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Posted on Sun Dec 26th, 2021 @ 7:44pm by Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann-Travis Dr

Mission: Sinister Intentions
Location: Washington
Timeline: Before the Away Mission

Valev T’ghrek made the last changes to his holodeck program. Luckily he had it with him as he always did. It was good to be reminded of home when one spent most of the year on Risa or other places he needed to go. His summer home by the side of the Great Sea of T’haka on the western province of Dashinta on Vulcanwas a small place, one level only but the deck which stretched out over the sea.

He had made the dinner himself and it was keeping warm inside. The sunsets over the lake were one of the most beautiful on Vulcan and the swish of the small waves made a singing sound. He hoped she would take a swim with him. He had thought about her all day, her beautiful strength yet her charming self deprecation.

He realized he knew nothing about her but that he was falling in love. Although it was a few hours away he decided he had to talk to her so tapped the communicator he had been given.

=/\=T’ghrek to Commander Howard=/\=

Sam looked up from the medical records she was compiling when the call came through, the voice brought a smile to her face on an otherwise routine day in sickbay.

" Howard here, how many I help you Ambassador?" She asked formally, not entirely knowing the reason for his call or if they were being listened to.

“Just wanting to know if you were busy or not and still on time for our meeting later?”

Sam checked the reports she still had to file and the number of patients in sickbay, so far it was within the norms for what she would call a quietish day " I'm not going to say it out loud, but the day seems to be progressing adequately" She left the rest unsaid, not wanting to jinx herself or her team " I should be on time for dinner.... same place or have you something else in mind?"

“Holodeck 3 Commander 18.00 or as near to that as you can, oh and bring swimwear. T’ghrek out.”

He imagined her turmoil at that request, he would much have preferred to see her naked in the water but felt he had to be gallant and give her a choice.

The channel closed as he signed off, leaving Sam feeling bemused as to what he had planned. The swimsuit comment had thrown her and she was half tempted to hack into the holodeck user database and see what he had queued up but knew it would ruin the surprise. Time to put the control freak side of her aside and let him lead the way.

At 1800 hours on the dot she arrived at the holodeck doors, still in uniform but a hastily packed beach bag slung over her shoulder.

The holodeck doors opened and he stepped over to her, “Welcome to the great sea of T’harka Sam. This is an approximation of my beach house on Vulcan. Welcome, come in.”

" You have a beach house?" Her jaw dropped in the most unladylike fashion, leaving her looking like a stunned mullet standing there in the doorway with mouth agape. He took his fingers and gently closed her mouth.

“Come in Sam and enjoy it with me. I get to come here in real time about once a year so I carry this simulation with me to enable me to relax. Let me take your bag.” The doors closed behind her, he turned and took her in his arms and kissed her deeply. “I have been waiting all day to do that.”

"I can tell" she smiled as they broke for air, taking in the man before her and the environment around them. "It's beautiful, not like I imagined Vulcan to be at all"

“Come let me take you to the view.” They walked through the house into the large room that would be called a lounge, doors pushed back to reveal the deck reaching out into the water. A large couch and two chairs were placed out into the calm sea.

She ran her fingers along the furniture as she passed, it spoke to functionality, but it also spoke of style and gracefulness. Effeciancy in all forms. Lost for words she followed his lead, heading towards the water.

The sea’s calm deep green blue waters were calm, as the water rolled under the enormous deck it made a low calming moaning sound. “Sit, let me get you some wine” he said indicating the seating. He poured two glasses of wine and handed one to her.

"This simulation is amazing, you better damn well show me the real thing one day" she quipped as she accepted the glass of wine and stared out to take in the expanse of the sea getting lost in the endless horizon.

The sun had begun to set bathing everywhere in a red gold light, the moons showed a violet light that replaced the sun leading to a darker blue that reflected the light of the the thousands of visible stars.

“Tell me about you day Sam?”

She sipped the wine, letting the first caress of the alcohol sooth her mind and relax her body. She mused over the question, the corner of her lips creeping upwards a little as she considered the honest truth.

"I couldn't concentrate, it was hard to focus on the most mundane and simplest of reports" she admitted with a wry smile "my attention was definitely elsewhere".

“My attention has been on you all day.” He said. “I keep wanting to impress you, which even if I was not a Vulcan would be wrong. I just wanted you to want to be with me and to show you the real side of Vulcans and my home. My home and main office are on the other continent of Vulcan, much hotter, lots of deserts.” He sighed. “I have noticed your surprise over the places I call home. You have to remember I am an Ambassador for my world and also the Head of my house, the House of O’kaan. It came to me when my father died along, as I have told you with the Ambassadorship. It is a lonely life but a wealthy one. Here in this place,” he indicated the current simulation “I can be myself.”

"You should never have to be anyone apart from yourself" Sam started, realising the role he played for his people often required him to be that. "I want you always to be yourself with me, there's no need to impress, just be you" she placed a hand on his arm with a smile.

