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...Touching and Touched: Revelation - NC-17 version- Text


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...Touching and Touched: Revelation - NC-17 version

by Hopeful Romantic

Rating: NC-17 for strong sexual situations
Disclaimer: Paramount owns them. But it’s up to us to keep them alive forever.
Genre: Romance, AU
Archive: Trip/T’Polers, thank ya kindly
Website: http://www.geocities.com/hopeful_romantic@prodigy.net
E-mail: Hopeful_Romantic@prodigy.net

Series Summary: The Reconnecting series is a reinterpretation of certain events of Season 4 that went AU shortly after “Home.” It focuses on the relationships of Trip and T’Pol and their extended family, and features characters introduced in Season 3, as well as original characters.

Spoilers: Through “Kir’Shara.”

Story Summary: Sequel to my story Never And Always... After Enterprise returns home from Vulcan, Trip and T’Pol tell Lorian and Karyn about their bond...and the kids realize they have already established a unique connection of their own.

A/N: For those of you who prefer your Reconnecting universe to stay safely PG-13...Run away! Run away! Here there be dragons. For the PG-13 version of this story, go here.

Also, if the idea of Lorian and Karyn in intimate circumstances isn’t your cup o’ tea...see Run Away! instructions above.

Still game? Alrighty then!

After I wrote Each Touch a Promise, there was one particular scene that I didn’t put in the story, and it’s been rattling around in my head ever since. So...here ye go. Thanks to my patient and good-humored betas Stephanie and Ludjin.

Date: 6-20-05

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


The news spread quickly on whispered wings through the catwalks of engineering: The Family was back together. And today, Papa and Uncle Soval were with them.

Not that anyone would actually refer openly to Captain Archer or Vulcan’s venerable ambassador to Earth by those names and expect to escape the Wrath Of Tucker afterward. But as soon as Crewman Cook had overheard the boss talking to the captain a few days ago about their “extended family,” and those two nicknames had slipped out, Cook knew he’d struck gossip gold. He’d immediately passed the info on to the rest of his mates—engineering crew only, this was their Family—for gleeful, clandestine contemplation up in the catwalks.

An hour after Enterprise made orbit around Earth, Commander Tucker was in the middle of recalibrating a glitchy EPS monitoring system when he was paid a surprise visit by the recently-commissioned Commander Lorian and Lieutenant Archer, who had hopped a shuttle from Columbia. The engineering crew was happy enough to see that T’Pol had accompanied the pair, thus completing the Family tableau...but when Captain Archer and Ambassador Soval arrived with them—well, that was icing. Within moments, the crew quietly began to gather, finding excuses to be on the catwalks, the better to sneak peeks down at the entire Extended Family.

The reports came in quick succession, the play-by-play passed along by those who were close enough to hear the six conversing near Tucker’s workstation. After months of problems with her engines, Columbia was almost ready for launch, thanks to her dedicated and hard-working engineering crew (according to Lorian), or to Lorian’s Tuckeresque miracle-working (according to Captain Hernandez). Lorian had been promoted to First Officer, while Karyn’s prowess as Chief Helm Officer had sent the tech guys scurrying back to their manuals to revise the navigational capabilities of the NX-class to a markedly higher level. And to the delight of Enterprise’s entire engineering crew—especially Rostov, who won the pool—Lorian and Karyn were engaged to be married.

The Family was especially endearing to watch today, what with Tucker and Archer fussing like mother hens over the affianced Lorian and Karyn, while T’Pol and Soval looked on with patient indulgence.

“You should hear the nicknames they’ve given him,” Karyn was saying. “‘The Enigmatic Commander Lorian,’ that’s a popular one. And my personal favorite is ‘The Vulcan Who Smiles’.”

Lorian was genuinely surprised. “Who calls me these...nicknames?”

“Um...most everybody,” Karyn replied demurely, as Archer and Trip broke up laughing. “You really need to get out of engineering more.”

“Has the crew given you a special name?” Lorian asked her curiously.

“Not up to now.” Karyn giggled. “But ever since they found out we’re engaged, I’ve been hearing references to ‘Mrs. Lorian.’”

Lorian was quite taken aback, but he found the moniker unexpectedly appealing.

As he and Karyn exchanged shy smiles, Trip nudged Archer. “I don’t think they’re ever gonna stop fallin’ in love,” he murmured softly. Archer nodded in agreement.

“How did the crew learn of your engagement?” Soval inquired. “Was there an announcement of some sort...?”

“In a way,” Karyn replied. “Captain Hernandez was looking into arranging joint quarters for us.”

“However, there are no joint quarters on the officers’ deck,” Lorian continued. “Since our two cabins are adjoining, she concluded that the simplest solution lay in knocking out the bulkhead in between.”

“Ingenious,” Archer commented, with a sidelong glance at Trip.

“Might be somethin’ for you to keep in mind, Cap’n,” Trip hinted. “For married-type folks on your ship.”

Karyn picked up the tale. “When the captain sent the work order to Maintenance, she listed the reason for the work as ‘Officers’ Impending Marriage’.”

“Therefore allowing the ship’s rumor mill to disseminate the information,” T’Pol observed. “Quite astute.”

“So...any particulars decided yet?” Archer casually inquired. “Date, location...?”

Karyn laughed. “I was waiting for you to get nosy.”

“Been, what, ten whole minutes since you got here?” Trip chuckled. “I’d say he’s shown great restraint.”

“I’m the patriarch!” Archer protested. “I have a right to ask.”

“We haven’t had much time to think about it,” Karyn told him. “Captain Hernandez has kept us too busy getting Columbia ready to launch.”

“Nevertheless, there is one detail upon which we have agreed,” Lorian said.

