DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of T'Thelaih and is copyright (c) 2001 by T'Thelaih. Rated NC17.
(The Way to Exist)
Naked, T'Askeyra climbed out of the hot spring in the cave and dried herself. She combed her thick black hair, sitting down on the smooth rock at the spring's edge as she patiently untangled the ends she could not reach while standing, then she put on her desert softsuit. Night was falling outside, and though the hot spring kept the cave comfortable, it was still cooling down. Clean and dressed, she knelt in the loshriq and began to focus her thoughts.
* * *
Spock walked alone into the desert, as he often did. He found that both the walking and the desert enabled him to think more clearly, and would go for days at a time. Although Gol was sufficiently quiet to be conducive to both thinking and solitude, he still preferred to isolate himself from the other acolytes, even despite the fact that he had been there for over two years, and was soon to become an adept. The wind swept his long hair back from his face, revealing the stark planes and angles only to 40 Eridani. He reached his usual destination, then found himself staring at the mountain in the distance. Usually when he reached this point, he would turn back and return to the retreat, yet this time he desired to continue his journey. His eye on the mountain, he took his canteen and swallowed a few sips of water, then replaced it on the belt around his slim waist and began walking anew.
* * *
He reached the mountain at the height of midday. His inner timesense told him he had walked for an additional three days since he had decided to attempt to reach it. Reaching for his canteen, he surveyed his surroundings at the foot of the mountain as he drank a small amount of water. He saw a small pond, only just barely worthy of the name. Around it grew several ipanki trees, aldara plants winding around the trunks of the ipanki trees, a long thick d'mallu vine, and then, to his surprise, he saw what appeared to be a small garden of edible plants, meticulously maintained. Two more ipanki trees, these smaller than the ones by the pond, appeared to guard the nearby entrance to a cave.
He knelt by the pond and refilled his canteen. When he stood up, he found himself nearly eye-to-eye with a black haired, blue-eyed woman, carrying a woven basket which contained qir'lal. Her hair was loose, cascading in a thick silky curtain just past her knees, tucked behind delicate pointed ears. The desert softsuit she wore was plain and loose-fitting, but did little to conceal the fact of her voluptuous shape. Only the Mastery he had learned at Gol prevented him from displaying any sign of his startled surprise.
"I ask forgiveness for my trespass," he said, reopening his canteen and spilling the water back into the pond. Between his self- imposed water rationing, the long walk in the desert, and the silences he had kept both in his solitary walking and at Gol, his voice was slightly rough.
"No matter," the woman said. Her voice was soft and smooth, yet to him she seemed to be unaccustomed to speaking.
"I am called Spock," he said, recalling the proprieties he had not recently used.
"I am T'Askeyra," she responded.
"Kh'askeyralatha..." he murmured softly to himself. Definition, as in act of making clear, he thought.
"Indeed," T'Askeyra said quietly, her sharp ears hearing him. "My mother had hoped I would become a teacher. Instead, I became a chemist, then a Kolinahr acolyte, and finally, a recluse." With that, she had spoken more words in less than a minute than she had in the last fifteen years.
Spock lowered his eyes. He had not meant to violate the woman's privacy. "Again, I ask forgiveness for my intrusion. I will leave you to your solitude," he said. She had immediately recognized his attire as that of an acolyte.
"Very well. However," she said, holding her hand out for his canteen, "it is a long journey back to Gol. If you would please..." Her voice trailed off then. He gave her the canteen. She knelt down at the pond, her movements graceful, and filled it, then rose up again just as gracefully. Deftly she tightened the lid of the canteen; obviously she was no stranger to such tasks. She held it back out to him. He took it, thanked her, and turned to leave.
"May I tell you something before you go?" she asked. He turned to face her. Their eyes met.
"You are beautiful," she said. "I thank you for your... 'trespass.'" She raised her hand in the ta'al. "Live long and prosper," she said.
By automatic habit, he also lifted his hand, parting his fingers. He opened his mouth to wish her peace and a long life, but for long moments he could only stare at her. "You are also beautiful," he finally said. It is illogical to deny the evidence of my senses, he told himself.
