Healing Touch Chapter 5 K/U [NC-17]
Image something I manipped on a cold day.
Disclaimer: Paramount owns Star Trek. I only own my fantasies.
Beta: Sincere gratitude goes to: Nyotava, Bandicca, Zapp and Trekskitten for such wonderful betaing! Each of them brought fresh insight and used their unique expertise to make this story a reality.
Summary: A sequel to "My Faith in You," addressing Uhura's recovery from a brutal attack and the depths of Kirk's commitment to keep her in his world.
Pahzj took them back to the Audience Hall, where they had beamed down that afternoon, and bade them wait. Except this time he escorted them to the far entranceway; apparently they were expected to make a lengthy entrance.
"Ambassador, tonight’s reception is in your honor, and as tradition dictates, you and Lady Uhura will be introduced last so all may pay you respect. It should only be a few minutes to wait."
"Thank you, Pahzj." Kirk knew the custom, but would have preferred to be introduced first. It would have allowed him to see everyone else’s introduction and learn who the players were.
/ Do not concern yourself with that, Ambassador. I will point out all the people of power you should be aware of. Tonight I need you to act as if you are the person of power; you must earn the respect of those here if we are to succeed. Stare down any that would challenge you. Come all the way to the throne. The generals will attempt to stop you, but push your way past. No matter what you do, do not back down. /
Kirk looked over to Uhura and could tell from her expression that she had ‘heard’ Anata’ka as well.
"Remember, you didn’t want to miss anything," He reminded her mildly as they stepped up to be announced.
"You weren’t kidding, were you, sir?" Uhura was glad she had his arm to lean on, her knees suddenly felt like gelatin.
Kirk glanced down and smiled, he looked like he did this every day. Finally, the doors opened and they were announced to the crowd. "Penda," he whispered, "you look as beautiful as the Queen of Sheba; now walk with me and act like her."
They stepped into the gigantic hall that was packed with the ruling Potakai from all twenty-eight homeworlds. Row after row of Potakai faces turned as one and stared at the two humans. From somewhere, the Federation anthem played as UFP banners were raised at either side of the throne dais.
Kirk pulled Uhura close and strolled into the great hall. His posture was sure and relaxed, as if he owned the world. The near section of Potakai was all Citizen caste and each one bowed deeply as they passed. Nearly midway to the dais, the guests changed from Citizen to Aristocracy, but still they cast down their eyes and hair crests. Only as they neared the dais did the contact become an intangible struggle; those who appeared to challenge quickly changed their mind when they saw the feather token that Kirk wore.
Uhura kept her pace regal and sedate even though her heart was racing. She kept her eyes level and serene, taking each acquiescence as if it were her due. She glanced at Kirk and saw him radiate such self-assurance; she pictured Admiral Nogura during inspection, and almost laughed. No one swaggered more than the Old Man did, but Kirk was giving him a run for his money.
As they reached the dais steps, a tattooed black clad Potakai, sporting a magnificent warrior V crest, stepped into their path. His yellow eyes looked hard at the golden feathers in Kirk's hair.
"The Federation sends a Warrior instead of a true Ambassador. Is this meant as an insult, ‘Captain’ Kirk?" Uhura noted he spoke Potakai, but the translator still captured his challenging tone.
/ Careful, Zhames-this is General Chota’di- he is *my* Commanding General, but that makes him more deadly rather than less. / Anata’ka broadcast quickly then vanished again.
"General, on my world, I can be both. No insult was intended. I represent the Federation at Empress Anata’ka's request."
/ Very good, Zhames, he expected a warrior’s response. You have given him something to consider. /
Kirk sidestepped the general and continued toward the dais. He had let go of Uhura when the Warrior intervened, allowing himself some maneuvering room if needed. Now, he turned and pointedly waited for her to again take his arm. When she had resumed her position, he glanced back over his shoulder and nodded once to Chota’di.
The General pondered Kirk for a moment before dropping his crest slightly in an acknowledgement of equals. Oh well, Chota’di might not accept him as Aristocracy, but at least he granted him access to his liege lords. That would do for now.
Uhura squeezed Kirk’s arm in a gesture of relief; she could do no more or the Potakai would sense their bluff. She kept her face schooled in serenity as they started up the steps once again. Uhura could feel all eyes from the assemblage below boring holes in her back. Not particularly in anger, but in confusion, as they tried to reassess their own place in the hierarchy now that the Federation had arrived.