Karyn smiled hopefully at her great-grandfather. “Papa...would you marry us? Here on Enterprise?”

Archer was caught so completely by surprise, he didn’t know what to say. Then he felt the lump forming in his throat, and he couldn’t speak at all. He took Karyn’s hand, swallowing hard...

...and then he heard a soft chorus of dreamy “awwwws” drifting down from the heavens. Angels?

He and the others looked up. There were nearly two dozen crewmen gazing down at them, from every catwalk, every stairway, every corner. It must have been the entire engineering shift, plus a few off-duty crew as well...all with matching shmoopy looks on their faces. Hess and Rostov, who normally shooed the crew away before they were spotted spying on The Family, were front row center, wearing the most hopelessly romantic expressions of all.

Trip started rumbling. “What do y’all think you’re—”

“C’mon, Captain, you have to!” Rostov called down.

“It would be perfect,” Hess added. What the hell—they were all busted anyway.

The rest of the crew, coming to the same conclusion as Hess, threw caution to the winds and began chiming in. “Please, Captain... You can’t pass this up... It’d be so beautiful... You gotta, sir... Would you?...”

The Family stared at the crowd of hopeful faces in amazement. Soval observed the scene with fascination. Finally Archer held up a hand, and the pleas subsided.

“I will not knuckle under to the peanut gallery,” the captain announced with authority. “Knowing Commander Tucker, chances are you’ll all be on report till your tours of duty end, anyway.”

Trip shrugged and shook his head, hiding a smile. “Aw, hell. Can’t blame ‘em.” He sternly eyed the ring of faces. “Don’t go making a habit of it, though.”

Archer returned his attention to Karyn and Lorian. “I would be honored to marry you.”

The crew broke into spontaneous applause. Karyn blushed, and Lorian appeared quite nonplussed by the crew’s attentions, which made them look all the more adorable.

Trip gave the onlookers one last moment to gawk before he glowered meaningfully at Hess. She grabbed Rostov, and the two of them scattered the crew like a flock of pigeons...but not before they craned their necks for a last view of The Family bidding farewell to Papa and Uncle Soval.

Karyn hugged Archer close. “We’ll have a lot more time tomorrow, but it’s still hard, saying good-bye.”

“We’ll just have to be sure to make the most of the time we have,” Archer smiled. He shook Lorian’s hand warmly. “Congratulations again, Lorian. On everything you’ve accomplished while we’ve been away.”

“Thank you, Captain.” Lorian nodded to Soval. “And to both you and the ambassador, for helping to foment such an extraordinary enlightenment on Vulcan.”

“I hope the same can be accomplished here on Earth,” Soval said gravely. “Humans, like the Vulcans before them, also have fears and prejudices to overcome before they find enlightenment.”

“Starfleet’s expecting the xenophobes to show up in droves at the memorial tomorrow,” Archer sighed. “With all the press that will be there, it’s a perfect platform to try and stir up trouble. We’re off to talk security arrangements now.” He and Soval nodded their farewells. “See you tomorrow.”

After they were gone, Karyn turned to Trip and T’Pol. “We have to get going, too.”

“Technically, we are still on duty,” Lorian acknowledged. “Captain Hernandez told us to regard our trip here as a ‘long lunch break’.”

Trip chuckled. “I like her style.” As they exchanged farewell hugs and kisses, he suddenly stopped. “Fair warning—I asked my folks to come visit for a few days. I’m picking them up tomorrow, after the memorial.” He ran a nervous hand through his hair. “I figured it was time to tell them...uh...everything.”

“You haven’t...” Karyn put a hand to her mouth to stifle a gasp. Or a giggle, she wasn’t sure which. “Oh my.”

Trip chewed his lip. “See, with T’Pol’s situation up in the air, I didn’t think it was...and explaining Lorian would mean...” He hung his head. “Aw, hell. I don’t know how I’m gonna do this.”

With a perfect poker face, T’Pol suggested, “Tell them the simple version.”

Trip did nothing more than raise an eyebrow dryly in her direction...but through the bond, T’Pol felt a burst of appreciative laughter from him.

“Did Admiral Gardner—” Karyn drew them all into a quiet corner, away from the curious eyes and ears of their fan club. In a low voice, she continued, “What did he say about you two getting married?”

Trip rolled his eyes. “First we have to get grilled by a Starfleet board of inquiry about our objectivity. And of course the Vulcan Social Ministry has to get around to declaring T’Pol legally unmarried. Between the lot of ‘em, it could be forever.”

Karyn and Lorian’s faces fell, in tandem. T’Pol continued placidly, “But now that we are already married, we regard the matter with far more equanimity than before.”

Lorian’s eyes widened. Karyn’s jaw dropped. “Married?!” she squeaked.

Trip was thoroughly enjoying not being the surprised one for a change. “As of two days ago,” he announced with a flourish, “T’Pol and I are officially bonded.”

“Which, in the time of Surak, was essentially the definition of marriage,” T’Pol added.

“So until the higher-ups are finished messing around with regulations and red tape and they give us the go-ahead for the legal ceremony...being bondmates will do,” Trip grinned.

Karyn squealed softly in delight, hugging Trip and giving T’Pol a light kiss on the cheek, a human gesture of affection that T’Pol was warming to. Lorian reacted with a deep satisfaction that was quieter, though no less joyful. “I had not expected you to bond so soon.”

“Hold on,” Trip said. “You expected it?”

Lorian nodded. “In the Expanse, my parents bonded as well, but it did not begin to manifest itself until some months after they married.”

Trip and T’Pol exchanged glances. “Our bond kinda snuck up on us,” Trip confessed.

