DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. This story was written for the enjoyment of the author and no infringement of any existing copyright is intended nor is any profit realized or expected. The story contents are the creation and property of Chris Dickenson and copyright 1988 by Chris Dickenson. This story is rated NC-17 for adult language and sexual content. You must be 18 years of age to read this. It is reprinted from Beyond the Farthest Star #4.



AS IT WAS BEFORE

Chris Dickenson



Leonard McCoy took his head nurse in his arms as the music started up again. Pulling her closer, he inhaled the sweet fragrance of her hair.

"M-m-m-m," he breathed as they circled the dance floor. "I declare, you smell as good as you look, and in case I've neglected to mention it, you look good enough to eat."

Christine Chapel laughed, doing a fair imitation of a Southern belle when she spoke. "Why, thank you, sir."

"Are you aware that every man in this rec hall is green with envy?" he continued, tightening his grip beneath her voluminous scarlet cloak. "It's that Vulcan jewelry. I never thought I'd be sayin' this about anythin' Vulcan, but that's got to be the most sensual costume I've ever seen."

Chapel smiled, her blue eyes sparking behind her gilt trimmed masque. "Actually, only the jewelry is Vulcan. Nyota designed the body stocking and the cloak from some descriptions we found in the ship's library computer."

"At first glance I thought you were naked under that thing," McCoy confessed in a whisper. His blue eyes roamed appreciatively over the champagne colored cloth beneath the jeweled dress of crystal and gold chain, both of which fit her like a second skin.

"That's the way pre-reform Vulcan slaves wore this jewelry," Chapel replied with a faint blush.

"You're kiddin'!" McCoy gasped.

"Nyota and I have been doing a lot of research since I bought this piece," Chris continued in what she hoped was a casual tone. "To be honest, I'd never really given Vulcan history that much thought before. Anthropological history has never been as interesting to me as xenobiology, but according to the history texts, pre-reform Vulcans were as barbaric and superstitious as our pagan ancestors. They engaged in slavery, offered living sacrifices to their elemental Gods and fought bloody interclan wars."

"And yet our prim and proper first officer shuns a Halloween party in this century," he replied with a chuckle, looking about them at the costumed dancers.

"Actually, the pre-reform festival of their high priestess, T'Mare, bears a remarkable similarity to our ancestors' pagan ritual honoring the goddess Pomona, which was the ancient precursor of Halloween," Chapel continued, not wanting to get Leonard started on Spock's repressions.

"Well, at least we remember our past instead of sweepin' it under the carpet. There is somethin' pathological about all that barbaric passion seethin' beneath the surface and Spock is a prime example of the kind of neurosis that can create. Why, just the other day..."

"What time is it?" Chapel interrupted, her eyes sweeping the room restlessly.

"Nigh on to about eleven thirty," McCoy's drawl had never been so appropriate. He was dressed in a Confederate soldier's uniform, his gray masque hiding the upper part of his face. "It's still early."

Chapel stifled a yawn. "I put in a twelve hour shift in Sickbay today, and I'm due in the morning at 0700," she reminded with a grin. "To top it off, my commanding officer is a..."

"Marvelous individual who won't say a single word if you're a little late tomorrow. You're gettin' almost as bad as Spock! What you need is a little diversional therapy. Tell you what, let's adjourn to my cabin for a mint julep after the unmaskin'."

"From the smell of Southern Comfort, I'd say you've already had too much," Chapel interrupted with mock sternness.

"Madam, are you insinuatin' that I can't hold my liquor?" His indignant reply was invalidated as he pressed against her much more closely than was necessary.

"Leonard," she laughed, pushing herself back to a respectable distance. "You're intoxicated."

"Intoxicated by your beauty, my dear."

"May I cut in?" Uhura appeared out of the crowd, exotically garbed in the scarlet costume of an Arabian belly dancer. A kinky fall of hair cascaded down her back, fanning out behind her like a cloak and instead of a mask, she wore a semi-opaque veil that obscured the lower part of her face.

"He's all yours," Chapel said, slipping from McCoy's grasp. "I'm on my way to bed."

