I'd like to thank TalonRider for his hard and perceptive work
throughout editing this chapter. Thank you!
I'd also like to thank CJ, Dargon and Librent for their exceptional skill and sound suggestions when beta reading this chapter. Thanks guys!
Vulcan's Love: Decade
The cool coastal breeze whipped around his body, carried his scent forward, and blew it across my face, bringing an even bigger smile to my lips. T'Luk stood opposite me, strikingly handsome in his snow-white Starfleet dress uniform. His soft dark hair rustled slightly in the wind and his eyes were locked on mine. For a brief second we were somewhere else, away together in a sacred, euphoric moment, a place within the telepathic bond we shared.
The gentle crashing of the waves, and the feeling of the sandy beach nestled under my bare feet brought me back to reality. T'Luk squeezed his warm hands against mine, indicating that he'd felt it too. Stealing a furtive glance down at our entwined fingers, a surge of emotion flowed from my heart as I eyed the rings we wore; symbols of our love.
Feeling Captain Riker's gaze on me, I turned and faced the man as he stood on my right, to see the soft and compassionate look dancing in his eyes. He lifted his head and looked up to face our audience,
"By virtue of the authority vested in me by the United Federation of Planets, I now pronounce you Husband and Husband."
Looking ahead once more, I took in the sight of my Husband. In a smooth and fluid motion, he stepped towards me, lowered his head, and placed his pink lips on mine. My right hand reached around his shoulder and pulled him close, holding him as my stomach fluttered in content. Our guests began to clap, warming the atmosphere with their love and joy.
Pulling back, I peered deep into T'Luk's eyes as I flashed my toothy grin at him. Facing towards our family and friends, he held out his arm to me and I hooked my own arm around it, before we slowly made our way down the aisle.
My eyes instantly caught sight of the person standing to my left, Alexis Cauchon; our best man. As with T'Luk and many of the wedding guests, he was similarly dressed in his brilliant, white Starfleet dress uniform, and matching black trousers, which were folded neatly at his ankles as his bare feet sank slightly into the sand. His light blue eyes were moist and his face was a picture of pure happiness. I nodded at him slightly, and he nodded back.
My smile grew wider when I looked at the people standing in the aisle behind Alex, my parents. Dad was wearing a proud grin on his face, and had one arm around my mother, who held a tissue to her streaming eyes. A wave of warmth rippled through my chest, knowing not only how much they loved and cared for me, but how they adored T'Luk. Surrounding them were my aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents, all of which were wearing expressions similar to that of my parents.
To my right, over on T'Luk's side, stood his parents and immediate family. Dressed in ceremonial Vulcan wear, T'Kal and Volak, his mother and father, stood there watching us neutrally, until they raised their hands in the Vulcan salute. The rest of his family quickly followed in their gesture. We stopped walking and unhooked our arms as we too formed the Vulcan salute back to them. They lowered their hands and nodded at us as we joined our arms and continued to make our way down the aisle.
Behind our families, and occupying both sides of the aisle at the far back, were our closest friends. Standing on my left, and brandishing a sleek metallic holocamera, was H'Jan. He gave me a 'thumbs up' sign and pulled the camera up to his face. I squeezed T'Luk's hand to get his attention and H'Jan quickly took a photo. Next to him was Laia, his Bajoran girlfriend, whose smile grew when my eyes met hers. Looking further along the line, I saw Laura clapping as she stood next to Casey, who had his index finger and thumb in his mouth as he let out a loud whistle. And finally, standing on the very far left, with his large stature giving him a great vantage point of the ceremony was Raylis.
Turning my head, I surveyed the guests on the right. At the end of the aisle stood a smiling Trey, looking particularly handsome with his short, dark hair swept over to the left. Next in the row stood Hatlan, T'Luk's best friend from the USS Nova. Her arm was hooked around that of a Rigelian, one I recognised as Donoa, her boyfriend. Next to him was Mal, who had a content expression on his face, an expression that almost matched that of my father's. And on the far right stood my friend Justin alongside his close friend, someone who T'Luk and I were particularly fond of was Kurgot, 'Captain' Kurgot.