“It began to form without our knowledge,” T’Pol explained. “Several months ago.”

“And it’s all your fault,” Trip accused Lorian good-naturedly.

Lorian was confused. “My...?”

“After you told us about Koss being a temporary glitch in the system, we went and blurted out our feelings to each other,” Trip replied, smiling at T’Pol. “We think that’s when it started.”

Karyn smiled dreamily. “How romantic.”

“I gladly accept the blame for your togetherness,” Lorian offered. “But what transpired two days ago?”

Trip absently rubbed his still-sore shoulder. “We had to hurry up the bond-thingy a little. We were making surprise appearances in each other’s heads, and it was getting awfully distracting. And inconvenient.” He sighed ruefully. “And dangerous.”

“Trip nearly immolated himself in an unshielded warp-plasma energy stream during one of our spontaneous mind-links,” T’Pol elaborated matter-of-factly.

Karyn winced. “Oh my God.”

“I don’t understand,” Lorian said. “How can the formation of a bond be quickened?”

Trip smiled broadly. “Mind-meld. That’s the way they did bonds in the old days, according to Soval. None of this waiting-for-a-year stuff that Vulcans do now.”

Karyn was enthralled. “You two mind-melded with Soval?”

Trip shook his head, still grinning. “Nope.” He looked expectantly at his wife.

“I performed the bonding meld,” T’Pol stated, with self-assured calm.

Lorian stared at her. “You have learned to meld?” His expression took on an almost childlike wonder. “What is it like?”

“Quite disconcerting, at first,” T’Pol admitted. “It requires a lowering of mental and emotional shields, and a willingness to be open, even vulnerable, to another’s thoughts. Nevertheless, I have found my experiences of the past several days to be most profound...both illuminating and emotionally powerful. Admittedly, I have melded with people I trust...” She glanced at Trip. “Melding will likely be far more challenging a task with a stranger. I will benefit from more study and practice.”

Lorian turned to Trip. “And for you, Father?”

“I’m no veteran,” Trip replied. “I’ve been in exactly one bonding meld.” He smiled again, this time a soft, gentle smile for T’Pol alone. “But it was incredible. Like being in two bodies at once...hearing each other’s thoughts, sharing memories and feelings...”

The two of them were gazing at each other now, with a deep understanding that seemed to transcend the limitations of finite spaces and corporeal bodies. They were connected. It took Karyn’s breath away. She glanced at Lorian to see his reaction, and was struck by the expression of yearning on his face as he watched his parents.

“And your bond?” he asked softly.

T’Pol could feel the bond resonating between herself and Trip, steady and reassuring. “We are a constant presence in each other’s minds...always together, even when we are physically separated.”

“Can you communicate through it?” Karyn asked.

“Indirectly,” T’Pol replied. “In times of great stress, or heightened emotion, the bond intensifies, sometimes to the point of actual thought projection.”

“Mostly so far, it’s been this sweet, warm...” Trip hesitated, trying to find the right words. “It’s like holding hands all the time, or exchanging an ozh’esta...but in our minds. Like sharing hearts and souls.” He shrugged and smiled. “Words don’t do a decent job of describing it at all.”

The ghost of a faint, wistful smile played at the corners of Lorian’s mouth as he looked at his parents. “Your faces convey far more than words ever could, Father.”

Karyn didn’t know why, but her heart ached for Lorian at that moment. She took his hand, holding it tightly. Her touch seemed to bring him out of his pensive reverie. He blinked, glancing around, as if remembering where he was. Then he nodded to his parents, with that same sad little smile. “We must go.” Without another word, he led Karyn out.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lorian was unusually quiet on their shuttle hop back to Columbia.

Karyn made small talk, seeing if she could draw him out. “Papa warned me that we’re liable to have a long engagement—Starfleet HQ finally approved a mission back to the Expanse.”

Lorian nodded faintly, without looking her way.

“The plan is to set up a base on the Skagaran world to establish regular communication with Earth, and begin the process of returning any of the humans who want to repatriate,” Karyn continued, even though she realized she was probably talking to herself. “But what Papa really wants to do is find the Illyrians he stranded when he took their warp coil for Enterprise, and make it up to them somehow.”

Lorian didn’t even react this time, his mind as far away as the stars he was absently observing.

Karyn cocked her eyebrow at her fiancé. “But it looks as though Starfleet has decided to summarily execute Papa for his crime instead, and be done with it.”

Lorian blinked, slowly turning to her. “I beg your pardon...?”

At least he was looking at her. That was progress. “Where have you been?” she asked with a smile.

“I apologize.” He hesitated. “I was thinking about—” The console beeped, signaling they had entered their final approach vector for Columbia. The majestic starship was still cradled protectively in Spacedock, as final preparations were made for her debut.

Karyn guided the shuttlepod toward Columbia’s launch bay as Lorian contacted the ship. “Columbia, this is Shuttlepod One, requesting permission to come aboard.”

“Permission granted,” came Yarrow’s reply. “You are cleared for Launch Bay One.”

Lorian glanced up from the comm panel to find Karyn regarding him expectantly, still waiting for the answer to her question. “Tonight,” he finally said. “After our duty shifts.”

Karyn nodded. Brooding Vulcans. She wished there was a handbook or something.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Lorian was already in their quarters when Karyn arrived following her duty shift. He was at the viewport, idly watching the supply shuttles as they came and went, their deliveries nudging Columbia ever closer to readiness for launch.

She came up behind him, slipping her arms around his waist. “Hi.”

She felt his hands slide over hers, but he said nothing. She waited, simply holding him, snuggled against his back.

“I’ve been thinking,” he said at last. “About my parents, and their bond.”

