Uhura dismissed Sira for the rest of the day. She suggested the idea of a threesome and both men were stunned. They looked at one another. Clearly the idea of sharing the lovely Uhura hadn’t occurred to either man.
“What other alternative is there?” she asked. “Neither of you will walk away. And I can’t choose because I’m in love with the both of you. So the logical thing to do is to form a triad.”
“I don’t want to share you,” Kirk said. “I’m selfish.”
Spock remained silent.
Uhura looked into Kirk’s endless blue eyes. “Then walk away.”
“No,” he said.
“So what do you want me to do? What would you have me do? I’m not an amoeba and I can’t clone myself. Either one of you will walk away, or both of you will walk away, or the both of you will share me.”
Spock closed his eyes. “It is a logical solution.”
Kirk sighed. “I don’t know about this.”
“Jim,” she said, stroking his cheek, “I love you. I’ve given you your options. Pick one.”
He clenched his fists like a small boy. “I—I don’t know…All I want is you, Nyota. I want you all to myself.”
“But that will not happen, Captain,” Spock said. “For I am not walking away.”
Kirk closed his eyes. “I need a moment.”
She nodded. “Take all the time you need.”
Uhura sat back in her chaise and turned her attention back to the ocean. Kirk got up and went for a walk on the beach. He needed time to think. Spock went out to the terrace and sat in meditation for an hour. Then he went back into the apartment. Uhura was eating crackers and drinking tea.
“Do you want this, Spock?”
“I want you, Nyota. I will take you on any terms.”
“What do you think about Kirk?”
“I know that he will give it great consideration. Then he will agree to it.”
“You’re so sure?”
“I have come to know him quite well. He feels as strongly as I do.”
When Kirk came back, they were waiting for him. Nothing needed to be said; enough words had been spoken and enough time had been wasted. Uhura got up and walked to her bedroom and they followed her wordlessly. The Veridian sun was setting and lit up the room with beautiful red-orange light. Uhura opened the sliding doors so that she could hear the ocean. She removed her hair from its topknot and took off her robe. Calmly, she pulled back the covers and lay down on the bed. Spock and Kirk remained where they were, staring at her naked body.
“Are you going to be okay with this?” she asked, propping her head in one hand. “Are you going to be able to handle a threesome?”
“I can handle it,” Spock said.
Kirk sighed. Saying it was one thing, doing it another.
Uhura smiled to herself. “Hmm. After all that talk and all that foreplay on the ship, now that you have the chance to make love to me, you stand there? Men,” she said, lying back on the bed. “Amateurs.”
Spock moved first, disrobing. He took his time and neatly folded his clothes before joining her. The need in his gaze was undeniable. He reached for her and she embraced him. Very soon, she had her legs around his hips as they kissed.
She moaned against his cheek. “That tongue thing…” She licked his ear.
Kirk’s breathing deepened as he watched. He was unsure of what to do next. Yes, he wanted Uhura with a great passion; yes, he had agreed to the threesome; and yes, he understood that it was going to last as long as it could. He wasn’t sure why he hadn’t joined them in bed; he was certainly ready. So he watched.
Spock’s perfectly coiffed hair was mussed when she gripped it with her fingers and squeezed his head with her thighs. He was not silent about his delight in tasting her; Kirk could hear the man growling. She moaned, surging against him, her head thrown back, and her mouth open. She came hard and he still didn’t let her go. Kirk watched her shiver in the aftermath of her climax and nearly lost his mind. The sounds she made were incoherent at first, but then she was able to speak. She stared at Kirk, the heat in her eyes comparable to Veridian’s setting sun.
“Come, my captain. Come to me, give in to me…” She beckoned to him. “Come here…I need you too.”
That was his undoing. With a lack of finesse, he removed his clothes and joined them in bed.
It seemed unreal, but it was very real. It was electric, magnetic and frenetic. It was as if time stopped. Uhura never before thought about being with two men, but she quickly learned it was something she would not soon let go of. She was the center of their attention, the apex of their triad, the object of their worship. It was exciting to be so revered, so adored and so attended to. They were very different in their approaches to her and she liked both very much.
