Uhura was at her console, reviewing the transmission records for the previous shift. They were scheduled to arrive in Dantouine II within the next day or so. The specific orders would come down in an hour or so, before the captain reported in. Uhura hoped that it would be a harmless mission, a fact-finding, research-gathering excursion that would keep Spock busy for days. Anything that would keep him away from her.
She tried not to rub her shoulder. Uhura spent an extra ten minutes trying to cover the bruise on her shoulder with her makeup. She was able to do so, but if someone saw it close up, they’d know. She was annoyed with Spock for marking her in a place where everyone would notice. She wondered if it was deliberate.
She had indeed taken off the day before and for the most part, it was a pleasant day. Spock woke her early with a tender kiss, a morning-after shot and breakfast. Then he told her he was reporting to duty, but he would join her for lunch. She nodded groggily and he left a painkiller hypo on the nightstand.
“What did you tell Dr. McCoy? Please tell me that you didn’t tell him why you needed the hypos.”
“I did not have to, for he could deduce my reasons.”
“Crap,” she said.
“He knows that you are my woman,” Spock said. “Sexual relations between us is expected. McCoy is not naïve and he will never speak of it.”
“Still,” she said. “I’m a lady and…” Uhura had to pause. Was she a lady after her wanton behavior last night and early this morning?
“You are still a lady,” he said. “Do not fret.”
“Easy for you to say.” She held her stomach and moaned. “I didn’t realize I would be so sore.”
“We made love more than once,” he said. “And you were intact. A certain amount of discomfort is expected.”
“That’s what you call making love?” For her, it was a slow, beautiful, tender thing. At least that was what her romance novels led her to believe. That was not what they did last night. For heaven’s sake, the bed hit the wall!
He merely raised an eyebrow. “Would you have me call it anything else?”
“Yeah,” she said, grimacing as she held her belly. “Sex. We didn’t make love because I don’t love you. Better yet, fornication.” She couldn’t bring herself to say ‘fucking’ out loud, though that was what it was.
Spock turned his head to one side. “Fascinating.”
“It is what it is, Commander,” she said. “You’d better head to the bridge.”
Uhura went back to sleep after he left and woke up several hours later. She fixed her hair, did her nails and relaxed. She read one of her romance novels. She thought about the night before. Her day was pleasant right up until lunchtime. When Spock brought her lunch, they had an argument.
“You are faring much better, I see.” He rolled in the service. “I did not think you would want to eat in the officers’ dining room for our midday meal.”
“No,” she said. “I’ve been enjoying my day off in spite of my discomfort.”
“It will not bother you next time,” he said as he set the table.
“I don’t intend for there to be a next time, Mr. Spock.”
He paused in his task and turned to look at her. He raised an eyebrow.
She looked at her freshly painted nails. “I’ve thought about it. You got what you wanted, and frankly, a mystery for me has been revealed. Pleasurably so. I will not renege on our agreement, but I will not sleep with you again.”
“You may think that if it pleases you,” he said.
She frowned. “Excuse me?”
“I told you that I wanted more than a physical relationship. I am capable of more than that.”
“I can’t have any kind of relationship with a man like you, Mr. Spock. I admit that I lost my head; that I allowed my attraction to you to cloud my judgment. I won’t do it again.”
He took his time with her plate and her beverages, deliberately declining to respond.
“Did you hear me, Mr. Spock?”
“I am attuned to the sound of your voice, yes.” He sat down on the other side of the table with his meal.
She glared at him. “I can’t do this with you. Don’t get me wrong, last night was amazing and I enjoyed it, but there’s a reality here. You are not a man I would choose if I had a choice. I can’t be with someone who allows and participates in the crimes you have committed. I won’t sleep with you anymore.”
He was cutting into a large pineapple wedge. “It appears that you are trying to convince yourself of that, Nyota,” he said.
“You can call me Miss Uhura. I think it’s best that we resume with formal titles.”
“I hardly think it appropriate, now that I know the taste of you, Ny-o-ta.”
She closed her eyes, irritated. “Don’t bring that up.”
“Are you embarrassed that we have been intimate? That you allowed me to have you and pleasure you after insisting that nothing of the sort would take place between us? Surely you understand the hypocrisy of your words. You may think that you don’t want to have sex with me and perhaps you may even believe it. You may protest making love with me but you will not stop it from happening. For it will happen. Again and again and again. Now that I know you desire me, I will not hesitate to manipulate the knowledge.”
