DISCLAIMER: The Star Trek characters are the property of Paramount Studios, Inc. The story contents are the creation and property of SherryB and is copyright (c) by SherryB. Rated PG13.
The skies were clear and the sun was bright over San Francisco Bay. Gone with the alien space probe were the thick clouds and destructive rain storms. Earth had been saved from death by two lone whales from the 20th century: George and Gracie. Extinct in the 23rd century, the whales had been brought forward in time by James T. Kirk to communicate with the space probe. Within seconds the whales completed their mission; they were heroes and so was James Kirk. Later, standing in front of the Federation Council, the Enterprise bridge crew were cleared of all charges, but not for Kirk. The Council stripped him of his admiralty and gave him back what he wanted all along: the captaincy and a ship. But, oh, not just any ship. It was NCC-1701-A, the new USS Enterprise. Kirk was a happy man. With his return to the 23rd century, everything that he had dear to him had been restored to him: his crew, Spock and his memories, and his ship. Everything was just perfect, or was it?
* * *
Dr. Christine Chapel now knew what 'bone weary' meant. She could barely lift her hand to punch in the code on the key pad by her apartment door. In her now sleep fogged state, she was startled by the sound of doors opening. Dragging herself inside, she began taking off her uniform. As she slung her uniform jacket on a living room chair, she noticed a red light flashing on her computer, a message waiting to be read. Chapel so desperately wanted to ignore it, but she knew she couldn't, no matter how tired she was. The message could only be from T'Shar or Christopher. Plopping herself in front of the computer view screen, she punched the necessary buttons and the message began.
"Greetings, Dr. Chapel. My Brother and I were pleased to receive your short, but informative message yesterday."
Chapel made a face at the word 'short.' It figured the T'Shar would believe the message sent the day before was not long enough. There was no pleasing the young woman. Chapel returned her attention back to the image on the screen.
"We understand that you are busy and have much to do."
That was an understatement, Chapel mused.
"We will await further messages from you when you are able to send them. We appreciate the information on Captain Spock and are pleased that he is well. Be assured that we are also in fine health. T'Shar, out."
The view screen immediately darkened. Chapel could only grumble at how 'short, but informative' T'Shar's own message was. Chapel replayed the message just to see T'Shar's face once more. Chapel missed the young girl. She wasn't abrupt in person as she was in the message. Well, not to her, at least. She was a doctor on the planet Vulcan, serving as an intern at the Vulcan Academy of Science Hospital. Chapel's thoughts turned to T'Shar's younger brother Christopher, named after her. The seventeen year old was in his first year at the Vulcan Academy. Chapel could not help but be proud of them. They were happy on Vulcan, but she still missed them terribly.
Chapel mentally shook her head to clear her mind of the wandering thoughts. She was tired, and in need of sleep. Not taking the time for a sonic shower, she shrugged out of her clothes and slipped between the covers of her bed.
* * *
He reached out for her; he could not touch her. She eluded him. This time her hair was blonde, very soft. She floated away wearing a woman's old style blue Starfleet uniform. He agonized at the thought of the woman's long shapely legs, thinking that he had once touched them; once rubbed his hands up and down them until he touched her very soul.
Spock abruptly sat up in bed, breathing heavily. He had dreamt again, but Vulcans did not dream, or did they? Lying back down in bed, he thought of the woman of his dreams. He had begun dreaming of her when he regained his memories. He'd been through much testing, determining that his memories had returned in full, or had they? This woman of his dreams, was he supposed to know her? He did not remember her. In his dreams she sometimes visited him with blonde hair and other times she was a brunette. Sometimes she was young, sometimes she was older. But she always had a warm smile. The woman was human.
Spock had trouble keeping his mind under control as his thoughts settled on the woman's hair as his hands slid through the strands. Leaving the silky hair, his hands roamed down her neck to her firm breasts.
Her hands were also busy, tugging at the hairs on his chest. Her hips rotated against him, giving him sweet agony. No Vulcan should be dreaming this, should be feeling this. Spock spread his hands over his face, trying to block his lusting thoughts, but they continued to command his mind and body.
In desperation, he flung the bed sheet away from his body and stood up out of bed. In his closet he found his black robe. He wore it as he knelt on the Vulcan meditation stone that was in the corner of his room, near the burning fire pot. Only then did he find relief of his thoughts, but only after many hours of complete meditation.
* * *
Starfleet Officer's lounge was packed with uniformed officers representing several alien races. It took a moment for McCoy to spot his date at a private table in the far corner of the room. She was nursing a watered down drink. His eyes clouded over with concern. The woman's face looked gaunt. Something was wrong.
Chapel looked up at McCoy and smiled. "Oh, there you are. Where have you been?"
McCoy sat at the table directly across from her, reaching out and taking her hands in his. "Now, Chris, I'm not that late. Besides, it took me an hour just to find you." Glancing out over the crowded lounge, he added, "This place is packed."
A waiter walked over to the table and McCoy ordered his favorite brandy. Turning his attention back to Chapel, McCoy asked, "How is my favorite Chief Medical Officer?" He leaned closer over the table. "You're looking a little tired, Christine. Hasn't your work slowed down? I would have thought the cleanup after the space probe would have been completed by now."
"Now, Len. You of all people should know that a doctor's work is never done."
"Huh? I thought that it was a woman's work, not a doctor's."
"Woman, doctor, whatever. But as you can see I am both," Chapel replied with a smile on her lips.
"You are very much a doctor and a woman," McCoy jokingly flirted. "But I know you, Christine," he suddenly became serious. "Is something bothering you? You really don't look too good. And I know good and well that the cleanup is pretty much finished. Now, 'fess up," he urged.
The easy going smile that Chapel had plastered on her face fell, and she frowned, staring down at her drink, but not really seeing. It was the look that McCoy spotted her wearing when he first spotted her in the lounge. He gently squeezed her hands. "Christine, tell me. What's wrong?"
She looked up from her drink and looked directly at him. "I'm having dreams. Dreams that won't let me sleep."
* * *
"All right, Spock. Out with it. Don't try to give this damn story about this being a big ship. We both know that Bones was right. You could run this ship with your ears."
Kirk paced the length of his spacious cabin as Spock quietly sat in a chair watching. Kirk suddenly stopped in front of his first officer, looking down at him with concern. "Spock, is it your katra? Is it your memories? Is that what's wrong?"
Silence hung heavily over the room. For a moment Kirk was afraid Spock wouldn't answer.