She expected Spock to be the sensitive one, to be gentle and indulgent with her body. Uhura was surprised to find that Kirk was her tender lover. When he finally joined her and Spock in bed, he had been in awe of her at first, gingerly moving his hands over her supine body. Spock was behind her, kissing her neck. He had moved her hair over her shoulders and was thumbing her erect nipples. Kirk took his time touching her, reveling in the feel of her skin—she did feel like silk—adoring the sounds she made whenever his fingers moved over a sensitive spot. Spock moved and Uhura lay flat on her back with her legs bent and open and her excitement obvious.
Spock, so staid and silent, was the aggressive one. After Uhura’s sassy invite, he was barely able to control himself. He was calm about his approach, but once he kissed her, his desire for her came pouring out. He could have devoured her; he wanted her so much. While Kirk stood there watching, he allowed himself to enjoy her. She was hot to the touch and her scent was an aphrodisiac. It was a siren; beckoning his mouth, calling him, inviting him downward and he was powerless to resist her. She tasted like Vulcan honey; thick, warm and sweet. She responded to his invading tongue in a maddening delight and the barest nip to her clitoris sent her over the edge. He growled when she clasped her thighs around his head and lost it completely when he made her tremble. He didn’t want to share her with anyone, but that was a done deal once Kirk finally manned up and joined them. Spock moved behind her to give him space and began gently biting her back, which he cherished. He loved to bite her. She liked it when he did it.
Kirk kissed her deeply. He grabbed one of her thighs and drew her against him. He wound his free hand in her hair and pulled her so close that she felt his erection against her belly. Spock merely adjusted and pressed his against her backside. He moved one of his hands to the space underneath her throat to make certain he was as close to her as he could be without being inside her. Impossible as it sounded, a logical thought burst through the lusty haze that was Spock’s brain—was she ready to be penetrated like this? He wondered if he should ask.
She moaned against Kirk’s mouth. “Now, now…now…!”
“Nyota,” Spock said, “you are not ready for this kind of penetration. You have no lubricant and I do not wish to hurt you.”
Kirk stopped, breathing hard. “He’s right.”
She nearly screamed. After Amigosa, she wasn’t afraid of anything, and most certainly not a double penetration. “Damn it, just use your imagination! Come on now, don’t do this to me! I can handle the both of you.”
“Shit,” Kirk said, kissing her again. “Handle me, baby.”
Spock adjusted her so that he could rub his erection against her wet heat. Then Kirk readjusted to accommodate him. She gasped in pleasure and moaned when she felt Spock against her backside. He took as much care as he could in entering her. If he wasn’t already gone before, her next words ensured that he would be within the next ten seconds.
“I can take it, Spock…please…I need you inside me now…”
Kirk buried himself inside her and nearly came from that alone. Her heat was ferocious and primal. It stole his reason and his sanity. He wasn’t sure how long he could possibly last; he was sucked into the vortex of her and looked at her sweaty face. Her eyes were closed and her mouth was open; Spock’s dark head rested on her shoulder and Kirk soon realized that he could feel the commander inside of her as well. In moments, they were moving in tandem, locked deep inside her, united in such a way to cement the bond they already shared. This was how it had to be with her; the only way it could be with her; the only way it should be with her, and their simultaneous movement was comprehension enough. She was unbelievable. Both men knew that they would not let her go or give her up. Not willingly.
Uhura could not and did not try to hold it in. To be filled so thoroughly, so completely, was akin to being whole. Her sounds carried throughout the room and out of the open balcony door. The picture of the three of them, locked together in passion, made her come hard enough that it triggered their own orgasms. It was as if a star exploded. Sparks of light burst behind Kirk’s closed eyes and he moaned his release against one of her shoulders. Spock bit the other one as he was overcome by his own. They descended in a twitching, tremulous mass of sighs and sweaty limbs.
She found it amusing that they were in sync and worked together for her pleasure. Without speaking. They turned sideways in the bed and Uhura’s head hung over the side, her hair a black cascade over Spock’s knees. He clamped her wrists together and kissed her upside down, pinching her nipples with his free hand. His tongue trick was even more erotic when it was done backward. Kirk had her spread, securing one leg over his shoulder and he was thrusting up inside her, stroking her clit with one thumb.
When Spock released her mouth, she was beside herself and could not stop quivering.
“No,” Spock said.
“We’re used to working together,” Kirk said.
She rode Spock, who held her by her waist and didn’t even try to pretend that he wasn’t enjoying it.