“Jealous?” she teased gently.

“I am glad to see them so fulfilled,” he answered. “But I must admit, I envy them.” He sounded wistful as he gazed out at the stars. “To be as close as two people can be...to share hearts and souls...”

“Is that what you want for us?” she asked softly. “To be bonded?”

He turned to face her, still in her embrace, and she was struck by the open hopefulness on his face. He seemed on the verge of saying something...but then he lowered his eyes. “Bonding would require one of us to possess telepathic ability. So it is not to be.”

Karyn looked oddly at him. “Lorian...you’re telepathic.”

He was puzzled for a moment, until he realized how she must have misunderstood. “If you are referring to those times when I have sensed my mother’s emotional distress, that was her telepathy at work. I have never exhibited such talent of my own.”

Now it was Karyn’s turn to be confused. Didn’t he know...? “Yes, you have. With me.”

His brow knitted faintly. “You must be mistaken.”

It was slowly dawning on her that he didn’t know. Had she imagined it? “But...when Trip and T’Pol told us they were engaged, you felt such relief that you were fighting back tears. I knew it without even looking at you, because I felt your tears in my own eyes.”

Lorian stared at her. It was true—he had been overwhelmed with emotion after hearing the news that his parents were finally together. But how could Karyn have sensed what he was feeling?

“And the night T’Les died,” Karyn continued, “when you felt your mother’s grief...I felt your anguish. That’s why I came to you.”

Lorian was even more taken aback. “I had thought you were responding to some sort of intuition...another of those myriad facets of your gender that I cannot begin to fathom.”

Karyn allowed herself a tiny smile. “Actually, I thought I was dreaming that you were in trouble, crying for help. I woke up...but I still felt it, in my head, in my heart...as clearly as if you were calling out to me. I felt you needing me. So I came.”

They regarded each other uncertainly, too mystified by this new aspect of their relationship to yet appreciate its wonder.

Lorian wracked his brain, trying to make sense of it. “Have you felt my emotions in years past? On Enterprise?”

“No...not on Enterprise...” But Karyn was remembering another night, now. And the pieces were beginning to fall into place for her.

Lorian was shaking his head, completely at a loss. “I don’t understand. In all my life, I have never touched another mind. Why now? Why you? Telepathy doesn’t simply switch itself on after half a lifetime. If I had inherited this ability from my mother, then surely—”

“—it would have come upon you long before now,” Karyn finished.

Lorian saw her studying him thoughtfully. He suspected she knew something he did not. “I’ve said those words before, about the pon farr,” he said slowly. “Are you suggesting that my telepathy was somehow...triggered?”

“I don’t know what I’m suggesting,” Karyn replied. “But I do know that the first time I ever sensed what you were feeling...was that night.”

Lorian felt a chill go through him. Please, let it have been before...before I unleashed the monster on her. He found he couldn’t look Karyn in the eye any longer. “When?” he asked, his voice barely more than a whisper.

Karyn’s reply was soft, calm. “As soon as you let go...when the blood fever took over.”

Lorian felt suddenly, terribly exposed. He tried to pull away from her.

Karyn kept her arms around him. She knew he needed to hear this, even if he didn't realize it yet. In the same quiet tone, she continued, “At first, I felt your hunger for me...”

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Six weeks earlier
Starfleet Guest Quarters
San Francisco, Earth

Emotion. Intense, primal, wildly overpowering. It hit Karyn with the force of a shockwave, the moment Lorian stopped holding back and let the blood fever seize control of him. She sensed savage, aching need...and beneath it, a groundswell of stark, gut-wrenching terror.

She knew it was his emotion she was feeling, though she didn’t know how. As she steadied herself against the mental onslaught, Lorian surged against her, almost knocking her over as he pulled her roughly to him, his tentative kiss becoming a hungry assault as his tongue probed deep into her mouth.

He felt as though he were on fire—as if he had burst into flame from the inside out. In a white-hot flash, thought and reason and restraint were burned away, leaving an overwhelming desire for her. It was wildly erotic, exhilarating, out of control. Deep down, he dimly sensed a shred of himself still clinging desperately to sanity, huddled away from the madness, shamed and frightened, frightened for her...but that tiny spark was as nothing. All that mattered now was his need, his blood screaming out for her, demanding that he take her and be satisfied.

Karyn was shocked by his transformation. For a moment, she panicked, almost trying to fight her way free of his powerful grasp—but she stopped herself. This unleashed primal force was her Lorian, as much as the shy, quiet charmer she knew. He was revealing this part of himself to her because he had entrusted her with his life.

She took his face more firmly and deepened their kiss, meeting his hunger head-on, feeding it. He groaned into her mouth, sounding at once fierce and helpless. One of his hands stroked her bare shoulder, while the other fumbled impatiently with her dress. Karyn rose up on her knees, pressing him against the wall, keeping her mouth on his as she unzipped her dress and let it fall.

Suddenly he felt skin, everywhere he touched, her coolness under his burning fingers. His hands roamed possessively across her bare back, tracing the faint Ikaaran ridges over her spine. He moved his open mouth down her throat, tasting her. He could feel her pulse throbbing against his fevered skin, echoing through him with every heartbeat, fanning the liquid fire roaring through his veins.

Then her hands were sliding down his back, pulling his sweat-soaked tunic up and off. He growled in inarticulate protest as she separated from him to get the tunic over his head. Then it was gone, and he was staring at her in awe...completely naked before him, her dress in a satiny pile around her knees, her skin glowing in the moonlight.

