by Cheryl Petterson

(Standard Year 2248)

originally published as "T'was The Nightengale"

Return to Valjiir Stories

Return to Valjiir Continum

Ruth Valley heard the hiss of the door to her quarters, but decided not to wake up to hear it. It was only Jilla anyway. She’d been coming home later and later the past several weeks, but as she always slipped quietly into her bed, it wasn’t any kind of disturbance.

The soft tread of feet crossed the room… then came back… then crossed again… then –

Jilla, pacing?

Ruth sat up, opening her eyes. A faint silver glow moved back and forth across the room. Definitely Jilla, definitely pacing. “Jilla?” Ruth said.

The Indiian turned, her voice as soft as usual. “Forgive me, Ruth. I did not mean to wake you.”

“Quarter illumination,” Ruth said, and the lights in the cabin came on. “So what’s wrong?” she continued, ignoring Jilla’s apology. Jilla lowered her eyes and said nothing. “It can’t be that bad,” Ruth coaxed. “We’ve already done everything we could conceivably be court-martialed for and it hasn’t been seven years yet and Boss hasn’t been acting any weirder than usual.” She left her bed, padding to the replicator. “Want some coffee?”

There was still no reply. Ruth shrugged and ordered up a pot and got the two ceramic cups that had been given to them last shore leave. She set them on her desk and pulled Jilla’s chair over to it. “Sit,” she ordered. Jilla did. Ruth poured the coffee, sitting down in her own desk chair. “L’chiam,” she said as she raised her cup.

Latyaesh, Jilla responded tonelessly. Ever since returning from Shas and the two-week-long ordeal in the newly-christened Chutzpah warp shuttlecraft, Jilla had begun to drink, if not yet actually enjoy the Terran beverage. Ruth had instituted the toast, proclaiming the need for commemorative rituals. Latyaesh, like l’chiam, meant ‘to life.’

“Now,” Ruth began again, “what’s the problem?” Silence. Ruth was beginning to get annoyed. “Out with it,” she said tersely. Jilla wasn’t looking at her. She kept her eyes on the cup she was holding. “Fondling a coffee cup Sulu gave you, are you?” Ruth noted. “Tell me what happened.”

Jilla took a deep breath, but still didn’t look up. “I slapped him.”

Ruth winced. “Ouch.”

“I threatened to call Security.”

He’s Chief of… oh.” She winced again. “What did he do?”

Jilla got up and began pacing again. “I understand it is not his nature,” she began. “I understand the difficulty he experiences when I am near him. I even understand why he desires me near him regardless of that difficulty. It is not his fault, I do not blame him and I know that in spite of what he said tonight he does not blame me, but…”

“Hold it!” Ruth interjected. “Slow down. What are you talking about?

Jilla turned, but she still didn’t face her roommate. “Sulu was… he had indulged in… recreational pharmaceuticals and… we were alone in his cabin and…”

Oy geveult, Roy! Ruth thought “And it got out of hand,” she finished. Jilla’s silvery skin started glowing. “I thought things were better between you.”

“They are,” Jilla returned quickly. “It is only that –“ She paused. “I cannot do what he wants me to.”

And why not? Ruth wanted to ask, but she already knew the answer. She knew Sulu knew it too. She rose from the desk and went to Jilla, taking the Indiian’s hands.

“Jilla, it’s all right,” she reassured. “So he pushed a little. It’s a natural reaction for Terrans. He’s not going to hate you just because you told him no and backed it up with a little force. He stopped, didn’t he?”

“That is not the point!” Jilla cried, and Ruth was startled by the strength of her reaction. “He needs the release I cannot give him!” Jilla again turned from her, her arms wrapping around herself. “Do you know,” she continued, “that you are the only one on this ship who knows he has never touched me?”

“Well, Roy’s got his pride…” Ruth vacillated.

“Precisely. How could I humiliate him by letting such a thing become common knowledge?”

“Why would you have to?”

Jilla turned misery-laden eyes to her. “I fear the pressure he can exert on me if he does not receive some sort of relief,” she whispered.