Kirk was behind her, straddling Spock’s legs so that he could press against her, between her buttocks and massage her breast. She was turned toward him, one arm curled around his neck, and they were kissing. He had his other hand down, fingering her clit. And then the sensation was too much and she broke away, panting, moaning some twisted combination of their names.
“Come back here,” Kirk breathed, forcing her chin back in his direction so that he could claim her mouth.
She was in another universe. They were making her pay for her erotic dancing.
She was sandwiched between them again; Kirk on top and Spock underneath because he could handle their combined weight. Spock held her head, kissing her lips, her face. Kirk was kissing and nibbling on the back of her neck, rubbing his face in her hair.
Uhura couldn’t find a voice to emit any sound of pleasure; the lovin’ was far too good.
Much later, after a welcome snack of Veridian fruit and cheese, she was kneeling between them. Uhura had a hand flat on each man’s chest, and wordlessly, she caressed them, enjoying their physical differences. Spock was slim and muscular, and appeared to have zero body fat (she hated him for that) with a smattering of dark hair across his chest. He was beautiful. She traced one finger down the center of his chest to his navel and was pleased to hear him suck in his breath.
Kirk had more body mass and was exquisitely chiseled. He had a six-pack and pectorals to die for (Uhura noticed that a long time ago; the male Starfleet tunics were, thank God, form-fitting). He had very little, if any, body hair. He was gorgeous. Uhura ran her fingers over his wonderfully taut abdominals and his moan was enough to make her smile.
She spread the fingers of her right hand over Kirk’s sternum and cupped the underside of Spock’s left arm, feeling their hearts beat strong and sure. The sensation of that gave her goosebumps.
“Oh my,” she moaned. She was hoarse from screaming.
“Nyota, please…” This from Spock. “I must touch you…”
“Ditto that,” Kirk groaned. “You can’t expect us to lie here and let you do this without reciprocating.”
“Those are the rules, guys.” She moved her hands down.
“Now you want to establish rules?” Kirk gasped as she found a sensitive spot.
“Yes. This is my experience; to discover what you like and what you feel like. I have not had an opportunity to learn your bodies; it is something I would like to investigate closely. Didn’t have a chance to do it earlier, what with you jumping me before I could get on the bed…” she teased.
Kirk groaned again, but Spock, being Spock, had a different response.
“If I recall correctly, Lieutenant, you had to invite us into bed with you…”
She shushed him. “Don’t ruin this for me.”
In time, she had her fingers curled around each of them. Uhura closed her eyes as she enjoyed the feel of their sex, appreciating the gift she held. One was straight, the other curved. One was an inch or so longer; the other a half-inch thicker. Both were erect. Uhura smiled to herself…she literally had all power in her hands. A decidedly cocky (pun intended) thought entered her mind: she could rule the Enterprise if she was the kind of woman that used sex as a weapon.
“Oh, you feel so good…” she murmured. She couldn’t keep it in. “So, so good…why did it take so long for me to find this out?”
“Because you felt that you needed to—”
“Spock,” Kirk said, his voice strained. “Shut up.”
Uhura reached for the sandalwood oil she had warming on the nightstand and drizzled some over her hands. Then she gripped them again, loving the sounds that emanated from them. She closed her eyes and started to stroke, learning sensitive areas based on the sounds that erupted from their throats. Dear God, real live, living breathing men! It was glorious! A year ago, she would have never ever believed or considered that she would have the captain of the Enterprise and his second in command in this position. She could not suppress her giggles. She would have to thank Gaila and Irish for everything. Who knew that a spontaneous club dance would lead to all this?
Spock couldn’t speak. Kirk gasped as her pinky finger grazed the underside of the head of his penis. “God, woman…what could possibly be so funny…”
She smiled at him, moving her fingers around the head. It was his most sensitive spot.
“I’m totally getting off on this,” she said, licking her tongue out at him. “Oh baby,” she teased.
Spock was able to get some coherent words out. “Nyota…I never…knew…that you were…ambidextrous…”
“Neither did I. But never let it be said that I’m not a quick leaner.” Stroking both of them was its own erotic pleasure. Irish told her to do this right, and be damned if she wasn’t going to. She ran her index finger down the underside of Spock’s penis, which made him shiver as if it were cold. He hissed something in Vulcan, and she smiled again. “I like it when you talk dirty, Spock.”
