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Dark Angel

 

 

In memory of Mark Lenard

By Ada-Jane Ward

V'Muse

Dark Angel is written as fan fiction and is not meant to infringe on any copyrights currently held by Paramount Pictures Corproation or Viacom Inc, or any other person

or orginization.

Dark Angel is the property of it's creator and may not be copied or distibutated in any form without the creators permission.

The creator of Dark Angel would welcome constructive critzisim -good or bad- by it's readers.

Any comments or questions may be directed to A.J. Ward/V'Muse at harbon@vianet.on.ca This will also help the webmaster and creator decide wether to post more creations of A.J.Ward.

The Vulcan rituals for Dark Angel for the best part come form my imagination with a little bit a reality from ancient Pagan tribes throughout the world (our world!).

I have also re-worked Vulcan history to suit myself. Don't get upset Trekkers, nothing is

written in stone! And any ways, this is my alternative universe!

I can hear the moans of dis-belief and anguish from die hard students of Vulcanisim.

"Sarek would never do that!" :Sarek would never say that!" Well.....in my universe he does!!!

Being a practicing Wiccan for many years I have tried to include basic beliefs and practices in Dark Angel. Once again these are not written in stone as there are many

traditions within the craft and thoughts and rituals may very.

I would like to say thank you to my sister for giving me the idea.

To Gene Roddenberry, for giving us the dream and the vision.

To all the wonderful actors over the years who have given us the joy.

To all the writers who have allowed us to share in their alternative universes.

And to the most important person, Mr. Mark Lenard, without who's evocative portrayal of Sarek there would be no Dark Angel.

A.J. Ward/V'Muse 6.29.98

 

 

PROLOGUE

 

The sun had finally began to set, it hung red and low on the horizon.... Darkness riding behind it like rider chasing a prey that would not be caught--and finally night had arrived. Her cooling breath touching and caressing the lone figure which stood silently waiting for her arrival. The woman had performed this ritual almost every night of her adult life, it was a simple enough ritual, thanking the Lady for the day which had past, repeating through silent lips the goals she wished to accomplish and the ones that had come to her. Slowly she raised her face to the night sky and focused her mind. When the white light had surrounded her and she felt the peace which she had taught herself she lit the single white candle which sat on a large stone table that stood in front of her. She would not perform an elaborate ritual as the moon was not quite in her full phase yet, but after the good news she had received earlier that day she had to give thanks for her good fortune.

In front of her stood the Lady, a full sized statue that she had cast herself, in one hand the Lady held a book which contained the inspiration she gave to all her children who wished to call upon her, the poet, the writer, the crafters and the artist were favored by her. In the other hand held aloft in the dark night sky, a crystal crescent moon lying on it's back. A symbol that was feminine and represented if not all, most Goddesses of the Wiccan path. The woman took from a small jar some crushed blackberry leaves, cloves and cinnamon and cast them on the brazier that was glowing softly on the altar. The rich, sweet smell lifted silently dancing into the air. The woman bowed in front of her altar, taking a piece of moonstone from the pouch she had around her neck; she placed it on the large pentacle in the center of the altar. She had made the pentacle years before when she had chosen her present path. She lifted her arms and closed her eyes and began her incant of thanks.

"Oh holy Goddess Brighid,

mother of us all.

Come to your child and grant her,

Love, joy, abundance and wisdom.

I offer you and all your children my love and care."

She took a small vial of oil from her pouch and took a drop on her finger then traced the five pointed star upon her forehead, the Wiccan symbol of fire, water, air, earth and spirit, the five sacred things which no one can live without, she rose and approached the statue and anointed her the same as giver of the five sacred things. Returning to her altar she picked the moonstone up from the pentacle and held it to the Lady.

"I give thanks for what you have given.

I give back my love as your child.

I know the power is held within me,

And through you divine mother,

All things come to fruition.

I come to you in beauty and love,

Joy and compassion, power, strength and humility.

You have been with us all through our history,

And you shall be our gain in the end.

So Mote It Be."

She kissed the stone and took it to the statue, kneeling down she dug a small hole at the foot of the Lady, placing the stone in she covered it with earth. She looked up to the star-filled sky and took a deep breath. She had applied to the Academy twice before and both times she had been turned down, not because of lack of talent, she figured it just wasn't her time. She had been living in the Bay area of San Francisco for ten years. She had come from a good family but now she was by herself in this great big world, and sometimes it scared her. But over time she realized when she was scared she produced some of her best work. The Lady for instance, was created in a time of great grief when her mother had died. She had worked for many months on her hardly sleeping or eating until she was satisfied that she had done her best. She had always been alone even in her Wiccan path she was solitary. Her creative gift was used to make her living and she had done very well with her painting and writings. It had brought her come acclaim but she was not interested in that acclaim, the only thing that mattered to her is that she could create beauty and it pleased other. But now, finally she had been accepted by the Academy, she couldn't believe it! But it was true. She had received the formal reply that very afternoon, she had held it in her hands for a long time before opening it, as the last two refusals had also came in plain white envelopes with the golden rune on the back. She tried to draw any information out of the paper, as she was able to do this. She had come from an Irish/Scottish back ground where second sight had been quite prominent in her family, but nothing; the envelope lay there lifeless in her hands. Finally she opened it and took out the enclosed letter. She read it silently and her hand went to her mouth. She had been accepted, she was going to the Academy. There was so much for her to do. The first thing would be to get her travel documents, the house would have to be taken care of, but that was no problem. Tomorrow she would take care of all that.

She shivered slightly and turned and walked away from her altar. "A new lesson in life will begin tomorrow. I only hope I have the strength to learn it."

She went inside and closed her door, there she felt safe. The candle on the altar continued to burn, and the night danced on.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 1

 

The graying shafts of light flooded in through the large glass window that surrounded the indoor garden of the Embassy. Even though it was now ten O'clock in the morning the lead colored sky showed no promise of sun. The rain hit the windows making a rhythmic song. A man stood in the center of the garden staring out into the dull wet street. Although it was Earth's autumn, the trees which were surrounding the Embassy were still green, compared to the subtle other worldly tones that made up the indoor garden. But he preferred the muted tones which now surrounded him, he found them more calming and in the last year he seeked out the calmness he needed in whatever he could. He had been there since the first graying light had broken. When he was not busy performing his job, this is where he could always be found.

This day would be the same as any other, meetings, meetings and more meetings. If he were human he probably would have given the tedious schedule more thought; perhaps it would have even depressed him. But he was not human and to waste time thinking about such irrelevant things was illogical. He opened his eyes to look once again at the rain hitting the window only then could one see the darkness that was this man, not evil or brooding just darkness. From his ambassadorial robes to the blackness of his hair, which was starting to show quite a bit of gray, to his eyes, yes his eyes they were what really held the darkness. He was entering late maturity, but age did not show on his face or frame. He was actually glad that he had been on Earth for the last ten months as humans

were not so attuned at picking up his emotional state and his young aides that worked under him could be eluded with his many years of control.

A few times in the past he was on the verge of losing that control, of becoming emotional, but he had drawn on his mastery to hold him intact... A year ago when his human wife, Amanda had died, he thought himself prepared for her passing; he never realized how hard it really would be. True, he grieved when his father had died, but his father was a Vulcan as he was and his katra had been placed in the Hall of Memories to be drawn upon when-ever he felt need of it. But Amanda was not a Vulcan, she was a human and so had no katra that could be transferred to the Hall of Memories ... She did have a soul, but it was unsure what happened to the human soul after death of the body that housed it.

There were many religions on Earth and most of them believed in one way or another that the soul did survive in the afterlife. But that was just speculation and blind faith. He was a logical being, and could not go on blind anything. Yet for a moment at her death he thought he felt Amanda's essence as she left her physical body, he was sure of it, and that had given him some peace. But since Amanda's death that was all the peace he had. His love for her, although rarely ever spoken, had been very deep and fulfilling, and now nothing.

Sarek of Vulcan, Ambassador to Earth shook his head, reminding himself that the thoughts he was having were illogical. He tilted his head to one side listening to the faint footsteps of someone approaching. It was his aide, Salin, who had only entered Embassy work six months earlier, he was young and full of promise but occasionally too talkative.

"Good morning Ambassador" Salin said.

"Salin, what is my schedule today?" Asked the Ambassador absently.

"Sir, you have a meeting in fifteen minutes with the head of the Sponsorship Association, Miss. Krall. She wishes to discuss the problems a few human students are having at the Academy." The ambassador glanced at Salin.

"I really do not know why she wishes to take my time up with petty problems I can do nothing about. The human students are given all the information they require before being accepted at the Academy. I can do nothing about the extreme heat or the fact that Vulcan students do not have the same emotions as they do. If I hear one more time that we do not have emotions. What do they think we are? Machines? I honestly think Miss. Krall likes to hear herself talk." Sarek turned and headed towards the flight of stairs that led up to his private office, Salin ignored the slight out-burst and continued behind him continuing the roll of meetings scheduled for the day.

" At twelve O' clock you have a meeting with the head of security, Mr. Tames, it should last till two."

Sarek mused to himself, he really didn't know why these human were so insistent on having meetings when they had nothing important to say, it seemed a waste of time, but then again humans did seem to waste a lot of time, including his.

"At three O' clock you have a meeting..." Salin continued.

Sarek had entered his private office as Salin's voice trailed off into nothingness. His computer was softly chiming. Salin stood in the doorway looking at the Ambassador for any further instruction.

"I will speak with Miss. Krall after I take this call Salin, leave me." Sarek continued to his desk. With a quick nod Salin closed the door to leave Sarek with the chiming com.

 

CHAPTER 2

In the outer office Miss. Krall was already tapping the top of Salin's desk.

"Good morning Miss. Krall, the Ambassador will be with you as soon as he is finished with his current communication. Please have a seat."

Miss. Krall, a very tall woman with graying brown hair severely bound in a bun stared intensely at Salin.

"Young man, I am not in the habit of being kept waiting and I expect the Ambassador to keep his appointments, I am very busy and I must keep my schedule on line. If I didn't know any better I would think the Ambassador is doing this on purpose!"

Salin's eyebrow lifted just a little, luckily for him he was a Vulcan and in control of his emotions for if he were human he would surely have blushed at the logical assumption Miss. Krall had just made.

"I am quite sure the Ambassador is not intentionally doing anything to you Miss. Krall, he is quite busy and he will attend to you as soon as he is finished with his present business."

Miss. Krall realized that nothing she would say would get her on to see the Vulcan Ambassador until he was ready to see her, this annoyed her greatly. She was the head of the Sponsorship Association', not some schoolgirl. She had worked with the Ambassador for some years now and in the past he had always been obliging in their endeavors to make both Vulcan and Human students happy with their stay at the academy. But over

the last ten months the Ambassador had seemed to lose interest in the sponsorship of Human students to Vulcan. It seemed whenever they had a meeting, an argument was the only thing that could be counted on.

Sarek had changed over the last months. Perhaps because of the death of his wife, but that was, what do the Vulcan's say ...illogical. After all Vulcans did not have the same emotions as humans and it would be illogical for the Ambassador to grieve for his wife. It must be old age, after all the Ambassador was quite old compared to human standards. Just as Miss. Krall sat down her interest was caught by a young woman who had just came up the stairs and headed towards Salin's desk. Salin also noticed the woman approaching his desk. As she got closer he could not help but notice her striking beauty. The woman came to a stop in front of the desk, she seemed not a part of the time. She smiled openly at Salin.

"Good morning, my name is Eire Teine. I hope I have the right floor?" She said.

"What floor were you looking for Miss. Teine?" Salin asked.

"I have to obtain travel documents for my trip to Vulcan. Is this where I will obtain them?" Salin looked at her; he was fascinated with her beauty.

"Yes Miss. Teine, I will be pleased to process your travel documents, do you have the appropriate papers?" He asked.

"I believe so." Eire answered. With that she took a small portfolio she held beneath her cape and handed it to Salin. He opened it and quickly gazed through her documents. She stood quietly as he did so.

"You are travelling to Vulcan to study at the Academy?" He asked.

"Yes, and I am looking forward to doing so." Eire answered.

"Your sponsorship document it not here." Salin said looking up into her moon-shaped face, noticing for the first time her clear green eyes. So green they reminded him of the stone the humans called jade. Her eyes were so clear and bright he could almost see his reflection in them.

"Sponsorship document? I didn't know I needed one, after all I am quite capable of supporting myself, and very capable of living on my own, I have been doing it for twenty years." Eire said indignantly.

"Miss. Teine, are you certain you were not given a spanner? No one may reside on Vulcan without one." Salin said.

"Great! Let me look one more time." She quickly rummaged through her portfolio one more time, but to no avail.

"What am I going to do? I'm supposed to leave for Vulcan the week after next. Is there anything you can do to help? I must go to the Academy now or it might be years before they accept me again, if ever." Eire was duly upset.

"Leave your papers with me and I will see what I can do." Said Salin.

"When will you know something?" Eire asked. "Come tomorrow at one. I should have found out the information by then." He concluded.

Just then the door to the Ambassador's office opened and he walked out towards Miss. Krall who almost fell over her feet in trying to get up to greet him. "Forgive me Miss. Krall, but I had to take care of an important call. I hope you haven't been waiting long?" Miss. Krall knew he knew just how long she had been waiting but there was no use causing a scene, it would do her no good. The Ambassador stretched his arm out ushering her towards his office. As he passed Salin's desk he took a deep breath and his eyebrows raised gently, Salin gave him a the same response and continued keying in the information on Miss. Teine.

Sarek glanced quickly at the woman standing patiently at the desk; he made a mental note of her and was actually quite interested in what he saw... He wondered briefly what her business was with the Embassy; but that quickly faded as he turned his attention to Miss. Krall who was inside waiting none too pleased. He went inside with one last look at the young woman then closed the door.

"Who was that?" Eire nodded towards the door.

"That was Miss. Krall, head of the...." Salin was cut off.

"No, not the woman, the Vulcan?" She asked.

Salin looked at her and stopped keying. In his time of being aide to the Ambassador no one had ever asked who he was. Everyone knew the Vulcan Ambassador extraordinaire. He looked into her face and realized she was being truthful, she really didn't know who he was.

"That is Ambassador Sarek, Vulcan Ambassador to Earth and the Federation, everyone knows of him, he has done mush for relations between Earth and Vulcan." Salin explained.

"Oh, I didn't realize, forgive me, he is very dark." She said more to herself that to Salin. She closed her portfolio and removed it from the desk.

"Tomorrow at one?" She smiled.

"Yes, one." Salin answered.

"Thank you for your help Salin, I just hope you will be able to straighten this out. It would mean a lot to me."

"I will do everything possible to ensure your place at the Academy." Salin nodded. She smiled at him, "I know you will. Good day Salin."

"Good day Miss. Teine. Salin said. Eire turned and quietly disappeared down the staircase. Salin watched till he could see her no more and returned to his keying.

CHAPTER 3

The night had been long and not comforting as usual, Eire thought most of the night about the sponsorship paper she didn't have. How could she have known? She was usually very organized, if she couldn't go to the Academy, well she didn't want to think about that, she had to go. She had worked so hard to make the entry and now by no fault of her own she might not go. By dawn she had fallen into a restless sleep only to be woken by the chime of her computer.

"Good morning Eire, did I wake you?"

It was Brahza her friend, probably her only friend. Although born on Earth, Brahza was as Vulcan as any other Vulcan.

"Yes you woke me, but that's all right. I have to go back to the Embassy this afternoon." Eire said fumbling withe the sash on her dressing gown.

"Again? I thought you took care of that yesterday?" Commented Brahza.

"I did, but I was informed that I need sponsorship papers to get my travel visa for Vulcan." Eire shifted in the chair.

"Usually that is taken care of at the Academy, you must have a spanner family to reside on Vulcan. Said Brahza. Eire sighed,

"Oh well, what time is it Brahza?" "Twelve point two." Replied Brahza.

"I have to go my appointment is at one!" Eire stood slowly up from the com.

"Perhaps a prayer to your Lady might bring you favor?" Brahza suggested....

"That might be an idea, have to run Brahza, I'll com you later when I know more. Live Long." With that she clicked off the monitor and rushed to get ready.

She ran down the front stairs pulling her hood up as it was still raining. She ran most of the way to the Embassy which made her face flushed, all the way she incanted, "Holy Goddess Brighid, I ask for your help in this matter. Grant me my goal, grant me this chance. It is done."

Eire arrived at the Embassy with two minutes to spare, Vulcan punctuality was well known and to be late was considered lax and irresponsible. She lifted up her long dress and made her way to the top of the stairs just as the large water clock in the outer office chimed once. As she approached the desk she noticed Salin was not there. In his place sat a young Vulcan female, she looked very exotic, as most female Vulcan tended to look. But her off-white tunic really did nothing for her beauty....

"Excuse me, I have an appointment with Salin, at one." Eire said quietly.

"I am T'arin, Salin is not available at this time. What is your business with the Embassy?" T'arin questioned.

"He, Slain was going to look into why I did not receive my sponsorship papers, and if he could still get one for me." Eire explained.

"Sponsorship papers? Aren't you a little old to be a student?" Asked T'arin

"Age has nothing to do with the process of learning, you as a Vulcan should know that. Would you give me the information I need please?" Eire smiled thinly.

"Your name?" T'arin asked

"Eire Teine." Eire said and waited for the information. T'arin keyed in her name and looked at the monitor, a second later information started to run down the screen. A quizzical look came to T'arin's face.

"Salin said he would have the information you require today?" T'arin asked.

"Yes, he precisely said by one o' clock, today!" Eire said

"I'm sorry, but all that is in your file is basic data, name, address, co. number, birth, nothing more. If you do not have a spanner family... I assure you there is no possible way for you to reside on Vulcan, or go to the Academy. I'm sorry." T'arin started to close the file.

Eire looked at her thinking her whole world; her dream was going to fall around her. She felt a pounding, whether it was her heart or her head, she wasn't sure. This couldn't be happening; she wouldn't let it happen....

"May I speak with Salin, I know he is here, I sense him. "Eire said looking around the office. T'arin looked, her eyes a little wider than before. She was lightly shocked at the statement, as she had met many beings who were sensitive. Most Vulcan's were very sensitive to emotions of other beings, that is why they refrained from touching. But a human able to sense another being? To her that was something rare. Perhaps she had been trained as a child in some discipline, some humans had gone through the Vulcan disciplines, but this was rare.

T'arin looked at the woman and tried to pick up her emotional state, but all she picked up was light, but under-lying that pain.

"Yes Salin is here, he is with the Ambassador and cannot be disturbed. If you wish to wait?" T'arin asked.

"I have no time to wait, I'm sorry.

"Eire said looking towards the large wooden door that was the Ambassador's private office. She thought quickly, what could result from the action she was contemplating. She had to find out. She lay her case down on the top of the desk and turned and walked towards the door. Before T'arin could move or say anything she knocked twice on the door. T'arin was there at her side as the door opened and Salin stood looking into her eyes.

"Miss. Teine? T'arin you should have told me Miss. Teine had arrived." Salin said not taking his eyes off hers.

"You left no message to do so Salin, forgive my laxness. I should have prevented her from disturbing you and the Ambassador." T'arin apologized....

"Do not hold this against her Salin. She could have not stopped me. Do you know anything about my sponsorship?" Eire asked.

Eire looked past Salin and saw the Ambassador standing looking out the window, the muted light resting on his face. He looked like some statue she had cast, no movement on his face, so still he stood. If it weren't for the pain, the loss she felt coming from him, she would have thought he was stone. "Is the Ambassador all right?" She asked not looking at either of them. "The Ambassador is well Miss. Teine, one moment please." With that Salin went back into the office and picked up a few papers from the desk and returned to Eire closing the door as he left. "Why did you ask if the Ambassador was all right?" He asked her as they approached the desk.

She stopped and looked into Salin's face, even though he was not mature, he was an attractive male, her green eyes became soft and full of warmth. "I felt his pain, his loss. Salin has he lost someone recently?" Eire asked. "Yes, one year ago, his wife. But you can pick this up? He is Vulcan, you should not be able to do that. I have worked with the Ambassador closely for six months and I have never felt his grieving, and I should, I am Vulcan." Said Salin mildly surprised. "Sometimes I feel too much for my own good, perhaps I was mistaken, forgive me?" She placed her hand on Salin's arm, he was shocked at first but he felt no surge of emotion from her. Her control was as good if not better than his. "Could you straighten this mess out?" She took her hand away. Salin went and sat down at his com and looked up at her. "I'm sorry I have looked into every option available to try to get you on Vulcan without a sponsor, but to no avail. It is a requirement for all off-world students to reside with a Vulcan sponsor family. It is part of the cultural agreement. I tried to get you there as a private visitor which I can do, which would entitle you for a three moth visiting visa, but you would not be able to attend the Academy. Miss. Teine I have tried everything, but there seems to be no way around the sponsorship problem, and all the sponsor families have been taken months ago. I just can't understand this mix up in not having you sign a sponsorship forum, and I looked at your disc, you certainly do have the talent to attend the Academy, perhaps you could apply again next semester?"

Eire looked at him, and let out a deep sigh, she could say nothing. Salin had tried his utmost and she knew that. She felt his disappointment for her even though she shouldn't be picking it up. Finally she said. "Salin are you sure you've looked into every possible way? Of course you have, I didn't mean to demean your thoroughness, but.... I really wanted to go to the Academy."

The office door opened and Sarek approached the desk, he noticed both his aides looking quite sullen and he looked from one to the other. Salin stood.

"Ambassador?"

"Salin when you have a moment, I have need of you. T'arin are the speculations on the upcoming environmental conference ready?"

"Not quite Ambassador, I..." T'arin's mouth closed quickly.

"I asked for them an hour ago, if you cannot fulfill your duties T'arin perhaps you should not be my aide."

Eire looked up into the Vulcan's face, though there was no outward hint of his agitation, she felt it amongst the pain and sadness, he hides it so well she thought. "Please Ambassador, it is my fault that both Salin and T'arin have not been able to do their jobs to your satisfaction."

Sarek looked at her, into her eyes and saw a deepness, a knowingness that was not usual in humans. He immediately pulled up more control just in case she could sense his strained emotions, but he knew it was too late, she already had. "Your fault, is there a problem?" Sarek looked directly into her green eyes.

After Salin explained the situation to the Ambassador and added it was really a shame for Miss. Teine did have exceptional talent and she would benefit from the Academies in depth courses. He stood quietly waiting for what the Ambassador would say.

"What courses were you intending to take... That is if you were going to attend the Academy?" Sarek asked.

"The course in fine arts, matriarchy in pre-Sural Vulcan and religion, not that any Vulcan's adhere to any, but it sounded interesting." Eire answered.

"Of course, but without a spanner family... let me see what I can do, perhaps there is a way. Salin do you have Miss. Teine's portfolio at hand?" Sarek asked still keeping eye contact with her.

"Yes Ambassador, right here and there is a disc with her latest work. "Salin handed the portfolio to the Ambassador.

"Very well Miss. Teine return at three o' clock one hour, I will see what I can do to get you into the Academy. I can't promise, but I will try."

Eire reached out and touched Sarek's hand, there was no need for her to verbally thank him, he felt that. She picked her case up and headed for the stairs, all three Vulcan's watched as she disappeared down them.

"She is quite.... attractive. "Salin commented. The Ambassador absently replied

"Yes she is." Then catching himself he looked at Salin.

"But you are not mature enough to take notice such things Salin. You should pay more attention to your work." With that Sarek turned and headed for his office, portfolio in hand.

Salin and T'arin exchanged glances then proceeded to get the specs in order.

CHAPTER 4

As Eire left the steps of the Vulcan Embassy she didn't pull her hood up, instead she let the mist fall upon her head, sort of a cleansing ritual. She walked and wondered what the Ambassador could accomplish in one hour that Salin could not accomplish in twenty-four. Perhaps the Lady would grant him the insight to find a way. There wasn't enough time to go home to com Brahza so she walked to the park the next block over and sat huddled in her cape, hoping the Academy was not lost to her.

Sarek sat behind his com studying the disc which was in Miss. Teine's portfolio, every once in a while he would stare past the screen into nothingness with silent thoughts only known to him. The music from the disc which accompanied the art was quite lovely and calming. Not only was Miss. Teine an exceptional artist but also an accomplished harpist. He would have to ask her if she also wrote the haunting words and melodies on the disc.

She was surely above the average student, including Vulcans. He couldn't understand why she was not accepted before this, on her last two applications there was no reason given. She was a little old for a human to be going to the Academy, usually twenty-one was the standard age, she was thrity-six, but he could not see how that would make a difference. He closed his eyes and listened to a very beautiful melody accompanying a piece entitled 'The kiss', a beautiful piece done in obsidian, the sun kissing the moon. He opened his eyes and touched the screen with his fingers. It was strange; he felt her radiating from the screen. His logical self told him that this was absurd, not possible. Yet his emotional self which was so tightly controlled was fascinated. A knock came and the door opened, Salin walking in.

" Ambassador you have a visual message on line three." Sarek looked at him then spoke.

"Salin, have you viewed Miss. Teine's disc?"

"I have Ambassador." He answered.

Sarek looked at him," And?"

Salin searched for the right words, after being told by the Ambassador that he was too young to appreciate beauty he didn't want to make himself a fool again. This thought should have been kept to himself and he knew it. "Yes, well, I found the material on the disc exceptional for a human. Her ability to create pieces so life-like is a great talent. I'm surprised she is not better known among the art world. She should have the chance to study on Vulcan, perhaps she could show them hoe to use emotion to create, you can almost feel it. I believe she is a very sensitive human, meaning sir, she has the ability to sense other's emotions, I believe it helps her in her creativeness." Salin waited for the Ambassador to respond. He didn't.

Sarek looked back to the screen where a statue of crystal composed of two people, one human and if he saw correctly, one Vulcan embracing each other. In the human female's hand was a Vulcan marriage pendant. He recognized it, as it was similar to the one he had given Amanda. Vulcan's did not give or wear wedding rings as was the custom on Earth, the bonding ritual preformed before marriage was enough to form a bond between the pair, but on occasion the marriage pendant which was an ancient tradition was given.

He noticed the one the human female was holding was crafted from T'Khut's Tear, a semi-precious stone only found on Vulcan. It was similar to the Earth's amber.

The other colors in the statue were the green eyes of the human and the dark eyes of the Vulcan, it brought a very dramatic effect to the clear crystal. The piece was entitled 'Love and Beloved' which Sarek could not understand, as no Vulcan would take a lover, bonded or not. He pointed this out to Salin as they both listened to the haunting music accompanying the piece.

The com chimed, Sarek answered it still watching the piece on mute.

"Ambassador, you have a visual message on hold, and Ambassador Miss. Teine is here." Announced T'arin. He turned to Salin,

"Could you please tell Miss. Teine I will be with her as soon as I take this message."

"Yes of course Ambassador, have you found a way to help her with her sponsorship?" Salin asked.

"I believe so Salin, but I must speak with her first, she might not agree." Sarek looked back at the screen where the visual had changed and there staring back at him a piece called 'The Vision.' He was sure it was her carved from obsidian, green eyes looking into his katra,

"We will see Salin."

Salin left the inner office closing the door behind him, Miss. Teine was standing speaking with T'arin. As he approached she turned to greet him. For the first time she had removed her cape, the mist still clung to her hair. It glimmered under the lights making him think she looked angelic. Her long red hair was braided in one large braid, which hung over her right shoulder clasped in three places by copper hair rings. Her dark green dress flowed softly about her, around her neck she wore a silver torc with moon and sum emblazed on the ends. For a moment Salin was taken by her fairness, he hadn't realized he had stopped walking till she approached him.

"Salin, are you all right?" She placed her hand on his are.

"Yes, I thought I saw something... it must have been the light. I thought I saw..." Salin stopped.

"Saw what?" T'arin asked.

"I'm sure it was nothing." Salin was a bit embarrassed, how could this human have such a hold on him, to give him such thoughts was illogical. Yet he was sure the hold was not only on him.

"Please have a seat, the Ambassador will be with you shortly."

"Of course Salin, are you sure you're all right?" She let go of his arm knowing she had disturbed him in more ways than the obvious. She smiled sweetly at him and walked to the waiting area where she had placed her cape and case when she came in. She sat down giving one last look to Salin then turned her attention to a magazine on the table

'Federation News', the Ambassador's face looking back at her from the cover. She picked it up studying his face. So dark was he, so very dark. She was just noticing how deep his eyes were and how she would love to look into them, to feel the depths of his katra, to know his thoughts, to feel his energy. Now she was the one caught. She was so absorbed by her thoughts she did not see or hear the Ambassador till he spoke to her and she jumped blushing profusely.

"Miss Teine will you come to my office so we may discuss your sponsorship." Sarek said softly.

"You've found a spanner family that will accept me?" She stood smiling.

"No, not exactly, my office please." He led the way and she followed glancing briefly at Salin and T'arin as she passed.

The inner office was not as bright as the main office; it has a sullen quality. While the outer office displayed posters and art that would be pleasing to humans, the Ambassador's office was extremely Vulcan, from the plain uncovered floor to the white starkness of the walls. The only elaborate thing in the room was the large ornate desk that held his computer. Looking around quickly her eyes settled on a tapestry, quite beautiful, perhaps a reproduction of part of his planet; the colors were muted blues, greens and grays. She walked over to see it better; the Ambassador closed the door and walked over to where she stood.

"Do you like it?" He asked.

"Yes, it's really quite lovely." She said not taking her eyes off the tapestry.

"My late wife created it for our home on Vulcan, she felt it might bring some softness into a rather harsh decor."

Eire lifted her hand and let it flow over the tapestry; a wave of emotion touched her that she was not ready for, her breath caught in her throat, but as soon as it came, it passed.

"She loved you very much, there was sadness, but the love always over-rode it." She pulled her hand away a bit embarrassed that she had spoken the words out loud.

"Please sit down." The Ambassador showed her to the chair at his desk. She sat facing him across the large desk. She noticed 'The Vision' held on his monitor.

"You have found a solution to my problem Ambassador?" She asked. He looked at her for one point three minutes before answering.

"Well I have found a solution but it might pose more of a problem than you would like to contend with." She gazed at him with a questioning look.

"Well Ambassador are you going to keep me in suspense or are you going to tell me if you found a sponsor for me?" Eire was anxious to hear his solution.

"I will tell you that in a moment, but first there are a few questions I would like to ask

You." He said watching her face for any emotion.

"Yes of course, but I thought I answered all the relevant questions on my forms?"

"The questions I wish to ask you are more of a.... personal nature. If you will bear with me, you will understand why I must ask these questions."

Eire was not prepared for this and she was sure he felt her uneasiness. She sat forward in the chair waiting for his questions.

"First would you allow me to do an in depth background check?" He asked.

"Yes of course, but I warn you, you might be bored to tears. I live an extremely boring life." She smiled.

"I assure you I will not be bored to tears as Vulcans do not cry. Miss. Teine, are you involved with a Vulcan?" Sarek did not take his eyes off hers. She looked at him unsure of his question.

"Yes," She said. He shifted his position in his chair and steepled his hands in front of his face.

"Yes?" He said still looking into her eyes.

"Yes, my best friend, actually my only friend happens to be Vulcan, her name is

Brahza. I'm sure if you wish to speak to her on my character she will tell you everything you wish to know." Sarek decided to ask her straight out, as she did not seem to understand his question.

"I should rephrase my question. Have you ever been involved." He looked at her lowering his hands to chest level.

"With a male Vulcan?"

Eire's eyes got a little wider and she reached down within herself for calmness. She knew she was blushing and that would not do. She shifted. "No Ambassador, I have not been involved with any Vulcan intimately, if that is what you're implying." Sarek turned the on to her piece ' Loved and Beloved ' and nodded towards it saying.

"Yet you portray a piece of art which definitely shows an interest in the Vulcan male."

"Loved and Beloved, it's one of my favorite pieces, but to think that I have had intimacies with a Vulcan only because a piece of art leads you to believe this to be true. Actually I'm quite shocked Ambassador, you of all people could be so... so illogical." Eire said still holding his gaze. Sarek lowered his hands to his lap.

"Have you not placed a human and a Vulcan together in an embrace? Have you not placed a Vulcan marriage pendant in the human's hand? It would lead any Vulcan to speculate on the symbolic undertones." He said keeping eye contact.

"Ambassador, not everything is symbolic. I am an artist; I have to draw on my imagination to make my work interesting, controversial lets say. As for the Vulcan marriage pendant, I have an interest in ritual artifacts and I thought putting it in the piece would raise a few eyebrows. I suppose it did! Nor have I, am I now or will ever be involved in an intimate relationship with a Vulcan." The Ambassador rose from his chair, satisfied with her answers.

"If you will permit me to run a background check, I will be with you as soon as it is complete."

"But you have not told me about your solution?" Eire said.

"After the background check we will speak of that." The Ambassador walked to the opposite side of the room and opened another door, it lead to his private apartment, he stood with his hand on the door. "Miss. Teine never be too sure what will happen in the future." With that her closed the door behind him.

Eire sat sorting out the questions the Ambassador had just asked. What was his solution regarding the spanner? And why should it matter if she had or has a Vulcan lover? If he only knew the truth. Not only had she never had a Vulcan Lover, but she hadn't even had a human lover and her being thirty-six, but that was none of anyones business. She had chosen to remain, what did the Vulcan's call it 'Pa Vetch', a non-woman, she preferred the human term, virgin, it sounded nicer. Just then T'arin entered the office.

"May I get you something to drink?" She asked.

"Yes please, water will be fine. Thank you. "Eire responded. T'arin left and returned just as quickly with a pitcher of ice water and two glasses which she placed on the desk, she lifted the pitcher and started to pour the water.

"T'arin, that's all right, I can pour it for myself. "Motioning her to put it down.

"It's no trouble Miss. Teine." She finished pouring the water and left the room.

Eire picked up one of the glasses and took a sip, she then noticed a Vulcan harp on the wall beside the window. She put her glass down and got up walking over to the window, she glanced out, it was still raining. She raised her hand and put it on the harp, she felt it was rarely used; yet the owner, the Ambassador took great delight in it. So strange were these Vulcans, so in control yet beneath all that cool reserve, the unmoving face so hard to read lay deep dark emotions, perhaps primitive ones, rage, passion, desire. She turned and went over to the tapestry and studied its pattern. It was indeed lovely, Madame Sarek must have had talent or a great deal of love to do such a fine job, perhaps both. Then she wondered what the Ambassador meant by his last statement, "Never be sure of the future." Perhaps this will be the lesson she must learn. The Ambassador entered the room and closed the door.

"Do you harp Miss. Teine?" He asked

"A little." Eire smiled.

"From the music on your disc you seem to be quite an accomplished harpist." He inclined his head slightly.

"Oh, thank you." She said blushing slightly.

"Perhaps one evening you will play for me? I'm quite fond of the harp, I play myself, not as well as you of course."

"It would be my pleasure to harp for you." Eire said.

"Yes, I would enjoy that." Sarek said motioning Eire back to the desk.

"Was my background satisfactory to you?" She asked.

"Quite satisfactory, have you taken care of all personal matters on Earth

Miss. Teine?" He asked.

"Yes I have Ambassador."

"Then we will leave for Vulcan in two days, it has been some times since I have returned home to Vulcan. I think it's time I do go home... for a while."

Eire's face radiated surprise and joy.

"We... I shall go to Vulcan with you? Do you plan to speak for me at the Academy?"

"No Miss. Teine, I shall be your sponsor, if that is satisfactory to you. I mentioned earlier it might be more of a problem than you wish to contend with, that is why I needed your personal information, any rumor would be negative to you as well as myself." Sarek waited for her comments. She looked at him and smiled.

"Satisfactory, Ambassador I would live with a rock if it got me into the Academy."

Sarek's one eyebrow lifted. "I assure you Miss. Teine I am a little more interesting than a rock."

"Oh, I'm sorry, I didn't mean to compare you to a rock and I am sure you are more interesting." Eire laughed.

"Perhaps if you wish, we could dine together tonight, to discuss any questions you might have?" Suggested Sarek.

"I would enjoy that Ambassador, yes, thank you." Eire replied.

"I will have Salin make the arrangements and com you later. It has been a pleasure meeting you Miss. Teine." Sarek said. With that he walked her to the outer office. She went and picked up her cape, which he helped her put on placing it over her shoulders. She took her case in her hand.

"Good-bye Ambassador, till later." She turned and left smiling at Salin as she passed his desk, he nodded and with that she disappeared down the stairs.