Karyn held her breath as Lorian’s eyes raked over her nude body. She felt incredibly vulnerable; she had never revealed herself to a man before. At the same time, though, she felt her own desire growing under his intense gaze. It was crazy, being so nervous and yet so aroused. She didn’t move, didn’t let her apprehension reach her face...but she couldn’t help wondering. Did he like what he saw? What was he thinking? Was he even capable of coherent thought?

His eyes rose to meet hers. Amazingly, his gaze was lucid, focused. He was the Lorian she knew, if only for this moment. She felt another wave of emotion...love, pure and selfless, enfolding her like a tender embrace. His voice trembled as he whispered, “You are so beautiful...”

With a shy smile, she began to breathe again. She reached out to caress his face...and as soon as her fingers touched his hot skin, it was as if a floodgate opened. He grabbed her, and they fell to the floor together, Lorian on top of her, his mouth on hers, his hands fondling her, his bare chest pressed to her breasts, rubbing against her sensitized nipples. His entire body was shaking with fever and desire. Karyn realized they weren’t even going to make it to the bed, so great was his need for her.

For the first time, she felt his erection, stiff and throbbing beneath the fabric of his slacks, trapped between them. The feel of him made her nervous again, even as a sensual, tingling warmth pooled between her legs.

But first there was the matter of his clothes. He seemed to have forgotten completely how to get out of them.

His entire world had turned into fire. It roared around him, through him, blinding him. All he could do was feel...her mouth on his, her coolness under the heat of his hands. He needed to be inside her, but there was something between them. Impatiently, he grappled with the obstacles—buckle, zipper—unable to conquer them. He grabbed at the fabric of his slacks to tear them away—but then he felt her coolness, her hand gently drawing his aside, unfastening his clothes. Her touch sent shudders of need jolting through him. He wanted desperately to respond, but he held still, foggily aware that she was helping him.

Karyn couldn’t see what she was doing; she could only feel. She pushed his slacks off his hips and down his thighs. Took his briefs, carefully working them down, freeing his erection. Then he was against her again, his face buried in the crook of her neck. She was surprised by the unexpected heat of his hardness on her bare skin. He moved lower, spreading her legs open with his knees, working himself between them.

This is it, this is it, this is really it. She was excited...nervous...scared.

With a low, hungry growl, he thrust forcefully into her. Karyn drew in a breath of shock at the sensation of his thick shaft inside her narrow channel, stretching her wide as he pushed further inside. It didn’t feel good, exactly. It felt...strange. It must be her, because she was virgin. She just needed to—

The pain hit, sharp and hard. Karyn bit her lip as he took hold of her hips, trying to break past her barrier and go deeper. With each push, the pain got worse.

How to do this? Wade in an inch at a time, or jump in the deep end and get the shock over with all at once?

She reached down and grabbed his ass, digging her fingernails into his sensitive flesh. With a guttural cry, he rammed into her, tearing his way through, burying himself as deep as he could go.

Oh God it hurts it hurts it HURTS! The pain stabbed through her, intense and ragged and unexpectedly deep. She pressed her forehead against his shoulder, trying not to make any noise, but a strangled yelp escaped her before she could bite it back.

Lorian froze as Karyn’s cry cut through the roar of the blood fever, bringing him back to awareness. They were on the floor, naked. He felt her softness underneath him, felt himself inside her. He pulled back, struggling to bring her face into focus...and he was horrified to see her eyes squeezed shut, her expression shadowed by pain. “Karyn!” he gasped. “Beloved—”

He moved to pull out of her, but Karyn kept firm hold of him, not letting him escape. “I’m all right.” She wasn’t, not yet. But she could feel his fear again...a plaintive, heart-rending ache of dread. She didn’t want to frighten him any further. She exhaled slowly, forcing her face to relax, as the sharpest edge of the pain began to dull.

She opened her eyes, and Lorian saw tears glistening there. He felt like a brute. “Forgive me.”

He was amazed to see a look of wonder come over her as she gazed up at him. “You’re inside me,” she breathed. “This is real...it’s not a dream. I’ve dreamed about it for so long...”

He could hardly believe it. “You are glad?”

Tenderly, she smiled, reaching up to cup his face in her hand. “I’m with you.”

He leaned into her touch, kissing her palm, his feelings for her choking him into silence.

“Make love to me, Lorian,” she said softly.

Her words made him tremble with yearning. He was acutely aware of their bodies locked together, her naked skin against his, her slick velvet softness tight around his hard shaft. His blood cried out greedily for her. Still, he hesitated. Hardly able to speak, he whispered, “You’re in pain.”

“It will pass.” Karyn loved Lorian for his sense of chivalry, but she had no intention of losing him because of it. Not now. He was flushed, shining with perspiration, his skin so hot that it almost hurt to touch him. She wished he could stay with her, this Lorian she knew, but she had to give him back to the blood fever for a little while longer.

Of course, she didn’t have a clue how to play the seductress, but that was what he needed now. Experimentally, she clenched her inner muscles around him, and was rewarded by an involuntary gasp from him. She smiled again, enticingly. “You see? Everything’s still working.” Her voice dropped to a low purr. “I want to feel you moving inside me.”

She felt another tremor go through him, as his eyes began to lose focus, darkening with desire. She pulled his head down and kissed him, a wet, wanton, open-mouthed assault. Something seemed to snap inside him, and with a groan, he started moving, pumping in and out of her.

It hurt at first, but as her inner walls stretched further, the pain faded, and Karyn could focus on this new sensation of having Lorian inside her. He went deep, hard and powerful, sliding in and out with increasing urgency. At the same time, he was kissing her, his tongue thrusting in cadence with his hips, his mouth moving possessively over hers.