"So soon? You're gonna miss the unmasking!"

"I already know what everyone looks like beneath their masks," Chris smiled, knowing the one face she wanted most to see tonight would not be revealed to her in the rec hall.

"Good night." Uhura's dark eyes twinkled as McCoy took her into his arms. "Rest well and Happy Festival."

"Happy Festival?" McCoy queried in confusion. "You mean Happy Halloween!"

"Same difference," Chapel's smile became mysterious. "Enjoy your dance."

* * *

The festivities in the rec hall were being broadcast over the ship's intercom system for the enjoyment of those individuals who had duty. Spock emerged from the sonic shower as the one minute countdown to midnight commenced. The soft strains of the synthesized orchestra music filled his cabin as the ship's computer counted out the seconds remaining of All Hallows Eve.

Shrugging into a black robe, he tied the silken cord at the waist and looked into the mirror. In the dim light from his cabin he glimpsed a glimmer of gold at his throat. His fingers rose involuntarily to caress the soft metal, warm from the heat of his body. It had been nearly a month since Chapel placed this mark of slavery around his neck, and it remained the only tangible proof of what they had shared. Since then she had made no move to continue the relationship. She had been coolly proper when they had encountered each other in Sickbay or in the corridors, pleasant, but no different than she had been before. Had it not been for the necklace, a symbol which indicated the master was as enslaved as his concubine, Spock would have convinced himself it had all been an erotic dream.

He felt the unwanted response of his body as he recalled the passionate fantasy they had shared. His hand strayed to stroke his heated flesh soothingly through the smooth silk of his robe as he remembered the sheathing coolness of her around him. He shivered, recalling his total surrender to her mastery, the ecstasy of complete domination and release of responsibility.

"It is the Terran celebration," he rationalized, recalling Chapel as she had appeared in the jewelry that matched the crystal and gold band around his neck. "Their Halloween is so like the festival of T'Mare."

All week long he had listened to his crewmates anticipate the traditional masquerade. He had visualized the exotic costumes, yearning to participate in the pagan rite that reminded him of the ancient rituals of his home planet. He had even fantasized about attending the masquerade, hiding beneath a clever disguise. In his imagination, he danced with Chapel in the crowded room, pressing her slender body close to his, flirting with her as he longed to do. The mystique of a masquerade held double appeal to Spock. In a sense he always wore a mask of pretense, and there was a part of him that craved release from the constraints of being a proper Vulcan, a proper first officer.

He had told himself time and time again that his thoughts were weak ... illogical. However, tonight, when the turbolift neared the recreation deck as he was returning from late rounds on the bridge, he heard his own voice order it to stop.

As the doors slid open on the deserted corridor, he could hear the music, the murmur of voices, the clinking of glasses. His feet carried him to the doorway of the rec-room where he paused in wonder. He eyed the dancing figures in their brilliantly colored costumes, the masquerade transforming his crewmates into chimeras of their day-to-day selves. The dimly lit room itself was decorated as to be nearly unrecognizable.

He stood, transfixed, visualizing a pre-reform palace filled with revelers, inhaling the sharp tang of alcohol and the scent of grilled meat. It spoke to some repressed part of him, this pagan ritual, reminding him of what would occur at the stroke of midnight if this were the festival of T'Mare, instead of Earth's Halloween.

Spock saw her then and his pulse throbbed against his temples like a tribal drum. She was dancing with McCoy. The doctor said something to her as they waltzed past the door and Spock could hear Chapel's laughter. As they swept by, her scarlet cloak flew back and he glimpsed the jewelry beneath, even as McCoy pressed closer against her. Spock's eyes narrowed at the doctor's familiar manner, took exception to the hands that caressed beneath that cloak.

His fists clenched into tight balls as he recalled what her breasts felt like pressed against his own chest, remembered the sweet scent of her hair. Like his pre-reform counterpart, he felt jealousy and a fierce desire to take what belonged to him, to claim the ancient right of a master...