T'Askeyra stared back at him. They were a meter apart, but the depths of his dark gaze held her still, speaking to her of great intelligence and steel strength, beneath which lay a profound inner warmth.
What in the name of the Other can this one want with Kolinahr? she wondered to herself. "May I ask you a personal question?" she inquired.
"Yes," he said, struggling not to lose himself in her gaze.
"Why are you here, and not at the retreat?"
"I like to walk in the desert," he said. "This time I merely walked further than I normally do."
"Liking indicates enjoyment. To achieve Kolinahr, you are supposed to eradicate such things," she said evenly.
"May I ask you a personal question as well?"
"Have you ... attained Kolinahr?"
"No," she said easily. "I chose to reject it on the eve of taking my final vows as an adept."
"Then why did you not return to live in society?"
"I left society because I could not bear the mass hypocrisy, which I thought achieving the perfect logic of Kolinahr would remove me from. Then I found that I could not live among the Kolinahru because they, too, exhibit the same hypocrisy. I learned that logic is the art of noncontradictory identification. Although emotion is not synonymous with cognition, it is a part of the nature of sentient beings. To deny or attempt to destroy one's emotions is to go against one's nature. It is a self contradiction, therefore it is illogical."
"Then that is why you reside here, alone?"
"Yes. I know of no other way to live consistently in accordance with my convictions, and not have to contend with the hypocrisy and pretense of others."
"May I ask what it is you do here?"
"I meditate and philosophize, although my philosophy would not be accepted, so I merely write for my own intellectual well-being. I grow my food, play my ka'athyra, and like you, I also enjoy walking in the desert."
Spock's gaze lowered to her graceful, long-fingered hands, then back up to her face. Her skin was tanned from the sun; evidently she did indeed spend time walking in the desert. "Where did you come from originally?"
"I am not familiar with that city."
"It is a small town in proximity to the city of de'Khriv. And you?"
"It is time for a decision," T'Askeyra said softly. "If you must return to the retreat, you should begin your journey now. Or--" She hesitated for a moment. Why am I doing this? she wondered to herself. "--you are welcome to share my daily meal. You appear to require sustenance."
He contemplated briefly. The Masters and his fellow acolytes did not question his absences; many of them also took long solitary walks into the desert. He had been walking for six days. He had brought with him only water, and it would take him another six days to return to the retreat at Gol. "I would be gratified to accept your offer of a meal," he said.
She nodded, then moved to the area where the edible vegetation was growing. He watched as she silently filled her basket, then followed when she gestured him into the cave. Spock noted his surroundings inside the cave as T'Askeyra sat peeling breltakh, e'junh and plomeek, then stripped the qir'lal root of its thorns and berries, placing the berries back in the basket. There was a hot spring, near which was a cooking area with two pots, a pan, small bowls, tea mugs and eating utensils. The sleeping area, on the opposite side of the hot spring, featured only a small pile of blankets. Near a large rock by the bed were two more desert softsuits and a ka'athyra, as well as a small computer with miniature power generator. The ka'athyra was of a model he recognized. It was an older one, but of high quality, as was the computer. These seemed to be her only modern technology.
He continued to look around him, then he saw her gardening implements and small bundles of dried herbs. He had seen these growing in the garden as well. He looked back at her again. She had risen, filled the larger of the two pots with water from the hot spring, and placed the peeled vegetables and qir'lal root in it. With a practiced hand, she started the cooking fire and hung the pot over it. Their eyes met again as she stirred the soup for awhile. Then she took a small bundle of dried herbs, along with a fine metal sieve from the smaller pot. She filled the pot with water, placed some of the herbs into the sieve, the sieve into the pot, then set that over the fire also.
"I am curious," he said, breaking the silence between them which had started once he had accepted her invitation. "May I know why you also chose to reject technology?"
"I do not reject technology per se. It is merely that to use it, I must live in society. I consider it immoral to take the benefits of living among others without offering my own effort to them in exchange. And since I do not wish to contribute to society, I cannot in good conscience accept its benefits, such as technology. After I left Gol, I did return to society briefly. I resumed my work as a chemist, but only for a year. That was just long enough to plan my exodus and to earn what I needed to purchase the few items I would require in my solitude, though the ka'athyra was already mine."