"Captain," the Vulcan at last broke the stillness of the room. "I understand what you did for me on the bridge."
Kirk knew that this was Spock's way of thanking him for intervening with McCoy.
"As for what is wrong," he continued, "it will be hard for me to explain."
Kirk grimaced. "Why, Spock? What is it?" he coaxed.
Spock looked directly at his captain and slowly spoke, "I do not know. Jim, I have dreams. Dreams that haunt me."
* * *
When first returning to the ship, Spock had discovered that the ship's computer voice disturbed him. Before he could investigate the matter further, the captain had reported to him that the computer had another problem. It would not obey commands. A problem indeed. The Vulcan dismissed his own troubling thoughts and concentrated on the computer's tangible problems.
Spock, seated in front of the new science station of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A, was studying several computer microchips when Dr. McCoy walked up and stood beside him.
"Out partying all night again, Spock?" McCoy inquired.
Spock looked up from his labors at the doctor after deciding that it was illogical to ignore the man. "Why is it, doctor, that you are constantly asking me questions that you already know the answer to? It is a well known fact that I do not," Spock hesitated a split second to emphasize the last word of his sentence, "party."
McCoy couldn't help it, his lips spread back to show a number of straight teeth. The famous McCoy smile. It was almost as famous as the McCoy humor. McCoy couldn't help baiting his long time Vulcan friend. It went against his nature if he didn't. And by-God, as a doctor, McCoy just couldn't go against nature. It would be illogical. McCoy smirked at his last thought.
After over hearing the conversation between his friends, Captain Kirk walked over to the two men. He had been in a deep discussion with Scotty over the problems they were having with the transwarp drive. Kirk was getting irritated that nothing on his ship worked right. Turbolifts not going where they were ordered to, sensors and the weapons systems even refused to operate. He couldn't even make a damn log entry without something breaking down. Kirk was frustrated as hell and he couldn't figure out what was going on!
"Mr. Spock, have you discovered what the problem is with the computer?" Kirk asked as he stood between his two friends with his arms crossed in front of his chest.
"The precise word should be 'problems,' Captain," Spock replied.
Kirk frowned at that. "Are you saying that the computer has more than one problem?" McCoy asked.
Spock's logical mind refused to wish for the doctor to be suddenly summoned to a medical emergency off the bridge. "Yes, Doctor. I believe that is what I said."
Kirk greatly disturbed of the news asked, "Spock, do you know how to correct these problems? Stating the obvious, the ship can't function without it."
"I was studying the situation until I was interrupted." The Vulcan eyed McCoy accusingly.
"All right, guilty as charged," McCoy confessed, putting his hands up in defense. "Now, Spock, have you been up all night working on the computer because you look like hell. Moreso than usual," McCoy quickly added.
"No, Doctor. That isn't possible. I informed Mr. Spock of the computer problem just this morning," Kirk chimed in. He then noticed Spock's haggard look. The bleary eyes, the puffy eyelids and dark green circles beneath his eyes. On a Vulcan these signs meant there was something terribly wrong. Eyeing McCoy, Kirk knew that Spock wouldn't say what the problem was in front of the doctor unless pushed into a corner, and Kirk didn't want to do that on the bridge. There was still a chance that Spock would open up with him, privately. He now wished that he had lied about telling Spock about the computer this morning. It would have gotten McCoy off Spock's back, at least, for a while.
"Well, Spock, what's your excuse?" McCoy insisted. His humor suddenly was dropped. "You don't look too good. After all this katra business I think you need a check up."
"Check up?" Spock's left eyebrow rose up into his bangs.
"Yes, in Sickbay."
"Doctor, I do not see the reason. I am perfectly fit. You must remember that I am this ship's First Officer and Science Officer. This is a new ship. Much is to be done."
"Poppycock, Spock!" shouted McCoy. "On a normal day, you could run this ship with your eyes closed and with both hands tied behind your back, using your pointed ears to push the buttons!"
"Bones," Kirk interrupted. "I thought you had a lunch date with a gorgeous brunette lady doctor?" Hoping the doctor would get the message and back off.
McCoy sighed with regret. "Yes, I do, but I'll cancel it, she'll understand."
"No, Bones. You go ahead. I want to talk with Spock alone. Now go," Kirk insisted.
"But Jim, Spock needs to be in Sickbay!" McCoy argued.
"Captain, Doctor," Spock eyed them both. "I must insist that I am fine. This argument is totally illogical."
"Spock, we will speak of this privately in my quarters. And, Doctor," Kirk faced McCoy head on, "don't make me order you to go to lunch."
If Spock's health wasn't at stake, McCoy could have thought Kirk ordering him to lunch as hilarious, but it wasn't. This was Spock they were arguing about. He hoped Jim knew what he was doing. McCoy didn't go through getting Spock's katra back in his body just for the hell of it. "Okay, you win this time. But I still think he needs to be in Sickbay." With a not too happy look on his face, he left the bridge.
"Captain, I must reassure you that I am fine. I do not understand why you and the doctor insist that something is wrong." Spock's voice was firm and controlled.
"Spock, I'm not buying it," Kirk's voice was equally firm and controlled. "That's why we're going to have a little chat in my quarters right now." Kirk held out his hand toward the turbolift doors. "After you?"
Emotionless, the Vulcan vacated his seat and entered an empty turbolift with Kirk close behind.
* * *
"Kal-i-fee!" yelled the young Vulcan male. He swung his lirpa, barely missing his opponent's chest by less than an inch.
The Vulcan female made a backwards flip, landing on her feet with her lirpa ready to strike. She was only three inches shorter than her male opponent, tall for a Vulcan female. But her coloring was of the typical Vulcan, long dark brown hair and brown stony eyes. It was the Vulcan male that was not the Vulcan norm with his blonde hair and his clear blue eyes. But his actions were -- cold and calculating.
The female jabbed her lirpa at his midsection. The sharp blade tore at his shirt, but missing his skin. He made a small grunting sound as he flung his weapon to the ground. The female did the same. Without taking their eyes off each other, they reached for their ahn woon. Simultaneously, the two Vulcans cried, "Klee-et!" And the fighting began once more. The female whipped the leather strips of her ahn woon toward the male's legs. He tried to jump away from the deadly weapon, but failed as the strips wrapped around his legs. Tugging at the long strips by the female made the male fall on his back. He sought in vain to free himself. Producing a knife from her belt, the female jumped on top of her fallen foe. Before she could reach for his throat, the male gathered all his strength and pushed her off him. He, in turn, clumsily rolled on top of her, fighting for the control of the knife. He won control as the edge of the knife rested on the female's neck.