She closed her eyes and put her fingertips to her forehead. “You would dare use that against me?”
“I told you that I dare anything. I shall do what I must to get what I want. If you choose to play such a game, I have no choice but to allow you to do it, but I will cheat. Now come. Please eat. Your meal is getting cold.”
“Barbarian,” she hissed.
“I distinctly remember you having an altogether different response a few hours ago.”
Uhura clenched her fists and blushed. He would bring that up every chance he got. She looked down at her plate. She was starving. Breakfast hadn’t held at all. Maybe it was due to all the exercise she had last night and she cursed herself for thinking such a thing. She wouldn’t say another word to him.
She succeeded in that for about five minutes into their meal. Then he asked, “Please tell me about my counterpart.”
She stared at him. “Mr. Spock?”
“Certainly. I wish to know what I am like in your universe.”
“He is not a monster,” she said. “He is courteous and respectful. He would have never done the things you did.”
“Do you refer to the things I did to you last night? If so, then you are correct. He is not like me at all.”
“Stop that!” she said. “Don’t keep bringing it up! You know what I mean! He has never willfully hurt anybody! He’s not the man that you are; he’s honorable, kind, undemanding…”
“That is what he may have led you to believe, Nyota. Vulcans are notoriously stubborn. We want for very little, but when we do want, nothing is more important than obtaining it. Whatever it may be. Your universe’s Mr. Spock is no different. You have never seen him want for anything, so you do not understand how ruthless he will be when he needs it.”
“My Spock is not like—” She stopped in mid-sentence, realizing her mistake.
He stared at her and raised both eyebrows. “Your Spock? Interesting. I have been curious to discover if there was another man in your life. I wondered if there was another that you might have felt affection for and even thought you may try to form a connection with his counterpart. I would not allow that to happen, of course. But I have craved the knowledge, yet I would never intrude on your private thoughts. You had feelings for your universe’s Mr. Spock? Fascinating.”
“I have feelings for him,” she hissed. “I would give him my heart, something you’ll never get!”
“Did he reciprocate your affection?”
She stared at her plate. He would have, eventually. Spock would have returned her affections. She might have been fifty years old by the time he got around to it, but he would have done so. She believed that much.
“Pity. However, you must appreciate the irony of this situation. It was fortuitous that we met, but perhaps design is the real culprit. In this universe, your feelings are not only acknowledged but reciprocated.”
“We would have never met if it wasn’t for that blasted ion storm!”
“As I said, fortuitous. And might I remind you, Nyota, that I am your Spock. My counterpart has never known what it is like to kiss you, to touch you and to taste you. He has not experienced what it is like to be sheathed within you, to hear the sound of your passion, to feel the soft heat of you. He does not know you like I do.”
“He will figure out a way to get me back!”
“You may believe what you choose. But surely you are intelligent enough to comprehend that he will never get you back. The chances of our coming into contact with your universe again are .000012 percent. And even if that chance should occur, you must also know that I have no intention of letting you go back to him.”
“You don’t have a choice. You don’t own me,” she said, tossing her fork onto her plate.
“I am aware of that. You are not my slave nor are you my prisoner. But you are my woman.”
She wanted to scream. “I hate you. I loathe you. I detest you. You will never touch me again!”
He wiped his mouth with his napkin and looked at her. “You are allowed to do so, of course. But do not forget that we have made an agreement and unless you want me to go back on my part of it, you will uphold yours.”
“You already have!”
“As have you. We are quite a pair, aren’t we?”
“Get out of my quarters,” she said. “Get out!”
“You have not finished your meal.”
“Mr. Spock…get out!”
He stood up and looked at her. “I will expect you for dinner.” he said. “As agreed.”
She folded her arms and turned her head. Uhura knew she was behaving like a little girl, but she was furious.
“Do not play games with me. I understand your anger, but you would be wise to continue our charade.”
“Are you threatening me?”
“I am reminding you that we agreed to have meals together. Tonight, we are scheduled to dine in my quarters. I wish to instruct you in three-dimensional chess.”
“I don’t want to play chess with you.”
“Then I am sure that I can entertain you in a way that you do want.”
Uhura closed her eyes. “Please leave,” she said, biting back tears. She was so mad she shook. “Please. Leave.”
“Good day, Lieutenant.”
