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What A Difference A Day Makes
PG-13

I hadn’t been prepared for the heat. Oh I knew the _expression ‘hot as Vulcan’ but spirits what an understatement that was. I had only taken a few steps from the shuttlecraft and I could already feel the rivulets of sweat pouring down my back in a steady stream, soaking through my shirt. The dry desert air made breathing some what difficult. “No wonder Vulcan’s have no sense of humor” I thought, “it’s been baked right out of them.”

My musings were cut short when I saw him approach. He had always had a quiet presence, a sort of refined elegance to his bearing. Some had called him stoic, but I knew better. Tuvok might not allow his emotions to show through, but I knew he had them all the same, especially when it came to his captain. He loved her as much as I did, but in his own quiet, Vulcan way. I think that was probably the hardest thing for me to accept at first. His being a spy on my ship hadn’t angered me as much as the fact that I knew he loved Kathryn. I was jealous of him and his closeness to her. It had created a tension between us for a long time. It was several years in fact, before I started to realize that his love for her was not the kind of love a man has for a woman. No his love was different; Tuvok loved Kathryn as if she was one of his children. With that revelation, peace came to my soul. Shortly thereafter Tuvok and I came to an understanding. We both loved her and would do what ever it took to protect her, even if that protection some times angered her. That’s what we were here to do today, to protect her from herself.

“Commander it is good to see you again,” Tuvok said, and Chakotay new the words to be true. They had come far since those early days. “Thank you for coming. I am sorry to take you away from your leave with… Seven.” I saw the slightest waiver in Tuvok’s demeanor when he said Sevens name, but it was gone in a flash. I tried to hide my grin, but it wasn’t easy. I had broken his ‘daughter’s’ heart by turning to another woman and ‘daddy’ wasn’t happy. “But I am afraid it’s necessary. I am quite concerned about this…man, she has become involved with. I do not think he has her best interests at heart.”

“It’s no problem Tuvok, and it’s just Chakotay now. Kathryn needs me, so here I am. I can always take leave at another time, and Tuvok, just so you know I wasn’t on leave with Seven. That’s over between us; it has been for awhile now. It’s hard to start a new relationship and keep it alive when your heart belongs to another.” I wasn’t quite sure but I thought I saw a look of profound relief cross his face.

“I have always known you to be a rational man Chakotay, it was the only logical choice you could make,” Tuvok said.

I had to hide another grin. What Tuvok actually meant was, “What the hell took you so long to come to your senses.” I wiped the sweat from my brow, the heat was oppressive. “Tuvok, do you think we could find some where else to talk, I’m not use to this heat and it’s starting to get to me.”

“Yes, even I had some slight difficulty readjusting to the heat here. If you will follow me we can take the transport to my home. It is located in the northern section of Su’Kar you will find it much cooler there.” He said as he headed in the direction from which he came. I followed behind him hoping that the walk would not be a long one. I was starting to feel a little light headed. I wondered how Kathryn had managed to spend the last month on this overly heated planet.

We reached the transport station in a few minutes, which I was grateful for. A willowy female at the station handed me a cup of Vulcan spice tea. She told me it would help to acclimatize my body’s temperature to the heat. I had never been more grateful in my life for a cup of tea. The transport took a few minutes and before long we were walking up to Tuvok’s house. He was right, of course; it was cooler in the north. As we approached the house I started to worry. How was Kathryn going to react to my presence here? I hadn’t seen her in months, five to be exact. Would she be angry that I had arrived here, or would she pretend that my presence was unimportant to her? “Tuvok does she know I’m coming?”

“She is aware that an old friend of mine might be stopping by,” he said vaguely.

“Subterfuge Tuvok, I didn’t know you had it in you.” He hadn’t told her. I guess he didn’t want to face her wrath alone, besides it was always easier to get through to Kathryn when we could both gang up on her together. She never did things the easy way.

“I thought it prudent; she is behaving in an atypical manner, I am... concerned for her welfare.” He said as he led methrough an open gate leading to a garden.

I noticed the calm serenity of the garden immediately and was surprised by the style. Tuvok had managed to blend both Vulcan and Earth plants and trees into a Japanese style garden, creating a harmonious sanctuary of nature. “This is beautiful Tuvok; did you do all this yourself? I’m a little surprised to see a Japanese garden here though.”

“Yes, I have been working on it and refining it for years. Captain Sulu introduced me to the style. I found them to be a thing of great beauty and serenity; I have tried to match that restfulness here.” He said humbly.

“Well my friend I think you have done an incredible job. This is truly a work of art. I think I’m going to enjoy exploring here.”

“It is Kathryns’ favorite place too. She has spent many hours in the garden alone contemplating… her life. That was until Elijah showed up. Now she spends much time with him out here.”

This time I didn’t imagine the emotion I saw in his face. His eyes were filled with distain for this man. “Tuvok, why don’t you tell me a little about him? How did they meet and why it is that you think he is so wrong for Kathryn.”

“They met in a café in town. He ordered coffee and her interest was peaked, it is not a much requested beverage around here, mostly off-worlders drink it. They spent many afternoons there talking over coffee.”

“Why do you feel that he is not right for the captain? Is there something wrong with the man?”

“I believe him to be involved with criminal activity. I have mentioned this to the captain, but she chose to ignore my warning. I have no proof as yet, but I believe him to be a space pirate. I was hoping that perhaps you could see if you can find out anything about him, through some of your old contacts.” He said showing me the way into his house.

“I’ll see what I can do. Is Kathryn here now?” I wasn’t sure if I was ready to see her yet.

“No I believe she had gone to town and won’t be back for several hours yet. I’ll show you to your room,” he said leading me up a flight of stairs. “You can freshen up and unpack. We will be having tea in the garden in an hour if you wish to join us there.”

“Thanks Tuvok, I think I could probably use a shower and then I’ll join you for tea. Will T’Pel be there as well?” I had met his wife at the welcome home reception and I found her to be a very interesting woman. She was really rather outgoing for a Vulcan, I had even seen her make Kathryn laugh. They got along very well together; it was obvious that T’Pel held Kathryn in high regards.

“Yes she will be. She said that she wished to further her conversation on archeology with you. She has just returned from a dig and has some new interesting artifacts to show you.” He led me to a well appointed room with a large bed, and more importantly a real water shower. I could wash the red sand and grit off that was so prominent in the southern regions of Vulcan. “If you need anything just let me know.” He said before he left me to my own devices. I immediately stripped and headed for a cool shower.

