and joys in their short union than all the decades with her previous mate. How to impart her sorrow at her disappointing discovery?

"Is something wrong?" he inquired, his subtle baritone filling the small aircar.

"Worf," Nevasa faltered then decided to first speak of her concerns "This lifestyle is unwanted."

Worf furrowed his brows. "I am uncertain of your meaning. Lifestyle? As a Klingon? I would never wish for you to adopt the Klingon way, Nevasa. I know that our way is incompatible with your Vulcan upbringing."

Nevasa should have known that. But still something deep inside of her compelled her to be reassured.

"There is something else? Isn't there?"

Nevasa's heart dwelled on her loss. Never before had she been this close and the irony of it all is that the inseminator should be Klingon. She longed to tell him but the matter of the savagery must be cleared up first, before all other considerations.

Nevasa thought of all of her conclusions regarding these people. It was not logical to judge them. Nor was it fair. There were very valid reasons for this Klingon sensibility. It was mostly instinctual. The Vulcan trembled as she wondered if he expected her to not only accept but to also appreciate this sensibility. Klingons were a culture of hunters; the pursuit of honor and glory was their way of life, a strong killing and hunting instinct. Everything revolved around it. It could not be escaped. Their art, music, architecture even the language was imbued with metaphors and images of excruciating death and magnificent murder. It was a subject that seemed to consume them.

"This level of violence is unacceptable for me. The exposure has overloaded my nervous system. That is all." Nevasa attempted to deflect his concern for her physical well-being. She was not quite ready to deliver the blow. The aircar jerked to a sudden halt and Nevasa involuntarily let out a quick gasp.

Worf attempted to offer her a consolation. "Perhaps this is not only chaffing against your discipline but a painful reminder of what Vulcans were or what they too are capable of?"

"A racial memory?" Nevasa offered absently as her mate hit upon something that had eluded her. Perhaps it was a racial memory. Wars, strife, pain, endless pain that had ruled the Vulcan collective consciousness for generations. Many have wished to tap into this potential power. But for a responsible Vulcan it is a power to harness deep within, to temper it with discipline, and ruthlessly forge it into a new practice of serene emotional mastery. For too long she has allowed her face to smile, her heart to swell with love, and her mind to dwell on the prospects of physical exchanges with Worf. Pain was the result of this friction against her rigid discipline. She could be killing herself if she continued with this course. It could even be the reason for... No! She chided herself for the fruitless speculation. It was just not meant to be. Like all the others.

Her Vulcan emotions were intense, not savage as the Klingons were. It was a different quality of values but violence was the end result when they were unleashed. Could Worf appreciate her struggle, her battle within her core?

"Your savagery that Sirella and the others spoke of, their feral grins as they talked of blood spilt and carnage glorified..." Nevasa began to realize that this culture was one of indoctrinated violence. Violence was given to the children to desensitize them, to make them willing and capable of killing later on in life. Or to be able to watch the killing. She looked to Worf and saw him in a new light. Is he such a beast as well? Could the very thing she was now drawn to be what she despises later on in their life together? He was the one who sent his only quarter-human son out to these le'matyas. Now Alexander has become one of his own kind.

"Would you do that to our children as well? Raise them to be killers?" Nevasa sought his answer and all her mate could do was squirm in his seat.

He had no answer. He had wanted a perfect Klingon son in Alexander. Children were a real possibility for them both and he had not really given that a thought. All this Starfleet officer looked forward to, was a happy union with this lovely woman by his side.

And lovely she was with her low cut gown and ringlets of sable draped about her pale throat. Her intensity was always alluring but these serious questions raised their commitment to a new level. A new confirmation. It seemed that there was much to not only discover about the other but to compromise too. Now, to compromise was something Worf had a great deal of difficulty doing. Always his hand had to be forced by the women in his life. Jadzia, Deanna, K'Ehleyr. Even his mother. Stubborn and unreceptive, these traits he had always assumed to be the hallmark of his Klingon heritage. But in fact there were just character traits with him. But this one... her strength lay more in her ability make him believe as if he were not compromising. Her wishes became his. And that was an unexpected boon to him. Something about this Vulcan gently compelled him to her side every time. The words emerged from his soul as he shared them with she who is the mistress of his heart.

"No, I do not expect us to all act as Klingons. I am the only Klingon in our family, Nevasa. Yes I have the blood lust and my appetite is voracious but you are not expected to follow this way."

"Are you certain?" Was her impetuous reply. Her hand flew up to his temples and Worf's reality dissolved into the memory of a past event. And she shared with him the delight they both felt as he had pressed the knife to her body in their passions. How they were both left breathless in this precarious balance of the life and death. The possibility of harm and control.

And he agreed, "Yes, that was exciting. But it was not our only time together. You do know that a knife is not required for arousal?" And the Klingon reached for his Vulcan.

Nevasa withdrew. "I wish to go home," was her meek request.

"That is where we are going."

"No, my home. Vulcan."

And the remainder of the journey was shared in silence.


Alexander moved through the common room as quietly as he could. He did not want to disturb his father or Nevasa. Out of the corner of his eye, he caught some movement. He moved closer to the couch... where his father was fast asleep. He shrugged and turned back towards his room.

"Alexander...?" the deep voice inquired somewhat sleepily.

"Yes." He returned to his father's side. "Why are you here?"