Walking past them, we came to the end of the aisle and stopped. As if on cue, a soft drone overhead had us casting our heads upwards, as the shape of a small, white, craft approached steadily from the right. As it drew near, it was clear that it was a shuttle, but looking at it closely once it was only tens of metres away, I found my hand reaching up to cover my mouth. The shuttle itself wasn't a surprise, but its colouring and livery was completely unexpected. Gone was the grey tone standard to the small ship, as it was instead painted in a pearly white. Watching as it slowed and descended even closer, I could also make out various patterns painted in burgundy over the light surface. At first I thought they were random and generic, but I then realised I was looking at text, Vulcan text.
"It reads: just married." T'Luk's voice spoke over the shuttle's drone.
I turned and flashed him a smile, and then looked back, watching as the ship hovered metres off the ground before it slowly lowered. It was then I noticed some more writing under the Vulcan text, this time in English:
Lieutenants Kai & T'Luk Taylor
I turned around and gawked over at H'Jan, where he stood several metres away from me. "Did you do this?" I mouthed.
He comically shook his head and held up his hands, mouthing the words, "It wasn't me." I let out a laugh and faced forward to watch the shuttle as it came to a gentle rest on the beach. Once it had settled on the sand, the back ramp lowered to the ground and out stepped a young Andorian Ensign, who I recognised from Titan. He gave us a small bow, before holding out his left arm and gesturing towards the back of the shuttle.
Gently tugging on my arm, T'Luk led me over and up onto the ramp. Climbing into the back of the shuttlecraft we paused, briefly waved at our guests, and then made our way further inside and took some seats next to the windows. The pilot followed us inside and sat up front at the helm, tapping on a console to close the doors.
"And tell T'Luk to be gentle…" Mal's voice entered my mind as I settled in my seat, "We'll all be expecting you at the reception."
My face flushed, catching T'Luk's attention, "What?"
I focused on him, goose bumps rippled across my face as his thumb caressed my cheek, "Mal says congratulations."
He continued to stare at me with his piercing gaze before lowering his mouth to mine and kissing me softly. Hearing the engines of the shuttlecraft begin to drone, he pulled back and stared out of the window. I looked up into his face before I too turned and looked out, watching as everyone started to wave. I raised my hand and waved back as we began to ascend and slowly increased our velocity through the air.
We took a short flight around the island of Grenada, the whole time my head was resting back against T'Luk's chest. I stared at the beautiful coastline as I let my thumb trace over the back of his soft hands as they rested in my lap. Every so often he'd lean forwards and kiss the top of my head, each time causing a warm and tingling wave to flow over me from the spot his lips touched my body, right down to my toes.
Five minutes later, the shuttle slowed down and began to hover. The pilot rose out of his seat and addressed us,
"We have arrived at your villa. Would you prefer me to land, or beam you down, Sirs?"
"If you could beam us down, that would be perfect, Ensign." I watched as T'Luk nodded his head in agreement.
Standing up from our seats, we made our way towards the back of the shuttle, where we stood side by side.
The young Ensign looked over at us, "Ready to transport."
Turning my head, I peered deep into the eyes of my Husband. I could feel the love building inside my chest, ready to explode. Not taking my eyes off my Vulcan Prince, I gave the single command, "Energise."
The gentle sound of metal on glass echoed throughout the loud and joyous atmosphere of the hall, gradually silencing the guests and garnering their curiosity. "May I have everyone's attention, please?"
Turning my head in the direction of the voice, I focused on Alex as he stood at his table. A large smile was plastered to his face, "I have a few words I'd like to share." Everyone quickly quieted down and turned their attention to the blond haired boy as he wandered over towards the front table where T'Luk and I sat.
"Two years ago I got to witness something very special.” His eyes danced at us, before turning back to the guests, "I saw a Vulcan with spiked up hair!" As if on cue, a holo-image was projected above the dance floor, in front of where we were sitting. I looked at the image closely, before I started to giggle, along with the guests.
Alex continued, "Actually, the very special something was witnessing two of my closest friends come together and fall in love. In fact this photo was taken just before their first date in the holodeck," Alex paused and looked over at us, causing many 'Awww's' to sound from his audience, and causing me to blush.