"Uncle, uncle!" she cried.
The male looked at the female in surprise, the meaning of the words not yet sinking in.
"All right, you brute. I said I give up," the female yelled, interpreting her earlier words.
Disgusted, the male lifted the knife away and rolled off her. "That is the main reason I hate fighting with you, T'Shar. You give up too soon."
"Excuse me, my dear Christopher, but you did have a knife to my neck," explained the woman as she stood up, brushing the orange sand from her clothes.
"Oh, come on! What an excuse. I know you better than that. You could have wiggled out of that in no time." He cut the leather strips of the ahn woon with his sister's knife, freeing his legs of the binding weapon. He stood up and handed the sharp knife to his sister.
"Okay! But have you ever thought I might be a little tired? We've been fighting for over two hours, and I might add, with not one of us showing the advantage." She looked up at the yellow-orange sky, noticing that the orange sun was hanging low. The day was coming to an end. She then turned her attention back to her muscular brother. "Look, we have this argument every time we come out here. Why don't we just pack up our weapons and get something to eat? How does that sound?"
Christopher allowed himself the luxury of a broad smile. Something he could only do in the company of his sister. "Yeah, sure. That sounds great."
... He was staring out around him. The tall, slender orange boulders had always fascinated him, even as a small child. They had been placed in a circular position over a millennia ago. His family's blood covered this sand, these stones.
"Vulcan to Christopher, Vulcan calling Christopher. Wake up, boy!" T'Shar waved a hand in front of her brother's face.
He shook his head and rubbed his eyes with his hands as if he had just woke up from a deep sleep. "Sorry, but I was thinking about our ancestors. Wondering what they would think of us."
T'Shar sighed. "Listen, you do this to yourself every time we come up here to Koon-ut-Kal-i-fee. There is no point in it. We are what we are. We cannot deny it. To do so would be illogical."
"Yes, but what are we?" Christopher softly asked.
"That, my brother, is a question that I can not answer," she replied sadly. She hugged him as they stood in the midst of their violent Vulcan past.
* * *
Vulcan male hands danced over the flashing control panel. The small air car jerked and dipped, shaking the Vulcan and his wife as they sat in their seats. The craft was out of control and there was nothing that the Vulcan could do to stop it from crashing into the orange desert sands.
His wife gave him a worried glance. "Do you know what is wrong?" She almost had to yell due to the screaming engines.
"It is unknown at this time, my wife. What is known is that the engines have suddenly started losing power and soon we will be forced to land." The Vulcan spoke without looking up from the controls.
The woman didn't have to be told how bad it would be to land in the desert. "Have you sent out the emergency distress signal so Vulcan Central will be able to find us?" she inquired.
"Communications and the automatic beacon are inoperative." The Vulcan spoke as if he was having a normal, every day conversation with his wife.
The woman was unable to hold back her screams as the shuttle pitched violently toward the immense orange mountain. She never remembered the car clipping it and smashing down to its base.
* * *
She heard her name being called like through a tunnel-echoing down a very long tunnel. Was it in her mind? She tried to turn toward the voice but she was surrounded by a thick fog. The voice eluded her. It finally screamed, "Amanda!" and she opened her eyes. The bright light made her close them immediately in pain.
"Amanda, wake up. It is time to wake up." The voice was soft and very kind. She knew the voice. Intimately. She slowly opened her eyes, squinting. It took several moments for her eyes to focus on her surroundings and on the Vulcan hovering over her. Amanda weakly smiled at Sarek. The voice had been of her beloved husband. Then her mind completely cleared. She remembered the air car heading toward a mountain, losing power. The smile was erased from her face and replaced with horror.
Sarek immediately felt it and placed his hand over hers for comfort. She felt his soothing calmness not only in her mind but in her soul as well. She relaxed and with her free hand reached up and touched her husband's face. Neither caring that the show of affection was being witnessed by others in the examination room.
Amanda dropped her hand, glancing around her. "Where are we? And are you all right?" Wanting a verbal confirmation of what she felt through the bond.
"My wife, we are at the Vulcan Academy of Science Hospital, and I am uninjured."
She tried to get up from the table, but was restrained by two sets of hands. One of her husband and the other of a doctor. "Lady Amanda, you must stay on the table. You must rest." The doctor eased Amanda back down to a restful position. "You received a concussion and a centimeter contusion over your left eye. Both injuries have been corrected, but you must rest. You are still weak."
It was the first time that Amanda noticed the doctor standing on the other side of the table. She wondered if she had dreamed the tickling of concern through the doctor's touch. Most odd, she thought. "Are you a healer?" she asked.
"No, I am not. I am a physician of the body, not of the mind. My medical specialty is human."
"My wife, let me introduce you to Dr. T'Shar," and glancing over his shoulder, Sarek added, "and her brother Christopher."
At the mentioning of his name, Christopher stepped from the corner of the room to where Amanda could see him near the table.
"We were quite fortunate for their presence today," Sarek stated.
Amanda was confused and it showed. Who was this doctor and her brother? And why did they look familiar? She looked up at the doctor and peered into the oddly familiar brown eyes. She dragged her eyes from them and gazed at the blue ones belonging to the blonde Vulcan standing next to her husband. She had never seen such soft eyes on a Vulcan. "Who are they?" she whispered, having trouble finding her voice.
"They are the ones that saw us crash and rescued us. We would not have survived if they had not." Sarek spoke calmly and as a simple fact.
Amanda knew them, but where had she seen them before?
* * *
He hadn't enjoyed himself in such a long time. He couldn't remember the last time that he felt this much satisfaction. He suppressed the urge to whistle. It was Morning Watch and the corridors were mostly deserted, but he still didn't need to bring attention to himself. He knew that he need not worry.
After all, he was dressed in a Starfleet uniform. He glanced over his shoulder toward the room he had just left; on the doors read 'Environmental Control.' He couldn't help but grin. Within eight hours the environmental systems would fail and much life would be lost aboard the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-A.
* * *
"Excuse me, Doctor. But couldn't this have waited until later?" asked the tired orderly. Pushing a piece of medical equipment down the corridors of the new Enterprise at two in the morning was not his idea of a good time.