At the top of the dais, Uhura caught her first sight of the Emperor to be and his Queen. Ramsha’ka was a handsome Potakai male of approximately thirty standard years. His feather crest of silver and teal was arched in regal fashion. While probably of no blood kin, he had the same turquoise colored eyes as his ‘grandmother’ Anata’ka. His face bore none of the tattoos so prominent on Anata’ka’s face. He had no blood oaths to display--his spirit was pure. However, his arms were decorated with all the same clan affiliations as the Dowager’s.
Ramsha’ka’s wife, Lilu’ka, was an exquisitely beautiful Potakai of about twenty-five standard years. Her face was also bare of tattoos, but she sported many on her arms. Some were the same as Ramsha’ka’s and some were different. Her violet and silver crest was erect in a brilliant display. Lilu’ka’s eyes were the same violet shade as her crest.
As they neared, Ramsha’ka broke into an easy grin while saying something quietly to Anata’ka. He stood up and extended his hands to either side, allowing the Empress and Lilu’ka to both grasp one and stand simultaneously. They waited for the Federation representatives with regal grace.
Uhura looked between Anata’ka and Lilu’ka; the dowager certainly did not appear to be three centuries older than the younger woman. She stood proud and erect, her own gold and teal crest spread in a dominant display. Her feathers just brushed the floor, while Ramsha’ka’s and Lilu’ka’s still had over two feet of clearance.
When within speaking distance, Kirk stopped and acknowledged the rulers with a formal bow. Uhura dropped into a low curtsy; it was not Potakai custom, but it seemed to meet favor. The three Aristocrats greeted them with a quick drop of their crests. As with Chota’di, it was an acknowledgement of equals.
"Ambassador Kirk and Lady Uhura, I bid you welcome to Potakai Prime. I present to you my heir, Ramsha’ka, and his wife, Lilu’ka." Anata’ka smiled with affection toward her grandson.
"Your Highness," Kirk broadcast his own most charming smile, "It is a great honor to be here. The Federation looks forward to a strong relationship with the Potakai people."
"As do we," Ramsha’ka spoke before turning to Anata’ka. "Grandmother, can we not continue our conversation without the whole assemblage held hostage?"
Uhura looked over her shoulder and saw the entire room was frozen in a deep bow, all crests down in a submissive posture.
"They are not hostages, Ramsha’ka, they only pay respect to us and our Federation guests. To hold power, you must hold respect. Do not allow sympathy to erode either." The Dowager turned toward the mass of Potakai and spoke in a firm but gracious tone.
"Faithful guests, thank you for service and dedication. We are now all of one house, it is time to meet your new sisters and brothers. Please partake of the refreshments and greet each other."
The room swarmed with Ménage bearing trays of food and drink. The crowd rose from their collective bow and began to murmur and mingle.
"Ambassador, please, you and Lady Uhura must sit with us a while before mingling with the other guests." Ramsha’ka spread his arms wide and gestured for them to seat themselves in the two chairs being placed in front of their own by scurrying Ménage. Other Ménage pressed in, offering them a selection of drink and tidbits of food.
The evening waned on and Uhura noticed that Potakai pair bonds did not ‘work the room’ as a couple, but rather, each covered as much territory as possible individually. She was greeted by several ranking members who called themselves ’we’ before she understood they were communing telepathically within the bond and cognizant of whom each was meeting. She and Kirk had separated in a human effort to do much the same--meet as many Potakai as possible.
/ I’m sure we must be very different from your culture, My Lady. / Anata’ka spoke in her mind during a quiet moment.
/ Oh, please, Your Highness, call me Nyota. And yes, you are very different, but that’s what makes it so wonderful and exciting. /
/ Good, then you must call me Anata’ka, Nyota. It has been a pleasant evening for me as well. Ramsha’ka and the Ambassador seem to be getting along quite well. /
Uhura looked over and saw Kirk and Ramsha’ka deep in conversation, but the smiles on their faces made it doubtful their talk was of anything official.
/ No, they speak of climbing on rocks. It would appear they have found a common interest. /
Uhura smothered a laugh; Kirk always found a way to connect with someone.
/ That is one of the traits of a good leader. You can’t lead if others don’t want to follow. Getting to know your people, their likes and dislikes, helps a leader form bonds that cross many barriers. /
Uhura caught herself still staring at Kirk, watching him interact with the heir. He scanned around the room, seeking her out. When he made eye contact with her he looked for a sign she was okay. She smiled broadly and tapped the side of her head, trying to tell him she was in conversation with Anata’ka. He smiled and nodded before turning his full attention back to Ramsha’ka.