Worf sat up, pushing the thin covering aside. "Your step-mother... Nevasa was ill." He was stiff in his movements.

Alexander was surprised, she had not appeared to be ill in any way, but he was not well versed in Vulcan behaviours. "She has seen a doctor?"

"Yes. She will recover." He sighed wondering if that was a truthful statement.

"May I ask... what happened? Kor'JaHl mentioned that she did not believe Nevasa was well." Alexander yawned; he covered it quickly with his hand.

"She is most perceptive... that Kor'JaHl." Worf hesitated a moment. "She lost our child." It was the first time he had uttered the words.

"My condolences, Father." Alexander looked around the room not knowing what to say. He was astounded that a Vulcan and a Klingon were capable of conception without medical intervention. But now was not the time to ask for clarification. Instead he asked, "That was the reason you left the opera so suddenly..."

"Yes." Worf not prepared to explain this to others yet, answered succinctly, "That is why."

Alexander watched his father seemingly sink into the sofa. He had never seen his father so tired or seemingly so defeated. "I can make some raktajino...?" His head turned to the doorway as Nevasa stepped in.

"You should be in bed." Worf stood throwing back the remainder of the covers.

"I am capable of preparing tea, my husband. I am not an invalid." She realized that Alexander was there and she closed her robes more tightly. "Good day, Alexander. The opera was enjoyable?"

Alexander nodded and frowned. Why would she concern herself with his activities, considering... "My condolences on your loss, be'batlh." He used the ancient title of 'Honoured Woman' as he wanted to show Nevasa, and his father, the respect he felt.

Nevasa bowed her head. He would forgive her silence she was certain. She continued on to the kitchen.

Alexander looked to his father then mumbled something about needing to change... he had training. He knew they wanted and needed to be alone.

Worf followed her into the kitchen, then leaned on the doorframe, his arms folded across his chest.

"Are you to be my shadow for the entire day?" She asked with some annoyance. She continued to prepare the tea, not even looking back at him.

"If it is necessary."

"The doctor was clear that I was not in any danger and all is proceeding properly."

"That was a Klingon doctor." Worf spit out. He was amazed that his wife would trust a man who was not only drunk but also leering at her through hooded lids... "He is not qualified to make that judgment."

"I will accept his conclusions. My own body is qualifying his statement." She continued with her task. "Now if you do not mind, I will finish preparing my tea and retire for the morning... with my PADD. I have work to finish."

Worf had a need to discuss this, to share his... disappointment with Nevasa. Her distance was most unnerving and though he was a reserved man when it came to his own emotions... this was too much. "My wife..." he began as he moved closer to her blocking her path to the door.

She halted his words with a finger to his lips, "I know... I feel it as well..."

Worf took the teacup from her hand and placed it on the counter. They looked into the other's eyes and once again... connected, but unlike the other times this was not a mutual sharing of passion but a sharing of their loss. He gathered her into his arms, holding her protectively against his chest. Nevasa molded against the familiar firmness, her arms wrapped around his upper arms. Both closed their eyes and let out long held sighs.

"Seven years, my mate. Seven years until my body is once again fertile." This was the cycle that she was accustomed to.

"Then we have all those years to perfect our technique."

Nevasa looked up to him, quirked her eyebrow, "Well, our practices may resume once I have fully recovered. Four weeks was the recommended time."

Worf gently took her chin and drew her face to his... a soft brushing of their lips was all they shared. A tender bitterness they both felt in this melancholy moment, it was difficult to feel the loss of something they did not know they had. But it was a loss never the less.

"I believe that I will return to bed... I am feeling... uncomfortable."

"As you wish..." Worf reached down and lifted her into his arms, "You should not have come down." He made his way to the stairs and the climb with ease in spite of the weight he carried.

"I am capable of making it up the stairs on my own."

"You should have mentioned this at the bottom..." One knee knelt on the edge of the bed as he leaned forward and placed her on the bed, "... not after I have carried you all the way up." He brushed back the wisps of hair from her face. "I will return with your tea and the PADD you were working on."


The door chime sounded just as his foot hit the bottom stair. He growled a complaint to himself then answered the door. He was surprised. "Chancellor Martok? Lady Sirella? What brings you here this early?"

Martok held out his arm, draped over it were the forgotten capes. "Your capes. The attendant recalled that you had arrived with us and asked if they could be returned."

Worf stepped back after relieving Martok of them and accepted the company for the present. He silently agreed that he would only share the information if asked. "Surely that can not be the only reason..."

"It is not." Sirella stated as she looked around the common room. "Nevasa was ill, was she not?"

Worf nodded.

"What is the problem?" She stared at Worf, "I trust you obtained the services of a physician?"

"Yes. Last night." Worf gestured for the two to sit. The cover that he had used was still in a heap on the couch. He grabbed at it then folded it quickly and tossed it onto the back of the chair. "I was about to prepare some tea. Do you wish some raktajino?"

Martok nodded. "Yes and make it strong." He relaxed into the corner of the couch. They had not slept for long and Sirella was ordering him up and dressed for this visit. "How is Alexander this morning?"

"He has training this morning. He seemed to be functional." Worf wondered what trouble Alexander had gotten himself into after he and Nevasa had left. Nothing too damaging he trusted, he would have heard about it by now.