"Salin arrange a dinner for two this evening at eight o'clock, then notify

Miss. Teine I shall pick her up at seven-thirty."

"Yes Ambassador, I shall take care of that right away." Sarek headed for his office. Salin opened a line on the com to make the reservations.

CHAPTER 5

By the time Eire arrived home it was after five, she hung up her cape and dropped her case at the door. She started taking out her hair rings and undoing her braid. She was thrilled; she was actually going to the Academy. Then she thought where am I going to stay? But that thought quickly faded as her com started to chime. She hit the video/audio button and Brahza's face appeared.

"Well you have been very busy today. I've tried to com you six times."

"I really can't talk now Brahza. I just got home and have to rush to go to dinner." Eire said releasing the rest of her braid. Brahza tilted her head slightly.

"Dinner? When do you ever go out for dinner?" Brahza asked.

"Tonight." Eire smiled.

"But you hate going to dinner, you always decline my invitations. Oh how did the meeting go? Did you get your sponsorship worked out?" Asked Brahza.

"Well Brahza, to answer your questions, it depends on the company is that you dine with, and very well and YES!!"

"I'm pleased for you, so you are going to the Academy who is your sponsor family? I might know of them."

"Yes you know him." Said Eire. Brahza looked her eyebrow lifting slightly, "Him?"

"Him, the Ambassador himself is going to sponsor me."

"No!" Brahza's eyes flashed.

"Yes, that's who I'm having dinner with this evening. I really do have to run. I still have to shower and dress before he gets here."

"When do you leave?" Asked Brahza.

"Friday, Brahza I have to go, drop by tomorrow and I'll fill you in." Eire said starting to rise from the chair.

"Yes, I will, I wish you a good night."

"Thanks, live long." Eire was gone before the picture faded. She combed out her hair and headed for the shower.

When she had finished showering she headed for her yard grabbing a small pouch off her dresser. Once there, she put a white candle on her altar then took some oil on her fingers and proceeded to dress the candle. She put some incense onto the brazier and lit the candle.

"Holy Goddess Brighid;

Mother sweet and loving,

I offer my thanks to your divine work.

I offer my love,

I offer myself.

Thank you,

So Mote It Be."

She went and placed a small handful of blackberries upon the book the Lady held she reached up on her toes and placed a kiss on her forehead. "Thank you." She said softly. The wind chilled her body as she hurried back into the house to dress for the evening.

She was just putting her hair up when the com went she hurried to answer it, Salin's face flashed on the screen.

"Miss. Teine I am comming to verify your dinner this evening with the Ambassador, he will pick you up at seven-thirty."

"Yes Salin, I'll be ready. Salin by the way, thank you for all your help. I know you went through a lot of trouble, thank you."

"No thanks is necessary Miss. Teine, it was my pleasure ...my job. I wish you well in your studies and perhaps we will meet each other in the future." Salin bowed his head slightly.

"Yes Salin we just might."

"Live long and prosper Miss. Teine."

"Thank you and I offer you the same Salin."

The screen went dark and she sat for a moment looking into it. In front of her a small image started to form, at first she thought the screen was coming back on, she went into soft-sight, a technique Wiccan's use for vision-questing. As she relaxed her sight the screen in front of her exploded into a fury of motion lights and sounds. All assaulted her at once which was very confusing. It was coming too fast for her to make any sense of it. Her hand touched the screen and she pulled back, she didn't want to be there, she wanted to run, run and hide. What she was experiencing she had never felt before. So vivid, so strong. Fire flashed around her, she let out a moan as she saw herself on the screen, her hair unbound, lying very still in darkness. She felt pain, not only emotional pain but physical pain and fear, so vivid was the emotions it brought a rush of nausea over her. She grabbed the desk for support, I have to control this, calm myself she thought. She forced herself to look back at the screen again and where the fire had been now blackness appeared and someone was there, she felt them. Once again the nausea hit, and this time she vomited, when she had finished she put her hand over her mouth panting to scream. All the emotions assaulting her were too much. Then out of the darkness of the screen appeared a figure. She wasn't sure at first whether it was male or female, but as the vision became clearer she knew it was female.

The figure stood among the black flames staring into Eire's face. At first Eire thought she was a Vulcan female, her black hair bound high a top her head, she was very beautiful. The gown she wore was dark gray in a traditional Vulcan style, flapped around her as if a hellish wind was trying to embrace her but to no avail. She Eire looked closer and realized this was no Vulcan, she did not have the fine sweeping eyebrows nor the elegant ears... she was human, her blue eyes so blue. Like cold blue water stared at her. Eire looked into those eyes, so cold, so calculating, empty. The figure smiled from the screen and fear rushed through Eire, such fear she had never felt before.

Eire watched as the woman lifted her hand and held before her a Vulcan marriage pendant. She looked closer, it was similar to the one she had created for her piece 'Loved and Beloved', within the eye of the pendant the Ambassador's face, the woman let go of the pendant and it fell to the ground, flames dancing up to embrace it. Terror filled Eire as she watched the flames surrounding the pendant, the woman now walking into the darkness. Eire moved her hand towards the screen hoping to retrieve the pendant but as she touched the screen the pendant disintegrated into dust, she screamed "NO!" so loud her whole body shook. Then the screen was dark again. She sat trembling, staring into darkness; tears fell down her cheeks. She had visions before, she vision-quested often, sometimes to help her with her creative process other times to find a solution to a problem. But she had never had such a vivid vision, such a violent one. Her whole body shook, she got up and started to walk to her bedroom, her mind a jumbled gray mess. She really couldn't make sense of the vision, what was it trying to tell her? Why was the Ambassador in it? Who was the woman? Oh... the Ambassador would be here anytime, she glanced at the clock on her night table... seven-twenty. Her head hurt and her mouth was very dry, almost on fire. She really didn't feel like going out, she felt like crawling into her bed and hiding, but she knew she couldn't do that. Not after all the Ambassador's help.

She went over to her mirror and looked at herself, she looked wretched, she straightened her hair and re-applied her make-up, she was still shaking. Her dark blue dress she had chosen did nothing to make her feel better. It was actually a very nice dress, medieval style which all her dresses were. Everything she owned looked like it came from the twelfth century, but she like the style. The one she had chosen for tonight was a dark blue off the shoulders in a rich panni material, which always hung well. The sleeves were long coming to a point over the middle finger; it dropped close fitting to the hips then flared to a full skirt. She loved full skirts, they flowed so nicely. She had chosen a blue pair of slippers, with a crystal star in each slipper center. She always disliked heels; they seemed so un-natural somehow, so she always wore flat slippers, which did nothing for her height. She lifted the wrap she had left out earlier, a black half cape with a cowl hood. She put it on and threw the longer piece over her shoulder. She then secured it with a pale blue and green Keltic broach and stood back and looked. Another wave of nausea ripped at her, she wretched but nothing came, she crossed the room and opened a large oak cupboard. Looking she took a vial of rue oil and dropped a few drops of it on a cotton handkerchief and put it to her nose, she inhaled deeply and started to feel the calming effect of the potent oil. She put a few more drops on the handkerchief and placed it into a small blue pouch along with the vial of rue oil and a moon-stone, she closed the cupboard and attached the pouch to a clasp at her hip, all her dresses had a clasp just for that reason. She sat down on the bed and tried to center herself, pushing the vision back into blackness. Her door chimed, Eire got up and turned off the light, slowly she went and answered the door. A Vulcan male stood outside.

"Miss. Teine, I am Sonn, the Ambassador is waiting in the car." He looked at her and stepped back.

"Are you all right Miss.?" He asked.

"I don't know, it will pass." Eire answered.

She closed the door behind her and walked sown the stairs under the umbrella Sonn had put over her. They reached the car and he opened the door, Eire got in and sat not looking at the Ambassador for fear he would sense something or she might see something she didn't want to.

"Good evening Miss. Teine. I can never get used to this planets weather, if it's not raining, it's cold. You would think after all the years on this planet I should be accustomed to its weather. But it still chills me."

Eire managed a small smile,

"I love the rain Ambassador, probably my Keltic blood, mist and rain I believe is very cleansing, it purifies the body and soul. I love to walk in it and let it wash away any negativity I may have, it's good for the soul." Eire said keeping her gaze straight ahead.

"Perhaps I should try this, I also might find it beneficial." Sarek said looking at her, Eire turned and looked at him and even in the darkness of the car all she saw were his eyes, dark and endless. Perhaps if she fell into them she would be safe, but she knew this not to be true because beneath the darkness, beneath the calm, the control the fires raged. She shifted closer to the door, she didn't want to be burnt, she didn't want to feel the flames.

The Ambassador noticed her move closer to the door and wondered if perhaps she was frightened of him, perhaps she felt he had other motives in sponsoring her, but he felt this was not the cause of her uneasiness. He looked at her face it looked very pale and with the black cowl surrounding her, she looked like an apparition, some mystic creature out of Earth's myths, Morgana, Nimue perhaps. He sensed her uneasiness and it concerned him. He wondered why she had not made a remark to his statement.

"Are you all right Miss. Tiene?"

She looked at him, her eyes did not seem as bright and clear as they were earlier in the day, they seemed strained, haunted. For a brief moment, ever so brief he felt terror; he shut his eyes to gain control, to push back the emotion. Then it was gone. Her control was very good; she hid her emotions well... for a human.

"Yes Ambassador, I'm just tired, I had a disturbing..." She looked into his eyes to center herself. "Message this evening."

"I hope everything is all right? That this message does not cause you undue distress." His voice was even showing no emotion.

"I hope not Ambassador, but that is left to the future to decide." She continued looking into his eyes.

The car stopped and Sonn opened the Ambassador's door; he got out and offered his hand to Eire to help her out of the car. She quickly raised her control and took his hand. As she got out of the car she felt fire touching her, still holding his hand she stumbled slightly and fell against him. He steadied her with his other hand. She put her free hand to her mouth as the fire consumed her, she looked into his face and drew back. "Dark Angel." she whispered.

He bent closer to hear her but she said no more.

"Are you all right?" He asked.

"Yes, I'm fine. I haven't really had anything to eat in the last few days; I've been too absorbed in other things to think about eating. I really should take better care of myself, perhaps if I eat something I'll feel better." She said trying to free herself from his embrace.

"Of course, are you sure you are well enough, we could return to your home?" Sarek offered.

"No, no, I'm starting to feel better, I'll be all right.

He et her go and closed the car door. "Sonn, ten will be fine."

"Yes Ambassador." Sonn got back into the car and drove off. The Ambassador looked at her, but picked up no emotions. "Shall we?" He said, showing her the way. Eire nodded and they both started to walk towards the restaurant.

On entering Sarek removed his hood then took off his cape, handing it to a young woman. It had been too dark in the car to see if he was wearing his Ambassadorial robes, but now she saw he wasn't. His breeches were a very dark brown with the same brown cape jacket and a black tunic with the Vulcan rune symbol at his neck. She thought dark colors suited him. The woman smiled,

"Miss, may I take your cape?" Eire undid the broach at her shoulder and Sarek removed it handing it to the woman.

"Thank you." Eire said smiling.

"Ambassador, it is always a pleasure to have you dine with us!" A very rotund, pleasant man approached them. Ricardo Donna had owned the 'Bella Donna' for many years and obviously the Ambassador was well known to him.

"And tonight you do not dine alone." He looked at Eire through happy eyes.

"Sometimes it saddens me to see such a fine man as the Ambassador dining alone. But I see he has as fine a taste in dining partners as he does in his food! Bella! Bella!"

"Ricardo, it is always my pleasure to taste your wonderful creations. May I present Miss. Teine? She will be attending the Vulcan Academy, in the fine arts." The Ambassador said.

"Ah! An artist, creator of beauty, crafter of the imagination, muse of the soul." Eire looked at Ricardo,

"Your words are truly bardic, truly you must be Eros, for only he could woe the fair Aphrodite." Eire's eyes smiled at the man. Ricardo smiled sweetly back at her." Ah Bella! Truly your tongue was given to you by the old gods, perhaps Aphrodite herself, as you speak with the honey that drips from her sweet lips." Eire blushed and bit down on her bottom lip.

"Ambassador I advise you to keep a tight hold on this Bella, it would be a loss to you if you didn't." Sarek looked at Eire and a faint smile came to his face.

Eire felt another wave of nausea start; she pulled the handkerchief from her pouch and put it to her nose. Sarek placed his hand on her arm and once again she fought the flames.

"Perhaps we may go to our table Ricardo?" Sarek asked.

"Yes of course." Ricardo led them to the Ambassador's table and seated them handing them menus. Enjoy!" He said and he was gone, singing some aria as he went. A waiter approached their table.

"Would you like something to drink?" The Ambassador looked at Eire,

"Water will be fine." She said.

"Very good Miss. Ambassador?"

"Water, thank you." He said. Shortly the waiter returned with a pitcher of water and poured it into two crystal glasses and left.

"Slainte!" Eire said raising her glass. Sarek looked at her and picked up his glass and repeated the Gaelic toast. Eire smiled.

"It's Gaelic, it means health." She said.

"Do you speak Gaelic?" He asked.

"No, not really. I know the basics and quite a few songs, but that's all." Eire said putting her glass back down on the table. Sarek placed his glass on the table.

"Speaking of songs, did you write the melodies and words that were on your disc?"

"Yes, some of them." She said averting her eyes.

"Ricardo must be right, Aphrodite has touched your lips, they're beautiful." Eire looked at him a bit shocked and he corrected himself quickly.

"Your songs are beautiful, although your lips are also beautiful to be able to create such words."

Eire averted her eyes once again and thought she had never know a Vulcan to be so forward with his words. Perhaps his long time among humans and being married to one for so many years allowed him to let some of those controlled emotions come through. She was glad Vulcans could not read minds, unless there were in physical contact, she would have to pay more attention to her own control, which was quite draining. When it came time to order dinner she allowed him to do it. She really didn't feel too hungry and spent most of her time trying to keep the vision dark. By the time they had finished she had barely touched a thing. Saying she had enjoyed it but was full. She lifted her glass to take a sip of water when the vision of the pendant with the Ambassador's face flashed into her mind, she tried to pull it back, but it was too late. The blue eyes staring at her, the black flames licking the pendant as it fell from the woman's hand and then a black flash and the pendant in the dust on the ground. She jerked and the water glass fell from her hand, Sarek caught her just in time as she slipped down the chair. When she opened her eyes, he was looking into her face so close she could feel the heat of his face on hers. Ricardo was standing besides them looking very concerned. "Perhaps you should see a physician?" Sarek said but his face showed none of the concern he was feeling. "No, I'll be all right, I just need some air." Eire said trying to sit up straight. The waiter handed Sarek a glass of amber liquid. "Drink this, it will help relax you." Sarek said tilting the glass to her lips. She protested but the liquid was already in her mouth, she swallowed and it took her breath away burning all the way down. Another mouthful and she started to feel warm and a little light-headed; she put her hand on his pushing the glass away from her mouth. Sarek handed it to the waiter.

"Really Ambassador, I just need some air not to get drunk!"

He helped her to stand and the woman brought their capes, he helped her on with hers then put his on. After speaking with Ricards and assuring him she was all right they left the restaurant. Once she stepped outside into the chill of the night air she felt a little better, it was still raining.

"I need to walk in the rain." Eire said.

"You have need to cleanse your soul?" Asked Sarek.

"That among other things, do you mind?" She queried. Sarek looked at her then out into the dark rain falling.

"You won't melt Ambassador." She touched his hand briefly.

"Of course not." He put his hood up. Sonn came up the stairs with the umbrella; Sarek put his hand up.

"That will not be necessary Sonn, I will walk Miss. Teine home." He said.

"But Ambassador, it's raining." Sonn stated the obvious.

"I won't melt Sonn." Replied the Ambassador. Eire and the Ambassador walked down the stairs into the night and the cleansing rain, leaving Sonn to think about how the Ambassador would not melt.

Eire didn't pull her hood up, she liked the rain on her face and hair, it was soothing to her. When they arrived at her home they were both soaked, but her actually felt better. Sarek walked her up the stairs to her door, he stood two steps lower than her so she could look into his face without having to look up.

"Would you like to come in... to com Sonn to pick you up?" She asked.

"I think it is not wise, it is late and I'm already wet I shall walk the rest of the walk to the Embassy. I never realized how soothing rain could be." Sarek said looking into her eyes. Suddenly a thought came to her.

"Ambassador. I'm sending my trunk off to Vulcan tomorrow, where should I send it?"

"Ambassador Sarek's residence, ShiKahr will do." He answered.

"I'll be staying with you?" She asked a little shocked.

"You will be staying in my residence in ShiKahr, I will be residing at my villa at Gol, unless circumstances change. Good night Miss. Teine, I will you slainte."

She smiled and put her hand on his chest and slowly she leaned forward, he didn't stop her or back away instead he brought his two fingers up to her cheek and touched her gently, she closed her eyes as if he had kidded her, and she trembled. When she opened her eyes again he had the barest smile; she touched her lips to the side of his mouth and gently kissed him... Lingering she took in his scent, his taste. His two fingers came down her cheek and on to her lips; she felt the fire and kissed his finger.

"Eire, I must take my leave." He whispered.

"Yes of course Ambassador, good night." She kissed him gently once more on the lips and he allowed her to do so. He pulled back touching her cheek once more and turned into the rain walking into the night. She watched after him till the mist enveloped him and he was gone. She opened the door and went inside. Hanging her cape up at the door she leaned against it.

"Oh no, what have I done?"

She still smelt him, a musky smell, quite pleasant and the taste of his skin lingered on her lips, she sighed deeply. She felt feeling within her she had never felt before, was this desire? She pushed it away. Back down into her deepest soul, it frightened her. She headed down the hall and into her room closing the door behind her.

By the time Sarek had walked to the Embassy he was soaked to the skin. He went to the indoor garden and stood looking out the window into the dark, water from his cape making a splattering sound on the stone floor. He breathed deeply reaching deep to clear his mind; he must control his emotions. All the way to the Embassy he could not erase from his mind her touch, how soft her lips were upon his face and his fingertips still pulsed from touching her. The smell of her oil still clung to his nostrils. He undid his cape and let it fall to the floor, placing his hands in front of him he clasped them so tight his knuckles paled. He reached down for his control, how could she have this hold on him? Emotions he always had control of surged through him. "I am a Vulcan, emotions are illogical!" How could she move me like this? How could I have let her touch me? How could I have kissed her? His mind searched for the answers, they were none. The thought of her lips against his skin brought desire whelming up inside of him, he fought and pushed it back down.

"I allowed her to kiss me, I should have stopped her. What we do not prevent ... we must face."

Calming his breathing he searched for a clear thought--Amanda had rarely kissed him in the human way--only during his pon farr did he seek such a thing, but that was a primitive, passionate time, so intense it made him shudder even now. Was he coming into his time that might explain it--he calculated mentally, no, not for at least another six months? Perhaps I'm getting old and starting to loose some of my control, he knew this was not true. But still she was there just beneath the surface of his senses, how could she do this? Did she know she was doing this? Deeper and deeper he sought his control, perspiration beaded on his face, but there, there it was, he mentally grabbed the last bit of control, the last thread and held on to it. He stood for half an hour and when he was sure he was in control he climbed the stairs to his apartment knowing the fight was not over.

CHAPTER 6

When Eire awoke that morning, she wasn't sure if she even fell asleep, the sky was still lead gray but the rain had stopped. The men had come to pick up her trunk, now everything was taken care of. She sat looking through her documents from the Embassy that were delivers earlier, she ran her hand across his signature--Sarek--she felt turmoil ripping through her mind. She wanted to com him to see his face, but decided against that, he would com her before the night was over. She smiled, how could this happen? She was always in control of herself. She had never allowed anyone to get close to her except Brahza. Had he slept well? After all he was a Vulcan, what happened last night should have not made an impression on him. Yet he had allowed her to kiss him, to touch him. He probably thinks I'm a child, if he only knew how right he was, thirty-six and never been made love to. What would it be like to make love to him? Suddenly the room started to go misty; she dropped the document and grabbed at the side of the couch to support herself. There in front of her the marriage pendant, the Ambassador's face shattering in it's eye, the woman's hand closing over it, opening her hand the dust rising on a black wind. Nausea rose up in Eire and she leaned forward against the couch eyes full of tears.

"Who are you?" She screamed.

"What are you trying to tell me?"

She knew from experience that some times departs souls would try to give the living messages, sometimes as a warning, other times concerning themselves. But this apparition did not feel departed; it didn't have the same energy as one that was dead, no her energy was one that lived. But what did she want? And the Ambassador, how was he involved? Was this a foreboding of what might happen? Everything was so jumbled, so confusing; she couldn't make sense of it. It was over as quickly as it started and she felt so drained, her head ached. Eire got up to get her pencil and sketch pad and started drawing the woman in her vision, after she had finished she sat looking at the finished piece.

"What do you want?" Her door chime went and she got up to answer it.

"You look awful! Was you dinner date that bad?" Asked Brahza.

"Come in Brahza." Eire said closing the door.

"Are you ill?" Brahza had more concern in her voice.

"No." Eire said. They went into the living area and Brahza sat on the edge of the chair.

"So tell me about your interesting evening?" She asked. Eire fell down on the couch holding her head.

"Too mush too drink?" Asked Brahza.

"Brahza, you know I do not drink, not often anyway." Eire said resting her head on the back of the couch.

"You really do not look well, I didn't know the Ambassador had that effect on women."

"He doesn't." Said Eire trying to concentrate.

Eire went on to explain to Brahza about the strange vision and the effect it had on her. Brahza was very logical and found it hard to believe that Eire allowed such a thing to bother her so. Being Vulcan she knew that some beings including humans were quite sensitive, visions, second sight, premonitions and many other metaphysical things could exist and Eire being a Wiccan was a little more sensitive than most, but something was definitely wrong. Eire was usually so controlled, Eire got up off the couch and picked up her sketchpad.

"Here Brahza, do you know her, she's the woman in my vision?" Brahza took the pad and studied it carefully.

"She looks human like a human trying to be a Vulcan. But I really can't place her, sorry. There's nothing you can do about it right now. So how about last night?" Eire looked at Brahza and rolled her eyes.

"We went to dinner, we ate, he walked me home, he left, end of date." Eire said.

"That's it?" Brahza asked bored.

"Well almost." Eire smiled.

"Tell me everything, you said you would." Said Brahza her interest heightened.

"Well before he left, he kissed me." Brahza's mouth dropped open slightly.

"He kissed you?" She asked.

"Well I kissed him first, but he didn't stop me, then he returned the kiss, like this." Eire showed Brahza what the Ambassador had done with his fingers. Brahza was speechless.

"Did anything else happen?" Asked Brahza.

"Brahza?" Eire was shocked she would ask such a personal question.

"Have you told him you are pa vetch?" Brahza asked her one eyebrow lifting. Eire's mouth fell open this time.

"Are you serious? I don't go around telling people I'm ..I'm a virgin, you're the only one that knows!"

Eire couldn't believe her friend.

"I'm sure the Ambassador would find that bit of information very interesting. I mean you're the only female on the planet that is pa vetch at thirty-six that I know of " Brahza said.

"I really don't think so Brahza, it's not that unusual." Eire said trying to cover up her embarrassment.

"Eire, you're a walking enigma, A Wiccan that does not enjoy in the pleasures of the flesh, isn't that in your Goddesses charge? Dance, feast and make love, for these are my rituals also?"

Eire smiled, "Yes, well."

She looked at Brahza wondering if she should ask her next question?

"Brahza." Eire said. Brahza looked at her.

"How, I mean what is it like to make love to a Vulcan?"

"I wouldn't know." Answered Brahza.

"Oh I thought you had, I mean that you knew, you are of age." Eire was embarrassed.

"Yes I am, but I'm not bonded. My parents didn't believe in that out dated tradition. But I've been told it is very pleasurable. Pon farr is another story, quite intense. Sexual intercourse for the sake of mating.

But I would think it would depend on the partner, I'm quite sure a few human females would throuroughly enjoy pon farr." Brahza finished.

"Can Vulcans make love when they are not in pon farr?" Eire asked.

"Yes, never forget Eire, all Vulcans do have emotions although they are kept under strict control, through passion's mastery we are able to deal with situations logically. Vulcans can and do make love outside of pon farr. The Ambassador's actions of last night would point to that." Answered Brahza.

"Yes I think you are correct, but he feels so sad, so full of pain. I just wish I could block out those feelings."

"Will you see him tonight?" Brahza asked.

"I don't know, perhaps." Eire smiled.

The com chimed and they looked at each other, Eire got up to answer it, pulling her loose hair over one shoulder and closing her dressing gown. She pushed 'on' and the screen flashed.

"Hello Salin!" She said smiling.

"Good after-noon Miss. Teine. Ambassador Sarek has asked me to com to let you know he will be picking you up tomorrow morning at nine o'clock to depart for Vulcan. And Miss. Teine will you be at home later?"

"Yes I plan to be Salin, why?" She asked.

"The Ambassador will con you later, he wishes to discuss your music." Eire smiled, "I'll be here."

"Very good Miss. Teine, have a pleasant evening." The screen faded and Eire turned to Brahza.

"Maybe I should tell him about the vision seeing he is in it."

"No! Are you out of your mind? You'll chase him away, don't mention anything to him, he wouldn't understand." Brahza cautioned.

"But he'll find out eventually with all these strange attacks assaulting me. I can't keep this high level of control, it wears me down too quickly." Eire sighed.

"I wouldn't make too much out of it right now, wait and see what happens. I will miss you." Brahza said with almost real emotion.

"And I will miss you my friend but I will com you every chance I get. And when you come to Vulcan we will see each other every day." Brahza got up off the arm of the chair and put her arms around Eire. "You are my friend Eire and I hope the Academy is everything you hoped for, and I also hope you will become a woman soon!"

"Brahza that last hope might have to wait, I so not think I'm ready for that life change, but you never know the future." Eire said thinking of the Ambassador's words.

"You do know the future!" Brahza said.

"Good bye Brahza." Eire walked her to the door and gave her one last embrace and Brahza left not looking back.

Eire went into her bedroom and started to brush her hair, she still felt drained so she went and had a shower hoping it would help give her some energy. Her com softly chimed in the background. When she got out of the shower she slipped into a dark green robe. She anointed her wrists, breasts and middle eye with patchouli oil, she very rarely used the strong oil, usually it was used for love rituals or rituals of passion and protection, the third was the reason she used it this night. It's heady aroma seeped into her head. She left her hair loose and went out to her altar. She didn't light a candle or put incense on the brazier, tonight she went straight to the Lady and rested her head against the cold stone. Her head wasn't aching as badly and a tear dropped from her eye.

 

"Sweet Mother, who has answered my wish,

A little more that I asked for,

Give me the insight to follow the path of light.

Give me the strength to face each and every lesson on my path.

Give me the humility to help others,

And most of all give me the courage to defeat my enemies through love and compassion.

I ask this with my heart, with my soul.

Care for your child on her journey.

So Mote It Be."

She stood and let the rain wash her. She didn't know how long she stood there till she heard her com. She hurried into the house and sat in front of the screen, she pressed 'on'. The screen flashed and the Ambassador looked back at her, he looked tense but in control.

"Good evening Miss. Teine, I commed earlier but there was no answer. I'm pleased I found you at home now. If you would feel up to it I would enjoy it very mush if you would harp for me this evening? I will not keep you too late as our departure is early. Would this be suitable to you?"

Eire smiled pushing her hair out of her face.

"Yes, of course Ambassador, I will be happy to have your company tonight and it will be may pleasure to harp for you. Half an hour?"

"Half an hour. Till then." He replied.

The screen went darkened and she touched it with her fingers. She wondered if she had done the right thing, but it was too late now to change her mind. She didn't bother to change her robe. She picked up her sketchpad taking one last look at the woman before she got up and put it away. Eire went to the kitchen and started the water boiling for tea, When it was ready she put some camomile flowers into the pot and left it to sleep. Her door chime went and she left to answer. She paused for a moment to bring up her control and then opened the door. "Please come in Ambassador." He nodded and came inside; she took his cape and hung it up beside hers.

"Please come and sit down." She said leading him into the living area. He went and sat down on the couch.

"Would you like a cup of tea?" She asked.

"Do not go to any trouble Miss. Teine."

"It's no trouble, it's made." She replied.

"Yes, thank you, I will have a cup of your tea." Sarek said. Eire went into the kitchen and put some honey into the pot. She placed everything on a tray and returned to the living area. Sarek was no longer sitting on the couch but standing in front of one of her paintings. She went to his side. Eire lifted her hand to touch his arm but decided against it.

"Do you like it?" She asked. He glanced at her and touched her cheek, she turned her face from his hand, his one eyebrow went up. "Forgive me." He said.

"The painting, do you like it?" Her eyes went from his face to the painting.

"Yes, it's exceptional, does it have a title?" He asked.

"Dark Angel." Eire answered.

"But Vulcan's do not have angels in their myths." Sarek said.

"I know, but I choose to make him a Vulcan, he is my dark angel, he keep me centered, he is my guide, my protector, my comforter." Eire smiled sadly.

"Your lover?" Sarek asked holding her eyes for a moment.

"The tea is getting cold Ambassador." Eire said changing the subject.

She went back to the table and kneeled down and poured the tea, she handed him a cup as he sat down. Sarek took a sip and placed the cup and saucer on the table.

"Are you prepared for the trip tomorrow?" He asked.

"As prepared as can be." She said taking a sip of tea.

"I hope the art study course lives up to your expectations."

"I believe it will." Eire smiled.

"You said you were also taking the matriarchy in pre-Surak Vulcan ...and Vulcan religion, unusual choices. Vulcan religion such as it is has just been put on the curriculum this term. Why would you take such studies?" Sarek asked.

"Ambassador I am a Wiccan and all religions interest me. I want to compare the Vulcan spiritual beliefs with our own pre-Christian Pagan beliefs to see the similarities, if any in our cultures. However different with their customs and traditions, all seem in early times to have a religion in common, by that I mean God and Goddess with similar aspects." Eire said.

"But why matriarchy?" Asked Sarek.

"Also because of my Wiccan beliefs. All Earth people at one time in their history were matriarchal. Meaning the women were considered equal or above the male, the females were respected and honor given them. Woman was the fertile vessel, the giver of life, the mother, the healer and caregiver of the dying. I would like to see if Vulcan females have faired better under your rule of patriarchal dominance than her human sister." Eire said.

"Are you not respected? Do you not have equal right with your males?" Asked Sarek.

"Perhaps on the surface, but in actuality women are still considered the weaker sex, perhaps this is true in physical strength, but not so on the intellectual level. I can't believe in this day and age there are still males that honestly believe that woman's only job is to satisfy their lust and bear them children."

"So you do not believe a female has a duty to pleasure her husband?" Sarek asked keeping her gaze.

"Pleasure, yes, if both partners wish that pleasure, not by force or because the husband expects it."

"But what if the female expects it?"

"Well it would have to go both ways, they would have to come to some arrangement." Eire said.

"Ah, yes I'm sure. Will you harp for me?" Sarek asked.

"Of course." Eire said getting up off the floor, she went to her room and took her harp from it's stand returning to the living area she sat in the chair and tuned it till she was satisfied. She began to pluck absently.

"Do you have a request?" She asked.

"Anything you would do would be lovely I'm sure." Sarek sat back and waited for her to start. She started to play a lovely Irish ballad.

 

"Oh, bonny Port More, I'm sorry to see

such a woeful destruction of your

ornament tree,

It stood on your shores for many's a long day,

Till the long boats from Amtrim,

Came to float it away.

All the birds in the forest

They bitterly weep,

Saying where shall we shelter,

Where shall we sleep,

For the oak and the ash they are all cutten down,

And the walls of bonny port more are all down to the ground."

She played on singing with emotion not looking at him, completely enveloped in her song. The song came to an end and she put the harp down and looked at him.

"More tea?" She asked.

Sarek stood up and walked around the table, he held his hand out to her, she took it and his fire ran up her arm. He touched her cheek and felt his own fire. She looked into his face and started to fall into his eyes. Eire's control was fading, but she summoned it back. She couldn't allow this, not yet. But his fire was stronger. He felt her nervousness, her fear, he embraced her in his arms, holding her against him. She pulled away tears on her face.

"I can't do this, I'm sorry Ambassador."

"Sorry, why should you be sorry? It is illogical. I assumed after last night you felt the same way." Sarek stood back. Tears streamed down Eire's face and she knew he was disturbed by her show of emotion.

"Forgive me for assuming something that was not there. I should leave." Sarek started to withdraw.

"No, please stay. I have upset you; I should have more control of my emotions. Please sit, I wish you to stay." She said drying her eyes.

"As you wish." He said and sat down on the couch again.

Eire came and sat down beside him, she composed herself and took a deep breath. Sarek never took his eyes off her; he studied her intensely, could he have been wrong in his assumption. Some human's kiss for many reasons other than the obvious, perhaps she was showing her thanks for dinner? But no, he felt more in her touch, in her kiss. She had disturbed him greatly. Since last night he had not slept, lying awake aching, fighting thoughts, feelings he as a Vulcan should not have, even now as he watched her the fire surged through his blood. But he must hold it down.

"Ambassador your assumptions were not wrong." she didn't dare to look at him in case her words sounded empty.

"You touched me deeply last night. I have had no moment's rest since. I'm fighting feelings that I have never felt before, feelings that you have stirred in me. But I'm not quite ready to give into those feelings. I believe giving in would affect my ability to do what I wanted to do for years. The Academy has been my goal, now that I have it in my grasp ...I can't be distracted by illogical emotions. I have to keep centered." She glanced briefly at him and continued.

"I am going through a bad time right now, personally, and that takes all my strength to stay in control, now with the Academy ...I have to stay level headed and what you are offering will not allow me to do so."

She turned to him and moved closer, she reached and took his hand in hers. His hand was large and the ring he wore stating his rank felt cold on her hand. He did not hold her hand but let his rest in her smaller hands. She finally looked into his face, into his eyes; he sat in perfect control. His ability to control was stronger than hers to read.

She started falling into his eyes and she closed her's for a moment.

"Sarek." She called him by his name for the first time.

"Sarek, I find you very attractive, and you have stirred within me a desire, an urge that is tearing me apart. I wish I could fill that desire, but I cannot allow it. You probably think I am an illogical human, but maybe not, you yourself as a Vulcan know that sometimes it is better ...safer to be logical and not emotional. If I did not have the

Academy or this personal problem I would probably allow this desire, this passion to run its course, to be ...satisfied. But right now, I just can't. Can you understand?"

He held her hand in his and raised his other hand to her face, holding it against her cheek for a moment then pulled it away quickly "Eire, I can understand your confusion I also have been moved by you. Although I have no goals, no restrictions to hold me back in my pursuit. I do not know how or why I should have these feelings. I've turned the question over in my mind endlessly and there is no logical reason why I should be attracted to you. Only an emotional one." He steeped his hands in front of his face.

"There are emotions within me even now, which should not be there. I am a Vulcan, I should not be disturbed by your touch, and I am, but not in the Vulcan way. I should have stopped you when you kissed me last night, but I did not." He got up off the couch folding his hands in front of him. He walked and stood in front of the painting 'Dark Angel', looking at it he continued.

"I crave your touch, I want your lips to touch my flesh." His breath caught in his throat.

"And this disturbs me, this is not the Vulcan way. I cannot control this, it grows stronger every minute that goes by." He turned and looked at her on the couch.

"I thought at first I was entering pon farr. Do you know what the pon farr is Eire?" He asked.

"No, not really, a little bit but mostly rumors." She answered.

"Pon farr is the time Vulcan males must seek out their partner, their bondmate and mate. All control breaks down within the male; he must have sexual relations whatever the cost. We become primitive, animalistic, we seek fulfillment, we have no concern whether our female wishes the same. I have heard this called by some humans legalized rape, they do not understand, they will never understand. How could they, they are not Vulcans. You know of course Vulcans deplore any sort of aggression, of violence and yet we go through pon farr."

He looked at the dark angel and wondered if this Vulcan had ever felt her fire, had quenched his ...but he was only imaginary. He was the true Vulcan, quietly staring out from black eyes, no fire, no illogical though, nothing to fight down, just staring.

"What I feel for you is like the intensity of pon farr without the aggression. What I feel for you is tearing me apart, and I fight it every second to try and hold it down, least it breaks me." He turned again and she got up off the couch and came towards him, tears in her eyes for the pain she felt coming from him. She took his hand and kissed it gently, he turned his head away.

