Under My Thumb

by Cheryl Petterson

(Standard Year 2248)

Return to Valjiir Stories

Return to Valjiir Continum

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Go to Part Two

Stealth wasn't going to do him any more good, that much was certain. He ran through the corridors, knocking people over, phasering down guards as he went. He'd already prepared the turbolift to ignore override codes and he counted his heartbeats as the car took him to Deck 9. He expected the contingency of security personnel once the car door opened, and had already put his phaser on wide dispersal. The transporter room was only twenty meters down the corridor, and he sprinted, firing ahead of him as he ran. He regretted only momentarily the death of Lieutenant Commander Scott, then set the transport controls to the configuration he'd worked out so carefully. As he stepped onto the disks, the door opened. Sulu's scarred face was the last he saw of the I.S.S Enterprise.


"Pavel's late?" Ruth Valley asked as she sat down at the rec room table, her huge purple eyes even larger with shock at the very idea that Pavel Andrevitch Chekov would dare be late for a dinner date with her roommate. Daffy Gollub was drumming her fingers on the table's surface, her face set in an annoyed frown.

"Some damn thing with the transporter," the chemist answered her friend. "He was the last one through it, so of course Medical wanted a full exam." She snorted. "Like they wouldn't be able to tell if his molecules had gotten farblondzhet with a standard scan?"

Ruth smiled, patting Daffy's hand comfortingly. "He's probably the one who insisted on it," she said. "Vun cannot be too careful," she added, mimicking the Russian's thick accent.

"Vun better not be too much longer," Daffy retorted, "or vun isn't going to be visited by the sex-fairy any time soon."

Ruth bent her head, hiding her chuckle. "Is it Tuesday?" she asked innocently. Daffy stuck out her tongue.


He didn't like the medical exam, but he submitted with all the docility he supposed would be expected of this reality's Pavel Chekov. He'd done his homework, and knew how to behave in this body that was both so familiar and so new. He couldn't help stealing glances in the Sickbay mirrors. He looked younger, somehow, the brown eyes softer - though he realized almost immediately that he would have to concentrate to keep them from becoming the glinting force of intelligence he was used to seeing. His hair was softer, too, styled more casually than he'd imagined, though he was certain it was the result of meticulous grooming. The uniform didn't hug his body, and actually made him look more bulky than he was. Which, of course, wasn't necessarily a bad thing. The less one suspected of a man's real strength, the better.

"You check out just fine, Lieutenant," Dr. McCoy announced as he reentered the small examination room. "I'm glad there wasn't any damage done from bein' held in the transporter beam for such a long time."

"Thank you, Doctor," he answered politely. "I feel fine, but it is nice to have such things verified."

"Back to work with you," McCoy rejoined, with a friendly pat on the back.

He stiffened, then consciously made himself relax. "Actually I was just coming off my shift," he said as he got off the table. The doctor grinned at him.

"Then have a good evening, Lieutenant."

"I am meeting Miss Gollub for dinner," he returned and carefully noted McCoy's snort of amusement.

"In that case, good luck, son."

Luck, he thought smugly, has nothing whatever to do with it.


Pavel felt dizzy, almost nauseated as he finally solidified in the transporter room. His hand came up to his forehead as he glanced up - then froze. Sulu was smiling at him, the lieutenant's phaser aimed squarely at his chest - a Sulu whose face was hideously scarred. A Sulu who wore a tightly-fitting red tunic, belted with a gold sash. Pavel blinked and could feel the color drain out of his already pale face. He remained motionless, staring, while his brain tried to make sense of his surroundings. There was a globe with a dagger through it painted on the transporter room door. The room itself was far more dimly lit than was standard, and there was no one at the controls. Swallowing the sudden dread, he again glanced at who he was certain was his executioner.

To his surprise, Sulu's smile faded, a hard, questioning look coming into the almond eyes. "You're not him," the Security Chief said, the voice Pavel knew so well seeming both harsher and more seductive. "The little bastard was smarter than I thought." The smile started to return. "Well, well, bravo, Chekov. My compliments." The hard gaze swept up over the Russian's body. "But he's put you in quite a spot, hasn't he?"