"I see," he said. They were silent again as she finished cooking the soup. Finally she took two small bowls and mugs. She filled one with soup, the other with tea, and placed them on the ground beside Spock. She took two more and did the same for herself. She brought the basket of berries, sat near him, placing the basket between them, then they ate. They did not speak, but their eyes kept wandering to one another. When they had finished their soup, T'Askeyra rinsed the bowls in the hot spring and returned them to their place. They sat drinking the strong, hot tea, munching on the berries, for long moments.
"May I ask what kind of tea this is?" inquired Spock.
"Ashaya and tri'hla," she replied. "The mixture of the herbs is both flavorful and soothing."
"Agreed," he said. He did feel relaxed, and the tea tasted wonderful, as had the soup. "Have you ever regretted your decision to live as a recluse?" he asked.
"Not until today," she replied, "and that only for a hopeless reason. I find that I enjoy looking at you, listening to your voice. I wish to know more of you, but since you are a Kolinahr acolyte, that would be impossible. Kaiidth..."
He heard the tinge of sadness as she spoke her last words and found himself questioning his decision to attempt to achieve Kolinahr. She lowered her eyes, which had been fixed on his, then rose abruptly. He found himself getting up just as quickly. He followed her to the other end of the cave, into the dark chamber she was entering.
"T'Askeyra," he called softly to her. She stopped, then turned. The flickering light from the fire dimly registered in here, highlighting the sharp, exquisite angles of his face. He gazed at her, his eyes warm and gentle. She looked away, then turned her back to him. She fought to prevent the tears from streaming down her face, to save them for when she was alone, and was only partially successful.
"You are a Kolinahr acolyte. You cannot stay here. Go now," she said, her voice trembling.
"Do you truly desire that?" he asked.
She turned around again. She had not troubled to wipe away the tears. "My desires concerning you are irrelevant," she said. "I do not even understand them myself. What is relevant is the path you have chosen, and it does not include your joining me here."
Spock moved to her, closing the distance between them. He grasped her gently by the shoulders, then stroked her cheek once with paired fingers. T'Askeyra gasped in response as his eyes locked with hers, his gentle fingers cradling her face. "Why are you doing this to me?"
"I believe it is that which you require," he whispered.
"What do you know of my requirements?"
"That for the moment, they are congruous with my own." His fingers moved slowly over her face, stroking gently as he admired her. She moaned softly, reeling inside as she felt the warmth of the telepathic impulses from the physical contact enveloping her. He pulled her close to him then, his arms going around her. She rested against him, feeling his now continuous gentle stream of warm impulses flowing through her. Her deep blue eyes were on his dark ones, but she could not speak.
Still holding her with one arm, he moved a hand up to touch her face again. His fingers moved, this time lightly tracing the elegant point of her ear. Another soft moan escaped her, then her expression became curious.
"What is it?" he whispered. She hesitated for a moment. She knew that Kolinahr acolytes, and even adepts themselves, were not immune to the natural Vulcan mating drive. She also knew that there were priestesses and female acolytes who accepted the duty of saving the lives of the male Kohlinahru during their Times; she herself had once been called upon to do this. But there were some who were so full of shame that they simply went alone into the desert to die.
"Spock ... is it ... is it your ... Time? Is that why you walked further into the desert, because you were ashamed?"
"I am not in ... pon farr," he said quietly. "Why do you ask?"
T'Askeyra lowered her eyes. "...I... forgive me. But the way you are touching me, I can only conclude..."
"That it is my Time. It is not. And if it were?"
"I would offer you life," she whispered.
"Do you believe that the only condition under which I could desire you would be while in the madness of pon farr?" he asked.
"Is that not the only way you would be ... capable?"
He sensed her incredulity, her innocence. "You do not know?"
"That it can be otherwise."
"I know only the Time," said T'Askeyra. "I have no other ... experience."
"My ... experience ... is limited, but it is sufficient to know that it need not be my Time." As they spoke quietly, Spock was stroking her gently. Her eyes were locked with his as she rested against him, quivering slightly. Her hand moved, but she stopped herself, then lowered her eyes. He sensed her mixture of desire and apprehension from their physical contact. "If you wish to touch me, I would welcome it," he said.
