Spock beamed down to Dantouine II two days after moving Uhura into his quarters. Taking over a civilization was a very tedious, time-consuming process. The capital city of Dantaiie was seized and Starfleet sent reinforcements to take Dantouine’s other major cities. He, Captain Kirk and Commander Scott rotated shifts supervising the security and research teams sent down to facilitate the takeover. The Dantouines were a peaceful people, but their decision to remain separate from the Imperial Empire was a mistake. No one resisted the Empire.
When he wasn’t on managerial duty with the security team, Spock supervised the research team, cataloguing the planet’s available resources. Dantouine was a valuable jewel for the Imperial Empire; a veritable cornucopia of resources and wealth. Kirk, Spock, McCoy and Scotty would get a large kickback of Dantouine’s profits; something which Spock cared very little for. He had plenty of money.
He spent thirty-two days down on Dantouine, ensconced in the headiness of scientific discovery. It was helpful to channel his strict Vulcan discipline and focus on his duties. Research was Spock’s default setting; fact-gathering a panacea whenever humanity became too much to deal with. It was with a great deal of restrained pleasure that he went about his science duties with little disruption until he had to take his watch in the capital city of Dantaiie. His presence in the city wasn’t required every day. The takeover was going well; very little resistance from the citizens, which Kirk found boring. Then he became enchanted—or horny—for the governor’s daughter, and that became a nasty little business. One which Spock knew Kirk considered no more than a pleasant diversion.
Scotty also indulged in the women of Dantaiie, as did McCoy and the off-duty security detail and scientists. Kirk encouraged Spock to avail himself of the lush fruit of the city, but Spock had no desire to do so.
“I prefer to be stimulated by the immense amount of data I am collecting, Captain. I have no wish to divert my interest from that.”
“You’d rather get back to your hot little slave? That’s fine with me, Spock. If you’d rather take the time to beam up and have what you can so easily take from here…”
“I find it best that we discover how much Dantouine is worth to the Empire, Captain. My investigations into the considerable resources of this beautiful planet will tell us that. You do want to know what your share of the profits will be, am I correct?”
Spock knew his commanding officer. A greedy gleam flashed in Kirk’s eyes. “Of course. Carry on, Mr. Spock. And if you decide to take a break and go fuck your sexy little slave girl, I’m perfectly okay with it. Just give me details.”
Sulu was also down on the planet, leading the security team. Sulu often cast smug glances at him. Spock did not acknowledge Sulu, for the opinion of the security chief meant nothing to him. Things would eventually come to a head, for Uhura was between them and Sulu still wanted her. Spock’s operatives informed him that the security chief made no secret of his plans to have her and get rid of Spock. Spock was wily enough to know that he and Sulu were on opposite sides of a chessboard and he made a move when he claimed Uhura. Spock knew that Sulu would soon make a countermove, but of what kind, he could not speculate. They were crewmates, but also enemies. It was also no secret that Sulu coveted the captaincy and wanted Spock out of the way so that he could have a clear path. He made ribald jokes about Spock’s inability to control his woman, which was an indicator of his ineffectiveness if he should become captain. Ship scuttlebutt was alive with gossip, instigating the situation until Uhura started wearing Spock’s collar.
That stopped Sulu’s jokes and the gossip cold. Spock knew that his fellow officers approved and his subordinates were pleased. No one questioned his manhood or power once they saw Uhura walking in front of him with a hitch in her step. No other man had the guts to collar their partner, and they respected the fact that Spock was bold enough to do it. And that it was Uhura he’d collared…well, it actually raised his stature in the eyes of many of his colleagues. Captain Kirk loved it.
The decision to put the collar on was made once he discovered that the crew thought that he could not control Uhura. He had permitted her many freedoms, but he could not allow himself to be disrespected. Not on board the ISS-E. Any show of weakness resulted in death, and there were those who would gladly see Spock dead. And if he was murdered, unspeakable things would happen to her, and she would have found death preferable. She seemed to understand that the night he moved her in, but it was too late for the damage to his image had been done and he had no choice but to rectify it. He humiliated her. Then he ignored her for two days, left her to go down to the planet and did not return. It was, at best, not the behavior of a gentleman. At worst, he lived up to her description: a beast. But he had to do it. He knew that she needed time to herself to sort things out.