"Worf. Your room is at the top of the stars?" Sirella stated.

"Sirella..." He stopped her with his voice, "It is not advisable. She needs rest."

Sirella sat back down. "And the nature of her illness?"

Worf placed the tray of beverages down then looked to Sirella and Martok. He poured the hot dark liquid then sat back with his own. He knew that the direct approach was the best. He took a breath then stated, "She experienced a miscarriage."

Sirella and Martok were silent for a time; it was an experience they had shared years ago.

Worf collected the small teapot and cup and stood. "I will return."


Worf stepped into the dimly lit bedroom; he felt Nevasa's gentle touch on his thoughts. "I brought your tea." He placed the teapot and cup on the platform that surrounded the bed, and then sat down close to her head. He leaned slightly on the edge of the bed. "Sirella and Martok are here. I forgot the capes." He watched his wife as she shifted to a more comfortable position.

"Lights, fifty percent." Nevasa sat up as the room brightened. Her fingers caressed his face and before she could say any more, Sirella appeared in the doorway.

Worf turned.

"Forgive the intrusion, Nevasa." Sirella bowed her head ever so slightly. "I wanted to see for myself that you are well taken care of." She indicated Worf, "What would any warrior know about caring for a female."

Worf smiled slightly, "I will be downstairs." He growled slightly as he passed Sirella as he was expected to do.

Sirella moved closer to the bed. "Your colour has improved since last night." She sat on the edge of the bed. "The physician that saw you, what was his diagnosis... other than the obvious."

"I will recover with no complications." Nevasa watched Sirella pour the tea then accepted the welcome beverage.

"Good. It would not do for Worf to be planning a funeral directly after a mating." Sirella looked around the room as much as good taste allowed. They had managed to find the balance between them. She had wondered about the mating from the start, but the more she knew and saw of this one, the more she felt that she was the correct choice for Worf. Jadzia owed his heart for a time and they might have been happy together but the Trill did not have the presence that this Vulcan had. This one made Worf alive, as a mate should stir the passions. "I had not expected you to be suffering from anything more than being overwhelmed by Klingons..."

"It had begun before I left the opera house. I should have been more attentive."

"The outcome would not have changed." Sirella stated.

"No." Nevasa sipped on her tea.

Sirella had been sitting with a small box on her lap. Her hand ran over the ornate lid. "I intended to present this to you and Worf after the opera." She placed the carved wooden box on the bed beside Nevasa. "I would like to say that this has been in the family for centuries... but it is for you and Worf to begin your own traditions."

Nevasa placed her cup beside the pot then opened the lid. She lifted out the fabric that had been used to protect the mysterious contents.

"I did not believe this mating was a good idea. For Worf or for you. However the more I investigated the Vulcan people, the more I discovered that there are similarities." Sirella waved Nevasa to continue, "One of those similarities is ceremonies. And this is to perform a tea ceremony. However this tea is..."

"Poisonous." Nevasa lifted an eyebrow. There was a passing thought that perhaps Sirella was not pleased with these mating. "I have read about the ceremony briefly, but it was some time ago and before I had knowledge of your language."

"I am sure Worf will explain it more clearly than I." Sirella stood. "I should take my leave. Martok does not enjoy waiting." She bowed her head slightly, "If I can be of service... please contact me."

"I am honoured, Lady Sirella." Nevasa bowed her head.

Sirella turned and headed down the stairs.

Nevasa pulled the ornately carved box onto her lap. She lifted out the porcelain looking cups. They were tall, elegant without being too delicate and were lined with a metal finish. They resembled the mugs used for bloodwine but much smaller. She reached into the fabric only to discover another small case, inside was a dried flower. She lifted it out knowing that it was the woody stem that was crushed and used for the tea. She would make a point to learn more about this ceremony and all its meanings.

She moved it all off to the side and slipped down under the covers a little more. In spite of all her bravado, she was tired and needed some rest.

Worf stood in the doorway watching Nevasa. She had been sleeping for some time. After Sirella and Martok left, he had found some things to keep himself busy for a time. Now he wanted only to know that she was feeling better. He also wanted to give her something that he had planned to after the opera, but never had the chance to.

He moved into the room and knelt beside her. He stroked her face with his fingertips, and she opened her eyes. "Well, I was beginning to think you would sleep all day." He smiled. "How do you feel?"

"Hungry." She sat up slowly and leaned back into the collection of pillows. The bed was so large that she did not have to disturb them to sleep, merely moved down in the bed. "Sirella left a gift." She moved the wooden box to the other side of the bed. She watched him for a reaction.

Worf nodded his head slightly, "It is not an unexpected gift considering its meaning." He lifted out the flower then placed everything into the box and covered it with the cloth. He closed the lid and placed it on the floor for the present. "It is used to test bravery. It can also be used as a bond between two that have faced many difficulties. Sometimes a transition in a relationship." Worf stood and pulled off his heavy tunic then his boots. He walked around to the other side of the bed, tucked something underneath the pillow and finished undressing. "I believe that Martok and Sirella used the tea ceremony each time she allowed him back into the house after a particularly long mission." He slipped under the covers. "We will find the antidote for you before the ceremony is performed." Worf looked to her, "That is if you wish the ceremony."

"Yes. I would be honoured by sharing this ceremony of yours."