He whirled and left the room, furious with himself for allowing the fantasy to cloud his judgment. He had retreated, unseen, continuing to his cabin where he found no relief in meditation. Unable to concentrate, he heard a gentle voice beckoning through his thought control mantras. Instead of achieving a trance-like state, he found himself visualizing a golden haired temptress wearing only crystal and gold jewelry.

Control forgotten, he stripped off his clothes and took a shower, using water and turning the temperature down, hoping the icy, stinging spray on his skin would drive out the fantasy of her cool touch.

The sound of his door signal interrupted his reverie, returning him to the present. He moved slowly from the bathroom into his cabin, hearing the computer's emotionless countdown.

"Eleven, ten, nine, eight..."

"Come," he called.

Chapel crossed the threshold, still dressed in the scarlet cloak which fell about her in soft folds. The hood framed her flushed face and as she moved closer, it slid back slightly, exposing her bright hair. She smiled at him, her gilt-trimmed masque dangling from her fingers.

"Good Festival, my lord master," she said softly, dropping into a graceful bow. As she rose again, her cloak fell open and Spock caught a glimpse of crystal and gold against bare skin. He inhaled sharply, fully aware of the import of her words and dress. For a long moment he simply stared at her, unaware of the naked desire reflected in his dark eyes.

"Two, one," the computer intoned.

"The bewitching hour has arrived," Chapel let the masque slip from her fingers to the carpeted deck. "I come to claim the ancient right of all slaves according to the laws of our priestess," she quoted carefully. "Do you worship T'Mare?"

"Yes," Spock responded, his voice a harsh rasp. "I worship T'Mare and obey her laws."

Chapel smiled and slipped the cloak to her shoulders, revealing the gold and crystal jewelry which dangled from the beaten collar to enhance her naked body. "Do you acknowledge my claim to the ancient right?"

"Yes," Spock agreed, unable to control the wild excitement that filled him at her words. "Tonight the slave shall rule her master."

"Then greet your mistress as is proper."

Spock dropped to his knees before her, his heart pounding. "Good Festival, my lady."

Chapel reached out, tilting his head up to meet her gaze, smiling seductively. "Tonight the slave rules the master and at dawn all will be as it was before."

Spock nodded in silent agreement, ready to follow her lead. He longed to reach out and tug at the cloak to reveal all of her lovely body to his gaze, but knew she wouldn't permit it. He was at her mercy tonight, and only her will could be done.

"Remove your robe," she ordered softly. "And then bring me the bracelets."

Spock obediently opened his robe and dropped it to the floor, rising up from his knees to retrieve the crystal and gold bracelets which resembled Terran handcuffs. He returned to her, holding the cuffs out but she shook her head, refusing to take them.

"Put them on."

Spock complied, standing before her naked, his desire for her glaringly apparent. She allowed him to stand there motionless for a long moment, his hands bound before him. When his eyes begged her for release, and her own impatience overcame her, she relented. Turning slowly, she relaxed her grip on the cloak.

Spock moved forward to catch the scarlet cloud before it fluttered to the floor, looking up to see Chapel watching him over her shoulder. He froze, clutching the cloak in one hand, his gaze traveling down the inviting curve of her spine, remembering the silken touch of skin beneath crystal and gold. He ached to caress her, but knew he couldn't without permission. He didn't want to risk punishment, even though he knew she would make it delightful, and ambiguously sensual mixture of pleasure and pain.

"Do exactly as I say," she commanded firmly. "Disobedience will be punished."

"Yes, my lady."

"Kiss me."

Dropping the cloak, Spock slipped his cuffed hands over Chapel's head to enclose her in a passionate embrace. Brushing aside the soft strands of hair to expose the hollow of her throat, he pressed eager lips against the throbbing pulse. Forgetting in his excitement that she hadn't given permission, Spock cupped one hand over a bejeweled breast, gently squeezing the soft fullness.

Chapel relaxed against him, tilting her head as his mouth trailed towards hers. Her kiss was everything he'd remembered, and as his tongue inched between her parted lips, a tremor of delight suffused through him.

Forcing herself to remember the game, Chapel tore her lips from his and wriggled out of his embrace, laughing.