"I am Pavel Andrevitch Chekov, Lieutenant aboard the..." Pavel began warily.

"Of course you are," Sulu said, and lowered his phaser, reattaching it to his sash. "He's done enough damage to warrant death," the Asian went on, "and if I don't kill you, Kirk's gonna want to know why. So let's think of a reason, shall we?" He smiled again. "Assuming, of course, that you want to stay alive."

Chekov swallowed again. "I do," was all he said.

Sulu stepped forward. "Still a little disoriented, aren't you?" he surmised, extending his hand. When Pavel took it, he found himself pulled abruptly toward the lieutenant, held tightly to the strong, wiry body. "Of course," the silky voice whispered in his ear, "you have to convince me to want to keep you alive, don't you, Pavel?"

Chekov felt the wetness as Sulu licked along his ear. He shuddered, more from fear than the unexpected sensuality of the act. "I would like it better if you would just return me to my home," he managed.

"Such brave talk," Sulu murmured, adding the sharp bite of teeth against the Russian's earlobe. "But no, I don't think that's going to happen. You're far too delicious." He chuckled. "But don't be too worried, pet. This body is used to it."


Chekov visually scanned the recreation area before stepping inside the doorway. Only a few tables were occupied, and he carefully identified those seated at them.

Ramon Ordona and Monique Dubois. Together, yes, but she is not scarred nor particularly cowed. Interesting. Sulu's little catamite, Kevin Riley - trying to catch the attention of Kirk's Antari. Living dangerously from two angles at once, are you, boy? No, here, I suppose not. Spock, alone, of course - and does the Antari glance at him too frequently? That might be useful. And...ah, there she is. My little Dafshka. With Valley. I wonder, are they as friendly here as well?

He took a moment to orient himself to the utilitarian uniforms, the lack of personal adornment and the casual atmosphere, then put on his best puppy-dog innocence and walked across the room. Gollub glanced up as he approached.

"Forgive me," he said immediately, as contritely as he knew how. "The exam took somewhat longer than I had hoped." For good measure, he bent down, lightly kissing the chemist on the cheek before taking a seat next to her. He heard Valley's snort and Daphne's eyebrows rose.

"You must've really been worried, bubee," she said, then smiled. "Good move. I forgive you."

Her comment - apart from the unfamiliar word 'bubee' - made him realize that this universe's version of him must not usually make such open displays of affection, and he filed the information. He allowed a blush to creep up to his face.

"And I should not have been?" he asked, smiling a little to soften what was clearly a criticism.

"Ah, that's more like it," Daffy retorted, and though she frowned, there was an affectionate twinkle in her eyes.

The Antari cleared her throat and rose from the table. "Well, if you two lovebirds will excuse me, I've got a ton of work to do." She looked over at the Vulcan First Officer, raising her voice just a little. "And a slave driver of a chief."

Such casual insubordination was startling, but Chekov carefully kept his expression neutral. Gollub glanced at him.

"What, no 'zat is no vay to speak of Commander Spock'?" she said, her voice a parody of his accent.

His lips thinned into a hard line of displeasure. "It does no good to point out such things, does it?" he challenged.

"My, my, aren't we the touchy one," the chemist retorted. "The exam put you in that bad a mood?"

Again Chekov adjusted his attitude. He sighed. "Well, does it?" he asked, a little petulantly.

The Antari smiled down at him. "Sorry, Pavel. He does expect it of me, you know." She waved as she left the room.

"That is still no reason to..." Chekov began.

"There's my little nudnik," Daffy said, tussling his hair. Chekov's hand automatically rose, catching Gollub's wrist, pulling it forcefully away from his head.

"Don't do that," he said, his voice just a shade darker than he knew it should be. "I don't like it." This was twice she had used words he didn't understand. He made a mental note to learn them, and quickly.

Again the chemist's eyebrows arched. "You really expect that apology to get a lot of mileage, don't you?"

"As you said, Daphne," he sighed again, "the exam has put me in a bad mood." He gazed steadily into her eyes. "You wouldn't be inclined to help make it more pleasant, would you?" He let his eyes twinkle with the same affection he had seen in hers, and added a charming half-smile.