Ruth stared at her, blinking incredulously. “Jilla, do you mean to tell me,” she said, “that you’re upset because Sulu won't go screw somebody else?”

“He needs it so badly…” Jilla moaned through her increasing glow.

“You idiot Indiian, what he needs so badly is you!” Ruth exclaimed. “He hasn’t gone to anyone else because he doesn’t want anyone else!”

“I know that!” Jilla nearly screamed, then she abruptly slumped back into the chair. She lowered her head, her thick, burgundy hair throwing her face in shadow. “He said things, Ruth, things that I know are true, yet…” She swallowed. “He said I started this. I did. It wasn’t precisely my doing, but it was I who required Dr. McCoy’s hormonal injection. He said I expect a lover’s attention and a lover’s fidelity without giving him lover’s rights. I do. I try not to, but when he so much as looks at another…” Her voice faded, and she took a deep breath and went on. “He said I use both Vulcan restraint and Indiian marriage vows for my own convenience, that I shed Vulcan when it suits me, and he cannot help but wonder if I will shed my vows should that suit me as well. And Ruth…” Jilla looked up, tears glistening in her eyes. “I fear that, too, is the truth.”

“Jilla, I’m sure he didn’t mean…” Ruth tried to comfort.

“What does it matter if he meant them?” Jilla broke in. “They are the truth! I understand what I ask of him! He sees Vulcan logic ruling my actions in every area but one. He sees that I submerge my Indiian nature, except in that same area. He understands that, yes, he knows how important my vows are. Yet…” Jilla sobbed. “Yet, Ruth, they are already broken! I cannot be damned more than once! There is only one eternity to spend in Beggar’s Court. And so, he must reason, logically there is no reason for me to deny myself to him. Yet I do. And when he asks why, I tell him because I made a vow – which I have already betrayed. So he asks, rightfully, where is the logic? And that, I have no answer for. And because I do not, there will come a time when I will be too weary and too confused to argue it. His tia, his desire will overwhelm me and I will give to him that which he needs. And then, I fear…” She swallowed again. “I fear I will be the one to blame him, as I blame the Time, and McCoy…” Her voice lowered to a mere whisper. “…and you.”

Ruth was quiet for several minutes. She wasn’t angry with Jilla; she’d known all along that Jilla used her part in convincing Spock to fulfill her mating drive as a way to shield herself from the horror of Indiian damnation. Since Ruth couldn’t see that it was Jilla’s fault anyway, she didn’t mind. As far as she was concerned, any deity that refused to look at extenuating circumstances was more than a little near-sighted. But she also knew Indiians didn’t lie – and if Jilla was afraid she would use Sulu’s emotions the way she had used Ruth’s match-making… well, that would sure as hell put a crimp in the Great Romance of the Enterprise, now wouldn’t it?

So what do I tell her?

How about the truth?

Ruth again took Jilla’s hands. “Jilla,” she asked quietly, “Do you want him?”

Jilla bowed her head. “Yes, sumin tu,” she replied.

“For you or for him?”

The answer was almost inaudible. “Both.”

“Then, Jilla… why don’t you?”

There was a pause. “I would hate myself, and him.”

“Why? You said yourself, you’re already damned. I know, I know,” Ruth went on before Jilla could protest. “You had no say in that. My fault, Bones’ fault.” Selar’s fault, she added privately. “But the end result is still the same, isn’t it? There isn’t a special hell for unwilling adulterers, right?”

“How do I accept that I forsake my goddess, my husband, my beliefs, that I damn myself of my own will, my own desire?” Jilla asked plaintively.

Ruth met her gaze with frank determination. “The way you accept every other truth, Jilla,” she said, and tried not to hear the anguish that cried out from Jilla’s mind.


“Roy,” Ruth said softly as she approached Sulu in the messhall.

He groaned, and started talking without giving her time to even sit down at the table.