/ He watches out for you always, does he not? /
Uhura’s thoughts flashed on all the times Kirk had taken care of her lately. Far too many images came to mind. She always considered herself a giving person and did not like feeling needy.
/ Do not regret his attentions, Nyota. He does not regret giving them to you. He values you very much and wishes you to be happy. /
Was she happy? She had been, before Bengali, before her attack. Knowing she had a home on Enterprise, a home that included him, had made her happy then. Now, that was all in jeopardy.
/ You have suffered much and still bear wounds that have not healed. I feel much pain in your heart. You are scared you will lose everything you have. /
/Can he stop that from happening, Nyota? Can you let him heal your spirit? You trust him above all others, but now you question whether that is enough. His interest scared you when you thought he might act upon it. /
/ In my world, you and he would be considered misa mren, mixed caste, an attachment to someone outside your caste. You sense this yourself; you’ve often thought he was too intense for you to be in any type of permanent relationship. This is true and you are wise to recognize it. Yet, there is more... something linking you together... I do not understand what I see, but it is something new. It keeps you two ensnared, drawn to each other, but unsure why. /
/ No, you and he are not meant to be, but you *are* meant to be forever. I see you together, but not, for most of your lives. You will see each other through crisis. Yours is now and his is to come. Allow him to help you find your trust again, or he will push you away when he needs you most. /
Uhura nearly fainted from the press of Anata’ka’s mind upon her own. The thoughts had flashed by in seconds; she still had the remnant of her smile she had given Kirk on her face. How could such depth of thought and emotion be communicated so quickly?
/ Anata’ka, you are right, I am scared. I thought I would be able to let him touch me. In fact, I had dreamed he was the one, but now, I don’t know. Tonight, when I saw desire in his eyes, the reality of it nearly made me panic. /
/ Child, he is afraid too. He must trust you with his heart; that you will protect it and give it back to him whole. He risks his entire world, everything that is important to him, in order to keep you a part of it as well. A stray word or an angry action could cost him dearly. If you can, make him see himself as a healer instead of a lover. In that way he will be able to reconcile his actions within himself. If you would see his desire as a desire to help, it will calm your panic. /
/ Thank you, Anata’ka, for your words of wisdom. I am grateful you have taken such an interest in me. /
/ You are correct in that I do not often concern myself in the private lives of others. However, you Humans have no way to truly know the thoughts of another, not even your mate. I find that sad and unbearably lonely. Please forgive me for my attempt at ‘playing God’, goodnight Nyota. /
With that thought Anata’ka was gone from her mind. Uhura took a deep breath and sipped her wine. The whole exchange with the Dowager had taken barely a minute. One of the province ministers took that moment to approach and she was glad to be pulled back into the verbal realm.
The evening had been a great success. As they walked back to their apartments, Uhura internally reviewed the night’s happenings so she would be able to write an intelligent report later. The downside to attending parties during a mission was you had to stay distanced enough to observe and recount all events back to Starfleet. Kirk was quiet during the journey. Was he gathering his own thoughts or did he just prefer not to discuss the evening in a public area? She left him to his silent thoughts.
Uhura had spent quite a bit of time with Anata’ka, Ramsha’ka and Lilu’ka, discussing their vision of the future before branching out and greeting the recently assimilated factions. Those newly under Anata’ka’s rule did not particularly care for her, but the strange quirk of Potakai physiology that manifested itself with imprinting left them little choice but to submit.
Uhura also noted Anata’ka left most of the visioning to Ramsha’ka. Other than the one brief, but intensely personal contact, Anata’ka had kept all the conversation between them verbal during the reception. It still shocked her at how deep into her thoughts Anata’ka had gotten so quickly. It was unnerving to be analyzed so accurately and efficiently by a complete stranger. And why did Anata’ka share her insights into Kirk’s thoughts? Why did two lonely humans seem so important to her? Uhura felt manipulated and wasn’t sure why.
Once back at their apartments, Kirk sat down and asked her for her impressions on the evening.
"Like a ticking bomb about to go off, sir. The governors of the other planets don’t appear to like the change, but are emotionally constrained from doing anything about it. Ramsha’ka has high hopes, but I sense greater misgivings from Anata’ka."
Kirk looked at Uhura in surprise. "Why do you say that, Lieutenant?"
"Just a feeling I get, sir. It’s not really based on anything she said specifically. I guess it’s more about what she didn’t say. Maybe she’s trying to back off and allow Ramsha’ka to assume the lead, but I just get the feeling she’s holding her breath, waiting for something to happen."