The wariness in her gaze melted, as he'd known it would. "Oy, with a sheyner ponim like that...?" She rose. "Come on, bubee, I know just the thing."


The moment the door to his cabin was closed, Chekov pulled Daffy into his arms. The embrace was firm, the kiss fierce, and he slowly backed her toward the bed, enjoying her unrestrained response. He felt it when her calves touched the mattress, and let go, giving her body a push so that she lost her footing. Her eyes were surprised, but there was a smile on her lips.

"Aggressive," she commented, getting up onto her elbows. "A little more than I'm used to, but I like it."

"How fortunate for you," he returned, and reached down to her, grasping the hem of her uniform, pulling it harshly up over her thighs.

"Hey, bubee, I can do that myself..." she began.

"I am only interested in what you can do when it's off your body," he told her.

"Well, this is a new tactic," she said, "but what the hell. I'm game."

"If by 'game' you mean prey for the wolf..." he bantered, with a leering smile.

"Ooh, baby, bring it on," she murmured.

"I fully intend to, Dafshka." And with one swift action, her uniform was forcefully ripped from her body. She gasped, but he ignored the sound, quickly adjusting the seam of his slacks. She blinked at him, then grinned, reaching for his very erect cock. He grabbed her by the hair, pulling her to her knees before him.

"Do you know what will put me in a much better mood?" he crooned.

Her eyes stared up at him. "In this position, I think I can guess," she quipped.

"That's my good girl," he said, and tightened his grip. "Do it, Daphne," he ordered.

He felt her shiver as she lowered both her gaze and her head, grunting in approval as her warm mouth engulfed him. He let go of his careful control, using the woman at his feet as he always had; harsh, demanding, dominating. He pushed deeply into her throat, ignoring the choking sounds. Her hands went to his thighs, attempting to push him away, and he gave her hair a sharp yank, then fastened both hands to the sides of her head, holding her to the repeated thrusts. He felt the movement of her jaw and, an instant before she tried to bite him, he grabbed her neck, pressing hard against the carotid artery. Her entire body froze and he brought her face fully against his still clothed abdomen, enjoying the feel of her throat muscles contracting spasmodically around his flesh. Then he again grabbed her by the hair, pulling her away from him.

She immediately started coughing and gagging, but her eyes flashed murderously at him.

"You fucking son-of-a-bitch!" she rasped, but before she could say anything more, Chekov bent over her, slapping her soundly across the face.

"Get on the bed, Dafshka," he snarled.

"Like hell I will!"

"Or I'll fuck you right on the deck," he promised. "And I have a feeling that will be much less pleasant."

"Go to hell, you sick-fuck bastard!" Daffy screamed at him.

"Ah, my dearest," he returned, letting a full, wicked smile claim his features, "I've already been there."


Daphne was sobbing, curled up on the bed. Chekov took no notice of her as he settled himself down before the computer terminal. The fact that she was bruised - the marks carefully placed so as to be hidden by her uniform when she was wearing it - caused him no concern whatsoever. He had given her her first lesson in obedience, and though he was certain many more would be required, for the moment she was thoroughly cowed.

He turned his attention to the language banks, instructing the computer to display the results of his query visually only, then carefully, but in a voice low enough so that she wouldn't hear him, enunciated the unknown words she had used.

Language: Yiddish. Etymology: Terran combination of German and Hebrew. Definition of given words and phrases: 'Bubee;' shortened form of 'bubele' - darling, honey. 'Nudnik' - pest. 'Oy' - an expression of surprise, dismay or annoyance. 'Sheyner ponim' - a pretty face.

He quickly scanned the language banks for other common Yiddish words or phrases, filing the information. Then he switched off the terminal and sat back.

So, this Daphne is Jewish, he thought with some amusement. Being Russian, he was, of course, aware of the ancient pogroms that had all but wiped out the religion, and of the Final Solution which had completed the job. He had studied enough of Federation history to have a passing knowledge for casual conversation, but had not thought to acquaint himself with all its details. Here, obviously, the religion and culture of the Jews still existed. He shook his head. Sulu's information about this universe is not as thorough as he believes. He had a fleeting moment of vindication coupled with the wry knowledge that he would never have the opportunity to rub the bastard's nose in it.