"I said you could kiss me, but I didn't say you could touch me. I know you want me," she teased, running one hand lightly over his cock. "But you can't have me ... yet. When you do, it'll be on my terms, understood?"

Spock's only response was a soft groan as she tickled his balls.

"Understood?"

"Understood," he gasped as she caught his hard shaft in her hand and pumped it.

Chapel released him, looked around his cabin as if seeking inspiration, her eyes fell on the wall over his bunk and she smiled. "Yes, that will do nicely." She moved to retrieve a whip from his collection of ancient weapons, uncurling it, stroking the braided leather through her fingertips until she reached the feather-like strands at the tip.

He had turned, following her movements, swallowing convulsively as she met his gaze. "On the bunk," she ordered sharply. "Face down."

Spock obeyed, resting his cuffed hands over his head, burying his flushed face against the cool material of the spread. After an agonizing wait, he felt the leather tip of the whip trail along his spine. It was followed by a caressing hand and then a moist tongue. As she leaned against him, her breasts rubbed against his shoulder and a frustrated moan escaped him.

"Patience," she admonished, bringing the whip down across his buttocks. The action tantalized more than it hurt, the gentle sting inflaming his desire. He pulled the chain between his cuffs taut, fists clenched as he fought to control the animal responses that rose within him. His face burned with a shameful blush as he held his breath, eagerly awaiting the next fall of the whip.

After a moment, he realized she was fastening something to the frame of his bunk. As she pulled on the connecting chain of his cuffs, he looked and the muscles of his stomach contracted. She had brought a strap from one of the diagnostic beds in Sickbay and had just used it to secure his hands over his head. He pulled against the restraint, finding it quite strong.

"Christine," he rasped. "I do not--"

"Silence!" she commanded, retrieving the whip to slap it against him again. She teased him, alternately trailing the whip across his back and buttocks and then striking him with just enough force to sting. Her playful attacks sent shivers along the entire length of his body.

"Please!" Spock didn't know if his plea was for her to continue or to stop. He felt her hands slip between his thighs, trace a pattern down his legs until she clasped his ankles. He tensed as she slipped another strap over his feet, tightening it to bind his ankles together. He heard her pleased chuckle as he shifted, pulling against the bonds.

"You can't break them, but if you want to keep struggling, be my guest," her voice dropped to a husky whisper. "I think it's sexy."

Her tongue traveled up his right leg, teasing the hollow behind his knee until he thought he would cry out. Never had he considered how sensitive that part of his anatomy could be. She trailed over to the left leg, continuing to tease him with her tongue, tickling and arousing him. As her tongue explored him, she continued to flick the whip across his buttocks, and his muscles quivered, tensing in anticipation between strokes.

Slowly she snaked her tongue up his leg, abandoning the whip to spread the cheeks of his buttocks. He wriggled in silent protest as her tongue invaded the tight sphincter. With a gasp he attempted to draw away from her, but bound and stretched taut beneath her, there was no way to escape.

Spock moaned, squirming ineffectually in her grasp as she lapped playfully at his nether hole. He had never been stimulated like this, but her insidious alien seduction overpowered his reluctance. Gradually he relaxed, and then he began to struggle again as her tongue flicked his anus as mercilessly as the whip had flailed his buttocks. Her teasing was forcing him to the brink of orgasm. He fought to control his response, astonished at his arousal, and determined not to climax until he was inside her.

When she slipped her index finger into him, rotating it slowly, his squirming took on a slow thrusting rhythm as he rubbed his erection against the bespread. She echoed the movement, working another finger into him.

"Yes," she gasped as he bucked beneath her. "Now you know how I feel with you inside me!" She continued to torture him, teasing him with whispered promises of what was yet to come.

He spasmed, crying out as he came, arching his buttocks up into her probing fingers.

Chapel massaged the tension out of his shoulders, kissing the nape of his neck. "Very good!" she said softly.