Kirk nodded; Uhura couldn’t tell if it was in agreement with her assessment, or if he knew Anata’ka’s thoughts first hand.
Changing the subject, he asked, "What’s on the agenda for tomorrow?"
Uhura knew he was quite aware of each day’s itinerary, but played along. If he wanted chitchat, he’d get chitchat.
"You have a mid-morning meeting with the Potakai Council and I have a formal Tea with the ruling First Ladies. In the afternoon, we attend the holy ceremony of Nohoma Wairua, the cleansing ritual, at the High Temple. Then, tomorrow night, we attend a State Dinner welcoming us."
"Busy day; I think I’ll check in with Spock and then go to bed, goodnight, Lieutenant." Kirk gave her a tired smile and walked to his bedroom.
"Goodnight, sir. I’ll see you in the morning." It was late; the reception had lasted well past planetary midnight. Going to bed seemed like a good idea.
A low rumble brought Uhura instantly awake. She looked around the room, trying to locate what had brought her to consciousness. A spastic flash of light drew her attention outside. Far out on the ocean horizon, the lurid colors of an electrical storm could be seen dancing between the clouds. A second rumble soon followed and Uhura’s mystery was solved. The storm Spock had warned them about had finally made its appearance.
Uhura got up from the overstuffed bed, pulled on her robe and stepped into the common area. No one was there and the lights were turned down extremely low. She walked to Kirk’s bedroom. He had left the door partly open, and from the staccato light flashing again, she saw his still form on the bed. Turning, she quietly let herself out onto the balcony to continue watching the display.
From her spot against the stone wall, Uhura could see the tops of the waves as they broke against the shore. Still far out on the horizon, Uhura watched the purple and orange brilliance light up the edges of the towering clouds. The next soft and distant rumble stretched out, reverberating upon itself, a warning of what was to come.
The breeze freshened and Uhura pulled her robe tighter. The shiver was only partially related to the cool breeze, the other part was her anticipation of the nearing storm. Storms had excited her since she was a child. Once, on a family camping trip on the Serengeti Plain, a powerful storm had spooked a herd of wildebeest so badly they had stampeded through their camp. Uhura remembered feeling the ground shake from the thunder of their hooves and her ears from the thunder of the storm. The feeling from the rush of adrenaline that moment had filled her with would stay with her forever. The fear of the storm and the wildebeest had made her hypersensitive to her surroundings. She could still remember the soothing touch of her gown against her skin, and the pulsing beat of the shelter wall she had leaned against. She could still smell the scent of the grass being pummeled by the rank beasts running just outside her window, and see the lightening frame their bulky shadows in stark relief against the far wall. Uhura was so caught up reliving that long ago night that she did not hear Kirk come up behind her.
"It’s beautiful, isn’t it?" He asked quietly as he stepped up behind her; his tone carried the same reverence Uhura was feeling.
Uhura jumped, startled by his nearness when she had been spiritually so very far way.
"Oh, Captain, you scared me. I thought you were asleep." Glancing over her shoulder, Uhura replied in a breathless whisper.
"I’m sorry, I tried to sleep, but I guess I’m still a little too wound up from tonight’s festivities" He sighed.
"I was sleeping pretty well until I heard the thunder. I had forgotten Mister Spock’s warning. It is beautiful, just like back on Earth."
"Yes, it is. That’s one of the things I miss most out in space, the weather. Ion storms aren’t quite the same."
Uhura couldn’t see his smile, but she heard it in his voice. He was standing right next to her now, looking toward the horizon. His presence, so near, made her feel like the storm did, hypersensitive. Channeling the excitement into bravery, Uhura decided to act upon Anata’ka’s advice.
"Captain?" Uhura began with no idea of how she would continue.
Kirk must have heard something in her voice because he turned to face her, giving her his full attention. "Yes, Uhura?"
"Captain…I just wanted to say…thank you for all that you’ve done for me, especially these last few months…I’ve truly enjoyed my time on the Enterprise--"
"Uhura," Kirk cut her off, "don’t give up. There’s still time--"
"Time for what, sir? We both know there’s little chance I’ll pass that scan." She looked up, trying to see his eyes, but only caught shadow during the quickening flashes.
"Uhura…why did you agree to this mission?" Kirk’s own tone became tentative.
"Because it sounded exciting and it would be a chance for one last mission. Because it was with you and I would have a chance to say goodbye." She whispered the last part, but knew he heard it.