He became aware that Daphne had stopped crying, and listened for the inevitable sounds of an attempt to leave his cabin. He counted a measured five seconds, then casually turned to the door. As expected, the chemist was creeping slowly toward it.

"Going somewhere, Dafshka?" he asked mildly.

She froze as he rose from his chair.

"It would hardly be proper for you to roam the corridors naked," he continued.

Her eyes flashed angrily at him. "You ripped my uniform, putz," she snarled.

"Shall I get you another?" he asked.

Her gaze turned wary. "That would be nice, you schmuck," she returned.

He moved to the replicator. "Why do you insult me, Dafshka?" he said.

"After you beat the haratz out of me, you ask such a question, ben elef zevel?"

Swiftly Chekov turned to her, crossing the room in three strides, grasping the chemist again by the hair. "Do not," he growled, "ever call me a son of a bitch, a piece of garbage, or a fool again, Daphne." He grinned lewdly, "Although I do know what the literal translation of schmuck and putz implies."

"What's - what's gotten into you?" she stammered.

"I have never appreciated the way you treat me," he told her. "I have allowed it because of the great affection I feel for you. However, it has grown tiresome." He suddenly knelt beside her. "Dafshka, I do not wish to hurt you," he murmured, his grip on her hair loosening into an almost hesitant grooming. "Why do you insist on hurting me?" He made his eyes look soft and wounded.

She blinked at him. "So for that you nearly kill me?"

If I had wanted to kill you, my Dafshka, you would already be dead. He took a calculated breath, a surprised gasp. "Is that what you thought?"

"You want to see the bruises?" she returned.

He flushed deliberately. "I lost my temper, I admit that," he said contritely. "And I allowed myself to become - carried away - with passion," he added before she could speak again. "Forgive me. But Dafshka - " he shook his head, sighing. "Sometimes you infuriate me past all reason." He took her gently into his arms. "I am sorry, pirozhne. Will you allow me to make it up to you?"

He watched her eyes, the hesitancy, the anger, the fear, and the longing to accept what he'd told her. "Make-up sex without the break-up?" he whispered teasingly.

"Like I want that with how sore you left me?" she answered and he detected the petulance that he knew meant she would forgive it.

"I have other, less - invasive - ways of pleasing you, Dafshka," he suggested with just the right amount of carnality.

"Well..." she vacillated, then put her arms around his neck. "It is Tuesday."


Sulu moved to the com unit on the wall. "Sulu to Captain Kirk," he said into it.

"Kirk," came the blunt response, and Pavel suppressed a shiver at how hard the captain's voice made that one word sound.

"I've got him," Sulu returned. "If you don't mind, I'm going to take him to my office for a little - personal questioning." And he grinned at the navigator.

Mind, Captain, Pavel prayed. Please, mind.

The voice from the com chuckled. "Just leave enough for the execution, Mr. Sulu. Kirk out."

With another grin, Sulu closed the link, then stepped casually back to the Russian. He again leveled his phaser at Pavel's midsection, grabbing the younger man's upper arm.

"For show," he said. "I don't think you're going to make this too difficult for me, are you?"

Without waiting for an answer, he pulled Pavel with him out of the transporter room.

Without any way to accurately assess his chances, Pavel made himself walk obediently beside the Security Chief. The corridors of the ship were populated with armed personnel, each of them saluting Sulu as he marched his prisoner past them. By the time they arrived at the turbolift, the Russian was breaking into a cold sweat. Once the lift door closed, Sulu backed him against the bulkhead, pressing his lean body firmly to Pavel's.

"You're trembling," he whispered. "I like that." And he forced the navigator's head back with a sudden, brutal kiss. Pavel felt the back of his skull impact with the wall, making his dizziness flare again to prominence. Then Sulu pulled away, gently wiping at the Russian's lower lip with his thumb. "That mouth is always so soft," he murmured, "no matter how hard you try to keep it stiff." He chuckled. "I do hope that doesn't apply to other parts of you." He stepped away, again grasping Pavel's arm as the lift reached its destination.