“I know, I’m a bastard, a pushy, greedy son-of-a-bitch,” he said. “I should be ashamed of myself, and believe me, I am. I only wanted to relax, to enjoy a private evening with her. I only intended a little affection, just some physical closeness, maybe a kiss or two. I swear, I didn’t mean…”

“How about what you said, Roy?” Ruth interrupted. “Did you mean that?”

“Jesus fucking christ…”

“Do you love her enough to push?”

Sulu glanced at her, his eyes widening. “What?” he asked.

Ruth’s face was set, but calm. “I said, do you love her enough to push.”

“What are you saying, Spike?”

“She knows what she wants,” Ruth returned matter-of-factly. “She knows there’s no reason not to but her own self-deception. She’s damned, but she sees it as having to damn herself, and she needs help to do it. So, do you love her enough to…”

“Yes!” Sulu broke in. “If that’s what…”

“But you have to let her blame you for it. You have to be prepared to hear her tell you it’s your fault, that your tia made her do it.”

Sulu closed his eyes. No, please don’t tell me that what I’ve been fighting so long and so hard not to do is exactly what I’ve been needing to do.

Manipulation, coercion…relax, endure, accept…

It won’t be like that! I won’t let it!

“Well?” Ruth asked.

Sulu opened his eyes, staring directly at hers. “You’re sure about this, Ruth?”

“As sure as I’ve ever been about anything.”

He shook his head. “All right. But if it backfires…”

“If it backfires, I’ll let you have a threesome with me and Kevin.”


After three sleepless nights, Jilla still hadn't come to terms with the problem. She could state it quite succinctly: though she was damned, she had not betrayed her husband. The Time had been beyond her control. Selar had known of it, and even at Court, would accept the consequences of what were, after all, his own actions. But unfortunately, she was no closer to a solution. What Sulu wanted – what she contemplated – was the act of telmnori, the deliberate, conscious violation of the only sacrosanct of Aema.

But is it not simply vain pride to say ‘I am damned, but at least I have not damned myself’? What logic is in that, what plain sense? Why can I not go to the man I love?

Because you vowed.

Those vows are broken.

But not sullied.

Small difference, none to Aema.

None to Selar?

He would understand.

That is a lie, and well you know it! It would cause him the greatest agony…

And does not my love for Sulu already do so?

It is not the same as the act of…

I have committed the act! Are there two sins, one of sex and one of love? And if so, have I not already committed both? I love Sulu, Aema sumin tu, as I love Selar! Should my choice be to cause pain to both men I love? And since my broken vow cannot help but cause Selar pain, how can I choose to also hurt Sulu?

Then you choose to betray your husband, and where is your solace then?

I must.

I cannot.

Aema, is there no end to this circle?


Ruth sighed heavily at the feel of Jilla’s turmoil in her mind. Her shielding kept out most of it, but to shut it all out was impossible. It had something to do with Indiians and Antaris and toes melting, she was sure of it. She ached to do something more to help, but she had already done all she could. She had told Roy, and had pushed Jilla. This had to be Jilla’s choice. Damn her mad scientist husband anyway! But it had been three days…

Abruptly, she picked up her guitar and grabbed Jilla’s lyrette from its stand.

“Come on,” she said to Jilla. “It’s time for an Impromptu.”


The recreation room was packed. Word had spread that Ruth Valley and Jilla Majiir had walked in, guitar and lyrette in tow. There hadn’t been an Impromptu Concert since the aborted court-martial. The music had been greatly missed, and no one off duty wanted to let the opportunity pass by. Sulu and Kevin Riley commandeered front-row seating, being the acknowledged partners – however temporary on Kevin’s part – of the musicians. Even Spock showed up.

Sulu sat and watched as they tuned their instruments. Jilla glanced up at him and gave him a faint smile. He smiled back and let the love he felt wash over him, knowing her tia would pick it up. He knew it had when her skin began shimmering. He’d been doing little things like that for three days, refusing to let himself feel guilty for it. When he was with her, he focused all his attention on how much he loved her, how much he wanted her. He envisioned long days and longer nights of joy and completion, endless and simple and easy. And he pictured what their love-making could be, the soaring passion and exquisite care he would lavish on her. He even pushed her physically, holding her hand at every available opportunity, putting his arm around her shoulders or waist, kissing her temple, her cheek, her fingers… The insistent arousal was making him just a little twitchy, but if it all worked, it was a small price to pay.