"Munson, stop your complaining! Dr. McCoy wanted this new scanner as soon as it arrived. You're just sore that I got you off your ass on Morning Watch when all you usually do is sit on it." With no sleep in the last several nights, Chapel was grumpy as hell. The dreams had come again tonight and she was tired of walking the floors of her apartment. Tonight she decided to try to get her mind off the erotic dreams by doing some work aboard the Enterprise. Being Chief Medical Officer had its privileges.
"Sorry, Doctor," Munson apologized meekly, swallowing nervously several times.
Chapel and Munson turned their heads at the sound of turbolift doors ahead of them opening. They saw a man wearing a Starfleet uniform step inside and turn to face them as the doors closed.
"I wonder why he is aboard this time of night?" Chapel asked. A frown creased her brow.
"I was wondering the same thing about us," Munson replied without thinking.
Chapel shot Munson a murderous look. He gave her a shaky apologetic smile and silently vowed to keep his mouth shut for the rest of the night.
* * *
Did they see me? he uneasily asked himself. Of course they saw him. He saw them. And recognized them. They probably recognized him. There couldn't be any witnesses. But that shouldn't be a problem. They both would be dead in eight hours.
* * *
"WHAT!" exploded Kirk. "Are you sure?"
"Yes, Captain," Spock calmly replied. "The environmental systems were set to fail. If Ensign Ramsey had not been manually checking the systems, we would have all died."
The two officers stood in the middle of the Environmental Control Room. Around them buzzed men and women repairing the damage. "But sabotage? In spacedock? Come on, Spock, that's almost too hard to believe." Kirk was stunned.
"Captain, the controls were set in a manner that could only be deliberate."
Kirk paused for a moment, thinking of all the systems on board that were not working properly, or not at all. "Spock, how about all the other systems on the ship that are 'mysteriously' malfunctioning. Could it also be from sabotage?"
Spock raised an eyebrow. "That is a distinct possibility. One that I will investigate."
"Okay, Spock, if it is determined that it is sabotage, that only leaves two questions unanswered: who and why?"
* * *
"Ambassador Sarek and Lady Amanda, my brother and I are honored that you have let us escort you home."
"Dr. T'Shar, the honor is ours, but it is completely unnecessary. I could have rented an air car." Sarek spoke as he sat in the back seat of the siblings' vehicle with Amanda at his side.
"Sir, that would have been illogical since my sister and I had offered to personally escort you and your wife directly home without waiting," Christopher replied as he navigated the small vehicle through the air.
T'Shar glanced out the window. It was pitch black, except for the lights from the city below. But these few lights couldn't dispel the black terror in her stomach. Vulcan Security had discovered evidence of sabotage, making Sarek and Amanda's air car lose power and crash. It wasn't a freak accident. Someone was trying to kill them. But who?
After many years of being an ambassador, Sarek was quite used to having his life threatened and he appeared very calm. Well, he was, after all, Vulcan. Amanda, on the other hand, even after being the wife of an ambassador, was not taking the news of sabotage nearly as well. She was human. Outwardly, she appeared all smiles, but with T'Shar's practiced eye she noticed that Amanda's smile was artificial and her movements were tense.
"Ambassador, since the Vulcan Security believe that someone wants to take yours and your wife's life, I believe that it would be logical for them to monitor your home for suspicious activities." T'Shar did not feel comfortable just leaving the couple alone when there was a possibility of another attempt on their lives.
"That would be unnecessary. You have misquoted Vulcan Security. They did not say there was a one hundred percent possibility of sabotage, only ninety percent."
The siblings could not help but look at each other and raise an eyebrow at that statement. Even Amanda cracked a smile.
"I do not mean any disrespect, but, sir, as the Vulcan Security stated, 'A ninety percent possibility is high enough to logically have added security at your home.'" T'Shar's voice was placid but assertive.
"The initial tests indicate that the communications on your car were tampered with," added Christopher as he guided the car down next to the Ambassador and Amanda's spacious home.
"T'Shar, Christopher, you will find that Sarek is as stubborn as he is logical," Amanda explained. With the help of Sarek, she exited the car.
"My wife, I am not--" Sarek was interrupted by the firing of a phaser rifle. The deadly beam hit just centimeters from his foot. He knocked his wife to the ground, covering her body with his.
The siblings hid behind the vehicle as the lethal beams continued to strike around them. "Where is it coming from?" T'Shar whispered to her brother.
Christopher quickly peered around the car. "It is coming from the far corner of the house, from the small wooded area just beyond Amanda's garden."
"This isn't good. Sarek and Amanda are out in the open. We've got to get them to safety."
"I agree, and I have an idea," the young man stated calmly.
T'Shar stared at her brother for a split second and nodded her head. "And I know what it is. Are you going to be the decoy?"
"It was, after all, my idea."
T'Shar reached out and briefly touched the back of his hand with concern and he felt it. Her eyes locked with his for a quick moment. "Fine, I'm ready when you are." She got on her haunches preparing to leap from the back of the car.
Christopher waited until there was a brief pause in the firing to spring from behind the car. He drew the attack from the elderly couple and T'Shar was able to help them run toward the house. But Christopher was not totally successful. The gunman realized their plan and began again to fire at the couple with T'Shar shielding with her body. A lone burst grazed her arm as she closed the door to the house behind her.
* * *
"Listen, Bones," Kirk spoke as he hurriedly walked down a crowded corridor of the USS Enterprise with Dr. McCoy at his side. "I know I haven't gotten back with you about Spock, but I have been busy. We believe someone has been sabotaging the ship and we don't have a clue as of who is doing it."
McCoy was visibly upset at being put off. "Hey, this isn't a piece of equipment we are talking about. This is Spock. Something is wrong. He looks like he hasn't slept in weeks!" McCoy grabbed Kirk's arm and stopped him in the middle of the corridor. "And don't tell me that Spock can go without sleep. We both know something is wrong, and you know what it is. So tell me!"
Kirk was flustered and had a hard time looking at the doctor in the face. He knew that Spock needed help. Kirk finally looked at the doctor in the face and sighed. "Okay, Bones, you win." He hesitated for a moment before he continued. "He's having these dreams."
McCoy was stunned. He looked at Kirk as if he spoke in a foreign language.
"What?" he asked.
Kirk felt like he was betraying a confidence. He was, and he was embarrassed. "Dreams," he repeated. "A reoccurring dream about a woman."
