She kept her thick hair secured against her head in twists because she didn’t want anything extra to deal with when it was time for her to go. K’avir didn’t care for her hair being restrained; he liked it when she wore it loose. But he didn’t say anything about it, for he knew why she was doing it. Their combat sessions became more intense as K’avir instructed her on the use of her brand new sword.
One night, they stood across from each other in the gym, both holding their swords. Sheila wore her tank top knotted under her breasts and her usual pair of shorts. She stared at her husband, who was staring back at her. His eyes roamed over her body and she knew he was looking at her bruises from the other night. They’d engaged in hand-to-hand combat, and Sheila was able to knock him to the floor a couple of times. She was getting stronger and stronger, and K’avir had his own injuries from his new bride. It was a turn-on for both to see the other’s battle scars.
She moved into an L-stance and held the sword in both hands. K’avir looked at her. “Come at me as hard as you can.”
Sheila nodded. She took a breath and charged, not swinging the deceptively light blade until she was right upon him. He was a half-foot taller than she was, but it wasn’t a deterrent. Sheila had been fighting K’avir for almost three months and she knew how to move around him. He blocked and she turned on her heel, bringing the sword around in a smooth, beautiful arc. K’avir jumped back and Sheila lunged forward, thrusting the blade. He moved to one side and her momentum carried her, causing her to lose balance and fall. Sheila let the sword leave her hands; she was not about to fall on it and injure herself. Quicker than quick, she bounced to her feet just as K’avir came towards her, swinging the blade. She jumped back, barely avoiding him until her back hit the wall mat. He stepped in front of her and held the blade to her throat, his amber eyes gleaming in the dim light.
Sheila’s heart raced and her chest heaved as she tried to catch her breath. She swallowed, meeting his gaze and smiled. “Is it?”
“You should not be in such a position. You know that I will cut you.”
Sheila nodded. She had been one of K’avir’s students when the ladies of the ISS-E first began combat training, and out of all of his female students, she was the only one he actually hit. With the others, the blows were simulated, but Sheila did not want to pretend to fight; she wanted to fight. She could take a punch, especially after being abused by Lenny for so long. K’avir was reluctant to do it at first, but she insisted and so he did. He pulled his punches, but always threw them. It helped her become a better student faster and she was fearless.
“Cut me then,” she said.
He pressed the blade to the side of her neck and made an inch-long slit. Blood beaded, but it was not enough to cause concern. He stared at her and then stepped back.
“Again,” he said.
Sheila picked up her tachi and moved back to the center of the mat. K’avir held out his sword and pointed it at her. Without warning, she yelled out a battle cry and bumrushed him. She brought her blade down in a wide arc and he jumped back, but not in time to avoid the tip of the tachi. It left a long thin weal across his abdomen. Green blood oozed and Sheila cackled. K’avir swung his sword and Sheila ducked, and, moving the way he taught her, came back up and and cut him again. Then she backed up and prepared herself to get knocked down.
“Excellent,” he said.
“I have a good teacher,” she said. “But surely that is not all for tonight.”
He looked at her for a moment and then threw his sword at her. Sheila jumped to one side just as the shiny blade sailed past the place where her head had been. Shocked, Sheila screamed and ran towards him with her sword held high.
“You actually threw your sword at me, K’avir???”
She went to bring it down but he grabbed her fists and shook the tachi out of her hands with one hard yank. The sword slid across the room. Sheila gasped as he grabbed her forearms. Then realizing it was part of the lesson, she calmed herself and brought up her knee. K’avir released her and she jumped, kicking him in the chest. He fell down and she was on top of him immediately, punching him in the face. K’avir absorbed three of her punches (he was going to have a black eye the next day) before scissoring her and rolling over. Sheila wriggled in a futile effort to get from underneath K’avir, but she was expertly pinned. She pummeled his shoulders but nothing was going to budge the 235-lb brick wall that was her husband.