"Then you would ... indulge me ... just for a moment?" she barely whispered. He studied her silently, then nodded.
Her eyes locked with his, she reached up with both hands and lightly traced the contours of his face, her sensitive fingers quivering as she did so. Spock closed his eyes, reeling inside as her fingers moved slowly, delicately over his features with a tenderness he found incredible. The soft, exploring touches moved to his ears, then her fingers were in his hair, stroking it gently. She brushed her lips gently against his once, then again. Instinctively, he responded in kind, his lips parting slightly. T'Askeyra closed her eyes. With extraordinary gentleness, she kissed him on the mouth, tasting him, exploring his mouth with her own.
Spock's pulse began to race, his respiration increasing as his body warmed with desire. Then she stopped and drew away from him, her eyes opening again. He gazed at her. She held it only for a moment, then lowered her eyes. "Thank you, and forgive me the indulgence," she said quietly.
Spock saw the sad eyes in the otherwise controlled features. He took her face in his hands. As he began to caress her features slowly, he felt her tremble from his touch, saw her huge eyes fixed on him. She had shown him nothing but gentleness and respect. "May I ask what prompted your ... indulgence?" he asked softly, his fingers moving slowly to her hair.
T'Askeyra swallowed. "It is of no consequence," she whispered. "It was merely a personal desire. Please forgive me."
"On one condition," he said, his voice still low.
"Which would be?" she whispered, trying to still herself.
"That you indulge me," he whispered back, running his fingers through her hair, spreading them beneath it, caressing her neck gently with both hands.
Undone, T'Askeyra closed her eyes, savoring him almost desperately. Oh ... Spock ... yes..., she thought, but held back the words. Weakly, she nodded. Taking her hand, he led her back to the area of the cave in which she lived, then he turned her to face him. He lifted his hand in a ta'al, his eyes beckoning. Holding his gaze, T'Askeyra slowly lifted her hand in kind and allowed it to match his. He felt her desperate longing, the passionate desire she had never felt but which he had awakened in her; she felt his reciprocal desire for her. They closed their eyes, their hands still touching, but not moving. They savored it.
T'Askeyra opened her eyes to find Spock gazing at her. She inhaled sharply, trembling, incredulous, as his fingers began to caress hers gently, his outmost mental barrier lowering in invitation. She had never felt the touch of a mind other than that of a Master or healer; she had given only her body to the young adept whom she had saved from pon farr. She allowed her own outmost mental barrier to lower in kind.
She felt an incredible warmth, acceptance, encouragement beginning to envelop her. Instantaneously, she sent back the same through the link that was forming between them. She did not realize the intensity of her response, how deeply her wanting had shot through Spock's mind, impacting with the center of his being. His breath quickened for a moment, his hand tightening on hers briefly, then loosening, returning to the gentle caresses.
"In every way I can conceive of, you are a menace to my Mastery," he whispered, allowing a gentle warm impulse to accompany the comment. T'Askeyra savored the impulse, returning it this time with gentleness.
"At this moment," she said quietly, "I find your Mastery to be far superior to my own."
"If that is true," he whispered back, "it may not remain so for much longer." They stood together, fingers and thoughts twining, impulses flowing between them. His hand grasped hers again as he lowered his second barrier, his mindtouch growing bolder, more sensual. He felt her reactions through the link as she responded in kind. Both of them were quivering with arousal. "Does this mean to you what it does to me?" he asked, his voice a hoarse whisper.
"I do not know what it means to you," she barely whispered, struggling to control her own voice.
His eyes still on hers, Spock touched their tenuous link, sending an impulse of profound soul-sharing to her. "Kro'el kya me-ni'var lailara," he whispered softly as he directed the impulse to envelop her being.
She murmured something unintelligible as he slid his arms around her and pulled her close up against him. As her arms went around him, his tightened around her. She felt the tight bulge of his hot arousal straining against her. She moaned softly as she melted against him, leaning into him for support. His mouth came down hot on hers as one of his hands slid to her buttocks, rubbing gently as his hips rocked against her. Their tongues twined and caressed fervidly as their hands moved over one another, igniting their passion almost to a conflagration, then he stopped, panting desperately, though he still clung to her, and she to him. Delirious with a wanting she had never imagined, T'Askeyra gazed at him as they caught their breath.
