The conclusion is going to posted it two parts. No use in making you wait just because the second half is loaded with type-o’s. I WILL have it up before this evening. Promise.
If you want to refresh your “Full Circle” memory (shut up, it hasn’t been that long) you may do so HERE.
Part V – Family (1 of 2)
“Well, are you coming in or not?” Gaila asked this while standing in her doorway, leaning against the sensor to keep it open while beckoning Selkek toward her with her finger. Her previously bemused half-smile now blossomed into something decidedly wicked and not all together nice.
Selkek glanced over the Orion’s shoulder, his eyes sweeping the room for signs of his friend.
“Is Nyota not here? If not, I will seek her out another time. I must go.”
Gaila knew that Nyota would be in the long-range sensor lab for most of the night, but she saw this as her opportunity to finally have her turn and she was going to take it, reluctant Vulcan or not.
“Now Selkek, you can’t leave, not yet; just look at the state of you; you’re positively soaked to the skin.”
Selkek ran a hand over his forehead, sweeping his wet bangs to the side before bringing his arms stiffly behind his back.
“It is of no consequence.”
She grinned again. “I thought Vulcans didn’t like to be cold and uncomfortable, and Selkek, you must be extremely cold and uncomfortable in those wet things. Why don’t you come in… come in and let me help you dry off.”
Selkek swept his fingertips across his brow once more to check the flow of the moisture streaming down his face and the sides of his neck. Being warm and dry did make sense but still he hesitated.
“Come on Selkek, bend to the logic of it all.”
Seeing Selkek’s internal struggle, Gaila slowly stepped backwards into the room, away from the door as if to help him come to a decision. She had never been so pleased with her powers of persuasion when she watched the Vulcan take that first, very small, very tentative step forward. He then paused.
“I do not wish to be an inconvenience.”
“Hush,” she said coquettishly, batting her eyelashes and smiling demurely. “Don’t give it a moment’s thought; I am happy to be of assistance.”
Selkek took another step forward which brought him just inside the room. He stopped again and looked to Gaila, waiting to see what he was to do next.
Jenusia had just sent her a strange, cryptic message:
PENTAURIAN, CADET: Where are you? Imperative that I see you... NOW!
“You have made a mistake in the frequencies column.”
Nyota glanced up from her communicator. Spock had said something to her but at the moment the cognizant portion of her brain was a thousand light-years away.
Spock stood up from his chair and brought the computer tablet over. Leaning down, he pointed out the error.
“Here; you did not carry the two.” Setting the tablet before her, he pivoted smartly and resumed his place at his monitoring console.
“Oh.” Nyota looked it over for a moment before taking up her stylus to recalculate, only to abandon the task seconds later, pick up her communicator once more and began to tap out a message back to Jenusia.
UHURA, CADET: In long-range sensor lab with “S”.
Jenusia immediately messaged back:
PENTAURIAN, CADET: MUST see you! I'm near your residence hall. Must talk alone. Where’s Gaila?
UHURA, CADET: It is Friday night, remember!
PENTAURIAN, CADET: Can you meet me outside your hall in fifteen?
UHURA, CADET: Let me see what I can do. Just let yourself in. Door code is: 45Tango623Zulu.
PENTAURIAN, CADET: Hurry! And DON'T bring the Vulcan... ANY VULCANS!
Nyota’s brow furrowed. She was just about to message her back asking why, when Spock spoke.
“Cadet Uhura, your attention to your duties is somewhat lacking. I remind you that your presence here this evening was at your own very vocal insistence.
She looked up and smiled. “I wanted to help you, Spock.” She then stood and walked slowly over to stand beside him. “And I also wanted to spend time with you. Is it so wrong for a girl to want to spend time with her favorite boy?” She leaned forward and kissed him on the tip of his nose.
“Cadet Uhura—!” he began to admonish sharply.
“I know, I know; you are not and never shall be a boy.”
He sighed. “That was not what I was going to say.”
“I know, I know: I am illogical and unprofessional. It will not happen again, Commander.” She saluted him mockingly. “Well, after this.” She leaned forward again and this time kissed him squarely on the lips.
After leaning back in his chair and letting her finish, Spock sighed and rolled his eyes.
“Cadet, I was merely endeavoring to point out that you seem somewhat distracted this evening?”
Nyota immediately saw her means of escape. “Yes, I know. I think I just need a break. I tell you what, I’m going to step out and get some air. I’ll be back before you know it.”
“It is dark outside; I will accompany you.”
That was the last thing Jenusia wanted.