“I will not yield!” she hissed through her teeth.
“You had better not,” he replied.
“Get off me!”
“Make me,” he challenged. “If you can.”
It took a moment for Sheila to realize that she was in the position Nyx spoke of; pinned underneath K’avir and unable to move. He had her trapped and calmly gazed down into her eyes. What if this happened during the event? How could she possibly move if he was unconscious?
She decided to ask. “K’avir, I need you to tell me how to get out from under you.”
“You are not willing to make the attempt?”
“It’s not that,” she said. “I was just thinking that...that this might be a position I’m in when you have your time...and I don’t want to be stuck. I’m trapped right now and I haven’t a clue as to how to move you. You’re heavy and I can’t lift you.”
“Sheila, I cannot tell you that. You must figure it out. But what you ask is fair. However, there is nothing I can say to you to assist you. We will incorporate this into your training. Now rely on your wiles and intelligence. Try to move away from me.”
She closed her eyes and took several breaths. Then she tried to lift and wiggle her hips, but he did not move. Then she pushed up on his chest, but he did not move. Frustrated, she sighed.
“I do not accept that from my wife.”
“K’avir, I don’t know what to do.”
“Let this be something you cogitate on,” he said. “If this is a potential scenario, then you must be able to get out of it. I will not accept your giving up.”
“I won’t accept it either,” she said.
K’avir rolled off of her and helped her up. Sheila bit her lip as he went to retrieve their swords. She was going to have to come up with some original ideas in order to handle this thing.
Dr. Gerri Thibodeaux was five-eight with a complexion as brown as pecans, long hair and a brilliant smile; which scuttlebutt said had the attention of at least five guys on board the ship. Marlena confirmed that Gerri was actually being courted by three of the five, but she had not made a decision as to which guy she wanted to be with. Gerri was a warm, friendly spirit; quick to make a joke, and had extensive knowledge in her field. Captain Spock snagged her from Starbase 238.2 along with Lt. Nyx, and quite a few others. Sheila, wanting to keep her situation under wraps, had Gerri meet her in her office in sickbay. When she showed up, smiling and holding a couple of PADDs, Sheila felt her tension melt away.
“Don’t worry,” Gerri said. “I already know. Captain Spock sent me a private communique. I started querying the moment our conversation was done.”
“What did he tell you?”
“That you need to be planetside for a few days. He didn’t say when, but that it was of the essence I find a suitable place. Now you don’t have to divulge specifics, Sheila, but I have to know some things so that I can give you proper information. Whatever you tell me will be confidential.”
“Uh, well...K’avir’s going to go through a period where he’s chemically imbalanced, and...I’ll have to hide from him.”
“Pon farr? Oh, okay.”
“You know about it?”
“I’m a xenoarchaeologist as well as an exobiologist. My first dissertation was on Pre-Reform Vulcan culture. Pon farr came up quite a bit in my research. It has its own chapter.”
Sheila couldn’t help but giggle. “I’d love to read it.”
“I’ll beam it to you once I get back to my office. Anyway, so your gorgeous husband is going to get a bit...rough...and the captain thinks it’s best that K’avir’s planetside so that his time doesn’t disrupt life on board this starship. It’s a fantastic idea, actually. It will keep everyone safe.”
“Exactly. I was told that I’d have to hide, and that a place with trees and caves would be good. He’s going to track me by scent, but I don’t want to be seen either.”
Gerri started diddling with her PADDs. “Considering where we are, there are two good candidates. One is Razmou Ohndrii, which is seven light-years away. Razmou Ohndri is a small M-class, but it’s uninhabited. It’s the fifth planet in the Jarou system. Razmou Ohndri is a very warm and humid tropical planet, and a large portion of the planet’s surface is water. Scout research indicates that there is plenty to eat; the trees are laden with various fruit, and there are edible grasses and herbs that you could consume. I can beam you images of the plants and fruit in question and you can read up on them to determine the best combination of medical benefits. There are caves as well.”