"I'm sure most, if not all of you are aware of what happened during my first away mission, an away mission I shared with the beautiful couple and of course, Lieutenant Commander Jones." He looked over to a table on the left, where Commander Jones sat, along with the rest of the Titan's senior staff. "And while it isn't a highlight of my career with Starfleet, it showed me just how important Kai and T'Luk were to each other. Or put more precisely, just how much they loved each other."
"And over the course of two years, their love has truly blossomed into something special." Pausing for a moment, he stepped over to my husband, "T'Luk, I knew you were special from the very first time I met you. Not only are you brilliantly logical, but you have a kind and caring personality with a big heart. I am very lucky to have you as a friend."
Stepping over to me, Alex's smile grew, "Kai Taylor… You know, I've had many friends over the years, Kai, but none of them have meant as much to me as you do. You're smart, funny, sensitive… But beyond that, you're a very close friend, a best friend." Reaching down he picked up his champagne and raised his hand, "Now I know Kai plans to live forever, so instead of wishing you both a lifetime of happiness, I wish you both an eternity." Alex winked at me, and I let out a small laugh. "To Kai and T'Luk!"
"Kai and T'Luk," Echoed the guests, as they drank from their glasses.
Facing my Husband, I leant closer and shared a small and delicate kiss with him, a kiss that left me wanting nothing more than to pull him close and hold him forever. Pulling back, I flashed him a grin, "I love you."
"I love you too."
After Alex's speech, T'Luk and I busied ourselves by wandering around and greeting our guests. First of all we headed over to speak to Alex, thanking him for the beautiful words he shared, as well as having some general conversation. It wasn't long before Hatlan headed over, and following a short exchange, took T'Luk with her to where she sat. I didn't mind at all, in fact I was more than content with sitting next to Alex and Trey.
"Alright, so when are you boys getting married?" I sat back in my chair and sipped some of my Gokund.
"It's complicated," Trey began reaching across and rubbing Alex's stomach soothingly, "We were hoping for a child first."
Alex gripped his stomach, giggling, "Could you imagine that?"
I laughed, "Oh, I could imagine, yes."
"Would any of you guys like to dance?" Laura wandered over and stood before us
Alex jumped up, his body already starting to sway with the music, "Come on, Laura, let's show them how it's done."
Trey and I sat there laughing as we watched Alex tug Laura over to the dance floor.
"I think she's gonna get more than she bargained for!"
Trey shook his head, "I think you're right."
I smiled at the handsome Betazoid. When I first met Trey, I didn't get to spend a lot of time alone with him, and he was more of Alex's 'friend' rather than one of my friends. But after I'd gotten to know the guy, and came to see how he interacted with Alex once they were together, I found myself liking him more and more.
Turning his attention back to me, he smiled, "So how does it feel, being married?"
"Pretty much the same." I let out a small laugh, before a grin grew on my lips, "But it is nice to call him my Husband."
"And to wear that beautiful ring on your finger," He nodded his head towards my hand.
I lifted my hand off the table, "Oh, yes, this is very special."
"It certainly looks like it," He raised his glass and sipped some of his drink.
"So, kids? Were you just saying that or…"
A laugh escaped his mouth, "Just saying it," His eyes glanced over to where Alex was dancing, "We're both happy where we are now, there's no rush."
"You two are good together," I looked at Trey closely, smiling at the look of love in his eyes, "I'm pleased Alex found someone very special."
Turning back to me he grinned, a soft pink hue fading on his cheeks, "He's my little angel."
"I watched as the -then Ensign Taylor- rushed over to the Science Console and tapped away like mad," Lieutenant Commander Michael Clark placed his hands on the table, his fingers wildly darting about as if typing on a console. The people seated around the table laughed, as he continued, "But then confusion set in, for there was nothing on sensors. Then he looked about, unsure of why the rest of us on the bridge were so calm. Of course, Ensign Taylor didn't realise we were running a red alert drill."
Much to my chagrin everyone around the table began to laugh, "I was caught completely off guard," I countered with a grin, "And if I recall, Commander, the little wink you sent my way did nothing but confuse me further."
Michael flashed me a smile, as Counsellor Troi leant forward, "Red alert drills aside, rumour has it that you're both having your honeymoon on Casperia Prime."