Deftly she unfastened the strap that held his hands and he rolled onto his back, dark eyes met her gaze briefly and then lowered. For a split second she sensed his embarrassment and shame and cursed the Vulcan half of him that persisted in denying the raw sensuality of his Human half. Spock wasn't alone in his conflict of reason and desire. But the battle raged with less vigor in Chapel's heart. In a moment it was over, desire victorious as she resecured the strap between his cuffs to the bunk. His cock stiffened.

"Oh yes," she smiled. "That was just the beginning, and I see you're already eager for more." She stepped back and removed the jewelry, exposing all of her pink flesh to his hungry eyes. She caressed herself for him, pinching her nipples into hard knots and slipping a finger between her legs. "I'm wet," she breathed. "I'm ready for you, Spock."

He arched toward her, straining against the bonds which held him.

She bent to kiss him, amazed by the expression of desire, the longing to possess she sensed in his response. She allowed his attempt at passionate persuasion, enjoying it, but determined to have her way.

"There's more to this than what I feel," she whispered, her lips still brushing against his. "I want to know what you feel."

"I ... I ache for you," he trembled uncontrollably as she feathered light kisses along the line of his jaw.

"I want to feel it. Let me feel what you feel."

"I do not understand," he whispered.

"Meld with me. Let me feel you inside me."

He stared at her, warning klaxons shouting in his head. No! He could not allow...

"I order you!"

"I cannot."

"You can," she insisted. "You've been in my thoughts before."

"This is a different..."

She flicked the whip across his chest and his voice trailed off into a gasp. "You want to be inside me," she prompted, wielding the whip expertly, moving lower across his tone with each lash.

"Yes."

"Where?" her lips pursed, inviting as she formed the word. "My mouth?"

He tossed his head, moving restlessly beneath the whip as it trailed closer to his swollen penis.

"Christine," he moaned. The leather stroked his hot flesh, and he flinched as her teasing flicks finally caught the head of his cock. His whole body shuddered in reaction.

"My pussy?" she continued, letting the supple leather slide over his scrotal sac. "Or my ass?" He groaned as she drew the feathered strands over his balls. "Where, Spock?" she demanded, the lashes falling with more force.

He bit his lip, jerking as the leather caressed his genitals. "Your--" he gasped as the whip contacted its sensitive target with more force. "Your mouth!"

"That's right. You like my mouth, don't you?" She climbed up on top of him, straddling his bound legs. Leaning over him, she sucked his nipples, licking her way down his tense abdomen. She tongued his navel until he was moaning softly and finally moved to lick the tip of his straining cock. Running her tongue over it lightly, she slid down the shaft, lingering over his balls, and then back up to the tip. She sucked the head into her mouth, scraping her sharp teeth against him. He arched up to fill her mouth and she pulled back, lapping at the head and gripping his shaft with her fingers. She sucked, licked and nibbled him into a frenzy, not allowing the penetration he desired.

'Tell me what you're feeling." She pumped his cock in her hand.

"An ache ... tight ... deep inside me. Like a tightly wound coil."

"A coil that's ready to snap?" Chapel released his cock, repositioning herself to rub her aching pussy over his erection. He squirmed to penetrate her, muscles straining, his breath coming in harsh gasps. She rubbed herself along his length, wanting to give in to her own desire, but knowing that she couldn't. Not yet.

"Now?" she breathed, certain she couldn't continue this much longer.

"No," he moaned, hips still pushing upward, trying to enter her.

She evaded him. "Not until you do what I want." She rubbed against him again, echoing his moan of frustration as her lips brushed his. "Don't you want me? I want you. I want you to fuck me!"

She wriggled up until the head of his cock was pressed snugly against her ass, pushing back until the tip relaxed her sphincter and nudged a fraction of an inch inside. Watching his expression, she pulled up just in time to keep him from thrusting into her. He cried out, his alien curse ringing in the silence as she lowered her lips to his.

Chapel felt a rush of victorious euphoria as Spock's mental barriers collapsed. Overwhelmed by the force of his unshielded passion as it flooded her mind, she fumbled to release the strap that held his wrists.