Ruth began playing, strumming a soft, slow, lilting melody. Jilla’s lyrette soon joined with a counter that was oddly melodic in spite of being slightly dissonant. Then Ruth’s voice soared over the music, rich and clear:

Click here to hear the song.

“You want to know how it will be
Me and him, or you and me…”

The words startled him. Had Ruth chosen that particular Valley Collection piece on purpose? He shot her an inquisitive look, and saw the affirmative response in her eyes. Push push, huh, Spike? Then he found himself wondering if the Valley Collection had an appropriate song for every occasion. If the rest of the family is anything like her, I’ll bet it does.

He let the music fill him, adding his emotions to those conjured up by the beauty of the music and the appropriateness of the lyrics.

“…sayin’ to me, ‘what can we do now that we both love you?’
I love you too…”

“Good evening, Mr. Sulu,” Spock’s voice said. Sulu looked up. Spock stood beside his chair, his eyes on Jilla and Ruth, his expression mild.

“Evening, sir,” Sulu returned.

“Mr. Riley,” Spock added smoothly, but Sulu was almost certain it was an afterthought.

“Good evenin’ to you, Commander,” Kevin returned brightly. Sulu wondered if Kevin realized he was addressing a rival for Ruth’s affections.

“You are afraid, embarrassed too.
No one has ever said such a thing to you.
Your mother’s ghost stands at your shoulder,
Face like ice, a little bit colder,
Sayin’ to you, ‘You cannot do that, it breaks all the rules…”

“They play well, do they not, Mr. Sulu,” Spock said conversationally.

“Yes, sir, they do,” Sulu replied

“And I find their composition choice an interesting one.” Was there a pause just before the word ‘interesting’?

“It’s from the Valley Collection, I think,” Sulu responded.

“Quite correct, Mr. Sulu. Miss Valley must be familiarizing Mrs. Majiir with her tastes.”

That couldn’t’ve been an innuendo… could it?

“I guess she is, Commander.”

“I trust you find the rest of the evening satisfactory,” Spock concluded, and he stepped back through the crowd of chairs.

Now what do I make of that? Sulu thought.

“Thank god,” Kevin muttered. “I thought he’d never shut up. I couldn’t hear my darlin’ Ruthie sing.”

“We love each other, it’s plain to see
There’s just one answer that comes to me…”

Sulu stared at Jilla. Her eyes were closed, her face glowing with strong emotion. Ruth’s voice was rising to the song’s crescendo:

“So you see, what we can do is to try something new
If you’re crazy too.
I don’t really see
Why can’t we go on as three?”

And Ruth nodded meaningfully.


Sulu waited until most of the rest of the crowd had left the rec room. Kevin was talking animatedly with Ruth, who seemed to be thoroughly enjoying herself, but other than that, he and Jilla were the only ones left.

“That was a beautiful concert,” he said to her. “I can’t tell you how much I missed hearing you two play.”

“Thank you, Sulu,” she replied, her voice as full of soft pleasure as it always was when he complimented her.

“Do you have time for a late date?” he asked.

“It is not yet late,” she reminded.

He grinned at her. “Okay, then you’ve got time.”

She blushed. “I suppose I do.” She turned to Ruth. “Will you take my lyrette back to our cabin, Ruth?” she said.

“I would,” Ruth said brightly, “if I was going there. But Kevin and I have plans for his cabin, don’t we Kev?” Kevin laughed at her suggestive wink.

“No problem, Jilla, we can go to your quarters,” Sulu said and took Jilla’s arm. “Come on, hon.”

They walked to the turbolift in comfortable silence, and once inside it, Sulu leaned over, kissing her. She stiffened, as he expected her to, but he only smiled at her, pulling her into a warm embrace, careful not to disturb the lyrette cradled in her arms. He ignored her discomfort, focusing on how good her lush body felt against him.