The shower was wonderful. I felt clean and revitalized, amazing what a little water could do for the spirits. I was beginning to understand Kathryn’s affinity for baths. Though I must admit I was a little surprised at the luxury of having a water shower on such an arid planet, I thought I would mention this to Tuvok. I dressed in a light pair of pants and a loose fitting shirt. It may have been cooler in the north, but it was still pretty warm here. Then I made my way down to the garden. I could hear the voices of children and new that Tuvok’s grandchildren where here visiting.

I followed the sound, passing a riverbed made up of dry rocks, a red Japanese maple tree added color to the serene surroundings. It was cooler here and the plants and trees sheltered me from the glaring sun. I found Tuvok sitting on a stone bench explaining the growth cycle of the bonsai tree he was tending to.

“Chakotay this is my granddaughter T’Pring,” he introduced me to a child who looked to be about eight in human terms. “This little one here,” he said picking up the baby, “is T’Meny.”

“She was the one who was born while we were on Voyager, isn’t she,” I asked, he nodded a confirmation. “She is beautiful Tuvok may I hold her?” This was not a comment of platitude; this child was beautiful, as was her older sister.

The child went into my outstretched arms willingly. I was at once enthralled by her. She was so young yet already seemed to hold the wisdom of the ages in her ebony eyes. Her curiosity was also great; she reached for my tattoo, her little fingers tracing the path the lines took. I could see the same curiosity in her sister’s eyes, but she was quieter, more contemplative.

“Drawing,” she said, much to my delight.

“It’s called a tattoo,” I explained. “I wear it to honor my father.” T’Pel arrived carrying a tray with a tea set on it. I stood to greet her. “T’Pel it is wonderful to see you again.” I meant what I said too. It was wonderful to see her. She had made a great impression on me; she had a wisdom and serenity about her that calmed and soothed my spirit. It was almost like talking to my grandmother again. “I hear that you have acquired some new artifacts since the last time we spoke. I am eager to see what you have uncovered. How is the dig going?” I asked eagerly.

T’Pel poured us all tea while she spoke about her latest findings. It was amazing to me how much I had in common with this woman. She held the same love for archeology that I did. It had been a passion of mine since I was a child, and it seemed to hold the same fascination for her. We talked about the tools that were unearthed at the site and the pieces of pottery too. She looked me in the eye, and I knew there was more, something she hadn’t mentioned in her correspondences. I felt a slight shudder of anticipation run through me.

“Chakotay… I have uncovered a Sal’vaen urn… completely intact.” I gasped in awe. “It is truly an object of great beauty. Several museums are already trying to lure it away from me as you would expect, but I wish to finish the dig before I make any final decisions.” I sat there for a moment completely stunned, it was an incredible find.

“That’s understandable,” I finally managed to say. “Spirits, completely intact, no wonder the museums are already lining up at your door. An urn completely intact from that era is priceless. What an incredible achievement. I’m sure the museums are not going to be the only interested party though. I hope you have good security on it.” I said, still in awe. It was a major find in the archeology field, and one I was eager to witness.

“Of course, Tuvok is handling security and I have every confidence in his abilities.” The two shared a brief touch finger to finger, not quite a kiss but the sentiment was the same. “Have you decided to take the teaching position at the academy? You would make an excellent instructor; your knowledge of archeology is quite extensive.” She said as she poured me another cup of tea.

“I have decided to take the job, it won’t allow me as much field time as I would have liked, but there are other… benefits of being at Starfleet that I hope will make it worth my while.”

“Would one of those benefits be that you are closer to Kathryn there?”

I could feel my face flush. I smiled, it seems that T’Pel could read me even better then I thought. She was very much like my grandmother.

“Yes, that is one of the major considerations that I had, I just hope I’m not too late; that my relationship with Seven hasn’t ruined my chances for happiness with Kathryn. She completes me like no one else ever could.”

“You are not too late Chakotay; I can see it in her eyes. She is making a grave mistake involving herself with Elijah. She is trying to mask her sorrow by involving herself with this man. He is not the one for her.” So T’Pel thought so too. What was it about this man that had enthralled Kathryn so much that she couldn’t see him for what he was? “Her katra mate has already been
chosen. It is up to you to see that she finds her way back to you.”

“I will T’Pel, believe me I will. I already let her go once; I don’t plan on letting that happen ever again. It’s a terrible feeling to be with out her by my side.” I bowed my head and thought about the last few months without her. “Just awful, unfortunately I had to learn that the hard way,” I sighed, spirits how I missed her.

“You have seen the error of your ways and I am convinced that you will set it right. Tuvok is right; you are the only one for Kathryn.” She said, laying her hand on my shoulder in support.

I was surprised to hear that Tuvok actually thought that Kathryn and I belonged together. I thought that he had asked me here only to lend support to his cause. Our eyes met and he nodded a silent assent offering his approval. I now had her ‘father’s’ blessing, now I just had to convince his ‘daughter’ of my worth.

“If you will excuse me I must leave now to prepare the evening meal.” She stood to go, casting a look at the older child. “T’Pring will you stay and see to our guests’ needs.” The young girl nodded shyly.

“Yes grandmother,” she said bowing slightly in deference to the older woman. T’Pel headed for the house, as she opened the back door a huge shaggy beast with long fangs burst past her making a beeline for the children.

“Ku’Kar,” T’Meny said clapping her hands in delight. I smiled, it was universal it seemed, all children loved big furry animals, even as yet undisciplined Vulcan’s. I put the child down so she could play with her shaggy shal’at. She buried her face into the hairy animal, hugging him tightly. The site of the big beast allowing the little girl to hug it bought laughter to me. It felt good to laugh again. It had been quite awhile since I last had anything to laugh about. I decided to join the girls in playing with the beast. Although it was a large animal with big teeth and claws, it was very gentle with the girls and only nudged them during play. Despite my misery of the last few months I found myself having a wonderful time.

As Elijah and I approached the house, we could hear voices coming from the garden, I decided to go directly there. I was in the lead with Elijah close behind me, very close. He leaned forward whispering suggestively in my ear.

“Oh you’re bad,” I said, my voice coming out a husky purr. As we drew closer I could hear T’Meny laughing and knew she was playing with the big shal’at. It made me smile. I myself had spent many hours playing in the garden with them, but right now I was a little worried. Ku’Kar for some reason didn’t seem to like Elijah and has always growled menacingly at him. I was very surprised by that, the animal had always seemed so gentle. My idle thoughts were interrupted when I heard the deep masculine laughter that followed the girls’. My head shot up, I recognized that laugh. I stopped short causing Elijah to bump into me.