The journey along the corridors to the Security Office was the same as had been the trip to the lift. Security guards everywhere, all saluting their chief. The disorientation still with him, Pavel stumbled a few times, eliciting snickers of amusement from the red-shirted men, but Sulu didn't seem to notice, other than to tighten his grip on the navigator's arm. The office door loomed before him, and in sudden panic, Pavel attempted to bolt. He felt the stunning force of Sulu's phaser just before unconsciousness claimed him.


When he came to, he was lying not on a small security cot, but in a rather large, luxuriously appointed bed. He warily raised his head. The cabin he was in was filled with martial artifacts, swords on a stand, ancient Japanese armor, fierce-looking statues of some kind of demon warriors, a cabinet full of antique weaponry. Some of the things he recognized, and he knew where he must be. Sulu's quarters.

"Awake, are we, pet?" Sulu's voice said from somewhere across the room. Pavel heard the soft sound of footfalls, and the scarred face came into his view. "That wasn't a very smart move, Pavel," the Security Chief tsked. "Unless, of course, you wanted me to bring you here all along." Sulu smiled and sat down on the bed, his fingers brushing Chekov's bangs from his forehead. "I suppose you could've have figured this would be a safer place," the Asian went on, "but I assure you, even in my office, no one hears anything I don't want them to. Not even the Captain or Commander Spock, though I'm sure they both think they've got me under strict surveillance." He smiled again, and his hand moved to the Russian's chest, the fingers trailing sensually over the material of the gold tunic. "You know," he began again, almost conversationally, "I actually think you're prettier, as illogical as that sounds. After all, it is the same body." He stared at Pavel's face. "Maybe it's the softness in those big, brown eyes of yours." He leaned forward, obviously intending another kiss, and Pavel turned, lurching for the edge of the bed. He found that he had chosen the wrong side. He was on his feet, yes, but standing in a small space between the bulkhead and the bed. Sulu turned his head, gazing mildly up at him.

"Pavel, Pavel," he said, shaking his head. "I was hoping that you were at least as intelligent as he was. I'll have what I want. You can either cooperate and enjoy it, or fight me - " he grinned, "and enjoy it in an entirely different way." He stood. "And if I enjoy it, I might want to reward you."

Pavel swallowed, finding his voice. "The only reward I want is to be returned to my proper universe," he managed.

"I suppose we can negotiate," Sulu returned. He held out one hand, as he had done in the transporter room. "Come on, Pavel. Show me how smart you are."

The Russian took an instinctive step backward. "You said this body is used to it," he rasped. "But I have never..."

Sulu's eyebrows shot up in surprise. "Really? Someone as cute as you are? My, what a civilized place you come from." He chuckled. "All the same, pet, I'm sure Chekov has excellent body memory." The already silky voice lowered into a seductive murmur. "O zdes', milyj dovol'no mal'chik."

Pavel started, unused to hearing Sulu speak in Russian, much less calling him a 'dear, pretty boy.'

"You do understand me, don't you?" the mesmerizing voice asked. "Zdes', Pasha, o zdes'."

"Pozhaluysta...please..." came involuntarily from the navigator's lips.

"I intend to," Sulu promised.


"I'm starving, bubee, Daffy murmured from the bed. "We skipped dinner."

Chekov glanced at her from the bureau where he was carefully re-combing his hair into the style he'd noted in the Sickbay mirrors. "We both ate, Dafshka," he reminded with a lewd grin.

"Oral sex doesn't count," she returned with her own wicked grin, then rose, coming up behind him to put her arms around him.

He absently bent his head, kissing her forearm, then returned to his grooming. "Get something from the replicator," he told her.

"I'm a chemist, not a waitress," she replied airily.

Carefully, he set the comb down. "I do not wish to go to the mess," he said. "If you are hungry, get something from the replicator."

She frowned at him in the mirror, but sighed and took a step away from him. "I guess I'll just go by my..." she began.

He turned. "I said," he repeated darkly, "get something from the replicator."

She folded her arms. "And I said I was going to the..."

He grasped her wrist, twisting it, forcing the chemist to her knees. "I would miss you if you left, Dafshka," he hissed, his tone completely at odds with his words.