Uhura had the captain’s reports ready when he entered the bridge with Spock. She did not have dinner with Spock last night; she claimed a headache and backed out of it. He did not show it, but she knew he was angry. She didn’t care. He was going to find out that she would not be ordered about, agreement or no.
Kirk came over to her. “Good morning, Lieutenant. I trust that you are better this morning?”
“I am, Captain. Here are your reports. The specific orders from Starfleet have not yet come through. I will acknowledge as soon as they do.”
He nodded. “Thank you, Lieutenant.” Kirk glanced at her shoulder and the barest of smiles played across his lips. Uhura turned around and put her earpiece in her ear, hating Spock. Hate was good. If she hated him, she could stay away from him.
“Good morning, Lieutenant.”
“Commander,” she said.
He took his place at his console and the captain sat down on his throne-like command chair. Uhura busied herself with internal transmissions until the orders came through.
“Captain? I’m receiving a message from Starfleet. Your orders.”
“Dantouine II is not a part of the Empire. Your instructions are to first, encourage its rulers to join, and second, exert force if they fail to do so.” She did her best to hide the horror in her voice. “The Empire wants this planet.”
“Plausible,” Spock said. “Dantouine II is rich in resources. The climate maintains a steady range of temperatures, which allows for the efficacious production of a myriad of useful assets for the Empire. The planet has a population of four billion, three hundred million, five hundred and sixty-five thousand, and four hundred and two. It is a peaceful society. It would do well to fall under the realm of the Imperial Empire, as the Romulans also desire it.”
“Well, we shall see to it that they do,” Kirk said. “One way or another.”
When it was time for lunch, Kirk told Spock that he could eat first, as they wouldn’t arrive in the Dantouine system for another couple of hours. Spock went to Uhura’s console and held out his hand. She glared at him and took it. He helped her up and escorted her out, holding her arm.
Sulu turned and stared. He had been quite busy with security issues, and had not had an opportunity to engage Uhura again. Knowing that she was now with Spock made no difference. In fact, it made things interesting. Sulu believed that his commander could not and did not know how to handle a firecracker like her. She would be bored with him within days and start looking for new game. Sulu intended to be with Uhura and Spock would not keep him from his objective.
They left the bridge. Once inside the turbolift, Uhura ripped her arm from Spock’s hand. “Don’t touch me!”
Spock stared at her. He was annoyed that she did not meet him for dinner, but he accepted it. She wanted to play a game. He was fascinated and decided to go along with it. He reached for her arm again and she snatched it away again.
“Don’t you touch me!”
He reached once more and she slapped him. He went still and his eyes darkened. Then she slapped the other cheek. There were two blotches on his face.
“Keep your hands off me, Spock. I warn you, I will cut you if you try to…”
Spock stopped the transporter.
“What are you d—”
Uhura gasped as he grabbed her forearms, pulled them over her head and then behind her back. He was pressed against her, staring down at her. She tried moving her arms, but his hands were like handcuffs.
To her surprise, she found herself getting aroused. She was getting manhandled and she liked it.
‘What is going on? I don’t want this; I don’t want him even touching me, why am I getting turned on?’
“Stop it, Spock! Let me go, oh please, let me…”
He leaned in to kiss her and she turned her head away. Undeterred, he kissed her temple and then the side of her face. He whispered, “You would deny me a kiss?”
“I’ll deny you everything, you brute!”
“I think not,” he said, sweeping his lips and goatee over her neck and shoulder. She moaned in spite of herself. In spite of her hands being pinned behind her back, in spite of her claims and denials, she was hot and he knew it. She would fight her desire. She would fight him. Everything within her demanded it.
“Kiss me, Nyota.”
“I don’t want to kiss you.” She kept her head turned, but it didn’t stop him. When Spock kissed her, she bit his lower lip.
He pulled back, surprised. He touched his bottom lip. She had actually drawn blood. Desire swelled within him. He admired her spirit.
She was holding her knife. Amused and aroused, Spock stared. Did she know what she was inviting, what she was getting herself into?
“Are you certain that this is the game you want to play, Nyota?”
“This is no game, Spock!”
“You are more like us than you realize. Are you aware of that?”
“I’m not like you!”
“Who is holding the knife? I am unarmed.”
