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I fell into sleep, still tasting our mingled blood – blood! The very concept was alien, abhorrent –

And yet, not.

I had a dream – although Father had said, 470 times, thus far, that dreaming was ‘an undesirable human impulse’ I must condition myself to indulge in only at will, for a purpose, still, rebelliously, I dreamed, and refused those lessons.

We knelt upon the sands, at dawning, settled onto our haunches, and our fingers danced together in the positions of the childs’ poses. This was the prelude to Promising, which I knew, from the private lessons with Father’s Kiral.

We were being Promised. And she was smiling, her cheeks and chin indenting the way Mother’s did, when she was pleased too suddenly to practice restraint, the expression that always stirred me in a way that no other did, and in places a lifetime of training and correction demanded I hide from, as though there were any logic at all in hiding from myself…

I will have all of you, fierce one, or none at all. Hold back nothing, and hide nothing. I will not take only half a ferndeer, I must have all that you are.”

She was here – before me, within me. I see myself in her eyes, even with the coming of the red morning….and I feel her soul – vivid, watchful, welcoming.

I gave himself to her, dissolved everything that walled off parts of me, and then, daringly, I broke the pattern of Souldance, of the ritual, and she flowed into my arms as I pulled her to me, and we fell into the sand, everything abandoned for the need to touch, to join, to be one, wholly, unbreakably.

Voices. Our minds recorded; we heard the sounds. They held unknown meaning, and were sent, untended, to memory.

There was no danger to react to.

Spock. You will desist, resume the ceremony, and complete your Promising.”

.”Sarek, it is done.  More than Promising. It is childbond, of a particularly strong nature.”

“The ceremony – “

“Is for thee, and not thy child. There is no need to complete a ceremony intended only to ensure a lesser connection than that which exists already. Let us provide them shelter from the sun, and leave them to explore in privacy what they have wrought between them.”

All was well. The scents, strange, but readable, said there was tolerance if not yet acceptance….

We felt shadow fall over us, dimming sight, and so we looked instead within, began to dance to the rising tempo of the bells and gongs, wind sighing through rocks, the singing of silverbirds and the firepit.

Sheltered, we danced, one, nothing hidden, nothing denied, all accepted…

We were a creature of nature, one with fire and birds and wind and rock and the dawn….

I woke to a subtle shift in light and warmth, to her cool,slow breath tickling my ear, her body curled into me, with a leg thrown over mine, her knee grazing my stavrit –

Then, it was not dream. Not delusion.

I held her, and my body was alive with the feel of her. My blood flow shifted, and I groaned softly before I could think to repress the sound. I remembered, and hungered to feel again what I had not known existed, before last night. I wanted to touch my stavrit, as it hardened into ahnstav – but, more, I wanted to press against her, within her, and feel her body straining to join with mine in the flowing way of our minds…

There was something I was to remember about the light and the rock…something of import….

She shifted,in her sleep, her knee adding pressure, and ahnstav was suddenly complete, power and pleasurepain carrying another groan surging forth, breaking through the impotent barrier of my lips…lips that longed to taste her, everywhere…

Warmth. And shadows?

She was watching me, now, and in her knee and her mind I could feel knowing. “You desire Matehunt again, so soon, fierce one?” But laughter and delight in her mind, and she leaned over, her tangled curls brushing fiery sparks along my chest, and then we were kissing, and biting, and our bodies wound together with their own will…

“Is it not obvious, my own?” My voice was a gasp, fracturing into the spaces between the animal sounds we were making.

She laughed, and then there was only Souldance,and Matehunt, and sensation uniting, making of us both toucher and touched.

Endlesss discovery and unity. When we hungered, we ate; when tired, we slept; when desire ruled, we played at Matehunt and Souldance. We spoke little, our minds were joined, and so there was no need.

Something about light and shadow….

“So. Thee awaken, young one. I thought it might be soon. Come, refresh thyself, and eat. I have brought you clothing that will soothe you, and there are things we must speak on, before you leave us.”

I stared at the speaker, not understanding. Then, panic twisted my intestines, and I illogically searched the stone bedplace….

“Niaan!”

She was not here. I was alone except for the aged woman scarcely taller than me. “Where have you-”

“Look within your mind, young one. What you seek is there, if bedimmed. We have no means to recreate the state that allowed you to perceive her so fully, but she has not been taken from you, and will not be.”

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