“That first song you played was really lovely,” he murmured.

“Thank you,” she returned softly.

“Did you mean it?”

“I beg your…”

He felt the tension in her rising, and consciously sent non-threatening interest to her tia. “It can wait,” he told her, and filled his being with thoughts of easy pleasure until they reached her cabin. She silently placed the lyrette on its stand, then turned to him.

“May I offer you some refreshment, Sulu?” she asked.

“No, thanks, I’m fine,” he replied. She nodded, then went to sit at her desk.

Sulu stood by her bed. “Come here,” he said. His voice was warm and loving, his smile gentle and welcoming. She hesitated. “Please?” he added. Her skin shimmering, she rose and crossed the room. He again took her in his arms, again kissing her.

“Now,” he whispered, his mouth against her ear, “about the song. Did you mean it?”

“Mean…?” she stammered.

He moved his lips through her hair. “We love each other, it’s plain to see,” he said, not even attempting to sing it. “There’s just one answer that comes to me.”

She pulled away, her grey eyes widening. He smiled tenderly. “I don’t really see,” he continued. “Why can’t we go on as three?”

“Sulu, I…” Jilla began, and he could hear the tremors of fear behind her voice.

“I love you, Jilla,” he said. “You love me. I know you’ll never stop loving Selar, and I won’t ask you to. I don’t want to replace him, but I don’t want to be shut out by him either. So what can we do now that we both love you?”

She hung her head and tried to turn away. Sulu held gently but firmly onto her shoulders. “I love you,” he repeated. “I want to share that love with you. I want to give that love expression.” He reached up, brushing her hair away from her face, his fingers stroking the delicate point of her ear. “Indiians have strong desires,” he stated, thinking of simple truth rather than thinly veiled accusation. “I have strong desires. I won’t hurt you, I promise you that.”

Oh really? came the derisive counter in his mind.

That’s done with, he insisted sharply. But Jilla reacted to the flash of emotion within him. She drew away, her eyes staring at his.

“Please, Sulu, I cannot,” she whispered.

“Don’t you believe me?” he asked, and he couldn’t keep the edge from his voice.

“I know…” she managed, “that you would not intend…”

“I won't hurt you,” he repeated, but it was a little darker, a little colder. She responded to it.

“I cannot!


“I am Selar’s wife!” she cried.

“And you love me!” Sulu snapped.

Yes, and I am as damned for it as…!”

Jilla stopped, but Sulu seized on the words. “Then there’s no further betrayal, is there? If Aema damns you for loving me and for sleeping with Spock, what the hell more is there to lose?”

Jilla stared, frozen, then abruptly turned from him. Sulu grit his teeth in frustration. This was not how he’d wanted the evening to go. He was trying to be patient, Ruth had suggested he push, not rape. But with how fiercely the need was building, he wasn’t sure how much longer he could keep control. “Jilla, listen to me,” he began again. He placed careful hands on her shoulders, trying to get her to face him again. “I know I’m not perfect, and I know there will be rough spots ahead, but I love you, and I’m willing to work this out. Honey, if you’d just give it a chance…” Her head lowered. “Please, Jilla, just try, for me, I won’t hurt you, I swear it…”

He exerted pressure on her shoulders, and she slowly turned, and looked up at him. Silent tears slid down her cheeks. The sight tore into him. In all the time they had been together, he had never before seen her cry.

His reaction was so automatic it was almost instinctive. He took her in his arms, holding her in a comforting, protective embrace. She sobbed. He held her tighter, murmuring soft, soothing words of regret and love. Her arms went around him. She was warm, her hair fragrant and silky, her body lush and almost yielding as she clung to him. His hands moved slowly through her hair, trailing down her back. She tensed, and turned her face up to his, a silent pleading in her eyes. No, don’t stop me, came his own silent plea. Please, don’t stop me.

”Sulu… I…” she stammered.

He hushed her, caressing her face, wiping away the tears.

“I… do not know if… I am not ready…”

“I am,” he murmured.