During those two days she did not speak to him and he could not speak to her. He knew that she was in shock and in pain, more emotionally than physically. The nights were uncomfortable. He turned away from her and she from him and there was a giant space between them. He did not sleep, for he could not face her. Spock did not like the way things turned out, but she had to be made to understand that the life she once had was gone. He knew that her presence here was all his fault, but when the situation presented itself, he had to make a split-second decision to make and he made it. Spock had to deal with the fallout whether he liked it or not. He did hope that she would regain some of her spirit and her heart. He was all too aware that there was the possibility that he might have destroyed the very essence of her that he craved. She wasn’t the woman he wanted without it, but that too was another consequence he would have to own.
The days passed slowly. Entrenched in his duty, he did not see her for over a month, and although he received regular reports from Shavik and Turock, he wondered how she was coping. He knew that the brutality of his strange, abrupt behavior confused her, but Spock thought it was best that he remove himself to give her time alone to reflect and heal. He was patient, as he didn’t expect her to bounce back so quickly, if she could at all. He had taken much from her and knew he deserved her rage. But he had also given her much and he wondered if she would be able to heal enough to see it. Could they find a balance in this universe? Could he be what she needed? Could she be what he wanted? Would she allow it? Did she even know what was really going on? There were so many questions and the only way to ask and answer them was to face her. He knew that he had to, for she deserved it.
Shavik and Turock gave him daily reports. Spock was fully aware that Uhura remained secluded in his quarters unless she was on duty or at meals. He knew that she gained some weight and he was pleased. She had healed enough to garner a healthy appetite and that was a good sign. He knew that she was developing other interests and hobbies. She was adjusting and learning her way without him. Perhaps he should have given her time alone prior to the events of that night and maybe none of it would have happened. But he knew full well that Uhura would not have been able to see what she needed to see at that time in order to adjust the way she was adjusting now. Painful as it was to consider, Spock did what he felt was best for her emotional development and adaptation to his world, for she could not return to hers, and he wouldn’t allow it even if she could. Spock wanted her to trust him and be content with him. He had no plans to injure her further. The once had been quite enough.
The slight to his position as XO and science officer was grievous indeed, but it had been rectified the moment he collared her. And due to the fact that she wore it every day whether he was with her or not spoke volumes to the crew about his control. He knew from his personal guard that she was flawless every single day with nary a hair out of place. He knew that she walked with her back straight and a light in her eyes. He knew that she had taken to having lunch with the women of the other senior officers. While she did not parade in front of her crewmates, she was visible enough that word spread about her behavior. She did her job as effortlessly as always.
No one saw her outside of her duty or mealtimes, and that was to be expected. It was part of the illusion of control. Even though Spock was planet-side for four weeks, it had to be shown to the crew that he had power over her no matter where he was. She had come to understand that without him having to explain it. Or maybe she didn’t want to be bothered with anyone on the ship and he didn’t blame her for that. Either way, it was a monumental credit to his ego that Uhura remained out of sight. It also kept her safe. He was more concerned about the latter than the former.
Kirk never hesitated to throw the suggestion that he take another woman in addition to Uhura. But Spock had no desire for another woman. In spite of what happened, he still burned for her. He would never show it; after what took place in her bedroom that night and the next night in his, he thought that she wouldn’t want him anywhere near her ever again, but part of him felt otherwise. But if she didn’t want him, he was willing to accept the consequences. He had, after all, initiated the entire thing when he stole her from her world.
Thirty-two days into the Dantouine takeover, Kirk ordered Spock back to the Enterprise for two days’ rest and relaxation, as the Vulcan was so exhausted that it showed. He had been planet-side the entire time, non-stop in his duties.
Spock returned to their quarters after checking in with her personal guard for updates. All was well and there had been no trouble. Uhura was venturing out of her seclusion. She made visits to the ship’s stores, the library and the commissary. According to her sentinels, plenty of women stared at her collar with degrees of shock, disgust, amusement and interest. But no one said anything to her and she didn’t say anything at all. She was never out for long; she was always secured in his quarters by 1800 hours. Turock and Shavik assured him of this.
She was adapting. He was pleased. But how much she had adapted to was another story.