“Have you changed your mind sexy?” He asked wrapping his arms around my waist and rubbing against me suggestively. “We could still go up to your room and make love, to celebrate our engagement.” he said as he nuzzled my neck. I didn’t mention the fact that we never ‘made love’ there was no real spiritual connection between us. We had sex, it was good but I wasn’t in love with him, and I knew deep down that he wasn’t in love with me either. I had given up on ever having love in my life again. Who needed it, the only thing it had ever brought me was a deep abiding pain. But I was tired of being alone; with no one to come home to so I had accepted his proposal. He was very attractive and I needed to know that I was still desirable to a man. Only he was not the man I wanted to be desired by. That was the man whose voice I had just heard. I peaked through the curtain of rare black bamboo that separated us, and there he was. He was on all fours as T’Meny road upon his back. I was transfixed by the scene that was playing out in front of me. T’Pring was on Ku’Kar’s back and it appeared as if they were facing off against one another. Chakotay bent low, T’Meny clinging tightly to his back. He growled at the large beast and the little girl laughed with glee. T’Pring’s control slipped and she laughed too. I smiled; leave it Chakotay to charm a Vulcan.

Ku’Kar followed his lead crouching low and growling back, his long tail wagging furiously, the shal’at obviously enjoying the game as much as the children were. I smiled at their antics, enjoying the scene but imagining children with dark auburn hair, brown eyes and dimples instead of the children before me. I was bought back to reality when I felt a shudder run through Elijah’s body and I chastised myself for being a fool, he doesn’t love you anymore Kathryn remember.

“Is that guy crazy, that thing is liable to rip his head off? You wouldn’t find me that close to that, that… thing.” I could here the revulsion he had towards the animal in his voice. I wondered if he liked dogs.

“No… no he’s not crazy Elijah, that’s just Chakotay. He has always had the ability to calm both man and beast.” I didn’t bother to mention the effect he had on women though. I could feel my heart hammering in my chest. What was he doing here and where was Seven? I looked around but didn’t see her.

“You know him?” he asked, still nuzzling my ear.

I still found it amazing that Elijah didn’t know much about my ship or crew, but he had just come back from years spent in the Gamma quadrant. “Yes, we’re all…old friends,” I said. It wasn’t a lie, but it wasn’t the entire truth either. Apparently something in my voice gave him a clue to that fact. He pulled me closer to him possessively. I didn’t pull away; I allowed myself to be corseted by his strong arms and snuggled closer. I had moved on, I could live without Chakotay. “Just keep repeating that Kathryn,” I reminded myself, and maybe some day, I would even believe it.

She was here; I could feel her watching my every move. I tried to ignore her, which wasn’t easy. How does one ignore a super nova? My heart stopped beating for a moment. I was not quite ready for this confrontation, especially not in front of him. Then I caught a glimpse of them through the thicket. He was much younger than I expected, medium height, lean, with sandy colored hair. He was holding her close, possessively as if he owned her and was nuzzling her ear. I could feel my blood start to boil at his possessiveness. The man was obviously a fool. No one would ever own Kathryn Janeway unless she wanted them to own her.

I knew what she was doing. She was telling me by her actions that she didn’t need me. That she had gotten along just fine with out me, but I knew it to be a lie and I know that in her heart she did too.

Tuvok made the first move. He lifted T’Meny from my back and suggested that T’Pring take the now growling shal’at inside, he followed carrying T’Meny. It gave me a moment to calm the blood that was raging through my veins. I stood and brushed myself off. Then I looked at her.

“Hello Kathryn, it’s nice to see you again. You’re looking well.” My words were no lie but they were an understatement. She looked beautiful. The strong Vulcan sun had lightened her hair considerably, bringing out the copper and gold highlights creating a halo of shimmering color. A large expanse of freckles covered her nose and cheeks, and her skin had taken on a golden honey tone. The tension, always present on her face on Voyager, had eased and she looked calm and relaxed. Our eyes met and she tilted her chin in defiance, daring me to say something about her new friend.

I didn’t take the challenge. There would be time for that later. Right now I wanted the tension between us to ease. Kathryn, when challenged would only dig her heels in deeper and become even more stubborn. There would be no getting through to her until it was to late. I thought I would take the heat off of Tuvok too. After all he was only looking out for her best interests.

“I’m here to visit with T’Pel. She has made quite an incredible find.”

“Yes commander…I know… the urn. It’s really quite amazing that something so…old can still be considered quite… beautiful isn’t it?” It was the first words she had said to me and they pierced my heart. I could here the hurt in her voice. Did she really think that I had turned to Seven because she was younger. That was never the reason and I wanted to reassure her of that.

“Yes Kathryn,” I looked into her eyes so there would be no mistaking my meaning. “There are certain…. things in this world,” my eyes roamed over her face and body hungrily, “that have a timeless, intrinsic beauty all their own and nothing will ever change that.” I could see the barrier she had built around her heart crumble a little. She blushed from my words, a soft pretty color pink enhancing her cheeks.

“Chakotay,” she said in that voice that had always driven me crazy. I hadn’t realized just how much I had missed hearing her say my name. No one else ever said it quite the way she did. I took an involuntary step closer needing to be near her. “Have you seen it yet?” It took me a minute to remember what this conversation was supposed to be about. Ah yes, the urn.

“Not yet, I only arrived a few hours ago, but I am eager to see the urn.” I noticed that every time the urn was mentioned that her friend’s interest was peaked. His pupils would dilate. I decided to take the lead and introduce myself. I stepped forward and held my hand out to the man. “Hi I’m Chakotay and you are?” He grasped Kathryn even tighter to him for a moment, as if I were going to snatch her from his arms. Then he relaxed and extended his arm and we shook hands.

“I’m Elijah Nevin; it’s nice to meet you.” His words did not ring true. I could see the animosity in his eyes, that and a certain calculated cunning. I was suddenly afraid for Kathryn. What was this man up to? I decided to feel him out.

“I couldn’t help noticing that your interest was peaked each time the urn was mentioned. Are you an archeologist too?” I asked him, already knowing the answer. He looked unnerved for a moment but quickly recovered. He was good. I had to give him that, and I knew now not to underestimate him.

“Oh no,” he laughed. “I’m an antiques dealer. I find all objects of age to be of interest, though I usually deal with items hundreds of years old not thousands. I find this all quite exciting. I wouldn’t mind seeing the urn myself.”

I could see the avarice in his eyes when he mentioned the urn. I knew then he was after far more than a romance with Kathryn. I made a vow to myself, if he hurt Kathryn in anyway I would make him pay for it. She had already suffered enough hurt in her lifetime and I myself, had inflicted the deepest wound.

“I’ll see what can be arranged,” I said having no intention of letting him anywhere near the urn.

“That would be wonderful. Perhaps you would like to join us later we are going to celebrate this evening. His arms wrapped around Kathryn again and I could feel my heart constrict. I tried to remain nonchalant.