Worf twisted awkwardly to reach under his pillow. He pulled something out and held it tightly in his hand. "The ceremony will wait until you are well." He sat up facing her, adjusting the covers for his comfort. "For the present however... You are aware that Klingon tradition includes rings?"

"Yes." Nevasa thought for a moment, "I believe there was a different content for the ring with each successive mating."

Worf smiled. "Yes, and for the second it is bronze." He opened the case that held the highly polished matching bands. He slipped one onto her finger, the center of the left hand as dictated in Vulcan tradition. He offered the larger one for her to slip onto his finger.

Afterwards, Nevasa placed her fingers at his temples and reached into his thoughts as only she could. She 'spoke' to him of her disappointment of the recent events and of her deep emotion for him. She trusted that in the future matters would be more positive.


Commander Worf watched as the image of the space station grew. He reached to the controls and closed the protective shielding, shutting off the scene. They had managed to connect with a passenger vessel just beyond the Klingon border and continued on to DS9. He wondered if things would change now. He looked down at the still shiny band on his finger; he rolled his eyes as he imagined the teasing this would cause. His request for double occupancy quarters did not seem to raise any questions. Had they expected him to mate with Nevasa? Alternatively, had they just expected them to reside together?

He lifted his head as he felt his mate enter the observation room. He smiled at her reflection for a moment then turned to face her. "You are most pleasing." She wore Klingon-styled long tunic and pants, in varying shades of burgundy and brown. Her hair was braided and fastened into loops, hiding the true length to her hair.

Nevasa controlled her emotional response, sharing the smile and mental pleasures with only him. Her head tilted, "You were counting the stars?"

Worf smiled then shook his head. "Space stations."

"I sense some uneasiness from you." She moved closer to him, her fingers wrapped around his. She looked up at him, her free hand moved up caressing his face with her fingertips.

Worf sighed. "Many will be most amused at our joining." Worf brushed her cheek with the backs of his fingers, and then his fingertips outlined her ear. "I do not like your hair fastened up."

"Then you would not have the pleasure of taking it down." She lifted one eyebrow. She discreetly checked for others, they were alone. She reached up and kissed him with a gentle passion.


Worf and Nevasa stepped out into the busy corridor. Worf stepped back out of the flow of people. Having only to touch Nevasa's arm, she followed him as he moved to another corridor. "Wait for a moment, it will not be as crowded." He looked beyond the passengers and spotted Odo checking credentials. Worf observed Quark was being his usual curious self off to the side, then Worf spotted Captain Sisko. Sisko did not look relaxed or pleased, so obviously, the situation was worsening.

Worf started down the short corridor towards Sisko, feeling Nevasa at his side. Worf stopped in front of the commanding officer, bowed his head in greeting, and said, "Captain."

Sisko forced a smile, "Good to have you back, Commander. We are going to need all the help we can get." Sisko drew in a breath, "How soon can you be on duty?"

Worf was surprised that he would be needed so soon. "Thirty minutes." He was working out how long it would take him to get their luggage, change into his uniform and settle in. "Perhaps sooner." He added, unable to repress his own curiosity.

"There is a briefing scheduled. I want you there." Sisko looked finally to Nevasa. "Welcome back to DS9, T'sai Nevasa."

Nevasa bowed her head, "The honour is mine." She followed Worf towards their new quarters. She had noted that it was closer to the command section and on a corridor that led directly to the Defiant's loading bay. One did not have to be a statistical expert to understand the meaning.

They stepped into the room. Nevasa turned to speak with him, but Worf disappeared into the bedroom. She paused for a moment at the replicator and ordered two raktajinos, before following him in. It would give him just enough time to use the sonic shower and begin to dress. She stepped into the room and handed him one cup. "I feel the concern. What is the urgency?"

"I am assuming that the Cardassians have stepped up the threats and have become a threat to either the station or to this part of the galaxy." He took sips on the hot drink as he continued dressing. "I do not know how long the briefing will last."

"I have unpacking to do and I can begin work on the new novel." Nevasa sat in the chair, out of the way. "No doubt Quark will wish me to write a new holosuite program. I will remain occupied."

Worf pulled the last of his uniform in place; he tugged his sash into a more comfortable position. He leaned down as he lifted her chin, "This was not the homecoming I had planned."

Nevasa smiled, "There will be time later."

Worf kissed her. He straightened, and with a sigh headed for the door. He stopped and turned around; she was standing in the doorway into the bedroom now. "I will not leave the station without informing you."

"That would be most appreciated." Nevasa bowed her head, "Until later, lo'Dnal'wI."


Worf stopped at Quark's and ordered a glass of prune juice. He did not like the way the meeting had gone. A great deal of trouble was definitely in the works, and the outcome was not positive. There would be many deaths, on both sides before this was over.

"Worf." The petite officer sat on the barstool beside him. "Glad to have you back." Ezri realized how that might have sounded. "I mean aboard the station. With all the fighting and all it is good to have you here." She sighed; nothing ever came out the right way. She looked to Rom as he came over to take her order. "Raktajino, please."

Rom nodded then hurried off to fill the order.

"You didn't seem too pleased at the outcome of the briefing?" Ezri traced an imaginary pattern in the bar top as she spoke with him. The memories she shared of Jadzia were telling her that his body language screamed that fact that he was not pleased. Hunched over, holding onto his glass, and his scowling was the dead giveaway.