“Sulu, I will never be ready.”

It was his turn to tense, his fingers tightening reflexively at her jawline. Don’t tell me that.

"But I…” Jilla’s gaze dropped, her voice dropping with it. “I want…” Her head jerked up, her eyes again staring into him. “I want you. I am afraid, I do not know if…” She took a deep breath. “I have known only Vulcan union. Will you teach me Human?”

Triumph shot through him, an almost smug ascendancy. Mine, at last, mine! he cried, and felt her flinch. Quickly he tamped down the dominance, filling his thoughts with joy and eager, welcoming devotion. But his conscience twinged, and he looked at her, again softly stroking her face.

“Jilla,” he said, “are you sure?” Then he held his breath, waiting, hoping…

She nodded. Her eyes were apprehensive, but totally acquiescent.


He took his time undressing her. The last thing he wanted to do was ruin it by being too hasty, or too brutish. She was like a flower, his delicate, silver rose, and he knew he had to use as much care with her as he did with his orchids.

The first thing he did was order the cabin to partial illumination. Soft, slightly blueish light came from just above the bulkheads at widely spaced intervals all around the sleeping area. He gently tilted her chin up, stroking her lower lip with his thumb, then smiled before bringing her face to his. He kept his eyes open as he kissed her full mouth, waiting for hers to close before running the tip of his tongue over her lips. She started briefly, and he could sense the questioning in her mind. Vulcans must not kiss like that, he thought, and was briefly overjoyed at getting to teach her something new.

I’ll bet there’s a lot Vulcans don’t do, came another, more lascivious thought, and he pushed it away.

Slowly he parted her lips with his tongue, opening his own to draw her tongue against them. She responded, quickly picking up not only what he was doing, but what he wanted her to do. Their tongues intertwined, taste and breath mingling. He slid his hand behind her neck, holding her as his mouth explored hers more and more erotically. She was melting rapidly in his embrace, her body pressing against his.

Fingers tangling in her hair, he pulled her head back. His lips left hers, moving down to her throat. She sighed, her head tilting farther back. He softly devoured her flesh, the fresh scent that had haunted him for months claiming his senses. He felt her fingers digging into his back through his tunic. He moved the hand that was around her waist, sliding it deftly along the fastener at her side. When his hand slipped inside, touching the warm flesh, she tensed. Making no sudden moves, he slowly moved his hand up, under the seam to the collar. The black material was folded, fully exposing her shoulder. He bent his head, kissing the bare flesh. The uniform material was peeled away from her back, and he pulled away from the tight embrace. Staring carefully into her eyes, he touched her wrist, taking hold of the sleeve and pulling it gently off of her arm. Her hand immediately came to her chest, holding the uniform in place over her breasts. Again he bent his head, this time kissing her hand, while his moved across her back, pulling the uniform off her left shoulder and down that arm.

Her skin was shimmering, the glow increasing with her emotional reactions. He took a step back, quickly pulling his tunic over his head. She watched him, and he saw the longing that flared in her eyes. He held open his arms. “Come to me, Jilla,” he murmured.

She did, and when she reached out, as if entranced, to touch the smooth bronze skin of his chest, her uniform slipped down her body, leaving only the dark briefs, hose, and boots. He tried not to gasp as her touch sent sudden, unanticipated fire through him. Her eyes flashed up at him, her skin flaring to a bright silver. He heard the growl in his throat before he could even think to stop it, and she was crushed to him, his mouth ravaging hers.

Slow sensuality was no longer possible. His mouth explored every inch of her body, his hands and fingertips memorizing every lush curve, every luxurious hollow. He surrounded first one breast, then the other, pulling their sweetness to his lips and tongue, sucking at the dark grey nipples. Her breath was coming in high-pitched gasps, her being responding to his fierce desire. Her boots were quickly removed, her hose and briefs stripped from her. The memory of a tiger-cub in heat pulled at Sulu’s mind and he found himself nuzzling to the juncture of her thigh and hip in hungry abandon. He felt her fingers in his hair, her body tensing beneath him, and sense returned. He rose from his kneeling position, only vaguely aware of how he’d gotten there, once again taking her into his arms, kissing her deeply. He slid his fingers along her neck and up, to tease the sensitivity of her ears and was rewarded when she shivered in pleasure, her arms tightening around him. Her naked body pressed to his was a delight to his senses and he laughed with it, raining kisses over her face and shoulders and neck. She pulled away, only slightly, only enough to gaze at him, to raise her fingers to his face.