McCoy's mind zoomed back to his conversation with Christine Chapel. She was also having reoccurring dreams, but she wouldn't talk to him about them. He tried to get her open up to him but she wouldn't. Could her dreams be connected with Spock's? They both looked haggard and troubled, even though they tried to hide it, especially Spock. "Jim, did Spock know--" McCoy was interrupted by Uhura's voice over the intercom.
"Bridge to Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy," paged the beautiful African woman.
Kirk walked over to a nearby comm panel and activated it with a push of a button. "Go ahead, Uhura. The doctor is with me."
The two men could hear Uhura sigh with relief. "Sir, you and the doctor are needed at the Starfleet Personnel Living Quarters. Mr. Spock requests that you meet him there."
Kirk and McCoy locked eyes. "What's wrong?" Kirk demanded.
"Ensign Munson of Starfleet Medical has been found dead in his quarters. Mr. Spock believes you and the doctor will be interested in what were his last words," Uhura replied.
* * *
The threesome sighed with relief that they had made it to the house without being killed. T'Shar felt blood from his wound trickle down her arm. With her other hand she lifted the torn fabric of her sleeve away from the bleeding flesh. With the help of the foyer light, she was able to examine the injury. It was not as bad as it looked. A lot of blood, but only a graze. She looked up from examining her arm and realized that Sarek and Amanda saw her wound. Sarek masked what he felt at what he saw, but Amanda couldn't. She was visibly shocked. The blood dripping from T'Shar's arm was not green. It was red.
* * *
Christopher had to use his acute Vulcan hearing to dodge the knife his opponent was swinging. When he had first jumped him, he had knocked the rifle from his hands. It landed in thick brush. Christopher had thought the odds were now even, but he thought wrong, almost dead wrong. His opponent had produced a knife. Christopher felt the sharp, cold steel slice through his sleeve and draw blood from his arm. He chided himself for getting sloppy. He heard his opponent's movements and evaded the knife as it plunged toward his chest. With his right hand Christopher grabbed the hand that held the knife and slammed his left fist into the man's face. The unknown opponent only grunted at Christopher's assault and with his free hand tried to hit Christopher in the face. Christopher blocked the blow by bringing up his left arm. Still holding the opponent's wrist, he snapped it. The knife immediately fell to the ground. Christopher brought quick blows to the man's stomach and nose, and kicked his legs out from under him. His foe dropped to the ground with a thud, but immediately began blindly searching for the knife with his good hand. Christopher dropped to his hands and knees trying to stop him. The groping hand found the knife and slashed out.
With swift reflexes, Christopher stopped the knife from slicing his throat. He still had the advantage, his two good hands. He broke the man's other wrist.
Christopher had won. That was the last thing he remembered of that night before he felt a hand grip the place between his neck and shoulder.
* * *
The older Vulcan reached out to help the younger wounded one off the ground.
But he jerked away from him. "No! Go away! I do not need your help."
The older Vulcan persisted. "That is illogical, my son. You are injured."
"No, leave me!" he demanded, but continued, "How did you find me? How did you know where I was?"
"You are my son. I have my own informants." He helped his son to his feet.
"Come, we must hurry before we are discovered." He felt his son's emotional turmoil as he touched him.
"You have already been discovered," said a voice from the darkness. Suddenly bright lights circled the father and son. A legion of Vulcan Security officers, holding lanterns and phasers, stepped from the bushes, surrounding them.
Two of the officers went immediately to assist the unconscious Christopher. The commander stepped toward the father and son to address them. "Stonn, we will take you and your son T'Sil to Command Central where his injuries will be attended to. He then will be charged with attempted murder."
It was then that Sarek stepped from the crowd of security personnel and stared directly at Stonn, but said nothing.
T'Sil began to laugh. He was filled with insane madness. He looked at Sarek. Insanity swirled in his eyes. "Spock thought he was free! He thought he had won, but he was wrong! He spurned my mother and now I seek revenge."
Stonn looked down at his son with unmasked sadness. Madness had twisted his son's mind. Looking up at Sarek he spoke, "Sarek, understand that madness has touched my son's mind. He believes what is not true."
"Understood, Stonn." Sarek bent down to discover Christopher's status and was assured that he would recover. He looked back at Stonn. "My wife and our friends will recover from their injuries. All is well..."
"But you are wrong!" shouted T'Sil, laughing.
Everyone froze at T'Sil's words. "What are you talking about?" Stonn demanded tersely, gripping his son's shoulders.
T'Sil looked over his father's shoulder and focused on the face of Sarek. "My arm is long, as well as strong. I will crush Spock and all that is his," he spat.
Sarek's chin and mouth hardened with emotion that he tried to conceal. He stepped closer to T'Sil. "What have you done?"
"It's too late. You cannot stop it. My mother's honor will be restored. Spock will die...."
* * *
Kirk and McCoy walked through the doors of Ensign Munson's quarters. It was filled with Starfleet investigators and medical personnel. They spotted Spock talking with a young woman dressed in a Starfleet yeoman uniform.
"Spock, what has happened?" asked Kirk as he stood in front of Spock. "Uhura said that an Ensign Munson was found dead." The yeoman let out a sob at his words.
"To be precise, Captain, Ensign Munson was found severely beaten, but approximately five minutes after he was found he died from his injuries," stated Spock calmly.
"Where is the body, Spock?" inquired McCoy.
"He was found in the bathroom." Spock pointed toward the door behind him. McCoy headed for the room without further comment. "Captain," Spock continued, "Yeoman Pamela Smith found the ensign. Before he died he was able to speak to her." Spock then looked at the crying woman. "Yeoman Smith, tell the captain what the ensign said."
Even though Kirk desperately wanted to know what this all had to do with him and the Enterprise, he mentally tightened his hold on his impatience and took a moment to comfort the young woman. "It's all right, yeoman. Take your time." He took her hand and squeezed it.
The short red haired woman wiped her runny nose with a tissue before she was able to speak. "Thank you, Captain. Rick and I had a date. I always met him here. I never knock. I just walk in." She wiped the tears from her eyes. "I called out to him but he didn't answer so I looked around and found him in the bathroom." She choked on her words. "I tried to help him but there was nothing I could do. It was too late."
Kirk patted her hand. "It's okay, Pamela. Just take it slowly."
Smith nodded her head. "His last words were, 'Dr. Chapel and I saw him on the Enterprise.'"