"War... is not a pleasing thing." Worf sighed. He growled softly as someone sat on the stool on his other side. He felt hemmed in.

Ezri tapped his hand, "Come on over here. We can talk without being overheard."

"I was not planning on remaining."

"I know, just until you finish that juice of yours." She smiled, "How can you drink that stuff? Sends shivers down..." She stopped, that was a memory from Jadzia. She dropped her eyes for a moment then back up to the large Klingon as he sat across from her. "Sorry."

Worf continued checking the area and drinking his juice. "Perhaps you should try some and then you would know."

Ezri wrinkled her nose at the thought, "Well, maybe another time." She held her cup between her hands and leaned forward slightly. "What do you think of Sisko's decision to send the civilians to a safer place?"

Worf drew in a breath, he tried to look at it objectively, "It is a sensible precaution."

Ezri nodded. She understood what it meant for him to be away from his... mate. This was hard to do. Jadzia's memories were so much on the surface whenever Worf was around and now he had... Nevasa. She had not really met Nevasa and it looked as if she was not going to, at least not right now. Maybe when the war was over.

Worf drained the glass. "I will be returning to my quarters to unpack."

Ezri smiled, "Okay, see you later then." She paused while he stood and placed his glass on the bar, "And Worf... I am pleased to have you here."

Worf was not sure how to answer; he bowed his head slightly, "Until later."


They had a week together. A week. Not very long at all. He stood looking out the viewing port, his arms folded and wearing only his sleep pants. Nevasa was meditating and he chose not to lie on the bed watching her or thinking about her. Instead, he was out here thinking about her. Strange how different his matings were to one another. There was the first and informal one that produced Alexander. His first formal one was a short one; they were still discovering each other when Jadzia died. This one with Nevasa was far shorter, to date, and yet because of the meld he felt more comfortable, as if they knew one another better.

Nevasa had taken the news about Sisko wanting all civilians off the station with Vulcan calm. She had even stated that it was a logical precaution. At least Worf had the ability to arrange for her travel to anywhere she wished. She asked to return to Vulcan. She had matters to attend to and she had said it was time for her to return. Besides, she had considered that it would be a good place to be in the event a Healer was required. He was not sure what she had meant but he had to admit that he felt more comfortable knowing that she would be safer there.

Worf turned when he sensed Nevasa's presence. Her hands wrapped around his waist and her mouth rested against his back. He lifted one of her hands and gently turned one, palm up, then kissed it. "You are rested?"

"Yes." She moved her free arm to lay against his. "You should have been sleeping."

"I could not have slept. Not with you just beyond my reach... in more ways than one." He pulled her around into his arms, her back held tightly against him, his cheek resting on her head. He closed his eyes and breathed in her scent. "I don't want you to go."

"It is irrelevant what is desired by either of us. Captain Sisko's order must be followed." She reached up caressing his face. "We have a week."

Worf sighed, "Or less if arrangements are made sooner." He smoothed back her hair from her face then kissed the top of her head. He spoke softly, "I wish you in bed with me every night until you leave."

Nevasa closed her eyes and began to lower her shields. Her teachings had taught her to suppress these urgings. However, Worf teased at these ancient drives, he would bring them to the surface and almost dare her to feel them. "And if I do not wish this?" Her voice had a teasing note to it, as she turned in his arms and looked up into his dark sparkling eyes. All of her meditative calm left her; she wanted nothing more than him. "How will you convince me?"

He pulled her closer; her hands held him at a small distance from her. "How do you do this to me? Captivate me so?" He growled softly with his words.

Nevasa kissed his bare chest, close to his shoulder. "I too have found myself... captivated by someone I should not found myself paired with. There is no logic to this." She began a very slow path of kisses and gentle nips up his throat. She felt his arms tighten around her.

He lifted her easily into his arms and carried her to their bed. Her gown had ties at the shoulder and down the arm, and was quickly unfastened. He kissed her mouth as he stretched out beside her, his hands slipping the fabric from her as he moved down her body slowly. They had not been together, as such, for over a week and now they would be saying good-bye within the week. He teased her nipple with his tongue then sucked her breast into his mouth. Her hands moved into his hair holding his head as he suckled her. She moaned for him, as her fingers inched their way to the neural points that would join them. No warning was needed now. She could slip into his thoughts and he would sigh with the gentle intrusion.

Worf lifted his head, "I want the fire, T'hy'la." He spoke with a raspy voice. He had discovered that this shared mating fire would more than compensate for the fierce lovemaking that he naturally craved at times. The fire they would share was nowhere close to the fires of Pon Farr, those he hungered for, but this would satisfy.

Nevasa reached into his thoughts, reaching for the memory of their bonding. With that and her own memories, she could give him a semblance of the experience again. Each time that he had asked for this, she had made it a bit more powerful than the last.

Worf felt the first trickle of fire reaching along his nerves. He moaned softly. He removed his clothing then hers in a flurry of movement. He reached to her thoughts, helping to form the bridge, so thoughts could flow between them. His body covered hers and with a growl, he entered her.

Her body arched towards his, accepting him with a pleasure she was always surprised by. In a split second, she could go from the Vulcan calm of not needing or desiring so much as a touch from his hand, to sharing in his Klingon hunger for coupling. It was his desires, his lust for her that would find and fuel her desires of him. She had also discovered that it was addictive, and from the moment it began, she wanted nothing else. He had learned very well, perhaps too well, how to draw her into his passions.