“I’m going to…make you scream…when I get you…on your hands and knees…” Kirk gasped.
By way of response, she turned her gaze back to him. “Promises, promises…” she said, and weaving her fingers around his cock, she slid them up and down and leaned over to kiss the head. He came violently.
Spock joined him moments later. Uhura wiped her hands on her naked body and lay between them, pleasantly sated. It was a while before either man could speak.
“I don’t know how I’m going to keep from jumping you on the bridge once we’re back in space,” Kirk said, his body calming down in waves. “I never knew you could do that.”
“I must admit that it will be difficult not to envision this moment whenever we are on duty. However, professionalism must be maintained at all costs.” Spock lay very still. The only way Uhura knew he was calming down was by his breathing.
“For you maybe,” Kirk said. “I’m going to find some way to return this little favor in the captain’s chair. Fuck being professional. You can be professional and watch us.”
“I do not believe that I am capable of merely watching, Captain.”
“That’s what I thought. When it comes to Nyota, you’re not as controlled as you would have everyone believe. Wait until your pon farr arrives and you find yourself chasing her all over the ship.”
“Point taken, Captain. However, I also do not believe that I will be the only one chasing her, pon farr or not.”
Uhura smiled her secret smile. “Who says I’ll be running?” Then she looked at Spock. “When’s pon farr?”
The sun was rising. The room was lit in colors of cerulean blue, lavender and pink. The water rushed up on the beach. Kirk had her on all fours and her gratification could only be emitted in grunts because she had Spock in her mouth. His semen had a light sweetness to it that reminded her of some exotic fruit whose name she could not recall but whose flavor she enjoyed. He tasted so good. Spock in turn, emitted his pleasure via growls while sucking her wandering fingers. He held Uhura’s head down between his legs, encouraging her to use proper fellatio technique so that she wouldn’t gag. She could not take her mouth off of him unless she felt the need to scream. Those were the rules Kirk set forth when he flipped her on her belly and drew her up on her hands and knees. He was determined that she was going to scream.
Before she did, Uhura could think of only one thing: ‘Gaila was right; oh god, Gaila was right…!’
And then the positions were reversed. Kirk had a light, salty taste; the perfect contrast to Spock. Uhura devoured him and could have died a happy woman.
When sleep finally came, the Veridian sun was well over the horizon. Kirk was flat on his back. Uhura’s head rested on his chest, and Spock was spooned behind her. They were in a tangle of legs and sheets, pleasantly exhausted and definitely satisfied. When Dr. McCoy entered to check on his patient, he took one look at the three entwined bodies, turned around and walked out.
Lieutenant Uhura could be released from his care. She was doing fine.
* * *
They remained locked up in her suite for the better part of three weeks. It was a time of peace, of connection, of love. Kirk and Spock maintained regular contact with Starfleet, but the investigation was still ongoing. Kirk didn’t care. When it was time to deal with it, he would. For now, he was going to enjoy the opportunity to love Uhura with the freedom that came with shore leave. It was intense, for Spock loved her as well. After consummating the triad, they slept most of the following day. Spock rose to prepare a meal of some sort and Uhura got up to take a shower. Kirk followed her, and in moments, he had her up against the shower tiles, her legs around his hips, her arms around his neck, thrusting hard and deep. She clung to him, kissing his forehead, his eyelids, his cheeks. The ensuing climax was explosive. “Nyota,” was all he could manage before he burst within her.
They joined Spock for lunch, which he had set up on the terrace. Spock actually fed Uhura spears of fresh fruit, which she accepted from his fingers without any word of complaint. Kirk watched them over his own plate, actually enjoying it.
“You know, that’s kinda hot,” he said.
When Kirk went for a swim, Uhura and Spock remained behind, watching him. Uhura was tired—pleasantly so, but not to the point that she resisted Spock. He, sitting in one of the chairs, guided her over and into his lap. She was still wearing her robe and it was easy to slide it up and slip inside of her. She rode him, inviting his head to her breasts, cradling him, squeezing him, and enjoying the way he felt. He mumbled endearments in Vulcan, and she turned at his request so that he could kiss her back while she rode him. Her robe went flying over her head and she could not hold back her excitement as he fondled her breasts and kissed her spine. She remained in his lap after achieving orgasm and they watched contentedly as Kirk swam.