The moment he was free, Spock rolled, sweeping her beneath him, his cuffed hands drawing her face to his. His kiss was hard and punishing, and for a moment that was all she knew. The welcome weight of his muscled body warmed and excited her, bur then she felt a new warmth suffuse through his fingers, a deeper probing into her mind. She suddenly became aware of her own body as he would be aware of it, the curves and soft flesh delightfully tempting beneath him. She felt the burning heat of his erection as it strained against her thigh and the ache he had described to her, a longing that brought physical pain, a delicious agony.

At dawn, all will be as it was before, she projected, an assurance that she wanted only this night from him, nothing more.

Spock was still kissing her, his mouth moving hungrily, the pressure almost bruising, but she could clearly hear his voice in her mind, heavy with passion. Can you sense my need for you?

Yes, I can feel how much you want me.

"Then know my release," he growled. He rose up on his knees beside her, tangling his cuffed hands in her golden hair to pull her face toward his straining cock. She eagerly opened her mouth to accommodate him as he shoved roughly into her. Slowly he began moving, thrusting against the back of her throat and holding herhead firmly between his hands. Chapel attempted to swallow all of him, savoring his response to her ministrations. His unique taste and smell mingled with psionic perceptions of her mouth sheathing him, the suction around his aching shaft. Overcome with desire she slipped one hand between her thighs, fingering herself as she sucked his hard shaft, impatient for his ultimate invasion.

Spock felt the climax building in her, and he pulled out of her mouth, pushing her back on the bunk and lowering himself over her. When she reached to guide him, he grabbed her wrists and pinned them over her head, sliding into her with a casual slowness that infuriated her.

Fuck me! she ordered, bucking her hips frantically to increase the friction. He pulled completely out of her, still holding her wrists. Spock!

Chapel's psionic plea echoed in Spock's mind as he thrust into her. He pulled back and slammed into her again, giving her the hard, fast rhythm that she wanted.

She climaxed almost immediately, overwhelmed not just by his physical force, but the raw sensuality of his unshielded thoughts. She could feel her own orgasm and simultaneously felt his response to the spasming of her body around him. She arched up to meet him as he pounded into her, her lips soundlessly forming his name.

A vivid image filled her mind and she gasped, unable to speak as yet another climax overtook her. Before her muscles relaxed, Spock pulled out of her and wrenched her over onto her stomach.

Spock, no! Recognizing the image she had seen as his intent, she tried to wriggle out of his grasp, but he caught her by the hips, pulling her back onto her knees. Please! I've never... her mental plea ended in a gasp as Spock's hand came down on her right buttock. The slap stung for only a second. Stunned, she admitted to herself that she found his discipline tantalizing, but she continued to struggle in his one-handed grip, a tingle of fear going up her spine as she recalled his Vulcan strength and the size of his cock.

"You like pain, he reminded, the silken voice taking on a depth of sadism. "It's so close to pleasure." She struggled in his grasp, her nipples rubbing against the spread, tight with anticipation. He was right, as soon as the thrillof fear ran through her a curious desire replaced it. She wanted him to take her like this, to hurt her.

"You shall feel my pleasure," Spock whispered as he slipped two fingers into her dripping pussy, bringing them back to moisten her nether hole. "Even as I know your pain." Spreading the cheeks of her ass, he plunged his thick cock into her cunt to coat it with her juices and then pulled back to press the lubricated tip against her tight portal. Chapel attempted to wrench out of his grip, but her frantic struggling only served to hasten the inevitable.

He held her down, pushing into her with a gentle but inescapable force, ignoring her whimpering pleas for him to stop. Only when his balls were tickling her pussy did he pause. After several moments, he started to move inside her. The pain faded and she felt the ache he had described building, too long denied, spreading itself. His rhythm increased and she began to savor his incredible heat pumping into her, filling her like he had never filled her before. She found herself clamping down on his shaft, wanting to feel it go deeper, tilting her ass up to meet his frenzied thrusts.

"Wait!" she cried, but he was already thrusting into her.