Worf's movements were not fierce; they did not need to be when they joined their minds. His thrusts were strong, and in very little time, he found himself growling then crying out with a shared release. His body shivered as her body writhed under him, both wanting and needing more. He rolled them onto his back. He held her long hair, preventing her from sitting up to straddle him. He wanted her closer. He wanted to taste her mouth, her skin and memorize every inch of her.

His hold on her was urgent; she gave into him, relaxing into his arms. His strong, large hands caressing her back. She committed this sensation to memory as she did every other touch and sensation she would experience. She smiled against his mouth at his voice rumbling in his chest. She could feel it at times throughout her own body, especially his softer growls.

She brushed back his hair, her fingers becoming lost in the soft waves. She kissed him lightly... over and over again. His hands moved up her back slowly, pressing her against him. He brushed back her hair, nuzzled her neck then rested his teeth against her and growled. She shivered, answering him by deepening her hold on his thoughts, increasing the mental fire he hungered for.

His hand splayed across the small of her back and he pushed her towards him as he arched his back, driving himself deeper into her. He growled as his body pumped into her again, his body shivering and before it was over he had bit into her upper arm close to her shoulder.

Nevasa felt his tongue licking her arm; no doubt, he drew blood this time. She remained with her eyes closed, her head resting on his shoulder. She listened at the unique sound of his hearts racing then slowing and committed that to memory. She withdrew her touch on his thoughts but neither shielded their thoughts. She felt the covers being pulled up over her, it had not even seemed as if he had moved.

Worf held her tightly to him. He wrapped one leg around hers, continuing to caress her back as they fell asleep.

Duty would come too soon.


It was one hour until Nevasa would be boarding the vessel, and Worf was overdue in returning from patrol. She checked for the second time, for items she might have missed. It was an illogical action. She was finished packing. This past week had been a flurry of unscheduled duty shifts, changing travel plans, tempers flaring and unbelievably erotic couplings.

Now it was time for her to board the passenger transport that would take her to Starbase 224, and then onto another that would take her home to Vulcan. Her luggage for the most part had been taken and now she had only her haversack and a few books. She placed her travel cape over her arm and shouldered her bag. She checked again that she had the PADD and the memory tube. She did. If need be, she would leave them with someone here, with explicit instructions. Worf would be the only one capable of using it. It was her parting gift for him.

She made one last tour of the living quarters then headed to the Promenade. She had given her word that she would share a drink with Quark. She had refused it in the beginning, and then he explained what was meant by it. They would not be sharing the drink itself but socializing while drinking their own beverage.

"Nevasa." Quark called her over to a table near the front of his establishment. He waved her to her seat then sat opposite her. "Haven't heard from him yet?" He sounded concerned as he would occasionally when he knew no one else was around. He had a 'soft spot' for Worf, but he did not want anyone to know it.

"The last report stated that he was returning." Nevasa thanked him with a tilt of her head, for the drink he placed in front of her.

Quark motioned to the PADD she had placed on the tabletop, "Another classic?"

"It is a parting gift for Worf." She tasted the drink; it was Vulcan kessa juice. "Most refreshing."

"I finally got the supply I wanted a month ago. Can't trust anyone to be on time these days. Every one wants their strip of latinum and no one is willing to do what is required for it." Quark scanned the room habitually, keeping an eye on the goings-on in his bar. He waved a hand to one of the servers then indicated the forgotten glass. It was dealt with immediately and his attention turned back to Nevasa. "So, you were telling me about this program..."

"I was not." Nevasa could not be pulled in that easily.

"What are you going to do if you miss each other?" Quark's curiosity was working overtime. He also had no doubts that she had the program closed to all but the one that knew the code. He had discovered that one-day when one of his clients mistyped the code for one of the scenarios he had purchased from her, and he had to unlock the program first.

"I will leave it with security." She tilted her head slightly. She checked the time on the wall-mounted clock. She had only forty-six minutes until her transport was to be boarded.

"I would be more than happy to hold it for you. It would be secure with me and I would see that he gets it." Quark had been more than pleased at the two-holosuite programs that she presented him with yesterday. Moreover, her fee had been well below reason, but he was not going to argue the point. "Consider it additional payment for the holosuite programs."

Nevasa knew if she accepted it under those terms that he would be bound by his honour to see that it was placed in Worf's hands. "I want it placed in his hand the moment he steps onto the station." She hesitated placing it in his hand for only a moment. "I have not had the time to duplicate this program."

"Understood, Nevasa." Quark slipped the small PADD and the memory tube into the inside pocket of his jacket. He tapped the spot, "It's totally safe here."

Before Nevasa could answer the announcement for boarding the transport was made. Quark stood as she stood. She lifted her hood and slipped the haversack over her shoulder. "If Worf does not receive it as I have stated, I will not write another holosuite program for you of any nature. Is that understood?"

Quark was taken aback. "I have never known a Vulcan to threaten?"

Nevasa sighed, "Perhaps too much time with Klingons?" She bowed her head, "I have been honoured by our association, Quark of Fereginar."