He entered his suite. The lights were dim and she had candles burning and music playing. The room had a musky, sensual odor. Spock found it comforting to return to his quarters in such a state. It made the room inviting. If he did not know any better, he would have assumed that she was expecting male company. She was in the bathroom. He undressed and put on his robe. Spock sat down and debated whether he should inform her that he was back or wait for her to come out. He was unsure of how she would respond to his presence; no doubt that she had gotten acclimated to his absence. It might have been an ill-advised move on his part, giving her so much time alone. But he felt it was warranted, and not just for her.
He wanted to see her. He needed to see her. But would she want to see him? Was she ready to see him?
He got up and went into the bathroom. Uhura was in the shower, her back to him. He took off his robe. She did not hear him enter. He stood and watched her intently, his hands folded behind his back. The last time he stood and watched her take a shower was the first time they made love. Or had sex, according to her. Whatever it was, it had been one of the most amazing experiences he’d had since serving on board this ship.
He watched her, perfectly still, wondering what would happen if he decided to get in the shower with her. Would she scream? Would she fight him? Would she resist? Would she be upset? Was she still upset?
If she was, she had a right to be. But was she? He didn’t know. For a man in his position, insecurity was a foreign concept. He had never really experienced it until this moment. Were he less of a man, he would have stayed away indefinitely. But, like her, he had to own up to his responsibilities. She would not respect him if he didn’t. If she even respected him at all, that was.
Spock thought about turning around and walking back out, but it felt as if his feet were rooted to the spot. Demanding that she allow him entrance was the furthest thing from his mind. She had been alone for thirty-two days, and prior to that, he had not spoken to her or looked at her since taking her on his bedroom floor the night she moved in. The sight of her was refreshing, like a cool drink of water on a scorching day. The collar stood out on her neck and he watched attentively as she ran her fingers over it, massaging her skin. He had no desire to demand anything of her. Not unless she wanted him to. Spock would do whatever Uhura wanted him to do, no matter what it was. He owed her that. But he could not bring himself to leave the bathroom.
Uhura turned around to rinse under the shower head. Spock’s bathroom was much larger and much nicer than hers. His shower head had amazing pressure; the water jets were like strong fingers. She opened her eyes. Seeing him, she jumped.
“Spock?” She blinked, cocking her head to one side. What was he doing here?
He looked at her. Uhura stared back, absolutely stunned that he was standing outside of the shower, buck naked with his hands behind his back. She had not seen him in over a month and had not questioned it, for the time alone had been beneficial. She was learning about herself and about him. As she returned his stare, she realized that part of her missed him. But Uhura was determined that he would never know it.
He was staring at her. Uhura swallowed, wondering what he would do, what he was thinking. Would he get in with her? Would he demand she satisfy him? Would he take her much as he had the first night they made love? Was he angry? She hadn’t done anything to disgrace him since he was gone.
Would he be rough with her? Would he demand that she do something…naughty? Her breath caught in her throat. The anticipation of anything he might do—anything—was like a fine wine; it was intoxicating. Her heart fluttered like the wings of a hummingbird. She felt a twang deep within her center. Uhura was hesitant to move, much less speak. The room got sweltering hot.
Spock stared, indecisive. If she told him to get out, he would. Would she demand that he leave? He was unable to do it on his own. The sight of her was like food to a starving man. He acknowledged that his desire for her would be his undoing.
A moment passed, but it could have been a lifetime as far as she was concerned. There was something going on in the space between them, something changing. A month apart was a long time for some, but not long enough for others. Was it long enough for them? Or had too much happened and a millennium wouldn’t be enough?
Could she accept him? Would she?
As far as Spock was concerned, all that mattered was her acceptance. He could handle the rest. He never intended to hurt her and he was sure that he didn’t. He was more aware of her instinctive responses to him than he let on, and he wanted her to figure it out for herself. Even though the sex had been hard, humiliating and rough, Spock was keenly cognizant that Uhura never once told him no or to stop while it was going on. She had, in fact, gotten aroused and it had not gone unnoticed. He wondered if they could talk about it. They needed to talk about it, but would she want to? Had she acknowledged it?
Did it matter?
Deciding, he calmly reached for the shower door and opened it. Spock stepped in and closed the door. Uhura stared up at him, heart fluttering from a twinge of fear and a twinge of excitement. Damn her traitorous body! While acknowledging her newfound sexuality and Spock’s role in extracting it, she was still conflicted over her desire for Spock himself. He looked down at her and found he had no voice. What could he possibly say? He had already got into the bath with her; it was too late to turn around and go. It would be a show of weakness, and he was not weak.