She was unbelievably sore, but she was happy, so she didn’t care. It was worth it. Spock ran her a hot bath with Epsom salts so that she could soak by candlelight. He prepared dinner and brought it to the bathroom to feed her while she did so. He and Kirk methodically rubbed her down before she fell asleep.
The ensuing days followed a similar pattern. They took long walks and slept late, ate real food on the terrace and lounged in the sun. They made love. Spock discovered Kirk’s playful side. Kirk chased Uhura around the house and on the beach. He fed her candy. He told her jokes and tickled her. He stroked her earlobes and caressed her fingers. He carried her over his shoulder and splashed water on her when they swam together. He blew into her stomach and made her giggle. He initiated a food fight. He polished her toenails. He ate cake from her fork and played with her hair. They had pillow fights. He danced with her. He made her laugh. It helped her heal.
Kirk learned to appreciate Spock’s devotion. Spock spent long moments touching her, fingering the curves of her continent, reveling in the nuances of her body. His fingers were explorers, revealing sensitive places she did not know she had. He ran her bathwater and gave her baths. He read poetry to her and played music for her. He brought her exotic flowers and conversed with her in multiple languages. He cooked for her and sometimes fed her. He tended to her needs and anticipated her wants. He brushed her hair, applied oil to her body and kissed her feet. He let her sit on his lap and fall asleep in his arms. He carried her around the suite and on the beach. He gave her Eskimo kisses. It helped her heal.
Uhura loved how they complemented one another and balanced each other. She loved how well they got along and didn’t crowd each another. She loved how they gave each other private time with her and how well they flowed when it was the three of them. She loved how Kirk teased Spock and how Spock corrected Kirk. She loved that they sometimes lay in bed on overcast days and have long discussions on a variety of topics while watching the sky. She loved how they tended to her. Spock was ready to give her as many massages as she wanted. Kirk actually washed her hair, doing it on the beach with water warmed from the sun. She lay back in her chaise and sighed peacefully as he used gobs of shampoo on her luxuriant locks and slowly scratched her scalp. Spock sat at her feet, massaging them. Neither felt the need to speak. Enough words had been spoken.
The eighth day, Spock initiated a modified Vulcan bonding ritual for the three of them and Kirk didn’t voice any objections at all. Uhura was in heaven. Paradise. Ecstasy. Delight. Whatever. She knew a happiness that once eluded her.
When Kirk was ordered to appear before Admiral Pike and the tribunal, they went with him. Spock justified Kirk’s actions and Uhura tearfully relived her experience. McCoy and Cupcake also provided support for Kirk’s actions. Pike informed them that a decision would be delivered within a week and they returned to her suite, deciding it was time to emerge from their cocoon and be seen amongst their peers.
* * *
Some days later, they were roaming the streets of Kalamar. They passed other officers and crew members of the Enterprise. If anyone suspected anything about their constant companionship, no one said a word. Kirk, of course, got hit on from many women, and he being Kirk, would cheerfully look back. This annoyed Spock.
“I thought that you were going to give that up for her, Captain.”
Uhura, walking between them, merely smiled. “He can look all he wants, Commander. Looking’s free. As long as that is all he does.” She was sucking on a strawberry lollipop Spock purchased at a candy store. He had taken to buying her candy too.
They passed a shoe store. Uhura stopped and gazed longingly at the multitude of shoes in the window.
“I miss my shoes,” she said.
“Do you want a pair?” Kirk asked, watching her gawk at the window.
“I would love to have these…” She pointed at a pair of red patent-leather stilettos. “Or those…” She pointed at a pair of thigh-high boots. Then she turned and smiled at him.
Kirk sighed. “Oh yes,” he said. “Love those red ones. But the boots would look totally hot with your uniform. You could wear them and we could do a little dominatrix thing—”
“Or we could act out that fantasy you had,” she said, giving him a look that never failed to release those primal urges. Would he ever cease to want her? Not likely. Kirk stared at her, his eyes becoming hooded. Leave it to Spock to bring them back to reality.
“Lieutenant Uhura, those shoes are a major violation of the Starfleet dress code, and might I add, totally inappropriate.” Spock said.
“Thank God,” Kirk said. “We wouldn’t want to be appropriate now, would we?”
Uhura smiled at Spock . For such a brilliant man, he could be clueless at times. No matter. She and Kirk were going to enjoy teaching him how to let his freak flag fly. She held out the lollipop to him. “Come on, honey. Taste it.”