"Yes, it is true," T'Luk addressed the empath, "We have booked a villa on the southern continent of Casperia Prime, overlooking the Bay of Olanté."
While it was generally expected that people flock to Risa for their honeymoons or vacations, T’Luk and I wanted to go somewhere a little different. But many of the destinations were quite a distance away, requiring a few days worth of travel. Instead we settled on Casperia Prime, which was only a three-day trip from Vulcan.
"Very nice," Doctor Richards sipped some of his champagne, "I spent a week there with my wife last year. Unlike the northern continents, the south is much quieter and better suited for people wanting a romantic setting. You both made a good choice."
"That is good to note," Mused T'Luk, "We spent quite some time debating several possible destinations. Neither of us have been to Casperia Prime, so that helped us make a decision."
Lieutenant Commander Jones, Head of Science, and our direct commanding officer cleared her throat, "So when are you two leaving for Casperia? I'm assuming it'll be several days from now, as you still have the Vulcan ceremony."
As T'Luk and I had decided to have two ceremonies, one on Earth and one on Vulcan, we had to time them very carefully to take any transit time into account. Fortunately, and very graciously, Captain Riker insisted that the Titan would take T'Luk and me, along with all the wedding guests from Earth to Vulcan. This helped us out immensely, as the Titan could complete the trip in less than two days, compared to the week-long journey it would've taken on board a standard passenger ship.
"In less than a week from today we'll be arriving in orbit over Casperia," I couldn't help my lips from turning up into a grin.
"Well, we'll have to ask our Chief Engineer about a shortcut to Vulcan." Captain Riker turned on his chair and faced Hadara Librescu, Titan's Chief Engineer.
Hadara nodded, "We'll get you to Vulcan with time to spare, don't you worry about that."
"Oh, we'd better," Sarah Librescu, Hadara's wife spoke up, "I think we should seal Main Engineering, Mr Taylor has a habit of coming down and over-clocking our systems past their rated limits.”
"I'm not letting him near my warp core!" Hadara looked at me pointedly, a smile on her lips.
"Or my phaser emitters," Quirked Michael, giving me a wink and once again causing everyone to laugh at my expense.
T'Luk and I remained with the senior staff for another fifteen minutes, before we excused ourselves and headed in separate directions to meet some more of the guests before the main meal was served. T'Luk had gone over towards his family, while I found myself perched next to Mal and Justin.
Shaking my head in disbelief, I shot Mal an accusing tone, "How could you let this happen?"
"Me?" His eyebrows arched, "Believe me, there's only so many Bajorans I could send his way."
Justin's mouth dropped, "You didn't send any Bajorans my way."
"Yes I did! What about that time in the bar on board DS9?" Mal continued, "I introduced you to that Bajoran actor who played a younger Vedek Bareil…"
Justin was silent for a moment, before a look of realisation came over his face, "Ohhh, I remember him, he was a real sweetheart," A devilish gleam shone in his eyes, "…And great in bed."
"Mr Evans!" I frowned at him, "I'll have none of that talk here." He opened his mouth to respond, but I cut him off and leant forwards, "We'll save that for the evening."
A gentle giggle escaped his lips, "Good, because that's one story you’ll love to hear," He wiggled his eyebrows and then flicked his head towards the bar, "Anyway, I brought Kurgot with me, like you asked."
I looked over, watching how the large Klingon was engaged in a deep discussion between Raylis and Casey, before I looked back at Justin, "I'm pleased he was able to come. I wasn't sure how Klingons get their leave allocated."
Justin shrugged, "Kurgot just told his commander that he'll be back in two weeks."
"Just like that?"
"Mmhmm," Justin sipped some of his drink.
I glanced over at the bar again, took hold of my glass, and stood, "Well if you guys will excuse me for a minute, I think I should head over and say 'Hello'."
"Sure," Mal stood up next to me and shook my hand, "Congratulations, Mate."
Justin came to him and offered his hand, "Yeah, congratulations, Kai," Leaning closer he added, "Tell T'Luk I wish him luck."
I shook my head, "You're the one who needs luck from me."
Laughing, he patted me on the back as I turned and walked over to Raylis, who was heading towards a table where H'Jan and Laia sat.