Celletyea,” she murmured, and his mind translated the Indiian: I love you.

Celletyea cortayel,” he returned, adding the word he knew she had to have: forever.

Her eyes closed, her fingertips stroking his temple. He recognized the gesture, for Ruth used it. It was a telepathic thing, a plea for the touch of mind as well as body. Ruth, he knew, did it unconsciously, as any telepath would. But Jilla… she learned it from him! his thoughts snarled.

Jilla’s eyes flew open, her fingers falling away from him. “I am sorry!” she whispered, and the tone soothed the momentary anger.

“You said all you knew was Vulcan,” he replied gently.

Her head bent, but before the shame could spoil things, Sulu swept her up into his arms, depositing her on her bed. He swiftly pulled off his own boots, slacks and briefs, and laid down beside her, again pulling the warmth of her body to him. “Just feel, my little one,” he said softly. “Let yourself respond to me. Everything will be all right.”

She nodded, and he started kissing her again. He used all his skill, all the variation of pressure and warmth and teasing he knew, making her thirst for it, reach for it, and finally, initiate the kisses herself. He guided her hands over his flesh, letting her feel his reaction to her touch. At first, she was in awe of how arousing she was to him, then pleased by it, slowly becoming proud, and finally, with that assurance, bold. He taught her to use pressure and variation there as well, letting her know that he didn’t mind at all if her fingernails scored his skin. When she was exploring his body as freely as he explored hers, he carefully took her head in his hands, guiding her mouth to his chest. She looked up at him, questioning. “My nipples are sensitive too, hon,” he whispered. She flushed, but there was a spark of interest in her eyes. She raised her head, then slowly lowered it again over his right nipple. Her tongue licked it once, her eyes glancing up to his face as if to confirm that this was what he wanted. He gasped at the moist touch, groaning a soft, “yes!” Her smile sent waves of joy through him, as a moment later, her sucking sent waves of passion.

The foreplay went on for what seemed like hours, and when Jilla raised her knees beneath him, Sulu was more than ready. He knelt between her spread thighs, guiding his erection into her soft, wet folds. He heard her gasp but couldn’t take the time to ascertain if it was pleasure of pain. The touch of her flesh, so long denied, seared ecstasy into him, almost exploding into his brain. Mine, mine, mine! screamed from his thoughts, and her body surged beneath him in answer. He leaned down, taking her mouth in a savagely sensual kiss. His hands moved beneath her shoulders, pulling her up to him, crushing her full, heavy breasts to him. He felt the shrieks in her throat and broke the kiss, wanting to hear her cries. Shrill, rasping, breathless sounds escaped her, wordless but powerfully arousing nonetheless. Her head fell back, then snapped forward again as her arms came around him, clutching fiercely to his back. He thrust harder, more forcefully, carnal need driving him to animal, almost brutal intensity. The fire grew hotter between them, her body blinding him with its glow, the pleasure unlike any he had ever known. Whether it was from the long months of celibacy or her eager, wanton submission or simply the utter devotion he felt, he didn’t know and didn’t care. All that mattered was the ecstasy of being inside her.

There was a flash of brighter light and a hissing sound and Ruth’s voice saying, “You didn’t need to leave a light on for oops sorry!” and another hiss. Jilla didn’t seem to notice, and Sulu kept the delighted laughter to himself. The interruption was soon consumed by the fiery crescendo rising between them. Jilla’s body seemed to beg for more, and Sulu’s was only too willing to comply. He felt a touch of something that burned in him, then it was swept away by the power of his climax. He had a momentary flare of disappointment, having wanted to bring Jilla to completion first – then he realized that she was climaxing with him. Then he realized that, being Indiian, she couldn’t come before her lover did. His emotions would just keep feeding her until he was sated. The knowledge sent joy flooding though him, and she screamed with it as he poured his semen into her.