“Oh and what is it that your celebrating?” I asked not really caring.

“Show him darling,” he said to Kathryn. “I want everyone to know that your mine.” Kathryn rubbed nervously at her finger; it was a gesture similar to the one she used on her combadge when she had some crazy scheme planned. “Go on,” he encouraged. She held out her hand, on her finger was a large, gaudy diamond in an elaborate setting. It was definitely not her style.

“It was his grandmothers; he wanted me to have it.” She said, not meeting my eyes.

“Yes nothing but the best for my fiancé, I do hope you’ll be here for the wedding. She could use another friend seeing as her family won’t be attending.” My heart skipped a beat; she was engaged to this man. When the hell had this happened Tuvok didn’t mention anything about a wedding.

“When will the wedding be,” I asked trying to keep myself calm.

“I don’t like long engagements, but seeing as how I only asked her this morning, I figure I could wait another two weeks.”

Two weeks, I had two weeks to break this up. Well there’s no time like the present to start. “Kathryn I’m really surprised that Gretchen won’t be attending the wedding, after all it’s not everyday that your first born gets married.” That struck a nerve; I could see the flash of anger in her eyes. “I can understand why Phoebe’s not coming; she’s due to deliver shortly isn’t she?” But I really don’t see why Gretchen won’t be attending. I would have thought she would have moved heaven and earth to be here.” If looks could kill, I would probably be dead right now. Obviously this was a very soar spot for her. I didn’t want to hurt her anymore than I already had but I had no choice. I only had two weeks to bring her to her senses. I didn’t mention that I already new the reason that Gretchen wouldn’t be attending. Hell she was one of the reasons I was here.

This is just great, first the fight with my mother this afternoon about my engagement and now this. God that man can really piss me off. What right does he have to put me on the spot and ask such personal questions? How am I supposed to tell him that my mother absolutely refused to sit by and watch me marry the ‘wrong man’? It didn’t seem to matter to her that Chakotay was no longer interested in me. She was convinced that he would ‘come to his senses in time dear’. Well I had waited long enough. I had waited years to marry Mark and waited years more to be able to say yes to Chakotay. Only that opportunity never arose, he had moved on with out me. Well I was tired of being alone and lonely, tired of always waiting. I wanted someone to hold me at night, to banish the loneliness. Chakotay stood there waiting for a response. I wanted to tell him to go to hell that it was none of his God damned business anymore, but that would only raise Elijah’s suspicion that there was more between us then mere friendship. I needed some plausible excuse.

“Phoebe is not due for five more weeks yet, she and my mother both think this is happening to fast. That I’m not ready to take this step.” There that was a good answer; it wasn’t a lie, just not the entire truth. “Elijah and I have only known each other a
few weeks.” I cringed at my own words; that really didn’t sound too good.

“Ah… so it was love at first sight then Kathryn?”

No Chakotay, the only time it was ever love at first site was the moment you appeared on my screen. Oh God stop it Kathryn he has moved on, why can’t you. I couldn’t look him in the eye; I knew he would see right through my lies. “Yes it was, and we’re both very happy.”

“That’s right.” Elijah said, wrapping his arms around me and nuzzling my neck again. “We don’t need anyone else’s approval anyway. Kat is an adult and can make up her own mind. In two weeks time she’ll be all mine.”

I wanted to break both of his legs, and each one of those octopus arms he kept snaking around her. I knew she wasn’t in love with him, if she was she would have looked me right in the eye and told me so. This only bolstered my determination to break this up as quickly as possible, but for right now I would have to go along with this crazy plan of hers. However I was going to do my best to undermine his credibility and to insinuate myself back into her life as much as possible. “I think I would enjoy joining the celebration tonight, after all it’s not everyday that your best friend gets engaged. Where will the wedding be held?”

“I thought perhaps Tuvok would allow us to use his garden, it’s such a lovely place.” My heart was beating like mad, I knew that innocent face all to well, Chakotay was up to something. What that was I had no idea. “Will you and Seven be attending?” My heart constricted when I mentioned her name. I really didn’t want either one of them to be here, it would just be to damned painful.

“I can’t think of anyplace I would rather be then at your wedding Kathryn.” I said it softly, my eyes locked with hers. “As for Seven…well you would have to ask her yourself. I haven’t seen her in weeks. We’re not together anymore, I couldn’t stay with her. I tried to love her I really did, but my heart has always belonged to another and it seems, it always will.”

I stopped breathing, Chakotay was no longer with Seven, when the hell had that happened. The admiral told me that they would marry; I thought all hope was lost. My mind was in a whirl, was he telling me that he still had feelings for me? Could my mother have been right, that Chakotay did come to his senses? If so what did that mean to me? My thoughts were interrupted by Tuvok’s approach.

“Dinner is being served, if you are all ready.” He said, turning back towards the house.

“Thanks for the offer Tuvok, but I already have plans, I have a business dinner to attend to. Kat and I will be celebrating our engagement later; if you and T’Pel would care to join us you are more then welcome.” God I hope his answer is no. Nothing can bring down a party atmosphere faster then a Vulcan. I had to make the offer though, for some reason Kat considered this staid couple family.

“You have asked for Kathryn’s hand in marriage, and she has…accepted.” It was not a question but a statement. “Then T’Pel and I shall be there.”

I could swear I saw disapproval in his dark brown eyes. Damn he wasn’t her father; I didn’t need to ask his permission to marry her. Yet that’s exactly the way it felt. Oh well if kowtowing to this sardonic Vulcan bought me one step closer to my goals, then so be it. Hell I’d kiss his Vulcan ass if I thought it would bring me closer to getting that urn. “Tuvok I was wondering, since Kat’s family is not going to be here for the wedding, I was wondering if you would do us the honor of giving her away. It would mean so much to us.” He was the last person I wanted to ask, but I thought it might help to appease him.

“I have known Kathryn for many years; we have been through much together. We have even shared a mind meld; I know her deepest hopes and desires. If it is her true wish to take you for a life mate and bond with you then I would be… honored to do so. But I must caution you both, marriage is not a proposition to be taken lightly, I hope that you will take the time to consider all the… ramifications of such a union. I wouldn’t want to see anyone hurt by decisions made in haste. If it is Kathryn’s wish for me to give her away, then I would be honor bound to do so.” Tuvok nodded at the group, his eyes lingering momentarily with Kathryn’s, before he turned on his heels and headed for the house.

“That went well, don’t you think Kat? I thought I would surprise you by asking Tuvok to give you away, I hope you don’t mind, but he seems like such a good friend to you.” She smiled and nodded her o.k.; I took her into my arms and kissed her goodbye, a nice long lingering kiss. I’ll say one thing for her; she might have dreadfully dull friends but boy, could she kiss. “I really have to go now darling; I’m going to be late. I’ll see you later, alright.” I had to hurry if I was going to contact my buyer.