Captivated, he leaned forward and licked the bright red sucker. He would do anything she told him to do. “Fascinating,” he said, gazing at her.
“You need another adjective,” Kirk said. “I’m sick of that one. Try ‘intriguing.’ Or ‘enthralling.’”
Spock ignored Kirk and looked at Uhura. “Those shoes look as if they are uncomfortable. I do not want anything to happen to your insteps or your toes. I am fascinated with your feet. Those shoes will hurt you if you spend many hours standing.”
“Who says I’ll be standing in them,” she said, sucking seductively on the lollipop. Spock raised an eyebrow and inclined his head.
Kirk groaned. “Hell yes,” he said. “Nyota, baby, you’re so kinky! What’s your shoe size? I’ll be right back.”
Kirk was carrying the boots and Spock the shoes as they walked down a street littered various shops and sundries. They passed Mr. Sulu and Mr. Chekov. Sulu stared at her, then at his superiors. They greeted the pilot and the navigator and kept walking.
“What if they say something?” she said. “What if they tell?”
“Exactly what are they going to tell? Who are they going to tell, Nyota? And who gives a shit if they do?” Kirk rolled his eyes.
“I meant what I said, Jim,” she snapped.
“Well, they would have to report it to their commanding officer, which, depending on the circumstance, will either be Spock or me. So, like I said, who are they going to tell?”
“I don’t want to be a subject of gossip.”
“You should not worry about that which you cannot control, Nyota,” Spock said. “Most of our crew members have formed relationships of some sort.”
“But none like what we have,” she said. “I don’t want people thinking that I get special treatment because I’m sleeping with you two. Jim, you’re the boss and Spock’s your second. How would that look to someone like Yeoman Rand, who is your personal assistant? She’s going to find out.”
“But you do get special treatment,” Kirk said, stroking her hair. “Just not while you’re on duty.” Kirk said. “We’re in love. Is that any different from Chekov and that cute girl in Engineering? Or any other couple on the Enterprise?”
“You’re my commanding officers,” she said. “That’s what makes it different.”
“I beg to differ, Nyota,” Kirk said. “Last I checked, you were in command of Spock and me.”
She licked her lollipop. “I guess I’m just bothered by the fact that I can’t acknowledge I’m in love. Women will look at me and know that I am. I know that I have a big goofy smile on my face.”
“I’m sure you’ll find a way to do it, Nyota. I’m not embarrassed to be with you. Our union becomes an issue if it affects our jobs, which it won’t. If they talk, they talk. So what? Nothing’s going to change, so don’t worry your pretty little head.”
“Captain,” Spock said, “You are the one who said you intended to have sexual relations with Nyota in the captain’s chair. How does that not affect your duty?”
“It won’t. And I still intend to do it, especially if she’s wearing these boots. You can watch if you want.”
“No, Jim, I will not watch. I will participate.”
“Of course you will, you dingus. You talk a good game, but as soon as you see a flash of her sex, you turn into a blithering idiot.”
“Correct me if I am wrong, Captain, but do you not also weaken at the sight of Nyota naked? Do you not find yourself stumbling over your words when she touches you? To use your phrase, you, too, turn into a blithering idiot.”
“You bet your pointy ears I do. And I’m not ashamed to admit it.”
Uhura shook her head, laughing while sucking her lollipop. They were so amusing. “Both of you are impossible.”
Kirk gazed at her. “My feelings for you are not. If Admiral Pike is disturbed by our relationship and wants to reassign us to other starships, then he will have a serious problem. Pike knows how stubborn I am. I will follow you wherever you go, Nyota. Spock will too. ”
“He has a point,” Spock said. “Captain Kirk has earned the right to command the Enterprise. How he chooses to run it is entirely up to him. Although Starfleet regulations specifically forbid officer fraternization, it has not stopped such liaisons from occurring. Humans, as well as other beings, have an innate need to form meaningful attachments. Admiral Pike is well aware of this. As long as there is no outward expression of emotion and favoritism, there should not be any problems with our bond.”
“I guess I cannot argue with that,” she said. Then she looked up as a brightly lit sign caught her attention: TATTOOS.
“I have an idea,” she said, grabbing their hands and leading them inside.
* * *
And that is how it happened.