She bit the inside of her lip, furious, and gave her head a minute shake, as if clearing it. That was all the time he needed. He grabbed her wrist, shook the knife loose, clamped her arms behind her back, turned her and pushed her against the wall.
“Arrrgh!” she screamed. “You’re an animal…!” She tried to struggle but found he had her expertly pinned. She could feel his heat, his arousal, his hand on the back of her head, and his breath on her neck.
Uhura looked up, fighting her own desire. How could this excite her? Why was she so turned on by all this…unconventional behavior? She was a lady! She craved sweet love, beautiful romance, positive affection, but…
“But I am, as you say, a beast, and that is not what you will get from me, my dear. I dare say that I appeal to another side of you that you aren’t willing to show.”
“You’re in my mind! Get out!”
“This is a game that you have started, Nyota.” He gripped her wrists and slid his other hand to her stomach, moving it in circles around her navel. She moaned. He whispered in her ear. “Were it not for our schedule, I would take you right here, right now and you would let me, wouldn’t you? You fight me, but your body betrays you; it tells me how you really feel. You want me and need me just as much as I want and need you, so let’s not play any more games. However, should you choose to engage me in a battle of wills, I intend for you to see it through.”
“Let me go,” she said. “Let me go.”
He took a deep breath, nearly trembling in his lust. “Do you understand me, Nyota?”
She bit her lip and gave the merest nod of her head. “Okay, just let me go!”
“You will also uphold our agreement. We will continue to have meals together, be seen together, all of those farcical behaviors that you set forth. No more headaches, and if you should suffer so, I will attend you, as is my right and duty as your lover. Do you understand that?”
“Yes,” she said. She was going to murder him in his sleep. She knew then that she could take his life.
He released her and restarted the lift. Furious, she stood on the other side of the lift until it stopped. He reached for her hand. She rolled her eyes at him, crossed her arms and made a clucking noise.
“Nyota,” he warned.
Uhura was so angry that she thought she might explode. She reluctantly gave him her hand and he tucked it into his arm. When the doors opened, they emerged, looking every inch a couple.
She had the evening to herself. Spock was on the away team to Dantouine II. After her shift, she went for a meal in the mess, opting to sit with the rest of the crewmen. She hoped that he would be gone for days. She hoped that a crisis would occur in which the Enterprise had to move out of orbit for several weeks—months—and he couldn’t beam back up. She wished something would happen to keep him off the ship. She wished she had the heart to slit his throat while he slept. According to the stories she’d heard, the old Uhura had no problems slashing her adversaries.
Spock would likely take the blade out of her hand if she tried to. He would probably be amused that she was angry enough to murder him.
‘He would probably spank me for being so difficult.’
Her face flamed as she ate her salad. Where had that notion come from? She was really starting to hate that part of herself. So caught up in her thoughts was she that she didn’t notice someone coming up to her table.
She turned. About two feet away stood a tall, dark and handsome man with lovely light brown eyes. He held a tray.
“I’m sorry to bother you. I really am. But I couldn’t help it. I wanted to talk to you.”
“I’m sorry. Who are you? What is your name?”
“It figures that you wouldn’t remember me. You barely acknowledged me before. I was little more than a bug to be crushed by you.”
She raised her eyebrow, but figured that the likelihood of other crewmates sensing that she was different was close to one hundred percent. “What is your name?”
“Michael,” he said. “I’m in Engineering.”
“Hello Michael,” she said. She decided to cover. “I’m sorry if I was ever rude to you, but I am…different now.”
“I could tell.” He shook her hand. “I know that you’re dating Commander Spock, but…”
“He doesn’t own me,” she said. “I can do what I please. What is it you want?”
“Do you mind if I sit and have dinner with you? I promise, I just want to talk.”
“No. In fact, I could use someone to talk to. Have a seat.” She was grateful for it.
During the next hour, she found herself engaged in animated conversation with Michael. She noticed that other crewmates ogled her in what looked like shock, but she ignored them. Michael was charming, funny and handsome. She was enjoying herself and during that time, she did not spare a thought for her Vulcan adversary.
When they finished dinner, Michael escorted her back to her quarters. He took her hands and squeezed them.
“Thanks for the meal,” he said. “Can we do it again some other time?”
“Unless Mr. Spock—“
“I told you, Michael, he doesn’t own me. I’ll do what I want, so sure, we can do this again.”
He nodded, smiling. “Good evening, Lieutenant.”
“Good evening, Michael.”