“Thank you for that Sam” he said. “It feels good to be myself. He jumped up “Now do you swim? I ask you that because swimming here will invigorate you, the sea contains certain minerals and some slight stimulants that will make you feel wonderful. I normally swim naked but in case you are sensitive about these things I am willing to wear a covering. Although,” he raised an eyebrow, “you saw enough of me last night.”

She blushed at the memory and took another sip of wine. Vulcan's had little need for vanity or modesty, and the fact he swam naked shouldn't have been something she stopped to think about. Did she want to swim naked? He'd seen every centimetre of her body the night before, why did she feel modest now?

" Well I normally swim in bathers, so how about we start with that?" She stammered, blushing a little further.

One of the things he was beginning to get used to was the blushing. Vulcans did not blush and he loved the ways she did, the color rising in her cheeks made her more beautiful in his eyes.

“Well it is good job I thought you would as I wore something.” He divested himself of his trousers to reveal little black shorts. “Sam if you need to change you can use the lounge or I can just turn my back?”

For some reason Sam felt a bit shy changing on the open deck so she retreated back inside for a few moments and returned wearing a one peice set of bathers that she thought accentuated what figure she had.

She returned to find him waiting patiently for her. " Are these okay?"

Valev stood looking at her, she took his breath away, she looked beautiful, the cut of the suit exentuated her waist and the cut of the leg made her long legs look even longer. “You are so beautiful Sam” he said in a low voice. “I am a lucky man.”

" You flatter me, I'm just plain ole me, nothing special" Sam retorted as she blushed from his gaze, taking the opportunity to lower herself into the water.

“The water here is very deep and warmer now than it is in the mornings.” He dived in taking a few seconds to come up in front of her. He loved the way the water dripped off her looking like diamond droplets reflected by the moon on the waves. “By the way if you see a creature that looks a little like” he thought for a minute “I think you would call it a dolphin.” It is a sign of good luck especially if it allows you to hold its fin and be carried along. It means you will have great love and a long life. We Vulcans have our stories as well.” He pulled her to him and kissed her, then kicking away he began to swim out to sea.

"Fables, from a Vulcan - I would never have known" She smirked as she trailed after him, a confident but not overly fast swimmer. She was content languishing in the warm water, letting it wash away the cares of the day and the worries of the future. How was she going to manage a long distance relationship with a Vulcan ambassador AND continue to serve as the CMO of the Washington? If today was anything to go by she'd never be able to concentrate again.

He swam back to her and dived under her picking her up in his arms as he rose. “I thought you were drowning.” He said with a raised eyebrow, “Sam say my name, I don’t remember hearing it from your lips?”

" Valev" She drew the words out slowly, as you relishing the sound of them. " You are not any Vulcan, you are my Vulcan, and I should be making mad passionate love to you right now but my heart is warring with my head. I love you but I struggle to see how it will work long term" She admitted, tears beginning to flow down her already wet cheeks. " Tell me it can work"

He kissed her tears, “my love, if love were easy then it would never be true. If it needs…” he was cut off by a movement under the waves, he held her behind him as if to protect her. A lone fin cut through the waves and the dolphin rose out of the water, dived under them coming up next to Sam. “Take his fin Sam, ride the waves with him, he will bring you back to me.” Valev said.

She reached for the fin as it passed, managing a tenuous grip that managed to propel her through the water as the creature swam. As it slowed and returned back to Valev she released the fin and gave it a pat of thanks. "So you think we can make this work?" She promotes.

“I want to try more than anything Sam don’t you? I am willing to come back here if the Captain will allow. I need to leave in a couple of weeks to arrange things but I am allowed leave which I have not taken for many years because I have not had anything that I have wanted to do so. If you are ready to do let us end our swim for the moment and have dinner and we can talk.”

He swam to the ladder onto the deck and climbed out. He produced fluffy towels and two robes. He helped her put and pulled her to him and kissed her deeply. “I love you Sam.”

She swooned into his arms, allowing her body to melt and mold to his. Heart aflutter she allowed herself to let go a little, to release the reins of duty and responsibility and her job to just be Sam. " I love you as well Valev, let's eat, I'm starved!"

He told her where to get more towels and a fluffy dressing gown he had gotten her, well it was one of his made of Kostyra down with the House of O’Kaan sigils emblazoned on the back and overseen with scarlet, gold and blue thread. He had told her he wanted to be next to her.

He waited for her to come back outside, the fire was now lit and lights shone and twinkled around the deck. The sun and disappeared over the horizon. The chafing dishes contained Vulcan vegetable and fish delicacies to be eaten with warm spiced bread dipped in wine. The main course he was keeping secret.

He sat and looked out across the sea. One could almost believe they were really there on Vulcan just the two of them. He could not understand how she had taken his Vulcan heart so quickly but he knew he would love and defend her to the end of the universe should she wish it.

She emerged a few moments later wearing the dressing gown, hair towel dried and piled on top of her head to keep it out of the way. She was not glamorous by any stretch of the imagination, preferring practicality over aesthetics.