I felt my stomach roll and lurch seeing Kathryn kiss another man. It should have been me she was kissing instead of that arrogant bastard. This should have been our wedding we were discussing. Yet I had no one to blame for all this but myself. I was beginning to understand just how painful it must have been for Kathryn to watch me walk away into the sunset with Seven. If I had been unsure about Kathryn’s feeling for me on Voyager, I need only to have talked to her mother. She set me straight immediately upon arrival at her door step. “So you’re the one that broke my Katie’s heart, well mister I hope your here to fix it, if not get the hell off my property.” She had said with her hands on her hips. I couldn’t help but smile; I now knew where Kathryn had gotten that deadly glare from. “I’ll try to do my best to mend it Mrs. Janeway, is Kathryn here?” I had asked. “Oh no,” I was told, “She’s licking her wounds on Vulcan, she got tired of me telling her to go fight for what was hers. She has some crazy notion that you’re going to marry that borg girl. Your not are you? How can you possibly love that cold iceberg over my Katie?” I had to smile again; she was as forthright as Kathryn was. “No I’m not, how can I marry someone else when I’m still in love with Kathryn?” I had asked her, she had smiled; her blue eyes crinkling, “Well then what are you doing standing out here son, come on in and we’ll talk.” I had gone home that night with renewed hope, that’s when Tuvok had contacted me and told me about Kathryn’s new relationship, and his suspicions about the man. I booked the first transport out, leaving a brief message for Mrs. Janeway. “Gone to Vulcan to collect what’s mine,” it had said. I could see the old woman’s smile in my mind. Now I somehow had to make those words come true. I held my arm out for Kathryn to take, as I had so many times over the last seven years. She looked reluctant to take it. For the first time in my life I saw uncertainty in her eyes, the wound I caused was still deep. Then she acquiesced, and slid her arm through mine. I covered her hand with my own and sighed in contentment. This is where I belonged, right here at her side, always.

“I can’t tell you how much I have missed you Kathryn, I know it’s only been a few months but it feels like years.” I stroked my thumb over her hand needing the physical contact with her. “So have you missed me at all, maybe even a little?”

I could hardly breathe, and every breath I could take was filled with his rich warm masculine scent. His scent was like a drug, completely addicting, and left me craving more. God how I missed him, his nearness was affecting me just as it always had. My blood was racing through my veins and all he was doing was caressing my hand, his touch bought me to life like no other man ever had. I tried to take a deep breath to steady my nerves; but all that did was make me remember all the times we shared together. I didn’t want him to see the effects he still had on me. I knew him all to well, if I let down my guard even a little he would pounce on the opportunity, there was no longer anything to stop him, he was no longer my subordinate. That’s what made him so damned dangerous to me. He was waiting for an answer. “I suppose that I might have missed you a little bit Chakotay.”

“Just a little Kathryn, I’m wounded and here I’ve been, pining away for you all these months. Maybe I should have given you something to remember me by. Something like that kiss you just shared with what’s his name. You don’t really love him do you Kathryn?”

“Don’t you start Chakotay; you know damn well what his name is. How can you ask me such a question, I am marring the man after all.”

“That’s not an answer Kathryn, that’s an evasion. Now look me in the eye and tell me that you love him with all your heart. That you no longer feel anything for me.” She didn’t move she just kept her face down cast. “You can’t do it can you, because you know that you still love me. You’re a very passionate woman Kathryn; I think if you really loved him he would have made you moan with that kiss. You definitely strike me as a moaner, shall I prove my point.”

I pushed her up against the cool stone wall, my head descended towards her soft lips. This would be our first kiss and I had to make it perfect. To show her just how much I loved her. Our lips met, I kissed her slowly taking my time, tasting her lips learning their feel. Her lips parted slightly and I took full advantage, thrusting my tongue into her mouth. Her mind might not have wanted this but her body sure as hell did. Her tongue met mine and we danced, and dueled like a well choreographed sword fight. She would thrust and I would parry, only to capture her deeper, with a counter assault. I could hear the blood singing in my veins, could feel myself harden and she must have felt it too, because she pulled us closer and rubbed herself against my now aching groin. That’s when I heard it; a moan of pure passionate pleasure escape her lips, telling me exactly what it was she was feeling. I couldn’t get enough of her, I wanted to crawl into her skin and be one with her. The kiss was even more intense then I expected. I would never let her go; she belonged to me now with both body and soul.

I was on fire; every nerve in my body was electrified. The only cure it would seem was to drown myself in Chakotay’s love. Never before had I been kissed like this. It took my breath away and I would have gladly suffocated, from the onslaught of pleasure. I couldn’t seem to stop the little moans and whimpers that escaped my lips, and I didn’t want to try. My hunger for this man was insatiable, the kiss couldn’t be deep enough, and I wanted to fill my empty soul with the fruit of his passion. I needed to feel him against me and pulled him closer, rubbing myself against his prominent arousal. At last I was alive and free, like a butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis for the first time.

We watched them from the back door of my home. T’Pel stood at my side and we exchanged knowing glances, she raised her hand to mine and I caressed her fingers with my own, reaffirming our devotion to one another. Everything was now as it should be. They had made the only logical choice open to them. To deny the love they shared would have been… illogical. We stepped back into the kitchen allowing them the privacy they never would have gotten on board Voyager.

My lips blazed a trail across her face and down her neck, umm that gorgeous neck of hers, so graceful and elegant and just begging to be devoured. Spirits the fantasies I’ve had about doing this, didn’t even come close to the real thing. I licked and nipped at the honey colored flesh, all the while listening to her moans of pleasure. This was the woman I always new she would be; exciting, responsive and so full of passion. I wanted to mark her as mine, to let everyman know that she now belonged to me and only me. I suckled at the tender flesh below her ear causing a shudder to run through her body, and then she pushed me away.

“Chakotay stop, please… stop,” I panted raggedly, unable to control my breathing. I had never experienced such all consuming passion before, and I don’t think he had either, I think we were both a little shocked from the kisses we shared. Then I saw the look of hurt and a flash of anger in his eyes that my words had caused him. He thought I was rejecting him again. I had to set him straight to let him know I wasn’t rejecting his love, but I needed to explain something to him before we could go any further. I smiled at him; still trying to control myself, then I reached up and planted a quick kiss on his lips to reassure him that I was not rejecting his advances once more. No, there would never be any rejection of him again; he was now burned into my heart and there was no turning back. I rested my head against his chest and he stroked my hair. “God Chakotay that was unreal, incredible. I’ve never ever experienced a kiss like that before.” I felt his lips brush my hair and smiled.