"I understand that your wish to go to the Academy outweighs any and all other things, it is logical. And your personal problem must take a lot of your energy, if I can help you to solve it, I shall. But I must draw back from you, I cannot demand you give me what I desire, I would not do that, perhaps at some later date should you feel otherwise ...we may come to an understanding. I will leave in order to cause you no more undue pain."

He took his hand from hers and went to the hall to retrieve his cape. She followed behind holding down the urge to yell at him, to scream, make love to me ...stop this fire. But she did not, instead she stood looking, feeling lost, feeling empty. "I'm sorry Sarek," She said fighting back tears.

"I am the one who is sorry. Tomorrow, nine o'clock." He said. She did not answer; instead she reached up to kiss him but changed her mind and just brushed her cheek on his. He smelt her oil, her hair, her warmth. He turned his face till his lips were on her cheek, he brushed his lips over her cheek, he kissed her eyes and down till his lips rested on hers. He lifted her into his arms and kissed her full on the mouth, fire raged. His mind said stop, but he was not listening to his mind. She pulled away.

"No, no." She sobbed.

He put her down and she fell to the floor holding herself in her own embrace. He looked at her, pain covering his face, he reached to touch her, to comfort her, but he thought twice. Instead he turned and walked out the door. And she sat and cried knowing her loss.

CHAPTER 7

The next morning Eire was not surprised when Salin arrived to pick her up to take her to the shuttle that Sarek was not with him. She had spent most of the night distraught and looked a mess. She dawned a dark brown guna, a simple long sleeved gown; over that she wore a black tunic loosely fitted. She had braided her hair in three braids that hung down her back, her make-up was a littler more than usual to hide the dark circles under her eyes. Salin made no comment about the Ambassador or her weary look, instead he put her travel bag into the car and they drove to the shuttle-lift in silence.

The three day journey to Vulcan at any other time would have excited her, travelling on a star-ship as the Ambassador's sponsor was indeed something and she was sure there were lots of rumors about that. But she never left her quarters. A few times during the trip Salin came to see her, he had even asked is she would enjoy a walk in the ships gardens. If only it was Sarek who had asked. She spent most of her time sketching, she even sketched Salin when he had come and brought her something to eat. He was pleased with the portrait... "Perhaps when I'm famous you will be able to get a good price for that." She has said.

On the third day Salin had come to her quarters to inform her they would be in orbit around Vulcan in three point two hours, he had sat for awhile and talked with her about his home-world, when she asked. "Is the Ambassador well? I have not seen him on the entire journey."

Salin had explained to her that the Ambassador had been extremely pre-occupied with certain business regarding his teaching at the Academy. But he was sure when he took care of it he would be able to see her. "The Ambassador is teaching at the Academy?" She asked surprised.

"Yes Miss. Teine, advanced computer studies. I must leave as I am sure you need to ready yourself and the Ambassador will surely have things for me to attend to."

"Salin, tell the Ambassador..." She stopped.

"Tell the Ambassador what Miss. Teine?"

Eire sighed. "Oh nothing. I shall speak to him later."

She started to get her things together and changed into a lightweight gown, pale green with willow leaves embroidered on the bodice and hem. She piled her hair loosely a top her head and pulled strands of it loose around her face and neck. She clasped a dark green piece of material on her one shoulder and let it hang down her back to the floor. Eire sat and waited.

Just before six, Earth time, Salin arrived at her quarters. Taking her bag he walked her to the transporter room. Eire was nervous, she had never transported anywhere. They went through the doors and were met by the Ambassador who was standing at the console talking with the ensign who was going to be transporting them down to the planet's surface. He did not acknowledge her; instead he continued his conversation with the ensign. Eire felt warmth rising in her eyes but held the tears back. The Ambassador stood aside as the ensign said,

"Miss. Teine, Salin, if you would position yourselves on the pad, we can begin transporting." Salin walked up onto the pad, Eire froze, she couldn't move.

"Miss. Teine please, it will not hurt, I promise. If you will stand on the pad. "Said the ensign. Eire looked at Sarek's face; he showed absolutely no emotion. Salin stepped down off the pad and went to her side.

"Miss. Teine it will not hurt, it's quite safe. It is quite an unusual sensation, almost pleasurable. "He said to her. He took her by the arm and started to lead her to the pad. She moved very slowly, her breath caught in her throat. If only it were Sarek leading her, if only it were his touch. She was finally standing on the pad, Salin still holding her arm. The Ambassador approached the transporter pad and looked at her, his look was dark, like her angel. He turned his gaze to Salin and spoke to him in Vulcan, Salin released her arm as if he had been burnt by it's touch. He stepped back and answered the Ambassador in Vulcan. With that Sarek left the transporter room his robes flying behind him.

"Ready?" Asked the ensign.

He hit a sequence of numbers and Eire felt herself dissolving. It was not unpleasant, but she was afraid. What if she didn't materialize on the planet? She had read of some accounts of this happening, it must be horrible, what happens to you? Does your soul float around forever in space? Or would your soul remain lost? Before the next thought could form she materialized on the planet's surface. The heat hit her and she swayed, she caught her breath and perspiration started to form on her forehead and upper lip. A young Vulcan woman behind the console said, " Will the Ambassador be beaming down now?"

"No, he will advise you when he is ready. "Salin replied.

"Very well." She responded, she picked up a clipboard and left the console.

"Follow me. "Salin said.

"Salin, why is the Ambassador not beaming down with us?" Asked Eire.

"He has requested I should escort you to his residence in ShiKahr. When he has time he will come to you."

"When he spoke to you in Vulcan, what did he say?" Eire asked. Salin looked at her, then straight ahead.

"He commanded me to release your arm. That you were not mine to touch!" Eire touched Salin's arm and he pulled it away.

"Miss. Teine perhaps you should not touch other's so openly, you are on Vulcan now, where touching is viewed un-approriate behavior, and now that you have been claimed by another male it is not within your right to touch another male or mine to allow you to do so. "Salin said still staring ahead avoiding eye contact with her.

She grabbed Salin's arm again." Salin what do you mean? What are you saying?" Her voice was hushed as not to let the ensign hear. Salin finally looked to where her hand was resting on his arm then up to her face. Eire removed her hand...

"Miss. Teine I am sure Ambassador Sarek will answer any queries about this situation when you see him." He said.

"But when will that be?" Eire asked.

"I do not know, whenever he has taken care of his business I am sure he will attend to you. Shall we?"

Eire sighed a hurtful sigh, what have I gotten myself into? She thought. As she walked out of the transporter station into the twilight of the Vulcan sky, she was in awe of the beauty that met her eyes and also the heat that assaulted her body. Salin put her bag into the ground car and held the door open for her to get in. The rush of the hot wind did nothing to cool her as they drove in silence to the outskirts of ShiKahr. The car stopped and Salin got out and held the door open. Taking her bag he approached the iron gates and pushed in a code to unlock the security system which was recessed in a stone pillar. It clicked and he opened the gate to allow her to go through. The house was not big; not something she would expect an Ambassador to live in. Salin opened the front door and took her trunk, which was standing, on the step inside. Eire stood looking into the dim hallway then walked in. Instantly she noticed hundreds of books lining one side of the hall, not discs, actual books, they smelt wonderful. She put her hand on them and emotion filled her, love surrounded her, she took her hand away as Salin approached her form the other end of the hall.

"If you will follow me, I will show you what you need to know." He said.

He turned and she followed him halfway down the hall where he stopped at the room he just came from.

"This is where you will sleep." He said and turned and walked to the end of the hall, pointing to a closed door.

"The bathroom." Then to the left into the kitchen, Salin went over to the food replicator and began to explain how it worked.

"I know how it works." Eire said. Then they went into the living area; Salin went over to the wall and adjusted the temperature to suit her needs.

"I must leave. I will leave you the ground car in case you have need of."

"But how will you get back?" Eire asked.

"I will walk back to the Embassy, it's not far from here."

"How will I find the Academy? Where is it?" She asked frustrated.

"I'm sure the Ambassador will see you long before you have to attend the Academy. And Miss Teine the Ambassador has asked me to relay to you that you may have full access to his computer, his code is 17V."

"Of course Salin, thank you."

He turned and left, closing the door quietly. Eire wandered out into the hall and looked at the books, one caught her eye, 'Myth and Legend of the Ancient Vulcans', she pulled it form the shelf. She thought she really should unpack her trunk but she would only look through the book briefly. She went into the living area; it was already starting to get dark so she turned on the small lamp on the desk, which housed the computer. She sat down in the chair, it was Sareks', she could feel his energy. What did Salin mean by 'another male has claimed her? She let the thought drift away as she opened the book and flipped through it until she came to a chapter entitled 'Tulrah, Holder of the Heart', she started to read.

'Tulrah, Goddess of the ancient Vulcan race ruled

heaven and ground, her body was the very planet,

her crown the stars in the heavens. She and she

alone deemed who lived and died, she was the

Mother, her temples once filled the land and her

name was sung in all rituals. She brought Pon farr

to the males as the blood fever. She was a Goddess

of great beauty, bearing all the passion and desire her

children rejected. In her legend it is said when she

stood on Mt. Seleya to beg her children not to

discard their emotions, to hold within them the desire

and passion she had given them, they attacked her and

tore her to pieces as their last act of passion. Her blood

filled the land and that is why Vulcan is red earthed. Her

tears did not fall as she refused to cry for her children, in

doing so she withheld the rains. She rides T'Khut every

night her blood still dripping on the Watcher's face. She

holds the hearts of all Vulcan males as they are her priests,

they preformed her sacred ritual in the time before. And in

death it is said all males must bear their hearts to her,

all males must submit to her.'

She read on noting the similarities of ancient Vulcans to pre-Christian humans. She thought she might do a piece on Tulrah, perhaps in onyx, if she could get some. No, T'Khut's Tear would be more appropriate. She laid the book down on the desk and wondered what time it was? She stretched and got up going to the kitchen she made herself a cup of tea. Eire stood and sipped the tea noticing the clock on the replicator

had stopped. She assumed it was around ten--ten-thirty, was Sarek going to come tonight? Or would he go straight to Gol? He had seemed so hurtful in the transporter room. Did he hold it against her that she could not satisfy his desires? She was sure that was not the reason why he had pulled away from her, he was very tormented, pain and loss had filled his life this last year and when he came to her for physical comfort, she couldn't give it. She went back into the living area and stopped at a holo-picture that hung on the wall. It was of Amanda and a small child--his son. She was beautiful, her face so full of kindness, she felt love coming from it, so much love. She smiled and said, "But Amanda did you receive the love you needed?" She didn't know. The chime on the com started to sound, she put her tea down on the desk and sat in the chair. Her heart was pounding, she hoped it was Sarek. Perhaps they could talk about this situation, but she knew it was not him. She pushed the 'on' button and Brahza's face appeared. "I thought I would com and see how you were settling in?" Brahza said.

"All I know Brahza is that I'm hot and in misery." Eire sighed. "Is that vision still bothering you?" She asked. "No, thankfully I haven't had it since I left Earth, no, it's the

Ambassador he has feeling for me and I can't bring myself to return them. At the moment our 'relationship', if there is one is very strained. He hasn't seen me since we left Earth, except for a few moments in the transporter room aboard ship where he chastised Salin for touching me, now Salin has withdrew from me as well."

Eire started to cry,

"I'm sorry Brahza, forgive me."

"Eire, have you slept since you left Earth?" "Barely." Eire said wiping her eyes.

"Listen, go and get some sleep and I will com you tomorrow afternoon and we will talk. Perhaps if you sleep you will feel better and Eire, eat something. And one more thing Eire, is it really worth being Pa Vetch when all it brings you is pain?" Brahza smiled sadly.

"Is the pain any easier if you are not Pa Vetch?" Eire asked.

"I don't know? Get some sleep, I'll com you tomorrow, I miss you"

The screen went dark, Eire got up and put the cup in the sink then turned down the hall to her bedroom. She started to unpack her trunk hanging her clothing in the hidden closet, she took out a black satin bag and undid it. Taking out a small statue of the Earth Mother, this would be her representation of her Lady for her stay on Vulcan. She kissed it and placed it on her bedside table. She continued to unpack and put all her belongings away then she put the trunk in the closet and closed it. She sat on the bed and thought 'no wonder Vulcan's had such control of their emotions, having to sleep in beds this hard, who would want to let passions rise'. She lay down and tried to sleep, she was just starting to doze when she sat straight up holding her head, nausea ripping through her, she put her feet on the floor and grabbed her stomach.

"Oh Goddess! What is happening to me?"

She looked to the open door and thought Sarek was standing in the doorway, but as she focused she realized it was the woman in her vision, fear shot through her and she drew herself across the bed. "No, no." She screamed.

Within the woman's hand she held a heart, it dripped on the floor, the green liquid staining the floor, then it was gone. Eire sat shaking uncontrollably staring into the dark. As the time passed and she felt better, she realizes Sarek was not coming. She got up an undressed, putting a sleeveless sleeping gown on. Even though Salin had dropped the temperature by ten degrees, she still felt hot. She undid her hair and sat brushing it humming to herself, hoping to keep the vision away. Finally exhaustion hit her. She put the brush down and lay on the bed, darkness overtook her.

Her dreams were disjointed and passionate. Sarek was there touching her, kissing her, and the woman was also there in the shadows holding the pendant and a heart, she leered and laughed at them. Eire tossed and turned all night. When she awoke at first light she was wet all over, her hair clung to her. She got up and had a shower hoping it would make her feel better, it didn't. She felt cold and clammy, she wondered is she was getting sick. She dressed herself in a teal colored guna with a silver girdle over it. She wanted to leave her hair down but it was too warm, so she pulled her hair back and braided the sides clasping the braids with silver moon-face hair rings. She stripped the bed and went looking for the laundry. She found it at the rear of the house and left the soiled bedding to be washed later. Returning to the house she stopped in the kitchen and got a glass of juice and went into the living area. She sat at the desk and flipped through the book on Vulcan myth, she noticed then that the com held a message. It was turned down so low, one had to be in the room or it could never be heard. She pressed the button and the message appeared;

11:14---Sarek---No message.

She pressed the delete button and put her hand on her head.

"Damn!"

She keyed the number of the Academy and waited for a response. A woman appeared on the screen,

"Academy information, can I help you?" She asked.

"Hello, my name is Eire Teine, I would like to verify my classes for the coming semester."

"One moment." Said the woman.

"Vulcan arts and religion starts on the tenth, nine a.m. and one a.m. respectively. Matriarchy, on the twelfth at six p.m."

"Thank you, live long and prosper." Eire said.

"Welcome to Vulcan Miss Teine, live long and prosper."

The com went dark and Eire's head started to ache a little more. She looked in the com directory for an art supplier, she found one and keyed the number, again the com came on.

"May I help you?" A Vulcan male asked.

"Perhaps, do you carry sculpting material?"

"Yes, we have some in stock and if you require any specialty material, we do take special orders." He said.

"Wonderful, I'm looking for a piece of T'Khut's Tear, about eighteen inches in height, would you have that on hand?" Eire asked.

"Yes we do."

"Where are you located in ShiKhar?" She asked.

He explained how she would get to the shop and she thanked him and turned off the com. She went and got a silver pouch, making sure she has her credits card and the entry code for the main gate, and clasped it to her hip. She took a piece of teal material and put it over her head and headed out the door. It was ten-thirty in the morning and already the heat was almost unbearable. She started to walk towards ShiKhar proper, it wasn't quite as long a walk as she thought. She saw absolutely no one on her way, All Vulcans worked, so the whole area was deserted. She reached the art shop and went inside, she recognized the male at the counter as the one she spoke to earlier.

"Good morning, I spoke to you about T'Kut;s Tear." Eire said.

"Good morning, come this way." He said emerging from behind the counter.

He directed her to a separate room filled with minerals and stones. slate, granite, obsidian and more exotic rocks, pearlathene, rosdi, maltan. She looked at the T'Khut's Tear and chose a piece with dark red veins running through the amber background. The Vulcan picked it up and carried it to the counter, which was no easy task, as it weighed a lot for its size.

"Will that be all?" He asked.

"Yes, that will do." Eire said.

"You've picked a striking piece of stone. Have you worked with it before?"

"The reason I ask is that it is very difficult stone to work with."

"Yes, I've worked with it in small form and it is very difficult to work with." Eire smiled.

"Your credits card."

She opened her pouch and handed him her card, she looked around as he keyed her number in.

"Miss Tiene, this will not be necessary. Ambassador Sarek has opened an account for you, it will be credited to his account."

"Oh, I would really prefer it to be deducted from my account." She said.

"That is not logical." The Vulcan said.

"I am a human, therefore it is my right to be illogical." Eire said smiling.

"Of course." He keyed in her number again and deducted the amount.

"We will deliver this to your residence later this afternoon, will there be someone to receive it?"

"I should be there, if not leave it at the gate. Is there somewhere I could get something to drink?" She asked.

"Yes, three door to the right."

"Thank you. Oh, and how do I get to the Embassy?" Eire asked . If the Ambassador would not come to her, she would go to him.

CHAPTER 8

He told her how to get to the Embassy, she thanked him again and went to get something to drink. It was after one when she arrived at the Embassy and she was hot, she went inside it was a bit cooler but not by much. The main office was very plain, she approached the desk where a human woman sat keying at a com. She looked up as Eire approached her, without a smile or a nod she asked.

"Can I help you?"

"Yes, is Ambassador Sarek available?" Eire asked.

"No, I'm sorry, the Ambassador is not in at the moment, would you like to state your business and a com number where we may reach you?" She asked.

"Is Salin available?" Eire was getting frustrated, was there no one that would talk to her.

"Yes, Salin is available, who may I say wishes to speak to him?"

"Miss Teine."

The woman commed Salin's code.

"Sir, there is a Miss Teine who wishes to speak with you." She looked at Eire, "One moment please." And she returned to keying. Salin came around the corner of the hallway, he looked slightly surprised to see her.

"Miss Teine, this way." He said leading her down the hall where they entered a small office.

"I must say I am surprised to see you here."

"I was in ShiKhar to get some art supplies, and thought I would drop in.

Will the Ambassador be coming back today?"

"Coming back? He has not been in the Embassy since his return to Vulcan." Salin looked at her with mild confusion. "He has not come to see you as yet?" He asked.

"No, perhaps he's busy, perhaps this evening he will contact me." Eire said trying to hold her control up.

"Perhaps, is there anything else?"Salin asked."No Salin, thank you for your time."

She turned and left, Salin watching after her. She was becoming very depressed with this situation, She decided to return to the Ambassador's residence. When she got there she hoped that Sarek was there, but he wasn't. She went directly to the com to see if there were any messages. There were none. She took the book off the desk and went and sat on the couch, perhaps if she read her mind would not be involved with a hopeless situation.

After about an hour Eire got up and went to check the com for messages, none. She keyed in the directory and clicked on--Ambassador Sarek--Res.--Gol--code number--. The com hummed softly, then the information appeared. She thought for a moment, deciding is she should com him, but before she could decide the door chimed. She turned off the com and answered the door, it was the art shop delivering the T'Khut's Tear. When they had left she wandered around the house looking at things. She went into the hall and looked at the selection of books then slowly made her way down the hall until she stood in front of a closed door, Sarek's bedroom. She knew she shouldn't go in but her hand reached for the door handle. She peered inside the dark room then went in. Darkness enfolded her. She felt Sarek, she felt Amanda, she should not be here, she left and closed the door.

It was now three o'clock and she realized she hadn't eaten anything all day, but that was too much effort. Eire decided she would lay down perhaps a rest would bring her out of her mood. She lay down only intending to sleep for a little while but when she woke it was dark. She sat up and listened hoping to hear Sarek, but nothing. She was feeling sorry for herself, 'Oh stop it' she thought, 'You've been alone for years, get up and so something'. After doing a centering ritual she went out into the living area, the com was chiming softly, she sat and waited for the message.

10:15--Brahza--Greetings, com me when you have time.--

Eire had not realized she had slept so long, yet she still was tired, she sat for a few moments then got up and returned to her bed. She woke sometime later to a clicking sound. She got up and put on an over-robe and went into the hall. The clicking became louder as she reached the entrance of the living area. Sarek sat at the com keying. He didn't realize she was there till she came into the light.

"Sarek!" Her voice betrayed her emotional state. He stopped keying and looked up.

"I did not mean to wake you, I will do what I have to do then leave." He returned to keying.

She couldn't believe he just said that. He brings her here and just leaves her.

"Do what you wish Ambassador, it makes no difference to me. Your are acting illogical, only because I will not allow a relationship between us to grow. I want too, believe me, I would like nothing better than to have a relationship with you, but I can't. Try to understand, I can't."

She stood looking at him, her breathing quick, she held the tears back. He got up from the desk and walked towards her, his face blank and free from emotion. When he stood in front of her he took her hand and raised it to his lips and gently kissed it. She looked into his eyes, 'Is the pain any worse if you are not Pa Vetch? I don't know.' Brahza's words entered her mind. Surely the pain is no worse than this. She dropped her head, then raised it again, tears in her eyes. "Sarek, hold me." She whispered. He took her in his arms, enfolding her in his blackness. He held her for a few moments. Finally she pulled away from him and went and sat down on the couch, he did the same. "Sarek, I'm so afraid." She said, wanting to tell him about the vision, but Brahza's words once again were in her mind. She didn't say anymore. Sarek put his finger to her cheek and traced her face with them. "Why are you afraid?" He finally asked. He felt her nervousness, she stood up and walked out of hi reach. She searched for the right words, then turned to face him. "I'm afraid Sarek as I do not know if I could please you. It would hurt me deeply not to be able to do this. You are a strong man and I believe your fire will burn me. I feel your pain and emptiness and it torments me that you are consumed with such human emotions." He listened intensely to her not moving, his fire was burning slowly. She came over to him and kneeled in front of him and touched his face. He closed his eyes and his lips brushed his fingers. "Sarek, I am..." She stopped, she couldn't say it. "I have no experience in pleasuring a man." She took her hand from his face and averted her eyes. "I am Pa Vetch." She whispered.

He did not move at first and no words came from him. She kept her head bowed feeling embarrassed. After a few moments he stood up and put his hand on her head then left the room. She listened for the door to close, but it did not. Tears steamed down her face. Moments later she felt him return to the room, sitting back down on the couch in front of her he reached out and it his hands hung a pendant, he placed it around her neck. It dropped cold on her skin. It was a Vulcan rune crafted in T'Khut's Tear. "What is this?" She asked. He lifted her face in his hand and kissed her forehead. "It is my bonding gift to you, if you will have it? I do not expect anything from you right now and I will teach you to please me as I will please you when the time is right. Give me your boon that I am your claimer. Let me hear your words of promise to me. Do I claim you?" His voice was soft and steady. Tears flowed freely form Eire. "Yes Sarek, you claim me."

He bent a little and put his lips on hers and kissed her gently. She pressed harder and his fire soared, he took her in his arms and pulled her closer, feeling her body against his, he had to stop before her could not, but she held him. He summoned his control, she felt the fire slowly fading, but she wanted his fire, her body wanted more but just beneath the surface fear clutched her, winding ever so slowly around her mind. She opened her eyes and the kiss lay between them. She put her head on his chest and trembled slightly. This was her dark angel. From him she would draw all she needed, he no longer was a dark brooding winged creature staring at her from a frame. He was warm with passion and desire, she could touch him now, could feel his energy, could envelope herself in his darkness. He kissed her head.

"Come, sit with me." He said. Eire pulled herself away, not wanting to leave the safety of his wings. She sat on the couch beside him, her hands resting in her lap. His musky smell rising, keeping her senses aware of him.

"We must speak ..come to an understanding." He said.

Yes, of course." Eire agreed.

"We must decide when we will bond then marry. I will be staying on Vulcan for a three-month period until I finish my teaching assignment. Then I must return to Earth for two months. Do you wish to marry before I leave or when I return?"

She looked at him, she heard his words, but she could not believe them, everything had suddenly slowed down, her heart was the only thing she really heard. Beating within her, rhythmic, steady. She listened to it to center herself.

"I will abide with whatever you decide as I do not know anything regarding your traditions or customs on wedding etiquette." She said.

"Very well, four weeks from today we shall marry, also I will arrange for you in the coming days to speak with a sister of the disciplines. It will help you to understand what is expected of you as a wife of a Vulcan. Perhaps you could contact your friend ... Brahza, and ask for her assistance." He put his hand out and took the pendant, which lay at her breasts. His warmth caused her flesh to tingle, then he released the pendant and withdrew his hand.

"Do you have any questions?" He asked.

"Yes Sarek. Why did you chastise Salin for touching me, after all he did not know you had claimed me neither did I. Now he has backed away from me and this upsets me. He meant nothing by it, he was only trying to assist me." She looked into his dark eyes.

Sarek sat back on the couch placing his arm along its back. His eyes seemed much darker than before, his voice lower more controlled. "In truth Salin knew of my claim. I did not have to speak it. He blatantly touched you in my presence. This is not done, he broke the law, he shamed himself. He also shamed you and me by his action. By Vulcan law I am within my right to have declared vrekasht." Eire looked at him not understanding. "It is an ancient word meaning exile, outcast." Sarek explained. She gasped softly.

"You wouldn't? How could you do such a thing?" She couldn't believe that Sarek was contemplating such a vengeful action. Poor Salin, to be exiled from his home.

"I am as much to blame, I allowed him to touch me. You should declare me vrekasht!"

Sarek got up off the couch and turned to look down at her.

"I could never declare you vrekasht, you are human and did not know the law, you are innocent. But Salin knew very well that his action was wrong." Sarek walked to the other side of the room then turned to face her. "Do you have any feeling for Salin?" He asked.

Eire raised from the couch and turned her back to him. He was confused at her action. Eire controlled herself holding down her anger. How could he ask me that? He knows my feelings are for him and him alone. He is the only males that has ever kissed me, touched me. She turned to face him.

"Yes Sarek I have feelings for Salin." She said looking right at him. His eyes got a little darker and the muscle in the side of his face twitched just a little.

"As I have feeling for Brahza, I have feelings of friendship for him. Please do not declare him vrekasht, please I do not want you to do this." Her eyes pleaded with him. Sarek took a deep breath and walked over to the desk and stood in silence, finally he spoke not looking at her.

" He knew he broke the law, I will not forgive him for that, but since your emotions are running you at this moment. I will submit. I will not declare him vrekasht, but I will not have him in my employ and I will not have you associating with him."

"Are you giving me an ultimatum Sarek?" She asked coldly.

"If that is what you wish to call it then that is what I'm giving you." His voice was just as cold.

She couldn't believe it, he was trying to tell her whom she could associate with. She knew she had to stand firm, not back down. She thought if she backed down she would be demeaning herself, not in his eyes, but in hers.

"Sarek, I cannot do as you ask. In my eyes Salin has done nothing wrong, nor have I. If you feel threatened by my association with Salin I can't help that. If you insist that I do not associate with Salin, I ..I cannot abide with your wish."

Sarek approached her, he knew she had fire, he felt it but she also had fight. Humans were so headstrong, stubborn to a fault. Does she not realize this fight was not worth it, use your logic he thought and you will see I am correct.

"You leave me no choice, If you will not disassociate from Salin." His eyes were intense and his voice lower.

"I will declare him vrekasht! You are on Vulcan now Eire, therefore you must abide by Vulcan law. It can be no other way."

She stood feeling his eyes on her, reaching into her, touching, teasing her. He saw she would not sway, he put his hand up and touched her face. She felt pain flowing over her, she fought it back, back into the darkness. He tried to sway her touching her senses with whips of fire, flames licked at her, giving her promises of the fire that was to come. Then calling them back.

"Will you disassociate with Salin?" He asked. She stood staring ahead, silent. He took his hand away.

"I shall leave you to think about your decision. If I have not heard form you by tomorrow, mid-day I will start proceedings to have Salin declared vrekasht. I will also make arrangements for you to see T'Lar, she will instruct you in our ways. We do not want this to happen in the future."

She gave no response, she could not for the fear of loosing her control and having her words strike him. She wanted to slap his face, she wanted to pound on his chest, no, she held back. She would not allow herself to act in such a manner. Sarek turned and left the room, left the house. She stood for sometime holding back tears until she could hold them back no more and they fell hot on her cheeks. She had to speak to Salin,

she had to warn him what Sarek was intending to do. Not because she felt anything for him other than friendship, but this would not go down well with Sarek. She went to the com and pulled up the directory, she found Salin's name and residence, she would not com him as that would be recorded. She would go to him instead.

CHAPTER 9

Eire ran into her room and threw on her black over-dress and tied it at the waist, she took a black length of scarf and put it over her shoulders and left the house.

It was after one a.m. and the Vulcan night air had cooled, a fine mist hung in the darkness. She ran not sure of where Salin lived but she would fine him. One of her ankle bracelets she wore snapped and fell to the ground, she did not stop to pitch it up. When she finally found Salin's residence she caught her breathe just enough to speak. She pushed the speaker then again, Finally a voice came from the small box.

"Yes?"

"I need to speak with you Salin, it's Eire, please it's important! " There was a long then the pause then the gate clicked. She ran up the pathway to where Salin stood waiting.

"It is very late Miss Teine, you really shouldn't be here. I should not be speaking with you." He said.

"Salin, you must speak with me, I do not know what to do!" Her voice was trembling. He studied her carefully.

"Come in." He said finally. She went inside and he closed the door, he lead her into the living area and motioned her to sit down.

"What's wrong Miss Teine?"

"It's Sarek, he came to night, he told me he wished to bond and marry me." She searched his face for any emotion, there was none.

"I am pleased for you, he is a male of power and rank, you should be pleased he has chosen you. This upset you?" Asked Salin.

"No, that does not upset me. But the fact that Sarek has given me an ultimatum does!" She sobbed.

"And what is the ultimatum?" He asked knowing already.

"Either I disassociate with you or he will declare you vrekasht!" Eire was loosing control and her lips trembled.

"Then you have no other choice, you must disassociate with me. " Salin turned his back to her.

"But you have done nothing wrong, nor I!" She stood up.

"Perhaps not among humans, but in Vulcan law I have, and the Ambassador is within his rights to act. I have touched another male's female and I did wrong. I have shamed myself and others. I will except the charge. " He let out a deep breath. Eire went and stood behind him.

"You can't accept the charge, you did nothing wrong! Salin you have to fight it, bring your case to the counsel. He can't do this!"

"He can and he will. The law is the law and I have disregarded it." He said.

"He said if I disassociate with you he will not bring the charge. Instead he will only dismiss you from his employ."

"What does it matter, either way I will be gone. The Ambassador is very logical. If you do not do what he asks he declares me vrekasht, I am gone. And if you do abide by his wishes I am let go from his employ, which will bring shame upon my family and myself. I will leave. Either way the Ambassador wins."

"This is crazy! It is so petty, only because you touched me? I cannot understand it Salin. What should I do?"

"That Miss Teine is your decision, either way I will leave, how I leave is up to you."

"I cannot be a part of this Salin. To me it's wrong, Sarek is wrong. Even though I have only known you for a little while, I call you my friend and I hold that friendship dearly. You have always been helpful and a above reproach. I cannot make the choice." Her eyes became misty holding back tears.

Salin looked away from her, he felt uneasy with her show of emotion, he wanted to comfort her but dared not, not know, knowing she was officially claimed. He turned his back to her.

"Miss Teine, go home. You do not have to make the decision. I will take care of that myself, do not concern yourself any longer with this situation. And you are my friend also. Keep this with you, remember it always." He turned to face her again.

With that she went to him and put her arms around him and hugged him. He did not return the gesture. But stood letting her light flow over him. She released him.

"I'm sorry Salin." She said.

"No need to be sorry you have done no wrong." The barest of smiles touched his lips.

"And neither have you." Said Eire.

He lifted his two fingers and placed them gently on her lips for a moment.

"Please go Eire."

CHAPTER 10

She walked back to the Ambassador's residence empty inside. She stopped outside the gate and looked up into the night sky.

"I wish it would rain, I need to cleanse my soul."

But she knew it would not rain so she went inside and undressed kneeling before her altar she lit a candle and for the remainder of the night she incanted. When she could do no more as her legs cramped so badly and her voice was rasped and sore she crawled into the bed. At first light she fell to sleep. Her last thought being com Brahza today. She slept but in her dreams the black fire raged and she woke, the images still in her waking mind, the perspiration till damp on her body.

She reminded herself she had not eaten for days , but her depressed state did not lend it's self to eating. Eire had taken a shower and dressed herself in a black guna with a silver girdle. She applied black to her eyes and left her hair unbound. She settled down on the couch with a glass of water. As she sipped the water her mind filled with thoughts, Sarek, Salin, the woman in her vision. She pushed them all away, she was too tired to think and tomorrow she started at the Academy, she must keep focused.

She drank the last of her water and got up going to her room. She heaved the piece of T'Khut's Tear into her arms and carried it out into the yard. She stood looking, studying it then went back in and brought her tools out. She started to grind being careful not to put too much pressure on the block. T'Khut's tear was very strong and solid but did have the tendency to split around the veins, so she took her time gently grinding, each stroke carefully placed, every once in awhile she stopped and put her bare hands on the stone stroking it as she would stroke a lover. She was immersed in her passion not allowing anyone or anything to enter her mind. She was creating, she was making love as only she knew how. She didn't hear the chiming of the com through the afternoon, even if she did, she would not have answered it. She didn't want to hear about Salin, about Sarek, it would tear her apart.

So she kept creating till the light started to turn red then to gray, she could do no more. She put down her tool and stroked the face of Tulrah, then kissed it. The eyes of the statue stared back, passion shining in them, seduction on her full lips. She was pleased with what she had accomplished. She went into the house, she needed a drink, at first she reached for a glass of water but then decided she needed something stronger. Eire went into the living area and opened the recessed cubical in the wall, she reached for the decanter of amber liquid, she took out the stopper and sniffed it, brandy. Although alcohol had no affect on Vulcans, it was kept on hand for the human guests that the Ambassador entertained. She took a glass and poured herself a drink then went and sat down on the couch putting the decanter on the table. She drank it sown, coughing as it took her breath away, she was warm all over.

Eire was not a drinker and rarely indulged, but right now she needed to relax and she thought it might help her to do so. She poured another drink and drank it down, she stared into the amber liquid left covering the bottom of the snifter hoping to see something that would point a way for her, she saw nothing. Finally she got up and went to the com, a light flashed--message--. She sat down and pressed play, the screen lit up and the messages flashed across the screen.

1:00p.m.---Sarek---return my call at the Embassy--

2:00p.m.---Sarek---No message---

4:00p.m.---Sarek---No message---

She got up and poured herself another drink and returned to the com.

It continued to print up the messages.

4:30p.m.---Brhaza---Have you forgot me---

6:00p.m.---Sarek---Since you have not commed you are either not at home or your emotions are making you illogical. I shall be coming to see you this evening to discuss your appointment with T'Lar. Also Salin has resigned. I will com before I leave the Embassy---

She took another drink, she was now feeling the effects of the alcohol. She knew she should stop drinking, but she didn't want to. She wanted to feel the warmth, she wanted to feel the comfort the amber liquid gave her. She returned her attention to the screen.

"Damn you Sarek, damn you!"

She was hot so she took off her girdle and threw it onto the back of the couch. But it was not from the alcohol or the heat that made her feel this way , the thought of his touch scared her, the musk of his maleness caused her to be flushed. The chiming of the com brought her out of her thoughts. She let it chime, when it stopped she proceeded to key in Brahza's number. Brahza's face flashed on the screen, a bit shocked.

"Eire ...what's wrong? You look awful." She said.

"I guess life on Vulcan does not agree with me Brahza."

"Where is the Ambassador?" Brahza asked.

"Oh, my future husband should be here anytime." Eire laughed.

"Husband? Are you drunk?" Brahza asked closing her eyes.

"Yes Brahza I am, and it feels good! I don't have to feel anymore, I don't have to feel HIS emotions. I want to stay drunk!"

Brahza sat speechless looking at her.

"I'm just comming to invite you to come to Vulcan to help me arrange my wedding. I need you Brahza, please come." Eire pleaded.

"Of course. I will leave first thing in the morning. Will you be all right?" Brahza asked

"Of course I'll be all right I have my dark angel to watch over me." Tears fell down Eire's face.