As he quickened his pace, his arms slid under her shoulders, pulling her close against him. Karyn gasped in sudden pleasure as he began rubbing against her clit with each stroke. She honestly hadn’t expected to be on the receiving end of any sexual stimulation tonight; she thought she’d have her hands full simply keeping Lorian alive. But what he was doing to her felt indescribably wonderful.

His blood was boiling, racing, blinding him to everything except the slick, tight feel of her, beckoning to him, feeding his screaming need, promising sweet relief. He struggled upward through the fire, trying to lose himself inside her before his blood burst from his veins.

Karyn’s hips were moving of their own accord now, rocking in rhythm with his. She felt her passion building in a way she never experienced when she pleasured herself. It was stronger now, deeper, more frenetic. She clutched at him, her breath coming in ragged gasps as she cradled his head against her neck. He pushed her higher, higher, the pleasure almost more than she could bear.

She felt her body stiffen—her back arched—she was soaring, flying, so high she couldn’t breathe—and then, with a cry that was almost a scream, she climaxed, her body wracked with shudders so powerful that she thought she would fly apart.

He felt her quaking helplessly beneath him, her inner walls tightening around him, her frenzied cries a beacon for him to follow. He fought his way closer—closer—and then he exploded, his orgasm roaring through him like a bonfire. He was flaring, burning as he surged into her body, and she was pure, blinding brilliance, searing herself onto his soul, becoming forever part of him.

Karyn felt Lorian’s hold on her tighten painfully as he came, thrusting deep, his spasms sending aftershocks of pleasure through her as he emptied himself inside her. She hung on and rode it out, gasping and crying out until her throat was dry, hearing his answering groans of release, feeling his breath hot against her throat.

At last Lorian’s shuddering ceased. His vision cleared slowly, as awareness returned. He was still burning, needing, but the blazing fire had died back for the moment. He could feel Karyn beneath him, panting as he was, still trembling from the intensity of her own climax. Hesitantly, he raised his head from her shoulder, almost afraid of what he would find when he looked at her...but what he saw in her eyes was fulfillment, and utter acceptance of him.

“I love you,” she whispered. She kissed him, a tender, caring kiss, without any of the fever’s frenzy. As her mouth moved over his, she felt another wave of emotion from him...devotion and deep gratitude, flowing gently over her, cradling her warmly, almost tangibly.

Suddenly he realized she was lying on the floor, his full weight on top of her. Carefully, he eased out of her and sat back on his knees. A soft moan of dismay escaped him when he saw the blood.

“I’m all right,” Karyn said softly.

He grabbed a pillow from the bed and tucked it under her head, bending to kiss her forehead. “I’ll be back.” He rose, kicking off his clothes, and Karyn saw his body for the first time...slender, strong, lithe as a cat, powerfully muscled without being brawny. He was everything she had ever imagined, and more.

He disappeared into the bathroom, returning moments later with warm, wet washcloths. He knelt beside her and, with slightly trembling hands, he began to clean her blood-flecked inner thighs.

Karyn didn’t know whether to reach frantically for something to cover herself, or spread her legs nonchalantly wider for him. She had no idea what she was supposed to be feeling, lying here naked on the floor, watching her new lover—the man she’d saved herself for, waited her whole life for—as he swabbed the virginal blood off her legs.

Again, she sensed what he was feeling...distress, embarrassment, and a self-loathing that tore at her heart. She sat up, her own self-consciousness forgotten. “You’re not a monster, Lorian. This happens to every virgin. It’s just one of those sadistic little laws of nature that makes no sense.”

“But you might not have suffered so, if...” Lorian looked away, fingering the blood-stained cloth in his hand. “It is as I feared. I was like some wild beast, taking you here on the floor...”

“Actually, I thought it was kind of sexy,” Karyn admitted, a little shyly. “You made me feel irresistible.”

He didn’t look up. “You are, to me.”

She felt her entire body tingling at his words. “But I thought...this urge to mate or die...that any female—”

“No.” Lorian swallowed. “For a typical Vulcan in pon farr, any woman can quench the blood fever. But for me...only you.” At last he looked at her, his eyes full of longing, even now. “It is as my father said...love, plus desire. You triggered my pon farr, and only you can save me from it.”

Karyn felt overwhelmed by the sense of responsibility she felt for him. She hadn’t thought she could love him more, but his vulnerability touched her deeply. She reached out to him, putting a hand on his arm—and gasped softly in concern. He was still frighteningly hot. “You’re burning up.”

Lorian pulled away, self-consciously. “The blood fever has not yet been purged.”

“Then what are we waiting for?!” Karyn reached for him, but he held her by the shoulders, at arm’s length.

“You are injured,” he said, as if that was the end of it.

Sweet, infuriatingly gallant Vulcan... “That’s done, that’s over,” Karyn said. “I’m not broken—just broken in, okay? You don’t need to treat me as if I’m made of glass.” She took his sweat-bathed face in her hands. “Lorian, you’re my life. You’ve been my life ever since I can remember. But I can’t save you unless you help me. You still trust me, don’t you?”

She felt him relax a little. “Always,” he replied softly.

She gave him a quick, reassuring kiss. “Then let’s try the bed this time.”

That coaxed a rueful little smile out of him. He swept her effortlessly into his arms and carried her to the bed, laying her down gently. He knelt on the bed beside her...then hesitated. Stalled by his concern for her, no doubt.

What a pair they made. A pon-farr-fevered Vulcan with performance anxiety, and a twenty-six-year-old virgin whose sum total of sexual knowledge came from books. She looked forward to the “years from now” when they could both look back on this night and laugh.

But first she had to save him from the fever. She would have to prove she could take him again, take him as long and as often as he needed. She drew him down beside her—and then she surprised him by rolling him over, until she was on top. She straddled him, rubbing herself against him. He gasped in shocked pleasure, growing rock-hard within seconds. “Karyn...what are you...”