“Then why did you stop me Kathryn, I thought you were enjoying it as much as I was?”

I had to laugh, that was the understatement of the year. My hands were pressed against his chest and my fingers drew circles around his nipples, which were now slightly puckered from excitement. God I wanted this man here and now, up against this stone wall in the middle of Tuvok’s garden. “Because Chakotay it wouldn’t be fair to Elijah, I accepted his proposal and I don’t want to hurt him. I think if he saw the marks on my neck that you were trying to make, he would have been very hurt.”

“So where does that leave us Kathryn?” Spirits she was making it hard to concentrate; those hands of hers were wreaking havoc on my body.

I looked up into his eyes and gave him a quirky smile. “Well it looks like it leaves me without a fiancé again. You know Chakotay, meeting you hasn’t been too good for my track record. That’s two fiancés you’ve cost me now.” I chuckled.

My heart soared with delight; she wasn’t pushing me away again. I pulled her close wrapping my arms tightly around her. “Well you know what they say Kathryn, the third time is the charm. So… how soon do you think your mother can arrange our wedding? Oh never mind… knowing Gretchen she already has everything planned. She really is an amazing woman, now I know where you get your spunk from.”

“Is that your idea of a marriage proposal Chakotay?” I smirked. “I must admit, this is not the way I’ve pictured it. I always thought you would have been more romantic, you know flowers, maybe a candle lit dinner and you on one knee. And what’s this about you and my mother, just when did you two become so chummy?” I asked with a scowl. “Oh well I guess if you are going to be her son-in-law I would rather you two were pals then enemies.” I couldn’t help the smile that spread across my face; I had never felt happier in my life.

“So is that your idea of an acceptance speech Kathryn, I always thought a proposal of marriage would at least warrant me a kiss.” I countered, finding it very hard to keep the silly grin off my face. “I’d hate to have to report to your mother, that you have such terrible manners.”

“Oh shut up Chakotay and just kiss me, but no biting I still have to break the news to Elijah.”

“Your wish is my command love.” Our lips met in another intensely passionate kiss, leaving us both breathless and begging for more. I reluctantly let go of her to pluck a spray of Tuvok’s orchids from the garden. “I might not have the entire romantic scene that you always dreamed about Kathryn but I do have certain elements of it.” I reached into my pocket and took out the black velvet box I had been carrying since the day after I had spoken to her mother. I got down on one knee and held out the flower to her. Then I open the box revealing the simple gold ban with an emerald cut diamond attached, tears slid slowly down her cheeks and I wanted to kiss them away. “Kathryn Elizabeth Janeway, would you do me the honor of being my wife?”

I fumbled with Elijah’s ring, trying desperately to get it off my finger so I could replace it with the ring from the man I truly loved. Finally with one last hard tug off it came, flying towards the grounds. The ‘diamond’ shattered into little pieces revealing something that was imbedded in the setting. I stood there with my mouth agape. While Chakotay picked up the ring.

“What the hell,” I picked up the remnant of the ring and looked closely at it. There was a micro-recorder in there; I had seen these before we had used them in the Maquis to spy on the Cardassians. Any doubts I might have held about Elijah’s innocence went out the window. “Damn,” I said, knowing Kathryn would be hurt by his deception.

“Chakotay what is it? What have you found? Let me see.”

I showed her the ring, but before she could utter a word I put my finger to her lips to silence her. I stuffed the ring into my pocket, so we would not be overheard. “It’s a listening device Kathryn. I’m sorry to have to tell you this but Elijah has been spying on you. I think he was hoping to get the location of the urn T’Pel discovered. It’s worth its weight in gold pressed latinum on the black market.” I expected anger from her at Elijah’s duplicity, but what I got instead surprised the hell out of me. She turned my face towards hers and kissed me thoroughly. This time it was I who was doing the moaning. Spirits the things this woman could do to me with just a kiss. “Umm Kathryn honey, not that I mind being kissed like this,” I said between kisses, “But do you want to tell me why where kissing and your not yelling.” I could feel her lips form a smile against my own.

“Because I now know that you love me enough to come all the way to Vulcan to save me from making a fool of myself. You didn’t come to see T’Pel or the urn did you Chakotay?”

“No Kathryn I knew T’Pel had made some recent discoveries, but they wouldn’t have bought me all the way to Vulcan. I came because my best friend and woman that I love needed me to set her straight.” I said with a grin. “I didn’t know anything about the urn till after I arrived.”

“Thank you for loving me so much. I suspect that I owe Tuvok my debt of gratitude as well, don’t I?” I buried my face into his chest, and his strong arms encircled me pulling me closer. It felt so incredibly good to be able to just hold him. “I’ll have to find some way to repay his loyalty to me also.”

I smiled looking down as she snuggled closer. “Well Kathryn let’s just say a little Vulcan bird whispered in my ear. That way I’m not breaking any confidences, but do me a favor o.k.?”

“I’ll do anything for you Chakotay, what is it?” I asked, looking up into his eyes.

“Don’t thank Tuvok the same way you just thanked me. Seeing you kiss another man makes my blood boil.” I could feel her laughter against my chest.

“It’s a promise Chakotay, on one condition.”

“Oh and what’s that?” I asked, my curiosity peaked.

“That you stay the hell away from blonds.”

This time it was me who was chuckling. “That’s a promise I can guarantee Kathryn.” I kissed her lips briefly. “Come on dinner is getting cold.” I took her hand and we walked toward the back door.

“Chakotay what are we going to do about this?”

“That all depends on Elijah Kathryn. If he’s heard any of this conversation then I don’t think he’ll be back and it won’t matter. But if he hasn’t then he’ll be here after dinner and we will have to have a plan. Let’s discuss this with Tuvok and see what he thinks.”

“Sounds like a plan to me.”

Tuvok was seated at the head of the table and T’Pel sat opposite at the other end. The girls were on one side of the table next to each other, which left the two open chairs next to each other for Kathryn and me.

“Is everything alright you two have been gone for quite awhile. We were becoming…concerned.”

I smiled brightly, “Everything is fine now T’Pel, with one or two exceptions. The wedding is still going to take place but I thought we would have it on earth so that my mother and sister could attend.” I couldn’t help teasing my old friends. That was definitely a flash of disappointment on her face.

“I do not mean to seem insensitive Kathryn, but I thought that your mother disapproved of this union. I did not think she wished to attend… your wedding. You have only known Elijah for a few weeks.”

“Oh didn’t I mention that there was a change of…grooms as well. I’m not marrying Elijah; he is a criminal after all you know? No… I’m going to marry my best friend,” I clasped Chakotay’s hand in mine making it obvious who I was talking about, “The man who’s owned my heart for years. It was the only logical choice for me to make.”