He collapsed on top of her, sweating, panting, his heart thundering against hers. She was clinging to him, breathing shallowly. “Is… is that Human?” she asked, barely audible.

He grinned, in spite of his exhaustion. “What else would it be?” he managed

“It went on for so long, I thought it must be… but Terrans do not have a mating…” She blushed and Sulu started laughing.


He sat at the desk, the reader on but not reading. He was relaxed, content – blissful. Jilla lay asleep, curled on her bed, delightfully naked. Her skin was a gentle shimmer of silver against the dark sheets, her full breasts rising and falling with the breath that moved between her slightly parted lips. A small, dull pewter smear at the side of her throat was silent testament to his passion, the only one visible. The thick burgundy of her hair tumbled over the side of her head, the delicate point of her ear peeking out through it, making her look elvin despite her lusciousness. He smiled at her, his eyes closing in the flood of joy. I love you, he thought tenderly, and thanked all the gods he knew of and even ones he didn’t for the night’s revelation.

There was a soft tap on the door and he rose, covering Jilla, then slipped on his uniform pants and went to the door. Ruth stood with her head down, but her eyes sparkled mischievously.

“Am I interrupting – again?” she asked.

Sulu laughed. “No. Spike, she’s asleep,” he replied.

“Wore her out, did you?”

He only grinned.

“Well, sorry to spoil whatever you had planned for this morning, but I do have duty in an hour.”

“No problem, Spike.”

She returned his smile. “Right, Roy. And congratulations.”

She went to the bathroom and he returned to the desk and to smiling at his beautiful Indiian lover.


Jilla sat on a bench in the gymnasium, relaxing from a routine on the unevens. She smiled to herself at Sulu’s preparatory set of moves for the fencing exercise he was about to begin with Ruth. He looked very fit in the white, padded suit, his muscles moving effortlessly as the epee in his hand swished back and forth. Memories of the night before surfaced, and she flushed. Almost as if he’d caught her thoughts, he met her gaze and smiled back at her, then turned to Ruth who was stepping up to him, mask up, foil in hand.

“With conversation or without?” he asked her, quoting from a parody of the swashbuckling tales he loved so well.

Ruth grinned. “With, I think,” she replied.

They began their match, and Jilla watched, listening with delighted fascination.

“You do well for a maiden,” Sulu said.

“No maiden am I, good sir,” Ruth retorted.

He laughed. “I battle a wench, then?”

“You battle a warrior!”

“Never have I seen such fair form on a warrior, nor such distracting locks of gold.”

“Pray then, lord, let them distract you, for I feel the need to run you through!”

“As do I, dear lady, though with something better suited than a foil.”

Ruth burst out laughing, losing her form and nearly dropping her weapon. Sulu made an elaborately threatening thrust.

“How amusing will you find three feet of steel?” he asked imperiously.

Ruth’s eyes went wide, her expression changing to one of innocent awe. “Three feet?!” she gasped. “Of steel?!” Then she turned a wicked gaze to Jilla. “Really?” she asked breathlessly.

Sulu groaned, dropping to his knees, covering his face as he realized what he’d said. Then he started laughing. And Jilla went gratifyingly nova.


She had moved the last of her things into Sulu’s quarters when she noticed the reader was on. Curiously, she glanced at it. Sulu came up behind her, his arms sliding around her waist. “I thought it appropriate,” he whispered, then gently kissed her ear. She shivered with the passion his touch sent through her, then read the words on the screen. It was the fifth scene of the third act of a play by a Terran named William Shakespeare.

Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is't, my soul? let's talk; it is not day.

Then she blushed, her eyes filling with grieving, understanding tears. "Romeo?" she murmured.

“My Juliet wills it so,” Sulu replied.

The End

Triad: lyrics by David Crosby as recorded by Jefferson Airplane

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