Avenger: Chapter 10

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CHAPTER TEN

"How do I obtain your parents' approval?" Sojar asked. They sat close together on the bench, sharing the first heady glow that presaged full bonding. The precious healer manuscript lay ignored on the ground.

"They already approve and knew before we arrived. You would not have been permitted to stay if they did not approve. As it is," she added, her lips quirking in a muted smile, "I am an adult, able to decide for myself."

"There is something I must tell you. You were right when you sensed I felt distress. You must know --"

"Lady Amanda explained it to me. Sojar, you were willing to die, for the sake of my freedom?" Tears threatened, but Marakil held them back. "I knew then, I could not live without you. My whole life is yours."

"Then there is nothing to prevent us from bonding. Now."

"Shouldn't we tell someone first?"

"Even the well of Vulcan patience runs dry at times. I am not as impassive or controlled as others, and my well is dry." A light gleamed in his eyes, the only laughter Sojar could show. "I believe Dr. McCoy is already acting as herald."

"Oh, Sojar," she sighed, torn between laughter and tears. "Forgive me for trying your patience."

In her studies, Marakil had touched minds many times with Sojar and his parents. She had learned much in those times of contact and looked forward to full bonding. She lifted her hand to the meld points on Sojar's face, as he touched her, like many times before. This time, they opened themselves to the joining, no privacy barriers between them ever again.

Now I understand! To be Vulcan is such beauty!

She felt drunk with the strength of his presence, yet everything remained clear to her. Her inner being thrummed and sang like her lytherrette as Sojar drew near to all the secrets she herself could barely understand, and had kept hidden so long. He saw and touched them, and they understood together.

My wife, I grieve for your pain. I see the dreams you have kept hidden even from yourself. Sojar's mind flowed deeper into hers. Nothing could break this bonding. Their souls and thoughts intertwined and danced in a wild, joyous tumbling. The beauty of merely existing overwhelmed them. Joined, they saw and understood the world around them in ways that, separately, they could not even dream of.

The initial act of bonding only lasted a few seconds, a breath, yet would continue for the remainder of their mortal lives. Marakil knew enough not to protest as Sojar withdrew physical contact, yet it hurt. The contact of their minds remained, stronger than she had dared hope, yet only an echo of what they had just experienced.

"My wife." Sojar's words startledher, even as she warmed to the love she could now hear in his voice. "Now I see fully why you were named Avenger. There is great strength in you, as well as pain and anger."

"I will change my name, if it will please you."

"No need. You control your own desires so there is justice, not revenge. I would not change you."

"Justice." Marakil liked the taste of that word. "My husband, you have taken away the shame I always felt mingled with the pride. I thank you."

"It was my honor." He rose, giving his hand to help her rise. The normal heat of his hand was no surprise to Marakil. The strength with which he held her was a delight.

"Sojar, the burning I sensed in you is gone."

"Not gone. Merely weakened, now that my greatest concern is gone. My time will come all too soon." His hand tightened around hers.

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