“I concur with your choice; this is a wise decision you have made,” she said with a slight bow to her head.

I couldn’t hold in the laughter any more. “Thank you T’Pel and I think I owe a debt of gratitude to that overly romantic husband of yours also.” I clasped Tuvok’s hand with my free one. “Thank you my old friend, if you hadn’t helped to intervene I would have made the biggest mistake of my life.” He cocked his eyebrow at me.

“I am not a romantic as you suggested, I merely helped you to see the error of your ways. You and Chakotay belong together. It was the logical thing to do.”

“Whatever you say Tuvok… you old softy you,” I giggled. God I never knew such happiness existed. “But we do have another problem.” I filled them both in on what had happened in the garden, skipping the more amorous parts. It was decided that we should take the ring out so we could be overheard, now that we had a plan. Of course Elijah would only hear what we wanted him to hear. We made some small talk before we got down to the nitty gritty. We didn’t want to raise any suspicions if we hadn’t been found out already.

“So T’Pel when will I see this urn that you have told me so much about. I must say I’m quite eager to see it.”

“Right after dinner Chakotay, it is here at the house. Tuvok and I thought it best to keep it close at hand, there are many unscrupulous buyers out there who would purchase this for their own pleasure. It is upstairs in our bedroom. The girls are to be picked up by their parents along with Ku’Kar and then I will bring it down for your perusal. I do not wish to bring it down before hand since Ku’Kar is here, he does have a tendency towards excitement, and I do not want the vessel damaged.”

“I understand.” I said playing along with the story we concocted. We continued along in the same vein adding embellishments. Our objective was to lure Elijah’s people here to the house to steal the urn, while Kathryn, Elijah, Tuvok and T’Pel were out celebrating their engagement.

“God what a day this has been, how do you get yourself involved in these things Elijah,” I thought as I hurried to meet my business partners. First I had to spend half the morning drinking that hideous black coffee she is so damned fond of. Then I had to propose to a woman I didn’t love, although I had to admit the sex had been good between us. That I would definitely miss, after I got the urn. Then I had to kiss that damned Vulcan’s ass, and be interrogated by that Indian fellow who was supposedly just a friend. I hadn’t missed the way his eyes devoured Kat’s body, not that I could blame him. For an older woman, she did have a remarkable shape. He was one to watch though, I’m not sure he believed my antiques dealer story. I had a feeling there was more to this man then meets the eye.

I slid into the booth next to Mr.Villaroy and across from my partners in crime, Frank and Grott. They were not the brightest two in the universe but I knew I could trust them. Frank and I were old friends and the Andorien owed me for saving his hide. We had worked well together before. Villaroy was another story; I knew he was a wealthy man with a penchant for all things rare and beautiful. It was said that he kept a harem of exotic slaves he had kidnapped from all over the galaxy, and his art collection was unrivaled. He was a powerful man, a man you didn’t double cross and live to tell the tale. I’ll admit… dealing with him had made me nervous as hell. I couldn’t wait till this deal was over and I was back on my way towards the Gamma quadrant.

“So how’s it going with my urn Nevin, I’ve been waiting for weeks now and I am not a patient man.”

“I know Mr. Villaroy and I think we may be very close to getting it. T’Pel had some sort of special archeologist show up at her house today. If we listen to their dinner conversation, I believe the location might be revealed.” I pulled out the transceiver, and set the listening device on the table. They were all discussing the topics of the day, but the conversation quickly turned to news of the urn, and the churning in my belly quieted a bit.

“So it’s in the house then. Just how do you plan on removing it? That Vulcan isn’t just going to let you walk out the door with it is he?”

“No sir,” I said nervously. “That’s where Frank and Grott come into play. The house will be empty tonight; we’re all supposed to go out to celebrate my engagement. While we’re out, these two will break in and get the vase.” Mr. Villaroy looked dubiously at my partners. “I know what your thinking sir, but believe me; Frank here can crack any defense code that can be thought up. If they run into any other problems, well let’s just say that Grott here can handle them.”

“Make sure he can, I want that vase and I’m not willing to except any screw ups.”

“Yes sir,” I said picking at my dinner miserably, while my stomach twisted in knots.

The children were sent home with their parents, but Ku’Kar remained at Kathryn insistence. She didn’t like the idea of my being here alone to catch the thieves we were sure would arrive. And contrary to his playful appearance earlier, the animal was well trained and would be an asset to me. Tuvok had replicated an exact duplicate of the urn and moved it into position in the bed room. A homing beacon was imbedded in the base of the urn. Kathryn had gone off to get ready for her ‘date’. Everything was ready and in place, all we had to do now was wait for this all to play out.

The gong down stairs sounded, announcing the arrival of Kathryn’s fiancé. She came out of her bedroom and took my breath away, she looked so lovely. Her hair was pulled up in an elegant twist with loose curls softening the look. She wore a black slinky dress which showed off much of her freckled cleavage, and a pair of high strappy black sandals. “Damn it Kathryn, did you have to dress so dammed sexy for him, you look incredible.” I asked her as she approached me.

“I thought it was my job to make sure his attention was diverted.” I said with a smile, appreciating Chakotay’s lustful looks greatly.

“Well just remember who it is you belong to now, o.k.”

“Only if you’ll remember to be very careful, you’re finally mine and I don’t want to loose you ever again.” I wrapped my arms around his neck and kissed him deeply.

“Spirits Kathryn you keep that up and I’m not going to let you go. But unfortunately he is down stairs waiting, and the quicker we get this all settled the sooner I can make you my wife. So go, before I change my mind.”

I went down the stairs and Elijah was waiting for me with Tuvok and T’Pel. He greeted me with a sound kiss.

“You look fantastic Kat, are you ready to go? Isn’t your friend Chakotay going to be joining us also?”

“No he had some business to attend to; he won’t be back until next week. It’s just the four of us, shall we?” I said leading the group towards the door. I said a small prayer for Chakotay’s spirit guide to watch over him, as we headed off into the night.

Exactly thirty minutes later I heard it, or I should say Ku’Kar heard it. He let out a low growl at the sound of the intruders. “Easy boy,” I said quieting the animal. We were hidden from view by a large screen in the bedroom just waiting for the show to start. It wasn’t long before I saw the flicker of a wrist beacon on the wall.

“This is the room here Frank, Elijah said it was at the top of the stairs to the left. Let’s get this thing and get the hell out of here. That Villaroy guy makes my antennae itch. He’s more dangerous then anyone we’ve contracted with before.”