Settling herself at the table she couldn't help but wonder what was secluded beneath the covered dishes this time. "So tell me, what indulgences have you prepared? I may get used to be spoilt like this"

“If you lived the sort of life I have to live you would soon get tired of it. Now you tell me you are hungry. These five dishes contain delicacies from this continent. Some I had to replicate though, but hopefully if you like them you will taste the real thing one day.” He took the cover of the first dish, “sea shrimp from this very sea, marinaded in the wine from the vineyard behind this house.

“The second one contained a spiced flat bread, delicious dipped in the wine with the shrimp.

The third contains metare a vegetable rather like a potato with a cheese from the House of O’Kaan sheep. Kept for their wool. So, help yourself to anything you wish, I will pour the wine, get you incredibly drunk and make love to you here on the deck.” He actually smiled at her.

"Will you now? I would rather not be incredibly drunk, then it won't be memorable." She snorted at him " Although I have never seen a drunk Vulcan so the tables may turn in that regard" She challenged him with her eyes across the table as she filled her plate.

‘It takes a lot to get a Vulcan drunk Sam, I have only been drunk once in my life…..…so far and that involved Shon, a tale I think for another day.” He looked into her eyes, “and every time we make love will be memorable.” He helped himself to some vegetables and topped up their glasses. “One day when you see this place for real you will see the vines behind the house and the little village not so far away.” His mind wandered away a little as he remembered his home.

“I have a plan for us, I can take two weeks now, if the Captain will let me stay, I am not sure he likes me. Shon will enjoy my visit also. Then I have to go back to Risa to arrange things. Even an Ambassador has leave and I can take up to two years. I know how important your job is to you but maybe you could attend the Vulcan medical conference next year and take a little leave. I would stay with you here, I have been thinking about writing my memoirs…..”

He looked at her..”did I tell you today how beautiful you are? And here I am making plans…do you want me to stay?”

She considered the words. The start of their romance had been a whirlwind and now was the comfortable pause where they assessed where to go next. " I do want you to stick around, if you'll put up with me. " she took a bite of her food and followed it by a sip of wine " And I think your memoirs would be a very interesting read... I hope I may score a footnote somewhere in the future"

“I am hoping you will play a major part in my memoirs from now on Sam I want you too anyway but, it depends if, as you say you can put up with me. We have so much to learn about each other, we can take our time, apart from making love which I seem to want to do every time I see you. I am looking forward to our time together after you have eaten your fill. I am going to take you to bed and make love to you all night until you fall asleep in my arms.” He sipped his wine. “One of the things I love about you is that you are remarkably unaware how absolutely how beautiful you are.”

Sam smirked at the thought of a somewhat amorous Vulcan, for such logical beings sometimes it was all about the hormones. " Are all Vulcan's like this? Pon Farr on the horizon?" She asked with a twinkle in her eye. Was this due to his different upbringing? He was the most unvulcan like vulcan she had ever met. " As for beauty - I'm just me, nothing remarkable there" She blushed again.

“Pon Farr is not really about mating Sam, yes it does involve mating but it is all bout power and loss of control. Vulcans have sacrificed this loss of control for logic over hundreds of years. It does not mean we do not enjoy mating . My own personal Pon Farr was two years ago. I also find great pleasure in giving pleasure. I have not even begun to show you what pleasure I can give you, both physical and mental.”

He sipped his wine and ate some spiced bread. “If you feel uncomfortable about my telling you how beautiful you are and how I long to make love to you then it is my own poor conceit and I will endeavor not to make you too uncomfortable. I just cannot stop thinking about you, you are in my every waking moment and most of my sleeping also.”

She sipped her wine and looked at him across the table. His feelings were obvious, hers a little less so. She enjoyed the attention and the thrill of the hunt so to speak, but her mind was still catching up with the fact that he very much wanted to settle down long term with her. The whirlwind intensified, clouding her mind and earring with her heart.

" I don't know what to say, it's all happened very quickly. " She said honestly.

He looked at her his face suddenly unutterably sad. “I am sorry Sam, I pushed you too hard so very soon. Truth is I am not good at hiding my true feelings I know you would not think that of a Vulcan and for most of my life I can and do a good job of it. I am not good at love because I have never felt it before, until I saw you. I did not know what it felt like this kind of love. “He took a large drink of his wine. “I thought this was what love is.”

He stood and glanced around him. “This” he gestured round the holodeck. “This I knew was too much too soon, I can see it in your face. I would not have asked you to marry me for a long time but that would always have been my ultimate plan. We make such good plans us Vulcans and, in this case too good.” He bent down and kissed her on the lips. “I cannot help my feelings for you and do not profess to say I still do not have them. It is my fine conceit that a woman like you might love me.”

“I will say good night to you Sam Howard, I will be here until my ship arrives and then I will be out of your life, it, when you eventually find someone you want to be with do not hang back, grab it with all you have and be happy. I will always love you, goodnight.”

He turned and left the holodeck the Vulcan with tears in his eyes.

"Valev wait!" She called after his retreating form. How could she tell him she still had feelings for him, but he was just moving too fast? She wanted to spend time with him, but he was coming on too strong? She would get there with time, but two days had not been enough.



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