"You're hurting me, you bastard..." Daffy snarled. He twisted a little harder. He could see her gritting her teeth, but her eyes stayed defiant.

"I have asked you not to insult me," he snarled back.

"Did I forget to ask you not to hurt..." Her sentence was cut off by a gasp of pain as Chekov's free hand slashed across her face.

"As a matter of fact, you did," he replied. "But if you insist on arguing with me, you leave me little choice." He let go of her arm, glaring down at her. She was rubbing her wrist, but she didn't try to stand up.

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" she said, but her voice had a touch of fear in it. It was a sweet sound to his ears. He sighed and knelt down to her.

"I don't know," he muttered, and glanced at her long enough to confirm that the fear was being replaced by confusion. He gently took her arm, turning it as if inspecting it for injury. "I seem to have lost the ability to brush aside the way you treat me." He sighed again, a deep, long-suffering sound of uncertainty and contrition. "I know, it is only your nature, but..." He looked into her eyes, again making sure his own were puppy-dog soft. "Dafshka, do you truly think so little of me?" He nodded to himself as hurting dismay sprang into her eyes, careful to keep the amused satisfaction from his expression.

"So little...?" she began.

"I know, I am not David Maxwell," he continued. "I am not your perfect, tall, strong, wealthy corporate officer..." This was mostly guesswork. He had extrapolated the position of the David Maxwell he knew - and had killed in order to secure Daphne for his own - and correlated it with his knowledge of Federation politics and social structure. He couldn't of course, say too much, not without a consultation with the ship's computer banks, but he was a very adept student of supposition. "...but I had come to believe you were ready to risk your heart again."

He watched as the emotions flashed in her eyes; loss, grief, anguish, surprise, guilt - hope. "Pavel...I'm not...I don't..." she tried again.

"If I have been only - what is the word - a fling to you, Daphne..." He took a calculated deep breath. "I would appreciate knowing it now. Unfortunately, it will not change the way I feel for you..." He looked away from her. "But that then becomes my problem."

He closed his eyes, waiting. Her hand came to his cheek, his chin, softly lifting and turning his face back to her. "Are you - " She swallowed. "Are you saying what I think you're saying?"

He kept his eyes downcast. "I am asking, Dafskha," he returned softly.

"No, you're not just a fling," she said, equally softly.

"Then..." He looked up. "You do love me?"

She blinked, tears coming to her. "Do you love me?"

"Do I have to say it first?"

She nodded. He let a sad smile touch his lips, then put his arms around her. "Da, ja ljublja vas," he whispered.

She started sobbing against him, and he held her and let the self-congratulatory smile come.


Pavel hesitantly knelt down on Sulu's bed. His mind was warring with itself: fear of what was to come, hope that this version of his friend would indeed 'negotiate' if he cooperated, resignation that the thing would happen regardless of whether or not he was to cooperate. Trepidation filled him, a part of him wanting to believe that he could, as the old saying went, close his eyes and think of Mother Russia. Sulu was smiling at him, and he tried to think of it as reassuring, though the scar - and the avid gleam in the almond eyes - made that more than difficult. He took a deep breath, trying to calm the furious racing of his heart.

"What would you have me do?" he asked, taking some solace in the fact that his voice wasn't tremulous.

"There's that intelligence," Sulu murmured approvingly. He patted the bed beside him. "Lay down, Pavel."

With another deep breath, the Russian did as he was told. Sulu again reached out, caressing his chest.

"So tense," the Security Chief commented, and began to lift the material of the gold tunic. Swallowing, Pavel obligingly sat up so that Sulu could remove it. Skilled fingers skimmed over his naked flesh as he lay back down. "I've always liked how muscled you are," the Asian continued, "and that it isn't ostentatious." He smiled again. "We're well matched, pet." He leaned forward, his gaze fixed on Pavel's eyes, slowly licking the navigator's skin.

Pavel shivered, closing his eyes, feeling the wetness move up his torso to his shoulder and throat. Then Sulu's lips again claimed his in a taunting, seductive kiss.

"Soft," the Security Chief whispered. "Always so soft...Kiss me, Pavel."