“You said it Grott. I could feel my skin jumping under his beady stare. He’d just as soon cut your heart out as he would pay you. I don’t know what Elijah was thinking with this one. That guy is definitely out of our league.”

So… they were all working for Dorian Villaroy, things around here had just gotten a lot more complicated. I knew him or at least his reputation. He had reputedly been responsible for several archeologist disappearances after a major find. Nothing was ever proven though. I hoped to change that tonight.

“I’m almost through this code, just a few more combinations and we’re home free.” The security screen around the faux urn sizzled and then dropped completely. “There you see. What did I tell you?” He reached for the urn.

That’s when I made my move. I had to alter the plan the minute I heard Villaroy was involved. One of those missing archeologist was an old friend of mine. I stepped out from behind the screen. “Thank you gentlemen, I had been wondering how I was going to get through that security screen and here you’ve gone and done it for me.”

“What the hell, who the hell are you?” Frank said straitening up.

“Let’s just say I’m an old friend of the family who’s tired of scratching in the dirt with no financial gain for it. That’s my urn your about to steal and I’m afraid I can’t let that happen, I need the money to badly, I have to pay off some gambling debts.” There that sounded convincing. I noticed the Andorien trying to move closer, he was scrappy but some of the toughest boxers I ever came up against were too. “Hold it right their pal, you take one more step closer and I can’t be held responsible for what’s going to happen.”

The Andorien obviously wasn’t too bright. He stepped closer and Ku’Kar sprang from behind the screen knocking him to the ground the man screamed in fright. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you.” Frank lunged at me and I stunned him with the phaser Tuvok had provided. I tied Frank up while Ku’Kar kept watch over the Andorien, of course he chose to struggle so I had to phaser whip him in the head to make sure he cooperated. Then I tied him up as well.
I called Vulcan security and they were at the house in minutes carting the two men off to jail. Two down two to go. I took the urn with me and went in search of Elijah; I needed him to get me connected with Villaroy.

I went to the café where they where celebrating over a bottle of Vulcan wine. I asked the hostess of the café to deliver a message to Elijah. It read, “I’ve dispensed of both of your men, if you want to keep Villaroy from carving you up meet me outside now.” I watched as his face turned an ashen gray. I left another message to be delivered to the table as soon as he stepped away. I wanted Tuvok and Kathryn to know what I had planned and what exactly was at stake here. It wasn’t long before he made his excuses to the group and joined me outside.

“You,” he said surprised by my presence. “What do you want; I thought you were friends with them.” He gestured over his shoulder towards the café.

“I am, and if we play this right they need never know of my involvement. Your two friends are no longer… among us. It was a necessary move, they didn’t want to cooperate. However I am now in possession of the urn. But we both share a common problem, I need money to pay off some debts that are owed but I don’t have a buyer. You want money and now I’ve seen to it that your share will only be split two ways instead of three, you have a buyer, and one who I know does not take kindly to being scammed. So I think it’s in both our best interests to work together. What do you say?”

“I’d say it looks like I don’t have a choice. What’s your plan?” He asked obviously unhappy about the turn of events.

“It’s quite simple really, you go ahead with the sale as planned and we split the profits. I’ll stay in the background to…watch your back and make sure my half reaches me, simple enough. Have we got a deal?” I asked already knowing the answer; the man had no choice if he wanted to survive Villaroy. I couldn’t meet with Villaroy myself he might recognize me from all the press from Voyagers homecoming.

“It’s a deal, lets get this over with the sooner I’m away from here the better. I’ll contact him now and tell him my men have bought me the urn.”

“You do that and no tricks if you know what’s good for you.” I hadn’t really expected any; the man hadn’t recovered from hearing of me dispatching his partners. He contacted Villaroy and a meeting was set up for the parking lot in ten minutes. Nevin was nervous as hell and kept stretching his neck from side to side to relive the stress. I handed over the faux urn and gave him a final warning against any trickery. Then I faded into the shadows to watch the buy take place. True to his word Villaroy showed up on time. Gold pressed latinum was exchanged for the urn and Nevin was walking back towards me with a smile on his face as the buyer drove off; apparently happy with his purchase seeing as how Nevin was still alive. That’s when ‘the shit hit the fan’ as the old saying went. Vulcan security appeared out of no where and Elijah Nevin was arrested. We all went with the security force so reports could be written.

The homing device imbedded in the vase led them directly to Villaroy’s small ship as he prepared to leave orbit. He was finally arrested, and was charged with dealing in stolen goods with intent of transporting them off world. A very serious charge here on Vulcan, and one that would land him in jail for at least the next twenty years.

“All in all this was the most productive day of my life.” I said to the Vulcan magistrate who was thanking us for our help. “My friends and I helped to foil a plot to steal a major Vulcan archeological treasure, and I became engaged to the woman of my dreams. Life doesn’t get to much better than this.”

“Feeling pretty proud of yourself aren’t you honey?” I asked as I slid my arms around his neck and kissed him.

“I’m feeling pretty damned proud of all of us, aren’t you?”

“Yes, and I think we should do something to celebrate don’t you?” I asked rubbing myself suggestively but discreetly against my future husband.

“If there is anything I can do for you here, please let me know. We on Vulcan owe you a debt of gratitude.” The magistrate said, with a slight bow.

“I have a suggestion,” Tuvok offered “I have known these two people for years and they wish to marry, they have had to put ‘the needs of the many’ before there own for far too long. If you can arrange for that to happen tonight I believe they would consider it a debt repaid.”

“That should not be a problem, give me a few minutes to arrange it.” He said as he walked towards another room.

“Oh Tuvok that’s a wonderful idea, and you say your not a romantic.”

“I am not, but I am not sure I could survive your engagement.”

Kathryn and I both laughed, the day had been one hell of a ride.

“You can have a small ceremony here and then a large one with all of our Voyager friends and your family on earth.”

“That’s just perfect Tuvok,” I said reaching up to kiss his cheek. “Thank you my friend.”

“You are welcome.”

A judge was rounded up, Tuvok and T’Pel stood as witnesses the ceremony was preformed and we were now a happily married couple.

Hours later I lay contentedly with Kathryn in my arms and chuckled.

“What’s so funny Chakotay?” I asked kissing his bare chest my nails grazing his nipples. God I couldn’t seem to get enough of this man.

“Tuvok… I think he was afraid to have his unwed daughter and I share a room together under his roof.”

“Well I for one am glad he thought of it Chakotay.” I could feel him stirring again and pressed myself closer to him, “This was one incredible wedding night and I hope it never ends.”

“Me too Kathryn, me too,” I murmured right before our lips met in another soul searing kiss. Yes I thought once again, life doesn’t get much better then this.

The End





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Some flowers used to make the contest graphics from