Sneaking up behind the Gorn, I had initially planned on placing an arm around his shoulder, but given his large height, it would have looked ridiculous to attempt such a move. Instead, I waited until he sat down, before I placed two hands on his shoulders, causing him to look up at me, "Mr Raylis."
"Mr Taylor." He grinned, "Or should I call you Mr…" His voice took on a quizzical tone, "How do you pronounce T'Luk's family name?"
I laughed and moved around to take a seat next to him, "Don't get me started on that word. I still have trouble pronouncing the first syllable." Raylis let out a laugh, and I focused on H'Jan and Laia as they sat opposite me, H'Jan whispering something in her ear. I cleared my throat, "I thought T'Luk and I were supposed to be the cutest couple here!"
A look of alarm flashed on H'Jan's face, coupled with a blush when he saw me staring at him, "You trying to give me a heart attack?"
"No, just making an observation," I smiled, before turning to my left and looking at Raylis, "So how are you doing? Still enjoying the Academy?"
"Yes, very much so. It's incredible how much they teach you, not only in your chosen field, but in many topics," The expression on his face and look of wonder in his eyes matched that of a young child opening the present they most wanted on their Birthday.
I sat up in my seat and lifted my head, "Yes, us Starfleet officers are quite a smart bunch."
Raylis laughed at my antics, "That we are," Pausing for a moment he continued, "I really feel like joining Starfleet was something I was always supposed to do. Everyone is very friendly, the instructors are extremely talented in their fields…And I may also have found a mate."
I raised my eyebrows, a smile forming on my lips, "Oh?"
"Yes, she's Goran too."
I glanced over at H'Jan and Laia, noticing they looked equally as interested, "Did you know about this, H'Jan?"
"No, this is news to me," He regarded Raylis closely, "Tell us about her, what does she do?"
"Her name is Zaelar, she works in the Goran embassy in San Francisco."
"Embassy?" My voice rose in pitch, "I didn't realise there was one."
"Two years ago, shortly after the terrorist cell incident involving the Titan and Intrepid, Starfleet became very interested in revisiting the alliance with the Gorn Hegemony, and see if there are any areas where it could be improved upon for both governments," Raylis explained. "One of the changes included the construction of a Goran embassy in San Francisco, and a Federation embassy on Gorana, my homeworld. Also, following my admittance to the Academy, Starfleet is about to unveil a new program available to Gorns who wish to enrol, or would simply like some more information about a possible career with them."
Laia shook her head in surprise, "Wow, a lot of progress has been made in a short time. It's clear Starfleet and the Federation are readily extending an open hand to any advanced races who seek similar ideals."
"Yes, that appears to be so. Either way, it is very beneficial not only to the Hegemony, but to the Federation too," Raylis reached for his cup.
I was about to reply, when I heard some loud voices behind me. My lips turned up in a smile, I knew who it was without having to turn around, and sure enough, not ten seconds later did Kurgot and Casey appear at the table.
"Ah! Mr Taylor!" The tall Klingon raised his cup of blood wine into the air, "The only thing more glorious than the beating of a battle drum, is the sound of two beating hearts! Congratulations!"
I stood up and gripped onto his forearm, the Klingon equivalent of a handshake, "Thank you, Kurgot, it is good to see you my friend."
"You too, and what a grand event this is!" Kurgot strolled over to Raylis and Casey, who had taken a seat next to him, "A Klingon warrior, a Goran warrior and a Human warrior! Great times indeed!"
"Kai?" Alex tapped me on the shoulder, "They're about to bring the food now."
As T'Luk and I had invited guests from many different species, we decided against a set-menu, and instead allowed our guests to decide what type of cuisine they'd prefer on the day. A Denobulan restaurant I'd visited many times in London provided the catering, bringing with them over one-hundred different foods spread over nine separate cultures. There was something for everyone.
"Ah ha!" Kurgot's voice cut through the hall, "Come Raylis, come Casey, Kai has prepared us a special Klingon feast fit for ten warriors."
Casey flexed his arms, "This warrior needs real food. My muscle is made of meat, not live worms!"
Kurgot let out a hearty laugh, "Targ is real food, come, I show you something very nice!"
