Author’s note: Sorry, totally spaced this afternoon. We continue…
Selkek knew that he was probably staring a bit too hard, but he could not help but rejoice in his good fortune. Never had he thought he would find a woman who equaled T’Kel in intelligence or beauty. And Jenusia of the Pentaurian, in his eyes, had both of those qualities and more.
From the moment that he laid eyes on her, he knew that his heart was irrevocably gone. In those first moments of acquaintance, he’d sensed her resistance, and yet, she had been kind, sought to put him at his ease, and to engage him in conversation.
But after Antarctica, things had changed. They quickly became friends—more than friends, even–and he began studying Troyan customs and making plans. He immediately began, in his own quiet way, to court her.
She had allowed him to spend every single day since their trip in her company, culminating in their coupling of three nights ago. And now that he and Jenusia were joined of the body, all that remained was the joining of their souls.
His parent’s sudden, unlooked for journey to Earth, at first seemed a bit officious, but it now proved advantageous. That very morning he had presented his full plan to his parents, and, as he expected, it was a great disappointment to them both. They could not help but express their concerns at a bonding between two so dissimilar beings from two so dissimilar cultures.
He felt it was incumbent upon him to point out the union between Ambassador Sarek and Lady Amanda as a successful bonding between cultures. With such evidence before them, Minister Skol and his wife, T’Vor, had no choice but to bow to the logic as it was presented to them. However, they cautioned him. They reminded their son that as the product of a much lesser house, he did not command the same level of deference that Sarek, as the head of one of the most powerful houses on all of Vulcan, commanded. He could find acceptance difficult… much more difficult than what Sarek and Amanda had experienced.
But it was decided, his decision was made and his parents reluctantly wished him well. And as soon as he gained Jenusia’s mother’s approval, as was the Troyan custom, he would claim her as his mate and bond their minds together that night.
“Your dress is aesthetically pleasing,” he said as they walked along, knowing that females sometimes liked hearing such things.
Jenusia rolled her eyes. “What may be aesthetically pleasing to a Vulcan, might as well be caveman skins to my mother; she is very particular about the way I dress.” She sighed and made to turn around. “Why on Earth did I pick this ugly blue dress? I’m going back home to change.”
Selkek stopped her by squeezing Jenusia’s hand and gently pulling her back towards the path. “Your parents are expecting us in twenty-two point seven minutes; there is insufficient time to return to your dwelling to change.”
Jenusia swept her eyes over Selkek’s attire. He was wearing formal Vulcan robes, very formal Vulcan robes in a shade of deep burgandy. She smiled up at him.
“You are looking very pleasing tonight, yourself. I have never seen you in Vulcan dress before.”
“When leaving the embassy this evening, my mother expressed concern over my human attire. She does not understand what a Prada is; it was she who suggested the wearing of these robes to form the best impression.”
“See what I mean! Mothers: always concerned with what their children wear; what would we do without all that helpful advice?”
“My mother’s advice is always sound; I always endeavor to follow her suggestions to the best of my ability.”
“Except when it comes to being a V’Tosh Ka’tur.”
Selkek flashed a small smile. “Yes, that is true. Yet, she is coming to terms with my choices… all of them.”
Here was Jenusia’s opportunity to voice her own concerns; she stopped on the pavement.
The way she said “Stanford” gave him pause for a moment. Perhaps Jenusia was not so accepting of the University for some reason?
“Are you displeased with my choice?” He became thoughtful. “Perhaps Berkeley would be a much better option. It is closer to San–”
“No, Selkek, I don’t think you understand what I’m saying. I am not displeased with Stanford; it’s just—it’s just–I’m more puzzled as to the reasons why you would do this in the first place?”
He saw something akin to doubt in her face and it unsettled him momentarily.
“I would have thought that such an explanation was unnecessary.”
“Selkek?” She sighed again; she had a feeling that he just did not get it, but now was not exactly a great time to begin a long, serious a discussion. First they would have to get through the wretched dinner as quickly as possible. “Selkek, promise me that after dinner tonight, we will sit down and talk. We really need to sit down together, alone, and talk about our expectations with concerns to this relationship.”
He nodded. “Yes, tonight. I had already planned to do just such a thing. I have much to discuss with you.”
He then placed his hands on either side of Jenusia’s face and moved in to kiss her brow. However, acute Vulcan hearing asserted itself and Selkek looked up suddenly. Over Jenusia’s left shoulder, in the shrubbery, he caught a glimpse of a large, conspicuous someone, trying desperately to be inconspicuous.
“Jenusia,” he whispered into her ear, “please do not be alarmed, but I believe that there is someone else here, quite near us.”
Jenusia turned to look for herself and when she saw who it was, she immediately voiced her anger.
“Holvana, I can see you!” she snapped.
Holvana, a statuesque, blonde, imperial guardswoman dressed head-to-toe in black, with a long, lethal looking dagger holstered at her hip, emerged from the bushes.
“Good evening, My Lady.” Holvana bowed stoically.
Jenusia’s lips curled in distaste.
“Who else do you have back there with you?”
“It is only Spatos, My Lady.”
Spatos, a large, hulking, dim-witted looking creature, emerged with his sword drawn.
Selkek’s eyes followed the shiny, sharp-edged weapon upward, and upward, until reaching the tip. He could see its lethal-looking point glinting in the moonlight. He grimaced and swallowed.
“My Lady,” Spatos grunted, eying the Vulcan suspiciously.
Jenusia’s commanding tone and stance reflected all of her annoyance.
“Holvana, I am standing right here, not three feet outside of the Embassy grounds!”
“But your mother said—”
“I am perfectly aware of all the things my mother may have said. Be off with you both. Tell my mother that we will be along shortly.”
Holvana and Spatos looked at each other in confusion, weighting the odds of angering Lady Jenusia’s mother against their current predicament.
“Didn’t you hear me? I said off with you, now. And quickly, or I will set the Vulcan on you both!”
The two guards shuffled past, their heads down. When they were out of earshot, Jenusia sighed tiredly, threw her head back, and looked up into the night sky. She closed her eyes.
“I really think my mother has gone too far this time.”
When she opened her eyes and looked at Selkek, she found him staring at her with wide-eyed bewilderment.
“What?” she asked, “Why are you looking at me that way?”
“Did you not see the length of that sword? Why did you say: Set the Vulcan on you? It would be illogical to offer resistance.”
“Well, Selkek” she chuckled, a hint of sarcasm in her voice. “You need to know that we Troyan’s pride ourselves in our weaponry and such. Stabbing each other or lopping off a head over breakfast is almost expected. Weapons are par for the course.” She poked out her lip and pouted adorably. “Are you saying that you would not protect me?”
He reached out to take her into his arms. “Of that you never need doubt. I will always protect you.” And just as he leaned in and captured her lips with his own, he whispered a final word quietly and gently upon her lips. “Forever…”
To be continued…
Author’s footnote: Before we move onto the next part, I need to offer up some clarification. When I wrote So Pleasing a Thing, I mistakenly mixed up the two Federation planets: Elas (with its dark-haired, warrior-like people) and Troyius, (their more cultured and refined, fair-haired enemy) Since it is too late in the game to fix, I’m just going to go with it. If I ever re-write this story, I will correct that error, but until then, please try to look past it. Totally my bad. I wanted to mention this again because in the next chapter you are going to get a closer look at the Troyans, and I didn’t want you to think I was totally clueless. The Star Trek episode: “Elaan of Troyius” was never a favorite, so I didn’t really watch it all that much; hence my lack of knowledge about it.