He waited for her to enter her suite and turned to leave. Michael rounded the corner and ran into a Vulcan crewmate.
“Sorry about that—” He felt a clamp on his shoulder and knew no more.
So far, negotiations were smooth. The Dantouines did not appear to harbor resistance to joining the Empire, but Spock knew that these matters had a way of changing. Overnight, usually. After checking in with the bridge, he headed to his quarters. Uhura’s personal guards, Turock and Shavik, met him there. Spock was not pleased to hear their story.
“Where is he?”
“In my quarters,” Turock said. “Unconscious. We thought it best that we wait for your command on how to handle this matter. He did not touch her except to hold her hand when they parted. She initiated the contact. He was neither rude nor disrespectful.”
“From where did they part, Turock?”
“He walked her to her quarters, Commander. They parted at her door.”
“Is he not aware?” It didn’t matter if he was or was not.
“Everyone is aware, sir,” Shavik said.
Spock closed his eyes. He could handle Uhura’s anger, could deal with her impertinence. He even found it stimulating that she challenged him at every turn. But what he would not put up with was disrespect. If she thought that he would allow the slightest indication of it, then she was mistaken. She would not embarrass him. What he was really angry about was that the young man in question had the balls not only to come up to her but also share a meal with her. He wouldn’t do it again.
“Would you like for us to handle it, Commander? He will come to soon, but he is secured.”
“I would like to have a talk with him first,” Spock said.
Michael was groggy, wide-eyed, and bound to a chair. Spock stood before him, arms folded.
“Commander Spock,” Michael said. “I…”
“You are fully cognizant of the fact that Lieutenant Uhura belongs to me, are you not, Ensign?”
“She said it was fine, sir. She allowed me to eat with her. She said it was okay.”
“What she says does not matter, Ensign. You are well aware that she is off-limits to every man on board this starship. You are not to speak to her other than in passing. It is my understanding that you sought her out; that you came up to her. Your actions were premeditated.”
“No sir, they weren’t. I promise you. I merely saw her sitting in the mess hall, and she had on some different clothes and she stuck out, so I wanted to ask her about it. I mean, you see so much flesh every day that it’s no longer a mystery, and to see her covered up—I was intrigued, and…”
Spock glared at the man. “I would advise you to keep silent. Every word you utter brings you closer to my wrath, Ensign.”
“I’m sorry, sir. It won’t happen again. I promise you, I will never acknowledge her again. I won’t even look at her.”
“Release him,” Spock said.
Shavik unbound him. Michael stood up.
“Your agonizer, please.”
“Your agonizer,please.” Spock held out his hand.
“No sir! I promise, I won’t do it again. I’ll never see her again, never speak to her again. I won’t, I promise.”
“I do not believe you,” Spock said.
Turock gave him the agonizer from Michael’s waistband and Spock pressed it against his shoulder. The young man screamed in anguish. He held it there for a minute.
Turock and Shavik watched blankly.
Spock removed the agonizer and pressed it to the other shoulder. Michael screamed again and fell to the floor in an unconscious heap. Spock tossed the agonizer on top of him.
“The torture booth, sir?” Turock said.
“No,” Spock said. “For her, I shall show compassion. I will grant him his life. However, if he should go anywhere near her again, you are ordered to dispose of him. In any way you see fit.”
Spock left Turock’s room. He was displeased.
He was at her door, arms behind his back. There was no good way to handle this, but she had to be made to understand that there were just some things she could not do.
He rang the chime. Nothing happened. He rang it again.
Spock raised an eyebrow. She knew it was him because she did not have other visitors. Spock rang the chime once more. When the door didn’t open, he fed in the override code and entered. He secured the door and his eyes fell on the box he left a few days ago. He had forgotten that he brought her a present. Obviously, she hadn’t noticed the box on her end table.
Spock picked it up and headed towards the bedroom. When he entered, she was in another T-shirt and a pair of black satin panties. She held a knife.
“Are we playing this game again?”
“You were not invited to my rooms!”
He merely raised an eyebrow. “I brought you a present.”
“I don’t want it.”
“I intended to give it to you the other night, but I got…distracted. I apologize for that.”
“I don’t care. I don’t want it. Get out of here. You don’t own me and you will not come in here anytime you please. If you touch me, it’s rape!”
“I have no desire to force myself upon you. Now please, put down the knife.”