Uhura took a deep breath, wondering what to do next. Was he angry? Did he want her? Why did he get into the shower? What did he want? Was this an act of contrition? His expression revealed nothing, but then it never did.
Did it matter?
Uhura sighed. She was unafraid; not even nervous. The man before her was responsible for her newfound awakening, understanding and acceptance of her darker self. She had been angry at him; furious with him for his behavior after the fact (she came to realize that she had never been upset with him for the sex itself), but she was no longer mad and had not been for weeks. Was he regretting what he did? She hoped not. Uhura now understood that she needed a strong man, a good man, a man secure in his masculinity, a man that was unafraid to test his boundaries and allow her to experiment with hers. She needed a man that that was confident of his prowess and of his ability to know what she wanted and give it to her. She needed someone who could do and would do anything to please her. Uhura’s epiphany was clear: she needed a gentleman on the outside, a sexy beast within.
Was that man in the shower with her now? Or was he her instructor? She didn’t know.
Spock made the first move. So she made the second. Uhura closed her eyes and held out her soapy hands, touching his chest. It felt like the right thing to do. He closed his eyes and a tremulous breath escaped him. The touch of her fingers was electric and he shuddered involuntarily. He had not realized how much he missed her until this moment. She moved her hands up and over his shoulders, covering him with suds. He found he could speak and had to ask, “Do you wish for me to leave?”
She didn’t reply, but acknowledged his question with a brief shake of her head. She felt perfectly safe with him. Uhura was not afraid of Spock and definitely not upset with him. The man in the shower with her was yet another facet of the complex man she was coming to know.
He didn’t realize that he held his breath until she nodded. A long, low exhale escaped him and he moved closer. She splayed her fingers and increased the pressure. Soon, she was moving with purpose, lathering his lithe, lean form with sudsy foam. She grabbed the bottle of gel and poured a gob of it into her hands, rubbed them together and put her arms around him. Uhura pressed her hands against his back and stared at his chest as she moved her fingers in large circles. His muscles rippled under her fingers and it felt good to touch him. She took a deep breath and concentrated on the moment. Something was changing, shifting in the core of their turbulent connection. It was like a low-scale earthquake, a rumbling of the soul, and she felt it in her gut. Uhura understood that Spock was allowing her to see his exhaustion. He was exposing a part of himself she never thought she would see, but upon its revelation, knew that she had to if their relationship was to continue.
Spock slept soundly on his stomach, one hand hanging limply over the side of the bed, the other behind his head. Uhura sat in the chair across from the bed, wrapped in a blanket, watching him while sipping tea. She studied him, wondering about the things that made him the multifarious man that he was. It wasn’t until she saw him in the bathroom watching her that she understood that he had some apprehension about what took place. She did not have any fear or worry that he would do anything harsh or humiliate her. What surprised her was what she saw in his eyes. It was all over him, in his expression, his body language, everywhere. And she found it appealing. In his own way, he was showing her that she could trust him. She needed to know that. The impulse to reach out to him was compelling and she did it without thinking about it, as it felt right. When she touched him, she could feel his relief wash over him in waves. She felt it also.
Could there be a balance between them?
She responded instinctively, touching him and then bathing him. Uhura did not speak, but communicated through her hands. His breathing quickened as her fingers moved over his torso and up his back and then through his hair. She knew that he wanted to touch her, but could not bring himself to do it.
Uhura got out of the shower a little while later, leaving him in there. She readied herself for the night and went to get in bed. Sometime later, he joined her.
“We need to talk,” she said.
“Affirmative,” he replied.
“Get some sleep first,” she said. “You need your rest.”
“I have been ordered to take two days’ rest.” He would have frowned if he was capable of it.
“Good,” she said. “Because it’ll take at least that long to set things right.”
He merely nodded and fell asleep. She got out of the bed and sat in the chair. She did not want to lie beside him, not yet, but was content to watch him and ponder.
When Spock awoke, he was refreshed. Uhura was asleep in the chair across from him and he knew she spent the night there. She did not want to lie with him and he understood. Much had been broken, so there was much to repair.