Quark smiled and bowed his head. "I too have been honoured by our most profitable association, Nevasa of Vulcan. Mate to Worf, Son of Mogh of the Klingon Empire." He was certain that he had seen her smile, however brief. "I will walk with you. Stay to the end of the line, just in case that Klingon shows up at the last minute."

Nevasa accepted his company as they walked towards the boarding gates. There were many in line ahead of them and it would take another fifteen minutes before she was close enough to board. She knew that everyone had been busy waiting for the Defiant's return. There had been a flurry of activity all day preparing for the different vessels that came in for repairs and to transfer the injured. She had made a silent wish, no matter how illogical, that casualties would be at a minimum.

She listened as Quark told her about his planet, the incessant rain and how at times he missed his home, but never quite enough to return. She told him about the severe but infrequent rainstorms on Vulcan. She told him about the lush gardens and the underground pools. He had been surprised until she explained that she was from the cooler area on Vulcan. If there was such a thing, he had added.

Nevasa was next in line. She slipped out her travel information, prepared.

"Well, I had better get back to the bar." Quark stated. He had looked around a few times for Worf, or at least some indication that the ship was docked. "You have a safe trip."

Nevasa handed the attendant her information chip. It was scanned and checked against the roster. As the attendant nodded and waved her on, the security officer bowed his head and motioned for her to continue. She stepped up then passed him, moving towards the corridor leading to the ship. She turned for a moment to survey the place she was about to leave behind... and for one final glance to see if Worf had arrived.

She heard her name being called at the same instant she felt it being called. She turned around and was met by a large Klingon chest. She looked up and almost smiled, but he was grinning wide enough for the two of them. "Worf." She whispered.

"Well at least you have not forgotten my name..." He rested his hands on her shoulders then slid them down her arms to her smaller hands. He looked to the security officer, "Lieutenant Brighten, hold the departure for a few moments."

Lieutenant Brighten smiled then nodded, "Aye sir."

Worf took her hand, "Come with me."

Nevasa walked along with Worf, she had little choice in the matter. He stopped suddenly, looking around. "Worf?"

"Nothing private."

"Private?" She looked to the Klingon, "what do we require privacy for?"

"Yes." Worf walked a few steps then stepped into a maintenance alcove. Not private, but it would serve. He moved so that his back faced the Promenade. If anyone were to look over here, all they would see is his back. He pulled her close; his hands held her face so gently as his head bent to brush her lips. "I was afraid that you had left... I did not want you to go before I tasted you again." His lips brushed her lips as he spoke. He kissed her. Slowly increasing the pressure as he wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close to him. He felt her arms wrapping around his neck; she lifted herself onto her toes. He moaned, pulled her even tighter against him. He felt one of her hands move to touch the contact points on his face; he opened his shielding and drew her in.

[There is no time, My T'hy'la.] She whispered in his thoughts. She caressed every nerve she could, without it affecting him adversely. She withdrew from him slowly, telling him of her gift to him, that Quark was holding.

Worf tasted her lips again; he breathed in her scent and committed it to memory. [I do not wish you to go.]

Nevasa kissed him then ran her fingers along his lips. "I will be with you. We will know of each other."


Worf turned to see Lieutenant Brighten standing nervously to the side. "Yes?"

"The pilot informs me that they cannot wait any longer, Sir." He had even stayed off to the side for a moment or two not wishing to intrude.

"We will be there directly." Worf forced himself to step back from her. He brushed back her hair, "I do not like it up..." he lifted the hood into place. Anguish already began to take hold of his heart. "I will not have the pleasure of taking it down."

"When we are together..." She felt his pent up sadness and experienced her own sense of regret. Both knew there was so much uncertainty in their futures.


Worf hesitated slipping the program into the opening for the memory tube. He was not certain he was ready for this. Four hours, she had been gone from him for four hours. He had returned to the Defiant, ran through the shutdown procedures and then there was the de-briefing. Finally he decided and allowed the tube to roll down his fingers and into the slot.

He tapped in the coding to open the program then stood at the door. "Run program, Memories Worf 001." The door slid open with a whispered hush. Worf stepped through not certain about what to expect. Without realizing it, he had closed his eyes. He heard the door close behind him and he inhaled the scent that surrounded him. "Nevasa," he whispered then opened his eyes.

There before him was the very real image of Nevasa, in full battle garb and holding her bat'leth.

"I trust this image does not offend." The holographic image bowed her head.

Worf shook his head. He felt a growl move up into his throat. He approved of the image. She had even included the traditional hairstyle worn by the ancient warriors. Her hair had been long enough that the high ponytail could be looped numerous times and then ends fastened with the same cording he used.

"I gather from your silence that this pleases?" The Nevasa image asked with the perfect intonation and gestures that belonged to his mate. She held the bat'leth in both hands. She looked along its length then up to Worf. "There is a sparring program. One that will keep you company, if you care for my company, and will only speak with you. Another that will help keep you in shape with Mok'bara or v'asumi." The image dropped one end of the bat'leth and stepped towards Worf. "And one designed to ease your... desires." The Nevasa image stepped towards him; her paired fingers reached forward and brushed his cheek.

"Mev DaH." Worf spoke it a little louder than he intended to, and the image froze. He stepped away from her until he backed into the stone bench, and then he sat down heavily. He was not prepared for this much reality. Yet he expected nothing less from Nevasa's holographic programming skills. He rested his elbows on his knees, and rested his forehead on his folded hands.