She offered him a sultry smile, enjoying his scandalized reaction. “I thought we’d try something different.” Slowly, making sure he was watching her, she reached down between them and took him in her hand. Almost involuntarily, he began moving up and down within her grasp. It was breathtaking to feel him sliding through her fingers, stiff and powerful. Even though it had been only a few minutes, she felt her excitement sparking to life again. She pressed him against her clit, enjoying the feel of his hardness against her.

As Lorian watched her undulating against him, pleasuring herself, he felt the fire building inside him once more. She rose up on her knees, her eyes fixed on his, and his breath caught as she carefully sank down onto his shaft.

Karyn was already rubbed raw and sore inside, but she didn’t care. The look on Lorian’s flushed face as he stared at their joined bodies was priceless. She didn’t move for a moment, simply marveling at the feel of him filling her so completely. He was hot, so hot, almost burning inside her.

He watched her run her hands through her mane of ebony hair, letting it fall in a lovely, haphazard tangle around her face. She looked wanton, wild, incredibly desirable. Slowly, she rose up a little, just enough for him to see the base of his shaft between their bodies, still half-buried inside her. The sight was overpoweringly erotic, irresistible.

His body ignited again, with a desperate craving that was agonizing in its intensity. He felt the fire roaring up all around him, pushing him toward oblivion. But he didn’t want to lose himself completely to the madness again. He wanted to stay with her. Stubbornly, he clung to awareness, even as the fever tore his body away from him and set it fully aflame.

He burst into motion, his hips bucking as he began moving forcefully in and out of her. Karyn expected at any moment to lose him to the blood fever, as she had before, but this time his eyes remained locked on hers. Somehow, he was staying with her...but it quickly became clear to her that his awareness was coming at a high price. Even as his body’s pleasure mounted, his face tightened with distress, his hands clutching helplessly at the bed, his breath coming in short gasps as he drove into her with increasing desperation. Suddenly she could feel his fear, pouring off him in waves. By refusing to take refuge in the oblivion of the fever, he had exposed himself to the full onslaught of the insane, overpowering need that now possessed his body.

She took his hands, lacing her fingers through his, holding on tightly as she continued to ride him. “I’m here, love,” she said. “I’ve got you. You’re safe with me.”

Like an anchor, she steadied him as the firestorm swept through him. Lorian focused on her reassuring voice, her warm brown eyes, her hands holding his. As he quickened to a frantic crescendo, Karyn leaned down for a deep, wet kiss, her tongue tangling with his as he pounded in and out of her. He groaned into her mouth, clutching at her—and suddenly his orgasm hit, jolting him with powerful shudders as he came inside her.

Afterward, Lorian kept his hold tight on Karyn as he gasped for breath. This second climax had come upon him with uncontrollable speed and intensity, and his awareness of the frenzy this time left him deeply shaken. He knew it was a supremely illogical notion, but he felt...safe in her arms, and he didn’t wish to leave them.

Karyn could feel his lingering anxiety. She still didn’t know why she was sensing his emotions, but she was glad of it. She wrapped her arms around him, dropping feather-light kisses of reassurance on his perspiring brow. “It’s all right, love. I won’t let go, I promise.”

She felt his breathing grow calmer as his body gradually relaxed in her embrace. She drew back so she could see his face. He was looking up at her with such naked adoration, it almost brought her to tears. They moved toward each other at the same moment, meeting in a deep, passionate kiss of shared affirmation.

Finally they sat up, with Karyn still in Lorian’s lap. She pressed her cheek against his forehead. “You don’t feel quite as hot. Maybe we’re getting somewhere.” She smiled at him. “This time I got to watch you. You were beautiful.”

He looked away, self-conscious. “I do not see how losing all control could be considered attractive.”

“Trust me on this.” Her smile grew alluring. “And sexy as hell.”

He blushed a little, but she saw a hint of a smile tugging at his lips. His smile faded, though, as he looked back at her, somewhat disconcerted. “But your pleasure did not reach its height this time.”

She laughed. “I did in a big way, last round.”

Her answer did not satisfy him. “Are you capable of doing so again?”

She eyed him playfully. “With the right stimulation.”

Lorian rolled her onto her back. His baritone voice was low and silky as he settled beside her. “Then I shall stimulate you.”

His words sent a delicious shiver through her. “Tonight is about saving your life,” she protested, though not very strenuously.

“And you think that giving you pleasure does not aid in my salvation?” He bent down and kissed her, softly at first, then more hungrily. When he pulled back, he hesitated, looking suddenly quite shy. “What pleases you?”

After the wild abandon of their previous lovemaking, Karyn found his innocence very sweet. Gently, she took his hand and placed it on her breast. She guided him across the satiny skin, circling her nipple, gently squeezing it between his fingers, the way she liked it.

As the rosy tip hardened under his fingertips, Lorian marveled at the effect his touch was having on her. He moved to her other breast, lightly brushing against her nipple, teasing it erect, smiling as she sighed with pleasure.

Karyn pulled his head down, guiding his mouth to her breast. Lorian felt her body shiver as his lips came into contact with her soft skin. When he took her nipple in his mouth, she moaned, sending a pleasurable ripple through his own body. Experimentally, he flicked his tongue back and forth across the sensitized tip, and she began to quiver under him, making the most wondrous sounds of delight. Her cries were like an aphrodisiac, awakening his own hunger again. He slid his mouth across to her other breast, repeating his intimate attentions, until Karyn was writhing with desire.