He climaxed in great spasming jerks, clutching her against him, and quivering in release. Chapel joined him in an orgasm of her own, surprised that she was able to distinguish her pleasure from his through their shared consciousness. She arched back against him, willing him to pull her onto him as deeply as possible, crying out as he complied, shuddering as the waves of pleasure flowed over them both.

His heart pounding, breathing ragged, Spock pulled out of her and collapsed by her side. He rolled over onto his back, resting his cuffed wrists against his thighs. Chapel felt the tangle of emotions warring in his mind, sensed his confusion.

Taking the key that dangled from the collar of her jewelry, she removed his cuffs, dropping them to the floor. Then she reached down to the foot of the bunk and released the strap from around his ankles, pulling a blanket up over them. Spock remained silent, staring blankly at the ceiling.

Laying back against the pillow, Chapel shivered, wishing he would pull her close against him. What she wanted most from him right now was just to feel his embrace. But the fantasy was played out and he had withdrawn into himself, retreating behind a wall she could never hope to scale. She sighed heavily, turning away from him and rolling on her side.

A warm hand tentatively caressed her hip and she felt the tingle of the link surge between them. "Spock!" she gasped, unable to hide her delight as he pulled her over, drawing her close to the welcome warmth of his body. She met his gaze, blue eyes wide as she searched his expression.

You should not have taunted me like that, Christine, he admonished telepathically as she settled into the crook of his arm. His long fingers brushed soothingly against her buttocks and his lips trailed absently across her forehead.

I wanted to feel all of you. I knew you wouldn't agree to it any other way. She was amazed at how natural it seemed to be conversing with him without words and was grateful for the link, not just because it eased communication, but also because it gave her insight into what Spock was feeling, an intimacy he had denied her before.

I could have seriously injured you.

I did miscalculate a little, didn't I? she smiled. You play the submissive role so well, I have a tendency to forget how strong you are ... how passionate you are.

I am not a human male, Christine, for you to taunt me like that--

I'd do it again in a minute, she interrupted drowsily. What's a little pain among friends?

She heard his resigned sigh even as she felt him pulling away from her mind.

Please! she begged, wanting to savor this telepathic embrace as well as the physical one. It gave her such a sensation of contentment and peace. Don't dissolve the link. Not yet.

You are exhausted, he observed gently. I can feel you fighting sleep.

You're mine until dawn, she reminded, her lips curving into a smile as she snuggled against him. I don't want to waste it sleeping.

We are on a starship, he replied, the tone in her mind that of the practical, pragmatic first officer. There is no dawn, in space. Sleep now, I will remain with you.

Chapel felt soothing images flow into her mind, a tranquil oasis, rosy with the first light of dawn, the scent of roses, a shaggy sehlat, the harmonic strains of a Vulcan harp. Dimly she realized that Spock was lulling her to sleep with memories, his own memories.

You make a good slave, she thought as she lost her grip on wakefulness.

Why, thank you, my lady.

Chapel didn't hear the bemused response to her errant thought. She had fallen asleep.

* * *

Spock woke, immediately alert and realized that Chapel was no longer curled beside him. He could hear her in the shower. They had slept much longer than he had intended.

Quelling an impulse to join her, he experienced shame and anger at his body's instant and undeniable response to the thought. He was unsettled by the fact that he had given in to Christine so easily last night. Further, he couldn't understand why he was even now maintaining the light mental link with her. Of course, it wasn't a true bond, but his reluctance to sever the connection was disquieting. In Chapel's defense, she didn't understand the cultural ramifications of her request, or the complications involved. He, however, had no such excuse. This erotic game might be compelling, but it would be insanity to let it go any further. His responsibility was clear. He must sever the link now and put an end to the fantasy while he retained some semblance of control.

Chapel emerged from the bathroom wrapped in the folds of his black silk robe, her golden hair loose about her flushed face. Spock's resolve faded into insignificance as she joined him on the bunk and slipped her arms around him.

"Good morning." Her lips sought his and he was overcome with sensory impressions; the scent of his shampoo which lingered in her soft hair, the minty taste of his toothpaste in her mouth. Knowing that he would regret it, but not caring, he pulled her close, the tactile sensation of his robe on her body overwhelming him with the same possessive passion he had experienced last night as he watched her with McCoy.