"Thank you, Pamela. You have been most helpful." And with a nod Kirk turned her over to the waiting corpsman. "Take good care of her."
"Aye, sir," he replied as he led the grieving woman from the room.
"Jim!" McCoy shouted as he exited the bathroom, joining the two officers. A man pushing a gurney with the sheet covered body of Munson followed close behind. He passed by the trio and left the room with the grisly burden.
"Jim," McCoy repeated. "My God! It was awful." His voice was shaking.
Kirk looked closely at the doctor, finding that McCoy was truly horrified.
"How so, Bones?"
"My God!" the doctor raged. "Munson was brutally beaten with some sort of blunt instrument. He had massive internal injuries. I can't begin to tell you how many bones were broken. And his head was..."
McCoy was interrupted by a sickened Kirk. "Okay, Bones, I get the picture. Now we need to find Christine quickly and find out when she and Munson were together, and who they saw on the Enterprise that might have reason to kill him."
"Huh? What would Chris have to do with this?" asked the confused doctor.
"Munson's last words were that he and Christine had seen his murderer on the Enterprise." Suddenly Kirk had an idea. "Spock, could this be connected to the sabotage that is occurring on the ship?"
"That is a possibility, but until we find and talk with this Dr. Chapel, it is unknown."
Kirk and McCoy could only stare at Spock. "Spock, what in the hell are you talking about? We don't have to 'find' this Dr. Chapel. We see her all the time, well at least, I do. You act like you don't even know her?" McCoy was truly flabbergasted.
"Spock, we've known Christine Chapel for over twenty years," added Kirk.
Spock slowly raised an eyebrow. "Captain, Dr. McCoy, I have never met Dr. Chapel. I do not know her."
* * *
Strange colored liquids bubbled in clear test tubes. A multitude of computer screens were scattered through out the laboratory spitting out data. Bio research was a well known passion of Christine Chapel. In the past it had always helped to get her mind off personal problems, but now it wasn't helping. All she thought of was SPOCK-SPOCK-SPOCK. Damn those stupid dreams. Her back was turned from the door when the man entered the room. Her mind was in such a jumble that she didn't hear the doors swish open and close. "Good afternoon, Dr. Chapel," he greeted.
Startled, Chapel jerked around. "Ahh, hello." She recognized him from the many Starfleet functions she had attended. She also remembered that he was the one she and Munson had seen on board the Enterprise in the middle of the night. "Is there something I could do for you, Captain Styles?" Confused on why he had come to the lab.
"Oh, yes, there is something you could do for me." Styles smiled, but it didn't reach his eyes. They glittered coldly.
Chapel stomach turned into a tight knot as she saw his solid oak baton in his hands.
"Provided that you don't scream," he added almost as an after thought. He raised up his baton and smashed it into the door control panel, as well as the comm panel, destroying them both. Chapel was trapped inside.
Styles started walking towards Chapel, slapping the baton over and over in the palm of his hand.
She tried to keep a table between her and Styles. "Why are you doing this?" she asked.
"You saw me on the Enterprise. You and Munson could have connected me to the sabotage on the ship. I couldn't afford that. Munson had to die, so must you," he said calmly as he stepped closer to her.
When Chapel realized what he had said, a cold chill went down her back. He had murdered Munson, and he was going to kill her. "Why were you sabotaging the ship? It doesn't make any sense." She did her best to keep her voice steady.
Styles laughed. "It makes perfect sense. Kirk made a fool out of me when he sabotaged my ship, the Excelsior, to find his precious Vulcan." He spat out the last word.
It made Chapel physically sick hearing how he spoke. He was mad!
"Just think," Styles continued. "I have some crazy Vulcan paying me to sabotage the Enterprise and to kill Spock. Actually paying me for something that I would have done anyway!" He laughed, thinking it was funny. "The Vulcan had the perfect plan: murder."
Chapel's heart was pounding in her chest. She frantically searched the room for an escape, but there were no windows and the controls to the one door had been smashed.
Styles had finally tired of walking around the table. He wanted Chapel now! He suddenly reached across the table and grabbed her, scattering test tubes and equipment on the floor. She struggled, but to no avail. She was firmly in his grasp. She raised up her arms to protect her face from his blows. Her mind screamed.
* * *
Spock looked at Kirk and McCoy with calm control. The three men still stood in Ensign Munson's quarters. "Jim, I don't care if you are in the middle of a major murder and sabotage investigations, Spock is going to my sickbay right now!" argued McCoy.
"Bones, this time I'm not going to argue with you. Something is definitely wrong," agreed Kirk.
Spock felt like his life was out of control. The woman in his dreams, the sabotage and his smothering friends. All of it swirled around him. He did not need this. Did not want this. He was a Vulcan. It was all illogical.
His mind exploded with feelings of pain and fear. It was her pain and her fear. He could see what she saw, feel what she felt. She was being beaten to death.
"SPOCK!" yelled Kirk. The Vulcan had suddenly appeared as if he had been physically hit. McCoy ran his medical scanner in front of Spock with a professional wave. "Bones, what's wrong with him?"
"Jim, I don't know. His readouts are going crazy!"
Spock tried to gather his composure. "Jim, she's being murdered," he choked out.
Kirk and McCoy looked at each other in confusion, not understanding what Spock was talking about. "Who is being murdered?" asked Kirk.
Spock couldn't block the intensity of the pain any longer. He jerked away from Kirk and McCoy and ran out of the room with the two following close behind.
"Spock!" Kirk cried out. "Where are you going?"
"Jim, he's not listening!" McCoy gasped out as they sprinted down the corridor and into the turbolift Spock had ignored, instead darting down the stairwell in his haste. Moments later, they exited the Starfleet Personnel Living Quarters Building to see Spock across the grounds rushing into the main Starfleet Research Building.
"Where is he going?" McCoy demanded.
"I don't know," Kirk replied. "But we're going after him."
* * *
He ran down the long corridors, knocking people aside as he went. Spock did not know where he was going, but when he read the words 'Bio-Research Laboratory' written beside a set of doors he knew he had found his destination.
I feel her pain. Who is she that I feel her in my mind? Spock almost staggered against the doors as another wave of pain washed over him. Kirk and McCoy caught up with him and tried to hold him away from the doors but he threw them off. He pushed the buttons on the door panel but they refused to open. With his sensitive ears, Spock could hear her screams through the doors. Using his bare hands he pried them apart.