He made himself stop and pull away, though he was starting to burn painfully for her once more. She was watching his every move, her face flushed, her breath quickening. She smiled at him, and he smiled back. Waiting expectantly.

Karyn had never felt so brazen in all her life. Hardly believing what she was doing, she repositioned herself on the bed, with Lorian lying between her legs, his head poised above her abdomen. “Kiss me,” she said softly.

He frowned faintly for a moment...surveyed the lovely body before him...then lowered his mouth to her belly, nuzzling her. He was rewarded with the feel of a subtle shiver going through her. “Lower,” she whispered. He kissed his way down, to the bed of curls between her legs. The lower he went, the more her hips undulated in response. He went still lower, using his lips and tongue to explore, and she began to moan with yearning.

When he touched her clit, she bucked forward, surprising him. He stayed there, circling and stroking with his tongue, feeling the fire heat up inside him, feeling himself harden against the bed as he pleasured her. Soon her hips were rolling back and forth in urgent rhythm, her moans quickening to whimpering gasps of need. Grabbing her hips for leverage, he licked and sucked voraciously at her clit, until her entire body was jerking uncontrollably—and then she fell back with a deep cry of release.

As Karyn shuddered through wave after wave of her orgasm, she was vaguely aware of Lorian moving up, over her—and then he was inside her again, driving powerfully in and out of her, pounding against her clit, increasing her pleasure with each thrust, turning her cries into near-screams of rapture. Within seconds, she felt him coming inside her, adding his cries of completion to hers.

He collapsed against her, gasping, spent. Karyn held him close as she caught her own breath. She stroked his lean, muscled back...and realized that the skin under her hands wasn’t burning up anymore. “Lorian...the fever. Has it broken?”

He felt it, too...his blood beginning to cool, the fire inside him finally beginning to burn itself out. He rolled, taking his weight off her, so they were side by side on the bed, still in each other’s arms. “The worst is over, I think. But the danger remains. I still...” He paused, embarrassed. “I still feel...the need. The hunger.”

She kissed him. “I’m not going anywhere.”

He caressed her cheek. “You are extraordinary. Have I told you?”

She gave him the same exquisite smile he’d seen after their first date, when he told her he was falling in love with her. He hesitated. “I don’t know what the rest of the night holds for us...”

“I do,” Karyn declared. “Until we get you through this fever, there will be a lot of sex, and sore muscles, and satisfaction. Because you, sir, have proven again that your lack of experience in this area is definitely not a problem.”

He felt both aroused and mortified by her compliment. “The same can be said for you, miss.”

She chuckled wickedly. “I read a lot.”

He arched an intrigued eyebrow at her. “Then I trust you have more to teach me, if you are not too fatigued.”

“You just try to wear me out.” As she pulled him into another deep kiss, Karyn was thankful that she no longer sensed any fear or anxiety from him. She didn’t sense anything at all, in fact. She wondered what had changed...and she couldn’t help but feel an odd sadness at the prospect that she might never get another glimpse inside his soul again.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

NX-02 Columbia
Spacedock, orbiting Earth

They stood together in the starlight, Lorian still encircled in Karyn’s arms. He was silent for a time.

“I have long been troubled by the thought that you gave yourself to a man who was not me, that night,” he confessed slowly. “And that all I gave you in return was a part of myself that I had no wish for you to see...selfish, lustful, uncontrolled.” His pensive expression gave way to a tentative smile of wonder. “But now, to know that I gave you a part of myself that I wish for you to have, and no other...it pleases me.”

“Maybe your telepathy is tied to me, the same way the pon farr is,” Karyn said. “Maybe it won’t even work with anyone else but me. You might never be able to mind-meld.” She smiled hopefully. “But I think we’d be able to bond.”

The hope in his eyes mirrored her own. “If it is possible...would you wish it? To be bonded with me?”

Her face lit with a glow of adoration that was breathtaking. “More than anything, love.”

He felt himself smiling with uncharacteristic giddiness now, but he could not help it. He slid his arms around her waist, pulling her close. “Then we will discuss the matter with Ambassador Soval tomorrow, after the memorial.”

She cupped his face in her hands. “Careful, Commander. Your dimples are showing.”

“They are yours alone to admire, as I promised, my wife-to-be.” And with that, he kissed her soundly.

~~fin~~


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A whole mess of folks have made comments

I like it. The characters are well done. I look foward to more.

Oh yeah. That´s what i call damn good smut - I knew you could do it again, HR!
Wonderful written; I really love this series!!

Bwahahah .. Pon farr smut! You already know my thoughts and opinions, but I'll state it again, 'cause I just re-read it. I adore the way you've handled Karyn and Lorian, building them up to be their own individual characters with faults, fears, depth, history, and passions. Pon Farr Lorian is both frightening, endearing, and frickin' HOT. Karyn is wonderful in her determination and steadfast love, and even in her well-founded nervousness. And I adore The Family. Tee-hee!

Looking forward to more!

That was awesome HR! And HOT!! I can't wait to read the next chapter.

Magnificent! Your series is simply breath-taking and amazing! I loved this chapter and am looking forward to more. You are a very gifted writer, thank you for sharing this story with us!

Wow, that was hot! I love your stories, and hope you do lots more of them, be they L/K or T/T. :) And I can hardly wait to see how Trip explains to Mom that he's sort of married and has a son that's older than he is. The scene in engineering was absolutely wonderful.

AGGH! WONDERFUL! Man, I need a cold shower. I just LOVE your stories, HR! Please keep writing.

Yep, damn good smut!!

That was amazing and so INTENSE -- WOW!!

Great job! I LOVED it!!

Oh boy! That was ummy! You are so GOOD at writing physical love scenes without getting crude.

Fantastic