"Do you want to say goodbye? Or are you trying to find a way to stay?" Kirk reached out and stroked her cheek. The one gentle touch unhinged her reserve. A great shudder tore through her body and she pulled away from him like she had been burned by his touch.
"I don’t know what I want!" She hissed. "I think I want you to touch me...to make love to me...but then, I panic and want to run away. I know I want to stop feeling this way--confused, out of control, scared and alone."
Realizing his touch had set her off, Kirk stepped toward Uhura, but kept his hands at his sides.
"Penda" He waited for her to look at him. The lightening grew closer and the wind was blowing his hair. His open robe had been blown nearly off his shoulders and she could see the deep contrast between his bare chest and the dark silk loungers he wore underneath.
"Penda, I want to help-—if you’ll let me. I can’t offer you anything past this mission, except your home on Enterprise, but...if you want me...if I can help...I’m yours."
He reached out a hand and waited for her to take it. Uhura could see the vulnerability in his gesture and it touched her heart. It also calmed her enough so that she could reach out and take his hand, allowing him to slowly pull her into his embrace.
"Oh, Captain--" She started, but Kirk cut her off.
"Penda, for this to work, you’ve got to call me Jim. 'Captain’ messes with my mind, okay?" He chuckled softly in her ear.
"Yes, Jim." It felt right, but not right, to call him that. Right for the intimacy of the moment, but not right in how she perceived her long-term relationship with him to be. Even wrapped in his warm embrace, where she had longed to be for months, her body rebelled with hard tremors.
"Jim, I do want you. I want you to make me feel whole again; I want you to make me feel beautiful. Right now, my mind and my body are in constant battle; it’s almost as if the terror attacks are back. I don’t feel in control of who I am anymore."
"Penda" Uhura could feel Kirk relax his embrace, "you’re in control of this and you *are* beautiful--inside and out. They didn’t take those things away from you." Uhura pushed him away; finally facing these demons brought all her buried rage to the surface.
"They took *everything* from me! My looks, my sense of worth, who I choose to touch me--everything! Do you know what I see when I look in the mirror…an ugly, worthless shadow of who I was. What man would want someone who is so used, so dirty?"
Kirk bound toward Uhura and grabbed her by the arms. She tried to break his grip, but his hold was so tight it hurt.
"I do, and I know everything that was done to you! I saw with my own eyes and through your memories what happened--and it changes nothing about how I feel about you. You are the victim, Penda, not the criminal. You’re not dirty, you’re just hurt..." He loosened his grip and pulled her to his chest, enfolding her in his arms.
"You’re just hurt, Penda, and I want to help." He whispered against her temple and gently rocked her in his arms.
Uhura felt something break inside her, emotions long held in check flooded to the surface in a great sob. "And I want you too. I’m just scared it’s too late--"
"Shhhh...It's not too late. We can do this, I know we can."
The first drops of rain splattered them, brought in by the wind. The storm was much closer and it was no longer safe to be outside. Kirk looked up at the sky and then back into Uhura’s eyes, an unspoken question in his own. The cold drops of rain pierced Uhura’s robe and sent more shivers through her.
"Can you just hold me tonight? I’m not sure I can handle anything else." She didn’t like how small and ragged her voice sounded; she could barely hear it over the pounding of her heart.
Kirk gave her a tender smile and wiped away a raindrop that had plopped on her forehead. "You’re in charge, Penda. I would love to hold you close while the storm passes." He pulled her back toward the doorway leading to his bedroom. Uhura took a deep breath and let him guide her inside.
The room was dark, save for the orange flickering from the fire fountain in the corner. He left the balcony door open, but flipped the switch on the doorframe that activated the force screen. It would stop the rain from entering but allow the breeze to pass through. At this setting, a person could walk through it feeling nothing more than a slight prickle on the skin. The wind rushed past them and caused the gauzy bed drapes to sway against their ceiling tether, their dance casting vaguely sinister shadows on the walls.
Kirk reached out and grasped the sash of Uhura’s robe, looking at her for permission to untie the knot holding it secure. Her heart raced into her throat; still she gave him a shaky, but approving, smile. Never taking his eyes from hers, he slipped the knot and gently pushed the robe off her shoulders. He tossed it over the nearby chair. Quickly, he slipped his own robe off and draped it over Uhura’s.
A ragged bolt of lightening sliced through the sky, immediately followed by a crashing boom of thunder. With a strong gale, the sky let loose with a frenzy of rain. Jim laughed and ran to the bed, taking Uhura with him much like the wind herded the rain. Uhura felt herself tumble through the gauze panels and land on the bed with Kirk. The covers were drawn over and tucked around her in one deft motion. Uhura giggled in spite of herself, that last boom was still echoing in her ears.
