(( OOC: This continues Serala’s scene at the waterfall the next day - Day 4 of Shore Leave ))
(( Waterfall, Tropical Rainforest, Lydor IX ))
:: She could feel him in the back of her mind. The sensation was foreign to her, but somehow she found it comforting. When she had woken this morning, she had discovered that she had become bonded to Stevok. Not something she had expected, yet she found she wasn’t angry about it. That confused her somewhat because Stevok had not told her about his pon’farr, and in a way that was a deception she would ordinarily not forgive. But she found she just couldn’t be angry. Instead, she felt complete in a way she never had.
:: Guiltily, she thought of Toryn. Her attraction to him hadn’t faded, and she sensed Stevok knew that, but he was off-limits now, anyway. The fact that Stevok understood how she felt about him and didn’t feel jealousy about it only endeared him to her even more. On the other hand, perhaps because of their bond, she no longer felt so intensely about Toryn. Yes, he was attractive. Yes, there would always be some attraction there. But now, Stevok was ever-present in her mind and her desire for him was even stronger. She decided it was foolish to feel guilty about Toryn anyway. He had never desired her in that way. They were friends, and nothing more. ::
:: Sensing that Stevok was returning, she quickly made her way to her tent. She arrived just as he was approaching from the forest path. Seeing him, her hearts skipped a beat. She felt a reassuring tug on their connection and she felt herself calm. ::
oO Oh, that’s useful.Oo
Stevok: ~~ Indeed, my mate. Especially for you, I suspect. ~~
oO You can speak to me telepathically? Oo
Stevok: ~~ There is no need to shout, Serala. Think softly. Let me show you. ~~
:: She suddenly found herself flooded with information. Instantly, she was shown how to control her thoughts and to channel them into a telepathic projection. She also knew that it only worked with Stevok, and only when they were in close proximity. The emotional connection, however, could be felt no matter how far apart they were. It might dim, the further apart they went, but it would never disappear. She found that quite reassuring. ::
Serala: ~~ Like this? ~~
Stevok: ~~ Exactly. Now, there is something we should discuss. ~~
Serala: Well then, let’s discuss it, not think it. That is something new to me. It will take some getting used to.
Stevok: I understand.
Serala: So, what do we need to talk about?
Stevok: Well, this is kind of touchy, but in Vulcan society it would be expected that you and I would now get married. Our bond is for life. Logic dictates that we should become formally unified.
:: Well, that stopped her cold. She hadn’t been expecting that one. Of course, she saw the logic in it. Her connection with Stevok ensured that. But...marriage? ::
Stevok: I sense hesitation from you. Is this a problem?
Serala: I’m...not sure. I mean, I love you, even though we just met yesterday. No doubt the bond is responsible for that, to some degree, but I never considered that this would result in marriage. My mother would be pleased, save that she would have preferred it would have been to a Romulan male. Still, I am not opposed to the idea. But the next question is, under which culture should we get married? Vulcan? Romulan? Human? Betazoid?
Stevok: Why not all four?
Serala: :: Incredulous snort :: Four? No. One. I might even be able to be persuaded for two, one of yours and one of mine. But four? No.
Stevok: Very well, then. A compromise? How about a Vulcan wedding and a Romulan wedding? I will invite my family and friends to the Vulcan wedding and you can invite your family and friends to the Romulan one.
:: Warming to the idea and feeling a wave of gratitude for this male, she grinned from ear to ear and leaned against him. ::
Serala: I agree. Now, for a completely different subject. If we are going to be getting married, I guess we should learn everything we can about each other, and while you may be able to pry into my mind and learn anything you want, I’m not a telepath.
Stevok: You are with me, kun-ut t’nash-veh. (Vulcan: my bond-mate)
Serala: Well, maybe. But it’s too efficient. I want to take time. Get to really know you. You know, the old-fashioned way.
Stevok: As you wish.
Serala: So, how does one become one-quarter Betazoid. Aside from the obvious, I mean.
:: And so, they spent the rest of that discussing each other’s lives, the ups and the downs. The good times and the not-so good times. There were times when telepathy was used because words just weren’t enough. And there were other activities as well. ::
(( Later that evening, Serala’s tent ))
Serala: I have to return to my ship in the morning. I have duty tomorrow. But I will return the next day unless the Captain cancels shore leave for some reason.
Stevok: I would say I will miss you, but you will always be with me no matter where you are.
:: She smiled widely at that thought. ::
Serala: And I with you.