“What’s the other choice?”
“Kateri Prime. It, too, is a very warm planet, and it has areas of dense foliage and an extensive cave network. Kateri’s vegetation also thrives. I can send you information about the planet.”
“I sense a ‘but’ coming.”
“Kateri Prime is closer to us than Razmou Ohndri, but it is inhabited. There’s about two billion residents spread out over the planet. The forests that I’m thinking about are near occupied lands.”
Sheila immediately shook her head. “No.”
“You don’t want anyone around who might be able to help you, should you get severely injured? I understand the ship, because we’re all so close together, but you don’t want anyone else around at all?”
“You said it yourself, Gerri. I need for people to be safe. K’avir almost killed a man because he put his hand on me. And that was when he was rational. What in the world do you think is going to happen if some innocent farmer tries to help me bandage my wounds and falls into K’avir’s line of sight when he’s insane?”
Gerri shook her head. “Point taken.”
“Razmou Ohndri is the best choice. How soon can we get there?”
“Do you know when this is going to happen?”
“Soon. But the date itself, I can’t tell you.”
“At warp 6, we’d be there in six days.”
“If his symptoms manifest themselves quickly, I won’t have six days.”
Gerri did a quick mental calculation. “Warp 7 would get us there in 3.8 days. Warp 8, 2.5 days. I’m not sure how fast Captain Spock is willing to travel.”
“He’ll do what’s necessary to keep everyone safe. But I think it’s sensible if we go ahead and start heading in the direction of Razmou Ohndri. We can cut out some time if we have to go into warp at a closer distance.”
“Do you know what you’re going to do?”
“I spoke with Hinora. She offered suggestions. And now that I know where we’re going, I can have coordinates ready to give to Trisha. My plan is that when it’s clear K’avir’s going into heat, Trisha will beam him down first so that I can have a chance to get my bag. Then she’ll beam me down several kilometers away. I won’t have a chance to check the lay of the land.”
“I can help.” Gerri diddled on her PADDs some more. “The best place on Razmou Ohndri that will suit your needs is the chartered Taini jungle. There’s a large body of water and extensive cave systems. I don’t recommend going too deep into the caves. Not that there are predators in the Taini; they’re elsewhere. It’s just that you’re not a spelunker, and you don’t want to get stuck. I’ll beam you the data for the Taini and you can choose your coordinates from there. That way, you’ll know where the water is, where the caves are, and there is a giant waterfall. The images the scout team sent back are beautiful.”
“I like that idea. I will have some time to study the layout.”
“You’ll want to, at any rate.”
Sheila nodded. Gerri started typing on her PADDs and soon, Sheila’s own PADD chimed.
“There’s your data,” she said as she tucked a long strand behind her ear. Then she looked at Sheila. “Can I ask you something?”
“Are you scared?”
Sheila examined her fingers. “A little. I mean, I’ve never been in this situation before. I know it’s violent and dangerous. I know he’s going to fuck me senseless. I know I’m going to have injuries, possibly a broken bone or two, bite marks, deep scratches, stuff like that. I know he won’t stop until the fever’s passed, which will be at least three days. I know he’s going to have me in any way I can be had. I’m a little scared, but I’m more afraid of the fact that I’m looking forward to being his prey.”
“It’s a turn-on. When I think about how he’ll be, I can’t help but get horny. It’s insane. I’m supposed to be civilized, but there is nothing civil about what’s he’s going to do to me once he tracks me down, and there is nothing civil about my response to it.”
Gerri stood up. “Well, you be careful, Sheila. You’ve got some things to think about. I can tell the captain what we discussed, if you want.”
“No, I’ll do it. Thanks, Gerri. I appreciate this. And please, keep this between us.”
“Absolutely. I don’t know if I’ll see you before you have to go, so I’ll wish you luck now. Sounds like you’re going to need it.”