“No, no; I’ll only be gone for a little while and you will get far more work done without me…” she leaned over once more to kiss him, “distracting you.”
And before giving him a chance to make a end run around her logic, she stood up straight and hurried from the room, leaving Spock to ponder what she was really up to.
As Selkek glanced around the dorm room, Gaila ran to the bathroom and rapidly divested herself of her own wet clothes, leaving them in a pile on the floor. Before exiting, Gaila, now very pleased with herself for wearing her best set of frilly and skimpy pink undergarments, quickly secured a towel.
In the doorway, she struck, what she clearly thought was an enticing pose and waited for some sort of recognition. However, she was more than a little miffed when she saw that she would not garner the reaction from the Vulcan male that ninety-nine percent of most males generally gave her. Even though he was looking directly at her, Selkek didn’t even blink, his eyes had a haunted, faraway quality to them. Clearly her first attempt at seducing a Vulcan was a failure
She thought that it would be best to apply the direct approach. Vulcans were very much a touch-sensitive species, so instead of handing the towel over to him to use himself, she moved forward and began to dab at his face and neck to dry him off herself.
“I will have you dry and taken care of in no time.”
Her cool, foreign touch awakened Selkek from his reverie; he stayed her hands.
“This is inappropriate.”
Gaila reached out and touched the tip of her green finger to a droplet of water on his forehead.
“For my people it is more than appropriate.” She then began tracing a wet path from there to the point of his ear. “You see, in an Orion home it is our custom to give aid and comfort to our guests.” She pouted prettily. “You wouldn’t want to offend me and my entire culture, now would you?”
He started to pull away, moving his hands to take the towel from her. “I can do this myself.”
“Of course you can,” she exclaimed, smilingly, playfully tugging at the other end of the towel. “But you don’t have any real objection to my helping, now do you? With my assistance, we can have you out of these wet things in no time. Now get undressed!”
Embarrassed, and not quite sure why, Selkek first removed his shoes, then he began working on the knotted ties at his waist. Slipping the burgundy outer robe off his shoulders, he let it drop to the floor beside his shoes. He waited, not quite certain what to do next.
Gaila fought hard to suppress to sigh, and was not altogether successful as she regarded Selkek standing there in yet another robe, only this under-robe was white and had even more knotted ties.
“Sheesh! What is it with you Vulcans: one robe not good enough?”
Selkek glanced down, somewhat confused. “It is called a pelal. It is the traditional robe for a Vulcan male on his…”
She wasn’t interested in explanations, so she did not let him finish. “Do you want to die from pneumonia? OFF!”
Starting just below the neck, Selkek had twenty or so intricate knots to untie. After he had untied the top three, an impatient Gaila attacked the knots from the bottom and moved upward. They were not tied in the Terran fashion, but as some sort of complicated series of hitch knots. Growing frustrated, she huffed and puffed a great deal of air.
“Why are there so many?”
“It is the Vulcan way. It is meant to be an exercise in patience and refocus.”
“Patience and refocus of what?”
Selkek certainly wasn’t going to explain Vulcan mating rituals to an out-worlder and definitely not at a time like this. He skirted around the issue and was as vague as possible.
“For a time when patience and refocus are most needed.”
“Oh, I get it,” said Gaila, looking up from her task and smiling broadly, “some secret Vulcan meditative thing.”
“Yes, some—.” Sensing that the topic was beginning to get far too personal, Selkek snapped back into reality. “When do you expect Nyota to arrive? As I have said before, I wish to speak to her most urgently.”
“And what was it you where saying about patience and refocus about ten seconds ago?” She flashed him a triumphant grin just as she finished undoing her second knot.
Selkek took a steadying breathe. “Forgive me. It is just imperative that I speak to Nyota as soon as possible. I have done something or said something wrongly and I do not understand what it is or how I am to rectify the matter. Only Nyota can help me at this moment.”
Gaila merely shook her head, adopting an expression that conveyed that she was knowledgeable in all things male and female.
“This is about Jenusia, isn’t it?”
Selkek’s eyes widened slightly at the Orion’s perspicacity. “How did you—?”
Gaila barked out a sarcastic laugh. “Let me guess: she’s dumped you, right? She’s either told you that you couldn’t be together or that you two weren’t right for each other. Am I correct?”
As she worked diligently on the next few knots, Selkek, speechless, starred down at the top of the Orion’s head for nearly thirty full seconds. Surprised that she had guessed the nature of his problem so quickly, he asked again.
“How did you know?”