* * *
Chapel was losing consciousness. She was dying. She felt if she could just hold on a little bit longer it would be all right. She didn't would know how. No one could help her. No one heard her screams nor feel her pain. Her mind turned to Spock, and then to T'Shar and Christopher, their children. She wished to see them just one last time.
But she was beyond help now. Both her arms were broken. She could no longer protect herself from Captain Styles' rage.
Neither she nor Styles heard the doors being forced apart or the entrance of an enraged Vulcan. Spock grabbed Styles' neck from behind and broke it. Styles died instantly. Spock flung the body across the room like a rag doll and bent down next to Chapel to cradle her in his arms.
His memories of her flowed through him like water through a broken dam. This woman was the woman of his dreams. She Christine Chapel, his bond-mate. He remembered how he had gone to her that night twenty-five years ago. How he used her to cool his burning blood in the pon farr. He had taken her. He had been so ashamed. He had raped her. He had been prepared to turn himself in to the captain to confess his horrible crime. But Christine stopped him. Insisting that she understood. Saying that he had not raped her. It was not his fault. He could not deny his heritage. Against what he knew was logical, he agreed to keep what had happened a secret. Had he known how this secret would grow and fester, he would not have done so. Every seven years he returned to her. Taking her again and again. Telling no one of their meetings, not even his closest friend, James Kirk. And the guilt, over the years, ate at him. She deserved better than this. He took from her and gave back nothing. The situation was illogical, but he could not stop it.
He knew that each time he came to Christine their bonding grew stronger. Another thing he could not stop. Now, after all this time, he did not want to. Christine did not realize that her mind had called out to him She did not know what power she had.
Christine realized that the beating had stopped. She cracked open her swollen eyelids. Through the slits she could see Spock's face. "Spock," is all she could whisper before losing consciousness.
* * *
"I don't get it. I wonder what her interest in Christine is?" McCoy asked himself as he switched off the communications channel.
"Who are you talking about?" Kirk asked as he walked into McCoy's office.
McCoy eyed Kirk as he sat on the edge of his desk. "Oh, this Vulcan doctor T'Shar. She calls every damn day asking about Christine. When I ask her how she knows Christine, she clams up. I don't get it."
Kirk couldn't help but laugh. "Come on, Bones. You ought to know by now that Vulcans are not the most talkative group."
"Yes, I understand that, but the way she acts you would think I have the Raikian plague."
"Well, in a few days you won't have to worry about her daily calls."
"That's true. Christine is healing quite nicely. I'll be able to release her soon. Which, by the way, is a relief. Having Spock as a permanent fixture around here is getting on my last nerve."
"Now come on, Bones. You said you wanted Spock in Sickbay. And now that you've had him in here for several days you complain about it." Kirk couldn't help but tease.
McCoy scowled. "Very funny, very funny!" He then suddenly sobered. "And by the way, how did the Board of Inquiry go? Did you find out how Styles and T'Sil met? And what exactly was their plan? And for God's sake, why?!"
Kirk sighed heavily. "The Board found out a lot. And it's all very depressing. A few weeks ago T'Sil came to Earth to find a way to kill Spock."
"What!" McCoy exploded. "But what for?"
Kirk could only shrug his shoulders. "When the Vulcan Security started questioning him, he started talking. Going on and on about how Spock 'wronged' his mother, and how Sarek and Amanda had used their power to have T'Pring and Stonn shunned from Vulcan society. I think what really knocked him over the edge was the fact when Spock had died he didn't stay dead."
"Fal Tor Pan?"
"Yes, the refusion," Kirk agreed. "It opened up his deep seeded hatred toward Spock, believing that he had shamed his mother."
McCoy was shocked. "My God, Jim! That is the most illogical bunch of horse shit I've ever heard. He must be out of his ever blasted Vulcan mind!"
"Well, I believe he is going to keep the Vulcan Psychology Department at the Vulcan Academy busy for quite a long time."
"No, shit, Jim. But you haven't explained to me how he and Styles met once T'Sil arrived on Earth."
"Apparently, once arriving on Earth he had read about how I had sabotaged the Excelsior. And it was rumored in the public e-reports that Styles was none too happy about me only getting a 'slap on the wrist.' From those reports he looked up Styles and found that they had something in common: Hatred."
"But why? For Christ's sake! The man was a Starfleet captain!" McCoy still didn't quite get it.
Kirk took a second to gather his thoughts before he answered. "Because in his mind I damaged his ship. He was humiliated, and worse than that, I hurt her. I hurt his baby. In a way I can understand that. He was out to sabotage my ship and eventually, destroy it, and to destroy me. T'Sil had seen the public Starfleet e-reports. He knew what had happened to Styles and the Excelsior, so he approached him with his plan of murder. But instead of just killing Spock, Styles also wanted to kill me."
"And don't forget, a couple of hundred other people as well." McCoy couldn't suppress a shudder. He walked over to a glass enclosed cabinet and took out a bottle of blue liquid and two shot glasses. "You want some medicine? I hear it can cure the blue flu." He opened the bottle and poured the blue fire water into the glasses.
Kirk grinned. "Why sure, Bones. All this murder-sabotage business has definitely put me in a 'blue mood.'"
* * *
She could only hear the voices. She couldn't open her eyes. They would not budge no matter how hard she tried. In fact, her whole body felt like lead.
"She's going to be all right. So go!" It was the voice of Leonard McCoy.
"I will stay." Christine relaxed at those words. It was Spock, the man she loved. It saddened her that he didn't, and couldn't, return that love. But still, his nearness, and his willingness to be near her, brought her great comfort. She thought of the moment when he had saved her from Captain Styles. He hadn't completely forgotten her. She fell back to sleep feeling safe and sheltered.
* * *
"Spock, you didn't have to escort me home. Leonard gave me a clean bill of health." Christine reached to punch in her code on the panel by her apartment door but it was already open. Spock didn't comment as he escorted her inside.
She and Spock stopped short at the sight of two young Vulcans standing in the middle of her living area. It was T'Shar and Christopher. "It seems that you have visitors," Spock said. Stating the obvious.
Christine could only stare at them in shock. She tried to speak but no words came to her. Tears trickled down her face as she finally opened her arms wide, inviting the two children to embrace her, and she them.
They ran into her arms and returned her fierce hug. Spock stood back and watched the scene of a mother being reunited with her children. His children. As he had held the wounded Christine in his arms in the lab he had felt her frenzied thoughts of her children. Her weakened mind released the secret. The secret of the children he had fathered through pon farr. He had a daughter and a son. Even though it was illogical, he allowed himself to feel pride at the thought.