Carefully, he went over to her and picked her up. Her head lolled against his shoulder and he carried her to the bed and put her in it. Then he sent one of his guards to get breakfast and went about performing his morning ablutions quietly so not to wake her.
After dressing, he took his place in the chair and watched her. She slept on her side, her curves beautifully rising under the sheet. She mentioned last night that it would take at least two days to set things right.
Did that mean she would be willing to remain with him? That would have been asking too much after what happened, but he could not help but consider the whole of their experience. He was fully aware that Uhura was excited by the edginess of his behavior; that she got turned on whenever he was rough with her. He remembered her conscious and unconscious reactions when he talked dirty to her as they had sex. He remembered how she responded when he disarmed her in the turbo lift; how her heart rate exploded and her breathing shallowed. How she appeared to enjoy taunting him to elicit that kind of response. He could smell her arousal, for it was a potent, tangible thing, a pheromone hardwired to his senses. Even with the things that took place on that fateful night, he was sensitive to the fact that she had enjoyed much of it. Not that it justified the actions, but perhaps he had pushed too far too fast. She liked certain things; like him, she had particular appetites. She might not have been aware of them before they first made love, but he knew that she was aware of them now.
Spock knew that Uhura was discovering the part of herself that welcomed his dominant tendencies and that insisted upon her submission. He also knew that she was trying to find a balance between being a lady and being a woman. She seemed to think that she couldn’t be both, but for Spock, that was not the case. If she openly acknowledged that she was indeed a submissive and wanted his dominion, they had to discuss it. They needed to find a comfortable equilibrium. Would she be able to share that with him? Could they be together in that way? He would have to earn her complete trust, something he knew he did not have. There was much to talk about.
She awoke, feeling a warm hand on her ankle.
“Nyota, it is time for breakfast.”
She blinked. “Spock?”
“Yes,” he said, removing his hand. Other than to wake her, he did not intend to put his hands on her. Not until she told him that he could.
Uhura sat up, yawning. “What time is it?”
“It is 0630 hours.”
“Oh, why did you let me sleep? I need to report to my shift!” She jumped out of the bed.
She turned to look at him as she headed towards the bathroom. “What?”
“I would appreciate it if you would remain to speak with me.”
“I have to go to work, Spock. I’ve got a job to do.”
“We are in orbit,” he said. “Standard operating procedures are in place. Ensign Clarke is capable of manning your station.”
“Spock, I won’t shirk my duty. Not even for you.”
He closed his eyes and nodded. He knew that much and was actually pleased that she wasn’t going to yield so quickly. “At least enjoy your breakfast.”
Uhura looked at him. He was impassive, sitting still at the breakfast table. The food smelled good. Her stomach rolled over and begged for it. Her appetite had definitely increased over the past month.
“All right,” she said. She was hungry. “Let me wash up.”
Spock set her place and took down a uniform for her to wear and her boots. Then he took his robe off the hangar. She did not have a robe; he had discarded it once she moved in. She deserved to have a cover-up. He would rectify that. He took it to the bathroom and laid it on the counter.
“For you,” he said, and left.
Stunned, Uhura finished washing her face and brushing her teeth. She put on Spock’s robe. It was dark red and made of a material that she could not name. It was warm like him and smelled like him and it covered her thoroughly. She liked it. Was he trying to make amends? She wasn’t sure if she was ready to, but she was willing to see what he was prepared to do.
She sat across from him, fluffing her hair while he served her breakfast. It had been a long time since he did it; since they shared a meal together in private. When she assumed that it was the norm to be courted in such a fashion. What a difference a few days could make. She could appreciate it now.
Uhura sat with her legs crossed, careful to keep herself covered. She didn’t say anything to him about wearing it, but she would wear it from now on, whether he wanted her to or not. It was damned comfortable.
He poured her water and juice and set her silverware. Then he sat in front of her.
“Did you sleep well?” he asked.
“Fine,” she said, cutting into her eggs and sausage. “You look better than you did last night.”
“I am rested,” he said. “I was quite engaged with my duties on Dantouine.”
“You must have been,” she retorted, sipping her juice. “You were gone for a month.”
Spock was eating fresh greens with dark red strawberries, mandarin oranges and pecans, covered in what looked like a red wine vinaigrette. He paused and wiped his mouth. “The situation dictated it.”