"I will leave tomorrow. Good-bye." Brahza saw no sense trying to speak with Eire in her condition. She wondered how Sarek would warm to the situation when he finally arrived.

CHAPTER 11

Eire sat with her hand on her head. She reached and poured the last of the brandy into the glass. She was feeling quite drunk and so hot so she went and changed into a black nightdress hoping it would make her feel a little cooler. She turned the temperature control down another ten degrees. She sat sipping the last of the brandy looking around the room till her eyes fell on the harp that hung on the wall, Sarek's harp. She put the glass down and went and took it from the wall and sat in the chair cross-legged.

She began to pluck at the harp in a slow manner, till a tune started to form. Sarek opened the door and heard her playing, he stood quietly listening.

"Beloved gaze into thine own heart.

The holy tree is growing there.

From joy the holy branches start,

And all the trembling flowers they bear.

The changing colors of its fruit,

Have dowered the stars with merry light.

The surety of it's hidden root,

Was planted quietly in the night.

The shaking of its leafy head,

Has given the waves their melody.

And made my lips and music wed,

Murmuring a wizard's song for thee."

She ended the song but kept on playing. Sarek removed his outer cape. He thought perhaps he should keep it on, as it was quite cool, but he didn't. He walked into the living area where Eire was still harping. She didn't sense him. Finally he spoke.

"Eire, I will speak with you. " Eire jumped, she didn't look at him instead she continued harping. "Actually I would prefer to harp than to hear your words." She said.

She started to play a faster piece. Sarek walked over and put his hand on the harp. He took it from her and placed it back on the wall. She stood, swaying slightly. "You tell me who I may speak to and now you take away my music. I won't have this Sarek. You do not own me! No one owns me! I will not have you telling me what I may or may not do! Do you understand!!"

He looked at her, her eyes were flaming, her chest heaving beneath the gown. He summoned more control. "Salin resigned this afternoon, of his own free will. He will leave for Earth tomorrow. I hope we shall not have another situation like this. It is best for all concerned to forget it ever happened. We shall not speak of it again." Sarek walked over to his desk and began to check for any messages. "You act as if Salin and I were lovers caught in some sordid, dirty affair. Goddess, he touched my arm!" Her voice was full of pain and anger. Sarek took a step towards her, his eyes dark. "In touching you he may have well had bedded you!" I will not speak of this again." He put his hand up to stop her from speaking, "It is over!" Only his eyes showed his anger.

She walked over to him and raised her hand to strike his face. He grabbed her arm just before she struck him. "You wish to strike me?" He asked in a cold voice. He let her arm go and stood looking at her. She didn't know what she wanted to do, so she turned

and left the room. He looked after her wanting to call her back, but he didn't. Instead he went and took the decanter and the glass from his desk, sniffing it he thought she would pay dearly for this tomorrow, humans are so illogical. He placed the glass and decanter in he sink and returned to his desk. He had some work to do that would keep him busy till Eire came out of her emotional state.

Time passed and Eire finally appeared in the doorway, she stood looking at him, and she felt her fire begin to burn deep within her. Even though she was angry with him, even though she could scream and hit him, he still brought out the fire in her, stronger than before. Perhaps the alcohol intensified the feeling, but she was sure that she wanted him, she wanted him now...she crossed the room till she stood in front of his desk, he looked up then sat back in his chair. "Have you calmed yourself enough to speak at a normal decibel?" He asked. She came around and stood in front of him.

"I do not wish to speak anymore Sarek, words mean nothing." She took his hand, he thought she was going to kiss it, instead she placed his hand on her breast. He pulled away as if he had been burnt, but she held firm. He turned his head, his own fire was igniting. She let his had fall and she turned his face to hers, Eire bent down till her lips were brushing his. Finally he could stand no more he stood lifting her with him and carried her into the bedroom, closing the door, the darkness enveloped them both but within that darkness the flames raged brightly.

When Eire rose from the bed she sat and watched him sleeping, She made no attempt to wake him. She quietly got up and stood looking down at him. "I am no longer Pa Vetch and you have made me so. My dark angel is now my lover." She bent and kissed him so gently that even he did not wake. She quietly left the room to find solace with her Lady.

 

 

CHAPTER 12

The Vulcan sun slowly edged its path higher till the land lay red. Eire woke and sat up in the bed, she was in her own room. Her head ached. She had returned to her own room after their lovemaking. She needed to be alone. For the first time in her life she felt complete. She finished dressing herself in a blue guna with a sliver lace over vest and picked up her case going to the kitchen. Sarek had not risen yet, she thought she

should go to him and tell him she was leaving for the Academy, but then she thought it would not be wise. She drank down a glass of juice and headed out the door, stopping to pick up her silver pouch, she clasped it to her hip as she left the house.

Sarek had lain awake most of the night, waking when she left the bed. When she did not return he got up and went looking for her and found her asleep in the guestroom. He stood for sometime and watched her sleep and it disturbed him that she tossed and turned so much, perspiration lay glittering on her body. He was tempted to wake her from her dream, but thought against it after awhile. He would speak to her later about it, if it was caused by her personal problem. He believed this was the cause of her agitation. He reached mentally out to try to ease her uneasiness but she was not open to him.

He lay awake remembering her passion, the fire that had consumed him in the night, he closed his eyes bringing himself to calmness. He had heard her rise and waited for her to come to him. When she didn't, he rose and got ready to go to the Academy, he would see her there.

Eire arrived at the Academy just before eight-thirty, she had checked in at the off-world student registry and was told that both her classes were on schedule and to go to registrations to pick up the discs she would need. She finally arrived in the classroom, that class was almost full and most of the students were Vulcan, perhaps four other off-worlders. She sat down at the last desk and turned her com on and put in the disc. She sat viewing it silently. The curriculum flashed out on the screen:

 

EARLY VULCAN ART

VULCAN SAND SCULPTING

VIEWING COLOR

CREATING VULCAN FORM

VULCAN DANCE AND MUSIC

THE CREATIVE FORCE

She watched silently studying the monitor, wondering if Sarek had arrived at the Academy? She sat back and looked around the room, most of her fellow students were viewing the disc as she was. She noticed one young woman about twenty-two years old finding difficulty in loading her disc. Eire got up and went over to her. "Need some help?" She asked. The young woman looked up quite shocked as she raised her head, and when she saw it was another human she smiled. "Would you?" She asked. Eire smiled back at her. "You should always check to make sure the reset button is pushed." Eire said.

Eire hit re-set, popped in the disc and pushed 'run'. Instantly the screen lit up and the program started.

"Thank you. My name is Rhea Donson."

"Your welcome. Mine is Eire Teine. "

"Have you been on Vulcan long?" Rhea asked looking at the Vulcan rune Eire had on.

"No, about a week." Eire answered.

"You're wearing a Vulcan rune and usually off-worlders are not allowed to wear them. It's some rule they have." Rhea said. Eire had forgot about the bonding gift Sarek had given her, she picked it up and put it aside her dress.

"It was a gift." She smiled.

"Oh, are you bonded?" Asked Rhea. A Vulcan male who sat in front of Rhea turned hearing the conversation and looked at Eire. Soon a few other students had turned to look at her, waiting for an answer.

Just then a Vulcan of mid-age walked into the room dressed in a white robe, his hair was black and his blue eyes gave him a stunning look, he reminded Eire of a Roman senator. "Good morning students, I am Sondar and I will be your guide through this course on Vulcan fine arts. I hope you all have some talent in the arts? I suppose you do or you would not be in this class. We will get along fine if you all pay attention, I do not like to repeat myself. I see you all have your discs in the proper place." He stopped and looked at Eire who was still standing beside Rhea, she thought it polite to wait till Sondar finished speaking before she moved back to her seat. Sondar walked down the aisles and stopped in front of her.

"Miss.....?" He queried with one eyebrow raised.

"Miss Eire Teine, sir." Eire said quietly, she had already drawn to much attention to her self. He looked at her and his eyes softened.

"Miss Teine, your work precedes you. I viewed your disc only yesterday Fine work." He looked around the class.

"Well students, I would advise you to pay close attention to Miss Teine, she might teach you something." He motioned her to sit.

"Please, or would you prefer to teach the class today?" He asked.

"No Sondar, I beg your indulgence of an off-worlder. You are the one who is the teacher, I am the student." He looked at her approvingly.

"Well said Miss Teine." He moved out of her way and let her return to her desk.

"Meet me at break." Rhea whispered. Eire smiled and nodded her head.

The morning wore on and Sondar talked on, walking up and down the aisles. At eleven o'clock Sondar went to the front of the class.

"Tomorrow, early Vulcan art.". The students started to talk amongst themselves. Eire put her discs away in her case.

"Do you have to run?" Asked Rhea.

"No, I have an hour till my next class." Eire answered.

"What class is that?"

"Matriarchy, T'Landa is teaching it." They both got up and walked out into the hall.

"Down this way, there's an indoor garden I found earlier." Rhea said.

They walked sown the hall, Eire looked in each doorway absently as Rhea talked on. They passed the last door and Eire stopped, Rhea stopped short in front of her, then came back to where Eire stood looking in the door, Rhea looked in to. "I tried to get into his class, but I didn't pass the primary entrance exam. He's the Ambassador to Earth, they say he is a hard taskmaster but well worth the aggravation. He's even got a sense of humor, can you imagine, a Vulcan with a sense of humor! His class is always full. I think its because his course is only three months long."

Sarek stood at his desk explaining something to a student. When he felt her he stopped talking and turned his head towards the open door, his eyes locked with hers. Rhea looked back to Eire.

"I think we should go, we seem to be disturbing him." She said.

"Yes, it would seem so." Eire smiled.

They both went into the garden and found a stone bench to sit and have their lunch.

Eire thought surely Sarek would not forbid her in associating with Rhea as he done with Salin. She wondered how Salin was. She felt bad for him, but there was nothing that could be done about it right now. "Eire, maybe some night would could get together. It's quite lonely here, it would be nice to have another human to talk to." Rhea said. "Yes of course, perhaps one night soon." Eire said opening a container of juice and taking a drink.

"You aren't eating lunch?" Rhea asked.

"No, I really do not eat lunch." Said Eire.

"Well I do." Rhea opened a container and offered Eire some fruit.

"No thank you, I'm not hungry." Eire said.

Rhea put a grape in her mouth than looked over Eire's shoulder.

"Don't look now, but here comes the Ambassador. I've really never seen him up close, but I've heard he's quite handsome." Rhea continued looking as Sarek came closer.

Sarek approached the bench they were sitting on and looked at Rhea, she almost swallowed her grape whole. "Miss Teine, I will speak with you...alone."He said. Eire got up and excused herself and Rhea stared in disbelief as the Ambassador and Eire walked off into the garden. "I see you have found a companion." Sarek said.

"Yes, Rhea, she's in my art class, she's very lonely, but nice."

"Are you enjoying Sondar's lectures?" He asked.

"Yes very much so. But sometimes he can be quite dramatic...for a Vulcan." Eire smiled.

Sarek's one eyebrow raised. They walked and stopped at a window which looked out onto a stone garden

"When I woke last night, you were gone." He said.

"I didn't want to disturb you by coming back into your bed." Eire said looking out the window daring not to look at him in case she would touch him.

"I would have welcomed the disturbance." Sarek said. She blushed and shifted her case to her other hand.

"I have spoken to T'Lar, she will see you tomorrow evening. I shall go with you to arrange the ceremony." Sarek said touching her arm.

"Ceremony?" Eire questioned.

"For our marriage." Sarek replied tilting his head slightly.

"Yes of course Sarek, my mind was on other things.

"You have your matriarchy class at one?" He asked, his mind holding thoughts of her sweetness.

"Yes I do." She looked at her watch...twelve-fourty-five.

"I really have to run or I'll be late!" She said. She turned to leave and he put his hand on her arm, Eire looked into his face.

"Will you be home early this evening?" He asked.

"I suspect so, my class will be over by three, and I should be able to leave." Eire said.

"Perhaps we could spend sometime together this evening. We have much to discuss."

She blushed and touched his hand lightly. He returned the gesture. Eire turned and walked quickly back to where Rhea still sat. Rhea got up off the bench when Eire approached her. Sarek came off the pathway and rushed by them both not looking at either of them. Eire smelt his musky scent.

'What did he want?" Rhea asked.

"He just wanted to tell me that my next class stars at one." Eire said smiling. Rhea looked at her confused.

"But why would the Ambassador seek you out to tell you something you already know?"

"I don't know? Perhaps because he is my sponsor. He is concerned I will miss my class and that would reflect badly on him." Eire said.

"The Vulcan Ambassador is your sponsor?" Eire asked surprised.

"Yes." Eire said watching him disappear around the corner.

"But how? Only families can sponsor off-worlders, and the Ambassador is widowed. Do you live with him?" Asked Rhea.

"No. I stay at his home here and he lives at his residence in Gol. I really have to run or I'll be late. I'll see you tomorrow!" Eire turned and headed down the hall leaving Rhea to make sense of all that had just transpired.

CHAPTER 13

Brahza walked into her parent's home on ShiKhar, it had been over two years since she had been home, Vulcan did not hold her. She had been born on Earth twenty-nine point three years ago and her parents had brought her up rather freely. When she had moved back to Vulcan for a period of one year, she had hated it. All the strictness and polite reserve drove her crazy. She thought for sure, when she and a couple of her human friends had played a prank, just for fun, really out of boredom, she thought she would get her wish, to be sent back to Earth. But when they were brought before the high counsel and were chastised for desecrating a statue of Surak in the main square, she thought for sure she would be asked to leave her home world and asked never to return. Instead they sent her to the Sisterhood to learn some discipline. Her human companions did get to go back to Earth permanently. She had left at the end of that year against her parents wishes, telling her parents, "If I never step foot on this world again, I will be very satisfied."

She had received her education on Earth in design and had worked in a large design house since leaving university. She was very satisfied with her life. And now she stood in front of her parent's house, where she never wanted to be. But Eire was her friend and she said she would come.

She couldn't believe Eire was going to marry and most of all she couldn't believe she was going to marry a Vulcan, the Ambassador? However she did she do that? And did she know what she was getting herself into? She couldn't, or she would turn and run. She would have to seriously speak to Eire to make sure the Vulcan sun had not fried her brain.

After speaking to her parents and explaining why she had returned to Vulcan she left for the Ambassador's house. She had to smile to herself when both her parent's eyebrows shot up when she told them that her friend Eire had need of her help to arrange her marriage to the Ambassador. She wasn't sure if it was the result of the Ambassador re-marrying or that she was going to help arrange the wedding. She pulled up to the iron gate and got out of her ground car, she pushed the intercom.

"Yes?" A voice came.

"Eire, its Brahza."

The gate clicked and Brahza walked up the path meeting Eire halfway. She looked at her with concern, she looked unwell. She had lost some weight which Brahza thought did not look becoming on her. She had always admired Eire's figure, at thirty-six she was in excellent shape with lots of curves, not like her straight up and down. Eire's face was very pale and her eyes were dark and tired. They embraced each other and went into the house.

After filling Brahza in about the Academy, Salin and the Ambassador, Brahza looked at her.

"Where is the Ambassador?" She asked.

"Sarek will be here later, I hop. Eire said.

"You hope?" Brahza raised an eyebrow.

"Well he was supposed to come to see me two nights ago, but he did not show up and I haven't seen him since. I even had to go and see T'Lar alone last night----she's spooky!" Eire said her eyes widening.

"You don't know." Said Brahza more to herself. Brahza was appalled at what Sarek had done. She thought with his many years on Earth among humans and being married to a human, he would have picked up more human traits. She often wondered how a human could be attracted to a Vulcan, they were so different, but like they say, opposites attract. And now Eire, she just couldn't see her living her days out on Vulcan with a Vulcan husband and bringing little pointed eared babies into the universe.

"So when are you to marry?" Brahza asked. Eire took a deep breath, "Months end." She said absently.

"You don't seem too happy, I mean you look awful, are you sick?"

Eire looked at Brahza. Thoughts of the last sleepless nights clawed at her brain. The vision had been assaulting her for the last two nights, very vividly. She slept, but she fought in her sleep trying to push away the bizarre dreams. She woke in the morning exhausted, then the Academy and studying, she was living on nerves. "No, I'm just tired, too many things to think about and I guess the heat doesn't help." Eire started to cry. Brahza got up from the chair and sat besides her putting her arm around her. Eire cried till she couldn't cry anymore. The com chimed and Brahza got up to answer it. Eire was in no

shape to talk to anyone, not even the Ambassador. She pushed the button and Sarek appeared. His face showed a mild surprise as he viewed Brahza looking back at him.

"Good evening Ambassador." Brahza said.

"Yes Brahza, you have arrived. Was your journey pleasant?" He asked.

"Pleasant enough." She answered curtly.

He thought this female was trouble. He knew of her past and how she had thrown all Vulcan tradition out of her life. He wondered if it was such a good idea to have told Eire to seek her help in arranging their marriage? What was done was done. He had already grieved Eire in forbidding her association with Salin, he couldn't bring this upon her again.

"I will speak with Miss Teine." He said.

"I'm sorry Ambassador but Eire is otherwise occupied. Brahza responded. Sarek looked at her .

"Brahza, I'm sure Eire could spare a minute of her time to speak with me. Please put her on."

Eire got up from the couch and went to the bathroom to wash her face. Brahza waited till she was sure Eire could not hear her then she said. "At this point Ambassador, Eire can not and does not want to speak with you or anyone else. If you wish to talk to her, perhaps you could com later this evening." Brahza stared directly into his eyes.

"I will speak to Eire, now Brahza." Sarek was becoming impatient. Brahza closed her eyes to get her control. When she opened them her voice was cold.

"What have you done to her?" She asked.

"I will not respond to that question. It is none of your concern." His voice was like ice.

"Ambassador, it is my concern, she is my friend. She is falling apart, but you wouldn't know that as you have chosen to stay away. She isn't eating or sleeping." Brahza knew this to be true as she knew Eire and whenever she was upset she withdrew from everything.

"Is Eire unwell?" His voice was a little softer.

"If you would be here you would know. Will you be coming later?" She asked.

"That is why I am comming. I will not be able to come as I had planned." Brahza shook her head.

"Of course Ambassador, there is always something more important than the well being of your females." Brahza had heard about Amanda's death while she was on Earth and she had thought 'typical'. Sarek ignored her statement even though it did bring an uneasy feeling to his midriff.

"Tell Eire I will not be able to come tonight. I will speak with her at the Academy tomorrow."

The screen went dark and Brahza whispered, "Vulcans!"

She got up and went to the bathroom where Eire was sitting on the floor. She helped her up and took her back into the living area. She then put on some tea. She returned with a tray with the tea and some fruit. Perhaps Eire would eat something, she sat down on the couch beside her and took her hand.

"He's not coming." Brahza said quietly. Eire showed no emotion.

"He said he would see you tomorrow at the Academy. Take some tea it might relax you." Brahza thought she should talk about something else rather than the Ambassador.

"So how's the Academy going? Do you like it?" Eire managed a smile.

"Yes, I do, it's going well, my arts course is wonderful but I think it's because Sondar is such a great teacher. I've met a companion, Rhea, she's very nice but talks none stop, sort of like you! My matriarchy class is interesting but T'Landa drones on. She's like a machine. I think I could teach better myself, Oh well." Eire finished and took a sip of her tea. "I know you could do better, especially arts and matriarchy. How's the religious course going?" Brahza smiled openly. "I'm a Vulcan and I didn't even know Vulcan's adhered to a religion, except maybe logic. "That course was postponed till next week, something about the professor not being able to arrive on Vulcan in time to start it. And in away I'm glad, feeling the way I do. I don't think I could give the course all my attention. Miss Dannan is supposed to be a good teacher, very knowledgeable on religious studies. I've viewed one of her discs, "The DeDannan', it was very well researched and the information she brought forward was quite plausible, but there were a few things I disagree with and I hope to bring

them up in her class." Eire said feeling a little better. "Amazing! A human teaching Vulcan religion!" Brahza shook her head.

Eire laid her head on the back of the couch, she looked like she was going to start to cry again, but she held it back. "I love him, I feel he loves me, but then I push that though away. Vulcan's can't love, it's illogical to have for them to have any deep feelings for

anyone or anything. I just wonder how Amanda lasted so long. She must have really loved him deeply." Eire closed her eyes and a tear fell down her cheek.

"She must have been very lonely." She finished. Brahza got up off the couch and pulled Eire up. "I'm starving, why don't you get dressed and com your friend Rhea and we'll all go out to eat? It might do you good, instead of sitting here waiting for Sarek to have the time for you. Come on!" Eire protested, but in the end Brahza won, she always won.

CHAPTER 14

After dropping Rhea back at her residence they drove to the Ambassador's home. It was quite late and Eire felt a little better. She took Brahza to the back of the house to show her the piece she had been working on. Brahza was very impressed at her skill and the statue looked amazing.

"Tulrah, holder of the heart. Although we Vulcans have a heart I don't think most of them know what it's for. It's a beautiful piece, I'd like to see it when it's complete."

Eire's head was starting to ache. She had controlled it all through dinner, but she was tired, so her control was fading. "I really don't feel well Brahza, I'm so tired. I'm going to lie down." She said.

"Of course, perhaps I should com the med center, you could to a healer?" Brahza was concerned, Eire looked white and she was trembling.

"No, I just need to get some sleep. I'll be fine in the morning."

"Since Sarek will not be coming tonight, I'll stay. I have nothing else to do." Brahza offered.

"Thank you Brahza, you're a good friend."

Eire hugged her and went into the house. Brahza thought she should com Sarek, but her logic told her it would do no good. Did he know about her vision? She went in and cleared away the cups and teapot from earlier. She found the book Eire was reading and sat down to read it. Brahza had just nodded off when she was woke by a scream, such a scream filled with terror and despair, it shook her very being. She ran down the hall to Eire's room and threw the door open. Eire sat on the bed holding herself and rocking back and forth. Her eyes were wide and staring. Brahza went to her and shook her. "What does she want?" Eire asked. Brahza put her arms around her and held her looking around the dim room. "What does who want Eire?"

Eire didn't answer her; she closed her eyes and fell back to sleep. Brahza laid her down and covered her, and then she sat on the end of the bed, Watching Eire toss and turn for the rest of the night.

Eire woke at first light and got out of bed. She noticed Brahza at the foot of her bed asleep. She didn't wake her but shower and dressed. Brahza woke as Eire was putting her hair up. She wore a red guna with a golden girdle over it. "Good morning Brahza." Said Eire smiling. "Is it?" Asked Brahza. Eire's smile faded. "I really have to run, I'm going to be late." She got up off the chair and clasped a red pouch to her hip. Crossing to the other side of the bed, she kneeled and incanted silently to the statue. She put a drop of Brighid's oil on her finger and anointed the statue then her own forehead. Eire got up and started for the door. Brahza grabbed her by the arm. "Wait a minute, you just can't run out of here before you confide in me what's going on." Brahza held her tight. Eire looked at her then sat on the bed beside her.

"I don't know Brahza. I just don't know."

"Are you still having that vision?" Brahza asked.

"It comes and goes, I think I have it under control." Eire lied.

"From what I've seen IT has you under control. Perhaps you should speak to Sarek." Brahza said releasing her grip. Eire looked at her.

"You were the one who said do not tell Sarek. I'd chase him away!"

"But I think it's out of control, if you don't want to talk to Sarek... when do you see T'Lar?"

"Two nights from now." Eire answered.

"Tell her about it, she might be able to help you."

"All right Brahza, I'll talk to T'Lar. I don't know if she can help though." Eire sighed.

"You're going to be late, I'll give you a ride." Brahza said getting off the bed.

Brahza had other reasons for giving Eire a ride. She was going to talk to Sarek; she had made up her mind after seeing Eire in such pain through the night. But she dared not tell her, she wouldn't allow it.

Brahza had gone to Sarek's class but was told by his teaching aide that he would not be in today, he had other business at the Embassy. So she drove to the Embassy to find him.

Eire could not keep her mind focused and missed a lot of the lecture. Rhea kept asking if she was all right. By the end of the class Eire just wanted to lie down as sleep, but her next class was in an hour. She had a drink of water with Rhea in the garden as she jotted down some noted she had missed. She finished her water and ran off to her next class. She wondered why Sarek had not come to see her, perhaps it was for the better, she did not know if her control would stand up and she didn't want to make a scene in public.

Brahza waited patiently in the Embassy reception room, she had been there since early morning and the Ambassador had not seen her yet. "I'm sorry, the Ambassador is in a meeting, he will speak with you when he is finished." Brahza had looked at his aide with amusement. Humans trying to be Vulcans she smiled.

Mid-afternoon the door opened and the Ambassador showed a human male out. He spoke with him for a bit longer then left him at the desk. "Ambassador, there is a young woman who says she must speak with you. She has been here all day, she say's it's important." His aide said flatly.

Sarek walked towards Brahza and stopped in front of her looking down at her, his eyes dark. He looked pre-occupied and his control seemed very weak. "Brahza, I really do not have the time to speak with you. I..." "Ambassador, I really do not care if you have the time, you better make the time, It's about Eire. I'm concerned about her...and you should be too!"

Brahza's tone was aggressive.

The aide looked up and Sarek showed Brahza into his office. He closed the door and went to his desk. "In future, you will not speak to me in such a manner. What is your concern

about Eire... not that anything about my future wife should concern you!" He stated. Brahza stared back at him coldly and remained standing as he did. She couldn't see how Eire could be attracted to him, true he was very handsome and maturity had filled him out, but he was still a Vulcan. "Forgive me, I am allowing my emotions instead of my logic to speak for me." She said. Sarek inclined his head slightly. "I have known Eire for ten years and she has always been a very level headed human. Before she left Earth to come to the Academy she spoke to me of a deep concern she had." Sarek thought she was going to bring up the fact of Eire being Pa Vetch. He would not discuss that with her. "She spoke to me of a dream. Actually a vision that has been bothering her. Normally I would not pay much attention to such things, but I have seen a change in Eire, a physical change and this concerns me."

Sarek continued to stand, silently thinking of their night together and how afterwards as he watched her sleep, she was so uneasy and that concerned him. He had not found the time to speak with her since. He had not even seen her since the afternoon at the Academy three days ago. "I have asked her to speak with you, she will not. I have asked her to speak with T'Lar, but she doesn't think it will help. I had no choice but to come to you without her knowledge after last night." "Last night?" Questioned Sarek. "Yes Ambassador, I spent last night with Eire sitting on the end of her bed watching her go through mental anguish. Yet I do not think that even she knows of her action in her sleep."

Sarek sat down. "I had no knowledge that she was in such distress, we are not bonded as yet. I had no way of knowing the full extent of her problem or I would have attend to her."

"Forgive me Ambassador, would you have attended to her in the same way you attended to Amanda?"

Sarek's eyes grew very dark and he stood again. Brahza wanted to take back her last sentence but it was too late. "Brahza I would appreciate that in the future you do not bring up my personal affairs of how I conducted myself with my late wife. You know nothing about what she went through...what I went through in having to make certain decisions. Do not imply that my behavior was anything but logical, and do not think that my decision at the time of my wife's death has not caused me great pain and grief, it has! And my feelings for Eire are just as strong. I would do her no harm!"

For a moment Brahza felt great pain in her heart and closed her eyes, she quickly regained her control and wondered how he could function with such pain? "I will return to my home this evening. I will speak with Erie about this. I thank you for bringing this concern to me, I will involve you in this no further."

"I am involved Ambassador. Eire is my friend." Said Brahza. Sarek looked at her and tilted his head up slightly.

"Of course she is your friend." He said. With that Brahza left, she would go back to her parent's home, as Eire would be busy later.

Eire had barely made it through the day. She was so exhausted, and the walk from the Academy to home had made it worse.

She stood in the kitchen drinking water and trying to eat some soup and then she took a shower and laid on her bed. It was just after six. She thought of Sarek had not been to the Academy or why he had not commed her?

Perhaps he was angry that she would not speak with him last night, he didn't get angry, he was a Vulcan, probably very busy. Her thoughts turned to Salin, was he all right? How was he coping with having to leave? Better than her with her problem she thought. She drifted off to sleep. Her dreams crawled around her like some gigantic serpent squeezing the very breath from her. The woman was there, tempting her to reach out and take the pendant, when she finally did, instead of the pendant in her hand she was holding a heart, warm and still pulsing. She stared dis-believing at the heart. Fear raced through her. She clutched the heart to her breasts and screamed, screamed so loud and long she thought she would break and fall apart. She woke up screaming, her hands clutching emptiness to her breasts. She didn't want to feel anymore, she just wanted to be alone, away from everything and everyone. She got up off the bed shaking, still crying, she couldn't stop, she couldn't control it. "What's wrong with me?" She screamed.

She looked in the mirror; her face looked back at her, red rimmed eyed, dull and lifeless. Her white face gleaming like an unearthly wraith, this was not her, she couldn't look like this. She grabbed her make-up bag and applied some make-up to her face, when she had covered up her eyes she looked a little better so she sat down and started brushing her hair. She started to sing softly to herself, an old Irish ballad of love and heart break, she decided it was too depressing for her emotional state and got up to go and check if there were any messages on the com, there were none. She went back to her room and pulled out a wooden box from under the bed. Looking through it she took out a vial of banishing oil and a black candle also some salt. She traced a pentacle on the top of the little table with the salt, her hands were trembling. She took the banishing oil and put some on her hands and took the candle and dressed it, rubbing it up and down between her hands putting all her energy into it. She visualized it being pulled away, being absorbed into the white light, when she felt this done, she put the candle within the pentacle and lit it. She watched it as it burned, trying to see anything within the flame. There was nothing.

Finally she began a banishing rite.

"I call upon the Mother!

I have a need!

Mother surround me in your light.

I am your child.

I have need of your protection!"

She held her right hand up;

"Give me the power, the energy.

To rid myself of this negativity.

To rid myself of this vision!"

She visualized darkness being drawn into her power hand; it felt cold and sickly. When she felt she had contained it, she lifted her left hand into the air and transferred energy out through it.

"It is over, it is done!

Oh maiden strong and free,

Oh Mother, giver of life.

Oh Crone, she that brings death.

They're as one!

I call upon your names powerful!

ISIS, ASTARTE, BRIGHID, KALI!!

Many names have thee,

Yet you are but one.

Keep me in your light.

Keep your child free from harm!

I ask this in your sweet names.

SO MOTE IT BE!!!"

She rose and let the candle continue to burn; she would bury it later with the salt and a small gift. She actually started to feel better as the night went on, not as dark. She even managed to eat some soup. Eire sat down on the couch and started to read. It was just after nine when she finally feel asleep curled up on the couch. The dreams were not there and she slept soundly.

CHAPTER 15

Sarek arrived just after midnight; he had planned to leave earlier in the evening but that couldn't be done. As he approached the front entrance he felt his fire starting to rise within him, he pushed it back. He went inside and found Eire lying on the couch and approached her, he bent down on one knee and looked at her sleeping form. She looked quite peaceful and he mentally searched for any turmoil she had, he felt none. He saw her face was very white and she looked drawn, but still very beautiful. He would not wake her but she stirred emotions in him, he wanted her, he needed her. He resisted and put his two fingers on her cheek lightly then withdrew them as he stood. Eire opened her eyes.

"Sarek."

He was not fully standing and she took his hand and pulled him back down.

"I did not want to wake you." He said.

"I've missed you."

"And I you." He responded, normally he would never have said such a thing but he felt she needed to hear it. He touched her face and she reached for his, they kissed deeply. He slowly picked her up off the couch and entered the bedroom. After the pleasures lay between them Sarek turned to her. "You have my heart." He whispered softly. Eire trembled at the words that she knew we so hard for him to offer. He touched her arm gently. "Eire, I must speak with you concerning your personal problem." She lifted her head and looked into his face.

"I understand you have been disturbed over the last week with it?" She sat up, she knew Brahza had spoken to him, how else would he know.

"I'll be fine Sarek, do not concern yourself."

"I am concerned, it disturbs me that you are unsettled, you're not eating or sleeping. Do you wish to speak to me about it?" He asked.

"I asked Brahza not to say anything to you. Why did she have to tell you?"

"She had to tell me, she is concerned, she is your...friend."

"I'll be fine Sarek. I will speak with T'Lar to see if she can give me assistance. If not... I will just have to deal with it myself." She turned and lay back down on his chest; she ran her fingers over his lips and traced his ear with gentle touches.

"Sarek?" She finally said.

"Yes?" His voice was deep.

"I love you." She whispered

There was no verbal answer instead he pulled her to him and kissed her and then showed her he loved her also.

CHAPTER 16

They had gone to see T'Lar at Mt. Seleya the following night. Eire felt much more relaxed that Sarek was with her. T'Lar had spoken to them both in depth about the up-coming marriage, after disagreeing and agreeing a hundred times, Sarek was satisfied the wedding ritual would be held at months end, the evening of the time of the Little Sun, the bonding just before. That settled, he brought forth Eire's concern. T'Lar had asked to speak with her alone. The high priestess looked at her, Eire thought more she looked into her.

"You are being pursued." T'Lar stated slowly.

"I am not sure I understand?" Eire answered.

"Thy sight is farther than most humans, thee feel, thee sense other things most humans would not. Thy dreams, visions are not within your conscious or subconscious. Thy vision, dreams are forebodings, a warning of a coming life lesson." T'Lar lifted her hand and touched Eire's eyes gently. "Ye have strong light within. Ye can win the situation." Eire didn't take her eyes off T'Lar.

"Who is the woman? And what does she want?" Eire asked.

"This I cannot know. You will know when she comes." Replied T'Lar.

"She's a real person? I thought she was only a symbolic piece of the vision." Eire blinked.

"Thee know better, thee have felt her energy."

Eire looked at her and accepted her words, she now had to worry about flesh and blood. The specter was now physical.

CHAPTER 17

Eire felt good over the next few days, the dreams had not chased her as she slept. Sarek was with her last thing at night and she woke with his arms around her. He had not spoken to her again about the vision, he saw no need. They made the important arrangements for the wedding together. She only had to have her dress made and Brahza would do that. They would go tomorrow and pick the material for her to start. After that there was just one more instruction of the Sisterhood on the wedding ritual, but that was still two weeks away.

She dressed herself in a white lace petty-coat with an over-dress of emerald green silk. She braided her hair in three braids intertwined with a silver cord and bells. Sarek walked with her to the Academy and back home every evening. But tonight he would walk home alone as Eire's religious study course started that evening.

The day went quickly and soon Brahza was there to pick Eire and Rhea up to go and look at material. After looking at least twenty different types, Eire settled on a sheer ivory linen imported from Earth she also chose tiny pearled stars that would be sown on the bodice of the gown. Brahza said she would bring the material to her home and the following night come to Eire's to start the gown. Brahza dropped Eire off at the Academy and left with Rhea to get something to eat.

It was five minutes past six when Eire entered the classroom, the lecture had begun, she hoped she would not be noticed. She was! She had never seen a picture of Miss Dannan, as there were none accompanying the disc she viewed. But there she stood her black hair piled a top her head and her blue eyes shining. She approached Eire her robe softly brushing the floor. Eire sat mesmerized, this was the woman in her dream, her vision. Miss Dannan stopped at her desk and Eire stood. "Perhaps you should try to be on time for my lecture. I do expect my students to at least make the effort to be on time. What is your name? I shall put it down for a reference of who not to count on in time of need!" Miss Dannnan's eyes flashed with contempt.

Everyone in the class turned to see who Miss Dannan was reprimanding. Eire couldn't believe this woman was standing and disciplining her like some school child. Miss Dannan was approximately five years her senior. Eire stared right into those cold blue eyes. "Miss Eire Teine." She said.

"Oh dear! Miss Teine your talent precedes you, why only this afternoon Sondar acclaimed you to the near heavens. How did he refer to you?" Miss Dannan smiled. "The muse of Vulcan, yes that's what it was. Actually he quite bored me with his accolade of you."

She turned around and walked down the aisle, all the other student sat in silence wondering if they were really hearing this. "Oh Eire. I would appreciate it if you would show me the same punctuality you do the Vulcan!" She continued on with her lecture. Eire sat glaring at her. She did not like her and if this woman was the same woman that was in her vision, she had a problem. By nine the lecture was over and the students started to get ready to leave, as the last of the class was leaving Miss Dannan asked Eire to remain behind, she wished to speak with her.