She pressed against him, trembling as her tongue invaded the recesses of his mouth, as the force of her passion threatened to invade the deepest corners of his mind. A voice inside Spock warned him of the consequences of this weakness, but Chapel's desire and his own need clamored above it, eventually silencing it altogether.

Pulling back from him abruptly, she smiled. "You're as addicting as a narcotic!"

Before he could reach out to draw her against him, she rose from the bunk, moved to the clothing synthesizer, and punched in a code.

"Duty or off duty?" the flat voice of the computer queried.

"Duty," she sighed reluctantly, purposely averting her gaze from the masculine temptation that lounged beneath the blanket on the bunk. "A surgical coverall will do for today."

"Please standby.

She gasped as strong arms slipped about her waist from behind and hot flesh pressed against her, suffusing through the material of his robe. "Come to bed," he requested in silky tones that sent chills up and down her spine.

"I can't," she responded, leaning her head back and relaxing against him, fully aware of the throbbing erection that nestled between them. "I have to be in Sickbay in ten minutes."

"Doctor McCoy did offer to let you come in late."

"Yes, but I hate to..." Chapel's voice trailed off and she turned in his arms, blue eyes wide with surprise. "Now, how did you know..."

"The link works both ways. Not only could you sense my thoughts, but I could sense yours as well."

"Either that or you were snooping," she teased.

"Vulcans do not snoop."

She looked up at his composed features and sighed. "Probably serves me right. It's not like I didn't ask for it."

"Demand it."

She blushed. "All right, demand it. Now you know more about me than I want you to know, all my fantasies, all my desires--"

"Not all, but a good number of them," he interrupted. "Does that distress you?"

"I suppose not," she said, breaking into a smile. "After all, I know a little more about you too." As the synthesizer signalled that her clothes were ready she pulled out of his embrace. "I have to go now, really."

"Understood."

She watched him retreat into the bathroom, experiencing a pang of disappointment that he hadn't made another attempt to convince her to stay.

You're fickle, Chris, she told herself as she dressed. You spent the better part of a month plotting this, knowing full well that it would be just a one night stand, and now you wont more. You're never satisfied.

She pulled her hair back into a quick braid, checking her appearance in the mirror over the dresser while Spock showered. She moved to make the bed out of habit and caught sight of the jewelry on the floor. Retrieving her scarlet cloak, she wrapped the jewelry in it, adding the cuffs and straps.

Once she had replaced the whip in its position on the wall, she surveyed the tidied room. She would just have time to stop at her cabin and put her costume away before her shift. Spock was still in the shower, but that was probably for the best, she thought. She had no illusions that what they shared was anything more than sexual fantasy. Better to leave without an awkward goodbye.

Peeking out into the corridor, she assured herself that there was no one to observe her departure. Making her way quickly to her cabin, she tucked the cloak and jewelry into one of her dresser drawers, smiling sadly. All was as it had been before.

Not so, Christine, a deeply familiar voice intoned.

Chapel whirled about in surprise, but there was no one in he cabin but her. "Spock?" she queried hesitantly, her eyes straying to the intercom even though she knew the sound was too clear for it to be transmitted in that manner.

Have you forgotten so soon? the first officer's voice teased.

The link! Why didn't you break it?

Are you aware that planet dawn on Vulcan is at sixteen hundred point five hours Enterprise time?

Planet dawn? she echoed incredulously.

At that time the festival of T'Mare ends.

Her eyes widened as she grasped what he was saying, a tremor of excitement suffusing her. She imagined how that leather whip would feel against her nipples, on the inner flesh of her thigh, across her buttocks... Oh. God!

Lord master will do, came the bemused reply. Come to me at dawn.

Chapel stared at thejewelry in the drawer for a long moment and then her lips curved into a slow smile. She closed the drawer and left the room, her steps light as she made her way to the turbolift. She had a busy day ahead of her, and she wanted to leave Sickbay a little early this afternoon. She had an appointment to keep.

END

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