Uhura marveled at how Kirk had used the thunder as a way to get her in the bed without the awkwardness she expected to feel. Seeming to sense her unease, his manner was attentive but playful. Wanting to be there with him did not mean she didn’t feel intimidated by the change in their relationship.
"Oh, Jim, you weren’t kidding when you told Spock we would pull the covers over our heads." She laughed breathlessly.
Jim raised up on one elbow and grinned down at her near buried face. "I never joke with Spock; it’s a waste of humor."
Another tandem of lightening and thunder enveloped them and Kirk dropped down, snuggling deeper into the covers. He spooned his body with Uhura’s and pulled her back against his chest. His left arm was outside the bedding and he draped it across her chest, tucking it under her right breast. Uhura felt his cheek come to rest against her hair, just above her ear; his exhalations gently tickling across it and setting her nerves on fire. His hand, gently cupping her breast through three layers of bedding, was just as arousing. In fact, everywhere he touched her was alive with sensations she thought forever dead.
"Penda, are you all right with this? Your heart is about to pound through your ribs." Kirk asked in a worried tone.
Uhura rolled over to face him, partly in order to see him and partly to reduce the contact that was causing her to hyperventilate. The lightening was flashing nearly non-stop now and it lit his face up almost as bright as day. It allowed her to see him unguarded, without the mask he so often wore to shield his emotions from her. It permitted her to witness such a look of tenderness that her eyes welled up with tears.
The light from the flame fountain must have illuminated her face, because he wiped a tear from the corner of her eye.
"Don’t cry, Penda, I won’t hold you if that’s too much--" Uhura placed two fingers against his lips, silencing them with gentle pressure.
"Tonight I want you to hold me and tomorrow night I want you to make love to me. I may cry, push you away, or pass out before that happens, but please don’t give up on me. I think that’s why I only considered you for this. You *do* know everything that happened and still you care. If I have a complete meltdown, I don’t have to explain why to you. With anyone else that would just be added pressure and I can’t handle anymore right now." Kirk searched her face; she thought trying to decide if she was finished.
Uhura pulled her fingers away and replaced them with her lips. The kiss started soft and tentative; she really wasn’t sure her panic would not flare. However, it stayed in remission, so she pressed harder and with more passion. His lips parted, allowing her seeking tongue to explore at will. His hand came up of its own volition to caress her cheek. She allowed it and raised her own to rest against his chest. Uhura could feel his heart pounding now and she realized she needed to stop before it became impossible to do so. She broke contact and pushed away slightly, so she could see his face once again. His eyes were half shut, but shone with an intensity Uhura had no trouble recognizing as the same desire that had frightened her earlier in the evening.
"It’s late and I’m tired. Will you curl up to my back and hold me till I fall asleep?"
Kirk smiled but failed at holding back a soft sigh. "I can and I will. Go ahead and flip so I can snuggle up."
Uhura turned over and felt him spoon back against her again. She noticed he kept a layer of blanket bunched between their bodies. She guessed it was a necessary evil if they intended to get some sleep. Silk rubbing against silk was a lethal combination to chastity. Uhura had to get through tonight before she could allow herself to imagine that sensation.
Kirk draped his arm over her once more, but this time his arm was under the covers too. He ran his hand down Uhura’s arm until he found her hand, capturing it in his own. That felt good, but she bent her arm, drawing her hand up to her chest. Kirk started to let go, obviously afraid she would panic again, but Uhura held his hand tightly and brought it along. The back of his hand was tucked snugly against the silk of her gown, which felt better.
The feel of his hand against her breast did send current through her again, but this time she was able to control her feelings. This time Uhura felt safe. She knew the man holding her wanted her, but was willing to wait until she was ready. She didn’t intend for him to wait too long.
"Goodnight, Jim" she whispered as she pushed back and ground herself more firmly against him.
"Goodnight, Penda" he whispered as he brushed the tip of her ear with his lips.
Chill bumps broke out all over Uhura’s body and she audibly sucked in her breath, waiting to see if her teasing had gone too far. She heard him make a sound deep in his throat, not quite a laugh and not quite a growl. He said nothing more; he just pulled her into him once again.
Together, they watched the lightening continue its display and listened to the thunder grown fainter as the storm moved farther inland. Sometime during the early hours of morning, they both drifted off to the sound of the steady, pounding rain.