Eire remained at her seat till the class was empty. She approached the desk where she stood waiting for Miss Dannan to speak. Miss Dannan put aside the disc she was studying and got up and came around the desk to stand beside Eire. She was five inches taller than Eire and out-weighed her by at least twenty pounds. "Forgive me? I didn't mean to come down on you so hard. I hope we can put our differences aside and get through the course without further problems. You are an excellent student and it would disturb me to no end to have you removed from this course." She smiled.

Eire couldn't believe her, remove her from the course? Was she serious? Was she crazy? "Miss Dannan, I do not know who you think you are, or what grievance you have against me, but I assure you I will have you removed if you ever treat me or any other student as you did tonight. You Miss Dannan are here to teach a course in religious studies, not to ridicule or demean the

student!!" Eire turned to leave the room. "Miss Teine. I wouldn't play with fire if I were you." Her eyes held Eire like ice. "You might get burned." Eire stopped and turned to face Miss Dannan.

"And I warn you Miss Dannan, fire and I are old friends!"

With that she left for the walk home, it was almost ten o'clock before she got out of the Academy. She walked the dark streets, seething with anger, Miss Dannan was a very cruel and cold woman she sensed that much. She shivered even though it was still over ninety degrees. She hoped her vision was a piece of the future, of things to come. She wouldn't tell Sarek of her confrontation with Miss Dannan. She would handle this herself, T'Lar said she could.

The next day Eire and Rhea were sitting in the garden between classes. Eire was telling Rhea of her first meeting with Miss Dannan. They sat discussing the similarities of ancient Vulcan female statues with that of human Pagans. "Yes but do not forget that the female figurines of pre-Christian humans were very symbolic, they symbolized the Earth Mother, birth giver, fertile vessel, she brought forth the food that they needed, the fire came from her forests, water her blood, the very Earth contained her essence, her spirit. Gaia was everything to the people, she brought them life, sustained them through that life and took them back into her eternal womb at the end of that life, to rest and heal till their next spiral. "How do you know all that?" Asked Rhea. "I'm a Wiccan...Pagan, this is the sacred knowledge handed down from our Elders, we believe in a Goddess as well as a God. Usually our Goddess is triple, maiden, mother and crone. She is symbolized by the Earth and moon. We honor her at the full of the moon. The God is symbolized by the sun, father...he is the lover consort of the Lady, he fertilizes her and in turn she brings forth the abundance which is the Earth. Of course on Vulcan it's difficult to keep track of the seasons and moon phases, but after a while you instinctively know when to perform ritual. At the end of October, which corresponds to somewhere in the middle of Vulcan's Little Sun... It's our new year...Samhain, it's a time... " Rhea looked past Eire. "Excuse me for a moment Eire, but who is that woman with Sarek?"

Eire turned and saw Miss Dannan standing and speaking with Sarek. They seemed very involved in their conversation. Eire got up and walked up to them. Sarek's back was turned towards her and Miss Dannan saw her as she came towards them. Eire stopped just behind and to the right of Sarek's arm, she waited. Miss Dannan saw her but continued talking ignoring her completely. Finally Miss Dannan put her hand on Sarek's arm to move him aside; he withdrew his arm quickly.

"May I help you Miss Teine? I am really too busy to speak with you." Sarek turned quickly to look at Eire. "Eire. It's quite all right Miss Dannan. May I introduce Miss Eire Teine? She who will be my wife." He said looking into Eire's flashing green eyes. Miss Dannan smiled brightly.

"Oh Miss Teine, you never told me that you were the Ambassador's female, married, how lovely. You should think yourself lucky to have captured the affections of a Vulcan of the Ambassador's rank and power, perhaps you can tell me your secret?" She smiled.

"I assure you Miss Dannan I did not capture the Ambassador, he came quite freely." Sarek felt the tension and hostility between them; he put his two fingers on Eire's arm.

"Miss Dannan has just invited us to dine with her one evening, perhaps you could speak with her about the time?" Said Sarek. Eire looked from Sarek to Miss Dannan.

"Unfortunately Miss Dannan, Sarek and I will be extremely busy over the next while. We will have to decline your most gracious invitation." Eire glared into those icy eyes.

"Oh, I was really looking forward to talking to you about your beliefs. I didn't know you were a Pagani." She used the Latin term for Pagan. She placed her hand on Sarek's arm. Eire looked, she withdrew it quickly.

"Ambassador, could you not speak to Eire and maybe persuade her to join us for dinner?"

"Perhaps after our marriage we might dine with Miss Dannan?" Sarek suggested. Eire took a deep breath.

"Please do not call me by my first name, to you I am Miss Teine, soon to be Madame Sarek. And I would not lower myself to dine with the likes of you! Good day Miss Dannan." Sarek could hardly believe that Eire had just publicly insulted Miss Dannan. Eire looked up at him.

"Sarek if you insist that we dine with this woman, you shall dine with her alone. I'm sure she would enjoy that! Excuse me." She turned and walked off, Sarek coming after her.

"I will speak with you Eire!" He called. Eire kept walking she had no mind for Sarek's words.

CHAPTER 18

After her matriarchy class Eire went outside with Rhea to wait for Brahza. She was glad that the religious class was every other day. Brahza stopped and they all got in the ground car, her eye caught a glimpse of Sarek and Miss Dannan getting into her ground car, she pretended not to notice. Sarek turned as Brahza went to turn onto the main road. He tried to wave Brahza down and she would have stopped, but Eire told her not to, she didn't and Sarek watched as they drove away, the muscles in his face tensing.

By ten o'clock Brahza had taken Eire's measurements, cut the pattern and basted the wedding gown together roughly. Eire tried it on, it looked gorgeous. She took it off and Brahza started to hand sew the little stars on the bodice, she would also put them on the pointed sleeves and at the bottom tiers of the gown. She would start then on the head veil. Rhea and Eire were sitting discussing Pagan hand fasting when a ground car pulled up to the front gate.

Eire stood and went to the window; Sarek was standing at the gate talking to Miss Dannan. Eire thought she had nerve, Sarek did not come directly in. Eire came back and sat on the couch with Rhea.

"Maybe we should go?" Said Rhea. Brahza looked from one to the other.

"What's going on?" She asked. Rhea looked at Brahza.

"Miss Dannan is really causing Eire a lot of grief. She insulted her in front of the whole class. She's really being a bitch...for no reason, now she's become friendly with...."

Eire put her hand on Rhea's arm as the front door opened then closed. Sarek stood in the entrance of the living area, he removed his cape and put it over his arm and came into where they were sitting. He looked at Brahza then Rhea.

"Eire, I will speak with you." His voice sounded threatening.

"Of course Sarek, we are almost finished for the night." She didn't look at him.

"Now!' His voice was demanding. Rhea stood up quickly.

"Rhea sit down, we are not quite finished yet." Eire leveled her gaze at Sarek.

Rhea looked at her then Sarek, she did not sit down instead she started to clear away the mess. Brahza kept sewing. Sarek turned and left the room, they all looked at each other, Brahza folded the gown up and put it in the bag at her feet. Collecting all her supplies she got up and hugged Eire.

"We'd better go, will you be all right?" Eire smiled "Of course."

She walked them both to the door and hugged them, thanking them for coming. When they drove off she went back into the living area; she straightened it up a bit and took the dishes they used for dinner into the kitchen. She stood for a moment wondering why Sarek had gone with Miss Dannan, knowing how she felt about her. Eire didn't feel tired and she didn't want to speak with Sarek right now, so she went out into the yard and started working on her piece.

Sarek came out when he heard the humming of the grinding tool. He stood looking at her as she stroked the cold red veined stone.

"I will speak with you." He said loud enough for her to hear over the tool. She didn't answer.

"Turn off your grinder!" He yelled over the noise.

She continued to work. He reached down and took the grinder from her hand and turned it off. Eire got up and stormed past him into the house, Sarek right behind her. She went straight to her room and pulled out her cape, she slipped a pouch to her hip and threw the cape over her shoulder. She started to leave the room but Sarek was blocking the doorway. "Remove yourself from the door Sarek." He did not, so she pushed against him trying to move him, it was like pushing against a mountain. She hit his chest. "Damn you!" She cried. She hit him again and again. He still did not move. He knew she was very angry so he allowed her to take it out on him.

When she realized that no matter what she did, he was not going to let her go. She went to her altar, kneeling she started to chant.

"Ground and center,

Feel the light.

Reaching upward in the night.

Ground and center,

Cleanse the soul,

Take the darkness, take it all."

She continued chanting, blocking all else out, focusing, centering herself. She was angry. In all her adult life she had never lifted her hand to anyone. She had always believed that any problem could be solved without hitting and yelling. And in the past she had stuck to this belief. She couldn't remember a time in her life when she had gotten really angry, but then she hadn't been in love before and being in love brought intense emotions, desire, passion, love but with them also came jealousy, miss-trust, anger and she didn't like that.

Finally Sarek realized he would have to speak whether she listened or not.

"Eire, I will say what I have to say." She kept chanting, trying not to hear his words.

"I found your actions today quite disturbing. I do not know why you acted like you did, but there is no excuse for the way you treated Miss Dannan. Whatever you may have against her from now on keep it to yourself. She is a colleague and a professional. She did not deserve the treatment you put upon her. You were extremely childish in your behavior and I will have no more of it. Her touch meant nothing to me, she is new to our ways and did not know our laws." He stopped for a moments listening to her chant and watching her rock back and forth. "Miss Dannan will dine with us the night after tomorrow" He turned to leave the room.

"Come to bed." And he went into the master bedroom.

Eire did not go to bed that night, she continued chanting till she could do no more. She did not cry, she would not let herself cry. She sat on the floor in front of her altar running his words over in her mind, 'She will dine with us', 'childish,' 'a colleague and professional'. She couldn't tell Sarek that Miss Dannan was the woman in her vision. He would probably think it was human jealousy, she would not tell him. But she would not heed to him either.

CHAPTER 19

She did not see Sarek the next morning; she left before he rose. She dressed herself quietly as not to awake him in a white petty-coat with an amber colored stitched waist over vest. She brushed her hair but left it loose. She was early and sat with Rhea in the Academy garden drinking a cup of tea.

"How did it go last night?" Rhea asked.

"It went badly." Eire stared straight ahead.

"Sarek frightened me, he was so angry, but Brahza said he would never let his emotions overwhelm his logic and I shouldn't worry about you. But I do." Rhea said. Eire hugged her.

"Don't worry about me, I'll be fine."

"What did he say to you? Why was he with Miss Dannan?"

"He didn't say. But he assured me she was a colleague and my treatment of her was childish." Eire's eyes started to fill with tears.

"But she was so nasty to you. Didn't you tell him that?" Rhea asked.

"There was no sense, he wouldn't listen. He would have said I was being human."

"But you are human! These Vulcans expect humans to just put our emotions in a little dark room and lock them away and walk around as boring and unemotional as they are!" Rhea said flustered. Eire managed to laugh.

"Oh Rhea I assure Vulcans are not unemotional. In actuality in some emotions they're more intense than us." Rhea looked her eyes wide.

"What emotions?" She asked.

"The right ones." Eire blushed.

"You and Sarek haven't been.... hum.. Well you know." Now Rhea blushed.

"Intimate?"

"Well yes, but I thought Vulcans didn't do that sort of thing. That they're to logical to allow themselves pleasure, that passion was a Vulcan sin." Eire laughed again.

"Rhea why do you think they call it passion's mastery? Passion and every other emotion is there but they have mastered them. They believe and maybe their right, that emotion is a useless thing when dealing with life. It makes them seem very cold, and like you said unemotional. But deep inside, deep down underneath all that cool reserve, underneath that stoical face is real fire." Eire closed her eyes remembering Sarek's touch.

"But I thought they could only be intimate when they went through the pon farr?"

"Pon farr is a very intense time for males as well as female Vulcans. They have to mate, they are driven to mate, sex at its most primitive state. I really don't know mush about it as Sarek's pon farr is still over four months away. But I can tell you, your thought on the Vulcan sex drive is wrong. Sarek and I'm sure all Vulcans can be intimate without pon farr."

They got up and started walking down the hall towards Sondar's class when Sarek and Miss Dannan turned the corner and walked towards them. Eire felt her skin crawl, they seemed to be in a hurry as they approached each other, Sarek slowed down and came to a full stop in front of Eire. She tried to side step him but her put his hand on her arm and held her. She stood stiff and looked at Miss Dannan. "I will be home late this evening, I will wake you when I arrive." He said. "Do as you wish Sarek, it matters not to me." Eire said still staring at Miss Dannan. He exhaled gently and let go of her arm. Miss Dannan put her arm through his.

"Sarek, we must run, we have an appointment in five minutes." She said smiling into Eire's face

"Miss Dannan, do not touch me, it is not our way, it disturbs me." Sarek pulled his arm free. Miss Dannan looked at him and then at Eire and smiled sweetly.

"Forgive me Sarek, I did not mean to disturb you."

Eire turned and almost walked into Rhea. "Come Rhea we have a fine arts class to attend." Both of them walked down the hall and turned into Sondar's class not looking back.

CHAPTER 20

T'Landa talked on,

"Vulcan females have always had more rights than human females, especially the oldest mothers of each clan. Since the coming of Surak's philosophy we have been allowed to keep our equality but not our high rank over males. We as females are smart enough to realize that even though our males are superior to us in physical strength, in thinking, in logic in all other aspects we are his equal. It is hard to believe that within the Vulcan society there are still males that view females as inferior and try to keep them shall we say...in line. But what is more unbelievable is that there are females that in the past and even today allow them to do this. All we have to do is look at all the females that in the past and even today have regained and kept their position above the male. S'Tha, San'ind, T'Ran, T'Fra, Andrassa, Rish'a, T'Pau and T'Lar. All have done much for Vulcan matriarchy, all have held strong to the belief that females are a higher being, all have captured and held the feminine power, the female energy and wield it like a flaming sword over the heads of patriarchy. They have allowed all female Vulcans to stand equal with their males to allow us to achieve the rank and power which is ours. Our birth rite, to be female. To be whole!" She took a deep breath,

"Is there any questions?"

Eire stood. "T'Landa, I do not have a question but more of a statement.

Your assumption of human females always being beneath the male is erroneous. In Earth's past as in yours human females also stood above males. They were revered and honored. The male considered the female to be endowed with magic, power, after all she brought forth life which he could not do, even now this eludes the males in most species, alien or otherwise. The human female in the past held the great power. They contained life, gave it birth, sustained the life all from their own bodies. Without her the tribe would die, later as the tribes became stationary she was the gather of food, she prepared the herbs and roots which were needed for healing, she healed, she gave pleasures, she was the holder of the past and the bringer of the future and in the end it was her who tended the dying. She was mother, lover, teacher, justice giver, priestess, healer and warrior. She was everything and more. As time went on certain males started to fear her power, started to envy her place in society. Enter the church with its mad men. They tortured and murdered her under the falsehood that she was a witch...which is really quite laughable as all people at that time on Earth were Pagans, witches and then in the seventeenth century the old ways were lost, they thought after three hundred years of terror upon women they had stamped out matriarchy and Paganism, to a great extent they did. But within each human female's heart still even today burns the power, the deep belief that she is all powerful and her femininity is superior to males and all females whether Human, Vulcan, Klingon, whatever their race can re-claim this power as their own if only they would believe the power is theirs to claim. Being female is our right as you said. All we have to do is re-claim that right. Thank you for your time."

T'Landa clapped her hands causing the rest of the class to join in. Eire felt embarrassed, but excepted their applause with humility. "Very well said Miss Teine, perhaps you would in a future class like to speak more about human matriarchy. I would be very interested in hearing as I'm sure the rest of the class would any other thoughts you may have on the subject."

"Of course T'Landa, it would be my pleasure." Eire said. "Well after that rousing commentary I believe I have to do more background work into pre-Christian matriarchy and Paganism or Miss Teine will have me speechless once again. Good day class."

Eire left the class and walked towards the front entrance of the Academy. She had three hours before her religious study course, she moaned, the very thought of having to stay in the same building as Miss Dannan never mind the same room left her feeling nauseous. She stopped at the front door and thought, perhaps she should talk to Sarek, tell him she was being childish but that did not excuse Miss Dannan for treating her in a demeaning manner. That her love for him was confusing at the best of times and she would try to be civil to Miss Dannan if it made him happy. After all they were to be married in just over a weeks time and she didn't want any tension between them. She sighed and turned heading for Sarek's class. When she arrived it was empty except for his teaching aide that was grading disc at the com.

"May I help you?" He asked.

"Yes will the Ambassador be returning to class today?"

"No Miss he will not, but if you wish to speak to him, he is in his office on the second floor."

"Oh, thank you, thank you very much."

She left heading for the stairs, she didn't know that Sarek had an office at the Academy, he hadn't mentioned it. She reached the second floor and walked down the hall realizing most of the rooms were offices of the professors with a few study rooms here and there. She passed each door looking at the nameplates on the doors. Not paying attention she bumped into Sondar who had just come out of his office, discs flying from his arms.

"Oh, I'm so sorry Sondar, here let me help you." She bent down and helped him retrieve the discs, when they were all picked up and safely in his arms she said,

"Forgive me, it was entirely my fault. I should pay more attention to where I'm going."

"It is quite all right Miss Teine, no harm has been done. Miss Teine, Sarek has told me of your accomplished harping, perhaps when we go into Vulcan music and dance you could demonstrate your harping ability to the class?"

"I would love to Sondar when the time comes."

"By the way, where are you going?" He asked.

"Actually I was trying to find the Ambassador's office. I was told by his aide that is where he would be."

"Yes, right down to the end of the hall, first door on the right."

"Thank you Sondar."

He turned with his arms full of discs and headed to the stairs. Eire continued down the hall till she stood in front of an open door with a plate on it reading....Ambassador, Professor Sarek--Computer Dept.—She took a step inside the door, the office was small and empty. It was an outer office, behind the desk was another door slightly open and she heard muffled voices, she approached the door quietly wanting to know who was talking with Sarek. She stood at the door listening as Miss Dannan talked to Sarek. She grabbed the Vulcan rune that hung around her neck and squeezed it tightly, Eire started to turn away when she heard Miss Dannan say,

"Sarek I would advise you to think clearly on this up coming marriage of yours. She is rather young and you do not really know what you're getting yourself into. I mean with her adhering to this Pagan religion she will bring you nothing but shame, running around skyclad, doing strange rituals. Even her normal clothes are not traditional Vulcan. Perhaps you should give your decision more thought?"

Eire felt anger rising inside of her, but when Sarek did not answer Miss Dannan she felt tears running hot on her face, she didn't stay to hear his response. She ran out of the office and down the hall, and continued running till she reached a small park about a mile from the Academy. She sat on the stone bench and cried. He doesn't love me. Does he think that way about my religion? Perhaps being Pa Vetch was not as painful as loving him? If she would have stayed just a few moments longer she would have heard

Sarek demolish Miss Dannan for her unwanted statements and criticism of his future wife, but that was not to be.

She fought back and forth within herself weather to even go to her religious class. If she didn't go Miss Dannan would think she had chased her away. If she did go she would have to listen to her arrogant criticism of her. Eire wiped her eyes and threw her hair over her shoulders and walked back to the Academy.

CHAPTER 21

To Eire's amazement Miss Dannan did not even look at her or speak to her until the end of the class.

"Miss Teine, may I speak with you?" Eire stood up picked up her case and started for the door.

"Please Eire, It's about Sarek." Eire stopped at the door, she knew she shouldn't turn and listen to her, but she was human. Miss Dannan approached her, her face looking unsure, when she reached to where Eire stood she sat a top one of the desks.

"You wish to speak to me about Sarek?"

"Yes Eire, I really do not how to tell you this." Miss Dannan said in a hushed voice.

"Just tell me Miss Dannan, although your chances of me believing you are minimal at best."

"Perhaps you will believe me when I tell you Sarek has no intention of marrying you, he had decided that you are not the logical choice for him." A little smile came to her lips.

"And you are?" Eire asked.

"Well considering your background and mine he would be a fool to marry someone who's standing in Vulcan society is looked upon with raised eyebrows."

Eire stood staring into her blue eyes trying to pick something up from her. But she was hitting a brick wall, emptiness surrounded her and blackness filled her. Miss Dannan smiled again.

"But that is not why I wish to speak to you about. You see my concern is not weather Sarek married you but rather what will happen to me if he does?" Miss Dannan stood and walked around to the other desk.

"Well, actually Sarek and I are... involved. Where do you think he was last week when you needed him? Has he ever told you he loved you? He told me, this very afternoon."

Eire thought of what she had heard that afternoon, Miss Dannan's words rang in her ears, Sarek's silence ripped at her. "Where do you think he'll be tonight? And what do you think he'll be doing? I'll leaves that up to your imagination. Vulcan males can be so insatiable. But you should know that." Miss Dannan was enjoying herself.

"Don't you?" She finished.

Eire had heard enough of this, her fire was rising and it was nothing to do with desire.

"Miss Dannan I do not believe you, Sarek is not involved with you in anyway. Where he was last week I do not know, but I'm sure it was not with you! And you are a liar, Sarek did not tell you he loved you, it is not the Vulcan way, he would never verbally tell anyone of his personal feelings. And I do not have to use my imagination to tell me what he was doing with you, because Sarek would not touch another females not when he is claimed. You are a sick, pitiful excuse for a human, and I find it distasteful to stand here and waste my time listening to your lies!" Miss Dannan laughed very softly. You poor naive child, don't believe everything you hear about Vulcan loyalty. If you know the right buttons to push, even the most traditional male can be broken. And I really enjoy a challenge, and Sarek was certainly that." "You're a LIAIR!!" Screamed Eire. "Believe what you want, but I wouldn't be lonely tonight. Will you?" Miss Dannan narrowed her eyes.

Eire felt the hot sting of tears welling up in her eyes but she held them back. She was so angry she could have strangled Miss Dannan instead she slapped her face so hard she left her handprint on it. She turned and ran from the room. Miss Dannan calling after her. "I hope you will be joining us tomorrow evening for dinner?" She rubbed her face.

"Bitch!"

Eire ran tears falling down her face; she stopped at a com and keyed Sarek at home, no answer. She keyed the Embassy, no answer. She even keyed his residence at Gol, nothing. She banged her fist into the screen. "NO!" She moaned and slipped against the com. Her heart felt like it was being ripped out of her chest, she pulled herself up and keyed Rhea, only the message light came on. She didn't want to com Brahza, not at her parents home, not in her condition. So she pulled herself together and went home. When she got there Sarek was not there; the house was empty and dark. She stood looking at the holopainting of Amanda. "How did you stay so strong?" Eire asked through trembling lips.

She didn't know how or why but all at once she felt peaceful and warm as if Amanda's smiling face radiated over her. She looked up into the paintings eyes and she heard a very tiny whisper, so soft she thought she was hearing things, but then again it came just as soft, but now she heard it.

"Love."

She closed her eyes and reached down to center herself, when she had stopped shaking she went and took a drink of juice, then she showered. Although she felt controlled she decided not to sleep in Sarek's bed. She didn't feel she could not until she found out what the truth was. She was just ready to get into bed when the com chimed. It was after ten and she thought not to answer it but decided to. She pulled her over robe on and went and sat down in front of the com. She reached for the 'on' button but pulled back. Finally she pushed the button and the screen lit. A Vulcan male looked back at her. "Forgive me for comming so late, but I wish to clarify some information. Is my father available?"

Eire looked at the screen; this was Sarek's son, Spock. For being half-human, he looked very Vulcan.

"I'm sorry your father is not at home. I am Eire Teine, would you care to leave a message for him?" Spock looked at her; she was definitely beautiful, as his father had remarked. And she was definitely young but there was something disturbing within her. He sensed pain, and noted her eyes were red, crying?

"I'm very glad to meet my father's choice for wife. May I say my father has impeccable taste? Would my father be at the Embassy?" Spock asked.

"Your father did not inform me of where he would be, only that he would arrive home rather late." She pulled up her control as the thought that he might be with Miss Dannan shook her.

"Are you all right Miss Teine?"

"Yes, I'm fine, I guess with the busy schedule and now the wedding, I'm a bit tired."

"Then I shall keep you no longer. I look forward to meeting you in person in nine days. Good night Miss Teine."

"Would you like me to give a message to Sarek?"

"No I think I can wait and speak with him tomorrow, thank you." The screen went dark and Eire returned to her bed wondering what Spock wanted to talk to his father about, it really didn't matter. She lay awake for hours listening for Sarek. She heard the clock ticking in the living area, it chimed three times. A tear dropped down her face. Sarek, please do not do this to me."

CHAPTER 22

Sarek arrived home just before the clock chimed four. Eire heard him come in, she didn't get up. He went directly to the master bedroom. He changed into his sleeping robe; he really didn't see the sense, as he would have to rise in a few hours to return to the Academy. He knew Eire was not in the room as soon as he entered. He knew he told her he would wake her but she must still be emotional, he left the room and walked out into the yard, the night was cool with a light mist falling. It was the beginning of the Vulcan Autumn, time of the Little Sun. He shivered briefly then turned to go back into the house. As he turned he saw Tulrah; Eire had done a lot more work since the last time he looked, such beauty, such fire. He went into the kitchen and took a glass of water; he had not eaten since the morning before. He finished the water and went to her bedroom, hoping she was awake.

He stood listening in the darkness, listening to her breathing. He determined she was awake by the quickness of her breathing. He approached the bed. She knew he was there and she stiffened. He lay down besides her putting his arm across her waist. He reached over and brushed her ear with his lips, she did not respond. He kissed her cheek, still she lay there, finally he turned her towards him and kissed her on the mouth, she didn't kiss him. He looked at her face in the darkness, waited a moment then lay down. A tear ran down Eire's face and she turned over on her side.

Neither of them slept and Eire rose at first light and went to shower. Sarek got up and went to the master bedroom and started to dress, he returned to her room and when she got out of the shower he was dressed and standing at the side of the bed. Eire pulled her robe tighter around her.

"I will wait for you to dress and walk with you to the Academy. I have been neglecting you lately, I think it will be beneficial for both of us."

"I'm afraid Sarek that will not be possible, I am not going directly to the Academy and I do not know what time I will arrive there."

"Than perhaps we may meet and take mid-meal together?"

"No Sarek, I have made a previous engagement."

He let out a sigh. "Suit yourself then."

He left the room and went to the kitchen to eat something. Eire went and dresses choosing a dark gray guna with a navy girdle. She tied her hair loosely in a braid and wrapped the end in a navy cord. She took a lightweight nave cape from her closet as it was misting out and went to the kitchen. She didn't bother to take anything to eat for that meant she would have had to stay and speak to Sarek, she turned to leave. "Eire, wait." She stopped and he came to her side, he took her face in one hand and bent and kissed her, she stood, eyes open, waiting for him to finish. He did, letting her go he said. "Miss Dannan will be dining here with us tonight. I expect you to be here." Eire took a few steps towards the door then turned. "Sarek. He looked at her hoping her mood had changed. "Your son commed last night. No message." She turned and left. Sarek banged his fist against the counter closing his eyes tightly.

CHAPTER 23

Eire didn't go straight to the Academy and she didn't think she would make it to any of her classes instead she went right to Brahza's home. After explaining what was going on she asked Brahza to take her to Mt. Seleya.

They arrived at Mt. Seleya just after twelve noon and started the long accent to the top as T'Lar was not at the base of the mountain.

"You know you will have to climb these stairs for your wedding?" Brahza said looking at the top. "If there is a wedding?" Replied Eire

When they reached the top Eire was so wet with perspiration she looked like she had showered. They approached a low stone building where they were told T'Lar would be. Two Vulcan guards stood, when they reached the entrance the one guard asked Brahza their business. Eire couldn't understand as they spoke in a Vulcan dialect.

"He asked your business?" Brahza repeated in English.

"Tell him it's personal, for the ears of T'Lar only." Erie said. She knew the guard spoke and understood English, but it didn't bother her he chose to speak Vulcan. He addressed Brahza again.

"He wants to know your name?"

"Tell him the future Madame Sarek wishes to speak to her." Brahza translated and he disappeared inside. A while later he returned.

"T'Lar will speak with thee, this way." He turned and they followed him in out of the raging sun.

It was slightly cooler as they descended the stone stairs within the stone building; the guard stopped in front of a large door and opened it, motioning them to enter.

"Coming Brahza?" Eire asked.

"I'll pass, meeting T'Lar once in a life time is enough for anyone." Eire went into the chamber and approached T'Lar. She sat in a large ornate chair. Eire thought she was dead or in a trance as she noticed her chest was not moving. She stood in front of her till she opened her eyes. Eire bowed a little to show her respect to T'Lar.

"I have need to speak with you." Eire said.

"Speak." T'Lar's voice was curt.

"I beg your tolerance T'Lar, I have doubts that marrying Sarek is not the logical thing to do. Since I was here last there has been certain happenings that lead me to believe that Sarek does not want this marriage. And I would not expect him to do something that was not his wish, so I request that you Break Sarek's claim on me. As I believe he will not do it himself."

T'Lar rose from the chair, her hawklike features studying Eire. "I do not feel that this is thy desire. Ye must seek within thyself for the strength Ye need. Ye believe Sarek is thy heartbreak, thee in truth already know who is. I could not dissolve the claim Sarek has placed upon thee even if I chose too. Sarek must do that himself, it is his decision. He must do this before the bonding. If that is really what thee wish. I am not certain that this is thy wish?"

She came down the stairs and lifted her bony hand towards Eire. "May I?" She asked. Eire nodded and T'Lar placed her fingers in the position of the mind meld. Eire started to receive pictures, flashing so quickly she couldn't keep track of them. T'Lar held her hand on Eire's face for only a few moments then she removed it. The high priestess walked past Eire towards the door.

"Ye have the strength." She said. Eire turned and she was gone. She joined Brahza outside, she really didn't feel like talking but Brahza did.

"Did you accomplish what you wanted?" She asked.

"No, she said she couldn't dissolve the marriage claim." Brahza wasn't prepared for that. She stared shocked at Eire as they made there way down the stone staircase of Mt. Seleya.

CHAPTER 24

Sarek had asked his aide to take his class that morning, as he was too pre-occupied to teach. He had sat in his office most of the morning. Spock had commed earlier to verify the time of the wedding ritual, Sarek had told him in five days, tentatively, he would say no more. After the fine arts class had finished Sarek sought out Rhea to ask if she knew where Eire had gone. Rhea was quite surprised to hear that Eire did not inform him of where she was going, she had thought she was ill so stayed home. Miss Dannan had stopped Sarek in the hall but he walked on robes flying behind him stating,

"I have no time."

It was late afternoon and Eire had not arrived at the Academy, he was becoming concerned. Miss Dannan stopped in at Sarek's office to confirm the time he wished her to come by the house.

"I will have to cancel our dinner, perhaps some other night." He said. Miss Dannan's eyes flashed.

"Problems?"

"It's personal." Sarek replied. She walked over to him and put her hand on his arm.

"Perhaps if I just came over we could talk about your problems, it might do you good."

Sarek took her hand off his arm with his free hand. She looked at him, he was hurting her, she pulled her arm away. "I do not wish to speak with you now or later, I have asked you before not to touch me, if you continue this behavior Miss Dannan I will have you removed from your professorship. I do have the power to do so and I will. Do not interfere in my personal life again!" He sidestepped her making sure he didn't touch her and walked out of the office. He stopped and looked back to where she still stood. "Miss Dannan if you have any notion in taking your frustrations out on my future wife, I warn you it is not wise!" He turned and left. Miss Dannan smiled, a cold calculating smile, Eire did not deserve him, and she had plans for him, she must succeed in getting him if her work was to be completed. Eire would not have the pleasure of being his wife.

Sarek left right after that and went home hoping to find Eire there, she wasn't. He was weary so he went and changed into his sleeping robe and laid on the bed. When he was woken by the closing of the door it was dark. He got up and went into the hall to greet Eire but instead of her Miss Dannan stood smiling.

"How did you get in here?" He demanded.

"It's quite simple when you have the access code to the Academy's com." She answered quite proudly.

"You will leave my home."

"Oh Sarek, you really don't mean that." She walked towards him.

"Do not make me use force. Leave!" He went into the living area Miss Dannan followed him. Sarek went to the com and started to key.

"Who are you comming?" She asked.

"I am comming the authorities to have you removed from my house." She reached over and pushed the off button, she put her arm around his waist. Sarek pushed her back and she stumbled against the desk, he walked away.

"Leave!" His voice was as hard as steel.

"No!" She screamed back at him.

"I will not allow you to do this." He seethed.

She jumped at him and hit him in the chest, Sarek didn't move; she grabbed at his robe and ripped it at the neck. Sarek grabbed her by the neck, he wanted to end it, to squeeze the life out of her, but he applied pressure on her neck and she fell, he lowered her to the floor his arm supporting her. He had not heard Eire come in.

"What are you doing?" Eire's voice was so full of anguish, she lifted her hand to her mouth, she wanted to scream. Sarek looked at her intensely, he knew her thoughts, she turned and rushed down the hall to her room. Sarek after her.

Eire started grabbing her clothing from the closet and throwing it in the center of the bed, she pulled out her trunk, she couldn't stand it anymore, her heart was breaking. Her emotions running wild, she had no more control, she was raw and she let her emotions flood the room. Sarek stood trying to calm himself, he too was raw. When he had brought up as much control as he could, he assessed the situation. She was leaving him, he should not prevent it, it was her choice to make. But Amanda had left him once before and he did nothing to stop her, except say, "I do not want you to leave." She had left and he had gone through one year of silent misery. He made up his mind he would not allow Eire to walk away from his life.

Eire kept packing, throwing her things into the trunk, she stopped when he tool a step towards her and she backed away till the wall stopped her form going any further.

He held his hand out to her and a heart wrenched "No" came from his lips. He continued across the room. She felt like a trapped animal. She could run no where. He reached out putting his hand on her face.

"Don't touch me!" She screamed and started hitting blindly at him. Sarek grabbed her by the arms.

"Listen to me!" His breathing was quick but his voice level.

"I have done nothing to Miss Dannan, I have not touched her!" Eire struggled to get out of his grip, one arm finally got free and she slapped his face as hard as she could.

"Leave me! Don't touch me!" She started to hit at him again with her free hand. Sarek realized he had to do something she was not rational at this moment and would not listen to logic. He raised his hand to her face, she fought him, but he paid that no mind. He placed his hand on her face letting go of her other arm to hold her head still, quickly he melded, she struggled for a few moments then stopped.

Eire saw flashes running through her mind, pictures jumping and turning. She saw everything that had happened over the last three weeks and she knew Sarek was not guilty. He saw and felt her pain; her anguish and he closed his eyes. He took his hand away from her face and she fell against him sobbing. He did not ask why she had not come to him with this? He just held her till she stopped crying. Sarek pulled her back and looked deep into her tear filled eyes.

"You have and always will have my heart." He said, "No more tears." And he kissed her forehead. When he was sure she was calm enough to leave her. He left the room, he had to com security to come and remove Miss. Dannan.

When Eire had composed herself enough she left the room and made her way to the living area. She entered the room just as Sarek was finishing his conversation with security. Eire looked to where Miss Dannan was lying...her eyes widened.

"Oh Goddess!" She whispered. She looked at Sarek with terror in her eyes. Eire felt the breath being squeezed out of her, she felt absolute fear.

"Where is she?" She whispered. Sarek looked at her his face not showing his concern.

"The logical assumption is that she regained consciousness and left. I have notified security, they will find her."

Eire stared hopelessly at him her vision flashing into her mind.

CHAPTER 25

Security had not found Miss Dannan they had searched everywhere, her home, the Academy, the transporter station and everywhere in between. When they made their report to Sarek, they could only say. "She seems to have vanished."

They told him they would keep the investigation open, if she was still on Vulcan, they would find her.

"But is she still on Vulcan?" Sarek asked. They assured him they had all lines open is she was anywhere in Federation space they would find her.

Sarek wanted her found, she was dangerous, mentally unstable. When she was found he would push to have her incarcerated to get the help that she needed. He knew he would not have to push hard.

Eire had not returned to the Academy till the second day after the Incident. She had settled down and felt she couldn't hide away till they found Miss Dannan, so she returned to her schedule, it was a lot easier than before and she enjoyed it. The head of the Academy Sorl approached her and asked since the Vulcan religious course was now ended, if she would be interested in teaching a course if Goddess studies. T'Landa had spoken with him and recommended her as a knowledgeable and dedicated student of Paganism. Of course he had added the course would begin the week after her marriage to the Ambassador. She was thrilled and honored. Sarek shared her joy in a Vulcan way.