"It would be difficult to stop, would it not?" he asked her.
"Is that what you want?" she whispered.
"No, but in conscience, I must ask you while it is still possible for me to do so. If we do not stop now, I will not be able to." His heart pounded in his side, his respiration was still somewhat labored, and his pupils were dilated so as to make his eyes seem black.
Her eyes still on his, she ran her fingers through the length of his hair. He shivered from her gentle touch, his spine tingling with warmth. "Do you wish me to answer honestly?"
"Yes," he said. "Else I would not have asked."
"I would sooner choose to die than to stop," she said quietly, a delicate finger from each of her hands moving to trace the outer edge of his exquisitely pointed ears.
"As would I," he whispered.
He groaned softly with pleasure as his lips met hers again, gently this time. Kissing her, his hands trailed up her back and found the clasp of the tunic of her desert softsuit. He undid it, then slid it down her shoulders, off of her body, baring her to the waist. She pulled back from him and removed her boots and breeches as he removed his own clothing, his eyes feasting on her nakedness as she reveled in his. He lifted her and carried her to the pile of blankets, setting her down, lying down beside her. He pulled her close so that she lay full against him. They moaned softly from the delicious pleasure of the contact, reeling with sensation as they began to gently explore one another with sensitive fingers.
The flames of desire ignited and burned along their nerve pathways, swirling to encompass them in both mind and body. The only sound in the cave was that of their soft moans and sighs between kisses, until T'Askeyra cried out, arcing and writhing as Spock gently rolled her hard nipples between his fingers. He lowered his head then, kissing her breasts, sucking and licking her nipples as her hands were in his hair, her eyes closed as she panted and moaned, begging him never to stop. He came back up and began kissing her mouth again as his hand slid back to her large breasts, fondling gently for a long while before he reached down, further down, rubbing in a circular pattern down her belly until he brushed his fingers against her sex. Instinctively, she groaned, parting her thighs. Feeling the slick wetness of her, he began to caress her there, rubbing with exquisite tenderness, then sliding his fingers in and out of her.
"...Spock..." she murmured, then she was lost in the pleasure he was giving her. Just as she knew she could not possibly experience anything else so good as this, she felt him parting her thighs wider. He began kissing her neck, returning briefly to her breasts, her belly, then she felt his lips between her legs, his tongue teasing her clitoris as he slid his fingers back inside her and began moving them again. All coherent thought fled her as he passionately kissed her sex while she moaned and writhed continuously in response, her nerve endings blazing with an all-consuming pleasure which ascended in fiery waves until she could bear it no longer. Her mind shorted entirely as her body stiffened and she repeatedly convulsed in spasms of unbelievably intense pleasure.
Spock held his lips against her as she throbbed, then licked her gently, triggering aftershocks. She cried out, then murmured incoherently, panting to catch her breath. He lay where he was, panting with desire himself, waiting for her to recover slightly, then he began kissing her there again until he had aroused her again. It did not take long. Then he moved up, lying on top of her, between her parted legs. His eyes met hers as he sent her warmth through their link. She touched her lips to his as she returned the impulse. He trembled.
"How can I possibly give to you what you have given me?" whispered T'Askeyra.
"In approximately the same manner I used with you," answered Spock, also whispering.
"There are obvious differences in our respective anatomies which you would need account for."
She slid out from beneath him then. Stretching beside him, she began kissing him. Her hands moved through his hair, over the sensitive tips of his ears, sending small involuntary tremors through him. Moaning softly, he closed his eyes as he returned both her kisses and the desire he felt strongly emanating from her in the link. His loins ached with burning heat; he had been more than ready to be inside her before she had chosen to pleasure him.
She moved him so that he lay on his back, then began to kiss his ear, her mouth lowering to trail flame down the side of his neck. He began to murmur in broken Vulcan as her lips caressed the hollow between his neck and collarbone, her hand moving gently across his chest, brushing against his nipples. When he gasped, she did it again, moving over him to gently kiss them, one, then the other.