With a shaking breath, Pavel again did as he was told. Sulu's hand came to the back of his head, bringing him forward, forcing more passion into the embrace. Pavel tasted his breath, his tongue, the mouth that was as skilled as the helmsman's fingers ravishing his with a thorough headiness. The Asian's body stretched out on top of him, the lean strength pressing against him, adding to the sensuality that, despite his fear, was claiming him. The kiss moved to his throat, back to his chest, the body above him sliding down, rubbing lasciviously against his hardening organ. Starfleet training began playing inside his head, lessons regarding the proper reaction to sexual interrogation techniques. Lesson number one: the Human body responds, sometimes regardless of what the Human mind might say. This is no reflection on the seriousness of the situation, nor on the character of the Officer involved. Lesson number two: if cooperation seems likely to aid in avoiding serious injury, the Officer is instructed to cooperate. Lesson number three: regarding actual questioning, it is at times beneficial to allow the body to experience pleasure as a means to combat any tendency to respond with classified information. Lesson number four...

"Pavel," Sulu's voice whispered, "I don't think you're paying attention."

"Prostin'te mie," the Russian found himself murmuring, and Sulu chuckled.

"This time, my pet. Only this time."

The erotic assault began again in earnest, and Pavel again closed his eyes, and gave up all thought but the hope that he would, in time, be able to forget it had ever happened.


Daphne was humming to herself as she got them both plates of food from the replicator. Chekov watched her, allowing himself to enjoy the sight of her naked body. He would have preferred it if she were wearing the kind of blatantly sexual ensembles his woman habitually wore, but he contented himself with appreciating her lithe, unconsciously sensual movements.

"You are beautiful, Dafshka," he said softly. She turned, smiling at him.

"You, too, bubee," she replied.

"Come here."

She did, almost flying into his arms. He kissed her and she smiled beneath it. He began nuzzling her neck. "The food's gonna get cold," she giggled.

"Let it."

"You planning on starving me into submission, Pav?"

"If necessary," he murmured. To his surprise, her hand came to the back of his head with a sharp smack. He pushed her harshly away, then backhanded her. "Did I forget to tell you not to strike me?" he growled with a menacing smile.

Her hand had come up to her cheek, and she stared at him "That was affection," she stated.

"I do not like it," he returned.

"You've never seemed to mind before...." she began.

"I mind," he interrupted.

She muttered a long string of what he assumed was Yiddish, then got to her feet. "You could tell a person when the rules change..." she began again. He reached out, grasping her forearm.

"I believe I did tell you not to insult me," he said and was gratified as she involuntarily flinched.

"Okay, okay!" she returned quickly. "I'm sorry already!"

He sighed. "Dafshka, you disappoint me. You are not adjusting to this new situation as quickly as I had hoped."

Her gaze grew wary. "What new situation?"

"We are done with games, are we not?


"I have told you how I feel. Was it not obvious, even before I said it? I want more than a casual relationship with you. I want more than flirtation and an informal association. What I do not want is your careless attitude. I do not want always to be angered by you, or humiliated by you. Have you not seen how it has affected me?" She blinked at him. "You have asked me what is wrong with me." He let go of her arm, turning from her. "Now you know."

He waited, silently counting. Before he had reached seven, he felt her hand on his shoulder. "Pavel, I don't know what to say," she said softly.

"You could say to me what you insisted I say to you," he replied, making his tone bitter and unrelenting. He could almost feel the heat from her flush.

"I love you, I do," came the obedient response. He turned again, facing her.

"Can you learn how to show it in ways that are neither flippant nor condescending?" he asked, folding his arms.

She bent her head. "I don't know," she returned softly, then again looked up at him. "I can try."

"I expect more than mere trying from a Starfleet officer," he told her, and let his eyes soften as though he were jesting. A smile twitched at the corners of her mouth. "But I suppose it will have to do." He opened his arms, and she came to him, hugging him fiercely.

"Say it, Pasha," she whispered. "In Anglo this time. Please say it again."

He kissed the top of her head. "Earn it, Dafshka." He felt her hand rising, then consciously lowering. "Much better," he murmured, and took a deep breath. "I love you, my pirozhne."


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