“Let me tell you something Selkek, you’ve known Jenusia for what, a few weeks? I’ve known Jenusia for a few years and in all that time I have yet to see her keep a boyfriend past a month. And people say Orion females are wishy-washy. But, you know, I think it has something to do with that strict Troyan culture. Jen told me once that Troyan females aren’t even allowed to pick their own life-mate? Apparently, all some guy has to do is basically turn up at the door and ask. And really, how are you even supposed to know that you’re going to like this person. And get this, if the male wants to, he can just swan off and get himself another wife and the Troyan female is stuck. Barbaric!”
Selkek’s perplexed look escaped Gaila’s notice because she was far too busy celebrating that fact that she had gotten another few knots untied. Barbaric? Had he really done something barbaric?
“I have angered Jenusia. I did not wish to anger her. I carefully researched their customs and I endeavored to behave in the traditional Troyan manner.”
“I know, I know; poor Selkek.” Gaila wasn’t actually listening; she glanced up only long enough to capture Selkek’s eye before nodding in the direction of his waist. “Come on now, concentrate! This thing is not coming off on its own.”
Selkek’s hands absently began loosening the knots again while continuing to explain himself.
“Jenu’s family was most accommodating. Her mother was eventually very welcoming of me.” His hands stopped to pose a question. “Is it not best to always seek a Troyan mother’s favor?”
Gaila had no idea what he was going on about. “How would I know,” said the Orion, beginning to get highly perturbed with all this talk about Jenusia and not enough talk about Gaila.
“She says she does not wish to see me again.”
“Who, Jen’s mother?”
“No, where you not listening? Jenusia does not wish to see me again.”
Gaila rolled her eyes. “Yes, I’m sure. Lift your arms.”
Selkek lifted his arms without question as Gaila bent down a little closer to get at the uppermost knots that he had abandoned..
“It is only logical to assume that as her friend, Nyota will know what I must do to best regain her favor.”
“That’s right, Nyota, as Jenusia’s best friend will help her and I, as your best friend, will help you.”
The last knot untied, the under-robe was quickly dispatched to the floor with the other items of his wet clothing and Gaila stood back to take in her first view of the Vulcan’s well-defined chest.
“Sweet Orion!’ she exclaimed when she got a look at his upper body. “And Jen doesn’t want this, why? I always knew that slag was crazy.”
Gaila let her eyes drift downward and she sighed in exasperation; she had not noticed the pants.
“Boy, you Vulcans really don’t want a girl to have access to the goods, do you?”
“I do not understand.”
“The pants! They need to come off, too!”
Selkek’s own thoughts were a million miles away as he began loosening the drawstring, letting the garment slide carelessly to the floor. Stepping out of them, he now stood there in only a thin white undergarment of Vulcan design.
Gaila’s mouth fell open and she simply stared. The undergarment was like nothing she had seen before and left very little to the imagination.
“Nyota has been most accommodating since I came to Earth. It is very helpful to have a human friend who understands Vulcans so well.”
“Nyota. She understands Vulcans very well.”
“Um, yeah. Sure. Sit down,” Gaila snapped, growing even more frustrated with all the praise for her roommate. She crinkled her brow. “Answer me this, if you liked Nyota so much, why didn’t you just go out with her to begin with,” asked Gaila, straddling his lap, before taking up the towel again to dab at his chest and shoulders.
“That would not have been logical. Nyota bestows her love upon another individual.”
This revelation had Gaila’s full attention. As far as she knew, Nyota wasn’t with anybody.
“What are you talking about?”
“You mean you do not know that Nyota has been spending a lot of her time with–”
However, just as Selkek began to answer they both heard the door to the dorm room swish open. They turned to face the partition anticipating the eminent arrival of the subject of their discussion.
But it was not Nyota who appeared; it was quite another person.
Jenusia rounded the partition and froze.
Her brain immediately struggled to make sense of what her eyes were having difficulty processing. This can’t be right, she thought, for there was Selkek–her husband of less than two hours–sitting on Gaila’s bed, dressed in nothing more than his underwear.
No, that can’t be right, either, she said silently to herself. Selkek didn’t even know Gaila so why would he be sitting on her bed. Her head turned to look at the other person in the room and her brain told her that a half-naked Orion female, who bore a very strong resemblance to Gaila was sitting on Selkek’s lap. Yet, that could not be right, she thought. Because Gaila had to know that Selkek was, for all intents and purposes, her property.
Eventually, Jenusia’s brain caught up with her eyes and what struck her immediately was the fact that there was definitely going to be a very strong reaction, and the nature of that reaction was definitely going to be violent.
To be continued…