Although she was the happiest she had been in her whole life, just underneath the surface she fought every day with fragments of her vision, she kept them to herself. She couldn't allow them to surface. She was too happy and she wanted to stay that way. Sarek had not commented on her unrestful sleep or her sweat soaked body, he only held her tighter in her sleep.

Brahza had finished her gown and it was beautiful. Rhea wanted to do something for Eire so Eire taught her how to weave flower chaplets; she made three for them to wear at the wedding ritual. Eire had asked both Brahza and Rhea to stand as her maidens. They both agreed with much joy.

Two nights before the wedding Brahza drove Eire and Rhea to get their instruction in Vulcan marriage ritual, it lasted late into the night. After the instruction T'Lar had requested to speak with Eire.

"Thee are at peace with thy decision?" She asked.

"I am Mother." T'Lar had looked deep into her eyes and nodded solemnly.

"Ye will still need thy strength, it has not ended."

Eire felt a shiver run down her spine, she didn't ask what she meant, she knew.

"Remember, never shall ye doubt Sarek. It is he that shall bring ye strength and bring ye out of the darkness. His darkness shall be your light." Eire had nodded and left the inner chamber heavy in thoughts.

Brahza dropped her off at home saying that Rhea and her would be by in the afternoon on the following day and that she should save her strength for the wedding night, she might need it. Eire had laughed softly saying that she had enough energy for every night.

"Don't talk to soon, Sarek's pon farr has not come yet, you might have to eat your words." Laughed Rhea. Brahza looked at Rhea her face deep in thought.

"I cannot understand why anyone would want to eat their words." Rhea laughed as they drove off trying to explain to Brahza what it meant.

Eire went in and found Sarek at the com working his face dark, so serious. She went over and laid her two fingers on his lips he did the same. Sarek sat back in his chair.

"Your instruction went well?"

"As well as to be expected, there's so much to remember. I only hope I don't forget what I'm not supposed to do."

"You will not, you have a fine mind for ritual." He said.

"Yes, that had always been one of my joys, performing ritual." She kissed him.

"Perhaps I could show you a ritual performed by the Daughters of the Flame. It's quite pleasurable." He touched her face.

"It would please me to learn of this ritual, show me. She did and they both learned more about each others pleasures.

The following day Sarek had work to take care of at the Embassy, he would meet Spock there. He left early and Eire stayed in bed a little longer. There was so much to think about so much to do. She rose around ten o'clock and incanted to her Lady, giving her thanks and asking for her blessing. After she finished she showered and dressed herself in a dark green guna with a golden girdle, it was one of her favorites with Brighid's cross-interlaced with Keltic spirals. Brighid's cross was a symbol of her chosen Goddess, Brighid or in English Brigit the ancient fire/Earth Mother of the Irish. She was the Goddess of poets, artists, craft persons. She gave them inspiration; she was also a protector of children, warrioress, and patroness of magic and witches. Her ancient shrine had been re-lit in 1996 in Kildare, Ireland under the guise of the Christian St. Brigit. All

Pagans knew that Brigit was actually their ancient fire Goddess Brighid, their Lady. The world church had even started to allow the followers of Brighid to perform their Imbolc festival at her shrine at the festival of the first milk, Brighid's holy day. Eire had gone every year to join in, she always felt at home in Ireland, at peace. She loved everything to do with Ireland even before she had chosen her spiritual path. And always had hopes of moving there, but Vulcan was a long way from Ireland, but who knows?

She braided the one side of her hair and secured it with a gold hair rings etched with the same cross, she left the rest of her hair loose. She went into the kitchen and started to prepared evening meal. She wanted to make it her self instead of using the replicator, she didn't really like the food from replicator it tasted bland. And tonight Spock was coming along with Brahza and Rhea; she wanted to please them.

Four o'clock had arrived along with Brahza and Rhea, they looked at the home cooked meal, they couldn't believe Eire was such a traditionalist. "Sarek better watch himself or you might block his arteries with this kind of food."

"But what a way to go." Rhea said dipping her finger into a bowl of chocolate and sticking it her mouth.

"This is wonderful!"

They went into the living area and talked till Sarek and Spock arrived. Eire remained seated till they entered the room. Then she stood, Brahza and Rhea stood also. Brahza had heard of Spock and had even seen him on occasion but had never met him. Rhea knew a little about him. Eire knew almost nothing of the famous Mr. Spock but she would make it a point to speak with him and find out more about Sarek's son.

Sarek stretched his two fingers towards her and she approached placing hers on his, she did not look at Spock her eyes were held by Sarek's.

"Spock, may I introduce Miss Eire Teine. The female that shall be my wife." Sarek said. Eire looked into Spock's eyes, when he managed to draw himself out of them he said.

"The monitor does not do justice to your beauty Miss Teine. I wish you and my father both long life with prosperity." He bowed his head slightly.

"Will you do the introductions?" Sarek asked, motioning towards Rhea and Brahza. Eire went back over to where they stood.

"Spock, this is my friend and fellow student, Rhea Donson." Spock nodded towards Rhea.

"And this, is." Eire put her hand on Brahza's arm. "Brahza, my dearest and oldest friend."

"Ah, Brahza, I have heard of you, weren't you involved in the incident with the Surak statue? As I remember you were sent to the Sisterhood and your companions sent back to Earth, never to return." Spock said. Brahza looked directly at Spock and raised an eyebrow.

"I master minded it!" She said.

"Indeed." Spock said with mild surprise...Eire interrupted.

"I hope you are all hungry? Please come and sit down." They all went into the dining area. And Rhea and Eire started to bring in the food. After everyone had finished Sarek said.

"Your talents always amaze me." Eire smiled.

Spock and Sarek left the table and proceeded to continue a discussion that was left off somewhere in the past. The women cleared and put every thing back in its proper place. When they had finished they too went into the living area. Brahza sat in the chair and Rhea and Eire on the couch.

Sarek rose and poured everyone some wine. Eire sat speaking softly with her friends not wanting to disturb Sarek and Spock.

"Miss Teine my father tells me you will be teaching a course in Goddess studies at the Academy, why Goddess studies?" Asked Spock.

"Please Spock call me Eire. Why Goddess Studies? Well, I have been a Wiccan for all my adult life; the Goddess is what I know best. I find it fascinating that at one time our whole world, Earth, was united under a female deity. Even though the tribes were so different, so far apart their Goddesses basically were very similar, their names differed country to country, even town to town, but disregarding her many names as all Goddesses are but one Goddess, the same is true with the God force. Her basic aspects were and still are very similar. I have studied for many years the reclaiming of the Goddess by human females. Holding the feminine power and knowing how to use it along with the energy of the God force can and does bring us, females, back to a place, a state that we have all but lost through patriarchy. The power has allowed us to be female, and to stand along side our males, not beneath him. I think this is how it should be." Spock nodded.

"If I am here long enough I would like to sit in on one of your lectures, if that would be agreeable to you?" Eire smiled.

"Of course Spock. I can only hope that I can keep you interested long enough."

The night wore on and finally Sarek rose to take his leave. He would keep this Vulcan custom; he would not be with Eire the night before their wedding. He and Spock would spend the evening and the next day at Gol to prepare for the ritual. Eire would stay here in ShiKhar with Brahza and Rhea.

Everyone bid each other good night and Eire walked to the door with Sarek and Spock.

"It was a most enjoyable evening, I look forwards to seeing you tomorrow." Spock said. Spock opened the door and went out to let Sarek and Eire speak. Sarek lifted his fingers to her lips and she kissed them, he took them away and kissed her tenderly.

"I will be lonely without you in out bed tonight." She said.

"It is only for one night." He whispered. He kissed her again and stroked the side of her face and then left with Spock. Eire watched them get in the ground car and drive off. She leaned her head against the door and smiled. "Good night my dark angel." And closed the door.

CHAPTER 26

Eire had woke before Brahza and Rhea and started a blessing to her Lady which now sat in the master bedroom. After she anointed herself in a heavy spiced oil she knelt before her altar. She took the salt and drew a pentacle on the top of the altar within the center she placed a bowl of water filled with hawthorn flowers and love oil, to the right she placed the candles of the Lady, one white for the maiden, red for the mother, and black for the crone. To the left she placed a pink candle for love and a red candle for passion, she dressed them with the appropriate oils. She lit them and put some incense on to burn. She raised her arms.

"Oh sweet Mother,

Tonight I give my heart to another.

I ask for your blessing,

And that you would grant your child,

All goodness and light.

I ask that you put your hand upon this union,

And make it fertile in every way.

Give me the passion and ability to please my husband,

And he me.

I ask this with no gain in my heart,

I ask this with no harm to anyone else.

SO MOTE IT BE!"

She took the oiled water and dipped her finger in it and anointed her feet.

"I anointed my feet in her name,

May they always walk the path of light."

She anointed her knees.

 

"I anoint my knees in her name,

May they always kneel at her sacred altar."

She anointed her womb.

"I anoint my womb in her name,

May it be fertile, for without it we would not be."

She anointed her breasts.

"I anoint my breasts in her name,

Creation of beauty, sustainers of life."

She brought the water to her mouth and let it touch her lips.

"I anoint my lips in her name,

May they sing her sacred names always."

She anointed her eyes.

"I anoint my eyes in her name,

That they may see the beauty of her creation,

That they might see truth."

She anointed her head.

"I anoint my head in her name,

That I may learn the wisdom, and know compassion,

Tolerance and share them with all the children.

This rite is ended.

SO MOTE IT BE!"

Eire got up and put on a plain white underdress and took the bowl of water out to the yard where she dumped it in front of Tulrah, she smiled.

"I guess I need all the blessings I can get."

She took the bowl and went back into the kitchen, Brahza and Rhea were both standing at the counter drinking tea, Rhea handed a cup to Eire. "So are you ready to become Madame Sarek?" Asked Brahza. Eire looked at her and took a deep breath.

"I can't believe it, today I will be his wife. It's unreal."

"Perhaps Brahza could get a hold of Spock?" Laughed Rhea. Brahza rolled her eyes,

"I don't think so, he's not my type, too serious." Both Eire and Rhea broke up laughing, a Vulcan calling another Vulcan serious, it was amusing. Eire looked at Rhea.

"What about you? Do you have a secret Vulcan love?"

"Me! Are you kidding! I wouldn't know how to even talk to a Vulcan male." Rhea said a little uneased at the question.

"I think I know the right male for you Rhea. I'll speak to Sarek after the wedding and ask if I can introduce you to Salin. I don't see how he would object." Eire said. Brahza looked over her cup.

"You've only been on Vulcan five weeks and you're already making matches." She walked from the kitchen to the living area,

"Scary." She muttered under her breath. Both Eire and Rhea laughed.

By mid afternoon they had packed everything they needed for the wedding ritual and put it in the ground car. Eire dressed herself in a dark green panno dress with a high bodice. She put her hair loosely up and put on copper armbands. She wore T'Khut's Tear at her throat. She took her copper toned cape from her closet and put it around her shoulders, since it was the time of the Little Sun, misting rain would start to fall after sundown.

They left the house and started their drive to Mt. Seleya. Eire would meet with Sarek before the actual ritual at the base of the mount to perform the bonding ritual, as they drove Brahza asked.

"Has there been any information about whether they have located Miss Dannan?"

"No." Eire said. "I really do not want to talk about her Brahza, not today."

"I'm sure they are doing everything they can to find her." Said Rhea.

"I'm sure they are." Eire said. Brahza looked at Eire.

"Have the dreams stopped?" She asked.

"Almost, there not as frequent and vivid as before. I can control them." Eire lied. She was still having the dreams every night bit it seemed with Sarek lying beside her, she wasn't as afraid, and he had not mentioned anything to her about any disturbances in her sleep.

CHAPTER 27

Rhea had only been Mt. Seleya once and it was at night so she had not really seen the mount, not may humans had. It was there where the disciplines were taught, where the Sisterhood dwelled, it held the power and mystic knowledge of the Vulcans. Where healing was performed. And on its peak within the stone circle marriages were performed and challenges were offered and battles fought to the death. Though it had not been the case for many years. The last challenge was echoed by Sarek's own son at his wedding to T'Pring, he had fought his friend and captain under the eyes of the great matriarch, T'Pau, first mother of the first house of Vulcan. Kirk had survived due to the quick thinking of the ship's doctor and friend. Since that time many years ago the echo of challenge had not rung out on Mt. Seleya.

The great mountain sat just ahead of them lifting high into the Vulcan sky, mists of white rose around her crown as the sky threatened her with dancing shadows. Rhea looked eyes wide.

"We have to climb that?" She said.

"It does have stairs." Said Brahza.

"It's not as bad as it looks, at least it's a bit cooler than when we climbed her." Added Eire. They stopped the ground car at the base of the mountain and got out, the scent of a pungent incense clog in the air. They stood for a few moments, the mist gently falling.

"I hope it's not going to rain at the ritual." Rhea said.

"Oh, I don't mind the rain, it cleanses the soul." Eire said absently remembering when she had told Sarek the same thing.

Just then two Vulcan guards from the order of Mt. Seleya approached them, between them a female of the Sisterhood. She was extremely beautiful, but what shocked Eire was her blonde hair and blue eyes, usually acolytes of the Sisterhood were dark haired with dark eyes. Eire thought she looked very stunning. She stopped in front of Eire paying no attention to Brahza or Rhea.

"You are the Eire Teine, intended of Ambassador Sarek?" She asked with a slight accent.

"I am." Said Eire.

"Your companions must stay, come with me, he awaits you inside."

She turned and walked off Eire following behind flanked by the two guards. They disappeared into a low stone building and continued down a stone staircase. There was no man-made lighting; it was all lit by torches giving it an ancient look. They stopped in front of a large door and the guards opened it, the Sister and Eire went inside. It was a stone room with stone floor, torches lit it also, in the center was a stone bench with a few pillows of red cloth. Just to the right was a very long stone table, the only thing a top it was a red chalice, Eire thought it was made from T'Khut's Tear, beside it out of the same stone a small jar. The Sister stopped at the bench,

"Sit, thy intended will come soon to perform the ritual of bonding." She started to leave the room and Eire sat. She sat quietly thinking of how old the chamber must be what rituals had been performed here in the past. The power was very strong; she felt benevolence surrounding her. The door opened and Sarek came in, he was alone. He stood and looked at her for a moment, he seemed not himself, some how he seemed of higher spirit. She went to stand but he motioned her to remain sitting. He was wearing a long white robe similar to his sleeping robe but this one had Vulcan runes down the one side of it. Without saying a word he went to the stone table and opened the small jar, he took something out of it and crumpled it into the chalice. He lifted the chalice and turned towards her. Sarek sat beside her and offered it to her. She took a drink from it, it burned worse than brandy and tasted bitter. She took another drink and he took it from her and placed it on the floor. Eire felt warm and light headed but this did not disturb her, Sarek lifted his hand and placed it on her face in the mind meld position. She had been instructed by the Sisters in what to expect during the meld. Suddenly pictures flashed into her mind, she felt his pain and anguish he had known in his life, she also felt his joy. A few moments passed and he removed his hand. She had experienced his life in just a few moments and he hers. They now held a piece of each other within themselves. Sarek raised his hand and put his two fingers on her lips, she kissed them. He then got up and left, not a word was spoken but so much was said.

A few moments later the Sister returned.

"Will thee follow me." More of a command than a request. Eire got up and followed her out into the hall and down to the next door, it was slightly smaller, the Sister opened it.

"Someone shall come for thee when it is time." Said the Sister. Eire walked into the room and the Sister closed the door. Brahza and Rhea were waiting; they both had white robes on.

"What do we do now?" Asked Eire.

"You are going to bathe." Brahza said. Eire went over to the screen and removed her clothing, when she came out she was naked. Rhea blushed and turned her head; Brahza didn't raise an eyebrow.

"It's all right Rhea, you should never be embarrassed or ashamed of your body, it's beautiful." Eire said. Eire than slipped into a large round bath and let herself sink down to the bottom. The water had the same pungent smell as the incense that rose through the mist at the base of Mt. Seleya.

After about fifteen minutes she got out and Brahza wrapped a length of white linen around her, she dried herself and put the material on a stool. Brahza brought a container and started to pat a clear powder with tiny pieces of gold all over her body. Brahza then applied her make-up in the traditional Vulcan style. Rhea brought her gown and helped her on with it. Eire looked beautiful, the high empire waist beaded with thousands of tiny stars was exquisite, it was also beaded on the bottom of her pointed sleeves. From the high waist fell three flowing ties also beaded with thousands of stars. Rhea took Eire to the mirror; a tear started to fall from her eye.

"Don't you cry, your make-up will run." Brahza warned as she dabbed her cheek with a piece of cloth.

"You have made such a beautiful gown for me Brahza, I love you". Eire said. Brahza kissed her cheek.

"And I you." She said.

Rhea brought her veil and placed it on her head, it hung down her back to the floor, Eire pulled it forwards till it cascaded around her face then Brahza placed a silver circlet with the crescent moon in the center on her head to hold the veil in place. Her final piece of wedding garb was the chaplet of hawthorn flowers that Rhea had made her, she kissed Rhea then looked at herself in the mirror. She looked like Dierdre of the sorrows; she took a deep breath and let it out. "Well I guess it's almost time." She whispered.

"Just as soon as we get dressed." Rhea said grabbing Brahza by the hand and ran off.

Eire sat on the stool breathing deeply calling up her control. Soon Brahza and Rhea stood behind her, dressed in their gowns, they were both in a sheer white fabric with short sleeves, each wore a hawthorn chaplet.

"Oh you're both so beautiful!" Eire said tears starting to flow from her eyes.

CHAPTER 28

The door opened and two Sisters came in both had dark hair pulled back and plaited down their backs, they were also dressed in sheer white gowns. "This way." The smaller of the two said. They followed the two Sisters out into the hall. Eire first then Brahza and Rhea who held a hawthorn chain in her hands. Two Vulcan guards walked behind them, they left the building, a very light mist was falling. They all walked to the bottom of the stairs to start their ascent to the top, to Sarek. Two more Sisters fell in behind Brahza and Rhea and they started up the stone stairs. When they reached the half waypoint four more Sisters had positioned themselves, two in front and two in back of the wedding procession. They stood half way and waited, everyone was silent. The sir was still and the incense was very strong. A gong rang through the stillness and they continued upward. Before they reached to top six more Sisters had joined them, there were now six in front and six behind the procession, the misting was not as heavy at this height and Brahza was glad as all of them were covered in a shiny film of mist. When they reached the archway that lead down a flight of stairs to the main circle they were joined by four more Vulcans, males. Two carried drums made out of animal hide, the other two carried harp-like instruments strung with bells. The two drummers started to beat out a slow rhythmic sound, they stopped, the reply rang out as the gong echoed three times.

Slowly the drummers started to beat their drums again. They started to walk down the stairs, the other two males shaking their bell harps followed. As they descended the stairs Eire lifted her eyes just a little to view the stone circle of Mt. Seleya; very few humans had ever seen the Tadash Quam or sacred circle. She looked taking in every detail. Around the perimeter of the large circle stood giant megaliths; it reminded her of the Druid holy sites on Earth---Stonehenge, Callindish. To the extreme far side stood all those attending the ritual, possible one hundred or more, she tried to find Sarek, but here were too many others. She looked to the right where the dais stood. Thirteen stone stairs rose up to a floor then thirteen more to the upper dais. The dais was shaped in a half circle and was surrounded around the perimeter with smaller stone pillars approximately thirty feet high. In the center of the dais stood a large stone table, the altar, in front of the altar stood T'Lar, she was also in white, her over-tunic a pale peach. Eire was so in awe of actually viewing the inner sanctum, there was really not much difference from it and the great temples used on Earth to worship the ancient shining ones. Brahza poked her.

"Keep your eyes down!"

Eire averted her eyes. She had been told by the Sisterhood not to raise her eyes until they were raised for her. This was done as a sign of humility to all that would be there, but more for the intended male. When her eyes were lifted she would stand equal to her male. Eire did not agree with the practice and told them so, saying, "I need no male to tell me by word or gesture that I am his equal, as I know I am. But I will respect your tradition and allow it."

When the procession reached the stairs to the dais it stopped and the twelve Sisters formed a wall between Eire and the many guests, it was then she glimpsed Spock standing about twenty feet away he also wore a traditional Vulcan wedding robe. Sarek stood beside him. He wore the Ambassadorial robes in a deep wine color, across his chest her wore a breast plate of dark gold, large pieces of T'Khut's Tear inlaid in it, the cape which hung from his shoulders was clasped by a Vulcan broach called a tresk, it stood for his rank as the oldest father of his house, it had been passed to him upon his father's transition.

It was so silent, no one moved, no one said a word. The gong rang out once more and Eire flinched not expecting it to be that loud. Sarek took three paces towards them, then he stood and looked around. He was so dark, darker than she had ever seen him "Ta kha resh kali fee!" His voice was so loud and it echoed around the circle, the challenge, all was quiet. When no response came the Sisterhood parted and Eire walked forwards, Brahza and Rhea behind her. When they had reached the halfway mark between them and Sarek she stopped, her head down. Sarek approached, Spock following him, they stopped a foot and a half in front of her, he spoke.

"Tre kius khutha?" His voice was harsh.

Brahza translated, "Do you allow the claim?"

Eire not raising her head answered,

"I allow your claim." Her voice was so soft she doubted even Sarek had heard her, but he did. Spock approached her and stood in front of her. "Do you accept the title my father is offering? Knowing of what it entails? Do you go to my father as female and wife aware of his needs? Do you stand as one yet apart?" He litanized. Eire wanted to look up into Sarek's face to see his eyes, but her head remained bowed.

"I accept your father's title. I go to him knowing what it entails, of knowing his needs. I accept his claim as female and wife. I stand as one yet apart." Spock moved behind Sarek and Sarek now stood in front of her.

"Do you come to my home freely?" He asked.

"I come freely." She answered.

Sarek lifted his hand and raised it to her chin, he brought her face to look into his, she wanted to smile but she did not. He took his hand from her face and took her hand placing it on his outstretched arm, he turned and walked her up the stairs to the dais, to where T'Lar waited. Brahza and Rhea and Spock followed them and then the Sisters. They reached the top of the dais and stood before T'Lar, she looked at both of them.

"Sarek, child of Solar, child of Ston, ye have made a claim upon this female to take as thy wife. Have ye bonded with her?"

"I have." He answered.

"Eire, child of David, child of Helen, ye have accepted the claim of wife?"

"I have." Eire answered.

"The claim has been offered and accepted." Stated T'Lar. Both Sarek and Eire repeated as one.

"It is one."

Rhea came forward with the hawthorn bough. Eire had asked T'Lar's permission to perform a small ritual of her tradition while she was taking her instructions. T'Lar had given her permission. Rhea handed Eire the bough; she took Sarek's hand in hers and started to wind it around their hands, with Rhea's help. When the bough was tied Eire looked into Sarek's eyes.

"I am the star that roams the sea,

The sapphire sea.

I bring you dreams that rules your fate.

The tides that flow and ebb and flow are of me.

I am the magic that moves the sea and moon.

All are my secrets, all belong to me.

I am eternal, I am she of the unspoken name.

Isis in heaven, Persephone on Earth,

The moon of Diana and Hecate,

Isis veiled, Aphrodite from the sea,

All these are one.

All are me."

She paused; Brahza handed her a piece of red cord, attached to the cord a piece of moonstone encased in rose quartz. Sarek lowered his head and with Brahza's help placed it around his neck.

"In the name of the triple Goddess,

I pledge thee my troth,

To give love and cherish thy soul through all lifetimes.

For even if we shall part and go separate paths,

Ever shall you be my true friend.

By the power of the starry heavens,

Beyond time, space and mind."

She paused for the space of three heartbeats.

"Thus our hands are fasted,

The two are one,

The work of joy is done,

Yet just begun."

Sarek looked at her pulling her deeper into his mind, he closed his eyes sensing her fire within him, and she felt his. They turned and the procession parted. Rhea came forward and hugged and kissed Eire.

"I'm so happy for you!" She had tears in her eyes. She turned to Sarek.

"I wish you love and joy Ambassador."

"I have no need of your wishes Rhea." He said. Rhea's eyes widened,

"They are all ready here, but I thank you for your kindness." He said.

Rhea smiled and fell in line with Brahza and the procession started down the stairs of the dais. The gong sounded three times. As they reached the bottom of the stairs Eire looked into the crowd, Sondar nodded to her, she looked to see if T'Landa was there but she couldn't find her. Her eyes fell upon a woman; she was dressed in a pale yellow gown with a russet veil over her head. She looked strangely familiar. It was only when Eire looked into her eyes from under the veil that she realized who she was; blue, blue eyes stared back at her, Miss Dannan! Eire's breath caught in her throat, she froze. Sarek stopped and looked at her wondering why she had stopped so abruptly, for a moment he was sure he felt fear. But Eire quickly brought up her control. He came closer to her.

"Are you unwell?" He asked. Eire looked up at him her lips parted to speak, she looked back to where Miss Dannan had been standing, Sarek turned and followed her gaze, she was gone, he turned back to her. "Are you all right?" He asked concerned. Eire closed her eyes and shook her head slightly, trying to rid herself of the woman's face.

"I am well my husband perhaps just nervousness." He touched her cheek gently and continued walking. Eire looked back as they left the circle and climbed the stairs leading out of the sacred space, all the guests were following the procession, she was sure it was Miss Dannan, she felt her. Oh Goddess lend me strength she thought and walked on.

CHAPTER 29

The night wore on as did the wedding feast. Eire was enjoying herself although she had not seen much of Sarek as when they entered the building he became involved in a discussion with Spock and a few other males. She had stood for sometime listening to them talk, till Brahza came up behind her and dragged her off to the main table. "That." She nodded to the group of males in conversation, "Could go all night!"

Eire had gathered around her a circle of her own, mostly Vulcan females with her and Rhea being the only humans. They were teaching the Vulcan's to sing, once everyone was used to each other's voice and could stay in tune it started to become fun. They sang most of the night, Eire and Brahza doing most of the singing. Brahza had learned most of the songs from Eire and took pleasure in singing with her. But she refused to sing the Gaelic, she couldn't roll her 'r's so they didn't sound right. Occasionally one or two of the males would look over to the women, finally they too began to drift over leaving the conversation to a few. After an hour more of song Sarek came to her side.

"We shall take out leave." He said.

Eire stood and took the hawthorn bough she held in her lap and placed it around Rhea's shoulders.

"This is for you, I hope it brings you love and joy." Darkness filled Eire's mind and a wave of loss hit her. She pulled her control back, wondering why she should feel such a thing and put it out of her mind. She kissed Rhea on the cheek then Brahza, she went to face Spock and held her hand up in the Vulcan salute.

"Live long and prosper Spock."

"And you Lady Eire." He replied.

With that she returned to Sarek's side and put her hand on his, they walked to the rear of the hall and disappeared down a stairway, the voices of the singing group softly fading. Sarek lead her down the stairs and through a darkened corridor till they reached a transporter, it seemed so out of place among the ancient stones.

"Where are we going?" She asked. He touched her cheek.

"Home."

They arrived at Sarek's villa in moments, sparkling into solid form. He lead her through the villa to the master bedroom, it was dimly lit by the rays of T'Khut shining in from the glass solarium. She stood looking out the door into the solarium, she came behind her and embraced her, he kissed her neck and she felt his fire, it was more intense now that they were bonded. She almost felt his thoughts caressing her. Sarek went back to where a large wooden desk stood, he removed his cloak and placed it on the back of the chair, he started to unfasten his breast plate, Eire went and helped him remove it, she was shocked to feel the weight of it. He took it from her placing it on top of the desk, all the time not taking his eyes off her, she removed his tarab and he went to the bed.

"Come my wife." He held his hand out to her. She obeyed and walked towards him the luminous light falling upon her making her look unworldly, gleaming, she seemed as if her were floating

Sarek walked over to a dresser that was at one side of the bedroom he came back holding a pouch. He took the Vulcan rune from her neck, removing the pendant from the pouch he placed it around her neck. Eire picked it up, it was heavier than the rune. It was a Vulcan marriage pendant identical to the one in her culture 'Love and Beloved.'

"Sarek, it's beautiful, I am honored to wear it." She whispered. "It is not as beautiful as the one who wears it. And I am the one who is honored to have you in my life." He pulled the hair ring from her hair and it tumbled down around her, he pulled her to him and kisses her.

"No more words wife, only pleasure." He whispered.

The Vulcan sun burned less compared to the fire that consumed them that night.

CHAPTER 30

Morning came too early, Eire woke and lay in the large bed, Sarek had left her side hours before. She really didn't want to get up, but this was her first time at the villa and she wanted to see it. She got up and stripped the bed and went and took a shower. She dressed herself in a pale green guna with a yellow half girdle around her waist. It was very hot, so she tied her hair up with yellow and green ribbons. She made a mental note

to return to ShiKhar to get more clothing as she only brought enough for two days. Eire walked out into the solarium, she was surrounded by greenery and she felt very peaceful, she walked around looking at the large array of plants, many she did not know the names of. She looked out into the garden it was similar to the indoor garden at the Vulcan Embassy on Earth, in the distance lay Gol, if she squinted she could see the low mountain in the distance. In ancient times Gol had been the focal point of Vulcan mysticism. It was there that the acolytes went to learn the disciplines, she had read it had a birthing chamber in it, how appropriate giving birth within a cave, in her tradition caves were considered sacred, the Goddesses womb. Eire sat down in the chair, her mind wandered back to the night before, she smiled, she had never felt so nervous as she did at the wedding ritual, she went over it in her mind. Suddenly Miss Dannan flashed into her head, was that really her? Or was it the fact that she was nervous of the drink she had taken at the bonding responsible for the hallucination. She got up and went looking for Sarek.

Sarek had been working in his office, going over stats he would have to take care of on his return to Earth. Eire knocked on the door and went in.

"Good morning." She said.

"Did you sleep well?" Sarek asked getting up from his desk.

"The little bit I got was good." She smiled. She walked over to the end of the desk and put her two fingers on his.

"Sarek, I was thinking, perhaps if it is all right with you in the coming weeks I might introduce Rhea to Salin?" Sarek shifted some papers on his desk and took a deep breath. Eire knew she had touched the wrong subject, she felt his agitation.

"My wife have I not told you that I did not want to discuss Salin, that it was over. I see no reason to introduce Rhea to Salin, it would only get you involved with someone I do not want you to be involved with." He looked directly into her eyes.

"But Sarek, now that we are married can you not forgive him?" She said putting her hand on his.

"I see no logic in that. Salin knew the law, he broke it. it would be illogical for me to forgive him. What id done is done. Leave it."

"But Sarek...!" Her voice was pleading.

"My wife I will hear no more of this. Do you have anything of more importance you wish to discuss? As I must finish my work as tomorrow I as well as you return to the Academy."

Eire decided not to push the issue right now but she would continue that discussion at a later date.

"Yes Sarek." Her voice was controlled. "Would you mind if I went to the ancient runes at Gol today?"

"I would prefer if you waited till I could accompany you. You do not know Gol and I would be concerned for your safety if you went alone." He said. Eire was becoming frustrated.

"Sarek, I am quite capable of taking care of myself, I've been doing it for years. I do not need a male following me around making sure I do not break a nail. Sarek, I am not a child, I know I can do this."

"I am quite aware you are not a child, but my answer is still no." His voice was quite stern. Eire was not to let this rest, she had given into the Salin issue, she was not going to give into this.

"Sarek I will go to Gol whether you want me to or not, you can not keep me here!"

Sarek saw no sense in arguing with her, if she went to Gol, he would go and bring her back.

"My wife I have work to do, could we speak of this later? And I give you my word as soon as I have free time I will take you to the ruins." He lifted his two fingers and held them out to her. Eire closed her eyes and sighed and put her fingers on his, she turned and walked out of his office, leaving him shaking his head and thinking she has too much fire for her own good.

CHAPTER 31

Eire left the villa; she walked down the stone pathway till she reached the sands of Gol. She took off her slippers and put her feet into the red sands, it was quite hot and it was not even mid-day. Eire walked out onto the sand and raised her arms above her head and started to turn slowly. As she turned she brought her arms in front of her and crossed them over her breasts, the God position. She was honoring the sun, father God.

She started to spin faster, the red sand being kicked up by her feet; she raised her arms towards the burning sphere and started to chant.

"Circling, circling,

Wheel of life.

Now comes the time of

the Little Sun."

After she finished she sat in the hot sands looking out to where the ruins of Gol, her mind went back many years to when she had taken one of her pilgrimages to Ireland, it had been the festival of Imbolc and it was raining which was quite normal for Ireland. Eire was staying with some friends who were also Wiccan. On the first of February, one of her friends, Emer, came to her saying.

"Get ready, I'm going to take you to see something special."

Eire would have jumped at the offer but Emer was eight and a half months pregnant and really shouldn't be running around the countryside acting as her tour guide. In the end Eire gave in and they left for Ulster, to Tara, home of the High Kings of Ireland's past. When they arrived it was mid-afternoon and Emer had been complaining about her back. They traveled as far as the car could go, then started walking. After walking for about an hour over bogland they arrived at a small grove containing mostly oak trees, they sat for awhile to let Emer rest then proceeded into the grove. Within the grove right in the center stood a large green mound. Eire looked at Emer,

"A faery knoll?" Emer took her around to the other side till they came to an opening in the knoll. After removing some old brush that was over it they each took a flashlight and went in.

When they got inside Eire was amazed to find that it was not a faery knoll after all, but an entrance to an under ground cave. They made their way down the darkened path, clinging onto the side of the rock. When they reached the bottom they sat and rested, they had come down at least three hundred feet. They couldn't see much as their lights were weak. The air was cool and damp and they sat listening to the dripping water that ran down the sides of the cave and trickled down well-worn cuts in the rock. After awhile Eire decided they should start heading back, Emer agreed and they started up the path, they only got half way up when Emer told Eire she couldn't go any further, her water had just broke. Eire had thought, 'Luck of the Irish."

Eire went over the options in her head. She could try to get Emer out of the cave and across the bog to the car, but that might not be a good idea, with her in labor the hours walk could turn into three. Or she could go herself leaving Emer and drive into town for help, but that would take just as long and she didn't want to leave Emer by herself that long. So she took her back down to the bottom of the cave and lay her down to await the birth.

Eire had gone up and brought some old dry brush and started a fire. She gave Emer her cape and sat holding her hand as the labor intensified. Emer was terrified but by the sixth hour she was ready to birth. Eire had ripped her skirt up into large strips, luckily she had worn a petticoat that day, to clean and wrap the baby in. Emer's screams ripped through the cave and Eire said a silent incant to her Lady asking her not to let her be fertile; she didn't want to go through this. Within a half an hour Eire held a little girl in her arms. She had to use her bolin to cut the cord since she had nothing else and she did not fancy biting through it. She cleaned the little girl off and held her over her head into the darkness.

 

"Mother you have deemed to allow

this child to come to Emer, grant

her health, love and prosperity.

I offer her to you, as you were her first Mother.

Blessings upon the child!"

She wrapped the child in her torn skirt and placed her at Emer's breast where the little girl drank its first milk. The cave didn't seem so dark now, actually it was quite comforting. The next day when Emer felt she could walk they started back. Everyone was amazed at the story, but no one was more amazed than Eire, she had been in the Mother's womb birthing a child. Next to marrying Sarek it was the most important event in her life. She got up off the sand and smiled looking out to the ruins. "I will come, maybe not today, but I will come." She walked back to the villa; perhaps the Goddess did not hear her incant those many years ago. She would talk to Sarek about having a child.

CHAPTER 32

The two months had passed so quickly. Sarek's course had ended and he would now return to Earth, Eire would not be going with him as she had started to teach the night course in Goddess studies. Spock had left the week after the wedding and Brahza finally could take no more of Vulcan, she had left yesterday. Eire had tried to get her to stay two more days and travel back with Sarek but she had declined the offer saying,

"The trip would be boring enough without having to keep up intellectual conversation with the Ambassador." Eire felt a little hurt at the statement but Brahza thought all Vulcan's were boring.

Eire had been taking drug therapy to get her body ready to conceive a child. She had brought the idea to Sarek and he had said. "If you deem this of importance, then you shall have a child." Eire was thrilled she really didn't know if Sarek would want another child as he was in late maturity, if anything Spock should be the one producing a child.