Her hand moved slowly down his belly, stroking gently, setting him on fire as she explored him. He groaned loudly as her hand closed delicately around his hot stiff shaft and gently began to stroke the length of it. Feeling his reaction in the link, she began to rub him firmly, faster. He began to helplessly thrust back against her hand, undone, his mind in sparks from the blazing, overwhelming pleasure. As she kept rubbing his aching penis, she moved lower and began to kiss his inner thighs gently.
He stiffened, groaning, as she slowly came up, her tongue touching his balls lightly. He inhaled sharply as she came up higher, stopped rubbing him, then swirled her tongue gently around the tip of his throbbing organ. He gasped between moans as she took him in her mouth, licking and sucking him while her hands stroked his balls. His hands went into her hair, gripping tightly as he instinctively guided her movements. His arousal fueled hers.
Sensing it somehow, he pulled her up and rolled on top of her, parting her thighs widely. Their eyes closed for a moment as he rubbed his throbbing sex against the warm slickness of hers, then they gazed at one another as he slowly entered her.
"T'hy'la..." she whispered, unable to stop herself.
"T'hy'la," he whispered back, holding still inside her for a moment, savoring her as she savored him. Their remaining mindshields fell. His hips moved; he was no longer able to resist his urge to thrust. Deliberately, slowly, he continued thrusting. Her soft moans, hips meeting his, and mindtouch urged him instinctively to a fever pitch. They gave into each other fully, his movements becoming frenzied and uncontrollable as the two of them groaned with unspeakable pleasure, gasping for breath.
T'Askeyra's body suddenly stiffened as the maddening flames caused her to repeatedly shudder against him. Spock cried out immediately, ramming into her deeply as his own climax overtook him. He lay inside her for a long time as they gazed at one another, their breath, and calm, slowly returning. Then he withdrew from her. He held her close, her head lying against his shoulder. Words no longer necessary, simple warmth flowed back and forth through the link between them. His arms tightened around her protectively, possessively. She reciprocated the gesture, stretching her body against his, her eyes meeting his in a deep gentle gaze. He smiled gently at her, stroking her cheek, then he sat up, releasing her. Their mental link, which should have dissolved at the cessation of physical contact, held strongly. Their eyes met again, each feeling the other's curiosity.
"Spock," whispered T'Askeyra. "What....?"
He moved closer to her. "It is possible that we inadvertently bonded while in the throes of passion," he speculated.
"I did not know such could occur," she whispered back.
"I am the one to blame," he said quietly. "I ask your forgiveness. It was I who opened my mind first."
She touched his cheek. "Do you regret it?" she asked softly.
"No," he responded immediately, taking her protectively in his arms again. "I would not wish to lose the experience which we have shared. Would you?"
"No," she answered. "Even if I never see you again, just to have had what we had is well worth it for me."
Spock's eyes met hers in a long deep gaze, considering. "You are resigned to not seeing me again?"
"I am merely assuming that other than the fact of what we just shared, nothing else has changed with regards to our situation," said T'Askeyra.
Spock's eyebrow lifted. "The fact that we are now bonded notwithstanding?" he questioned.
"You cannot hope to achieve Kolinahr while you are bonded to me. I can accompany you back to Gol, and one of the Masters can sever the bond."
"Is that what you wish to do?"
"No, but neither shall I attempt to force you away from that which you desire."
"I desire you, my wife," he said quietly, running his fingers through her hair, then cradling her face in his hands. "I cannot return to Gol after what has just passed between us. If you do not wish me to stay with you, I will go elsewhere."
"Then stay with me, my husband," she whispered, her arms tightening around him.
Her surge of longing and affection swept through him, in their bond. He pulled her down again, kissing her gently as his hands began once again to roam over her. Spock...t'hy'la....yes.... she thought to him, as her hands traveled over his body in response. The full bond flared, deepened, intensifying their reactions of both emotion and physical arousal as they again fully explored each other with hands and mouths.
When he entered her this time, she was so overwhelmed as to be near tears. Similarly moved, he whispered gentle endearments to her, his lips against her ear as he lay on top of her, thrusting slowly, then heatedly as their excitement became unbearable, their bodies shuddering against one another as they erupted together in an uncontrollable, powerful climax.