Shooting us his best 'help me' look, Casey wandered off with Kurgot in search of their Klingon dinner.
"It is unfortunate I am not Klingon."
Turning my head, I saw T'Luk standing next to me, "What do you mean?"
He raised an eyebrow, "I am sure you would much prefer a bowl of gagh over a bowl of plomeek broth."
Giggling, I walked over and held onto his arm as he led us towards our table, "I'd eat a million bowls of plomeek broth before I even get close to a bowl of live worms!"
"Are you certain, we cou-"
I nodded my head, "Oh, I'm very certain. Now come on, I believe our first course is plomeek broth, I don't want it to be cold."
"You look very handsome, Kai."
I turned around, looked up at the older man, and offered him a small smile, "Thank you, Volak." My voice was soft and light, much like the brown robes I had draped over my shoulders.
Facing the mirror again, I stared into the eyes of the man looking back at me. Three days had passed since our wedding on Earth, although much of that time was spent in transit onboard the Titan. We arrived on Vulcan the day before, in the early afternoon; the sun still high in the sky. After spending a few minutes in the outdoors, I quickly found the temperature to be much more tolerable as opposed to the warmer seasons, which proved to assure me that our decision to have the Vulcan ceremony in the winter was the best choice.
Unlike on Earth, where we had chosen to hold our ceremony on the same beautiful beach where T'Luk had proposed to me, on Vulcan it was customary for the venue to be a more private setting, preferably that of a family house. While T'Luk's house was a very nice building, it simply wasn't large enough to be able to accommodate the number of guests we had from both families. Instead, Lunak had approached us several months before and offered her home for the venue, an offer I readily accepted. We'd visited her home several times during our visits to Vulcan and always came away more than impressed.
The large two-storey home dated back nearly three-hundred years, to a time where the Federation was in its infancy. Much of the exterior of the house was in various shades of brown, with the low-slanting roof slightly darker than the rest, but it was the great rear garden that really set the place apart. Lush with life and filled with greenery, it was a real paradise and the ideal setting for our ceremony.
Wanting to further assist us in any way that they could, and adhering to their kind natures, Lunak and Vanik set about performing many of the arrangements necessary in order for T'Luk and me to have our Vulcan wedding. Not only did this include preparations for the guests, but also ensuring that a Vulcan priest was available for the ritual.
According to T'Luk the actual ritual, the 'bonding' was very brief. In fact, from the way both he and his parents described the process, I didn't see it taking longer than a couple of minutes. It was Vulcan custom for when two people were getting married to each other, that one person would wait at the kun-ut, the place of marriage, while the other would arrive there shortly after. The brief separation was believed to allow the individual soul’s time to prepare for the ceremony at hand. Whether that had any factual basis or not was irrelevant, for it had been woven deep into the proceedings of the ritual, and was tradition.
"My son is very lucky to have you as a mate." Volak's voice brought me back to the present.
"No," I peered over at the door, my stomach squeezing tightly, before looking and then back to Volak, "I'm the lucky one."
As T'Luk was the one waiting for me, it was his choice to choose a person, generally an older male, to escort me to where the ceremony was taking place. Naturally, he chose his father. I was standing in one of the ground floor rooms of the house, awaiting my call. Everyone else was outside, waiting until the Priest had finished getting prepared.
I didn't have to wait much longer, for several minutes later, a ceremonial gong sounded three times; one for each of the year’s T'Luk and I had known each other.
Volak, who'd seated in a chair during the wait, stood up and walked over to me, "They are ready for us, Kai."
Satisfied with my appearance, I smiled at my reflection and turned around to face him, "I'm ready."
"I must lead you to the kun-ut, " Volak walked over to the door, "Follow me."
Nodding my head, I followed him out of the room and through the ground floor of the house. Looking out the windows overlooking the garden, I could see all the guests lined up outside, facing the house as I walked towards the garden.
Stepping through the open doors, my feet came into contact with a dark grey footpath that led over to the centre of the garden, where a number of thick stone slabs had been placed to form a small circle, the kun-ut. T'Luk was standing next to a gong. Upon seeing me emerge from the house, he knocked on it again, its deep, earthy sound vibrating through my body. Watching my Prince from afar, I found myself briefly confused as the right side of his face seemed to dance and glow from a light to his side. Casting my eyes to his left, I noticed a small open fire was burning in what looked like an enclosure belonging to a small barbecue. Inspecting it further, and recalling previous conversations with T'Luk's parents, it became clear it was another ceremonial item, and part of the marriage ritual.