Eire had been on the therapy for four weeks now and was told they usually had great success within twelve weeks. It was not like the old days when it took years for Human/Vulcan mates to conceive a child. The Vulcan's had made great strides in fertility enhancing drugs, they had no choice, more and more Vulcan's both male and female were choosing to marry off-worlders, and to keep the population up they had to find a way which allowed for a faster, surer pregnancy rate. After years of experimental testing, they came up with the intensive drug therapy T'Pan.p, named after the scientist that made the break through.

Eire worried that perhaps Sarek's maturity had lessened his ability to produce a child, but they assured her that as long as he was experiencing his time he should have no problem producing an offspring. She would just have to be patient, and now Sarek was leaving for Earth, two months without him, two months of not being able to conceive. She thought she was being a little obsessed with wanting to have a child, but she had just turned thirty seven and her body seemed to be putting out a warning,' Time is running out.' She knew this was silly because humans were now having children into their mid-fifties, as long as they were healthy, there seemed to be no ill effects. She would just have to put her mind to rest, perhaps when Sarek came back she would conceive a child as he would be going into his time. That was another thing that worried her, he had not said much about it and she didn't want to ask him. But she had to wonder what it was like. He had told her that it was intense. Eire could not imagine anything more intense than their loving making now. She wondered is she would be able to withstand the fire that was pon farr, to mate for the sake of mating, no love, no tenderness, no gentleness. She shuddered at the thought. She would speak with T'Lar, she might be able to calm her worries, she hoped.

A month after Sarek's departure Eire decided to take Rhea and go out to dinner. She had been teaching every other night plus her own studies through the day kept her busy. With Sarek not there she had finally completed Tulrah, she was beautiful. Sondar had admired it so that she gave it to him as a gift. He displayed it in the fine arts class a top a dais of obsidian. She looked like passion incarnate and all the students, even ones not in the class would come to see her. She perched upon the dais her red face dripping with desire, her lips tempting all to taste the sweetness of her fire. Within her outstretched hand she held the heart of her latest male who had succumbed to her flames in the other hand she held the Ray Kalt, and ancient Vulcan symbol of sexual pleasures. In ancient times her priests wore the Ray Kalt signifying that they belonged to Tulrah and had performed her sacred ritual. Years of initiation was under gone before one could wear

the Ray Kalt. And the sacred rite was only performed once in the Vulcan year at the time of the Big Sun. It was then that Vulcan's sun was at its hottest and Tulrah's passion at its peak. This was the time before the Sisterhood, although matriarchy was flourishing, the priests of Tulrah enjoyed a status above all others due to their ability in the art of Aklash

Tia, the art of sweet fire, the art of pleasure.

At the time of the Big Sun females that were Pa Vetch were brought to the temple at Shar Tul, there they gave themselves to the priests in the sacred ritual. Those who conceived and bore a male child were given honor and status in Vulcan society, the male offspring were taken by the priests and raised and trained in the service of Tulrah. Those that birthed females did not achieve the same status but were taken care of adequately. Until one female, S'Tha who had been sent to Shar Tul to undergo the sacred ritual changed the source of the priesthood. On giving birth to a daughter she demanded the right to allow her child to train as a priestess of Tulrah. After a long battle the Arch-Reldei, Kleadine allowed S'tha to take her daughter to Gol and teach her as she willed. So S'tha started the Vulcan disciplines and the Sisterhood of Gol. In the coming years Vulcan females would send their daughters to Gol to train as Sisters to reach the kolinhar, this took females away from the priesthood of Tulrah and the Aklash Tia.

The priesthood took up arms and waged a war against the Sisterhood, the war of Tulrah's Tia, Tulrah's fire. The battles were fought for sixty standard years. When S'Tha's daughter B'oada took on the battle she was a high priestess and completely immersed in the Vulcan mysticism as well as being the first female to achieve the kolinhar, she and her all female army put an end to the war of Tulrah's Tia. She left not one priest alive in all of Vulcan. She disbanded the ancient practice of the male bloodline being superior and declared that from then on the offspring would draw their heritage from both sire and dam with the mother's line being greater. She also declared that no longer would females have to be chattels of their mates, that they would be equal and although the males would have a voice, it would be the oldest mothers that would have the right to dissolve any and all decisions made by males of lesser status.

At the last battle of Tulrah's Tia the slaughtering and barbarity of the Sisterhood convinced the Vulcan people that they could no longer live with their emotions, they choose to live by logic and slowly they climbed the impetuous ladder to control their emotions, to achieve passion's mastery. There were many failures through Vulcan's dark warring past and many past and many times they fell back into the abyss of emotion. Slowly they grew and slowly they achieved more control. But that was in the dark past and Vulcans have been civilized and achieved passion's mastery. They no longer war against each other, they live only by logic, their emotions always under strict control, most of the time. Only at the time of pon farr do Vulcans regress back to the time when their emotions rule them.

CHAPTER 33

Rhea had picked up Eire after her class and they went to a restaurant in ShiKar proper. They had just finished their meal when Salin walked in, he was by himself and had not noticed Eire. She got up and approached him. Salin stepped aside as she put her hand out to take his. Eire smiled and put her hand down.

"Salin, how are you?" she asked.

Salin inclined his head, "I am well Madame Sarek."

"Eire." She said. "What are you doing back on Vulcan?"

"I thought I would take advantage of the Ambassador's stay on Earth to come back to visit my parents." He said not looking into her eyes.

Eire was confused. Why would he choose a time when Sarek was not on Vulcan to come and see his parents. Surely Sarek would not hold a grudge against him. She did not ask if this might be the case, she thought it was not appropriate.

"Salin, will you join us? I'd like you to meet someone." Eire said. "I do not think it advisable that I am seen in your company after the.... incident. There are sure to be those that will talk and it would disturb me if the Ambassador decided to castigate you."

"Don't worry Salin, I will explain everything to Sarek. He'll understand." Eire said doubting her own words.

"I do not believe he will Madame Sarek." Salin looked into her green eyes they were as bright and clear as he remembered them the first day at the Embassy on Earth.

"I'll make him understand. Now come on, I want you to meet my friend."

Salin knew that she would never make Sarek understand that she had gone against his wishes and decided to see him, even though it was in a public place with a friend, Sarek would not understand. He knew he should just walk away, but in truth she was his friend and he believed that if he would walk away from her it would hurt her more than Sarek's irritation. After all she was Human and friendship meant a great deal to her. He followed her back to her table where Rhea waited. "Salin, this is Rhea, my best friend next to Brahza. Rhea this is Salin, also my friend." Salin bowed slightly to Rhea.

"Miss Rhea, I am pleased to meet you. Rhea smiled and blushed, she found Salin very attractive and she knew he knew she did. Salin sat down and Eire thought they made a very stunning couple. They sat and talked till late and Eire was glad that she had introduced them. they seemed to like each other. But then it was hard to tell if a Vulcan liked anyone, but she felt the energies between them.

They had left quite late. Rhea dropped Eire off then was going to drive Salin to his home. She wished them a good night and ran inside. She would not tell Sarek of their meeting, she did not want to annoy him.

CHAPTER 34

Once inside she checked for messages, nothing, so she got ready to go to bed. After honoring the little statue on her altar she climbed into bed and fell asleep. At first the dreams that crept into her mind were not disturbing. Sarek was with her holding her. He was hot as if on fire. She could sense his very thoughts. They poured down upon her like molten rock covering her with his touches and thoughts, burning her till she could stand no more, she pushed him away and ran. She was running through an enclosed walkway, in the background was Sarek, he was on his knees with his hands steeped in front of his face, his eyes were black yet full of fire. In front of her at the end of the pathway an opening leading down to a cavern. She chose the opening and ran towards it. She heard Sarek scream "NO!" His voice was so full of hate and pain it frightened her, she was afraid of him. When she reached the caverns mouth she ran downwards on a smooth stone path. She kept running faster and faster till she thought she would fall with the momentum. she finally reached the bottom, she looked around for another way out other than the way she had just come. The walls of the cavern glittered in torchlight they were the color of antiqued gold with red veins glittering in the fire's glow. She realized that the whole cavern was created naturally out of a large mount of T'Khut's Tear, within the cavern's belly stood a large ebonized square stone. At the head of it a large gold vessel stood supported by chains, which hung from high above. She went closer to look as the vessel, it was old, archaic. On the outside it depicted male Vulcan's in a frenzied dance, above each dancer the Ray Kalt. She looked inside the vessel, Tulrah's face was embossed within it. As Eire looked closer at the detail, Tulrah started to fade and Miss Dannan's face glared out at her.

She screamed and fell back upon the stone altar, she woke screaming, soaked with sweat. "Sarek! Sarek!" She screamed. She got up and ran through the house looking for him, her mind was filled with terror, she couldn't even think to bring herself under control. She ran blindly from room to room. "Sarek!" When she realized that Sarek was not there, he was on Earth, she sat herself down on the kitchen floor and held herself, she slowly started to calm herself, she reached out with her mind trying to connect with Sarek, she felt him, he was there deep within her mind, calmness flowed over her. His mind was one with hers, he caressed her, his presence filling her every sense. But beneath the tenderness, the calmness she felt a smoldering fire, she fought to pill away from the heat, she did not want the fire. She wanted tenderness, but the power of the flames were too overbearing, she quickly pulled back, disconnecting the bond. She sat for sometime on the floor going over the dream in her mind. Sleep did not come to her again that night and when the morning light shone in the window she pulled herself wearily up from the floor. Eire went and sat at the com gazing thoughtlessly at the screen, she wanted to com Sarek and ask him to come home, but she didn't. Instead she showered and dressed and went to the Academy.

Between her art class and matriarchy class she meet Rhea in the garden. She was happy to find that Salin had asked Rhea to join him for a concert the following week. Rhea was thrilled, but when she noticed Eire was not her normal, cheerful self she asked what was wrong. Eire sighed deeply and the trembling started in her hands, she felt she was falling apart and she couldn't control it.

"The dreams are back, but they're different, they're more intense. I haven't slept all night. I've been afraid to close my eyes." Eire said trying to hold her hands still. Rhea put her arm around her.

"Eire can I do anything to help? Maybe stay with you till Sarek comes back?" Eire shook her head no,

"It wouldn't help, the dreams would still come. But what bothers me more is that in my dreams I am terrified of Sarek!"

"When is Sarek coming home?" Rhea asked.

"Two weeks, but I don't know how I'm going to last two days with the severity of these dreams. I was thinking of going to speak with T'Lar but she'll probably just tell me to find my strength in Sarek. But how can I do that when it's Sarek that frightens me." Eire said starting to cry.

"Perhaps you should com Sarek, get his mood. Then you'll know if you should be afraid of him. But I can't see that he would ever hurt you, he loves you so much. I really think your putting too much into your dreams." Rhea said stroking Eire's head.

"Yes, you're probably right." But Eire knew her dreams were foreboding of future comings in her life.

"Look, why don't you go home and get some rest. I'll stop by T'Landa's class and pick up the disc for today's lesson and drop it off tonight so you won't miss anything." Rhea said standing to leave.

"Yes I think I will. Maybe if I get some rest this afternoon I won't feel so drained tomorrow even if I do have the dreams again tonight." Eire said standing. They hugged each other and both wen their different ways.

Eire lay on the bed trying to close her eyes to sleep but every time she did pieces of her dream would flash in front of her eyes. She sat up on the bed and took the marriage pendant from under her dress and looked at it. Her mind flashed and the pendant was being held by Miss Dannan, Sarek's face in its center. Miss Dannan started spinning the pendant, it flew from her hand and smashed to the ground, shattering in minute pieces.

Eire reached towards the pieces but there was nothing there to claim. Her mind emptied and she lay back down drained, she wondered why Sarek had not commed her, it was unusual for him not to as he had spoke with her every night since he arrived on Earth, except last night, perhaps something was wrong? If he didn't com tonight she would com him. She closed her eyes and fell into a fitful sleep of running and fear, just beneath the

fear..... Sarek. When she woke it was dark, so she turned on the lamp, she was soaked so she showered and put on a pale blue underdress, she tied up the cross-stitch laces and went to the kitchen. She drank two glasses of cold tea and went to the com. The message light was flashing, she pushed the 'on' button and waited till the message came on the screen,

---8:03---Rhea---I dropped by at 7:00, but no answer

the disc is at the front gate, see you tomorrow. P.S.

if you need me, com.---

Eire sighed, why hadn't Sarek commed, she looked at the clock, ten after two a.m.. She had slept for twelve hours yet she felt so tired. She wondered if Sarek would still be awake? She keyed the Embassy number, it chimed softly, a visual came on, a female Vulcan spoke, "You have reached the Vulcan Embassy, Earth. No one is available to speak with you, leave your name, number and business and someone will contact you as soon as possible." Eire keyed,

---2:24---Madame Sarek---No mes...---

The com screen came on visual and Sarek stared back at her. He looked very drained as if he too was fighting dreams, if Eire only knew his dreams were not causing him fear but passion. "Sarek, you didn't com last night or tonight, I thought you were ill. Is anything wrong?" She asked. Sarek strained to contain himself, Eire had ever experienced a Vulcan in pon farr, he did not want to frighten her, he had felt her fear last night when he reached out with his mind to comfort her, but just sensing her brought desire, lust he could not control, and she backed away from him.

"My wife, I am well. It is late, is there a reason you have commed? Are you unwell?"

"I am fine Sarek." She pulled up her control. "I just miss you, I miss you in our bed. " She put her hand on the screen, he put his hand to the screen also, he felt her love coming through into his hand and it trembled, she felt his fire raging and pulled her hand away from the screen as if she had been burnt.

"Sarek are you all right?" Her voice was trembling.

"I will be returning to Vulcan in three days."

"Sarek, your not supposed to return for two more weeks, what's wrong?" Her face showed her concern.

Sarek took a deep breath, he saw no reason not to tell her, she was his wife, she must go through it with him. "Necessity dictates that I return home to you as soon as possible. My time has come earlier than I had calculated. I will be able to keep myself in adequate control for no more than three point five days. Please wait for me." Eire stared at Sarek, so this was what she was feeling in her dream and last night as he entered her mind, it had begun.

"Yes Sarek, I shall wait for you."

CHAPTER 35

The com went dark, Eire sat for some time thinking of what was going to happen when Sarek arrived, she had to center herself---Gol---. Sarek had an air car at his villa she could get there before the sun rose. She keyed Rhea,

---2:31---Eire---I have gone to Gol, be back

in two days, pick up my discs, thanks.---

She hurried and got a case and packed some water and fruit in it along with a few other supplies she would need for the ritual. She transported from ShiKhar to Gol, by the time she loaded the air car and figured out how to use it, it was just a few minutes after three. Everything went smoothly till she got about a mile from the ruins. It was then that the air car started to loose altitude, so she had to ground it and walk the rest of the way, she was glad it was before dawn, the heat was bearable.

The temple of Gol rose before her. The plateau was really not that high and should be an easy climb, but she would make that climb later for she would wait till the sun rose and perform a dawning ritual. She opened her case and lay out what she would need. She put stones around an area in the sand, thirteen in all, in a nine-foot circle. She brought her supplies to the center of the sacred space. Eire then took off her clothing and took a bottle of water and washed herself. She then prepared the altar, then her directional points. She went back to the altar and lit two large altar candles, she also lit one to symbolize the God force. When she had finished she picked up her athame and entered the circle. Eire went to the east, she saluted the east, air and lit a white candle,

"Welcome and peace." She said then she went to the south, fire, and lit a red candle,

"Welcome and peace." She turned and went to the west, water and lit a blue candle,

"Welcome and peace." Then to the north, earth and lit a green candle,

"Welcome and peace." She greeted the elements. She returned to the altar and continued to round the circle with the four sacred things, the candle for fire, the incense for air, salt for earth and a bowl of water for water. When she had finished she returned to the altar and placed the bowl back on it and waited for the Vulcan sun to rise. It rose red over the plateau. She lifted her arms holding her athame in her hands.

"The comforter, the consoler,

He who eases the heart,

And ends all sorrow.

I honor the untamed God.

He goes down in darkness,

And arises in light."

She put down the athame and picked up the chalice, raising it to the glowing red ball,

"You, who are protector and lover,

You, who are the consort of our Lady,

Bring your powers upon me, your child,

Fill me with your fertile rays.

That I might, as out Lady, bring life from my dark womb,

Ready my vessel to hold the creation of mine and my mate's love.

I ask this with truth and humility.

SO MOTE IT BE!"

She brought the chalice to her lips and drank, pouring the rest onto the ground as a libation to her God. She replaced the chalice and picked up a golden length of sheer fabric, she held it in the air and started to dance the vine dance around the circle. She did a series of spins now and then to symbolize the spiral. She continued dancing till the

sun rose high in the sky, till she could dance no more.

She went back to the altar and collapsed in front of it. She lay there till the sun's rays became overpowering then she got up and performed the release of the guardians and banished the circle. She did not extinguish the candles, she would let them burn out. She would gather her other supplies before she left to go home. As she left the circle she began to chant,

"May the circle be open,

But unbroken.

May the peace of the Lady,

Be ever in your heart.

Merry meet, merry part and merry meet again."

She continued chanting as she put her under dress on, she picked up some water and fruit then began her climb to the plateau and the birthing chamber. Eire reached the top of the plateau in the late afternoon and sat and drank and ate some fruit, leaving a piece for any wild life which may have need of it.

She found the entrance to the birthing chamber quite quickly as all the buildings of Gol had crumbled over thousands of years of abandonment. She started down the rock-cluttered path till she could descend no further. She felt her way along the wall of the cavern, reaching into her bag strung from her waist, she pulled out a small light and turned it on. Just ahead there was a hole in the wall about three feet in diameter. She stuck the light into the darkness of the hole and looked in. It was the birthing chamber, she couldn't see much, she had to get inside. She put her head in first and pushed her shoulders through, then pulled her arms through. It was a tight fit. So this is what it is like to be born she thought. She put her hands on the ground and let her body follow then down. Eire got up and shone her light around the cave, the light fell on red stone. She shone the light on the floor, it was also red stone, in the center, a stone platform lay. She approached it and placed her hand on the surface of the cold surface. Emotions started to bombard her, pain, ripping pain, weariness, loss and utter joy. She stood for hours feeling the floating emotions, taking each within her, acknowledging each one. She screamed, she cried but most of all she smiled. When she was tired she lifted her hand from the ver'k rak'k, the birthing stone. Eire took off her under dress and took a vial of diluted patchouli oil and started to rub it all over her body, she dusted the birthing stone off and rubbed the rest of the oil over it. She placed the light on top of her clothing and positioned herself in the birthing chair. She sat straight up with her back against the stone back brace. Her hands rested on raised stone blocks, which had been well worn, her knees were bent right against her body and her feet rested against two more blocks. Right beneath her bottom was a hollowed out bowl used to catch the child as it emerged from the womb. She relaxed herself and started to breathe slow and shallow. She continued this for many hours. She was visualizing the rite of birthing. Eire allowed herself to feel all the emotions, to let them enter her so she could experience all aspects of birthing. She kept this up until the next morning when she felt empty and drained. She fell into a deep sleep.

Eire had brought herself to complete exhaustion and not even the dreams came through. She woke up to a fire within her. At first she didn't know where she was. But as her mind cleared, she knew she was in the birthing chamber at Gol. She felt the fire deep within her. She put her hand on her breast, they also burned with fire. She tried to get up but she was too stiff to move. How long have I been here? She had no idea. Eire slowly straightened out her legs and swung them off the birthing stone to the floor. She stood up, her back felt like it was broke. Again the fire ripped through her.

"Sarek." She whispered.

"Sarek, I am with you." She reached out with her mind till she found him. She let her fire touch his mind.

"I will come my husband." She reached down and picked up her dress and put it on. Tying her bag to her waist and picking up her light she headed for the entrance. She climbed the pathway and came into the Vulcan sun. She noted it's position and estimated it was about two or three o'clock. Once her eyes got used to the brightness she started down the plateau. Eire reached the bottom and started to collect her things off the altar, packing them in her case. She picked up the case and started to walk back to the ground car. She didn't know if she would even be able to start it.

She put her case in and climbed in, she said a silent incant and hit the button. Eire arrived back at the villa just as the sun started to make its slow decline. She went into the villa and checked the com for messages.

---7:00--Rhea---Where are you?---

---10:00p.m.---Sarek---No message---

---7:00 a.m.---Sarek---no message---

---3:00 a.m.---Sarek---No message---

---6:00a.m.---Rhea---No message.---

Eire realized she had stayed a day longer than she expected to, Sarek would be home tonight. She glanced at the water clock on the wall, five-forty-five. Damn she thought Sarek would be in orbit now.

---12:00---Rhea---No message.---

---3:00p.m.---Rhea---no message.---

She got up to go and shower when the com chimed, she pushed 'on' and Rhea's face looked back at her.

"Eire, where have...what happened? You look awful! You had me so worried." She was almost in tears.

"What happened to you? Were you in an accident?" Rhea asked.

"I'm all right Rhea, I was at the ruins of Gol. I guess I lost track of the time. I'm sorry I caused you to worry, but I'm all right." Eire said.

"Are you sure?" She waited for Eire to answer then continued.

"Eire, Sarek commed me about an hour ago. He was concerned as he couldn't get hold of you on either com. He thought you might have been with me. I told him you were not, that you had gone to Gol three days ago and you were a day late in coming back. He was very emotional! I told him if you were not back this evening Salin and I would go out to the ruins and find you."

Eire put her hand to her head.

"Oh, Rhea, no!"

"I'm sorry, Eire. But he kept questioning me. I couldn't lie to him, he would know."

"It's all right Rhea, I wouldn't ask you to lie to lie. I'll take care of it. Look, I really have to go. I still have to shower and dress before Sarek gets here. I'll com you in a couple of days, and Rhea, thanks for being a friend."

CHAPTER 36

The screen went dark. Eire just wanted lie down and sleep but she knew that was not possible. Sarek would be there very soon; she had to get ready. She pulled up her control and asked for a little more strength to endure the coming days.

Eire had showered and cleaned herself from the sand that clung to the oil over her whole body. She could understand how Rhea could have thought she had been in an accident. She put on a simple white under dress with ribbons across the low-neck line. All the time, she fought the fire. She left her hair unbound.

She went into the bedroom and sat on the floor; her legs and back were still aching from the long hours in the birthing chair. She could feel his fire and it took her breath away. She had talked to Brahza a little about the time, but she really didn't say much. It's something that is just not talked about. She sat and calmed herself which she found extremely hard. The fire distracted her constantly, finally she gave in to it and let it flow through her, touching, burning every sense, her whole body was aflame. Eire rose from the floor, she ran her hands over her body, the sensation thrilled her. She ached for him. Where was he? "Oh Sarek, come to me." She moaned. She put her mind out touching his fevered one, blinding flashes of light exploded within her head, which caused her to sway. She grabbed the back of the chair and steadied herself. Her breathing was very rapid. What was he doing to me? She thought. Just below the fire, below the passion the fear hid, slowly rising within her, but the fire kept it at bay. Just when she could stand no more, he was there. At first she thought she was imagining him. Her mind was not clear; she had not heard him come so she doubted her own mind. He stood before her garbed in a black sleeping robe, his face so dark, his eyes aflame, his breathing as heavy as hers.

She let go of the chair and stood before her dark angel. She lifted her hand to him.

"Sarek, make it stop!" She was almost begging. He came towards her and ripped the under dress from her. His touch burned hotter than she remembered. Sarek fell to his knees moaning he pulled her to him. Carefully he took her two fingers and stroked his own with them. A deep moan came from him. He reached for her; she could stand the fire no more. Eire took hold of his face and kissed his mouth, he grabbed her long red hair and pulled her closer, his fire would be quenched, he would have no more of this foreplay. He lowered Eire a top him letting her long hair sweep over his face and chest. Her oiled skin seeped deep into his brain, his musky scent rose to her nostrils. "No more!" He commanded. No matter how long it took his fire would be quenched.

CHAPTER 37

The darkness had clutched the desert of Gol. It's red sands lying still, motionless; not a breeze stirred a grain of sand. Its red robe which burned so fervent under the radiant sun of the Vulcan day now lay tepid under ebony skies. The ray's of T'Khut shone luminous over the ruins of Gol, giving them a haunting appearance.

Atop the plateau a lone figure stood. She stood wraith like, staring across the endless stretch of red. Her white traditional robe hanging lifeless in the night air. The rays of T'Khut lingered over her form and made it's presence other worldly, gleaming. Her eyes empty of all emotion viewed a dr'shun, a small scorpion which inhabited Gol. The woman picked it up and glared as it through those passionless eyes. She crushed the dr'shun in her hand till it oozed from between her fingers. Her eyes flashed with such wickedness, such satisfaction it brought a thin lurid smile to her lips. She dropped the lifeless creature and gazed up to T'Khut, red and fuming T'Khut gazed back at her, all knowing, aware of the woman, of what she was planning yet unwilling, unable to warn or stop her.

"So it is time, it will soon be over.

I will no longer have to wait for his Katra,

We will be one!

Ka sis'a Katra fali'h Sarek.

Your living Katra is mine!"

Eire woke very late on the fourth day, the fire was gone. She reached out, so was Sarek. She turned over and dozed a while longer. Finally she pulled herself out of bed. It was after three p.m., she stood up then sat back down quickly, moaning. She had never been this sore, her whole body ached, perhaps a shower would help. After she showered she sat braiding her hair, she knew Sarek's time had ended or he would still be in there bed.

She put on a scarlet guna with a black girdle. She left her feet bare as she enjoyed the cool stone floor beneath them. She got up and looked in the mirror, putting her hand on her abdomen, she whispered. "Dear Lady, allow me to hold life within. Give me his child."

She found Sarek on the walkway that lead down to Gol. He was standing, his black robe flapping in the hot wind. He sensed her coming and extended his hand to her. Eire stopped, without looking behind him he said. "Come my wife, stand with me." She reached out and took his hand, he pulled her to him and looked into her face, he studied her eyes, they were bright and shining. He brushed her cheek with his fingers. "It is over. The fire has been quenched, and we both stand in one piece." She smiled at him and kissed his hand.

"I hope the fire has not been quenched permanently?" She said. The barest of smiles touched his lips.

"I assure you my wife, the fire may be rekindled at any time." He enfolded her within his robe and they gazed out into the redness of Gol. The hot wind playing with a loose strand of hair.

"A storm is approaching." He said. "Come I wish to speak with you."

They walked silently into the villa, when they entered the living area Sarek turned to her, his hands clasped in front of him. "You have gone against my wishes on two occasions while I was off world. I am very concerned that you pay little or no heed to what I say. This is not acceptable behavior for the woman who is now my wife." She knew what he was going to say.

"Sarek I..." He held his hand up to quiet her.

"I will speak. I have told you that Salin was no longer to be spoken about, yet you are publicly seen in his company. You have blatantly disregarded my wishes. I will not stand for this behavior in my wife" Eire could hold her silence any longer, her voice was controlled yet her eyes were full of fight.

"He is my friend and..." Sarek's voice was louder.

"And you are my wife! You will never go against my wishes ever again. Do you understand me?"

"Sarek, you are my husband, and I love you dearly, but I will not abide with you wish of not seeing Salin. He is my friend and my friends are important to me. I could not disassociate with Salin, as I could not stop loving you. I'm sorry, Sarek, I just can't." Sarek looked at her, his eyes darkening, anger flashed in them till he brought up his control.

"I have one more thing to say before this conversation is over. I forbade you ever again to go to Gol. It is not safe. You do not know what danger you could have found yourself in, and staying out there for three days...anything could have happened. You will never do such a thing again. Do you understand?"

Eire closed her eyes then looked to the ceiling before answering

"Ambassador you may talk to your aides like that and get away with it, but do not ever speak to me like that again. I will not stand for it! Do you understand!" Her control was quickly fading and Sarek's eyes were a little wider than before.

"I will continue to see Salin whenever I choose to. I will go anywhere at any time I want too. Only because you are my husband you fell you have the right to tell me what to do?" She took a deep breath and tried to calm herself before continuing.

"Ambassador, you are a Vulcan and have certain needs and wants. You have been raised to be logical. I am a Human and I also have needs and wants, and logic often eludes me. I am emotional and I am proud of it. I can love, I can hate, I get angry, I cry but most of all I can forgive!"

Tears were starting to fall down her face; she calmed herself and placed her hand on his. "Sarek, could you not find it within to forgive Salin? He meant no harm, and now that he and Rhea are involved you do not have to feel threatened. Please do not keep this between us." Sarek looked into her face, he wanted to say anything she wanted to hear, he wanted to forgive Salin if it made her happy, he wanted to do so much for her. But he was a Vulcan; he could not go back on his decisions. He took his hand away from hers.

"Salin knew what could happen when he touched you. It is illogical for me to forgive him!" Eire put her hand to her mouth to stifle a sob. "If your are finished lecturing me I have work I must attend to." He said. He started to walk away and Eire wiped her eyes and took another deep breath.

"Sarek." He stopped with his back to her. "I will go to ShiKhar tonight. I need time to be alone."

He turned his head slightly.

"I do not want you to go." He said quietly.

"My husband, at this time it does not matter what you want!" She walked past him and stepped into the transporter. She did not look at him and then she was gone.

He stood in that position for some time, his eyes a little moister than normal, he continues into his office and sat down at the com. He closed his eyes and put his hands to the side of his head and a silent tear fell down his face.

CHAPTER 38

Three days had past, Sarek had stayed at Gol and Eire at ShiKhar. She had avoided him at the Academy, even when he sent his aide with a message, she would just send him back rather confused with, "To err is Human, to forgive divine." When she met him in the hall between classes she rushed by him. Once he grabbed her by the arm, "I need to speak with you." He said. She just walked away leaving him standing.

On the third night, Eire was giving her Goddess study class; she had just received her fourth message from Sarek that day. She was going over some notes for her class that night when someone knocked on the door. "Yes?" She didn't look up. The door opened then closed, when no one answered she raised her head. The female that stood before her looked strangely familiar yet she could not place her.

"May I help you?" Eire asked. The female walked closer to the desk.

"Perhaps you may be able to help me, Madame Sarek." The smile left Eire's face as fear ripped at her stomach. Slowly she rose from her chair.

"What do you want?" She asked.

"What do I want?" Miss Dannan laughed. "You know exactly what I want Madame Sarek!" She flew at the desk and grabbed Eire by the shoulders and pulled her over the top of the desk.

"I WANT HIM!" She shrieked, she let Eire go and backhanded her across the face. Eire flew backwards and hit the chair; she sat stunned on the floor. Miss Dannan came around to the back of the desk.

"My, my, the student has become the teacher. You have done very well for yourself, teacher and wife of the Ambassador of Vulcan. Who would have thought that such a weak female would have the strength to hold such a powerful male? But that will not be for much longer!"

Eire looked up into her face. She had cut her hair off and only about a quarter inch remained, that was why Eire didn't recognize her right away. Those blue eyes full of hate, full of nothingness, glared at her. She was crazy, dangerous; she would stop at nothing to get Sarek. "You will not have him!" Eire screamed and went to grab her, but Miss Dannan was in a better position and grabbed a hold of Eire. She pulled her form the floor by the hair then around the other side of the desk and let her fall. Miss Dannan got down on her knees beside her and lifted her up by the front of her dress. She glared through slit eyes. "Well Madame Sarek, you are mistaken, I have a plan."

Eire couldn't start to think of what despicable plan Miss Dannan could have. Miss Dannan smiled at her.

"You see Sarek will be coming into pon farr any day now. He will have need of you. If you were not around, there would be no one but me to offer him the comfort he would need. Because, you see, once a Vulcan male has reached the blood fever, it shouldn't take much to convince him that I am his salvation. It's not the mating that drives me to Sarek, no, its much more than that." She grabbed Eire by the hair.

"You see I want his Katra. I want his very essence!" She let go of her hair and stood up staring ahead of her like she was watching something is front of her.

"In Vulcan's past, before Tulrah's Tia, in the beginning was the ways of Tulrah, her priests were not as they were at the time after S'Tha. No, they were powerful mystics that had demanded blood as homage. One ritual that they had, you should be interested in this." She smiled.

"Was the Ghe'm Pes Katra, the swallowing of the soul. You see Vulcans at that time believed, one of their few spiritual beliefs, that ones Katra holds the living essence, the knowledge of everything the individual knows. In the Ghe'm Pes Katra, the Katra must be removed to be absorbed, to do that they first perform Tulrah's Kalt, Tulrah's pleasure. Do you know what that is Eire?"

Eire looked at her with complete terror on her face. Miss Dannan knelt back down and stroked Eire's head. Eire pulled back in disgust. Miss Dannan smiled.

"The priests after many weeks of fasting to achieve a higher spiritual height and cleansing took their honored victim and removed his/hers heart. It was a very painful procedure, so the victim was drugged with a strong infusion of presh root to induce a light coma. Of course the coma could not be too deep, they needed the Katra to emerge without being too confused and as pure as possible. The Arch-Reldei then absorbed the Katra. He gained all the knowledge of each victim and their mystic powers. And that is why I want Sarek's Katra! I want his knowledge, I want his power, I want his being within me!"

Eire started to laugh, she wanted to reach out and hurt her. "You're crazy! There is just one thing wrong with your plan." Eire had gotten Miss Dannan's attention. She rose slowly watching her. "Sarek has already gone through pon farr, so you have nothing to draw him. You can take me, it doesn't matter. Sarek is a Vulcan he works on logic. He would never put himself at risk, even to save me. It's not logical. He would wait his time. He's too strong for you. You'll never get away with this!" Eire turned to leave, to try and reach the door but Miss Dannan jumped her, knocking her heavily to the floor. She was crazed. She grabbed Eire's hair and started banging her head into the floor again and again. The thought of Eire contaminating Sarek's Katra with primitive sex drove her completely insane. She finally stopped, utterly out of breath, she pulled Eire up, disregarding the blood, she supported her under her arm and left.

CHAPTER 39

An hour later the first of Eire's students arrived for the class. They stood around talking till a young Vulcan male noticed blood on the floor and contacted security, who contacted Sarek. Sarek listened as security questioned the students and then him.

"Do you know of anyone that would want to hurt Madame Sarek?" The officer asked.

"The only person that would consider doing harm to my wife would by Miss Dannan. But she vanished three weeks ago and security, with the aid of the Federation, could not find her whereabouts."

Sarek was sick within, he could not think straight. He had tried to reach Eire through their bond, but anger had kept her control up not allowing him to reach her. And now he felt nothing, he knew she was still living, but there was emptiness there. He leant against the desk and closed his eyes.

"Ambassador, Oh God no! What has happened?" Sarek turned and took hold of Rhea who was standing staring at the blood on the floor. He moved her over to the far side of the desk and calmed her.

"Ambassador, why would anyone want to hurt Eire? She broke into tears. Sarek removed his hands from her; it disturbed him too much.

"Rhea calm yourself. Did Eire mention anything to you concerning Miss Dannan?" Rhea looked at him through tears.

"I'm sorry Ambassador, I know I must be disturbing you with my emotions, forgive me?" Sarek looked at her, his eyes softening, he nodded.

"Just before she went to Gol, she was very upset. The dreams had come back. She seemed to think that they were caused by Miss Dannan, a forewarning." She said. "I know Eire is very sensitive, most Wiccans are. But why would Miss Dannan want to hurt her?" Rhea started to cry again.

"Ambassador?" Sarek turned to find Salin addressing him.

"If I could be of any assistance to you in helping to find Madame Sarek, I offer any help I can." He said. Salin reached out and took Rhea in one arm, she clung to him. Sarek looked from one to the other,

"I would welcome any assistance you may offer Salin." He said.

"She's going to be all right, isn't she?" Asked Rhea. Salin looked at Sarek with concern in his eyes.

"We can only hope." Sarek said.

Sarek had spoken more with security. They were going to put a search out, and keep track of all com messages on Vulcan and monitor those coming and leaving the planet. Rhea had said she would com Brahza, she had the right to know. Sarek had not refused her. He had left the Academy just before ten pm and went directly to his villa. He did not want to have to answer concerned questions from any of his acquaintances, and Gol was secluded, far enough to keep unwanted guests away yet close enough to get to ShiKhar very quickly. He went into his office to check if there were any messages.

---9:36p.m.---Brahza---On my way, arrive in three days,

Sarek, I lend you my strength.---

Sarek sighed; it would take more than Brahza's strength to get through this. He opened his mind and set it out to find Eire.