“Or were you ashamed to face me?” Uhura decided while she was washing up that she was going to put it out there with no shilly-shallying around. She’d had almost five weeks to think about everything and now it was time to talk to this man.
“You heard me, Spock. You couldn’t bring yourself to face me after what you did to me, could you? That’s why you tucked tail and ran?”
“I did not run. I had a job to do.”
“Even when you were scheduled to rotate with Scotty and the captain? You never came back, and you probably wouldn’t have if Kirk didn’t order you to. You moved me in here, you humiliated me and then you left me to face it all alone. I didn’t think you were capable of that.”
It was intended to be a jab. Spock raised an eyebrow. She pushed. So he pushed back. He reclined and calmly gazed at her. “You have never failed to remind me what I am capable of, Nyota. In fact, you resisted me because of that. I have no need to hurt you. In fact, I think it is safe to say that while I may have caused you some discomfort, I did not hurt you at all. I felt you responding to me, even in that manner.”
She blushed, but held his gaze. “That doesn’t make it all right, Spock.”
“I am aware,” he said. “But you never told me that you didn’t wish it.”
Uhura’s face flamed, but she stared right into his eyes. That had been one of the things that burned her in her reflective time before she had come to accept it. She enjoyed most of what happened; she found a dark, sweet satisfaction in the uncertainty of what Spock might do and the pain when he did it. From the moment he tossed her on the bed and started spanking her, she never once told him that she didn’t want it. The only reason she told him to stop was because she craved something more, something…harder. He immediately stopped the spanking and obliged her; though she had been completely unprepared for it. Uhura never said no when she knew he intended to make her take it up the ass and not even when he made her get on her knees and get him off. She did not resist him at all and the thoughts bloomed like fire in her mind. “And if I had told you to stop?”
“I would have. I told you before that I have no need to rape or to force myself upon you. That is still true. While you might not have expected all that I did, you did expect for me to do something. Whenever you push, I must push in return. I was very lenient with you; I allowed you to push and push and push because I knew you didn’t fully understand, and when I finally pushed back, I might have pushed too hard. My emphasis is on might, because on a subconscious level, I know that you enjoyed it.”
“What makes you think that I would enjoy being…taken…like that?” She forgot how perceptive he was.
“Not the least of which is that I can sense your arousal when I am rough with you. The instances in the turbo lift when I disarmed and pushed you against the wall; you responded immediately and I could smell it. When I clamped your arms above your head and tried to kiss you, you bit me but you found it pleasurable. As did I. You enjoy challenging me and you are deeply stimulated when I respond to your impertinence. However, to answer your question, you are aware that I am a telepath.”
“You said you would never intrude upon my thoughts!”
“I have not, Nyota. But you are so expressive. Your desire for me is so very potent, so very powerful, especially when I must handle you in a less than gentlemanly fashion. I know what you want when I touch you. You are not able to shield it very well. When I am inside of you, the feeling is magnified and I experience it too. You want me to be rough with you. You want me to dominate you. You need it as much as I do. We would do well to mesh our desires; that way, we can both be satisfied.”
Uhura remembered all the thoughts that went through her mind when they had sex, when he pushed her to her knees and made the bed shake. How she enjoyed it when he pinned her down and had anal sex with her, aroused by the heat of his body and the way he filled her. The way he had spoken to her while fucking her like that…telling her that she wanted it, that she liked it; revealing the truth about herself. How even the sounds of the sex itself made her so hot she bit her lip bloody to keep from screaming in ecstasy. That he had actually done it, made her take it…in spite of his order, she had indeed brought herself to climax after he left her on the bed. She couldn’t help it; she was out of her mind. And the next morning, she found a measure of pleasure sitting on her sore bottom. Not much, but some. She wondered at the time if she was depraved.
She looked at him, knowing that he was absolutely right, but decided to play it cool. “Spock, I need to get to work.”
“I would prefer we discuss this, Nyota. Do you not find it important if things are to continue between us?”
“You’re assuming that I want them to,” she replied, getting up. She went to get dressed. Spock remained in his seat, pressing his fingertips together. This had to take place. She was testing the boundaries again, and she had to. He had no choice, as she needed to regain her confidence in him. He would do his part to ensure that happened, no matter how long it took. He owed her that.