I approached the circle, unable to help a smile from appearing on my face as I met the stares belonging to my family and friends. Another tradition was for the ceremony to be held in the late afternoon, which again linked to the soul being in a more relaxed state, rather than being full alert at an earlier hour. I had no qualms with that, if anything, the cooler air and dimmer sky, worked wonders to help me loosen up a little. Seeing everyone standing there, all dressed in formal Vulcan clothing, and looking equally as calm was a real heartwarming experience. I took a deep breath, but instantly noticed the smell of some kind of fragrance in the air. It reminded me of jasmine, an essence I'd become accustomed to from when my mum used to use in our home when I was younger.
Hearing the gong sound again, my eyes were suddenly drawn over to T'Luk. I watched as he turned, manoeuvred himself around the fire and stood before a soft, woven blanket, with an identical blanket placed opposite him. Volak, who had remained ahead of me the entire time, stepped off the footpath to the left and went to stand over next to T'Kal, who was standing just outside the circle on the grass.
I continued on the path and soon reached the circle. Stepping onto the thick slabs of stone, I caught sight of the Priest standing there, who looked quite distinctive with his grey hair and blue robe. I walked around the circle's circumference until I found myself standing opposite T'Luk, our eyes focusing on one another. The Priest, who had his hands at his sides, raised them and faced his palms upwards, signalling that we take our place.
Looking down, I slowly lowered my knees to the blanket before me, careful not to trip over the robes I wore. I was about to raise my head, when something glistened in the corner of my eye. Staring at the blanket under my knees, I noticed a vast amount of gold, intricate patterns embroidered into the thick, dark fabric. It appeared to be some writing in Vulcan, one of the older scripts if I remembered correctly. Even though I only had a brief glance at the masterpiece I knelt upon, I still had enough time to marvel at the fine details. T'Luk had told me that they were all hand stitched, a process which I'm sure took a long time, and were unique in their styling.
Raising my head, my eyes instantly met T'Luk's. We sat there still for a brief moment before in unison, we both extended our right hands, and held out our first two fingers. Moving our hands closer to each other, the tips of our fingers touched, softly at first, until we pressed them together with a little more force. What we were doing was considered to be highly intimate, and in some ways, the Vulcan equivalent of a passionate kiss.
The Priest stepped forwards and once again lowered his hands to his sides, "What ye are about to witness, comes down from the time of the beginning without change. This is of the heart; this is of the soul. This is of our way. The Vulcan bonding ritual consists of one single stage, where I tel-tor, invoke a marriage bond, between T'Luk and Kai."
Taking a step closer, the Priest continued, "Now we must merge the katra, the Vulcan spirit, with the spirit belonging to its mate," Placing a hand on my left shoulder, he placed his other hand on T'Luk's right shoulder. "T'Luk, I ask you to initiate a mind meld."
T'Luk gently nodded his head and closed his eyes. I let my eyelids fall and relaxed myself; as though I were about to meditate. Inhaling deeply I attempted to slow my mind and began to regulate my breathing. I was expecting T'Luk to start talking, to initiate the meld, but instead I suddenly found my body feeling light, before I opened my eyes to discover I was in the familiar cloud-like environment we experienced within the bond.
"Kai?" T'Luk's voice whispered through white ambience, "Concentrate on me, Kai."
"T'Luk?" I stood up and spun around, not seeing anything apart from the clouds that surrounded me.
"Concentrate on my voice."
I felt my eyebrows furrow as I cleared my mind and focused on his voice, forcing myself to be receptive to his telepathy. A few seconds passed, before something seemed to click and everything calmed.
"I'm here Kai."
Hearing his voice behind me, I turned around to see him standing there, "T'Luk?"
"Our souls have merged Kai. We are now one."
My eyebrows arched in surprise, "Already?"
"Indeed," Stepping closer, he reached out and took my hands in his, "The bond we share is very intense, as such, it required little effort for them to merge."