"Eire, I am her. Take my strength, touch me Eire, connect with my mind." There was nothing, empty. He rose from the chair and noticed one of Eire's pouches sitting on the top of the monitor. He reached for it and opened it. Sarek dumped the contents out into his hand, his eyes widened. In his hand sat Eire's marriage pendant, she would never take it off. But what concerned him more was the piece of Eire's bloodied hair tied around a roll of parchment. He opened it and sat back down and placed the parchment on the desk. The Ray Kalt glowed in the light of the screen.

CHAPTER 40

Sarek could not have begun to think of what Miss Dannan's plan could have been. He knew the history of the Ray Kalt, every Vulcan did. It was part of their past so it was taught at grade level history, but he would never think or even remotely associate it with the Ghe'm Pes Katra. He believed it was Miss Dannan's way of telling him that she really had Eire, the Ray Kalt, the bond between Eire and her statue, Tulrah.

He had tried all morning to attempt to find out as much information about Miss Dannan's past as he could, but to no avail. He was now waiting for internal security to com with their information they had on her, if any.

Rhea and Salin had been at the villa since first light, Salin going over anything that might give them a clue to where and what Miss Dannan was or wanted. Could she be bargained with? Perhaps, after all she was human. Rhea has sat staring out the solarium window deep in thought. She couldn't believe this was really happening. The com chimed.

"Sarek." The Ambassador said.

"We have the information you have asked you Ambassador, It's not much."

"Go ahead." Sarek said and waited, the information rolled up the screen. Sarek sat watching.

Name---Fian Dannan

D.O.B.---

P.O.B.---Terra, Coleraine, Ireland

Father---Regis Dannan

Mother---Morgana Dannan (Brodaith)

Sarek froze the screen, he knew, or had known Morgana Brodaith. Years ago he had met her while she was studying the disciplines at Mt. Seleya. Few Humans had ever achieved that right, but Miss Brodaith was one of them that had. She achieved and mastered Kolihar. Her remembered her as a highly intelligent woman for human standards. She had attained a doctorate in world religions, also in Vulcan history and philosophy. Sarek remembered her as a fearsome woman, quite tall for human females with long red hair. She had stayed on Vulcan for thirty standard years and in her mid-fifties she choose to leave the Sisterhood to marry Regis Dannan. He had heard that she and Regis had returned to Earth, somewhere in Ireland and Morgana had had his child. A daughter, who she was training in the disciplines. As far as he knew both Morgana and Regis Dannan had died, leaving their daughter to be raised by an Aunt. Why would Morgana's daughter come to Vulcan? Why would she want to harm Eire? He sat thinking as the rest of the information was processed.

There was nothing really of importance that followed, her education level, her doctorate in religious history. Sarek turned off the com and went into the living are.

"Ambassador, I'm sorry, there is really nothing of value that would lead us to any concrete reason why Miss Dannan would want to do anything to Madame Sarek." Salin said.

"Yes, perhaps Eire is not the clue to this Salin, perhaps I am." Salin looked at the Ambassador.

"Many years ago, I met Miss Dannan's mother, Morgana Brodaith. She was a very attractive and fearsome woman and highly intelligent. For some reason she was attracted to me, but I was married to Amanda. So I told her that nothing could ever come of this infatuation. That's when she joined the Sisterhood saying,

"If she could not have me, she would purge herself of all emotions so she would not have the pain of not having me." She stayed in the Sisterhood and finally achieved her quest, Kolinhar. She no longer had to feel the pain. Suddenly and to the shock of all, Morgana left the Sisterhood and married Regis Dannan. Actually I do not even think they were married. The last I heard, Morgana had given birth to a daughter, and this is what confused me. Miss Dannan goes by the name Fian Dannan while Morgana had named her daughter B'oada, perhaps if I would have made the connection of her last mane, I would have been more cautious."

"Do you think Ambassador that Morgana Brodaith has imbued Fian B'Oada with the oath of revenge upon you?" Asked Salin. Sarek raised an eyebrow. "It sounds absurd, I know Ambassador, but even if Morgana Brodaith did achieve Kolinhar, she is still human and human's have a way of holding grudges against others. Do you think that Morgana's love for you could have caused her to be deranged and instruct her daughter to carry on her malevolence towards you and the only reason Madame Sarek is involved is purely by association?" Sarek looked at Salin and let out a deep breath. "If this is the case Salin, and B'Oada was instructed by Morgana in the ways of the Sisterhood and then exhorted to seek reprisal for her mother's emotional pain, then I would say Miss Dannan is as deranged as her mother might have been. Therefore very dangerous and will stop at nothing to exact her revenge."

They both sat quietly eyeing each other not wanting to contemplate on what Miss Dannan would do next

CHAPTER 41

Eire woke from a horrible nightmare. She moaned and tried to open her eyes, but couldn't, the pain in her head was overwhelming. So she lay still, listening for any sound that would tell her where she was. Her mind was not clear enough to know her whereabouts. She heard nothing. Eire lay for awhile longer till she was able to prop herself up against the wall. She stayed there for awhile before she attempted to open her eyes again. When she finally did, she did so slowly letting a little bit of the muted light enter them a little at a time. When she could stand the pain of having them opened, she looked around, but every time she moved her head it was like an ax splitting it asunder. She closed her eyes again then lifted her hand to her head, her face was covered with dried blood and her hand came away wet with fresh. She finally managed to look at her surroundings, it seemed to be a small alcove, the walls were smooth and cool. She looked closer, the red veins sparkled in the light of the torch from outside the alcove, T'Khut's Tear she thought. She rationalized that the only place that had such a vast amount of T'Khut's Tear was Gol. Why would Miss Dannan bring her there? What was she going to do?

Eire tried to think of her words, her head hurt with the effort. Slowly the fog started to lift and there was Miss Dannan's face in her mind.

"I want Sarek's knowledge, his Katra. The Ghe'm Pes Katra." Eire's eyes opened in horror, she was going to kill Sarek. Her vision flashed into her head, Miss Dannan holding the heart, Sarek's heart. She sobbed; she had to stop her, but how? She couldn't even get up, and if she could get up, she would have to get away. She knew she was in no condition to subdue Miss Dannan then make her way across Gol to warn Sarek. She slumped against the wall in complete resignation that Miss Dannan would probably kill her whether she achieved her goal or not.

Eire calmed herself so her mind was halfway clear. Our bond she thought. I'll warn him through our bond. She sat very still and started to reach out slowly, her mind sought his. She needed to feel him, needed his comfort, his strength. She tried for sometime and just as she was going to give up he was there. Touching, enfolding her I his thoughts, she felt his love, his comforting energy, she felt his anger, his rage.

"Sarek, I love you, never forget."

Sarek felt her very weak, yet there, he reached his mind out for her. He felt her intense pain, her fear, her hopelessness. He went deeper and surrounded himself in her love. Deeper and deeper, he felt life, life within her, a child, his child. "I will come my wife. I will be with you." Eire's mind screamed out "NO!" He pulled back in terror, and the bond severed. The color drained from his face. He had to find her, he had to prevent her death and that of his unborn child, he had too, but how?

Eire had cried till she fell back into darkness only to be waked abruptly with a sharp kick to her ribs. She opened her eyes and Miss Dannan squatted down to look at her. She reminded Eire of some grotesque creature. Her hair sheered and black make-up surrounded her cold blue eyes. The light from the torch did a macabre dance on her face making her look demonic.

"So you're awake Madam Sarek? That's wonderful, now we can start."

"Start what?" Eire asked through clenched teeth.

"Start the plan to have your husband come so we...or I can perform Ghe' M Pes Katra." She smiled. "The swallowing." She pushed a bowl towards Eire,

"Perhaps you should clean yourself, we wouldn't want your beloved to think I ill treated you when he arrives. Go on wash!"

Eire didn't want to infuriate her. She had to go along with her until she could find a way to stop her. She picked up the cloth in the bowl; she smelt it, the bitter smell of yarrow, a natural healer. She put the cloth to her face; it was warm and took some of the pain away. She continued to clean her face till most of the dried blood was gone. She tried soaking some of the encrusted blood from her hair bit it hurt too much. Miss Dannan took the bowl of water and dumped it over her head and started to claw the blood out of Eire's hair. Eire screamed but she kept on, till most of the blood was removed. She handed Eire a swatch of cloth and told her to put pressure on the wound on her head, she did so. Before Miss Dannan rose to leave, she handed her a flask of water and some dried fruit. "He will not come, I've warned him." Eire said quietly.

"He will come." Miss Dannan drew closer to her till her face was inches away from hers. "Oh yes, he will come, for you see it is not only you he has to save." Eire was perplexed; she didn't understand her statement. And Miss Dannan saw she didn't.

"Let me explain it to you. Sarek has just gone through pon farr, everyone or almost everyone knows that the chances of conceiving a child during pon farr are higher than any other time. Actually ninety-five percent pregnancy rate is the norm. So you see, Eire, not only does Sarek put you in danger by his act, he had put your unborn child in danger also."

Eire had not contemplated that she might be pregnant, she has been too involved to think about it. She put her hands to her lower abdomen and tried to feel any life energy. She did, very faint, very small, but there. She closed her eyes and smiled, tears streaming down her face. Miss Dannan turned and left the alcove calling behind her,

"Don't get too attached!"

Eire cried, how could she do this? She was crazy. What did Sarek do to her? What act did he commit to make her want to kill him? She closed her yes and began to incant.

"Spirits of the air blow away my pain and fear,

CHAPTER 42

The com chimed softly in Sarek's office. Salin cleared the screen and pushed audio/video. His composure fell briefly as he gazed into an empty hollow face.

"Who are you?" Snapped Miss Dannan.

"I am Salin, Ambassador Sarek's aide, and you must be Miss Fian Dannan." Salin studied her face, he could feel her hatred, he could feel her maliciousness.

"Is Madame Sarek well?" He asked. Shut up! I will speak with the Ambassador!" She shrieked. Salin got up and went to get the Ambassador. He had been in the garden meditating, trying to center himself, but to no avail. His mind could not be settled.

"Ambassador, Miss Dannan wishes to speak with you." Sarek stood and went directly to the com. Miss Dannan's appearance did not shock him. She noticed he had gotten a little grayer since the last time she had seen him. He looked drained, but his features showed no emotion, only his eyes hinted of his disgust and hatred he felt for her.

"Good afternoon Ambassador, I hope I haven't disturbed you?"

Sarek leveled his eyes at her and spoke very quietly keeping himself in check, he could not allow her to think him weak and out of control.

"Where do you have my wife?" He asked. Miss Dannan smiled.

"With me Ambassador, and she and your unborn child are doing just fine, for now."

How did she know? She couldn't have known. She was not a Vulcan; she could not have sensed the child as he had.

"What do you want Fian?" His voice was cold and demanding.

"Do not call me that! I am B'Oada, do you understand? I am B'Oada Sarek, B'Oada!" She screamed. She calmed herself and continued,

"I want you Sarek, or to be more precise I want your Katra!" Sarek looked disbeleivingly at her.

"My Katra? That's impossible, it can't be done. You are insane B'Oada. Tell me where you are and I shall come to you and I will give you my word I shall not harm you. I will get you the help you need."

"Shut up! I am not insane, it is possible to have your Katra, Ghe'm Pes Katra!" Salin looked, as the Ambassador's face grew paler. He had heard of the ritual but it had not been performed since the early times. And he didn't know if even the Arch Sisters of Seleya knew how to perform it. Or even if they wanted to! Sarek cleared his throat.

"I will come B'Oada. You will have my Katra in exchange for my wife and my child."

"Very wise Ambassador, you will come to the ruins of Gol the day after tomorrow, at sundown, you will come alone. You will not, I repeat, you will not inform security of your plans. If you break any of the above, I will kill her! Do you understand?" Sarek thought quickly.

"B'Oada I will comply with your wishes, but I ask to bring someone, a human female, to be with my wife. She will need someone to comfort her. Allow me this. I ask this one thing."

Now B'oada thought what threat could a human female be to her. "Fine Sarek, a human female. I suggest you come to peace with the oneness. Good bye!" The screen went dark and Sarek stared into it.

"Ambassador, you do not really intend to go to her without the authorities knowing? She'll kill you and Eire, this is not logical." Sarek stood and looked into Salin's face.

"When the welfare of my wife is concerned, I have no logic. Salin you of all people should know that."

"Ambassador, the Ghe'M Pes Katra has to be preceded by Tulrah's Kalt!" Sarek stiffened just at the thought, an emotional shiver went up his spine.

"Salin I am quite aware of the procedure. I will be alone now."

Salin left the office and went to Rhea. He told her of the arrangement the Ambassador had made with B"Oada. He was surprised when she didn't break down and cry and even more surprised when she said, "Eire is my friend, I will go with the Ambassador. I owe her that as her friend." He lifted his fingers to her lips and held them there for sometime. He knew he would bond and marry Rhea when this nightmare had ended.

CHAPTER 43

Brahza had been completely confused by Rhea's urgent com, and only when Salin had explained the situation did she realize the severity of it. She was now orbiting Vulcan and anxious to get her hands on Miss Dannan for the pain she had caused her friend. But that was illogical, she was a Vulcan. These thoughts should not be in her mind, but sometimes logic did not suffice.

She transported right to the villa and was greeted by Rhea and Salin. They filled her in on Sarek's plan. She had rolled her eyes. "That's not a plan, that's suicide." She had said.

She tried to convince Sarek to take her instead of Rhea, that she was stronger and perhaps the two of them could subdue Miss Dannan, then no one would have to get hurt. Sarek had flatly denied her request saying,

"I have made my promise to B'Oada. Anything out of the ordinary will just infuriate her more, and Eire will certainly die. The plan stands."

"But what good will it do if Eire lives and you are dead? She will not be able to live with that Sarek." Brahza said flatly. Sarek closed his eyes,

"I have thought of that Brahza, Eire is strong and she will have our child to give her life."

Brahza did not know that Eire was pregnant and it made it all the more solid in her mind that she would do everything in her power to stop B'Oada, even if it meant killing her.

The sun was setting slowly as B'Oada climbed to the peak of the plateau to watch the red fingers dance upon the crimson sand. Far in the distance she saw a lone air car speeding towards the plateau.

"Just in time Ambassador." She stood and watched as it got closer. It started to loose altitude and lower to the ground just below her. B'Oada looked over the edge and saw Sarek had brought Rhea, Eire's friend. Both were dressed in desert suits, typical garb for anyone who went into the desert. She had never seen Sarek in anything other than his robes and thought for his age he was in very good shape. Not that the prospect of his body aroused her, but perhaps he would be harder to handle than she thought. She paid Rhea no mind.

Sarek looked up to the plateau and saw B'oada looking down. He motioned Rhea to follow him and started to climb the path. They arrived at the top of the plateau just as the Vulcan sun blackened beneath a darkened sky. They stood and waited, looking, aware that B'Oada was there but not anywhere they could see. Even Rhea could sense her. Sarek felt her close and took Rhea by the arm and put her behind him. He didn't want her to get hurt if they should get into a struggle. He no more ended the thought when a flash of white caught his eye but it was too late. Sarek slumped to the ground with a seringe protruding from his neck. Rhea screamed and fell to her knees at his side. B'Oada slapped her so hard that she fell backwards. "Where's Eire?" Rhea screamed.

"First, you will help me take him inside, than I will take you to Madame Sarek."

B'Oada grabbed Sarek by the arm and motioned Rhea to take the other side. With great exertion they dragged him down into the cavern, it was now lit by torches. Rhea stumbled twice under the weight; they passed the opening to the birthing chamber and continued along a path till they reached a large opening in the rock. It was hidden by a larger boulder, which stood in front of it. They dragged Sarek through the opening into an inner chamber. Rhea's eyes widened at the sight of the chamber. It was completely encased in T'Khut's Tear, floors, walls, ceiling all shone a brilliant bronze color, caused from the light of the torches. In the center of the chamber stood a large black stone. Upon the head of the slab a large bowl hung, they pulled Sarek over and lifted him up onto the altar stone.

"Strip him!" B'Oada said. Rhea looked at her and shook her head no, "I can't, I won't be a part of this." She said. B'Oada grabbed her by the hair,

"You will do as I say or you will die now! Undress him!"

Rhea stifled a sob and proceeded to undress the Ambassador. When she finished B'Oada threw a robe at her,

"Put it on him!" Rhea put the black garment on Sarek; it was opened to the waist exposing his chest and closed in the front with a large embossed face of Tulrah.

Rhea looked hopelessly at Sarek, she turned to B'Oada, "Take me to Eir..." She felt a crashing blow to her head and then darkness. B'Oada pushed her slumped form out of the way. She bound Sarek's feet with leather straps and secured them at the base of the stone. She went to the head of the stone and secured his hands so that her was prone, his chest vulnerable. She pulled the seringe from his neck and touched his face. She bent down and kissed his lips.

"So cold, the fire I will never know, but I must do this Sarek. I must carry out my mother's wish. I must swallow your Katra and perhaps I will feel your flame burning within me." She stood for the longest time studying his face.

Brahza was pacing up and down the outside of the villa; finally she could stand it no more. She ran inside. "Salin, I don't care what you say, I'm going to the ruins. I will not stay here knowing my dearest friend might die, not to mention other innocent beings. If anything happened to any of them and I didn't lift a hand to try and stop it...I couldn't live with that. Now you can sit here like a true Vulcan and not utter a word or you can come with me and try and prevent something horrible from happening!"

"Brahza, what if we are too late?" Salin had resigned himself to the fact that Rhea and the rest might already be dead.

"B'Oada won't be." Her eyes narrowed. "So I'll kill the bitch!" She turned and ran out to get in the air car, Salin right behind her. They both got in and Brahza turned to Salin,

"Sometimes it isn't that bad to be emotional?" She engaged the air car and they were soon in the night sky gliding towards the ruins of Gol.

Eire woke to find B'Oada staring into her face. She jumped and her head split.

"He's here, he came!" Smiled B'Oada.

"Take me to him. What have you done to him?" Eire's voice was harsh from not having anything to drink. She didn't trust Miss Dannan so she hadn't drank any of the water she had brought for her.

B'Oada smiled. "I have done nothing to him yet! That's to come and believe me that I really do regret having to kill Sarek, I would rather bed him. But he would never have me because he loves you and even if I were to kill you, which I might, he still wouldn't have me. Too bad." She came closer to Eire,

"But just think when I perform Ghe'M Pes Katra, I will have his Katra inside me always, his living essence. You can't get any closer to someone that that." B'Oada laughed.

Eire wanted to spit right in her face but she knew she couldn't anger her. Maybe she could talk her into seeing Sarek and then...she didn't know.

"Miss Dannan please allow me to see my husband one more time, to say good bye."

"You will call me B'Oada! Get up!"

Eire struggled to stand on her feet and when she finally did she fell back against the wall. B'Oada knew she was no threat to her, she couldn't even walk.

"Come, I'll allow you to say good bye to him. It's the least I can do, considering."

CHAPTER 44

Eire followed her down the corridor for about twenty minutes. She thought she was going to pass out a few times but she kept walking. They entered the opening to the chamber. Eire went through and almost screamed, her vision was in front of her eyes, exactly what she had seen in the darkness of her mind. Her head began to swim and she bent over and vomited. She wretched so mush pains shot through her abdomen.

"Oh Goddess no, not the baby!" She whispered.

"Get up! Before I change my mind!" B'Oada screamed, "Move!"

Eire pulled herself up to her feet and continued following B'Oada to the stone. She saw Sarek prone on top of the altar. She ran forwards but B'Oada held her, holding her face in her iron grip she said,

"I will leave you with him. I must ready myself. Do not try and run, there is no place to run." She threw her to the ground and Eire watched her as she left. When she had disappeared through the opening she got up and rushed to the altar. Sarek lay, his eyes closed, his breathing shallow. She touched his face, he felt cold and his skin shimmered with perspiration. She laid herself over his chest and sobbed.

"Sarek, Sarek wake up. Sarek, you have to help me. I can't do this by myself." She sobbed again. Eire went up to his face and kissed him gently.

"Wake up Sarek, I need your strength!" A moan quietly came from him. She started to slap his face.

"Wake up! Wake up!" She screamed.

Slowly his eyes opened and she gazed into them. They were dull and lifeless. She's drugged him; he'll never be able to help me she thought. She kissed him again.

"Sarek can you hear me? Do you understand what I'm saying? Sarek. Oh Goddess help me!"

Sarek heard her and he tried to reach her, but his mind just couldn't fight to rise above the drug. He had to talk to her, to say so many things to her before he could never tell her another word. He fought hard and finally his vision cleared. He looked into her face, he really believed that he was too late. He had not sensed her in their bond for sometime, yet she was here. He looked at her and anger rose within him. Her face black and blue on the one side, she had a gash over her right eye and her lip was split. Her hair lay straight against her head some of the blood still clung to it. He smelt the old blood and it sickened him.

"What..has..she..done..to..you..?"

She kissed him again, "Oh Sarek. Thank you Brighid. Sarek, I'm all right. I have to get you out of here!" She started to pull at the bonds but they were secured tightly. She tried at his feet but it was no use. She looked around for a knife, a sharp object but there were none to be found. Eire went back to the head of the altar.

"Sarek, what can I do? How can I get you out of here?" She started to cry.

"My wife, leave me, you have our child to be concerned about, leave me."

"NO!" She screamed, "I will not leave you!"

Sarek shook his head trying to shake off more of the effect of the drug.

"Eire, look at me!" She looked into his face.

"You have to leave, there is nothing you can do. Our child must survive. You must leave me!" He said his breath catching in his throat.

"Sarek, I cannot leave you. I love you my husband. If you are going to die, then I shall die with you." He shook his head.

"No. I forbid you to stay. Find Rhea and leave!"

"Rhea? She was with you?" Eire looked around the chamber; she could not see her.

"Find Rhea and save yourselves." Sarek was becoming resigned to the fact that not only was he going to die, but Eire and their child also. Eire stood up straight.

"Rhea, Rhea." She called through tears. She went around the head of the altar and there she saw Rhea's hand. She sobbed and ran to her. Falling beside her she listened to her chest. She was not breathing. Eire picked her up in her arms, the blood still sticky on her head. Eire held her tightly and rocked her.

No! No! NO! Rhea, oh no!" She moaned. Eire let out such a scream from the bottom of her heart; her very soul seemed to scream. Sarek shut his eyes tightly.

"Forgive me Rhea." He whispered.

He heard Eire between the sobs keening, her voice full of grief and pain as she keened the dirge.

"This a' neet,

This a' neet.

Every neet an all.

Fire and sleet and candle lit,

May Earth receive thy soul."

Eire gently lay Rhea down and bent and kissed both her eyes. She got up and went to Sarek's side. She bent and kissed him; her face was composed and emotionless.

"Sarek always remember I love you." she kissed him again and turned and walked away stopping to pick up the marriage pendant that lay on top of his clothing. She put it on and walked out of the entrance.

"EIRE NO!!!!" Sarek roared.

Brahza and Salin were halfway up the plateau when they heard Sarek scream. They quickened their pace. Both thinking they were too late.

Eire found a small alcove at the other side of the birthing chamber, she removed her clothing and lay down on the cold stone floor, she started to chant,

 

"Over heads shrieking,

Under bodies wailing.

Spears and shields shining,

Grey Morrigu is flying!"

She chanted it over and over again till her voice reached a crescendo; she stood up and left the alcove going back to the place where B'Oada had first brought her. She stopped and picked up the water flask and bowl, she then filled the bowl with red dust from the floor and added some water to it. When she had made a thin paste out of it she started to apply if to her feet and legs first, when she got up to her waist she mixed some more and applied the rest to her upper torso. Eire stood arms raised.

"I call to the crone!

Ye who holds the mysteries.

Ye who are the tomb.

Come to me, lend me your darkness!

I have need of you this night!

I am your child.

I seek justice!

I demand my revenge!"

She reached back down and took the bowl and smashed it to the ground and brought up the large piece of shard that remained. She left the alcove and took a torch from the wall, hitting it against the wall it broke a few inches from the top, sparks flying into the air, she turned and started back to where Sarek lay.

"B'Oada come, the Morrigu awaits you!"

Sarek lay wondering if Eire had got away, but deep down her knew she had not. He felt her, such hatred, such coldness, he shivered. He wasn't as drugged as before and was trying to break the bonds but they were stronger than he was. He heard a swishing, robes on sand. He quieted his breathing and listened. From the corner of his eye he saw her. He turned his head to the side and watched as she approached carrying the quon'tch in her hands.

Her white luminous robes floated behind her, her breasts were bare and painted with gold powder. Upon her head a circlet with the Ray Kalt symbol in its center. She came towards him, her eyes transfixed on Sarek's. When she reached the head of the altar she placed the quon'tch at the top of Sarek's head and went to the far side of the stone. She looked at him and put her hands on his face to hold him. She bent to kiss him,

Sarek jerked his face away.

"Never!" He hissed. B'Oada laughed

"No last kiss Ambassador? Or has your wife exhausted you?" She looked around the chamber,

"I see your wife had left you to your end. I'll deal with her later."

Sarek wanted to ask her to spare him, to let him go. To let him be with his wife and child. He had not told Eire he loved her and he felt he had to. But, as many times before, he said nothing. He closed his eyes and waited for the pain.

CHAPTER 45

Brahza and Salin made their way down the pathway. They passed the birthing chamber and almost missed the entrance of the larger chamber not seeing it as the large boulder stood between it and them. They made their way behind it and silently entered the chamber staying as close to the wall as they could. They kept themselves low and to the side of an outcrop of rock, they didn't dare go any further or B'Oada would see them and it would be too late to do anything. They would wait till B'Oada was involved and would not notice them.

B'Oada picked up the quon'tch and held it between her breasts. It was twelve inches long, wide at the base then narrowing to a deadly curved tip.

"Tulrah, wu'th ve po'sh tah,

Ne su'ich zil pt'ach,

Ne su'ich zill Tulrah's kalt,

Ne ash'kre Ghe'M Pes Katra!"

Salin looked at Brahza surprised that B'Oada knew the old Vulcan language, he was a Vulcan and only knew very little. "Did you understand it all?" He asked Brahza. Brahza didn't look at him and without taking her eyes off B'Oada she translated.

" Tulrah, holder of the heart,

I give you the price,

I give you Tulrah's pleasure,

I claim the swallowing of the Katra!"

B'Oada raised the quon'tch above her head, Sarek opened his eyes and stared in horror. Brahza jumped from behind the ledge and ran towards the altar, her heart was in her mouth. Just as she reached the altar both Sarek and B'Oada turned their gaze towards her. Sarek screamed. "NO!" But it was too late, B'Oada slashed the quon'tch across Brahza's chest, green blood soaked through her desert suit. She fell across Sarek's chest, B'Oada grabbed her by the hair and pulled her over him, dropping her to the floor beside Rhea's lifeless body.

Sarek started to pull at his bonds, he had had enough of this. He would get loose, he could not allow her to kill again. Rhea now Brahza, not Eire. He roared at her,

"ENOUGH B'OADA!!" B'Oada was seething with anger,

"It will be enough when Tulrah holds your heart and I hold your Katra!" She ripped his face with her nails and raised the quon'tch. She heard a bang in front of her and raised her eyes. Sarek also turned, he couldn't believe what he saw. B'Oada could not either.

"Come B'Oada, come to the Morrigu, she awaits your soul." Eire came down the steps of the chamber, her body naked and aflame, her hair wild and flying as if a dark wind blew through it. Eire's eyes were opened as wide as they could be. She walked holding her head proud, she banged the torch staff on the stone as she walked. She was the Morrigu, she was Scatha, she was Fea, she was Maeve. Eire held every warrioress within her, every Goddess of war spoke through her, every battle maiden's blood pumped through her veins.

"Come B'Oada, bring Tulrah, we all wait! All the Mother's of my world wait! Wait to see who is all powerful!"

Eire started crossing the floor towards B'Oada. Both B'oada and Sarek were frozen by her eyes. She banged the jagged stick on the floor. "I have been in the womb of the mother. I have been in the tomb of the crone. I come before you as one, I come before you as all the dark ones."

Eire was almost at the altar, B'Oada was mesmerized, she still held the quon'tch above her head. Eire reached the altar and glared into her eyes. Eire closed her eyes and bent and kissed Sarek, she raised her head and looked into B'Oada's eyes. B'Oada blinked then screamed bringing the knife across the altar. Eire brought her hand up, it contained the shard of the bowl. She brought it across B'Oada's chest.

Blood splattered across Eire and Sarek as a six-inch gash appeared from her shoulder down to her breast. B'oada stumbled backward still holding the knife. Eire leaped onto the altar. She saw Rhea and now Brahza. Her mind snapped and she wailed. She shrieked and let the Morrigu's fury fly from her. She jumped and knocked B'Oada to the ground. Eire rolled and was on her feet and at B'Oada's side in a second. She grabbed her by the hair.

"UP!!" She literally heaved her up off the ground. She took the shaft of the torch and smashed it into B'Oada's face. She fell again, blood spewing like a fountain from B'Oada's face.

Sarek watched horrified, yet amazed. What had a hold of Eire? She had never showed any sign of these aggressive emotions before. Her strength was fearsome, perhaps just perhaps they would live. Salin was at Sarek's side holding the shard of the bowl Eire had dropped and started to cut through the bonds. Sarek tugged with all his strength.

Eire pulled B'Oada back to her feet, she still had the quon'tch in her hand. She hit her again directly in the face, B'Oada's head jerked back and a spray of blood shot from her mouth. Again she hit her and again. Eire turned to bring the stick up to end it, as she did B'Oada brought the quon'tch up and struck her under the right side at the base of her ribs. Eire sank to her knees, B'Oada came towards her to deliver the final blow.

Salin had cut through Sarek's one side of bonding. He came around the altar stone to cut the last bonds. He stopped and looked, he had not realized Rhea was in the chamber, he froze.

"Salin, free me! Salin, Salin." Sarek roared. But Salin didn't move,. Sarek took the shard from him and continued cutting through the remaining bonds.

B'Oada brought the quon'tch down, Eire raised the stick and knocked It aside, it flew out of her hand. She grabbed Eire by the throat and started to strangle her. Eire reached up and put her hands around B'Oada's throat and started to put as much power into her hands as possible. She pulled herself up till she was standing. Both her and B'Oada still at each other's throats dancing a macabre dance. Eire was the smaller of the two, she felt the strength dissipating very quickly. She started to sink to her knees again. She could hardly breath, darkness was starting to seep slowly into her head. B'Oada felt this, she turned to find the quon'tch. She couldn't see it, only the jagged torch handle lay in view. She stumbled to retrieve it, she picked it up. She came towards Eire, everything seemed very slow and muffled. Eire lifted her head to see B'Oada but she was too late,

B'Oada came behind her, securing her arm around her neck she hauled Eire up in a half kneeling half-standing position. She held the torch handle high in the air, both of them struggling for breath.

' Mother Goddess, Brighid warrioress of the golden land, protector of children. I am your child, send me your fire, send me your strength.' She incanted silently. She opened her eyes and before her not three feet away stood Sarek, he came towards them, so slowly he moved. She let her eyes envelop him, she wanted his form in her mind, the last thing she would see as she departed the physical plane. The last thing she would see in this worldly place. He came towards them dark and terrible, her dark angel in fury. He stopped a foot before them, glaring blackness at B'Oada. He still felt a bit weak form the effects of the drug and his movements were not as fast as he wished. B'Oada glanced from him to either side like a animal trapped looking for a way to escape. She knew Sarek would have her life. She knew she must make a move now or it would be over.

She let go of her grip on Eire and she slumped to the ground, as Sarek's eyes followed Eire down B'Oada lunged forward with the torch handle entering Sarek's chest just to the right of his heart. The sound was horrible.

"Ne ash'kre Ghe'M Pes Katra!!" B'Oada shrieked as Sarek fell to his knees, both of them holding the shaft that protruded from his chest.

Eire climbed to her feet and went and picked up the quon'tch where it lay two feet to the right of her. She could barely walk. She swayed towards her dark angel. Neither of them saw her approaching. The last thing B'Oada saw was the terror and pain in Sarek's eyes as Eire grabbed her forehead from behind and drew the quon'tch across her throat. She made a gurgling, hissing sound a fell to her face half a top of Sarek. He pushed her aside s tried to stand but couldn't, he reached his hand out. Eire stood her eyes wild with shock still holding the bloodied quon'tch. She lifted it to her face and screamed such a blood-curdling scream Sarek shrieked back in horror. She threw the knife and it hit the stone wall causing sparks to fly. She stood there, her whole body trembling. Eire finally centered herself enough to think. She reached down and touched Sarek's lips with her

two fingers, then grabbed the shaft and yanked it with all her strength. Sarek made a gasping sound and then there was darkness.

CHAPTER 46

Eire went to Salin who was sitting holding Brahza, who was conscious, his other hand held Rhea's cold one.

"You fought well Morrigu!" Brahza whispered. Tears flooded from Eire's eyes.

"Salin, Salin." Eire shook him, he looked at her his face full of pain for the lose of Rhea.

"Salin, you have to help me get Brahza and Sarek to the air cars. Can you do that?" Her voice was hoarse and raspy. He nodded his head and stood. "I will attempt to bring the cars to the top of the plateau, that we do not have to carry them down to the base. Your weakened condition would not allow it." He stood and turned to leave.

"Salin, I am so sorry, Rhea was a good person, she was my friend. I grieve with thee." She held back her tears.

"We all grieve at her loss." He said and put his arms around Eire and held her for a moments, then he turned and left the chamber.

Eire turned to Brahza, she looked pale but she would live. Eire bent and took her hand, she didn't look into her face, she was ashamed. "I have done the most horrible thing Brahza." She paused, "I have taken a life. I will have to work very hard to have this removed from my karmic debt. Not to mention what charges the Vulcan counsel will levy upon me. Will Sarek still want me as his wife? He is within his right to disclaim me for whether you are Human or Vulcan to kill anyone is wrong, a disgusting act." She put her hand to her wound as the pain shot through her open side. Then to her abdomen where Sarek's and her unborn child lay safe.

"He is within his rights to claim this child and raise it without its mother." She sobbed.

"Eire, Sarek would never do any of those things, he loves you. You did what you had to do. You saved Sarek's life and mine, and most likely yours and the child. No one, not even the high counsel could punish you for that. She was crazy! You had no choice, it was destined to be. And even if high counsel decided to bring you up on charges, I'm sure they'll have a hard time to pursue them, knowing the Ambassador!" Brahza managed a slight smile, barely noticeable.

Eire kisses her friend and the cheek then stood and helped her to her feet. She helped her over to where Sarek lay and put her down. Eire kneeled at Sarek's side and took his hand and kissed it, she then placed his hand on the marriage pendant which lay at her breasts. Sarek opened his eyes, there was pain in them, but something else, something warm , soft. He put his other hand on her abdomen and closed his eyes. Eire was alive and his child was alive. She bent and kissed his lips and he kissed her.

"You are my heart, my Katra, my wife. And I love you beyond known love." He whispered. Eire picked him up into her arms and held him close, crooning softly to him.

As they headed back to the villa , the ruins faded into the redness of the rising Vulcan sun. They would send the authorities to retrieve B'Oada and Rhea, they didn't want to leave Rhea but there was just no room for her unless Salin or Eire stayed behind, Eire had offered to, but Salin said no, she needed her wounds tended to, and he had to drive the other air car as both Sarek and Brahza were in no shape to.

As they approached the villa Sarek laid his hand on Eire's abdomens, she smiled.

"I will give you a daughter." Eire said.

"A daughter?" He asked.

"Yes, my husband.... A daughter!" His one eyebrow lifted gently. He knew she would.

 

BEHOLD THE FIRE OF INSPIRATION,
BEHOLD THE GOLDEN FLAME.
I SPAKE THE WORDS OF BRIGHID.
DAY AND DAY AND SO.....
I SHALL BE FREE OF DEATH,
NONE SHALL HARM ME,
NOR CONFINE ME,
NOR WOUND MY SOUL,
NOR FIRE BURN ME,
NOR WATER DROWN ME,
FOR I AM HER CHILD.
CHILD OF WORDS,
CHILD OF ART,
CHILD OF LOVE,
CHILD OF KNOWLEDGE,
CHILD OF UNDERSTANDING,
CHILD OF WISDOM,
WITHIN ME BURNS THE FLAME,
WITHIN MY HEART SHE STAND TRUE,
I AM A CHILD OF BRIGHID.

 

Ada-Jane Ward/V'Muse