He remained like this for some time, and then looked up to this image. He wet his lips; a part of him wanted nothing more than to interact with her. The other part did not know what to do or say. He rested his chin on his hands; he was not certain what to do next. He was accustomed to using the holosuites for combat practice... not for pleasure. He straightened then pulled the small PADD out of his pocket. He flipped through some of her descriptions of the differing settings as well as the ways this image was capable of interacting with him.

He smiled when he read on the list that this image was capable of performing a massage. He turned the reader off then tapped the corner of the slim PADD against his lip, thinking. He had moved away from this image so quickly and yet Nevasa had designed this program for him. It was made to help with their separation. Perhaps it was just too soon to appreciate it. He turned suddenly at the sound of the door opening.

"Worf?" Ezri poked her head in then stepped into the room. She smiled quickly, seemingly awkward.

"Yes." Worf had forgot to engage the lock on the door and as soon as the program stopped, the room was accessible. A safety feature.

Ezri glanced to the frozen image. "A perfect likeness." She looked around Nevasa's image then to Worf. "Am I intruding?"

Worf shook his head. "Nevasa left this program for me, I was just checking..." His voice dropped and he fell silent. He was not sure what he was checking.

"I wish I had time to get to know her more." Ezri moved a little closer to Worf, careful not to block his view of his mate. She had noted that his eyes would shift occasionally to the holographic image. "She had to be something special for you to become so connected to her so quickly."

Worf looked to the petite woman. "Being there for her during her Time was a contributing factor."

Ezri smiled then blushed and looked to the floor. "I guess that would help things along." She was curious and wanted to ask him questions about it but she also knew what questions not to ask. She was after all a trained counselor and a great deal of information was covered on the varying species, Pon Farr was one thing that was briefly covered. Nevertheless, she was still curious even though in her past eight lives, Pon farr was something she had learned about but never experienced. She smiled as she lifted her head; "Did you enjoy it?" She was teasing him.

Worf sighed, "That is not an appropriate question... Counselor."

Ezri smiled almost laughed, "No, I guess it isn't. But I had to ask." She looked back to the still image. "Is there another part to this program?"

"Yes, with numerous settings." Worf offered no more information than necessary. There had been the beginnings of an ease with Ezri Dax. There were times when he could still see Jadzia in her eyes. "I have not had time to view them." He slipped the PADD into his pocket. "I gather you were looking for me?"

Ezri smiled, "Yes I was. The Captain wants to speak with you about another mission. *I* told him to let you sleep first... before he sent you out again."

Worf grunted, "Yes, sleep would be a welcome activity." He glanced at Nevasa's image; he would not be sleeping with her for the first time in what seemed to be a long time. She would not even be nearby meditating. He sighed feeling a deep loss, an emptiness that will take quite a while to become accustomed to. He had experienced it many times before: loneliness, "Computer, end program."


The lushness of the countryside belied the fact that one was on Vulcan. The heat, however, was the gentle reminder. The Clan of H'ua was set apart from the typical Vulcan both by mannerisms and by geography.

Today it was raining. It had been raining since Nevasa had arrived on Vulcan two days ago. She shook her cloak then placed it on the hook by the door. She heard the communication unit sounding. She moved into the common room of the family house she now occupied sat at the desk and activated the message. She waited for a moment, and then the image of Captain Sisko came into focus.

"T'sai Nevasa." Captain Sisko's image continued, "I have some information that I believe you should have." He paused only a moment, "Commander Worf left on a mission a little over three days ago and his vessel has not returned."

Nevasa felt his life force still, "He is not dead, Captain." She spoke to the image held on the screen. Captain Sisko seemed tired.

"We don't know that, we only have him listed as missing in action. We do not have the resources to continue the search." Sisko leaned forward slightly, he was aware of the Vulcan bondings and how they affected the pairing. "It is my duty to inform you. Sisko out."

"You have fulfilled your duty and notified me. Long life and prosperity be yours, Captain Sisko." She closed the frequency. There was an additional note sent to her in text form. She quickly tapped it open. It was from Ezri. It said simply, 'I will bring him home'.

She sat back in the chair; her arms rested on the arms for a moment then she reached to the stone disc. Holding it flat in one hand, she touched the activation button with the other. The holographic image of Worf grew to a height just taller than her hand. She stared at it for a moment then placed it on the desktop. It flickered then reset to the perfect image of Worf. She thought about when she had prepared this image. They were on Qo'noS and Worf was informing her as to the attributes of Klingon society.

Her finger hesitated over activating the program. She had not heard this since the day she had finished it. Her finger touched the tiny impression on the base. Worf's image flickered then steadied. His hair was loose and he was wearing loose fitting civilian attire, the first few buttons of his top were open. The image turned to 'face' her, his arms crossed over his chest. He held the look that he was about to inform her of something that she should know. He cleared his throat, "Nevasa, my mate. Klingons... do not pursue relationships..." He paused a slight smiled played at his lips, "They conquer that which they desire..."

Nevasa froze the program, her finger tapping on the base. Then suddenly she drew in a breath and whispered, "Perhaps, my Klingon. Just be sure that you return to me so we may debate the issue once again." She rested her elbows on the desk, and rested her chin on her folded hands. She stared at the stone base, there was nothing to do except wait.

to be continued...?


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Gayle and Salatrel