I nodded, watching as he softly traced a finger across my palm, my skin tingling from his touch. He gently let go of my hands and slowly traced his fingertips up my arm. A look of curiosity seemed to be in his eyes, as though he was exploring me for the first time. Taking another step closer, his face hovered centimetres from mine, before he lent closer and pressed our foreheads together.
"I love you, Kai."
"I love you, T'Luk."
My heart started to beat heavily, and I could feel myself returning back to Lunak's garden, back to the circle, kneeling opposite T'Luk. Opening my eyes slightly, I looked at my Vulcan beauty, to see that he was also opening his eyes as we emerged from the bond.
I felt a warmth surge from the Priest's fingers as he removed his hand from my shoulder, "The souls have completed the tel-tor. T'Luk and Kai are now bonded in marriage." With that the Priest nodded his head, and T'Luk and I pulled back our fingers.
I glanced about, my eyes catching sight of Alex, his hand performing the Vulcan salute, a gesture that all the guests were performing for us. Facing T'Luk once more, I too raised my hand and gave him a salute, something that he returned. Our guests quickly started to clap and call out their praises.
T'Luk stood up and I followed suit, stepping forwards so we met in the centre of the circle. Overcome with emotion and unable to help myself, I reached out, embracing him tightly into a hug.
"We're married!" My whisper in his ear struggled to contain my excitement.
Pulling back, I flashed him a smile and peered into his eyes, into the soul I fell in love with. Lifting my hand to his cheek, I slowly slid across his warm face, up over his pointed ear, before I inched closer and kissed him. I heard another round of applause start but it seemed so very distant. Deepening the kiss I pulled him closer, my chest squeezing painfully from the contact. In that moment I knew I'd found everything I could've ever wanted in one person, in one very special Vulcan named T'Luk, a man who became my Husband.
Five days later…
It was the soft, tickling sensation that woke me. My eyelids fluttered open, but the blinding sunlight streaming into the room quickly had me squeezing them shut as I snuggled closer against the pillow. My subtle actions roused his attention further, and he continued to kiss his way up the back of my neck. I felt the hand he had wrapped around my chest pull me closer. I groaned, not wanting to move from that position.
His angelic kisses reached the side of my neck where he paused and then placed a small kiss on my earlobe. I purred at his touch, before giggling when I felt him nibble gently on the lower part of my ear.
I rolled over to face him, my head coming to rest on his bicep. I blinked several times to clear my vision and grinned when my Vulcan Prince came into view, "You want to get up?"
“No.” The warm hand he'd placed on my waist slid lower over my hip and cupped my left cheek, "I want to stay here."
My lips curled into a smile, "Here?"
"Indeed," He lightly squeezed his hand, "With you."
I stretched out my legs under the quilt and let out a gentle moan. I felt so completely content laying there next to my Husband that nothing short of a supernova would've gotten me out of that bed. T'Luk slowly began to let his fingers dance across my skin, going lower and lower. I felt myself begin to respond to his touch, my mind awakening further.
"Say it again," I flashed my eyes at him.
Opening his mouth, he spoke the unintelligible word with the same fluidity and crispness he did every time. Yet I struggled with even the second syllable.
I sighed, "It's impossible, I can't pronounce that."
"It is not a requirement for you to pronounce my family name, however I do not believe it is impossible."
I lay there unmoving for a second, before I reached out with my hand and placed it on his smooth chest, my thumb grazing his nipple. "At least I can pronounce 'T'Luk'," I gave him a cheeky smile.
Rolling over, he came to rest on top of me, his brown eyes gazing deeply into mine, "I love you, Kai."
love you too," My hands slid around his lower back and pulled
him against me, his face lowering towards mine, "I love you so
you for reading Part II of A
Vulcan's Love: Decade. I
hope you enjoyed it.
Any comments and constructive criticisms are greatly appreciated.
I respond to every mail so feel free to send me a message, even if it's just to say, “Where is Part Three!”
You can email me at: emulatedlove[at]gmail.com
Each part also has a short analysis, which will be available on my blog later this week.
For more information about A Vulcan's Love: Decade and my other stories, you can visit my blog at www.emulatedblog.com