“Get out of here, Spock!”
He put the box down on her dresser. Uhura took a deep breath. She had just come out of the bathroom when she heard her door chime. Knowing it was him, she went for one of her knives. So help her, she would cut him if he tried anything.
“Actually, I came by to speak with you about a serious matter.”
“I understand that you partook of a meal with someone.”
Uhura closed her eyes and groaned. She put down the knife. “How did you know about that?”
“It is of no consequence, Nyota. I warned you that I am capable of jealousy. I told you that you are mine; that no man would ever touch you. I meant what I said.”
“I didn’t do anything,” she said. Why she was defending herself, she didn’t know. Then she inhaled. “You didn’t hurt him, did you?”
“He is no worse for wear. For now.”
“What did you do to him? He didn’t do anything!”
“I reminded him of certain facts, which I am certain he shall not forget again.”
“What did you do to him, Spock? So help me, if you hurt him—!”
“How easy it is for you to be so moved by a man you don’t even know. Were I not confident, I would suspect that something more may have occurred between you two. As I am sure that it did not, I merely gave the young man a warning. And I will impress upon you not to put him in a situation where he would need to be reminded once more that you belong to me. He would not survive that.”
She blinked several times, not comprehending at first. “What did you say?”
“You heard me clearly, Nyota.”
“You threatened to kill him?”
“I protect what is mine and you are mine. You know that.”
Fury swelled in her and she flew at him. He caught her wrists easy and she struggled against him, trying to wrench away.
“You say rape and you throw yourself at me? What games you play, Nyota! You are most delightful.”
“You’re a monster!” she screamed. “I hate you, I hate…”
“And yet you just launched yourself at me. Do not fight me, Nyota. It is illogical. You know that it’s futile.”
“You won’t let me have any friends! You lied to me! I’m a prisoner!”
“You may have all the friends you wish,” he said. “Except those who would desire more from you, which he did.” He let her go.
“You don’t know that, Spock! He didn’t say anything or do anything! Let me go!”
“How long do you intend to play this game?” he asked.
“I’m not playing any games,” she said. “I don’t want you and I don’t want to be with you! I don’t want you anywhere near me. You’re a savage brute! You tortured that poor man!”
“I didn’t kill him,” he said. “So you would be aware that I am capable of mercy.”
“Mercy? Mercy! You beast!” Unable to control her rage, Uhura flew at him again. This time, he caught her and picked her up. He could feel her heart beating rapidly.
“I am not pleased,” he said. “I will not be embarrassed.”
“I don’t care! You don’t own me, you can’t control me, and you can’t…you can’t have me! I’m not…I’m not…”
“You are not what,” he said, kissing her throat. “What are you not?”
“Put me down,” she whined, closing her eyes. The moment his lips touched her neck, she twanged. She could not want him! Not now! She was angry. “Leave me alone, Mr. Spock.”
“I cannot,” he said, tenderly kissing her. He was so hard for her.
“Please,” she moaned. “Put me down!”
“I do not wish to,” he said, sucking the hollow of her throat. Despite her words, she leaned her head back so that he had more access. Her arms were around his neck. She closed her eyes and groaned, feeling lightheaded. If she could cease to want him; if she could convince herself not to desire him, this would be so easy. But the truth was that she did. She was powerless. His mouth moved up her throat to her chin and she bit her lip to hold back a moan when he grazed it with his beard. She hated him. She wanted him. “No,” she said. “No, Spock!”
Uhura would have been ready to swear that there was some kind of love potion he put on his beard to make her lose her mind whenever it touched her. For she lost it each and every time it did. “Yes…yes, Spock!”
He kissed her. She lost her mind again and welcomed it. The kiss was fiery, intense, and so indicative of their relationship. Her hands were in his hair and her legs were wrapped around his waist. He grabbed her ass and buried his face in her throat. “I want you, Nyota,” he said, his breathing quickening. “I want you. Now.”
She could not give in to him. Not again. “No,” she said. She tried to push him away. “Put me down! You’ll never—”
“Stop with that,” he said.
She felt like she was fighting herself more than she was fighting him. Her body once again declared its allegiance, but it was not to her. Her nipples pebbled. She got wet. Uhura pulled back and slapped him. He released her. She moved away from him, watching the splotch on his cheek fade.
“That is the third time today that you have hit me,” he said. “Behavior like this requires chastisement.”