Christine was laughing and crying at the same time as she hugged and kissed her children. After a long absence they were finally in her arms again. Over Christopher's shoulder she made eye contact with Spock. He knew. Untangling herself from her children, she faced him. But he spoke before she could explain.
"Yes, I know of the children. You have done well with them. I must admit great amazement to discover that you went to great lengths to have the children after I basically ignored you and refused to acknowledge our relationship. Using you only to fulfill my physical needs." While Christine was recuperating, Spock had been busy making transportation arrangements for the children and acquainting himself with them. From them he learned of Christine's struggle to keep her pregnancies through genetic surgery. How she fought for privacy. For his privacy. Not wanting him to know of their existence. Not to burden him.
It was illogical. All of it. No. He had been illogical. Had been wrong. It was time to face his guilt. His mistakes. He wanted to start over. He had always wanted Christine. Wanted to be with her. He had been such a coward. So he began from the beginning as he spoke to Christine.
* * *
Christine's heart pounded in her chest. She couldn't believe what Spock had just said. He wanted her? But was it just because of the children? She never could endure that.
He immediately felt her anxiety. Even though he could not read her thoughts, her emotions were splashed across her face. Her eyes darted to the children and back to him. Tears started to fill them. He knew of her pride. She wanted to be wanted for herself, not just for the children. He understood that, but it would be hard for him to express it in words. "Christine, have you ever wondered why I came only to you every seven years?"
With a shake of her head and in a trembling voice Christine answered, "Because of our secret. Because I offered myself to you. In a way, I was just someone convenient that wouldn't talk. Someone you knew and could trust."
"No, Christine. Even from the beginning we were destined to be together. I did not understand it. Did not want to understand it. But I do now. All this time, I had felt only the guilt of what I had done to you. When we were together I could feel our minds touching, but I knew it was wrong. I tired to be impersonal. Not totally invade your thoughts. This was a relationship I had forced on you. I did not want to face the truth of our relationship."
Christine was terrible confused. "Spock, I don't understand what you are trying to say. I knew what I was getting myself into. I loved you, but knew that you didn't return it."
T'Shar and Christopher felt it was time that their parents were given privacy to discover what they had ignored for many years. They were walking out the door when Christine stopped them. "Hey, where are you two going?"
"Mother, you and Father need to talk alone," T'Shar said.
"We will contact you tomorrow," added Christopher.
With that said, they both left without letting Christine speak again.
As the door swished closed, Christine turned her attention back to Spock. "What is going on?"
* * *
The doors swished open and T'Shar and Christopher entered the apartment. The doors closed behind them as the older couple sitting on couch in the living area looked up.
"We did not expect to see you both so soon," spoke Sarek.
"Is something wrong?" Amanda jumped up from the couch to stand in front of the two young Vulcans, worry etched across her face.
The siblings smiled at each other. "No, Grandmother, everything is fine," T'Shar said. "Everything is just fine."
Christopher immediately headed for the kitchen. "Got anything to eat?" he asked. "I'm starved."
Sarek, having gotten up from the couch to stand by his wife, raised an eyebrow and eyed his wife. "He obviously favors your side of the family."
Amanda smirked and patted her husband's stomach affectionately. "I find that highly illogical since you've never refused a meal I've served."
Sarek couldn't argue with logic.
* * *
With their children gone, Spock stepped closer to Christine. "Christine, when you were being attacked by Captain Styles you screamed. I heard you."
"Yes, I did scream, but the room was sound proof. And what does it have to do with ... with ... us!"
"I heard you ... in my mind. I felt your pain."
"We are bonded. We are one."
"Bonded," Spock whispered.
"Like in married?"
"No, deeper than marriage." Spock reached out and touched her cheek. //Christine.//
She jumped at Spock's voice in her mind. He took her hand and brought it to his face. //Don't speak. Think.//
"But I can't..." she objected.
//Yes, you can. Through our touch we can 'talk' with our minds. It's our bond.//
//Spock, how can this be? We've never done this before.//
//Because I had ignored the bond, but never breaking it. Now that I have completely opened my mind to you...//
//You felt my pain, and you read my thoughts of the children when you found me in the lab,// she finished for him.
//Yes. And I want to start again...//
//Because of the children?// Christine interrupted.
//No, Christine,// demanded Spock. //Read my thoughts. Feel what I feel. Open your mind to me!//
Christine relaxed and freed her mind. Through Spock's mind she felt the guilt he had when he first came to her and when he agreed not to tell the captain of the incident. She experienced what he had gone through on the Genesis planet and afterwards when he had died and how his katra was placed in McCoy's mind. She felt his confusion when his mind and body were brought back together. He had forgotten his past. He had forgotten her.
Tears freely flowed down Christine's face as she felt Spock's wonder at his memories returning to him, and his agony over the dreams his mind didn't understand. The one part of his past that his subconscious was still blocking. The guilt. But he understood them now. They had shared the dreams. They were at last whole.
Spock then did something that he had never done before. He kissed her.
* * *
He touched her with his tongue deeply. She arched her hips and widened her knees further apart instinctively as she groaned heavily. She reached for the top of his head and stroked and pulled his hair. Timing it with his strokes.
He exited her and began to tug on her pubic hair with his teeth as he reached up with both hands and began to pinch her nipples. She couldn't take it any longer and pulled him up on her and kissed him with an open mouth as her tongue took a hungry swipe at his.
He positioned himself and entered her in one full swoop. She screamed into his mouth.
"Spock! Tell me I'm not dreaming! Tell me!" Christine begged, as she fondled the area where Spock entered her.
Spock was having problems pacing his strokes, wanting the experience to last, but with Christine stroking his and her pubic hair, he was on the edge exploding.
"No," he shouted on each full thrust until he collapsed with a with an almost painful orgasm.
They were breathing heavily as if they had just finished running a marathon. Spock eased himself onto the bed, lying on his back. Still joined, he gently positioned Christine on his chest and wrapped his legs around hers.
She laid her arms across his chest, resting her chin on them so she could look into the eyes of her husband. "If this is a dream I never want to wake up."
Spock softly fingered the damp hair next his wife's cheek. "No, Christine. This is not a dream. It is better than a dream. It is reality."
Christine could only smile as she reached over and kissed her husband. Content.
THE END....OR IS IT?